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From: The Socialist issue 911, 27 July 2016: No compromise with Labour right

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - Jobs - Workers - Pensions - Pay - NUT - Academies

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Sir Philip Greed

Billionaire BHS boss Sir Philip Green "extracted hundreds of millions of pounds" from the doomed department store, says a new Commons report. It calls him the "unacceptable face of capitalism".

The superyacht collector - net worth 3.7 billion (Forbes) - ran the firm onto the rocks while making huge personal profits. 11,000 jobs will go, starting with 700 from 30 outlets closing on 30 July. The chain's pension fund has a deficit of over 570 million.

Green bellyaches that the report is "biased and unfair". He protests he is "sad and sorry" for the plight of his former workers. Not quite sad enough to rescue those jobs or pensions, of course.

Take his money. Take it all off him. He didn't create it, that was the thousands of workers he has scuppered. Use it to safeguard their jobs and pensions. Nationalise BHS under democratic workers' control. That would at least mean competent management for once.

Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrabortty points out that the young people who took electronics or bottles of water during the 2011 London riots received a total of 1,200 years of jail time. The Socialist will settle for 1,000 years for Green. When it comes to the capitalist system itself, we say throw away the key.

Academy expenses

Taxpayer-funded semi-privatised 'academy' schools have haemorrhaged millions on bloated salaries and lavish expenses for executives.

Luxury cars, five-star hotels, holiday-home broadband, first-class travel, Michelin-starred restaurants, private health care... on top of six-figure pay. New research by Channel 4's 'Dispatches' and the Observer has found the top 40 academy chains spent a cool million on executive expenses since 2012.

The chief exec of the Academy Transformation Trust, Ian Cleland, 'earns' 180,000 a year. Apparently this is not enough to cover his commute. His expenses include leasing, servicing and insuring a Jaguar V6, and 3,000 of first-class rail tickets.

In March, Cleland threatened staff redundancies to cover what he claimed was a 500,000 funding shortfall. Teachers' union NUT took national strike action on 5 July against forced academy status, unbearable workloads, and a series of other government attacks on pay and conditions.

The Socialist says: scrap academies. For fully funded comprehensive education for all, under the democratic control of teachers, parents and the community.

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