Archives for posts with tag: Crisis


We have a problem and it’s one we need to fix urgently. Housing… to briefly put aside all the other myriad disastrous problems which lie securely at the door of the Tories and the neoliberal consensus.

I’ll begin with a proposition – no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, as a human right.

In May 2015 The Tenants Voice reported that evictions had risen 53% since 2010, with 170 tenants being evicted every day in 2015.

Money is increasingly weaponized on a daily basis targeting the very poorest people, yet Britain is the 5th richest country in the world but also one of the most unequal in which ‘the richest 10% own over half of the UK’s total wealth’ and the government is knowingly and deliberately pauperising increasing numbers of people with the purpose of increasing that inequality and the flow of wealth out of the hands of ordinary people.

The poor are being used and abused as wealth creators and yet are being denied any part of the wealth they are brutally forced to create. The most targeted group, of course, being disabled people about whom Priti Patel said, ‘cutting some disabled people’s benefits by £30 a week is justified as it will help those with a “limited capability” to work find a job’*. And, just for the record, Patel also thinks ‘the British are among the worst idlers in the world’, in a book she co-wrote with fellow fascists Dominic Raab, Kwasi Kwarteng, Liz Truss and Chris Skidmore,  in which they claim ‘that “lazy” Brits prefer a lie-in to hard work‘ and ‘criticises the “baby boomer” generation for seeking to raise taxes for young workers to pay for their lavish pension pots’*. (*my emphases)

This is the religion of the far right, who treat poor bashing as an article of faith, who would have pensioners working for the pensions they have spent their working lives paying for until death.

In a country in which depriving people of the means of survival and their economic rights is now routine, it is inevitable that, as a consequence, with zero income, people are wilfully prevented from paying their rent to which the answer is, eviction.

It is also inevitable that at the mere suggestion of housing as a human right and that no one should be evicted from their home for financial reasons, the intellectually supine and propaganda rags like the Sun, the Mail and Express, and other right wing, rage fuelling, toss rags, will cry, ‘Why should we pay for scroungers?’, to which I riposte, ‘We pay for the wealth snatchers every day, like media corps, but if people think it is the poor who are the problem, they are bigger fools than even the government takes us all for’.

A study by Crisis on the financial cost of single homelessness in Britain reports that the New Economics Foundation estimated, ‘a single homeless person, if they were homeless for one year, would cost the UK public purse between £24,500 and £26,000 more than other citizens’.

It is economically illiterate to evict people and force people into homelessness. How many times must we have these sad and tired conversations whilst the greedy stuff themselves stupid on the backs of our lives?

Full employment is both pointless and unnecessary, the problem isn’t worklessness, the problem isn’t the poor, the problem isn’t a lack of housing, the problem is wealth distribution and a world predicated on exploitation and the privatisation of resources, including people, and profit.

Millions of jobs have been automated out of existence, but what happens to the people who used to do those jobs, are they taken care of out of the profits from the automation of the work they once did? No, they are thrown on the scrap heap whilst all the profits from automation rise beyond the reach of ordinary people into the hands of the grasping few, often to languish in tax havens thus further avoiding any social responsibility for the distribution of their unearned, other than through exploitation of people, resources and technology, wealth.

However, if anyone is struggling, the DWP offered contracts in 2015 to procure ‘Online Supported Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) worth £21 million to promote work as a health outcome. Bullshit!

We are drowning in bullshit, it is a tidal wave that is still mounting and people are dying in despair. The government wants us to rent out our bodies for less than it costs for us to inhabit our own bodies, for life. Our wages are asset stripped (as taxation) to support extreme wealth and corporations who hide their ill gotten gains in tax havens. And if we fail to juggle the impossible we are thrown on the streets to subsist or die.

We know the answers, we know exactly what is wrong and how it could be put right. We know who our enemy is and what they are capable of, and they are not done yet.

This is economic warfare and we are the target. None of this is happening by accident and nor is any of it unintended. We are certainly victims, but let us never make the mistake of in any way sympathising with our oppressors or making any excuses for them. There are no excuses.

Keep fighting and, above all, keep supporting and caring for those on their last legs who this rotten system has broken and if that someone is you, tell someone, as hard as that may feel, reach out.

KOG. 05 April 2017

Samaritans – free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

‘Lazy’ workers: the ignorance and shamelessness of Tory ‘rising stars’



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,466

Thursday 16 June 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

With the proposed reduction of A&E departments across England from 144 (in 2013) to between 47 – 70, I wonder just how much you value your life? As Prime Minister you travel a great deal: in the event of a major accident, which could happen to any of us at any time, just how far and for how long would you want to travel before reaching a hospital capable of treating you? What sort of waiting time for the emergency services to even reach you would be acceptable to you?

An accident is by definition the intrusion of the unexpected, no one goes looking for one, they strike without notice and not even Prime Ministers are immune from tragedy. Suddenly the world of the familiar, so often taken for granted, is blasted into the direst emergency, life hanging by a thread, time suddenly measured in pain filled seconds, in precious laboured breaths, and survival is no longer a matter within your power. The longer the wait and the longer the journey, lives which might have once been saved will falter and their tenuous grasp on life will suddenly be gone, extinguished by government cuts.

And what if, because Jeremy Hunt has not prepared those A&E departments that remain with sufficient resources and human expertise to cope with increased demand, you found that once in the hospital your fight for life was far from over and was, indeed, further endangered because the hospital itself was in crisis, running on life support, and failing?

Such is the case right now for North Middlesex hospital, because the closure of the A&E department at Chase Farm hospital in 2013 has put North Middlesex in danger of closure and is reported to be in ‘crisis’ and ‘complete meltdown’. The Guardian reports that, ‘the emergency department at the North Middlesex may become the first in the NHS’s 68-year history to be shut because it is a danger to patients’.

Because you Tories are very fond of being perfectly clear about things, although usually with the clarity of a stagnating, muck filled, swamp, let me be perfectly clear. The crisis in the NHS, and for this letter – A&E departments in particular, is down to Jeremy Hunt, a man who, rather than face the press as Culture Secretary, hid behind a tree, or moved to another part of a quadrangle where trees were present, as he put it to the Leveson Inquiry. If in the unfortunate event of your demise, due to an accident and lack of timely or appropriate treatment, you wish to haunt the man responsible, may I suggest you bear in mind his affinity for arboreal habitats when matters of accountability arise and also, in your other worldly distress, remember that his surname begins with an ‘aitch’.

MPs tackle Jeremy Hunt over ‘meltdown’ at North Middlesex hospital

10_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,281

Thursday 10 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The boy’s own Chancellor speaks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Britain’s air strikes in Syria – “Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert Western values, confident that our best days lie ahead.”

I am happy to say that Britain is a very long way ahead of him. Behind the ever escalating need for food banks there are millions of good hearted people who are supporting Britain’s hungry to eat. It would be presumptuous of me to second guess what motivates others to engage with the violence of poverty and help and support others. What matters is that, quietly, they do.

This winter and Christmas our NHS, albeit in government imposed crisis, will be working to save lives; nurses, junior doctors, surgeons, specialists, cleaners, porters, emergency services, telephonists, receptionists, cooks and bottle washers, too many to imagine let alone mention. Not heroes, nor out of the ordinary, just ordinary people doing what they do, many working antisocial hours and giving up family time and celebrations for others. It happens every year.

Across the country people are daily helping the homeless, from organisations like Shelter and Crisis to individuals, people rise to the increasing crisis of homelessness in Britain. This Christmas there will be countless initiatives to feed the homeless and provide warm clothing and shelter, mostly unseen and unheard, as are the homeless themselves. People helping others for no personal gain or self aggrandisement. Just helping.

I have no idea what Western values George Osborne is talking about and I suspect he doesn’t either as he has no idea what values are apart from the accumulation of wealth and the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. As the Mirrors associate editor Kevin Maguire put it rather well, ‘He’s a Chancer of the Exchequer wedded to an unequal free market that enhances the wealth of a powerful elite at the expense of the overwhelming majority’.

I wonder if Osborne even knows what a Mojo is? It’s a spell or magic charm, although latterly it has connotations of sexual prowess and virility. Perhaps that’s what he means as he struts his stuff before the world. It’s a “source of real pride” for Osborne to be bombing in Syria. War isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a source of pride, it’s a cause for sorrow. War is a tragedy, not a cause for celebration. It’s made acceptable through the spin of pride and patriotism and flag waving rhetoric from those who will never put themselves in harms way but persuade or conscript the youth of the nation to fight and even lose their lives in conflicts which are none of their making. To be honest I think Osborne has lost his mojo along with his marbles.–ZJK6yjsdql