Socialist Worker


France - High stakes as fight over pensions grows

31 May 2003
THE STAKES are mounting in the battle over workers' pension rights in France. Sunday saw a new round of massive demonstrations against the Tory government's plan to force workers to work more years, and pay more, for poorer pensions. Around 600,000 people marched in Paris, with tens of thousands more marching in cities across the country.

Pension fight rattles Tories

24 May 2003
THE BATTLE to defend workers' pension rights in France is at a critical stage this week. The Tory government has been rattled by last week's strikes and demonstrations. Up to two million workers joined marches across the country and many more walked out of work.

Teachers will face the sack

10 May 2003
THOUSANDS OF teachers could receive redundancy letters this month as schools face the kind of cash squeeze last seen in the dying days of the Tory government.

Teachers are right to boycott damaging tests

26 April 2003
TEACHERS STOOD up this week to the way the government's constant testing is destroying children's education and health. The largest teachers' union, the NUT, moved to boycott the national SATs tests for seven, 11 and 14 year olds at its conference in Harrogate. They are absolutely right. The SATs were introduced by the Tories in 1992.

Defend asylum seekers

29 March 2003
AN OPEN letter condemning racist hysteria from the media and politicians against refugees will be published as a half-page advert in the Mirror on Tuesday 29 April. This is two days before the May local council elections, where the far right and Tories hope to do well.

Making the connections

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.

It's a matter of principle

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).

FBU: new strike call after latest insults

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.

The hidden victims of Blair's Britain

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.

Does a mortgage make you part of the system?

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".

Secret 1972 cabinet papers released: strikes panicked ministers

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.

Secret 1972 cabinet papers released: Tories wrecked peace hope in Ireland

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.

The new group that lies about refugees

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.

'To win you must be hard headed'

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.

Blair's warning is smokescreen

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".

Blair sees FBU as 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.

£63,389 raised so far

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

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.

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