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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 May 2010

Fast news

New records

AS 'NICE' Dave Cameron and 'corporal' Clegg cheerfully announced the immediate slashing of 6 billion in public spending (involving thousands of public sector job losses), the latest employment figures showed that unemployment is now at its highest level since 1994.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of unemployed people increased by 53,000 over the last quarter to reach 2.51 million (8% unemployment rate). The numbers in work fell by 76,000 in the three months to March to 28.9 million, pushing the employment rate to a 13-year low of 72%.

The number of people unemployed for more than 12 months increased by 94,000 over the quarter to reach 757,000, the highest figure since the three months to May 1997 - when the Tories were last in office.

The number of part-time workers, many because they cannot find full-time jobs, has gone over one million. This figure is an all-time record and a 45% increase since the economic recession began two years ago.

New jobs

THE TORY/LIB Dem coalition government has engaged in some job creation - by appointing 100 new peers! This act won't however dent the unemployment figures as the latest bunch of expenses-grabbing Lords will be the usual mix of former MPs and businessmen.

The new intake of ermine collared wasters is expected to include: Angela Knight, the former Tory MP and head of the British Bankers' Association, Simon Wolfson, the Next chief executive, and Sir Anthony Bamford, the chairman of JCB.

Leading by example

IN AN attempt to inspire the nation into accepting savage cuts in our pay and public services, the Tory-Lib Dem coalition cabinet announced a 5% pay cut from ministerial salaries.

However, PM nice Dave will still receive 142,500 on top of his MP's pay of 64,766. In fact, the total cabinet salary cuts only amount to 181,000 a year.

Meanwhile, many low paid workers will be hard hit by pay freezes (cuts), and a likely rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20% before the end of next year.

Liberals nuked

THE LIB Dems have dealt a heavy blow to their environmentalist supporters by saying they will not oppose the Tories continuing the previous Labour government's plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations.

In their 2010 election manifesto the Lib Dems said that they were opposed to building new nuclear plants, largely on the grounds of costs. They now say they will only abstain when it comes to the vote, providing there is no government subsidy involved.

However, the Tory/Lib Dem coalition agreement says it will move to install a lower limit - or floor price - on carbon allowances that power generator companies have to buy to cover their emissions. This will effectively give a windfall to nuclear suppliers.

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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.
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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 19 May 2010:

Action needed to save our services

Workplace news

Vote Roger Bannister in the Unison general secretary election

British Airways: Another intolerable court judgment

Youth fight for jobs

Youth need job creation, not job slaughter

Socialist Party election analysis

Time for the fight of our lives

Socialist Party news and analysis

Building Coventry Socialist Party after the election

Support for socialists Ian Page and Chris Flood

Packed out London meeting looks to fight against cuts

Fast news

International socialist news and analysis

Initiative for a week of European-wide protests

Italy: ControCorrente socialists support CWI

Thailand's government orders bloody crackdown on protesters

Kazakhstan: "Thanks comrades for support"

USA: Putting forward a Socialist Alternative in Seattle

Marxist analysis: history

The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution by Harold Isaacs


Peter Hadden - an inspiring life for socialism

Socialist Party workplace news

Communication Workers Union conference: Hands off Royal Mail!

Defending the postal service

Bus workers gear up for action

RMT ballots Tube Lines workers

National Shop Stewards Network conference: International rally planned


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