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Gallery bosses sack Candy

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The National Gallery in London has sacked leading PCS public service workers’ union rep Candy Udwin in a bitter fight over privatisation.

National Gallery bosses wanted to privatise 400 out of 600 jobs as part of its plans for the gallery.

In response the PCS union launched a campaign of strike action that won a number of concessions, including the living wage.

The strike left management with red faces. Now bosses want to take their revenge. They shipped in a union busting firm and targetted Candy.

Egypt regime arrests revolutionaries

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The Egyptian state has once again arrested Mahienour el-Massry.

Mahienour, along with renowned revolutionary Youssef Shaaban and six others, has been charged with storming the al-Raml police station in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria in March 2013.

On the day a small group of demonstrators staged a protest outside the trial of policemen accused of murdering political blogger Khaled Said, whose death triggered the 25 January revolution.

Battle for tower Hamlets

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Rabina Khan, mayoral candidate for Tower Hamlets, has launched her campaign with a strong anti-austerity and anti-racist message.

The election on 11 June was called after the government intervened to depose former mayor Lutfur Rahman.

The election has become a key battle for democracy. Eric Pickles, the Tory communities and local government secretary, deposed Rahman in April and is running the borough through unelected commissioners — among them Chris Allison, the former assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

Spanish left poll triumph

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Local and regional elections in the Spanish state on 24 May saw a significant battering for the mainstream conservative Popular Party (PP) and Socialist Party (PSOE), as well as significant advances for anti-austerity and social movement forces.

The PP vote dropped from 37 percent in the last equivalent elections to 27 percent. It lost 2.5 million votes.

Migrants condemned to drown at sea

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A general election campaign marred by grotesque levels of racism has been punctured by some of the most graphic images of the effect of racism — the bodies of the hundreds of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea during attempts to build a better life away from war and poverty. The images have touched millions across Europe, and hundreds of thousands in the UK, interrupting the depressing competition between the mainstream parties about who can out-Ukip Ukip to win a racist’s vote.

Social Work Action Network: Gove's worst nightmare

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Since the 1980s social workers and social care workers have been regular targets for Tory attacks. While their statutory powers in areas such as child protection mean that they can sometimes be experienced as oppressive by their working class clients, it is still the case that the majority of social workers want to work in anti-oppressive ways.

Scotland, the SNP and the future of socialist politics

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The SNP’s dramatic rise in membership and electoral popularity between the referendum in September 2014 and the general election in May 2015 has had a remarkable effect on UK politics. It is an effect the left in Scotland and the UK will have to understand in the months ahead, especially so since in just 12 months elections to the Scottish Parliament take place, followed in 2017 by UK-wide council elections.

General election reflects growing anti-austerity mood

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As we go to press the 2015 general election campaign is beginning to sour for the Tories. Their initial focus on attacking Labour leader Ed Miliband has been dumped in favour of carrots and sticks. David Cameron announced a pledge to increase NHS funding by £8 billion by 2020. This followed the Tories’ call for public sector workers to get three days’ paid leave for “volunteering” — that is, filling in for other public sector jobs which have disappeared as a result of Tory cuts.

Singapore: death of a tyrant

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Lee Kuan Yew was a repressive and corrupt leader of Singapore. His death on 23 March will not be mourned by those who crave democracy and social justice.

Lee came to power by courting the British and offering them an anti-communist alternative at a time when the left was very influential in the labour movement and society in general. He used the mass base of non-communist socialist organisations to win his first election and then turned on them and destroyed and repressed the entire left.

Yemen: a dangerous escalation

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Yemen’s Houthi rebels have swept across the country, reaching as far as the strategically vital port of Aden, driving out the president and laying siege to a US base. The Houthis are Shia tribes from the mountainous north. They have been able to fill the power vacuum following the stalling of the Yemeni Revolution, one of the most popular and well supported uprisings of the Arab Spring.

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