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Archive for December 2008

3 December 2008

spotSecondary education: PFI's gloss soon peels away

IT'S ALL systems go at the Northampton comprehensive school where I work. The landscaping is being finished off and men in boiler suits haunt the corridors and stairwells, writes A school teacher, Northampton.

3 December 2008

spotSocialist women: Looking at the past to take action today

The Socialist Women weekend school, held in London on 29-30 November, started with a discussion on the Great Depression and a comparison to today's crisis, writes Sarah Wrack, Brighton Socialist Party.

3 December 2008

spotHelp fund the alternative to big business politics

More and more people are looking for a socialist alternative. They are drawing the conclusion that it is capitalism itself, a system based on exploitation for profit in which crises are inevitable, that...

3 December 2008

spotStop the repossessions

More homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments: At least 5,000 homes a week are being put up for sale as the owners can no longer afford their mortgage...

3 December 2008

spotWoolworths jobs threat

Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing for president of the shopworkers' union Usdaw. She spoke to The Socialist about the threats to jobs in the retail industry:...

3 December 2008

spotFighting the threatened closure of Hoover factory

South Wales: Over 300 jobs are at risk in South Wales, as management at the Hoover washing machine and tumble dryer factory in Merthyr Tydfil warned it could no longer produce "competitively priced" products, writes Vic Jenkins.

3 December 2008

spotIndia and Pakistan conflict

Editorial: Once again, terrorist carnage - this time in Mumbai in India - has shocked working people around the world...

3 December 2008

spotTerror mayhem strikes Mumbai

The horrific terror attack in Mumbai on 27 November must be condemned on all counts. It took place at the usually crowded CST railway station and six other prime locations, killing over 180 people, writes Jagadish Chandra, New Socialist Alternative, CWI India.

3 December 2008

spotCrisis-hit capitalism fears prospect of revolution

CWI International Executive Committee 2008: THE INTERNATIONAL Executive Committee (IEC) of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) met in Belgium on 23-29 November. Hannah Sell gives a summary of Peter Taaffe's introduction to the session on the global economic crisis and its political consequences with highlights from the discussion.

3 December 2008

spotVenezuela elections: Chávez wins victory but opposition gains ground

ON SUNDAY 23 November, more than 14 million people in Venezuela came out early in the morning to elect governors, mayors and regional representatives, writes Johan Rivas, Colectivo Socialismo Revolucionario, the CWI group in Venezuela...

3 December 2008

spotOur planet not their profit

Climate change demo December 2007, photo by Paul Mattsson

Climate change demo December 2007, photo by Paul Mattsson

Everyone on the march against climate change on Saturday 6 December agrees on one thing: the planet is in danger.
Climate scientists argue that critical processes, such as the melting of polar sea ice, are happening much faster than previously predicted.
The march will demand a 'Green New Deal', Paula Mitchell writes.

3 December 2008

spotJudiciary challenged over right to protest

THE MAY Day Detainees went back to court last week. This time they appealed to the House of Lords against the judgement from the High Court, which said it was lawful for the Metropolitan Police to hold...

3 December 2008

spotSocial workers demand proper resources

Overworked, underpaid, undervalued: I agree with the comments of the social worker in issue 557 of The Socialist ('Social workers say: Investment needed'), writes A south Wales social worker.

3 December 2008

spotVote 'no' to BT's pension cuts

BT is pursuing its pre-existing plan to get its workforce to accept a cut in pensions provision. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) executive committee (NEC) is now recommending that members vote to...

3 December 2008

spotA Christmas message from the Unite leadership

Good news of great joy: A message from Unite the union to its members: "The return of real Labour? A welcome move towards progressive politics and Labour's natural constituency", writes Mick Cotter.

3 December 2008

spotDover docks strikes

Workers employed by Dover Harbour Board (DHB) have announced that they will stage a further three 24-hour strikes next week, writes Jacqui Berry, Kent Socialist Party.

3 December 2008

spotAppledore shipyard

Workers at Appledore shipyard in North Devon have accepted an offer from Babcock Marine management, ending their industrial action...

3 December 2008

spotLiverpool: mobilising against the far right

OVER THREE hundred anti-fascists protested in Liverpool last Saturday against the British National Party...

3 December 2008

spotBuilding a left wing political alternative

FORTY PEOPLE including trade unionists, community campaigners and students attended the first London regional meeting of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP), writes Paula Mitchell.

3 December 2008

spotSouthampton uni students fight fees

AROUND 100 students attended a Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) protest at Southampton University on 1 December...

3 December 2008

spotIn brief

Welfare to profit: Attacks on benefits paid to lone parents and disabled people will feature in the Queen's speech to parliament this week...

3 December 2008

spotFighting homophobia

Twenty years since Section 28: This year is the twentieth anniversary of the infamous Section 28, an openly anti-gay law pushed through by Thatcher's Tory government, writes Greg Randall, Convenor of the LGBT socialist group.

3 December 2008

spotThe Isle of Man general strike 1918: Workers' power paralysed government

On 3 July this year it was the 90th anniversary of the little-known Manx general strike, the Isle of Man's first and only general strike, writes Christian Daugherty.

3 December 2008

spotFight back now against job cuts

Unite trade union demonstration outside Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

Unite members demonstrate at Labour Party conference 2007, photo Bob Severn

"We won't pay for bosses' crisis": Ford Workers and their supporters gathered in Southampton on 26 November to promote their campaign to win £100 million investment needed to build the new Transit in 2011, writes Nick Chaffey, Save The Transit campaign.

10 December 2008

spotDNA evidence - Labour's draconian laws...

CLAUSE 18 of the Counter-terrorism Bill 2008 will allow DNA and fingerprints to be gathered and held by a vast range of public bodies ranging from the security services to local councils...

10 December 2008

spotStudent struggle in Spain - time of revolt

Student protests against the education reforms in the Declaration of Bologna, part of the 1999 EU agreement, commenced in Spain in May 2008. Johan Rivas and Denise Dudley write.

10 December 2008

spot60,000 march against education cuts in Dublin

A massive demonstration against education cuts, organised by the teachers' unions, saw over 60,000 teachers, parents and students take to the streets of Dublin on Saturday 6 December, writes Paul Murphy, Socialist Party, Ireland.

10 December 2008

spotWales - the true extent of student debt exposed

On Thursday 4 December, members of Bangor Socialist Students organised a 'Wall of Debt', writes Laurence Winch-Furness.

10 December 2008

spotUsdaw presidential election - support Robbie!

After winning an excellent 40% vote in the election for shopworkers' union Usdaw general secretary, Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing for president of Usdaw, a shopworker writes.

10 December 2008

spotJean Charles de Menezes Coroner restricts inquest verdict

THE JURY in the inquest into the death of Brazilian migrant worker, Jean Charles de Menezes, in a horrifically botched police operation in July 2005 has now retired to consider its verdict...

10 December 2008

spotLewisham's Greens and the BNP 'supporters list'

ONE of the Green Party candidates who stood in Telegraph Hill ward, south London in the 2006 local elections appears on the list of alleged BNP supporters recently leaked to the media, writes Clive Heemskerk.

10 December 2008

spotQueen's rep suspends Canada's parliament

IN AN unprecedented move, the Canadian governor general, Michaelle Jean, used her 'royal' powers as a representative of Britain's Queen, to prorogue (suspend) the country's parliament until 26 January in order to allow the right wing prime minister, Stephen Harper, to cling on to power...

10 December 2008

spotUnite against university attacks

In response to continual attacks by Sussex University management, this time aimed at associate tutors (ATs), a rally was held against plans to "casualise" the workforce, writes Lee Vernon and Sarah Wrack.

10 December 2008

spotHospital trust offers pay cuts for Christmas

Staff working in the Greenwich Community Outreach Team, dealing with mentally ill patients, have just been told that they will be sacked and offered new contracts, minus a 17.5% allowance currently received for weekend working...

10 December 2008

spotIn brief

Attack on child protection Greenwich Unison has condemned a proposed 'reconfiguration' of the council's child protection service...

10 December 2008

spotSocialism and left unity - a critique of the Socialist Workers Party

Socialism and Left Unity

Socialism and Left Unity

Book review: When people first become interested in socialism they often ask: "Why are there different socialist groups? Why can't we just get together and fight the common enemy?"

This desire for unity is understandable and very important because of the need to build a strong left-wing alternative, and a new mass workers' party in particular, especially now that the economic crisis is exposing the failings of capitalism to many more people.

10 December 2008

spotThe National Shop Stewards Network is organising a meeting for car workers and those in ancillary industries:

Car industry in crisis - national meeting

The National Shop Stewards Network is organising a meeting for car workers and those in ancillary industries:
Saturday 14 February 2009, 12-4pm, The Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS.
Please encourage your union branch/workplace to sponsor this meeting and send delegates (£5 per delegate or visitor).
See also: www.shopstewards.net or PO Box 58262, London N1P 1ET.

10 December 2008

spotSave our NHS

The Socialist Party

The Socialist Party's 'Grim Reaper' joins the Keep Our NHS Public 'Defend our health service' protest outside the Department of Health on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the health service, photo Paul Mattsson

OVER THE last four years, the health service's national management board has been expanded from eight to 24 people, writes Judy Beishon.

10 December 2008

spotGreece in widespread revolt

Protesters in Greece, photo Xekinima

Protesters in Greece, photo Xekinima

THERE HAS been an explosion of anger across Greece following the fatal shooting of a 15 year-old in Athens by police.The killing has acted as a lightning rod for the pent-up anger among the youth and the working class at a government hit by corruption scandals and rocked by economic crisis. Andros Payiatsos of Xekinima (CWI in Greece) reports on this revolt from below.

10 December 2008

spotWelfare 'reform' - fight these attacks

Editorial: The 'reforms' to welfare benefits announced in the Queen's Speech last week are an attack on some of the poorest people and families...

10 December 2008

spotPCS gains steps towards settlement

The civil service and related bodies have been a particular target of the anti-public sector policies of the New Labour government, writes John McInally, PCS vice-president.

10 December 2008

spotCrisis loans

The government's latest target in its privatisation of the welfare state is the Social Fund. This fund has been in place since 1988 when it replaced single payments, which were non-repayable grants, with...

10 December 2008

spotChicago workers occupy factory

ON THE afternoon of 5 December, 260 workers at Chicago's Republic Window and Door factory were told that it was closing down and that they would be laid off, writes Will Soto, Socialist Alternative, USA.

10 December 2008

spotMilitant response needed at ex-Visteon plant to save jobs

Workers at the ex-Visteon plant in Swansea are reeling at the shock announcement that the new owners, Canadian company Linamar, are 'offering' 200 voluntary redundancies to the workforce. Unite convenor Rob Williams spoke to Alec Thraves (in a personal capacity).

10 December 2008

spotSouth Wales job losses

Twenty shop stewards and activists recently attended a joint Welsh Shop Stewards Network and Swansea trades council meeting to discuss the avalanche of job cuts in south west Wales, writes Alec Thraves.

10 December 2008

spotWater - essential of life or blue gold?

Flooding in Gloucester, photo Chris Moore

Lack of flood prevention investment by Severn Trent Water was a prime factor in the floods in Gloucestershire, photo Chris Moore

FRESH WATER IS now talked of in some business circles as 'blue gold', just as oil is called 'black gold'. In these three articles, ROGER SHRIVES draws attention to some of the issues arising from the scandalous private exploitation of water, and calls for water supplies and sewerage to be taken out of the hands of profit-making multinationals.

10 December 2008

spotStop job cuts

Share out the work

For a 35-hour week with no loss of pay.

Create more jobs

Nationalise job-shedding companies. For massive investment in public housing and infrastructure projects.

16 December 2008

spotBush humiliated by shoe attack

US President G W Bush humiliated at press conference

In a symbolic epitaph to Bush's rule, journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi became a hero across the Arab world for hurling his shoes at US president George W Bush. Film of the incident, considered a serious insult, made news across the world, instantly hit youtube, while satirical videos hit the internet and cartoons appeared in the newspapers, such as the UK Guardian.

16 December 2008

spotFight for a needs-led budget in Wirral

Wirral services under attack

16 December 2008

spotProtests at Wirral council's cuts

Noisy protest at Wirral Council's cuts

16 December 2008

spotGreater Manchester

Why the congestion charge referendum was smashed

17 December 2008

spotSuccessful Linamar public meeting in Swansea

Ex-Visteon car workers meeting

17 December 2008

spotKazakhstan CWI comrade Ainur Kurmanov arrested

Attacked by police and jailed for 15 days

29 December 2008

spotGaza - end the bloodshed!

While details differ since this Socialist Party editorial of 12 March 2008 was written - the situation today is even worse - it applies in essentials.

30 December 2008

spotSaturday 3 January 2009

Demonstration

Saturday 3 January 2009

12.30 pm, Embankment, London

Also daily demos outside Israeli embassy

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