Home 2007 February

Monthly Archives: February 2007

UNISON confirmed yesterday that it is holding a National Demonstration in London on Saturday June 30 in defence of the NHS. A spokeswoman told News Line: ‘Our nec meeting agreed the date for the next stage in the campaign over our very serious concerns about what is happening to...
TWO former Cabinet ministers have e-mailed all Labour MPs, calling for an ‘open debate’ on the party’s future. The two are Charles Clarke, the ex-Home Secretary who wanted to give the police the power to hold suspects for 90 days before charging them or freeing them, and Alan Milburn,...
GMB members yesterday went to Germany to demonstrate outside a gathering of the European Venture Capitalists Association (EVCA), at the same time as Prime Minister Blair praised the asset-strippers for performing ‘an important function in our economy’. GMB union official Dave Kelsall told News Line: ‘We’ve come to Frankfurt today...
The National Union of Teachers says the involvement of private sector companies in education over recent years ‘is of grave concern’. It stresses that the NUT ‘opposes the opportunities this trend provides for private companies to make a profit at the expense of funding which should be devoted to education...
HAMAS leader Khaled Mishaal held a news conference in Cairo last Friday. He began by saying: ‘We are now in Cairo on the first leg of a tour of a number of Arab, Islamic, and world countries. . . ‘I would like to talk about the Mecca Accord, the outcome of...
DOZENS of angry people staged an emergency demonstration outside the Home Office yesterday, demanding the government immediately halts deportations to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), warning those being returned face arrest and even death. ‘Stop the charter flight to the DRC today! Stop deportations!’, ‘DRC is not safe! Everyone...
WE are living in the period of the death agony of the capitalist system. It is only natural then, that out of the shadows should come the venture capitalists. Their role is to buy up entire industries, with billions of pounds or dollars that they have borrowed from the banks and...
DOCTORS, nurses, hospital cleaners, midwives and radiographers will be amongst the thousands of NHS staff marking a national day of action on March 3 in defence of the health service in towns and cities across the UK, the TUC stated yesterday. There is not going to be a national demonstration. The...
OVER 100,000 people marched in London and many thousands more marched in Glasgow on Saturday, to demand the immediate withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq and the breaking of the British government’s war alliance with the United States. Iraqi medical students Rusul, Dania and Huda told News Line as...
‘THIS is a tremendous demonstration of the anger of the British people against what Blair has done in Iraq and is threatening to do in Iran,’ prospective Labour Party leadership candidate John McDonnell told a packed Trafalgar Square at the end of the over 100,000-strong march through London on...
Venture capitalists Texas Pacific and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are this week expected to bid for the supermarket group, J Sainsbury. Their take-over will mean sackings, wage cuts, speed ups and price increases. Texas Pacific is already well known for the activities of its Gate Gourmet London company. It sacked 700 workers by...
The mothers of soldiers killed in Iraq, along with mothers of serving soldiers, are camping outside Downing Street this weekend. Rose Gentle, whose 19-year-old son Gordon was killed by a bomb in Basra in 2004, told News Line: ‘We want the troops out now. Tony Blair must give an exact...
‘The trade union and Labour movement must rise up and oppose Blair’s proposal to ensure Britain becomes the aircraft carrier for Bush’s nuclear ambitions,’ Labour leadership challenger John McDonnell told News Line yesterday. The Hayes and Harlington MP was responding to the news that Blair has personally been leading talks...
THE real content of the ‘war against terror’ (a tool for promoting imperialist interests and for grabbing the world’s resources) has been proven with the US decision to put radars and missiles into Poland, and the Czech Republic along an eastern front facing Russia. Russia is after all supposed...
THE number of deaths linked to the hospital bug Clostridium difficile has outstripped those due to MRSA. Deaths involving Clostridium difficile rose by 69 per cent to 3,800 from 2004-05, the Office for National Statistics said yesterday. In the same period, MRSA mentions on death certificates increased by 39 per...
Prime Minister Blair yesterday said UK forces had to be ready for action in Sudan and Somalia as part of a policy of foreign intervention around the globe. In an interview with the BBC Today programme, Blair said: ‘I think the world in which we live in today means that...
A pilot wrongly accused of training the 9/11 hijackers has lost his fight for compensation for his ordeal. Lotfi Raissi was detained for nearly five months at London’s Belmarsh prison after being arrested following the 2001 attacks in the United States. Two High Court judges ruled against his challenge to...
International aid agency Oxfam said on Wednesday that conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are close to melt-down. It called on members of the EU, especially the UK and Germany, to press the Quartet – the EU, United States, Russia and the UN – to end the boycott of the...
RUTH Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has backed proposals to end the long-term secure tenancies of working-class families living in council housing for new tenants. The minister, whose promotion within the Labour government has been due to her unfailing support for Prime Minister Tony Blair, said...
Lebanese parliament speaker, Nabih Birri, has asserted that there is no solution to the current crisis in the country – without at least giving the opposition a ‘guaranteed third’ in the government. Birri urged the majority group in the Lebanese government to say plainly if it rejects the 19...
Workers who lost their pensions when their firm went bust gave a cautious welcome to a second High Court victory yesterday. The court rejected an appeal by the government against its previous ruling, stating yesterday that the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions acted irrationally and outside his powers...
A REPORT into the expenditure of the National Health Service on drugs, published by the government’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT) yesterday, reveals that the NHS pays £8bn a year to huge multinational drug companies for medicines. For the past 18 months, the OFT has been investigating the operation of...
Nearly two-thirds of nurses would be willing to take industrial action if they receive an unsatisfactory pay deal this year, said the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) yesterday. This is the finding of an ICM poll of more than one thousand nurses. With the Pay Review Body due to announce the...
‘PRIVATE companies are raking in millions of pounds, leaving a black hole in NHS finances,’ UNISON – Britain’s largest health workers’ union – has stated ahead of the Saturday March 3 day of NHS protests. UNISON issued a press statement on Monday, the same day that campaigners fighting £25 million...
A VOTE in the Senate of the United States on Saturday fell just four votes short of the two-thirds needed to debate a resolution condemning Republican President George Bush’s decision to immediately send 21,500 more American troops to Iraq. The vote was 56 to 34, with seven Republicans voting...
A LONDON-BASED Arab newspaper is warning of the danger of a ‘new Fallujah’ by American occupation forces and their puppets in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. ‘Baghdad is currently witnessing bloody combing operations carried out by the US and its allied Iraqi forces,’ said a commentary on the website of ‘Al...
‘The government is allowing multinationals to bleed the NHS dry,’ public sector union UNISON general secretary, Dave Prentis, said yesterday. Private companies are raking in millions of pounds, leaving a black hole in NHS finances, warned UNISON. UNISON said ‘the drain on the NHS is threatening its very survival’, and called...
TENS of thousands of students took part in two days of action in Greece last Wednesday and Thursday against the government’s proposed Higher Education Bill and its plans to revise the Greek Constitution. These moves aim to dismantle and privatise free state education and afford the armed riot police the...
TENS of thousands of students, teachers and trade unionists are expected to take to the streets of Athens and other major Greek cities on Wednesday and Thursday this week. They are engaged in a struggle against the right-wing New Democracy government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis that is attempting to...
The British Medical Association yesterday renewed its condemnation of ‘shabby’ and ‘unfair’ rules, that will cost many loyal overseas doctors their jobs. Most of those affected are from South Asia. The High Court recently upheld changes brought in by the government last year, which make it harder for non-European Economic Area...
Chagos Islanders outside the High Court (right) on Friday, the final day of the appeal by the government against their right to return to their homeland
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) yesterday announced a week of action against the closure of Post Offices. The week of campaigning by the ‘Future for our Post Office’ coalition of organisations – including the National Pensioners Convention, charities Age Concern and RNIB and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters – has...
AHEAD of next Monday’s summit in Jerusalem, President George Bush’s administration is setting out to wreck the agreement reached in Mecca on February 8 between the two main Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, to set up a National Unity government. Under the agreement, ministries in the National Unity government will...
THE High Court in London was due to rule yesterday in the case of an American-owned investment fund suing the Zambian government to repay, in full, an old debt. Donegal International, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, is seeking to get Zambia to pay up the original $42m...
Seven more US soldiers were killed in Iraq on Wednesday, the US military revealed yesterday, as US and UK troops, backed by Iraqi puppet forces, attempted to seal off Baghdad and Basra. The puppet Maliki government claimed Iraq had closed its borders with Iran and Syria as Operation Law and...
THE Iraqi Association of Muslim Scholars has issued a statement on the US’ Baghdad security plan. It said that under the plan: ‘First, most of the state’s powers have been put in the hands of the Council of Ministers’ Chairmanship, with nothing left for the Defence Ministry. ‘Second, the field...
‘It’s penny-pinching of the worst kind,’ a UNISON spokeswoman told News Line yesterday. She was commenting on the removal of every other light bulb at St Helier Hospital, near Sutton in Surrey, in a move to cut the electricity bill by trust bosses. The UNISON spokeswoman added: ‘In the NHS...
Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Mishaal in an extensive interview last Tuesday reflected on the Mecca agreement between the Hamas and Fatah movements. Mishaal said: ‘This agreement contained several basic matters. ‘First, we agreed on ending the internal conflict and aiming weapons at any Palestinian chest, banning the shedding of Palestinian...
UK child poverty levels are double those of 1979, after 27 years of the Thatcher, Major and Blair, Tory and Labour governments, while Brown stands in the wings ready to carry on with the work. The UNICEF report, ‘Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-being in Rich Countries’,...

Nurses Work For Free!

‘Nurses should not work for free,’ insisted Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing yesterday. He was commenting on newly qualified nurses being urged to work in NHS hospital wards for free or for small training allowances, in the guise that they are taking up ‘honorary...
THE official Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) published its report yesterday into complaints against the Metropolitan Police over its huge police raid in Forest Gate, east London, on June 2, 2006. At 4am 300 police, including firearms officers and the MI5 secret police, raided 46 Lansdown Road, the home of...
‘It’s a whitewash,’ Forest Gate victim Mohammed Abdul Kahar said yesterday after the IPCC report on the 2 June 2006 police raid said it was justified and recommended no police officer be disciplined. Kahar added: ‘They did not investigate the full 150 complaints, they’re going to do no investigation, no...
MORE than 15,000 students marched through Athens last Thursday demanding the withdrawal of the proposed revision of Article 16 of the Constitution, which would privatise education. Tomorrow, they are expected to return to the streets, joined by their lecturers, who are on indefinite strike, and striking secondary school teachers. Both the...
An ITF/ITUC mission has just returned from Guatemala where it investigated the murder of trade union leader Pedro Zamora and the use of terror against the port workers union of Puerto Quetzal. The executive summary of the mission’s report Murder with Impunity in Puerto Quetzal says: ‘On the evening of...
UNEMPLOYED people who cannot speak English will have to show they are learning the language or lose benefits, the government has announced. This is the latest government scheme for cutting its expenditure by bullying the poorest and most vulnerable section of society. This is not directed at white migrants from...