Posts Tagged ‘38 Degrees’

Another Appeal to Sign 38 Degrees Petition against Anti-Corbyn BBC Bias

July 14, 2016

I received this email this afternoon from Maria Patrick, who launched a petition at 38 Degrees, the internet petitioning group, against the Beeb for their appalling bias against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters. She asks for everyone, who shared her petition to do so again, so that it can get the necessary numbers of signatures. She says

Dear Friends,

Thank you all so much for signing my petition. The response has been overwhelming.

However, I am appealing for your help once more.

The political situation within the Labour Party at the moment is absolutely outrageous. The MPs responsible for the ‘coup’ have now turned their attention to discrediting Labour members and Jeremy Corbyn supporters. The narrative within the Labour party at the moment is one that brands all Jeremy Corbyn supporters are as violent thugs and loonies. This sensationalist labelling of people from all walks of life has been adopted and propagated by the main stream media and has led to Labour effectively barring new members and supporters from voting in the upcoming leadership election. The BBC is the main culprit in this subversion of democracy as it is a trusted broadcaster funded with public money, and many people are making supposedly ‘informed’ opinions based on the news stories they cover – or not.

My petition was never meant to be a rallying point for Jeremy Corbyn supporters, but a platform for anybody, regardless of their political leanings, to speak out against blatant BBC bias, imparticality and inaccuracy.

I have spoken with the Media Reform Coalition and received some very useful advice and practical help with the petition and complaint, but in order for this campaign to have the impact it needs it needs to have at least 100,000 signatures.

https:​//you.​38degrees.​org.​uk/petitions/hold-the-bbc-to-a​ccount-for-it-s-smear-campaign​-on-jeremy-corbyn?source=facebook-share-button&time=​1467286909​

Please, please, please can you share the petition again? Share it far and wide. If everybody who signed can get just two people to sign the petition we’ll have over 70’000 signatures in total. That’s a huge step towards this goal and will give the complaint more weight.

I know that there are gazillions of petitions going round at the moment in response to the outrageous machinations of the coup MPs and the NEC, but we must not forget how the media is influencing public opinion and reaction with it’s campaign of misinformation and distortion.

I would also like to ask for those of you who have made individual complaints to the BBC relating to bias, impartiality and accuracy please can you contact me directly at maria.patrick78@yahoo.co.uk. I am collecting complaints and responses and passing them on to the Media Reform Coalition. They will then form part of a professional dossier which will ultimately be sent on to the BBC and OFCOM.

Once again thank you for your support.

Maria xx

I am very happy to do this, as I share her disgust at the very blatant bias of the BBC and the rest of the media, included the allegedly left-wing papers of the Mirror, Guardian, and the supposed, but not really, ‘Independent‘. If you haven’t signed the petition, but would like to, please do so at the address contained in her email.

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Vox Political on the Internet Petition for a Vote of No Confidence in 172 Rebel MPs

July 4, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has an article about a petition by the 38 degrees internet petitioning group, who are presenting a vote of no confidence in the 172 rebel Labour MPs, who are trying to bring down Jeremy Corbyn. The petition asks them to do the decent thing and resign. Mike in his comments about the petition leaves it entirely up to the reader whether to sign it or not.

See his article at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/07/03/new-petition-is-vote-of-no-confidence-in-labour-party-mutineers/

The petition states

Make your voice heard if you believe our country deserves a credible Labour Party that speaks to the country as a whole.

Why is this important?

The 172 treacherous Blarites in the Parliamentary Labour Party have shown that they are unfit to represent the Labour Party. They have also shown complete contempt for Labour Party members and supporters. Over the past week they have chosen their personal interests over the people of this country that deserve an effective opposition to our Conservative government.
This is a petition is for those who believe that for the benefit of Labour voters, for the benefit of all those millions who need a Labour government and for the sake of our politics, the 172 treacherous Blairites in the Parliamentary Labour Party should do the noble thing and resign.

If you want to sign it, it’s at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/a-vote-of-no-confidence-in-the-172-blarites-in-the-parliamentary-labour-party

I’ve signed it, because I’m sick of Britain and its working people being betrayed by the Blairite clique that in 20 years of power have tried to turn the party into a carbon copy of the Tories. They stand for everything the Tories do: neoliberal economics based on private enterprise, the selling off of the NHS, and the increasing curtailment of welfare benefits. All of this is imperilling the health and wellbeing of Britain’s people, and destroying its economy. Millions have been forced into poverty through Thatcherite and Blairite policies. And all this has been done for the benefit of their extremely rich backers in big business and the media, like Rupert Murdoch. It’s time it stopped. Now.

38 Degrees’ Petition against the Beeb’s Bias against Jeremy Corbyn

July 2, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has put up an article reporting that the internet petitioning organisation, 38 Degrees, has launched a petition to the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, protesting against the Corporation’s grotesque bias against the leader of the Labour party. The petition begins

The BBC needs to be held to account for the spiteful and manipulative coverage of Jeremy Corbyn following the EU referendum and during the leadership coup, which is grossly in breach of Section 5 of the Broadcasting Code – Section 5 covering “Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions”

It further states

The BBC’s news coverage of Jeremy Corbyn has always been overtly biased against him and his leadership of the Labour Party, but following the EU referendum and the subsequent leadership challenge BBC news coverage of Jeremy has degenerated into journalism which is nothing short of bullying, smear, lies and distortion…

The most shocking attacks on Jeremy, however, have arisen as a result of the challenge to his leadership. By giving it a significantly imbalanced proportion of airtime, the BBC is broadcasting a significant imbalance of viewpoints.
By allowing former members of Jeremy’s cabinet to resign LIVE on air BBC news reporting has become nothing more than car-crash journalism and should be saved for reality TV and gossip magazines.

In supporting the leadership challenge by giving it ‘”undue prominence of views and opinions” the BBC is effectively helping to undermine democratic process .
By giving undue attention and airtime to this leadership challenge they are sending a message to the people – that ‘democratic process’ is there to be ignored when it suits the agenda of the establishment.

Mike in his piece over at Vox Political reports that the resignation of Stephen Doughty was planned with the aid of Laura Kuenssberg and Andrew Neil. Kuenssberg is already notorious for her bias, while Brillo Pad has form as the editor, in a previous life, of the Economist and the Sunday Times, and was also the editor the weirdo Barclay Twins installed to run the Scotsman.

Mike’s article, with a link to the petition, can be read at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/07/02/petition-launched-to-end-bbc-smear-reports-about-jeremy-corbyn/

If you want to sign it, the petition’s at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/hold-the-bbc-to-account-for-it-s-smear-campaign-on-jeremy-corbyn

I’ve done so, as I’m sick and tired of the Beeb’s bias, along with the rest of the media. I am also angered by their smug complacency that the viewing public are mugs, who are too thick to notice just how biased they are.

NHS SOS: Further Resources against NHS Privatisation

June 19, 2016

NHS SOS pic

As well as the information and resources Michelle has kindly posted as a comment to my piece on the cuts to the service at my local health centre as a result of the government’s creeping privatisation of the NHS, I’m also putting up the list of further resources included in Jacky Davis’ and Raymond Tallis’ book, NHS SOS. This is a very detailed description of the long campaign against the NHS from Maggie Thatcher onwards, and in particular its latest phase introduced by Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act of 2012. As well as describing the attacks on the NHS, the book also includes chapters on the failure of the press and medical profession as a whole to bring down the whole process of privatisation when they could. It’s a very good book, clearly written, but it will leave you depress and furious.

It also the following resources people can use to fight the cuts and privatisation. Here they are:

National Campaigns on the NHS

* Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) – runs a national campaign as well as local groups across England. Campaigns for a publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly accountable NHS. Website: http://www.keepournhspublic.com; Twitter @keepnhspublic.

* London Health Emergency (LHE) – campaigning against cuts, closures and the privatisation of the NHS since 1983. Website: http://www.healthemergency.or.uk; Twitter @JohnRLister

* NHS Support Federation – an independent pressure group that campaigns to protect and improve the NHS, true to its founding principles.

* National Health Action Party (NHAP) – campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly accountable NHS.
Website: http://www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk; Twitter @NHAparty.

Allied Organisations

* Centre for Health and the Public Interest – a new independent health think tank.
Website: http://chpi.org.uk; Twitter CHPIthinktank.

* Medsin – Student network and registered charity tackling global and local health inequalities through education, advocacy and community action.

Website: http://www.medsin.org/; Twitter @medsinuk

* NHS Consultants Association – organisation of hospital doctors who support the NHS and campaign to end market-based policies.
Website: http://wwwnhsca.org.uk/

* OpenDemocracy – ‘free thinking for the world’. Running ‘OurNHS’, a new three-year project dedicated to reinstating a genuine National Health Service in England.
Website: http://www.operdemocracy.net/ournhs/about; Twitter: ‘OurNHS_oD

* Spinwatch – works for lobbying transparency, promotes greater understanding of the role of PR and propaganda.
Website: http://www.spinwatch.org/; Twitter @Spinwatch.

* 38 Degrees – online organisation that brings people together to take action on the issues ‘that matter to you and bring about real change’.
Website: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/; Twitter: ’38_degrees

Further Reading and Watching

* Health Policy Reform: Global Health versus Private Profit, by John Lister (Libri Publishing, 2013).

* NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care by Allyson M. Pollock (Verso Books, 2004).

* The Plot Against the NHS by Colin Leys and Stewart Player (Merlin Press, 2011).

* Privatising the World: A Study of International Privatization in Theory and Practice by Olive Letwin (Cengage learning EMEA, 1988).

* ‘The NHS and the Section 75 regulations: Where next?’ by Bob Hudson. Guardian healthcare network, 30 April 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2013/apr/30/nhs-section-75-regulations-where-next. This helpful article covers some additional actions that can be taken by opponents of the health care reforms.

* Conflicts of Interest and NHS Privatisation, video by the National Health Action Party, http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/component/k2/item/s441-conflicts-of-interest-and-the-privatisation-of-the-nhs.

* Take a Tour of Lansley’s Private Healthcare Supporters.
Video by Spinwatch, http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/component/k2/item/S336-take-a-tour-of-Lansleys-private-health-care-supporters.

* The Spirt of ’45, a film by Ken Loach, for screenings and availability, see http://www.thespiritof45.com.

Craig Murray On the Establishment Lies about Misogyny and the Petition against Laura Kuenssberg

May 12, 2016

Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and human rights activist, has also weighed in on the accusations of misogyny and abuse in the petition launched against the Beeb’s political edition, Laura Kuenssberg. The petition was a call for Kuenssberg to be sacked because of her egregious and overt bias towards the Tories and against Jeremy Corbyn. It was taken down from the 38 Degrees internet petitioning organisation by David Babb, the man who started it after it had garnered over 30,000 signatures. Babb claimed he was doing so as people were leaving personally abusive and misogynist comments directed against Kuenssberg on the petition. This claim has been repeated by the Guardian, the New Statesman, the BBC, David Cameron, and the entire political establishment.

Mr Murray provides a link to the comments left by the people, who signed the petition, to support his statement that there are very few that have any misogynistic content whatsoever. One certainly has, but it was left by a particularly foul-mouthed individual, who also ranted about a number of other subjects in the same obscene way. He states that they show very clearly that the establishment is lying.

He writes:

Here are all the comments on the scrapped Kuenssberg petition. You know, the petition David Cameron condemned in the House of Commons today because it was accompanied by a storm of sexist abuse? Well, here are the comments in their entirety and out of 35,000 people who signed, there is virtually nobody whose comment can be seen as remotely sexist. See for yourselves. Can you spot the one sexist comment I found?

The comments show the petition was overwhelmingly signed by decent, concerned people who were sometimes quite eloquent. Also that the petition supporters are gender balanced and several specifically identify as feminists, and as supporters of the BBC. But neither Cameron, the Guardian and mainstream media nor 38 Degrees itself has any qualm about writing off all these decent citizens as a misogynist rabble.

The data link was left by a commenter on this site – I strongly suspect a mole within 38 Degrees has got it out. It is absolute proof that the politicians and mainstream media journalists have been pushing a plain lie about the nature of the campaign, and that 38 Degrees have colluded.

I’ve a lot of respect for Mr Murray. I can’t claim to follow what he writes, but I respect him for his courageous attempts to stop British involvement with the corrupt regime in Uzbekistan. Murray was Our Man over there, until he made the cardinal sin of alerting his masters in the Foreign Office in London about injustice and massive human rights abuses by the Uzbek regime. As the British government has all too often been very keen to cooperate with murderously repressive regimes so long as it benefits British business or other interests, this principled stance got him the sack. I am very glad to see that it has not stopped him campaigning on these issues. A week or so ago he was featured in a programme about the scandal, broadcast on Radio 4. And programmes like that may well be a casualty of the government’s plans for the BBC, which threaten its independence.

To read Mr Murray’s article about the petition and the establishment’s lies, got to https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/05/proof-positive-david-cameron-bbc-guardian-new-statesman-entire-establishment-peddling-blatant-untruths-kuenssberg-affair/

Vox Political: ‘Sack Kuenssberg’ Removed due to Misogynist Trolls

May 10, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has put up several pieces about the controversy surrounding a 38 Degrees petition to have the Beeb’s politics editor, Laura Kuenssberg, sacked because of her overt Conservative bias. It seems that the fellow, who put up the petition has taken it down because it had in his view been hijacked by sexist trolls.

See the article at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/10/sack-kuenssberg-petition-taken-down-due-to-sexist-trolls/

This follows a piece in the Guardian in which the former political editor of the Independent on Sunday, Jane Merrick, stated that Kuenssberg had faced a level of abuse not directed at male reporters, like Nick Robinson, which was explicitly misogynistic. She reported that Kuenssberg had been called a whore and a bitch on Twitter. She then made general comments about Corbyn’s supporters. They weren’t all sexist misogynists – far from it. But she said that there was a ‘core of hard-left misogyny’ that emerged when he was under pressure. This was the same kind of abuse that had been directed at Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips. She then called on Corbyn, as the advocate of a kinder type of politics, to condemn this abuse of a respected journalist.

See Mike’s article at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/10/sexism-accusation-against-anti-kuenssberg-campaigners-is-a-classic-diversion-tactic/

Mike points out in these articles just how overt Kuenssberg’s political bias is.

Mike writes:

This Writer considers the BBC’s political editor to be hopelessly prejudiced in favour of the Conservative Party. It is an issue that has nothing to do with her gender, skin colour, religion or any other such defining factor.

She simply can’t keep her own politics out of her work. For a reporter, that is a fatal error and This Writer cannot understand why anybody would want to support her in it – least of all a Labour MP like Ms Phillips.

If Kuenssberg wants to turn every report into a pro-Tory opinion piece, then let her become a pundit. Stick her on the Daily Politics or This Week with Andrew Neil and give the political editor’s job to somebody who can do it impartially.

He also posts a piece from one of his commenters, who has a nephew, who did some number crunching of his own, which flatly contradicts Kuenssberg’s assertions. Kuenssberg has claimed that these elections are ‘mid-term’, when they are not, and that Labour should be winning hundreds of seats, which they haven’t. Looking at the evidence, the commenter’s nephew says that actually Labour have done quite well, and it is the Tories who have taken the hardest blows. The commenter states:

“In fact this is the worse Tory performance in the local elections since 1996 when John Major only got 29% which was an improvement from 1995 when they only got 25% of the vote. But again this is not being reported.”

Mike also condemns the sexist abuse of Kuenssberg. Not only are such views vile in themselves, but they bring into disrepute everyone, who genuinely wants the Beeb to report fairly and accurately, and have allowed Kuenssberg to get away with her biased journalism.

Mike in his article also suggests that the sexist comments might be a deliberate strategy to torpedo the complaints about her bias. He states that all a political stooge has to do is get their supporters to sign the petition and leave offensive messages on it. Then all they have to do is make complaints about it. He makes clear that this may not have happened in Kuenssberg case, but it is a possibility, at least from now on.

In fact, this is exactly the tactics Hillary Clinton’s supporters have used against her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. She accused Sanders’ supporters of being sexist, especially after a group of them threw money at her in protest at her accepting funding from Wall Street. She also hired an internet company to go online to tackle Bernie’s supporters posing as her supporters. The Company was ironically called Correct the Record. And I’ve posted up a piece a week or so ago from Secular Talk, which reported how a string of pro-Bernie websites got taken down after complaints from Clinton to the host company about sexism and misogyny. The numbers of websites taken down – something like 12, or perhaps as high as 25, I can’t really remember, all in one evening, make it highly suspicious that this was really due to sexism by the sites’ members.

As for Corbyn and the ‘hard Left’ having a misogynist core, well, perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me. Obnoxious trolls are, after all, found everywhere. But it’s not typical of the hard Left in my experience. In the 1980s the Left was reviled and abused for being PC. This was the decade when alternative comedians like Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson, French and Saunders, the Young Ones, Alexei Sayle and Ben Elton burst onto our screens from the London comedy clubs. They refused to make the same sexist and racist jokes as the previous generation, reared in the working men’s clubs, like Bernard Manning. They were explicitly Left-wing, and actually made jokes about the chauvinistic treatment of women and at the expense of comedians like Manning.

They were part of a general trend in the Labour party of the time. Part of what had Ken Livingstone sneered at as ‘Red Ken’ was the fact that the-then leader of the GLC gave his support to a whole plethora of organisations for women and minorities. In his 1987 book, Livingstone’s Labour, the bane of Margaret Thatcher talks about the evolution of human society from primordial matriarchy, and argues for a nationwide network of women’s support offices. This naturally drove Thatcher nuts. At one of the Tory conferences she delivered a foam-flecked rant about ‘Fabian champagne Socialist’ teachers corrupting the minds of their tiny charges with homosexual propaganda and ‘anti-racist mathematics’. Now, thirty or so years later, we have the Tories claiming to be okay with gay marriage. As for misogyny, one of the lads I knew at College, who was a very committed Labour party supporter, was very far from being either racist or misogynist. This was also characteristic of much of the Left outside the Labour party. I can remember reading a piece in the Express about one of the Marxist sects – possible either the Communist Party are the Socialist Workers, or perhaps just Militant in the Labour party, which explicitly noted how anti-sexist the men were, and their rejection of certain forms of traditional masculinity.

I’m not saying that there haven’t been sexist trolls spouting vile abuse at Kuenssberg, who are genuinely left-wing. But after the tactics used by Hillary Clinton to smear Sanders’ supporters, I’m more than a little suspicious.

Vox Political on On-Line Petition to Have Laura Kuenssberg Sacked for Pro-Tory Bias

May 8, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political reports that an on-line petition has been revived to get Laura Kuenssberg, the politics editor of BBC news, sacked for her pro-Tory bias. There had previously been a petition to have her fired after she made a bitter tirade against the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on the News at Ten on the 6th January 2016. It seems that her outspoken bias against Labour during the council elections has been the final straw, and the campaign to have her lose her job has been revived.

Mike’s article is at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/08/election-coverage-seems-last-straw-as-petition-to-sack-bbc-political-editor-is-revived/, and there’s a link to the 38 Degrees page for the petition. I also include the petition’s website address below:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/sack-laura-kuenssberg

I’ve signed it, as Kuenssberg anti-Labour bias is very obvious. Mike has previously put up an article showing that her discussion of one issue was nearly identical to a Tory press release, with but a few words changed. The BBC is supposed to be unbiased, but academic studies of the contents of their news programmes shows they’re far more likely to invite speakers from the Conservatives or right-wing organisations on to speak, and the general bias is much more to the right than other news broadcasts by their competitors, like Channel 4. And there is a movement within the Beeb to become overtly biased. I’ve mentioned before one article a year or so in the Radio Times in which the author discussed the possibility of broadcasters over here regaining ratings by becoming politically biased and abandoning impartiality, like Fox News. This isn’t a good role model. Fox News hasn’t got its monicker ‘Faux News’ for nothing. Somebody worked out that it only tells the truth 30% of the time, which means it’s effectively Murdoch’s own little Pravda for Republicans. it does not seem to me to be remotely surprising that the BBC should boast that it’s trusted the most by the managerial classes. It has a profoundly Establishment bias, reflecting their own attitudes and hostility to the working and lower middle classes.

And I don’t think writing letters to the Beeb’s programme, Points of View, will help. This has had a number of presenters since it was set up in the 1960s, and is supposed to be a show where the Beeb responds to their critics. Private Eye has run a number of pieces on the programme over the years, commenting on how it’s subtly constructed to show that the BBC was correct in whatever approach they adopted to a particular subject after all, or that they had plenty of other letters applauding them or accusing them of the opposite bias. Part of this tactic involves not actually telling the audience how many letters from the opposite point of view they’ve received. If say, they’ve received 50 letters attacking a programme, and only five letters supporting it, Points of View will nevertheless present an image that the number of letter received from both pro- and anti- camps were roughly equal. The Eye has attacked the programme for being condescending, coming from the age when Auntie Beeb knew best, and its critics had to shut up and take what was good for them.

The Beeb has a duty as a public service broadcaster to provide unbiased news, or at least, as close to unbiased as is humanly possible. The fact that they’re not is a threat to free speech and informed, public debate and political involvement. I don’t know if the petition to sack Kuenssberg will be successful. Possibly not. But at least it will show the Beeb that the great British public aren’t the naïve rubes they take us for, and that people are very much aware of their bias. If you feel the same, please take the opportunity to sign the petition above.

38 Degrees Petition Against Government Control of BBC

March 26, 2016

The internet petitioning group, 38 Degrees has also launched a petition against government proposals to give them the ability to choose the head and senior management of the BBC. Lorna Greenwood writes

This is the biggest threat to the BBC so far. John Whittingdale, the minister who’s deciding our BBC’s future, just announced he wants the government to choose the people who run the BBC. [1] It means our most trusted broadcaster could be left in the hands of a government that wants to see it fail.

Whittingdale sneaked out his devastating plan at the weekend, to a newspaper that’s behind a paywall. [1] He knows that another scandal might put a stop to his plans to undermine the BBC for good. [2] So he’ll be hoping that 38 Degrees members aren’t paying attention.

We’ve got to act fast. If enough us sign an emergency petition demanding the BBC stays independent, 38 Degrees members will deliver it to him in person early next week. And exposing his plans in public will shine a light on his real agenda to dismantle our BBC.

Please can you add your name to the emergency petition now?

The way decisions are made in the BBC is under review. [3] But John Whittingdale’s using this as an opportunity to push his anti-BBC agenda and put his people in charge. They would have the power to decide news coverage and which BBC programmes are made. [4] It could mean the end of the BBC as we know it.

Whittingdale’s feeling the pressure right now thanks to a series of damaging revelations on his plans for the BBC – including being caught lying about reading responses to the public consultation. [5] If we turn up the heat now, Whittingdale will have no option but to back down.

If thousands of us sign this emergency petition, then deliver it to him in just a few days, we could make Whittingdale realise that he’s fighting a losing battle and leave our BBC alone. This week could become the turning point in our people-powered campaign to protect the BBC.

Can you sign the emergency petition now? It’ll take less than 2 minutes:

The petition can be signed at: https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/keep-the-BBC-free-from-government-control.

If this is something you also feel strongly about, then please sign the petition. I’ve also done so.

I’ve felt it was important to do so because Berlosconi in Italy and Sarkozy in France used state control of the national broadcasting companies to remove from the airwaves shows, reporters and comedians that were critical of them. In the case of Berlo, this was the satirical comedy show, Rayot, after the show’s writer did a skit satirising Italy’s most pompous and totalitarian Right-wing politico since Mussolini. She later made an arthouse movie out of the affair, Viva Zapatero, named after the Spanish president, who removed the ability of his office to nominate the head of the state broadcaster.

If Whittingdale’s proposal goes ahead, not only will it give the government further leverage to privatise the Beeb, but it also means that, like the French and Italian state broadcasters, it will be under further government pressure to act as the government’s official mouthpiece. Not that it isn’t already spouting the lies fed it by the Tories. However, the situation will become worse. This, in my view, needs to be stopped. Now.

Petition Against George Osborne’s Cuts to the Personal Independence Payments

March 18, 2016

The internet petitioning organisation, 38 Degrees, has launched a petition against George Osborne’s proposal to cut the Personal Independence Payment. This afternoon I received this message from them.

George Osborne wants to take money away from people living with disabilities. [1]

The support he’s slashing, known as the Personal Independence Payment, is used by disabled people to help them live an independent life – for aids to help with things like washing and dressing. [2] In other words, money needed to live with dignity.

Conservative MPs are panicking. Some are already saying publicly that they don’t support taking this money away. [3] George Osborne is looking isolated, and one thing 38 Degrees members can do right now is show the public are against his cruel plans too.

We need to move fast. If thousands of us get behind a huge petition today, we can force George Osborne to do the right thing and keep this crucial support for disabled people.

Please will you add your name now?

The UK is better than this – better than taking money away from people who need it most. Taking away help to do the most basic things and live an independent life.

38 Degrees members believe in fairness, and when our government is hurting people who most need support we won’t stand by. Last Autumn, George Osborne tried to cut tax credits. This would have made many struggling families worse off. But 38 Degrees members mounted a massive campaign to stop him. And, together, we helped stopped that cut. [4]

People power can stop this cruel cut too. The more of us who rally in defence of people with disabilities, the more toxic we can make this for George Osborne, and the faster we can force him to back down.

So let’s get this petition going straight away. If you agree that George Osborne’s cuts are just plain cruel, add your name to the petition demanding he scraps them now:

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, David, James, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

PS: This isn’t just a small cut to people’s budgets – it means people with disabilities and their families losing around £70 a week. It means losing the lifeline. Conservative MP Andrew Percy says these cuts hit “exactly the wrong people.” [5] He’s right! Add your name to the petition now:
https:​//secure.​38degrees.​org.​uk/save-personal-independence-​payments

PPS: If you or a loved one are likely to be affected by these cuts, there is support available.
Disability Rights UK have a useful factsheet on PIP: http:​//www.​disabilityrightsuk.​org/personal-independence-paym​ent-pip
Carers UK can provide help and advice: http:​//www.​carersuk.​org/help-and-advice​
The Citizens Advice Bureau can offer information on various benefits and where other financial help may be available: https:​//www.​citizensadvice.​org.​uk/​

The petition also includes sending an email to your MP asking them to talk to George Osborne about the cuts.

If you want to aid the campaign against Osbo’s latest attack on the disabled, then please sign the petition. I’ve done so.

The petition’s address is: https:​//secure.​38degrees.​org.​uk/save-personal-independence-​payments

38 Degrees Petition to Keep Out Tax Dodging Privatisers from Bristol NHS

February 10, 2016

There’s real concern that some of the private healthcare companies seeking to profit from NHS contracts include firms like Virgin Healthcare, who avoid paying tax in Britain through registration in offshore tax havens. 38 Degrees, the internet political petitioning group, have set up a petition in Bristol to stop such firms getting contracts in the Bristol NHS. According to the group, we’ve got about two weeks to stop parliament from opening up the health service to these profiteers. I signed the petition against them earlier this evening. If you have similar concerns about the NHS in Bristol, and wish to sign, here’s the link:

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-tax-avoiders-out-of-bristol-nhs-1