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.
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.
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.
HOME SECRETARY David Blunkett's new policy on drugs announced last week shows how New Labour cannot adopt a rational approach to the issue. His "drugs tsar", Keith Hellawell, resigned in protest at Blunkett putting cannabis in the least dangerous category of illegal drugs, class C. The overwhelming evidence that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco and that most people support a change in the law has forced Blunkett to retreat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.