What does the man from Del Monte say about this?

He’d probably say that handling stolen goods is a crime for which the penalty is 14 years’ imprisonment. The Conservative Party here in the UK is continuing the tradition of financial double-standards for which it is becoming – justly – infamous, by refusing to hand back an alleged £440,000 of stolen money that was donated by convicted tycoon Asil Nadir in the 1990s. The 71-year-old businessman was formerly head of Polly Peck International, a company that at one time owned the Del Monte fruit juice company whose most famous campaign…

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Poll tax revival plan to take away your home

How much do you like your home? Is it a good building? Do you get on with the neighbours? Do you live in a pleasant part of the country? Well, take a good look around because you could soon lose it all if the Tory-led Coalition government has its way. The plan is to scrap Council Tax Benefit from April next year and compel local authorities to set up local council tax support schemes, in order to cut 10 per cent from the current council tax benefit bill – a total of…

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Why the Tory-led debt crisis has worsened

Never mind the playing field sell-offs for a moment; they’re only a small part of the economic mess over which the UK’s Conservative-led government is presiding. Figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that in July the government borrowed £3.4 billion more than on the same month last year. Net borrowing was £557 million (according to The Guardian), but the government made a surplus this time last year, and the figures were a serious disappointment for economic analysts, who had been predicting another surplus of about £2.5 billion. So…

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Britain’s worst idlers – the MPs who wrote Britannia Unchained

I have been saddened to learn of two events that will take place in the near future: The death of The Dandy, and the publication of Britannia Unchained. The first needs little introduction to British readers; it’s the UK’s longest-running children’s humour comic, which will cease publication (in print form) towards the end of this year, on its 75th anniversary. The second appears to be an odious political tract scribbled by a cabal of ambitious right-wing Tory MPs, desperate to make a name for themselves by tarring British workers as…

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Ashamed to be British as prejudice and bigotry stalk the streets

“Too many people in this country wallowing in their own self-pity who will find the slightest reason to avoid doing a day’s work. Get them out to work by force and take their money off them. I dont see why I should work so hard and pay so much tax to pay for the lazy and workshy to sit at home.” There is so much wrong with this statement that I hardly know where to start. It is a genuine comment, made in response to a BBC news article, and…

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Don’t expect any U-turns from our blinkered Chancellor

There’s absolutely no possibility that George Osborne will give in to the latest calls for him to ditch his ‘deficit reduction strategy’ and adopt a more moderate plan. Firstly, people need to understand that the Coalition government’s fiscal strategy isn’t about reducing the national deficit at all. If it was, we would not have had a big tax break for the richest in society as part of the last budget. It’s a strategy to axe public services, selling off to rich corporations any that might be capable of yielding a…

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Suicide rate is now the strongest indicator of unemployment

Iain Duncan Smith has been crowing about the private sector after the official unemployment figure dropped from 8.2 to 8 per cent of the workforce. He reckons we should take our hats off to private sector employers for providing the new work. Well he would, wouldn’t he? His attitude conforms with the narrative the Tories have been trying to build since 2010, that the private sector would rush in to fill the jobs gap left behind after the Coalition cut the public sector to ribbons – providing decent, gainful employment for…

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Disability hate crime hits record high

Nobody should be surprised by this. The Guardian reported today (August 14) that hate crime against disabled people has hit its highest level since records began, totalling 1,942 recorded incidents in 2011, an increase of more than 25 per cent – that means it’s up by more than a quarter – on the total for 2010. The Crown Prosecution Service managed only 523 convictions for disability hate crime during the same period – so only a little more than a quarter of the perpetrators were punished for their crime; the rest…

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Children targeted in latest government attack on the disabled

Does anybody remember when ‘accountability’ was the buzzword of the times? The public was going to be able to see who was responsible for the decisions affecting us, and would be able to seek recompense from those people when injustice arose. Did we get it? Here’s a story that you might have missed in all the Olympic hubbub, that raises the question of accountability again. On August 2, The Independent reported on a letter that has started appearing on the doormats of parents who claim Disability Living Allowance for their…

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USA – another great depression or greatly depressing?

Now that the Olympics are over and everybody’s having a rest from medal-counting (don’t forget the Paralympics will be starting soon, though, providing the opportunity to do it all over again), may I just take this opportunity to ask readers in the USA, just what the blazes is going on with your Presidential candidates? A few years ago, your economy was devastated by comedy president George W Bush, with a policy known as ‘starving the beast’. For those with short memories, this involved tax breaks for the very rich, creating…

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