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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 February 2009

Fast news

The company store

AS BARACK Obama spends $2 trillion in a bid to to revive capitalism, the Japanese Panasonic corporation has hit on a more modest 'stimulus package'.

Facing a 2.92 billion annual loss, Panasonic has told 10,000 staff to buy 1,000 of its products by the end of July. The company doesn't expect refusal rates to be high, probably because Panasonic recently announced plans to close 20% of its factories and axe 15,000 of its global workforce.

Meanwhile, the Japanese economy - the world's second largest - is experiencing its worst decline in 35 years.

Economic terror

THE WORLDWIDE capitalist crisis has overtaken terrorism as the greatest threat to the United States, according to America's intelligence agencies. To the surprise of some Senate members, the new director of national intelligence, Denis Blair, told Congress that the country's main strategic interests face a greater threat from political instability arising from a deep economic recession, than from al-Qa'ida.

Terror costs

HOWEVER, THE above assessment hasn't curbed the UK government's 'war on terror' spending plans. The latest figures show that 4.5 billion was spent by the Ministry of Defence on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 12 months - an annual increase of 50%. Inexplicably, as UK troops withdraw from Iraq, the cost has increased from 1.5 billion to 2 billion.

The cost of military operations in Afghanistan is likely to increase further as the government obliges the US administration by deploying more troops.

Blessed Tony

WHAT A joy to see our very own former PM Tony Blair - now peace envoy for the Middle East - winning a 1 million prestigious prize for "his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict."

This undoubtedly included his peace-making invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan which to this day makes him, along with fellow peacemaker George Bush, the most revered man in the Middle East.

Tony's prize was awarded by the Israel-based Dan David Foundation; in a country whose ruling class, like Tony Blair, is renowned for its peace efforts in the world!

Auto demonstrator

SECOND HAND car dealers are not renowned as the backbone of the proletariat. However, recent events in Vladivostok might change that image. Faced with high import tariffs, recently imposed by prime minister Vladimir Putin, car dealers took to the streets, igniting large protest movements against the Russian government's handling of the current economic crisis.

With thousands joining in the protests, the Kremlin despatched a squad of special riot police to fly from Moscow to the pacific port of Vladivostok (a nine hour flight) to break up the demonstrations.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 18 February 2009:

Fight back now to stop job cuts

Anger as jobs slashed with an hour's notice

Car workers' jobs slaughter - begin the fightback!

Defend every job on the tube

Construction workers protest: Staythorpe power station

Isle of Grain picket

Meeting on Lindsey oil refinery dispute: Workers strike back

Why the bosses don't want an organised workforce

Socialist Students

Stop fees

Students protest against attacks on Gaza

'Books not Bombs' at Nottingham

Concessions won at Queen Mary university

Socialist Party editorial

New Labour in blind panic

Regulators resign over financial meltdown


London Olympics battered by economic crisis

Socialist Party campaigns

Yahya must stay Defend Saudi Arabian trade unionist from deportation

Coventry: Hands off our youth services!

Political vendetta against Tommy Sheridan

Wirral cuts: Fighting 'cultural terrorism'

Fast news

Socialist Party feature

Defend the welfare state

International socialist news and analysis

Israel: Election results indicate a deepening political crisis

Costa Rica: Urgent solidarity action for unionists

Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Manchester Unison elections: Left candidates well supported

Usdaw presidential election: The campaign they tried to hide

Usdaw Activist public meeting

Fight the Unison witch-hunt

Launch of new broad left for Unite


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Related links:


triangleAssange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

triangleThem & us


triangleIraq - a brutal legacy of imperialist intervention

triangleSuleimani's assassination - Middle East thrown into turmoil

triangleMass protests rock the globe

Tony Blair:

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleAttacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win

triangleTony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government

Middle East:

triangleBirmingham SE Socialist Party: Middle East mass protests - a socialist way forward

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Starmer wins Labour leadership - do we need a new political party for the working class?

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