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Monthly Archives: January 2016

SIX hundred new armed officers are being  trained for anti-terrorist warfare in the city of London, the Metropolitan Police has announced. This will bring  the total number of armed officers in the capital to 2,800. There are also 5,000 soldiers specially trained to deal with terrorist attacks in London –...
SIX HUNDRED extra armed officers are to be trained and put on the streets of London in case of ‘terrorist attack’, bolstering the number of armed police in the capital to 2,600. The extra recruitment comes after Scotland Yard ‘reassessed its ability to stop terrorism’. The 600 extra officers will...
THREE G4S employees were arrested yesterday and are being held on suspicion of child neglect following an investigation into abuse at a young offenders centre in Kent. The three men were among four ‘team leaders’ at the Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester who were sacked on Tuesday following the...
IN his recent interview with the German newspaper Bild Vladimir Putin was asked a number of questions about Syria. Question: Now let’s turn to Syria, if you do not mind. We say that we are tackling common challenges there. This is the joint fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria....
IN his November Autumn statement, Chancellor Osborne was full of optimism that the crisis of world and British capitalism was being resolved, with his savage austerity measures playing a decisive role. Less than two months later, in his January 7 statement he revised his position, saying that, ‘2016 is the...
MASS picket lines packed with enthusiastic doctors and supporters were the rule in every part of the country yesterday on the first day of the junior doctors strike action against the Tories’ attempt to dictate their contracts. Commenting on the strike Dr Johann Malawana, BMA Junior Doctors Committee...
YESTERDAY the junior doctors took the first day of their three days of strike action, and shook the Tory regime to its core with a massive turn-out, big picket lines, and with other trade unionists joining the pickets to show their support for the struggle to defend the NHS...

Greek pensions strike!

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GREECE’S Seamen’s Pension Fund union held a general assembly to decide on further action on the second day of a two-day strike over pensions. Pension Fund (NAT) were on strike on Monday and Tuesday in protest at the government’s proposals for social security reform. The next stage of Greece’s bailout...
TODAY’S strike by junior doctors has the support of 100% of workers across the country. They are not fooled by all the Tory propaganda that the strike is putting patients’ lives at risk or the grotesque attempt by the Department of Health and Jeremy Hunt to portray junior doctors as...
A MEDECINS Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF)-supported hospital has been hit in northern Yemen causing at least four deaths, injuring 10 people and leading to the collapse of several buildings within the medical facility, the charity said on Sunday. Its press statement continued: ‘Three of the injured are MSF staff,...
THE BMA has rebuked the NHS National Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh for breaking an agreement with it in an attempt to organise strike breaking. He wrote to Trust Medical Directors, on January 8, to seek ‘for the periods of industrial action . . . in conjunction with your local...
TRADE unionists are flocking to the junior doctors picket lines this morning. Matt Wrack, general secretary at the Fire Brigades Union, said: ‘Our people who have the day off work will go along to the pickets in support of junior doctors.’ Ian Hodson, president at the Bakers, Food and Allied...
‘NURSES should come on a half day strike with the junior doctors,’ Jenny a student occupational therapist told a mass rally opposite Downing Street on Saturday. This followed an 8,000 strong march from St Thomas’ Hospital, Westminster, of student nurses, midwives, health professionals and a large contingent of junior...
THE Fire Brigades Union has appealed to the Home Office, which is now in charge of the fire service, to save the service from devastating cuts of around 30% imposed under the control of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). This appeal is akin to calling on an...
TUBE unions’ national executives are meeting today and are expected to announce a further three days of strike action over the Night Tube and ticket office closures. Central to the dispute is the planned imposition of Night Tube rosters on 7th February and the recruitment of 180 part-time train drivers...
EMAILS, made public this week, between the Tory government and the head of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, reveal the way the Tories attempted to turn a ‘war on terror’ into a war against junior doctors. These emails, between department of health officials and Keogh, refer to a letter published...

Irish Nurses strike

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IRISH nurses and midwives are taking strike action from next week, with two-hour rolling stoppages commencing on Thursday, 14th January. Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), working in the country’s 26 Emergency Departments (EDs), have rejected, by a margin of 58% to 42%, proposals, brokered by the...
THE privatised assessment tests which find sick and disabled people ‘fit for work’ are ‘failing claimants and taxpayers’ and must be ‘brought back in-house’, civil servants union PCS said yesterday. The PCS was responding to the latest National Audit Office (NAO) report released yesterday which shows disability benefit assessments...
‘I HAVE a very clear warning: last year was the worst for global growth since the crash and this year opens with a dangerous cocktail of new threats from around the world,’ Tory Chancellor Osborne said yesterday. He made his warning in a speech delivered in Cardiff, where he made...
IN a speech yesterday and in interviews with the BBC, the Tory chancellor, George Osborne, admitted that, contrary to everything he has said in the past about a healthy growing economy, ‘2016 is the year of mission critical’ for British capitalism. In his Autumn Statement last year, Osborne announced a...
DEPUTY head of Hamas’s political bureau Ismail Haniya has urged Arab and Muslim leaders in the region, in letters sent to them, to support al-Quds intifada (uprising) and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the face of the occupation. The Hamas official highlighted the great sacrifices made by the...
‘PIG-headed’ EDF Energy bosses have sparked a week-long meter workers’ strike. A week-long strike by EDF Energy workers carrying out Smart meter installations will take place next week, after ACAS talks failed. Unite, suspended a week’s strike in November for talks with the management. However, the union said that...
LABOUR leader, Jeremy Corbyn, completed his first reshuffle of the shadow cabinet after a tortuous round of negotiations designed to keep the right-wing of the Labour leadership happy. With the right-wing screaming that Corbyn was prepared to sack his foreign affairs spokesman, Hilary Benn, and the capitalist press gleefully...
‘GENERAL practice across England is under unprecedented pressure,’ was the BMA’s response yesterday to the news that hundreds of surgeries across the country applied to NHS England in 2014-15 to stop accepting new patients because their services were at breaking point. Doctors explain that unmanageable workloads and a severe...
PEOPLE trapped in property fires, floods and road traffic collisions will have to wait far longer for firefighters to rescue them if cuts are given the go ahead, Gloucestershire Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warned. The union has called for politicians at Gloucestershire County Council to reject plans that would...

Kill the Housing Bill!

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‘DEFEND council housing! No social cleansing!’ shouted three hundred people demonstrating outside parliament yesterday as MPs debated the Housing and Planning Bill 2015 at its third reading. There were banners from the Southern and Eastern Region of the TUC, from Class War, Defend Council Housing, the Occupy movement,...
THE decision by the BMA on Monday to walk away from the negotiations over the imposition of new contracts for junior doctors and to implement strike action next week is to be applauded. That the Tories and the health employers are not really interested in securing a compromise deal that...
THREE increases in the minimum wage in New York took place on the last day of 2015, with workers in the fast food industry, tipped positions, and all other industries receiving a higher wage beginning December 31. ‘We’re pleased, we think it’s a good beginning in fact, wages across the...
BRITAIN’S housing bubble is a threat to the global stability of capitalism – this is the assessment of Crispin Odey, the country’s leading hedge fund manager. Odey made his reputation and vast fortune speculating that shares prices would crash in 2008 when the bank crisis first broke and again by...
JUNIOR doctors will strike next Tuesday after talks with the government broke down at 4.45pm yesterday afternoon. The BMA said in a statement: ‘Junior doctors in England are set to take to industrial action next week Tuesday, 12th January after talks between the BMA and NHS Employers failed to...
BAHA Mousa’s father, Colonel Mousa, considers it is imperative that those responsible for the death of Baha Mousa, including the commanding officer, are prosecuted. Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) said yesterday said there is little doubt that war crimes were committed by British troops in Iraq. PIL said it notes that...
THE Saudi autocrats, the major ally of the US and the UK in the Middle East, alongside Israel, have just thrown barrels of petrol onto the fires of sectarianism in the Middle East, quite deliberately, with the execution of the prominent Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, along with...
‘WHAT is the NHS? To those who run it, a vast endeavour employing 1.4m people, consuming one pound in every six of public spending. To a patient the morning after a hip replacement, it’s a cup of tea with two paracetamol tablets and a kind word. The NHS might be...
THE TUC New Year’s message (see page 3) has been delivered with TUC general secretary O’Grady on her knees appealing to the bosses and the government to work with the TUC for the common good. She began her message stating: ‘This Christmas, it was great to see high streets buzzing...
THE Royal Commission report into Trade Unions should be relegated to the dustbin of 2015, along with Abbott and Co,’ said Australian Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) National Construction Secretary Dave Noonan on Thursday. The CFMEU said it welcomed the decision of the Turnbull Government to bury the...

GPES & ATOS slammed

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THE General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) IT system, designed to extract data from the four major clinical IT systems used by GPs, is late, over-budget and still does not deliver all that was intended, say MPs. The just-published House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report says. ‘The original...
AN increasing number of pupils in Scotland are going to school hungry and a number are displaying signs of stress and lethargy, according to teachers. Teaching union the EIS carried out a survey of hunger and ill-health in pupils as part of its work on tackling the impact of...