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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 June 2016

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Student sharks

Students paying 9,000 a year tuition fees finally have an escape from chronic pennilessness: a loan shark especially for students!

Wonga-style lender 'Smart-Pig.com' - tagline 'loans for students' - advertises rip-off credit arrangements on beermats. Even the Advertising Standards Authority has slammed the firm for inciting vulnerable students to borrow for booze.

The regulator also criticised ads which exploited the housing crisis. Posters seemed to encourage students to take out extortionate loans for a chance at winning a term's rent.

Smart-Pig.com makes much of being a "student start-up", and claims more humane savagery than other payday lenders. But it still has its nose in the trough of financial misery - and what a trough! The pig-sharks advertise their 'representative APR' - yearly interest and fees on borrowings - as a succulent 1,084%.

BHS burglary

Department store BHS will close, at a loss of 11,000 jobs, confirm administrators Duff and Phelps.

MPs are now questioning Mike Ashley, workhouse-master of retailer Sports Direct, who allegedly bid on the failing enterprise. No doubt he'd have used his wealth and influence to save BHS jobs and pensions.

Sorry, we meant to write: "No doubt he'd have used his wealth and influence to disembowel BHS jobs and pensions, like the frenzied, profit-hungry asset stripper he is." The Socialist, in contrast, called for nationalisation.

While workers ready themselves for the cruel gauntlet of job seeking, previous owner Philip Green recently bought his third superyacht.

Having a Giraffe

Supermarket Tesco is selling its restaurant subsidiary Giraffe to Ranjit Boparan. If that name sounds familiar, it's because Boparan owns 2 Sisters - which recently tried to slash pay at Pennine Foods in Sheffield (see Pennine Foods strike forces bosses back to the table).

While Giraffe staff face uncertain futures in the hands of another vicious anti-worker bully, Tesco returned to profit this year. Its pre-tax profits were 162 million for the year to February, after posting its first loss in two decades in 2015.

Giraffe workers would do well to follow Pennine Foods: join a union and be ready to fight.

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 15 June 2016:


EU referendum

EU referendum: whatever the result, political turmoil is ahead

EU: busting the myths that Remain is best for the 99%

TUSC anti-EU tour touches down in Wales

BT Brexit baloney

Letters: EU referendum


International socialist news and analysis

Orlando massacre: working class unity to defeat homophobia, terrorism and racism

France: workers' revolt against labour law grows


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Hilarious, innovative satire on state bureaucracy


Workplace news and analysis

Unison conference 2016: fighting leadership needed more than ever

GMB backs no-cuts budgets and steel nationalisation

Pennine Foods strike forces bosses back to the table

Hospital porters and domestic staff claim jobs and pay victory

Strike at Argos depot against contracting out of jobs

Buses parked three deep in Leeds strike

School support staff mobilise against slashing of pay

Uber drivers strike against unfair fares

Lorry stoppage paves the way to victory

Solidarity with victimised bakers' union rep


Housing crisis

Action to defeat the Housing Act: we won't move!

Housing Act: landlords and developers set to profit

Generation rent demands affordable housing


NHS

Re-open Chorley A&E - end the staff shortages

Hands Off HRI campaign grows from strength to strength


Socialist Party news and analysis

Systemic failures hurt kids in justice system

Them & Us

Socialist Party fundraising: punching above our weight


 

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