Rising homelessness is a national scandal

The Tories’ cuts are leading to support for the homeless being axed at the same time as rough sleeping increases, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

IT WAS revealed this week that the number of shelter beds for homeless people has dropped by almost a fifth under the Tories, with budget cuts meaning that England now has enough beds for less than half of those who need them.

With around 77,000 single people estimated to be homeless on any given night, it means that there are now only enough beds for less than half the homeless.
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Tory outsourcing and privatisation fails our railways

Only public ownership can improve Britain’s railways, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

While it has not received the mainstream media attention it deserves, developments in recent weeks and months have further shown that the Tories have no strategy for improving Britain’s railways.

In fact, their obsession with further outsourcing and privatisation means that the mistakes of the past 20 plus years are likely to be repeated yet again.

Tory Transport Secretary Chris Grayling recently announced the West Coast Partnership – this lucrative contract extension on the West Coast was remarkably offered to Virgin and Stagecoach even though the Tories recently gifted them a £2 billion bailout from the taxpayer on the East Coast.
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Time to end Britain’s ‘special relationship’ with Saudi Arabia

Rolling out the red carpet for the Saudi Crown Prince shows the Tories have the wrong priorities, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

WHEN the government recently rolled out the red carpet to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it claimed that our “special relationship” with the Saudi dictatorship has made “both of our countries safer and more prosperous.”

Additionally, throughout his visit, the Tories continually insisted that the Crown Prince was a point of firm support for British policy in the world.
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15 years since Blair and Bush’s War on Iraq – We need to learn the lessons

This week marks the 15th anniversary of the beginning of the disastrous Bush and Blair war in Iraq. This war led to 100,000s of deaths and made the world, including Britain, a more dangerous place. The 15th anniversary should be seen as a timely reminder of how trust in politics got broken, where we are and where we need to go from here.

There is little doubt that we live in challenging times, whether that be the permanent circus of reaction that is the Trump US presidency or the debates around Brexit and the future of the British economy and our role in the world.
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Hammond’s complacent Spring Statement shows the Tories need to go

Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement today showed once again that the Tory government has totally failed to wake up to the damage austerity is causing.

This is true both in terms of the sheer scale of suffering austerity is inflicting on people and their communities, and the underlying damage being done to our economy, which is being starved of much-needed investment.

In 2010, the current Prime Minister and Chancellor were members of the Conservative-led Cabinet that made the decision to slash investment and then deprive the economy of the investment it needed for years to come, whilst giving tax breaks to large corporations and the super-rich.
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Tory-instigated housing crisis needs Labour’s radical solution

Creating a dedicated housing ministry tasked with building a million new homes in five years, including half a million council homes, is as realistic as it is necessary, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

Theresa May’s housing speech showed that the Tory government still has no proper plan to fix the crisis.

As John Healey MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, said, “We’ve heard hand-wringing on housing from May before, but there’s nothing new here that will make a difference.”

This is hardly surprising, as to do so would involve admitting that Tory policies have created the housing crisis.
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We all lose as water companies line the pockets of shareholders

Labour’s plan to nationalise utilities is the only way forward and best evidenced by private water companies which bleed us dry.

It was recently revealed that the privatised water industry has shelled out over £13bn in dividends since 2010.

For those of us who opposed Thatcher and the Tories’ privatisation drive, including water, initiated in 1989, and the love affair of all governments with privatisation and linked policies such as PFI and outsourcing ever since, the findings may not have come as a surprise, but the findings of Labour’s recent analysis are still shocking.
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Jeremy is Right – We Don’t Need May’s ‘Review’ to Know Free Education Works

For once this week, Theresa May finally seemed to admit that the Tory Government had got something wrong, when she ordered a new education review.

But despite this week’s spin, the Tory record is clear – they have failed students and education in Britain.

They have trebled tuition fees, abolished maintenance grants and left students graduating with debts of up to £57,000.

The Prime Minister’s announcement followed the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee publishing a report on student loans, saying that the committee was “unconvinced that the interest rates currently charged on student loans can be justified on re-distributive grounds”.
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Carillion’s collapse shows the neoliberal dogma has failed

We need to bury the obsession with privatisation for good, writes KEN LIVINGSTONE.

CAPITA issued a profit warning this week that set alarm bells ringing across both Whitehall and the country. It was the third major outsourcing company in the last month to issue profit warnings.

The news regarding Capita was yet another illustration of how the Tory obsession with privatisation and outsourcing is failing, coming only weeks after the collapse of Carillion.
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Tory cuts are directly to blame for the NHS crisis – Fix It Now

With the NHS facing the biggest financial squeeze in its history — and as a result staff vacancies reaching 100,000 — we are all facing the consequences of the Tories’ failure when it comes to the NHS, making a major demonstration this Saturday for #OurNHS all the more important.

Theresa May recently boasted that the NHS was the best prepared it’s ever been – but as the winter crisis continues, staff and users alike know that this is yet another shocking example of Tory neglect and complacency.
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