The Socialist 21 March 2018 |
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Them & us
Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Let them hang
Bosses for part of bailed-out bank RBS told staff to let small businesses "hang themselves" if they got in financial trouble.
As many as 50 small businesses closed a day in late 2008 because of the crash the bankers caused, according to the Federation of Small Businesses. And by September last year, public sector employment had fallen by a million from its high in September 2009, according to the ONS.
Having helped crash the economy, RBS received £45 billion of taxpayers' money to shore up its bottom line and bosses' bonuses.
Of course, not all the toffs are getting it their way right now.
Lady Barbara Judge had to step down as chair of the Institute of Directors following claims of racist and sexist comments. She allegedly said of bosses' club secretaries: "the problem is that we have one black and we have one pregnant woman and that is the worst combination we could possibly have."
And 'Tatler Tory' Mark Clarke was forced from his cushy directorial post at multinational Unilever following sexual harassment claims. Readers may recall he was accused of bullying a young Tory activist who later died by suicide in 2015.
Faulty fire doors
Grenfell Tower, photo James Ivens (Click to enlarge)
Fire doors at Grenfell Tower meant to hold back flames for half an hour last just 15 minutes. Police investigators report they have failed basic safety tests.
Working fire doors alone would not have prevented the Grenfell atrocity. Profiteering property management still had the tower wrapped in flammable plastic. But it shows there's no end to capitalism's corner-cutting for profit.
Britain's infant mortality rates have started to rise again, after years of going down.
In 2015, 2.6 newborns died for every 1,000 births. In the next year this rose to 2.7, according to the ONS. The death rate for babies in their first year rose from 3.7 for every 1,000 to 3.8 in 2016.
Even better-off districts are home to "intense" child poverty. In Scotland, 468,430 income-deprived people live in areas which are not considered "multiple-deprived," according to research by Glasgow Caledonian University.
Four in five quasi-privatised 'academy' schools are running budget deficits - even more than council-run schools. The research comes from accountancy network Kreston UK.
This follows revelations that the number of publicly run secondary schools in deficit has almost tripled in three years. 9% were in deficit in 2013-14, compared to 26% in 2016-17, according to the Education Policy Institute think-tank.