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Archive for February 2008

6 February 2008

spotYoung workers get organised

PCS Young Members' Forum: The third Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) young member's forum took place over 1-3 February... By Matt Dobson

6 February 2008

spotFrance: LCR votes to launch a new party

THE REVOLUTIONARY Communist League (LCR) in France held its 17th congress on 24-27 January and agreed, with a large majority, to initiate a new, broad, anti-capitalist party... By Judy Beishon

6 February 2008

spotTheir hands in our till

MEMBERS OF Parliament are worried about their tarnished image. And they should be. After the furore over "dodgy donations" from big business came a series...

6 February 2008

spotHow can an alternative to the main political parties be developed?

Socialism 2007 Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialism 2007 Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, photo Paul Mattsson

General secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), Mark Serwotka, has sent the contribution printed below to The Socialist, describing the attacks being made on public-sector workers by the government...

6 February 2008

spotBirmingham: Thousands on strike against pay cuts

More than 20,000 Birmingham Council workers were on 24-hour strike on 5 February 2008 over a new pay and grading system and employment contract which will see many lose basic pay... By Clive Walder, Birmingham Socialist Party

6 February 2008

spotProtests as multinational grabs health centre

AROUND 120 patients, health care workers and members of the public protested at St Paul's Way Medical Centre, the day before the Primary Care Trust (PCT) handed it over to multinational private company Atos Origin... By Liz Cowell

6 February 2008

spotRich avoid paying £25 billion tax bill

A NEW report, sponsored by the TUC, accuses companies and rich individuals of using accounting tricks, loopholes and plain tax avoidance to get out of paying a cool £25 billion of tax each year... By Roger Shrives

6 February 2008

spotWhy they call them 'fat cats'

LONDON'S MOST expensive set menu is a high-cholesterol, high alcohol £1,000 a head seven course 'non-vegetarian extravaganza' designed for, literally, 'fat-cat' City bankers with huge bonuses....

6 February 2008

spotIncinerators: Our health at risk!

Seven boroughs are proposing a new plan for rubbish disposal in north London. Different sites are being looked at to build new waste facilities... By Paula Mitchell

6 February 2008

spotStop the Anglesey nuclear time-bomb

The pro-nuclear alliance of Anglesey County Council and local Labour MP Albert Owen have launched a new propaganda offensive to win people to the idea of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa on Anglesey... By Iain Dalton

6 February 2008

spotKenya: Workers' movement must provide an alternative

TALKS BETWEEN political rivals and foreign diplomats are continuing to try and solve the escalating sectarian bloodbath in Kenya...

6 February 2008

spotBush and Brown's Afghan strategy lies in tatters

"MAKE NO mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan." These are the words, not of an anti-war group but of the opening line of a report by think-tank The Atlantic Council of the United States... By Tom Baldwin

6 February 2008

spotInspiring victory for Polish workers

FIVE HUNDRED miners who had been occupying the Budryk mine in Poland have reached an agreement with management after spending 46 days 1,000 metres underground (see The Socialist, Issue 516)....

6 February 2008

spotVictory! Bristol campaign saves library

CAMPAIGNERS celebrated at Bristol's Council cabinet meeting on 3 February when the ruling Labour group announced the withdrawal of their threat... By Robin Clapp, Bedminster Socialist Party and MACA Chair - personal capacity

6 February 2008

spotVictory! Hull youth workers save jobs

YOUTH WORKERS in Hull are celebrating after taking on hypocritical, incompetent management and winning a battle for their jobs.... By Rob Rooney, Hull Socialist Party

6 February 2008

spotProtest against university fees

Denham denies debt: Students from Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester and Oxford gathered in Southampton to lobby John Denham, MP and Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills... By Toby Harris, southern region organiser for Socialist Students

6 February 2008

spotRefreshing student work in Bangor

Bangor Socialist Students society ran two stalls at Bangor Student Union's re-freshers fair.... By Bangor Socialist, Students

6 February 2008

spotShell output is down, but profits hit new record

OIL GIANT Shell, the world's second biggest quoted oil company, has just recorded the largest annual profits in British corporate history...

6 February 2008

spotFighting the BNP in Barnsley

SATURDAY 2 February was a good day for Barnsley. For some time reports had been heard that the far right British National Party (BNP) were holding a stall... By Thomas Scott-Chambers

6 February 2008

spotWorkplace news in brief

Prison officers prepare, Fighting unsafe staff cuts, National Shop Stewards Network Meetings Prison Officers Association (POA) members are gearing up to counter major attacks expected in the next few weeks. ... By Keith Dickinson

6 February 2008

spotMPs' insult to low-paid workers

TGWU cleaners demonstrating against low pay, photo Molly Cooper

TGWU cleaners demonstrating against low pay, photo Molly Cooper

LOW-PAID public sector workers are facing three years of below-inflation pay rises. Low paid workers earn a fraction of their MP's salary, writes Adrian O'Malley, Unison branch chair, Wakefield and Pontefract Hospitals, Pinderfields Hospital.

12 February 2008

spotUni Fees must be fought!

Students from Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester and Oxford lobby John Denham MP, photo Ben Robinson

Students from Portsmouth, Southampton, Winchester and Oxford lobby John Denham MP, photo Ben Robinson

Over the last ten years the bosses' and fat cats' New Labour government has succeeded in making higher education unaffordable to hundreds of thousands of students, condemning them to debt and poverty... By Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser

12 February 2008

spotStop NHS privatisation now!

The grim reaper - NHS market reforms, photo Paul Mattsson

The grim reaper - NHS market reforms, photo Paul Mattsson

GORDON BROWN'S government is dismantling the National Health Service at an ever-faster rate by pushing ahead with privatisation.

US health care shark United Health has just been fined record amounts for refusing health insurance claims, writes Lois Austin.

12 February 2008

spotBirmingham council workers' biggest strike for decades

Greenwich council workers lobby the council, photo Paul Mattsson

Single status has meant cuts for many. Here, Greenwich council workers lobby the council. Photo Paul Mattsson

On 5 February, Birmingham saw its biggest strike for decades. Tens of thousands of Birmingham council workers were on strike and thousands stood outside... By Dave Griffiths, West Midlands Socialist Party

12 February 2008

spot'Single status' in the West Midlands

Union branches in the West Midlands region are at various stages in the implementation of single status... By Dave Auger, Wolverhampton Unison, personal capacity

12 February 2008

spotBosses prepare to force through more cuts

Local government pay: Unison members in local government have hardly finished counting the pittance they received from last year's pay deal in England and Wales and the union has now lodged the 2008 claim... By Glenn Kelly, Unison national executive, personal capacity

12 February 2008

spotNorthern Rock

IF BRANSON'S Virgin group succeed in taking over Northern Rock, possibly 1,000 jobs, out of a 6,000 workforce nationally, could be lost...

12 February 2008

spotWar and occupation in Iraq

Youth Against the War on the Feb 24 2007 anti-Trident demo, photo Pedro

Youth Against the War on the Feb 24 2007 anti-Trident demo, photo Pedro

Five years of death and destruction

NEXT MONTH will see the fifth anniversary of the US-led war against Iraq that started years of bloody, destructive imperialist occupation.

A hellish half decade has seen unending death and destruction for the people of Iraq, writes Niall Mulholland

13 February 2008

spot100 people pack London world economy meeting

IN RESPONSE to the current global shocks to the world economy, more than 100 people packed the all-London Socialist Party public meeting on 7 February... By Manny Thain

13 February 2008

spotComment: Opportunist blunder further splits Church of England

It would be difficult to imagine a greater blunder for Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, than his latest one, writes Roger Bannister

13 February 2008

spotLand Registry staff vote for action

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in Land Registry, the government department responsible for keeping a record of land ownership in England and Wales, have voted overwhelmingly in a consultation ballot to rej... By A PCS member

13 February 2008

spotCampaign Against Climate Change trade union conference

Around 500 trade unionists gathered on 9 February for a conference called by the Campaign Against Climate Change... By Tracy Edwards, PCS

13 February 2008

spotOrganise and fight back!

Across our Manchester sky line, numerous tower cranes stand testimony to the billion pound construction industry... By Steve Acheson, EPIU-Unite steward and branch secretary, personal capacity.

13 February 2008

spotLondon Underground: Strike ballot in safety row

London Underground: Strike ballot in safety row : The rail union RMT has told London Underground (LUL) that more than 5,500 station staff and train operators are in dispute over a whole raft of safety and staffing issues... By Reg Johnson, RMT

13 February 2008

spotShelter staff ballot for action

Shelter staff are now balloting for industrial action in protest at the imposition of new contracts on worse terms and conditions...

13 February 2008

spotPrison officers: Fighting for trade union rights

The Prison Officers Association (POA) shocked the government by going on a one-day strike on 29 August 2007...

13 February 2008

spotBuilding the Campaign for a New Workers' Party

On 9 February, the officers of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) met in central London to discuss the tasks facing the campaign and the way forward over the coming months... By Greg Maughan, CNWP national treasurer

13 February 2008

spotMillionaire welcomes economic recession!

MICHAEL O'LEARY, cost-cutting, anti-union, multimillionaire boss of 'budget airline' Ryanair, says he would welcome "a good, deep, bloody recession in this country for 12 to 18 months... By Roger Shrives

13 February 2008

spotCardiff marches to save schools

SCHOOLS CAMPAIGNERS across Cardiff are marching together on City Hall for the next full council meeting, at 3.30pm on 28 February, in protest at council plans to close, cut back and disrupt eleven schools in the city... By Ross Saunders

13 February 2008

spotNewham workers angry at councillors

AROUND 100 people met to support Michael Gavan, victimised chair of Newham Unison, at a meeting in Stratford on 11 February. ... By Manny Thain

13 February 2008

spotLiverpool's tale of two cities

WHILE LIVERPOOL city centre hosts over-priced 'Capital of Culture' events, the vast majority of people in the city have been excluded from celebrations supposedly about 'their' culture...

13 February 2008

spotCuts and backlogs cause delays

Off the rails: OVER-RUN OF engineering work is a common reason for delays on the rail system...

13 February 2008

spotTangled web at Metronet

OUTRAGEOUS, SCANDALOUS, disgraceful... are a few of the printable words to describe the government's £2 billion bail-out of Metronet - the failed London... By Simon Carter

13 February 2008

spotChad conflict - part of a wider power struggle

BODIES LITTERED the streets of N'Djamena, Chad's capital city, after three days of intense fighting between president Idriss Déby's forces and 1,200 Chadian rebels, earlier this month.... By Dave Carr

13 February 2008

spotPolish miners gain strike victory due to iron determination

AFTER 46 days on strike the miners of Budryk have won a victory. They have won a 10% wage rise and an equalisation payment for last year. By Florian Nowicki and Wojciech Orowieck, Group for a Workers' Party (GPR - CWI Poland)

13 February 2008

spotFeature: The great university swindle

Introducing university tuition fees was one of New Labour's first acts in government. Proving their pro-big business and pro-market agenda, they followed up by introducing top-up fees of up to £3,000 a year. But students who are struggling and facing a lifetime of debt must not accept this.

Socialist Students national organiser MATT DOBSON looks at the situation and outlines a programme for fighting for free education.

14 February 2008

spotDefend abortion rights

Picket of Tory MP Ann Widdecombe

Picket of Tory MP Ann Widdecombe's anti-abortion meeting 6 February 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Around 400 pro-choice protesters joined a pciket of Tory MP Ann Widdecombe's anti-abortion meeting 6 February 2008, demanding no attacks on abortion rights.

19 February 2008

spotNo wage cuts! Fund equal pay

Birmingham council workers strike on 5 February 2008. Photo S O

Birmingham council workers strike on 5 February 2008. Photo S O'Neill

"No pay cuts!" "Equal pay for women, now!" That's what Birmingham council workers will be saying as they strike for the second time on 26 February. Tens of thousands of members of GMB, Amicus, TGWU, UCATT and Unison struck on 5 February...

19 February 2008

spotNorthern Rock - Labour's reluctant nationalisation

The Socialist Editorial The nationalisation of Northern Rock was met with howls of outrage from some of its shareholders, who screamed about 'theft' and 'immorality'. This was a major blow against the concept of an unfettered market-driven economy...

20 February 2008

spotUnion merger: OILC and RMT

Members of the Offshore Industry Liaison Committee (OILC) have voted overwhelmingly to merge with the rail and maritime union RMT...

20 February 2008

spotMarching against single status

Local government workers in Waltham Forest will march to the London borough's town hall on Thursday 28 February in protest against "single status" pay cuts.... By Bob Severn

20 February 2008

spotSolidarity with Pakistan workers

Socialists, trade unionists and workers packed into an NUJ meeting in Manchester to discuss press freedom, trade union rights and civil liberties in Pakistan...

20 February 2008

spotRecord fall in home ownership

THE NUMBER of homeowners in England fell by a record 83,000 in 2007, according to a survey by leading mortgage lenders Halifax...

20 February 2008

spotCoventry protests at Widdecombe's attacks

ON 13 February, Anne Widdecombe's 'Not on Your Life' tour arrived at Coventry Cathedral... By Fiona Pashazadeh, Coventry West Socialist Party.

20 February 2008

spotCWI school in Latin America

OVER 80 members of the Committee for a Workers' International* - representing sections in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela and visitors from Europe and the USA - recently met in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for an education school...

20 February 2008

spotBattle for Shropshire schools goes on

FOLLOWING A recent demonstration of over 1,000 people against school closures in Shrewsbury, local Tory MPs announced that the threat to close 22 rural primary schools had been withdrawn... By Jim Reekie and Jake Moore, Shropshire Socialist Party

20 February 2008

spotFootball: Top of the League for greed

PREMIER LEAGUE football is beamed into 600 million homes in 202 countries. When I was in China on holiday last year, everyone wanted to talk to me about... By John Reid, author of Reclaim the Game (first published 16 years ago at the start of the Premier League)

20 February 2008

spotUniversities in crisis: Fees favour the rich

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! A new study by the Sutton Trust charity shows that the university fees system favours the rich and those who attend private school, writes Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser.

20 February 2008

spotExeter students fight privatisation

EXETER SOCIALIST Students recently organised a protest by 55 students, parents and workers outside the office of university vice-chancellor Steve Smith... By Allan Coote, Exeter Socialist Students

20 February 2008

spotNottingham defends democracy

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY students have formed a "Freedom of speech fighters" group and are demonstrating at the university at midday on 21 February to defend the democratic right to protest....

20 February 2008

spotTroops out of Iraq now!

Five years since the invasion:

Troops out of Iraq now!

Demonstrate

Saturday 15 March, Assemble 12 noon, Trafalgar Square, London
Called by Stop the War Coalition, CND and BMI

20 February 2008

spotScience, Marxism and the big bang

Science, Marxism and the Big Bang

Science, Marxism and the Big Bang

Reviewed by Roy Farrar.

Science, Marxism and the Big Bang by Peter Mason is written in a style that may not be familiar to the modern reader - that is, of a polemical presentation.

In certain critical reviews this is necessary in order to follow the arguments as laid out by the authors being criticised and to more fully refute and correct them.

20 February 2008

spotRail pension dispute

178 train drivers working for London Midland and based at Bletchley are to strike on 28 and 29 February in a dispute about pension payments... By Aslef member

20 February 2008

spotVictory for council street wardens

Street wardens in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, who are mostly members of Unite (T&G), have won a four-year battle for proper compensation for their anti-social hours.... By Kevin Parslow,

20 February 2008

spotCollection cuts and bullying equals bin strike!

Brighton bin workers stood up to bullying managers last week after cuts to the city's refuse budget started to impact on already strained services.... By Last November the council slashed thousands of pounds from its own in-house Cityclean budget to spend elsewhere.

20 February 2008

spotSocialist gains in Unison branch elections

Manchester: Break the Labour link, equal pay without pay cuts and public-sector unity to win this year's pay claim. These were the main demands of Socialist Party member and Manchester Advice senior steward Jim Cessford...

20 February 2008

spotIt's official - Unison launches witch-hunt on Socialist Party

Onay Kasab, photo Paul Mattsson

Onay Kasab, photo Paul Mattsson

In June last year, the Unison bureaucracy launched a disciplinary investigation into five union officers... By A Unison member

20 February 2008

spotFighting back and building a demo

Cambridge: HEALTH ACTIVISTS, trade unionists and campaigners met in Cambridge recently to re-launch the local Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) branch... By Steve Sweeney

20 February 2008

spot"Not making sufficient profit"

FOUNDATION TRUSTS, nestling within the NHS, are businesses that see profit as their priority rather than patient need. ...

20 February 2008

spotHospitals "stacking" patients

THE GOVERNMENT has a long-standing promise that all out-patients are treated within four hours of admission to accident and emergency units...

20 February 2008

spotPrivate clinics fail

PRIVATE CLINICS such as the independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) are able to haul in a guaranteed income even if they treat hardly any patients...

20 February 2008

spotLondon's health care under further attack

YOU CAN see what the growing gap between the rich and poor means in life and death terms by looking at health care in London... By Chris Newby

20 February 2008

spotPrison officers fight Labour's strike ban

Prison Officers Association protest outside the Royal Court of Justice, joined by Brian Caton, POA general secretary, photo Keith Dickinson

Prison Officers Association protest outside the Royal Court of Justice, joined by Brian Caton, POA general secretary, photo Keith Dickinson

THE PRISON Officers Association (POA) special delegate conference met on 19 February in emergency session. They were hammering out what the POA should do in response to the Labour government's reintroduction of the Tories' 1994 legislation which makes strikes illegal in the prison service.

20 February 2008

spotGreece: Second general strike in two months

ON 13 February, tens of thousands of workers, pensioners and youth from all over Greece came out for the second time in less than two months in a general strike to defend their pension rights.... By Kyriakos Halaris,

20 February 2008

spot1918-2008: Clause 4 and nine decades of workers' struggles

CLAUSE IV, part 4, the 'socialist' clause of the Labour Party's constitution enshrining public ownership of industry and finance, was adopted at a party conference in 1918...

20 February 2008

spotStop the witch-hunt: Defend the Sheridan seven

Tommy Sheridan, photo Paul Mattsson

Tommy Sheridan, photo Paul Mattsson

The ongoing police investigation into possible perjury during the Tommy Sheridan defamation case against the News of the World has become an out-and out witch-hunt against not only Tommy Sheridan but anyone who supported him during the trial... By Philip Stott, Dundee

20 February 2008

spotKosovan independence - a dangerous mirage?

AS ALBANIAN Kosovans celebrated in the streets of Pristina with fireworks, angry nationalist Serbs in Belgrade pelted the US embassy with rocks... By Dave Carr

22 February 2008

spotUrgent Appeal: Victimisation of Trade Union Activist - Suzanne Muna

Protest: Suzanne Muna, elected secretary of the joint trade union representatives at the Housing Corporation, is facing unjustified disciplinary action that could lead to her being sacked...

27 February 2008

spotDon't let our hospital pay the price for PFI

HUNDREDS OF people from south east London will march through Sidcup on Saturday 1 March to save vital services at Queen Mary's Hospital (QMH)...

27 February 2008

spotRich get richer - We pay the bills

RMT protest against the fat-cats, photo Paul Mattsson

RMT protest against the fat-cats, photo Paul Mattsson

THE GROWING chasm in wealth between the super-rich and the rest of us is causing seething anger amongst workers who struggle with rising fuel bills, huge mortgages and additional charges, writes Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor

27 February 2008

spotEditorial: Stop witch-hunts in Unison - defend those attacked!

As The Socialist reported last week, the witch-hunt against the left in public-sector trade union Unison has reached a new level...

27 February 2008

spotTrade union activist fights intimidation

Suzanne Muna, elected Staff Side secretary for the Housing Corporation trade unions, is facing unjustified disciplinary action that could lead to her being sacked...

27 February 2008

spotMembers protest at Unison witch-hunt

Anger at the expulsion from Unison of the branch secretary Tony Staunton surfaced at the annual general meeting of the Plymouth branch, writes Rob Rooney, Plymouth Unison member

27 February 2008

spotShelter staff vote to strike

Union members at the housing charity Shelter have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over sweeping cuts to pay and conditions...

27 February 2008

spotMarching against single status pay cuts

Waltham Forest council trade unions are marching against the effects of the single status deal on 28 February, writes A Waltham Forest Unison member

27 February 2008

spotScotland - Vendetta against Tommy Sheridan condemned

Tommy Sheridan, speaking in 2007

Tommy Sheridan, speaking in 2007

A total of seven people including Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail have now been charged with perjury by Lothian and Borders Police, writes Philip Stott, Dundee

27 February 2008

spotBuilding the Campaign for a New Workers' Party

Campaign for a New Workers

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Debate: Pete McLaren, national secretary of the Socialist Alliance and press officer of the Campaign for a New Workers Party (CNWP), joins the debate began by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka in The Socialist newspaper.

27 February 2008

spotExplosive mood on gas profits

BRITISH GAS has announced a 500% rise in profits for last year. This rise is grotesque enough but the announcement, just weeks after they put their prices, writes James Kerr

27 February 2008

spotFight Devon and Somerset fire cuts

DEVON AND Somerset Fire Authority are putting pennies before public safety by adopting plans to cut 24 firefighters' jobs from Barnstaple, Exeter and Torquay, writes Jim Lowe, Devon Socialist Party

27 February 2008

spotPost Office closures

ROYAL MAIL group is closing 169 post office branches in London under a fast-track programme...

27 February 2008

spotSheffield buses campaign: 'Saving our services'

SHEFFIELD HEELEY Socialist Party members recently interviewed 50 people in Norton Lees on the state of bus services and put together demands to the City Council and Transport Executive to improve services, writes Jeremy Short

27 February 2008

spotPakistan elections: Crushing defeat for Musharraf, landslide for opposition parties

THE RESULTS of Pakistan's parliamentary elections came as a big surprise for Musharraf and his allies, writes Khalid Bhatti, Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI), Lahore

27 February 2008

spotStudent feature: Fighting fees

Socialist Students in Manchester on the Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action, photo Abby Taylor

Socialist Students in Manchester on the Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action, photo Abby Taylor

On 21 February Socialist Students and supporters of the Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) organised protests and stunts around the country to draw attention to the need for a national campaign against university fees and for free, writes Mark Walmsley and Frankie Langeland

27 February 2008

spotMiliband's extraordinary apology on rendition

"SORRY FOR letting kidnappers and torturers use our territory". This is what foreign secretary David Miliband should have said in his belated apology, writes Dave Carr

27 February 2008

spotSleaze in Northern Ireland: Keeping it in the family

THE RESIGNATION of Ian Paisley junior as a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, follows months of intense speculation over the nature of his relationship with Seymour Sweeney, a milliona, writes Gary Mulcahy, Socialist Party Belfast

27 February 2008

spotNeither Labour nor Tories will defend public services

Tales from the council chamber: The most significant outcome of the recent Coventry council debate on next year's budget was how little would change whichever of the two main parties ran the council., writes Dave Nellist, Socialist Party Councillor, Coventry

27 February 2008

spotJournalists battle for union rights

Journalism matters - how can we attain quality journalism in the multimedia age, writes An NUJ member

27 February 2008

spotWorkplace News in brief

PCS members working in the Department for Work and Pensions are to strike on 17 and 18 March, following the collapse of pay negotiations...

27 February 2008

spotAcas staff ballot for strike

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) reports that 650 members at the arbitration service Acas in 15 sites across England, Scotland and Wales are balloting for strike action over pay...

27 February 2008

spotFeature: Fidel Castro's resignation opens up new chapter

Fidel Castro in his days as a guerrila

Fidel Castro in his days as a guerrila

The formal resignation of Fidel Castro as president of Cuba opens up a new chapter in Cuba's history. PETER TAAFFE comments on this latest development and argues the need for workers' democracy in Cuba.

1 March 2008

spotConsequences of crisis for consciousness worldwide

We do not take a simplistic 'economic determinist' approach to politics. It is not our conception that recession will automatically lead to a mass increase in support for socialist ideas...

1 March 2008

spotBritain's economic crisis

Exactly how severe the crisis in Britain's economy will be, how long it will take to bite, and the precise political effects of it, are not yet clear...

1 March 2008

spotHow consciousness will develop in Britain

Crucial for us are the effects that these economic developments will have on the consciousness of the working class...

1 March 2008

spotStrike action in public sector

In the immediate period the battle is likely to be concentrated in the public sector...

1 March 2008

spotSummer of discontent?

Many comparisons can be made between the Brown government and the Callaghan government of 1976-79...

1 March 2008

spotTrade union bureaucracy

In addition the right-wing trade union bureaucracy is far more removed from the membership than was the case in the 1970s...

1 March 2008

spotNew mass workers' party

The struggle to create a mass independent political voice for the working class is the most important task we face in this period...

1 March 2008

spotWar, the environment and social issues

While economic issues are likely to be key to the development of a new party, they are not the only issues which are having a radicalising effect, particularly on young people...

1 March 2008

spotImmigration and the far right

It is estimated that around 700,000 workers have come to Britain from Eastern Europe since 2004...

1 March 2008

spotGeneral election

As stated previously, it is still too early to predict the outcome of the next general election...

1 March 2008

spotConclusions

We are on the cusp of an end to 15 years of uninterrupted growth, albeit lopsided, in the British economy...

1 March 2008

spotRecommended supplementary reading

Recommended supplementary reading listed here.

1 March 2008

spotBritish Perspectives 2008

The 2008 National Congress is taking place against the background of a profound change in the world economy and, flowing from that, the political situation...

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