Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/762/16575
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!
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.'"
In The Socialist 24 April 2013:
Socialist Party NHS news and campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist; readers' comments