- Weapons of mass destruction
- Tony Ceaucescu?
- Burnley council's BNP shame
- In the service of the IMF
- Blowing in the wind
Weapons of mass destruction
"The Bush administration is planning a secret meeting in August to discuss the construction of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including 'mini-nukes', 'bunker-busters' and neutron bombs designed to destroy chemical or biological agents, according to a leaked Pentagon document.
"The meeting of senior military officials and US nuclear scientists at the Omaha headquarters of the US Strategic Command would also decide whether to restart nuclear testing and how to convince the American public that the new weapons are necessary." (Guardian 19 February)
Who'll be first to push a UN resolution telling Bush: disarm or we invade?
Some comedy moments at the Stop the War rally in Hyde Park. RMT leader Bob Crow, bless him, had been to South Korea. He told the demo it was taking a liberty "to tell people in North Korea that they can't have nuclear weapons". You tell 'em Bob-nukes for all! Even better was Bob's attack on Tony Blair: "I don't know what the difference is between a Romanian leader not listening to the people in his country and a British one," he told demonstrators. Fortunately, Solidarity is on hand to help him out with the answer: the difference is, Bob, that you supported the Romanian one! And new regime-change tactics from Bruce Kent of CND. Yes, it's the power of prayer! Repeat after Bruce his words to the crowd: "Please, God, give us a new Prime Minister!"
Burnley council's BNP shame
"Burnley council chose to commemorate this year's Holocaust Memorial Day by inviting along to the official ceremony the town's three BNP councillors. Thankfully, not everyone in Burnley Labour Party follows the strategy of appeasement pursued by local officialdom. When the BNP attempted to lay a wreath, accompanied by a press release which insultingly equated the Holocaust with the crimes of Stalin and the recent violence against whites in Zimbabwe, the offending item was quickly removed and set aside by Labour councillors Paul Moore and Alice Thornber. When the Lancashire Evening Telegraph then quoted Burnley BNP councillor Terry Grogan accusing Paul and Alice of theft, the pair faced a torrent of abusive telephone calls from BNP supporters, and, disgracefully, received no backing from the Labour Party at any level. It is shameful and hurtful to Jewish people and to all Holocaust survivors that Burnley council chose to invite the BNP in the first place. Have they forgotten how party leader Nick Griffin compared those who accept the historical fact of the Holocaust to those who claim the earth is flat? Did they not foresee that any invitation would be hijacked by the BNP for their own sinister revisionist ends? This shameful episode reflects badly not just on Burnley Borough Council but on all those who have vilified councillors Moore and Thornber."
(From an email correspondant)
In the service of the IMF
After his narrow election victory last year, Bolivian President Sanchez Llozada was hailed by some on the left as one of the new Latin American Awkward Squad of premiers. Once in government, however, he danced to the IMF tune, and now he has workers' blood on his hands.
Llozada recently announced public spending cuts and a tax rise from 7% to 13% in a bid to reassure foreign investors thinking of taking their money out of Bolivia.
Workers held street protests. On Tuesday 11 February, La Paz police and firefighters joined the protests. The army took on the role of the police, and shot 18 people dead, including police and firefighters, and seriously injured 83, many of whom have subsequently died. After the shootings the IMF leant on Sanchez Llosada not to cancel the proposed tax increases.
Angry workers went on the rampage and called for the whole establishment to resign, echoing the call of protestors in Argentina, "they should all resign". The trade union confederation Central Obera Boliviana has called for a general strike, street blockades by indigenous and peasant organisations continue. But the police are back at work.
Blowing in the wind
From the Socialist Worker anti-war special: "This is your paper if you are reading Socialist Worker for the first time, we hope that you like it. Socialist Worker is different to other newspapers, which are bankrolled by big corporations and multimillionaires. That means we are not under pressure to shift our policy at the dictates of businessmen. We want you to read Socialist Worker again. But, more than this, we also hope you will take extra copies to sell to your friends and workmates."
No, we just shift under pressure of homophobic, misogynistic, Islamist fundamentalists.