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Archive for July 2008

1 July 2008

spotDebate at CNWP conference

We are posting one or two of the speeches at the CNWP debate 'How can we fight for a working class political voice?' A video of al the opening speeches will be posted to the CNWP website www.cnwp.org.uk, writes Bob Crow, RMT general secretary.

2 July 2008

spotFeature: 60 years of the NHS

Feature: IT WILL be 60 years since the NHS was set up on 5 July this year, the crowning glory of the welfare state in Britain, with its promise of an equal, high quality, universal health care...

2 July 2008

spotObituary: Terry Fields

Terry Fields addressing a demonstration in support of Liverpool City Council in the 1980s, photo Dave Sinclair

Terry Fields addressing a demonstration in support of Liverpool City Council in the 1980s, photo Dave Sinclair

Tragically Terry Fields has died from lung cancer at the age of 71. Terry was a supporter of Militant, forerunner of the Socialist Party, and a defender of the working class. In 1983, after many years as a lay official for the fire fighters' union, he...

2 July 2008

spotLocal government strike action: Workers say: 'enough is enough!'

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

Glasgow Social Workers on strike , photo Duncan Brown

The pages of the national press have been full of the statistics for months. Bread up 44%, pasta up 20%, utility bills are likely to rise by 40% and petrol is going up faster than you can measure it. Marc Glasscoe, Branch Secretary, Lincoln City Unison (personal capacity) writes.

2 July 2008

spotFight Labour's welfare privatisation

JAMES PURNELL, secretary of state for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has announced that he intends to let private sector companies cherry pick whatever DWP services they wanted to provide, writes Dave Reid.

2 July 2008

spot91% of pay deals are below inflation

'PAY SPECIALISTS' Industrial Relations Service (IRS) have reported that only around 9% of all pay deals agreed between bosses and workers in the three months to May 2008 were settled above the cost of living rise as monitored by the Retail Price Index (RPI)...

2 July 2008

spotWorkers united against pay freeze

AROUND 30 people attended a meeting organised by Cambridge TUC entitled 'Together we can beat Brown's pay freeze'. The speakers were Christine Blower, acting general secretary of the NUT and PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka...

2 July 2008

spotPCS shows action gets results

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) national executive (NEC) agreed last week to a campaign of action over pay in the Autumn. Three national strikes have already won national agreements to protect members...

2 July 2008

spotVisteon workers win 5%

Workers in Visteon have accepted a 5% pay rise, after balloting for strike action. Rob Williams, the Unite convenor at Visteon Swansea, spoke to The Socialist in a personal capacity...

2 July 2008

spotVictory for Belfast Airport shop stewards

The four shop stewards who were sacked six years ago from Belfast International airport, after organising a strike for a 50p an hour pay rise, have won their legal battle with their former employer...

2 July 2008

spotMugabe clique tightens its grip on Zimbabwe

DESPITE MORGAN Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of the second 'run-off' round of Zimbabwe's presidential elections, 'voting' proceeded last week with Robert Mugabe as the only candidate, writes Keith Pattendon.

2 July 2008

spotBig oil returns to Iraq

OVER FIVE years since the US invasion of Iraq four of the world's biggest oil companies have signed agreements for repair and technical support in major oilfields in Iraq, writes Chris Newby.

2 July 2008

spotNational Shop Stewards Network: Rebuilding trade union strength

The second conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on Saturday 28 June was opened by chair Dave Chapple, explaining how his CWU postal workers' union branch was balloting its 3,000 members for strike action, writes Alison Hill.

2 July 2008

spotCampaign for a New Workers' Party

On Sunday 29 June, 300 people filled the main hall in South Camden Community School in London to round off a very important weekend for the labour movement in Britain and to address the central question facing workers in Britain today: How can we fight for a working class political voice...

2 July 2008

spotBoris Johnson reveals his real policies

THE SOCIALIST has warned previously that the Tory mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is a right-wing populist with a bias towards more affluent areas of outer London, where the bulk of his support is found, writes Neil Cafferky.

2 July 2008

spotRoyals down to their last crown?

ACCORDING TO rags like the Daily Mail, the vital question at this time of approaching recession and rising prices is: "Is the Royal Family skint?" The official bill for running the monarchy rose by 5.3% to £40 million last year while the Queen has had her pay claim turned down, writes Roger Shrives.

2 July 2008

spotEast London street cleaners fight privatised employer

Street cleaners in the London Borough of Waltham Forest are still having problems with Kier, who have taken over the contract from the council (see The Socialist 537)...

2 July 2008

spotTube cleaners in pay strike

700 RMT members working for four cleaning sub-contractors on London Underground went on 24-hour strike on 26 June...

2 July 2008

spotFor a fighting, democratic Usdaw

At the NSSN conference held on Saturday Robbie Segal, a candidate for Usdaw general secretary, launched a conference for all those who oppose the Usdaw leadership's social partnership strategy and the direction in which they are taking the union...

2 July 2008

spotLGBT London Pride: No to homophobia

"You can be gay behind closed doors, you can be heterosexual behind closed doors, but you don't bring it onto the streets, demanding more rights for it." So says Richard Barnbrook, a member of the racist and homophobic British National Party (BNP), writes Greg Randall, Socialist Party LGBT group convenor.

2 July 2008

spotUnion support for demo to stop BNP 'festival'

Both the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Midlands TUC have given their support to the anti-British National Party (BNP) protest at 9.30pm, 16 August on Denby Lane in Codnor, Derbyshire, writes Naomi Byron and Bob Severn.

2 July 2008

spotPoland: Thousands join 'hands off the Labour Code' demo

TWO THOUSAND trade unionists took to the streets of Warsaw, on 20 June, to protest against the government's proposed changes to the Labour Code. Paul Newbery and Florian Nowicki, GPR (CWI, Poland) write from Poland...

2 July 2008

spotEducation - class segregation grows

A REPORT published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families shows a growing segregation between rich and poor in education since Labour came to power...

2 July 2008

spotHands off our NHS!

NHS demonstration March 3rd 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS demonstration March 3rd 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

On its 60th anniversary, we call for a mass campaign to defend our health service:

End big business profiteering out of the NHS! Abandon the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). No to private polyclinics replacing local GP surgeries...

8 July 2008

spotThe working class needs its own party

Campaign for a New Workers

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference 2008, photo Socialist Party

Editorial: THIS MONTH talks will be taking place between union leaders and the New Labour government. Most of the national trade union leaders are hoping that the talks will lead to a 'Warwick Two' agreement, which they hope will result in a few scraps being thrown...

8 July 2008

spotUK economy sliding into recession

Cost of living - from CNWP leaflet

Cost of living - from CNWP leaflet

THERE HAS been a raft of economic data in recent weeks showing the continuing decline in the UK and world economy but Alistair Darling says there is nothing to worry about, writes Jane James.

8 July 2008

spotStriking back against low pay

Teachers, lecturers and civil servants on strike on the same day, photo Paul Mattsson

Teachers, lecturers and civil servants on strike on the same day, photo Paul Mattsson

LAST WEEK, MPs kept their noses in the trough by voting to maintain their massive expenses and furnishing their second homes, writes Josie Nichols, secretary, Leicestershire county Unison, (personal capacity).

9 July 2008

spotOn the other side of the financial divide...

LAST THURSDAY, MPs voted by a majority of 28 to retain their £24,000 expenses for their second homes and the notorious 'John Lewis list' of furnishings for their second homes, so-called because it is based on prices at the department store...

9 July 2008

spotRMT conference discusses crisis of political representation

Delegates attending the rail union RMT's Annual General Meeting voted unanimously to call a conference on political representation and to encourage the union's regional councils to do the same, writes Dave Reid.

9 July 2008

spotBonuses for chiefs, pay restraint for civil service workers

WHILE GORDON Brown's 'pay restraint' policy eats into real wages for civil service workers, his government has given big bonuses to top civil servants, including those in charge of family tax credits and benefits for the poor...

9 July 2008

spotGovernment lies on public-sector pay

PROOF THAT the government is holding down public sector wage settlements below the rate of inflation - ie pay cuts - is provided by a report from the Incomes Data Services...

9 July 2008

spotTerry Fields: A socialist voice that rocked Whitehall

THE voice of workers anger reached the hallowed chambers of the Houses of Parliament on 24 June 1983, when Terry Fields, MP for Liverpool Broadgreen, spoke for the first time in the Commons...

9 July 2008

spotProperty deals threaten private nursing homes

SOUTHERN CROSS Healthcare shares lost around three-quarters of their value last week, diving down to 78p a share from 313p. The company is obviously in deep financial trouble and could face bankruptcy, writes Roger Shrives.

9 July 2008

spotDefend the NHS!

LAST SATURDAY, 5 July marked the 60th anniversary of one of the greatest gains of the British working class, the introduction of the National Health Service, writes Wylie Hume, Devon Socialist Party.

9 July 2008

spotCancer vaccines: who decides?

THIS AUTUMN, the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine campaign is being rolled out. It is estimated this will save the lives of over 400 women a year in Britain. The government awarded the contract to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for their vaccine Cervarix...

9 July 2008

spotRich get richer: Why should we pay the price!

The 'Haves and Have Yachts' lead totally different lives to the rest of us. Last year an American journalist wrote a book about how the super-rich now live in their own world of gated mansions with butlers and servants, private schools and hospitals. He called this nation 'Richistan'...

9 July 2008

spotG8 leaders' 'world hunger' banquet

GOVERNMENT LEADERS from the world's most powerful capitalist countries have been meeting at the G8 summit...

9 July 2008

spotHigh farce from Boris Johnson

"AFTER PRIDE comes the fall" is a saying often quoted to those who would celebrate prematurely, especially in politics. London Mayor Boris Johnson, himself a Classics graduate, may well be contemplating this as he surveys the fall-out from the resignation of Ray Lewis...

9 July 2008

spotArgos warehouse workers vote to strike

Argos distribution workers have voted by 67% to strike over pay. A senior steward for Unite at the Argos distribution centre in Basildon, spoke to The Socialist about the dispute and about organising distribution workers...

9 July 2008

spotNational Shop Stewards Network Conference: Organising migrant workers

There were a number of workshops at the National Shops Stewards Network conference on 28 June. The Socialist will be carrying reports from them in the next few weeks. Senan begins with a report from the workshop on how to organise migrant workers...

9 July 2008

spotA day in the life of a call centre worker

MANY YOUNG workers now work in call centres. These are proliferating, especially in the public sector, where call centres or contact centres are used to cut jobs previously carried out face-to-face. These workplaces are often characterised by low pay,...

9 July 2008

spotCall centre charter: A framework for workers' rights

THE PCS union says that call centre workers in DWP take calls from new claimants for benefits such as jobseekers allowance, incapacity benefit, income support ('primary benefits') and maternity allowance, bereavement benefit, carers allowance and industrial injuries disablement benefit ('secondary benefits')...

9 July 2008

spotDWP strikes bring talks

Following five days of industrial action in just over six months taken by Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), management have finally come back to the negotiating table. Katrine Williams, DWP group executive member, writes in a personal capacity.

9 July 2008

spotMP backs student fees campaign

THE GOVERNMENT is currently scheduled to 'review' the cap on university fees, with the prospect of the maximum chargeable amount being lifted from £3,000 a year to £5,000 or maybe more, writes Ben Robinson.

9 July 2008

spotSocialist stands for Usdaw general secretary

Robbie Segal

Robbie Segal

Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing as a candidate for Usdaw general secretary. Ballot papers will be distributed from 8 August.
At the National Shop Stewards' Network conference Robbie launched a conference for all those who oppose the Usdaw leadership's social partnership strategy and the direction in which they are taking the union.

9 July 2008

spotMarching against homophobia & racism

London Pride -: Members of the Socialist Party lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group and London Socialist Party had a fantastic response when campaigning against homophobia on Saturday 5 July, writes Greg Randall, Convenor, Socialist Party LGBT group.

9 July 2008

spotCNWP conference: Wanted - a new mass workers' party

Special Feature: "Waste not, want not"! Gordon Brown's patronising and insulting advice to people struggling to make ends meet is not going to go down well. Yet again he puts the blame for the economic crisis on working people...

15 July 2008

spotSessions

15 July 2008

spotEssential info

16 July 2008

spotOne Wales rule for the rich...

The handling by the Welsh Assembly government of two civil servants shows the different treatment of the tops in Welsh society from that of ordinary people, writes Dave Reid, Cardiff

16 July 2008

spotSri Lanka general strike

Strikers rally outside the Ministry of Health in Colombo, photo CWI

Strikers rally outside the Ministry of Health in Colombo, photo CWI


The Sri Lankan government, continuing to bombard the north of the country in the civil war, faced a warning general strike demanding increased wages to cover massive price rises, writes Siritunga Jayasuriya, Secretary, United Socialist Party, CWI Sri Lanka

16 July 2008

spotVisteon takeover: Workers' determination defends conditions

The sale of the Visteon car components plant in Swansea to Canadian company Linamar on 8 July marks the end of a chapter of heroic struggle by the workforce in defence of their jobs, terms and conditions and pensions, writes Alec Thraves, Swansea.

16 July 2008

spotShop stewards conference: Workers and war

THE SECOND conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) took place in London on 28 June, attended by around 300 people. In addition to the plenary sessions (see The Socialist, issue 540), there were nine workshops, covering issues such as privatisation,...

16 July 2008

spotEx-Foley-ated! Union bashing NHS boss resigns as staff defeat pay cuts

JOY AND celebration in the offices! This is how one NHS employee described hearing the news that hated boss Sheila Foley had resigned from Manchester's Community and Mental Health Trust on 8 July, writes Hugh Caffrey, Manchester.

16 July 2008

spotDurham Miners' Gala rejects New Labour

An estimated 40,000 workers and their families from Durham and beyond converged into the city for the Durham Miners' Gala, writes Elaine Brunskill, Northern region Socialist Party.

16 July 2008

spotWorkplace news: In brief

Argos strike dates: Argos distribution workers will be on strike for 24 hours on 17 and 24 July over pay (see last week's Socialist). This will be followed by a four-day stoppage, which will be staggered across depots in Basildon, Bridgewater, Heywood (Manchester) and Magna...

16 July 2008

spotNHS - birthday greetings and warnings

A previous NHS protest in Leicester, photo by Leicester Socialist Party

A previous NHS protest in Leicester, photo by Leicester Socialist Party

IN SOME towns celebrations for the NHS' 60th birthday were official events, but the day organised by the Keep our NHS Public group in Leicester was a much more grassroots affair, writes Sally Ruane, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Keep our NHS Public.

16 July 2008

spotAmbulances - calls doubled, no extra staff

I WROTE recently to Ben Bradshaw, minister in charge of ambulance services, calling for an increase in front-line emergency vehicles. I said that we have not had an increase in the number of front line staff or vehicles for over ten years...

16 July 2008

spotPolyclinic courts Branson

A NORTH London paper, Camden New Journal, reports that health chiefs at Camden Primary Care Trust (PCT) secretly 'courted' a private company, Branson's Virgin Healthcare, to run a supersize polyclinic at University College London Hospital...

16 July 2008

spotPost Office Leeds: Haranguing in the rain

LOCAL PEOPLE lobbied Hilary Benn, Labour MP for Leeds Central, over the threatened closure of three post offices in Beeston. Hilary Benn was harangued by local activists and residents for almost half an hour before he could get out of the rain, writes Manny Dominguez.

16 July 2008

spotGreenwich: Employers' hypocrisy

SHORTLY BEFORE many thousands of local government workers went on strike on 16-17 July, council workers in one London borough, Greenwich, condemned their council's and the Brown government's hypocrisy...

16 July 2008

spotBangor: Bus protest

THE WESTERN Mail recently reported that Arriva buses would be buying seven buses from rival local operator KMP and paying them to stop running some of their services. That shocked many people in north-west Wales, writes Iain Dalton.

16 July 2008

spotNotts campaign against the racist BNP grows

Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP campaign was set up about a year ago, after the election of a BNP councillor (subsequently expelled from the BNP) onto Broxtowe Borough Council in May 2007, writes Ben Robinson.

16 July 2008

spot'Dear Boris' - we will NOT be silenced!

The Rise festival has been an anti-racist festival for years, sponsored by London's trade unions. But this year, new Tory mayor Boris Johnson declared that the festival shall no longer have its anti-racist theme...

16 July 2008

spotNo to the BNP's attempt to divide Stoke's communities!

So far this year at least 19 people in London have lost their lives through knife crime, with 14,000 receiving hospital treatment nationally. Recently 400 people, mainly young, marched through north London to protest against the stabbing of 16-year old...

16 July 2008

spotAnti-racism stall in Wrexham

A Socialist Party stall with the slogans 'jobs, homes and services not racism' and 'youth against racism' was set up in a prominent shopping area in Wrexham town centre, writes Liz Cowell.

16 July 2008

spotGovernment attacks single parents

The socialist comment: The government's new welfare legislation is demanding that, by the year 2010, single parents who are claiming benefits will have to return to the workplace once their youngest child reaches seven years of age, writes Jane Harris, Winchester Socialist Party.

16 July 2008

spotLive Working or Die Fighting: How the working class went global

The recent revelation that child labour has been used in the production of clothes bound for high street chain Primark proves that Paul Mason's book, published last year, is an important work that will only become more relevant as globalisation causes more acute class conflict...

16 July 2008

spotChange the system! not the climate

THE WORLD faces the horrifying prospect of major climate change with its potential for catastrophic impact on food production and living conditions across the world, writes Ken Douglas.

16 July 2008

spotGlasgow East by-election Socialist change needed

THE GLASGOW East byelection on 24 July could have political effects well beyond which big business party candidate gets sent down to Westminster. The byelection follows the resignation, for family and health reasons, of Labour MP David Marshall...

16 July 2008

spotFeature: Price inflation - the sickness of capitalism

Bubbles: The cover of Socialism Today, May 2007, anticipated the crash. Cartoon by Suz

Bubbles: The cover of Socialism Today, May 2007, anticipated the crash. Cartoon by Suz

THE PRICES of food and fuel are soaring, as are household gas and electricity bills.
The main cause is the explosion of world oil, food and other commodity prices.
Yet Brown, Darling and other New Labour ministers are calling for "pay restraint"! But why should workers pay for inflation?
Lynn Walsh looks at the causes and consequences of this sickness of free market capitalism.

16 July 2008

spotMilitary threat to Iran stepped up

SPECULATION IS once again rife on whether Israel or the US will launch air strikes on Iran. The Middle East could be on the brink of horrifying events in the next period triggered by such action, writes Judy Beishon.

16 July 2008

spotGlobal finance crisis deepens

Dow Jones plunges

Dow Jones plunges

US banking bailout: THE REAL rate of inflation that workers in Britain face has hit 18.5%, according to the Daily Mirror, as the cost of food, fuel and household bills continue to rocket. Simultaneously with prices spiralling upwards, the economy is entering recession, writes Hannah Sell.

17 July 2008

spotUnison strike pictures

Pictures from the Unison strike of July 16-17 2008

21 July 2008

spotVote 'no' to Unite's new rule book

Members of Unite, the union formed through the merger of Amicus and the Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU), are currently being balloted on the proposed rules accepted by its joint executive council in April, writes Kevin Parslow, secretary, Unite branch 1/1228, personal capacity.

21 July 2008

spotHow can we defeat racism?

Meeting organised by Socialist Party Black & Asian group

Come to the discussion
Join our fight
Wednesday 23 July, At 7.30pm
Conway Hall , Red lion Square
Nearest Tube: Holborn
Speaker: Hugo Pierre, Socialist Party

22 July 2008

spotBuild further action after successful council strike

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison Local Government strike 16-17 July in London, photo Paul Mattsson


Editorial: The successful local government strike on 16 and 17 July in England, Wales and Northern Ireland involving unions Unison and Unite, was the biggest strike so far in opposition to the government's pay freeze...

22 July 2008

spotPunishing the jobless for being jobless

Work and pensions secretary, James Purnell, has announced a major attack on benefits claimants in his new welfare green paper. His claim that the changes will "transform lives" will be borne out, but disgracefully it will be in a transformation for for the worse...

22 July 2008

spotSay no to military attack on Iran

GORDON BROWN'S recent bellicose, anti-Iran speech in the Israeli Knesset is part of a ratcheting up of pressure which could lead to the nightmare scenario of an attack on Iran, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

22 July 2008

spotLondon bus drivers' protest

A London bus worker writes: Generally the public are alright. When they understand what bus workers face, they are on our side. Most bus workers do a six-day week to make ends meet.

22 July 2008

spotArgos workers strike against insulting pay offer

Argos workers in the Unite union on a 24-hour strike, photo Leicester Socialist Party

Argos workers in the Unite union on a 24-hour strike, photo Leicester Socialist Party


Reports: Basildon distribution plant: On 17 April Argos workers in the Unite union started a 24-hour strike against an insulting pay offer of 3.8%, and the employer's attempt to move them from weekly to monthly pay without any compensation...

22 July 2008

spotBankers' dirty tricks?

AFTER THE Office of Fair Trading criticised excessive penalty and overdraft charges that make banks over £8.3 billion yearly, the British Bankers Association, representing the major banks, threatened to introduce fees for current account services...

22 July 2008

spotStop The Gas Price Rip-Off

Household bills set to soar: MANY PEOPLE'S minds were recently jerked away from planning their summer holidays, into a cold and wintry future. The privatised gas and energy supplier Centrica predicted that average gas bills could rise from £600 to over £1,000 in 2010...

23 July 2008

spotPCS strikes

The strike action over pay organised by the PCS civil service union continues this week, with workers in the Identity and Passport Service on strike on 23-25 July...

23 July 2008

spotUsdaw election

Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing as a candidate for shopworkers' union Usdaw general secretary...

23 July 2008

spotPolitical impasse in the Kurdish region of Iraq

THE KURDS of northern Iraq saw the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the autonomy that was granted to them by the US-backed Iraqi government, as a path to achieve freedom and independence, writes Rozh Ahmad.

23 July 2008

spotPakistan: 50,000 textile workers strike

MORE THAN 250,000 power looms remained closed for four days in Pakistan's third largest city, Faisalabad, the hub of the country's textile industry, writes Khalid Bhatti, Trade Union Rights Campaign of Pakistan (TURCP), Faisalabad.

23 July 2008

spotCar taxes add to inflation misery

CHANCELLOR ALISTAIR Darling is postponing his proposed 2p in the pound fuel tax rise scheduled for October, writes Mark Pickersgill.

29 July 2008

spotBattle Heats up over Bristol Schools

Schools protest

31 July 2008

spotGlasgow East by-election: New Labour's support evaporates

LABOUR'S CAMPAIGN was a series of mistakes and blunders. The preferred Labour candidate pulled out at the last minute and their campaign launch was delayed for three days until they found a replacement...

31 July 2008

spotThe not so 'green' Beijing Olympics

THE 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been billed as the 'Green Olympics' by the Chinese regime, with its ambitious commitments to improve air and water quality in the Chinese capital, writes Vincent Kolo and Chen Lizhi, chinaworker.info.

31 July 2008

spotGestures to the low paid are not enough: Fight for a living wage

TGWU cleaners demonstrating against low pay, photo Molly Cooper

TGWU cleaners demonstrating against low pay, photo Molly Cooper

It's summertime and makin' a livin' ain't easy! Factors such as low pay, high living costs and a government unwilling to defend workers all contribute to this situation, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

31 July 2008

spotFeature: End the pay gap now

Based on their hourly rate in the UK in 2008, women who work full time earn 17% less than men on average. Jane James investigates.

31 July 2008

spotWhine and dine

More than a million Americans have lost their homes in the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, but no more whining...

31 July 2008

spotEDF - taking the rise

FOLLOWING CENTRICA'S huge price increase for its gas customers, yet another energy company - EDF - is ramping up its prices...

31 July 2008

spotStop the far-right

YOUNG SOCIALIST Party members and supporters of the Youth Against Racism campaign from across South Wales gathered in Swansea on 19 July to mobilise opposition to the BNP, expose their lies and campaign for a real solution to the difficulties faced by ordinary people in Brown's Britain, writes Ross Saunders, Swansea.

31 July 2008

spot'A Workers' MP on a Worker's Wage'

A memorial meeting dedicated to the memory of Terry Fields: Terry Fields sadly passed away in June. Firefighter and leading lay official of the Fire Brigades Union, from 1983 to 1992 Terry was Labour MP for Liverpool Broadgreen.

31 July 2008

spotCampaigners keep fighting to save local post offices

THE CAMPAIGN Against Post Office Closures public meeting, 22 July, was a big success. Local residents and campaigners in Beeston, Leeds, came together to discuss what we can do in light of the announcement...

31 July 2008

spotThe Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Andrew Lynch's radio adaptation of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists could be labelled as a reflection on how conditions for working-class people in Britain are better a century after the book was written by Robert Tressell, writes Bob Severn.

31 July 2008

spotPassport staff strike

Workers at the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) were out on a three-day strike from 23-25 July. Elaine Brunskill reports from the Durham office...

31 July 2008

spotLand registry in third pay walk out

On 18 July PCS members in Land Registry took part in our third walkout over pay and in support of our comrades in other PCS groups and other public-sector unions, writes The aims of our campaign are to:.

31 July 2008

spotPassport to profits

At the same time as Passport Service (IPS) staff are having to strike to defend their pay and conditions, senior civil servants are reported to be holding shares worth millions of pounds in a company that earns more than £100 million a year from government contracts, writes Elaine Brunskill.

31 July 2008

spotIn brief

Local government pay: After two very successful days of strike action in July, Unison and Unite's leadership have agreed to talks with the employer, in spite of no new pay offer being made...

31 July 2008

spotVoters reject Labour: Build a new workers' party

Grodon Brown meltdown. Cartoon by Suz

Grodon Brown meltdown. Cartoon by Suz

New Labour suffered an electoral disaster in the Glasgow East byelection on 24 July.
A 22% swing to the Scottish National Party (SNP) resulted in the overturn of a previous 13,500 Labour majority and the SNP won with a majority of just over 300.

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