Budget 2010: A Very Tory Budget

June 24, 2010

Shamefully, Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander washed away any suggestion that he should be ashamed of himself for campaigning throughout the election months on the premise that the Lib Dems would DEFINITELY NOT have to rise VAT in order to fund their economic plan, only to announce jointly with George Osbourne, that VAT would have to rise. Alexander defended it by suggesting the economic situation, since he took office, had “dramatically changed”. The trouble is, none of us know how it has dramatically changed. In fact, for all intents and purposes, it’s safe to say the situation hasn’t changed at all. The smirking face of Clegg sitting behind Osbourne as he made his budget speech, was all I needed to see, to ensure that I would never vote Liberal Democrat Tory-lite again. Alexander then said that the budget was progressive in that the richest, contributed the most. He lied again. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the budget was “not progressive” in that the richest households did not pay more, the corporations who tax avoid were not being punished, and banking bonuses were not being taxed. Cutting benefits, raising regressive taxes, and then cutting corporation tax, can never ever be described as progressive, no matter how blinded you are by current Lib Dem rhetoric. We all know that Labour lied appallingly in their last manifesto, but Clegg and the Liberals have taken political deception and selling out their principles, to a whole new level.

Whilst in Australia, i’ve kept a close watch on George Osbourne’s “emergency” budget situation. The term “emergency” in that phrase, the Tories have used for the past few months, and it’s very tedious. Playing politics with the economy, which they largely have very little control over anyway, is a little unnerving.

Cameron and Osbourne have suggested that the economic figures for the last Parliament could have been ‘fiddled’ and pledged to make sure that kind of behaviour would never happen again. The problem is, the figures were not fiddled, as a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility pointed out recently. The same report rubbishes another Tory claim that the UK could become the next Greece. The report shows that Greek debt is double the UKs, Greece is still in recession and we’re not, and the debt maturity for Greece is 3 years, compared to ours which is 14. We, quite conclusively, are not Greece. The OBR report also revised figures for borrowing, showing that the situation had indeed improved. George Osbourne, having seen the Labour had not fiddled the figures, and that we were not the next Greece, and that borrowing had improved, responded quite ridiculously with:

“this is damning evidence that the mess the previous government left behind is even bigger than we thought.”

It is against this report that Osbourne made his first budget speech. The key points are:

  • VAT will rise from 17.5% to 20%
  • Council tax frozen for a year.
  • Capital Gains Tax will rise from 18% to 28% from midnight for higher rate taxpayers.
  • The “entrepreneurs relief” rate of 10% on the first £2m of gains will be extended to the first £5m.
  • Child benefit frozen for three years.
  • Tax credits reduced for families earning over £40,000 a year.
  • Housing benefit for longterm unemployed will be cut.
  • Sure Start maternity grant restricted to first child.
  • Single parents punished for not looking for work, when their child starts school.
  • Welfare in general, cut by £11bn over three years.
  • Pensions linked to earnings again.
  • Retirement age increased to 66.
  • NHS budget protected.
  • Corporation Tax cut by 5% over three years.
  • Small Companies tax rate cut to 20%.
  • No real commitment to tackling climate change.
  • 25% cut from every department.
  • All children under 15, will be punched in the face.

    Okay I made that last one up.

    How is this a progressive budget? It couldn’t be any more regressive unless one of the pledges was to reintroduce Feudalism. The NHS budget is protected, which is good. But departments like the Home Office (which means crime and education) will be slashed viciously. As will Climate Change financing. We are regressing, and not just by enough needed to ensure recovery, we are regressing for ideological reasons.
    No tax on banking bonuses. No punishing the banks. No tax avoidance loopholes closed. No punishing companies who have spent the past twenty years actively tax avoiding, costing us pretty much our entire budget deficit in lost revenues? No acknowledgement that it was not the Public Sector that failed, it was the Private Financial Sector that failed. Just an attack on people who have no political power. Same old Tories.

    The medical checks for Disability Living Allowance, along with 25% cuts for the department are massively harsh. The majority of those claiming this benefit, are the elderly, to help pay for their care. 25% cuts will not just hit those who are scrounging the benefit, it will hit the elderly who need it too. But it’s okay, because whilst they will now have to work an extra year anyway, the money that would have gone to providing care for the elderly, will now go to funding
    the “relief rate” of 10% on the first £5m a businessman earns. Thank God for that. The elderly should not be given any help, when the money could instead be used for more important social needs like buying a businessman a new yacht.
    The goal is to get us into budget surplus again, in six years time. Labour had pledged to halve the deficit over four years. There is no urgent need to create a budget surplus in six years. It is ideologically driven, rather than driven out of necessity.

    I have never understood the need to cut a deficit in the middle of a recovery. The budget was a Tory ideological budget. A glint in their eyes. As far as I knew, you prop up an economy when it’s falling. When it has recovered, and tax revenues increase, you then start to decrease spending.

    As far as i’m concerned, the Tories were wrong when they told us everything would be wonderful if they sold the railways, gas, and destroyed British industry; they were wrong when they told us minimum wage would drive companies out of Britain and leave us in a terrible position globally; and they are wrong now. To massively cut a deficit when recovery is underway, is like kicking away the walking stick from a man whose broken leg is still getting better.

    By calling it an ëmergency budget for the past few months, and by blaming Labour for the problems with the banks, rather than a mix of Tory banking deregulation and Labour lax oversight, they are merely indulging in a bit of ideological warfare. I guarantee unemployment rates will shoot up, and then they’ll blame Labour. Or the gays. Or muslims. But if/when double dip recession hits, they will no longer be able to blame Labour.

    The budget was a very neoliberal budget. It bases its entire existence within this new coalition, on the premise that budget deficits are necessarily awful things that must be cut immediately. There are many many economists who would tell you that that way of thinking, is not “actual knowledge of basic economic principles” and only serves as ideological Friedmanite warefare. Milton Friedman would have very different ideas about what constitutes basic economic principles, than John Keynes.

    Deregulating finance, in the 1980s led massively to fake booms economically, because credit became far too easy, and consumer debt went through the roof. And all of these new fake booms, fromt dotcom to subprime, failed miserably. That’s the legacy of right wing economics. And now, this budget, is a throw back to the days when deregulation, and cutting corporate tax whilst increasing regressive taxes and hitting those less fortunate, was considered a wondrous solution to stagnation. It didn’t work before, it wont work again.

    The Tories, on their quest to rubbish the N.I rise during the campaign also failed to mention that they whilst they said they’d scrap it completely, what they meant was they’d only scrap it for employers. Employees are still going to be hit with the rise. They said they had absolutely no plans to raise VAT, in fact, they made it part of their campaign. So in essence, they have no mandate to do this. Actually, they have no mandate to force deep cuts this year anyway, given that the majority of the country voted for cuts to come over a five year period.

    Attacking single parents, for not working is another harsh measure. As is cutting housing benefit for longterm unemployed. If the economy was flourishing and jobs were in abundance, it would be almost understandable; but that isn’t the case. There are very few jobs. Cutting benefits during a recovery from the biggest recession in decades, is simply throwing another generation onto the scrap heap. Forget any ambition you might have, you either get a job in McDonalds, or you go homeless. Professor Colin Talbot of Manchester Business School estimated that because of the cuts promised, one fifth of all public sector workers would lose their job. What about them? The Government will fire them, and then offer very little help? It is the lack of compassion that drives the Conservative Party, and now, the Liberal Democrat Party.

    The Liberal Democrats should be ashamed. They are now firmly placed on the right wing of the economic scale. They are not progressives. They are Tory-lite.

    Contrary to what Osbourne claims, we are not “all in this together”, because when 77% of savings comes from cuts rather than taxation, the poorest will always be hardest hit. When Tory friends in the City are rewarded with tax decreases, yet VAT rises and benefits are cut along with departmental spending, the wealthiest are not helping to cut the deficit, they are benefiting from it. This was not a budget for you and I, this was a Tory budget for the rich.

    The economic problem that we face, is not just figures and statistics, it is the philosophical base of the economy itself. Until we as a society take note that those on benefits take up such a small piece of the public purse, and those scrounging benefits even smaller in comparison to the corporations who actively tax avoid, we will never progress. We have just elected a government, who have no problem with corporate tax avoidance and private sector over-extravagance. Until we realise that neoliberalism got us into this mess, and so electing a neoliberalist government will not get us out of this mess, we will never progress.

    The whole notion of needing more, has been the base of our economy for the past thirty years. The idea that growth, on a national scale, has nothing to do with actually bettering society, and everything to do with owning more shit that none of us actually need is mirrored in the idea of growth in the individual, growth is not the idea of personal betterment, but how many holidays someone can go on in a year, or how much better your car is compared to your next door neighbour. That mindset is ingrained in our minds. Including mine. Our sense of self is based entirely on what we consume, and anyone who disagrees is an evil socialist. I completely 100% blame Thatcherism and Reaganomics for that idea. New Labour and today’s Tories are just an offshoot of the 1980s. Because before Reagan, even President Nixon, a Republican, would have been considered a socialist by their standards. I’d suggest that to combat this horrendously weak base for an economic system, we should be investing public money in new industry, we should be directing funds and encouraging investment toward the betterment of society and we certainly shouldn’t be redirecting money away from the poorest and toward the richest. There needs to be a fundamental move away from the failures of Neoliberalism and toward a far more progressive left direction. Otherwise, all we are doing now is laying the foundations for the next economic collapse, and the circle will continue for another generation.

    If anything, i’m pretty sure England can again produce some fantastic anti-Tory music. A new Clash please!

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  • Australia

    June 21, 2010

    As I was strolling around the town in which my beautiful lady Ash lives, I saw a man with a moustache, in a red plaid shirt, dirty jeans, and big boots, carrying wood on his shoulder. It then hit me that I was quite obviously in Australia.

    It feels great to be back with Ashlee. I have not been able to hug her when she’s had a bad day, or make her a cup of tea in bed, or go places with her, for almost 6 months and that has been horrible. We have both struggled with it. But seeing her again, at the airport, for the first time in over 5 months, made it all worthwhile. It re-affirmed my previous conclusion that I want to spend my life with this girl. I feel tremendously lucky.

    The very first thing you notice in Australia, is the vast open spaces. The cities like Melbourne are modern and rather big. But within seconds of leaving the city, you’re presented with free space as far as your eye can see. It contrasts hugely to the densely populated cities and towns in England. Within seconds of leaving Leicester, you are in a new city or a new town, and the only open spaces are parks or farms.

    Excuse the horrendous generalisations i’m about to make, because whether they are true or not, we English certainly perceive them to be true of everyone else, other than us. England has a bit of a North/South divide. Those in the North are never too keen on those in the South and vice versa. And I personally find Northerners far friendlier and willing to talk to you than Southerners. Aussies seem happy and friendly and willing to talk to a stranger, far more than we are. If you ask a Londoner where the nearest Tube station is, he’s likely to look at you as if you’d asked if you could lick his face. Aussies seem far friendlier than us Englanders. That’s not to say that we’re all miserable unhelpful bastards!

    I have noticed just how different mentalities are in Australia in comparison to what i’m accustomed to in England. England is far too American. We are always in a rush. We are made to believe that the object of our lives is to have more stuff. Our cars have to be perfect. Our homes must be modern and filled with huge TVs and Xbox’s. Our entire economy is based on promoting useless wants. It’s a very flimsy system. Australia seems different from first glance. Cars have scratches and dents, they’re old and have torn seats. They do not seem to care if they get a tiny scratch that would essentially drive an Englishman crazy demanding compensation. Australian houses, from what i’ve seen are old miner’s homes from the gold rushes. The outside of the homes are very old looking and quite eerie in nature. I walked past one that had an old torn sofa on the front porch, a rocking chair, and a broken swing in the front yard blowing gently in the wind, with a whisper of a creaking sound. If that isn’t the mark of a house owned by a serial killer, I don’t know what is. And yet, inside these seemingly run down old miners homes, are beautifully renovated modern interiors. We in England find it difficult to get our heads around this idea. Seeing cheerful friendly people come out of eerie looking homes, not even carrying a bloodied axe or a black bin bag in the shape of a corpse, is not something we understand.

    So far, I am loving Australia. I arrived on Tuesday. After all the jetlag, and waking up at 4am ready for my day, tired by 6pm ready for sleep, and other odd sleeping patterns, I am left not really knowing what day it is today. I presume it’s Monday. The flight was okay. I hate flying anyway. The slightest hint of turbulence and i’m convinced we’re going down. Over Afghanistan, the plane began to rock quite violently, we’d hit bad turbulence. A woman a couple of rows in front of me screamed. So naturally I was convinced the wings were about to come off. I am not a good flyer at all. If I hear a noise that sounds like the engines are slowing down, I think “Does the pilot know that the engines have stopped working? Shouldn’t somebody tell him that the only thing keeping this tin can unnaturally in the air, have just stopped? ……Shouldn……..oh wait, they’re making noise again.” I over think the entire flight all the time.

    Kuala Lumpur airport has a forest in the centre of it. You go through a door to get into it. The sign on the door reads “This airport and its affiliated airlines cannot take responsibility for any lost luggage or deaths that may occur.” When there’s a disclaimer telling me that I might die if I go through the door, I am pretty sure that isn’t a door I ever want to go through.

    I have had a pretty fantastic first week. First and foremost, I got my Ash back! I have explored towns that all remind me of Hill Valley in Back to the Future III. Old Western style towns, that I adore. They have such character. I have seen some beautiful scenery. I have not got used to everything being in Kilometres as opposed to miles. I have met Ash’s friends, who were all very friendly, very welcoming, and made a beautiful dinner and breakfast for me. Which is massively appreciated. I have driven and got confused by the idea that if the green man is showing, and there is no one directly crossing in front of your car, you can drive on. I have explored Melbourne, and walked along the south bank at night. I have joined together with Ash’s friend and beat two Aussies at pool. I have been in an Aussie pub, with very welcoming Aussie locals, and was fed the worst toast spread in the history of the World. I have learnt that the phrase “What’s going on?” is pronounced “s-carnon?” I have met Ash’s dad and brother, who are both great company, and whom bought me a pizza and wine, and whom we are seeing again next week in Tasmania, and…………… I HAVE SEEN KANGAROOS!!!!!!!!

    If Australia beat Serbia and make it through to the next round of the World Cup, and England don’t…………… I’m going to change my accent, never go home, dress in plaid shirts, and call myself “Bruce“.


    The burden of Willetts

    June 11, 2010

    The Tories are playing up again. In the Commons yesterday, a Labour MP quite rightly asked THE MILLIONAIRE Chancellor George “We’re all in this together” Osbourne how badly he’d personally be affected by the £6bn cuts to public services. Osbourne answered by saying “If that’s all you have to say, it shows you’re not committed to the cuts that are needed“. What this translates to, for those of us who don’t speak posh elitist Tory twat language is “none, because i’m a millionaire, and I will be cutting taxes for my fellow millionaires, so we’ll be fine. We’re actually not all in this together. Because I have a safe job, a big house that i’ve paid for, and my kids are richer than all of you, before they were even a twinkle in daddies pervy posh eye. But i’ve had to convince a bunch of gullible idiots to vote for me on the basis that I actually have anything but utter contempt for anyone who isn’t George Osbourne” For a man who keeps telling us, day after day that we’re all in this together, it would have been nice of him to answer how he is going to suffer from the knife that he is personally sticking in to everyone who isn’t massively wealthy. It would be nice to know why he claims it isn’t an ideological war against the public sector that motivates him to absolutely destroy any sign of progression Britain has seen since the last Tory government got destroyed in 1997, when in fact the private sector, which is the sector that caused this entire mess in the first place, is getting away pretty much entirely free from the wrath of government. And it would be nice to know where he thinks he has the mandate to do all of this, given that the majority of the Country did not vote for swift cuts this year, at the election. Ideological right winged warfare. We’ve seen it before. I hope people take to the streets again.

    The new Universities Secretary of the Lib/Con Coalition, David Willetts has said that Students are a “burden” to the taxpayer, as he set out plans to cut £200million from the budget for Higher Education. Clearly he has chosen to ignore the fact that THE MILLIONAIRE David Willetts claimed £125 from the taxpayer for lightbulbs to be changed in his mansion, and £2,191.38 for the cleaning of a shower head, £1,100 for food, and a further £5,107.25 for plumbing repairs. That’s over £8000 in total, which could pay for a University Student’s tuition fees for two full years, after which time the Student will leave university with a better understanding of his or her chosen field of expertise, and the market will gain a new professional. Or, we could have a clean bathroom complete with a brand new lightbulb in THE MILLIONAIRE, Mr Willetts house. Tough call.

    David Willetts is a burden to the taxpayer.

    David Willetts disgusts me. As do all the senior Tories, and CBI members who constantly attack Universities for what they offer both in terms of a high standard of education, and constant networking. David Willetts has been part of governments that have successively helped to leave my generation in a complete mess both financially and socially. The Tories of old sold off the council houses in a cheap attempt to buy votes from traditional Labour supporters. They made it easy for their friends in expensive suits to buy three or four houses, in seaside resorts across the country and only use them once a year, thus destroying local communities like Beadnell in Northumberland. And where has that left us? Well, together with the ingenious idea to deregulate the financial sector, also by the previous Tory government, it has left us with the City of London speculating on house prices, and absolutely no chance of someone like me ever owning my own home in this Country. HEY THANKS!

    These old grey suited up bastards used the university system when it was free, and are now intent on burning the ladder on which they climbed, for anyone who isn’t rich. Our University hosted a Question Time style event for local candidates running for MP to answer audience questions, just before the election in May. On the question of tuition fees, the Tory said that they planned to raise tuition fees, but it’d all be fine, because they’d offer a lovely 10% discount to anyone who paid it all back within two years. But she insisted this wasn’t an elitist idea…….despite the fact, that it quite clearly was….. an elitist idea. I know for certain, that if tuition fees were as high as £5,000, as she suggested, I would not have gone to University. I would have been thrown into a job I dislike, forced to choose a career quickly, training in work I do not want to do, purely because it pleases a bunch of old grey pricks who have spent the past thirty years raping Britain for future generations. I will not listen to them. I would not have been able to advance myself in the subjects I wished too, and the only reason would have been because of money. The CBI keep telling me that Maths is a useful subject, but Philosophy isn’t. What if I absolutely adore Philosophy and despise Maths? I have to then endure living in a Country that has been shaped by the CBI to reward those who live for Maths and punish those who enjoy and wish to excel in Philosophy. The CBI and the Tories have absolutely no say over what is “economically valuable”. Markets change. If we were genuinely interested in creating free markets, that are free from interference, surely a group of bosses telling us all what is economically valuable, is no different from the Government doing so…. and if the Government were to do so, the irony would be that the Tories and the CBI would call them Communists. Why don’t the CBI offer to fund the degrees they consider economically valuable? The CBI, can go and quite simply, fuck their self-important, narcissistic selves and the superiority complex that plagues them. They are not the shapers of society. Why do they not ask their friends at the banks, who played cute little gambling games with our money to cough up what they owe, rather than hitting students, who will be the driving force behind the economic future of this country, long after the key players in the Tory Party and the CBI have been pulled back down to Hell?

    We are the future. They are the miserable past that has failed us all. The failed us with the banks. They failed us with this horrendous neoliberal experiment that Thatcher threw at us all. They failed the poorer areas of the Country by turning their backs and blaming bad parenting and laziness for the problems rather than a Government that was more interested in expanding the wallets of the wealthy few. They failed us by invading Iraq. They failed us with huge interest rates and poll tax. They failed us with North Sea Oil. They failed us with funding for arts and sport. They failed us with the climate. They failed us with housing. They fail us day after day, and my generation should show we are fucking sick of it. The only people they didn’t fail were their fat cat friends, who happen to be old, grey, and very rich. They are not our masters. Pump more money into the Universities. Teach our Politics and Economics students, the reasons why the past three governments and their love-children who have become big businessmen have failed us all so miserably, and fix it.

    The Confederation of British Industry, which is basically a session of useless old cunts in very expensive suits who happen to fund the Tory Party, who have been wrong on every call they appear to have ever made, including their call that Minimum Wage would destroy England; keeps telling me through the media, that certain degrees are useless and worthless. I happen to disagree. No degree is worthless. If our market place is to flourish, we need diversity. We need to teach people that their interests and their passion for furthering their knowledge on their interests are not worthless. We need to tell our children to NEVER listen to a generation of people who have collectively failed us all through their ideological warfare based on dodgy economics and social retardation. Every degree, whether it be in Economics (although, i’m not sure how they’d teach that now, given that no one seems to know what the fuck they’re talking about) or a Bachelors Degree in Making Tea. What should happen, is if the CBI want a certain degree to be given more attention and better funded, they should pay for it to be funded in its entirety given that they are the people who will inevitably benefit financially. By limiting degrees to what the CBI want, we are simply moulding the market to the shape that the CBI have created; it would not be “freedom“, it would a twisted version of the market designed to further enhance the riches of a very small minority of people. The CBI should not have any say whatsoever. They are the biggest Union of them all, and the most destructive.

    No degree is worthless. It is an investment in the future. I would rather tax money go to investing in Universities, excellent lecturers, top class research facilities than going to paying the pensions of any old grey suited man who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to have an education system built around who can afford it. The suited men in the CBI and Tory Party did not create the brilliant, compassionate and ever questioning minds of this Country, but they sure as hell fucked up the future for us all.


    A game played by “adults”

    June 8, 2010

    According to several sources, our wondrous new coalition government of nasty bastards, are to spend £4m on new “reintegration” centres in Afghanistan, to send unaccompanied Afghanistan child asylum seekers back to Afghanistan. This was announced, on the very same day that BBC News reported the deaths of 10 Nato troops, as fighting in Afghanistan escalated.

    In an horrendous move to the right, it isn’t just immigration that the Tories intend to clamp down on, but now quite horrifically, it is children they have taken aim at. Overall, I find the idea of limiting immigration whilst further opening our borders to trade and capital, a silly idea based solely on the Colonial model of Nation States. But then, I find Nation States to be an outdated, and damaging principle. A silly social construct of National pride, that really has its origins around 1534 here in the UK, and is wholly inconsistent with a postmodern World built on Capitalist principles. But children, who really do not have a notion of this largely fatuous and arbitrary system of National borders, or trade, or capital flows, are now becoming the innocent victims of a game played by “grown ups“. I read the article, and just sat thinking how evil the whole idea of Nation States really is.

    The Western World has spent decades destroying Afghanistan. We have armed the Taliban against the Soviets, because it suited us. In fact, in 1985, American President Ronald Reagan referred to the Taliban as;

    “These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.”

    Current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted recently, that the creation of the Taliban, was pretty much entirely down to the US. Which in turn, means the problems that Afghanistan, and in a sense, Pakistan now face, are largely due to the policies of the USA, in its vain attempts to defeat whomever they have designated an “enemy” in that particular decade:

    “It seemed like a great idea, back in the ’80s to– embolden– and train and equip– Taliban, mujahidin, jihadists against the Soviet Union, which had invaded Afghanistan. And with our help, and with the Pakistani support– this group– including, at that time, Bin Laden, defeated the Soviet Union.”

    A decade later, an American oil company called Unocal attempted talks with the Taliban in an effort to secure the rights to a major oil pipeline that would shoot through Afghanistan. Unocal were forced to back out, after they were criticised for dealing with the Taliban.

    Add another decade, and George Bush bombed the entire Country back into the stone age, for no real reason whatsoever, whilst referring to the Taliban, as part of an axis of evil (it’s ironic that a fucking evil President, has the balls to refer to another regime as evil). The very same well equiped, and fundamentalist Taliban, that the US created and armed in the first place. The US didn’t seem to give much of a shit about the Taliban’s human rights record when Reagan was funding them. But then, the same can be said for the rather evil right winged groups throughout Latin America that Reagan’s administration funded. Reagan, should have been thrown in prison, and left to rot miserably in a cell for the rest of his life. Bill Clinton, is just as to blame.

    According to the Times of India, 2001;

    “In the 1980s, the CIA provided some $5 billion in military aid for Islamic fundamentalist rebels fighting the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, but scaled down operations after Moscow pulled out in 1989. However, Selig Harrison of the DC-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recently told a conference in London that the CIA created the Taliban “monster” by providing some $3 billion for the ultra-fundamentalist militia in their 1994-6 drive to power.”

    Apparently Americans are not too keen on their money being spent on keeping their population healthy, but are perfectly fine with $5bn being spent on arming crazed Religious fundamentalists, who are now responsible for mass oppression and child sex trafficking.

    Given the not-too-surprising violence that is rife throughout Afghanistan, why would any genuinely decent person, suggest sending children anywhere near a country like that? If I were Prime Minister, not only would I not give two shits about the moronic English Nationalists who must now be at home wanking furiously over this; i’d happily tell them they are scum; i’d also publicly state that there is absolutely no way I am sending any child into a Country whose child sex trafficking market is one of the biggest in the World, regardless of our pathetic sense of National Pride. Regardless of our immigration and asylum policies, regardless of the “burden” to tax payers. Regardless of their skin colour or what language they can or cant speak. They are children. And I could not live with myself, if I had openly agreed to hand a child back to a Country in the midst of war, and losing a battle against child sex trafficking. Especially given that the UK, has had a helping hand in destroying that Country in the first place. It strikes me as being a fundamental problem with the way the World works, that we have billions to give to dirty banks and bad business practice, which in turn contributed to the huge pension packages of people like Sir Freddy Goodwin, who fucked the entire system and now lives in luxury; but we complain incessantly about any money from the tax payer, going to help children who happen to have a different skin colour.

    A US State Department Report on Human Trafficking, from 2009, reported:

    Afghan boys and girls are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage to settle debts or disputes, forced begging, as well as forced labor or debt bondage in brick kilns, carpet-making factories, and domestic service. Afghan children are also trafficked to Iran and Pakistan for forced labor, particularly in Pakistan’s carpet factories, and forced marriage. Boys are promised enrollment in Islamic schools in Pakistan, but instead are trafficked to camps for paramilitary training by extremist groups. Afghan women and girls are trafficked within the country and to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation and temporary marriages. Some Afghan men force their wives or daughters into prostitution. Afghan men are trafficked to Iran and Pakistan for forced labor and debt bondage, as well as to Greece for forced labor in the agriculture or construction sectors. Afghanistan is also a destination for women and girls from Iran, Tajikistan, and possibly China trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Tajik women are also believed to be trafficked through Afghanistan to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficked Iranian women transit Afghanistan en route to Pakistan.

    Not only that, but according to the World Fact Book:

    Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Criminality, insecurity, and the Afghan Government’s inability to extend rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. It will probably take the remainder of the decade and continuing donor aid and attention to significantly raise Afghanistan’s living standards from its current level, among the lowest in the world.

    It does not matter how the children found their way to the UK. Whether they were trafficked here, whether they were sent by their parents, or whether they found their own way here out of desperation, it is irrelevant. Motives, are irrelevant. They are children. They are not a pawn in an adult game of economic warfare and its obsession with labeling people “illegal” if they weren’t born here. If a couple of pence in every pound of tax money goes to helping these children, rather than sending them to hell, then good! We are a decent country, with a sense of compassion built into us. We are not a country of the social Right. The Liberal Democrats, should be utterly ashamed of this.

    This represents a major shift to the social Right, for the Tories. It shows that they have indeed wore a moderate mask for the past few years; hidden behind moderate centre-right rhetoric, but scratch gently below the surface, and we are confronted with the same old vicious, nasty party of old. A party without a sense of human decency, who focus solely on economically driven policies rather than human policies.

    Left Wing Progressives, should work together to force real economic and social policy change. We need to understand how much the West is to blame for the hellhole of Afghanistan. We cannot simply exploit countries for the benefit of our business interests, rip the country to shreds, and then throw their children onto the scrap heap. Afghanistan has spent decades as a pawn in a game played by “adults“.


    Lomography Film Roll: Five

    June 8, 2010

    My fifth roll from my Diana mini. A few photos from the weekend at the park with friends, and a few from around Leicester.

    I have a bit of a love for random photos; snapshots of the mundane life in motion.


    Spirit of the ’60s

    June 5, 2010

    Today it came out, that photography Brian Duffy has died. Duffy is a photographer known for his rather iconic portraits of, well, iconic celebrities during the 1960s and 1970s. His work, along with Bailey and Donovan, defined that era beautifully.

    I picture him, in a studio, standing in his flared cords, shouting instructions at Bowie in front of the camera. The spirit of London in the ’60s. His celebrity photography along with his fashion photography, are what I think of, when imagining the 1960s.

    In 1979, Duffy became sick of photography, and burnt all the negatives of his images. But the ones that remain, will always be remembered.

    Here’s a few of his work over the years:


    Sammy Davis Jnr, & May Britt


    John Lennon


    Westminster Bridge, 1961


    Reggie Kray and Grandad


    Harold Wilson


    The ’60s fashion


    David Bowie


    Love, in the ’60s

    Brian Duffy, 1933 – 2010