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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 July 2009

Fast news

Blundering Boris

BORIS JOHNSON, the Tory London mayor, came into office on a 'clean up politics' and 'value for taxpayers' money' election ticket. Unfortunately for the Tory buffoon his deputy, Ian Clement, has been forced to quit after misusing a corporate credit card only days after Johnson publicly backed him.

Scotland Yard has opened a fraud inquiry over Clement's use of his official credit card for groceries, car repairs and meals with his girlfriend.

Clements' resignation is the third deputy mayor to depart since Johnson was elected in May 2008. These political embarrassments for Boris are on top of his chief political adviser being sacked and his Olympics adviser stepping down over a financial scandal.

Corus cuts

STEEL MAKER Corus has announced a further 2,000 job cuts at its plants in Teesside, Scunthorpe and Rotherham. These losses are on top of the 2,500 job cuts announced in January and come about despite a series of concessions made by workers to secure employment. Indeed, workers at Corus in Scunthorpe are currently balloting over the company's plans to introduce pay cuts and worsen working conditions. Unfortunately, the Community Union is not recommending a 'no' vote.

Corus is owned by the Tata Steel conglomerate which made a 2.8 billion profit in 2007-08, handing its shareholders a 22% increase in dividends.

Instead of accepting cutbacks, Corus workers should be taking militant industrial action against a ruthless employer.

Shrinking economy

THE LATEST ONS data shows that the UK economy shrank by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2009, the fastest rate in more than 50 years. This is in stark contrast to chancellor Alistair Darling's rosy economic outlook given in his recent budget speech.

Last week, an OECD report revised down its forecast for the UK economy this year. It now says the economy is in "sharp recession" with output set to contract by 4.3%, compared to its earlier prediction of 3.7%. And in 2010, the OECD predicts zero growth and a budget deficit of 14% of GDP (total output).

Network bonuses

WHILE WORKERS are being made to pay for the capitalist economic crisis with cutbacks in jobs, pay and conditions, top bankers, City bosses and MPs continue to stuff their pockets with bonuses and ludicrous expenses.

The latest group of shysters are Network Rail bosses. The top dogs at the publicly funded body (whose net debt is 22.3 billion) are set to receive bonuses totalling over 1.2 million. This outrageous news was buried on the day that Michael Jackson's death dominated the headlines.

Network Rail's chief executive Ian Coucher will pocket over 150,000 in 'incentive payments', based on the company's performance over the last three years - a period which has seen massive disruption to the rail infrastructure especially on the West coast main line.

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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.
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In The Socialist 1 July 2009:

Militant action pays!


Youth fight for jobs

Decent jobs not poverty schemes!


Socialist Party editorial

Victories show the way forward for struggles

Total's fat fingers in every pie

"We came out with Lindsey and we'll go back with Lindsey"


Socialist Party campaigns

New Labour's house building plans amount to just a drop in the ocean

Pride not profit - London Pride Saturday 4 July

Crisis looms in FE colleges

Tower Hamlets demo

Councils try to gag us

Campaign to save Lewisham Bridge school continuing

Fast news

BNP: Looking beneath the suits


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network Conference Confident and enthusiastic


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

25 years ago: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight


Workplace news and events

Glasgow council: Social work dept staff start all-out strike

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets march and rally

Construction industry in major crisis


 

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Related links:

Corus:

triangleTata steel: Act now - fight for nationalisation

triangleConstruction workers fight pay cuts

Economy:

triangleWorkers and young people need planning for jobs, not handouts for bosses

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: What happens after a crisis 2 - The Planned Economy

triangleThem & us

triangleTwo-metre rule under 'review' - Another case of profit before safety

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

Pay:

triangleFight for the NHS

triangleSaving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Boris Johnson:

triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

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