Tag Archives: policy

#Tory policies to attack the #NHS have crippled UK healthcare far more than #Covid19 [tweets]

Tory political policies are causing huge harm to the health of people in the UK – in many ways.

In fact, the number of different ways in which the government headed by Boris Johnson is attacking you is hard to quantify – because there are so many and they come at you from so many angles.

So we should be grateful to Labour’s Clive Lewis for the Twitter thread below:

Some people have responded by pointing out that Labour under Keir Starmer is unlikely to do anything about the problems that Mr Lewis raises.

While this is probably accurate, This Writer would say it is misguided.

The aim isn’t to score party political points.

It is to demonstrate that the Conservative government is trying to harm you – and if you support it with your votes, then you are actually self-harming.

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If a party won’t do what you want, why would you vote for it?

He couldn’t care less about you: Starmer welcomed heckles at his Labour conference speech because he wanted to humiliate left-wingers by claiming they don’t matter to him. He thinks they have no choice but to vote for his RIGHT-wing policies. But that would be an act of self-harm. We need to teach him that he is badly mistaken.

Labour has just suffered a heavy by-election defeat.

In the Newark and Sherwood by-election, Labour dropped from first to third:

Here’s a charitable commentary on that:

There is a simple explanation for this precipitous fall: people don’t like Keir Starmer and – more importantly – they don’t like his policies.

We know from opinion polls that a majority of the UK public want our public utilities and railways re-nationalised and private businesses removed from the National Health Service, along with a swathe of other socialist policies.

More than 70 per cent of the population support these changes – but both the Tory government and Starmer’s Labour “opposition” are telling you that you can’t have them.

They demand that, in elections, you support the policies that they want to force on you, whether you want them or not.

Why should you?

The answer is easy: the party leaders assume that you are naturally tribal. If you were brought up among Labour supporters, you’ll vote Labour no matter what daft right-wing policies Starmer foists on you. Similarly, if you were brought up among Conservatives, the assumption is that you’ll vote Tory.

They want you to vote against your interests, by lying to you that you don’t have any other choice.

Of course you have another choice: You don’t have to vote for either of them.

In fact, voting for Labour under Starmer would be a vote against the very policies that (according to the polls) you want!

I read an article in the Morning Star that explains the situation:

If Starmer does well at the next election, it will now explicitly be on the basis of his gratuitous and open repudiation of socialist values and principles.

Look at the Green New Deal, housing, Palestine or workers’ rights: no sooner had members passed policy at this conference than a shadow front bench minister was brought forward to renounce the policy and insist that it was not going to make the next manifesto.

The contempt for members, their values and the commitment to socialism under former leader Jeremy Corbyn was made clear in repeated public statements from the front bench, as well as at length in Starmer’s speech.

It further explains:

Is repudiating our entire tradition, our entire worldview and weakening our cause for decades, the price we are willing to pay for a slim (practically non-existent) chance of ending that, in favour of Starmer’s brand of washed-out liberal elitism?

The extinction of socialism from mainstream British politics would have far greater long-term effects on the lives and living conditions of working-class people than another Tory term. It would be a defeat for decency in politics, a defeat for morality, truth and reason.

And it says:

Success for Labour in the present conditions would be detrimental to the development of a truly progressive political agenda, and the advancement of our cause.

Whether you remain a member of Labour or not, unless you have particular mitigating local circumstances (such as a properly socialist local candidate running for Labour) then Labour is currently asking you to vote for the destruction of everything you believe in.

The people making this demand are well aware of how humiliating this is — and how depressing. They are also aware that a socialist movement cannot ever thrive if it is not proud of itself, dynamic and confident. This is yet another intended humiliation to put our ideas and principles back in the box.

Don’t do what you are being asked to do. Don’t vote to trash your principles or our hopes for a better world.

The people of Newark and Sherwood didn’t vote to trash their principles – and most of them are unlikely to have read the Morning Star piece.

This Writer feels sure that Thursday’s result is not unique; Labour is losing ground across the UK because Starmer’s policies are rubbish.

There is a dilemma for party members, who are not allowed to campaign against the party or show support for any other political organisation.

But that doesn’t mean you have to campaign for Starmer’s Labour. And it doesn’t mean you have to vote for policies that would harm you, either.

Starmer and his right-wing headbangers are trying to gaslight you into thinking there is no alternative to them.

They are wrong.

But it’s up to all of us to explain that to them.

Source: Should socialists vote Labour under Starmer? | Morning Star

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Keir Starmer needs to be persuaded to support socialist social care policy. He must go

Keir Starmer: someone recently said he’d run out of Brylcreem long before he ever gets to run the UK and on the basis of this failure, that is just as well.

This is a shocking indictment of the man who pretends to be the Labour Party’s leader.

Keir Starmer had to be told to oppose the Conservative plan to increase National Insurance that poor people pay – increasing poverty – under the pretext that it is to fund social care.

It’s worse than that – it is class warfare, and a class war in which Starmer seems firmly on the side of the rich few against the masses who made him Labour leader.

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room: nobody has to be taxed to pay for social care. The government owns the magic money tree and can simply create the cash.

The principal reason we talk about people being taxed to pay for such measures is because taxation is needed to control inflation – but inflation hasn’t been a problem whenever the Tory government has created money for itself and its friends over the last 11 years, so it doesn’t seem a problem.

If we accept that improving social care may cause inflation, then there are better ways to tax that problem away. For a start, there is a very rich part of society that isn’t taxed nearly enough – and won’t be forced into starvation or onto the streets if they are asked to pay a little more:

The issue with Starmer that this has revealed is the fact that he had to be told – in fact, it seems he is resisting calls for him to support this commonsense policy. And people are calling him out on it:

Even Tory ministers are coming out against the government plan – before Starmer:

(Sorry but I don’t know who @philbc3 is or what that person may have said about it. Blame Grace, not me.)

The worst part of this is that previous Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had a perfectly good policy for funding social care – and Starmer hasn’t even had the wit to mention it. Fortunately Corbyn’s shadow chancellor is on hand to remind us all:

This last comment is perhaps the most incisive – and the most damning against Starmer:

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Tory underfunding means 1.2 MILLION people are waiting for vital NHS treatment

Waiting for treatment: thanks to Tory policies, 1.2 million people are being made to wait for vital treatments and operations.

This is the flipside of the Tory plan to give £2 billion to private health firms for non-essential health procedures.

They give £200 million to the privateers’ bank accounts and it isn’t available for brain surgery, cataract treatment and gynaecology – among other vital work.

And the waiting list grows.

This was a conscious choice, made by Tory leaders years before anybody dreamed of a crisis like Covid-19.

They wanted to starve the NHS of cash and resources in order to nudge patients and the general public into the false belief that a socialised medical service can’t possibly work.

(In fact, a system in which everybody pays into a national health scheme is the only way everybody can benefit from affordable health care. Privatised or insurance-based schemes are always either too expensive for most people to afford, meaning they have to live with – and sometimes die with – preventable health problems, or they are rip-offs designed to take cash from gullible punters.)

They didn’t – and don’t – care that people are suffering, and may die, because of their privatisation push, that is not based on fact but on fanatical right-wing ideology.

The long and the short of it is that, if you are waiting months and years for vital treatments and operations, to the point where it is causing you pain and/or even endangering your life, there is a reason.

It is because Conservatives like health secretary Sajid Javid, former health secretary Matt Hancock, and prime minister Boris Johnson – along with all the other Tory government ministers going back to 2010 – wanted you to suffer; wanted your life to be in danger.

If you know anybody who voted Tory, they voted for you to suffer in this way.

And for those of you who actually voted Conservative yourself: what were you thinking? That’s actual self-harm.

Source: Almost 1.2m people waiting at least six months for vital NHS services in England | NHS | The Guardian

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Isn’t Labour’s new employment policy hypocritical, as Starmer practises ‘fire and rehire’?

Keir Starmer: a Tory in a red tie?

How can Keir Starmer seriously propose banning ‘fire and rehire’ policies by employers when he has brought that odious practice to the Labour Party?

This Site reported on July 21 that Starmer has almost bankrupted Labour, making it necessary for the party to axe 90 full-time jobs.

At the same time, Starmer was hiring 30-50 staff on short-term contracts. I stated:

That’s ‘fire and rehire’ because you know some of the axed staff will have been doing the same work that the new employees will be asked to do – and some of these jobs will be occupied by the same people.

The mainstream media has picked up on this, with The Independent reporting on it only a day or so ago.

How tone-deaf, then, for Starmer to send his deputy leader, Angela Rayner, out to promote a policy that condemns ‘fire and rehire’!

Consider this, from the BBC’s article on the new policy:

Labour also says it wants to outlaw “fire and rehire” practices whereby employers dismiss workers and then offer to hire them back under new, often poorer, terms and conditions.

That is exactly what Starmer is doing.

The new policy has other holes that have led critics to claim that it is merely tinkering around the edges of employment law and not revolutionising it at all.

For example, the “real living wage” of £10 per hour has been attacked as not being enough to lift anybody out of dependence on state benefits or – in extreme cases – food banks.

This is simply not good enough.

Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour devised policies that would have changed the UK from a country that exploits its population for the benefit of a tiny minority – which is what it is now, and don’t you forget it – into a progressive, trailblazing nation that valued all of its citizens.

Our success as a nation would have been valued, not by the number of billionaires we had, but by the absence of poverty.

But Starmer isn’t interested in this.

His plan isn’t revolutionary. It is hypocritical and so is he.

And the truth of that is clear to everybody.

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Never mind her antics: Priti Patel would have DEPORTED members of the England football team

Priti Patel: this is a more accurate representation of the image she should have had on her shirt.

Priti Patel really has a nerve.

Only a few days ago, she was saying she saw nothing wrong with racist football fans booing the England Euro 2020 squad for ‘taking the knee’ before its matches.

That was before Gareth Southgate’s team won a place in the final, of course.

Now look at her:

Just wait until somebody tells her that her idea of good immigration law would have denied eight of the 11 team members their place in the team she now supports so fanatically:

As it is, she seems intent on criminalising the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with her proposed new laws to stop us saving refugees from death. Get your head around this:

Here’s the relevant part of the legislation:

That’s right – for seeing somebody in desperate need and saving their life, you could be imprisoned for the rest of yours under Patel’s (and her boss Boris Johnson’s) dictatorial, fascist regime.

Perhaps the worst indictment against her is that she can’t deny that her proposals would have outlawed initiatives like the Kindertransport that saved hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi death camps by bringing them to safety in the UK before the outbreak of World War II:

I wonder how well that plays with her friends in Israeli politics?

Of course, that law hasn’t been enacted yet, so we can all enjoy this:

Final word:

So much for Patel.

If you want to admire a political figure who supports the England team in an honest way, here’s the Left’s Grace Blakely:

Labour bid to gag website raises serious concerns about the party’s leaders

Badge of shame: if you filled a river with badges representing every Labour member expelled under false accusations of anti-Semitism, along with those representing every member who has quit in disgust at Keir Starmer’s dictatorial regime, how many miles would they stretch along it?

An attempt by the Labour Party to gag an investigative website suggests the party is undemocratic and unfit to govern.

It seems Labour’s infamous Governance and Legal unit was upset after The Electronic Intifada reported a decision by two party officials to block a debate on a motion calling for sanctions against Israel, due to the ongoing persecution of Palestinians by that nation’s government and military.

The claim was that it “would undermine the party’s ability to provide a safe and welcoming space” for Jewish members.

This attempt to protect Israel shows that the Labour Party machine is deeply anti-Semitic: it relies on a false equivalence between the decisions of the Israeli government and every Jew on Earth, regardless of their political views.

According to the definition of anti-Semitism that Labour has agreed to support, that is anti-Semitism: all Jews are not to be considered responsible for the behaviour of one group.

Worse still, Labour’s Governance and Legal unit tried to protect the party officials who tried to stop the debate – Hove & Portslade CLP chair Kim Bolton and Labour South East organiser Scott Horner – saying it was neither necessary nor in the public interest for them to be named.

It also claimed that the article had relied on private email exchanges and therefore breached data protection law.

But in fact the article had relied on minutes of a CLP meeting which The Electronic Intifada has now published in its own defence.

It is necessary to know who is spreading this poison in the Labour Party. There is no evidence to support fearmongering about anti-Semitism in the party as a result of a sanction against Israel and the claim that there are now concerns for the officials’ safety is extreme; it seems more likely that this was an attempt to protect them from any backlash within the party’s mechanisms against their inappropriate and undemocratic behaviour.

And this is the final – and most important point – to be made here: the Labour Party is now undemocratic. It does not allow the voice of the members to be heard and does not represent that voice. Instead, it supports the wishes of organisations outside the party.

This means Labour does not represent its own members.

And if it cannot represent its own members, then it should not be allowed to represent the UK as the party of government.

This episode shows that a Labour government – as led by Keir Starmer and following his orders – would not enact policies that are supported by a majority of the UK’s public.

It would act on its own agenda, dictated by groups that do not belong to the party, whose members probably don’t even vote for it.

And that is why nobody should support the Labour Party under Starmer’s leadership. Instead we need to be making lists of members and officials who need to be brought to book, once this vile and shameful era of the party’s history is brought to an end.

Source: Labour Party tries to intimidate The Electronic Intifada | The Electronic Intifada

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Starmer’s dilemma: where does Labour go after Chesham and Amersham?

The problem, not the solution: Keir Starmer – and all his supporters – are a betrayal of the Labour Party and of Labour voters. We all know it. Labour is unelectable until they have all left the party – and they won’t go. They are the worst of all Boris Johnson’s Tory enablers.

No points to anybody who responds to the headline with “Batley and Spen”.

It would be fair to say that Keir Starmer did not expect to win the Chesham and Amersham by-election.

But the scale of his loss there – and I think it should be understood that it was a failure that Starmer owns – should make it clear to him that he has taken Labour in the wrong direction.

His party’s 622 votes – just 1.6 per cent of turnout and one-sixteenth of the number Jeremy Corbyn managed to raise in 2017 – is fewer than the number of people in that constituency’s Labour Party.

Either party members abstained or they voted for someone else, which is an offence for which they could be expelled.

(Or there could be far fewer members remaining in that constituency than Starmer is willing to admit, after the – alleged – mass exodus of members following his election as leader. If so, even if remaining members did vote for somebody else, he’ll be in a quandary over whether to carry out disciplinary procedures.)

Encouragingly, it seems almost nobody aged less than 70 voted for the Conservatives:

I’m not sure Richard Murphy is right about that, as the number of pensioners in the UK will remain very high, some way into the future (even after the ravages of Covid-19), and the Tories have a knack of duping the gullible into supporting them (or perhaps that should be bribing the gullible). Still, it suggests that the Tories’ time is running out.

That said, the simple fact is that people aged under 70 simply didn’t go for Labour, despite Starmer’s attempts to woo them by changing Labour’s direction sharply to the political right. They voted Liberal Democrat.

I draw two conclusions from that:

Firstly, Starmer’s claim that Boris Johnson’s party has enjoyed a “vaccine bounce” – resurgent popularity because of the perceived success of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout – is bunkum. Or at least, any such bounce has now petered out.

Secondly, that people prefer to put their trust in political organisations that have some consistency about them, rather than wandering around all over the political spectrum searching for votes – or very obviously trying to fool people into voting for them – like Labour under Starmer (and Miliband, Brown and Blair before him).

Some commentators are now suggesting that Labour should at least discuss the idea of a “progressive alliance” with other opposition parties like the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, to field just one candidate against the Tories in Tory strongholds, thereby making it easier to force them out. But there are problems with that…

Yes indeed; the Liberal Democrats won because they are the most similar to the Conservatives in Chesham and Amersham, not because they are a radical alternative.

So a “progressive alliance” isn’t going to happen. And dreams of getting the Tories out by using proportional representation will continue to be dreams for the foreseeable future because the Tories are in power and they aren’t going to bring it in because they know it would harm them.

What’s left? Tactical voting?

But that will just result in another hung Parliament that the Tories will probably dominate – with Liberal Democrats joining them for the sake of power if they get enough seats. We’ve already had that from 2010 to 2015.

And all of this theorising neglects one simple fact:

In order to beat the Tories, whichever party you support will need to deserve to win.

And Labour, under Keir Starmer, doesn’t.

How can left-wing voters support a party that deserts them in the way Starmer has? How can they support a party whose Parliamentary representatives no longer come from the working class but represent exactly the kind of middle-class privilege that Labour was originally created to oppose?

How can right-wing voters support a party they know only courts them in order to gain power for its own purposes? They know the Tories are untrustworthy – but only in their promises to people earning less than £100,000 a year; as long as Tory priorities are aligned with their own, they’ll carry on with Johnson’s bandits, even if it means imposing fascist-style dictatorship on the rest of us.

Starmer has been criticised because he hasn’t brought forward a single policy to replace the 10 pledges he scrapped as soon as they had won him the Labour leadership under false pretences. There is a reason for this failure: Starmer is trying to find a magic promise that will fool a majority of voters, just long enough to get himself into Downing Street.

His problem is that we all know that this is what he’s doing. He is probably the most classic example of Tony Benn’s “weathercock” ever to come forward – a career politician who doesn’t have any principles of his own but goes any way the wind blows, chasing votes according to what his focus groups tell him is popular.

And Starmer’s focus groups are disastrously out-of-touch. This means Starmer is continuously trying to tell us what we want, and getting it wrong.

So he drapes himself in the Union Flag because he has seen the Tories do it and he thinks it appeals to our patriotism – but under Boris Johnson’s fascism, we have no reason to feel patriotic at all.

So he blames Jeremy Corbyn for his failures and tries to remind us that Corbyn was accused of letting anti-Semitism into the Labour Party – when we all know that the accusations were (mostly) false (there are always a few racists in any large organisation but the leader cannot be blamed for them). Labour has just been in court defending itself against a group of former members who have brought a hugely damaging case against the party.

In all this squirming, he presents himself as entirely untrustworthy.

So we don’t trust him, and that means we don’t trust Labour:

It won’t change until Starmer is gone. I don’t mean that he should step down as leader of the Labour Party; I mean he should leave the party altogether, along with all the other cuckoos who got in under Kinnock, Blair, Brown and Miliband. You know who they are. Including party staff members who support them rather than traditional (pre-Kinnock) Labour values.

One more note: I could happily tap out a list of policies that Labour should adopt in order to win public support – it isn’t hard to do.

But there is no point while Starmer and his cronies are in charge. They would see such policies as a marketing strategy to win votes – and if it worked, they would then ditch those policies in favour of the right-wing agenda they’ve had all along.

They have to go.

The problem is, they won’t. They know they are unacceptable; unelectable. But they absolutely won’t allow anybody to lead Labour who could possibly break the deadlock.

And in the meantime, Boris Johnson gets worse and worse. Enabled by Starmer.

‘It’s confidential’: Ashworth’s failure to say what Labour stands for means we only know what it doesn’t

“It’s confidential,” said Ashworth. If he can’t tell us what Labour stands for, then we can’t vote for him, his leader Keir Starmer or any of their cronies. Fair enough?

What a farce the Labour Party has become under Keir Starmer’s leadership!

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain – only to be embarrassed when he could not tell the presenters any of Labour’s current political policies:

So it seems that while we don’t know what StarmerLabour stands for, we do know what it doesn’t – because we know what he has ditched.

He has ditched all 10 of the pledges that got him elected Labour leader. This means that he was elected under false pretences and should stand for re-election but just you see if he does!

So Starmer Labour doesn’t stand for economic justice, meaning it won’t increase income tax for the top five per cent of earners, reverse the Tories’ cuts in corporation tax and clamp down on tax avoidance, particularly of large corporations.

It doesn’t stand for social justice, meaning it won’t abolish Universal Credit and end the Tories’ cruel sanctions regime; set a national goal for wellbeing to make health as important as GDP; invest in services that help shift to a preventative approach; stand up for universal services and defend our NHS. Nor will it support the abolition of tuition fees and invest in lifelong learning.

It doesn’t stand for climate justice, meaning it won’t put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything it does. It will not bring in a Clean Air Act to tackle pollution locally or demand international action on climate rights.

It won’t promote peace and human rights, meaning it won’t oppose illegal wars. Nor will it introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy, review all UK arms sales or make the UK a force for international peace and justice.

It doesn’t stand for common ownership, meaning it won’t put public services back in public hands instead of making profits for shareholders. It won’t support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water and it won’t end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system.

It won’t support migrants’ rights, meaning it won’t give full voting rights to EU nationals, defend free movement with the EU, offer an immigration system based on compassion and dignity, end indefinite detention and call for the closure of centres such as Yarl’s Wood.

It doesn’t stand for workers’ rights and trade unions, meaning it won’t work shoulder to shoulder with trade unions to stand up for working people, tackle insecure work and low pay. It won’t repeal the Trade Union Act. It won’t oppose Tory attacks on the right to take industrial action and the weakening of workplace rights.

It doesn’t stand for a radical devolution of power, wealth, rights and opportunity, meaning it won’t push power, wealth and opportunity away from Whitehall. It won’t create a federal system to devolve powers – including through regional investment banks and control over regional industrial strategy. It won’t abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected chamber of regions and nations.

StarmerLabour doesn’t stand for equality, meaning it won’t pull down obstacles that limit opportunities and talent. It is no longer the party of the Equal Pay Act, Sure Start, BAME representation and the abolition of Section 28.

And StarmerLabour absolutely does not stand for effective opposition to the Tories. It won’t offer forensic, effective opposition to the Tories in Parliament, linked up to its mass membership and it will not run a professional election operation. It will further split the party, suppress pluralism and diminish our culture. It won’t eradicate the scourge of antisemitism. And it will erode collective links with the unions.

So, knowing this, here’s my question:

Starmer has betrayed everything Labour used to stand for. Why should we care what he’s offering instead?

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Was Sadiq Khan’s narrower-than-expected London Mayoral win due to Keir Starmer’s right turn?

Sadiq Khan said unflattering things about then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after his 2016 London mayoral victory. But at least Corbyn provided Labour policies for the public to support in the poll. Starmer put him in a vacuum and it is a miracle he received as many votes as he did.

Belated congratulations to Sadiq Khan on his re-election to the London Mayoralty.

But isn’t it disturbing that he won by a narrower margin than against Zac Goldsmith in 2016, against an equally inept candidate?

In the years preceding the election, Bailey had been criticised for racism (calling Khan “the Mad Mullah of Londonistan”, criticising celebration of Muslim and Hindu festivals and claiming that British people were being indoctrinated in the cultures of those religions).

He also proposed forcing larger London businesses to drug-test their employees – but with Parliament, dubbed the “corridors of powder” because of the huge “trace” amounts of cocaine that have been found there, exempt.

And he was accused of sexism as well as racism when it emerged that he had stated in 2006 that single girls in inner cities “deliberately become pregnant” in order to secure homes and benefits from the government.

Against such a man, Sadiq Khan gained more than 100,000 fewer votes than against Goldsmith.

I don’t think the drop-off was anything to do with Khan himself – or with his opponent, though.

I think it was about the leadership of Khan’s political party – Labour.

When he was elected in 2016, the people of London were riding high on the election of Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership with a set of genuinely socialist policies that had the potential to transform the UK into a vibrant example for the world.

By 2021, Corbyn’s right-wing opponents in the Labour Party bureaucracy had stabbed him in the back and had him replaced with suit-haircut-and-flag man Keir Starmer, who had promptly ditched all of those transformative policies in favour of an “any way the wind blows” approach.

In the absence of any policy support from his party leadership, it is a miracle Khan received as many votes as he did.

Source: Sadiq Khan wins second term as London mayor despite tighter-than-expected race | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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