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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2010

News in brief

Sky's the limit

IT SEEMS that the belt tightening measures imposed on us by the coalition government hasn't penetrated the boardrooms of the top 100 FTSE companies, where directors' pay rocketed up by 55% in the last year. Corporate chiefs' average pay is now a staggering 4.9 million - or nearly 200 times the average wage according to the Guardian.

Top fat cat was Bart Becht of Reckitt Benckiser, who netted 92,596,160 followed by Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Group with 38,428,724, while Tesco's director's remuneration was 17,934,000.

Bizarrely, if not surprisingly, the Institute of Directors claimed that "the majority of directors across the private sector have received a pay cut in real terms this year."

Everything must go

MARGARET THATCHER was accused of 'selling off the family silver' during her privatisation binge in the 1980s. It seems that Tory PM David Cameron has gone one better with the revelation that museums may have to sell some of their artefacts as a result of the coalition cuts, according to the head of the soon to be abolished Museums, Libraries and Archive Council.

In addition to selling some of their antiquities and laying off their curators museums will also have to cut back on educational programmes and special exhibitions.

Regional museums will also be adversely affected by central government cuts to local government funding.

Not so easyCouncil

TORY-RUN Barnet council in north-west London has enjoyed notoriety with its tag of becoming the country's first 'easyCouncil' with budget airline-inspired cost-cutting measures, including the privatisation of services.

Praised as a 'model council' by the government, Barnet's 'innovative' schemes to prune its budget included paying outside business consultants to identify areas for spending cuts.

However, it has emerged that the prudent council actually spent 1.5 million in order to save 1.4 million from its budget!

Hospital cuts

FOR THE third time in as many years, regional health bosses - with government approval - have announced their intention to transfer maternity services from King George's Hospital in Ilford, east London, by 2012 and to close its A&E department by 2013.

A final decision on the Hospital's future will be taken following a public meeting of the relevant health trusts on 15 December.

Transferring the A&E, critical care and maternity services will put even more pressure on overstretched resources at Queen's Hospital in Romford located several miles away. Patients' lives will be put at risk. Yet, unbelievably, health officials claim that "operating A&E from fewer sites can deliver better care".

The real reason for these cuts is that the health trust is deep in debt due to the exorbitant cost of servicing its privatisation contracts, including the building of Queen's Hospital.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 3 November 2010:

Anti-cuts campaign

Con-Dems' cuts can be stopped

Anti-cuts movement continues to grow

Model motion for a national demonstration in 2010

Firefighters' strike

Pickets injured: Solidarity with London firefighters

Solidarity with London firefighters


We need jobs, homes and services - not racism

Defend the right to asylum

Socialist Party editorial

Con-Dem shock therapy - midwife to a double dip?

Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010

Fund the fight for socialism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing: Rent caps, not benefit caps

India - no voice for Kashmiri struggle

Graduate unemployment: We will not be a lost generation!

News in brief

Cable is a coward!

Don't destroy our sickness benefits

Socialist Party youth and students

100 students march against cuts and fees in Leeds

Students challenge Willetts

Birmingham youth protest

Socialist Party workplace news

Nottingham school staff force council retreat over pay cuts

Tube workers take more action for safety

BBC strike over pensions

UCU: No education cuts, no fees!

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

International socialist news and analysis

USA elections: What the Tea Party really represents


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