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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 March 2017

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Nine-zero wealth v zero-hour want

The world has gained 233 new billionaires in the last year.

There are now 2,043 capitalists with ten or eleven-figure riches, according to Forbes. This is the highest in the wealth magazine's 31-year history of compiling the figures.

The billionaires on Forbes' latest list are worth a combined 6.2 trillion. That's more than twice the UK's annual 'gross domestic product'.

Meanwhile, the number of UK workers on zero-hour contracts for their main job is 905,000.

And these Office for National Statistics survey findings - for October to December 2016 - do not include workers on insufficient guaranteed hours.

Spare a thought, though, for BHS bandit Philip Green, Sports Direct zero-hour tyrant Mike Ashley and bigot-in-chief Donald Trump. All three have fallen to lower positions in the world billionaire rankings.

Super-rich inheritance v paupers' funerals

The global super-rich will transfer 3.1 trillion to their offspring by 2026.

This figure, from a 2016 report by market researchers Wealth-X, is equivalent to over one-twentieth of the planet's annual 'gross world product'.

Meanwhile, in London, the number of 'paupers' funerals' has more than doubled.

In 2007-10, councils buried 1,000 people whose families were not able to pay.

Between 2010 and 2013, it was 2,153, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Evening Standard.

House prices v wages

March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photo Paul Mattsson

March for Homes, London, 31st January 2015, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

London house prices rose by 105 a day between 2011 and 2017. Meanwhile, says estate agent Savills, the average London salary rose by just 54p a day.

Even this wage-growth figure is distorted by the preponderance of super-salaries in the Square Mile.

Real wages for workers in the UK actually fell by 10.4% between 2007 and 2015, according to the Trade Union Congress.

Butler v British Library

The Rothschild family's financial holding company advertised in January for a new assistant head butler to help run its pantry.

How rich do you have to be that even your staff have servants? Well, Rothschild & Co apparently had a yearly revenue of 1.4 billion as of March 2016.

Meanwhile, the British Library was advertising for an event manager - with a doctorate - to organise celebrations for Karl Marx's 200th birthday.

The rate? The ad says "the library itself is not able to provide payment." What would Marx make of that? At least the butlers to the wealth managers of the super-rich are paid!

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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.

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In The Socialist 22 March 2017:

What we think

Tory splits brought to the surface - Corbyn must go on the attack

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories scrap housing benefit for under-21s

Fight Tory attacks on women and children

Socialists demand reply to Livingstone's smear of Militant

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Northern Ireland: divisive election a warning

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Netherlands: Heavy defeat for austerity government

Yemen: families left to starve by multinationals

Workplace news and analysis

Merseyrail guard found not guilty of "endangering safety"

End the seven-year public sector pay cap!

Aslef offer: unity needed with the RMT

Battle steps up in Unite general secretary election

Derby TAs' strike suspended after new offer

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March against racism: Refugee Rights has lively bloc

We'll fight to save our NHS!

Biggest ever protest by Orgreave campaigners

Join the march against NHS cuts and privatisation in Cumbria

Battle for Wallsend walk-in NHS service

East London demonstration against A&E closure

Salford: International Women's Day meeting

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

"After seeing the branch's effect in the community, I decided to join"

'I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people'

Precise, visceral account of working class heroism

The Socialist inbox


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