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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2020

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Criminal Police

Just 35 Labour MPs opposed the 'Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) bill' - legalising normally illegal activity by police informants. Now, the only prevention to stop these state informants from committing crimes are senior police and intelligence staff - who previously authorised illegal activity that has still not been acted on!

Before 'CHIS', undercover police stole identities of dead children, and used false identities to form sexual and long-term relationships with female activists, who they did not suspect of criminal activity. Worse, some police encouraged illegal activity!

I heard an account of an officer, unsuccessfully trying to encourage supporters of Militant to 'molotov' a shop, based on his 'word of mouth' that a fascist ran it. Encouraging actions that could kill! The Tories wrote the bill, Labour let it pass. Neither stand up for the interests of the working-class majority.

Adam Harmsworth, Coventry Socialist Party

Laid off by corporate greed

photo Wikimedia Commons/CC

photo Wikimedia Commons/CC   (Click to enlarge)

I got laid off yesterday by a company that does domestic appliance repairs. They'd been a good employer; keeping me on through lockdown on full pay. They didn't have to do that, but they did. I got a month's notice on full pay, and was told it would be best for me if I spent my period of notice job hunting. So I'm already at home.

Most of the company's work comes from Samsung, who called a meeting last week and demanded a 30% cut in the usual amount paid for each job. They had wanted a 40% cut but as rates hadn't gone up in 5 years, the company said "no way". My boss told me 30% is the margin to cover wages and overheads, hence the cuts.

I was laid off when I returned from my holiday, on the basis of last in, first out and because I was employed part-time. The remaining office staff will have their hours cut. The owner and his wife will now work a seven-day week to keep the business going.

This might be a smart business move for Samsung, which saw its profits fall a lot from 2018, but it will probably finish off this small company, destroying more jobs. Corporate greed is behind a scorched-earth policy. In 2019 Samsung made an operating profit of over 14.5 billion.

A laid-off technology worker

Private bus rip off

The fact that buses are run by private companies, whose driving force is making profit rather than providing a good service, means a ridiculous situation for me and my partner every Sunday. We both buy a weekly bus pass, but neither of our two local buses run on a Sunday. Instead, a different bus company runs a bus, which is a mix of the other two routes.

So every Sunday we use the bus. When I need it to get to work, for instance, we have to pay for another ticket, even though we have a weekly bus pass! Also, the buses don't run late enough on the weekend for me to get them home from work, so I have to fork out money for taxis. All in all it costs me three hours pay.

Juliette Fogelman, North London Socialist Party

Re-nationalise Rolls Royce

The Tory party conference saw another hare-brained scheme from the prime minister in the form of a promise to increase off-shore wind. Yet a generation of the best turbine experts and manufacturers (namely Rolls Royce) are facing job losses, due to the impact of the stop in global air traffic.

It wouldn't take much to change their focus from jet engines to energy-producing turbines for both water and wind energy production. In my opinion, this opportunity will be wasted on outsourced contracts made out to Tory party donors lining their pockets. Any responsible government would nationalise the likes of Rolls Royce, and convert them into the world-class energy production force they could be!

James Cameron, Somerset Socialist Party

"Left outside"

In March 2016, a 63-year-old homeless man died after being thrown out of a police station. Four years later, the police officers involved have been 'excused' by a west London coroner's court, because he "would probably have died within a day anyway" due to "a pre-existing illness" which the court stated was "accelerated by hypothermia from being left outside in -1C temperatures". There are obvious humane questions.

If the man was so seriously ill, why did the police not take him to hospital? If the man's health was being seriously worsened by his homelessness in winter, why did the local council not provide housing assistance? But the phrase used by the coroner's court that stands out is "being left outside".

If a dog was treated like that and suffered fatal consequences, the RSPCA would certainly consider prosecution of the dog's owner. But for a homeless man in desperate need of refuge, the police, the local council, and the Home Office are 'let off' without a word of censure. This is because of the deliberate denial of any form of democratic accountability.

John Merrell, Leicester 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.
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 21 October 2020:


Lockdown

Health before profit - Work or full pay

Wales 'firebreak' lockdown fails to protect workers

Liverpool lockdown: suspicion and anger

Newcastle lockdown: stress and breakdowns

Leicester lockdown: disillusionment and anger


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


International

Nigeria protests: 'This movement needs to fight the whole rotten capitalist system'

Horrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

South Africa: Mass day of action for permanent jobs and a living wage


News

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

World capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now


Coronavirus

Test and Trace U-turn on stopping local case reporting

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

Millennials disillusioned with 'democracy'

Under the microscope


Workplace

RMT: Programme to fight redundancies and cuts

Action on Covid transmission in schools now

FCC dismiss Unison activist Tony Smith

Optare workers strike over pay broken 'promise'

Solidarity with Deliveroo Couriers in York


Campaigns

NHS workers

Students: Give us our money back

Fight for your future at the online rally

Southampton: Coxford community condemns racist attack

Socialism 2020: Will you help our finance appeal?

Selling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

Truth about Zane: Cover-up Tories crack

Kent: Chaotic privatised asylum process

Teignmouth hospital closure threat ... again!


Readers' opinion

Books that inspired me: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Beware the billionaires bearing gifts

Disabled students let down by "rotten education system"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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