SchNEWS This Time Last Year


SchNEWS 477, 10th December, 2004
ZanON and ON and ON! Argentineans threaten the seemingly relentless march of predatory corporate capitalism by taking over their factories and striking for fair pay. Also Fairford case ruling, Sherwood Forest evicted and much more...

SchNEWS 476, 3rd December, 2004
UKRAINE GET IT, IF YOU REALLY WANT Western media paints the street protests in Ukraine as East-v-West but the people on the street are fighting against corruption and crap politicians. Plus the Zimbabwean Social Forum, protest camps, Coca-Craper and more.

SchNEWS 475, 25th November, 2004
CHILE CON CARNAGE Huge demonstrations in Chile great George Bush and his cronies to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum showing that even in the better off in South American country isn't happy with the neo-liberalism agenda. And ID cards and more...

SchNEWS 474, 19th November, 2004
INDIA FACE A look at the caring sharing face of Dow Chemicals, Coca-Cola and Bayer in India and the resistance to them. Also "terrorist" attacked by police and more.

SchNEWS 473, 12th November, 2004
HOLY WAR, BATMAN US forces heroically flatten Fallujah, killing hundreds of civillians. Now the Iraqi's are free from Saddam and can do whatever they want, as long it's what the American's tell them. And Brian Haw and more.

SchNEWS 472, 5th November, 2004
Nightmare on Bush Street We at SchNEWS Towers join the world in celebrating the victory of Dubya over his radically different opponent (we've forgotten his name already) in the US elections. And Diego Garcia and more...

SchNEWS 471, 29th October, 2004
Harassment Life Sciences An animal rights activist gets a bill for £205, 551.23 for not contesting an injunction under the Protection From Harassment Act. The bill includes the costs for 11 other people and groups. Also construction workers on strike and more...

SchNEWS 470, 22nd October, 2004
Endless Shit Flinging The ESF goes off in London and everyone gets a lesson in openness and transparency from the SWP (and it's front groups). Also Uzbekistan, Inter Milan, capitalist conferences and more.

SchNEWS 469, 15th October, 2004
INDY - STRUCTABLE! Indymedia's servers in the UK are confiscated by the UK authorities because Swiss and Italian authorities asked the US authorities to ask them to. Huh? Fortunately Indymedia have been given no explaination whatsoever. And more.

SchNEWS 468, 8th October, 2004
UNPOPULAR STORY A quick look at some of the people around the world who are having just as bad a time as Kenneth Bigley. Also SchNEWS birthday bash, European Social Forum events and more.

SchNEWS 467, 24th September, 2004
VOCAL YOKEL DISCORD Forces of evil clash as the Countryside Alliance descend on the Labour party conference. Also, Star Wars, neo-Labour, and all the usual.

SchNEWS 466, 3rd September, 2004
I.D.EAL CITIZEN I.D cards: a load of crap, everyone except Blunkett agrees. SchNEWS offers him a load more reasons to see sense. Also, Tufnell Park squat eviction, the SchNEWS ASBOmeter, and more on hunt sab Michael Maynard.

SchNEWS 465, 20th August, 2004
CHIT AND CHAVEZ Venezuela's Hugo Chavez continues to get right up the US' nose with his "Communist", "terrorist" policies. Elsewhere, good news abounds, as the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline is called off, and the South Yorkshire bus drivers' strike is a success!

SchNEWS 464, 5th August, 2004
FIRST FOR PROFIT South Yorkshire bus drivers are on strike for better pay and conditions that would hardly dent the companies £160 million profits. Meanwhile the government gear up for huge "defence" budget increases, a mobile phone mast is pulled down and you're all invited to meet the G8 in Scotland in 2005!

SchNEWS 463, 23rd July, 2004
PAY AS YOU LEARN Neo Labour's plans for schools sound like more choice for kids and parents but look more like privitisation to us. Also, builders pull out of a contract to build an animal testing lab, new protest camp in Weymouth and more...

SchNEWS 462, 9th July, 2004
IRAQ-ING UP THE PROFITS The corporate carve-up of Iraq continues while people are arrested and charged for trying to stop it. Also, the last big GM company pulls out of Britain, Zimbabwean women fight back and more...

SchNEWS 461,
2nd July, 2004

SHUT YOUR CAKE HOLE The SchNEWS crew usually use any excuse for a party but the 60th birthday of the IMF and World Bank is an exception. While they're still screwing people and planet we'll keep on trying to stop them!

SchNEWS 459/460, 18th June, 2004
G8 WAY TO HELL The G8 have another shindig, in the good old US of A this time. Same old story really. Shell are also up to their old tricks in Africa and everywhere else - environmental destruction and stamping on anyone who complains...

SchNEWS 458, 11th June, 2004
SKYEWAY ROBBERY SchNEWS looks at how PFI went all Dick Turpin with the Skye Bridge highway tolls, as well as other Hall of Shame PFI entries like the Edinburgh and Cumberland Infirmaries. We also bid a 'fond' farewell to Bush Jr. prototype, Ronald Raygun. He'll be missed (or wounded)...


Home | Friday 17th December 2004 | Issue 478


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Story Links:
FAT CATS TAX LAX | Treasury Tax Dodgers | Maths With Jarvis | Crap Arrest of the Week | DEPORT BLUNKETT | Positive SchNEWS | EDO-NISM | Inside SchNEWS | Good Riddance | NANONSENSE | SchNEWS in Brief | ...and finally...



“We don’t pay taxes. Only little people pay taxes.” Leona Helmsley, wealthy widow of a New York property tycoon *

SchNEWS reckons it’s time to point out the bleedin’ obvious – it’s always Christmas time for the super-rich and the multinational corporations. Under Neo Labour those with the most cash have doubled their money. A report on inequality from the Office for National Statistics shows that the top 1% increased their share of national wealth from 20% to 23% in the first six years of the Labour government. The top ten per cent of Britain now owns an incredible 54% of the wealth.

Meanwhile Chief Executive (CEO) pay is out of control. In the UK it rose 25 per cent a year from 1983 to 2002 – no matter how a company was performing. If a CEO remained in post for seven years, he (and it is always a he) could expect to see his salary double - twice. CEOs now pocket around 50 times as much as ordinary employees. In fact, a new paper from business school academics reckon that “corporate managers are somewhat like landed aristocracy in the 19th century, or political elites of the Third World” with their pay far outstripping their contribution to the company or the country.

Office cleaner Abdul Durrant stood up at HSBC annual general meeting in June and asked if cleaners at the bank’s Canary Wharf headquarters could be paid more than £5 an hour. It was not, he said, enough to live on. HSBC Bank chief executive William Aldinger didn’t answer – and why should he care. He has a £37 million three-year package to live on, as well as free dental and medical treatment for life.

Not that you’ll read about this in the corporate media where it’s divide and rule. You skint? Then blame those poorer than you. So The Sun runs another ‘Shop a Skiver’ campaign but forgets to nominate its owner Rupert Murdoch. In 1999 The Economist reported that Murdoch had made £1.4 billion in profits over the previous 11 years but had paid no corporation tax. After an examination of what was available of the accounts, it reckoned Murdoch would normally have expected to pay enough tax to “build seven new hospitals, 50 secondary schools or 300 primary schools”.

Or what about Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, who paid himself £46.2m last year. Yet his papers run a relentless campaign against asylum seekers and how they are bleeding the country dry.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is based in the Caribbean – yet since privatisation, Virgin Trains have received £1.57 billion in public subsidies. That’s taxpayers’ money, for someone who pays hardly any tax, for a service that is crap.


Corporation tax under Labour has now reached an all time low. When corporation tax falls, guess who the burden falls on – yep, the ‘little people’. Minutes of an Inland Revenue meeting revealed the agency was going soft on multinational tax returns for fear of driving investment away from the UK. They might be a bit late - a 1997 report by accountant Deloitte and Touche put the figure for legal avoidance alone at a staggering £85 billion a year. That’s more than is annually spent on the National Health Service. A leading accountancy expert, Professor Prem Sikka reckons that billions are lost by multinationals basing themselves in tax havens. No one really knows the figures, because the Professor says “the Treasury refused to undertake detailed research to get accurate estimates. It is dodging the issue.”

So, what does Chancellor Gordon Brown do? In his last budget speech, he promised to deal with tax cheats, and then announced 40,500 jobs would go at the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise! The Inland Revenue has already faced massive redundancies in the nineties which journalist Nick Davies said had meant government’s efforts to catch tax avoiders had “collapsed in a heap of mismanagement and staff cuts.” It avoids rubbing the corporations and the super-rich up the wrong way by refusing to release its figures on enforcement.

So while we hear about how the government is trying to crack down on benefit cheats – such as people washing up one night a week in a restaurant for a few extra quid to supplement their crap dole money – they refuse to go after fat cats like Murdoch.

When you hear about another fraud hotline or politicians bleating that we can’t afford decent pensions, wages, new hospitals, schools, social housing etc., remember it’s the business tax dodgers and corporate scroungers that are to blame. Britain is the fourth richest country in the world – the only belt tightening should be round the corporate cowboys’ necks!

* Helmsley eventually went to prison for tax evasion!


Jarvis, the cash strapped corporation that bit off more Private Finance Initiatives than they could chew, can’t be allowed to go bankrupt despite debts of £240 million. Who says? The banks that lent them the money in the first place!

The bankers, principally Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, are worried that if Jarvis go down the pan, they would be forced to take over many of the firms’ projects, including schools, hospitals and road programmes which Jarvis are running under the joke privatisation-by-the back-door-Initiative.

The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in north London is one Jarvis PFI hospital project where work recently stopped. They say that the banks are ultimately responsible for ensuring the multi-million-pound facility is completed.

Next month, the Crown Prosecution Service will decide whether to press charges against Network Rail and Jarvis for alleged health and safety breaches following the Potters Bar rail crash** over two years ago, in which seven people died and dozens more were injured.

Looks like they will get away with financial incompetence, will they get away with murder as well?

** Senior executives at Jarvis were given £1 million pound bonuses during the year of the crash

*** Polyp’s new book “The Complete if Ordinary People Behaved Like...” is out now, you can order your copy from


In legal terms, a Corporation is considered a “person”. But what sort of person, we wonder. The World Health Organisation have a checklist they use to determine personality types, called the ICD-10 index. Using this index to reveal the Corporate “person”, a clear character-type emerges - that of a psychopath.

Yes folks, the bogeyman your mum told you too worry about when you were young is alive and kicking in company board rooms across the globe. From a callous disregard for others to an inability to feel guilt, the personality of the Corporate Rulers of the World is identical to that of an axe-wielding maniac. And they call us trouble makers!



Girl, 10, Cuffed for Scissors in School

Anyone can be a terrorist or murderer these days you know. Even a ten year old school girl. At an elementary school in Philadelphia, a girl was cuffed then taken to a police station. The reason? A pair of scissors were discovered in her school bag, breaking the school’s strict no weapons policy. The cops decided as she hadn’t threatened anyone with the 8-inch blades she had not committed a crime and let her go but she’s still waiting to hear whether she’ll be expelled to a special disciplinary school. The girl, reported to have “cried and cried” with “no idea what she did wrong”


More Christmas cheer for asylum seekers - the Home Office has chosen Manchester, Leeds, Bradford and North London (where there are around 600 asylum seekers facing deportation) to turn unremovable asylum seekers into legal slaves. An unremovable asylum seeker is someone who can’t be deported because of circumstances beyond their control such as being stateless, ill or their country is too dangerous to return to. The government thinks these bogus layabouts are having an easy ride here, sponging two thirds of what has been calculated as the minimum needed to live on, and decided that they must do compulsory unpaid community work in return for the generous accommodation and benefits they receive. If they do not obey they will face destitution. Sound humane so far?

Late additions to the legislation allow the home secretary to decide whether performance of community work merits “hard case support” (which mainly consists of otherwise unletable accommodation). So if you’ve fled war, rape, torture or just a bit of light starvation, you might be left homeless if you can’t clean our streets properly!

Local authorities, trade unions and the voluntary sector are being strongly encouraged by the Home Office to ‘express interest’ in running these schemes. They will be paid for providing compulsory work (usually a punishment reserved for convicted criminals) for failed asylum seekers. The asylum seekers will not be paid for the work they will be forced to do.

The ever benevolent great leader and his third reich, sorry, third way warriors have also wisely decided to look after the children of failed asylum seekers, presumably because they’ll be either at work or homeless. Since December 1st, local authorities have been told to ‘take into care’ children of failed asylum seekers who do not agree to leave the UK voluntarily. Heartwarming Christmas stuff from that family loving, caring, sharing, Christian values duo, Tony ‘blind’ Blair and David ‘good riddance’ Blunkett.

* ‘You Are Being Lied To About Asylum Seekers’ is an excellent leaflet pointing out the truths behind the lies that the media & government feed the public about asylum seekers. If you would like to order copies to distribute contact: BCM Box 7750, London WC1N 3XX or email

* Yesterday, law lords ruled that locking up foreigners without trial under anti-terror legislation breaks European human rights powers. A Home Office spokeswoman said it was now a matter for parliament to decide whether detention without trial continues.

Positive SchNEWS

Tired of slappin’ on the nicotine patches every January? Well why not make your New Years resolution to design and build your own eco house? The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) are offering lots of inspiring residential courses. All courses include accommodation and meals at CAT where you can explore Europe’s leading eco centre. To check out and book your place on courses like windpower, solar water heating, self build, organic gardening and blacksmithing tel. 01654 705981


Six anti-arms trade activists were fined £1,500 between them this week at Brighton magistrates. Five more are up on trial in Janurary for the same action at the EDO arms company last may. Smash EDO! are having an xmas noise party at the company gates next Thursday (23rd) at 4pm. Phone 07891 405923 or have a look at

Inside SchNEWS

Anti-water privatisation activist Matthews Ndlovu has been sentenced to two years in prison or pay a R25000 (£2,300) fine. The Gauteng Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF) has appealed for funds to secure his release.

In September 2003, residents of Phiri, Soweto, South Africa supported by the APF, resisted the installation of pre-paid water meters in the township by destroying the infrastructure that had been laid to allow these meters to be installed. During this resistance, a number of activists, including Matthews, were arrested. More and more, Capitalist South Africa is failing to deliver. What were in 1994 considered to be basic rights now need to be “earned”. The State call this blackmail “good citizenship” – do what we tell you and all will be fine. In the spirit of the initial optimism of the dawn of the “Rainbow Nation” ten years ago, Matthews and his comrades are openly defying the commodification of life’s basics. The State are keen to crush this quickly and quietly so an international show of solidarity, such as coming up with his bail money, would sweat some brows in the South African corridors of power.

Matthews is only £2,300 away from escaping a 2 years in prison, and we in the rich world have a real chance to help. If a dozen squats/social centres/bands do a benefit each, this guy could be walking free. Donation details are on

More information on the struggle against privatization and Matthew’s progress can be found at


Before he resigned (wahey!) David Blunkett finally admitted that the dangerous “armed anarchists” who were searched by police under anti-terror legislation at RAF Fairford, last year were not armed with “cugels and swords” but with a kite.

The idea that peace demonstrators had arrived at a demo tooled-up with cudgels and swords seemed ridiculous to everyone except Blunkett and the police.

Asked how many times stop and search powers were used by police in the vicinity of Fairford during, Blunkett replied that 2,254 stop-searches had been conducted. Asked whether swords were found, Blunkett replied that a range of items had been seized. “Contrary to my understanding at the time, I now understand that these did not include swords”.


Nanotechnology is the science of building stuff atom by atom. Sounds useful, but like all technology what it gets used for depends on who has the money to fund it. Given the way that every other technological advance gets used for profit and power, it’s not surprising that there are already groups protesting against this new technology.

One Nanotech conference has already been disrupted by a group of angels (the taking direct action kind rather than dancing on the head of a pin kind) who presented representatives of nanotech industries with a “Can of Worms” award. Over in France protestors occupied the construction site for the - Minatec Nanotech centre - set to be the largest centre for Nanotechnologies in Europe

Others at ETC group have written an alarming report about how unlabelled nanotech is already finding its way into food. “Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-Scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture” Check it out at

SchNEWS in brief

  • Don’t think the London bid for the Olympics is a great idea? There are guided walks on East London’s Bow Backs Rivers before the Olympics bulldozers arrive – see the area they plan to build on this Saturday (18th). For other dates and info on the campaign to block the bid
  • ‘Only thousands dead as tanks and bombers bring Christmas joy to town’ writes the Porkbolter. 100,000 Iraqi’s dead since the beginning of the war on Iraq - the same number as the population of Worthing. Read the town’s excellent Xmas edition on what an attack on Fallujah would mean to a town in Britain.
  • The Bristolian, Bristol’s fortnightly political scandal sheet, has reached its 100th issue, copies can be found in over 150 outlets in Bristol or by mail order - £10 for 20 issues from The Bristolian, Box 3, Greenleaf Bookshop, 82 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5BB.
  • London Disarm DSEi meeting and Christmas drinks 7pm, 20th Dec, details email:
  • All adverts promoting jailed former Black Panther Mumia Abu Jamal have been banned on Chicago’s public transport. A policeman was spotted tearing down an advert for Mumia’s book “We Want Freedom: A life in the Black Panther Party” - according to Viacom, who manage the advertising space “the Chicago Transit Authority can no longer accept any more advertisements on this author”
  • The New Squatters’ Handbook is out and is £2 including postage from Advisory Service for Squatters, 2 St Pauls Road, London, N1 2QN.
  • The Little Squatters’ Handbook is a great colour story picture book for kids all about squatting. £4.40, cheques payable to A. Wood, from Little Squatters Handbook, c/o PO Box 2474, London, N8. Profits will go to the Advisory Service for Squatters.
  • The ID Cards Bill is likely to receive its second reading before Christmas, and the Defy ID Network is encouraging people to get on to the streets around this time to raise awareness of the issues. Sample leaflets can be downloaded from their website, along with ideas for action. There’s also a planned day of action on 28th January.

...and finally...

You might think that spending $10 billion a year might get you some results. Not if you’re the US military! The first trial of the “Son of Star Wars” missile defence system has failed. The interceptor missile apparently failed to take off due to an “unknown anomaly”. The record of the missile defence system is pretty poor - only five out of eight target missiles have been successfully intercepted in previous trials. This recent one had to be postponed four times because of bad weather, and on one occasion had to be stopped because of a radio transmitter failure.

George W Bush had wanted to see the system up and running by the end of this year but he probably won’t get to see the system running in his presidency.

SchNEWS reckons that if the system does ever get the go-ahead then the US military will be praying no-one launches a missile at the US in bad weather and has phoned up in advance to make sure all their radio transmitters are working. Then they’ll have roughly 50% chance of shooting it down.

“Never forget the true meaning of Christmas is all about giving” said the Minister for Humbug yesterday. He added: “If you work in the retail sector this means giving up your holiday and, for the rest of you, it means giving as much of your dosh to shops as possible. As for me, I simply don’t give a festive fig.” (Stolen from this month’s Porkbolter).

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