Enough of this capitalist parasitism!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
15 November 2017

The bosses' politicians have been quite busy lately.  While some have been playing musical chairs to fill the gaps left by sacked and resigning ministers, others have been trying to convince us that they have some sort of miracle recipe to end the Brexit deadlock - as if they actually had a clue!  And, of course, most have probably been anxiously revisiting their past, for fear of being engulfed by the sexual harassment scandal.
    In the meantime, the rest of us, workers, are confronted with more down-to-earth problems.  While annual inflation is hitting 3.9% (taking housing costs into account), wage increases remain officially stuck at an average 2.2%.  But, of course, since this average lumps together the wages of the low-paid majority with the salaries and bonuses of the fat cats, it only conceals a much starker reality:  that, after years of stagnation, our real wages are falling, once again!

Once again we're supposed to pay...

But this was the moment chosen by the "wise men" of the allegedly "independent" Bank of England to increase its interest rate, on November 2nd.
    Of course, a 0.25% increase doesn't sound like much, especially as this only reverses a cut made after the Brexit referendum.  But against the backdrop of today's Brexit inflation, even this tiny amount is not as innocuous as it may seem.
    For a start, the pound has immediately reacted by taking another plunge - meaning more inflation.
    Besides, Nationwide has already announced that it will pass on this rise in full to its 600,000 variable-rate mortgagees.  And no doubt the other lenders will follow suit.  Overall, 5 million households will face higher mortgage bills, while private landlords seize the opportunity to increase rents and manufacturers pass on the rising cost of their own borrowing to consumers.
    And who can tell by how much all these sharks will increase their charges?  What is there to stop them from grabbing this opportunity to force an even larger increase down our throats?  Nothing!
    Take the banks and mortgage lenders.  Over the past decade, their borrowing costs have been at rock bottom, under 1%.  And yet, before the BoE's rate rise, the average interest rate was 2.55% for mortgages, 8.04% for a £5,000 personal bank loan and 18.33% for credit card lending!  No wonder the banks are anticipating to pay out a total of £26bn in dividends this year - a 6% increase over 2016!
    So, no ifs, no buts - this "tiny" interest rate hike is certain to boost inflation even more.  And yet we are told that it is designed to reduce inflation!  Who do they think they're fooling?  The truth is that the only beneficiaries of this hike will be, once again, the profiteers - as if their parasitism was not crippling enough as it is!

... While the parasites thrive

Indeed the Paradise Papers expose the extent of the parasitism of the rich and powerful so crudely that they should be called the "Parasite Papers".
    Of course, these 13 million documents point at the usual suspects: the royals, Trump's close entourage, politicians from all over the world, show-business and sporting stars.  But above all, they expose the incredibly complex web of bogus shelf companies that corporations have woven across mainly British tax havens in order to minimise their tax bills and, in some cases, reduce them to peanuts.
    However, the most striking feature of the galaxy of tricks revealed by these documents is that they're all more or less "legal"!  Which is kind of strange for the rest of us, PAYE workers!
    And this is where the real scandal lies.  The discovery that the capitalists are thieves is not new, of course.  Don't they habitually rob us of the wealth we produce?  But every government has pledged to clamp down on wealthy tax dodgers.  And yet, whether Tory or Labour, they have all kept tax loopholes wide open.  Cameron even went so far as to block an EU attempt to make it compulsory to reveal the names of the beneficiaries of tax haven-based trusts!
    The result of all these scams?  Huge state-sponsored theft!  For instance, they allow British companies to cut their corporation tax bills by an estimated £20bn/yr - or 28%!  How many hospitals and social homes could be built with that money?
    So, while inflation and increasingly inadequate wages force us to dig always deeper into our pockets in order to pay our bills, the rich keep getting richer, come what "May"!
    As long as the fat cats' politicians hold the reins of power and control the institutions of the state, it will remain an instrument for the few, who own everything in society, against the many.  It is more than high time that the many - we, the working class - take over control of this failed system, in order to change it!