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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 February 2020

Them & Us

Temporary housing takings

English councils spent almost £1.1 billion on temporary accommodation in 2019 - with 86% going to private profiteers, reports Shelter. The amount they raked in doubled from £490 million in 2013-14 to £939 million in 2018-19. The big landlords and letting agents help create the housing crisis - and then profit from that too!

Musk stock electrified

Billionaire Elon Musk's electric car firm Tesla doubled its share price in the first five weeks of this year. Delays, faults, lack of infrastructure - and profit - have so far kept electric cars unaffordable and unreliable. Meanwhile, Tesla factory workers are notoriously ill-treated by Musk, who is worth $45 billion.

Food banks 'perfect' for poor

Tory work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey called food banks "a perfect way to try to address the challenges that people face at difficult times in their lives" last month. Er, what about paying workers enough to buy food?

Utility usury: oh no, Ovo!

Private energy giant Ovo wrongly billed over half a million customers, leading regulator Ofgem to order it to pay back £8.9 million. Ovo had refunded a customer who was overcharged by more than £4,500, but decided not to bother with others, such as 120,000 customers owed up to £10.

Majority of poor in work

56% of people living in poverty were in a working household in 2018, says the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The record high compares with 39% in 1998. 14 million people now live in poverty in the UK.

Storm services 'savings'

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Fire and rescue services dealing with the chaos of Storm Ciara have had their funding cut by £141.5 million over the last four years, reports the FBU. The worst-hit areas in England have lost £16 million since 2016.

No more free money

Over a quarter of cash machines - and rising - now charge for withdrawals, says Which? Total charges rose from £75 million in 2018 to £104 million last year. Local branch and free ATM closures have made banks about £120 million since 2018.

Coronavirus medical martyr

The death of Li Wenliang, the doctor who first warned his colleagues about the new coronavirus, has caused fury. Instead of being congratulated for his sharp observations that may have saved many lives, he received a police warning for "spreading rumours."

Hundreds of millions of users of China's Twitter-like Weibo have now shared photos of Li, the keyword "whistleblower" and lyrics to "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from the musical Les Misérables about the 1832 Paris uprising.

Thanks to Jon Dale for this coronavirus update

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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.
  • 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 12 February 2020:


News

Tackling climate change: Johnson emits huge quantities of hot air!

Windrush deportations: end the hostile environment

Streatham attack: Johnson's bill can't stop terror

Them & Us

What We Heard


NHS

NHS: Fight for full funding!

Unnecessary surgery scandal shows need for democratic control of NHS

NHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!

Callous Tory cuts to children's speech therapy in Nottinghamshire


Trade unions

Trade unions - new decade, new challenges


Workplace news

Big Unison south east regional meeting votes for anti-cuts position

PCS union: Uniting the left around a leadership that can win for members

Westex workers win increased pay offer in 11th week of strike

University strikers walk out for better pay and pensions

East London school strikes against academisation continue

Foreign Office workers' strike

Solidarity with Turkish workers

Lambeth Unison letter

London NSSN meeting

Solidarity with victimised bus rep Moe

Support Clive Walder


Cuts

How to resist tory attacks on local communities

Cuts councillors are the real problem

Council houses - not private property developers


International

Sinn Fein harnesses working-class anger to top poll

Lebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division


Campaigns

Build independent workers' media with May Day greetings

Building a working-class movement for Tamil rights

Hackney: We don't want homes and retail units working-class people can't afford

20 years of housing failure

Socialist Sellers


Universal Credit

New BBC series - Insight or whitewash?

Nottingham: death of vulnerable claimant

UC stopped without warning


 

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Related links:

Them & Us:

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US:

triangleCourt workers to ballot in fight for safety

triangleNew members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

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triangleJaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader

Banks:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

triangleWorld capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now

triangle'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

Food:

triangleBook that inspired me: God's bits of wood

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Road to Wigan Pier

Housing:

triangleSwarming the London Mayor's question time

Food Banks:

triangleUniversal credit causes £24m rent arrears

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