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Let yourself go
SOME FIVE million workers in the US have lost their jobs since the start of the current recession. But while mass unemployment is a cause of widespread misery and hardship, to some TV producers it's an opportunity to make profits.
Endemol USA, have come up with a show, Someone's Gotta Go. It features a small business where times are hard and redundancies have to be made. The workers - around 15 to 20 of them - will be allowed to see the company's accounts, and will be told how much each of them earns.
Then they will reveal what they think of each other. They will be fighting for their jobs, culminating at the end of the episode with the workers voting to decide which of them is added to dole queues. It allows bosses to avoid doing the dirty work themselves. Pretty sick stuff.
But why not include the employers in the selection process? Going by what most bosses rake in, sacking one or two of them would save enough cash to employ several additional workers on decent rates of pay!
A GOVERNMENT official cooks up smears against opposition politicians, shock! The Tory party leadership and the mainstream media are jumping up and down with indignation over Gordon Brown's adviser, Damian McBride's leaked emails that contained suggestions to smear David Cameron and other leading Tories.
Gordon Brown said the episode is a "matter of great regret" but refused to personally apologise. Surely, repellent as it all is, the point is that all establishment parties, given the absence of significant differences between their policies, are reduced to smearing each other to try to win votes.
Moreover, capitalist politicians engaging in smear tactics is hardly new. The 1924 'Zinoviev letter' - suggesting the Labour government was helping the Soviet Union to ferment revolution in Britain - was a forgery published in the Daily Mail four days before an election, subsequently won by the Tories.
Strike for rights
DOCKWORKERS IN the Bay Area ports in San Francisco, USA, have voted, unanimously, to strike on 1 May to protest against two policies of ongoing repression by the Department of Homeland Security:
The International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 is concerned about the unfair implementation of Transport Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) cards in seaports, in violation of elementary civil rights and civil liberties, causing hundreds of longshore workers to be unfairly denied work in the ports.
The ILWU's second concern is over the ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) raids in homes and workplaces, that have victimised many thousands of immigrant workers. These raids have often resulted in prolonged detention under harsh conditions, and the separation of families including the separation of children from their parents - all in violation of elementary civil rights and civil liberties.
In The Socialist 15 April 2009:
Stop the slaughter of Tamils
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
Youth fight for jobs
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis