Lead story

Junior doctors’ strike success

by Daphne Liddle

AROUND 16,000 junior doctors all around the country took strike action last Tuesday, with picket lines at about 100 hospitals from 8am.

They were joined in these picket lines by local NHS campaigners, pensioners, local trades councils and other union activists in a massive show of solidarity.

The junior doctors were providing emergency cover only — meaning that a lot of appointments, check-ups and non-urgent treatments had to be postponed.

But public support for the doctors remained high with almost non-stop toots of support from passing vehicles at most picket lines.

Most members of the public understand that doctors working extreme long hours and overtired are likely to make mistakes, possibly with very serious consequences.

But that is exactly what would happen if the Government goes ahead and imposes the new terms and conditions contract, which is at the heart of the dispute, on the doctors.

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Junior doctors’ strike success

Tories to demolish 100 council estates

DAVID Cameron last week revealed his plans for a “blitz” on poverty that will see around 100 council estates demolished and the land given over to the private sector to build better homes.

In an article for the [Sunday Times] Cameron wrote: “Within these so-called sink estates, behind front doors, families build warm and welcoming homes. But step outside in the worst estates and you’re confronted by concrete slabs dropped from on high, brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways that are a gift to criminals and drug dealers.

“Decades of neglect have led to gangs and antisocial behaviour. Poverty has become entrenched, because those who could afford to move have understandably done so.”

He claimed that these estates “trap people in poverty” — but it is not the housing that traps people it is low wages and benefit cuts.

The estates have been neglected because previous Tory governments ordained that no money should be spent on their care and maintenance. Some have become squalid and run-down but nevertheless still provide a home for people who could never afford to rent or buy in the private sector.

The whole plan represents another big shift of publicly owned land into the private sector — another wave of the enclosure movement.

The new homes that will be built will be way beyond the pocket of those who will be turned out of the council estates as their homes are demolished.

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Tories to demolish 100 council estates

Editorial

A Test For Peace

THE BOURGEOISIE’S claim to uphold “universal human values” and glibly talk about the concepts peace, freedom, social progress, equal rights and human dignity as if they had invented them. But when the interests of the ruling class are challenged they show their true face — which is duplicity, oppression and aggression.

Last November the bourgeois media were having a field day against Jeremy Corbyn over Trident. We were told that the billions to be spent on Trident renewal was essential for Britain’s defence. General Houghton, the head of the armed forces, claimed the Labour leader’s stance on Trident and nuclear weapons undermined the “credibility of deterrence” and the Prime Minister, David Cameron, told us that Corbyn was a “threat to national security” for daring to challenge Labour’s traditional support for the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Last week the very same people who extol the concept of “nuclear deterrence” and the virtues of nuclear weapons were heaping the same abuse against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for daring to do what they’ve been doing for a very long time themselves.

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A Test For Peace