Thursday, July 16, 2015

Labour MPs Call For ESA Death Statistics To Be Published

A small group of Labour MPS, including leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn, yesterday lodged an early day motion calling on the government to publish the employment and support allowance (ESA) death statistics.

The statistics detail how many claimants have died within six weeks of, for example, being placed in the work-related activity group of ESA.

The information commissioner has ordered the DWP to release the figures.

In addition, a petition on the website calling for the publication of the figures has received over a quarter of a million signatures.

There are fears that the DWP now plan to release Age Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR) figures that would not allow a direct comparison of deaths over time.

The early day motion cannot compel the government to do anything, but it does continue to keep the pressure on them...


How the election was won – fraud and corruption

If any media had reported the situation of Cameron covering up the “worst and largest single case of banking fraud to have ever emerged in this country” (Nafeez Ahmed) in order to get the ex-chair of the bank, and a current director, into government, he would have had to resign. Instead he has been re-elected to Prime Minister for another 5 years.
Apart from the FCA the fraud has also been covered up by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Services Board, the Office of Fair Trading, the Financial Services Authority, various MPs and Lords; and the police refuse to taken action. All details are on this site


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Starvation in the UK

"We’ve watched our town centres deteriorate.

"We’re watched our communities decline...

"One in five children in my constituency go to bed hungry every night."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fuck Sotheby’s, Fuck The Rich, Let’s Take The Class War To Their Front Doors

Walking through Mayfair you would not believe that this could be a country where the poorest are abandoned to survive on just a few pounds a day.  Mayfair screams money, and there the rich play openly, driving their sports cars, holidaying in luxury hotels and sitting outside expensive restaurants whilst a few hundred yards away people bed down in shop doorways.

Of course the people working in those restuarants and hotels do not share in this vast wealth – most are working for a minimum wage that will not even pay for the basic necessities of life.  These people do some of the hardest work in society, working long hours for fuck all, cleaning up the shit and detrius of the rich.  And after Wednesday’s budget they will be made even poorer to pay for a huge inheritence tax cut for the children of millionaires.

At Sotheby’s auction house in the heart of Mayfair, billionaires bid for scrappy pieces of art, spending more on trinkets than most families will ever earn in their entire lifetimes.  Yet the cleaners and porters who work there do not even get decent sick pay, and four of them were just sacked for complaining about it.  The rich, and the lackies like Sotheby’s that serve them, treat the poor with utter contempt, as if the only purpose of these living, breathing human beings is to generate them ever more wealth that all, ultimately, comes from the work we do.

In the past during periods of such grotesque inequality the rich lived in terror, hidden away behind locked doors, praying that their guards and servants did not slit their throats as they sleep.  Yet now they flaunt their fortunes for all to see, laughing and braying in the London sun as they boast about their property portfolios and bark orders at those they consider beneath them.  There is no indignity too great that it cannot be inflicted on the plebs, the chavs, or whatever they are fucking calling us this week.

The class war is real, it is destroying our lives and they will take everything unless we start to fight back.  There should be no comfort for millionaires whilst  children go hungry –  the rich should not be permitted to eat and sleep and enjoy their pampered lives as if everything is as it should be.  This has gone on for far too long, and it could be stopped in a heartbeat if we re-learn to act collectively on the scale that is required.

So fuck elections and get out on the streets.  Advance to fucking Mayfair, starting this Wednesday, and support the sacked cleaners who lost their jobs for daring to raise their voices.  Join Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) earlier in the day and say Balls to the Budget.  Come to the Fuck Parade in Camden on Saturday and fight back against rampant gentrification.  Wherever there is trouble run towards it, because it is time to rediscover our pride and show our strength and our rage.  There is fucking more of us than them.  Let’s start to make sure they know that.

Disabled People Against Cuts are gathering outside Downing Street at 10.30am on Wednesday July 8th, full details at:

The protest demanding the re-instatement of the sacked Sotheby’s workers is on the same day, meet outside the United Colours of Benetton, at Oxford Cicus from 5.30pm or head to Sotheby’s at 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA, more info at:

In the meantime everyone is piling on Sotheby’s on twitter @Sothebys and their facebook page.

Class War’s anti-gentrification Fuck Parade is meeting outside Camden Tube at 7pm on Saturday 11th July, info at:

If you are outside London or can’t make these protests please help by sharing, tweeting and blogging about them...


Greece: "You cannot impose economics on such a politicised people."

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Unite union backs Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leadership

Unite, the UK's largest trade union, has backed left-wing firebrand Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.

The union decided to support Corbyn at a private executive board meeting today, and will advise members to vote for Andy Burnham as their second preference.

No official nomination was made for deputy leader, but the Union gave their support to Tom Watson and Angela Eagle for the role.


Greek Voters deliver emphatic NO to austerity

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
No vote: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech at an anti-austerity rally in Syntagma Square in Athens 

Brave Greek voters delivered an emphatic ‘No’ to austerity and plunged Europe into fresh crisis.

As counting on the nation’s crunch referendum continues it is clear Greeks had voted overwhelmingly against the EU’s harsh bail-out terms.

“There is a new popular mandate,” beamed Greece’s EU negotiator Euclid Tsakaloto.

The landslide 60%-40% margin sent shock waves across Europe and moved Greece a major step closer to a Euro exit...


Friday, July 3, 2015

An Open Letter from Catholics to Iain Duncan Smith

Dear Mr Duncan Smith,

We are fellow Catholics and people who were brought up in the Catholic faith. We are writing to express our concern at the impact on our communities of your welfare reform policies. We understand that your Catholic faith is important to you, and your approach is driven by a desire to improve the quality of individual lives. However, we believe that they are in fact doing the reverse. We would urge you to rethink and to abandon further cuts which are likely to cause more damage.

Of particular concern are benefit sanctions. We were shocked to learn that your Department recognises sanctions can lead to a deterioration in the health of a claimant. Yet sanctions continued to be imposed. This, as a punishment for what may be a clerical or timekeeping error, seems excessive. We would not expect prisoners in our jails to be punished in this way, and would be grateful if you would consider whether it is an appropriate way to treat people who are unemployed, sick, or disabled.

We are also very concerned at the way the Work Capability Assessment is currently managed and the change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments. Both these systems are causing great harm to sick and disabled people as are the enormous delays in administering disability and sickness benefits. To become seriously ill or disabled is bad enough. To then have to wait months for help whilst unpaid bills mount up, perhaps fearing eviction or needing to use a foodbank, is distressing and damaging. The recent suggestion to reduce Employment Support Allowance – currently funded at a level that recognises the additional costs of illness or disability – to the rate of Jobseeker's Allowance will cause further hardship

We appreciate that you believe the benefits cap encourages people to take control of their lives and find work. However the evidence suggests that it is in fact driving families into poverty and homelessness.The main reason families exceed the benefit cap is that they require high levels of Housing Benefit in order to pay excessive rents. As a result, thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes, which is disruptive to families and damaging to local communities.

We know you place great faith in Universal Credit to restore fairness to the system, but would ask you to reconsider many aspects of it, including the halving of the disabled child’s allowance. Disabled people, and families with disabled children, are already more likely to be living in poverty – it does not seem fair that they should lose more.

We are aware of your wish to promote personal responsibility and self-reliance, and we too believe these qualities are to be encouraged. However, we feel that for large numbers of people, policies aimed at promoting these qualities are having the opposite effect, pushing them further into poverty, and worse.

We would ask you to consider these words from Quadragesimo Anno, the Papal Encyclical written in 1931, as the world dealt with the Great Recession:

To each, therefore, must be given his own share of goods; and the distribution of created goods, which, as every discerning person knows, is labouring today under the gravest evils due to the huge disparity between the few exceedingly rich and the unnumbered propertyless, must be effectively called back to and brought into conformity with the norms of the common good, that is, social justice. (para 57/58)

The Encyclical went on to stress that this entitlement to a share of the wealth of the community was not dependent on work. In other words, when people are unable to work through ill health or disability, or unable to find a job, it is our duty to make sure that they receive the basic requirements of a dignified life; adequate food, shelter, warmth and security.

We believe that a supportive welfare state is an expression of Christian justice and compassion. When this support is removed, we may think we are saving money, but the consequential problems, like poorer mental and physical health, and educational underachievement, all bear a human and financial cost, and will have to be paid for in some way.

We accept that your reforms have been undertaken in accordance with your conscience, but we would ask you to accept in return that our concerns are genuine, and our experiences of increasing social distress are real. Our consciences, informed by our faith and experience in our communities, leave us with no alternative but to speak out when we see some of the most disadvantaged people in society being harmed.

We would like to enter into a dialogue with you, to explore how as citizens we can best support and enable our less fortunate neighbours, whilst treating them with dignity and respect. We have constructive proposals on how to make our welfare system work better, and in a way that is more compatible with Catholic and Christian values. We would not wish to find ourselves reliant on charity to survive, and are saddened that so many of our neighbours have become so in recent years. As Saint Augustine said, ‘Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.’

We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

We remain your sisters and brothers in Christ,


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Government Stripping UK Children Of Rights, Says Report To UN

The Conservative government’s policies risk systematically stripping children of their rights, a report for the United Nations has found.

Anassessment by the four children’s commissioners of the UK, the first full-scale review for seven years, called on the government to reconsider its deep welfare cuts, voiced “serious concerns” about children being denied access to justice in the courts, and called on ministers to rethink plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.

The commissioners, representing each of the constituent nations of the UK, conducted their review of the state of children’s policies as part of evidence they will present on Wednesday to the UN revealing how much progress has been made under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Many of the government’s decisions are questioned by the report as being in breach of the convention, which has been ratified by the UK. England’s children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, said: “We are finding and highlighting that much of the country’s laws and policies defaults away from the view of the child. That’s in breach of the treaty. What we found again and again was that the best interest of the child is not taken into account.”