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Monthly Archives: October 2008

TAMILNET reports that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Vavuniyaa has held back for weeks a vehicle bringing 52 oxygen cylinders from Colombo to Ki’linochchi public hospital. These are urgently needed to save the lives of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are increasingly subjected to indiscriminate shelling, air attacks and...
The firearms police who shot Jean Charles de Menezes dead in a tube carriage at Stockwell ‘gave no warning’, a passenger on the train told the inquest into the death of the young Brazilian yesterday. Firearms officers claimed there were several warning shouts of ‘armed police’ before shots were fired,...
THE International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a damning report that millions of Iraqis’ lives are threatened by foul water and diseases such as cholera and dysentery, five years after the 2003 US-UK invasion of that country that carried through a regime change after a shock and...
MORE THAN 4,000 council staff at Hammersmith and Fulham have been threatened with the sack unless they agree draconian cuts to their wages, and terms and conditions of service. In the advance notice of redundancy sent to UNISON on October 17th, the Tory council made it clear that any staff...
BY JOHN COULTER, Irish political journalist ANY serious trouble at this Sunday’s proposed ‘Home Coming’ British army parade and republican counter demonstrations in Belfast city centre could send the North back to the brink of civil war. Political temperatures are rising rapidly in the two religious communities ahead of Sunday 2...
THE ‘Home Coming’ British Army ‘welcome home’ parade being mounted in the centre of Belfast this Sunday, in which a number of British army regiments are due to take part, complete with a fly past, is a massive and consciously prepared provocation designed to sharpen the antagonisms between the...
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún and MLA for West Belfast Jennifer McCann were joined by family members, who have lost loved ones at the hands of the British Army, in calling for the British Ministry of Defence to cancel the British army parade planned for Belfast on Sunday...
Health workers across the NHS are facing severe hardship due to the current economic crisis and the effect of a below inflation pay deal, said a joint unions statement on Monday. With inflation running at a 16-year high, NHS unions have joined forces to press the government to reopen pay...
THE world’s banks have now lost £1.8 trillion the Bank of England has reported in its Financial Stability Report. This is as a result of the continuing economic crisis, which began with the unlimited and unrestrained lending by banks, and culminated in their bankruptcy, via the US sub-prime mortgage...
‘WE’RE having a good picket today, with plenty of support for an occupation of Chase Farm Hospital,’ said Bill Rogers, North-East London Council of Action secretary, yesterday. Speaking outside the hospital, he continued: ‘Today’s is our 18th monthly picket organised by the Council of Action, and we want people to...
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown yesterday pledged to a gathering of businessmen in London to ‘intensify’ the government’s attacks on the Welfare State, whilst continuing to give the banks ‘whatever’s necessary’. Brown said that he couldn’t promise to keep anyone in their current job, telling the gathering: ‘What’s happening at the...
THE government is activating a mass hospital closure programme. 30 to 40 ‘failing’ NHS trusts could be handed over to new management, which could include private sector companies, said the press yesterday (News Line 27-10-2008) 18 hospital trusts, 13 PCTs and three ambulance trusts have been identified as being most...
SYRIA has protested angrily to both the US and Iraq after a terror raid by four US helicopters inside its territory killed eight Syrian civilians, four of them children, in an attack on a farm in the Abu Kamal border area. Syria summoned US and Iraqi puppet envoys...
OVER 300 United Families and Friends campaigners marched from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street to demand justice for their loved ones, who have died at the hands of the state. Flowers were laid at the gates of Downing Street to commemorate loved ones. Marchers carried a huge banner carrying the names...
THE worldwide capitalist crisis drove the pound down on Friday into an unprecedented collapse. The pound slumped 9.6 US cents to $1.52 at one stage, after official figures showed that the British economy had contracted into recession by a far bigger than expected 0.5 per cent in the...

NHS Hit List!

The British Medical Association (BMA) yesterday slammed the government for ‘treating health care like a business opportunity’. It was responding to news that the government is drawing up a list of as many as 30 to 40 ‘under-performing’ NHS hospitals and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with the threat that if...
Up to 700 Crewe postal workers, their families and supporters braved the rain on Saturday for a march and rally in the town in protest against plans to close Crewe Mail Centre. Organised by Crewe Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) branch, it attracted support from branches across the country as well...
Hunger Directed by Steve McQueen Starring Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham and Liam Cunningham Specially reviewed at the London Film Festival and on general release later this month ‘HUNGER’ cuts out the melodrama and gets straight to the point about life for a Republican prisoner in the H-Blocks. Steve McQueen’s stated aim with his film...

Shares And £ Collapse

Share prices and the pound were battered yesterday after the publication of official figures showed that the UK economy shrank for the first time in 16 years between July and September. In a bigger than expected drop, output fell by a huge 0.5%, according to the Office...
THE London and New York stock markets were in free fall yesterday, losing hundreds of points, with tens of billions of dollars and pounds lost in the crash. Bank shares were also collapsing with HBOS and Barclays leading the way with 19% and 14% falls in their respective share...
ONE in four South Africans are unemployed, and poverty is rife eighteen years after the release of Nelson Mandela and 14 years after he became president of South Africa. A former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town yesterday described poverty in South Africa as being worse than ever and now...
Rail union RMT yesterday renewed its call for a joint public inquiry into the Grayrigg and Potters Bar rail crashes and a reversal of maintenance spending cuts. This came after the publication of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into the Grayrigg derailment. The union said: ‘RMT notes that the...
OVER 150 Chagos Islanders and their supporters – including a delegation of Chagossians who had flown from Mauritius – were at the House of Lords on Tuesday morning, to hear the Law Lords judgement on their right to return home. They were dismayed and angry when they were told the...
‘WE WILL return to the Chagos Islands – it’s our right!’, ‘We will return to Diego Garcia – it’s our right!’ shouted more than 100 Chagos Islanders and their supporters, as they marched from the House of Lords to a picket outside Downing Street yesterday. Their angry demonstration followed a...
THE House of Lords appeal court yesterday reversed the three decisions taken by seven senior judges, in previous court hearings, that the Chagos Islanders have the right to return to their homeland, from which they were evicted with the utmost brutality by British imperialism, so that Diego Garcia could...
THE Greek working class delivered a most powerful notice to all concerned last Tuesday with a militant 24-hour general strike called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) against the policies of the current right-wing government. In the capital Athens, over 40,000 workers and youth took part in three different rallies...
Nissan announced a halt to production at its Sunderland plant for a fortnight and shorter working days for three weeks during October and November yesterday, after a fall in sales of its Micra and Note models. The company claimed that the jobs of the 5,100 workers on permanent contracts...
AFTER actively assisting in the creation of trillions of debt, and showing its contempt for the concept of value by selling almost half of the Bank of England’s gold reserves for a relative pittance in paper currencies, the Labour government, led by Gordon Brown, is seeking to solve the...
‘HEYGATE estate – not for sale!’, ‘Keep council housing!’, ‘Regeneration bullies – out!’ Those were the chants of more than 20 tenants and trade unionists at a picket by the South-East London Council of Action, outside the tenants Annual General Meeting on the threatened Heygate Estate on Monday night. Calling the...
TAMILNET reports that the French Tamil diaspora has been demonstrating, demanding ‘Allow us to speak’. ‘Allow us to speak! We are not terrorists. What is happening in Sri Lanka is genocide’. These were the voices of the thousands of Eezham Tamils who braved defying a government ban, and gathered in Paris...

Brown’s Record Deficit!

The UK government borrowed a record amount in September, in a bid to boost its finances, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published yesterday showed. The public sector had a net cash requirement of £12.65bn last month, compared with a deficit of £8.72bn in the same period a year...
AS the economic crisis deepens, the drive to privatise the NHS is being stepped up on a number of fronts. One is the growing practice of co-payments, which are banned under the NHS code of practice. An NHS hospital is not allowed to ‘mix and match’ between free NHS...
THE number of immigrants allowed into the UK under the current ‘points system’ will have to be reduced because of the economic crisis, and this is now an ‘extremely thorny’ issue according to Phil Woolas, Labour’s Immigration Minister. He added to the Sunday Times: ‘It’s been...
THE Abkhazian and South Ossetian parliaments have been unanimously granted permanent observer status at the 34th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia union state in Moscow. The MPs considered applications from the Abkhazian and South Ossetian parliaments. The discussion did not last long, and the MPs only had one...
Tuesday’s 24-hour general strike called by the GSEE (Greek TUC) against the government’s policies takes place in an explosive period. The world economic collapse has pushed Greek banks to the wall as the Athens stock exchange dived sharply last week. US investors are withdrawing funds out of Greece, so urgently needed...
US defence chief Robert Gates has been briefing US politicians on the proposal to extend the US mandate in Iraq. This expires this December 31 and the US is seeking to extend it to December 31, 2011. The plan would see over 100,000 US troops withdrawn from Iraq by...
Hundreds of thousands of civil servants, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), have voted overwhelmingly for strike action over pay. A PCS statement said yesterday that ‘a prolonged programme of industrial action, hitting civil and public services across the UK moved a step closer today.’ It added that...
CRS riot police were used against striking Meteo-France weather service workers who were picketing and blockading the organisation’s Toulouse site at 22.30 on Tuesday night, October 14. The CGT, CFDT, FO and Spasnet-Solidaires unions have launched a one week strike to defend weather service jobs, which began on Monday,...
The Brown government has pledged to do all it can to help recover public money held in failed Icelandic banks but has refused to guarantee the £858m local council deposits. Talks were continuing yesterday between local government minister John Healey and Local Government Association council leaders over ten councils facing...

Gmb Fights Victimisations

The GMB on Wednesday welcomed the reinstatement at Heathrow Airport’s Arora Hotel of ‘a father sacked for fulfiling family commitments’. GMB said the hotel management ‘have done the right thing’ as it celebrated the immediate reinstatement of GMB member Virgilio Teixira who was unfairly dismissed from his £20,000 a year...
WITH the world’s attention focussed on the capitalist crisis, the US military have unleashed a series of massive attacks on the Afghan and Pakistani people. Pakistani officials reported yesterday that a US drone has fired a missile in South Wazirstan, inside Pakistan, at a house inside the village of Sam,...
The number of UK unemployed rose by 164,000 between June and August, to 1.79 million, taking the official unemployment rate to 5.7% from 5.2% in the previous quarter, the biggest increase since the early 1990s. Jobseeker’s allowance claimants rose by 31,800 to 939,900 in September, up 104,900 over the...