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Archive for January 2008

10 January 2008

spotBuilding workers fight for real union representation

Construction workers from across the north-west are demonstrating at Whiston Hospital on 11 January... By Hugh Caffrey, Manchester

10 January 2008

spotFighting council cuts

Greenwich: Greenwich Unison is preparing a new year campaign to fight cuts being proposed by the council...

10 January 2008

spotIndustrial news in brief

BAA pensions dispute: BAA have been forced to climb down over their attack on pensions. They have reopened the final salary scheme to new entrants. This was won after the threat...

10 January 2008

spotScrooge employers attack shop workers

When the company you work for makes £2.7 billion in profit, then cuts your pay by £1.40 an hour, you begin to wonder what's going on... By East Midlands shop worker

10 January 2008

spotFeature: Socialism and democracy needed to reshape the world

The present crisis in the world economy has underlined Karl Marx's analysis of capitalism as a system that works blindly, behind the backs of society and without conscious human control...

10 January 2008

spotPostal workers fight to defend the Burslem 12

The CWU postal strike 2007

The CWU postal strike 2007

No victimisation: One hundred postal workers at Burslem, Staffordshire, are now into their fourth week of strike action against the victimisation of twelve workers who have been unfairly suspended since September on trumped up charges... By Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party

10 January 2008

spotRenationalise the energy industry

Flooded with Debt, cartoon by Suz www.squashdonkey.co.uk

Flooded with Debt, cartoon by Suz www.squashdonkey.co.uk

Editorial: With the price of oil going over $100 a barrel, the main energy suppliers are using it as an excuse to increase fuel prices and boost their already bloated profits...

10 January 2008

spotDefeat the pay limit

Prime minister Gordon Brown has declared further war on public-sector workers' pay by saying that he wants pay rises this year kept under 2%...

10 January 2008

spotStraw provokes POA

JUSTICE SECRETARY Jack Straw has announced that he is reintroducing a ban on prison officers going on strike...

10 January 2008

spotPolice ballot for industrial rights

GORDON BROWN is trying to enforce below-inflation pay rises on public-sector workers, from the civil service to local government workers, teachers and nurses... By Iain Dalton

10 January 2008

spotSoaring food prices hit world's poor

FOLLOWING A surge in food prices last summer (the fastest rate in 14 years in the UK), consumers are facing further price hikes in the coming months... By Dave Carr

10 January 2008

spotPakistan: Mass opposition to Musharraf regime after Benazir killing

BENAZIR BHUTTO, leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was killed in a suicide attack after addressing a public rally in Rawalpindi on 27 December...

10 January 2008

spotKenya: Stolen election explodes into mass anger and bloodshed

AT LEAST 600 people, perhaps as many as 1,000, have been killed in political violence in Kenya following the result of a rigged presidential election on 27 December 2007... By Dave Carr

10 January 2008

spotVictory! Tenants beat £1 million sell-off campaign

COUNCIL TENANTS and local campaigners have won a significant local victory in Lewisham, south London, against the privatisation of council housing...

10 January 2008

spotBig business hands off our NHS!

PRIMARY CARE Trust (PCT) bosses in one of London's poorest boroughs have given a contract to a multinational private conglomerate, Atos Origin, to run St Paul's Way Medical Centre, at present managed by the PCT... By a community nurse

10 January 2008

spotThe privateers are taking over

UNDER THE gleeful heading "Private sector role in public services explodes," the Financial Times reported that the private sector's supply of public services "now makes a bigger contribution to the economy than pharmaceut...

10 January 2008

spotObituary: Andrew Glyn

With great sadness, we report the death of Andrew Glyn, an internationally renowned socialist economist and a former supporter of the Militant, the Socialist Party's precursor...

10 January 2008

spotReview: Marx's Das Kapital: a biography, by Francis Wheen

This is a disappointing book. Francis Wheen's earlier biography is definitely worth a read and shows he has made a serious study of Marx's writings....

10 January 2008

spotFight for socialism!

Make Socialism Our Future: ISR / CWI banner on the Anti-G8 demonstration in 2005, photo by Paul Mattsson

Make Socialism Our Future: ISR / CWI banner on the Anti-G8 demonstration in 2005, photo by Paul Mattsson

Last year ended to the roar of the assassin's bullet and bomb, cutting down Benazir Bhutto, the fourth such civilian leader or president to be murdered since the foundation of Pakistan 60 years ago... By Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary

17 January 2008

spotNationalise Northern Rock - permanently

THE LABOUR government is still desperate to find a private-sector buyer for Northern Rock, despite having shored up the bank to the tune of £50 billion (over half the NHS budget)...

17 January 2008

spotIdeas for campaigning and fundraising

The Cardiff branch of the Socialist Party raised £6,800 in 2007 to help fund the campaigning work of the party...

17 January 2008

spotDebate: Is the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change?

RAPID CLIMATE change caused by the burning of fossil fuels has become a major social and political issue internationally. ...

17 January 2008

spotStop nuclear power plans NOW!

The government has given the go-ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations, with no limits on how far the nuclear industry could expand.... By Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

17 January 2008

spotReview: More Time for Politics, Diaries 2001-2007, by Tony Benn

Tony Benn

Tony Benn

In the 1970s and 1980s, Tony Benn earned the scorn and hatred of the rich, the capitalist media and their right-wing friends within the labour movement because he was seen as a champion of socialist ideas, writes Peter Taaffe...

17 January 2008

spotFeature: Building the shop stewards' movement

One of the themes of the Socialist Party's Socialism2007 weekend last November was the development of the shop stewards' movement... By Alison Hill, industrial editor of the socialist

17 January 2008

spotEditorial: Fight three year low pay tie-ins

German train drivers have just won an 11% wage increase. German Telecom workers on the other hand have suffered accumulated wage cuts amounting to 25%...

17 January 2008

spotBurslem: Support victimised postal workers

The national march and rally organised by the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) in Stoke on Saturday 19 January gives postal workers and supporters an opportunity to show their solidarity with victimised Burslem postal work... By Andy Bentley Stoke Socialist Party

17 January 2008

spotHain's sorry saga of sleaze

As Peter Hain's scandal of undeclared campaign donations has unravelled it has revealed the nature of New Labour politics... By Dave Reid and Geoff Jones, Socialist Party Wales

17 January 2008

spotFire cuts threat to our public safety

Matt Wrack, FBU General secretary, photo Paul Mattsson

Matt Wrack, FBU General secretary, photo Paul Mattsson

DEVON AND Somerset's Chief Fire Officer (CFO), Paul Young, was stopped recently from removing dedicated fire crews from aerial platforms (which are needed in larger fires)...By Jim Lowe, Devon Socialist Party

17 January 2008

spotBlair's rewards from big business

SO TONY Blair has a new £2.5 million a year job as a part-time adviser to the international financial services and investment banking group, JPMorgan...

17 January 2008

spotCardiff schools campaign grows

FOURTEEN CARDIFF schools now face cuts and closures from the Liberal council, with many more set to join them....

17 January 2008

spotReinstate Karen Reissman - defend mental health services!

Manchester mental health workers on strike, photo Christian Bunke

Manchester mental health workers on strike, photo Christian Bunke

The fight continues to reverse the sacking of community psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann, and to oppose further cuts in mental health services.... By Hugh Caffrey, Manchester

17 January 2008

spotDerby nurses fight management attacks

More than 100 Unison members and their families packed a meeting to protest at threatened pay cuts to Derby nurses... By Graham Lewis, Long Eaton trades council

17 January 2008

spotLiverpool: City of Cuts

On 11 January, Liverpool became the European City of Culture. But the Liverpool Echo on 8 January announced that the city council faced a debt of £25 million....

17 January 2008

spotSave our post offices

THIRTY PEOPLE turned up on a wet Tuesday afternoon to a protest, organised by Leicester Socialist Party, against local post office closures...

17 January 2008

spotGrowing crisis in housing

HOUSING IN Britain is an example of 'market failure'. The free market cannot, and will not, solve the current housing crisis.

17 January 2008

spotVote Jim Cessford

Socialist Party member Jim Cessford is standing for assistant branch secretary of Manchester Unison local government branch...

17 January 2008

spotSalford says: "Don't close our women's centre"

"SAVE OUR Women's Centre" chanted 50 protesters on 9 January, opposing the Labour-driven closure of Salford women's centre... By Steve North, Salford

17 January 2008

spot'Them and Us': news shorts

Legal - illegal; Life after Twizzlers; Student fees VOSPER THORNEYCROFT, one of the world's biggest warship manufacturers, is set to be given the contract to run education services in Waltham Forest, east London...

17 January 2008

spotSri Lanka: New year starts with atrocities

The new year began in Sri Lanka with atrocity after atrocity. First, on New Year's Day itself, came the killing of opposition parliamentarian, Thiyagarajah... By Senan, Socialist Party

17 January 2008

spotBiggest miners' underground occupation in Polish history

Solidarity action needed: FIVE HUNDRED coal miners are taking part in an occupation strike 1,000 metres underground in the Polish mine Budryk... By Paul Newberry, GPR (CWI, Poland)

17 January 2008

spotFight for a living wage

Greenwich council workers lobby the council, photo Paul Mattsson

Greenwich council workers lobby the council, photo Paul Mattsson

No to Brown's three-year pay deal: PUBLIC-SECTOR workers will be outraged at Gordon Brown's recent statements, writes Onay Kasab, Greenwich council worker

23 January 2008

spotShock of recession draws near

Editorial: AS SHARE values tumbled in the most dramatic falls since 9/11, the talk was not so much of whether there will be a recession, but of how deep and long it will be....

23 January 2008

spotBolivia at breaking point

IN NOVEMBER and December last year Bolivia was on the brink of civil war. The right-wing opposition of the gas-rich eastern provinces had declared autonomy... By Karl Debbaut, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI)

23 January 2008

spotMarching behind the Burslem 12

Demonstration in support of the Burslem 12 victimised postal workers, photo Stoke Socialist Party

Demonstration in support of the Burslem 12 victimised postal workers, photo Stoke Socialist Party

THE CAMPAIGN to reinstate the victimised Burslem 12 escalated last weekend as working-class solidarity flooded the streets of Stoke-on-Trent... By Glen Watson, Stoke Socialist Party

23 January 2008

spotStrike against poverty deals in PCS

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Public and Commercial Services union members, in the Department for Work and Pensions and in Revenue and Customs, are gearing up for possible strike action, writes Mark Baker, civil service union PCS national executive (NEC), (in personal capacity).

23 January 2008

spotDefend Tommy Sheridan

Tommy Sheridan, photo Paul Mattsson

Tommy Sheridan, photo Paul Mattsson

ON 16 December, former Scottish Socialist Party MSP Tommy Sheridan was charged by Lothian and Borders police after the most expensive perjury investigation ever in Scotland... By Philip Stott

23 January 2008

spotSNP 'trusts' are PFI in disguise

THE SNP-led Scottish government has published a consultation paper setting out its 'alternative' to the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) schemes in Scotland... By Brian Smith, Glasgow Unison social work services secretary, personal capacity

23 January 2008

spotTower Colliery closes: A brave attempt

Miners will march out of Tower Colliery for the last time on Friday 25 January. This will be an emotional end for the last deep coal mine in South Wales. By Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

23 January 2008

spotPost office campaign: Changes in the law to break the poor

Life will be made much harder for many elderly and disabled people with the planned closures of around 2,500 post offices across the country this year... By Jon Dale

23 January 2008

spotNew threats to abortion rights

THIS APRIL marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the 1967 Abortion Act. That law change introducing safe, legal abortion in Britain has saved lives and given women more control over their lives... By Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

23 January 2008

spotKeep Marksbury library open!

Bristol: THE FIGHT to defend Marksbury Road library from closure by Labour-controlled Bristol city council, is gathering momentum... By Wayne Coombes, Bristol South Socialist Party and MACA member

23 January 2008

spotNUT national executive: Left fighter stopped from standing

A concentrated effort to prevent left militant fighters from occupying influential positions within the labour movement - usually by bureaucratic means - has traditionally been used by the right wing of the trade unions...

23 January 2008

spotShelter staff under attack from management

Senior management at housing charity Shelter are attempting to implement the most serious attack on staff pay and conditions in Shelter's 41 year history... By A Shelter worker

23 January 2008

spotMore work for less pay

While teachers' workload remains as high as ever, with an average 50-hour week in primary schools, we are now being asked to take wage cuts for a further three years from September 2008.... By Linda Taaffe

23 January 2008

spotCadburys close Keynsham factory

Bristol: The Cadbury bosses have behaved utterly predictably in deciding at the end of a 90-day "consultation" process, to press ahead with the complete closure of their historic Keynsham site near Bristol... By Robin Clapp

23 January 2008

spotCouncil spends thousands fighting workers' pay claims

Coventry City Council has admitted to having spent £747,000 so far on outside lawyers, to try and stop some of its own employees getting equal pay.... By Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor

23 January 2008

spotNo more stooge union reps!

Construction workers demonstrated at the Whiston hospital site on Merseyside on 11 January against the actions of a company-appointed union 'representative'... By Hugh Caffrey, Manchester

23 January 2008

spotWhy should we pay for capitalist crisis?

Stock markets crash

Stock markets crash

Looming recession... THE BOSSES and their capitalist system - based on greed and profits for the few - have fouled up Britain and the world big time...

29 January 2008

spotJail break from Gaza

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Gazans streamed across the bulldozed Gaza-Egypt border during just a few days, desperate to buy basic goods that are no longer available in Gaza...

29 January 2008

spotNew Labour attacking our vital benefits

Flooded with Debt, cartoon by Suz, www.squashdonkey.co.uk

Flooded with Debt, cartoon by Suz, www.squashdonkey.co.uk

Gordon Brown's government is weaker than ever before. The smog of sleaze that pervaded Blair's government has now settled over Brown's with the resignation...

29 January 2008

spotEnd this market madness

THE RECENT white-knuckle ride on world stock markets threatens a world recession. And it will be working-class people who will pay the price, writes Manny Thain

30 January 2008

spotDebt and housing slowdown threaten Britain's time bomb economy

Debt and housing time bomb, photo The Socialist

Debt and housing time bomb, photo The Socialist

THE EXTREME volatility in the world's stock markets has not yet led to London city slickers jumping off skyscrapers. But growing fears about the underlying health of the economy prompted one commentator to scream about a global 'pandemic'...

30 January 2008

spotNHS in crisis

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

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

Plans 'unfit for purpose'?: 'FIT FOR the future,' the government's plan for NHS services in North-east London, would be better entitled 'Unfit for purpose'! It will mean downsizing King George Hospital and possibly Whipps Cross Hospital, closing their Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments and moving them to a 'super-hospital' many miles away - the PFI-built Queens Hospital in Romford.

30 January 2008

spotIncapacity benefit cuts hit the sick

THE GOVERNMENT'S plans for 'welfare reform' are raising concern among people on Incapacity Benefit (IB). Nooshin Shabani spoke to two people on incapacity benefit...

30 January 2008

spotPolice march for pay

AS PART of their battle against Brown's public-sector wage freeze the police held a demonstration of their own, with over 18,000 attending, in London on 23 January... By Alex Gounelas

30 January 2008

spotLabour councillors anger parents and tenants

Tales from the council chamber: "CALLING THE Socialist Party motions 'far-left extremism' shows that New Labour can't answer what you're saying." That was the response of one of the 50 or so parents and council tenants who watched Lewisham council's ... By Clive Heemskerk

30 January 2008

spotAnti-war protests save teachers

Last November over 125 students walked out of Foster High School in the US, in response to a call from Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR) to protest against the war in Iraq and military recruiters in schools... By Bryan Watson, Socialist Alternative

30 January 2008

spotReality of London students' debt trap

Christmas may be over but many Goldsmiths students are still playing mousetrap... By James Kerr, Goldsmiths Socialist Students

30 January 2008

spotCollege students seek socialist ideas

Last December I was invited to speak to some college politics students. In my introduction I made points on socialism, Marxism, what the Socialist Party... By Frankie Langeland, Cambridge Socialist Party

30 January 2008

spotStudent elections: Not just a 'beauty contest'!

Students can't go anywhere in February and March without being bombarded by people handing out leaflets, with 'Vote for Robbo' or 'Sharon for Pres' on their t-shirts, not to mention the odd person dressed as a furry anim...

30 January 2008

spotMore foo than fight as rockers agree to cross picket line

Opinion: I regularly squabble with friends about music; which band has a good singer, a bad drummer, which bands are unoriginal... By Anne Englehardt

30 January 2008

spotHow Hitler came to power

Rise of evil?: Towards the end of World War One Germany was a country in ruin. Over one and a half million Germans had died. An economic blockade meant conditions for workers in the cities were deteriorating...

30 January 2008

spotGlobal warming, climate change and human activities - Part 2

Debate: THE SCIENTIFIC ideas under-pinning the issues of global warming and climate change were recently debated in The Socialist (Issue 516) between reader Tony Simmons and the author of the Socialist Party's pamphlet Planning Green Growth, Pete Dickenson.

30 January 2008

spotSuharto: "One of the 20th century's biggest killers and greatest thieves"

THE STATE funeral of Indonesia's ex-dictator, General Suharto, took place on 28 January as Asian stock markets began to slide once more... By Clare Doyle, Committee for a Workers' International

30 January 2008

spotTeachers' union calls strike ballot on pay

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) national executive has announced a decision to ballot all its members for the first national teachers' strike for 21 years... By Linda Taaffe, NUT

30 January 2008

spotBurslem postal workers march back to work

At 6.15am on 24 January, Burslem postal workers marched proudly behind their banner back into work more united than when they walked out on strike six weeks before... By Andy Bentley

30 January 2008

spotGiving the real facts on Burslem strike

In Stoke the Socialist Party campaigned in support of postal workers at Burslem in North Staffordshire...

30 January 2008

spotPCS suspends strikes

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) strike for 31 January has been suspended as management have been forced into talks... By Jane Aitchison, PCS DWP President, personal capacity

30 January 2008

spotNational Shop Stewards Network meetings

Yorkshire: "It took just six mobile phones and two hours to get 21,000 prison officers on strike!" National executive member Joe Simpson's account of how the Prison Officers Association (POA) organised their 'illegal' strike had an...

30 January 2008

spotNo more school closures!

Cardiff parents beat council cuts in 2006. Picture: Socialist Party Wales

Cardiff parents beat council cuts in 2006. Picture: Socialist Party Wales

EDUCATION IS under attack. 30,000 children could lose their rural schools in the first stage of the government's new closure plans. Socialist Party members Jim Reekie and Jake Moore report on the angry response in Shropshire to these threats....

30 January 2008

spotHain resigns but stink of sleaze remains

IF GORDON Brown hoped the smell of scandal would be blown away with Peter Hain's resignation, a new scandal soon dispelled his hopes... By Dave Reid

30 January 2008

spotUS elections: The Barack Obama mirage

IT SEEMS on the cusp of being real. For the first time in the US, an African American - Barack Obama of the Democratic Party - has a serious chance of being... By Teddy Shibabaw, Socialist Alternative (CWI, USA)

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