Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 May 2012

Them & Us

Big Society goes global

I think I have misjudged David Cameron. When he talked about the Big Society I did not realise it stretched all the way to Greece. Whatever criticism I may have of the Big Society idea, I can't say it's not big.

Also it is widely reported that Greek governments cooked the books to obtain entry to the European Union. The people in charge must have been ministers of the Pasok or New Democracy parties, and yet David Cameron seems to be calling for Greek voters to choose these parties of liars and fiddlers.

Pete, Worcester

Deprived of life

Poverty can rob you of at least 20 years - it's official. Women in Toxteth, Liverpool - where 62% of children live in poverty - can expect to live to 74. Average live expectancy in affluent Comberton, Cambridgshire, is 94.

In Glasgow, men can expect to live to just 71. And this is before the Con-Dems get to break up our NHS.

Putting the boot in

It's not all bad in the medical world though. Alliance Boots annual profits have increased by 10% to 693 million. So, more tax income for spending on public services? Probably not.

Boots has been based in Switzerland since a private equity takeover in 2007, paying just 60 million a year in tax. This represents part of 120 billion - a sum similar to the amount the Con-Dems want to slash from our public services - that goes unpaid in tax, mainly by the very rich every year.

The government's solution to such tax dodging? Stop cutting tax office jobs? No. Reducing the corporation tax rate to 26%!

Boots chair Stefano Pessino thinks the UK's 'obsession' with tax is bad for business. Maybe big businesses' 'obsession' with tax avoidance is bad for the UK?

More market solutions

Homelessness increased by 14% in 2011. House building starts fell 11% in three months.

The Con-Dems' answer? Massively expand affordable housing? Put a cap on private rents? Make nationalised banks provide affordable mortgages?

Don't be silly. Cut the affordable housing budget by 60%, make social housing rents almost as high as market rates, slash housing benefits and scrap planning regulations.

Privatisation's a gas

The supporters of gas and electricity privatisation in the 80s said that competition would lead to

cheap utility bills for customers - far better than public ownership and democratic control, then.

And what a result. With the average household annual spend now at 1,252 - compared to 522 in 2004 - energy bills have gone up seven times faster than wages.

Now 400,000 more people in England alone are expected to be in fuel poverty by the end of the year, taking the total to 3.9 million according to the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

But don't worry, not everyone's losing out. The six biggest energy firms made annual profits of 15 billion.

Equality in poverty

The government wants public and private sector workers to unite - in getting their pay cut.

From January to March 2012, workers became 2.9% worse off due to prices rising by 3.5%. Public sector workers are 3.2% poorer - even before increased pension contributions - and private sector workers 2.2%.

Maybe we should unite - for a general strike!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 23 May 2012:

Fighting the cuts

Hospital jobs scandal - Action now to save the NHS!

Con-Dems' hypocrisy over children's care

Our education under attack

Council workers in Cheshire strike against attacks on pay

Socialist Party news and analysis

We stand 100% with the Greek workers

Rochdale: far right attempts to exploit tragedy of abuse

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 31 May referendum

Eurovision hosts are top of the charts for repression

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Back to work? How the system fails the unemployed

Mullivaikal 2012 - Solidarity with the Tamil people

Lincolnshire academies in crisis

Profit hungry 'Big Oil' backs climate change deniers

The housing crisis - action needed now

Youth Fight for Jobs Northern Ireland launched in Belfast

Building the electoral alternative in Brent

Stockland Green march for jobs

More attacks on right to campaign

Socialist Party workplace news

Interview with RMT assistant general secretary candidate

AEI Cables: "Thrown out in disgraceful circumstances"

Leadership shows weakness at CWU conference

Workplace news in brief

National Shop Stewards Network


Home   |   The Socialist 23 May 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:


triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

triangleGoing viral: Socialist comments and letters


triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleWater shortage warning: nationalise now!

triangleJohnson blames care workers for deaths


triangleNews in brief

triangleThem & Us

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built


triangleExtend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

triangleManctopia: billion pound property boom


triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!



Testing shambles: unions must fight back



Covid and the campuses



North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence



Fund NHS and pay rise now



Tory Covid chaos



'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!



News in brief



Johnson's schools social-distancing lie



Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end



NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!



Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine



Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps



Under the microscope



'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020