Daily Archives: August 6, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over ‘illegal Iraq invasion’ – UK Politics – UK – The Independent

It is a shame that this has happened after Tony Blair spoke out against Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign.

Now, critics of Corbyn will be able to say that Blair could not expect better after his earlier words; they’ll be able to paint it as a superficial ‘bitch fight’ (if you like).

The serious point that Corbyn was making – echoing the sentiments of more than a million people who took to the streets to demonstrate against the Iraq war – may be lost.

Tony Blair could be made to stand trial for war crimes, according to the current Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn.

The veteran left winger said the former prime minister was reaching the point when he was going to have to deal with the consequences of his actions with the coming Chilcot inquiry report.

“I think it was an illegal war,” he said in an interview with BBC2’s Newsnight adding that former UN secretary general had confirmed that. “Therefore he (Blair) has to explain that,” Corbyn said.

Pressed on whether Mr Blair should be charged with war crimes, he said: “If he’s committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who’s committed a war crime should be.”

However, he admitted he didn’t know whether Blair would be tried, although he said it might be possible.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn: Tony Blair could face war crimes trial over ‘illegal Iraq invasion’ – UK Politics – UK – The Independent

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Carers now being targeted by the DWP.  | The poor side of life

This is insanity.  The DWP wanted the lady in this article to go to work, while the government paid for childcare to look after her disabled child.

Firstly, in any scheme that would work, this would cost more than the DWP is already shelling out.

Secondly, no allowance is made for the individual needs of the child concerned, or the fact that the parent is the best-qualified person to deal with them.

What’s the betting the DWP will get away with this attack on carers – simply because it doesn’t affect most of the population so they won’t care?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the changes that are occurring in the DWP. It seems like a never ending turnstile of changes. I usually get alerted to the big changes fairly early on before they happen, but I missed this one.

A lady approached me outside the Jobcentre yesterday during our weekly demonstration. To say she was a bit annoyed was an understatement. She is a full time carer for her disabled son. His condition is unpredictable at times and as a result they are in receipt of a high level DLA payment. It’s not easy to get a high level award and this lady has fought very hard to get this.

She had received a letter from the Jobcentre. She had been asked to go into the Jobcentre for a mandatory back to work meeting. To make matters worse they didn’t send her to her nearest Jobcentre, they sent her to one which wasn’t in walking distance, indeed it is a tram ride away. When she told me I was a bit shocked. She needs to be at home to care for her child, but apparently all this is changing now.

Source: Carers now being targeted by the DWP.  | The poor side of life

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The Anti-Jeremy Corbyn People: How They Sound to Me | Mark Fiddaman

Jeremy-Corbyn

Let’s have a laugh at the anti-Corbyn brigade. Full marks to Mark Fiddaman for this:

I may not have read any of Corbyn’s policies. But I have imagined what he might think, on the basis of an unorthodox hat he once wore. And let me tell you— never have I heard such barmy, bleeding-heart, loony-left, pie-in-the-sky, stuck-in-the-past, socks-and-sandals, mouth-frothing, terrorist-licking, weirdo-beardo Islington pinko codswallop in all my life.

I’m told Corbyn has some fanciful, Trotskyite notions about not treating the poor like vermin and avoiding imbecilic economic policy. Pfft. Go back to Russia, mate. I think I also read somewhere that he wants to reduce the deficit with a growth strategy, the like of which has never worked ever, apart from all the times it has.

Well, Corbyn can’t trick me with that old ‘saying things that are true’ routine. He can’t pull the wool over my eyes with his manifest skill at harnessing grassroots momentum and his ability to articulate a message of hope with clarity and conviction. Because I know that Corbyn is unelectable. He’s simply too left wing. I mean, for God’s sake, the man was friends with Tony Benn. And apparently he was a Bennite.

Source: The Anti-Jeremy Corbyn People: How They Sound to Me | Mark Fiddaman

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Threat to automatic union fee payments is petulant obstruction

Conservative ministers know that the automatic payment of trade union subscriptions from salaries is achieved by a simple keystroke these days – it is absolutely no burden on employers.

Their plan to stop public sector workers from paying in this manner should therefore be seen as what it is – a sulky, ill-tempered attack on the workforce for daring to belong to a workers’ representative organisation.

The process is not outdated – it’s bang-up-to-date.

Ending it would not give workers more control – they have control now, simply by saying that they are union members and they want their subscriptions taken from their salaries.

Ending it would increase the burden on workers’ already-limited personal time – they would have to go through the time-consuming process of creating direct debits from their bank accounts.

This is a waste of time for everybody involved.

The purpose is obvious – reduce union funding, making it more difficult for them to take industrial action, as the Conservative Government’s unnecessary attack on workers intensifies over the next few years.

The philosophy is that workers are lazy, and won’t be bothered to create the direct debits necessary to keep the funds flowing to the unions.

It seems unlikely that the plan will be hard-fought in Parliament. Let’s face it, New Labour was hardly union-friendly, despite receiving a great deal of funding from them.

If this proposal is enacted, then it will be up to the unions to make sure members can make the change quickly and easily – most probably by drawing up the direct debit agreement for them, so all they have to do is check it, sign and deliver it.

Clever union leaders will also use this as a springboard for a membership drive, pointing out that it can only be a prelude to further attacks on the UK’s workforce.

Are you going to fight this erosion of your rights – or are you just going to bend over for the Conservatives and let them do whatever they want to you?

Plans to stop public sector workers automatically paying subscriptions to trade unions through their salaries have been unveiled by the government.

Ministers say the process is “outdated” and ending it would give workers more control and save more than £6m a year by cutting employers’ administration.

But unions could lose funds and say it is a “vindictive political attack” that will “poison industrial relations”.

It follows plans for reforms of union laws, including tighter strike rules.

Civil servants, teachers and nurses are among the union members who will have to arrange for the fees to be collected from their bank accounts by direct debit, under the proposals to update legislation in the Trade Union Bill.

 The government says the so-called check-off system of taking union dues through wages was introduced at a time when many workers did not have bank accounts.

It said it was now a “taxpayer-funded administrative burden” on employers.

Source: Automatic union fee payments ‘to end in public sector’ – BBC News

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Nicola Sturgeon quizzed after Police Scotland caught spying on journalists

Here’s something that should worry everybody.

Tapping people’s communications in order to keep journalists under control is a Tory strategy, don’t you know?

Let’s all keep a close eye on this.

The Scottish government is under growing pressure to clear the air over alleged spying on journalists and their sources by an elite unit within Police Scotland.

Scottish Labour has tabled a parliamentary motion calling on Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, to reveal what she knows about the allegations.

“We need full transparency from the first minister about exactly what SNP government ministers know about these allegations and whether they have authorised any surveillance of journalists and their sources by Police Scotland,” said Hugh Henry, Scottish Labour’s shadow justice secretary.

The political row follows a report in the Sunday Herald that named Police Scotland as one of two forces which used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) without judicial approval to find sources. Ripa was amended in March, requiring judicial approval before officers can gain access to journalists’ phone records, texts and emails.

The Herald reported that Police Scotland’s elite counter corruption unit (CCU) used its spying powers to try to uncover a journalist’s sources without getting approval.

Source: Nicola Sturgeon told to reveal what she knew of Police Scotland spying claims | UK news | The Guardian

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