Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2019

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

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

Job for life for new hereditary lord...

Aeneas Simon Mackay, a Tory investment banker, can now vote on our laws and claim 305 a day for life after an election he could only enter because his great-grandad's cousin's dad's fourth cousin's dad's cousin's great-great-great-grandad was made a Lord in 1628.

Mackay is the 15th Lord Reay and won a recent 'hereditary peer by-election' and is now a member of the House of Lords. The 53-year-old is the chief of ancient Scottish Clan Mackay, whose former leader Donald Mackay was handed a peerage by Charles I.

Charles I must have been off his head to award a peerage to the original Lord Reay as he was described by the family as a "magician who won a work-loving gang of fairies in an encounter with a witch in a cave".

This feudal relic is a hangover from Tony Blair's reform of the House of Lords in 1999. As part of the reform he compromised and allowed 92 hereditary peers to remain.

But even those who are not hereditary peers only get there by pleasing the government that appointed them.

We need elected workers' representatives in parliament. But for fundamental social change to come about we also need independent working-class movements outside parliament.

Abolition of the House of Lords is an important step in the democratisation of politics.

Young woman and man wait on a bench with a sleeping bag at night, photo Tony Fischer (Creative Commons)

Young woman and man wait on a bench with a sleeping bag at night, photo Tony Fischer (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

...homeless deaths rise

The 15th Lord Reay went to university in Oxford which, despite educating Britain's elite, has seen a massive spike in homeless deaths as the city's poor face a severe lack of housing and little support for people with mental health and addiction problems.

Four homeless people have died in Oxford since November. One formerly homeless woman who volunteers to support rough sleepers in the city, said: "I am worried about who is going to be next. This is the worst I have seen it in Oxford."

Oxford is not alone either. Other towns and cities have seen homeless deaths, and the amount of rough sleepers has gone up considerably.

The high rents that force people out need to be capped. The cuts to housing and homelessness services that have taken place so far should be stopped and reversed. Build houses and fund services now to stop any more homeless deaths!

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 6 February 2019:

What we think

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative

Workplace news

College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

Cash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

Struggling unis account for bulk of unconditional offers - end education marketisation!

Billionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

Them & Us

Iranian revolution

40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey 'Corbyn council' must fight borough regeneration

Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference

International socialist news and analysis

United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Them & Us:

triangleThem & us

triangleThem & Us

triangleThem & Us

triangleThem & us

triangleThem & Us


triangleCourt workers to ballot in fight for safety

triangleNew members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

triangleHealth worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic

triangleJaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


triangleMultimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker

triangleTories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

triangleManctopia: billion pound property boom


triangle'Cut the Rent!' campaign kicks off

triangleOxbridge gets private Covid tests: pool resources to test us all!

House of Lords:

trianglePhilip Green scandal - bring him down like BHS


triangleKeep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


triangleEviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Liverpool Labour meltdown - Fight for socialist policies



Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety



Drivers win case - they are workers



Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?



Starmer's speech a return to New Labour



Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage



Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run



Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality



The struggle needs an electoral arm



NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies



Covid workplace safety



SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'


Socialist Students

Strike back for free education



Tory consultation on home-use abortion pills



Tory cladding money will not make us safe

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

February 2021

January 2021