Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/788/17734
Them & Us
Forever and ever
Austerity set to last until 2020? Wrong! It's going to persist until 2030 according to rapacious capitalist bean counters, PwC. This forecast exceeds David Cameron's sanguine perspective of austerity continuing until 2020.
This lasting austerity will, according to PwC, force families to be 'financially prudent' and visit charity shops and discount stores to survive - much like we have to do now!
Not surprisingly, a new report shows that rising food prices and stagnating wages have led people to reduce the amount of food they buy and to choose cheaper products.
Food Expenditure and Nutritional Quality over the Great Recession by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that food prices on average increased by 33% between 2007 and 2013. The researchers also found that pensioners, single parents and families with young children experienced a worse than average decline in nutritional value - shifting from fresh fruit and vegetables to "calorie dense" processed food and thereby increasing their intake of saturated fat and sugar.
Mea culpa 1
"As a Labour politician one of the things that really galls me is that there's this statistic that more council homes were built in the last year of Thatcher's government than were built in the 13 years of Labour government, and that's something I think as a Labour Party we need to apologise for", says Tom Copley, Labour's housing spokesman on the London Assembly.
A pitifully few 6,330 council houses were completed from 1998 to 2010, compared with 17,710 in 1990 alone, which was Margaret Thatcher's final year as prime minister. In 2004, during Tony Blair's stewardship, just 130 council homes were completed.
Mea culpa 2
I suppose Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi could argue that he didn't become a millionaire without banking every penny after he claimed 31p on expenses for paper clips. To complete the stationary list he also claimed back 53p for a hole punch, 63p for ballpoint pens and 89p for a stapler.
Mind you, when it comes to making outrageous expense claims at least Zahawi had the good grace to to apologise for taking £5,822 from public funds to pay an electricity bill to heat his stables and a mobile home next to them!
Christmas has come early for health secretary Jeremy Hunt who stands to pocket £17 million after selling his 49% stake in Hotcourses, an educational listings company, making him the richest cabinet member in the government.
The 'wrecker of the NHS' may have a twinge of embarrassment after complaining of a "culture of excessive pay and payoffs" in the health service.
What we saw
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party TD, on the Great Dublin Lockout
Video of Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) TD (MP), speaking in the Irish parliament on the 100th anniversary of the great Dublin Lockout, one of the key historical battles of the Irish workers' movement.
Also of interest is the article in the Irish Independent - "[Joe] Higgins, not Siptu, is the inheritor of Jim Larkin" - by right-wing populist MP, Shane Ross.
Despite some lame political jibes at Joe's socialist ideas, it correctly points out the massive gulf between the revolutionary socialist founders of the Irish Labour movement, James Larkin and James Connolly, and the right-wing bureaucracy which currently dominates the Irish trade union movement.
In The Socialist 13 November 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party reviews