Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1810

Bosses let off the hook

THE HOME Office is ignoring the victims of corporate crimes like major rail crashes and accidents at work. The government has caved in to pressure from the bosses' CBI organisation and shelved its plans to introduce an offence of corporate killing.

The law is unlikely to be introduced until 2004- seven years after the government promised to legislate. Some 1,500 people have died at work since Labour came to power over five years ago.

Bonanza for the rail firms

TRAIN passenger groups reacted angrily to news of a payout of compensation for poor track maintenance on Monday of this week. Not a penny went to passengers who endured delays, cancellations and journey times longer than they were 35 years ago.

Instead some £100 million of public money went straight to Virgin Trains. Failure to upgrade the lines meant Virgin was unable to hit the maximum speed limit of its new fleet of tilting trains.

The Strategic Rail Authority decided the problems were the fault of Railtrack. Railtrack paid £500 million to train operating companies last year. This stopped many of them slipping into the red.

2,000 jobs under threat

THE HOLES in Gordon Brown's spending review keep on appearing. Around 2,000 research jobs are under threat across Britain. Brown announced £244 million for research.

But it now appears that this money will not be available until 2005-6. At Queen Mary's College in London some 100 jobs are under threat, while at King's College some 250 jobs could go.

Schools will be companies

EDUCATION WAS supposed to be the big winner in Brown's review. Now the government has revealed its 'big idea' for education in its second and third terms.

It plans to turn top schools into 'companies' where heads, business leaders and parents can plough money they make back into the school. These 'super-schools' will lead to a two-tier system of education.

Britain's act is 'barbaric'

LAWYERS FOR children seeking asylum have labelled the British consulate in Melbourne, Australia, 'inhumane and barbaric'. Desperate brothers aged 12 and 13 fled the hated Woomera detention centre on 27 June.

The children travelled over 620 miles to the British consulate, only to be refused help. The consulate handed the children over to the Australian authorities. The two brothers face being sent back to Woomera.

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Article information

Sat 27 Jul 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1810
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