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Young, homeless, hopeless

 It is easy to pretend that the beggars on the street are not really destitute and desperate. They are crafty kids on the make. They claim to be homeless, hut they are making huge fortunes sitting on their arses conning the vulnerable British public. No, there is no need to beg in Britain. This is a civilised country. It says so in the Sun. It says that beggars are earning £200 a day. They earn more than you do; the undeserving swines. The pretence goes on all the time. It is part of the self-delusion which sustains capitalism. But it is a huge delusion. There are homeless kids in Britain. There are thousands and thousands of them. And they will not go away by pretending that they are not really there.

Capitalism Causes Housing Problems

In 1969, in the suburbs of North West London, property developers built a block of flats which was regarded at the time as a model to which all future working-class housing was to be built. The idea was sold to local councils who subsequently erected similar flats all over the country.

Some thirty years later, out of the original twenty flats twelve are now empty and have been for over three years while the remaining eight have occupants living in conditions bordering on squalor. They have now become Show Flats to capitalism's inability to meet human needs and to the reformists of the time who erroneously believed that capitalism could do this. Up and down the country there are similar examples of such recently-built slum housing. There is a certain irony too since at the time the then Labour Minister of Housing and Local government, Richard Crossman. wrote:

Sting in the Tail: Winners . . . and Losers


"If only we could bottle the feeling - the desire to be rich." This was Seb Coe, Olympic athlete and prospective Tory candidate, speaking at the launch of National Motivation Week (The Guardian 15 May).

The aim of NMW is to encourage all of us "losers" to become "winners". Among the supporting winners present were football managers Steve Harrison (recently sacked by Watford), Alan Ball and Lennie Lawrence (whose teams have just been relegated), and Lou Macari (on bail accused of tax offences).

But suppose we all did what those behind NMW want us to do and became winners. Has it never occurred to these dimwits that capitalism can only function if the vast majority, the losers, are so poor that they must sell their ability to work for a wage or salary?

Sting in the Tail: Fine in Theory

Fine in theory

What lay behind the desire of all those governments to bring about the recent GATT agreement? One of the main reasons was, we were told, "the need to stimulate competition".

In Australia a new football boot, "Blades", has been designed. It has diagonal rubber blades on the soles and heals instead of studs and the makers claim it will improve grip and reduce injuries. Eighty percent of Australian rugby league players now use it.

Glad cries all round then? No, in fact every obstacle is being put in the way of this competitor by the multinational football boot makers:

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