Solidarity 028, 17 April 2003

After the war: Issues for the movement

Published on: Thu, 01/05/2003 - 11:31

It is good that Saddam's totalitarian regime has been broken. It is bad that it was done by the US/UK invaders, in their own way, pursuing their own interests.

Out of the anti-war movement we should now build a movement in solidarity with the working people of Iraq, upholding the democratic rights of the peoples of Iraq and, especially, the struggles and the rights to organise of the workers of Iraq.

To do that, we must first recognise that most of the ideologues in our anti-war movement got the war wrong.*

They said 'victory to the resistance'; or 'victory to Iraq'; or 'victory to the people

Rachel Corrie, George Galloway and the BBC

Published on: Thu, 01/05/2003 - 11:30
  • Baghdad to the rescue
  • Keeping the home fires burning
  • The main enemy...
  • One eyed men
  • Top quality war reporting

Baghdad to the rescue

While the US military in Baghdad failed to prevent the looting of hospitals, some Iraqis managed to organise their own protection of other sites - and with a more generous, less greedy sense of priorities than the US military. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Iraqi Muslims helped to defend Baghdad's Jewish cultural centre, the focus for the country's few dozen remaining Jews.

Keeping the home fires burning

American Republican party congressman

Shopping For Votes

Published on: Thu, 01/05/2003 - 00:00

by Greg Palast

Greg Palast has a witty, sharp writing style. He writes as only an American can. However, if his journalistic style is very typically American, his subject matter is most definitely not.

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy is a collection of his writings, many first published in the Guardian and the Observer. He is also known over here for his reporting for Newsnight. His subject matter is corporate power and political corruption.

It is the opening chapter, Jim Crow in Cyberspace, that is Palast's best known piece of investigative journalism. It tells the story of how George Dubya

From fighting fires to fighting cuts

Published on: Fri, 25/04/2003 - 00:54

Paul Woolstenholmes is the leader of the newly formed Firefighters Against Cuts Party which is standing in eight council seats on 1 May. These are five Strathclyde Fire Board members' seats - Troon West; Annbank, Mossblown and St Quivox; Ayr Newton; Irvine Landward; Busby Ward, East Renfrewshire - plus North Ward Felixstowe (two seats) and Harvey Central, Folkestone. Paul spoke about their campaign to Vicki Morris. [from current issue of Solidarity]
V. Most of the firefighters standing in these elections will be standing as socialists - Socialist Alliance, Scottish Socialist Party, and so on.

Priorities, priorities

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:16

The US troops in Baghdad could not protect many places threatened with looting. The hospitals? No. Thirty-three out of Baghdad's 35 hospitals were put out of action by looters, with the US troops doing nothing about it. The museums? No. The ministries of education, industry, trade? No.
They kept just two ministries intact. The Ministry of the Interior. And, of course, the Ministry of Oil.

Yet, by all accounts, the US high command was prepared for longer resistance and far bigger US casualties than it actually faced. It was prepared for Saddam Hussein to use the still-unrevealed "weapons of

Vote no in May ballot

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:15

By Kate Ahrens, UNISON activist

UNISON's Health Conference has accepted the proposals from the union leadership to recommend voting for the Agenda for Change pay system in a membership ballot to be held in May.

A day of the three-day long Conference was given over to debating the issue, which would see the biggest shake up in NHS pay since its foundation over 50 years ago.
A wide range of speakers from across the union spoke in opposition to the leadership recommendation and raised a host of problems with the new pay structure.

Firstly, it is tied to a three year pay deal which would mean

Law blocks BT strike

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:14

By a BT engineer

The strike by engineers in BT's Customer Service division (approximately 15,000 external and control staff) due to start on Monday 14 April was called off after the employers won an injunction under the anti-union laws.

At the time of writing it is unclear exactly how the employers managed to obtain the injunction. Claims from the employers' side that they were not properly notified by the union of who was to strike have caused amusement among the workers involved as everyone has received e-mails warning them not to strike!
The strike vote was against the imposition of the

Establishment candidate wins GMB Election

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:13

By a GMB member

In a stark reversal of the recent trend in union elections, the leadership's man Kevin Curran beat London Region's Paul Kenny by a surprisingly comfortable margin for GMB General Secretary.

This is bad news. Kenny was promising some serious democratic reforms to the union and the development of a major organising programme. These changes seem to be on hold.
Ironically, the current undemocratic nature of the GMB played its part in determining the result of this election. It is currently against the rules to canvass for or on behalf of a candidate (especially one not supported by

Bradford Newquest strike escalates

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:11

By Vicki Morris

Newsquest Bradford managers are becoming increasingly isolated in their stand-off with their workers. Managing director David Coates and his group editor Perry Austin-Clarke have been told by government minster Chris Leslie they should pay their journalists more. Elsewhere in the Newsquest empire, NUJ members are being offered deals considerably better than the miserly two percent on the table at Bradford.

Government minister Chris Leslie told Newsquest Bradford bosses to improve their offer. He wrote to managing director David Coates: "I am concerned that there is an ongoing

Unison left runs united slate

Published on: Tue, 22/04/2003 - 18:10

By Adie Kemp

UNISON's National Executive Committee comes up for re-election over the next two months. The whole committee is facing re-election, and the left inside the union has fielded the largest united slate of candidates since the union's foundation.
Thirty four candidates across regional and national seats are standing on a UNISON United Left ticket, and all expectations are that the left will increase its representation on the new committee.

A particularly hard-fought contest looks set to occur in the Health Group seats. The left is standing Margaret Bean from North Glasgow, Adrian O

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