A new chapter? Terrorism, Liberty and the War on Terror - A truly progressive response?

Equality, Democracy and Freedom are some of the key ideas around which the politics and campaigns of Compass Youth is built. The so called ‘war on terror’ has challenged some long held and fundamental freedoms and values raising the question of freedom from and freedom too. Young people have been at the raw end of the war on terror; from the bungled arrest and shooting of an innocent young Muslim in East London or the execution style killing of a Brazilian migrant to highly controversial ‘stop and search’ tactics on the streets or the unabated rise of Islamaphobic sentiment in the mainstream press which has lead to racist attacks through to the radicalisation of young people during the war on terror and consequent extremism. Compass Youth is aiming to provide the space to debate what a truly progressive response to terrorism and the ‘war on terror’ is and how we can together write a new progressive chapter built on community solidarity, internationalism and liberty.

Compass Youth Debate: A New Chapter? Forging a truly progressive response to the threat of terrorism

When: Tues 11th December 7pm

Where: Committee Room 16, Houses of Parliament

Book your place: email Michael at michael.speer@gmail.com

Join the Facebook event listing here.


Craig Murray (former Ambassador in Uzbekistan who resigned over the War on Terror)

Peter Facey (Director of Unlock Democracy)

Gavin Hayes (Compass General Secretary)

Sabina Fredliani (Liberty Campaigns Co-ordinator)
Lord Ahmed (First Muslim Peer)

This meeting will explore:

How do we reconcile the need to provide for security and at the same time defend civil liberties?

How do we reach out to young progressives in communities that feel alienated by the 'war on terror'?

How can we win 'hearts and minds' in the fight against extremism?

How do we entrench civil liberties in the UK?

Can extending pre-charge detention be justified?

Putting the social back into Europe

"If attitudes are to change, winning the political argument will not be enough without a cultural shift. This is where a supermodel, a former crack dealer and an androgynous goth come in. The model is Gisele Bündchen, a Brazilian who recently said that, on occasions, she prefers to be paid in euros than the ever-declining dollar. The reformed narco-trafficker is the US rapper Jay-Z, whose current video features him chilling in his overly furnished apartment, counting piles not of dollars, but - that's right - euros. The goth is Noel Fielding, aka Vince Noir of the Mighty Boosh, the surrealist comedy set in a boutique that accepts only, well, euros innit.

The actions of Bundchen and Jay-Z have not escaped the US media. Most commentators wonder if the behaviour of these celebrities reflects a growing insecurity over the state of the dollar, and is likely to presage further currency tumbles. Surely the bigger, potentially more explosive question, however, is the following: does this behaviour reflect a general, growing feeling that, like, Europe is so hot right now?

Ask anyone who likes to wear sunglasses indoors that question and they will surely answer yes, or another word that means the same in jive. Who produced the most exciting music in 2007? Why, Paris and its Ed Banger record label. Who throws the best parties? Why, Berlin. From where is the most breathtaking design emerging? Belgium. The most interesting new cuisine? Spain, through Ferrán Adriá and his many proteges. The most exciting film-making? Mexico (which was once part of Spain and later invaded by the French - and therefore qualifies)....What the actions of Bundchen, Z and, most crucially, Noir offer is an opportunity to seize the initiative. Once the Mighty Boosh boys start trading in euros, thus catching the ear of teenagers and putting a wedge in the Europhobic door, Charlie should steam right in there with his 61 young Facebook pals, extolling the virtues of polyglotism, the European Space Agency, Belgian designer Raf Simons, Cologne's Kompakt Records and kirsch." (Paul McInnes in the Guardian)

Who's your favourite pro-European?

Gisele "I'll go where the money's hot" Bundchen, Jaz "I've got more euros than you" Z or the people making it happen - Edbanger, Adria, Simons, Kompakt and kirsch.

or maybe it's just simply decent work for a decent life?

Briefing predicts Health Disaster for Vulnerable Communities

Health groups and medical associations are up in arms about Home Office proposals to charge for NHS primary care, including treatment of communicable diseases, on the basis of immigration status.

Currently there is no charge for the treatment of certain communicable diseases, including Tetanus, Rubella, Tuberculosis and Measles. HIV testing and counselling are currently free. The new proposals will impose charges to bring primary care in line with similar changes in the hospital sector made in 2004.

The government claims the change will save money and discourage ‘illegal immigration’, but critics say it is likely to lead to higher costs and abandons basic NHS and human rights principles.

Representatives from health charity Medact warn of the danger of a public health disaster in the UK if universal primary care is withdrawn. “While TB is currently exempt from charging, without access to primary care there is likely to be a delay in detection with resulting poor outcomes for individuals and increased risk of infection for others”.

The government claims the proposed new regulations for primary care will reduce abuse of the NHS by “health tourists”; individuals who come to the UK with the sole purpose of accessing free NHS treatment. It also says that they will make life more difficult for migrants by ensuring ‘that living illegally becomes ever more uncomfortable and constrained until [failed asylum seekers] leave or are removed”.

Critics point out this is an abuse of human rights. “All asylum seekers, including those whose claims have been refused and the Home Office intends to remove from the UK, are still ‘within the jurisdiction’ and therefore beneficiaries of the rights set out in the panoply of interntional human rights treaties that the UK has adopted (Joint Committee Human Rights, 2007)”. There is no evidence to suggest that health tourism is the intention of those migrating to the UK; many are exercising their legal right to seek refuge from persecution.
It is also unlikely to save money. Individuals who lack access to primary care will experience deterioration in their health to such an extent that they present to hospital as an emergency, requiring more complex, and thus more expensive, treatment than they would have done had they presented earlier to a GP. Medical intervention may also be less effective at this late stage.

An estimated 86% of all UK health needs are met in primary care by GPs. It has been estimated that 90% of patients with the most common chronic diseases will never be referred to hospital and will be treated instead in the primary care setting (Pereira Gray D, 2006).

Crucially, lack of access to GP services will increase the likelihood of communicable diseases going undiagnosed and untreated. The proposed changes consequently threaten a public health disaster.

Among the groups affected will be failed asylum seekers awaiting deportation, failed asylum seekers who cannot safely travel home, victims of trafficking and undocumented migrants.

The proposals will hit some areas very hard. In Newham in East London, for example, 73 per 1000 residents are from an asylum-seeking background, with 13,000 new migrants registering with local GPs last year; their presence has not thrown services into crisis. The Newham PCT critique of the proposed changes, based on empirical evidence from a Health Impact Assessment of the proposals, suggests that excluding migrants from access to health care involves significant risks for the NHS and the health of the wider community[1]. Medact is calling for a full health and equality impact assessment to be undertaken before any further changes in NHS regulations.

The proposed regulations will bring primary care into line with hopistal care. In 2004 the Department of Health introduced legislation to the effect that groups considered to be not ‘lawfully resident’ in the UK were, no longer entitled to free hospital and maternity services, or HIV and AIDS treatment. This was shortly followed by a consultation that proposed to extend the regime to include primary care, including access to GP services. No response to this consultation has been published.

One example of the consequences of the 2004 changes in regulation is as follows:

“A man who has been diagnosed as suffering from pulmonary carcinoma presented at XXXXX seeking treatment. He was unsure of his immigration status, but the hospital contacted the Home Office for clarification and were told that he had two failed asylum claims.

He was refused treatment by the hospital and it was suggested he return to his own country to seek treatment. His GP has refused to a request to deem this immediate and necessary care, also suggesting he go home to seek care”.

The Department of Health Table of Entitlement to NHS Treatment (June, 2007) states that GPs have the discretion to register excluded groups as NHS patients.
It is both astounding and concerning that any health professional would refuse vital treatment to an individual on the basis of their immigration status. Such behaviour does not fit with the General Medical Council’s ‘Duties of a Doctor’, which include ‘protection and promotion of the health of patients and the public’. In the recent Michael Moore film ‘SiCKO’, the British Health System is praised for being inclusive and free at the point of delivery. The NHS was founded on fundamental principles - that health care should be free, available to all and of uniform quality no matter where people lived or what their background.

Migrants play a strong role in the work of the NHS as doctors, nurses and ancillary workers, and have done since its establishment in 1948. In a recent report by Compass [2], Wayne Farah suggests that this should be “presented as a model of the good which can be achieved through the presence of migrants in British Society, rather than a mechanism for excluding them from health benefits”.

Many, including the BMA, feel it inappropriate that health be used a lever of immigration policy. Resolutions passed at their Annual Representative Meetings have stated "this Meeting deplores the planned withdrawal of rights to medical care from asylum seekers whose applications have been refused" [2004] and "this Meeting believes that it is not appropriate for medical staff to act as proxy immigration officers in seeking to determine the immigration status of people presenting for care and treatment." [2005]

At the Medsin Autumn General Assembly in Southampton, student members responded to the Medact briefing with a resolution to "support members in all non violent protest against further restricting the rights of refugees to healthcare in this country".

Please consult the briefing published by health charity Medact [3] and visit the Medsin website for more information on ways to support the campaign[4]. An online petition can be found at www.ipetitions.com/petition/access.


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EU Citizens for London


There are over one million non-British EU citizens living in the UK, a very large percentage of them in and around London, over 10%. However, they are more than four times less likely to be registered for elections than British citizens.

Why should I register to vote?

Voting is the basic right and expression of participation in the democratic process. Encouraging EU citizens to vote in the UK in elections in which they are entitled to vote means everyone can help influence their local area on issues that matter to them, such as good transport, affordable housing, clean streets, etc.

Why should I vote?

In addition to freedom of movement of labour, we have to recognise the freedom of movement of people’s rights, encouraging EU citizens to not only contribute economically in a place of their choice within Europe, but also to contribute socially, culturally and politically. Only in this way can we make Europe work on a local level.


What are my rights?

All non-British EU citizens are eligible to vote and stand in:
o Local government elections
o Elections for regional tiers of government, as in Scotland, Wales and London
o European Parliament elections

But not in general elections (except for the Irish and Cypriots).


Why are we campaigning for this?

o Strengthen our bonds with European citizens
o Keep in touch with the realities of London
o Enable all our citizens to contribute politically and economically

The very large numbers of potential EU voters in London and the South East provide a huge opportunity to strengthen the bonds between European citizens. It could also enable us to engage with new communities, pilot new methods of communicating, and keeping in touch with the realities of London.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has always championed the contribution of foreign citizens to making London one of the most popular cities in the world. While the Conservatives and UKIP campaign against European integration, while the BNP campaign against foreign citizens coming to England, he has constantly campaigned against racist and anti-European parties.

o Reducing bus fares and free bus passes for school children, pensioners and the disabled
o Low emissions zone to cut air pollution
o Increased the minimum wage to a living wage
o Won the right for London to host the 2012 Olympic Games
o Cut overall crime by over 6%
o Pledged a 50% increase in the delivery of affordable London homes

What can I do?

o Register with your local authority to be an eligible voter
o Tell your EU friends, family and colleagues that they can register to vote
o Encourage local councils to maximise registration and participation of EU voters
o Encourage Labour councils to take this statutory duty seriously and put pressure on other councils through members’ questions to do the same.

Join our Facebook group here!

Go here to start the registration process

Go here for information on registering

Let us know what you are doing to help register EU Citizens for London, how we can help and any ideas on what we can do

Join us, the local PES Activists citygroup, contact noel.hatch1@gmail.com

See here for:
The “Polish voter” - a strategy for political integration of EU citizens
The need for a strategy for EU citizens
Labour’s chances to capitalise
Who are the european citizens in london?
The hidden electorate - Is there an affinity to vote Labour?

I Love NHS - Compass Youth on Demo

A strong turnout from Compass Youth members on the Trades Union NHS Together demonstration saw Compass Youth joined by young Trades Unionist comrades and the Chair of London Young Labour as well as young health workers and medical students from Medsin. NHS Together brings together all the health service unions and staff associations together with the TUC. It's a new campaign alliance of health staff. The aim is to raise the alarm at what is happening to the NHS and to press the government for honest and open discussion about its reform agenda. Compass has been at the forefront of pushing for public services based on public value not private profit.

Chair of Compass Youth Sam Tarry commented: "Its time to make a stand to defend the NHS, one of the great institutions we should be proud of as a progressive advance that enhances equality. However its founding principles of free health care for all are being scrapped for a business model of health care for profit. We all need the NHS, as a patient or as a hard working NHS staff member. We know the public supports the NHS in a big way, so lets make sure the government knows this! This is our chance to stand up for what we believe in and demand the end to cut backs and privatisation. Lets not be the generation that stood there and watched while the NHS was destroyed."