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Monthly Archives: April 2016

THE UK is turning a blind eye to suffering on its doorstep by failing to protect vulnerable refugees, who have been displaced by conflict, violence, persecution and poverty, a group of 13 aid and refugee agencies said yesterday. The lack of adequate response from the UK and European governments to...
YESTERDAY, millions of Syrians were casting their votes in record numbers in parliamentary elections against the backdrop of a ceasefire that is generally holding, in a country that has had a major war imposed on it since 2012 by the UK, US and France, aided by Saudi...
SYRIANS were voting in parliamentary elections yesterday, with the ceasefire holding and the Syrian government gaining more ground against terrorists in the war-hit country. Over 7,000 polling stations were open across Syria where more than 3,500 candidates were contesting 350 seats in Syria’s parliament. Voting took place in regions such...
THE alleged architect of the construction ‘blacklisting’ scandal, Cullum McAlpine, has declined to give evidence in the High Court case, due to start next month, to establish the extent of wrong-doing in the industry. Unite, one of the unions whose members were blacklisted, condemned the decision by Cullum McAlpine not...
LABOUR PM Gordon Brown, after the financial collapse in 2008 and with the full support of the Tories, rescued the UK banks from their financial disaster. Funding was made available to an aggregate total of £500 billion in loans and guarantees. £200 billion was made available for short-term loans through...
THE National Union of teachers (NUT) is utterly opposed to the government’s plan to convert all schools to academies, ending democratic accountability in England’s education system and threatening every teacher’s pay and conditions. The NUT Conference at Easter overwhelmingly endorsed proposals to campaign, wherever possible jointly with other education unions...

Hands Off Our Homes!

‘HANDS off our Homes!’ shouted over fifty trade unionists and youth at a lobby of Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, in north west London on Monday evening. Protesters carried placards saying ‘Kill the Bill’, ‘Camden No Evictions’ and ‘Camden No Social & Ethnic Cleansing’ beneath Camden Unison Branch banner and...
NEW Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb used his first major speech yesterday to state that he believes the employment rate for disabled people is ‘simply unacceptable’. And he outlined his plan to drive disabled people off benefits and into work. Crabb told a meeting of the Early...
EXTREMIST Israeli settlers on Sunday spray-painted racist anti-Arab graffiti on the walls of a Jewish synagogue in Safed, in northern Israel, according to local witnesses. Israeli police said in a statement that racist graffiti, including ‘death to Arab’, were found on the walls of the synagogue. According to B’Tselem, an...
AT the Idomeni crossing from Greece into Macedonia refugees are clashing with Macedonian soldiers and police, as they try to reopen the border near their makeshift camp in the northern Greek border village of Idomeni, so as to proceed into Europe. 300 people have been injured by Macedonian police firing...
‘THE public no longer have the trust in him,’ Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn said of PM Cameron after he attempted to justify his involvement in offshore ‘treasure island’ tax havens in Parliament yesterday. Corbyn said: ‘Does he realise why people are so angry? We have gone through six years of...
STEELWORKERS’ union leaders are urging members to make a ‘huge sacrifice’ and accept both a pay cut and a pensions cut in order to secure their jobs at the Tata Steelworks in Scunthorpe for one year. Tata yesterday sold its Long Products Europe business, including its Scunthorpe plant, to investment...
OVER 1,500 people marched on Saturday to oppose Lambeth Council’s closure of five of the ten libraries in the borough. The people from Carnegie Library in Herne Hill who have been in occupation for the past ten days led the March to the centre of Brixton past Minet Library,...

Dodgy Cameron!

AFTER a week of denials, prime minister Cameron yesterday published just a summary of his tax returns. Cameron did reveal he received £300,000 from his late father, which is just below the inheritance tax bar of £325,000. He also received two gifts from his mother of £100,000. As a result....
THE Panama Papers ‘leak’ of 11 million documents continues to explode underneath the Tory party leadership. After a week of equivocation PM Cameron has produced a summary of his tax returns from 2009-15, meaning that there is a lot more to come out into the open after the lifting...
THERE is no end in sight to the strike at South African retail giant Shoprite’s distribution centre in Centurion, Gauteng Province, with workers vowing to continue until management meets their demands. Shoprite is the biggest grocer in Africa by the number of stores. Staff downed tools on Monday over issues...
THE Tories have ruled out any fresh talks with the junior doctors and in doing so have thrown down the gauntlet for a fight to the finish. The government said that the British Medical Association had ‘blown its chance to negotiate’ and said there would be ‘no deviation from imposition’. In...
LABOUR MP John Mann yesterday called for PM Cameron to resign in light of the ongoing scandal regarding Cameron’s father’s offshore bank account, exposed in the Panama Papers. Mann said: ‘The question is one of honesty here, he has covered this up. Particularly importantly during the 2010 election campaign and...
ON Thursday Tory health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, delivered a speech proclaiming that as far as the government is concerned ‘the matter is closed’: he will push ahead with imposing the new contract on junior doctors and he will not ‘back down’. A health department insider told the BBC that the...
‘WHOSE NHS? Our NHS!’ chanted over 150 junior doctors from east London hospitals at a lunchtime strike rally outside Hackney Town Hall on Thursday. One of the doctors, Sandy, told the rally: ‘We’ve had tremendous support. The teachers and steel workers support us and we support them. I’m not striking...
DUTCH voters have delivered a hefty kick in the crotch to the EU Presidency currently held by Holland, also to the European Commission, the Dutch government and the Cameron government in the UK, who were depending on a ‘yes’ vote in Holland to remove trade barriers with the Ukraine,...
‘SUPPORT junior doctors! Save the NHS! Let’s stop this unfair, untested and unsafe contract from being imposed. This contract is bad for patient safety, it’s a bad contract. We are one profession and we stand together!’ junior doctor Saira Siddiqui from the Royal London Hospital in east London...
THOUSANDS of junior doctors joined more than 140 picket lines across England yesterday to protest against the imposition of a new contract. Junior doctors took action for the fourth time over concerns the new contract is unfair for junior doctors and will be bad for the delivery of patient care...
A GOOD picket of junior doctors turned out at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital at 8am. They were in good spirits despite the wind and the rain. Mid-morning a band came along with accordion, guitar and lead singer to entertain them and encourage a singalong. Off-duty firemen also came to...
‘HUNGRY pupils mean we risk returning to a Victorian era rife with inequality,’ a survey by teachers union ATL has found. Almost four in ten (39%) education staff know of pupils who come to school hungry, and have no money for a lunch, but do not receive free school meals...
ON every front – the economic, the political and the ideological – the capitalist ruling classes and their system are reeling and in desperate crisis. Less than a decade after the 2007 banking collapse, the system is hurtling towards an even bigger economic and political catastrophe. After ten years of austerity...
JUNIOR doctors will walk out on their fourth strike at 8am this morning and form picket lines outside every hospital in the country, as the battle against the government’s imposition of an unsafe and unfair contract escalates. Today’s strike is for 48 hours and the junior doctors will be out...
THE ‘Panama papers’ leak of 11 million documents shows that the rich and infamous worldwide, including heads of state, are avoiding taxation while the workers and the poor have had vicious ‘austerity programmes’ imposed on them. The Mossack Fonseca papers have already touched off riots and revolutionary demonstrations...
ALMOST nine out of ten GP (general practitioner) practices struggle to find locum cover, as the doctor shortage worsens across England. A new BMA (British Medical Association) survey of 2,814 GP practices in England has found that almost nine out of ten struggle to find locum cover to plug staffing...
THE Wikileaks organisation dropped a bombshell on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last Saturday when it published the transcript of a private conversation between the two IMF officials leading the negotiations with the Greek government over the country's huge debt crisis. In the leaked conversation between IMF Europe director Poul...
THE Association of Mineworkers & Construction Union (Amcu) yesterday served notice of its intention to strike from Wednesday at the facilities of Sibanye Gold following a mass meeting at the firm’s Driefontein mine, Eastern Cape province, on Sunday. Amcu spokesman, Manzini Zungu said that the strike, by over 18,000 members...
STEELWORKERS’ representatives from the Community, Unite and GMB trade unions met at the TUC yesterday to demand action to save their jobs and industry. They rallied outside the TUC headquarters off Tottenham Court Road, central London, before meeting inside where 100 delegates discussed the urgent crisis. The meeting set out the...
THE government has been hit with a second legal challenge over its imposition of the new contract for junior doctors which forces them to work even longer hours This, doctors rightly insist will endanger patient safety, because ‘tired doctors make mistakes’. NHS staff campaign group ‘Just Health’ started the legal...
COMMUNITY steel union representatives from all of the Tata Steel plants are meeting at the TUC today to discuss and plan the struggle to defend their steel industry, their jobs, their families and all of the jobs that depend on the steel industry in the UK. The Tories are not...
WORKLOAD is the key driver of the teacher shortage crisis, putting people off becoming teachers and compelling enthusiastic teachers to leave, according to a new survey released by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL). In March, 876 education staff told ATL their views on the growing teacher recruitment and...
COMMUNITY steel union representatives are meeting at the TUC today with the threat of closure hanging over the industry in the UK, with tens of thousands of jobs at stake after Tata said it was selling its UK plants. Business Secretary Sajid Javid said yesterday the government’s plan to...
CARNEGIE Library in Herne Hill, south London, is occupied. Over 30 people, including campaigners, supporters and local people have been in occupation since Lambeth Council officially closed the library last Thursday, 31st March, along with four other libraries in the borough. One of the occupiers, Robert Gibson, chair of Upper...
MIGRANT workers building Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the 2022 World Cup have suffered systematic abuses, in some cases forced labour, Amnesty International revealed in a new report published on Thursday. The report, The ugly side of the beautiful game: Exploitation on a Qatar 2022 World Cup site, blasts...
FROM Friday 1 April, the Greater Manchester authorities have taken over a £6 billion health and social care budget to serve a population of 2.6 million people as the government ‘devolve’ control of spending on health and social care to a new ‘partnership board’ comprising ten local authorities, 12...
THE NEW financial year was ushered in yesterday with a series of price hikes that hit working class families hard. Council Tax went up, water bills went up, some mobile phone bills doubled, the price of stamps rose, NHS prescription charges were up and dental treatment was hiked up by...
THE BMA has launched a judicial review, challenging the lawfulness of the Tories’ decision to impose a new contract on the junior doctors. Junior doctors rightly insist that the new contract will make them work such long hours that it will become unsafe for patients. The junior doctors are...
OVER 1,000 mainly Syrian and Afghan refugees marched last Wednesday through the Athens city centre to the EU Offices in Greece demanding free and safe passage to central Europe. They carried placards stating ‘we want to leave’ and ‘freedom’. They were joined by Athens University students and refugee support groups....
‘I DO not believe that nationalisation is the right answer,’ Tory PM Cameron said yesterday, putting two fingers up to the 15,000 steel workers that face losing their jobs, as the UK’s biggest steel works in Port Talbot, Wales, is threatened with closure. Cameron claimed that he was ‘concerned’...
CAMERON yesterday gave the ‘V’ sign to the appeals by the Unite and TUC leadership that there must be a temporary nationalisation of Tata Steel until a new buyer could be found, dismissing their appeals before he flew off to the USA. They had wanted him to do what Obama...
SCHOOLTEACHERS in Ireland are set to strike over a number of issues, including the 10% pay cut that has affected as many as 6,000 of them who started working at primary and secondary level since 2011. Along with the removal of qualifications allowances since 2012, estimates range from 100,000...