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From: The Socialist issue 875, 21 October 2015: Strike to save the NHS

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - US - Football - Tenants - Rents - London - Homes - Council - Labour - Hull - Council tax - Eastleigh

Them & Us

Rents rocket...

Rents have hit a record high. Tenants now pay on average 816 a month.

And since David Cameron came to power in 2010, there has been a 79% increase in rough sleepers in London.

On top of that, Hull has hiked council tax for an entire street - rather than downgrade one overcharged property. Residents in one of the identical homes rightly complained they were charged more than the rest. The Labour council cynically responded by raising everyone else's rates!

...landlords profit

Meanwhile, landlord Tory MP Philip Davies doesn't think his tenants' homes should have to be "fit for human habitation". He spoke against a legal update that would make this a requirement.

Last year, Davies tried to block legislation which would have stopped landlords kicking out tenants for requesting repairs. He is an organiser for ultra-austerity pressure group the Taxpayers' Alliance. And he thinks disabled workers should receive less than the minimum wage.

Davies extorts profits from our basic human need for shelter. Meanwhile, he rents a London home in a plush Westminster postcode - at our expense.

UK landlords have made 177 billion in rising house prices over the past five years. And that's just the property value - it doesn't include profits from rent.

Game of two halves

It says a lot about modern football when it's hailed as unusually good news that ticket prices aren't rising even further. This is what the BBC's annual price of football survey has found.

Replica football shirts cost an average of 42, or 33 for children. The cheapest season ticket in England is 120, at Eastleigh - in the fifth tier of English football. Incredibly, this is still more than at Bayern Munich, Germany's leading club and recent European champions.

Compare this pricing out of working class fans to the alleged six-figure bribes handed to Fifa executives in brown envelopes. And the 1.35 million payment (for reasons unexplained) given to Michel Platini, favourite to be football's next top dog.

The world's most popular sport is increasingly turning ugly and being made as unequal as the society it is part of. Let's kick the millionaires out of football, reclaim our game and fight for socialism.

Scott Jones

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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.

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Article dated 21 October 2015

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