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Archive for December 2015

2 December 2015

spotAction needed to save our NHS

Junior doctors have shown that the threat of action gets results. Their strike was called off after the government was forced back to negotiations.

2 December 2015

spotHow the Iron Lady was reduced to iron filings

Margaret Thatcher resigned as Tory prime minister 25 years ago. After 11 years in power she was forced out before her third term was over.

2 December 2015

spotFilm review - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Tense revolutionary finale ignores mass democracy: The final instalment of the Hunger Games movie franchise, Mockingjay - Part 2, was a tense and exciting end to the series.

2 December 2015


Do you have something to say? Anti-welfare propaganda, state school parents asked to pay for teachers, rail bosses' wages, and the power of effective opposition.

2 December 2015

spotStudent nurses must pay to work

George Osborne's Autumn Statement has scrapped bursaries for nursing students starting in 2017.

2 December 2015

spotParis climate summit falls short in world's hottest year

2015 will be the hottest year on record, according to US government scientists, beating the previous record holder, 2014. But world leaders at the UN conference on climate change in Paris show no signs of tackling impending catastrophe.

2 December 2015

spotLondon ambulances in special measures due to underfunding

London Ambulance Service has become the first in the country to be placed in special measures. Failings have led to the NHS Trust Development Authority taking it over.

2 December 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Bully-boy Tories expel bullying organiser - and hypocritically accuse trade unions of 'bullying' strike breakers and bosses.

2 December 2015

spotWomen: fight for equality, fight for socialism

It's hard to believe that in the 1990s, articles were appearing asking: "Is the future female?" and "Are we witnessing a genderquake?" Women are still a long way from being liberated.

2 December 2015

spotBelgium: ruling class can't be trusted with 'security'

If we consider how Belgium's government deals with our wages, our benefits and our jobs, we should have no confidence to entrust them with our security.

2 December 2015

spotGreece - general strike against austerity sees mass protests

On 12 November, the first 24-hour general strike in a long time took place - this time against the policies of the ex-left Syriza government. Syriza has transformed itself into a pro-bailout party and introduced a new austerity package.

2 December 2015

spotSocialist takes third of vote in Hong Kong election

Sally Tang Mei-ching, candidate for the Socialist Party's sister party in Hong Kong, won 1,152 votes (33%) against the pro-Beijing incumbent Yan Kai.

2 December 2015

spotA socialist Christmas gift guide

What does a Socialist Party member buy their loved ones at Christmas? Certainly not rolling in money; unlikely to have loads of time to go shopping...

2 December 2015

spotJunior doctors' strike suspended for talks

Following the involvement of the conciliatory body ACAS in talks between the Department of Health and the British Medical Association, planned walkouts in December have been suspended.

2 December 2015

spotWater workers protest against pension attacks

GMB members from United Utilities, Northumbrian Water, Yorkshire Water and Hartlepool Water are angry at rampant profiteering. Debt levels and consumer prices have risen, and two of the companies are attacking workers' pensions.

2 December 2015

spotOpen Uni strikers prepared to go the distance

Members of lecturers' union UCU are fighting job cuts at the Open University. We report on struggles in Bristol and Camden, north London.

2 December 2015

spotJCB redundancies mitigated but fight needed

Following talks with the GMB union, JCB has reduced proposed redundancies from 290 to 250, and announced it will allow voluntary redundancies to mitigate the 'need' for compulsory cuts. But a redundancy is a redundancy either way.

2 December 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. Anti-blacklisting campaign work, retail union overrules youth committee to back Blairites, energy workers walk out.

2 December 2015

spotEyewitness to the refugee crisis: a visit to 'The Jungle'

A volunteer reports on his time at the Calais refugee camp.

2 December 2015

spotChristmas 'collectathon': 8 to 17 December

We are appealing to all our readers and supporters to help the Socialist Party hit our target of £35,000 for the final quarter of the year, enabling us to achieve a record fighting fund total for 2015.

2 December 2015

spotFBU fights the cuts in Yorkshire

Selby Socialist Party is supporting the Fire Brigades Union in their campaign against fire service cuts in North Yorkshire, collecting 248 names to add to the FBU petition online that has gathered over 2,600 signatures.

2 December 2015

spotProtesters demand system change not climate change

Protesters around the country marched on 29 November, to demand action to tackle climate change. Organisers claim 50,000 demonstrated in central London with thousands more on the streets in Cardiff, Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, Southampton and more.

2 December 2015

spotWorkers snap up the Socialist!

The Socialist newspaper is indispensable when campaigning. For just £1 you can pick up anti-austerity news.

2 December 2015

spotDemonstration against the war

On Saturday 28 November Socialist Party members participated in the protest against the bombing of Syria.

2 December 2015

spotDon't bomb Syria! War vote reveals two Labour Parties in one

For workers' unity against war, terrorism and racism. Ahead of parliament's vote on bombing Syria, deep divisions opened between Jeremy Corbyn and the Blairites.

2 December 2015

spotBus drivers fight bully-boy managers

Huddersfield First UK Bus drivers took one-day strike action in protest at management's decision to tear up a local pay agreement

2 December 2015

spotStudent nurses protest

Student nurses protested on 2nd December outside the Department of Health in defence in of their bursaries

3 December 2015

spotStrike against suspension of headteacher

The NUT at Listerdale school took 2 days of strike action. Update added 7.12.15

3 December 2015

spotAfter the vote in parliament to bomb Syria

Socialist Party member Nancy Taaffe appeared on the Daily Politics programme, arguing for a fight for a Labour Party that's against war and austerity. Her Labour MP voted to bomb Syria

3 December 2015

spotHilary Benn's speech: demagogic and dishonest

The definition of a demagogue: 'a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular fears, desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.

6 December 2015

spotWaltham Forest Socialist Party responds to attack by Jon Lansman

Waltham Forest Socialist Party members respond below to an article on the Left Futures website on 5 December, by Jon Lansman, a director of Momentum

8 December 2015

spotIslington: Tech City academy NUT members take strike action

NUT members at Tech City academy in Islington, north London, are taking two days of strike action on 8 and 9 December and have planned a further three day strike in the following week

8 December 2015

spotInterview with new RMT president

Sean Hoyle, seafarer and Portsmouth RMT, spoke to the Socialist after being elected president of the RMT

8 December 2015

spotHow can Corbyn and the left win in the Labour Party?

After Labour's Oldham byelection victory the right wing probably feel they can't strike immediately, but they hope for death by a thousand wounds

9 December 2015

spotInternational Brigades fought against capitalism, not for

Labour MP Hilary Benn's 'electrifying' speech for bombing Syria outrageously invoked the International Brigades in support of imperialist bloodletting.

9 December 2015

spotRail fares and profits rise as service suffers

Rail fares are set to increase again from January next year. Annual turnover at South West Trains topped £1 billion this year.

9 December 2015

spotFight to save our NHS

Stop the Tory cuts: The last few weeks has shown what can be achieved when workers stand together. The health secretary was forced, at least temporarily, to abandon his plan to impose unfair and unsafe new contracts on junior doctors

9 December 2015

spotFloods reveal effect of government cuts

While the world's capitalist politicians in Paris prevaricate over measures to halt global warming, people from Carlisle in Cumbria to Chennai in India are suffering from extreme weather

9 December 2015

spotA week of anti-war campaigning in Walthamstow

The drama that has played out in the community of Walthamstow, east London, in the last week is a sign of the fault lines which could affect Labour MPs everywhere. In the absence of Corbyn whipping his MPs, the struggle to compel them to vote against bombing Syria instead took to the streets and working class communities.

9 December 2015

spotVenezuela elections

The billionaire-backed conservative capitalist opposition won a large majority in Venezuela's recent general election. This represents a big setback to the 'Bolivarian revolution' legacy of Hugo Chavez.

9 December 2015

spotDefending the right to deselect warmongers

The Socialist Party's Nancy Taaffe took on the Tory and Blairite warmongers on the BBC's Daily Politics show on 3 December. Less than a week later, James Ivens appeared on the Daily Politics on 8 December to defend deselection of Blairites and the Socialist Party's participation in Momentum.

9 December 2015

spotYoung people accused of extremism

A London borough has said youth who question the government or mainstream media may be extremists. A 15-year-old school student replies.

9 December 2015

spotThem & Us

It's one world for the super-rich, and another one for the rest of us. Richest 10% responsible for half of 'lifestyle' CO2 emissions; the Sun lies about terror routes.

9 December 2015

spotTax-dodging drug firm shuts research facility

Pfizer has announced the closure of a Cambridge research institute. The world's biggest pharmaceutical company will axe 120 scientists' and support workers' jobs.

9 December 2015

spotThe Socialist Christmas schedule

This issue of the Socialist is our last of 2015. The next issue, 883, is out on Thursday 7 January 2016. For updates during the break, please check

9 December 2015

spotUnison general secretary election in crisis

The Unison general secretary election, and the union itself, were thrown into disarray last week with the release of a secret recording of a meeting of the London regional staff. In the meeting, held on 21 October, regional secretary Linda Perks can be heard organising staff to campaign for general secretary Dave Prentis.

9 December 2015

spotStrike in support of suspended headteacher

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) at Listerdale Primary School in Rotherham have taken two days of strike action, on 2 and 3 December, against the unjustified suspension of their headteacher.

9 December 2015

spotNSSN action in the North East

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) in the North East organised two days of fighting action on 4 and 5 December, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Gateshead.

9 December 2015

spotWorkplace news in brief

Short reports on some of the latest trade union struggles. Academies strike, call centre strike ballot, firefighters' cuts protest.

9 December 2015

spotThousands march around the country against the bombing of Syria

Following the decision by Parliament to join the US led bombing of Syria, thousands demonstrated on consecutive days in Parliament Square to oppose it. On the night of the vote on 1 December and then again on 2 December the Socialist Party joined the young, angry protesters.

9 December 2015

spotConfronting the far right in Derby

Derby Socialist Party members arrived to do our weekly campaign stall on 28 November when we noticed around ten supporters of the far-right group Britain First with their own stall nearby.

9 December 2015

spotNorth West fighting fund week of action!

During our quarterly fighting fund week of action in the North West, we raised £1,318 and sold 156 copies of the Socialist. We held 12 'extra' campaign stalls across the region.

9 December 2015

spotSubs campaign: have you increased yours yet?

Can you increase your membership subs? Many Socialist Party members have already said yes, pledging an extra £4,700 a month to help fund our campaigning work. If you haven't already increased, can you join them?

9 December 2015

spotEleanor Marx: A life of struggle, solidarity and socialism

Celebrate the 160th anniversary of the birth of Eleanor Marx who played a pivotal role in the development of the trade union movement, the birth of the Labour Party and as a tireless fighter for working class people, especially women, all over the globe.

9 December 2015

spotSocialist Party national committee meeting

A Socialist Party national committee meeting took place on 5 and 6 December. Branches should arrange a report back from national committee members who attended. Contact your branch or regional secretary for more information.

9 December 2015

spotTV review: Tomorrow's Food

Huge potential to change lives, limited by capitalism.

9 December 2015


Do you have something to say? Send your news, views and criticism in not more than 150 words to the Socialist Postbox. Bushtucker and class, Hilary Benn's pro-war speech.

9 December 2015

spotCarlisle - lives and livelihoods devastated

'We're still waiting for investment promised in 2005': There's an army helicopter hovering overhead, three trees have been uprooted from the sodden ground in my street, one of them into next door's garden. My daughter's school is closed, but at least we've still got electricity this time.

9 December 2015

spotCapitalism's climate change policy failure

What is a long-term answer to the problem of flooding? First and foremost, this means tackling the root causes of climate change by switching to renewable energy, which could reduce the intensity of weather events, such as storms and floods.

9 December 2015

spotNorthern Ireland: movement needed for abortion rights

On 30 November, in a landmark case, Belfast High Court ruled that Northern Ireland's archaic abortion laws contravene human rights and that terminations should be permitted in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and where pregnancy is the result of sexual crime.

9 December 2015

spotQuiz of the year

It's the quiz of 2015, compiled by the Socialist. The questions are drawn from articles covering events in the UK and internationally during the last year. Good luck and season's greetings.

9 December 2015

spotFrench elections - Le Pen's far-right FN surges

Governing 'Socialist' Party punished for failings: The massive vote for the far-right National Front (FN) in the first round of regional elections in France on 6 December saw them coming top in nearly half of the regions.

9 December 2015

spotSweden - public housing victory

Since 2012, the Socialist Party's sister party in Sweden has worked against private business being owners of big housing complexes and, at the same time, demanded renovations and public ownership of 890 run-down apartments in the area.

9 December 2015

spotIreland - defend the Jobstown protesters

Several under-18-year-olds are facing serious criminal charges because they protested against unjust water charges when Ireland's deputy prime minister Joan Burton visited Jobstown, near Dublin, in November 2014.

9 December 2015

spotBelgium - party congress success

The 14th congress of the Socialist Party's sister party in Belgium was held recently. Some 130 delegates present discussed among other issues how to end this sick system of capitalism which creates mass poverty, endless wars and the conditions in which terrorism flourishes.

9 December 2015

spotTrade unions must join fight for steel nationalisation

The consultation period over the threatened Tata steel plants in Motherwell, Clydebridge and Scunthorpe has ended.

11 December 2015

spotA school student responds to Michael Crick's denigration

Journalist Michael Crick, who once specialised in attacking Militant (now the Socialist Party), turned up this week with a film crew outside a café in Walthamstow

11 December 2015

spotLetter on reselection of MPs

A letter has been published in the Independent on 11.12.15 from Waltham Forest Socialist Party member Nancy Taaffe on the call for re-selection of Labour MPs

13 December 2015

spotVideo debate: Hannah Sell on the socialist case for exit

Video debate: Hannah Sell on the socialist case for exit

Video debate: Hannah Sell on the socialist case for exit

14 December 2015

spotMarching against the bombing of Syria

People marched against the bombing: in London, Leeds, and elsewhere on 12 December

14 December 2015

spotCorbyn's supporters want resistance against the right

In Britain and elsewhere, there is a bitter mood of resistance to the deterioration in living standards and the prospect of more to come.

15 December 2015

spotSeattle: Union rights for taxi drivers

On 14 December 2015, Seattle City Council decided to provide a legal framework for drivers of taxis and transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft to form unions and bargain collectively for better wages and working conditions

16 December 2015

spotStop the closure of Calderstones hospital!

Workers and trade unions organised an impressive rally to oppose the hospital's closure

17 December 2015

spotUnison general secretary election result

The Unison general secretary election has seen Dave Prentis returned to the leadership of the union but question marks remain over the election

18 December 2015

spotLabour councils don't have to pass on Tory cuts

photo by Paul Mattsson

Right-wing Labour councillors across the country are regarding a letter from Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell as a licence to make cuts

18 December 2015

spotLiverpool's mayor and confusion

The following letter was sent to the Liverpool Echo this week by Tony Mulhearn, in response to an attack by Mayor Joe Anderson

18 December 2015

spotHolding MPs to account

The following letter by Paul Callanan, London Socialist Party, has been carried by the London Evening Standard on 18.12.15

18 December 2015

spotAnother black man shot dead by the police

Jermaine Baker was shot during an alleged attempt to spring two convicts from a prison van

20 December 2015

spotSwansea: Destruction of council services

A letter by Alec Thraves, Swansea Socialist Party, on council cuts in Swansea, that was printed in the South Wales Evening Post

20 December 2015

spotProtesters fight coal mining project in Bangladesh

For the last nine years there have been protests outside the AGM of coal mining conglomerate GCM in London

20 December 2015

spotParis climate agreement

An historic "turning point for the world". This is how US President Barack Obama and other top politicians referred to the 31-page climate agreement adopted by 196 governments in Paris.

23 December 2015

spotMerry Christmas from the council

Councillors met to debate what sized lump of coal to put in the stockings of the borough's poorest children

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