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Socialism Today 141 - September 2010

Socialism Today 141 - September 2010


The only antidote to painful public-sector cuts

The Con-Dem coalition government is gearing up for a massive onslaught against the public-sector in the autumn. Meanwhile, local councils are pushing through harsh cutbacks in local services. This has to be met by determined action by workers and working-class communities. HANNAH SELL reports on preparations for the fight-back – with lessons drawn from the struggle of Liverpool city council and the anti-poll tax campaign.

Paying a higher price for higher education

Massive attacks on working people, students, young people and the unemployed are currently being made by the government, in an attempt to put the bill for the economic crisis squarely at the feet of the working class. Higher education is in the frontline. Huge funding cuts started under New Labour – £2.5 billion from the HE budget – and are accelerating under the coalition government. Invariably, it will be working-class students who are hit the hardest. CLAIRE LAKER-MANSFIELD reports.

Defending union democracy

Earlier this year, four Unison activists, all Socialist Party members, were banned from office for up to three years. Their crime? Producing a leaflet for the union’s 2007 conference calling for greater democracy within the union – and for having a long and proud history of fighting for union members. An Employment Tribunal, which ruled earlier this year, effectively backed the witch-hunt. LYNN WALSH examines the judgment – and its maze of contradictions.

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A death in the city
No one held to account for G20 protest death

PCS debates political campaigning
PCS vice-president John McInally, writing in a personal capacity, looks at the issues involved

When workers seized the factories
On the 90th anniversary of mass factory occupations in Italy, Christine Thomas writes

The Lacuna
Barbara Kingsolver's novel of dissent

Red Planets
Marxism and science fiction

Cover cartoon: Suzanne Muna