Socialist Worker

Trust the Tories to make the most of a good terror scare

Issue No. 2355

How would you feel if you found out that a load of strangers could  go rooting through all your texts, emails and instant messages without you even knowing?

If you’re answer was, “oh, much safer” then you could be in luck.

Senior Tories are using the attack in Woolwich as an excuse to resuscitate the Communications Data Bill, better known as the “snooper’s charter”.

The bill was dropped to throw the Lib Dems a bone, after they nearly destroyed themselves for the coalition by hiking up university fees and privatising the NHS.

With so many Tories already baying for his blood David Cameron is in no rush to go to war with the rest of his government.

And there’s nothing to suggest that it would have made a scrap of difference in Woolwich—something that Eric Pickles and snoopers’ champion Boris Johnson both had to admit.

But that’s no reason to waste a good opportunity.

Delicacies

The snooper’s charter is just one of a platter of foul delicacies the government is considering.

It might start giving itself the power to ban groups even if they don’t advocate violence.

And of course there’s another amusingly named new security committee for dessert—TERFOR in this case.

It’s not just the Tories who are hungry for more police state powers. 

Blairite bruiser John Reid is predictably one of many senior Labour figures to call for a clampdown.

And Nick Clegg’s backbone is hardly to be relied on. Restricting our rights has become a consensus. 

As bitterness deepens against Tory cuts, Lib Dem lies and Labour inaction—they couldn’t have anything but our best interests at heart.

Could they?


Eton tests boys of 13 on justifying murder

Does your 13 year old son dream of joining the elite at Eton College, but can’t afford the £30,000 a year fees?

Well he’s in luck. Eton’s King’s Scholarships offer a discount for boys who can prove their ruthlessness in a special exam.

It puts students in a fantasy future of oil crises and riots. Protests have been stopped by sending in troops—and killing 25 protesters.

“You are the prime minister,” the boys are told. “Write a speech to be broadcast to the nation in which you explain why employing the Army against violent protesters was necessary and moral.”


Toby Young on how to stop terrorism

Plans for a “free school” run by ex-army personnel in Oldham have been given the go-ahead.

Tory columnist Toby Young hails it as a solution to the Woolwich killing. 

He says the military discipline would teach Muslim children to respect soldiers. Maybe it will give them an insight into the post traumatic stress that blights ex-soldiers’ lives too.

Emma Banks-Lowe was “gobsmacked” when the government granted disability benefits to her son Arthur—and not his identical twin Alfie.

The boys were born a minute apart. They both need daily therapy and frequent hospital visits.

But even though Emma sent in identical applications, officials decided that Alfie didn’t need the extra help that Arthur did.


Which disabled twin will get the benefits?

Emma Banks-Lowe was “gobsmacked” when the government granted disability benefits to her son Arthur—and not his identical twin Alfie.

The boys were born a minute apart. They both need daily therapy and frequent hospital visits.

But even though Emma sent in identical applications, officials decided that Alfie didn’t need the extra help that Arthur did.


Councils ship out the poor

London councils moved more than 500 households outside the city last year to save money, freedom of information requests have revealed.

Benefit cuts and high rents have made people homeless. Nearly 80,000 children live in temporary accommodation in England.

But London rents are too high, so councils sent families to Exeter, Manchester, and Birmingham.

One Islington household even ended up in Newcastle almost 300 miles away.


Has-beens get new titles

The queen has dusted off arcane titles in Hull for has-been politicians.

1990s Tory Virginia Bottomley is Hull’s new High Sheriff. And Peter Mandelson, architect of New Labour, is its new High Steward—a title his granddad once held.

John Prescott had assumed he would land the job, and wrote a furious “‘don’t you know who I am’ letter” that had Hull councillors “rolling on the floor laughing”.


Disgraced G4S gets new contract

Centres for victims of rape and sexual assault in the West Midlands will now be run by  Olympic security profiteers G4S.

G4S officers are currently giving evidence at the inquest for asylum seeker Jimmy Mubenga, who died in their custody in 2010.

We’re not sure we could think of a worse candidate.


Energy barons hoarded gas as prices blew up

Wholesale gas prices doubled on 22 March, as pipeline problems were said to have brought Britain within six hours of running out.

But some of the biggest suppliers were holding back gas in half-full terminals, it has emerged.

Bosses of firms that use energy are furious and call for tougher regulation.


Price rises boost profits

Profits at energy firm SSE soared 6 percent to £1.4 billion since it hiked prices up by £119 a year last October.

But it warns customers to expect more increases in the pipeline


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The Troublemaker
Tue 28 May 2013, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2355
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