Tag Archives: policy

Would the UK have a labour shortage if the Tories hadn’t killed so many of us?

Too few workers: but with low wages, reduced access to healthcare and rising stress-related mental illness, why would anybody want a job in the UK?

It would be funny if it were not so tragic.

The Conservative government is not happy because there is a labour shortage in the UK.

The last figures This Writer has seen suggest that businesses need an extra million workers.

It would be easy to blame Brexit for the shortfall, and there is certainly an argument that sending migrant workers back to their own countries has been a bad idea.

But there’s also the fact – fact, mark you – that the Conservative governments of 2010 onwards have been killing off working-age people at an astonishing rate. This is not a reference to Covid, but to actual, premeditated Tory policy.

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The ever-excellent Prem Sikka made this point in a House of Lords debate on the subject:

He had previously posted this on ‘X’:

The article to which he links provides all the information you need:

People in secure and well paid jobs are more likely to have a longer life expectancy and take less time off work due to sickness. This can swell the size of the work force, but the government has pushed real wage cuts with claims that wage increases for workers are inflationary though that logic is suspended for executives and bankers. The average real wage has remained mostly unchanged since 2007.

The annual UK median wage is around £29,669.  The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates that a single person needs to earn £29,500 a year to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living. A couple with two children need to earn £50,000 between them. This means that nearly half the working population does not reach the minimum standard of living though low incomes can be supplemented by means-tested social security systems. 17.8m adults have income of less than £12,570. Indeed, due to low pay more people in work are claiming social security benefits than those out of work.

The result is that some 14.4 million people live in poverty. Millions of people are deprived of good food, housing, education, clothing, skills and healthcare. Deprived people cannot work long hours or fulfil their potential. More workers report sick and have mental and physical health problems. More than 800,000 patients were admitted to hospital with malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies last year. Some 16m people have disabilities which may affect their participation in labour markets. The government is considering withdrawing benefits from the old, sick and disabled and force them to work, but it is hard to see how that will deal with systemic problems.

Rather than improving healthcare, the government has reduced access to healthcare. People struggle to get access to NHS dentists and family doctors. Some 6.39 million individuals in England alone are waiting for 7.6m hospital appointments. That is one-in-nine persons. Around 2.8 million people, roughly equivalent to the populations of Bournemouth, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh Stoke-on-Trent and Middlesbrough, combined, are suffering from chronic health conditions and are unable to work. More than 500,000 under-35s in the prime of their life are out of work due to long-term illness.

A 2023 study reported in the 5 years to 2022 nearly 1.5 million people in England died whilst waiting for a NHS hospital appointment – that is nearly 300,000 a year.  A 2022 study reported that between 2012 and 2019, government imposed austerity caused 335,000 excess deaths in England and Scotland i.e. nearly 48,000 a year. One-third of these deaths were among people under 65. Another study estimated that between 2011 and 2020, 1.2m people in England died prematurely from a combination of poverty, austerity and Covid. The Government’s obsession with austerity, wage cuts and defunct economic theories has turned the state into a killing machine, and is a major cause of labour shortages.

The article is well worth reading as it covers other reasons for the labour shortage – all of which are down to government policy, inactivity or incompetence.

This Site has been warning that government policy kills since it was founded in 2011 – but at successive elections, the Tories have been voted back in.

So the logical conclusion is that the people of the UK are happy to be deprived of the healthcare to which we all contribute via our taxes, happy to be starved of food, housing and education, and happy to be driven into mental illness by the stress that all this causes.

Are we?

Or have we all been misled, time and again, by politicians with undeclared interests in keeping us down, along with their client media?

With a general election coming up soon, isn’t it time we gave up listening to the public relations people and started to check for ourselves what we are really being offered?

The people of Rochdale could use their by-election as an example for the rest of us.


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Keir Starmer: not just ducking fights with the Tories? What IS he doing, then?

Keir Starmer: he’s really just a haircut and a suit, isn’t he?

The Guardian‘s attempt to stiffen up Keir Starmer’s image has gone limp after he was depicted differing with the Tories on such secondary issues as the National Trust and RNLI, and offering supervised toothbrushing of children.

Labour should be campaigning to end the impoverishment of working people by raising wages, lowering prices and building affordable homes – and those are just the issues that offered themselves to This Writer first.

He’s also attacking the Tory government’s Rwanda policy, according to the article. Quite right – it’s nothing but a distraction from what really affects the majority of us – but, again, ditching a silly policy that affects people migrating into the UK won’t do much for those of us who are natives.

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In this context, the quoted comments from Starmer’s aides make him look more ridiculous than ready to tackle the Tories.

“We always knew that the final year before an election would be about picking sides on things,” one senior aide explained. “It’s not really about the individual rows: we’re trying to tell more of a story about what the party stands for.”

So it stands for side-issues that don’t help Labour’s core voters? Fine. Thanks for letting us know – we’ll find someone else.

And:

The Labour leader has said little to differentiate himself from the government on issues including transgender rights, public sector pay, the two-child benefit cap and even his position on a Gaza ceasefire.

So on important issues that do affect us, Labour stands with the Tories?

Fine. Thanks for letting us know – we’ll find someone else.

Perhaps most damning is this:

Perhaps the biggest test of his boldness is yet to come: to stand firm on Labour’s commitment to its £28bn green prosperity fund or decide that he would be electorally better off if he backed away. One party insider said: “It’s about fight or flight. We don’t yet know which is his instinct.”

But we do. Starmer is best-known as the Labour leader who has adopted one convenient policy after another, only to abandon them all whenever he thought he could get away with it.

Do we have any reason to doubt that he’ll do the same with this? No.

Fine. Thanks for letting us know – we’ll find someone else.

Source: Keir Starmer keen to show he is not just ducking fights with the Tories | Keir Starmer | The Guardian


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Israeli #PuppetStarmer u-turns on recognition of Palestine

Keir Starmer: his latest policy u-turn makes it clear that he is nothing more than a puppet of the Israeli government. Right?

Keir Starmer has shown once again that he is nothing more than a puppet of the Israeli government by u-turning on Labour’s vow to recognise Palestine as a state.

He’s now saying Labour won’t do this unless Israel approves it first. This will never happen under the kind of leadership Israel currently has.

This is further evidence that Starmer is not fit to govern the United Kingdom. Many believe we had a puppet of a foreign power when Boris Johnson was prime minister (Russia being the power) and that someone who actually represents the interests of UK citizens would be a welcome change.

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Owen Jones agrees with me: “What this means in practice is that Labour will never support an independent Palestine. If such a state is ever born, it will be because of colossal international pressure on Israel. Waiting until it’s ‘acceptable’ to Israel means never.”

So does Chris Williamson: “Here’s yet another reason to reject Labour. While most of the world already recognises Palestine, Sir Keir Starmer says a Labour govt would refuse to do so. But if the ICJ rules against Israel, Palestine could be admitted as a full UN member, and Israel could be kicked out.”

Here’s more of the same:

Simon de Jever concluded: “Finally we get to the endgame. The real reason for the entire Labour antisemitism horseshit fest of the last eight years is revealed. Jesus wept.”

So it seems.

Keir Starmer is not interested in representing you; he is a representative of the Israeli government and will use any time he is given to run a UK government to legitimise Israel as it grabs the remaining Palestinian land, murders Palestinian people and destroys all remaining Palestinian identity.

Do you want that on your conscience while you watch him doing absolutely nothing for you?


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Drug policy: are the Greens really the only adults in the room?

Candidate: it seems the Green Party has a serious candidate in the race to be mayor of London after an election this year.

It seems the campaign to elect a new mayor of London has more than two serious candidates this time.

Here’s Zoe Garbett of the Green Party, putting forward a policy to tackle rising drug-related deaths in the city:

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Are there any experts in preventing drug deaths reading this, who can explain whether her words make good sense? If not, what would?


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Don’t be fooled: Tory government ISN’T imploding over Rwanda deportation policy

His answer to everything: Rishi Sunak is trying to distract us from the real problems facing the UK – by pointing us at an invented bogeyman: migrants whose Channel crossings are only illegal because his government criminalised them.

It was a nice piece of political theatre. But what actually happened over the Tory government’s controversial Rwanda policy?

Well, we could start with this:

It seems to This Writer that Rishi Sunak got everything he wanted: his Rwanda deal is back on, sure – but more importantly for the Tories, they have used it as a smokescreen under which they have destroyed human rights in the UK.

Oh, you missed that?

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The European Court of Human Rights is being denied jurisdiction here. So, if you are in the UK, your human rights aren’t protected any more. Oh, you thought it just applied to asylum-seekers?

The UK no longer complies with United Nations treaties on refugees.

The Human Rights Act and the Modern Slavery Act have been bypassed. If you are in the UK, that will have an effect on you if the Tories – or any other UK government decide they want it to.

Government ministers will get to decide what happens to people coming to the UK – and, if you are in the UK, whether those decisions will be applied to you as well. You will have no recourse to the courts for a legal judgement.

This is because the changes have been made to UK law – and UK law applies to all UK residents (apart from members of the government and the super-rich who can bypass it, obviously).

In fairness, the changes to the law haven’t happened yet – but they will. Here’s a reason:

I dont agree with Baron Sikka that the Tories are trying to find a platform on which they can win a general election and save their careers (that’s what he means by “save their skins”). They’ll rubber-stamp these erosions of your rights because they want to.

Still, some have optimistically speculated on what might happen if opportunistic Tory MPs break ranks and rebel. We’ll discuss some of the events mentioned here, further down the article:

Some have taken a more pragmatic view, accepting that the changes will happen and what they mean:

That is fascism: powerful nationalism, disdain for human rights, identification of “enemies” as a unifying cause, obsession with national security.

If you don’t recognise those words, I’ve just quoted four of the 14 generally-accepted “warning signs of fascism”.

Rishi Sunak announced this descent into fascism in a press conference at 11am yesterday (December 7). The press asked whether the vote on it would be treated as a confidence issue, and he made it clear that it would not:

So there it is.

Is he really relying on Labour to support him? No. Don’t be fooled. He expects his Parliamentary party to support him; the words about Labour were simply to undermine Keir Starmer’s electoral position – make him look weak on immigration. And, of course, these words are meant to make Sunak’s position seem acceptable.

Consider the words of Mhairi Black, in the video clip below:

“[Fascism] arrives under the guise of respectability and pride, that will then be refused to anyone that is deemed different. It arrives through the ‘othering’ of people – the normalisation of human cruelty… The warning signs are there for everyone to see – whether they admit it or not.”

Here’s the economist Richard Murphy:

If you don’t share his view, consider yourself to have joined the ranks of the fascists.

How did we get here? Well, the most recent events were probably kicked off by Keir Starmer, when he put his own boot into the Rwanda deportation policy at Prime Minister’s Questions:

We were reminded that only 100 people can possibly be sent to Rwanda, and that the deal is reciprocal, meaning Rwandan people will be sent to the UK. That means it will not make any difference to inward migration into this country.

The scheme’s cost was mentioned by Starmer but Sunak coasted over it. In fact it is now at least £240 million, as the government has provided an extra £100 million very recently. If we send anybody there, in the end, we have to pay for their accommodation and upkeep for five years.

Meanwhile, the Tories have lost 17,000 asylum seekers. These people have just disappeared.

Late in the afternoon, this landed on ‘X’:

“We said we would do what was needed to stop the boats.” This wasn’t it. This Writer has heard nothing from the Tories to show that they have actually taken any steps to ensure that Rwanda is safe for asylum-seekers, as the Supreme Court’s judgement implied that it should.

My impression is that this Bill will be nothing more than a declaration that the government says Rwanda is safe. That is no way to reassure anybody.

In any case, it won’t “stop the boats”. That part of the problem is being handled via international agreements to target the “criminal gangs” and reduce the number of people leaving their countries of origin in the first place – as This Site has always claimed was necessary.

That didn’t stop James Cleverly, the new Home Secretary, from spouting that tired old line – and getting hammered by people who see this vote-grubbing publicity stunt for what it is (an attempt to win votes from racists after a campaign to convince them that Johnny Foreigner is secretly invading):

Then Rwanda threw a fly in the ointment: its government issued a statement saying it could not support the deal if it does not adhere to international law.

Clearly, Minister Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, had read the new Bill and spotted the parts that depart from international law.

Two hours later, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick resigned, saying the new Bill did not go far enough for him:

These events fuelled debate on the subject, which continued overnight:

Suella Braverman, the former Home Secretary, also stuck her oar in – but was dismissed by the BBC’s Nick Robinson who, on the Today programme, said her attitude was that it was “all about her”. Still, her intervention may be divisive within the Conservative Party.

Then Sunak held his press conference. Here’s an analysis of it:

Again, speculation came back to whether this is a vote of confidence.

And again, we come back to the fact that every Tory MP knows their career is at stake. Their government is failing in the opinion polls and they may lose their seats at the next general election.

So it is in their best interests to put that election off as long as possible, in the hope that their party’s fortunes will improve.

Also, it should not be considered a secondary issue that the destruction of human rights represented by the Rwanda legislation is something many Tory MPs have desired for a long time.

Wait, watch and learn: the Tories are rushing their Rwanda legislation through Parliament so it won’t be long before we find out whether I’m right.


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Kwarteng’s economics is compared to Harold Shipman’s social care

Kwasi Kwarteng: he needs to get used to this kind of criticism because he’ll be hearing it for the rest of his life.

Former Tory Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng was left spluttering in indignation after a fellow guest on the BBC’s Politics Live compared his economic policies to mass murderer Harold Shipman’s idea of social care.

The incident was recorded by YouTuber Maximilien Robespierre, who provides his own commentary:

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More Labour resignations over leadership response to Gaza

For the many? While others quit the party in disgust at Keir Starmer’s leadership, some Labour officers are simply quitting their roles but working to change the party from within.

Officers from Edinburgh Northern and Leith Constituency Labour Party have become the latest to resign – their posts, not their membership – over Keir Starmer’s support for Israeli war crimes.

You can read the full statement below but I’ve clipped out a few of the more pertinent paragraphs.

On Israel/Gaza, the resigning officers say: “Tonight [at the CLP’s October 19 meeting], we are forbidden from discussing Israel/Palestine. We are told that LP banners cannot be displayed at solidarity ralles. Our MPs are instructed not to attend, just as they were told to stay away from picket lines. This is untenable.

“Many colleagues have left, demoralised and dispirited. Only this week, in response to our front bench’s support for the collective punishment of Gazan civilians, many more, including elected representatives, have resigned their membership.”

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But the statement also attacks Keir Starmer’s behaviour on a wider range of subjects:

“During the leadership election, Keir misled us as to what type of leader he promised to be.

“We are retreating on commitments weekly, most recently on social care reform, Lords abolition, and again on green infrastructure spending.”

Here’s a copy of the full statement:

It seems Labour has more problems than the loss of its Muslim support base. Are we starting to see a cascade effect?


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Keir Starmer is RIGHT about the Rwanda policy – for the wrong reasons

Confirmed: Keir Starmer made it clear he still intends to scrap the Tory policy of sending planes full of ‘illegal migrants’ to Rwanda.

Take a look at the following – both the X post by Robert Jenrick and the interview clip on which it is based:

Jenrick’s claims are clearly false. Keir Starmer saying he doesn’t want to ship people who have migrated to the UK illegally off to Rwanda doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to stop the boats bringing them here in the first place.

Nor does it mean Starmer’s party (it isn’t Labour any more in anything but name) is ideologically opposed to border controls. We know that the last Labour government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had better controls than the Tories who have been in power since 2010.

That system was scrapped – some say in order to create a crisis and a bogeyman for the public to fear.

Starmer is right to imply that the Rwanda policy will not stop the criminal gangs who prey on refugees and asylum-seekers. There is no evidence to say that it will; in fact, figures show that after the policy was approved, the number of people arriving in the UK increased.

But he is wrong to say the ambition is to stop those gangs from plying their trade.

The ambition must always be to stop refugees and asylum-seekers wanting to leave their own country in the first place.

Negotiation is a good start – and it’s worth noting that the Tories are working on more agreements by which they would be able to return people to the countries from which they come to the UK.

But the negotiations need to be with the migrants’ countries of origin – to stop their governments creating the conditions that uproot these people in the first place. It’s not rocket science and This Writer has made the point time and time again in the past.

A good leverage point would be all the weapons export licences the UK government grants to these places. If they don’t improve the quality of life in their countries, the UK could refuse to export weapons to them.

Or is that far too sensible for Mr Starmer or any other politician?


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VIDEO BLOG: Starmer’s right-wing stance is not a smokescreen. Here’s how you can tell

Yes, I’ve made a video out of the article from last week. There are good reasons for this.

Firstly, it contains excellent advice on how to vote properly. It seems people are confused about the fact that they are expected to vote for whoever has policies they think will be of benefit to the UK as a whole – not for the party they consider to be tribally theirs, even though that organisation hasn’t actually helped them in decades, and not for the party they think is best-placed to keep out another party they don’t like.

Secondly, it contains excellent reasoning on why not to vote for Keir Starmer.

Thirdly, it provides an opportunity for you all to visit the original article, which has not received anything like enough attention. It’s at https://wp.me/p4Sru1-hyZ

Watch and enjoy:


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

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Is Tory government causing low fertility in the UK? [VIDEO]

England and Wales are suffering historically low fertility.

Is government responsible?

Here’s a video article:


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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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