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Archive for February 2007

1 February 2007

spotNHS: Protests must reflect people's anger

AT LONG last, the London NHS Together campaign has announced its event for the national day of action to defend the NHS on 3 March...

1 February 2007

spotNHS union attacked in Brighton

THE ROYAL Sussex County in Brighton is the hospital that many services will be centralised to, as the NHS on the south coast is butchered...

1 February 2007

spotStriking for jobs and services

AS WE go to press, hundreds of thousands of civil servants are preparing to strike...

1 February 2007

spotBA bosses make concessions

But workers must prepare for future attacks THE PLANNED two-day strike of British Airways cabin crew on 30-31 January was called off following a deal between their union, the TGWU, and BA management...

1 February 2007

spotMass action can defeat fees

NUS backs Campaign to Defeat Fees: The National Union of Students (NUS), representing five million members, has published a message of support for the Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF), and is backing the protests on 22 February...

1 February 2007

spotBuilding for the protests

The big turnout from Swansea University to the last anti-fees demo in London shows the potential support for the CDF...

1 February 2007

spotSinn Fein's major U-turn

Northern Ireland: DELEGATES AT the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Dublin on 28 January voted by an overwhelming majority to back a leadership motion to support the police and judicial system in Northern Ireland....

1 February 2007

spotIraq - build for 24 February demo

HUNDREDS OF thousands of people protested in cities across the USA last Saturday, 27 January against Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq and to demand that the troops be brought home now...

1 February 2007

spotLewisham leads the way

Tales from the council chamber: LEWISHAM COUNCIL in south London became the first local authority to oppose the government's planned replacement of the Trident submarine nuclear weapons system - after a motion moved by Socialist Party councillors, Ian Page...

1 February 2007

spotCWI rally: An inspiring international meeting

THE COMMITTEE for a Workers' International (CWI) "Rally to unite the globe" on 27 January was an inspiration...

1 February 2007

spotCWI World Congress: Building the forces of socialism worldwide

The ninth world congress of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) took place in Belgium in mid-January...

1 February 2007

spotSri Lanka: Defend socialists under attack

THE SOCIALIST Party is stepping up its campaign to defend socialists and other activists of the cross-party United People's Movement (UPM) in Sri Lanka from government-sponsored sectarian attacks....

1 February 2007

spotBolivia: Mass protests demand right-wing Prefect's resignation

TWO WEEKS of intense mobilisations, protests, and street blockades calling for the resignation of right-wing departmental prefect (elected head of the regional administration), Manfred Reyes Villa, culminated in a popular ass...

1 February 2007

spotPower industry: Fight this victimisation

E.ON UK, of which Central Networks is just a part, has around 15,000 employees, Chub is European Works Council delegate for the UK and a lead negotiator...

1 February 2007

spotSacked electricians fight on

SINCE LAST April, three sacked electricians have protested against the employers on the major Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) construction site...

1 February 2007

spotBP condemned over safety standards

A RECENT US report slammed Britain's biggest oil company BP for flouting safety standards in this very dangerous industry...

1 February 2007

spotSupport the Unique Care workers

IF ENERGY, determination and unity were the only ingredients necessary to win an industrial dispute, then the Unique Care workers in Huddersfield would already be home and dry...

1 February 2007

spotSouthampton care workers on strike

IN THE face of massive attacks, care workers in Southampton are taking three days of strike action from 3-5 February. ...

1 February 2007

spotNational meeting on Single Status

Coventry: Single Status Activists Meeting. Saturday 10 February 2007 from 2pm - 4pm. United Reformed Church, Warwick Road, Coventry. More details:

1 February 2007

spotReid's prison disaster

HOME SECRETARY John Reid is under great pressure from the media and MPs after several well-publicised crises and humiliations about his department's work in law enforcement...

1 February 2007

spotGay adoption: Christian hierarchy attacks equal rights

LGBT demoWHILE SOCIALISTS were out last week campaigning against cuts in the NHS, the leaders of Britain's main Christian de-nominations were involved in a different kind of battle.

Picture: LGBT protest. Photo Marc Vallee.

They want to be given an exemption from laws due to be implemented this spring that will ban discrimination against Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people (LGBT) in the provision of services.

1 February 2007

spotReview: Silent Accomplice

BETWEEN APRIL and July 1994 nearly one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by the Rwandan government and its Hutu militias. ...

1 February 2007

spotPrivate hands off our health service

Health workers in Whipps Cross protestTHIS WEEK, the Association of Directors of Public Health floated the idea of the NHS charging for 'non-essential' surgery...

7 February 2007

spotSold to big business

New Labour: AS THE 'cash for honours' inquiry rumbles on, panic is growing at the top of New Labour out of fear that one or more members of Blair's closest entourage will be charged by the police...

7 February 2007

spotChange the system not the climate!

cartoon by Alan Hardman UN report predicts climate chaos: THIS MONTH saw the publication of the fourth report from the UN's climate science programme (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - IPCC)...

7 February 2007

spotBush's bio-fuel bull

IN HIS state of the union speech, US president George Bush outlined a ten-year strategy for tacking climate change...

7 February 2007

spotStop the Valentine's Day pay massacre !

Southampton care workers: Workers in six Southampton care homes received huge local support last weekend during a three-day strike to stop vicious wage cuts being imposed by the city council...

7 February 2007

spotStriking back at the privateers

Unique Care: AS PRIVATISATION'S ugly face reveals itself with cuts and brutal attacks on terms and conditions, workers at Unique Care in Huddersfield are showing that, in one striker's words: "We need not and will not take it lying dow...

7 February 2007

spotCamden council blames cuts on 'spending gap'

CAMDEN'S NEW Lib Dem/Tory coalition council have embarked on a 40 million cuts programme to jobs and services. ...

7 February 2007

spotCorus deal threatens new cost-cutting

LIKE A scene from Casino Royale, magnates from Tata and CSN steel companies played a hard game of bluff and counter-bluff to win ownership of Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steel company...

7 February 2007

spotRising anger and discontent in Europe

CWI World Congress report: IN THIS second report in the socialist from the recent ninth world congress of the Committee for a Workers' International, Paula Mitchell summarises some of the themes raised in the discussion on Europe....

7 February 2007

spotDarfur - another failure of Western 'conflict resolution'

OVER THE last three years, between 200,000 and 400,000 people died in the Darfur conflict, in western Sudan...

7 February 2007

spotSri Lanka: Keep up the protests

SIRITUNGA JAYASURIYA (Siri) general secretary of the United Socialist Party, is now safely back in Sri Lanka, thanks to the campaigning work of socialists worldwide who have been putting consistent pressure on the Sri Lankan ...

7 February 2007

spotDon't privatise social housing!

RECENT CHANGES could lead to the end of "not for profit" social housing in England or, at the very least, fundamentally change housing provision...

7 February 2007

spotTenants pay when things go wrong

SOCIALIST PARTY members are actively involved in the campaign by tenants of Peabody Housing Trust to stop it selling off 1,100 homes on the open market...

7 February 2007

spotCoventry - a victory for determination

Tales from the council chamber: DISABLED TENANTS in Hillfields in Coventry have won important concessions thanks to a campaign involving them, their Socialist Party councillors and the local community...

7 February 2007

spotInterview with Mark Serwotka: "This is just the beginning of the campaign"

Mark Serwotka HUNDREDS OF thousands of civil and public service union (PCS) members were out in force on strike on 31 January. They were fighting government plans to cut and relocate jobs, worsen working conditions and make below-inflation pay offers while the government is spending billions of pounds on private consultants.

7 February 2007

spotWelsh strikers close down Assembly

FOR THE first time in British history, a parliament was closed by industrial action when the Welsh Assembly was shut down and its plenary session cancelled by PCS members' strike action...

7 February 2007

spotCabin crew angry over BA deal

A WORKER at British Airways (BA) at Heathrow told the socialist his opinion of last week's deal for cabin crew negotiated by TGWU general secretary Tony Woodley and BA chief executive Willie Walsh...

7 February 2007

spotMay Day greetings

May Day greetings help show support for socialist ideas by different groups fighting back against cuts and privatisation, while raising money to fund the socialist alternative to the big business press...

7 February 2007

spotThe writing on the Chinese wall

Can China achieve the transition from 'communism' to capitalism? How long will its turbocharged economic growth last? Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary, reviews The Writing on the Wall - China and the West in the 21st Century by Will Hutton

7 February 2007

spotHas Manchester struck it lucky?

Super-casinos: "MANCHESTER HITS the jackpot." This was how the Manchester Evening News greeted the announcement that the city had won the bid for Britain's first 'super casino'...

7 February 2007

spotAnger at union leaders' timidity

AROUND THE country, health campaigners in 'save our NHS' groups such as PUSH and KONP are furious that there will not be a national demonstration on 3 March organised by the health trade unions...

7 February 2007

spotManchester nurses strike against health cuts

AROUND 250 mental health nurses took strike action on 31 January against cuts to jobs, services and the possible privatisation of four nursing teams...

7 February 2007

spotCan the Left reclaim Labour?

OVER 90 people attended the "Trade Unionists 4 John" meeting on 30 January as part of John McDonnell's campaign for the Labour Party leadership...

7 February 2007

spotMerseyside Campaign for a new workers' party

TOMMY SHERIDAN (on behalf of the Scottish socialist movement 'Solidarity') will speak at the Merseyside Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) meeting on Monday 12 February, 7.30pm, Casa Club, 29 Hope St., Liverpool city...

7 February 2007


Blair's strings to big business Time for a new workers' party: The 'cash for peerages' scandal has again reared its head with more arrests and police now circling around Tony Blair himself, writes Rob Windsor, Socialist Party Councillor, Coventry

15 February 2007

spotAngry refugees protest

Leicester: EVEN BUSH'S government now admits that Iraq is in a civil war, but Britain's Home Office considers Iraq a safe place for refugees fleeing the bloodshed to be forcibly returned to...

15 February 2007

spotCardiff students build for 22 February

STUDENTS protested outside the Cardiff University vice-chancellor's office on 7 February...

15 February 2007

spotStudents must link up with workers

AFTER THE 22 February students' day of action (see front page), we need to expand the campaign beyond university students...

15 February 2007

spot'Saintly' Tesco

RETAIL GIANT Tesco is offering Open University students money towards their university fees, using points on Tesco clubcards...

15 February 2007

spotTen years of the socialist: 1997-2007

The Socialist issue 366 THE SOCIALIST was launched ten years ago, in February 1997. Like its predecessor, Militant, launched in 1964, the socialist entered the scene just as a long period of Tory government was about to end with the election of a Labour government.

And, as Ken Smith, the first editor of the socialist explains, like its predecessor, the paper had to cover and respond to massive world-changing events in the immediate years after its launch.

15 February 2007

spotA great step forward in Liverpool

Roger bannister addresses the Liverpool CNWP meeting, photo Harry Smith Campaign for a New Workers' Party: Two hundred and fifty people, of all ages, crowded into the Casa (Dockers') Club in Liverpool to hear the case for a new mass party of the working class...

15 February 2007

spotBird flu outbreak: Profits put before health

THE BIRD flu outbreak at Bernard Matthews' Holton plant in Suffolk has again exposed the government's compliance with big business to put the profits of the food processing industry before people's health....

15 February 2007

spotJob losses fear on turkey farms

FOR THE last 57 years Bernard Matthews' empire has mushroomed, but confirmation of the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in his turkeys could change all that...

15 February 2007

spotWorkers' health jeopardised

A NORFOLK GP told the socialist that her surgery was phoned by the occupational health nurse at a Bernard Matthews' plant. ...

15 February 2007

spotFighting back against NHS cuts

WILTSHIRE PRIMARY Care Trust (PCT) recently announced they would close three local community hospitals and two maternity units...

15 February 2007

spotPolice raids dividing community

Birmingham 'terrorism' arrests: THE RECENT arrest of nine 'terrorist' suspects in Birmingham is another high profile police swoop to have taken place in recent months...

15 February 2007

spotBush threatens Iran over Iraq insurgency

GEORGE BUSH'S administration has stepped up its threats against Iran, accusing the Islamic regime of supplying sophisticated roadside bombs to Shia groups in Iraq which have killed US soldiers....

15 February 2007


Stop the War Coalition/CND demo

Troops out of Iraq.

No Trident.

Saturday 24 February.

Assemble 12 noon, Speakers Corner, Hyde Park. March to Trafalgar Square, London.

15 February 2007

spotWorkers' strike declared illegal

Kashmir: TENS OF thousands of public-sector workers have been involved in a bitter struggle since November 2006 to force the government in Pakistani administered Kashmir to implement promises of compensation for losses suffered during...

15 February 2007

spotHSBC imposes charges on aid to Palestinians

HSBC BANK that has offices in 77 countries, claims to be a 'socially responsible corporation'...

15 February 2007

spotSimclar workers fight sackings

SIMCLAR, AN electronics company in Ayrshire, have sacked 420 workers. Plants at both Kilwinning and Irvine have been closed and the company put into liquidation....

15 February 2007

spotPCS action continues

THE ONE-DAY PCS strike on 31 January has been followed up by a two-week overtime ban...

15 February 2007

spotEDS forced into 'U' turn on pay

PCS MEMBERS working for US multinational Electronic Data Systems (EDS) voted to postpone further industrial action against the company to allow a ballot on a new and vastly improved pay offer....

15 February 2007

spotSave our school buses

WHEN MAESTEG Socialist Party held a meeting to get locals involved in the campaign against cuts to free school buses, only two local people were at the meeting at first...

15 February 2007

spotGreenwich workers prepare to fight

A MASS meeting of Greenwich council workers heard how the council were determined to attack their pay and conditions...

15 February 2007

spotHackney UNISON

AT HACKNEY UNISON Annual General Meeting, members were angry at the national leadership's handling of the pensions dispute. ...

15 February 2007

spot84 million penthouse

THE PROPERTY market in London "is awash with money from the City," according to an estate agent selling luxury homes around Hyde Park...

15 February 2007

spot100 billion Trident?

BRITAIN'S NUCLEAR weapons programme could cost 100 billion over the next 50 years, anti-nuclear campaigners CND claim...

15 February 2007

spotScrap student fees now

, photo Build the Campaign to Defeat Fees: Students are angry - fees are an unbearable burden and massive debts are a shadow over their futures...

19 February 2007

spotBolivia: Oil workers request solidarity

WHEN 300 low-paid contract workers at the Gualberto Villarroel oil refinery in Cochabamba, Bolivia formed their own union - the Sindicato Mixto de Trabajadores Gualberto Villarroel - the leaders and most active members of this union were fired. To date, 32 union leaders and workers have been fired.

22 February 2007

spotNo to Trident!

RIDING PILLION behind Bush, Blair has embroiled Britain in disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

22 February 2007

spotIraq 'surge' doomed to failure

Only workers' unity and a struggle for socialism offers a way out: NEWSPAPER REPORTS this week reveal that US General Tommy Franks met with his top officers in August 2002 to review their invasion plan for Iraq...

22 February 2007

spotItaly: Thousands march against US military base

"WE DON'T want a militarised city, we want to decide our own future." ...

22 February 2007

spotNorth Korea: Talks achieve new accord

Another US retreat?THE POTENTIAL breakthrough reached in Beijing last week in talks over North Korea's nuclear programme, involves significant concessions by US imperialism....

22 February 2007

spotAnti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist? Read the socialist!

After almost four years of war in Iraq, up to 655,000 civilians have been killed...

22 February 2007

spotStudents can defeat fees

THE LIES go on! Blair maintains that the introduction of top-up fees has been vindicated and that his critics have been proved wrong. As usual his claims are based on dodgy evidence.

22 February 2007

spotAnother profit-making racket

Student accommodation: THE NATIONAL Union of Students' (NUS) recent survey of student accommodation costs shows that roughly a quarter of students live in university halls or purpose-built accommodation from corporate providers...

22 February 2007

spotLiving in debt - with no advice

RECENTLY I spoke to someone who wanted to get help and advice over a couple of debt issues, a three-grand student loan and water rates. ...

22 February 2007

spotBanking billionaires

BARCLAY'S BANK is the first high street bank to announce its profits for 2006...

22 February 2007

spotDefend further education

LAST YEAR the number of adult learners in Further Education (FE) colleges fell by 17% to 700,000...

22 February 2007

spotCWI world congress: How will new workers' parties be built?

CWI world congress report (3): ROGER BANNISTER Socialist Party visitor and national secretary of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party reports....

22 February 2007

spotJustice for the Shrewsbury pickets

WELL KNOWN actor and former industrial militant, Ricky Tomlinson, spoke at the highly successful Campaign for a New Workers' Party meeting in Liverpool on 12 February...

22 February 2007

spotClimate change - we have to act now

Why is climate change a problem?: The major capitalist countries (G8) are planning to meet in June in Germany to discuss climate change, among other issues...

22 February 2007

spotFighting homophobia

THIS MONTH is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month. Although now officially supported by the TUC, several government departments...

22 February 2007

spotValentine's day protest

Southampton: "YOU TAKE the pay cuts!" were the angry chants that greeted councillors as they arrived to set their budget in Southampton on St Valentine's day last week...

22 February 2007

spotUnique Care workers plan more protests

THE STRIKING careworkers at Unique Care in Huddersfield are entering the seventh week of their dispute...

22 February 2007

spotIsraeli postal workers storm trade union HQ

UP TO one hundred contract typists for the privatised Israeli mail service 'Do`ar Israel', held a protest at the headquarters of the Histadruth trade union federation in Tel Aviv on 19 February...

22 February 2007

spotChildren at the sharp end of British capitalism

Unicef report: A SHOCK report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says that children in Britain have the lowest levels of well-being in the developed world...

22 February 2007

spotDrug companies squeeze profits out of health

AN OFFICE of Fair Trading (OFT) report says that the NHS is paying the pharmaceutical companies hundreds of millions of pounds too much for drugs...

22 February 2007

spotHospitals crisis worsens

MORE THAN a third of hospitals and primary care trusts (PCTs - bodies that pay for local services) are not expected to 'balance their books' this financial year, according to the most recent forecasts...

22 February 2007

spotThe politics of socialism

Socialist Party national congress: CHRIS BAUGH, assistant general secretary of the PCS civil service union, launched the Socialist Party's 2007 congress with a rousing speech...

22 February 2007

spotBush & Blair: Get out of Iraq

Anti-War demonstration 19 March 2005, photo Paul Mattsson

Anti-War demonstration 19 March 2005, photo Paul Mattsson

A group of Iraqi teachers visiting Britain have described how their normal life in Baghdad includes seeing 'corpses and flying body parts' as they travel to work...

1 March 2007

spotBurslem posties stand firm

SINCE BEFORE Christmas, postal bosses in North and Mid Staffordshire have attempted to replace full-time jobs with part-time ones...

1 March 2007

spotNHS: No more delays - for a mass demo!

WHILE NHS cuts and closures continue around the country, Patricia Hewitt, government health secretary, has announced the building of seven new hospitals...

1 March 2007

spotNo to NHS marketisation

ON 22 February, a torch-lit procession marched through Liverpool city centre to "Save the NHS"...

1 March 2007

spotBetraying the NHS

the socialist review: "Michael Mandelstam's analysis is unanswerable and his criticisms robust. His book should be studied by everyone concerned with how health care is delivered...

1 March 2007

spotVisteon victory for shop floor

THE SHOP stewards' committee in Visteon's Swansea plant have resisted the company's plans to stop brake disc production in the factory...

1 March 2007

spotCumbria rail crash: Safety not profit

THE FAULT with a set of points that caused last week's train derailment in Cumbria, in which one person died, was almost identical to the one that caused the Potters Bar rail disaster in 2002....

1 March 2007

spotMake anti-war movement an unstoppable force

Demonstration against Trident Feb24 2007, photo Pedro

Demonstration against Trident Feb24 2007, photo Pedro

After 24 February demo: THE TENS of thousands streaming through central London and Trafalgar Square on Saturday 24 February had a clear message: 'No to Trident...

1 March 2007

spotItaly: Political crisis grips Prodi government

But Prc lacks coherent alternative policies: ON 21 February, the Italian coalition government faced collapse when the Prime Minister, Romano Prodi tendered his resignation. ...

1 March 2007

spotSouth London shootings: The bitter effect of poverty and alienation

THE SHOOTINGS of three school age children in south London have caused great concern...

1 March 2007

spotThreat to Tower Colliery jobs

SIXTY MINERS at Tower Colliery, in South Wales, have received redundancy notices...

1 March 2007

spotTake over the robber banks!

THERE'S BEEN good news and bad news for shareholders and bosses of Britain's high street banks...

1 March 2007

spotUnique care workers lobby

THE SACKED careworkers at Unique in Huddersfield held a lobby outside the offices of Kirklees council in advance of the full council meeting on 28 February...

1 March 2007

spotProtests make council back off

Bridgend: AROUND 25 young people protested this week outside Bridgend council offices against attacks on public services...

1 March 2007

spotLatin America: A continent in revolt

CWI world congress report (4): THE RECENT world congress of the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI - the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated) debated the explosive developments in Latin America where th...

1 March 2007

spotCongress to build the forces of socialism

Socialist Pary congress 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialist Pary congress 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

The Socialist Party's 2007 national congress took place during the three days 17-19 February...

1 March 2007

spotSocialist Party congress appeal

The finance appeal at the Socialist Party congress was a great success, raising a total of 8,193...

1 March 2007

spotFighting for women's rights

The pressures of life under capitalism, double standards which still leave women doing the vast majority of childcare and housework, and a lack of confidence are all barriers which women can face to joining the Socialist Part...

1 March 2007

spotSupport the socialist with a May Day greeting

International Workers' Day, 1 May, is the time to show international solidarity with all workers and young people struggling against oppression and for decent living conditions...

1 March 2007

spotProtesting across the country

Huddersfield Campaign to defeat fees, photo Ian Slattery

Huddersfield Campaign to defeat fees, photo Ian Slattery

Campaign to Defeat Fees: HUNDREDS OF students in many areas took action as part of the Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) day of action on 22 February. This ranged from big protests to petitioning and stunts on the issues of student debt and top-up fees.

The action took place in over 40 colleges and universities, with more to follow this week when colleges come back from half term. Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national co-ordinator has compiled reports from the day of action.

1 March 2007

spotUnison: Build genuine opposition on the left

UNISON national executive elections: ONE OF the most important elections for a long time is due to take place in UNISON...

1 March 2007

spotVote for Roger Kline

UCU general secretary election: LAST YEAR saw the merger of the two main post-school education trade unions, the AUT and NATFHE into the University and College Union (UCU)...

1 March 2007

spotJobs and services, not cuts and excuses!

DOZENS OF angry care workers lobbied Bolton council against a savage cuts programme at a full council meeting on 21 February. ...

1 March 2007

spotNHS crisis: clean out the profiteers

Calling for a national demonstration in 2006 - photo Paul Mattsson

Calling for a national demonstration in 2006 - photo Paul Mattsson

THE SCANDAL of the privatisation of vital NHS services has been exposed yet again. Deaths linked to the hospital bug Clostridium difficile have risen by 69%, to 3,800 since the year 2004-2005. Deaths linked to the MRSA infection have risen by 39%, to 1,629 in the same period.

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