Socialist Worker

Tories


March ignores the real issues

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.

Anti-war message boosts Schröeder

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.

'We have been betrayed'

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.

Bosses threaten strike with anti-union laws

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.

Poor have false allies

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.

Council workers

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.

No to bosses' Europe

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.

In brief

10 August 2002
Tories' council opposes culture AROUND 300 people demonstrated in North Finchley, London, on Saturday against the threat from Barnet's Tory council to halt construction of the Community Arts Centre.

How Labour's right wing has been challenged in past

03 August 2002
1930s LABOUR WAS the biggest party after the 1929 general elections, and Ramsay MacDonald became prime minister. But as slump hit the world the Labour government turned on its own supporters and imposed harsh austerity measures. The Labour cabinet accepted a range of brutal cuts but eventually balked at what MacDonald wanted, and in 1931 he formed a government with the Tories.

Tories' threat to the peace

03 August 2002
IT'S EASY to laugh at the Tories. Last week they were going through yet another round in the Life of Brian type internal squabbles that have reduced them to an unelectable rump. Only the saddest kind of political scientist could take a genuine interest in working out what the ideological differences are between Iain Duncan Smith and sacked party chairman David Davis.

In brief

03 August 2002
Lords a-leaping onto the board ONE THIRD of members of the House of Lords are company directors. Some 217 lords have 618 directorships between them. Nearly half of Tory lords are directors, almost 40 percent of Labour lords are directors, and 20 percent of Liberal Democrat lords sit on the boards of firms. The real figure is even higher. Some lords failed to register all their business interests.

Round-up

03 August 2002
AROUND 40 people demonstrated in north Finchley, north London, last Sunday over the threat to a community centre by Barnet's new Tory council.

All out against privatisation in Westminster

27 July 2002
WESTMINSTER council workers began an all-out strike on Monday against a major privatisation plan by their Tory council. The strike in the London council began with 77 workers in the Parking and Highways Licensing Departments striking and staging lively pickets. At least three people joined the Unison union on the picket lines in order to take part in the strike.

A glimpse of a new spirit

13 July 2002
IN RECENT months metal workers, postal workers, print workers, construction workers, bank workers, telecoms workers and others have been on strike. It is amazing that these strikes are happening just months before a general election, with an SPD (Labour-type) government in office and the Tories ahead in the polls.

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.

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