Privatisation

The privatisation of military power

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Over the past 15 years a creeping process of outsourcing has been taking place inside the military. John Newsinger argues that the use of mercenaries and contractors undermines democracy.

The Iraq war will be seen as a turning point in the history of warfare. Not because of the illegality of the invasion or the unprecedented incompetence of the occupation, important though these were, but because it was the first modern public-private war.

Academies fail the grade

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The government's plans to privatise education are mired in financial scandal and under pressure from campaigns by teaching staff, parents and local authorities.

Michael Gove has put the Academies and free schools at the heart of his education strategy. A programme started under the last Labour government, and opposed by all trade unions and by many parents and communities, has expanded so that now half of all secondary schools are Academies and primaries are converting at a worrying pace.

But Gove has met much more resistance to the project than he expected from parents and increasingly from local authorities, heads, teachers, support staff and school governors.

The Tory education nightmare

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Tory education secretary Michael Gove has set out to destroy progressive education. But he is meeting increasing resistance, and even falling out with some of his friends.

On 3 February this year Michael Gove gave a speech about his vision for education at the London Academy of Excellence. Gove painted himself and his project as a historic crusade against "failing schools".

Gove and his government have been reforming education at breakneck speed. From the break up of the state system in the form of Free Schools and Academies to the overhaul of the curriculum, Gove has left no aspect untouched.

Sussex occupation

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The last few weeks of the autumn term at universities saw a rise in student protest and resistance to austerity, prompting a draconian crackdown by university managements and the police.

The driving force behind the protests is a growing opposition to the privatisation of higher education, part of wider Tory attacks on the whole public sector.

Barcelona's hospital occupations

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Health workers in Barcelona have occupied their hospital in protest against cuts.
Jonathan Collier reports

Health workers at the Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona have been in occupation since 28 November.

The action at Sant Pau has been the catalyst for developing anti-cuts movements, involving neighbourhood and other activist groups, at hospitals throughout Catalunya. Occupations have sprung up at the region's biggest hospital, Vall d'Hebrón, and the Clínic Hospital.

Growing up in Goveland: how politicians are wrecking schools

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The leaking of Michael Gove's plans to return to O-levels in place of GCSEs reignited a row about "falling standards" in British schools. Here Terry Wrigley argues it is not enough for the left to simply dismiss such claims - instead we must argue that the root of the problem lies in the marketisation of education

Right wing politicians like nothing better than a good disaster. Disasters give them an excuse to intervene and make matters worse. If there wasn't a financial crisis, Cameron's gang would have to invent one. Now education secretary Michael Gove is using supposed "falling standards" to destroy comprehensive education and condemn most working class pupils to a second rate education. By abolishing GCSEs and restoring the old "O-level", he is trying to return to the days when only a minority of 16 year olds took a school-leaving exam.

What has the local education authority ever done for us?

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As the Tories accelerate the drive for schools to become Academies,
Terry Wrigley looks at why local education authorities are being sidelined

There has been widespread opposition to the government's reform of how the NHS is governed, and an understanding that the new structures would accelerate privatisation. Most people reject the idea of healthcare being run as a business. Despite active local campaigns and union opposition, why has popular opposition to the privatisation of schools as academies been more muted?

The NHS Bill: a blueprint for destruction

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The government is in serious trouble over its plans for the National Health Service. Gill George explains exactly how the bill is intended to destroy the NHS as we know it

The government is in serious trouble over its plans for the National Health Service. Gill George explains exactly how the bill is intended to destroy the NHS as we know it

Just before the general election David Cameron promised that there would be "no more top-down reorganisation of the NHS". This was a straight lie. The Tories' attempt to dismantle the NHS has been a long time in the planning.

Get Gove

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Michael Gove, the education secretary, has launched a new wave of academies expansion - forced academies. After the last election Gove rushed the Academies Act through parliament. Last November, almost unnoticed in the wider crisis, he extended his powers to directly intervene in local schools and convert them into academies. The justification is that these are "underperforming" schools.

Gove claims he is a champion of "social justice," and that academies are about helping the neediest. Nothing could be further from the truth. By 2015 Gove will have overseen a 15 percent cut in school budgets in real terms. Programmes such as one to one tuition, behaviour improvement and ethnic minority support programmes are being sacrificed, while Gove now has more centralised power than any previous secretary of state.

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