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Archive for March 2008

1 March 2008

spotConsequences of crisis for consciousness worldwide

We do not take a simplistic 'economic determinist' approach to politics. It is not our conception that recession will automatically lead to a mass increase in support for socialist ideas...

1 March 2008

spotBritain's economic crisis

Exactly how severe the crisis in Britain's economy will be, how long it will take to bite, and the precise political effects of it, are not yet clear...

1 March 2008

spotHow consciousness will develop in Britain

Crucial for us are the effects that these economic developments will have on the consciousness of the working class...

1 March 2008

spotStrike action in public sector

In the immediate period the battle is likely to be concentrated in the public sector...

1 March 2008

spotSummer of discontent?

Many comparisons can be made between the Brown government and the Callaghan government of 1976-79...

1 March 2008

spotTrade union bureaucracy

In addition the right-wing trade union bureaucracy is far more removed from the membership than was the case in the 1970s...

1 March 2008

spotNew mass workers' party

The struggle to create a mass independent political voice for the working class is the most important task we face in this period...

1 March 2008

spotWar, the environment and social issues

While economic issues are likely to be key to the development of a new party, they are not the only issues which are having a radicalising effect, particularly on young people...

1 March 2008

spotImmigration and the far right

It is estimated that around 700,000 workers have come to Britain from Eastern Europe since 2004...

1 March 2008

spotGeneral election

As stated previously, it is still too early to predict the outcome of the next general election...

1 March 2008


We are on the cusp of an end to 15 years of uninterrupted growth, albeit lopsided, in the British economy...

1 March 2008

spotRecommended supplementary reading

Recommended supplementary reading listed here.

1 March 2008

spotBritish Perspectives 2008

The 2008 National Congress is taking place against the background of a profound change in the world economy and, flowing from that, the political situation...

4 March 2008

spotGreenwich workers score victory against single status

Greenwich Unison members have voted to accept the council's latest 'single status' proposals. This follows a successful campaign by the trade unions, led by Greenwich Unison, demanding equal pay without pay cuts.

4 March 2008

spotAngry civil servants strike over pay

Over 8,000 PCS members in the Department for Transport (DfT) took strike action across Wales, England and Scotland on 29 February to campaign for the same pay rates across the department and to defend jobs...

4 March 2008

spotWalthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators

A FANTASTIC first meeting was held by 'Residents Against Pollution' (RAP) in Walthamstow, north-east London on 27 February, writes Paula Mitchell, Walthamstow

4 March 2008

spotThousands protest at threats to hospital

THE 'SAVE Queen Mary's' demonstration in Sidcup on 1 March had 5,000 people on it, according to the local press, writes Lois Austin

4 March 2008

spotRewarded for zeal at cuts

A DEVASTATING outbreak of the 'superbug' clostridium difficile at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire between 2003 and 2005 killed 33 patients with another 334 patients becoming seriously ill....

4 March 2008

spotFight for a woman's right to choose

International women's day: Hypocrisy is not the word for it! The Guardian reported that Tory leader David Cameron pledged to give a third of jobs in his first government to women...

4 March 2008

spotTurkey's invasion destabilising region

ON 21 February up to 10,000 Turkish troops backed by helicopter gunships and aircraft bombers invaded northern Iraq, writes Dave Carr

4 March 2008

spot$3 trillion Iraq war

The Three Trillion Dollar War, co-authored by Nobel prize-winning economist and former Clinton adviser, Joseph Stiglitz, shows the true economic cost of the war in Iraq...

4 March 2008

spotRussian election

IN A completely anticipated result, Vladimir Putin's hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, was elected Russia's president with a 'landslide' vote last Sunday...

4 March 2008

spotPensions under attack

Postal workers

Postal workers' picket line in East London, photo Naomi Byron

Two weeks ago Royal Mail bosses awarded themselves massive bonuses of over 4.5 million, writes Andy Bentley

4 March 2008

spotUnison witch-hunt: Members bite back

Unison members in Hackney are committed to fighting the current witch hunt against myself and the officers of three other Unison branches, writes Brian Debus, branch chair, Hackney Unison, personal capacity

4 March 2008

spotSocialist Party member stands for Unite (T&G) general executive

Rob Williams, a Socialist Party member and the convenor at the Visteon car plant in Swansea, is standing for election to the general executive council of Unite (T&G)....

4 March 2008

spotHousing association collapses

Safe as houses? MANY HOMEOWNERS face the risk of losing their home because of the effects of the credit crunch, but are housing association tenants completely insulated from the crisis, writes Paul Kennedy

4 March 2008

spotMeet Brown's new finance expert

GORDON BROWN has appointed Jennifer Moses, a former director of Goldman Sachs, to the No 10 Policy Unit, writes Roger Shrives

4 March 2008

spotTeachers must reject real pay cuts

DURING THIS month, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is organising a national strike ballot giving teachers across England and Wales the chance to stand firm together, Martin Powell-Davies and Linda Taaffe write.

4 March 2008

spotGreenwich workers fight attacks

MEMBERS OF the Unison union in Greenwich have been lobbying councillors in protest at proposals to privatise and cut council services, writes Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison, personal capacity

4 March 2008

spotFans blow whistle on Game 39

FOOTBALL SUPPORTERS from across North-east England met to show their opposition to Game 39, the Premier League's proposal to stage one competitive round of games abroad on an annual basis, writes Jamie Redfearn

4 March 2008

spotCampaign to Defeat Fees

KENT UNIVERSITY Socialist Students held a memorable Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) day of action (see The Socialist 522) on 29 February...

4 March 2008

spotSheffield activists fight militarism

SHEFFIELD HAS recently seen the formation of Sheffield Activist Network, a grouping involving socialists, anarchists and animal rights campaigners. , writes Chris Hyde, Sheffield

4 March 2008

spotSwansea - no sign of Griffin!

Fighting the far right: SWANSEA SOCIALIST Party members were part of a 40-strong Unite Against Fascism protest on Saturday evening outside a city pub which was hosting a British National Party (BNP) meeting addressed by their leader Nick Griffin, writes Alec Thraves, secretary Socialist Party Wales

4 March 2008

spotEU war with super-rich?

PEOPLE ARE becoming angry at scandals involving the super-rich and their tax-avoiding policies...

4 March 2008

spotDerby health workers

AT LEAST 200 Unison members working for Derby Hospitals met on 26 February to discuss a response to management's attempts to 'downband' many posts, writes A Unison member

4 March 2008

spotUnite for a living wage

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

No pay freeze: The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has organised a national lobby of parliament on 11 March, bringing together all the PCS groups in dispute over pay and to coordinate political pressure against the public-sector, writes Katrine Williams, PCS DWP Wales secretary, personal capacity

6 March 2008

spotSwansea coastguards strike

The PCS picket line at Swansea's coastguard station in the Mumbles may have had the most stunning backdrop ever; rolling waves crashing against the cliffs, but the determined mood and anger of the strikers matched any industrial dispute! Alec Thraves spoke to the strikers: -

11 March 2008

spotThe PCS, the CWU dispute, and the struggle for public sector workers' unity

New Labour's co-ordinated attack on the public sector has not, to date, been met by co-ordinated action by the public sector unions, despite the best efforts of the left-led PCS civil servants union. PCS national executive committee member JOHN MCINALLY replies in a personal capacity to allegations published by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) that the PCS leadership blocked the possibility of public sector unity in the recent CWU postal workers' dispute. This article was first published in Socialism Today March 2008.

12 March 2008

spotIraq, Afghanistan: The bitter fruits of war and occupation

FIVE LONG, bloody years of war and occupation, led by US imperialism, has left Iraq as a dangerous, violent and divided society, despite promises of stability and democracy...

12 March 2008

spotSchool student strikes

Iraq war - five years ago: On the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq we look back at the inspiring actions of school and college students that took place in opposition to the war...

12 March 2008

spotUS & UK students in anti-war protest

IN PROTEST at the British government's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a recent meeting of the University College of London students union passed a motion banning military recruiters from freshers fairs and severing all links...

12 March 2008

spotFight for a living wage!

DWP staff on strike 17-18 March: Civil service union PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are livid that management have refused to engage in pay talks, writes Katrine Williams, PCS DWP Wales secretary, personal capacity.

12 March 2008

spotCoastguards strike

The PCS picket line at Swansea's coastguard station in the Mumbles may have had the most stunning backdrop ever; rolling waves crashing against the cliffs, but the determined mood and anger of the strikers matched any industrial struggle.

12 March 2008

spotLand Registry votes to reject pay offer

In a recent indicative ballot, PCS members in Land Registry voted overwhelmingly to reject a 2% cost of living pay offer - a pay cut, writes Dave Lunn and Emily Kelly, PCS Land Registry GEC, both in personal capacity.

12 March 2008

spotWales further education pay dispute: Vote 'yes' in strike ballot

Andrew Price speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Andrew Price speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

Welsh members of the University and College Union (UCU) employed in the Further Education (FE) sector, are currently voting in a strike ballot in a pay dispute declared by their union with the Welsh employers' body fforwm, writes Andrew Price, UCU Wales lay negotiator on FE pay.

12 March 2008

spotDerby nurses fight PFI pay cuts

Health workers rallied outside both the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary (DRI) and the Derby City Hospital (DCH) on 7 March in protest against the threatened cuts in nurses' pay, writes Staff nurse and Unison member, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

12 March 2008

spotShelter workers' strike success

SHELTER STRIKERS have now had two days of industrial action following their successful ballot over cuts to pay and conditions, with picket lines in London, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh. A Shelter worker writes.

12 March 2008

spotStroud - Save our post office!

PEOPLE IN Stroud, Gloucestershire are angry at proposals to close another five local post offices and will be demonstrating through the town centre on 15 March, writes Chris Moore, (Save Our Post Offices campaign)

12 March 2008

spotLondon - Fight the closures

IN LONDON 169 post offices are down for closure - an average of five per borough...

12 March 2008

spotMarch for pay justice

Waltham Forest: THE CHANT "Equal pay - Fair pay!" rang out along the streets of Waltham Forest as more than 200 people marched, led by 50 bin workers, on a demo called by Waltham Forest Unison and Unite, writes Paula Mitchell

12 March 2008

spotPrison officers reject pay offer

John Hancock speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

John Hancock speaking at Socialist Party congress 2008, photo Paul Mattsson

ON 8 March, John Hancock, (right) branch secretary of the Prison Officers Association (POA) in Wormwood Scrubs prison, west London, brought greetings to the Socialist Party's annual conference...

12 March 2008

spotHospital trusts... who makes the decisions?

"THE NHS of the future will be one of patient power; patients engaged and taking greater control over their own health and their healthcare too." So said prime minister Gordon Brown (as reported in the Guardian), writes Hugh Caffrey, Manchester Socialist Party.

12 March 2008

spotCuts continue despite financial surpluses

AFTER YEARS of government claims that the NHS was massively overspending - forcing major cuts and closures - the Department of Health (DoH) has announced that the NHS will underspend by 1.8 billion this year, writes Alison Hill.

12 March 2008

spotWorld's poor hit by rocketing food prices

ONE IN six of the world's population (854 million) do not have enough food to eat. Every year, despite the recent boom in the world economy, another four million are added to this total.

12 March 2008

spotNew period of workers' militancy in Germany

A WAVE of industrial unrest has swept across Germany in recent weeks - affecting hospitals, local councils, airports, childcare facilities and public transport...

12 March 2008

spotEnd the occupation

Five years of hell: The billions wasted on war and nuclear weapons should be spent on improving public services...

19 March 2008

spotInterest in socialist ideas on anti-war demo

International Socialist Resistance on the 15 March 2008 anti-war demo , photo Paul Mattsson

International Socialist Resistance on the 15 March 2008 anti-war demo , photo Paul Mattsson

THE 15 March national anti-war demonstration in London, marking five years since the invasion of Iraq, attracted 30,000-40,000 people, writes James Kerr

19 March 2008

spotStrike back against pay robbery!

National Union of Teachers conference: THE NATIONAL Union of Teachers (NUT) conference meets in Manchester over the Easter weekend shortly before the close of its ballot for national strike action on pay, writes Martin Powell-Davies, (Lewisham NUT)

19 March 2008

spotDarling's 'more of the same' budget

Editorial: "The most wrenching since the end of the second world war" is how Alan Greenspan, ex-head of the US Federal Reserve, described the current crisis engulfing the US economy...

19 March 2008

spotPortugal: Strikes and mass protests against government

MAJOR STRIKES and mass protests are taking place in Portugal against the anti-worker polices of the Partido Socialista. Francisco Raposo, from Alternativa Socialista (the CWI in Portugal) and a trade union activist in Lisbon council, spoke to Niall Mulholland...

19 March 2008

spotBuilding a campaigning, fighting socialist party

Informed by discussions on likely political developments, worldwide and in Britain, the Socialist Party congress also examined what these mean for us organisationally in the session on 'building the Socialist party', writes Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party secretary

19 March 2008

spotAnger and strength in the DWP workplaces

DWP members strike on 17 - 18 march 2008

DWP members strike on 17 - 18 march 2008

ON 17 and 18 March, members of the civil service union PCS in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were on strike for the second time against the imposition of a three year pay offer. Regional reports.

19 March 2008

spotNo more post office closures!

CHANTS OF 'Save our Post Offices' and 'Kick the fat cats out' rang through Stroud in Gloucestershire as over 100 people braved heavy rain to protest at the closure of five post offices, writes Chris Moore, Save Our Post Offices campaign

19 March 2008

spotFollowing the Essex road

THE POST Office steamroller continues around the country. Behind it lies a growing number of closed branches and deprived communities, hitting the elderly, writes Jon Dale

19 March 2008

spotRemote MPs' privileged lifestyle

WHILE LOW-PAID civil servants have to strike against a 0% 'pay rise' this year, MPs can claim up to 22,000 for kitting out their homes with luxury items, writes Dave Carr

19 March 2008

spotSalford campaign reprieves women's centre

AFTER MONTHS of concerted pressure from staff, service users, trade unionists and others concerned with the future for women's services, Salford city council has pledged to re-invest in Salford Women's Centre, writes Steven North, Manchester Socialist Party

19 March 2008

spotSocialist Party 2008 congress

Delegates and visitors from Socialist Party branches across England and Wales met in London on 8-10 March, for the Socialist Party's annual congress. Reports on main sessions.

19 March 2008

spotMagic strike at Merlin school

On a windy morning in south London, teachers at Merlin school held a very friendly but determined strike, writes Chris Newby

19 March 2008

spotEnd the blacklist!

Electricians Steve Acheson, Graham Bowker and Tony Jones were "unfairly selected for redundancy due to trade union activities" on the Manchester Royal Infirmary site, according to an industrial tribunal...

19 March 2008

spotSupport for Shelter staff

At the last Manchester branch meeting, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members decided to support Ken Loach's call to suspend standing orders giving money to Shelter until the Shelter dispute is resolved, writes Christian Bunke

19 March 2008

spotSchool tries to evict pupils

Residential caretaker Ricky Jones, his wife and three children face eviction from their home in William Patten School, Hackney, London...

19 March 2008

spotPay more to get less

In 2006 the railway trade unions, Aslef, RMT and TSSA, threatened industrial action to defend our pensions...

19 March 2008

spotOne law for them, another law for us

I am sure many Socialist readers have noticed how the government will go to great lengths to investigate and prosecute trade unionists and socialists, at the behest of powerful capitalists...

19 March 2008

spotIn brief

Housing Corporation: Suzanne Muna, Unison secretary at the Housing Corporation, has been fighting against unjustified disciplinary action from management for representing one of her union members....

19 March 2008

spotIt's not that councillors can't's that they won't!

Lewisham: "OUR PROPOSALS are bold and will require a campaign over the next year for more resources to meet the needs of the people of Lewisham....

19 March 2008

spotSack the mayor - not the wardens!

Doncaster: Doncaster's New Labour mayor, Martin Winter, thinks he can turn silver into gold, writes Alistair Tice

19 March 2008

spotFight for decent youth facilities

Comment: Young people today often have nowhere to go and nothing to do apart from hang around the streets, writes Kristina Andrews, Wythenshawe Socialist Party

19 March 2008

spotSocialist Students

University of Sussex: A huge victory was achieved by Sussex Socialist Students last week when Lee Vernon was elected to the sabbatical position of finance officer of the University of Sussex student union, writes Sarah Wrack, Sussex Socialist Students

19 March 2008

spotProfit motive and the whispering wind

This is a pilgrimage to cemeteries, graves, monuments and plaques commemorating pioneers, martyrs and countless anonymous fighters of the US workers' movement...

19 March 2008

spotGlobal economic crisis

Dow Jones falls amid turbulence, 19 march 2008

Dow Jones falls amid turbulence

AMERICA IS in recession and news of deepening financial disaster comes thick and fast. Bear Stearns, America's fifth largest investment bank, suddenly collapsed, writes Judy Beishon

25 March 2008

spotNorthern Rock: Workers 'gutted' at the scale of job losses

Northern Rock's announcement of 2,000 job cuts - around one-third of its workforce - has numbed workers, writes Elaine Brunskill, Newcastle Socialist Party.

25 March 2008

spotChinese regime suppresses Tibet uprising

THE CHINESE regime has imposed martial law in Tibet following the most serious protests against Chinese rule for 20 years...

25 March 2008

spotWorld events and their repercussions

Two extracts from a summary of the present world situation and world relations, written by Peter Taaffe for a meeting taking place this month of representatives from European sections of the Committee for a Workers' International...

25 March 2008

spotIraq: five year nightmare

On the 15 March 2008 anti-war demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

On the 15 March 2008 anti-war demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

George Bush has said the invasion of Iraq "will forever be the right decision", writes Bob Severn.

25 March 2008

spotSave our hospitals!

HOSPITAL TRUST bosses in south east London have put forward a package of closures and severe cuts to services, writes Roger Shrives, Lewisham Socialist Party.

25 March 2008

spotA socialist alternative

LEWISHAM SOCIALIST Party councillor Chris Flood is standing for the Greenwich and Lewisham seat in the 1 May London Assembly elections...

25 March 2008

spotGreece: Government pension attacks provoke general strike

ON WEDNESDAY 19 March Greece experienced one of the greatest general strikes in its history, writes Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Athens.

25 March 2008

spotTeachers balloting for strike action

NUT conference: STRIKE ACTION to oppose pay cuts, overwork and large class sizes. That was the main talking point at the National Union of Teachers conference over, writes Steve Score.

26 March 2008

spotOur year of fighting back

Socialist Students: WITH GROUPS organised at over fifty universities and colleges, Socialist Student members have been at the forefront of much campaigning and discussion over the past year, writes Toby Harris.

26 March 2008

spotAgenda for Change: Hospital workers\' victory

The spin of the government's "Agenda for Change" scheme is that it provides equal pay for doing the same job across the NHS, writes Andrew Walton,.

26 March 2008

spotSolidarity with Kashmir workers

THE TRADE Union Rights Campaign - Kashmir [TURC-K] is in the forefront of helping to organise solidarity for thousands of earthquake-affected public sector workers in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir...

26 March 2008

spotShelter workers angry at management

TWO DAYS of strike action and two more to follow was enough to bring an intransigent Shelter senior management back to talks with the union...

26 March 2008

spotWorkers' flame burning brightly in Liverpool

AT LEAST 120 people attended the successful first film-debate organised by Merseyside Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) on 19 March, writes Clara Paillard, event organiser, Merseyside CNWP.

26 March 2008

spotA revolt against council tax?

No to cuts! Make the rich pay! THE NON-STOP assault on working-class pockets is getting more vicious in Lincolnshire, where the Police Authority recently voted to increase its council tax precept by a whopping 78.9 per cent, writes Marc Glasscoe,.

28 March 2008

spotMy bullying boss

I THOUGHT I would tell you all about my experience working for an independent trader as a Saturday girl...

31 March 2008

spotCosta Rica:

Appeal: Campaign against the persecution of trade unionists

1 April 2008

spotFrance 1968 - Month of revolution

Speaking tour: 10 million French workers on strike May 1968.

1 April 2008

spot10 million workers occupied the factories. Can it happen today?

France 1968 - month of revolution. Brutal police repression of student demonstrations. Within days, 10 million French workers are on strike.

1 April 2008

spotNo headline set

France 1968 - month of revolution. Brutal police repression of student demonstrations. Within days, 10 million French workers are on strike. Factories...

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