Archive for April, 2014

IN PRAISE OF THE ROCHDALE ALTERATIVE PRESS RAP

April 30, 2014

Cyril Smith’s abuse of boys in care homes in Rochdale was first exposed by RAP, and, at the national level, by Private Eye. It’s disgusting that it has taken Rochdale Council so long to investigate the crimes perpetrating by this man on the young and vulnerable, considering that, according to last fortnight’s Eye, both David Steel and the former Liberal MP Michael Meadowcroft stated they were aware of rumours about his abuse of boys.

Ian Bone

raproch

1970’s was the golden age of the alternative press in the uk and RAP was one of the best exposing Cyril Smith at the time while the local paper the Rochdale Observer never said a dicky bird. Well done RAP.

View original post

Suzanne Moore’s Review of ‘The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class’

April 30, 2014

I found this linked to on Ian Bone’s webpage. It’s Suzanne Moore’s review of Selina Todd’s history of the working class, The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 in the Guardian. It’s worth reading. Particularly interesting are the piece where the book refutes some of the myths of working class life over the past century. She shows, for example, that women were not content to go back from the factory work into which they had moved during the First World War to traditional female jobs in service. They particularly resented the bullying and constant control they experienced at the hands of their masters when working as domestic servants.

She also skewers the idea that in the past, a man’s wages were sufficient to support his wife and family. That also is untrue, and women were forced to work outside the home simply to make ends meet. Away from Britain, the Russian Revolutions of 1917 were partly caused by extremely low wages. They were sufficient for skilled and semi-skilled workers to support a wife, but not for unskilled workers. This idea – that in the past wages were proportionally higher as they were intended to support a family, not just the wage-earner himself – needs to be criticised as it is repeated by the extreme Right to justify trying to take women out of the workforce. I’ve read it on one Libertarian blog, which took the view that women working was bad for economy and society because it lowered the relative amount of male wages as prices were raised to accommodate the extra income from working wives. Todd’s book shows that women have always worked because male wages on their own were not enough.

And there’s much more of interest. The review can be read at: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/apr/11/people-rise-fall-working-class-review

Searchlight on UKIP and IEA Think Tank Recommendations to Cut Welfare Even Further

April 30, 2014

Jess has also posted this comment, reporting Searchlight’s coverage of UKIP’s party conference, at which the leader of the Institute of Economic Affairs, recommended further attacks on state welfare spending:

‘I should have picked this up earlier, but will persist because I know it will be of general interest;

It’s from a report in Searchlight on the 2014 ukip conference;

“Mark Littlewood, director general of the free-market think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, complained that welfare including pensions in the UK would cost £220 billion in 2014. “We are in an overtaxing, overspending, over regulating state,” he said.
“UKIP goes for victory in 2014:” http://www.searchlightmagazine.com/archive/ukip-goes-for-victory-in-2014:

Searchlight is the anti-Fascist magazine that exposes the activities of the Far Right in Britain. The article reports UKIP’s declared policy of banning former BNP members from joining the party, as well as their condemnations of racism, sectarianism and other forms of bigotry. However, the magazine also lists various members and speakers at the conference, who were members of the extreme-Right Bruges Group. It also notes that Neil Hamilton, the disgraced former Tory MP, who is now one of the leaders of the party, during his political career was also a member of the anti-immigration Monday Club, and spoke to the Italian Social Movement in the 1970s. The Italian Social Movement, or Missimmi, was the Italian Neo-Fascist organisation, found by former members of Mussolini’s armed forces.

UKIP to ban teaching of climate change in UK schools

April 30, 2014

Another example of the knee-jerk Right-wing rejection of Climate Change by UKIP. What is frightening about this is that it’s done by their spokesman on education, who wants to put this attitude in place in schools.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

According to the UKIP Education spokesman and party MEP Derek Clark, UKIP will ban the teaching of climate change in UK schools:

…. all teaching of global warming being caused in any way by carbon dioxide emissions must also be banned.

This is because Clark – and presumably all the rest of his colleagues in the UKIP – believe that:

There is no evidence that global warming is happening….

.

Oh dear. Looks like it might be time to get the tin foil hats out again folks.

.

Related articles by Tom Pride:

Nigel Farage was thrown out of a pub in Bath today

Supposedly unemployed British builder used in UKIP poster is an Irish actor

Irrefutable statistical proof that bovine TB is caused by UKIP support and not badgers

Nigel Farage expels entire UKIP membership for bringing party into disrepute

The UKIP suspend…

View original post 103 more words

Nigel Farage was thrown out of a pub in Bath today:

April 30, 2014

This is very interesting indeed. Bath is a very expensive city. On one of the holiday programmes years ago, they compared the prices of a stay in various hotels around the world with those in some of Britain’s foremost tourist cities, like London. It turned out that Bath was more expensive to stay in than Milan. It’s also the constituency of Jacob Rees-Mogg, now doing is best to drum up support for the Tories while personally embodying all the class privilege you associated with the party. As for the Western Daily Press, the bias in that paper for the West of England is very strongly Europhobic Conservative./ UKIP. So it’s very interesting indeed that the pub landlord here threw them out.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

Nigel Farage and his UKIP entourage have been thrown out of a pub in Bath today after trying to use it to host the launch of their European election campaign in the South West:

Nigel Farage and Ukip asked to leave Bell Inn pub in Bath

The manager of the Bell Inn said UKIP using the pub for their hustings was “not appropriate”

Here’s the pub’s Facebook page if you feel like sending a message of congratulations to them on the success of their selection policy for weeding out trouble-makers.

.

Related articles by Tom Pride:

Supposedly unemployed British builder used in UKIP poster is an Irish actor

Irrefutable statistical proof that bovine TB is caused by UKIP support and not badgers

Nigel Farage expels entire UKIP membership for bringing party into disrepute

The UKIP suspend member until his 163rd birthday (not satire!)

Best of Twitter reaction to UKIP councillor’s rant…

View original post 88 more words

Links to the Invitations to Tender for Workfare

April 30, 2014

Jess has kindly provided the links to Jobcentre Plus for the invitations to tender for the new Workfare contracts around Britain and in East London:

‘The tender invitations for workfare in E London!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-partnership-opportunities-with-jobcentre-plus

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/244966/jcp-opp-hackney-borough.pdf’

The first actually gives you the contact and tender invitation documents for a number of regions up and down the country, including the North and Wales. I’m putting them up in case anyone wants to examine these documents to tackle how the government is presenting this new assault on the liberty and dignity of the poor and unemployed. They also give the contact details of the individuals operating the tender process, if anyone wants to contact them to protest about the policy. If you, please be polite and don’t make any threats. It’s the system we want to bring down, rather than simply intimidating people. Besides, it’s counterproductive. Any threats made will be used by the government to prevent further information about workfare and the companies using it from reaching the public, as well as justify further infringements of civil liberties.

Occupy Wonga On May Day!

April 29, 2014

This is good news – Wonga and the other pay day loan companies are usurers, pure and simple. They and the return of the pawnshop are both a symptom and a cause of the growing poverty in this country and the return of 19th century living conditions. They have been repeated criticised and action demanded to curb their usury by any number of authorities, organisations and groups, including the archbishop of Canterbury. It’s about time action was taken.

the void

wronga via DPAC

On May 1st 2014, get ready for some direct action, Occupy London are proud to present OCCUPY WONGA!

In 2011 the Occupy movement had a clear message “The bankers are the problem”. Now in 2014, we are on the edge of complete debt slavery.

Pay day loan companies are the new economic fascists, their “clients” include, victims of the Bedroom tax, Fuel Poverty, Benefit cuts, Atos and all people suffering from the Governments Austerity program. Companies like QuickQuid, the Money Shop and Wonga are not helping us, they are holding us in debt bondage further extending the widening gap between rich and poor.

We see the most vulnerable people in society being charged Immoral Interest rates, the very people the government should be protecting. If you feel that something should be done about Payday loans, join us in London on Mayday 2014.

Occupy London hereby call for a…

View original post 132 more words

Guy Standing on IDS’ Personal Welfare Dependency

April 29, 2014

140428IDSshrug

I found this description of Iain Duncan Smith’s hypocrisy in orchestrating a reduction in state support for the poor, while doing all he personally can to gain as much of it himself in Guy Standing’s A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens (London: Bloomsbury 2014):

Iain Duncan Smith, UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has led a robust campaign against benefits for the poor and precariat, saying he is determined to reduce state dependency and end the ‘something for nothing’ culture. Meanwhile, his own state dependency dwarfs that of any of his targets. A trust run by members of his family has received over £1 million in EU agricultural subsidies in the past decade, in addition to the various tax breaks farmers receives, courtesy of an estate of 1,500 acres inherited by his wife. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy is regressive, since the primary beneficiaries are large landowners. While the UK government was capping benefits for the poor, claiming that nobody should receive more in benefits than the average wage, it vetoed a European Commission plan to cap the amount of money going in farm subsidies to the wealthy. (p. 312).

Which bears out what a friend of mine said about the Tories: ‘The Conservatives are an organised hypocrisy’. I think he was quoting Oscar Wilde, who was certainly right there.

So now you know: IDS is a benefit scrounger. Let’s have him sanctioned.

SLAVERY IN BRITAIN

April 29, 2014

I found this through its reblog on Welfare Tales, and a link to it by one of Mike’s commenters over on Vox Political. It makes the same point Guy Standing makes in his book A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens, that Neoliberal reforms, including workfare, have taken away our rights as citizens. I wish Michellekent and Keith Lindsay-Cameron the very best in trying to get Freud and IDS arrested for the reintroduction of slavery. Unfortunately, I doubt very much they will be successful – workfare is unfree labour, but it’s hidden behind a contract, and as yet is not the same as forced labour in concentration camps or chattel slavery. Hence I expect it will be unsuccessful. Nevertheless, it should be resisted to the full, and IDS and Freud certainly are creating a captive labour force they hope to exploit.

michellekent1

This morning Keith Lindsay-Cameron wrote this letter to the Prime Minister

Image

 

The Claimant Commitment Contract

 

Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud have put slavery back on the statute books of Britain!

 

The new claimant commitment contract means that claimants sign away their sovereign rights to freedom of choice, life and liberty to a DWP slave master or overseer.

 

Claimants who refuse to sign the slavery certificate will be denied the means of survival. It is either complete obedience to the state or starve.

 

Policy Aims:

 

The conditionality regime will recast the relationship between the citizen and the State from one centred on ‘entitlement’ to one centred on a contractual concept that provides a range of support in return for claimant’s meeting an explicit set of responsibilities, with a sanctions regime to encourage compliance.

 

The terms which individual slaves must adhere to are defined…

View original post 452 more words

If this is a recovery, why is the patient still on the critical list?

April 29, 2014

Vox Political

Time ticks on: We are told the recovery is well under way but have yet to enjoy any of its benefits. Why? Time ticks on: We are told the recovery is well under way but have yet to enjoy any of its benefits. Why?

Official figures say the British economy has grown by 0.8 per cent in the last three months.

The Conservatives are rejoicing over this feeble effort, while saying there’s more to be done; an amazing attempt to travel in two directions at once, that should fool nobody.

It seems the recovery is becoming more balanced, with services, manufacturing and construction all registering expansion.

And it is predicted that the economy will recover to the same level as its pre-recession peak by the middle of this year.

But who, exactly, is this recovery helping?

I’m actually worse-off than this time last year. How is it for you?

My income has not increased appreciably since 2007. Meanwhile the rent has gone up and the costs of energy and groceries have skyrocketed.

View original post 339 more words