Recent Articles



Watch: Boris Johnson’s “fumbling” stunt

by Newswire     March 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Boris Johnson’s stunt today doesn’t fool journalists

“Great leadership now, but do you still think he’s “fumbling”? asks a journalist. “great leadership” responds Schwarzenegger, cautiously.

Is it legal for us to supply arms to Libyan rebels?

by Guest     March 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm

contribution by Sim-O

Hilary Clinton and William Hague have expressed the view that UN Resolution 1973, the one that makes the bombing of Libya legal, rolls back the arms embargo.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are open for business!
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UKuncut gets support from unions, campaigns

by Sunny Hundal     March 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm

A letter has been issued today, signed by unions heads as well as campaign groups, reiterating support for the group UKuncut.

The letter was published in the Guardian newspaper. It says:

As a relatively new protest movement UK Uncut have played a significant part in changing the terms of debate around economic policy in this country. Indeed they were instrumental in ensuring more people were at the march on Saturday than otherwise would have been. At all times they acted in a way which complemented and supported the TUC march.

However, in taking the type of peaceful action which they routinely undertake, on Saturday UK Uncut were treated in a political and deceptive manner by the police which sends an ominous message about the right to protest (Arrests threaten future protests, lawyer warns, 30 March). It would appear activists were misled by the police about not being arrested when asked to leave the Fortnum & Mason building, after which they were held for a significant length of time, their clothing was confiscated, and they have been denied the right to protest in the near future.

We support the right to protest for a fairer and more equal world. As part of this, we condemn any politically motivated policing which provokes, intimidates or criminalises protesters. We will continue to support UK Uncut until tax justice is secured so the poorest are not forced to pay the price of a financial crisis caused by the richest.

Signed
John Hilary War on Want,
Nick Dearden Jubilee Debt Campaign,
Liz Nelson Tax Justice Network,
Neal Lawson Compass,
Mark Serwotka PCS,
Jeremy Dear NUJ,
Len McCluskey Unite,
Andy Egan People and Planet

A longer version of the letter is on the UKuncut website.

Katharine Johnson, 32, who was inside the store said today:

It is outrageous that 145 people were arrested for sitting on the floor of a shop, doing little else than singing and eating snacks. The police seem to be trying to deter legitimate protest, which can only be described as political policing.

UK Uncut said in a statement today they were also concerned by the treatment of those in custody, some of whom were detained until late Sunday evening. Possessions were confiscated and many were released from police stations without their clothes, telephones, and in some cases with no money. Those detained included a 15 year-old who has since written about her traumatic experience.

Government prepares to compromise over watered-down banking reforms

by Duncan Weldon     March 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Today’s FT reports that ‘Treasury officials’ are pushing for a three way deal between the government, the big banks and the independent Vickers Commission on Banking Reform – which is due to report on April 11th.

The move is aimed at forestalling a public confrontation between the banks and the commission, easing any possible tensions between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over banking reform, and smoothing the way for the reprivatisation of Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland.

This strikes me as big news.
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Event: Where did all our money go?

by Newswire     March 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Where did our money go and what can we do about it?

Monday, 4 April, 2011 – 19:30 – 21:00.
Free but ticketed

A Fink Club special on the banking crisis and what to do next brought to you by nef and the Robin Hood Tax Campaign.

When the global economy came to the point of collapse we made billions available to prop up the failing banks.

Three years on, massive private sector failure has been recast as a weakness of the public sector. As the cuts begin to bite, we ask how did it come to this, and what should be done?

Why are banks that we bailed out allowed to award themselves billions in bonuses? Where did our money go? Who let the banks get away with it? Why? And, what could be done to put it right?

In the Fink Club ring:

* Tony Greenham, Head of Finance and Business, nef
* David Hillman, Robin Hood Tax campaign
* Richard Murphy, Tax Research LLP

Chaired by Andrew Simms, nef fellow and author of Ecological Debt

Brought to you by the Robin Hood Tax Campaign and the campaign to take back our banks at nef(the new economics foundation).

Free but ticketed

Cuts to back-office jobs will still affect frontline police officers

by Nigel Stanley     March 31, 2011 at 11:22 am

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary yesterday published their analysis of what constitutes a front-line police job.

And politicians of all parties like to say that they will defend front-line public service jobs by cutting the back-office bureaucrats. But this division is a nonsense.
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Incompetence will destroy this government, not the cuts

by Sue Marsh     March 31, 2011 at 9:17 am

It seems astonishing to me that a Conservative Party that spent 13 years in opposition have such poorly thought through policies.

Here’s a quick list of recent developments that should surely leave even the most loyal Cameron-flag-waver feeling a little discombobulated?

» We saw Michael Gove scrap the Building Schools for the Future fund, finding that, in fact he was breaking contracts left right and centre. This led to a high court Judge ruling that, “Gove’s actions over the scrapping of the (BSF) initiative last year had been ‘so unfair as to amount to an abuse of power'”
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It’s the Nick Clegg ‘No Education’ rap remix!

by Sunny Hundal     March 31, 2011 at 8:55 am

Hot on the heels of the Andrew Lansley rap is another excellent contribution.

This time aimed at Nick Clegg. Awesome.

(may contain some naughty words)

(via @johannhari101)

The fall-out from Saturday illustrates the limits of left pluralism

by Guest     March 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

contribution by Owen from TheThirdEstate

This Saturday marked the point at which the strain finally became too much for this uneasy alliance. Despite universal agreement from everyone from yoghurt-weaving Guardianistas to dyed-in-the-wool Trotskyites on the importance of attending the March for the Alternative, there’s been a noticeable spike in backbiting and recrimination between various stripes of lefty in the aftermath.

You could probably hazard a pretty good guess as to the epithets being flung around: the Black Blocers who caused property damage in the West End are ‘louts’ who undermined the actions of the peaceful majority and only care about making a scene, while commentators who supported the main march and criticised the window-smashing are bourgeois milquetoast dilettantes who find anything more militant than the much-maligned ‘march from A to B’ too scary and radical to get involved with.
continue reading… »

Warsi warns of BNP but pandered to them too

by Sunny Hundal     March 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Conservative minister Sayeeda Warsi says today:

Too often, those people tend to be the ones who vote for extremist parties.

This means AV could see candidates pandering to extremist voters – because to win a seat they will need to win the support of people whose first choices have already been eliminated.

What kind of a candidate would pander to ‘extremist voters’ who might want to vote BNP?

Erm, someone like Sayeeda Warsi herself? Here is a leaflet she issued in 2005 (thanks Mark Pack)

At the time, she also told the BBC that people who voted BNP “had some legitimate concerns”. Bizarrely, she doesn’t seem to think that now.

Isn’t it odd that Tories who usually complain about the race card being played are staying very silent now?


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