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Dec
2017
Thursday 14th
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

THERESA MAY and Jeremy Corbyn will attend today’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral to mark the half-yearly anniversary of the Grenfell Tower conflagration, with 150 families still awaiting a permanent home.

May has been called out for her failure to make good on her promise to rehouse all survivors within three weeks of the fire and is reduced to making more promises that few believe.

The government’s failure to honour its Grenfell pledges reflects its attitude towards the wider picture of homelessness.

Corbyn, who has campaigned constantly, under both Labour and Tory governments, for secure, affordable homes to rent provided by local authorities, raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions.

While May baited him over New Labour failures in office when few council homes were built and the government adopted the Tory policy of privatising council housing stock, Corbyn pointed out that it had at least presided over a two-thirds reduction in homelessness.

In contrast, since the Tories went into coalition with fellow neoliberal zealots the Liberal Democrats, homelessness has spiralled, with 128,000 children likely to wake up on Christmas Day in temporary or emergency housing.

How could it be otherwise when the Tories have failed their commitment to deliver one-for-one replacement for every council house sold under the right to buy scheme?

Barely one in five have been replaced and many of those sold have ended up in the private rented sector at greatly increased rents.

The Tories show no real interest in building local authority homes to rent cheaply because they fear that this would tend to lower demand in the housing market and reduce pressure to increase rents.

They already showed their true colours in voting down a Labour amendment laying down that all homes offered for rent should be “fit for human habitation,” when it was revealed that over a quarter of Tory MPs are private landlords.

While Corbyn stresses the need to tackle housing shortages, his opponents prefer to mollycoddle rogue landlords.

Alabama votes

VICTORY for Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the contest for Alabama’s Senate seat was a triumph for a coalition of decency against the forces of conservative bigotry.

Defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore was backed strongly by Donald Trump, so his demise was equally a setback for the US president.

Trump, who has brushed off repeated allegations of having assaulted women, showed similar contempt for the many women who have testified to having been pursued for sex by Moore when he was in his thirties and they were in their teens — one just 14.

He urged his supporters to vote for Moore, portraying him as an evangelical conservative inspired by religion to deny abortion rights to women.

The Moore camp claimed that Alabama’s African-American population shared his denial of a woman’s right to choose and would not oppose him. How did they get that one so wrong?

No fewer than 92 per cent of black men backed Jones, while a stonking 97 per cent of black women did likewise.

Add to them growing numbers of white people who, irrespective of personal conservatism or identification with Christianity, could not stomach the idea of lining up behind people who mouth religious pieties while treating women and girls as playthings to sate their egos.

Alabama voters have delivered a rebuff to Trump, weakening his position in the Senate and undermining the prospects of driving through his anti-Mexican, Islamophobic, misogynist and anti-working-class agenda.




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