despicablea

I’ve just transferred some money across to my nieces bank account because she’s gone overdrawn because she hasn’t been paid this month. I did it not just because I care about her, but because I am raging angry, because we always pay, even after we bailed the banks out, we always pay, and bank charges, in particular, drive me incoherent with rage.

You name it, we pay, always. Taxes, excise duties on fuel and the like, passports and driving licences, VAT, bank charges, instant fines, school fines, refuse and waste fines if we put our refuse out in the wrong way, parking charges, including hospital parking charges, even for beleaguered staff, and monster fines if we get it wrong or forget for any reason. Late payment fines for bills. Bailiff charges and court charges and fines for even the most minor transgressions. Government sanctions, and loss of the means of survival, for the most spurious reasons. Council Tax. Stamp duty and inheritance tax. Prescription charges when we’re sick. We even get to pay for all the taxes that are avoided or evaded and stashed away in tax havens, because someone’s got to pay to keep the country running when they can’t be arsed, nor give a damn

If we take out a loan or mortgage, instead of paying a fixed charge as we do for real world goods and services, the financial markets scalp us with interest charges out of all proportion to the value of the service they provide. Interest on government debt which is currently around £1.8 trillion cost us £62 billion in 2016/17, next financial year it will be £68 billion. Personal debt in the UK was £1.557 trillion to the end of September 2017, interest payments for the year would have been £49.885 billion. Bearing in mind that we pay interest on the same money year on year, this is a monstrous scam, bearing no relation to the actual cost to the banks of servicing the debt.

After taxes every pound we receive is worth 35.12 pence, we pay on average another 3.65 pence in interest charges and after all the other charges we are forced to pay, the amount of every pound we have for actual living costs is somewhere between 20 and 30 pence. That means someone over 25 on Job Seekers Allowance of £73.10 has £21.93 for actual living (£14.16 for under 25’s), all the rest is soaked up in charges of one kind or another.

The fact is that for ordinary people the financial buck stops with us, we pay and pay and pay with very few options for avoidance. It is estimated that tax revenue lost to cash in hand work (working class tax evasion) is between £2 billion and £8 billion, the overall tax revenue lost to tax avoidance and evasion is estimated to be somewhere between £10 billion (ha ha ha) and in excess of £119.4 billion (2012/14).

The reason that bank overdraft fines (which is what they are) drive me into incoherent rage is because, as we discovered in 2008, when the banks overdrew (or blew it), threatening the entire global economy, they were rewarded with a bailout, at our expense, and business as usual, including their bonuses. If I have an arranged overdraft I pay £1 a day (£31 on a 31 day month) with no cap on those charges and if I go into an unarranged overdraft I pay £6 a day with no cap (£186 on a 31 day month) and I definitely won’t get a bailout, just the bailiffs if I cannot pay.

What stokes my rage isn’t just the fines imposed by banks, it is the fact that the Tory imposed austerity and every other cut, slash and burn policy they have introduced at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and the biggest national asset stripping operation this country has ever seen has all been justified on the basis of the (entirely spurious) need to pay down the debt (which they have increased and by 2020 will have borrowed nearly twice the combined borrowing of all Labour governments since 1945) caused by the banking bailout.

But even that doesn’t come close to the underlying issues that are like a jet blast of oxygen in the furnace of rage that sweeps over me.

Ordinary people are the bread basket of the nation, makers and wealth creators. Whilst corporations and the super rich get tax breaks, concessions and handouts amounting to hundreds of billions of pounds every year, ordinary people pay for all those benefits and yet are despised and treated with contempt by the government, the super rich and businesses and corporations. We can’t even get mandatory legislation for a wage we can live on and wages have been tanking for over 50 years whilst inflation has been rising year on year since 1900, with very few annual exceptions. The national minimum wage, or the ‘new living wage’ as George Osborne deceitfully called it, isn’t even enough to live on and the DWP has turned the UKs life support, end of the road, social security system into a secret penal regime that dwarfs the UK criminal court system and imposes penalties that deprive people of their entire means of survival and the government refuses to even acknowledge that it kills people, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Despising ordinary people is nothing new, the Industrial Revolution made Britain the wealthiest nation in the world, but ordinary people had no share in that wealth. Until post WWII, slums, or homes from hell, were everywhere and vast numbers of ordinary working people had no access to health care and the unemployed and destitute were treated, at best, no better than slaves.

Under the Tories poverty diseases are back with a vengeance, in the year 2014/15 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition. That’s what ‘making work pay’ means in Tory Britain, work for your poverty or die and if you cannot earn enough to live on, they’ll sanction you, so you get to die anyway.

What Britain is now is a monstrous scam, by every foul means that they can dream up, the Tories are transferring the wealth of the nation into the hands of a greedy rapacious parasitic elite, including themselves, at a human cost that they aren’t even interested in measuring and about which they don’t give a damn, and when the appalling suffering in Britain is raised in parliament, you can witness on national television the Tories sneering, mocking and barking like the jackals they are.

And all of it, every single hell cursed part of it is a scam, a lie, a twisted hell spawned conception of bastardy that they are pursuing out of vindictive, spite filled, hate and greed. They despise their victims, and that is what fuels my rage when my niece works her socks off and can’t even get paid and then the bastard banks punish her for having no money when they are the bastards that stole it in the first place with the active complicity of this filthy bastard government who have laid the blame and the pain squarely on her, and all of us.

And if you are curious to know what the real magic money tree is in Britain, it’s us and they are robbing us blind.

KOG. 19 November 2017.

https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/3028/economics/interest-payments-on-uk-debt/

http://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/

https://www.finance.co.uk/how-much-tax-on-100-earned-are-you-actually-paying/

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2012/jul/24/tax-taxavoidance

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/09/22/new-report-the-tax-gap-is-119-4-billion-and-rising/

https://fullfact.org/economy/do-benefit-fraud-investigators-outnumber-tax-inspectors-ten-one/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nhs-cuts-excess-deaths-30000-study-research-royal-society-medicine-london-school-hygiene-martin-a7585001.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/tory-austerity-deaths-study-report-people-die-social-care-government-policy-a8057306.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/01/top-uk-earners-to-receive-as-much-in-benefits-as-poorest-by-2020

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jul/07/corporate-welfare-a-93bn-handshake

https://www.theguardian.com/business/live/2017/sep/13/pound-one-year-high-uk-jobs-report-pay-squeeze-business-live

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/31/real-wages-falling-longest-period-ons-record

https://www.icalculator.info/inflation/historical-inflation-rates.html

https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system

https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2017/feb/23/disability-employment-gap-sanctions-cuts-and-death-after-fit-to-work-tests

http://calumslist.org/

http://www.historyextra.com/article/bbc-history-magazine/life-19th-century-slum-victorian-london-homes-hell

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/malnutrition-and-other-victorian-diseases-soaring-in-england-due-to-food-poverty-and-cuts-a6711236.html

Advertisements

Scan000974a

Jeremy Corbyn MP
House of Commons
London,
SW1A 0AA

16 November 2017

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

Thank you for reading out the letter from the GAP lettings agency in Lincolnshire in PMQs about the pre-emptive warning to tenants of coming evictions under Universal Credit.

It is inevitable that many hundreds, more likely thousands, of evictions will occur as Universal Credit is rolled out, forcing people into intolerable hardship and suffering with no opportunity or means to prepare financially in advance, especially amongst the poorest people in society who have been serially targeted by the Tories since 2010. Whatever slack people may, possibly, have had in the past, it will be long gone by now as austerity has gnawed millions of us to the bone.

People are going to be forced into these evictions by intent, under the bogus premise that delays in benefits ‘teaches’ people in-work discipline of working a month in hand. A practice I learnt from day one when I began working as a young lad, initially as a week in hand, which later extended to a month in hand. Accepting there may be a few people who are not yet aware of this practice, the majority will already be fully aware of how wages and salaries are paid. Applying this to subsistence, hand to mouth, benefits for six weeks is, therefore, I would forcibly argue, entirely punitive.

For vast numbers of people Universal Credit is going to be the straw that finally breaks them from which many will not recover and, without doubt, many people are going to lose their lives, not least, to suicide.

We already know there is a magic money tree for whatever the Tories want to do, tax breaks for corporations and the already wealthy, corporate subsidies, hundreds of billions of pounds in quantitative easing for the financial markets, the countless billions lost to the nation in tax evasion and avoidance, languishing in Tax havens, and refurbishing Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

People are going to suffer for no better reason than the Tories have chosen to wage economic warfare on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. It began in 2010. I chose to write a letter a day to number 10 for three and a half years when it became clear what the Tory plan was for Britain’s poor, and as Theresa May said just prior to the last general election, ‘nothing has changed, nothing has changed’.

Mr Corbyn, it has got to change. Too many lives have already been lost. I do not know what to do, the Tories have rigged it so that they are nigh on super glued in place, but we cannot and must not go on like this.

I know of very few people within my circle of friends and acquaintances who have not lost someone to austerity already. The Tories can deny any causal link between welfare reforms and the suffering and deaths they have caused, but in the real world we know better because we have to live with consequences that never touch the lives of those responsible.

We have to do something, we cannot go on this way. The neoliberal Tory project, which is part of the global neoliberal project, must end. It’s all a horrific lie anyway. The world is not poor and this country is not poor, but the vast majority are, historically and currently, excluded from any just share in that wealth by intent. You are an old experienced hand, if you’ll pardon the expression, you know the reality of Westminster politics far better than I do, I beg of you, is there not something we can do, right now? Too many people are not going to survive until the end of this fixed term parliament, we must be able to do something if there is anything left of democracy to fight with to save the lives of people who are innocent of wrong doing and are helpless to protect themselves.

At the time of writing BMJ Open has just released a report which finds, ‘The squeeze on public finances since 2010 is linked to nearly 120,000 excess deaths in England, with the over 60s and care home residents bearing the brunt’, and warns there could be an ‘additional toll of up to 100 deaths every day from now on’. That equates to the loss of every woman, man and child in my village 17 times over. In addition to everything else, if that does not make the seven years of Conservative misrule a catastrophic national disaster, I do not know what would.

Yours sincerely,

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/corbyn-reveals-hundreds-of-families-to-be-evicted-over-universal-credit-fears-of-letting-agent-pmqs_uk_5a0c39a1e4b0b17ffce1802c?g8m

http://blogs.bmj.com/bmjopen/2017/11/15/health-and-social-care-spending-cuts-linked-to-120000-excess-deaths-in-england/?hootPostID=e06c1c231486751b1732f7e7d3edfe5c

DanicaRoema

Whilst Britain languishes in the twilight zone of Tory, something just happened in the US State of Virginia, something wonderful.

I woke up this morning in more pain than I have ever experienced before, it wasn’t just one part of me, it was spread across my body and I felt like death warmed up. I stumbled downstairs, grabbed a glass of water, fell into my chair, switched my computer on and took my meds. I opened two emails from Eileen in Little Rock, Arkansas, and began to cry.

I spent an hour trying to absorb what has just happened in Virginia.

Danica Roem, ‘a Democrat who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials’, ousted a man who described himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe”.

Say what? Just pause for a moment to allow that to sink in. Savour it on your tongue. Let it filter into your bones.

I feel like a portal just opened into the 21st century in a world dominated by right wing demagogic rabble rousers and feudal throwbacks.

Talking to MSNBC News Roem said, “You should be celebrated because of who you are, not despite it. In the words of Saint Francis deSales, “Be who you are, and be that well”.”

“You should be celebrated because of who you are.”

I live in the neo-feudal state of England under the boot heels of the neo-fascist Tory party who are driving us into penury, persecution and death and who have not a single decent word to say about any of us and who regard us and treat us as ‘stock’. The Tories who represent everything that is wrong with the world and delight to spread misery and despair by any foul means at their disposal.

I have lamented that in 200,000 years of human development we are being dragged screaming back to a feudal state in which the poor are being hounded to death to feed the rapacious greed of the few.

Who would ever have imagined that one of the infamous southern slave confederate states would become a portal into the 21st century?

I am as amazed and delighted as, I am sure, Trump is horrified, even as, in the UK, May’s government implodes in utter chaos.

Things, as they say, are definitely looking up.

Well done Danica Roem who also said “Be yourself, better than anyone else ever could.”

Quite so.

KOG. 08 November 2017.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/danica-roem-will-be-vas-first-openly-transgender-elected-official-after-unseating-conservative-robert-g-marshall-in-house-race/2017/11/07/d534bdde-c0af-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?utm_term=.0ad12d2c7919

http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/danica-roem-on-historic-victory-inclusion-and-equality-won-1090935875859

bankers

The wealth generated by robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be owned by the companies which exploit it, exactly the same model which has exploited human workers since the Industrial Revolution.

We have been sold a myth that robots will free us from work and provide us with more leisure time. The reality is that robots make human workers redundant who are then excluded from the only, traditional, way we have of generating any income at all. There is no hint coming from government or business that the current polarisation and privatisation of worker generated wealth will be addressed, which robotics will only exacerbate. Talk of a universal guaranteed income is still a fringe issue and so far does not appear to be being considered or discussed by government. Inequality, poverty and social exclusion have rocketed under the Tories, the notion of the poor sharing in a ‘common’ wealth would never occur to them. The very idea that the poor have a right to live is one that is repugnant to the Tories, they are, after all, the party which wants to scrap the human rights act and replace it with a bill that tells us what our duties are, although this has been quietly shelved until after Brexit when they look forward to doing whatever they like.

To be clear, the problem isn’t technology, AI or robotics, the problem is how wealth is, or, more correctly, is not, being shared and the structure and meaning of work itself.

It is a common idea that we, people, work to live but it has never been clearer than under the present regime that the view from the top is that we live to work, which is exactly what is behind the Tories striver/scrounger rhetoric and the demonisation of anyone needing social security in order to live and the present culture of depriving people of the means of survival in order to force them into any bullshit job regardless of whether it actually pays people enough to live on. Once in whatever precarious, insecure, employment people are forced into, if their income is inadequate to live on, the DWP will hound and sanction workers to take on extra work or jobs and force them into attending ritualised bullshit courses in job seeking.

The government knows exactly how the job market operates and is intimately aware that work is becoming ever more precarious because they are instrumental in making it so, whether by commission or omission. Zero hours contracts and the enormous rise in self employment supports the ‘Gig economy’ which Damian Green thinks so much of. Green described escalating job insecurity with no ‘stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions’ as ‘exciting’, but the lived reality of which is clearly not something he’ll ever have to bother his little head about.

In the growing world of robotics the reality is that machines are better treated than workers due to ownership. Companies must ensure that the maintenance and care for robotics is adequate for continued trouble free operation, not so workers, who, once they leave their place of work, are left to their own devices regardless that they may not be being paid enough for their own maintenance and care. Technology can be replaced with impunity, it has no rights, scrapped or recycled, it’s just technology. Workers thrown on the human scrap heap are demonised for not trying hard enough to stay in work or finding new work when the entire structure of work is loaded against them by design and policy.

Workers generally are participants in wealth creation and are the engine that drives profits but are excluded from participating in the wealth they create because the fruits of labour and the wealth labour generates is privatised and ‘belongs’ to the company or business employees work for. Whatever rights and protections workers may or may not have at work they have never included a just share in the wealth they generate, whilst there is legislation for the insult that is the minimum wage (which is not even enough to live on), it is being systematically undermined in the Gig economy which is driven by corporate greed.

In the world of work, technology and robotics is a gift to any business which can use it to replace human workers, who they can discard with impunity. The company can continue to generate wealth for itself and even increase it through the exploitation of technology, whilst human kind become redundant as a viable source of labour on which they are forced to depend, with nothing to fill the vacuum left by technology which serves to deprive workers of even the meanest survival.

If ever there was a time to revolutionise the entire meaning of work and humanity, this is it. If work is increasingly becoming redundant for millions of workers the answer is not to punish people and drive them into penury and death through starvation or despair and suicide. The question ceases to be whether there are enough jobs to go round but is there enough wealth? Should we not all become share holders in unearned wealth, a situation currently exclusive to company share holders and stock market casinos? The entire world should be our common home and it’s resources common to all not the exclusive property of corporations. But first we need a revolution in thinking. We have become hide bound in our ideas of the nature of work, and exploitation, accepting it as just the way things are when clearly work is no longer an adequate means of securing our survival.

Profit is such an easy word for the exploitative use and abuse of the labour which creates it, whether human or machine. Britain is lauded as one of the richest nations on earth, but the wealth of the nation is in the hands of a very few people and from which the vast majority are excluded, presently and historically. Profits are and always have been put before people, the very people who create it, and it is completely bass ackwards. It may seem a silly, even, crazy question but it needs to be asked, which is more important, people or money? Life or wealth? If wealth does not support life, what is it good for? Hoarding in tax havens? Polarised and gathered for the benefit of the few whilst the many are simply excluded and abandoned? Because that is the current situation and which the Tory government is dedicated to maintaining in a ‘free market’, which is anything but free for the majority of real, actual, living people.

Sanctioning the poor is simply insane, we should be doing the currently unthinkable, sanctioning wealth. The corruption in government is that it allows the wealth takers to dictate policy in which inequality and poverty are entirely beneficial to the interests of those for whom the accumulation of wealth is their only interest along with the privileged living it enables and the continued exploitation of the poor as servants to power and privilege. Killing us off may be expedient, something the Tories have a very casual attitude towards, but it is bestially immoral in practice. The reality of the accumulation of obscene wealth is that it is a crime against humanity, a crime against life and the lives, past and present, of those who actually slog their guts out to generate it.

Those who exploit the planet and life are complicit in genocide. According to Poverty.com, “It is estimated that a person dies of hunger or hunger-related causes every ten seconds… Sadly, it is children who die most often.” That is 8,640 people a day (minimum) or 3,153,600 a year. Hunger is not an individual or even a community human failing, it is always a sociopolitical failing. People are abandoned to death in a world of plenty from which we, ordinary people, are being increasingly excluded.

The Tories are entwined in unholy matrimony to obscene wealth and are complicit in death though poverty every day. Yes, even globally. They are incapable of reform or thinking any other way and that is why the only solution is to continue to work to expose them and rid ourselves of them. Poverty is good for ‘business’ and the Tories are in the business of creating more poverty and punishing the poor and further depriving us all of the means of survival. Their existence is a stain on humanity and they deserve no better from us than we get from them, a big ‘Fuck off!’

KOG.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/01/may-day-report-by-mps-damns-growing-uk-gig-economy

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dwp-gig-economy-damian-green-speech-holiday-minimum-wage-sick-pay-hours-a7421071.html

http://www.poverty.com/

mindsa

I feel as if someone has been drilling holes in my mind and filling them with poison.

I am passionate about social justice and I am passionate about democracy, bottom up, that is, not top down.

The Tories are wiping out people based on an insane binary view of humanity as either strivers or scroungers.

I get it, I’m neither blind nor stupid, but what I don’t get is the passive regurgitation of this nonsense as if it were something other than genocide by pathological homicidal maniacs.

But what we first have to understand in this war of attrition being waged against us, is that it is first and foremost an attack on our minds. Pushing, nudging, bludgeoning with lies and meaningless sound bites and mind numbing psychobabble.

Making sure work always pays by punishing and reducing people to zero income is the work of monsters. Starved to death I understand, starved to work is madness.

These neoliberal devils are capable of anything, yes, even driving hundreds of thousands of ordinary people to premature deaths. But in order to commit their heinous crimes they must control the narrative. People must be persuaded through every twisted foul means that cleansing the poor is either necessary and good or their own fault. And the narrative is the poison they spread at vast cost to twist our minds, to confuse and confound, to alienate and exclude, to divide and conquer.

Too much of my time is taken up with mental survival, as it has been for most of my life, but the Tories spread a pernicious toxicity which no one is immune to. It demands attention because the consequences of ignoring it are disastrous, in fact, lethal.

Theresa May said in PMQs (18 October) that Universal Credit ‘is a system that is working’. Is it? If something is working, that is, it is achieving what it set out to achieve, then the people broken and dead by it (who the government refuse to even acknowledge) are an intended consequence of a system that is working. Certainly, the behaviour displayed in parliament is of a party which is very comfortable with our escalating death toll.

Pain and suffering is an intended and integral part of the process of welfare reform and Universal Credit. I should know, because I am in the process of claiming PIP, and the suffering is immense and intense, but, of course, I am not a witness, I am merely making meaningless subjective observations, because I am weak and feeble minded, one of those intended for cleansing, a useless eater.

After WWII this kind of thing was never meant to happen again and yet here we are. The government has turned on the people, the verminous press (The Mail, Express and Sun, to name but three) still peddle xenophobic lies and promote hate. And innocent people die, who have committed no crime, have had no court hearing and are denied a voice in their own downfall and termination.

One way or another my end is assured, but I will not go silently into that dark place, and I will certainly not say less than I mean against my oppressors, their lies, wilful deception and knowing cruelty. The Tories are lethal brutes, concerned more with their own lives than any of ours. They peddle lies because they lack the courage of their own convictions, they are cowards who deal in treachery for personal gain in which we are absent, not even granted the status of collateral damage to self serving greed.

The Tories are mind poison and toxic to life. They are, and remain, lower than vermin.

I have no immunity to mind poison, quite the reverse, I am hyper sensitive to it and if we are to do something about it we have, to a certain degree, to allow it in. Oh, but warily. It has been a long time in the planning and its execution is managed in real time, which, we can observe, the Tories are not mentally well equipped to do. Car crash interviews are a regular feature these days, earning Theresa May the very apt sobriquet, Maybot. When held to account they often appear taken aback, possibly because in their mindset they cannot, or refuse to, see or understand why anyone would object to their policies.

It’s not hard to see why, when you are a psychopath you are blocked from knowing and understanding what it means to be human and humane, psychopaths are mimics with no understanding of, or empathy for, what they are mimicking (their victims) and the Tories are impervious to reason and will only give ground when all other evasion and avoidance options fail.

The Tories are almost messianic in their own sense of privilege and righteousness, but they are rotten to the core. Even if Jeremy Hunt’s boast of 30,000 more mental health workers than when his government came into office were true (he lied), there is no cure for a people oppressed other than getting rid of their oppressors. The Tories don’t even have the sense or decency to regard or treat us as human beings.

The Tories must go!

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/06/13/austerity-is-dead-says-may-because-it-was-never-needed-we-should-be-enraged/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/21/theresa-may-plots-climbdown-universal-credit-amid-fears-could/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grieving-dad-driven-brink-suicide-11381734

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/jeremy-hunt-admits-making-false-11327668

Politics and Insights

Image result for skinner lab ratI’m currently writing an article about the intimacy between neoliberalism and behavioural economics, following Richard Thaler’s recent Nobel award. While I was researching, I came across an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) document about Nudge from 2012Tax and benefit policy: insights from behavioural economics, which suggested the introduction of “ordeals” into the social security system. The authors claim it would “deter fraud”. Although the IFS didn’t quite commit to calling for the idea to be implemented formally via policy, they did present the idea as an incontrovertible fact. Yet it is a controversial opinion, which is not supported by empirical evidence.

Introducing ordeals to social security also deters our most vulnerable citizens from claiming the support they need in order to live. Because of this, it wouldn’t be possible to determine the number of people who were intending to make a fraudulent claim. Prior to the welfare “reforms”…

View original post 4,480 more words

worldb

Behind Theresa May on the stage in Manchester was a sign which read, ‘Building a country that works for everyone’. I am not sure where this mythical country might be, because we’ve already got one and once upon a time, before Thatcher, it did work better for everyone. Though poverty and hardship had not been defeated, even the most impoverished had access to health care, dentistry, a GP and a range of social support never before seen in our history.

I was part of the first generation in these lands to benefit from all that the war generation succeeded in building for us. The great enemy, fascism, had been defeated, but the domestic enemies of poverty, poor health and housing squalor, had not. The survivors of the war came home to a country in desperate straits. The government of Clement Attlee was voted in and began the process of building a country fit for everyone.

I was born in 1951 and from day one enjoyed all the benefits of universal health care and within a few years moved into a brand new home on an estate still in the making, a home fit for living.

Of course, I knew nothing of the struggles that had preceded me, of the Tories voting 21 times against the formation of the NHS and even doctors voting 10 to 1 against it. That was already history, as was Aneurin Bevan’s 1948 Manchester speech in which he said of the bitter battle he’d undergone, “That is why no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.”

Then, as now, the only way the Tories can maintain the dystopia we are living in is by lying. Who knows how much of the nations wealth is wasted in the inhuman Tory propaganda machine? It was a curious twist of fate that the sign behind Theresa May began to disintegrate even whilst she was choking her way through the fabric of lies she was weaving, whilst Amber Rudd and Boris Johnson sat with faces suited to a funeral and an encounter with the grim reaper.

They do not change, these Tories, they were and are the party of the privileged few, the party of the grasping and the greedy, of division and hate for the likes of you and me, of ordinary people, who really do just want to get on, with enough to get by in life, with a little extra for the unexpected and perhaps a holiday. I remember the brief period in my life when I had enough and to spare, when want was absent. It lasted a few scant years and yet it is unforgettable and in stark contrast to the years or attrition which the Tories have imposed since 2010 when they decided that we, ordinary people, had to shoulder the bankers debts and pay for their gambling with the worlds economy and which, to this day, they still promote as the grand lie in calling it Labours debt.

I have found of late that I am falling into ever increasing depression and I’ve been learning something about what depression is for me. It’s about internal conflict for which no solution presents itself or is available, it’s about injustice, repression, lies and deception, and right now it’s about the Tories driving Britain into a dark age of oppression and it’s about minds twisted by hate as they peddle their propaganda and lies to further their vile regime. The dark side of social media is as a platform for hate which reveals just how effective government and media propaganda is. It is utterly depressing to hear and read people claiming to think for themselves whilst spouting exactly what the propaganda wants them to.

And have you noticed how the more desperate the Tories get the more outrageous the lies? Only last week, Jeremy Hunt, the weasel, claimed that it wasn’t labour who set up the NHS, but the Tories, when the reality is they fought it tooth and nail and are currently driving it into the ground. The Tories are the enemies of the people, the enemy within, and not even their tactics change, they lie, cheat, and steal from ordinary people to benefit the few at the expense of the many. They drive people into poverty and claim it is helping people into work, they claim a lack of housing and affordable rents promotes social mobility, they claim war is for peace and stability, they claim to be the party for working people whilst capping pay and giving tax breaks to the rich, they claim food banks are a social good whilst driving millions into desperate poverty. There is no give and take with the Tories, it is all take. And all this whilst they enrich their own worthless lives and revel in their own smug complacency.

So here’s the thing, where in all their half arsed world is there a glimmer of pleasure in life? Where is the art, the loafing with a good book, the mountain climbing, nature loving, wild water adrenaline loving, fully engaged being, for its own sake? Where is the sincerity, humility, honesty and trust of genuine connection and loving friendship? Where are the lovers, the romance and the joy of relationships? Where’s the primal joy of sex and sexuality? Where’s life?

They use us up like spent ink cartridges, replaceable, interchangeable, like drones or clones. The fools.

As far as I can see they have no idea about life or living. Everything in life is for life, life is natures gift. We are not here to serve the markets, corporate profits, as cannon fodder, service to the realm, Queen and country. That’s all bass ackwards. All of that only makes any sense when we look away from life, when we put on the blinkers they would have us wear.

Life is so much more than the narrow brow beaten world that they represent and would have us conform to. No one chooses poverty nor works harder than when captured in its vicious jaws. More than that, poverty serves those who pretend to be our masters. That’s why, far from doing nothing about poverty, the Tories are creating more poverty daily, it serves them and their hideous agenda of control and profit making.

Have we learnt nothing from the poverty that was so rife in the industrial revolution when Britain became the richest nation on the planet, but so many of the residents of Britain were anything but?

There is a perfectly good reason why mental ill health and depression are rising to catastrophic levels. It comes from living a lie. It comes when we are not true to ourselves, when we are betrayed. It comes when we are oppressed and subjugated. I comes from the will of the oppressors, oppressing, while they and others benefit.

I get sick because I am sick of them and their foul policies, of the dystopia, of the lies and deceit. Before 2010 I was never aware of people using the word evil on any regular basis, now it’s become a daily fact of life, because that’s what they are. Evil. And nothing will be right until they are gone and their failed neoliberal ideology joins the Dodo in extinction. They are falling apart because they are false and their end cannot come soon enough.

KOG. 10 October 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/04/worst-moments-theresa-may-speech-p45-prime-minister

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-hunt-nhs-creation-tories-health-minister-ridiculed-a7980536.html

 

harryb

Theresa May recently said in a speech to mark 20 years of the Bank of England’s independence, “A free market economy, operating under the right rules and regulations, is the greatest agent of collective human progress ever created. It was the new combination which led societies out of darkness and stagnation and into the light of the modern age … That is unquestionably the best, and indeed the only sustainable, means of increasing the living standards of everyone in a country.”

Sixty years of the greatest health and social reform this country has ever known, saving and preserving countless millions of lives, and then the Tories came grasping to power to steal that sixty years of progress from us and now Theresa May comes out with this utter bollocks.

Here’s a brief passage from Harry Leslie Smith’s book, ‘Don’t let my past be your future. A call to arms’.

‘My life is at eventide, and the curtain of night is closing in upon my time on this earth. I am almost one hundred years old. I know death is waiting for me but there are still some things that I must do before my life’s journey is complete. I must set before my grandchildren and others the story of my early life. I must let them know about my struggles and that of my generation to build a more equal country for all and how that relates to today’s politics. I must remind them to be vigilant against demagogues because the ugly spectre of fascism has started to stir again across the globe. It was contained once behind the thick walls of a functioning welfare state but, as they have now begun to crumble, all past evils are running out like mice through rotting floorboards. There is so much I must say because I do not wish to suffer the torment my mother endured before she died. She had kept her tongue still about many regrets in her life.

Ah, poor Mum, her guilt was great – it was bigger than the cancerous tumour killing her – for sins she thought she’d done to my dad, me and her other children during the great depression era. She begged for my forgiveness, for the harm she may have caused me during the 1930’s. ‘I was trying to keep thee alive and thy sister but it was so bloody hard.’

The pages of my own life are turning towards its close and cancer too feeds on my body. I have no fear of that, but I do fear the great evil that is being done to all of us and neither will I be silent.

My mother also was racked by guilt and fear, though she did her best to raise four kids in poverty yet, thanks to Harry’s generation, I was raised in a country with a National Health Service and a social safety net, it was a supreme achievement, it preserved me through illness then as it does to this day. But if May and her party have their way, it will not last for much longer. May’s progress is our regress to the dark days of Harry’s youth, it’s happening as I write and is clear to anyone with an eye to see and who cares to look.

The Tories have lied, cheated, deceived and plundered their way through seven years of government, robbing us blind to feed the naked greed of the ‘free market economy’, which is anything but free to those it feeds on.

They are reduced to trying to mimic the manifesto pledges of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, and failing, as they must, because they are liars and thieves, nothing more. They are a spent force, grasping only for power, and failing.

Those who work for the benefit of all work for something that can never be extinguished, hope and a real future that benefits everyone, not just the grasping few and the rapacious greed of the financial markets.

Harry Leslie Smith is yet a living reminder of what we all stand to lose and what we must fight for and to do it for the love of life. Nature is the master of us all, never the greed of those who have no reverence for life or care for the living. We survive, not through competition, but through cooperative endeavour. That is what has got us this far is the only thing that can sustain any future that is worth living.

I stand with Harry and am proud to do so and I thank him for his words of encouragement and wisdom, for life.

KOG. 03 October 2017

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/09/theresa-mays-defence-free-market-capitalism-puts-her-odds-public?amp

https://www.waterstones.com/book/harry-leslie-smith/9781472123459

hardworkingb

Designers have a saying, ‘form follows function’, it means understanding what something is for, what its use is, before they start messing with it’s structural form. A chair has a very specific function, supporting someone who desires to sit. It can support other functions, as a platform to stand on, a low step ladder, and could be designed to facilitate both functions. The eventual form it takes will, hopefully, satisfy both functions well. Badly designed, it will not, or will not satisfy them with ease, practicality and comfort.

The Tories have turned this on its head. They are re-forming the psychology of being human to satisfy a function which they are attempting to dictate. As far as they are concerned, our function is to be working stock, with no other considerations. If we are not capable of work, in their shallow definition of work, employable, profit making, work, then we have no other purpose or use.

Via Unum and their bogus Biopsychosocial model, sickness has been redefined as malingering. Malingering from what? Work. It doesn’t matter how ill we are, what matters is what we can do, regardless of how limited that may be, we ‘must’ be able to do some form of work. So certain are the government, and determined, they spend millions fighting tribunals and they must contest tribunals if they are to succeed in their psychological reform of humanity and in their determination that they are right and everyone else has got it wrong, even the courts.

They profile sick and disabled people as scroungers and malingerers and the attacks on disabled people are entirely in the governments favour. Why should able working people give up space on buses for people who are nonproductive? Why waste, design, time, money and effort on people who are useless and unproductive? The resentment of the working stock makes them more obedient, more pliable to government dictat. Those they attack are non-people in their eyes, useless and pointless, and the government entirely promotes and supports such division.

In fact, I am entirely wrong to call the sick and disabled, ‘people’. They have no function therefore we must deny them form. They are bogus people, things which pretend to be people, but are not. They have chosen a form which is delinquent, bogus, because they do not display the function assigned to them by government. They are a zombie form of humanity because they lack the function assigned to humanity.

Hitler understood this very well. If you can dehumanise certain ‘elements’ of humanity, then you can get rid of them with impunity. All the Tories are attempting to do is refine the process. Instead of the rather laborious process of death camps, you merely deny them the means of survival. Isolate them in ever reducing circumstances and they die off or kill themselves, just another suicide. The government doesn’t care either way.

You can tell much from inaction. Despite our mounting dead, the government does nothing other than deny that it is even happening. Why would they? It’s working. In the governments eyes, they probably see it as natural wastage, were such people productive they wouldn’t be dead. It’s their own fault or failing and nothing for government to be concerned about.

All that is required is that they accept the governments re-form and function accordingly and they would not die, they would be productive.

It’s the new religion, righteousness through work, work makes you well, productiveness is personal salvation. The obedient and the good survive and the weak, aberrant, abhorrent and malfunctioning die. Those whose form cannot follow function cease to exist and all is well.

And the righteous vote Tory.

KOG. 27 September 2017

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/08/23/important-read-circulate/

corrupt

For time out of mind and in the words of the old song:

‘It’s the same the whole world over
It’s the poor wot gets the blame
It’s the rich wot gets the pleasure
Ain’t it all a bleedin’ shame.’

Were Robert Tressell, who wrote ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’, alive today, despite all the technological advances over the century since his book was published, he would look at the world and realise, to his dismay, that the philanthropy of the common people, ordinary people, towards the corrupt ruling elites has not changed one bit and, if anything, it is now even worse.

Even the most cursory glance at history reveals a world dominated by ruling elites, if it wasn’t the church it was those hell bent on conquest, usually both, having their evil way with the lives of ordinary people.

You can trace the likes of Cameron, Trump, May and Hunt as far back in history as you care to roam. No matter where you look, at church or state, it’s the same old sordid story dictating the lives, and deaths, of peaceable folks who just want to get by without war, rape or pillage by people who think far too much of themselves and who regard us and treat us as ‘stock’.

And it comes down to this, they have harvested the world for themselves, stolen the shirts off our backs to fund their profligate life styles, even whilst exhorting us to work hard for a pittance as they steal the profits from our labour.

That mad bastard Trump is glibly talking about nuclear war, yet everything with which he will unleash Armageddon has been stolen from the people, the people even built that nuclear capability and put the power to use it in his hands. I don’t think Tressell would regard that as philanthropy any more, but madness.

Cameron, in his arrogance and sneering disdain for our lives, demanded our obedience and ‘good’ citizenship, by force, telling us, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”

Forced labour and forced obedience under the curse of sanctions, depriving us of the means of even the most basic, abject, survival, is not only an everyday reality, it is now enshrined in law. Over 50,000 disabled people have had their motability stolen from them, more than 500 people a week, not because there is not enough money to go round, but because the greedy bastards at the top want even more.

They always want more and scream blue murder at the mere hint of increasing taxes on their worthless, gutless, lives and who block every attempt to shut down their filthy tax havens.

I am 66 and was raised to be a good, obedient boy. My poverty stricken mother was a royalist and deferential Tory voter to her bones, who never, as far as I know, questioned her daily struggles to put food on the table for us, and going without herself to do it, in any meaningful, contextual way, apart from blaming herself. If there is one thing I can point to in my memory of her which defined her existence, it is as a worrier. Fear and worry were her daily diet of life, even when my sister took over the house, bought it, and made her secure for the rest of her life, it was too late, she was a pathological worrier and latterly an alcoholic, all of which led to a heart attack and a, relatively, early grave.

She was shamed by my becoming a socialist and horrified that I voted Labour. She lived her life a slave to power, shamed by her own drinking, a secret, shamed, drinker who would call me in desperation to get her another bottle. Some part of her knew that somehow I’d got it, if only very partially, that it was ok to ask me, that I wouldn’t condemn her or lecture her. She would doubtless have blamed herself for my later becoming an alcoholic, just as abject as her, but for many different reasons as I struggled to understand the world and ran from it in equal measure.

As a community and youth worker I lived through Thatcher’s wanton destruction of youth and community services across Britain, she was so much more than a milk snatcher. The roots of Cameron’s and now May’s onslaught against or lives began with Thatcher, yet it’s roots lie far back in the history of the world. These grubbers and graspers after the wealth of nations are relentless, caring nothing for the lives they destroy in their millions. History is littered with the deaths of the victims of the greed of the mighty, who take the bread of Christ in their hypocrisy, and who are righteous and noble in their own eyes.

I am so glad that life kitted me out well enough to do a Letter a Day to Number 10, that I have learnt to question and grow in rebelliousness and indignation against those who wield power without responsibility, who are morally and ethically bankrupt human beings, dispensing death on a daily basis. These are dark, desperate times and the world is groaning under the weight of the crimes of power and too many remain in thrall to their lies and deceit.

We are coming to a climax in world history, the planet is crying out every day because it cannot sustain life under the weight of the greedy power mad bastards who run it and who can destroy life at the press of a button. They are a stain and a corruption on life, all life. The future lies with us, the oppressed, the down trodden, the weak and the weary, the disabled and the sick. It lies in our very ordinariness and our exclusion from the corrupt, hate filled, corridors and halls of power. We did not crash the global economy through reckless gambling and greed or destitute nations to pay off our debts. We did not prostitute our souls to corporate bungs to frack the land we live on. We did not lust after the nations taxes to pocket them as profits and bonuses and obscene pay packets. We are innocent of the crimes of power and greed.

We, my friends, are hope, in fact the only hope. And if, ultimately, we fail, bear this in mind, the failure was none of our doing, but of the state and corporate system of corruption itself, in which corporations can buy the law makers and the law and use all the forces of state against us, including the media. These are people who sacrifice life for greed and gloat as they do it. They are so captivated by greed and their own pig ignorance they piss on the greatest gift the universe has given all of us, life. You have to be a very special kind of stupid to do that.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-is-too-tolerant-and-should-interfere-more-in-peoples-lives-says-david-cameron-10246517.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/50000-disabled-people-lose-adapted-10203451