Tag Archives: culture

The Homeless ‘are an irritant at best’ for the Government.

Rough sleeping is a problem. For everyone. A problem for the people themselves, a problem for the people who have to put up with drug and alcohol induced issues, a problem for the government. However whilst the problems may be many the solutions are really quite simple. It’s just a matter of what’s a priority for the government. The issue of homelessness can be stopped pretty much overnight (although you will always get a handful who do at least on the surface appear to prefer the street life. But there is also a reason for that)
For me there should be no other more basic worthy cause than providing two things for the people, no matter what country. A permanent roof over your head and enough food to live a healthy existence. Anything else is secondary. If the government is not providing those two basic things then there is something wrong with the system. How can it be viewed any other way. 

People will argue that they either don’t deserve it because of their drink or drug habits or that they cause anti social behaviour when they are given a place. 

It’s important to address both of those unique issues. Many people who become homeless are like you and I, maybe they once had a place of their own and held down a job. In my old line of work I spoke to one homeless person who had both of these things and had only been homeless for a short while in comparison to others, but it all started when he lost his job and couldn’t afford the rent after his partner left. He couldn’t get given a place for the fact he hadn’t been homeless for long enough. 

A lot of substance abuse starts after people become homeless. Imagine yourself in similar circumstances and that hope that you will be given a leg up by the system soon enough only for those hopes to be dashed again and again. The psychological impact will be great and often what follows is the lack of what otherwise would be reasonable thought processes. Substance abuse is something that can happen to anyone given the right cocktail of circumstances much the same can be said for homelessness itself. The old saying goes that we are all just one wrong step away from that same position ourselves. Once you are in that self destructive process you may find they eventually offer you a place, usually in a hostel of some kind and here is where things can be just as bad as living on the street if not worse. 

 

Graham House, Thames Reach Hostel in Vauxhall, London.
 
Can you imagine what a hostel would look like if it is full of people that have been on the street for too long? The people who have already succumbed to those substance traps? Some of the most vulnerable in our society reside in these places, and you, now being finally offered a place to stay have to now share at close quarters corridors and ‘living rooms’ and kitchens with some of the most world weary people in our society. This is why many people end up back on the streets. Couple that with the ‘rules’ of the accommodation in question. Maybe they have curfews or they demand that the staff control your finances for you, only allowing you certain funds per day or per week. Maybe alcohol is banned from the premises and whilst a few of these rules may be in the best interests of the residents, it’s another limitation of your life, and you are addicted. Through little fault of your own circumstances, you are now an addict living with people you may consider in a far worse state than you and you have come from the relative freedom of the street to a rule ridden hell hole. Deal with that? Could you? You may be lucky enough not to have been trapped in the addiction cycle or touched a drop of drink which would make that scenario even worse. Scary perhaps. What cost to leave and go back on the street? 

Could you even blame the residents in the Hostels? After all, the system likely waited too long to help and they became lost to it the day they first took their poison of choice. Now, living in a hostel, with limited freedoms, no job prospects and no money or life to call their own and an inability to harbour any ‘aspirations’ as the Tory (and Labour for that matter) party like to use the term to ensure that you know exactly the difference between the people they like and the people they dislike. If you haven’t got aspirations, you’re useless. We’re not talking any old life aspirations here, we’re talking aspirations to work and pay taxes. God forbid you don’t want to have any part in a capitalist system, you are as good as dead to the government and if you’re either a street person or someone left to rot in a hostel, you really are as good as dead because you have zero potential. 

 

Picture from the Guardian, previous resident at Thames Reach hostel in Vauxhall, London
 
In some ways there is little hope for the people already lost to the system, all we can do is perhaps take pity and support them where we can but what of the next generation of homeless soles? Is it inevitable that they too will sink into the abyss that is the dark streets of our cities? Probably. Unless a government decides to invest. Unless a government decides that under its watch, no citizen will go needlessly homeless nor hungry. 

Of course though that costs money. It really doesn’t have to, but then we wouldn’t be living in a capitalist society. We do, for now, and that means the government has to stump up the money. Where would it come from though? I suggest the same place that the estimated £40 Billion for HS2 comes from or the earmarked £20 Billion for Trident or the recent £20 Billion on Cross Rail 2 or perhaps the £15 Billion upcoming road improvements but you see, these improvements means more ‘wealth creation’ for the government. Defeating hunger and homelessness produces small reward. Sure, more people would work and bring in taxes but that would be small fry compared to the ‘wealth creation’ that infrastructure improvements bring. So sod them. If people become homeless it’s just a thorn in the side for the government. An irritant at best and they can always ‘clean up the mess’ later. 

 

View of the Financial centre of London
 
There is a new system in place in many councils now where if a homeless person is deemed at serious risk of mental health issues then their housing needs will be met as a priority over someone who is about to be made homeless. So for example if you are about to be kicked out of your home and are expecting to be rehoused, don’t. Because if a homeless person has a mental health issue then chances are you will be left to go homeless and using this system, you don’t get rehoused again as a priority unless you are at risk of a mental breakdown and there may well be a long queue of people in front of you. So whilst this system is meant to help get people into housing that need it most it serves to only create a new line of homeless people, a line of homeless people that never needed to be there in the first place. You can find the information for this via this news article.

Giving everyone a roof over their head would give people aspiration in life and in work, going people a roof over their heads is viable. It doesn’t even have to be a regular house in a regular street. There are many projects appearing where pop up houses can be installed that have enough space to live in, all the basic mod cons at a fraction of the cost of building a house. They don’t even have to be placed in far away places, out of sigh from the rest of society. They can be aesthetically changed if needs be and done in a way that doesn’t create poverty ghettos like council housing has often done in the past. Which in turn has given residents of council estates a bad reputation for similar reasons that homeless people have a bad reputation. 

No one denies that homelessness brings with it problems, societal problems as well as financial and life problems for all those involved, but the point is it need not be that way. If the government acted to address this it would not take a leap of faith to realise that so many issues surrounding homelessness could be solved overnight if only we lived a more people focused existence. 

It all boils down to one thing at the moment. Cost and jobs and the balance of doing something or not doing something about it. The government chooses to do nothing because it doesn’t recognise humanity as a primary issue. Money and capitalism comes first. It has to. Capitalism exists for the purpose of making profit. If profit stops then the system collapses as has often been seen during eras of boom and bust. (Remember when Labour said Boom and bust was over? What do you think the 2008 financial crisis was?), and due to the ability of governments to print money on a whim in the name of quantitive easing, those book and bust periods never quite manifest into a full scale collapse so we will always see book and bust and this financial crisis won’t be the last. 

If we lived a socialist lifestyle.. Well. That’s another blog post but in short. There would be no such thing as homelessness. 

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Are Immigrants to blame for the poor weather?

The British public may soon start blaming immigrants for everything from the failing NHS to the weather. Well, many already blame the failing NHS on immigrants so maybe it won’t be long before they start blaming them for the weather. 

“Coming over here, stealing our sunshine and sending it back home to their families” 

      How very dare they! 

Let’s not concern ourselves with the fact that immigrants officially contribute as much if not more to the economy than they take out of it. Let’s not concern ourselves with the fact that immigrants make up much of the NHS workforce. No. Let’s instead focus on why the immigrant ‘problem’ is not a problem, because the state of our finances and the state of things like the NHS has one route cause at its heart. Government. And It has nothing to do with government policy on immigration. 

Here we explain why you UKIP’ers, with your love for this nation have got your pants on back-to-front and why you floating voters who backed the Tories in May have been led up the garden path. 

Thursday 4th June, 2015. You may have missed it but the £14.8 Billion Cross Rail programme, a new train line running East to West right across London and beyond was completed. It started in 2009, one year after the World financial crisis began and the drilling of the tunnel itself did not begin until 2012. The first passengers won’t use it until 2018. 

Cross Rail 2 running North to South across London is already in the works although it is estimated that it will not be completed until 2030 at the earliest. This project is costing an estimated £20 Billion of which the treasury is prepared to meet half the cost. Here is what Boris Johnson said about where some of that money will come from via the Guardian Article;

‘Johnson suggested funds could be found by “smashing open the jam jars” of public sector pension funds.’

Nice. 

 

Proposed route for Crossrail 2

That’s just Crossrail. What about HS?

High Speed Rail (HS) first started with the building of the Channel Tunnel rail link (CTRL) in 2003 and was renamed ‘High Speed 1’ in 2006. It opened at the end of 2007 and cost £5.8 Billion.

HS2 is more well known and is currently in the works. It will connect London and Birmingham initially before continuing north to Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester. The cost is anyone’s guess. According to the link above the initial section between London and Birmingham will cost up to £17.4 Billion with the entire project estimated to cost £30 Billion. 

However in June 2013 that estimate rose to £42.6 Billion and according to Wikipedia; ‘it was revealed that the DfT  (Department for Transport) had been using an outdated model to estimate the productivity increases associated with the railway, which meant the project’s economic benefits were overstated’. 

Boris Johnson has warned that the cost could reach £70 Billion and the Institute of Economic Affairs have said they estimate the final cost to be £80 Billion.

Building won’t begin until 2018 and is not expected to be open to the public before 2025. The government are also planning to link HS2 to both HS1 and Cross Rail at a potential minimum cost of just under £1 Billion. 

Finally.. At least when it comes to HS there is HS3. A proposed route connecting Liverpool to Hull via Manchester and Leeds. This is still very much in the planning stages and there are no firm details including wether to use existing lines and if there is any need for the speeds to technically be High Speed at all. There are no official Costings either however proposed improvements for Northern city links go as high as £6 Billion.
 

That’s the rail system out of the way, what about the roads? Well the government approved road improvement schemes across England at the end of 2014 to the tune of £15 Billion. 

Finally just to really put the icing on the cake, the Replacement of the Trident Submarines. The costs vary but you can start at £23 Billion just to procure the replacement system. There has already been work done on successor submarines and that already runs into a few Billion including £1.2 Billion spent just last year. That though doesn’t take into the estimated cost of running the programme over a 40 year life span which would top the bill at around £100 Billion. 

Why is all of this important to know? The cost to save the NHS?

£8 Billion. Or at least so say the politicians 

Look at the money above that is being spent or has been spent on infrastructure compared to how much we need to save the NHS. Most of the infrastructure money will have been spent around or during the years of the financial crisis. 

The main rail links will serve London primarily and as such only a section of the country will benefit. HS2 whilst will be helpful to some people it has already been suggested that the projects benefits have been wildly over estimated including by politicians and the Northern City rail improvements may not even be high speed after all. 

We continue yet again to rely on the expansion of our Road systems to fix the same old problems of increased car usage. 

So, when you’re sitting there concerned that the failing NHS is caused by health tourists or immigrants flooding the country, it’s important to remember what the issue at hand is. It’s not that the immigrants are preventing the NHS from being fit for purpose. It’s that government is choosing not to fund it. 

The NHS is expensive, yet a State funded health system is of no benefit to politicians when they can afford the best private health care. The tories are making every attempt to privatise the NHS by the back door, they have talked of bringing in charges to see your GP and their claim of recruiting 5,000+ GP’s has been proven false by Owen Jones who stated on BBC Question Time that it takes 7 years to train to be a GP. Longer than the Conservatives have been in power. So you can thank Labour for those extra GP’s.

Also consider that the Corporations still continue to get away with paying minimal tax into the UK economy but the Tories won’t address this ongoing problem. Billions of pounds could easily be recovered but just like blaming immigrants for the NHS crisis is silly, the government will focus on the poor when concerned with unpaid taxes. They will blame those ‘on benefits’. Yet it’s neither the immigrants nor those in receipt of benefits that are the problem, it is our own government. Your government. 

There is no need for austerity nor poverty. It’s all a lie.

Oh and Immigrants are not to blame for the weather either.

The Protest Players – Part 2

Hot on the heels of ‘The Protest Players – Part 1‘ comes the second instalment of this mini series looking at ‘who is who?’ of the organisers of the recent batch of anti austerity protests. 

This time we focus on UK Uncut who arranged the protest in the image below for Saturday 30th May 2015

  
and we also look at the organisers of the second protest of the day as shown in the image below…

  
The Organisers of ‘The Great British Right off’ (we’re not sure if that’s a grammatical error or if its meant to be a play on words) were three individuals. Jon Warner, Kelly Fitz and Kyle Williamson. We will talk a little about them later in the blog. 

I must stress at this point that we support protests and are not here to belittle any organisation. I know exactly how hard it is to get support for a protest and how much effort it can take to generate interest. The point of this mini series is to question if the tactics we conduct are working, asking if we know exactly who we are protesting on behalf of and with whom and if we can learn anything of note. I personally have what some may say are controversial opinions on certain groups and tactics but it is opinion with the best of intentions. 

So, UK Uncut had called for more protests just a few days after the previous (semi) high profile protest event on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, and it seems UK Uncut had better success at attracting the numbers. Being a Saturday and just after lunchtime it was hardly a surprise. 

The UK Uncut website says of itself;

“UK Uncut is a grassroots movement taking action to highlight alternatives to austerity. We use acts of creative civil disobedience to show our opposition to the Government’s cuts to our public services”

They go on to say;

“Austerity-economics is the policy of the powerful. It cannot be stopped by asking nicely. If we want to win the fight against these cuts (and we can win) then we must make it impossible to ignore our arguments and impossible to resist our demands. This means building a powerful grassroots mass movement, able to resist the Government cuts at every turn”

“Since 2010 there have been over 800 UK Uncut actions all over the country”

(The bold type will be relevant later)

The UK Uncut website doesn’t go into who runs it or how it really formed, just that it started from a group of people starting off with a hashtag and the idea growing from there. 

I am more than a little curious, I would love to ask them how they built it up so much since 2010. After all, a good idea needs more than just a hashtag. Trust me. 

Even with The People’s Assembly that we covered in Part 1 of this mini series at least they went into how it was formed and who they got the backing of in the first instance. You get an idea of where there roots are. (Generally Labour MP’s looking for a leftist platform for the party if you were wondering). With UK Uncut, you just don’t know. 

UK Uncut claim to be neither left nor right leaning but offer alternative solutions to austerity. On their Wikipedia entry it states that the group was initially formed by 10 people in 2010 in a pub and yet in 2011 just one year after their formation, the following is said to have happened;

“In November 2011, the legal arm of UK Uncut took HM Revenue & Customs to court. HMRC had been accused of failing to provide substantial reasons for not collecting billions of pounds in tax revenue”
What group of people in a pub in the space of a year gets their own ‘legal arm’? The article doesn’t elaborate but we are taking it at face value. We think there is a question to answer there but we will leave it to you to decide what that question should be. 

Before we move on to the organisers of the second Protest of the day we must pose just a couple more questions about the UK Uncut demo. 

How did the protest go? And what of the bold text above that we haven’t touched upon yet? 

Both questions can be answered as one. The protest happened. It happened and a fair number of people attended, a few thousand maybe. 

What creative act of civil disobedience occurred to make it impossible for the government to ignore?

As far as we can reasonably be expected to know, a great big banner was unfurled over Westminster Bridge. Huzzah!

The event description contained the following passage; 

  
The banner was indeed bold, exciting? Not so much. Creative? Far from it. Secret location? So secret I don’t think anyone knows what happened.. Was Westminster Bridge the secret location? Who knows. 

And this;

  
The Green Party can give us an even better future than the SNP so I assume that UK Uncut are backing the Greens? 

(Shameful Plug alert: Search #IAM99G on Facebook search or on Twitter… For a Green 2020)

So what have we learnt from today’s protest and the 800 other UK Uncut actions since 2010? Not a lot, other than government haven’t been moved by any of the 800+ actions. 

So what of the second protest of the day? 

Same day, same time, different location different cause, although once again we say if the protesters had teamed up maybe things could have been a lot different. So often we hear groups like the People’s Assembly and UK Uncut talk of unity and organising, yet they can’t seem to Organise with each other. 

This cause though was for the threat to the Human Rights Act. (We think the word ‘Rights’ is how the spelling for the event was realised, ‘Great British Right off’). A noble cause and one which many activists online are talking about. 

4,700 had said they would attend the UK Uncut demo. 6,200 had said the would attend the ‘Right off’ demo. 

We estimated earlier that around 3,000 turned up for UK Uncut, so it wasn’t shabby at all. For the ‘Right off’ though we estimate about 100 turned up. How did we come to that conclusion? We have little idea ourselves. Actually it was allegedly 500 according to one update we read. 

Meet the organisers of the ‘Right off’. 

First up is Kyle Williamson, his profile gives nothing away other than one post which is anti-tory so that’s a good start although he couldn’t attend because of illness. Then we have Kelly Fitz… I think.. Well… It might… Then we move on to Jon Warner, poor old Jon. Jon seems to be the main organiser here and he was none too pleased at the turnout. I feel for him because I arranged a protest back on 2nd May and if it hadn’t been for Occupy and ‘Feed the Birds’ doing their own thing on the day the official attendence for my protest would have stood at a grand total of around 14. Maybe one or two more at a push. I really do feel for him.

One thing that stands out from Jon’s profile is that he is almost certainly a Labour supporter. He likes the Liberal Democrats but not that much.  

Here are a couple of excerpts from his public status update after the protest;

 

think he is referring to the Unions here
 
 
Bloody toothless Unions
 
 
sea of yellow being the Lib Dems
 

look, here they are!

 

when all you want is a dozen Labour and all you end up with is 100 Lib Dems..

So what we have had today, much like we mentioned in Part 1 of this mini series is two different yet similar groups organising two different events on the same day, again, with one turning out well but having little impact on anything whilst another realises that as individuals we get the short end of the stick, we don’t have a name behind us, like ‘UK Uncut’ or ‘The People’s Assembly’. Maybe they should get a name. ‘Write off the Right off’ perhaps? No? I tried. 

It just leaves me to point out one last thing. People’s Assembly, largely a platform for Labour MP’s as we pointed out in Part 1, the GB ‘right off’ most certainly Labour orientated (plus the Lib Dem 100). So when you support these events just remember you may be giving a voice or support, in an indirect way at least, to the Labour Party. 

We need to do away with the Old political guard. Especially now Labour are moving to the right. It’s odd that Jon hasn’t noticed that yet. Jon! Get back over here… Go Green instead. 

The next in the series will be sometime after the 20th June when we take another but much more brief look at The People’s Assembly again as well as the 10 million Bloc’s taking part. There is a bloc for everything these days. Part 4 will look at a National Strike on 29th June but we are not even sure the Unions either a) know it’s happening or b) would even turn up to their own protest if there was a national strike… Toothless. I may stop at Part 4. We will have to see how much comedy material I have left. 

Keep on Protesting, keep on fighting back. 

The lights are on, but nobody’s home. 

Stop hypothesising. It’s right in front of you. Can you see it yet? 

“you know what, this Austerity thing isn’t very popular is it? Let’s stop now and start giving something back to you”. 

  

Probably not. Whilst you are busy hypothesising how we can get the Tories and Labour out of power and procrastinating that we will never see the Green Party gain any real genuine momentum and how we will never see democracy, we have already started a 5 year plan. 

We started this the night before the elections. The 6th May. We knew the Greens would do well but wouldn’t make any huge inroads and when we saw what the SNP did in Scotland, as expected, we knew then that this plan could work. 

There is one caveat to that though. You. Without you there is no plan. This is not hyperbole. It’s a fact. Whilst you’re over there planning to demonstrate on one of the demo days coming up in the summer or thinking about joining the Green Party, both of which by the way are wonderful acts that should be done with passion and commitment, the government is continuing to plan for 5 more years of cuts. 

5 years of ‘we couldn’t give a rats arse about you‘ policies being enacted and everyone meanwhile is saying that Labour have not got a hope in hell in 2020 of taking back their crown to replace Tory austerity with, would you believe, Labour austerity. That’s right wing Labour for you. 

In 2020 if we haven’t got our act together we will see another 5 years of Tory rule. Although demos and lobbying send messages to government they are unlikely to listen. I will eat my hat if Cameron turns round in July and says 

“you know what, this Austerity thing isn’t very popular is it? Let’s stop now and start giving something back to you”. 

It’s just not happening. So if we can’t get them out in 2020 and Labour are leaning ever more to the right and protesting won’t change much, if anything, what can we do?

Unless you have a million man army at your disposal then the only viable option is to get them out at the ballot box. Impossible? No. One heck of a challenge? Yes. 

At the very least, if we can’t knock the Tories off their perch then becoming the true opposition to the Tories over Labour is a very real possibility. 

  
Oh you were all thinking of voting Labour in 2020 just to get the Tories out? I am sure many people suggested that this time around as well, but it got us nowhere. What about not voting at all? Well, it’s preferable to voting Tory or Labout but then what? 

In 2020 we will still have the Tories and Labour and no closer to the changes you want to see, because this is the crux, it doesn’t mater how anti government you may be, you will be stuck with on, likely throughout your lifetime. Wouldn’t it at least be better under a green government? Would you not have a better chance of creating the ideological society you yearn for under a Green government?

Forget voting for Labour. It’s time we had someone different in there. A real alternative. A game changer. Finally something to call our own political revolution. The Green Party, progressive ideas, short term plans for improvement for us all and long term plans for a huge, collossal shift in political thinking for the environment and the planet we inhabit. How glorious it would be to have another option in parliament. 

Hang on though.. You’re over there still talking about it aren’t you? Shall we wait? When do you think you might do something about it? Next year? 2018? Maybe even leave it till the last six months.. Why not? Because if we do that then nothing changes. Period. 

  
We are not delusional. We are not saying what we are doing will be the key aspect of a Green victory. We are not saying our work is better than anyone else’s. There are many factors to take into account why this will or won’t work. We know. We have looked at the angles available. Thing is, unless you jump on board with us then this will fail. This won’t go anywhere. Our goal is to change the landscape of thinking, to imprint on the minds of everyone you come into contact with in social media the existence and reality behind the Green Party. Perception is everything and by and large the Greens are still seen as a fringe party. The Green Party don’t have the funds to go viral. The Greens want to do things without mass handouts by sponsors and backers and rightly so. Let’s help them then. Become the unofficial Green Party PR machine. The advocates, the visionaries to a new political future. 

Or of course you could just ignore all this and go back to your one-off demo. This though will last 5 years and it could be everywhere, burrowing in to the psyche of a nation, add with that our plan for Street events across the nation and you potentially have the recipe for the Greens to do an SNP. 

Not exactly sure how we are going to do it? Well. We are not masters of this and we don’t have all the answers but we do know that we have a plan and it does indeed start with each and every one of you clicking a few buttons. For now, that’s all you have to do. 

  
The main campaign event is the ’99G Social Media and Street Event Campaign’ which is making the main effort to spread the message of the Green Party

Our 99G page can be found here which caters to all tastes and has a multitude of content. 

We also have two further side events running both of which are social media based

1 Million Greens & Go Green

1 Million Greens is an effort to get 1 million people (like that which voted in 2015) to join together by joining this event in support of the Green Party and Go Green is a challenge to people that join to between now and 2020 actively convert someone to Green. 

We also have a Street Team group for people who want to be active participants in the social media campaign and potentially help with arranging future street events. You can find it here at the link

Finally, you can find us on Google+, Twitter @202099G, YouTube, Spreaker, Flipboard and Instagram

  
You have nothing to lose but potentially Everything to gain. You can be the key to it being a success. We hope to see you there to make this possible. 

Believe it can happen, because no one else will believe it for you. 

Click, Join and share, click, join and share….

  

Anti government? Stop claiming benefits you scrounger!

      “How can you be anti government when you are on benefits. Without them you wouldn’t be able to afford food”

Have you heard this or some other similar piece of wisdom before? I shall try to explain here why it’s ok to accept benefits even if you are anti government so you can shove it in their faces next time you hear them say it.

The only way I can really do this without rambling is to put the responses in bullet points

  • The vast majority of people claiming some type of out-of -work benefit have at some point worked in their lifetime. They have paid their taxes, unwillingly (because agree or not with taxes, you don’t have a choice to pay them or not) and therefore have every right to claim the benefits they have been paying towards during their working days.
  • You may agree with the existence of social welfare and you may agree with many things a government does, or you may even entirely believe that a form of government is a good thing but believe that by and large despite a good welfare system, the government in almost every area fails the populous and are thus largely anti government. You don’t have to agree with government to be thankful for its social welfare system. 
  • Even if government as we know it didn’t exist and we lived in a mutual co-operation society or an RBE style society which many people who are anti government would prefer, you would still have a form of social welfare, just not as we know it. People would not be left on the heap without help and assistance. In fact it is very much arguable that no one would actually be poor under a society like this. Certainly at least no one would go without. A welfare system does not have to be money orientated. 

  
We spend much of our time assuming that to earn a living by going to work is paramount to living in a modern society, that without doing so is somehow not contributing to society. We won’t go into it much here because that is also a whole other blog. Within the capitalist society it is easy to understand why this is the case because without contributing by working there are no taxes collected and without taxes there are no public services and without public services, there is chaos and this is where the fear of a society without government strikes the heart of every good obedient worker. The fear that without the system there is nothing for them, that there is only fear, death and poverty. 

If only they could open their eyes to how a society without government, done right, could result in riches they could only dream of, and money is nowhere to be seen. The welfare state is you, the people. Public services can also exist without the need for forced labour, which is exactly what ‘work’ is.

I always say to people; 

  “if you could do your job, exactly as it is now, the hours, the pay, the top down authority structure, everything. For zero pay. Would you do it?” 

The vast majority of people would not. Therefore most people work in reality just to earn money to be able to buy food and keep a roof over their heads. What other reason is there to work? There really isn’t one. 

Oh, there is one other reason. To pay taxes. Without which there are no public services. After all, without government who would build the roads?

  
The system is an illusion, cleverly designed to make you believe there is no other way and that government is all important without which there is nothing. In that respect you are indeed a slave by any other name.

      Stockholm Syndrome (noun)
– feelings of trust or affection by a victim towards a captor 

Warren Buffett, worlds 3rd richest man, says poor should stop blaming the rich. Let’s analyse that…

On 23rd May 2015 an article appeared in the Independent regarding comments Warren Buffett made (he is worth over $71bn), saying that the rich are not to blame for people being poor. We analyse his comments below. Do his comments stack up to scrutiny? 

 

Warren Buffett
 
I am going to start by agreeing with him. Why? For two reasons. One is because there is a whole lot of disagreement elsewhere in this article and I hate to be accused of bias and secondly because there are indeed some people in this world who just don’t bother trying in life, no matter what opportunities are thrown their way they just never quite make an effort to do something good, either for themselves or others, and that’s not the fault of the rich. Well done Mr Buffett, we can all go home. Not quite. Actually, not by a long shot. Not by an oceans width, not by a.. I think you get what’s coming..

So, let’s analyse.

Mr Buffett was writing an ‘Opinion piece’ in the Wall Street Journal. (Where else would you write a rant against the poor).  

He starts by citing the hard work and innovation of the late Steve Jobs. There is no doubt that Jobs had a talent for design but here already the first cracks start to form in Buffetts argument. Jobs was far from the brains of Apple, at least in the beginning. It was Wozniak who was the brains behind the workings of the early chip boards for Atari and the first ever Apple computer. It was only when Jobs came back with further innovation after leaving Apple that he began to find his fortunes with the injection of around $7M from an investor. Also Jobs was fortunate enough in the beginning to even be enrolled at college due to his adoption, without which his birth parents could not provide that education for him. 

So already we see a lot of good fortune play into this success story rather than just ‘plain old hard work which anyone can achieve’ as seems to be being suggested by Buffett. 

We all live far better because of Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton and the like

Of course, I am being very picky in my assessment of Jobs, I imagine he was very hard working and persistent in his efforts but it’s important to point out the fortunate aspects of his life because without these series of events he could just as easily been anyone else working 9-5, five days a week going someway towards showing that not all millionaires and entrepenurs get there by simply being that much more hard working than anyone else, sometimes it’s circumstances, which often no one has any direct control over. 

All of the above leads directly to the next piece of analysis. Buffett goes on to say that the rich are not undeserving and that “most of them have contributed brilliant innovations or managerial expertise,”

This seems to suggest that only “the rich” are capable of providing managerial expertise or contributing innovations. Of course these individuals are not necessarily undeserving of their wealth but to point out that they are rich seems crude. Most will not be rich when they first produce their first innovation, they will be given a position or some funds, just like Steve Jobs in fact and from that their wealth comes. So whilst he praised the rich he would do well to remember not only this point but also that the ability to be innovative, especially with computing and electronics, takes education, and that is something we will analyse later in this blog. In any case Mr Buffett doesn’t believe improved education can help lessen the gap of inequality. 

Mr Buffett, you can’t defend the rich by implying that rich people are inherently innovative over others. There are as many poor innovators who don’t get the lucky break that would launch the rest of their lives. 

This though isn’t the hard stuff. 

Buffett said “….the widening gap is an “inevitable consequence” of an advanced market-based economy’

In other words there will never be fair wages, the gap between the rich and the poor will forever widen because of Capitalism. If that is true what motivation is there to try harder if you know you don’t have a good start in life? After all it’s only the rich who are innovative. Right?

Buffett went on to say “We all live far better because of Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton and the like”

Really? That’s a matter of opinion and a matter of what someone judges to be ‘better’. Said like a true capitalist. 

Finally Buffett said “It is simply a consequence of an economic engine that constantly requires more high-order talents while reducing the need for commodity-like tasks.”

I don’t even want to begin to think what he meant by that. I have a feeling I know exactly what he means. 

So let’s rebut the nonsense we have heard. 

There are two factors to take into account when referring to the rich. As a general rule the poor are indeed not poor because of the rich. It is a matter of circumstance. Are you born into a wealthy family or not? Have you gone through higher education or not? Even, have you had a lucky break or not? Hard work does come into it but if you’re born into poverty what inspiration does that give you? What countless things are going to be thrown at you that stand in your way. There is little point in the rich man saying people need to want it more, to strive to get out of poverty. It doesn’t work that way and psychology plays a major part. Of course if everyone thought the way that rich people suggest that poor people should think then that would no help because there wouldn’t be enough jobs to go round. It just doesn’t work that way which is exactly why only a tiny percentage of the worlds population earn the majority of the worlds wealth. 

Also lets take into account that if you do get a lucky break and get rich quick then you have the funds to then go on to be a millionaire or vastly wealthy and thus become one of the worlds rich. It’s the old money goes to money argument. The complaint is that there is no trickle down effect. The money stays exactly where it is. This can be evidenced further during these Austere times that despite the poor people’s wages being frozen, the price of food going up and nearly 1 million people having to use food banks, for the rich there is little impact of any. Banks can be bailed out using the money of the poor people and the government can just print money for the rich trough quantitive easing methods. It’s all quite cost up there at the top. 

Then there is the second type of rich people I was referring to. The ones that have a monopoly on the worlds resources. You and I know all about them and this is where Buffett is very wrong. Those rich people are the very reason why the poor remain poor especially in third world and developing nations.

Here, any argument in favour of the rich is entirely lost. 

Just in case you were wondering about Buffett himself, in 1942 his father, Howard Buffett, an investor, businessman and politician, was elected to the first of four terms in the US congress and was able to put Warren through University. Warren pretty much, especially in his early career, worked in finance as a Stockbroker and of course eventually as an investor with his accumulated wealth. 

Money to money. Well educated and born into an already high flying career minded family. 

Unite and Join Together

2015 looks set to see some big demonstrations, not least the End Austerity demo on 20th June in London and the November 5th Anonymous protest. 

Everyone is talking of uniting and organising from groups such as The People’s Assembly to Anonymous from advocates such as Owen Jones to  hardened Occupy protesters and from  every day activists across the country to every Facebook group with social change as their message.

Also though consider this. Come the 2020 general election we are likely to still see Labour or the Conservatives win yet another election and this merry-go-round of corruption will continue. Unless we can indeed unite. 

  
If you want something different in 2020 then the fightback starts now, Consider joining the 99G social media and street event campaign, the slogan of which is ‘doing for the greens what the 45/YES campaign did for the SNP.

Let’s get the elite out, and if we can’t do that then let’s at least get a well represented voice for the left, the 99%, into parliament in significant numbers. 

To join the 99G Campaign visit the campaign event page then share and invite everyone at 99G Event

Also visit the page at 99G 

End Austerity Now Demo 20th June 2015
Million Mask March 5th November 2015