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From: The Socialist issue 1102, 23 September 2020: Tory Covid chaos

Search site for keywords: Amazon - US - Jeff Bezos - Immigration

News in brief

Johnson complains about salary

The Times and the Mail report the prime minister is "subdued" and "moody," due to struggling for money. He receives a mere 150,000 a year after forgoing speaking engagements and a 275,000 Telegraph column.

Johnson reportedly hates being "at the helm in rough seas." He struggles to afford a nanny on top of his rent-free Downing Street residence and paid-for cleaner. We invite readers to insert their own sarcastic conclusion to this pitiful tale.

Fighting Madrid's class lockdown

Protesters hit the streets in Madrid on 20 September after the regional president locked down 850,000 residents, disproportionately in poorer districts. The selective lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge allows many wealthier denizens to continue moving freely.

That evening, opera spectators in the cheap seats in Madrid's Teatro Real protested at the lack of social distancing. Most of the higher-priced seats further down had more space. Loud clapping and shouting forced some reseating and the eventual abandonment of the performance.

US billionaires one-third richer

Billionaire Bezos, photos reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC

Billionaire Bezos, photos reynermedia, Steve Jurvetson, Scott Lewis, all CC   (Click to enlarge)

United States billionaires are worth 29% more than before the pandemic, finds the Institute for Policy Studies. Since 18 March, the 643 billionaires have added $845 billion to their obscene personal fortunes.

Their total wealth rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion - equivalent to $4.7 billion, or the annual GDP of Somalia, per day. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is worth fully 65% more - a $73 billion increase, to a record $186 billion.

Economic adviser Robert Reich points out that "Jeff Bezos could give every Amazon employee $105,000 and still be as rich as he was before the pandemic." Take the wealth off the 1%!

Tory migrant lies exposed

The Home Office's anti-working-class immigration policies are based on "anecdote, assumption and prejudice," says parliament's Public Accounts Committee. The Tories spend 400 million a year on immigration enforcement, but officials have "no idea" what it achieves.

The committee's chair declared that the government "accepts the wreckage that its ignorance and the culture it has fostered caused in the Windrush scandal - but the evidence we saw shows too little intent to change, and inspires no confidence that the next such scandal isn't right around the corner."

The Home Office apparently had "no answer" to the obvious problem that "potentially exaggerated figures calculated by others could inflame hostility towards immigrants." It seems the bullying 'go home' vans and thuggish raids on low-paid workers were just expensive propaganda to divert attention from the bosses.

The Socialist Party says that workers from all backgrounds should be organised together in trade union and political campaigning. If the bosses can't play us off against each other, we can win more resources for all.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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