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John Buchan, 1915: Financiers can make big profits on a falling market and it suits their books to set Europe by the ears.
Jeremy Corbyn, March 2017; the Tories’ hard Brexit’ will benefit super rich and hold back millions.
Private Eye, 6.10.17: investors could swoop on cheap assets after Brexit wrecks the British economy
Jeremy Corbyn opened in I News:
When Pret A Manger opened its first sandwich shop in 1986, I doubt many of us would have expected well-known high street chains to end up trying to pay their staff in leftovers. But that’s exactly what’s happened. Last week, Pret had to abandon plans for a work experience scheme paying 16-18 year olds only with food after a public outcry.
A taste of things to come . . .
It was an even faster U-turn than Tory chancellor Philip Hammond’s reversal of an increase in National Insurance for the self-employed – also after an outcry. Both the Hammond and the Pret sagas look like a taste of things to come. The not-so-hidden agenda of hard right Brexiteers, from trade secretary Liam Fox to foreign secretary Boris Johnson, is to create a bargain basement economy for big business.
In 2012, Fox said it is “too difficult to hire and fire” and “intellectually unsustainable to believe that workplace rights should remain untouchable”. Employment rights under threat Now that Article 50 has been triggered, Fox has his chance to sweep away decades of hard-won employment, consumer and environmental rights enshrined in EU law. In fact that’s exactly the direction Theresa May has made clear she intends to go if she can’t get the Brexit deal she wants – and Johnson has said not getting a deal is “perfectly okay”.
The Tories are preparing a Great Repeal Bill as part of the Brexit process, and all the signs are they will try to use it to tip the economic scales even further in favour of their super-rich supporters. They have after all spent the past seven years giving them one tax break after another while imposing austerity on everyone else.
Altogether, on official figures, they will have handed out £73bn in welfare for the wealthy between now and 2022. They have cut inheritance tax, the bank levy, capital gains tax, the top rate of income tax and corporation tax – squeezing or slashing support for the NHS, social care and other vital services.
While the earnings of working people have been held back, executive pay has soared to levels beyond most people’s wildest dreams. The chief executives of the top 100 companies on the London Stock Market were paid on average £5.5m each in 2015 – that’s 183 times average earnings.
The Conservatives justify tax cuts for the richest and big business by saying they will lead to an increase in investment. But there is no evidence of that.
On the contrary, investment in the UK has fallen, leaving us with antiquated infrastructure and uncompetitive industries. The future of our country cannot be left to the free market and the whims of the wealthy.
Are anti-Corbyn attacks prompted by politicians and their wealthy funders for religious or economic reasons?
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As the Facebook blog Jews4Jeremy is taken down without explanation, online articles with allegations of anti-semitism proliferate.
The wealthy and their dependents – professing all religions or none – will fear the growing support for Corbyn’s socially valuable economic policies – some named in a blog based on a Birmingham Press article to be published here tomorrow:
- a high tax economy for the wealthy,
- re-nationalisation of the railways (by not renewing private sector franchises) and private utilities in the energy sector,
- removal of all elements of privatisation from the NHS,
- re-introduction of rent controls to reduce the amount the state pays to private landlords,
- funding of infrastructure by quantitative easing,
- a rebalancing of the economy away from a reliance on financial services to the manufacturing sector,
- tightening of banking regulations (Osborne intends relaxing them further),
- re-introduction of a 50% rate of income tax,
- raising of corporation tax (currently at a historically low level) by 0.5%, as a means of paying for the abolition of tuition fees.
Such measures would reduce investor and rentier profits or even remove their sources, in the case of re-nationalisation.
Do readers believe the denunciations of politicians with corporate allies, or the statement by Jeremy Corbyn?
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