Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/715/14401
Them & Us
160 miles from home
Poor people shipped across the country to make room for rich people. That's the situation emerging across London in the wake of cuts to housing benefit and in the build up to the Olympics. Newham council has offered a housing association in Stoke, 160 miles away, the 'opportunity' to rent properties to 500 families from Newham unable to find affordable places to live. Waltham Forest council has so far found 13 flats in Luton, 40 miles away, for the same purpose. But the figures speak for themselves - there are 70,468 empty homes in London and 200,000 construction workers are unemployed. With a little socialist planning...
Profit, chips and beans
Nothing is safe from the pursuit of profit - even our kids' dinners. TV chef Jamie Oliver has hit the headlines criticising the government's decision to exempt academies from the rules on schools providing healthy food for their students. Yet another reason to fight academies and defend education.
Nestle is to buy children's food company Pfizer for £11.85 billion. But people won't be fooled by Nestle's rhetoric that it is "the world's leading nutrition, health and wellness company" - it is still remembered by many for promoting its formula milk over breastfeeding in the neocolonial world - a practice that can have serious health implications.
There has been a rise of up to 20% in meat theft from supermarkets. This comes as the price of meat has gone up more than 6% in the last year at the same time as there has been a 1.2% fall in income. Behind this story is the horror of growing hunger. One charity has found five inner London schools where staff say between 70% and 80% of pupils don't always have food at home or know where their next meal is coming from. And a Netmums poll found that one in five mothers resularly misses meals so that her children can eat.
All in it together?
As the government tries to legislate after pay-day-loan-gate, now we have pawnshop-gate. There was a 15% increase in use of pawn shops last year. And half of that increase is thought to be middle class people. The National Pawnbroking Association says that works of art, designer clothing and luxury cars have all been pawned in return for loans to pay for school fees or a mortgage repayment.
£120 billion - that's how much unpaid tax there is by the super rich. How do they get away with it? Well, big companies hire people specifically to tell them how to squirrel their fortunes away. Apple, for example, has worked out that by making all British retailers buy iPads and iPhones through its Irish offshoot company, they can cut their tax rate from 24% to 12.5%.
Vodafone looks set to buy Cable and Wireless Worldwide for £1.04 million. CWW has been struggling but Vodafone is sure it can turn the company around by - you guessed it - cutting jobs. Funny how Vodafone can't pay its £6 million tax bill then...
What we heard...
You couldn't make this stuff up. After Labour-led Coventry council implemented the cuts so 'well' - even winning an award from the Tory government in the process; refused to pay £250 for low paid workers after budgeting for it and spent £9 million on private consultants, Labour leader John Mutton asked Coventry Unison for a donation to Labour election leaflets! This was unanimously rejected by the branch.
In The Socialist 25 April 2012:
Fighting the government's attacks
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party May Day Greetings
Socialist Party workplace news
Vote TUSC in May
International socialist news and analysis