Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/796/18074
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She was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in December after suffering a breakdown when her income support was withdrawn.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!
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.
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.
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
Shortcut link http://bit.ly/1cj3lla
In The Socialist 29 January 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Stop London Underground cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist readers' comments
Fight all cuts!
Socialist Party reports and campaigns