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Blair's education betrayal

24 February 2001
The right wing press heaped praise on Tony Blair last week for his plans to attack comprehensive education. The Sun said, "We take our hat off to the prime minister." It applauded Blair's spokesman Alastair Campbell for labelling comprehensive schools "bog-standard". The Tories boasted that New Labour had copied their policies. The right wing are cheering the end of working class children getting the right to a decent education.

Selection: education for the few, not the many

17 February 2001
"Death Of The Comprehensive." So the Daily Mail greeted Blair's plans for education this week. Scrapping the hated 11-plus and introducing comprehensive schools in the 1960s and 1970s led to the biggest ever increase in educational achievement. The system was so successful that even Tory education secretary Margaret Thatcher went along with it.

Old Tory sleaze and hypocrisy

03 February 2001
New Labour was falling apart last weekend. The leaders of the project that was supposed to have transformed politics for all time were tearing each other apart. New Labour's sleaze is a result of the way it has sold itself to business, put company chiefs at the centre of decision making, and allowed firms to rake in profits from the NHS.

The West's bloody war for oil

20 January 2001
US President George Bush ushered in the start of the Gulf War ten years ago. As the bombs pounded down on Iraq he made a speech about the dawn of a "New World Order". We have been living with that New World Order ever since. Bush's war lasted 42 days. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were dead by the end of it. Iraqi society was devastated. The war was backed up by British Tory prime minister John Major and Labour leader Neil Kinnock every inch of the way. We were told that it was necessary and just, because Saddam Hussein, the ruler of Iraq, was an evil tyrant. We were told he was a new Hitler who must be destroyed at all costs.

The socialist challenge at the general election

13 January 2001
William Hague's Tory rabble playing the race card or Tony Blair's New Labour government privatising everything in sight. That is the choice presented to us in this year's general election. But there will be an alternative. Across Britain over 120 socialist candidates are preparing to stand in the election.

Nail Tory lies on refugees

06 January 2001
MICHAEL HESELTINE last week joined Tory leader William Hague's filthy campaign to play the race card in the run-up to the election. The man Tony Blair claims is a "one-nation Tory" launched a vicious attack on asylum seekers. "Let's not mince our language here," he said, claiming that most refugees were "bogus".

When workers fight, governments panic

06 January 2001
MANY OFFICIAL documents covering 1970 have just been released to the public. They reveal precisely what happens when there is a high level of strikes. Thirty years ago workers' action echoed through the whole of society and dominated government thinking at the highest levels. Almost every cabinet meeting, under both Labour and Tory governments, focused on strikes.

Why it's right to scrap Section 28

05 February 2000
TORIES AND religious fundamentalists are trying to unleash a flood of anti-gay bigotry. Catholic Cardinal Winning and millionaire owner of the Stagecoach empire Brian Souter (an evangelical Christian) are leading a crusade to keep the anti-gay Section 28 law in Scotland. Tory lords and Church of England bishops have now waded in to defend Section 28 in England and Wales. All of them claim they oppose discrimination. Yet recently Winning called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened gay people to Hitler's Nazis. His insult is sick beyond belief. Gays were one of the groups Hitler sent to concentration camps.

Picket lines and protests in France

05 February 2000
FRANCE SHOWS another face of Europe, how workers can take on bosses and governments, marginalising the far right and the Nazis. Over 10,000 health workers united to march in Paris on Friday of last week. Thousands joined similar protests in other cities around the country. They were demanding increased funding and more staff. More protests were planned this week. Four years ago the Tory government attacked France's welfare provision, including health. This was beaten back, and strikes and protests ensured a left wing coalition government was swept to power.

Alarm raised at far right's rise in Austria

05 February 2000
AUSTRIA'S FAR right Freedom Party was close to entering government as Socialist Worker went to press. It was in talks with the Tory People's Party over forming a coalition government. The prospect of a far right party holding ministerial office in Europe for the first time since 1945 should sound alarm bells. Jörg Haider's Freedom Party is viciously anti - immigrant. It claimed during last autumn's general election campaign that Austria suffered from "Überfremdung" (foreign infiltration). Hitler's Nazis put this word at the centre of their propaganda in the early 1930s. By inviting Haider's party into government, the Austrian Tories have given respectability to open racist scapego

Most dangerous beef in Europe

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.

Prescott's broken voice

11 December 1999
RIGHT WING commentators love nothing so much as to pour derision on John Prescott's inability to speak in coherent sentences. The snob Tory historian David Starkey summed up their attitude on Question Time last week. Prescott, he claimed, showed what horrors followed if any working class person was allowed to escape from the fate decreed for them in the old selective school system. Starkey destroyed his own argument by sinking into incoherence in the face of a hostile audience reaction. But he had already showed that for an alleged historian he has a very short memory.

Breakdown for Labour's policy

11 December 1999
DEPUTY PRIME minister John Prescott is under intense pressure. The attacks come from the Tory press, but also from sections of the Labour leadership and from papers that usually support Labour. The focus of the row is transport. The government's transport policy is in chaos on the roads, the rail and in the air. Last week John Prescott unveiled Labour's long-awaited transport bill. It represents surrender to big business, the pro-roads lobby and those who want more privatisation.

'The election shows thirst for change'

04 December 1999
NEW ZEALAND'S Tories were booted out of office at the weekend as voters rejected 15 years of free market madness. In 1984 the country's Labour government let the market rip. It sold off public services, passed vicious anti-union laws and doled out tax cuts to the rich. The nine year National (Tory) government that followed carried on in Labour's footsteps. The gap between rich and poor increased more in New Zealand than in any other Western country. Today one in ten households are forced to ask for food handouts.

Jeffrey Archer: No strings to his bow

27 November 1999
LEST WE forget. Until Saturday it had not been a bad week as a postscript to the sleaze of the last Tory government. Corrupt right wing loony Neil Hamilton was trading abuse with Mohamed Al Fayed in court. The disgraced former Tory MP for Tatton was desperately trying to salvage a few bob and the remaining tatters of his reputation. Come Saturday, however, and the postscript was truly written. Jeffrey Archer had been found out. Or rather, Jeffrey Archer had been found out again.

Not Mad about the Beef

06 November 1999
THE TORIES and the British press have whipped themselves into an anti-French frenzy over beef during the last fortnight. Labour cabinet ministers, like agriculture secretary Nick Brown, have encouraged the mood. But they all ignore the most basic facts about British beef and BSE.

Banks move to throw out old

30 October 1999
MANY OF the elderly are set to become victims of the market in old people's homes. The private sector runs many nursing homes after local authorities came under pressure from the Tory government to sell them off.

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