Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/670/12007
News in brief
Members of the Socialist Party staged a protest outside the Kazakhstan embassy in central London on Friday 6 May in support of trade union and socialist activists who are suffering repeated attacks and harassment by the Nazarbayev regime. In particular, the London picket demanded justice for Ainur Kurmanov, a leading member of Socialist Resistance who was beaten by police at the recent official May Day parade. Ainur, who has served many weeks in prison on trumped up charges, is again facing spurious charges by the Kazakhstan authorities as is fellow activist Dmitry Tikhonov.
A letter of protest was handed in to embassy officials, who claimed to know nothing about Ainur and the treatment of other political oppositionists. They also tried to portray the ruling clique in Kazakhstan as an 'enlightened democracy' following Nazarbayev's 'Soviet-style' 96% vote in April's presidential election.
See www.socialistworld.net for background material
All pulling together
David Cameron's 'we're all in it together' slogan to justify savage spending cuts in jobs and services looks even more threadbare after the Sunday Times published its annual Rich List for 2011. The list showed that the richest 1,000 individuals in the UK had a combined wealth of £396 billion. In other words they could pay for chancellor George Osborne's £81 billion of cuts nearly five times over.
Moreover, the number of billionaires in the country has risen from 53 to 73, with nine people seeing their fortunes increase by more than £1 billion in the last year alone.
The directors of MG cars - the Phoenix Four - that went bust in 2005 with debts of £1.3 billion have voluntarily agreed to a three to six year ban as company directors. This is a trivial punishment after the asset strippers bought the company for £10 from BMW and then paid themselves £42 million in pay and pensions while 6,000 MG workers lost their livelihoods.
Public sector workers in Portugal and Italy staged walkouts and demonstrations on 6 May in protest at their respective governments' capitalist austerity measures.
Transport banks and public services were all affected by last Friday's strike called by the CGIL union in Italy. The strikes in Portugal were in response to the caretaker government of Jose Socrates agreeing to deeper spending cuts following an EU bailout.
A coroner's inquest jury recently ruled that bystander Ian Tomlinson had been "unlawfully killed" by a policeman while trying to walk home past a police cordon which had 'kettled' protesters at the G20 summit in London in April 2009.
Video footage of this assault had been widely shown. However, it transpires that other police had informed senior officers of the baton attack on Tomlinson some 48 hours later but that the City of London police did not report this to the coroner, the independent police complaints commission or Tomlinson's family.
In The Socialist 11 May 2011:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party election analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews