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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2015

Them & Us

Cash for iPads

In the run-up to the general election, 60 MPs went on a spending spree claiming 70,000 expenses on iPads and computer laptops shortly before the deadline blocking such purchases.

Bank on it

They may have fleeced the taxpayer of billions in bailouts, enjoyed massive salary increases and bonus payments, cut thousands of lowly paid jobs, been fined billions for mis-selling financial products and rigging markets, but Britain's bankers have had enough of public criticism.

The British Bankers Association has called for an end to 'banker bashing' (not a euphemism) and demanded that the Chancellor scraps the bank levy on industry profits. As we go to press George Osborne, speaking to City bigwigs at Mansion House, is expected to do just that.

Hunger games

'Poverty porn' appears to be the new success ratings formula for TV producers. Following Benefits Street, et al, the BBC has now commissioned a series, The Hardest Grafter.

Over five weeks 25 unemployed and low-paid workers are pitted against each other in various work roles for a 15,000 prize. The "least effective workers" will then be ousted until one winner emerges.

According to the Beeb it's a "serious social experiment for BBC2 which investigates just how hard people in the low wage economy work". Critics refer to it as a 'Hunger Games for the poor' - a reference to the dystopian sci-fi film in which poor people are forced to fight each other for food.

Over 25,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the programme to be pulled.

Thanks to John Smithee

Do not pass go

Mayfair, in central London, lives up to its Monopoly game status as a prime location for the super-rich. According to a recent report 'Who Lives in Mayfair' the area is populated by "Middle Eastern princes, bankers, wealth managers, commodity brokers, advertising directors and students from ultra-wealthy families..."

More than nine out of ten of all Mayfair properties sold went for more than 1 million, and 28% over 5 million.

Social cleansing

While homelessness and 'social cleansing' evictions caused by high rents, low pay and welfare caps grows, in one expensive London street seven out of ten properties have been left unoccupied by their wealthy owners.

PFI fire risk

Eight schools in Knowsley, Merseyside, built under the last Labour government's mega-rip-off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) programme (Building Schools for the Future), have been labelled fire hazards. An inspection of the schools built by Balfour Beatty found fireproofing in all eight to be sub-standard.

Meanwhile, Fire Brigades Union officials described PFI built Cumberland Infirmary as "the biggest fire risk in Carlisle". Cumberland Infirmary was the first of 101 hospitals built under Labour using PFI funding.

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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 10 June 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

7K rise for MPs... Peanuts for us!

Strikes and bold campaigning can beat academy plans

Coulson case collapses amid stench of hypocrisy

Fifa scandals - a rottenness based on corporate greed

Fight devastating spending cuts

Royal Mail sell-off: Public service, not private profit

Can Corbyn's left challenge succeed?

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Crunch time for Syriza?

900 attend rally to re-elect Kshama Sawant!


Socialist Party feature

No to a capitalist EU, Yes to a socialist Europe!


Socialist Party workplace news

Fight austerity! Fight anti-union laws!

Council cancels facility time to pave way for cuts

Gains for left in Unison elections

'Clear fighting strategy' needed for council workers

RMT strikes for unfairly sacked train guard

Bakers' union debates political representation

Striking porters 'a hundred times stronger'

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Promising futures' wasted by cuts

Join TUSC on the march against austerity

Newcastle demo sets a striking tone

Leeds TUSC calls for not-for-profit letting agency

Protesters tell Labour councils to fight Tory cuts

Warrington TUSC


Readers' comments and reviews

This Skype is the limit!

1945 - when Britain said no to Churchill

'Socialism is the only way to stop austerity and poverty'


 

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Related links:

Them & Us:

triangleThem & us

triangleThem & Us

triangleThem & Us

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PFI:

triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

triangleNon-fiction: 'Unhealthy Profits: PFI in the NHS'

Fire:

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending

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triangleThree years on: No justice for Grenfell, no peace from BLM

Schools:

triangleSussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

triangleDispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!

Bankers:

triangle10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis

London:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Covid - A young workers' charter

Labour:

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

Merseyside:

triangleTony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

Knowsley:

triangleMerseyside Matalan workers walk out over pay deal

Carlisle:

triangleSelling the Socialist

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