Archives for posts with tag: NHS

Theresa_Mayb

The system is broken, and by that I do not mean accidentally, oops how careless of me, broken, I mean wilfully and deliberately broken.

I have lived my life with mental ill health and what I described as ‘social phobia’ years before any such description existed. Doctors told me I was agoraphobic, which then and now I refuse to accept, I am not afraid of open spaces, of the great outdoors, I am afraid of our system of inhuman society. What my mind and body has been telling me from a very young age was that there was and is something wrong with human society. I am not sick, or mentally deficient, my mind and body were accurately responding to a system that was and is exploitative and broken.

It is broken for many, if not most, ordinary people by design.

We are dangled a carrot of work for rewards which are inadequate to our needs. No matter how hard I worked, I had no control over the system that ‘rewards’ that work and so have spent most of my life living hand to mouth, and if something went wrong which required more money than I had available to fix it, I had no way to generate the necessary income to meet the need, other than by going into debt.

In the systems terms that is quite reasonable, and yet it is indisputably true that each of us is capable of creating more than we need to meet our own requirements, how else do companies profit from us? If the planet Earth were not capable of meeting all our needs, we simply would not be here. Forget evolution, if the abundance of resources are not there to sustain life then life does not survive. Had we husbanded the Earth well and wisely we would not now be facing the human made crises which threaten our future and life on planet Earth.

In Britain, one of the most fertile land areas on Earth, wealthy landowners are paid fortunes in subsidies not to produce anything of common usefulness from the land they own and the government will do everything it can to ensure that such subsidies continue after Brexit, as a matter of priority.

If you believe the world is overcrowded and we cannot feed the world, ask yourself how you know that? Where did you learn that from? If all the world’s population was gathered side by side, each taking up a square metre of land, we would occupy a space of 7,200 square kilometres, that’s over ten times smaller than Ireland at 84,421 square kilometres. It is estimated that it would take less than 10,000,000 square kilometres to feed the lot of us, roughly the size of the USA. It is, of course, a bit more complicated than that, but it gives something of a perspective on what we are told and many unquestioningly believe as written in stone. Remember David Cameron and his swarms of immigrants? It generates plenty of hate and very little sense or reason.

In January this year (2017) Oxfam reported that just 8 men own the same wealth as half the world. The report ‘details how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics’.

That is a system that is irretrievably broken with no political will to change it in the current government or amongst the super wealthy who milk it for personal gain. They are very comfortable with starving people to death to increase their wealth even more. Every time a million children die, by war or famine, it really doesn’t matter how, a rich man yawns, safe in the knowledge that he’s a few billion quid richer.

Theresa May said there is no magic money tree, well yes there is, it’s us and most especially the poorest. Harvesting the poor is very lucrative indeed, it’s been going on for centuries and it is something that pretty much everyone regards as normal, especially the harvested poor who are so successfully deceived they even vote for it thinking, ‘that’s democracy’.

By way of example, there is nothing wrong with our NHS, not with the concept, the founding, nor the enormous task of running it over almost 7 decades, what is wrong with it is the Tories and the corporations who want to suck on its teats and drain it for profit. Richard Branson, who has recently taken over much of the NHS in Bath, is a parasite, nothing more, a parasite who hides his wealth and lives in a tax haven. Branson has been given, or ‘won’ as the Guardian put it, £700 million to run 200 privatised NHS and social care services in Bath. Whatever motivates Richard Branson, it isn’t an overwhelming, altruistic, sense of philanthropy. He isn’t some kind of popular hero or man of the people, he’s a corporate blood sucker.

If you are reading this it won’t be on the mainstream media or reported on television, those billionaire owned, tax evading, corporate bastions of the status quo, which includes our publicly funded BBC, you’ll be reading it on Facebook or on my blog or the citizen media outlet, The Dorset Eye. And that is the proper place to be reading it, far from the corporate lobbyists and the dark influences of the likes of Rupert Murdoch and his evil media empire.

But for me, if we want to understand just how all this works and what we can do about it, than we can do no better than watch and engage with the banquet of corporate carnage and murder that is Grenfell Tower. We need to pay attention to what the priests of power are saying, certainly, but we should be bolted and riveted to what the survivors are saying, who refuse to be silenced. Grenfell Tower was state murder and the state is the last thing which should be trusted to investigate the murders they have committed. If the survivors want an inquest or investigation then the chair of those inquiries should be found in the angriest and most horrified residents, who should also be committee members, who will never fear to ask the most brutal questions, no matter how many times they must be repeated, nor rest until they have the answers, no matter how many times they must be demanded.

The system will never fix itself and if anyone who is not at least a millionaire thinks that Theresa May and her government has their back, then they are at the very least deluded and at worst complicit in a system that doesn’t give a flying fuck for the lives of ordinary people.

If Grenfell teaches us anything it is that the system is stacked against us and the only way to deal with that is to speak out and keep speaking out and not wait in an orderly queue for permission to do so. As the late Howard Zinn put it, “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”

The question then becomes, can we change? And then, dare we change or are too many of us suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and siding with our oppressors? Because it will be a cold day in hell before there is any justice being volunteered for the people of Grenfell Tower from those in power. That’s why they and we must demand and keep on demanding until the system is so rattled and shaken it bloody well falls over.

KOG. 20 July 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/11/virgin-care-700m-contract-200-nhs-social-care-services-bath-somerset

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/29/the-queen-aristocrats-and-saudi-prince-among-recipients-of-eu-farm-subsidies

https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-01-16/just-8-men-own-same-wealth-half-world

https://snapzu.com/geoleo/how-much-room-the-entire-world-population-would-take-up-if-standing-side-by-side

https://www.quora.com/How-much-land-is-sufficient-to-produce-enough-food-for-10-billion-people-or-reduce-world%E2%80%99s-population

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/30/david-cameron-migrant-swarm-language-condemned

lionsb

The Conservative party has thrown all caution to the wind in their self interested pursuit of privilege and power over the cares, concerns, and needs of ordinary people and anyone who is not outraged at what they are doing fails the litmus test for basic humanity, as indeed do the Tories themselves.

The fundamental problem is that no one from the high table is going to lift a damned finger that might risk rocking the boat of their own privileged world on which they depend and is their reason for being.

The Tories are not so much the nasty party as the self interested party, being nasty is secondary, a mere consequence of the self perpetuation of their arrogant overweening narcissism and greed.

It is the perception or the rich that they are the ‘deserving rich’ and it is unsurprising that when the public ask for more money the Tories, the party of the rich, are affronted. Fire fighters, nurses, paramedics, police, can be heroes, but they have a damned cheek if they ask for more money. It’s the Oliver Twist moment, the masters have their hands on all the provisions of wealth and its distribution but god help the damned urchin who dares ask for more.

Indeed, they are shocked by such effrontery. It was plain to see when a nurse asked Theresa May for some more money in her pay cheque. May didn’t quite splutter with indignation, but it was barely controlled as she told the nurse, “There isn’t a magic money tree that we can shake that suddenly provides for everything that people want.” In her head, May, devout Christian that she is, was probably thinking, “Well really! The damned cheek of the girl, who does she think she is? She should take what’s she’s given and be grateful for small mercies.” It is likely that the reason Theresa May wanted no part in public debates was the admonition of her Lord not to cast her pearls before swine, because she certainly behaved that way.

Contempt for ordinary people comes easy to those for whom privilege is assured, who live a life in which appearance, position and status are everything yet who lack any of the real substance of humanity. ‘They’ do not believe, as an article of faith, that the common people have any right to speak in political debate in our rude voices and indelicate proclamations. It was just such a situation that led Gary Streeter to respond to admirably robust journalist Paul Mason by saying, “This is why i hate social media. It gives a voice to people who dont deserve one”. There can be no doubt that Streeter was also referring to you and me, people who are common, the uppity masses, who should not interfere in matters which are above them and which should be left to their betters to decide for them.

Grenfell Tower and the hundreds of missing, presumed dead, people, and the survivors are, shell, ashes and living, right now, a monument to the historic abuse of the ruling elites against the lives of ordinary people. The inferno and the human cost was a disaster waiting to happen, it cannot in any way be described as an accident. Nor was it in any way down to human failing, it was guaranteed to be a disaster through the knowing decisions of those who felt entirely at liberty to cut corners which made a human habitation ripe for exactly what happened. Not only that, but those residents who warned of the dangers were silenced and ignored and, now that the inevitable disaster has occurred, are still being silenced and ignored by an establishment that simply doesn’t give a shit. However, something else has emerged from Grenfell Tower, in the war being prosecuted by the ‘ruling elites’ against the lives of ordinary people, ordinary people are no longer willing to silently slip into our graves without demanding a reckoning.

The Tories are holding on to power through lies and deceit and, above all, their overweening arrogance.

In the beating heart of Britain, another disaster is happening, although far too many are still, as yet, ignorant of it. That ignorance is neither wilful nor neglectful, it is an ignorance manufactured and maintained by the policies of the Conservative government and the secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Andrew Lansley. Universal health care is being dismantled and destroyed by a government who care less whether we live or die in pursuit of profit. Public outcry is still muted, the government and Jeremy Hunt will never admit that they are presiding over the last stages of the privatisation of our publicly funded NHS. Jeremy Hunt is a liar and a thief who deserves nothing less than to be publicly tortured until he personally screams out the truth in Parliament Square. One of the richest people in the Tory cabinet inner circle, Hunt cares nothing for the health of ordinary people, he is lining up the vultures who hunger only for profit at our expense.

Whilst they despise our inconvenient lives and our human needs, they treat us a convenience for profit. The cancer living in my neck which will eventually kill me is just a rich source of profit for the likes of Richard Branson and Jeremy Hunt and all the financial vultures hungry for profit who are devouring yours and my NHS. Does that sound emotive, a bit too much, a rude statement, a bit common? Good, I am glad, it should sound rude. It’s the brutal truth.

Theresa May has bought herself a fragile space through betrayal, for betrayal. She has stolen a billion pounds from us to buy herself time to finish the job of selling us all for profit. We, the people, are just marketable stock in her eyes.

But here’s the thing. They are losing the war. The tide is turning right now. The dominant media voices are those of ordinary people. It’s messy, uncoordinated, good and bad, much of it rude, crude and a fairground for trolls out for a ride on nit picking personal insult and vitriolic hate, but that’s the icing, not the cake. In a world of form without substance, real substance is getting a grip and gaining traction and despite all the power and wealth being expended against it, it will not get back in the box of confinement in which the grasping elites wish to imprison it.

The powers that be are terrified of change, but change is the lifeblood of living. The world spins on the axis of change, the seasons, life and death, the weather and all we see and experience in the constantly moving shift of time. The last thing the Tories want is change, they want a frigid world of their own ideological making, dragging its knuckles in 19th century oppression, grubbing for wealth and resources that rightfully belong to us all, each and every one of us.

It can truly be said, these are the best of times and the worst of times, terrifying and invigorating. I produced a poster the other day because I am tired of seeing posters telling me to keep calm. My poster read, “Don’t keep calm – We are the people we’ve been waiting for”. The terrifying power of the many is the very last thing that those who consider themselves to be the masters of all and who profit from our lives want to see and they certainly don’t want to experience it, which is precisely why they should. They would like to maintain a world in which our lives are an irrelevance to them apart from the benefits they can extract from us for their personal gain, I think it’s long overdue the tables were turned for all our benefit.

KOG. 1 July 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nurse-magic-money-tree-bbcqt-question-time-pay-rise-eight-years-election-latest-a7770576.html

https://www.joe.co.uk/politics/gary-lineker-tory-mp-social-media-131739

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/grenfell-fire-housing-policy-social-housing-tenants

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/the-political-kindling-of-the-grenfell-fire/530931/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jeremy-hunt-health-secretary-earn-17-million-nhs-hospital-crisis-sale-hotcourses-education-website-a7529006.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/06/rise-lions-after-slumber-why-do-jeremy-corbyn-and-co-keep-reciting-19th-century

maycb

The bible is a remarkable book, it has influenced and shaped world history for nearly 2000 years. It is an apocryphal tale which many believe is literally the word of God, yet even if taken literally, those who do so interpret it wildly to suit any agenda they wish to pursue, hence the many and diverse Christian factions and churches.

Whilst it is a very difficult book to wade through, it is a book I recommend highly to critical and wary readers (treat it with all the respect you might a stick of dynamite on which the fuse is lit) because we are all, to a greater or lesser extent, affected by its outworking in history to the present day.

Put very simply the bible is a book of Law and Grace and a tale of the abject failure of human kind to work out their affairs justly under the rule of law without the necessary application of grace, consideration and loving kindness. To this day it is easy to see that the world is dominated by biblical Pharisees, those who adhere to the rigid dogma of law and claim moral and spiritual superiority, against those of a more common and gentle nature who live by the virtues of loving kindness and social justice to whom moral and spiritual superiority hold no interest.

Today, then, I give you, the Tories and those who they consider to be ‘stock’ (especially those unable to work), the common herd, ordinary people. It is no small thing that Theresa May is the daughter of a Church of England Vicar, the Rev. Hubert Brasier, yet she exhibits all the traits of a brutal dictator and none of the virtues of Christ. Her religion is the religion of money, the unrestrained free markets, the destruction of public services, the robbing of the wealth of the nation and the deprivation, penalisation and hounding of the poor and most vulnerable people in society to death.

Recent events have shown that Theresa May is a horrific grasper after power at any price to pursue her dogma of social destruction and regression, the pursuit of the transfer of public wealth into private hands and the wanton destruction of our public services including our NHS.

It is into this social crisis that Jeremy Corbyn has emerged, against all the odds and political (including those in his own party) and media machinations and forces raised against him. A champion of the underdogs, defender of the rights of ordinary people, a fierce campaigner for social justice, a straight talking, plain speaking man of the people who has been accused of inciting religious fervour and even casting an ‘Orphic spell’ (by Boris Johnson) over the minds of the dumb masses and who ironically and coincidentally shares the same initials as the beardie chap of the biblical New Testament.

It is a modern epic of good versus evil and the stuff of every fairy tale since time began, except this time we are living it and the price for ordinary people is monstrous. On the one hand we have a conniving, lying, cheating, stealing party of the rich and powerful against Jeremy Corbyn and all those who champion social justice, in which I happily include myself, the cares and concerns of ordinary people and the well being and interests of the many and not just the privileged few.

For all those who see themselves small in their own eyes, who face the vast forces of modern day oppression, not knowing what to do, how to express their fears and who feel they have no voice and still less anyone to listen, a glimmer, and for many, a beacon, of hope has emerged. It is not down to one man and yet that one man has become, rightly, the political focus of millions. Everything that Theresa May aspires to in her wickedness and manipulation, and yet fails utterly, Corbyn achieves through plain speaking and shared humanity.

Every step of social progress we have ever made against rich and powerful interests has come through struggle, from the bottom up, through the engagement of ordinary people against the enormous power of the privileged few. That struggle is, I hope, reaching an historic climax, one that is long overdue. A climax that will not be the end, but promises to be a new beginning if we hold true to our vision. It is a struggle that needs every voice and the concerted action of all those who see themselves small who together can bring about the social change which millions of people in Britain and the wider world are crying out for.

This piece is entitled, ‘Who dares despise the day of small things?’ I have unashamedly ripped it out of any biblical context quite deliberately, and I apply it to my own faltering footsteps in life, and to every life struggling to take one step at a time in these unbelievably difficult times against the vicious forces which oppose us. I offer it as a compliment and a celebration of modest lives and modest aspirations, which collectively can make a difference. Those with power, through wealth, status and influence (by which I mean the mogul owned and driven media) will do anything and everything to crush us, as they have always done in times past.

Theresa May and the Tories know what they are up against and they are desperate, afraid and in complete chaos, even buying a few extra votes for a billion pounds. It is within our power to keep them in disarray and to oust them, let’s do just that, for all our sakes. The power grubbers hate Jeremy Corbyn with a raging passion, there is no shame in loving him and looking forward to him being Prime Minister.

KOG. 28 June 2017

 

IDS Calls Those Unable To Work ‘Stock’

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/27/theresa-may-wants-shut-parliament-order-retain-grip-power/

http://theconversation.com/what-fairytales-can-tell-us-about-jeremy-corbyn-66646

chomsky

Since 2010 we have witnessed and experienced seven long years of bitter Conservative betrayals, from David Cameron’s pledge that there would be no top down reorganisation of the NHS to the horrific fire in Grenfell Tower which follows the Conservatives voting down in 2016 a Labour amendment to the government’s housing and planning bill to ensure rented homes are fit for human habitation.

The depth of crisis in the NHS is so catastrophic that it should be on life support, except there is no life support and it has been driven to what the Red Cross has called a humanitarian crisis by government policy.

In 2014 London firemen wept as Boris Johnson closed down ten fire stations which was preceded by selling off London’s fleet of fire engines for £2 to a newly formed company with one sole director, Sir Aubrey Thomas Brocklebank, an old Etonian with a dubious business history.

These are just the tip of a despicable iceberg of Tory corruption and betrayals since 2010 and the worst of it is that they have lied and lied and lied their way through their misanthropic neoliberal betrayal of Britain.

Cartoonists across the world are mocking Theresa May for her posturing over Brexit and a BBC reporter laughed in the face of Conservative MP Alan Mak when he spouted May’s meaningless trope, ‘strong and stable’.

Whatever the outcome of the General Election, the election is not the issue and the result is not the problem, the problem is that the Tories are not fit to hold office. That and only that is the problem and the Tories are determined to continue driving the UK into the ground.

It is frequently and casually reported (I’ve done it myself) that Britain is one of the richest countries in the world. In March this year the New World Wealth’s Global Wealth Review placed Britain in fourth place in terms of private wealth in 2016. It may seem impressive but it fails to acknowledge that Britain is one of the most unequal countries in the world where the richest 1% (634,000 people) own more than 20 times the total wealth of the poorest fifth (13 million people). Yes that does read ‘twenty times’ the combined wealth of 13 million people. The reality is that in food bank Britain the vast majority of people are completely excluded from any share in the nations wealth and Tory policies ensure and drive this vast wealth division.

Conservative policies are killing people in their thousands, excess deaths by cuts were reported to be 27,000 in 2015 alone.

Whatever secret deals Theresa May is conducting behind closed doors with the DUP to secure a fragile majority in order to continue her betrayal of Britain the only significant and relevant fact for the lives of millions of people in Britain is that she and her party are not fit to hold office. Forget election results and look at the results of seven years of austerity and the suffering they have presided over and the deaths which they are so comfortable with causing, yet deny their existence. That is not democracy that is genocide. That is not a ballot box issue, it is a humanitarian issue of crimes against life. Britain does not merely need a change of political party in government, it needs an end to the most brutal regime in our history which has rightly been compared to the rise of Hitler and the Nazis.

KOG. 15 June 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-deleted-past-broken-promises-from-party-website-8937435.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2017/jun/14/grenfell-tower-major-fire-london-apartment-block-white-city-latimer-road

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/12/tories-reject-move-to-ensure-rented-homes-fit-for-human-habitation

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/nhs-faces-humanitarian-crisis-rising-demand-british-red-cross

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/firefighters-cry-as-10-london-stations-including-clerkenwell-close-due-to-cuts-9050079.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/aug/17/sale-london-fire-engine-safety

Revealed: The Old Etonian Baronet who snapped up London’s fire engines for £2

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/londons-fire-engines-are-now-owned-by-one-man-an-old-etonian/

https://www.indy100.com/article/cartoonists-around-the-world-react-to-article-50-and-brexit-day-theresa-may-donald-tusk-7655851

https://creatorsnotconsumers.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/oh-dear-you-naughty-naughty-people/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/adnan-aldaini/globalisation-and-freemar_b_13281784.html

http://economia.icaew.com/en/news/march-2017/uk-named-one-of-the-richest-countries-by-private-wealth

Britain is now one of the most unequal countries in the world

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/01/huge-tax-giveaway-for-rich-as-poor-are-hit-george-osborne-tax-benefit-budget-changes

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/remember-those-killed-tory-austerity-5642530

http://evolvepolitics.com/tory-cuts-are-killing-people-and-labour-councils-still-refuse-to-fight-back/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/nhs-cuts-excess-deaths-30000-study-research-royal-society-medicine-london-school-hygiene-martin-a7585001.html

https://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/what-will-the-tories-suggest-next-compassionate-eugenics/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/04/03/new-plans-show-tory-genocide-against-the-sick-and-disabled-is-set-to-accelerate/

George Orwell War is Peace

This election is going to be one of, if not the hardest elections the left has ever fought. The ruling elites don’t like Corbyn, the monied elites don’t like Corbyn, the main stream media almost all don’t like Corbyn, the BBC, meant to be the nations impartial broadcaster, doesn’t like Corbyn, the Tories, moving ever further to the right, don’t like Corbyn, Daniel Finkelstein, a Jewish Tory Lord, speaking to British Jews via the Jewish Chronicle, writes, “If Jeremy Corbyn and his followers do not suffer a gigantic defeat in this election, it will be an utter, complete, ghastly disaster for Jews.”  The Labour Party Blairites don’t like Corbyn. Much of the nation, responding to the relentless negative press and propaganda, doesn’t like Corbyn. Even educated fleas don’t like Corbyn (sorry about that). And, of course, none of them like Corbyn supporters, against whom the kindest of the many names used, ‘Corbynistas’, is spoken with disdain and contempt.

This was a recent Tweet to me about socialism, “It’s a failed experiment that some insist on endlessly repeating. Thankfully the majority understand this.”

Given all that, and that’s a lot of ‘that’, it’s surprising that the local elections returned a single Labour win, if all we had to go on was all or any of the above.

Unsurprisingly the Tories are still ahead in the polls and given that all the vast majority of people have to go on is the main stream media it would be wholly surprising if they were not and the uncomfortable truth is that the Tories could win in June and with a clear majority.

As a simple test to find out what people know about Tory policies, may I suggest asking around a bit, friends, supermarket check out people, people in your church, neighbours you might chat to, I don’t think you’ll have to try too hard, ask them if they know the NHS is being taken apart and privatised. No more than that, although they may ask what you mean and you might tell them it is being broken up and given to private companies like Virgin. From their answers and even their questions you’ll get a clear idea of how much or little they know.

If they know nothing, they aren’t sheeple, stupid or ignorant, but the sources of news they rely on in their busy lives have simply failed to inform them what is going on, wilfully, deliberately and with malicious intent.

People aren’t generally stupid, but they are creatures of society and habit and most people simply don’t question that, or the media, and why should they? Activists are always a social minority, most people want to get on with their lives and most people lead busy lives (yes, including activists) and is it so great a crime to want to get by and not have to deal with the complexities of politics? And, godammit, they are complicated and they are complicated by slick talking, money grubbing, snake oil salesmen out for power and money.

The problem with Jeremy Corbyn, and don’t they just have a problem with him, is that he talks plain speak, plain English, and the career politicians have no answer other than to mock, denigrate and slag him off and those who support him.

Socialism hasn’t failed. Our NHS and our system of social security, those bastions and triumphs of socialism, aren’t failing, they are being dismantled by a right that is cunning, deceitful and brutal, full of its own grandiosity and greed.

How many times have you heard, “Why should I pay for them (poor, unemployed, disabled, old people, you name it)?”

When have you ever heard socialists screaming over the years, “Why should we pay for you?” Health, education, university, fire services, ambulance service, police, GPs, our vast national infrastructure, libraries, legal aid, etc.

And then there are all the benefits that organised labour and the unions have fought for – weekends, paid holidays, maternity leave, 40 hour working weeks, retirement ages, occupational health and safety, workplace pensions, the right not to be sacked for getting married, having a baby or being ill, the list goes on.

But do let’s hear it for the bankers, “Why should we pay for you!?!” And all the corporate scroungers, “Why should we pay for you?”

Never have I heard it said, “let’s have a cut off point, a level of income at which you can sort all your own shit out, every last whining, whinging, ungrateful bit of it.” It would be impossible to make it work.

Yet now, out of spite and media hate fuelled prejudice, people want to cut off their own noses to spite everyone including themselves, they want to sacrifice the benefits of socialism they’ve enjoyed all their lives because they hate the idea that other people are getting something out of it as well, and perhaps a bit more than them at this moment in time.

If there was any truth in advertising and without relentless propaganda, it is the Tories who would be unelectable and who would be vilified the length and breath of Britain.

The fact that the ruling elites, the media barons and the exceedingly wealthy, who do everything in their power to avoid contributing to the tax pot, detest Corbyn should really speak for itself, but the efforts and money they expend to trash him works.

Jeremy Corbyn is one of the most, if not the most, electable Labour leader and future Prime Minister the party has has ever had. The battle we have is not to prove he is electable, it is to battle the power of the wealthy propagandists and the ruthless Tory campaign war room backed by enormous wealth and employing unscrupulous masters of the dark arts of perception management.

Social, citizen and independent media has never been more important that in this general election and for the able bodied to hit the streets to get the honest message across that Britain needs and deserves to hear. Labour does not need to deceive, the Tories do. Labour wants to rebuild the nation after the Tories have spent seven years dismantling it and they’ll finish the job if they get back in.

KOG. 07 May 2017

https://www.thejc.com/comment/columnists/corbyn-must-lose-for-our-sake-1.437827

http://www.fleetstreetfox.com/2011/11/what-have-unions-ever-done-for-us.html

http://www.politico.eu/article/theresa-may-campaign-war-room-conservative-stephen-gilbert-lynton-crosby/

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As a 66 year old bloke, a post war baby boomer, it is incredible to witness that the NHS and the welfare state aren’t even going to make it through the life cycle of one whole generation.

Out of the debt and destruction of war came the greatest revolution in social care that this country has ever seen and I am watching it be destroyed.

Remember houses for heroes, the greatest house building programme this country has ever seen, built by the survivors of war, in which I am part of the first and only succeeding generation to experience that monumental achievement in social housing. House building peaked in the 1960’s at 400,000 homes a year.

The post war consensus was not a harmonious meeting of political minds so much as an uneasy alliance in which the Tories gave grudging agreement and yet, in reality, were bitterly opposed to it. It lasted until Thatcher came to power, 1979 marked the beginning of the end and by the time she was defeated by the treachery of her own party it was dead.

Since 2010 the velvet glove of oppression has been entirely abandoned, every penny spent on the working and jobseeking ‘stock’ is a penny wasted. It was ever thus, but now is exposed in all its brutality and includes children, the elderly and sick and disabled people.

We are in a catastrophic housing crisis, and scarcity, as we know with jobs, is just another means to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich via unrestrained market forces. Councils are now prevented from building houses and it was just over a year ago that the Tories voted down an amendment to the housing bill to force landlords to make rented homes fit for human habitation.

Those who have contributed all their lives to universal health care and the safety net of social security are now being scorned for being too old and a burden on the state by whipper snappers who demand to know why they should pay for us? How dare they? We contributed and helped build a system of care that could and should have lasted generations, indeed we contributed in good faith in the knowledge that generations to come would enjoy the benefits of our labour. And now we are scorned.

The wealth of the nation is being siphoned into the hands of the banks, financial markets and corporations who enjoy tax breaks and financial incentives, though never called welfare. Welfare is only for the scrounging poor who are to a body a drain on the nations resources. COE pay goes through the roof and bankers still enjoy their excessive bonuses, whilst workers are yet to be granted a true living wage as the minimum exchange for their labour.

Blaming baby boomers for getting old and living too long is an outrage for which poverty and the denial of health care are a sure cure. Let’s go back to the days that Harry Lesley Smith remembers only too well, who recently wrote in the Guardian, “Neither the midwife nor my mother would have expected me to live to almost 100 because my ancestors had lived in poverty for as long as there was recorded history in Yorkshire.”

That is the world the Tories long for, that is where they are so avidly driving us, but this old man, like Harry, will not slip silently into my coffin nor spend my last days in Tory driven misery. I have more to offer now in old age than at any time in my life and long years of experience on which to draw. I will not be silent nor be dictated to by ignorant children who have never known want or the terror of poverty and yet see themselves as political movers and shakers with the right to dictate misery for millions.

Every suicide hurts me, every sanction is an affront to human dignity, every cut for the poor and tax break for the rich is an outrage which I take personally and every lie coming from the mouths of thieves must be countered with the truth.

I look back at the revolution of youth in my teens with great love, which inspires me to this day, and today’s young ones deserve no less. The dismal Victorian workhouse ethic of the Tories must die, it is not a matter of if, only when. I may not even see that day, but that doesn’t matter, all that matters is the desire to fight and keep on fighting for a better world than this dismal neoliberal nightmare.

KOG. 26 February 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/may/24/history-british-housing-decade

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/adnan-aldaini/housing-crisis_b_6639040.html

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/12/tories-reject-move-to-ensure-rented-homes-fit-for-human-habitation

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/24/dont-dread-old-age-fear-tories-tyranny-austerity

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/may/16/uk-poverty-rates-office-for-national-statistics

Businessmen making handshake while passing money - dealing & bri

The Tories want to shrink the state, if not dispose of all state provision completely and (so called) privatise it. The problem, just one of many, is that we’re still paying for it all.

The burning question is, where is all our, tax payers, money in all the cuts, caps, sell offs, sanctions, sell outs and wholesale destruction of so much that we, the people, have paid for and no longer see any return for and yet still pay into the exchequer?

Here’s a list of stuff that we’ve had stolen, it is not exhaustive, but the sums of money involved are vast:

Student fees, nurses bursaries, now loans and on which interest is charged. The Educational Maintenance Allowance, scrapped in England.

The sell off of national assets, which raised £26.4bn in 2015 alone and still short changed the public by offering sweetheart deals to the vultures.

The scrapping of the Independent Living Fund, cuts to motorbility, sanctions, rent caps and so on.

Cuts to front line services staff and infrastructure (fire engines and stations, Police, air sea rescue etc).

Upping the pension age so that workers pay more, work longer and receive less and miners pensions which successive governments have robbed 50% of since the 1990’s, penalising taxpayers and National Insurance payers of their own money, to the grave.

Our NHS is in a league all of its own, beloved and paid by us, denied countless billions driving it into what the British Red Cross rightly calls a humanitarian crisis, whilst Theresa May denies this and blames it on the elderly. That’ll explain hospital closures then and the loss of 5.5 million bed places a year due to cuts.

Stagnant capital expenditure, especially housing. Even the Telegraph acknowledges the housing crisis is the worst for 20 years.

Caps and cuts to pay and services too numerous to mention.

It’s worth adding a few of the tax scroungers in support of whom we are treated as a cash cow – corporation tax cuts, tax avoidance and evasion and, of course, the bankers bail out. Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) estimated payback by us in interest charges, £301 billion on investments of some £54 billion. Oh, and Parliament’s drinks bill, courtesy of us, has tripled in two years – to £1.8 million.

But the big question remains. Where are all the hundreds of billions of pounds that have been and continue to be stolen from us?

They say there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, true perhaps, we know they happen, but who knows anything more than that?  In both cases it’s like staring into the great unknown, a complete void. I have nothing to say about the mysteries of death and whether there is something that comes after. But we, mostly, take for granted that we are skinned alive for taxes all our lives and we know the Tories are fantastically good at taking and giving nothing back but grief, but where in the name of George Osborne’s coked up nasal passages has all our money gone?

I have no beef with taxation per se. It is a reasonable way, in theory anyway, of financing those things which are of universal benefit to the nation, yet that is precisely what the Tories are unravelling and destroying. With something like the NHS, it should be possible to strike the best deals with industry to supply its needs across the board. In reality private companies are ripping us off to the tune of billions of pounds a year, staffing agencies, management consultants for whom the imposition of austerity became a cash cow, and above all, pharmaceutical companies dictating prices to the NHS. Last year Pfizer was fined a record £84.2 million for overcharging, in one instance the price of an anti-epilepsy drug was increased by up to 2,600%.

This is the myth of the free market economy, so beloved of Theresa May, and, of course, corporations which spend huge sums lobbying and bribing their way to keep themselves free of regulation. In 2014 the Mirror published a list of 70 Tory MPs (who we also pay for) with interests in health care which included Jeremy Hunt who received ‘£32,920 from hedge fund baron Andrew Law, a major investor in healthcare firms’.

Were there any transparency in government we might have some idea of the degree to which we are being ripped off by people (including MPs) and companies who see us as a cash cow for their benefit and profit. Well in excess of 50% of each of our incomes is taken in various forms of taxation, including VAT, fuel duty and national insurance contributions. One estimate is that for every £100 we receive, only £35.12 is available to us for actual living, the rest is siphoned off into the exchequer for services that we are increasingly being denied.

There is a scandal here of epic proportions waiting to happen. Will it? Not so long as people blame the poor, immigrants, elderly and disabled people, and so on, who are all routinely blamed for the state of the economy. Ordinary people are incapable of the degrees of systemic corruption that bedevil our lives, in fact the system ensures that we are not. But who protects us from the system and will we ever have any way to plumb the depths of corruption that we pay for or hold it to account?

KOG. 10 February 2017

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/27/tories-accused-shortchanging-public-record-26bn-privatisation-state-assets-press-association-data

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/jul/05/pfi-cost-300bn

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2016/01/women-and-the-state-pension/

http://www.chad.co.uk/news/miners-we-have-been-robbed-of-half-our-pensions-1-7567126

https://www.gov.uk/education-maintenance-allowance-ema

Tories have unmade almost 5.5 MILLION #NHS bed-spaces a year – so you can’t lie in them

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/06/nhs-faces-humanitarian-crisis-rising-demand-british-red-cross

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/08/theresa-may-denies-humanitarian-crisis-in-britains-nhs

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/secret-nhs-plans-shut-down-9254830

Tories have unmade almost 5.5 MILLION #NHS bed-spaces a year – so you can’t lie in them

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/07/britains-housing-crisis-worst-20-years-yet-obvious-answers/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/parliaments-booze-bill-tripled-two-9775540

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/07/pfizer-fined-nhs-anti-epilepsy-drug-cma

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32961240

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/17/management-consultants-cashing-in-austerity-public-sector-cuts

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/selling-nhs-profit-full-list-4646154

http://www.simplefs.co.uk/press-release/how-much-tax-on100-pounds.asp

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The Independent reports that five families are being made homeless every hour in the UK. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that ‘almost 13 million people are living in poverty in the UK’, with over half of those in families with at least one adult working. And the BBC, amongst others, reports that, ‘More than 16 million people in the UK have savings of less than £100’.

These are dreadful statistics that highlight the terrible suffering of people in Britain today as a matter of policy. This is not a failure of government, it is deliberate policy, an economic war of attrition being waged against the poorest and most vulnerable people in society who are not just being abandoned, but are being targeted and penalised for absolutely no good reason.

I am sick to death of reading that some of those being attacked are called wasters and losers, alcoholics and drug addicts, fraudsters and cheats. As if such ‘character defects’ are exclusive to the poor. Who in hell created this mess, who bombed the global economy, who has trillions of dollars stashed away in tax havens exploiting all the benefits of society and contributing nothing? The poor?

Anyone who whinges about the poor on benefits needs to take a long hard look at the world and themselves and maybe begin to wonder, who makes these stories up, who is aiming the arrows of their hatred at the most deprived and yet cover up and hide the most depraved, like ex-prime minister David Cameron, George Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey, Priti Patel, Philip Green, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and the entire financial ‘free’ markets? This is orchestrated hatred which is morally and socially bankrupt.

Richard Branson lives in a tax haven. Yeah, he really is one of the good guys! He’s one of the people stealing our NHS from us. Richard Branson is a carpet bagger of the worst kind, looting and plundering what we have paid for.

Meanwhile, every single day, there is an unsung army of ordinary people giving of themselves and the little they have to succour and support others. There is a 91 year old man called Morrie Boogart, a cancer sufferer who lives in a hospice, yet who found purpose in knitting over 8,000 hats over the last 15 years for homeless people which are delivered to shelters throughout the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area in the USA.

This Thursday, Charlotte Hughes will be at the Jobcentre in Ashton-under-Lyne, as she has been for two and half years supporting those hounded by the DWP in one of Britain’s most deprived areas. Charlotte and friends, whose names I do not even know nor how many, are feeding, supporting, offering advice and a kind word, to those who are victims in one of the DWP’s test areas, where the DWP practice their cruelty first before rolling it out across the country. I name her only because I know her and have the utmost respect for her, yet she is suffering for what she is doing, it is tough and demanding and at times downright dispiriting.

Under the shadow of oppression there are millions helping out, volunteering, giving of their time gladly, against the odds.

People know of the Trussell Trust, but they are only one part of the food banks that now exist across the UK, keeping people alive just because they care.

There are street kitchens, cafes and restaurants across the UK feeding the elderly and homeless, not just at Christmas, but every day.

It is impossible to even begin to name all that goes on every day out of kindness and care by ordinary people giving their time and energy to support others. It is impossible to even guess how many lives are saved daily who are abandoned and ignored by government.

This is barely even news, whatever scarce mention is made in the news of those who care is the merest tip of an enormous tsunami of care happening every day, saving lives, offering support and advice, giving a helping hand, lifting up and sustaining life.

If there is any place for cynicism, it is not here, if there is reason to abandon hope, it is not for want of the efforts of those trying to offer it. Yes, we do lose people and each one hurts and at times the tears and sorrow are overwhelming, but that is not the time to give up, even if we must pause for breath and catch up with our own needs, because we forgot to do that for a time.

But that is not what takes courage. What takes courage in a time of need is asking for help. It says much about us that we manage, and we manage and we manage, until we have nothing left, but that is not the time to die, that is the time to courageously ask for help. Asking for help is not weakness and nor is it failure, that is the time to surrender and say one of the toughest words to say, ‘help’: to a friend or neighbour, a doctor or care worker, someone who can connect us to the care we need. It is not that no one cares, they just might not know we need it, and may be stricken if we die when they might otherwise have offered a helping hand had they but known.

It may feel easier to die and cease to be a burden, but caring does not recognise any of us as a burden. I speak from personal experience, it is ok to need help, but it takes courage to seek it and ask for it. It is ok to be in need.

KOG. 30 January 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/homeless-rough-sleeping-figures-increase-rise-conservatives-housing-shelter-vertical-rush-a7550251.html

https://www.jrf.org.uk/press/report-reveals-new-face-uk-poverty

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37504449

http://www.taxjustice.net/topics/more/size-of-the-problem/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/23/charlotte-sees-desperation-first-hand-job-centre-benefits-system

http://streetskitchen.co.uk/scotland/

http://www.peopleskitchen.co.uk/be-a-volunteer/

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/06/europe/muslim-restaurant-christmas-homeless-elderly-trnd/

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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

http://www.globalresearch.ca/economy-for-the-one-percent-unprecedented-global-wealth-disparity-the-richest-1-have-more-wealth-than-the-rest-of-the-world-combined/5502320

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

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-11-18/369-million-makeover-for-buckingham-palace/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33184160

http://www.citylab.com/politics/2016/01/wealth-inequality-tax-havens-oxfam-poverty/424659/

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/25/122.html

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/11/08/uk-government-just-slammed-violating-human-rights-theresa-may-doesnt-care/

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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