Emperors New Clothes: A ride up and down the richter scale of inequality

Louise Guthrie reviews Russell Brands new film....

“Did you put Freddie Mercury under this kind of pressure?” says Brand, in response to Brian May’s question: “What do you want us to do?”, straight after the first screening of The Emperor’s New Clothes at the Hackney Picturehouse on Tues 21st April.

Both men have their own ideas on putting right the wrongs. The freshly aired documentary film (nicely timed for the run-up to the election) ended neatly with a cry for higher taxes on the wealthy, a call to crank up inheritance tax, pin down some wayward bankers (if you can ever get hold of them, that is), abolish tuition fees, and introduce rent regulations. Oh, and how about radically increasing the minimum wage, and getting companies to reduce the gap between the highest and lowest earners.  But – ‘To Vote, or Not to Vote’ - is that really the question? Well is it, Russell?

 

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People's Assembly Podcast - Election Special

Last week we asked what the important issues were for you all at election time. We're covering the top two in the newest episode of our podcast - TTIP and the NHS - and asking experts what the mail political parties are proposing. The podcast is up on iTunes as well as soundcloud, or click below to listen.


Challenging the Austerity Approach to Healthcare

The heat of the General Election is near boiling point as the battle rages for the leadership of Britain on May 7th. A long overdue injection of political diversity in the candidates available - though all white and mostly middle class it has to be said - allied with the wide-spread pain of austerity, has opened up the spectrum of key, ‘vote-winning’ policy areas wider than has been seen in an election year for decades.

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Education Cuts: Evident at all Levels

Cuts to any public service have a human face. Behind every cut is a child, an individual, a family and even, perhaps, a whole community with cuts to schools, hospitals, transport and leisure services. When cuts are made, they have a disproportionate impact upon people and communities who are already experiencing shortages of income, jobs, education and housing. Cuts are not only unnecessary but are a deliberate strategy to undermine state involvement in any form of public provision and to allow the forces of the market to exploit and subjugate populations.

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Can the Welfare State Afford to be Cut by a Further £12 billion?

Point number four on the Conservative Party's Long Term Economic Plan pledges: 'Capping welfare and working to control immigration so our economy delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules'. 

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Movements Making History Against the Housing Crisis

A quick reminder: renters’ rights, like just about any other rights, were not handed to us on a plate. Campaigns for fair rents and against horrific conditions have been waging for over a century and some of them feel so familiar it’s uncanny. I wouldn’t be surprised, for example, if the Focus E15 mums turn out to be direct descendants of Mary Barbour, a firebrand Glaswegian who banded together hundreds of mothers to organise city-wide rent strikes leading to some of the first legislation on rental rates in the UK.

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Keeping you up to date - the new episode of the People's Assembly Podcast is out now.

Podcast2.jpgIn this episode:
1) The psychology of austerity - Dr Carl Walker of Psychologists against Austerity.
2) The Housing Crisis - What are the main political parties are proposing to counter the crisis...
3) Upcoming Actions - the part where you get to take part. We have a HUGE rally & festival on June 20 incoming!
4) New music - for our patreon supporters. The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing with "Doing it for the Whigs".



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