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Archive for February 2009

1 February 2009

spotWhat's really behind the Lindsey Oil Refinery strike

By Keith Gibson, Personal Capacity, G.M.B., elected onto unofficial LOR Strike Committee

2 February 2009

spotUpdate on the spreading strikes by construction engineers in the refinery and power industry

Report by phone from Alistair Tice (Yorkshire Socialist Party) on the mass picket at the Lindsey total refinery North Lincolnshire. Monday 2 February 2009...

4 February 2009

spotFirm strike leadership gains results

Editorial: The strikes by construction engineering workers on oil refineries and power stations - that have swept across 22 sites in the UK - is one of the most significant strike waves in recent times...

4 February 2009

spotOrganising real trade unionism

History of the oil refinery action: A ninety day redundancy notice was issued around mid November 2008 at Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) to the workers employed by Shaw, writes Keith Gibson, GMB, personal capacity, elected onto the unofficial LOR strike committee..

4 February 2009

spotResponse from Italy

The strike is big news here in Italy. Inevitably the press and media are portraying it as an "anti-Italian strike" - a strike for "British jobs for British workers", writes Christine Thomas, Lotta, CWI Italy.

4 February 2009

spotStaythorpe power station: "It's all about money"

Staythorpe power station: "It's all about money": Construction workers at Staythorpe power station, near Newark, Nottinghamshire walked out on strike on 2 February, writes Steve Score.

4 February 2009

spotThe diary of a striker

Colin Trousdale, an unemployed blacklisted electrician, involved in some of the recent protests, sent us a diary of the last few months:...

4 February 2009

spotStriking at Fiddlers Ferry

The 70 construction workers picketing Fiddlers Ferry power station, Widnes, were clear about the reasons for the action, writes Christian Bunke and Andy Ford.

4 February 2009

spotLindsey refinery: workers show their strength

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

Lindsey refinery: workers show their strength, photo Keith Gibson

Strikes repel attacks on jobs and conditions
Shades of the miners' strike - mass protests, car park meetings, loud hailers that don't work.

Not so much flying pickets as flying texts and emails leading to spontaneous unofficial walkouts and 'illegal' strike action.
The anti-trade union laws have been brushed aside without a thought.

Alastair Tice, Yorkshire Socialist Party, reports on this important strike of oil refinery contruction workers.

5 February 2009

spotLessons of the Jarrow Crusade: no return to the 1930s!

Economic recession with growing unemployment, poverty and deprivation - these are some of the spectres facing working-class and young people across Britain and the world. These problems were also faced by workers and youth in the 1930s.
Greg Maughan looks at the great Jarrow Crusade of the unemployed and draws out some of the lessons for fighting job cuts today.

5 February 2009

spotUnited action needed to save education

London Metropolitan University's vice-chancellor, Brian Roper, has announced that the college is in severe financial difficulties, writes Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party.

5 February 2009

spotEconomic crisis - cracks appear in the bosses' EU

Eurozone 10th anniversary: THE INTERNATIONAL capitalist crisis has served to completely discredit the ideology of free market policies of the 'boom' period, of the last 20 years or so, writes Danny Byrne, Committee for a Workers' International (CWI).

5 February 2009

spotIceland: Devastated by global crisis

FOLLOWING ANGRY daily street protests (above and below), Iceland's right wing coalition government, led by prime minister Geir Haarde, resigned on 26 January, paving the way for new elections on 25 April...

5 February 2009

spotSri Lanka: Stop the slaughter!

IN EXTREMELY cold weather, 125,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living in England took to the streets of London on Saturday 31 January to protest against the atrocities of the Sri Lankan government in its war on the Tamils in the north of the country, writes Senan, Socialist Party, London.

5 February 2009

spotSri Lanka: Thousands trapped in war zone

FACING STARVATION and death, between 250,000 and 400,000 civilians are trapped in the war zone - a small area in the north of Sri Lanka, writes Senan,.

5 February 2009

spotFrance: millions strike against Sarkozy's policies

ACCORDING TO the police, 1.1 million people took to the streets of France on 29 January. The unions put it at 2.5 million. Either way, it is already bigger than the biggest demonstration during the CPE...

5 February 2009

spotWirral: Stop the cuts and closures

THE PEOPLE of Wirral are organising against the Lib-Lab coalition council's plans to axe libraries and other leisure services, writes Dave Lunn, Wirral Against The Cuts steering committee (personal capacity).

5 February 2009

spotLiverpool: Far right BNP exposed

ON 31 January 300 people marched through Liverpool against the far right, racist British National Party (BNP)...

5 February 2009

spotGaza protests: Police attacks show stewarding vital

THOUGH THE Israeli army has stopped its bombardment of Gaza, protests have continued because of the blockade, writes Paula Mitchell.

5 February 2009

spotYouth Fight for Jobs campaign

Good response in Bridgend: Three, let's be generous and say, more 'mature' Socialist Party members, launched the 'Youth Fight For Jobs' campaign on our stall in Bridgend on 31 January...

5 February 2009

spotCar industry bailout plan

CAR WORKERS in Britain face job cuts, long lay-offs and increased short-time working. Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover and other car manufacturers have all cut jobs. The recession-hit 'British' car industry...

5 February 2009

spotMay Day: Lords judgement backs police

LOIS AUSTIN, the appellant in the 2001 'May Day Detainee Case' expressed anger at the House of Lords Appeal judgement, on 28 January 2009, which supported the Court of Appeal finding that the Metropolitan police acted correctly by detaining Lois and several thousand peaceful anti-capitalist protes...

5 February 2009

spotWeather chaos exposes cutbacks

WHEN HEAVY snow showers saw rail, road and air transport grind to a halt in much of Britain last week, millions of workers were unable to travel...

5 February 2009

spotFast news

Peer pressure: SHOCK! 'POLITICIANS accept money from big business to amend legislation', screamed several newspaper headlines recently...

5 February 2009

spotCorus steal jobs: Workers must fight back

Rotherham in South Yorkshire has been devastated by job losses in the last four months. Since October, Rosebys, Woolworths, FADS and MFI have either closed or gone into administration...

6 February 2009

spotLindsey oil refinery strike deal

Bill Mullins writes on the deal...

11 February 2009

spotLindsey oil refinery strike: Workers score important victory

Socialist Party industrial organiser Bill Mullins writes on the deal done between the Lindsey oil refinery strike committee and the Total oil company, the refinery owners...

11 February 2009

spotConstruction workers' battle to defend jobs and conditions

Fiddlers Ferry: Andy Ford, Liverpool Socialist Party, spoke to a number of workers at the Fiddlers Ferry power station construction site on 3 February...

11 February 2009

spotWelcome to the JIB!

Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, and a member of Unite, distributed this leaflet at the construction engineering shop stewards' meeting on 9 February...

11 February 2009

spotFight for jobs at Ford

Short-time working at Ford Dagenham has been a hard blow to take for the 5,000 workers at the east London plant, writes Manny Thain.

11 February 2009

spotCar industry in crisis - national meeting

Saturday 14 February 2009, 12-4pm, The Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS...

11 February 2009

spotWirral cuts: We need a new party

On 9 February around 150 people rallied at Wallasey town hall against the wholesale destruction of local services by Wirral council, writes Hugh Caffrey.

11 February 2009

spotDefend youth services

Youth workers, children's workers and play and community workers are organising a national march and rally in Coventry on Saturday 14 February, writes Teresa Chalcroft, Chair, Community and Youth Workers' Union / Unite, Warwickshire County Council.

11 February 2009

spotCollege students - keen to fight back

Youth fight for jobs: Having recently launched the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign to say no to a future of mass youth unemployment, we are aiming for large support for the campaign, writes Kay Shipway, Walthamstow Socialist Party.

11 February 2009

spotTyneside Metro: Workers' action to stop privatisation

TO A packed meeting of over 150 people last week, the RMT's general secretary Bob Crow announced that Tyneside Metro workers are to be balloted for strike action over the threat to jobs, pensions and conditions posed by privatisation plans, writes Elaine Brunskill.

11 February 2009

spotNationalise Waterford Crystal!

Ireland - workers' factory occupation: SPECIALLY HIRED security individually delivered letters to employees saying that from the following Monday there was no need to report for work, as the world-renowned Waterford Crystal factory would be closed, writes Kevin Mcloughlin, Socialist Party Ireland.

11 February 2009

spotVendetta continues against socialist fighter

Tommy Sheridan and Gail Sheridan are to face a trial on charges of perjury. The Scottish Crown Office is to press ahead with a court case after one of the most expensive and lengthy police investigations...

11 February 2009

spotCarbon trading crisis creates bonanza for polluting firms

Carbon trading: THE HOPE of the bureaucrats who devised a European carbon permit trading system to tackle global warming was that polluting firms would have to pay for their anti-social actions, so letting 'market forces' encourage green behaviour, writes Pete Dickenson.

11 February 2009

spotSri Lanka: United Socialist Party members remanded on trumped-up charges

THE LEADING United Socialist Party candidate for the Provincial Council Elections on 14 February, Murugesh Chandiran, and two other members of the USP campaign have been remanded in custody until 16 February by the Nuwara Eliya magistrate on trumped-up charges, writes Srinath Perera, USP (CWI, Sri Lanka).

11 February 2009

spotExeter: Mobilising to stop the far right

THE FAR right British National Party (BNP) reared its ugly head again in Exeter. Last Saturday, this threat was met by a united front in Exeter High Street by socialists of various backgrounds. The biggest...

11 February 2009

spotSlumdog Millionaire

Review: You would expect a film that has won five Critics' Choice Awards, four Golden Globes and seven Bafta Awards, and has been nominated for ten Academy Awards to be outstanding, or at least have some qualities that can inspire...

11 February 2009

spotReclaim the game

Football and big business: In the growing economic crisis, Bradford City (Bantams) fan Manny Dominguez assesses the prospects for building the football supporters' movement...

11 February 2009

spotSave Charlotte Turner school!

GREENWICH COUNCIL proposes to close our primary school Charlotte Turner, and mothball it for three years because of the limited number of children attending the school, writes Kim Bozek, parent of pupils at Charlotte Turner school.

11 February 2009

spotGreenwich council: An injury to one is an injury to all

Greenwich council workers turned up in force on 28 January to defend 27 of their colleagues who face compulsory redundancy, writes Onay Kasab.

11 February 2009

spotStop GSK job cuts

Workers at the Ware GSK site in Herts have organised themselves into the 'Ware Unite and Fight Group', writes Mark Pickersgill.

11 February 2009

spotVictory for Salford Unison

Local government unions in Salford, led by Unison, have secured important concessions from Salford council in relation to job evaluation (JE), writes Steven North, Central Manchester and Salford Socialist Party.

11 February 2009

spotDefend jobs at Salford University

On 5 February, a major protest was held against the job cuts at Salford university, proposed to supposedly make £7 million worth of savings. This initiative is named 'Project Headroom' by managers, writes Ben Bullen, Salford university student.

11 February 2009

spotProtest against the Unison witch-hunt

Four Socialist Party members are facing expulsion from Unison or a ban from holding Unison office. Disciplinary hearings are being held against Glenn Kelly, Onay Kasab, Suzanne Muna and Brian Debus...

11 February 2009

spotFast news

Australia bush fires: AUSTRALIA'S STATE and federal governments have blamed arsonists for the devastating bush fires. However, the vast majority were a result of the extreme weather conditions. Did these governments do everything...

11 February 2009

spotUsdaw presidential election

The election for president of the shopworkers' union Usdaw closes on 13 February. Socialist Party member Robbie Segal is standing. To be the first to hear the result and for all your shop-worker news,...

11 February 2009

spotJCB owner - still shovelling in the cash

The annual rich list for the West Midlands was recently published in The Birmingham Post. It reveals that Sir Anthony Bamford has been knocked off the top spot this year. It seems that a £600 million increase...

11 February 2009

spotBankers' bonuses - daylight robbery!

Take the banks into full public ownership and control: Those who have helped to blight and ruin the lives of millions of workers, through mass unemployment and the brutal repossession of homes, should receive not one penny in so-called 'bonuses', writes Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary.

13 February 2009

spotSupport Yahya al Faifi!

Saudi Trade Union dissident facing deportation

14 February 2009

spotVideo: the Lindsey oil refinery strike

Keith Gibson and Jerry Hicks speak

15 February 2009

spotParalysis of the banking system

The banks and financial system remain paralysed. 'Throw everything but the kitchen sink' at the problem is a British saying. Now, some Keynesian capitalist economists urge the 'kitchen sink' should...

15 February 2009

spotKeynesianism 'back in fashion'

Keynesianism is 'back in fashion'. A striking expression of this is how the strategists of capital, having previously denounced some policies as 'crazy' now embrace them...

15 February 2009

spotInternational turmoil

The events in Greece graphically underline the international turmoil. In speeches and in the pages of the Socialist and Socialism Today, we warned that unless the alternative of a conscious movement to change society was organised,...

15 February 2009

spotBritain exposed

Britain is particularly exposed to the economic storm which is unfolding. Iceland was a country effectively acting as a hedge fund. This country is not much different, as the FT commented:...

15 February 2009

spotCollapse of British manufacturing

We have chartered in our publications the over years the astonishing collapse of British manufacturing - once the 'workshop of the world' - and its reliance on finance capital, initiated by Thatcher and willingly continued by Blair and Brown...

15 February 2009

spotHousing crisis - effects on living standards

The housing sector - the bedrock of the so-called 'post-wealth effect' - is plunging and house prices could fall by 40%-50%...

15 February 2009

spotUnions must fight back

We must energetically combat the attitude of the overwhelming majority of the trade union leaders who wish and seek compromise with the employers...

15 February 2009

spotYouth fight back

We have a special responsibility towards the new generation. As pointed out before, they will face problems of a character and a scale that their counterparts of the last 60 years did not.

15 February 2009

spotRacism and the far right

A vital factor in the link to youth work is the struggle against racism, fascism and particularly the rise of the BNP...

15 February 2009


The same applies to work amongst women. We already have a proud record, which has differentiated us from other groups in our intervention in this field...

15 February 2009

spotPolitical prospects

The working class in the next period is likely to be checked on the industrial plane although, as we have explained, there will be battles, some of them spectacular, of a defensive character on the issue of jobs...

15 February 2009

spotA new workers' party

The Socialist Party, together with others on the left, must be prepared to stand in this vital election to counterpose to the capitalist parties the socialist alternative...

15 February 2009

spotCrisis of world capitalism

Discussion document for Socialist Party congress 2009: The dominant issue facing the Socialist Party, the working class and the labour movement now and for the foreseeable future is the crisis of world capitalism, within which is the special crisis of British capitalism...

17 February 2009

spotStop fees

No to cuts: FOR YEARS the government, echoed by the National Union of Students (NUS) leadership, has told students they would get a fantastic job at the end of their course to pay off their student debt, writes Iain Dalton, Bangor Socialist Students.

17 February 2009

spotNew Labour in blind panic

Editorial 'Don't panic!' Peter Mandelson is begging his fellow cabinet ministers. It will not have any effect - New Labour is in a blind panic. No wonder; as the economy has sharply declined, so has New Labour's...

17 February 2009

spotLondon Olympics battered by economic crisis

Nothing is being left untouched by the world economic crisis, including the biggest sporting event in the world, writes Chris Newby.

17 February 2009

spotIsrael: Election results indicate a deepening political crisis

LESS THAN a month after the end of the last bloody onslaught on the residents of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank was put under a military closure, as the election for Israel's 120 seat Knesset (parliament) began, writes Shahar Ben-Khorin, Maavak Sozialisti, (CWI, Israel).

17 February 2009

spotYahya must stay Defend Saudi Arabian trade unionist from deportation

YAHYA AL Faifi, a self-sacrificing trade unionist and committed socialist, faces deportation back to Saudi Arabia where a tyrannical regime jails, tortures and 'disappears' dissidents, writes Mariam Kamish, campaign secretary.

17 February 2009

spotFight back now to stop job cuts

SACKED AT an hour's notice! And with no redundancy pay even after years of continuous work. That's what the bosses did to 850 workers at the BMW car plant at Cowley, Oxford.

These sackings typify the plight of workers today in 'casualised Britain' plc. The 850 sacked workers were agency staff who didn't have the same employment rights as permanent workers.

18 February 2009

spotCoventry: Hands off our youth services!

AROUND 400 people marched through Coventry last Saturday to protest against severe cuts by the Tory council in children's and young people's services. (see article in last week's The Socialist)...

18 February 2009

spotWirral cuts: Fighting 'cultural terrorism'

WITHIN THREE days of Wirral Council's Liberal-Labour ruling coalition ratifying the decision to close eleven libraries and other leisure and cultural facilities, representatives of the local community and other action groups rallied to a meeting called by Wirral trades council, declaring: "The fig, writes Dave Lunn, Wirral Against The Cuts Coalition (personal capacity).

18 February 2009

spotCar workers' jobs slaughter - begin the fightback!

In response to the crisis in Britain's car industry, where thousands of job losses have been announced and thousands of other workers have been temporarily laid off for weeks at a time, the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) hosted a very encouraging meeting in Birmingham on 14 February, writes Linda Taaffe, secretary NSSN.

18 February 2009

spotDefend every job on the tube

London Underground are to cut 1,000 jobs, already they are seeking voluntary redundancies. If these aren't taken up they will no doubt come back and attempt to sack workers, writes Roger James, an underground worker.

18 February 2009

spotConstruction workers protest: Staythorpe power station

Power station workers joined hundreds of protesters in an early morning walkout on 11 February, writes Steve Score, East Midlands Socialist Party.

18 February 2009

spotIsle of Grain picket

On 11 February, around 70 workers staged a demonstration on the Isle of Grain in Kent, outside the site of a new gas-fired power station where the main contractor, Alstom, is using Polish sub-contractors with no trade union agreement on their pay and conditions, writes Ken Douglas.

18 February 2009

spotMeeting on Lindsey oil refinery dispute: Workers strike back

Around 200 people attended a joint meeting in London on 13 February, organised by the Socialist Party and Respect, to discuss the lessons of the Lindsey oil refinery strike...

18 February 2009

spotWhy the bosses don't want an organised workforce

Articles in the press on 16 February said that the ACAS "investigation" into the Lindsey strike shows that the Italian workforce brought in to the site by IREM were being paid the same wages as the existing Shaw workforce...

18 February 2009

spotManchester Unison elections: Left candidates well supported

"Your leaflet has gone down really well here!" That's what one steward rang me up to say after his members had read the Left slate election leaflet for the Unison Manchester local government branch, writes Jim Cessford, Manchester Unison, personal capacity.

18 February 2009

spotAnger as jobs slashed with an hour's notice

Workers at BMW's Mini plant at Cowley in Oxford reacted in fury when they were given an hour's notice that they were losing their jobs, writes Alison Hill.

18 February 2009

spotUsdaw presidential election: The campaign they tried to hide

With the votes now counted, we can confirm that Socialist Party member Robbie Segal got a very respectable 10,000 members' votes for the position of president of Usdaw, writes Alex Gounelas.

18 February 2009

spotUsdaw Activist public meeting

Usdaw Activist public meeting

4 April, 11am-3pm,

Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street,

near Euston station, London

18 February 2009

spotFight the Unison witch-hunt

Four Socialist Party members are facing expulsion from Unison or a ban on holding Unison office...

18 February 2009

spotRegulators resign over financial meltdown

GORDON BROWN carelessly managed to lose two key banking advisers last week. Sir James Crosby, former chief executive of HBOS bank, (which together with its merger partner Lloyds got £37 billion-plus emergency...

18 February 2009

spotLaunch of new broad left for Unite

The launch meeting for the new broad left organisation in Unite, 'United Left', takes place in Birmingham on 21 February, writes Kevin Parslow.

18 February 2009

spotPolitical vendetta against Tommy Sheridan

ACCORDING TO the online legal magazine The Firm: "Senior sources within the Crown Office have claimed that Lothian and Borders Police placed them under 'incredible pressure' to proceed to bring prosecutions against Tommy Sheridan and Gail Sheridan, following their arrest in November 2007 on perju...

18 February 2009

spotCosta Rica: Urgent solidarity action for unionists

ON 30 January the board of Costa Rica's public Social Security Institute (INS) sacked Luis Salas Sarkís, general secretary of both the INS workers' union UPINS and the small, but combative and democratic union federation Central General de Trabajadores (CGT) of Costa Rica - in clear violation of I, writes Victor Leon (CWI, Costa Rica).

18 February 2009

spot'Books not Bombs' at Nottingham

Two weeks ago an occupation at Nottingham University in solidarity with the people of Gaza was forcefully ended by the university authorities, writes A Nottingham university student..

18 February 2009

spotConcessions won at Queen Mary university

Students at Queen Mary university in London marched into occupation on 27 January in response to Israel's attacks on Gaza, writes Madeleine Levy, QM Socialist Students.

18 February 2009

spotFast news

The company store: AS BARACK Obama spends $2 trillion in a bid to to revive capitalism, the Japanese Panasonic corporation has hit on a more modest 'stimulus package'...

18 February 2009

spotDefend the welfare state

Labour's latest attacks on unemployment and disability benefits NEW LABOUR'S Welfare Reform Bill recently received its first reading in parliament. This bill will hit sick and disabled people and lone parents particularly hard but will also make life on benefits even...

18 February 2009

spotStudents protest against attacks on Gaza

Kings College London: A group of roughly 40 Kings College London (KCL) students occupied a lecture hall early in January, in protest against the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Shimon Peres, Israeli President, writes Kings College London Socialist Students.

24 February 2009

spotCar industry in crisis: Death of jobs by a thousand cuts

Car components firm GKN has announced the closure of two of its plants in the West Midlands. This will mean 323 direct job losses. Dave Griffiths spoke to Pete Bradley, a GKN worker and a member of the Amicus section of Unite, before the latest cuts announcement.

24 February 2009

spotJobs protest continues

Staythorpe power station construction workers protest outside Newark Jobcentre, photo Steve Score

Staythorpe power station construction workers protest outside Newark Jobcentre, photo Steve Score

On Wednesday 18 February hundreds of construction workers picketed again outside Staythorpe power station, near Newark, to protest against the exclusion by Alstom of UK labour from jobs on the site, writes Keith Gibson, GMB Lindsey Oil Refinery (LOR) and Alistair Tice.

24 February 2009

spotWorkers march for jobs in Cardiff

About 200 Unite and GMB members from power stations from across South Wales marched for jobs through Cardiff city centre on 21 February. This included a number of unemployed members, writes Katrine Williams, PCS Wales chair, personal capacity.

24 February 2009

spotFight to save Royal Mail

Postal workers and our union the CWU are facing a fight. But not just about terms and conditions - it's about the survival of our union writes Gary Clark, sub area rep, Scotland no 2 branch CWU

24 February 2009

spotIreland: workers say 'We won't pay for your crisis'

A MASSIVE demonstration in Dublin last Saturday, called by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), attracted 120,000 people, writes Kevin Mcloughlin, Socialist Party, (CWI, Ireland).

24 February 2009

spotIran 1979: A revolution that was taken from the working class

Mass demonstration in Tehran

Mass demonstration in Tehran

IRANIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently addressed thousands of supporters at Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Monument, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution - a revolution carried out by the working class that toppled a brutal western puppet, the Shah...

24 February 2009

spotWhat do union members get from Labour link?

A GROWING number of left activists in the trade unions are frustrated with the continued financial and political links between the unions and the Labour Party...

24 February 2009

spotECB suffers Stanford hangover

WE ALL know the feeling. You've committed some indiscretion, possibly while under the influence of intoxicants, and now in the cold light of day when all the facts are revealed there is the humiliating...

24 February 2009

spotThe Socialist Party's demands

Nationalise all the banks on the basis of democratic public ownership - run by representatives of banking workers and trade unions, the wider working class, as well as the government...

24 February 2009

spotCapitalists in disarray

While socialist ideas are beginning to resurge, the political representatives of capitalism are in disarray...

24 February 2009

spotMarx was right

The current crisis is not just caused by the greed of the City financiers or even the domination of finance capitalism...

24 February 2009

spotWhere's the bailout for us?

For millions of working class people, however, the urgent question is: where is the bailout for us? For thirty years governments have told us that the only option is privatisation of public services, and...

24 February 2009

spotA cold winter

Nor will workers' demands limit themselves to the finance sector. Rising prices mean that millions of people will struggle to find the money to heat their homes this winter...

24 February 2009

spotKeynes revisited

The era of the deregulated 'free market' associated with Thatcherism is dead. Nonetheless, governments will still use neo-liberal measures such as privatisation against the working class as is shown...

24 February 2009

spotA global crisis, and the particular crisis in Britain

Spreading like wildfire across the planet, this is a truly global crisis. No country will escape its effects. The ludicrous idea that China and the other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia and India) could...

24 February 2009

spotYoung people

Britain has been booming for sixteen years, albeit in an unbalanced way. Young people have never experienced anything else. They are now going to receive a profound shock to their system. Half a million,...

24 February 2009


Capitalism expects workers to rely on private pensions; a living state pension is considered out of the question...

24 February 2009

spotPublic services

In New Labour Britain, privatisation rules. New Labour's sudden support for nationalisation of the banks will not prevent it continuing to try and sell off other public services, although in some cases...

24 February 2009

spotUnemployment and working week

As unemployment soars Britain will still have the longest working week in the European Union. New Labour has consistently fought for the right to opt out of EU laws limiting the working week to a maximum...

24 February 2009

spotThe socialist alternative

The nationalisations, part-nationalisations and state interventions being undertaken by the world's governments bear no resemblance to genuine socialist nationalisation...

24 February 2009

spotTime for a new mass workers' party

A particularly important factor is the absence of a mass political voice for the working class. Since 1997 the trade unions have given over £100 million of their members' money to New Labour. And what...

24 February 2009


The defenders of capitalism were wrong and the socialists and Marxists were right. This is what the current economic crisis means - as well as hardship for millions of people. Over the last few decades...

24 February 2009

spotStudents march against university fees

Anger takes to the streets

24 February 2009

spotOrganise to defend jobs

Bus workers demonstrate over pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Bus workers demonstrate over pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Share out the work with no loss of pay
"Police fear summer of rage", reported The Guardian on Monday 23 February. Looking at the latest figures for unemployment and redundancies, it's not surprising that a reaction from workers is feared, writes Ted Smith, Birmingham Socialist Party.

25 February 2009

spotBNP bigots retreat under pressure

THE ORIGINAL Merseyside police decision to postpone Everton's home game on 14 March and disrupt the arrangements of thousands of football supporters to accommodate the poisonous activities of the racist BNP, beggars belief, writes Tony Mulhearn.

25 February 2009

spotGeneral strike movement grips island of Guadeloupe

A MONTH long general strike and widespread political protest over the rising cost of living and low pay has gripped the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe and has now spread to the neighbouring island of Martinique...

25 February 2009

spotKashmir: Health workers take strike action

THE GOVERNMENT of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) has declared a national health workers' strike as illegal and now threatens to use the anti-worker Special Powers Act, writes Jamal Khan, CWI, Kashmir.

25 February 2009

spotLeeds journalists strike against job cuts

National Union of Journalists members in Leeds held a four-day strike from 19 February at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post (YP/YEP) building, writes Kevin Pattison, Leeds Socialist Party.

25 February 2009

spotSuccessful launch for United Left

Over 250 Unite members attended the launch rally of 'United Left'. In numbers, therefore, this was a successful start. It showed the enthusiasm to build the left amongst large sections of Unite and to...

25 February 2009

spotManchester Unison: Good vote for left

On the same day that Manchester city council announced £25 million of 'savings', the Unison union branch representing many council staff announced the results of its leadership elections, writes Jim Cessford.

25 February 2009

spotProtest at the Unison witch-hunt - date change

The disciplinary hearings against London Unison members Glenn Kelly, Onay Kasab, Suzanne Muna and Brian Debus start on Wednesday 18 March...

25 February 2009

spotLook at the gravy train!

Activists from the campaign Keep Tyne and Wear Metro Public (KMP) found out that the Metro, which is Britain's last publicly owned railway, had been short-listed for the HSBC rail business awards, writes Elaine Brunskill.

25 February 2009

spotDevon residents against incinerators

Campaign launched: LOCAL RESIDENTS met on 16 February to discuss forming a campaign group to oppose the building of a waste incinerator in north Devon, writes Jim Lowe, North Devon Socialist Party.

25 February 2009

spotGreenwich: "Hands off my school"

ABOUT 100 angry parents, school students and education workers crammed into the main hall of Charlotte Turner primary school in Deptford to demand that Greenwich council drop its plans to close the school, writes Chris Newby.

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