THREE YEARS ago the Lib Dems won control of Sheffield council following a backlash against New Labour's plans to privatise housing benefit. The Lib Dems went ahead with privatising housing benefit and are now keen to privatise council housing. They are also attacking education, with plans to close or merge a number of special and inner city schools.
Time for us to move on from New Labour
As a Labour Party member and lifelong Labour supporter, I remember with all the romanticism of a true party faithful the glorious victory of 1 May 1997. It seems like a lifetime ago. Yet I remember the excitement and optimism. We were promised a new Britain and that "things can only get better". Where did it all go wrong?
Don't give them more power
I am appalled by recent comments from Mike Best, who is the editor of the Voice, a newspaper aimed at Britain's black people. He said that most black people would welcome the police increasing the number of stop and searches.
We can tip the balance
I've been out with the Anti Nazi League (ANL) canvassing against the British National Party (BNP) in Oldham. We campaign in so called "white areas" such as Hollingwood and South Chadderton. Nazis from the BNP are targeting these working class areas. They have some of the most run down estates and deprived streets of terraced homes. You can see the years of neglect.
Drive out Nazis, not their victims
Holocaust survivor Leon Greenman spoke at a meeting at the University of Greenwich on Tuesday of last week. It was held after it was discovered that a leading member of the British National Party, Lawrence Rustem, is studying at the university.
Are children only drudges?
The government's latest education proposals will be a disaster for working class children. They will be a big step backwards towards the old way of having a proper education for the middle class and a very basic one for working people's children.
Postal worker asks 'Should we fund the privatisers?'
At a meeting of my CWU branch last week I put a motion to back the conference organised by the Socialist Alliance debating the political fund. The government's announcement of its steps to privatise the Post Office just added fuel to the fire. Why are we giving our money to New Labour when it is getting rid of thousands of jobs and wrecking the service? Our union gave over £1.5 million to Labour last year.
Labour's assault on civil liberties
New Labour is following the lead of Bush's US government in its assault on civil liberties. It appears that the new Terrorism Act is already being used to intimidate sections of the Asian community in Britain.
Sacked Friction Dynamics workers deserve better
The 87 members of the TGWU 4/550 branch at Friction Dynamics, Caenarfon, Gwynedd, were sacked after eight weeks locked out by their employer for going on strike. They are still picketing the plant. Their strike committee chair, Gerald Parry, knows what determination their stand has shown.
Message from the West Bank
SOMETHING important happened last night. We were watching MBC, an Arab TV station seen by millions of people in the Middle East. News from London was shown, with people demonstrating at Selfridges, the big store in Oxford Street.
Labour selection row
THE BLAIRITE Huw Irranca-Davies was last week selected as the Labour candidate for the Ogmore parliamentary by-election in South Wales. As a local Labour Party member I am disgusted that left winger Mark Seddon, clearly the most outstanding candidate, was excluded from the shortlist. A panel headed by the chair of the Labour Party, Charles Clarke, excluded Mark. Mark opposed the war in Afghanistan and Labour's Private Finance Initiative privatisations.
THIS IS a wake-up call to all trade unionists. Over the last year I have been working for First Great Western trains at Intercity House in Plymouth, but employed by the Manpower agency. First Great Western set up the operation in Plymouth by sacking staff in Bristol and Paddington and inviting Manpower to set up at Intercity House, where they opened an office and brought in a management team.
THIS government's announcement that it is negotiating with private health providers to treat NHS patients doesn't just highlight the crisis in the NHS. It is a grotesque illustration of what the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) means to the NHS.
Socialists teach Blunkett lessons
David Blunkett and Tony Blair would have got a good lesson in citizenship and breaking down language barriers at a "Winter Welcome" party for asylum seekers organised by Dulwich Socialist Alliance.
Wrong strategy to take on PFI
Health Secretary Alan Milburn's announcement that private company BUPA is to be given a key role in the NHS has shocked many health workers. It was also cynically timed to overshadow the TUC's Positively Public rally against privatisation in central London on the same day.
War against world's poor
We are again seeing the big powers trying to sort out the world's problems through military force. More and more countries are on George Bush's list of targets – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, North Korea and others.
If you have been impressed by headline news that the government is going to let parents with kids opt for "family friendly" shifts at work, look again. This is a measure that is supposed to help working mothers the most.
I am Somali woman living and working in London who decided to join Health Workers Against the War. I took that decision after my seven year old daughter came home from school and said it is not right that poor children should be bombed in Afghanistan. If only Bush and Blair had the same morality as a child!
Here in Ipswich in Suffolk we're campaigning in the first by-election since the general election in June. I'm standing again for the Socialist Alliance. In the general election the main plank of our campaign was opposing privatisation. Now it is opposing Bush and Blair's war.
I will be on the anti-war demonstration in London on 18 November, and I hope there are tens of thousands of others who will be as well. This is not just some routine march. I really feel that this is a crucial moment for all of us to do something about the war.