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Archive for April 2006

6 April 2006

spotMessage from the Parti Sosialis Malaysia

We are calling on all socialists for solidarity and support in our struggle for the right to exist as a party...

6 April 2006

spotWorld Social Forum in Karachi

CWI banner and stall at World Social Forum
ON SATURDAY 25 March the World Social Forum (WSF) began in Karachi, Pakistan, with some 5,000 to 8,000 present, CWI reporters in Karachi write.

6 April 2006

spotSharon's policies without Sharon

KADIMA - THE new party formed by the comatose former prime minister Ariel Sharon from the previously governing right-wing Likud coalition - emerged as the largest party in Israel's general election last week...

6 April 2006

spotBrazil: Successful Socialismo Revolucionario congress

Brazil: Successful Socialismo Revolucionario congress
"SOCIALISMO REVOLUCIONARIO, the Brazilian section of the CWI, made a leap forward during the last year. The growth in membership and branches, the new branches, like Rio de Janeiro, the interventions amongst students, in...

6 April 2006

spotUnited Socialist Party wins election seat

IN THE council and provincial elections which took place on Thursday, 30 March, the United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) won one seat and massively improved its vote in many other areas, writes Clare Doyle, CWI.

6 April 2006

spotIraq three years on

ALMOST COINCIDING with the third anniversary of the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and British foreign secretary Jack Straw, flew to Baghdad last week try and resolve Iraq's political impasse...

6 April 2006

spotWhen Jack met Condi, thousands protested

LIVERPOOL WAS swamped by police and American security personnel on 31 March as US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice visited Liverpool and Blackburn, writes Alex Waterville.

6 April 2006

spotMass protests continue in France but what next?

THE 4 April "day of strikes and protests" saw renewed mass action and demonstrations across France. As we go to press these protests, in around 200 towns and cities, seem to be either the same size or bigger than those, writes Robert Bechert, Committee for a Workers' International.

6 April 2006

spotWhen the generals prepared to seize power in Britain

The Plot Against Harold Wilson, BBC2: "Tanks on the streets. The Prime Minister toppled. The Cabinet imprisoned on the QE2. Fiction? No. Thirty years ago a secret cabal of generals, aristocrats and businessmen really did plot to oust Harold Wilson and seize power."

6 April 2006

spotPublic services not private profit

THE CAMPAIGN "Public Services Not Private Profit" was instigated by civil service union PCS and involves 14 other unions . It was launched in the House of Commons on 29 March, where speeches from trade union general secretaries...

6 April 2006

spotLeaders' timewasting tactics

YET AGAIN, delegates to National Union of Students (NUS) conference were treated to round after round of discussion on essentially meaningless motions...

6 April 2006

spotHaggerston school keeps on fighting

AROUND 200 pupils, parents and teachers gathered outside Haggerston girls' school's gates recently to show Hackney's Schools Organising Committee (SOC) what they thought of plans to make Haggerston a mixed-sex school, writes Suzanne Beishon.

6 April 2006

spotCoventry - re-elect Rob Windsor!

Coventry - re-elect Rob Windsor!
We are focusing in Coventry on getting Rob Windsor (pictured left) re-elected and regaining our third seat on the council, writes Lindsay Currie, Coventry...

6 April 2006

spotFight for jobs at Manchester Airport

Lynn Worthington, Socialist Alternative candidate, Baguley ward, Manchester
OVER 150 jobs are to go at Manchester Airport. Part-owned by the very same councils who are hiking the council tax which built up the airport, they're now announcing these job losses, writes Lynn Worthington, Socialist Alternative candidate, Baguley ward, Manchester (pictured left).

6 April 2006

spotSocialist Party councillors make a difference

Council elections 2006: THE SOCIALIST Party has six local councillors at present in England and Wales. Three of these councillors have spoken to the socialist about what they have been able to achieve and how they differ from councillors from the pro-capitalist...

6 April 2006

spotSupport grows for campaign for new workers' party

WORKERS ARE looking for a political alternative. That was the message from the 28 March picket lines as members of eleven trade unions took strike action in defence of their pensions. At Salford city council, 34 workers signed up in support of the declaration of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, writes Roger Bannister, National secretary CNWP.

6 April 2006

spot"The most solid strike ever"

Scotland: one million-strong strike for pension rights

Scotland: one million-strong strike for pension rights

Scotland: THE MAGNIFICENT one million-strong strike for pension rights took place as we were going to press last week. The strike, of members of the Local Government Pension Scheme, showed how workers are prepared to fight for their hard-won...

6 April 2006

spotFight to defend pensions

Public sector workers strike to defend their pension
WHAT HAPPENS when your pension scheme goes into deficit?

If you're a private pensioner it may mean your employer closes the whole scheme down and throws you onto an inferior one.

This is even if the bosses have caused the deficit in the first place by having pension "holidays". Or they may even declare themselves bankrupt so you get nothing at all.

6 April 2006

spotStop this privatisation

NEW LABOUR health ministers have announced that DHL/Novation had been awarded the 700 million privatisation/outsourcing of NHS Logistics (NHSLA), the non-profit body that provides medical equipment, food and blankets to hundreds of hospitals and clinics daily, an NHSLA steward writes.

6 April 2006

spot'We're fighting back'

Labour axes 5,000+ NHS jobs: NHS 'BUTCHER' Patricia Hewitt was forced to meet with 12 representatives of the North Staffs NHS SOS campaign at the University Hospital North Staffs on 4 April...

13 April 2006

spot1926 General Strike - Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe

New Socialist Party book: This May sees the eightieth anniversary of the 1926 General Strike in Britain - the most important and earth-shattering moment in the history of the British working class...

13 April 2006

spotNew deal in the offing in local government?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT workers have been fighting, and striking against, plans by their employers and the government to attack their pension plans, writes Bill Mullins.

13 April 2006

spotOrganise to defend jobs at Visteon

LAST SEPTEMBER, the bosses of Visteon UK (Ford's components business) informed the trade unions that the global corporation had 'dealt' with the biggest loss-maker, the USA, with the transfer of some 23 plants back under the control of Ford...

13 April 2006

spotVote Len Hockey

SOCIALIST PARTY member Len Hockey is standing in the election for the health service group executive (SGE) of UNISON...

13 April 2006

spotRail pensions in crisis

AROUND 100 railworkers attended the last meeting organised by the rail trade unions to discuss the imminent pensions crisis in the industry, writes an Aslef member.

13 April 2006

spotStop New Labour's old Tory policies

NUT conference: EVERY CHILD should have the right to a good education at their local school. But too many parents fear that their children may not be getting the opportunities they deserve. Now New Labour's Education Bill is going to make things even worse, writes Martin Powell-Davies, secretary Lewisham National Union of Teachers.

13 April 2006

spotKazakhstan Riot police repelled by shanty town residents

AT 10.30am on 5 April, a battalion of police, backed up by 'rapid response' riot police, the KNB (former KGB) agents, the City Procurer, firefighters and bailiffs, turned up at the Shanyrak district of Alma-Ata city, to raze to the ground the homes of landless residents, writes Socialist Resistance (CWI) reporters, Alma-Ata.

13 April 2006

spotItalian opposition scrapes home but workers must stop the return of Berlusconi

Italian general election: "IF THAT clown comes back to power, it will be a disgrace and Italy won't be worth living in!" This was the response of a former teacher and mother of two young children in Rome on election night...

13 April 2006

spotBuild for 1 May general strike in the USA

US immigrant workers demand legal rights: "WE ARE not criminals, we are workers," read one placard in Seattle as thousands of immigrant workers and their supporters marched to demand that the country's eleven million undocumented immigrant workers be legalised...

13 April 2006

spotMass struggle in France forces government retreat

JUST OVER a week after signing into law the new employment contract which allows bosses to sack workers under 26 years of age without warning or giving a reason in the first two years, France's president Jacques Chirac - faced with mass opposition, led by workers and young people - abandoned it, writes Robert Bechert, CWI, writing from France.

13 April 2006

spotMay Day greetings

MANY PEOPLE will have their first contact with the Socialist Party during our current local election campaigns. Some will, as well as signing petitions against council cuts, privatisation and giving campaign donations, buy a copy...

13 April 2006

spotFighting fund target smashed - again!

Congratulations to all the branches and members who helped raise a huge 25,768 for the Socialist Party fighting fund in the first quarter of 2006. This is 117% of our target - thanks to all our supporters who donated, writes Naomi Byron, National finance department.

13 April 2006

spotElection campaigns boost sales of the socialist

With local elections getting nearer, sales of the socialist are increasing as more people, sick of cuts, closures and privatisation, want to read about the campaigns and ideas of the Socialist Party, writes Bob Severn, the socialist, national sales organiser.

13 April 2006

spot"Standing up for working people"

Sheffield: Canvassing in Sheff-ield on Sunday, Colin is stopped by a man in a black car. "What's a socialist, in one sentence?", the man asks. "Someone who stands up for working people", Colin replies. The man nods, writes Jeremy Short, Sheffield.

13 April 2006

spotHuddersfield - the bandwagon is rolling!

Dr Jackie Grunsell addresses demo in Huddersfield
The Save Huddersfield NHS campaign is dominating the local elections in Huddersfield. The local paper has featured the three candidates and in its editorial called the NHS the most important issue of the elections, writes Mike Forster, Huddersfield.

13 April 2006

spotHow to fight fuel poverty

MILLIONS OF the poorest people in Britain, particularly pensioners and benefit recipients are officially in fuel poverty, paying more than a tenth of their income on gas and electricity...

13 April 2006

spotBush eying regime change in Iran

ACCORDING TO US journalist Seymour Hersh the Pentagon is accelerating military plans to attack Iranian nuclear facilities with 'bunker-busting' bombs, including the use of 'tactical nuclear weapons'...

13 April 2006

spotIraq - condition critical

DESPITE THE spin from Downing Street and the White House, an internal report from the US embassy and military command in Baghdad shows that Iraq's 'political, economic and security situation' in six of the country's 18 provinces is "serious" and "critical" in one...

13 April 2006

spotHands off Cardiff's schools

PARENTS, PUPILS and teaching staff in Cardiff are outraged at the city council's plans to close 17 secondary, primary, infant and nursery schools across the city...

13 April 2006

spotDon't let Blair wreck the NHS

Job cuts soar: MORE THAN 7,000 hospital job cuts have been announced in the last few weeks. And this devastating fact is not the end of the story. Job cuts could go as high as 24,000, as more hospitals and trusts go into deficit...

20 April 2006

spotWalmart: the High Cost of Low Price

This is a film about Wal-Mart, a very big, very powerful retail corporation. The opening scene is of Lee Scott, chief executive officer (CEO), on stage in front of a packed, cheering crowd. He's smug and arrogant. Reviewd by Manny Thain.

20 April 2006

spotSuccessful CWI public meeting in Caracas

ON 7 APRIL the CWI section in Venezuela together with the union of the hospital workers of the Algodanal in Caracas held a successful public meeting about the widespread protest action by students and workers in France, writes Celso Calfullan, CWI, Caracas.

20 April 2006

spotNepal: General strike movement against regime

"BURN THE crown," chanted demonstrators during the two-week long general strike which has brought the mountainous country of Nepal to a halt, deepening the political crisis...

20 April 2006

spotStewards prepare to fight for jobs

UNIONS IN Ford's components business Visteon are giving the company and Ford an ultimatum - withdraw your threats to our jobs, pay and conditions and pensions or face the threat of industrial action...

20 April 2006

spotKick big business out of education!

DELEGATES TO the National Union of Teachers (NUT) annual conference faced up to how to fight the biggest proposed upheaval to the education system for over 60 years, writes Ken Smith.

20 April 2006

spotNew strikes against DWP job cuts

THE DEPARTMENT for Work and Pensions (DWP) Group Executive Committee (GEC) of the civil service union PCS has voted unanimously for a further two days of strike action on 2 and 3 May, writes John McInally, PCS DWP Group assistant secretary and national executive committee.

20 April 2006

spotKeep up the pressure on bosses and union leaders

Local government pensions battle: ON 28 MARCH over one million local government workers went on strike to defend their pensions. Now the unions involved have decided to suspend further strikes on the promise of talks with the employers. This is a tactical error...

20 April 2006

spotSocialists call for "robust" action to oppose Peugeot job losses

Socialists in Coventry today called for "robust" action to oppose more than 2000 job losses flowing from yesterday's announcement by Peugeot that it was ceasing car manufacture at the Ryton plant...

20 April 2006

spotWe need a fighting alternative

COUNCIL ELECTIONS are taking place all over the country. In most cases, working-class voters and young people are turned off by the policies of cuts and privatisation of services offered by all the main capitalist parties -...

20 April 2006

spotA socialist alternative to privatisation

Local elections 4 May -: THE ASSERTION that the three main parties are 'all Tory parties' has been dramatically confirmed in Southwark, south London, where Socialist Party member Lois Austin is standing in the May elections...

20 April 2006

spotFight to save our council housing!

Special Feature: TONY BLAIR has a touching faith in the private profit system's ability to solve all ills in society. But this system is making Britain's housing crisis worse - the private housing 'market' is just not building enough homes at prices people can afford...

20 April 2006

spotSuper-profits from illness

The scandal of drug companies and the NHS: THE SERIOUS Fraud Office has just launched criminal proceedings against five drug companies, over the alleged price-fixing of drugs supplied to the NHS...

20 April 2006

spotNew Labour feel the heat on hospital cuts

THE CRISIS in the NHS has become a big issue in next month's local council elections. Earlier this year managers at Lewisham Hospital in south London announced plans to close three wards and sack hospital staff...

20 April 2006

spotNHS in crisis: Join the fightback now

OVER 7,000 NHS jobs slashed. Up to 100,000 jobs at risk. Operations delayed, services cut and hospitals facing possible closure. Socialist Party member Adrian O'Malley successfully moved the following resolution at Wakefield UNISON health branch to go forward to the national UNISON health conference taking place in Gateshead from 24 to 26 April...

27 April 2006

spotHigh School students threatened with suspension for antiwar activity

The following appeal was received by our sister party, socialist alternative, in the USA...

27 April 2006

spotAnti-cuts alternative confirmed in Berlin city elections

BERLINERS WILL have a clear opportunity to vote for clearly anti-cuts and anti-'neo liberal' candidates in the forthcoming 17 September city elections, writes Robert Bechert, Committee for a Workers' International.

27 April 2006

spotNo more tears sister

This is a film about Rajani Thiranagama, a Sri Lankan university lecturer and human rights activist. She was murdered in Jaffna at the height of the Indian Peace Keeping Force's (IPKF) involvement in the war with the Liberation.

27 April 2006

spotWar looms after Colombo bombing in Sri Lanka

ON 25 APRIL a suicide bomber attacked the car in which the top Sri Lankan army commander was travelling. Eight people were killed and the commander, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, was seriously injured...

27 April 2006

spotFears of revolution force concessions in Nepal

WEEKS OF heroic struggle by the people of Nepal have forced the tyrannical King Gyanendra to make concessions as he desperately tries to cling onto power...

27 April 2006

spotRail unions unite to defend pensions

"WE WILL take united strike action to defend pensions and we need to do it before 1 July this year." Bob Crow, general secretary of the rail union RMT made this statement at a recent conference of 500 rail workers in central London, writes Bill Mullins.

27 April 2006

spotTaking the profits and running

LAST WEEK Peugeot announced the closure of its Ryton factory in Coventry, with the loss of 2,300 jobs. Since the announcement, the Socialist Party has been campaigning hard against this decision and for well-organised trade union...

27 April 2006

spotBuilding the campaign

Campaign for a New Workers' Party: The officers elected at the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) conference had their first meeting on Friday 21 April. On the agenda were the organisational tasks contained in the resolutions passed by those at the conference, writes Fiona Pashazadeh CNWP national treasurer.

27 April 2006

spotPublic services not private profit

THOUSANDS OF public-sector workers and campaigning organisations will take to Bristol's streets on 29 April to protest at attacks on public services. They have plenty to protest about, writes Mark Baker, PCS NEC (personal capacity) and Bristol Socialist Party.

27 April 2006

spotDefend jobs and services

ONE HUNDRED thousand Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members are being forced to take national strike action. We are fighting against the destruction of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the service it provides, writes Katrine Williams, PCS DWP Wales, personal capacity.

27 April 2006

spotIs Blair leading Britain to nuclear catastrophe?

TWENTY YEARS ago, on 26 April 1986, the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl in the Ukraine underwent a series of explosions followed by nuclear meltdown...

27 April 2006

spotWorkers taste power by Peter Taaffe

Workers taste power, by Peter Taaffe. Cover pic
1926 General Strike -: To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1926 General Strike in Britain and, more importantly, to draw out the lessons from this movement, Peter Taaffe has written a book outlining the course of the nine days that shook British capitalism to its foundations.

27 April 2006

spotGood quality schools for all, not just the few

EDUCATION IS always a vital political issue, especially at times of local council elections. But now, with New Labour introducing its Education and Inspections Bill pupils, parents and teachers all face chaos as Blair and Co. aim to overturn the comprehensive education system.

27 April 2006

spotSocialist ideas strike a chord

With local elections getting nearer, more people are buying the socialist and reading how socialist councillors are standing up to the mainstream parties' attacks on local hospitals, comprehensive education and social housing, writes Bob Severn the socialist, national sales organiser.

27 April 2006


Where we're standing


Lewisham Telegraph Hill: Councillor Ian Page, Councillor Chris Flood, Jes Leech

Walthamstow High St: Claire Buddle

Southwark Cathedral: Lois Austin

North West

Baguley Wythenshawe: Lynn Worthington


Netherton and Orrell Bootle: Pete Glover


Newcastle Byker: Paul Owens


Southampton Bevois: Nick Chaffey

West Midlands

Coventry St Michaels: Rob Windsor

Coventry Lower Stoke: Dave Runnells

Coventry Henley: Josie Kenny

Coventry Whoberley: Ross Saunders

Coventry Sherbourne: Jason Toynbee

Nuneato and Bedworth Exhall: Eileen Hunter

Stoke Abbey Green: Councillor Paul Sutton


Huddersfield Crosland Moor and Netherton: Dr Jackie Grunsell (Save Huddesfield NHS)

Sheffield Graves Park: Calvin Payne

Wakefield East: Mick Griffiths

The Socialist Party is also standing as part of the Socialist Green Unity Coalition, who are fielding up to 50 candidates in the local elections.

27 April 2006

spotHewitt 'isolated from real world'

THE NATIONAL Health Service is still by far the biggest political issue in most areas of the country. Patricia Hewitt's foolish comment that the NHS was having its best ever year is treated with derision...

27 April 2006

spotS.O.S NHS!

PATRICIA HEWITT, Blair's health secretary, claims the National Health Service is having its "best year ever." Millions of people think she's talking total rubbish! Labour's attacks on the NHS are making hospital trusts all over the country threaten to sack workers, cut beds and close hospitals or wards.
Andy Bentley, Stoke-on-Trent Socialist Party, writes.

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