News in brief

‘Think before asking for a pay rise’

That was the advice to workers from Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey as he addressed MPs in Parliament about the cost-of-living crisis. Bailey himself described rising food costs as “apocalyptic”.

We have thought about it. With inflation predicted to reach 10%, how about a 10% pay rise for all workers?

Thinking about it for a bit longer… Workers share of wealth in Britain has been shrinking for decades. Since 1980, around £250 billion a year has been transferred from the pockets of the working class to the capitalist class.

The pay rise we really need to claw back the wealth is much bigger than 10%, and how about fully funding our NHS and other public services to boot?

Come to think of it, a system where a tiny minority of individuals own the vast majority of wealth while the rest of us struggle to get by needs to go too.

So we demand an inflation-busting pay rise, and an end to Bailey’s profit-driven ‘apocalypse’, by struggling for socialist change.

Richest man says ‘work harder’

Will he or won’t he buy Twitter? While the world’s richest man grapples over how to spend his billions, Elon Musk has no qualms over squeezing everything out of his Tesla workforce.

Workers at the Tesla factory in Shanghai, China, have reportedly been sleeping on-site and working 12-hour shifts with just one day off a week.

Musk was full of praise for his super-exploited Shanghai workforce, but less so for US workers: “They won’t just be burning the midnight oil, they will be burning the 3am oil, they won’t even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America, people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”

This enlightened capitalist is clearly more concerned with making history, having previously chirped: “Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”.

‘Computer says no’

That was chancellor Rishi Sunak’s excuse for plunging hundreds of thousands of benefit claimants further into poverty. He claimed that the computer system could only change benefit levels once a year, and it had already been set at 3.1%, a real-terms cut.

The computer didn’t mind being told to remove the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift in the autumn though! Meanwhile, energy regulator Ofgem does want more frequent increases. Its solution to the energy price crisis is to raise the energy price cap four times a year not two!