Socialist Worker

Tories and their backers are in the money thanks to virus

Issue No. 2699

ff

Rees-Mogg is expecting to trouser some cash (Pic: Chris McAndrew/Parliament.uk)


Jacob Rees-Mogg—remember him?—will be cashing in on the coronavirus crisis. The Tory toff owns at least 15 percent of Somerset Capital Management.

It is bragging that coronavirus gives investors a golden opportunity to make money.

It is investing in businesses that have been hit by the crisis but are expected to bounce back. And it says investors can increase their investments by 500 percent.

Rees-Mogg is thought to have bagged £1 million of last year’s £19.5 million profits. He’s reportedly worth more than £100 million.

Boss Mark Asquith said, “History has shown us that super normal returns can be made during this type of environment.”

He said some firms had lost around 50 percent of their value due to coronavirus.

“Market dislocations of this magnitude happen rarely, perhaps once or twice in a generation, and have historically provided excellent entry points for investors,” he drooled.

The firm is managed in part via Singapore, a tax haven.

Oliver Crawley from SCM conceded that, “The human cost of the virus is devastating.” He added, “But our job as investment managers is to carefully invest our clients’ savings and pensions for their long-term security.”


Tory mate grabs contract

As the Tories say they are protecting ordinary people from coronavirus, they are coincidentally also helping their backers to get richer.

The government has appointed a giant haulage firm, Clipper Logistics, to manage a new supply channel to get personal protective equipment to the NHS.

It just so happens to have financial links to the Tories.

Executive chair Steven Parkin is a top Tory donor who gave nearly £1 million to the party in recent years.

His most recent donation of £25,000 was made on 12 December last year.

He also goes along to Conservative Party Leaders Group meals, where he has fancy dinners with high-ups in the party.

Perhaps at least the Tories are promoting a firm that’s looking after its workers?

Unfortunately not. Some Clipper Logistics warehouse workers complain they have been “crammed into corridors” and have had to wait “weeks” for protection such as hand sanitiser.


Amazon plot to blame workers

Amazon bosses are panicking about workers’ action during the Covid-19 crisis, leaked notes have revealed.

In an internal Amazon meeting, lawyer David Zapolsky suggested focusing attention on a sacked worker, Christian Smalls. Smalls had organised a safety walkout at his New York warehouse.

Zapolsky said Smalls was “not smart, not articulate”.

“To the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position,” he argued. “Make him the most interesting part of the story, and if possible make him the face of the entire union/organising movement.”

Zapolsky later explained that his comments had been “personal and emotional”. But his defence was just another opportunity to attack Smalls. “I was frustrated and upset that an Amazon employee would endanger the health and safety of other Amazonians,” he said. “I let my emotions get the better of me.”

Several groups of Amazon workers have staged protests over a lack of safety measures in its warehouses. But Amazon’s advocates only seem to feel “upset” about workers’ safety being put at risk when they can blame a worker and not the firm.


Government takes food from primary children

Troublemaker readers may think that, in the current crisis, a priority is making sure that children are fed. The Tories think differently.

The government last week quietly scrapped universal free school meals for primary school children.

Instead, only children with a parent on Universal Credit whose household income is less than £7,400 a year after tax will get them.

Schools will be able to issue vouchers worth £15 a week per child to spend in supermarkets.

The Tory manifesto at last year’s general election pledged to keep universal free school meals for primary school children.

  • The number of children living in poverty across Britain soared by 100,000 in just 12 months.

There are 4.2 million officially poor children according to the latest figures. That’s 600,000 more than when the Tories came to office.


Hancock says don't give nurses more pay

Tory health secretary Matt Hancock claims to care greatly for the NHS staff working around the clock to look after Covid-19 patients.

You might think he would consider rewarding them for their efforts.

Apparently not.

“Now is not the time to discuss a pay rise for nurses,” said Hancock last weekend.

We shouldn’t be surprised. Hancock can’t even be bothered to keep track of how many nurses have died due to coronavirus.

“We’ve seen four doctors die so far and some nurses,” he informed us last week.

  • Tories are joining in the “clap” for NHS and care workers on Thursdays.

It makes a chance from the things they usually celebrate.

In 2017, Tories cheered in parliament after voting to keep a 1 percent pay cap for nurses.


'Test vaccine on poor Africans'

Two top doctors in France last week suggested that a coronavirus vaccine should be tested on poor Africans.

The discussion between Jean-Paul Mira and Camille Locht was broadcast on live TV. Mira asked, “Shouldn’t we do this study in Africa where there are no masks, no treatment, no intensive care? A bit like we did in some studies on Aids.

“We tried things on prostitutes because they are highly exposed and do not protect themselves.”

“You are right,” Locht agreed. “We will think seriously about it.”


Tories give data to supermarkets, not councils

The Tories shared data on 1.5 million vulnerable people with supermarkets as the crisis hit.

The aim was to allow those most in need to be prioritised for home deliveries.

Councils were told they too could have the data, so that care workers and volunteers could get vital supplies to vulnerable people. But the Tories have still not handed it over.


Buy fewer drugs, says boss

Car hire boss Ling Valentine in Gateshead has pledged to pay furloughed staff and offered loans.

She also advised workers to “buy fewer pizzas and recreational drugs” during the crisis.

“We should all cut back a bit,” she explained.


Who says?

‘I congratulated him on becoming Labour leader’

Boris Johnson’s message to the new leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer

‘This is a huge sigh of relief for many in the Labour Party ’

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweets her ‘impartial’ opinion on the Labour leadership result

‘An era of so much bitterness’

Kuenssberg on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership

‘Moral disgrace’

Former TV presenter Tony Robinson on the Corbyn years

‘Thankful that chapter is now closed’

Labour peer Iain McNichol celebrates Corbyn’s exit

‘The Corbyn years brought terrible shame’

Failed Labour leadership candidate David Miliband tweets

‘You couldn’t even win a contest over the best Miliband. Pipe down’

Labour member Lawrence Dunne replies


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.