Archive for the ‘Bricolage’ Category

The final part of my collection of other people’s articulations of the last 5 years:

Sigh. Yet again a lesson for us all here…about how things are done in “the real world” as though it’s the only grown up way to behave.
Murdoch has jam all over his fingers, his face, and his shirt. But no mummy he knows nothing about those doughnuts going missing or who might have taken them. It is the defence of a five year old. Ditto old kitten heels.
These chancers are so irradiated with spiteful cowardice down to their marrow they would make a geiger counter hum like a wet finger on a brandy glass.

There are real solutions, however, to the travails of work; they are found along Europe’s northern rim – in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands. These more balanced economies have avoided Anglo-American, finance-driven capitalism
It is no coincidence that all of these countries are true democracies since they have truly representative electoral systems.
There is one over-riding flaw in our system which infects everything : the fact that we are not a democracy whatever the party tribalists may say. This needs repeating constantly, but for some odd reason it is never mentioned by commentators.
Normally we get a minority elective dictatorship by one or other other of the Tweedle Dum/ Tweedle Dee duopoly that has developed under FPTP, both of them now right-wing, following Tony Blair and Co’s destruction of the Labour Party in order to please Murdoch and his floating voter following, who under FPTP win or lose elections. So-called “New” Labour subsequently cynically reneged on their 1997 manifesto electoral reform commitments .
Once more I quote Barbara Tuchman. In the first paragraph of her treatise:”The March of Folly – from Troy to Vietman” she says “Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests? Why does intelligent mental process seem so often not to function? ”
Can we hope that Ed Milliband in his review of Labour policy will take “THE WAY REASON POINTS” and initiate moves towards a rational representive electoral system where parliament and government reflect what the electorate have actually voted for.
Unless we get rid of FPTP we can expect England to degenerate increasingly into an even more unequal and violent society. In this regard it is no coincidence that the recent riots occurred only in England – not in Scotland, or Wales which have a parliament or assemby with AMS PR electoral systems – which are not the most desirable systems but much more democratic than FPTP
I have an idea. Sell off nearly every British company to foreign interests. Make people who have jobs worried about their future. Let the Banks gamble with depositors money and bad loans. Spend more money bailing out the Casino Bankers with tax payers money and then make the public pay, again. Tell the people this massive deficit is awful and unfortunately for them they will suffer the pain. Redundancies and job losses occur and then call the unemployed ‘feckless, workshy, and benefit scroungers’ so the daily mail and sun readers are kept happy.
Ah, put the unemployed on workfare and have them work for corporations for no money, not even earning minimum wage.

But changing the electoral system will not be a cure. The Problem we have is not the type of democracy because we live in a society based on Patronage. This subverts any system of democracy. You can elect who you like any party from tree hugging Greens to Ukip to communists to 1926 Tories not much will change since the politics follows the interests of the Patrons.
Obama looked good, Blair looked good, Brown looked as if he would restore Labour after the Blair debacle, Mario Cuomo looked good. All turned out to represent their patrons not their voters.
We have allowed the Super Rich with the aid of Murdoch, the City of London, Banking, the Energy sector to run our country in a way that is not true the rest of Northern Europe. They keep the Super rich in check and their Super rich are happier healthier and fitter and more patriotic than ours.
Publishing is a key component of control. if I as a publisher want to choose the next generation of Labour MPs I choose a young Cambridge graduate that has expressed ideas such as Unions should be weakened, that communism is the great threat. (I am thinking of real historical Labour Leaders). I offer them the possibility to express these ideas in print, my journalists praise the articles, he is a young genius. I pay him a big advance on a book publishing deal (this is not considered a bribe of any sort of corrupting deal). This is just one example of our fully legal and institutional system of patronage. Look to who is being payed big advances.
If my young genius goes “off piste” he will soon find all the deals, articles, reviews etc., dry up. The news papers will soon be describing him as a slow witted bad tempered plonker. The same applies to keeping journalists in line. Many don’t even see that their strings are being pulled, they soon know in which direction to bark to get their supper.
All this is can go on for a long time but in the end the more efficient system will win. If we allow our super rich to become gluttons they and we will go down.
This debate is always a nice study in psychology.
On the one hand, we are told that it is foolish to complain about executive pay and bonuses, or private sector profiteering from water, fuel or land. Despite precious little evidence in support of the contention, we are told that these things are all necessary to ferment economic growth, so stop your childish, utopian socialist whining.
On the other hand, benefits are now not even alllowed to rise in line with the price of bread – this despite the fact that spending by the poorest on necessities is, as the article says, one of the key drivers of our economy and has been well documented as such for at least a century.
By the way, the argument over how ‘deserving’ claimants are is completely irrelevant to the above. The fact that we are repeatedly warned about scroungers is the reddest of herrings – in the first place, it would be perfectly possible to ‘get tough’ on scroungers while still uprating benefits generously, and in the second place it actually matters very little from an economic point of view whether a recipient is ‘deserving’ or not – the important point is the the money gets spent and supports local businesses and jobs.
Conclusion – the government has no interest in the welfare of claimants, small businesses, regional economies or the wider economy as a whole, and is engaged in redistribution from the poorest to the richest for its own purposes. I don’t see any other rational explanation.
Once the private landlord has take the lion’s share of it, then they have £14,000.
But £1,000 is council tax benefit that they never see either, so disposable income is £13,000.
The average council home rent in London is £84 per week, so this is much cheaper than the private LHA amount of £340 per week. If we had enough social housing, then their benefit levels would be much lower.
The scandal here is that the taxpayer is being fleeced by private landlords through housing benefit. The claimants don’t keep a penny of it – in fact they often still have a rental shortfall to make up after LHA.
I can understand your anger when you see the amounts. But spare the claimants and direct it at profiteering alndlords and the idiot politicians who turned housing into marketised invesments and asset portfolios whilst at the same time selling off as much of the social housing as they could.
The government does of course have a plan here. The hosuehold benefit cap will come in at April 2013 and mean that a family in this situatino will not be allowed more than £26,000 a year in total from welfare. That means they will have a shortfall of more than £100 a week.
This is how is will play out. Rent arrears. Eviction. Emergency accommodation. Forced migration to cheap parts of the country with fewer employment opportunities. Schooling disrupted. Social ties lost. Socially cleansed neighbourhoods. Rents in those areas pushed higher still as yuppies move in.
Dunno how you feel, but that really aint the kind of country I want to live in!

“I have come here to make a confession. For 30 years, the British people have been the victims of a giant swindle, a swindle that has been perpetrated by all the major parties and supported by every Government since Margaret Thatcher. A swindle based upon a lie, the lie that if we encouraged the rich to create wealth, then the whole country would benefit. We did all we could to help them, we privatised everything, we lowered taxes for the wealthy, we allowed tax avoidance/evasion, we encouraged non-dom residency, we de-regulated, we crippled the unions, we subsidised low pay and we bailed out the banks. But, after decades of this, what did we achieve? Nothing. All we did was to make the richest 1% become even wealthier.
The truth is, Neo-Liberalism is a bankrupt ideology that has utterly failed 90% of the population. The only thing it has created is the huge myth that ‘we’ve never had it so good’. There hasn’t been any increase in wealth for the great majority of people, it’s been a giant con trick.
Virtually all the wealth created since the 80’s has gone to the top 10%, and the wealthiest 1% are now vastly richer than they were, whilst the rest have had to work ever harder just to stand still. 40 years ago, average disposable household income was higher than it is today, when there was usually only 1 wage earner per family. Now we have 2,3,4 family members working, especially amongst middle earners, and yet, they are now actually worse off in real terms.
This deterioration in earnings has been masked by two factors. Peoples lifestyles have been fuelled by easy credit and an insane housing bubble, neither having anything to do with the rich having created more wealth. Huge debt and inflating house prices have funded the façade of prosperity for decades. However, with the collapse of the giant Ponzi scheme that was the financial markets, this illusion has now been shattered. The fact is, they own you all. If the banks decided tomorrow to call in every penny they are owed, most of Britain would be homeless and destitute. Average household debt now stands at nearly £60,000. Total personal debt stands at over £1.5 Trillion, a figure which will only increase as a whole generation leaves University/college already heavily in debt. Some prosperity, and so much for never having it so good.
And it gets worse. We now have a Government that has begun a systematic assault on it’s own people. Under the pretext that the country is bankrupt, they are making it easier to sack you, making you work longer hours for less pay, forcing your kids to work for nothing, raising the retirement age whilst cutting your pensions and weakening your health and safety laws. They are attacking the weak, the poor and the disabled, slashing welfare budgets, forcing people off benefits and removing every support structure a civilised society should provide. Meanwhile? The wealthy avoid paying billions in taxes, and hide billions more away in tax havens.The very people who are paying the biggest price are the very people who have been screwed for the last 30 years, whilst the ruling elite, the very people who have gained the most from the last 30 years, are immune to the mess they have created. Executive pay has increased by 50% in the last year alone. That one fact tells you all you need to know about who is in this ‘all together’ And all the while, no-one sees the irony in millionaire politicians telling you ‘we must all tighten our belts’.
They have robbed us of nearly everything. And yet, they still want more. They already own your politicians, your media and your Police.They already have your land, gas, electricity, railways and water. Yet their greed knows no bounds. They keep taking, and like fools you keep giving. So now, they are coming for your pensions, your NHS, your schools, your green spaces, your welfare and, if you’re old, your houses, after all, you should pay for your own care, shouldn’t you?
So this is where 30 years of neo-liberalism has brought us. Massive debt and worse living standards for the many, immense wealth for the few. Well, the time has come to put an end to it. We are going to have a government that will start looking after it’s people again. The measure of a civilised society is how it cares for its most disadvantaged. The poor, the weak and the disabled will no longer be looked down upon as scum. We are going to try to create full employment. Instead of subsidising shareholders, we are going to subsidise the unemployed. Taxation is going to be more balanced, because it’s time the rich started paying their fair share. I will put an end to Tax evasion and avoidance, and if they say they’ll go elsewhere, I’ll say ‘good riddance’.
This system where everything goes to the top 1% has failed us in every respect.
It’s now time the 99% started to matter.”

Probably the most stomach churning thing about this coalition is the systematic targeting of the sick, the poor and the disabled and the deliberate spreading of lies to facilitate this. Equally disgusting is the amount of people who come on here and regurgitate this crap.
So, using the Governments own figures, let’s lay to rest this bullshit:
The lies they tell
The welfare state has led to a ‘something for nothing’ culture?
There are over 8 million people receiving benefits in this country. There are more people IN WORK who get benefits than not working. 90% of all housing benefit claimants are IN WORK. The Welfare state is actually a massive state subsidy to business which enables it to pay poverty wages and charge exorbitant rents.
You’re all sick of paying a huge swathe of chavs to lay about watching Jeremy Kyle all day?
Less than 5,000 people, out of a population of 60 million, have been on Job Seekers Allowance for more than 5 years. Historically, whenever jobs get created, they always get filled. The idea that there is a vast horde of the work-shy is a myth.
Living on benefits is a lifestyle choice?
More than 80% of benefit claimants are aged over 35. The vast majority of unemployed claimants have worked, and paid taxes, for years and are now on benefits due to redundancy, sickness, disability or having to care for someone. Millions more are receiving benefits due to poverty wages.
People won’t work because benefits are too high?
Average benefits amount to £3,400 a year. These people are living in poverty. Since 1997, due to various Government actions, the value of benefits have fallen sharply year on year in real terms. People on benefits are far worse off now than in the last 30 years.
People should get off their arses and look for work?
When Iain Duncan Smith suggested the jobless in Merthyr Tydfil should “get on a bus” to Cardiff to find work, Merthyr had 43 people for every job vacancy. Problem was, Cardiff already had nine unemployed people for every job vacancy.
The jobs just don’t exist. In 2010, there was 1 million more unemployed than there were job vacancies
Benefit cheats are bankrupting the country?
Benefit fraud does amount to about £1.5 billion a year. However, £16 billion goes UNCLAIMED every year. Meanwhile, the amount of tax lost through avoidance and evasion is a whopping £120 billion a year. ( and don’t give me the crap about avoidance being legal, the truth is, it shouldn’t be)
Not one of the major parties will openly state the real truth. The biggest causes of poverty in this country are lack of jobs, poverty wages and part time work. All the parties have social policies that they KNOW are based upon outright lies, lies that are allowing a whole section of society to be vilified as heartless people cast around to find a victim upon which to blame all this countries woes.
They should all hang their heads in shame.

Stupid Tories. Why, when your party has built a political ideology out of selling off public property, paid for and built by taxpayers, to wealthy, offshore, non-dom pals (and funders) of the Tory party, an ideology which is seemingly acceptable to the majority of the electorate provided the NHS remains undismantled and privatised, would you THEN go and fuck with the NHS?
The Tories KNOW they can sell off EVERY publicly funded British service EXCEPT the health service AND get away with it. Thatcher sold ALL our industry, housing, rail services (built and payed for by taxpayers) now Cameron is selling off our schools, our social programmes, our housing (again, like Thatcher).
The appallingly undervalued price tags the Tories have slapped on our services as an incentive for their chums to buy will NOT go back into new services that benefit the taxpayer, but to balance the budgets that are only out of whack because the last time the Tories were in power they sold off EVERYTHING and refused to invest the profits into much needed services, leaving left-leaning governments to albeit unwisely borrowing to attempt to alleviate the crumbling public sector that Thatcher left in her wake. AND THEY COULD HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT TOO IF IT WEREN’T FOR THAT MEDDLING LANSLEY AND HIS HATRED OF UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.
Still, Tory political stupidity is good for society, so overall… hurray!

I would be willing to tolerate the Coalition’s bitter pill if I had any faith whatsoever that it would result in something worthwhile. If we really needed to go through this period of pain to re-establish prosperity, I might be willing to put up with it. What Cameron has manifestly failed to do is to paint a picture of what life will be like when he’s finished dealing with the deficit. If it were to magically result in full employment and justice for all, then wonderful.
However, it’s patently obvious where it’s going, and that’s the shrinking of the state, the redistribution of wealth upwards, mass privatisation, and a permanent erosion of living standards for an ever-growing army of long-term unemployed. Cameron will do nothing about these things because he doesn’t give a shit about them. He’s shown what he cares about, and it ain’t you and me, mate.

Why are we 2 years into a 10 year economic slump? Because global capitalism has created a transnational, corporate welfare state which transfers wealth from taxpayers to a kleptocratic elite. It works like this:
Method 1: Taxpayers pay for not only the infrastructure on which the private sector depends, but also the state-funded research carried out by the military and public universities to develop technology such as the jet engine, the desktop computer, the internet, nuclear power and GPS. This technology gets handed over to the private sector, which proceeds to make vast profits from it. Then, even though the last 30 years have seen drastic and worldwide reductions in corporation tax and the top rates of income tax, the corporate kleptocracy evades taxes by hiding offshore up to £20 trillion of its profits (an amount equivalent to almost a third of annual global GDP), whilst governments cut spending and charities open food banks to provide for the victims of this criminality.
Method 2: Until their private sectors are able to compete globally, capitalist economies such as the US (from the 1830s till the 1940s) and Britain (from the 1720s till the 1850s), reject the free market and develop their economies through state intervention, using protectionism, subsidies and capital controls. The ruling elites in countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, France, Austria and Finland follow the lead of the world’s two biggest economies. Then, as soon as they have gained a competitive advantage, these beneficiaries of corporate welfare inflict market liberalisation on developing countries with disastrous effects. Thus, having increased by 37% between 1960 and 1980 as a result of interventionist economic policies, the GDP per capita of sub-Saharan Africa fell by 7% in the years 1980-2000, as countries which borrowed from the IMF were forced to cut spending, privatise their state-owned industries, deregulate their financial sectors and remove trade barriers. And at the same time that they were wreaking havoc in Africa, the free market prescriptions of the Washington Consensus were also failing in the developed countries, where average, annual GDP per capita growth fell from 3.1% during the 30 years before 1975 to 2.1% during the 30 years of neo-liberalism which followed.
But slowing GDP growth and stagnating median incomes didn’t stop wealth from being shovelled upwards ever more quickly. In the US for example, the 18 years preceding the 2008 financial crash was one of only two periods in the country’s history when the share of total income of the top 1% exceeded one fifth. The other was the 8 years before the Great Depression.
Method 3: Governments have to subsidise employers who don’t pay their employees a living wage. In the UK, for example, the government spends £23 billion per year on the tax credits it pays to working families. Then there’s the £4 billion per year in housing benefit given to households with at least one person employed. And, to keep wages low and its workforce compliant and insecure, the private sector needs an army of unemployed – again financed by the taxpayer. As Margaret Thatcher’s chief economic adviser in the 1980s, Alan Budd, admitted to The Observer in 1992:
“…………. the 1980’s policies of attacking inflation by squeezing the economy and public spending were a cover to bash the workers. Raising unemployment was a very desirable way of reducing the strength of the working class. What was engineered – in Marxist terms-was a crisis of capitalism which re-created a reserve army of labour, and has allowed the capitalists to make high profits ever since………..”
Method 4: Instead of retaining monopoly control of the money supply, governments allow private banks to create money, which is conjured up on a computer screen and used to speculate, fuel asset price inflation, pay bankers’ bonuses and create an endless debt spiral as more and more money has to be printed to enable the repayment of interest. Then, when the asset bubble finally bursts, governments have to spend trillions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prevent the financial system from imploding and national economies from disintegrating. Finally, to add insult to injury, governments have to borrow what should be their own money back from the same banks to which they have given the power to create money out of nothing – and pay high interest rates because of an economic crisis which the banks themselves have caused.
And worst of all, whilst the beneficiaries of the corporate welfare state drain the global economy at the expense of taxpayers, the media organisations and politicians they own lecture the poor and unemployed, endlessly moralising about their fecklessness and lack of responsibility. In doing so, they only confirm what most people already know – that capitalist democracies really are the best that money can buy.
British workers work the longest hours in Europe with less employment rights,less pay, lower productivity and pitifully lower state benefits than most of our main main competitors in the EU.Yet we’re now being constantly told that in order to remain competitive with emerging economies like China and India we need to go much further in making ourselves ” flexible ”.And that a big chunk of the workforce must in effect become a serf class that can be used and abused at will by employers and then disgarded like garbage when they’re not needed.
Sadly our political classes have yet to grasp the simple fact that it’s only a matter of time before the shit hits the fan in our country because a society as stressed out ,unequal , divided and insecure as ours can never be a society that’s at ease with itself. British society is increasingly being underpinned by Darwinian principles and we’re sleep-walking into a nightmare scenario where the elite have us all by the balls and sit back and watch whilst the rest of us engage in a survival of the fittest. And the principles of divide and rule are being played out in the workplace where those at the top reap most of the benefits whilst everyone else fights for what’s left. And those who don’t or can’t conform get demonised and stigmatised and become convenient scapegoats for all society’s ills.

Unfortunately this country is now dead and buried as a civilised democratic society.
The NHS will cease to exist during the next Parliament (most likely a Tory one). Already we have a concerted mass media attack on it’s “fitness for purpose” and the idea that “time wasting sick people” should pay to see their GP
Euthanasia will soon become legally acceptable and encouraged by the government. This will bring down the costs of work capability assesments, disability benefits, social care costs and free up space for a younger fitter population. Again we have already had a media campaign about how well pensioners have done during austerity.
Employees will lose the right to leave a job without their employers agreement, in effect becoming their employers property. This will be done in the interests of the workers giving them ( at their employers whim) security of employment and guaranteeing them a place to live ( though it may only be a bed in a dormitory)
The mere tinkering with access to justice means nothing to the general population and neither will all the points above. After all by the time I have been to work, texted all my mates on facebook, done my late night shopping, watched a bit of reality tv and gotten really rat a***d over the weekend I will be too tired to protest about things that have no effect on me at all !!

Being pro business used to mean something and it wasn’t that bad, it meant long termism, jobs at a fair rate of pay, apprenticeships and companies that took part in and to some degree pride in the communities around them. It used to mean that for any help and incentives they got from government was at least part repaid from the taxation they paid here in the UK.
Now it means absolutely the opposite, certainly with regard to big business, they want to take as much as they can as fast as they can, what they don’t deprive you of in wages and reduced working conditions they take in the way of handouts from the government, paying little or none back in taxation. Caring about the society around their business? Not a hope, they couldn’t care less if the infrastructure of the UK collapses as long as they don’t have to pay any additional taxation.
The energy companies are a prime example, notice how this governments “solution” was to reduce the number of tariffs, that didn’t mean a drop in price, how they screamed when Miliband spoke of taking on the energy companies, how the energy companies cried “blackouts” meaning blackmail………..
Let Cameron stick up for these people, let the people of this country see yet again how this lot work, let our chancellor take the EU to court with tax payers money defending the right for bankers to have unrestricted bonuses, let St. Vince continue to turn a blind eye to the growing number of zero hours contracts and pretend “surprise” when he sees he’s out by a factor of 10.
Decent people don’t stand a chance under this lot, you never did.

‘we want Britain to be open to business to the ‘wealth creators”’
So now you will see these were coded messages to every dictator, their minions, overseas tax evader, fraudster, drug kingpin, oligarch, that bring your money to Britain, not only will we not tax you, but we’ll make your money respectable. Come to Britain with dirty money, you will leave with ‘respectable’ money.
These people can chuck £10million of money sourced from places I doubt they’d be happy to disclose into a terraced house in Kensington, sit on it for 8 years, then shift it for say £14million then come out smiling and dancing singing the reason I have £14million in clean happy moral money is cos I sold my Kensington terrace. The true origins of that money are now wiped from history.
Britain is now the haven for making unethical money very ethical. As the average age of PM’s goes downwards their respect for the value of reputation, probity, national character becomes increasingly compromised. They lack the experience to even imagine how difficult it is to recover character and reputation once it’s lost. They’ll auction these long fought for characteristics off in a manner that wouldn’t look out of place on eBay if means quick political gain.

I had a conversation the other week with a proud neo-liberal and we tacitly agreed to end the discussion when he said, with a genuine sense of shock, “What, you don’t believe in competition?” The idea that human beings should live in a Hobbesian struggle of all against all seemed to him and, apparently, to a frighteningly large number of others, to be the only principle that should guide us. Yet it is a principle that is ultimately guaranteed to lead to catastrophe for us all.
Our success as a species has been built on our ability to co-operate to achieve our goals. When we regard others as nothing other than building blocks for our own success, to be used and discarded when of no further use to ourselves, we destroy the very fabric of our civilisation (just as we destroy the fabric of the natural world around us when we regard it in the same way). There will be no end to it, as the middle classes are now beginning to discover. First, you exploit the very poorest in society, forcing them to compete against each other to the point at which they can literally barely survive while working themselves to an early grave. (I believe that we will see life expectancy begin to fall for a large percentage of the population in the industrialised world within our lifetimes; this fall will of course be blamed on the lifestyle choices made by the people afflicted.) But it doesn’t stop there: why would it? The process will just continue and continue, as the rentier owners of capital pursue ever greater returns from the next section of the population and so on. The logic of the ‘game’ is that of Monopoly: everyone ends up in absolute poverty apart from one…who owns everything.
It can’t go on like this, but I genuinely don’t know how it can be stopped. In the past, we could talk about the ‘lumpenproletariat’, the hired thugs doing the bidding of the propertied classes. Today, there’s a kind of ‘lumpenacademia’, the hired placemen of billionaires, running the Economics Departments of leading universities, the go-to rent-a-quotes for virtually all the media, exhorting us all to work harder tomorrow to earn less than we did yesterday, while claiming that the accumulation of ever more wealth in the hands of the absurdly wealthy is a good thing because these are the people who will provide the investment to secure all our futures. It’s all so absurd, and yet such nonsense seems to have captivated our society.

Between 1945 and 1973, we had governments that would be described as ‘Extreme Left wealth-hating communists’ by current standards – and that would have been the Tories, Labour were further left. Yet we had full employment, consistent growth of 3% or more, good levels of equalty and a steadily dropping national debt.
Since the 1979 and onwards ‘revolutions’, with the focus going on the financial sector, and obsessions first with inflation and then with deficits, we’ve had ‘business friendly’ government. We’ve also had persistent mass unemployment, slow growth with recurrent financial crises and rising inequality.
Some may think, based on, you know, the actual sodding numbers, that these left-wing ‘business hating’ governments were better for business than our current ‘business friendly’ governments.

The Chancellor hid the facts from the public
Here are some of his achievments:

He Has Borrowed More In 3 Years Than Labour Did In 13 -Debt under the Tory Gov is still going Up & it is now record high

UK’s failure to raise output per worker since the downturn has held back wages and WELL-BEING

Rough sleeping UP 55% since Labour left office!

Poverty will rise to one in three children & nearly one in four working-age adults by 2020

Poverty among young people has increased by 6%

Amnesty International warned that the UK “is going in the wrong direction on rights, protections and fairness”

Number of Foodbank users (#report / 03-2015) -Four years of a Tory Gov 2014: 913,138 -Labour left office 2010: 40,898

100,000 Hungry children affected by his Benefit Sanctions ‘in 2014

Leaving Benefit claimants with Mental health illness for up to 3 month Sanctioned with no money at all

Bedroom Tax has hit 420,000 disabled people -Number of households affected by his
bedroom Tax expected to increase by 220,000 a year

More and more people in work need help with their private rents
Low pay is endemic in the UK labour market

UK firms use 1.8m zero-hours contracts says ONS in the last 3 months of 2014

More than half the parents in receipt of benefits are working families

More than five million Taxpayer work an extra day a week for free

Rail Fares prices rise by up to £1,900 since 2010

UK’s energy bills soar 2% in the last three years

Nursery costs for under-twos up by 33% over this Parliament

Nursery costs for under-twos up by 33% over this Parliament

HOME ownership flew further into fantasy land -Average price of a home in England & Wales has risen from £162,712 to £179,492

A growing numbers of people living in inadequate housing and paying sky high rent

His housing plans turned out to be a boost for Landowners and a handout to developers

NHS Misses A&E Target For 20th Week In A Row

New Cancer Performance Data showing Cancer Treatment target missed for a full year

Disabled children are waiting longer for vital services -Some being left for more than 2yrs before being diagnosed

A massive rise (500%) in GP practices asking managers for support to close surgeries

Shortages of nurses, midwives and doctors in most of Hospital Wards

Total Spending on social care services for older people has fallen by 17% Since 2010

Selling profitable public assets and dismantling of the NHS

The number of overcrowded infant classes has trebled

While Students struggle with his trebling of tuition fees increase -Academic heads see 59% pay increase
An appeal court judge has described Tory’s legal aid savings as a false economy

That’s only some of his Achievements that he forgot to list today!

Totally unrecognisable. The most incompetent Prime Minister running a farcical government bringing forward badly thought out bills that were stopped on a number of occasions by the huge weight of public opposition. The leader of a humpty dumpty government which realised that it would not get a second term, so set out to break things so that they could not be put back together again. A leader and manager of a careless, care less government that has shamelessly demonised the most vulnerable in our society. The man who says that so many more people are now using food banks ‘because they have been better publicised’. A PR man Prime Minister without a backbone, a hollow man who whistles the tune of whatever wind is blowing past him.

I couldn’t have improved on any of these. Here’s hoping for a real change tomorrow, first at the voting booths and then on the streets.


More wise words from others on our current, sad predicament:

The term ‘REFORM’ in bogus. What we are talking about is privatisation – pure and simple. We’ve already seen privatised care for the disabled, the elderly and those in special need, in action – The billionaire venture capitalists and private equity concerns will walk away with the accumulated wealth of generations of tax payers – they will then sell off all that is worth selling – variation on the sell and rent back scams – making billions through unparalleled public-private wealth transfer. And as surely as night follows day, they’ll come knocking on taxpayers’ door a few years down the line demanding subsidies on the pretext of unforeseen costs (I believe one recent pathetic example was the inability to meet the rent burden), thereby effectively holding the taxpayer to ransom. This is not about frustrating entrepreneurship. It is not about interfering with the virtuous operation of the market. This is not about undermining real creativity translated into world beating products – its not about the Dysons. It is about a cabal of parasitic racketeers with no compunction, no humanity and no sense of belonging. This is about a bunch of ruthless people who would jump over my dead mother’s body to pick my pocket as I’m mourning her. Whether backed or sacked, lets not have any illusions about what’s on the table and what it is we’re dealing with.

There was once a time when corporations balanced the interests of their customers, shareholders and employees. They delivered value to their customers and shareholders and fair pay and pensions to their employees. Then Margaret Thatcher deregulated the markets. Thus began a race for market share and profit at any cost. For private sector employees, this was a race to the bottom.
Companies that posted profits in billions and paid executives seven figure salaries and six figure pensions suddenly discovered that they could no longer afford final salary pensions for ordinary employees. They closed their final salary schemes and replaced them with defined contribution schemes which transferred the market risk to the employees.
It would be dishonest of me not to acknowledge that Gordon Brown’s 1997 removal of tax credits on share dividends for pension schemes accelerated this pension landslip. Its effect, along with that of market deregulation, has been to rob most private sector workers of fair and secure pensions.
And having robbed their own employees, corporate interests are, quite shamelessly, using their mouthpieces to turn those employees against their public sector brothers and sisters. “You don’t enjoy gold-plated pensions”, their argument goes, “so why should these feather-bedded public employees enjoy them at your expense?”. The worrying thing is that, instead of condemning their hypocrisy and demanding a return to fair pensions, ordinary working people seem inclined to listen to these siren voices and demand that the unfairness be extended to nurses, teachers and firefighters.
People are living longer and pensions need to be reformed. Working lives need to be extended and employee contributions will have to rise. But Labour rejects the argument of the Coalition government that final salary pensions are unaffordable. Even in the depths of recession, Britain remains a wealthy nation. There is no excuse for impoverishing our pensioners. A longer life need not be a life of penury.

I’ll exchange one millionaire for 100 welfare recipients. Actually, all the welfare recipients can join you in Canada. Sadly, welfare recipients are expensive. Millionaires pay all our bills.
There is a wealth of research out there that shows that a decent welfare state can actually allow economic growth. Recently an economist was being interviewed on Sky tv and gave the presenter ( a total murdochite right winger) a real telling off when he started going on about ‘benefits recipients’. He said that the UK has had one of the most strict benefits regimes for years and it actually COSTS us more money. Why? Well in the UK you get nothing more than £67 a week for six months if you lose your job. Then nothing (unless by this point you’re destitute). He said that immediately plunges people into poverty. It also means they take any job, often part time jobs that are insecure – meaning they end up signing back on over and over again.
He then compared us to Germany, France and Norway. All countries with (despite some changes) still much more generous welfare than us. In countries where people get between 12 and 24 months of generous payments the long term unemployed are a much smaller group, as are repeat claimants. Why? Because they can afford to re-train or to set up a business or even to (gasp) wait until they get a more secure job that will mean they are back in employment that can cover their outgoings.
Welfare recipients aren’t some ‘other’. They’re not a class of people that just exist, they’re you, me, our family and friends, people who lose their jobs. The fact is, even in the UK, the majority of those seeking JSA are not long term claimants – they are people who’ve paid taxes and NI stamps for years and are now being told they’ll only get a paltry, paltry amount back for that, for six months, hardly any help with their mortgage and other outgoings – and for that paltry bit of help constant bullying.
How much do you think it costs to assess these people after six months of contributions based JSA? A lot more I imagine than paying them a couple of years dole. How much does it cost to keep paying useless third party providers like A4E to bully people into taking shit jobs that will only last a few weeks at best? A fortune. And how much does it cost us when people keep signing back on after a few weeks or months of insecure work. All this bureaucracy is extremely expensive.
It’s like in the past – the poor house cost way more than the outdoor poor relief that had gone before it. But the idea of the deserving and undeserving poor led policy makers to believe if they made conditions for those in poverty bad enough then poverty would cease to exist. It never did. The poor actually increased. The poor houses cost the country way more than outdoor relief would have and they ruined millions of lives. Good job all-round – but thats right wing ideology for you. It’s ideological not based on any logic or facts. Or any real analysis of history.

Roll up for the grand old Etonian led Big Society hoedown!
Monday afternoon riots.
Sirens all over London, skys full of choppers.
Section 60 in effect.
Tories – clueless. Police – purposefully useless. Army -in the barracks awaiting ‘Kensington & Chelsea’ to come up on a Blackberry. Youth, fucking thousands of them – shopping. They don’t give a fuck. Guess you can’t ignore them anymore, anyway.
Cameron still on a Tuscan sojourn, Osborne in fucking Disneyland! The oaf mayor may have fallen asleep in his soup.
Have you sen the world at 17? No money no job 9k a year education, 250k 1 bed flat, war + war +war, over population, pollution, violence, knife crime, corrupt police, surveillance media, dirty millionaire Tories in a effective one Tory party state. If you’ve no family money you’re fucked.
I hope these kids rip the corporate bastards for as much as possible. Nobody want to see fires, homes or small businesses targeted, corporations though, are the supreme thieves. I’m NOT of course advocating the targeting of corporate premises and the removal of good from within. I’m unlikely to shed a tear over it though. Corporations kill community, fear makes profit, community reduces fear and opposes predatory profiteering.
Take Brixton, infact if every corporate operation in the place went due to relentless attacks it would be a big improvement, and I doubt many in the area would disagree.
Also worth noting the effective of previous ‘disobedience’ in introducing reform versus other means – legal ignored protest, corrupt Parliamentary nonsense. Direct action regardless of intention , works. It’s the raw reality of politics without the window dressing. So to speak…
Tonight I remember what I thought when I saw on TV the fall of the Berlin Wall and knew that Soviet-style communism was pronounced dead.
And I knew that the government of the UK had, from that point on, had no use for the immigrant population. That’s right. Because I knew that their invitation to these shores had been stimulated by this country’s fear of working class solidarity. In short, an influx of workers from the empire was needed to break up the working class communities and put an abrupt stop to their tendencies towards Marxism. But after the fall of the communist threat, these people and their descendants were now considered superfluous. Now the leaders of our state could afford to be racist again.
I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be a non-white Briton for all the wealth of the world. You’ve done the job: the English proles didn’t become a Stalinist mob. The powers that be in this country will hound you out now.
Am I a sick fantasist?
Not impressed I’m afraid.
A more interesting angle would be to ask why, most of the time, people don’t riot and what’s changed now.
Poverty, absolute or relative, has existed ever since agrarian societies first created storable food surpluses and gained a hereditary structure of leadership. The second event probably being dependent on the first. Inequality is equally as old; I understand(?) that Britain currently has greater social inequality than at any time since the Edwardian period, but a comment referred to food riots of the 19th century, and the gulf between peasantry and nobility in the medieval period would have been unimaginable.
So if poverty isn’t necessarily the trigger, and nor is inequality, what’s left? The author’s focus on the emotions aroused by not having possessions so fetishised by society, and the driving impulse being to gratify such a longing, is a huge over simplification. The trigger is in fact the perception of legitimacy. It is insufficient that I don’t have stuff, or that I am conditioned to want the stuff I can’t have, or even that other people do have the stuff I want. The tipping point comes with the perception that not only do the wealthy not deserve their wealth, but firstly that they are lording it over others as if it were the only measure of their worth (and therefore other’s lack of worth); secondly that they generally have not earned it; and thirdly that they are employing deliberate tactics to maintain their relative advantage by engineering social, political and economic conditions whereby their wealth is made and protected not just at the expense of others, but also at the expense of any opportunity others might have to improve their situation.
Again some historical comparisons: throughout much of history the wealthy and powerful gained and maintained their wealth through direct force or threat thereof. Without the impartial rule of law the powerful could take what they wanted and keep it by preventing others from accumulating wealth, or from becoming powerful enough to present a threat to the established order. Under these circumstances, wealth is a zero-sum game, and in order to become rich, others must be made (and kept) poor. Alternatively, another “justification” for inequality was that the rich and powerful were just better people; in many cases anointed by God, made powerful by direct Divine intervention in the way of pre-revolutionary monarchs. More recently, inequality has been justified by the claim that wealth is just reward for talent and effort, and that the deserving and hard working will in turn be rewarded. This last undermines the resentment of the poor, and is an incredibly powerful force in the USA, if not Britain. Finally, in times of crisis it is possible to temporarily put aside the problem of unfair inequality with a rallying “were all in this together” attitude.
So do any these possible mechanisms of control still hold sway now? Clearly not, as evidenced by the wave of rioting. Social mobility is at it’s lowest for decades, the global financial crisis has adversely affected many people’s savings/job/pension/education and with it any hope of a better future. At the same time a ruling elite drawn almost exclusively from the nation’s top public schools; the cosy relationships between the political, financial and media sectors, and the rewards dished out to and the favours traded amongst them, clearly demonstrate that concepts of meritocracy and financial probity (not to mention legality) do not apply to those in power.
The masses have long since been disabused of the myth that the rich and powerful are better people. Merely in the last few years we have seen an MP’s expenses scandal; a major banking crisis triggered by development of financial instruments almost guaranteed directly to harm the poor, and a crisis in the print media which has highlighted the highly dubious nature of relationships between politicians, police and the press.
Additionally, the rescue of the financial system using taxpayer’s money without any reform of the system or indeed sanction against those that created the crisis. Which lead in turn to a destructive recession which, like all recessions, hit the poorest hardest, and increased social inequality. Whether one assumes that the people in charge were incompetent, corrupt or actually evil; it looks suspiciously as if the western capitalist system has been corrupted to the point that it has returned to a zero-sum game and the best way to make money is to take it from someone else.
Having undermined any sense of the “deserving” rich; finally destroyed the illusion of opportunity; clearly demonstrated that we aren’t all in this together; and made it impossible, in a world of imbecilic football millionaires, vacuous celebrities and the discovery that a surprising number of the great and good have their hand in the till at every opportunity, to argue that many of the wealthy are in any way worthy people. The only remaining means of justifying the economic subjugation of the majority is through the deployment of force, either physical or legal.
There have never been sufficient police to enforce authority against the will of the people, and in a democracy there never should be. The police exercise their authority through an accepted sense of shared legitimacy. Recent examples of incitement and entrapment to undermine legitimate protest, kettling and violence to the point of murder towards peaceful demonstrations, the continued racial issues associated with stop and search powers targeting young ethnic minority men, a huge increase in the number of criminal offences, and the exposure of bribe taking, corruption and collusion with the media powers have all served to undermine the legitimacy of the police and the law.
Without respect for law and the police, without a belief in opportunity, without an expectation that hard work will be rewarded, with an economic and political system which has strayed from democratic capitalism to kleptocracy, in a society where everything has been undermined except the value of money, and with clear evidence that those in power are not just in it for themselves, but are actively colluding against the majority with anti-competitive financial systems, economic exploitation and crony capitalism, is it any wonder that there are riots on the streets?
It is not that people are poor or disenfranchised and cannot participate in the commoditisation of existence; it is that they are being actively excluded from the only game in town. If there was a coherent political argument behind it there would be revolution on the streets, as it is there disorder and rioting without any political agenda. This has been used as a means to criticise the rioters, but any appreciation of all the above would leave the clear impression that the political game was fixed. In which case it’s hardly surprising that the rioters are refusing to play that game, and have retreated to the only course of action left to them; a (self)destructive nihilism.

It’s a lot easier to put in that work when you are born into a privileged class, and have good parents who teach you the ropes, provide a descent education for you, don’t beat you, etc…
I get really tired of people advocating the meritocracy and responsibility and all that, when they started the race way ahead of others, and can’t figure out why the rest can’t catch up.

(that) is the real issue – generally people do not mind if some individuals are wealthy, while other remain poorer – If a person manages to accumulate a large fortune as a consequence of hard work, their intelligence and inventiveness and own productivity it is to be applauded – it is aspirational, is something each strives to emulate. What folk really detest is those parasitic leeching looting mooching wealthy elites that gain by nepotism, cronyism, corruption and moral bankruptcy – those that retain and grow their fortune despite their incompetence and failure! Each knows it is a form of theft, a legally sanctioned form of robbery – and it is evil to predicate a society on such criminal activity.
This government represents the Ruling Class. It is rather more blatant about it than most, but basically all British governments do. Credit card interest is set so high because it is profitable to set it that high. To our rulers, profit is vastly more important than people. ( If they have a religion it is Mammonolatry.)
Why was a welfare state set up in 1945? There were a lot of recently demobilised men coming home having been radicalised by the Education Corps and the War. The ruling class were afraid of a revolution if they tried to force these men back into the sort of society that had existed before the War. There was also the USSR to compete with. They have never been happy about the working people having so much, but they were afraid to dismantle it too quickly.
Since the USSR was destroyed, they no longer have this fear and they have set about dismantling the welfare state with ever increasing vigour.
Don’t believe for a moment that they are stupid. Evil they are, stupid they are not.

Is this the same capitalism which required (at peak) a GBP1.16 trillion bailout from UK taxpayers, and is still owes about GBP500 billion to us?
Is this the same capitalism which has fed us a constant stream of financial mis-selling over the last 10 year, from endowment mortgages to Payment Protection Insurance?
Is this the same capitalism which gave us (to quote Warren Buffettt) “financial weapons of mass destruction”?
Is this the same capitalism where FTSE executive pay rose 55% last year when average salaries barely increased?
Is this the same capitalism where FTSE CEO earn 434 times the National Minimum Wage and 233 times the 2010 UK median earnings? With little correlation between increased executive remuneration and increased company productivity?
I don’t think the Occupy groups are talking about smashing capitalism, just modifying the existing model to make it work fairer for more people.
Do you believe the current model is working fine?
The problems we are now in are because of government overspending not just here but all over Europe and the US.
Really? How did government overspending cause the bank crisis?
The financial industry destroyed the economy through greed in the pursuit of short-term profits, as acknowledged by everyone from Alan Greenspan to Eddie George and Warren Buffett.
I’m happy to consider alternatives but if we all worked on communal farms would there be enough work for all?

Capitalism can work. It can and has generated wealth for all in the past. The current version is broken and needs fixing. This does not mean we all have to live on communal farms. There are shades of grey between black & white..
The current system we have has brought good prosperity to the people of western Europe even if it is having a hiccup at the moment

A HICCUP! We’re looking at a Japanese-like lost decade and you call it a hiccup.
Are you in the 1%? Do you feel threatened?
Why do so many people protest against capitalism when the system we live under is nothing of the sort?
We live in a debt-based corporate kleptocracy where bad investments are bailed out by the public and markets are manipulated – not free.
Capitalism needs free markets and does not permit some organizations to be ‘too big to fail’.
I wholeheartedly support the Occupy movement, however I feel capitalism itself has been wrongly targeted instead of the real enemy –
Worthless debt-based currency backed by nothing, created to allow a financial elite to steal the wealth from everyone else.
It’s a problem, Ken is an old fashioned socialist and the present Labour Party is made up of new fashioned……what?
The working class are now called hardworking families, as a species the working class don’t exist anymore – they think.
But the Tory Party recognise them, and treat them as the working class whom their class control.
In the past, because there was a class of people who were proud to be working class regardless of what their job was, they were ready to defend themselves by voting Labour and joining unions
But New Labour peddles the notion that we’re all middle-class now, and as a result leaves ordinary working class people with nowhere to hang their hats.
The media, with the help of all the political parties, have managed to create the image of all working class people being benefit scroungers, who don’t deserve anyone to represent them.
The Tories love that, they’ve got this bunch of suckers who think they are middle class, but as no one seems to recognise them as a species they don’t vote.
Result, Tory Power, even if it’s via a coalition.
I’m a foreigner – with dual nationality.
I welcome the leavening that migrants have brought to Britain, and would like to think, in all modesty, I’ve contributed a little myself…
However, Britain has been wildly over-populated for decades, and cannot feed itself let alone provide quality education and health for all the people.
A long-term population of 30m, say, would allow a high standard of living for all – and aid abroad.
At present, the characteristic generosity of the English is trumped by an ideological mish-mash of meritocratic and inherited entitlement. The unresolved issues of this quasi-democracy could avoid dealing with this matter for some time…
The link between population growth and economic growth is tenuous at best, and has been manufactured by waste and inefficiency. And the planet cannot afford growth in the traditional exploitative manner – ripping-off cheap labour and cheap resources.
The country can choose – quality of life or a continued downward spiral where privilege for the few lies alongside poverty for the many. Until the crunch – listen to Occupy!
The Labour movement should resist unchecked population growth and migration – they are tools of the capitalist class to maintain or increase demand while reducing real incomes.
The problem with having a disproportionately large financial sector is that it has implicit government guarantees, unlike other industries. This means that unlike metal bashing as you put it, financial services transfer risk to the taxpayer. If they did not they would not care about the banking reforms.

Now pre crash FS was about 11% of our economy and contributed about 11% of our tax revenue all told (that is, payroll plus corporate). But the crash wiped out its corporation tax contribution for the previous 10 years and gave it losses to offset future profits against for 4 to 5 years. That is, it has been a real, material drain on the economy since 2007, will continue to be so for the next few years and has not made a net contribution since around 2007.

Stick that real world data in your statistical pipe and smoke it, and stop pretending financial services pays for all our welfare when it clearly does no such thing. It parasitises our economy.

Cameron has betrayed us, no one other than the 1% social elite would have voted for the privatisation of the welfare state, the Authorities and councils them selves wouldnt have. So what has happened Cameron has starved them of funding so they have no opportunity/option other than to bail out.
Now privatisation by the back door, we will suffer because they will not give us enough to meet our needs, just like the failed community care. Yet another joke voucher system, people will be falling ill and dying because of lack of funds, whilst the 1% to fine thank you very much. The collapse of society as we know it is imminent. Cameron and his 1% will walk away without a care in the world with bulging pockets. How on earth are we going to repair this mess?
.and KPMG are one of the companies benefiting from selling their services to councils in order to implement the cuts they advised the government on! I think I have that right, the web of government mates, contacts, financial advisors, donors, paid lobbyists and all the rest of the pond life we are being governed by is both extensive and complex, hard to always follow the money.

Private-Good. Public-Bad. (Repeat with increasing intensity)
Everyone knows that these new privatised services will cost the tax payer far more than if they were provided by public service providers – How many more examples of this will we have to witness in the coming years?
Both Marx and David Harvey warn about the creative destruction which takes place during economic crises as private investors experience surplus capital absorption problems due to a diminishing rate of profit – with the structural problems in the economy there simply aren’t enough profitable opportunities for the vast swathes of private and financial capital to continue to grow at 3% PA exponentially.
Over the past 15 years the role of national and local government has become steadily transformed away from providing municipal and socal services for citizens to facilitating further investment opportunities for private capital – look at the profits made by G4S, A4E and other large scale private providers through taking over services that were previously the responsibilty of the state at a far greater financial and social cost to ordinary citizens.
The Government has made it clear that they are determined to take on the public sector unions in one last great conflict with organised labour. This drive toward privatisation has also made clear by their refusal to negotiate with unions on the viability of public sector pensions in the education and health sectors and their point blank refusal to subject the fund to an independent audit to properly assess its economic viabilty.
This is because the main obstacle to any private sector investment into health and education is that investors are completely unwilling to meet the financial obligations of present public sector pension arrangements. The ultimate aim is thus to radically restructure public sector conditions of employment – Schools run by Carphonewarehouse and hospitals run by care assistants on short term, insecure private employment style contracts.
That’s why it is vitally important that we continue to undertake industrial action and that the trade unions stand firm and resist the destruction of our public services currently taking place through their costly and un-necessary privatisation plans. Otherwise in years to come when private providers and insurance companies are sucking up billiions in public money, we will bitterly regret allowing these changes to happen so easily without putting up a serious fight to defend such hard won gains as the right to free health care.

To be continued…

Sometimes it’s good to realise your own words are insufficient for a situation, and take inspiration from others. With the most important election for a generation just a couple of days away, I thought I’d blog a bricolage of comments I’ve gleaned from political discussions over the course of this coalition’s term in office, which sum up my feelings better than I could myself. I take no credit for the wit and succinctness gathered below, rather I doff my cap and feel glad there are people who feel the same despair as I:

“Both Germany and France have more generous welfare provision, and better pension settlements than we have in this country. They also have much better transport infrastructure. (state owned), better housing and less unemployment. All this, despite having no natural energy resources of their own. Now we have to import energy from both France and Germany, after Thatcher sold off our strategic resources to them. We used to be on a par with them, but 30 years of neo-liberal economic policies have reduced us to mere slaves of corporations. We have pissed away huge oil revenues on supporting ideological high unemployment. We tore up the worlds finest railway infrastructure. We sold or closed down our manufacturing to the very countries that are now steaming ahead of us. What now does our latest bunch of morons do? Of course, they carry on the very same policies (with bells on) that have denuded us and left us as mere vassals to these nations. Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and Clegg have destroyed everything good about this nation, and left us dependent on corrupt spivs in the City of London.”

“Germany and France have real, substantial economies. The UK has staked all on the the ‘financial services’ economy – which is not a real economy at all but an institutionalised ponzi scheme run by a bunch of fraudsters who jumble numbers to create a smoke screen over fraud. That ‘industry’ will also go the way of the industries British previously had and be replaced by countries and banks which offer solid, well engineered, reliable value at a reasonable price for what is a very simple ancillary service.” “One in the eye for the free marketers – the French and German unionised economies that support failing state industries have been out performing our debt ridden joke of an economy for years, both are now light years ahead of us in terms of their technical know how and ability to create high-end revenue generating manufacturing employment, we were not so long ago their equal, but Thatcher then New Labour decided “the market” was everything and here we are working longer hours in low end service jobs for lower pay than our neighbours – pathetic.”

“Our manufacturing base being shipped offshore with the associated massive loss in skills while at the same time allowing the input of cheap labour to drive down wages even further that much easier, just so that Oiks in the City could make even more money. I’m sure that totally ruining the entire country outside of the M25 and fucking up the economy in such a way that an entire generation of youth in the 80s had no choice but to end up on the dole was sanity. As someone has pointed out above as well, the Unions in Germany and France ONLY got Government and business approval because they were willing to be a shitload more militant than any British Union ever would be. We would need a year long general strike now and we could bring in German and French working practices and push the UK Economy in the direction it should go because British bosses and the tories would never agree to anything that would resemble fair wages and conditions for workers in this country. I honestly can’t believe how stupid business leaders in this country are. Cutting wages, driving down living conditions, forcing people to use credit to buy their products. At least in other countries people are paid enough and have enough disposable income to spend their OWN money on food, unlike this pathetic hierarchical ass kissing society where the people are willing to bend over and be fucked by “those better than us” and even give up their jobs so that CEO’s can get even richer…..”

“…this woman (Thatcher) is a vile representation of all that it is rancid and morally despicable about modern Britain. Apparently its okay to waste billions on an obviously flawed poll tax scheme then replace it with something just as crap. Plunge millions of people into unemployment, increase interest rates, lead the country into a recession and yet be heralded as an economic visionary. To inadvertendly promote the IRA through being such an obstinate twat and yet be procalimed an heroic no-nonsense diplomat. Finally and this is what really gets me, entrenches the idea that nothing matters but your own back yard. Whatever persuasion you are, is it not fucking obvious how stupid and short-sighted that is, on so many levels. But apparently she was the unifying ballsy leader that made Britain the ‘great’ country it now is. Bullshit.”

“Can someone kindly remind the Labour Party that it does not have to be like the Tory Party and never has done. Beyond its hard core of sociopathic Thatcherites and blue rinse geriatrics, the Tory Party is incredibly unpopular. It is kept afloat only by the multimillion support it gets from every corrupt robber baron the UK has to offer. Since Blair came to power, the actual aggregate Labour vote has received has dropped, election, after election, after election. Yet it still believes that aping the Tories is the way to go. Why? Because it is utterly terrified of that other great plinth of Conservative support, the press. Sensible, popular measures are never even mentioned for fear of enticing that lot.

Stuff like:-
liberalising the drugs laws, keeping the NHS in public hands, actually going on record and asking why some things were put in public hands in the first place – maybe even acting on said words and taking back some of the family silver. getting a handle (and perhaps even renationalising) on the privatisation of public utilities and the rail network. talking about immigration in a grown up way rather than the current, never ending, sabre rattling from rabble-rousing hypocrites on one side (that decry all these foreigners coming into our country but will never do anything about it because they enjoy the cheap labour) and naive wets on the other (that go all lovey dovey on foreign cultures – not a bad thing per-say – but have absolutely no understanding on the unintentional damage done to the British population by these immigrants). perhaps using all that oil money as a way of investing in creating new manufacturing jobs, rather than the proverbial bread and circuses that it has been for these past 30 years. These things could prove generally popular with the voters, but not on planet Wapping. The Tories received 10,703,754 Votes in 2010. That’s a 25% drop from the 14,093,007 that they won in 1992 – their last victory in a General Election. All this despite the Tories in 2010 having many advantages that Major’s Tories lacked. Namely that it was the middle of a recession and this time it wasn’t they that were responsible. I could go into Labour’s statistics, but they make grim reading too. As for the Lib Dems, up until May last year, they were the big winner out of all this. Alas their support has now plummeted for predictably depressing reasons. Now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone in England. AV could have allowed in a daring outsider or two, but that got knocked on the head too. Which leaves us with the only winner out of all your dithering Labour, the SNP. Right now there are only two things that prevent Scotland getting greater (or even total independence), foul play by Westminster (be it a coup, pictures of Salmond doing stuff he shouldn’t, economic subversion etc), or some genuine olive branch that offers practical, constructive, realistic ways to preserve the Union. To be honest, unless this book offers something spectacular (and by that I mean something more than fine words), this is far too little, far too late from all concerned.”

“Entrepreneurs are becoming extinct; those talented people with ideas that created jobs and actually made things taking huge personal financial risks. Today what is the point. The wealthiest people sit in boardrooms of public companies, the only risk they take is getting out of bed. They belong to a private club of elite managers – not entrepreneurs – who thanks to political friends, award themselves huge salaries, bonuses, stock options and pensions that have nothing to do with performance and are, more often than not, rewarded for abject failure – dare I mention the name, Goodwin. It began with asset stripping when clever people realized they could make more money from the real estate than running a business, so they shut down the factories, goodbye staff and either sold off, redeveloped or rented out the buildings. Then came the financial services industry which has become a monster; it is supposed to look after our money but everyone takes a cut along the way for advice, setting up and managing funds, mortgage, credit etc. Still no sign of actually making anything. More recently young people have become wealthy by running fast, kicking a ball around, driving fast, swinging a golf club or hitting a small ball across a net. And finally anybody clever enough to be able to sit in front of a tiny screen and create ways to connect have made fortunes overnight thanks to the global casinos called stock markets.
It all reminds me of the old Indian proverb: Only after the last tree has been cut down Only after the last river has been poisoned Only after the last fish has been caught Only then will you find money cannot be eaten”

“We need to decide now whether we believe in society and the state. The intellectual debate has been dominated for too long by loud-mouthed neoliberal zealots who spout about freedom as the highest ideal, who hate the state because taxation is an imposition on their economic freedom, and yet use the state to further their economic interests. The neoliberals have captured the state in the US and the UK in the last 30 years, using the state to crush the freedoms of the unions and forcing councils to privatise public housing. They have robbed the taxpayer to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on behalf of the oil companies, Lockheed Martin and BAe. They have privatised the public utilities whose infrastructure was paid for by the ordinary taxpayer. The neoliberals have destroyed the lives and hopes of millions of working class people in the West because it was more profitable to sack them and employ slave labour in Korea, India and China. Having done all this, the neoliberals claim that the state is a hateful thing because it taxes the rich and powerful to provide subsistence living to the victims of neoliberal policies. I believe in society and I believe that the state is the only vehicle by which society can be maintained. The neoliberals don’t believe in either. They are anti-social sociopathic scum.”

To be continued…