Public sector and teachers' strike in Somerset next Thursday

Somerset County Gazette: Public sector and teachers' strike in Somerset next Thursday Public sector and teachers' strike in Somerset next Thursday

EFFORTS will be made to cover “essential services” during a public sector and teachers’ strike next Thursday, July 10.

Somerset County Council has pledged to protect vulnerable people but warns that some services may not be available, while some schools are likely to close for the day.

Hundreds of GMB, NUT, PCS, UNISON and Unite members in the county are set to walk out over pay and pensions – the NUT is also protesting about workloads.

Unions across the South-West will set up picket lines outside schools, libraries leisure centres and tax offices.

South-West TUC spokesman Tim Lezard said: “Taking strike action is a last resort for workers.

“They regret disruption to local services but with the Government refusing to negotiate, they feel they have no option.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are looking at the potential impact of the strike and will put contingency plans in place to make sure services can continue wherever possible.

“Our absolute priority is to protect Somerset’s vulnerable people and we will be doing our best to ensure essential services are covered.

“We are also aware that some schools are likely to be closed and we will be keeping the public updated on the latest situation via our website.”

Cllr Vivienne Stock-Williams, executive councillor for corporate resources for Taunton Deane Council said: “We are aware of the strike date next week and are currently making the necessary contingency plans.

“There may be some disruption but we would hope to continue to provide the vast majority of services as normal where possible.”

Comments (18)

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12:50pm Fri 4 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

Note to Somerset Conservative Gazette editor:

The 'teachers' in your headline are also very much part of the public sector, and not some distinctly different section of workers, as your headline appears to imply!

Your attempt to whip up anti-strike comments by using a headline focusing on striking teachers is as crudely divisive, as it is transparent.

Also; your stock photograph showing Unison members defending their pensions is not only years out of date, it is also potentially misleading and confusing (deliberately so, perhaps ?). In actual fact Unison members are ostensibly striking over the issue of pay whilst also opposing austerity.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Note to Somerset Conservative Gazette editor: The 'teachers' in your headline are also very much part of the public sector, and not some distinctly different section of workers, as your headline appears to imply! Your attempt to whip up anti-strike comments by using a headline focusing on striking teachers is as crudely divisive, as it is transparent. Also; your stock photograph showing Unison members defending their pensions is not only years out of date, it is also potentially misleading and confusing (deliberately so, perhaps ?). In actual fact Unison members are ostensibly striking over the issue of pay whilst also opposing austerity. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 18

1:53pm Fri 4 Jul 14

duckface08 says...

I knew the socialists would jump on this article, anything to bring this country to its knees as the last government almost did and the present French Socialists are doing. What a turn off!!!!
I knew the socialists would jump on this article, anything to bring this country to its knees as the last government almost did and the present French Socialists are doing. What a turn off!!!! duckface08
  • Score: -27

4:39pm Sat 5 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party offers full and unequivocal support to all workers and trade unionists, in their forthcoming strike against austerity on July 10.

In its attempt to downplay the situation, the conservative Gazette is nevertheless forced to begrudgingly concede that:

"Hundreds of GMB, NUT, PCS, UNISON and Unite members in the county are set to walk out over pay and pensions – the NUT is also protesting about workloads."

The reality however, will be dramatically and demonstrably different, as at least tens of thousands of trade unionists throughout Somerset prepare to join up with the anticipated 1.5 million workers taking coordinated strike action against austerity!

The coordinated action over local government pay on 10 July will bring up to 1.5 million workers out on strike from across public sector unions. The 1% 'offer', following a three year earnings freeze, is a pay cut not a pay award.

Typical local government full-time hourly earnings are the same now as in the early 1990s. Part-time hourly wages have fallen to 2002 levels. 8% of full-time and 38% of part-time local government workers earn less than the living wage.

Meanwhile living costs soar through the roof: food bills up by 16%, electricity and gas by up to a staggering 57%. These price rises mean nearly a 20% fall in real wages with pay-day loans and food banks plugging the gaps for the army of working poor. 'Recovery'? Not for us!

Strike against austerity

But this strike and the mood that has led to the coordinated action is also about a whole lot more. We are battling a wholesale jobs massacre as local government is dismantled, jobs are slashed and public services sold off to private profiteers.

If our jobs have so far escaped the axe, we face increased workloads and pressure, and increasingly brutal disciplinary and sickness procedures in stealth job cutting by managers.

Enough is enough

Workers are reaching the point where they feel pushed to the limit by this demolition government of millionaires hell-bent on the destruction of public services.

Those of us who are school support workers in Unison and GMB have gained a massive boost in being able to strike alongside our teaching colleagues. Joint picket lines at school gates, refuse depots, libraries and council offices will, at last, give local government workers a feeling of our own strength.

Not a one-day battle

This fight will not be won on 10 July alone. In building for the ballots the message was clear from union members: this is no time for token one-day action. We demand a determined and escalating battle that delivers us a victory and a first mighty blow to the austerity agenda.

In the planned further action in September, the unions must use every weapon in their armoury. Our members in academy schools, who are not part of the July action, must be given the chance to fight, as should the army of health workers in their pay dispute as our NHS is dismantled and privatised.

The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away.

Things could move rapidly through 10 July and beyond as a mood of confidence and angry determination ignites among workers and union leaderships must not be allowed to lag behind and dampen the flames.

10 July is the beginning of a fight we must win.


For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party offers full and unequivocal support to all workers and trade unionists, in their forthcoming strike against austerity on July 10. In its attempt to downplay the situation, the conservative Gazette is nevertheless forced to begrudgingly concede that: "Hundreds of GMB, NUT, PCS, UNISON and Unite members in the county are set to walk out over pay and pensions – the NUT is also protesting about workloads." The reality however, will be dramatically and demonstrably different, as at least tens of thousands of trade unionists throughout Somerset prepare to join up with the anticipated 1.5 million workers taking coordinated strike action against austerity! The coordinated action over local government pay on 10 July will bring up to 1.5 million workers out on strike from across public sector unions. The 1% 'offer', following a three year earnings freeze, is a pay cut not a pay award. Typical local government full-time hourly earnings are the same now as in the early 1990s. Part-time hourly wages have fallen to 2002 levels. 8% of full-time and 38% of part-time local government workers earn less than the living wage. Meanwhile living costs soar through the roof: food bills up by 16%, electricity and gas by up to a staggering 57%. These price rises mean nearly a 20% fall in real wages with pay-day loans and food banks plugging the gaps for the army of working poor. 'Recovery'? Not for us! Strike against austerity But this strike and the mood that has led to the coordinated action is also about a whole lot more. We are battling a wholesale jobs massacre as local government is dismantled, jobs are slashed and public services sold off to private profiteers. If our jobs have so far escaped the axe, we face increased workloads and pressure, and increasingly brutal disciplinary and sickness procedures in stealth job cutting by managers. Enough is enough Workers are reaching the point where they feel pushed to the limit by this demolition government of millionaires hell-bent on the destruction of public services. Those of us who are school support workers in Unison and GMB have gained a massive boost in being able to strike alongside our teaching colleagues. Joint picket lines at school gates, refuse depots, libraries and council offices will, at last, give local government workers a feeling of our own strength. Not a one-day battle This fight will not be won on 10 July alone. In building for the ballots the message was clear from union members: this is no time for token one-day action. We demand a determined and escalating battle that delivers us a victory and a first mighty blow to the austerity agenda. In the planned further action in September, the unions must use every weapon in their armoury. Our members in academy schools, who are not part of the July action, must be given the chance to fight, as should the army of health workers in their pay dispute as our NHS is dismantled and privatised. The TUC must seize this opportunity and the massive potential it presents. Public and private sector workers alike have waited long enough to unite and fight. The opportunity for a 24-hour general strike could be just a few months away. Things could move rapidly through 10 July and beyond as a mood of confidence and angry determination ignites among workers and union leaderships must not be allowed to lag behind and dampen the flames. 10 July is the beginning of a fight we must win. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 12

4:45pm Sat 5 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

duckface08 wrote:
I knew the socialists would jump on this article, anything to bring this country to its knees as the last government almost did and the present French Socialists are doing. What a turn off!!!!
Once again duckface, you reveal yourself to be a keen supporter of the unelected coalition of Con-Dem millionaires.

You appear to share their determination to drive through their programme of brutally savage cuts, privatisations and austerity for the 99%, whilst the 1% continue to enrich themselves beyond most people's wildest dreams.

As for your feverish attempt to suggest that the so called 'Labour' Party offer a qualitatively different or ‘socialist’ alternative to the Con-Dems... Let's examine your claim...


Labour woos big business


Public service workers across the country are striking on 10 July to say no to pay cuts, no to pay poverty, no to attacks on pensions and to demand an end to workloads that, for some, mean they are no longer healthy enough to enjoy a half-decent retirement.

Council workers, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and leisure workers will take inspiration from standing together, striking together and marching together.

On 10 July when public services grind to a halt, workers will be able to see, by sheer example and experience, that the working class is potentially the most powerful force in society. The bosses, the ruling class, the brutal Con-Dem government, will get a taste of the opposition to come if they continue with the austerity agenda.

But what of Ed Miliband and the Labour Party? No doubt we will get more of the same shameless hypocrisy, scrambling for votes by condemning the government for making cuts too quickly and too deeply, while also saying striking is not the answer. And don't forget: the Labour Party is 100% committed to cuts and privatisation.

Labour is offering an 'olive branch' or an olive tree to big business by promising even more tax breaks. This is despite corporation tax being at record low levels and ignoring the millions that are lost to tax scams by these companies.

Miliband has made clear who he supports. He proposes cutting benefits for jobless young people in an effort to force youth into dead-end, insecure, low-paid jobs.

Questioning

Workers are increasingly asking the question - why do the trade unions give millions to Labour? It promises to attack us if it is elected into government and we have no doubt because it already kicks us at local level.

This was starkly illustrated recently when Unite members on strike at Labour-run Lewisham council lobbied the full council meeting in protest at massive cuts to the service that they work in.

Unite members watched as every single Labour councillor voted for the cuts. In turn, every single Unite member who attended that night said that they would never vote Labour again. Why, if Labour councils are carrying out brutal cuts are we handing them our cash?

It's like paying somebody to buy a strong pair of boots on Friday, so they can kick you hard on Monday. It makes no sense.

But what does make sense is that we need a party of our own. We need to be funding candidates who stand at elections to fight cuts, to fight privatisation, to demand decent jobs and to demand fair, decent pay.

That is why the Socialist Party is building the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) - an alternative to the dead-end provided by no hope Ed Miliband. TUSC gives us the chance not just to say no but to say yes, to vote and fight for a future for all, for the many not the super-rich few.

The 10 July strikes are a big step forward in the fight against austerity - it will be one step closer to the general strike action needed to fight austerity. It also shows the need for workers to have our own party, that supports our struggles - a mass workers' party committed to building a better, socialist future.

www.tusc.org.uk
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: I knew the socialists would jump on this article, anything to bring this country to its knees as the last government almost did and the present French Socialists are doing. What a turn off!!!![/p][/quote]Once again duckface, you reveal yourself to be a keen supporter of the unelected coalition of Con-Dem millionaires. You appear to share their determination to drive through their programme of brutally savage cuts, privatisations and austerity for the 99%, whilst the 1% continue to enrich themselves beyond most people's wildest dreams. As for your feverish attempt to suggest that the so called 'Labour' Party offer a qualitatively different or ‘socialist’ alternative to the Con-Dems... Let's examine your claim... Labour woos big business Public service workers across the country are striking on 10 July to say no to pay cuts, no to pay poverty, no to attacks on pensions and to demand an end to workloads that, for some, mean they are no longer healthy enough to enjoy a half-decent retirement. Council workers, teachers, firefighters, civil servants and leisure workers will take inspiration from standing together, striking together and marching together. On 10 July when public services grind to a halt, workers will be able to see, by sheer example and experience, that the working class is potentially the most powerful force in society. The bosses, the ruling class, the brutal Con-Dem government, will get a taste of the opposition to come if they continue with the austerity agenda. But what of Ed Miliband and the Labour Party? No doubt we will get more of the same shameless hypocrisy, scrambling for votes by condemning the government for making cuts too quickly and too deeply, while also saying striking is not the answer. And don't forget: the Labour Party is 100% committed to cuts and privatisation. Labour is offering an 'olive branch' or an olive tree to big business by promising even more tax breaks. This is despite corporation tax being at record low levels and ignoring the millions that are lost to tax scams by these companies. Miliband has made clear who he supports. He proposes cutting benefits for jobless young people in an effort to force youth into dead-end, insecure, low-paid jobs. Questioning Workers are increasingly asking the question - why do the trade unions give millions to Labour? It promises to attack us if it is elected into government and we have no doubt because it already kicks us at local level. This was starkly illustrated recently when Unite members on strike at Labour-run Lewisham council lobbied the full council meeting in protest at massive cuts to the service that they work in. Unite members watched as every single Labour councillor voted for the cuts. In turn, every single Unite member who attended that night said that they would never vote Labour again. Why, if Labour councils are carrying out brutal cuts are we handing them our cash? It's like paying somebody to buy a strong pair of boots on Friday, so they can kick you hard on Monday. It makes no sense. But what does make sense is that we need a party of our own. We need to be funding candidates who stand at elections to fight cuts, to fight privatisation, to demand decent jobs and to demand fair, decent pay. That is why the Socialist Party is building the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) - an alternative to the dead-end provided by no hope Ed Miliband. TUSC gives us the chance not just to say no but to say yes, to vote and fight for a future for all, for the many not the super-rich few. The 10 July strikes are a big step forward in the fight against austerity - it will be one step closer to the general strike action needed to fight austerity. It also shows the need for workers to have our own party, that supports our struggles - a mass workers' party committed to building a better, socialist future. www.tusc.org.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 15

8:13pm Sat 5 Jul 14

ladybird14 says...

as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad
as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad ladybird14
  • Score: -20

9:38pm Sat 5 Jul 14

duckface08 says...

Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case.
Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case. duckface08
  • Score: -15

12:26am Sun 6 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

duckface08 wrote:
Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case.
The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party refuses to enter into an exchange of infantile insults and name-calling with duckface08.

Unlike duckface08, we always prefer to stick to the political issues and strenuously avoid falling back upon the use of petty personalisations in place of cogent debate.

Duckface's acile assertion that France’s so called 'Socialist' Party (PS) -led coalition government is actually implementing socialist policies is an absolutely false and incorrect contention.

Francois Hollande’s government is no more ‘socialist’ than Tony Blair’s so called ‘Labour’ Party government was between 1997 and 2010. We examined the political character of the so called ‘Labour’ Party in our earlier post (above), below we briefly examine the record and character of France’s so called ‘Socialist’ Party PS - led coalition government.

La Poste (French Post Office) is now more and more a bank rather than a mail delivery company. It is not a state-owned service anymore and is gradually becoming a corporation. (It is as yet still under state control from the time it was transformed into an autonomous company in 1991 under president Mitterrand.)

In 2013 the Post Office cut 4,500 jobs - the equivalent of a car factory as big as Citroën-Aulnay. But in the same year it received €297 million in tax cuts thanks to the first spending plan of Hollande in 2012 (called CICE) which made €20 billion available for different private companies. Helping the corporations by letting them fire or over-exploit workers while continuing an austerity policy; this is what two years of Hollande’s policy comes down to. And the next three years are being fashioned from the same wood.

Ongoing attacks

The recent elections have shown a growing discontent against the PS-Green coalition, alongside with falling support for the ‘traditional’ right. Generally, a majority of people think and say that Hollande is carrying out the same policies as his predecessor, Sarkozy. Banners on demonstrations say that Gattaz, president of the bosses’ association Medef, is de facto co-president.

Hollande’s reaction, after the swathe of defeats in the municipal elections of March this year, was: “We have heard the message, we will go faster!. The plan is certainly very vague but in fact amounts to continuing the reorganisation of the French economy while hoping for a rebound in the world economy. Being the obedient servant of the bosses and the banks leads the president to impose more and more austerity measures while handing over hefty financial gifts for the bosses.

The new Austerity Plan (Plan de responsabilité) is supposed to cut €billions from different public service and social care budgets in the next three years. Combined with the CICE, it would give around €41billion in tax cuts to private firms. Also, the government has succeeded in implementing new attacks on the labour laws and collective bargaining. For example, the agreement between unions including the CFDT and the employers (Medef), known as the ANI, allows the firing of employees who refuse a lowering of wages in their contracts.

While many workers still face big attacks from the bosses, all these new plans from Hollande within the last two years have also fed a deeper anger against the whole “system”. In elections, it has been partially reflected in the high level of abstention and non-inscription on the electoral lists, and in another way in the vote for the National Front. In the polls, Hollande is at 18% popularity, the lowest ever for a president in the Fifth Republic.

Hollnde's austerity plan and other measures will have terrible effects on working conditions and standards of living. More than three million workers are fully unemployed and two more million are partly unemployed (working less than part time and staying registered to the national job centre service). Bosses are asking for more flexibility, aiming certainly at the minimum wage law and other things. Pensions and other aspects of the social security system are likely to be threatened soon. In fact, it is a generalised war against the working class that is going on and it is being led by Hollande, a President whom duckface incredibly claims is a 'socialist'!!

For further articles on France visit:

http://www.socialist
world.net/doc/6840
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case.[/p][/quote]The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party refuses to enter into an exchange of infantile insults and name-calling with duckface08. Unlike duckface08, we always prefer to stick to the political issues and strenuously avoid falling back upon the use of petty personalisations in place of cogent debate. Duckface's acile assertion that France’s so called 'Socialist' Party (PS) -led coalition government is actually implementing socialist policies is an absolutely false and incorrect contention. Francois Hollande’s government is no more ‘socialist’ than Tony Blair’s so called ‘Labour’ Party government was between 1997 and 2010. We examined the political character of the so called ‘Labour’ Party in our earlier post (above), below we briefly examine the record and character of France’s so called ‘Socialist’ Party PS - led coalition government. La Poste (French Post Office) is now more and more a bank rather than a mail delivery company. It is not a state-owned service anymore and is gradually becoming a corporation. (It is as yet still under state control from the time it was transformed into an autonomous company in 1991 under president Mitterrand.) In 2013 the Post Office cut 4,500 jobs - the equivalent of a car factory as big as Citroën-Aulnay. But in the same year it received €297 million in tax cuts thanks to the first spending plan of Hollande in 2012 (called CICE) which made €20 billion available for different private companies. Helping the corporations by letting them fire or over-exploit workers while continuing an austerity policy; this is what two years of Hollande’s policy comes down to. And the next three years are being fashioned from the same wood. Ongoing attacks The recent elections have shown a growing discontent against the PS-Green coalition, alongside with falling support for the ‘traditional’ right. Generally, a majority of people think and say that Hollande is carrying out the same policies as his predecessor, Sarkozy. Banners on demonstrations say that Gattaz, president of the bosses’ association Medef, is de facto co-president. Hollande’s reaction, after the swathe of defeats in the municipal elections of March this year, was: “We have heard the message, we will go faster!. The plan is certainly very vague but in fact amounts to continuing the reorganisation of the French economy while hoping for a rebound in the world economy. Being the obedient servant of the bosses and the banks leads the president to impose more and more austerity measures while handing over hefty financial gifts for the bosses. The new Austerity Plan (Plan de responsabilité) is supposed to cut €billions from different public service and social care budgets in the next three years. Combined with the CICE, it would give around €41billion in tax cuts to private firms. Also, the government has succeeded in implementing new attacks on the labour laws and collective bargaining. For example, the agreement between unions including the CFDT and the employers (Medef), known as the ANI, allows the firing of employees who refuse a lowering of wages in their contracts. While many workers still face big attacks from the bosses, all these new plans from Hollande within the last two years have also fed a deeper anger against the whole “system”. In elections, it has been partially reflected in the high level of abstention and non-inscription on the electoral lists, and in another way in the vote for the National Front. In the polls, Hollande is at 18% popularity, the lowest ever for a president in the Fifth Republic. Hollnde's austerity plan and other measures will have terrible effects on working conditions and standards of living. More than three million workers are fully unemployed and two more million are partly unemployed (working less than part time and staying registered to the national job centre service). Bosses are asking for more flexibility, aiming certainly at the minimum wage law and other things. Pensions and other aspects of the social security system are likely to be threatened soon. In fact, it is a generalised war against the working class that is going on and it is being led by Hollande, a President whom duckface incredibly claims is a 'socialist'!! For further articles on France visit: http://www.socialist world.net/doc/6840 SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 13

12:40am Sun 6 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

duckface08 wrote:
Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case.
The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party refuses to enter into an exchange of infantile insults and name-calling with duckface08.

Unlike duckface08, we always prefer to stick to the political issues and strenuously avoid falling back upon the use of petty personalisations in place of cogent debate.

Contact us, join the CWI!

World capitalism in crisis and turmoil – fighting for a socialist alternative

CWI, socialistworld.net

World capitalism in crisis and turmoil – fighting for a socialist alternative

In the last years, the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has turned the world upside down. In every part of the world, there were dramatic collapses as the near 20 year boom of world capitalism turned to bust. The rabid right-wing neo-liberal policies pursued by governments around the world during that period have been thoroughly discredited, as the free market’s most ardent defenders desperately resorted to state regulation and intervention, with multi-billion dollar financial stimulus packages implemented around the world.

However, the trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money thrown at the banks was not aimed at lessening the impact of the crisis on working people internationally, but was a desperate attempt to save crisis-ridden capitalism from total collapse. They way capitalist governments have responded to the crisis has enraged millions worldwide. But the actions of austerity of these governments, in attacking the living standards of the majority – with mass unemployment and savage attacks on public services – while bending over backwards for the bosses and bankers, has proved no surprise to socialists.

The CWI has a long and proud tradition of fighting for a socialist alternative to this crisis-ridden capitalist system.

Capitalism is based on the control of a super-rich elite – big businesses and corporations – over the wealth of society. Their reckless management of the economy, in the pursuit of maximum profit at any cost is the source of the major problems of mankind today, such as crisis, unemployment, poverty, hunger, war and environmental destruction.

On the basis of a socialist society, where the economy is planned democratically, with the resources of the planet under the control of the majority, we could begin to solve these fundamental problems.

We completely reject the grotesque distortion of “socialism” which existed in the Stalinist regimes in former USSR and Eastern Europe, where planned economies were presided over by privileged bureaucratic dictatorships.

Building the fightback

The CWI has parties, groups and individuals in over 45 countries around the world.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with workers and young people around the world in struggle against the attacks of the bosses and for a fairer, better society. Our members play a key role in the Trade Union movement, and have been instrumental in leading victorious struggles against sackings and attacks on Trade Union rights in the recent past. We are part and parcel of the fightback which is developing internationally as millions have taken to the streets saying “we won’t pay for their crisis!”.

Mass struggles and strikes, including general strikes in Greece, Spain and Portugal and the role of the working class in the initial overthrow of dictators like Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt have again shown in action the immense power of the working class.

The CWI argues for the transformation of the trade union movement internationally into a fighting movement that can offer a militant effective strategy to the working class movement in the fight against attacks and for improved conditions and living standards.

In all of the movements and struggles that have developed, a striking feature has been the absence of political representation for working people. The parties which workers looked to as “theirs”, such as the various labour and social democratic parties of Europe have now been completely transformed into capitalist parties.

The CWI fights for the formation of new mass parties that can give a political voice to workers and youth in struggle and galvanise the mass opposition to the bosses and their parties. Joe Higgins as a member of the Irish Parliament and Paul Murphy, member of the European Party, both elected for the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) and Kshama Sawant recently elected to Seattle City Council, all provide an excellent example, of how workers’ representatives can act. The sections of the CWI are working within broader alliances and left parties and seeking collaboration to win such positions for the working class and build new mass forces to develop the struggle. The CWI strives to arm such formations with a socialist programme to move beyond the framework of the dictatorship of the banks and corporations.

In the neo-colonial world, in countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nigeria, where the lives of the majority are dominated by poverty, hunger and communalist war and terror, the CWI plays a heroic role as the only force working to build a united movement of workers and the poor against the dead end of capitalism and imperialism.

Young members of the CWI are involved in campaigns for free and decent education, against precarious jobs and in the movements against the capitalist globalisation.

The sections of the CWI are involved in women’s struggles for equal pay, against attacks on abortion rights and for a society, free of sexist oppression. We fight for an end of any discrimination and oppression based on gender, nationality, race or any ethnic or communalist lines.

To be successful, the struggle against capitalism requires ideas, a political programme, and an organisation that is able to unite workers and oppressed people across the globe, a Marxist programme.

The CWI aims to build such an organisation. We think that organised workers and youth in their millions are stronger than the millionaires. That is why we need more people to join us in the struggle for socialism!

If you are interested in joining the international struggle for socialism and becoming a member of the CWI or you have read our ideas and seen what activities we are involved in and want to find out more then visit: http://www.socialist
world.net/index.php
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: Somerset Socialists brand me as a supporter of todays political setup ,whereas I like to think of myself as living in the real world unlike the aforementioned rabble rousers who live in cloud cuckoo land with no responsibility whatsoever for their actions. If their ideas are so good why can't they get more people to vote for them? Why are the countries with left wing governments always at the bottom of the economic league with their people living on the bread line?? I rest my case.[/p][/quote]The Somerset branch of the Socialist Party refuses to enter into an exchange of infantile insults and name-calling with duckface08. Unlike duckface08, we always prefer to stick to the political issues and strenuously avoid falling back upon the use of petty personalisations in place of cogent debate. Contact us, join the CWI! World capitalism in crisis and turmoil – fighting for a socialist alternative CWI, socialistworld.net World capitalism in crisis and turmoil – fighting for a socialist alternative In the last years, the worst economic crisis since the 1930s has turned the world upside down. In every part of the world, there were dramatic collapses as the near 20 year boom of world capitalism turned to bust. The rabid right-wing neo-liberal policies pursued by governments around the world during that period have been thoroughly discredited, as the free market’s most ardent defenders desperately resorted to state regulation and intervention, with multi-billion dollar financial stimulus packages implemented around the world. However, the trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money thrown at the banks was not aimed at lessening the impact of the crisis on working people internationally, but was a desperate attempt to save crisis-ridden capitalism from total collapse. They way capitalist governments have responded to the crisis has enraged millions worldwide. But the actions of austerity of these governments, in attacking the living standards of the majority – with mass unemployment and savage attacks on public services – while bending over backwards for the bosses and bankers, has proved no surprise to socialists. The CWI has a long and proud tradition of fighting for a socialist alternative to this crisis-ridden capitalist system. Capitalism is based on the control of a super-rich elite – big businesses and corporations – over the wealth of society. Their reckless management of the economy, in the pursuit of maximum profit at any cost is the source of the major problems of mankind today, such as crisis, unemployment, poverty, hunger, war and environmental destruction. On the basis of a socialist society, where the economy is planned democratically, with the resources of the planet under the control of the majority, we could begin to solve these fundamental problems. We completely reject the grotesque distortion of “socialism” which existed in the Stalinist regimes in former USSR and Eastern Europe, where planned economies were presided over by privileged bureaucratic dictatorships. Building the fightback The CWI has parties, groups and individuals in over 45 countries around the world. We stand shoulder to shoulder with workers and young people around the world in struggle against the attacks of the bosses and for a fairer, better society. Our members play a key role in the Trade Union movement, and have been instrumental in leading victorious struggles against sackings and attacks on Trade Union rights in the recent past. We are part and parcel of the fightback which is developing internationally as millions have taken to the streets saying “we won’t pay for their crisis!”. Mass struggles and strikes, including general strikes in Greece, Spain and Portugal and the role of the working class in the initial overthrow of dictators like Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt have again shown in action the immense power of the working class. The CWI argues for the transformation of the trade union movement internationally into a fighting movement that can offer a militant effective strategy to the working class movement in the fight against attacks and for improved conditions and living standards. In all of the movements and struggles that have developed, a striking feature has been the absence of political representation for working people. The parties which workers looked to as “theirs”, such as the various labour and social democratic parties of Europe have now been completely transformed into capitalist parties. The CWI fights for the formation of new mass parties that can give a political voice to workers and youth in struggle and galvanise the mass opposition to the bosses and their parties. Joe Higgins as a member of the Irish Parliament and Paul Murphy, member of the European Party, both elected for the Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) and Kshama Sawant recently elected to Seattle City Council, all provide an excellent example, of how workers’ representatives can act. The sections of the CWI are working within broader alliances and left parties and seeking collaboration to win such positions for the working class and build new mass forces to develop the struggle. The CWI strives to arm such formations with a socialist programme to move beyond the framework of the dictatorship of the banks and corporations. In the neo-colonial world, in countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nigeria, where the lives of the majority are dominated by poverty, hunger and communalist war and terror, the CWI plays a heroic role as the only force working to build a united movement of workers and the poor against the dead end of capitalism and imperialism. Young members of the CWI are involved in campaigns for free and decent education, against precarious jobs and in the movements against the capitalist globalisation. The sections of the CWI are involved in women’s struggles for equal pay, against attacks on abortion rights and for a society, free of sexist oppression. We fight for an end of any discrimination and oppression based on gender, nationality, race or any ethnic or communalist lines. To be successful, the struggle against capitalism requires ideas, a political programme, and an organisation that is able to unite workers and oppressed people across the globe, a Marxist programme. The CWI aims to build such an organisation. We think that organised workers and youth in their millions are stronger than the millionaires. That is why we need more people to join us in the struggle for socialism! If you are interested in joining the international struggle for socialism and becoming a member of the CWI or you have read our ideas and seen what activities we are involved in and want to find out more then visit: http://www.socialist world.net/index.php SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 14

1:22am Sun 6 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

ladybird14 wrote:
as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad
Ladybird14,

You appear to be somewhat confused in regard to the issue of parents being 'pulled in' (and presumably fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time?

These new policies were not introduced by the teaching unions. The teaching unions opposed the introduction of these new policies and continue to campaign for the repeal of these policies.

These policies were introduced by the current unelected coalition of millionaires.

The same government that is raining down savage and brutal cuts privatisations and attacks on the 99%.

By opposing the teachers’ strike you are siding with the government – the same government that introduced the policies of parents being 'pulled in' (and fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time, a practice that you describe as making you feel so very ‘mad’.

Perhaps you are directing your understandable anger in the wrong direction when you hold teachers’ unions responsible?

Perhaps you need to rethink your position and consider supporting the 1.5 million teachers other public sector workers who are going to stand together and, by striking take a significant step towards forcing this government to back off from imposing its austerity agenda, or face the consequences.

Hope this helps to clarify the issues for you.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
[quote][p][bold]ladybird14[/bold] wrote: as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad[/p][/quote]Ladybird14, You appear to be somewhat confused in regard to the issue of parents being 'pulled in' (and presumably fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time? These new policies were not introduced by the teaching unions. The teaching unions opposed the introduction of these new policies and continue to campaign for the repeal of these policies. These policies were introduced by the current unelected coalition of millionaires. The same government that is raining down savage and brutal cuts privatisations and attacks on the 99%. By opposing the teachers’ strike you are siding with the government – the same government that introduced the policies of parents being 'pulled in' (and fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time, a practice that you describe as making you feel so very ‘mad’. Perhaps you are directing your understandable anger in the wrong direction when you hold teachers’ unions responsible? Perhaps you need to rethink your position and consider supporting the 1.5 million teachers other public sector workers who are going to stand together and, by striking take a significant step towards forcing this government to back off from imposing its austerity agenda, or face the consequences. Hope this helps to clarify the issues for you. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 12

10:07am Sun 6 Jul 14

duckface08 says...

Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.
Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe. duckface08
  • Score: -14

2:07pm Sun 6 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

duckface08 wrote:
Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.
It would appear that you've lost it duckface08...
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.[/p][/quote]It would appear that you've lost it duckface08... SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 15

3:49pm Sun 6 Jul 14

Monument says...

Please please let them post.

Each post provides ever more evidence why Socialists of whatever degree of lunacy should never be in power.
Please please let them post. Each post provides ever more evidence why Socialists of whatever degree of lunacy should never be in power. Monument
  • Score: -20

6:46pm Sun 6 Jul 14

SocialistParty-SomersetBranch says...

duckface08 wrote:
Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.
Oh very clever duckface08, I see what you’ve done here.

This thread is about the expected 1.5 million public sector strike on July 10.


We confined our initial comments to the thread’s subject matter ie the impending July 10 Public sector strike.

You deliberately went off-message by posing the question of the previous so called ‘Labour’ government.

We answered (more than adequately) your question about the previous so called ‘Labour’ government.

You continued to go off-message by posing the question of the so called ‘socialist’ government in France.

We answered (once again, more than adequately) your question about the so called ‘socialist’ government in France.

You nevertheless persisted in going off-message further by posing the question of socialism on the international front.

We answered (yet again, more than adequately) your question about socialism within the international arena.


If you don’t like or can’t deal with the answers, we suggest you shouldn’t ask the questions.

By the way, you appear to be rather confused regarding the meaning of the word ‘diatribe’.

A Diatribe can be defined as an “angry speech or piece of writing that severely criticizes something or someone”.

Whilst we would agree that the capitalist system is creating the economic political and sociali conditions that is generating much justifiable anger amongst millions of people word wide we always present our ideas in a calm sober and measured manner.

Impartial readers will inescapably conclude that if anyone within this thread has descended to the use of angry or abusive diatribe, it is you duckface08.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.[/p][/quote]Oh very clever duckface08, I see what you’ve done here. This thread is about the expected 1.5 million public sector strike on July 10. We confined our initial comments to the thread’s subject matter ie the impending July 10 Public sector strike. You deliberately went off-message by posing the question of the previous so called ‘Labour’ government. We answered (more than adequately) your question about the previous so called ‘Labour’ government. You continued to go off-message by posing the question of the so called ‘socialist’ government in France. We answered (once again, more than adequately) your question about the so called ‘socialist’ government in France. You nevertheless persisted in going off-message further by posing the question of socialism on the international front. We answered (yet again, more than adequately) your question about socialism within the international arena. If you don’t like or can’t deal with the answers, we suggest you shouldn’t ask the questions. By the way, you appear to be rather confused regarding the meaning of the word ‘diatribe’. A Diatribe can be defined as an “angry speech or piece of writing that severely criticizes something or someone”. Whilst we would agree that the capitalist system is creating the economic political and sociali conditions that is generating much justifiable anger amongst millions of people word wide we always present our ideas in a calm sober and measured manner. Impartial readers will inescapably conclude that if anyone within this thread has descended to the use of angry or abusive diatribe, it is you duckface08. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty-SomersetBranch
  • Score: 16

1:40pm Mon 7 Jul 14

Jamesey says...

duckface08 wrote:
Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.
What makes me laugh is their infantile manipulation of the "thumbs up" button. They've obvioulsy got nothing better to do!

I doubt that 15 people would even read their rubbish, let alone "like" it.

So, is there anyone out there reading this who actually thinks their posts are worthwhile?
[quote][p][bold]duckface08[/bold] wrote: Please mr editor call time on this political forum, they are not commenting on your news but are using this opportunity to blatantly advertise Somerset Socialist Party with their constant diatribe of tripe.[/p][/quote]What makes me laugh is their infantile manipulation of the "thumbs up" button. They've obvioulsy got nothing better to do! I doubt that 15 people would even read their rubbish, let alone "like" it. So, is there anyone out there reading this who actually thinks their posts are worthwhile? Jamesey
  • Score: -10

8:16am Tue 8 Jul 14

ladybird14 says...

SocialistParty-Somer
setBranch
wrote:
ladybird14 wrote:
as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad
Ladybird14,

You appear to be somewhat confused in regard to the issue of parents being 'pulled in' (and presumably fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time?

These new policies were not introduced by the teaching unions. The teaching unions opposed the introduction of these new policies and continue to campaign for the repeal of these policies.

These policies were introduced by the current unelected coalition of millionaires.

The same government that is raining down savage and brutal cuts privatisations and attacks on the 99%.

By opposing the teachers’ strike you are siding with the government – the same government that introduced the policies of parents being 'pulled in' (and fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time, a practice that you describe as making you feel so very ‘mad’.

Perhaps you are directing your understandable anger in the wrong direction when you hold teachers’ unions responsible?

Perhaps you need to rethink your position and consider supporting the 1.5 million teachers other public sector workers who are going to stand together and, by striking take a significant step towards forcing this government to back off from imposing its austerity agenda, or face the consequences.

Hope this helps to clarify the issues for you.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o

rg.uk
i didn't just take her out she has been very ill and the school knew all about and they had doctors proof of each time and these times she was off was jan this year and they (the school) have just brought them to light this week i went down the right paths i used to surport the school/teachers in very way i could and now they've blown it .THEY have also told they will not they until the day before they strike this isn't very fair on people who have to work for a living !!!!
[quote][p][bold]SocialistParty-Somer setBranch[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ladybird14[/bold] wrote: as a parent i find this a joke !!!!! at the begining apart of the year my little girl was poorly and i was pulled in about her being off yet when i see things like this its ok it makes me so mad[/p][/quote]Ladybird14, You appear to be somewhat confused in regard to the issue of parents being 'pulled in' (and presumably fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time? These new policies were not introduced by the teaching unions. The teaching unions opposed the introduction of these new policies and continue to campaign for the repeal of these policies. These policies were introduced by the current unelected coalition of millionaires. The same government that is raining down savage and brutal cuts privatisations and attacks on the 99%. By opposing the teachers’ strike you are siding with the government – the same government that introduced the policies of parents being 'pulled in' (and fined) for taking their children out of school during term-time, a practice that you describe as making you feel so very ‘mad’. Perhaps you are directing your understandable anger in the wrong direction when you hold teachers’ unions responsible? Perhaps you need to rethink your position and consider supporting the 1.5 million teachers other public sector workers who are going to stand together and, by striking take a significant step towards forcing this government to back off from imposing its austerity agenda, or face the consequences. Hope this helps to clarify the issues for you. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk[/p][/quote]i didn't just take her out she has been very ill and the school knew all about and they had doctors proof of each time and these times she was off was jan this year and they (the school) have just brought them to light this week i went down the right paths i used to surport the school/teachers in very way i could and now they've blown it .THEY have also told they will not they until the day before they strike this isn't very fair on people who have to work for a living !!!! ladybird14
  • Score: -7

10:00am Tue 8 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Teachers have it easy compared to other public sector workers who will not be on strike.

It really bugs me that Teachers always have to push themselves to the front and bang their drum the loudest; it’s not all about you, maybe they have too much time on their hands to organise such events!

They have good pay, good pensions and good working conditions maybe they should just pipe down for a bit and let other public sector workers be heard for once as the sympathy vote for Teachers has worn a little thin over the past few years.
Teachers have it easy compared to other public sector workers who will not be on strike. It really bugs me that Teachers always have to push themselves to the front and bang their drum the loudest; it’s not all about you, maybe they have too much time on their hands to organise such events! They have good pay, good pensions and good working conditions maybe they should just pipe down for a bit and let other public sector workers be heard for once as the sympathy vote for Teachers has worn a little thin over the past few years. Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: -5

1:39pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Somerset_BTGOG says...

Oh the minus votes have started!

Must be break time!
Oh the minus votes have started! Must be break time! Somerset_BTGOG
  • Score: -6

7:51pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Dr Dave says...

Where do I send my invoice/fine to the school who are unable to teach my children? One rule for one, one for another.....
Where do I send my invoice/fine to the school who are unable to teach my children? One rule for one, one for another..... Dr Dave
  • Score: -4
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