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Monthly Archives: November 2008

GERMANY, the world’s biggest exporter of commodities, and the strong man of the EU, has begun to slump with government figures showing that its economy contracted by 0.5% in the third quarter. This is after a 0.4% contraction in the second quarter. Orders for German goods fell by 8%...
‘The newly unemployed face a bigger cut in their living standards in this recession than those who lost their jobs under the previous government’, the TUC said on Wednesday in a call to the government to increase unemployment benefits in next week’s Pre-Budget Report. The TUC believes that increasing...
Official figures out yesterday showed that UK unemployment has hit an 11-year high, with the number of people out of work in the three months to September soaring by 140,000 to 1.82 million. The unemployment rate rose to 5.8%, up from 5.4% in the previous quarter, according to the Office...
PALESTINIAN President Mahmud Abbas’ comments during a memorial ceremony for the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat were slammed as an ‘attempt at incitement’ by Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Tuesday. Abbas had used the speech that afternoon to condemn Hamas for ‘thwarting’ both the Yemeni initiative and the Egyptian...
The Bank of England governor Mervyn King yesterday admitted that the UK entered a recession in the middle of 2008. Stunned by the slump, the former champion of the struggle against inflation said: ‘We are certainly prepared to cut the bank rate again if that becomes necessary.’ The city...
CWU postal workers and their families are marching through Bletchley, Milton Keynes on Saturday, against the planned closure of the Mail Centre. Paul Moffat, CWU Eastern Regional Secretary, said yesterday: ‘The Milton Keynes Mail Centre directly employs around 600 people and all of these jobs are threatened by Royal...
GLOBAL action to save the motor industry from crisis, and above all to stave off bankruptcy at General Motors, has been urged by Unite joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, in a meeting with business secretary Peter Mandelson on Monday. ‘General Motors is running out of money as a result of...
Dear friends, THE ugly faces of occupation from two houses demolished in Silwan, Jerusalem last week. Two other houses were destroyed the same day in Jerusalem. Yesterday, the Al Kurd family was evicted. Some diplomats were there, many stayed away. Some UN representatives were there, many stayed away. Some NGOs were there,...
See photo gallery for feature by Mats Svensson of demolition of two houses in Silwan, Jerusalem last week
CONSTRUCTION union UCATT has labelled proposals by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), to end secure tenancies and all other current council tenancies in favour of means tested, fixed term tenancies for all council tenants, as dangerous and ill thought out. The government confirmed to News Line yesterday that housing...
FOR SOME time Labour has been promoting the theme that the very idea of a job for life is reactionary, and has been glorifying its theory of ‘globalisation’. This is that, if an employer can find workers anywhere in the world who will accept less money and work for...
BY JOHN COULTER, IRISH POLITICAL JOURNALIST THE current Stormont impasse which has politically crippled the Northern power-sharing Executive for almost five months deepened this week when Sinn Fein questioned DUP First Minister Peter Robinson’s ability to lead Unionism. The major hard-hitting republican policy statement was issued by Sinn Fein’s Northern MEP...

Firefighters Deaths Rise

Firefighters from every station in Hertfordshire are joining a national rally and lobby of Parliament in Westminster on Wednesday, 12 November. They are urging politicians to take action following research which has found a growing number of firefighter fatalities. Eight firefighters were killed in 2007, the worst figure in 30 years. Twenty-two...
GENERAL Petraeus is now the commander of all NATO forces in Afghanistan, and has declared that he intends to organise a NATO ‘surge’ in that country, following the example of the US ‘surge’ in Iraq. The Petraeus plan coincides with the chosen policy of President-elect, Barack Obama. Both are agreed...
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s claim that people ‘just can’t wait’ to get ID cards has been rubbished by campaign group NO2ID. NO2ID national coordinator Phil Booth said on Friday her remarks, made on Thursday, ‘beggared belief’ and would ‘come back to haunt her’. Announcing the first roll-out of ID cards, Smith...
US president-elect Barack Obama discussed the financial crisis and other big problems with world leaders yesterday. He spoke by telephone with the leaders of Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. The financial crisis, the Afghanistan war, climate change and the North Korean and...
YESTERDAY afternoon Barack Obama was in discussion with his economic advisers and with his allies as the crisis of US imperialism intensified on the back of Thursday’s 430 point crash on Wall Street, making for a 10 per cent share price loss in just two days. With just over 70...
‘STOP evictions from Heygate estate!’ demanded a picket by Heygate tenants and the South-East London Council of Action, outside Southwark Town Hall last Wednesday night. Tenants held placards demanding things like ‘Homes before Profits’ next to the Council of Action banner, which declared: ‘We’re not moving!’ Some local Labour councillors, under...
A realisation of the depth of the slump, yesterday drove the Bank of England to make a panic 1.5% cut in interest rates to 3%, its lowest since 1955. Up till now the B of E position has been that it was there to defend the currency and the...
BARACK OBAMA has just been elected by an explosion of popular support and anger that has united the working class and brought the majority of the diverse US population together in a historic fashion. This support and anger is the product of the desperate worldwide economic and political crisis of...
THE American trade unions, who invested heavily in Barack Obama’s election campaign, have called on the newly-elected US president to give a voice to working-class people. They called on him to protect jobs, pass legislation to enable them to have unhindered, free collective bargaining with employers, for their families to...
BARACK Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, was elected the 44th President of the United States of America on Tuesday, with an overwhelming vote giving him 349 electoral college votes and only 162 for his Republican Party rival John McCain, with most votes counted. The Democrats also made major gains in...
OPERATIONS commander, Cressida Dick, gave ‘ambiguous’ orders in the run-up to the police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, the inquest into his death heard yesterday. Ex-Met Police deputy assistant commissioner, Brian Paddick, was questioned by Michael Mansfield QC, representing the de Menezes family, about an order given by Cressida...
American trade unions who campaigned for Barack Obama’s landslide election victory, yesterday told the new US president to keep his promises to working families. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Andy Stern said in a statement: ‘Starting tonight, we will work with our elected leaders to establish a clear agenda...
A NINETY-children-to-a-class City Academy, where three-hour lessons are the norm, has been roundly condemned by leading anti-academy campaigner and NUT and ATL Executive member Hank Roberts, who called for industrial action to smash the Academy programme. The RSA Academy in Tipton, West Midlands, which will have five-terms-a-year, a longer school...
LABOUR’S Health Secretary Alan Johnson announced plans yesterday to allow well-off patients to make so-called ‘co-payments’ for drugs and extra treatments, while still receiving care provided by the National Health Service. Speaking about the work of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) he said it would have ‘greater flexibility,...
A proposed US-Iraq security pact states that anyone detained by the Americans must be handed over to the Iraqis within 24 hours, says UN agency IRIN. However, local and international NGOs have expressed concern over a clause in the proposed US-Iraq security agreement that would allow the transfer of all detainees...
A Tube driver risked getting electrocuted and fled into a tunnel at Stockwell station because he was terrified that ‘fanatics’ had shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, the young Brazilian’s inquest heard yesterday. De Menezes had seven bullets fired into his head by Metropolitan Police firearms officers at point-blank range...
Forty-six Renault workers from the sackings-hit Sandouville plant were before a court in Le Havre last Thursday, October 30. They were taken to court by the management of the company following events which took place on October 13-14 during an anti-sackings and short-time protest blockade of the factory. The advocate for...
Firearms and surveillance officers hunting down Jean Charles de Menezes were ‘out of control’ when he was shot dead at Stockwell Tube station, a fellow passenger told his inquest yesterday. Police claimed they mistook the innocent young Brazilian for suspected suicide bomber Hussein Osman. Anna Dunwoodie, who was sitting two seats...
The Unite trade union yesterday urged Lloyds TSB and HBOS ‘to start thinking about the human consequences of this takeover’. It was responding to a Lloyds statement that its acquisition of HBOS would save a more than expected £1.5bn a year, raising fears of 40,000 job losses. Both...
LLOYDS stated yesterday that its takeover of HBOS would save it at least £1.5bn a year, more than it had been expecting, which all adds up to 40,000 sackings of bankworkers at the hands of bankers who are living off state aid like the parasites of the century. In fact,...
‘Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is like a poster girl promoting migration of Filipinos in the name of dollar remittances, at the expense of the poor’, the Secretary-General, of the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), Philippines said yesterday. ‘The Arroyo Government and the first world treat the Filipino families and the Overseas Filipino...
BY JOHN COULTER, IRISH POLITICAL JOURNALIST Sinn Féin and families of the victims of British state violence, yesterday held their rally in opposition to the British army’s military parade through Belfast city centre. Both sides in the dispute avoided a serious confrontation when Sinn Féin changed the route of its...
AT the same time as the Brown government continues to spend hundreds of billions to ‘preserve’ the bankers and the capitalist system, his government is set to claw this expenditure back off the working class and the poor, by imposing draconian cuts on government services, deliberately hitting the...
ISMAIL Haniya, the prime minister of the Hamas-run de facto government in Gaza, pledged to release all political prisoners on Thursday, and called on the Fatah-controlled government in the West Bank to do the same. Seventeen prisoners, including Fatah’s secretary general of Gaza region, Abu Juda An-Nahhal, were released on...
Lawyers for Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed yesterday welcomed news that the UK government has referred his case to the Attorney General. The Home Office is requesting a full investigation of his torture and rendition by the CIA, with a view to bringing prosecutions against the perpetrators of these crimes where...
Russia’s super-rich oligarchs, who made their fortunes by stealing or purchasing for a pittance chunks of the Soviet nationalised and planned economy under the patronage of Boris Yeltsin, have been brought down to earth with a crash by the capitalist crisis, and the capitalist system that they chose to...