Them and us

Them and us   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)


  • The ex-head of an ‘academy’ primary in south London is getting £850,000 from the school’s funds. Business-run Van Gogh academy in Stockwell is funnelling money from its private leisure centre to disgraced boss Sir Greg Martin. We say: cut him off! Take the school and leisure centre back into council control!
  • What’s the hottest social media fad among capitalists? The Times reports: “Instagram’s latest craze: billionaires posing with tiger cubs.”
  • Are you filthy, stinking rich and concerned about workers’ revolt? Anxious plutocrats are installing luxury panic rooms in their mansions, says Business Insider. A bullet-proof, blast-proof chamber replete with flat-screen telly, plush furnishings – and a bar – could set you back a mere $500,000.
  • What do you get the boss, who has everything, for Christmas? How about one of a series of 25 bespoke reboot editions of “claustrophobic” 1973 supercar the Lancia Stratos! Just €550,000 plus tax, says the FT. Oh, and you’ll need to buy a Ferrari F430 first for the designers to build it out of.

… & us

Southern Rail, photo Hugh Llewelyn/CC

Southern Rail, photo Hugh Llewelyn/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

  • 25 years after the law that privatised British Rail, fares have risen an average of 20% in real terms. Some fares have more than doubled. And on top of this, the added cost to the taxpayer is £5 billion a year, says Labour analysis.
  • They crashed the economy. They made us pay for it. Now the banks are forcing us to travel further and further just to get to them. Two-thirds of branches have closed: 20,583 in 1988 to 7,586 today, says Which? Almost a fifth of us now live over two miles away from essential banking services.
  • Police bosses floated plans to relax stop-and-search rules so officers could search anyone – without reason. Even with the current “reasonable grounds” requirement, black people are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched, according to government figures.
  • The EU has erected over 1,000km of border walls since its inception in 1993, says the ‘Building Walls’ report. That’s seven times the length of the Berlin Wall the EU’s capitalist founders claimed they were overcoming. Over 34,000 desperate migrants have died trying to get into the EU in that time, most by drowning. That includes 3,915 last year alone.