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From: The Socialist issue 809, 30 April 2014: Vote for a working class voice

Search site for keywords: TUSC - Housing - Labour - Council - Zero-hour contracts - Cuts - Liverpool

Them & Us

Good Samaritan

While David Cameron was sermonising about his religious beliefs, two leading church officials were receiving less than a Christian welcome at his Tory party constituency office in Witney, Oxfordshire.

The clergy had gone there to present a letter calling for action on food poverty in Britain. But instead of having their feet washed, Tory staff refused to open the office door and called the police. It seems that Big Dave's Christian charity does not extend as far as his austerity measures.

Costly warmonger

War, what is it good for? According to liar Tony Blair, stopping terrorism and political extremism. However, for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the imperialist wars and interventions into Iraq and Afghanistan, then Blair's moral justification is completely hollow.

And according to a study by the Royal United Services Institute, these imperialist adventures "far from reducing international terrorism... the 2003 invasion [of Iraq] had the effect of promoting it."

Moreover, the study estimates that since 1990 the financial cost of the UK's military interventions is £34.7 billion and a further £30 billion possible expenditure on long-term veteran care.

Bitter sweet

Cash strapped tenants in Bridgend, South Wales, struggling to pay rising rents, had insult added to injury when their housing association landlord - Valleys 2 Coast - offered them a free 60p crème egg as a reward for their struggles.

Some tenants have lost up to £80 a month in housing benefit cuts because of the government's 'bedroom tax'.

Ferry tragedy

The terrible South Korean ferry disaster has revealed just how toxic capitalism is. The ruling class's ruthless agenda of growth and profit has resulted in the country having the second highest fatal industrial accident record in the world. In 2013, three nuclear power stations were shut down after using cables with falsified safety certificates.

The capsized ferry was only operating because of a change in law extending the life of ships from 20 to 30 years. Even the ship's public address system wasn't working properly. And casualisation meant that many crew members were irregular workers who followed no clear evacuation procedure.

Bubbly bubble

The housing price bubble in London is being severely inflated by hot money from oligarchs. This trend is set to increase as sanctions-avoiding, champagne-swilling capitalists relocate their assets from Russia.

Many of these property investments are made through front companies often based offshore to avoid tax and, it seems, to conceal criminal money laundering.

Many large houses on 'billionaires' rows' in central London boroughs are increasingly being left empty and allowed to decay at the same time as hundreds of thousands of people languish on the capital's council house waiting lists.

What we saw

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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 30 April 2014

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