Tag Archives: coercion

Are landlords trying to force Labour-voting tenants to support the Tories?

Votes for rent: How many people are tenants of private landlords? Enough to unduly influence an election if they are coerced into voting for a candidate they don’t want; a party whose policies would harm them?

I find this tweet extremely disturbing:

When I first moved to Mid Wales, I was told that it had been a common event for Conservative-voting landlords to visit their Labour-supporting tenants during a general election and blackmail them: vote Tory or be kicked onto the street.

I asked whether that still happened and didn’t get a clear answer.

So when I saw Grace Krause’s tweet, alarm bells rang in my head.

Are landlords blackmailing their tenants into voting for a government that intends to harm them?

If so, that is to be stopped.

The Tories won’t stop it – they love a bit of corruption if it favours them.

So let me appeal to anybody facing this kind of coercion: DISOBEY. Vote Labour and report your landlord to the Electoral Commission for trying to influence the result of the election.

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Coercion: Now Dictator Johnson is saying Tory rebels will be barred from being election candidates

Threats and bluster: That’s all Boris Johnson has. He can’t follow through on any plan to remove rebel Tory MPs from Parliament because – if they vote against him – he won’t be their leader long enough to do it.

It’s another step into dictatorship – and it makes the Labour de-selection row look pale in comparison.

Boris Johnson has said any Conservative MP who votes against his plan for a “no deal” Brexit on October 31 will be barred from standing as a Tory candidate in the next general election.

He’s saying he will end their careers if they do what they think is right for the country. Here‘s The Sun (of all places) reporting it:

ANY Tory MP who votes for the extension legislation next week will not be allowed to stand as a Tory candidate at the next election.

I understand No10 have decided to treat next week’s votes as they would a confidence vote, with anyone not backing the Government being immediately disqualified from standing for the party again. They hope this will keep some Tory waverers in the Government lobby next week.

Dictator Johnson is effectively demanding that his MPs swear personal loyalty to him – in the same way Hitler did in the 1930s, for those of you who need the historical perspective.

This would directly contravene the terms on which they were elected in the first place, of course. Voters elect UK MPs on the basis of how they understand that person will represent their constituency – not their political party, and certainly not that party’s leader.

It is an empty threat. If Mr Johnson is defeated and his government falls, then it is unlikely that he will be the leader of the Conservative Party at the next general election, so he would be unable to ensure that rebels are de-selected.

And they have the balance of power here. If they vote against him, then his government falls – and he would be unable to follow through with his threat.

Also, look how good this makes Labour seem: Jeremy Corbyn’s party has offered constituency members the opportunity to de-select MPs they do not believe are representing them adequately in an entirely democratic process – a stark contrast to Dictator Johnson’s stance.

BoJob’s ultimatum has been met with disgust on the social media (although I’ve only seen a few tweets):

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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‘Shoestring Army’ to battle government-imposed ‘slavery’ in the courts

Energising: Keith Lindsay-Cameron prepares to take his case to the police.

Energising: Keith Lindsay-Cameron prepares to take his case to the police.

An activist from Somerset is raising his own ‘Shoestring Army’ to crowdsource funds and mount a legal challenge against the government’s new Claimant Commitment for jobseekers, after police said they were unable to arrest Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud for breaching the Human Rights Act.

Keith Lindsay-Cameron, of Peasedown St John, near Bath, was advised to obtain the services of a solicitor and raise a legal challenge in the courts after he made his complaint at Bath police station on Friday (May 2).

He said the conditionality regime that is part of the new Claimant Commitment will re-cast the relationship between the citizen and the State – from one centred on ‘entitlement’ to one centred on a contractual concept in which the government provides a range of support only if a claimant meets an explicit set of responsibilities, with a sanctions regime to enforce compliance.

According to Mr Lindsay-Cameron, this amounts to the reintroduction of slavery. Forced compliance – through the sanctions regime – means people will be denied the means of survival if they fail to meet the conditions imposed on them. Deprivation of the means of survival, he claims, also breaches the act’s guarantee that everybody has the right to life and should not be deprived of it.

“The civilian desk receptionist asked my business and I gave her a verbal breakdown – that I had come to accuse Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud of crimes under the Human Rights Act 1998,” said Mr Lindsay-Cameron, who is better-known to thousands of readers as the author of the A Letter A Day To Number 10 internet blog.

“The Claimant Commitment contract means the loss of access to any benefits if one refused to sign, and benefit sanctions if one was considered to be in breach of the signed contract. Either way, this amounts to forced labour and therefore slavery.

“I was asked for more details and explained that a sanction – loss of benefits – meant the loss of the means of survival. I said we had not come to ridicule the police or to challenge them, but that they existed as our – ordinary folks’ – doorway to justice and that what I was doing there was asking for their help and that I was personally in the system and that we all needed help.”

But a police inspector told the activist, and the small group who attended to show their support, that officers at his station could not deal with the matter.

“I explained the situation and what the coercion of sanctions meant and that this did not constitute anything normal as a civic obligation under the human rights act – and I pointed out that if he made a mistake, he would not face a loss of a month’s income, nor three months’ for a second error or three years’ loss of income for a third infraction,” said the campaigner.

“He explained to me that, under the law, Iain Duncan Smith and Lord Freud were upholding the laws that they had made and that – whatever I felt about that – they had no case to answer and that his job as a police officer was to enforce the law.

“He said that I would need to obtain the services of a solicitor and raise a challenge in the courts for a judge to decide whether the actions of Duncan Smith and Freud were a breach of human rights.”

He said this process was already under way. The group has bought the internet domain name theshoestringarmy.com and will now start the process of a challenge.

Mr Lindsay-Cameron added that his visit to Bath Police Station was delayed when he stopped to meet a group of homeless people in the churchyard next door, while police were trying to move them on.

“It gave us a bizarre sense of what we were about to embark on,” he said.

“Where do people go, having nothing and welcome nowhere, in the land of the growing dispossessed?”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Who will ‘Help to Work’ really help?

140428IDSshrug

The government’s latest draconian measure – to drive people who have been living off the state for more than three years into all the nonexistent jobs that ministers insist are waiting for them – was launched today. (Monday)

Help to Work forces jobseekers to sign on every day, commit to six months of voluntary work, or sign up to a training scheme (the last two effectively removing them from the government’s unemployment figures without getting them a job) – or face having their Jobseeker’s Allowance docked for increasing lengths of time.

It’s clearly a scam to fiddle the joblessness statistics but, dear reader, you’re intelligent enough to have worked it out before you even started reading this.

Of course, voluntary work must be offered without coercion – otherwise it’s slavery – and for this reason leading charities have already announced that they will boycott the mandatory work placement part of the scheme.

Particularly disturbing – and we should be grateful that they highlighted this – is the fact that this aspect would lead to jobseekers doing more than double the 300-hours’-maximum community work than convicted criminals, who are ordered to carry out certain tasks as punishment for their offences.

The Guardian used the government’s own data to prove that Help to Work does not increase anybody’s chances of getting a job, and is more likely to put people off signing on for the benefits to which they are entitled – a ‘punishment’ effect that the government is desperate to play down.

Esther McVey, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme in support of the scheme, said instead that it would be particularly useful for “people who have been away from the marketplace and the workplace for long periods of time”, and specifically mentioned those suffering from mental illness.

All right then, let’s ask this:

How well would this scheme fare in trying to find a job for a man aged 60 with no academic qualifications worth mentioning (left school at 14 and has lied about further education achievements), whose working life consists of a failed Army career that lasted less than six years, followed by irregular stints selling arms, working in a property company and selling gun-related magazines, in between periods on the dole. He has been funded by the taxpayer continuously since 1992 – a total of 22 years ‘parked’ at our expense. There are concerns about his state of mind, with fears that he suffers from paranoia and delusions.

Could Help to Work really find a job for a man like this?

Let’s hope so – because, if there’s any justice, Iain Duncan Smith will be looking for a job after next year’s general election.

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