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Archive for September 2003

6 September 2003

spotBlair's head still spinning

ALASTAIR CAMPBELL has finally quit as New Labour's spinmaster general. His decision to go, in the middle of the Hutton inquiry, was big news - recognition of just how powerful this unelected politician had become.

6 September 2003

spotFight low pay, job cuts and privatisation in Royal Mail

I'VE BEEN a postman for twelve years. In that time we've seen the management buying up foreign businesses which have made losses and changing the name to Consignia and then back again at a cost of millions...

6 September 2003

spotTeach Blair A Lesson Build a new workers' party

AS SCHOOLS go back for the new term, many will find they are short of teachers. A headteacher survey says secondary schools in England and Wales have sacked 700 teachers and 300 support staff...

6 September 2003

spotDeath and destruction in Iraq

Ayatollah Moham-med Bakr-al-Hakim, and at least 100 Iraqis were killed in the devastating bomb blast in Najaf, in Iraq, on 29 August, writes Ken Douglas.

6 September 2003

spotStop SATs: Unions must take action

AS SCHOOLS start a new term, a whole battery of problems threaten to engulf an already beleaguered government. Thousands of jobs have been lost already due to the funding crisis, writes Linda Taaffe, NUT executive, personal capacity.

6 September 2003

spotHow to beat top-up fees

OVER 100 MPs have signed 'early-day' motions opposing top-up fees. The bill to introduce top-up fees, to be published later this year, will face difficulties passing through parliament, writes Zena Awad.

6 September 2003

spotAsylum seekers: Blunkett's harsh policies ignore reality

HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett has seized on a fall in the number of asylum applications to declare that New Labour's 'get tough' asylum policies are working, writes Chris Thomas.

6 September 2003

spotDaggers drawn in the BNP

JOHN TYNDALL, ex-leader of the far right British National Party (BNP), has been expelled from the party, writes Naomi Byron.

6 September 2003

spotWill new IVF proposals end the postcode lottery?

COUPLES FACING problems having a baby will be delighted by proposals to offer free In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment on the NHS, writes Jane Nellist, Coventry.

6 September 2003

spotLondon blackout: Chaos shows up failure to invest

SIXTY YEARS ago London's tubes - then publicly owned - kept going through the Blitz. But on 28 August a summer storm caused a power failure that brought the now part-privatised London Underground (LU)...

6 September 2003

spotTUC conference: Opportunities for the Left

THIS YEAR'S TUC conference is the first for a number of years where the Left has a good chance of making its mark in a big way and the resolutions on the agenda reflect this, writes Bill Mullins, Socialist Party industrial organiser.

6 September 2003

spotCivil service union challenges New Labour's pension pans

PCS MEMBERS are angry about attempts to change their pension entitlements. The new national executive (NEC) with its Left Unity majority have tabled a resolution to the TUC calling for a co-ordinated public-sector...

6 September 2003

spotRoyal Mail's spin doctor

WE'RE GETTING stuff from management around every day now. Some of it is to our home addresses from "Alboy" Leighton. He's a spin doctor. I wouldn't have been surprised if he had got Alastair Campbell's...

6 September 2003

spotStrike action on the increase

FIGURES FROM the Office of National Statistics reveal that the number of days lost to strikes since 1997 has grown steadily every year; rising from 235,000 days lost in 1997 to 1,323,000 lost in 2002...

6 September 2003

spotIsrael/Palestine: Ceasefire collapses as Sharon targets Palestinian leaders

THE CEASEFIRE announced by Palestinian militias at the end of June was called off following the first assassination of a Hamas political leader, Ismail Abu-Shanab, by Israeli forces on 21 August, writes Judy Beishon.

6 September 2003

spotItaly - a 'hot autumn' awaits Berlusconi

ITALIAN SOCIALIST Fabrizio Cucchi, (a member of Lotta per il socialismo - CWI, Italy) on a recent visit to London, spoke to the socialist...

6 September 2003

spotBuild a movement against the occupation of Iraq

Join the Stop the War Coalition demo, 27 September, 12 noon Hyde Park. On 15 February 30 million people took part in the biggest worldwide movement in history...

6 September 2003

spotUnderstanding Marxism - a guide to action

THE SOCIALIST Party has produced a new publication - a guide and explanation of the essential ideas of Marxism, the basis of our political ideas and organisational methods...

6 September 2003

spotAre the unions on a collision course with Blair and the bosses?

As the postal workers ballot for strike action...
THE 2003 Trades Union Congress (TUC) is taking place as postal workers ballot on industrial action. If the workers reject management's derisory offer and strike action begins later this month it will be the second major test of the 'New Left' union leaders - dubbed the 'awkward squad' by the mainstream media.

6 September 2003

spotIraq: Can the occupation be stopped?

The biggest demonstrations in world history didn't stop the warmongers occupying Iraq. Inevitably, many people wonder whether this means we are powerless to change things...

13 September 2003

spotThe Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

ON A bright June day in Liverpool in 1977, hundreds of trade unionists and socialists took part in a march to rally at the final resting place of Robert Noonan - known more popularly as Robert Tressell, author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

13 September 2003

spotWorkers' Anger Begins To Show At TUC

THE DAILY reality of working-class life finally found its way onto the floor of this year's TUC - a body that had become increasingly remote from working class struggles in recent years, writes Ken Smith.

13 September 2003

spotStoke by-election: standing For Socialism

The Socialist Party is standing in a by election in Abbey Green on 18 September. We need a socialist councillor like Dave Frost with a proven track record of fighting cuts and privatisation to give a voice...

13 September 2003

spotPrison Threat To Anti-War Protester

ON THE day that war on Iraq began tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of school and college students left their classrooms and took to the streets...

13 September 2003

spotNo To Victimisation Of Union Activists

IN A blatant attempt to victimise union activists, Waltham Forest council is disciplining two library workers for walking out and joining the protests on Day X when war with Iraq started...

13 September 2003

spotPostal workers: Treated Like Third-Class Citizens

POSTAL WORKERS, members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who work for Royal Mail, are being balloted for strike action against low pay and threats of 30,000 job losses...

13 September 2003

spotDeath Ships, Courtesy Of The Free Market

THIRTEEN HIGHLY toxic ships are to be imported from the US to be dismantled in a deal struck by the waste disposal company AbleUK, writes Lois Austin.

13 September 2003

spotTwo years after September 11, US Empire Looking Shaky

Editorial: IT HAS not been a good week for George Bush. Five months after the war in Iraq was officially declared over, he has been forced to grovel to the United Nations for thousands more troops...

13 September 2003

spotWTO in Cancún: Where Corporations Plot To Rule The World

THE WORLD Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting at Cancún in Mexico from 10 - 14 September will be dominated by unscrupulous western politicians and greedy multinational corporations...

13 September 2003

spotAbu Mazen Resignation Ends Bush's 'Road Map'

GEORGE BUSH'S 'road map' for a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005 lies in shreds...

13 September 2003

spot30 years after the 11 September military coup: The Lessons Of Chile

ON 11 September 1973 the left wing Popular Unity government of Chile was overthrown by general Augusto Pinochet in a bloody military coup in which president Salvador Allende and thousands of Chilean workers were killed...

13 September 2003

spotMore Money For Public Services: end The Occupation Of Iraq

ANOTHER 1,200 British troops are being sent to occupy Iraq, with at least 1,000 more to follow...

13 September 2003

spotPostal Workers Expose Low Pay Scandal

ANGRY POSTAL workers brought their grievances over low pay to the TUC this week. A group of postal workers in uniform showed payslips to the gathered media which showed them earning as little as £216...

20 September 2003

spotInterview with CWU leader Dave Ward: Challenging Royal Mail's Accounts

DAVE WARD is the recently elected deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU)...

20 September 2003

spotDefend Anti-War Protesters

Anti war protester Karl faces the possibility of a six-month prison sentence. THE SCHOOL student and student strikes on the day war with Iraq began (Day X) will never be forgotten by the thousands who...

20 September 2003

spotNHS -Yet more lies

NEW LABOUR have also lied about the National Health Service. They said that their proposed private treatment centres would not poach NHS staff but it's now clear that they will...

20 September 2003

spotAction Against Killing for Profit

LAST WEEK International Socialist Resistance (ISR) members took part in the protests against Britain's biggest arms fair, the Defense and Systems and Equipment International (DSEi), which is funded by the Ministry of Defence, writes Sarah Sachs-Eldridge.

20 September 2003

spotPress Release: Joe Higgins TD (MP) and Councillor Clare Daly Jailed

Appeal for Letters of Support: THE SOCIALIST Party in Southern Ireland are in the middle of a massive community battle against the government's plans to extend local taxation...

20 September 2003

spotWTO Wounded But Capitalist Exploitation Still Rules

Editorial: "JUST AS trade unions are ultimately taken seriously only if they are prepared to strike, so the G21 and the other emerging coalitions of developing countries came to the view that it was better to walk away than accept a bad deal." (Larry Elliot, The Guardian 15/9/03)...

20 September 2003

spotSweden: Historic Vote Routs The Political Establishment

"THIS IS the most humiliating defeat ever for the economic and political establishment in Sweden," - TV political analyst K G Bergstrom, writes Per Olsson, Rattvisepartiet Socialisterna, CWI - Sweden.

20 September 2003

spotIsraeli/Palestinian conflict

Sharon's Assassination Inc. "HIS EXPULSION is an option, his liquidation is another op-tion. It is also possible to confine him to prison-like conditions."...

20 September 2003

spotPostal Workers' Ballot Narrowly Lost

THE DECISION of postal workers not to strike by the narrowest of margins - less than 2% or 1,700 votes out of 95,000 votes cast - is undoubtedly a blow to postal workers' attempts to end the poverty pay they have endured for decades, writes Bill Mullins, Socialist Party Industrial Organiser.

20 September 2003

spotIraq: How Many More Lies?

THOUSANDS HAVE died in the war and occupation of Iraq. Many are still dying...

20 September 2003

spotWhat's the socialist alternative for education?

THE START of the new academic year has coincided with the annual furore over exam results, in this case both 'A' levels and GCSEs, writes Bob Sulatycki.

20 September 2003

spotLiverpool: The City That Fought Back

IT IS now twenty years ago, back in 1983, that the people of Liverpool elected a Labour council to roll back the onslaught on their city's working class being perpetrated by the Thatcher government and the local Liberal/Tory alliance...

20 September 2003

spotTUC Congress 2003

THIS YEAR'S TUC was reported by the press as much more to the left than ever before. The tabloids in particular were frothing at the mouth about the unions going back to the "bad old days of the 1970s". Bill Mullins, Socialist Party Industrial Organiser, writes.

27 September 2003

spotFighting The BNP In Stoke

In the Abbey Green council by-election in Stoke-on-Trent on 18 September New Labour regained a seat from the Independents. They beat the BNP into second place but only by 60 votes on a 26% turnout, writes Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party.

27 September 2003

spotSolidarity With The Day X Protesters

No Disciplinary Action, No Jailings: ON THE day the war on Iraq began (Day X) tens, or maybe even hundreds, of thousands of school and college students left their classrooms and took to the streets...

27 September 2003

spotAnti-bin tax protesters Jailed for defending the poor

SOCIALIST PARTY TD (MP) Joe Higgins and councillor Clare Daly have been sent to Mountjoy Prison, Dublin for one month. Their 'crime' is defending the poor in the fight against the bin tax...

27 September 2003

spotBlair Hit By Anger And Disillusionment

THE LOSS of the Brent East by-election is more than a mid-term blip for New Labour. The Labour majority of 13,047 in the general election was wiped out in its first parliamentary by-election defeat in...

27 September 2003

spotWhy The Anti-War Movement Needs A New Party

THIS SATURDAY tens of thousands will march through the streets of London against the occupation of Iraq, writes Hannah Sell.

27 September 2003

spotRenewed Bloodshed As Palestinian State Becomes Distant Prospect

THE DEMISE of the US-promoted 'road map' for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has brought with it the return of daily bloodshed, writes Judy Beishon.

27 September 2003

spotIraq: Imperialism's Quagmire

THIS WEEKEND will see, in many countries, hundreds of thousands of people taking part in mass protests against the continuing military occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain...

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