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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 April 2009

Fast news

Let yourself go

SOME FIVE million workers in the US have lost their jobs since the start of the current recession. But while mass unemployment is a cause of widespread misery and hardship, to some TV producers it's an opportunity to make profits.

Endemol USA, have come up with a show, Someone's Gotta Go. It features a small business where times are hard and redundancies have to be made. The workers - around 15 to 20 of them - will be allowed to see the company's accounts, and will be told how much each of them earns.

Then they will reveal what they think of each other. They will be fighting for their jobs, culminating at the end of the episode with the workers voting to decide which of them is added to dole queues. It allows bosses to avoid doing the dirty work themselves. Pretty sick stuff.

But why not include the employers in the selection process? Going by what most bosses rake in, sacking one or two of them would save enough cash to employ several additional workers on decent rates of pay!

Smear tactics

A GOVERNMENT official cooks up smears against opposition politicians, shock! The Tory party leadership and the mainstream media are jumping up and down with indignation over Gordon Brown's adviser, Damian McBride's leaked emails that contained suggestions to smear David Cameron and other leading Tories.

Gordon Brown said the episode is a "matter of great regret" but refused to personally apologise. Surely, repellent as it all is, the point is that all establishment parties, given the absence of significant differences between their policies, are reduced to smearing each other to try to win votes.

Moreover, capitalist politicians engaging in smear tactics is hardly new. The 1924 'Zinoviev letter' - suggesting the Labour government was helping the Soviet Union to ferment revolution in Britain - was a forgery published in the Daily Mail four days before an election, subsequently won by the Tories.

Strike for rights

DOCKWORKERS IN the Bay Area ports in San Francisco, USA, have voted, unanimously, to strike on 1 May to protest against two policies of ongoing repression by the Department of Homeland Security:

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 is concerned about the unfair implementation of Transport Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) cards in seaports, in violation of elementary civil rights and civil liberties, causing hundreds of longshore workers to be unfairly denied work in the ports.

The ILWU's second concern is over the ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in homes and workplaces, that have victimised many thousands of immigrant workers. These raids have often resulted in prolonged detention under harsh conditions, and the separation of families including the separation of children from their parents - all in violation of elementary civil rights and civil liberties.

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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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 15 April 2009:

MPs' snouts in the expenses trough


Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Sri Lanka: Stop the war - fight for democratic rights

Stop the war in Sri Lanka: Protest at India House


Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Why No2EU?


Socialist Party workplace news

Visteon workers angry and determined

National Union of Teachers conference: Battle on workload begins

London Underground: Set a new strike date

Fury at John Lewis' trickery

Preparing to fight probation meltdown


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs: What next to build the campaign?


Marxist analysis: history

The Spanish Civil War: Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory


Socialist Party editorial

Deceptive denigration of Lindsey strike


Socialist Party campaigns

G20 Summit death: Bring the cops to account

Council manoeuvres in Lewisham hit school children

Parents occupy schools in Glasgow to stop closures

Fast news


International socialist news and analysis

Thailand: Battles erupt on the streets of Bangkok

Moldova: Thousands storm parliament buildings as economic crisis worsens


Sport

Rugby league: In League with big business?


 

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