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LettersThis article is over 7 years, 4 months old By David PaensonPaul Jenkins and Talat Ahmed Downloading PDF. Please wait... Tuesday 02 September 2014 Issue 394 Unconvincing I can’t really agree with Sally Campbell’s assessment that 1984 was a “strong production” (June 2014). A lot of the dialogue was almost inaudible, the same flashing lights…

Fires rage as extreme weather gets worse

Fires in Algeria in 2021 (Pic: Reuters/ Abdelaziz Boumzar) Fires have torn through the US state of Colorado leaving up to 1,000 homes destroyed and two people missing. The blaze is thought to have been caused by a lack of winter snowfall and an unusually dry autumn—both of which are likely to result from climate change. Louisville resident, Rex Hickman…

Covid-19 cases explode due to Tories’ failures

The Tories have gambled with our lives (Pic: Number 10 (Flickr)) Boris Johnson took a massive gamble in the run up to New Year—and he used our lives as his stake. Under pressure from the Tory right to refuse any additional Omicron safety measures, the embattled prime minister decided the rebels were more of a threat than the NHS being overrun by Covid…

Delivering a pay fightback at Stuart and JustEat

Spreading the fight to Chesterfield (Pic: James Eaden) Strikes by delivery workers in Sheffield spread to Blackpool, Sunderland, Huddersfield and Chesterfield as 2021 came to a close. Stuart, a subcontractor of fast food delivery service Just Eat, has cut workers’ wages from £4.50 to £3.40 for every trip in several cities. Throughout November and…

Fighting the US right’s war on abortion

At an abortion rights protest in Portland in October (Pic: Sabrina Gröschke (Flickr)) Bans on abortions only ever lead to one thing—more dangerous and sometimes even fatal backstreet procedures. Now this, along with bounties over abortion providers’ heads, could become the reality in the US. The US Supreme Court looks set to undermine the landmark…

Chep UK workers in Manchester launch an all-out strike over pay

Pickets are outside the plant 24 hours a day Monday to Friday (Pic: Sarah Ensor) Chep UKworkers in the Unite union began an all-out strike over pay on 17 December after four days of earlier strikes. Strikers are picketing the Trafford Park site in Manchester 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday and say they intend to stay out until they get a fair pay rise…

Solid London Underground strike hits hard, and a wider battle is coming

Picketing at Seven Sisters on Saturday (Pic: Phil Rowan) London Underground (LU) workers are determined to keep fighting for a properly funded network as they finished a series of strikes against changes to the Night Tube driver grade this weekend. Bosses’ proposals rip up existing agreements and would force drivers to do more Night Tube shifts. The…

North Shropshire election shows Tories are cracking apart—but Labour is no challenge

Lib Dem winner Helen Morgan and former leader Tim Farron take credit for Tory defeat (Pic: PA Images) In a shattering blow for Boris Johnson, the Tories have lost the North Shropshire seat they held for nearly 200 years to the Liberal Democrats. The loss of a 23,000 majority is a mighty judgment on Johnson’s regime of corruption and lies. And it will…

Insulate Britain protesters handed jail sentences

Insulate Britain activists outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday (Pic: Helena Smith) Nine Insulate Britain activists have been given jail sentences following protests that disrupted major highways. The group, whose central demand is for the government to insulate all social housing by 2025, defied an injunction that banned them from…

Activists march for justice four and a half years after Grenfell fire

Around 700 people joined a silent walk on Tuesday on the four and a half year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 people in June 2017. Marchers gathered outside Kensington Town Hall and walked through north Kensington to the tower in Ladbroke Grove. The tower was lit up green, as were buildings and houses in the area. Karim Mussilhy…

Poor will suffer as inflation rises to highest level in three decades

Workers wages aren't keeping up with inflation (Pic: William Warby (Flickr)) The retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation reached 7.1 percent last month, the highest level in 30 years. It was six percent in October. Disruption to supply chains and increasing fuel prices have inflated the cost of living, according to the Office of National Statistics…

Tories fail even those few refugees they pledged to welcome

The Tories are continuing to fail refugees—even those they proclaimed to be helping. Home secretary Priti Patel’s scheme to allow up to 20,000 Afghans to resettle in Britain over five years hasn’t even begun. The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) was announced in August after the Taliban took over in Kabul. The Tories talked up their…

Could Boris Johnson be on the way out at last?

Is this the end for Johnson? (Pic: Number 10/Flickr) The Tories are beset with crises. From festive parties, to corrupt funding of redecorations and rebellion over Covid policies, Boris Johnson’s government is at its weakest. Johnson has gone from ­seeming to be able to bounce back from any setback to being on the edge of possible removal. The election…

Johnson hangs by a thread but Labour refuses to cut it

Starmer won't do what is needed to kick the Tories out The Labour Party has ­completely failed to rise to the scale of Boris Johnson’s biggest crisis. As Johnson’s rein as prime ­minister teetered on the brink, Labour offered to save him from a crushing defeat in parliament. Labour MPs were set to vote for Boris Johnson’s weak package of new…

How to build the vote for council and school strikes

Sandwell workers are striking (Pic: Sandwell Unison) There is just under a month to go before the end of a major ballot for strikes by school and council workers in England and Wales. Some 375,000 workers could strike after council bosses offered them a pay increase that’s well below inflation—effectively a pay cut. The ballot of Unison union members…

Barts workers back action against outsourcer Serco

NHS privatisation giant Serco took a blow last week as hundreds of its workers at a key NHS trust in London voted to strike. Cleaners, porters and domestics working for Barts Health NHS trust over several hospitals in central and east London have voted by a whopping 97 percent to strike over their bosses’ pay insult. The Unite union members are mainly…

Major strikes are on track for the London Tube

Picketing during the first round of strikes The London Underground is set for escalating battles over Christmas and in January. At present the issue is over forcing ­workers to do shifts on the Night Tube service. In 2022 a raft of new issues affecting every Tube worker, including major job cuts, will come into play. Train operators working on the…

Hundreds join Hastings rally for refugees

Solidarity with refugees on Saturday Over 350 people rallied in Hastings on Saturday in solidarity with refugees. A coalition of organisations working together against the Nationality and Borders bill called the event weeks ago.   The organisers included Hastings Supports Refugees, Hastings Community of Sanctuary, Hastings Stand Up To Racism and…

Rage over Met’s ‘institutional homophobia’ after murder of four gay men

This isn't the first scandal to rock the Met this year. A protest against the police after the murder of Sarah Everard. (Pic: Guy Smallman) The Metropolitan Police could face an inquiry into “institutional homophobia” after failing to properly investigate the murders of four gay men. The force’s failures around serial killer Stephen Port “probably”…

Julian Assange faces vengeance of US empire after court ruling

A protest against the extradition of Julian Assange in London in October (Pic: Guy Smallman) The high court has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited.   Judges’ decision on Friday could allow Assange to be sent to the US, where he faces 18 conspiracy and hacking-related crimes charges.   Assange leaked thousands of documents…

Solidarity on picket line for NewVic college strikers

Strikers are determined to stop plans to turn NewVic college into an academy (Pic: Socialist Worker) Some 45 determined strikers, students and supporters picketed outside Newham Sixth Form College (NewVic) in east London on Thursday. It marked the third day of strikes by NEU union members over plans turn NewVic into an academy, workplace bullying and…

Reports round-up—Transport for London workers protest

Five trade unions and the TUC protested outside parliament last week against attacks on Transport for London (TFL) workers. The Tory government has demanded a raft of attacks on workers’ conditions in return for a bailout of TFL Picture: Guy Smallman Hackney drivers vote for action Drivers and passenger assistants, who transport disabled children…

Preston teachers say bosses provoked dispute

St Matthew's Church of England primary school in Preston Workers at St Matthews Church of England Primary School in Preston began their first of five strike days this week as bosses pushed ahead with academisation plans. Members of the NEU union struck on Tuesday and were set to strike again on Thursday of this week. It comes after school management…

Why the ruling class can’t end Covid crisis

Nothing those in power has put in place has beaten the crisis (Pic: Tim Dennell (Flickr) A few weeks ago, I read an article by the well-known economist Jonathan Portes concluding, “Covid is for Christmas, while Brexit is for life.” Whatever one’s views on Brexit, I thought at the time this was a silly line to take. It looks a lot sillier now…

After ballot results, keep fighting over NHS pay

Nurses in the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have voted to say they are willing to strike and take action short of strike over pay. The indicative ballot results, released last week, showed that 54 percent of members voting are prepared to walk out, while 89 percent back other forms of industrial action. But the turnout in the ballot was low, with just…


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