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Archive for January 2017

1 January 2017

spot2017: Upheaval and fightback will continue

photo Paul Mattsson

In 2016 the pent-up anger of the masses worldwide finally spilled over in a series of political earthquakes - a delayed reaction to the devastating economic crisis of 2007-08

4 January 2017

spotThe Socialist Inbox

Do you have something to say? Letters to the Socialist's editors. Stand up to the Tories; poverty barons; narrow education thinking; unionise call centres; revolutionary lessons of 1917; care crisis.

4 January 2017

spotMake Harrods give back stolen tips!

Harrods is the latest in a long line of employers that has been outed for stealing staff's tips. Now the United Voices of the World trade union is taking them on.

4 January 2017

spotTories want donors to 'defeat rise of socialism'

The Tories are advertising for regular donations to "defeat the rise of socialism." Donate to the Socialist Party today to help realise their nightmare.

4 January 2017

spotNo to 'Ceta' privatisation treaty stitch-up

The government is pressing ahead with hush-hush free-trade deal 'Ceta', which will further entrench privatisation and anti-worker practices. The Socialist says no to this privatisers' charter.

4 January 2017

spotBosses' pay goes up by 82% for nothing

Chief executives' pay in Britain's top 250 companies increased by an average of 82% between 2003 and 2014. We need to kick out the fat cats who are creaming money off the backs of workers.

4 January 2017

spotNorthern Ireland: 'Cash for ash' scam shows need for non-sectarian, socialist politics

"42% of people in Northern Ireland live in fuel poverty and it is much higher among elderly households. 13,000 are using foodbanks and politicians do nothing, yet public money will pay for the heating of the Northern Ireland Ferrari showroom for the next 20 years."

4 January 2017

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Tory MP spends £25 million on new property; student loan shark takes advantage of Christmas poverty.

4 January 2017

spotNHS drug price hike: nationalise big pharma!

Another drugs company could face punishment after an apparent 12,000% price hike. Nationalise big pharma under democratic workers' control and management!

4 January 2017

spotNationalise rail now!

Support the strikes! Rail fares are increasing again, this time by an average of 2.3%

4 January 2017

spotResist Trump: protest on 20 January

On 20 January, a racist, sexist billionaire is to become the most powerful individual on the planet.

5 January 2017

spotSupport Len McCluskey

It's official! The bosses and their mouthpieces support the right-wing candidate Gerard Coyne in the current leadership contest in Unite

9 January 2017

spotTube strike solid in fight for jobs and safety

4,000 station staff stopped up to 4.8 million passenger journeys in the capital.

10 January 2017

spotSupport BA cabin crews' strike for fair pay

British Airways cabin crew members of Unite are striking for 48 hours

11 January 2017

spotWorcestershire hospital deaths expose NHS crisis

My local county hospital, the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, made national news on 7 January for all the wrong reasons. It's become clear that between New Years' Eve and midnight on 3 January two patients died on trolleys in corridors.

11 January 2017

spotClosing of the children's centres could cost lives

Children's centres in Liverpool are at risk of closure with many unsure about their future. With the government making cuts to a much-needed service, do they not realise how detrimental it could potentially be to parents and children?

11 January 2017

spotFootball abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and accountability

Former football player Andy Woodward waived his right to anonymity on 16 November. His story of being sexually abused as a youth player by convicted paedophile Barry Bennell at Crewe Alexandra FC came out in the Guardian.

11 January 2017

spotPalestine/Israel: Everyday life under occupation

Discussion at Socialism conference in Tel Aviv: Just before Christmas the United Nations security council symbolically voted 14-0 declaring Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as illegal. A week earlier, Socialist Struggle Movement - the Israel/Palestine section of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) - hosted its annual Socialism conference in Tel Aviv.

11 January 2017

spotBuild the resistance against Trump

Join international day of protest on 20 January: As Donald Trump is sworn in as US President, Socialist Alternative, our US co-thinkers, have put out a call for people to take to the streets in protest against his racist and sexist ideas.

11 January 2017

spotNHS in meltdown

End cuts and privatisation: Hospitals are under massive pressure. What shall we do? Let's build more hospitals, train and employ more medical staff, devote more resources to providing a good service...

11 January 2017

spotSustainability and Transformation plans - a repackaging of cuts

The British Red Cross has described the situation developing in A&E departments up and down the country as 'a humanitarian crisis'. So what has been the response of the government to this crisis?

11 January 2017

spotUnison legal battle looks into allegations 'Team Dave' broke rules during general secretary election

For years Unison activists have suspected that there has been illegitimate interference from unelected officials in the union elections in breach of the rules. As such the 2015 general secretary election was no different, except this time they got caught red handed.

11 January 2017

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles including the latest on the Picturehouse cinema strike and an arrest at a Harrods tips protest.

11 January 2017

spotMay slams 'economic inequalities' Tory policies created

Unelected Tory prime minister Theresa May has delivered a speech to the Charity Commission in which she denounces injustices within our society.

11 January 2017

spotWhat we saw

What we saw this week including Southern Fail and the tube strike.

11 January 2017

spotKhan should attack bosses, not workers

Sadiq Khan won the London Mayor election in May 2016 on the back of the wave of support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity campaign

11 January 2017

spot2016: A record-breaking fighting fund year!

Socialist Party members and branches raised a record-breaking £140,535 in 2016. This is £17,000 more than we raised in 2015 (which was itself a record year) and the most we have raised in a year since the early 1990s.

11 January 2017

spotStrikes show workers' power

After gloating about the decline in strikes to record levels in 2015, just months later, the right-wing Tory press is frothing at the mouth as workers take action on the tube, railways and at airports.

11 January 2017

spotThem & Us: £500k house party... 50p for rent

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us.

11 January 2017

spotSham Royal Mail pensions consultation - action needed

Royal Mail has announced a 'formal consultation' on the pension plans of its workers, following a national statement with 'proposals' sent to workers' home addresses.

11 January 2017

spotSick of sham consultations - give us a real fightback

A letter published in the South Wales Evening Post about Swansea Council's public budget consultation process.

11 January 2017

spotBlair's multimillion plans to fight 'populism'

Fight anti-worker Blairite politics!: Tony Blair is to inject £9.3 million into a new not-for-profit foundation, the 'Tony Blair Initiative' (TBI). It will endeavour to counter "the new populism" and make "globalisation work for all."

11 January 2017

spotBook review: Spy drama gives insight into capitalist coup plot

Fiction review: A Very British Ending: Rarely does a political spy novel contain so much historical fact, written in such a gripping manner as Edward Wilson's 'A Very British Ending'.

11 January 2017

spotNHS in meltdown from spending cuts - demonstrate on 4 March!

The last 12 months have been the worst in the history of the NHS. It's under pressure like never before. The crisis moment many warned of has arrived.

11 January 2017

spot'Cash for ash' scandal set to bring down Northern Ireland government

The 'renewable heat incentive' scandal has prompted Martin McGuinness's resignation as Northern Ireland's deputy first minister

11 January 2017

spotBosses earn average salary in under three days

'Fat Cat Wednesday' - take the wealth off the 1%: Top bosses had earnt more than the £28,200 median salary by around midday on 4 January - 'Fat Cat Wednesday'.

11 January 2017

spotSocialist Party national women's meeting

Beginning with an important talk on the pivotal role of women in the Russian revolution and the lessons we can learn from this a 100 years on, 50 Socialist Party members from around the country attended a national women's meeting in London on 7 January.

11 January 2017

spotHaringey: pressure grows as Labour council cuts

Haringey council's 'scrutiny committee' will apparently recommend a delay to a massive social cleansing regeneration scheme. This is a victory for local campaigners and a blow to the local right-wing Labour leadership, who face increasing opposition.

12 January 2017

spotFracking protest in Sherwood Forest

Over 300 people came together to protest against plans by chemical giant Ineos to carry out seismic surveys in Sherwood Forest

15 January 2017

spotmayday

16 January 2017

spotEight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

Take the wealth off the 1%! The gap between the richest and poorest in the world is growing and is even worse than originally feared, says Oxfam. Eight people - yes eight - own as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the world population

18 January 2017

spotTrotsky and February 1917

Peter Taaffe reviews two books that focus on February 1917: Trotsky in New York 1917 - a radical on the eve of revolution by Kenneth D Ackerman; and Two Years of Wandering - a Menshevik leader in Lenin's Russia by Fedor Il'ich Dan.

18 January 2017

spotSocialist Party national committee agrees document for congress

The Socialist Party's national committee met on 14-15 January and after thorough discussion voted on a British perspectives document that will go to the national congress in London on 11-13 March

18 January 2017

spotThe Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

Two thousand more people snapped up the Socialist on the streets over the last ten issues of 2016 than the same period in 2015. Our newspaper is a beacon for the idea that ordinary working class people can run society in our own interests.

18 January 2017

spotWhy I joined the Socialist Party

"I witnessed the effort and commitment displayed by members" Some of my generation are frustrated, angry and upset with the Tory government and the way the whole world seems to be heading. I say to them that the Socialist Party is an organisation in which you can actually witness the difference your actions can make

18 January 2017

spotResidents protest at plans to close nine community centres

Hyde, like other housing associations, is now a big business property developer more than provider of social housing. It has an operating profit of 27% and £95 million in the bank, but doesn't want to pay the £170,000 (or 20p a visit) annual operating costs for the two Lambeth community centres

18 January 2017

spotAnger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

A discussion took place regarding the change in constitution and what many see as an abuse of power by Momentum chair Jon Lansman. The attendees agreed a declaration strongly opposing the steering group's decision.

18 January 2017

spot1917revolution.org website to launch

The Committee for a Workers' International is to launch a new website celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution

18 January 2017

spotPollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

For ten days between March and April 2014, levels of poisonous particulates caused an extra 300 premature deaths in the UK, according to a recent government estimate.

18 January 2017

spotMillwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal

Millwall's ground, the Den, could be forced from Lewisham, south London, to Kent. A major new development around the ground is being built by Renewal - a company registered in a tax haven, run by a former council officer, and which used to count the former mayor of Lewisham as a director.

18 January 2017

spotUSA: Seattle activists win housebuilding programme

Housing activists in Seattle, organised into the 'Coalition to Build 1,000 Homes', have scored a major victory, winning $29 million for affordable housing in the 2017-2018 council budget. They pushed through a final unanimous vote in the city council, despite fierce opposition from the city's Democratic establishment

18 January 2017

spotResist Trump

No to racism, sexism and attacks on workers' rights: On 20 (the day of Trump's inauguration) and 21 January, we are joining with others to call for millions across the United States and worldwide to come out in mass demonstrations and student strikes to begin building a powerful grassroots resistance.

18 January 2017

spotMexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

In recent weeks, mass protests have erupted throughout Mexico following a hike in gas and electricity prices - dubbed the "gasolinazo" - decreed by the right-wing Peña Nieto administration, writes Towards a general strike against the Nieto government!

18 January 2017

spotInaugurate the resistance

The case for a united and ongoing mass mobilisation: Inauguration protests can serve as a launching pad for a massive grassroots resistance to Donald Trump's new administration, which can push back his agenda. But this will require an active ongoing mobilisation linked to a strategy of independent grassroots struggle.

18 January 2017

spotWe can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks

The election of Donald Trump is a call to action for women. His glorification of sexual assault is an insult to the courageous struggles over the last years to combat violence against women

18 January 2017

spotLiverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

About 75 dockers and drivers protested on 13 January at the port of Liverpool about the facilities available to them, or the evident lack of

18 January 2017

spotBillions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, reported that it had its best sales growth at the end of last year's quarter for over five years. At the same time, 1,015 Tesco workers will lose their jobs as Tesco announced that it is closing two distribution centres in Hertfordshire and Derbyshire

18 January 2017

spotSouthern Rail strike continues

The Southern Rail strike continues on 23 January by trains guards and station staff in the RMT. This follows a second wave of action by Southern drivers in Aslef and RMT

18 January 2017

spotManchester: BA cabin crew pay strike

Unite members chanted "low pay, no way" and "pay rise, not lies" while getting support from passengers going in and out of the airport, including one who donated two boxes of chocolates!

18 January 2017

spotUnite the Union elections

Four Socialist Party members are standing on the United Left slate in the Unite executive elections that take place at the same time as the union's general secretary ballot

18 January 2017

spotPCS union national executive elections

PCS national executive committee elections will soon get under way. The current PCS leadership is widely regarded as one of the most effective campaigning leaderships in the trade union movement.

18 January 2017

spot'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

I find it frightening that NHS trusts are unable to guarantee patient safety. I find it shocking that the Red Cross, an organisation normally associated with international aid, has found it necessary to declare a "humanitarian crisis" in the fifth largest economy in the world.

18 January 2017

spotTheatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

The Seven Acts of Mercy: It's unlikely this work will get the same exposure as 'I, Daniel Blake', for example. But for those who do get the chance to see it - the voice of the dispossessed speaks loud and clear, and the desire to rid the world of capitalist exploitation once and for all rings out for all to hear.

18 January 2017

spotThe Socialist inbox

Do you have something to say? Letters to the Socialist's editors. Capitalist economist admits defeat; Fenton festivities; Brexit bind; Castro cant.

18 January 2017

spotJohn Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

John Berger, 1926-2017: Berger, who has died aged 90, was one of the most influential arts and cultural critics of the last half-century. But his 'Marxism' was not fully rounded out or linked to a clear socialist programme for the fundamental change of society

18 January 2017

spotSocialist artists invite others to exhibit work

The first edition of the 'Bad Art' magazine was produced in July 2016. It signalled the creation of a new project aiming to build from the ground up in working class neighbourhoods, to challenge capitalism's

18 January 2017

spotProtesters surround cutting council

1,000 protesters surrounded Sheffield's town hall in the latest action against tree-fellers

18 January 2017

spotLabour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Corbyn steps up anti-establishment tone - Momentum takes further undemocratic turn

18 January 2017

spotTories torn in two on single market

Theresa May has made her declaration of objectives for EU exit negotiations.

18 January 2017

spotLondon: Taxi drivers gridlock City of London

London taxi drivers gridlocked the City of London on 12 January in protest at the closure of Bank junction to taxis, ending a 360 year old trade in the area, writes Dave Wallis, Vice chair, RMT London taxi branch.

18 January 2017

spotNorthern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive has fallen over the 'cash for ash' energy scandal. Voters will elect a new assembly on 2 March

19 January 2017

spotBuild a wall of resistance against Trumpism

Donald Trump's first two days in office will go down in history. They will mark the moment at which a bigoted billionaire assumes the status of the most powerful individual on the planet.

19 January 2017

spotSnap elections called to Stormont Assembly

Northern Ireland goes to the polls, for the second time within a year, in snap elections to decide the make-up of its Stormont Assembly, on 2 March

20 January 2017

spotLabour needs to replace Tristram Hunt with an anti-austerity candidate

Many in Stoke-on-Trent will be glad to see the back of Hunt

23 January 2017

spotCWI website marking 1917 Russian Revolution

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) has launched a website dedicated to commemorating and celebrating the 1917 Russian Revolution

23 January 2017

spotNHS SOS: Save the Women's Hospital

The threatened closure of Liverpool Women's Hospital has stirred up a storm of opposition

23 January 2017

spotObituary: Bernard Roome 1947-2017

Bernard, a member of the Socialist Party and trade union activist, has sadly passed away after a long illness

24 January 2017

spotHuge anger against Trump across Britain

In Britain over 100,000 people marched in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington

24 January 2017

spotMillions on women's marches around the world: Build a mass movement against Trumpism, austerity and capitalism

The huge turnouts to the anti-Trump 'women's marches' on 21 January shocked even the organisers. It is now vital and urgent that that this is used as a launchpad to build a sustained, democratic, international movement with a strategy to win and a vision of a socialist alternative.

24 January 2017

spotSteely opposition growing to Tata pension offer

Steelworkers in Tata plants across the UK will be voting on a potential agreement

25 January 2017

spotStrike at ABMU Health Board

Hospital Sterilisation and Disinfection Unit workers at ABMU Health Board have taken strike action

25 January 2017

spotSouth London: march to save community centres

150 south London residents marched to oppose the closures of their community centres

25 January 2017

spotTrident trouble

A Trident missile misfired last June, just weeks before an alliance of Tories and Blairites voted to renew the nuke system. The Tory government now faces accusations of a cover-up

25 January 2017

spotIsle of Wight independents resign over cuts

The chief independent councillors on the Isle of Wight have resigned over central government funding cuts

25 January 2017

spot2017 Unite general secretary and executive elections

For the Socialist Party, this election is a fundamental clash about the political and industrial strategy of the biggest union in the country

25 January 2017

spotBristol police taser own race relations adviser

Fight for community control of police policy and hiring: Unbelievably, the victim was charged with assaulting a police officer despite video evidence showing the opposite.

25 January 2017

spotWales council votes to buy back homes

Flintshire county council in North Wales has decided to buy back 55 council houses sold since 2005 when they become available on the market

25 January 2017

spot2016 hottest year on record, air poisonous

Only socialist planning can end profit-driven pollution: There is strong evidence that 2016 was the hottest year on record. Meanwhile, in 2017, part of London breached EU limits on annual hours of toxic air in just five days

25 January 2017

spotEd Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism

Non-fiction review - Speaking Out: Ed Balls elicits sympathy for his battle against his stammer. His view that anyone who disagrees with him is a communist will probably elicit less sympathy.

25 January 2017

spotThe Socialist inbox

Do you have something to say? Letters to the Socialist's editors. Pensioner poverty; troublesome taxes; private profiteering.

25 January 2017

spotDefiant mood at North Tyneside STP consultation

Socialist Party members have played a leading role in the establishment and growth of the Save North Tyneside NHS.

25 January 2017

spotLancashire: Hospital workers protest consultation

Despite millions being spent on state of the art buildings in 2007 and 2013, NHS England is now proposing closing all or most of them and building new hospitals in a different location.

25 January 2017

spotSt Austell: STPs attacked

"My son was assessed four months ago but is still waiting for a carer," a mother told a packed consultation meeting - the St Austell leg of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan public relations tour

25 January 2017

spotPaignton: organising against hospital closure

One brave nurse described the nightly pressures of being so understaffed that it is bringing workers to their knees and putting them in incredibly compromised in dangerous situations.

25 January 2017

spotIndia: struggle against land grab in Pune

Socialists and villagers wage tireless battle: India, especially in the past 25 years of neoliberal onslaught, has witnessed the massive plunder of land under the guise of major infrastructure projects. Nonetheless, such land-grabbing has provoked mass resistance movements.

25 January 2017

spotInternational news in brief

Short stories from other sections and co-thinkers of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), the global socialist organisation which the Socialist Party is affiliated to. CWI stands in Northern Ireland elections; socialists gather in Latin America; anti-sexism campaign launched in Belgium.

25 January 2017

spotHuge anger internationally on marches against Trump

Mass action across the USA: These were the largest simultaneous protests ever recorded in US history, with millions taking to the streets

25 January 2017

spotReject Surrey's 15% council tax increase

Surrey's Tory council wants residents to fork out a whopping 15% council tax rise to pay for the crisis in social care

25 January 2017

spotDon't we need competition to spur on progress?

Capitalist myth-buster! Human beings have always striven to understand more about our world, to test ourselves and to improve our lives

25 January 2017

spotSurrey: Save our fire station

Firefighters pointed out that the Staines fire engine is the busiest engine in the county. And that the local borough of Spelthorne has the busiest airport in Europe; the highest concentration of tower blocks; the worst record of fire deaths in Surrey, and many more high risk factors.

25 January 2017

spotCome to the TUSC national conference 2017!

TUSC national conference 2017 agenda

25 January 2017

spotIncensed BA cabin crew strike and protest over pay

Despite freezing temperatures, striking British Airways mixed fleet cabin crew were out in big numbers at the start of their second set of strike days

25 January 2017

spotRMT determinedly continues Southern strike

Aslef suspended its action but the RMT has pressed on

26 January 2017

spotBlairite stitch-up in Stoke Central byelection

Gareth Snell, architect of council cuts by Newcastle-under-Lyme borough council, former bag-carrier for Tristram Hunt and backer of the right-wing's Owen Smith in the second Labour leadership election has effectively been bureaucratically maneuvered into becoming the Labour candidate in the Stoke Central byelection.

30 January 2017

spotBuild the movement to defeat Trump


No Ban, No Wall Trump's vile racist ban on the rights of millions of people from seven Muslim-majority countries to travel to the US has been met with a mighty movement of US workers and young people. Demonstrations at the airports have been combined with strike action by taxi drivers

31 January 2017

spotTide of opposition to Trump surges

At a maximum of 48 hours' notice, rivers of people poured onto streets around Britain on 30 January to reject Trump's racism. This followed the 'women's marches' on 21 January when 100,000 demonstrated in London alone and thousands more elsewhere.

31 January 2017

spotAudio version of this document

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