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Archive for July 2004

3 July 2004

spotUnison conference: Wrong Answers To Wrong Questions!

THE MOOD of militancy that was evident at UNISON's Local Government Service Group Conference, (see last week's socialist), did not automatically feed into the main Annual Delegate Conference, held on the following four days...

3 July 2004

spotSupport The Dessian Strikers

AS WE reported in last week's socialist, workers at the Dessian Products PVC windows factory in Belfast have been on strike since 19 May. The strike began over the sacking of Paddy McCloskey, one of the two TGWU shop stewards in the plant...

3 July 2004

spotCivil Service Jobs Massacre

ALL STAFF in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were called into special meetings on 29 June. This was as Secretary of State Andrew Smith made a statement in the Commons, outlining massive job cuts in the Department...

3 July 2004

spotTube Workers Fight To Defend Jobs And Conditions

THE STRIKE action originally called on both London Underground (LUL) and Network Rail for 30 June has already forced Network Rail to re-open their final salary pension fund for new staff...

3 July 2004

spotBoss Livingstone's Scab Call

Tube strike: KEN LIVINGSTONE, former darling of the left, urged RMT members to cross picket lines on their one-day strike on 29 June. He said that the offer they had received from London Underground Limited (LUL) was "extremely generous" (see

3 July 2004

spotEncouraging Result for Martin Powell-Davies

NUT Elections: SOCIALIST PARTY member Martin Powell-Davies received 6,482 first-preference votes in the National Union of Teachers’ general secretary election...

3 July 2004

spotExclusive interview with Brazilian trade unionist

Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party, reports from his recent visit to Brazil, when he attended the conference of the new Brazilian party, the Party of Socialism and Liberty (SOL)...

3 July 2004

spotIreland Greets Bush - But With Protests

AROUND 20,000 people protested in Dublin on 25 June as Airforce One landed at Shannon Airport for an 18 hour EU-US summit. George W Bush is the first US president not to receive a warm welcome on an official state visit from even a small section...

3 July 2004

spotIraq: The Sovereignty Of Puppets

Iraq 'handover': WITH NO ceremony and two days before it was scheduled to happen, the occupying forces in Iraq have handed over what they called "full sovereignty" to Iraqi nationals...

3 July 2004

spotSocialism 2004: "A Really Brilliant Weekend"

LAST WEEKEND, in central London, hundreds of socialists, trade unionists and young people gathered to discuss and debate the key political issues of the day, hosted by the Socialist Party...

3 July 2004

spotSchools Campaign Challenges Labour

Leicester South by-election: THE MAIN parties in the Leicester South by-election are battling to see who are the biggest hypocrites. The election has been called quickly for 15 July after the death of Jim Marshall MP, to try to stop the Liberals destroying New Labour's 13,000...

3 July 2004

spotNew Labour Privatising By Choice

"THERE IS no point Egon Ronay producing a guide to restaurants if all the tables are fully booked" was the chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA), James Johnson's, comment on New Labour's proposal to allow us all the choice of five different hospital waiting lists...

3 July 2004

spotChoose To Fight Back

London Unison members on strike in 2002
Health and education under the cosh: IN THE battle over the future of public services, both Labour and the Tories announced they were the parties of 'choice'. Their debate would have sat comfortably in the pages of George Orwell's 1984 for its subversion of language...

10 July 2004

spotBrando - A Legend And An Enigma

The death of screen actor, Marlon Brando, has sparked off an examination of the forces that motivated him. Universally recognised as one of the greatest actors of all time, the puzzle remains: why did such a gifted actor end his days as a recluse...

10 July 2004

spotAfrica's Forgotten Wars

WHILE THE mainstream media has been largely focussed on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, some of the bloodiest conflicts in the world have been for the most part ignored...

10 July 2004

spotWhite House Tries Its Creature Saddam

SADDAM HUSSEIN appeared in court on 1 July, and was charged with a list of crimes. Formally, he is now in the hands of Iraqis. But in reality, the Americans are still in charge of the ex-dictator's fate...

10 July 2004

spotWhat Are The Lessons For The Left?

SINNOTT'S VICTORY was assisted by the sizeable backing that he could rely on from within the union hierarchy. He has had years in which to build support and amass considerable financial resources to publicise his campaign...

10 July 2004

spotSolid Action Can Be Built On

THE RAIL, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) has responded to a derisory pay offer to tube workers with its best supported strike in years. Only two lines ran any sort of useable service and even then at reduced frequencies. Overall LU...

10 July 2004

spotFight For Your Rights At Work

Fight for your Rights at Work - ISR campaign pack
"We've got our own ward": ARE YOU a young worker fed up with low pay, bullying bosses, long hours and unsafe working conditions?...

10 July 2004

spotPride In Socialist Ideas

Thousands of people took to the streets last Saturday for London's gay Pride. The Socialist Party Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Group and the youth group International Socialist Resistance (ISR) marched on the parade and distributed...

10 July 2004

spotCops Target Asians

THE POLICE are harassing Asians, particularly young Muslim men, more and more. Recently released 'stop and search' figures show that New Labour is clearly conducting its so-called War On Terror only against certain sections of the working-class...

10 July 2004

spotLabour Tells Blair - Keep Away!

Leicester South by-election: TONY BLAIR'S advisers have told him to stay away from Leicester South in the by-election campaign because he'll lose Labour the seat, particularly because of anti-war feeling!...

10 July 2004

spotWhistling To Keep Their Spirits Up

THE FOUNDING conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) took place at the TUC headquarters in London last Saturday. The aim of the LRC is to "reclaim" the Labour Party for the left and for socialism. The speakers included...

10 July 2004

spotUnion Leaders Facing The Wrong Way On Labour

SPECULATION AT the top of the Labour Party about how long Blair can last has focussed attention on the succession. Union leaders who have argued for staying in the Labour Party - grouped around the Labour Representation Committee (see article...

10 July 2004

spotFight The Job Cuts

Fight Low Pay: PCS CIVIL service union members in the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) are set for two more days strike action on 29 and 30 July as part of the campaign for fair pay and to defeat the hated Performance Development System (PDS), a discriminatory appraisal system intended to institutionalise low pay...

10 July 2004

spotPrivate Hands Off Our Education

ALL THE government's 'spin' is telling us how education and health spending won't be cut back in Gordon Brown's spending review. So why are so many teachers angry at Tony Blair's new 'five-year plan' for education?...

17 July 2004

spotSri Lankan Socialists' Elections Boost

ON SATURDAY 10 July, the Provincial Council elections saw a much lower turn-out than usual. All the major parties lost votes...

17 July 2004

spot'Offensief Against Racism' Success

LAST SUNDAY, 11 July, we organised the first meeting of our new anti-racist youth campaign, 'Offensief Tegen Racisme' (Offensief Against Racism -'Offensief' is the name of the Dutch section of the CWI)...

17 July 2004

spot"Low Pay No Way, Council Workers Here To Stay"

FURIOUS HULL council workers halted the Lord Mayor's parade in a protest against huge wage cuts...

17 July 2004

spotThe Socialist Party And The United Left

AT THE United Left (UL) meeting at UNISON conference, Socialist Party members in UNISON announced that they were withdrawing from the UL. They give their reasons for this decision below...

17 July 2004

spotHeading For A Split

Labour and the unions: TEN YEARS of cohabiting with Tony Blair as Labour Party leader seems to have got to some trade union leaders. It appears the unions are at least in the first stages of heading for a messy divorce after a decade with an unsympathetic,...

17 July 2004

spotTolpuddle: Fight The Anti-Trade Union Laws

In 1834, six agricultural workers from Dorset were sentenced to seven years transportation to Australia for trying to form a trade union. Today the Tolpuddle martyrs are still remembered and celebrated...

17 July 2004

spotFight Blair's Privatised Academies

THE RECENT fanfare announcement on education 'academies' (legislation is already on the statute books) shows that Labour want to encourage private schools to empire-build in the state sector...

17 July 2004

spotWhy Fahrenheit 9/11 Makes Bush Fume

IT'S NOT surprising that Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 is storming the US. The film's release coincides with Americans' growing anger at George Bush and his right-wing regime...

17 July 2004

spotIraq War: The Guilty Men

NO SO-CALLED weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. The main justification for the war, that Saddam's chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons posed a threat to the world, was completely fraudulent...

17 July 2004

spotLies, Lies, Lies

Death and destruction in Iraq collars Blair
THE INVASION of Iraq was based on false intelligence - on deception and lies.
Most people have known this for ages. Now it's official.
In the United States a Senate committee has reported "a global intelligence failure".
(Cartoon by Alan Hardman)
Saddam Hussein had no nukes, no biological or chemical weapons.
Not even stockpiled, let alone usable in 45 minutes.

17 July 2004

spotPublic spending review: Robbing Penny To Pay Paula

Public spending review: THE PUBLIC spending review was an opening shot in New Labour's campaign for the next general election. The review tries to create the impression of a big increase in public spending, while trying to outbid the Tories' promises to cut...

17 July 2004

spotAn Attack On The Whole Public Sector

Civil service jobs threat: ON 12 July the government announced the latest developments in its plans to slash civil service jobs ahead of the general election...

17 July 2004

spotBrown's Jobs Cull - Unions Must Strike Back

What we Think: THE CULL of civil service jobs, a key plank of Gordon Brown's public spending review (12 July), is even more brutal than most workers expected...

17 July 2004

spotStrike Against Jobs Carnage

"CARNAGE!" THIS was the response of Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, the main civil service union, to Gordon Brown's announcement of 104,000 job losses in the civil service...

24 July 2004

spot'Off-Shoring': The Bosses' Global Attack On Workers

ON 17 June HSBC bank announced that it would be cutting 3,500 jobs in the UK. 500 of these jobs would be 'off-shored' to HSBC's call centres in India and Malaysia. Although HSBC said that these changes were to "improve the productivity...

24 July 2004

spotTake Back The Railways!

MEMBERS OF the rail union RMT, lobbying Parliament on 20 July for a publicly owned rail system, spoke to KEN SMITH...

24 July 2004

spotIraq: The Brutal Truth About Occupation

LORD BUTLER'S report on how Blair's government tried to build support for Bush's imperialist war on Iraq showed that government and state officials lied about the threat of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction...

24 July 2004

spotLabour's Crime Policies Won't Work

AS ANOTHER general election looms, Blair and Blunkett are renewing their pledge to tackle crime. After seven years of New Labour's 'tough on crime' stance and the previous 19 years of Tory bootcamps, Blair believes it is time to end...

24 July 2004

spotBlair: Clinging On To The Wreckage

Editorial: BLAIR 'CELEBRATED' ten years at the top of New Labour a bruised and battered man. The Butler report into intelligence surrounding WMD and the war in Iraq let him off the hook yet again - blaming "collective responsibility".

24 July 2004

spotSave Our Special Schools campaign

"It's Been A Real Education": JUST OVER three weeks ago Save Our Special Schools (SOSS) was a small local campaign that few outside the schools knew much about. But, as SCOTT HERBERT from Leicester reports, in the recent Leicester South by-election it made its mark.

24 July 2004

spotFight For Your Rights

"THE RESPONSE we've had campaigning against low pay has been amazing", Suzanne Beishon from Hackney International Socialist Resistance (ISR) told the socialist...

24 July 2004

spotStop The Civil Service Jobs Cull

TWO DAYS after chancellor Gordon Brown announced 104,000 job losses in the civil service, the main civil service trade union, PCS, organised a lobby of Parliament on the issues of jobs, pay and pensions...

24 July 2004

spotUnited Action To End Low Pay, Stop Job Cuts and Defend Public Services

THOUSANDS OF workers at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are striking against low pay on 29 and 30 July. The starting salary at the DWP is a scandalously low £10,300. Many DWP staff have to claim the very benefits they are...

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