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42 reasons to rid ourselves of New Labour

As another ancient liberty is scrapped by New Labour in forcing through detention without charge for six weeks (relying on the votes of the ultra-reactionaries in Ian Paisley’s party), here are 42 reasons (I’m sure there are many more) why this wretched regime needs ousting:

  1. Increasing detention without charge under 'anti-terror laws' from 48 hours (in 1997) to seven days.
  2. Increasing detention without charge to 14 days.
  3. Increasing detention without charge to 28 days.
  4. Increasing detention without charge to 42 days.
  5. Turning a blind eye to “rendition”, the illegal transfer and torture of terror suspects.
  6. Giving police powers to intercept emails without a warrant.
  7. Introducing ID cards linked to a central database.
  8. Giving the United States powers to extradite British citizens without proving their case in a British court.
  9. Curtailing the right to trial by jury.
  10. Allowing the police to build a DNA database of people questioned but not charged.
  11. Locking up more teenagers than any other country in Europe.
  12. Doubling the prison population to 100,000.
  13. Illegally invading and occupying Afghanistan with US forces.
  14. Putting out blatant lies about Iraq’s fabled “weapons of mass destruction”.
  15. Invading and occupying Iraq with US forces, resulting in the death and exile of over a million Iraqis.
  16. Commissioning a new generation of Trident nuclear missiles for nearly £80 billion.
  17. Allowing UK carbon emissions to increase since 1997.
  18. Commissioning a new generation of nuclear power stations.
  19. Giving the go-ahead for airport expansion at Heathrow and Stansted.
  20. Concreting over the countryside, with over 1,100 hectares of Green Belt lost each year since 1997.
  21. Allowing rail fares to soar while subsidising the rail companies, forcing more people to drive to work.
  22. Slashing the number of affordable homes built for rent.
  23. Presiding over and encouraging record house-price inflation.
  24. Presiding over a rapid rise in the numbers of people who can’t pay their mortgages.
  25. Allowing the number of homeless households living in temporary accommodation in England to double to almost 90,000.
  26. Introducing university top-up fees, forcing students to build up massive debts.
  27. Wrecking the education system by the introduction of “Academies” run along business lines and by religious fundamentalists.
  28. Reducing corporation tax to 28%, the lowest among advanced economies.
  29. Abolishing the 10p rate of tax for the lowest paid.
  30. Introducing means-testing for a range of state benefits.
  31. Forcing older people to choose between food and paying for their care at home.
  32. Refusing to fund residential care for older people.
  33. Allowing the gap between rich and poor to increase faster than ever.
  34. Providing a haven for Russian billionaires while demonising asylum seekers and refugees.
  35. Playing the “race card” by dispersing refugees and failing to fund local authorities to provide extra services.
  36. Standing by as the number of young children and older people in poverty increases.
  37. Undermining the NHS through the contracting out of services and “partnerships” with the private sector.
  38. Signing up to a reactionary European Union constitution without allowing voters a say.
  39. Refusing to restore the rights of the trade unions taken away by Tory governments.
  40. Turning Labour into New Labour – a party that speaks and acts for big business interests.
  41. Destroying people’s hopes of a change and allowing the Tories to pose as champions of the poor and civil liberties.
  42. Presiding over a sharp rise in unemployment announced on the very day that detention without charge was passed by the Commons.
Paul Feldman
AWTW communications editor
12 June 2008

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