Socialist Worker

Intensify the pressure after the G8 protests

Issue No. 1958

Never before has the issue of global justice been so central to British politics.

This weekend hundreds of thousands will demonstrate in Edinburgh, or join the Live8 events around the country.

Although politicians have been forced to make noises of concern, none have come up with effective plans to end the 50,000 deaths a day from diseases associated with poverty.

After this weekend there may be some who say the G8 leaders have begun to abolish extreme poverty. The reality is that they will have repackaged a system of murderous inequality. That means we have to flood to Gleneagles and Edinburgh on Wednesday.

And the day after, let’s tell the G8 that we are not going to stop fighting for a better world.

That means demanding full debt relief for all, not just 18 countries. If the G8 spends $750 billion on the military then it can spend a quarter of that to abolish the worst excesses of poverty.

We also have to intensify the pressure on George Bush and Tony Blair over the continuing disaster in Iraq.

We need a movement that links together the fight against war, poverty and privatisation — and also stands up for pensioners, refugees and workers battling for better conditions.

Another world is possible — a world where human need is the driving force in society, not the interests of generals and bosses.

Domestic agenda

A right wing assault that can be resisted

Africa’s misery is inextricably linked to a global neo-liberal project whose devastating effects can also be seen at home.

Tony Blair has promised that his third term government will push though attacks on civil liberties and public services.

New pensions minister David Blunkett wants to force through a public sector pensions “reform” package that would steal £100 billion from workers. Labour has intensified its authoritarian agenda over crime and anti-social behaviour.

MPs were due to vote on Labour’s draconian ID cards bill as Socialist Worker went to press. The privatisation of council housing, education and the health service are being accelerated.

These neo-liberal attacks can be stopped. The movement against war and poverty can and must fight against neo-liberalism at home with the same energy it applies to global issues.

Print quality

Power of workers is not a paper tiger

Regular readers of Socialist Worker may have noticed that this issue has been printed on lower quality paper than normal.

The reason for this is that newsprint stocks in Britain are running out as a long running strike by paper mill workers in Finland begins to bite.

The Finnish strike over pay and conditions has hit the industry hard. Paper is bulky and expensive to store. Newspaper publishers typically store only a month or so’s stocks.

We have always been proud to report on strikes across the world and highlight the immense power even small groups of workers possess when they act collectively. This week we are happy to mark this truth in a more tangible form than usual.

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Article information

What We Think
Sat 2 Jul 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1958
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