People across the country will be taking part in a different kind of protest – on the day of the state opening of Parliament.
May 27 will be the first National Switch Off Day, when thousands of people have already pledged to stop using gas and electricity, and stop shopping in non-local shops for 24 hours.
Organised by a varied group of campaigners, this will be the first in a series of multi-issue actions that will take place once a month. Reasons for taking part range from keeping the NHS public and tackling issues like overpriced parking in hospitals, to stopping benefit cuts, to issues affecting vulnerable people and their carers such as the cold weather benefits to the elderly, to keeping the Human Rights Act, to stopping fracking – and mostly that all members of the general public get a voice in matters that concern them.
Paul, a single parent with two sons, said: “Traditional protesting on the streets is fine but it doesn’t affect the government, banks or big corporations. It’s time to switch off and hurt them in the pocket. No electric. No gas. No spending money. Whatever your protest, let’s unite for one day a month and switch off.”
Brenda, an organiser of the action, added: “David Cameron: this country is unsettled. You are giving your MPs a wage increase, but what about the people? Low wages and queuing for food? For God’s sake, this is 2015 – not 1915!
“We need faith in our government and we haven’t had that for 53 years. I’ve voted in all elections, I’m 71, and the last one was nothing but a sham. I’m ashamed of them all. They are bringing this country to its knees.”
And Suzanne made clear: “Rather than being the action of sore losers who are disgruntled at a single election result, this is the culmination of more than five years’ building resentment towards a group of people who seem only to represent a minority of wealthy people in this country.”
With only 24 per cent of the electorate represented by the current government, organisers said it seems that the other 76 per cent may be keen to give up their home comforts for one day a month to show their displeasure, and hope that some kind of dialogue can be made between the government and the people who will be hit hardest by its cuts.
This is an important start.
We should also be building up a database of business interests held by Conservative donors and MPs, ensuring that they do not receive our business. Beyond that, we should also consider boycotting firms that receive government contracts.
Apathy doesn’t work. It would be madness to sit back and let them carry on – and paying them for what they’re doing.
Think about it. And please join the day of action. May 27 is Wednesday.
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This is a modern day iteration of ” Satyagraha ” which was developed by Mahatma Gandhi
Oh good, so it works, then.
ghandi had a goal. What is the goal here? Simply expressing dissatisfaction isn’t very powerful
The goal is to say that those of us who don’t support Tory policies still have economic power, and we will put our money where our mouth is if ministers refuse to listen to us.
I don’t know-why don’t you read the whole thread to get an idea of what is being commented on?
I don’t know what you are wibbling about.
It could be that both the previous and present administrations appear to make a virtue out of them imposing and continuing the growing inequality in the UK. It is especially disturbing that the Tories appear to be targeting of the most vulnerable in society.
I wonder if your one of those who nearly choked on their humus when you read that, apparently, the pension bill was seven percent of of Government expenditure when in fact it was ZERO POINT SEVEN ( 0.7 ) of ONE percent.
Or perhaps you are unconcerned about the deaths of people who have been made to undergo phoney ” medicals ” carried out for the most part by eminently unqualified employees of organizations such as ATOS or Maximus
” sanctioned ” by the DWP .
Here’s a suggestion for you…why don’t you read the whole thread to get an idea of what is being commented on?
Just a couple of factual corrections:
Pensions take up 21 per cent of government expenditure.
Benefit fraud costs 0.7 per cent.
Sorry about that, Mike. I got everthing arse-about-head…sorry about that…I sometimes get like that.
No worries. Just thought I’d better make sure you had the right information.
The people always have the power if used wisely……government is nothing if it no longer has anything to govern.
what about my freezer? I can’t afford to lose what food I have in it and I am terrified of the dark! but I can go without spending money, that’s usual anyway. So how can I participate?
Keep your freezer on but boycott everything else for TWO days!
Seriously, you have to do what you have to do. I’m thinking of the man whose medical supplies went off because he couldn’t keep them refrigerated as well. How you make it work is up to you.
I also need my fridge on as I am diabetic.
I wish I’d looked at this before I wrote my previous response.
No worries Mike I will use just the freezer and fridge for 3 days!
I have been supporting this since the coalition got in, we don’t have the funds to shop, we live on fish from the local river and rabbits and pheasants we have no other choice. Our neighbour is a milk farmer so we get free milk and all the veg and herbs we grow.
I cut down trees for logs to keep warm and use the minimum electricity, even cooked on a BBQ in the snow thanks to our wonderful government, that’s after working for fourty years and paying a full stamp, thanks so much DC my heart goes out to you.
I was given ESA being a brittle diabetic and other complications that ended after twelve months, we survive on my dear wife’s basis state pension, I now have to wait another three years with no support whatsoever until I get my state pension, my, I love the Tories would love a ride in Cameron’s Bentley.
Are you not eligible for Pension Credit (as I dont know your ages, I can’t say for sure if you are, but give them a call if you haven’t already) local pension centre number is 0845 6060265, if that’s not the claim number then they will be able to give it to you.
Why not quit murdering rabbits, pheasants and fish and eat plants? I find it difficult to sympathise with your comments, lad.
I think this is a good idea but I fear that it will not work as, from the above comments, you can see that essential equipment has to be kept running. Frankly, apart from fridge and freezer and computer (which I would certainly do without for a day) there is nothing else using power in my house during the daytime. Heating is turned off from the cost saving necessity anyway. I feel that our best way of protest is to peacefully protest in the largest demonstrations possible with the aid of all of the Unions; if only they will all participate. All peaceful suggestions are welcome!
By the way Mike, I have been unable to post some messages via the Twitter or WordPress buttons recently including this one.
I don’t know why you would be having problems with those buttons. Curious…
Great idea, myself and my family are all going to take part.
excellent idea, and we have so very few of these, with any hope of making a dent in the .armour plated state machine. With enough support, and publicity of the results, it could put Cameron et al. on the back foot,in readiness for further ‘pushes’ to his pedestal of power. Next year, will be crunch time, for him and everyone like him purveyors of power-without-conscience. But we have got to come together, to make it happen!
People need to realise this country has been usurped and we have traitors in government who have committed TREASON.
Behind it all is the Vatican and we the British have been keeping them at bay for the last 1700 years. Its time to all wake up to what is really going on and kick them all out again:
The Vatican? Seriously?
Traitors certainly. But they have betrayed us to the Americans and the Lord God almighty dollar.
The so called special relationship between the UK and USA is that of the ****er and the ****ed. Fine I guess if you are the one being ****ed rather less so if your the ****er. The UK being the ****er.
Some of the Hunan rights act needs to be change so we don’t have to pay millions of pounds to get terrorists out of the country. Also will you campaign on GMO’s in our food as their is very little organic food In the supermarkets. pharmaceutical companies Run the country. They control the doctors and the food we eat (Monsanto) All for Money. Without prejudice
I think in fact it’s only the interpretation of the Act that needs to be changed.
As for the rest of your comment – it’s tangential to the issue at hand but I agree that there is an issue that should be addressed.
The freezer issue aside, this is idea smacks of self flagellation a little. To put yourself in discomfort and stop spending money as a protest seems a bit ironic when so many people don’t have enough to feed themselves and so many elderly people die every winter from lack of energy. Also, many people have already gone completely off-grid already because they don’t approve of society. It might be better to promote this as a way of life, rather than a protest movement.
Nobody’s saying people should put themselves in discomfort – just take money away from Tory donors and exploiters.
There are many ways of providing oneself with heat and food that do not involve paying such firms money – and doing this once a month might prepare people for the circumstances you describe.
In another article, I have advised people to organise into groups of five and arrange to meet once a week, in order to ensure that anyone who encounters problems has help to deal with them. Perhaps I should have added similar words to this.
Groot – it always makes me curious how some old people don’t have enough for energy over the winter, they can get up to £400 from winter fuel? That is more than enough for the heating bill over the winter (sadly after working on the winter fuel phone lines in the past a lot of people ring up in December saying “where’s my winter fuel I need to buy Christmas presents, not saying all do that but some do”
Garden, go to bed earlier and cook the day before or just have a bbq.
Lots of ideas but it gets people thinking and helping each other out.
Candles need to be used with care.
Use public transport and no credit cards or cash if possible although there is an argument to use cash as the EU and other countries move towards the centralised control of a cashless society. (Card not approved – no money, no food).
Get together with family, friends and small circles of 5 to plan other days once or twice a month.
Read, make music, sing, dance and have fun!
Personally, I would recommend keeping your expenditure as low as practicable but also keeping as much cash as possible securely at home. For day to day expenses, PAY CASH FOR EVERYTHING, including food and petrol. Go to an ATM every three or four days or longer and take out enough money to last you for the foreseeable future. Never use debit or credit cards except for withdrawing cash from the ATM. This way of arranging your financial transactions has the dual advantages of not allowing the financial parasites to profit by interest charges or by the use of much of your money on deposit whilst at the same time making it difficult to spy on and track you by your purchases or where you shop.
People need to be doing whatever they can to hit the parasitic scum financially where it hurts EVERY SINGLE DAY, not just once a month. That’s just p***ing in the wind and will achieve nothing. Very few people will actually have the motivation or courage to do that, preferring instead to just moan whilst keeping the status quo because it is more convenient for them and involves little active effort or taking responsibility by empowering themselves
I think the point about having a regular day is that you can use it to build support. If you try to get people doing it every day, then there will be a backlash effect, in that people would prefer to just moan rather than be inconvenienced all the time.
The point is that we can stop their money rolling in – if we have to. These exploitative firms are out of line and need to get back in.
and i can see that happening here….(see my comment a few days ago.) alternative heating?my place is all gas no fireplaces.too old to cut wood etc even if i had and could i doubt my breathing (asthma.COPD.) would take the smoke from it. same for BBQ s. when they built a lot of houses in the past they had to put as many as they could get on small plots of land. so small rooms(here i have lounge bedroom kitchen (maybe kitchenette is a better word) and bathroom. and small yards or gardens..then along came modernisation. central heating extractor fans. double glazed windows,plastic doors.kitchen units taking up most of the space and radiators. (in my kitchen its a plinth?? heater at base of sink unit)soooooo. alternative heating…enlighten me please. cooking.. i do have emergency kit here. for light n cooking. it consists of flasks to fill with hot water,one i have is 18yrs old and still will keep water hot for 24 hrs and hottish for another 12.or so..plus one of those desert cookers the army uses. would have to use outside tho. consisting of a metal grid thing n you light a paraffin soaked small square brick.. one use per brick. not sure how effective it is in cooking stuff.probably its going to be soup ,water if you run out in flask etc.milk for heated cereal. porridge. are these safe tho for elderly to use?and would that too affect my breathing like BBQs do? at this moment, i cant see anyone dying from the cold unless we get an unseasonal change in the weather.so in most cases heating shouldn’t be a problem……finding something to do if your housebound,cant have PC or TV or DVDs on or be able to read or do puzzles..if no light.. gonna be a boring old day for such people..torches… oh yes. can read with those. up to a point. not for long though./ive tried it. eye strain.after a short while,…however i cant see how this will affect the govt. Business’s yes but surely those fat cats in Westminster wont be bothered.they have their millions.
They’ll be bothered by the PR hit they’ll be taking.
The problem as I see it is that what do people do when the day of protest ends? My money is on going into the shops people boycotted and buying the products that they did not buy on the day of protest.
You need to keep boycotting and picketing one big store until it calls in bankruptcy practitioners. Then move on to the next.
There are many that can be habitually ignored, of course.
Any of the big four would make a good target. Tesco, Morrisons and ASDA are all vulnerable.
The ones I would like to target would be all the US ones. Amazon being at the top of the list for it’s appalling working practices. ASDA as they are simply awful shopping experience and incompetent managers (mostly incapable of managing themselves let alone a shop). Kraft or what ever moniker it goes under now.
Sainsburies because they own their own cabinet minister, same with Tesco – plus some very dodgy accounting problems.
ithink a target aproch is easeyeror boycoting as its know , and very afective ,but what about the poor little workers ? we will all have to do this at the same time say over a month to cause any real pain i know because i worked as a driver and warehouse op for 3 of them ,it can afect them seriusly with in two days ,as there stocks are on a24 hour turnaround . alex .
It’s not about causing real pain; it’s about raising awareness among the corporates that they rely on ordinary people for their profit supply.
me im not doing nothing that day ,no internet ,no phoning ,no shopping ,no banking ,no buying on line ,having a shower night before ,having a salad and fruit ,no coffee fruit juice and no travelling in other words my gaffs on 24 hour shut down and I am to do again
very clever. shut down ALL the big supermarkets and again you hit the low paid and those housebound who rely on home delivery of their groceries. while i can appreciate the logistics behind it, you have to look at the end results. hitting them as suggested initially above, will not bankrupt them. hitting one constantly day after day til they succumb to going under, will affect thousands of people in the long run. those mentioned by me above plus think of the paid job losses that will entail. you will be putting a heck of a lot more people on the scrap pile at the tender mercies of IDS and his department.
Yeah. The idea is to make them realise they rely on us, too.
I don’t think the likes of Tesco, Asda, etc would close or even sack people. It is far more likely that they would quickly recognise how ‘people power’ has the potential to damage their businesses [profits], and would almost certainly begin to put pressure on the government to consider their options.
not much consolation if people are stuck indoors, unable to get to shops, relied on being able to get what they needed within 24hrs online.. once those giants are made bankrupt there’s no going back. they’ll be gone. it wont be a 24 hr thing then/ is anyone going to come n do my shopping for me as and when i need it? i cant afford B&S.
As I’ve already indicated, the point isn’t to bankrupt anybody; just to bring them back in line.
you got to break eggs to make omletts ,
mike. sorry, i didn’t make myself clear. the bankrupt thing i spoke of was in reply to Suusi M-B May 24, 2015 at 1:08 pm
Yes. If that scenario arose, I’d be happy to do your shopping. I’d do that for anyone in my village if necessary. There are plenty of other people like me out there. You’d be OK.
not around here tho Paul. there was one man started doing that but after 2 years he was taking over my life and fell out with me when i refused to use him and his car as a taxi service. free it might be but it had got to the stage where i was losing the small amount of independence i still had. if i had accepted the taxi thing, i would have been beholden to him and he would know just about everything of where i went who i saw etc. i would not have been able to do anything without his knowledge. i wasn’t having that. even when i was married i still had SOME independence.of course this started about 4 years ago. possibly 5.. and went on as i said for 2 years gradually taking over all my time.the rest dont bother . never have,
Judging by quite a few of the comments here, it seems that many of us have become over-reliant on ‘convenience’.
It wasn’t so long ago that there were no supermarket deliveries, it was generally only the local shops that would deliver. When I was a youngster, I used to set off on my ‘delivery-bike’ with an order from my father’s grocery shop several times a day and deliver orders to people who couldn’t get to the shop, or who couldn’t carry their shopping home.
Then a Co-op opened just down the road and orders dried up. The Co-op didn’t deliver then, but people miraculously managed to do their own shopping. It was ‘modern’… and they got green-shield stamps or similar!
Like my father’s shop, his father’s and my uncle’s, the supermarkets put them out of business. They still didn’t deliver orders. A certain young lad went to the Co-op and asked them if he could deliver their orders. “We don’t do that son”, said the manager… so I had to look for another job; a milk round starting at 4.30am, finishing just in time for school.
Look elsewhere for your shopping. Local stores will deliver and you’ll be supporting businesses who the big supermarkets WANT to put out of busines. If the worst came to the worst [??], perhaps the local stores would be so busy, they’d take on extra staff at proper pay and contracts? Once, people said ‘don’t buy a car, because you’ll be putting a stable boy out of work… many became mechanics!
Shop on a different day. Don’t worry about turning off your freezers or fridges. Use the internet to spread the word. But DO SOMETHING!!
DON’T find excuses not to do something. There’s NO excuse for that.
Love it Paul. I also grew up in a village Post Office and general stores. My mother ran the shop and my step-father worked in an armament factory. He arrived home at 5.30ish, had some tea and then delivered any shopping, Saturday afternoons were the main delivery days. Some elderly or disabled could telephone an order and pay on delivery. The arrival of a supermarket 2 miles away killed the trade except for a few ‘supporters’. I had a Sunday paper round (took me 6 hrs on a bike) until I joined the Navy (at 15yrs). My step-father took it on .. much quicker by car. The paper distributors went out of business when Supermarkets were allowed to open on Sundays to sell newspapers.
exactly, there were still grocery deliveries, butchers deliveries and newspaper deliveries. whether it cost the customer or not i don’t know. but for me there are 3 good reasons to shop online and have it delivered. 1.i am disabled and elderly. 2.i cannot carry shopping now due to pain and breathing difficulties. they bring it in. i put away what i am able to do and my daughter does the rest for me when she comes. 3.it costs me just £1 for delivery if i choose a Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday delivery slot. £6 if i choose a weekend one.other prices in between the two depending on day and time of day you choose. for me to go to one of the big supermarkets it would cost me £12 each way (£24 return..this is because i cannot go without my carer.so have to pick her up en route.)even if i could go on my own would still be £14 return. or was the last time i was able to do that. over 10yrs ago. as i can not get to a bus stop nor can i use buses any longer. by time they’ve shook their way to my local big town i am fit for doing nothing.oh and i do not have a car or access to one.
oh and its a completely different era now. back in the days your talking about neighbours were exactly that. neighbourly. always willing to help. if Mrs Jones next door needed butter n couldn’t gt to the shop you did it for her.you don’t get that now.once a week i used to go into town (about a 15 minute bus ride, ) buy a joint of meat and some veg and take it to my elderly great aunt who couldn’t get into the town herself.lot cheaper than local butcher.she lived other side of the town from me, another bus ride away. again you rarely find that even among families. all too busy with their own lives.
Unfortunately it seems to be a part of modern life that those who tell us what to do – employers, the DWP, the government in general – seem to want to put more and more things in front of us, to distract us from the terrible conditions they are creating for us.
There are still good, neighbourly people around. My fear is that they will be swamped with cries for help. I’m getting a lot (locally), so I write from experience!
Great idea.been doing this for a while.regarding refrigeration, a timer can be used.set it for 18hrs on,6 off.12am -6am works.food will not spoil.quarter the electric bill.fill your mug with water and put in kettle to boil.also saves a lot of money.simple things can make a huge difference.check out rocket stoves on Youtube. simple set up and no cost if materials found.one love x
i use a Morphy Richards one cup. like a Kettle but you can put in however many cups of water you need for the number of drinks you are making up to about 6 i think it is.been worth its weight in gold.
the only way this would even remotely work is if the whole country did it, sadly they will not,
Grassroots movements don’t (generally) succeed overnight. They need to build.
So don’t worry if it starts small. People will notice.
And if you take part, tell your friends – and ask them to do it (and tell their friends) next time.
You might be surprised at the results.
Apathy, on the other hand, won’t get you anywhere.
not apathy on my part Mike. i simply do not have any friends locally. moving here in my 50s. never came in contact with the normal ways of making friends locally.. work, school gate, etc/ no groups near enough to join. i have to rely on my 2 kids. one of which is disabled himself. all my friends live down south or one north Yorkshire. all getting on now too. or online ones only. that ive never met.so its not apathy its inability and ive no doubt there will be thousands of others in same position
The “apathy” comment was directed at ‘googoo’, in response to the claim that anything less than everybody taking part would achieve nothing. It’s not a helpful comment, nor is it particularly true. I tend to look askance at people who make such suggestions.
Here’s a comment from Sarah Smith on Facebook: “Another suggestion …. why not move all your money out of the big banks and put it into the Co-Operative Bank which gives profits to charity?”
So let’s get this right. The government is making cuts and imposing austerity because it claims not to have enough money and the solution to that is to try and ensure that it has even LESS money? Yeah, I can see how that would work……..(or maybe not).
Not at all.
The companies being hit hardly pay any taxes anyway – but they do donate heavily to the Conservative Party.
Get it now?
Max, as you say, the government ‘claims’ there isn’t enough money. The key word is “claims”. There’s plenty of mounting evidence among serious academics and economists that this government’s claims are bordering on clap-trap. You’ll find plenty of pointers on this site as to where you can find plenty of that evidence. Go well.
I was going to do this but I can’t understand how it works. You see it takes how long to take any effect? Firstly you don’t pay your electricity for one month so the effect it is meant to create is already diminished by that. Secondly you are charged a daily rate for your supply which the company will collect anyway. This diminishes the effect again then you shop local which costs you more and because the price is higher so is the VAT the government collect, again the effect is diminished and it has still cost you. So I believe that it won’t affect them but it will affect yourself. there is also a number of things in your house that have to be left on e.g, Fridge and Freezer. so they will still be collecting money whatever you do. The suggestion about not leaving money in your bank account is probably the best one leave enough to pay any DD and then keep the rest in your pocket (not literally) pay in cash don’t use loyalty cards mess them up a bit.
Are you charged a daily rate for your supply? If so, you need to get on a meter because they’ll be fleecing you. For those of us who are on meters, switching everything off that isn’t absolutely necessary will lead to a marked drop in usage and therefore we won’t be billed for it.
I would not recommend doing any shopping tomorrow – then you won’t pay any VAT at all.
I can avoid spending any money tomorrow, and my electricity is free during the day in any case as I have solar panels fitted: which is something else that would have an impact on energy company’s profits if more people have these fitted, as well as reducing energy consumption.
A company called ‘A Shade Greener’ does this for free – they continue to own the panels and get paid via surplus energy sent back to the grid, and are also responsible for the maintenance of the panels.
You have to be a property owner to be eligible to have them fitted – but that landlords who rent out property can also have this done – so it may be worth asking – obviously an advantage to them if energy costs are included in the rent, or if they are reasonable they may have ti done for the environment/to save you money, as there is no cost to them…
Any idea how it went? Good, I hope – next time, some advance warning would help, for winding down freezer stocks etc. Also, would give people time to locate a decent camping stove, as would not recommend what i got – disposable tin thing with Hexamine blocks! Really cheap, but no instructions – the blocks blaze furiously for a couple of minutes, just long enough to boil a pan of water – but the fumes are not pleasant!
No, I’ve no idea how it went.
You have plenty of advance warning for the next one, and the next: It’s the same date every month.
Sorry, missed that bit – anyway, you have sowed the seeds, and sooner or later TPTB won’t be able to pretend that nothing is happening!
Congratulations, let’s hope this is the start of many more such initiatives.