News

Education: Time to Teach Clarke a Lesson

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Education minister Charles Clarke's idea of school life as a 'magical experience' is not one that many school students - or their teachers or parents - would recognise.

His vision of education as a narrow instruction in the needs of big business lies behind both his attack on 'irrelevant' medieval history and his obdurate defence of Standard Attainment Tests (Sats).

Northern Ireland: State Sponsored Murder

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'A service to be proud of' declares the Police Service of Northern Ireland website. The RUC may have been renamed, but the 'service' this force provides is one of which only sectarian bigots can be proud, as the recent Stevens report concluded.

That collusion existed between Loyalist paramilitaries and the RUC is no surprise to anyone familiar with the British state's role in Ireland, but to read the clipped tones of one of its high ranking officers spelling it out is a revelation.

Israel: On a Road to Nowhere

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Yasser Arafat's appointment of Mahmoud Abbas as prime minister, and the acceptance of his demands for the make-up of the cabinet, have removed George Bush's last remaining excuse for not publishing his 'road map' for the Middle East peace process.

But while the hackles of some Zionists will inevitably be raised by the semantics of the deal, this is not a process designed to deliver the Palestinians the justice they have long fought for.

Iraq: Buried Beneath the Headlines

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While launching its witch-hunt against anti-war Labour MP George Galloway the 'Daily Telegraph' used the opportunity to 'bury' or ignore other news stories of considerably more significance.

The most important of these was the statement by the head of the UN weapons inspectorate Hans Blix that the US and Britain had used 'shaky' evidence, including forged documents, as a pretext for making war on Iraq.

Between the Lines

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Arms fair - BBC objectivity - US bosses and sugar

The sixth International Defence Exhibition and Conference took place in Dubai as war in Iraq was breaking out. The arms fair brought together some of the world's largest weapons manufacturers, mostly from Britain and the US. Visitors could browse stalls selling everything from guns to warplanes. They could also visit a firing range to try out the new weaponry, maybe watch a live demonstration...in nearby Iraq.

G8 Protests: Streaming into Evian

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On 1 June George Bush flies to 'old Europe' to meet the other seven 'great powers' at Evian in the French Alps at the G8 summit meeting.

In his mind's eye no doubt he comes as conqueror--in reality he will be flying into a few problems. Hundreds of anti-war activists and campaigners met at the end of April to ensure that Bush and the other warmongers will get a 'warm' reception.

Local Elections: 'Labour's Membership Has Gone Underground'

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'Many people have left the Labour Party. There are also large numbers who have let their membership lapse. In east Dorset, where I come from, there are only five Labour candidates put up for 34 seats. I have actually registered as Dorset Stop the War and we are fielding ten candidates.'

So said Damien Stone, a former Labour councillor who is standing in the local elections on 1 May. Some 10,000 seats are being contested, yet despite newspaper reports of a postwar surge in support for Blair and New Labour there are plenty of signs that they will face a difficult night on 1 May.

School's Out Against War

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In the past few weeks tens of thousands of school students have made an extraordinary entrance into political activism. On the day war broke out waves of walkouts, sit-ins and protests against the attack on Iraq swept the country, completely confounding journalistic stereotypes of 'apathetic youth'.

A series of wildcat student strikes began on 28 February, when 800 Glasgow school students walked out of classes to shut down an army recruitment office. On the same day about 1,000 school students in Northern Ireland and 400 more in Wales also struck.

With You in Every Struggle

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Welcome to our 25th anniversary issue.

Socialist Review was launched in April 1978 with the aim, as we said at the time 'to offer our readers informed analysis of events taking place in both Britain and the world. We hope, through doing so, to show how the system under which we live is faced with a world crisis, and to examine the response of workers in many countries to the effects of the crisis,'

Coalition: Monkey Business

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Having failed to steamroller the United Nations Security Council into supporting its invasion of Iraq, the US has created a tinpot 'coalition of the willing' instead.

Although the military assault is an almost entirely US/British affair (with a little help from Australia), the US is boasting that 48 countries back its crusade, although 19 of the named countries are offering only 'moral' support.

This is unsurprising given that it includes such military heavyweights as Iceland, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands (population, 65,000) and the Pacific island of Palau.

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