Archives for posts with tag: Andy Burnham

22_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,186

Saturday 22 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

You know, we are going to have to do something about people in politics who look like adults but have the mentality and behaviour of sub-normal children.

Although this has nothing to do with you or your party, it appears that Andy Burnham has hinted that he may challenge the outcome of the Labour leadership election if Jeremy Corbyn wins. He makes no mention of challenging it if he himself wins, presumably on the grounds that in such an eventuality all will have been well, right and just and above board.

In his summer budget George Osborne increased the inheritance tax allowance saying that the current level was ‘not fair’, thus people can now pass up to £1 million on to their children free of inheritance tax. He also lowered corporation tax which will fall to 19% in 2017 and 18% by 2020. This is the same Osborne who abolished housing benefit for under-21s, created a new minimum wage (though deceitfully calling it a living wage) that won’t apply to under-25s, and replaced university maintenance grants with maintenance loans. And also the same Osborne who said, ‘So those who oppose any savings to Tax Credits will have to explain how on earth they propose to eliminate the deficit, let alone run a surplus and pay down debt’.

Osborne has the mind of an educationally sub-normal juvenile. Rewarding corporations and the rich and attacking the young and poor, telling us if we oppose such attacks we will have to explain how on earth we propose to eliminate the deficit, is utterly senseless gibberish from an economically illiterate juvenile.

Debbie Abrahams has called for Iain Duncan Smith to resign after it emerged the DWP created a leaflet about sanctions containing made-up quotes attributed to non-existent benefit claimants. It has been reported that the release of what we expect to be fudged figures on benefit death statistics will be next Thursday, just prior to a bank holiday with parliament in recess. And when Smith avoided a parliamentary debate on the bedroom tax he repeatedly shouted at reporters who wanted to know why he had skipped the debate, ‘I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!’ and said, ‘I am not there because I am here’. Good grief!

It really is small wonder that Jeremy Corbyn has ignited the nation when there are so many arrogant juveniles in politics, none of whom are fit to hold office.


01_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,165

Saturday 01 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

This is a letter that has come out of an email conversation with a friend who posited, “What if ‘making work pay’ isn’t another lie coming out of Cameron’s, Osborne’s and IDS’s mouths, but might actually be the truth only not in the way it has been interpreted? What if when Cameron, Osborne and IDS spout ‘making work pay’ they don’t mean that work pays for the worker? Everyone assumes that it is the workers who will receive that ‘pay’. What if what they really mean – and what has been shown time and again to be what is really happening – is that ‘work pays the employers’? That is what ‘workfare’ is all about, isn’t it, subsidies for businesses no matter whether workers are paid or not?”

I can’t think why I’ve not written about this before, I thought I had and it has certainly taken up a good deal of my thinking time. I think my friend is exactly right. Just as you can say ‘Britain is for hard working people’ in a country where you want full employment. A country of hard working people for businesses, to drive profits up. A National Health Service ‘free at the point of use’ which you can still say even if it is paid for through private insurance schemes the same as in the USA, which is what you want.

‘Hard working people’ , in various forms, is now something of a mantra for those resenting people on benefits, people adopt it for themselves as you intended, but that isn’t what you Tories mean and I am sure you revel in your clever mouthed deceit.

When Andy Burnham launched his Labour leadership campaign he talked about ‘aspiration’ as about ‘giving every single person the dream of a better life, about helping all of our businesses, small and large, to get on and grow’. Every single person can have a dream, but it’s businesses that get help to get on and grow. As the saying goes, ‘If wishes were fishes we’d all be throwing nets’. New Labour giving every single person the dream of a better life is (meaninglessly) clever as far as it goes, but Burnham can’t out-Tory a Tory, who can speak a literal truth which relies on human vanity to adopt and thus people fool themselves.

Robert Tressell’s ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’ is entirely about the philanthropy of working people who vote for their own enslavement to the profit hungry Tories. ‘Don’t vote Labour’, the Tories cry, ‘Those socialists will price you out of your jobs. If they demand higher wages, we’ll all go to the wall. We’re all in this together my lads.’ It’s not an empty threat, you’d sack the entire labour force and shut the business down if you had to (which Thatcher did), then open a new one offering lower wages and it’s all those bloody socialists fault, killing businesses. Oh yes, the Tories are for hard working people alright, making work pay, all the way to the corporate comfort off shore tax havens.

30_may_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,101

Saturday 30 May 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I see that Andy Burnham is trying to out right wing you Tories. You must be delighted, the end of the Labour party is nigh. Order another case of Bollinger because let’s face it they’ll never out-Tory you Tories, try as they might.

Burnham said society’s wealth-creators will be valued as highly as NHS staff. Who does he mean by wealth-creators? In Burnham’s own words, “Far too rarely over the last few years has Labour spoken up in praise of the everyday heroes of our society. The small businessman or woman; the sole trader; the innovator, the inventor, the entrepreneur. The small businesses that become big businesses.”

There is no question that founding and growing a business is hard work. It’s a risk. It involves seemingly endless hours of work, worry, negotiations, loans, research, office work, organisation, premises, equipment, staff, more worry, more sleepless nights. Britain was described by Adam Smith and Napoleon as ‘A nation of shop keepers’. Quite why Britain was singled out for this accolade I don’t know. How did other nations survive without the plethora of small businesses that worked away to provide for the family and business needs of a nation? Nor can there be any question that a successful business should reward all that the founder/owner/risk taker puts into it. I’ve worked for enough small businesses to know that business owners deserve more in their pay packets than me, no question.

But here’s the thing, the point that you and Burnham miss. Business owners and staff are a symbiotic whole. If the business succeeds it is a team effort, treating the staff badly and paying them badly and walking off with a ridiculous excess of profits whilst workers live hand to mouth is despicable. Working together, they are all wealth creators and anyone who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar.

All you right wing blinkered half wits really need to engage your brains. Hint – it’s the thing that takes up space between the ears.

The Labour party was founded on the struggle to end exploitation in the work place. A fair days work for a fair days pay isn’t too much to ask for or expect. Making obscene profits whilst paying workers a minimum wage is rotten to the core. Poverty wages that see workers reliant on benefits and even food banks is criminal. We don’t need another Tory party driving ordinary working people into the ground, denying that they are wealth creators, allowing them to be ripped off, even one Tory party is too much. Surviving in poverty, that is truly heroic and requires a heroic effort.