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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 April 2015

Them & Us

Viva Cuba?

Rent control to stop excessive rents being charged by rip-off private landlords is very popular. A Generation Rent (a private sector housing campaign group) survey found that 59% of respondents backed rent controls with only 7% of people in opposition, while 34% had no opinion. Among private sector tenants, 77% backed controls and even a majority (56%) of homeowners supported controls.

A Ukip spokesperson responding to Labour's half-hearted measures condemned rent controls saying: "It was tried in Cuba and it didn't work". However, the same survey found that 58% of Ukip voters support rent controls!

HSBC move

Life is tough in Britain says banking giant HSBC. It has threatened to relocate its HQ from London because of 'tough banking regulations', despite posting profits of 12.2 billion for 2014. This is a 17% fall, after racking up fines for attempted manipulation of foreign exchange rates and compensation for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.

In 2012 HSBC was fined nearly $2 billion after being found guilty by US authorities of money laundering for Mexican drug barons.

This year HSBC admitted that its Swiss private bank held accounts for tax-dodging clients. Cheerio!

Price of austerity

The Trades Union Congress, using data from the Office for National Statistics, has found that the coalition government's period in office was the worst five-year period for living standards - when real disposable household income per head actually fell - for at least half a century.

Food for thought

While HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver took a hit on his overall pay last year - falling to a measly 7.6 million from 8 million in 2013 - the Trussell Trust (which operates the majority of foodbanks) says more than one million people, including almost 400,000 children, received three days' food from them, compared to 900,000 last year.

Land of make-believe

You couldn't make it up - unless you happen to be Grant Shapps. The Tory housing minister has been accused of secretly editing his own Wikipedia entry, and those of political opponents, using a fake online identity. Administrators of the online encyclopaedia discovered that the anonymous account had systematically removed references to his past dodgy business activities and instead cast Shapps in a positive light.

Rewarding failure

It seems that capitalism rewards failure if you happen to be a company executive. The latest example of this skewed practice concerns the ex-boss of Morrisons supermarkets, Dalton Philips. In addition to having his pay doubled last year to 2.1 million he will receive a 1.1 million 'golden handshake', despite being sacked after the company's sales and profits nosedived.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 30 April 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS in crisis

After the election: prepare for the battles to come

Establishment witch-hunt in Tower Hamlets

Rent controls? Another Labour fudge

And the rich just get richer!

Them & Us

The Socialist election schedule

International socialist news and analysis

125 years of May Day: Learn lessons of past struggles

Ireland: crucial stage for water charges

Greece: gold mining meeting

Special feature

Socialist plan or capitalist chaos

Why you should join the socialists

Elections 2015

Why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition?

Why I'm standing

Key working class fighters rally to TUSC

Anti-cuts councillor set to defend seat

Pop star and activist Jawad Ahmad backs TUSC

Why many class fighters won't vote Labour

Socialist Party workplace news

Labour Party link dominates conference discussion

Dundee porters force NHS bosses to retreat

Glasgow homelessness caseworkers' strike

MoD IT workers demand decent pay

Bromley workers escalate strikes

Bradford bus drivers strike against job losses

Wales: Hundreds protest cuts to adult education

Barking bin workers walkout over pay cuts

May Day Greetings

May Day Greetings in the Socialist 2015 - pdf


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