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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 September 2014

Tenants threatened by 'feudal lord'

Russel Brand is actively supporting the campaign to defend New Era estate tenants, photo Paul Mattsson

Russel Brand is actively supporting the campaign to defend New Era estate tenants, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Brian Debus, Hackney Socialist Party

Tenants on the New Era estate in Hackney are faced by an unholy alliance of predatory property speculation. It comes in the form of US-based Westbrook Partners and feudalistic landlord Richard Benyon MP.

Speaking to the Socialist, New Era tenant Mrs Hammond said "we have spent thousands on the flats modernising them up and now they are slinging us out."

Benyon, the richest Tory MP, lives on an 'estate' with a castle, a deer park and 20,000 acres of land. His interest is clearly in yet more profit for his vast estate and to hell with the tenants.

Westbrook also has form. The firm bought 1,600 properties in New York with the intention of driving up rents and making massive profits out of the misery of its tenants.

They were unsuccessful. They failed to maintain mortgage payments which led to foreclosure. During this period next to no maintenance was done.

"These guys took $133 million from the bank and not one dime has gone into taking care of the buildings we live in," said Debra Cooper, a tenants' union leader. "We live with constant leaks. I regularly don't have heat or hot water. We have no mail boxes and can't get our mail. Enough is enough." (From campaign website thesurrealestate.org.)

A massive campaign by the New York tenants has won rent rebates of $600 each - totalling $1million - and an increase in property maintenance.

Socialist Party activists on the New Era estate, September 2014, photo Paul Mattsson

Socialist Party activists on the New Era estate, September 2014, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

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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.

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In The Socialist 24 September 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

We need 10 an hour now!

Labour to continue austerity offensive

Climate change: Summit for nothing

Academies lead to nepotism and profit making

Them & Us


Scottish referendum

1.6 million vote Yes in revolt against austerity

After Scotland revolt: all capitalist parties in crisis

Scotland Poll: Electric mood among YES supporters


International socialist news and analysis

Millions on streets for Catalan independence

Sweden: Conservatives collapse, extreme-right gains


Socialist Party workplace news

United strike action can win

NHS workers vote to strike

College lecturers join 14 October strike

Care UK: 'We'll fight them all the way'

Croydon leisure centre strike for decent wages

West Midlands fire engine cuts

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tenants threatened by 'feudal lord'

Global day of eco action

Round up: Socialist Students at the freshers fairs


Socialist Party comments and reviews

The struggle for decent social care - a personal account

Tony Benn: Will and testament

Obvious Child

Skylight

Front row fury


 

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