This year's lesbian and gay Pride march witnessed a return to political values. Many more floats from trade unions were present on the march. For the first time the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) provided a fire engine for its gay and lesbian members to march alongside.
I REALLY enjoyed Judith Orr's article in Socialist Worker, "The Body for Sale" (12 July). I agree that many of the gains of the women's movement of the late 60s and 70s have been lost. I would add sexism in advertising and merchandising starts from the cradle. Children's TV carries more advertising than other programmes, and almost every BBC programme has merchandising tie-ins.
THE DEFEAT of Mick Rix, the leader of the Aslef train drivers' union, has caused big waves. Many union activists are asking how it could happen. As contentious as what went wrong is the question of what should come next, and what his defeat means in other unions.
Criminalised because there's nothing to do
AS A youth worker, every day I see first hand how the policies of Tony Blair and David Blunkett are systematically lowering young people's aspirations and hopes. I work on estates in Brent in west London which have a mainly black and Asian population.
'Respectable' mask falls from Nazi thugs
THE EVENTS that took place in Burnley after the recent Unity demonstration have revealed the true face of the Nazi BNP. The Nazis hated the fact that a demonstration by local trade unionists, politicians and anti-racist campaigners was being held in what they believe to be "their town".
Wales is no advert for sticking with Labour
IN HIS very interesting interview (Socialist Worker, 28 June) Billy Hayes praises the "clear red water" of Welsh Labour Party policies. He adds that this shows we can win Labour to more progressive policies. Other union leaders have repeated the same theme recently. In truth it is a reflection of how bad things have become under Blair that Welsh Labour is held up as a shining example for others to follow.
Brutal policy against the elderly in homes
RAGE, the Relatives Action Group for the Elderly, is maintaining its fight. The campaign works with families, unions and community organisations to stop the rationalisation of public sector care homes for older people. Research produced by RAGE in 2001 revealed that up to 450 care homes and day centres were threatened by either closure, privatisation or transfer/partnership.
Why they want us to keep taking the pills
THE BANNING of the anti-depressant drug Seroxat for people under the age of 18 highlights how multinational drug companies and their New Labour friends are putting profit before people's health. The ban was introduced after evidence released from the 1990s showed that children were twice as likely to experience mood changes and have urges to harm or kill themselves after taking the drug.
Smoking, diet: should we change lives or lifestyles?
I WAS shocked but sadly not surprised to hear of New Labour's plans to make people who smoke, are overweight or who don't take regular exercise sign agreements with their GP. Any breach of these agreements could potentially jeopardise access to NHS treatment.
Bob Geldof is 100 percent wrong on Bush and Africa
BOB GELDOF is right to attack the European Union's "pathetic and appalling" response to Africa's human crisis. But he is totally wrong to praise George Bush's policies towards the continent. Bush's administration is the central actor in making sure that debt payments are pumped out of Africa.
Casablanca's two cities
THE RECENT suicide bombings in Casablanca in Morocco were horrific and wrong. Attacks like this kill innocent people and do nothing at all to change the things those carrying them out are angry about. But we have to understand that people are right to be angry at the poverty and injustice in the world and offer an alternative which offers a real way to change things.
More and more people standing up to Nazi BNP
Many people in the local community here were shocked when the British National Party (BNP) got someone elected to Broxbourne council on 1 May. On Tuesday 13 May we had a local protest against the BNP councillor taking up his position.
IT'S NOW time to build a mass campaign, uniting all those who want to stop the Nazis. The BNP stood 54 candidates in the north east of England and poured in massive resources. They failed to win a seat but the Nazis still managed to get over 13,000 votes in Sunderland and 3,000 in Gateshead.
WATCHING NEWS at Ten (29 April) revealed blatant distortion by the BBC over the killing of Iraqi civilians in Fallujah by American troops. The BBC suggested US troops fired upon an aggressive protest and that protesters headed for a US "base" or "compound".
WHAT SORT of school curriculum do our children deserve? New Labour plans to label 14 year olds as sheep who will follow an "academic pathway" - based on exams - or goats forced into second class "vocational" education.
ACTIVISTS IN Burnley were celebrating last week after the court of appeal halved the sentences of five Asian men jailed after the Burnley "riots". The defendants had taken to the streets to defend their areas from Nazi attack 18 months ago.
EAST OXFORD's Labour MP, Andrew Smith, is a senior foreign office minister who sits in the cabinet. There have been angry anti-war demonstrations each time Smith has held his constituency surgery in Oxford. Many people in the Labour Party are angry with Smith because of his support for the war.
LAST WEEK it was revealed that nearly £5 billion in means tested benefits are not claimed every year. As a benefits worker, I see it first hand. People who desperately need extra cash don't claim the benefits they are entitled to because the system is so complicated and the rules are constantly changed.
OPPOSITION TO this US war and an increasing fury at our own government's complicity have been growing in our PCS union branch. Our motion was carried at the 2002 PCS conference. It committed the union to a strong anti-war stance.
I AM a Labour Party member in the West Midlands who on several occasions met local MP Clare Short. I feel ashamed to have shaken her hand after last week. Within the party we were circulated her disgusting note trying to justify her betrayal-although from the language employed I very much doubt that she wrote it.