Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/732/15173
Them & Us
It's well known that the official unemployment figures hide the true extent of the jobs crisis in many ways. Research by the TUC has shown that the number of people in work but who want more hours has risen by one million since 2008 - an increase of 42%. More than one in ten workers in the UK are now underemployed. The rate is higher for young people and women.
How to get rich
The world's richest woman, Australian mining heiress Gina Rinehart, has given the rest of us some not-so-helpful advice. "If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain, do something to make more money yourself - spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working." You heard it here first folks! Never mind the fact there are seven jobseekers for every vacancy or that wages are lagging way behind prices. All you need to do is cut down on socialising!
Food, glorious food
World food prices increased by 10% in July alone. This has devastating consequences for the poor and working class internationally. But, as Them and Us reported last week after the Glencore chief's comments about profiting from the crisis, not everyone is suffering. It has been revealed that Barclays has made as much as half a billion pounds in just two years by speculating on food prices - directly profiting from price increases which are leading to starvation and suffering across the globe.
Figures revealed by the CCCS debt charity have shown that many parents are effectively working for nothing. The combination of cuts to welfare, wage freezes and soaring childcare costs mean that for many low-paid workers, their entire salary goes straight on childcare - making having a job 'pay neutral'. Many would be financially better off not working. But despite this and counter to the lies told about single mothers, most choose to work anyway in the hope it will improve their career prospects in the future. The CCCS said that people in the £10,000-£20,000 income bracket have an average of £16 a month after living costs.
Blair and Tutu
Tony Blair, continuing his quest to push his way back into the limelight, spoke at a leadership conference in South Africa recently - for the modest fee of £150,000. In an admirably principled stand, Desmond Tutu refused to attend the event (which he had agreed to do without any fee) as a result. He also wrote a pull-no-punches article in the Observer which called for Blair and Bush to face trial in the Hague war crimes court. Go Desmond!
Where are they now?
Peter Mandelson has learnt well from his former boss, Tony Blair. Mandelson's consultancy firm, Global Counsel, made £2 million in its first year. Not quite as much as Tony Blair Associates' £12 million but not bad for someone forced to resign from the Labour cabinet in a scandal...twice! The profits have afforded Mandelson a £7.6 million four-storey house in London. If only we could all lie and cheat our way to his political contacts.
In The Socialist 5 September 2012:
Fight the cuts
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Countering the far-right
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news