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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2014

Them & Us

Robbing us blind

What do you do to people who've screwed up the economy? That's right, you give them over 80 billion in bonuses!

According to the Robin Hood Tax campaign an estimated 81.7 billion will, by the end of this year, have gone into the pockets of mainly fat-cat financiers since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.

This is the equivalent of every man, woman and child in Britain handing over 1,250 to these latter-day robber barons.

Own goal

Immigration minister Mark Harper was hoisted by his own petard after hiring a cleaner deemed by the government to be working illegally in this country.

The irony of a minister pushing through parliament a reactionary immigration bill - which, among a host of draconian measures, compels employers (and landlords and GPs) to extensively check a person's immigration status - was not lost on Harper who resigned his post. The Tory ex-minister is now liable for a 5,000 fine for his transgression.

Making of a scab

Labour's shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt MP, unrepentantly crossed a UCU lecturer's union picket line at Queen Mary University, in east London last week to give a lecture.

Nothing surprising about a Labour frontbench MP ignoring workers in struggle readers might say. However, the irony of Hunt's action was underlined by the title of his lecture: "Marx, Engels and the making of Marxism".

Lording it

Ok, so you may have to queue for a food bank voucher to feed your family but spare a thought for our ermine clad betters.

Peers in the House of Lords have complained of being subject to meals in which the smoked salmon and scallops were poor and the pasta dishes could be found in any downmarket restaurant. Some had to wait 15 minutes for table service!

For a 1.3 million public subsidy you'd expect top notch grub in the Lords canteen. If it gets worse our Lords will be forced to take their 300 a day attendance allowance and rub shoulders in a diner with the local riff raff.

Bedroom tax arrears

Like Margaret Thatcher's unjust poll tax, today's Tory bedroom tax is unaffordable for a large number of social housing tenants.

In Scotland, the tax has led to a huge increase in rent arrears, running into millions of pounds. Fortunately for tenants a formidable anti-bedroom tax campaign, in which Socialist Party Scotland members are playing a crucial role, has forced the SNP government to commit to its abandonment.

What we saw

Mary Jackson, former TUSC candidate for Doncaster Mayor and Socialist Party member, quoted in the Daily Mirror on the political impact of the 1984-85 miners' strike.

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In The Socialist 12 February 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Floods misery: Government cuts to blame

What future for Labour and the unions?

Fast food workers want decent pay and conditions

NHS: Kick out big Pharma

Them & Us

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Sheffield kicks off election year with 7.6% vote

Standing up against cuts in Reading

Waltham Forest: Rally for rent control

Lewisham Labour no use in the Lions' Den

London Underground dispute

Tube strike first round: Trade Unions 1 - Johnson 0

London tube stoppages show workers can win

Effective action builds

State attacks trade union action

Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers call national strike

Posties vote yes - where now for postal workers?

Higher Education: Striking for an improved pay offer

Workplace news in brief

Reviews and readers' comments

The Square: bravery and disappointment in Egypt

Housing crisis hell: a worker's view

Don't trust Labour with our NHS

2004 Morecambe Bay tragedy: Has anything changed?

Tebay disaster: Workers' grievances can't be sidelined

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Councils continue making Con-Dem cuts

Brighton solidarity with LGBTQ+ Russians

Leicester Socialist Student arrested in peaceful protest

WASP: South African elections announced

Building the Socialist Party


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