Archives for posts with tag: austerity

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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

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George-Osbornb

I very much doubt that I have this buttoned up yet, but this is a start.

In striving to understand how the economy really works as against the ridiculous fairy stories we are told to dutifully swallow, I have had to give up some cherished sacred cows which are tied in with my outrage against a government which is causing so many people hideous pain and suffering and driving many to their deaths.

When Theresa May stood up in PMQs, facing Jeremy Corbyn, and brayed that he’s, ‘waiting to bankrupt our country’, knowing that the Tories have created more government debt than all of Labour throughout its history, I want to be outraged at her egregious lies and to point out that George Osborne doubled the debt whilst promising and dismally failing to pay it down.

I have written about the great puzzle of the national debt, and asked where all the money has gone and who do we owe this mountain of debt to anyway?

To discover that this is all pantomime for the public and a complete sham is incredibly difficult to grasp as is letting go of the righteous indignation I have attached to it. I want reasons to be outraged, they deserve it. I want to expose them, and beat them with my anger and outrage and call them to account.

Yet I also remember George Osborne selling off the family silver and asset stripping the nation, to help pay down the debt, and wondering, as I did with the sell off of Royal Mail which was flogged off for a dismally undervalued price of £3.3 billion, ‘How is this going to help pay down the debt, the interest charges on the national debt will swallow these piddling sums in no time?’

But once I stopped frothing at the mouth and chewing my own spleen, I realised that what the Tories are up to is far, far worse than I imagined. Osborne wasn’t even trying to pay down any debt, he was just asset stripping the UK to enrich the vultures in the private sector. The answer to the question of where the money has all gone was simple, to the private sector. Austerity wasn’t about paying down the debt, that was the smokescreen for the transfer of public wealth into private hands. People were dying merely to feed the greed of the private sector, the amount of debt didn’t matter, it had nothing to do with anything.

Jeremy Corbyn has exactly the right answers to the problem in his fully costed manifesto. Invest in the public sector, build houses, create jobs, pay people a decent wage, take our NHS back, grow GDP (Gross Domestic Product), which is what good government investment is about. The ratio between GDP and debt (investment) is that as GDP increases the debt falls (the investment pays off). Government debt is just the sum of its investments, the problem was that George Osborne wasn’t using government money for investment, he was using it to enrich his mates in the City, whilst cutting public investment to the bone. People were dying solely for greed, everything else was horse shit.

Whilst we’re trembling away or raging at the size of the national debt, coke head Osborne and the his equally coked up city boys were laughing their socks off as was every Tory MP with private interests in health care and everything else they don’t bother to mention.

Remember Theresa May telling the nurse, “there isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want”? Damn right. This is the party that’s privatising you, your grandmother and your children, not to mention your health and the cancer that’s eating you alive. The Mirror reported that Jeremy Hunt told the government Health Select Committee, ‘Britain’s care time bomb is “one of the biggest commercial opportunities” for private firms’. Boom!

When the government bailed out the banks, we all thought that we had to pay it back, because that’s what they told us, but that isn’t what happened, all the government did was shake the magic money tree, because the government is a sovereign money supplier.

We, the people, are not the provider of money to the government, we don’t make money, we make stuff and when we make stuff we’re paid in money tokens provided by the government. Have you every wondered where your next penny is coming from? That’s because we have no control over the money supply, we are not allowed to print money or magic it up on our computer screens. We do not make money and we do not supply money to the government, they supply it to us. Before we can ever pay any taxes, the government must spend money into the economy so that we have something to pay taxes with, because they won’t accept turnips or eggs, or any of the real stuff that we can make.

So what do taxes do? At a local level taxes pay for services from local government, because local government is not a currency provider and needs an income to pay for public services, like domestic waste disposal. Taxes also help keep the economy stable, in times of growth they are increased to prevent inflation and when growth falls, reduced taxes encourage spending and investment. Another vital use of taxes is to prevent inequality and too much wealth being drawn off into too few hands. Extreme polarised wealth is a drain on the economy, because all that wealth stashed away in tax havens has to be covered by some ‘body’ and that body is ‘government’. Money only means something if is backed by trust and certainty, and it is government which is the backer and which provides the certainty that money has any value at all. If money is just stashed away, gambled on financial markets, feeding itself and no one else, and not working in the wider economy, it is a net drain on the wider economy. Tax evasion is a rich persons gain for a poor persons loss, it costs all of us.

It’s easy to see how this worked in the banking crisis, the financial markets were in a closed loop, like tax havens, a boys own club, making obscene profits on dodgy bets. No one outside of this gambling spree was benefiting from it, least of all the poor buggers scammed into buying dodgy mortgages they could never pay back. When it all fell apart around the worthless bankers necks it threatened the stability of money, they had betrayed the confidence and trust that money must have for it to work. The only thing that could save the situation was for national governments, the sovereign suppliers of money, to step in.

Austerity, to pay down the debt, was a confidence trick Cameron and Osborne pulled, using the ‘crisis’ to further the gains of the super rich. Austerity was and is the most fantastically corrupt scam ever pulled by a government on its people and people have paid for that scam with their lives.

As best as I can tell at this moment in time, what happens to our real earned money that is taken in taxes is that it disappears, it’s written off. The government has no need of tax money for its own spending. Of anything that taxation can do, paying for government spending isn’t one of them. So taxing the rich doesn’t pay for the poor, it just prevents the extreme polarisation of wealth. It is the governments job and duty to relieve poverty, no one else’s. And, no, no knife wielding dick is paying for people on benefits or disabled people, or paying a coppers wages, or for immigrants, or for your health. It’s all a gigantic lie and it is time to call time on governments, and the Tories in particular, who propagate the lie and to sort the magic money tree out and make it work for all the people, not just the few.

Exactly what Jeremy Corbyn has promised to do… to the screams of Tory outrage.

KOG. 24 July 2017

http://calumslist.org/

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-politics-40510376/pmqs-theresa-may-gives-a-warning-about-jeremy-corbyn

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-34514024

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/03/01/conservatives-have-created-more-debt-than-all-labour-governments-combined-corbyn-tells-the-world/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-hunt-says-britains-care-7932080

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://neweconomicperspectives.org/2014/05/taxes-mmt-approach.html

84029473b

I would very much like the government to stop caring for me through the replacement of Trident and supporting a first strike nuclear option.

I would like them to stop pouring their concern and consideration on me through austerity and cuts to front line services and privatising my health care.

I would also like them to stop lavishing their sense of social responsibility on us all by driving people into destitution and homelessness, despair and early graves.

I can comfortably live without their evident joy at continuing the cap on public sector pay, their praise for food banks and even their proud attendance at opening new ones.

Their determined focus on young people starting off in life, gifting students with a lifetime of debt, helping young people to never have place of their own, starving children to improve educational attainment, and ruining our education system to improve life chances, I am sure we could all live without.

Improving the life chances of sick and disabled people, the unemployed and the in in-work poor by encouraging them to live on nothing or next to nothing, gifting people with sanctions and penury to improve life chances and promoting a positive mental attitude to being hounded to death, I could happily scrap with never a moments regret that no more would need to die unnecessarily.

Promoting mental health by destroying it seems an little too much encouragement for most people, although the government themselves might benefit by it.

I can happily live without having the nations wealth gifted to the already filthy rich whilst the government joyfully increases the national debt by more than doubling it and encourages the poor to be socially responsible and pay it off.

They really do not have to beat me because of the pleasure I might feel if or when it stops. As a man of modest appetites and needs they need not trouble themselves on my account by gifting me with less.

My simple pleasure in life would, however, be greatly enhanced if they would all bypass jail, which they so richly deserve, and go directly to hell.

KOG. 03 July 2017

Government should be there to manage things for the common good of the people, be it law, infrastructure and public provision or the economic well being of the nation as a whole. Government, in essence, is about managing the collective needs of society as a whole, so that we are spared a chaotic piecemeal approach which would give rise to an uncoordinated mess differing from hamlet to hamlet, town to town and city to city. To put it in the most simplistic terms, this management process ensures that a spanner that does a job in a small rural house, will do the same job in the biggest city skyscraper, all other circumstances being relatively the same. Government is about coordination and a system wide approach to collective living for the benefit of all.

Above all, government should be accountable to the people it ‘serves’.

There can be no question that managing the collective needs of a nation is huge and complex process which also requires delegated local government to manage at the local level.

Are we not up to the job? Vast resources go into studying the processes of government, it requires oversight and checks and balances, it requires the best and brightest minds (one would hope) to ensure it works and it needs to be both proactive and reactive, capable of being sensitive to the needs of society at every level.

How hard can it be? At times it is likely to be incredibly hard, perhaps even pushed to it limits, as in the case of a disaster. But if we are not up to it, then it will fail, because there are no other creatures alive to stand in for us to take over the job. If we, the people, are not up to the task, then one has to wonder how we got this far in the first place?

However…

If any government places the interests of one section of society over another, then it is an illegitimate government and corrupt. It has failed the basic precepts of good governance.

If a government falsifies its intent or disguises its true intent or betrays the manifesto promises on which it was elected, it renders itself illegitimate by its own actions.

If the process of government becomes corrupt for whatever reason, then the effects will inevitably be wide spread and toxic for the country as a whole, affecting millions of lives. And if corruption is tolerated, it will, inevitably, cut ever deeper, threatening the entire structure of society. If there is no accountability then despots and tyrants can, and do, rise, to the detriment of the many. History is littered with examples and as learning creatures we should pay critical attention to the histories we have amassed on our journey to today.

Right now, in Britain, we are undergoing a dramatic and traumatic period of change. Britain is one of the richest nations in the world, the City of London is still regarded as the financial capital of the world, and, as journalist, Roberto Saviano, observed, it is also the most corrupt place on Earth and we have a government, with its ‘free market’ ideology, which is in bed with that corruption.

But there is another force at play in Britain which is increasingly being called to account by the people. The media. In measured tones of reasonableness, or not, lies and spin and corruption are given a voice which is rarely honestly and bluntly challenged, and some parts of the media, controlled by unaccountable oligarchs, are fully complicit in the most sordid, corrupt, practices imaginable.

Britain is currently still on the descent into ever greater corruption by self serving elites who have abandoned even the basic precepts of good governance for despotism.

The tipping point for this recent wholesale corruption was the global financial crash which saw the greatest heist in history of the wealth of nations and since then the UK government has pursued that agenda brutally and relentlessly (via its vile and deceitful austerity pogrom) to extract and transfer the wealth of the people into the hands of the corrupt financial markets and corporations and the right wing media does everything in its power to further that agenda, demonising and vilifying anyone who speaks out against it.

The problem for the government and the media is that they are losing their comfortable hegemony, in their arrogance and greed they assumed our continued passive participation in their self serving status quo. They are being forced to eat their own words and actions. Increasingly, people have had enough, try as they might to dismiss us as yobs and mobs, scroungers and leftist agitators (add any other derogatory names which emblazon their headlines), and are demanding a reckoning. They accuse us of politicising catastrophe, as if these things happen in a political vacuum, as if somehow these are mere accidents of nature in the general course of events. There is always a price to be paid for corruption, there are perpetrators and victims, and when their targeted victims decide they have had enough, the price transfers to the perpetrators and the simple fact is, they don’t like it up ’em. They are great at dishing it out, but when the tide turns they are the ones who immediately scream like stuck pigs and cry foul play.

I am pretty sure that the vast majority of people want a ‘strong and stable’ Britain with a ‘strong and stable’ government, but that is never going to come from those who put the interests of money over the well being of people. And that’s a fact.

KOG. 19 June 2017

https://number10duckworthstreet.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/frank-fields-arrogantly-admits-his-constituents-views-count-for-nothing-and-its-not-his-job-to-speak-up-for-them/

http://www.cityam.com/261819/london-holds-off-new-york-keep-its-top-spot-worlds-number

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/roberto-saviano-britain-corrupt-mafia-hay-festival-a7054851.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/analysis-of-britains-9-trillion-of-wealth-reveals-a-deeply-divided-nation-10251573.html

maxresdefaultb

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

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

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

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

charta

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aliensa

If there is any life form in the universe wondering if an entire planet can become insane, then they need look no further than this planet – Earth.

It may be possible that a form of life has appeared on Earth which has nothing to do with any natural order within the universe and which is capable of planet wide destruction and democide for self serving reasons, if so then science has a job on its hands.

If, however, we accept that the Tories and the corporate fuckwits who are running the world for profit are made of the same stuff of this universe as the rest of matter and life, then one can only conclude that nature contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction which has nothing to do with the natural forces of entropy and decay, but rather a propensity for insanity and ultimately suicide.

People like George Osborne or former CEO of the Nestlé Group Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who said “access to water is not a public right” and nor is it a human right, by their very existence, beg the question, is nature, in fact, senseless or even bonkers? If nature, and, by definition, life, is senseless, then what on Earth is the point of human sense, common sense, reason or rationality?

Asking such questions is the place of mind warping corporate, elitist, rapaciously greedy, planet buggering insanity we’ve come to.

Here’s more from Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, “Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatise the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. And the other view says, that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value.”

Let’s just remind ourselves of what an NGO is: an NGO is ‘a non-profit organization that operates independently of any government, typically one whose purpose is to address a social or political issue’. So, essentially, socialist, not corporatist nor political or market/profit oriented.

And to remind ourselves of what a CEO is: A CEO is ‘a chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company or other institution, ultimately responsible for taking managerial decisions’. Note: CEOs have no right or responsibility for making planet wide decisions which affect all life on Earth, like the privatisation of water (the stuff of life).

George Osborne described his little adventures in politics and austerity to Carole Walker, who is leaving the BBC after 37 years, as fiascos, (fiasco: complete failure, especially a ludicrous or humiliating one). It says much of Osborne that he is such a self focused shit, he has no regard for the millions of people affected, including those dead and dying, by his narcissistic psychopathy and his fiascos.

Nature is always true to itself, sadly we are not, and anthropomorphising and diminishing nature to the level of our humanity is not remotely helpful, but the point remains that those with the power and resources to embrace life, humanity, sense and reason do not, whilst those who lack that power are aghast at the monumental enormity of the psychopathy of those in power. It is entirely unreasonable to blame nature or to suggest that nature is itself insane, but that’s the kind of stuff any human with a lick of sense must wonder in these times.

Above all, these people are not lizards from another dimension, they are in every way like us and made of the same stuff as us, but their nature has become perverted by power and greed. As such they are without excuse, as they are neither stupid nor uneducated, and we are in a fight of our lives for life, all life, against the enemies of life. Nature can be described as the ultimate NGO, it is the organisation underpinning all life, and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe might think that’s extreme, but ultimately he’ll answer to it and the world can breath a sigh of relief when he does.

It is to be hoped that when those in power finally surrender to their inevitable demise, they do not take the rest of us with them.

KOG. 31 March 2017

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatisation-of-water-nestle-denies-that-water-is-a-fundamental-human-right/5332238

http://www.disclose.tv/news/water_is_not_a_human_right_claims_ceo_of_nestl_peter_brabeckletmathe/134989

http://evolvepolitics.com/george-osborne-just-casually-admitted-government-regularly-lied-bbc/

04_september_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,543

Sunday 04 September 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Just as Jeremy Hunt is stealing the life blood out of our NHS, so too is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) draining the life and spirit out of the people. None of this is necessary, these are policy decisions driven by ideological choices as was the imposition of austerity.

The DWP’s idea of incentivising people into work is through punitive impoverishment. In late 2015 a coroner sent a regulation 28 report, or a Preventing Future Deaths report, to the DWP when a man committed suicide having been found fit for work following an ESA fitness-for-work test by Atos. In her verdict senior coroner for inner north London, Mary Hassell, said “The anxiety and depression were long term problems, but the intense anxiety that triggered his suicide was caused by his recent assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions (benefits agency) as being fit for work, and his view of the likely consequences of that.”

As recently as last month the DWP said, “decisions were not based on the condition of claimants, but on what they can do.” No matter what the claimants condition or how extensive the evidence they provide, that has no place in making an assessment.

The central issue in the junior doctors dispute with Jeremy Hunt is that patients lives will be put at risk if Hunt imposes his work contract on Junior doctors. Hunt is also imposing hospital closures through his so called ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plans’ again putting lives at risk. Both the Department for Health and the DWP are actively and knowingly putting people in harms way.

Speaking to the Guardian, Nick Clegg had the following to say about George Osborne, “Welfare for Osborne was just a bottomless pit of savings, and it didn’t really matter what the human consequences were, because focus groups had shown that the voters they wanted to appeal to were very anti-welfare, and therefore there was almost no limit to those anti-welfare prejudices.”

I find nothing in what Clegg has said that is inconsistent with what we have witnessed for over six long years of Tory misrule. Yours is a party which is entirely comfortable putting people’s lives at risk and Iain Duncan Smith has gone to extraordinary lengths to hide evidence of benefit related deaths, leading Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, to call for Smith to face criminal charges. To be honest, I think we are spoiled for choice as your entire government should be in the dock.

http://news.sky.com/story/qa-why-are-junior-doctors-going-on-strike-10561087

http://999callfornhs.org.uk/footprints/4592357931

Coroner’s ‘ground-breaking’ verdict: Suicide was ‘triggered’ by ‘fit for work’ test

http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/14699246.Cancer_sufferer___39_put_through_hell__39__after_told_he_was_fit_for_work_by_government_assessors/

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/02/nick-clegg-george-osborne-cut-welfare-poorest-boost-tory-popularity?CMP=share_btn_fb

DWP hides seven secret benefit suicide reviews

Shadow chancellor backs calls to prosecute Iain Duncan Smith over WCA deaths

27_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,535

Saturday 27 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Since 2010 we have seen the rise and rise of state cruelty. This isn’t about injustice, that’s normal, built into the system and has been from time immemorial.

In days of yore, brutal men would just grab any land they fancied, whether it was occupied or not, declare ownership of everything they’d possessed by force or were granted by yet other brutes, call themselves lords and barons, charge the people on the land for the privilege of being owned and expect their fealty and deferential servitude. Chivalry did not extend to ordinary people. So much, so history.

This modern cruelty started with Thatcher, she was bold, brutally breaking the miners and industry and setting the stage for neoliberalism and the cult of competitive individualism. She broke the workers but she dared not touch our NHS and the welfare state remained a safety net for those in need of a helping hand, although she presided over the end of the post war consensus of the universal provision of care.

The coalition under Cameron with the imposition of austerity saw the beginning of the end of the state as any sort of benign force for the good of the people and the speed of the implementation of the wanton destruction of the state spoke of plans long in the making and now the gloves were off.

The re-writing of social security as ‘benefits’ and the escalation of punitive policies and benefits denial against the most vulnerable, the development of Universal Credit as a system of scarcity and punishment, the rebranding of sickness and disability as ‘malingering’ and wholesale attacks on disabled people and the introduction of forced labour were driven by vindictive cruelty and contempt for the lives of ordinary people.

This is where we stand today and stand we must. There is no possible excuse for this cruelty in one of the worlds richest nations. The Telegraph reports that in 2014 ‘Blue chip bosses in the UK earnt an average of £4.96m’: obscene inequality is no accident of nature it is callously wilful. In your ‘coronation’ speech you said, “The government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours.” The time to prove that is passing swiftly and there is no evidence that any such change is likely or ever will be as Liz Truss announces that she will be scrapping the Human Rights Act.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/modern/thatcherism_01.shtml

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/12/who-are-the-highest-paid-chief-executives-in-the-ftse-100/

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/statement-from-the-new-prime-minister-theresa-may

We’re still scrapping the Human Rights Act, says Liz Truss

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8a2yDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA195&lpg=PA195&dq=chivalry+did+not+belong+to+ordinary+people&source=bl&ots=neBcKi1abY&sig=sCYaI6TlrluoyG6-B5zSI3884V0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwis9IGEy9_OAhXiBcAKHTVpCo4Q6AEIKDAD#v=onepage&q=chivalry%20did%20not%20belong%20to%20ordinary%20people&f=false

26_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,534

Friday 26 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Up to 500 disabled people a week are losing their independence under the ludicrous and obscene ’20-metre rule’ in the Personal Independent Payments (PIP) system. Even the previous 50-metre rule was limited, that’s a there and back trip to a corner shop within 25 metres of home, if you’re lucky enough to even have one that close. Under the ’20-metre rule’ that might just cover putting your rubbish out, providing you can walk and carry a sack full of waste at the same time.

In 2014 the Guardian reported that corporate handouts were £85 billion, in 2015 that was up to £93 billion. It seems we can support Disney to the tune of £167.6 million since 2007 to make films in the UK, but we can’t afford to support either the Motability industry or those who rely on it just to manage to get around on a daily basis.

Speaking to one Motability company in North Devon today, they report that garages and workshops that adapt vehicles are quiet and as PIP rolls out I wonder how many UK businesses are going to hit the wall?

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that the cost of all PIP payments between 2015/19 will be £66.4 billion, or £16.6 billion a year. If we can afford corporate handouts of nearly £100 billion a year, why are disabled people being targeted and penalised?

Culling benefits and therefore those who rely on them was George Osborne’s explicit chosen route to paying down Britain’s debt which, I hasten to mention, he managed to double during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer. According to the Centre for Welfare Reform, Britain’s disabled people have been hit 9 times harder than the average person and severely disabled people 19 times harder. Presumably Osborne had inside knowledge that Britain’s severely disabled people were responsible for the 2008 crash and therefore should be expected to bear the greatest burden for Britain’s recovery. Either that or austerity and attacking the UK’s poorest and most vulnerable people is ideologically driven without a shred of justification. I wonder which it is?

Meanwhile Carly Tait, a member of ParalympicsGB athletics team in Rio, has been deprived of her means of transport and George Osborne has been made Companion of Honour in Cameron’s resignation honours list. I have nothing further to add.

http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2016/08/benefits-rule-change-forces-500-disabled-people-to-give-back-vehicles-every-week/

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

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

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35830275

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-uk-national-debt-has-risen-by-555-billion-since-2010-under-george-osborne-a6947661.html

The surprising truth about disability benefit cuts

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/disability-sport/36926033

Government ‘has stripped Paralympians of their Motability vehicles’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36976596

12_august_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,520

Friday 11 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

I confess that I am confused. Why oh why are you Tories hell bent on privatising the state?

Private companies, small businesses, trades and so on, serve a useful function bringing goods and services to people and it is perfectly reasonable to make a profit. Supply and demand is fine but public services are a very different animal. Bidding to take over a part of state provision inevitably harms that provision and does not serve the public interest, but that of the interests of the board room.

A percentage of the public money given to these companies is siphoned off as profit and that makes no sense when all that money could be used to maintain and improve publicly owned services.

Inevitably, privatisation means cost cutting and cutting corners (streamlining or efficiency drives to maximise profit), cutting services and jobs thus putting remaining staff under pressure to do more with less, including repressed pay. Everyone loses except the owners and executives whose pay often rises dramatically and we have no means to restrain executive pay, we just end up paying more. As we’ve seen so often, the greed of the few trumps the needs of the many.

Once a service is privatised public oversight and accountability is lost, it’s our money being spent but we have no say in how it is spent, there is no democratic accountability and companies can hide their activities behind commercial confidentiality.

Once a public service is privatised it is difficult and expensive to get it back if it fails for whatever reason. If it’s not already in turmoil, it enters a time of uncertainty which can dramatically adversely affect the public and staff.

Public services offer real jobs to people and the skills and training to do those jobs. David Cameron boasted of creating a million jobs, he did nothing of the sort of course and zero hours contracts rose dramatically under his government. These are essentially junk jobs adding to the precariousness of his ideologically imposed austerity and poverty is still on the increase no matter how much people want to ‘get on’. If the country is to recover then keep public services public, fully fund our NHS and train staff, build social housing which would be a massive boost to the real economy and stop the ridiculous privatisation scam and the transfer of public wealth into private pockets. Why are you Tories married to something which is fundamentally flawed and absurd?

https://weownit.org.uk/privatisation

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/09/uk-workers-on-zero-hours-contracts-rises-above-800000

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

http://www.hbf.co.uk/media-centre/news/view/massive-hidden-social-and-economic-benefits-of-home-building-revealed/

http://labourlist.org/2016/03/osbornes-austerity-is-nothing-more-than-a-transfer-of-wealth-from-the-poor-to-the-rich/

QE — the ultimate subsidy for the rich