We have reported in many articles the inexorable shift to the left that has been taking place in the British trade unions. Last year's move to the left in the AEEU (engineering workers) general secretary elections has probably been the most striking episode in this general process. Equally significant was the change in the TGWU (transport workers) where again the left took the position of general secretary. The latest development among the civil servants is another striking example of how deep the process is.

As we were preparing for publication, the news came through of the sudden death of Dr David Kelly. Dr Kelly had been publicly named as the source of a report by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan, that exposed the manoeuvres of the Blair government to justify the war against Iraq.

As the summer break draws near, the thoughts of politicians, as those of ordinary mortals, turn to sunny beaches where one can forget the travails of life and relax in pleasant company. For the British and American soldiers sweltering in temperatures of 50 degrees, dodging Iraqi bombs and bullets, this pleasant prospect is further away than for most of us. And for Tony Blair, besieged by an ever more hostile press and public, the holiday season cannot come quick enough.

We live in an epoch of sudden and sharp turns. On Thursday night, as Tony Blair slept aboard a Boeing 777 bound from Washington to Tokyo, he was rocked by the news of the death of Dr David Kelly. In a single instant the whole situation was transformed. The magnitude of these events signifies the inevitability of resignations at the highest level, so the Prime Minister is frantically looking around for friends prepared to fall upon their swords in order to protect their Lord and Master.

Why are pensions being cut or not paying out money that was promised? All over Europe pensions are under attack. Everywhere workers are being asked to retire later, to give up on the idea of a guaranteed state pension and to look to the private sector for a pension. British Socialist Appeal looks at the real reasons behind the pensions crisis.

Each new piece of evidence presented to the Hutton inquiry raises the lid a little more on the real truth behind the government dossier on Iraq's weapons and the death of Dr. David Kelly. With each passing day the Blair clique is being increasingly exposed as nothing short of a nest of vipers.

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