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Monthly Archives: September 2013

PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad gave an interview to the Latin America TeleSUR TV channel last Wednesday which has been featured on the Syrian state TV Sana network. In it he refused to rule out a US invasion of his country. He said: ‘As for the possibility of an American aggression, if...
ALL over the capitalist world, governments and administrations of all kinds are crumbling, as the deepening of the world crisis of capitalism sharpens the class struggle, making the continuation of bourgeois democratic government impossible. The strongest capitalist power, the USA, is now gripped by a situation where the rival political...
THE BMA has responded angrily to threats to GPs issued by the government’s new Chief Inspector of Primary Care, Professor Steve Field, who takes up his position tomorrow. Field claimed in a newspaper article on Saturday that 10 per cent of GP surgeries ‘aren’t providing appropriate access or quality of...
ROYAL Mail shares are to be sold by mid-October, with the government under-pricing the industry and selling for between £2.6bn to £3.3bn to make a very quick sale. The privatised company will be listed on the London Stock Exchange from October 15. Big business and the BBC were chuckling yesterday...
IN the first of many concrete moves after the AFL-CIO passed a resolution at its national convention to create new and lasting community partnerships to open and broaden the labour movement, the federation announced yesterday that it entered a new national partnership with United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). The...
POSTAL workers began balloting for strike action yesterday while the government, in a provocative move, chose the same day to announce they would float Royal Mail on the London Stock Exchange on October 15. The Tory government’s Department for Business said on Friday that Royal Mail would be floated on...
WEDNESDAY’S four-hour strike by firefighters in England and Wales was an enormous success, with pickets and demonstrations outside fire stations and in town and city centres receiving full support from the public Firefighters and their FBU representatives issued numerous statements expressing their determination to defeat the coalition government’s attack on...
THE USA is set to hit its debt ceiling by 17 October, if the Houses of Congress are unable to agree a massive cuts programme. The outcome will be a catastrophe for the USA and leave the government with half the money needed to pay its way, mean-ing that...
DISABLED children and adults are challenging the legality of the coalition government’s ‘bedroom tax’ and have won the right to take their cases to the Court of Appeal. The ‘bedroom tax’ came into force in April and means that families and single people living in social housing who have ‘too...
TWELVE thousand Chicago children are walking new, often longer, routes to school this autumn – after Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 47 state schools, almost all in poor Black and Latino neighbourhoods, say labour activists. Given its high rate of gun violence, the city dealt with the disruption by expanding its...
CENTRICA, the UK’s biggest energy company, said yesterday that if Labour won the general election in 2015 and brought in an energy price freeze until 2017, the energy giant would quit the UK and the lights, plus most other things, would go out. Centrica’s position is held by all of...
‘AFTER taking legal counsel’s advice, the closure of Chase Farm Hospital would be unlawful,’ Enfield Council warned yesterday. This was its response to the decision of Enfield, Barnet and Haringay Care Commissioning Groups to proceed ‘as soon as possible’ with the closure of the hospital. The Commissioning Groups voted that closure...
FIREFIGHTERS throughout England and Wales walked out of their fire stations at noon yesterday at the beginning of the Fire Brigades Union National Pensions Strike. At Holloway Fire Station, there was a strong picket of at least 20 firefighters. Patrick Glennon said: ‘It’s outrageous behaviour by the government. I think there...
FIREFIGHTERS in Wales will march on the Welsh Assembly today in protest against attacks on their pensions. From noon until 4,00pm, firefighters across England and Wales will be on strike over ‘unsafe, unfair and unworkable’ pension proposals. Scottish firefighters have been excluded from today’s strike action, prompting the London Region to...
TODAY'S four-hour national strike by firefighters is just the tip of a gigantic iceberg of working class hatred steadily bearing down on the leaky ship of this coalition government. FBU members are incensed by the government’s attempt to impose a new 60 years age for retirement, knowing full well that...
FIREFIGHTERS are on strike in defence of their pensions from 12noon until 4.00pm today with pickets outside fire stations and mass demonstrations in towns and cities across England and Wales. ‘This initial strike is a warning shot to government,’ said Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, yesterday. ‘It is ludicrous...

Greek General Strike Today

THE General Council of the ADEDY (public sector trades unions federation) has called another 48-hour national strike for today and tomorrow against the destruction of the public sector, hospitals, schools and services, and tens of thousands of mass sackings carried out by the Greek coalition government on the orders...
FIRE Minister Brandon Lewis’ claims over firefighter pensions have been ‘comprehensively discredited’, the Fire Brigades Union declared yesterday in a statement issued ahead of its four-hour national strike from midday tomorrow. Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, said: ‘Firefighters and the general public deserve to be told the truth on pensions. ‘Expecting...
THE shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, made his keynote speech to the annual conference of the Labour Party yesterday setting out the economic policy of any future Labour government – a policy that amounts to nothing more than carrying on with the coalition’s cuts in order to rescue British capitalism. The...
17,000 secondary school teachers are set to go on strike over the Irish government’s plans to cut their pay and allowances. The Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland said it will pursue industrial action after its members rejected the Haddington Road pay deal for a second time. The union originally rejected...
IN 2008, the then-Labour prime minister, Gordon Brown, actively considered ordering armed troops onto the streets of Britain as his response to the collapse of the capitalist banking system. Damian McBride, Brown’s spin doctor, recounts in his recent memoirs that after the giant US Lehman Brothers bank collapsed on September...
ONE-THIRD of the UK population struggles to pay for food, with almost a quarter saying that growing food prices remain one of the main causes of stress. A survey commissioned by the consumer group Which? showed that more than half the population are concerned about how to pay for their...
PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad has said he agrees with the plan, brokered by the US and the Russian governments, to secure and to eventually destroy Syria’s chemical weapons. He was asked by Fox News in an interview in Damascus on Wednesday if he is ready to open chemical weapons sites to...
THE Syrian war has reached a ‘stalemate’ and President Bashar al-Assad’s government will call for a ceasefire at the Geneva conference on the state’s future, the country’s deputy prime minister has told the Guardian newspaper. Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Qadri Jamil, a former Communist Party member, has said that neither...
GREEK teachers voted on Thursday by clear majorities for another five-day national strike starting Monday. The final decision will be taken by the OLME (teachers’ trade union federation) Executive today. Leading SYRIZA and ANTARSYA branch secretaries, who spoke at OLME meetings, urged a big vote to continue the strike and,...
END the pay freeze for midwives and give them the same percentage pay increase as managers, the Royal College of Midwives has demanded, in response to figures that show that 48 NHS senior managers are receiving an annual wage of £142,500 a year. Their sister union, the Royal College of...
OVER 200 people attended a ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Arts’ rally outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday night. The rally was organised by Lost Arts, which has been set up by eight unions whose members will be directly affected by funding cuts: the MU, Equity, BECTU, the...
WHEN workers pass the age at which their labour can be exploited for profit they become a useless burden on society as far as capitalism is concerned. This is the inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the continuing slashing of government spending on care for the elderly and most vulnerable...
SINCE the bedroom tax came into force this year, one in three council tenants have fallen behind in their rent, the TUC’s False Economy Campaign has revealed, and both the National Housing Federation and the TUC have called for it to be scrapped. The National Housing Federation also carried out...
THE Greek state secondary teachers’ national strike, which began on Monday, is spreading and deepening attracting other sections of workers. Primary state school teachers declared a 48-hour strike for Tuesday and Wednesday along with state hospital doctors, university administrative staff and ministries’ civil servants. The Greek Federation of Secondary School...
A REPORT from the independent health think-tank, the King’s Fund, has revealed that the NHS is systematically being destroyed through government-imposed financial cuts. The Fund canvassed chief executives and finance managers of NHS trusts and commissioning bodies across England about the effect of the Tory-led coalition government’s demand that the...
SYRIA has handed over ‘material evidence’ to Russia proving that foreign-backed terrorists were behind a recent chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus. The evidence was handed over to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov yesterday, who met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem and President Bashar Assad in Damascus. Ryabkov...
GREEK public sector workers launched a decisive 48-hour national strike against mass sackings and closures of hospitals, schools and social services yesterday. The strike, called by the ADEDY public sector workers trade unions federation, is a great boost to the indefinite national state secondary schools teachers’ strike which started on...
MONTHLY figures released yesterday reported that inflation in Britain had fallen from 2.8% in July to 2.7% in August, leading some bourgeois economists to claim that the ‘recovery’ of British capitalism is well under way. These statistics, which are used to bombard the working class in order to prove that...
TAMIL National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran has called for an international investigation into the state of Prisoners of War (POW) in Sri Lanka, according to international law. Addressing a press conference in Jaffna on Friday, September 13, Premachandran said the latest witness declaration by the Sri Lankan military at...

Hands Off Our Hospitals!

ANY attempt to use a new ‘Ofsted-style’ hospital inspection regime to justify closure of any South-West London hospital will be ‘vigorously fought,’ leading local union officer Kevin O’Brien, who represents more than 50,000 trade unionists in the area, told News Line yesterday. ‘I would hope that they’re not going...
GREEK secondary school teachers, in a fighting and determined mood, began a national indefinite strike on Monday against mass school closures and sackings. A rally was organised in the centre of Athens in front of the University building and a march to the Vouli (Greek parliament). The National Strike Committee set...
SUNDAY marked the fifth anniversary of the biggest banking collapse in the history of capitalism to date. On 15 September 2008 Lehman Brothers, a massive US investment bank, went bust and filed for bankruptcy, a collapse that sent shock waves throughout the world banking system and threatened to collapse the...

Mark Duggan Inquest Opens

‘WE HAVE been provided with nothing but lies, misinformation and delay,’ Pam Duggan, the mother of Mark Duggan said yesterday, on the opening day of her son’s inquest at the High Court in central London. Mark Duggan was the 29-year-old black man shot dead by police in Tottenham on 4th...
PARENTS, teachers, headteachers, governors and members of the public from across the East Midlands and Greater London gathered on Saturday for the latest in the programme of militant Rallies for Education. Held under the slogan Protecting Teachers, Defending Education, they are part of the NASUWT and NUT build-up to regional...
THE counter-revolutionary alliance between US imperialism and the Stalinist bureaucracy emerged into the light of day last Saturday with the joint framework agreement between the leadership of Russia and America to disarm Syria, which paves the way for the removal of the Assad government and opens the doors for...
FIREFIGHTERS in England and Wales are preparing for strike action over pensions after governments in Westminster and Cardiff refused to reach a compromise in talks with the Fire Brigades Union. On Friday, the FBU executive council issued a statement to members saying it had ‘no option’ but to call periods...
LINCOLNSHIRE Fire Brigades Union and the GMB trade union yesterday expressed concern over plans to use firefighters as A&E first responders. The FBU said it could lead to local communities being left ‘short of fire cover’. East Midlands Ambulance Service has been fined for missing response times. Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service...
FRENCH trade unions took to the streets last Tuesday in a massive ‘Day of Action’ protest against another government attack on their pensions. Previous attempts to slash pensions in France, in 1995 and 2010, unleashed mass protests and damaging strikes, and the Socialist government’s latest reforms are meeting the...
THE arrogant Tories have announced that the sell-off of Royal Mail is to begin in just weeks. The announcement comes days after the ending of the TUC Congress where Congress insisted, against the wishes of its leadership, that the issue of calling a general strike remains on its agenda, and...