Socialist Worker

News round-up

Issue No. 2317

£2 fire sale to equity firm

All of London’s fire engines have been sold to a private equity company—for just £2. AssetCo, the troubled private firm which owned the engines, disposed of them in a “fire sale” to AB&A Investments.

Soldier tried to smuggle guns

A British soldier has been found guilty of smuggling weapons into Britain out of Iraq in 2006. A semi-automatic assault rifle, a handgun and deadly dum dum rounds were found. He smuggled them back to Britain in a tank and hid them until he was discharged in 2008.

Blair gets put in stained glass

A comedian managed to blag his way into Tony Blair’s home to erect a “saintly” stained glass window. The pane depicts Blair with wings, surrounded by Iraqi children. Heydon Prowse told police on guard that he was in discussions with the Vatican about Blair being canonised.

Gove threat over free schools

Michael Gove has threatened to seize a school playing field earmarked for children with special needs, unless they sell it off to build a free school. The acadamies act gives Gove the power to sieze “unused school land”.

Plans for secret courts revealed

The Tories have proposed secret court procedures that would allow “intelligence material” to be used as evidence in cases where the government or spy agencies are being sued.

These secret courts would exclude the public, the media, the claimant and the claimant’s lawyers. The fact that a secret court hearing had been applied for could itself remain secret.

News editor faces perjury charge

A former news editor at the News of the World Scotland has been charged with committing perjury during the 2010 trial of socialist Tommy Sheridan. Douglas Wight is also charged with conspiracy to hack phones and obtain personal data.

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson appeared in court last week along with six others from the paper to face charges related to phone hacking.

Hospitals told to sell NHS ‘brand’

Hospitals should set up private health clinics abroad that use the NHS “brand” to bring in revenue, according to Department of Health proposals. The services will be sold in India, China and the Middle East.

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Tue 21 Aug 2012, 18:12 BST
Issue No. 2317
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