Earlier this year an organisation called Select Property Group gave a massive £50,000 donation to the Conservative Party. One of this company’s main activities is building “luxury student developments” in places like Manchester, Liverpool, Exeter, Southampton and Bristol. The accommodation is rented out at between £200 and £230 per week.
The business’s website makes assurances that “residences are always fully occupied and generating returns for investors”. They shamelessly explain that the student market is especially lucrative because “students are paying higher tuition fees and are willing to pay more for best accommodation”.
This cosy relationship between big business and the Tory party is not surprising. The super-rich are more than happy to splash their cash around, in the face of which sycophantic Conservatives will work doubly hard to force students to pay more and more for university fees and costs.
Going from bad to worse, the Select Property Group is currently building a student accommodation block in Newcastle, for which it has teamed up with blacklisting construction firm Carillion. Like many other big construction firms, Carillion spent decades conspiring to keep trade unionists, health and safety reps and other “undesirable” workers off its payroll, meaning that some of these workers were unable to find a job for years simply because they exercised their rights at work.
The Tories and their friends in big business have complete contempt for the needs of students and the working class. For them, the only thing that matters is profit and they will trample over access to education and workers’ rights in the blink of an eye if it means bigger margins.
For us, we need to unite students and workers in a struggle against the Tories and to demand that these big companies are expropriated and put under the democratic control of the working class – that way we can provide cheap accommodation for all who need it, and it will be the Tories and the rich who pay the bill.
by Youth Against Blacklisting