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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.

Barts Health crisis

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Barts Health, the largest NHS trust in England, is now in special measures following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into Whipps Cross Hospital. The trust was formed as a result of a merger between Barts and the London, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross in 2013. The chief executive, Peter Morris; the chief nurse and the chair of the trust have all resigned with more likely to follow.

Tusc takes to Glasgow's streets

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The independence referendum last September showed that people in Scotland want to see radical change. While the left has grown out of that movement, the Scottish National Party (SNP) has quadrupled in size. Its membership has just passed 100,000, which means one person in 50 in Scotland is now a member. The latest polls show an 18 point SNP lead over Labour and predict they’ll win 47 seats to Labour’s ten.

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