Britain


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We are appealing for messages of support and financial backing for 24 airport security staff in Belfast who have been sacked for striking against low pay and poor conditions. The sacked workers were prominent union activists, including two key shop stewards. The response of some of the higher-up officials in the T&GWU union has been woefully inadequate. Gordon McNeil, one of the sacked shop stewards, spoke to Socialist Appeal.

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The Jubilee has come and gone. India and Pakistan stood on the brink of nuclear war. Suicide bombers were striking in Israel and Belfast was aflame with sectarian conflict. But on the streets of London and other British cities, millions of people cheerfully participated in street parties in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Yet this year's festivities totally lacked the grassroots "spontaneity" of the Silver Jubilee, 25 years ago. The enthusiasm for the monarchy that has been whipped up by the media in recent weeks is at best superficial. The mood is quite different to 1977 and even more distant from that of 1952.

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This is a shorter report of the same event.

Those workers opposed to private parasites being brought in to run and exploit the public services are described by Tony Blair as "wreckers". Those who take action to defend themselves and their families are similarly "wreckers".

Socialist Appeal has published this special supplement as a contribution to the current debate surrounding union funding for the Labour Party. Socialist Appeal calls for trade unionists to not contract out, but to contract in, and reclaim the party that the unions created 100 years ago.

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Following the example of the United States, Thatcher attempted to transform Britain into a deregulated low-wage economy. To the disgust of trade unionists, Blair is attempting to carry through a similar policy. Rob Sewell examines what has happened and argues for a radical alternative to Blairism.

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The Queen has started her Golden Jubilee tour of Britain, and particularly with the events (and non-events) following the death over Easter of the Queen Mother, the media are trying to create a revivial of the monarchy's public standing. Steve Jones looks at this, and at the real role of the British monarchy.

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The British working class has a history of swinging from industrial action to political action. This is as true today as it was in the 1930s. This article looks at the great struggles of 1929-31, when the polical leaders of the workers' parties failed to respond to the tasks required of them, leading to the defeat of the workers and the return to power of the Tories.

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Peter Doyle, an organiser for the public sector union Unison in Cumbria, Northern England, reports on the Equal Value claims that his union region is submitting to the government to get women workers in traditional "women's jobs" in the health service the same levels of pay as workers in traditional "men's jobs". They are on the verge of an important victory.

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This is the complete text of a pamphlet written by Ted Grant in May 1982.

On March 30, 1982, in response to Argentina's deepening economic crisis, and the repression of General Galtieri's military-police dictatorship, the workers had taken to the streets of Buenos Aires. The regime was staring overthrow in the face. It responded by starting a war, one of the principal aims of which was to distract the attention of the masses. In all wars the policy and analysis of every organisation is put to the test. The analysis made by the Marxists, on the other hand, remains as valid as when it was written. Unlike other tendencies we can reproduce everything we wrote twenty years ago without changing a single word.


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On Wednesday March 6, President Bush imposed tariffs as high as 30% on most steel imports coming to the US from Asia and Europe. This will hit European steel makers hard, especially in Britain where there is a slump already in the steel industry. In periods of capitalist economic downturn, national interests predominate over international. Bush is supposedly a supporter of the "free market". But the Wall Street Journalcalled the tariff "perhaps the most dramatically protectionist step of any president in decades." By Michael Roberts. (March 7, 2002)

We are also publishing two articles from the British Marxist magazine Socialist Appeal about the desperate plight of the steel industry in Britain and its workers. Steel industry correspondent Miles Todd explains that industrial action is the only way to prevent massive job losses.


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Following on Blair's attack on the trade unions, in which he accused them of being "wreckers" for daring to oppose his privatisation plans, the British journal Socialist Appealhas published this special supplement entitled The Wreckers' Bulletin.

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Ten years ago this April, the Socialist Appeal was launched as the journal of the Marxists in the British Labour movement. We are on the eve of celebrating the hundredth edition of the Appeal, and ten years of tireless work in defending the ideas and principles of Marxism on a world scale.

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A report of the Socialist Alliance Conference on December 1st which started with words of unity and ended up with the Socialist Party splitting off.

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Report of the demonstration against the war in Afghanistan held in Trafalgar Square on Sunday Novemeber 18.

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In the aftermath of September 11, governments around the world have been attempting to rush through legislation which undermines democratic rights, in the name of fighting terrorism. In the UK, Blair is trying to introduce a new law which will allow among other things indefinite imprisonment without trial of foreign nationals.