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Archive for March 2012

1 March 2012

spotYouth Fight for Jobs says escalate protests for the scrapping of 'workfare' and the creation of decent jobs!

Following retreats by the government on its flagship ‘work experience’ schemes, YFJ has called a 'day of action' on Budget Day and is calling for trade unions and anti-workfare campaigns to jointly discuss organising a mass demo against slave labour in the summer

1 March 2012

spotCompulsion in 'work experience' scheme dropped

Protesting against slave labour schemes outside Tesco in Leytonstone, London, Feb 2012, photo by Suzanne Beishon

In another nail in the coffin of workfare, the government has dropped threats to stop benefits if people pull out part way through their 'work experience'

1 March 2012

spotStop prison guards housing asylum seekers - stop G4S!

SYMAAG rally in Sheffield against G4S taking over asylum seeker housing, 1.3.12, photo by Alistair Tice

"I don't want a prison guard as my landlord" said a Zimbabwean asylum seeker on a protest demonstration today

2 March 2012

spotIain Duncan Smith sweeps aside the argument!

Iain Duncan Smith got a rough ride from Youth Fight for Jobs today both inside and outside Tottenham town hall...

3 March 2012

spotStagecoach bus drivers win victory

Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus drivers in Barnsley and Rotherham have won a significant victory in their fight for higher pay

3 March 2012

spotStriking back in austerity Britain

Socialism Today 156 - March 2012

Socialism Today 156, March

Arrogant, out-of-touch Con-Dem politicians actually believed they had defeated trade union opposition to their savage austerity measures after last year's strikes. Yet a number of key unions are poised to strike-back on 28 March - and significant private-sector struggles continue. Peter Taaffe writes.

5 March 2012

spotExposed: involvement of security services in construction blacklist

The Observer newspaper front page lead story (Sunday 4th March) has revealed the involvement of the police and UK security services in the compilation of the illegal blacklist of trade unionists and safety campaigners in the building industry

5 March 2012

spotWorkfare protests

For reports and pictures of the latest 'Youth Fight for Jobs' protests against the government's slave-labour workfare schemes, see: www.youthfightforjobs.com

7 March 2012

spotNUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership

It's election time for Britain's student unions and once again thousands will be asked to vote 'Joe Bama for president (yes we can!)' or 'Ben Johnson for education - BJ for satisfaction', writes Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser.

7 March 2012

spotSpain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts

Hundreds of thousands of students took to the streets of Spanish cities on 29 February to protest against the right-wing Popular Party government's swingeing austerity cuts in education...

7 March 2012

spotInternational Women's Day 2012

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo by Paul Mattsson

Women, capitalism and the cuts: International Women's Day 2012 falls against the backdrop of ever more cuts being imposed by the coalition, writes Alicia Blackett.

7 March 2012

spotSocialist Party International Women's Day schools

Hampshire: Socialist Students national organiser Claire Laker-Mansfield explained the origins of women's oppression and then examined how women are being disproportionately affected by the cuts today, writes Jane Ward, Hampshire Socialist Women.

7 March 2012

spotKirklees marches to save child centres

Kirklees Sure Start children centres lobby Kirklees council's budget meeting, photo Huddersfield Socialist Party

Kirklees Sure Start children centres lobby Kirklees council's budget meeting, photo Huddersfield Socialist Party

Around 100 angry parents and their children demonstrated through the streets of Huddersfield on Saturday 3 March against Kirklees council's proposals to mothball half of the 32 children's centres, writes Mike Forster.

7 March 2012

spotLeeds Tenants Federation opposes Welfare Reform Bill

Almost 100 people attended a conference called by Leeds Tenants Federation to discuss the government's Welfare Reform Bill and its impact on tenants in Leeds, writes Iain Dalton, Hyde Park and Headingley Socialist Party.

7 March 2012

spotThem & Us

Marching to recession: Remember chancellor George Osborne's prediction of a "march of the makers" where manufacturing would bring growth back to Britain's economy?...

7 March 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Stagecoach bus drivers win victory: Stagecoach South Yorkshire bus drivers in Barnsley and Rotherham have won a significant victory in their fight for higher pay...

7 March 2012

spotOn 28 March: Strike back against the Con-Dems

Strike back against the con-dems

Strike back against the con-dems

Mass united trade union action can stop cuts: We have the strength to defeat the coalition's multi-billion pound pensions robbery; just look at recent victories achieved with much smaller forces than the alliance of trade unions who are preparing strike action on 28 March, writes Martin Powell-Davies

7 March 2012

spotTrade unions must build mass party

In January Labour leader Ed Miliband announced that a Labour government could not guarantee to reverse any cuts and would maintain the public sector pay freeze

7 March 2012

spotQuebec: Students engage in 'indefinite' general strike action

Tens of thousands in battle against massive rise in tuition fees: A powerful students' struggle is sweeping over Quebec, the French speaking province of Canada. Over 65,000 university and high school students are currently engaged in an indefinite general strike

7 March 2012

spotParty/campaigns news in brief

Torquay NHS campaign: Over 40 activists from Bracknell, Reading, Ascot and Windsor attended a Bracknell public meeting on 29 February organised by Defend Our Community Services to save Heatherwood Hospital from closure, writes Terry Pearce

7 March 2012

spotA4e - The inside story

Workfare protest targets A4e, photo Socialist Party

Workfare protest targets A4e, photo Socialist Party

The welfare state is now a lucrative business - Emma Harrison's contract as A4e chief was worth around £200 million

7 March 2012

spotUnison: Delegates gagged

The Unison Higher Education sectional conference took place in Brighton on 2 March... You'd have thought that defending pensions would have been the key debate of the day.

7 March 2012

spotLondon election candidate named in employers' blacklist

The Trades Unionist and Socialist Coalition has called for firms that used information to blacklist trade unionists and academics, to be banned from public sector contracts.

7 March 2012

spotCops and big business robbers

G4S has controversially been given a £200 million deal to build and run a police station in Lincolnshire. But what are its credentials for this contract? asks Derek McMillan.

7 March 2012

spotBecome Coventry deputy mayor? Thanks, but no thanks!

Coventry council's Labour leader John Mutton invited Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist to become the city's deputy Lord Mayor in May, which would normally lead on to the position of Lord Mayor in 2013

7 March 2012

spotRevolution through Arab eyes - the Factory

Film review: David Johnson reviews a new documentary showing the history of struggle in the Middle East's largest factory...

7 March 2012

spotClegg receives anti-workfare message in Cardiff

Youth Fight for Jobs and Cardiff Trades Council demonstrated outside the Welsh Liberal Democrats spring conference on Saturday to oppose the government's workfare scheme

7 March 2012

spotWorkfare

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan

"Give us jobs NOT slave labour": On 3 March, Youth Fight for Jobs organised and took part in anti-workfare demos up and down the country

7 March 2012

spotNo Cuts, No Fees, Bring Back EMA

Student demonstrations 24 November 2010 against tuition fees rises and the abolition of the EMA, photo by Senan

Walkout 14 March: Students arriving at university in September will be the first to pay the new £9,000 tuition fees and by that time, EMA student payments could be a thing of the past. What can students do to change things?

7 March 2012

spotInternational Women's Day 2012

30 June coordinated strike action by the PCS civil service union and NUT, ATL and UCU teaching unions, photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

For more than a century, 8 March has been the day to commemorate and celebrate the fight of working class and revolutionary women for a better deal and a socialist society, writes Remembering the struggles and victories of women workers.

7 March 2012

spotNHS: Axe Lansley's bill!

 Unison and RCN lobby of parliament in 2006 , photo by Paul Mattsson

Pic Paul Mattsson

A Guardian/ICM poll has shown that most people don't want it. The Royal College of Nursing, other health colleges, health sections of unions Unison, Unite and GMB, academics and nine out of ten hospital doctors all oppose it

7 March 2012

spotMMP workers step up action

Locked out Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) workers in Merseyside have voted decisively for continued action in their dispute, writes Harry Smith.

8 March 2012

spotSparks resolve to continue protests

Up to 150 construction workers met in London last night to review the incredible victory against the 'Dirty 7' companies and discuss the way forward

8 March 2012

spotStop Remploy factory closures!

Swansea Trades Council has pledged support for the ongoing fight to save Remploy factories, following yesterday's announcement by the government of the closure of 36 factories

13 March 2012

spotSocialist Party Congress 10-12 March 2012

Becci Heagney addresses Socialist Party congress 2012, photo Senan

In Clacton-on-Sea at the weekend, 295 delegates and visitors took part in a very successful Socialist Party annual congress

14 March 2012

spotBrazil - Trade unionist sacked for denouncing a death

On March 12th, Joaquim Aristeu Benedito da Silva, a leading trade unionist working for AmBev in Jacareí (São Paulo state) was sacked...

15 March 2012

spotEuropean Court rules on Kettling case

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the case of the protesters who were kettled by police at Oxford Circus in London on May Day 2001. However, there were three dissenting judges...

15 March 2012

spotFight back against attacks on pensions

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

N30 - Millions strike back at Con-Dem government on 30 November 2011, photo Paul Mattsson

Work longer. Pay more. Get less. These three attacks on public sector pensions led to 30 November - the biggest strike in recent British history. The three attacks on the table have not substantially changed...

15 March 2012

spotMay Day greetings

Celebrate International Workers' Day by supporting the paper that fights all cuts with a May Day greeting in the Socialist...

15 March 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Teachers' strike suspended: After a successful strike in London on 23 February, NUT members in sixth form colleges outside London were due to take a half-day's strike action on 15 March...

15 March 2012

spotFighting Con-Dem attacks on education

Southampton's Tory hypocrite brought to book: Education activists in Southampton confronted universities minister David Willetts on Friday 9 March over his plans to privatise education and the introduction of £9,000 fees, writes Josh Asker, Southampton University Socialist Students.

15 March 2012

spot14 March - Socialist Students get a response

Student walk-out and demonstration 14 March 2012, photo by Paul Mattsson

Student walk-out and demonstration 14 March 2012, photo by Paul Mattsson

Across Britain, thousands of students took part in the 14 March protest called, but not built for, by the National Union of Students against £9,000 tuition fees, the ending of Education Maintenance Allowance student payments, privatisation and cuts...

15 March 2012

spotHousing crisis in London

Forced out - fighting back: It has been revealed that the number of people sleeping rough in England has grown by more than a fifth in the past year, writes Suzanne Beishon, London Youth Fight for Jobs.

15 March 2012

spotWidespread fraud alleged as Putin wins presidential poll

'Communist' Party and neoliberal opposition fail to win mass appeal: The election of Vladimir Putin to the office of president of Russia, is surrounded by allegations of widespread voter fraud, writes Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow.

15 March 2012

spotKazakhstan: Oilworkers' lawyer freed from prison

Step up campaign to end all state repression: Natalia Sokolova, who was sentenced last August to six years in prison for defending striking Kazakhstan oil workers, has been set free...

15 March 2012

spotThe best of 'literary fiction'

Last year, an episode of BBC's Culture Show on British 'literary fiction' featured 12 debut novelists, writes Dave Gorton.

15 March 2012

spotBuilding the Socialist Party: 'year of the branch'

As the three main parties were savagely attacking our jobs and services in 2011, support for the ideas and campaigns of the Socialist Party grew...

15 March 2012

spotBritain: working class begins to 'rise like lions'

A vitally important discussion among delegates focussed on the deep and protracted crisis in capitalism, and the impact of the government's austerity measures on Britain, writes Dave Carr.

15 March 2012

spotYoung, socialist and proud to be!

The stage was literally stormed when the chair invited contributions to the discussion on youth and student work. This reflected the enthusiasm for both the congress and the campaigning, writes Sarah Wrack.

15 March 2012

spotAnd the night was not unruly...

Photographer and Socialist Party member Andrew McCoy writes a diary after joining the night pickets at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging, Bootle, Merseyside who have been locked out of their workplace in a dispute with management.

15 March 2012

spotResist Cameron's cold cruelty

Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Bob Severn

Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Bob Severn

Unemployment is rising. Benefits are being slashed. Among the latest to face the Con-Dems' axe are 1,700 disabled workers in skilled, productive jobs as 36 Remploy factories face closure.

15 March 2012

spotLiberals' 'democratic' conference

While the Socialist Party held its national congress in Clacton-on-Sea and committed itself to the fight to save the NHS, the Lib Dems had their conference in Gateshead

15 March 2012

spotConstruction workers fight on

'All power to the Sparks' - Electrician construction workers: protest at Cannon Street, London , photo Paul Mattsson

'All power to the Sparks' - Electrician construction workers: protest at Cannon Street, London , photo Paul Mattsson

National Shop Stewards Network: Over 40 construction workers protested on 14 March outside the Shard site at London Bridge. These workers were fresh from the victory over the 'Dirty Seven' construction companies

15 March 2012

spotLibrary cash goes to supermarket bosses

Following an extensive campaign and judicial review that was unfavourable to them, Gloucestershire county council (GCC) has been forced to redress its cuts programme through public consultations

15 March 2012

spotCoventry: Fight for a socialist alternative

The Coventry Observer reports that: "Coventry City Council is in line to win an award for the way it has delivered budget cuts"

15 March 2012

spot'Westenders' - omnibus edition

We are being badgered to celebrate 60 years of Queen Elizabeth on the throne by a never-ending propaganda offensive, writes Rob Bishop, Gloucestershire Socialist Party and Cheltenham Against the Cuts.

15 March 2012

spotThose fracking Tories

There have been protest meetings across West Sussex against the danger of Hydraulic Fracturing ("Fracking"). The practice has been banned in France and Bulgaria after mass protests

15 March 2012

spotWorld developments show - capitalism is crisis

"When the present devastating world crisis of capitalism broke, the Socialist Party and the CWI drew bold far-reaching conclusions: that this time there would be no quick or easy way out for capitalism and that arising from this we would see a period of revolution and counter-revolution"

15 March 2012

spotThem & Us

A4e's champagne lifestyle: Conferences in Monaco, £200-a-head nights out, £800 meals - that's the lifestyle afforded by top executives at disgraced workfare company A4e...

15 March 2012

spotTrade unions and workplaces

Preparing for the struggles ahead: At the Socialist Party's national congress on 10-12 March, the discussion on developments in the trade unions was introduced by Rob Williams...

15 March 2012

spotRMT calls Budget Day of Action

Rail union RMT is holding a Budget "Day of Action" over government plans to axe thousands of jobs, close ticket offices, jack up fares and give the train operating companies "gold plated" franchises as it implements the McNulty Rail Review recommendations, writes Information from a RMT press release, 12 March 2012:.

15 March 2012

spotCapitalism isn't working: Time to fight for socialist change

Karl Marx: Profit is 'the unpaid labour of the working class'

Marx: Profit is 'the unpaid labour of the working class'

Unless you are part of the richest 1% then life under austerity is getting increasingly difficult. Peter Taaffe looks at the nature of capitalism

15 March 2012

spotNational demo needed to save our NHS

Con-Demolition of the NHS, photo by  Socialist Party

The coalition government with little opposition from Labour are closer than ever to transferring our National Health Service to the money grabbing private sector who will enrich themselves still further

15 March 2012

spotFight the cuts - for a workers' alternative

Steve Hedley, London Regional Organiser, RMT , photo Socialist Party

Steve Hedley

Interview with RMT candidate: London regional organiser for the RMT transport union, Steve Hedley, spoke to the Socialist about present issues facing London Underground workers, and why he is standing for TUSC in the May elections

15 March 2012

spotNational Union of Teachers executive discussion on pensions

Martin Powell-Davies - a member of the NUT National Executive - posted the following report on 14th March on his blog, about the NUT's pensions survey and next steps

20 March 2012

spotBuild a strategy to win on pensions

Part of the PCS contingent on the massive 26 March TUC demonstration , photo Senan

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members have voted by huge majorities to reject the government's final offer on pensions which is intended to make us pay more, get less and work longer, writes John McInally

21 March 2012

spotConstruction workers demand better pay and conditions

Around 70 rank and file construction workers met in Manchester on 17 March to discuss the victory against the bosses' attempt to impose Besna contracts - cutting wages by up to 35%...

21 March 2012

spotSingle and video: ill Manors by Plan B

The new single, and video, ill Manors, by rapper Plan B is conceived as a warning shout from the disenfranchised inner cities to middle England, writes Michael Wrack.

21 March 2012

spotSmear campaign on Hillsborough?

Football rivalry is common in Liverpool between Liverpool and Everton supporters, writes John Cosgrove.

21 March 2012

spotStudent walkout: Socialist Students show what could have been

The one thing not lacking on our university campuses, in our schools and at our colleges is anger. We've already seen the Con-Dems triple fees and scrap EMA. Now students face courses cut to the bone,...

21 March 2012

spotThem & Us

Super rich suffer cash piles: It seems that 'Broke Britain' ain't so broke. Cash holdings of big companies in Britain are standing at £731 billion. That's cash sitting in banks not being invested because of 'lack of confidence...

21 March 2012

spotDefend the right to protest!

The eleven year battle for justice for those detained by police on the May Day demonstration in 2001 has finally come to an end...

21 March 2012

spotSri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished

It is nearly three years since the Sri Lankan regime declared victory against the LTTE, the Tamil Tigers, writes Manny Thain, Secretary, Tamil Solidarity.

21 March 2012

spotYouth demand future at Dundee sham summit

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) disrupted Con-Dem Scotland minister Michael Moore's national youth unemployment summit on 15 March, with a large protest at Dundee College's Gardyne campus, writes Matt Dobson.

21 March 2012

spotBudget: far from 'all in it together'

Pigs at the trough: Obsorne's budget 2012 a hand out for the rich , photo Alan Hardman

Pigs at the trough: Obsorne's budget 2012 a hand out for the rich , photo Alan Hardman

Asked about the Con-Dem budget, Simon Hughes, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats pleaded for "a budget for the millions not the millionaires"

21 March 2012

spotMMP packaging: workers still locked out

MMP Packaging workers still locked out, photo by Stillshooter

MMP Packaging workers still locked out, photo by Stillshooter

149 workers at Mayr-Melnhof Packaging (MMP) in Bootle, Merseyside have been locked out of their workplace in a dispute with management over planned redundancies

21 March 2012

spotThe 'Kony 2012' phenomena

Charity's pro-US foreign policy is against interests of Africa's poor: Seldom before has an idea spread so quickly across the world. Within days tens of millions watched Invisible Children's 'KONY 2012' video as it went viral across the internet and social media

21 March 2012

spotNo to workfare - fight for a genuine alternative

Cait Reilly, one of the young people forced to work for free under the existing schemes is in the process of a judicial review of the government's workfare policies, writes Paul Callanan

21 March 2012

spotStroud: Labour lets NHS down again

Stroud Against the Cuts has recently had a campaign and legal success in slowing down the privatisation of the county's NHS through the transfer of 3,000 NHS staff and community services to a social enterprise or Community Interest Company

21 March 2012

spotWorkplace news in brief

Mick Dooley, a prominent activist in the battle to stop the big building companies imposing a 35% pay cut, has been confirmed as a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the London Assembly elections.

21 March 2012

spotSwindon hospital workers fight bullying

More than 300 people, mainly Carillion employees and their families, marched in Swindon on 17 March, in a lively and noisy demonstration

21 March 2012

spotFight or privatise: A tale of two councils

Liverpool's fighting 47: Councils across the country are currently setting their budgets. Whether Tory, Lib Dem or Labour, they all dutifully carry out the government's cuts...

21 March 2012

spotTell Con-Dem government: NO CUTS!

30 June pensions strike; London demo, photo Senan

Support London 28 March strike: War is declared! ...or at least, the next phase in the ongoing pensions action has been called - with NUT and UCU members in the 'post 1992 universities' striking across London on 28 March

21 March 2012

spotStop the NHS sell-off - National demo now!

NHS: Big Business wants a US-style private health care system, photo Paul Mattsson

Support anti-cuts candidates: Devon county council and Devon NHS are putting children's services out to tender writes Jim Thomson, South West Socialist Party.

21 March 2012

spotPrepare for future struggle - build the trade union left

On the National Shop Stewards Network lobby of TUC congress, 11 September 2011, photo Sujeeth

Unending misery - that's what this government has in store for us. NHS chiefs have been warned they will need to find a further £20 billion in 'savings'

21 March 2012

spotAnother repugnant Tory-Liberal budget for big business and the rich

Trying to fit in with the angry mood of ordinary people against bankers' bonuses, bailouts and other windfalls of the rich, Tory chancellor Osborne in his budget speech called tax evasion by the wealthy "morally repugnant"

22 March 2012

spotLeeds Unison needs programme of anti-cuts action

Over the next week Leeds Unison will be having its AGM across four different venues. We'll be discussing our strategy to defeat the cuts

22 March 2012

spotGovernment accepts bankrolling RBS but not Remploy

Remploy workers rally against closure threat, photo Chris Moore

There was more clarity last week on the issues that surround the Con-Dems' proposal to end supported employment in Remploy

22 March 2012

spotChancellor of the 99% announces alternative budget

Yesterday in London 300 activists protested against Chancellor George Osborne's austerity budget. On hand was Youth Fight for Jobs' "Chancellor for the 99%" to outline an alternative

22 March 2012

spotLondon TUSC: Standing to say "there is an alternative"

Some of the candidates on the TUSC list for the May 2012 London Assembly elections, photo by  Socialist Party

On the day of the millionaires' budget, Bob Crow opened a rally to launch the TUSC campaign for the May London Assembly elections. He reported that none of the London RMT branches had said they shouldn’t support TUSC

26 March 2012

spotTUSC candidate Tony Mulhearn enters mayoral election race

Tony Mulhearn, photo Paul Mattsson

Tony Mulhearn, veteran socialist and trade unionist, former District Labour Party president and one of the leaders of the socialist council in 1983-87, has entered the race to be Liverpool's first elected mayor.

27 March 2012

spotTanker drivers vote to strike

Tanker drivers working for five major fuel distribution firms and members of Unite, voted overwhelmingly for strike action over health and safety issues

27 March 2012

spotVisteon pensioners protesting at Westminister, 28 March

Three years after the shock closure of Visteon, the campaign to restore pension rights promised before Ford transfered 3,400 employees to the doomed Visteon UK continues with a protest at Westminster on Wednesday 28th March at midday...

28 March 2012

spotLondon teachers and lecturers strike to defend pensions

NUT and UCU strike action in London on 28 March 2012, photo Senan

NUT and UCU strike action in London on 28 March 2012, photo Senan

Teachers in the NUT and lecturers in some sectors of the UCU have taken strike action on 28 March as part of the continuing battle to defend public sector pensions. During their demo, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka spoke to the Socialist

28 March 2012

spotSpain: Workers gear up for general strike

The right-wing People's Party prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has provoked a 24-hour general strike on 29 March by Spain's trade unions, by making it easier for employers to sack workers...

28 March 2012

spotWorld warming even faster than thought

Socialist plan needed: If further proof were needed to show that the Tories' election pledge to be the "greenest government ever" was a lie it has now been provided...

28 March 2012

spotBudget 2012: reject regional pay

One of the many attacks on workers in the budget is the proposal to introduce regional pay in the public sector, including the civil service...

28 March 2012

spotNational action needed to stop the pensions robbery

NUT london strike and demo 28 March 2012, photo  Socialist Party

NUT london strike and demo 28 March 2012, photo Socialist Party

Last week's issue of the Socialist carried an explanation of why the PCS civil service union had decided not to call action on 28 March...

28 March 2012

spotWorkplace In Brief

NHS pensions vote: Unison members working in the health service will be voting on whether to accept new pensions proposals, in a ballot running from 11-27 April...

28 March 2012

spotRare sighting of Tories in Scotland

Protesters far outnumbered attendees at the Scottish Tory conference; considering there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs, this shouldn't come as a surprise!, writes Jamie Cocozza, Youth Fight For Jobs Scotland.

28 March 2012

spotBrighton Uni: Socialist Students five votes from victory

Frequently dominated by populist politics and joke candidates, student union elections are too often the stomping ground of the apolitical and the right-wing bureaucracy that dominate local student unions and large sections of the National Union of Students (NUS), writes Jack Poole, Brighton University Socialist Students.

28 March 2012

spotFormer Liverpool 47 councillor to give socialist challenge for mayor

"If elected I would use all the powers at my disposal to fight for everyone suffering under this relentless assault masterminded by the Con-Dem government and unfortunately carried out by Labour and the Lib Dems in the council chamber...

28 March 2012

spotWales: Does Plaid Cymru leadership vote show left turn?

The election of Leanne Wood, a radical, republican, anti-capitalist woman, as leader of Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru makes a sharp change from the party's more conservative leadership of the past and could attract trade unionists and young people to Plaid, writes Dave Reid.

28 March 2012

spotTories stand for the 1%... We need a voice for the 99%!

We need a voice for the 99%

We need a voice for the 99%

Only one week after the government's budget of new, swingeing cuts in jobs and services, accompanied by huge tax breaks for the rich and big business, it's been revealed that super-rich Tory party donors had earlier wined and dined with the prime minister, David Cameron...

28 March 2012

spotFrench presidential election - An emerging left challenge

The first round of the French presidential election will be held on 22 April. The UK mass media has concentrated its coverage on the conservative candidate and incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy

28 March 2012

spotThem and Us

As it stands, the NHS - supposedly 'ringfenced' from austerity - has to find £50 billion of so-called efficiency savings by the end of the decade...

28 March 2012

spotSave the Remploy factories - not for sale or closure at any price

The closure of 54 Remploy factories potentially can affect everyone in the UK. Disability can strike anyone in any socio-economic group, at any time.

28 March 2012

spotMillion Hoodies March against racist murders in the US

Thousands of people have taken part in 'Million Hoodie Marches' and vigils in the US, including in New York, Miami, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to demand justice for 17 year old African American Trayvon Martin

28 March 2012

spotBudget for the 1% must be fought

The blatantly pro-rich budget of Chancellor George Osborne was met by a wave of outrage. There was incredulity that the top 1% had been made significantly better off, while pushing on with austerity for everyone else

28 March 2012

spotToasting the cuts - councils show no remorse

Kirklees Sure Start children centres lobby Kirklees council's budget meeting, photo Huddersfield Socialist Party

Kirklees Sure Start children centres lobby Kirklees council's budget meeting, photo Huddersfield Socialist Party

While public sector employment is down by 350,000, senior council officials "celebrated" their achievements in the Great Room of London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

28 March 2012

spotAbortion - defend and extend the right to choose

1,000 people joined a lively Abortion Rights Campaign protest opposite Parliament , photo Leah Jones and Anna Engelhardt

1,000 people joined a lively Abortion Rights Campaign protest opposite Parliament , photo Leah Jones and Anna Engelhardt

Shona McCulloch looks at the tactics of right-wing opponents of abortion rights and of choice, and how best to safeguard women's hard-won gains...

28 March 2012

spotReview: We must look - the photographs of Don McCullin

The life's work of one of the world's greatest living photographers, Don McCullin is on show until 15 April at London's Imperial War Museum...

28 March 2012

spotProgramme for the May elections - For the millions, not the millionaires

N30: millions of public sector workers went on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Senan

N30: millions of public sector workers went on strike on 30 November 2011, photo Senan

The latest fashion among all the parties in Westminster is to steal the Socialist Party's slogan and claim they are introducing policies that help 'the millions not the millionaires'

29 March 2012

spotNottingham teachers strike against five-term year

Nottinham NUT strike 29th March 2012 , photo by Becci Heagney

Over 200 striking teachers protested in Nottingham against the city council's plans to change their contracts

29 March 2012

spotMMP callously announces Bootle plant will close

Workers at the Mayr Melnhof Packaging (MMP) plant in Bootle have been told by their employer that the plant will be closed

30 March 2012

spotGalloway victory shows potential for challenges to the main parties

George Galloway's overwhelming win in Bradford West shows that Labour can no longer take its working-class voters for granted

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