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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 January 2018

News in brief

Segregated playground

Children were divided into rich and poor playgrounds during lunchtime at an 'academy' primary school in the West Midlands.

Wednesbury Oak Academy in Tipton asked parents for 6 donations to fund new play equipment. The school then denied access to children whose parents hadn't paid.

After exposure by the Mirror, the school cancelled the policy. But this Ryanair approach to schooling, with state education dismembered into saleable packages, is in the profit-driven DNA of academies.


Oil spoils

Workers decommissioning a BP oil rig got just 2.70 an hour

Workers decommissioning a BP oil rig got just 2.70 an hour   (Click to enlarge)

Bosses can legally pay less than the minimum wage to workers doing dangerous jobs out in the North Sea.

Transport and maritime union RMT has found the latest government guidance on rates only extends 12 miles into British waters.

It seems staff decommissioning a BP oil rig received just $45 for a 12-hour shift. That's about 2.70 an hour, working all day with heavy and flammable materials, over a freezing cold sea.

BP recorded profits of $1.4 billion in just the first three months of last year.


Benefit cut beaten

Campaigners have beaten a government attack on disability benefits. 150,000 people will now receive more of the support they need.

The Tories had tried to change the rules around the 'personal independence payment' (PIP) to exclude some mental illness sufferers. PIP is itself an attack, replacing the superior 'disability living allowance' benefit.

After a successful legal challenge, the government considered appealing and emergency legislation to retain the brutal cut. But a statement on 19 January conceded defeat.

The climbdown follows persistent campaigning by disabled rights activists including the Socialist Party.

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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.
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In The Socialist 24 January 2018:


What we think

Turn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Welsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

Private profit out of our NHS

Leeds playing fields rescued from Blairites

May's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

News in brief


Vietnam war

Vietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive


Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

PCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

Brum care workers protest council attacks

Amy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

Ballots against Bromley privatisers

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages


International socialist news and analysis

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Victory against government's war on eastern European homeless

Women rally defiantly

Gentrification scourge hits Kent

Kirklees council opens consultation of library services

Southampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers


Obituaries

Red Mary - a Force of Nature

Obituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018


Opinion

Carillion and the construction industry

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

Universal credit: set up to fail

The Socialist inbox


 

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