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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 January 2013

Them & Us

For-profit schools

Up to now, academy chains have not been allowed to declare a profit directly out of the school budget.

A recent article in the Independent reports that education minister Michael Gove wants to take the next step and allow for-profit schools.

The proponents of the plan argue, "For-profit state schools are an example of applying Conservative means - faith in markets and competition - to deliver progressive ends - better free education for children with parents who lack the resources to give their children the best education" and proposes "mixed-age classrooms, where children are taught by ability rather than age".

This is nothing to do with improving education; it's about profiteering at our expense and handing over public services to big business.

Of course, if you can also select the pupils that will cost you less to educate, then profit margins can be increased too.

Martin Powell-Davies

'Low pay'

70% of MPs believe they are underpaid. Already paid around £65,000 a year, Tory MPs are feeling most aggrieved, wanting a £31,000 increase.

For the millions of public sector workers employed by the government to provide vital services, and for those who have to rely on already measly benefits to get by, MPs feel a 1% increase is the absolute limit.

Apparently the reason they need such a wage hike is that the 'costs of the job' are not covered by the new expenses rules. So they want to be compensated for the, albeit limited, crack-down on expenses? Don't think so mates!

Bankers' restraint?

Goldman Sachs is thinking about delaying its next round of bankers' bonuses.

Why? Poor performance? Threat of triple dip recession? Fund public services instead?

Of course not. If the bonuses aren't paid until after 6 April, the poor bankers can take advantage of the 5% cut in top-earner income tax.

In the US, Goldman Sachs paid bonuses early on 31 December - hours before taxes on earnings over $400,000 were increased.

Every penny counts, eh?

Bob Severn

Waste

A new report 'Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not' produced by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that between 30-50% of all food produced each year is wasted - between 1.2 and two billion tonnes.

The authors cite a number of reasons including inadequate investment in third world and developing nations in harvesting, transport and storage, but by far the largest identified is supermarkets rejecting crops of fruit and vegetables because they do not meet purely cosmetic standards for size and appearance. 30% of the UK's vegetable crop is not harvested for this reason.

This is at the same time that just shy of one billion people around the world are going hungry and the report expects the world population to grow by a further three billion by 2075. Time for a socialist plan of production and distribution.

Iain Dalton

Conflict of interests?

A chain reaction re-shuffle following the resignation of Lord Strathclyde means a new junior education minister has been appointed.

And it sounds like John Nash will be among friends in the Tory Party establishment. He is a former chair of the British Venture Capital Association and has donated around £300,000 to the Conservative party in the last 30 years.

He clearly shares the Tories outlook for education too - Nash founded a charity which sponsors two academies in London.

Which class are you?

In 2011 24% of people in Britain felt they were working class, now it's nearly 60%. No wonder really when a university education, home ownership and 9-5 job - all the things used to trick us into thinking we'd escaped to the middle class - are all out of reach for an increasing number of us. We're all plebs now!

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In The Socialist 16 January 2013:


Fighting the cuts

Mass action to save our NHS

PCS fighting the austerity agenda - 'Action gets results'

Teachers: fight for strike action is on

Beware: latest pensions changes

Sussex County hospital cleaning and catering: The brutal reality of privatisation

Brixton Hill: Opposing Labour's 'cuts cooperative'

Two TUSC candidates standing against cuts on the Wirral


Socialist Party news and analysis

We need an alternative to blind-alley capitalism... socialism!

Northern Ireland: Flag issue turmoil illustrates failure of the 'peace process'

Prison closures = more privatisation

Them & Us

News In brief


Socialist Party feature

Renationalise the railways now!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tory minister lies about 'lategate'...

Sheffield fight back, or we'll have nothing left!

Swindon: 1,100 Honda job losses

Indian embassy protest: raging against rape


Reviews and readers' comments

Capitalism - Forever blowing bubbles

Review of the film 'McCullin'

A day in the life... Young, low-paid, bullied and angry

Reject the wedge between generations


 

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