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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Over 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike for more than 12 days in protest against policies such as prevention of family visits and solitary confinement put in place by the Israeli Prison Service. Last Tuesday, marking Palestinian Prisoners Day, at least 1,200 prisoners launched the strike. In the UK,...
It’s now official – NHS hospitals under the Tory-dominated coalition government are set to become little more than a franchise of the leisure and hospitality industry. This is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the news that Cambridge University Hospital, the NHS foundation trust that runs Addenbrooke’s hospital in...
PRESSURE mounted on prime minister Cameron yesterday over his refusal to refer the actions of Culture, Media and Sports Secretary Jeremy Hunt to his adviser on the ministerial code of conduct, Sir Alex Allan. Questions were raised over why Cameron is so determined to protect Hunt, who was described...
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday said he will hand over private e-mails to his special adviser about the BSkyB takeover bid to the Leveson Inquiry, following a request from Labour’s Harriet Harman. He said he was ‘confident they will vindicate the position that I handled the BSkyB merger process with...
THE number of unemployed people in Spain reached 5,639,500 at the end of March, with the unemployment rate hitting 24.4%, with youth unemployment at over 50%, the Spanish national statistics agency has reported. The issuing of the figures was preceded by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgrading Spanish sovereign...
In his Annual Report published last Tuesday, the Bank of Greece governor Yiorghos Provopoulos spelled out clearly what is demanded by the European Commission (EC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) overlords from the government that will be formed following the general election of Sunday May 6th. Provopoulos’ Annual Report...
News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch yesterday made it clear that he had taken a decision to smash the print unions when he provoked the 1986/87 strike. He also made clear his antagonism to the BBC and in particular its website. Giving evidence for a second day at the Leveson inquiry,...
A MILITARY judge is expected to rule shortly on a request to dismiss all charges against the US soldier Bradley Manning, accused of passing hundreds of thousands of secret US government documents to the WikiLeaks website, and exposing the plots and conspiracies of US and UK imperialism in a...
An Israeli military court has refused an appeal by long-term hunger-strikers Thaer Halahla and Bilal Diyab to end their detention without charge, prisoners groups said. Muhjat al-Quds society for the defence of prisoners said Ofer military court rejected the appeal against the prisoners’ administrative detention, on the 56th day of...
IT was put to Rupert Murdoch, at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday, that Thatcher could not have done without him and that he could not have done without Thatcher. Murdoch would not agree, but to everybody who was listening to the exchange, their recognition of the aptness of this description of...
EX-US President Carter has decried his nation’s involvement in unjust conflicts and wishes the US could be seen as a champion of peace. Former US President Jimmy Carter warned against a possible war with Iran on Monday as he decried his nation’s involvement in unjust conflicts at a summit of...
RUPERT Murdoch was questioned at the Leveson Inquiry yesterday about meetings held with prime minister Cameron before and after News Corporation’s June 2010 takeover bid for BSkyB. ‘Why was the bid announced one month after the election? It’s pure coincidence that it’s a month after the general election, is that...
NUT members at Bilborough College, Nottingham went on strike yesterday against compulsory redundancies, downgrading of teachers’ jobs and workload, with a picket from 7.45am to 9am. After the announcements of government cuts almost two years ago the college made a plan to cope with the resulting financial difficulties. However now –...
Interim results from the National Union of Students (NUS) ‘The Pound in your Pocket’ survey of students’ perceptions of financial support show that two-thirds (66%) of undergraduates aged 21-24 regularly worry about not having enough money to cover basic living costs. The survey, released on Monday on the eve of...
RUPERT Murdoch is to be questioned by the Leveson Inquiry today and tomorrow over the ‘appropriateness’ of his relationship with prime minister Cameron and other senior politicians, including former prime ministers Brown, Blair, Major and Thatcher. Yesterday Murdoch’s son, former News International Chairman James Murdoch, admitted to the inquiry...
THE working class pushing forward against the EU’s austerity programmes has thrust the Eurozone into crisis, and created the conditions for the collapse of the euro, the ending of the Union and its revolutionary replacement by the Socialist United States of Europe. The defeat of Sarkozy in the first round...
The present unelected Greek coalition government, of social-democrats and conservatives headed by banker Lucas Papademos has decided to fund with some 50bn euros the completely bankrupt private banks. The decision has been attacked by opposition parties who stated that such a critical decision should be taken after the declared general...
Sky News boss John Ryley admitted to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday that the company broke the law by hacking emails. Following the admission Ofcom announced that it is launching an investigation into the broadcaster, which is part owned by Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is to appear before the inquiry tomorrow, while his...
The first round of voting in the French presidential election, held last Sunday, produced an unprecedented defeat for the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and his right wing Union for a Popular Movement  party. For the first time ever, the sitting president was defeated in this round, securing 27.1% of the vote...
THE Tory LibDem coalition, despite all its problems and weaknesses, waged a war to bring its Health and Social Care privatising bill into law. They were able to defy the Labour Party and the NHS trade unions, including the BMA and the RCN, and the opposition of the mass of...
Public sector union Unison yesterday slammed Health Secretary Lansley’s backing for Chancellor Osborne’s plan for regional pay. This comes in evidence from the Department of Health submitted to the NHS Pay Review Body that calls for ‘market facing’ regional pay for all staff on Agenda for Change. Unison said in a...
The imperialist-backed Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) ‘must act immediately to investigate and prosecute abuses against the Tawargha community of black Libyans’, said Amnesty International on Thursday. This came after another Tawargha man was tortured to death in a Misratah detention centre. The body of 44-year-old father-of-two, Barnous Bous’a, was delivered...
LAST Wednesday afternoon, the Unite trade union reps for its tanker driver membership rejected the employers’ offer, and the union was due to present its dates for strike action by the following Friday, yesterday, or else reballot its membership. Unite, however, confirmed on Thursday that it would be returning to...
Hundreds of disabled workers demonstrated yesterday against the closure of Remploy factories outside the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) offices in London and Sheffield, and also outside Parliament. The Remploy workers are angry at the coalition government’s decision to shut 36 of the 54 Remploy sites this summer with...
UNISON yesterday warned the government that its ‘botched roll out’ of Universal Credit, less than 18 months away, will make it more difficult for low-income families to claim much-needed benefits and tax credits. Unison said: ‘The government want to combine the introduction of Universal Credit with a shift to administering...

Record Petrol Prices

Average petrol prices in the UK set a new record this week at 142.48p a litre, and 147.88p a litre for diesel. The AA Fuel Price Report said that this was after a month of falling oil prices failing to be reflected in wholesale prices across northern Europe. The AA said:...
ON Sunday, April 15, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that on May 15, 2012, American competitiveness would increase when the United States and Columbia Trade Agreement goes into effect. However, once the key elements of the agreement Labour Action Plan and the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement...
THE European banks are heading at speed into a crash that will bring down not just the economies of the 17-nation Eurozone but the capitalist system worldwide. This is the grim prediction in this week’s International Monetary Fund (IMF) six-monthly Global Financial Stability Review. Studying the banking and financial crisis gripping...

Bectu to strike

The BBC unions announced yesterday that they will be targeting the Jubilee celebrations, following BBC management’s decision to write directly to members of staff with a derisory pay offer instead of negotiating through the agreed channels. Only one meeting has been held at which management tabled a ‘final’ offer...

1.2m HUNGRY CHILDREN!

More than half of all school children living in poverty, 1.2 million, are missing out on free school meals, reveals shocking new research by The Children’s Society. And 700,000 are not entitled to free school meals at all, according to the Society’s report ‘Fair and Square’. Yet the report shows...

No Victimisation!

Camden Unison held a demonstration outside Haverstock School, north London yesterday in support of the school’s Unison shop steward William Westwell who has been victimised as a result of the November 30th one day pensions strike. The demo was ahead of a disciplinary hearing on charges of gross misconduct. Westwell, a...
HUNDREDS of thousands of public sector workers are striking in defence of their pensions on Thursday May 10th. The strike comes the day after the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, 9th May, which is set to contain the Tory-LibDem Coalition’s parliamentary bill for smashing up the pensions of millions of public...
INFLATION may stay above 3% during the rest of this year, according to Paul Tucker, a deputy governor of the Bank of England. He said that this was ‘bad news’ since what passed for the Bank’s theory held that with the economy on a downward spiral, inflation would be...
Canadian Steelworkers are calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recast London 2012 gold medals because the supplier ‘disrespects Olympic values of fair play’. One of the world’s largest industrial unions, the United Steelworkers (USW), is calling for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to drop multinational resource firm Rio...
SOARING food and clothing prices saw the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate measure for March rising to 3.5% from 3.4% in February. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that food and soft drink prices are 4.6% higher than in March 2011, citing higher prices for bread, cereals, meat...
GMB trade union officers, representing 150 GMB members employed by Carillion at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, expect the company to reach conclusions by 27th April in the second investigation into allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination. GMB members suspended the strike action to allow Carillion time to conduct...
THE fascist who killed 77 people, the majority of them at a youth school of the Norwegian Young Socialists, in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July has been given a worldwide platform by the Norwegian state to defend his actions, to declare that he is proud of...
Nottingham teachers held a second successful one-day strike yesterday against the City Council’s plan to impose a five-term year. Speaking ahead of yesterday’s strike, John Illingworth, assistant secretary of Nottingham City NUT, said: ‘We expect more support tomorrow as we have gained more members after our first strike in March. ‘Our...
The news yesterday that the cost of borrowing for Spain has jumped to over 6% will inevitably mean that for the country to stagger on any further will require a massive bail-out from the European Central Bank. The 6% is the rate of interest the capitalist money markets are demanding...
THE much anticipated ‘Pirapaharan – Tamizhar Ezhuchchiyin Vadivam’ (Pirapaharan – The Embodiment of The Tamils’ Struggle) written by veteran Tamil Nadu political activist Pazha Nedumaran, was released in Chennai on Friday at PT Thiyagaraja Hall. Tamil Net reports that it is Published by Tamizhk-kulam Pathippaalayam, and is a ...
TEACHERS’ unions and children’s charities yesterday condemned government plans to raid the Child Benefits of families whose children have unauthorised absences from school. Tory-LibDem coalition ‘behaviour tsar’, Charles Taylor urged that ‘truancy fines’ should be taken directly from child-benefit payments, claiming the current system of penalty notices is ‘ineffective’. Taylor was...
The GMB and Unite, the unions for Remploy workers, held a demonstration in Norwich town centre on Saturday against the government’s plan to shut 54 disabled workers’ factories. The demonstration will be followed by a public meeting in London on Thursday and a national demonstration also in London, on Friday. At...
Palestinian detainee Abdullah al-Barghouthi announced on Thursday that he will begin a hunger-strike in protest against solitary confinement. Al-Barghouti, former head of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, has been imprisoned since 2003 and was sentenced to 67 life sentences, the longest military sentence in Israel’s history. His demands include...
THE Taleban yesterday carried out another daring attack in the centre of the Afghan capital, Kabul, with gun and shellfire taking place near to the US, UK and German embassies in a scene that brings to mind the last days of the US’ occupation of Saigon. Clearly, the...
THE Hewletts came straight to the point yesterday over the plan to close Chase Farm hospital. ‘We should sack Lansley and the whole government to start with,’ the couple told the picket on its 68th day. They added: ‘We come from Waltham Cross which is about fifteen to twenty miles away...