Tag Archives: Middleton

Celebrity claimant goes into labour with third child. Will she receive benefits for it?

The Duchess of Cambridge: She will not experience the trauma other people are forced to undergo when they have a third child.

At risk of angering the taste police, I repeat what I wrote about this when the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy was announced:

“Nobody ever mentions it but the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, like the rest of the Royal Family, are effectively benefit claimants.

“They live on money provided by taxpayers for their upkeep – just like, for example, people claiming Child Benefit.

“I mention this because there is a two-child limit on Child Benefit. Nobody who has more than two children can claim any extra money for them – except under certain circumstances.

“Bearing in mind what one of those circumstances is, can you imagine the scandal if any government employee asked the relevant question before handing over the Cambridges’ share of our money?

“The only difference between these people and Child Benefit claimants is an accident of birth – the Duke of Cambridge was born into a family that, as Tony Benn once described it, stole lots of land, claimed fancy titles and surrounded themselves with weak-minded followers.

“Yet because of that, his wife can hold her hand out for as much of (our) cash as she wants – while other young mums have to suffer the indignity of being asked to satisfy the demands of the rape clause.”

I would amend the last sentence now, to “other young mums have to suffer the indignity of being forced to satisfy the demands of the rape clause”.

This is a pressing issue at the moment, after Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey tried to tell the Scottish Parliament the rape clause is “potentially double support” for victims because it gives them the “opportunity to talk”.

Her words sparked outrage among everybody with a sense of decency in the UK; she was saying poor people who have been raped should be forced to relive that trauma before receiving benefit for a child that resulted from the attack – and that they should feel grateful for it.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will not be asked to prove any such thing before receiving money for her third child. It would be inappropriate to suggest it in any case – but that raises the question: Why should she receive state funding for the baby when others have to face such a humiliating inquisition or be denied it?

The answer is as I defined it in my article on Ms McVey’s ill-advised outburst:

“Tories… naturally assume that people who aren’t born with a title, or money, are property; they don’t understand why you should have any rights and expect you to do as you are told by your so-called ‘betters’.”

The Duchess of Cambridge, of course, has a title and therefore is considered by Tories to be one of our “betters”. Therefore, Tories think she is entitled to as much of your money as she wants – whenever she wants it.

The Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour with her third child.

Catherine and the Duke of Cambridge travelled to the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, in central London on Monday morning.

Catherine has been on maternity leave since making a last royal visit to a charity lunch in London on 22 March.

The baby will be fifth in line to the throne and the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild.

Source: Duchess of Cambridge goes into labour


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Who will Labour choose to follow Gordon Brown?

Gordon Brown: Even in retirement he'll be a better prime minister than David Cameron.

Gordon Brown: Even in retirement he’ll be a better prime minister than David Cameron.

It seems Gordon Brown is to retire from his career as a member of Parliament at the 2015 general election.

This presents a challenging dilemma for the current Labour leadership, which has announced that it wants to take over the selection process for replacement Parliamentary candidates if MPs stand down late.

You see, Mr Brown is MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath – in Scotland.

Labour is extremely unpopular in Scotland at the moment, where the SNP has whipped up a belief (rightly or wrongly) that the party betrayed the people by siding with the Conservatives – even though, as a supporter of the union, Labour could not do anything else. Mr Brown, who raised concerns over the future of state pensions in an independent Scotland, has been singled out for special criticism.

In these circumstances, will Labour’s London-based leadership really be so insensitive as to ‘parachute’ an ally of the leader’s office into the constituency? This would be someone who is unlikely to bear any resemblance to a traditional Labour candidate, and is more likely to be a privately-educated Oxbridge graduate who has spent their entire career at a thinktank or working as a SPAD (special adviser) for a sitting MP.

Such an appointment would be entirely inappropriate and would signal that Labour is not interested in retaining the seat; the mood in Scotland means voters would take it as an incentive to support another party, most probably the SNP.

It is possible that Labour would leave the selection open to the constituency party, as its declared intent was to take over selections from the middle of next month; again, the course of action that is chosen will determine the response from the local electorate.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath would be far better-off with a Labour candidate chosen from local residents, with a deep knowledge and understanding of the area and what it needs, having lived and worked there for his or her entire life.

This strategy succeeded with Liz Mckinnes, the newly-elected MP for Heywood and Middleton and should offer the best chance of success elsewhere.

Postscript: Readers are reminded that Gordon Brown is the other recent prime minister who has had a disabled child.

We all know how David Cameron rose to the challenge of his late son Ivan’s cerebral palsy and epilepsy – he used it in a series of photo opportunities and then, after Ivan’s death at a tragically young age, went on to use his memory as a shield whenever his ill-treatment of the National Health Service or disability benefits were raised in Parliamentary debate.

In contrast, Mr Brown chose to suffer in comparative silence. His daughter, Jennifer Jane, died after suffering a brain haemorrhage, on January 7, 2002, just 10 days after her birth. His son James Fraser (born in 2006) was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, but Mr Brown would have kept this information private if The Sun had not published an intrusive report. Years later, he said the publication had left him “in tears“.

Whose behaviour would you describe as more dignified; more prime ministerial; more statesmanlike?

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Middleton & Heywood means nothing like the media/UKIP are saying – Skwawkbox Blog

141010libdemise

BBC News, Radio 4 and others have been giving plenty of airtime and oxygen – as they did for years without justification in featuring Farage on every possible occasion – to the UKIP ‘near-triumph’ of UKIP in the Middleton and Heywood by-election, writes Steve Walker in his too-rarely-updated Skwawkbox Blog.

The claim, in pseudo-rational analysis by pundits and near-histrionic terms by UKIP spokespeople, has been that the result is a scare for Labour and a clear demonstration of UKIP’s supposed threat to Labour in its heartlands.

Here comes the sting in this tale: Nonsense – as a quick comparison of yesterday’s results and the 2010 General Election results will show.

Here are the results side by side:

141010heywoodelection

The first thing to note is that Labour’s vote is down by 37% – exactly the same as the percentage drop in turnout (36/57.5 = 63%).

Fine – Labour’s vote was exactly the same in proportion to the number of people casting votes, so nobody picked up disillusioned Labour voters. Where did UKIP get its support, then?

The UKIP vote rose by 9,800 – with a massive effort from them to create an upset… The Tory vote fell by over 9,000 and the BNP vote disappeared.

Right! So UKIP mobilised massively but only managed to steal Tory votes and inherit votes from the BNP. You can – and should – read the rest of the article on Skwawkbox.

It seems that Steve has missed a major element here, though – what happened to the Liberal Democrat vote? It fell almost as far as the Conservative vote, and from a lower starting-point, meaning that it was very nearly wiped out altogether. UKIP wasn’t chasing Liberal Democrat voters. The party made it clear that it wanted former Labour or Conservative voters.

So the former Liberal Democrat voters simply didn’t bother. Do they feel so utterly disenfranchised by Nick Clegg’s five-year betrayal of the British people and his own party’s principles that they gave up on the democratic process altogether?

That appears to be the case. And in that – it seems – Clegg’s failure is complete.

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We have met the enemy and he is us… – Paul Bernal’s blog

Vox Political is not the only website to have run a post-mortem on yesterday’s (October 9) by-elections – its the latest mass-media darling, as Paul Bernal makes clear in his latest article.

What makes his different is his conclusion as to why people voted UKIP in such large proportions in both elections. You should visit his site and read most of the article for yourself, but here’s the part that seems most relevant:

“The blame game is an easy one to play – which is part of the reason for the success of UKIP. They play it better than almost anyone, convincing us sometimes that the EU is to blame for everything, sometimes that immigrants are to blame for everything, sometimes both. Sometimes they blame ‘LibLabCon’. It’s easy to do. And yet it misses the point.

“In the end, the problem isn’t with ‘someone else’. It’s us.

“That’s the scariest thing about yesterday’s election. Not that it’s somehow unrepresentative of how we are, but that it might [not] be. The things that UKIP uses as dog whistles, the racism, the homophobia, the xenophobia, the desire to blame people weaker than ourselves, only function as dog whistles because there’s a lot of racism, homophobia and xenophobia about. It taps into something about us. Of course it’s only part of UKIP’s appeal, because the other call to arms, the one against the self-serving Westminster Elite, hits another critical nerve. The Westminster elite are self-serving, disconnected and deserving primarily of contempt. Farage is quite right about that – though he conveniently fails to mention that he’s one of them in almost every way. The trouble is, it is us that have let them get that way. And we continue to do so – even by voting UKIP.

“I don’t have any answers. I don’t think there really are any answers. When we’re fighting against ourselves, it’s hard to find them. We really are our own worst enemies.”

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UKIP wins in Clacton – but what does it mean?

141010clacton

It means people in Clacton actually like Douglas Carswell and Lord Ashcroft was right in his tweeted appraisal of him:

ashcroft-carswell

Of course, that’s not what David Cameron has been saying. His mantra is – as many of you will be aware: “Vote UKIP – get Labour.”

He’s wrong, of course. People aren’t thinking in those terms at all.

They’re thinking: “Vote UKIP – get rid of the Conservatives.”

It’s just a shame that they are also wrong; Carswell is still a Conservative – all he has done is swap a conservative party for another conservative party, that is more extreme than the one he just left.

The other notable factor in yesterday’s by-elections is the BBC’s continuing (if tacit) support for UKIP – which can be seen most clearly in its references to the Heywood and Middleton election.

“Labour held on to Heywood and Middleton but UKIP slashed its majority to 617,” states the BBC report, which merrily misses the fact that UKIP remains unable to take Parliamentary seats from Labour.

Labour supporters don’t want UKIP.

Labour supporters don’t need a political party that is more regressive than the Tories.

Labour supporters agree with Ed Miliband, that UKIP “do not represent the interests of working people”.

Read between the lines. Who was UKIP’s candidate in Heywood and Middleton? The BBC report doesn’t name this person until very far down its story.

If you read the mass media coverage, you’ll think UKIP was the only party in these by-elections. Don’t.

If we are to learn anything from the result, it is that the Conservative Party is in deep, deep trouble.

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The real reason for THAT announcement – revealed

Found on Facebook:

leaving-pregnant

You have to admit, the timing of the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are about to have another baby came suspiciously soon after the poll revealing that more Scottish people are likely to vote ‘yes’ to independence, and also suspiciously soon after the Queen expressed her Royal displeasure at the thought of being the last Queen of Scotland (just remember it was your relative David Cameron who was responsible, Ma’am)!

The excuse for the early announcement – that the Duchess was having very strong morning sickness again and was having to miss official engagements – is very handy as all she had to do was not turn up anywhere. That’s not to say it isn’t true – merely that it is… convenient.

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