Feature

The Alternative Dossier Intro: War Weapons and Iraq

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The world's mightiest imperialist power is on the warpath again.

In place of the Cold War 'Truman Doctrine' comes the 'Bush Doctrine'--a declared right to pre-emptively attack in the cause of the amorphous 'war on terror'. US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has described this strategy as 'imperial but not imperialistic', a qualification which defies experience as much as formal logic. Despite massive global opposition to a course that is aggressively interventionist, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld axis is determined to invade Iraq and see to the unfinished business of the first Gulf War--'regime change'.

Education: Bottom of the Class

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Labour's crude currency of success in education is the market.

Are you aware of the state of education in Britain today? For example, do you know how many of these institutions are in your area: city learning centres, city academies, children's centres, pupil referral units, early years centres, specialist, advanced, beacon, special measures, training or special achievement schools?

Pensions: One Hand in the Till

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Pensions--once the bedrock of the welfare state--are under attack as never before. Solomon Hughes explains why this is connected to the spread of global capital.

Pensions have leapt from the personal finance supplements to the front page. Last month the 'Daily Mail' argued that government should 'end this pensions disgrace' by cracking down on management 'pension wreckers'. The 'Mail' declared, 'It is outrageous that loyal, prudent workers should be bilked out of their pension' as 'cynical employers' walk away from their obligations, closing schemes while enjoying their own 'generous pensions'. Not only did this arch Tory newspaper call for legal restraint on the employers, it also called for a 'government safety net' for pensioners.

Liberty Up Against the Law

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Is New Labour fighting terrorism or restricting our rights?

Last month three 12 year olds who were playing with a plastic toy pistol were suddenly surrounded by police patrol cars, arrested and reprimanded. Under new guidelines introduced by the Home Office in April, the children were then fingerprinted and required to give DNA samples--which will be kept for life. This outrageous incident is but one example of the opportunistic assault New Labour has launched on our civil liberties in the aftermath of 11 September.

Bush and Blair's War Plans

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The 'war on terror' was meant to bring peace. Instead, we are on the edge of much greater war with Iraq.

A year of the 'war against terrorism', and what has been achieved? Despite a year of conflict, repression and militant mobilisation we are on the edge of potentially the worst war for generations. As we approach the anniversary of 11 September, US troops are streaming towards the Middle East in preparation for war. All the talk is of an invasion of Iraq in order to effect 'regime change' against Saddam Hussein.

Women: Give Us a Break!

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The number of women at work may have reached record levels but they still have a long way to go to achieve equality with men--let alone genuine liberation.

It's a man's world, as the saying, the song and women's direct experience all testify. It shouldn't be, of course. The old imagined world of 'femininity', where women were supposedly put on pedestals, where they waited at the hearth for men to come home, is long gone. Women are expected to work outside the home as well as in it. Their work has expanded at a truly terrifying rate. Around 65 percent of women with dependent children go out to work, including a majority with under 5s.

Sport: It's Not Just Cricket

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You can't seperate sport from the racism and nationalism that go with it.

George Orwell famously said, 'Sport is war minus the shooting,' and there are many examples to back this up. The phrase 'nuclear cricket' was used to describe the test series between India and Pakistan in 1999, the year both nations became nuclear powers. The hysteria around Euro 96 was whipped up by the press showing English and German players in Second World War helmets. In 1980 and 1984 the Olympics was boycotted mutually by the US and the Russians because of imperialist tension over Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Angola.

Zionism and Anti-Semitism: The Jewish Question

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To be anti-Zionist does not mean you are anti-Semitic.

Alarm bells have been ringing in recent months about a resurgence of anti-Semitism, particularly in Western Europe and the Middle East. Zionists have always dismissed criticisms of Zionism or of Israel with the claim that such criticisms represent anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. So we need to disentangle the phony label of anti-Semitism--justifiable criticisms of Israel and Zionism--from the genuine article.

Dinosaurs Have Some Backbone

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Trade unionists are beginning to flex their muscles.

Once again trade unions are hitting the headlines. But no longer do journalists write about the death of the British trade union movement. Now all the talk is of the left winning union elections, trade union demonstrations and one-day strikes. Two key issues are fuelling this revival of class struggle at the moment. By far the most important is pay.

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