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Archive for February 2012

1 February 2012

spotEU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

As the capitalist politicians arrived in Brussels for the 30 January EU summit they were met with a clear and determined message from the Belgian working class - a magnificent 24 hour general strike - the first in the country for nearly 20 years - in defiance of the summit's austerity agenda...

1 February 2012

spotWhat is the point of Labour MPs?

Recently, one acerbic political TV commentator, noting the lack-lustre response of the Labour leadership to the current crisis, asked: "What is the point of Labour?" To that cutting remark we might add more specifically, "And what is the point of Labour MPs?"...

1 February 2012

spotCoventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor. addresses Socialism 2011, photo Senan

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor. addresses Socialism 2011, photo Senan

In the 3 May local elections Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist will be seeking re-election...

1 February 2012

spotDead end in Davos

So-called world leaders are meeting in Davos this week, and it finally seems that youth unemployment is top of the agenda, writes Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs.

1 February 2012

spotTough conditions for agency workers

I am 23 and have been unemployed for four months. Prior to this, I was working in an unskilled job as a temporary worker for a higher education institution...

1 February 2012

spotHaringey takes action against academies

On Saturday 28 January, up to 1,000 people in north London marched from Downhills primary school, Tottenham, to Haringey Civic Centre, Wood Green, writes Chris Holmes, Haringey Socialist Party.

1 February 2012

spotSave Derbyshire youth services!

On the afternoon of Monday 30 January over 100 people held a rally and march in Chesterfield before the first consultation meeting into the future of youth services in Derbyshire, writes Becci Heagney.

1 February 2012

spotDebate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

HS2 - The second high speed line in Britain - government advert

HS2 - The second high speed line in Britain - government advert

Developing efficient public transport: The second high speed line (HS2) in Britain (the first being the channel tunnel link from London to Paris) would initially connect London to Birmingham by 2026 with a journey time of 49 minutes, writes Mark Pickersgill, Stevenage Socialist Party.

1 February 2012

spotRemploy workers fight privatisation

The first strike in Chesterfield Remploy's 60-year history was rock solid after a 93% vote in favour. Many workers joined the picket line for the one-day strike on 26 January, writes Jon Dale.

1 February 2012

spotJet tanker drivers continue strike action

123 oil tanker drivers employed by road haulage firm Wincanton began a week-long strike on Tuesday 24 January, writes Alistair Tice.

1 February 2012

spotObituary: Gwenda Beishon

Over four decades, from the 1970s until her recent death, Gwenda Beishon was a continuous subscriber to the Militant newspaper and then the Socialist

1 February 2012

spotThem & Us

Rapidly rising unemployment combined with wage freezes means that the average 25-64 year old American male earns about a quarter less than his 1969 equivalent.

1 February 2012

spotOnly one in six 'vacancies' real

Jaime Davies points out in 'Con-Demned to unemployment' (Issue 702) that there are only 463,000 job vacancies advertised with Jobcentre Plus for 2.5 million unemployed people

1 February 2012

spotSouth East Wales youth plan new campaigns

South East Wales Socialist Party held a youth campaign meeting to get all of the young Socialist Party members in the area together to discuss issues and upcoming tasks

1 February 2012

spotAre the Greens a real alternative?

Green leader Caroline Lucas MP and her party are attempting to build on the unions' rift with Labour to encourage trade union support and funding to break from the Labour Party and support them instead

1 February 2012

spotSmacking not the answer

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, has called for the 'smacking ban' to be repealed. He claims his constituents back this, blaming lack of parental control as a factor in last summer's riots

1 February 2012

spotUnison pensions cowardice

The devil's in the detail!: Since 10 January Unison's right-wing lay leadership, and the bureaucracy at whose bidding they act, have been attempting to sell their position on the local government pension scheme (LGPS) around the regions

1 February 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

As previously reported in the Socialist, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is planning to close all 39 of its local offices and centralise operations at its Swansea headquarters.

1 February 2012

spotConstruction workers continue protests on 1st February

Around 40 sparks were protesting outside Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station on Wednesday 1st February to fight the imposition of the BESNA contract...

1 February 2012

spotInterview: the Tunisian revolution one year on

Anti-government demonstrations during the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising, photo Creative commons

Anti-government demonstrations during the 2010–2011 Tunisian uprising, photo Creative commons

"Revolution is a process, not a single act": 14 January marked the first anniversary of the downfall of the hated dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by the Tunisian revolution

1 February 2012

spotDon't let the racist EDL divide us

Anti-EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets in June 2010, photo P Mason

Fight for jobs, homes and services: The racist and hooligan English Defence League claims its demonstration through Leicester on 4 February is in opposition to "discrimination in the justice system"

1 February 2012

spotNUS: name the day for student walkout

Student protest 29 January 2011, photo Senan

Student protest 29 Jan

This week there has been another set of statistics showing that £50,000 worth of debt is enough to make many people rethink plans to go to university

1 February 2012

spotPensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

Pensions battle: The 30 June 2011 (J30) public sector strike demonstration in Manchester, photo Hugh Caffrey

At January's TUC Public Service Liaison Group (PSLG) meeting the leadership of Unison and the GMB confirmed their decision to sign up to the government's heads of agreement on pensions

1 February 2012

spotBankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% - Socialist Party placard, photo by Paul Mattsson

The recent 'Hesteria' has been revealing. The Tories, majority funded by the City, went on about 'fairness' and bankers' bonuses but failed to challenge RBS boss Hester's £1m bung

5 February 2012

spotStriking oil tanker drivers demand meaningful talks

123 oil tanker drivers, employed by haulage firm Wincanton on the ConocoPhillips contract to deliver fuel to Jet forecourts, began their second week of strike action on Friday 3rd February...

6 February 2012

spotDefend care services in Medway

Marching in Chatham against closure of Balfour Centre, 4.2.12 , photo by P. Walker

Up to 100 disabled service users, staff, carers and anti-cuts campaigners marched through Chatham on Saturday 4 February

6 February 2012

spotManchester Sure Starts saved!

Sure Start protest in Manchester, photo Hugh Caffrey

All 39 Sure Start centres in Manchester have been saved following a mammoth year-long battle by parents and staff against the council

7 February 2012

spotThe scandalous role of London Unison - Demand that it defends Len Hockey!

Health workers across Whipps Cross hospital in north east London have rallied to the defence of Len Hockey, joint Unison branch secretary

7 February 2012

spotVictory! Health bosses back off from attack on Unison rep

Len Hockey, a Unison rep at Whipps Cross hospital in London, has received a letter from his employer Initial stating that there is no case to answer in their attempt to discipline him

7 February 2012

spotTactics to stop racist EDL

Hundreds of people turned out to oppose the racist English Defence League in Leicester on Saturday

8 February 2012

spotUnions cautiously welcome talks with Unilever

Responding to the news that Unilever management has agreed to engage in ACAS talks, officers of the joint trade unions - Unite, Usdaw and GMB - make the following statement

8 February 2012

spotLeeds Trinity students fight canteen cuts

Leeds Trinity University College canteen services have been stopped on Saturdays and Sundays for the foreseeable future. Staff have been made redundant and others have had their hours cut, writes Samantha Garratt, Leeds Trinity Union general secretary.

8 February 2012

spotTower Hamlets: Save Rushmead one stop shop - fight all cuts

It's almost unheard of to see Labour Party members campaigning in Tower Hamlets, east London, more than two months before an election, writes Naomi Byron, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party.

8 February 2012

spotUCU special conference

Waltham Forest teachers and lecturers on the 30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Senan

Waltham Forest teachers and lecturers on the 30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Senan

Two years ago, University and College Union (UCU) honorary treasurer Alan Carr promised conference that UCU would deliver "the fight of our lives" if the government, whether Labour or Tory, attacked lecturers' pensions, writes Edmund Schluessel.

8 February 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Stop press: Victory!: Today, Tuesday 7 February, Len Hockey received a letter from his employer Initial stating that there is no case to answer in their attempt to discipline him...

8 February 2012

spotExploiting the unemployed to line the pockets of big business

The introduction of the government's flagship welfare service the Work Programme has been criticised recently in a National Audit Office (NAO) report, writes Katrine Williams, PCS Wales chair.

8 February 2012

spotReinstate sacked PCS steward, John Brookes!

A flying picket of a dozen civil service union PCS activists leafleted the Triage offices in Middlesbrough and Darlington on 23 January, writes Alan Docherty.

8 February 2012

spotSafe railways, not shopping malls

Craig Johnston, a member of the transport union RMT in Carlisle recently wrote a letter to his local paper challenging the Tory MP's proposals for station buildings...

8 February 2012

spotTory policies hit women hardest

Louise Mensch, a rich, privileged Tory MP, is trying desperately to reinvent her party as supporters of feminism, writes Helen Ridett.

8 February 2012

spotStudents drop out of college without EMA

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan

November 24th student demonstrations against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo Senan

In late 2010, as thousands of college students took to the streets against the vicious scrapping of weekly EMA payments for 16-19 year old students, the government insultingly labelled the grant as 'frivolous', writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser.

8 February 2012

spotPrince Philip Hospital Llanelli: We can defeat cuts plans

The proposals for Prince Philip Hospital are scandalous. The closure of the A&E unit in Llanelli, south west Wales, will mean patients having to travel to Carmarthen, Swansea or even Haverfordwest

8 February 2012

spotKingston Hospital: Save all NHS jobs

Kingston Hospital in south west London has announced the closure of Derwent Ward, part of the Esher wing, which deals with rheumatology and haematology

8 February 2012

spotNew society at Leeds College

Leeds City College Socialist Students (LCCSS) recently held its first meeting, writes Molly Allen

8 February 2012

spotMubarak's state machine blamed for football massacre

Seventy-four football fans were killed and hundreds injured after the final whistle blew at the al-Masry versus al-Ahly match in Port Said on 1 February, writes David Johnson

8 February 2012

spotThem & Us

Clever clogs: How many of you have had 'the look'? 'The look' from Tories who pity socialists for 'not understanding' how the world 'really' works. A trait no doubt picked up from the Eton-Oxbridge clique

8 February 2012

spotSalford campaign saves day care centres

After several weeks of protest, two adult day care centres in Salford have been reprieved from closure by the council for 12 months

8 February 2012

spotScrap the Welfare Reform Bill

Anti-cuts and disabled activists protesting against Welfare Reform Bill, London 28.1.12 , pic Ben Robinson

Anti-cuts and disabled activists protesting against Welfare Reform Bill, London 28.1.12 , pic Ben Robinson

Like many disabled people, I have followed the course of the Con-Dems' Welfare Reform Bill (WRB) with dread, writes Mark Wright, Harlow Socialist Party.

8 February 2012

spotReview: Borgen - politics and crime in Denmark

The Killing, a Danish TV series interweaving crime drama with political drama was a great success on BBC 4, writes Derek McMillan.

8 February 2012

spotSave the NHS!

NHS demo London, May 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS demo London, May 2011 photo Paul Mattsson

The NHS is being broken apart by the hammer blows raining down on it from the Con-Dem government. Huge job cuts and closures of hospital wards and departments, including A&E, are wreaking havoc.

8 February 2012

spotWe need fighting trade unions

In 1997 Alan Greenspan stated before the US Senate committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, that one of the contributing factors for the US 'double digit' growth during the early 1990s was 'worker insecurity', writes Mike Aistrop, North West.

8 February 2012

spotStagecoach South Yorkshire - management getting desperate

Picket line at Stagecoach,  Rotherham depot 8.2.12 , photo by Alistair Tice

It was -15C. Bus drivers started picketing in Rotherham at 4.30am, on their 11th strike day

8 February 2012

spotLondon - a tale of two cities

Hardest Hit Protest: Disabled people and their families protest in central London against government spending cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

The Olympics will be staged in London this summer. The Con-Dems and their big business friends expect that the Games and the Queen's Golden Jubilee in June will bring tourists, consumer spending and profits

9 February 2012

spotJet tanker drivers force employers to negotiate

Following eight days of strike action Jet tanker drivers at Immingham, Stockton and Kingsbury have forced their employer, Wincanton, and its client, ConocoPhillips, to commit to talks

9 February 2012

spotNext construction workers' protests: Wednesday 15th February

Unite and the rank and file electricians committee have agreed the following protests for a day of action next Wednesday

9 February 2012

spotNUT and PCS launch consultative surveys to build for ongoing pensions action

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

The NUT and PCS national executives have agreed to proceed with consultative surveys to confirm support - and to mobilise members - for an ongoing campaign of action to defend public sector pensions. If the results show support, they are proposing that 28 March would be the next day of coordinated national strike action, reports Martin Powell-Davies

9 February 2012

spotFuneral details for Rob Windsor, socialist councillor

Arrangements have been announced for the funeral of one of Coventry's most popular former councillors...

9 February 2012

spotBBC report: Unite may hold new NHS pensions strike ballot

"The Unite trade union says it may hold a fresh strike ballot of its 100,000 members in the NHS over their continuing pension dispute"...

10 February 2012

spotThe battle of Saltley Gates

Forty years ago today, a miners' strike for a fairer pay system saw some of the biggest demonstrations of workers' power since World War Two. Heath's government was trying to enforce a pay restraint policy in the teeth of rising inflation, writes Bill Mullins

13 February 2012

spotKazakhstan workers' leaders under threat of imprisonment

The leaders of Kazakhstan's independent workers' union, 'Zhanartu' (Renaissance) - Esenbek Ukteshbaev, president, and deputy chair, Ainur Kurmanov - may be subjected to arrest or abduction. Urgent protest messages are needed.

13 February 2012

spotBrighton debate with Green councillor on fighting the cuts

At a Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition debate on 2 February, attended by over 120 people, Green party councillor Jason Kitcat defended 'savings' by the council

13 February 2012

spotLecturers in colleges and 'post-92' universities will join 28 March pensions strike

UCU pickets at Bradford University, photo Iain Dalton

Post-16 education is currently under a serious onslaught from the Con-Dem coalition. Students are suffering from cuts to EMA in further education and £9,000 annual fees in higher education, while staff, represented by the University and College Union are facing attacks on their pensions

13 February 2012

spotStriking back in austerity Britain: Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary writes

Pensions: pay more, work longer, get less

Pensions: pay more, work longer, get less

14 February 2012

spotCare workers suffering slashed wages

With only a quarter of care homes owned by local authorities, the rest - run by private companies, charities and not-for-profit organisations - generally pay much less to staff than the public sector, writes Sue Powell

14 February 2012

spotBuilding the battle for pensions

Pensions battle, Manchester, photo Hugh Caffrey

Photo Hugh Caffrey

PCS's national executive committee has voted unanimously to continue the campaign to fight against the coalition government's pension 'reforms', writes John McInally, national vice-president, PCS civil servants' union, personal capacity.

14 February 2012

spotHealth workers gagged in Gateshead

Note: update added on 18.2.12. When health workers are gagged from speaking out at public consultation meetings, being told they can only intervene as residents, alarm bells begin to sound

15 February 2012

spotFight Austerity

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration , photo by Senan

Build for 28 March strike

Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Britain: The misery facing the Greek people is summed up by the human tragedy of hundreds of families giving up their children because they can no longer afford to feed them, writes Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary

15 February 2012

spotUpdate: pensions battle - Build for the biggest possible action on 28 March

This government may have hoped that they had safely got away with their pensions robbery. But they had better think again!, writes Martin Powell-Davies, NUT national executive committee (personal capacity).

15 February 2012

spotLlanelli marches to save hospital

Around 300 trade unionists, health workers, medical professionals and community campaigners marched through Llanelli to oppose the proposed closures at Prince Philip Hospital (PPH), writes Gareth Bromhall, Llanelli and West Wales Socialist Party.

15 February 2012

spotRacism in football back in the headlines

Luis Suarez's refusal to shake Patrice Evra's hand at the start of the of the recent Manchester United v Liverpool match has brought the issue of racism in football back into the headlines, writes Chris Newby.

15 February 2012

spotMore murky doings in Murdochland

Cameron, the Murdoch empire and the police have been involved in a corrupt attempt to subvert the democratic rights of the British people, photo Paul Mattsson

Cameron, the Murdoch empire and the police have been involved in a corrupt attempt to subvert the democratic rights of the British people, photo Paul Mattsson

The fall-out from the Murdochgate scandal has continued following the arrests of ten top editors and journalists who currently work for or have worked for the Sun newspaper, writes Philip Stott.

15 February 2012

spotGreece erupts as government and 'Troika' impose new savage cuts

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, on massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Xekinhma, Greek section of CWI, on massive general strike in Greece on 15 June 2011, photo Stephan Kimmerle

Workers and left parties must organise serious campaign to kick out the government: On Sunday 12 February the Greek parliament voted for the new austerity cuts demanded by the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank - the 'Troika'...

15 February 2012

spotAnother attempt to assassinate the legacy of Leon Trotsky?

Leon Trotsky reading The Militant newspaper in 1931

Leon Trotsky reading The Militant newspaper in 1931

Condemnation of Leon Trotsky is well-trodden ground for so-called biographer Robert Service. Service was condemned by The American Historical Review (June 2011), which considered his 'biography' of Trotsky

15 February 2012

spotPrivate hands off our NHS!

On the 'Save the NHS' march, 3 November 2007 , photo Paul Mattsson

On the 'Save the NHS' march, 3 November 2007 , photo Paul Mattsson

Lansley's Bill can be stopped by a mass movement uniting health workers, trade unions and community campaigns, with a national Saturday demonstration to fire the signal that the battle has started, writes Jon Dale

15 February 2012

spotShould socialists support the Green Party?

In issue 703 of the Socialist, Socialist Party member Alec Price criticised the Green Party's claim to be an anti-cuts alternative to New Labour. Below we carry the correspondence that has followed

15 February 2012

spotSocialist councillor leads fight to restore EMA

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor. addresses Socialism 2011, photo Senan

Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor. addresses Socialism 2011, photo Senan

Coventry Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist is campaigning against education cuts and tuition fees

15 February 2012

spotKazakhstan: Workers' leaders under threat of abduction or arrest

Urgent protests needed: Esenbek Ukteshbaev, president of the Kazakhstan Trade Union, 'Zhanartu' ('Renaissance'), and vice-president, Ainur Kurmanov have been on an extended visit in Moscow as a result of threats to their lives from the Nazarbayev dictatorship in Kazakhstan

15 February 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

NSSN conference: details of 6th annual conference

15 February 2012

spotSyria: Anti-regime protesters facing ferocious repression

No trust in Arab League and imperialist powers: The Syrian regime has dramatically stepped up its savage military onslaught on civilians in Homs and other areas, in the worst upsurge of bloody repression since the start of the uprising last March, writes Judy Beishon.

15 February 2012

spotTUSC

Alex Gordon, president of rail union RMT will head the list for the Greater London Assembly elections

15 February 2012

spotThem & Us

Unaffordable jobs: 31% of private sector firms are planning to make redundancies this quarter according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)...

15 February 2012

spotStudents to walk out 14 March

Young people march for a future: Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students on the 29 January London demonstration against education cuts, photo Senan

Photo Senan

Young Socialist Party members prepare: On Saturday 11 February the National Union of Students (NUS) announced the date for a walk out against education cuts, writes Paul Callanan, National organiser, Youth Fight for Jobs and Education

15 February 2012

spotWe can save our NHS

Sell-off setback!: "What a result, fantastic news," said one email from a local NHS worker after Gloucestershire anti-cuts campaigners won a High Court victory against NHS privatisation, writes Chris Moore

16 February 2012

spotSocialist Party debates with leader of Southampton Council on BBC Radio Solent

Nick Chaffey, Anti-cuts campaigner and the Socialist Party's regional organiser in Southampton, debated with Southampton council leader, Royston Smith...

16 February 2012

spotTrain cleaners strike for a living wage

Initial cleaners on strike at St Pancras station, London 16.2.12, photo by Suzanne Beishon

'£8.30 - London Living Wage!' was the chant of the Initial cleaners taking strike action today outside St Pancras station in London

17 February 2012

spotPensions inflation-link case in court on Monday

Seven trade unions will take the government to court on Monday, 20 February over changes to the way public sector pensions are calculated...

17 February 2012

spotVictory! Balfour Beatty withdraws BESNA contracts

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) has backed down on imposing contracts which would have terminated long-held agreements, leading to pay cuts of up to 30% and poorer terms and conditions for key construction staff...

17 February 2012

spotSlave labour retail jobs scandal

Over the past few months the government's work experience scheme has come under increasing scrutiny. It attempts to introduce slave labour for the young unemployed

17 February 2012

spotSparks defeat Balfours - now for total victory over BESNA!

Construction workers protesting in Cardiff, 7.12.11,  photo Mariam Kamish

Led by the 'rank and file' committee, after six months of protests, unofficial walkouts and a threatened strike, Balfour Beatty has pulled out of the BESNA contract which will cut skilled consruction workers' wages by up to 35%

17 February 2012

spotSocialist Party NHS leaflets

Hands off our NHS! - Colour version
Hands off our NHS! - Black and white version
Hands off our NHS! Protest outside parliament, 7 March 2012, called by Unite

18 February 2012

spot'Capitalism fails the poor' agree Oxford University students!

squashdonkey.co.uk

The world famous Oxford Union was the setting for a debate on the proposition: "This House Believes That Capitalism has Failed the Poor"

20 February 2012

spotMass anger forces more companies to abandon workfare schemes

After protests hit London, Manchester and Leeds at the weekend, alongside an onslaught upon Tesco's presence in social media the company and others are feeling the squeeze

22 February 2012

spotMain parties have no solution to youth unemployment

For Real Jobs not Workfare - Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Tesco, photo by Suzanne Beishon

For Real Jobs not Workfare - Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Tesco, photo by Suzanne Beishon

An audience of 200 gathered in Salford recently to discuss and debate the latest unemployment figures on BBC Radio 5 Live, writes Matt Whale, YFJ unemployed organiser and Jarrow marcher.

22 February 2012

spotTyne and Wear Metro cleaners

No choice but more action: Transport union RMT member Richie Veitch recently wrote a letter to his local paper about the cleaners on the Tyne and Wear Metro, whose pay and conditions have been severely undermined since the Metro was privatised...

22 February 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Cleaners strike: "£8.30 - London Living Wage!" was the chant of the Initial cleaners taking strike action on 16 February outside St Pancras station in London, writes Suzanne Beishon.

22 February 2012

spotGateshead: Children's healthcare under threat

In Gateshead the Primary Care Trust (PCT) is threatening to end all children's in-patient services within the borough in cases where over 23 hours of care is needed, writes Elaine Brunskill.

22 February 2012

spotThem & Us

Very Inappropriate Priorities: 14,000 athletes, 7,000 technical officials, more than 20,000 media and eleven million spectators will descend on London this summer for the 2012 Olympics...

22 February 2012

spotFight homophobic Tory attacks

The Con-Dems' all-out assault on public services hits everyone - but some groups in society suffer disproportionately...

22 February 2012

spotOrganising against the cuts in Greenwich

The Greenwich Unite 2050 branch, which represents many workers in south east London, has grown recently - not just in numbers of new recruits, but also qualitatively...

22 February 2012

spotRomania: Protest movement topples the government

In the middle of January, several countrywide protests stopped Romanian president Basescu's draconian healthcare 'reform' from being enacted, writes Victor Cosmin, Romania.

22 February 2012

spotKazakhstan: Defend workers' leaders

Stop the repression: The trade union movement internationally has condemned threats to leading activists from the independent Kazakhstan trade union Zhanartu...

22 February 2012

spotPortsmouth: Anti-cuts activists present an alternative budget

Austerity is not working! That was the message delivered to Portsmouth city council on Tuesday when 100 anti-cuts activists lobbied the annual budget setting meeting, before presenting a 'needs budget'...

22 February 2012

spotNorth West aggregate meetings

Merseyside: The Socialist Party in Merseyside has seen many new members join our ranks and new branches set up across the area over the last few years...

22 February 2012

spotWhat's wrong with capitalism?

Jarrow demonstration: we are the 99% Take the wealth off the 1%, photo Paul Mattsson

Jarrow demonstration: we are the 99% Take the wealth off the 1%, photo Paul Mattsson

In response to the growing opposition to this profit-hungry capitalist system, many of its proponents have argued that not all capitalism is bad. Lynn Walsh exposes the myths proposed by prime minister Cameron as he tries to sell us the idea of 'popular' capitalism.

22 February 2012

spotSave Charing Cross hospital!

Fighting to defend the NHS: It's clear that plans are now well advanced which will savagely cut hospital provision in an area of eight local authorities in North West London

22 February 2012

spotDefend education - Join the student walkout

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called on students to walk out of lectures on 14 March as part of a national week of action

22 February 2012

spotFans not financiers should run football

Professional football in Britain is stumbling from one crisis to another. After repeatedly failing to deal with racism, attention returns to financial malpractice.

22 February 2012

spotShould socialists support the proposed HS2 rail link?

The debate on the HS2 high speed rail in the Socialist 703 continues with arguments for and against the scheme

22 February 2012

spotRadio review - My generation

BBC Radio 4 airs a 45-minute play every weekday, giving a first break to many newer writers. My Generation, centred around one family over four decades of the protest movement, is a recent example of excellent radio drama

22 February 2012

spotSupport the workers at MMP packaging

Workers at the Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) plant in Bootle, Merseyside occupied their factory from noon on 18 February, following a management lockout after redundancy talks broke down, writes Roy Farrar.

22 February 2012

spotWales: A tale of two conferences

There were two Welsh conferences in Cardiff last weekend. On one side of town in Sophia Gardens Labour Party Wales met in a posh conference centre at the cricket ground

22 February 2012

spotSecond construction firm pulls out of BESNA contract

Following Balfour Beatty pulling out of the new BESNA contract last Friday, another of the 'dirty 7' construction firms - NG Bailey - has now followed suit...

22 February 2012

spot800 celebrate life of Rob Windsor, a socialist champion of Coventry's people

Rob Windsor, photo by Paul Mattsson

Rob Windsor

"It was an inspiring event," said Kath O'Donnell about the funeral for her anti-poll tax colleague, Rob Windsor, at Coventry Cathedral

22 February 2012

spotUnison leadership found guilty of "unjustifiable discipline" against four Socialist Party activists

The Unison witch-hunted 'four', photo B. Severn

Once again, the Unison leadership has been found guilty of "unjustifiable" disciplinary action against four activists

22 February 2012

spotFor real jobs - not workfare

For Real Jobs not Workfare - Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Tesco, photo Suzanne Beishon

As unemployment rises the vultures are circling. Among the biggest is Tesco. But they met huge opposition when they advertised a full-time, permanent position for which you would receive a meagre dole payment plus expenses

22 February 2012

spotPensions: Strike on 28 March

Pensions: pay more, work longer, get less

Pensions: pay more, work longer, get less

Tell the government... "No Deal!": The Con-Dems' shabby deal on public sector pensions is little different to what was on offer on 30 November, when two million workers took strike action, writes Martin Powell-Davies

23 February 2012

spotConstruction workers' struggle victorious

The BESNA struggle is over - all the remaining companies have capitulated! It's a victory for the whole union movement.

23 February 2012

spotEquality and Human Rights workers strike

This morning, staff at EHRC offices in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow mounted picket lines for a half-day strike against devastating cuts

24 February 2012

spot'Priceless victory' of sparks against the Dirty Seven

Construction electricians gained a tremendous victory against the multinational Balfour Beatty and six other building contractors, photo by SP Wales

Construction electricians gained a tremendous victory against the multinational Balfour Beatty and six other building contractors, photo by SP Wales

The tremendous victory of construction electricians against the multinational Balfour Beatty and six other building contractors, confirmed yesterday, is a hugely significant moment for these workers and the rest of the union movement

25 February 2012

spotVideo: BBC Newsnight studio guest Youth Fight for Jobs' Paul Callanan condemns workfare

Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs, photo BBC

On Friday's Newsnight, YFJ organiser Paul Callanan condemned the government's slave labour scheme and said young people should be offered paid jobs instead. If you agree, and want to fight against workfare and other government attacks, then join the Socialist Party now to campaign with us! Click the 'Join' tab above.

27 February 2012

spotFighting workfare - YFJ to target McDonalds

Paul Callanan, national organiser of Youth Fight for Jobs said: "After the success of the demonstration at Westfield shopping centre in East London on Saturday we are now going to step up the action...

27 February 2012

spotProtests saying 'no' to slave labour workfare

YFJ  'West field Workhouse' protest action against workfare in the Westfield shopping centre, Stratford, East London, photo Sarah Wrack

Lewisham Socialist Party members held a very lively protest outside McDonalds on Saturday. Other protests took place in Cardiff and elsewhere

27 February 2012

spotCivil servants voting in new pensions ballot

More than 250,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) have started voting in a consultation over the next steps in the fight against the government's cuts to pensions...

28 February 2012

spotPCS says Barclays tax could fund proper jobs for youth

The £500 million in avoided tax that Barclays bank will now have to pay could fund full-time jobs above the living wage for all the young people who have been working for free under the government 'work experience' scheme...

28 February 2012

spotYFJ expresses solidarity with Occupy London

In the early hours of Tuesday 28 February riot police brutally evicted the peaceful Occupy London protesters from their camp outside St Paul's Cathedral, which was set up on 15 October last year...

29 February 2012

spotVoluntary sector cuts expose Big Society lies

Around 30 people gathered outside Derby city council's meeting to determine the fate of charity and voluntary groups, writes Becci Heagney.

29 February 2012

spotSheffield housing - failed by privatisation

26,465 (88.2%) Sheffield city council tenants have voted in favour of returning council housing management to the council from the independent company Sheffield Homes, writes Wyllie Hume.

29 February 2012

spotCampaign news in brief

Truth of 'English Riviera': A Torbay Citizens Advice Bureau report has exposed the conditions under which local workers have to exist in the main conurbation of the 'English Riviera', writes Sean Brogan South Devon Socialist Party.

29 February 2012

spotKirklees Sure Start children centres

"Kirklees council looks set for U-turn on proposal to downgrade children's centres" proclaimed the headline in Huddersfield's local paper, writes Jackie Grunsell, Huddersfield Socialist Party.

29 February 2012

spotSun launch can't hide corrupt practices

Last week News International media mogul Rupert Murdoch happily posed with a copy of the new 'squeaky clean' Sunday Sun...

29 February 2012

spotA4e: workfare vultures in crisis

On Friday 24 February, as a storm of public anger grew around the Con-Dem government's cheap slave labour workfare schemes, Youth Fight for Jobs protested outside the office of A4e in Westminster armed with chants of "A, A, A4e, tell them we won't work for free!", writes Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs.

29 February 2012

spotIt's bonuses for bankers

Bankers are now facing a fresh wave of anger as Lloyds has announced that, despite netting a £3.5 billion loss last year, a handful of executives will collect £375 million in bonuses, writes Ross Saunders, Wales Socialist Party.

29 February 2012

spotThem & Us

Vested interests: Sometimes it seems strange that the government continues to railroad its most unpopular policies - like the move towards NHS privatisation - through...

29 February 2012

spotContinuing the pensions battle: PCS consultative ballot

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) are voting in a consultation over the next steps in fighting the government's assault on public sector pensions...

29 February 2012

spotThree-year pay freeze hits hard

Over 1.6 million council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are to have their pay frozen for a third year in a row...

29 February 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Teachers' strike: NUT union members at sixth form colleges across London walked out at lunchtime on 23 February for a half-day's strike over pay and college funding, writes Bob Severn.

29 February 2012

spotMay Day Greetings in the Socialist

Support the paper that fights all cuts with a 2012 May Day (international workers' day) greeting in the Socialist...

29 February 2012

spotWe won't work for free!

Workfare? Fair it's certainly not! The bankers help cause the biggest economic crisis in generations and get rewarded with billions. Yet ordinary people are now being told to work for free.

29 February 2012

spotStop North East NHS childcare cuts

Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland's primary care trusts are now working under a single management team, which is threatening to end all children's in-patient services in Gateshead and South Tyneside for cases where over 23 hours of care is needed

29 February 2012

spotThe battle against internet censorship

US copyright law threatens UK student: On 21 January I organised a 'Rally of the 99%: Voice of the Voiceless'. The rally was part of the third national Occupy conference, held in Sheffield

29 February 2012

spotIran: Tensions with the US and its allies are ratcheted-up

Workers and poor must rely on their own strength to resist: War clouds are gathering, once again, over the Middle East. Heightening tensions over the last months between the US and its allies and Iran have seen covert assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists,...

29 February 2012

spot'We want jobs - not slave labour!'

Paul Callanan, YFJ national organiser, explains YFJ's campaign for investment in real jobs and its opposition to the government’s slave labour schemes

29 February 2012

spotInterview with a jobcentre worker

What workfare really means: Workfare is a catch-all term used to describe the various unpaid work schemes the government operates through the Department for Work and Pensions

29 February 2012

spotStudent walkout - build mass action

The National Union of Students (NUS) has called a walkout against cuts and privatisation for 14 March, writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser.

29 February 2012

spotEurope - Young people fight ACTA

Thousands of young people across Europe have joined protests against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), writes Sebastian Kugler, SLP (CWI in Austria) and Michael KoschitzkiSAV (CWI Germany).

29 February 2012

spotContinuing the pensions battle - Universities

University workers face cuts, privatisation and outsourcing as the government seeks to turn universities into profit-generating units for their rich friends, writes Ivan Bonsell

29 February 2012

spotAttack on pay defeated at Manchester's NHS Trust

"The BIPP's been bipped!" Manchester health workers are celebrating a victory after management's policy of withholding some pay on spurious grounds was found unlawful

29 February 2012

spotAnti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites

Manchester library construction site, protest against blacklisting, Feb 2012, photo by Hugh Caffrey

Huge pay cuts were beaten by construction electricians' mass protests and actions, but blacklisting remains

29 February 2012

spotMcWorkfare - "Let's campaign until it's stopped completely"

Protesting against workfare in Leeds, February 2012, photo Iain Dalton

On Monday protesters were at McDonald's in Sheffield to voice disgust at the Con-Dems' forced labour schemes. Also read on for reports from Leeds, Birmingham and Wakefield

29 February 2012

spotOil tanker drivers being balloted for strike

Voting will begin next week in a strike ballot of over 2,000 drivers who work for seven major fuel distribution firms, has announced Unite the union

29 February 2012

spotWhy I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the London Assembly election

Alex Gordon, President, RMT and TUSC candidate, GLA elections, photo by Paul Mattsson

Alex Gordon

I am pleased to be leading the excellent list of candidates standing as TUSC in elections for the Greater London Assembly in May 2012, writes Alex Gordon

29 February 2012

spotSolidarity with Occupy London protesters

 Last stand of the Occupy London protesters , photo Paul Mattsson

Just after midnight on Tuesday 28 February riot police brutally evicted the peaceful Occupy London protesters from their camp outside St Paul's Cathedral, which was set up last year

29 February 2012

spotStop the Health Bill

Kirklees Sure Start children centres lobby Kirklees council's budget meeting, photo by Huddersfield Socialist Party

Kirklees Sure Start protest

We can save our public services!: Tory Andrew Lansley's infamous Health and Social Care bill has been described as a "great mistake", "a mess", "unnecessary in many ways" and "setting the NHS back"

29 February 2012

spotWorking class needs real political opposition to Con-Dem millionaires

TUSC Against Cuts

Over the last week the Socialist Party has been hysterically attacked in the right-wing capitalist press for our opposition to slave labour workfare schemes

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