Communist Party of Australia

We acknowledge the Sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples.

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Issue #1594      May 22, 2013

Tory clowns threaten to set Britain ablaze

BRITAIN: Firefighters have vowed to resist killer cuts after a former fire chief called for services to be slashed. Sir Ken Knight claimed that the government could cut spending by £200 million by sacking front-line firefighters and merging or selling off England’s 46 brigades.

He bizarrely claimed that this would not put the public or firefighters in danger because of a drop in the number of call-outs. The report, which was ordered by Tory Fire Minister Brandon Lewis, was smuggled to the media in the early hours of the morning in an attempt to blindside opponents.

But firefighters immediately warned the public that it was a blatant attempt to soften them up for potentially fatal Tory cuts, set to be announced in next month’s spending review.

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack said the report was a “fig leaf” that fails to hide the Tories’ ideological assault. He told delegates at the FBU’s conference in Blackpool that it was the union that won campaigners to improve fire safety and led “genuine modernisation” of the fire service.

He said the same “right-wing, free-market Tories” who opposed safety measures are now using the measures’ success as an excuse to make public-sector cuts.

“We won’t take any lectures from Tory clowns about public safety,” said Mr Wrack. “Sprinklers don’t rescue people from fires. Smoke alarms do not put out fires. Firefighters are irreplaceable.”

Trade Union Congress leader Frances O’Grady also made clear that “these cuts are a matter of life and death to ordinary people.

“Fewer people are now making calls to the fire service but this is mostly down to the preventative work that firefighters are doing out in the community,” she told delegates. “Further cuts will simply put all this valuable work in jeopardy.

“Cuts cost lives - every part of the country is at risk from this postcode lottery of cuts and closures.”

The Con-Dem coalition government has already axed 2,200 front-line firefighters, and has drawn up plans to privatise the service and force firefighters to work until they are 60.

Today’s dodgy report puts the government on a collision course with firefighters across Britain, who said that they are ready to strike to save lives.

Pledging TUC support for their campaign, Ms O’Grady added: “Our fire service is not for sale. Fighting fires should be about public need, not private profit.”

Morning Star  

Next article – Entrapment – The Australian conundrum – Disrespect to sovereignty

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