Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/794/17956
Them & Us
While millions of workers face another year of pay freezes City fat cats continue to fill their boots with billions of pounds in bonuses.
Finance chiefs in the Square Mile will scoop £10 billion out of a total bonus pay-out of £19 billion.
One high flyer who's quids in is the former head of investment banking at HSBC, Michael Spencer, who added an £8 million bonus to his mega-salary.
Mind you, he does have to meet the costs of staffing his West London home with a butler, maids and a gardener.
Academies, it's personal
Media reports have identified groups running publicly funded academy schools as having paid millions to private companies with personal connections to their directors and trustees.
Academies - introduced by Labour - are a major plank of the Con-Dems' education policy. Outspoken education minister Michael Gove has remained uncharacteristically tight-lipped over this latest damning revelation.
Academies are outside local authority control and receive increased funding at the expense of the remaining local authority schools.
They don't have to follow the national curriculum nor teachers' national pay and working conditions agreements.
Last month Tory-run Hammersmith and Fulham council in west London sent out 'Christmas cards' to 17,000 of its tenants with the insulting message: "Don't overindulge this Christmas. Pay your rent!"
This latter day Scrooge, unlike Charles Dickens' character, has not seen the error of its ways but instead continues to attack its increasingly hard-up working class residents.
The council's latest reactionary scheme is the sale of 209 much-needed council houses and then using the cash receipts to enable a property developer to demolish more council houses and replace them with private properties unaffordable for most people. House prices in the borough have more than doubled in the last decade.
The council's action, disingenuously termed 'regeneration', is simply part of the Tories' vile anti-working class agenda.
After kowtowing to the tobacco industry by scrapping plain packaging for cigarettes, the government has now ditched its alcohol minimum pricing policy after numerous 'consultations' with industry lobbyists.
According to the British Medical Journal, government ministers and officials frequently met representatives from large drinks firms and leading supermarkets - even after the formal consultation on minimum pricing had closed.
Last year even a Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, said the extent of this lobbying was "pervasive and disturbing".
However, the Tories 'anti-lobbying bill' while subjecting trade unions to more state interference, to the benefit of employers, creates enough loopholes to effectively exclude an estimated 80% of corporate parliamentary lobbying activity.
In The Socialist 15 January 2014:
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