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Archive for September 2010

1 September 2010

spotA fightback can stop cuts

London May Day demonstration, photo Jules Mattsson

London May Day demonstration

No wonder people say they're sick of political double-talk. Mrs Thatcher said "there's no such thing as society". David Cameron talks of "the big society". They both mean the same thing: swingeing Tory attacks on public services and support for working families, writes Dave Griffiths, Coventry Socialist Party

1 September 2010

spotSlashing public services: do councillors have 'no choice'?

The campaign built by Liverpool city council in 1983-87 to win extra funding inspired thousands of workers, photo Militant

Liverpool city council 1983-87

Campaigns against the Tory/Liberal government's cuts have wide support. But many councillors say they have "no choice" but to implement cuts.
From 1983 to 1987 the Liverpool Labour council, led by supporters of Militant (the predecessor of the Socialist Party), refused to make cuts or increase local rates to compensate for Tory cuts. Instead they led a mass movement to win more money from Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Tony Mulhearn interview.

1 September 2010

spotKazakhstan: Human rights activist beaten and arrested

HUMAN RIGHTS campaigner and lawyer Vadim Kuramshina was violently attacked and arrested last week in Kokchetava, northern Kazakhstan...

1 September 2010

spotFighting the far right in Bradford

Chanting against the far right EDL in Bradford, photo Paul Mattsson

Chanting against the far right EDL in Bradford, photo Paul Mattsson

ON SATURDAY 28 August, the racist and hooligan English Defence League (EDL) could only muster 700 supporters to their Bradford demonstration for what was meant to be their 'Big One'...

1 September 2010

spotAnti-cuts movement builds momentum in Plymouth

THE POET Shelley helped inspire a 50-strong meeting launching Plymouth's fight against the cuts. 90-year-old pensioners' campaigner, Paddy Ryan, quoted Shelley: "Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable...

1 September 2010

spotCuts hit poor hardest

THE CON-Dem coalition claims that their 'progressive' cuts hit hardest at the rich and that they 'shield' poor families from the effects of austerity...

1 September 2010

spotBattles ahead on London Underground

On 24 August, reps from transport unions TSSA and RMT met to discuss the first ever joint strike between the two unions on London Underground, writes Reg Johnstone, RMT.

1 September 2010

spotLondon firefighters ballot for action

Firefighters protest

Firefighters protest

Around 1,000 firefighters poured into a mass meeting of the London Fire Brigades Union (FBU) on 24 August, writes Neil Cafferky.

1 September 2010

spotJobs threat at RBS

On 26 August RBS announced a restructuring plan that will result in the closure of 14 insurance sites and the loss of 2,000 jobs, writes A Bristol call centre worker (Unite).

1 September 2010

spotCoventry mail centre closes

Royal Mail (RM) is on a mission to streamline the business at all costs as it abandons its role as a public service and becomes profit orientated, writes A Coventry postal worker.

1 September 2010

spotPakistan flood disaster: Workers' solidarity appeal

THE FOLLOWING financial appeal has been circulated internationally by CWI socialists in Pakistan...

1 September 2010

spotWorldwide protests against brutal attack on three Russian socialists

ON 7 August, Russian CWI activist, Igor Yasin, and two other CWI members, were brutally attacked by thugs following a peaceful protest in Moscow over the proposed construction of a major new road through part of Moscow's green belt...

1 September 2010

spotLabour's three stooges aid Con-Dem coalition

THREE FORMER Labour cabinet members are now acting as advisers to the Con-Dem coalition. Prime Minister Cameron has appointed Alan Milburn his 'social mobility tsar', who is supposed to help break down...

1 September 2010

spotGovernment cuts hit our benefits

HOW WOULD you survive as a family if you had no money coming in?...

1 September 2010

spotKeep Middle Street centre open

MENTAL HEALTH service users in Nottingham are involved in an inspiring campaign to keep Middle Street Resource centre in Beeston open, writes Pete Watson, Nottinghamshire Unison.

1 September 2010

spotDefend school meals

SOME TORY councils are showing what effects the Cameron/ Clegg cuts will have. Croydon in south London is ending its contract for school meals with Eden Foodservice, and has told schools to provide their...

1 September 2010

spotGeneral strike movement sweeps South Africa

THE COSATU trade union federation in South Africa has warned the African National Congress (ANC) government to meet 1.3 million public sector workers' demands for an 8.6% pay increase and a housing allowance of R1,000 a month, writes Weizmann Hamilton of the Democratic Socialist Movement in South Africa.

1 September 2010

spotCivil service jobs under the cosh

Last week the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced the lost of almost 400 jobs from the Pension Service and Jobcentres. A PCS Member in the North East writes.

1 September 2010

spotNorth Staffs TUC public meeting against cuts

100 community campaigners and trade union activists attended the North Staffs TUC (NSTUC) public meeting , photo Stoek Socialist Party

100 community campaigners and trade union activists attended the North Staffs TUC (NSTUC) public meeting , photo Stoek Socialist Party

EVEN IN the holiday period, around 100 community campaigners and trade union activists attended a North Staffs TUC (NSTUC) public meeting on 18 August to launch an anti-cuts alliance and start a serious fightback against the Con-Dems' savage cuts...

1 September 2010

spotOur future under attack

Video: Youth must fight for a future! Youth Fight for Jobs protest

Video: Youth must fight for a future! Youth Fight for Jobs protest

Fightback! Join the day of action on 20 October It seems that 30,000 a year can almost guarantee you top grades in your A-levels. This year, students from private schools were more than twice as likely to get the new A* grades as those from comprehensives.
Suraj Shah and Ben Robinson, Youth Fight for Jobs, say life is different for those who go to state schools...

1 September 2010

spotAnti-cuts movement builds momentum in Plymouth

THE POET Shelley helped inspire a 50-strong meeting launching Plymouth's fight against the cuts. 90-year-old pensioners' campaigner, Paddy Ryan, quoted Shelley: "Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable...

6 September 2010

spotProtest in London against Sarkozy's racist policies

Thousands demonstrate across Europe: Numerous protests have taken place this weekend in France and many other European cities, against the French government's witch-hunt against Roma people and other anti-immigrant measures.

6 September 2010

spotProtest in London against Sarkozy's racist policies

Thousands demonstrate across Europe: Numerous protests have taken place this weekend in France and many other European cities, against the French government's witch-hunt against Roma people and other anti-immigrant measures...

7 September 2010

spotSouth Wales fire service cuts

Fire service managers are at risk of tripping over themselves in their haste to cut jobs and services in South Wales, writes Ross Saunders.

7 September 2010

spotLondon Underground strike

Socialist Party members report from the picket lines: The power of organised working class people was demonstrated by the strike of 11,000 London Underground workers...

8 September 2010

spotBuild for anti-cuts action now

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC: At its conference next week, the TUC will be under pressure to lead the struggle against the slashing of the public sector...

9 September 2010

spotAcademies will lead to a two-tier education system

THE GOVERNMENT'S plans to encourage 'outstanding' schools to take a fast-track to 'academy' status are a threat to the future of comprehensive local authority schooling, writes Martin Powell-Davies,.

9 September 2010

spotSave Salford's maternity ward

On Saturday 4 September, local members of the Socialist Party attended a protest to stop the maternity ward at Hope hospital in Salford being closed...

9 September 2010

spotFar right not welcome in Brighton

Just days after 700 protested in Bradford, the far-right English Defence League (EDL) marched through Brighton...

9 September 2010

spotHealth workers' victory

HOSPITAL WORKERS, Unison members in Calderstones Health branch (centred on Clitheroe, Lancashire), faced proposals to introduce 'super-flexible' contracts and work patterns that would have reduced the hospital's qualified nursing care...

9 September 2010

spotSolid strike on London Underground

London Underground workers RMT members, on strike , photo Paul Mattsson

London Underground workers RMT members, on strike , photo Paul Mattsson

The power of organised working class people was demonstrated resoundingly on 7 September. 11,000 London Underground (LU) workers were striking against job cuts, writes Paula Mitchell.

9 September 2010

spotLondon bus workers fight cuts

The London Bus Campaign will stage a rally outside City Hall on 15 September to oppose cuts in services, fare increases and reductions in contract prices, writes A London bus driver.

9 September 2010

spotLondon: Unite members to strike against NHS privatisation

Three hundred Unite members in the labs at Kings College Hospital, London, are to be balloted against privatisation, writes Andy Ford, Unite NHS steward.

9 September 2010

spotFighting for the health service

Death and privatisation in the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

Death and privatisation in the NHS, photo Paul Mattsson

The new government's health policy was put forward in July 2010 in the white paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, writes David Pelsall.

9 September 2010

spotThe callous cutting of NHS Direct

FOR SOME months now staff at NHS Direct have known we were getting a new phone number. It has been seen as a positive move as reports suggested that three-quarters of people in England did not know the...

9 September 2010

spotNo to Trident nuclear weapons

THE OUTGOING Blair/Brown New Labour government won parliamentary support for the modernisation of the Trident system with support from the Tories, writes Ronnie Stevenson, Socialist Party Scotland.

9 September 2010

spotTony Blair - a journey to Thatcherism

TONY BLAIR'S memoirs show that he really was Thatcher's heir. He tries to justify New Labour's capitalist economic policies, ferociously attacking Gordon Brown for daring to "depart a millimetre from...

9 September 2010

spotJobs and services are facing axe in Cornwall

PROPOSED CUTS in Cornwall council's expenditure that are due to be announced in October will have a devastating impact on services and jobs, writes Terry Turvey, Socialist Party - Penzance.

9 September 2010

spotRussia: Motorway construction through Khimkinsky forest halted

ON 7 August, Russian CWI activist, Igor Yasin, and two other CWI members, were brutally attacked by thugs following a peaceful protest in Moscow over the proposed construction of a major new road through Khimkinsky forest, part of Moscow's green belt, writes Igor Yasin, Moscow.

9 September 2010

spotGlobal food crisis reveals failure of capitalism

RESIDENTS OF Maputo, Mozambique's capital, took to the streets last week protesting at a 30% hike in the price of bread, writes Simon Carter.

9 September 2010

spotNew Royal Mail boss sharpens her axe

The propaganda war over the privatisation of Royal Mail (RM) was stepped up last week when managers at my office briefed us on the intention of our new chief executive to suspend repayment of its government loan, writes A Coventry postal worker.

9 September 2010

spotCorus Redcar - the real story

Les Bayliss, right-wing candidate for Unite general secretary, is claiming in an email circular that the sale of Corus' Teesside plant to the Thai steel maker SSI is proof that quiet lobbying by union officials, not militant trade unionism, is the way to protect jobs in manufacturing, writes Socialist members of Unite.

9 September 2010

spotZola's Germinal: still relevant today

It is 125 years since Emile Zola's Germinal was first published. Dave Gorton delves into one of the most renowned and important works of French literature...

9 September 2010

spotCon-Dems threaten EMA

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly wage that students in further education get. It is designed to help pay for things such as bus fares, course materials and other necessities for studying...

9 September 2010

spotNo to slave labour apprenticeships!

The lack of college places means that those young people who find themselves among the 150,000 failed university applicants will now start looking for alternatives...

9 September 2010

spotAgainst cuts? Come to Socialism 2010

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union RMT, addresses Socialism 2009, photo Rob Emery

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union RMT, addresses Socialism 2009, photo Rob Emery

The capitalist leaders at the moment are telling us that cuts are inevitable and there's nothing that workers can do about it, writes Rob Williams Unite Convenor, Swansea Linamar, and National Shop Stewards Network steering committee member.

9 September 2010

spotBlair admits he was wrong...

How interesting to read that Tony Blair admitted in his book that he got something wrong. Could it be his decision to leave in place the Tories' anti-trade union laws?

9 September 2010

spotWe won't be a lost generation!

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, photo Paul Mattsson

Youth Fight for Jobs protest outside the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, photo Paul Mattsson

Young people face an uncertain future. The Con-Dem butchers have turned their axe to education in what is set to be the most savage attack on the public sector since the welfare state was established...

9 September 2010

spotWe can stop the Con-Dem cuts

Seven Sisters London Underground RMT and TSSA members strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Seven Sisters London Underground RMT and TSSA members strike, photo Paul Mattsson

The massive cuts threatened by the Con-Dem coalition can be beaten! The reports below show that determination and militancy can make employers back off from cuts proposals...

9 September 2010

spotFar right not welcome in Brighton

Just days after 700 protested in Bradford, the far-right English Defence League (EDL) marched through Brighton...

9 September 2010

spotAcademies will lead to a two-tier education system

THE GOVERNMENT'S plans to encourage 'outstanding' schools to take a fast-track to 'academy' status are a threat to the future of comprehensive local authority schooling, writes Martin Powell-Davies,.

9 September 2010

spotProtest against Bolton council's cuts

Bolton protest at council meeting against plans to savagely cut 40% off its budget, , photo Hugh Caffrey

Bolton protest

On the 1st of September in Bolton there was a huge protest against Bolton council's plans to savagely cut 40% off its budget...

9 September 2010

spotBristol: Moles and rats in the council chamber

A mass lobby warned the LibDem council of local authority industrial action against compulsory redundancies.

14 September 2010

spotBrighton meeting rejects cuts agenda

Over 200 people packed into Friends Meeting House in Brighton to launch a community-wide campaign against the neoliberal cuts...

14 September 2010

spotNational Shop Stewards Network lobbies TUC

NSSN Lobby of the Trades Union Congress in Manchester

15 September 2010

spotTUC backs youth jobs demo

youth Fight for Jobs on the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

youth Fight for Jobs on the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

The TUC has committed itself to a national demonstration against youth unemployment by the end of the year...

15 September 2010

spotTUC told to name the day

National Shop Stewards Network lobby - Manchester: I didn't want to get up at 6am in the morning on my Sunday off to make a four hour journey to Manchester and then a four hour journey back to ask the TUC Congress to name the day for a national demonstration, writes Nancy Taaffe.

15 September 2010

spotTUC: Build for action against cuts

The first day of the TUC opened with reports of the congress as the main item on the breakfast news, showing footage of the National Shop Stewards Network lobby as the backdrop, writes Greg Maughan.

15 September 2010

spotPrivatisation's giant wrecking ball

PRIVATISATION of Royal Mail would have disastrous consequences for the workers and the public. The universal service requirement would surely cease. This is the obligation for RM to deliver to every address...

15 September 2010

spotOsborne targets the needy

A LEAKED letter from chancellor George Osborne to work and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith reveals that the coalition government intends to slash spending by 2.5 billion on disabled people or those too ill to work...

15 September 2010

spotLondon Underground: Action biting against job cuts

Seven Sisters London Underground RMT and TSSA members strike, photo Paul Mattsson

Seven Sisters London Underground RMT and TSSA members strike, photo Paul Mattsson

The overtime ban on London Underground is beginning to bite. In the last few days some stations have closed, including Charing Cross which had to be closed for 20 minutes over the weekend, writes Reg Johnstone.

15 September 2010

spotUCU executive pulls out of strike ballot

On 8 September the University and College Union (UCU)'s general secretary, Sally Hunt, announced that the union would carry out a ballot for strike action over pay and job cuts...

15 September 2010

spotFight for jobs at GSK

This week pharmaceutical giant Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), a company that makes over 8 billion profit a year announced another 206 redundancies at its manufacturing site in Ware, Hertfordshire...

15 September 2010

spotWorkplace news in brief

Strike threat at BBC over pensions: Members of Bectu, NUJ and Unite unions at the BBC are planning strike action on 5-6 October and 19-20 October. These coincide with the Tory Party conference and the public sector spending review...

15 September 2010

spotHull park rangers protest

ON 13 September, about 50 park rangers, members of the GMB union in Hull, marched to the city's BBC buildings, writes Alex Humphreys, Hull Socialist Party.

15 September 2010

spotHow do we vote to stop the cuts?

THE TRADE Unionist and Socialist Coalition's (TUSC) steering committee met on the eve of the TUC congress...

15 September 2010

spotNottinghamshire: Campaign saves vital service

A CAMPAIGN group has been fighting to save The Big House, in Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, which provided short-term respite care for families of young people with very challenging behaviour and learning difficulties, writes Karen Seymour.

15 September 2010

spotLobbies warn councils of workers' action

Bristol: AT A mass lobby of Bristol councillors on 7 September, several council trade unions warned of impending industrial action should the Lib-Dem council try to carry through compulsory redundancies, writes Robin Clapp.

15 September 2010

spotFighting oppression in Kazakhstan

AS PART of a delegation by the European United Left (GUE/NGL) in the European parliament, Joe Higgins, Socialist Party MEP recently visited Kazakhstan to meet with independent trade union activists, human rights defenders, journalists, ex-prisoners and political activists and people from the social...

15 September 2010

spotSocialism 2010: How can we save the environment?

Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010

Most scientific and political commentators now accept that the human race has to take action to avert catastrophic damage to our planet and to our societies which depend on its resources, writes Stephen Turnbull, Walthamstow Socialist Party.

15 September 2010

spotLabour councillors challenged in Hastings

Socialist Party members recently spoke to a couple of Hastings Labour councillors who claimed they were socialists and that they were putting socialism into action in Hastings, writes Jon Redford South East Socialist Party.

15 September 2010

spotShropshire: showing socialist alternative gets results

Thirty people gathered in Shrewsbury on Thursday 9 September for a Socialist Party (SP) public meeting entitled 'what is the socialist alternative?' with the party's deputy general secretary, Hannah Sell, as the guest speaker, writes Sarah Marshall Shropshire Socialist Party.

15 September 2010

spotThe Third Man

Review: New Labour politician Peter Mandelson's tome has now been overshadowed by the deluge of publicity received by his soul mate Tony Blair, writes Tony Mulhearn, Former 'Liverpool 47' Labour councillor.

15 September 2010

spotHow will the Browne Review into university funding affect you?

In October the review into university funding will be published. This report, initiated by the previous New Labour government with the backing of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, is focusing on...

15 September 2010

spotStudent strikes can win results

Young people face increasing attacks on their future. For the first time in decades a whole generation will be worse off than their parents - a damning indictment of a system that has failed to provide...

15 September 2010

spotStop the 'slippery slope' to two-tier education

Universities UK (UUK), the vice-chancellor's organisation, has issued a warning that the Con-Dem 'reforms' to higher education will lead to a two-tier education system, writes Paul Callanan.

15 September 2010

spotMood of defiance in Huddersfield

OVER 300 angry, defiant marchers took to the streets of Huddersfield in a joint trade union demo against cuts and job losses, writes Mike Forster.

15 September 2010

spotFight the jobs cuts massacre

THE BBC reported last week that spending cuts will 'hit the north harder', with Middlesbrough being ranked as the "least resilient" local authority...

15 September 2010

spotMiddlesborough local union-led public services alliance set up

IN MIDDLESBROUGH over one-third of jobs are in the public sector following the loss of heavy industries...

15 September 2010

spotFast news

IN AN enthusiastic response to the call by the major French trade union organisations, three million workers took to the streets of France on 7 September for a day of massive strikes and demonstrations in protest against the Sarkozy government's attack on the country's pension system...

15 September 2010

spotWomen and the struggle against oppression

Women and the Struggle for Socialism

Women and the Struggle for Socialism

Christine Thomas, author of the new book 'It doesn't have to be like this - Women and the Struggle for Socialism' spoke to Sarah Wrack about why such a book was necessary.
Christine was the Socialist Party's national women's organiser from 1994 to 2006. She has written extensively on the question of women's oppression for the Socialist newspaper and the Socialist Party's theoretical magazine Socialism Today.

15 September 2010

spotRoyal Mail: Con-Demned to history?

Communication Workers Union, CWU, lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail postal services Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

Communication Workers Union, CWU, lobby of parliament over the privatisation of Royal Mail postal services Feb 09, photo Paul Mattsson

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by business secretary Vince Cable last week that the Con-Dem coalition intends to sell off Royal Mail (RM) came as no surprise to anyone in my office, a Coventry postal worker writes.

15 September 2010

spotAll-India general strike: Eyewitness report from Chennai

THE ALL-India general strike on 7 September showed the enormous potential for workers' struggle in India, but also exposed a number of complicating factors, CWI reporters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, write.

15 September 2010

spotGeneral strike in France

IN AN enthusiastic response to the call by the major French trade union organisations, three million workers took to the streets of France on 7 September for a day of massive strikes and demonstrations in protest against the Sarkozy government's attack on the country's pension system...

15 September 2010

spotJoin the fight against cuts

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference 2010 , photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference 2010 , photo Paul Mattsson

Battle lines are drawn: Anyone opposing cuts must think they've fallen through the rabbit hole to 'Wonderland' if they've been watching the television this week, writes Sean Figg.

15 September 2010

spotNo justice in the cuts

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice, photo Paul Mattsson

Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper was spotted menacing Ministry of Justice (MoJ) workers outside MoJ headquarters on Tuesday afternoon...

15 September 2010

spotDecisive action can defeat this government

Editorial: The very successful lobby of the Trades Union Congress in Manchester, organised by the National Shop Stewards Network, points the way forward for the trade union movement...

17 September 2010

spotThousands of firefighters show their anger

London Firebrigades Union demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

London Firebrigades Union demonstration, photo Suzanne Beishon

Thursday 16 September saw one of the most formidable demonstrations in the capital city for some time. 2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards, whistles and vuvuzelas, and even a bagpiper, to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), writes Paula Mitchell.

20 September 2010

spotScotland: Tommy Sheridan facing legal battle

Tommy and Gail Sheridan, photo IS

Tommy and Gail Sheridan

Tommy Sheridan and his partner Gail begin their trial on charges of perjury on Monday 4 October at the High Court in Glasgow.
This case, brought by the Scottish Crown Office, follows Tommy Sheridan's famous defamation victory over Rupert Murdoch's News of the World...

20 September 2010

spotTrade unionists lobby Lib-Dem conference

Trade unionists lobby Lib-Dem conference, photo Harry Smith

Trade unionists lobby Lib-Dem conference, photo Harry Smith

On Sunday 19 September, despite pouring rain, 4,000 trade unionists (according to the Liverpool Echo) rallied in Liverpool to lobby the Liberal Democrat party conference...

20 September 2010

spotIs sustainable growth possible on a capitalist basis?

Most capitalist politicians now pay lip service to sustainability, so what are the prescriptions they are putting forward to achieve this...

20 September 2010

spotThe Green Movement Agenda for Sustainability

There are many variations of the Green and environmental movement agenda, so any categorisation must be approximate and recognise that there is overlap between them...

20 September 2010

spotThe Green Growth Agenda

Green growth proponents can be divided into two camps, those advocating 'hard' and 'soft' sustainability...

20 September 2010

spotEco-socialism

Eco-socialism is still marginalised in the Green movement, but as the total inability of capitalist solutions to solve environmental problems become more apparent, interest in it will inevitably grow...

20 September 2010

spotA Socialist Programme for the Environment

The earth is clearly on the path to ecological catastrophe. This road will be marked by, amongst many other examples, the destruction of large areas of the inhabitable globe due to global warming, the...

20 September 2010

spotA Socialist Plan for Sustainability

Environmental intensity is the key factor in trying to deal with the environmental effects of increased consumption, and there are three ways a reduction in its value can be achieved...

20 September 2010

spotThe Techniques of Socialist Planning

After the initial time of rapid expansion, a steady state society will emerge where the enormous power of planning, combined with the release of human resourcefulness and energy under socialism, will enable huge steps to be taken to preserve the environment...

20 September 2010

spotPlanning and the environment

Democratic, rational planning will permit a consistent improvement in ecological conditions to be achieved over many decades until full sustainability is reached...

20 September 2010

spotLessons from the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union was the world's first workers' state and at its beginning was a beacon for all the poor and downtrodden throughout the planet...

20 September 2010

spotAppendix

Barry Commoner, the well known environmental writer and theorist, first developed the equation in the 70s, later modified into the form I=P.C.T...

20 September 2010

spotPreface to Planning Green Growth

This important and timely new pamphlet (published on the eve of the 'Earth Summit' in Johannesburg), analyses the causes and scope of environmental destruction across the globe and asks what is the way forward, writes Pete Dickenson.

20 September 2010

spotIntroduction to Planning Green Growth

To avoid embarrassment, at a time when famine is sweeping the region, some of the governments involved are making cosmetic cuts in their delegations and restricting extravagant consumption of luxury items...

20 September 2010

spotThe Nature of the Problem: An Impending Environmental Crisis

Few, except for George Bush and his carefully picked 'experts', who speak for the interests of the oil companies and other multinationals, argue against the view that we face an impending environmental crisis...

20 September 2010

spotThe Kyoto agreement

The fiasco over the Kyoto agreement is a good example to demonstrate the inability of the capitalist system to tackle the crisis...

20 September 2010

spotA programme for sustainable growth

A long-term programme of investment in renewable energy sources must be a priority, leading to the progressive replacement of oil, gas, coal-fired and nuclear power stations...

20 September 2010

spotThe Scale of the Problem of Environmental Threats

The scale of the environmental threats facing us need to be understood, so that the difficulty in mitigating and then eliminating them can be estimated...

20 September 2010

spotBackground Reading

Cline, W R. 'Scientific basis for the greenhouse effect' Economic Journal, No 101 (July) 1991, p 904-19...

20 September 2010

spotCoventry: Save the 'one stop'

Lobby of Coventry council , photo by Coventry Socialist Party

Lobby

A 30 strong crowd of determined residents from the Stoke Aldermoor estate lobbied Coventry council to save their local council neighbourhood one stop service office...

20 September 2010

spotPortsmouth: Preparing to defeat the cuts

Portsmouth trade council's anti-cuts campaign saw 80 trade unionists and community activists debate with RMT, Unite and Unison speakers...

21 September 2010

spotBirmingham: Front line in the fight against cuts

Sometimes the bosses hesitate before attacking workers. Sometimes they proceed slowly. And sometimes they rush to strike a devastating blow. Birmingham City Council struck just such a blow last week...

22 September 2010

spotDetermined, widespread union action needed

Fire Brigades Union firefighters marched to protest outside the London Fire Authority, photo Suzanne Beishon

Editorial: The Guardian writer Michael White, commenting on this year's Trades Union Congress, quoted Warren Buffett, the American billionaire, saying: "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."...

22 September 2010

spot23 October march against cuts: RMT calls London demo

Bob Crow, RMT

Bob Crow, RMT

The London Transport region of the RMT has called a march to support the TUC anti-cuts meeting on Tottenham Court Road, writes Steve Hedley, RMT London regional organiser.

22 September 2010

spotStop the higher education lock out!

Cambridge Socialist Students protest, photo Cambridge Socialist Party

Cambridge Socialist Students protest, photo Cambridge Socialist Party

"If we have a highly educated and idle population, we may possibly anticipate more serious social conflict. People must be educated once more to know their place."...

22 September 2010

spotFor a 24-hour all-Europe general strike

Public sector workers march in Madrid

Public sector workers march in Madrid

Strikes and protests spread across Europe: This is an extract from a statement of the Committee for a Workers International, in preparation for a European day of action on 29 September...

22 September 2010

spotSpain: class struggle the biggest show in town

Any glance at newspapers or TV news programmes anywhere in the Spanish state in the last days and weeks would leave no-one in doubt as to the change that has taken place in the situation here, writes CWI reporters.

22 September 2010

spotBosses want workers' pensions axed

THE BOSSES' organisation - the CBI - has demanded that chancellor George Osborne ends public sector workers' final salary pension schemes and scraps universal welfare entitlements such as child benefit and winter fuel allowance...

22 September 2010

spotTrade unionists challenge Lib-Dems

ON SUNDAY 19 September, despite pouring rain, 4,000 trade unionists rallied in Liverpool to lobby the Liberal Democrat party conference, writes Paul Gerrard, Salford Socialist Party.

22 September 2010

spotCoventry 'one-stop' protest

Socialist Pary councillor Dave Neillist joins Stoke Aldermoor residents to lobby Coventry council to save their local council neighbourhood management one stop service office., photo Coventry Socialist Party

Socialist Pary councillor Dave Neillist joins Stoke Aldermoor residents to lobby Coventry council to save their local council neighbourhood management one stop service office., photo Coventry Socialist Party

A 30-strong crowd of determined residents from the Stoke Aldermoor estate in Coventry lobbied the city council meeting on Tuesday 14 September to save their local council neighbourhood management 'one stop' service office, writes Lenny Shail, Coventry West Socialist Party.

22 September 2010

spotThe sorry saga of Corus steel

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson

Corus steel workers on the Unite jobs demonstration in Birmingham, photo Paul Mattsson

The recent sale by Corus of the steel plant on Teesside to the Thai company SSI is welcome news but in reality the situation should never have got to this stage, writes A socialist steel worker.

22 September 2010

spotEx-Jarvis workers face more attacks

Stan Herschel, RMT North East regional organiser, spoke to The Socialist about the worsening conditions of ex-Jarvis track-side rail workers who are now working for Babcock...

22 September 2010

spotWorkplace news in brief

Unison executive elections: Socialist Party members Hugo Pierre and John Malcolm are standing in the byelections for Unison's national executive (NEC)...

22 September 2010

spotSave Southampton Libraries

On 15 September, dozens of striking Southampton library workers, Unison members, lobbied the Tory council as part of their fourth day of strike action, writes Nick Chaffey.

22 September 2010

spotHastings demo against attacks on union officials

Hastings March and Rally against TU victimisation, photo Samuel Buckley

Hastings March and Rally against TU victimisation, photo Samuel Buckley

Around 200 people marched through Hastings on 18 September to demand the reinstatement of victimised reps at the Child Support Agency office in Hastings and a Parliamentary enquiry into the actions of area management...

22 September 2010

spotStroud says no to BNP media centre

PEOPLE IN the Gloucestershire town of Stroud, were shocked and outraged to find out that the far right, racist British National Party (BNP) plans to spread its lies from a national 'propaganda' centre (media centre) here, writes Chris Moore, Gloucestershire Socialist Party.

22 September 2010

spotCNWP extended steering committee meeting

Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP): Room 3B, University of London Union building, Malet Street, London WC1. (nearest Tube stations: Euston, Euston Square and Goodge Street)...

22 September 2010

spotFast news

Big oil failure: NOTWITHSTANDING THE oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which followed a fatal explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in April, the UK government has refused to impose a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the North Sea...

22 September 2010

spotKashmir: An eyewitness to oppression in the valley

"A PARADISE turned into hell". That's how the people who live there describe Indian occupied Kashmir. Monday 13 September saw 18 people, mainly young men, mown down by some of the 700,000 soldiers in...

22 September 2010

spot'Death of democracy' in Sri Lanka

EIGHTH SEPTEMBER 2010 will be marked as a 'Black Day' in the history of the capitalist democratic system in Sri Lanka, writes Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI, Sri Lanka).

22 September 2010

spotBirmingham: Solidarity with council workers

Birmingham Council workers on strike, 24 April 2008, photo S. O Neill

Birmingham Council workers on strike, 24 April 2008, photo S. O Neill

Sometimes the bosses hesitate before attacking workers. Sometimes they proceed slowly. And sometimes they rush to strike a devastating blow, Birmingham Socialist Party members write.

22 September 2010

spotWhy London firefighters oppose 'reforms'

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), , photo Suzanne Beishon

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), , photo Suzanne Beishon

On Thursday 16 September, 2,500 firefighters marched through central London to a rally outside the London fire authority headquarters in Southwark. Sarah Sachs-Eldridge spoke to the Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack.

22 September 2010

spotSocialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate

Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010

Hosted by the Socialist Party - Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November - Rallies: Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ

22 September 2010

spotDiminished responsibility

I saw this report the other day: "Former cab driver kissed his 100-year-old mother on the cheek and said "sorry" after stabbing her to death", a Socialist Party member writes.

22 September 2010

spotThe Student Socialist:: Issue 8 1.50

Socialist Student magazine issue 8 2010

Socialist Student magazine issue 8 2010

Read about last year's anti-cuts campaigns and how to take them forwards, what the English Defence League (EDL) is and how to defeat it, international reports and what a socialist education system would look like.

22 September 2010

spotThe beauty industry: out of control?

Today the beauty industry, which refers to toiletries, cosmetics, dieting products and plastic surgery, is worth billions of pounds, writes Becci Heagney.

22 September 2010

spotFight every Con-Dem cut

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson

PCS protest outside Ministry of Justice , photo Paul Mattsson

The scale of the proposed coalition government public sector cuts is becoming more apparent. The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on 20 October will destroy the credibility of the Cameron/Clegg mantra, writes John McInally, Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) vice-president, personal capacity

22 September 2010

spotCountering the Con-Dem government's offensive

NSSN lobby of TUC, Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, CWU, firmly laid the blame for the economic crisis on the bankers -

NSSN lobby of TUC, Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, CWU, firmly laid the blame for the economic crisis on the bankers -

Propaganda attacks on public sector workers: THE DAILY Mail reports with glee that Tory prime minister David Cameron wants to get rid of public sector workers' 'gold plated pensions', a Leicestershire, local government worker writes.

22 September 2010

spotTyneside Safety Glass: Stop the decline to the minimum wage!

Unite members on strike on the picket line at Tyneside safety Glass, photo Elaine Brunskill

Unite members on strike on the picket line at Tyneside safety Glass, photo Elaine Brunskill

Shop steward Mark Robertson, spoke to Elaine Brunskill about the strike on 20 September at Tyneside Safety Glass, the biggest industrial glass manufacturer in the north of England, with around 150 workers...

22 September 2010

spotBuilding the anti-cuts fightback: Local campaign launches

Brighton: Over 200 people packed into Friends Meeting House in Brighton on Thursday 9 September to launch a community-wide campaign against cuts...

22 September 2010

spotBrutal bosses? Time to fight back!

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon

Thursday 16 September saw one of the most formidable demonstrations in London for some time. 2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards, whistles, vuvuzelas...

23 September 2010

spotBlair's path to destruction

The publication of Tony Blair's autobiography, 'A Journey', has confirmed just how unpopular he had become, writes Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary. Socialism Today October 2010.

23 September 2010

spotLibraries and voluntary organisations under attack

60 people, mainly Unite local government workers protested against Greenwich council's plan to cut 70 million from jobs and services, writes Paul Callanan, Greenwich Socialist Party.

24 September 2010

spotAudio version of this document

To hear an audio version of this document click here

24 September 2010

spotCardiff: Anti-cuts campaign launched

Cardiff parents beat education cuts in 2006, photo Socialist Party Wales

Cardiff 2006

Cardiff trades union council launched Cardiff Against Cuts campaign to stop Con-Dem government cuts, writes Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales.

24 September 2010

spotHow the Tories were defeated last time around

The poll tax: It is not an accident that the most militant trade union leaders in Britain today, such as Bob Crow (general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union), are calling for the "biggest movement since the poll tax" to defeat the cuts...

24 September 2010

spotLessons for today

Every struggle has its own characteristics. Neither the poll tax nor Liverpool is an exact model for the battle against cuts that needs to be waged today...

24 September 2010

spotA programme for unity

Ultimately, even more important than the organisational measures that are required, is the programme around which the struggle should be organised...

24 September 2010

spotBuild 'anti-cuts unions'

Uniting the movement will need to have an organisational, as well as a political form. In both Liverpool and the poll tax Militant played a key political role. However, contrary to the slurs against us...

24 September 2010

spotRole of trade unions

Thatcher made another major error in the poll tax movement: she confused the hesitant attitude of the leadership of the workers' movement for the attitude of the working class as a whole...

24 September 2010

spotA political alternative

The anti-cuts movement is going to find itself in opposition to all of the major capitalist parties whose position on cuts is virtually identical...

24 September 2010

spotThe case for socialism

To be fully effective, anti-cuts candidates will need to put forward socialist ideas. Socialists do not accept that cuts are necessary. Capitalism has created enormous wealth, science and technique. We...

24 September 2010

spotIntroduction

Lessons of how Thatcher was defeated, By Hannah Sell, Socialist Party Deputy General Secretary.
There is no alternative to pain. This is the deafening drumbeat of the capitalist politicians and media. Tory prime minister David Cameron claims he has no choice but to take "tough" decisions and to carry out cuts that will "affect our whole way of life for years to come."

27 September 2010

spotLondon: Defending migrant workers' rights

"Hands off our workmates, no one is illegal!" echoed outside contract cleaning company Initial Rentokil, writes Neil Cafferky, London Socialist Party.

27 September 2010

spotBritain on the Brink

Birmingham Council workers on strike, 24 April 2008, photo by S. O Neill

Birmingham Council strike, 24 April 2008, photo by S. O Neill

"A tidal wave of protest is rolling towards the coalition government," the Guardian's Simon Jenkins writes. He is not exaggerating, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, argues as he examines British society on the brink.

28 September 2010

spotCuts target the vulnerable in Ealing

Campaign launched to save the Albert Dane Centre and the Links Project at Southall Baptist church hall in Ealing, photo Ealing Socialist Party

Closure protest

Over 60 people gathered in the Southall Baptist church hall for the opening of a vital campaign to save the Albert Dane Centre and the Links Project...

29 September 2010

spotStop wholesale sell-off in Suffolk

PRIVATE COMPANIES in East Anglia are rubbing their greedy mitts with joy at the prospect of buying up the entire public sector in Suffolk!

29 September 2010

spotFight the cuts! - demonstrate on 23 October

Rail and tube workers, fire fighters, civil servants, teachers, and many other public sector workers will be joined by community campaigners, local anti-cuts unions and young people in central London on 23 October, when working class people in London say "No to cuts!", writes Paula Mitchell.

29 September 2010

spotSuffolk Unison member speaks

"THE COUNCIL has decided to outsource nearly everything. The first thing we heard about it was in the local media a few days before the main council meeting that voted this through...

29 September 2010

spotCouncils must defy cuts

The letter below is from Tony Mulhearn, who was a leading councillor in Liverpool's Labour council when it fought Thatcher's vicious attack on that city between 1983 and 1987...

29 September 2010

spotService users defend Ealing health centres

Over 60 people gathered in the Southall Baptist Church Hall, west London, to launch a vital campaign to save the Albert Dane Centre and the Links Project, writes Neil Cafferky, London Socialist Party.

29 September 2010

spotRight-wing government re-elected in Sweden

THE RECENT Swedish elections were historic in many ways. In a polarised vote, with an increased turnout, the right-wing 'Alliance' was again the biggest bloc while losing its overall majority. The racist...

29 September 2010

spotIs Ireland's economy going bust?

THE IRISH government has imposed a series of savage austerity measures to reduce the country's large budget deficit...

29 September 2010

spotHousing bosses' pay goes through the roof

THE AVERAGE pay for a housing association chief executive is now 153,353. Some of them get much more; the Anchor Trust boss gets 290,000, for example. They also get big employers' pension contributions...

29 September 2010

spotUnison elections: Socialists stand for a fighting and democratic trade union

AS COUNCILS announce savage cuts and council workers are given 90-day notices to prepare for the sack, trade unionists will be looking to their leaders to mount a determined battle to save all jobs and services...

29 September 2010

spotWhat's the point of the unions?

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, addresses National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, addresses National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

Following the highest-profile TUC conference in almost a generation, the Dispatches programme: What's the point of the unions? promised to shine a light on trade unionism in 2010, writes Greg Maughan.

29 September 2010

spotSouth Wales: Fight for car workers' jobs

Over 220 workers are facing the dole with the closure of TRW in Resolven (ex-Cam Gears). Coming on the back of closures of Bosch, Borg Warner and Linamar - over 1,500 car workers in South Wales have been...

29 September 2010

spotBallot victory against social enterprise

Health workers in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland Community Services (MRCCS) have voted for a second time to keep services within the NHS, as opposed to transferring to a "social enterprise"...

29 September 2010

spotBosses try to rewrite history

IN AN ATTEMPT to obliterate the memory of a historic victory against the effects of privatisation, bosses at Whipps Cross Hospital Trust in East London removed a collection of photos of striking porters and domestics from a union notice board...

29 September 2010

spotWorkplace news in brief

Migrant workers protest: The chant of "hands off our workmates, no one is illegal!" echoed outside the London office of contract cleaning company Initial Rentokil on Saturday 25 September, writes Neil Cafferky, London Socialist Party.

29 September 2010

spotStop the NHS sell-off

Community health services in Nottinghamshire will be well on the way to privatisation by Christmas. Almost every part of healthcare that is not in an acute hospital or a GP's consulting room is affected...

29 September 2010

spotStudents: Why we must all protest!

Staff and students unite in protest at Sussex university, photo Socialist Students

Staff and students unite in protest at Sussex university, photo Socialist Students

Comprehensive spending review - 20 October: The brutal Con-Dem government's spending review on 20 October is expected to announce further devastating cuts in jobs and services, writes Becci Heagney, Leicester.

29 September 2010

spotDefend students' democratic rights

With the Con-Dem coalition's brutal attacks on young people already in the pipeline, the need for democratic, fighting student unions has never been greater, writes Claire Laker Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser.

29 September 2010

spotGlobal AIDS crisis: Profits punish poor

The Millenium Development Goals summit recently brought together the leaders of 140 countries to review the progress made in the decade since the eight development goals were set...

29 September 2010

spotWe need action against the cuts... and a socialist political alternative

Barnet council workers protest at plans to cut services and run a 'no frills' council, photo Suzanne Beishon

Barnet council workers protest at plans to cut services and run a 'no frills' council, photo Suzanne Beishon

Almost every report of Tory chancellor George Osborne's impending cuts assumes that "of course, everyone knows cuts are necessary", writes Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor, Chair, Campaign for a New Workers' Party.

29 September 2010

spotBritain on the brink

Barnet council workers protest at plans to cut services and run a 'no frills' council, photo Paul Mattsson

Barnet council workers protest at plans to cut services and run a 'no frills' council, photo Paul Mattsson

"A tidal wave of protest is rolling towards the coalition government, roaring, foaming, darkening the sky, sucking every political argument into a lethal wall of water, writes Peter Taaffe.

29 September 2010

spotFighting to save our services

Greenwich, Reading, Hackney, Bristol, Cardiff: Sixty people, mainly local government workers in the Unite union, gathered at Greenwich town hall in Woolwich on Tuesday 21 September to protest at the council's plan to make 70 million worth of cuts to jobs and services...

29 September 2010

spotDeath at Kington Court community care centre shows "regime of neglect"

The death of Sandra Lancaster at Kington Court community care centre highlights what can only be described as a regime of neglect, writes The following letter was sent to the Hereford Times newspaper by a Socialist Party member:.

29 September 2010

spotAnti-cuts demonstrations planned so far

Cardiff All-Wales demo 23 October. Assemble Cardiff City Hall at noon. London...
To publicise action in your area email editors@socialistparty.org.uk...

29 September 2010

spotChildren's homes: Bosses' 'Tribalism' defeated

IN SEPTEMBER the government cancelled the contract for delivering improvement in children's homes with venture capital backed Tribal Group...

29 September 2010

spotSocialist Students: showing an alternative to cuts and fees

Swansea, Leeds, Lincoln, Brunel, Wolverhampton: Socialist Students members and supporters have had a busy start to what promises to be a busy academic year...

29 September 2010

spotUN fails to meet development goals

THE UNITED Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals were set amid much fanfare in 2000. There were eight anti-poverty goals ranging from ending poverty and hunger to universal education and child and...

29 September 2010

spotNo 'lurch to the left' for Labour

National Shop Stewards Network Lobby of TUC congress 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network Lobby of TUC congress 2010, photo Paul Mattsson

Editorial from The Socialist, issue 640: Does the victory of Ed Miliband over his elder brother David - a modern Cain and Abel drama in reverse with the younger brother 'knifing' the elder - represent the dreaded 'lurch to the left' feared by the right-wing press...

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