The Socialist 10 January 2018 |
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We must renationalise the utilities now! As you can see (pic above right), NPower want to send in the bailiffs. For £32.
The fact I don't owe it as I'd already gone through the old switch-a-roo and joined SSE doesn't seem to bother them.
They'd put my bill up to £80 per month every month - how much I used doesn't seem to matter. If I was an old woman suffering from hypothermia, they'd have still no doubt sent me the letter. This, however, isn't my point.
My point is when we owned our electricity, you paid for what you used and had regular meter readings. This made good common sense - not just from an economical point of view, but an environmental one.
Then again, when did capitalism ever make sense?
Dave Wright, Birmingham
Gritting's snow joke
Businesses get their roads gritted while working class homes are left isolated, photo by Highways England (CC) (Click to enlarge)
When you examine what measures were taken against the snow during December it is easy to see that most of them were in the interests of businesses and those most neglected are working class people.
The main emphasis on gritting and snow clearance is main roads leading into city centres to ensure that businesses can open and can carry out their profit-making activities.
Even major roads on suburban housing estates that lead to these main roads are less likely to be treated. This leads many residential areas to feel cut off.
Public transport can get really hammered. In Birmingham many buses weren't running as far as the outlying estates because the roads were too dangerous. The worst affected areas were large council estates built adjacent to exposed areas on the city's outskirts.
This meant that many workers had to take annual leave or just not get paid. In today's employment market some employers may see this as a sufficient excuse to fire people, knowing they can always replace workers quickly.
Many workers in large cities will need to get two buses to work, and there's no prizes for guessing that these will be low-paid workers who can't afford to run a car.
Cuts in gritting and snow-clearance budgets have clearly made this situation worse. Many more local grit or salt bins could be provided in these areas to limit the damage.
A Corbyn-led government should outlaw the practice of workers being forced to take holiday or go without pay when the weather prevents them from getting into work.
As usual austerity affects working class people much harder than better-off sections of the population. The only solution is a socialist society which would adequately fund vital public services and treat workers with respect.
Clive Walder, Birmingham
Hi to all comrades and socialists for the new year!
The situation of world capitalism and the bosses that run it was a bumper year for profits in 2017. We know that eight billionaires own more wealth than 50% of the earth's population. But it has now been reported that the 500 wealthiest individuals on the planet have increased their share for last year by $1 trillion by speculation on the stock markets!
Meanwhile workers and poor farmers have seen living standards fall even further across the globe with wars, poverty, famine and unemployment epidemic in developing and neocolonial countries.
It doesn't stop there. The combined wealth of these 500 parasites now stands at $5.3 trillion dollars! With an increase in their numbers of 145, to now stand at a staggering 1,542 dollar billionaires.
Talk about making your blood boil at such greed. But it is inherent in the laws of capitalism. This accumulation is inevitable in its decay, as the bosses are unable to develop the productive forces.
However, the voice of socialism is getting stronger and louder as workers look for a way out of this crazy blind alley that capitalism stands for.
Bill Murray, also Birmingham