People Power: The Socialist Alliance has changed the writing on this building. An iconic and witty messageon a Newcastle building has had a bit of a change.
The Socialist Alliance, you see, likes tokeepup with the times.
The message used to say: “For the millions, not the millionaires”.
It was changed at the weekend to: “For the billions, not the billionaires”.
“We are keeping up with inflation,” the Socialist Alliance’s Steve O’Brien said jokingly of the message, whichoverlooks Civic Lane.
“It’s not the millionaires that socialists have a problem with these days, but the billionaires.”
Steve pointed us to arecent Oxfam briefing paper, titled theGrowing Gulf Between Work and Wealth. Itfound that ’seconomic system was“concentrating ever more wealth into the hands of the rich and powerful, while ordinary working people are not always able to scrape by”.
The briefing paper noted thatsome of the highest paid CEOs of clothing companies in the nretail sector can earn, on average, about$6 million annually.
“At the same time, women working in Bangladesh to make the clothes sold by these brands earn a minimum wage as low as$974 ayear, or in Vietnam$1600 ayear.”
The paper citedCredit Suisse data to state that “the share of wealth concentrated in the hands of the top 1 per centof ns in 2017 has grown to 23 per cent”.
“The top 1 per cent of ns continue to own more wealth than the bottom 70 per cent of ns combined,” it said.
The number of billionaires hadmore than doubled over the past decade in , from 14 to 33, “while workers’ wages have stagnated”, the paper said.
Steve said this“totally distorts the economy”.
“‘The trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor is a myth.The personal interests of 33 individuals should not override the needsof people for secure jobs in a just, sustainable economy,” he said.
Steve truly hopes the alliance won’t haveto change the message on the building in a few years to: “For the billions, not the trillionaires”.
Now Topics should make clear that we’re not getting all political andshowing favouritismtowardssocialism.
And we should addthat this story isn’t an invitation forother political movements to contact Topics and demand equal space.
That is, unless you’ve come up with a system that can solve poverty, inequality, greed, environmental destruction, unemploymentand all those other big dilemmas we can’t remember right now.
We’d love to hear all about that.
Lesson LearnedThe annualchocolate binge is, we’re pretty sure, still in progress at many Hunter households.
Easter eggs are in some quartersapparentlyseen as a symbol ofthe blood thatChristshed at hiscrucifixion.
We know one chocoholic –we won’t mention any names –who can sort of relate, albeit on a much smaller scale.
He eagerlybit into the top of a chocolate egg, only for it to pinch his top lip, causing a blood blister.
This prompted a lesson from a clever family member about the best way to crack an Easter egg. As we understand it, the key is to smash the egg on its side on a hard surface.
Also over Easter, weread advice from a chocolatier thatchocolate should be served at room temperature andnot bekeptin the fridge.
Thatwe could never agree with.
Beer and Milk Commonwealth Games beer from 1982.
Topics wrote yesterday about Charlestown’sLes Powell cracking open a very old beer.
Les bought a couple of commemorative beers atthe 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
Heopened one at the weekend to mark the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which begins on the Gold Coast onWednesday.
“Looked OK, smelled very hoppy. Tasted flat and awful,” Les said.
In response, former NBN news readerRay Dinneen told Topics he“once took the opportunity to ask a professional brewer the best way to drink beer”.
The brewer told Ray:“Treat it like milk; keep it cold and drink it fresh.”
Ray says he has no troublekeeping it cold.
“Finding it fresh is the challenge,” he said.