Socialist Worker

Blair's Britain

Issue No. 1710

Blair's Britain

  • KEVIN Renshaw hanged himself after being made redundant from the factory where he had worked for 23 years.

Kevin, 39 years old, worked as a cabinet maker at Stag's furniture factory in Hucknall in the Midlands.

He and 250 other workers were made redundant in June. Friends say he was depressed at the prospect of losing the job he had worked in since he left school.

  • ALMOST ONE million care workers are living on poverty pay, an official report by the government's chief inspector of social services reveals.

The workers range from home helps to those who provide 24-hour support for disabled children and adults. Night care assistants in residential homes earn an average 3.71 an hour. Domestic assistants get just the minimum wage of 3.60 an hour.

  • MORE THAN 160 million earmarked for hospital equipment in Scotland has been diverted to reduce NHS trust budget deficits.

The scandal has taken place over the last five years, and was done with government approval. James Weir, chairman of the Royal College of Radiologists in Scotland, says, "In Aberdeen we are actually getting some parts from a Glasgow scrapyard dealer to be able to keep parts of our equipment going."

  • DON'T WORRY, said much of the press last week, the likely number of deaths from CJD is much lower than people predicted.

In fact a report from Oxford scientists warned that 136,000 people could die from CJD, the human form of the BSE mad cow disease. Newspapers and government claimed that this was much lower than the "millions" of deaths that had been forecasted. Yet when scientists first warned of thousands of deaths from CJD they were systematically rubbished.

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Article information

Sat 19 Aug 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1710
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