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Monthly Archives: January 2011

The Unite union reported yesterday that its tanker driver members are to ballot for strike action. A Unite statement said: ‘The greed of an industry worth billions has led to mounting frustration amongst Britain’s oil and petrol tanker drivers, whose union representatives have agreed to ballot their members for industrial...
THE result of the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election points to one thing, that the working class and large sections of the middle class are determined to get rid of the Tory coalition at all costs. Consider the situation in which the by-election was called. At the general election the Labour...
Trade unions yesterday reacted angrily to Manchester City Council’s announcement of 2,000 job cuts. The Labour-run council said it needed to reduce its workforce by about 17 per cent after changes to local authority grants left a big gap in its finances. It needs to find £110 million of savings...
THE Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee yesterday kept rates at 0.5%. Inflation however is continuing to rise as world oil, wheat, meat, cotton and petrol prices surge upwards with increases that dwarf the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate, which at 3.3% in November, was still well above the...
Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Arab nations to boost cooperation with Ankara and to brush aside disputes that weakened ties in the past. ‘Arabs are our brothers,’ Erdogan said in a passionate speech at the opening of a two-day conference on Arab-Turkish relations in Kuwait City. ‘We...
Sunday 23rd January 2.00-6.00pm St Bride's Institute (off Fleet Street)
FIREFIGHTERS are prepared to strike to defeat the Tory-controlled London Fire Authority if it carries out its threat to sack all 5,500 London firefighters at an ‘emergency meeting’ today. A meeting to consider the state of negotiations between the fire authority and the Fire Brigades Union over changes to...
TUNISIAN President Ben Ali has dismissed his interior minister and ordered the release of most of those detained during the current clashes over food prices and mass unemployment, during which up to 50 workers and youth were killed by security forces. Under pressure from the developing revolution, Ben Ali has...
‘THERE can be no analogy of historical development,’ wrote Trotsky in his book 1905, ‘between, on the one hand, England, the pioneer of capitalism which has been creating new social forms for centuries and has also created a powerful bourgeoisie as the expression of these new forms and, on...
THE Tory-LibDem coalition has given the banks an assurance that they are at liberty to continue to pay unlimited bonuses, with no government regulation. The bankers’ bonus pool is now expected to be £7 billion. This bankers’ victory was reflected at the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee yesterday when Barclays...
‘THE concept of law,’ wrote Lenin in 1914 in his Philosophical Notebooks, ‘is one of the stages of the cognition by man of unity and connection, of the reciprocal dependence and totality of the world process . . . ‘Law and essence are concepts of the same kind (of the...
THE coalition, as expected, has signalled to the bankers that their multi-million bonuses are safe, emboldening the head of Barclays to tell the House of Commons that the days of bankers making apologies are over. They are back to being the masters. In what was a response to the Downing...
BY MIKE DRIVER LEON Trotsky’s analysis 1789-1848-1905 is contained in his 1906 book Results and Prospects. This was written while he was in prison awaiting trial after playing the leading role in the St Petersburg Soviet of Workers’ Deputies during the defeated 1905 Revolution. Having spent fifteen months there he was...
THE TORY-led coalition is poised to give all power to the employing class through neutering employment tribunals and giving the employers their own ‘charter’ under which they will be able to sack workers with up to two years’ service without fear of being taken to a tribunal. This...
THE BMA council is set to hold a crunch vote on holding an emergency representative meeting to decide its stance on the government’s privatising health White Paper, after almost a dozen regional branches have demanded a debate and a vote on the issue. BMA leaders are under growing pressure to...
THE Sri Lankan government is attempting to portray the continually escalating incidents of civilian murders, disappearances and robberies as the result of individual enmities and family squabbles among the local population, TamilNet reported at the weekend. The Jaffna district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Neville Padmadeva, advanced this...
THE United Nations is warning of disturbances and revolutions in developing countries worldwide as its food price index hits an all-time high. The UN’s food price index ‘basket’ comprises the costs of five essential foods – meat, sugar, wheat, corn and dairy produce. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says that...
At least 4,000 gathered on Friday afternoon to attend the funeral of Omar Salim Al-Qawasmi, 66, executed by Israeli forces early that morning, in what military officials later admitted was a case of mistaken identity. Hamas and Fatah officials joined in the event, hosted following the Friday prayers at a...
Prime Minister Cameron yesterday refused to rule out increases in fuel duty, and said the VAT increase to 20 per cent is here to stay, while he also lashed out at strikers. Interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show, Cameron played down the possibility of a ‘fair fuel stabiliser’ as...
One year after the Haitian earthquake which killed 230,000 people and injured 300,000 on 11 January 2010, more than one million people still live in appalling conditions in tent cities in the capital Port-au-Prince and in the south of Haiti. Women are at serious risk of sexual attacks, says Amnesty...
THE inquest into the death of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood in Hassockfield Secure Training Centre on 8th August 2004 will open on Monday 10 January 2011. Adam Rickwood was the youngest child ever to die in penal custody. He was found hanging in his room hours after being physically restrained. The inquest...
THE revelation yesterday that the News of the World (NoW) newspaper had quietly suspended its assistant editor (news), Ian Edmondson, just before Christmas, has turned the spotlight once again on the activities of Rupert Murdoch’s News International Group and in particular its close relationship with the police, politicians and...
More than two million people have used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent, an increase of almost 50 per cent in a year, Shelter research revealed yesterday. ‘This is a totally unsustainable situation and one which we fear could see thousands more families pushed into the spiral of...
ALMOST one year after the Haitian earthquake that made millions homeless, the working class and the poor of Haiti are still suffering. They are still homeless and still hungry, and are now menaced by a cholera epidemic, after no emergency action has been taken to rebuild their homes and their...
The High Court Judge and judicial district judges of Jaffna have held a meeting of police officials to discuss the escalating killings, abductions, robberies and threats by armed squads, reports TamilNet. The details of the discussions held in the Jaffna District on Tuesday at the High Court premises will...
THE GMB has warned that 200,000 jobs will be cut by councils in England in the next three months. GMB national officer Brian Strutton warned that the size and speed of the cuts will be unprecedented as councils rush through redundancies before the end of the financial...
THE GMB warned yesterday of 200,000 council job losses in England, with many more to take place in the rest of the UK. GMB national officer Brian Strutton rightly claimed the size and speed of the cuts could be unprecedented and that they will be rushed through before the beginning...
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has failed the first test of his promise to let GPs lead NHS reforms, doctors say. Lansley has backed plans to centralise specialist maternity services across hospitals in Kent despite local GPs being against this change which would mean Maidstone Hospital losing its consultant-led service. A...
OVER the New Year the killing of Palestinian men women and children has continued unabated and in the most brutal fashion. On Sunday Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man at the Hamra checkpoint near to Nablus. Mahmoud Dharaghma, age 21, approached the checkpoint with a Coca Cola can in...
worried parents are fearful that a flu epidemic is set to explode from today, when ten million children return to school after the Christmas holidays. There is rising fury over the Tory-LibDem coalition government’s decision to withdraw free flu vaccination jabs on the NHS from under-fives this year, claiming...
Members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) began a wage strike at mining recruitment company Teba Limited on Monday. The strike comes after negotiations, initiated in October last year, reached a deadlock in November, with the union’s basic wage demand at 13 per cent and the company’s offer...
Palestinian leaders, determined to proclaim their state during the coming year, are readying an arsenal of diplomatic alternatives to negotiations with Israel, which are virtually frozen. The change in course emerged after an October Arab League meeting in Libya, when president Mahmud Abbas laid the foundation stone for a Palestinian...

20% Vat Disaster!

‘The VAT increase to 20 per cent, price rises and low wages are the ingredients for a disaster in the making for millions of workers, the elderly and vulnerable people,’ warned GMB trade union national officer Sharon Holder yesterday. She added: ‘Price rises have already started, they are being masked...
THE increase of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent today will mean destitution for millions of unemployed and low paid workers and their families. The cost of this increase for an average family is estimated to be an extra £7.50 a week which equals £390 a year...
Dear Dr Meldrum, Dr Buckman and all members of the BMA General Practitioners Committee (GPC) Following the publication of the health White Paper earlier this year, Dr Meldrum wrote to the profession to let us know how the BMA was going to respond to the consultation process . As you...
The anger of workers is set to explode at the cost of food, fuel and fares, now soaring to unaffordable levels. Commuters were infuriated yesterday when they heard the chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATCO) defend rail fare increases which average 6.2...
IRISH capitalism, its banks and industries have been entirely bankrupted, and what national sovereignty the country had has also been destroyed, after the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF forced onto the Irish government an 85bn euros loan at six per cent interest. This measure was in no...
RELATIVES of the five Trincomalee students, who were shot dead execution-style by Sri Lanka soldiers on January 2nd 2006, are remembering the fifth anniversary and mourning the death of their children. Dr Kasipillai Manoharan, father of Ragihar, one of the students killed, appealed to international rights groups, including the UN...