Friday, 20 February 2015

Thatcher's Children Live & Kicking On Question Time

I watched the 19th February 2015 edition of Question Time on the BBC mouth literally agog.

I normally don’t watch anything on the BBC; an institution proven by University study to be biased against Scotland and in particular Scottish independence.

However, this edition was to be broadcast from Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England; one of many working class areas to be ravaged by Thatcher.

The most left-wing politician to be on the panel was Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister and leader of the SNP. The SNP are marginally to the left of centre in political terms.

So, I sat with the metaphorical ‘popcorn’ ready to watch the working class of the North East get ripped in aboot them:

·       Duncan Bannatyne self-confessed uneducated successful businessman (ex-Tory supporter who switched to the so-called ‘Tory-Lite’ of Tony Blair)
·       Michael Heseltine,’Lord’ and Tory dinosaur who has been quoted in the past saying ‘I keep telling my Tory colleagues: don't have any policies. A manifesto that has policies alienates people. In 1979 the manifesto said nothing which was brilliant.’
·       Norman Lamb, Minister for Care & Support (No, seriously!) from the LibDems
·       Caroline Flint, Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary

What I heard could be summed up thus:

·       18 to 21 year olds should have to work 30 hours a week for their £58 per week ‘benefits’.
·       Nuclear weapons are just super-duper and spending over £130 Billion over the next 30 years is a worthwhile idea.
·       Putin is bad (didn’t David Cameron phone him to get him to speak out against Scottish Independence? – anyway, now he’s bad).
·       Tax Avoidance is not as important an issue as getting ‘lazy’ teens out of their beds and working for less than £2 an hour. This apparently will mean that out of work youngsters will earn some self-respect.

I’ll just say that again; getting 18-21 year olds (remember, according to the Government’s own Office of National Statistics, 1.91 million people officially unemployed, 9.1 million officially ‘economically inactive’ with only 740,000 vacancies) to work for less than £2 an hour, 30 hours a week will ‘help them back into full-time work and give them self-respect’.
This, a more pressing issue for the Question Time panelists and audience than Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion. What do you mean HSBC scandal?

·       SNP MPs being sent to Westminster in larger numbers than the current six and possibly holding the balance of power – very, VERY BAD. Better Together? ‘Don’t leave us Scotland!’ ‘We love you’, Now get back in your fuckin box!


The biggest and most disappointing and depressing thing about the whole show was the realisation that the media driven, right wing agenda of corporate greed, ‘me first’, rich get richer/poor get poorer, demonisation of the poor, unemployed, disabled and vulnerable really has become commonplace.

That anyone thinks spending billions of money on nuclear weapons should come before job creation, the NHS or, frankly, anything else is beyond my ken. People are starving! People are dying due to Government ‘workfare’ policy and benefit sanctions! 

I truly despair at what the UK has become; a country of selfish, right-wing pricks walking in the footsteps of the evil Thatcher and doing so without the slightest comprehension of what they are doing or the monsters they have become.

Time is running out for Scotland; we have to save ourselves from too, becoming monsters.

Switching off the BBC would be a start. 


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Cameron Shouts 'Squirrel'

Valentine’s Day 2015 – Sky News report that ‘David Cameron proposes that those refusing help on obesity, drug addiction and alcoholism will risk losing up to £100 per week’.

 Are you feeling the love yet?

Given that Job Seeker’s Allowance is currently around £72 per week and Employment Support Allowance is around £123 per week that’s some going.

The report claimed that Cameron said that there were 100,000 people with ‘treatable’ issues. Could this not be said of any mental or physical illness; that it is at the very least ‘treatable’. Whether the circumstances are right for treatment, whether the money is there for treatment or whether the right resources are there for treatment is entirely a different issue.

Cameron’s ongoing demonization of the poor, weak and vulnerable aided by a willing right-wing media and carried out by the odious Iain Duncan-Smith is only to be expected by an Establishment Party that fails in its duty to enforce almost any rules on the rich. 

But let’s leave tax avoidance and tax evasion for another day.

The Westminster Parties (Blue & Red Tory) are seemingly perfectly happy to have sick, disabled (physical or mental) and vulnerable people die once they have been wrongly assessed ‘fit for work’.

Benefit fraud amounts to 0.7% of claims. But what of the fraudulent few? And what of those who are sick now deemed (usually against own GP advice) fit to work?

According to the Government’s own Office For National Statistics (so figures should be taken with a pinch of salt but it’s all we have to work with):

1.    Nov 2014 saw 9.09 million people NOT seeking or available for work (the disgustingly sterile and dehumanising term for this group is ‘economically inactive’) which is 41,000 more Year-on-Year. ‘Hey folks! I’m not homeless, I’m economically inactive!’

2.    Nov 2014 – 1.91 million unemployed

3.    Oct-Dec 2014 – 700,000 vacancies

So, according to the Government’s OWN figures (which no doubt don’t count people on ‘workfare’or sanctions and many of the other spiffing ways of excluding them from official figures) there are not enough jobs to go around – 0.3 of a job for each person ‘unemployed’ (Number from 2. above) and 0.06 of a job each (Number from adding 1. & 2. Above).

 But, you will be sanctioned/lose money if you don’t find a job!

This is what we’re dealing with here people; an almost impossible task, and just how many of those jobs are zero-contract, part-time, minimum wage, and the like?

Add to this the desire to punish the addicted into work and you get an idea of the immorality of the people in Government.

According to magazine Psychology Today in an article entitled ‘5 Myths about addiction that undermine recovery’ the top two myths are:
1.    Addicts are bad people who deserve to be punished.
2.    Addiction is a choice.

The UK Government conveniently ignore these two facts and continue on their quest of demonization and dehumanization.

More treatment centres? Yes please. More money for organizations helping addicts recover that actually recognise the disease of addiction? Yes please. More literature helping people understand the condition? Yep. Addiction education for nurses and Doctors? Aye. More healthcare professionals? Aye.

Can you see the funds being released to achieve any of this? No.

Would the NHS cope with its current underfunding? No.

Threatening people into recovery? Won’t work.