Archives for posts with tag: Labour


Thanks to Rory Doona for this excellent graphic.

1. Longest period of sustained low inflation since the 60s.
2. Low mortgage rates.
3. Introduced the National Minimum Wage and raised it to £5.52 per hour.
4. Over 14,000 more police in England and Wales.
5. Cut overall crime by 32 per cent.
6. Record levels of literacy and numeracy in schools.
7. Young people achieving some of the best ever results at 14, 16, and 18.
8. Funding for every pupil in England has doubled.
9. Employment is at its highest level ever.
10. 3,700 rebuilt and significantly refurbished schools; including new and improved classrooms, laboratories and kitchens. 
11. 85,000 more nurses.
12. 32,000 more doctors.
13. Brought back matrons to hospital wards.
14. Devolved power to the Scottish Parliament.
15. Devolved power to the Welsh Assembly.
16. Dads now get paternity leave of 2 weeks for the first time.
17. NHS Direct offering free convenient patient advice.
18. Gift aid was worth £828 million to charities last year.
19. Restored city-wide government to London.
20. Record number of students in higher education.




I have today spent a session with my therapist (H) talking politics and by that I mean real up front and dirty politics.

On Thursday this country will hit a fork in the road the like of which it has never seen before and for many of us that fork will revolve around life or death issues. Our votes will either save our nation or it will mean the end of it as we know it. As I said to H, if the Tories (Conservatives) get back in I have no expectation of surviving the next five years.

I am not an old man, but I am getting on, I have incurable cancer and live an isolated life due to a lifelong battle with depression and acute social phobia. I am now reliant on my pension and DLA which pays for my therapy and a small vehicle which is a life line for someone with both cancer and social phobia. If the Tories win the General Election, I will at some point be transferred to PIP (Personal Independence Payments), for which I will doubtless be awarded zero points on assessment and the loss of the extra support will mean the end of therapy and my vehicle without which getting to hospital for cancer treatment will become extremely difficult. The Tories have also refused any promise to protect pensions and the triple lock which guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is largest.

But enough about me for a moment. If the Tories get in, their plans to privatise our NHS and to bring in health insurance will be assured. They will continue to cut public services, schools, social care and they will bring in the ‘dementia’ tax. The costs of a University education will rise even higher than they are now and young people will continue to be denied housing due to escalating unrestrained housing costs. The DWP sanctions regime will become even more draconian and disabled people will see their support slashed even further. The privatisation of the state and state assets will carry on and our taxes will become nothing more than a slush fund for privateers and vulture capitalists. Britain will become the first nation to declare nuclear weapons as a first strike option. We will finally see the end of the human rights act. Thousands more will die and become just another statistic that the Tories will ignore in their Orwellian pursuit of genocide and an end to useless eaters.

That is one fork in the road ahead. The other fork will see all of the above addressed and restored, a National Investment Bank, a living wage rise to £10 by 2020, our rail system brought back into public ownership, the restoration of Nurses’ training bursaries, 100,000 council/association houses built per annum, energy price caps, the re-nationalisation of water companies, scrapping the bedroom tax, abolition of tuition fees, restoring public services and a very great deal more.

A Britain that will literally work for the people of Britain and not just the corporations and already exceedingly wealthy.

Because of the appalling reputation politicians have in this country, justifiably earned since Thatcher rose to power, it needs to be said that if Jeremy Corbyn and Labour do not hold to the promises they have made, then heaven help them. Personally I do not think they will renege on the promises for a country that works for the many and not just the few, but given the parlous state of Britain right now, Corbyn and Labour certainly have a tough job on their hands and the corporations, the right wing press, the Tories and the super wealthy will fight them and us every inch of the way. Given that Britain has the most right wing press in Europe, it is to be hoped that some efforts can be made to reign them in and to be held accountable for the propaganda and lies they so routinely deal in.

The fork in the road is either the road to ever greater division, poverty, hardship and death or the road to restoration, social justice, hope and a country that works for us, not against us.

I am old enough to remember better times and to have gained my step up from a poor working class background to a free place at university which changed my life forever. I want better times for every young person growing up now and the option to achieve their best in life.

As an elderly bloke I want to remain a contributor, I am notionally retired, but that does not mean I have nothing left to do or contribute. What I have no desire for is to wither away in destitution to meet a lonely death caused by want, denied any dignity in my advancing years.

All of this hinges on the 8th of June, a mere 24 hours away as I write. Choose well my friends, this is a nation that belongs to all of us, let’s, please, take it back for all our sakes. I shall be including you in my vote, please include me in yours. Love and peace and hope for a much better country than we’ve had for the last seven years.

KOG. 07 June 2017

18_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,319

Monday 18 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

There was a comment on yesterday’s letter, No. 1,318, that the poor shouldn’t breed, that they are irresponsible and don’t care for their kids or their education. It’s a growing trend once again started at the top and fed down for lazy commentators to repeat without thought. It’s originator was Iain Duncan Smith who proposed limiting child benefit to the first two children which would ‘help behavioural change’, a deceitful way of laying the blame for poverty firmly on the poor who all behave irresponsibly or they wouldn’t be poor in the first place.

This is lazy eugenics suggesting that the worst ‘stock’ (the poor) needs dealing with to improve the genetic quality of the human population, as if the poor are feckless scroungers who don’t want to work, preferring to live a life of luxury on benefits, drinking, smoking and doing drugs and neglecting their children.

Of course, as you know very well, poverty is capitalism’s dirty secret. A cheap labour force is very good for business and profits. Regardless of the product cheap labour creates wealth. The worst companies exploit cheap labour under appalling working conditions sometimes with disastrous results as we saw in Bangladesh when a factory collapsed killing 1,129 people. Legislation is hard won and slow to implement and resisted by those whose interests are served by cheap, insecure, labour.

Your own attacks on our Unions speak volumes, an organised work force is bad for profits, attacking employment protection as mere red tape and scrapping the human rights act creates an ever more insecure work force which you want to control and dominate under the guise of promoting growth. That growth clearly does not include the poor with more than half of those in poverty in work.

To suggest that the poor shouldn’t breed or have their breeding restricted and need behaviour modification imposed on them is utterly despicable. Labour is the bread basket of the nation yet is consistently reviled by those who benefit the most from keeping people poor. Whilst capitalism benefits the most from the poor, their exclusion from the fruits of their labour doesn’t matter as long as there are enough in the middle and top who do benefit.

As the Independent revealed the poor lose the highest percentage of income to overall taxation, direct and indirect. Those who complain about the poor should perhaps shout a little less loudly and hold back on all that righteous indignation and consider the benefits they enjoy from those stuck in the imposed violence of poverty.

16_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,180

Sunday 16 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Despite all Osborne’s efforts to blame the 2008 crash on Labour, it was no such thing, it was the banks, but it was also the failure of the G7 which consists of the ‘finance ministers and central bank governors of seven major advanced economies whose primary task is to discuss economic issues’. A fat lot of good all their discussions turned out to be as the banks drove the worlds economies off a cliff.

A central belief of the free market economy is that it will naturally self regulate, which reminds me of the famous Albert Einstein definition of insanity – ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.

Amazingly, Osborne has just sold a 5.4 percent stake in RBS at a public loss of £1.1 billion yet we couldn’t afford to support 19,000 of the most disabled and disadvantaged people in Britain at a mere £330 million. Osborne’s give away to the boys in the city could have supported severely disabled people for three years and, if he knew anything about investment, which I doubt, probably longer. Amongst the group brokering the deal were Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which seems sensible as they know all about blowing money and letting the great tax paying public pick up the tab.

But, of course, we now know it was the tax guzzling poor who broke the economy living out luxurious lives on benefits, in a drink and drug fuelled haze of privilege and entitlement. “Why should we work they cry, when all these hard working people just keep filling up the tax pot for us? Someone’s got to pay for our tattoos, wide screen TV’s in every room and our jet ski holidays in the Costa Del Plenty!”

Of course not everyone is doing so well, corporations are still struggling, requiring a little public help in the shape of £93 billion a year in welfare handouts. Still things should pick up as corporation tax in the UK is the lowest of the worlds major economies, that is, if they choose to pay it and not bury their profits in tax havens. Figures for 2012/2013 reveal that tax evasion and avoidance had gone up a bit to £34 billion.

The real bad boy, though, as Iain Duncan Smith is at such pains to constantly remind us, is still benefit fraud at a truly eye watering £1.2 billion! He was recently slammed by the spending watchdog for failing to get to grips with benefit fraud and error. Perhaps he should rethink his sanctions regime and just start shooting scroungers, they shouldn’t be hard to find as they are regular attenders at Jobcentres across the land trying to blag an extra quid or two. A half decent marksman shouldn’t have any problem picking them off and if that doesn’t produce a satisfactory cull, they could also try foodbanks as they attract hundreds of thousands on the lookout for what Lord Freud calls a ‘free good’, as he so rightly said, “food from the food banks is a free good and by definition with a free good there’s almost infinite demand”. So there you go, that shouldn’t require a marksman, any goon with a semi automatic could probably do the job.

08_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,172

Saturday 08 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Labour has branded your latest scheme to undermine the Unions by ending union subscriptions automatically deducted from their pay cheques as ‘mean-spirited and ideological’. In fact it is much worse than that, it’s yet another brat pack attack on workers driven by the ideological right who tremble in their beds at the thought of democratically organised labour and ordinary people getting above themselves and daring to make demands of those who consider themselves to be our masters and betters. Just by the by, how was your meeting with the unelected, undemocratic and entirely secretive Bilderberg group holding ‘off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world’?

Isn’t it interesting that this latest tantrum at organised labour comes as Theo Clifford, a Philosophy, Politics and Economics student at Merton College, Oxford, calls for getting rid of housing safety regulations so that the poor can throw together ‘jerry-built slum dwellings’ to live out their dismal lives in. To be honest, I don’t think he’s thought this through, couldn’t you just dump unserviceable containers on Brownfield sites and throw in a stand pipe or two? I am sure the poor would be ever so grateful and ‘The English Favelas’ has a nice exotic ring to it.

If I live to be a thousand years old I will never understand why the over privileged detest us commoners so much. Haven’t we built this nation from the ground up for you, built your homes, cars, roads, the national infrastructure that you so take for granted and made the shirts on your backs? Do we not clean your mansions and offices, dispose of your rubbish, cook for and serve you and make sure everything is just the way you like it and accept the pennies you grant us as a reward for our labour? In this great divided nation, where you ensure the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, still, when, like Oliver Twist, we have the temerity to say, ‘Please sir can I have some more?’ the response is always demented rage.

You hand out £93 billion in corporate welfare and yet sanction us for being late for a job centre interview, or fail to turn up for an appointment because we’re in hospital, or for attending a job interview, or for not attending a cancelled appointment. And all Iain Duncan Smith can do is sit back in parliament as he sets his latest attack dog, Priti Patel, on us who accused Labour of not publishing death statistics which were never democratically called for or needed under Labour.

Is it any wonder that Jeremy Corbyn has set the nation alight because he is offering joined up thinking with joined up policies in the interests of the nation as a whole, which very much includes the lives and well being of ordinary people? Instead of policies of diseased effluent that attack the poor, he is a breath of fresh air on a summers day. He gives people heart and hope,  and, instead of dumping on us from on high, he invites engagement and involvement. He treats people with courtesy and respect, even his opponents who are frothing at the mouth.

The Labour membership is growing at its fastest rate for 64 years, added to which are those who have registered to vote for the next leader of the Labour party. I know you loath it, but that’s democracy so stop attacking OUR Unions! For transparency, I am by choice and democratic right and glad to be a member of Unite Union.

06_august_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,170

Thursday 06 August 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The left has finally reawakened after many years of hunkering in the darkness of post Thatcher Britain. As she herself put it, ‘Socialism represents an enduring temptation. No one should underestimate Labour’s potential appeal’. No, they really shouldn’t. Nor should anyone ever underestimate the brutality of the right (as Thatcher so ably demonstrated) to put labour down and by that I mean not just the party which arose to represent labour on February 27, 1900, but the battle to hold workers down and exploit them for profit.

Keeping labour down, to firmly know its place, is as normal as our world renowned love of a good ‘cuppa’, it abides with all the enduring power of religious dogma reinforced constantly by the relentless tabloid ravings of the Mail, Sun and Express with their rabid attacks at the merest hint of Union action to better the lot of workers. So successful is this dogma that workers attack workers if one faction gets uppity enough to demand a better deal. ‘Why should ‘they’ hold the nation to ransom and get a better deal than us?’ they cry with never a thought for the irony of holding others down to their own mean ambitions to stay on the bottom.

Businesses and corporations walk off with billions in profit and it is accepted without question that they have the right to pay their workforce less than is required to eke out even the meanest existence without tax payer help. Osborne introduced a new minimum wage of £7.20 an hour from next April but renamed it a ‘living wage’ and a grateful workforce doffed its docile cap and said, ‘Thankee kindly good master’ in ever such ‘umble gratitude. Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, trumpeted, ‘We are delighted that the announcement made in the Budget this lunchtime will see over 2.5 million workers receive a much needed pay rise. This is a massive victory for Citizens UK and those communities, workers and business leaders who have campaigned for a Living Wage since 2001’. It was a masterpiece of deception by gorgeous George as he basked in smug self satisfied glory to the lunatic capering of Iain Duncan Smith shouting, ‘Fantastic!’. Of course what George gives with one hand he takes away with the other, cutting tax credits which support businesses paying poverty wages, but its workers who pay the price, as always.

The rise and rise of Jeremy Corbyn, to the utter dismay and horror of everyone on the right, including those within his own party, has seen the arousing of the sleeping giant, those whose hearts yearn for social justice, decent housing and fair rents, equality for women, an end to the execrable bedroom tax, a tax funded National Health Service, an end to the insane privatisation of the state, bringing back rail and energy to public ownership, an end to austerity, protection at work, abolishing student fees and much more besides. Socialism has returned asserting its ‘enduring temptation’ for a better world, putting people before profits. It is your party that is dragging us backwards to a post Victorian nightmare, the real left is going forwards.

Arise the sleeping giant and throw off the chains that have bound you.

18_july_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,151

Saturday 18 July 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I can’t imagine a greater insult to public sector workers whose pay is capped at 1% a year for the next four years than you saying of the MPs pay rise, “you’re paid a rate for the job and you should take the rate for the job”. Added to which you insult them further with, “it gives you an opportunity to do more in terms of charitable giving and things like that”. You really know how to set the gold standard for patronising bigotry in our poor ailing country. The rate for the job includes enough spare for (more) charitable giving and things like that? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry in government imposed, austerity riven, broken Britain.

There’s not enough to pay the rate for the job to our absolutely vital nurses, teachers, fire and police services and ambulances, but there is more than enough to pay MPs over the odds for saintly charity and good works (bless).

MP Tobias Ellwood, who received a basic salary of £67,060 plus around £20,000 for his role as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, wrote to the Independent Parliamentary Standards’ Authority saying, ‘I never expected to be watching the pennies at my age and yet this is what I now have to do’. He’s been struggling to live on £87,060 at the grand old age of 49 and considers he’s watching the pennies? I wonder how many millions of people in this country would consider even getting the national average wage of £26,500 a life in clover. At under ten grand a year, including charitable giving and things like that, my heart bleeds for him, it must be difficult being that much of an over privileged idiot.

It’s a grand hypocrisy to be in government condoning the minimum wage, which is less then the minimum amount required for people to live on, and whinging about counting the pennies on 80 grand.

But this is just normal everyday life in Britain, where the privileged few lord it over the struggling and oppressed majority and consider themselves hard done by. So normal is this that there is a substantial number of the poor who vote Tory, called deferential voters, and who loath the Unions and Labour with a passion. I grew up in such a household. I could never understand my Mother voting Tory, like a turkey voting for Christmas, and she could never understand why I turned into a treacherous and disgraceful labour supporter. This much I know, habitual voting habits, like prejudice, do not submit to reason and it’s unreasonable to ever think they would. Austerity kills and if people dying from sanctions can be met with indifference and, in some, sneering gleeful contempt, then we really are in a bad way. MPs jeering and mocking stories of starving families in a food bank debate in parliament really said it all and now they’ve got a pay rise.

21_june_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,124

Sunday 21 June 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

With up to 250,000 marching in London yesterday and some thousands in Glasgow, plus unknown numbers online helping to spread the word, austerity is an ideological choice opposed by many of the worlds leading economists.

With an underwhelming majority of 12 seats elected by less than 25% of the electorate that is hardly a democratic mandate to simply ignore the desperate plight of millions of people across the UK.

Osborne is not paying down the debt, in fact he has borrowed more in four years than Labour borrowed over 13 years. The reality of your austerity is a shock tactic under which you are selling off and privatising the state and destroying the system of social security which is needed all the more, precisely because of your permanent austerity.

NHS regulators are to take control of health services in three entire regions of England, Essex, North Cumbria and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon. This is not because of failures in those who work hard every day to keep the NHS running. The NHS is being starved to death by Jeremy Hunt, who, in the book he co-authored called “Direct Democracy” wrote, “Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain.” He also mocked the NHS saying, “The NHS is one among many institutions that make up the quango state.”

This is the man in charge of our NHS, is it any wonder that through stealth, deception and misdirection, he is doing exactly what he set out in the book, under the false ideology of austerity?

And therein lies the fundamental problem with you Tories, you play the nation false. No lie too big and no betrayal too small. You would sell your own mothers if you could turn a profit from it. You have no allegiance to this nation, it’s all just a means to an end, and that end means the fundamental betrayal an entire nation for your own ideological agenda.

That is why so many people were marching yesterday and that is why we must all keep on marching in whatever way we can, in whatever way we are able, to oppose you. Debbie Abrahams MP said, when she interrupted Iain Duncan Smith at a Department of Work and Pensions Select Committee on benefit sanctions, “People are dying because of these sanctions.” That is the price we are paying for austerity.

30_may_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,101

Saturday 30 May 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I see that Andy Burnham is trying to out right wing you Tories. You must be delighted, the end of the Labour party is nigh. Order another case of Bollinger because let’s face it they’ll never out-Tory you Tories, try as they might.

Burnham said society’s wealth-creators will be valued as highly as NHS staff. Who does he mean by wealth-creators? In Burnham’s own words, “Far too rarely over the last few years has Labour spoken up in praise of the everyday heroes of our society. The small businessman or woman; the sole trader; the innovator, the inventor, the entrepreneur. The small businesses that become big businesses.”

There is no question that founding and growing a business is hard work. It’s a risk. It involves seemingly endless hours of work, worry, negotiations, loans, research, office work, organisation, premises, equipment, staff, more worry, more sleepless nights. Britain was described by Adam Smith and Napoleon as ‘A nation of shop keepers’. Quite why Britain was singled out for this accolade I don’t know. How did other nations survive without the plethora of small businesses that worked away to provide for the family and business needs of a nation? Nor can there be any question that a successful business should reward all that the founder/owner/risk taker puts into it. I’ve worked for enough small businesses to know that business owners deserve more in their pay packets than me, no question.

But here’s the thing, the point that you and Burnham miss. Business owners and staff are a symbiotic whole. If the business succeeds it is a team effort, treating the staff badly and paying them badly and walking off with a ridiculous excess of profits whilst workers live hand to mouth is despicable. Working together, they are all wealth creators and anyone who says otherwise is either a fool or a liar.

All you right wing blinkered half wits really need to engage your brains. Hint – it’s the thing that takes up space between the ears.

The Labour party was founded on the struggle to end exploitation in the work place. A fair days work for a fair days pay isn’t too much to ask for or expect. Making obscene profits whilst paying workers a minimum wage is rotten to the core. Poverty wages that see workers reliant on benefits and even food banks is criminal. We don’t need another Tory party driving ordinary working people into the ground, denying that they are wealth creators, allowing them to be ripped off, even one Tory party is too much. Surviving in poverty, that is truly heroic and requires a heroic effort.

22_april_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,066

Wednesday 22 April 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Yesterday Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove, wrote: “I fear the goldfish people are going to win. To paraphrase uncle Monty in Withnail and I “I mean to have power even if it must be burglary.” They will unite with Sturgeon – and take power. The north and then Scotland will then leech of us until we die. Might as well just open a vein and let them have it all now. This country will be a communist dictatorship.”

Iain Duncan Smith says of Labour: “They set out to scare people – to believe something nasty is happening. Take the NHS – they say the Conservatives are going to damage or destroy the NHS. It is an appalling lie.” and “Labour thinks welfare and work are two sides of the same coin. They are not. We want to catch people when they fall, but we must get them to rise out of welfare dependency.”

You called Labour a “bunch of hypocritical, holier-than-thou, hopeless, sneering socialists”.

You should hang your head in shame at an election being run on such terms especially with the wife of the chief whip saying “The north and then Scotland will then leech of us until we die. Might as well just open a vein and let them have it all now. This country will be a communist dictatorship.” Presumably Vine means a communist dictatorship of zombies as we’ll all be dead.

Your government has already done incalculable harm to our NHS, that’s a matter of fact, along with all our public services. Britain is groaning under the stress of five years of brutal cuts and the worst is still yet to come if you get another term in government.

Iain Duncan Smith says “Labour thinks welfare and work are two sides of the same coin. They are not”. Uh, yes they are. Smiths desperate crusade to drive people into work, punitively and violently, is a personal crusade to punish the poor whilst creating a job market in which Taxpayers spend £11bn to top up low wages. Smith has created economic slavery via workfare and sanctions, undermining and voiding the minimum wage. A man completing 6 months on workfare, on his asking if he’d be given a job was apparently told by a Tesco manager, ‘why would he pay him when he can pick the phone up and get more unemployed people who have to work for nothing of face sanctions meaning loss of ALL benefits for up to three years’. Smith is exploiting the unemployed as no government has ever done before, using the unemployed to weaken the job market and exploit tax payers into the bargain as companies profit from benefits.

If you think Labour are a bunch of hypocritical, holier-than-thou, hopeless, sneering socialists, what does that make you and your party?