Archives for posts with tag: austerity

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

26_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,503

Tuesday 26 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

The people of Britain have been forced against our will to bail out the banks, we have had austerity forced upon us as a result, we have seen a catastrophic rise in opportunistic insecure employment, we have been victimised and demonised and accused of being ‘among the worst idlers in the world’.

George Osborne incited hatred against people on social security in his conference speech in 2012, “Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?”

Iain Duncan Smith justified his war of attrition against disabled people, saying, “We won’t lift you out of poverty by simply transferring taxpayers’ money to you. With our help, you’ll work your way out of poverty.” Disabled people have borne the greatest burden of cuts, leading to isolation, loss of jobs, hopelessness, despair and death.

It comes as no surprise that you have appointed George Freeman as the head of your policy board, a man who wrote in 2013 that he would like to suspend employment rights for new firms for three years and cut wages for workers in poorer areas and that he would also like to cut corporation tax to 10% for Britain’s biggest firms. Who would pay for that tax hole I wonder? It is hardly likely that this leopard has changed his spots or that he or your government will encourage worker participation and inclusion in the wealth that they create. Such ideas are alien and indeed anathema to right wing policy makers and board room profit racketeers.

We are not vassals of the state and nor are we corporate slaves. It is unacceptable that we are exploited for war and profit and yet are denied equitable reward for our efforts and patronised and even despised for our modest lives and status.

One of the reasons Jeremy Corbyn has attracted such overwhelming support is his call for a more equal and just society and it is an object lesson in how far to the right Britain has lurched that he is universally despised by all right leaning politicians, including those in his own party. The transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich is an obscenity and a travesty of social justice. That the mere suggestion of a fairer distribution of wealth sends the stealers and hoarders of wealth, the right wing media and politicians into apoplectic fits of rage and hate speaks very eloquently for itself.

Ordinary people getting above themselves is regarded as offensive and an affront by those in power and that is precisely why we should and why I write these letters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19300051

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/george-osbornes-speech-conservative-conference-full-text

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-simon-duffy/austerity-cuts-disabled-people_b_3248615.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35476904

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/27/thousands-died-after-fit-for-work-assessment-dwp-figures

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/theresa-mays-plan-slash-employment-8486233

04_july_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,483

Monday 04 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

There has been a great deal of media coverage of the alleged rise of right wing extremism, and certainly Nigel Farage was triumphant about nationalism. “We have done it without a bullet being fired,” he trumpeted, a heinous insult to the memory and family of Jo Cox.

Britain is certainly in turmoil, not least from 6 years of imposed austerity and relentless fear mongering and manufactured division from politicians and the media alike and if people are angry, they have good reason to be with the most divisive, right wing, god awful government in our history.

If we look beyond the news and all the lies and spin, however, something very different is going on. The latest news from the Trussell Trust is that they now have a network of 424 foodbanks and in 2015/16 they saw a  2% increase in foodbank use, handing out 1,109,309 three-day emergency packages to people living below the bread line. What that means in real terms is that whilst those suffering under your brutal austerity are still on the increase, so too are the number of people who are donating more food than ever for those in need.

Of course this is not news, it doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor as the relentless dismal stories so beloved of the main stream media who profit from doom and gloom and yet do nothing about it.

The coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn has gained much media attention and much of the reporting has suggested that he is an unelectable throwback to old fashioned socialism by those with a vested interest in pursuing a right wing political agenda. Corbyn is responsible for an unprecedented rise in support for socialism and social democracy, which had taken a beating from Margaret Thatcher onwards such that it looked as though socialism and social democracy were all but dead. Corbyn has proved that socialism is very much alive and well and what he represents is the worst nightmare of pretentious neoliberal apologists of all political persuasions.

The more Corbyn is opposed the more people come out to support him, as seen this weekend with thousands attending rallies across the nation. That’s real time feet on the streets in support of social democracy and people have had enough of the sneering disdain which self serving politicians have for the people. We are certainly a nation in turmoil, but it is a necessary turmoil and I hope all you right wing neoliberals are quaking in your boots, because you damned well should be.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-recession-economy-what-happens-nigel-farage-speech-a7099301.html

Latest Stats

https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/43003/Thousands+rally+for+Jeremy+Corbyn+as+Labour+MPs+try+and+force+him+out

01_july_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,480

Friday 01 July 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

When Michael Gove said that ‘people in this country have had enough of experts’, he did something rather spectacular which sums up the problems of our time and the referendum. As a media savvy elitist, he spun a deliberate falsehood which meant that people opening their door to find some kind of sense, reason or expertise were first met by people like Gove, not to mention you and Johnson, who had set themselves up as guardians of the lie blocking the door and befouling the road to any kind of truth.

So sure and certain is Gove in his awe inspiring arrogance, he’s standing to be the next leader of your party and so great is his overweening confidence in his feudal arrogance, he probably dines off the backs of serfs laden with platters glazed with the Union Jack.

Yes, the Union Jack, that national symbol of Britain’s greatness, a symbol of imperial might, ownership, rulership, war and oppression (what else are flags for?). Small wonder you have adopted it for your party logo as you drive us back to the heady days when people knew their place and were dutifully subservient to their masters and betters who so utterly despised them, as now.

It reminds me of my early days of writing to you. I was contacted by someone who told me I had no idea how to write a proper letter to the Prime Minister of Great Britain and proceeded to rewrite one of my letters, with never a care for asking my permission, into official, respectful, meaningless gobbledygook. The poor chap was most put out when I refused his noble efforts to educate me into the language of proper servitude.

I was incredibly impressed by Boris Johnson’s Brexit speech, he had all the conviction of a man speaking at his own funeral. It is of no surprise that he will not be contesting the Tory leadership because he is too craven to sup from the poison chalice he himself filled. Bad career choice, eh?

War is the sport of those who rule, Mr Cameron, and what a bloody war it is that you wage against us. You gave us a referendum, but none have sought to manipulate the result more than you and your band of liars who would never trust us with a free and informed vote. You’ve all made it the most divisive vote in our history.

Whatever happens now, one thing is sure, the war on the poor will continue, Osborne has promised us that. However the vote went, we would be punished, we had austerity before the vote and we’ll have austerity after, people will die but that means nothing to you. Whatever happens, you are certain of your own life of luxury in which betrayal is the most valuable coinage. For you it’s a game, for us it is deadly, because only we pay the price. In an uncertain world, that is certain.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/28/the-uk-needs-eu-experts-more-than-ever-now

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/29/jeremy-hunt-prime-minister-junior-doctor?CMP=share_btn_tw

https://www.conservatives.com/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-boris-johnson-speech-in-full-eu-referendum-who-will-be-next-prime-minister-uk-a7100566.html

Boris Johnson ‘takes the coward’s way out’ in the face of Michael Gove’s betrayal