NEW LABOUR'S childcare policies are failing and provide nothing for the vast majority of children and parents. That's the message from a Daycare Trust survey published last week. The Daycare Trust, a national childcare charity, has recently been very enthusiastic about many of the government's policies. So its report is particularly damning.
"SOLDIERS BROKE into a house, hit one person several times in the body with the rifle butt, shot rubber bullets at a girl at point blank range, and threw a young man through a window."
TODAY LOYALIST paramilitary groups are terrorising Catholics. They are also targeting people in mixed Catholic and Protestant families. Socialist Worker spoke to SEAN McVEIGH, a teacher in North Belfast, one of the worst affected areas.
DAVID BLUNKETT, the home secretary, has banned the Anti Nazi League (ANL) carnival in Burnley set for 1 September. The carnival was to be a celebration of multiracial society in the face of the support for the Nazi British National Party (BNP) in the north west of England in the recent general election.
Tony Blair met George Bush last week. Their so called "special relationship" is sealed in blood. The day before they met US and British planes were again bombing Iraq. They bombed the northern "no-fly zone" just under a week after bombing Baghdad. Blair and Bush say the bombing raids are carefully targeted.
The bombing of Iraq last weekend was soaked in hypocrisy. Bush and Blair talk of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his evil rule. But this week the US was involved in joint military exercises with the one certain nuclear power in the Middle East-Israel. The Israeli government is now headed by Ariel Sharon, a war criminal. He was responsible for the murder of 2,000 Palestinians in 1982. They were raped, knifed or shot as they washed their clothes and cooked their food in refugee camps in West Beirut.
The right wing press heaped praise on Tony Blair last week for his plans to attack comprehensive education. The Sun said, "We take our hat off to the prime minister." It applauded Blair's spokesman Alastair Campbell for labelling comprehensive schools "bog-standard". The Tories boasted that New Labour had copied their policies. The right wing are cheering the end of working class children getting the right to a decent education.
New Labour wants us to save money. It wants us to save for our children's university education (for the 30 percent who go into higher education) and save for our retirement. Last week the government promised a new children's saving scheme where the state would top up money put in by parents. It was suggested the fund could be used later in life to "tide workers over periods of unemployment in an uncertain world".
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.
The Globalise Resistance counter-conference tour got under way last weekend with inspirational meetings in Glasgow and London.
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.
Have you noticed how David Blunkett is becoming rattier and rattier with every interview he faces?
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.
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 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.
"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.
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 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.
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