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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 September 2013

MPs still have their snouts in the trough

James Ivens
MPs have their snouts in the trough - Alan Hardman cartoon

MPs have their snouts in the trough - Alan Hardman cartoon   (Click to enlarge)

The results are in! MPs' expenses for last year have been published, and it's time for the Socialist to dish out the honours.

The Bisto Award for Gravy Guzzling goes to Ian Paisley Jr, scrounger for North Antrim, who pocketed over a hundred grand.

No stranger to success, 2008 saw the Democratic Unionist draw three state salaries at once. Clearly underworked as an assembly member and junior minister, Paisley did "research" on his dad's parliamentary payroll too.

Congratulations also to another Ian, who takes home the Lunn Poly Jet-Set Shield for spending nearly 12k getting into work.

Conservative Ian Halfon, black hole for Harlow, is leagues behind top travel claimant, Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael.

But with Westminster only 20 miles away, a standard-class season ticket comes in at 4,800. That's less than half, Halfon.

Gravy train

One MP made no claim at all. We should hope so too given his net worth of 200 million. Tory Zac Goldsmith is keen to trumpet the fraction of his dad's stock market swag he throws at green charities. Very charitably, he keeps his capital in an offshore tax haven.

For many of his colleagues, charity begins at home.

Figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) reveal that around a quarter of MPs employ their own family as 'office staff'.

An eye-watering 9 million expenses increase is mostly down to crafty capitalist politicians hiding behind staff.

All the main parties have members' slathering spouses and kids with 25 to 50 grand. Many are already super-rich. And the lot of them seem set on voting the rest of us into penury.

It's all approved by IPSA, of course. Set up in response to the 2009 expenses scandal, the authority has proven nothing more than a gravy-stained rubber stamp.

Political alternative

What we need are workers' representatives on a worker's wage.

And we know it can be done, because we've done it before. Terry Fields, Dave Nellist and Pat Wall were Marxist Labour MPs and supporters of the Militant, forerunner of the Socialist.

Each took no more than the salary of a skilled worker in his constituency. The rest went towards funding the fightback. And they never once voted for cuts, war or privatisation.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stands in this tradition. Our candidates make the same pledge.

If ordinary people can't trust the main parties, Labour included, we need to do it for ourselves.

So will you stand for TUSC and help us spoil their party?

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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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 18 September 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight royal mail sell-off!

Britain: a seething cauldron of class anger

Stop NHS cutbacks

A UN attack we agree with

Hillsborough: even more cover-ups revealed

MPs still have their snouts in the trough

Ban this trade in death

Lock up the tax evaders

What they really think


Socialist Party youth feature

Anger at zero-hour contracts in universities


Socialist Party workplace news

Second seven-day strike at Hovis

Warrington town hall unions lobby councillors

Strikes force One Housing Group into talks

Bus strike against pay freeze

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lively demo against cuts at Whipps Cross hospital

TUSC campaigners look to shake Fleetwood

Scotland: Bedroom tax close to death

Wolverhampton councillors slash jobs

Overwhelming opposition stuns Hull council

Leicester council feels the pressure

One week left to smash fighting fund target!

The Socialist: Swansea achieves subscription goal


International socialist news and analysis

Commonwealth governments' meeting: Protest against despot Rajapaksa

Kazakhstan: Jailed activist awarded human rights prize

Oppositionists condemn murderous Iran regime


Socialist Party comments and reviews

TV review: Vietnam's 'children of Agent Orange'

Labour backs austerity...


 

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