Home 2008 January

Monthly Archives: January 2008

MORE than $170 billion (£87 billion) has been wiped off the balance sheets of companies worldwide as a result of the collapse of the US ‘sub-prime’ mortgage market. The bad news is that the $170 billion of debt is just the tip of the iceberg of the mortgage based bankruptcy...
Immigration minister Liam Byrne yesterday announced that all visitors to Britain requiring a visa are now having their fingerprints taken in their home country. Byrne said the new system is up and running three months ahead of schedule. He added that the plan is also to increase the number of foreign...
ACTORS will demonstrate in the centre of London today against a wave of threatened theatre closures. Actors in white masks will take part in today’s march, organised by the Tangram Theatre Company. They will assemble at 1.00pm at Piccadilly Circus and march to Arts Council England headquarters in Great Peter Street,...

Emi – 2,000 Jobs To Go

EMI is to announce tomorrow that 2,000 jobs are to go as part of a major restructuring plan. Jobs will go throughout the company, in sales, marketing, distribution and artist management, savaging the group’s workforce of 5,500 staff. Marketing spend is due to be slashed from 20 per cent ...
US PRESIDENT George W Bush yesterday warned of the ‘Iranian threat’ during his speech in Abu Dhabi. While speaking about the role of the United States in allegedly introducing the Arab world to freedom, liberty and democracy, Bush made it very plain that he was in town to prepare for...
‘Free, Free Palestine! Palestine will be free from the river to the sea!’ shouted demonstrators at a 400-strong picket and vigil opposite Downing Street on Saturday evening. A number of the demonstrators joined Reclaim the Right to Protest protesters directly outside the gates of Downing Street and were met by...

Mass Murder In Arab Jabur

WHILE President Bush was allegedly talking peace in the Palestinian town of Ramallah on Thursday, US B1 bombers and F16 fighters were raining 40,000 pounds of explosives onto the heads of the people of the town of Arab Jabur, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. This...
TAMILNET has reported that the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Major General Lars Johan Solvberg, met Liberation Tigers (LTTE)2 political chief B Nadesan in Kilinochchi on Thursday. The meeting followed the government of Sri Lanka’s (GoSL’s) announcement of its unilateral withdrawal from the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA). TamilNet reported: ‘Noting...
HUNDREDS of demonstrators in orange boiler suits assembled next to the American Embassy in London yesterday, demanding: ‘Close Guantanamo Bay!’ They were demonstrating on the sixth anniversary of the opening of the US concentration camp, where detainees have been held without charge or trial, and which has been condemned as...
Public sector union UNISON yesterday told News Line it is opposed to a bid by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group to build and administer NHS health centres using sub-contracted GPs and also offering a range of private services. Virgin Group has rejected bidding for APMS (Alternative Provider Medical Services) contracts,...
‘We are unlikely to vote “Yes” unless Royal Mail changes its proposals’ to end final salary pensions, Communication Workers Union (CWU) London Regional Secretary John Denton told News Line on Wednesday. Asked when there will be a ballot on Royal Mail’s pension proposals, after the end of the consultation on...
THE Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spelt out that his answer to the deepening crisis of capitalism is to attempt to rescue the bosses and the bankers and to place the entire burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working class and the middle class. On the question...

Bank Keeps Rate At 5.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee yesterday voted to keep the official Bank Rate on hold at 5.5 per cent. The Bank had been under pressure to cut rates following the bad retail sales figures over Christmas, while other economists have been urging it to increase rates to curb...
Humberside fire crews are warning that cuts and station closures will compromise public and firefighter safety. The warning came as local fire crews launch their campaign to stop the most savage cuts ever proposed in the fire service in Humberside, said the Fire Brigades Union on Wednesday. The cuts are being...
US President George W Bush said he saw a new opportunity for peace in the Holy Land as he arrived in Israel on Wednesday at the start of a landmark regional tour. However, his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was more to the point. She told the BBC: ‘We shouldn’t...
The Prison Officers Association (POA) yesterday expressed anger and disappointment after MPs in the House of Commons voted by 481 to 46 to back Justice Secretary Straw’s reinstatement of the ban on prison officers taking strike action. By voting for an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, MPs have made...
THE GMB and PCS unions came out against Prime Minister Brown and Chancellor Darling’s plan to impose three-year pay settlements on public sector workers yesterday. While TUC General Secretary Barber and some other union leaders said they had nothing against the plan, the GMB and PCS flatly rejected the idea. Brian...
PREMIER Brown says he wants three-year pay deals for public sector workers, rather than the traditional annual deals, to help keep UK inflation low. At his monthly media conference, the PM said the measure was necessary to maintain long-term economic stability. What Brown really means is that in order to...
COLOMBO has abrogated the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) to remove the presence of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) which was instrumental in exposing rights violations by all sides. ‘Government will want to rid the North-East of any witnesses of the carnage that it intends to unveil on the...
Patients should ask ‘not what the NHS can do for you, but what you can do for the NHS,’ prime minister Brown warned yesterday. In his first major speech on the NHS, Brown placed great emphasis on patients’ ‘responsibilities’ and ‘preventative medicine’ and the increased use of the private...
OVER 200 demonstrators gathered opposite the Pakistan Embassy in London on Sunday to demand a United Nations-led inquiry into the assassination of Pakistan People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto’s murder has caused a massive uprising across Pakistan, whilst elections that she was due to contest on January 8 have been...
GORDON Brown made clear yesterday that his intention was to continue with the Blairite NHS counter-revolution. The message was that there were ‘no no-go areas’ as far as NHS reform, ie privatisation, is concerned. Brown stated that the issue was no longer what the NHS could do for you but...

Bilge From The Bishop!

THE Bishop of Rochester, Dr Nazir-Ali, yesterday sounded like he borrowed a script from the British National Party when he warned that Islamic extremism has turned some communities into no-go areas for people of a different faith or race. He added that non-Muslims faced ‘hostility’ in those areas and...
ISMAIL Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has said that Egypt had ‘not surrendered to blackmail’ when it decided to allow Palestinian pilgrims to return to Gaza via Rafah in the face of Zionist opposition. Haniyeh was responding to Egypt’s decision to allow 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims who had...
‘THIS is a difficult and dangerous situation for the world economy,’ Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday in an interview for the ‘Observer’ newspaper. Brown also said that in ‘certain instances’ it was necessary for the police to hold people for 42 days without charge – and that civil rights...
‘THE average, common individual can’t get anything, there is no flour, no diesel, there are only a few hours of electricity – the whole situation is catastrophic.’ That was what one lawyer said yesterday, as over 200 people demonstrated outside the Pakistan embassy in London, where they were demanding an...
The death toll in an Israeli raid on the Gaza Strip on Thursday rose to nine after Israeli helicopters launched three missiles at a site belonging to Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades killing 25-year-old Atallah Qishta, a Fatah member detained by Hamas, and injuring four others, one seriously. This brings the...

Build The Wrp In 2008!

THE TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, in his New Year’s message said that his two fears for 2008 were the dangers of a banking collapse and the simmering anger of workers at the wage cutting policies of Premier Brown. The two issues boil down to the chronic fear...
Britain’s fourth largest supplier of gas and electricity, Npower, yesterday announced huge new energy price hikes for its four million domestic customers. The average increases are 12.7 per cent for electricity and 17.2 per cent for gas from today, 5 January. The company statement claimed: ‘Npower has been forced to put...
Rail union RMT yesterday called for the renationalisation of the railways. A union statement said: ‘The post-Christmas chaos caused by major engineering overruns on the rail network and the anger caused by massive fares hikes have highlighted the need to reverse fragmentation and bring rail back into public ownership.’ As Network...
KENYA has been convulsed for nearly a week by an uprising of the poor and the landless who have been absolutely pauperised by the impact of the massive increase in oil prices on the Kenyan economy, and in particular on the millions of landless poor. More than 300 people have...
Plans to close down all forty six of the fire service’s 999 command and control centres in England and move to nine regional centres are now officially three years late and 14 times over budget according to the latest figures. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says the government needs to urgently...
PREMIER Brown’s plans for the NHS to refuse to treat patients whose lifestyles are judged to be responsible for their illnesses were condemned yesterday. Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust UNISON branch secretary Kevin O’Brien yesterday told News Line ‘These people are a bunch of...
RECENTLY there have been a few years of increased government spending on the NHS, after many years of chronic underspending. Most of the new money has gone on measures to privatise the service, and enrich private providers by handing over a significant chunk of the NHS budget to them,...
TAMIL NET has reported that a Colombo district Tamil parliamentarian of the opposition United National Party, T Maheswaran, was shot at Ponnambala Va’neasvarar temple at Kochchikkadai in Colombo on Tuesday at around 10.00am. He was shot while he was paying homage at the shrine, and succumbed to his injuries at...
THE TGWU leadership, (now sheltering under the Unite label) has once again dropped a decision by its members to take strike action to defend pensions, without anything in return from the employer, BAA, to justify such a decision. It was in January 2007 that the TGWU rubbished the BA...
As the death toll rose to 260, EU monitors yesterday cast doubts on the results of Kenya’s disputed presidential vote. This stepped up the pressure on re-elected President Mwai Kibaki. A second consecutive night of conflict and clashes between police and mainly unemployed youth had left more than 70 dead, as...