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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 February 2020

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Fat cats on the line

Northern Rail train, photo El Pollock/CC, photo El Pollock/CC

Northern Rail train, photo El Pollock/CC, photo El Pollock/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Sometimes the combination of greed and incompetence makes capitalism look bad. Northern Rail - branded the worst rail operator in the country (that will be a surprise to those who use Southern Rail!) paid out 83 million in shareholder dividends between 2013-14 and 2017-2018.

If your train is late there's probably a fat cat on the line. It's time they were kicked out of public transport as even the mild-mannered TUC has observed.

Transport minister Grant Shapps has indicated that Northern will be taken into public ownership.

Grant Shapps is an ideological Conservative, sworn to oppose nationalisation. As a Tory he loves three-word slogans. How about "I was wrong"?

Derek McMillan, East Grinstead

Services please

For ten years I've been campaigning for socialism in Southampton. And for eight or nine of those years we've said to the right-wing Labour council "use the reserves and borrowing facilities to halt the cuts. Use this stop-gap to launch a campaign to fight to get the money back from the government."

And now, having been obliterated by Tory cuts and doing nothing, that same Labour council is borrowing 200 million - but to speculate on the property market!

How about some council houses? Reinstating youth services? Restoring council-run elderly care?...

Josh Asker, Southampton

Boris out!

The article in the Socialist - 'Why Johnson's juggernaut is set to jackknife', by Robin Clapp - is the best news this year, and given the support from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, it is most likely to come true.

Clearly those who voted Boris into power, through force of circumstances, need to have the same Boris address them.

If all that Robin writes about comes to pass, there can only be one outcome - a mass move to socialist values.

I say to Boris, bring it on! - and work for your own eviction from power.

Adrian B Rimington, Chesterfield

A day in the life

In the last two weeks I have had to help two friends facing disciplinaries at work on spurious grounds. One got off with a warning, the other was incredulously let go.

Last night I had to move a homeless person's tent out of my workplace's sheltered fire exit or risk serious disciplinary action for not securing my store.

Job uncertainty has been driven home in the last month as more shops announce cuts in working hours, closures and redundancies.

Meanwhile, the Tories have already scrapped their supposed 'end of austerity'; Trump gets away with outright corruption and assassination; Australia smoulders; France and Iran erupt in mass movements, and China battles a new viral outbreak.

Is there anyone, outside of the arms trade, a bank or corporate boardroom, who still believes in capitalism?

A shopworker, Plymouth

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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.

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  • 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 5 February 2020:


News

6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

Labour leadership contest and public ownership

Coronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

Record dissatisfaction with democracy: capitalism's dead end

Refuges turn away 64% of women - set no-cuts budgets now!

Grenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

Them & Us


Rail

Nationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Expensive, overcrowded and unreliable: Renationalise the railways!

Cancel the franchise, not our trains

Will the North get investment and transport infrastructure?


What we think

'Post-Brexit' era of crisis ahead


Workplace news

Huge victory for Bromley library workers after 241 days on indefinite strike!

14 more days of university strikes over pensions, pay and conditions

500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Newham council tax workers' pay victory

No to academisation of east London schools!

Ealing tax office workers strike against closure


NHS

Outrageous waiting times will put lives at risk

NHS: Save stroke beds in Coventry and Warwickshire


International

Syria: Assad regime consolidates power after brutal counterrevolution

Israel/Palestine: Trump 'peace plan' promises further conflict


Campaigns

Socialist Party calls anti-austerity protest on Budget Day

Sadiq Khan "out-Tories" himself to defend tech firms' tax bonanza

Socialist Sellers

Reading Labour council: Stop privatising our leisure services

The rich fund the Tories and Blairites, so help fund the working-class fightback

Support the working-class press in 2020

Defend and fight for warm, safe housing for Samira and everyone

Alternative Burns Night success


Readers' opinion

Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleSocialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

triangleWhy I joined - Covid changed my outlook

Council:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLuton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

triangleHugely significant council workers' strike continues

Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Cuts:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How to fight the cuts

triangleFighting for over 250 jobs that are under threat at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo M Kamish

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