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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 November 2014

Them & Us

Food banks

The Con-Dems austerity cuts have pushed hundreds of thousands into poverty. According to the Trussell Trust that operates emergency food banks, 492,641 people were given three days' food between April and September this year - a 38% increase on last year. Benefits sanctions, cuts and delays accounted for 45% of food bank referrals.


Xmas cheer

It seems that the spirit of Scrooge - the fictional tight-fisted employer in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - has arrived early this year.

Nurses at Great Ormond Street Hospital for children in London have been told by their employer to work for nothing following an accountancy mess-up resulted in them being overpaid by six and a half hours a year - an average overpayment of 82.


Pocket money

Tony Blair - warmonger, adviser to tyrants and multi-millionaire - is trousering some additional pocket money courtesy of a taxpayer funded 115,000 allowance for 'carrying out public duties'. Apart from standing to attention at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday for a minute, can a reader recall any other public duties performed by the at-large war criminal?


Mental health crisis

NHS workers have denounced the savage cuts in mental health provision. According to the Royal College of Nursing there are now 3,300 fewer posts in mental health nursing (an 8% decline) and 1,500 fewer beds, than in 2010. Inevitably, patient care for some of the most vulnerable people will suffer.


Minimum wage delay

According to the Office for National Statistics 287,000 workers were paid below the legal minimum wage, currently 6.50 an hour. The Trades Union Congress reckons the figure is nearer 350,000.

Despite this blatant flouting of the law the government has only prosecuted two employers for paying less than the minimum wage since coming into office. At that rate it will take 700,000 years to deal with the current case load!


Polluters don't pay

Fracking - the environmentally damaging but highly profitable method of extracting shale gas and oil - is a central part of the government's energy agenda. But they tell us not to worry too much as any potential pollution or earthquakes caused by fracking as the process will be monitored by drilling hundreds of boreholes. However, the cost of this 'reassurance' won't be met by 'big oil' but instead from public funds costing 60-80 million.

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 26 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

14 day deadline to breadline

Hands off our NHS

Rochester: 'Business as usual' politics falling apart

World economy - heading for the junkyard

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Anger erupts in Ferguson over acquittal of killer cop

Ireland: establishment attacks water tax protests

Anger grows over missing Mexican students


Socialist Party features

Housing crisis! What do socialists say?

Education: "a hurricane of ill thought initiatives"


Socialist Party youth and students

Students march for free education

Victories against sexism in Leeds

Fast Food Rights campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Health workers walkout in second NHS pay strike

UCU pensions: reinstate the action!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Are you a socialist?

Council beaten on austerity tax

TUSC says no to cuts in Notts

Way to go, Watford!


Socialist Party reviews and readers' comments

Assassin's Creed Unity

The People Speak: Democracy is not a spectator sport

NHS campaigners must fight all cuts


 

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Related links:

Them & Us:

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US:

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Mental health:

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Minimum wage:

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Health:

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Food Banks:

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Food:

triangleBook that inspired me: God's bits of wood

Banks:

triangleMillionaires multiply during pandemic

Cuts:

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Fracking:

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Oil:

triangleWill Biden's 'green' agenda avert an impending climate change catastrophe?

Government:

trianglePutting the Olympic gravy train ahead of public health

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