Reports expose abuses by new Iraqi police and army

Submitted by AWL on 22 November, 2005 - 4:02

Reports from Human Rights Watch have condemned both the use of torture by the US-backed Iraqi Transitional Government, and by the US itself, and bloodshed by the "resistance". It looks as if the new US-sponsored Iraqi police force and army are becoming one side in an incipient Shia-Sunni sectarian civil war.

Use union link to force change

Submitted by Anon on 19 November, 2005 - 2:23

Alan Johnson, the Blairites’ favourite ex union leader, has made a call for the unions’ influence in the Labour Party to be curtailed.

Johnson, once general secretary of the post and telecom union CWU, and now Industry Minister, has proposed that the union vote at Labour Party Conference be cut from 50% to 15% (Times, 14 November).

As Tony Woodley, general secretary of the TGWU, put it: “It is no coincidence that the Blairites want to change the make-up of the conference and party since they’ve been losing votes.”

Dancing with wolves

Submitted by Anon on 19 November, 2005 - 1:44

By Yves Coleman

In the dialect of French big-city suburbs, to “dance with the wolves” is to provoke the cops, make them run and to escape without being arrested. Unfortunately, the reality is much less romantic.

Around 1600 youth were arrested, half of them under 18, in the first 14 days of the riots from 27 October to 10 November. 180 have already received jail sentences.

Taming Tesco

Submitted by Anon on 19 November, 2005 - 1:27

Tesco is not a popular company. Not popular with its rivals, who envy its dominance of the grocery trade and are leading a campaign to slow down its expansion and stop its below-cost pricing of certain goods.

Not popular with small farmers, who feel ripped off by the company. Not popular with people who have lost Post Offices and other small shops as Tesco’s supermarket building programme transforms Britain’s high streets.

It is sometimes not even popular with its customers, when they find the promise of cheap food does not hold good beyond a small number of items.

Respect/ SWP in decline?

Submitted by AWL on 19 November, 2005 - 11:42

Selling Solidarity outside the annual conference, this weekend, of the George Galloway/ SWP coalition "Respect", I thought the crowd looked thinner, older, and more dispirited than at the "Respect" conference last year.

"Respect" insiders confirm this, saying that the conference is smaller despite last-minute efforts by the SWP to drum up people to attend as observers and fill the hall.