With apologies if you don't live near London or Newcastle ... three great events this Saturday:
People vs PFI conference, London, Sat 1 Nov
Where? The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London
Details: You’d never be able to tell from the outside, but hundreds of our hospitals, schools, prisons roads and even homes are no longer controlled by us, the people. Why? Because politicians have given away our public buildings to private companies – only to have us rent them back at extortionate cost. Our money is making these tax-avoiding corporations rich, while we end up losing frontline services. This is what they mean by the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
Every year PFI costs us £10 billion – more than the entire 2012 Olympics! The UK taxpayer will pay almost £300bn for PFI – but most of that will end up in offshore tax-havens.The government and private contractors consistently conceal details of PFI contracts. Why should public spending be allowed to be kept secret? The worst part of it all is that the public were given no choice about PFI. PFI was implemented by corruption of the democratic process. We need to take back our rights.
There is an alternative – there are cheaper and better ways to provide public infrastructure. It’s time for us to stand up and say NO to the politicians and private contractors that want privatisation-by-stealth. It’s time to make public services ours again. Join public sector workers, professional groups, trade unionists, campaigners, researchers, journalists and members of the public for a one day event to launch this vital campaign to end PFI. Hear from experts in the field to learn how you can make a difference, and tell your own story about how PFI is harming you, your family and your country.
More information on The People vs PFI conference
North East People's Assembly, Newcastle, Sat 1 Nov
Where? Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle, NE1 7RH
Details: The Peoples Assembly Against Austerity (PAAA) is a non-party political movement formed to fight all government spending cuts nationally, regionally and locally in the UK.
The 1st North East People's Assembly, in September 2013, attracted hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds to discuss austerity and plan the resistance. On Saturday 1 November 2014 we will meet again to discuss why austerity is failing, what the alternatives are, and how we can end it.
More information on the North East People's Assembly
Class conference: What Britain needs, London, Sat 1 Nov
Where? TUC Congress Centre, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
Details: Since the 2010 General Election, living standards have fallen for the vast majority. While the top 1%’s fortunes have increased, the 99% have been squeezed. The economic recovery has been unfairly distributed, and social inequality is on the rise.
The conference will discuss priorities for building a more equal and progressive country, looking at the key issues at stake at the General Election, as well as outlining an overarching vision for our society.
More information on the Class conference