UN poverty expert has an uphill struggle – with DWP ministers who don’t even understand their own rules

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, has hit back at Conservative government ministers over their refusal to acknowledge his report on the consequences of their austerity policies in the UK. But it seems he is on a hiding to nothing as at least one Conservative MP at the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed he does not even understand the way his party’s own rules work. Ignorant Tories including the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd, have been lining up to say they “do…

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Support the petition for the government to act on the UN poverty inspector’s report

We all know what happened: UN poverty rapporteur Philip Alston said Tory government policies were worsening the lives of millions of people – but the tragedy could be reversed cheaply if we had a government with the political will to do so. And we all know what happened next: Conservative ministers lined up to tell us they don’t recognise Professor Alston or his findings. Strange, when you think they were only discussing those findings with him a few days previously! Some people think this impasse can be broken by petitioning…

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Marr’s meltdown over ‘patronising’ Chakrabarti couldn’t have been more poorly-timed. Here’s why (Part Three of Three)

We have seen that a story broke yesterday (November 18), confirming a UN inspector’s claims about the Conservative government’s policies on benefits – and BBC anchorman Andrew Marr helped a Tory minister brush it under the carpet. This is not acceptable behaviour for a member of our national news media. We expect them to hold power to account. It might be understandable, at least, if he showed similar leniency to people of all political persuasions – but events were to prove that this was not the case. It lays both…

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Kwarteng dismisses concerns about Tory benefits policies – and Marr lets him off the hook (Part Two of Three)

The second act of the three-part farce acted out on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday (November 18) started when a panel including Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng was asked to discuss the possible eviction of vCJD sufferer Emily Lydon (read her story here). As the story was breaking only days after the UN special rapporteur on poverty, Professor Philip Alston, had warned that the hardship suffered by the most vulnerable people in the UK had been deliberately inflicted on them by the Tories, to achieve “radical social re-engineering”, Mr Kwarteng…

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Tories have DELIBERATELY increased poverty in the UK, according to UN inspector

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on poverty, Philip Alston, has said he believes the UK’s Conservative government deliberately increased poverty in the country, for ideological reasons. He said the harm done to the poorest and most vulnerable could be reversed with very little investment; all that is needed is the political will. Sadly, we all know that a change of government will be required to achieve this. The Tories themselves confirmed this, by stating that they do not recognise the findings of Professor Alston’s report. Clearly they will not act…

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Did McVey resign to avoid dealing with UN report on poverty?

Let’s get this right: UN special rapporteur Professor Philip Alston is set to issue a preliminary statement on the connection between Conservative government policy and the increase in poverty, homelessness and benefit-related suicide, on November 16 – and Esther McVey resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary the day before. She quit to get out of having to answer his charges, didn’t she? I mean, it’s more believable than her claim that she couldn’t look her constituents in the eye and defend Theresa May’s Brexit deal, isn’t it? But Esther –…

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On Human Rights Day, let’s take a moment to think about the UK Conservative government’s staggering hypocrisy

What a gang of unmitigatedly hypocritical gangsters we have in the UK’s Conservative government! Today is Human Rights Day, with many organisations publicising the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and what it means. The UK government is among those with a message to put out, including this – which is notable for coming from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Everyone, everywhere, is born equal and free. Retweet if you agree #HumanRightsDay pic.twitter.com/GBckKRoLk7 — Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (@FCDOGovUK) December 10, 2017 How hypocritical. Perhaps we should remind…

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Jeremy Corbyn’s social justice speech to the UN in Geneva

Jeremy Corbyn had better things to do with his time than listen to Theresa May and her Tories trying to justify their latest Brexit-related mess. He was in Geneva, delivering a landmark speech about why the survival of our common humanity demands a new approach, based on solidarity, international co-operation and human rights. Would you like to know what he said? See for yourself. Here’s the speech in full: Today, at the United Nations in Geneva, I outlined how, together, we can build a social and economic system with human…

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Theresa May just embarrassed the UK internationally – twice with one speech

This is the result of seven years of Conservative-led government, along with 38 years of neoliberal political ideology: The UK’s international reputation is in tatters and nobody wants to hear what our representatives have to say. That’s why Theresa May was speaking to a practically-empty hall at the United Nations, when she got to deliver her keynote speech. What’s the point of telling the UN it needs to reform if hardly any of the UN’s members were listening? While Mrs May was speaking, This Writer understands that she made a…

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The US tried to police the world for decades. Trump just wants to bomb it

This is not presidential, or statesmanlike, behaviour: Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, in a bellicose first address to the United Nations general assembly in which he lashed out at a litany of US adversaries and called on “righteous” countries to confront them. The speech was greeted in the UN chamber mostly with silence and occasional outbreaks of disapproving murmurs, as Trump castigated a succession of hostile regimes. Trump said: “The scourge of our planet today are a small group of rogue regimes. “If the righteous many…

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