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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2013

Tories' rags and riches Britain; Join the socialist fightback!

James Ivens
Tale of Two Cities - Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012 , photo by senan

Tale of Two Cities - Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012 , photo by senan   (Click to enlarge)

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

When Charles Dickens wrote his Tale of Two Cities, he saw a world divided by poverty and excess. But even his alcoholic anti-hero Sydney Carton isn't a scratch on today's super-rich soaks.

Last week in Mayfair, two oil magnates fought a "full-on Champagne war". Stunned witnesses described the competing capitalists ordering "more and more" bubbly. Their contest for biggest bill totalled 131,000, or a decade on the minimum wage, in just one night.

For many minimum-wage workers, the "war" seems permanent - and the enemy is want. At the same time last week, the Red Cross announced plans for emergency hunger relief in Britain. Better known for work in the war-torn third world, the charity has not distributed food here since World War Two. More than half a million rely on food banks for meals, many in 'gainful' employ.

According to the Mirror, the "Bollygarchs" bought so much booze that a third went untouched - only to be poured away at the end of the night.

The Guardian recently reported on working class Liverpudlians faced by the "heat or eat" dilemma. Unemployed chef Peter Browne detailed his 2-a-week food budget, subsisting on noodles, spaghetti and short-dated bread. He, like many of us, has been forced into fuel poverty by rising prices, job destruction and welfare cuts.

Striking teacher holding a Socialism2013 leaflet; London, 17.10.13 , photo by A. Hill

Striking teacher holding a Socialism2013 leaflet; London, 17.10.13 , photo by A. Hill   (Click to enlarge)

While the Peter Brownes of this world scrimp and struggle, the elite parasites down Dom Perignon in exclusive hideaways. Under capitalism, based on exploitation and inequality, they have plenty to celebrate.

Private firms are siphoning off tens of billions from an NHS shackled to crippling, decades-long PFI contracts.

Since 2009, wholesale energy prices have increased by around the same measly amount as net household income. Yet dual fuel charges have exploded by eight times as much!

And last week's deeply unpopular sell-off of Royal Mail could pay for more than one new helipad. Day one saw traders make an instant 38% profit. Meanwhile posties face ongoing attacks on pay, pensions and conditions.

Dickens' masterpiece conclud-ed with the French Revolution. That event showed how the poor masses booted out their oppressors.

Today we again need to build a mass movement, this time based on the potential power of the organised working class, to end this 'them and us' society.

The Socialist Party fights for socialism - a democratic society run for the needs of all and not the profits of a few.

If you agree - join us!

Socialism 2013

Socialism 2013   (Click to enlarge)

Socialism 2013

Fight against cuts, crisis and capitalism!

A weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party - London 2-3 November

For more information go to www.socialism2013.org

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In The Socialist 16 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories' rags and riches Britain; Join the socialist fightback!

Teachers, firefighters, workers fighting back: Unite the strikes!

TUSC: 2014 local elections campaign launched

Immigration Bill: Whipping up racism to cut our services

Council tax benefit cuts hit hard

SSE: So Sodding Expensive!

Fight Tory plans to scrap lifeline for young

Jobcentre staff struggling to cope

'Help to Buy' no solution to housing crisis

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Robinson drops EDL but not his bigotry

Trade union-led anti-racist demo in Liverpool

Bradford anti-EDL protest


Education feature

Why are our schools in crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Workers and youth re-assert their political voice in South Africa

Sri Lanka - 'No to Chogm' campaign

Refugees perish in Mediterranean "cemetery"


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join the party for the millions - not the millionaires

Socialism 2013 appeal

Save Kent's children's centres


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation officers to take on 'failing Grayling'

Time for national action on education

Fight the Royal Mail sell-off

Blacklisting victory - now build union strength

Workplace news In Brief


 

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