Archive for the ‘British Govern’ Category
Ben says, “I have perter bum than Coatesey”.
Tendance Coatesy presents the ‘Alternative View’ by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.
“I would like to thank my good friend Andrew Coates for giving me this space to express myself.
God (and he alone) knows it’s hard to get an airing in the Bolshevik local press.
Well there’s been a lot of controversy in Ipswich about Zionism.
Plucky leading local Conservative Kevin Kevin Algar has rightly brought the ‘Zionist domination of the media’ to our attention.
His views on the ‘Zionist’ threat are not alone!
On another side we are pleased to announce that, as part of our equal opportunities programme, that we now employ a Mz Toolidays as our charlady.
She has an excellent background, Green Party, Labour Party and the Sparticist League.
And , forgive me for mentioning this Andy, my bottom is a lot perter than yours!”
Important Update: I am offended. I am offended that Comrade Coates didn’t have the courtesy to give me a ping back like this one. If he’s going to insult me, he can at least draw the insult to my attention.
TRY THE TEST: HOW MUCH ARE YOU HATED BY THE DAILY MAIL? HERE.
Be prepared: the right are preparing all-out war
by Owen Jones
The Daily Mail’s stomach-churning attack on Ed Miliband’s father – and him by association – is a warning. The British right are preparing one of the most poisonous, vicious all-out wars against the left in post-war Britain. If this is how far into the gutter this wretched “newspaper” is already willing to plunge, what’s it going to be like six months before the election?
The logic of the campaign is three-fold.
Firstly, the right believe that Ed Miliband has veered off script, abandoning the free market fundamentalist consensus established by Thatcherism in favour of what – by historical standards – is pretty mild social democracy.
Secondly, the right-wing media barons who set the terms of what is deemed politically palatable in Britain have never forgiven Ed Miliband for his endorsement of Leveson, which they believe is an unacceptable threat to their power.
Thirdly, they think Labour under Ed Miliband could actually win the 2015 election.
There’s a mixture of reasons why: the fact every time the Tories have won an election since 1955 has been on a lower share of the vote than the time before; the fact the Tories have a glass ceiling of possible support given their disappearance as a political force in Scotland, much of northern England and Wales; that the Tories haven’t won since 1992, and only won 36% in 2010 despite economic collapse and a Labour PM less popular than tuberculosis; the fact Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979, even though she woefully lagged behind Labour’s James Callaghan as the electorate’s preferred PM; that the electoral boundaries that favour Labour; that those who voted Lib Dem because they thought Labour were too right wing, and are now firmly back in Ed Miliband’s party’s fold; the fact that, even though Ukip’s current polling will subside, even a significantly smaller poll result for Farage’s party in 2015 will inflict serious damage on the Tories; and the fact that Miliband’s social-democratic populism could prove, well, pretty popular a time of ever-falling living standards.
The right fear that, if Labour were to win in 2015, it would inflict a possibly fatal blow to the free market fundamentalist political consensus. It will show it is possible to win on a different sort of programme, including one that at least hints at challenging an arrogant elite all too accustomed to wealth and power being generously shovelled in their direction by successive governments.
Therefore, a Labour victory is not acceptable to the guardians of the free market fundamentalist order.
Some will shrug off the Daily Mail attack as, well, the sort of thing you expect from this almost farcically detestable rag. The brazen hypocrisy of a paper once owned by a supporter of the Nazis and the Blackshirts has been well covered. But, in my view, this is serious. It is a warning shot.
I don’t care if the Daily Mail got someone called Geoffrey Levy to write it. As others have pointed out, this whole episode reeks of anti-Semitism – of the rootless cosmopolitan Jew with contempt for his country, and so on.
George Osborne’s speech this week lumped Ed Miliband in with Marxism. A red-baiting, McCarthyite-style campaign beckons, nearly a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Jeremy Hunt today effectively endorsed the Daily Mail attack, stating that “Ralph Miliband was no friend of the free market and I have never heard Ed Miliband said he supports it.”
We already know that the Tories are employing Lynton Crosby to replicate the sort of vicious campaign he has pioneered elsewhere. Their strategy is to redirect people’s anger away from those at the top, to people’s neighbours – unemployed people, public sector workers, immigrants, and so on. Rather than be angry at the fact you’re being mugged, be angry that your less deserving neighbour isn’t being mugged enough, is the general gist. This is how they hope to win the election, combined with a possible one-off pre-election tax cut.
We’ve already had public money being spent on vans with ‘Go home’ written on them, sent to ethnically mixed communities; now we have the Daily Mail slandering Ed Miliband’s Jewish immigrant father.
There are many on the left who have misgivings about Labour and Ed Miliband. As someone who wants Labour to be more radical, I more than empathise. But let’s be clear. We’re on the verge of an all-out, frothing-at-the-mouth war against even the mildest challenge to free market fundamentalism. It will be as dirty, vicious and personal as it gets.
That’s why anybody who wants to build a different sort of country – not a Britain treated as the plaything by wealthy barons who can’t even be bothered to pay tax – needs to stand against this poison. That doesn’t mean descending to their vile, reprehensible level. We really are better than them, and in part we must hope they will discredit themselves in the eyes of people who have decency and humanity.
But it does mean fighting back. The build-up to the 2015 election really is going to be horrible. None of us can have any illusions about that now. Let’s all do everything we can to take on this bile and to drive it back. I’m afraid I don’t think it is hyperbole, or a lazy resort to a well-worn cliché, to suggest that the future of this country is at stake.
‘Community Service’ Osborne’s Solution to Mass Unemployment.
The Daily Mail exults, “Benefits will be stripped from the long-term jobless unless they work full time picking up litter, removing graffiti or preparing meals for the elderly.”
“George Osborne will today announce details of the US-style ‘work for the dole’ programme, starting within six months and affecting 200,000 welfare claimants.”
The Independent reports the crucail details.
200,000 people a year who have claimed jobseeker’s allowance for three years will lose benefits unless they take up one of three options after two years on the Work Programme:
- Thirty hours a week for six months of community work such as making meals for the elderly, cleaning up litter and graffiti or charity work, plus 10 hours of “job search activity”.
- Daily attendance at a jobcentre to search for work instead of a brief interview once a fortnight.
- A mandatory intensive regime for claimants with underlying problems such as mental health, drug addiction or illiteracy.
Although the benefit sanctions will be controversial, the Tories regard the “work for dole” scheme as an example of “tough love” and insist their aim is to help the jobless back into work.
Statistics released by the DWP today show that the performance of the Work Programme – which was already achieving less than doing nothing at all – is steadily getting worse.
By June 2013 a lower percentage of people who had been on the scheme for one full year had found a job which lasted at least 6 months – known as a sustained job outcome – than in the previous two months. In April 2013 14% of claimants who had been on the scheme for one year had found sustained jobs, by June this had dropped to 13%.*
Boycott Workfare rightly compares the plans to the punishments given out to those who have broken the law.
Unemployed people and campaigners have condemned George Osborne’s announcement that long-term unemployed people will be forced to work unpaid or face losing their social security as a criminalisation of unemployed people.
The maximum community sentence that a judge can hand out is for 300 hours, but claimants on six-month workfare schemes are already being forced to work without pay for 780 hours. The four-week Mandatory Work Activity scheme is already the equivalent of a medium level community service order that a person might receive if they were found guilty of drink driving or assault.
When a similar scheme was introduced in the US, thousands of jobs in the Parks Department were lost in New York alone – to be replaced with forced unpaid workers. Similar case studies have emerged in the UK, where workfare placements are already taking place in hospitals, council offices, charities and businesses.
What is the record of previous workfare schemes?
A pilot has already been tried.
Boycott Workfare commented on the results,
The preliminary results are from the trailblazer pilot, which tested CAP along with Ongoing Case Management (OCM) – “a more intensive a more intensive offer of flexible and personalised adviser-based support, as well as a set of mandatory activities, delivered by Jobcentre Plus through increased adviser interventions for six months”. These two schemes were tested with a control group continuing on standard job centre plus, and participants randomly assigned to the schemes.
Fifteen to 18 per cent in each programme strand had entered paid employment, become self-employed or were waiting to start work at the time of the survey, six to seven months after starting on the trailblazer. These job outcomes did not vary significantly between programme strands, nor did the types of jobs entered, take-home pay and hours worked.
For participants on OCM, those who reported receiving more personalised support to their individual needs were significantly more likely to be in work at the end of the programme. However, for CAP participants, neither attending a placement nor receiving jobsearch support were significantly associated with a job outcome around the end of the programme.
The majority of participants reported being in receipt of JSA at the time of the survey. DWP statistics published alongside this report found statistically significantly lower levels of benefit receipt for both CAP and OCM participants compared to the control group about six months after starting the programme.
The degrading sight of the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing, with glee, that the out-of-work will have to clean the streets, wash the walls of scribblings, and cook for the old, awaits us today.
His Minister of Work and Pensions, Ian Duncan Smith, is said to be devout Catholic.
Not doubt that played something in the decision to make life hell on earth for the unemployed.
Johnny Void points out how the hard right Policy Exchange has manufactured statistical support for Workfare.
“The general public’s opinions on workfare have been grossly distorted by the nature of the questions asked in this survey.”
* The TUC said (26 September 2013),
Work Programme is still failing to help vulnerable people, says TUC
Commenting on figures published today (Thursday) by the Department for Work and Pensions on the government’s Work Programme, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
‘Despite the official spin, the Work Programme is still failing to deliver for many jobseekers.
‘Just one person in 25 is able to find a proper job after a year on the scheme, and disabled people have seen virtually no benefit since its introduction. Although there has been an increase in placements for those on those on the dole these improvements are starting to tail off.
‘The government is obsessed with punishing those out of work, rather than helping them find jobs. The best way to get to grips with our unemployment crisis would be to offer a jobs guarantee for anyone out of work for at least a year.’
The Suffolk People’s Assembly held a very successful meeting on Tuesday night.
Around 150 people crammed into the Co-op Education Centre in Fore Street to hear speakers on “It’s Time to Fight Back’.
People came from Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Saxmundham, and Hadleigh as well as Ipswich and its surroundings.
As the trade union UNITE noted, “The assembly intends to act as a focal point for a general campaign against the tide of austerity that is hitting the 728,000 people living in this predominately rural county. “
The meeting was organised by trade unionists, and a range of campaigners from across the county. Many had been active in the Suffolk Coalition for Public Services which had held large demonstrations against the cuts in the region.
There were banners from Ipswich and District Trades Council, UNITE, the NUT, the GMB and Disabled People Against Cuts.
Graham White, Suffolk county secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) led off the meeting. he talked of the privatisation of education and the attacks by the Education Minister, Michael Gove, on teachers Graham called for support for the coming joint NUT/NASUWT strike action.
Teresa McKay, Secretary of Ipswich Trades Council, talked of the way austerity and poverty hit us, particularly women. She backed the Living Wage campaign, and a one-day national protest general strike to oppose government policies.
David Ellesemere, Leader of Ipswich Council Labour Group, began by dissecting the disaster created by the Liberal-Conservative Coalition’s economic policies. He cited, Winston Churchill to back the argument that low wages ended up by making everybody worse off.
David made the Living Wage,calculated as the salary needed for a decent standard of living without tax credits, * the centrepiece of his speech.
He observed that the state was now subsidising bad employers by refusing to introduce this standard. He said that Ipswich Borough Council had brought the Living Wage, and banned zero hour contracts for their employees. A Suffolk Living Wage Campaign would bring pressure on those companies which refused “A fair day’s pay for a fair day;s work”.
Ipswich Borough Council was proud to announce that it had begun building Council Houses, for the first time in many years.
The Council had, so far, resisted cuts – though the Coalition was now set to introduce centrally imposed reductions in Ipswich spending.
David’s speech, which took a clear anti-austerity stand, was well received.
Dianne Holland, Assistant General Secretary of UNITE, spoke of the broader effects of austerity. We needed an alternative that could grip people’s imaginations and inspire opposition, Unity, People sticking together, was what we need.
Owen Jones, the keynote speaker, made just such an inspiring speech.
He talked of the politics of hope, opposed to the Government’s efforts to create fear and envy, setting the working poor against the unemployed, the healthy against the disabled, and the stigmatising of migrant workers.
Owen slammed the disability ’testing’ firm, ATOS, one of many of the government’s welfare ‘reforms’, the bedroom tax, and the fact that people now had to be fed by Food Banks.
Many people react to the decline in living standards and policies designed to foment division, with frustration and anger.
Hope, he said, was as essential to life.
In place of the Government’s politics of hatred Owen offered plans for public housing, for decent wages not tax credits, and for welfare. It was a scandal that rents were so high that the Housing Benefits were going into landlords’ pockets, without helping solve the housing crisis. In their place rent controls and a massive programme of public sector housing were needed instead. Banks, bailed out during the financial disasters of the last few years, should be brought under public control and used to promote investment. tax avoidance should be stemmed.
The movement, he observed, had a knack for division, into rival Judean Fronts.
But now we were working together towards common goals.
Owen’s speech ended with a standing ovation from the audience.
There was ample time for debate.
There was concern that over the weekend a ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’ live music charity event at The Steamboat Tavern on the Waterfront had cancelled by organisers after threats from the English Defence League. Around 11 members of the EDL had turned up. **
Members of the audience raised issues such the cuts in education locally, Labour Party Policy, the NHS’s use of agency workers. Concerns about the Labour Party’s policies in these areas, and over squatting, were raised. Women from the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) called for people to support their campaign against the service’s sell-off.
One speaker, indicating how the politics of division could be fought, said that the local UNITE had recently recruited a substantial number of Eastern European Haulage drivers.
Sandy Martin Leader of the Labour Group on Suffolk County Council noted that unlike Ipswich Borough, the Tory-run County employed people on zero-hour contracts. Its privatised services, such as Home-care service exploited workers still further.
After the Assembly people remarked on how heartening they had found the meeting.
Serious follow ups are planned.
The Suffolk Living Wage Campaign will be organised in the coming weeks.
People will be out on the September the 29th NHS demo outside the Tory Conference in Manchester, and the November the 5th Day of Action.
Tuesday was a springboard for a much wider campaign against austerity in Suffolk.
Suffolk People’s Assembly meeting at the Coop Education Centre Ipswich, on September 17th 2003 resolves to:-
* Oppose the Austerity policies being carried out by the Coalition government and develop political and economic alternatives to them. Read the rest of this entry »
• John Lister Keep NHS Public, author of Public Health and Private Profit
• David Ellesmere, Leader Ipswich Council – Labour Group
• Graham White, Suffolk County Secretary NUT
• Diana Holland, Assistant General Secretary UNITE the Union
Suffolk People’s Assembly say No to Austerity!
It’s Time to FIGHT BACK!
This meeting is designed to do just that. It will bring together people fighting against the cuts in jobs and living standards and follows on from the successful Peoples Assembly held in London in June, which attracted over 4,000 delegates, with 100 coming from all ov
At the SUFFOLK Peoples Assembly Public meeting at the Coop Hall Ipswich on September 17th, we will launch a “Living Wage Campaign“.
This will plan our public activities on November 5th, the date selected by the national Peoples Assembly for a day of action against Austerity across the country.
COME TO OUR MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 17th
Contact Suffolk People’s Assembly via Facebook.
Supported by UNITE the UNION, NUT, PCS, Ipswich Trades Council and many others…