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I didn't back Ken's plan I was a candidate in the election for the Greater London Assembly just over two years ago. Like many others, I voted for Ken Livingstone for mayor as a vote against New Labour's betrayals.

Welfare denied to the poorest


I WORK as a welfare rights adviser in Scarborough. In recent months I have seen an increase in the amount of people being found fit for work after undergoing the government's assessments. Their benefit is immediately stopped and they are forced to be available for work.

Justice protest hits the house


THERE WAS a brilliant atmosphere on the mass lobby of parliament last week called by the Trade Justice Movement. The organisers estimate there were around 10,000 people there. They were protesting at the way multinationals and powerful governments enforce trade rules that benefit themselves and mean misery for the poor.

Palace servants in royal squalor


I WAS one of the firefighters who attended the recent fire at Buckingham Palace during the jubilee. This fire was a small affair and quickly extinguished.

Terror under Israeli troops


HERE IN Palestine the only things that are moving freely are tanks. Even ambulances can be held up at Israeli army checkpoints for hours while the patients they carry suffer in the sun. I am writing this in Nablus, a city which has been under curfew for four days now.

Warm days in Seville in June


THE 500,000-strong demonstration against a Europe of capital and war in Barcelona in March was a milestone in the anti-capitalist movement that has swept the world since Seattle in 1999. It showed that the movement had not declined after 11 September, but was stronger than ever.

Letters


Repeating the old mistakes LAST WEEK'S report by MPs into drug abuse recommended the reclassification of ecstasy and cannabis. This is a step in the right direction, although the 500,000 people who use ecstasy would still be seen as criminals.

Answers absent to playing truant


I AM disgusted at the jailing of Patricia Amos over her teenage daughters playing truant, and at the way education secretary Estelle Morris gloated over the case. What does the government think this will achieve? It is like something from Victorian times.

A day of unity and solidarity


I AM a sixth form school student, and I took the day off school to attend the May Day protests in London. It paid off, as thousands of anti-capitalists, trade unionists and anti-war campaigners packed into central London to voice their anger at New Labour's disgusting neo-liberal policies at home and abroad.

Proud to be a council tenant


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.

Mood is to resist


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.

Letters


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.

Letters


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.

Letters


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.

Letters


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.

Liberals show their true face


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.

Letters


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?

Letters


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.

Letters


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.

Letters


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.

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