Social and Economic Policy

How to get the Tories out

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 11:06 Author: Editorial

After May’s woeful Party conference speech, the Tories are more divided than ever. But their conference has also left them in an impasse. They can’t easily sack Theresa May because she was the unity candidate for Leader and the Tories who supported her don’t yet have a plan B. There is no sign of an acceptable alternative to May.

Labour and the 3.6% swing

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 11:07

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore describes the Tory conference: “May visibly flinching at a direct question, in her babble of repetitive phrases that mean nothing. It is as if she is not really there. There is a vacancy at the top”.

Bookmakers now make Jeremy Corbyn the favourite to be next prime minister. Their second-most-rated, at about 6/1 against, are Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Philip Hammond.

Tories: clueless and callous

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 10:47 Author: Editorial

In an interview with the BBC shortly before Tory Party Conference opened, Theresa May told Andrew Marr: “As Conservatives, the arguments that we thought we’d had and won during the 1980s about the importance of free market economies — I think we thought there was a general consensus on that. And we now see that there wasn’t.”

£54 billion for private landlords

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 8:46 Author: Gerry Bates

Private landlords have become the dominant force in housing in Britain, raking in £54 billion in rent in the year June 2016 to June 2017, while the interest paid by house-buyers to banks and financiers went down to £27 billion.

Almost half the rent payments are made by younger people, and the slice of household income spent on housing has trebled over the past 50 years.

Young people pay higher rents for smaller, less secure rented flats and houses, and have longer commutes, than in the 1960s.

Claw back the wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 12:01 Author: Editorial

Under pressure to do a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, the Tories have found £1 billion extra for public services in Northern Ireland, the equivalent pro rata to £29 billion in England. They have also sneaked through a huge pay rise for the Queen, from £43 million in 2016 to £82 million in 2019. On 28 June they voted down Labour’s proposal to lift the public sector pay limit.
More pressure — strikes, demonstrations, rallies — can make them budge on that, too.

Grenfell: the powerful are still not listening Matthew Mon, 07/03/2017 - 11:46

So far all 95 tower blocks which have had their cladding tested since the fire at Grenfell in Kensington, west London, have failed fire safety standards. These buildings are potentially as dangerous for their tenants as Grenfell was. Many hundreds of buildings are still to be tested.

Justice for Grenfell!

Submitted by Gemma_S on 17 June, 2017 - 8:37 Author: Gemma Short

Late at night on Tuesday 13 June, a fire gutted Grenfell Tower in west London.

It is likely that a large number of people have died: firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures. Many hundreds of people's lives have been destroyed as their family members, friends, neighbours, and homes have been taken from them.

Our solidarity is with those families and with the emergency service workers who battled to save them whilst witnessing harrowing scenes.

Letters: Socialism is not just 99% versus 1%; Women need equality in law!

Submitted by Matthew on 14 June, 2017 - 12:44 Author: Andrew Northall and Cathy Nugent

I am grateful to Martin Thomas for his response to my letter (Solidarity 439).Rather than seeking to avoid measures which would invite “a counter revolutionary reaction”, I was attempting to point out the very tight limits of social-democratic reformism, i.e. if you try and raise really serious amounts of revenue from the rich to pay for your reform programme, such a government will very quickly run into serious trouble.

Prosperity for the few, stagnation for the many

Submitted by Matthew on 14 June, 2017 - 11:18 Author: Martin Thomas

Right-wingers are trumpeting the claimed prosperity of the US economy since Trump’s election, and of the British economy after Brexit. A closer look shows the prosperity as very partial.

Stock market prices in the USA have risen strongly since November 2016, though no more than their general rising trend since they hit bottom in March 2009. The slice of corporate profits in total US income is as high as it was at its pre-2008 peak, which in turn was the highest since 1965.