Archive for October, 2014

You’re Only Allowed To Be Anti-Establishment If You’re Part Of The Establishment. It’s The British Way

October 31, 2014

Guy Debord's Cat

He drinks beer and smokes tabs. So what?

UKIP is an anti-establishment party, or at least this is what our beloved media and the party itself tells us. Its leader, the beer-swilling, chain-smoking Nigel Farage, even goes so far as to claim that his party is a “People’s Army”. Laughable. This is a party that is bankrolled by former Tory funders and whose top table is replete with ex-Tories, the latest being Dizzy Doug Carswell, the self-styled libertarian who has decidedly conservative impulses. Confused? Well, so are they. Hell, they don’t even have any policies of note, other than leaving the European Union and “pulling up the drawbridge”. Even when Farage is questioned about his party’s policies, he disavows them. Being a ‘libertarian’, he suggested that the army should be deployed to deal with disorder.  He also tells Andrew Neil that the party’s 2015 manifesto will be similar to…

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October 31, 2014

About a decade ago I did voluntary work for the former Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol, a private museum dedicated to presenting that aspect of British history. The Museum is, sadly, no longer with us, and its premises now seem to be used as an events venue. In its time, it was capable of presenting aspects of British imperial and post-imperial history that were otherwise neglected. One of these was an exhibition on the many Black and Asian troopers from the former colonies, who served in the First World War. The exhibition also included extracts from their diaries and letters recording the horrors they witnessed, along with their White comrades, in the trenches of Flanders. I distinctly recall an extract from an Indian Muslim’s letter that described the vast carnage as like the ‘end of the world’. One of the photographs for the exhibition showed a Black soldier, his chest covered in ribbons, proudly planting the British flag. It is manifestly unjust that until a few years ago, these brave men and women did not have a memorial at the Menem Gate. Nevertheless, their courage and sacrifice is being recovered. Radio 4 a few years ago presented a programme on the Chinese who served in the British army.

Archaeologist of modern conflict are also deeply interested in the contribution of imperial and extra-European squaddies. A few years ago one of the staff at the ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum in Belgium gave a presentation to the archaeology department in Bristol Uni on ‘Multicultural War in Flanders’. Amongst the different peoples serving in the imperial armed forces were members of the Canadian First Nations. And much of the trench art, in which used shell casings, for example, were turned into works of art, was done by Chinese soldiers and labourers to support themselves in Belgium after the War ended. But clearly, you ain’t going to hear that from the British Patriots Society and the other storm troopers.

Guy Debord's Cat

This is from EDL News and I thought I’d repost it here. The far-right is using the Poppy Appeal in a shameless attempt to boost its credibility and its numbers.

This year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal is even more poignant this year as we mark the centenary of the “Great War”. The appeal was first launched to assist those returning from those brutal World War One battlefields and has remained to serve as a vital reminder of the sacrifices made. Crucially it raises funds to support wounded and disabled service men and women, bereaved families, young veterans adjusting to life back on Civvy Street and their elderly compatriots who may need assistance with age-related life issues.

The poppy is the powerful and evocative symbol that lies at the heart of the campaign. Witness the extraordinary – and extraordinarily moving – Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at…

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What’s Happening To Stand-up Comedy In Britain?

October 31, 2014

Very interesting critique of the current situation in stand-up comedy in Britain by the Cat, who has a long history in theatre and comedy. It certainly gives the lie to the complaint made over the years by the old-style comedians with extremely racist material, like the late Bernard Manning, that comedy now is ‘too politically correct’. You can hear the same specious criticism from tabloids like the Mail, and other comedians of a certain vintage like Mike Yarwood. When Yarwood appeared on Have I Got News For You a few years ago, he made the oft-repeated complaint about ‘left-wing luvvies’, and that they were somehow unfairly criticising the Tories.
My guess is that this is just the latest, terminal phase of a very long process that began in the 1980s with Maggie Thatcher. I remember attending a meeting of the local Fabian Society in Bristol. The speaker, a member of the NUJ, believed that the Tories were deliberately fostering political apathy amongst the young through the development of a media that was saturated with corporate interest and merchandising. This proves that she wasn’t wrong.

I do wonder what has happened in the past few years to make British comedy either anodyne, or reactionary. There are comedians out there, who still can and do make political points from a left-wing perspective. Remember Stand Up For Libraries a few years ago, when stand up comedians did a series of gigs protesting against library closures? The roots of this malaise clearly goes quite deep, and it can’t all be blamed on Michael Mackintyre.

Guy Debord's Cat

I’m one of the judges for the New Acts of The Year and we’re about half way through the contest. One thing that I and other judges have noticed is the general lack of political and philosophical engagement with the world among novice comedians. There are also a worrying number of acts who either have no material or have nothing interesting to say. Some have even ventured into misogyny, homophobia and casual racism in a feeble attempt to get laughs. What we also tend to find is that, rather than present a quirky view of the world, some of these novice comedians are giving us a spoken version of their CV. Is this what people are being taught to do at the many stand-up comedy courses that have proliferated since the early 1990s? I think it is. Whatever the case, British stand-up comedy is on its sick bed.

For the…

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Sickness Benefit Cuts ‘Considered’ By Ministers

October 31, 2014

More cuts here intended to cause more misery and fear amongst the poor and sick. Cameron’s rich, old-Etonian cabinet truly have neither any human compassion or shame.


Ministers are considering making drastic cuts to the sickness benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), internal documents reveal.

Internal documents seen by the BBC reveal how ministers have ‘considered’ making draconian cuts to ESA payments for those claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).

It is believed that the move would reflect how sick and disabled people in the WRAG are required to take steps toward future employment, even though they are currently thought of as ‘unfit for work’.

Sick and disabled people in the WRAG of ESA currently receive £28,75 a week more than JSA claimants, but papers seen by the BBC suggest that ministers have at least considered cutting this to just 50p more. The higher amount recognises additional costs incurred by sick and disabled people on a daily basis.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the proposals were not government policy…

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James Wharton attacks our volunteers motives (again)

October 31, 2014

I found this through Unemployed in Tyne and Wear’s blog. This is low stuff, indeed. It’s bad enough that there are people in this, one of the richest countries in the world, who are too poor to afford clothes from charity shops. What makes this worse is that the Tory MP has attacked the clothes bank out of pique that it’s left-wing organisations doing what left-wing, working-class organisation were supposed to do: combat poverty. And because it’s a tacit attack on the glaring poverty inflicted from his party, Wharton’s reaction is in turn to demean and vilify the organisation and its workers. It shows how vilely petty and vindictive Wharton and the Tories truly are.

Durham Community Support Centre

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton has followed up his bizarre attack on the motives of the volunteers from Durham Unite Community who are behind a clothes bank set up in the County, miles away from his own constituency.

The County Durham Socialist Clothes bank was launched this week in Brandon, County Durham by Dawn Willson and Cath Ainsley after they realised, following an overhead discussion in a shop, that there were people in the area who could not even afford clothing from charity shops. They decided to try and do something about that, and set about gathering support and donations for the clothing bank.

Mr Wharton launched his original attack based on the fact that they had received some help setting up the clothes bank from the local branch of Unite Community – which they are both members of – as well as the Durham Miners Association and the…

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Meet Richard A. Montoni – The Five Million Dollar Maximus Boss Here To Fleece The UK’s Benefits System

October 31, 2014

Mr Void here reveals Richard A Montoni, the boss of Maximus, as another parasite getting rich from the harassment of the poor, the sick and the desperate, of the same type as the head of ATOS. Maximus, Unum, Capita, Serco and G4S: none of them have any moral worth whatsoever, and all should be shown the official boot immediately. But they’ve got our politicians in their pockets, so unfortunately there’s absolutely no chance of that.

the void

No wonder the cunt’s smiling.

Richard A. Montoni – the boss of US firm Maximus who will soon be carrying out the despised assessments for sickness and disability benefits – received a salary and compensation package worth over a staggering five million dollars in 2013.

Maximus specialise in outsourced government contracts.  They already run Iain Duncan Smith’s disastrous Work Programme in some parts of the UK, along with a new scheme to harass people on sick leave by declaring them fit to return to work on the back of a short phone call.  As well as operating in the US, Canada and Australia, Maximus also have a welfare-to-work contract with the Saudi Arabian government – where women are segregated in the workplace and forbidden from carrying out many jobs.  From March next year they will take over from Atos running the Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) designed to strip…

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Don’t Believe The Hype: Universal Credit Is No Closer To Being Workable Than It Was In 2010

October 30, 2014

Another excellent piece worth reblogging from the Void. I’ve no doubt as we approach the election next year, the propaganda will increase touting Universal Credit as a massive achievement. IDS seems to believe it is, and despite … Smith’s manifest lack of talent for government, Cameron seems determined to keep him on and sweet. Possibly IDS knows where the bodies are buried. This is a timely reminder of what a complete and utter waste of time and money Universal Credit has been, and how it really hasn’t done anything except make the lives of people forced onto it even more miserable.

the void

Universal-credit-nudgeJobcentres sources are suggesting that Iain Ducan Smith will attempt to roll out Universal Credit across the country in February 2015.  This will allow the Tories to pretend that the project is on track and functioning in the run up to the general election.

Don’t believe a word of it.  This is Iain Duncan Smith’s biggest benefit fraud yet.  The truth is that Universal Credit looks no closer to being a functional and scalable system than it did when the Secretary of State first scribbled down plans for wide-ranging reform of the benefits system on the back of an evelope in 2010.

Universal Credit will only be inflicted on new, single claimants on the  unemployment benefit Jobseeker’s Allowance.  This has already been the case in the pilot schemes for the new benefit, and represents the simplest, and easiest to process claims.  As reported by Channel 4’s Dispataches last night, should…

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Luxury Hotel Booked For Annual One Day Workfare Conference, Tickets Just £450!

October 30, 2014

I’m reblogging this as it shows just how massively profitable bullying and degrading the poor, desperate and jobless is for the workfare providers. These people are parasites, and it’s time these companies were closed down. As for the vicious governmental thugs who support them, like Esther McLie, it’s high time they were thrown out of power and forced to find work for themselves.

the void

radisson-bluThe Employment Related Services Assosication (ERSA) have booked a luxury four star hotel as the venue for this year’s tax payer funded workfare conference.

ERSA are the trade body established to lie on behalf of graping welfare-to-work firms like A4e, G4S and Seetec.   These companies are paid billions of pounds to run the shoddy ‘back to work’ type training courses and workfare schemes now inflicted on unemployed and disabled benefit claimants.

Much of that money goes on glitzy back-slapping affairs like this year’s conference on December 1st which is due to be held at the luxury Radisson Blu Portman Hotel in Central London.  Here delegates will meet with politicians such as Esther McVe and discuss how to shovel even more money down the drain in the name of bullying people unable to find work.

Claimants themselves are not invited to the one day conference, with some tickets for the…

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The Virus Is Coming … Working Class Areas Face Influx Of Wankers

October 30, 2014

Mr Void here discusses the situation in London, where the working class and the poor are being pushed out of their traditional neighbourhoods as Boris and his friends gentrify them, pushing up property prices beyond the reach of any but the most affluent. It’s a particularly thorny issue in Black neighbourhoods. One Black resident complained in the press recently about an influx of White hipsters hanging round certain bars, behaving in a rowdy and anti-social manner. She was upset that they weren’t being told to move on by the police, as a Black crowd would have been if they were seen congregating and causing trouble and mess in a White neighbourhood.
As Mr Void points out, this isn’t just a problem for London, but also for other places as well. He didn’t mention it, but one of those place is Bristol. It’s on the M5 corridor, and so property prices in parts of the city are comparable to those in the capital, and are indeed out of the pocket of local people.

Disabled People Not Worth Minimum Wage Says Lord Fraud, Time For This Nasty Fucking Clown To Go

October 30, 2014

This is old news, but it’s worth repeating as the government has tried to backtrack on Fraud’s reported comments. They went into spin mode, with the embarrassed minister releasing a statement that he was ‘very passionate’ about equality for disabled people. It’s a lie. Fraud has no sympathy for the sick and disabled, and, indeed, has absolutely none for the poor and working class generally. I believe it was Fraud, who declared that the poor should be better able to manage poverty, as they had less to lose. Similar sentiments have been uttered by other members of this aristocratic, out-of-touch government, whose every statement shows their utter contempt and lack of any understanding for the lives of those they govern.

the void

lord-fraud-freud “Nearly everything I’ve done has been total chaos.”

Comedy toff and Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Fraud is a joke that stopped being funny a long time ago.  Of all the blundering fucking idiots in the DWP, this failed banker, who cost investors millions due to a series of bungled deals, has shown the true face of the out of touch gilded elite that dominate all of the main political parties.

This is the man who thinks people queue up in foodbanks just for a laugh and not because they are hungry.  The same prick who threatened every Women’s Refuge in the country with closure and wanted to charge the very poorest benefit claimants to have banks manage their personal finances.  The clown who doesn’t even know how much the dole actually pays despite being in charge of reforming it.

His recent comments at the Tory Party…

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