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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 April 2018

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

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

BlackRock billionaire

Larry Fink, founder and CEO of BlackRock, the world's giantest investment giant, is the latest addition to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The world had 2,208 billionaires in March, according to Forbes - the 0.00003%.

BlackRock's $6.3 trillion of interests include outsourcers like Circle International and G4S which are cannibalising the NHS and other public services. The firm employs former chancellor George Osborne, architect of austerity, on 650,000 a year for just 48 days' work.

Bolshevik banker?

Is capitalism digging its own grave? Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor who 'earns' 880,000 a year, worries it is.

He says that thanks to automation, the internet and AI, "you have exactly the same dynamics as existed 150 years ago, when Karl Marx was scribbling the Communist Manifesto."

Carney told the Canada Growth Summit that "Marx and Engels may again become relevant." They never stopped being relevant. The bosses just stopped paying attention.

Karl Marx photo Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons, photo Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons

Karl Marx photo Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons, photo Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

Kill or cure

You can only cure a patient once - and that's bad for business, says Goldman Sachs. The US investment bank's April report 'The Genome Revolution' asks: "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?"

"The potential to deliver 'one-shot cures' is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy... However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies."

"While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow."


Apprenticeship lies

Bosses are "simply rebadging low-quality, low-skill and often low-wage roles as 'apprenticeships'," according to think-tank Reform.

The Tories have forced large employers to spend a proportion of their wage bill on 'apprenticeships'. Reform's report 'The Great Training Robbery' finds two-fifths of government-approved apprenticeship standards are not in line with genuine learning on the job.

KFC's 'apprentice hospitality team members', for example, learn to fry chips and mop floors. Firms can claim up to 90% of their 'apprenticeship' spending back.

Paupers' funerals

Local authorities withhold the ashes of cremated loved ones from families who can't afford to pay, according to an investigation by the Times.

The outcry caused by the practice of councils stacking dead babies in resealable mass graves has led Theresa May to promise a children's funeral fund. But the families of adults who can't afford it have no recourse.

82% of council 'paupers' funerals' involve families who can't or won't pay, compared to 44% ten years ago, says Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau. The average cost of a funeral has doubled since 2003, according to the Times, while the government has cut bereavement benefits.

Cold snap cuts

Almost a million fewer pensioners were allowed to claim emergency heating help this winter than when the Tories came to power.

'Cold weather payments' of 25 go to pension credit claimants when temperatures drop below zero for over a week. In 2017-18, just 1.7 million claimants qualified - compared to 2.6 million in 2010-11, according to Commons Library data requested by Labour.

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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.
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In The Socialist 18 April 2018:


What we think

No to the bombing of Syria!


Labour Party

For a fighting, democratic Labour Party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper

Hull says no to war, no to austerity

Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist


Socialist Party news and analysis

Young people need homes

1,400 beds empty as patients lay in corridors: health unions must act now

Catalonia: 1m marchers demand self-determination

Billions for the bosses, benefit cuts for us

Them & Us


Local elections 2018

Labour councillors could stop unsafe 'driver-only operation' tomorrow

Grimsby local paper reveals Labour candidate 'tried to defect to the Tories'

TUSC campaigners challenge youth club cuts

Huddersfield TUSC takes on the Blairites

Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

Haringey TUSC fights Blairite cuts


Socialist history

Enoch Powell's racist 'Rivers of Blood' rant 50 years on


Workplace news and analysis

Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

UCU members vote to end pensions dispute

Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues

PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced

Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership

Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council


Opinion

Vital depiction of fight for Aids prevention and treatment

The Socialist inbox


 

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