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Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Justice and Security Bill published on Tuesday ‘is designed to place our Security Services above the law and keep torture and rendition out of open court’, Reprieve has asserted. Opening its in-depth analysis, the civil rights charity said ‘the Bill is entirely unnecessary – the current system of Public...
THE BMA LEADERSHIP has now called a 24-hour day of action on Thursday 21 June, during which only emergency or urgent care will be carried out. The action is in defence of their members’ pensions, and is being taken after the membership shook the leadership with big majority votes answering...
Prime Minister Cameron’s former director of communications Andy Coulson was detained by police investigating allegations of perjury yesterday. Coulson was detained at his home in the Dulwich area of London at 6.30am by seven officers from Strathclyde Police and taken to Glasgow for questioning. A police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers from...
DOCTORS will take strike action in defence of their NHS pension scheme on Thursday June 21st, the BMA confirmed yesterday, following an overwhelming YES strike ballot result. The first doctors’ strike for nearly 40 years will see them postponing all but urgent and emergency care, the BMA Council announced. It...
CANADA'S federal government was expected to introduce back-to-work legislation on Monday aimed at forcing striking Canadian Pacific (CP) railway employees to return to their jobs. Talks broke down on Sunday afternoon between the Teamsters Canada union representatives and CP management. Both sides rejected a proposal made by a government-appointed arbitrator. The...
THE continuing Egyptian revolution – in particular the determined occupations of Tahrir Square and the fearless struggle of Egypt’s workers for their rights – has had a worldwide revolutionary impact. The Tahrir Square occupations inspired youth and workers all over the world from Greece to Spain and Portugal, and...
GREEKjournalists, printers, technicians and media office workers staged a 100 per cent successful national strike on Monday against wage cuts and mass sackings, demanding the signing of collective agreements. Not a single newspaper was printed, radio stations played music while television stations showed old programmes. Media workers demonstrated through Athens...
THE ‘secret courts’ Justice and Security Bill places UK Security Services and Government Ministers ‘above the law,’ civil rights charities Reprieve and Liberty warned yesterday. Refuting government claims that it had made ‘significant concessions’ by removing the ‘secret inquests’ side of the Bill, Reprieve warned that in fact, the Bill,...
While Egypt’s presidential election has dominated the headlines, the class struggle continues unabated with workers determined to defend their rights and improve living standards. Egypt’s Centre for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) website reported on Sunday: ‘For more than four consecutive days 1,000 workers in maintenance workshops in Metro...
NOT just Greece but the Eurozone and, by extension, the whole of Europe is a financial basket case that is heading inexorably towards a gigantic economic collapse. That is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the news delivered this weekend that Lloyd’s of London, the most powerful insurance market...
‘THIS man is a war criminal,’ a protester shouted at former prime minister Blair at the Leveson Inquiry in the courtroom of the Royal Courts of Justice in London yesterday. The protester, later named as David Lawley Wakelin, entered from behind a curtain almost directly behind Leveson himself. He shouted: ‘Excuse...
The UK’s two biggest teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, yesterday announced plans for jointly coordinated strike action and action short of strike action in the autumn. This came at a London press confernce to launch an ‘historic joint agreement’ committing the unions to work together to protect...
YESTERDAY US and UK diplomats were foaming at the mouth over an alleged massacre by the Syrian armed forces of men women and children, with Hilary Clinton declaring that the Assad regime must be removed and the UK’s Hague echoing her position, calling for a meeting of the...
OVER five hundred lecturers, students, local residents and supporters marched through the streets of Hackney last Saturday to defend Hackney Community college from a package of savage cuts including lecturer sackings, courses scrapped and student numbers slashed. The lecturer’s union UCU are balloting for strike action over the threat of...

Warsi expenses row

TORY party co-chair and Cabinet member, Baroness Warsi, has become involved in an expenses row. She has admitted failing to declare rental income from a flat she owns in north-west London in the House of Lords register of interests. She claimed accommodation expenses from the taxpayer while she...
LLOYD’S of London has made preparations for the collapse of the euro. Richard Ward, its chief executive, has publicly admitted that the world’s leading insurance market has reduced its exposure ‘as much as possible’ to the crisis-ridden eurozone. Lloyd’s of London could have to take writedowns on...
• No to the destruction of collective agreements! • Down with the EC-IMF austerity measures Accords! • Withdraw from the EC and NATO! • GSEE and ADEDY must call an indefinite general strike for the abolition of all anti-labour laws! The historic devastating defeat in the May 6th election of...
SADDAM Hussein and Colonel Gadaffi led Arab nationalist, secular regimes in Iraq and Libya, and were both opposed to Al Qaeda on principle and fought it. They were both murdered after US-UK imperialist invasions of their countries, which brought Islamists to power and strengthened Al Qaeda’s position in both...
Hundreds of students at University of East Anglia (UAE), Norwich held a mass protest against the visit of Universities Minister Willetts on Thursday. UAE Student Union said: ‘David Willetts is the minister responsible for tripling tuition fees and the introduction of the White Paper which sets out the coalition government’s...
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into media standards on Monday. Under-pressure Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will give evidence on Thursday, when he will be asked about his office’s links with News Corp during its bid to take over satellite broadcaster BSkyB. Prime Minister...

Slump Grips UK

Britain is falling deeper into slump, official figures revealed yesterday. The UK economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of this year, more than previously thought, revised Office for National Statistics figures show. Last month’s initial ONS estimate showed a contraction of 0.2 per cent. The downward revision...
The news this week, that the army and security services have informed government ministers that there is a ‘25% to 50% chance’ that there will be a war against Iran in the near future, demonstrates the desperation of world imperialism. According to reports of a recent meeting of the British...
Ballot papers are going out to Essex fire crews this week in a strike vote over unnecessary frontline cuts and changes imposed without agreement. The ballot started on Wednesday, 23 May, and closes on 13 June. The law then requires at least seven days notice of any strike action after...
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, issued the gravest warning yet on the state of the UK economy on Tuesday, indicating that as far as the IMF is concerned Britain stands right on the edge of financial and social collapse. In the IMF report on the...
The University and College Union (UCU) on Wednesday called on the government to urgently protect healthcare education funding after MPs warned that delays in introducing new NHS education and training arrangements could see Strategic Healthcare Authorities (SHAs) ‘raid’ training budgets for other purposes. Responding to a report by the House...
The Greek Chemist shops Association staged a 24-hour national strike yesterday demanding the payment by the Health Ministry of some 500 million euros owed to chemist shops. If they don’t get their money, Greek chemist shops will stop providing medicines to National Health Service patients, meaning that patients would have...
GPs at their annual conference in Liverpool yesterday voted in favour of a motion calling for the end of the work capability assessment. The doctors, who represent GPs from across the UK, agreed that the system should be replaced with a more rigorous and safe process which takes into account...
The Greek conservatives New Democracy party is building up a ‘pro-European front against populism’ with the aim of defeating the Coalition of the Radical Left party (SYRIZA) in the forthcoming general election on June 17. On Monday the conservatives’ leader Antonis Samaras announced that the small neo-liberal party Democratic Alliance...
MOVES by a Midlands hospital trust to recruit unpaid ‘jobseekers’ to clean wards and ‘support patients through their hospital experience’ were condemned by a leading GMB health officer yesterday. Having run a pilot scheme at one of its hospitals, Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals trust now plans its work experience...
THE REPORT outlining government proposals to smash up any rights workers have to secure employment and legal protection from unfair dismissal finally saw the light of day on Monday. Commissioned by Tory Chancellor George Osborne last year, the report into employment legislation was written by Adrian Beecroft, a major donor...
THE MOTHER of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence has revealed that she has asked Home Secretary Theresa May for a new inquiry into her son’s death and the events leading up to it. Doreen Lawrence was addressing a packed public meeting ‘Resistance – the Best Olympic Spirit’ at...
TEACHERS taking strike action today against DfE plans to force Downhills Primary School in Haringey to become a sponsored academy will be supported by pupils, parents and governors. Parents have been engaged in a very active campaign to retain Downhills as a Local Authority maintained school. There have been protests and...
THE EUROZONE crisis was finally, officially recognised as the time bomb that will bring down the entire capitalist banking system at last weekend’s meeting of the G8 powers in America. At the insistence of US President Obama the bankruptcy of Greece and the inevitability of it crashing out of the...
Dozens of activists launched a hunger strike on Sunday at the Egyptian Press Syndicate’s headquarters in Cairo to protest against military rule and the continued detention of dozens of activists by military authorities. At noon, several journalists and activists formally began the hunger strike, welcoming others to join the campaign...
THE UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has admitted that Al-Qaeda is behind two deadly suicide car bomb attacks in Syria last week. Fifty-five people were killed and 372 were wounded when two car bombers blew themselves up in the capital Damascus on 10 May. It was the deadliest attack on the...
Delegates at the British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors conference on Saturday, against the advice of their leaders, voted overwhelmingly to demand health secretary Lansley’s resignation. In his conference address, Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) Chair Dr Tom Dolphin said that following the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill:...
‘Unions stand ready to oppose the attacks on workplace rights contained in the Beecroft Report,’ a TUC spokesman told News Line yesterday. ‘Attacking workers’ rights will do nothing to boost the economy,’ he added. The heavily-leaked report by Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist and Tory Party donor, which was commissioned by...
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone call to the Greek President Karolos Papoulias last Friday, when she asked for a referendum to be held on the euro along with the general election on 17 June, has produced a hostile reaction from all Greek political parties. The leaders of the conservatives and...
SEVERAL prisoners in Israeli jails are still on hunger strike, officials said on Thursday, days after a deal was struck to end a mass hunger strike movement. Israeli Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said that Mahmoud al-Sarsak and Akram al-Rekhawi are refusing food. They are being held in Ramle prison...
THE KINGS of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Swaziland were at a dinner for despots yesterday as part of the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Some are trying to present the invitations as a foul deed of the Foreign Office that is insisting in putting her majesty into an awkward...
The University and College Union (UCU) announced yesterday that its members at the University of West England (UWE), Bristol, will be balloted for strike action in a dispute over workloads. The ballot opened yesterday and will close on Wednesday 6th June. Staff say a new workload calculation system has resulted in...
PM Cameron yesterday defended the government’s spending and welfare cuts, and pledged to continue them and to stop at nothing to defend British capitalism. However, he admitted to a lack of vision saying: ‘I cannot predict how this crisis will end for others. And I cannot pretend that Britain will...
A survey of almost 3,000 London transport passengers conducted by independent researchers for Unite, has revealed that almost nine out of ten back bus workers’ call for an Olympic payment. Bus workers are the only London transport workers not receiving an award for the massive increase in workload during the...
ON Wednesday, King, the governor of the Bank of England, said of the developing crisis in the eurozone that his Monetary Policy Committee believes ‘there is no meaningful way to quantify the most extreme possible outcomes and they are therefore excluded from the plan charts’. He implied that the best...
THE Joseph Rowntree Foundation has carried out a comprehensive investigation into migrant workers’ experiences of forced labour and exploitation in the UK food industry across England and Scotland. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 62 migrant workers (mainly Polish, Chinese, Latvian and Lithuanian) across five locations (London, Liverpool, South-West England, Lincolnshire...