In my view column

Whipping up hatred

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Alan Gibson looks at the wave of anti-immigrant racism that has been marked by the "Go Home" vans and UK Border Agency raids at London tube stations.

The demand by judge Peter Murphy in August that a Muslim woman transgress her religious beliefs and reveal her face to a packed courtroom is just the latest in a series of Islamophobic outrages - all conditioned by a deepening anti-immigrant onslaught.

Start with solidarity

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Mark Bergfeld responds to Sandy Nicoll from last months issue on the Pop-Up Union at Sussex university. Here he argues that our starting point has to be solidarity

In recent months there have been major developments at Sussex University. Two of the main unions on campus (UCU and Unite) held consultative ballots, forcing the third union Unison into a corner. In a rigorous three-page questionnaire more than 85 percent of Unison members ticked the box calling for industrial action. And yet, there is no intention of going on strike.

Are "Pop-Up" unions the way forward?

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The emergence of the Pop-Up union at Sussex University has raised important debates about how to organise in the unions and how to address the inertia of the union officials.

Some argue that the Pop-Up union represents an innovative approach to overcoming the conservatism of the trade union bureaucracy (see, for example, the article by Mark Bergfeld in Ceasefire magazine http://tinyurl.com/nuqg4xt).

Zero security?

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There are two conflicting accounts of what has happened in the labour market since the onset of the Great Recession. It will amaze Socialist Review readers but there is a story doing the rounds that we are in the middle of a "jobs boom".

From FT journalists to government statisticians there is a view that employment levels are now higher than at any time since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. They claim that 584,000 jobs were created in 2012 and that unemployment is 7.5 percent, which some have called the "productivity paradox" while others inelegantly describe this as "growthless jobification". They even go on to say that the shape of the UK labour market is changing, led by professional occupations, including lawyers, accountants and, heaven help us, management consultants.

First steps in Bulgaria

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In the last week of February, after days of protests across the country, the Bulgarian government headed by Boyko Borisov resigned. Mariya Ivancheva looks at what happened and what comes next.

Over the past two months Bulgaria has been shaken by protests. Since the beginning of February, Bulgarians in most big cities have been out in the streets, protesting against increases in electricity and heating bills. After a few nights of clashes between police and protesters, the government of Boyko Borisov and his party, GERB, resigned. A week of perfunctory negotiations followed. After offering the mandate to all parties in parliament who had already declined it, president Rossen Plevneliev dissolved the parliament and appointed an interim government.

What about the WorkERS?

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What is the state of relations between employers and workers in the UK? This is the question the latest Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS), which has just come out, aims to answer.

Conducted every seven years or so, the results are based on interviews with managers and trade union reps, and employees' responses to a questionnaire. The latest study was carried out in 2011 and as such it presents a snapshot of industrial relations during the greatest recession of modern times, and permits comparisons with previous studies, conducted when the economy was arguably in better shape.

Defending the NHS: the lessons of 1988

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When 37 night nurses walked out at the end of their shift at North Manchester General Hospital in January 1988 they made an immediate impact. Images of uniformed nurses on a picket line dominated the TV evening news and newspapers the next day.

But this was not a spontaneous action. The hospital had a strong joint union committee which included socialists, and a tradition of militancy. It had discussed how workers could respond to a major offensive by the Thatcher government on NHS pay and conditions. The NUPE union representative for the night staff organised the walkout to highlight threatened cuts to special duty payments.

The legacy of Harvey Milk

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The story of gay activist Harvey Milk is one of the most inspiring episodes of in the fight for LGBT liberation

Although it is now over 35 years since Harvey Milk was elected as the first openly gay public official in the United States, winning a Supervisor (city council) seat in San Francisco, his life and politics still inspire many young LGBT people to come out and fight for equal rights.

Milk's early politics were certainly not that radical. He was an analyst at a high-powered financial institution, supported the Vietnam War and campaigned for the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater, in the 1964 presidential election.

Hamstrung by racism

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Why has racism returned to the "beautiful game"?

The beginning of a new year is traditionally regarded as one of the highlights of the football season. As we enter 2013 however, the self-proclaimed "beautiful game" limps on, hamstrung by a series of events which have exposed the racism that remains endemic and continues to leave an ugly stain. By the end of 2012 this had led to the resignation of former Commission for Racial Equality chair Herman Ouseley from the FA Council and the start of serious discussions about the establishment of a breakaway black players union.

Of zombies and cannibals

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With many unprofitable companies avoiding bankruptcy, can capitalism rise from the dead?

Anyone turning to the economics sections of the "high-brow" press recently could be forgiven for thinking they had turned to the film reviews section by mistake. Talk of zombies has been everywhere - but it isn't the latest film from director George Romero they have been discussing. Instead it's "zombie banks", "zombie firms" and even "zombie households" that are the focus of much attention.

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