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(en) UK, SURREY AGITATOR - Issue One. Summer 2003

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 24 Sep 2003 11:54:22 +0200 (CEST)


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News about and of interest to anarchists
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> SCHOOLS TO CLOSE?
We are getting closer and closer to seeing the closure of schools.
The government has changed the way that schools are funded,
which has led to schools receiving less money. The government
passes money set aside for funding education to the Local
Education Authorities (LEAs) which then retain some of the
money and pass a certain amount on to schools, the problem being
that the government have underestimated how much it is costing
schools to pay for the extra 1% that employers must pay on
National Insurance and the 5% increase in teachers pensions.
This is something the government has publicly admitted. But
recently the government has accused the LEAs of retaining more
money than they should’ve done. It’s difficult to tell
who’s telling the truth here but it looks as if the government
are trying to use the LEA as a scapegoat. The government has
also withdrawn most of the Standards Funds, which is money
given to schools to raise standards.

All this has left schools in a very tricky situation, local schools
are now being forced to make cuts so they can afford to pay staff
salaries (which compose between 80-85% of any school budget).
One area in which cuts are being made is supply teachers who
cost schools approximately £150 per day. The need for supply
teachers is inevitably unpredictable. Many local schools will no
longer be able to pay for these teachers who are used whenever a
teacher is sick or on a course. A lot of schools have been forced
to stop employing classroom assistants. But the government is
introducing ‘Working Time Directives’ in September 2003,
which will take teachers out of the classroom for half a day a
week. This has been bitterly opposed by the NUT (the teachers
union) as it means untrained assistants will be put in charge of
classes of children, but with the cuts being made it looks as if
these people won’t even be there to cover!

To try and settle school budgets the LEAs are letting schools
access money set aside for repairing buildings, but this means
that when the schools are damaged there won’t be any money
left to repair them! Ultimately we are likely to see staff cuts in the
schools if things continue the way they are. This is just another
example of a government promising to make reforms to benefit the
people and then getting into power and breaking all it’s
promises. We’ve got to give up trusting things as important as
our children’s education to politicians and take matters into
our own hands.

Schools should be run by the teachers, parents, and pupils, not by
faceless bureaucrats in the councils and government. These
people don’t know the problems there are in running schools
but yet claim to have answers to all of them.


REFUGEES AND MEDIA MYTHS

We’re always being told that this country is being swamped
with foreigners who are just here to scab off the welfare state and
plan terrorist attacks for Al-Qaeda.

But this is just another myth, obviously we do accept asylum
seekers but the number is less than 30,000 a year, and with a
population of around 60 million this doesn’t make much
difference. The main sources of asylum seekers are Palestine,
Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe. All places
where conflicts are going on and people are being persecuted. To
escape this asylum seekers have to take huge risks, many asylum
seekers die on route - from suffocation in trucks; from stowing
away in undercarriages; from travelling huge distances on foot.
This isn’t the kind of thing you’d risk to get a quick buck;
these people are really fleeing from massive hardship. We must
remember that these people are leaving their families and familiar
surroundings to travel to strange countries, and when they arrive
in countries like ours they have to pay off the traffickers
who’ve bought them here. This means that they risk being
forced into prostitution, organ donations, working in sweatshops,
and forced marriages. Would you go through all of this to get to try
and get an easy life off the British taxpayer?

Western countries like Britain desperately need immigrants;
we’ve had to bring in nurses from the Philippines to help keep
the struggling health service going. The ‘west’ needs at
least 300 million immigrants over the next 25 years to stop our
economies collapsing because of the number of old people, so we
should welcome asylum seekers. At the moment asylum seekers
can’t get any welfare and receive only 70% of income support
levels, which forces them to live below the poverty line.

According to Tony Blair asylum seekers cost the taxpayer 10p a
week, but what takes up so much money is the way the system
takes so long to process applications; some families have been
kept waiting 27 months for a decision. We need to give asylum
seekers the right to work, which will give them the opportunity to
contribute to society, and we need to stop giving things to asylum
seekers when working class people resident in this country are
denied them.

We need more affordable housing available to everyone
regardless of race, we need to improve the benefit system and
scrap means testing so that it’s available to all working class
people. Ultimately, the solution to problems like this, where the
powers that be are playing white working class people off against
asylum seekers and other immigrants, is to show some class unity
and tell the bosses, cops, and politicians where to go. Everyone
should have a decent life and the opportunities we all deserve
regardless of race.


HEALTH CARE DISAPPEARING IN SURREY

You pay your taxes from your hard earned wages, so you expect
the state to put your money into the services, which will help you.

The most basic of these requirements is the right to receive health
care. But for some time now the National Health Service has been
performing badly, and who suffers? That’s right, us, the
working classes. Whilst you have to sit in a waiting room for
hours only to be told there are no beds available and in some
cases not enough staff to assist you, the rich go private and
receive all the care they need. People are even beginning to go
abroad to receive care, and apparently Britain is one of the
wealthiest countries on earth? (4th strongest economy)

So how has this problem come about? There are thousands of
students in medical school, so there is no shortage of potential
staff, yet we always hear of the lack of doctors, nurses and health
care in general. The truth of it all, lack of funding. The government
simply isn’t putting enough time and money into the NHS to
make it work. Yet we are paying the taxes! The money is being
put into fat pay cheques for politicians (MP’s pay is at a
record high), spent on Defence and various other unnecessary
expenditures. (Prison style asylum ‘processing’ system,
war in Iraq).

But surely, not in Surrey? Yes, now the NHS crisis is hitting
Surrey. The King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst is to sack 30
vital members of staff or face losing the hospital entirely. The
Cranleigh village hospital is also facing closure; locals have been
forced to run a campaign to raise money to effectively pay for a
hospital themselves! Both these problems could mean increased
pressure on the already over-worked Royal Surrey and Frimley
Park Hospitals, both also suffering from lack of funding and
resources, especially Frimley Park which is on the verge of not
functioning. St Peters Hospital in Chertsey got ‘nul
points’ in the hospital ratings.

You pay your taxes, so why can’t you get adequate health
care? So while labour are spending your money on their Oil wars
and themselves where are you going to turn for your health care?
Time to start asking questions about your money.


JAMES WALKER TO QUIT WOKING

James Walker and Co Ltd has told its workers that after 75 years
in Woking it is considering relocating.

It is planning to quit its Hoe Bridge Old Woking site by the middle
of next year and combine operations at its plant in Cumbria. Cecil
Hull, human resources director, said: "We have made this early
announcement to enable full consultation with our staff and trade
unions to commence."

When companies are having economic problems you can be sure
it’s the workers that will suffer most. James Walker is quite
happy to sling 200 people onto the dole to defend its profit
margins. After making an announcement like that talk of
"consultation" sounds pretty hollow. Not that it will stop the
unions trying to cut a deal with the management. If between them
the bosses and unions come up with some deal to "save jobs" that
no doubt includes redundances, more work and less money we
think the workers at James Walkers should tell them to stick it
where the sun don’t shine.


EURO OR POUND?

Will it really make any difference to our lives if we join the Euro or
not? Either way it’s still going to be rich bankers controlling
the economy, it doesn’t effect us if they’re in London or
Frankfurt. What matters at the end of the day is how much money
you have in your back pocket, not the name of the note in your
wallet. We don’t have enough money as it is!

Were Britain to join the Euro, apparently we’d be dominated
by German bankers and would lose control over our own interest
rates. But has anyone ever asked you what the interest rates
should be? No, its all done by rich businessmen from the Bank of
England, and if we joined the Euro our interest rates would be set
by rich businessmen from the European Central Bank. We
don’t want anyone taking these decisions for us, and we
don’t think the pro and anti-Euro arguments have got anything
to offer us.


ANARCHISM, THE REALITY

Anarchism, doesn’t that mean chaos and violent thugs? No!
These ideas are wrong and totally misrepresent anarchism.
Anarchism could be called libertarian socialism, though, unlike
most socialists, we don’t want an all powerful state ruling
over us.

We want to destroy the capitalist world we currently live in, and
which keeps the working classes as servants to the ruling
classes. Ever wondered why your boss does less work than you
and gets more money, why big business does so well out of the
state, poor countries are kept poor, why is there so much
environmental damage being done to earth, why we go to war, why
your house is so small, why there is so much sexism, racism and
homophobia, why you don’t have more free time to enjoy
yourself? The answer is simple, Capitalism.

For capitalism to survive the working class have to be exploited,
wars have to be fought and the rich will stay rich because of this.
So think what is this ‘great’ system doing for you, and
realise that the answer is nothing but exploiting you.

So now you know the truth what to do? Well we aim to build a
fairer, freer and libertarian based society by destroying the current
one and re-building it. So if you want a better life maybe you
should consider anarchism.

We aren’t the violent thugs the corporate media portray us as.
The most violent groups on earth are those who bomb innocent
civilians with tonnes of arms, enslave people through free-trade
deals and industrial oppression. The state and the rich are the real
violent thugs.


The Surrey Agitator is produced by the Surrey Anarchist Group, a
group of local people fighting for a free and equal society, contact
us at PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey GU21 2XL or visit
our website at www.surreyanarchy.org.uk

Surrey Anarchist Group (SAG)
Address: PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey. GU21 2XL
Website: http://www.surreyanarchy.org.uk
Email: info@surreyanarchy.org.uk
Discussion list: saggylist-subscribe@yahoogroups.comSURREY
AGITATOR

Issue One. Summer 2003


SCHOOLS TO CLOSE?

We are getting closer and closer to seeing the closure of schools.
The government has changed the way that schools are funded,
which has led to schools receiving less money. The government
passes money set aside for funding education to the Local
Education Authorities (LEAs) which then retain some of the
money and pass a certain amount on to schools, the problem being
that the government have underestimated how much it is costing
schools to pay for the extra 1% that employers must pay on
National Insurance and the 5% increase in teachers pensions.
This is something the government has publicly admitted. But
recently the government has accused the LEAs of retaining more
money than they should’ve done. It’s difficult to tell
who’s telling the truth here but it looks as if the government
are trying to use the LEA as a scapegoat. The government has
also withdrawn most of the Standards Funds, which is money
given to schools to raise standards.

All this has left schools in a very tricky situation, local schools
are now being forced to make cuts so they can afford to pay staff
salaries (which compose between 80-85% of any school budget).
One area in which cuts are being made is supply teachers who
cost schools approximately £150 per day. The need for supply
teachers is inevitably unpredictable. Many local schools will no
longer be able to pay for these teachers who are used whenever a
teacher is sick or on a course. A lot of schools have been forced
to stop employing classroom assistants. But the government is
introducing ‘Working Time Directives’ in September 2003,
which will take teachers out of the classroom for half a day a
week. This has been bitterly opposed by the NUT (the teachers
union) as it means untrained assistants will be put in charge of
classes of children, but with the cuts being made it looks as if
these people won’t even be there to cover!

To try and settle school budgets the LEAs are letting schools
access money set aside for repairing buildings, but this means
that when the schools are damaged there won’t be any money
left to repair them! Ultimately we are likely to see staff cuts in the
schools if things continue the way they are. This is just another
example of a government promising to make reforms to benefit the
people and then getting into power and breaking all it’s
promises. We’ve got to give up trusting things as important as
our children’s education to politicians and take matters into
our own hands.

Schools should be run by the teachers, parents, and pupils, not by
faceless bureaucrats in the councils and government. These
people don’t know the problems there are in running schools
but yet claim to have answers to all of them.


REFUGEES AND MEDIA MYTHS

We’re always being told that this country is being swamped
with foreigners who are just here to scab off the welfare state and
plan terrorist attacks for Al-Qaeda.

But this is just another myth, obviously we do accept asylum
seekers but the number is less than 30,000 a year, and with a
population of around 60 million this doesn’t make much
difference. The main sources of asylum seekers are Palestine,
Somalia, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe. All places
where conflicts are going on and people are being persecuted. To
escape this asylum seekers have to take huge risks, many asylum
seekers die on route - from suffocation in trucks; from stowing
away in undercarriages; from travelling huge distances on foot.
This isn’t the kind of thing you’d risk to get a quick buck;
these people are really fleeing from massive hardship. We must
remember that these people are leaving their families and familiar
surroundings to travel to strange countries, and when they arrive
in countries like ours they have to pay off the traffickers
who’ve bought them here. This means that they risk being
forced into prostitution, organ donations, working in sweatshops,
and forced marriages. Would you go through all of this to get to try
and get an easy life off the British taxpayer?

Western countries like Britain desperately need immigrants;
we’ve had to bring in nurses from the Philippines to help keep
the struggling health service going. The ‘west’ needs at
least 300 million immigrants over the next 25 years to stop our
economies collapsing because of the number of old people, so we
should welcome asylum seekers. At the moment asylum seekers
can’t get any welfare and receive only 70% of income support
levels, which forces them to live below the poverty line.

According to Tony Blair asylum seekers cost the taxpayer 10p a
week, but what takes up so much money is the way the system
takes so long to process applications; some families have been
kept waiting 27 months for a decision. We need to give asylum
seekers the right to work, which will give them the opportunity to
contribute to society, and we need to stop giving things to asylum
seekers when working class people resident in this country are
denied them.

We need more affordable housing available to everyone
regardless of race, we need to improve the benefit system and
scrap means testing so that it’s available to all working class
people. Ultimately, the solution to problems like this, where the
powers that be are playing white working class people off against
asylum seekers and other immigrants, is to show some class unity
and tell the bosses, cops, and politicians where to go. Everyone
should have a decent life and the opportunities we all deserve
regardless of race.


HEALTH CARE DISAPPEARING IN SURREY

You pay your taxes from your hard earned wages, so you expect
the state to put your money into the services, which will help you.

The most basic of these requirements is the right to receive health
care. But for some time now the National Health Service has been
performing badly, and who suffers? That’s right, us, the
working classes. Whilst you have to sit in a waiting room for
hours only to be told there are no beds available and in some
cases not enough staff to assist you, the rich go private and
receive all the care they need. People are even beginning to go
abroad to receive care, and apparently Britain is one of the
wealthiest countries on earth? (4th strongest economy)

So how has this problem come about? There are thousands of
students in medical school, so there is no shortage of potential
staff, yet we always hear of the lack of doctors, nurses and health
care in general. The truth of it all, lack of funding. The government
simply isn’t putting enough time and money into the NHS to
make it work. Yet we are paying the taxes! The money is being
put into fat pay cheques for politicians (MP’s pay is at a
record high), spent on Defence and various other unnecessary
expenditures. (Prison style asylum ‘processing’ system,
war in Iraq).

But surely, not in Surrey? Yes, now the NHS crisis is hitting
Surrey. The King Edward VII Hospital in Midhurst is to sack 30
vital members of staff or face losing the hospital entirely. The
Cranleigh village hospital is also facing closure; locals have been
forced to run a campaign to raise money to effectively pay for a
hospital themselves! Both these problems could mean increased
pressure on the already over-worked Royal Surrey and Frimley
Park Hospitals, both also suffering from lack of funding and
resources, especially Frimley Park which is on the verge of not
functioning. St Peters Hospital in Chertsey got ‘nul
points’ in the hospital ratings.

You pay your taxes, so why can’t you get adequate health
care? So while labour are spending your money on their Oil wars
and themselves where are you going to turn for your health care?
Time to start asking questions about your money.


JAMES WALKER TO QUIT WOKING

James Walker and Co Ltd has told its workers that after 75 years
in Woking it is considering relocating.

It is planning to quit its Hoe Bridge Old Woking site by the middle
of next year and combine operations at its plant in Cumbria. Cecil
Hull, human resources director, said: "We have made this early
announcement to enable full consultation with our staff and trade
unions to commence."

When companies are having economic problems you can be sure
it’s the workers that will suffer most. James Walker is quite
happy to sling 200 people onto the dole to defend its profit
margins. After making an announcement like that talk of
"consultation" sounds pretty hollow. Not that it will stop the
unions trying to cut a deal with the management. If between them
the bosses and unions come up with some deal to "save jobs" that
no doubt includes redundances, more work and less money we
think the workers at James Walkers should tell them to stick it
where the sun don’t shine.


EURO OR POUND?

Will it really make any difference to our lives if we join the Euro or
not? Either way it’s still going to be rich bankers controlling
the economy, it doesn’t effect us if they’re in London or
Frankfurt. What matters at the end of the day is how much money
you have in your back pocket, not the name of the note in your
wallet. We don’t have enough money as it is!

Were Britain to join the Euro, apparently we’d be dominated
by German bankers and would lose control over our own interest
rates. But has anyone ever asked you what the interest rates
should be? No, its all done by rich businessmen from the Bank of
England, and if we joined the Euro our interest rates would be set
by rich businessmen from the European Central Bank. We
don’t want anyone taking these decisions for us, and we
don’t think the pro and anti-Euro arguments have got anything
to offer us.


ANARCHISM, THE REALITY

Anarchism, doesn’t that mean chaos and violent thugs? No!
These ideas are wrong and totally misrepresent anarchism.
Anarchism could be called libertarian socialism, though, unlike
most socialists, we don’t want an all powerful state ruling
over us.

We want to destroy the capitalist world we currently live in, and
which keeps the working classes as servants to the ruling
classes. Ever wondered why your boss does less work than you
and gets more money, why big business does so well out of the
state, poor countries are kept poor, why is there so much
environmental damage being done to earth, why we go to war, why
your house is so small, why there is so much sexism, racism and
homophobia, why you don’t have more free time to enjoy
yourself? The answer is simple, Capitalism.

For capitalism to survive the working class have to be exploited,
wars have to be fought and the rich will stay rich because of this.
So think what is this ‘great’ system doing for you, and
realise that the answer is nothing but exploiting you.

So now you know the truth what to do? Well we aim to build a
fairer, freer and libertarian based society by destroying the current
one and re-building it. So if you want a better life maybe you
should consider anarchism.

We aren’t the violent thugs the corporate media portray us as.
The most violent groups on earth are those who bomb innocent
civilians with tonnes of arms, enslave people through free-trade
deals and industrial oppression. The state and the rich are the real
violent thugs.


The Surrey Agitator is produced by the Surrey Anarchist Group, a
group of local people fighting for a free and equal society, contact
us at PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey GU21 2XL or visit
our website at www.surreyanarchy.org.uk

Surrey Anarchist Group (SAG)
Address: PO Box 375, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey. GU21 2XL
Website: http://www.surreyanarchy.org.uk
Email: info@surreyanarchy.org.uk
Discussion list: saggylist-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


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