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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 September 2010

Fast news

Big oil failure

NOTWITHSTANDING THE oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which followed a fatal explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in April, the UK government has refused to impose a moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the North Sea.

This refusal is despite offshore inspection records showing that five out of six BP North Sea installations failed to comply with emergency regulations on oil spills. Shell was also cited for breaking rules regarding oil spill training preparedness in five out of 27 inspections in the last five years.

In fact the North Sea safety record of 'big oil' has deteriorated with the number of accidental oil and gas leaks increasing by 40% in 2009-10 compared to the previous year. Serious injuries to oil workers also shot up by 70% in the same period.

Sack the boss

MICHAEL O'LEARY, the 700,000 a year chief executive of Ryanair, is no stranger to spouting reactionary tosh. When he's not dismissing the idea that climate change is caused by capitalist industrial activity as "horseshit", his latest missive is to stop using co-pilots on Ryanair flights to save money.

O'Leary dismissed the crucial safety role of co-pilots saying: "They just sit back, press a button and put it on autopilot. They then read newspapers or just do nothing."

But the potty-mouth multimillionaire received a witty riposte from one of his most senior pilots, captain Morgan Fischer: "I would propose that Ryanair replace the chief executive with a probationary cabin crew member currently earning 13,200 (11,000) net per annum.

"Ryanair would benefit by saving millions of euros in salary, benefits and stock options."

Captain Fischer delivered the coup de grace by suggesting O'Leary's dismissal could even generate cash for the airline by charging the new chief executive just over 2,000 to retrain - the figure he said new cabin crew recruits have to pay for their own training.

Tax avoidance

WHILE SCREWING low income benefit claimants in order to cut the UK's budget deficit, the Con-Dem government is choosing to ignore the 42 billion in uncollected taxes - including nearly 7 billion in corporation tax.

The total tax gap grew to 42 billion from 38 billion last year and represents 39% of this year's estimated 155 billion budget deficit. The burgeoning tax gap doesn't include the legal tax avoidance schemes of big corporations and 'non-dom' tax dodgers.

Support Tommy and Gail

FORMER SCOTTISH socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan and his partner Gail begin their trial on charges of perjury on Monday 4 October at the High Court in Glasgow.

This case, brought by the Scottish Crown Office, follows Tommy Sheridan's famous defamation victory over the Rupert Murdoch owned News of the World in 2006 (see

Please send messages of support to Tommy and Gail at

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 22 September 2010:

Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!

Birmingham: Solidarity with council workers

Socialist Party youth and students

Stop the higher education lock out!

The Student Socialist:: Issue 8 1.50

International socialist news and analysis

For a 24-hour all-Europe general strike

Spain: class struggle the biggest show in town

Kashmir: An eyewitness to oppression in the valley

'Death of democracy' in Sri Lanka

Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate

Socialist Party news and analysis

Countering the Con-Dem government's offensive

Stroud says no to BNP media centre

Bosses want workers' pensions axed

Trade unionists challenge Lib-Dems

Fast news

CNWP extended steering committee meeting

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

The sorry saga of Corus steel

Ex-Jarvis workers face more attacks

Tyneside Safety Glass: Stop the decline to the minimum wage!

Workplace news in brief

Fight every Con-Dem cut

Hastings demo against attacks on union officials

Organising to save jobs and services

Determined, widespread union action needed

Why London firefighters oppose 'reforms'

23 October march against cuts: RMT calls London demo

Socialist Party feature

The beauty industry: out of control?

Diminished responsibility

Socialist Party campaigns

Coventry 'one-stop' protest

Building the anti-cuts fightback: Local campaign launches

Save Southampton Libraries


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