The Socialist 13 June 2018 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
Them & us
Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Eight job Osborne...
Former Tory chancellor George Osborne, one of the architects of austerity, has taken on his eighth job since he left the cabinet after he and David Cameron were defeated in the EU referendum two years ago.
He's already the editor of the London Evening Standard paper, adviser to city spivs Blackrock, chair of the Northern Powerhouse partnership, and speaker and academic at the McCain Institute in the US, the Stanford business school and Manchester Uni. He will now also chair a partners council overseeing £10.5bn company Exor.
All of which takes the future baronet's personal wealth to over £4 million. All right for some.
...no jobs for us
Gaining employment at city firms and academic intuitions will probably come harder for the latest load of workers being made redundant at the moment.
As well as 11,000 retail job losses at House of Fraser and Poundworld (see 'Retail crunch: more giants on their knees - nationalise them now') Rolls-Royce - the luxury car of choice for Osborne and his mates - are laying off 4,000 workers (see '4,000 Rolls-Royce jobs at risk: unions must start campaigning now').
The company, hailed as a success story by Osborne in 2014, is attempting to increase profits by cutting middle-management posts.
Brown v Corbyn
Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has labelled Jeremy Corbyn and the surge of support for him a "phase". He said "nobody goes on forever". Well, he should know. But he misses entirely the reason why there is support for Corbyn.
Years of cuts, privatisation and austerity have left millions of working class and young people angry, low paid and insecure. To the point that the Inequality Briefing has found that nine of the ten poorest regions in northern Europe are in the UK.
And the research shows the blame for this is with successive governments since the 1980s, including Labour's 13-year stint in power when Brown was either chancellor or prime minister.
This has left millions hungry for socialist and anti-austerity ideas shown in Corbyn's Labour leadership victories and general election performance in 2017.
Whereas Gordon Brown never had to fight an opponent to be elected Labour leader, was never elected to be prime minister at all - and was soundly defeated in his only general election in 2010.
Back to the dustbin of history Gordon.
Analysis by the government has found that up to 2.6 million children could have their free school meal taken away by 2022 because of the Tories' changes to the eligibility criteria under Universal Credit.
Universal Credit has already been a disaster, with claimants regularly having to wait six weeks or longer to receive their money. This causes untold hardship to vulnerable people who are unlikely to have savings to fall back on.
The Socialist Party fights to replace it with liveable benefits, proper support to find work without compulsion, decent jobs with an immediate £10 an hour minimum wage, and an end to the demonisation of benefit claimants.
Tory's Russia hypocrisy
On the same day that Theresa May was telling the country that Russia was responsible for the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, the Tory party accepted a £50,000 donation from the wife of one of Russian leader Vladimir Putin's aides.
But this is just fraction of the even bigger sum of £820,000 that is estimated to have flowed into Conservative coffers from Russian oligarchs. When challenged, Tory chancellor Philip Hammond refused to return the money because he did not want to tar the oligarchs "with Putin's brush".
However Putin is 'flesh of the flesh' to these gangster capitalists. Instead of ineffective, tokenistic Tory sanctions on Russia because of its alleged involvement in the poisoning, we call for effective workers' sanctions against this obscene plutocracy in London and elsewhere. To begin with, all empty property - estimated by the think tank IPPR to be 216,000 homes in England empty for six months - should be immediately taken over to house the Grenfell survivors (see 'Grenfell: still waiting for justice') and other homeless people.
Nationalise rail now!
photo Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
A new poll by the Independent has found that two thirds of people support renationalisation in the wake of privatised chaos added to by disastrous timetable changes on Govia Thameslink Rail and Northern Rail. The government has had to take back the East Coast Main Line franchise after its franchisees abandoned it. Why not take back others too?
But while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is one of the two thirds who back bringing the railways into public ownership, in Wales, Blairite Labour has just moved to expand rail privatisation. Corbyn needs to listen to the RMT rail union and the passengers, and promote the massively popular policy of full, immediate rail renationalisation.