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Archive for December 2021

1 December 2021

spotBuilding a political alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

Newham resists cuts: Newham Resists has agreed to campaign for a no-cuts, needs budget to show there is an alternative to the Labour council passing on Tory austerity. Newham Resists is a new coalition.

1 December 2021

spotStop the cuts to Uni arts funding

On 24 November, 60 people protested at the University of Bristol against government cuts to university arts funding. I spoke at the demonstration, representing Socialist Students.

1 December 2021

spotSocialism 2021: How we reached our fighting fund appeal target

The Roman orator and statesman Cicero described finance and resources as 'the sinews of war' - and of course the same applies to the struggle for socialism.

1 December 2021

spotEnd fuel poverty

Pensioners and trade unionists protested against winter fuel poverty outside parliament on Friday 26 November

1 December 2021

spotWales: The Labour-Plaid Cymru agreement - jam tomorrow, maybe

The agreement: Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru have reached an agreement that will give the Welsh Labour government, led by Mark Drakeford, a working majority

1 December 2021

spotBehind the rural idyll - the problems of everyday life

Few would argue that Devon is a slice of heaven. A haven for tourists and retirees who flock here to enjoy the exquisite landscape. But popularity comes at a cost:

1 December 2021

spotArgentine elections see deepening polarisation

On 14 November, elections took place in Argentina in which the Peronist government led by President Alberto FernŠndez was the main loser

1 December 2021

spotStaff and students unite against university bosses' attacks

Why I'm striking: The decision to go on strike is never an easy one. Every University and Colleges Union member that voted 'yes' to industrial action knows full well the impact our strike will have on students' education

1 December 2021

spotTV review: Valley of the Tears

Effective, but flawed, depiction of war and class divisions: Valley of the Tears is an Israeli TV series which is set in the first days of the war between the Israeli state and a coalition of Arab states, principally Egypt and Syria, in October 1973.

1 December 2021

spotHousing campaigners protest CEO champagners

On 25 November, bloated CEOs, senior managers and their hangers-on in the social housing industry attended their annual shindig

1 December 2021

spotBulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

Britain's seventh-largest energy supplier, Bulb, has gone bust. It has been put into special administration amid the continuing disaster of the privatised energy sector. Bailed out by a government loan

1 December 2021

spotKhan threatens further London transport cuts

"With time running out before TfL's [Transport for London] temporary emergency funding deal comes to an end on December 11, it is my duty as London mayor to sound the alarm." An alarm in the pages of the Financial Times, unfortunately, won't reach the ears of many Londoners

1 December 2021

spotKickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

The National Audit Office has released its report into the government's 'Kickstart Scheme'. When it was first announced, the scheme aimed to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality six-month work

1 December 2021

spotEast London mass non-payment wins housing victory

The combative residents and residents' association on the Barking Riverside estate in East London have won another victory

1 December 2021

spotNHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

In reality, NHS workers have had a 20% pay cut over a decade of Tory governments. Our goodwill has been taken for granted, and many staff will stay over their time without pay to look after sick patients.

1 December 2021

spotEducation unions lead campaign against Leicester academisation

Staff at West Gate special school in Leicester, along with their supporters, turned out for a lobby of Leicester City Council on 25 November in protest at planned academisation

1 December 2021

spotRMT strikes against abolition of night tube train operators

Imposed arrangements means more fatigue, more weekend working and threatens jobs: London Underground workers in the RMT union walked out across London on several tube lines on 26-27 November

1 December 2021

spotSouth Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers strike against measly 1% pay offer

Stagecoach bosses in South Yorkshire have always tried to play off one depot against another, with different settlement dates and pay rates across Barnsley, Rotherham and the two Sheffield garages

1 December 2021

spotNottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

Nottingham and Mansfield Trades Union Council called a demonstration in Nottingham on 27 November on funding of services and public sector pay.

1 December 2021

spotOaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions

Oaks Park school strikers in east London were applauded back into work on 26 November by supporters, having concluded what is apparently the longest strike in the National Education Union's history

1 December 2021

spotPlymouth: Hundreds attend vigil for Bobbi-Anne McLeod

500 people gathered on 26 November - one day after the international day for the elimination of violence against women - for a vigil for Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

1 December 2021

spotWelcome support for striking Scunthorpe scaffolders

Scunthorpe scaffolders, now in their ninth week of strike action, were given a huge boost by the visit of Unite general secretary Sharon Graham to the picket line at British Steel

1 December 2021

spotAfter COP26: where next for the climate movement?

How is mass pressure going to be built to fight for the aspirations of the climate movement?

1 December 2021

spot27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

When the Channel tragedy news broke, there was widespread disbelief and sadness.

1 December 2021

spotNHS Critical

Unions must lead fight for:
* 15% pay rise now
* End to privatisation
* Fully funded NHS and social care
Ambulances are already lining up outside of A&E, unable to discharge patients, even before the potential effects of the new Omicron Covid variant

1 December 2021

spotCovid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

New Covid-19 variants are inevitable but the threat to world health comes from profit-driven capitalism.

1 December 2021

spotTories strengthen repressive laws

The Tories have added further amendments to the controversial Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill in an attempt to restrict people's ability to protest

1 December 2021

spotHigher education disputes

The impressive UK-wide turnouts in the USS and 'Four Fights' ballots indicate the anger.

2 December 2021

spotNapo ballots for trade dispute

Probation staff are angry at an insulting pay freeze.

8 December 2021

spotCovid news in brief

Javid tells gps to drop health checks for elderly: Facing up to the potential effects of the new Omicron Covid variant, and anxious to avoid introducing further lockdown measures, the government has declared its mission to deliver a booster vaccine.

8 December 2021

spotSandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

It's a good thing Serco runs refuse centres, because they certainly belong in the trash. This time there's trouble up in Sandwell in the West Midlands, where over 100 refuse workers have been on strike

8 December 2021

spotWorksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

A slice of pizza and a bacon butty was all Wincanton bosses thought workers deserved in reward for working throughout the pandemic

8 December 2021

spotNewham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Staff at Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIC) in east London walked out against privatisation on 1 December.

8 December 2021

spotPanasonic workers break company pay freeze

Panasonic workers at Pentwyn in Cardiff have won a significant victory against the multinational giant

8 December 2021

spotOrganise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

At long last, concrete steps are being taken by the National Education Union (NEU) to build towards the national strike action that will be necessary to win a pay rise that reverses the continuing decline in teachers' real salaries

8 December 2021

spotSheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

On 28 November, Sheffield couriers employed by Stuart Delivery, which handles deliveries for Just Eat, took part in a motorcade through the city centre before they rallied outside the town hall, and then marched down Fargate to hold a mass picket of around 100 outside McDonalds.

8 December 2021

spotChallenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

How can we mount a challenge to the cutters and the evictors in Waltham Forest Council? On 5 December, there were people from many different campaigns and trade unions at a meeting organised by the Trade

8 December 2021

spotFighting Fund: Help us reach over £50,000

2021 is set to end on a tremendous note for the Socialist Party. We have already raised just short of £50,000 in the October-December quarter thanks in the main to the fighting fund appeal at Socialism

8 December 2021

spotMail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image

The Daily Mail's distain for working-class people will not surprise many of our readers, neither will its shoddy journalism

8 December 2021

spotWider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) strike at St Vincent Hospital in Worcester, USA, is now the longest in Massachusetts' history.

8 December 2021

spotChile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Josť Antonio Kast, the Republican party's far-right presidential election candidate, who defends the brutal Pinochet dictatorship (1973-90), is a threat to the freedoms and social reforms of the people of Chile.

8 December 2021

spotAffordable housing for all

Councils must offer a socialist solution to the housing crisis: The cost of living is going up - you can feel it. Your food bill, your gas bill and electricity bill go up each month. Your biggest expense is almost certainly rent, which is also rising rapidly. Are your

8 December 2021

spotFilm review: The Harder They Fall

'The Harder They Fall' is a new Western on Netflix. The movie sets are stylised and the gunfights are majestically choreographed. But the film also stands out for its all-black cast, something that is

8 December 2021

spotBuilding People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

As local authorities begin discussing their 2022-23 spending, the scale of cuts being prepared can be seen

8 December 2021

spotWorkers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits

63% of voters think that capitalist politicians 'are just in it for themselves' - the highest proportion since the MPs' expenses scandal in 2009

8 December 2021

spotUnite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Staff shortages, sickness levels and burnout. Issues that were there before the pandemic have only been made worse.

8 December 2021

spotGovernment social care plans: Where is the money?

Unions must demand the return to the public sector of all social care

8 December 2021

spotClarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Clarks wanted to rehire staff on reduced wages

8 December 2021

spotUniversities strike - build the action and stand united to win

UCU members at 58 universities were on strike last week

8 December 2021

spotThousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Supermarket giant Tesco is set to be hit by a series of strikes at its distribution centres in the run-up to Christmas.

8 December 2021

spotRemembering Tony Davison

40 people came together on 4 December in Hull to remember Tony Davison and his incredible contribution to the socialist and trade union movement

8 December 2021

spotYorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

560 Stagecoach bus workers across South Yorkshire, members of Unite, have completed a week of strike action in pursuit of an above-inflation pay rise

8 December 2021

spotDefending abortion rights in the US

On 1 December the US Supreme Court began hearing arguments about a Mississippi law to ban abortions after 15 weeks, even in the case of rape and incest

8 December 2021

spotDefying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

The impending passing of the 'Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill' has raised a question among some activists that its list of restrictions on the right to protest will, in effect, mark the end of protest in the UK

8 December 2021

spotUnprecedented floods in British Columbia

After a year like no other, which has seen record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires ravage towns and lead to thousands of hectares of land being destroyed, British Columbia (BC), Canada, has faced yet another historical disaster in the form of unprecedented floods

8 December 2021

spotUni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

The Office for Students has reacted to last week's impressive UCU strike turnout by seeking to divide university staff and students

15 December 2021

spotThe legacy of the collapse of Stalinism

December 2021 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the official dissolution of the USSR. This year's Socialism event in November included a session on the legacy of the collapse of the Stalinist regimes

15 December 2021

spotNana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

On 7 December, a bitterly cold and rainy morning, bailiffs left Nana Yaa and her autistic son Jason on the streets with nowhere to go

15 December 2021

spotLondon solidarity protest: Rio Tinto out of Serbia

The Serbian diaspora in Britain protested in front of the London headquarters of mining multinational Rio Tinto on 11 December

15 December 2021

spotSave St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Southampton Council says its priority is our health and wellbeing, but it seems St Mary's can do without

15 December 2021

spotWhy we joined the Socialist Party

I was overwhelmed when my hopes for united workers' action against the Tories failed after the last general election. I was thinking 'there is no future for a workers' party in England'.

15 December 2021

spotSelling the Socialist - Waltham Cross and Boscombe

Just some of the events where the Socialist newspaper was sold in the past week...: After a slow response to our Socialist Party campaign stall in Boscombe, in Bournmouth, momentum started to gather. Curious pedestrians became potential new Socialist Party members.

15 December 2021

spotPosters, car boot and socialist guided tour - some ideas to raise funds

New fundraising ideas Northampton Socialist Party has for the new year include a 'socialist tour of Northampton'

15 December 2021

spotChristmas quiz of 2021

OK, here's the annual opportunity to check your brain's neural connectivity and recall what happened in 2021.

15 December 2021

spotStonewall attacked by the establishment

The fight for LGBTQ+ equality must be part of the struggle to liberate society from capitalism: In recent months, the LGBTQ+ rights organisation Stonewall has faced increasing attacks. For example, BBC Sounds produced a ten-episode podcast investigation into Stonewall's lobbying and influence, primarily

15 December 2021

spotTV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer

Nationalise the pharmaceutical giants: This Dispatches programme reveals the enormous profits made by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, the lack of vaccines sent to poorer countries, and how Pfizer money helps spread misleading claims about rivals.

15 December 2021

spotTory cuts and privatisation leave NHS in crisis

15% pay rise - end staff shortages: Despite already losing 610 NHS beds in Devon, there are plans to cut even more.

15 December 2021

spotCouncils to make workers pay, again

Two-thirds of councils in England which responded to a BBC survey said they were considering a rise in council tax to help fund services

15 December 2021

spotAssange faces extradition

Imprisoned Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, whose publications exposed the war crimes of US imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq, faces extradition from Britain to the US following a recent High Court ruling.

15 December 2021

spotGlobal inequality grows

In the most recent World Inequality Report, it has been discovered that the richest 10% now own more than 75% of global wealth and take 52% of all income

15 December 2021

spotYorkshire Stagecoach strikers confidence growing

"We've got them by the bollocks" and "we're in charge now", expressed the mood on the Unite picket line at the Stagecoach Holbrook depot, as bus workers in Sheffield joined Barnsley and Rotherham drivers in a second week of strike action over pay

15 December 2021

spotWelcome support for striking Scunthorpe scaffolders

Scunthorpe scaffolders, now in their 11th week of strike action, were given a huge boost on 1 December by the visit of Unite the Union general secretary Sharon Graham to the picket line at British Steel

15 December 2021

spotGuards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail

Guards are putting up a robust defence of their grades as CrossCountry management attempts to train up managers to cover guards' duties.

15 December 2021

spotLondon colleges victory

University and College Union (UCU) members at Capital City College group have agreed a deal in a dispute over pay and conditions

15 December 2021

spotCoventry bin workers strike against Christmas holiday cut

Coventry bin workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over low pay and an attempt by the Labour-run council to wreck the bin workers' Christmas.

15 December 2021

spotUni support staff strike ballot

Higher education has been under attack for over a decade. The trebling of tuition fees in 2010 has been followed by funding cuts and job losses, attacks on pensions, and real-terms pay cuts for education

15 December 2021

spotTesco strike action latest

Proposed strike action at Tesco distribution centres in the run-up to Christmas has forced bosses back to the negotiating table and resulted in an improved offer.

15 December 2021

spotBarts health workers to strike for a pay rise

Nearly 600 health workers employed at Bart's health trust, including Royal London, Whipps Cross and St

15 December 2021

spotWorksop Wincanton depot strike builds

After a week on strike, followed by a week's overtime ban, 460 Unite members at B&Q's main depot in Worksop are back out on strike for another week.

15 December 2021

spotSplit Tories and spineless Starmer

It's a little like 'A Christmas Carol' meets 'Groundhog Day' - except with no jokes and no heartwarming resolution.
Last year, Johnson's unclear message on Covid measures was mocked as: 'Don't go to work, go to work, don't take public transport, go to work, don't go to work.'
This year it is 'Don't go to work, do go to Christmas parties'

15 December 2021

spotSharon Graham: 100 days as Unite general secretary - the challenges ahead

Unite has become far more 'battle-ready' and focused on taking on the employers.

15 December 2021

spotUnions must fight for Covid workplace safety

The last 18 months has seen a rising wave of workers' struggle for workplace safety, against fire and rehire and for pay rises.

15 December 2021

spotStagecoach victory

Union rep says: "We're stronger than we have ever been before".

15 December 2021

spotSupport tube workers fighting back

RMT members have been striking against "impossible and unreasonable demands on staff"

15 December 2021

spotFighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Staff in the NHS are waiting with baited breath for the results of the pay ballots in Unite and the GMB

15 December 2021

spotSheffield couriers escalate and spread action

Food delivery couriers working for Stuart Delivery (a subsidiary of DPD Group and a subcontractor of JustEat) are into their second week of indefinite strike action in Sheffield.

15 December 2021

spotSudan: End military rule and poverty

Build a genuine revolutionary socialist party: Mass protests across Sudan have continued in response to the recent sell-out deal between Abdalla Hamdok - the deposed former civilian Prime Minister appointed by the overthrown Sovereignty Council government - and the military tops led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

17 December 2021

spotSandwell Leisure workers resist 'fire and rehire'

Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT) workers, members of the Unison union, were back on strike at Portway and Oldbury Leisure centres on 14 December.

18 December 2021

spotMax McGee victimisation - second appeal rejected

Max McGee, a Socialist Party member and Usdaw branch secretary at one of the Tesco depots that has recently forced - through strike action - an improved offer of a combined 6% from the company, has had his second appeal turned down against his sacking

20 December 2021

spotBritain in 2022: Build a coordinated working-class fightback

The Tories' Shropshire North byelection disaster reflects a rising tide of fury at Boris Johnson's government. "One more strike and he's out", declared Tory MP Roger Gale in the wake of the vote.

20 December 2021

spotMore fares misery for passengers

For many hard-pressed households this Christmas, news of a hefty 3.8% increase in regulated rail fares (the largest rise since 2013) will add to the prospect of a gloomy New Year.

21 December 2021

spotObituary: Ethan Bradley 1993-2021

At just 28, the loss of Ethan Bradley, the chair of the IWGB couriers and logistics branch, is tragic

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