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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 January 2014

Them and Us

Not giving Atos

Atos, the private company used by the government to conduct its work capability assessments of disabled welfare claimants, is notorious for accusations of harassing claimants.

The latest victim of the government's ruthless 'back-to-work' campaign is Sheila Holt from Rochdale - a long-term sufferer of bi-polar disorder.

She was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in December after suffering a breakdown when her income support was withdrawn.

Subsequently, Sheila had a heart attack and is in a coma. But this did not stop Atos from sending her another letter reportedly asking why she hasn't found employment!

Below minimum

Chancellor George Osborne, having switched to 'election mode', is trumpeting the call for a limited rise in the minimum wage (currently 6.31 an hour) this October.

It's part of the government's nonsense propaganda of 'having all endured austerity together, we should now all enjoy the 'recovery' together'.

However, the architect of this government's austerity programme is silent on the fact that inspections into employers not paying the minimum wage have slumped from 1,492 before the 2010 general election to a mere 431 last year.

Recovery bull

Osborne continues to hog the media headlines with his economic 'recovery' mantra. He should try selling that bull to GP surgeries overwhelmed with queues of desperate patients booking appointments to claim food bank vouchers.

In the last year, over 500,000 people have been forced to use food banks in order to properly feed themselves.

Paying the piper

A secretive, elite dining group of Tory donors enjoys direct access to the prime minister and government ministers.

Members of the 'Leader's Group' must donate a minimum of 50,000 a year to Tory party coffers. In return they get regular dinners, lunches and drinks receptions with David Cameron and other leading Tory cohorts. Membership of the group is dominated by hedge fund managers and bankers.

Between them these puppet masters have donated an estimated 43 million to the nasty party since 2001.

This political lobbying culture of the mega-rich will escape the narrow restrictions of the government's mis-named Lobbying Bill, which does, however, further impede the democratic rights of trade unions.

Star ratings

The Chinese 'Communist' party regime's anti-corruption campaign is primarily a political tool to enable president Xi Jinping to win some popularity as the country's wealth gap grows ever wider and to impose greater control over China's vast and unwieldy state apparatus.

However, far fewer officials were prosecuted this year compared to the average for the past five years.

Amusingly, more than 50 Chinese hotels have asked to be downgraded from five-star to four-star ratings in order to regain business from chastened party officials who are expected to rein-in their conspicuous consumption.

What we saw

The real benefits street

A video response to Channel 4's Benefits Street from Socialist Party supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

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In The Socialist 29 January 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Recovery? More Tory Lies!

Brighton Green referendum offers no alternative to cuts

Landlords, the real beneficiaries of benefits street

Them and Us

International socialist news and analysis

Davos: World capitalism means increased inequality

New mineworkers' strikes in South Africa

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

We need councillors who stand up for us

Plymouth TUSC plans for 2014 elections

Stop London Underground cuts

Support the tube workers' strikes

Determined strikes can stop London Underground in its tracks

Socialist Party workplace news

University workers continue strike action over pay

Land Registry threatened with sell-off

PCS leadership elections

NUT activists meet to push for action

NSSN launched in south of England

Workplace news in brief

The Socialist readers' comments

Debate on the environment

A waste of a Friday evening

Fight all cuts!

Derbyshire: 'Old Labour' cuts hurt just as much

Carmarthenshire council rats

Spelthorne residents demand fire cuts are stopped

Leeds Labour breaks bedroom tax promise

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bakers union launches fast food rights campaign

Socialist Party Northern region conference


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