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Archive for August 2010

4 August 2010

spotWaltham Forest's Labour council faces opposition

On a lovely summer's evening a very dirty deed was done, and probably only the first of many. At a full council meeting in Waltham Forest town hall, all 31 Labour councillors present slavishly raised their hands to vote through the first round of cuts.

4 August 2010

spotCoventry campaigners fight cuts of £140 million

In Coventry, it appears that there will be a budget in the next few weeks where there will be a vote over cuts reaching a staggering £140 million.

4 August 2010

spotSwansea trades council leads battle for services

"Everybody uses public services and the fight to retain these services is a fight for all trade unionists and for the entire community."

4 August 2010

spotCampaigners answer Bristol's 'Big Conversation'

Over 100 community campaigners and activists from across the trade union movement attended the Bristol anti-cuts alliance launch meeting.

4 August 2010

spotFighting fire service cuts

Thirty local residents and trade unionists attended the Socialist Party's public meeting in Penarth, south Wales which was called about 15 jobs threatened from three fire stations as part of the misnamed 'risk reduction plan'.

4 August 2010

spotCuts news: Mental health services facing the axe

The NHS constitution tells us that care should be available to all based on clinical need. But watching the budget is now the primary concern. Patient care will be sacrificed. NHS services, particularly...

4 August 2010

spotNSSN pledged to fight cuts

EIGHTY PEOPLE from at least ten trade unions met on 26 July to discuss the statement agreed by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference on fighting the government initiated cuts in public sector jobs and services...

4 August 2010

spotTroops out now!

Anti-war demonstration October 2009, photo Rob Emery

Anti-war demonstration October 2009, photo Rob Emery

THE LEAKING of 75,000 secret US military documents on the Afghanistan war 'endangers lives', screamed the US Pentagon...

4 August 2010

spotAfghanistan: US strategy in disarray

The concerted might of the strongest and largest military force in the world, that of the US, is failing to defeat the disparate and crudely equipped Taliban militias in one of the poorest countries of the world...

4 August 2010

spotOppose divisive academies policy

BLUNDERING EDUCATION minister, Michael Gove, is finding that the realities of life do not match his free market fantasies, writes Robin Pye.

4 August 2010

spotTalks resume at British Airways

Negotiations between BA management and Unite cabin crew representatives resumed on 2 August and are continuing at the time of writing...

4 August 2010

spotAngry workers strike over pay freeze and bosses' bonuses

On 27 July, for the second time in less than a week, workers at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems based in Coventry went out on a 24-hour strike as well as imposing a continuous ban on overtime, writes Lenny Shail.

4 August 2010

spotWitch-hunted Unison activist wins tribunal

It is unusual for an Employment Tribunal ruling against an employer to represent at the same time a blow against a trade union, but that is what has happened recently at the tribunal in Newcastle...

4 August 2010

spotUnite general secretary election

Tony Woodley, Socialist Party member Rob Williams and Len McCluskey (back) address a Visteon pensions lobby at Unite conference, photo Mike Gard

Tony Woodley, Socialist Party member Rob Williams and Len McCluskey (back) address a Visteon pensions lobby at Unite conference, photo Mike Gard

In an article in issue 632 of The Socialist, Kevin Parslow outlined reasons why Socialist Party members in the Unite trade union are supporting Len McCluskey in the general secretary (GS) election...

4 August 2010

spotWe won't be a lost generation, fight for jobs and education!

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration in Barking, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs demonstration in Barking, photo Paul Mattsson

The statistics range wildly but one thing is obvious - young people's plans for the future are being dashed, writes Ben Robinson.

4 August 2010

spotNo to privatisation of our universities

As well as huge cuts, the Con-Dem government's agenda for higher education includes throwing open the doors to the creation of private universities...

4 August 2010

spotProfiting from wrecking the environment

AN OIL trading company has been fined £840,000 after being convicted for concealing the dangerous nature of toxic waste which was subsequently dumped in the Ivory Coast in 2006, causing thousands of people to fall ill, writes John Sharpe.

4 August 2010

spotStop the Cardiff incinerator

Nearly 100 local residents and campaigners turned out at the end of July to lobby the Environment Agency (EA) against granting environmental permission to waste management company Viridor's proposed Cardiff incinerator, writes Edmund Schluessel.

4 August 2010

spotSave Wanstead Flats

The Metropolitan Police intend to have a police station on Wanstead Flats, a large area of common land touching three east London boroughs...

4 August 2010

spotCampaigning at Leeds Pride

Gay Pride demo 2007, photo Marc Vallee

Gay Pride demo 2007, photo Marc Vallee

Leeds Socialist Party members formed a very visible and vocal contingent on the Leeds LGBT Pride march around Leeds city centre on 1 August, handing out leaflets calling for a united fight against homophobia and transphobia as part of the wider struggle for socialism...

4 August 2010

spotLove Parade catastrophe was entirely preventable

ON 24 July, 21 people died in the horrific stampede at the Love Parade festival in the German city of Duisburg...

4 August 2010

spotGarment workers demand a living wage

Thousands of garment workers in Bangladesh took to the streets of Dhaka to dismiss the recently announced increase in the minimum wage as completely inadequate...

4 August 2010

spotAsda profiting from low pay

A DAMNING report was issued recently by the charity ActionAid on the "deplorable" pay and working conditions of Bangladeshi factory workers employed by British supermarket Asda - a subsidiary of US conglomerate Wal-Mart which makes £45 million a day in profit...

4 August 2010

spotRich just carry on getting richer

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS in HSBC will look forward to big dividends as Britain's biggest bank saw its profits almost double to £7.2 billion over the six months up to June...

4 August 2010

spotFast news

Dirty money: BP, THE energy giant responsible for the US's worst environmental disaster, finally got around to jettisoning its gaffe prone chief, Tony Hayward...

4 August 2010

spotThe howlers' world and ours

Review: The Lacuna: THE LACUNA is written as the diary of a solitary young man, Harrison Shepherd, who ends up working as a cook for the Mexican artist Diego Rivera and then the exiled Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the 1917 Russian revolution, writes Hannah Sell.

4 August 2010

spotHow the banks rip us off

CON-DEM Business Secretary Vince Cable told journalists he thinks banks are "ripping off" taxpaying customers with unfair charges and cynically using massive bail-out packages to pay their top speculators ridiculous bonuses out of the public purse...

4 August 2010

spotFor real jobs, not slave labour

The Tories’ new youth service plan is the latest attempt to use young people as free labour. Billed as “non-military national service””, it will offer 16 year olds an eight week programme of volunteering and community work immediately after finishing school.

4 August 2010

spotDaily Mail admits guilt over smearing Tamil hunger striker

Demonstration against the Sri Lankan government's attacks on the Tamils 11 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Demonstration against the Sri Lankan government's attacks on the Tamils 11 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

THE DAILY Mail headline read: "Hunger Striker's £7 million Big Mac". This outrageous attack, printed on 9 October 2009, accused Subramanyam Parameswaran of eating a Big Mac while 'pretending' to be on hunger strike in Parliament Square, London.

4 August 2010

spotBook now for the summer camp!

The Socialist Party Summer Camp 2010, taking place from Friday 27 August to Monday 30 August, is the ideal opportunity for activists to come together to share ideas and experiences while enjoying a weekend of sports, singing and maybe even some sun.

4 August 2010

spotSocialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate

Cindy Sheehan to speak at Socialism 2010: Cindy came to prominence in 2005 when she set up a protest camp outside president Bush's ranch. She simply wanted to ask Bush why he sent her son to die in Iraq. In 2008 she ran for Congress as an Independent against the top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, winning an impressive 16% of the vote, beating the Republican, and coming in second place. In recent months Cindy has clearly stated that capitalism is the root cause of the world’s problems and that democratic socialism is the alternative.

4 August 2010

spotTories put profits before patients

ONE PART of Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley's brutal scheme to privatise the NHS allows NHS foundation trusts to abolish what he called an 'arbitrary, ill thought out' cap...

4 August 2010

spotWe need 'biggest movement since poll tax'

PCS members striking against Labour's cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS members striking against Labour's cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), meeting this year in Manchester, needs to hear clearly from ordinary trade unionists and activists that the time has come to get off its knees and organise a fightback against the government's programme of cuts, writes Bill Mullins.

4 August 2010

spot'Radical' cuts require serious action

Build national and local action: "Some people will be hit much harder by the VAT rise," cried the impassioned Tory councillor in Waltham Forest town hall, writes "Think of those who have to buy Bentleys," she continued!.

9 August 2010

spotBirmingham - Community says No to racist spy cameras

On Wednesday 3 August an overwhelming majority of participants in a public meeting of over 300 people condemned the installation of a network of police spy cameras around two predominantly Muslim suburbs of Birmingham...

9 August 2010

spotHastings CSA - Civil Service trade unionist sacked

PCS union branch secretary at CSA Hastings, Sam Buckley, has recently become the fifth branch officer to be sacked on trumped up charges since November 2007...

10 August 2010

spotDefend Our Community Services (DOCS) launched in Bracknell

On Thursday 29 July, 33 trade unionists and community activists gathered at a community centre in Bracknell to begin the fightback against cuts to jobs and services in the Bracknell area...

10 August 2010

spotKirklees strike action looms closer

Kirklees Unison has launched a formal industrial action ballot, to begin strike action in September to challenge the council's headlong rush into some of the most swingeing cuts in living memory...

12 August 2010

spotOne Coventry councillor votes against cuts

Coventry City Council approved an emergency cuts package of £4.5 million on 10 August, with only a single vote against, writes Speaking after the meeting Cllr Nellist said:.

12 August 2010

spot'Lost generation' forced on dole and excluded from university

Youth Fight for Jobs - Press Release: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that there is a "risk of a crisis legacy of a lost generation", writes Paul Callanan, 23, unemployed and a member of the national steering committee of Youth Fight for Jobs said:.

17 August 2010

spotPakistan Flood disaster: Appeal for workers' solidarity

Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan (TURCP) appeal, photo TURCP

The Progressive Workers Federation (PWF) and Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan (TURCP) urge all our brothers, sisters and comrades in the international trade union movement to show their solidarity...

18 August 2010

spotForecasts of fragile economic growth

The fragility of Britain's economic growth has been confirmed by various reports and comments from bankers and economists over the last week...

18 August 2010

spotCameron sticks the boot into our council housing

THE CON-DEM government is determined to use the excuse of a financial crisis to justify its aim to finish what Thatcher started - and Blair and Brown, in effect, continued - the comprehensive dismantling of the welfare state, writes Louise Cuffaro.

18 August 2010

spotPrivate-profit company granted 'snoopers' charter'

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron, using the cover of tackling fraud, is bringing in credit referencing company Experian to challenge the claims of benefit claimants, writes Chris Newby.

18 August 2010

spotPrivate Finance Initiative: A licence to print money

Healthworker condemns rip-off PFI schemes: THE COST of financing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes in the National Health Service has risen to a staggering £65.1 billion pounds...

18 August 2010

spotNorthern Ireland: Belfast Stop the Cuts Alliance established

At a meeting in Belfast on 16 August, socialist and trade union activists agreed to form the Stop the Cuts Alliance in order to build opposition to the cuts from Westminster and Stormont, writes Gary Mulcahy, Socialist Party (Northern Ireland).

18 August 2010

spotBromley care workers fight privatisation and job cuts

Care workers in Bromley, south east London, will fight plans to end elderly and disabled home care, following a workplace meeting of 100 carers on Monday 16 August...

18 August 2010

spotDebate how to fight back at Socialism 2010

Socialists and socialist ideas are subject to a virtual blackout in the media. The ideas of Marxism are distorted and denigrated in the universities. Politicians and 'experts' disparagingly label trade...

18 August 2010

spotRussia's raging wildfires - a crisis of government policies

DOZENS HAVE died in fires, thousands have drowned, hundreds have been arrested in the last month as the environmental crisis and the struggle against its causes find their epicentre in Moscow, writes Rob Jones, Moscow.

18 August 2010

spotBradford must organise against the EDL

The racist English Defence League (EDL) plans to march through Bradford on Saturday 28 August. In a deeply provocative move the EDL has specifically targeted Bradford because of its large Asian and Muslim...

18 August 2010

spotBirmingham: Community says 'No' to racist spy cameras

On 3 August an overwhelming majority of participants in a public meeting of over 300 people condemned the installation of a network of police spy cameras around two predominantly Muslim suburbs of Birmingham, writes Tom Bower, Birmingham Socialist Party.

18 August 2010

spotTube staff vote for action against cuts

"RMT members have sent a clear message in this ballot that they will not sit by while the tracks are turned into a death trap and our tube stations and platforms are left unstaffed." Transport union RMT general secretary Bob Crow declared after 43% of RMT members had voted by a 76% margin to take, writes Reg Johnstone.

18 August 2010

spotJobs under threat at Ministry of Justice

Thousands of jobs at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) are under threat. The Con-Dem government has announced that £2 billion will be axed from the total MoJ budget of £9 billion. This is the equivalent of...

18 August 2010

spotAirport workers win improved offer from BAA

Proposed strike action by airport workers at BAA has been called off according to Unite the Union. This follows on from what the union called "constructive talks" with BAA at ACAS...

18 August 2010

spotWorkplace news in brief

London buses: The London Bus Campaign will stage a rally outside City Hall on Wednesday 15 September to oppose cuts in services, fare increases and reductions in contract prices, writes Andy Beadle.

18 August 2010

spotStudent demo should be start of the fightback

With thousands of young people being denied a university place, facing a substandard education, forced into low paid work or left on the scrapheap of unemployment, a nationally organised fightback is essential, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser.

18 August 2010

spotNo to advice service cuts

As it becomes clear which groups will be hit hardest by the Con-Dems' cuts, it has been announced that careers services for young people in England face huge cuts in funding, writes Paul Callanan.

18 August 2010

spotDecent pay for interns

The release of the report 'Why interns need a fair wage' by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank has received much media attention, writes Matt Dobson.

18 August 2010

spotAction now to defeat cuts!

Coventry Against the Cuts demands that the Labour Party refuses to implement the cuts, photo by Coventry Socialist Party

Billionaire tax exile to slash services: A cabinet of millionaires appoints a billionaire to advise them on making cuts to our jobs and services, or as they refer to them - 'efficiencies'. No surprise there!, writes Alistair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party.

Pic - protest by Coventry Against the Cuts

18 August 2010

spotYouth must fight for a future!

Youth Fight for Jobs, photo Sarah Mayo

Youth Fight for Jobs, photo Sarah Mayo

Bang, bang, bang. Listen out for the sounds of doors shutting in the faces of young people this month. 260,000 students have fulfilled their part of the contract. They have studied, stressed and sweated...

18 August 2010

spotDefend Our Community Services launched in Bracknell

On Thursday 29 July, 33 trade unionists and community activists met in Bracknell, Berkshire, to begin the fightback against cuts to jobs and services in the area and to launch Defend Our Community Services (DOCS), writes John Gillman and Terry Pearce DOCS steering committee members (personal capacity).

18 August 2010

spotCuts devastate mental health services

Community mental health care bosses in Southwark, south London, aim to save £3.7 million in two years, a mental health worker writes.

18 August 2010

spotSocialist Party summer camp - book now!

Book now for the Socialist Party summer camp for political discussion and fun in pleasant Essex countryside. Discussions include...

18 August 2010

spotCWU members accept BT pay deal

Communication Workers Union (CWU) members have accepted BT's pay offer of a 3% pay increase for each of the next three years, with this year's being paid from January instead of April, writes Clive Walder, CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch, personal capacity.

18 August 2010

spotUni bosses say cuts will cause closures

In brief: A recent report has shown that three quarters of university bosses think the government's higher education cuts will result in some universities closing...

18 August 2010

spotPakistan flood devastation: poor suffer most

Pakistan: Khalid Bhatti, Trade Union Rights Campaign - Pakistan (TURCP) and general secretary of the Socialist Movement Pakistan (the Socialist Party's counterpart in Pakistan), reports on the disaster and the workers' response to it...

18 August 2010

spotPakistan: Workers' solidarity urgently needed

Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan (TURCP) appeal, photo TURCP

TWENTY MILLION people affected, over 1,600 dead and thousands face starvation, but the Pakistan government's incompetence has made the disaster worse.
The Trade Union Rights Campaign - Pakistan initiated the Workers' Relief Committee to coordinate aid to workers and activists.

18 August 2010

spotCoventry Against the Cuts challenge councillors' 'legal obligation'

Coventry Against the Cuts demands that the Labour Party refuses to implement the cuts, photo Coventry Socialist Party

Coventry Against the Cuts

"When the real impact of these cuts is felt in services for children, young people and some of the most vulnerable communities in Coventry, there will be outrage that all the other councillors were united in passing these cuts."...

18 August 2010

spotThe legacy of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky, a revolutionary leader of the Russian revolution, was murdered on 20 August 1940 by an agent of Stalin. His role in the 1917 revolution, the greatest single event in human history, alone makes his writings worthy of study.
The ideas and methods of the Socialist Party and the socialist international to which it is affiliated, the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), are based on Trotsky's, alongside those of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin.
70 years after his death Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, assesses the contribution of Trotsky's ideas to the struggle for socialism in the 21st century.

19 August 2010

spotWe won't be a Lost Generation: Protest: Saturday 21 August 2010

Youth Fight for Jobs is calling a demonstration on Saturday 21 August against the government's brutal attacks on access to education.

It will be at 4pm, outside the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H OET.

20 August 2010

spotChief Fire Officer plans to sack every London Firefighter!

Support London Firefighters: Despite the government's supposed commitment to 'protect frontline services', all London firefighters have been threatened with dismissal...

23 August 2010

spotLondon tube unions announce strike action

On 24 August, reps from transport unions TSSA and RMT met to discuss the first ever joint strike between the two unions on London Underground, writes Reg Johnstone.

24 August 2010

spotNo to Trident nuclear weapons

The outgoing Blair/Brown New Labour government won parliamentary support for the modernisation of the Trident system with support from the Tories...

24 August 2010

spotKirklees Unison strike ballot launched

Kirklees Unison has launched a formal industrial action ballot, to begin strike action in September to challenge the council's swingeing cuts, Huddersfield Socialist Party members write.

24 August 2010

spotStoke socialists condemn 'sham consultation'

Despite the holiday period, around 100 community campaigners and trade union activists attended a North Staffs TUC (NSTUC) public meeting on 18 August to launch an anti-cuts alliance...

25 August 2010

spotPrivatisation and cuts in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Council is set to continue its attempt to sell off vital and key services to private contractors...

25 August 2010

spotLondon firefighters balloting for action

Up to 1,000 firefighters poured into the conference room of TUC headquarters for a mass meeting of the London Fire Brigades Union (FBU) on Tuesday night (24 August)...

25 August 2010

spotNational Shop Stewards Network lobby of TUC conference

Colin Trousdale addresses 2009 lobby of TUC, photo Harry Smith

Colin Trousdale addresses 2009 lobby of TUC, photo Harry Smith

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of TUC conference

12:00 noon, Sunday 12th September

Manchester Central Convention Complex

Call for a national demonstration against cuts

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