Right to Work

Every little helps

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"A spirit of anti-capitalism stalks the land, a fire-breathing beast that has shrivelled Stephen Hester's bonus in its nostril-blast, and scorched Fred Goodwin's knighthood, and now seeks whomever else it may devour."

It is not often that Tory politicians paraphrase the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto, but this the conclusion of Boris Johnson amid the furore over the Workfare scheme.

On 18 February when the Right to Work campaign protested at a Tesco store in Westminster, few could have predicted what was to follow. Within a fortnight the minister in charge of the scheme, Chris Grayling, was forced to call a "crisis meeting".

An assault on us all

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Joseph Choonara opens our coverage of the spending review, arguing that George Osborne's plans expose the lie that "we're all in it together".


Photo: Guy Smallman

The Osborne Axe has fallen. The chancellor's spending review heralds the deepest assault on the public sector since the Second World War. George Osborne's key lines of attack give the lie to his claim that "we are all in it together".

Everything to play for

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In the wake of the TUC congress, Martin Smith argues that the conditions are ripe for a fightback, while
Mark Campbell reports from the conference floor.


The overwhelming decision of delegates at this year's TUC conference to support coordinated action to fight the austerity measures and to call a national demonstration against the cuts in March 2011 means the battle lines are now drawn.

On one side you have a nasty but clearly nervous Con-Dem government.

United in struggle

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Despite the huge outcry following the multi-billion pound bank bailouts, the mainstream parties still thought they could win support competing over who could make the deepest cuts to the public sector.

How can we build the strength and unity to resist the coming attacks? We could take the strategy used in Ireland, where the unions went along with the cuts despite popular anger. Or we can build on the Greek strategy, where outrage has been galvanised by the rank and file, forcing unions to call general strikes.

Following January's Right to Work (RTW) national conference in Manchester, 30 people who attended from Edinburgh returned to build a local rank and file campaign of solidarity and resistance.

The crisis: over or just beginning?

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The post-election period will be dominated by the dire state of the British economy. While the political elite are desperate to make us pay for the crisis, they are also paralysed by the fear of a renewed recession precipitated by speculation against the pound. Joseph Choonara reports

The state of the economy will continue to mould British politics after the election. Economics will constrain the room for manoeuvre of the political elite, pressing them to drive through a series of attacks. It will also create the terrain on which workers will have to organise and resist. The prospects for the system are, then, of keen interest to those who wish to challenge it. After almost three years of chaos, what lies in store?

Brown's Britain: the faultlines deepen

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Recent months have seen fierce industrial disputes, with workers challenging the government and the bosses. Michael Bradley argues that this resistance can shape a future fightback

Photo: Guy Smallman

We're moving into a new phase of the struggle. Over the last couple of years we have gone through several distinct stages. First was the onset of the recession in 2008 which effectively knocked sideways the pay revolt in the public sector. Secondly, after a series of horrible defeats like the job losses at Woolworths and Cowley, we saw the development of a movement of working class resistance.

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