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Mamba Mentality
25,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

The inaugural Political Discussion Thread began as just an experiment and the thread ended up reaching over 5,000 posts!

Here we are in Thread #2 or Round 2 to talk about what you shouldn't talk about with family at the dinner table, everyone's favorite topic: politics.

So get ready, because there's a big fight ahead!

Featuring all-encompassing topical discussions on American politics and geopolitical stories.

The hot-button government and social issues go down in here.

As always ladies & gentlemen, please keep all debates civil.


There is no duty we so much underrate as... being
18,839 Posts
Provocative article:


When a deep red town’s only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don’t call it ‘socialism.’

Antonia Farzan

3 days ago

BALDWIN, Fla. — When Sean Lynch ran for mayor, he never anticipated that the job would involve hiring a butcher and tracking the sale of collard greens.

But in 2018, two years into his first term, the only grocery store in town shut down. People in Baldwin, Fla., a rural outpost in northeast Florida, were left with few options. They could leave town, driving 10 miles through road construction to nearby Macclenny, or battle 20 miles of freeway traffic through Jacksonville’s suburban sprawl. Alternatively, they could cobble together a meal out of canned goods from the local Dollar General, or head to a nearby truck stop for greasy, deep-fried fast food.

For many of Baldwin’s roughly 1,600 residents, though, traveling for food wasn’t really a choice. The town’s median household income of $44,271 is well below the state average, and it’s not uncommon for families to juggle their schedules around sharing one car. Senior citizens also make up a significant percentage of the population, and many no longer drive.

So Lynch came to his colleagues with a proposal: What if the town opened its own grocery store?

Abandoned by mainstream supermarkets whose business models don’t have room for low profit margins, both urban and rural communities nationwide have turned to resident-owned co-ops or nonprofits to fill the gap. But Baldwin is trying something different. At the Baldwin Market, which opened its doors on Sept. 20, all of the employees are on the municipal payroll, from the butcher to the cashiers. Workers from the town’s maintenance department take breaks from cutting grass to help unload deliveries, and residents flag down the mayor when they want to request a specific type of milk.

“We're not trying to make a profit,” Lynch told The Washington Post in a recent interview. “We're trying to cover our expenses, and keep the store running. Any money that's made after that will go into the town in some way.”

Though Lynch didn’t know of any other municipally owned grocery stores when he brought the idea to the town council, Baldwin isn’t alone. A similar experiment has been successful in St. Paul, Kan., which has had a city-run grocery store since 2013. David Procter, who directs the Rural Grocery Initiative at Kansas State University, told The Post that another city-owned grocery store will open in Caney, Kan., in the spring, and at least one other town in the state is considering following suit.

Many small-town grocers are reaching retirement age, and it’s tough for communities with dwindling populations to attract new residents when there’s no supermarket nearby. Consequently, Procter says, “food access becomes almost like a utility that you have to have for the town to exist.”

Notably, these experiments in communal ownership are taking place in deep-red parts of the country where the word “socialism” is anathema. “You expect to hear about this in a place like the People’s Republic of Massachusetts,” jokes Brian Lang, the director of the National Campaign for Healthy Food Access at The Food Trust.

But in many rural, conservative communities struggling to hang on to their remaining residents, ideological arguments about the role of government tend to be cast aside as grocery stores shutter due to population decline and competition from superstores.

“Fundamentally, what you have is people that have lived in these rural communities all their lives, and they want these rural communities to survive,” Procter said. “And they realize that without access to food, they’re not going to survive.”

By definition, a collectively owned, government-run enterprise like the Baldwin Market is inherently socialist. But Lynch, who has a nonpartisan position but governs a town where 68 percent of residents voted for Donald Trump in 2016, doesn’t see it that way. From his point of view, the town is just doing what it’s supposed to do: Providing services to residents who already pay enough in taxes.

“We take the water out of the ground and we pump it to your house and charge you,” he told The Post. “So what’s the difference with a grocery store?”

With quiet streets, 11 churches and a water tower that dominates the horizon, Baldwin has more in common with the farming communities to its west than with downtown Jacksonville to its east. About 12 years ago, local officials who were desperate for a supermarket agreed to build a store on a vacant lot the town owned so that they’d have an easier time attracting grocers. That solution worked until 2018, when the IGA shut down.

The town tried in vain to find another tenant, but the 10,000-square-foot store was too small for a Winn-Dixie or Walmart, and too big for mom-and-pop grocers. Raising property taxes was a non-starter, which meant that so, too, was luring retailers with generous incentives.

Lynch, a retired Navy veteran who grew up in New York, moved to Baldwin with his family in the 1980s when he was stationed in Jacksonville. They decided to stay for the strong public schools and small-town feel, and, after getting out of the service, Lynch went into the restaurant business. Already familiar with drawing up business plans and negotiating with suppliers, he didn’t find it too much of a stretch to do the same for the shuttered grocery store when it closed last year.

Over the summer, after holding several workshops, the town council approved a $150,000 loan from a reserve fund to get the Baldwin Market up and running. There wasn’t much hesitation about getting into the grocery business, Lynch says, since just about everyone was frustrated with the lack of options. The IGA’s former manager gladly took her old job back, and resumed her duties like nothing had changed.

Making the supermarket an extension of city hall did come with some bureaucratic hassles. It was crucial that the store accept EBT cards, but when Lynch went to fill out the paperwork, he was confounded by the fields asking for the first and last name of the person who owned the store. There was no one owner, he explained over the phone to officials in Atlanta — the store belonged to the town.

So far, though, the experiment has been a success. The town council had hoped to take in $3,500 a day, and sales have routinely exceeded that, Lynch says. About 1,600 people — roughly the equivalent of the town’s population — stopped in during opening weekend, according to the Florida Times-Union, and the market sold out of meat. Eight employees, all Baldwin residents, were hired at the outset, but the town recently brought on two more people to help out during the busy holiday season.

As Lynch showed a reporter around on a recent weekday afternoon, a woman in a McDonald’s uniform excitedly interrupted him. “I’m so happy you guys are open,” she gushed. “I was a regular before.” Though she works at the truck stop in Baldwin, she lives in an even more rural community outside of town, she explained, and had been driving 10 miles out of her way on bad roads that always seemed to be under construction to get to the nearest Winn-Dixie. “And their meats are not as good as yours,” she added.

Baldwin is surrounded by farm country, and in late October, local green beans, tomatoes, peanuts, cabbage and milk filled the shelves. Lynch tries to buy directly from local farmers, and is working with a fisherman from nearby Fernandina Beach to stock the store with fresh shrimp. Cashiers pass customer requests to the manager, though some residents go directly to the mayor to ask for Lactaid or keto-friendly snacks.

“As long as it’s cost-effective, we’ll put it in,” Lynch said. “Everyone knows it’s their store.”

The Baldwin Market has made life more convenient for people who previously drove into Jacksonville to buy groceries. But the bigger question is whether it can also meet its goal of providing healthier options for cash-strapped residents who relied on McDonald’s and Dollar General.

When the store first opened, online commentators quickly pointed out all the sweetened soft drinks on the shelves. There’s no shortage of sugary cereals, processed meats and beer. Lynch says that the town “didn’t want to start off at a loss dictating what we could sell and what we couldn’t,” since people intent on buying chips and soda would just go elsewhere, and buy the rest of their groceries in the same trip.

Though the Baldwin Market doesn’t need to worry about making a profit, there’s considerable pressure to break even in a notoriously low-margin business. The initial loan from the reserve fund still needs to be repaid, and the council will likely shut down the store after a year if proves to be a financial drain.

The town-run market also can’t compete with retail giants like Walmart, which Lynch acknowledges can lead to higher-than-average prices, such as $3.99 for a gallon of reduced-fat milk or $1.99 for a 16-ounce Diet Coke. Some residents have taken to the Internet to voice concerns about whether the low-income and elderly people the Baldwin Market is intended to help can actually afford to shop there.

While the town is figuring out how to balance these competing demands, Lynch has been fielding phone calls from people interested in bringing publicly owned grocery stores to food deserts in their own communities. He’s eager to talk them through the process, and optimistic that Baldwin’s model can be replicated elsewhere.

“Should [local governments] be in private enterprise all the time?” he mused. “Maybe not. But for situations like this, yeah, definitely I believe they should.”

Still, in places where fresh, healthy food is hard to find, it’s more common to see nonprofit organizations respond by openingtheir own stores, or for residents to band together and form food cooperatives. Often, local governments will lend fundingand critical support, and experts are divided on whether there’s an advantage to having the town itself own the store. There’s some dispute over whether residents will have more decision-making power in a co-op, and whether stores created by politicians risk facing closure or severe cutbacks when a new group of elected officials are voted in.

Lang, of The Food Trust, points out that since governments tend to have more resources and be more stable than nonprofits, a municipally owned grocery store could have more longevity than one operated by a community group. Even if the city becomes concerned about the cost of keeping the store open and tries to shut it down, “they could then end up with a whole bunch of angry residents on their hands,” he said. But governments tend to move slowly, he added, where nonprofits can be more “nimble and flexible.”

What’s promising, he and others agree, is that communities struggling to draw a grocery store have another alternative they can consider. Matt Bruenig, the founder of the People’s Policy Project, a socialist think tank, likens it to having a “public option” for health care.

“The idea that a municipality should have to beg private companies to provide basic goods and services to its people is absurd,” he said. “And being able to say ‘we will just do it ourselves’ is very powerful.”

Ohio district says it will stop allowing white students to leave district, citing ‘racial balance’
Evidently many families are frustrated in this Ohio district over eighteen months later according to a friend who moved to the district with his wife and son due to the ramifications of this. Fascinating developments are doubtless occurring.

1,146 Posts
Prediction: if 2020 is Trump vs a corporate Democrat, there is going to be more chaos, rioting in the streets and complete disillusionment from working class people. People are starting to realise they're being taxed out their assholes and getting nothing back from the country, and that Clinton vs Trump was theatre compared to the real fight.

Magic, sparkles and Strap-ons!
14,173 Posts
Prediction: if 2020 is Trump vs a corporate Democrat, there is going to be more chaos, rioting in the streets and complete disillusionment from working class people. People are starting to realise they're being taxed out their assholes and getting nothing back from the country, and that Clinton vs Trump was theatre compared to the real fight.
No there won't.

Bread and circuses, as long as people got their fast food, soda, reality TV and summer movies they'll be happy. Besides if there was a fight it would be between two working class groups while the rich elite and politicians skate on by.

Really I wish what you say would happen. I hope it does but people are so afraid of discomfort that they'll avoid any and all conflict and justify suffering bullshit because, "This isn't so bad, could be worse!".

From parts unknown
22,759 Posts
Besides if there was a fight it would be between two working class groups while the rich elite and politicians skate on by.
That ones already happening. The slightly less poor have their lips wrapped firmly around the dicks of the very rich while pegging the poorest of the lot.

It's not a fight. It's a consensual orgy.

Prediction: if 2020 is Trump vs a corporate Democrat, there is going to be more chaos, rioting in the streets and complete disillusionment from working class people. People are starting to realise they're being taxed out their assholes and getting nothing back from the country, and that Clinton vs Trump was theatre compared to the real fight.
Unnhh no. The majority of this country is a combination of neoliberal fascists and neoconservative fascists, both of with are corporate welfare statists therefore those disillusioned don't even know what's causing their alienation and despair. All they have is each other to blame while looking up to the rich like some sort of gods who will shower them with wealth if they only keep favoring them in some way.

Also, you really think that what the US government supports in South America, they won't do here. You really think that it wouldn't be easy to start making dissent illegal? Looooool.

Remember. This is a country that called Antifa a terrorist group (yes, they're violent, but the conflation here is the emphasis and the conflation here is the problem) and all antifa did was throw stones and injure a few people - meanwhile they refuse to call fuckboi mass murderers terrorists. They called Fred Hampton a terrorist and shot him in his sleep. Someone assassinated MLK who was a socialist.

This country and the majority of its people would rather suffer and die of starvation than not support their corporate over-lords because they're brainwashed to accept certain forms of indoctrination as truth. Things like corporate deceit, lying and trickery are seen as capitalistic. Anti-consumerism is seen as part of a "healthy economy". They would rather spend trillions on wars than give people their own social security back to them and wars have nearly 50% majority support. They've re-enabled the Cold War and both Ruskiphobia and Sinophobia. The right wing is back to being Xenophobic. Etc Etc Etc.

I haven't even scratched the surface here of all that's wrong with this dystopia.

Premium Member
9,372 Posts

Ohio anti-abortion bill would force procedure not medically possible

An Ohio anti-abortion law would force doctors to perform a procedure that is medically impossible — or be charged with murder.

The bill would require doctors to “reimplant” embryos that have attached to the woman’s fallopian tube rather than inside her uterus — a complication known as an ectopic pregnancy. Doctors who don’t somehow “attempt” to move the embryo from the fallopian tube to the uterus would face charges of “abortion murder” if the bill passes, the Guardian reports.

There’s no way to make an ectopic pregnancy viable, and without medical intervention, a woman experiencing the complication could die. But, because the bill stipulates that an embryo is an unborn child, failing to “preserve” it could face criminal prosecution under the proposed law, House Bill 413, introduced in the lower house of Ohio’s legislature and sponsored by State Reps. Candice Keller and Ron Hood.

But doctors have swiftly responded to the lawmakers that there’s no way to “reimplant” an embryo from outside the uterus to inside the uterus.

“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” Dr. David N. Hackney, an OB-GYN based in Ohio, writes on Twitter of the imaginary procedure. “We’ll all be going to jail.”

And, in many cases, the fertilized egg is not intact after an ectopic pregnancy, making it impossible to preserve an embryo even if the technology existed to move it, Dr. Donnica Moore tells Insider.

“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” Dr. Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists tells the Guardian. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus.”

“Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” Zahn says.

Many of the lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored the legislation didn’t return the Guardian’s requests for comment, but Mike Gonidakis, the president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, says he is still reading the legislation.

HB413 follows the contentious “heartbeat bill” signed by Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, which imposed one of the most stringent abortion restrictions in the nation, banning abortions after as early as five weeks — before most women know they’re pregnant. The bill was blocked from becoming a law by a federal judge.

Premium Member
38,759 Posts
Thing that worries me the most is Warren will stick in it for the long haul and split the vote with Bernie and because of that. Biden is going to eek out a victory because of super delegates. Warren should really drop out now so Bernie can run away with it. If Bernie and Warren are both still in it come the primaries. its going to be a disaster for progressives.

it also boggles my mind how as bad as Biden has been in the debates he is still #1 and Pete got destroyed in the last debate and got a bump in the polls. The MSM kissing their asses is sadly working again in 2019. Some voters will never learn.

From parts unknown
22,759 Posts
Thing that worries me the most is Warren will stick in it for the long haul and split the vote with Bernie and because of that. Biden is going to eek out a victory because of super delegates. Warren should really drop out now so Bernie can run away with it. If Bernie and Warren are both still in it come the primaries. its going to be a disaster for progressives.

it also boggles my mind how as bad as Biden has been in the debates he is still #1 and Pete got destroyed in the last debate and got a bump in the polls. The MSM kissing their asses is sadly working again in 2019. Some voters will never learn.

There's only 1 semi-progressive in the ENTIRE DNC and he's barely left of center.

If you want to learn, you'll have to admit that there is really no such thing as progressives in America. The entire country says "Oh wait, we have our own political spectrum" where they lump in anything left of Hitler into the left to pretend that there even is a left in this country at all.

Premium Member
8,251 Posts
@birthday_massacre I honestly wouldn't worry too much about Biden, he's already dropped down to 4th in Iowa as an example. There are already a number of people that are turned off by Biden from the debates and he doesn't have the ability to attract new voters because of his cognitive issues.

This race for me is between Warren and Bernie with Warren in my opinion getting the nod as the corporatists feel they can work with her but not Sanders. But we'll have to see what happens.


An urgent review of terrorists released from prison has been launched after the London Bridge terror attack.

Convicted terrorist Usman Khan fatally stabbed 25-year-old Jack Merritt and another former Cambridge student who is yet to be named.

The attack on Friday afternoon left three other people injured. Two of them remain in a stable condition in hospital while a third has been discharged.

It has since emerged that Khan was released less than seven years into a 16-year prison sentence for a plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange. A plot that had been planned in parks in Cardiff and Newport.

He was released on licence in December 2018 - subject to an "extensive list of licence conditions", Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

Khan, who was living in Stafford, was given permission to travel into the heart of London by police and the probation service. He had also been allowed to travel to Whitehall earlier in the year.

The latest London attack has prompted the Ministry of Justice to review the licence conditions of every convicted terrorist released from prison, which Boris Johnson says is "probably about 74" people.

The Prime Minister told BBC One's the Andrew Marr Show that the other individuals were now "being properly invigilated to make sure there is no threat".

"I think it is ridiculous, I think it is repulsive, that individuals as dangerous as this man should be allowed out after serving only eight years and that's why we are going to change the law," he said on Sunday.

Pushed on what action is being taken, Mr Johnson said he did not want to go into the "operational details", but said: "I'm sure people can imagine what we're doing to ensure that 74 other individuals who've been let out early on the basis of this Labour change in legislation, they are being properly invigilated to make sure there is no threat."

Mr Johnson said Khan was under "various conditions", adding: "He had mentors, he had restrictions on his mobile phone, he had restrictions on internet access."

A Sentencing Bill included in the Queen's Speech in October, which became defunct once the election was called, would have changed the automatic release point from halfway to two thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.

After the attack, a counter-terrorism specialist has said the criminal justice system is playing "Russian roulette" with the public.

Chris Phillips, a former head of the UK National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told the PA news agency: "The criminal justice system needs to look at itself.

"We're letting people out of prison, we're convicting people for very, very serious offences and then they are releasing them back into society when they are still radicalised.

"So how on Earth can we ever ask our police services and our security services to keep us safe?

"I've said it a few times today, we're playing Russian roulette with people's lives, letting convicted, known, radicalised Jihadi criminals walk about our streets."

Last year, ex-prison governor Ian Acheson who reviewed Islamist extremism in the UK’s jails, said the record number of terrorists being locked up could accelerate radicalisation already taking place.

“There has been a problem for years and the organisation [HM Prison and Probation Service] has been asleep,” he told The Independent . “Islamist groups offer a very seductive message and if the prison doesn’t have an alternative, because it can’t offer a full regime and rehabilitation programmes, it’s a clown show.

"There is no capacity for staff to challenge ideologies – we have got ungoverned spaces and that’s where extremism thrives."

Armed with two knives and wearing a fake suicide vest, Khan was tackled by members of the public, including ex-offenders from the conference, before he was shot dead by police on London Bridge.

Footage posted online shows Khan being taken to the ground as one man sprays him with a fire extinguisher and another, reportedly a Polish man who worked at the Hall, lunges towards him with a narwhal tusk believed to have been taken from the wall inside the building.

Khan was part of an al Qaida-inspired terror group - linked to radical preacher Anjem Choudary - that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and build a terrorist training camp on land in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir owned by his family. They had been filmed making their plan during a meeting at Roath Park in Cardiff.

In February 2012, Khan, who had been based in Stoke-on-Trent, was handed an indeterminate sentence for public protection, with a minimum term of eight years - meaning he could have been kept in prison for as long he was deemed to be a threat to the public.

The sentence was quashed at the Court of Appeal in April 2013 and he was given a determinate 16-year jail term, with a five-year extended licence period, under legislation which meant he was released automatically halfway through the sentence.

Sentencing law changed later in 2012, and if Khan was given the same sentence today he would have had to serve at least two-thirds and be released only if the Parole Board agreed.

Despite the law change coming into force before Khan's appeal, he could only be sentenced under legislation in force when he committed his offences.

Absolutely ridiculous, how can you let out 74 convicted terrorists early is beyond me. How you can let out a man LESS THAN HALFWAY through his sentence?! Our justice and prison system is completely backwards and broken.


errorists should not be forced to serve their full sentences in prison, Jeremy Corbyn has said, after a jihadi was released early to kill two people in the London Bridge terror attack.

The Labour leader was asked by Sky News' Sophy Ridge whether those convicted of terror offences should serve their sentences in full.

He said: "I think it depends on the circumstances and depends on the sentence and crucially depends on what they've done in prison."

Pressed by Ridge, who asked him, "not necessarily then?", Mr Corbyn responded: "Not necessarily, no."

As the political row over Friday's attack intensified, the Labour leader said he believed police officers had "no choice" but to shoot Usman Khan dead after he stabbed a man and a woman to death, following his release halfway through a 16-year prison sentence.

His comments came as the Prime Minister said that because the "broken hung parliament was preoccupied with blocking Brexit", the Government was unable to make the changes required to keep violent offenders and terrorists in jail for longer.

Mr Corbyn said: "I think there has to be an examination of how our prison services work and crucially what happens to them on release from prison because I need to know whether or not the Parole Board were involved in his release, apparently they were not, they made that statement quite quickly after the release ... after yesterday's terrible incident.

"Secondly, there were apparently no probation service involvement in monitoring this former prisoner who after all had only served half his sentence and he came out I think a year ago and there has to be an examination of what goes on in the prison because prisons ought to be a place where people are put away because of major serious offences but also a place where rehabilitation takes place."

Mr Corbyn said police were "stuck with a situation where there was a credible threat of a bomb belt around his body and it's an awful situation for any police officer, any public servant to be put in" as he backed the decision to kill the attacker.

Meanwhile the PM spoke of his anger at the attack, and said it was "absolutely clear that we can't carry on with the failed approaches of the past".

"This is why I've also said that we must keep violent offenders and terrorists in jail longer and end the automatic early release system," Mr Johnson said.

"We took some steps to do this before the election. However, due to the broken hung parliament that was preoccupied with blocking Brexit, we could not do more."

A Sentencing Bill included in the Queen's Speech in October, which became defunct once the election was called, would have changed the automatic release point from halfway to two thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.

Judges can already impose extended sentences for offenders assessed as "dangerous", where they will serve two thirds, but the proposed legislation would make the longer jail terms mandatory for certain offences.

Mr Johnson's first Queen's Speech as Prime Minister was branded a pre-election stunt by the opposition, as he was pushing for a general election at the time.

He went on to say: "The terrorist who attacked yesterday was sentenced 11 years ago under laws passed in 2008 which established automatic early release.

"This system has got to end - I repeat, this has got to end, as I've been saying for four months. If you are convicted of a serious terrorist offence, there should be a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years - and some should never be released.

"Further, for all terrorism and extremist offences the sentence announced by the judge must be the time actually served - these criminals must serve every day of their sentence, with no exceptions.

"These simple changes, in line with what I've been saying since becoming Prime Minister, would have prevented this attack.

"I believe they will help stop further attacks and these changes will be made urgently in the New Year if I am Prime Minister and have a majority in Parliament."

Mr Johnson said that, from surveillance and operations to sentencing and licensing conditions, the balance of the whole legal system must be shifted in a "much tougher direction" against serious criminals and terrorists.

In August, Mr Johnson ordered an urgent review of sentencing policy, saying that dangerous criminals must be taken off the streets and punishments "truly fit the crime" if the public was to have confidence in the justice system.

Downing Street confirmed that advice was submitted to the Prime Minister in October, which led to the Sentencing Bill being announced in the Queen's Speech. The advice was internal and has not been published, a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson rejected criticism of police shooting the attacker, adding: "The police had very good reasons to think the attacker presented a real and deadly threat. They had to make split second decisions. I know the overwhelming majority of the country will join me in giving them our absolute support."
And if you think it would get better under Jeremy Corbyn and Labour you would be wrong. I'm sick of this either or approach to criminal justice, rehabilitation and especially early police releases. There are crimes where rehabilitation should be the focus and where good behaviour should reward an early release. Terrorism is not one of them. These people are not just a threat to a certain individual or individuals, they are a threat to national security. And let's be honest, some if not most of them would be impossible to rehabilitate.

6,196 Posts
Youtube linking ain't working mate.

Its broke, all broke.

22,868 Posts
The UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million, according to research into the gaping inequality in British society.
Six billionaires at the top of the UK wealth league have a combined fortune of £39.4bn, which, according to analysis by the Equality Trust, is roughly equal to the assets of 13.2 million Britons.
The richest six are: the Indian brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja, who control a conglomerate of businesses, including cars and banks, and top the table with a £12.8bn fortune; Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chairman and chief executive of the chemicals company Ineos, with £9.2bn; the hedge fund manager Michael Platt, who has an estimated £6.1bn; and the property developer brothers David and Simon Reuben, whose net worth is estimated at £5.7bn each. The estimates are based on wealth reports produced by Forbes magazine and Credit Suisse.

Billionaires only, please! London vault for the ultra-rich opens

Read more
At the other end of the scale, the Equality Trust estimated that about 14m people in Britain live in poverty. Four million of these are said to be more than 50% below the poverty line and 1.5 million are destitute.
“This report should shock anyone who cares about the state of the UK today,” said Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the Equality Trust. “Such a huge gap between the very rich and the vast majority of the country is dangerous. Such extreme wealth in the hands of so few people demonstrates just how broken the economic system is.
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“Behind the numbers, the UK’s extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks. Families across the country are working for their poverty and unable to promise their children a better, secure future. The rich live longer and their children get the best education, the best jobs and a leg up on the housing ladder. The UK’s economy delivers billions for a few and poverty for millions. Destitution is the sad reality for millions this Christmas.”
Tackling inequality has become a key battle ground in the general election campaign, with the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, vowing that a Labour government would go after super-rich people who exploit a “rigged system” to benefit themselves at the expense of the many.
Corbyn named five other members of “the elite” he would target if he becomes prime minister: Mike Ashley, the founder and chief executive of Sports Direct; Crispin Odey, a hedge fund boss who made millions betting against the pound in the run-up to the EU referendum; Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Sun and the Times; Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster, who controls a large central London property empire; and Ratcliffe.


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