Career reformist wins Rochdale by-electionMarch 2, 2024
So the egocentric opportunist George Galloway is back in parliament. Some say it was a protest against what is going on in Gaza. There may be something in that. Others see it as a rejection of the Westminster parties. One thing it wasn’t was the election of a Socialist MP.
He promised “secure jobs for all in decent conditions with living wages”, “decent, cheap secure housing for all”, “free and comprehensive health care with no waiting lists”, “universal access to a cheap or free fully integrated public transport system”. Like the Labour Party used to (a long time ago). Nice if you could get it but you can’t because the money-wages-profits system that is capitalism cannot be reformed to deliver all that.
Boomers, Zoomers and DoomersFebruary 28, 2024
Britain is in the grip of a mental health crisis, research says, with 34% of Gen Z workers reporting depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, up from 24% in 2000. Life is depressing for exploited workers in capitalism anyway, but the prospects for today’s Zoomers look arguably worse than they were for the Boomer generation, or even early Millennials, with gig economy jobs, huge college debts and unaffordable housing, plus ongoing wars and possible climate disaster.
Predictably there are calls for the government to do something. But governments administer the very system which causes these mental health crises. Doom-laden Gen Z workers need to organise a democratic revolution to overthrow capitalism, more than they need pills and therapy sessions.
Hidden cost of livingFebruary 21, 2024
Q. What was the bare minimum you needed to stay alive last week? A. Food, heating, accommodation.
Q. How did you get these things? A. With money, obviously!
Whatever the amount, if you’re working, it came from your wages for some employment.
Q. Why would anyone want to employ you? A. Simple: they expect you to produce enough to pay your wages, to replace whatever you use up while you work AND to fund their spending. Oh, and cash for reinvestment – to try to ensure they don’t end up in the working class too.
Remember – while capitalism lasts, your cost of living will always include the cost of carrying a capitalist on your back.
Navalny state murderFebruary 17, 2024
Those aware of the Russian state’s increasingly Stalinist suppression of opposition parties and dissidents can scarcely be surprised that Alexei Navalny, healthy and smiling just two days before, has now been reported dead in his Arctic gulag. While the cause of death has not yet been made public, there’s every likelihood that it was officially sanctioned.
But Russia isn’t some lone bad actor. All around the world, states suppress their critics with virtual impunity. And Britain has its own guilty record, with its plans to extradite journalist Julian Assange to a hellish future in some US black site, with even close ally Australia now protesting and demanding his release.
The capitalist state makes criminals of critics, but is the biggest criminal of all.
Poverty persistsFebruary 14, 2024
There has been a lot of discussion in the UK recently about the ‘cost of living crisis’, as prices continue to go up but wages and benefits rise more slowly. Certainly many are really feeling the pinch.
Since the start of the year, it has been reported that:
- six million people would need to more than double their income to escape poverty
- over two million retired people are living in ‘severe hardship’, with another million just above the poverty line
- poverty is driving many teenagers towards predatory gangs and drug-dealing
- rough sleeping in London is at its highest level in a decade
All quite appalling, and all completely unnecessary, given the productive potential of society.