Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/641/10374
News in brief
ILO predict a riot
RECESSION IN the world capitalist economy, leading to high unemployment, will trigger growing social unrest according to the United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The ILO has revised its earlier prediction that employment would recover by 2013. Now it suggests a date of 2015, warning of a protracted "labour market recession".
As The Socialist newspaper, 6 October 2010, reported, trade unions in a number of European countries have organised protest action against their respective governments' austerity budgets. It shows that workers, given a lead from the trade union movement, are willing to resist an onslaught from the capitalist class.
Good for business
FOREIGN SECRETARY William Hague has made it clear that he intends to pursue a purely 'what's good for big business' policy.
A recent 'Opportunities in Sudan' networking event brought together representatives of Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir - indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and atrocities in the Darfur region - and the UK's ambassador to Sudan, along with representatives of major British oil, engineering and banking companies.
Without a scintilla of embarrassment the ambassador, Nicholas Kay, praised the "new epoch" in relations between the two countries. This is despite the Tory party, when in opposition, backing the campaign to get UK companies to disinvest from Sudan.
THE BOSSES' organisation - the CBI - having successfully lobbied the government to end universal welfare benefits is now urging the Con-Dem coalition to allow employers to use agency workers to break strikes.
The bosses are alarmed that a heightened risk of strikes among public sector workers will bring "contagion" to unionised workers in the private sector.
The CBI also demands many other changes to industrial law to completely ensnare the already legally shackled trade union movement in this country. Such changes, as previously reported in The Socialist, include making it mandatory that a simple majority vote for industrial action must include a minimum 40% threshold of balloted members. The concerned democrats of the CBI should be reminded that the Tories formed a government in June having only won the support of 36% of voters.
THE GOVERNMENT'S plans to dismantle the National Health Service - aka their misnamed 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' White Paper published in July - have come under more fire.
This time the doctors' organisation, the BMA, has criticised the government's emphasis on accelerating a market-oriented approach to healthcare. In particular the BMA rejects the idea of getting GP practices to 'compete' for patient services, saying that a "market-based system creates waste, bureaucracy and inefficiency." Instead it demands 'comprehensive care based on need alone'.
The government's plan to abolish Primary Care Trusts and transfer health budgets to GP practices is being legally challenged by the Unison trade union.
In The Socialist 6 October 2010:
Defend Child Benefits
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Health and Safety
Europe: fighting the cuts
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review