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Council Workers; Liverpool and Coventry

28 February 2004
HILDCARE SOCIAL workers in Liverpool were set to start a three-day strike on Friday in a dispute over lack of staff and workloads. Around 145 workers, members of the Unison union in Liberal Democrat run Liverpool City Council, will be out on Friday. They will also be out next Monday and Tuesday.

Jarvis

06 December 2003
A LIBERAL Democrat controlled council in West Yorkshire voted last week to award a contract to build four new special schools to Jarvis.

Lib Dems left pretenders

27 September 2003
MANY PEOPLE who voted for the winning Liberal Democrat in the Brent by-election last week were motivated by good reasons. Brent saw traditional Labour voters turn away from Blair in disgust at his government's record on the war, privatisation and public services. Many voted Lib Dem believing this was, on the day, the way to give Blair a bloody nose.

Liverpool

05 July 2003
OVER 400 people attended a union mass meeting in Liverpool on Monday of this week. The workers, members of the Unison union, are employed by the Liberal Democrat run council in Liverpool.

A vital challenge for unions and activists

01 February 2003
THE ELECTION last week of a fifth Nazi British National Party (BNP) councillor in Britain needs an urgent response. Adrian Marsden got 679 votes to become BNP councillor in the Mixenden ward in Halifax, West Yorkshire. He beat the Liberal Democrat candidate by just 28 votes and Labour by 38 votes.

The warning from Downham

16 November 2002
THE NAZI British National Party got 519 votes in the Downham ward by-election in Lewisham, south east London, on Thursday of last week. This alarming number of votes gave the BNP third place with 20 percent of the total vote in the ward. The Liberal Democrats won the council seat with 998 votes. Labour came second with 769. The BNP is cashing in on the atmosphere created by home secretary David Blunkett.

Beating back Nazi menace

31 August 2002
HOW BIG a threat are the Nazis in Europe today? Many liberal establishment commentators dismiss groups like the British National Party as nasty but marginal thugs who have no chance of ever getting near power. This position has become much harder to sustain, especially since Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen beat prime minister Lionel Jospin into third place in the first round of the French presidential elections on 21 April.

In brief

03 August 2002
Lords a-leaping onto the board ONE THIRD of members of the House of Lords are company directors. Some 217 lords have 618 directorships between them. Nearly half of Tory lords are directors, almost 40 percent of Labour lords are directors, and 20 percent of Liberal Democrat lords sit on the boards of firms. The real figure is even higher. Some lords failed to register all their business interests.

Lib Dems for privatisation

09 March 2002
The Liberal Democrats are turning to the right. A policy review pushed by leader Charles Kennedy is set to recommend more use of PFI schemes and private firms to run schools and hospitals. It says PFI is helpful for bringing "more private sector management know-how into public service provision".

Torture thoughts

17 November 2001
Sections of the US media are trying to create a climate where the FBI and CIA can get away with torturing anyone they accuse of terrorism. Jonathan Alter, a columnist on Newsweek magazine, wrote earlier this month, "In this autumn of anger even a liberal can find his thoughts turning to torture." He added that he was not necessarily advocating the use of "cattleprods or rubber hoses"-only "something to jumpstart the stalled investigation of the greatest crime in American history".

Anti-Nazi

17 November 2001
The No Place in Burnley for the BNP campaign was launched at a press conference last week in the run-up to the council by-elections set to take place on Thursday 22 November. A representative from Burnley Football Club signed up to the statement, as well as local trade unionists, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors, clergy, residents, and a visitor to Burnley who was a refugee from Nazi Germany.

Australian Tory prime minister's message to refugees: 'Let them drown'

08 September 2001
THE AUSTRALIAN government has set new standards for callous treatment of refugees. Its attitude to the 460 desperate refugees rescued by the Norwegian freighter Tampa from their sinking boat on Sunday 26 August was "let them drown". John Howard, the Liberal (Tory) prime minister of Australia, has ignored the refugees' pleas to be allowed to come to Australia.

Quiz of the year

18 December 1999
1) WHO SAID, "My vision is to become as the Liberal Party was in the 19th century"? (a) Paddy Ashdown (b) Charles Kennedy (c) Tony Blair.

Councils

30 October 1999
Gloucester AROUND 120 council workers joined a noisy lobby of Gloucester Labour council's meeting called to discuss the introduction of car parking charges. The council was discussing a motion put forward by the Liberal group calling for the £250 charge to be withdrawn. But the Labour councillors look set to continue with their policy.

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