|SocialismToday Socialist Party magazine|
Gordon Brown’s honeymoon is over. His initial commanding lead in opinion polls fuelled speculation of a snap election. Now, the new prime minister trails miserably and a series of potential crises loom: anger at public-sector cuts, economic slowdown, calls for an EU referendum. Brown has shown himself to be indecisive and manipulative. As HANNAH SELL reports, this marks a significant shift in the political situation in Britain today.
The privatisation of our public services has brought cuts, worse provision and often dangerous practices, whether it is public transport, health care, education or local and national government services. To provide big business with opportunities to make even bigger profits, public services are primed for selling off by making cuts which include attacks on public-sector workers’ pay, jobs and conditions.
These cuts also impact on the services that public-sector workers provide. However, this year has seen a number of unions taking industrial action against these attacks. JANE JAMES reports.
When Russian submarines planted a flag 4,000 metres below the ice at the North Pole last August, they were signifying a new stage in the scramble for control of the potential resources of the Arctic. Ironically, the shrinking of the ice cover, along with the increasing price of oil, could make extraction of gas, oil and minerals more economically feasible. Global warming, linked to greenhouse gases produced in the burning of fossil fuels, has been identified as a factor in this year’s reduction of Arctic sea ice to its smallest area of coverage since satellite measurements began 30 years ago. STEVE SCORE reports.
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