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Opposing fascism and the English Defence League

31st March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

This Saturday the fascist English Defence League (EDL) will be demonstrating yet again, this time in Dudley in the West Midlands, to whip up racist hatred against Muslims. (See leaflet for UAF protest)

This follows a series of similar mobilisations by the EDL in the recent period, in Harrow, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester , Stoke upon Trent and most recently in Bolton. On every occasion the EDL has sought confrontation, often violent – a flavour of what fascism represents, and what will happen if they get even the tiniest foothold in any part of society.

As the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has pointed out, despite its attempts to present itself as a legitimate expression of  so-called ‘English patriotism’ and making the ludicrous allegation there is a need to oppose ‘creeping Islamification’, the EDL is in fact a violent, street fighting fascist organisation. The majority of the EDL’s so-called demonstrations have resulted in physical attacks, most recently in Bolton , where its demonstration was followed by a stabbing allegedly involving the EDL.

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Who benefits from the 2010 Budget?

28th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

The 2010 Budget was not designed to aid the recovery from recession, or help narrow the public sector deficit or even boost New Labour’s electoral prospects at the forthcoming general election.

A useful analysis of the Budget measures can be found here. The most telling aspect of it is a complete reversal of the 2009 Budget stimulus measures. These amounted to £50bn in increased spending over the previous year, £26bn of which was an increase in discretionary spending, not just upward pressure on spending arising from the recession.

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Who benefits from the 2010 Budget?

28th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Nicky Dempsey

The 2010 Budget was not designed to aid the recovery from recession, or help narrow the public sector deficit or even boost New Labour’s electoral prospects at the forthcoming general election.

A useful analysis of the Budget measures can be found here. The most telling aspect of it is a complete reversal of the 2009 Budget stimulus measures. These amounted to £50bn in increased spending over the previous year, £26bn of which was an increase in discretionary spending, not just upward pressure on spending arising from the recession.

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Solidarity with Unite cabin crew

24th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

In the face of an increasingly belligerent management approach, intent on seeking a confrontation with the union, Unite cabin crew members began seven days of industrial action last weekend, with three strike days set to be followed by four further days to begin this coming weekend. The stakes in this dispute should not be underestimated.

The dispute focuses on the union’s opposition to British Airways’ attempt to impose significant contractual changes on the workforce that would reduce pay and conditions. Proposals include the extension of working hours and the cutting of crew levels.

The union has not sought such a confrontation and has consistently made clear its willingness to negotiate. In contrast, BA’s management have set a path of belligerence, intent on breaking the union’s strength. Having deliberately provoked the current action by tabling last week a worse offer to its workforce than the one it had been offering previously, the management have further sought to intimidate staff not to join the strike action including with threats such as losing travel privileges and even being sacked, and to organise scabs.

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Solidarity with Unite cabin crew

24th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Frances Davis

In the face of an increasingly belligerent management approach, intent on seeking a confrontation with the union, Unite cabin crew members began seven days of industrial action last weekend, with three strike days set to be followed by four further days to begin this coming weekend. The stakes in this dispute should not be underestimated.

The dispute focuses on the union’s opposition to British Airways’ attempt to impose significant contractual changes on the workforce that would reduce pay and conditions. Proposals include the extension of working hours and the cutting of crew levels.

The union has not sought such a confrontation and has consistently made clear its willingness to negotiate. In contrast, BA’s management have set a path of belligerence, intent on breaking the union’s strength. Having deliberately provoked the current action by tabling last week a worse offer to its workforce than the one it had been offering previously, the management have further sought to intimidate staff not to join the strike action including with threats such as losing travel privileges and even being sacked, and to organise scabs.

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Regional elections in France: Results of 1st round

18th March 2010 Socialist Action 0

By Marie Dupont

Last Sunday, 14 March, the first round of the regional elections in France saw a big shift in favour of the left – although there was a 52 per cent abstention rate. The Socialist Party won 30 per cent while the ruling UMP of President Sarkozy received 27 per cent. However in the second voting round the UMP will have no allies, while the Greens, who won 12.5 per cent and the Front de Gauche (Left Front), which won 7 per cent will call for a vote for the Socialist Party. The election overall therefore saw a big rejection of Sarkozy.