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Mike Foster

A Better World For Everyone

TO AIM for a better world, we first have to explain how our present society is arranged. For the last few hundred years, society has been divided into just two main groups, or  classes. There’s the overwhelming majority of us – possibly up to 95 percent – who don’t own much in the big scheme of things and can only get what we can afford through our wages, savings or state subsidies. If we’re able to find employment, we get our money by selling our time and our abilities to companies and organisations. These same companies and organisations then sell the services we run and the products we make back to us. But collectively, we don’t get back all that we put in. It’s a lop-sided arrangement in favour of the corporations and land owned by a tiny minority of people, around 5 percent. Owning the means of production allows them to cream off a profit or a surplus for themselves, and they do this by exploiting the rest of us. Their economic power is backed up by  political power.

Why I Wouldn’t Make a Good MP

On 8 February Mike Foster, the Socialist Party candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon was invited to address a group of electors in Oxford. Here is what he said.

Thank you all for taking the time to come along this evening to hear why I wouldn’t make a very good MP. Definitely don’t put a cross in the box for the Socialist Party of Great Britain if you somehow come to the conclusion that I would play the Westminster game for the benefit of everyone. Because I couldn’t, even if I tried. No-one can. The state, and the very way that our society is put together, can’t be made to work in the interests of the vast majority of people. MPs who start out with good intentions about reforms and representing their constituents soon get stifled by the cumbersome bureaucracy and made to follow vested interests or the dictates of the elite. MPs who don’t start out with good intentions probably have an easier job.

Proper Gander: The Jihadis’ Tale

Proper Gander

Through the dramas he has written and directed for Channel 4, Peter Kosminsky has explored the impact which war has had on the people caught up in it. The Government Inspector (2005) dramatized UN weapons inspector Dr David Kelly’s role in undermining the government’s attempted justification for the Iraq War, while The Promise (2011) was set in Palestine, drawing links between the situation under the British mandate in the 1940s with that in the 2000s. His latest drama, The State, tells the stories of young, enthusiastic jihadis who travel from Britain to Syria to fight for ISIS. Over four episodes, we follow the characters from their arrival in an ISIS stronghold to when life under the regime brings disillusionment with what they have committed themselves to.

Proper Gander: From The UN To Anarchism

Proper Gander

In recent years, the BBC has developed an interesting sideline in polemics: broadcasters like Adam Curtis, Dominic Sandbrook and Simon Amstell have appeared on our screens presenting their original interpretations of society’s changing cultural and economic trends. Refreshing as it is to see thoughtful critiques of capitalism on the telly, alternatives are rarely discussed. So, it’s a nice surprise to see an anarchist get an hour of screen time to make his case, in Accidental Anarchist: Life Without Government, part of BBC4’s Storyville strand, as well as in one of Newsnight’s video podcasts.

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