Health Privatisation, It’s International.

There was hardly any outrage in the air when the Health and Social Care act of 2012 was passed. The act stipulates that NHS doctors take control of their budgets as well as permit them to buy services from private companies. Another stipulation is to allow hospitals to use up to 49% of hospital beds […]

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When Assad was ‘Our Bastard’…

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The Boston bombings: To explain is not to excuse

Now that the chaotic aftermath of the Boston bombings has become somewhat calmer, (and, incidentally, now that we’ve also learned that the US Government can literally shut down an entire city at will with barely a peep of objection, which, without in any way wishing to downplay the horror of the bomb attacks themselves, is […]

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Dubai is an autocracy built on slave labour. Why would you go on holiday there?

This week’s news that three British tourists arrested for drug possession have been tortured by Emirati police* while in custody has – understandably – been met with all the horror you’d expect from the British press, and with all the empty bleating you’d expect from Foreign Office spokespeople desperate not to upset a country that’s […]

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They’re a legacy of colonialism, but the Falkland Islands should stay British

“Accepting the facts on the ground” is a nasty, slippery phrase which has been put to some extremely insidious uses. The most obvious example of this is when it’s applied to territorial negotiations between Israel and Palestine, where it’s used as a euphemism for allowing the Israeli government to annexe territory occupied by illegal settlements. […]

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Drought-stricken East Africans ‘outraged’ by phone-hacking affair

Aid staff and famine-stricken Somalian refugees expressed their shock today at the News of the World phone-hacking revelations. Françoise Chevalier, 35, a nurse with Médecins Sans Frontières, whose clinics and feeding centres in Kenya and Somalia have been completely overwhelmed by the effects of the devastating drought told our correspondent she was appalled. “Steve Coogan, […]

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Tea Time for Change

A version of this article was first published in International Tax Review Bongo players, Robin Hood, men dressed as drag dinner ladies and Mrs Doyle from Father Ted proclaiming the only tea she does not like is poverty greeted activists as they filed into Westminster Central Hall to lobby their MPs. But behind the fun […]

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Don’t let these idiots become the voice of the antiwar movement

I was thinking recently that I should probably tone down the swearing on the posts I put up here. Not because I think there’s anything wrong with invective – it’s just that it only helps to add emphasis if it’s used sparingly, and I don’t want it to lose its effect too fast. And I […]

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Me, me, me: Japan, Libya and moral narcissism

I’ve recently started volunteering one day a week at an overseas aid charity. I’m doing this for a variety of vague reasons, including an interest in working in that sector, a not-inconsiderable need for some relief from the general monotony of my regular job, and some ill-thought-out guff about Making A Difference – plus, of […]

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IMF: global inequality could lead to civil wars.

The International Monetary Fund has released a paper entitled Inequality, Leverage and Crisis making the case that inequality was an ‘underlying cause of the Great Recession of 2008-2009′, The Telegraph reports: “Global unemployment remains at record highs, with widening income inequality adding to social strains,” he [IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn] said, citing turmoil in North Africa as […]

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