STOCK markets tumbled last week in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. Many commentators predicted global economic recession. But the world economy was already in deep trouble.
AFTER THE horror in the US last week anyone who works in a skyscraper or high rise building will have fears about safety. The way the World Trade Centre towers collapsed was one of the most chilling aspects of the tragedy.
AS SOON as news broke last week of the devastation in the United States, Osama Bin Laden was proclaimed the number one suspect. Afghanistan was dubbed a "rogue state" and has been accused of harbouring terrorists.
THE NEED for a socialist paper has rarely been greater. That's why we are asking our readers to help raise £200,000. The growing anti-capitalist movement is worrying apologists for the system. Bitterness at Labour's second term is boiling over. There is sudden panic about a possible economic slowdown.
"ONE BY one, economies around the world are stumbling," warned the normally enthusiastically pro-market Economist magazine this week. Most serious commentators now fear that the world is heading for a major slump.
"WE ARE not animals. We are not criminals. We are human beings," cried hundreds of desperate and defiant refugees last week. They were fighting back against the treatment they suffer because of the policies of Tony Blair and other European Union leaders. Over 900 refugees are at a Red Cross centre in a giant hangar outside Sangatte, near the French Channel port of Calais.
PROTESTS COULD "kill off" the government's Private Finance Initiative (PFI). That is the fear of John Gains, chief executive of construction firm John Mowlem. The giant firm is a key player in PFI projects in hospitals, schools, councils and transport around Britain.
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?