John Pilger: ‘I spoke to impoverished families in 1975 and little has changed since then’

26 November 2020 — John Pilger

John Pilger interviewed Irene Brunsden in Hackney, east London about only being able to feed her two-year-old a plate of cornflakes in 1975. Now he sees nervous women queueing at foodbanks with their children as it’s revealed 600,000 more kids are in poverty now than in 2012.

A British family from the film ‘Smashing Kids’, 1975. Photograph: John Garrett

When I first reported on child poverty in Britain, I was struck by the faces of children I spoke to, especially the eyes. They were different: watchful, fearful.

In Hackney, in 1975, I filmed Irene Brunsden’s family. Irene told me she gave her two-year-old a plate of cornflakes. “She doesn’t tell me she’s hungry, she just moans. When she moans, I know something is wrong.”

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Exiting the false “jobs versus environment” dilemma

16 November, 2020 — ROAR

The workerist environmentalism of Italy’s Porto Marghera group connects the workplace and the community in the struggle against capitalist “noxiousness.”

Amidst the renewed rise of obscene inequalities, a wave of protests is sweeping through Italy, from south to north. On the one hand, the pandemic has engendered an upsurge in workplace disputes to defend health and in mobilizations to protect the income of workers affected by COVID-19-related restrictions. On the other hand, however, we have also witnessed successful interventions coordinated by the right and infused with a bewildering array of conspiracy theories in response to such measures.

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Rishi Sunak’s planned cut to benefits is much bigger than Osborne’s in 2015

6 October 2020 — True Publica
Rishi Sunak’s planned cut to benefits is much bigger than Osborne’s in 2015

By Torsten Bell, Karl Handscomb and Adam Corlett: Back in 2015, 3.3 million working families were on track to lose an average of over £1,000 a year from the following April. As Figure 1 shows, today, the income of roughly twice as many families is at risk, with 6 million households (containing 12 million adults and 6 million children) set to have their income reduced by £20 a week from April 2021. This is principally because this time the cut will affect all recipients of Universal Credit or tax credits, whether they are working or not. The planned cut by Rishi Sunak, at around £8 billion, is therefore over twice as big as the £3.4 billion George Osborne intended (£3.7 billion in 2021-22 money). Continue reading

Blight and Revelation: Coronavirus, Austerity and the UK

12 August 2020 — Global Research

Epidemiologist Michael Marmot begins his August 10 piece in The Guardian on a sombre note.  It is drawn from The Plague by Albert Camus.  “The pestilence is at once blight and revelation; it brings the hidden truth of a corrupt world to the surface.”  Professor Marmot uses the UK’s inglorious record on combating COVID-19 as a mirror for both blight and revelation. 
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Macron wounded, but still eyeing austerity

11 July 2020 — Red Flag
Macron wounded, but still eyeing austerityThe second round of the French local elections, at the end of June, was bad news for president Emmanuel Macron, whose candidates did very poorly. In response, Macron switched prime ministers, replacing high-profile operator Edouard Philippe with an unknown right winger, Jean Castex, whose previous experience consisted mostly of being mayor of a town with 6,000 inhabitants. “I’m not looking for the limelight”, confirmed Castex on the day of his appointment. Meanwhile, mobilisations for Black lives and working-class anger at austerity and job losses have marked the month since the raising of the lockdown. What are the prospects for the year to come?

Meet BlackRock, the New Great Vampire Squid

22 June 2020 — Greanville Post

Ellen Brown

Blackrock

BlackRock is a global financial giant with customers in 100 countries and its tentacles in major asset classes all over the world; and it now manages the spigots to trillions of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve. The fate of a large portion of the country’s corporations has been put in the hands of a megalithic private entity with the private capitalist mandate to make as much money as possible for its owners and investors; and that is what it has proceeded to do.

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A zoom discussion with Michael Roberts on the prospects for the world economy post-lockdown

7 May 2020 — theplanningmotivedotcom

This is a very topical discussion and one with which the Bank of England has engaged in. It projects a 14% fall in GDP this year (the most in 300 years) followed by a 15% jump next year. This means a net rise in GDP of 1% over two years. This bounce back could have been justified had the world economy been in good health, instead of suffering a severe underlying condition, chronically low profitability. In the face of a profit crisis, Brexit and a fracturing global economy, that projection of bounce back is the most optimistic since capital first deprived labourers of their instruments of production turning them into an industrial proletariat.
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Government is using daily coronavirus death toll as a ‘propaganda tool’, claims expert

5 May 2020 — Yahoo News

Victoria Bell

Downing Street’s publication of the daily COVID-19 death toll and testing counts is a “propaganda tool” because the data “is unreliable when reported daily”, an expert has claimed.

Professor Allyson Pollock, the director of Newcastle University’s centre for excellence in regulatory science, said coronavirus has “shone a spotlight on the widening inequalities” in Britain and called for the government to revisit its public sector policies.

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When the Invisible Hand Gives You the Finger

1 April 2020 — FAIR

Corporate media shrug as elite declare loss of profits worse than loss of lives

NYT: Restarting the Economy Is About Lives Versus Livelihoods

NYT: A N.Y. Nurse Dies. Angry Co-Workers Blame a Lack of Protective Gear.

Why the market fails to provide life-saving goods is not a question the New York Times (3/26/20) will be asking.

Since the days of Adam Smith, capitalists have been arguing that unfettered markets are the best way to organize the economy. Smith famously said that the rich are “led by an invisible hand” to, “without knowing it, advance the interest of the society.” The rise of the welfare state in the wake of the Great Depression tempered such magical thinking for a few decades, but the ascent of neoliberalism in the last half century has brought a resurgence in market fundamentalism, in both theory (very much including the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post) as well as practice.

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Ghosts of Capitalism vs. Walls of Solidarity

24 March 2020 — Internationalist 360°

Stella Calloni

In these difficult times for humanity, confronted with the danger of constant predatory action by the greed and boundless ambition of the hegemonic powers in the name of the free market, free enterprise, wild neo-liberalism, the destruction of nature ravaged to extremes never before seen by decadent capitalism, only solidarity and responsibility illuminate our habitat.

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Brexit, Covid-19 and the Debt Deluge – The perfect storm about to engulf us all

21 March 2020 — True Publica

By TruePublica Editor: Remembering this impending event and recalling it from memory to your friends is as easy as A, B, C, D. Broadly speaking it is about four interlinked events that have already happened but their combined effects will engulf the country within a year. Austerity, Brexit, CoVid and Debt will lead to a ruinous recession or a country and society so debt-laden it will be at the mercy of the ‘moneymen’ for decades to come.
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