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Archive for March 2006

2 March 2006

spot35,000 public-sector workers strike

BELOW IS a report of the first day of the current public sector strike which now involves 35,000 workers on strike in nine of the 16 federal states in Germany...

2 March 2006

spotSheffield workers are fighting back

"GET A job!" shouted a construction worker from his scaffolding. "That's what we're marching for," retorted Lindsey Baker leading the demonstration called by her civil service PCS union branch in Sheffield...

2 March 2006

spotUniversity staff to strike

UNIVERSITY STAFF will be on strike over pay on 7 March. This follows a good turnout in the strike ballot, with big majorities supporting both strike action and 'action short of a strike' amongst members of AUT and NATFHE...

2 March 2006

spotSwansea car workers fight plant closure

IT'S CRUNCH time for the 650 car workers in the Visteon (formerly Ford) Swansea Plant. In a clear joint strategy between Ford and Visteon, almost 230 Swansea workers are to be given the 'opportunity' to transfer to the Ford...

2 March 2006

spotIRAQ: Sectarian civil war looms as the occupation flounders

SECTARIAN BLOODSHED by some of the Shia and Sunni muslim militias in Iraq dramatically worsened following the destruction of the Golden Mosque in Samarra...

2 March 2006

spotFight for women's REAL right to choose

'Right' to Education: We are constantly told by the mainstream media that girls are outperforming boys at school and that young women now have more opportunities and choice than women of previous generations...

2 March 2006

spotChange the world!

THE INTERNATIONAL Socialist Resistance (ISR)/ Socialist Students conference on 4 March 2006 was a vital conference for every young person who wants to fight to change the world...

2 March 2006

spotKen Livingstone removed from office

The Standards Board for England, an unelected body set up in 2000, have removed Ken Livingstone, an elected politician, from office for a month...

2 March 2006

spotCorruption and lies

In the wake of the financial and extra-curricular shennanigans of Peter Mandelson, David Blunkett, and the gongs handed out to millionaires for services rendered, now comes the creeping hint of sleaze linking David Mills, the husband of government minister Tessa Jowell, with Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s extreme right-w...

2 March 2006

spotStoke councillors join the Socialist Party

Why we're standing for socialism: We are printing the text of a letter written by two ex-Labour councillors in Stoke-on-Trent, Paul and Dave Sutton. In it they explain to their constituents their reasons for leaving New Labour and joining the Socialist Party...

2 March 2006

spotCampaign for a New Workers' Party

Why I'm going to the conference...: IT'S HARDLY surprising that Tony Blair's government is fuelling anger amongst working-class people, not least because of its big business policies in education, the NHS, public-sector pensions and in the provision of public services.  Also, millions of people have taken to the streets to protest against Blai...

2 March 2006

spotEducation under attack

Birmingham: No to academies: NEW LABOUR'S Education White Paper is getting its second reading in Parliament. It is a clear sign of the government's intent to privatise and fragment education...

2 March 2006

spotQuality education for all

Stop Blair's divisive Education Bill: BLAIR'S GOVERNMENT has unveiled its new Education Bill - MPs will vote on it this month. Education Secretary Ruth Kelly claims this bill will give "schools the freedoms they need to raise standards"...

9 March 2006

spotBerlin Left reject unprincipled coalition

THE BERLIN WASG (Election Alternative for Work and Social Justice) regional party conference on 25/26 February overwhelmingly reaffirmed its previous decision not to stand jointly with the Linkspartei.PDS (former East German Communist Party) in regional elections on 17 September, writes Tanja Niemeier, Berlin.

9 March 2006

spotPower station pay scandal exposed

OVER 40 construction workers at Cottam power station in north Nottinghamshire have been on unofficial strike for three weeks...

9 March 2006

spotUniversity staff strike for pay

THOUSANDS OF university staff, members of AUT and NATFHE, took strike action on 7 March over pay. Dale Beale, Press Officer for AUT (University of Manchester branch), spoke to the socialist:...

9 March 2006

spotWhat will the Education Bill mean for schools?

Members of parliament will shortly be voting on the Blair government's new Education Bill. Education secretary Ruth Kelly claims it gives schools " the freedom they need to raise standards". Martin Powell-Davies,...

9 March 2006

spotStrike for pension rights!

Local government pensions: THE RESULT of a strike ballot of UNISON members in the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) will be known after 10 March. It is possible that 1.5 million council workers will strike on 28 and 29 March, writes Bill Mullins.

9 March 2006

spotFight parasitic job agencies

IN MOST towns and cities you're likely to see a recruitment agency. If you're out of work and need money you can go to an agency and they can offer you a job that is casual, low-paid and short-term, writes Colin Wray.

9 March 2006

spotIraq: end this military adventure

George W Bush and his poodle Tony Blair
TONY BLAIR first claimed the invasion of Iraq was to find weapons of mass destruction (WMD); then it was to bring democracy and stability to Iraq and the Middle East, writes Ken Smith.

9 March 2006

spotCWI proposals win support

Three hundred delegates attended the 2006 Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) conference, in Dundee last weekend. This was 120 fewer when compared to the previous conference, which was held in the aftermath of the resignation of Tommy Sheridan as SSP national, writes Philip Stott, CWI, Scotland.

9 March 2006

spotLiberal Democrats turn right

WITH MENZIES 'Ming' Campbell newly elected as leader, Liberal Democrats will att-empt to put the crises of the last few months behind them. This follows the forcing out of previous leader Charles Kennedy because of his alcoholism, and various revelations, writes Steve Score.

9 March 2006

spotStoke: Socialist councillors do their job

AT STOKE City Council's budget-setting meeting on 6 March, Blairite elected mayor Mark Meredith tried to pass on government cuts of £21 million over the next three years through cutting jobs and services, increasing council tax and more privatisation...

9 March 2006

spotFighting for a socialist future

ISR Conference 2006
On Saturday 4 March young people gathered in London to discuss the fight for their future and to democratically agree on a strategy and a programme for that struggle...

9 March 2006

spotA headlong dash to sleaze

THE TESSA Jowell/ David Mills affair rumbles on. Each revelation reveals the greedy lifestyles of those closest to power in Britain, writes Tony Mulhearn.

9 March 2006

spotCampaign for a New Workers' Party conference, 19 March 2006

THERE ARE now over 1,000 signatories to the Campaign for a New Workers' Party declaration. Click here to see the signatures (426Kb html file). This shows the support these ideas are getting amongst workers, community...

9 March 2006

spotA party for the millions...not the millionaires!

SO THE husband of New Labour MP Tessa Jowell 'forgot' to tell her that he had taken a £350,000 'present' from a dodgy Italian businessman. What world do these MPs live in?...

16 March 2006

spotNUT executive - vote for Linda Taaffe

SOCIALIST PARTY member Linda Taaffe is standing for re-election to the national executive of the National Union of Teachers (NUT)...

16 March 2006

spotParents back striking teachers

Mayville school: AROUND 90 people, including about 35 parents and 40 kids from Mayville school in east London, crowded into a local community hall for a lively meeting convened by the National Union of Teachers on 8 March, writes Linda Taaffe, Waltham Forest NUT.

16 March 2006

spotPCS overtime ban - the issues

CIVIL SERVICE union PCS members have been fighting the government's plans to make massive staff cuts, particularly in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)...

16 March 2006

spotStill fighting for equal pay

THE OVERWHELMING feeling coming out of the TUC Women's Conference was that women trade unionists are fed up with the lack of progress being made on women's rights and equality, writes Katrine Williams, PCS.

16 March 2006

spotAction to defend our pensions!

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the result of the strike ballots amongst members of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) has been postponed for last-minute negotiations to take place...

16 March 2006

spotJean Charles de Menezes: No more cover-ups!

METROPOLITAN POLICE chief Ian Blair still needs to answer questions on the police cover-up of the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes last July, writes Rob MacDonald.

16 March 2006

spotSuccess in Kendal

Save our health service!: THE NHS SOS campaign in Kendal, led by local Socialist Party members Andrew Billson-Page and Colin Henderson, has achieved tremendous success in saving some vital local services...

16 March 2006

spotSticking to socialist principles, looking after the community

LOCAL STOKE-on-Trent councillors, Paul and Dave Sutton have opted out of the Labour Party and taken a socialist stance...

16 March 2006

spot'We reject New Labour's policies and philosophy'

Brian Canton, Prison Officers Association General Secretary
Socialist Party trade union organiser, Bill Mullins, recently spoke to BRIAN CATON, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association...

16 March 2006

spotSocialist Party discusses with Respect

LAST YEAR the Socialist Party wrote to Respect, asking for a meeting to discuss how our two organisations could best collaborate in the task of overcoming the lack of political representation for the working class...

16 March 2006

spotCampaign for a New Workers' Party - come to conference!

OVER 400 trade union unionists, youth student activists and community campaigners are expected to attend the Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference in London...

16 March 2006

spotThe case for a new workers' party

THREE YEARS on from the start of the war in Iraq, thousands are once again taking to the streets to oppose the occupation. Today opposition is at its highest ever level. But the 18 March demonstration, important as it is, will...

16 March 2006

spotMass protests sweep France

HUNDREDS OF thousands of students, workers, the unemployed and young people have taken to the streets all over France. They are protesting against a law (CPE) which will allow bosses to sack young people under the age of 26...

16 March 2006

spotIs there a way out of the Iraq quagmire?

THE STATEMENT by the US ambassador to Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad that the Iraq invasion had opened up a 'Pandora's Box of sectarian conflict', has focused attention on the prospect of a slide towards open civil war in Iraq...

16 March 2006

spotWill the US bomb Iran?

DEMONSTRATIONS AROUND the world on 18 March will be demanding that imperialist forces get out of Iraq. But opposition to any US attack on Iran will be an urgent theme in this year's third-anniversary protests. LYNN WALSH looks...

16 March 2006

spotIraq: for the immediate withdrawal of all troops


for the immediate withdrawal of all troops

workers' unity to fight sectarianism

23 March 2006

spotNUJ Conference: Defending pay and conditions

JOURNALISTS NEED well-resourced newsrooms, photographers and media crews, that enable them to work safely, with good pay and conditions, writes Molly Cooper, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), national executive committee (NEC), personal capacity.

23 March 2006

spotSheffield bus protest blocks the road

TRAFFIC WAS brought to a halt in Darnall, Sheffield on 15 March as elderly and disabled residents, supported by We Want Our Buses Back campaigners blocked the main road, writes Calvin Payne.

23 March 2006

spotFight privatisation in universities and colleges

Socialist Students are campaigning for a fighting and democratic NUS...

23 March 2006

spotLewisham: Socialist Party takes up the fight against ALMOs

Housing privatisation...: LEWISHAM COUNCIL, like other authorities is trying to sell off our council homes to housing associations, PFI or arms length management organisation (ALMO) bodies. Socialist Party members oppose these plans...

23 March 2006

spotFight to save the NHS

NEWS THAT up to 1,200 NHS workers could be sacked by the University Hospital of North Staffordshire has shocked and angered everyone in the area...

23 March 2006

spotHow to plan a revolution

Review: This short, gripping documentary follows two young political opposition activists during last year's parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, writes Niall Mulholland.

23 March 2006

spotCan the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved?

HAMAS' RECENT election win in Gaza and the West Bank put the final nail into the coffin of the imperialist inspired Oslo Peace agreement signed in 1993, writes Kevin Simpson, CWI, London.

23 March 2006

spotIraq: A three-year nightmare

"IF THIS is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is," said Iyad Allawi, Iraq's former prime minister and one-time ally of the US administration...

23 March 2006

spotFrance: Millions protest against Villepin government

...but trade union leaders hesitate: SATURDAY 18 March saw a one-and-a-half million pro-testers take to the streets in France. This was to protest against both the new CPE youth employment contract law - which will allow employers to sack young people at will - and...

23 March 2006

spotSocialist Party members protest against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly

Socialist Party members protesting against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialist Party members protesting against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly, photo Paul Mattsson

NO IT'S not a stage version of Oliver but Socialist Party members (right) protesting against Labour education minister Ruth Kelly, who was addressing a TUC sponsored conference last Friday on Labour's education bill...

23 March 2006

spotSuccessful Campaign for a New Workers' Party launch conference

SUNDAY TRANSPORT problems meant that, as the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) conference started, many people were still arriving, squashing into the back of the overcrowded hall...

23 March 2006

spotTime for a new workers' party

Blair: Bosses puppet: cartoon by Alan Hardman
The stench of rotten Labour: SLEAZE HAS engulfed the government. Millions of pounds 'loaned' to New Labour to finance its last general election campaign, appear to have been given to buy seats...

23 March 2006

spotHow to win the battle to defend pensions

THE LOCAL government union leaders have, in effect, conceded that any changes in the pension scheme will be to the detriment of future workers. These same union leaders kept council workers separate from the unions representing civil servants, teachers and health workers who, despite this breakdown in unity, forced the government to keep full pension rights for existing workers. Bill Mullins writes.

23 March 2006

spotHands off our pensions!

BY MASSIVE majorities, 1.5 million council workers have voted to take national strike action on 28 March...

30 March 2006

spotSave chemistry - sack the vice-chancellor!

THE VICE-chancellor of the University of Sussex, Alasdair Smith, announced last week that he intended to close the chemistry department, giving as his reasons the university's £4 million debt and that not enough people were applying to study chemistry, writes Richard Mullin, University of Sussex Socialist Students.

30 March 2006

spotLambeth College students launch campaign against cuts

UP TO 150 students and college workers took part in the first protest against cuts in adult provision at Lambeth College. Students lined up to sign petitions against the course closures and the demolition of the gardens, writes Rob MacDonald, Student Union President, Lambeth College.

30 March 2006

spotStrong support for minimum wage demand

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists held its annual delegates' meeting (ADM) in Liverpool from 23-26 March. The issue of job cuts within the media industry, as well as low pay were on everybody's minds...

30 March 2006

spotStoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts

ISSUE 430 of The Socialist explained how Socialist Party councillors Dave and Paul Sutton proposed an alternative budget at Stoke city council's budget-setting meeting...

30 March 2006

spotCouncil elections: Great response in Lewisham

"Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the council tenants - keep it up, some of us can't afford to buy our own homes!"

30 March 2006

spotLocal council services are still worth fighting for

POLITICAL PARTIES in Britain are gearing up to win seats in this May's round of local elections. This contest could help decide Tony Blair's future as leader of New Labour. But previous governments - Tory and New Labour - have...

30 March 2006

spotWhy socialists oppose state funding of political parties

"Nothing makes a prince so much esteemed as great enterprises and setting a fine example"...

30 March 2006

spotGordon's global gurus

GORDON BROWN, the trade union leaders' 'radical' alternative to Blair, has announced that a new panel will advise the Treasury on globalisation...

30 March 2006

spotParadise Now

If you type in 'Nablus' on the internet, you can find basic information like this: "A historic city, about 4,500 years old, in the West Bank, writes Angelika Teweleit.

30 March 2006

spotWill ETA's strategy lead to Basque national rights?

THE BASQUE separatist group, ETA, has announced a "permanent ceasefire", ending its 38-year long armed campaign. ETA at the same time called on the Spanish and French governments to "seize the opportunities".

30 March 2006

spotUkraine's 'orange revolution' goes pear-shaped

LAST SUNDAY'S general election in Ukraine saw pro-Western president Yushchenko's party humiliatingly beaten into third place with an expected 17% of the vote...

30 March 2006

spotUSA: Millions march for immigrant workers' rights

ACROSS THE USA millions of people have taken to the streets to express their anger at Congress' attacks on immigrant workers...

30 March 2006

spotFrance - millions march for job security

FRANCE'S 28 March "day of action" saw much bigger mass protests and strikes against the French government even than the 1.5 million who demonstrated on 18 March, writes Robert Bechert.

30 March 2006

spot'Time for a new working-class party'

HUNDREDS OF striking local government workers signed the declaration for a new workers' party on the picket lines on 28 March. They were outraged that their union leaders have been donating millions of pounds to a Labour Party that then turns round and attacks their pensions.

30 March 2006

spotBritain - Over one million strike for pension rights...

Pensions strikers
IN SWANSEA and West Wales, many schools and offices were locked up and pickets were on almost every street corner. Jeff Baker, UNISON regional organiser, responsible for council workers in Swansea, said that he was: "Very pleased with the response today which was absolutely solid. The mood is as strong as its been for many years."

30 March 2006

spotSave jobs and beds at the Royal Free

MANAGEMENT IS proposing to slash 480 jobs and 100 beds at the Royal Free hospital in north-west London. The Socialist Party is organising a campaign to oppose all redundancies and pay cuts, writes John Reid.

30 March 2006

spotHuddersfield trust votes for cuts - but campaign gets stronger

HUDDERSFIELD AND Calderdale Primary Care Trust have ignored local people's protests and voted for vicious cuts in the local health service...

30 March 2006

spotNew Labour's NHS lies

MILLIONS OF pounds in deficit, jobs and services cut, healthcare rationed, wards and hospitals closing - the NHS is in crisis. But who's to blame? We expose the government's lies about the NHS...

30 March 2006

spotStop the NHS jobs massacre

IN THE last few days, more than 4,000 health service jobs have been threatened, including those of doctors and nurses. Thousands more could follow. 1,200 of the job cuts already announced are in Stoke. This report shows how to build the campaign to stop these savage cuts in the NHS.

30 March 2006

spotCall for NHS demo gets support

THE NHS is plummeting towards a two-tier system with very basic care for all and good care for those who can pay.

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