Politicians - Don’t Ya Just Hate ’Em

Among working class people there exists a healthy level of mistrust in and disrespect for career politicians. One visible sign of this is the declining interest in the whole electoral process in recent years. Even so, and despite the seemingly never ending string of reports about MPs’ and ministers’ wrongdoings, you don’t yet get the impression that parliament is going to be swept aside any time soon.

The recent (and not so recent) revelations have come so thick and fast that a mere quarterly magazine like Direct Action cannot hope to comment on every case. But behind each instance of lost data and dodgy funding, behind every passport scandal and failed or vastly over-budget project, there lurk the lies, deceit, arrogance and downright incompetence of one of those chinless wonders who’s managed to con enough people to vote them into Westminster.

Them and Us: class war, the credit crunch and a culture of resistance

Notions of belonging to the working class are…outdated and belong to the era of flat caps, factories, steel works and going down the pit.

Such denials by various academics, politicians and other commentators of what is as plain as the nose on your face are one clear reflection of the ongoing class war. Another is the inequality that is rife throughout most aspects of Brown’s Britain. It is with this in mind that the latest installment of our series ‘No such thing as class?’ (see page 11) has a look at class divisions as shown up by poverty and access to education and health services.

Capitalism is Chaos - New Labour Gets on with the Job. . . of Shafting the Working Class

Despite years of worldwide economic growth we are further than ever from ending global poverty, starvation and inequality. Now, with capitalism’s latest crisis, such problems are set to worsen with catastrophic results.

Warnings of famine in Ethiopia and elsewhere, food riots at various points around the globe, rapidly spiraling prices in ‘emerging markets’ like India and China, and fears of stagflation and mass unemployment throughout Europe all paint a depressing picture.

But not depressing for some…

Privatising Profits, Socialising Losses

Free market theory argues that hedge funds,…currency speculation, private equity firms and the other obscene money making machines are somehow vital to…the economy…. [This] is a joke. They contribute nothing…and are merely a means by which the super-rich get even richer. Real economic wealth is created by the working class who…create the goods and services that are vital to society…

(from Hedging their Bets, DA39 summer 2007)

Almost totally lacking in regulation – that is, until the recent “stable door bolting” emergency restrictions against “short selling” and betting on declines in financial markets – hedge funds and their ilk have constantly moved trillions of dollars around the globe searching for ever higher returns and leaving economic chaos in their wake. And so it has proven yet again.

Climate Change & Economic Crisis

The current economic crisis is entirely a product of capitalism itself, spawned by the inherent instability of “boom and bust”, the signature of an insane and immoral system of organising society. But even in the best of the boom times crisis has never been too far removed from the relentless exploitation of resources, both human and natural, in the mad pursuit of profit for the rich and powerful. That this system has brought us to the brink of disastrous climate change is now beyond doubt.

New Labour Focus Group Leak Latest: Working Class abolished!

The inane race for the next US president is getting the usual widespread coverage here in Britain, Uncle Sam's unofficial 51st state. Hardly surprising, since all the main political parties (and most of the media) in Britain look to America for their economic and political direction.

New Labour have their policies overseen by Clintonite focus groupies. In Britain, as in America, the working class no longer matters. Both political parties are now exclusively fighting over the 'middle ground' and for the 'middle' votes. The trendy political scientists have decided that the working class no longer exists. The media are only too happy to ignore working class lifestyles and the problems we face. The working class is not news and doesn't sell papers.

A Capitalist Crime against Humanity

Are you one of the 1 in 7 destined to suffer or die from this epidemic of capitalist killing? Three thousand people murdered in a year across the UK. A quarter of a million will die before 2020 across Europe. Meanwhile, millions of people are being killed across the world.

Surely, this needs a global response from a US-led multi-billion dollar action with full mass-media coverage. Surely, Tony Blair and George Bush should declare war on the ‘terrorists' who are causing this. Not a chance.

What kind of terrorist could keep up this murder rate? What sort of killer virus can be responsible? The mass murderer is capitalism, the killing machine is operated by the multi-national corporations, and the weapon they are using is asbestos.

Private pay cuts

The announcement that the Government is to outlaw paycuts by private companies when they win public service contracts was greeted with wild enthusiasm by union leaders. John Edmunds cooed, .this agreement shows what can be achieved for British workers when trade unions work together.. No doubt the deal will be held up by union leaders as one of the reasons why the union movement should carry on bailing out the Labour Party in the run up to the next election.

It's time to stop paying for pain

The “historic” decision by the RMT to allow Branches to financially support other parties has certainly upset the Labour party, which is dependent on union money for its survival. Given that it looks certain that Scottish RMT branches will vote to support the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) at the next election there is now every chance that the RMT - one of the founders of the Labour Party - will finally cut its links with Labour.

The decision has been welcomed by people across the union movement and will only fuel the groundswell of feeling amongst many unions to follow the RMT example. Here at Catalyst, we view unions paying funds to Labour as the equivalent to paying someone to beat you up. However, while we welcome moves to cut the link with Labour, we are concerned about where the union money will otherwise end up.

The £23 billion flexible friend

The welfare state was introduced largely at the behest of capitalism to ensure a healthy and educated workforce. Its origins date back to the Boer War when the army recruits were in such poor health they were unfit to fight. Since then, things have changed. Large sections of the working class are now surplus to the needs of capitalism, so the capitalist state no longer cares so much about our health, education and welfare.