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.
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.
"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.
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 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.
"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."
'Better to die on your feet than live on your knees' - Emiliano Zapata
TORIES AND religious fundamentalists are trying to unleash a flood of anti-gay bigotry. Catholic Cardinal Winning and millionaire owner of the Stagecoach empire Brian Souter (an evangelical Christian) are leading a crusade to keep the anti-gay Section 28 law in Scotland. Tory lords and Church of England bishops have now waded in to defend Section 28 in England and Wales. All of them claim they oppose discrimination. Yet recently Winning called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened gay people to Hitler's Nazis. His insult is sick beyond belief. Gays were one of the groups Hitler sent to concentration camps.
AS RUSSIAN generals continued to wage their brutal war against the Chechen people, campaigners held a meeting in central London last week to voice their protest at the slaughter. All the speakers linked this war to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia, which made the world a more dangerous place, encouraged military conflict and acted as a model for Russia. Liz Davies, a left winger on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, opened the meeting. She spoke about the horror of the Russian assault on the Chechen capital, Grozny. "Thousands of innocent people are freezing in basements, living under the Russian bombardment. Many of these people are elderly and cannot leave the city."
Helen Keller's fight to overcome her disabilities made her life an inspiration for millions of people. Her story is taught in schools around the world. But what is not so well known is that Helen Keller was a committed and active socialist.
On Friday of last week 250 copies of Socialist Worker were sold outside Rage Against The Machine's concert at Wembley campaigning in support of Mumia Abu - Jamal. Workplace sales of Socialist Worker included 19 at Riverside House council offices in Greenwich, 15 at Manchester Royal Infirmary, 14 at Dunlop Tyres in Birmingham, 13 at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 10 at each of De La Rue Printers in High Wycombe, Remploy in Neath, Glazier Metals in Glasgow, Sunderland Civic Centre and Nottinghamshire County Hall, 9 at both Chivas Regal in Paisley and Manchester Town Hall, 8 at both Vickers in Newcastle and the Inland Revenue offices in Nottingham. Despite the rain and wind Socialist Worker selle
THE APPEAL total stood at £170,490.34 at the beginning of this week. That puts us within striking distance of our target. Fundraising social events were due to take place in many areas of the country this week and money is still arriving at the office which was collected two weeks ago.
Workers at Pricecheck, central London, have won their battle for union recognition. One Pricecheck worker describes how workers greeted the news: "When our boss, Manzoor Choudhary, walked into the shop and said, 'I believe we have to accept the union,' everyone nodded and smiled politely. Ten minutes later he left. We all started cheering and hugging each other. After years of bullying, things are going to be different. We are going to be treated like human beings."
THE BRAVE sacked Sky Chefs workers at Heathrow Airport need the support and solidarity of trade unionists now more than ever. The 270 workers-kitchen staff, chefs and drivers-are preparing to spend their second Christmas on the picket line.
THE IMPACT of the Battle in Seattle is being felt across the US. In meetings around the country organised by the International Socialist Organisation, students, young people and workers have turned out to discuss the meaning of the protests against the World Trade Organisation. In San Francisco more than 500 people turned out on short notice to picket a WTO official who came to town from Seattle.
1) WHO SAID, "My vision is to become as the Liberal Party was in the 19th century"? (a) Paddy Ashdown (b) Charles Kennedy (c) Tony Blair.
1c 2b 3c 4b 5a 6b 7b 8a 9c 10a 11c 12c 13c 14c 15a 16a 17b 18c 19c 20b 21b 22a 23b 24b 25c 26b 27b 28b 29c 30c
THE LAST 100 years of the millennium have been an era of wars and revolutions. The first half of the century saw generations slaughtered in two world wars. It has been the century which produced the Nazi Holocaust and the possibility that nuclear weapons would destroy the world. Capitalism's crazed rule for profit threatens ecological catastrophe.
<LI>1889 Boer War, lasting three years, sees the first concentration camps set up by Britain.
AT THE start of the 20th century people across the world were promised an era of unparalleled peace and prosperity. The growth of capitalism and international trade were supposed to bring order and affluence. But the opposite was true. The Great Powers' struggle for markets and influence brought more conflict-and the wars were more terrible than before. Wars between Russia and Japan, and in the Balkans, were followed by the most bloody war in history up to that point-the First World War.