Anti-cuts, public services

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Questions and answers on the cuts

Stop the cuts

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

The "case" for the cuts is built on lies!

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Industrial news in brief

Author: 

Ollie Moore and Gemma Short

July has seen a number of interesting and potentially important developments in the ongoing dispute between rail unions and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and the government over Driver Only Operation (DOO).

DOO fight spreads; staff cuts put passengers at risk; reinstate the Picturehouse Four!; uncertainty at Forest Hill; Barts workers strike again.

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Trade Unions: 

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Labour: left making gains

Author: 

Keith Road

Voting has opened in the Conference Arrangements Committee elections where left wing challengers Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes received four times as many nominations as their incumbents.

The left in Labour is starting to make some gains.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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The crisis in social care

Author: 

Karen Shuttleworth

Old people today eh, growing up with all the benefits associated with a welfare state they have had the audacity to not die of horrible childhood diseases, malnutrition or in childbirth, like in the good old days. They have the cheek to continue living for more than a couple of years after retirement. Some inconveniently remain alive for decades after ceasing to be productive members of the work force.

The current state of adult social care is intolerable for both staff and service users.

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Trade Unions: 

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Call for DWP-wide ballot

Author: 

A PCS member

On 7 July, the Department for Work and Pensions announced a list of 74 Jobcentre and 28 back of house office closures. The PCS DWP GEC has called an emergency meeting Friday 14 July.

Earlier this year, the DWP issued proposals to close Jobcentres and offices and said some sites would be considered for co-location with local authority offices. Although the PCS union Group Executive Committee issued a campaign plan and opposed the proposals, it was left to individual offices and branches to make submissions to the National Executive for industrial action.

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Grenfell: Capitalism kills

Author: 

Gemma Short

Around 1am on Wednesday 13 June a fire tore through 24-storey Grenfell Tower in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, killing a currently unknown number of people. Firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures.

The fire at Grenfell Tower has exposed inequality in housing and exploded the narrative that “we’re all in this together”. The class divide exists. It kills people.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Save Lightburn Hospital!

Author: 

Ann Field

Fifty demonstrators protested outside of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow on Saturday 17 June to re-launch a campaign to prevent its closure. Lightburn is the last in-patient hospital in Glasgow’s East End. It provides rehabilitative care for elderly people suffering from strokes, dementia, Parkinson’s or similar illnesses. Each year it admits around 450 patients, and deals with 400 new day cases and 3,000 return visits.

Lightburn is the last in-patient hospital in Glasgow’s East End.

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Around the world: 

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Justice for Grenfell!

Author: 

Gemma Short

Late at night on Tuesday 13 June, a fire gutted Grenfell Tower in west London.

It is likely that a large number of people have died: firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures. Many hundreds of people's lives have been destroyed as their family members, friends, neighbours, and homes have been taken from them.

Our solidarity is with those families and with the emergency service workers who battled to save them whilst witnessing harrowing scenes.

Protests demand justice for the victims of Grenfell and change.

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