Archive | July 2013

Egypt: “Do not let the army fool you” – independent union leader speaks out

MENA Solidarity Network

Statement from Fatma Ramadan, member of the Executive Committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions  – original Arabic here
Thanks to Sara Ajlyakin for the translation, edited by Anne Alexander

Al-Sisi’s “Permission” is a Deadly Poison

My comrades, the workers of Egypt are struggling for their rights and for a better Egypt. Egypt’s workers dream of freedom and social justice, they dream of work at a time when thieves who are called businessmen close down factories to pocket billions. Egypt’s workers dream of fair wages under the rule of a governments that are only interested in promoting investment at the expense of workers and their rights, and even their lives. Egypt’s workers dream of a better life for their children. They dream of medicine when they are sick, but they do not find it. They dream of four walls in which they can take shelter.

Since before the…

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So. Boris the buffoon plans to demolish Heathrow and… er… build a replica in the Thames estuary. Because a new airport there would be nothing like Heathrow, which “blights the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners”… of course. The utter idiocy of this plan is rivalled only by it’s guffawing postulator – and the pointlessness of the idea (to quote Ed Miliband) truly beggars belief. To spend £50bn on a new airport, and presumably far more if the Olympics, or any of Boris’s other ludicrous projects are anything to go by, is insane. The new Routemasters are another lovely case-in-point. It won’t do anything except fuck up the already beleaguered transport system, cause absolute mayhem for a decade or so while it’s being built, and fail to detract from the government policy to promote airport expansion and air travel. There are not enough slots at Heathrow, but there are too many short-haul flights. A few years ago the top 5 flights out of Heathrow included Paris and Edinburgh. Both pretty easily accessible by train; a much nicer mode of transport. Instead of fighting for a ridiculous, polluting, and devastating new airport, supposedly ‘green’ Boris should be pushing for better (international) train services and cheaper fares. Oh, and not selling off National Rail contracts bit by bit.. But then again, this is Boris we’re talking about.. and the Tories. So this is all pretty unlikely. A few years ago when the 3rd runway got quietly shelved by the Tories, we celebrated a small victory. But we all knew the Tories weren’t about to give up on the their expansion targets and plans, because everyone knows building airports creates jobs, stimulates the economy, and attracts business, but trains – Hella motherfuckin’ no – they do exactly the opposite. OBViously. The real point is this: we don’t need to build any more airports. We need to build better sustainable infrastructure, and make it AFFORDABLE. Perhaps now the Tories are cosying up to the ‘working classes’ they will. HA HA HA!!