29 March 2003
"ONCE OUR boys are fighting, opposition to the war will virtually evaporate." The Blairites, the Tories and the political commentators close to them all agreed on this after the parliamentary debate 10 days ago. A section of the left, believing the media are all-powerful, agreed. How wrong they were.
22 March 2003
THE TORIES and the government are using the cover of war to launch an attack on the firefighters which threatens the freedom of every worker in Britain. Tory defence spokesperson Bernard Jenkins, government ministers and the media are attempting to witch-hunt the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
15 March 2003
THE FIRE dispute is back on after four weeks of talks produced the worst offer yet from the employers and the government. There is pressure from firefighters for more strikes. There are also threats from deputy prime minister John Prescott to use Tory anti-union laws and the cover of war to ban action.
15 March 2003
"YOU MAY be unhappy with Tony Blair's international polices, but look at New Labour's achievements on the domestic front." That's the message coming from some of Blair's ministers and supporters. But Blair's Tory policies at home are creating hardship and misery for millions of people.
18 January 2003
HOME-OWNERS are all middle class. If you've bought your house or got a mortgage you're a property owner, got a stake in the system, been bought off. Any activist must have come across such comments. It was an argument popularised in Britain during the years of Margaret Thatcher's Tory governments in the 1980s. She pushed the notion of a "property-owning democracy".
04 January 2003
The events of Bloody Sunday influenced the growth and development of the IRA, which was committed to the armed struggle against the British and Protestant state. Hundreds of angry young men and women flocked to join the IRA. A number of the leaders of the IRA came to the conclusion, however, that while the British army could not militarily defeat them, they could not defeat it.
04 January 2003
Secret cabinet documents from 1972 have just been released to the public. They reveal how working class action terrified the highest levels of government. And they show how solidarity action between workers humbled a powerful right wing cabinet. The Tory government began 1972 full of confidence and determination to hold down workers' pay.
14 December 2002
A BOGUS group posing as an authority on immigration in Britain has become the toast of the right wing press and Tories. Migrationwatch UK is constantly quoted in the Times, Sun and Daily Mail. These are the papers that relish attacking workers on strike as much as they enjoy bashing refugees. The group's name is supposed to make you think it is a respected think-tank, like Human Rights Watch.
07 December 2002
THEY TALK of modernisation today. Funnily enough that was the language and the fight we faced back then. The employers and the Tory government wanted to break dockers and our employment "scheme", which gave us real protection of jobs and conditions.
23 November 2002
AS A delegate to this year's TUC conference in Brighton, I sat through Tony Blair's speech where he warned trade unionists not to turn their backs on the New Labour government. The alternative, he exclaimed, would be a return to Tory rule - "18 years of being ignored, derided and attacked as the enemy within".
23 November 2002
"SCARGILLITE" is how Tony Blair attacks the firefighters' union. But it is not Scargillism that is threatening our livelihoods and public services - it is Thatcherism, the doctrine of Blair's New Labour government. On every front those at the core of this government are pushing right wing policies animated by the spirit of the former Tory leader. Education secretary Charles Clarke and his sidekick Margaret Hodge are two of New Labour's "ultras". They are determined to force students to pay "top-up" fees of up to £10,000 to go to some colleges. Clarke also wants to force every student to pay fees, regardless of their or their parents' income.
19 October 2002
SOCIALIST WORKER is at the forefront of building the anti-war movement. But the paper does much more than that. It reports on the strikes by firefighters, tube workers and teachers. And it shows how to give solidarity to those who are fighting against Blair's Tory policies. It brings the voices from the anti-capitalist movement around the world to socialists in this country. To do this we need money for leaflets, placards and for the paper itself. Why not try taking a SOCIALIST WORKER collection sheet round your workplace?
12 October 2002
UP TO 80,000 workers marched through Paris last Thursday to protest against the French Tory government's plans to privatise key industries. The protest and strikes which accompanied it were the first major challenge to the Tories since they came to office earlier this year
21 September 2002
The Countryside Alliance will be marching through London on Sunday. March organisers say they are standing up to "unite rural Britain, for liberty, and for all those whose jobs are based in the country". In fact those at the centre of the Countryside Alliance and the march represent some of the richest and most reactionary people in Britain. Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith will be there, and Britain's richest landowners are backing the march.
21 September 2002
German Social Democrat leader Gerhard Schröeder has edged ahead in the polls by opposing George Bush's war drive in the run-up to Germany's general election on Sunday. Three polls at the end of last week put Schröeder, leader of the German equivalent of the Labour Party, a couple of points ahead of his challenger Edmund Stoiber, a hard right Tory.
14 September 2002
WESTMINSTER Unison members are very angry and hurt by the decision by our union, both regionally and nationally, to instruct us to return to work. Union leaders called the return to work after a seven-week strike by nearly 300 Unison members against Westminster Tory council's plans for wholesale privatisation of services. This decision came after the council initiated legal action against the strike, using the anti trade union laws. But if the national and regional union had followed the strategy of the local branch, this legal action would not have happened.
07 September 2002
TORY-CONTROLLED Westminster council has thrown down a major challenge to the Unison public sector workers' union. It was trying to use anti-union laws, introduced by Margaret Thatcher's Tory governments but kept by New Labour, to stop our strike action against privatisation.
31 August 2002
NEW LABOUR, the Tories and the US government are all trying to blame Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, for famine in southern Africa. They use the same language of "regime change" that we hear used about Iraq. On Wednesday of last week George W Bush's top adviser on African affairs said that the US wants Mugabe out, and that he had "stolen an election". This is breathtaking hypocrisy from the people who are in the White House because they stole the Florida election for Bush.
24 August 2002
WESTMINSTER council workers are continuing their fight against plans by their Tory council to privatise up to 80 percent of council services. National union officials of their Unison union were due to meet this week to discuss possible escalation of the action. This is a crucial strike which has bosses worried.
24 August 2002
WHAT SHOULD socialists say about the European Union (EU) and the euro? It will be a hot issue if, as seems possible, New Labour calls a referendum before the next general election. Europe helped to tear apart the Tory party. It is causing growing tension inside the Labour Party. But there are many more important reasons to take up the debate.