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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 January 2016

Fight the flood of cuts

Tom Baldwin

Parts of northern England, north Wales and Scotland were hit by severe flooding over the holidays, leaving many families wondering how to rebuild their lives.

Yet this was not simply a natural disaster. Government cuts to flood defences made the problem worse.

In 2014, following months of flooding, Prime Minister Cameron said lessons would be learnt, and yet the cuts continued. Now, he is cynically trying to generate good headlines by pledging 40 million, while cutting a further 115 million this year.

Once again the Tories are sticking rigidly to their austerity agenda in the face of all the facts.

Austerity means robbing from ordinary people to give to big business and the super-rich. This course is demanded by the capitalist system which always puts profits first.

Cuts

It's not just flooding where this is being felt. Local councils have had their funding cut by 40%, with more to come.

Even the Conservative councillor who heads the Local Government Association has warned: "If councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks, closed all children's centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres and turned off every street light they will not have saved enough money to plug the financial black hole they face by 2020."

This shocking prospect cannot be allowed to become reality. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader shows there is an appetite to fight austerity. But we can't wait until 2020 to do this; the waters of cuts and privatisation are rising now.

The example of junior doctors, who have announced a series of strike dates, should be an inspiration to all those facing attacks from this government. The more we can stand and fight together, the stronger we'll be.

The struggle against austerity needs to put a socialist alternative, where it would be the working class which owns and democratically controls the wealth we produce and not a tiny super-rich minority who feel they can dictate to the rest of us.

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In The Socialist 6 January 2016:


What we think

2016: Crisis-ridden capitalism will meet with bitter mood of resistance

No retreat on resisting council cuts!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the flood of cuts

Support junior doctors' and student nurses' action

Another black man shot dead by the police

UK's private rail fares six times public rates

Birmingham Labour to axe at least 1,200 jobs in 165m cuts onslaught

UK wage growth will be lowest since 1920s

NHS England chiefs block hospitals from publicising emergencies

What we saw: Sadiq Khan's promises on London transport

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Floods, climate change and capitalism

Carlisle Socialist Party's action plan on floods

Profit system exacerbates flooding

Tories' hypocritical green policies pledge

Renationalise the water industry


International socialist news and analysis

No government majority as Podemos partially recovers


Workplace news and analysis

Union action needed to defeat attack on student nurses

Nationalise rail now! Rail workers strike around the country

Steel: public ownership needed as private buyers threaten pay and pensions

Condescending Tories savage Yorkshire fire service

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Dark comic book fantasy throws light on abusive relationships

"I chose to be involved in politics, Michael Crick"

Letters


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A 'People's Budget' to defeat cruel cuts

Stop the closure of Calderstones hospital!

2015 marks best fighting fund total this century!

Eleanor Marx: celebrate a life of struggle for socialism


 

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