Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2012

Them & Us

Big Society goes global

I think I have misjudged David Cameron. When he talked about the Big Society I did not realise it stretched all the way to Greece. Whatever criticism I may have of the Big Society idea, I can't say it's not big.

Also it is widely reported that Greek governments cooked the books to obtain entry to the European Union. The people in charge must have been ministers of the Pasok or New Democracy parties, and yet David Cameron seems to be calling for Greek voters to choose these parties of liars and fiddlers.

Pete, Worcester

Deprived of life

Poverty can rob you of at least 20 years - it's official. Women in Toxteth, Liverpool - where 62% of children live in poverty - can expect to live to 74. Average live expectancy in affluent Comberton, Cambridgshire, is 94.

In Glasgow, men can expect to live to just 71. And this is before the Con-Dems get to break up our NHS.

Putting the boot in

It's not all bad in the medical world though. Alliance Boots annual profits have increased by 10% to 693 million. So, more tax income for spending on public services? Probably not.

Boots has been based in Switzerland since a private equity takeover in 2007, paying just 60 million a year in tax. This represents part of 120 billion - a sum similar to the amount the Con-Dems want to slash from our public services - that goes unpaid in tax, mainly by the very rich every year.

The government's solution to such tax dodging? Stop cutting tax office jobs? No. Reducing the corporation tax rate to 26%!

Boots chair Stefano Pessino thinks the UK's 'obsession' with tax is bad for business. Maybe big businesses' 'obsession' with tax avoidance is bad for the UK?

More market solutions

Homelessness increased by 14% in 2011. House building starts fell 11% in three months.

The Con-Dems' answer? Massively expand affordable housing? Put a cap on private rents? Make nationalised banks provide affordable mortgages?

Don't be silly. Cut the affordable housing budget by 60%, make social housing rents almost as high as market rates, slash housing benefits and scrap planning regulations.

Privatisation's a gas

The supporters of gas and electricity privatisation in the 80s said that competition would lead to

cheap utility bills for customers - far better than public ownership and democratic control, then.

And what a result. With the average household annual spend now at 1,252 - compared to 522 in 2004 - energy bills have gone up seven times faster than wages.

Now 400,000 more people in England alone are expected to be in fuel poverty by the end of the year, taking the total to 3.9 million according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

But don't worry, not everyone's losing out. The six biggest energy firms made annual profits of 15 billion.

Equality in poverty

The government wants public and private sector workers to unite - in getting their pay cut.

From January to March 2012, workers became 2.9% worse off due to prices rising by 3.5%. Public sector workers are 3.2% poorer - even before increased pension contributions - and private sector workers 2.2%.

Maybe we should unite - for a general strike!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 23 May 2012:

Fighting the cuts

Hospital jobs scandal - Action now to save the NHS!

Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care

Our education under attack

Council workers in Cheshire strike against attacks on pay

Socialist Party news and analysis

We stand 100% with the Greek workers

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 31 May referendum

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Back to work? How the system fails the unemployed

Mullivaikal 2012 - Solidarity with the Tamil people

Lincolnshire academies in crisis

Profit hungry 'Big Oil' backs climate change deniers

The housing crisis - action needed now

Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland launched in Belfast

Building the electoral alternative in Brent

Stockland Green march for jobs

More attacks on right to campaign

Socialist Party workplace news

Interview with RMT assistant general secretary candidate

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

Leadership shows weakness at CWU conference

Workplace news in brief

National Shop Stewards Network


Home   |   The Socialist 23 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleBuild a working-class movement to force an election

triangleThem & Us

triangleWhat we saw

triangleUnion action can tackle 58% working poverty rate


triangleFrimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

triangleProbation hostel rest room win

triangleStrike action wins privatisation reprieve at Bradford hospitals


triangleWhat strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

triangleThe significance of the anti-poll tax movement


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: The solution to the housing crisis

triangle1 million cuts plan: Peabody housing workers announce strike ballot


triangleBEIS strike

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Save education - Kick out the Tories


Green Party

Green Party offers no alternative for young people and climate change chaos


General election

Strike, Protest, Vote - to Kick the Tories out



High Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU - support the posties!



NHS in critical condition


Labour Party

Labour MP targeted by right wing stands as independent


General election

Attacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win



Tories out! Corbyn in with anti-austerity and socialist policies


Grenfell Tower

Grenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment


General election

General election 2019 round-up


Tony Blair

Tony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government


Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle


General election

Tories out now! Bin Boris



39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container



Argos Christmas bonus cut

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019