Priorities Right On Kids’ Meals

Morning Star | 07 April, 2017

FREE school meals for every primary school child would be a godsend to millions of families across the country.

Labour is absolutely right to be championing such a policy — and right too in proposing to pay for it by slapping VAT on private school fees.

This immediately gives the lie to Theresa May’s tired riposte that Labour, as usual, was planning to “bankrupt Britain.”

The value of the school meals initiative launched by Jeremy Corbyn and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner in Lancashire goes beyond the cost of a kid’s lunch because it strikes at the heart of the austerity myth the Tories — with willing accomplices in the monopoly media — have been trying to dupe us with for seven years.Read More »

UK: Budget Isn’t On The Side Of The Workers

by Steve Sweeney

Morning Star | 09 March, 2017

LABOUR hit out yesterday at an “out of touch” Budget that shows the government is “not on the side of the workers” since Chancellor Philip Hammond’s spending plans fail to address poverty pay and falling living standards.

Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of failing to understand what daily life is like for millions of people and the “crisis” in Britain’s public services. He said Mr Hammond was “entirely out of touch with the reality of life for millions.”

The Labour leader continued: “Last night, over 4,000 people will have slept rough on the streets of this country.Read More »

UK: Can We Expect An Economic Crisis?

by John Ellison

Morning Star | 09 March, 2017

OFF the front pages in the more serious newspapers, and off and on since the beginning of the year, we have been given a series of signals that another financial catastrophe may be not far away.

An expected downturn in Britain’s economy — and for Britain’s people — according to the Observer’s business editorial on January 1, was staved off last year.

Though 2016 began with a rout on world markets, it closed with US and British stock markets touching record highs.Read More »

Millions of British families are on the brink of poverty, finds study

A Journal of People report

Millions of British families are on the brink of poverty. Rising prices and stagnating incomes have pushed them to the brink. A report from a leading UK think-tank has cited the fact.
Included in the 19 million families on the brink are six million children – 45 percent of the total in the UK.
The report warned that up to 11 million of those families will actually fall into poverty by 2020, when the cost of living is expected to be 10 percent higher, far outstripping estimated wage increases.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), between 2014 and 2015 up to 19 million people were living below the Minimum Living Standard (MLS) – up by four million since the financial crisis back in 2008. Read More »

UK Set to Approve Most Extreme Spy Bill in ‘History of Western Democracy’

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 18 November, 2016

The bill codifies the statutes revealed in 2013 by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Photo: Blogtrepreneur/flickr/cc)

The U.K. surveillance bill known as the “Snooper’s charter” is poised to become law after passing both houses of Parliament this week. It only needs to be approved by Royal Assent, which is expected to happen by the end of the year.

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Court Rules UK Mass Spying Was Unlawfully Conducted for Nearly Two Decades

by Jon Queally, staff writer

Common Dreams | 17 October, 2016

A government legal panel said both the collection and holding of personal data breached the British people’s right to privacy. (Photograph: Andrew Bret Wallis/Getty Images)

In what rights campaigners heralded as a “significant” reproach to government overreach, a British court which oversees the nation’s  intelligence and clandestine services ruled Monday that mass surveillance by agencies—including the bulk collection of private data from unwitting citizens and residents—was unlawfully conducted for nearly two decades.

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‘Emotionally Tortured, I Lost My Zeal For Life’

by Lamiat Sabin

Morning Star | 18 October, 2016

A RESCUED victim of modern-day slavery spoke out yesterday to reveal the horrors some migrant workers in Britain still face today.

The woman known as Cynthia — whose real name has not been revealed — said yesterday, on the eve of Anti-Slavery Day, that she left Nigeria for Britain to work as a nanny and housekeeper when she was just 13 years old.

The family she stayed with made her look after the children and four houses at all hours of the day, did not allow her to go to school, kept her socially isolated and subjected her to physical and mental abuse that led her to have suicidal thoughts.Read More »

UK: £2,000 ‘Bribe?’ Safety Not For Sale, Says RMT

by Peter Lazenby

Morning Star | 18 October, 2016

SOUTHERN Rail was accused yesterday of trying to bribe staff by offering them cash to stop striking in defence of safety.

Since April members of the RMT rail union have been resisting Southern’s move to remove guards from trains to boost profits with industrial action, including a series of strikes.

Talks between RMT and Southern Rail have again broken down after the company regurgitated a proposal to give staff a £2,000 one-off payment to settle the dispute.Read More »

UK: Give Us Back Our Railways

Morning Star Editorial | 15 October, 2016

PRIVATISATION of the railways has been an unmitigated disaster for the travelling public, staff and taxpayers, plumbing new depths on Southern Railway.

The House of Commons transport select committee has concluded that Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR), which owns Southern, is in default of its contractual obligations.

GTR has provided “woeful experience” to passengers and has provoked a succession of strikes by refusing to negotiate honestly with RMT over the future of safety-critical staff. The company blames the union for the dispute, but RMT was able to come to a sensible compromise with ScotRail on the same issue. What makes GTR so different?

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes correctly blames “aggressive and brutal management strategies designed to cream profits from passengers without any commitment to guarantee them either train services or protect their customer service standards.”Read More »

UK: More strikes on the way as Southern rejects RMT offer

by Conrad Landin

Morning Star | 07 October, 2016

BRITAIN’S worst-performing railway will be hit by a fresh wave of strikes from Tuesday after talks broke down yesterday.
Rail union RMT said Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Southern division had rejected a “perfectly reasonable” proposal to meet bosses halfway.

The privateer has been locked in a bitter dispute with conductors over plans to deskill their roles — which unions warn will lead to on-board staff being taken off trains altogether.

Read More »