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Archive for March 2014

3 March 2014

spotBarton Moss protesters say no to fracking

At Barton Moss, February 2014

IGas is over halfway through exploratory drilling for gas, and the protests continue

3 March 2014

spotTUSC campaigners cause stir at Labour rules change conference

Miliband being followed by TUSC supporters, 1.3.14, photo Paul Mattsson

TUSC supporters were outside Labour's 1st March conference as the Collins Review was voted on inside

3 March 2014

spotPolice spying ends lives - end it!

Legal workers, anti-racist campaigners, environmentalists and trade unionists attended a Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) meeting

3 March 2014

spotCalderdale and Huddersfield: People ready to defend A&Es

Calderdale and Greater Huddersfield NHS Trust has announced a public 'consultation' on the future of A&E provision in the area

5 March 2014

spotNeed for new mass workers' party is undeniable

TUSC candidate Lois Austin speaking outside the Labour Party special conference, 1.3.14

After a conference that lasted just two hours... it was gone! By adopting the Collins Review, Labour effectively ended any lingering pretence of an organised trade union presence in the party that the unions created over a century ago.

5 March 2014

spotPictures: Cleaners strike at London college

Outsourced cleaners working at SOAS college in London were on strike on 4 and 5 March 2014, photo I Pattison

Outsourced cleaners working at SOAS college in London were on strike on 4 and 5 March 2014, photo I Pattison

Outsourced cleaners working at SOAS college in London were on strike on 4 and 5 March in their battle for the same sick pay, holidays and pensions as staff employed directly by this part of London university

5 March 2014

spotThem & Us

Cuts kill: The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has accused Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson of 'having blood on his hands' following the death of a pensioner in Woolwich

5 March 2014

spotOppose the EDL in Worcester

The far-right, racist English Defence League is planning a rally in Worcester on 22 March. There will be a counter-mobilisation

5 March 2014

spotLetter of protest to the BBC

On 25 February the BBC's 6pm news bulletin referred to Militant, the Socialist's predecessor, in its item on PIE

5 March 2014

spotStriking to defend education services

Unite members working for the Attendance and Welfare Service in Lewisham have voted to take strike action in protest at a 50% staffing cut

5 March 2014

spotNigeria's battle for a mass workers' party

Book review: Over the weekend of 1-2 March, 74 people were killed in a terror bombing by Boko Haram insurgents in Africa's most populous country, Nigeria

5 March 2014

spotGovernment condemns millions to housing misery

Meanwhile fat cat landlords cream the cash: Since the global financial crash of 2007-8 the lack of affordable housing has become increasingly acute for 'the 99%', particularly shattering the lives of young people and the poor with a relentless cruelty

5 March 2014

spotNHS in crisis: Stop Hunt's hospital closure plans

Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt's decision to dissolve Mid Staffs Health Trust has taken a long time - but it comes as no shock

5 March 2014

spotFight the government's vicious sanctions regime

Experiencing the daily grind of poverty and fruitless job searches when you're out of work is very demoralising. But the Con-Dems go the extra mile

5 March 2014

spotLeeds council workers discuss cuts fightback

On 4 February Leeds Unison branch had an all-stewards meeting in response to our employers' cuts proposals.

5 March 2014

spotTrain drivers vote for action at Northern Rail

Depot drivers who are in the RMT at Heaton Depot, Newcastle and Neville Hill Depot, Leeds, working for Northern Rail, have voted by a massive majority, for strike action

5 March 2014

spotAction against vicious council cuts

It came as no surprise to campaigners and trade unionists in Hull that the Labour council passed a budget which will mean cuts of £48 million to services over the next two years, with a loss of up to 500 jobs

5 March 2014

spotUnion question time - Labour has no answers

I went to a recent Communication Worker's Union Question Time in Manchester. The panel included Michael Kane, newly elected Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Kevin Maguire from The Mirror

5 March 2014

spotFighting youth low pay (and security bullies)

On 1 March Socialist Party and Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners protested against zero-hour contracts, low pay and poor working conditions in Croydon

5 March 2014

spotUkraine crisis: Ruling elites foster division and conflict

At least 6,000 Russian troops have taken up positions throughout the Crimean peninsula, formally an autonomous republic of Ukraine

5 March 2014

spotNorthern Ireland rocked by 'on the runs' crisis

The past continues to haunt the present in Northern Ireland. In the last week of February a major crisis rocked the Northern Ireland Executive and almost brought it crashing down

5 March 2014

spotPay us a living wage now!

The Low Pay Commission recommends a 3% minimum wage increase from 1 October. This is a pathetic 19p an hour more on an 8-hour shift

5 March 2014

spotThe miners' strike changed women's lives

Miners and their families during the 1984-5 strike, photo D Pearson

International Women's Day: This year is the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miners’ strike. An important feature of the strike was the involvement of tens of thousands of women in a huge support network. Sarah Wrack spoke to Mary Jackson, who was involved in the strike in Yorkshire.

6 March 2014

spotSolidarity with Doncaster care strikers

Doncaster Care UK workers striking in March 2014, photo A Tice

Doncaster Care UK workers striking in March 2014, photo A Tice

"Historic is an over-used word" said Unison officer Jim Bell, "but it really is historic that Care UK workers are striking 30 years on from the miners' strike"

6 March 2014

spotChris Baugh re-elected as PCS assistant general secretary

The PCS reports that at the close of nominations today Chris Baugh is the successful candidate in the election for assistant general secretary of the union

7 March 2014

spotPolice spy inquiry must not be whitewash

Under enormous public pressure, the government has announced an inquiry into police spying and corruption

11 March 2014

spotBob Crow - A great fighter for the working class

Bob Crow speaking at the NSSN's lobby of the TUC, 24.4.13 , photo N Cafferky

Bob Crow speaking at the NSSN's lobby of the TUC, 24.4.13 , photo N Cafferky

The Socialist Party is shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union - an uncompromising fighter for the working class and a champion of many important causes

13 March 2014

spotAppeal from SPOT - Solidarity with People of Turkey

Berkin Elvan, a child who was hit on his head with a gas canister thrown by the police during the Gezi uprising in Turkey last summer passed away on Tuesday

13 March 2014

spotWorkplace news in brief

Knowsley College: Unison members in Knowsley Community College took further strike action on 6 March, in support of their sacked senior steward Barry Dunne

13 March 2014

spotCampaigning on International Women's Day

Campaigning in Leicester on International Women's Day, 8 March 2014, photo Hannah

Campaigning in Leicester on International Women's Day, 8 March 2014, photo Hannah

I am a single mother on a low wage, living in a village and relying on expensive public transport with no buses after 6pm or on Sundays

13 March 2014

spotTurkey solidarity protest

1,000 people from the Turkish and Kurdish communities in London gathered in Trafalgar square on 11 March before spontaneously marching to parliament

13 March 2014

spotNHS - under attack from private vultures

The government has launched its biggest single privatisation of NHS services so far by inviting private companies to bid for £1.2 billion worth of contracts to provide frontline cancer treatment in district hospitals and care for the terminally ill across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

13 March 2014

spotThem & Us

Poverty safari: The idle rich used to go on big game safaris. Now it seems that 'poverty safaris' are all the rage

13 March 2014

spotSecond Maltby councillor for TUSC

Labour can't even offer a candidate: Almost a year to the day after the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Joe Robinson won a town council seat in the ex-mining town of Maltby, in South Yorkshire, TUSC has won a second seat, this time in Maltby East

13 March 2014

spotLawyers walk out to defend legal aid

It is rare, if it happens at all, that those of us on the left attend protests and demonstrations with Tory party grandees among the speakers...

13 March 2014

spotLabour council removes trade union facilities

On 1 April Carmarthenshire Labour-led council will be removing the trade union secondments for Unison, GMB and Unite

13 March 2014

spotUnison higher education - fighting leadership needed

Unison's Higher Education (HE) conference has, over recent years, been a small but significant opportunity to observe the growth of the mood to fight back against austerity attacks in the HE sector

13 March 2014

spotProbation workers to strike again

Around 400 members of the probation workers' union Napo met in Birmingham last week where a second national strike in our campaign to defeat privatisation was announced

13 March 2014

spotAnti-fracking campaign steps up in Lancashire

On 9 March hundreds of people marched through Manchester to protest against the plans for thousands of oil and gas wells throughout Lancashire

13 March 2014

spotThe horror that was World War One

House clearing recently, I found a will written by hand by my grandfather dated 28 June 1916, three days before the Battle of the Somme, writes Pete Watson.

13 March 2014

spotPCS: Building a fighting union leadership

Chris Baugh has recently been re-elected as assistant general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS). He has written the following letter to PCS Left Unity members

13 March 2014

spotNUT: All out to build strike on 26 March

This afternoon's Special Meeting of the NUT Executive confirmed that the strike on 26 March is definitely going ahead

13 March 2014

spotStop the destruction of care in Britain

Striking Doncaster Care UK workers on the march, 2014, photo A Tice

The underfunding of social care and the cuts in pay and conditions of care workers as a consequence of the government's austerity measures is a national scandal

13 March 2014

spotPreparing for a mighty upsurge in class struggle

photo Senan

On 8-10 March the Socialist Party held its annual national congress in Clacton. Around 300 delegates and visitors attended the very successful event

13 March 2014

spotStop cuts and police repression in Tottenham!

The trial is currently taking place of Nicky Jacobs, one of those charged with the murder of PC Blakelock during the Broadwater Farm riots in 1985

14 March 2014

spotTony Benn: steadfast in speaking out for socialism

Tony Benn

Tony Benn

In one week, the labour movement has suffered two big blows with the deaths of trade union left leader Bob Crow and now of Tony Benn. Benn emerged as the major figure of the Labour left in the 1970s, supporting nationalisation and workers' control of industry

17 March 2014

spot'Poisonous infiltrators' in Labour Party were from the Right

Andrew Rawnsley begins his piece on Tony Benn, as many have done, by referring to Benn's latter day status as 'national treasure'

17 March 2014

spotThe trade unions and the socialist case for Scottish independence

John McInally, vice-president of the PCS union, argues (in a personal capacity) that socialists should campaign for a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum but on the basis of a distinct, independent, working class position

19 March 2014

spotSolidarity with teachers' strike

St. Helens NUT teachers on strike, 27 June 2013, photo Tanya Rybko

The national NUT strike on 26 March is definitely on! Now every NUT Association and school rep must go all out to get the biggest possible turnout

19 March 2014

spotSmash the pay freeze

 Unison NHS workers on strike against huge cuts in the Mid-Yorkshire Trust hospitals , photo Iain Dalton

Organise for strike action now: Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt has declared war on NHS workers. He has decided not to award a 1% ‘cost of living’ pay rise to around half of NHS England staff this year. Next year, a similar number will again be denied the ‘cost of living’ rise

19 March 2014

spotNo to the bosses' EU - Yes to an independent socialist alternative

The question of a referendum over Britain's membership of the European Union is problematic for all the mainstream capitalist parties, writes Hannah Sell

19 March 2014

spotThem & Us

Equally beneficial: Recently released research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), shows that the ever-greater concentration of wealth and income has hindered economic growth

19 March 2014

spot2014 Budget: More misery for the majority

For the fifth year in a row the budget delivered by multi-millionaire chancellor George Osborne has meted out misery for the majority in Britain

19 March 2014

spotOsborne's more cuts budget

The 'debate' in the run up to Tory Chancellor Osborne's Budget statement missed the point. It should have been about whether the government's austerity was really necessary

19 March 2014

spotOxfam report: A tale of capitalist inequality

Oxfam has reported that, in Britain, five super-rich families own more wealth than the poorest 20% of the population

19 March 2014

spotCrimea referendum will not deliver peace and stability

Crimea's 16 March referendum saw an overwhelming majority vote in favour of joining Russia. According to the claimed official result, 96.77% voted 'for' integration and turnout was 83.1%

19 March 2014

spotSouth Africa: WASP registers for the 2014 elections

The Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) in South Africa has registered for this year's elections to the national assembly and for the provincial legislatures of North West, Limpopo and Gauteng

19 March 2014

spotActivists in the US demand $15 Now!

On 15 March a national day of action took place across the US as part of the 15 Now campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage

19 March 2014

spotEaling hospital workers fight miserly Medirest

Striking GMB pickets were again out in force on 17 March. The workers at Ealing Hospital in west London were on a seven-day strike against poverty pay

19 March 2014

spotWorkplace news in brief

Blacklisting: The report into blacklisting from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee was published on 14 March. The report calls for blacklisting firms to be banned from publicly funded contracts

19 March 2014

spotElection Appeal: Put your money where the struggle is!

At its recent national congress the Socialist Party launched an appeal to raise £15,000 to help finance our 2014 election campaigns

19 March 2014

spotGet your May Day Greetings in

Over recent years we have had brilliant May Day displays in the Socialist. Let's aim to repeat that success in 2014

19 March 2014

spotPensioner jailed for non-payment

Ross Longhurst of Nottingham, aged 72 and a longstanding campaigner, has been jailed for 28 days for not paying his council tax

19 March 2014

spotTUSC campaigning in Derby

A TUSC stall in Derby with the new banner

19 March 2014

spotObituary: Stan Pearce, a Militant miner

I heard the sad news that Stan Pearce has died. In a week that commemorated the 30th anniversary of the strike, Stan's passing ranks with that of Bob Crow and Tony Benn for a whole generation of Marxist miners

19 March 2014

spotReview: Call the Midwife

The third series of the BBC's Call the Midwife finished recently. The programme is based on the real life memoirs of Jennifer Worth (formerly Lee) who worked as a midwife in London's east end in the 1950s

19 March 2014

spotGenetic Modification: A contribution to the debate

The recent article in the Socialist issue 800 on genetic modification (GM) was an excellent antidote to the plethora of reactionary anti-science nonsense which prevails in a lot of media today

19 March 2014

spotCare workers determined to win

Doncaster Care UK workers striking in March 2014, photo A Tice

Care UK workers began their second seven-day strike on Wednesday 19 March

19 March 2014

spotFight for real jobs for young people

Sick of Your Boss? Youth Fight for Jobs campaigning, photo Nancy Taaffe

Sick of Your Boss? Youth Fight for Jobs campaigning, photo Nancy Taaffe

Join the day of action on 29 March

19 March 2014

spotUnite to end racism and cuts

Anti-EDL demonstration in Walthamstow 1 September 2012, photo P Mason

On Saturday 22 March, as part of the UN's International Anti-Racism Day, the TUC has coordinated marches in London, Cardiff and Glasgow

19 March 2014

spotAfter Bob Crow and Tony Benn: We fight on!

Bob Crow on RMT lobby against privatisation on the railways, photo Paul Mattsson

A deluge of tributes followed the sad and shocking death of Bob Crow, elected leader of the RMT trade union. He was known and respected because the RMT is to the forefront of militant action

21 March 2014

spotNew leaflet: UKIP - Just another establishment party

Vote TUSC in the local elections and No2EU in the European elections: See http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/txt/316.pdf

24 March 2014

spotMourn the loss, fight for the future

Socialism Today issue 177

A spectre is haunting capitalist commentators, right-wing new Labour and their hangers-on, following the deaths of Bob Crow and Tony Benn. Militant - seemingly long buried according to these very same sources - now haunts them

26 March 2014

spotBritish Perspectives 2014

1. This document should be read in conjunction with the 'Thesis for the World Situation' agreed at the 2013 meeting of the International Executive Committee and circulated for discussion at our national

26 March 2014

spotEconomy

9. At root the growing radicalisation that is developing is a reflection of capitalism's continuing inability find a way out of the crisis. The hopes of the capitalists worldwide, that their system would

26 March 2014

spotIndustrial struggle

20. The savage attacks required to achieve this will provoke mass opposition from the working class. However, the failure of the trade union leaders to lead the struggle against austerity can mean that

26 March 2014

spotAn array of flashpoints

40. Even while the blockage at the top seems immovable, the working class can find ways round it. Explosions can take place on all kinds of issues, sometimes of a seemingly secondary character, as workers

26 March 2014

spotProspects for the general election

61. The timing of the general election is not certain. One of David Cameron's first acts on coming to power was to institute undemocratic arrangements for five-year fixed parliamentary terms, providing

26 March 2014

spotMass workers' party

50. Despite Labour's role in power at local level, the majority of trade union leaders encourage their members to cling to the hope that a Labour government will come to their rescue - despite all evidence

26 March 2014

spotScottish independence and the national question

67. If Scotland was to vote for independence it would be a blow to British capitalism in general, and the Con-Dem government in particular. It would introduce even more instability into the situation

26 March 2014

spotEurope and UKIP

70. Opinion polls vary on attitudes to the EU. Some in the last six months have given a majority to leaving the EU, while the most recent puts the support for leaving at 28%, with another 38% wanting to

26 March 2014

spotEurope, the Tories and a referendum

71. Only the weakness of the opposition has acted as a cover for the extreme weakness of the coalition, including of its major party. The humiliating defeat of Cameron over Syria gave a glimpse of what

26 March 2014

spotBeyond the general election

75. The undermining of the social base of all capitalist parties is a feature of the post-Stalinist world, and is accelerating in the age of austerity. The Tories fear that their membership has fallen

26 March 2014

spotWorkplace news in brief

HCA strike: Over 68% of Unite members at the Homes and Communities Agency voted for strike action over the divisive and unfair way that the Agency has chosen to allocate pay

26 March 2014

spotIt's the system that's ill

Depressed? Anxious? Who wouldn't be, faced with frozen wages, job losses, benefit cuts, rocketing energy prices, etc? One in three people will experience mental health issues over a lifetime. And as austerity

26 March 2014

spot'Optimistic' Bluebirds protest

On 22 March 3,000 Cardiff City fans protested before Cardiff played Liverpool, demanding a return to the club's blue kit and original crest and an end to billionaire Vincent Tan's undemocratic rule, writes Steffan Kitka Bateman, Cardiff Socialist Party.

26 March 2014

spotMarching against racism

Thousands of campaigners marched in London on UN anti-racism day. Socialist Party members called for workers' unity against racism and austerity

26 March 2014

spotMay Day greetings with the Socialist

Over the last years we have had brilliant May Day displays in the Socialist

26 March 2014

spotAdventures in bedroom tax land

As we are coming up to the first anniversary of the introduction of the bedroom tax I thought it would be a good time to look at my year. I have not made any of this up, writes Karen Fletcher, Barnsley.

26 March 2014

spotBristol council: Voting for cuts, voting for careers

Bristol council minutes show that in 2013 only one Labour councillor opposed the cuts budget. They don't explain that he did so accidentally, by pressing the wrong electronic button, writes Robin Clapp.

26 March 2014

spotKilled asylum seeker - victim of racism and privatisation

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced that, nearly four years after the death of Jimmy Mubenga, three guards will now face manslaughter charges, writes Becci Heagney.

26 March 2014

spotPensions: Osborne's 'counter-revolution'

The right-wing media has been falling over itself to heap praise on George Osborne's "pension revolution". This follows the Chancellor's relaxation of rules regarding private pensions

26 March 2014

spotThem & Us

David's den (number ten): Tory chairman and housing minister Grant Shapps has defended his party's patronising 'bingo and beer' poster, which was distributed immediately after the Budget

26 March 2014

spotJobmatch: yet another fiasco of privatisation

In the two years since its introduction, the Universal Jobmatch website has been riddled with problems

26 March 2014

spotLeeds protest: stop the student loan sell-off

On budget day 25 students came to protest the privatisation of the Student Loan Company at Leeds University

26 March 2014

spotYoung people: alienated, not apathetic

In the last general election, less than half of 18-24 year olds voted and recent research from the Office of National Statistics showed only 31% of young people aged 16-24 are "fairly" or "very" interested in politics

26 March 2014

spotFight for a £10 an hour minimum wage

Under the Con-Dem government, households at every income level have had a fall in living standards, declared the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

26 March 2014

spotTurkey: new wave of protests

Corruption and police violence exposed: In the run-up to Turkey's local elections on 30 March, tensions are rising. The way in which Prime Minister Erdogan is clinging on to power regardless of the cost is causing outrage

26 March 2014

spotDefaults reveal student debt madness

Students on the NUS national demonstration on 12 November 2012 against the government attacks on university education, photo Paul Mattsson

Universities minister David Willetts has been forced to admit that student debt defaults are currently at about 45%

26 March 2014

spotTeachers must fight on to stop Gove

Education secretary Michael Gove still wants to cut teachers' pay, pensions and conditions and our children's education. He is still refusing to hold any meaningful talks

26 March 2014

spotDoncaster care workers determined to win

Over 100 Doncaster Care UK workers, members of Unison, started their second seven-day strike on 19 March

26 March 2014

spotA socialist alternative to the austerity parties

TUSC national chair, former MP and Coventry TUSC candidate Dave Nellist  photo Paul Mattsson

Socialists in Coventry are preparing to contest every seat in the May council elections

26 March 2014

spotThe great miners' strike 1984-85

Miners and their families, photo D Pearson

As part of a series of articles celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1984 miners' strike, we have two reminiscences by ex-miners who were among the 500 miners who joined the Militant, the forerunner of the Socialist Party

26 March 2014

spotStriking to defend education

Wednesday's strike by NUT members came not a moment too soon in responding to Gove's attacks

26 March 2014

spotNo to junk jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs protesting outside Sports Direct against zero-hour contracts on 3 August 2013, photo Ian Pattison

Pay us a minimum £10 an hour: #fastfoodrights #M29 Youth Fight For Jobs is teaming up with the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union as part of the Fast Food Rights coalition, to help workers get organised to fight back. On Saturday 29 March, a national day of action will see country-wide protests

26 March 2014

spotProbation workers' action can defeat privatisation

Napo pickets in Canterbury, 5.11.13, photo Dave Semple

Probation workers in Napo are preparing for a second national strike against privatisation

28 March 2014

spotFast Food Rights campaign protests: 29th March

Protests are taking place across the country tomorrow as part of the 'fast food rights' campaign

31 March 2014

spotProbation officers walk out

As probation officers walked out in Sheffield, one commented that they were striking to be unattractive to private vultures

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