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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 February 2011

Fast news

NHS cuts

The Con-Dem government's latest disastrous reforms to the National Health Service come on top of at least 20 billion of 'efficiency savings' ie cuts, that health managers have been told to implement by 2014.

This has led to thousands of job cuts and hospital ward and department closures. Recently the West Midlands health trust announced that 1,600 jobs are to be axed, which will badly hit patient care.

NHS London, the capital's strategic health authority, is 'reconfiguring' its health services by closing Accident and Emergency departments and shedding thousands of hospital beds.

According to the British Medical Association some 5 billion will be cut from London's health budget by 2017.

PFI rip-off

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts for new hospitals, schools, etc, are costing the public purse a staggering 229 billion, yet the actual value of these projects is only 56 billion.

PFI schemes typically involve a private contractor building a hospital and owning it for 25 or 35 years while leasing it back to the NHS for a tidy profit.

For example, the Princess Royal hospital in Bromley, south London, built through a PFI contract, will cost the NHS 1.2 billion - more than ten times its actual value!

BA dispute

Trade unionists across the country will be angered that, yet again, bosses at BA have forced Unite cabin crew to re-ballot through a combination of intimidation and a 'legal blitz'.

Starting out as a battle over impositions to members' contracts, cabin crew were forced to take industrial action, as BA was unwilling to negotiate. In the course of the dispute the battle has morphed into a fight to maintain union organisation.

Unite cabin crew are calling for the removal of sanctions taken against union members as a result of participation in lawful strike action and for the right of the union to organise itself amongst the workforce.

This is clearly an attempt to prevent working-people legitimately using their hard won democratic rights to defend their jobs, terms and conditions and pensions.

Mubarak's friend

Egypt's beleaguered president Hosni Mubarak can't have many friends left after weeks of mass protests against his rule. However, it appears that he does still enjoy the support of Frank Wisner, president Barack Obama's envoy to Cairo.

The diplomat left White House staff flabbergasted after remarking: "President Mubarak's continued leadership is critical: it's his opportunity to write his legacy."

It appears that this was no diplomatic slip of the tongue as Wisner is also employed for a US law firm that works for the Mubarak regime. Wisner's employer, Patton Boggs, also advises the Egyptian military and boasts that its attorneys "represent some of the leading Egyptian commercial families and their companies".

No conflict of interests here then!

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In The Socialist 9 February 2011:

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts

Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain

Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test

Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds

Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


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