Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1096/31102
From The Socialist newspaper, 22 July 2020
Them & Us
- 77% of the richest families have actually increased their wealth during the crisis, reports UBS. 93 of 121 super-rich family offices, with an average net worth of $1.6 billion, had met or exceeded their investment return targets.
- 83 multimillionaires have issued an open letter calling for permanent tax increases... on them. 'Millionaires for Humanity' states that "the problems caused by, and revealed by, Covid-19 can't be solved with charity, no matter how generous. Government leaders must take the responsibility for raising the funds we need and spending them fairly... Tax us. Tax us. Tax us... It is the only choice."
- Coordinated government response is indeed more effective than piecemeal charity response. But taxation is not "the only choice." Their obscene wealth, and the system which produced it, could be taken out of their hands entirely.
- Hackers associated with the Russian state are trying to steal British universities' Covid-19 vaccine research secrets, says the National Cyber Security Centre. Data privacy is an important issue - but why is information on efforts to cure a killer pandemic secret in the first place?
... and us
- Household income has suffered the biggest hit since the 1970s oil crisis, finds the Resolution Foundation's Living Standards Audit. The 4.5% drop from May 2019 to May 2020 compares to 2.7% during 2009-10 following the Great Recession, and 5.1% during 1974-75 at the height of 'stagflation'. Hours worked fell 17% in the year to May 2020.
- Household income had not grown for three years when the pandemic hit Britain, the Living Standards Audit also reports. Incomes for the poorest tenth were equivalent to the early 2000s. Meanwhile, stopping meagre Universal Credit increases from April will cost more than six million households upwards of £1,000.
- Unemployment could rocket from 3.9% to 14.8% during a second wave in Britain, says the OECD. Even without one, unemployment could hit 11.7%, almost level with its 1984 peak of 11.9%. The estimates for year's end compare with Germany's 5.6% with a second wave or 5.0% without, and Spain's 20.1% with or 19.2% without.
- The privately run NHS test-and-trace call centre in Motherwell, Scotland has suffered a coronavirus outbreak. You couldn't make it up. Fight for workers' control of workplace health and safety!
- Heat and humidity so extreme that humans cannot live and work could affect 1.2 billion people by 2100, says a study in Environmental Research Letters. The projections assume current greenhouse emissions. And this year's record-breaking Siberian heatwave was made 600 times more likely by global warming, says a World Weather Attribution study.
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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 22 July 2020:
Fight for our livelihoods... fight for our lives!
Fight for the NHS
Huawei: what's behind Johnson's latest u-turn?
Mandatory masks in shops law: workers must not pay the price
Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!
Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more
Them & Us
Hugely significant Tower Hamlets council workers' strike continues
Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary
No going back
Housing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?
United Left general secretary hustings shows widest debate needed for left in Unite
Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs
Online rally: Fight the London transport funding cuts!
Continue the fight to protect safety
Debenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Time to relaunch TUSC
I joined the Socialist Party to fight back
Wales arts cuts: Save every job
Trade unionists and artists stand with Maxine Peake
Bristol trans rights protest
Getting the Socialist over the summer
Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity
Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes
Israel: Nurses strike and win
100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain
Exciting Cuban spy thriller exposes US-sponsored terrorism
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 22 July 2020 |
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