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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 March 2005

Oppose Clarke's terror bill

AS WE predicted in last week's editorial of the socialist, New Labour's draconian anti-terror bill got a rough ride in the House of Lords. Home Secretary Charles Clarke's new legislation gives the government enormous powers to detain anyone they choose to, without trial.

The powers would include putting people under house arrest and electronic tagging. New Labour intends to use the Bill to severely restrict people's movements without the 'inconvenience' of having to bring them to court and find them guilty of any crime.

Socialists oppose this arrogant attack on hard-won democratic rights. Clarke's bill will have no more success in its avowed aim of 'fighting terrorism' and bringing peace than the panoply of 'counter-terror' measures previously introduced, such as the brutal jury-free Diplock courts used in Northern Ireland from the 1970s.

As expected, the peers voted to make sure that all control orders giving these huge powers are made by a judge rather than by the Home Secretary. This attempt at introducing safeguards into a totally undemocratic situation of imprisonment without trial will make little difference, however. Suspects still won't know what they are accused of or the evidence on which they are being held.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 12 March 2005:

Pensions: 'We're fighting back'

NHS: 'Over performing' but under-funded

Oppose Clarke's terror bill

Review: Detention undercover

When is a cut not a cut?

The real cost of war and occupation

Crisis for republicans in Northern Ireland - political alternative needed

Germany: Challenges, dangers and opportunities

Lebanon: A new crisis in the Middle East?

Bush threatens women's rights

Brazil: A bloody week in the countryside


 

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