Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/757/16366
Them & Us
First disagreements over press regulation were going to tear the government apart, then we were supposed to breathe a sigh of relief that they'd come to an agreement... while remaining strangely quiet about what exactly that involved.
And beneath the talk of royal charters, recognition bodies and two-thirds majorities, lies the fact that the deal was struck by a tiny group of MPs and celebrities with none of the usual pre-legislative scrutiny and potentially lays the basis for further attacks on democratic rights.
£130 million is owed by the government to about a quarter of a million unemployed people. That was the ruling of the judge in the case brought by Cait Reilly who had been forced to take part in one of the government's workfare schemes.
Specifically, participants were not given enough information about the scheme or their rights.
But apparently the government doesn't think it has to listen to what a judge says - so an emergency law is being rushed through parliament to overturn the decision, disgracefully with nothing more than an abstention from Labour.
MPs' expenses 2012
Cameron: £119,149 (up 12%)
Osborne: £111,735 (up 20%)
Clegg: £148,583 (up 34%)
Alexander: £149,176 (up 16%)
There is an annual shortfall of 40,000 science, technology, engineering and maths graduates. The Social Market Foundation says the biggest factors behind the problem are the small number of women studying sciences and limits on immigration.
The group also points out that this presents a bit of a problem for the government's grand plan of a manufacturing-based recovery.
How can we find and train 40,000 extra science graduates a year? Well, a start would be to lift the cap on student numbers, scrap tuition fees and offer guaranteed decent jobs in a relevant industry.
Alarm and distress
Wouldn't we all want to make a fuss if David Cameron was invited to turn on the Christmas lights in our home town? For Bethan Tichborne, that has led to a criminal record and fines of nearly £800.
Cameron was turning on the lights in his constituency of Witney when Bethan, a teaching assistant who works with disabled children, attempted to climb over the barriers and shouted 'blood on your hands' in a protest against cuts to disability benefits and support.
She was found guilty of using threatening words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress...
We're sure Cameron's words and behaviour towards disabled people and their services have caused plenty of alarm and distress.
The over-£1m club
It's almost stopped being shocking - Santander is the latest bank to reveal the number of bankers paid more than £1 million in 2012.
This time a 'modest' 19 reached these dizzying heights of the pay scale. Chief executive Ana Botin was paid £4 million!
Tweets this week
Agenda 4 change is being attacked 2 'save money'...NHS staff are already on a pay freeze and our pensions are being eroded #saveourNHS #unison
Average weekly wage the same as 2002 - 11 year freeze, industrial production at level of over 20 years ago! #SERTUC #austerity conference
I'm not a Labour member and no longer a Labour voter but abstaining on #workfare will ensure *I NEVER VOTE LABOUR EVER AGAIN*
250k extra school places needed next year. 33% of them in London. So #ConLibjunta cuts and privatises education.
The biggest Food Bank supplier, the Trussel Trust is set to launch an appeal for £1m to prepare for increased demand caused by welfare changes.
In The Socialist 20 March 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reviews