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Archive for January 2006

5 January 2006

spotStriking against low pay

ON 20 December 2005, 7,500 Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members employed in magistrates courts took part in their first ever national strike in 800 years...

5 January 2006

spotBehind the gas conflict

THE CUTTING of gas supplies to Ukraine by Russia's state-owned energy company, Gazprom, is intensifying the political antagonisms between Washington/EU capitals and Moscow...

5 January 2006

spotElection divisions shows Iraq war is unwinnable for Bush

"IRAQ IS disintegrating. The first results from the parliamentary election last month show the country is dividing between the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions...

5 January 2006

spotFighting back against the millionaires' system

2006 - a year of big changes: AT THE beginning of a new year, Socialist Party general secretary PETER TAAFFE looks back on the significant developments in 2005 and looks forward to the challenges that lie ahead for socialists in 2006...

5 January 2006

spot'Reforms' destroying the National Health Service

FOUNDATION HOSPITALS are one of many NHS 'reforms' backed by New Labour. When they were set up, NHS unions and health campaigners called foundation hospitals divisive and a 'dagger at the heart of the NHS'...

5 January 2006

spotNHS: Condition critical

People with the same heart condition that Tony Blair was treated for - an irregular heartbeat - have been knocked off the waiting list of the Oxford Radcliffe NHS trust...

12 January 2006

spotAfter Sharon, what next?

ISRAELI PRIME Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke on 4 January has brought widespread political instability to Israel, changing the nature of the general election there due on 28 March...

12 January 2006

spotSolidarity with Tehran bus workers

FOURTEEN LEADERS of Tehran's transport workers' union were arrested on 22 December, after staging a 'no-ticket' action against Sherkate Vahed, a state owned bus company in Iran, to demand higher wages...

12 January 2006

spot£109,315 - a record year for the fighting fund!

Last Friday (6th Jan) was the last day that money was accepted for the October to December 2005 Fighting Fund quarter...

12 January 2006

spotFighting for socialist ideas world wide

International Executive Committee report: The Socialist Party is affiliated to the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) which organises in 36 countries on every continent...

12 January 2006

spotPriorities and opportunities in 2006

The national committee meeting of the Socialist Party on 7-8 January was held in preparation for our national congress on 11-13 February (see page 8). CHRIS NEWBY reports...

12 January 2006

spotDemocratic discussion, debate and decision-making

The Socialist Party's national congress is taking place in Skegness over the three days Saturday 11 February to Monday 13 February 2006. Socialist Party branches throughout England and Wales are electing delegates this month...

12 January 2006

spotFor an alternative to New Labour

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has called a conference on 21 January, on working-class representation. This is an important event for all those looking towards establishing an alternative to New Labour...

12 January 2006

spotMake your mind up time for Lib Dems?

IT SEEMS that all wings of the Liberal Democrats parliamentary party became involved in the brutal campaign to force their leader, Charles Kennedy, to step down because of his alcohol addiction...

12 January 2006

spotSuccessful tube strike must be escalated

STRIKE ACTION by station members of RMT (Rail Maritime and Transport Workers' Union) closed 47 stations and led to severe disruption on the Northern Line, where train drivers refused to cross picket lines and also took unofficial action over the sacking of a driver on a separate issue...

12 January 2006

spotStriking for jobs, services and rights

PCS MEMBERS at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have voted to take industrial action as part of their jobs, services and rights campaign...

12 January 2006

spotTuition fees repel poor students

THE CAMPAIGNING group Socialist Students has consistently argued that tuition fees would deter people from studying. Now, a new study, following a number of polls, shows that the £3,000 a year top-up fees put off working-class...

12 January 2006

spotStop the privatisation of council housing

THE CRISIS in housing has been called a time bomb under working-class people's living standards...

12 January 2006

spotFight back against far right

PROTESTERS ARE organising for a mass demonstration against the far-right British National Party (BNP) on Monday, 16 January outside Leeds Crown Court where BNP 'fŸhrer' Nick Griffin and his sidekick Mark Collett face charges of 'inciting racial hatred'...

12 January 2006

spotDefend the NHS

PROTESTERS ARE taking to the streets of Huddersfield again on 14 January, to oppose plans to centralise hospital services to a neighbouring town and the closure of a smaller local hospital...

19 January 2006

spotOne year on... where is the relief?

Sri Lanka: The tsunami legacy: WORKING PEOPLE around the world gave generously in order to support the victims of the 2004 tsunami - well before their respective governments began to release their statements of sympathy...

19 January 2006

spotIran: Nuclear row raises fears internationally

THE WESTERN governments' hue and cry over Iran's decision to restart nuclear research has produced mixed responses around the world. Amongst the millions who oppose, and have campaigned against, nuclear weapons there is growing...

19 January 2006

spotWalk out prompts ASLEF ballot

THE TRAIN driver's union ASLEF are to ballot their 2,200 drivers on London Underground for a series of one-day strikes. The socialist spoke to workers on the Northern Line:...

19 January 2006

spotVisteon workers braced for attacks

WORKERS AT Visteon, Ford's component supplier, are bracing themselves for the next stage in the company's attacks on their jobs, pay, conditions and pensions...

19 January 2006

spotBuild for action

TALKS BETWEEN the Group Officers of the civil service union PCS and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) management have failed to avert the strike called for 26 and 27 January, in defence of jobs, services and conditions...

19 January 2006

spotAre 'super unions' the solution?

DURING THE course of 2005, talks took place between the TGWU, Amicus and the GMB trade unions on the proposal to create a new merged 'super union'...

19 January 2006

spotTime for a political alternative

AROUND CHRISTMAS, 3,000 City investment bankers were awarded at least £1 million each in bonuses, making a very tiny slice of British society as much as £5-6 billion better off, writes Time for a new workers' party.

19 January 2006

spotTime for a new mass workers' party

Today’s conference is potentially an important step forward in the struggle for a new mass party of the working class. This is the first time that a national trade union has called a conference to discuss the question of working-class...

19 January 2006

spotBuild a political alternative to New Labour

Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT
RMT conference on workers' representation: THE CONFERENCE on the crisis in working-class representation called by the RMT rail union this weekend is potentially an important step forward in the struggle for a new mass party of the working class...

19 January 2006

spotCrime and anti-social behaviour

New Labour's policies can't end ...: TONY BLAIR'S well-publicised ideas on "respect" in the community have pushed his views on crime and anti-social behaviour onto the political agenda again...

19 January 2006

spotGrowing anger at academies

Education: SOME GOVERNMENT ministers fear that the new Education Bill to create a system of trust schools across the country could be defeated in the House of Commons...

19 January 2006

spot1,500 March in Huddersfield

Huddersfield Demo
FOR THE second time in four weeks, the people of Huddersfield gathered on 14 January to oppose the Calderdale and Huddersfield Health Trust's plans to transfer hospital services out of the town...

19 January 2006

spotUnite to save our NHS

BRITAIN'S BIGGEST chain of private hospitals, BMI Healthcare, is said to be 'discussing' with the Department of Health about taking over the management of NHS hospitals that are currently struggling with mounting deficits...

26 January 2006

spotScaring children into believing in Jesus

Review: The Root of all evil, Channel 4: Richard Dawkins' two-part programme on religion on Channel 4, The Root of All Evil has provoked a massive over-reaction from the religious right. They show no sign of turning the other cheek and forgiving him!...

26 January 2006

spotHomophobia isn't the exclusive preserve of any religion

Reviews: Gay Muslims Channel 4: THE EXPERIENCE of British gay and lesbian Muslims was the subject for the Channel 4 documentary Gay Muslims. One of the aims of the programme was to illustrate the diversity within Islam and how different Muslim communities...

26 January 2006

spotLincoln fights to defend council housing

ACROSS THE country local councils are getting rid of their council housing through private finance initiatives (PFI), arms length management schemes and sell-offs to private companies and housing associations...

26 January 2006

spotBlair's 'high wire act' - heading for a fall?

SO FAR nearly one hundred Labour MP's are opposing the Schools White Paper backed by Blair revealing a Prime Minister who is well past his sell-by-date...

26 January 2006

spotVenezuela: Nurses protest in Caracas

"WE WANT the president's ear and the health minister's head". Over 50 nurses were protesting outside the Miraflores - President Chavez's palace in Caracas, Venezuela. They had blocked the road and were faced...

26 January 2006

spotChile: First woman president elected

THE ELECTION of Michel Bachelet as the first woman to be elected President of Chile has aroused big interest around the world...

26 January 2006

spotMorales' presidential victory - a new phase in the class struggle

With Bolivia's Evo Morales and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez declaring an "anti-imperialist front" does this signify a genuine movement toward socialism or will both presidents seek to compromise with capitalism...

26 January 2006

spotAn antidote to cuts, lies and corruption

At last year's Labour Party Conference, 82-year-old Walter Wolfgang was violently expelled for shouting "Nonsense!" at Jack Straw, who was trying to defend New Labour's support for the brutal invasion and occupation of Iraq...

26 January 2006

spotA socialist world is necessary

Socialist Students is a national student organisation with active members in over 70 universities and colleges in England and Wales. We have been building campaigns against fees, cuts and closures, against war, terrorism, racism...

26 January 2006

spotTime for a new mass workers' party

Ken Smith, Socialist Party Executive Committee, looks at the way forward after the RMT conference held in London on 21 January...

26 January 2006

spot'Crisis in working class political representation'

Manny Thain reports from the conference called by the RMT on working-class political representation...

26 January 2006

spotPCS youth conference success

THE YOUTH Forum of the civil service union PCS, held on 14/15 January, was the first national conference of the PCS Young Members' Network...

26 January 2006

spotCity greed hits workers' pensions

MILLIONS OF workers expecting pensions on their retirement will be hit by a crisis in the numerous pension funds. The City of London's gilts market has had its lowest yields in half a century and pension funds are suffering.

26 January 2006

spotUnited action planned

UNISON'S INDUSTRIAL Action Committee has approved a request to ballot members over the government's plans to attack local government workers' pensions...

26 January 2006

spotFight cuts and closures

THREE THOUSAND angry local people marched through the normally quiet streets of Kendal in Cumbria on 21 January, protesting at cutbacks in the local hospital...

26 January 2006

spotStriking to save jobs & services

PCS members on strike
OUR MEMBERS in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have come to the end of their tether. Staff are working more overtime than you can shake a stick at but even so, the department isn't coping...

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