Is this cruelty worth your down Jackets or bedding

“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”
William Inge

I bet many of you, and at one time myself included, did not know that birds such as this poor goose were plucked alive, their feathers ripped from them with callous disregard for the immense amount of suffering they are forced to endure.

You can already see even without clicking the video that this is shocking cruelty of the worst kind.

How the hell can anyone do this to a living thinking feeling sentient creature, who feels pain as much as you would. The thought of this breaks my heart and turns my stomach, it is beyond my comprehension to understand the mentality of anyone who would inflict such pain on defenseless animals in order to take by force of appalling brutality the feathers which nature gave this creature. Birds feathers are not meant to be used to make pillows, or quilts or jackets.

If you buy a quilt made of feathers you condone this cruelty . If you stop buying such products this appalling cruelty would end

There is no excuse, no justification.

As with most everything done in the modern greedy self serving world this cruelty is done for profit.

Turn on the sound if you are not yet convinced by their poor blood soaked bodies.

Such cruelty has no place in any modern society.

Wicked just wicked there is no other word more appropriate. I am sick of the cruelty that is unleashed hour after hour, day after day, week after week, year in and year out towards the helpless creatures with whom we share this world. This reminds me of a quote, the one at the beginning of this post which until now I have never used but is in this instance and certainly many others so appropriate.

Take Action End suffering. Save innocent lives.

Sign the Pledge to Be Down-Free:
https://support.peta.org/page/1627/petition/1

Urge Volcom to Ditch Down!

https://support.peta.org/page/1314/action/1

Related links

Read about how ducks are farmed here in the UK

“Do you know where the feathers in your feather-filled bedding, cushions or outerwear comes from?
Feathers are highly profitable and are ‘harvested’ from birds in different ways, including live plucking.”

HOW DUCKS ARE FARMED

Read more:

https://uk.veganuary.com/blog/how-ducks-are-farmed/

Boycott Down

Do not buy feather filled products

The General Election: “The nightmare before Christmas during and for …”

This is a long rambling post, my first here since the disaster of the general election that saw the now hard right Tories voted into power by a huge majority, including “safe seats” in the North East. The North East would you believe; have they forgotten the minors strike?! That I am shocked would be an understatement, so much so that I needed some time away from social media but cannot get back into doing much until I have had my say. For many it is a distant memory blurred by the seasonal festivities but as the new year arrives the reality becomes even more daunting.

Basically I continue to be enraged by the election result.

I like many people are devastated by the outcome of the election, it has had a profound effect on my mental well being as is indeed the case for many people. I have found it difficult to get back online in any active way, and indeed felt rather like hibernating so to speak, staying home away from people who may have voted into power the most vile, immorally bankrupt government in my lifetime! Time has passed but in the great scheme of things a small amount, and of course the dire consequences of the Tories winning the election has a resounding effect on all our lives – those who are not among the wealthy elite – for years to come. Yes even you who voted Tory.

It is difficult to put into words quite what it feels like to now live in a country where a hard right racist government continues in power with an overwhelming majority, which gives them cart blanch to do what the hell they like. Something I never thought would happen here in the UK.

Why? Why did so many people vote for such an utterly unethical government, the furthest to the right that there has ever been?

It in reality had nothing to do with Jeremy Corbyn as leader despite what the biased right wing media would have you believe, though if you read the main stream media you may well get this impression. Then why? Why did people vote for such a hard right party, particularly working class people who traditionally voted Labour? Of course there were idiot people who did not like Corbyn and one has to ask why the hell not; sadly it says more about those who did not like him and what he stood for than then the man himself. What is not to like… he is compassionate, caring , a pacifist, a vegetarian, and a committed anti-racist. Ask yourself if you voted Tory why you voted for a racist party, for inequality and for injustice, for poverty and homelessness, for cuts to our NHS and privatisation, for cuts to schools and so on? Why did you vote for a party of callous sociopaths who care nothing for the average person? Corbyn wanted a fair deal for all citizens, not just the privileged few. Maybe not all his manifesto policies were doable but his heart was in the right place and he would have done his damnedest to fulfill his electoral promises, such as get all the homeless off the streets by Christmas. Now this Christmas, thousands of homeless people woke up on the cold empty streets of many cities again.

This was our one chance to have a better life for everyone, a better society and a significant step towards a better world as common sense and decency has to start somewhere; as the world descends into chaos of right wing fascism with all its evils, which many died to stop during WW2.

Tory voters: you blew it, you took this chance from millions of people struggling to survive and I mean literally survive. If you had to sleep in the streets in the bitter cold, insecure, vulnerable, with no food, nowhere to wash or even to use the toilet, would you have voted Tory? If your child had to go to school hungry and cold without a winter coat would you have voted Tory? If you were disabled or chronically sick and you had your benefits cut, or got no benefits at all? If were told you were fit for work when you could hardly get out of bed or you had your only means of mobility taken away or you had to wait longer for vital treatment because of NHS cut backs all the while struggling in poverty and isolation, would you have voted Tory? If you were so poor that you had to rely on a food bank to feed your family, would you have voted Tory?

Sadly and as pathetic as it may seem Brexit appears to be the main reason why people voted for the Tories (or the Brexit Party of course), but why? What the hell has Brexit to do with the average person? Nothing, absolutely nothing of any advantage that’s for sure. Ask anyone who voted Tory or voted Brexit to name one real benefit for the ordinary person in the street for leaving the EU. That is if you can bring yourself to do so right now – I and many others are simply too shocked, traumatized – yes not an exaggeration – by the stupidity, the callousness of those who voted to keep the Tories in power to do so.

Unfortunately for many the desperation to leave the EU was never about the economy or sovereignty often used to justify Brexit. The article cited below was written last year, it is still relevant as in my opinion regarding the main reason many voted for Brexit and are desperate to get it done is racism, xenophobia and migration and this has not changed.

Brexit for many people pure and simply was about “wanting their country back”, not wanting immigrants; plain blatant racism. It appears to me that for the ever increasing number of xenophobes and racists this was the deciding factor in voting to leave and consequently voting for the Tories, even when there are so many indications that doing so will harm many of our citizens including those who voted for them. It’s more about bigots and racists stopping foreigners from entering the UK than much else for which these deluded people have sacrificed the greatest achievement here in the UK, the NHS, and abandon the millions of people now living in poverty.

The following article discusses this issue

The Truth About Brexit and Xenophobia
The push to leave the European Union was never about anything but immigration

“Theresa May has fallen back on claiming that her deal will give the U.K. control over its borders, which is “what the British people voted for,” she says. The rest of what she says is waffle, empty verbiage, or just untrue. We have now finally reached the truth about Brexit: It is about our borders, nothing else. “Control over borders” is just a euphemism for controlling immigration. And “controlling immigration” is just a euphemism for xenophobia and racism.
Brexit is about stopping foreigners from coming here.”

“And before you write in to complain, you who voted Brexit but are genuinely not racist or xenophobic, I know. You had good reasons, other reasons, about the economy, laws, sovereignty. So, yes, you are not a racist. But you were misled. It was never about those things. In the end, the U.K. would always have been better off in the EU. It contributed to those laws and always had sovereignty. It was only about the borders, and it was about stopping Conservatives from switching to UKIP.”

Read More:
https://medium.com/s/story/https-medium-com-tswriting-the-truth-about-brexit-e3e5bcdadfbe

If you think Brexit will benefit the average person in the street you are sadly mistaken.

Of the many Brexit cons, few are greater than the idea that this is a fight for the people.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-elite-boris-johnson-eu-referendum-nigel-farage-hate-crime-a8531241.html

Did you vote for five more years of hell?

It is sad and sickening to know that so many people by voting Tory condemned us to five more years of hell, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens

The sick and disabled

The sick and disabled who have had their benefits scrapped, trapping 4 million vulnerable people into poverty while 170,070 disabled people died waiting for decisions on their PIP.  In just one year alone 50,000 sick and disabled people where hit by £30 Tory cuts. In addition many sick and disabled people have had their mobility cars taken away from them.

In the following article disabled activists speak out about the misery of so many years of suffering and cutbacks to disabled people

Tory conference: Disabled activists shame the Tories on the cost of heartless austerity 

They are a disaster. There is something wrong with people who think this is OK.

Read more:
http://www.disabilitynorth.org.uk/tory-conference-disabled-activists-shame-tories-on-cost-of-heartless-austerity/

Nothing is going to change, from day one the Tories have targeted sick and disabled people

Tories use first day back to attack the disabled

“DWP removes option for claimants to choose whether work assessment outcomes are reported to GPs

December 17, 2019

The new Tory government has wasted no time in targeting Britain’s most vulnerable, using its first day in Parliament to backtrack on disability rights.

Yesterday morning the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) removed the option for disability claimants to choose whether the outcome of work assessments is shared with their GP.

It means that the DWP can send letters to doctors telling them not to sign patients’ sick notes if they have been found “fit for work” by the notorious work capability assessments (WCA).”

Read more:
http://www.defenddemocracy.press/tories-use-first-day-back-to-attack-the-disabled/

Below is the Twitter feed of WOW voices with personal stories regarding the impact of Tory austerity for sick and disabled people.

“Read accounts written by disabled people, carers and health professionals on how austerity and cuts have affected them.”

These stories are heart breaking, if you voted Tory, read them and know that you condoned this grave injustice to sick and disabled people by voting Tory on December 12th. Shame on you!

The Homeless

In England alone an estimated 8,000 people live rough on the streets.

There are around 350,000 homeless people – I rather suspect there are many more –  many of whom are sleeping in cold damp streets wrapped only in a filthy sleeping bag, wearing the same unclean clothes, sitting huddled and depressed, cold and hungry. In England alone an estimated 8,000 people live rough on the streets. This shocking figure is likely to rise to 15,000 by 2026 if nothing changes  – which it won’t under the Tories. Their chance for a decent and fulfilling life taken away from them as a result of Tory austerity and the general right wing mentality of a society that condones the accumulation of great wealth by the few at great cost to the many.

If you voted Tory, you voted for this grave violation of people’s human rights, their dignity, their well being and often their very lives.

An estimated 726 homeless people died in England and Wales in 2018.

“A record number of homeless people died last year, in the biggest increase in deaths since reporting began, amid warnings fatalities are likely to be even higher in 2019.”

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/01/homeless-deaths-in-2018-rise-at-highest-level-ons

Those living in poverty

In the 5th richest country in the world 14 million people live in poverty including 4 million children, one in three of the population, this number is set to rise: The Big Issue has learned that this number will rise over the next five years as Universal Credit takes hold, increasingly pushing more and more families into poverty.

Read more:
https://www.bigissue.com/latest/child-poverty-in-the-uk-will-hit-a-record-high-in-2019/

Poverty destroys lives and is avoidable, yet here we are with millions of people living in poverty. If you voted for the Tories on December 12th you are responsible, you are complicit, for you have prevented real change from happening in the lives of so many people who like you, like me, like all people deserve better.

Tory voters be sure to read this article, inform yourself of the tragedy of Tory austerity which you have just voted for

Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Breadline Kids review – the lives stolen by poverty

You could call these tragic stories Dickensian – if the word didn’t imply that things would come right in the end

“Eight-year-old Courtney found her first visit to the food bank quite exciting over all, despite the disappointment of discovering that it didn’t dispense victuals in the same manner as a cashpoint does money. She, her mum and her brother walked the two and a half miles from the flat they have been living in since they fled domestic violence seven months ago, and two and a half miles back sharing the weight of the bags between them (“There is a bus, but if you had bus fare you wouldn’t be going to a food bank”). Her mother carried most of the load, but they all bore their share.

They live in Cambridge, the UK’s most unequal city, where a fifth of the population takes home just 2% of its total income. The family is trying to live on child benefit of £5 a day while they wait for their delayed first universal credit payment. They have maxed out their allowance of top-up fuel vouchers from the Trussell Trust, so as the temperature drops below freezing, Courtney empties 45p-worth of coppers out of the china swan on the window sill to see if it’s enough to put the heating on while they wait for Cash Converters to open the next day so a phone can be pawned. “Baby,” says her mother wearily. “There aren’t enough there.”

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/dec/02/growing-up-poor-britains-breadline-kids-review-the-lives-stolen-by-poverty

There are 1.9 million pensioners living in poverty

Here in the UK one of the most wealthy nations on Earth, 1.9 million pensioners (16 percent) are living in poverty. That’s about one in six of our senior citizens. It also has to be said that most of those who do not fall into the poverty category are nonetheless struggling to live on the rather mean pension provided by the state.

Poverty in later life

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/money-matters/rb_apr18_poverty_in_later_life

Note that in addition to older people living in poverty after working age the Tories intend to increase retirement age to 75!!!!

Tory’s plan to raise the state pension age to 75 over the next 16 years:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/tories-raise-state-pension-age-18953679?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar 

Here the latest benefit cut for pensioners which will leave many pensioners with a dependent with £70 less

Government to cut £70 a week from thousands of state pensions
For decades the state pension helped people out if they had someone depending on them – that’s about to end seeing thousands of retired Britons lose £70 a week. Who’s affected:

Read more:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/government-cut-70-week-thousands-21132951

A massive increase in food banks

Ten years ago there were barely any foodbanks in the UK. Today, there are more than 2,000.

In the last ten years, cuts to benefits and broken systems like Universal Credit have left people struggling to afford food and rent.

State of Hunger

“Over the last five years, the number of emergency food parcels provided to people in crisis by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network has increased by 73%. No charity can replace the dignity of buying your own food. To help end the need for food banks, the Trussell Trust commissioned State of Hunger – the most authoritative piece of independent research into hunger in the UK to date. Here’s what the research reveals…

State of Hunger research found that people who have been referred to a food bank:

Have an average weekly income after housing costs of just £50

Cannot afford to buy the absolute essentials that we all need to eat, stay warm and dry, and keep clean – with 94% facing real destitution

Read more:
https://www.stateofhunger.org/

The climate crisis

It goes without saying that the Tories will take as little positive action as possible to combat the climate crisis and for big polluters it will be business as usual

Brexit Party and Tories worst for climate change policies, Greenpeace analysis shows

Conservative support for polluting industries, such as aviation, oil and gas ‘at odds with their net zero target’, analysis says

Labour is in hot pursuit of the Green Party when it comes to the quality of the environmental policies laid out in its manifesto, but the Conservatives and Brexit Party are lagging far behind, a new ranking of party policies by Greenpeace shows.

Read More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/election-green-climate-parties-brexit-conservatives-greenpeace-a9220271.html

Read the analysis directly from Greenpeace

“… the Party’s continued support for a number of polluting industries, such as aviation, oil and gas, and massive spending commitments for new road-building are at odds with their net-zero target. In many policy areas where the Conservatives originally progressed a green narrative, such as plastics, agriculture, and nature restoration, their policies in these areas have been significantly outflanked by most of the other main parties.”
https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/labours-plans-for-climate-and-nature-score-twice-as-high-as-the-conservatives-according-to-election-manifesto-ranking/

The NHS

Chronic under-funding of the NHS has left thousands living in pain and poverty, waiting for healthcare and hit by benefit sanctions

The cuts and under-funding of the NHS which has caused many deaths and delayed vital operations and increased waiting time in A&E difficulties in getting appointments with GPs and other health care professional. Cuts to mental health services.

Read about the disastrous cuts and changes to our NHS during the last decade under a Tory government

These brutal cuts to the NHS will haunt the Conservatives
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/25/boris-johnson-conservatives-nhs-funding

You can read more about what the Tories have done and will likely continue to do to the NHS on this pre election post:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/dont-vote-tory-the-nhs/

Cuts to school funding

Check out this link to see what cuts are likely now the misguided majority have voted the Tories back into power:
https://schoolcuts.org.uk/take-action/

Don’t overlook this link with Information about how years of Tory cut backs have effected your child’s school: https://schoolcuts.org.uk/schools/?coords=54,-3&zoom=6

School Cuts search tool shows starkly how Tories ‘will hit’ your child’s class
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/school-cuts-search-tool-shows-21033256

Islamophobia

The Tories in particular Boris Johnson have openly expressed their racist and anti Islamic views. Racism has sadly entered mainstream politics here in the UK, igniting the racist tendencies of many people who feel that this gives them license to express openly their blatant racism.

The article below takes you through ten years of Tory racism

“From the hostile environment to Windrush and relentless Muslim-bashing, the Conservative record in government shows how comfortable the party is with racism.”

Read more:
The Tories’ Ten Years of Racism

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2019/11/the-tories-ten-years-of-racism

Racism has no place in any civilized society, it should have no place in the UK. Many people deny being racist but if you voted Tory you voted for a party whose polices permeate with racism and persistent Islamophobia

 

The benefit cuts

Frankly I don’t know where to begin

For the past ten years the Tories have decimated the welfare state with cuts to benefits, including a benefit freeze which now prior to the election they say they will remove by 2020 – I will believe that when or if it happens.

The sole purpose of benefit reforms is to remove as many people as possible off benefits including severely ill and disabled people

The government are so determined to strip as many people as possible of their benefits that they have spent 40 million pounds of tax payers money fighting appeals, most of which they lost.

Austerity over the last decade has resulted in misery, poverty, destitution and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

Austerity has been so shocking that it has resulted in three UN reports.

You can read more about the Tories vicious cuts to benefits in this pre election post:

https://rantingsfromavirtualsoapbox.wordpress.com/2019/12/07/dont-vote-tory-benefit-cuts/

The badger cull

The cull/killing of these helpless animals is described by the Badger Trust as the “largest destruction of a protected species in living memory”

While the Tory manifesto does not mention the cull, they nonetheless have given the go-ahead for culling to be continued and widened. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bovine-tb-authorisation-for-badger-control-in-2019

Labour on the other hand pledged in its manifesto to end the badger cull: “We would work instead on non-lethal interventions to reduce the incidence of disease in cattle.” Also Labour has a separate 50-point animal welfare manifesto separate from its main policy one.

Concerning other issues relating to animals welfare:

While the Tories promise to end “excessively long journeys for slaughter and fattening”, such suggests a ban on live export implicitly but not explicitly. Labour was more explicit and promised to ban live exports for slaughter and fattening.

So it looks like much cruelty to animals is likely, including the once protected badgers, to continue and who knows maybe even the return of fox hunting, after all what is to stop them now from doing whatever the hell they like with such a vast majority? While the the Conservatives  have not included a free vote on the issue of fox hunting in their manifesto, I for one simply do not trust them.

You can read more detail concerning animals rights from the manifestos of the main political parties during the election

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/general-election-animal-rights-parties-badger-cull-hunting-fox-pets-policies-a9241361.html

This article explains the Tories intentions to criminalize gypsies and protect illegal fox hunting by the introduction of plans to make trespass illegal:

“…animal protection supporters have also slated the trespass crackdown, accusing the Conservatives of appeasing hunt supporters.

Penny Little, a monitor of the Grafton Hunt in Northamptonshire and founder of a wildlife rescue centre in Oxfordshire, said: “They [the Conservatives] are sneaking in a move that could leave illegal hunting completely unscrutinised, and allow it to continue without even the present, very slight, risk of prosecution.

“There are many monitor and sabs [saboteurs] Facebook pages that show the reality of what is happening every day in our countryside. The violence, obstruction and intimidation meted out by hunts and their supporters can clearly be seen, as well as multiple examples of foxes, deer and hares being illegally hunted.”

Read more:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/general-election-boris-johnson-trespass-law-gypsies-travellers-fox-hunting-manifesto-a9227511.html

Note in the above article: don’t over look the way these trespass laws will effect Gypsies, yet another example of Tory racism

Related links

First they came for the gypsies, disabled, migrants and unions

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/12/19/first-they-came-for-the-gypsies-disabled-migrants-and-unions/

Here is what a decade of Tory rule did to just one city

Pictures that have defined nearly a decade of Tory rule in Merseyside
https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/pictures-defined-nearly-decade-tory-17441238

I have to ask why? Why didn’t people vote for Corbyn and the Labour party, after all their election promises would have made life much better for most people. Unfortunately in most cases this is not what politics are about, at least not Tory politics which favour the wealthy elite.

Why did people give up the opportunity for a better life for all of us. Was it ignorance, gullibility,  selfishness, racism, greed …

It is sad that Brexit may have been the defining issue and Labour’s stance on the matter with a further referendum was not popular.

Brexit is a project by the elites, for the elites – the rest of us were never meant to benefit from it

Of the many Brexit cons, few are greater than the idea that this is a fight for the people

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-elite-boris-johnson-eu-referendum-nigel-farage-hate-crime-a8531241.html

Why do people want Brexit?  Yes it may be for the reason cited in the above article but frankly I think racism and xenophobia had a lot to do with it. Plus the crazy notion that somehow Brexit would benefit us all rather than the reality of the situation that Brexit was meant to benefit the wealthy elite.

The Conservatives never have been and never will be the party for the working class. Boris Johnson himself described the working class as “drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless and hopeless”

Johnson has already betrayed the working people who voted for him:

It took Boris Johnson less than a week to betray all the working class voters who backed him
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/12/17/it-took-boris-johnson-less-than-a-week-to-betray-all-the-working-class-voters-who-backed-him/

Don’t be depressed about the Tories, fight back!

The anti-Tory resistance has begun. No prize for guessing the city that’s leading the way.

Don’t vote Tory: Child Poverty

“History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.”
Nelson Mandela

If you care about children vote to remove the vile Tory government: Vote Labour.

The UK is the 5th richest country in the world though this does not of course mean that the majority of people are wealthy. In fact quite the contrary as during the past 10 years of Tory rule the living standards of many of our citizens have fallen drastically.

I have already published on this blog highlights of the abusive affects of this government’s austerity agenda and how it has effected the most vulnerable in our society

This post will look at the disastrous affects of Austerity implemented by the Tories on Children

At the present time there are 14 million people who live in poverty – that’s about 1 in 5 – four million of whom are children. In 2017 1.7 million of these people experienced destitution . Of the record 1.6 million emergency food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust food bank last year – more than 500,000 of them went to children

The UN has undertaken three investigations, all of which condemn Tory polices

Below are  a few examples from the latest report  2019 by Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur concerning child poverty

“Visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland   Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human
rights 

“Following drastic changes in government economic policy beginning in 2010, the two preceding
decades of progress in tackling child and pensioner poverty have begun to unravel and
poverty is again on the rise.  Relative child poverty rates are expected to increase by 7 per
cent between 2015 and 2021 and overall child poverty rates to reach close to 40 per cent.
For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain would not
just be a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster rolled into one.”

“People said they had to choose either to eat or heat their homes. Children are
showing up at school with empty stomachs, and schools are collecting food and sending it
home because teachers know their students will otherwise go hungry. And 2.5 million
people in the United Kingdom survive with incomes no more than 10 per cent above the
poverty line – just one crisis away from falling into poverty.”

As a result of cuts, large numbers of vulnerable children in places like
Northamptonshire are at greater risk of harm due to rapidly deteriorating front-line child
protection services.

Single parents, 90 per cent of whom are women, are more than twice as likely to
experience persistent poverty as any other group, and 50 per cent of children in singleparent households are in poverty. Benefits changes – including the benefit cap, the twochild limit and the introduction of full job-seeking requirements for single parents of
children as young as 3 – have had a stark impact on single parents. And as of August 2018,
two thirds of UC recipients who had their benefits capped were single parents. Single
parents in the bottom 20 per cent of income will have lost 25 per cent of their 2010 income
by 2021–2022 as a result of changes to tax and benefit policies, and the poverty rate for
children in single-parent households will jump to a shocking 62 per cent by then.

Read the full report
https://undocs.org/A/HRC/41/39/Add.1

Children are living in poverty now here in the UK as a result of Tory policies, not only destroying their lives in the present but also in the future.

More information:

Children are turning up for school dressed in unsuitable clothing, hungry and cold because parents cannot afford food or adequate clothing.

Teacher’s sadness over shivering schoolchildren with no winter coats and sharing snacks with pupils because they are so hungry
A teacher has told of how hungry pupils have been showing up to school with holes in their shoes and without coats on

A teacher has shared her sadness over shivering schoolchildren who do not own winter coats.

As temperatures plummet, the teacher has told of how her pupils have been showing up to school with holes in their shoes and without coats on.

The primary school teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, told GrimsbyLive that one child showed up in a blazer bought for a family occasion because he had “nothing else to keep him warm”.

Read more:
https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/grimsby-news/teachers-sadness-over-shivering-schoolchildren-3562716

Tory cuts to school funding have a drastic effect on the quality of education with less teachers and larger classes.

Councillor says St Helens schools in ‘crisis’ due to funding freezes”

“St Helens schools will be forced to cut teachers and increase class sizes if more funding isn’t forthcoming, the deputy leader of St Helens Council has warned.

In July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “level up” pupil funding in English schools, pledging an additional £4.6bn per year by 2022-23.

However, a motion passed by St Helens Council this week said this was not enough to reverse the “chronic underfunding” of schools in recent years.

Labour’s Sue Murphy, cabinet member for developing young people, submitted the motion and warned that schools in St Helens are “on their knees”.

She said the borough’s schools are in “crisis” due to funding freezes and rising costs and are having to make “sacrifices” to balance the budgets.”

Read more:
https://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/education/councillor-says-st-helens-schools-in-crisis-due-to-funding-freezes-1-10079836

You can use this tool to see what cuts are likely in the future

The NEU has created this tool to show what Tory decisions mean in reality. The resources gone from your local school.

Find out what the parties’ manifestos mean for your child’s school
https://schoolcuts.org.uk/?utm_source=bsd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GE19sharer&source=20191209_GE19sharer&subsource=bsd_email

It is hard to imagine what it must be like to be homeless for anyone but for a child the consequences are disastrous at a time when the security of a safe home is vital to a stable upbringing, not only now and in the future.

At least 135,000 children in Britain to be homeless at Christmas
Housing charity Shelter estimates that 183 children lose their homes every day

At least 135,000 children will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation across Britain on Christmas day – the highest number for 12 years – according to the housing charity Shelter.

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/03/at-least-135000-children-in-britain-will-be-homeless-at-christmas?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

A welfare system that drives mothers into prostitution is not a safety net

“Is it really such a surprise that “survival sex” has become normalised by years of Tory austerity?

Last week, a group of women told the work and pensions committee how they sold sex to survive. Everything from being coerced into giving oral sex after being caught shoplifting food for the kids to turning to sex work full time. While the cliched image of sex work – women on drugs – remains sadly true, there are also “welfare” sex workers, supplementing their benefits to buy not heroin but groceries or clothes for their kids.”

Read more:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/26/a-welfare-system-that-drives-mothers-into-prostitution-is-not-a-safety-net

Tories should bear the shame that child poverty in Britain is the new normal

“Child poverty is the “new normal” in parts of Britain. That’s according to findings released today by the End Child Poverty coalition, a group of more than 70 leading charities and organisations, who have tracked the huge rise in child poverty since 2010. More than half of children are now living in poverty in some constituencies in the country, with the fastest rises hitting the poorest areas. The London borough of Tower Hamlets, for example, even has the majority of its infants in hardship (56.7%).”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/16/tories-children-poverty-britain-austerity

UN tears into Tory-led austerity as ‘ideological project causing pain and misery’ in devastating report on UK poverty crisis

“Food banks have proliferated; homelessness and rough sleeping have increased greatly; tens of thousands of poor families must live in accommodation far from their schools, jobs and community networks; life expectancy is falling for certain groups; and the legal aid system has been decimated,”

Read More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/un-poverty-austerity-uk-universal-credit-report-philip-alston-a8924576.html

Read about the lives of three children living in poverty:

If Boris Johnson’s wins on Thursday, his government is predicted to impoverish hundreds of thousands more children

Last Monday, during a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on child poverty, the UK was introduced to three remarkable young people. We met eight-year-old Courtney and watched her counting down till her family’s next universal credit payment while worrying about whether her mum would get a present from Santa. Courtney’s family have been sleeping in coats and visiting food banks because of problems with their benefits.

We met Danielle, a 15-year-old from Sudbury who lives with her mum and sister in a cramped bedsit flat, still trying to study for her GCSEs though she’s struggling with self-harming issues and suicidal thoughts.

And finally, Rose, who lost her sister to cancer last year. Rose’s mum had to stop working to care for her sister and with the added funeral costs, the debts have mounted up. Rose’s mum does work but it’s a low-paid, low-hours job and the universal credit that tops up her wages simply isn’t enough; so the family still have to visit a food club, which distributes near-sell-by date food, once a week to feed themselves.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/09/poverty-blighted-childhood-cold-hungry-kids-boris-johnson

Take Action

The obvious and easiest way to end the misery of millions of people including children is to vote Labour

Consider that if you vote Tory you are of course complicit.

This Should Restore You Faith in The Goodness of Humans

“In the path of compassion even if we can save an insect that has a huge impact on the cosmos.”
Amit Ray, Walking the Path of Compassion

Who cares about insects – not many people. It has to be said that generally the world seems a very uncaring place and selfishness abounds as money and position seem all that people care about and which are sought after at the expense of other people, other animals and the planet. So it is just so heartwarming to see how this lady cared for this tiny being. I suppose though more people tend to respect and consider bees than say your average insect, such as a beetle for instance or a fly. But even so many people would not go to the lengths of this very compassionate and caring lady.

Learn more about bees and the threat to their existence.

Find out more about the threat to bees

The Bee Project
Protecting Pollinators, People & the Planet
http://worldbeeproject.org/

Bees as a species need our help.

Easy ways to help

https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees

The Dark Side of Rabbit Island

Firstly and most importantly please do not let the information below put you off visiting rabbit island and taking with you food for the estimated 1000 rabbits who live thereIf Tourists stop coming, the rabbits will starve. Take as much green veggies as you can, even a bag or two of hay which is a vital part of a rabbit’s diet and which they lack at rabbit Island. You can find out more about this and other ways to help further down.

Rabbit Island has been described as a Japanese holiday resort for bunnies but the truth is far less ideal as the rabbits struggle to survive.  Domestic rabbits live about 10 years while rabbits on Rabbit Island live at most only a couple of years or less as they succumb to hunger, disease injury and and neglect. 

Recently videos about Japan’s Rabbit Island called in Japan  Okunoshima have been gaining popularity on the internet and the island is a popular tourist destination for anyone visiting Japan. To many people rabbit island is thought of as a paradise for rabbits when in fact the truth is very different.

Most of the videos taken on the island show adorable rabbits who are seemingly very friendly and unafraid of humans whom they descend upon in great numbers. However first impressions can be very deceptive. These rabbits are in fact desperately hungry and thirsty for food and water the tourists have for them, because this is the only nourishment they will get. Without the tourists the rabbits would die of starvation. However even with the help of tourists they are malnourished as the food available, pellets and cabbage, is not healthy for them and their availability is irregular.

Here is the truth about rabbit island

Please watch the following videos which are a bit of an eye opener as the reality of rabbit island is presented to you.

The Dark, Twisted Truth About Rabbit Island Japan.

“Follow me on my journey to rabbit island, also known as Okunoshima in Japan. Here, I discover that not everything is as cute as it seems!

While I’m at a loss for how to solve the problem, the following links contain contact information you may be able to direct your feedback & grievances to:

1)  https://www.jaws.or.jp/about01/about04/   – Animal Welfare Group in Japan

2) https://www.env.go.jp/en/moemail/ – Email feedback for Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan

3) http://visithiroshima.net/contact.html – Hiroshima Prefecture Contact


4) https://www.japantimes.co.jp/contact-us/ 
– Japan Times Newspaper

If you have any possible solutions or work with animal rights groups in Japan, please let me know.”

Read more:
https://youtu.be/mP6LHPIW12M   – Click SHOW MORE

The truth about rabbit island

“Okunoshima or Usagi Shima (うさぎ島, “Rabbit Island”) is an island off the coast of Japan which is home to hundreds of feral rabbits. I visited this island in summer 2018 hoping to have a lovely time but as a bunny mom I was shocked to find many of the rabbits were sick and dying.

“Here is my documentary showing the island for what it truly is. Apologies for the way it was filmed. It was all done on my iphone so the quality won’t be amazing.

There were also children mistreating the rabbit on the island. Pushing them around and being rough with them while their parents laughed.
Many of the signs about the rabbits on the island were inaccurate, saying that rabbits were aggressive with sharp teeth and they would bite if people tried to pet them too much. Also signs saying they were wild rabbits and could not mix with domestic rabbits.”

Read more:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOgrmtTcUlQ

Please take the time to watch these videos which may be upsetting. Rabbits are shown with injuries infections and illnesses including tumours and abscesses which are untreated. Many are severely malnourished. Water bowls are empty and in the cases where they are not what little water there is is dirty. Clearly these animals receive no veterinary care or are even provided with their basic needs: Food and clean water. During winter or days when it rains, which is quite often in Japan, and few tourists visit, the bunnies starve. Rabbits require food everyday, all day, otherwise they become ill with a condition called Gastro Intestinal stasis , a fatal illness if veterinary care is not given within about twelve hours. You can see obvious signs of malnutrition in the above videos.

As you can see all is not what it seems, rabbit island is a not a happy sanctuary for happy bunnies where their every need is met, where there are no predators and their lives can be lived free as wild rabbits should. But therein lies part of the problem, these are not wild rabbits, though they live in the wild they are nonetheless domesticated rabbits who where either let free from the chemical experimentation factory on the island where in 1929 the army brought rabbits to  to test the effectiveness of the poison gas or they where bought here by school children and released. The truth of the matter is not clear, however regardless of the circumstances of their arrival on the island their present situation is dire. Though the rabbits live in the wild they are domesticated so they have not the instinct of a wild rabbit to survive, many do not know how to dig borrows and many have no shelter. However even more serious is the fact that there is no natural food on the island. No grass or other nutritious wild plants. The bunnies depend solely on tourists feeding them, mostly the pellets that are sold over on the mainland at the ferry port. There is no food for sale on the Island and no suitable green vegetables or hay, which is the main staple of a rabbits diet, for sale at the the ferry port. Unless visitors have purchased vegetables and hay before arriving at the port, and from what I can see by watching the many videos most people buy and take over only the pellets, the rabbits hardly ever have fresh food and hay.

With some changes rabbit island could be the rabbit paradise many claim it to be. Surely hay, fresh food, clean water could all be provided  along with a ranger or some kind of caretaker looking after the bunnies reporting any sick and injured animals with veterinary staff on hand to monitor the health and well being of the island’s rabbits. If funding this is a problem, maybe this can be resolved by making a small charge to tourists and also selling suitable food including hay on the island. With a store of food for times when there are less tourists.  

Ways to help

If you are planning to make a trip to Rabbit Island please try and bring as much fresh vegetables, such as leafy greens, as you can and hay which should make up 85% of a rabbits diet. Buy before you arrive at the port as you cannot purchase anything there other than cabbage and pellets which is not a healthy diet for rabbits and no food at all is available on the island.

In addition to the links included underneath the first video which I will repeat further down, you might want to try contacting the following:

Try writing to PETA Asia, send links to the videos above and explain the situation. Even if you have no experience of rabbit Island yourself you can still write and refer to these videos and ask for PETAs help in bringing an end to this neglect.

PETA Asia

https://www.petaasia.com/

Contact https://www.petaasia.com/about/contact-us/  you will see several options this is the one I would chose:
https://www.petaasia.com/about/contact-us/report-cruelty-to-animals/

Send PETA Asia a tweet, include links to the films.

https://twitter.com/petaasia?lang=en

This is the Official website of Rabbit island which shows a very different picture to prospective tourists. Maybe contact them with your comments:
http://rabbit-island.info/en/

Contact information from the first video

Please be polite, abusive communications do nothing to help and may even make matters worse.

The following links contain contact information you may be able to direct your feedback & grievances to:

1) https://www.jaws.or.jp/about01/about04/    – Animal Welfare Group in Japan


2) https://www.env.go.jp/en/moemail/ 
– Email feedback for Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan

(According to this article https://allthatsinteresting.com/rabbit-island-okunoshima rabbit-island is part of Japan’s National Park Resort system in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea of Japan which comes under the ministry of the environment.)

3) http://visithiroshima.net/contact.html  – Hiroshima Prefecture Contact

4) https://www.japantimes.co.jp/contact-us/  – Japan Times Newspaper

If you have any possible solutions or work with animal rights groups in Japan, please let me know.

Updates to this web page will be provided whenever they become available.

If you have an other ideas please share them.

 

 

 

Don’t vote Tory: Universal Credit

If you don’t know what universal credit is click here:
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Universal-Credit/What-is-Universal-Credit

End universal Credit. Vote Labour December 12th

This film reveals the truth about universal credit

Universal DisCredit is a new film made by Videoblogg Productions in collaboration with The Canary

“We are proud to present Universal DisCredit, a powerful new film that shines a light on the devastating consequences of Universal Credit (UC), a flagship policy of successive Conservative-led governments. Featuring interviews with campaigners, policy makers, academics, and people with first-hand experience of UC, it shows how people are being driven to poverty, food banks, destitution, and death. Please share this film widely and join our campaign to #ScrapUC

Featuring interviews with campaigners, policy makers, academics, and people with first-hand experience of UC, it shows how people are being driven to poverty, food banks, destitution, and death.”

To read more about the film and view comments click  YouTube at the lower right corner of the video.

Here are three stories which highlight the problems with Universal Credit and the disastrous effect it has had on claimants

If it were not for a friend this woman would have gone without food or heating

‘Universal credit is a nightmare – the stress is overwhelming’
Jacqueline Widick, 47, on how osteoarthritis has left her struggling to pay her bills
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/mar/02/universal-credit-is-a-nightmare-the-stress-is-overwhelming

Two stories of mums struggling as a result of the flaws of Universal Credit.

Universal Credit: “It’s been a nightmare – I’m £2,000 in debt. I can’t get any more loans.”
https://www.trusselltrust.org/2019/07/29/universal-credit-nightmare-im-2000-debt-i-cant-get-loans/

A mother seeks help from crowd funding. The number of people struggling to survive by means of crowd funding has tripped in the past year.

Mum survives Universal Credit nightmare thanks to the kindness of strangers
‘It’s amazing how kind people can be’ – As the number of people looking for help with Universal Credit from strangers triples we speak to one mum who told us what happened when she reached out to others
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/mum-survives-universal-credit-nightmare-14991767

More stories from people affected by universal credit

Universal Credit is affecting everyone – the heartbreaking horror stories
We have heard from people all over the country of how they are struggling with the new benefit system

Help end this shameful treatment of people on Universal Credit
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/plymouth-news/universal-credit-affecting-everyone-heartbreaking-2575597

The last decade has been nothing short of hell for anyone who has the misfortune, either as a result of disability, sickness, loss of employment or low wages, to apply for benefits.

The suffering must stop. The Tories will continue to inflict this misery on millions of people if they get reelected.

If you vote Tory you are complicit. 

Labour will scrap universal credit. December the 12th VOTE LABOUR

All Animals Have a Powerful Will to Live – Respect Their Right To Do So

I am life which wills to live, and I exist in the midst of life which wills to live.

Just as in my own will-to-live there is a yearning for more life, and for that mysterious exaltation of the will-to-live which is called pleasure, and terror in face of annihilation and that injury to the will-to-live which is called pain; so the same obtains in all the will-to-live around me, equally whether it can express itself to my comprehension or whether it remains unvoiced.

Ethics thus consists in this, that I experience the necessity of practising the same reverence for life toward all will-to-live, as toward my own. Therein I have already the needed fundamental principle of morality. It is good to maintain and cherish life; it is evil to destroy and to check life.”
Excepts from The Ethic of Reverence for Life by Albert Schweitzer from Civilization and Ethics Part II of The Philosophy of Civilization

Animals like you or I wish to live, the fight for survival which is the most powerful instinct. Respect their right to life by changing to a vegan life style and end all animals exploitation including the most vile and cruel such as eating meat and other animal products, using animals for experimentation, for labour, for sport , entertainment and so on and on.

Here are just two examples, there are countless more of an animal’s strong will to live.

A crayfish about to be boiled alive cuts his own claw off in hopes of surviving.

A mother fights for the life of her baby.

“I must interpret the life around me as I interpret the life that is my own. My life is full of meaning to me. The life around me must be full of significance to itself. If I am to expect others to respect my life, then I must respect the other life I see, however strange it may be to mine.”

“When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another…”
Albert Schweitzer

More quotes and other information about Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer “set in motion important ideas concerning our ethical treatment of animals, and was an important protagonist in the evolution of our concept of animal rights. He struggled with the paradoxes of the relationship between man and animal as no other philosopher had ever done before. His philosophy has altered attitudes, led to the passage of laws and helped the cause of animal rights in the latter part of the twentieth century.”

Read More: Animal Rights: A History, Albert Schweither
http://think-differently-about-sheep.com/Animal_Rights_Albert_Schweitzer.htm

Respect the right of animals to live by changing to a vegan diet:

https://www.vegansociety.com/go-vegan