The festive season in Britain got off to a grim start with the discovery of two pensioners who died weeks after their gas supply was cut off because of an unpaid bill of £140. These events happened, not in 1840 but in our own times. The Office of National Statistics predicts that 2,500 people will die of cold this week. The cause of these deaths is usually attributed to things like influenza, heart attacks, pneumonia and the like. But the real cause in most cases is poverty and neglect.

Once again Tony Blair and the Labour Cabinet are prepared to take on the wider labour movement and its own natural supporters in imposing the unpopular policy of top-up university fees. Will they get away with it this time?

Since last summer we have seen a widespread debate about the pros and the cons of GM products. There are people for and against GM products from all the different political shades. The bourgeois papers have been very keen on giving voice to different people in the debate. What is missing, however, is a class point of view. No one poses the question from the point of view of ordinary working people.

On Saturday 24 January, the British TV channel, Channel Four, broadcast a documentary about the miners’ strike. Anyone who tuned in looking for an objective account of the strike was doomed to be disappointed. The purpose of this documentary was not to clarify what happened but to blacken the memory of the striking miners and mislead the present generation by a combination of lies, falsifications and trivialisation. Against all the lies, distortion and venom, the Marxists will defend the memory of this epic struggle and pass on the great lessons to the new generation that is destined to carry on the fight to a victorious conclusion.

Teflon Tony, otherwise known as the 'Houdini of British politics' has narrowly escaped a major political defeat yet again. It is however fair to say that his protective layer of teflon may be wearing off, as the Labour majority in parliament was reduced to just 5, down from the on-paper majority of 161.  Thebill on tuition top-up fees passed its second reading by a vote of 316 to 311, and the Labour Party's parliamentary group is looking seriously beleaguered after an intense few days of political haggling and backroom swindles.

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