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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 July 2018

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

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

New peer 'elected'...

The House of Lords has a new legislator, 'elected' with a crushing total of... 12 votes.

Charles Peregrine Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon, was duly elected by his peers: 31 hereditary aristocrats. He will now hold office till he dies.

Lord Courtenay lives in a castle with a 3,000-acre estate including a deer park. He is a graduate of Eton and Cambridge and works as a barrister.

He will now be entitled to 300 a day just for signing in. And a vote on every law the Commons tries to pass. The Socialist says: abolish the Lords!

... union votes restricted

Meanwhile, civil service workers in the PCS union are voting on strikes to end years of pay cuts. They must hit big, undemocratic thresholds.

The Tories' anti-union laws mean all votes for industrial action have to happen by post instead of in the workplace. And now they are invalid unless there's a turnout above 50%. In effect, workers who miss the letter, or choose to let everyone else decide, are counted as voting against!

Determined organising can break these anti-democratic shackles. The Communication Workers Union and the University and College Union have both done it for national action.

But the people who agree these laws face no such minimum thresholds. And some of them can get seats - for life - on 12 votes! It's one law for the bosses, and another for workers.

Bosses' Brexit ransom...

Jaguar Land Rover has threatened 40,000 jobs if Britain leaves the EU's neoliberal single market and customs union.

The car maker made 1.5 billion profit before tax last year. Like the majority of big business, it is desperate to keep rules which help it shunt money, jobs and goods around the EU on capitalist terms. They are part of maximising the bosses' exploitation of workers.

BMW and Airbus have made similar threats. Using workers' livelihoods this way is a scandal.

But giving in to big business bullying won't work. Experience shows they'll take your handouts - and move anyway as soon as it suits them.

Jeremy Corbyn has rightly argued for a new customs union which protects such jobs without blocking nationalisation and state investment.

He must also tell bosses who hold workers to ransom they can expect summary nationalisation - with compensation only paid out to those who can prove they need it, not fat cats.

... migrant kids' ransom

Child refugees at the 'Jungle' camp in Calais before its brutal demolition, photo Paul Mattsson

Child refugees at the 'Jungle' camp in Calais before its brutal demolition, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

And while the bosses hold workers to ransom by threatening to move factories, migrant children must pay the bosses' government a ransom to be allowed to stay.

The Home Office makes over 51,600 a day from charging the kids to register as British citizens, says immigration lawyer Colin Yeo.

The cost of applying is 1,102 - out of range for many destitute and persecuted refugee or migrant families. But the administrative costs are just 372!

Children not registered as British citizens risk detention and deportation, often facilitated by the EU. They can even be denied school trips and college places.

Of course, if you're a Hollywood actor marrying into the royal family, there's plenty of money for the fees. And you'll be fast-tracked. And get a free mansion in Kensington.

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In The Socialist 11 July 2018:

What we think

Tories in crisis - Act now to get them out!


600 more retail jobs on the line: workers must not pay for the bosses' high street crunch!

Britain bakes as water pipelines leak

Minister's benefits lie: sack the Tories - and scrap universal credit

Them & Us

Trump and the US

Hit the streets against Trump and capitalism

US: "We've had to build a huge culture of resistance"

NSSN conference

NSSN conference 2018: Mood for fighting action and coordination


Big victory for Wigan NHS strike against privatisation

Campaign in full flow to squeeze out every last Yes vote in pay ballot

Hackney traffic wardens strike for better pay and protection at work

Summer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

Tyneside shopfitting plant lays off 61 workers

Unite conference sees union go in a fighting, socialist direction

Pressure building on councillors to stop fire service cuts

Tram workers strike against 'derisory' pay offer

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Stop the FLA - No to racism

Women's Lives Matter launched in Leeds to fight domestic violence service cuts

Service users and families protest learning disability service cuts

NHS Leeds: Campaigners halt outsourcing... for now

Yes to NHS - No to PFI!

Tories fractured... election possibility... give us the resources!

Issue 1000 drive shows sales potential


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