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Them & Us
Oxford University's notorious hell-raising Bullingdon Club - whose alumni include David Cameron and Boris Johnson - retains its vile upper class prejudices.
According to the Oxford Student newspaper a prospective member of the Club was accepted after an initiation ceremony which included burning a £50 note in front of a homeless person.
Tough out there
A Costa coffee shop in Nottingham advertised in February for three full-time and five part-time jobs with wages between £5.40 and £10 an hour. 1,700 people applied.
The manager of the branch summed up the lack of a future for young people in Britain, even the most highly educated: "Applications included graduates, people with PhDs, people with firsts.
In the last six months, I've recruited four first class graduates. I feel for them: they might have been out of work for 12, even 24 months." He went on to say: "It's a barometer of the jobs market. It's really tough out there."
Financial Fraud Action (FFA) has said that hundreds of thousands of students and unemployed people are at risk of being tricked into becoming money launderers.
Criminals are targeting people with mass emails or by looking through CV sites and advertising jobs as things like 'money transfer agents' which pay hundreds of pounds a week. It is thought that 19% of students who had been approached accepted the offer.
FFA gave lots of warnings of the consequences for money launderers. But a better way to tackle the problem would be to fully fund education, provide grants to cover living costs and invest in creating decent, well-paid jobs.
The End Child Poverty campaign has found big inequality for children in different areas of the country. In London the child poverty figure for Bethnal Green and Bow is 42% but only 6% in Wimbledon.
There are 69 council wards around the country where more than half of children live in poverty and the national average is 20.2%.
Too Big Four
The Competition Commission has criticised Britain's 'Big Four' accountancy firms (PWC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG) for being too dominant.
The Big Four act as auditors for 90% of stock market companies. The Competition Commission says auditors end up acting to please company management rather than seriously analysing the books. 61% of FTSE 100 firms have had the same auditor for more than ten years.
Surprise, surprise, the Commission's solution is... more competition! We say the big four should be, along with the banks, nationalised under democratic workers' control, with compensation only on the basis of proven need, and run in the interests of the millions instead of the millionaires.
Printer ink is more expensive, measure-for-measure, than vintage champagne. And not only are prices going up but what you get for your money is going down.
For example a decade ago, the best-selling HP cartridge had 42ml of ink and sold for about £20. Today, the standard printer cartridges made by HP may contain as little as 5ml of ink but sell for about £13. In fact most of the cartridges we buy these days are just empty space!
People's frustration with how quickly ink runs out has led the big companies to introducing 'XL' sized cartridges - but at pretty much the same size for twice the cost, they're even more of a rip-off!
In The Socialist 27 February 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
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