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Archive for October 2009

7 October 2009

spotAfghanistan - Bring the troops home now

National Demonstration

Afghanistan - Bring troops home now

Assemble Sat 24 Oct 12 noon Hyde Park, London, march to Trafalgar Square

Called by Stop the War Coalition, CND and BMI

Join us to put forward a socialist alternative to war

7 October 2009

spotStop the war in Afghanistan

International Socialist Resistance on the 15 March 2008 anti-war demo, photo Paul Mattsson

International Socialist Resistance on the 15 March 2008 anti-war demo, photo Paul Mattsson

October 2009 marks the eighth anniversary of troops being sent to Afghanistan. It is clearer than ever that the invasion has resulted in a nightmare for the people of Afghanistan and the region and those sent to fight.

7 October 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight For Jobs march 2 April 2009, photo Paul Mattsson

Newsflash!: On 1 October a number of Future Jobs Fund placements began. These temporary schemes are designed to artificially push down the number of long term unemployed youth (see previous articles). Young people...

7 October 2009

spotUniversity accommodation scandal: Students must defend rights

Around 800 first-year students at De Montfort University in Leicester have been forced into hotels around the city after the university 'ran out of space' in halls, writes Becci Heaghney, Leicester Socialist Students.

7 October 2009

spotUniversity freshers fairs: Students seek out socialism

University of Hertfordshire: Without doubt Socialist Students made a great start in establishing ourselves as a vehicle and voice for students to fight for free education for all, writes Lenny Shail and Sunara Begum.

7 October 2009

spotSocial care in crisis

Care workers protest at privatisation in Waltham Forest, photo Alison Hill

Care workers protest at privatisation in Waltham Forest, photo Alison Hill

Cuts, outsourcing and privatisation mean vulnerable adults and children are 'falling through the net'. Social care staff are struggling to cope with high caseloads, increasing red tape and worsening pay, terms and conditions at work.

Paul Couchman, a social care worker and branch secretary of Surrey County Unison writing in a personal capacity, analyses what is going on.

7 October 2009

spotAn autumn of discontent in South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union FBU demonstration, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union FBU demonstration, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

Lecturers in the UCU union have already held one day strikes this term at Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster colleges, for the implementation of the 2004 pay awards and against cuts and job losses, writes Alistair Tice.

7 October 2009

spotLeeds council calls for talks with unions

With the strike of Leeds refuse workers now in its fifth week, council leaders began formal talks on 5 October, after informal talks on 29 September, writes A Unison steward.

7 October 2009

spotFighting against outsourcing, defending working conditions at British Telecom

Twice in the past five months, BT Communication Workers Union (CWU) members have rejected proposals by the company to introduce new working arrangements that undermine previously negotiated attendance arrangements, writes Gary Jones, CWU national executive council, personal capacity.

7 October 2009

spotNUT vice president: Elect Martin Powell-Davies

Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies is standing for national vice-president of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)...

7 October 2009

spotWirral anti-cuts victory: 'If you fight, you can win'

WIRRAL RESIDENTS and workers are cautiously celebrating the decision by Wirral council's LibDem/Labour ruling coalition to do a u-turn and revoke their decision to close eleven libraries across Wirral, writes Dave Lunn, Wirral Against the Cuts, personal capacity.

7 October 2009

spotYoung parents need support, not attacks

IN HIS keynote speech at the recent Labour Party conference Gordon Brown made out that young single parents are a significant 'problem', writes Jane James.

7 October 2009

spotFight for a living wage

TO MARK ten years of the national minimum wage, the New Labour government has given it the lowest increase on record, taking the full adult rate to a miserly £5.80 an hour...

7 October 2009

spotNot to Darling's pay freeze

CHANCELLOR ALISTAIR Darling's rank political opportunism - announcing a pay freeze on 40,000 top civil servants during the Tory Party conference - reeks of hypocrisy...

7 October 2009

spotFast news

Family fortunes: Tory party leader David Cameron has admitted on the Andrew Marr show that his is "definitely a well-off family"...

7 October 2009

spotIreland: Lisbon Treaty vote is not an endorsement for hated government

Reading the Socialist Party's leaflet during the 2008 referendum in Ireland, photo Paul Mattsson

Reading the Socialist Party's leaflet during the 2008 referendum in Ireland, photo Paul Mattsson

A SIGNIFICANT two-to-one majority in the Irish republic, on a higher turnout, passed the Lisbon Treaty on 20 October, overturning the decision of the Irish electorate in June 2008, writes Kevin McLoughlin, Dublin.

7 October 2009

spotPortugal: Voters turn to the left

"THIS IS a clear and extraordinary victory", was the first official comment from Partido Socialista (PS) Prime Minister, José Socrates, after the results of the Portuguese national elections on 27 September, writes Cedric Gerome, CWI.

7 October 2009

spotForeign aid - chaining the world to capitalism

AS SRI Lanka's Tamil population fled from the bloody and bitter fighting after the recent civil war, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband promised Britain would send aid, writes Ben Norman.

7 October 2009

spotCampaign forces health Trust to save Crowlin House

CROWLIN HOUSE near Southampton is a home for people with mental health and learning difficulties. It was purpose built, has a dedicated NHS staff, and is a well-run unit where the residents' needs are...

7 October 2009

spotCambridge post workers strike

"I HOPE this goes national soon" was the sentiment expressed by one Cambridge postal worker, striking on 29 September, writes Edd Mustill, Cambridge.

7 October 2009

spotNorth Wales shop stewards network

On 29 September, trade union reps and activists from across North Wales gathered in Wrexham to found a North Wales Shop Stewards Network, writes Iain Dalton, Bangor.

7 October 2009

spotFish Tank directed by Andrea Arnold

Film review: In the opening pages of My Life Leon Trotsky denounces the saccharine image of childhood that features in much fiction, saying that, in reality, it's not so easy for most people...

7 October 2009

spotI speak Fula by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

Album review: Anyone who has seen Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba perform live will know how powerful their performances can be, both from the sound of the ngoni (a traditional stringed instrument, seen as an ancestor of the American banjo) and the brilliant and sometimes piercing vocals of Amy Sacko...

7 October 2009

spotNeeded – a party for workers, not bosses

The Socialist Party protesting against  capitalism - the G20 - in London, photo Paul Mattsson

The Socialist Party protesting against capitalism - the G20 - in London, photo Paul Mattsson

Tories, LibDems, Labour - competing to slash our jobs and services: The 'lesser' or 'greater' evil is not a real choice, claims Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary. 'Like an impenetrable sea mist, the prospect of a Tory government hung over New Labour's conference in Brighton... '

8 October 2009

spotPostal workers vote for national action

The result of the CWU national ballot was: Yes votes 61,623 No Votes 19,207 on a 67% turnout.

9 October 2009

spotVideo: Has capitalism recovered from the crisis?

Videos and mp3 of full speeches of Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary and Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser, speaking at a joint Socialist Party and Socialist Student meeting, 8 October 2009, at the Covent Garden Gragon Hall, London.

13 October 2009

spotVictory to postal workers

Postal workers demonstrate, photo by Paul Mattsson

Postal workers demonstrate, photo by Paul Mattsson

Defend jobs, no to increased workloads: In a national ballot, 76% of postal workers have voted to strike, whilst local strikes continue throughout Britain after sustained attacks on postal workers, writes Bill Mullins, Socialist Party industrial organiser.

13 October 2009

spotThe economy: Green shoots or scorched earth?

Editorial: "WE ARE in the midst of the worst recession most people alive have ever experienced, or will probably ever experience. It is already worse than the 1980s and it isn't over yet."

13 October 2009

spotWhat would a Tory government be like?

Cameron scents election win: PARTY LEADER David Cameron's conference speech attempted to overturn the (correct) perception of them as a party of business and the rich: Labour "has made the poorest poorer, so it falls to the Tories to help them," he said, writes Paula Mitchell.

13 October 2009

spotAfghan conflict: Stop the war now

Young people protest against war and terrorism in Manchester 2006, photo Manchester Socialist Party

Young people protest against war and terrorism in Manchester 2006, photo Manchester Socialist Party

LAST WEEK'S announcement that US president Obama has been awarded the Nobel peace prize is astonishing considering his intentions to continue the war in Afghanistan, writes Steve Score.

13 October 2009

spotManchester mobilises against fascists

AROUND 200 thugs of the far right English Defence League (EDL) came to Manchester last Saturday to stir up racial conflict in the city...

13 October 2009

spotFight the fire service cuts

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union FBU demonstration, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

South Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union FBU demonstration, photo Yorkshire Socialist Party

Firefighters across the country are facing a plethora of attacks on jobs, services, conditions and pay, writes Greg Maughan.

13 October 2009

spotSri Lanka: Shut down the camps!

Demonstration against the Sri Lankan government, photo Paul Mattsson

Demonstration against the Sri Lankan government, photo Paul Mattsson

The Sri Lankan government's war on Tamil people's basic rights continues. Around 300,000 men, women and children remain incarcerated in camps under the most horrific conditions, months after the official...

13 October 2009

spotBritish Airways - What's really going on?

British Airways (BA) have announced that 1,700 jobs will go amongst cabin crew. 1,000 workers will take voluntary redundancy and a further 3,000 will move to part time work. This is due to take effect...

13 October 2009

spotFast News

Snouts in trough: How the mighty suffer! Having enjoyed nearly three months off on holiday, MPs returned to the House of Commons and were asked to repay some of their outrageous parliamentary expenses...

13 October 2009

spotGreece: Hated ND government booted out in general election

Andros Payiatsos, of Xekinima (CWI in Greece) - which participates in Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) - reports on the 4 October general election in Greece...

13 October 2009

spotThe main parties say: 'Work until you drop'

Dave Nellist (2nd left) and Bob Crow (right) campaigning for an electoral alternative to the three main parties, photo D Carr

Dave Nellist (2nd left) and Bob Crow (right) campaigning for an electoral alternative to the three main parties, photo D Carr

Tory shadow chancellor George Osborne's plea for equality of sacrifice - "we're all in this together" - unravels when the real impact of his pension proposals becomes clear, writes Councillor Dave Nellist, Socialist Party, Coventry.
For working people, with only little or no access to a company pension, the state retirement pension is a wholly inadequate income - but it's one that Labour and Tories alike feel happy to steal.

14 October 2009

spotHousing workers in 'sleep over'

More than a dozen workers at Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) staged a 12 hour 'sleep over' outside their offices on 8 October...

14 October 2009

spotUniversity staff forced to strike

A member of staff in the Art, Media and Design Department of London Met University spoke to The Socialist about the campaign of strike action against cuts they are involved in:...

14 October 2009

spotUnison - opening door to minority rule

It seems the witch-hunt of lefts in Unison is failing to silence their voices on the union's national executive council (NEC), so at the NEC meeting on 7 October the right wing majority launched a further organisational attack on them...

14 October 2009

spotSocialist stands for NUT vice-president

Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies is standing for election as vice president of the National Union of Teachers...

14 October 2009

spotApprenticeships? Yes, but not at any price!

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside Parliament, photo by youthfightforjobs.com

Attempts to divide the working class were ratcheted up a notch at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton last week, writes Sean Figg, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser.

14 October 2009

spotRAP victory in Walthamstow

THE RESIDENTS Against Pollution campaign was started in February 2008 as there was a threat of a new pollutant waste facility on Blackhorse Lane in Walthamstow, north east London, writes Paula Mitchell, Residents Against Pollution.

16 October 2009

spotLaurence Coates held at Chinese border, banned from country

Chinaworker.info journalist blocked from China: Laurence Coates, a Sweden-based journalist and socialist activist, was turned back at the Chinese border in Shenzhen and refused entry as a "potential threat to national security"...

19 October 2009

spotCambridge Review - New Labour's education system doesn't work

When Labour came to power with a mission to sort out education, they bulldozed ahead with the mantra of "whatever works", writes Linda Taaffe.

20 October 2009

spotPost - a battle that mass strike action can win

Editorial Royal Mail bosses have declared war on the postal workers and their union, the CWU ...

20 October 2009

spotFeature: End the bloody occupation of Afghanistan

EIGHT YEARS after US president George Bush - aided and abetted by his 'loyal lieutenant', UK prime minister Tony Blair - launched an invasion of Afghanistan, their 'war on terror' shows no sign of abating.

20 October 2009

spotProtests at the BBC: No to the far-right, racist BNP

As the Socialist goes to press, Nick Griffin, leader of the far-right racist British National party (BNP) is due to appear on Question Time on Thursday 22 October, writes Hannah Sell.

20 October 2009

spotWDL racists chased out of town

Swansea: The far-right racist Welsh Defence League (WDL) suffered a major setback in Swansea on Saturday 17 October in their first outing in Wales, writes A Swansea Socialist Party member.

20 October 2009

spotTommy Sheridan - a socialist fighter on a worker's wage

Tommy Sheridan campaigning in Saracen Street, Glasgow, photo International Socialists

Tommy Sheridan campaigning in Saracen Street, Glasgow, photo International Socialists

Glasgow North East by-election: TOMMY SHERIDAN is standing in the Glasgow North East by-election on 12 November. Standing as a "Workers' MP on a Worker's Wage" for Solidarity - Scotland's Socialist Movement - Tommy contrasts strongly...

20 October 2009

spotSri Lanka protest: Shut down the prison camps!

Tamil demonstration in London, photo D. Carr

Tamil demonstration in London, photo D. Carr

DISGUST AT the inhuman treatment of hundreds of thousands of Tamils held under armed guard in open prison camps in Sri Lanka brought tens of thousands on to the streets of London on 17 October, writes Manny Thain.

20 October 2009

spotFBU strike to defend fire service

South Yorkshire firefighters demonstrate against cuts, photo A. Tice

South Yorkshire firefighters demonstrate against cuts, photo A. Tice

FIRE BRIGADES Union (FBU) members in South Yorkshire have shown strong support during the first of two 24-hour strikes against management attempts to impose new shift patterns under threat of mass dismissals...

20 October 2009

spotPostal workers must win

Postal dispute video 2009

Postal dispute video 2009

Vital battle to save Mail service: As the national strike to defend the postal service and its workforce begins on 22 October, two Communication Workers Union (CWU) members spoke to The Socialist about the importance of the dispute for all workers...

21 October 2009

spotLeeds bin workers fight on

By the time you read this Leeds city council bin workers will have voted to continue to strike at a mass meeting on 21 October, following their shop stewards' recommendation, after looking at the detail of an offer made to them last week, writes A Unison steward.

21 October 2009

spotGiant energy company hounds unemployed electrician

Blacklisted electrician and Unite member Steve Acheson has been protesting outside Fiddlers Ferry power station, Warrington, since his unfair dismissal by contractors in December 2008, writes A Merseyside Socialist Party member.

21 October 2009

spotFirst bus drivers give bosses a 'fright'

South Yorkshire First bus drivers, members of Unite, held a one day strike back in July against the company's national pay-freeze, writes Alistair Tice.

21 October 2009

spot400 jobs under threat at Leeds

On 8 October, hundreds of students and lecturers gathered outside Leeds university library to protest at the latest wave of cuts announced the day before by the university vice-chancellor, writes Sean Clothier, Leeds uni student.

21 October 2009

spotStriking at London Metropolitan

Staff at London Metropolitan university held a two day strike on 15 and 16 October against management attacks, writes Chris Newby.

21 October 2009

spotPrimary education: Report slams government policy

Martin Powell Davies at the Lewisham demonstration against destructive school policies, photo Paul Mattsson

Martin Powell Davies at the Lewisham demonstration against destructive school policies, photo Paul Mattsson

EVER SINCE New Labour was elected, they have sought to dictate to schools what to teach and even how to teach it. Policed by the threatening machinery of Ofsted inspections and league tables of SATs and GCSE results, schools have been bullied into following each new instruction imposed by ministers and Whitehall officials, writes Martin Powell-Davies, secretary, Lewisham NUT.

21 October 2009

spotUnion activists discuss pulling the plug on Labour

A RECENT special meeting of Unite's United Left (UL) in the north west discussed the question of political representation, writes Paul Astbury.

21 October 2009

spotConference on political representation

This conference is being hosted by the union of Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) to "seek to analyse the current crisis in working class political representation" and "to discuss with like-minded socialists and trade unionists how best we can defend and promote working class interests"...

21 October 2009

spotThe Greatest Show on Earth: The evidence for Evolution

Reviews: This year included the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth and, in November, the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species...

21 October 2009

spotHard Times by Charles Dickens, reviewed by Linda Taaffe

IN 1854 Charles Dickens' weekly magazine Household Words serialised his novel Hard Times. People looked forward to each episode just as nowadays they await the latest edition of TV serials...

21 October 2009

spotWhen Britain's spies backed Mussolini

TO FURTHER their interests at home and abroad, Britain's government and secret services have always had secret deals with the most brutal dictators and anti-working-class organisations, writes Naomi Byron.

21 October 2009

spotChinaworker.info journalist refused entry into China

LAURENCE COATES, a Sweden-based journalist and socialist activist, was turned back at the Chinese border in Shenzhen and refused entry...

21 October 2009

spotLaughing all the way to the bank

US BANK Goldman Sachs is on track to pay $22 billion in salaries and bonuses this year, an average of $700,000 for each of its 31,700 employees, writes John Sharpe.

21 October 2009

spotFast news

Their morals: DAVID WILSHIRE, the Tory MP for Spelthorne, said (much to the relief of Tory leader David Cameron) that he wouldn't seek re-election, following allegations that he had siphoned £105,500 in parliamentary expenses into a private company - Moorlands Research Services - owned by himself and his partner...

21 October 2009

spotAfghanistan: Troops out!

Anti-War demo 15 March 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

Eight years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the situation is a nightmare.
Far from moving towards peace and democracy the last few months have seen some of the bloodiest fighting in the conflict, with 220 British soldiers killed and over 1,500 Afghan civilians in this year alone.

21 October 2009

spotVideos of Tamil Solidarity and Socialist Students public meeting

Speeches of Senan, Tamil Solidarity international coordinator, and Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, writes Senan, Tamil Solidarity international coordinator #1.

26 October 2009

spotPress release: Tamil refugees protest

Tamil-speaking refugees on a boat off the Indonesian coast have contacted Tamil Solidarity. Their continued suffering and the denial of their rights demands an urgent response. See below for their statement...

28 October 2009

spotSupport post workers, this is no time to equivocate

A number of trade union leaders, MPs and other individuals (including Tony Benn), sent a letter to the Guardian on the post strikes which implicitly criticised the union as well as the management ...

28 October 2009

spotPostal strike reports: Defending the service

Cars hooted their support as postal workers' picket lines were solid across Gloucestershire this week, even more so than during the 2007 strike, writes Chris Moore, Gloucestershire Socialist Party.

28 October 2009

spotSocialism 2009 forum - can we build a party for working class people?

Socialism 2009 session times

Socialism 2009 session times

At Socialism 2009, the third session in the 'Britain after the general election' course will be a wide ranging debate on how the crisis in working class political representation can be solved, writes Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party councillor.

28 October 2009

spotHuddersfield march for jobs

Huddersfield Youth Fight for Jobs march, photo Huddersfield YFFJ

Huddersfield Youth Fight for Jobs march, photo Huddersfield YFFJ

Students and young workers from Huddersfield took part in a Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) demonstration on 21 October, protesting against planned cuts in Kirklees council services, writes Ian Slattery, Huddersfield YFJ.

28 October 2009

spotYoung musicians support YFJ

Youth Fight For Jobs leaflet

Youth Fight For Jobs leaflet

All four acts - Magnetic Attraction, Chapter Sweetheart, Apollo and Arctic Force - that performed at the London Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) gig on Saturday 24 October, were keen to get involved with the YFJ campaign and help to organise or perform at future events, writes Suzanne Beishon, London YFJ.

28 October 2009

spotCardiff Socialist Student elected

Socialist Student Edmund Schluessel has been elected as mature students' officer for the Cardiff University student union executive by 459 votes to 49 in the university's by-elections as part of the Viva Cardiff platform, writes Cardiff Socialist Students.

28 October 2009

spotBBC Question Time panel - Workers' voice denied against BNP

Editorial: Eight million people watched BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question Time, the biggest audience for the programme in its thirty year history...

28 October 2009

spotBBC Griffin protest: Jobs and homes, not racism!

PROTESTERS AGAINST the British National Party (BNP) gathered at the entrance to BBC headquarters from early in the morning of 22 October, writes Matt Dobson.

28 October 2009

spotFar right shut out of Newport by mass protest

"WALES IS now an E/WDL-free zone" declared Socialist Party member and Unite convenor Rob Williams as over 600 people defied the attempt of the English/Welsh Defence League to spread their racist poison in Newport...

28 October 2009

spotAfghanistan: anti-war demo

Anti-war demonstration October 2009, photo Rob Emery

Anti-war demonstration October 2009, photo Rob Emery

SEVERAL THOUSAND anti-war protesters marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, London, on 24 October to protest against the eight-year long military occupation of Afghanistan by Nato forces...

28 October 2009

spotTamil Solidarity fights for boat refugees

OVER 250 Tamil-speaking refugees are held on a boat in Merak harbour, Indonesia. So far they have faced rejection and the threat of internment in their quest for refuge from the horror of war and concentration-style...

28 October 2009

spotDarling you're talking rubbish!

WHAT A turnaround. Just a couple of weeks ago, chancellor Alistair Darling, claimed he could see the green shoots of economic recovery. Many media commentators said so too. Then the Office for National...

28 October 2009

spot80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash: Capitalist failure - then and now

Waltham Forest Socialist Party campaign on bankers' bonuses and bailout, photo Senan

Scant attention has been paid in the media to the 80th anniversary of the October 1929 Wall Street crash. The capitalists can hardly repeat their theme of yesterday - "it can never happen again."
Peter Taaffe, general secretary of the Socialist Party, takes a look at how much of it really has happened again, and spells out the underlying cause.

28 October 2009

spotEnergy giant 'fanciful to the point of paranoia'

Goliath got a bloody nose on 21 October, when the attempt by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to use anti-terror legislation against blacklisted construction worker Steve Acheson was thrown out by the High Court...

28 October 2009

spotStrikes sweep across Yorkshire

"Three strikes and we're out" was the front page headline of the anti-union local paper, the Sheffield Star, above a photo-montage of firefighters, busdrivers and posties, all on strike in Sheffield last Friday, writes Alistair Tice.

28 October 2009

spotLeeds bin strike: 92% vote to reject council's 'final' offer

Striking bin collection crews in Leeds overwhelmingly voted to reject the council's 'final' offer at last week's mass meeting, which could see the dispute over equal pay run until Christmas and beyond, writes A Leeds Unison steward.

28 October 2009

spotBattle for jobs in Land Registry

PCS members in Land Registry (LR) have been stunned by plans to close five offices, outsource work and cull the lowest paid clerical grades...

28 October 2009

spotEx Ford/Visteon pensioners protest in Swansea

A protest took place outside the Ford car showroom and sales centre 'Days' in Swansea. It involved well over 100 ex-Ford/Visteon pensioners from the Swansea plant which is now owned by Linamar. Most...

28 October 2009

spotLeicester uni cuts protest

Leicester University plans to shut down its German department, resulting in three lecturers being made redundant and eliminating that choice for future students, writes Becci Heagney - Leicester Socialist Students.

28 October 2009

spotCall centres - public services on the cheap

John McInally, vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), photo Paul Mattsson

John McInally, vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), photo Paul Mattsson

THE PROLIFERATION of call centres within the civil service and related bodies is rooted in the government's pro-market 'reform and modernisation' programme of cuts in investment, jobs and conditions and office closures and privatisation.

As John McInally, national vice-president of the PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union - pc) explains, this is not "efficiency" as they claim but an ill-conceived strategy to deliver public services on the cheap.

28 October 2009

spotNewport Rising 1839

Feature: ON 4 November 1839, 170 years ago, the 'Chartist Rising' in Newport, south Wales, ended in bloodshed. DAVE REID explains the background to one of the first workers' insurrections in history.

28 October 2009

spotDaily Mail homophobia

Comment: Jan Moir, a Daily Mail journalist, has provoked outrage with a blatantly homophobic column attacking the recently deceased Boyzone singer, Stephen Gately, writes Conor Payne, Socialist Party Ireland.

28 October 2009

spotFilm review - Capitalism: a love story

Michael Moore's film: Capitalism: A love story

Michael Moore's film: Capitalism: A love story

Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A Love Story opens with a simple message: "Capitalism is evil," and must be replaced with a system that puts the interests of ordinary people over profit, writes Reviewed by Dan DiMaggio, Socialist Alternative, USA.

28 October 2009

spotConspirator: Lenin in Exile

Book review: In this brisk, readable account, author Helen Rappaport looks at Lenin's life during his nearly two decades in exile in conditions of great privation and hardship...

28 October 2009

spotSupport postal workers

Postal workers on strike in East London, photo The Socialist

Postal workers on strike in East London, photo The Socialist

Fighting to defend jobs and services: The Postal workers' strikes are to defend a national service which we can be proud of. Management are only after massive profits, writes Gary Clark, sub area rep, Scotland No.2, CWU

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