Archives for category: politics

keithandjeremy

Have you noticed how alike Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Loach are? Both are somewhat reticent, unassuming people, plain speaking, with no airs and graces and utterly lacking in pomposity. That said, it would be a grave mistake to think of either man as weak, they are both robust in their views and deeply experienced in their chosen courses in life.

In a world dominated by the culture of celebrity, in which the desire to be famous is more important than having anything of substance to offer, what the world needs more than ever is substance, a three course home cooked meal instead of a take-out burger and fries.

One of the accusations against Corbyn is that he is not Prime Minister material and I wonder what that means? Perhaps David Cameron and Theresa May might look like Prime Minister material (if you like that sort of thing), but that is about as far as it goes, form without substance.

I met Jeremy in Plymouth at one of his leadership rallies, the quiet man who was taking the country by storm, something he has now very successfully done twice to become leader of the Labour party with the kind of majority most politicians can only dream of. He was in a small back hall with the toilet facilities just behind, for those of us for whom quick access has become a necessity, and he seemed rather shy, tolerant of the attention, but not seeking it. The kind of guy who would rather do the job and leave the attention to others. And I think therein lies much of what draws people to him, he’s the quiet interesting one, without flamboyance or sham.

Looking back and the picture I have with him, I feel that we were both somewhat shy and, of course, strangers, but for this stranger, I was pleased to meet him and, despite that he had a room full of hundreds of people waiting for him, glad he took the time to say hello and have our picture taken.

When he came on stage, he greeted those on the platform warmly, in no way playing to the crowd, and nothing of the big ‘I am’ about him. He began his speech my thanking all those who had made the meeting possible, including the volunteers without whom it simply wouldn’t and couldn’t have happened.

The ridiculous term, Corbynistas, used to denigrate and dismiss both Jeremy Corbyn and those who support him, is a fatuous term which deliberately and wilfully attempts to undermine the warmth and engagement that so unassuming a man inspires. To use the expression from the ‘Last Leg’, he’s not a dick, something that cannot be said about many of his detractors.

This is a guy who rides a bike, loves his allotment, does not seek the limelight for its own sake, and yet at 67 years old manages to be an MP with all its attendant duties, be leader of the Labour party, and even more attendant duties, and attend protests and rallies the length and breadth of Britain. I am 66 and how he does it I will never know. I used to barely manage a letter a day to number 10, kinda gives you a perspective don’t it?

What this country needs is not a leader but an enabler and we need policies not posturing. Both Cameron and May had/have the pretensions of leadership and think much of themselves whilst delivering misery on an epic scale. What we need now is to get our country back on its feet, that cannot come from one man, just as the NHS did not just come from Aneurin Bevan, he was the enabler, the people delivered and have been delivering ever since, even whilst it is being stolen from us. We need a team player and a doer, not grandiosity, empty bombastic pronouncements and the exclusivity of privilege and greed. We need someone who is more comfortable with his sleeves rolled up than wearing a Savile Row suit costing several grand as Cameron did, someone who is at home with dirt under his finger nails, and yet is smart without pretension when the job requires it.

That may not suit those who seek power for powers sake, and sell us down the river, but that’s what I want as an ordinary bloke, a voter, and someone who believes in democracy, not demagoguery.

And that’s why I’ll be voting Labour on June 8th.

KOG. 25 April 2017

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The right wing media, the Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Express, etc. are celebrating the hiring of Lynton Crosby to run Theresa May’s election campaign. They describe Crosby in such terms as ‘mastermind behind 2015 win’, ‘political guru Sir Lynton Crosby’, ‘the architect of David Cameron’s victory’, but he’s also known as ‘master of the dark political arts’.

Psychological manipulation and perception management, better known as propaganda or PR, lie at the heart of much of what we are going to be assaulted with in the following weeks.

This is a real time information war, a media onslaught against the best interests of ordinary people. The elites (very much the Tories) are for the elites and no matter how wealthy they get, they always want more and the source of their wealth is always ordinary people.

Every time they foul up, create a financial crash, boom and bust, they expect the victims, the ordinary tax payers, to pick up the tab regardless of the cost in the lives and well being of the people. And the media is fully complicit in this, telling ordinary people that the rich and powerful are the only people we can trust, even whilst sucking us dry, and demonising socialists and anyone calling for a fair and just society.

Anyone wanting a clearer picture of what is going on has to make an effort to find sources of information other than the main stream media. But in order to do that, it first requires that people begin to suspect that they might not be getting the full story. Even then it is not easy to gather information, it takes practice.

Alternative media sites are ranked lower than the mainstream media (MSM) by Google and other search engines. Type any trending headline and the MSN is top of the list. Information is sifted in favour of the dominant narrative of those in power including those who own the media.

What you will see are news articles from the Guardian, Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Express, etc. What you will not see are independent sites like Vox Political, Dorset Eye, Skwawkbox, The Canary, Evolve Politics and so on. Any reputable news site will source their information enabling readers to check what they are reporting for themselves, rags that the Sun, Mail and Express, the more extreme right, don’t bother to do so because they are in the business of manipulating their readers, not informing them.

Even the least curious, least media savvy, people will have heard how awful or useless Jeremy Corbyn is, and indeed, are likely to be the most vocal in their denunciation of him. They have likely never heard him make a speech, other then the soundbites offered by the mainstream media in discrediting him, never looked at his policies, never questioned what socialism is and perhaps strongly suspect it is really just the western face of communism, a wolf in sheeps clothing, and that Corbyn eats babies for breakfast (I think I am jesting there, but who knows?).

Theresa May would not have called this general election if she were not very confident of winning and she certainly wouldn’t be refusing to appear in debates or accepting any media presence (even those loyal to her) at her staged rallies or any questions from anyone about her policies. And she’s ahead in the polls. In fact she is supremely confident that she will get an overwhelming majority.

In front of us, then, is a battle royal.

I was raised in a dirt poor royalist Tory household and I learnt my politics in the school of hard knocks and I am now a socialist to my bones and I am certain of one thing, we have to take the Tories down. It’s been said again and again, we must get rid of the Tories, too many have already died at their hands.

We are faced with an opportunity, we have at our fingertips a means of mass communication unlike anything previously seen of the planet. If we are to be victorious then it falls to each one of us to use it and exploit it to challenge the propaganda that will be filling the airwaves over the next few weeks.

This is not the time for hopelessness, especially amongst those who are suffering the most under the Tory jack boots and who have my every sympathy. This is the time to fight, this is the time for vengeance, this is the time to direct all the pain and suffering, the fear and desperate anxiety, at taking out the enemy within. This is the time to use our fury and bring the Tories down.

For every moment of fear of the dreaded brown envelope falling though the door, hit back! For David Cameron saying, “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.” Let’s give it right back and hound them out of office.

Those who know me will know I never argue or debate. I share information to the best of my creative ability and care nothing for trolls and shills and Theresa May is nothing if not a troll and a plague on our lives.

I am not a democracy, I am a sovereign human being and do not agree or submit to being subjugated by anyone, least of all by the likes of Cameron and May, but Theresa May is the subject of democracy, she is seeking to remain in office as Prime Minister and she has a duty to the people, to the democratic power of the people and the people have a right to be informed. If she will not do it, and she won’t, we can and must. She wishes to rule by deceit, that is what she has employed Lynton Crosby to do. We have to call the shots and challenge every lie and they come up with, every deceit, every rotten ploy to deceive the public, using all our intelligence and creativity and the tools at our disposal.

And above all, set our teeth, our minds and hearts, to WIN! It is time to commit the nasty party to history. Whatever the result on the 8th of June, that is for then, this is now. Fight to wipe the smiles of their arrogant faces and eat their mockery of us. Fight to win back our lives!

KOG. 22 April 2017

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

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The language being used by the government isn’t merely deceitful, or lying, their language is a weapon and their words have become weaponised.

It is impossible for the government to not know the deaths they’ve caused, the hunger and poverty they have created, the evidence is concrete and everywhere to see. In almost every town and in every city there are homeless people, and they are homeless through the wilful inaction of the government to provide adequate affordable housing for people. It would make economic sense to build houses, it would boost the economy and create jobs, but the government is not building social housing and is getting rid of the little that is left.

Theresa May’s Easter message was about coming together. Every word in it was complete nonsense from the head of the most divisive government in UK history.It was a sound stream of willful deception in a country in which hate crime is continuing to rise, particularly against disabled people.

In ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’, Robert Pirsig wrote, “And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good – need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

Who is Theresa May to tell me what I should think or feel in any way about anything? Who does she think she is to tell me about coming together? I am not a child and, thankfully, certainly not her child to spout her nonsense and deceitful words at.

I’d have to abandon all reason and sense to believe a word she says. She is neither my elder nor better, in fact, in her deceit, she is a posturing elitist nobody, temporarily occupying a position she has no right to occupy. Anyone who sets out to lead by deceit is an imposter, toxic, presumptuous, dangerous and also ridiculous.

The harm she and her government are responsible for is without any mitigating factors. Austerity is a lie, imposed for ideological reasons and on the back of a financial crisis which had nothing to do with the people who are being harmed and who’ve died as a result. She is a posturing windbag who is not telling the truth, manipulating words for self serving purposes.

Words have the power of life and death in them, they can build up and they can destroy. One of my jobs as a community and youth worker was to reshape the language being used against young people. The media has a particular responsibility in this, instead of reporting or dealing with behavioural issues, they label young people as thugs and hooligans, creating a culture of fear around young people. Call a child stupid, clumsy or useless for long enough and you’ll get a child who conforms to your words, a stupid, clumsy or useless child, a child who will meet the expectations you have placed on them, not to perform better but driven to do worse. It is no good telling a child you’ve called stupid to do better, they’ve already heard the ‘stupid’, anything that follows is useless and pointless.

I wrote a story once called ‘Soda Jack’, a boy who grew up constantly failing to meet his high achieving parents expectations, who was always a disappointment to them and was told so on a daily basis and punished for his failures. As he grew up, he lived out their expectations and lost himself in a world of drink and drugs. Over time his voice grew hoarse and laboured and he always carried a bottle of soda to ease his throat, until he took his own life. A failure made, but not born that way, who lost himself in the unkindness of others, who learnt to fail and never recovered, not even his name, known only, and buried, as Soda Jack.

I am an old man now, retired, and I am not deaf to what the Tories have to say about people like me. This is what was said by a group of Tories in a book called ‘Britannia Unchained’, who accused ‘the “baby boomer” generation (that’s me) for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’. That is the heart of the Tory message, a message of division and hate as I struggle along on my ‘lavish’ state pension.

The writers of that book are MPs in parliament today, Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss, pursuing their policies of hate, eradicating the poor on a daily basis. The gloss that May tries to cast as a the cover on her policies are merely a disguise for a party and policies that are rotten to the core.

Instead of being beaten by their words I choose to write about them and expose them and oppose them, as many others do also. There is no passive response to their lies, they are designed to hurt and destroy lives, as are their policies. This is a rogue government, the enemy within, which has nothing but ill will and contempt for the lives of ordinary people and none of us will be safe until we are rid of the lot of them.

KOG. 17 April 2017

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/easter-2017-theresa-mays-message

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hate-crimes-against-disabled-people-soar-40-per-cent-year-a7133976.html

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/aug/22/britannia-unchained-rise-of-new-tory-right

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9483268/Young-Tory-MPs-blame-lazy-baby-boomers-for-Britains-economic-decline.html

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Apart from the inevitable blip after the banks insatiable greed took down the global economy and the public were forced to bail them out to the tune of some £850 billion (UK), revenue from taxation has risen year on year ever since.

Britain is not, nor ever was, broke, close to bankruptcy, or in need of any austerity measures whatsoever. As Mike Sivier put it in Vox Political, “Simon Wren-Lewis re-states a valuable point in his latest Mainly Macro post – that the UK has suffered under Conservative austerity policies, not because there was a need for spending cuts but because the Tories had an excuse to impose them.”

What the crisis enabled the Tories to do was to implement plans, long in the making, to privatise the state, lock, stock and barrel and to rob the public blind with catastrophic cuts to services and provision across the board. The entire Tory reign of terror and, specifically, the war on the poor, has been the greatest scam in UK history. People have starved, died and committed suicide for an obscene Tory lie.

If you examine the attached charts you’ll notice that the entire corporate and business contribution to tax revenue this year will be 7%. The Tories have repeatedly lowered corporation tax and done nothing about tax avoidance or evasion. As Britain mobilises for work each day the profit from people’s labour is sucked out never to be seen again, meanwhile corporations enjoy massive public handouts, which the Guardian reported in 2014 amounted to £95 billion.

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As Brexit approaches it is fair to ask what is going to happen to EU land subsidies in the UK? Under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in 2012 land subsidies cost the average British household £245 a year. Britain’s wealthiest landowners, including the Queen, are gifted money as they sleep, a land tax would add billions to tax revenues, easing the burden on ordinary people. What the Tories plan to do about land subsidies after Brexit remains to be seen, but it is not hard to guess and nor can we expect it to get any mention in the press. They look after their own.

There was no need for any of the austerity that has wrecked the lives of millions of people across the UK, many now dead. As Mark McGowan, the artist taxi driver, said in 2010, ‘This is not a recession, it’s a robbery’, which became the title of a movie he released in 2013.

There are local elections on May 4th. For the millions of people with no idea what to do or how to survive, wondering where their next meal is coming from, using your vote matters if we are to end this national travesty and tragedy undertaken by the thieving Tories for no reason other than the transfer of the nations wealth into private hands.

If you have not registered to vote you can do it here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Get mad, start getting even, vote the thieving Tories out.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/163850bn-official-cost-of-the-bank-bailout-1833830.html

http://www.ukpublicrevenue.co.uk/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/04/14/deficit-deceit-how-the-tories-played-on-your-fears-to-needlessly-harm-public-services/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/06/benefits-corporate-welfare-research-public-money-businesses

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/revealed-how-we-pay-our-richest-landowners-millions-subsidies

https://creatorsnotconsumers.wordpress.com/tag/this-is-not-a-recession-its-a-robbery/

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The war drums are beating for North Korea, as Donald Trump put it in a Tweet (of all things), “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”

Following WWII, 12 of 24 high ranking Germans were hung for:

Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of a crime against peace
Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace
War crimes
Crimes against humanity

A war of aggression is a war conducted without the justification of self defence. As the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg following WWII put it, “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Since WWII this standard has all but been forgotten and it has become almost facile to even mention it. The American government has become the primary global aggressor. According to Global Research – The Centre for Research on Globalization, the “US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II”.

No amount of propaganda or jingoistic patriotism can hide the reality of the illegal aggressive nature of modern warfare if we allow ourselves the time to think, even for a moment, something that the propaganda is specifically aimed to discourage and suppress.

George Bush sold the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on bringing democracy to the Middle East, fourteen years later and with no democracy in sight, the war continues and the people are still dying.

It might be good to pause and wonder why no one is taking on Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East, recently visited by Theresa May for a cosy ‘trade’ mission. Couldn’t they use a bit of democracy, western style?

As I write, Trump is very proud to have dropped ‘the mother of all bombs’ (MOAB – Massive Ordnance Air Blast) (‘What it does is basically suck out all of the oxygen and lights the air on fire’ – Bill Roggio of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies) on Afghanistan. I am sure the hearts of mothers across the world will share his pride in his new found toys, or perhaps his own mother might wish she’d never spawned him.

As a US naval strike group heads for the Korean Peninsula, officials in North Korea, Pyongyang, have warned that the “current grim situation” justified its “self-defensive and pre-emptive strike capabilities with the nuclear force at the core.”

As ever, whatever the US beef with North Korea, it is a beef with the top, headed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. It is extremely unlikely we’ll see another Saddam takedown. It is the down trodden people of North Korea, their homes, towns and cities, and their lives, that will be ripped apart and turned to rubble and radioactive dead meat.

Trump is heading the world towards its first nuclear war and, once again, the many will pay the price for the grasping, greedy, power hungry few, who sit safe in their halls and bunkers of power.

Remember Nuremberg, lest we truly do forget. “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Criminals in power are still just criminals, and it is we, the people, who always, always, pay for their crimes and the penalty for their crimes.

KOG. 13 April 2017

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_trials

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-has-killed-more-than-20-million-people-in-37-victim-nations-since-world-war-ii/5492051

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/22/us-military-official-us-troops-iraq-absolutely-combat/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_in_the_Middle_East

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/03/theresa-may-hopes-example-female-potential-saudi-arabia

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/donald-trump-moab-us-bomb-afghanistan-mother-of-all-response-statement-a7683221.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/moab-gbu-43b-mother-of-all-bombs-price-weight-blast-radius-afghanistan-isis-a7683101.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/10/politics/us-aircraft-carrier-carl-vinson-north-korea-strike-capabilities/

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Whether I am given a parking fine, a court summons for not paying my council tax and imprisoned, made bankrupt or homeless as a punishment, fallen behind in my rent because I have too low an income to cover the market rent and am forced to choose between eating and rent, sanctioned and deprived of all income for being a minute late for a Jobcentre appointment, in fact, name the countless ways in which we can be punished for financial want, these are paper crimes. There is no motive of harm or wilful hurt caused to another and, excepting the very few who defraud for personal financial gain, these are what I would call crimes of innocence.

In Britain we have two types of law, as best as I can understand it, Common Law and Civil Law.

Common Law is set by precedent and is also known as Case Law and Natural Law, evolved and developed over time by the court system and comprises what we know as natural justice.

Civil Law or Statute Law, is set by parliament and whatever passes in parliament goes on what we know as the statute books. The definition of Statute Book is the: “Chronological collection of the statutes approved by the legislative body of a country and forming its legal code.”

Britain is a confusing mixture of both these forms of law.

Readers may remember when I attempted to bring charges against Iain Duncan Smith and (Lord) David Freud under the Human Rights Act for depriving people of the means of survival and therefore infringing their right to life. What I unwittingly came up against was a conflict between two statutory laws and was informed by the Police that in order to challenge the sanctions regime I would have to bring a civil case, which is a ‘legal dispute between two or more parties’. It was, and still remains, my right as a citizen to do this, if I could afford it. As the police informed me, it wasn’t a criminal case because Iain Duncan Smith wasn’t breaking the law, sanctions have been around since the National Insurance Act 1911, my case, if I had one, was to pursue a conflict in statute law in which a judge would adjudicate.

Which roundabout route brings me back to crimes of innocence and why outrage is both entirely right and appropriate and yet hobbled. What we are up against is that most hideous of creatures, the Jobsworth, who obeys the letter of the law absent of any common sense, decency or rationality and who positively enjoys penalising people for no good reason. I give you, the Tory government, who are experts in achieving illegitimate ends by legitimate means: i.e. they have the legitimate means to deprive people of the means of survival through sanctions, the end is that people die either through penury or through suicide, and the government claim they’ve done nothing wrong in their twisted, perverse thuggery. Worse, they ladle the blame on us, who, were they to vanish in a moment (I wish), would carry on with our lives free of their vile perfidy and constant threat.

I recently quoted from ‘Britannia Unchained’, a book co-written by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore and Elizabeth Truss, who castigate ‘the “baby boomer” generation for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’. In so doing they promote a lie and generate discord and hate for a crime of innocence, where pensioners have paid into their pension pot in good faith, over their working life times, to receive on retirement a state pension which is anything but lavish.

This stuff is as infuriating as it is teeth grindingly irritating, from self serving politicians making political capital out of our lives and a presumption of guilt for no crime we’ve committed either wilfully or in error.

And they know exactly what they are doing. It is enraging to watch their smirking faces when they are challenged in parliament and the lies with which they justify themselves and wilfully avoid any accountability whatsoever.

This country is ruled by the unjust and the innocent die. They have weaponised poverty and made of it a crime of innocence, for which the penalty is death by sanction in Britain’s filthy secret penal system, the Department for Work and Pensions.

Conditionality – obedience or death.

KOG. 11 April 2017

https://onlinelaw.wustl.edu/blog/common-law-vs-civil-law/

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/regime-change-sanctions-and-law-claimants

Benefit Sanctions and the Rule of Law

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Rape is infamously and notoriously difficult to prosecute and that’s if it even gets that far. According to the Crime Survey which is conducted for the Office for National Statistics, ‘on average 85,000 women are raped every year and 400,000 are sexually assaulted. But a mere 15,000 rapes are actually reported. Of those, only a fifth come to court. And in just a little over a thousand of them is there a conviction. This is not, contrary to myth, because of time-wasting or false allegations. An investigation two years ago by the CPS and Home Office concluded they were extremely unusual: of every 161 rape prosecutions, there was just one related to a false allegation’.

A Guardian Opinion piece reported, ‘Successful prosecutions for rape and sexual assault are extremely difficult to deliver. For a start, the victim, frightened and diminished by the experience, has to have the confidence to come forward. Then the police have to believe the victim, and there has to be enough evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service to judge there’s a good chance of conviction. And then, when the case finally comes to trial, the jury must be convinced by the prosecution in a case that often comes down to one person’s word against another. No surprises then that more than one case in three (of the small proportion of attacks that actually get to court) fails at the end’.

This is how it is and that does not even begin to describe the intensity of the personal trauma which rape victims suffer for life.

It is in this atmosphere of profound trauma and the intense difficulty and the intimate invasion of even reporting a rape, let alone prosecuting, that the DWP has set about its latest punitive welfare reform, denying child support for a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, for which one of the exemptions is a child conceived without the mothers consent, including rape. I am not sure why the government are making a distinction between ‘without the mothers consent’ and rape, and wonder under what circumstances, in their putrid minds, a lack of consent could mean anything other than rape, including being in a coercive relationship?

I cannot help be reminded of the following: “The first Poll tax of 1377 was levied at 4 pence on every person in England over 14. The second, levied two years later in 1379, was on a sliding scale between the seven classes in the English social order. But when this failed to raise sufficient funds for the war in France, a third Poll Tax in 1380, payable by everyone over 15, was levied at a flat rate of 1 shilling (12 pence, or 1 twentieth of a pound) per person, an average month’s salary for serf. When this went largely uncollected, with many peasants in the south-east of England refusing to register, the following year commissions of inquiry were dispatched to identify those who hadn’t paid. These inquires were extremely intrusive, and included checking young girl’s vaginas to see if they’d reached puberty and were therefore eligible for taxation. It was this, according to a later, Sixteenth-century account, that caused Wat Tyler to kill an official who tried to conduct such an examination on his daughter.”

This is the great dystopian divide under which we are living. How dare they treat us this way? That which they dish out, under no circumstances would they submit themselves to, yet they enact policy and defend the unconscionable and the obscene in the lives of ordinary people.

Try to imagine the outrage of Theresa May having this demanded of her and the faux outrage of rags like the Mail and the Sun. I don’t have the mind or imagination to make up whatever twisted headlines they’d use to incite the fury of their readers, but the poor are fair game in their evil minds.

This is the twisted world of the privileged and the plebian ‘stock’, or plebs, we are living in and how the imperial mind set works. They have no sense of their own privilege other than as their unassailable, god given, right. This is what is meant when people say they lack empathy. Such policies can only come from people so rooted in their own narcissism they have no idea of the impact they have, and nor do they care.

We have seen this for over seven long years, as people give up in despair and take their own lives, it’s called ‘incentivising people for work’ through state imposed penury and trauma. People too beaten to fight back, who are deprived of any hope of ever getting their heads above water to even get a decent meal a day.

On the face of it, it may seem the government is supporting victims of rape, when the reality is that rape victims are being targeted and treated worse than those simply denied child support for which no amount of money can compensate. It would be naive to think that targeting and re-traumatising rape victims is the lowest the government can go, they have amply demonstrated their capacity to come up with ever more outrageous and extreme cruelty on a regular basis.

The war against poverty is now, globally, the war against the poor. The neoliberal consensus has no place for us in their world. Whatever we may choose to call it, the aim is clear, to eradicate the poor and hound them out of life. We are literally fighting for our lives against an implacable enemy and state terrorism.

KOG. 09 April 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/13/prosecuting-rape-police-cps

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/06/government-under-fire-over-new-child-tax-credit-form-for-victims

http://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Exemptions_to_2_child_limit

https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/the-peasants-revolt-lessons-from-history/

https://www.change.org/p/iain-duncan-smith-mp-make-a-public-apology-for-your-use-of-the-word-stock-to-describe-disabled-people-share-using-stockgate

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We have a problem and it’s one we need to fix urgently. Housing… to briefly put aside all the other myriad disastrous problems which lie securely at the door of the Tories and the neoliberal consensus.

I’ll begin with a proposition – no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, as a human right.

In May 2015 The Tenants Voice reported that evictions had risen 53% since 2010, with 170 tenants being evicted every day in 2015.

Money is increasingly weaponized on a daily basis targeting the very poorest people, yet Britain is the 5th richest country in the world but also one of the most unequal in which ‘the richest 10% own over half of the UK’s total wealth’ and the government is knowingly and deliberately pauperising increasing numbers of people with the purpose of increasing that inequality and the flow of wealth out of the hands of ordinary people.

The poor are being used and abused as wealth creators and yet are being denied any part of the wealth they are brutally forced to create. The most targeted group, of course, being disabled people about whom Priti Patel said, ‘cutting some disabled people’s benefits by £30 a week is justified as it will help those with a “limited capability” to work find a job’*. And, just for the record, Patel also thinks ‘the British are among the worst idlers in the world’, in a book she co-wrote with fellow fascists Dominic Raab, Kwasi Kwarteng, Liz Truss and Chris Skidmore,  in which they claim ‘that “lazy” Brits prefer a lie-in to hard work‘ and ‘criticises the “baby boomer” generation for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’*. (*my emphases)

This is the religion of the far right, who treat poor bashing as an article of faith, who would have pensioners working for the pensions they have spent their working lives paying for until death.

In a country in which depriving people of the means of survival and their economic rights is now routine, it is inevitable that, as a consequence, with zero income, people are wilfully prevented from paying their rent to which the answer is, eviction.

It is also inevitable that at the mere suggestion of housing as a human right and that no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, the intellectually supine and propaganda rags like the Sun, the Mail and Express, and other right wing, rage fuelling, toss rags, will cry, ‘Why should we pay for scroungers?’, to which I riposte, ‘We pay for the wealth snatchers every day, like media corps, but if people think it is the poor who are the problem, they are bigger fools than even the government takes us all for’.

A study by Crisis on the financial cost of single homelessness in Britain reports that the New Economics Foundation estimated, ‘a single homeless person, if they were homeless for one year, would cost the UK public purse between £24,500 and £26,000 more than other citizens’.

It is economically illiterate to evict people and force people into homelessness. How many times must we have these sad and tired conversations whilst the greedy stuff themselves stupid on the backs of our lives?

Full employment is both pointless and unnecessary, the problem isn’t worklessness, the problem isn’t the poor, the problem isn’t a lack of housing, the problem is wealth distribution and a world predicated on exploitation and the privatisation of resources, including people, and profit.

Millions of jobs have been automated out of existence, but what happens to the people who used to do those jobs, are they taken care of out of the profits from the automation of the work they once did? No, they are thrown on the scrap heap whilst all the profits from automation rise beyond the reach of ordinary people into the hands of the grasping few, often to languish in tax havens thus further avoiding any social responsibility for the distribution of their unearned, other than through exploitation of people, resources and technology, wealth.

However, if anyone is struggling, the DWP offered contracts in 2015 to procure ‘Online Supported Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) worth £21 million to promote work as a health outcome. Bullshit!

We are drowning in bullshit, it is a tidal wave that is still mounting and people are dying in despair. The government wants us to rent out our bodies for less than it costs for us to inhabit our own bodies, for life. Our wages are asset stripped (as taxation) to support extreme wealth and corporations who hide their ill gotten gains in tax havens. And if we fail to juggle the impossible we are thrown on the streets to subsist or die.

We know the answers, we know exactly what is wrong and how it could be put right. We know who our enemy is and what they are capable of, and they are not done yet.

This is economic warfare and we are the target. None of this is happening by accident and nor is any of it unintended. We are certainly victims, but let us never make the mistake of in any way sympathising with our oppressors or making any excuses for them. There are no excuses.

Keep fighting and, above all, keep supporting and caring for those on their last legs who this rotten system has broken and if that someone is you, tell someone, as hard as that may feel, reach out.

KOG. 05 April 2017

Samaritans – free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

http://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/your_home/evictions-up-53-in-5-years/

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/feb/11/tenant-evictions-highest-level-england-wales-ministry-of-justice

http://www.cityam.com/227917/world-wealth-britain-crowned-fifth-richest-country-in-the-world-behind-us-china-japan-and-germany

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/14296603.MP_Priti_Patel_says_cutting_some_disabled_people_s_benefits_by___30_a_week_is_justified/

‘Lazy’ workers: the ignorance and shamelessness of Tory ‘rising stars’

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/lord-bichard-force-pensioners-work.html

http://www.welfareweekly.com/tens-of-thousands-of-disabled-people-hit-by-cruel-benefit-sanctions-dwp-figures-show/

http://www.crisis.org.uk/data/files/publications/CostsofHomelessness_Finalweb.pdf

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/fcdf22ca-cac8-45da-a614-fbc5754de037

https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/hunger-homelessness-and-despair-the-stark-reality-of-the-benefit-cap/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/23/charlotte-sees-desperation-first-hand-job-centre-benefits-system

architectsforsocialhousing

This article, published on the 27th anniversary of the attack on the Poll Tax demonstration in London by the Metropolitan Police Service, is dedicated to Ian Bone, class warrior and comrade. The illustrations of the Peasants’ Revolt are by Clifford Harper.

01

When looking back on an historical event it’s useful to compare the social conditions in which it occurred with those of the present day – not, as our history lessons inevitably do, in order to show how much more advanced, just, fair, wealthier and democratic society is under capitalism, but to reveal just how contingent, unjust, exploitative, impoverished and elitist our present economic, political and legal structures are.

In England we are often told by foreigners stupefied by our entrenched class structure that it survives because we never had a social revolution – such as they had in North America or France or even Germany, let alone like those…

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Every time I see a headline like, ‘Government is failing disabled people’ or as in the Guardian, 1 April 2017, ‘This benefit cut will make youngsters homeless. It’s another Tory failure’, I am immediately stuck by an overwhelming sense of disbelief that either the media simply doesn’t get it, which is unlikely, or this is wilful perception management to keep us wrong footed or to deliberately deceive us.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the Tories are entirely comfortable with their policies and the effects they have and, indeed, lie through their teeth and spin endless nonsense despite overwhelming evidence of the harm their policies cause.

Whether it’s making work pay, the bedroom tax, sanctions, multiple attacks on disabled people, racist vans, bullshit jobs for bullshit pay, ending housing benefit for young people, no more top down reorganisation of our NHS, using European workers as bargaining chips, the junior doctors debacle, ending access to legal aid, denying the escalating numbers of suicides, the housing crisis, mass deportations, privatisation of the state, selling off state assets at knock down prices, cuts, caps, raising VAT, abandoning care for the elderly and raising pension age, tax cuts for the rich, austerity for the poor (and that is just the short list), the Tories are entirely comfortable with it all, their policies are working exactly as intended. They are not failing, they are succeeding.

Anyone who says they are failing, especially journalists, is misinformed (as much of the public is), an idiot or fully complicit in this mass deception.

This is not about cognitive dissonance, ‘the mental stress (discomfort) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values’, this is perception management on a grand scale.

How many deaths would it take to give any reasonable organisation cause to examine its policies or even just acknowledge that there might be a problem? Since 2010, tens of thousands of people have died or committed suicide and the government is not only not interested but denies there is even a problem. Damian Green took over from Iain Duncan Smith in July 2016 and has not only continued with the punitive regime put in place by Smith, but has escalated the attacks on poor and vulnerable people and claims the benefits cap, ‘costing almost 90,000 of Britain’s poorest families more than £2,000 a year, is a “real success”.

And he’s right. It is a massive Tory success. Poverty is rising and persistent poverty for children has consistently risen since 2010 and food bank usage under the Tories has gone through the roof, leading Chris Mould to state that the DWP regards people driven to food banks as “collateral damage”. Iain Duncan Smith, far from doing anything about the situation, accused the Trussell Trust of scare mongering and he and Lord Freud have consistently refused to meet with the Trussell Trust.

Why would they meet with the Trussell Trust? The system was designed by Smith and Freud, and it is doing exactly as intended, to penalise and hound people to death. Dr David Webster, writing on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies web site, called Benefit Sanctions, ‘Britain’s secret penal system’, which imposes more and harsher fines than the entire British court system.

What does it take to call a spade a spade?

To even begin to understand the Tories we have to see them as they see themselves and report accordingly, as a towering success. Their policies are not ill informed or hastily come by, they are well planned and enormous amounts of time have been spent formulating them. The Welfare Reform Act 2012, introduced by Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud, and the unfolding misery it has given rise to, was not written in a day, or hastily, it was long in the making almost certainly predating the 2010 general election. It’s 350 sections and 187 pages were meticulously written and is a huge success story for the Tories.

Reporting any of this as failing or failure, is to entirely misreport the reality of Tory success. They are not failing disabled people or young people or anyone else, they are successfully implementing policies which they fully intended would cause pain and suffering on the grand scale we see to this day.

Alex Brooker on the Last Leg rightly called Tory disability cuts, “disabled genocide” and if you have a terminal illness but are expected to live longer than six months you do not qualify for extra support. So yes in real terms the government is failing ordinary people, but they are doing so wilfully and knowingly and mocking us in the process and consider their policies entirely successful.

The mainstream media headlines should reflect the reality of the situation, and hit hard and true. That they do not is to entirely fail to understand what is going on or to wilfully mislead.

Given the cost in lives for their failure to present the facts and the reality of the situation, then they are culpable in this unfolding catastrophe in the lives of millions of people in Britain today. Too much of the corporate media is engaged in perception management for self serving reasons and given the proliferation (thankfully) of independent media, bloggers and writers, it falls to us, ordinary people, to hold them to account and to call a spade a spade. The Tories have blood on their hands and it bothers them not one jot.

KOG. 02 April 2017

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/government-is-failing-disabled-people-on-discrimination-say-peers/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/01/housing-benefits-cut-young-adults-homeless

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-poverty-the-charts-that-show-the-true-state-of-low-income-britain-a7031666.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/food-bank-usage-at-record-high-reveals-trussell-trust-a6984921.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britons-driven-to-food-banks-by-poverty-seen-as-collateral-damage-by-dwp-says-trussell-trust-a6794101.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iain-duncan-smith-accuses-food-bank-charity-the-trussell-trust-of-scaremongering-9021150.html

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

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/welfare-reform/great-britian.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_Reform_Act_2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/the-last-leg-diability-cuts_uk_58ba72f0e4b05cf0f400d555

https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/money/benefits-entitlements/living-with-terminal-illness/special-rules