Editorial

The Prince and the Poor Law

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The right wing press and New Labour are in full agreement: Britain is in the grip of an unprecedented crimewave.

Waves of legislation emerge from the Home Office to penalise vandals, shop-lifters and 'yobs'. Anti-social behaviour orders (Asbos) are thrown like confetti and vast swathes of petty crimes are made arrestable offences.

And yet the British Crime Survey suggests that crime is at its lowest level for nine years. Fed by a hysterical media, the fear of crime has grown out of all proportion to crime itself.

Every Second Counts

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There are three dates for your new year's diary. Mark them clearly, because what we do over the next six months could change the world for years to come.

The first is 19 March, which the European Social Forum named as the day when the anti-war movement has to mobilise internationally in a massive show of force against the Iraq war. The challenge is a huge one. Bush, emboldened by his election victory, is determined to try and crush the opposition in Iraq by any means necessary. The disclosure that napalm - illegal under international law since 1980 - was used in Fallujah is a reminder of the horrific lengths he will go to.

Taking the Bosses to the Cleaners

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The mass movement is on the move. It is coming to London and the European Social Forum (ESF) this month.

Thousands of activists are taking part in this truly global event - celebrating the full strength of anti-capitalism and workers' struggle.

During the event cleaners and other low paid workers will lead a demo through Canary Wharf as part of their fight for decent wages and trade union recognition. Fighting against low-pay jobs and privatisation in Britain connects us with our brothers and sisters defending their rights across the world.

Britain's Own Guantanamo

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Ten minutes drive from Charlton Athletic's football stadium in south east London, ten prisoners languish in Belmarsh prison. They have not been charged with any crime, and they have no idea if they ever will be.

Some of them will reach 1,000 days of imprisonment this month, interned indefinitely under 'emergency' anti-terror legislation. Such is the government's war on civil liberties.

Like a Puppet on a String

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The bloody standoff continues in Najaf as we go to press, despite claims by interim (for which read 'puppet') prime minister Iyad Allawi that the Iraqi army had crushed the resistance and retaken the Imam Ali mosque.

He is wrong on two counts: not only is Moqtada al Sadr's Mahdi army still in control of the mosque, but it is the US army which has been bombarding them.

Paul Foot 1937-2004

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July 18 2004 will be remembered by all those associated with Socialist Review magazine as the day when we heard the shocking news of the death of our comrade Paul Foot.

He had suffered a fatal aorta rupture at Stansted airport as he was travelling to Ireland with his partner Clare Fermont and daughter Kate.

Paul was a member of the Socialist Review editorial board for over 17 years and a regular contributor to this magazine. For a lot of this time our editorial meetings would take place in Paul and Clare's kitchen. The discussions were always friendly and fraternal, often polemical and occasionally heated, but they shaped the political content and direction of this publication and Paul's contribution was hugely significant.

More Resistance in the Pipeline

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Whatever happened to 'the remnants'? In the early days of Iraq's occupation, as the neo-cons basked in the glory of their military conquest, 'remnants' was one of their favourite ways to disparage the embryonic resistance movement.

In the run up to the bogus 'handover of power' to the puppet Iraqi interim government, the level of popular opposition became clear. The coalition was forced into humiliating withdrawals from the sieges of Fallujah and Najaf - conceding the return of a Ba'athist general in the former, and the continued liberty of the Shia cleric Moqtada Al Sadr in the latter. In the week preceding 30 June the last functioning oil pipeline was shut down, and the resistance mounted devastating, coordinated assaults on police stations and government buildings.

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