Tag Archives: uk politics

Religious Tory Councillor hits out at Disabled

Fiona Robson is a Conservative Councillor for Stanwix Urban Ward in Cumbria. You may expect someone who was a former ‘learning assistant’ at the Church of England, Trinity school in Carlisle to be a fairly compassionate person who might understand the hardship that the most vulnerable in society have to go through. 

However on Sunday 5th March Ms Robson decided that instead of getting behind the weekend NHS protesters in their call to save the most loved of public services, perhaps around the world, she would instead use the moment to berate the disabled. She posted the following tweet and it went viral; 

Clearly all disabled who can’t get up early every day, go to work on public transport, do 8 to 10 hour work days and actually hold down a job must stay at home, out of sight of the public and have no life whatsoever, but just like the disability assessments with the DWP if you can raise your hand above your shirt pocket… you must be fit for work. Anything less and you’re a scrounger.. because you know that’s exactly what this Tory Councillor is thinking. 

How dare the unemployed disabled be using a couple of hours of their time to protest. Whatever next?! 

The responses on Twitter came thick and fast. 

Ms Robson did make her apology, 

The film she was referring to was I, Daniel Blake the film depicting the hardship many on benefits can face.

However that wasn’t enough to stop the backlash; 

We wondered if Ms Robson held a Facebook profile and didn’t expect to find any public postings but what we found in some ways confounded the image Ms Robson has now created for herself. 

She had multiple religious postings including a trip to see the Turin Shroud, one of the most visited religious artifacts in the world. Some of her posts give the impression that she is extremely caring, but as we have found in the past, being religious does certainly not make you a caring person. 

We’re not sure her Twitter posting will give any comfort to the disabled or unemployed.

But it was perhaps this public Facebook posting that raised some serious questions. 

Not the only pro Donald TRUMP posting, this shared petition calls for Antifa to be declared a terror organisation. Whilst Antifa does have some questionable tactics and sometimes a questionable moral compass they are, above and beyond anything else, exactly what their title describes. Anti Fascist. To support such a petition does, wether intended or not, give the impression that you’re for fascism. 

If that alone doesn’t give you an impression behind her thinking she certainly has a nationalistic tendency flowing through some of her posts.

She is proud to display her meetings with some famous people including David Cameron and this well known man; 

Perhaps most pertinent to this story however is this shot believed to be taken at the 2016 Conservative Conference.

This is the full sign in the background 

Not ‘everyone’ though, hey Fiona? 

Perhaps the rest of us though should take this advice that one of her posts gave. 

Yes Fiona, and you’re the garbage, so we’ll stop listening now and with some luck so will the locals in her ward.

The Left Are Oblivious To What’s Coming 

It’s a popular concensus to suggest that the likes of Trump and UKIP are a danger to us all. Described by some as either far right, right wing or just plain dangerous, the truth is that neither of these two are the real danger facing the left. 

In fact we have been facing this particular danger for many years, the only difference is that the focus has changed and we have put the real danger to the back of our minds. We are being distracted and it’s going to come and bite us all in the backside, hard.

The real danger is Neoconservatism, or Neocon for short. Neither Trump nor UKIP fit this billing. 

Trump and UKIP share a few qualities and they centre around protectionism. This will manifest in a desire to bring back industries lost to Capitalism (or progress), protect ones own country at the expense perhaps of foreigners, protect jobs and importantly keep out of foreign affairs as far as possible. The ideas often result in high levels of nationalism and that can be viewed by some as a good thing and others as bad depending on your take on things. In contrast protectionists do not usually like to interfere abroad, they tend to be militarily neutral and they have no desire to overthrow governments for whatever reason. To do so is considered expansionism or imperialism. It’s therefore extremely important to distinguish between imperialist nationalism and protectionist nationalism and both UKIP and Trump fall into the latter.

Today all the focus is on both of these political entities with UKIP constantly being labelled rightly or wrongly as racist and Trumps inauguration instigating one of the largest ever nationwide protests in US history and huge protests elsewhere around the world. Billed as perhaps the most dangerous man to ever enter the Whitehouse. In some ways that may well be true especially if your concerns are ones around the environment.

Whilst the world gazes almost hypnotically at the Whitehouse and the rise of right wing parties across Europe, the left is almost entirely taking its eye off the real danger. The Neocons. 

It’s not a great leap to suggest that Trump being elected was their plan all along. With the world seemingly turning against Imperialism and Neocons/Oligarchs and their domination under threat, what better way to scare the masses than put someone like Trump into power? 

One conspiracy too far? Perhaps, though the end result of Trumps leadership may well result in something equally as powerful to the Neocons. Cementing for many a year to come their unequivocal power and hold, on the electorate, rolling back the fear the people have of them and instead ensuring that the public embraces them.

Consider the image below; 

Taken from the Vox.com article it explains how Conservatives are trying to literally turn people away from the likes of Bernie Sanders and Socialism such is their fear of real change. In the article it states; 

“Americans needed to be reminded of life under the Soviet Union, arguing that they were insufficiently aware of the dangers of authoritarian states under communism.”

 It goes on to say 

“The panel repeatedly mentioned lessons from countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and the former Soviet Union, saying that millennials had to understand that socialism is inseparable from dictatorship”

If that is not enough to convince you that the Neocons are vying to take back control listen to this recent video featuring Hillary Clinton speaking for the DNC. 

Here she takes credit for the protests against Trump and claims that the Democrats produced the most “radical” set of policies in “history” during the presidential campaign. If you believe any of that then you’re bound to be one of the ones voting for the Neocons at the next election. Heck! She even used the phrase “resistance and persistence” . This is the way it will go between now and whenever the next election is. The Neocons will be brilliantly executing their plans to convince you that Neoconservatism is ‘normal’. Chances are it will work too because the left have taken their eye off the ball. The threat is not Trump, it’s still the imperialist, expansionist neoconservatives. 

They will return to power and when they do they will have a vice like grip on the electorate like never before because, they will say, ‘we never want another Trump in power again’ and with the Conservative youth wings of politics promoting Socialism as ‘bad’ like ‘Communist’ Russia and Venezuela, what chances that people will take another gamble after Trump? 

Meanwhile the likes of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US continue to try to fight the establishment tide within the Labour Party and Democratic Party respectively. 

When will the real left learn? To really make it work you have to break the mould. Stop trying to swing established Neocon parties to your way of thinking. Develop your own party, swell the ranks and turn the election into a genuine three horse race. The establishment clearly won’t allow you to win using their resources. Sure, it won’t be easy in a new party but at least you’ll get the right candidate and you will live and die by your policies and hard work and not at the hands of a secretive, bias DNC or in the case of Labour in the UK, the PLP. 

Perhaps the single biggest stumbling block though is the split running right through the Left at the moment on both sides of the Atlantic between the traditional working class left and the New modern left. I am in no doubt that many working class left, voted for Trump, as are many here in the UK voting for UKIP. 

The new modern left can’t understand this and having never likely been involved in old industries where workers rights and jobs was what it was all about, which includes curtailing migration when it needs to be done, the bridge between the two is hard to gap. 

The new modern left does include what many consider the far-left which entails Open borders and non nuclear policies but getting a traditional working class man to agree with you on those points I am thinking is going to be a tough job. 

As few left wing parties subscribe to this thought process the traditional left are turning to more right wing parties that offer protectionism. 

Unless these issues can be sorted out amongst the left then it will be hard to get a leader they want. Let alone the fact that right now the left are not even focusing on the right threat. The Neocons. It’s time the left opened their eyes to what lies ahead.

How To Recognise Class Difference 

The working classes, also known as the lower classes or the unemployed or working poor are statistically in decline according to the UK government. Wether you believe that claim is likely dependent on what statistics you believe and how you define class itself. 

So much has changed, much of it manufactured to cement the elite, the oligarchs and the corporate Capitalists in their safe space. 

So how do we define class? I could bore you with a thesis, perhaps an essay or well researched article but today I think it’s more pertinent to describe things exactly as they are in layman’s terms. 

The working classes tend to be the ones who give a damn about everyone to one degree or another, including themselves. They know what it’s like to suffer themselves at the bottom rung of society so develop an understanding of others and their positions. Empathy and even sympathy are two of the greatest traits of the working classes. Hardy, forgiving and loyal in the extreme to either family or country and fellow man or perhaps all three and nor do they suffer fools. This is not to say they are perfect, far from it, the working classes are just human after all. They can be dramatic, as unforgiving as forgiving and sometimes they will let you know in no uncertain terms how they feel about your sense of entitlement.. especially if you’re the next class.. the middles class. 

So how can you spot the middle classes? They tend to be the ones that really worry about little Andrew doing well at preschool, like his entire future prospects rest on how well he can paint by the time he joins the reception year at Primary school. They really worry about how much dog turd is on the local green. (Of course even the working classes don’t like dog poop on their local green, but really… you don’t know what ‘dislike’ is until you hear the middle classes chattering). They tend to ensure that little Jennifer knows how to do arts and crafts better than that women off changing rooms.. throughout their entire childhood! 

More importantly they worry about traffic and how long it takes to get to work… yet won’t protest at the lack of investments in new transport systems, they worry about the environment but insist public transport is only for those people.. over there. They are contradictory in their opinions and usually don’t have a grasp on reality out in the big bad world.

When they do protest it’s usually on local issues rather than national issues because their local area is far more important than those poor little towns in the North. They pretend to really care about others but watch them have an argument with someone from the working classes and just watch the contempt ooze from their skin.

They tend to worry about the cost of roaming charges if the UK leaves the EU or the cost of a holiday, unlike the working classes who primarily focus on the national issues at home. 

Quite simply the middle classes tend to be about self interest and closed to what is really going on in this world and the effect it all has on others who are not ‘like them‘. Whereas the working classes tend to see the bigger picture yet supposedly are the more stupid in our society, the bigots, the uneducated, the poor. The have-nots. 

The two classes can probably be summed up as ‘Life Vs Self’.
The middle classes are easily manipulated but not by the working class. They don’t mix with the working class enough to be able to be manipulated by them, it’s the final lot that somehow manage to manipulate them. The Upper classes. 

They are ones consumed with figuring out ways to manipulate the middle classes into thinking that the ‘self’ is what it’s all about and insisting that the working classes are irresponsible, unproductive and troublesome. 

The government and the elite system in place in our society tends to be governed by that very upper class. 

Far from Thersea May making Britian work for everyone, what she really means is that with enough divisional tactics and policies she may just succeed in making middle England believe that there are no problems in society because as was mentioned, the middle classes are easily manipulated.  

It was recently said that class divides and class war is on the decline but it really isn’t. It’s the lack of recognition of that fact that results in the manufactured divisions that has resulted in voter apathy, the destruction of the NHS and the decline in public services because if you’re from the middle or upper classes something like NHS privatisation sounds like a really good idea. 

When the working classes recognise that there are enough of them in the country who haven’t been dealt a fair hand then they may just be able to rise up and demand fairness and equality for everyone. 

The working classes have in places been manipulated themselves into believing that they are middle class and that they can aspire to be even better citizens by minding their own god damn business and leaving the government alone.

Whilst everyone can aspire to better things, everyone also knows full well the chances and prospects they have in life and there are only so many well paid jobs in this land of ours that will provide a wealthy lifestyle and the truth is.. most of us won’t even see a job like that. The sooner we accept that, the sooner the working classes can fight back and the sooner our communities can find cohesion again and with that, themselves.

Trump Protesters Helping To Mask Real Issues

It seems to be all the rage (perhaps literally) these days to denounce Donald Trump especially for his stance on immigration and his attitude towards women. 

A week ago hundreds of thousands of people across the entire globe came out in protest against Trump in a women’s march to highlight equality and a host of other female related issues in a unified voice to remind him that women matter. It became one of the largest protests in the history of the USA. 

This weekend it was the turn of Trumps immigration policy as the focus of discontent starting with the huge protest at JFK airport. 

These issues in their own right deserve attention and the people of the US have every right to protest whatever they feel they must protest against. It’s perhaps a shame though that they didn’t protest against illegal drone strikes in foreign nations or protest at US military involvement in the multiple conflicts during Obamas tenure or the failure to close Guantanamo Bay, or tighten up gun laws to stop the hundreds of deaths by firearms every year, over 500 murders were committed in Chicago alone last year, a good many commited by gun.

We here in the UK face a similar issue. Over 100 thousand protested with the US for womens rights and the knives are out this weekend for the US policy on Immigration. Again, all worthy causes in their own right but the women’s March was the largest protest since 2014 when 500,000 Union members protested against Austerity yet there is plenty here to protest against.

The USA is not introducing policies against women.. the leader just happens to be very misogynistic. The USA is not committing acts of violence against refugees or changing policy on how they are treated once they are in the country, it’s a change in immigration policy and whilst there is no doubt that it’s a policy rooted in mistaken beliefs and is discriminatory to say the least, it’s arguable that it’s not worth the response it’s got so far. It’s disproportionate. If anything Trump delivered what he promised and personally I blame the people that voted Hillary Clinton and not Bernie Sanders. If they had we would be seeing a very different USA now. Trump is keeping his promises, like it or not. 

Why then are we, here in the UK, getting almost as mad as Americans themselves over Trump when we ourselves are having ongoing issues that few people seem interested in tackling? Why is it so much easier to protest against the US President than protest our own prime minister? 

Let’s just take a few of the most stark issues to make the point.

Thersea May says that the UK government will not deal with countries that have a policy of Torture, yet this year we signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia and May has just signed another arms deal with Turkey. 

Our NHS is in meltdown with potential A&E closures and the loss of 17,000 NHS staff including 7,000 Nurses on the horizon. The Conservatives are intent on privatising the NHS by making the NHS fail through its 7 Day NHS policy.

Homelessness in the UK has risen by 16% since just last year and with a Conservative policy that just does not address the housing crisis sufficiently it means homelessness will continue to rise whilst first time buyers will still be unable to get onto the housing ladder.

We have thousands committing suicide through a harsh benefits assessment or dying soon after being declared ‘fit for work’ with more cuts due for thousands of working poor that will see up to £3000 a year slashed from their budgets.

Our environment is suffering already with over 9,000 people in London every year dying from poor air quality and just recently the first smog alert was issued for London under the new alert system. 

We are in austerity yet we can find money for an expensive Nuclear power station, a doomed white elephant that is HS2 and more MP pay rises and corporate tax cuts. 

We have had the worst period for stagnant wages since the Victorian times. The worst 10 year period in modern times. 

1 million jobs are insecure via zero hours contracts helping to distort the unemployment figures.

Yet despite all these major problems you will be lucky to see a couple of thousand protesting against the issues at hand. Just this weekend a protest took place in support of the NHS in London with over 1,000 people claiming to be interested. We don’t have any figures on attendence but it certainly did not make the news and previous experience suggests that not even half that will have turned up. Credit to the people that did make it, but why were 100 thousand people not out at that protest? Is this not important enough to you, your parents, grandparents and children? 

It’s far easier to get angry about something in the moment than it is to tackle long term issues, but that’s the point. It’s reactionary. When all the dust has settled on what’s happening in the US, our problems here will still be very much real and by the time you pay attention, it may already be too late. 

If the world’s public want something to really unite for, against Donald Trump, perhaps it’s the things that are not making the news such as the failed political system that helped get him into power in the first place, or the shady dealings of Hillary Clinton or perhaps Trump’s executive order almost certainly for the very man who funded his campaign. The man responsible for building the Dakota Access Pipeline, Kelcy Warren.

You ignore the warning signs at the expense of all our children

​A quick glance at the state of our planet, our working lives here in the UK and the environment should be raising alarm bells. Yet I don’t hear a single jingle of one solitary bell. 

Here is a quick guide to some of the infuriating stories you may have missed.

Russia has been removed from the Human Rights Council and replaced by… Saudi Arabia. One of the worlds worst human rights violating countries.

• MP’s from The Socialist Labour party voted against or abstained from the vote to stop Saudi Arabia receiving UK arms

• Tory’s say Saudi Arabia will conduct their OWN investigation into their OWN war crimes violations in Yemen. (Theresa May) 

• UK votes against UN motion to hold debate in 2017 on outlawing nuclear weapons 

• UK is now officially the world’s second biggest arms dealer in the world. Including to a number of human rights violating countries including Saudi Arabia.

• Tory cuts to Universal Credit to leave single parents nearly £4,000 a year worse off by 2020 and couples with 2 children almost £2,000 worse off and married couples £1,000 worse off

• Figures show that nearly 2,500 people died in 2015 alone shortly after being found ‘fit for work’ after being assessed via the DWP

• Mainstream media make little to zero mention of the Carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere reaching 400 parts per million. The point at which the UN deems irreversible. 

• Figures show that last year 9,000 people in London alone died from… poor air quality

• Evidence shows that the limit set in Paris last year at the climate summit of a maximum increase in global temperatures of 2 degrees… is set to be breached. 

• The answers to the UK’s road capacity problem is to build more roads, rail crisis to build faster railways, air capacity to build another runway, energy crisis to spend billions on a nuclear power plant that will only supply 6% of people until 2050 at inflated prices for the populous, whilst simultaneously cutting subsidies on Solar energy and investing next to nothing in alternate energy sources. 

• This year London failed EU air quality limits for the entire year 2016… within the first month.

• New figures show that World wildlife populations have shrunk by 58% since 1970

• We now retire at an older age than ever before and work longer hours for less pay.

• Today’s generation will be poorer than the last generation. An unusual statistic. 

Tell me, what part of politics do you not care about? 

Tell me why you don’t care what world we are leaving to our children… YOUR children. 

The longer we ignore this mess the worse it will get. Yet the mainstream media just wants to talk about Brexit, the politicians just want to talk about Brexit, some the public just want to talk about Brexit and a huge part of the public just wants to bury it’s head in the sand in regards to anything to do with Politics full stop. 

If we don’t address all of these things, especially climate change.. there won’t be a world to worry about. Brexit won’t even matter. The future for your children won’t even matter and it leads to one final thought…

A typical scene in parts of Asia today

If the environmental crisis is so severe as the experts say and yet our politicians are not taking any serious action and our media barely give it a mention what is actually going on? 

Perhaps either the politicians are for one reason or another lying about the severity of climate change and things are not as bad as is being protrayed or perhaps they know full well the severity but also know they can’t do anything about it and all they are actually trying to do is simply slow the process down rather than reverse it. Resigned to a foregone conclusion they can’t reveal to us, the people.

How else do you square the hole of the severity of climate change Vs reaction to it being so at odds with each other?

Isn’t it time we all stood up as one voice to bring about real change? After all, your children, our children demand that we do otherwise we condemn them all. 

Sleep well tonight.

The truth behind the Jr.Doctors dispute

The Junior Doctors are due to strike for a total of 20 days between now and the end of the year. It’s been described as unprecedented. 

Jeremy Hunt is unmoved by the threats so far and Theresa May has publicly backed Hunt by saying the Junior Doctors have “never had it so good”. It’s been said that their are cracks in the support the Junior Doctors have received from the public due to the belief that they were on the verge of accepting the contract. 

This article will make it very clear on the truth and why this is happening.

This is not a strike about Junior Doctors pay packets. In fact the proposed contract had addressed their issues on pay which is in large part why the BMA had previously recommended that the Junior Doctors should accept the contract and here is where much of the confusion arises. The media is focused on the fact, they say, that the BMA had “accepted” the contract. They hadn’t. They had recommend that it be accepted by its members. Over several months the Junior Doctors had been considering it as by and large the best deal being put on the table. Not necessarily a good one.

This is also not a strike about hours worked. The proposed contract addressed this by reducing the hours that staff would be forced to work. 

The strikes being proposed centres around one major issue. That of patient safety. The government is proposing a full seven day NHS. Logically that means a full service will require a full compliment of staff working in hospitals and not just that of Junior Doctors. To do that you would need to increase staff numbers otherwise you are simply stretching the existing staff over more hours covering the full weekend working hours. That is clearly not a full seven day NHS. By stretching the existing workforce it can only end in stretched resources, poorer care for patients and ultimately make it even more unsafe because it wouldn’t just stretch the staff levels on a weekend, it would have to stretch staff levels during the week too as Junior Doctors and other staff are stretched across the full seven days. 

Dr Rachel Clarke, Junior Doctor talks to Newsnight on the reasons for the continuing strikes. Video Below (02/09/16)

You may think that the Junior Doctors could just work more hours to cover this but how ironic would that be when the new contracts stipulate a reduction in set working hours. The NHS staff may provide us with life saving care and be some of the most respected workers in the country but that doesn’t make them our slaves. Like any other worker, it’s right that they do not work themselves to the bone. You wouldn’t expect to be treated like that and neither should they expect it. As NHS staff, they deserve our support and respect. 

To add insult to injury, recent reports have emerged from the government’s own department of health, released to ministers, highlighting a string of dangers in implementing the plan. The biggest danger drawn up by civil servants was ‘workforce overload’. Meaning “the full service cannot be delivered”. You can read more about this revelation by clicking here.

The Junior Doctors are asking as a minimum for Jeremy Hunt to suspended the imposition of the contracts (forced contracts) and to continue talks behind the scenes only for the contracts to be initiated when the contracts are finally agreed by all parties. You would think this is a logical step. So why is Jeremy Hunt refusing to budge on this issue? 

Video Below: Jonathan Pie gives his comical yet serious take on the Junior Doctors

Quite simply Jeremy Hunt has no plan to properly fund or staff the NHS. He did propose a requested £10Billion for the service bur in truth that was a stop gap to stop the NHS collapsing under its own weight there and then and it doesnt address the staffing levels. The reality is, right now, a full seven day NHS is unachievable. With no extra money or staffing levels being implemented what possible solution can he offer that would address this major concern for public safety? As he has no answer to it, he wants to go ahead with it regardless, but why? 

It is true to say that an underfunded and understaffed NHS, especially one that is operating at capacity, ie: seven days, would mean that it would be much easier for a Conservative government to suggest and explore more than ever before the idea of privatisation. It’s been suggested by many people including Jeremy Corbyn for many years and more recently Owen Smith, who oddly acted like it was breaking news. It’s been suspected and known for some time. You only have to look at what’s happening with Virgin Health Care to realise that privatisation is already happening under our noses. 

Image & text below via B Heard Media

Virgin Care – Privatisation in the making

It’s no great leap of imagination to realise that ideally the Conservatives would love to implement much more wide reaching privatisation deals. That though would be race to the bottom for the tax payer in health care and in many cases are far more reaching postcode lottery and a wider split between the have’s and have not’s. That would be a disaster for the much loved NHS and the idea of free health care for all. 

Privatisation is at the heart of this and it is for that reason that everyone who loves the NHS and the protection it provides loved ones free at the point of use must defend the Junior Doctors in this battle with the Government. This is not about greedy Doctors. This is about unscrupulous and underhand deals behind the scenes within the government and we must defend it together. 

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The doctors I am sure will not allow the most sick patients to go untreated. I have every confidence that the most needy will still get the care they deserve during the strikes. Anyone waiting for minor appointments will be seen, but the delay in that operation may just save the NHS that you rely on to get that operation done for free. 

Video Below: Cassette Boy has his say on Jeremy Hunt

Owen Smith beaten by grammar trickery

On searching Owen Smith under Google images I came across this poster linked to his campaign website. I read the words and something didn’t quite fit. I read it perhaps four or five times before working out what the problem is. Have a read and see if you can work it out before reading on below the image.

First of all, we all know the phrase “breathe life into..” and let’s get out of the way the fact that there is no accepted phrase that says “breathe hope into..”. 

So the passage in the poster can not be meaning to say “breathe hope back into Britain”.

Maybe he just meant ‘hope back into Britain’ to be a separate phrase all together from ‘breath life back into our communities’. Problem with that is that at worst it means nothing, at best it’s poor English and it’s here that I tend to think it is poor English because perhaps it should have read 

“..and put hope back into Britain”

It’s up to us to breathe life back into our communities and put hope back into Britain again

– There, fixed it. (UKI Left)

Get it together Owen! (Scrap that, keep on as you are)

(Original Photo below as seen on Google with link underneath leading to his Web page here)