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I feel betrayed by the Labour Party As a firefighter I am at the end of my tether with the Labour Party, a party which I have been a member of for around 18 years since I left the Royal Navy. At our last FBU union conference our general secretary, Andy Gilchrist, argued strongly that the union had to continue to fund Labour, and only Labour. We voted loyally to stick with Labour.

I disobeyed order to break a strike


I HAVE been watching the troops running Green Goddesses during the firefighters' strike. I used to be a squaddie many years ago. In 1975 the Labour government faced a strike over pay by dust workers in Glasgow.

Blair's warning is smokescreen


AS A delegate to this year's TUC conference in Brighton, I sat through Tony Blair's speech where he warned trade unionists not to turn their backs on the New Labour government. The alternative, he exclaimed, would be a return to Tory rule - "18 years of being ignored, derided and attacked as the enemy within".

Letters


End silence on new apartheid ALONG WITH five other members of my trade union, the rail workers' TSSA, I have just returned from a fact-finding visit to the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip. We witnessed a frightening expansion of settlements and "Jewish only" roads linking these settlements.

Letters


<H4>What the butler saw but we can't</H4>

The support schools need


EVERY TEACHER will get a support worker. It sounds like a headline to please parents, teachers and classroom assistants throughout Britain. This is what New Labour announced while Estelle Morris was still the education minister.

Racism alive and kicking


THE HORRIBLE racist abuse that black England players Emile Heskey and Ashley Cole received during the recent match in Slovakia has caused outrage in the press over here. Newspapers like the Sun have rushed to condemn the racism and state that it would never be accepted in Britain.

Letters


Guarantee on NHS is a con TONY BLAIR'S speech at the Labour Party conference was hailed by the media as brilliant. The best description would be "a bunch of lies" &#8211; and not just about Iraq or Palestine. As someone who works in cancer care, I was outraged when Blair used the government's "achievements" in this area to show how well the NHS is doing. Blair told the Labour delegates, "Listen to this story of a woman who has breast cancer who saw a consultant within two weeks. Saw him because now every urgent patient suspected of cancer has to be seen within two weeks. Treated within four weeks because that is now the maximum time for breast cancer treatment. Five years

What a day it was!


AS YOUNG people who live in the north of England in a small town called Burnley, it seems near impossible to get our voices heard on anything in the world. Feelings of helplessness and uselessness are always associated with our concern for Palestinians, or any other oppressed people. But the "Don't attack Iraq" demonstration gave us a voice we've never had before and helped us to conquer these feelings of helplessness.

Abusing the Kurds again


THE HYPOCRISY of Bush and Blair's propaganda against Saddam Hussein is striking in very many ways. But few can feel more nauseated by this hypocrisy than the Kurdish people of Iraq and Turkey. They, more directly than anyone else, know that Saddam is a ruthless and bloody dictator.

In any language Blunkett needs to go


LISTENING TO David Blunkett advocating that Asian families should speak English at home infuriated and disgusted me. As a nursery teacher in a multi-ethnic school I have responsibility for coordinating support for children when English is their additional language.

When can they come home?


A High Court judge ruled last week that home secretary David Blunkett's decision to deport the Ahmadi family was "unlawful". Farid and Feriba Ahmadi and their two young children fled from the horror of Afghanistan. Then they faced a police raid on the mosque where they were seeking sanctuary.

Cut off Reality bosses' profits


I AM one of the 6,000 call centre workers employed by Reality who were balloted for strike action over a threat to cut our jobs. I voted yes to strike. Reality is a multi-million pound catalogue company owned by Great Universal Stores.

Left must shape 'no' campaign on Europe


IRELAND IS the only country in Europe that is to vote on the Nice treaty agreed by European Union leaders at their summit at the end of 2000. Though people here have already rejected the treaty in a vote once, the government is coming back with it again.

You should be a part of this


THE "LEADERS" of the world meet this week in Johannesburg. They will put profits before people and try to convince us there is no other way to run the world than the way it is done now. The activists, campaigners, arguers, debaters, discussers and awkward people of the European anti-capitalist movement will come together in Florence in November.

Cutbacks let down the class


PARENTS AND teachers in Hackney have argued for years for a new comprehensive school in Hackney. Instead we were greeted this week with the news in our local paper that 150 local school children have no secondary school places.

Letters


We're more angry than ever before THE ANTI-war mood in Glasgow and across Scotland is growing daily and not just among the usual suspects. For years the Muslim community has been considered quiet and respectable, playing little or no role in active politics.

Labour putting babies at risk


THE INHUMANITY of New Labour's treatment of asylum seekers seems to have no limits. The principle of the United Nations and European Union conventions on the rights of the child and the rights of families is that, in any case affecting children, it is the interests of the child that must be the guide.

Letters


Chilled to the bone by Israel's murder I HAVE just returned from Gaza City where I was part of a small delegation of trade unionists from Britain. We were there to show solidarity with the Palestinians and their struggle. It was the final visit of a week that had taken us all over the West Bank. I was shocked by what I saw.

Stop the racists hunting black men


SAVAGE RACIST attacks on three black men within 48 hours could easily have been murders. That has been the toll recently in Eltham, south east London, where Stephen Lawrence was murdered nine years ago.

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