Archives for posts with tag: feudalism

20_may_2016

A letter a day to number 10. No 1,439

Friday 20 May 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I was very impressed at this little nugget that you threw into the Queen’s speech for the State Opening of Parliament, “… and to move to a higher wage and lower welfare economy where work is rewarded.”

It’s amazing, in all the commentary that has followed the Queen’s speech, not a word has been mentioned about pay being redefined by your government as a reward for labour, yet it is possibly the most egregious patronising insult contained in the speech.

Pay was once an entitlement in exchange for labour, but, of course, that’s something you have worked assiduously to bring to an end. The fundamental right to expect a decent rate of pay in exchange for the expenditure of our labour no longer applies in Tory Britain, that is what Workfare has stolen from workers. You have rewritten work as a state duty under threat of punitive sanctions, in which pay has been eradicated and is now merely a reward, if we’re lucky.

I don’t care how many times I have to say it, forced labour is a crime under the Human Rights Act! Yet under the DWP’s brutal and punitive regime this is now routine. The reward being that if you meekly obey you will get to keep the pittance reward of so called ‘benefits’. Even our pensions are called benefits, disregarding that they are an entitlement we have contributed towards all our working lives.

How you’ve stealthily slid us back into feudalism!

Priti Patel is promoting Brexit on the basis of halving the ‘burdens’ of the EU social and employment legislation, which exist to protect workers rights. Such inconveniences you refer to as ‘red tape’, which prevents businesses from being even more profitable at the expense of workers.

Your government is behaving like feudal overlords, patronising us as vassals of the state and rewarding us with a token keepsake if we’ve performed well whilst stealing all that we have so arduously laboured for. Small wonder the Trussell Trust reports that the number of working people needing emergency food parcels from food banks is increasing, citingĀ  low wages, insecure work, high living costs and problems accessing working benefits. Weaponising money to use as a bargaining chip over people’s lives and calling it a reward is a crime against life.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/queens-speech-2016

Who let the cats out? Priti Patel suggests we could lose half our EU work rights after #Brexit

https://www.tuc.org.uk/international-issues/europe/eu-referendum/workplace-issues/priti-patel-reveals-leave-campaign-agenda

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron-scrap-80000-documents-of-red-tape-for-businesses-and-builders-9087036.html

Foodbank use remains at record high

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19_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,347

Friday 19 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I wonder if you have ever heard of the expression ‘noblesse oblige’? The Merriam Webster online dictionary provides a simple definition – ‘the idea that people who have high social rank or wealth should be helpful and generous to people of lower rank or to people who are poor’. However, it means a great deal more than that, it entails an obligation for those of high rank to behave with honour, compassion, generosity and high moral standards. Put very simply it could also mean, to lead by example.

I also wonder, other than as a self aggrandising myth, whether it has ever existed at any time throughout history?

From the biblical massacre of the innocents by Herod to the 1381 betrayal of the peasants revolt, feudalism, the French revolution, Britain’s work houses, the Norman invasion and the carve up of Britain, and, of course, the Tories, in no particular order, the aristocracy and the wealthy really have a dismal history, as do the poor at their expense.

I can find no citation for the following from Tony Benn, yet it is as poignantly apt now as at any time in history, “I don’t think people realise how the establishment became established. They simply stole land and property from the poor, surrounded themselves with weak minded sycophants for protection, gave themselves titles and have been wielding power ever since.” Certainly, in my own life, I had worked it out long before reading it and if Benn didn’t write it he will definitely have thought it.

I have been studiously ignoring the latest feudal throwback project, ‘Clean up for the Queen’ for her Maj’s 90th birthday, but ignoring it is simply not good enough. I know not who dreamt up this latest fun project for peasants to clean up Britain’s streets, but wherever it came from, it was either someone, somewhere, in the gilded halls of patronising nobility or some simpering sycophant who should have been shot at birth.

Whatever next? Will this become an annual event, ‘National Workfare Day’ or some such nonsense dictated from on high for the masses to obediently deliver, with dim witted celebrities extolling its virtues? Meanwhile there are many things in this country that are in urgent need of cleaning up, not least on the streets. I wonder what the plan is should any inconvenient homeless people be littering the streets in hopeless destitution? I am sure Prince Philip would have an answer involving a twelve bore shotgun and hunting dogs. I cannot be alone in wishing the nobility would just hole up their castles without expecting bunting, sycophantic adoration and blind obedience to their every whim and fancy and, yes, that very much includes you Tories. That would clean up Britain quite nicely.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/noblesse%20oblige

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Innocents

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofEngland/Wat-Tyler-the-Peasants-Revolt/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1917452.stm

http://www.cleanforthequeen.co.uk/over-70-mps-attend-parliamentary-launch-of-clean-for-the-queen/2631/2/15/2361/159

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/01/clean-for-the-queen-campaign-prompts-british-twitters-wonderful-snark

15_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,179

Saturday 15 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

There is a storm brewing and all you self serving, careerist, political charlatans are the cause of it. If it breaks you will have no one but yourselves to blame. You have paid lip service to democracy for too long, using it as a means to have your own way and to use and abuse the people of this country to serve the markets, the rich and the powerful, but now democracy has come to call you don’t know what to do with it other than try to oppose and suppress it.

Jeremy Corbyn has awoken the sleeping giant, he has engaged people, talking to them and with them, treating them with dignity and respect. Something that I cannot remember happening before in my lifetime.

Your own actions and that of your party towards the people of this country resembles nothing if not the hideous face of feudalism, treating us like villeins: feudal tenants entirely subject to those who lord it over us yet to whom we have dutifully paid dues and services in return for our enforced obedience to your every whim, policy and dictat. We have been rewarded with treachery, contempt, vilification and demonisation. You insult us, hound us as frauds and cheats, deny support for the most vulnerable, sanction us and deprive us of the even the meanest basics of life and sustenance, accuse us of a culture of entitlement whilst thousands of our children go hungry.

Lord Freud, with all the arrogance and hauteur of the over privileged, who consider their every advantage as their right and due, said, ‘people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks’ as they have ‘the least to lose’. Oh yes, only our worthless lives, sacrificed for those who consider themselves so far above us we are not even people, just human stock.

Enter Jeremy Corbyn, a man of principle with a heart and mind for social justice. A man who has struck terror in the heart of every arrogant, self serving, political careerist. A man of policy and a man who is being attacked, just as we are, for his humanity. In the most open democratic election Labour has ever had, what is the response? Open fury and rage and, as Simon Danczuk has warned, ‘Labour MPs will work to overthrow Jeremy Corbyn ‘from day one’ if members and supporters elect him as leader’.

That is what so many politicians think of democracy as they wade in with their great clumping feet in their mouths and dig their own political graves. If that is the political garden of Britain, it is time it was weeded of all those who pay lip service to democracy but in reality serve their own selfish ends. I look forward to the arrival of my ballot and to voting, one man, one vote, that is what democracy looks like and I do not take kindly to having my vote or my life contemptuously trashed by political traitors and feudal throwbacks.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jun/25/cameron-tories-slash-benefits

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/03/head-teachers-report-on-schools-helping-poor-pupils

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/23/lord-freud-welfare-poor-risk

http://www.iainduncansmith.org.uk/content/universal-credit-0

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/well-try-to-oust-jeremy-corbyn-on-day-one-if-members-pick-him-says-labour-mp-simon-danczuk-10451581.html