Tag Archives: rocket

Food bank use has soared by 3,800% and child poverty is up 38% under Conservative rule

Child poverty is skyrocketing under Conservative rule. It’s time for a change.

As Boris Johnson tried to woo business leaders, the Mirror has revealed shocking figures condemning the way the Conservatives have attacked working families.

Figures quoted by the paper show that child poverty in working families – that’s families where one or more parent has a job, remember – rose to 2.9 million cases last year. That’s an increase of 38 per cent since 2010.

Research by the TUC shows the number of children in poverty-hit homes has risen by 800,000 in that time. Bear in mind that this increase involved children who have since become poverty-stricken adults and new children who have been born into poverty during this period.

One in four children are affected – a quarter of our young people.

Food bank use has rocketed by 3,772 per cent under Tory rule, and the number of food banks operated by the UK’s largest such charity – the Trussell Trust – has rocketed from 57 to 425. That’s a 646 per cent increase.

Volunteers gave away 1,583,668 packages – 14,253,012 meals – in 2018/19, of which 577,618 went to children.

Tories love food banks.

Their existence means Conservative governments can continue cutting in-work benefits. They give the money saved away to the rich in tax breaks, rather than investing it in the UK’s economy or other services for the population.

Other factors in the increased use of food banks were weak wage growth and the insecurity of the work on offer.

Boris Johnson won’t have said anything about that to the CBI conference today (November 18); he doesn’t care.

As I write this, Jeremy Corbyn is addressing the CBI, offering “real change”.

If I were a business leader, I know who I would support.

Source: Foodbank hell for Britain as demand soars 3,800% under a decade of Tory rule – Mirror Online

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What are the costs of social care that have rocketed in the last year? And why did they rise so sharply?

Concerns are growing over the UK social care system’s inability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on budgets [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

Concerns are growing over the UK social care system’s inability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on budgets [Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images].

The problem with this article – and any others that discuss rocketing costs – is that it doesn’t say what those costs are, and it doesn’t say why they have risen.

Is it the cost of maintaining care homes? Utility costs? Medicine/medical help? It can’t be the cost of staff, can it? We’re always being told their wages are at the minimum.

Is it greed on the part of the provider companies and their shareholders?

Is it a cut in funding, ordered by the Conservative Government?

The last seems most likely.

If so, then isn’t it time the Tories were taken to task for failing those who need the best care possible – and are getting the worst?

The cost of social care rocketed over the last year, even as the proportion of services ranked good or outstanding fell, according to a new analysis.

Social care services directory TrustedCare.co.uk found that the price of a week in a care home jumped by almost a quarter over the last year, from an average of £557.86 a week to £686.32, while the cost of a nursing home rose more than a third from £692.17 per week to £924.82. The price per hour of care visits also rose, from £15.01 to £17.02.

The analysis was based on data from providers registered on TrustedCare, as well as calls made by its researchers to more than 100 services in each English county over the last four months.

Source: Cost of social care has rocketed over last year, analysis shows | Society | The Guardian

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Miliband’s approval rating skyrockets

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Here’s a little something you might not have noticed amid all the gossip about Nicola Sturgeon snuggling up to the Tories and the Tories snuggling up to UKIP: Public approval of Ed Miliband has rocketed by 8.1 per cent in the last fortnight.

That’s right – the man people were once denouncing for being a bit weird-looking to be PM has finally had a chance to show people what he’s really like, and people really like him.

In total – since January – public support for Ed Miliband has surged by 18.3 per cent, according to polls by the Daily Mirror and Survation.

141026cameronNow, sure, the Mirror is a Labour-supporting paper, so some of you may feel justified in suggesting it’s bound to get more Labour supporters, and this would skew the results. But, you know what? These polls tend to survey as wide a demographic as possible, so that criticism doesn’t really carry any weight. The simple fact that Miliband’s rating was at minus 14.6 per cent in January is ample demonstration of the fact.

He still has a way to go now – his rating is only at 4.4 per cent – but the climb of 18.3 per cent is far more than any other leader (including Ms Sturgeon).

The poll also shows overwhelming support for his plan to stamp out zero-hour contracts, with 64 per cent in favour and only 15 per cent opposed.

With more than a month left until polling day, there’s plenty of time for him to gain even more ground. Meanwhile, people are starting to say David Cameron doesn’t look interested in sticking around.

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Another wasted opportunity: Back to business as usual between Israel and Gaza

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Three days after it started, the ceasefire between the Israeli military and Hamas terrorists (one might describe both sides as terrorists in this instance) ended with the resumption of rocket attacks by what the BBC describes as “Palestinian militants”.

Hamas said it had resumed the rocket attacks because Israel had failed to meet its demands.

This raises several issues.

Firstly, is Hamas saying that it wanted Israel to capitulate completely to every demand made by the Palestinians? That was never going to happen because Hamas is not in a position of power. If Israel wanted, it could pound the entire Gaza Strip into rubble and defy the rest of the world to do anything about it. Both sides seem determined to be unreasonable about what negotiation can achieve, and cavalier about the fate of their own civilians while hostilities continue.

Secondly, Hamas is stupid to risk losing international sympathy by sending rockets towards Israeli civilians. With 1,890 Palestinians dead, against only 50 Israelis, many onlookers have seen this as a ‘David and Goliath’ contest, with plucky Muslims utterly outmatched by their Jewish neighbours – but these attacks suggest that it is a false interpretation; we are watching two equally vicious politically-motivated opponents acting in their own interests, without a moment’s thought for the collateral damage.

Thirdly, a saying has been doing the rounds, here on the Net, for some time now. It contends that a definition of madness might be the belief that doing the same thing repeatedly will yield different results. By this definition, the leaders of Hamas must be mad. With Israel reacting in typical manner, their leaders must be equally unhinged.

Israel has refused to negotiate while Hamas is firing upon its citizens, and that very violence is a good reason to refuse other Palestinian demands, such as the release of prisoners (to add to the violence?) and lifting the blockade of Gaza (to allow terrorists access to more deadly weapons?) – but of course this makes Israel appear the overbearing bully in this situation.

Let’s be honest – it was futile to expect a three-day ceasefire to resolve the situation. The more one examines it, the more reminiscent it becomes of the Irish Question. Peace in Northern Ireland was gained over a period of around 10 years – and remains fragile to this day. Even now it must be defended, to prevent either side from returning to the old ways.

For peace efforts to have any chance of success, talks must be overseen by an impartial mediator, with no interest – either moral or financial – in either side.

And that means the UK is ruled out of the process straight away.

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Cameron on Gaza is like a little boy arguing over a toy gun

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Today we are all very disappointed in young David – or at least we should be.

As a ceasefire in Gaza collapsed with both sides blaming the other, Mr Cameron seemed to think the main issue was an entirely justified attack on him by Ed Miliband.

Mr Miliband, commenting on the UK’s abstention from a United Nations resolution that establishes a Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and demands that Israel ceases its military assaults and lifts the blockade of Gaza, said Cameron was “wrong” not to oppose Israel’s attacks.

The Labour leader made his position perfectly clear in a statement condemning all military and terrorist violence in the disputed area. He said Cameron had been “right to say that Hamas is an appalling terrorist organisation.

“Its wholly unjustified rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, as well as building of tunnels for terrorist purposes, show the organisation’s murderous intent and practice towards Israel and its citizens,” he said.

“But the prime minister is wrong not to have opposed Israel’s incursion into Gaza and his silence on the killing of hundreds of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel’s military action will be inexplicable to people across Britain and internationally.”

A Downing Street spokesman responded: “The PM has been clear that both sides in the Gaza conflict need to observe a ceasefire. We are shocked that Ed Miliband would seek to misrepresent that position and play politics with such a serious issue.”

This is – of course – a misrepresentation of the government’s position. It is an attempt to whitewash the UK’s refusal to vote in the UN resolution out of the public consciousness. And it is an attempt to trivialise a serious conflict causing appalling loss of life – 1,700 in Gaza during the last three weeks.

The situation in Gaza is terribly complicated. Palestinian political organisation Hamas has governed the Gaza strip since 2007 after it won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, but is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel, the UK and the USA, amongst others.

States including Russia and China do not consider it to be terrorist but actions such as the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and the organisation’s creation of a tunnel network in order to carry out attacks on Israel mitigate against that belief.

That being said, Israel is a nation of vastly superior military might whose response appears wholly disproportionate – especially in the light of the Jewish people’s own history.

Persecuted for centuries until a decision was made for them to create a nation of their own in the land formerly known as Palestine, it seems clear that the new nation of Israel then set about the persecution of the Palestinian people who had formerly owned the land they had taken over.

It seems that Israeli politicians have learned nothing from their own history.

The matter is complicated by the fact that Palestine was a Muslim state, and Israel is surrounded by other Muslim states that vowed to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea rather than tolerate a Hebrew state on their doorstep, so it would be accurate to say that there has never been any attempt at tolerance between these unwilling neighbours.

And the above is an extremely oversimplified attempt to explain the situation!

For David Cameron, though, it seems none of this is important. What’s important to him is that Ed Miliband showed him up for speaking against both Hamas and Israel, and failing to support this with action.

One final point: In the light of Mr Miliband’s condemnation of Israel, are there any silly people out there who still want to claim he is a Zionist?

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