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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2014

Them & Us

Garage sale

Hardly a week passes without another example of crazy property values generated by the government-fuelled housing bubble. If readers thought the recent 550,000 sale price of a large garage in Camberwell, south London, was bonkers then prepare yourselves for this: six dilapidated garages in Fulham Road sold at auction for 700,000 - ten times their guide price!

No relief

Perhaps the most outrageous example of profiteering private landlords comes from an advertised one-bedroom flat in Earls Court, west London. At only 170 a week you might be tempted to think this is a bargain. However, the 'fully furnished bedsit' is actually little bigger than a single bed and is so tiny that there is no toilet!

No interest

In the debate on the forthcoming independence referendum hundreds of people have packed meetings in Scotland to hear the case for socialism. At the other end of the political spectrum, however, generating interest is proving harder. Conservative Future Scotland, the Scottish Tory Party's youth wing, had to cancel its national conference on 10 May - "due to lack of interest and declining youth membership numbers". Only 12 tickets to the event had been sold!

Low ratings

So desperate is the Labour Party leadership not to alienate big business that Miliband and Co continually reiterate their support for spending cuts while refusing to offer meaningful policies to improve the lives of the majority of the population.

Unfortunately for Ed this strategy has resulted in Labour's standing in opinion polls actually sinking below that of the Tories, despite four years of vicious government austerity. According to a Guardian poll, Labour is on 31% support - down 6% on last month, its lowest rating since losing the 2010 election - while the Tories are on 33%. And adding to Labour's woes, Miliband was given a net personal approval rating of minus 25!

Jobs cull

As the mass media prematurely claimed the end of the 'great recession', Barclays Bank spoilt the government's party by announcing 19,000 job cuts, of which over half are in the UK.

Some 4,000 jobs have already been axed. It's also expected that many of the bank's high street branches will close to cut costs and boost profits.

Instead of attacking the greedy banksters Tory Chancellor George Osborne called the jobs cull "regrettable".

Taxing issue

Pfizer's multibillion takeover bid for AstraZeneca has highlighted once again the Con-Dems' generous taxation system which benefits big business (20% corporation tax in the UK compared to 40% in the US).

But even this liberal tax regime hasn't stopped leading companies using subsidiaries based in secretive tax havens.

According to the charity Christian Aid, FTSE 100 firms have set up nearly 30,000 subsidiaries, with 14% of them based in "highly secretive" jurisdictions thereby avoiding taxation. This is despite Prime Minister Cameron's repeated pledge to enforce 'transparency' with multinationals.

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In The Socialist 14 May 2014:

Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

For the millions not the billionaires

Fight back at the ballot box on 22 May

Building Labour: when workers first formed own party

Southampton: Showing what's possible

Liverpool City Council 1983-87: "We had a choice"

Why we're standing as TUSC candidates

On the campaign trail with TUSC

Socialist Party news and analysis

Ukip - the establishment's 'anti-establishment' party

Housing evictions - main parties to blame

Gove robs education budget to fund 'Free Schools'

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

What's socialism got to do with fighting austerity?

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: The ANC victory, WASP and the EFF

Capitalist politicians can't solve Boko Haram crisis

Ireland: Election campaigns "referendum on austerity"

Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: NHS workers v NHS privatisation

PCS: Re-election of a fighting, socialist leadership

Leadership challenged at Usdaw conference

Brighton: Determined to fight college cuts

Transport workers' international meeting

Workplace news in brief

Fight together for pay rise - Come to NSSN conference

Readers' reviews

TV review: In the Flesh

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight back to scrap junk jobs

Freedom Riders- action brings victory

Building TUSC, building socialism

Donate to the election appeal!

Why I joined the Socialist Party


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