On this day…

January 21, 2011

I am 25 today.
It’s rather old.
A quarter of a century.
I dropped Ash off at Gatwick this morning and have just got home.
She has now gone home.
I have to wait five and a half months to have her back.
I don’t like that at all.
Up until about an hour ago my day was particularly dull.
I bought a lovely Redbull at Watford Gap.
That was a little bit of an up point.
Can you imagine the up point of your day being a can of Redbull?
It’s been a pretty average January 21st.
Not the worse ever.
I think King Louis XVI off of France had the worst January 21st given that he had his head cut off.
George Orwell’s January 21st wasn’t too much fun either back in 1950, given that he died.
Emma Bunton, Baby Spice has to live with the fact that she was in the Spice Girls, her entire life.
It’s a cross I wouldn’t like to bear.
She was born on January 21st too.
I have managed to reach 25, in Leicester, without yet having at least three kids by three different women, and without having stabbed anyone or contracted a nasty drug habit.
I am impressed by my record.
But still, the day was starting off very boring indeed.

So imagine my joy when my entirely dull day turned to brightness when I turned on my TV screen to see that Tory Director of Communications and ex-News of the World editor/King of illegal Phone Hacking Andy Coulson has “resigned”. It’s certainly not a surprise. What is a surprise is that he still insists he knew nothing of phone hacking whilst he was editor of the News of the World. Which means one of two things…. 1) He’s lying (I suspect this is the case) or 2) He was an incredibly bad and out of touch editor. He resigned from the N.O.T.W because he claimed he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done nothing wrong, and now he’s resigned from the Government….. because he claims he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done no wrong. How odd. He also claimed he was not a despicable bully. He insisted it. And yet, in 2008 he was taken to an Employment Tribunal and the claim of bullying, against him, was upheld. The defendant was awarded £800,000 as a result. Which begs the question, if Coulson was involved in bullying, and was editor of a Paper in the middle of a phone hacking scandal, why would the Prime Minister employ him? Why is tax money (££140,000 a year as of May 2010) going to pay his wages whilst local council care budgets are being slashed?

Coulson’s resignation comes a day after Labour’s massively incompetent and useless leader Ed Miliband announced that Alan Johnson, the shadow Chancellor was to resign for family reasons. It was a little bit of a media blunder for Johnson to have resigned on January 20th, because the papers and the TV news were bound to run with it, rather than the story that was grabbing headlines on January 19th, suggesting that David Cameron’s latest target is set on severely disabled children. The media repainting the Tories as the Nasty Party is exactly the wake up call people need. The harsh and unnecessary cuts to services like those that support the families of severely disabled children, whilst Vodafone have a tax bill written off by the Treasury, of close to £6bn. It could have lingered in the media and put pressure on the Government.

The mainstream media reported that David Cameron, pre-election, promised to protect the rules for Councils providing care for disabled children. He made that promise to the parents of Holly Vincent, whom suffers from quadriplegia, has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and is blind.

They applied for respite care to Gloucestershire County Council. They were denied. This is because the wondrous Big-Society, We’re all in this together brigade of selfish rich economic thugs have not ringfenced spending for respite care. They have provided £800mn over four years to the County Council but it isn’t ringfenced. They have lifted the rules. Councils now are not obliged, legally, to spend funds protecting the most vulnerable. Cameron, pre-election told the parents of Holly Vincent that he “would never do anything that would hurt disabled children”.

As a result of the lack of funds spent on Holly Vincent, her parents have signalled their intention to put her into a care home, because they simply cannot afford to look after her any more. They currently only get five to six hours respite a week.

Riven Vincent, Holly’s mum said:

“…..there’s nothing to stop cash-strapped local authorities from using the money elsewhere. I have no wish to put my daughter into a home. We want to look after her, all I am asking for is a little more support.
Without this, we simply cannot cope and nor can families up and down the country just like ours. We are crumbling

I don’t want her in a residential care home – it would destroy me. But without extra help, I find it hard to see how we can meet her needs at home.”

If a politician had promised to help my struggling family, if we had a child who was so severely disabled and getting worse as she gets older, and then he cut the funding to the local authority and didn’t ring fence the remaining funds…… I’d get all the publicity possible to make that politician out to be the absolute scum bag liar hellbent on destroying hard pressed families up and down the Country for the sake of tax cuts for the wealthiest. The Prime Minister is a disgrace. The Tory Party and all of their heartless supporters, are a disagrace.

Alan Johnson should have let this story linger for a while, so it has a chance to sink into the minds of the British Public that we have elected Thatcher-on-speed. Absolutely every promise they made, they appear to be backing down on. No one voted for backdoor privatisation of the NHS. No one voted for such a massive Tuition fee rise. No one voted for the releasing of rules surrounding respite care ringfencing. I can’t imagine many people would have voted for such a shit Party, had they expressed their desire to be the bringers of Neoliberal hell to Britain.

Although, the Tories were kind enough to give me the birthday present of Coulson’s resignation. Perhaps next year they will try and top it by sacking Cameron, Osborne and Clegg.
That would be amazing.


The leftie in me

July 14, 2010

This video is by Social Theorist David Harvey; he explains here, the left wing perception of the economic crises we have just endured as a Planet. This video explains far better than I ever could, why it is only logical to be on the Left when it comes to economics now; why the Private financial market (and not the public sector) messed up, and the ridiculousness of Parties like the Conservatives who insist we must all suffer. It is what I have been trying to write about for the past year, and his sentiments match mine exactly. Harvey is just far more eloquent and articulate in his examination and explanation of the financial crises.

Watch, and learn.


The National Insurance Row.

April 11, 2010

The big news this week politically, is that a group of business leaders have signed a document throwing their support behind the Conservatives, over Labour’s plan to increase National Insurance. The group of businessmen signed a document calling for the 1% planned rise, to be scrapped. The news media are treating it like a huge coup for the Tories. The news that business leaders support the Tories, is being treated, like huge surprising news. Surely this is less interesting and surprising news, than Ricky Martin telling the World he is gay, about fifteen years after we all figured it out any way. In other news, Jim Davidson is still shit, the BNP are still racist scum, apparently a bear shat in the woods today, Hitler was a bit of a git, and the sun might rise sometime tomorrow morning according to latest reports.

One of the business leaders who signed the document, is Paul Walsh. Walsh earns £3.6million a year as Chief Exec. of Diageo PLC, a huge wine and beer company based in London. It’s net income last year was £1,725,000,000. Now obviously, earning close to two billion pounds is not enough. A 1% N.I increase would apparently cripple them. Lucky for Diageo then, that they have a dedicated management team who do not really like to pay taxes. According to a Guardian report, Diageo over the past decade has paid a little over £43,000,000 in tax. That’s around £4,300,000 a year. In reality, they should have paid £144,000,000 a year. That equates to £1,397,000,000 tax loss. If you were to scrounge an extra few pound a week benefit payout, you’d be threatened with prison. Scrounge an extra £1,397,000,000 and you’re well on your way to being knighted for your services to “CREATING JOBS AND BEING ALL WONDERFUL!” That gap in the treasuries takings, according to the Guardian would take 20,000 households paying income tax to fill. So wondrous are Diageo, and so committed to the wellbeing of their workforce, that after posting profits of almost £2bn, they closed a Jonnie Walker blending plant which had been a community of Kilmarnock local historical institution, and made 700 people redundant. Around the same time, Mr Walsh’s salary increased.

Another businessman to sign the statement in support of the Conservative Party, is Justin King, chief executive of J Sainsbury. The President of J Sainsbury, is John Sainsbury, Baron of Preston Candover, with a net worth of £1.3bn, he is a Conservative Party donor, and member of the Conservative Party.

A third businessman to sign the statement in support of the Conservative Party is Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next. Wolfson is a member of the Conservative Party and donated to David Cameron’s 2005 campaign, and named by the Telegraph as the “37th-most important British conservative.”

A fourth businessman to sign the statement in support of the Conservative Party is Philip Harris, chairman and chief executive of Carpetright. Harris is a Conservative member of the House of Lords, and is worth £285,000,000. He is considered a close personal friend of David Cameron, and has donated money to the Conservative Party.

Do you see a pattern forming?

The Treasury expects unemployment to fall by a quarter of a million, next year, despite the 1% increase. And whilst Tory donating Businessmen have come out against the increase, most economists appear to be suggesting that the businessmen are wrong. The Times says:

“Martin Weale, of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, pointed to the last time NI rose, in 2003. Rather than cut jobs, employers responded by paring back the growth in wages.”

The Tories claim that they will stop the rise, and instead cut £12bn of public sector waste. Apparently, that isn’t classed as attacking jobs. Even though, according to Professor Colin Talbot at Manchester University, Britain’s foremost academic expert on public sector efficiency, even £6bn would cause 120,000 job losses in both the public and private sector, because the Tories planned “savings” include hitting small private I.T firms. The business leaders don’t seem too bothered by that. Because, afterall, it doesn’t affect their huge salaries.

Of course business leaders have backed the Tories. We’re all fully aware that a 1% rise in National Insurance is not going to destroy Britain in the way these big bosses say. It is the same rhetoric they used to attack minimum wage introduction legislation; businesses everywhere will go bust; riots on the street because poor people love big businessmen and don’t wish to be paid a minimum standard of wage in order to stay alive, if it means those poor businessmen can’t afford a new yacht; England (which will be renamed Ingsoc) will set on fire; Dorset will be completely submerged beneath a sea made by evil socialists; and gay people will rule the World, all because of minimum wage. In other words, fear tactics built on empty rhetoric. Because twelve years later, minimum wage is one of Labour’s greatest achievements.

The letter says:

“In the last few years, the private sector has improved its productivity by around 20%, while productivity in the public sector has fallen by 3%.”

Not surprisingly, they didn’t offer any evidence to back that claim up.
Firstly, if that is true, that’s quite an impressive statement from a conservative section of society toward a Labour government. (Although, i’m not sure how you actually measure public sector productivity, given that it isn’t a product based sector, nor is it profitable) Surely, that is indirect backing for Labour? Secondly, whilst the private sector may have improved productivity by 20%, but whilst wages have been kept low, bosses salaries, according to Incomes Data Services firm investigation, have risen 18.3% to now 150 times greater than the average employee. Sir Peter Bonfield CBE, FREng, C.U.N.T of BT saw BT share price go from £14, to £5, under his control. He then left BT with over £6,000,000 whilst thousands of workers lost their jobs. This was in 2002, before the recession struck.

So wondrous has the private sector been over the past few years, it has brought the entire financial system to it’s knees, demanded bailouts from all of us, and those responsible are now living in luxury whilst their employees are struggling to find work and keep their homes heated.

The letter goes on to say:

“Cutting government waste won’t endanger the recovery – but putting up national insurance will.”

When you’re in a position to be able to resist all government “waste” because you earn over £1,000,000 a year, you can say things like that, and continue on your deeply ignorant path in life. Many people rely on social services, that would be put under major threat under another Tory government. Of course, the huge salaries of the big bosses wouldn’t be under threat, and so the bosses don’t appear to care. It is obvious that under a Tory government, the way to cut the deficit will be to hit those who cannot afford to feed themselves the hardest, whilst the wealth of the very wealthy will be protected. That is the legacy of the Thatcher government. The business leaders’ priority is not the public good, nor is it maintaining the wellbeing of the Country that allowed them such obscene profitability at the behest of others (No matter how much they say a 1% N.I rise is a huge “tax on jobs”); their priority is handing a healthy amount of money over to the shareholders who actually don’t do any of the work that brings the wealth in themselves (Corporate Socialism, I call it).

The idea is to create a business haven in the UK. And that’s fine. If it is supported by a top class public service and a decent infrastructure. You can go to a third World country and do business uninterrupted and deregulated to the extreme. You can be a real businessman. Use children. No National Insurance. No equal rights. Don’t pay too much out in wages. No work hour limits. Real Capitalism.

The CBI, the guys who actively protested against the introduction of minimum wage, the guys who want students to pay far more for their education whilst they themselves went to University when it was free, the guys who suggested cutting any educational courses that they deemed to be “micky mouse”, said:

“We applaud the decision by a number of Britain’s most senior business leaders to take a public stand against the planned rise in national insurance – which is a clear and unequivocal tax on jobs.”

I would like to take this opportunity, to say just how much I despise the CBI. Thatcher killed off the Unions because they had too much power of the Government. Well, she opened the door for the CBI, arguably the most powerful union of them all, and they keep flexing their puss filled muscles every chance they get. Why are we listening to people who campaigned for banking deregulation, and a free-for-all attitude to banking? They should disgust us. They have damaged us far more than the Unions ever could. The very same people who are telling us how best to deal with the recovery, were the people who contributed to the mess we’re all in, in the first place. We were deceived by these people, playing with fake money, for years, and now they are running the show again? Has nothing changed?

Growth is an interesting concept. Growth when it comes to the business World is neither moral nor immoral. It is amoral. Growth and “giving jobs” as is often the defence of big business. But what does this apparent wondrous philanthropy actually mean? Well, it means that the cunt businessman at the top wants to protect his millions, the shareholders who do nothing for the good of the company or humanity in general get a healthy pay cheque every so often, the workers are paid as little as physically possible, and the producer is paid even worse. We’re then encouraged through the constant raping of our minds to buy pointless shit we don’t need, purely to prop up businesses that shouldn’t actually exist, and buy another lovely house in a sea side resort for the business man who only uses it once a year and so contributes to the destruction of the once healthy and happy sea side town (See Beadnell in Northumberland for confirmation). I’m all for growth, when it extends the public good, feeds the hungry, and creates affordable drugs. Growth to me, does not equate to greed. I am not for a manipulated and diseased form of growth by big business, who then claim they are “creating jobs“. Growth, within the system that we live, equates to nothing more than a lovely big return on investment, regardless of the public good.

These businessmen are not worried about their businesses. Their businesses are doing just fine. They are not worried about the little people, as proven with Lloyds group and over 10,000 unemployed recently whilst their boss makes more money than every before, they are also not worried about the deficit and the Country. They are worried about their own wallets. They want more. If they are seen to back the Tories, and the Tories win, you can bet a mountain of deregulation and further destruction of the public sector will follow. Another generation of people from poorer backgrounds who are taught they are worthless, and should resign themselves to a job at McDonalds.

The problem is, the system failed. The private system. These top businessmen sucked it dry for all it is worth for years. They used their new found immense profits to pay workers as low as possible, keep the money away from producers, create offshore accounts to avoid tax, fund the Tory party, but on the plus side, buy a lovely new Mercedes. And now, once that gravy train failed, they have washed their hands of it, and will blame everyone else. Socialism, or lazy people, or Governments, or Unions. Business will never blame business. The Tories will never blame business. Business afterall, “give us jobs!!”. The workers, to these people, are dispensable and just cogs in machinery. Their lives are not important. I hope the entire stinking system fails miserably. I secretly hope for a workers revolt, in which expensive business suits are thrown onto bonfires and a form of Anarcho-syndicalism is proclaimed.