Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 February 2009

Fast news

Australia bush fires

AUSTRALIA'S STATE and federal governments have blamed arsonists for the devastating bush fires. However, the vast majority were a result of the extreme weather conditions. Did these governments do everything in their power to mitigate the worst effects of the fires?

For years rural communities have been hit hard by cuts to services. Fire fighting and emergency services budgets have been slashed. There is a severe shortage of doctors, nurses and emergency services staff and this cost people their lives in a time of crisis.

In Victoria the Labour-run state government only allocates $252 million a year for rural fire prevention. For a country covered with bush and prone to extreme weather this is totally inadequate.

On top of the cuts and lack of investment in prevention, rural fire-fighting relies almost entirely on unpaid volunteers. While the work of these volunteers is amazing, less than 2% of those who fight fires in Victoria are full-time professionals.


Leaking jobs

WORKERS AT Thames Water, the UK's largest privately-owned water utility company, have threatened strike action if it cuts 300 jobs through outsourcing.

Thames told GMB union members employed at a call centre in Swindon that unless they agree to family-unfriendly changes in working hours and shift times, and other measures, their jobs will be outsourced to India.

Thames reckons the job cuts are necessary due to the economic recession. The economic downturn however, doesn't appear to have stopped Thames from raising water charges 3% above inflation each year for the next five years. These increased charges have helped swell the company's half yearly profits to a massive 323 million.

Thames Water was acquired by Australian-based investment bank Macquarie in 2006 from the German company RWE for 8 billion.

Education cuts

THE SOCIALIST reported last week that the Higher Education Funding Council has cut the 18 million annual grant to London Metropolitan University and wants 38 million in 'overpayments' repaid, resulting in massive cuts.

Although the Met is the worst affected by this problem, the same thing is occurring elsewhere. After an audit took place at Kingston University it was revealed that the figure for students not completing courses was actually 8.6% instead of the 6.4% that had previously been claimed. This adjustment in the statistics will mean a loss of 500,000 for the university, an amount nowhere near the shocking financial readjustment to be faced by LMU, yet a loss all the same.

In the current economic climate it is obvious that further funding cuts and job losses are more than undesirable, the question is, as the government found billions of pounds to bail out its banking system, will the same rescue be provided to save one of London's pivotal educational institutions?

Nat Jones

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

In The Socialist 11 February 2009:

Bankers' bonuses - daylight robbery!

Vendetta continues against socialist fighter

JCB owner - still shovelling in the cash

Construction workers

Lindsey oil refinery strike: Workers score important victory

Construction workers' battle to defend jobs and conditions

Welcome to the JIB!

Motherwell Bridge bosses declare war on striking workers

Stop GSK job cuts

Socialist Party youth and students

Defend youth services

College students - keen to fight back

Save Charlotte Turner school!

Socialist Party campaigns

Tyneside Metro: Workers' action to stop privatisation

Carbon trading crisis creates bonanza for polluting firms

Exeter: Mobilising to stop the far right

Fast news

Car workers

Fight for jobs at Ford

Car industry in crisis - national meeting

Socialist Party workplace news

Wirral cuts: We need a new party

Victory for Salford Unison

Defend jobs at Salford University

Usdaw presidential election

Protest against the Unison witch-hunt

Greenwich council: An injury to one is an injury to all

International socialist news and analysis

Nationalise Waterford Crystal!

United Socialist Party members remanded on trumped-up charges

Socialist Party review

Slumdog Millionaire


Reclaim the game


Home   |   The Socialist 11 February 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCWI news in brief

triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

triangleWomen's oppression: the struggle goes on

triangleAustralia: massive yes vote for marriage equality


triangleTata announces 1,000 job cuts - Steel unions must fight for every job!

triangleFighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

trianglePay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary

triangle39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container


triangleAmazon fires: Big business is destroying the environment

triangleDeadly fires ravage Greece: austerity contributed to high loss of life and property

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill


triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed

triangleAusterity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence


triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists



Strikes: more determined than ever


Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle


South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public



Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action



Social workers lobby Hull City Council


Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together


Socialist Party

Why I joined: "Proud to be a socialist"



Carlisle election meeting: Education - time to make the mega-rich and corporations pay



Workplace news in brief


West Midlands

Solid support for guards on West Midlands Trains


Climate change

Climate change election debate - Corbyn offers best green solutions but needs to go further


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist


Royal Mail

Royal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential



Jared Wood overwhelmingly elected to RMT executive

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019