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Monthly Archives: September 2008

THE Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) has endorsed proposals to close Chase Farm Hospital as an acute District General Hospital (DGH). This is in order that its elective services can be privatised and its acute services farmed out to Barnet and North Middlesex Hospital (NMH). Health Secretary Alan Johnson has accepted the...
YESTERDAY two major banks had to be nationalised to prevent a run on the UK and EU banking system. They were the Bradford and Bingley and the Fortis Bank. The Brown government moved to sell off the B&B’s deposits to the Santander bank while the debts are to be taken...
THE Treasury yesterday confirmed that Bradford & Bingley’s (B&B) £50bn mortgages and loans will be nationalised. The mortgage bank’s £20bn savings unit and branches will be bought by the Abbey bank, owned by Spain’s Santander group. A spokeswoman for Abbey said while it was ‘business as usual’ for B&B’s 197...
Angry, striking carworkers from Sandouville (Seine-Maritime) Renault plant demonstrated in the streets of Le Havre on Thursday, September 25. The French motor manufacturing giant recently confirmed 1,000 redundancies. From 05.30 until 10.00 on Thursday morning, the strikers blocked access to Le Havre’s industrial zone. More than two thousand workers joined by...
BOTH Washington and London were yesterday involved in a desperate race against the clock. Labour let it be known, Sunday mid morning, that it will nationalise the Bradford and Bingley bank, and most probably amalgamate it with the already bankrupted and nationalised Northern Rock Bank. The decision was leaked so as...
Mortgage bank Bradford & Bingley is to be nationalised to prevent a run on the bank and its complete collapse, possibly spreading to other banks. The Brown government took the decision after other banks refused to step in and take over the stricken bank. The news came as officials...
ANTI-ACADEMY protestors demonstrated yesterday afternoon outside the central London headquarters of ARK (Absolute Return for Kids), which is involved in the building of 12 City Academies around the country. NUT member Bridget Chapman told News Line: ‘I am a teacher and my school, Pimlico School, was turned into an academy,...
Bush made a two-minute statement on the White House Lawn yesterday following his failure to get agreement on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s massive $700 billion bank rescue deal. He said: ‘We continue to work with the Congress on a rescue plan. ‘And we need a rescue plan. ‘This is a – it’s...
TAMILNET reports that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil eelam (LTTE) clashed last Thursday at around 2.00 am for nearly half an hour. Kodikaamam police said it recovered on Thursday a body of a male, who was caught in a landmine explosion in the...
REPUBLICAN representatives walked out of the crisis talks with President Bush on Thursday night, denouncing him as a socialist for launching his $700 bn plan to bail out the US banks with the state taking over their debts. The Democrats meanwhile said that while they supported the Bush bail...
THE US president George Bush has been so frightened at the prospect of a 1929 collapse and a 1930s depression gripping the US that he has sought to enlist the support of the US people to pressure the US Senate to approve his $700 billion plan to nationalise the...
Prime minister Brown met Wall Street fund managers yesterday, officially for talks on how best to protect savings and pensions during the current global economic crisis. It followed meetings in New York earlier in the week with other world leaders, where he made the case for the global regulation...
The US is retreating from an attack on Iran, says an article in Iran’s newspaper Jaam-e Jam, published last Tuesday. It reports: ‘The Israeli Haretz newspaper, (13th issue) writes that the US is damaging Israel’s logistic preparations for an attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations. ‘The US is not willing for...
A FEW WEEKS ago the US Secretary of Defence, Gates, was accused of trying to corral the British government into sending more troops to Afghanistan when he announced that he expected it to do this in the near future. The Defence Minister Des Browne responded that there were no...
Communication Workers Union members are angry that Royal Mail Group has taken Executive Action to replace postal workers’ final salary scheme with an inferior CARE (Career Averaged Revalued Earnings) scheme. Workers are also angered by imposed plans which mean they will not be able to receive their full pension for...
THE commander of British forces in Afghanistan yesterday said he needs double the number of soldiers in Helmand Province to cope with the increasingly tough fight against the Taleban. Brigadier Mark Carlton-Smith told Sky News: ‘We have 4,000 soldiers in Helmand, the country’s most populous and largest province. I need...
‘I want to talk to you about a new settlement for new times. A fair Britain for the new age. . . my unwavering focus is taking this country through the challenging economic circumstances we face and building the fair society of the future.’ Brown concedes that the UK...
‘They are trying to destroy our home life with no discussion. It’s back to the bad old days – at the beck and call of the managers. They think they are gods!’ Striking Romec worker and CWU member Jim Morrison was speaking on the picket line outside Portcullis House in...
Prime Minister Brown yesterday revealed he has no policies to deal with the economic crisis in the interests of workers. In his keynote address to the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, he admitted: ‘I know people have real concerns about the future of the country, the future of the economy...
More than 800 postal workers from across the country marched on the Labour Party conference in Manchester on Monday. They were joined by disabled Remploy workers already hit by a mass closure programme being implemented at the government-run company. Earlier in the day, GMB members demonstrated outside Marks and Spencer in...
YESTERDAY at the Labour Party conference the leaders who not so long ago announced to the world that they had conquered the essential tendency of capitalism to go from boom to bust and vice versa were forced to admit that they were wrong. Chancellor Darling, the Prime Minister’s...
OUTGOING Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the dream of a ‘greater Israel’ was over, a day after settlers raided the Palestinian village of Assira Qabaliya, in the northern West Bank, causing extensive damage and wounding several people, in what was a reprisal attack. ‘There will be no pogroms...

de Menezes Inquest Begins

‘Today is the first day of the process which will hopefully bring my family closer to the truth,’ cousin of Jean Charles De Menezes, Patricia da Silva Armani said in a short statement outside the Oval, where the young Brazilian’s inquest is taking place. Standing with cousins Alex and Alessandro...
MORE than 800 postal workers from all parts of the country, from Plymouth to Scotland, marched on the Labour Party conference in Manchester yesterday lunchtime. They were joined by some members of the GMB fighting the closure of the Remploy factories for the disabled. Led by the Lothian Scots Pipe Band,...
ON 22nd July 2005, Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent member of the public, was killed by Metropolitan Police officers in a grotesque and very public fashion. No one has been held accountable for his death. Today, as the inquest into his death opens, Jean’s family will...
THOUSANDS of trade unionists – including members of Unite, the GMB and the CWU postal workers’ union – will demonstrate in Manchester today at the Labour Party conference. Millions of union members are angry at PM Brown’s determination to march hand in hand with President Bush in bailing out the...
THOUSANDS of trade unionists will be marching in Manchester today to the Labour Party conference to protest at the ‘breadline wages’ that public sector workers are being paid by a Labour government which has been 11 years in office. Derek Simpson, Unite joint general secretary, said earlier this week: ‘Our...
BOTH Wall Street and the London stock markets made record advances yesterday. The FTSE 100 index rocketed upwards on Friday morning adding £80billion to share prices. This was after the record Wall Street advance of Thursday evening (+ 410 pts), achieved after a meeting between the Federal Reserve and Bush administration...
BRITISH Airways workers are being threatened again that they will either have to work longer or pay more to maintain the value of their pensions. It was announced yesterday that the two BA pension funds sank further into deficit last year, with the total shortfall now amounting to £1.7 billion. BA...
SOUTH Africa’s trade union federation COSATU has said the deal signed on Monday by Zimbabwe’s political rivals ‘marks a dangerous spread of the Kenyan virus,’ that sends a message to dictators that they can defy the will of the people. The Zimbabwean deal will see Robert Mugabe remain as President,...
‘IT seems to me that bank workers are treated as second-class citizens as though their jobs don’t matter.’ This is what Ged Nichols, general secretary of TUC-affiliated banking union Accord, told News Line yesterday afternoon after PM Brown and Chancellor Darling ok’d mass sackings and branch closures at the merged...
ONCE AGAIN the Labour Party leadership of Brown and Darling have shown where their class allegiance lies – and at great cost to the working class. On Wednesday evening they insisted that all regulatory scruples concerning branch and call centre closures, huge job losses, or the impact on competition of...
THE LEADER of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has delivered a revealing analysis of the current political situation and spoke candidly about his organisation’s increasing influence at a meeting of the Islamic Resistance Support Association last Tuesday. Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that the Americans and the Israelis...
THE Federal Reserve Bank’s $85bn ‘rescue’ of AIG was carried out to stave off an immediate international financial and business collapse. It has turned the USA itself into the lender of last resort, the financial guarantor of US, and behind it world capitalism, and is creating the conditions, as...
The inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes will begin next Monday 22nd September at 10am at the Oval Cricket Ground, The Brit Oval, Kennington, London, SE11 5SS. It will be running from Monday to Thursday every week and is expected to last three months. The inquest is the...
Responding to yesterday’s unemployment figures, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Today’s figures show that unemployment is starting to accelerate and it now looks very likely that total unemployment will reach two million during 2009. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday the number of people out...
SHARE price collapses continued yesterday after the bankrupting of the fourth largest US investment bank, Lehman Brothers, and the ‘rescue’ of Merrill Lynch by the Bank of America. European stocks fell again; with the the UK’s FTSE falling 210 points by 1pm, below 5,000 points for the first...
QUEUES formed around the Singapore offices of an AIG subsidiary yesterday, as the world’s biggest insurance company collapsed, losing 70% of its share price. At the same time Britain’s biggest bank, HBOS, crashed 35%. The world stock markets were in freefall, after the bankruptcy of the fourth largest US bank Lehman...
HISTORY has shown that there is not a military solution to the struggle taking place in Sri Lanka, says a Tamil politician, in an interview reported by Tamil Net. Responding to a question on a year-end deadline set by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to defeat the LTTE (Liberation...
LEHMAN Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two pillars of the capitalist world’s banking system, have gone. The first declared bankruptcy, after the US Federal Reserve Bank and administration refused to mount a rescue operation to bail it out. The second avoided bankruptcy by the Bank of America agreeing to merge with...
Wall Street shares fell 2.4% when trading opened in New York yesterday, in the midst of the financial turmoil caused by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. The benchmark Dow Jones index dropped almost 267.8 points at 11,154.2, while the broader S&P and technology-heavy Nasdaq indices sank too. The UK’s FTSE...
TWO thousand more jobs will go in Renault plants Europe-wide and 900 of them will be in France; the automobile manufacturer will announce the details on Thursday, September 18th. These cuts are in addition to those announced last Tuesday, September 9th and are part of the same long-trailed, major...
THE Cheltenham-based electronic spying agency, GCHQ, recorded mobile phone exchanges between the Omagh bombers on the day of the attack in 1998. The calls were monitored as the bombers, from the breakaway movement the Real IRA, drove the car bomb into the County Tyrone town. The bomb blast, on...
CALLS for a Labour Party leadership election were condemned by UNITE union Joint General Secretary Tony Woodley yesterday. ‘I’ll back the prime minister until we see he is not acting in the best interest of our country,’ Woodley told Sky TV, adding: ‘I think at the moment he’s doing his...
TONY Woodley, the Unite joint general secretary, has stepped into the row over the demand for a Labour Party leadership debate and a leadership election, by announcing yesterday that one would not be taking place. He meant that the still considerable trade union bloc vote at the forthcoming Labour...