By Paul Stuart - 29 February 2012
Riot police moved in at midnight February 28 to clear the Occupy protest camp established outside St Paul’s Cathedral last October...Twenty arrests were made as a small group of protesters peacefully resisted. The majority packed away their equipment under threat of large-scale police repression.
By Bill Van Auken - 28 February 2012
The military commands in both the US and Britain have sought increased funding and stepped up deployments of arms and personnel to the Persian Gulf in preparation for an anticipated war against Iran...Under the Pentagon’s plans, US warships would be equipped with anti-tank weapons, rapid-fire machine guns and light weapons for use against the Iranian navy’s small speedboats. They would be backed by increased numbers of unmanned drones.
By Paul Stuart - 25 February 2012
The Daily Telegraph has reported that soldiers from the elite 3rd battalion of the Parachute Regiment are engaged in counter-riot training exercises...Government officials have downplayed the possibility of deploying the parachute regiment during civil unrest like last summer’s urban riots, but the character of the exercises...tells a different story. The training consisted of how to arrest rioters in scenarios recreating last August’s riots that involved fighting running battles with groups of protesters.
By GAIL DINES - Counterpunch Weekend Edition
I usually like watching Meryl Streep, but I seriously hope that she doesn’t win an Oscar on Sunday for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher. I couldn’t stand the thought of more people going to see such a dreadful piece of right-wing propaganda. I actually paid money to see The Iron Lady...All I could think about during the torturous 100 minutes, was what great timing this film is for the Republicans. Just as they try to sell neo-liberal ideology to an increasingly impoverished working class, here comes a movie that celebrates one of their most ardent proponents.
By Eileen Rose - 21 February 2012
Thousands of businesses are to receive a letter...inviting them to sign up to the Youth Contract. Starting in April, the scheme will pay employers £2.75 for every 18- to 20-year-old taken on from the Work Programme introduced in November 2011. The youth themselves will not be paid...Many large firms have taken on “participants” to save wages and receive the bonus of payments. They are mostly supermarkets and fast-food chains...
By John Pilger - February 16, 2012
In the kabuki theatre of British parliamentary politics, great crimes do not happen and criminals go free. It is theatre after all; the pirouettes matter, not actions removed in distance and culture from their consequences. It is a secure arrangement guarded by cast and critics alike. The farewell speech of one of the most artful, Tony Blair, had “a sense of moral conviction running through it”...as if Blair’s appeal to Kabuki devotees was mystical. That he was a war criminal was irrelevant.
BBC airs state propaganda. Throughout its history, its been an imperial tool. It replicates the worst of America's major media.
By Kate Kelland - Thursday, February 9, 2012
Millions of healthy people - including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives and people with fetishes - may be wrongly labeled mentally ill by a new international diagnostic manual, specialists said on Thursday...In a damning analysis of an upcoming revision of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychologists, psychiatrists and other experts said new categories of mental illness identified in the book were at best "silly" and at worst "worrying and dangerous."
By David Hewitt - Znet
As Britain celebrates the bicentenary of Charles Dickens...his works have arguably never been more popular...Driven by his own experiences of childhood poverty, the writer rallied against inequality, using his work to bring attention to what he regarded as some of the key social issues of his time: childhood poverty, rising inequality and high levels of unemployment. Given that these very same issues still dominate the news agenda in modern-day Britain, it’s only too tempting to speculate what Dickens would have made of London today.
Sunday 5 February - The Guardian
The government's focus on alleged fraud and over-claiming to justify cuts in disability benefits has caused an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people, as they find themselves being labeled as scroungers, six of the country's biggest disability groups have warned...Some of the charities say they are now regularly contacted by people who have been taunted on the street about supposedly faking their disability and are concerned the climate of suspicion could spill over into violence or other hate crimes.
By Paul Stuart - 1 February 2012
The security operation will begin when the Olympic flame arrives in Lands End, Cornwall, and will finish after the closing ceremony of the Para-Olympic games, approximately three months later. For this period, up to 23,700 security guards (including 3,000 unpaid volunteers) will be provided by G4S [private security]. They will join 13,500 military personnel, a larger force than the 10,000 British soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, and almost 12,000 police, as many as were deployed in last August’s rioting.
By Robert Stevens - WSWS
Free and comprehensive health care is set to end with the passage of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s Health and Social Care Bill 2011...The National Health Service (NHS), established in 1948 as the centre-piece of Britain’s post-war welfare state, is the world’s oldest and largest taxpayer-funded system. It faces rapid privatization on the basis of introducing a US-style user-pays model.
By Kevin Martinez - 23 January 2012
In the First World War, Britain lost approximately 887,000 men...For every eight soldiers who went to the front, one would not return home. Entire villages were decimated by the war and it was not uncommon for a family to lose all its sons. To this day, World War I remains Britain’s costliest conflict...Any serious artistic treatment of World War I has to take this basic truth into consideration. An artwork that merely uses imperialist war as a backdrop and accepts such a state of affairs as a given...cannot offer any real insight or provide dramatic lessons to its audience.
Revoking Press TV's license was clear irresponsible censorship. Doing so suppressed truth. UK television viewers were deprived of real news, information, commentary and analysis.
By John Pilger - January 19, 2012
The sheer scale of suffering...is little known in the west...That the most numerous victims of terrorism – western terrorism – are Muslims is unsayable, if it is known...While popular culture in Britain and America immerses the Second World War in an ethical bath for the victors, the holocausts arising from Anglo-American dominance of resource-rich regions are consigned to oblivion.