IN THE run-up to the local elections New Labour, the Tories and the Liberals fell over themselves to announce plans to tackle anti-social tenants and crime. They always end up referring to problems on council estates as if council tenants are the lowest of the low.
THE NEWS of Le Pen's election breakthrough in France broke on Sunday night. I felt I had to do something. So I did a collection at work the following morning. The response was inspiring. It raised £178 for the Anti Nazi League. I work at Marconi, the company that has gone belly-up and may still collapse. It is making redundancies, and that has had a terrible impact on the atmosphere at work.
Just a number to BT's bosses
I AM one of BT's workers who is waiting anxiously to discover whether I will be included among the 18,000 jobs to go over the next three years. That is almost one in five of the workforce. It is at times like this that you really know you count for nothing, and are always capable of being sacrificed to the banks, the management and the gyrations of the international telecoms markets.
Nazi threat to these kids
THE BNP claim they are a legitimate political party opposed to violence and racism. Our experience in Oldham shows that this is a lie. They want to whip up hatred against local communities. Last Sunday it was revealed that the BNP's election leafleting organiser in Oldham was convicted of leading a horrific gang rape.
How long to reign over us?
Our headteacher called us all into the school hall one day and said she had something very grave to announce. King George VI had died. The whole nation was placed in mourning. Most people felt a high degree of reverence towards the monarchy, and as a mark of respect people didn't go out in the evenings.
The SSP has them scared
The Daily Record has launched another bitter attack on Scottish socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan. That should come as no surprise after its vicious assaults in the past. What is new this time is that the Scottish National Party has joined in. They dared to suggest that Scotland's most open and accountable MSP is somehow involved in dodgy financial deals.
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.