Archives for posts with tag: Aneurin Bevan

Image16b

We are living in an unprecedented time in history, which is even bigger than both world wars because the level of potential harm is global and irreversible.

Many people will be familiar with the saying that has its origins in the First Nations of what is now called America, “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.” It is now very clear what could bring this apocalyptic future into being and we are approaching it with ever increasing speed.

We are facing several potential global extinction events, climate change: ecocide through resource depletion and the destruction of the natural world: nuclear war in which the government of Britain is the first to declare its intention for first use, or pre-emptive strike: and the biological extermination of species.

Each one of these events is driven by greed and couldn’t care less-ness and not one of these events is happening in isolation. All of them are subject to intense debate and I sometimes wonder if the last words ever uttered on this world might be, “Oh no it isn’t!” Oh yes it is!” And human life will end as we dive over the cliff in a pantomime display of stupidity and futility. If any or all of these events come about, that would be a highly appropriate end, except there will be no one to record it, or if there is, no one will see it.

I would like to set a specific date here for the purposes of illumination. 1066 saw the invasion of Britain by the Normans and if the ensuing 951 years should have taught us anything it is that any solutions to the problems we face today in the UK (and globally) have never and will never come from the top. And for the sake of ease. let’s call is 1000 years because we can be damned sure that the Normans did not invade a socialist republic with rights to land, liberty and freedom from paying taxes for the wars of the aristocracy, or fighting them, for that matter.

Nor must we forget the patriarchy of the church, In 1536 William Tyndale was burnt at the stake for translating the bible into English, ‘According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance’. I think he had a point, enough to be burnt at the stake for it.

Human kind have been around for 200,000 years so it only took 199,900 years, give or take, for women to fight for and to get the vote, or if you’re a creationist who believes the world has been here for just 6,000 years, it took 5,900 years for women to get the vote.

For the Tories, it has taken them 199,990 years to work out that people are best motivated to work by depriving them of the means of survival and that there is no magic money tree when the production of money is a mere manufacturing process or tapping on a keyboard and is not, in fact, a naturally occurring, finite or scarce resource. In that same amount of time, the Tories have managed to work out that poor people should pay for the failures of the rich and that human rights are a thoroughly bad idea.

After 200,000 years of evolution many still vehemently believe that in terms of hue, humans who are pinky white are good and descend in a sliding scale of ‘not good’ to ‘rubbish’ depending on how dark people’s skin is, aided and abetted by propaganda rags like The Sun, which took a magnificent 199,947 years to publish it’s first copy and begin to spread its particular brand of hate and bile.

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace of 162 countries covered by a study in 2014 only 11 countries were not involved in conflict of one kind or another.

We have invented cities and urbanisation and technological marvels that defy the imagination, but civilisation? I rather think the jury is still out on that one.

Speaking purely for myself, although I know I am not alone, I have lived my life hoping that in some small way, within my very limited area of influence, I might add something positive to the world, to leave this world better for my endeavours. For some that will have been the pleasure of learning how to kayak and to enjoy the thrill of white water, for others I hope I helped them expand their awareness and make a better life for themselves and others from reduced and difficult circumstances.

I have not lived any kind of saintly existence and have contributed my own hurts on others, though ignorance, selfishness and personal inadequacy and failings, which I look back on with profound regret. I have lived a life which has involved the liberal use of non prescribed drugs which have helped expand my awareness considerably, and sometimes not. I have been an alcoholic and a generous donor to Scotland’s Whisky distilleries and done my bit for the Scottish economy, boosting it by I don’t know how many thousands of pounds. I have lived with the blackest of depression and yet have a profound love of life and all its exquisite wonders.

I do not have it within my grasp or understanding to know what we can do to bring the world back from the brink, except this. It will not come from those with power, they have amply demonstrated over at least 10 centuries that they are inadequate, indeed hostile, to the future life of the Earth and all life upon it, other than their own. If there is a chance for life, for the many and not the few, then it is time to grasp the nettle, to stand as never before and to work as never before, to make of this world a better place for all. To protect and not plunder.

Those at the top have also amply demonstrated that they loath and despise us, look down on us and seek to revile and suppress us, but the fight back has started and this truly is an unprecedented time.

As tough as it is, as tough as they make it, never give up the dream nor cease to work to make it a reality, because if there is hope for the world, we are it, we are the repositories of hope and we must not only nurture and protect it, we must help make it grow as living examples for the world we wish to protect and inhabit.

It is not just a case of fighting and exposing an enemy, it is having something we are fighting for. David Cameron said. ‘We’re all in this together’, he was lying, of course. But those words can mean something to those of us who believe that they are the way forward, who believe that working together is a simple truth for a better world. Gandhi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change”. Is that not a self evident truth? Or take the words of Aneurin Bevan, “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it”, is that not also self evidently true?

The Tories are liars, they have to be liars because they do not mean us well, if we mean each other well and if we mean the world well, there is no reason to lie and every reason to be bold with the truth. We have absolutely nothing to hide or need to plot in dark corners or speak robotic words of insincerity. If you and I want to change the world, that’s something to shout about and to act on. It requires no hidden motives, just sincerity.

I have been a writer for some years now and I have always tried to write in plain language and not to spruce it up with academic pretensions. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it must be sincere.

I am 66 and my life is looking decidedly autumnal, but till the day I die I will want to do well by others and want wellness for them and act on it. I think it is natural to wish I could do more, I think that goes with the turf and the drive towards a better world for all of us. That said I have no regrets for my efforts, I learnt long ago that no one does a perfect job but if we do our best, that’s good enough. I wouldn’t be ashamed of an epitaph that said ‘Good enough’, whereas if it said ‘More than enough’, that would be pretentious and ridiculous. Life is intensely challenging and we need to step back at times, flogging ourselves to do more and do better is completely counter productive. That’s a pretty good recipe for a nervous breakdown, I am in a position to know, I’ve had three. For any one person to think they can save the world, or ought to, is just silly, but together, as is happening, in the UK, right now… that’s a very different story in the making.

KOG. 15 July 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/10/earths-sixth-mass-extinction-event-already-underway-scientists-warn

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-starr/why-christians-were-denied-access-to-their-bible-for-1000-years_b_3303545.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/world-peace-these-are-the-only-11-countries-in-the-world-that-are-actually-free-from-conflict-9669623.html

aneurin_bevana

Whilst the right wing media still has daily fits over the rise of Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives fall ever further into the abyss where they rightly belong.

At 66 years of age I remember the post war era, of moving from an ageing prefab to a brand new 3 bedroom house with a garden front and back, of visits to the doctor when needed and the dentist as a matter of course for regular check ups and treatment. I vividly recall a life saving operation as a child in London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, writ large because of the agony I was in and of being cared for at home afterwards by a district nurse. In the new, post war, world I grew up in we learnt to take such care for granted, available to us even though we were dirt poor.

So it is with some authority that I can say that what Jeremy Corbyn is offering us is not new, it has been done before in a time of immense upheaval in this country which had suffered what today in Britain is unimaginable destruction, save in the memories of those older than I am, and bravely survived.

In those days Britain had to draw on skills from across the world to realise the vision of a National Health Service and to run Transport for London. Without that influx of immigrant Labour the dreams would never have become reality and the NHS would have collapsed. Then, as now, immigration was a thorny issue, Britain has never shied away from hypocrisy and bigotry to serve its own ends.

Age provides a longer memory and a longer perspective, so imagine my rage when Theresa May was told by nursing staff on the election special of BBC Question Time, “My wage slips from 2009 reflect exactly what I’m earning today. How can that be fair, in the light of the job that we do?” and another telling her, ‘the 1 per cent cap on annual public sector pay rises had meant a real-terms decrease in his salary of 14 per cent since 2010, adding: “So don’t tell us we’re getting a pay rise”,’ to which Theresa May responded, “there isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.”

First and foremost my fury was directed at the sheer arrogance and patronising contempt of Theresa May with which she insulted the intelligence of not just nurses but the entire nation, on prime time television, and then the fact that what May had said was an ideologically driven bare faced lie. There is more than enough money to do whatever her party wants to do, including MPs pay rises. Cut price, tax payer funded, sell offs to vulture privateers of national assets and public services across the board, tax breaks for the rich and for corporations, vanity infrastructure projects like High Speed Rail, with its tidal wave of unnecessary destruction on our tiny island nation which has no need of any such thing.

What Jeremy Corbyn is experiencing from the Conservatives and the right wing media is something about which, were he alive, Aneurin Bevan could share a tale or two about the bloody Tories of his time which led him to declare in bitterness and rage, in 1948 at a Manchester rally:

“… no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of first-class people to semi-starvation. Now the Tories are pouring out money in propaganda of all sorts and are hoping by this organised sustained mass suggestion to eradicate from our minds all memory of what we went through. But, I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying now. Do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. He is a very good salesman. If you are selling shoddy stuff you have to be a good salesman. But I warn you they have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse than they were.”

If Jeremy Corbyn had said the same at Glastonbury, Manchester, Liverpool, Gateshead or London, not a word of it would have been out of place other than ‘Lord Woolton’ who could be replaced by any Tory propagandist of our time.

It is a hatred that burns inside me today at the suffering and destruction the Tories have inflicted upon us.

The united voices of people chorusing, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn,” is more than a cry of sentiment from the ignorant masses, it is a cry of protest that we’ve had enough of Tories lies and destruction. It is a cry of hope, aspiration and yearning the like of which has never been seen in Britain before.

Millions of people have had enough of Tory eugenics (what else can I call it?) which have cost tens of thousands of lives and “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” means ‘enough is enough’. The Conservatives do not serve the nation, they serve the interests of a tiny few, those interests of polarised wealth and greed, betraying the hopes and dreams of millions who just want to get on in reasonable prosperity and comfort, with the right to a roof over our heads and a decent meal on the table.

At 66 years old I do not aspire, nor ever have, to becoming a millionaire, what use would that be to me? I would like to end my days in peace, with enough to survive and thrive on and for any rainy days which inevitably fall, to attend my local hospital for vital treatments in the knowledge that such health care will outlast me for the future. That is no great ask, it is a modest demand and expectation.

Do not tell me it can’t be done. It has been done before and it can be done again. All it requires is the people’s will to make it so, to drive the Tories and austerity off the awaiting cliff and rebuild a better Britain for the many, not just the grasping few.

KOG. 25 June 2017

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/immigration-and-the-national-health-service-putting-history-to-the-forefron

https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/assets/downloads/Generations.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nurse-magic-money-tree-bbcqt-question-time-pay-rise-eight-years-election-latest-a7770576.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10249815/High-speed-rail-scheme-cost-to-double-to-80bn-economists-warn.html

https://www.sochealth.co.uk/national-health-service/the-sma-and-the-foundation-of-the-national-health-service-dr-leslie-hilliard-1980/aneurin-bevan-and-the-foundation-of-the-nhs/bevans-speech-to-the-manchester-labour-rally-4-july-1948/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

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

15_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,494

Friday 15 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Your cabinet… It’s almost too unbearably funny in a totally mad way. A line up of millionaires all for little ol’ working class us. How sweet.

Cuddly Mr Hammond, dappy Lizzie for justice, Amber the banker vulture capitalist, nuke ’em Fallon, Foxy for international trade and arms deals. Priceless. We’re stuck with Hunt I see, still Britain’s most infamous typographical error. But the icing on the cake really is BoJo the friend of ‘piccaninnies’ with ‘watermelon smiles’ Johnson as foreign secretary. Genius, just genius. He’s sure to make Brexit a laugh a minute, that’s if he doesn’t manage to single handedly kick off WWIII.

I note you’ve dismissed holding a general election given the majority gained a year ago. Is that despite the ongoing investigations into Tory election fraud or are you just hoping to bury that for good?

I don’t want to give you too much of a hard time before you get your feet firmly under the table at number 10, but let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as a cuddly Tory, so whatever you’ve promised prior to your coronation must be taken with a pinch of salt. Let’s not forget that David Cameron pledged to cut the deficit and not the NHS and our NHS now in ribbons and the man responsible for cutting it to ribbons has been kept on as health secretary under your leadership. I’m not sure whether to call it cynicism or realism, but declaring yourself a friend of the working class requires a stretch in credulity which unfortunately I am unable to manage.

The Parliamentary Labour Party are now facing the same problem, they want to pretend they are the real Labour deal, despite doing everything to stab the democratically elected leader of the party in the back repeatedly. They are accused of being Tory lite, but even the betrayal of Margaret Thatcher pales into insignificance compared with what Jeremy Corbyn has been forced to endure. I’m sure you’ve followed it avidly as they might just as well have rolled out the red carpet for you. But I do appreciate the problem he represents, honest politics is so Aneurin Bevan, Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn. Their appeal is horribly working class.

Who’d want to be working class anyway? We’re all knuckle dragging, bigoted, racists. It’s almost worse than being disabled and taking up wheel chair space. Yeesh…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36785814

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/jan/23/london.race

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36772359

http://www.channel4.com/news/new-expenses-scandal-emerges-as-tories-fight-police-in-court

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/david-cameron-left-nhs-ruins-3510436

22_june_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,471

Wednesday 22 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The one thing I can say about the EU referendum and the Tory campaign is that it has been run by the fantastically corrupt for the fantastically corrupt.

I have never witnessed a more brutally corrupt campaign which has sowed discord and confusion at every step of the way.

Ipsos MORI found that 47 per cent of the public believe the claim that we pay £350 million a week to the European Union. Why would they not? It is a lie that has been ruthlessly promoted with malicious intent.

I saw some clips of you in a TV studio facing the public. What boggles my mind is that people would actually go to such an event, sit docilely in seats and ask you questions as if anything you say will be of any value to them whatsoever.

In America snake oil salesmen used to go around the country preying on folks with their magic elixirs of life. In Britain people will happily attend a TV event to participate in the same sort of flannel from politicians who not only have a vested interest in lying but have a proven track record. Isn’t that so, Mr no more top down reorganisations of the NHS?

Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Priti Patel all claim that money saved from EU membership can be spent on the NHS. These are Tory policy decisions that are not in the remit of any of those politicians and I have heard no such commitment from you, Jeremy Hunt or George Osborne in the event of a majority vote for Britain’s exit. As such these ‘suggestions’ do not represent real term benefits, they are mere speculation against the facts over the last six years which show that the break up and privatisation of the NHS is inevitable due to Tory policy and a deliberate starvation of funds.

The reality is that Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, have launched their ‘Footprints’ plan which will close services and sell off NHS land and hospitals which, unless we fight them tooth and nail, will happen regardless of the EU result. Part of that plan is to reduce the number of A&E departments from 144 A&E departments in England (2013 figure) to only 40-70. This is social vandalism by stealth on a grand scale for which you have absolutely no political mandate.

I can do no better than repeat the words of Aneurin Bevan in 1956 for today, you Tories have “besmirched the name of Britain. You have made us ashamed of the things of which formerly we were proud. You have offended against every principle of decency and there is only one way in which you can even begin to restore your tarnished reputation and that is to get out! Get out! Get out!”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nearly-half-of-britons-believe-vote-leaves-false-350-million-a-week-to-the-eu-claim-a7085016.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/14/eu-referendum-spend-brussels-billions-on-nhs-instead-boris-johns/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36523764

The NHS is being deliberately starved of funds, and this proves it

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/deborah-harrington-madeleine-dickens-and-caroline-molloy/hunt-and-stevens-leaving-their-dirty

http://nhap.org/are-we-really-going-to-lose-more-than-half-our-aes-in-england/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/03/02/michael-sheen-nhs-cuts-speech_n_6783056.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2010/02/aneurin-bevan-1956-speech

24_may_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,443

Tuesday 24 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Throughout the history of the world it has never been the many against the few, it has always been the few against the many and so far they have been astonishingly successful.

They, that elusive ‘powers that be’, control everything, the militia, policing, policy, the media, currency, laws, the markets, hierarchy, sovereignty and wealth.

In a nation in which hierarchy has dominated for centuries, it is almost futile to attempt to challenge the overwhelming deference towards such a system and the party which best represents and embodies the overwhelming power of privilege – the Conservatives party.

Conservatives have always been the party that least represents the lives and concerns of ordinary people, put simply, voting Conservative (Tory) is like Turkeys voting for Christmas. Your continuing success in securing what is known as ‘the deferential vote’ is locked into the presumed legitimacy of hierarchical power and there is no better example of this than the adoration of royalty which can see tens of thousands of flag waving people lining the streets worshipping at the feet of privilege.

Your orchestration of the privatisation of our NHS is the most shocking, tragic, heinous abuse of the British people. The NHS, universal health care for all, funded by the people and free at the point of use, is the greatest achievement for the people, built and maintained by the people, in this nations history. Out of the ashes of war, we truly built a nation fit for heroes, a nation to be proud of.

Social policy by Tories is steeped against ordinary people, poverty under Conservatives is a political given and his own privations in early life led Aneurin Bevan to make his famous statement, “no amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party that inflicted those bitter experiences on me”.

And here we are today, poverty once again out of control, our NHS being stolen from us, the poor being hounded to death and whilst a petition to save BBC recipes can attract 195,178 supporters in mere days and garner a response, 700,700 signatories to save our NHS across 650 local campaigns are ignored. Robbing the health of the poor for profit is an appalling act of the worst kind of social vandalism, sustained by lies and deception. That you are getting away with it is a triumph of institutionalised ignorance. Such ignorance, like poverty, is not the fault of its victims but of the system that creates and maintains it for its own nefarious purposes. Educating for ignorance is just another dirty Tory game as Gove and his rote learning so ably demonstrated.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-birth-of-the-nhs-856091.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/john-wight/david-cameron_b_1621999.html

http://www.theguardian.com/news/1948/jul/05/leadersandreply.mainsection

https://www.change.org/p/bbc-save-the-bbc-s-recipe-archive

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/efforts/save-our-nhs/near/new

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-3f63-NHS-reformed-again#.V0MKWeSzzc4

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/graham-peebles/austerity-and-rise-of-poverty-in-britain

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/nov/14/michael-gove-backs-learning-by-rote

26_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,267

Thursday 26 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I grew up in the Hippie era. Despite what some may think hippies were not just a bunch of loose moraled, loose brained, hedonists, although hedonism was very much a necessary and vital part it, but it was also intelligent, engaged and profoundly political. Many older activists today have their roots precisely in the great awakening that was such a vital part of what being a hippie was all about.

Flower power came about as a direct response and challenge to guns and bombs and the military industrial complex. Today ‘CND’ and ‘ban the bomb’ may sound like cliches, but they never were and nor are they now. CND stood for ‘Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ and ‘ban the bomb’ meant very specifically the ‘nuclear bomb’. Hippie opposition to and protest against the Vietnam war was profoundly influential in changing attitudes to war and a direct challenge to the hype of patriotic fervour.

Everything about the hippie movement was experimental, sex, drugs, music, politics, culture, dress, attitude, psychology, personal perception, mind itself. It was a great melting pot of cultural shift and change and that change was and always has been for the better. It wasn’t all sweetness and light, nothing that big can ever be easy and there were many casualties along the way which really just adds to the profoundness of that time and subsequent events.

It may seem odd then to turn to the subject of tax credit cuts in this letter, but Osborne’s seeming U-turn on tax credits needs some grounding because another issue that came out of the hippie era was people who play mind games; those who take pleasure in twisting people’s minds, especially whilst on drugs. There is a great deal of triumphalism over Osborne’s U-turn, but he announced he’d ‘used a £27 billion windfall from higher tax receipts and lower interest payments to dump the cuts’ as if they had magically appeared that morning through the Play School Round Window.

He could have backed off any time in the preceding weeks, stepping in and relieving the fear and distress of those who were terrified of the future under his economic mismanagement, but he played it to the end to his immense shame. My response to his announcement was to walk away from the broadcast because in that moment, old hippie peacenik that I am, I wanted to rip his and your complacent faces off and I have better things to do than listen to a liar and a manipulating propagandist playing with peoples heads for cheap political gain. In all my life I have never met lower creatures than Tories, Aneurin Bevan got it dead right.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/11/25/story_n_8646322.html?ncid=fcbklnkukhpmg00000001

17_september_2015Jeremy Corbyn
10 Melton St
London
NW1 2EJ

17 September 2015

Dear Jeremy,

I hope you will forgive the familiarity, but as it’s something you’ve created, I’ll let you off. You’ve done something that is only rivalled by the founding of the NHS and the Welfare State which demanded so much courage and strength from Aneurin Bevan and the Attlee government.

They created the greatest advancement in the world for an inclusive society in which no one was to fall through the net, but had a right to health and help at the point of need.

I am a post war child, one of the victory celebrations in an austere world still on rations, and have, throughout my life, enjoyed good health care in every way. The best in the world as far as I know.

I doubt you can possibly remember it, but for me it was a great pleasure to meet you in Plymouth and to shake your hand and to have a picture taken with you outside the mens toilets. Sorry about that. Blame it on good friends and the exigencies of old age.

I don’t want to detract from your policies, which are what got us all out there, but it also took the man, and you are, inescapably, that man. I know you are a modest man who looked very tired to me in Plymouth, and have taken on a mammoth task to lead the Labour party and I unashamedly wept buckets of tears when you gained that unenviable position.

I am sorry that you and your family have taken and continue to take a beating from a disgraceful media and political opponents, but I was glad and proud to see you take the front bench of our Labour party, for the people, by the people. You have a democratic mandate of love and affection for an honest man in politics for policies of sense and reason.

As Owen Jones has repeatedly said, you can’t do it alone. It’s a tough job, but I whole heartedly believe you are the man for the job and you have my unstinting support and I thank you for your dedication and purpose to be the leader of this country for better.

Thank you for inspiring hope,

28_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,161

Tuesday 28 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In 2011 Iain Duncan Smith said it was a ‘sin’ if people failed to take up available jobs. He went further saying that if people were ready for work and if they have a job offer, they should take that work. In 2013 George Osborne described ‘new conditions on unemployment benefits as tough love, saying it would ensure there was “no option of doing nothing” for welfare payments’.

The problem with this extreme right wing authoritarian conservatism is that it strips people of every shred of humanity, treating people like cattle to be prodded and forced into obedience by the rampant paternalism of the state. It is small wonder that Jeremy Corbyn has hit the nation like a breath of fresh air, far from being the a relic of the old left, he is the voice of reason and progressive, humane, politics the nation has been crying out for. Small wonder the right is having hysterics, Corbyn throws the extremism of the right into stark relief revealing it in all its heartless brutality.

Of course it is not just unemployment benefits  and job seekers who are being attacked. Sick and disabled people are also under the axe, since Unum, the discredited American Insurance company, fraudulently branded sickness and disability as ‘malingering’, lapped up by Lord Freud and IDS who believes, with no hint of irony to the sign over the death camps of Auswitz, that disabled people would be made free by working. In 2005, after many successful legal cases brought against Unum, ‘California Department of Insurance Commissioner, John Garamendi, stated: ‘Unum Provident is an outlaw company. It is a company that has operated in an illegal fashion for years.’

It was Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the NHS, who said, “Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune, the cost of which should be shared by the community.”

If any sin is being committed it is against the people of Britain by your government. Osborne, a man raised with every privilege and advantage in life, talking about tough love for people on benefits is an insult to intelligence and humanity. He has not the slightest idea what he’s talking about any more than he does on the economy.

Official advisers to Iain Duncan Smith have called for an ‘urgent and robust review’ of his ‘benefit sanctions regime’, concerned that it is ‘failing to help jobless claimants’. As necessary as that is, it is Smith himself who should be under urgent and robust review and extremely rapid and ignominious idsexit.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/nov/11/welfare-iain-duncan-smith

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/30/george-osborne-jobless-benefit-conservatives

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24328330

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/in-search-of-the-real-jeremy-corbyn–the-man-threatening-to-wrench-labour-to-the-left-10397997.html

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/from-the-british-welfare-state.html

http://socialistreview.org.uk/350/work-makes-you-free

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/26/benefit-sanctions-review-urged-amid-concern-over-regimes-effectiveness

03_march_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,017

Tuesday 03 March 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I would like you to point out to me where and when in any court in Britain a judgement was made against anyone found guilty of any crime, misdemeanour or minor misbehaviour where they were deprived of food and/or shelter.

Maybe, if that presents too much of a challenge, you might restrict the search to those with any form of disability who have been deprived of the meanest basics of food and shelter.

Don’t bother looking, you won’t find the data, because no court in the land has ever done such a thing, nor, it is to be fervently hoped, ever would.

It has fallen to a very specific and particular criminal class to unleash such an atrocity on the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain between 2010 and 2015 and who consider this inhuman practice as part of ‘extra help’ to find work. The Tories.

You have instigated a regime of punishment harsher than anything handed out by the judicial system in this country and you are doing this without warrant, arrest, trial or defence, denying people the right of habeas corpus (to present their body before a court) and are also planning to charge claimants who wish to challenge this criminality in court. Officials say the “introduction of a charge for people making appeals against [DWP] decisions to social security tribunals” would raise money. Really? Attempting to extort money from those driven to destitution, heaping injustice on injustice!

Given that MPs can pretty much get away with anything, cash for access, bribes from lobbyists, failure to declare an interest, expenses scandals, lying to the public, arbitrary secret trial by the DWP and Jobcentres, your treatment of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country is the vilest discrimination for which people are paying with their lives.

The sheer scale of vindictive criminality you and your government are responsible for is mind blowing, as far as I am concerned you Tories are a cancerous parasitical breed with no redeeming qualities. Aneurin Bevan said at the Manchester Labour rally 4 July 1948, “So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin”, and if there has been any change it is that you’ve grown infinitely worse. This country has no chance of recovery until the day you are removed from office to face criminal charges. Gisela Stuart MP has said that Labour shouldn’t rule out forming a ‘grand coalition’ with the Tories, well damn them if they do, they can fall on the same sword.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/100000-children-left-starving-result-5255846

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/ampp3d/how-benefit-sanctions-punish-people-5005786

http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/2717-dwp-target-mental-health-claimants-for-esa-sanctions

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28776102

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/dwp-housing-benefit-will-be-sanctioned/7002330.article

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

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/20/people-stripped-benefits-charged-decision

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/investigations/11411007/Jack-Straw-and-Sir-Malcolm-Rifkind-in-latest-cash-for-access-scandal.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/tory-backbench-mp-jacob-reesmogg-failed-to-declare-interests-9923362.html

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

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/grieving-relative-confronts-dwp-minister-esther-mcvey-after-benefit-sanctions

http://labourlist.org/2015/03/labour-mp-says-party-shouldnt-rule-out-a-grand-coalition-with-the-tories/