The Socialist 17 October 2012
Build a 24-hour General Strike
Them & Us
And the winner is...
If watching Tory conference speeches brings you out in hives, you might have avoided Osborne's speech - a further £10 billion to be cut from the welfare budget, unconvincingly veiled in the language of 'fairness'. The justification: "It is not possible to balance the books on the wallets of the rich alone."
But billions could be raised simply by forcing them to pay what they already owe us. The latest prize for the biggest heist, the perpetrator having allegedly pocketed a cool £570 million, goes to Apple. Their 'wallet', in Britain alone, includes an estimated £2.2 billion profit (hardly scraping by). Exploiting legal loopholes, siphoning money off through a related company in Ireland then to the British Virgin Islands, they manage to pay about 2% of what they owe in tax. It's a shame council tax bills don't come with 'avoid paying 98% of this' as an option.
The European Union was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Nobel committee the award was for the EU's "efforts of peace and democracy in the midst of the union's biggest crisis since its creation in the 50s". Apparently the Union has "helped to turn Europe from a continent of war into a continent of peace".
I think that the people of Greece would beg to differ! The EU, along with the IMF and ECB, have wreaked havoc upon the Greek working class. While the people of Greece and other European countries are facing a struggle for day to day existence the leaders of the European Union are busy slapping themselves on the back.
Penguins are a favourite mascot for a diverse range of organisations, such as American evangelists or food companies selling rubbish chocolate bars. The latest group to use penguins to sell an unpalatable agenda are a group of Tory students who want to revive the practice of lavish white-tie dinners.
Lucky diners receive an exclusive invitation card stamped with a penguin in a top hat and tails. The inaugural dinner of the group will be held at an exclusive London private members club where the menu will include crab and brandy bisque and roast rib of Orkney beef, followed by recitals of 'Rule Britannia' and 'God Save the Queen'.
The organiser of the event, Paul Godziemba-Nizinskyj counts ex-Bullingdon club member Boris Johnson as his political hero. At the time of going to press it was unclear whether drunkenly trashing a restaurant and using your parents' connections to escape prosecution would also be part of the evening entertainment.
Greed is good
About 150 NHS managers were flown to Kansas City for a four-day conference including an 80s themed street party organised by Cerner, which is bidding for IT contacts worth £250 million to £400 million from the NHS. A whole street was shut down for the party, and food and drink provided free by Cerner. Rumours that the 80s theme was Gordon Gekko's "greed is good" are denied by the organisers, though cynics might say that the £150,000 bill for flight and accommodation for the NHS bosses suggests otherwise.
We are the 99.99%
Around a year ago the Occupy movement burst into the media, highlighting the difference in wealth between the 99% of working and middle class people and the 1% of super-rich at the top of society. A recent editorial in the Economist, highlighted just how concentrated wealth has become at the top over the past few decades. In the USA the top 0.01% (around 16,000 families) 'earned' just over 1% of national income in 1980, whereas today it is almost 5%. Capitalism just lets the rich get even richer.
In this issue
Fighting the cuts
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist Party