08 December 2001
"We are The War Criminals Now." That was the headline in both the Independent and Mirror last week above a powerful article by veteran correspondent Robert Fisk. It was one of a string of pieces that described the horror of the capture of a prison near Mazar-e-Sharif by the Northern Alliance, the US and Britain's ally in Afghanistan.
08 December 2001
Top of the list of novels has to be The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré (£6.99). It is a gripping novel, which exposes the murderous activities of profit-hungry giant pharmaceutical companies. Le Carré's novels have got more political in recent years. Particularly relevant today is The Tailor of Panama (£6.99), which shows the viciousness of US imperialism.
01 December 2001
I missed the great anti-war demonstration in London the Sunday before last. But I don't feel too bad about this because, along with 500 other people, I was participating in a conference on globalisation and resistance in New York.
10 November 2001
New light was shed on the connections between big business and the US government in an article in the Guardian last week. It exposed the activities of the Carlyle group-or what it dubbed "the ex-presidents' club".
27 October 2001
THE GUARDIAN newspaper has quite rightly come in for a lot of flak for its failure to report the great anti-war demonstration in London a fortnight ago. The paper has also been carrying articles that seek to play down the opposition to the war. "Students Shun 'Stop The War' Movement" was the headline of a piece that claimed students are too worried about money or having a good time to take a stand against the war.
13 October 2001
BIG BUSINESS is making every effort to woo New Labour ministers. The profit-hungry were particularly targeting health ministers during the shortened Labour Party conference last week. Health secretary Alan Milburn addressed a fringe meeting on "Will the NHS deliver?" on Monday of last week, where wine and snacks came courtesy of drug giant Merck, Sharpe & Dohme. Milburn was also on the platform for the "Towards stakeholder healthcare" meeting sponsored by Norwich Union.
13 October 2001
PARTICIPATING in the demonstrations in Genoa was for many a life-changing event. We saw Italian trade unionists join the diversity of the anti-capitalist movement in the biggest demo Europe had seen for many years. We knew another world was possible, and we came home and tried to tell as many people as possible.
11 August 2001
NEW LABOUR'S childcare policies are failing and provide nothing for the vast majority of children and parents. That's the message from a Daycare Trust survey published last week. The Daycare Trust, a national childcare charity, has recently been very enthusiastic about many of the government's policies. So its report is particularly damning.
11 August 2001
I DO sometimes wonder whether someone as successful as Tony Blair can really be as stupid as he often seems. The Financial Times carried an astonishing article last week that plainly came straight from the great man himself:
17 February 2001
Kevin Danaher, a key organiser of the Seattle protests, has edited a new collection of articles on "the battle against the World Bank and the IMF". Democratizing the Global Economy contains a wide range of articles and is packed with useful facts about the way institutions such as the IMF bolster corporate power across the globe.
27 January 2001
The case of the "internet twins" has provoked cries of outrage from politicians and press alike. The tabloid press have portrayed the Kilshaws, the British couple who bought the six month old twin girls on the internet for £8,200, as eccentric and unfit parents. The twins' biological mother has been called "shameful" and "grasping". The Kilshaws may not be particularly appetising people. He is a well-off solicitor and belongs to a far right fragment, the Democratic Party. But most people who are desperate for children are not like this. The same politicians and newspapers that have been in uproar over the "internet twins" have helped create a situation that drives such people to
13 January 2001
Chancellor Gordon Brown wrote a big article for the Sunday Times recently singing the praises of capitalism. "The key to neighbourhood renewal is more businesses. American cities have taught us the advantages of business-led regeneration. Our old cities and estates should be seen as new markets with competitive advantages. Changing our culture to one that favours enterprise will come about with the greatest effect if it starts in our schools. I want every young person to hear about business and enterprise in every school. I want businessmen and women to visit our schools and talk to enterprise classes. I want every community to see business leaders as role models."
18 December 1999
THE TABLOID press has launched a frenzy of French bashing after the French government refused to lift its ban on British beef. Tory politicians and papers such as the Daily Mail have led the pack. Now others are joining in. The Mirror has launched a "Say Non To French Golden Delicious" campaign. The Scottish Daily Record ran a page article on how France has always "betrayed" Scotland.
18 December 1999
MANY BELIEVED that after Germany, France would also go down the road of fascism. This was a particular fear after the far right tried to launch a coup in 1934. A general strike was called. Workers united in a spontaneous show of unity against the fascist threat. In June 1936 France was rocked by a massive wave of strikes and occupations after the election of a left of centre Popular Front government.
27 November 1999
THE FILM Fight Club has provoked much debate. It started even before it was released, when the British film censors decided two of the fight scenes had to be cut for being too graphic. The day I went along to see it an article appeared the Guardian praising the film as radical: "Thank god for Fight Club. It begins to challenge how we are manipulated, seduced, frightened and co-opted by politicians, advertisers and employers."
20 November 1999
Socialist Worker is a superb paper. It is so strong on foreign affairs and feedback from workers. I work as a hotel porter and sell all the mainstream papers. The Daily Telegraph is handed out free there. I like some of their obituaries, and some of yours too – particularly Lord Denning's.