Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1811

Lords a-leaping onto the board

ONE THIRD of members of the House of Lords are company directors. Some 217 lords have 618 directorships between them. Nearly half of Tory lords are directors, almost 40 percent of Labour lords are directors, and 20 percent of Liberal Democrat lords sit on the boards of firms. The real figure is even higher. Some lords failed to register all their business interests.

Lord Sainsbury, now a government minister, failed to register his 17 percent stake in the Sainsbury's supermarket firm. Lord Moore, the former Tory minister, failed to register his £45,000 a year non-executive director post at Rolls-Royce.

Gave Blair cash then got top job

ANOTHER CASE has emerged of a businessman who donated to the Labour Party months before being given a senior government post. Arnab Banerji, a high-flying investment fund manager, gave over £5,000 to New Labour in the run-up to the general election. Soon afterwards he was appointed to Blair's Forward Strategy Unit to become a 'blue skies thinker'.

He quit his job in the City last week for a 'senior post in the public sector' to be announced this week.

The message is they're a danger

MOBILE PHONE companies are paying schools £10,000 to site mobile phone masts on their premises despite health risks. Over 1,000 schools have accepted offers from the firms. More than 14,000 new masts will be put up in Britain over the next 18 months. There are already 26,000 up.

Campaigners claim that they have identified 15 cancer clusters among people living close to the masts. 'We want to see a set minimum distance introduced for masts to be sited away from residential areas,' says Terry Thomson, who lives in the heart of one of the identified cluster areas.

Police planted petrol bombs

ITALIAN POLICE planted petrol bombs in a school where anti-capitalist protesters were sleeping during the Genoa protests a year ago, a policeman has confessed. He says he planted the explosives on the orders of his superiors.

At the time Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi insisted that the presence of the explosives proved that the school held violent thugs. Over 90 protesters were arrested after the raids on the school. More than 60 had serious injuries. Italian activists are demanding the resignation of ministers responsible for the violence, the smears and the cover-up.

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Sat 3 Aug 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1811
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