Direct Action (SolFed) #22 2002

"Is your health and safety - safe and health?" - a patient marked "NHS" is on a bed being examined by a nurse observing a skeleton in a monitor marked "private healthcare Inc"

Anarcho-syndicalist magazine with a theme of health, healthcare and health & safety.

Submitted by Fozzie on August 24, 2022


  • Fun - & Living Dangerously: Notes, musing & moralising on risk culture. No matter how convincing the evidence is that MMR is safe, once Tony Blair starts swearing it is, it's just so hard to believe.
  • Free to kill: Judges are robbing thousands of asbestos victims and their widows of compensation. Updates in the long fight for justice.
  • Rail-spinning - con men with really bad briefs
  • Anti-war Coalitioning
  • Socialist Non-Alliance
  • On the edge: Street Disney; Press keypads now; No more barbed wire bras; Right Royal flop; BNP fraud - official!; Camps field to close; Life before profit.
  • Poor foreigners meet big brother: The government's latest White Paper on its next round of racist immigration laws.
  • international news: France; Colombia; Greece; Italy; Belgium; Ecuador; Brazil; Poland; USA; Turkey; Canada; Serbia; Bolivia; Afghanistan/everywhere; previews.
  • globalfocus: Argentina - Why, how and what next for Argentina's uprising
  • Is your Health & Safety safe & healthy? Tips on getting started on a new hobby idea. In terms of annoying your boss, satisfaction is guaranteed. It could lead on to a whole lot more.
  • Health care, Railtrack-style: You thought leeches were part of medical history? They're back with a vengeance - in the form of New Labour NHS Privatisation plans.
  • ideas for change: Tomorrow Today - Concluding part of the introspective on the spirit of anarcho-syndicalism.
  • Ebola with wings: If only some scientists could convince Bush and Blair that the growth and spread of TB and its more virulent strains was an Al-Qaeda plot, then we might get some real action in the war against the disease.
  • notes+letters: Letter from the mayhem in Argentina.
  • justicepage: Slavery behind the label; Mark Barnsley benefit CD; plus news and solidarity appeals.
  • Private Profit from Pain: You think times are bad in public services. If GATS reformers get their way, they are soon set to get a whole lot worse.
  • review features:
    Direct Action: Memoirs Of An Urban Guerrilla - Ann Hansen
    Victor Serge: The Course is set on Hope - Susan Weissman
  • books, films & pamphlets reviews
    Jumping the Line - William Herrick
    Kandahar - Dir: Mohsen Makhmalbar
    Mosquito - Spielman and D'Antonio
    The World's first Anarchist Manifesto - Anselme Bellegarrigue
  • DA resources: SolFed info., forthcoming events, campaigns, actions, friends and neighbours


It seems only yesterday we were saved from the ‘evil empire’ (USSR)...

Now, there’s suddenly a whole list of other evil-doers. How on earth are we supposed to feel safe and secure? Crimewatchers and the world’s police forces are just sticking-plasters. The new ‘anti-terror’ measures in the USA and Europe are just bandages. The real cure, we are told, is to just give war a chance.

As capitalism’s hegemony has advanced over the last 200 years, the frequency, violence and number of deaths from capitalist wars have also increased. Forcing will on people means making wars. Spreading the message that division (i.e. patriotism, competition, income, nationalism, racism, sexism, etc.) is good, is right at the heart of the machine.

Bush knows getting people to kill each other won’t really solve anything. We all know what clothes this particular emperor is (not) wearing. But by controlling the basics of human needs, as someone said, people can become tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than of war. In the ‘free’ world, ironically, we are forced to slave for money to survive, since every basic thing we need is privatised. Survival is about money control. What would happen if the US Government suddenly decided to spend an extra $50 billion on global public health? We’d get rid of tuberculosis (Ebola with wings, p.25). What if they spent it on war instead? Lots of deprived people (in the widest sense) would join the newly flushed military as a means of survival (sic). Oh dear, it just happened.

Of course, the key to leadership is to lie continuously (now known as ‘spin’) - hence, it has an inherently corrupting influence on human nature. As Hitler said in 1933, "I am insulted by the persistent assertion that I want war. Am I a fool? War! It would settle nothing!" Now, the war against terrorism is fought by terrorists against people. In this particular ‘free’ world - where sidewalks can no longer be walked on without permission from the police (see p.17), food and water come – at a price – and safety, security and health? - they are simply mirages. How can we be healthy while we are screwing our planet’s lungs, not to mention playing ‘god’ with the global ecosystem?

Alan Dalton was employed by the Labour Government to review the work of the Environment Agency, which has an excellent record for letting companies off, and a disastrous record for doing anything serious to protect the environment. His report basically says this (write to DA for a copy), so he was promptly sacked, thus guaranteeing that Labour can continue helping capitalism its own health and safety. Meanwhile, the courts are busy getting business pals off the hook for poisoning people with asbestos (Free to kill, p.6). And the Government is planning to privatise genetics services, helped by the large scale sale of NHS patient data and tissue to members of the Bioindustry Association, the trade association of biotech companies (see next issue). Now that the UK officially has the worst health service in living memory, we are asked to consider, "who are the real wreckers?" We need look no further than NHS, Railtrack-style (p.20).

OK, let’s look further anyway - at global-level wrecking tactics (Private profit from pain, p.31). The World Trade Organisation’s position at present amounts to asking poor nations to trust them as safe, honest brokers. Given their record, this is a bit like the big bad wolf telling Little Red Riding Hood, "Sorry about your granny. Why don’t you pop over for lunch?"

Meanwhile, Enron and Argentina (p.17) are portrayed as the result of a few corrupt ‘bad’ people, in a desperate attempt to shine the light away from the real culprits – the entire management structure itself. It is time for a vote of no confidence in the board of directors. Let’s put them in a pit, armed with only basic weapons that cannot cause widespread damage to the rest of us, and let them get on with it. See how safe and healthy they feel.

It seems these days revolution is increasingly not a luxury, but a necessity - matter of (global) health and safety survival. For some starting tips on a new, safe and healthy hobby, just along these lines, check out; "Is your Health and Safety safe and healthy?" (p.18).


DA-SF-IWA-22.pdf (14.24 MB)