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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 November 2012

Them & Us


Conflict of interests

In 2004 Tory Iain Duncan Smith launched the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) - a right-wing lobby group.

Flash forward eight years and Duncan Smith is now minister for work and pensions - a department regularly lobbied by the CSJ. Don't worry though, he cut 'active ties' with the group in 2010.

Unless you count his policy special advisor working for it, that is. Philippa Stroud, who used to be the executive director of the CSJ, is now its co-chair of board of advisors and is paid a wage by the group, while also paid to advise Duncan Smith.


Sent away

While Osborne continues to protect his rich mates at the top by blocking calls for a mansion tax it's a different story for ordinary people who are being forced out of their homes and communities as housing benefit is stripped to the bone and rents soar.

Already 17 out of 33 London boroughs are sending homeless families outside the capital, and that's before the biggest changes to housing benefit are introduced in April.

They label claimants as 'scroungers' while their brutal cuts and soaring prices actually mean that since 2009 85% of the rise in housing benefit claims was by working families!

Suzanne Beishon

Sales

David Cameron - prime minister, conservative...salesman? Cameron has been touring the Middle East hoping to "strengthen the UK's defence, security and commercial" ties in the region. Apparently he hopes to sell about 100 Typhoon jets while he's away.

Who will be cheering any success? Workers here in Britain who wonder why the government can't invest in jobs when it can in destructive weapons? Or workers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who suffer regular human rights abuses by their governments? Cameron says we have to respect the "different pathways" of different countries.


Worth every penny?

On Wednesday 31 October the Evening Standard ran two articles. On one page was an article titled "worth every penny".

It glowingly quoted comedian David Walliams who said at the latest Jubilee love-in that this year's festivities had "made everyone realise just how much she [the Queen] does for us" and that she is the "unsung heroine of the nation". Unsung!? Guess the rest of this year's Jubilee celebration has passed him by.

The rank anti-working class prejudice of this paper was bought home by an article on the very next page that carried a report by the Tax Payers (Tax Dodgers?) Alliance.

This article bemoaned the fact that trade union facility time was "costing" the tax payer in London 9 million a year. Meanwhile the ribbon-snipping monarchy comes at a snip - only 202.4 million a year.

Paul Callanan

27% pay increase

It seems the 'shareholder spring' was short lived. Pay and benefits of top executives in FTSE 100 companies rose by 27% last year to an average of 4 million.

Under massive public and shareholder pressures, basic salary and bonuses have fallen. But they've made up for it with big increases in 'long term incentive plans'.

Obviously the bosses are missing the point that we don't care what scheme they manage to get the cash from. What makes us angry is their ever-growing pay packets while the rest of us suffer pay cuts and freezes and soaring prices as a result of a crisis they caused!


'Those' texts

The first round of texts between David Cameron and Rebekah Brooks has been published, exposing again just how close they were.

Brooks gave her approval for a speech by Cameron in 2010: "Brilliant speech. I cried twice. Will love 'working together'." And Cameron expressed his gratitude for Brooks' husband Charlie lending him a horse: "The horse CB put me on. Fast, unpredictable and hard to control but fun. DC" Yuck!

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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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In The Socialist 7 November 2012:


 

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Related links:

Tax:

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleSalford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Couldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay - How we beat the Poll Tax

Pay:

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

triangleLeicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

Housing benefit:

triangleHousing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangleTories u-turn on social housing benefit cap and borrowing to build

Housing:

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

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