Socialist Worker

Tories


When we broke the union laws

06 July 2002
A JUBILANT crowd carried five men shoulder high from London's Pentonville jail. "Arise ye workers" read the banner at the centre of the celebrations. The date was 26 July 1972, and the words on the banner were no mere slogan. The "Pentonville Five" were trade unionists -dockers -jailed five days earlier for deyfing anti-union laws. Strikes had swept the country in response. They forced the courts into a humiliating climbdown, and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Tory government of the day. The strikers defied their union leaders and Labour Party leaders, who denounced the struggle. Derek Watkins, one of the five jailed dockers, spoke to Socialist Worker as he waited for police to t

Hungry for change

06 July 2002
LABOUR AND the Tories united in the Scottish Parliament last week to vote down a proposal to give all children free school meals. The plan was put forward by socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. He argued that it would abolish the stigma of going through a means test to get free meals.

Ten million strike against Tory who's Blair's 'best friend'

29 June 2002
THE CITY of Seville in southern Spain was shut down on the eve of the European leaders' summit there last week. A general strike of workers saw militant pickets defy the law and shut down major industrial and transport centres. Most shops, bars and restaurants were also closed down for the day.

Why did the Tories win the election?

22 June 2002
THE FRENCH Tories won a big majority in the parliamentary elections on Monday. The right will have around 400 seats in the new parliament, while the Socialist Party (equivalent of the Labour Party) and its allies will have around 175. After the recent presidential elections John Monks of the TUC and newspapers like the Guardian blamed the far left for the fact that the Nazi Le Pen beat the Socialist Party.

Refugees are not 'swamping' here

22 June 2002
THE WAR against refugees intensified again this week. Home secretary David Blunkett welcomed the election of a Tory government in France because he believes it will crack down on asylum seekers. Tony Blair is meeting European leaders at Seville to organise warships to sink refugee boats. He also wants European states to slash aid to the poor countries that refugees flee from.

French election verdict: none of the main parties have cause to celebrate

15 June 2002
FRANCE'S TORIES look set to win a large majority in parliament after the second round of voting in the country's elections takes place this Sunday. In the first round of voting last Sunday the Tories led by the UPM coalition of France's president Jacques Chirac had around 44 percent of votes. Chirac managed to unite almost all of France's traditionally fractious Tory parties behind him.

Is Europe turning towards the right?

15 June 2002
IS THE tide of history flowing to the right? The claim is put forward by politicians like Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, and echoed by a growing number of commentators. Four years ago Labour-type parties were in government in 13 of the 15 European Union (EU) countries.

Can't buy, can't sell, can't rent

18 May 2002
THE spiralling cost of finding somewhere to live in London was a key issue behind Tuesday's strike by council workers in the capital. Local councils are effectively blocked from building new homes by New Labour's determination to continue Tory attacks on council housing. So many workers are desperately trying to buy houses.

Proud to be a council tenant

11 May 2002
IN THE run-up to the local elections New Labour, the Tories and the Liberals fell over themselves to announce plans to tackle anti-social tenants and crime. They always end up referring to problems on council estates as if council tenants are the lowest of the low.

Danger has not gone away

11 May 2002
THE SECOND round of the French presidential election on Sunday saw the expected landslide victory for the Tory Jacques Chirac. He got 82 percent of the votes against 18 percent for the Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen. The election result shows the limits of Le Pen's support.

Fascism - what it is and how to fight it

04 May 2002
FASCISTS ARE not just right wing Tories or repulsive racists who scapegoat immigrants. Fascists aim to smash democracy and break all forms of working class organisation.

Protest grows against Le Pen

04 May 2002
MASS PROTEST against the Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen is sweeping France. Every single day for over a week, hundreds of thousands of people, millions in all, have taken to the streets-and the movement is growing. Le Pen, the leader of the fascist National Front, got 17 percent of votes in the first round of the country's presidential election. He faces a run-off on Sunday against the French president, the Tory and crook Jacques Chirac.

Time to unite with Chirac?

27 April 2002
It is not just ordinary people who have been shocked by the French election result. Establishment politicians across Europe too have been shaken. These politicians agree the only solution to the danger of Le Pen is to unite behind Tory candidate Jacques Chirac in the election run-off on 5 May. Chirac is almost certain to be elected.

Unison round-up

20 April 2002
COUNCIL WORKERS in the Tory borough of Wandsworth struck for the day last week in support of a sacked colleague. They were demanding the reinstatement of Unison union branch secretary Sarbani Mazumdar.

Top criminologist exposes the media's lies on crime

27 March 2002
The Tories think they can rebuild their fortunes by playing on people's fear of crime. Those fears have been fanned by the wave of crime stories in the tabloid papers. Papers like the Mail, the Sun and even the self proclaimed "socialist" Mirror have pumped out lurid tales of a country gripped by an epidemic of violent crime.

Look to new alliance not the old enemies

16 March 2002
Union leaders exploded in fury at the Labour government last week. "The time has come for Tony Blair to stop bowing down to big business," said GMB union leader John Edmonds. Blair had launched a pamphlet on public services side by side with Chris Garnet. Garnet is chief executive of the GNER rail company and the brother of ex Tory health secretary Virginia Bottomley.

Bush's new war drive shocks even those who backed Afghan bombing

16 February 2002
"A new foreign policy" is how the Guardian's Martin Woollacott described George W Bush's chilling speech threatening war across the globe. Woollacott and fellow Guardian commentator Hugo Young are just two of those who backed Bush and Blair's Afghan war but are now shocked by the US's new global war drive. Even former Tory minister Chris Patten has spoken out.

David Blunkett wants to arrange YOUR marriage

16 February 2002
Home Secretary David Blunkett unveiled New Labour's latest crackdown on immigration, asylum and British citizenship last week. He won rapturous praise from Tory MPs for attacks on the ability of immigrants to speak English and on British people marrying partners from the Indian subcontinent.

Alan Clark: Top Tory who adored Hitler

09 February 2002
Alan Clark, the Tory MP who died in 1999, is often portrayed as an eccentric, lovable rogue. Everyone agrees he was lecherous, rude and arrogant. But the general view is that his diaries are tremendous achievements, and that he himself was cheeky but irresistible.

And they dare to blame the workers

12 January 2002
And they dare to blame the workers

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