Socialist Worker

The Troublemaker

Issue No. 2475

Oh my Lords! The meetings and the shares stay secret

The Tory peer who suggested more than half of NHS beds could be cut attended a meeting about also replacing the health service with a private insurance scheme.

Lord Prior was revealed in the press last week as suggesting  to consultancy firm McKinsey that half of NHS beds could be scrapped.

He made the disclosure to an executive during a tour of US health facilities paid for by the consultancy firm. 

It came two months after Prior was invited by McKinsey to the meeting. 

The company tried to block details of the conference in September 2013 from being made public.

Topics discussed included sessions on “building a national health insurer” and “private health insurance growth opportunities—the new frontier”.

McKinsey earns millions of pounds supplying services to the NHS and advising private healthcare clients.


Another government minister failed to declare shares worth £50,000 in a company lobbying the government. 

The House of Lords code of conduct obligates members to declare shareholdings “exceeding £50,000 in value” in the chamber’s register of interests. 

Private equity mogul and Tory donor Lord Nash bought £49,998.60 in energy switching company This Is The Big Deal Ltd—just £1.60 below the threshold. 

A single additional share would have pushed him over the limit.


No room at the Nazi death trap

The Nazi British National Party (BNP) announced its Autumn conference—but they can’t say where “because people phone up and intimidate the owners”. 

They say, “We have heavily subsidised the cost of the rooms to provide you with a great offer on accommodation at this very unique venue.

By “unique venue” do they mean Peter Metcalfe’s in Blackpool? 

The BNP’s chosen conference hotelier was given the longest ever sentence for breaching fire safety regulations last year. 

“I would say it was a death trap,’ said Alex Bracken, Blackpool Council’s housing enforcement manager. 

Here’s hoping.


Tories back a no-fly zone...in Britain!

The government has approved a no-fly zone in Britain. 

It comes into force next month after a request from royal scroungers the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

All aircraft, except emergency aircraft, will be banned from flying within 1.5 miles of their Anmer Hall mansion, near King’s Lynn in Norfolk.

They don’t want the press flying over because they hate publicity so much.

Other royals want more snooping, not less.

For a whopping £21,500—or £23,000 depending on experience—you could help provide security to the queen.

The royals are looking for a “vetting officer” to work at Buckingham Palace. 

The successful candidate will vet references for royal employees and should be “naturally tenacious”.


The hidden, tragic victim of 9/11 terror

You may think that there were 2,753 victims of the 9/11 terror attacks. 

But there is one whose story was never told—until now.

Iain Duncan Smith has revealed that the terror attacks were the reason for his failure as Tory leader.

They grabbed all the attention—and left none for him.

Duncan Smith told a fringe meeting at the Tory conference, “The day before I got elected the towers were struck. 

“So we got no lift on my announcement.”


For the Socialist Worker seller who has everything

Occasionally Socialist Worker sellers stand behind a table to sell their wares. But for the SW seller who has everything  Troublemaker offers, via the How to Spend It supplement of the Financial Times, the table for the campaign that has everything.

Apparently it’s “A sculptural table with a reclaimed feel and many uses; as a preparation area or place to perch and dine, ideal for small spaces. 

“With a black iron frame and a solid elm top, this combination of materials is a design masterpiece.” 

A snip at £795.


Facebook likes are taxing

Facebook has rightly insisted it is complying with the law despite paying less than £5,000 in corporation tax here last year.

The social media giant’s British arm paid just £4,327 in company taxes.

Facebook’s payment of £4,327 is less than a single worker on an average salary of £26,500 would pay. 

A worker would fork out £3,180 in income tax and £2,213 in national insurance contributions.

Facebook made a global profit of £1.9 billion, on revenue of £8.1 billion. The UK revenues were £105 million.


Blair's favourite adviser

What should prime ministers do when they’re in a pickle? Ask a football manager!

Apparently Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson advised Tony Blair to “get rid” of a colleague, thought to be Gordon Brown.

Blair replied, “It’s all very well, Alex, but how would it be if you got rid of a player and still found him in the dressing room every day?”


Paying to hear Cameron's hot air

Delegates and visitors queued for hours to get a seat for Jeremy Corbyn’s first leader’s speech in Brighton.

They do things differently in the Tory Party, where money talks loudest.

Reserved places for Cameron’s big speech were on sale, priced £500.

Bizarrely, people went.


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The Troublemaker
Tue 13 Oct 2015, 15:54 BST
Issue No. 2475
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