There’s nothing for us here.

August 12, 2012

The majesty of the Olympics really has struck a chord with the UK over the past two weeks. This has to be down to the fact that we as a nation have absolutely no confidence in our sports stars. With good reason. Every year The Sun would ask “Can Tim win?” when it came to Henman at Wimbledon and every year the answer a firm “no”. Every four years we drape ourselves in red and white and pray to God that England don’t end up going to a penalty shoot out. And every time, our overpaid, over valued, and under achieving footballers let us all down. I get caught up in this myself. So, on the rare occasion that our sportsmen and women actually out perform even our most positive of expectations, a cynical nation suddenly takes notice. And so it was. Jessica Ennis’s utterly spectacular performance at the Heptathlon. Greg Rutherford came from nowhere to take the Men’s Long Jump Gold. Mo Farah became a national treasure for his outstanding performances to take the double Gold in the 10,000 and 5,000 metres. Team GB is third in the rankings, the highest we have achieved since 1920. Our sports stars have a lot to be proud of, and i’m sure they will lives in the celebrity spot light are just beginning.

The organisation, the happy faces, the atmosphere in the country has been buzzing after months and months of grim economic news on a daily basis. And yet, through all the delight at the success of the Games, I cannot help but feel slightly uneasy at the comparisons between the riots in London last year, and the Olympics this year. There are of course comparisons that can be made arbitrarily if we must; both the success of Team GB, and the riots last year caught everyone off guard……. and that’s about it. Comparisons shouldn’t be made between the two.

I keep hearing phrases like: “London needed this, after last year“. As if it is simply a matter of good vs evil. As if the Olympics has neatly patched over the problems that inevitably lead to social unrest; of which there are many. It seems as if the Olympics is being used as a tool to deflect attention away from what will always result in violence. The economic destruction of the country by the current government and a complete lack of opportunity is a wound that cannot be dressed so weakly by a sporting event.

According to the DWP, the poverty rate in London is 6% higher than the average for the rest of England, at 28%. And it’s rising. 220,000 people live in overcrowded accommodation; 60,000 more than 10 years ago. Housing benefit changes mean people are struggling to stay in their homes. And whilst the outer boroughs are cheaper, they have even bigger funding problems; 35% of primary schools in the outer boroughs are overcrowded; 8 of the 10 primary care trusts with the fewest GPs per population are in Outer London, the unemployment rate in the poorest areas are at their highest levels in decades, and The poorest 50% have less than 5% of financial or property wealth whilst the richest 10% have 40% of income wealth, 45% of property wealth and 65% of financial wealth. – According to London’s Poverty Profile. And here is the most telling fact on poverty and inequality in the Capital: Babies born in Southwark, Croydon, Haringey and Harrow are twice as likely to die before their 1st birthday than those born in Bromley, Kingston and Richmond.
So how is the government dealing with this? Well, whilst the riots were taking place, the Mayor was on holiday in the US. The Chancellor was on holiday. The Deputy Prime Minister was on holiday. The Prime Minister was in Tuscany having tennis lessons in his rented villa. And what we have now, is a situation where the government have insisted that it is for our own good, that the poorest areas lose housing benefit, Sure Start, youth clubs, libraries, and all hope that maybe the education system might provide opportunity (the end of EMA for example). All of this during an atmosphere of rising inflation, rising unemployment, a broken NHS, and the biggest double dip recession in 50 years. Any lasting hope has been cruelly ripped out of the communities that are the most economically vulnerable, and replaced by fear of losing everything, and we act surprised when this results in social violence? The riots may have appeared on the surface to be a bunch of opportunistic thugs. But the underlying issue, the social deprivation, high unemployment, high VAT rates, the end of EMA, rising inflation, the mass of cuts to youth services, and the unfair and shock economic violence by a government that has grown up enjoying the benefits of a strong public service, only to loot it when they came to power, thus burning the ladder up which they themselves climbed, is an obvious precursor to social violence from communities that feel ever more excluded.

It is no wonder that riots appeared in London as government cuts began to hit. Islington, Hackney, Westminster and Camden all hit the top ten list of worst areas for child poverty in the entire country. And top of the list? Tower Hamlets. With this damning conclusion to the report by The Campaign to End Child Poverty:

‘The poverty line means that, after housing costs, all the household bills and family’s spending needs will need to be met by around £12 or less per family member per day.
‘For many families, especially those reliant on out of work benefits, it can be substantially less.’

I’m pretty sure schools in Tower Hamlets don’t offer Archery as a subject.

What has the Mayor, or the Government done to change the fact that over 53% of children in the borough of Tower Hamlets live below the poverty line? It is the worst area in the UK for child poverty, and one of the rioting boroughs…… The Government have scrapped community-based youth projects. Despite almost 3000 signatures demanding the service not be touched, by residents. Local community-based services were there to help the youth in those particular areas. They knew they area. The staff often lived in the area and had struggled themselves. And the government scrap it. Youth services; gone. Educational Maintenance Allowance to help young people stay at school; gone. Tuition Fees; tripled. Employment; non-existent. The UK now has the biggest gap between rich and poor than three quarters of the OECD nations. Reuters interviewed a man during the riots, who said:

“There’s two worlds in this borough. More and more upper middle classes are coming and we’re being pushed out. The shops are pricing stuff like it’s the West End, we can’t afford the rents. We’re the outcasts, we’re not wanted any more.
“There’s nothing for us.”

– This is the economic backdrop that leads to social unrest. Jumping in front of the problem holding an Olympic banner is not the answer. Nor is it a way to deal with the problem.

“London needed this”.
Yeah, there’s nothing more that those whose youth clubs have been closed, schools underfunded for decades, welfare all but scrapped and jobs with regressing wages, struggling to pay for their homes love more than a government who spent the entire riots last year, in private Tuscan villas telling them that the wealthy man who had his own stables growing up, should be held up as their aspirational hero. “We know you can’t afford to live….. but at least we won the Dressage!”

We see the the crowds, and the British flags, our Royals, and the wonderful music that this country has produced, and the athletes, and the spectacle at we can put on, and we rightfully feel privileged to be a part of such a great country. The Olympics has its place in the history of London. We should be proud of our athletes. They have done us proud in the sports arena. But it isn’t a bandage for the massive problems we currently face. The deep underlying social and economic issues that lead to unrest can only be sorted via real investment, and a strong support system in the most affected areas. The Olympics cannot do that. It is sport. It does not even begin to deal with the problems caused by an ideology that benefit those who can afford to live in a World where dressage appears frequently in every day vocabulary, and so destroyed the World of those who now insist “there’s nothing for us here“.


Thank heavens for the private sector!

September 16, 2011

Now that the awful public sector has rid itself of thousands of jobs, isn’t it great to see such a thriving private sector?

Well. No.

There are now more unemployed women, than in 1988. Overall unemployment is at its highest since 2009 – the middle of a recession. One in five people between 19 and 24 is unemployed. Average wages rose 2.8% since 2010, whilst RPI (inflation) rose 5.2%, which means wages actually fell by 2.4%.

So we were told that the private sector would take up the jobs lost in the public sector. George Osborne, back in November 2010, told the House of Commons in November that jobs created in the Private Sector, would:

Far outweigh

– the loss of jobs in the Public Sector.

Remember those “35 leading businessmen” that the Chancellor quoted, as some sort of economic demi-gods (I have always wondered why businessmen are considered economic experts. They are not economists. They have an agenda). They sent a letter to the Telegraph, in support of Osborne’s claim. They wrote:

“The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector.”

Here’s the letter in full. Tories loved to point to it, last year. I’m guessing they will be less forward in pointing to it, this year.

At its most optimistic, we we under the impression that someone who had spent their life in the public sector employed in a job they love, would now get a nice new job working the tills at McDonalds. Even that, failed to materialise. From April to June public sector job losses reached 111,000. The private sector jobs grew by 41,000. The problem is, the Government insisted in March, that only 20,000 (I say only, because it appears I have caught the bug of treating people and their jobs, as mere statistics – Am I becoming Tory? Dear God, I hope not) would lose their jobs. Unemployment rose by 80,000 in June.

Apparently, when you make people unemployed, and you devalue wages, it becomes impossible to kick start the demand needed for the private sector to thrive. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT!

EDF have just announced energy prices are to raise by 15%, despite profits of Euro1.2bn last year. Last month HSBC announced 30,000 jobs would be cut. They must be struggling right? Again….well. No. The first six months of the year saw their profits raise 3% on the previous six months, to $11.5bn. Seriously. We are now only concerned, as a World, with profit. This is emphasised in the fact that the moment HSBC announced it was kicking 30,000 people out of their livelihoods, their shares rose 3.4%. Rich people absolutely love to hear that they can make even more money now that there isn’t the annoying factor of having to pay 30,000 people.

It is clear that demand creates jobs. Not wealthy businessmen. Referring to them as “job creators” is a falsity of epic proportions. When you take money out of peoples pockets with a VAT rise, with the removal of universal services, with housing benefit cuts; you cut demand in the process. Giving the wealthiest few a tax break isn’t going to change that.

When growth is downgraded, almost on a daily basis, they insist it is Labour’s fault, Europe’s fault, the snow’s fault. No, it is the fault of holding dear to the heart a dangerous Freidman-ite economic philosophy. As with HSBC mentioned above; the epitome of the thought process that leads to this kind of system, is that the abstract concept of the “market” is deemed to be improving, regardless of how many jobs are lost. Shares in HSBC increase, as 30,000 jobs are cut. There is a dramatic evil in that process.

Labour MPs and Shadow Ministers on Twitter insist on questioning whether Strike action is necessary. They should be ashamed to refer to themselves as ‘Labour’. A Labour party, who have seemingly made absolutely no impact on the political landscape since 2010, are quietly licking their wounds as a Tory party who have no legitimate mandate to carry out the ideological attacks they are inflicting, get away with it. If we don’t have the support of a half arsed Labour Party unsure of where its allegiances lie, given it’s past thirteen years of total capitulation to the financial sector, nor do we have the support of a weak Lib Dem party who cowardly abstain when they disagree with Tory policy, then Unions are the only other way to go. There is no other option. A very radical government, requires a very radical opposition. Instead, Labour seem to be constantly worried about their ties to the Union movement, rather than pro-actively and jointly making the case against deep and vicious austerity. The Tories have cleverly managed to set the political discourse in favour of a mythical, broken public sector, and away from the real broken sector; the financial sector.

Yesterday we saw that same Financial Sector produce a rogue trader responsible for UBS losing $2bn on unauthorised dodgy dealings. Have they learnt nothing? UBS was also responsible in 2009, for helping wealthy Americans set up offshore accounts to avoid tax. Growth for the sake of the wealthy, is not real growth. The banks have been let off the hook, by having the support of government like ours, who shift the blame from them, to the constantly demonised public sector.

If anything, we are finding out, for the second time in thirty years, that harsh and forced Neoliberalism is a dangerous dogma. Monetary policy does not pull Nations out of sovereign debt crises. It never has.

Unemployment – Done.
Dismantled NHS – Done.
Bend over to be fucked by the banks – Done.
Stagnating wages – Done.
Provoke riots – Done.
VAT rise – Done.
Pull any support for poorer children (EMA) – Done.
Close as many youth centres as possible – Done.
Close libraries – Done.
Make people work until they’re basically dead, before giving them a pension – Done.
Demonise disabled people – Done.
Rising inflation – Done.
Threaten Unions – Done.
Burden of debt created by wealthy, slammed onto the shoulders of Nation’s 18 year olds – Done.
Tax cuts for the wealthy – Done.
All within 15 months.

It makes Thatcher look like a Socialist in comparison.


#realbrokensociety

August 18, 2011

Police_asbo_notice_Richmond

A Vulture Fund is a hedge fund that buys up National debt at a tiny price because the debt is about to be defaulted, and pursues it vigorously through the courts. Liberia, a Nation in deep poverty, one of the World’s poorest Countries, had debt that was bought up by a Vulture Fund owned by Hedge Fund manager Eric Hermann. He took war torn, poverty stricken Liberia to court, in which his Vulture Fund won £12m from Liberia – 5% of their annual budget, for debts from 1978, before his Vulture fund was even set up. The debt, plus interest earned the Vulture Fund a nice profit, that would otherwise be used to build half a million homes in Liberia. The funds thrive on poverty. In 2010 a bill came through Parliament aimed at stopping these Vulture Funds. It took up a lot of time, and right at the last minute looked likely to pass. Tory MP Philip Davies then penned an amendment to try and stop the bill passing. It didn’t stop the Bill. But suddenly, a Tory MP on the front bench shouted “object” (a silly Private Members bill rule), and so the bill failed to pass. All the Tory front bench sat with their hands over their mouths so no one would know who made the bill fail. #realbrokensociety

According to the Telegraph:

Six-year-old Abdullah Qadoos was hit by cluster bombs fired by the British Army as they took the Iraqi city of Basra in March 2003. Shrapnel smashed through the window of his home, cut off his arm and tore open his abdomen.

– The UK government banned clusterbombs years ago. But a loophole in the law means banking institutions can invest in companies that manufacture clusterbombs. Royal Bank of Scotland, which is pretty much owned by the taxpayer, has invested more than £115m in Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin – two clusterbomb manufacturers. Given that Cameron deplored a “culture that glorifies violence“, will he be closing this loophole? Well, no. Of course not. Mainly because when a kid suggests looting a Footlocker on Facebook it’s a great evil, but when rich companies fund violence, it’s fine. Number 10 said:

The issue of indirect financing is for individual institutions to consider. We as a government have made it very clear that direct financing of cluster munitions is illegal. We would encourage NGOs to come together and engage with the banks to find a mutually agreeable approach to indirect financing.

– Encouraging banks to self regulate? Really?
#realbrokensociety

Ex Chief Exec. of RBS presides over bank that loses £24.1bn of other peoples money. The biggest loss in Corproate history. Described by the Guardian as one of the 25 people at the heart of the financial meltdown Worldwide, and is punished, by having his pension reduced to £342,500 a year from £555,000 a year. Meanwhile, a man in Manchester is about to face jail for “looting” an ice cream cone and two scopes of ice cream. #realbrokensociety

Jeremy Isaacs, donated £190,000 in the past five years to the Tories, and who happened to be the boss of the Asia/Europe branches of Lehmann when it collapsed and engulfed the World. #realbrokensociety

Npower just announced profits of 130% larger than last year. Still, they think raising gas prices by 15.7% is “necessary“. Elsewhere, Bolton County Council have had to sell a painting by the great English painter Sir John Everett Millais to an American art collector, meaning the painting will probably never be in this country again, just to help fund its arts and culture sector which has been needlessly slashed. #realbrokensociety

If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” bleated David Cameron, in response to the rioting across England two weeks ago. In the 1980s, Cameron was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club Elite, who ritualistically smashed restaurants and pubs up. New members only become aware that they have been accepted, when they find their rooms trashed and smashed. After rioting, the Bullingdon Club chant: “Buller, Buller, Buller! Buller, Buller, Buller! We are the famous Bullingdon Club, and we don’t give a fuck!“. When the Bullingdon club were out one night, a plant pot was thrown through the window of an Oxford restaurant. Eye witnesses say they saw a bunch of men including David Cameron run away. This week, two men imprisoned for 4 years for inciting riots on facebook which didn’t actually lead to any trouble. #realbrokensociety

Sir Philip Green was asked in 2010, to write a report into Government spending and procurement. He reported that there were mass failings in Government procurement. The entire procurement professional dismissed the report as nonsense. Philip Green’s Arcadia Group business has thus far avoided £25bn in taxes. In 2005, his dividend on 92% of the shares in Arcadia, gave him £1.2bn. My home city of Leicester was found to be home of a sweatshop factory in a basement, where workers were paid less than minimum wage, providing clothes for Top Shop. Top Shop is owned by Sir Philip Green. Meanwhile, a rioter is imprisoned for 6 months for stealing a water bottle worth £3.50. #realbrokensociety

Clive Goodman, jailed in 2007 for hacking the phone of Prince William, had penned a letter to the News of the World, which stated that Coulson among others, had regularly discussed phone hacking, and told Goodman that if he didn’t implicate the News of the World in the scandal in 2007, he would be given his job back when he got out of prison. The letter was sent from the solicitors Harbottle and Lewis who are investigating internal N.O.T.W emails, to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee two days ago. Hacking into the voicemail of dead schoolgirls, and then covering it up, and then becoming the Prime Ministers chief of communications. #realbrokensociety

The Minister in charge of deciding whether Murdoch should be allowed to buy BSkyB, and decided in favour of take over, is Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. In 2009 a ‘sleaze watchdog’ found that he had allowed his friend to stay rent free in his tax payer funded house, whilst claiming expenses for both of them. Fraud, I believe it is known as. Will he face jail for looting the public purse? “If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” according to Cameron. Well, no. He said sorry. So he only have to repay half of the £20k he fraudulently claimed. Whilst claiming for that house, he was also fraudulently claiming for mortgage payments on another house. But it’s okay. He said sorry. #realbrokensociety

One in four UK households are now classed as fuel poor. Fuel poor means when the cost of heating your home exceeds 10% of annual income. Roger Carr, the Chairman of Centrica which owns British Gas and has just announced a 25% increase since December 2010, is also the President of the CBI. The CBI have called for deeper spending cuts than have been so far imposed, and have opposed any tax rise on Capital Gains tax. Effectively, meaning they wish to see Winter Fuel Allowance for the neediest cut drastically, but the taxes on their huge profits lowered. #realbrokensociety

The maximum tax credit of £54 a week for families with a disabled child will now be cut to £27 a week. Thousands will be plunged into poverty due to this cut. Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who is worth £7.5million, pays himself in dividends rather than a salary from his company Castlemead, saving him money on tax. Also, to avoid the 50p top rate of tax, he moved his shares into his wive’s name, who pays a smaller rate of tax, allegedly saving the Transport Secretary £25,000 a year. On Question Time, he called it “rearranging my affairs“. #realbrokensociety

I think it’s about time the Prime Minister instilled a sense of humanity and moral decency in his own household before he continues this ironic moral crusade.


Cameron’s (im)moral crusade.

August 16, 2011

The rioting appears to have sparked a debate about the social implications of a culture focused on consuming. The Prime Minister has been forced onto the ropes, bruised and battered, agreeing tentatively to an inquiry into the underlying causes of the riots. Ed Milliband surprised me yesterday, made me sit up and take note of him, in a way that no Labour leader has done in quite some time. In his speech, Milliband said:

‎”People who talk about the sick behaviour of those without power, should talk equally about the sick behaviour of those with power.”

– It is perhaps a little opportunistic of him to have waited so long, to have been a Brownite and not said a word, to have spent the past year as leader of the Labour Party, not really separating himself from his predecessors. Silly little concepts like Blue Labour followed the post-97 tradition of capitulating to the Right on social issues, when they had the opportunity to take the title of “Progressives” away from a deeply regressive Liberal Democrat Party, made me wonder if I could bring myself to vote Labour again. But Milliband seems to be trying to distinguish himself now, from both the New Labour legacy, and the ToryLib Coalition – which, if you watch Simon Hughes speak, is slowly crumbling. So whilst opportunistic, Milliband has created a gulf between himself and the Government, the lines of which were forever blurred when Blair and Brown held the keys to power.

David Cameron, by comparison, is apparently on a rather ironic moral crusade to instill moral values into poorer communities by the time the Parliament is at a close. A particularly ironic statement he made was that the riots can partly be blamed on:

A culture that glorifies violence

– Ironic, because in five weeks time London will host DSEi 2011, the biggest arms trade fair in the World, just a few short months after a disastrous rush to intervene in Libya.

Cameron thus far has offered no solutions. The only thing of substance he managed to muster, was the idea to take benefits away from rioters. Cuts being the cause of the unrest in the first place, Cameron’s solution is more cuts? His ironic moral crusade is vile. I say ironic for a few reasons. Firstly, where was this moral outrage when the Banks were destroying the World? I don’t remember Cameron ever demanding that those responsible for the financial breakdown and its transformation into a sovereign debt crises, come out the massively inflated bonus packages of the crooks who caused the mess. Secondly, it is easy, as a Government with no mandate to do what they’re doing, to see physical violence as the collapse of the moral fabric of England, to watch the looting of private business and express outrage. It is easy to do what Republican Americans tend to do, and scream and shout about the need for smaller government, whilst threatening to evict families from their homes if their children were involved in rioting, or banning social networking and having security services monitor it closely. Their idea of Government is just as big as it ever was under Labour, the difference is the Tories seem to believe that thugs looting the private sector, is somehow worse than the Government absolutely gutting the public sector. But then I guess the aforementioned Bankers, according to the Telegraph, have bankrolled over half the funding of the Tory party in the previous five years to the tune of £43mn.

By contrast, A disabled children’s charity called “The Children’s Society” cannot afford political influence like that of the Banking sector. It is no surprise then, that the Children’s Society found that due to public sector cuts, when a disabled child reaches the age of 16, some families could be up to £22,000 worse off. That’s just for one child with a disability. Two or three children with disabilities in the same family; the damage caused by cuts is unthinkable; unless you’re Tory, in which case it’s a “difficult decision” but “necessary”. Perhaps agreeing to tax on wealth being brought back from tax havens be entirely scrapped; marking the biggest change in Corporate tax rules, in years, so that the richest tax avoiders get away with paying nothing when they move back, represents a “difficult decision”? The curse of the nasty party. I am ever more unsure how anyone can justify taking so much money away from families who need it the most. It represents looting of the worst kind.

In 2010, before the election, Gordon Brown suggested that Sure Start would be under threat under a Tory government. Clearly he was ignored, as Cameron and his Party of the family, said:

“Yes, we back Sure Start. It’s a disgrace that Gordon Brown has been trying to frighten people about this. centres do not need to close”

– Well, the lying, nasty party of big business, between July 2010 and July 2011, has closed 20 Sure Start Centres…. that’s in just one year. The average cut to Sure Start per child is £50 across the Country. Though, in the poorest areas; Tower Hamlets and Hackney for example (coincidentally, where rioting took place), the average cut will be £100 per child. Yet, in the richest areas such as Richmond, it will be £30 per child. In contrast, here is the holiday home that Cameron stayed in during the riots; isn’t is lovely?

A few chavs stealing Nike trainers from Foot Locker isn’t even a drop in the ocean of the destruction caused both by Government cuts, and by those rich few in the Private Sector who happen to be the traditional support base of the Conservative Party.

Those that stand to gain from the destruction of the public sector, are guilty of the exact same crime that the London rioters are guilty of; attacking the community that they live, for their own selfish benefit. Eton educated Stuart Wheeler, who donated £5,000,000 to the Tory Party in 2001, is quoted as saying of party donations by individuals:

“absolutely natural and unobjectionable” for big donors to gain influence over policy”.

It is no surprise then that the NHS reforms are market orientated reforms, in which private equity firms and individuals who have donated to the Tory Party in the past stand to make a fortune. Perhaps we should investigate the absolutely immoral behaviour of Tory Donors?
Take Lord Blyth. He used to be chairman of Boots, and then Chairman of Diageo – the company who make Guinness. Under his leadership, Diageo restructured its model, to avoid paying any tax in the UK. The amount it should be paying, given that 30% of its production is in the UK, would cost 20,000 families to fill the gap left by Corporate theft committed by a company that was run by one of the Tory Party’s top donors.

Short Selling stocks no doubt was one of the major causes of the financial crises. People lost their homes and their jobs, their lives, the means to feed their families, because Hedge Fund short sellers gambled on the failure of the economy. John Nash is a Hedge Fund manager. He also ran Care UK. A Private healthcare company. He also donated £21,000 to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s private office whilst still chairman of Care UK. In June 2011, NHS Buckinghamshire announced that Care UK had “won” a contract to provide a Musculoskeletal Service costing £2,000,000. Since 2010, Care UK has seen a rise in profits of £1.6m, with a rise in turnover of £94m. Quite a large increase. Especially when one considers that since 2009, countless councils have cut all ties with Care UK for frankly awful service. Take Islington, who ended their contract with Care UK in 2009, stating:

“We have made the decision carefully and decided that clients’ needs will be better served with a different model of care from another provider. We look forward to announcing publicly the new contract partner in due course.”

– Lennox House in Finsbury Park, run by Care UK, came under fire when two care home resident’s bodies were left in their bedrooms for over two days.
Dr KRH Adams Bolton, a Health consultant for 26 years in Bolton, wrote this of Care UK:

They do not manage complex cases. They do not have intensive care facilities. They do not have the research and teaching responsibilities that the real NHS has. I would also question if the CARE UK staff have the same training and experience as a real NHS consultant.

Care UK Hertfordshire received over 2000 complaints in 2009. In Harrow, Care UK received a zero-star rating from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, listing 20 failings, not once but on two separate visits. Not only that, but the miserable company has just won a £53m contract to provide healthcare to prisons.
Given that the Tory Party are clearly the new guardians of morality, why would they choose to offer any contracts whatsoever, from a Private Healthcare provider who have failed in their duty to provide quality healthcare where ever they can be found infecting our health system, if it not for the fact that donations equal influence over policy? There is no other reason.

David Rowland, a Tory Donor who was set to become Party Treasurer in 2010, before revelations about his dodgy business deals and immoral attitude toward the Planet forced the Party to cancel his appointment, though not cancel his next £1mn donation on top of his previous £3mn donation the year before, is really not a great person to have on your side when you’re preaching morality. Rowland bought a lead smelting plant in Idaho which had, before he bought it, caused a massive environmental disaster, leading to acute respiratory health problems for children in the surrounding area, and the deaths of thousands of animals. Rowland bought the company, used the money set aside for the clean up to secure a property deal in New Zealand, and then sold the company. He tried to hide it, by moving the funds to Bermuda, but the US Justice Department blocked it after mass protests and political pressure. Rowland moved to Guernsey to avoid tax in the UK. So arrogant is this thieving immoral shit, that he unveiled a statue on Guernsey… of himself. Cameron appears to be obsessed with looting the public sector, whilst unveiling tax exiles, and immoral Corporate fraudsters, as the answer to the troubles of the Conservative Party. Blatant hypocrisy.

Jeremy Isaacs donated £190,000 in the past five years to the Tories. He was head of the Asian and Europe part of the Lehmann Brothers company; a company that helped plunge the World into financial meltdown.

Hedge fund managers like John Nash are not a productive force. They make nothing. The gamble on the lives of millions. They are dangerous and unnecessary. The World would carry on without them, just fine. And yet seven of the top ten Tory donors, are hedge fund managers. In fact, Stanley Fink, who donated almost £2m to the Tories, is considered the “Godfather” of hedge funds. £13m from ten bankers, contrasted with £11mn from the Union Unite – with its two million members, as opposed to ten men – to the Labour Party and suddenly the influence of the Unions is about as relevant as Nick Clegg.

So, given the rhetoric on instilling a sense of morality, and knowing this must extend to every part of society, including the super rich, and the banking industry and its bonus culture that created such a mess in the first place, what are the Tories doing? Well, before the election, David Cameron said this:

where the taxpayer owns a large stake in a bank, we are saying that no employee should be paid a bonus of over £2,000.

– After the election, Stephen Hester of RBS was able to collect a £2.1m bonus. His salary and other payments, means he took home over £6m for the year. Brilliant. Eric Daniels at Lloyds; £1.45m bonus. Brilliant.

In 2009, George Osborne demanded that the Labour Government put a stop to ALL retail banks:

“paying out profits in significant cash bonuses. Full stop.”

– After the election, and after Osborne now has the power to stop it… full stop… Bob Diamond of Barclays is to take home around £4m in cash bonuses.

And most scandalous of all, especially for a Government that promoted honesty and transparent government, was the rather shocking revelation from a leaked Treasury paper, that whilst the Tories were telling the public they would seek to create new tough rules on banking bonuses across Europe; they were secretly lobbying to make sure the law never passed through the EU Parliament. The Government failed, and the directives passed the EU Parliament despite the Treasury in the UK working its hardest to fight it. Then, in true Osborne style, he said in the Commons, after the directive that he tried to destroy passed the EU Parliament:

on 1 January this year we introduced the most stringent code of practice of any financial centre in the world.

– Not only is he taking credit for something that he tried to destroy, it also isn’t true in itself. The EU originally wanted a 20% cap on upfront cash for bonuses. Osborne pushed for it to be raised to 40%. Under the rules for the UK, bonuses are not considered “large” until they reach £500,000. Significantly more than the EU. Certainly less than the £2000 Cameron was demanding before the election.

So, will Cameron be insisting these people are evicted from their homes? Or banned from the Internet, or imprisoned? Well, his spokesman said this:

“We’ve made a broad statement which is about the need to see some restraint and some responsibility from the banks, but we are not going to set bonus pools for individual banks,”

– The concept of morality from a Tory perspective, is evidently unnerving, dangerous, and breaks the immoral barrier down within seconds. We now have to deal with five years of a Party that is far more destructive, wedded as it is to big business, and dangerous than it ever was before, under a Chancellor whom, every day, seems more and more deluded and out of his depth.

The rioters are from a class that has been ignored, abused and disenfranchised for decades. The solution doesn’t lie in punishment alone, the solution lies in sorting out the immoral practices of the people at the very top first. The REAL trickle down affect. We need, as a society, to see looting by the wealthy as being just as wrong as looting by the poor. It is ironic, hypocritical and if it wasn’t so unnerving and dangerous, it’d be laughable, that a Prime Minister, from a Party with such a shady record on its ties to dodgy businessmen and a cabinet full of millionaire Parliamentary expenses abuses, would have the nerve to insist he is the one to instill moral guidance upon us all.


The Headlines:

August 10, 2011

There are a number of worrying headlines doing the rounds across Media land today.


– The incessant need by Tory bloggers to point out that opportunism is at the heart of these riots, is not only hopelessly narrow minded, reflecting their narrow minded approach to economic policy; it is not only a defence mechanism to try to persuade us that their economic violence and public service looting is actually quite wonderful and couldn’t possibly cause social tension; it is also disastrously hypocritical. Diane Abbott, in her article for the Telegraph, said:

As was the case 26 years ago, nothing excuses violence. There is no doubt that all types of mindless thugs latched on to the disturbances. There were also hours of looting at Wood Green and Tottenham Hale, both shopping centres I know well.

Angie Bray, Tory MP, then released a statement in which she said:

For senior Labour politicians to use cuts as an excuse for the kind of criminality we have seen over the last few days is unacceptable, irresponsible, and completely wrong. Londoners who have seen their homes and businesses destroyed expect more from local leaders.

– Another massive bout of ignorance, and refusal to accept that economic shock will always lead to social violence. It is a far more eloquent way to say: “Look, why would you riot? You don’t need Sure Start or any Youth Services……hold on, I just need to finish my Cocktail by the pool in the Caribbean……anyway, yeah, what is your problem? So you can’t afford to live in London any more. Stop your complaining and just fall further into deprivation with a sense of uselessness in silence, peasants, and come and clean my moat.” To this day, I am aghast as to why people think voting Tory is a good idea. They are dangerous. It is that simple.

Bray in her statement refused to print the piece of Abbots article that I just printed above, and only chose to include this part of Abbotts article:

Just as with the original riots, parts of the community seem to have been a tinder box waiting to explode. Haringey Council has lost £41m from its budget and has cut youth services by 75 per cent. The abolition of the education maintenance allowance hit Haringey hard, and thousands of young people at college depended on it. Again none of these things are reasons for rioting and looting. But with these and other cuts in jobs and services, it is difficult to see how areas like Tottenham can become less flammable soon.

– As far as I can see this is a fantastic point and absolutely relevant. Pretty much identical to argument I set out in my blog yesterday. Instead of Bray simply saying it’s “irresponsible and wrong“, she should refute the argument Abbot is making, with reason. Making empty statements as Bray did, simply highlights the weakness of the Tory argument.

The Tories then went on to say that Abbot was trying to have it both ways. That claiming violence is wrong, whilst suggesting cuts provoked violence, is opportunistic in itself. In this, they fail to understand Abbots argument, or the argument I tried to make yesterday. The point is, the deep austerity and the lack of opportunity coupled with fear that one is not secure in a job or a home, and the fact that we’ve had it pelted into our skulls for decades that owning shit that we do not need is the measure of what makes a person “somebody”, all adds to an atmosphere that makes rioting inevitable. The rioters may be opportunistic, and they may have absolutely no idea of the inner political and economic workings that have lead them down that violent and dangerous path, but the atmosphere that they have grown up under and live under every day is very much the underlying political issue, and it has been exaggerated a hundred fold by this current Government. The rioters are years away from the level of destruction forced on the UK by our financial sector. But if the Government’s handling of that can be anything to go by, I expect the rioters will be given massive pay offs and an over inflated bonus for the destructive nature. The Tories failure to comprehend the deeper social context of the rioting, is their downfall, and one of the many many reasons I would rather throw myself in front of a speeding train, than vote Tory. Labour’s refusal to acknowledge a growing discontented and disenfranchised lower class who see no future and are politically unrepresented because their traditional Labour Party is trying to constantly appeal to a Middle Class, caused the lower class to become easy prey for the BNP and EDL. The economic and social climate, lack of opportunity, crap low paid jobs that were never secure, caused a climate in which the Far Right thrived, a Far Right that organised violence rather than the disorganised violence we see with the rioting, but essentially the economic factors are the same. It is absolutely a class issue.

How many times must we have to sit and take the Tory Party line that everyone else is to blame but them. That it’s ludicrous to blame them. That their policies of slash everything could not possibly have a detrimental affect on the social fabric of England. The Miners were to blame. The Unions were to blame. Labour were to blame. Gay people were to blame. Immigrants were to blame. The EU was to blame. Students were to blame. And in the case of Oliver Letwin, anyone from Sheffield who wants a holiday is to blame. Must we wait until the next Tory Government causes the exact same social unrest due to economic violence and public sector looting, as this lot have done? Or like the Thatcher lot before them had done? How many times are we going to accept that it might just all be a coincidence? There has to be a strong resistance to the Right Winged narrative, because it’s becoming so absurd as to almost be laughable now. The are the nasty Party of Eton, that rules for Eton, by Eton, deflecting the blame onto everything and anyone else other than themselves.

Archer’s books are still pretty popular. Over here in Australia, I see them everywhere. Ash and I stayed in a lovely little boat house in Tasmania last year, in the middle of nowhere overlooking a beautiful lake with Mount Wellington rising above the horizon. In the little bookshelf underneath the TV, was an Archer book. Yet I think I speak not just for Londoners, but the entire Country, when I say that London got off lightly with Boris. If things had been a little bit different, Jeffrey Archer could now be Mayor London. That is a scary thought. I doubt he’d win if he ran again, the way Boris has not handled the riots shows his complete disinterest in the plight of those who don’t live and work in Canary Wharf. Today in fact, giving a speech in London, whilst being the victim of constant heckling from people who had to remain in their homes scared to death, whilst the Mayor was on holiday refusing to come home, Boris said that people shouldn’t listen to those claiming there are sociological and economical reasons for these riots. The typical Tory attitude. Employ economic violence on those less fortunate, and then wash your hands of the consequences. One can only imagine how much worse that particular speech would have been had the pathological liar, Jeffrey Archer been giving it.


– Roger Helmer MEP is an idiot. He has been an idiot for a very long time. He is a throw back to the Euro sceptic Tories of the 1980s, who not only dislike the idea of joining a single currency, but want us absolutely out of Europe in every way. People like Helmer has this odd sense of British superiority as nostalgia from the days of Empire, whilst the rest of the World has moved on. With China, Brazil and India growing every second of every day, how he expects a tiny nation like Britain to compete, without being integrated in Europe is something he doesn’t elaborate on.
As well as calling for people to be shot, Helmer has also said that women who are date raped:

“surely shares a part of the responsibility”.

That homophobia is a propaganda tool used by the “militant gay lobby”, that the UK would benefit from American style healthcare, and that clubbing “dumb cub” seals over the head was humane because they were pests for eating too many fish. In short, the man is categorically insane.


– This is absolutely not a parody. I kid you not. An Iranian man with a desperately funny wig has issued a statement urging police restraint. A Country who, according to Human Rights Watch:

“Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and assembly, deteriorated in 2006. The government routinely tortures and mistreats detained dissidents, including through prolonged solitary confinement.”

– has urged caution in the UK. On this issue, I am absolutely speechless.

The Chancellor is appearing ever more insane. Blaming the snow for poor growth was one thing, but his ability to just make shit up is almost an art form now.

Last Monday the IMF said this:

On Saturday the Bank of England said this:

Last Thursday, his own office said this:

On Sunday the Business Secretary said this:

Later that day, this happened:

Today, it was reported that:

But it’s okay, the Chancellor is ignoring it all and making up his own news.

– I am not sure incompetency is the word. Charlie Brooker labelled Osborne as an 11 year old novelty Chancellor. I think that’s pretty much spot on. He is refusing to back from Neoliberal Tory doctrine, no matter how dangerous and wrong it is proving to be. It is isolating massive amounts of the UK community, everyone fears for their jobs and their homes.

Never trust a Tory.