Solidarity 030, 14 May 2003

What next after the war?

By Sacha Ismail
War in the Gulf and mass opposition to it have inevitably raised big questions about the nature of our society. Why were Bush and Blair so intent on attacking Iraq? Are the US and UK governments really accountable to those they claim to represent? If two million people on the streets can't stop a war, what force can?

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Black and white: French women unite and fight!

In Vitry-sur-Seine, a rundown suburb of Paris, in October 2002 a 17-year-old woman Sohane Benziane was set on fire by an 18-year-old boy. His friends were spectators.
Sohane had had the temerity to spurn his amorous advances. Sohane died in hospital from her injuries.

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Iraqi workers demand control

Basra protest condemns imposed oil bosses
Solidarity with the peoples of Iraq!
No US/UK occupation

By Gerry Bates

On 9 May workers at the Basra refinery, Iraq's second-largest, staged a protest, demanding elections to choose their managers. The British army officer in charge of the refinery has replaced its old Ba'ath party top managers with ex-Ba'ath party middle managers.

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Unite with Euro-strikers!

Will Blair swap the pound for the euro?

By Colin Foster

Will Tony Blair use his boost from the relatively quick US/UK military victory in Iraq to make a dash for the euro? Or will Gordon Brown's caution hold him back?
Is it really true that euro entry would undercut the Health Service? Or is that scaremongering given that in the core of the eurozone welfare provision is generally better than in Britain?

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FBU: get the braziers ready?

By Jill Mountford
"Get the Braziers Ready", urges the headline of a recent letter sent out to Fire Brigades Union members from their London regional office.
London and Merseyside are among some of the regions that have rejected Professor Frank Burchill's proposals on the long-running pay dispute. Yet, on the eve of the National Executive meeting in Sheffield (15 March), FBU activists around the country say it's too close to call as to whether Burchill's proposals will be voted down at the Executive.

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Peronist v. Peronist in election run-off

By Pablo Velasco

The presidential elections in Argentina offered little for the working class after years of economic collapse and austerity.

The first round on April 27 was won by Peronist ex-president Menem, whose neo-liberal "economic surgery without anaesthetic" was responsible for Argentina's collapse in 2001. He will now face another Peronist, Kirchner, in a run off on 18 May. The official candidate of the Radical Party, which has been the second-largest party for decades, got just 2.5% - suggesting it is on the brink of dissolution.

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What future for Short?

Clare Short has finally resigned from the Government - jumping before she was pushed, according to some reports. When two months ago on the eve of war she might have had a tremendous impact had she carried out her threat to resign, now, inevitably, there is an anti-climax.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Foundations for privatisation

By Mike Fenwick, Airedale Health UNISON (personal capacity)
Foundation hospitals mean some hospital trusts will be given a greater degree of local autonomy to run their own affairs, including setting their own wage rates, borrowing from the private sector and specialising and expanding as they see fit.
In the first place only hospitals considered to be high performers will be allowed to apply. This means a reintroduction of the Tory internal market into the NHS. Early implementers can concentrate on developing high volume services for simple operations and, such as hip replacements, and create monopolies before their local competitors are allowed to enter the race.

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