The Problem with the Truth

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From STRIKE! MAGAZINE Giving it to us straight – by Danny Dorling

Boris Johnson needs attention. He doesn’t just like it, he needs it. When he described 16 per cent of the human ‘species’ as being the equivalent of severely intellectually sub-normal (having an IQ below 85) he knew exactly what he was doing. He was getting attention. But he also got himself in trouble. Here is part of what he said:

Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top.”

Boris was giving the annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture at the Conservative Centre for Policy Studies but he wasn’t really talking to those sitting in front of him. He was playing to the press gallery. Boris was talking to us through how he knew his words would be reported by newspapers, on the radio and even on TV. And through talking to us, he was telling his colleagues who were not sitting in front of him, those at the top of the coalition government, that he had grown tired of pussy-footing around. He was going to give it to us straight.

Read the full article here


Fat cats getting fatter?

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Bankers’ bonus culture lives on as millionaires’ club tops 2,700 

From The Independent

 Nick Goodway , Jonathan Prynn Friday 29 November 2013

The number of UK bankers earning at least €1m (£833,200) rose to more than 2,700 last year, in a new City pay explosion.

The figure is 12 times more than any other country in the EU, underlining London’s dominance as Europe’s financial centre.

The total rose by 11 per cent despite strenuous government efforts to curb the damaging “bonus culture”.

Read full article here

Professor Mark Blyth on Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea

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Mark Blyth is a professor of International Political Economy at Brown University and faculty fellow at its Watson Institute for International Studies.

He is  the author of “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea,” from Oxford University Press in 2011

Recorded on 23 May 2013 in New Theatre, East Building.

Governments have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts – austerity – to solve the financial crisis.

Austerity however is a dangerous idea that has time and again led to low growth and income inequality.

“Austerity” marshals an army of facts to demand that we recognize austerity for what it is, and what it costs us.


Victory: Cleaning staff strike at University of London wins major concessions on pay and condition

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 Victory: article from the Independent read it here


Outsourced cleaners claim better terms on sick pay and annual leave
Tom Mendelsohn  Friday 29 November 2013
Striking cleaners at the University of London have won a hard-fought battle for improved working conditions.

Yesterday, on the second day of a 48-hour walkout, Balfour Beatty Workplace, which delivers outsourced cleaning services at UoL,

announced it would improve sick pay entitlement, increase holiday pay and give access to its pension scheme to all its employees.

New Statesman: 5 benefit changes the Government don’t want you to know about.

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Threats to take away children from families is a new low

for the coalition government’s war on benefit claimants.

By Frances Ryan

1. Disabled people denied a key benefit have had their right to appeal reduced

2. Long-term sick people are having their benefits sanctioned … for being sick

3. 50,000 disabled people are being cut out of work

4. There’s now a one-year limit on hundreds of thousands of people’s sickness benefit

5. Eviction letters are now including veiled threats to remove people’s children

Read full New Statesman article here

Labour Derby City Council cutting homeless-beds funding by 85% over the next two years – from £10 million to £1.5 million.

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Derby City Council announced it was cutting its homeless-beds funding by 85% over the next two years – from £10 million to £1.5 million.

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Defend Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

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Protests hot up over closure plans for 19 Derbyshire fire stations

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PROTESTS are growing in a bid to save fire stations across Derbyshire faced with closure to save money.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service proposes to close 19 stations.

If the plans are approved, these would be closed and eight new stations – merging some of the existing services – would be created.

The plans are part of a proposed major reorganisation of the fire service in a bid to save at least £4.4 million by 2017.

Now residents in Melbourne have launched a campaign to save the town’s fire station.

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