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Voice From the Back

Zillionaires And Nonsense

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has told people to stop bashing the super-rich. 'Mr Johnson accused ‘everyone from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Nick Clegg’ of bullying the group he defined as ‘zillionaires’ and said the most rich of all should receive ‘automatic knighthoods’. ........ Mr Johnson said the rich deserve our ‘humble and hearty thanks’ for their contributions to charity and the exchequer - quoting figures that say the top 1 per cent pay 29.8 per cent of all UK income tax’ (Independent, 18 November). Since Mr Johnson's zillionaires tend to get knighthoods anyway we wonder at his concern for them, especially when all their wealth has come from the exploitation of the impoverished majority.

No Recovery For Some

Voice From the Back

The Class Struggle Today (1)

That we live in a modern freedom loving society wherein the owning class and the working class co-operate without nasty out-dated class conflicts has recently been shown as a complete nonsense. Britain's biggest construction companies finally admitted that they used a secret industry blacklist to vet workers as they announced the creation of a compensation scheme. 'Unions believe construction companies face paying hundreds of millions of pounds to the 3,213 workers whose details were kept on a database kept by a shadowy organisation called The Consulting Association. The information was used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out trade union activists or those who had raised concerns about health and safety’ (Times, 10 October).

The Class Struggle Today (2)

Voice From the Back

The Regal Con Game

Times are hard in British capitalism today so our rulers have had to cut costs. Slash welfare benefits, cap government workers’ wages and introduce a bedroom tax. There are some things of course that are sacrosanct. 'The Queen has received a £5m boost in the funds she receives from the taxpayer to carry out her official duties. The sovereign grant, which covers the running costs of the Queen's household, has been set at £36.1m for the 2013-14 financial year’ (Guardian, 2 April). Keep the workers thinking they are one nation and give them spectacular royal events. Essential to disguise their exploitation. Money well spent.

We're All In This Together

Book Reviews: 'Searching for Utopia', 'The Road to Wigan Pier Revisited', 'Soccernomics'


Searching for Utopia. The History of an Idea, by Gregory Claeys. Thames and Hudson, London, 2011. £24.95.

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