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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2013

Them & Us

Homes for all

For all those 70,000-plus people affected by the bedroom tax in London, who the Con-Dems suggest might move into the private sector, look no further than a lovely new property just come on to the market, close to all the amenities in the heart of the city.

18 Carlton House Terrace is right by Trafalgar Square. In fact, all 70,000 could probably fit in it together, as it's bigger than a football pitch.

It's a bit pricey though, as it's the most expensive property ever to be sold in Britain, going for 250 million - 1,537 times more expensive than the average house sold last month in the UK.

It's a toss-up really, between that and the newly-converted Knightsbridge church - now with platinum-plated cinema, gold-plated pool, juice bar, spa and gym.

That's a good bet if you're feeling short, as it can be snapped up for a mere 50 million. And they say there's a housing crisis!

Paula Mitchell

Cuts make us sick

Austerity is not only bad for people's jobs and living standards but is also having a detrimental effect on the general health of affected countries.

The Lancet (medical journal) says suicides in Europe have rocketed since the financial meltdown of 2008, with an extra 1,000 deaths in England alone by 2010.

Deteriorating mental health and heart attacks are also known to increase during periods of recession.

During the mass privatisation of industry in Russia in the 1990s death rates doubled as a result of unemployment and heavy drinking.

According to New Scientist, increased stress causes changes in body cells that stoke inflammation leading to an increased risk of heart attacks, depression and cancer. Our conclusion? Stay healthy, change society!

Simon Carter

Cuts consensus?

Oh dear, it really isn't looking good for Osborne's austerity aficionados, is it? First the IMF, long-time proponent of cuts, indicates its enthusiasm is cooling.

Then Sir Merrick Cockell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea Tory council warned the PM against "turning off the tap" on town hall funding.

In fact he's quitting his post. Shame the Con-Dems don't follow suit. Maybe a 24-hour general strike might just give them the hint?

Emma Smith

Stop and search

New research carried out by the Guardian to mark the 20th anniversary of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has shown that stop and searches of black people doubled over the decade from 1999.

The increase for Asian people was similar while there was only a marginal increase in stop and searches of white people.

If rates for white people had risen at the same rate as for black people, there would have been 40 million extra stop and searches in that ten-year period.

Pension pots

Capitalism, we are told, is the best way of organising things because it rewards hard work and punishes inefficiency.

Barclay's investment bank chief, the appropriately named Rich Ricci, will be retiring with a pension plan worth millions, despite being one of the architects of that bank's near collapse in 2008.

Inefficiency seems to pay pretty well for those at the top, especially when working people pick up the bill!

In October last year lifetime Peer in the House of Lords, Michael Bichard, floated the idea that retired people on state pensions be asked to work to contribute towards their benefits.

Bichard was concerned pensioners who had spent a lifetime working may become a burden on the state coffers.

He himself is a retired senior civil servant. The average pension of a permanent secretary in 2008 was calculated to be 849,570.

Strangely, Bichard has had very little to say about the burden of pension payments to senior civil servants.

Neil Cafferky

What we heard

From the Times - hardly "too far too fast"!

"Margaret Hodge, the Labour chair of the public accounts committee, insists that tweaking budgets will not be enough: 'If you really want to cut spending considerably, which I accept we have to, you need a radical transformation, not just clipping away at the edges.'"

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In The Socialist 24 April 2013:

Anti-bedroom tax

Stop the bedroom tax - Hands off our homes!

Organise to bin the bedroom tax

Waltham Forest victims of bedroom tax are 'up for a fight'

Socialist Party NHS news and campaigns

Stafford hospital: Massive march in support of NHS

United show of opposition to NHS cuts in Dewsbury

NHS: What we say

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Workers and Socialist Party

Socialist Party news and analysis

Break with Thatcher's legacy! - Socialist policies needed

Stop Gove hacking our school hols

Times Rich List: Super-rich get richer ... again

Why we're standing against cuts

20 years after murder of Stephen Lawrence

Scottish TUC supports 24-hour general strike against austerity

Edmund Schluessel elected to NUS executive

Caste discrimination: MPs side with oppressors not oppressed

Them & Us

Socialist Party workplace news

Unite - build a fighting union

Angry workers protest outside Ford's UK headquarters

The battle goes on at Thera

Usdaw: End the partnership!

Workplace news in brief

The Socialist; readers' comments

Cold, hungry, young and homeless

Responding to distortions about Liverpool's socialist council

May Day

May Day 8-page greetings supplement


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