Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

A Modern Dystopia- A Glimpse Into The Future


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello it a while since I blogged anything deep but as you know I’m not one to shy away from the responsibility of speaking out or the truth.

This has been something I forecast many years ago  to those who follow my blog, I have said some things which labelled me  a scaremonger or others implying I was a dangerous lunatic, yet I have been proven so far to be correct. Insight can be enlightenment and a curse.

So here I go again, jumping into the deep end of the cesspit of politics and the way we are ruled by those who think your life is worthless and of no use, and blaming you the individual rather than the chronic decision making by those in power. Quite some time ago as way back as 2012 I forecast this Tory government would lead us to hell in a handcart and now we are finally seeing their true colour’s as there is nothing to stop them enacting their game plan.

Why…because you let them!

Covid 19 has moved that plan fast forward and they are scurrying about in the corridors of power  trying to plug the holes that have been exposed. I said that they would come after the middle classes through welfare reforms and that Brexit would expose us to hardship never seen in over 100 yrs or more as the economy would take a severe nosedive plunging us all into the darkness of a dystopian world even George Orwell had not envisaged the savagery  about to unfold.

Do you all remember a BBC program called Years on Years and everyone was shocked to the core at the parallels of modern britain , well that is the  reality many now face, it wasn’t meant to become a reality I hear you say  or was it a dry run to test the nation to see how they would cope with what was coming who knows? In the clip below portrayal of  Trump and Vivviene Rook as a female Far Right Politician reminiscent of Farage.  It well worth a watch if you missed it anyway.

 

Covid has now plunged us into a wormhole  where nobody has the resilience to cope with partial lock downs where it highlighted our vulnerabilities  as human beings who have grown accustomed to having what we like when we like, but Brexit is about to bring that reality home  along with huge job losses and a failed  government which really isn’t governing. Many thousands are dying of Covid that’s before the flu season hits us, sounds like a conspiracy theory only it isnt!

All most will look towards is many will be lucky to have a job at all,  more homeless people on our streets,  our food banks over flowing with those who work and unable to keep up with demand, as ‘Charity’ replaces state support while they demolish and state assistance and social care will only lead to further deaths and deprivation most people have never seen in their entire lives and don’t be surprised after Brexit if Ration Books don’t make a return, as many as 5-9 million unemployed is forecast which will take decades to recover from and a rise in civil unrest and the boiling pot spills over onto our streets which will be exploited by the far right if someone doesn’t step up and take charge and automation will replace humans in Jobs.

The government is already looking at alternatives to state support in a post brexit world where food shortages are most likely and most alarmingly millions more people will die from abject poverty and starvation. It is a frightening picture I paint I know will UBI Plus help stem the disaster or will they continue to tread the same path and let eugenic practices like natural selection take place .

 

Its time to wake the hell up and stop and think what we are doing as a human race not just to each other but to the planet we live on which we are also destroying with our consumerism.

‘Its all your Fault’ isn’t just a convenient catchphrase its intentional to ‘blame you’ rather than you’ blame them’ for their incompetence , but there is a grain of truth that it is your fault for allowing it to happen in the first place rather than taking note of the warning signals but allowing your greed to absolve you from responsibility you needed to take. You wont be here , But your kids and grandchildren will be and that’s the legacy you left them. So expect to take the blame if you are able to survive the future as it will come home to roost.

 

 

Conversation with Opposition Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Minister JP Reynolds


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw the new Opposition Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  Jonathan Reynolds MP piece in the ‘House ‘ Magazine I was livid like many others, so I immediately hit the PC and typed a letter to get him to acknowledge how disabled people were offended by the article.

It has been signed by many from all walks of life who think our Social Security System is draconian but should remain Universal and yes it is enroute. You cant really blame us, given disabled people in particular have faced some of the worst cuts in the last decade and many lives have been unnecessarily lost due to DWP administrative errors and a parasitic private contractors who arbitrarily decide your worth,based on their own internal prejudices which society has pushed down the gullets of the taxpayer . A society who objects to paying taxes to help those in need seriously needs to give its head a wobble, as in life we never know what is around the corner and COVID -19 provided that shock for the masses whom no doubt over last decade think or voiced opinions those needing state support are lazy good for nothing scroungers.

Covid -19 and the partial lockdown of the UK to tackle the virus, left many who have had no interaction with social security system the shock of their lives yet many who were furloughed have yet to face the brutal measures metered out by the DWP regarding the claimant commitment which comes back  into play on 30th June 2020 and the Health & Work programme regime. This is going to hit many very hard who are floundering around being given misleading information about Universal Credit , some not meeting the criteria due to having wages so no entitlement to those who are currently easing back to work finding that their tax credits have stopped so need to reclaim them. It will be a shock to the system they never envisaged themselves to be in.

Anyway back to the conversation I had……….

 

Basically a future Labour Government  will scrap Universal Credit! They are committed to ensure those on Legacy Benefits get the £20 top up in line with UC for furloughed workers and are pushing the government hard on this.  They are committed to developing a Social Security System fit for purpose too that’s ‘universal for everyone’.

 

With regards to his comments on contributory benefits which is why I took to twitter asking for a conversation, the pot is getting less and less as the working poor get poorer and contributions are getting less and less and with the  post pandemic and Brexit world ahead and a potentially damaging recession  reportedly worse than the great depression 80 years ago in front of us, they are looking at the ways workers contributions are collected and paid out and how those people are brought into a new system which they hope they will achieve once in power.

I remember Labour releasing the contributory document when the Tories floated the idea of an Income Protection Insurance Scheme to ensure those who paid in, got what they paid out!  This is not the plan for the potential Labour Government should it gain power. GP’s do not wish to be gatekeepers for DWP even though Labour agrees that private contractors are a real issue so how that comes about is another thing but UBI will not be on the table.

To gain public trust they first have to conquer the public’s mindset towards the welfare state which in itself is a big ask after the Tories have poisoned the chalice since Thatcher ‘s ‘No such thing as Society’ rhetoric. we live in a very unequal world where workers are stuck on low pay zero hour contracts needing food banks while working their asses off, to perceiving their neighbours staying at home getting money from the public purse. Hasten to add we have a government who has pushed the Big Flat Screen TV rhetoric to the Free New Mobility Car bullshit which has lead to Disability Hate Crime and a dob thy neighbour culture for fraud when 99% of fraud claims are unfounded and malicious and conducted out of spite. So that is what the minister was referring to, and he agrees that Means Tested benefits are too low for people to survive on given the rising cost so many face.

Why has this happened  I hear many say, well it because the last four decades the Tories and New Labour under Blair  have successfully pitted sections in society against each other is the answer, and you all swallowed their bullshit! Certainly in the last decade this has become blatantly apparent with a Tory Government in power in which the rich have become richer and have more power, while the 99% have become the working poor so Divide and Rule works effectively for the Tories and many have bought into it, turning on each other instead of uniting together to defeat this government and boot them out!  The working class of this country need to unite and help kick this lousy government out of office so we can all live in a fairer society, based on need not greed.

 

Lastly He has promised to engage  further, so putting aside his past under James Purnell during Blair years which didn’t bode well, I felt it was a good conversation and positive. Jonathan does have a child with disabilities so while he in different position to most he is trying to grasp the nettle. I did warn him that disabled people would no longer tolerate being treated by society in such an appalling way as the last decade. These punitive policies have to stop and maybe just maybe, Covid has taught them a lesson too?

 

The Article which prompted to outcry

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/jonathan-reynolds-interview

The Document Labour released re Contributory Benefits plans by Tories.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QBdAdIfZCAv4uC5L_zK8ozaPE0WCHxQj/view?usp=sharing
 

Lockdown and the Virus -Guest Blog


Coronavirus: What it does to the body - BBC News

Image Courtesy of BBC News

 

Guest Blog by Florence

I was 57 a few days ago. I have comorbidity but was not designated as one of the vulnerable, or extremely vulnerable despite being the kind of person who has had to have flu jabs since my mid-40s and has had the pneumonia jab. I have a serious congenital heart defect that is heritable and which was not discovered until my mid-40s.  It did explain a great deal about the lifelong fatigue I have experienced, but that’s another story.

 

I have been kindly, lovingly and unofficially shielded by members of my family who live in my household. I would do the same for them. To be frank I have been fortunate, myself and my partner have been furloughed. I know many who have not been able to self-isolate, but as key workers continue to go into their place of work.  The cleaning of shopping and packages, the changing of clothes immediately after coming inside the house has been something new to organise. It reminds me of my father’s strictures about never putting library books on the kitchen or dining table and of washing one’s hands after touching for the first day or so. He’d grown up in world where contagious infection was an everyday fact of life.  Most of our parents and grandparents knew about this and that is why much our late nineteenth and twentieth century health improvements were brought about by working class people, in particular women the home, in service, or in public buildings cleaning things all of the time.  Cleaning, boil washing,  plus modern sanitation and sewerage systems were as crucial as medical and scientific advances: Cleanliness + Vaccines  = Better Health.  That’s a simplistic expression of the  history of public health, but very often the scientific advances have overshadowed what was considered to be something quite lowly: cleaning.

 

Because of the Victorian nature of the working class terraced housing I live in, it’s not always been possible to go in my front or back gardens when my neighbours  are out.  Narrow houses mean narrow gardens. When my neighbour sunbathes lying next to our party boundary fence I’m going to have to move further away. I  must also be mindful of the wind direction. I know that because I read the science papers written about airborne transmission.  There however rises the question,  just how distanced or isolated should people be? An MIT laboratory research group suggested 27 feet not six feet based on their findings about the distances particles ejected by sneezes and coughs can travel.

 

Every weekend since the 75th anniversary of VE Day there has been get-together’s of around six households on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in those front gardens. And loud and aggressive clapping on Thursdays too.  As people are continuing with is admittedly fun and socially cohesive thing to do, none of them dropped like flies from COVID, even though I know that some of them are also keyworkers.  It’s understandable that people are frustrated with the lock down, but the fact remains we have had a quasi-lockdown which has not been on the scale of undertaken by governments in other countries which have had far fewer death.

 

We never had a real total lockdown in the UK..

 

Now on 1st June working class people are forced out to schools, to workplaces by the Government, despite the exhortations of scientists. I do wonder how long it will be before one of the neighbours who parties in my street to become ill.

I have now decide how much longer I can stay inside. If I can be shield and isolated for another month to six weeks or more. I can hope to not catch a disease that could potentially be lethal.

The Chance Of a Lifetime -Missed Opportunity!


Image result for jeremy corbyn

Trigger warning this is brutally honest.

It is with a broken heart that I write this blog after spending the day feeling angry and hurt, this old bastard socialist was hoping to see a Labour government in power before my toes curl up. We have missed the opportunity of a lifetime to elect a principled man who put decency and decorum back into the political arena.

It is well known that many socialists have always been resistant to the EU project and Jeremy himself hid no opportunity during his career to attack it when the opportunity rose, however we live in a decade where that can no longer be ignored or taken into account and that I’m afraid  is part of what cost us the election and Jeremy his golden opportunity to implement some of the best socialist policies in decades. Ones that would have lifted the very people it needed to out of suffering of the political ideology that is Austerity! Granted Corbyn wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea as leader.

I have heard some pretty heated debates since the result but one thing is certain, people voted without seeing the wider impact that would have on the future of this country and those on their bones of their arses suffering under austerity.

Under Thatcherism many of those leave constituencies suffered greatly and never recovered with many closures of what built this country into a thriving one ,even though as a result, it also added to climate changes re pollution. Many voters who have turned the country blue by voting against Labour candidates because of their many hardships in their areas,  from central government cuts which hit many Labour councils the hardest ,it was by design so you would blame the council not the Tories, that lead to public services cut to the bone or non existence , to the shops closing on the high street, to rising crime and drugs with not enough police to safeguard them and their families. Those communities that felt left behind so voted for Brexit in 2016 and used this election as a re -run to assert the notion they were not being listened too, BUT YOU WERE ,YOU DIDN’T LISTEN !

Not stupid, Just politically ignorant  living for decades under what effectively has become a society ruled by the greedy  because you know nothing else, it is why he appealed to young people and that’s why Political Education needs to be back on the curriculum but the Tories wont offer that cos they like it that way. Civics of how Parliament works and what Capitalism is and Socialism and many others to either far right to the far left. that is the future debate to be had. The young listened and so did many of us old bastards who remember the last left Labour government  .

Many swallowed the soundbites, the lies and smears the deep state of 1% threw against Corbyn ,from Communist to Terrorist to Venezuela and everything in between by the Tory run right wing media. the resounding noise of ‘Get Brexit Done’ was a subliminal message that seeped into the brains of many fighting to survive, and social media which turned into info wars of click bait on both sides, of what was a two horse race. Those messages aided and abetted by the likes of Farage,Tommy Robinson, Trump,and others fueled the skewed debate so you stay slaves to the 1% and doff your caps like the good servants that you are. They removed the fixed term parliament act before the election so now you are trapped into subservience , while they reign supreme masters over your every waking moment of the lives you lead.

No socialist worth their salt should have voted against their own interests to enable the Tories to remove hard fought Workers Rights and Human Rights that they have been afforded under the EU , but recognize that while EU needed reform to enable us to trade ,freedom of movement etc it was designed when the world was different and needed to change, We should have stayed and reformed it, as this was something Corbyn realised, which is how he was persuaded to call a second vote based on the impact of Brexit would affect us as a country, and you never turned up for the lesson he was trying to get through to you because you thought he was denying your original vote…….He Wasn’t!

You are not going to get your country back under Boris and the nationalist agenda which has lurched to the far right, where racism and many other ism’s are now front & centre stage by slick oil salesmen in suits with a clown in charge of the circus pretending to be the class clown who will brutalize the many groups in society at will. While people laugh because they think he is funny, as he is as openly misogynist and racist as the country is reminiscing of the once colonial power it once had. You have condemned yourselves and many others to untold misery you took to the streets over regarding Austerity, Foodbanks , Universal Credit, NHS , the many deaths under successive governments the last decades etc you have sealed their fate with a stroke of the pencil.

Congratulations you have prevented the change the country desperately needed for the many not the few. A country where insurance profiteers will empty your wallets and purses,where healthcare is for those who can afford it, no social housing or educational program ,no safety net for those in need and where your bosses can use and abuse you at will ,without recourse ,because  your tick box gave them permission to do so.

The party will have to change  and rebuild and continue under another leader with possibly not the same insight as Corbyn , as those who could have stepped into his shoes were the very ones who lost their seats. Its time you took a long hard look in the mirror to reflect what you have done, and recalculate your moral compasses.

The future is bleak for the many, many more lives will be lost, the blood on your hands wont wash off, you are complicit in enabling your class destruction and noone will be at your grave to weep as you are surplus to requirements and your replacement is already in place. I may not be around to see this in full tilt who knows, but while I am, I will continue to fight for those you abandoned and left behind while you carry on living your Brexit dream.

CLASS- THE STRUGGLE OF THE MANY


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class is a way of describing the hierarchy of society. Where you fit on the social class ladder affects your opportunities in life, because it determines your social, cultural, and financial resources.

Many either talk about it in real terms or deny its existence, but the fact is the working class communities were broken up by Thatcher but previous efforts of others prior to Thatcher that led to hunger marches 1923-36  also echo as loud today as they did then.  . The class system has always been around and depending on the definition used, it changed politics and utterly devastated the communities who worked and were just able to sell their labour for a price and keep their heads above water. In Modern Politics it is used less and less.

The workplace has changed in the UK many industrial and manufacturing processes are now lost,  and more and more people work in the public sector, in offices, IT, and other service areas with a few exceptions such as the Construction/Steel industry,  where hard manual labour is still happening just about.

Research suggests that working-class people place a higher value on the good of the group, whether that is the family, co-workers, or the neighborhood, than middle-class people do. Working-class culture focuses on everyday life, while middle-class or professional-class families tend to focus on individual advancement. No definition can adequately capture the complexity and diversity of the working class is today. But regardless of the nuances, working-class people have some things in common – strong commitment to family and community, economic vulnerability, a solid work ethic, occupational health risks, negative cultural stereotypes, limited access to education.

Parts of the United Kingdom have disappeared from public view over the past 30 years, and been erased from social memory. The coal mining communities in the North, in the Midlands and in Kent, that once roared in their fights for the dignity of the working class are now silent, long forgotten.Political, economic, and institutional power has moved away from the docks, the mines, and the shipyards and found a new home in London, with the financial and political action. As a consequence, vast parts of the country are now deemed uninteresting; they’ve been left unfunded, unheard and uncared for by politicians, the media, and business. Their voices were raised in June 2016, though, when many of these communities voted to leave the European Union. That made people takes notice.

But they were still misunderstood. Many would have you believe these communities voted for Brexit because they are stupid, ignorant or racist. In fact, they voted Leave because the system simply doesn’t work for them anymore. They understand that they are dispensable to our ‘economy’ and they resent the fact that ever since the manufacturing industries went and the large warehouses arrived, they have been exploited and left with zero-hour contracts, low wages, and poor quality jobs with little chance of moving on to something better. Being working class isn’t an identity I wear in order to get funding, or a free place at a seminar, my type of working class doesn’t get these things anyway, my type of working class has come through experience and a history that has been passed down to me by generations, my values, how I see and think about the world is knowledge that has been shared with me by mother, by her mother, by her mother and her mother before her, my dad, my granddad and so on, by Mrs Bell my next door neighbour who looked after me when I was a child and her collective knowledge, being working class to me is about power, history, and experience. Being working class is about the relationship a group of people have with other groups of people, looking at each other and seeing that pain, but in turn having others look at you as ‘other’ and not one of them. This collective knowledge isn’t about nostalgia, and the past, it’s about the past the present and the future, a pain I inherited and a pain I have passed on. Working class people are hurt from the day they are born, even before they are born, questions are asked about our inception, about our family’s abilities, and the moral fibre of what we may become the minute our eyes are open. If class isn’t political its nothing. Says working class academic Lisa Mackenzie.

 

 

One thing for sure is the Labour movement was built on the collective movement of the people and we should never forget that, or we will surely pay the price at the ballot box.  Today we have swathes of working class people forgotten and left behind, disenfranchised who have been abandoned and it is down to us to reunite them with the Labour Party and it values.

We are part of huge political turmoil with Brexit where Corbyn’s ‘For the Many not the Few ‘ring out loudly but not loud enough to engage those who feel they don’t have a voice or are not listened too. When I talk to those who feel silenced I hear ‘politicians don’t care about me and mine’. We need to listen, feel their pain in Austerity Britain of the 99%, where those in work are struggling and having to ask the state for a helping hand because they are not paid a living wage, while the 1% whose wealth has tripled ignores the many . We need to be rebuilding those communities at the core of Corbyn’s ideas to rejuvenate that collective to stop the rise of the far right narrative poisoning of minds of the future generations.  It would be a dereliction of duty not to do so as a socialist movement.

 

https://lisamckenzie1968.wixsite.com/website/blog/class-politics-is-about-power-not-identity

https://lisamckenzie1968.wixsite.com/website/blog/a-howl-of-anger-from-the-heart-of-forgotten-britain

 

Will UBI Be The Right Solution?


 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week Labour has been talking about the prospect of UBI if a Labour Government came to power.

A report by Guy Standing for the Progressive Economy Forum UBI Pilots who is deemed the expert in this field published his ideas on how the UK could make this work.  This blog will about that discuss this and the flaws in his argument.

Firstly his claims that other pilots have been successful is a matter of opinion, I cant see how this claim can be made,  given each of the pilots mentioned operated very differently so therefore are not comparable as they would need to be identical in operational terms. Many have been scrapped and reported as failures.This idea has been around since C 1200 yet none of the previous UK governments have implemented it , even though it has been discussed many times. Why because it was deemed it wouldn’t work.  Are Labour digging up a corpse?

The Pilots suggested by Guy Standing are as following:

Five types of basic income pilot that are
recommended:
• Model A. Under this variant, a sample of people – a whole community defined
as a locality – would be provided with basic incomes, with additional separate
benefits for those with special needs. The basic income would be provided
instead of existing means-tested benefits, with the exception of housing
benefit, which should be retained (or be replaced by an equivalent to
compensate for any loss of the housing element of Universal Credit).
Provisionally, it is proposed that every adult in a selected community would be
provided with £100, with £50 for each child, and with additional separate
benefits for those with disabilities. As indicated later, the selection of the
community should be random and be drawn from a group of low-income
communities.
Bearing in mind that existing benefit levels have been allowed to fall in real
terms and that there is nothing optimal about existing tax rates, this model
should be regarded as realistically aspirational, in that it the test would be to
see the impact on the population, recognising that funding such a scheme
nationally would involve a significant cost that would have to be met by tax
increases, diversion of public spending from other uses (such as subsidies and
tax reliefs) or the establishment of a national commons fund as described
earlier. A primary purpose of this Model would be to determine whether the
benefits of such a scheme – such as improved health, reduced stress, more
work and less crime, as found in pilots elsewhere – would merit consideration
of this option in the future.

• Model B. Under this variant, a sample of people – again, preferably all members
of an identifiable locality – would be provided with basic incomes of £70 per
week for working-age adults, and £20 per week for children on top of Child
Benefit. Tax codes for every recipient would become BR, thus imposing the
basic rate of income tax on all earned income below the higher rate tax
threshold. Means-tested benefits would be left in place, and basic incomes
would be added to the means taken into account in their calculation, so each
recipient household’s means-tested benefits would be automatically adjusted
downwards, and their means-tested benefits would also be automatically
adjusted upwards by the changes in net earnings brought about by the tax
code change. Administration of the scheme would be possible if the recipient
community were to be defined by postcode boundaries and the government
was able to instruct HMRC and DWP to make the necessary changes within
the recipient community.

• Model C. Under this variant, a sample of people – again, preferably everybody
in a local community – would be provided with basic income as a supplement
to their existing state benefits. This would be firmly in the spirit of common
dividends, and the per capita amount could be less than in the first case. One
option might be to provide every adult in a community with a tax-free £50 per
week for one year that was not taken into account in determining access to
means-tested benefits. This would strengthen income security and be
progressive, since the amount would represent a larger proportion of the
income of a low-income person than for others.

• Model D. Under this variant, a sample of welfare recipient adults would just
have existing conditions for entitlement to existing means-tested benefits
removed, so as to make the benefits closer to a basic income, notably by
removing forms of behavioural conditionality that permeate Universal Credit
and other benefits at the moment. This type of experiment is close to what is
currently being tested in The Netherlands and Finland, as described in
Appendix A. It would have minimal net cost, and might even save public money.

• Model E. A fifth type of experiment is very different from all the others. This is
sadly relevant to the austerity era, and would be a refinement of an approach
taken in the City of London some years ago. As described in Appendix A, the
gist of the policy was that a group of homeless were given a cash grant instead
of the various measures made available, and it led to most of them obtaining
places to stay, and thus actually saved the council considerable money over
the longer term. Given the horrifying growth of homelessness across the
country, this experiment should be repeated in a few other, randomly chosen
places. It should not be made a national policy, but the results could be taken
into account in formulating and implementing a national basic income system.

To make UBI work in the UK it would take some radical changes not just in thinking ,but with certain groups in society who cannot work such as Disabled People,Carers ,Elderly for a variety of reasons. One annoying trait with all governments is the focus on getting people into jobs, which isn’t a bad idea in itself if they can , but with total disregard to those who cannot, as if it is like some sort of Utopian world view where work is the be all and end all of life. With many on low wage zero hr contracts and not enough FT jobs or skilled workforce to fill current vacancies. Many people are working less than 3 hrs a week but classed as employed by government ,yet complaining about the welfare cost rising and counted as claimants too . Many are grandparents/ parents who are picking up childcare for example or carers which actually saves Governments an absolute fortune in service provision.

For any UBI scheme to work in the UK  these marginalized and demonized groups need to be included and additional bolt ons, like disability premiums,PIP, AA,Carers Premiums,Child Elements,Housing Benefit must be retained and set at a realistic level  and to cope with modern society after Brexit,  if that happens, with rising costs and inflation etc. The figures quoted by Standing are unrealistic in the modern world with AI creeping into the workplace and less than current payments on Universal Credit for some and in Scotland even less money.

A flat rate fits all approach will fail without doubt and plunge many into a worse situation than they are currently facing under Universal Credit. we shouldn’t throw the idea out altogether but if Labour wants this to work, it first needs to Listen to those on the receiving end of the policies put forward not just so called experts. Sanctions and Behavioral Conditionality,  the awful WCA/PIP assessment processes  that currently are costing a fortune both monetarily and with reported deaths of claimants should be abolished as promised and the rapid rise of homelessness. There should be a claw back process for those who gain employment set at a certain threshold ie: 50k.

Disabled people in particular have higher costs (500mth) because of disability and social care needs, we need to make it possible for those who can work to get jobs, keep mobility vehicles to enable them to get to work , eat healthy food, put clothes on their backs and pay their bills  and even a holiday which will all benefit long term costs in other areas as well as make them healthier both mentally and emotionally and  initial costings will in the  long term cut costs in other areas.

Critics on all sides make wild claims for and against this idea but if well thought out , it might just work! Piloting different approaches are not helpful in some ways as they are costly on both sides of the argument, but a well thought out UBI might work for the many and not the few .

I’m still wary of ‘False Prophetic’ claims of a brave new world of welfare state, in fact I may not live to tell the tale, but this has to be done properly for the generations to come who need support of a safety net just because they Can’t!

 

For those wishing to read Standings report: https://www.progressiveeconomyforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/PEF_Piloting_Basic_Income_Guy_Standing.pdf

 

When a Rebellion is Controlled by the State-Updated


Image Courtesy of XR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m most likely going to upset many people who have a genuine concern over climate change, it’s not like that we don’t know it happening, we can see that daily with extremes of weather and animals being endangered among many other things. But is it really a new phenomena given our planet has undergone changes for billions of years, or is it just another cycle of our planet Earth?  A complete smoke and mirrors job.

 

 

However that doesn’t mean we should not challenge the status quo and ideology behind the latest headlines that has thrust one particular phenomena  that came out of nowhere to hit front pages around the globe. When the anarchist federation speaks out against it warning people to be wary, as have many others, I thought it was at least worth a dig around.

Well what a surprise I got . “The new group, Extinction Rebellion, is another incarnation of Climate Camp and Reclaim the Power. They make money by selling “activist courses” to innocent people. They are astroturfers – fake grass roots and their style comes from the Tavistock Institute or Common Purpose leadership training. These are the controllers who steer real activists into illegal activities so that they get arrested, a police record and never get a decent job again.” says one blogger. Well Green Party activists are also behind this movement and many of them genuinely believe in the cause while others have called them the New Occupy which no doubt has attracted many activists  from wider circles  and groups. but it is a middle class  movement which drags others along in the back-draft.  Joining in some fake rebellion controlled by state henchmen whose objective is to clamp down on citizens rights and control any dissent and gather data on the activist movement just for starters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well what I found was a movement inspired  that a 16yr old child state patsy, encouraging kids and workers alike to take days off school/work to join in the huge protests happening in London and many other places around the UK and Internationally which has attracted many big names such as David Attenborough, Chris Packham, Emma Thompson ( who got trolled for flying) and many other big celeb supporters , yet when asked who is funding them we get told activist donations and a few small donations from persons unknown. Their Fundraiser currently stands at 82k. Calls for this child to be nominated for a Nobel prize no less , echo amongst the supporters of Greta Thunberg who has Aspergers.

Make no mistake what they have achieved in shutting down London is no mean feat, but it begs to question where were these people when the UK has suffered nine years austerity? People are homeless, thousands have died under welfare reforms and a Government that is in meltdown over a political mistake called Brexit which has divided the nation. Austerity and capitalism go hand in hand and maybe they will expand their remit but it is unlikely. Is it more sinister about controlling resources like food, water etc?

The Main four people claiming to be behind it from Rising Up have some interesting links  yet say Greenpeace have not pushed hard enough. Call outs for people to come down to be arrested and then the Police move in when they arrive is somewhat of a PR stunt while the Mayor of London is left to foot the rising bill  and the Tory ministers go full attack mode saying round them up and a army on standby to quell any uprising. One thing for sure is the working classes of the UK will get the blame for a clampdown just in time for the announcement of a new bill of rights and a activist hit list is complete as the intel will have been garnered. Many good campaigners and activists will be sucked into this data black hole who are frustrated that the UK has a Dictatorship in control of the country, it is all part of the plan, but not like the agenda 21 type that’s banded about idly by conspiracy theorists.

I and others I speak to find it astonishing that many cant see they are being hoodwinked by the state to enable them to  oppress UK citizens even more than they already do so.

 

 

Below you will find links to the company details of the main 4 people of Rising Up  it makes interesting reading as does a few other of their cohorts and a couple of  bloggers who calls them out. Make your own mind up don’t be taken in!

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uECIlfoDe2VsCUzNccv2adcSzR8BmU3pnz0RTFpE418/edit?pli=1 Funding

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1G641513ojN0wKtUaGu2JTRLssn-SzT7NFSwHRB1VyX0/edit?usp=sharing  

https://journal-neo.org/2019/09/27/greta-thunberg-and-big-biz-climate-charade/

https://lisamckenzie1968.wixsite.com/website/blog/it-s-capitalism-stupid-extinction-rebellion-can-t-do-it-with-flowers

https://steemit.com/news/@francesleader/from-occupy-to-extinction-rebellion-exposing-the-common-purpose?fbclid=iwar0ilgp0-nqrsjp0xiwans_m9itz8otk4zyfhrdkywvciu7ttgj0s7g5yai

http://www.commonwealnonviolence.org/blog/hope-dies-action-begins-an-interview-with-risingups-gail-bradbrook#more-853

http://www.theartofannihilation.com/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-a-decade-of-social-manipulation-for-the-corporate-capture-of-nature-crescendo/

https://radicalthinktank.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/how-to-win-10-15.pdf

https://drillordrop.com/2018/07/11/breaking-judge-grants-cuadrilla-injunction-over-lancs-fracking-site-to-2020/

https://radicalthinktank.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/how-to-win-10-15.pdf

http://www.weatheraction.com/resource/data/wact1/docs/ScientistsAgainstExtinctionFAKErebellion1.pdf

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/how-the-internet-can-overcome-the-collective-action-problem(7043d36c-a77f-4304-85ce-8987b4ba2903).html?fbclid=IwAR0XzZUjfKZ8j64AnEgYfsxUo8AAPF82Uvn5MJ9LtfxSHaCFDFh2OHAGjM4

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/roger-hallam(a8c519a2-c149-4ada-9deb-0bf09f0fad02).html?fbclid=IwAR3UGuOAH8qeChE978Kk9xuTO17hQVYABCdN7LQpUeXcSJCNh3WkG2vOQtg

https://www.theelders.org/news/elders-stand-solidarity-students-striking-climate-action

https://barbaramckenzie.wordpress.com/2018/12/15/more-child-exploitation-as-the-globalist-climate-project-creates-its-very-own-bana-persona/

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09622618/officers?fbclid=IwAR2o2Iuhg6WPaiWisYSxzpmW6L69NQ7LM2sQVDcGT4AR9RyjuO9P9HYBi-k

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03963007/officers?fbclid=IwAR3bCr4wp5uuG7ygOSriL4jeY4IHSCdb1FTxGRTvxE8ktVJLXEGaY7f2Sag

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/nVSRl-xqh_Xca07MV5JOv4SvCJg/appointments?fbclid=IwAR3mq91TWn41a6bXR94JVQmBX-lOB7IGkNSVl9X7hlcU64GY8Pdhvsxj7_Q

https://youtu.be/-f34TZ-k9AU

https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news-analysis/3074451/xr-business-green-business-leaders-rally-in-support-of-extinction-rebellion?fbclid=

https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkobayashisolomon/2019/01/04/climate-change-investing-the-greatest-opportunity-in-history/?fbclid=IwAR3LUOoy9VeF17l0jEmcQwnBrwuBLd5f0RjghNkulrOD8Zc4aOuD_AJcfCU#12ecd4c83e34

https://youtu.be/m6pFDu7lLV4

Class War On The Poor


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 9 long years campaigning against Austerity has opened my eyes beyond measure, to the corrupt nature of the ruling class. The serious nature of crushing the poorest in society from dissent by control is no joke especially if you are working class whose lack of opportunity is stifled by lack of resources available to them, this is not because they don’t want to rise up the ladder of life, it because of the person holding the ladder preventing them from access and climbing it.

It started with social control via religion and landowners making sure those at the bottom were prevented from rising up and knew their place. It has divided communities across the land and across the globe.

However progression from Victorian England and workhouses because the elite feared disease from black death, cholera, smallpox ,Tuberculosis etc ,society progressed slowly towards better equality with the industrial revolution and workers rights being forced by withdrawal of labour that led to the formation of what we now call the labour party to oppose conservatism and the ruling elite.

But what has really changed? The class system still impacts on citizens today it depends which class system you are born into as to where you can go, even with best will in the world with a few exceptions along the way of those who are catapulted into prominent positions because they understand what class does to society and how it is used as a tool of oppression.

 

From  Peterloo ,Suffragettes , the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and the  Jarrow Marches,  Miner Strikes in 70’s , and the Poll Tax Riots the working class has stood up to be counted and achieved a lot at the time,  to make working class lives better for a while. It wasn’t without cost of life or oppression and blacklisting of individuals seen by the state as troublemakers.

In 2019 things are at crisis point after 9 years of Austerity in which a Conservative government has incited crushing oppression and hatred on the working class through various austerity measures, divided our communities into groups that hate each other because while everyone is fighting for the crumbs off the table via various pecking orders of worth and Brexit made it worse and opened the door to the rise of the far right who want their country back. Absolving the state from its own responsibility to act in the best interests of all it citizens rather than the few who run the country with impunity with mates rates for those who could afford to contribute more, instead of taking what little the poorest have leaving some of  them without means of survival. After all positive and behavioral change is at the heart of welfare reforms and austerity.

 

 

 

The rise of the middle class protests funded by those with vested interests to contain rebellion from   the working classes while dragging some of them along for the ride  to seem as if they truly care , is nothing more than a establishment smokescreen, which is why the media are reporting on it , and advocating clamping down on such dissent.

I’m not saying these issues don’t matter to working class people too, they most definitely do, disabled people have tried in vain to raise the systemic violations they are currently suffering with welfare reform to no avail and those who do know about it turn a blind eye as it doesn’t affect them, the NHS is being cash starved to privatise it to the American Insurance system which I may add is also being dismantled both here and there so only the rich will have access to medical care. Climate change is a big one we should all care about after all our very existence depends on it, is the latest  protest with arrests now being carried out, whether they will face same sentences before the beak is another matter, as often the working class are made examples of to put you in your place.

 

So what am I getting at…. It’s the class system we need to get rid of along with this government who will only use these protests to control and oppress the working classes further  because they dared to ask for more, while the middle classes will disappear down the proverbial black hole after gaining some concessions and helping the establishment achieve their goals.

Austerity and climate change are interlinked, but Capitalism is your master right now and has been for some considerable time and that will need crushing to get the changes needed for a fairer and equal society for all citizens and the redistribution of wealth that is needed to radically change the infrastructure of the country.

If you understand what you’re fighting against and what you are fighting for you have a greater chance of success of stopping your oppression.

The Death of the Welfare State-Joining the Dots Series -Part 2


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Blueannoyed  and Paula Peters

So lets look at the next stage of where it all went badly wrong and joining up a few more dots.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes were introduced to the UK under the John Major Government in the 1990s, with the first project Skye Bridge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDDTu7kZUjA .Tony Blair’s New Labour Government significantly expanded PFI as a convenient way of funding public infrastructure “off balance sheet.” Despite frequently calling for an end to “Labours flawed PFI program” whilst in opposition, in 2011 Chancellor George Osborne re-branded and continued the PFI gravy train under the “PFI 2” banner. NHS Trusts owe £80bn in PFI loan repayments and “unitary charges,” the technical term describing the extortionate ongoing running costs of maintaining PFI hospitals via PFI – where private contractors are granted 30-year monopoly rights to deliver maintenance and services.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/joel-benjamin/seven-things-everyone-should-know-about-private-finance-initiative

In recent years reform of the welfare system in Britain began with the introduction of the New Deal programme  introduced by the Labour government in 1997. The aim of this programme was to increase employment through requiring that recipients make serious efforts to seek employment. The Labour Party also introduced a system of tax credits for low-income workers. The Welfare Reform Act 2007 provides for “an employment and support allowance, a contributory allowance, [and] an income-based allowance.”. The objectives of the Welfare Reform Act of 2007 were to increase the employment rate to 80% from 75%, to assist 300,000 single parents find employment, to increase the number of workers over 50 by 1 million, and to reduce the number of people claiming incapacity benefits by 1 million.

In the 2009 Welfare Reform Bill This welfare reform proposed an increase of personal responsibility within the welfare system. The reform eliminated Income support, and allocated funds over to the Jobseeker’s allowance, to encourage employment. It also encouraged increased parental responsibility by amending child support laws, and requiring births be registered jointly by both parents. This is basically how we got to David Cameron In power with the help of the Lib Dems. Building on Thatchers Legacy they all equally promoted on the capitalist world stage.

Disability campaigners saw this coming this is how the main groups in 2010 like DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) Black Triangle Campaign in Scotland and Spartacus Campaign,Pats Petition,WOW Debate MHRN (Mental Health Resistance Network)and many others were created to fight against the forthcoming erosion of the welfare state and austerity measures in the pipeline that was to be foisted onto the most vulnerable in society in the hope there would be little opposition, well they got that wrong! Disabled people started to take to the streets warning of what the end game was yet they were often dismissed as scaremongering by the general public but that did not deter them. When people start to die you just cannot sit and do nothing and boy did they take to social media too,  all working together behind the scenes collectively to raise awareness of what was happening to people under these new reforms .  The campaigns that hit headlines were Spartacus twitter  campaign ‘I Am Spartacus’, DPAC ‘s  Independant Living Campaign (ILF) 2010  one thing for sure disabled people were not going to suffer in silence they were going to take this fight to the government and still are! DPAC disruptive direct actions are notorious and they took their concerns to the UN over deaths that were occurring as people slipped through the cracks, while others produced hard evidence of what was going wrong and how to fix it by lobbying ministers to their plight.

ATOS  was the main contracted  outsourced provider of new Biopsychosocial model assessment regime designed by the likes of Mansell Aylward , Gordon Wadell,  (The biopsychosocial approach systematically considers biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and health care delivery.)  Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud,Frank Field et al  grabbed this flawed research with gusto and turned it into something brutal and unrecognizable removing the safety net of the welfare state for those who need it. This government have created a hostile environment for anyone who needs state support with lies about claimants taking taxpayers money while they are working hard to pay taxes. The demonisation started by IDS et al all feeds through to the general public  via the media that those needing support via his scrounger rhetoric, lazy ,feckless , money for nothing,hard working people are just a few of the soundbites used harking back the the victorian days of blaming the person rather than state failures to provide jobs in a failing economy since the 2008 global crash.

 

Iain Duncan Smith (Center for Social Justice)  -Between 1997 and 2001, he was Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security and then Secretary of State for Defence. From 2001 to 2003, he was leader of the Conservative Party and then from 2003, having stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, he set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ). The CSJ was an organisation dedicated to focussing on the problems facing those in the lowest income groups in society. It published a series of reports, perhaps the most significantly, “Breakthrough Britain: Ending the Costs of Social Breakdown”, focusing on the five pathways to poverty and a Conservative way to implement social justice and improve the quality of the poorest in society. It is also worth noting that in 2013, the CSJ published the paper on modern day slavery, “It Happens Here: Equipping the United Kingdom to Fight Modern Slavery”, which subsequently led to Theresa May enacting legislation on this matter. In 2010, Iain Duncan Smith became Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a position he held until he resigned in a dispute with the Chancellor over his determination to reduce his expenditure on disability benefits by over £1 billion. During his time as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, he undertook the most significant programme of welfare reform in modern times, transforming the benefit and pension systems, as well as employment services and support. Perhaps the most significant reforms were the introduction of Universal Credit, (bringing together the six unemployment and sickness benefits), the Work Programme, for the first time bringing together private and voluntary sectors to get unemployed people back into work, and the introduction of the Single Tier Pension simplifying the State Pension.

https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/

 

Many battles have been fought since then and the Labour Government started to listen and ministers started to support disabled people in their fight and Ministers from all parties started to have their surgerys full of cases where this regime change was causing preventable harm. Meanwhile the Tories continue to ignore it and dismiss it as ‘work as a health outcome’ and disabled people as scaremongering despite extensive evidence to the contrary.

Further reading:

https://dpac.uk.net/research/

http://www.welfareconditionality.ac.uk/2017/07/demonising-disabled-people-public-behaviour-and-attitudes-during-welfare-reforms/

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/killed-by-the-state/

https://www.inclusionlondon.org.uk/campaigns-and-policy/facts-and-information/independent-living-social-care-and-health/ilf-one-year-on/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/rogue-company-unum-had-a-profiteering-hand-in-the-governments-work-health-and-disability-green-paper/

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/a-brief-history-of-social-security-and-the-reintroduction-of-eugenics-by-stealth/

Spartacus Reports:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/search/node/spartacus?fbclid=IwAR0oZ4h1GCEG62yOm4M1V8ir_UnEPN-Oq0jJuhlXBpzLHIPgxko3Luy4H6U

https://spartacusnetwork.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR1uGHwGNaggW9dMo7cbdG1WCT33SJK979fd99uQ4lENhKvi1v5bW-KLA3E

 

Panorama -Universal Car Crash


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BBC  Panorama Highlighted some of the issues with Universal Credit  with the focus on Housing Benefit Direct Payment process. While this may have been a overall a shock for those who watched the programme who may have never even heard of it, It wasn’t a shock to Disability Campaigners and those who need to make a claim!  The Media has been in full swing recently highlighting the many issues this controversial benefit failings, forcing the Government to make significant changes to the managed migration process as MP’s,charities,many DPO’s including CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group) and SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee) all advising the Government that changes must be made before the next cohort is transferred Secretary of State Ester McVey made considerable concessions to appease the outrage,which combined with fact the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston was visiting the UK looking at Welfare Reform and Poverty felt like a PR stunt to fend off recent criticism.

They focused on 3 Groups of the many that will be affected Unemployed,those who are Sick, and Low Income families. Using Government rhetoric of ‘making work pay’ more than benefits which the government has successfully ingrained into the mindset of many in society through the scrounger rhetoric since 2010.

Anthony the first  man lost his job is 63 so found that while he thought work was out there couldn’t secure employment and had 4K of rent arrears and had had been sanctioned losing 200mth just because for whatever reason  he had failed to comply because no phone or computer skills to manage his claim, and facing eviction, and even when he did make contact was sanctioned again as the advisor was not in the Jobcentre. One can only assume while he was doing everything required to look for work this was due to failed appointments which are generally online or via text notifications. Many in society will most likely exclaim well he was smoking roll ups and not attract much sympathy such a sly move by BBC to present him in this manner, saying well he can afford fags although I’m certainly they will defend this as usual.

Second Guy James Dade was single dad reliant on the food bank for survival but very little was said about his circumstances.

We then saw a Councillor state when people have limited choices they will choose to feed their kids and stay warm than pay their rent  nugget dropped into the programme implying reckless budgeting decisions. even though across the UK the average rent arrears is £663 compared to £263 on legacy benefits which on average is 2 and half times higher and recently over 1/2 claimants found online process difficult hinting yet again that its the claimants fault rather than a design fault.

The next couple Richard and Rita  claimed the benefit as Richard had a car accident  and consequently lost his job telling the public they were forced to sell things in the home to manage due to the fact the design features within the system were paying them less than they should have got, and being taken to court for council tax arrears while they tried desperately to sort their claim out leaving them in debt. they both eventually found Jobs.

Keith  the next claimant was a fellow suffering depression who admitted he was hopeless budgeting relying on the local food bank had lost his job, and faced eviction in November,due to rent arrears and without support unable to cope with system.

Professor Paul Hickman was interviewed  saying that direct payments to claimants rather than landlords as the previous system did was ignored by the DWP. Alok Sharma from the DWP was then interviewed spouting the same Tory script they must have learnt verbatim just like the actors they are, and displayed typical indifference to the plight of those on the receiving end of this vile policy claiming 90% of social sector will soon be signed up to the Landlord Portal which is being rolled out.

With 5821 evictions in the UK and many already homeless on the streets struggling we then had the council highlighting cuts from central government have left councils UK wide unable to pick up the slack and find homes due to lack of Social Housing properties that the country so desperately needs. Councils have seen their landlord lists plummet as many private landlords  refuse to let to those on social security and those needing Alternative Payment Arrangements such as Domestic Violence  victims  unable to get this arrangement and councils unable to help as the agreement has to be done via the landlord not a third party.

 

This programme really barely scraped the surface of the design faults within this policy, many things are changed as an after thought because the policy wasn’t properly thought through and administration is so bad and training is so bad that even those who should be helping haven’t a clue about the constant changes and are mis -informing claimants causing further chaos with long waits on the phone which campaigners call the ‘Vivaldi Line’.

In July 2019  as the Government rolls out a pilot sample of approx 10,000 claimants with many transferring in November 2019 in tranches this chaotic policy is only going to cause considerable harm to many families across the UK. The government knows fine well many of these  families will face hardship and tells them to stand on the beach looking at the wave that is a reality a tsunami waiting to hit them and their children. Yes done properly with support people could transition more easily hence the CAB contract of Universal Support recently announced will help many navigate the complex process of doing so, but support is soon going to be difficult to get appointments due to the volumes involved.

The most severely disabled will if they don’t have change of circumstances will start this process in 2020.

One thing is for certain is the noise about Universal Credit will get worse and louder as this government tries its best to hang on bloody mindlessly instead of scrapping it and admitting this policy should never have been introduced without making sure it was robust,practical to implement and the structure was sound. Now it is only fit for the waste basket of many government projects which has wasted Billions of Taxpayers money while UK citizens find themselves back in Victorian times and seen by the elite as undeserving and feckless poor who situation is their fault, absolving themselves of any responsibility for this total failure ,while the architects have long since retired with a golden peerage  and a hefty financial handshake.

If you missed it here it is;

 

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