Archives for posts with tag: permanent austerity


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,538

Tuesday 30 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

What is happening within the Labour party has repercussions for all of us, but more broadly what the parliamentary Labour party and you Tories have in common is utter contempt for ordinary people and democracy.

What has been revealed is a war between democracy and totalitarianism.

Frank Field summed it up very nicely, pouring scorn on the very idea that he is in any way meant to represent the views of his constituents. His patronising, sneering, response on BBC Westminster Live to the idea that, ‘A lot of people watching might think that an MP is there to reflect the views of his or her constituents’, was, “No, dear, they are longing to have somebody they can all boss around as if they had a view.”

This disdain, this contempt, isn’t new, it’s as old as the hills. Only yesterday I read that Prince Harry wants those wounded in battle to be given ‘a Purple heart-style medal’. Does he not know that ex-service personnel are not getting the medical help they need, that thousands of them are homeless and going hungry and even being sanctioned by the Department for Work and Pensions or that due to government cuts they have been sacked and denied their pensions? What the hell use is a medal? It’s an anachronism from the privileged, so steeped in their own pomp and splendour, yet all they offer those who fight their wars for them is a gong with ribbons on. Service women and men swear an oath of allegiance and yet no allegiance is offered in return for their lives and well being.

Whilst we are hounded from pillar to post to be productive workers, what are our rewards, no access to fair representation in law, a minimum wage which is impossible to live on and no share of the profits we create, privatising health care and dismantling our NHS for profit, 500 disabled people a week stripped of access to Motability, no access to a decent pension after years of faithful work and, indeed, successive governments plundering pensions, plans to scrap the human rights act, flogging off the nations assets which were paid for and built by us and permanent austerity. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

And what happens when a Labour leader emerges who believes in democracy, with people having a say, with fairness and justice for all, health, housing and education for all, a fair deal? Those whose only interest is their own worthless privileged lives, including almost the entire mainstream media and the taxpayer funded BBC, lose their minds. Frank Field dismisses the concerns of 70,000 constituents and yet he expects them to not only accept whatever dictat he and parliament forces on them but to accept the enforced silence and impotence that those in power maintain over us. And so, here it is, another letter for you to ignore, I may be just an ordinary guy, but I have never and will never sell my soul for power and privilege. Even the thought of it disgusts me.

The Labour coup’s final plan to oust Corbyn proves it holds the membership in contempt



A letter a day to number 10. No 1,527

Friday 19 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

The annual report (2015-16) from the Social Security Advisory Committee chaired by Paul Gray reveals that the welfare reforms were driven by pressure from the treasury and that assessments of the likely impacts were non-existent, ignored/rejected or, through the use of secondary legislation, deliberately bypassed altogether.

What is also clear is that recommendations presented to government were rejected, an example being that the reduction of the maximum period for backdating ‘a claim for HB from six months to one month was too severe’. The government response was, “We remain of the view that the arguments are not compelling for retaining an additional two, or five month period during which entitlement to support for housing costs can be backdated for an increasing minority of new claims to benefit.”

With the imposition of Mandatory Reconsideration’s, benefit delays increased enormously, or ground to a halt, and any reduction in the period of backdating would, and has, led to hardship, hunger, homelessness, increasing numbers of suicides and death.

I put it to you that cuts to social security were always ideologically driven, that is, George Osborne had simply decided that the poor were ones who were going to be penalised to supposedly pay down the debt created by the banks. I also put it to you that this was an orchestrated war on the poor, in which sanctions and imposed hardship were weapons used against the poorest and most vulnerable people in Britain. Whilst George Osborne was cutting inheritance tax and corporation tax, rewarding the wealthy, the poor were, and are, being driven into the ground.

I also wonder where this war on the poor got us given that George Osborne created more debt than every Labour government in history and doubled the national debt. Poor, sick and disabled people have suffered, and continue to suffer, for no better reason than vindictive spite and even the stated intention behind such appalling treatment was entirely false.

Lastly, after the imposition of permanent austerity, the countless billions in cuts across the board, including our NHS, the fire sale of national assets and the increase of over £500 billion in the national debt, where the hell has all our money gone? As you are currently enjoying a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps, perhaps you could give a few banks a call and find out if George hasn’t opened a secret Swiss bank account and squirrelled all our money away there, because I am damned if I can figure it out.

The Tories aren’t persecuting the poor out of spite, it’s even worse than that

Tories pushed through welfare changes ‘without meaningful analysis of impact’

DWP admits responsibility for benefit-related deaths with a single, small word


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,523

Monday 15 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

Since 2008 millions of people in the UK has been driven into a fetid swamp of fear and uncertainty. The banking crisis was a catastrophe delivered to our doors by the criminal negligence of a few bankers who have been allowed to not only get away with their crimes, but have prospered by them at our expense.

On the back of that crisis, ordinary people have been driven into deprivation and despair by a political class hell bent on demonising and penalising those they consider beneath them. When David Cameron announced that we can expect permanent austerity whilst he sated himself at the most luxurious banquet, he declared a permanent ideological war on the poor which all events since have confirmed as policy.

Our humanity has been redefined to a swingeingly narrow narrative of work and worklessness regardless of all other factors including age, disability, personal inclination and desire in life.

Whilst a royal birth is trumpeted as something second only to the birth of a messiah, child bearing and rearing for ordinary people has been effectively abolished as a meaningful function in life. It is expected that all parents work and hand the daily care of their children over to others. Children’s precious formative years are disrupted because falling wages mean that people are paid less than even an individual can expect to live on, let alone a family. If children are denied the sanctity and security of a home, then home has lost its meaning. Home security, and community, is something Cameron went to great lengths to undermine including ending lifetime tenancies.

Quality of life has been deprived of substance, as have creativity, learning, leisure and personal time and space. Even being reduced to mere workers has been denigrated as the five Tory MP’s in their book ‘Britannia Unchained’ whinged, ‘the British are among the worst idlers in the world’. For the record, the five who chose to insult the nation in print are Elizabeth Truss, Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, Chris Skidmore and Kwasi Kwarteng.

What Britain is really suffering from is the uniform dismalness of a political class of self serving careerists whose only interest is money which we are meant to pander to in docile servility. Thankfully the human spirit is made of sterner stuff and the outcry grows daily, which I will sum up in just five words, ‘We are better than this!’

07_april_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,395

Thursday 07 April 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Tax evaders have an implicit arrogant expectation that everyone else will pay for the social infrastructure that supports their criminal lifestyles. Tax avoidance, whilst technically legal, is the equally morally bankrupt equivalent of tax evasion.

Those who exploit such practices even have the temerity and arrogance to accuse people (like me) of the politics of envy. What they fail to understand or wilfully propagandise to their own advantage, is that it is not envy of their wealth that prompts indignation and even outrage, it is their self serving greed and their disdain for the common wealth of ordinary people that supports them.

You really should understand this better than most as your own father established Blairmore Holdings Inc, in Panama in 1981 in which its 2006 investment prospectus stated, “The directors intend that the affairs of the fund should be managed and conducted so that it does not become resident in the UK for UK taxation purposes. Accordingly… the fund will not be subject to UK corporation tax or income tax on its profits.” At this time it is moot whether you profited by your fathers tax arrangements, what matters is the issue of financial arrangements which exist to evade or avoid taxation of which you are indisputably fully aware.

Even the most politically ill informed must surely be aware of the issue of tax dodging but it is likely that these shady pursuits could well have continued unremarked were it not for one thing, you have weaponised money in the UK. Under your government money (the means of survival) has become weaponised as a means of punishment and torture in order to force compliance to government dictat causing material and life threatening harm to millions.

It is possible that you might still have got away with your ‘permanent austerity’ and ‘all in this together’ rhetoric were it not for egregious policies that reward the rich with tax breaks and protection, including tax havens in British crown dependent territories, whilst impoverishing and depriving poor, sick and disabled people of support and even the means of survival, costing thousands of lives.

The pressure you are under is of your own making. If you want someone to blame for the political storm that is sweeping this country, look in the mirror. If you are feeling hounded and persecuted, it is no more than you have been dishing out for six years to millions of ordinary people. It is too late to expect mercy, the mercy ship sank a long time ago and you were at the helm and if tax evaders and avoiders are beginning to exude some perspiration, it is not before time.

Cameron tax avoidance: If dodgy Dave isn’t getting the money, who will?

The only asset we truly possess is our labour, which has been exploited for centuries to create wealth, everything around us is created from labour, every single human made thing. These things are then sold back to us at a profit. All profit rises upwards, never to be seen again by those who create it and we are paid just enough to keep us going back to sell more of our labour in an endless cycle of exploitation. It is a gigantic pyramid Ponzi scheme of unimaginable proportions.

Cameron’s mantra of hard working people is the goad to get us to keep giving the only thing that we have that they have any use for and the only thing they want from us, our labour. He has to keep repeating it as our duty to blind us to the reality, which is staring us in the face, of being exploited so that the few can become obscenely wealthy.

They, the few, own the Earth and its resources and we farm it for them, we are allowed just enough to stay alive and buy a few trinkets, maybe even a house through a life time of debt. But the entire pyramid is a robbery.

Osborne’s budget is relying on people to go into increasing debt. Wages are nowhere near keeping up with the cost of living. Low wages drive people into debt so that even more of people’s wages are stolen from them to pay back loans and interest.

Debt is profit rising upwards. Cameron’s home owning democracy is debt slavery. The very last thing that Osborne wants is for us or the nation to live within our means, that is a lie. His long term economic plan is to keep robbing us. That’s what permanent austerity is, a robbery.

30_march_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,387

Wednesday 30 March 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It looks like another shambolic coup for George Osborne as we approach the roll out of the new living (minimum) wage.

Your government has created another policy with no structure behind it to facilitate it’s roll out, leaving workers vulnerable to exploitation, lower pay and even loss of jobs.

Private companies are already changing employees hours, terms and conditions effectively neutering any advantages in increased pay.

In the public sector, with no extra cash available services will be affected through scaled back hours, job losses and services abandoned with private service providers driven from or abandoning the market.

This is the real trickle down effect in action, the pain is passed down to the bottom, to employees and end users.

Osborne is, of course, not alone, Theresa May’s new immigration rules will see highly motivated and qualified teachers recruited from overseas being deported for earning too little as they fall under the £35,000 salary threshold rule for staying in the UK.

How to destroy a nation the neoliberal way, hollow out the country forcing people and service providers to throw up emergency scaffolding to shore up the structures that are failing because of your policies, then your government destroying the scaffolding.

This is government by economic hitmen and women, Osborne, Gove, Morgan, Grayling, May, Hunt, Smith, Crabb, Patel, to name but a few, headed up by you, the man who announced permanent austerity at a gold plated banquet at which you appeared too sated to move, which was really little more than a meeting of criminals overseeing the fall of Britain.

13_march_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,370

Sunday 13 March 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

In Britain today it is clear that if people are poor, young, elderly, sick, disabled or just plain ordinary they no longer have a place in this country, they no longer have a place in life.

This is Tory orthodoxy, those who cannot be exploited as labour are superfluous to requirements. It’s a central tenet of Tory faith held with all the conviction of the most rabid religious zealotry.

According to Iain Duncan Smith, work makes you well, work makes you free, work is like a health treatment, he also claims that ‘75% of all of those who have been sanctioned all say it helped them suddenly focus and get on’.

All cuts are really sanctions in your economic miracle of work and the demolition of the state. If people can’t, don’t or won’t get with the Tory programme they can die. I’m guessing that within the 25% of those who didn’t say that sanctions helped them are those who are now dead.

Little did we realise the full magnitude of your saying, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” Just for once you were telling the truth and what a truth that turned out to be. We are being hounded from the cradle to the grave, confused and confounded by Tory Newspeak, the unwilling recipients of George Osborne’s long term economic plan and the beneficiaries of your holy cause of ‘permanent austerity’.

As the architects of austerity you are the enemies of the people, the bane of Britain, the enemy within, the cause which must be brought down through positive action by the people, for the people.

This is a war of the innocents against the stealer’s of the nations wealth and health, lining the pockets of the few at the expense of the many. In  May 2015 the Independent reported that the Equality Trust found that, ‘the majority of the UK population (66 per cent) hold no positive financial assets at all – with the combined £9trn held privately in the UK spread between the remaining 34 per cent’. Britain is not broke, it’s broken, that is a matter of policy, not accident and innocent people, including 3.7 million children in poverty, guilty of no wrong doing what so ever, are paying with their lives and well being.

It’s official: Tory cuts to social services lead to ‘biggest rise in death rates since the war’

09_january_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,310

Saturday 09 January 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Warning of hard times to come, George Osborne is apparently claiming that the British economy could face a sharp decline this year and that it is now mission critical. In his speech in Cardiff he said, “I worry about a creeping complacency in the national debate about our economy.”

When has George Osborne ever engaged in a national debate about Britain’s economy? The majority of economists are against your ideological austerity and have repeatedly warned of the harm Osborne has done to the UK economy. Osborne has persistently ignored everyone in his religious determination to demolish the state. Your announcement of permanent austerity at the Lord Mayor’s blowout in 2013 was really just the warning shot across the bows of the nation that you intended to shrink the state to nothing and there would be no going back.

Osborne has already sold off some £37.7 billion of state assets with another £20 billion to go this year. Doubtless all at the same knock down prices as Royal Mail was to city vultures. All Osborne is about is the transfer of the nations wealth into private pockets, not so much a leaner state as you put it, but a complete clean out. Everything must go.

Oliver Letwin apparently bragged in 2004 that it you Tories got in you would destroy our NHS within 5 years and it’s obvious to a thick brick covered in mortar that’s going really well. In 2010 you promised no top-down reorganisation of our NHS, which, of course, turned out to be one of your more egregious lies, what I didn’t quite realise at that time was that it would be a demolition derby. There is already discussion going on about an insurance based NHS albeit sneakily introduced via the Lords by Lord David Prior. You are nothing if not a back door, sneaky and dishonest kinda guy.

The Housing Bill will see the end of social housing and lifetime tenancies because you want all housing to be either privately owned or privately rented at market prices few can afford and the devil take the poor as you destroy their lives and communities.

What is for very sure, whatever state Osborne’s incompetence reduces the economy to, whilst blaming everyone else from China to the neighbours cat, it is the poor who will take the greatest hit, with the poorest being starved out of existence by Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith.

08_december_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,279

Tuesday 08 December 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

The late great Howard Zinn wrote in ‘Our War on Terrorism’: “Let us begin by recognizing that terrorist acts – the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal – are morally unacceptable and must be repudiated and opposed by anyone claiming to care about human rights.”

He makes it clear at the beginning of the piece that he was ‘calling it “our” war on terrorism because I (Zinn) want to distinguish it from Bush’s war on terrorism, and from Sharon’s, and from Putin’s.’ In other words, the people’s war on terrorism. That’s a fairly novel idea, that the people have a war on terrorism quite distinct from that pursued my political figures and the media and it is an incredibly important distinction to make. It is a distinction that lies at the heart of protest and activism, the right to peaceful protest, free speech and freedom of expression, those precise rights you are seeking to suppress.

In September this year a coroner demanded that the government take action to ‘prevent future deaths of disability benefit claimants, after concluding in a “ground-breaking” inquest verdict that a disabled man killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit for work”.’

In your ideological war on the poor, the imposition of permanent austerity and the cuts aimed at poor, disabled and vulnerable people, like the bedroom tax and ending the Independent Living Fund, you  and your government have wreaked havoc in vulnerable lives and have terrorised them. People talk about the fear of the brown envelope, a fear I am intimately acquainted with, wondering what kind of hideous DWP imposed nightmare they might contain. Worse still is that you pursue these policies without regard for the views, experiences and suffering of ordinary people. We are denied any voice in your pursuit of dismantling all state provision in favour of privatisation. As Polly Toynbee and David Walker put it, “Cameron seized the 2010 “crisis” to realise his ideological ends. By exaggerating the parlous state of national finances, he was able to pursue his longstanding ambition to diminish the public realm. Margaret Thatcher privatised state-run industries; Cameron’s ambition was no less than to abolish the postwar welfare state itself. The Office of Budget Responsibility recently announced Cameron’s victory – by 2018, it forecast, we would have a state the size it was in the 1930s.”

In pursuit of such an ideological goal, the cares and considerations of those affected do not matter, that people are terrorised in the process is entirely predictable and, of course, must be routinely and ideologically ignored, just as they are. Your latest move to ban peers from overturning legislation is entirely necessary because in dismantling the state by deceit (never honestly declared), you must silence all opposition including the second house. That people are driven into poverty, homelessness, despair and death, is just collateral damage and exactly what Zinn was talking about: ‘the killing of innocent people to achieve some desired goal’. That is ‘our’ war on terror.

12_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,255

Thursday 12 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

George Monbiot has published your letter to and the response from Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire county council, which covers your own constituency of Witney, in which you complain about cuts to local services. In your opening remarks you state that ‘every part of the public sector needs to continue to play their bit to help pay off the deficit that the last Labour government left’. Whilst I would expect you to maintain this oft repeated deceit in public, it is hardly a good start in a communication to a leading public servant. You backed the bank bail out on the premise that they were too big to fail. It’s true that it fell to a Labour government under Gordon Brown to take the necessary action to save the banks which had very successfully crashed the global economy, but it would have been no different had it occurred on your watch. There is nothing clever about blaming the deficit on Labour, but then there is nothing clever about your entire letter. As the leader of the party which is the architect of austerity, indeed permanent austerity, it is socially illiterate and intellectually moribund to then complain that swingeing cuts that you are entirely responsible for are having a disastrous effect on services in your county.

It is to his credit that Ian Hudspeth remained respectful throughout his 6 page reply in which he patiently sets out the realities of attempting to run a county council that you have cut to the bone. You made it very clear that you expected Oxfordshire county council to dispose of surplus assets to generate capital receipts. Hudspeth responded that they had sold off 110 property assets raising in the region of £62 million, but he also pointed out that this money cannot be used to support revenue costs as that is neither legal nor sustainable in the long term as they are one-off receipts.

What this exchange very admirably demonstrates is that you have no idea what you are doing, no understanding of economic realities and absolutely no idea of the social impact of polices you are entirely responsible for enforcing. Your letter is the equivalent of someone stealing someone else’s marbles and then writing a letter of complaint to that person accusing them of, and holding them to account for, having no marbles. Not only is Oxfordshire county council continuing to ‘play their bit’, the council is clearly not playing at anything and is, indeed, being driven to its knees at incalculable cost to the public they are attempting to serve and increasingly failing.

As you frequently point out, you did gain a majority as a government, but what you demonstrate is your complete incompetence to hold office and that you are, in fact, utterly clueless of the realities of life under your brutal and ideologically imposed austerity. Britain is broken, you and your government are the cause, and you have the unbelievable chutzpah to complain about it. Did you know that the definition of chutzpah is of a man killing his parents and then pleading for the mercy of the court for being an orphan. A more appropriate word to use under the circumstances I cannot imagine.