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Archive for January 2004

10 January 2004

spotReport Reveals Plans For Teaching On The Cheap

THE FUTURE of education? Nothing but blue skies... and schools without teachers! Opponents of the government's "Workforce Agreement" have always warned that its real purpose was to introduce teaching on the cheap...

10 January 2004

spotLabour Council Attacks Trade Union Rights

THE MAYOR of Newham council, east London and the chair of the London employers' body Sir Robin Wales have launched a massive attack on trade unions in the borough...

10 January 2004

spotParmalat Workers Shafted By Capitalist Greed

WORKERS AT the main production base in Italy of "Europe's Enron" have no sympathy for those they call the "magnificent eight" locked up in Milan's notorious San Vittore prison...

10 January 2004

spotVote 'Yes' For Strike Action

Civil service strike ballots: OVER 100,000 members of civil service union PCS are voting in a strike ballot over pay. Staff in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Home Office, Department for Constitutional Affairs, Treasury Solicitors and the Prison Service are involved...

10 January 2004

spot2004 - A New Year Of Political Struggle

AT THE start of a new year, PETER TAAFFE, general secretary of the Socialist Party, says that working people in Britain are likely to face a new period of struggle and political ferment in 2004...

10 January 2004

spotThe cost of a child's life

WHILE BUSH and Blair's 'war on terror' continues, the number of chronically hungry people grows by five million a year. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation recently estimated that 842 million people were malnourished in 1999-2001...

10 January 2004

spotForeign Aid: Poorest Pay, Privatisers Gain

AN ARTICLE by George Monbiot in The Guardian shows how Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) is consciously targeting its foreign aid at countries who are prepared to sell off their assets to big business...

10 January 2004

spotGive Us Back Our Railways

MANY PEOPLE found returning to work after Christmas even more gruelling this year. Rail users faced fare rises of up to three times the rate of inflation, together with both new and continuing delays on many lines...

10 January 2004

spotKarl Debbaut - join the lobby

KARL DEBBAUT, co-ordinator of International Socialist Resistance, is in court on 19 January on charges arising out of a demonstration of school students and other anti-war activists in Lewisham on the day that war began in Iraq...

10 January 2004

spotYoung Workers Need A Liveable Minimum Wage!

PRESSURE FROM the trade union movement and the general anger among many workers could force New Labour to introduce a minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds later this year...

10 January 2004

spotSocialist Party Wins Vote Opposing Fees on Coventry City Council

Coventry City Council now officially opposes top up fees thanks to a motion successfully moved by Socialist Party councillors Karen McKay, Rob Windsor and Dave Nellist on 16 December. ...

10 January 2004

spotJoin The Fight Against Fees

THE NEW Labour government is about to publish its Bill on top-up tuition fees. The Bill was delayed because over 150 Labour MPs signed a motion in opposition....

17 January 2004

spotFight For New Workers Party

Labour attacks RMT: THE LABOUR Party's threat to expel the railworkers' union, RMT, is a serious attack on all unions considering loosening or breaking their links with the Labour Party...

17 January 2004

spotCWU Broad Left Affiliates To ISR

ON 10 JANUARY representatives from International Socialist Resistance (ISR) were invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) broad left...

17 January 2004

spotFight Low Pay

Vote 'yes' in the PCS strike ballot: OVER 100,000 members of the PCS civil service union in five government departments are balloting for industrial action over pay...

17 January 2004

spotRespect Unity Coalition - what we think

THE RESPECT unity coalition (RUC) is an initiative from George Galloway MP, the Socialist Workers' Party (SWP) and others, centred around standing in the June European and Greater London Authority elections...

17 January 2004

spotHaiti: Mass Protests Against Autocratic Rule

Street demonstrations against Aristide's rule by decree: Haiti has two major claims to fame: firstly, it saw the first successful revolution against slavery, and, secondly, the country is the poorest in the Western hemisphere...

17 January 2004

spotSharon Pushes For Annexation

Israeli/Palestinian conflict: THE END of 2003 saw a renewal of bloodshed in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. In the final two weeks of 2003 and first week of 2004 Israeli Defence Force (IDF) attacks killed 17 Palestinians, and a Palestinian suicide bombing in Israel...

17 January 2004

spotThe Jungle, By Upton Sinclair

Books that inspired me: US PRESIDENT Theodore Roosevelt, it is said, choked on his breakfast and turned vegetarian when reading an advance copy of Upton Sinclair's expose of the meatpacking industry...

17 January 2004

spotHigh Fat, High Sugar And High Profit

The food industry...: After the Christmas and New Year celebrations, many people resolve to eat more healthily and get more exercise. But as Jackie Grunsell explains, having a healthy lifestyle means tackling big business as well as big helpings...

17 January 2004

spotAsylum Seekers Fast For Their Rights

ASYLUM SEEKERS held a 48-hour fast in Nottingham city centre from 9 January to 11 January, protesting at laws making many asylum seekers in Britain destitute. ...

17 January 2004

spotStop top-up fees Action Day

A Guide to Action: Get pledge forms signed by students in your school or college to take part in the action day...

17 January 2004

spot"Don't let money mean more than minds."

"I WENT to university in 1998 and spent four years in Newcastle. The year I started was the first year they introduced tuition fees...

17 January 2004

spotTop-Up Fees - The Beginning Of The End For Blair?

WILL BLAIR sink with his 'flagship' Bill on top-up tuition fees? He's definitely pursuing a high-risk strategy. In the face of mass opposition from ordinary people and now from Labour MPs he's linked introducing top-up fees with his own authority and...

17 January 2004

spotTop-Up Fees - Your Questions Answered

Clare James, national coordinator of ISR, looks at what top-up fees will really mean for students and explains why we should organise to stop them...

17 January 2004

spotStop Top-Up Fees

THE COUNTDOWN to the vote on top-up fees has begun. It's not certain that Tony Blair will get away with this latest attack on our right to a decent education. Labour MPs know that millions of people are outraged at a Bill that will price working-class...

24 January 2004

spotNGOs Provide No Solutions For The Exploited

World Social Forum 2004, Mumbai: OVER 120,000 people attended the World Social Forum (WSF) in Mumbai, India. The majority came in their tens of thousands from the most poverty stricken areas of India as well as other countries in Asia such as Pakistan, South Korea, Tibet...

24 January 2004

spotIraq: Imperialism's Quagmire

THE POLITICAL problems confronting the US-led occupying powers in Iraq continue to mount. Last week, tens of thousands of Shias, under the political leadership of cleric Ayatollah Sistani, demonstrated in Iraq's second city Basra against the US authorities'...

24 January 2004

spotLondon: Obscene Wealth And Abject Poverty

Distorted economy: LONDON IS a microcosm of British capitalism, where the extremes of obscene wealth and abject poverty jostle within the city boundaries. ...

24 January 2004

spotKarl Debbaut - Next Hearing 26 January

ON 19 January, International Socialist Resistance (ISR) coordinator Karl Debbaut appeared in court for the sixth time. He is charged with assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty last March during a protest by school students in Lewisham,...

24 January 2004

spotSupport Francis Tienga Ngale

FRANCIS TIENGA Ngale is a Cameroonian asylum seeker, a member of Cameroon's main opposition party, Social Democratic Front and the Socialist Party. He is battling against deportation because of the dangerous conditions he will face if he is returned...

24 January 2004

spotEaling's Financial Crisis

EALING COUNCIL in west London is facing a massive financial crisis, which local authority workers and services users will be expected to pay for. This crisis has been brewing for some time...

24 January 2004

spotFighting Low Pay At Sainsbury's

PICKETS WERE out again on both gates of Sainsbury's giant distribution depot at Haydock, Merseyside on 15 January. Again the strike was solid amongst the 750 USDAW members...

24 January 2004

spotStrike Back Against Low Pay

OVER 100,000 civil servants, PCS members, in five departments have voted decisively for industrial action over pay. (See below)...

24 January 2004

spotFor a fighting leadership of the teachers' union

Martin Davis, NUT Lewisham Association Secretary
NUT general secretary election: THE NUT officers' committee in Lewisham has voted to support Martin Powell-Davies for general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) in the forthcoming election...

24 January 2004

spotAustralia: Fees Don't Work

TONY BLAIR has said that the Australian system of university funding proves that top-up fees work. David Murray, a student in Australia spoke to the socialist about his experiences...

24 January 2004

spotMake Big Business And The Rich Pay

SOCIALIST PARTY member John Reid was invited along to Newsnight with his daughters Nathalie, a student currently 11,000 in debt, and Stephanie, who is seriously reconsidering whether she can afford to attend university in three years time because top-up fees will saddle her with debts of at least 20,000...

24 January 2004

spotTop-Up Fees And Blair's Future In The Balance

"I WILL survive" said Blair on a Newsnight special about top-up fees (19 January). But will he?...

24 January 2004

spotNo Fees!

"WE SHOULD go on strike about this!" was a frequent comment made by young people signing our 'No to top-up fees' petition just before Christmas...

31 January 2004

spotScotland: Nursery Nurses To Ballot For All-Out Action

AFTER EIGHT months of industrial action by Scotland's nursery nurses, their union, UNISON is preparing to ballot for an all-out indefinite strike from March...

31 January 2004

spotHackney Workers Fight 'Single Status'

DRAMATIC CONFRONTATIONS took place last week as Hackney refuse workers began a four-day strike against big pay cuts being imposed by the council under the guise of 'single status'...

31 January 2004

spot"It's Not Just Pay"

LAND ROVER workers were on official strike on 26 January, the first for 15 years. There were pickets of between 100 and 200 at the main entrances and within five minutes two deliveries were turned back...

31 January 2004

spotSocialist Party And The Respect Convention

LAST SUNDAY, 25 January, the founding convention of Respect took place and agreed to launch an electoral campaign across England and Wales, headed by George Galloway MP, for the June European and Greater London Authority elections...

31 January 2004

spotFrench Government's Divisive Ban On Headscarves

ON 17 January 2004, demonstrations took place in many countries against the French government's proposal to ban the wearing of the hijab (headscarf) in France's state schools...

31 January 2004

spotWorkers Speak Out at World Social Forum

AS WE reported in last week's issue of the socialist, over 120,000 people, mainly from the Indian sub-continent and other Asian countries, attended the fourth World Social Forum in the Indian city of Mumbai...

31 January 2004

spotTop-Up Fees - The Fight Goes On

HUNDREDS OF students braved the cold to demonstrate outside Parliament as MPs prepared to vote on top-up fees. Some spoke to the socialist about why they were there...

31 January 2004

spotBrown - The Bosses' Friend

WOULD CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown be an improvement on Tory Blair as Prime Minister? As Blair tries to dodge the banana skins, some people hope so...

31 January 2004

spotBattered Blair Clings On For Now

BLAIR narrowly survived the vote on top-up fees. He saw a massive majority of 161 evaporate to just five, over what he himself called his 'flagship' policy. At the eleventh hour, spineless New Labour MPs bottled it - bullied and bribed into submission...

31 January 2004

spotWhere Are Iraq's Weapons Of Mass Destruction?

What Hutton didn't ask: "I don't think they existed," Kay said. "What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last Gulf War [1991] and I don't think there was a large-scale production programme in the 90s."...

31 January 2004

spotBlair is Damaged Goods

Blair survived the vote in the House of Commons by a whisker. And because of the spinelessness of Labour MPs, students going to university in 2006 will pay up to 3,000 a year in tuition fees....

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