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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Keep Whittington Open!

Over 300 people rallied outside the Whittington Hospital, north London, yesterday lunchtime, against the closure of the hospital’s A&E and maternity departments. Organisers ‘Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition’ presented the occasion as a victory rally, on the basis of a statement by Health Secretary Andy Burnham, that it ‘is inconceivable...
AFTER the killing and torture of Baha Mousa in Iraq was supplemented by a court martial that refused to convict those responsible for his murder (he sustained 93 injuries), the name of the British army and its reputation stinks. However, Baha Mousa was only one of a number of Iraqi...
ONCE again, Scud missiles and Hezbollah’s military capabilities seem to be the chief concern for the US administration and Israeli government. Though two US officials said last week there were ‘no indications’ any Scud rockets were transported into Lebanon, however Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said on Tuesday that Syria...
PALESTINIAN Authority President, Mahmud Abbas on Monday declared his willingness to work with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, adding that he hoped to get Arab League approval for indirect proximity talks on May 1st. This is despite the fact that the orders for the eviction of Palestinian ‘infiltrators’ in the...
A LIVELY North East London Council of Action monthly picket of Chase Farm Hospital won big support yesterday for its determination to keep the hospital open at all costs. Anna Athow, who is the WRP parliamentary candidate, also won great support for her stand that an occupation must be organised...
Over five thousand public sector workers marched through the Athens city centre last Tuesday evening against the government’s appeal to the IMF. Throughout the militant march workers shouted slogans against the ‘junta of the IMF’ and demanded that ‘the rich should pay for the crisis’. When the march reached the Vouli...

KEEP NHS A&Es OPEN!

The College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) yesterday warned that is it misguided to downgrade or close hospital Accident and Emergency departments. The college stressed that ‘recent reports have confirmed that patients do not attend Emergency Departments (EDs) inappropriately. ‘Expensive new initiatives such as walk-in and urgent care centres aimed at moving...
THE future of Sheltered Housing Schemes is in danger, unless the government acts to stop their funding being cut, the UK Pensioners Strategy Committee is warning. Betty Martin, co-chair of the UK Pensioners Strategy Committee, has written to Prime Minister Gordon Brown asking him for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer...
THE Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) today released the report of Commander Cass into the events surrounding the death of Blair Peach in Southall, west London, on April 23 1979, concluding that ‘a police officer is likely to have struck the fatal blow’. The report comes 31 years too late and...
A LIVELY North East London Council of Action monthly picket of Chase Farm Hospital won big support yesterday for its determination to keep the hospital open at all costs. Anna Athow, who is the WRP parliamentary candidate, also won great support for her stand that an occupation must be...
‘We always said that Blair had been killed by a policeman. I feel that we’ve really been vindicated,’ Celia Stubbs, the partner of Blair Peach, said yesterday. Celia was reacting to the publication yesterday of the Cass Metropolitan Police Report on the death of New Zealand-born Blair Peach, who had...
ANGRY tenants still living on the Heygate Estate in south-east London say the shutdown of the hot water and heating system last Friday is part of an ongoing campaign to destroy the estate and hand over the land to private developers. They are ‘incredulous’ and ‘flabbergasted’ by the latest letter...

Hamas Leader Killed

ISRAELI forces besieged the home of a prominent Hamas fighter on Monday morning in Beit Awwa, southern Hebron, and later killed him, witnesses said. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli soldiers were seen taking Ali Sweiti’s body after demolishing the home of his wife’s sister, where he was believed to be hiding. Meanwhile,...
THE crisis of the European Union sharpened yesterday when the German Finance Minister warned the Greek bourgeoisie that it would not get access to its 40bn euros ‘aid package’ until it forced much bigger economic sacrifices onto the Greek workers. Days before this German ‘threat’ the Greek ‘socialist’ Premier...
Enfield North WRP election candidate Anna Athow and her campaign team received a big response on the High Street yesterday. Anna, a consultant surgeon, has for the last three years campaigned around the clock to keep Chase Farm Hospital open and her stand is appreciated by local people. Student Marcus Burke...
‘THIS situation cannot be allowed to continue,’ GMB national officer Sharon Holder told News Line yesterday in response to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List which showed that the collective wealth of the UK’s 1,000 richest people soared by 30 per cent. The richest bourgeois increased their wealth by over...
THE just published survey of the NHS, carried out for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) trade union, found that 90 per cent of those surveyed had no idea of the scale of the cuts that are to be carried out in the NHS in the next three years. This...
SUPPORT is growing for the Workers Revolutionary Party candidates standing in the general election. In south London on Saturday, many new recruits were made, especially amongst young people who signed up to join the WRP and the Young Socialists. Joshua Ogunleye, Young Socialists National Committee member and WRP candidate for Camberwell...
THE US government allows foreign citizens into the US in significant numbers ‘for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit’. In the past, the beneficiaries of this so-called ‘humanitarian parole’ have been thousands of refugees from Indochina, Cuba and other countries during the cold war, most fleeing Stalinist regimes. So...
THE UK capitalist economy is staggering along the bottom with a three month ‘growth’ to show, from January to March, of 0.2 per cent. The last quarter of 2009 saw a GDP growth of 0.4 per cent – revised up from an initial estimate of 0.1 per cent. This slight...

WRP candidate excluded

GABRIEL Polley, WRP candidate for Norwich South was prevented from speaking at the Election hustings at the University of East Anglia last Thursday. Gabriel is a student at UEA and President of the YSSS branch. The meeting was called by the UEA students union. Speaking were Labour MP Charles Clarke,...
DOCTORS, nurses, staff and patients alike are furious at the major staff cuts and proposed further funding cuts affecting the hospitals in the Manchester area. Workers spoke out yesterday and gave their support to the campaign to elect the WRP candidate for Manchester Central, Jonty Leff. A hospital worker, George Battenbourg,...
ATHENS – Thousands of Greek seafarers supported by other workers as well as students blockaded, from early on Wednesday morning, the ships and ferries in the Piraeus port of the capital Athens. It was the start of a two-day national strike against the Greek government’s barbaric austerity measures. The two-day...
ACCORDING to Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, Greece has a much bigger budget deficit than that reported by the Greek government last year. New data from the Greek government shows a deficit of 13.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), against the 12.7 per cent that...
Following a successful ballot of both unions’ leadership members, the NUT and NAHT executives have decided that the boycott of this year’s SATs will go ahead. Clear majorities in both unions voted to support action. This is categorically not strike action. Schools will be open and children will be taught. Members taking...
‘GORDON BROWN hear us say – our contracts are here to stay! shouted eighty Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members and officials outside the High Court yesterday morning. The demonstration marked the first day of a legal challenge by the union to have the government’s move to rip...

43,000 Jobless Rise!

The number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 43,000 to 2.5 million during the three months to February, its highest level since 1994, official figures showed yesterday. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed youth unemployment rising, with 929,000 16 to 24-year-olds out of work in the...
THE number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 43,000 to 2.5 million during the three months to February, the highest figure since 1994. The rate of unemployment now stands at 8 per cent – the highest since 1996. However, the total number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell in...
A STRIKE by all three teacher unions, the ATL, NASUWT and NUT, took place yesterday at Crest Boys’ Academy in Neasden and the school was closed for the day. The dispute centres on a broken promise made to staff that there would be no redundancies made by E-Act on the...
Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that Israel was on its way to collapse, as Iran’s military displayed a range of home-built drones and missiles at the annual Army Day parade. In a speech marking the event, the president also reiterated his view that the presence of foreign forces...
‘THE working class is tired of listening to the lies put forward by the ruling class politicians,’ said Workers Revolutionary Party candidate Gabriel Polley, at the PCS union’s election hustings in Norwich South on Monday evening. He added that the working class knows ‘that the ruling class is only interested...
THE Unite union is warning that workers must not be expected to meet the costs of the disruption brought by the erupting Icelandic volcano. The union stated yesterday that ‘With the COBRA committee developing plans to repatriate UK nationals home and airlines seeking emergency aid to bridge the heavy...

Inflation Lets Rip!

Inflation rose to 4.8 per cent in March, according to the latest RPIX index – which includes all items excluding mortgage interest payments. The latest figure represents a 0.6 per cent jump in the annual rate of inflation compared to February, when RPIX inflation was running at 4.2 per cent. One...
THE UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate rose sharply to 3.4% in March from 3% the month before, official figures show. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation rate, which includes housing costs, also rose sharply to 4.4% in March from 3.7%. The RPIX inflation rate which excludes mortgage...
YESTERDAY BALPA, the pilots’ union, sounded the alarm at the crisis of the major airlines. This has been immeasurably sharpened by the eruption and continuing activity of the Icelandic Eyjafjallajoekull volcano, whose belching of sulphur-laden ash has turned Europe into a no-fly zone. BALPA spelt out the situation stating that ‘A...
‘WE will build alliances needed to fight future attacks’ Dave Prentis, the Unison leader, told its Health Conference in Brighton yesterday. Addressing health workers, including nurses, paramedics, therapists, hospital porters, cleaners and midwives from across the UK, he issued a warning to all political parties that the NHS is not...
Sri Lanka has been accused of setting a ‘precedent for an internationally acceptable genocide model’, TamilNet reports. Kolathur T S Mani, president of Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, made the accusation during a conference at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi entitled ‘Unspoken Genocide: Convention on War Crimes and Genocide in Sri...
BALPA the pilots trade union yesterday called on the government to rescue the air industry with the ‘same approach that kept the banks afloat’. It states ‘A number of airlines are now staring bankruptcy in the face and if their aircraft are subsequently grounded tens of thousands of people...
‘MORE and more leverage in the system. The whole building is about to collapse anytime now. . . Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab. . . standing in the middle of all those complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades that he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications...
Jordan’s King Abdullah II has warned of the danger of a ‘summer war’ in the Middle East, should an upcoming Arab summit on the Middle East ‘peace process’ prove futile. Speaking to the media, the Jordanian king said that a meeting of Arab countries will be held in July to...
Two judges will today hear allegations that the British government has been knowingly complicit, for a number of years, in the torture of British-arrested prisoners by the Afghan secret police. The judicial review case has been brought by Maya Evans, the prominent peace-campaigner, challenging the British government’s policy of handing...
THE Israeli army announced Saturday that the West Bank will be sealed off from midnight until Tuesday, ahead of Israeli Independence Day. A statement from Israel’s military said: ‘a general closure will be implemented in the Judea and Samaria region (the West Bank) for the duration of Israel’s Memorial day...
Head teachers have voted overwhelmingly to boycott SATs tests, which unions condemned as ‘focusing on failure’. Teaching unions are also deeply opposed to the league tables drawn up from the results of the tests. Margaret Morrissey of the Parents Outloud website said: ‘We fully support the teacher unions’ vote to boycott...
THE number of US workers signing up for unemployment benefits and leaving non-farming payrolls has risen sharply for the second consecutive week. The US Labour Department reported that new claims for jobless benefits increased by 24,000, to a seasonally adjusted figure of 484,000, in the week ending April 10. This...
SYRIA strongly denied on Thursday Israeli accusations that it has been delivering Scud missiles to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. ‘For some time now, Israel has been running a campaign claiming that Syria has been supplying Hezbollah with Scud missiles in Lebanon,’ a foreign ministry statement said. ‘Syria...