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Archive for November 2015

1 November 2015

spotThe socialist case for nationalisation of the steel industry

Whoops and cheers greeted Jeremy Corbyn's visit to Scunthorpe

3 November 2015

spotMeet the Militants!

The shift in the political landscape marked by Jeremy Corbyn's election to Labour leader will be central to discussions at Socialism 2015, an event organised by the Socialist Party, formerly Militant.

3 November 2015

spotRally against the Trade Union Bill

Thousands of trade unionists came to London yesterday to lobby their MPs as part of the TUC rally against the Trade Union Bill

3 November 2015

spotDetermined DLR strikers to "fight all the way"

The Docklands Light Railway has been shut down for 48 hours

3 November 2015

spotJeremy Corbyn comes to Leeds university

Several hundred students crammed into the Great Hall to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak

4 November 2015

spotTory bid to turn co-op tenants against one another

The government's Housing and Planning Bill is the greatest ever threat to the UK's 836 housing cooperatives and their 196,000 homes.

4 November 2015

spotUS: #blacklivesmatter movement challenges racism

The #blacklivesmatter movement (BLM) has overtaken the traditional 'civil rights' campaigners, seen as too close to corporate interests.

4 November 2015

spotTurkey: Erdogan's victory based on fear and intimidation

The recent Turkish election took place against a backcloth of deepening economic and political insecurity in the country - a situation engineered by the ruling class.

4 November 2015

spotUnions must capitalise on mass anger at austerity and anti-union laws

Cameron and Co are rushing their anti-union legislation through parliament ahead of the next wave of vicious cuts that would see £12 billion cut from welfare and a further £20 billion slashed from public services.

4 November 2015

spotStruggle for solidarity with refugees must be anti-austerity

Under huge pressure Cameron has agreed to take in 20,000 refugees.

4 November 2015

spotThe Socialist: A fighting antidote to the mainstream media's lies

We are not a paper like any other. Our journalists are Socialist Party members and supporters: workers, trade unionists, young people, community campaigners

4 November 2015

spot£10 an hour now!

The Trades Union Congress reports that nearly six million workers in the UK earn less than the voluntary 'living wage'.

4 November 2015

spotLong hours ruining health without lifting productivity

Studies now show that working long hours doesn't just damage your health - it doesn't even get more done.

4 November 2015

spotWhat we saw

Doctor Who argues against imperialist air strikes - and wins socialist support in Wales.

4 November 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Pharmaceutical profiteering, unemployment benefit decreases versus bosses idling on Twitter.

4 November 2015

spotWrong: Owen Jones tells Labour "abandon anti-austerity"

Owen Jones is completely wrong to write in the Guardian that it's time to "abandon anti-austerity".

4 November 2015

spotCycle cheat Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying

The Program is a biographical drama about Lance Armstrong, the disgraced former professional cyclist - and the efforts of investigative journalist David Walsh to expose him.

4 November 2015

spotFire service cuts put people at risk

At a recent Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service review consultation meeting firefighters and ex-firefighters in attendance were initially prevented from speaking.

4 November 2015

spotSocialist Party joins campaign against NHS bullying

Socialist Party members have joined others in forming a group in Worcestershire called 'Betrayed by Their Trust', to document reported cases of bullying in the NHS.

4 November 2015

spotSuper Southampton fighting fund campaign

Southampton Socialist Party branch raised over £1,000 for the fighting fund between July and September to smash our quarterly target. The majority came from public stalls.

4 November 2015

spotStrike together to Kill the Bill

Action gets results: The trade union bill being rushed through Parliament aims at removing any effective opposition to the Tories' austerity agenda.

4 November 2015

spotThe Socialist campaign: buy it, sell it - read it, write it

For just £1, a fraction of the cost of a pint or cup of coffee, you can get a paper unlike any other. And many people are willing to donate a lot more to support a workers' paper.

4 November 2015

spotInternational news in brief

Short stories on workers' struggles around the world. Kshama Sawant's re-election campaign in the US, Russia enters Syrian quagmire, Polish elections.

4 November 2015

spotWhere did the unions' money go?

Labour Party elections: Over £440,000 was donated by trade unions to candidates in this summer's internal Labour Party elections, according to the official figures published by the Electoral Commission.

4 November 2015

spotUnison general secretary election - vote Roger Bannister

Vote Roger Bannister for a flexible political fund that works for members.

4 November 2015

spotLondon Underground rep targeted for trade union activity

Glen Hart, RMT activist and a station supervisor on the London Underground Northern Line, is facing disciplinary action allegedly for not being deferential enough to a manager.

4 November 2015

spotSolidarity action for victimised Unison rep

Unison activist Sandy Nicoll was suspended on 28 October by School of Oriental and African Studies management which led to an unofficial walkout by staff and students.

4 November 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. Strike at Barnet council, strike planned at secure hospital, strike ballot at Manchester University.

4 November 2015

spotThe 'tampon tax' is a tax on being a woman

An argument over whether tampons are a 'luxury item' seems ridiculous. The tampon tax is nothing less than a tax on being a woman.

4 November 2015

spotTransgender woman locked up in male prison

Tara Hudson, a transgender woman, was locked up in an all-male prison after her conviction for assault.

5 November 2015

spotKshama Sawant re-elected - Seattle's political revolution continues

Socialist Alternative and Kshama Sawant have achieved another momentus victory in Seattle!

5 November 2015

spotJohannesburg university struggle - solidarity needed

The Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) in South Africa is appealing for letters of protest to be sent to the management of the University of Johannesburg (UJ)

10 November 2015

spotStrike in colleges over pay

On 10 November UCU members in FE in England took action

10 November 2015

spotSocialism 2015: Socialist ideas back on the agenda

Socialism 2015, photo by Senan

Up to 1,000 working class fighters, socialists, trade union militants and young people discussed and debated, hammering out clarification on analysis and tussling with questions of tactics and tasks in 38 workshops and forums and in two massive rallies

11 November 2015

spotUSA: Kshama Sawant re-elected

Seattle's political revolution continues: At the time of writing, 55.5% of voters (15,054) in Seattle's District 3 have chosen Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative (US co-thinkers of the Socialist Party) to serve another four years on the city council.

11 November 2015

spotJeremy Corbyn visits Leeds Uni

While the right to vote is important, what you do with it is more so. Corbyn understood this far more than the Blairite Labour Students group who invited him, and indeed made it the focus of his speech.

11 November 2015

spotSave steel jobs

Campaign for socialist nationalisation: Steelworkers are already on short time working and there is limited time. But still time exists for the unions to mobilise mass support from the working class to bring pressure on the Scottish government.

11 November 2015

spotCan biomass energy be part of a socialist plan of production?

A reader criticised the idea of using 'biomass' as part of green, socialist energy production. We publish this letter, along with a reply.

11 November 2015

spotUnions should keep independence to lead fight to defend Corbyn

The civil war in Labour took a further step into the open when Labour's shadow defence spokesperson supported an outrageous attack on Jeremy Corbyn by a top general.

11 November 2015

spotSouthampton council: cutters or Corbynistas?

Southampton council meets on 18 November in the next round of council budget consultations. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters will be lobbying the council to defend jobs and services and back Jeremy Corbyn's call to stop cuts.

11 November 2015

spotFight now on to save disabled respite centre

Gateshead's Labour council plans the closure of Grove House, a respite centre for mentally and physically disabled children between eight and 18 years of age, among the most vulnerable members of society.

11 November 2015

spotBuyers queue overnight for 'affordable' London homes

The news broke recently that people were queuing overnight to buy studio flats in far-west London for £200,000. Very few Londoners will have blinked an eye. Because this grim scenario is becoming the norm.

11 November 2015

spotWhat we saw

Victoria Coren Mitchell calls for a "proper revolution" and Jeremy Corbyn backs Arsenal FC workers' living wage campaign.

11 November 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Benefit sanctions versus corporate welfare.

11 November 2015

spotUK trade props up Kazakh dictatorship

Featured letter - 'British values': Following the much-publicised and criticised recent visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the British government is greeting Kazakhstan's leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. He is a dictator in all but name.

11 November 2015

spotHull council in aggressive attack on trade unions

Trade unionists representing the Hull council workforce tried to move a resolution condemning Labour councillors halving our facility time. The officers of the Labour Party branch ruled the resolution out of order, despite the fact that North Hull branch had discussed and passed the same resolution a week earlier!

11 November 2015

spotHuge support for socialist in Northern Ireland union election

The last six weeks have seen one of the most high profile trade union elections in Northern Ireland for decades. The election was for general secretary of public sector union Nipsa, the largest union in Northern Ireland.

11 November 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. College and uni lecturers lead the fightback.

11 November 2015

spotGovernment departments agree to hack budgets

Four essential government departments have signed up to cuts of around 30% over the next four years.

11 November 2015

spotFury as India's leader Modi plans to visit Britain

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, a religious sectarian responsible for brutal austerity, will visit Britain from 12 to 14 November.

11 November 2015

spotSchool kids must walk hands behind backs says head

Students at one London primary school are being forced to march with their hands behind their backs.

11 November 2015

spotRevolutionary themes in games

Comment - Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Numerous themes of revolution and mass struggles in recent entertainment show the politically volatile nature of the period we are living in.

11 November 2015

spotTories open the door to further rises in tuition fees

Student demo on 4.11.15, photo John Dickens

The government is planning to remove the £9,000 fee cap

11 November 2015

spotStep up the fight for trade union rights

The Tories' anti-trade union bill could be law as early as January or even December.

11 November 2015

spotBail out the NHS

Marching for the NHS in Bolsover, August 2014, photo Elaine Evans

£4 billion funding black hole: NHS hospitals may run out of money next year and be unable to pay their staff.

11 November 2015

spotWorkers dig in for fight over job threat

Up to 290 JCB permanent shop floor workers could be made redundant

11 November 2015

spotSocialist policies get results!

Following an electrifying and historic campaign Kshama Sawant, Seattle's first socialist city council member, was re-elected on 3 November.

11 November 2015

spotCWU rep sacked

Clive Walder, a long-standing Socialist Party member in the CWU had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected by British Telecom on 9 November, confirming his sacking after 38 years of service.

11 November 2015

spotTrade union action needed to fight for steel jobs

1,000 steelworkers and supporters marched

12 November 2015

spotLabour Party in 1980s Liverpool

A letter in the Guardian by Tony Mulhearn

14 November 2015

spotHorror in Paris

Sickening violence has struck Paris once more. Over 120 dead and dozens of injured in places where workers and young people had gathered

17 November 2015

spotFire cuts cost lives

Leicester is facing some of the most severe fire service cuts in the country

18 November 2015

spotTories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers

Chancellor George Osborne is hailing his £13 billion sell-off of Northern Rock mortgages as a success. But overall, the taxpayer has made a big net loss on sales of public assets.

18 November 2015

spotAthletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

In a dramatic move, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF - the world's governing sports body) has provisionally suspended the Russian athletics federation. This follows a damning report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accusing the Russians of "state-sponsored doping".

18 November 2015

spotCouncils won't spend a penny

A Labour councillor responsible for closing all his area's public toilets has been caught relieving himself on the street.

18 November 2015

spotThousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism

Thousands gathered outside 10 Downing Street on 12 November to protest against the visit of Narendra Modi, prime minister of India.

18 November 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Over 100,000 children in the UK will be homeless this Christmas. Meanwhile, the number of 'property millionaires' has doubled since 2012.

18 November 2015

spotAll NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike

Featured letter - health service: My trust boasts of £36 million of "savings" last year and has a target of £20 million this year. But what has this meant in practice?

18 November 2015

spotRobert Tressell's characters are all too real to me

Comment - The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists: I have only been a member for a year, and have recently read Robert Tressell's classic socialist novel. I was recommended the title as I am also a decorator like the characters in the book.

18 November 2015

spotHow to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

Jeremy Corbyn continues to face savage and relentless attacks from the capitalist establishment and also from within Labour. The latest example has been scurrilous attacks by the Murdoch-owned Sky News website, which ran a 'Jihadi Jez' headline following the horrendous terrorist attacks in Paris.

18 November 2015

spotGaining momentum in Lewisham

Momentum in Lewisham could play an important role in coordinating this work inside and outside the Labour Party so that a fighting alternative to austerity is built in Lewisham and nationally.

18 November 2015

spotLabour bans union activist

London bus driver and Unite branch secretary Joanne Harris has been barred membership of the Labour Party for five years.

18 November 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. Secure hospital strike, sacked university rep reinstated, defend victimised CWU reps.

18 November 2015

spotA day in the life of a Game retail worker

"Zero-hour contract means I struggle to make my rent": I wish I could describe a standard working day but being on a zero-hour contract, days are anything but standard.

18 November 2015

spotPro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members

The shop workers' union Usdaw's Eastern divisional conference on 14 and 15 November took place against the backdrop of Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader and the changed situation since.

18 November 2015

spotReinstate sacked CWU reps

As reported in the Socialist last week, Clive Walder, a longstanding Socialist Party member in the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected. Also John Vasey, a CWU postal rep, has been sacked on what his work colleagues recognise as stitched up charges.

18 November 2015

spotSupport for Roger Bannister in Unison election

There has been widespread support for Roger Bannister in his campaign to be elected Unison general secretary, with Unison members leafleting workplaces and announcing on social media why they have voted for him.

18 November 2015

spotHistoric London bus drivers' agreement

London bus drivers have won a city wide collective agreement for the first time since privatisation over 20 years ago. This had unanimous support from trade union reps and convenors.

18 November 2015

spotWhy I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"

I have been a socialist ever since the day in 1984, when nine years old, I recall my father swearing about Maggie Thatcher during news coverage of the miners' strike.

18 November 2015

spotStrike to save Lambeth libraries

Labour controlled Lambeth Council in South London plans to devastate library services in the borough. It plans to close down five of its ten libraries in order to sell them off to private gym companies. Lambeth's residents are not prepared to put up with this attack.

18 November 2015

spotAnger at care home closure

A facility called Oakdene, used by adults with learning difficulties, is in need of refurbishment. But the council is considering finding a new place for them by closing an elderly care home and moving the facility there instead!

18 November 2015

spotWe can defeat the Tory cuts!

Cutting Cameron complains to local council: As council budget proposals for next year see the light of day, opposition to further cuts is shaking the ground beneath the sheltered gardens of West Oxfordshire MP, David Cameron. He was forced to write a letter to the council criticising cuts!

18 November 2015

spotHow can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?

Report - 'Labour Young Socialists': The raging civil war within Labour formed the backdrop to the 'Labour Young Socialists' rally on 11 November. But the approach of the meeting's organisers failed to offer a way forward.

18 November 2015

spotMy struggle for an income I can live on

"Please Sir, can I have a job?": I have multiple disabilities that include mobility post-traumatic stress disorder and dyslexia.

18 November 2015

spotParis terror attacks

Only workers' unity can end terrorism, division and war: The atrocities committed by Isis in Paris last Friday have stunned and appalled people anew. Young people out enjoying themselves on a Friday night were particularly hit.

18 November 2015

spotThe end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?

The cat is out of the bag. As the Financial Times reported: "Chancellor George Osborne is considering a radical multibillion-pound plan to privatise the government's stake in housing associations".

18 November 2015

spotJunior doctors: first strikes in 40 years

The British Medical Association has announced three strike days - the first since 1975. A 24-hour strike with emergency cover from 8am on 1 December will precede all-out strikes between 8am and 5pm on 8 and 16 December.

18 November 2015

spotHow to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity

Jeremy Corbyn continues to face savage and relentless attacks from the capitalist establishment and also from within Labour.

25 November 2015

spotFirefighters rally to defend pay and conditions

Firefighters demonstrated outside a Fire Service Authority meeting

25 November 2015

spotFire cuts cost lives

Leicester is facing some of the most severe cuts to the fire service in the country.

25 November 2015

spotSave Dorothy Lucy centre

Protesters demanded a rethink on the threatened closure of four respite and day care centres in Kent. £80 million of cuts are coming and there has been an online consultation requesting suggestions on what to cut!

25 November 2015

spotSteelworkers demand government action to Save Our Steel

Hundreds of steelworkers from across all the steelmaking heartlands of Britain - Wales, Scotland and the north of England - took to the streets of Sheffield on 21 November to demand government action to save the steel industry.

25 November 2015

spotSolidarity with sacked BT worker

Clive Walder, a longstanding Socialist Party member in the Communication Workers' Union, has had an appeal against unfair dismissal rejected. This is a message of solidarity to Clive from William.

25 November 2015

spotProtest demands reinstatement of John Vasey

Supporters of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) protested on 23 November outside the final appeal hearing of sacked CWU postal union rep John Vasey.

25 November 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. Derbyshire college strikes, BBC cuts protest, junior doctors' ballot results.

25 November 2015

spotPolice finally own up to spies' relationships with target women

The Metropolitan Police have finally apologised to seven women who undercover officers had intimate relationships with under false pretences.

25 November 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Flatshares v Bond lairs, Tory baron v retail workers, budget cuts v corporate handouts.

25 November 2015

spotTory MP made me sick with tax credit cut lies

Featured letter - 'Tory trash': I have spoken to other members of my Socialist Party branch and they agree that my recent efforts to oppose the tax credit cuts could do with some exposure in our paper.

25 November 2015

spotTransgender access to healthcare is worsened by cuts

NHS staff, including one trust chief executive, called in September for a full debate on access to healthcare for transgender people. Discussion is a step forward - but nowhere near enough.

25 November 2015

spotDictatorship's methods still reign in 'democratic' Chile

Police torture 15-year-old socialist: The legacy of that brutal dictatorship continues. While formally extinct, the "transition" to so-called democracy left intact the dictatorship's state machine - and even constitution!

25 November 2015

spotMyanmar: electoral defeat for the military, renewed class struggle ahead

International capitalism will exert huge pressure to keep Myanmar safe for their system. Pro-democracy election winner Aung San Suu Kyi gives no reason to believe she will not oblige.

25 November 2015

spotStop the Tories' war on Syria

Bombing won't halt Isis terrorism: The Tory government is beating ever louder its war drums, while the mass media churns out pro-war propaganda and presses Labour to follow suit.

25 November 2015

spotAutumn statement: bonanza for bosses, pain for us

As we go to press, Tory Chancellor George Osbourne is due to deliver his autumn budget statement. The Socialist expects the usual tax cuts and freebies bonanza for big business and the rich. But for working class people, it can only be more misery.

25 November 2015

spot'Antibiotic apocalypse': profit system holds back research

Drug-resistant infections could kill an extra ten million people every year by 2050. A potential 'post-antibiotic era' is fundamentally due to the profit system.

25 November 2015

spotSun's racist lie about Muslim support for terror

Lying Tory 'newspaper' the Sun ran a front page on 23 November condemning "One in five Brit Muslims' sympathy for jihadis". This was a naked attempt to whip up racism after the recent atrocities in Paris.

25 November 2015

spotLambeth library workers' wildcat strike

Library workers in Lambeth, south London, shocked Labour's cuts councillors with a lightning strike on 18 November.

25 November 2015

spotBack doctors' strikes

Save our NHS: Following a refusal to negotiate by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, junior doctors will stage their first ever full strike

25 November 2015

spotWaltham Forest march demands homes for all

Upwards of 150 gathered to express outrage at the terrible housing crisis

25 November 2015

spotBombing Syria won't stop Isis

While Cameron's plan to bombard Isis can weaken it, it cannot remove it completely; and extending Britain's military action from Iraq to Syria will make terrorist attacks on British targets more likely.

25 November 2015

spot"I'm voting for Roger because I believe we need change in our union"

Unison members have been leafleting workplaces

25 November 2015

spotTrade Union Momentum launched to organise to defend Corbyn

Over 700 gathered at Westminster Central Hall on 21 November

25 November 2015

spotTransgender woman dies after spiteful courts pick men's prison

A transgender woman has died after courts sentenced her to 12 months in a men's prison. Vicky Thompson was found dead on 13 November at Armley Jail in Leeds.

25 November 2015

spotSocialist change not climate change

The climate summit in Paris meets as evidence continues to grow of the threat of global warming.

26 November 2015

spotOpen University UCU strike

UCU members in the Open University took strike action on Wednesday against plans to close the university's regional offices, threatening over 500 jobs, writes Tom Baldwin.

27 November 2015

spotTUSC says: Councils must say No to Osborne austerity

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has responded to the Comprehensive Public Spending Review

27 November 2015

spotAutumn Statement u-turns: austerity can be defeated

In his autumn review, the Tory chancellor announced the government's first U-turns

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