Tag Archives: divide

Labour leader candidates sign Board of Deputies’ pledges in bid to become completely unelectable

Rogues’ gallery: Five of the six Labour leader candidates have signed up to the Board of Deputies’ undemocratic, divisive and damaging list of pledges. Only Clive Lewis has had the good sense to decline (so far) – and he is struggling to get enough nominations from fellow MPs to get on the ballot paper!

This is either an act of unutterable stupidity or a conscious betrayal of the entire Labour Party membership – and four of the five leadership hopefuls have committed it.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews – a self-appointed organisation claiming to represent Jews in the UK, believed to be composed mostly of Conservative voters – has released a list of 10 pledges  – in fact demands – its members claim Labour must support “in order to begin healing its relationship with the Jewish community”.

The Board of Deputies has no right to claim that it represents all British Jews; it doesn’t.

As for the list – let’s have a look:

“1. Resolve outstanding cases: All outstanding and future cases should be brought to a swift conclusion under a fixed timescale.”

This is an insult to justice. Cases take as long as they take – otherwise more innocent parties will fall victim to miscarriages of justice, as has already happened in the cases of Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and myself, to name only a few.

“2. Make the Party’s disciplinary process independent: An independent provider should be used to process all complaints, to eradicate any risk of partisanship and factionalism.”

And how is that supposed to happen? The Board of Deputies will be certain to demand a veto on any organisation chosen to carry out such work, ensuring that its disciplinary process could not be independent. This demand also conflicts with pledge 7, below. Come to that, it’ll be a neat trick marrying this up with pledge 10.

“3. Ensure transparency: Key affected parties to complaints, including Jewish representative bodies, should be given the right to regular, detailed case updates, on the understanding of confidentiality.”

This is a demand for access to confidential information about party members to be provided to people from outside organisations who may belong to organisations that oppose the Labour Party. I’ve already mentioned the BoD’s apparent preference for Conservative government; who else would want access under this unreasonable demand. And isn’t it contrary to the Data Protection Act?

“4. Prevent readmittance of prominent offenders: It should be made clear that prominent offenders who have left or been expelled from the party, such as Ken Livingstone or Jackie Walker, will never be readmitted to membership.”

This Writer is currently in the process of court action against the Labour Party over its decision to wrongfully expel me. If I succeed, then the party will be legally bound to readmit me, no matter what some third party like the BoD may think. This is simply an attempt to prevent Labour from reconsidering decisions to expel innocent members under false pretences.

“5. Provide no platform for bigotry: Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support, campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.”

This is a blatant attempt to thin out the party, ensuring that it remains too weak to win any future election. All members who were falsely accused have supporters who remain members, but this means anyone saying anything remotely supportive will face automatic suspension and possible expulsion. It is a fascistic attempt to exert control. And if anyone signing up to this pledge becomes leader, it will probably be unnecessary as the exodus is likely to be thunderous. People who have supported me have already indicated their disgust with Labour’s behaviour over the last few years, and a willingness to leave of their own accord.

“6. Adopt the international definition of antisemitism without qualification: The IHRA definition of antisemitism, with all its examples and clauses, and without any caveats, will be fully adopted by the party and used as the basis for considering antisemitism disciplinary cases.”

The man who wrote the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism is on the record as saying that it has been weaponised by hard right-wing characters to demand support for criminal activities by the government of Israel. It was intended to be a working definition and is flawed in that it can be interpreted as demanding that anyone criticising the Israeli government should be treated as an anti-Semite.

See for yourself:

“7. Deliver an anti-racism education programme that has the buy-in of the Jewish community: The Jewish Labour Movement should be reengaged by the Party to lead on training about antisemitism.”

So much for “make the Party’s disciplinary process independent”. Labour has, in the past, told members to take anti-Semitism training from the JLM, but those members would be fools to accept it as the JLM has been known to fake evidence in order to get party members expelled.

“8. Engagement with the Jewish community to be made via its main representative groups: Labour must engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organisations and individuals.”

This is an example of genuine anti-Semitism. The Board of Deputies is trying to ensure that groups representing a more common-sense attitude, like Jewish Voice for Labour and Jewdas, are denied a voice. That’s denying Jewish people a right to self-determination, and it’s a claim that members of this organisation are “the wrong kind of Jew”. Despicable. It’s also undemocratic, of course.

“9. Communicate with resolve: Bland, generic statements should give way to condemnation of specific harmful behaviours – and, where appropriate, condemnation of specific individuals.”

An attempt to turn the anti-Semitism circus that Labour has become into a full-on witch-hunt. The demand for individuals accused of anti-Semitic behaviours to be named is a malicious attempt to blacken the names of people who may be perfectly innocent.

“10. Show leadership and take responsibility: The leader must personally take on the responsibility of ending Labour’s antisemitism crisis.”

The leader has always been responsible for tackling claims of discriminatory behaviour by party members. But this is a contradiction as the Board of Deputies is trying to claim seniority over the party leader – make the leader kowtow to its demands. That is simply unacceptable.

But five out of the six leadership candidates have signed up to it: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry.

And deputy leadership candidates Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray has also backed the pledges.

None of these turncoats should be allowed to have any position of authority – at all – in the Labour Party.

Already the move has put people off joining Labour – like Michael Siva, below:

And others both within the party and outside have voiced their outrage:

It goes on and on. These probably aren’t even among the strongest examples.

The Board of Deputies – and their Labour-hating allies – are undoubtedly loving the division they’ve caused. If party members elect a leader who supports these pledges, the resulting split could plunge us into far right-wing dictatorship for decades.

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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Brexit: Tory ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics won’t work in the EU

Unfocused: Theresa May has no chance of convincing European leaders that her vague Brexit is a good idea. Emmanuel Macron is clear about the EU’s position, and his own – and he is in the best position to get what he wants.

Theresa May doesn’t have a hope.

She is in France at the moment, trying to inflict the Conservative Party’s classic ‘divide-and-rule’ game on the European Union by approaching national leaders, rather than negotiating with Michel Barnier and the European Commission.

This is a strategy that was suggested last week by nascent Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who seems keen to follow his record of smashing up the National Health Service by making an even worse hash of the UK’s relations with other countries.

He said: “The probability of no deal is increasing by the day until we see a change of approach from the European Commission who have this view that they just need to wait and Britain will blink. That is just a profound misunderstanding of us as a nation.

“There is real chance of no deal by accident. Everyone is assuming, no, no, no, this will never happen. Well, actually, it could.

“France and Germany have to send a strong signal to the commission that we need to negotiate a pragmatic and sensible outcome that protects jobs on both sides of the Channel because for every job lost in the UK, there will be jobs lost in Europe as well if Brexit goes wrong.”

Mr Barnier has already gone on the record to poo-pooh Mr Hunt’s suggestion.

He said: “Anyone who wants to find a sliver of difference between my mandate and what the heads of government say they want are wasting their time, quite frankly.”

I believe him.

You see, Tory ‘divide-and-rule’ depends on ignorance. It works in the UK because, when they say something divisive – about immigrants, say – they have the support of the right-wing press and the BBC.

These media channels pump fake news at the masses, polarising opinions to receive the desired effect.

Then the Tories get what they want and can inflict all kinds of damage while blithely claiming that public opinion is on their side.

But the leaders of countries like France (and Germany, for that matter) don’t rely on biased media sources for their facts.

They gather their own information and make their own judgements. And they won’t be swayed from their opinion that Mrs May’s vague notions about relations between the UK and the EU after Brexit are utter bilge.

She might try blackmail of some kind – Mr Hunt’s comments suggested she could threaten the EU with job losses – but, again, she has the weaker hand.

She will come away from this meeting looking like a fool.

What am I saying?

I meant, she’ll come away looking like a bigger fool than she already is.

Theresa May’s hopes of prising away Emmanuel Macron from the rest of the European Union to sign up to her Chequers vision for Brexit looked tenuous on the eve of the pair’s crunch talks.

But while senior Whitehall sources warned that the French president would be tough to win over, they suggested that his influence could prove vital in swaying the rest of the EU27 member states if May were successful.

The UK has launched a diplomatic offensive, with the business secretary, Greg Clark, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, all meeting their French counterparts in the past week. It is part of the strategy to go over the heads of the European commission and engage with national leaders directly.

Source: May prepares for talks with Macron that could make or break Brexit plan | Politics | The Guardian

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Brexit and the economy are inseparable and MPs are right to refuse ‘no deal’ while the cabinet splits

Imagine this container ship almost empty.
That would be what happens if Mrs May’s government remains divided over Brexit – with a knock-on, disastrous effect on the economy [Image: Reuters].

Cast your eyes over the following Twitter thread by Paul Mason:

With the above in mind, the following makes sense:

A powerful cross-party group of MPs is drawing up plans that would make it impossible for Theresa May to allow Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal in 2019. The move comes amid new warnings that a “cliff-edge” Brexit would be catastrophic for the economy.

One critical aim of the group – which includes the former Tory chancellor Kenneth Clarke and several Conservative ex-ministers, together with prominent Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs – is to give parliament the ability to veto, or prevent by other legal means, a “bad deal” or “no deal” outcome.

Concern over Brexit policy reached new heights this weekend after the prime minister told the House of Commons that her government was spending £250m on preparations for a possible “no deal” result because negotiations with Brussels had stalled.

(Source: MPs move to block Theresa May from signing ‘no deal’ Brexit)

The issue is that Theresa May’s cabinet has split and there is no clarity on the way forward. This leaves the UK looking weak to foreign leaders – and a bad investment to foreign businesses. They won’t want to locate here and they certainly won’t want to spend their money on our goods. And home-grown companies – with the wherewithal to do so – will leave

That would be disastrous for the UK’s economy – the money would simply dry up.

So MPs who have more than their own interests, or even those of the Conservative Party, at heart have drawn up amendments to the current EU Withdrawal Bill, in a bid to force a united position on weakling prime minister Theresa May’s cabinet of chaos.

The immediate result is that committee stage discussion of the Bill will be held back while representatives of each party try to work out a compromise version of it that a majority can support.

This may not be possible.

If not, then the minority Conservative government is facing a serious – if not fatal – crisis.

Brexit is the issue Theresa May demanded a mandate to handle, and she didn’t get it.

With Parliament deadlocked, it is looking increasingly likely that she will be unable to deliver any agreement.

In such a situation, it is not beyond possibility that we will find ourselves facing another election.

And all the while, the clock is ticking down to the deadline for our departure from the EU. These are dangerous times – and our future is in the hands of fools.


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Grenfell Tower and the social divide: If this doesn’t make you angry, what’s wrong with you?

On the day we heard Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow admit he felt he was on the wrong side of the social divide while reporting on the Grenfell Tower fire, we learn that former residents of the tower are still – still – being ill-treated by the authorities.

Mr Snow, delivering the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, spoke movingly about one of the victims – 12-year-old Firdaws Hashim, who had won a school public debating competition of which he was a judge just weeks before the disaster – and others who had lost their lives, along with those who had warned that a disaster was likely, before it took place:

And yet, how do we find out about the following?

https://twitter.com/xugla/status/900654480710139905

Through the social media.


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Evasive Theresa May seems unable to answer any question – especially on Trident

This Writer has been a little unwell over the weekend so I wasn’t actually able to watch Theresa May’s car-crash interview on Andrew Marr’s show this morning (January 22). From the responses on Twitter I missed a classic display of attempted evasion.

From what she didn’t say, she appears to have colluded in hiding the failure of a Trident missile test from MPs before they voted on renewing the rubbish nuclear weapons programme for hundreds of billions of pounds:

Jeremy Corbyn had this to say about it:

And consider this:

It is now clear that she definitely wants to turn the UK into a tax haven – to your (and my) disadvantage:

And she tried to pretend that her party’s ‘divide and conquer’ rhetoric was “bringing the UK together as a country” (we know the Scots and Northern Irish are desperate to leave):

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Challenged to defend their record of persecution against the disabled, Tories have nothing to say

Debbie Abrahams in the House of Commons.

Debbie Abrahams in the House of Commons.

How pleasant to hear this said in a Parliamentary debate, with not a single word of denial from the Conservative Government:

“Last week there was an amazing sequence of events. On Monday, the Secretary of State told me that he could not publish … data because they were not kept, and told me to stop scaremongering; on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said that they would be published; and this was swiftly followed by the Government saying that they were appealing against the Information Commissioner’s ruling, stating that publishing these data would lead to ‘probable misinterpretations’ and ‘was too emotive…and wasn’t in the public interest’. What an absolute shambles!”

This was part of the speech by Debbie Abrahams, Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, in a debate on ‘welfare reform and people with disabilities’, called by her to set the scene for any measures against the disabled that George Osborne is considering for his July budget. As the Government prepares to cut £12 billion from the annual social security budget next week, there are real concerns that – in addition to potentially slashing tax credits for the working poor – they will cut further support for working-age people with disabilities.

She was referring, of course, to the government’s increasingly confused response to This Writer’s request for an honest answer to the question, ‘How many people have died while claiming Employment and Support Allowance between November 2011 and May 2014 (the date of my request)?” But wait! She continued:

“I could not disagree more. This is definitely in the public interest. As a former public health academic, I am more than aware of the strict criteria for establishing causality, but there are no grounds for not publishing numbers of actual deaths as well as the Government-proposed standardised mortality ratios, including those who died within six weeks of being found fit for work. Will the Minister now confirm when these data will be published?

Dear reader, it falls to This Writer to report that not one word came back from the Government benches – not even when the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Justin Tomlinson (who?) got onto his hind legs to give the Government’s response to the debate.

You can sign the petition demanding that the Government end its appeal against the order to publish the statistics, and provide the figures to the public, on the Change.org website.

She also asked when the Government will publish redacted information on the circumstances of the deaths of claimants who died while sanctioned, and what changes the DWP instigated in the light of reviews of these deaths – and whether the significant surge in suicide rates for both men and women since 2010— particularly for working-age men—is being analysed by the DWP. No response.

The Government doesn’t have anything to say to the sick, disabled or vulnerable, and even less to say about them.

Ms Abrahams began her speech by pointing out, “It is poignant that this debate falls on the very day that the Independent Living Fund closes. A further £1.2 billion is being cut from support for people with disabilities. Such cuts were a hallmark of the Tory-led coalition, and many are concerned that not only will this increase but the cuts will get worse under this Government.

“I … want to draw attention to the punitive and dehumanising culture that has been part of the delivery of these welfare reforms, which set the tone for the leadership within the Department for Work and Pensions and the Government’s wider tone on social security.”

Here’s a quick precis of the facts: She said that, by 2018, £23.8 billion of support would have been taken from 3.7 million people with disabilities, according to Demos. The measures include:

  • Indexation of social security payments was changed from the higher retail prices index to the lower consumer prices index
  • There was also a 1% cap on the uprating of certain working-age benefits.
  • People on incapacity benefit were reassessed.
  • The time that disabled people in the work-related activity group are able to receive the employment and support allowance was limited.
  • Disabled people in receipt of disability living allowance are being reassessed to determine whether they are eligible for the personal independence payment.
  • Disability benefits are approximately 15% of average earnings. With the recent changes—the 1% uprating and the indexation to the consumer prices index—they will fall even further below those in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in persistent poverty as non-disabled people: 80% of disability-related poverty is caused by extra costs. This has implications for disabled people’s families – a third of all families living in poverty include one disabled family member.
  • Since the Government’s new sanctions regime, the rate of sanctioning of people on IB and ESA has doubled.

She said part of the Government’s strategy has been the “invidious” spreading of a culture of blame and fear.

“In the 1980s we saw the unions being targeted; today the focus is on the poor and the vulnerable.

“The narrative associated with the so-called welfare reforms has been one of divide and rule, deliberately attempting to vilify people who receive social security as the new undeserving poor.

“The Government have spread a culture of pejorative language, such as “shirkers” and “scroungers”. They have intentionally attempted to demonise social security recipients, including disabled people.

“The innuendo that people with a disability or illness might be faking it or are feckless is, quite frankly, grotesque… Unfortunately, the regular misuse of statistics is another way that the Government are trying to harden the public’s attitude.

“The facts are that, in an ageing population, the largest proportion of social security recipients are pensioners and not, as is often implied, the workshy.”

The whole debate can be found here.

Additional: It has been pointed out to me that Mr Tomlinson stated: “We will be publishing them [sic] the mortality stats—I know the hon. Lady is keen to see them soon; we would all like to see them as soon as possible.” Since he did not define the form those statistics would take, nor did he provide a firm date on which they would be published, it seems clear that what he did say was as near to nothing as makes no odds.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Not tartan Tories, but the SNP have learned from ‘divide and conquer’ Tory tactics

scots2

Look at this – the Tories are proposing that Scottish MPs will not have the power to set Income Tax rates outside of Scotland, as part of devolution. This means Scottish MPs won’t be able to set any Income Tax rates at all, as Scottish taxes will be set by the Scottish Parliament.

This is an annoying complication for the system, created by the Tories in response to the plans for Scottish devolution. It is divisive on many levels. People in Scotland and the rest of the UK will be watching rates in each other’s territories like hawks, ready to complain at the slightest sign that they are getting a worse deal. Scottish MPs will effectively have less power than their counterparts in England, Wales and NI – will they be happy about that? The Welsh and Northern Irish will be pushing for similar powers, that would give their own MPs less power than those in England. People in England might just be unhappy that their Income Tax rates will be set by Conservatives, who hold more seats in England than anyone else. And Conservative MPs are already saying that Scottish MPs will still have too much influence.

Resentments will grow – but isn’t this what the Scottish National Party wants? Hasn’t it learned that the best way to have its way is to divide the opposition?

Isn’t that why SNP adherents have been spreading lies about the Labour Party north of the border? Claims about pensions, the Vow, working with the Tories and who knows what else are always made as bald statements because there is no evidence to support them, other than that they don’t lead to a fully independent Scotland.

Divide and rule – it’s an age-old Tory tactic. We all know that super-rich bankers caused the crash that provided George Osborne with his excuse to impose austerity on us all. But the Tory lie is that the previous Labour government overspent, and the Tory tactic has been to victimise claimants of unemployment and disability benefits under the pretext that they are skivers and scroungers. They’re not – these benefits are correctly claimed in 99.3 per cent of cases.

And pensioners have all this to come from 2016, if the Tories retain office in May!

Note that the measures proposed by William Hague today fall short of the English Parliament that many people wanted. The Tories know what they’re doing, you see – they want to spread resentment against the Scots. It’s the “Us” and “Them” mentality.

Note that Labour wants a cross-party investigation into the matter. No doubt the ScotsNats will call that “weak” if they get the chance.

So why this strategy by the ScotsNats?

Are they trying to irritate the rest of us so much – by their own admission they don’t think they have any influence on national politics, so this must mean they can only be an irritant – that, sick and tired of their nonsense, we end up declaring, in Cromwellian tones, “In the name of God, go”?

How would Scottish citizens who haven’t been seeking independence, and who haven’t been causing such annoyance, feel about being cut adrift with the rest of them?

And how would the rest of the world treat an independent Scotland whose leaders (and their supporters) had been shown to have been acting in such a childish way?

It seems to this writer that this divide-and-rule strategy marks the Scottish Nationalists as far too similar to the Tories than either would care to admit.

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Class divide in the arts – are they just for the toffs?

Charley's War: Top-flight comic-book drama that wouldn't be seen today - too working-class.

Charley’s War: Top-flight comic-book drama that wouldn’t be seen today – too working-class.

How many of you were on James Blunt’s side in his very public spat with Chris Bryant MP?

And now that Julie Walters has weighed in, saying Mr Bryant was right? What do you think now?

The Labour MP had claimed British culture was dominated by stars like Blunt and Eddie Redmayne, who benefited from a privileged background. Blunt took offence and they had a highly-publicised row about it.

But top actress Julie Walters agrees. Quoted in The Guardian‘s Weekend magazine, she said: “People like me wouldn’t have been able to go to college today. I could because I got a full grant. I don’t know how you get into it now. Kids write to me all the time and I think: I don’t know what to tell you.”

She said the problem extends to writers as well: “Working-class kids aren’t represented. Working-class life is not referred to. It’s really sad. I think it means we’re going to get loads more middle-class drama. It will be middle-class people playing working-class people, like it used to be.”

With Downton Abbey, written by the extremely plummy Julian Fellowes – otherwise known as Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, winning a National Television Award for Best Drama last week, she has a point.

The prejudice also seems to extend to all areas of the arts – even comics, as veteran writer Pat Mills explained in his own blog.

“Many people in our industry regard Charley’s War – featuring a working class hero, produced by working class-oriented creators with a strong anti-establishment agenda – as the greatest British comic strip. Middle Class comic aficionados would be far happier if it was a strip more oriented to their tastes, and – sadly – I have come across plenty of evidence to bear this out.

“Thus today it would be hard for a new Charley’s War to be originated in any format. The middle classes now dominate all media.

“But it’s some comfort to me that it secretly chokes them that a working class, not very bright, and very British hero, comes out way ahead of the icons they prefer. It’s a victory for mainstream comics, and mainstream readers, which I know many of them secretly despise.”

When the working classes are even prohibited from comics, you know there’s a problem. What are you going to do about it?

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UKIP and the Conservatives – more similarities than differences?

No control: Nigel Farage in front of one of his party's anti-immigration posters. He says he doesn't hate foreigners; judge for yourself. [Image: BBC]

No control: Nigel Farage in front of one of his party’s anti-immigration posters. He says he doesn’t hate foreigners; judge for yourself. [Image: BBC]

Isn’t it interesting that the first of the large political organisations to descend into UKIP-style racism is the Conservative Party?

The BBC has reported that both have lost council candidates after they made anti-Islamic comments on the social media.

From UKIP, Harry Perry (candidate in the Offerton Ward, Stockport) was suspended after calling for Pakistan to be “nuked”, saying David Cameron was a “gay-loving nutcase”, Muslims were “devil’s kids” and homosexuality an “abomination before God”.

UKIP’s official line is that it has started disciplinary proceedings against this man and did not condone his “crackpot” views.

Nigel Farage has admitted his party contains “some idiots”, but added that the reporting of such problems within UKIP was “disproportionate”.

Then along came David Bishop (candidate in Brentwood South, Essex) to prove that the Tories have these problems too.

This man has resigned from the party after passing messages including one that said Islam was “the religion of… rape” and another that read “How CAN a gay guy keep a straight face?”

In a statement, he said, “I recognise that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them.”

Isn’t dividing communities what both the Conservatives and UKIP are best at?

Self-preservation society: The Tory "all in it together" attitude, clarified here by Conservative poster-boy Michael Caine.

Self-preservation society: The Tory “all in it together” attitude, clarified here by Conservative poster-boy Michael Caine.

The Conservatives want you to believe that “We are all in this together”, but it seems clear that some of us are more “in this” than others – are we all “in this” with the “scroungers”, or “skivers” (the Tory label for people their policies have forced out of work and onto the state benefits for which they have paid all their lives)? Are we all “in this” with our fellow citizens who were unfortunate enough not to “sound British” (like those who were stop-checked during Theresa May’s ‘Go Home’ van campaign last summer)? They were encouraging people to accuse their neighbours; how divisive can they get?

What about the changes to pensions? Are the MPs who have “transitional” protection that will allow them to draw their extremely large, taxpayer-funded pensions at the same time as they always expected “in this” with those of us who are now having to work six years longer than we planned?

Of course not.

As for UKIP, try this comment from a UKIP supporter on the Vox Political Facebook page: “Britain is now full of multiregional people from other countries, by winning their vote he can sort out the rubbish later & give Britain back to the English!”

(English? I wonder how the Welsh, Northern Irish, and particularly the referendum-bound Scottish react to that.)

This person continued: “Not racist, just plain common sense!!!! The British want their Britain back.”

I asked then – and I ask now: “Does that include the Afro-Caribbean British, the Indian-British, the Pakistani-British, the southeast-Asian-British, the Polish-British (including both recent arrivals and those who stayed after World War II), British people whose racial origins are from any other part of the former British Empire or current Commonwealth – or just white Anglo-Saxon Britons like you and me, who are in fact descended from people of French and German origin?”

(Even this omits another foreign-descended group – those with Viking blood.)

I could never use my vote to support anyone who put forward such vile opinions; they are not “common sense” and the people spouting them are those who have no place here.

It doesn’t matter where our ancestors were born – we are all One Nation now.

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Osborne promising full employment – is this an April Fool?

Bottom of the class: If you believe George Osborne's talk about jobs and benefits, you must have been educated at one of Michael Gove's 'free schools'. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

Bottom of the class: If you believe George Osborne’s talk about jobs and benefits, you must have been educated at one of Michael Gove’s ‘free schools’. [Image: Gaianeconomics]

The answer has to be in the affirmative. Conservatives can’t promise full employment because it simply isn’t part of their philosophy.

As this blog has stated many times, Tories need a discontented underclass fermenting away beneath the lowest-paid members of the working class, in order to create the level of fear necessary to keep wages down.

The argument is that a person will not ask for a pay rise if they know their boss will turn around and say, “There are hundreds out there who will work for less than you – pick up your cards on the way out!”

For a more easy-access disproval of Osborne’s claim, we only have to look a little further into his speech – from the part where he said: “For it’s no good creating jobs – if we’re also paying people to stay on welfare.”

Hang on! When did our great Social Security system change from being a safety net to help get people back into work to “paying people to stay on welfare”?

Oh yes, that’s right – when we had an unelected Conservative government foisted on us. Tories pay people to stay on welfare because they need that fermenting underclass. The aim is always not to pay enough (as you will see).

The next few lines contain unfounded claims and opinions. See for yourself:

“We inherited a welfare system that didn’t work.” According to whom?

“There was not enough help for those looking for a job – people were just parked on benefits.” But there isn’t enough help now. Come to that, there aren’t enough jobs. Where are all the jobs, George?

“Frankly, there was not enough pressure to get a job – some people could just sign on and get almost as much money staying at home as going out to work.” How many people, George? Five? Six? You make it seem as though more than a million jobseekers were sitting at home and drawing as much money in social security as at work. That would be a lie, George.

“That’s not fair to them – because they get trapped in poverty and their aspirations are squashed.” Whereas Conservative policy means what? Oh yes – they get trapped in poverty and their aspirations are squashed.

“It’s certainly not fair to taxpayers like you, who get up, go out to work, pay your taxes and pay for those benefits.” Tory divide-and-rule. You are different to them, because you have a job. If you are low-paid, it is because they are sucking down your tax money to pay for their extravagant lifestyles (I think we’ve all quite thoroughly killed that particular myth, haven’t we? It doesn’t exist outside the Tory political mind).

“Next Monday is when we do more to encourage people without jobs to find them… Benefits will only go up by 1 per cent – so they don’t go up faster than most people’s pay rises, as used to be the case.” This means people on benefits will start to become much worse-off than they are already. Jobseekers’ allowance used to be pegged at around one-sixth of average pay but will now drop to a far lower proportion, because the Tories lied to you when they said benefit rises were far greater than pay rises. One per cent of Jobseekers’ Allowance at a weekly rate of £71 is 70p; one per cent of the average weekly wage in April 2013, which was £517 per week, is £5.17. You see the difference? Oh, and one more thing: Where are all the jobs, George?

“When I took this job, some people were getting huge payouts – receiving £50,000, £60,000 even up to £100,000 in benefits. More than most people could get by working.” How many people, George? Five? Six? One, perhaps?

“So we’ve capped benefits, so that a family out of work can’t get more in benefits than the average working family.” I’m not actually opposed to ensuring that people on benefits can’t take home more than people in work. However, while accurate, this line is disingenuous. George has ensured that a family out of work takes home at least £5,000 less, per year, than an average working family because of the way he and his Tory friends rigged the system. He’s lying to you.

“And we are bringing in a new Universal Credit to make sure work always pays.” He means “pays more than benefits”. He doesn’t mean “pays a living wage”. Spot the difference?

Now here comes some more oppression, based on a really big lie.

“From this month we’re also making big changes to how people go about claiming benefits. We all understand that some people need more help than others to find work.” What work? Where are all the jobs, George?

“So starting this month we’ll make half of all people on unemployment benefits sign on every week – and people who stay on benefits for a long time will have to go to the job centre every day so they can get constant help and encouragement.” Help and encouragement, is it, George? Have you witnessed the kind of “help and encouragement” they get at the job centre? DWP employees should face harassment charges for the disgraceful way they treat their fellow citizens.

“We’re going to require people to look for work for a week first before they get their unemployment benefit. From now on the deal is this: look for work first; then claim the dole. Not the other way around.” Why? In order to drive people into grinding poverty as early as possible? Forcing people to wait until they claim means they could be without money for food, accommodation and utilities for up to a month, while the system processes them. This is not fair. It is cruel and demeaning – especially when Tory George knows there’s no work to be had.

“When people turn up at the job centre they’ll be expected to have a CV ready and to have started looking on our new jobs website.” This is the Universal Jobmatch website that is habitually used by criminals for identity theft, or to offer jobs in the sex industry. It’s so bad that the government itself is planning to ditch it when the contract with its provider runs out in two years’ time. Why would anybody in their right mind use that?

And now here’s the clincher:

“We will ask many of the long term unemployed to do community work in return for their benefits – whether it is making meals for the elderly, clearing up litter, or working for a local charity.”

In other words, they will ensure that fewer jobs are available by making jobseekers do the work for nothing. Brilliant idea, George – you are wrecking our economy.

“All of this is bringing back the principles that our welfare state was originally based on – something for something, not something for nothing.” A lie, couched in truth. The Welfare State is based on the principle that people on hard times were able to take advantage of benefits because, when in work, they paid into the system via taxes and National Insurance. That’s the “something for something”. It is not based on the idea that jobseekers have to take jobs off the market by doing them for free. That’s just plain silly.

In fact, George, you are just plain silly.

So, returning to the question in our headline, it’s clear to see the answer.

If anyone here is an April Fool, it’s George Osborne.

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