Home 2013 February

Monthly Archives: February 2013

THE chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network (FTN) Chris Hopson, representing more than 200 NHS trusts across England, has called for the ripping up of national agreements governing pay and conditions of service in the NHS, to be replaced by locally negotiated performance-related pay and conditions. Hopson...

Horsemeat Scandal

What started off last month as news, that traces of horsemeat DNA had been discovered by the Irish Food Standards agency in some supermarket beefburgers, has developed into a full-blown health crisis with the revelation that some ready meals contained 100% horsemeat. The scandal has thrown a light on the entire...
HEALTH workers in the West Bank will escalate their strike action next week, their union said on Sunday. Osama al-Najjar, the head of the healthcare union, said from February 17, the health sector will go on full strike, with the exception of one day per week in order to fulfil...
OVER three hundred firefighters lobbied the Fire Authority meeting in SE London yesterday, where the decision was being made to defy Tory Mayor Boris Johnson’s decision to proceed with savage cuts. These cuts include the closure of 12 fire stations, the removal of 18 engines and the slashing of...
OVER 100,000 workers in their unions, with students and youth marched on Saturday through the centre of Dublin, furious at the 64 billion euros of debt that the government wants to extract from the people of Ireland over the next forty years. The Dublin demonstration was part of a nationwide...

Crow Slams Hunt On NHS

‘THIS government can’t wait to destroy the NHS,’ RMT general secretary Bob Crow told News Line yesterday. The rail union leader was responding to a savage attack on the NHS – including bringing in police to prosecute doctors, nurses, and managers – advocated by Health Secretary Hunt in a newspaper...
JEREMY HUNT, who did a stint as a very pro-Murdoch Culture Secretary, was reshuffled out of that job and became Health Secretary as a result of the Leveson inquiry making public his extremely cosy relationship with the Murdoch Empire. He took the place of Andrew Lansley, another discredited minister, who...
THE Francis Inquiry – which took three years and cost £13 million – was presented to the public on Wednesday 6th February. Apparently finished last Summer, its publication was repeatedly postponed, most likely because it so clearly showed how forcing Mid Staffordshire hospital to make £10m savings to achieve foundation...
STEWART Jackson MP, a senior Member of the Committee of Public Accounts and the Tory MP for Peterborough, yesterday indicted his own government stating: ‘The strategic management of health resources across the East of England Strategic Health Authority has failed. Ultimate responsibility for this rests with the Department of...
DISABILITY Rights UK yesterday welcomed the report published by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on the Work Capability Assessment. The MPs found that the Work Capability test is causing fear and distress and is not accurate enough. Controversial assessments run by Atos on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions...
THE Syrian defence minister, General Fahd Jasim al-Furayj, gave an interview in Damascus on February 4th explaining the Israeli air raid, the ‘armed gangs’ and the strategy of the Syrian Army and government. He said: ‘As every Syrian and Arab citizen knows, Syria, under President Bashar al-Assad, leads the resistance...
TEACHERS and heads unions yesterday welcomed education secretary Gove’s abandonment of plans to scrap GCSEs in key subjects in England and replace them with English Baccalaureate Certificates. He admitted to MPs his proposal was ‘a bridge too far’ and he would instead ‘reform GCSEs’. Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg welcomed the...
TORY education secretary Michael Gove suffered a humiliating defeat on Thursday when he was forced to drop his flagship proposal to replace GCSEs with the EBC exam, calling it a ‘bridge too far’. Gove announced the English Baccalaureate Certificate  last September to a fanfare of approval from his Tory colleagues for...
HUNDREDS of Greek Coast Guards’ special forces and riot police raided striking seafarers’ pickets at the port of Piraeus at 3.30 Wednesday morning. During the night seafarers had been served with ‘civil conscription orders’ issued by the government who had declared a ‘national emergency situation’ on the ferries. The coast...
JAILED hunger striker Samer Issawi has now stopped taking water after refusing food for 188 days, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said on Tuesday. A PPS lawyer visited Issawi in Israel’s Ramle prison clinic and said he has stopped drinking water and taking vitamins, and is boycotting all medical tests. A doctor...
NHS staff should face prosecution if they are not open and honest about mistakes, according to the public inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital. In fact, both the current and last government should be prosecuted for keeping David Nicholson in office and promoting him to be boss of the...
THE Greek coalition government ordered the forced ‘civil conscription’ of the seafarers on Tuesday on the sixth day of their 100 per cent solid national strike. Two weeks ago the Greek government imposed the dictatorial ‘civil conscription’ on the Athens Metro and tram workers who were on strike. The GSEE...
THE Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has warned that it will pull out of the corporatist Croke Park talks if the Government does not drop its high-handed dictatorial agenda to cut pay. General Secretary Liam Doran said his mandate is to remain in the talks to await further clarification from...
LEWISHAM Hospital consultant John O’Donohue has denounced Health Secretary Hunt’s claim last week that the closure plan for the Lewisham A&E and Maternity departments ‘could save up to 100 lives every year’. Hunt said in parliament, referring to the Keogh Report: ‘With caveats, Sir Bruce was content to assert that...
A JUST-LEAKED United States Justice Department memo gives details of the ‘legal basis’ for authorising unmanned drone strikes to kill American citizens abroad. The document, obtained by NBC News, says that the Obama administration considers that the use of lethal force on Americans abroad is ‘lawful’ if they are judged...
THE Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) has welcomed, as a ‘short term victory’, an increase in the minimum wage for farmworkers from R69 (£5) a day to R105 (£7.50) a day. This was achieved by a massive uprising of farmworkers who were demanding R150 a day. Their action was...
Haitian authorities forcibly evicted nearly 700 families from two make-shift camps in the last two weeks, reported Amnesty International. Hundreds of families were left homeless in a new wave of evictions. The families, all victims of the earthquake over three years ago, were not given enough time to gather their...
Yesterday the Tory chancellor, George Osborne, introduced legislation on banking reforms – reforms which he is desperately trying to insist will prevent the continuing collapse of the banking system. This legislation is the coalition’s response to the 2011 Vickers report into the collapse of Northern Rock bank and the ensuing...
A secret police squad stole the identities of dead babies and children, using them to attempt to infiltrate political groups and parties, it was revealed yesterday. A public inquiry should be held into police undercover activities, the former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald demanded in response to the revelations,...
IT WAS impossible for the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) to negotiate for striking miners at Marikana because of their aggressive attitude and their unwillingness to talk to officials, NUM president Senzeni Zokwana told the Marikana inquiry last Thursday. Zokwana professed shock at the ‘vicious and cruel’ murders of two...
THE Chase Farm occupation was ended at 9pm on Saturday night after the police received government orders to evict the occupiers. The occupation began at 4pm after Bill Rogers the secretary of the North East London Council of Action told a rally on the steps of the Chase Farm...
‘CHASE FARM Hospital is occupied,’ Bill Rogers, Secretary of the North East London Council of Action, told News Line, speaking inside the hospital at the end of a one thousand-strong march through Enfield in north London on Saturday afternoon. ‘All other closure-threatened hospitals, fire stations, factories, work places, schools,...
THE News Line congratulates the North East London Council of Action for its march through Enfield on Saturday and its occupation of Chase Farm Hospital’s Clock Tower. Even though the Council of Action has been stressing, for the year of its daily picket of the hospital, that this was its...

Defend Our Hospitals!

OVER 400 people lobbied Lewisham hospital on Thursday evening in response to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s announcement that the hospital’s A&E is to be ‘downgraded’, not closed, while the Maternity Department will be closed. Angry local residents spoke to News Line. ‘I think that it is very devious of this...
IN THE UK at the moment there are dozens of District General Hospitals – some of the best in the world – set for closure, with the Coalition abusing them using its ‘black propaganda’ that they are failing, harming people’s health and not curing them. Hunt and Cameron weep...
DUBLIN – The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has warned that Ireland faces ‘the most dire consequences’ without a significant deal on the country’s 64 billion euro bank debt burden. Speaking at a briefing on the February 9th demonstrations, general secretary David Begg said the bank debt now threatened the...
Saturday 2nd February 2013
THE unprovoked air strike by Israeli forces on a scientific research centre on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus is the opening shot in the major war imperialism has prepared against Syria and Hezbollah and their leading ally in the region, Iran. This illegal act of international terrorism by...
MINISTERS are attempting to overturn concessions won by members of the House of Lords to the Tory-LibDem Coalition Government’s repressive Secret Courts Bill, warns Reprieve. Amendments tabled by Home Office minister James Brokenshire would remove changes made by the House of Lords which gave slightly more powers to judges in...
LOW-INCOME families will see their council tax bills rise by up to £600 a year from April, warns a report by the Resolution Foundation. The think-tank said yesterday: ‘As a result of council tax benefit reform, No Clear Benefit shows that three-quarters of local authorities are set to demand increased...
THIRTY-SIX trade unionists, including members of the GSEE (Greek TUC) general council, were attacked by the riot police with tear gas and truncheons and were arrested last Wednesday morning outside the Labour Ministry building in Athens. Two parliamentary deputies of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) were also attacked....