On Tuesday November 18th, President George Bush arrived at Buckingham Palace for a three-day state visit, complete with red carpets, banquets and cannon salutes. Outside the palace gates, a huge security operation was under way. Some 5,000 British police officers were on hand to protect the president, along with the 700 or so secret-service agents Mr Bush brought with him. More than 200,000 people participated in the biggest weekday demo in the history of Britain to protest at his visit and to cheer the symbolic toppling of his statue.

This is how history is made. Hundreds of thousands of protestors flood the capital demonstrating their opposition to a President who holds office thanks to a rigged election. They demand democracy, they demand their voices be heard, they demand that the President go. The biggest weekday demo in British history greeted the visit of George W. Bush. Meanwhile in Georgia, a President and not just an effigy was overthrown.

Following last months unofficial strike action by postal workers management seem to have been put temporarily onto the back foot. This is in marked contrast to the period following the recent narrow rejection of a national strike over pay and conditions. At that time, Royal Mail management could not conceal their pleasure. Cockey jumped-up managers all over the country engaged in a new offensive against the workforce. Top managers were bragging that they had the full support of the government, the DTI and Patricia Hewitt in particular.

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.

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