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From: The Socialist issue 794, 15 January 2014: Evict the Con-Dems!

Search site for keywords: Fat cats - Academies - Pay - Bonuses - Council - Working class - Education

Them & Us

City bonuses

While millions of workers face another year of pay freezes City fat cats continue to fill their boots with billions of pounds in bonuses.

Finance chiefs in the Square Mile will scoop 10 billion out of a total bonus pay-out of 19 billion.

One high flyer who's quids in is the former head of investment banking at HSBC, Michael Spencer, who added an 8 million bonus to his mega-salary.

Mind you, he does have to meet the costs of staffing his West London home with a butler, maids and a gardener.

Academies, it's personal

Media reports have identified groups running publicly funded academy schools as having paid millions to private companies with personal connections to their directors and trustees.

Academies - introduced by Labour - are a major plank of the Con-Dems' education policy. Outspoken education minister Michael Gove has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped over this latest damning revelation.

Academies are outside local authority control and receive increased funding at the expense of the remaining local authority schools.

They don't have to follow the national curriculum nor teachers' national pay and working conditions agreements.

House wreckers

Last month Tory-run Hammersmith and Fulham council in west London sent out 'Christmas cards' to 17,000 of its tenants with the insulting message: "Don't overindulge this Christmas. Pay your rent!"

This latter day Scrooge, unlike Charles Dickens' character, has not seen the error of its ways but instead continues to attack its increasingly hard-up working class residents.

The council's latest reactionary scheme is the sale of 209 much-needed council houses and then using the cash receipts to enable a property developer to demolish more council houses and replace them with private properties unaffordable for most people. House prices in the borough have more than doubled in the last decade.

The council's action, disingenuously termed 'regeneration', is simply part of the Tories' vile anti-working class agenda.

Booze lobby

After kowtowing to the tobacco industry by scrapping plain packaging for cigarettes, the government has now ditched its alcohol minimum pricing policy after numerous 'consultations' with industry lobbyists.

According to the British Medical Journal, government ministers and officials frequently met representatives from large drinks firms and leading supermarkets - even after the formal consultation on minimum pricing had closed.

Last year even a Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, said the extent of this lobbying was "pervasive and disturbing".

However, the Tories 'anti-lobbying bill' while subjecting trade unions to more state interference, to the benefit of employers, creates enough loopholes to effectively exclude an estimated 80% of corporate parliamentary lobbying activity.

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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.
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We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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