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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2012

Them & Us

Marching to recession

Remember chancellor George Osborne's prediction of a "march of the makers" where manufacturing would bring growth back to Britain's economy?

Well a GMB study has shown an average of 3,400 manufacturing jobs are being lost every week.

But this is not due to a lack of cash - big business is sitting on 130 billion as it sees no 'worthwhile' opportunities to make big enough profits. Job-shedding companies should be taken out of the hands of the fat cats and nationalised to be put under democratic control to allow job creation to build socially useful products.

Road to recovery?

Think that spending cuts and public sector job losses are strangling the chance of any recovery?

The Institute of Directors doesn't think so. Not content with a 48% increase in FTSE 100 directors' income, it has called on the government to make deeper cuts while reducing taxes on rich individuals and companies combined with reforms (ie attacks) on workers' rights.

Surely that has nothing to do with the Institute of Directors representing, er, rich individuals and companies?

Rough sleepers increase...

The number of rough sleepers in Britain has increased by 23% in one year. A study by Homeless Link has shown that 75 homelessness projects closed in the last year while 2,206 accommodation spaces were cut in the last two years. 55% of homelessness projects said they have been told by councils to expect further cuts. home prices rise

Average house prices in London have hit an all time high of 381,305, while London rent prices have gone up another 0.8% in one month alone.

Think that's enough to keep the bosses at Britain's biggest home lender Halifax happy? Of course not!

Halifax has increased its mortgage interest rates, costing 850,000 customers an average of 16 a month. Other lenders are likely to follow. Maybe the increase is to help pay the new boss of Halifax's parent company, Lloyds Banking Group. George Culmer has been rewarded 1.9 million in shares as a 'golden hello' although he doesn't have to start work for two months.

Money for nothing?

Meanwhile, Barclays chief John Varley has been given a 'golden goodbye' of 4 million.

However, a study by Paterson Associates has shown that chief executive pay has little relation to performance, with Barclays being a prime example. For every 1 paid to Varley from 2006 to 2010, shares declined 10,787.

The Financial Times has pointed out that "corporate spinners" would say that share prices were beyond control of executives during the financial crisis: "Which is an unintentionally hilarious stance. Either these people are brilliant folk worth many millions of pounds, or they are just guys at the mercy of the markets, same as anyone." Quite.

Lords 'celebrate' IWD

For International Women's Day Tory baroness Verma has put a motion to Lords stating: " the last year alone, there were over one million female victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales... International Women's Day remains an extremely important date."

So what has her government done? The head of Refuge has said the domestic violence charity could close this summer due to 50% funding cuts.

Annual funding from councils to organisations working with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse fell from 7.8 million in 2010-11 to 5.4 million for 2011-12.

In 2011 an average of 230 women were turned away by Women's Aid each day due to lack of refuge space.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 7 March 2012:

Fighting the government's attacks

On 28 March: Strike back against the Con-Dems

Trade unions must build mass party

NHS: Axe Lansley's bill!

International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2012

Socialist Party International Women's Day schools

Socialist Party youth and students


No cuts, No fees, Bring back EMA

NUS elections - Vote Socialist Students for a fighting student leadership

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kirklees marches to save child centres

Leeds Tenants Federation opposes Welfare Reform Bill

Become Coventry deputy mayor? Thanks, but no thanks!

Attack on pay defeated at Manchester's NHS Trust

Stop prison guards housing asylum seekers - stop G4S!

Party/campaigns news in brief

Socialist Party workplace news

MMP workers step up action

Unison: Delegates gagged

Anti-blacklisting battle continues on building sites

London election candidate named in employers' blacklist

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Quebec: Students engage in 'indefinite' general strike action

Spain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts

Revolution through Arab eyes - the Factory

Socialist Party news and analysis

A4e - The inside story

Cops and big business robbers

Them & Us


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