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Archive for May 2003

3 May 2003

spotFight Capitalism, Change The System

MAY DAY is international workers' day. It began in the US in the late 19th century and is now traditionally a day when workers and young people demonstrate for our rights and against the continuing attacks...

3 May 2003

spotArgentina: Elections Show Need For A Socialist Alternative

THE FIRST round of Presidential elections in Argentina has left former Peronist President Carlos Menem in a run-off with the government-backed Nestor Kirchner, also a Peronist standing for the Union de Centro Democratico, writes Tony Saunois.

3 May 2003

spotGeorge Galloway: Anti-War Campaigner Smeared

GEORGE GALLOWAY'S name has been added to the notable list of those who stood against the might of the British political establishment and were subsequently ferociously witch-hunted and smeared, writes Ken Smith.

3 May 2003

spotBlair's Problems On The Home Front

PUFFED UP from 'victory' in Iraq, Tony Blair is preparing to step up the war against our public services at home...

3 May 2003

spotIsrael/Palestine: 'Road Map' Will Not Bring Peace

PUBLICATION OF George Bush's long-delayed 'road map' to a Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement and an independent Palestinian state by 2005, was inched forward last week, writes Dave Carr.

3 May 2003

spotSARS and a sick system

THE MEDIA coverage of SARS has exaggerated its threat to health (so far 300 people worldwide have died compared to 30,000 influenza deaths each year in the US) and largely ignored the mass killer (and preventable) epidemics such as TB and malaria, writes Dave Carr.

3 May 2003

spotSATS - Labour's Giant Measuring Machine

Delegates to the National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference voted unanimously last week to boycott SATS - the government's system of testing children at ages seven, eleven and fourteen...

3 May 2003

spotIs US Imperialism Invincible?

After the Iraq war...: "A WAR to remake the world" is how Michael Ledeen, a leading neo-conservative associated with the Bush government, described the war on Iraq, writes Hannah Sell.

3 May 2003

spotBlair Declares War On Public Services

Hands Off Our Schools!: JARVIS, THE engineering contractor which is being investigated by the police over last year's Potters Bar rail crash, has been awarded a three-year government contract to help rescue 'failing' schools, writes Roger Shrives.

10 May 2003

spotNorthern Ireland: Only Working Class Can End Sectarian Impasse

WITH ONLY days to go before the close of nominations and even though campaigning was already under way, Tony Blair has called off the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, writes Peter Hadden, Belfast.

10 May 2003

spotFight Corus Job Massacre

A LOCAL woman told me: "My daughter came back from a school trip telling me they make the best steel in the world at Stocksbridge - a few days later Corus announce they're ending steelmaking there forever!", writes Alistair Tice.

10 May 2003

spotAirport Workers Demand The Truth

IN MAY 2002 24 security workers at Belfast international airport were sacked for going on strike. The events around the sackings have led some of those involved to suspect collaboration between the management...

10 May 2003

spotIraq watch

Galloway Suspended By Labour Leadership: IN A vengeful act, the Labour Party has suspended from membership MP George Galloway pending "internal party investigations"...

10 May 2003

spotBlair's 'Baghdad Trounce'

TONY BLAIR hoped his Iraq 'victory' would help New Labour in the 1 May elections. But rather than a 'Baghdad bounce', it was more like a 'Baghdad trounce'. New Labour lost votes nationwide due to...

10 May 2003

spotNeeded - new policies, not new voting methods

VOTING IN elections is at an all-time low; less than three in five of the electorate took part in the 2001 general election and local elections have only attracted an average of about a third of voters for some time now...

10 May 2003

spotSpectacular gains for Scottish Socialist Party

SCOTLAND'S POLITICAL establishment were licking their wounds after the Scottish parliament elections of 1 May, writes Philip Stott, Dundee SSP and International Socialist.

10 May 2003

spotNeo-Nazis blast a warning

THE NEO-Nazi British National Party (BNP) won 13 council seats in the elections and now have 16 elected local councilors...

10 May 2003

spotDreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta

Dreaming War: THIS IS a tremendous follow up to Gore Vidal's equally impressive Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace published last year...

10 May 2003

spotNo To Foundation Hospitals

YES to good quality health care for all: AS A UNISON steward I oppose Labour's plan to create foundation hospitals. This is merely privatisation by the back door and will lead to a two-tier health service, writes John Malcolm, assistant branch secretary, UNISON North Tees mental health, personal capacity.

10 May 2003

spotNursery Nurses Step Up The Fight Against Poverty Pay

NURSERY NURSES in Kirklees, West Yorkshire have voted to escalate their strike action. Following the Easter holidays, a mass meeting decided overwhelmingly to strike for a week from 12 to 16 May...

10 May 2003

spotElections 1 May 2003: Build The Socialist Alternative

NEW LABOUR suffered their worst result for 24 years in the local elections of 1 May. Most people just didn't bother to vote, fed up with all the main political parties...

10 May 2003

spotBootle and Wales: New Labour's lies and dirty tricks

SOCIALIST PARTY success in Bootle has continued. Our candidates scored 34% - 672 votes in Netherton and Orrell ward and 8% - 118 votes in Litherland ward...

17 May 2003

spotDefend the right to strike: Support The Fire Fighters

AS WE go to press, negotiations between the local fire authority employers and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are still proceeding...

17 May 2003

spotCoventry Socialists: Standing Up for Working-Class Communities

AFTER THE local elections on 1 May, Coventry City Council went from being Labour-controlled to no single party having enough seats to be able to form an administration...

17 May 2003

spotIraq watch

'The Authority' Will Control Iraqi Oil: 'WE WON. Stuff you!' That's what the US administration's proposals to the United Nations (UN) on running post-Saddam Iraq amount to...

17 May 2003

spotSocialism 2003 - Six Weeks To Go

Socialism 2003, the Socialist Party's annual weekend of discussion and debate, has been moved forward from the autumn to the 28-29 June, writes Hannah Sell.

17 May 2003

spot300 Issues of the Socialist

Growing discontent at Blair's capitalist policies: THIS IS the 300th issue of the socialist - our first issue was published in February 1997. At a special conference two months earlier, Militant Labour members had voted to change our party's name to Socialist...

17 May 2003

spotIsrael/Palestine conflict: Palestinian State Halted By Sharon Roadblock

GEORGE BUSH'S recently published road map to ending the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and achieving a 'viable Palestinian state' by 2005, already looks set for failure...

17 May 2003

spotWorkers Strike Back: Austria, France, Sweden

Austria: ON 6 May, for the first time in decades, the ÖGB (Austrian trade union federation) called for a national day of action, including strikes, writes Sonja Grusch, Sozialistiche LinksPartei (SLP), Vienna.

17 May 2003

spotWealth Gap Widens Under Blair: Make The Rich Pay!

THERE IS now the biggest wealth gap between the filthy rich and the poorest in society for 13 years. What's more, poverty levels under Tony Blair are worse even than they were under arch-Tory Margaret...

17 May 2003

spotNew Labour and the Unions: Time To Make The Break

CLARE SHORT left Blair's cabinet with a bang. Her resignation speech contained a withering attack on the "control freakery" of the Blairite "clique" at the top of the party and Blair's "presidential"...

24 May 2003

spotAmicus, The Political Fund And New Labour

'Political fund - who needs it?' That is the question asked in the current Amicus-MSF journal, as we prepare to vote on the retention or otherwise of the union's political fund, writes Mick Cotter, Amicus-MSF London Region Craft MM.

24 May 2003

spotCapitalism Means War And Terror

AS THE war against Iraq drew to a close, an opinion poll in Britain found that a majority of people, including those who supported the war, thought it would make the world a more dangerous and unstable place to live...

24 May 2003

spotEducation: New Labour's triple crisis

SATS - Clarke tries to head off boycott: EDUCATION SECRETARY Charles Clarke has announced that more weight will be given to teachers' assessments when testing seven-year-olds...

24 May 2003

spotNursery Nurses scent victory in pay battle

THE INCREASINGLY bitter pay battle by nursery nurses in Kirklees, Yorkshire is rapidly reaching a conclusion - in the union's favour, writes Mike Forster, joint chief education steward, Kirklees UNISON, (personal capacity).

24 May 2003

spotCoventry Labour Prefers Deals With The Tories

NEW LABOUR lost overall control on Coventry council in recent elections. Small parties - especially the Socialist Party - can effectively hold the balance of power, writes Rob Windsor, Socialist councillor Coventry.

24 May 2003

spotRaffarin government attacks pensions France's Workers Take To The Streets

A HUGE demonstration of French workers called by the CGT union is expected to swamp the streets of Paris on 25 May...

24 May 2003

spotNATFHE conference: Defend Education Fight New Labour's Attacks

NATFHE, THE trade union organising lecturing staff in further education (FE) colleges and new universities in England and Wales has its conference this weekend, writes Andrew Price, national executive council (NEC) member, FE Wales.

24 May 2003

spotFees - Tories try to woo students

THE CONSERVATIVE Party are, hypocritically, promising to scrap tuition fees - which are set to rise from £1,100 to a maximum £3,000 a year by 2006, writes Sarah Mayo.

24 May 2003

spotIraq: The Chaos Of Imperialist Occupation

Feature: "A MAN may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit on it." (WR Inge, Dean of St Pauls). George Bush and Tony Blair's 'war of liberation' has become the nightmare of occupation for Iraqis as the country descends into anarchy, political division and mass poverty. The socialist looks at imperialism's attempts to extricate itself from this mire.

24 May 2003

spotStriking Back At Poverty Pay

End Low Wages And Privatisation In The NHS: HOSPITAL WORKERS across east London are due to take 48-hour strike action for decent pay from 28 May, writes Len Hockey, UNISON joint branch secretary, Whipps Cross hospital.

31 May 2003

spotBuilding A Fighting Leadership For The PCS

Members of civil service union PCS will be voting in elections for their union's president and national executive (NEC), starting on 6 June...

31 May 2003

spotEnd Low Pay In The NHS

LOW-PAID hospital workers in east London, working for private contractors ISS Mediclean and Medirest have scored a victory in their fight for a living wage...

31 May 2003

spotStrike Wave Rocks Europe

AS STRIKES and demonstrations against public sector cuts sweep France, Germany, and Austria, the mainstream British press's most prominent mention of this mass movement is in the gossip columns - apparently Madonna is upset because her daughter's teachers have been on strike!...

31 May 2003

spotFrench workers' protest: Building For A General Strike

AIR TRAFFIC controllers, school teachers, hospital workers, postal and communications workers in France have again taken strike action this week against the Raffarin government's attacks on pensions...

31 May 2003

spotIsrael/Palestine: Behind Sharon's 'Change Of Heart'

"THIS is not a happy decision," said Israel's right-wing prime minister Ariel Sharon last Sunday in Jerusalem...

31 May 2003

spotEducation: SATS tests

Clarke Fails To Stem Opposition: ONLY FIVE weeks after the National Union of Teachers' (NUT) unanimous decision to boycott SATS, and nearly a year before pupils next sit these iniquitous tests in 2004, Charles Clarke has announced changes to the primary curriculum, writes Linda Taaffe.

31 May 2003

spotAfter the Scottish elections: How Is Socialism To Be Won?

THE SCOTTISH Socialist Party (SSP) now has six MSPs elected to the Scottish parliament...

31 May 2003

spotDrop All Charges Against Day X Detainees

RENE BRAVO, Marcela Massingnotti and Karl Debbaut were arrested on Day X, 20 March, the day war started in Iraq...

31 May 2003

spotG8 Summit: Protesting Against Imperialism And Its Corporate Agenda

THE SOCIALIST Party is taking part in the Committee for a Workers' International's intervention in the demonstrations at Evian...

31 May 2003

spotIndia: Massive General Strike Against Privatisation

ON 21 May, over 40 million workers joined in a 24-hour all-India trade union general strike against the BJP governing coalition's privatisation plans...

31 May 2003

spotSchool Cuts Wreck Our Future

SCHOOLS FACE their worst financial crisis for years. Edenham High School, in a relatively prosperous area of Croydon, south London hit the headlines last week. It sent 720 out of its 1,150 pupils home...

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