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United Nations admits 'World leaders are failing the poorest'


World leaders are failing to meet their own target to cut world poverty by half, according to a new report by a United Nations (UN) committee on rural poverty. New Labour international development secretary Clare Short promotes the market as the answer to ending world poverty.

Another world is possible! Thousands attend counter-conference tour


The Globalise Resistance counter-conference tour got under way last weekend with inspirational meetings in Glasgow and London.

A message to our readers


Regular readers of Socialist Worker will have noticed some changes in the paper in the last three weeks. We are devoting more pages than before to reports of meetings, protests, strike ballots and strikes. And on each of the pages there are more reports than before.

The tests treadmill


Have you noticed how David Blunkett is becoming rattier and rattier with every interview he faces?

BSE: They say it's all over-it isn't


BSE-"mad cow disease"- has suddenly become a key issue right across Europe. In France, Italy, Greece, Spain and, above all, Germany, beef consumption has slumped by up to 40 percent in the wake of a sudden rise in BSE cases.

Health gulf 'like Victorian times'


These Victorian slums in Poplar, east London, capture the image many of us have of the time in the 19th century when Britain was most divided between rich and poor. But those who live in the same streets today face the same level of inequality as their Victorian predecessors.

The barbarity with no equal


The Holocaust is the greatest crime in European history. There have been other horrors-terrible wars, mass killings, the dropping of the atomic bomb and the forced movement of peoples on all continents. But the Nazis' systematic murder of six million Jews and millions of others during the Second World War is barbarism without parallel. They used up to date industrial techniques to set about annihilating the entire Jewish population of Europe.

'We have suffered at hands of system'


"I was in the Gulf as a medic from October 1990, right through the bombing, and left in April 1991. I was in one of the major field hospitals dealing with casualties. We were told absolutely nothing about depleted uranium at all. We had daily briefings and it was never even mentioned once. The first I knew that it had been used at all was on the news a few years later. Yet soldiers have been knowingly exposed to it and nothing has been done. We got injections against what we were told was the threat of "biological weapons" such as bubonic plague and anthrax. Doctors since have warned that the effect of a cocktail of such injections could cause health problems.

The West's bloody war for oil


US President George Bush ushered in the start of the Gulf War ten years ago. As the bombs pounded down on Iraq he made a speech about the dawn of a "New World Order". We have been living with that New World Order ever since. Bush's war lasted 42 days. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dead by the end of it. Iraqi society was devastated. The war was backed up by British Tory prime minister John Major and Labour leader Neil Kinnock every inch of the way. We were told that it was necessary and just, because Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq, was an evil tyrant. We were told he was a new Hitler who must be destroyed at all costs.

Kevin Danaher: Taking on capitalism


Kevin Danaher is the co-founder of the Global Exchange and an organiser of the anti-capitalist protests in Seattle. He will be speaking on the Globalise Resistance tour between 2 and 11 February. Here he writes about the challenges facing everyone opposed to the corporate agenda.

When workers humbled General Motors


The multinationals Ford and General Motors (GM) have launched a massacre of jobs across the car industry. These giant firms are destroying the lives of thousands of car workers at Dagenham in east London and Vauxhall in Luton. How can we beat Ford and General Motors? In the United States in the 1930s thousands of car workers took on General Motors, the world's biggest corporation, and won. Their struggle forced GM to recognise the United Auto Workers union throughout its plants and transformed the trade union movement in the US. On 30 December 1936 some 3,000 workers occupied GM's Flint plant in Michigan. The workers went on strike, in the face of huge intimidation from management, to d

Renationalise: It's the only answer


"Everything just getting worse. Health, education, transport-they all need to be in public ownership. Now they are being run down and sold off. It can't go on like this."

The socialist challenge at the general election


William Hague's Tory rabble playing the race card or Tony Blair's New Labour government privatising everything in sight. That is the choice presented to us in this year's general election. But there will be an alternative. Across Britain over 120 socialist candidates are preparing to stand in the election.

When workers fight, governments panic


MANY OFFICIAL documents covering 1970 have just been released to the public. They reveal precisely what happens when there is a high level of strikes. Thirty years ago workers' action echoed through the whole of society and dominated government thinking at the highest levels. Almost every cabinet meeting, under both Labour and Tory governments, focused on strikes.

The right angry at our kids' success


The publication of this year's school exam results has brought a hue and cry about whether educational standards are falling and why boys appear to be doing less well than girls. In fact A level results improved across the board, especially for women candidates.

Nuclear threats on land and sea


THE FOCUS in the Russian submarine disaster has naturally been on the tragedy of the 118 sailors, many of them conscripts, killed as the vessel went down. But that will not be the only legacy of the disaster. The submarine's nuclear reactors and missiles pose a serious threat which could last for thousands of millions of years.

How Labour is squeezing the poorest


"PERHAPS THE most soul destroying aspect of Income Support." That was how Labour's Commission on Social Justice described the Social Fund when the party was in opposition.

'Sweep away the IMF'


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were conceived as instruments for holding down the Third World and maintaining American economic hegemony. Look at what the US delegation did during the 1944 Bretton Woods conference which gave rise to both these institutions.

Salem 1692: the model witch-hunt


Salem was a small town in Massachusetts in America. The witch-hunt took place in 1692. US playwright Arthur Miller wrote a powerful play, The Crucible, about it. An excellent film based on the play came out three years ago starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

A fight everyone should get behind


"WE ARE making a stand and we're proud of it. We want to tell the New Labour government loud and clear-we want to stop our jobs being privatised and we want to stop the NHS being privatised."

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