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Socialism Today 116 - March 2008

Socialism Today 116 - March 2008

Big Brother Britain

Per capita, Britain boasts the most CCTV cameras, the biggest DNA database and some of the widest powers of communications interception of any western power. Recent laws, many introduced in the open-ended ‘war on terror’, give the security forces draconian powers of arrest and detention. MANNY THAIN reports on the ominous rise of the surveillance state.

Nationalising Northern Rock

After months of twisting and turning, desperately trying to avoid dreaded nationalisation, Alistair Darling, Gordon Brown’s finance minister, was finally forced to announce (17 February) the ‘temporary nationalisation’ of Northern Rock. They really had no alternative. In reality, Northern Rock was effectively nationalised from the time that the government bailed out the bank with a £25 billion loan and guarantees of another £30 billion. LYNN WALSH reports.

The battle for London

May 1 this year will see elections for the mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly. The Socialist Party is normally opposed to policies of ‘lesser evilism’. But there are occasions when different factors, especially working-class consciousness, compel us to modify our approach. In this case, through gritted teeth, like many London workers, we recommend a second-preference vote for Ken Livingstone. PAULA MITCHELL explains.

The PCS, the CWU dispute & the struggle for public sector workers’ unity

New Labour’s co-ordinated attack on the public sector has not, to date, been met by co-ordinated action by the public sector unions, despite the best efforts of the left-led PCS civil servants union. PCS national executive committee member JOHN McINALLY replies in a personal capacity to allegations published by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) that the PCS leadership blocked the possibility of public sector unity in the recent CWU postal workers’ dispute.

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Tensions surface in Nato

Global capitalism's deepening crisis
The economic slowdown in the US is gathering pace. Lynn Walsh reports

International Women's Day
Eleanor Donne outlines the origins of 8 March while Anne Engelhardt reports on today's global struggle for abortion rights

Blood & oil
There Will Be Blood and Upton Sinclair's Oil!

Breaking the rules
The printed face of avant-garde art 1930-37

Cover cartoon: Suzanne Muna