Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

architectsforsocialhousing

Andrew, Eating

PART 1: INEQUALITY

THE WEALTH OF THE RICHEST 1% OF THE BRITISH POPULATION IS EQUAL TO THE WEALTH OF THE POOREST 55%.

THE 5 RICHEST BRITISH FAMILIES ARE AS WEALTHY AS THE POOREST 20% OF THE BRITISH POPULATION.
* That’s 12.6 million people.

THE WEALTH OF THE RICHEST 1000 PEOPLE IN BRITAIN HAS DOUBLED IN THE PAST TEN YEARS TO £547 BILLION.
* More than a third of the annual economic output of the entire U.K.

BRITAIN HAS 117 BILLIONAIRES, THE MOST PER CAPITA OF ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
* That’s one for every 547,000 people, more per head of population than any other nation in the G20.

LONDON’S 80 BILLIONAIRES IS THE MOST OF ANY CITY IN THE WORLD.
* With a total wealth of £325 billion, more than the GDP of Ireland or South Africa.

THE £9 TRILLION OF PRIVATE WEALTH IN BRITAIN IS HELD BY JUST…

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Police station targeted by housing activists

Real politics, no bullshit

Focus E15

Congratulations to the ‘Balcony 4’ and Focus E15 campaigners  who successfully dropped banners from a disused, sold off and boarded-up police station in East Ham on Sunday 10 July 2016, to highlight the current crisis in housing.  This action took place during the Mayor’s Newham Show (will he call it the Robin Wales Show next year?!) – which is a two day council-sponsored event that takes place in a local park in East Ham.  Focus E15 campaign was determined to let people know what is really happening in the Labour controlled borough of Newham where Mayor Robin Wales is still at the helm. As the Mayor’s show took place, this action unfolded.

The background  story is that the campaign has protested during the mayor’s show over the last two years. In 2014, Robin Wales over-reacted to young mothers talking about rights to housing  during the show and a complaint was lodged against him. He faced the Newham Standards…

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Callaghan…sort your priorities out!

Politicians: self-important pricks

There have been acres of coverage in the papers, hours of pontificating on the radio and and endless stream of posts on the internet on the civil war that’s consuming the Labour Party. What was supposed to have been a march against austerity and racism organised by the Peoples Assembly in London on Saturday July 16th ended up as a tedious Corbyn love-fest. For the record, the official position of the Heckler on Labour’s civil war is that we do not give a toss. We believe that real, radical change will not come through the ballot box or on what goes on in the council chamber or Parliament – it will only come by people collectively campaigning at grassroots level.

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Our only interest in Labour’s internal angst comes when elected Labour councillors start to convey the impression to residents that they’re more concerned with who’s going to end up leading…

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Donate to the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund here:

There are three ways to donate online to The International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund: Make a recurring monthly donation of any amount via patreon Make a one-time donation via fundrazr. Make a one-t… Read more

For a world without leaders, elections, jobs, money, nukes or fascists: Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2016.

naughty boyIt was a lovely sunny weekend, with a superb music line-up. We made some new comrades and enjoyed catching up with the Bognor contingent, Bristol Afed, Swindon A’s, North London, South Wales, West Midlands IWW and many musician friends. Big shout out to the Wob Kitchen for all the tasty vegan meals.

Tolpuddle festival is the Ascot of the left; the various historical re-enactment societies and activist groups rub shoulders in a more or less cordial way and Che Guevara shirts are worn without irony. The Radical Workers’ Bloc idea began in 2011, as a new generation discovered rioting, exasperated with the blatant futility of representative politics. Ever since, in the jolly festival atmosphere, we’ve had frank tactical discussions between Marxists and anarchists, antifascists, environmentalists, trade unionists and hunt sabs. There has been a tacit acceptance of the need for militant antifascism and mass direct action generally.

This was a weird one, the main topic of conversation being the tedious soap opera playing out in the Labour Party. The Westminster freak show is beyond parody, so we understand that the concept of any politician not being a crook or a sociopath is such a fucking novelty it could easily be mistaken for “a new kind of politics”. A good few of our comrades think so: “it isn’t really about Jeremy …” – well you could have fooled us. Each campaign group, union and Marxist party in turn pledged allegiance to the Leader. Even the bands made a point of endorsing Him from the stage. The SWP stall featured a large banner that commanded: “Join the Socialist Workers Party Today!” above a poster of J.C. proclaiming: “We’re the Labour Party and we’re here to stay!” Very confusing.

A more worthwhile discussion is the TUC’s failure to agree a coherent policy on the environment. Unite’s website insists Hinkley nuclear power station must go ahead without delay, plus the third runway at Heathrow– which 13 comrades narrowly avoided prison over recently. We understand there’s still a row going on in the GMB over fracking. If the workers’ organisations are not prepared to take responsibility for the fate of this lump of rock we’re all stood on, then who is? The bourgeoisie don’t give a shit.

Since the weekend three quarters of her majesty’s loyal opposition have voted for a new Trident doomsday machine, they must be stuck on the stench of burning flesh. The Corbyn movement now numbers at least half a million, maybe a million, fair play. So apart from keeping Corbyn what are their demands? They are split on the EU but then so were we. We’d guess they fancy a bit of social Keynesianism in place of the military variety, nationalisation and a progressive tax regime, but how and where are their different agendas going to be reconciled? If half a million people committed to direct action on one single issue – preventing deportation for example – there would be no more deportations. If they announced they would not permit anyone to be evicted from their homes, there would be no evictions. If that doesn’t grab anyone they could shut down fracking, blockade the factories that arm Israel and Saudi Arabia, or stop Trident dead in its tracks.

The only people feeling more left out were the Maoists, whose literature still fumes about the ‘counter-revolutionary renegade’ Leon Trotsky, apologises for the death toll of the Great Leap Forward and offers a defence of the Taliban against western imperialism – bless! I suppose if you actually want a boot on your neck, the left or the right one will do. The retrospective justification of mass murder, though unpleasant, is of little consequence when the perpetrators are a spent force. For sheer convoluted self-justifying, revisionist bullshit they’ve got nothing on Unite’s Executive Council statement on Trident which pre-emptively lays the blame for Armageddon at the door of anyone but the only people with the power to stop it.

Still our seditious anarchist literature flew off the stall, so someone must be reading it, follow leaders all you want, we’ll still be here when you get back. As for paying to vote for one, if anyone’s actually got 25 quid they don’t need it would be better spent supporting political prisoners such as Michelle Smith, a respected community activist, antifascist, and Unite the Union official from Merseyside. This comrade, who has our unreserved admiration, received a one-year sentence last Tuesday for helping the people of Dover defend themselves from neo-Nazis. It is entirely thanks to people like Michelle that the fascist threat is well contained. She is the single mother of two children, we send our solidarity and best wishes for an early release.MerseyAFN

A paypal account is being set up, in the meantime if you would like to donate, or write to Michelle, please send a message to Merseyside Anti-Fascist Network’s facebook page. There will be a fundraising event, Alerta! in Liverpool on sat 20th August 2016. Tickets are £5.

Right to Rent and the True Meaning of Xenophobia

Amila Bosnae

I’m used to ‘xenophobia’ meaning ‘hatred of foreigners’. The kind of hatred some majority populations exhibit when they hold all the power and have no actual reason to fear any minority that forms part of their society.

‘I don’t like you because you’re from another tribe.’

‘I was born here and am therefore entitled to all of this arbitrarily marked space and everything in it. You need to go away to your own space, you have no right to touch mine.’

‘I don’t know you, so I’ll hate you in order to show my support for my own kind.’

But ‘phobia’ means ‘fear’, not ‘hatred’. And just the other day I was faced with a very real example of that fear—directed at me.

A few months ago, my landlord informed me that he was selling my flat, so I recently began looking for a new one. Wednesday morning I saw…

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Repression round-up: court and prison news for July 20-25th

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