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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2015
Review: Kill the Bill
Do not be misled by the title, it is not advocating extreme measures against the police, nor is it about a Quentin Tarantino film. This pamphlet provides a context for the struggle for workers' rights against the attempts of the rich to curtail them.
In my lifetime, the two most important struggles which I remember were not strictly within the law. When the government imprisoned five dockers for taking industrial action in 1972, it triggered a wave of wildcat strikes which forced the government into a humiliating climb down.
And who can forget the battle against the Poll Tax which not only defeated the tax but precipitated the political demise of Margaret Thatcher.
Jim Horton provides the historical background to the way in which the state has been used by the rich to criminalise working class struggle.
John McInally, PCS (civil servants union) vice-president, writes about Thatcher's war against the miners and the examples of working class solidarity from the past which must inform our actions in the future.
Bill Mullins provides an excellent vivid account of the struggles of the 1960s and 1970s.
Workers can win
Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN), talks about the way ahead and the prospects for working class struggle. It is a mistake to think that the working class will roll over and play dead if the Tories get their way and impose this draconian legislation.
"We don't share the fatalistic attitude to these threatened laws of some of cynics and pessimists in the trade union movement, especially at the top. If they were to get onto the statute book, it wouldn't mean the end of workers' struggle. In fact it could open the door to far more militant action if workers ignore the laws. Actually this is the reason why some Tories and establishment figures are uneasy about Cameron's proposals."
And who better than the NSSN to prod the TUC into action?
Kill the Bill: defeat the Tories' anti-union plans
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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 30 September 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
TUSC: Central in the battle for a working class anti-austerity voice
Socialism is back!
Free school meals cut as poor children go hungry
Pollution cheat Volkswagen kills thousands for profit
Gouging boss demands price hike for life-saving drug
Gravy-train Labour MP claims expenses to rent house next door
Tower block residents defend homes
Them & Us
Socialist Party features
How can we bring down the Tories?
Lessons from the past: Liverpool City Council 1983-87
Give us the resources to defeat the Tories
Subscribe to a paper by workers, for workers
International socialist news and analysis
EU ministers squabble while refugees drown
Hungary's xenophobic right-wing government
USA: Socialists breaking 'political stagnation'
Kazakhstan: workers solidarity action
Workplace news and analysis
Junior doctors fight government attacks
Nominate Roger Bannister for Unison general secretary
Hypocritical attacks on tube control room strike
Review: Kill the Bill
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Anger and protest against fire service cuts in Leicestershire
Come to Socialism 2015
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