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From: The Socialist issue 1041, 8 May 2019: Strikes can get results

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - Democracy - Pay - Rail - Austerity

Them & Us

Them and us

Them and us   (Click to enlarge)

Fat-cat pay

Measures to curb excessive executive pay have "failed", according to the High Pay Centre. Every single binding shareholder vote between 2014 and 2018 at FTSE 100 companies approved top executive pay.

Nowhere even came close to rejecting these gargantuan handouts. Only in 11% of instances did more than a fifth of shareholders 'rebel'.

Average FTSE 100 chief executive pay rose to 3.9 million in 2017 - 137 times the average worker's pay.

Tinkering with the capitalist system won't work. Only by implementing socialist policies - nationalising the FTSE 100 under workers' control and management, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need, not to the fat cats - can we end grotesque wealth inequality.

Nationalisation not deregulation

Southern Rail, photo Hugh Llewelyn/CC

Southern Rail, photo Hugh Llewelyn/CC   (Click to enlarge)

The Rail Delivery Group - representing rail companies - has tried to sideline nationalisation attempts and protect profits by calling for a new 'independent' body to oversee the network.

Transport union RMT general secretary Mick Cash said private rail operators were proposing "a deregulated free for all where private train operators slug it out on the most lucrative routes" and that it would be "a break from the last shreds of accountability."

First past the post 'failure'

The current 'first past the post' electoral system abets "extremism" and discourages "moderate" politics, according to the Constitution Society.

What the ruling class fears most is the euphoria unleashed by a Jeremy Corbyn government implementing anti-austerity policies, and workers demanding more.

But it's not first past the post that's put this on the table. It's a decade of capitalist economic crisis and austerity, demonstrating the need for a socialist alternative to millions of workers and young people.

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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.

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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Article dated 8 May 2019

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Sparks' protest in Cardiff; each week the protest has grown. Sparks are protesting nationally against the role of construction electricians being deskilled. Photo by Rachel Barwell

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