Archives for posts with tag: inequality


Last week a parliamentary candidate was censored and silenced at a hustings by Amber Rudd. Following the attack in London Theresa May once again blamed cyberspace as a safe space for terrorists to breed and a former Metropolitan Police Senior Investigating Officer, Peter Kirkham, stated on Sky News that Theresa May was lying about Police numbers.

There are plenty of other examples I could have used, like the dementia tax, the right wing media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, but what all these highlight about the Conservatives and the establishment ruling elites is, just who do they think they are?

At the hustings, Amber Rudd was not the first among equals, nor even someone in an especial position of power which gave her any authority to silence fellow candidate Nicholas Wilson, she relied on an assumed and presumptuous position of privilege which was only carried out by the chairman because he deferred his democratic authority to her. This highlights the enormous problem of inequality we have in Britain. It is so normalised that many ordinary people (probably the majority) cannot even see it and still others become incensed by the ‘presumption’ of those who dare raise any challenge to their ‘betters’.

Just as the poor are blamed for poverty, so the democratic space for ordinary people, the Internet, is blamed as a breeding ground for terrorism. Anyone who suggests, as Jeremy Corbyn has, that western wars in the Middle East create a breeding ground for extremists which in no way condones the actions of those extremists, is vilified as a terrorist sympathiser. We might just as well rewrite history and call the French Resistance in WWII terrorists, indeed, they were doubtless regarded as such by Hitler, regardless of whether they struck out against Germany or the German occupation forces in France.

Were the boot on the other foot, and Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria were striking against Britain and sending in occupying forces I would expect to be a part of the resistance and would also expect them to consider me a terrorist. I would consider it my moral duty to resist, but, and here’s the question, would it be morally right to strike like for like in revenge attacks against civilians? I would hope not, but then I am not in a war zone and have no concept of what effect the widespread devastation of my country would have on me. Without living it I cannot know how radicalised I might become.

Cyberspace is neutral, just as phones are neutral, as is writing paper, as is language itself. The vast majority of people are not using methods of communication for radical or extreme purposes, although clearly the media and government do just that, as is all too clear in the current election campaign. Theresa May is pointing the finger and calling for allied governments to “regulate cyberspace”, whilst avoiding any hint of responsibility for her and her governments role in domestic and world events herself.

What was shocking about Peter Kirkham speaking out and doing it on the mainstream media is that he was speaking to power and highly critical of it, calling Theresa May a liar, and Sky News actually had the courage to broadcast it. To put it simply and perhaps tritely, that’s just not the done thing. It bloody well ought to be, but Britain is so riddled with deference and cap doffing, such a thing, whilst refreshing, is rare.

The Amber Rudd incident sums it up. She was effectively saying to Nicholas Wilson, ‘Who do you think you are?’ What the chairman failed to do when Rudd passed a note to him to silence Wilson was demand of Rudd, ‘Who do you think YOU are?’

This normative state of deference is exactly what the Conservatives rely on to hold power. It is not the rich and powerful who keep the Conservatives as a credible main party, but the deference of those they seek to dominate and rule. This hide bound, deeply entrenched, historic deference will, I would argue, be the single most decisive factor in this election.

Interestingly, the Dorset Eye, to which I am a contributor, received a Tweet today which said, “I’ve unfollowed you I am only interested in promoting Dorset & hardworking people & businesses not lending my support to plebs”.

Well, quite. We can’t have people getting above themselves, now can we? Just who do we think we are?

‘We’, ‘they’, ‘people’, ‘some’, talk about equality… but as Mohandas Gandhi is reputed to have said when asked, “What do you think of western civilization?”, I can only say, “I think it would be a good idea.”

I doff my cap to you, dear reader, and thank you for your time, and lovingly ask only this, who do YOU think you are?

KOG. 04 June 2017



If there is one thing I have learnt over a long lifetime it is that ordinary people are the donkey engine, the powerhouse, that drives the nation in war and peace and that for those in power, our lives are entirely expendable. In war it is we who are sacrificed and in peace we are (or were) the industrial heart of the nation, and in both war and peace, we pay.

It was ever thus, but we are now in the era of neoliberalism, capitalism with the gloves off, and they are wringing us dry for ever greater profits that they neither need nor care about the harm they cause.

Ordinary people are both the sacrificial lambs for rampant greed and also the cash cow that feeds their greed.

Inequality is raging across the world, last year it was reported that just 62 people had more wealth than half the rest of the world and the top 1% had more wealth than the all rest of the world put together.

In her 2016 Christmas speech the Queen said, “My ministers will continue to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means.” To which I can only say, ‘Then fix your own house love,’ as the government prepares to give her £369 million of public money to fix up Buck House, not to mention doing up Houses of Parliament at a cost to us of up to £5.7 billion.

Britain is not broke, there is enough money to do everything that is required for stable and prosperous public services, including the social safety nets and our NHS.

Only the other day someone asked me what we are supposed to do if we don’t privatise the NHS because we cannot afford it?

The problem is one of perspective and most people simply have no idea how much wealth there is, which very much includes me. I measure money in terms of tens and hundreds of pounds, I simply have no real perspective beyond that and think of a thousand pounds as a lot of money, even whilst knowing that several grand over a year goes nowhere.

Start talking about millions, billions and trillions and I am basically ga ga because these are meaningless numbers to me.

According to an Oxfam study, $7.6 trillion is sitting in offshore accounts and that is just 8% of individual financial wealth, which puts the total amount of global individual wealth at $95 trillion. That’s $12,838 for everyone on Earth. That may not sound like a lot in a first world nation like Britain, but of the 7.4 billion people on Earth, 2.7 billion people live on less than $2 a day or less than $730 a year.

What does all that mean? I don’t know in terms of social justice and inequality except to say this, clearly a very small percentage of people are not only living within their means they are so far within their means that the mere concept is meaningless to them. I can only suggest that it’s like an elephant walking up to an ant and saying, ‘I’m bigger than you,’ and the ant wondering, ‘Did that mountain just speak to me?’ How can an ant make sense of an elephant? I know the feeling.

According to Noam Chomsky it used to be that some 90% of wealth was created by producers, traders and investors in the real economy, that is ordinary working people, today that is reversed with 95% of wealth being in financial markets and financial speculation and just 5% in the real world economy.

That being the case it is not hard to see why the powerful elites might think that ordinary people are now superfluous to requirements. Production is no longer labour intensive and most of the stuff we need is turned out by machines.

Our labour is no longer a necessity, but instead of everyone sharing in the abundance of wealth in the world with more spare time and fewer working hours, and for many, if not most, maybe none, wealth has polarised and ordinary people are not just abandoned, we are being robbed at every turn and hounded to death.

The world is at permanent war, and war has always been an excellent way to keep the population down and, of course, grab even more resources for the few at the expense of the many. But it seems even that is now no longer enough. In the search for endless profits, they have turned on the national pots of public taxation and public services, built and paid for by the people, and people are literally being sanctioned and financially penalised through poverty pay and shutting down the social safety nets (the same as turning off life support).

I hear a lot about Agenda 21 and population reduction, whatever your take on that, the fact is that we are being exterminated. In my first letter to Number 10 I wrote, “Clearly your contempt for the people of Britain can have only one logical end, so why not begin the cull now?”

I was, of course, being tongue in cheek because they had already started. Can anyone seriously deny it now?

Ordinary, decent, human beings have trouble with words like exterminate at any time, and quite rightly so. Words like extermination and genocide are horrific in their meaning, taking life knowingly and wilfully, which no decent person would ever consider even for a moment. But these things go on in the real world and it is always ordinary people who are the victims of such inhuman barbarity.

As recently as last November the government was slammed by the UN for abusing the human rights of disabled people, the government response? It strongly disagreed with the UN findings and Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said the findings demonstrated ‘an outdated view of disability which is patronising and offensive’. He went on, ‘The UN measures success as the amount of money poured into the system, rather than the work and health outcomes for disabled people’. So there we have it, if you can’t work in some bullshit job scrabbling for pennies, you might as well fuck off and die.

KOG 02 January 2017


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,499

Friday 22 July 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

In your first speech as prime minister you said, ” If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university.”

On Tuesday the Higher Education and Research Bill passed its second reading. Included in this bill is the ability for ‘universities to raise tuition fees in line with inflation’ if they ‘can demonstrate good teaching through the new teaching excellence framework’.

I guess we’re so used to market forces as god that it is easy to miss the point that education should not be market led nor rewarded on a market basis and worst of all that education as a consumer product is utterly misguided and wrong. It means a tiered education system with the bottom line being the ability to pay and in such a system inequality will reign supreme.

As a working class ‘boy’ I was the first in my family to obtain a university education, but that was back in the day when there were such things as student grants. What is particularly relevant, as a working class ‘boy’, is that I simply would not have considered university at all had I been rewarded with a mountain of debt, but had I done so what is certain is that I would have opted for the least financially punishing option.

I’m not sure how you hope to attract working class people into the university system, it is looking far from attractive from where I sit. Debt based education is hardly the road to aspiration where, perhaps, thoughts of home ownership might figure at some point in a housing market that is entirely out of control. I wonder in what way you think that a life time of servicing debt in the kind of neoliberal unrestrained market world we live in is a smart or educated idea?

Banks and interest rates are merely a siphon of wealth upwards. Usury is an outdated, outrageous, practice by banks making obscene profits from people’s lives and aspirations. At the very least, if you want to make a difference, then end usury and make financial loans fee based at the very least and protect education from the money sharks and ensure student debt is not subject to interest or fees. What price education, eh?


31_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,332

Sunday 31 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

You are driving people into work, it doesn’t pay, but I’ll let that one slide for now, the big question is – what for? You want businesses to flourish and be more profitable – again, what for? A business makes a profit, big deal, what did it make, what of value did it add to the real world, how did it treat the workers who made the profit?

I am sure that Google is having a right old chuckle at paying £135 million in back taxes from 2005 – 2011 when analysis by the Independent finds that Google still owes £800 million, which, of course, we’ll never see under Osborne’s long term economically illiterate plan. Deprived of the real world value of those taxes owed to the nation, what are Google going to do with the all the money they’ve walked away with and what real world benefit will that money be used for other than lining the pockets of people with far too much money in the first place?

I’ve never understood the idea of riches for riches sake. Beyond a decent standard of living which includes enough slack to save, maybe start a business, allow for contingencies, help others, what is wealth for? I guess there are different mind sets, mine is about how I live and how I direct my time, mind and energy in what I consider to be meaningful ways. The best I can say of money under your government is that it’s a pernicious evil, used as an ideological means of oppression.

Your government has overseen a crisis in inequality with the richest growing ever richer and the poorest growing ever poorer. Austerity is the exclusive domain of the poor, it’s the poor who must pay down the deficit, work till they drop for less pay and worse working conditions, who must be sanctioned to incentivise them, who must stop malingering and languishing in the luxury of disability and start doing some kind of work to make themselves better, according to Iain Duncan Smith.

The Sunday Times Rich List, as Alex Proud wrote in the Telegraph, “feels like a uncritical celebration of how bloody brilliant it is to have tons of money.” He continued, “These days, every day is Rich List day. Every day is a uncritical celebration of wealth. In modern Britain being rich is everything. It’s the only thing. And, it’s becoming almost impossible to opt out of this ghastly money go-round.”

Britain under the Tories is a vast celebration of quantity over quality and the devil take the poorest. It’s a vapid celebration of the lowest common denominator – wealth – against which all are judged and those with the least are despised as worthless and useless, makers of their own misery and poverty. All the benefits must go to the rich for the perverse virtue of being rich and the poor must be squeezed dry for the sin of being poor. And all this utter nonsense must be true because a bunch of rich pricks in parliament tell us so endlessly and nauseatingly, who also get their jollies persecuting the poor.


26_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,190

Wednesday 26 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Ken Livingstone recently said on RT news, ‘Before Thatcher 2/3 of British wealth was paid to ordinary people in their wages, now it’s just over half, so there’s been a real reduction in the quality of life for ordinary people and there’s an anger there’. He’s right and what’s appalling about that is the tradition of exploiting workers for profit, holding wages down, creating a system that forces people into the next week, or month, because low pay keeps people in servitude. It’s known, without affection, as the daily grind and being a wage slave.

It is this despicable system that you Tories actively pursue, demanding full employment, including sick and disabled people, and even to the benefits denial system of Iain Duncan Smith and his sanctions regime which is driving people to despair and, for too many, an early grave. It is small wonder that DWP staff are now issued with a pink suicide card to wave over their heads if someone says they are suicidal.

There are more people in work, in poverty than out of work. Work does not pay for vast numbers of people, whilst companies walk off with the profits from their labour bloated by paying poverty wages. That is the time honoured myth of work. Loyalty is demanded of workers yet they are treated as stock and insulted by being called human resources (HR), yet companies can shed workers at a moments notice with impunity and no one ever questions it or holds them to account for such treachery.

The entire steaming mess we are in is entirely ideological. Britain is the most unequal country in Europe and inequality is rising steeply and what do you do? Punish the poor and reward the rich. Iain Duncan Smith is on a crusade to penalise the poor just for being poor even depriving them of the means of survival and is now handing out pink cards to Jobcentre staff to wave in the air when someone admits to being suicidal.

For poor people work is a crime being visited upon them. Nothing changes, not even our dumb acceptance of this as the status quo because it has been, and is, drummed into us by governments and the media constantly. No other narrative or view is allowed, we are regarded and treated as scum and even accused by YOU of having a culture of entitlement, an outrageous, despicable, filthy slur on our lives. No benefits for the poor, eh Mr Cameron? The poor must pay whilst the rich are rewarded. The only thing standing between your government and a general strike to crush you once and for all is the dreariness of tradition and exploitation and the world weariness of the abused and demonised poor living lives of quiet desperation.


23_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,187

Sunday 23 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Studies of inequality reveal that less equal societies suffer over a wide range of social and economic issues, but what researchers have also found is that people of privilege and wealth are more likely, as Social psychologist Paul Piff puts it, to behave like assholes.

The Equality Trust reports that: ‘Less equal societies have less stable economies. High levels of income inequality are linked to economic instability, financial crisis, debt and inflation’.

‘Inequality affects how you see those around you and your level of happiness. People in less equal societies are less likely to trust each other, less likely to engage in social or civic participation, and less likely to say they’re happy.’

‘Living in an unequal society causes stress and status anxiety, which may damage your health. In more equal societies people live longer, are less likely to be mentally ill or obese and there are lower rates of infant mortality.’

‘Inequality increases property crime and violent crime. A reduction of inequality from Spanish levels to Canadian levels would lead to a 20% reduction in homicides and a 23% reduction in robberies.’

‘Unequal societies have less social mobility and lower scores in maths, reading and science.’

The Equality Trust also finds that the ‘UK has the 4th most unequal incomes of 30 countries in the developed world.

Simply put, a government that not just presides over, but drives ever greater inequality and rising poverty is toxic to every member of society, causing instability, distress, rising crime rates, loss of trust, lower well being and happiness, worsening health and lower educational achievement. Even worse is a government that demonises, vilifies and punishes the poor, blaming them for the violence of the poverty in which they live and further drives them down, regarding and treating them as worthless and undeserving. That is the reality of Britain today and you Tories, who so delight to point the vengeful authoritarian finger at the poor, are entirely responsible for driving inequality and for the countless deaths that Iain Duncan Smith is at such pains to hide. Living proof that Paul Piff was right.


24_april_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,068

Friday 24 April 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

What really angered me about you talking about poverty and having a go at Miliband and Balls was that you expressed irritation or anger at them. In a nation like ours poverty is ideological, your government has relentlessly pursued the poor since you came to office and no one more so than Iain Duncan Smith.

There can be no discussion about poverty without looking at inequality and according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Britain is the fourth most unequal country amongst its 30 members.

It is my personal view that absolute equality is a grotesque idea, requiring a degree of micro-management that would be totalitarian and miserably oppressive, if not downright brutal, but, as Owen Jones says, “grotesque inequality is not a natural part of being human”. Indeed, and Jones goes on to say, “the fortunes of the richest 1,000 Britons have doubled during five years of economic trauma. Rampant greed goes unchecked, while benefit claimants, immigrants and public sector workers are relentlessly scrutinised and attacked”.

Britain is a major player when it comes to tax havens and Britain is a great place for huge multinationals to do business. As a treasury official said to the BBC’s Robert Peston, “London is now the unchallenged capital of the world; it is wonderful”. One of the worlds biggest banks described the UK to Peston as the world’s “biggest, most developed tax haven” So whilst you hound, demonise, vilify, and beat the poor into the ground, you actively support unrestrained greed and the garaging of obscene wealth in secret and secure tax havens.

You said, “The Labour Party? Really? The name’s an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act.” How much more true is that of your ‘Compassionate Conservatives’? An oxymoron if ever there was one. You declare ‘tough love’ for the poor whilst being the party of, and partying with, the rich. You announced permanent austerity from a lavish (freebie for you) banquet at which you appeared so stuffed you could barely move.

You epitomise social inequality, the injustice of extreme wealth and the real culture of entitlement. You were born to privilege and everything about you suggests you accept and expect it as your due, so you talking about poverty is an obscenity.


08_april_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,052

Wednesday 08 April 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Betrayal is a terrible thing. The central issue of all these letters has been the betrayal of a nation for an ideology that rewards the rich whilst punishing and penalising the poor. Britain is reported to be the only country in the G7 group of leading economies where inequality has increased this century.

“The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that rising inequality between 1990 and 2010 cost the UK nine percentage points of economic growth. Across OECD members the richest 10% earn 9.5 times more than the poorest, up from seven times in the 1980s. Top UK directors now earn 120 times the average wage, up from 45 times in 1998. Britain’s highest-paid director earned a year’s worth of the living wage in less than an hour.”

But as we know it is far more than inequality that is dogging any form of recovery for the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain, at its heart are the multi-pronged attacks on poor and vulnerable people by George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith. Disabled people are suffering the brunt of these attacks and, of course, the jewel in the crown of perfidy and betrayal is the removal of the means of survival through Smiths vicious sanctions regime. Smith claims that sanctions are only imposed as a “last resort” and yet in 2013 alone more sanctions (1,122,526) were imposed than fines by the entire judicial system (849,000) and no court fine ever involves the entire removal of all someone’s income. As Dr David Webster put it, “Benefit sanctions are Britain’s secret penal system”.

The front-line troops of these all out attacks on the poor are the DWP staff who bear the burden (those with a conscience) of carrying out the instructions of the DWP.

And how are they to be rewarded? The Financial Times reports that 30,000 DWP staff are to be shown the door over the next five years if a Conservative government is elected in May, a cull of over a third of the workforce of 83,000. I am afraid that I struggle to feel any sympathy for them compared to the suffering they have imposed and yet your government really knows how the stick the knife in the back of those who have served you well. That really is the height of betrayal! I wonder how many of them will end up on the receiving end of a sanction?

How anyone but the blindly self obsessed can vote Tory I will never know.


26_january_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 986

Monday 26 January 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

A report this week revealed that 62% of people sanctioned have mental health problems. The increasingly routine use and abuse of sanctions is unconscionable and unrestrained state brutality, that they are disproportionately being used against disabled and vulnerable people is a descent into a level of barbarity and cruelty that beggars belief.

As Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams very succinctly put it in the House of Commons,  “People are dying because of these sanctions” to cowardly denial from the perpetrator.

Iain Duncan Smith stated  “I actually believe the sanctions regime as applied is fair” despite all the vast available evidence to the contrary. What he believes in is his own sadistic brutality.

Your own claim that you can slash spending by ‘£30billion without inflicting any pain with the bulk of the cuts coming from squeezing welfare’ may well in your view be ‘easily doable’ but it will only come through the pain and suffering of the least able. It is not that you can do them without inflicting any pain, it’s just that you don’t care about the people who are your intended victims.

As I said in letter 982 the time to talk about genocide isn’t after the fact it is when the mounting evidence clearly indicates that genocide is inevitable as is the barbarity which will bring it about. That isn’t propagandist scare mongering, as is the endless propaganda on terrorism and the war on terror, flushed down the tubes of mainstream media into peoples homes and minds, it is exactly what the facts suggest and which Ms Abrahams outburst in the House of Commons is indicative of.

It is going to get worse because you are making it worse and your claim that cuts will be pain free is as false as were your promises to protect the NHS and front line services. In Britain today four in ten teachers see kids at school who haven’t eaten for twelve hours and a third of staff admit they buy or bring in food to give ravenous pupils. That is Britain right now under your government in which Credit Suisse finds ‘Britain is the only country in the G7 group of leading economies where inequality has increased this century’. The only question in my mind is how we stop your predatory war on the poor?


18_january_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 978

Sunday 18 January 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I hope you enjoyed your boys own back scratching session with Barack Obama as he praised you for Britain’s economic recovery.  You “must be doing something right” he declared, with you being one of his  “closest and most trusted partners in the world”.

For ordinary people it’s a partnership made in hell, the USA, like Britain is basing recovery on social exclusion, wealth for the few at the expense of the many. As tent cities grow in the US and homelessness in Britain is rising catastrophically, ordinary people are seeing no recovery.

13 million people (or more) in Britain are living in poverty, with 6.4 million of them not striving hard enough in work to escape the jaws of poverty, last year saw over 1 million people reliant on food bank for survival with welfare little more than a demolition derby and now cuts to pensions announced for the people who have contributed longest to the economy.

It seems falling oil prices have lifted the profitability of British companies to a 16-year high. Will that trickle down into wages being raised by even pennies? Put on your realist or even honesty cap, if you have either, before answering that one.

Experts, whatever they are, predict that the price of fuel will fall to under £1 in coming months. Personally I would not advise anyone to hold their breath waiting for fuel suppliers to lower prices by any substantial amount for consumers, they’ll just enjoy the soaring profits as ever in such situations.

You and Obama may be the best buddies ever, but neither of you are friends of ordinary people. You are both married to the markets, which, far from being free, are the best legislated for, most protected, aggressively lobbied for and supported by you and your government whilst the people are increasingly cut adrift in law, employment, welfare, disability, retirement, education and health in the greatest push towards social exclusion and inequality in UK history driving us back 100 years.