Socialist Worker

Peter Hain's young critic

Issue No. 1805

EUROPE MINISTER Peter Hain has shocked many Labour supporters by his harsh words about immigration and asylum. He claimed, 'Muslim immigrants can be very isolationist and need to integrate more.' He implied they bring racist attacks on themselves. Some 27 years ago a young firebrand wrote an essay to denounce this type of pandering to racists' ideas:

'Race provides one of the clearest examples of the hypocrisy of social democrats and their moderate allies in British public life. On the one hand, undoubtedly sincere platitudes are mouthed about the need to build a non-racial society. On the other, avowedly racialist immigration policies are pursued. The pretext for these has been that Britain cannot stand a mass influx of immigrants. For 'immigrants', read 'blacks', and for tightening up 'immigration laws', read 'keeping them out'-as any honest politician will admit. The only systematic work has shown that Commonwealth immigrants are on balance beneficial to the economy.' All still true today. And the name of this young firebrand? Peter Hain. Socialist Worker knows which Peter Hain it preferred.
Thanks to Alice and John in Swansea for this story

What's stuck in the middle?

YOU MIGHT feel confident of decent nutrition with Tesco's 'Healthy Eating' bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. However, their mouth-watering ingredients include:

'Brown bread with oatmeal (44 percent) (wheat flour, water, wheat bran, rolled oats, wheat protein, yeast, salt, sugar, treacle, oat fibre, malt flour, vinegar, oatmeal, vegetable fibre, fruit juice concentrate, modified maize starch, emulsifier: mono and di-acetyltartaric esters of mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids, flavouring, flour treatment agent, ascorbic acid).

'Sweetcure bacon (15 percent) (pork, honey glucose syrup, stabilisers, sodium triphosphates, calcium dihydrogen diphosphates, sodium polyphosphates, antioxidant: sodium ascorbate, preservative: sodium nitrite).

'Tomato, iceberg lettuce, low fat dressing (water, dried skimmed milk, modified maize starch, spirit vinegar, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, dextrose, white pepper, dried egg white, acidity regulator: sodium acetate, mustard flour, sodium chloride, preservatives: lactic acid, sorbic acid, colour: titanium dioxide, stabilisers: sodium bicarbonate, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, garlic powder).' Feeling good?

THE economic crisis in Argentina is hitting everyone, including the forgers. Six counterfeiters made a loss when they tried to make Argentinian banknotes. Because of the fall in the peso the gang's expenditure on paper and ink would have cost more than the value of the notes they produced.

Pods & profits

BRITAIN COULD face a shortage of frozen peas thanks to the market. Food group Albert Fisher's pea factory at Kings Lynn has closed down, with the loss of 320 jobs. The Kings Lynn factory was the biggest pea factory in Britain, processing 30 percent of the UK pea crop.

Peas that were to be frozen at the site may be turned into animal feed or left to rot.

Look for the enemy within

LABOUR spin doctor Dan Corry recently got into trouble for trying to find out if members of a rail passengers group were all Tories. But Labour has been appointing Tories to run our railways. Just after Corry sent out his e-mail Labour appointed Ceri Evans as media director of the Strategic Rail Authority.

Evans was the campaign organiser for Steven Norris in his attempt to become Tory mayor of London. He runs a lobbying firm and has jumped ship to New Labour. Evans's former boss Norris is on the board of Jarvis, the company responsible for track maintenance at Potters Bar.

The Strategic Rail Authority has appointed Jarvis as safety adviser to Network Rail, Railtrack's replacement.

TRADE secretary Patricia Hewitt is currently pondering whether to license the sale of BAe Systems Hawk warplanes to India, which is locked in a military standoff with Pakistan.

If she needs advice on what to do she could turn to her recently created 'Innovation and Growth Team' for the aerospace industry. Its purpose is to 'secure agreement between government and industry on a shared vision and strategy'. Sir Richard Evans, BAe Systems chairman, leads the team.

Twister Turner

ADAIR TURNER was appointed the head of the Low Pay Commission last week. The commission is in charge of advising the government on the minimum wage. Turner is the former head of the bosses' CBI organisation, and former vice-chairman of the financial company Merrill Lynch Europe.

Not quite the person you would expect to be an effective fighter for Britain's millions of low paid workers.

Prepare for a big crash

THE GOVERNMENT is planning to hand over its £5 billion contract to run the NHS's computer systems to a small number of huge firms. The companies include EDS, which has been blamed for problems with the Child Support Agency computers, and Siemens, which messed up the computer system at the Passport Agency and Immigration Directorate.

Others are IBM, which was involved in the failing air traffic control computers, and Lockheed Martin, which was responsible for the Swanwick air traffic centre which was finished eight years behind schedule and over budget. Sema and BT complete the list.

The government wants to centralise all the NHS computer sytems. An error could lead to the breakdown of the entire system.

Things they say

'IN apprehending al-Mujahir we have disrupted a terrorist plot to attack the US by exploding a radioactive dirty bomb.'
US attorney general JOHN ASHCROFT

'IT WAS not an actual plan.'
US deputy defence secretary PAUL WOLFOWITZ

'THIS IS not democracy.This is a rubber stamp. Everything here has already been decided by those with the power.This jirga includes all the warlords. None of them is left out.'
SIMA SAMAR, minister for women's affairs in Afghanistan

'THERE ARE indications that fugitive Al Qaida fighters are now operating in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir close to the porous border.'
DONALD RUMSFELD, US defence secretary

'I DON'T have evidence, and the US doesn't have evidence, of Al Qaida in Kashmir.'

'ONE OF the allies of the US and Great Britain in this war was General Dostum. We saw pictures of his prisoner of war camp, where Taliban prisoners are being starved to death. I repeat, he is our ally.'

'YOU FOUND it amusing that dogs were sent in and people jumped out of the windows?'
DAVID WATERS QC prosecuting Nicholas Van Hoogstraten for murder, exposes the Sussex property tycoon's methods of eviction.

'YES-they shouldn't have been there in the first place.'

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Article information

Inside the System
Sat 22 Jun 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1805
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