National News

Cut 30,000 NHS beds says think-tank

by Daphne Liddle

ANYONE who has had recent dealings with NHS hospitals cannot help but be aware that there is a desperate shortage of beds — and has been since the drastic cuts made by the Tories in the early 1990s.

Those cuts were made after a think-tank, the Kings Fund, said we had too many hospitals and too many beds and should make cuts to somehow improve the service.

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Shameful conditions in meat industry

“BRITAIN’S Supermarkets should hang their heads in shame”, Unite Deputy General Secretary, Jack Dromey said last Saturday welcoming the damning indictment by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, in a forensic report into exploitation, undercutting and discrimination in the 88,000-strong meat industry, which supplies the nation’s household name supermarkets.

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No ban on Nazi teachers

UNIONS last week expressed “deep disappointment” after the Maurice Smith review recommended that there should be no ban on teachers belonging to the fascist and racist British National Party.

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Unite to campaign for Labour

by Caroline Colebrook

THE GIANT general union Unite is mobilising its members to canvass for Labour in key marginal seats in order to counteract the vast sums being pumped into Tory campaigns in marginal seats by the controversial peer Lord Ashcroft. Ashcroft has sat in the House of Lords for a decade now, influencing the British law-making process while living outside the country and so avoiding paying tax on his immense fortune.

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Housing workers strike

MEMBERS of the public sector union Unison last Monday took strike action after a 93 per cent vote from members for industrial action after fruitless attempts to negotiate with their employer — the Notting Hill Housing Trust.

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BNP faces election chaos

THE BRITISH National Party has been plunged into constitutional chaos, just weeks before the general election, after a judge ruled its membership policy was still discriminatory.

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Pensioners excluded from care conference

HEALTH Secretary Andy Burnham last months held a special conference to look at the future of care services and how they could be funded.

The event had been hastily arranged following an argument between the two main political parties over the breakdown of private talks which had aimed at reaching a consensus on the issue before the general election.

Despite requests prior to the event to attend, the National Pensioners’ Convention was not invited to take part — and no pensioners were present.

A statement from the conference declared that there was growing support for all over 65s to pay a proportion of their assets or savings in exchange for free care.

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Boris betrays Londoners

TORY London mayor Boris Johnson has betrayed London Underground workers, passengers and voters, by announcing 800 jobs cuts according to the union TSSA.

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Police stop and search still racist

THE EQUALITY and Human Rights Commission last week reported that most police forces in England and Wales still unfairly target black and Asian people in their use of stop and search powers.

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GMB back anti-fascist protest

MEMBERS of the GMB union last Thursday too part in a protest in Aldwick, West Sussex, outside a venue where the British National Party was due to hold a meeting to select candidates for the general election.

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Shell to cut another 1,000 jobs

THE GIANT Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell last Tuesday announced it is planning to cut another 1,000 jobs by the end of next year as part of its continuing cost-cutting programme.

This is at a time when crude oil prices are relatively low while prices at the pumps are about to jump to £1.20 a litre. This rise is being blamed on speculators “distorting” the market.

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Rail union ballot for fight against safety-critical job cuts

TWO rail unions, RMT and TSSA, last week announced strike ballot results strongly in favour of action against plans to cut rail maintenance staff so much that the safety of workers and passengers would be compromised.

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Union ultimatum for Corus steel

THE COMMUNITY union, formerly the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation, last week warned the management of the giant Corus steel company that time is running out for the company to avoid industrial action over the mothballing of Teesside Cast Products.

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Salute to Marx at Highgate

by New Worker correspondent

A NEW COMMUNIST Party delegation joined other communists and progressives in saluting the memory of Karl Marx at the annual ceremony in Highgate Cemetery in north London.

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Standing by the Palestinians

Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association said goodbye on Thursday 11th March to fourteen Palestinian women from all over the West Bank who had come on a visit to Britain as part of the Stories from our Mothers Project, supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation.

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Honouring Marx at the Party Centre

THE IMMENSE contribution of Karl Marx to the cause of socialism was remembered by comrades and friends at the New Communist Party’s London Centre last Saturday at a reception to mark the 127th anniversary of the passing of the founder of scientific socialism.

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Solidarity with Democratic Korea

NEW COMMUNIST Party leader Andy Brooks joined a picket outside the south Korean embassy in London on Monday, which had been called to protest against the continuing American and puppet forces’ war games in the occupied south of the country. The military exercises, code-named “Key Resolve” and “Foal Eagle,” began on 8th March and they will run for ten days. Some 18,000 US troops backed by a huge number of puppet forces are taking part in the exercises which rehearse an invasion of north Korea.

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International News

23 million jobless in Europe


UNEMPLOYMENT in the European Union has continued to rise in the first part of 2010, with 9.6 per cent of the economically active population — the equivalent of 23 million people — now jobless, the highest level since 2000, according to the European Community’s statistics office Eurostat.

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Protests continue to rock Greece

Xinhua news agency

HUNDREDS of Greeks gathered in central Athens on Tuesday evening and ended one more day of protests, vowing for more action against austerity measures in the following days.

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Icelanders vote ‘No’ payback

by G Dunkel

Workers World (US)

FACED with a referendum to approve a deal that would have cost every person in Iceland a quarter of their income for the next eight years, 63 per cent of Iceland’s registered voters ignored the light snow and came out to massively reject the deal. With almost all the ballots counted, 94 per cent were “no,” with spoiled and blank votes outnumbering the two per cent who voted “yes.”

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Obama: another broken promise

Radio Havana Cuba

THE CURRENT American president reached the White House supported by a hundreds of thousands of Latin American citizens’ votes within the United States, who were very excited about his political campaign promise of carrying out the eagerly awaited migratory reform, but it seems to be the president’s word was shelved instead.

In fact, without a great advertising campaign and far away from TV screens and the huge mass media, this administration hardened its policies against non-documented workers whose deportation processes were dramatically increased, if compared with his predecessor George W Bush.

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Imperialist offensive unravels in Afghanistan

by Sara Flounders

THE PENTAGON offensive against the Afghan city of Marjah was public-relations media hype from the very first day. The sole purpose of the offensive in Marjah was to convince the American population and increasingly tepid Nato allies that this imperialist war is winnable.

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The climate after Copenhagen

by Renee Sams

THE UNITED NATIONS climate summit in Copenhagen last December, after much debate, failed to come to any agreed action on climate change. There was a proposal that governments should pledge by a 31st January deadline by how much they were going to take action to protect the climate but nothing seems to have come of that.

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The monstrous regime of Uribe in Columbia

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

HAS THE policy of the United States of America changed substantially in Latin America? Judging by Washington’s close friend and ally, Alvaro Uribe of Columbia, no, it has not. Murder of opposition activists, disappearances, threats and of course torture are the modus operandi in fashion in Columbia, where the USA has built up a considerable military presence. So much for the USA’s “humane” foreign policy!

[Read the complete story here]