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Archive for September 2006

7 September 2006

spotStrike victory increases pay-offs

STRIKING WORKERS in the Dura car parts factory in Llanelli have won a significant victory in a dispute over redundancy payments. The plant closes later this year with the work being transferred to the Czech Republic, writes Rob Williams, convenor, Visteon Swansea plant, personal capacity.

7 September 2006

spotThe GAMA struggle

An inspiring film for all trade unionists: IF YOU want to show a film at a Socialist Party or trade union meeting that inspires people to struggle against the bosses' system then you should get a copy of the DVD about the action by the Turkish migrant workers employed by Turkish multinational Gama in Ireland last year...

7 September 2006

spot2% public-sector pay rise won't cover inflation

WRITING IN the Financial Times (FT) (29/8/06) Chancellor Gordon Brown called for a 2% limit on all public-sector pay rises next year. This is an even tighter target than the 2.5% increases in public sector pay, writes Jared Wood.

7 September 2006

spotWorkers yearn for fighting leadership

THE ANNUAL conference of the British TUC, starting on 11 September, promises to be almost as irrelevant, with a few notable exceptions, to the lives of working people as many of the past conferences have unfortunately proved to be, writes Bill Mullins.

7 September 2006

spotBangladesh: 20,000 protesters march against British mining company

THOUSANDS OF angry protesters torched buildings linked to a British coal mining firm in northern Bangladesh, last Monday morning. This follows the fatal shooting of at least five people protesting against an open-pit mine in northern Bangladesh, writes Khalid Bhatti, CWI, Pakistan.

7 September 2006

spotNew socialist party launched in Scotland

SOLIDARITY - SCOTLAND'S Socialist Movement (SSM) was launched at a packed to capacity rally on Sunday 3 September in Glasgow. Every seat was taken and more people crammed into the side entrances to listen and catch a glimpse of the speakers, writes Philip Stott, International Socialists, (CWI Scotland).

7 September 2006

spotThe politics of aid

A RECENT international donors' conference in Sweden pledged $940 million to help reconstruct Lebanon's shattered infrastructure. The total cost to Lebanon's economy probably runs into billions of dollars...

7 September 2006

spotReprint: After the carnage in the USA: World Crisis Deepens

Following the attacks on New York and Washington on the 11th September 2001 (9/11),  the Socialist Party published the following statements and analysis...

7 September 2006

spot9/11 - Five years on

The collapse of the World Trade Centre’s Twin Towers, after two planes were deliberately flown into the huge buildings, and the resulting deaths of nearly 3,000 people, is a terrible, tragic event etched in the memory of hundreds of millions of people around the world...

7 September 2006

spotLebanon: Can the UN bring peace?

AFTER MUCH wrangling, a United Nations (UN) force has been assembled to act as a 'buffer' in the 20-mile corridor between the Israel-Lebanon border and the Litani River. Most people will probably breathe a sigh of relief, writes Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary

7 September 2006

spotEnd the occupations

DISASTER, CATASTROPHE, devastation - words that can't come close to describing life in occupied Iraq or Afghanistan. But these words also fail to describe the situation facing the British military and the Bush and Blair regimes which face mounting opposition, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

7 September 2006

spotA searing indictment of capitalism

Review: The Jungle: IT IS 100 years ago since the publication of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. His devastating exposé of the meat packing industry in Chicago initially couldn't find a publisher but on publication its success...

7 September 2006

spotLong hours and poverty pay hit students

THE "ALL work and Low pay" report by the TUC and NUS says that students working during term time suffer a "detrimental impact on their studies". Over the last ten years the number of full time students with jobs has risen by 54%, writes Matthew Dobson.

7 September 2006

spotProgress on climate change - or just hot air?

CLIMATE CHANGE is rarely out of the news media. Socialist Party councillor DAVE NELLIST explains that big business is the problem, not the solution...

7 September 2006

spotCome to Socialism 2006

THE SYSTEM we live under, capitalism, means longer hours, poverty pay and worsening conditions for most people. In Britain, New Labour's drive to maximise their big-business friends' profits has seen the sell-off and privatisation of our public services, writes Greg Maughan.

7 September 2006

spotCampaign defeats GP services sell-off

Derbyshire: A LOCAL pensioner in Derbyshire, Pam Smith, has won her appeal to stop the US's biggest healthcare corporation from running her local GP surgery in the village of Langwith (for more details see the socialist 18-24 May 2006), writes Jon Dale, Bolsover Socialist Party.

7 September 2006

spotFighting back against attacks on NHS

RCN - UNISON lobby of parliament 2006
THIRTY THOUSAND people marched against NHS cuts in Cornwall over August Bank Holiday in the small town of Hayle. It was the biggest demo so far in defence of the NHS...

14 September 2006

spotBrutal attack by company thugs on CWI members in Almata

Last Friday afternoon, members of the ‘Socialist Resistance’ in Almata city, Kazakhstan, organised a peaceful protest outside the Head Office of the giant construction and oil refinery company, Kuat Corporation...

14 September 2006

spotCalderon confirmed as president but opposition protests continue

MEXICO'S HIGHEST electoral tribunal has, after more than two months of deliberation, decided that the presidential elections held on 2 July were won by the right-wing candidate Filipe Calderon of the PAN (Partido Accion Nacional), writes Karl Debbaut.

14 September 2006

spotAgency workers vote 100% for union recognition

AGENCY WORKERS in the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) in Workington, Cumbria have unanimously voted in favour of union recognition, writes Tracy Edwards.

14 September 2006

spotOrganising migrant workers

THE URGENT need to organise migrant workers was one of the themes of the Burston rally on 3 September. It was also a celebration of 100 years of the agricultural workers' union, now part of the TGWU...

14 September 2006

spotBuild the campaign to save Burberry

Treorchy: "BURBERRY IS going to make £170 million, this year", a Burberry worker told the socialist. "But that's not enough for this company. We're making (designer) polo shirts for £10 and they're selling them for £80, writes Mariam Kamish.

14 September 2006

spotPublic sector workers' anger gets a hearing

OUTSIDE THE TUC conference, a head of steam is building up amongst public-sector workers for action against this government. In a small way this found its way into the conference, writes Ken Smith.

14 September 2006

spotBlair's last TUC conference - good riddance!

IT WAS Tony Blair's last TUC conference but that didn't lessen the visible anger shown by delegates to the arch-warmonger and privatiser...

14 September 2006

spotDon't sign 'good behaviour' contracts

THOUSANDS OF university students are being forced to sign "good behaviour" contracts. At Oxford and Chester universities contracts have been introduced where a breach of regulations can result in expulsion...

14 September 2006

spotCampaigning against the far-right BNP

Lincoln: AS WE arrived at our usual spot for Lincoln's Saturday Socialist party stall, around ten BNP members were there with their Union Jack flags, writes Nick Parker.

14 September 2006

spotGlobalisation - what it is and how to fight it!

SOCIALISM 2006 is a weekend of discussion and debate hosted by the Socialist Party. Over the coming weeks, we'll be looking at the different sets of sessions taking place at the event in more detail; this week GREG MAUGHAN looks at 'Globalisation'.

14 September 2006

spotTime for a new workers' party

AS WE go to press Tony Blair is answering questions at his last TUC conference. As he pointed out, in an aside which revealed his abhorrence of the trade union movement, it will probably "be a relief" for both Blair and the TUC delegates that they will not meet again.

14 September 2006

spotRuth Kelly fails to answer

RUTH KELLY, the minister for communities, was in Leytonstone Tesco to launch her new initiative on women and work which, she claims, will make it easier for women to combine part-time work with childcare...

14 September 2006

spotWhen Bonio met Tonio

"TONY, TONY, Tony – out, out, out" was probably the first thing Tony Blair heard when he visited Quintin Kynaston school in London last week. His plans for a flattering ‘meet and greet’ fell through somewhat when news of his visit was leaked to the students and the NUT.

14 September 2006

spotNo to war

No to Blair and Brown: Between Blair the warmonger and Brown the hypocrite there is a vicious squabble over who gets to lead New Labour, writes Matt Dobson.

14 September 2006

spotThe Socialist Party says:

Bring the NHS into public ownership and rebuild it as a publicly funded service free at the point of use, with immediate cash to end the crisis of under-funding...

14 September 2006

spotOpposition forces Trusts to retreat

Wiltshire: "PEOPLE POW-ER stalls closure plans" ran the headline in the Western Daily Press. They were announcing the news that West Wiltshire and Kennet & North Wiltshire PCTs were deferring decisions to close hospitals...

14 September 2006

spotOur prescription - a socialist NHS!

Health Service condition critical: For all the Blair government's talk of putting more money into the NHS, the main effect of their years in office has been an increase in cuts, closures and privatisation...

14 September 2006

spotNHS Logistics workers vote to strike against privatisation

UNISON MEMBERS at the NHS Logistics (NHSL) depot in Alfreton, Derbyshire, are delighted with the result of our strike ballot against the sell-off to DHL, writes Brian Loader, NHSL National Staff Side Secretary, personal capacity.

14 September 2006

spotUnited action can win!

Fighting NHS cuts and privatisation...: LAST WEEKEND was a weekend of protest to save the National Health Service. 400 marched in Sheffield, 2,000 in Plymouth, and the largest demonstration was in Grantham, where 9,000 came out to save their local hospital, writes Lois Austin.

21 September 2006

spotRight victory punishes Social Democracy

THE RIGHT-wing coalition of the Liberal Party, Centre Party, Christian Democrats and New Moderates won the 17 September elections in Sweden, threatening attacks on working conditions and public services...

21 September 2006

spot52,000 vote WASG against cuts policy

TENS OF thousands of Berliners voted against social and wage cuts in the 17 September election of the city's parliament, the Abgeordnethaus. Berlin WASG (Election Alternative for Work and Social Justice) won over 52,000 constituency votes, writes Robert Bechert.

21 September 2006

spotTUC papers over the cracks

THE FIRST gig on Tony Blair's farewell tour saw the old rocker receiving a less than ecstatic reception. In fact, only Margaret Thatcher during the miners' strike could have got more boos and heckles than Tony Blair...

21 September 2006

spotNHS Logistics: Striking against privatisation

THE FIRST national NHS strike for 18 years will start on 21 September at 10pm. We are fighting the Department of Health's (DOH) decision to privatise the NHS supply chain, handing it over to DHL/Novation...

21 September 2006

spotQuote me happy? You must be joking!

NORWICH UNION is dumping another 4,000 workers, half of which will be compulsory redundancies, writes a Norwich Union worker.

21 September 2006

spotMerseyside firefighters take to the streets

ONE THOUSAND firefighters and their supporters marched through Liverpool on 15 September to a rally in the city centre. This was in response to a national call for solidarity with striking Merseyside firefighters, writes Roy Farrar.

21 September 2006

spotCan capitalism solve the problem of global warming?

CLIMATE CHANGE caused by global warming could potentially have a catastrophic effect across huge swathes of the world. As it becomes increasingly clear that global warming is a reality, writes Pete Dickenson.

21 September 2006

spotWhy we joined the Socialist Party

BILLY MATHER and AMY TAYLOR have both recently joined the Socialist Party in Southampton. Here they give their reasons why they joined. If you're reading this and aren't already a member why don't you join too? Get involved, writes Billy Mather.

21 September 2006

spotThe 'IPOD generation' - worse off

INSECURE, PRESSURED, Overtaxed and Debt-ridden - a new report says this is what the term 'IPOD generation' really means. The report, by right-wing think-tank Reform, says "young people's earnings are rising less than any...

21 September 2006

spotParents fight school cuts

EARLIER THIS year Gates-head's Labour-controlled council announced plans to close three local schools, Tyne View, Windmill Hills and Lindisfarne primaries, writes Elaine Brunskill Gateshead.

21 September 2006

spotThe Socialist Party says:

No cuts! No closures! No to health privatisation and 'the market'...

21 September 2006

spotHinckley - marching to save our hospital

ON 16 September 70 people marched in Hinckley, between Leicester and Coventry, against cuts at George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton. The Trust plan to close A & E services at weekends, and cut provision for paediatric care and...

21 September 2006

spotCampaign to stop Hewitt's cuts

NEW LABOUR Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is telling people not to worry about the National Health Service. She says that threats to close down hospitals, wards, sack staff and privatise large parts of the NHS are not cuts...

21 September 2006

spotMarch to save the NHS

IS THERE no end to how far the government will go in dismantling the National Health Service? Apparently not, if Patricia Hewitt's recent speech to a 'think tank' is anything to go by, writes Lois Austin.

21 September 2006

spotWill the US attack Iran?

Growing tensions between the US and Iran are making many people around the world fearful of a US military strike against the Middle East country.

21 September 2006

spotWhat's socialism got to do with it?

The Israeli regime's brutal onslaught on Lebanon, backed by Bush and Blair, created massive anger worldwide. The oppression of Palestinians, who are still without national and democratic rights, and the disaster of Iraq still evoke outrage...

21 September 2006

spotHow can the Palestinians win national and democratic rights?

A number of journalists have suggested that the changed situation in the Middle East following the Israel-Hezbollah war has opened the door to an Israel-Palestine settlement.

21 September 2006

spotIs a lasting peace possible in Lebanon?

LASTING ONLY one month, the war in Lebanon between Israel and Hezbollah left 1,400 dead and 5,500 injured.

21 September 2006

spotIraq: Will bringing the troops home bring stability?

THE NEWSPAPER headlines said it all: a "grim scorecard", "scores die", "murders continue unabated in Iraq".

21 September 2006

spotFighting to save jobs

OVER 100 workers answered the call with just 18 hours notice to a Friday lunchtime rally outside clothes manufacturer Burberry's in Treorchy to begin the fight back to save the 300 jobs threatened by Burberry's announcement of closure of the plant, writes Dave Reid.

28 September 2006

spot300 rally to oppose privatisation - prepare for strike action

Southampton: WORKERS FROM UNISON, AMICUS, TGWU and GMB protested outside Southampton Civic Centre to show their anger as councillors arrived to vote on their plans to privatise over 800 council jobs, writes Nick Chaffey, UNISON Steward, Voluntary Sector branch, committee member Southampton District UNISON, personal capacity.

28 September 2006

spotCuba - before and after the revolution

PETER TAAFFE reviews The Mafia in Havana by Enriqe Cerules, which details the gangster capitalism of the era of the dictator Fulgencio Batista before the 1959 revolution, and Fidel Castro by Volker Skierka, an analysis of the revolution itself and the future for the regime...

28 September 2006

spotMass protests over 'lies speech'

HUNGARIAN POLICE used tear gas and water cannon against thousands of protesters in Budapest, on 18 September after a rally demanding Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's resignation, writes Niall Mulholland.

28 September 2006

spotClass unity is the only answer

NOTHING COULD more clearly demonstrate the toothless nature of the United Nations (UN) than its ineffectual posturing over the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Western Sudan, writes Keith Pattenden.

28 September 2006

spotCapitalism's ruthless struggle for oil and gas

The geopolitics of oil: EVER SINCE oil became a crucial resource at the beginning of the 20th century, fuel for motor vehicles and modern warships, it has been at the heart of geopolitical struggle, writes Lynn Walsh.

28 September 2006

spotFighting the neo-liberal offensive

Berlin election: SOCIALISTS FROM many parts of Europe helped in the Berlin election campaign of the WASG (Election Alternative for Work and Social Justice) that culminated on 17 September in over 52,000 constituency votes and over 40,000 votes in the list elections (for analysis and background see the socialist 455)...

28 September 2006

spotLatin America in revolt

Socialism 2006: SOME OF the most important discussions at November's Socialism 2006 will be about the mass movements that have swept Latin America - an entire continent in revolt - and to discuss the way ahead, writes Mike Garrett.

28 September 2006

spotSocialist Students getting a fantastic response

All around the country, Socialist Students is meeting people disgusted with the policies of New Labour and looking for a socialist alternative, writes Matt Dobson Socialist Students national co-ordinator.

28 September 2006

spotBlair's long goodbye

TONY BLAIR'S final speech to Labour Party conference was greeted with wild applause. Delegates hoisted 'homemade' placards declaring 'TB 4 eva' and 'we love you Tony'. Outside the Labour Party conference his speech will have...

28 September 2006

spotManchester's hostile welcome to Blair

On the Manchester demo
"GO BACK, focus on the public, the public's concerns and things that really worry people." That's what Tony Blair said on TV, the morning after 60,000 people marched through Manchester against the wars and NHS cuts that Blair has enthusiastically promoted, writes Hugh Caffrey.

28 September 2006

spotTommy Sheridan: Murdoch's new offensive

THE NEWS of the World (NoW), which suffered a sensational defeat at the hands of Tommy Sheridan in his defamation case against them in August, has unleashed a massive new offensive against him...

28 September 2006

spotBlair out! New Labour out!

Part of the ISR contingent on the STWC march. Photos Hannah seaman
TENS OF thousands of people demonstrated outside the Labour Party conference in Manchester last Saturday to tell Blair that he, and his fellow warmongers, should go now, writes Bob Severn.

28 September 2006

spotNHS Logistics: Workers strike against sell-off

ABOUT 60 UNISON members manned a picket at the NHS Logistics base in Runcorn
Workers from the NHS stores and distribution network - NHS Logistics - have been striking to prevent a takeover by a private consortium, DHL/Novation, writes Bill Mullins.

28 September 2006

spotLewisham - Liberals save Labour's blushes on NHS

AT THE Lewisham council meeting on 20 September, Labour's mayor Steve Bullock was desperate for good news on the NHS. He put forward a resolution praising Lewisham Hospital for its award of an "excellent" grade for...

28 September 2006

spotOn the march to save the NHS

OVER 100 people demonstrated against the proposed health cuts in Leamington
AROUND 3,000 people marched through Nottingham on 23 September, voicing their anger at huge cuts being made to hospital services throughout the East Midlands, writes Jean Thorpe Nottingham.

28 September 2006


NHS Logistics workers in Runcorn
THERE HAS been yet another week of protest from health trade unionists and campaigners all over the country. Nottingham had 3,000 people on the streets opposing hospital closures and cuts while between 5,000 and 7,000 marched in Hastings, writes Lois Austin, Southwark Keep our NHS Public.

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