Home 2010 September

Monthly Archives: September 2010

YESTERDAY Europe shook as millions of Spanish workers took to the streets in a general strike, while over 100,000 workers from all over Europe marched through the streets of Brussels, against the bankers’ and bosses’ savage cuts and austerity programmes. In Greece and the Republic of Ireland...
ARTS technicians’ union BECTU’S submission to parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, ahead of October’s Comprehensive Spending Review, predicts ‘conflict’ over savage cuts planned for the arts. BECTU states: ‘We note the extremely serious nature of the possible future cuts in arts funding: • DCMS have asked the Arts Council England...

Gmb Fights Privatisation

Yesterday morning over 100 ambulance crew turned out to lobby the board of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust to warn them to stop the attempted privatisation of patient transport or face strike action. The GMB trade union alleges that the board’s preferred bidder, Savoy Ventures Ltd, is a...
TAMIL NET reports that the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in its latest report has urged the International Community and the United Nations to extend ‘rehabilitation’ donor support to Sri Lanka only on condition of compliance with international law and standards. The ICJ say that this is necessary given the...
FOLLOWING their previous threat of proceedings against the government, 34 Iraqi victims of hooding today issued judicial review proceedings against the government to challenge the ‘Consolidated Guidance to Intelligence Officers and Service Personnel’ announced by David Cameron in Parliament on 6 July 2010. The Guidance explicitly permits the...
THE new Labour Party leader Ed Miliband spelt out yesterday his intention to act as a tame and loyal leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, telling the trade unions that he won’t support them if they decide to call strikes against the Tory-LibDem Coalition’s savage spending cuts and that the...
A FRESH banking crisis is developing, with the credit ratings agency Moody’s reducing the Anglo-Irish bank’s debts to just above junk status. It is estimated that the cost of rescuing Anglo Irish or writing off its debts by the irish government will be at least £35 billion. At the same time...
LORD Browne’s review of university funding is to recommend a threefold increase in tuition fees. Lord Browne (former head of BP) is proposing to raise the cap on the fees universities can set to £10,000 a year, a move that is in line with the Tory-led coalition’s stated aim of...
THE general secretary of COSATU, Zwelinzima Vavi addressed the SACTWU National Congress last Friday. His central warning was ‘If the broad liberation movement does not act decisively, we are heading rapidly in the direction of a full-blown predator state, in which a powerful, corrupt and demagogic elite of political hyenas...
ISRAELI Prime Minister Netanyahu was yesterday set not to extend the moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank, thumbing his nose at both President Obama and the PA leader, Abbas. Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders had threatened to withdraw from the peace talks, unless the limited ...
ED MILIBAND, the new Labour Party leader, has made it perfectly clear that his victory does not mean that he is going to oppose the Tory-LibDem cuts and privatisation measures. On election, he declared that he was not the unions’ man, meaning he intends to support capitalism. He in fact supports...
THE Eighteenth Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution has become law with effect from Thursday, reports TamilNet. This was after the certification by the Speaker Chamal Rajapakse, brother of the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse. The amendment removes the two-term limit of the Executive Presidency and the appointment of a five-member...

Royal Mail ‘Hedge Fund’

ROYAL Mail workers – whose jobs and pensions have been under sustained attack and are now threatened with privatisation – yesterday reacted with fury to reports that £5.13 billion of their pension money was gambled on the ‘futures’ market. Royal Mail bosses placed Royal Mail at significant risk by allowing...
THE BMA has been shocked and shaken by the resistance of its members to the Tory-LibDem NHS White Paper which seeks to make GPs responsible for driving forward the cuts and closures and the privatisation measures that the coalition favours. GPs are split over the White Paper and there is...
THE news that the Accident and Emergency and maternity units at Queen Mary’s Hospital are to be closed for the coming winter is a not just a warning, but the opening shot in the planned destruction of the National Health Service. The closure of the A&E Department in November, and...

3 Million Strike In France

FROM Paris to Marseille, from Lille to Lyon, an unprecedented number of workers, a reported three million, have been protesting against pension reforms in France. Bernard Thibault, General Secretary of the CGT union said: ‘It’s clear we’re directly oppposed and this isn’t our fault. It’s the president who’s being intransigent.’ The...

French General Strike

PARIS – French workers are on strike again today and staging rallies to protest the government’s bid to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Rail and flights services were disrupted, with cancellations reported in Paris airports and French train stations. A twenty-four-hour strike at the French rail network...
AN inquiry ordered by the UN Human Rights Council said on Wednesday that Israel violated human rights law and international humanitarian law when its occupation troops stormed the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ last May. The probe added that there was clear evidence to back prosecution against the Zionist entity for committing...
Sodexo laundry workers in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday delivered a petition to management calling for greater safety standards. The petition included hundreds of signatures from people in support of the laundry workers’ cause. Employees at the Sodexo laundry facility in Cleveland report that they face high temperatures, dangerous environments, and physical...

Stop Sidcup NHS Closing

THERE was uproar in south-east London yesterday, after the announcement of plans to shut the Accident and Emergency and maternity departments at Queen Mary’s, Sidcup, over the winter. The hospital serves a catchment area of more than a million people in London and Kent. The A&E will shut down from...
SUPPORT for the policy of occupying Chase Farm Hospital to stop its closure is growing. Staff, patients and visitors complained angrily about the ward closures and cuts that that are now taking place, to the monthly picket of the NHS hospital, called by the North East London Council...
The Tory-led coalition’s Business Secretary, Vince Cable, yesterday launched a demagogic attack on ‘spiv’ and ‘gambling’ bankers and their bonuses at the LibDem Conference. This was a theatrical and desperate attempt to try and restore his shattered reputation as a principled politician, that he once enjoyed among sections of his...
TAMIL NET reports that Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of Elilan, former Trincomalee political head of the LTTE, has told BBC Tamil service that she and her three daughters witnessed her husband and hundreds of other LTTE members surrendering to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on 18th May 2009. This was...
THE amount of new public sector borrowing in the UK hit a record of £15.9bn for August. This is £1.8 billion higher than in August 2009, when net borrowing (excluding financial sector intervention) was £14.1 billion, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The larger-than-expected figure came after higher...
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said that during his tenure as Premier he had reached an agreement with the United States for them to absorb 100,000 Palestinian refugees as American citizens as part of a peace deal. He added that he struck a deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud...
THE Chagossian community in Crawley have reacted with fury after an offer from the coalition government and Vince Cable to allow the islanders to return to their homeland was immediately withdrawn. Cable had written in a letter that ‘Steps have already been taken to ensure their return.’ The islanders...
IN May and early June 2010, a two-week-long strike involving more than a thousand workers at the Honda transmission plant in Foshan triggered a wave of strikes across China. The dispute highlighted the long hours and low pay of Chinese workers, and their growing determination to stand and fight for...
THE employers organisation, the CBI, yesterday demanded that the Tory coalition government go even further than it has pledged, in destroying benefits and pensions. Clearly not impressed with Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement on September 9 that he intends to slash another £4 billion off welfare spending on top...
BRITISH forces in Afghanistan have handed over responsibility for security in Sangin to US forces, marking the defeat of their four-year mission in the area. The 1,000 Royal Marines and other personnel are being redeployed to central Helmand province. The UK has suffered its heaviest losses in Sangin. Of the...

Convoy Leaves For Gaza!

THE largest aid convoy yet is on its way to the besieged Gaza Strip, four months after the massacre of activists by Israeli forces who attacked the ‘Mavi Marmara’ aid ship in international waters. Former anti-war MP George Galloway, long-time supporter of the Palestinian people, first announced plans for the...
TO ADD to the drama surrounding the visit of the Pope – who set the scene with his, and his associates’ attacks on aggressive secularists and atheists who have apparently overrun the UK – it was the ‘old enemy’, since the time of the crusades at least, fellow...
TAMILNET reports that the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan government continues to torture hundreds of Tamil youths arrested and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) without trial. The information was provided by a journalist who had met the detainees and gave the information under...

Labour Split Threat

EX-HOME Secretary Alan Johnson threatened a Labour split yesterday if Labour Party members voted to have Ed Miliband as Labour Party leader. He claimed the party would descend into ‘fractious opposition’ under Ed Miliband. Johnson spoke up as David Miliband’s campaign began to sag all over the country. He told the Daily...
LONDON’S firefighters are ready to strike, unless a threat by the capital’s fire service bosses to sack them all is withdrawn. More than 2,500 firefighters marched through Waterloo to the headquarters of the London Fire Brigade on Thursday, voicing their anger at the Tory head of the fire authority, Brian...
THE visit to Britain by Pope Benedict XVI has only one aim, to make a pact with the British ruling class, to help strengthen its state and to organise the counter-revolution by targeting the ‘evil’ of atheism and ‘godless communism’. In his speech made immediately on landing, he denounced in...

London FBU Strike Ballot!

‘WE will commence a ballot for strike action in seven days’ time,’ Fire Brigades Union General Secretary Matt Wrack announced to a demonstration of more than 2,500 London firefighters yesterday. There were loud shouts of ‘Coleman out! Coleman out!’ as firefighters – joined by FBU members from brigades across the...
THE future of the NHS is at stake, delegates to the TUC conference in Manchester were warned in a debate on Tuesday. However, the TUC General Council proposed to do not a single thing to stop the NHS being destroyed, other than to ‘support the health unions in trying to...
‘You want a war pal, you’ve picked on the wrong union and we’re going to take you on and you will not win,’ GMB West Midlands Regional Organiser Joe Morgan GMB union warned Birmingham City Council leader Stephen Hughes. Morgan was successfully moving ‘Emergency motion: E6 26,000...
The RMT delegation walked out of the conference hall in Manchester yesterday as Bank of England governor Mervyn King stood up to warn the TUC Congress that there was no alternative to cutting the ‘unsustainable’ budget deficit. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: ‘RMT delegates would rather hear from one...
THE ‘Wolf’, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, at yesterday’s TUC Congress, sought to explain to the ‘sheep’, the working class, why they should accept the need of the bankers to cut their throats, in return for the chief banker, himself, being really decent about...
As the TUC Congress kicked off in Manchester, the Fire Brigades Union on Monday issued lawful notice of the resumption of industrial action short of strike over cuts in frontline 999 services in Essex. The FBU said in a statement: ‘The action will commence at 9am on Monday 20th September...

Barnet Council Mass Lobby

Over 400 workers, youth, pensioners and local service users lobbied Barnet Council on Tuesday, furious at the massive cuts and privatisation imposed by the Tory Council. They chanted ‘Tories Out Out Out!’, and booed the councillors as they turned up in their limousines. They sang: ‘Private companies do not run, public...
DELEGATES to the TUC Conference in Manchester on Monday voted almost unanimously – with just one dissenting voice from BALPA pilots’ union leader Jim McAuslan – for Composite Motion 10, Defending public services and for Paragraphs 3.1 and 3.13 of the General Council’s report. Leaders of all the major TUC...
BRENDAN Barber yesterday shook the TUC to its foundations when he told Congress that this was not the time to raise the minimum wage for youth. The TUC general secretary then went on to tell shocked delegates that he was opposed to fighting for a full minimum rate for apprentices...
AFTER only two days of the annual TUC Congress the message is startlingly clear, the trade union and the working class movement stands at a crossroads. If left under the leadership of the present ‘tops’ the unions will be dragged along the road of confusion and betrayal. This emerged starkly at...