Socialist Worker

11 September 'a good day for us'

Issue No. 1770

NEW LABOUR hopes the World Trade Centre deaths can be used to cover up unpopular policies, according to a leaked memo. 'It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury,' read the e-mail from Jo Moore, political adviser to transport and local government secretary Stephen Byers.

It was sent out within half an hour of the attacks. This message confirms what socialists have said from the beginning. The government has not halted a single one of its privatisations or other assaults on workers because of 11 September.

Instead it wants to use the crisis to ram through more vicious measures. That is why it was wrong to stop the TUC conference, wrong for most union leaders to do a deal over privatisation at the Labour conference last week, and wrong to hold back on propaganda against New Labour's policies. Just two of the measures the government wanted to 'bury' last week were the increase in the number of faith-based schools and pushing privatisation in elderly care.

New Labour wants to hand over more influence to the Church of England under the guise of its faith-based schools policy. And in the week that Railtrack collapsed it is forcing councils to pursue private sector involvement in elderly care if they are to receive any of the government's £300 million extra funding.

Bombing the poor

A UN development programme report released on Monday shows that in Afghanistan:

  • Some 70 percent of the population are undernourished.

  • Just 13 percent of the population have access to safe water.

  • One in four Afghan children die under the age of five.
  • It has the highest rate of child mortality outside Africa.

  • Afghanistan has the second highest rate of mothers dying in childbirth in the world.

    Widow deported?

    A BRITISH woman has been threatened with deportation from the 'freedom-loving' US after her husband was killed in the attack on the World Trade Centre. Mother of two Deena Gilbey, 37, has been told she must leave because her residency status was dependent on her husband Paul's work visa.

    Just days after his death the US immigration service sent her a letter informing her that she no longer had a right to live in the country.

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    Article information

    Sat 13 Oct 2001, 00:00 BST
    Issue No. 1770
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