Posts Tagged ‘Disabled’

Jody Whiting: Another Victim of Tory Benefit Sanctions

May 3, 2018

It isn’t just the Windrush Migrants, who have been savagely persecuted by the Tories. They’re just the latest victims in their ongoing campaign to humiliate, degrade and impoverish the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, BAME people, in fact anybody who isn’t rich and a member of the corporate elite.

Whiting was a young mother, who tragically took her life a few weeks ago. She had been thrown off benefits because she missed a jobcentre interview. She had good reason. She was in hospital at the time, being treated for a cyst on the brain. Common sense should tell you that this is a severe illness, and that treating it comes very much before attending jobcentre interviews, or indeed, anything else. The jobcentre didn’t see it that way, and stopped her benefits. Just as they stopped them for so many other seriously ill people in exactly the same situation.

Fearing that she would be unable to cope without state support, she took her own life. She dropped her kids off at school, went to the local forest and hanged herself. She had appealed the decision, and her benefits were reinstated. This came too late for her, after she was dead.

Mike put this up on his blog. It’s been a scandal in Scotland, and someone pointedly shouted to ‘Rape Clause’ Ruth Davidson about her, when she appeared to defend the Tories’ record before the Scots parliament. But Whiting is just one of nearly a thousand or more victims of Tory benefit sanctions, who have either starved to death penniless, or taken their own lives out of sheer desperation. There are so many that I’ve lost count. Stilloaks, one of the great commenters to this blog, has published a list on his site, as have disabled organisations and a number of other left-wing bloggers, including Johnny Void.

Many of these people left suicide notes explaining that they were killing themselves because of benefit sanctions. But all you hear from the Tories, when this issue is raised, is the constant refrain that there is no evidence to link their deaths with government policies.

It’s vile, murderous lie, to cover up what Mike and other bloggers are calling the genocide of the disabled.

Stop the deaths. Vote out May and her murderous crew.

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Books on God and Religion

March 17, 2018

On Thursday, Jo, one of the great commenters to this blog, asked my a couple of questions on the nature of the Almighty, which I tried to answer as best I could. I offered to put up here a few books, which might help people trying to explore for themselves the theological and philosophical ideas and debates about the nature of God, faith, religion and so on. I set up this blog about a decade and a half ago to defend Christianity against attacks by the New Atheists. I don’t really want to get sidetracked back there, because some of these issues will just go on forever if you let them. And I’m far more concerned to bring people of different religions and none together to combat the attacks by the Tories and the Blairites on the remains of the welfare state, the privatisation of the NHS, and the impoverishment and murder of the British public, particularly the disabled, in order to further enrich the corporate elite. Especially as the Tories seem to want to provoke war with Russia.

But here are some books, which are written for ordinary people, which cover these issues, which have helped me and which I hope others reading about these topics for themselves will also find helpful.

The Thinker’s Guide to God, Peter Vardy and Julie Arliss (Alresford: John Hunt Publishing 2003)

This book is written by two academics from a Christian viewpoint, and discusses the Western religious tradition from Plato and Aristotle. It has the following chapters

1. Thinking About God – Plato and Aristotle
2.The God of the Philosophers
3. The God of Sacred Scripture
4. Religious Language
5. The Challenge of Anti-Realism
6. Arguments for the Existence of God
7. The Attributes of God
8. Life After Death
9. Miracles and Prayer
10. Jesus, the Trinity, and Christian Theology
11. Faith and Reason
12 Attacks on God, Darwin, Marx and Freud
13 God and Science
14 Quantum Science, Multi-Dimensions and God

God: A Guide for the Perplexed, Keith Ward, (Oxford: OneWorld 2003)

1. A Feeling for the Gods
God, literalism and poetry, A world full of Gods, Descartes and the cosmic machine, Wordsworth and Blake, the gods and poetic imagination, Conflict among the gods, Friedrich Schleiermacher: a Romantic account of the gods; Rudolf Otto: the sense of the numinous; Martin Buber: life as meeting, Epilogue: the testimony of a secularist.

2. Beyond the gods
Prophets and seers; The prophets of Israel and monotheism; Basil, Gregory Palamas and Maimonides: the apophatic way; Thomas Aquinas: the simplicity of God; The five ways of demonstrating God; Pseudo-Dyonysius the Areopagite; The doctrine of analogy; Three mystics.

3. The Love that moves the sun
The 613 commandments; Pigs and other animals; the two great commandments; The Ten Commandments; Jesus and the Law; Calvin and the Commandments, Faith and works; Theistic morality as fulfilling God’s purpose; Kant, the categorical imperative and faith, God as creative freedom, affective knowledge and illimitable love.

4. The God of the Philosophers

God and Job; Plato and the gods; the vision of the Good; Appearance and Reality; Augustine and creation ex nihilo, Aristotle and the Perfect Being; Augustine and Platonism; Anselm and Necessary Being; Evil, necessity and the Free Will defence; Creation as a timeless act; Faith and understanding.

5. The Poet of the World

The timeless and immutable God; The rejection of Platonism; Hegel and the philosophy of Absolute Spirit; Marx and the dialectic of history; Pantheism and panentheism; Time and creativity, The redemption of suffering; History and the purposive cosmos; Process philosophy; The collapse of the metaphysical vision.

6. The darkness between stars

Pascal: faith and scepticism; A.J. Ayer; the death of metaphysics; Scientific hypotheses and existential questions; Kierkegaard: truth as subjectivity; Sartre; freedom from a repressive God; Heidegger and Kierkegaard: the absolute
paradox; Tillich: religious symbols; Wittgenstein: pictures of human life; Religious language and forms of life; Religion and ‘seeing-as’; Spirituality without belief; Non-realism and God; The silence of the heart.

7. The personal ground of being

God as omnipotent person; The problem of evil; Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche: beyond good and evil; Omniscience and creative freedom; God: person or personal; Persons as relational; The idea of the Trinity; The revelatory roots of religion; Conclusion: Seven ways of thinking about God.

Bibliography

Teach Yourself Philosophy of Religion, by Mel Thompson, (London: HodderHeadline 1997)

Introduction
What is the philosophy of Religion?
Why study religion in this way?
What is involved?
The structure of this book
What this book aims to do.

1. Religious Experiences
Starting with experience
What happens when you experience something?
What is religious experience?
Induced religious experiences
Prayer
Conversion
Mysticism
Charismatic experiences
Revelation
Some features of religious experience
What can we know?
Authority and response
Conclusion

2.Religious Language
A private language?
Knowledge and description
Faith, reason and beliefs
The rational and the non-rational
Interpreting language
Cognitive and non-cognitive
Language games
The limitations of language

3. God: the concepts
God as creator
Eternal
Omnipotent
Omniscient
Transcendence and immanence
Theism, pantheism and panentheism
Atheism, agnosticism and secularism
Nietzsche: God is dead
Secular interpretations of God
A postmodernist interpretation
The Christian concept of God: the Trinity
Beliefs, language and religion
Saints?
Religious alternatives to theism
Basic beliefs

4. God: the arguments
The ontological argument
The cosmological argument
the teleological argument
the moral argument
the argument from religious experience
Conclusion

5. The Self
Bodies, minds and souls
Dualism
materialism
Idealism
Knowing our minds
Joining souls to bodies?
Identity and freedom
Freedom?
Life beyond death
Some conclusions

6. Causes, providence and miracles
Causes
Providence
Miracles
Summary

7. Suffering and evil
The challenge and the response
the problem
God as moral agent
Suffering and the major religions
Coming to terms with suffering
The devil and hell
Religion and terrorism
Summary

8. Religion and Science
The problem science poses for religion
the key issues
the changing world view
the methods of science and religion
the origin of the universe
evolution and humankind
Some conclusions

9. Religion and ethics
Natural law
Utilitarianism
absolute ethics
Morality and facts
How are religion and morality treated?
Values and choices
Conclusion

Postcript, Glossary, Taking it Further

God and Evolution: A Reader, ed. by Mary Kathleen Cunningham (London: Routledge 2007)

Part One
Methodology

1. Charles Hodge ‘The Protestant Rule of Faith’
2. Sallie McFague ‘Metaphor’
3. Mary Midgley ‘How Myths work’
4. Ian G. Barbour ‘The Structures of Science and Religion’.

Part Two
Evolutionary Theory

5. Charles Darwin, ‘On the origin of species
6. Francisco J. Ayala ‘The Evolution of life as overview
7. Michael Ruse ‘Is there are limit to our knowledge of evolution?

Part Three
Creationism

6. Genesis 1-2
7. Ronald J. Numbers ‘The Creationists’.

Part Four
Intelligent Design

10. William Paley ‘Natural Theology’
11. Michael J. Behe ‘Irreducible complexity: Obstacle to Darwinian Evolution’
12. Kenneth R. Miller, ‘Answering the biochemical argument from Design

Part Five
Naturalism

13. Richard Dawkins, ‘The Blind Watchmaker’
14. Richard Dawkins, ‘God’s utility function’
15. Daniel C. Dennett, ‘God’s dangerous idea’
16. Mary Midgley, ‘The quest for a universal acid’
17. Michael Ruse, ‘Methodological naturalism under attack’.

Part Six
Evolutionary Theism

18. Howard J. Van Till, ‘The creation: intelligently designed or optimally equipped?’
19. Arthur Peacock, ‘Biological evolution-a positive theological appraisal’
20. Jurgen Moltmann, ‘God’s kenosis in the creation and consummation of the world’.
21 Elizabeth A. Johnson, ‘Does God play dice? Divine providence and chance’.

Part Seven:
Reformulations of Tradition

22. John F. Haught, ‘Evolution, tragedy, and cosmic paradox’
23. Sallie McFague, ‘God and the world’
24. Ruth Page, ‘Panentheism and pansyntheism: God is relation’
25. Gordon D. Kaufman, ‘On thinking of God as serendipitous creativity’.

Police, Political Figures and Vigilante Attacks on the Homeless: Fascist ‘Social Cleansing’

March 4, 2018

Mike put up a piece earlier today, reporting and commenting on an article in the Groaniad stating that charities dealing with homelessness were concerned about action taken against rough sleepers from the police, political figures and vigilante groups. This was after the cops in Cambridgeshire claimed that every single homeless beggar in Ely was fake, and making considerable amounts of money from feeding on others’ charity. A local businessman in Devon has also launched his own vigilante campaign against the ‘fake’ homeless, which has ordinary people in Torquay photographing them, and then putting up posters identifying them. And the head of Windsor council, who wanted rough sleepers cleared from the borough, has said that he intends to increase the numbers of community wardens to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Mike links these actions, and the demonization of rough sleepers, to the processes leading up to genocide. This is stage one: classification.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2018/03/04/homeless-charities-slam-open-season-on-street-people/

Mike isn’t exaggerating this threat. We’ve seen how the Tories are going about a silent, chequebook genocide of the poor and disabled by clearing them off the benefits they need to survive, on the very flimsiest of excuses. And real attacks on the homeless do occur. Rough sleepers commonly live with the threat of violence from members of the public.

But there have also been attacks and murders of homeless people by Fascists. Way back in the early ’90s, during the Bosnian War, BBC news carried chilling footage from Colombia of a homeless man being killed by a gang. This group of thugs declared that this was ‘social cleansing’, in emulation of the ethnic cleansing being waged by the Serbs, as well as the Croats and Muslims, in the former Yugoslavia. And the inventor of electric shock treatment to treat mental illness was a doctor in Fascist Italy, who began his experiments on an unwilling homeless man he’d dragged off the street.

This is what can happen – what will happen – if these developments don’t go unchecked. The Tories and their lapdogs in the rightwing press are turning Britain into a Fascist society, and the end result will be officially sanctioned murder on the streets as people here decide to do a bit of ‘social cleansing of their own’.

Vox Political: Government Cuts Benefits to Reward Rich with Another Tax Cut

March 13, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has also posted a piece reporting a story from the Torygraph reporting that Osbo wants to cut £1.2 billion from the welfare budget to raise the 40 p tax threshold. It’s another case of the Tories cutting benefits in order to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. All in the name of efficiency and making us more independent and free of ‘welfare-dependency’, no doubt.

See http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/03/12/outrageous-billion-pound-benefit-raid-is-to-fund-budget-tax-bribe-for-the-rich/.

This looks very much like the cuts to the PIP payments Mike mentions in the article I’ve just reblogged. So yes, the Tories are cutting the benefit to the disabled to give to the rich.

Vox Political: Debbie Abrahams Reports Government about to Cut £1.2 billion from Disabled

March 13, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has a piece reporting the claims of Labour Shadow Minister for the Disabled, Debbie Abrahams, that the DWP is preparing to slash £1.2 billion from the PIP budget for the disabled. Madam Abrahams states

“Just a week after forcing through cuts to support that will take over £1,500 a year from disabled people, the Tories have today snuck out a proposal to take away a further £1.2 billion, by removing support from people who are not able to manage toilet needs or dress unaided. This will mean that over 600,000 disabled people are set to lose almost £2,000 a year.

“In coming to this decision, the Tories are yet again ignoring the views of disabled people, carers and experts in the field, trying to press ahead with changes, just two years since the introduction of the system. While their own proposals admit that the vast majority of respondents did not think the case for change had been made.”

More information can be read at Mike’s blog at http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/03/12/more-than-24-billion-has-been-taken-away-from-disabled-people-to-support-tax-cuts-for-the-rich-who-dont-need-them/.

The title of Mike’s piece has the rhetorical question whether the £24 bill taken from the disabled is to fund tax cuts for the rich. Considering how the government is shifting the tax burden from the rich to the poor, I really don’t think there’s much doubt about it.

Vox Political on Tory Outcry against RMT Chief for Stating They Should Be Killed for Murdering the Poor

February 3, 2016

Mike has this story over at Vox Political surrounding the outcry the Tories have raised against the comments by the senior assistant general secretary of RMT, Steve Hedley, on a debate on LBC hosted by Shelagh Fogarty: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/02/03/rmt-chiefs-demand-for-execution-of-tories-for-murdering-sparks-anger-against-him/. Hedley was justifiably outraged by the number of disabled people, who have died due to their welfare cuts. He declared the Tories were murdering them, and that for this they should be taken out and shot.

Mike makes the point that the ensuing outcry is the reason he won’t allow similar demands or recommendations of violence against the Tories on his blog, for the reason that the Tories would use it to drown out the main message – that their wretched welfare reforms are killing the disabled – and use it as an excuse to attack it.

He’s right. When faced with any really tough rhetoric, the Tories immediately claim victimhood and whine, bitch and moan. In their minds, they represent dignified civil discourse against the slovenly manners, fecklessness and hooliganism of the Great Unwashed. And they are always, always unjustly maligned by thuggish opponents. Even when the reverse is true. And their welfare benefits are killing people, and reducing those in genuine need to utter poverty. Mike on Vox Political, Stilloaks, Jayne Linney and other disability bloggers have catalogued the various deaths that have resulted.

I actually wonder how the Tories would react if they were faced with really forthright criticism. Such as, for example, from the pen of Hunter S. Thompson, the journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Thompson was the inventor of Gonzo journalism, and didn’t mince his words when it came to describing those politicos that aroused his hate and disgust. In his piece on Richard Nixon, he described the former president as ‘so crooked he had screw his pants on in the morning’. He also said that instead of giving him a land burial, they should have buried him at sea, or flushed him into the sewers with the other turds.

And the bile didn’t stop with the Watergate conspirators. He also expressed his utter contempt and loathing of the Oliver North, Pat Buchanan, Admiral Poindexter and the others in the Reagan administration responsible for the Iran/Contra affair. One of them was described as being ‘so crooked it took three Whitehouse aids to screw him into his pants’. He thought they should be shut in a bamboo cage to be poked with sharp sticks, and flogged all the way along Route 66. As for Ed Meese, Reagan’s equally crooked attorney general, he said that he should have been hung upside down from a lamp post.

Maggie Thatcher also disgusted him. In a piece he published, replying to a letter from his illustrator, Ralph Steadman, he called Thatcher a ‘denatured hog’, and said that Steadman’s delinquent son was quite right to smash windows. Any young person who didn’t want to smash windows in Thatcher’s Britain was probably brain-dead.

This is strong language indeed, especially in the American press, which is now very cautious and respectful. In Britain it would result in paroxysms of Tory fury, as any criticism, no matter how small, of the Blessed St Margaret of Grantham is regarded as the vilest blasphemy. The Conservatives – traditionally the party of the Anglican establishment – have no scruples about attacking the Archbishop of Canterbury, or indeed any other clergyman or woman, if they dare to speak out on their dreadful welfare policies. But the sanctity of Maggie Thatcher, the patron saint of monetarism and South American dictators, must be defended with all their might.

Mike’s quite right to be worried that comments urging violence would give them ammunition to ignore and distort what’s actually said on his blog. Their past masters at that. Hedley’s statement that they should be shot gave them all the material they needed to distort the debate. But they are monstrous thugs, whose policies are killing tens of thousands of people, and who can’t stand the kind of criticism their atrocities deserve.

The @PodDelusion: Why the Daily Mail is Evil

October 7, 2013

After all the satire, rather more serious is this analysis of the Daily Mail and its stories by the @PodDelusion. The video begins with a disturbing description of the Mail’s paparazzi photos of the young children of celebrities, such as Tom Cruise’s six year old daughter, the paper’s attitude towards these tots as glamour figures, and the highly sexualised language used of older, but still young teenage girls. The video then goes on to discuss the Daily Mail’s hatred of atheists and secularists, Muslims, health and safety officer, criminals, the unemployed on welfare benefits and, indeed, the disabled.

It refutes some of the bogus stories and statistics run by the Mail. The Mail printed a story from the material released by Wikileaks allegedly showing that a third of all Muslims supported killing for Islam. In fact, the American diplomatic material the Mail used referred to a story ran by the Daily Mail. Clearly, this is very much a case of circular reportage. In fact, the survey the Mail used to make this claim actually reported that only 3 per cent of Muslim students supported killing to promote or defend Islam. A much larger proportion of Muslims, 28 per cent, said that they agreed only if Islam is under attack. This could, of course, refer to satirical attacks or real physical assaults by people with pitchforks.

He also attacks the Daily Mail’s regular victimisation of the disabled. Another of the bogus statistics the Mail reproduced was that a quarter of people claiming sickness benefit had criminal records, and that three-quarters of people on disability benefit were fit to work. Well, none of these statistics quite show what the Mail claims. The statistics showing the proportion of sick people with criminal records actually doesn’t show any greater criminality than the rest of the population. The proportion of all people in Britain with a criminal record, which may include quite minor offences such as having a few points taken off your licence, is 25 per cent. As for the statistic that 75 per cent of the disabled were fit to work, this included people, who were so ill they did not complete the form. It also included the fifty per cent, who won their case against Atos on appeal.

It also attacks the misogyny of the Daily Mail in running a story claiming that women, who don’t do the housework are at a higher risk of cancer. The speaker says it reads like an Onion parody, but unfortunately, the Mail really did run it.

Finally the speaker reveals why he personally hates the Daily Mail. Shortly before one of his uncle’s died, the poor fellow became morbidly afraid of foxes through the scare stories about them in the Mail. Warning: the video ends with the speaker leading the audience in a series of shouts of ‘F*ck You, Daily Mail’. This is, of course, obscene, but given the content of the rag, not entirely undeserved.

Here’s the video.
.

It’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9dqNTTdYKY.

On the subject of religion, although the Daily Mail does attack atheists and secularists, there are a number of atheists and secularists, who also regularly express their contempt for people of faith. Richard Dawkins, who is frequently on TV both as an evolutionary biologist and an atheist polemicist, has described religious people as ‘faith-heads’. Charlie Brooker, on his the edition on lifecycle on his TV Ruined Your Life, described the congregations on Songs of Praise as sycophants trying to curry favour with a notional deity by singing insipid pop songs. And Stewart Lee and Ricky Gervaise also include anti-religious material and attacks in their shows. Now I actually like Brooker, and I’m certainly not arguing for the censorship of any of the above comedians. I’m only pointing out that media sneers and hatred on the subject of religion don’t only go one way.

Apart from this minor criticism, I agree pretty much with everything the speaker has said about the Daily Mail. The analysis of the sexualised language used of the young daughters of actors and celebrities is particular unsettling. It very much makes the case Chris Morris made in the ‘Paedogeddon’ special edition of Brass Eye. This was a sustained attack on the hysteria whipped up the News of the World and other tabloids about paedophiles, which saw a mob attack a paediatrician in Cardiff. Morris’ satire mixed fictional material, such as a sequence in which a map of the British Isles morphed into a mass of grotesque, leering faces, and real documentary footage from American child beauty pageants. The real material was deeply disturbing, and raised the issues of why such contests were legal while at the same time the media over here was frightening everyone with the spectre of a pervert on every street corner. The video’s critique of the Mail’s treatment of teenage and pre-teenage girls also raises questions of the morality of such articles, quite apart from the fact that the children of celebs should also have the right to a childhood away from the public eye. They actually prove Carrie Fisher right in her determination not to have the press anywhere near her daughter until she was old enough to decide for herself.

As for the Mail’s attitude to the disabled, as shown here, it’s truly nothing short of scandalous. A friend of mine, who cares for his disabled wife, told me a little while ago that he and she had experienced growing prejudice and intolerance from the public. He believed that there really was an attitude that his wife was somehow just faking her condition. He put it down to the effect of the disabled character in Little Britain. He believed it had created a climate of opinion that somehow expected those in wheelchairs to be secretly fit, well and leaping about when nobody else was watching. Reading the comment from the Mail’s columnist stating that disabled charities have only themselves to blame for public opinion turning against the disabled left me absolutely certain where some part of the responsibility for it also lay: the Daily Mail. And that really is low.

In short, the video’s an excellent summary and demonstration of just about everything wrong with Daily Mail and its editor, Paul Dacre.

Useful Resource: Lobster’s Guide to the 2005 Freedom of Information Act

August 14, 2013

My brother, Mike, of Vox Political, Sparaszczukster, Johndee and many other bloggers and activists have had trouble getting the DWP to give the statistics on the number of disabled people, who have committed suicide after being refused benefit by ATOS. This follows their attempts to get that information under the Freedom of Information Act. Nine years ago, way back in 2004 the parapolitical magazine, Lobster, published a short guide to the then-forthcoming 2005 Freedom of Information Act by their long-time contributor, Jane Affleck. The article was entitled ‘Freedom of Information – New Access Legislation’. It included guides to making a request, the fees charged, complaints and appeals, exemptions to the act, qualified exemptions and environment information. Regarding exemptions, she states that

‘An authority is not obliged to comply with a request if it estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the appropriate limit (s12); alternatively, the authority may charge for information in such circumstances (s13). Nor need an authority comply with a request if it considers it to be ‘vexatious’ (s14); or if the request is ‘identical’ or ‘substantially similar’ to a past request, unless a ‘reasonable interval’ has elapsed between the two requests (s14). Also exempt is information held by an authority that is intended for future publication (s22); information that is covered by other access regimes: the Environmental Information Regulations – where the information concerns the environment, see below (s39, s74); or under the Data Protection Act – where the information constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject. (s40).’

Mike and Sparaszczukster have both had their requests turned down on the grounds that their requests are ‘vexatious’ and based on a prior request. She also includes in the article a number of websites on the act, the 2002 Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act, the regulations for environmental information, and the Freedom of Information page for the Department of Constitutional Affairs, as well as the Data Protection Page. She also provides the web address for the Campaign for Freedom of Information. They’re at http://www.cfoi.org.uk.

Lobster is now on the net, along with an archive of its back issues that includes the edition with this article on the Freedom of Information Act. This is issue 48, for Winter 2004. The article is on pp. 30-2.

‘Commission Managment’: The Nazi Term for Public-Private Partnership and the Use of Special Advisors from Industry

August 3, 2013

I’ve already discussed the use of personnel from big business and industry in government, and the establishment of government organs as private corporations in the Third Reich in my post on Spamfish’s post on Wolin’s idea that America is now an ‘Illiberal Democracy’. Another example of this was the appointment of the industrialist Carl Krauch as general plenipotentiary for chemicals and director of the Reich Office for Economic Consolidation , a subordinate body to the Reich Ministry of Economics. The Reich Ministry of Economics was itself in practice the ‘executive organ of the Commissioner for the Four Year Plan’. Under Goring’s management the Organisation for the Four Year Plan appointment a number of business leaders, like Krauch, as general plenipotentiaries.

Krauch had been on the board of I.G. Farben from 1926. From 1933 onwards he was an adviser to the Aviation Ministry, and to Brabag, which was responsible for producing artificial fuel. Krauch initially headed the research division of the Office for Raw Materials and Stock in the Organisation of the Four Year Plan. IN this role he had the full support of I.G. Farben’s board, and could use the company’s planning staff. He also took some of the staff from I.G. Farben to work with him in the Office of the Four year Plan. He was made general plenipotentiary for chemicals in 1938. The Reich Ministry for Aviation and Economics urged him to resign from I.G. Farben and become a state official, and was willing to appoint him state secretary. Krauch turned the offer down after consulting Bosch. he retained his seat on the I.G. Farben’s board, and in 1940 was appointed head as chairman of the company’s supervisory board. Krauch’s position in the Reich ministry was honorary, and he was not officially employed by them, nor was he included in the organisation’s budget. He was regarded with suspicion by other firms because of his continued links with I.G. Farben, and by the state economic bureaucracy, which was used to the strict separation of public and private organisations. The use of expert technicians like Krauch was expanded and became increasingly typical. While Goring and the General Council of the Four Year Plan were responsible for the ministry’s decisions, these were strongly influenced by the suggestions of their plenipotentiaries and by members of staff from the private armaments industry. These were ultimately responsible to the Armaments Ministry, but the ministry’s central administration rarely rejected their suggestions. Krauch described this adoption of managers from private industry in government as the assumption of state duties by the independent sector of the economy. It was described by other political theorists as a new form of ‘Commission Management’. In addition to using advisors and personnel from the Nazi party bureaucracy, the management apparatus of official from private industry was also used at the expense of a uniform state administration. The parallels here between the Nazi use of managers and technicians from private industry, and their use, along with Special Advisors, by contemporary British administrations since Margaret Thatcher as part of an ideology of Public-Private Partnerships are very strong indeed.

The Friends of the Reichsfuhrrer SS

Private industry also sponsored the SS. The Friends of the Reichsfuhrer SS was a group of heads of industry and bankers in Berlin. They donated money and even equipped whole SS units. AS a reward, the group became honorary members of the SS and influential personal contact with its leader, Himmler. One of the advantages this gave the group’s members was access to cheap labour from the concentration camps. To use this slave labour, the SS demanded a price of 6 marks per man per day.

Clearly there is no real comparison between Cameron’s policies and the Friends of the Reichsfuhrer SS, except in the most general sense of private industry donating money to the Conservatives, and other political parties, such as New labour, in return for governmental favours. There might be some if, the DWP adopts the recommendation of independent policy advisors to expand the use of residential centres for the disabled and long-term unemployed, to be employed on workfare, run by private contractors. Nevertheless, it demonstrates the ultimate extent to which the Nazis attracted and exploited contacts with private industry.

Sources

Martin Broszat, The Hitler State (London: Longman 1981)

Friends of the Reichsfuhrer SS, in James Taylor and Warren Shaw, A Dictionary of the Third Reich (London: Grafton 1987) p. 132.

Another Outrage: Local Health Authorities Tells Benefit Claimants Doctors too Overworked to See Them

July 19, 2013

This story comes from the Void. The Bro Taf Local Medical Committee representing doctors in the Cardiff area has written to its GPs telling them not to see claimants, who wish to have a medical examination for the Atos assessment. The Medical Committee object to these examinations, as they have not been contracted for and are not funded. They see it as an intrusion on the doctors’ proper medical workload. The article begins

The Bro Taf Local Medical Committee which represents doctors in and around Cardiff has written to GPs asking them not to help claimants who need medical evidence for benefit problems.

The LMC claim that providing this vital medical evidence for people facing the notorious ATOS work capability assessments is impacting on GP’s workloads.

Most people might have thought that a GP’s workload would include helping sick or disabled people stay alive by ensuring they are not wrongly assessed and thrown off benefits where they could then face workfare on a Groundwork or Conservation Volunteer chain gang.

However the Bro Taf LMC are unrepentant and even seem to be trying to make doctors feel guilty for supporting their patients. The letter states: “GPs need to have a consistent approach to this issue and colleagues who do this work make it more difficult for others to resist and it spreads the belief with patients and local authorities that GPs are happy to take on this non contracted and unfunded work.”

The piece shows the increasing marginalisation and disenfranchisement of Benefit claimants and the disabled targeted by Atos. We really do seem to be heading with the Tories back to the principle of ‘less eligibility’ under the Tories, in which life was deliberately made as hard as possible for the poor so to dissuade them from going on welfare.

The full piece can be read here:

http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/doctors-told-to-snub-desperate-benefit-claimants/