Solidarity 065, 20 January 2005

All deals off in Northern Ireland

The prospect of a new power-sharing government in Belfast, which seemed so close before Christmas, has receded. Now, with both the British and Dublin governments holding the IRA responsible for a recent spectacular bank robbery in Belfast, it looks like vanishing from sight for the foreseeable future.

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Jerry Springer Row: Defend Free Speech!

1.7 million people watched the BBC2 screening of the award-winning Jerry Springer, The Opera on Saturday 8 January.

Prior to the broadcast, the BBC received 47,000 complaints from people organised by fundamentalist Christian groups who regard the musical as blasphemous.

The Christian Voice Group has threatened to take out a private prosecution against the BBC for blasphemy. And apparently BBC chairman Michael Grade sought personal assurances from director general Mark Thompson that the show did not breach blasphemy laws.

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An appeal to the left: Unite to build solidarity with Iraq's new labour movement

The past couple of months have seen a rise both of strikes and workers’ organisation in Iraq, and of attacks by the ultra-Islamist or neo-Ba’thist militias on trade unionists.

Yet the British labour movement and the left is still dawdling and fumbling on the issue of solidarity with the new Iraqi labour movement.

There have been lots of scattered initiatives, meetings, and activities. There is no concerted campaign. There is no political coherence.

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