Archives for category: politics

Rupert Dreyfus

Hello World.

I’m over the moon to announce that Prezident Scumbag!—my anti-Trump novella with a stinking bad attitude problem—placed 25th in the Best Indie Books of 2015 competition ran by those kind folks over at Readfree.ly. Thus far it’s the only political satire that’s placed and I would hazard a guess that it will continue to be until the full list is released.

I’d like to express a massive thanks to whoever nominated this book in this first instance as well as all those people who voted for it. It’s always lovely when somebody slows down in this messy, fast-paced digital landscape to care about what you do. I can stop panicking that the entire world has been side-tracked by the current crop of unmemorable bestsellers.

It just and so happens that the Goodreads giveaway for Scumbag! goes underway tomorrow so make sure you enter the competition and…

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brexita

Trying to fathom the Tory strategy over Brexit is not dissimilar to trying to work out where you were and where you were going in one of London’s infamous smogs in years past in which, sometimes, you were unable to see your hand in front of your face. I well remember being completely disoriented, not really knowing where I was, in which direction I needed to be going, and even whether I was on the pavement or road. I recall one occasion in which I had managed to get myself onto a grass covered roundabout near my home, which we frequently crossed, so that I knew exactly where I was, but still had no idea of the direction I needed to head in if I left it’s 360° sanctuary and had to face the fact that I was completely disoriented and utterly lost on what I would normally regard as familiar ground.

That is exactly how I ‘feel’ about Brexit, the difference being that what is creating these feelings of disorientation and confusion is one of intent, even the smogs were ‘man’ made, so too is what I regard as the omnishambles of Brexit, and my argument here is that whereas the smogs were an unintended consequence of human actions, the apparent shambles of Brexit is driven by intent.

Let’s begin with a very eloquent axiomatic description of the Tories by the Guardians Jonathan Freedland, “the Conservative party has a will to power so strong, it will subordinate every other consideration, principle or interest to obtain and keep it. It’s this that has made the Tories arguably the most successful political party in the democratic world over the course of nearly two centuries.”

Nothing could be clearer, since Theresa May became leader of the Conservative party, than her subordination of any and every moral, ethical, social or political principle to her one over riding ambition, which is, to retain power. Seen in that light, everything she has done makes perfect sense even whilst being seemingly incomprehensible to our moral and ethical sensibilities. The error then is ours, not hers, our confusion is in not seeing or understanding where she’s coming from, in which she is entirely consistent. I do think she misjudged and has stumbled over the degree and intensity of the opposition to the travesty of her misrule, an opposition which is confusing and, indeed, incomprehensible to the arrogant self belief, paternalism and self serving greed of conservative ideology.

However, there is a second set of principles which apply at this particular juncture in history, which is the global neoliberal agenda which I will sum up here as, the subordination of every moral, ethical, social or political principle to the unconstrained greed of free market economics and the global transfer of wealth and resources from the vast majority into the hands of a tiny wealthy elite. In the light of that neoliberal world view, a hard Brexit which avoids all the tedious intricacies of negotiation in pursuit of the what is in the best interests of Britain in general is highly desirable, giving the Tories a free hand in their pursuit of power in the UK and the sacrifice of the interests and well being of ordinary people. Their policies have been consistent since 2010 when they launched their economic war against ordinary people, and the poorest and most vulnerable people in particular, and the countless deaths that have been the inevitable result and about which they care nothing, not even acknowledging those deaths as collateral damage.

From this writers point of view the most significant part of the Health and Social Care Act, 2012, ‘marked the end of a National Health Service in England that for more than sixty years served as one of the most successful models in the world, widely praised and copied’. The Act also ‘ended the Secretary of State’s duty to secure or provide health services throughout the country, a duty that had been in force since 1948’. The purpose of the Act was and remains the theft and privatisation of our most revered national treasure, the National Health Service, by stealth, and about which Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health, with mealy mouthed deceit, assure us that, ‘The NHS will remain a taxpayer-funded system free at the point of use’. We can bet the shirts off our backs that it will remain taxpayer-funded, but that does not mean tax payer owned. The Tories are dedicated to asset stripping the nation and the transfer of public taxation (wealth) into private hands and ‘free at the point of use’ is a meaningless statement which only means that we will not, if we can stretch our credulity to believe even this much of the Tory plan, be expected to pay at the time of use, which would also cover a privatised insurance based system. The danger of the Tory party is in taking anything they say at face value and they get away with telling the most egregious lies because that’s precisely what far too many people do and who, in utterly naive, docile servitude, vote for them.

It is now no secret that our system of social security has been turned into a vicious and brutal clandestine penal system with financial penalties (fines) rivalling those of the entire UK judicial court system. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been corrupted in its entirety by Tory ill will and private financial interests, even allowing a US insurance giant, UNUM (discredited, prosecuted and heavily fined in the US) to play a major part in the planning of the bogus ‘fit for work’ programme, which is now a system of widespread despair and death by intent. The government don’t even bother to collect data on the astronomic rise in food banks and their usage about which I stand with Mike Sivier over at Vox Political in being entirely unsurprised, and, even if they did, I would expect, as a matter of course, for the figures to be highly manipulated and falsified. That is, after all, the Tory way.

Taking what we know of the policies of the Conservative party, which are punitive by design against the lives and well being of ordinary people, then a hard Brexit is all about serving the objectives of punishing and impoverishing ordinary people and giving the Tories a free hand to do just that. The restrictions on the free movement of people will in no way restrict the free movement of the financial markets to abandon Britain for richer pickings elsewhere, or to exploit Britain for profit and as a haven for opportunistic tax avoidance and evasion whether in Britain or via its crown dependencies.

Whatever advantages leaving the EU might have for ordinary people, they will never be realised under the Tories, for them, Brexit is a neoliberal wet dream which will, if the Tories are allowed to have their way, mark the end of human rights in Britain and be an economic disaster for the vast majority of people whilst being an economic boom for free market, private, interests in pursuit of which there will be few, if any, restrictions. Brexit is described by Barnabas Reynolds, a partner at Shearman & Stearling, as a ‘win-win opportunity for the City of London’. You betcha.

And last, but by no means least, in this brief exploration of Tory abuse and deception in this disunited kingdom under the Tories bogus austerity and Brexit, is the myth that the Conservatives are the party of fiscal and socially responsible and Labour as the party of social irresponsibility, profligacy and waste, when the exact opposite is true. Labour have always borrowed less than the Tories and have always paid back more. It was labour who rebuilt Britain after the WWII, which included the founding of the NHS, the welfare state and Britain’s revolutionary social housing programme. The post war consensus which started in 1945 under the leadership of Labour’s Clement Atlee, was an uneasy consensus drawing the reluctant Tories along with it, which Margaret Thatcher finally killed off in 1979. Concern for the cares and well being of ordinary people has never been high on the Tory agenda and without the Labour party we’d all be worse off and nothing more than wage slaves living lives in even greater want and deprivation, which Harry Leslie Smith remembers with such stark clarity and to which the present Tories are at such pains to drive us back to. The Tory myth is a product of its own propaganda and a sympathetic right wing media which beats the propaganda home with relentless force and continues to do so, which is why working class Tory voters are aptly likened to gullible turkeys voting for Christmas.

The Tories have always been the party of self serving greed and their seeming failure over Brexit is, in reality, a treacherous opportunity for the grasping few at the expense of the many, which why Jacob Rees-Mogg, venal champion of privilege, paternalism, anti-abortion and Victorian stiff upper lipped male supremacy, is also such a vocal champion of a hard Brexit and the oppression of ordinary people. His claim that ‘hard Brexit would boost UK by £135bn over five years’ is, in reality a boost, if it is even remotely true, for the free markets and the financial sector, the people of Britain and the real economy would see little or no direct benefit.

The bottom line is – Never trust a Tory. The Tories handling of Brexit is not in any way accidental or unintentional, it is entirely consistent with their historic role in British politics.

KOG. 09 December 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/06/tories-destroying-themselves-hard-brexit

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

http://www.nhsforsale.info/database/impact-database/is-the-nhs-less-accountable/Sec-of-State-for-Health.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/08/stephen-hawking-lawsuit-foiling-jeremy-hunt-nhs-shake-up

http://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/fastest-asset-stripping-uk-ever-economic-policies-fail-deliver/

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

https://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/first_unum/unum-lawsuit-insurance-disability-claims-17-19749.html

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/12/09/tories-deliberately-refuse-to-record-the-effects-of-their-cruelty-to-the-poor-it-is-surprising-that-this-still-shocks-people/

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/08/brexit-is-a-win-win-opportunity-for-the-city-of-london/

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/03/13/the-conservatives-have-been-the-biggest-borrowers-over-the-last-70-years/

https://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/14/jacob-rees-mogg-hard-brexit-would-boost-uk-by-135bn-over-5-years

The SKWAWKBOX

corbyn statesman

As Theresa May scrambled frantically to present her Ireland ‘deal‘ as anything less than the utter capitulation it was, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gave a landmark, statesmanlike speech in Geneva on the great challenges facing us.

What few may know – because the ‘MSM’ have been largely silent on it – is that Corbyn was also in Geneva to receive the international MacBride Peace Prize in recognition of his decades of commitment and service to peace.

The award is presented jointly by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the World Democratic Forum. The reasons for the award are described on the event’s website:

Jeremy Corbyn is awarded – for his sustained and powerful political work for disarmament and peace. As an active member, vice-chair and now vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK he has for many years worked to further the political message…

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toriesa

The world is being driven off a cliff, politically and economically, it is astonishing and bewildering how far off the beaten track of common sense and reason we are being driven by people without a shred of humanity and who are corrupt to the bone.

But what is also astonishing, but in no way bewildering, is how the functioning of nations and societies across the globe are being sustained and supported by the daily efforts of the majority of ordinary people, even and despite that many of them are living on the edge of, or are in, crisis.

As the UK government stumbles on, floundering in its own incompetence, driving us backwards into a future of enforced slavery and economic woe for the many, to enrich the few, the enormous task of keeping Britain going on a minute by minute basis carries on, competently and capably handled by the unsung heroes of progress, the ordinary people who make up the body of the nation and who are the living, breathing engine that maintains the life of the nation and all nations.

The people are the biological thrumming heart of the nation, labouring not just for our own personal survival but for the survival of those around us, extending outwards into the global community and every part of it operated by we, the people.

Governments come and go, with varying degrees of competence, some, as now, with ideological agendas driven by greed and raining ruin of the lives of ordinary people.

What makes a nation great is not conquest or war, which are the exclusive domain of governments, and which, without the legions of ordinary people who makes up the armies and are the sacrifice of conquest and the vanities of power, the assumed greatness of the dominant elites would be just so much wishful thinking. Even the tools of government, whatever they may be, are made by ordinary people, in order to govern, the government are entirely dependent on the services of ordinary people. Government is a bureaucratic extension of organised society, a festering boil or enabling bubble, depending on the competence of those elected to office or who seize power for whatever reason.

Thanks to the bankers and the Tories, Britain is a nation in crisis and the only thing that is staving off the worst of that crisis is the people, even as our lives are being increasingly sacrificed to greed.

And if the people are divided by racism, sectarian interests and hatred of ‘other’ of any kind, it is worth asking, what forces and interests drive those divisions and who benefits by them? Whatever answer we might come up with, those who benefit does not include – us – the people. We are all victims of government and media propaganda, which serve the interests of power and greed.

The banking crisis has been used to exclusively and brutally punish ordinary people and were it not for the determination and actions of ordinary people the death toll would be catastrophically higher than it already is. Without food banks, which exist exclusive of government and the financial markets, and through the generosity of ordinary people, hospitals would be swamped with malnutrition and poverty related diseases immeasurably higher than they already are. Without the dedication and iron willed persistence of NHS staff, themselves in crisis due to government malfeasance with malicious intent for the future of our NHS, even more lives would have been lost for want of care. But this doesn’t come close to expressing the effect of the lives of ordinary people on the day to day running of the nation, many people just doing their job, or just doing the caring to which they have dedicated themselves, often without pay or recognition.

If you think of cleaners, a job regarded and treated as low status and consequently low paid, what kind of mess would society be in without them, even for one day? What kind of chaos would the Palace of Westminster, the home of the UK’s two houses of parliament, be in if those whose job it is to clean them daily, decided that, under the imposition of austerity, cleaning would have to be either abandoned or severely restricted and the architects of austerity would have to clean up their own mess? It is doubtful that the government would rethink the status of those they so heavily rely on, without thought or care, day by day, but the complaints and cries of outrage would likely be front page news. The accusations of cleaners holding government to ransom, as the government has the nation, would be loud and long.

It is a curious truth that the more privileged people are, the more they take for granted and denigrate (look down on) the lives of those who maintain their comforts, and, indeed, go to great lengths to withhold the taxes they owe to the nation, expecting the rest of us to pick up the tab for the nations infrastructure and maintenance on which they also rely on a daily basis, and, thanks to government policy, are further enriched, whilst, again due to government policies, the rest of us are impoverished.

Since 2010, Britain has been turned into an open penal colony, specifically targeting the poorest and most vulnerable people by design and intent, that it continues to function on a day by day basis and resists the chaos of a government gone rogue, is all down to the people, to the good will and intent, consciously or unconsciously, of ordinary people going about the business of surviving this most despicable of governments in the UK’s long history.

The wealth of the nation is the people, and we survive despite the government, who have criminalized poverty and driven hundreds of thousands to death through economic murder by intent, which in this writers eyes counts as genocide.

There will be a reckoning, and it looks like it will be soon, because enough is enough. Even Bankers Morgan Stanley, no friend to ordinary people and as much a part of the problem as any other bank, predict the government will fall in 2018 over May’s Brexit omnishambles. Whatever the final cause, the fall of the Tory imposters to government cannot come too soon.

KOG. 06 December 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/26/recession-rich-britains-wealthiest-double-net-worth-since-crisis

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

https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/political-parties/conservative-party/theresa-may/news/88695/theresa-mays-government-will

hunta

The world is being driven by the morally bankrupt and the utterly corrupt for whom accumulated wealth has more worth than life itself and in the hunger for which, globally, they destroy the lives and livelihoods of billions of people.

It is impossible for most ordinary people, including me, to know how corrupt the UK government is, and, indeed, governments and corporations across the world.

In the UK corporations are invited to advise on writing tax law and help design the loopholes they will later exploit. In 2010 Ian Brimicombe, described as a tax guru for AstraZeneca, was appointed as an adviser to a government liaison committee, along with senior executives from some of Britain’s biggest companies, to develop UK corporate tax policy. Within 5 months of the new tax regime coming into effect in 2013 ‘AstraZeneca had set up an unusual and intricate Dutch tax avoidance structure that would enable it to take full advantage of the new loopholes it had so helpfully advised on.’

Meanwhile over at Forbes, Tim Worstall writes, ‘Now They’re Chasing AstraZeneza: If Only These People Understood The System’. He goes on to say, ‘To be honest, it does seem reasonably sensible to have the world’s experts in corporate taxation advising on how to tax corporations but perhaps other people don’t see it quite that way.’

I rather think that Worstall knows the system and displays his disingenuousness well. Britain is languishing under a terrible misapprehension, the myth of the great and the good. Leave it to the experts and don’t worry our little heads about why the system is so complex and why it is, according to Tax Justice Network (TJN), that between $21-32 trillion dollars of private wealth is held offshore in tax havens. TJN goes on to say, ‘Measuring the size of the offshore economy is an exercise in night vision. It is hard to define it; it is fragmented and messy, and it is swathed in secrecy.’ But, but, but, wasn’t the system designed by the great and the good, the worlds finest, so there’s nothing to bother our little heads over? It’s 2017 and we didn’t discover financial literacy yesterday and yet somewhere in excess of $500bn per year of corporate profits is shifted by multinational companies into tax refuges and (unsurprisingly) ‘as a percentage of their gross domestic product, developing countries are hit hardest.’

But I need not delve so far into the twisted la la land of the financial interests of the super wealthy to gather hints of the enormity of corruption that bedevils us.

In 2010, as manifesto pledges, David Cameron promised, ‘With the Conservatives there will be no more of the tiresome, meddlesome, top-down re-structures that have dominated the last decade of the NHS’, ‘absolutely no plans to raise VAT’, ‘No cuts to front-line services’, to name but three. How great the lies that trip off the tongues of the great and the good to bedazzle and beguile the minds of those they rob blind.

As important as lying to the public is, the lies and deceit that Cameron and his cronies and the present government under Theresa May spin so glibly, provide only the merest glimpse of the tip of the iceberg of the fantastic corruption of those who lay false claim to serve the best interests of nations.

2013 also saw the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’ and David Freud and Iain Duncan Smith were busily redesigning Britain’s system of social security, transforming it into a secret penal system that, it is now horrifically clear, is more brutal and far harsher than any punishment delivered by the nations justice system, and which, with casual indifference, has wiped out the lives of tens of thousands of people, and targets the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK many times over. A report from The Centre for Welfare Reform in 2013 revealed that under the governments welfare reforms, ‘People in poverty are targeted 5 times more than most citizens, Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens and People needing social care are targeted 19 times more than most citizens.’

Austerity means hunger, deprivation and death for the poor and tax cuts, bonuses and protection for the rich.

Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world and in 2015 was found to be the most unequal country in the EU. The UN’s Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has established that ‘welfare cuts have created a ‘human catastrophe’ for disabled people in the UK and accused the government of “grave and systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people. Damian Green, then Work and Pensions Secretary, dismissed the EU’s findings as, ‘an outdated view of disability which is patronising and offensive’, and claimed, ‘The UK is a recognised world leader in disabled rights and equality.’ If so, then this disabled person says to the government, “Spare me your tender ministrations and the Judas kiss of your treachery.”

The problem with corruption in high places is that it is so much a part of the system and so normal that its magnitude is barely discernible to even the most determined investigative research. It is not that there might be a few rotten eggs in the basket, but that the entire system is based on corruption as an absolute, it is written into its DNA, corruption is its raison d etre, backed up, supported and underwritten by a right wing media that targets and vilifies those who oppose and expose this obscene orgy of corruption.

In 2015 David Cameron spent over £10 million on what was described as ‘his army of spin doctors and advisers’ to purposefully deceive the nation. They are the living proof that not only is it entirely possible to polish a turd, but too many people are far too willing to feast on it, digest and regurgitate it in virulent retribution and hate and attack disabled people, immigrants and vulnerable people on the streets as if they are the cause of the all the worlds woe and, as we’ve seen time and time again, much to the delight and braying laughter and mockery of the architects of despair in government.

David Cameron, just prior to an anti-corruption summit in London, said, in front of the Queen and televised, “We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.” leading the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to disagree and say in defence of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, “But this particular president is not corrupt… he’s trying very hard.” James Landale, BBC diplomatic correspondent, said of Cameron, one of the most corrupt Prime Ministers in UK history (and certainly the most blandly shiny faced), ” it is perhaps one of the most undiplomatic things a prime minister could say – to describe two countries as fantastically corrupt just hours before their leaders visit Britain.” And therein lies the real problem of the fantastically corrupt, like Cameron, a wholehearted belief in their own righteousness and outspoken in their appalling ignorance.

Just like May’s government, Cameron served on an entirely corrupt platform of lies and deceit, penalising and brutalising millions of ordinary people, who they despise, whilst transferring the nations wealth into the hands of a grasping elite which is corrupt to the bone.

And children starve and the innocent die young.

KOG. 27 November 2017.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/13/tories-big-business-tax-loopholes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/10/14/now-theyre-chasing-astrazeneza-if-only-these-people-understood-the-system/#707e7bf2580e

http://www.taxjustice.net/topics/more/size-of-the-problem/

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/11/pre-election-pledges-tories-are-trying-wipe-internet

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

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-az/briefing-on-how-cuts-are-targeted.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/these-are-the-ten-most-unequal-developed-countries-in-the-world-10267862.html

https://www.indy100.com/article/the-uk-is-the-most-unequal-country-in-the-eu–l1It2nHEZb

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37899305

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-spends-10million-army-7029803

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41648865

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36260193

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

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