That's Capitalism - WS107

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One child in eight in less developed countries gets no primary schooling, according to UNESCO. Of the approximately 75 million children who receive no primary schooling, about 55% are girls. In sub-Saharan Africa one-third of all children receive no schooling.Each of the 12 Residential Institutions Redress Board members took home an average of €135,583 last year for listening to the horrific stories of abuse and stolen childhoods suffered by former residents of care homes and industrial schools. Despite receiving more than €135,000 each in the space of a year, the board members have approved settlements of an average of just €65,000 to victims since the scheme's inception.

Between 1998 and 2003 the United Nations has estimated that the war in the Congo led to the deaths of as many as 5.2 million civilians. The death toll is still climbing. It is the bloodiest conflict since the end of the Second World War. Western multinationals and both European and African states have armed ‘rebel’ groups in their attempts to control the DRC’s huge mining and mineral resources.

You might think that the government appointees to the AIB and Bank of Ireland boards are supposed to represent the interests of the tax payer, whose money was used to bail them out. They include former Labour leader Dick Spring and Fine Gael’s Alan Dukes, the first is now a businessman and the other is employed as a lobbyist for multi-national firms. As board members they are legally obliged to look after the interests of bank shareholders first.

According to the London Times of November 26th, a wealthy female surgeon has commissioned a £1.4 million kennel for her two Great Danes, next to her second home on the exclusive Lower Mill Estate, near Cirencester in England. The kennel has a Jacuzzi, a plasma screen TV, thermostatically controlled beds, a £150,000 music system and a security gate with retinal scanner.

Meanwhile, the following day’s BBC News reported an Age Concern poll which found many over-60s were worried about being able to heat their homes because of soaring energy prices. With one of the coldest winters for some years predicted, the death toll among seniors is expected to rise.


This article is from Workers Solidarity 107 Jan/Feb 2009

You can read WS107 online or download the PDF file

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