Thats capitalism

Date:

Our Money? - Their money? - Loadsa Money - Taxpayers Money? - Offensive

Back in 1999 Farmleigh House was offered for sale, for £13 million. So the government, in the person of Martin Cullen, gave them £25 million. He then spent another £20 million doing up the house so that it could be used for state receptions and to serve as a luxurious hotel for visiting heads of state. In the six years since not one state reception has been held, and only two visiting big wigs have slept there. This must make it the most expensive B+B anywhere.

Their money?

US Vice President Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, is doing very well out of the war in Iraq. It’s KBR subsidiary pays $5 to $16 a day in wages, but bills US taxpayers between $50 and $80 a day for each worker. For example, an invoice from KBR subcontractor, Ranj Company, shows laundry workers are paid $7 a day, but the military is billed between $60 and $70 a day for this work, a roughly ten-fold markup.

Loadsa Money

US gas equipment group Harris Calorific reported a 47% rise in pre-tax profits at its Irish unit in Rathnew, Co. Wicklow in the weeks before it decided to close the plant and make more than 70 workers redundant.

This rise in profits followed a 25%c increase in the previous period. The company is moving the entire operation to Poland because wage costs there are much lower than in Ireland.

Taxpayers Money?

On 7 December, Maya Evans, a   25 year old chef, was convicted of breaching Britain’s new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act by reading aloud at London’s Cenotaph the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq. So serious was her crime that it required 14 policemen in two vans to arrest her. She was fined and given a criminal record for the rest of her life.

Offensive

Eighty-year-old John Catt served with the RAF in the Second World War. Last September, he was stopped by police in Brighton for wearing an “offensive” t-shirt, which suggested that Bush and Blair be tried for war crimes. He was arrested under the Terrorism Act and handcuffed, with his arms held behind his back. The official record of the arrest says the “purpose” of searching him was “terrorism” and the “grounds for intervention” were “carrying placard and T-shirt with anti-Blair info”.


From Workers Solidarity 91, March/April 2006
PDF file online at http://www.wsm.ie/sites/default/files/ws91.pdf

Like what you're reading?
Find out when we publish more via the
WSM Facebook
& WSM Twitter