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Monthly Archives: June 2018

FIRE Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack has issued the following statement, commenting on the testimony given to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry by Watch Manager Mike Dowden. Wrack said: ‘Watch Manager Mike Dowden has shown himself to be a very honest man. ‘He has answered all questions to the best...
‘THE whole thing was hell, it was like a war zone,’ fire crew manager Charlie Batterbee, part of the first crew who entered Grenfell Tower, told the inquiry on Thursday. The firefighters on that night did everything that they possibly could to save as many lives as possible. Batterbee is...
70 YEARS of the NHS are being celebrated with a mass demonstration today in central London supported by the TUC and 11 other health trade unions. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth will be among those who will address the crowds. Corbyn said ahead of the...
MAHMOUD Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah movement, said on Tuesday that the Palestinian people will not allow the humanitarian situation in Gaza to override Palestinians basic national rights. Aloul said in an interview with Palestine TV that ‘we are ready to starve but will not be ready that in return...
NOTHING summed up the crisis that is gripping the leadership of the trade unions like the TUC’s joint statement this week, with the bosses of the CBI and ‘Business Europe’ urging workers to accept staying in the EU and to overturn the referendum result. At the same time, the GMB...
‘WE still don’t know the process of accountability,’ British citizen Moazzam Begg, previously held in Guantanamo Bay, said criticising the scope of an inquiry into torture and extraordinary rendition. He was responding to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) report released yesterday which showed that there were at least 13...
AHEAD of this week’s European Council meeting, the Directors General of Business Europe and the CBI, Markus Beyrer and Carolyn Fairbairn, and the General Secretaries of the ETUC and the TUC, Luca Visentini and Frances O’Grady, have issued an unprecedented joint statement threatening ‘dire’ consequences in the event of...
‘The deregulation of fire safety is essential in understanding how a death trap was created at Grenfell Tower,’ writes Matt Wrack, the General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in his blog which now appears on the FBU website. Wrack writes: ‘Why was the Grenfell Tower fire allowed to...
THE TUC leaders have just issued an unprecedented joint statement with the bosses of the CBI, the ETUC and Business Europe ahead of June’s meeting of the European Council to urge an agreement for the UK to remain in the single market and the Customs Union. These are the same...
AFTER over a decade of savage austerity measures, during which wages have been driven down and millions made dependent on food banks, the House of Commons Defence Committee has just demanded that the defence budget should rise from 2% of GDP (£40bn) to 3% (£60bn), in its report called...
‘GENERAL Practice is cracking,’ Dr Richard Vautrey, GP committee UK chair, told the BMA Annual Representative Meeting in Brighton yesterday, highlighting the closure of hundreds of GP surgeries, leaving millions of patients forced to travel miles to try and register with another practice. Doctors passed motions calling for action...
GREEK hospital workers on Monday morning blocked the entrance to the Finance Ministry on Nikis Street near Syntagma Square in an angry protest against austerity, which is cutting the Greek health services to ribbons. Ties were strung on the black banner. The tie-adorned banner was a dig at Prime...
THE LATEST latest annual report from the BIS (Bank for International Settlements) on the economic crises gripping world capitalism couldn’t have been clearer – capitalism is heading for a gigantic crash that will collapse the economies of every single country. In this latest report the BIS has gone even further...
ACCORDING to the Syrian president, Syria destroyed all its stocks of chemical weapons back in 2013, but the West was still using ‘fairy tales’ to accuse Damascus when the terrorist forces under their control suffer military defeats. Speaking to Russia’s NTV news channel, Bashar Assad said that the stories about...
IN LIGHT of the Windrush scandal, ‘obscene’ Home Office fees have been slammed by campaigners who brand the Home Office as ‘a money-making machine’ and ‘nothing short of a national disgrace’. The Home Office has made profits of up to 800% on some immigration applications. Among the charges are the £3,250...
ALMOST every single doctor voted to oppose the introduction and imposition of an insurance-based healthcare system into the UK. The almost unanimous vote took place at the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Annual Representative Meeting in Brighton yesterday. Motion 14 proposed by the London region of the BMA stated: That...
SYRIA’S Head of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, Mahmoud Hamoud, said that the Directorate is filing a file for stolen antiquities to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL). This is with the aim of intensifying...
AFTER their defeat in the House of Commons last Wednesday over the EU Withdrawal Bill, the billionaire George Soros’ ‘Best for Britain’ movement and its various support groups organised its first mass action in the streets last Saturday. This was to fight the decision of the UK...
DOCTORS’ leader Chaand Nagpaul is today warning of an ‘all year’ crisis in the NHS as eight in ten doctors say underfunding is significantly affecting quality and safety in the health service. In his keynote address to the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting in Brighton this morning, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the...
REFUGEE Day, last Wednesday, highlighted the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War with the number forcibly displaced reaching its highest for the sixth year in a row. The UNHCR report shows that there were 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world, including 25.4 million refugees! This...
‘THEY haven’t told us how long we are moving temporarily. They haven’t even told us whether they will demolish the block,’ Cisem Staines from the Tangmere Block, on Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham, north London told News Line yesterday. She was speaking about the alarming announcement by the London Borough...

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up Victoria&Albert Museum, Cromwell Road,London SW7 2RL 16 June – 4 November 2018 Admission £15 (concessions available). SOLD out to the end of this month, the V&A is presenting an exhibition exploring the life and art of Frida Kahlo (b. 1907), one of the most significant artists and...
TWO tower blocks on the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham are at risk of a ‘catastrophic collapse’. After the horrific Grenfell fire, which left so many men, women and children dead, buildings up and down the country were checked for safety. Two residential blocks, which were completed in the early...
‘I WILL not stop with this case while I’m still breathing,’ Rod Charles vowed yesterday. Rod Charles is the great uncle of Rashan Charles who died after being restrained by police officers. Rashan Jermaine Charles died after being arrested by the police in the early hours of Saturday morning, July...
Police killings of unarmed black Americans have adverse effects on the mental health of black American adults in the general population, according to a new population-based study. With police killings of unarmed black Americans widely perceived to be a symptom of structural racism, the findings highlight the role of structural...
MINICAB firm Addison Lee is the latest in a long line of gig economy employers to be up in court arguing for their right to exploit workers in ways that would not have been out of place in the 19th century. This time Addison Lee is appearing at the Employment...
THE TORIES have been stripping sufferers of multiple sclerosis of the vital funds they need to buy mobility scooters and vehicles if they can walk a single step over the course of 20 metres. Charity MS Society has called for the 20 metres rule to be scrapped. People with MS...
THE GOVERNMENT saw off an attempt by Remainers to adopt the Lords amendment which would have allowed a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final Brexit deal. 303 MPs voted yesterday afternoon to accept the Lords amendment and 319 voted to reject it. So the Lords amendment was rejected...
London-based charity War on Want has said the British government is ‘complicit in the violence’ perpetrated against Palestinians as it continues to provide arms to Israel. Responding to the UK’s abstention from last month’s UN General Assembly vote on the Protection of the Palestinian Civilian Population, War on Want’s senior...
THE WORLD’S stock markets fell dramatically on Tuesday following US president Donald Trump’s latest move to ratchet up US capitalism’s trade war with China to the point where it threatens to crash world trade and the global financial system. Trump has already imposed 25% tariffs on $50 billion worth of...
IN A MONUMENTAL act of cynicism, the Tory government on Monday announced that this Friday will be designated ‘Windrush Day’ and that henceforth 22nd June, the day HMS Windrush arrived in Britian in 1948 carrying 500 migrants from the Caribbean, will be celebrated annually. According to the Tory community minister,...
JUST nine days after the Ontario election, thousands flooded the streets outside the Ministry of Labour and marched to Queen’s Park on Saturday in support of the $15 minimum wage and fairer labour laws. People came in from Niagara to Ottawa, Brampton to Oshawa, and joined the rally carrying signs...
FIREFIGHTERS were not to blame for the stay-put strategy in the Grenfell Tower, fire expert Dr Barbara Lane told the Inquiry, it is the refurbishment, she insisted, which was to blame for the spread of the fire which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children. Dr...
ALMOST 2,000 children were separated from their families at the US border over six weeks, officials say. Following a Trump administration crackdown on ‘illegal’ border crossings from Mexico, adults are being detained, meaning the children with them are removed from their care. The issue is causing a growing political storm...
THE SURPRISE announcement by Theresa May on Sunday that the Tories had plans to put £20 billion of extra funding into the NHS over the next ten years is the clearest sign of the desperation in the ranks of the government. Wracked by splits over Brexit in her own party...
VITAL local services are collapsing, council workers have warned in a new survey conducted by their union, Unison. Unison warned that Tory cuts have ‘left councils across the UK unable to meet the needs of local communities and, in some cases, are putting the public at risk.’ A survey, released...
‘THERESA May we don’t trust you, We trust the FBU,’ shouted over 3,000 marchers from Downing Street in London on Saturday. The joint march organised by the FBU and Justice4Grenfell attracted delegations of firefighters from as far as Ireland and Scotland. A number of banners from the lecturers’ union...
THE MAY government avoided a House of Commons defeat for the Brexit Withdrawal Bill last Tuesday by making promises to the leading Tory Remainer, Dominic Grieve, who is a Privy Councillor and ex-Attorney General, which it then reneged on, a tactic that was described by Grieve as ‘a slap...
YESTERDAY’S claim by Tory PM May that she will hand over an extra £20bn a year to the NHS was described by Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell as a ‘publicity stunt’. Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, May said: ‘We’re going to ensure there’s a 10-year plan for...
THE boss of rail privateer, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is to resign after the company’s new timetables brought the railway to a near halt. He inflicted major disruption onto passengers as hundreds of trains were cancelled. GTR, which runs Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern, said chief executive Charles Horton would...
15,000 workers and youth took part in an emotional silent march through west London on Thursday evening to mark the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower inferno that claimed 72 lives and injured many others. The march was headed by young people with the banner Grenfell Youth Know the Truth!...
‘THIS IS a time for revolution not patching,’ said Anthony Painter, Director of Action & Research at the Royal Society of Arts, calling for Universal Credit to be scrapped. He was responding to the National Audit Office report into Universal Credit which says it has ‘taken significantly longer to roll...
THE National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have both officially rejected Eskom’s 0% wage offer, saying the state-owned power utility cannot plead poverty because it is ‘dealing with a self-imposed crisis’. Last week, wage negotiations at Eskom collapsed after the unions walked...
THE ANNOUNCEMENT this week by the aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce that it is to slash 4,600 jobs in the UK as part of its ‘major shakeup’ of the business is yet another blow to the Tory boasts about British capitalism thriving and creating a veritable paradise of near...

Grenfell Anniversary

‘WE WANT the nation to keep Grenfell in their consciousness, member of the Justice4Grenfell campaign group Yvette Williams said on the anniversary of the tragic fire which claimed the lives of so many men, women and children. Masses of people gathered at the base of Grenfell Tower yesterday morning...