Monthly Archives: February 2013

In South America the battle of need over greed is being won

As Equador President Correa retains his hold on the presidency decisively we once again see that the battle of need over greed is being won across the region. At the same time we in the west are losing big time as the world of banksters and corporate greed that are characteristics of Capitalism grind down the poor and vulnerable. Here is a different world view. (New York Times reports here. Note the sting in the tail!) cf Russia Today report.
Not that the western Capitalist media help understand. The question has been asked what if the NY Times covered US news as it portrays Venzuela? So it’s helpful to have sites like Venzuelanalysis tell us more to give a more rounded view, something vitally important to those who have been given access to health, education housing as a result of changes so far. No one is pretending that the battle over poverty has been won, but forces are at work to see that the process is reversed and a wealthy and greedy elite is returned to power.
At the same time Hugo Chavez, reported as dead by the ever hopeful western sources, has returned to Venezuela where he will continue to have treatment. As he leaves Cuba, Fidel Castro, also presumed dead many times over, writes to Chavez a letter of encouragement and hope: hope for all of us who wish to see the ascendency of need over greed.

No holds barred. The Gove destruction of state education

From what’s been going on in Birmingham I’ve had my suspicions that not all is above board as the wholesale destruction of out prized education system continues apace. It’s a funny old world. Les Lawrence, former Cabinet Member for Children’s Services in the Con-Dem coalition prefers co-operative schools, while the leader of the current Labour administration wants more academies. I suspect the Labour group is divided with a laissez faire approach as a result. I’ve written to Bore warning of the out-of-control mess we’re going to edn up with, but the inscrutable leader won’t say what his personal agenda is. It will be based on expediency for sure. Given the budget imposed on Birmingham I suppose it makes some sort of sense getting a load of schools out of your hair. Has Michael Gove approached Sir Albert one wonders? While that seems most unlikely he’s been busy distributing largesse through his agents. So Rob Briscoe has a budget for his operation “bugger our schools”.
How education is going to be planned and provided in future is anyone’s guess. I’m no fan of academies or free schools but a criticism of free schools so far is that they are allowed into areas that don’t need them, affecting existing schools adversely, while not being targeted on areas of need.
Is Gove unassailable? The exam debacle suggests he is not, and the way is wide open to building the resistance that is apparent to the privatisation of the health service. Otherwise when we wake up the whole of our hard won state education system will have been lost.
Why is Gove not only tolerated but lionised? It’s the ideology that matters rather than his consistence inept bungling. Like Bore in Birmingham you can’t take him at face value, the real agenda is there below the surface.

Socialism. What’s the difference?

Socialism is being resisted at every turn in what is generally termed the “western world”. Why? What difference would it make in a society where Greed takes precedence over Need?
Two headlines in today’s press report on what is happening globally. In the Guardian we read about the owners of Silver Spoon Sugar and Twinings Tea avoiding tax in Zambia where sugar is produced. Exploitation continues apace as Greed takes precedence over Need. Who controls these corporate giants which hold greater power than governments, or exert massive influence through entrenched lobby systems in western governments including US, UK and EU. While we elect representatives who do they take notice of as they are enticed by lucrative directorships for themselves and their families, or lavish entertainment. We see in the UK MPs and Lords, Tory or New Labour, falling like flies as corrupt Russian billionaires wine and dine them in their luxury homes and yachts in their exclusive playgrounds. The same impose austerity on the rest in need of decent homes, jobs, education and health and social care as local authorities are cut to the bone. We’re all in it together says the Chancellor from his ivory tower. Both he and Peter Mandelson have enjoyed the attention of their wealthy Russian friends, neither short of a bob or two while assuring us “we’re all in it together”.
Secondly how did that horse get into my dinner? Perhaps its better for me than fatty beef products. Well that’s what David Cameron would have us believe. Health and safety watchdogs are sleeping, again cut to the bone. It’s not the horse meat itself, something else has been found inside it says The Independent. Clearly Cameron is embarrassed as his underling gets addressing down for sleeping on the job.
In Birmingham last night we caught a glimpse of how it might be otherwise as the Socialist Labour Party celebrated the 41st anniversary of the “Battle of Saltley Gate” and discussed Need over Greed, a different world view that does exist elsewhere as we heard from the Cuban Ambassador, Esther Armenteros and the Deputy Venezuelan Ambassador, Alvaro Sanchez. First Pete Jackson, author of a publication “The Battle of Saltley Gate” gave an overview of events in Birmingham in 1972 when 30,000 Birmingham workers stopped work in support of the beleaguered miners. 10,000 joined another 6,000 miners, an event that was to have a decisive effect on an earlier Tory Government that promoted Greed over Need. A year ago Arthur Scargill and his Deputy in Yorkshire NUM, Ken Capstick returned to Saltley Gate and stressed the lessons for us today faced with an even greater threat to working people. If we define this group as all those who don’t have control over production vs. those who do we see it as a much larger group of people losing out as an ever smaller elite gains control over all our needs. Greed over Need. In the SLP we emphasise Need over Greed. In Cuba and Venezuela we can see this in action as health and education are provided to those previously excluded, and then shared more widely with others in need.
Esther Armenteros spoke of the increased influence Cuba has in Latin America as they assume the presidency of CELAC. Alvaro Sanchez spoke as Venezuela celebrated the 21st anniversary of an attempted coup involving Hugo Chavez who has just won back leadership in recent elections, but is recovering from major surgery in Havana. SLP President Andrew Jordan summed up the situation as we struggle for jobs, for housing, education and health, services all destroyed as services are handed over to private bodies greedy for profit, short on compassion.