The Socialist 26 September 2012
Action against austerity
Them & Us
One rule for plebs...
Andrew Mitchell, the government chief whip who ranted at the police officer outside Downing Street has so far resisted calls to resign, but his lack of punishment puts into stark contrast the very different treatment the rich receive from the police compared to the rest of us.
Only last year 18 year old Ricky Gemmell was sentenced to four months in youth custody for 'ranting and swearing' at a policeman in Manchester.
Busk for jobs
All politicians are desperate to appear to have the solution to youth unemployment: low-paid apprenticeships, unpaid work experience, private sector investment.
But Tory MP Damian Collins has a unique addition to the ideas - busking. At a Channel 4 Battlefront youth unemployment event, he said that it's better for young people to leave school at 16 and work rather than stay in further education.
When challenged that many young people can't afford to travel to look for jobs, he recounted a story of an old colleague busking to raise his train fare.
Presumably not a problem for Collins who attended the private boarding school, Belmont Abbey and graduated from St Benet's Hall, Oxford.
Tony Blair has extended the period of his contract as advisor to the government of Kazakhstan to two years - running to a total fee of £16 million.
Apparently Blair's business will advise on public procurement, regulatory reform, decentralisation and green growth.
It's unsurprising that Blair seems unbothered by Kazakh president Nazarbayev regime's history of corruption and repression of workers' struggles, including the massacre of up to 100 oil workers in December 2011.
In fact Blair has praised Nazarbayev for the "toughness necessary to take the decisions to put the country on the right path".
Spy to success
22% growth in sales in 12 months is an unusual thing to hear about at the moment but that's exactly what Panztel has managed.
What's their golden egg? A product called eziTracker which they describe as a "remote workforce monitoring service".
That is, a system for bosses to spy on low-paid, insecure workers like cleaners - presumably to enable easier bullying.
Wonga, the pay-day loan company, saw its profits almost treble last year to £45.8 million. The number of people seeking a loan from Wonga to bridge the gap between stagnant wages and rocketing bills and food prices, has quadrupled.
With an interest rate of 4,214% APR, Wonga and companies like it trap people in a poverty cycle for years.
In this issue
Fightback against austerity
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns