Croydon and Beyond


By John Eden.

Yesterday I read on the “Inside Croydon” blog that the Council are setting up Twitter account so Croydonians can air their views to the Council, the “inside” blog welcomed the idea, but seemed sceptical of the motives, I don’t feel we have to get into speculation, I welcome any furtherance of the democratic process, how can it be detrimental to the interests of the people of Croydon, I am pretty sure that “inside Croydon” understand that.

On the leaflet the Communist Party in Croydon have been circulating over the recent weeks, against the building of a giant incinerator on Beddington lane, we wrote about the hypocrisy of the local Labour Councillors being against it in Croydon, but their colleagues on Merton Council supporting it, (the plan to build is a joint venture  of four Councils Croydon, Merton, Sutton and Kingston).

Well the hypocrites are at it again, in a report in the “Croydon Advertiser” Friday August 24th page 7 entitled “Labour: “We will force firms to employ locals” Labour leader of the opposition Cllr Newman pledges to tackle the high unemployment in Croydon by forcing building Employers undertaking new work in the borough to take on 20% of the workers from Croydon, it would be welcome! but this is the same Councillor who as leader of the Council in 2006 closed down the Council run Local disabilities Factory (only days before the people of Croydon remove them from office in the local elections of May of that year) thus creating unemployment amongst already vunerable workers’, it is said only two of them have found employment so far, six years on. The factory had been opened by the then Conservative Council in 1961, when I challenge one of the Labour Councillors after their defeat, and said  “closing it, contributed to their losing control of the council”  the reply was, well the Conservative can restore it, but I replied ” you closed it and all the machinery as been removed”. No call me cynical but Cllr Newman remarks as more to do with electioneering.


John Eden

I finished my last blog, which was on the threatened closure of Remploy with the line, “The argument about saving Remploy should be about creating wealth and not about making a profit” unfortunately the line of defence of Remploy by some trade union and Labour Party leaders is that they can be made profitable, this could only happen if you employed only the least disabled workers there, in which case it would be better for those workers to be working alongside able bodied workers. Making a profit in the capitalist sense, would mean excluding most disabled workers, because production time is where the profit is made. I remember going into a Remploy factory where they made PVC double glazed windows, the end product was the same in quality as any other manufacturer ,if you had put them amongst other windows in a large wholesalers mixed them up you would not be able to distinguish who made them, and if you were buying one you would not be bothered if they serve the same purpose Even if the articles produced in a Remploy factory are identical to that of any other factory it will sell for the same price on the open market, but the profit will be different, if the wages are the same for both sets of workers, which means that the wages of disabled workers must be less to make the same profit, yet the cost of living to disabled worker is often higher than others. If the articles are produced are on a piecework system, then in a capitalist system the factories like Remploy have no chance of being profitable, unless they are given government subsidies.

Lets look at what happens to identical articles produced at the two different types of  factories mentioned, in a capitalist market, the produced articles that is commodities, are usually bought up by a wholesaler, if the wages are the same at the two factories, he is going to get more, say PVC windows for his money at a abled bodied factory, because the owner of that type of factory is in a position to  sell for less to the wholesaler and still make a profit compared to the other type of factory, so the wholesaler when he or she sells on, their profit will be greater. If the two factories decide to sell direct to the public, the disabled factory is at a great disadvantage, unless the workers accept lower wages, a profit can still be made but they won’t see it, which of cause is the same for both sets of workers, but one set earns more than the other.

Under Socialist system and a socialist market there would be no individual or collective middle wholesaler or capitalist, the commodities would enter the market as equally useful articles of equal quality, therefore of equal price, because the time taken to produce them which is the ultimate determinate of price, is not manifest in their appearance.

The windows produced would go into a general pool of products, money from their sale would be divided equally,  or to use the Marxist term “each according to their ability to each according to their need”

This is not a present panacea, but is a struggle communists and socialists have long fought for, but to reduce the argument of saving Remploy to it,s ability to make a profit will inevitably mean their closure, there are bankers who are making billions in bonuses, and proposed tax breaks for the wealthy, the money is there to subsides these factories.

Defending Remploy

John Eden

On March 7th last, Remploy who provide work for people with disabilities, announced the closure of 35 of it’s 54 factories and the possible lose of 1700 jobs.Some spokesperson I can’t remember who,said the factories have to close because they don’t make money. Quiet right! the only factory I know in Britain that makes money, I believe is called Del La Rue, they mint coins and print bank notes and not just for Britain but world wide. Remploy like other producers create wealth not money, material wealth, every thing produced at Remploy makes the world a better place. When the Scottish born economist Adam Smith wrote his famous book in the late 18th century “The Wealth of Nations”  he was talking about material wealth created by labour, not money. Marx makes a distinction between Material wealth,money and capital. What the spokesperson should have said, in a capitalist world Remploy does not make a profit for shareholders, bankers etc. Some disabled people, because their disability is not to severe can work in jobs along side non disabled workers, and they create wealth along side those workers, but more disabled people can contribute to making the world a better place, but the time taken to make the same object will be longer, but the end purpose of the created object is the same, to satisfy a human want.

Only in Socialist society where production will be for need and not profit will the disabled be able to play a full role, and their wages be the same as all other workers.

The argument about saving Remploy should be about creating wealth and not about making a profit.