Solidarity 123, 6 December 2007

The future is what it used to be

Submitted by AWL on 19 December, 2007 - 9:43 Author: Bruce Robinson
Imaginary futures

Review of Imaginary futures — from thinking machines to the global village by Richard Barbrook, Pluto Press, 2007.

This book is a history of the future, the history of an ideology, which, over the last 60 years, has sought to colonise our conceptions of the way the world is going.

Calling off Action: Where is the SWP Going?

Submitted by AWL on 11 December, 2007 - 9:37 Author: Emma Parsons

A key factor in trashing the possibility of a united public-sector fightback this year against Gordon Brown’s 2% limit has been the decision by the civil service union PCS, although it already had a live ballot mandate for action, to withdraw into prolonged “consultations” of its membership while the POA and CWU strikes and the Unison health and local government ballots came and went. Having “consulted” and announced that PCS members supported further national strike action, the PCS leadership then... decided to call off any further national action, at least for the time being.

Support the workers’ movement in Iran!

Submitted by AWL on 9 December, 2007 - 12:10

Statement by the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran

The recent extended wave of oppression against the well-known activists of workers' organisations in Iran and other social movements is not a new incident but a routine practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This wave of repression nevertheless exhibits particular characteristics, including the radicalisation and development of class-based labour protests, advancing social movements within the specific socio-economic context and pressures from both within the country and internationally.

NUS: Will the SWP Leaders Scupper Left Unity?

Submitted by AWL on 8 December, 2007 - 10:35

Open Letter to an SWP Student

Dear Comrade,
If different sections of the left can work together to defend NUS democracy, why can't we work together to present a united challenge to those who are attacking democracy in the elections at the next NUS conference? That was a question that members of Workers’ Liberty were among the many people asking SWP and Respect students at the NUS Extraordinary Conference on 4 December. The response was universally positive — with a crucial exception.

Edinburgh job cuts

Submitted by AWL on 7 December, 2007 - 12:17

On 29 November Edinburgh City Council’s SNP/Lib-Dem coalition administration announced plans to axe a thousand jobs. The announcement was e-mailed to staff even before the City Council unions had been informed.

Seven areas have been targeted for cutbacks, but home care services and home-helps are to bear the brunt. Other areas targeted by the Council include administration, call-centres, procurement, trading standards, and strategy.

London Underground Cleaners win

Submitted by AWL on 7 December, 2007 - 12:16

Tube cleaners working for contractors to Metronet are to receive substantial pay rises when Transport for London takes over the failed privateer’s contracts, marking a huge victory for the RMT on London Underground.

A minimum of £7.20 an hour (London Living Wage) will now go to 900 cleaners on former Metronet contracts.

For some cleaners paid only the minimum legal wage of £5.85 it will mean an increase of at least £1.35 an hour.

The RMT continues to campaign for higher wages from all the cleaning contractors working on the Tube.

Putin’s party consolidates power

Submitted by AWL on 7 December, 2007 - 12:15 Author: Stan Crooke

“United Russia” (UR) — the political party which backs Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin — won an easy victory in the elections held on 1 December for the Duma (the lower chamber of the Russian parliament). At the time of writing, early results indicate that UR won 63% of votes cast.

“Zionists” scapegoated for Sarkozy’s crimes

Submitted by AWL on 7 December, 2007 - 12:13

The left-wing website Indymedia seems to have allowed itself to be manipulated by the anti-semitic right again. A recent report on the site, citing the Iranian-government-sponsored Press TV (for which Yvonne Ridley works) as source, claims that French president Nicolas Sarkozy is a former agent of the Israeli secret police Mossad.

The Indymedia posting adds: “This would explain the country’s new alignment with the ‘Neo-Cons’.”

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