Tag Archives: network

‘Shadow’ Labour Party is a good idea – IF it can avoid the stigma that will be thrown at it for obvious reasons

Perhaps this is the moment for people who have been smeared for political reasons to form their own party.

Alex Salmond has formed Alba – a new Scottish nationalist party – after SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon was found to have misled Parliament (albeit unintentionally) in evidence about accusations against him – and already one SNP MP has quit that party to join him.

Before Salmond made his announcement, suspended and expelled Labour Party members were already planning to create a ‘shadow’ Labour Party to fight back against the purge of left-wing members instigated by Keir Starmer and his unelected general secretary, David Evans.

The ‘shadow’ party is the brainchild of Labour In Exile Network (LIEN), a national organisation of members who have been unfairly suspended or expelled from the party headed by Starmer.

It is holding its first meeting today (March 27) at 6pm – and as an unfairly-expelled Labour member, This Writer did seriously consider attending.

But my problem is that I come with the kind of baggage that opponents in Labour and the other mainstream political parties could exploit.

And I’m not alone. Most, if not all, of the members of LIEN will have been removed from Labour accused of anti-Semitism or of supporting anti-Semitism by backing Jeremy Corbyn after Starmer (or was it really Evans?) suspended him.

I have no doubt that such accusations are false. They were in my case. But that won’t matter to seasoned politicians who will merrily manipulate a lie if it means keeping their privileged position.

So I hope one of the topics of tonight’s inaugural meeting will be a discussion of how to sideline such accusations and make the accusers look ridiculous.

LIEN has said this about the event:

How do we fight back against the ongoing onslaught against the left in the Labour Party? That’s the theme of LIEN’s first Fightback Meeting at 6pm on Saturday 27 March on Zoom – open to all members and supporters of LIEN (and no, you don’t have to have been expelled or suspended from the Labour Party to get involved!)

SHADOW CLPS: One key way is the building of shadow structures, “ghost” CLPs which enable members to continue debating how we advance the cause of the left. People will share their experience of setting up such structures and possibilities of national cooperation will be discussed.

WORKING GROUPS: From fighting the witch-hunt, racism and disability discrimination, to how we engage with the media and transform the Labour Party — LIEN is setting up a series of working groups to enable grassroots members to take their struggle forward. This meeting is your chance to get involved in an existing group or make the case for a new group. If you have an idea for a working group, please draw up a proposal of around 200 words and send it to [email protected] There are a few working groups already running/in preparation – see here: https://www.labour-in-exile.org/working-groups/

Please consider joining LIEN – annual minimum fee of£5 unwaged/£10 waged: https://membermojo.co.uk/lien

I have no doubt that this organisation will develop into a political party of its own, rather than concentrating on trying to save the original Labour Party; many are likely to believe this is a lost cause after more than 40 years of pollution by right-wingers, starting in earnest with Neil Kinnock but expanded hugely by Tony Blair. After that amount of time, the corruption runs deep.

I wish it the best in its inaugural meeting – and may apply to join later. I want to be sure it will be able to deal with the smears first. If you want to sign up for the meeting, you can do so here.

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/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

If Tory Momentum HAD been called ‘Inertia’*, it wouldn’t be worse than Activate

British comedy hasn’t been this good since Rob Grant quit Red Dwarf.

Yes, that is a reference to an ancient science fiction institution, in keeping with the #meme** used by Activate UK – the Conservative Party’s answer to Momentum (stop laughing!). Here it is:

I know!

For a start, they were using an image from Internet pre-history to attract young people – something likely to appeal only to their target audience’s dad. Then there’s – oh, please, do I have to explain the sheer awfulness of it?

The Twitter address on the #meme is wrong, by the way – it’s @ActivateBritain now. @Activate.UK.Net was vacated and subsequently adopted by a satirist who has been having great fun with the name.

Activate has a website, where it proudly proclaims: “Activate is an independent national grassroots campaign organisation that seeks to actively engage young people in the right of centre politics, make a case for what conservatism can offer and provide a platform to enable their voices to be heard.

“We intend to reclaim the voice of young people in politics, bringing together individuals and groups in our education system, workplaces and communities. We will campaign and organise to ensure that issues that are important to them are heard, discussed and addressed.”

Fine, if you like that sort of thing. It’s just that the public turns out not to.

The first sign of trouble is on the parts of the website relating to money – membership and donations. Full member, aged 25 and over, are encouraged to spend anything between £10 and £500 – yes, really! – on their membership. This Writer has no idea how many people have signed up to that, but as a possible indicator, let’s look at the “Donations” page, where we see the most that has been offered so far is £2.06, from a person with the unlikely name “Theresa May is wildly incompetent”.

Other donors at the time of writing include “Harold Shipman”, “Jimmy Savile” and “Communism Will Win”.

So it seems the public has not taken Activate seriously…

Perhaps they have taken their cue from the Conservative Party – one glance at the “People” section of the website showed that it is not a grassroots campaign at all, but run by old-hand Tory apparatchiks. I say “showed” because that page has disappeared from the website for some strange reason – teething troubles, perhaps?

Fortunately, Twitter is there to show us what we were missing:

https://twitter.com/askforcombi/status/901913151419150336

Actually, let’s stick with Twitter, because this is where Activate has really come into its own – in parody. This is how the public sees the Tory version of Momentum:

https://twitter.com/ActivateUKNet/status/902345642881814529

https://twitter.com/ActivateUKNet/status/902347461066452992

Yes. To complete the science fiction comparison, Activate has now become the Tory equivalent of The Black Hole, attracting all comment into its self-parodying gravity well. Even this (mocking) query about tax avoidance couldn’t escape the inevitable:

https://twitter.com/J_A_Colwell/status/902596253216858112

This Writer hopes that Activate enjoys a long life on the Internet and beyond. I also enjoy a good laugh. But I fear that this may be a phenomenon without enough momentum (ha ha!) to last until the end of the week.

*I joked that the Tory version of Momentum should be called “Inertia” in a previous article.

**”Activate shared their first meme on Twitter with the hashtag “#meme”. Hashtag meme. They also – save yourself, read not on – finished the tweet with #retweet and #rt,” according to New Statesman.


Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Chris Grayling announces plan to bring death back to our railways

Network Rail owns Britain’s railway tracks. When they were privately owned by Railtrack, there were several fatal crashes [Image: Jonathan Brady/PA].

Network Rail owns Britain’s railway tracks. When they were privately owned by Railtrack, there were several fatal crashes [Image: Jonathan Brady/PA].

The man responsible for the “slave labour” work placement schemes that made huge profits for companies by making people work for benefits has turned his talents to bringing death back to our railways.

But company bosses need not worry – Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has already ensured that nobody will be able to bring court cases against them if the worst happens, because he already made justice too expensive during his time as Lord Chancellor.

No doubt Mr Grayling is already preparing his excuses – he is, after all, the man who accused unemployed people of being scroungers after he scrounged more than £100,000 in expenses for a London flat, despite having a family home nearby.

He is already claiming that putting the new Oxford-to-Cambridge rail route in completely private hands is not a prelude to fully privatising the rail network, even though that is exactly how it appears.

And how well did that work last time?

The rail network – track, signalling, tunnels, bridges, level crossings and all but a handful of the stations – passed into the hands of a company called Railtrack for a period between 1994, when rail privatisation took place, and 2002.

We all learned very quickly that privatising the infrastructure meant the company concerned would rather forego its duty to improve the system in favour of trying to turn a profit.

Serious shortcomings were identified, there were fatal crashes at Southall and Ladbroke Grove, and then the Hatfield crash of 2000 – a metal fatigue-induced derailment that killed four people and injured 70 – exposed the extent to which the rail network had been allowed to fall into disrepair.

Railtrack had absolutely no idea how many more Hatfields were waiting to happen on its sorely-neglected stock. and after the public organisation Network Rail took over, it has been estimated that repair work cost £580 million.

Now Mr Grayling thinks we have all forgotten the darkest days of the UK’s railways.

He should think again.

But this bonehead is so stupid, another fatal accident will probably happen before he does.

The government has unveiled plans for a fully privatised railway line, with track and trains operated by the same company.

A new route linking Oxford and Cambridge will not be developed by Network Rail, the owner of Britain’s rail infrastructure. Instead, a new entity will be responsible for track and infrastructure, as well as operating train services, under proposals drawn up by the transport secretary, Chris Grayling.

In a keynote speech on Tuesday, Grayling will outline how the government plans to reunite the operation of tracks and trains, which are currently the respective responsibility of publicly owned Network Rail and private train operating companies (TOCs).

While officials at the Department for Transport have disputed reports that Grayling is seeking more immediate challenges to Network Rail, unions pledged to fight the proposed changes.

The RMT union said Grayling’s rail plans would recreate privatisation chaos that it claims he introduced in the prison system as justice secretary.

Grayling denied he was intent on privatisation. “I don’t intend to sell off the existing rail network. I don’t intend to privatise Network Rail again,” he told Today. He said the Oxford and Cambridge rail link would be developed by a separate company outside Network Rail in the same way that the Crossrail link had been developed in London.

Source: Chris Grayling to unveil plans for new fully privatised railway line | UK news | The Guardian

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Protest today against work capability assessment creator

Mansel Aylward, former chief medical officer at the Department of Work and Pensions: Architect of misery?

Mansel Aylward, former chief medical officer at the Department of Work and Pensions: Architect of misery?

The Disabled Activists’ Network Cymru (DAN Cymru) is organising a vigil and protest against a decision by the Socialist Health Association to give a platform to Sir Mansel Aylward, the man behind the Department of Work and Pensions’ Work Capability Assessment.

Data released by the DWP last month show that thousands of people have died after being found “fit to work” by the deeply flawed WCA, which was introduced by Sir Mansel while he was Chief Medical Officer of the DWP.

A statement by DAN Cymru declared: “As disabled people we are dismayed at the lack of solidarity shown to us by Socialist Health Association through their decision to give legitimacy to Sir Mansel and the discredited ‘biopsychosocial model’ of disability on which the WCA is based.”

The biopsychosocial model on which the WCA is based is a brainchild of the US medical insurance industry, particularly Unum, which funds Sir Mansel. Unum Provident Insurance were fined $31.7 million in 2003 in a class action law suit in California for running ‘disability denial factories’ in which they use the pseudoscientific and discredited biopsychosocial model to deny medical insurance payouts to thousands of ill and disabled Americans.

Dr Liza van Zyl, a disabled member of DAN Cymru, said: “A lot of disabled people who become involved in DAN Cymru initially found us when they were searching the internet for ways to commit suicide because the DWP stopped their income after the WCA found them fit to work.

“The WCA has been the cause of so much suffering and destitution of disabled people in Wales. It is staggering beyond belief that the Welsh Government has appointed the man responsible for the WCA to chair Public Health Wales.”

Rob Marsh, convenor of DAN Cymru said: “The biopsychosocial model is a cargo-cult science with no credibility in the medical and scientific establishment.

“The British Medical Association has condemned the WCA and called for it to be scrapped. The BMA has found that eight out of 10 GPs report that their patients find the WCA and the DWP-administered benefits system so stressful that it causes mental ill-health in those patients who did not previously have mental health conditions.

“And over half of WCA assessments are overturned on appeal, at huge cost to the taxpayer. It is staggering that Aylward is considered an appropriate person to advise the Welsh Government on public health and disability matters”.

A summary of the Work Capability Assessment, the Biopsychosocial model of disability, and its introduction into the UK welfare system by Sir Mansel Aylward can be found here.

The protest will take place at 6.30pm today (Tuesday, September 8) outside the Unison Wales offices on Custom House Street, Cardiff CF10 1AP.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Are they having a laugh? Mail suggests people are confusing Gaza for ‘Gazza’

This is a genuine tweet.

This is a genuine tweet.

Another Mail hoax – or does this one have the ring of truth? You decide:

“Fans of former England footballer Paul Gascoigne, popularly known as ‘Gazza’, were left confused and fearing for his future as a Free Gaza campaign took off online,” according to Mail on Sunday reporter Stephanie Linning.

“Tweets with the hashtag #freegaza have been trending on Twitter in response to the violence in the Middle East, with users using their posts to urge Israeli forces to stop their assault on the Gaza Strip.

“But followers of the troubled player, who has become known for his battles with alcohol and drugs, mistakenly thought that he had been arrested and that the campaign was in support of his freedom.”

Readers who are familiar with the Mail – both Daily and on Sunday – will be aware of its apparent determination to become the nation’s purveyor of bizarre fictional ‘news’, in the wake of the Sunday Sport. Amazingly this story seems to have a basis in reality, as it featured images of tweets sent by real people.

“Confused fans took to Twitter to write messages that used the hashtag #freegaza, while others changed the hashtag to read #freegazza,” the story continued.

“One loyal fan posted on the social network: ‘Didn’t know the great man had been locked up, but I am jumping on the bandwagon #FreeGazza’.

“Others turned to the social network for answers. One user wrote: ‘What has Paul Gascoigne done now has he been arrested #freegaza’.”

Meanwhile, on another social network (Facebook) an altogether better-considered commenter, sharing the story, lamented the fact that “these people have the vote”.

Perhaps that’s why the Tories get elected, and why the Green Party doesn’t…

These people see “Conservative” on the ballot paper and think it says “Conservationist”.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Buy Vox Political books!
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

Vox Political needs your help!
This independent blog’s only funding comes from readers’ contributions.
Without YOUR help, we cannot keep going.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Government signals biggest disaster ever for Britain’s roads – privatisation

Gridlock: Under Coalition plans for transport, motorways and major 'A' roads will be clear - but the roads YOU use will look like this.

Gridlock: Under Coalition plans for transport, motorways and major ‘A’ roads will be clear – but the roads YOU use will look like this.

The Highways Agency is to be privatised, according to new government plans for the biggest disaster in the history of motoring in the UK.

The agency was formed under the last full Tory government in 1994 and operates, maintains and improves (ha ha) the strategic road network – the motorways and major ‘A’ roads that take one-third of the nation’s traffic, in terms of mileage. These are your roads – you pay for them with your taxes. They do not belong to the Conservatives and selling them off is nothing less than the theft of national assets.

The change should signal an end to Vehicle Excise Duty, otherwise known as road tax – but there is no mention of this in the Coalition government’s press release, so it seems likely that the Tories in charge of this project are hoping to siphon your tax money into private hands as profit again, as was the aim with their NHS privatisation.

It may also signal the arrival of tolls on the major roads, creating a two-tier road system: The motorways and ‘A’ roads for rich people and wealthy corporations; the other roads for less wealthy private citizens and smaller firms. Of course the other roads, maintained by local councils, will go to wrack and ruin as they become more clogged with traffic and the surfaces are worn down.

The press release states that the “reforms” (ha ha) will be “tackling decades of underinvestment in roads” and will be “backed by legislation” to ensure “future governments cannot walk away from these commitments”. That’s a mistake – no government may be tied by the decisions of its predecessor and the Coalition knows this. If Labour gets in, it could reverse everything.

The Coalition wants to make the Highways Agency an attractive prize for private investors, which is why it is providing – out of your tax money – “additional funding of £500 million for electric vehicles and £12 billion for road maintenance and resurfacing”.

(Chris Davies: Think how many hospitals you could build for £12.5 billion… Oh, but no – this is money for rich people so you couldn’t possibly contemplate putting it to good use!)

In order to sweeten the deal for future shareholders, the press release says “motorways and trunk roads will get extra lanes, smoother, quieter surfaces, improved junctions and new sections in key areas under the plan published today (16 July 2013) by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin”.

The £28 billion of total investment – £28 billion in a time of austerity that THEY have forced on US! Michael Meacher was right when he wrote “amazing how austerity is irrelevant when the government wants it to be” – includes “a trebling of funding for motorways and major A-roads… the biggest ever upgrade of the existing network.

“The focus will be on cutting congestion and minimising the environmental impact of roads, including an extra £500 million to make Britain a world leader in electric vehicle technology,” the press release says. The congestion will go onto the network of lesser ‘A’ roads, ‘B’ roads and the rest. Result: You will be late for work.

The release foolishly adds: “These measures complement record investment in rail” – an own-goal, considering the railways were sold off in the 1990s and cost the taxpayer more money now, in real terms, than we were paying for them then.

The government’s new command paper, ‘Action for roads’ details plans to turn the Highways Agency into a publicly-owned company with six-year funding certainty for capital projects and maintenance – underpinned by legislation “so future governments cannot walk away from these commitments”. This is impossible to guarantee. Why should a future government not simply repeal any such legislation?

“It is estimated that the reforms could save £600 million for the taxpayer.” Which taxpayer? The taxpayer having to pay road tax for improvements to routes s/he can no longer afford to use? The taxpayer having to use increasingly run-down minor roads to get about and having to pay more in Council Tax for repairs? The taxpayer in danger of losing their job because of lateness caused by increased congestion on those minor roads? Or the taxpayer who just had a £100,000 tax cut on their more-than-£1 million-a-year earnings?

You’d have to be really stupid to say this was a good idea.

“Today’s changes will bring an end to the short-term thinking that has blighted investment in England’s roads so that we can deliver the infrastructure our economy needs. Backed by the government’s £28 billion commitment, they will give us a road network fit for the 21st century and beyond,” said Mr McLoughlin.

“Our major roads are vital to the prosperity of our nation, connecting people to jobs and businesses to markets. They carry a third of all traffic and two thirds of all freight traffic but in recent decades we have failed to invest properly in them.

“That underinvestment has seen us fall behind many of our economic competitors. Since 1990, France has built more motorway miles than exist on our entire network, while Canada, Japan and Australia all spend four times more on their roads than we do.”

All of this reminds me very much of Ben Elton’s novel, Gridlock. Do you remember it? Here’s the reason, quoted from The Politics of Mobility: Transport, the Environment, and Public Policy by Geoff Vigar, page 175:

“The Minister of Transport, Digby Parkhurst, is portrayed as being in the pocket of the roads lobby, and a mythical ‘Global Motors Corporation’ in particular. This fictional association reflects a general view amongst many outside the transport policy world that the roads lobby has a relationship with central government transport officials that borders on the classic corporatist ‘iron triangles’ to be found in policy-making in the United States. This view is supported by various accounts of UK transport planning in the 1970s and 1980s where the activities of a roads lobby are held to be a critical factor in explaining transport policy (Hamer, 1987; Tyme, 1978; Wardroper, 1981).”

It seems, with the Tories back in power, those bad old days are back.

The Department for Transport intends to consult on these proposals in autumn 2013. For your own good, oppose them.

DWP allowed to appeal against ruling that ‘fitness for work’ test is illegal

All rise: The British court system is supposedly the best in the world - but can we trust it to make the right decision when it is the government that is appealing against a ruling?

All rise: The British court system is supposedly the best in the world – but can we trust it to make the right decision when it is the government that is appealing against a ruling?

It may have taken almost a month and a half, but judges have agreed to let the Department for Work and Pensions appeal against the judgement that the work capability assessment discriminates against people with mental health problems.

According to the Mental Health Resistance Network the DWP was denied permission to appeal on the first attempt.

Iain Duncan Smith’s lackeys then resorted to a second route – applying directly to the Court of Appeal – and it was this court that granted permission.

A spokesperson for the Mental Health Resistance Network said: “This is not the news we wanted, but the Tories were never going to give up without a fight as they are desparate to destroy our welfare state.

“Needless to say we will be fighting back.”

Vox Political was one of many who reported, back in May, that a judicial review had ruled that the work capability assessment actively discriminates against the mentally ill.

The tribunal found that, no matter how ill or even delusional a person may be, the system places on them the responsibility for gathering their own medical evidence and sending it in – otherwise the material will not be considered.

For the DWP to win at appeal, it will have to prove that this is possible for anyone, no matter how severe their mental illness may be.

The current system, for which the DWP lost the judicial review, means that paperwork sent in by anyone else on behalf of a patient with mental illness may be ignored and their ability to work judged using evidence from a 15-minute interview with a stranger who is unlikely to have had any mental health training, and who has no idea what expert opinion has to say.

Vox Political said at the time that we all knew Iain Duncan Smith would not accept this. That prediction has been borne out by current developments.

Paul Jenkins, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness, said after the tribunal decision that it meant the government should halt the mass reassessment of people receiving incapacity benefits immediately, until the system is fixed.

Does anybody think this has happened?

If not, then the government has been acting illegally for almost a month and a half. It is to be hoped that the appeal tribunal takes this into account when considering its decision. If assessments have continued, then the DWP has shown flagrant disregard for the legal process.

Such behaviour would also add emphasis to the Black Triangle Campaign’s comment in May, that the assessment system was “completely at odds with the government’s repeated insistence that mental health is a top priority”.

The campaign’s spokesperson said it was “sad that it took a court case to force the DWP to take action”.

It’s even more sad that the only action so far has been an appeal against the decision.

Some commentators speculated that Iain Duncan Smith might introduce retroactive legislation to re-legalise the work capability assessment – as he did with workfare after Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson won their cases against the department.

Unfortunately for him, the current controversy involves a breach of the Equalities Act, which has far-reaching effects.

If he tries to repeal it, we’ll know two things for sure:

1. Iain Duncan Smith is a dangerous fool.

2. The Coalition government has no respect for the rule of law.

To be honest, we knew both of those already.

Memes of the moment

A man who hid in a toilet in order to get near enough to David Cameron to shout, “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts” has been sentenced to community service. The public were quick to spot the difference in treatment between this man and Andrew Mitchell, who verbally abused a policeman (an arrestable offence) but was not prosecuted. One wonders what punishment the young man in this photograph would have received for the words here.

One of the best ways to make a point on the internet – satirical or otherwise – is to create a ‘meme’. For the uninitiated, this is a picture that has been modified to make a point, then sent around the net via Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites. Some of the recent ones have been very good so, while I work on my next piece (probably Cameron selling weapons to the Middle East), I thought I’d put them on show.

David Cameron will always be remembered as the Prime Minister who re-introduced class, and class war, to the UK with his Cabinet of millionaires, and government of aristocrats. Here, Paul Weller gives him the scorn he deserves.

Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous words about the Nazis get an IDS update here. In a week when Iain Duncan Smith turned the glare of his DWP spotlight onto step-parents, single parents and “broken” families, the targeting might seem a little off, but the words still ring true, and it shows that comparisons with Nazism are still coming thick and fast. The fact is that both the Conservatives (now) and the Nazis (in the 1930s) got into government without getting a majority of the national vote, and then set about policies that were not what they had professed to the public.

Finally, a little background reading. Next time you hear the Insidious Dole-Snatcher – or any of his chums – spitting out these claims as though they’re true, just take a moment to check their veracity. The link is in the image.