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Monthly Archives: March 2009

DOCTORS in Wales yesterday called for doctors’ prescriptions to be made free to all patients in England. On the second anniversary of the abolition of prescription charges in Wales, Dr Richard Lewis, Welsh Secretary of the BMA, said extending free prescriptions to England was the best way forwards, rather than...
THE UNISON and Unite trade unions have split. The former has formed an alliance with the EU public sector trade unions ver.di and CGIL and a number of other EU public sector trade unions. The latter is forming an alliance with the bosses and the government. UNISON declared on the eve of...
UNISON and other EU public sector unions have formed an ‘historic alliance’. UNISON declared yesterday: ‘The fight back has begun. And UNISON is leading the way, together with ver.di and CGIL, its sister unions in Germany and Italy. ‘The three super-unions have formed an historic alliance that brings millions...
THE TUC’s ‘Put People First’ march on Saturday brought 50,000 workers and youth onto the streets marching behind powerful contingents from the GMB and the UNISON trade unions in particular. The march was international, with large contingents of workers from Belgium, France and Italy, with trade union leaders present from...
THE TUC-organised ‘Put People First’ march over jobs, justice and climate attracted up to 50,000 workers and young people in central London on Saturday. Trade unionists from other countries also joined the march with large delegations from France and Belgium where a delegation of over 100 attended. News Line spoke to...
50,000 youth and trade unionists marched against, poverty, unemployment, war and about climate change, tens of thousands more people are set to take to the streets of London on Wednesday and Thursday, when the G20 summit begins. Many thousands are expected to assemble outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor...
THE world renowned American civil rights leader and peace campaigner Jesse Jackson attended the World Tamils Forum in central London on Thursday, as the military campaign against the Tamil people in northern Sri Lanka continued to escalate. ‘We’re interested in trying to end violence, in a ceasefire, in co-existence not...
THe Liberal Democrats Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott has delivered a broadside against prime minister Brown and the secretive activities of Barclays Bank. He used parliamentary privilege on Thursday to say what newspapers have been banned from saying by an injunction won by Barclays. The press is, however, allowed to report his...
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) Dublin City Post Primary branch has called for the resignation of Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary David Begg over the calling off of Monday’s national strike. The branch’s meeting last Wednesday passed a motion of no confidence in the ICTU executive...
US President Barack Obama yesterday announced a further 4,000 US troops will be sent to Afghanistan this summer, in addition to the 17,000 earmarked last month to join the 38,000 already deployed. ‘The situation is increasingly perilous,’ Obama told a group of selected military and diplomatic officials. ‘It has been more...
PRESIDENT OBAMA yesterday announced a ‘comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan Pakistan’. He deliberately linked the two countries together, to try to show that there could be no victory in Afghanistan until the war was spread into Pakistan and millions of Pakistani workers taken on and defeated. Speaking ‘clearly and candidly’ Obama...
THE Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has ‘deferred’ the strike action it has called for March 30 following a government offer of talks. With many unions having already balloted for strike action, and without even the hint of any major concessions to the trade unions, the ICTU...
US capitalism really has got its back to the wall, and has somewhat lost its balance, when its Treasury Secretary, Geithner, says that he is ‘quite open’ to a Chinese suggestion for the development of a global reserve currency to replace the US dollar. It is the Chinese government’s purchasing...
Police are to investigate whether an MI5 officer was complicit in the torture of ex-Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed, it was announced yesterday. The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, said the probe would be ‘the appropriate course of action’. Mohamed, 30, a UK resident, said MI5 had prolonged his detention and torture...
With the March 30 general strike fast approaching Irish Prime Minister Cowen has invited the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to attend talks. The General Secretary of Congress, David Begg, welcomed the letter from the Taoiseach proposing talks aimed at achieving an integrated national response to the current...
Prime minister Brown yesterday attempted to play down reports of rifts with the Bank of England, and between the EU and the US on the best way to deal with the capitalist crisis. Speaking in New York, he said there was ‘far more agreement’ than had been claimed. At a...
PM Brown has reacted to the Bank of England chief’s public admonition that the next Budget must not plunge the UK into another flood of state debt, through ‘fiscal stimulus’. Brown responded by claiming that there was ‘far more agreement’ than had been claimed. BofE chief King is determined...
A British court has released some of the confidential material in the case of Binyam Mohamed. On Monday, the two British judges sitting on the case revealed how the US government tried to get him to sign an agreement stating that he had never been tortured, to promise not to...
WORKERS in Britain are now feeling the ‘benefits’ of the British government’s policy of printing money to rescue the banks while allowing the pound sterling to go to the wall. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation figure, which includes the fall in housing costs is showing zero or even minus...
food and drink inflation rose by a hefty 11.5 per cent on an annual basis last month, the Consumer Prices Index figures revealed yesterday, as the CPI index showed an increase of 3.2 per cent in February. The Retail Prices Index however fell to zero following the collapse of house...
PALESTINIAN leaders called on factions responsible for capturing Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to resist ‘Israeli pressure tactics’ aimed at forcing them to drop their demands. The remarks came at the opening event at a protest tent set up for Palestinian prisoners and amid calls for supporting Shalit’s captors and...
THE Labour government is continuing to pressurise NHS Trusts to become Foundation Trust businesses, and is continuing to force through the privatisation process. To become Foundation Trusts, NHS hospital managements are slashing their budgets by millions of pounds and closing down hundreds of nursing and other posts. This is the...
In a new attack on the NHS, the government is driving Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to implement so-called ‘World Class Commissioning’, which involves selling off existing local NHS services to form new ‘markets’ of competing providers. A new Department of Health ‘Cooperation and Competition Panel’ is being set up, which...
‘ROYAL Mail not for sale!’ shouted over 200 postal workers and their supporters as they marched through Corby last Friday. They were applauded as they marched through the town centre to the surgery of local MP Phil Hope behind a lead banner spelling out ‘Britain’s Postal Workers Say Keep The...
IRAN’S supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has welcomed President Obama’s change of rhetoric in relation to Iran but has however stated that what is necessary, if better relations are to be established between Iran and the US, are concrete policy changes. Khamenei asked: ‘Did you remove the sanctions? Did...
The National Union of Students has expressed concern over a huge increase in student hardship, with over 50 per cent of students working during term time to pay tuition fees, accommodation costs and food bills. The NUS was responding to a BBC survey of 18 UK universities, out of which...
The Metropolitan Police has agreed to pay £60,000 damages to IT analyst Babar Ahmad during a civil action hearing at the High Court which heard arresting officers subjected Tooting IT analyst Babar Ahmad to violent assaults and religious taunts. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is to investigate. In her opening statement,...
ISRAELI soldiers at a military academy have exposed the essence of the cold-blooded and murderous nature of the recent Israeli army onslaught into the Gaza Strip when 1,434 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed and 5,450 others wounded. Among the dead were 437 children, 110 women, 123 elderly men, 14...
ISRAELI forces slaughtered Palestinians, including women and children, during their Gaza onslaught, under rules of engagement drawn up by the military and approved by the political establishment that permitted them to do so. Soldiers’ testimonies made at the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military academy have appeared in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz detailing...
THE postal workers have the support of the mass of the British people, the public sector trade unions and the other trade unions making up the TUC, plus the 175 mainly Labour MPs who have signed Early Day Motion 428. The vast majority of the people are united that the...
ISRAELI forces seized Hamas leaders across the West Bank early on Thursday in an apparent attempt to pressure the group in the negotiations over the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. High-ranking Hamas leaders have reported that Israeli forces stormed the houses of Hamas leaders in...

Fe Colleges Disaster!

Further Education Colleges in England have indicated they face bankruptcy and disaster aftter their refurbishment programme has been halted. The colleges have lost up to £200m because of delays in getting the funding that was promised. Some 144 building projects which have already been started, leaving some colleges half...
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) are hosting a march and rally in Corby, Northamptonshire, today against the privatisation of Royal Mail. The March will begin at 1.30pm from the Corby Civic Centre to Labour junior minister Phil Hope MP’s monthly surgery. This will be followed by a Rally at the Corby...
‘We’re determined to stop the closure of Chase Farm Hospital A&E, Maternity and Paediatrics departments, we will occupy if they move to close them,’ North East London Council of Action secretary Bill Rogers told News Line on Tuesday. He was speaking at the Council of Action’s Second Anniversary picket of...
The Royal College of Nursing has described the Healthcare Commission’s investigation into emergency care at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust as ‘shocking’ and said that the poor standards of care at the Trust were a result of placing more importance in money saving measures than providing quality patient care. RCN...
UK unemployment has risen above two million for the first time since Labour came to office, official figures revealed yesterday. During the three months to January, the number of people unemployed totalled 2.03 million, up by 165,000, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). For February, the number of people getting...

Student Fees Anger!

the National Union of Students (NUS) is lobbying Parliament today against a threatened unlimited hike in university top up fees. The NUS has called the action after it emerged earlier this week that two thirds of vice-chancellors are calling for fees to be raised by between £4,000 and £20,000...
AFTER Blair and Brown abolished students’ grants and introduced a regime of fee paying for university education – putting an end to free university education – it was only a matter of time before the university chancellors demanded a massive hike in fees. Two thirds of university vice-chancellors have now...
NOVEMBER 1984 opened with a miners’ special delegate conference endorsing a plan to widen the dispute throughout the labour and trade union movement. That demand was growing throughout the working class as union after union fell foul of the Tory anti-trade union legislation. Nine unions at British Leyland car plants were...
Merseyside and North Yorkshire local authority pension funds are suing Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for compensation. The funds accuse RBS of withholding the extent of the bank’s problems before its government rescue last year. The legal action against RBS has been launched in the US. Other UK pension funds are said...
THE Chinese Stalinists are now paying an enormous price for linking their fate with that of US capitalism. First of all they declared parts of their Pacific coast to be Special Economic Zones, so that US imperialism in particular could exploit the Chinese working class producing cheap commodities for the...
TORY MP David Davies has called on ‘abusive protests’ against serving military personnel to be outlawed and intends to amend a parliamentary bill to outlaw ‘abuse’ of the military. He has been moved into action by a handful of Muslim demonstrators who held placards and yelled slogans as the Royal...
THE TUC National Congress held in Brighton during the first week of September 1984 was dominated by the miners’ strike. Miners from the Cortenwood pit in Yorkshire, whose proposed closure had sparked off the action, had marched for two weeks from Yorkshire to lobby the Congress. Inside the conference hall delegates...
‘If Royal Mail managers don’t back off we are going to have to ask our members again to take strike action,’ Communication Workers Union (CWU) Deputy General Secretary Dave Ward told a Keep The Post Office Public rally on Saturday. The packed rally came at the end of a 1,000-strong...
The Stop the War Coalition yesterday condemned amendments tabled by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies to the Policing and Crime Bill, currently going through parliament, that would make it an offence to ‘stir up hatred of uniformed military personnel on official duties’. ‘Such a law would be another step towards...