Take Action to Help Circus Elephants

“Animals aren’t actors, spectacles to imprison and gawk at, or circus clowns. Yet thousands of these animals are forced to perform silly, confusing tricks under the threat of physical punishment; are carted across the country in cramped and stuffy boxcars or semi-truck trailers; are kept chained or caged in barren, boring, and filthy enclosures; and are separated from their families and friends—all for the sake of human “entertainment.” Many of these animals even pay with their lives.”


Warning the following video is hard to watch, it turns my stomach and I can’t watch it all. Elephants must be gentle creatures as they seem rarely to defend themselves or attack when being subjected to such treatment. Or maybe it is because they know that doing so will bring about even harsher abuse.

The video below shows the head trainer of Carson & Barnes’  viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook and shocking them with electric prods as they scream in pain.

“This video shows behind-the-scenes elephant training, bears pacing and bouncing abnormally in cages, and tigers inside cramped, barren prisons in Carson & Barnes Circus.”

The manager of Garden Bros regularly beats the animals, he withholds food from them and denies them veterinary treatment.

Take Action

Please send a message to ask venues still planning to host this cruel circus to consider these facts carefully and at least require that scheduled performances go forward without animals.

Tell Venues That Garden Bros. Circus Needs to Drop Its Cruel Animal Acts!

“Garden Bros. Circus, along with its elephant act provided by Carson & Barnes Circus, is on tour in the South, and we need your help to let the venues planning to host it know about its decades-long history of abusing animals.

Carson & Barnes’ head trainer was caught on video viciously attacking elephants with a bullhook and shocking them with electric prods as they screamed in pain.”

Please read more and send the message. There is a template letter which you can edit to include your own words but if this is not possible for some reason please just send it as it is, but please send the message and share .

http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/garden-bros-circus-cruel-animal-acts/?utm_campaign=022417%20peta%20e-news&utm_source=peta%20e-mail&utm_medium=peta%20e-news   – there is more action further down that you can take to help animals in circuses.

I cannot understand why there appears to be no laws to stop such abuse happening when clearly there is proof that these animals and others are mistreated. Here in the UK the RSPCA would I am sure take action and prosecute the circus and have the animals removed. It sickens me that such evil people get away with such vile abuse and so little can be done to stop it.

Recently Romania has banned wild animals in circuses and joins 19 other EU member states which have fully or partially banned the use of wild animals in shows.

Year of Liberation Continues as Romanian Capital Bans Wild-Animal Acts

You can take further action to help circus animals by clicking the button at the bottom of the webpage above or by clicking the following link:

Urge UniverSoul Circus to End All Cruel Animal Acts

It is time the USA and indeed other countries, including the UK, BANNED performing animals in circuses.

Related Links

These 17 Countries That Have Banned Wild-Animal Circuses Are Making the UK Look Really Bad

Tory MP delays bill to ban use of wild animals in circus shows

Credit Photo:

Some Comments on the The Great Wall of Mexico

“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine,” and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

… well its not really great is it? How many of us thought Trump would really seriously go ahead with such an outrageous project! Though of course at the present time it is only a proposal.

I know so much has been said about the wall but I want to add my two peneth.

Firstly some light relief. A spoof concerning Trump’s Mexican Wall using footage from the new Chinese film The Great Wall.

I love the following condemnation of the wall by Vicente Fox Quesada,  it is one of many tweets by the former president of Mexico.

Finally someone who is outspoken.

‘s ego monument real cost is around 25 billion USD. I ask you, America, what would you prefer instead of that ?”


Some estimates put the cost even higher at £40 billion

It is time world leaders including our PM Teresa May spoke out in an honest and forthright manner. Sadly trade agreements are worth overlooking one of the great social injustices of our time and one of the most insane proposals to come out of the white house. I so support this recent Tweet by Vicente Fox Quesada:  “UK beware of , he likes to manipulate so he can look good to the world. You need to be united, don’t yield to him, STAND UP!”

Who the hell does Trump think he is Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China who built the Great Wall of China or the Roman Emperor Hadrian who built the defensive fortification known as The Roman Wall or Hadrian’s wall here in the UK.

Here is an interesting article comparing walls from times past, the great wall of China, Hadrian’s wall and the Berlin wall with the Proposed Mexican Wall:

Trump’s Wall Vs The Great Wall Of China, Hadrian’s Wall & the Berlin Wall:

The huge amounts of money required to build the Great Wall of Mexico could be far better spent on improving the lives of the American people, such as health care, the relief of poverty and education to name just a few more pressing needs.

Thousands of Americans are dying from preventable illness and lack of adequate health care yet there is money to build a wall.

Millions of tax payer dollars are potentially going into a wall not education, not housing.

The wall is a monument to racism, so says the former Mexican president. And he is right.

While people die as a result of lack of proper health care and veterans sleep on the street Trump plans to spend billions, some estimate as much as 25 billion, on a wall to keep out a few desperate immigrants who simply wish to find a better life. Though one has to ask if this is possible in Trump’s America.

Not only is the wall a detriment to human beings, a monument to racism and human stupidity but it is a hazard to the environment and a threat to endangered species

Nearly 2 million tons of carbon dioxide will be emitted into the air as a result of making the cement needed to build the thousand mile long wall. The wall will also cut off endangered animals from part of their territory. Also the Mexican Wall will block migration routes for jaguars, ocelots, mountain lions and deer .

The Environment

The great wall of Mexico is a detriment to the environment

Trump’s Wall Would Also Be Terrible for the Environment

“Now that this terrible idea could actually become a reality, scientists and conservationists have also voiced their concerns. In addition to allegedly blocking people from entering the U.S., a concrete wall along the border with Mexico would obstruct important wildlife migration routes for jaguars, ocelots, mountain lions, deer and other animals.

Of these animals, the wall would be the most harmful to highly endangered jaguars, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. If the small population remaining in northern Mexico becomes blocked off, the U.S. population will never be reestablished.”

Continue reading:

“Donald Trump’s Great Wall on Mexican border will damage environment in ‘insane act of self-sabotage’

Making the cement needed for a 1,000-mile concrete wall would emit nearly two million tons of carbon dioxide and cut off endangered animals from part of their territory.”

“Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico is “insane, useless” and an “act of self-sabotage”, environmental activists claim, as they say it will have a noticeable impact on climate change and threaten endangered species such as jaguars and ocelots without actually affecting immigration.”

Read More:

Here is the latest information to take into consideration. Sixty-Two miles of the proposed Mexican wall belongs to the Native American Tohono O’odham Nation. For the past 150 years their land has been divided between these two boarders. The wall will split tribal land the most of which is in Arizona with a small portion in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Wall would split tribal territory

“Our roots are here,” Richard Saunders said, standing by a border gate in San Miguel, which he and his wife pass through — when it is open — to visit her grandparents’ graves, 500 yards into Mexico. “Our roots are there, too, on the south side of this gate.”

The Tohono O’odham — they call themselves “desert people” — have been around since “time immemorial,” Jose likes to say; they and their predecessors were nomads in the region for thousands of years, roaming for water and food on mountains and lowlands.”

Read More:

Better things 25 billion could be spent on.

Health Care

“We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease — but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications.”
It’s estimated there are between 20,000 and 45,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance.

This is the face of health care in America, yet Trump’s priority is to build a wall in addition of course to repealing Obamacare also called Affordable Care or Affordable Health Care Act.

I admit to not know a lot about the Affordable Care Act, it is so complicated. What really is needed is a universal system of health care like we have here in the UK. However as it appears to me Obama Care is thus far the best option.

This is how American health care kills people:

Key Facts about the Uninsured Population

What is needed is a publicly funded universal health care plan, the USA is a rich country there is no reason why people should die simply because they cannot afford insurance, the cost of which gets higher as people become chronically ill, have a preexisting condition or as they get older.

Poverty and Hunger in the USA

In the USA 17 million children go to bed hungry. Forty-Five Million Americans Struggle to put food on the Table More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.

What Urban Hunger Looks Like Now

In 2015 there were 43.1 million people in poverty. 19.4 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four”

Click the link below for more facts and stats, while there has been some improvements over time in some areas the huge number of people suffering hunger and poverty in one of the richest countries in the world is extreme. Frankly it is a grave social injustice that anyone anywhere dies of hunger when in the right circumstances enough food can be produced to feed everyone, however anyone suffering such deprivations in a rich country where food and other of life’s essentials is readily available in abundance is just appalling.

Here is a shocking and shameful statistic
Majority of Holocaust survivors in US live in poverty, charity says


Tied in with poverty and hunger is of course homelessness

There are an estimated 1.56 million people who are homeless in the USA though these estimates vary. Estimates show that nearly 1.4 million children are homeless in the USA every year.

Number of homeless children and adults in America has increased:

Millions of people in the US are evicted every year because they cannot pay the rent.

No place like home: America’s eviction epidemic

Soaring rents and low wages have hit the poorest families in the US hard. Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond introduces an extract from his heartbreaking book about the crisis

“In America, families have watched their incomes stagnate, or even fall, while their housing costs have soared. Median rent has increased by more than 70% since 1995. Meanwhile, only one in four families who qualify for housing assistance receive it, and in the nation’s biggest cities the waiting list for public housing is not counted in years but decades. The typical poor American family does not live in public housing but receives no government assistance whatsoever. The result? Today, the majority of poor renting families in America spend more than half of their income on housing, and at least one in four dedicates more than 70% to paying the rent and keeping the lights on.

It is estimated that millions of Americans are evicted every year because they can’t make rent…”

Please read the complete article:

Homeless Veterans

Shocking fact around 47,725, or about 8% of the homeless population, are veterans. 

“Homeless veterans have served in several different conflicts from WWII to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of veteran homelessness in the nation (145.8 homeless veterans per 10,000). 45% of homeless veterans are black or Hispanic. While less than 10% of homeless veterans are women, that number is rising.”

A further1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness. This may be due to poverty, overcrowding in government housing, and lack of support networks. Research indicates that those who served in the late Vietnam and post-Vietnam era are at greatest risk of homelessness. War-related disabilities or disorders often contribute to veteran homelessness, including physical disabilities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, depression and anxiety, and addiction.”

Read More: http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/2016-homelessness-statistics/

I don’t know about putting America first, but its time to put people first, all people regardless of race, creed, nationality, rich or poor – though frankly it is time that there were no rich and no poor, it is greed and capitalism that is the root cause of poverty, hunger and homelessness.   It is time for equality, genuine equality including material equality. It is time to do away with greed and the struggle for power, the roots of all the evils of this world. We do not need to be building more walls that’s for sure.In the twenty-first century whether it be the USA or Africa no one should die because they cannot afford to eat because others have more than their needs, because others have so much power they can squander resources to bolster their own prejudices and egos and destroy lives including that of other animals and the very planet itself.

If anyone is in any doubt concerning the sheer stupidity of such a huge project as the Mexican wall, the following video may add some perspective.

Here’s the entire US-Mexico border in 6 minutes.

Related Links

Donald Trump’s #MuslimBan sparks outrage and fear:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/donald-trump-muslimban-sparks-outrage-fear-170128070007650.html – maybe a different kind of wall but a wall nonetheless.


What it would take to build Trump’s border wall – includes video



Help Stop Animal Experiments: Please Send Messages and Sign Petitions

“Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.”
George Bernard Shaw

Scroll down for actions to take including petitions. If you don’t have time to read the information below please at least take some of the suggested actions to help stop the awful suffering inflicted on helpless animals in laboratories.

Recently I noticed the following disturbing article about animal testing which adds more support to the many reasons why this shocking cruelty to animals needs to end once and for all, forever. No exceptions, no excuses. The fact that still today we treat helpless innocent animals so appallingly shames us. There is not one country in the world that does experiment on animals. Yes there has been some progress such as the EU’s ban on cosmetic testing, but animals are still used in experiments and medical research and continue to be tested for cosmetics in many countries such as China and the USA.

According to the Huffington post there have been cases of cannibalism, drowning, starvation, pain and distress such as from the lack of anesthesia as a result of neglect by staff in laboratories in the UK. That is of course in addition to all the other horrors of vivisection which our government and others permit as routine and acceptable.

Cannibalism Among ‘Horrendous’ Cases of Animal Testing Neglect Revealed By Home Office Report

Mice who hadn’t been fed for up to four days ate each other.

Please read the complete article:

The answer of course to such neglect and harmful practices is to discontinue animal testing.

Note: “In 2015 there was a 7% rise in the number of experiments conducted on animals in the UK, which anti-vivisection campaigners said made a “mockery” of the government’s pledge to the ‘3Rs’ – replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in scientific research.”

“The number of completed animal experiments rose from 3.87 million in 2014 to 4.14 million the following year.”

That’s right in 2015 4.14 million animals suffered in ways unimaginable and died. That’s here in the UK alone! Each year, more than 100 million animals are killed in laboratories in the USA 

The use of animals in experiments including medical research should be banned entirely.

Animals have a right to their lives as we do. To an animal his or her life is important. Animals have a brain and a nervous system, so feel pain, experience fear and suffer much as we would if subjected to the same abuses.We have no right to use animals in this way, there is no ethical justification, there never will be.  We set ourselves above the other creatures with whom we share this planet, but in reality we are no better than any other animal, all animals wish to live, all animals try to avoid pain and suffering. All animal experimentation should come to an end, it’s barbarity at its worse, torture beyond our ability to imagine. Look at the picture of a rabbit at the beginning of the video below fitted with a cannulas, I have shown this before in a previous post because it is just so shocking.

The video below is difficult to watch. Vile wicked evil people, shame on them though I doubt they have the decency to feel shame, let alone compassion or empathy, – guilt also has no part to play in the lives of such callous unfeeling people.

Take Action

There are many petitions and other actions you can take to help bring an end to this form of suffering, here are just a few of them.

Please take as many of the actions below as you can to help save animals from the cruelty of vivisection ( animal experimentation)


Send a message Victoria’s Secret



Want to help the countless thousands of animals suffering in laboratories. Click the link below where you can send a message to Victoria’s Secret, which will be selling their products in China where tests on animals are required.

http://features.peta.org/stop-animal-testing/  Scroll down to send the mssage


Tell Windex: Stop Animal Testing!  – The list of cruelty by S.C Johnson the makers of Windex in these experiments is utterly sickening

“Windex is a window cleaner company that is manufactured by S.C. Johnson. S.C. Johnson tests the ingredients in Windex on animals in experiments that often result in their death. Each year, more than 100 million animals are abused in the procedures and killed. Please sign this petition to refuse purchasing Windex because the company tests on animals!

S.C. Johnson’s use of animal experimentation is an unethical and inhumane practice where animals such as dogs, rabbits, birds, mice, and monkeys are forced to comply with painful experiments. Some methods that take place during animal testing include:

  • Pouring corrosive chemicals on their bare skin
  • Injecting chemicals into their eyes
  • Repeatedly force fed large substances
  • Forced inhalation of toxic gases”

Please read more, sign and share the petition:


Demand safer medicines, using better science than animal tests (*UK only*)

“Our medicines are killing us! Adverse drug reactions have reached epidemic proportions, sending a million Britons to hospital and killing more than 10,000 every year.

Currently, new medicines are approved for human testing on the basis of animal tests, as required by the government. But 9 out of 10 drugs fail in human trials because they are unsafe or ineffective, despite appearing safe and effective in animal tests.”

Read More and please sign

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Safer-Medicines/  At the time of publishing this blog post there were 4,760 signatures, 10,000 are required, so please share widely

The above petition was set up by Safer Medicines: http://www.safermedicines.org/

Animal Defenders International

Immediate action needed to end the use of animals in experiments!

“I believe that it is wrong to carry out experiments on animals when there are better, safer and humane alternatives available.

I urge the government to take action immediately to replace the use of animals in research. Animal experiments are unreliable, unethical and unnecessary.”

Please read more and sign the petition.

https://www.ad-international.org/petitions/?a=sign&pid=4&l=UK  This petition may be signed by anyone worldwide.

Ongoing campaigns and organisations fighting to abolish vivisection


Lots of ideas from NEAVS (New England Anti-Vivisection Society)for ways to help animals suffering in labs

Home Page: http://www.neavs.org/


Citizens for Alternatives to animal Research and Experimentation

National Anti-vivisection Society

Advancing Science Without Harming Animals.
Home Page: http://www.navs.org/

One Green Planet

5 Awesome Organizations Fighting to End Animal Testing

Cruelty Free International

To finish do watch this moving video about rabbits rescued from a lab.

Six rabbits rescued from lab testing – Seis conejos rescatados de la experimentación animal

A couple of the bunnies are hesitant to leave the confines of the pet carrier, no doubt as a result of being imprisoned in a tiny cage they are not used to their freedom

Its good to know that there are people care about animals and that some abused animals find happiness, love and freedom.

Related Links


5 Horrific Animal Experiments Happening NOW
http://www.peta.org/features/current-animal-experiments/  – There is suggested action you can take at the bottom of the webpage

Please Sign Petition: Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care


So I can’t show you how, exactly, health care is a basic human right. But what I can argue is that no one should have to die of a disease that is treatable.
Paul Farmer

Please sign and share the following petition

Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care

“It’s easy to forget how bad things were before we passed the Affordable Care Act. But six years ago, almost half of all Americans were at risk of being denied access to health care because of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies could deny coverage to children with cancer.”

Please read more and sign and share the petition

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/713/819/785/?z00m=28775294  -Anyone worldwide may sign this petition. 

As we all are so painfully aware Trump intends to dismantle Obamacare ( Affordable Care) which while not anywhere near perfect and complicated it is far better than previous options.

I am not a resident of the USA and do not know all the ins and outs of Affordable Care sometimes called the Affordable Care Act ACA or Obamacare but know that if it is repealed many people will die or suffer from illnesses which are treatable simply because they do not have the money to pay the huge price of medical treatment in the USA. I think the majority of people would rather see improvements to the existing Affordable Care rather than have it scrapped.

Here is what one of the signatories of the above petition says about Affordable Care Act

“I have a chronic life threatening illness that will not ever go into remission. If I have a crisis I need immediate emergency medical care or I will die. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve been to the ER 28 times in the last two years for emergency treatment. Without the ACA my family would be destitute. “

Here is what  Bernie Sanders says about the proposal to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act:
“As Republicans try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they should be reminded every day that 36,000 people will die yearly as a result.”
Sen Bernie Sanders

Instead of spending huge amounts of money on building the monument to racism, the Mexican border wall, the USA should spend the money on medical treatment for all. The USA is a rich country, it is shameful that people die or are ill simply because they cannot afford health care.

I don’t know about put American First, such nationalist slogans go against all I believe in. However it is time to Put People First. How can anyone with any decency who claims to have the interests of the American people as foremost on his agenda, than go on to deny these same people adequate health care. From my perspective Obamacare is a vast improvement on the previous system and the focus should be continued improvement rather than repeal.

However, isn’t it time for universal health care?

“No society can legitimately call itself civilized if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”
Aneurin Bevan

Here is what happens in the UK. In the late 1940s the Nation Health Services was founded. Since that time regardless of your financial situation you are entitled to free health care. If you get sick you telephone the surgery where you are registered as a patient and book an appointment with a GP (general practitioner). There is no charge no matter how many times you have to see a GP. Your medication may not be free if you are working but if you are a child, a pensioner or someone on certain benefits your prescriptions are free. For everyone else there is a basic charge of £8.40 per item. Not ideal I know and frankly it is time prescriptions were free as they once were when the NHS first came into being. Nevertheless the cost in most cases is far less than the cost of the medication particularly in comparison to the huge charge for medication in the USA. If you require hospital treatment it is entirely free from the most basic of treatment to the most expensive. You will not be charged if you have to call an ambulance as is the case in the USA. You are also entitled to certain health screening services though this is restricted to age. For the optician and dentist there is a charge for some people but again children, the retired and those on certain benefits are entitled to an eye test though for the glasses there is a charge.

Being seriously or chronically ill is a life changing event without the additional worry of financing treatment, the cost of which in the USA is astronomical. Not everyone can afford insurance which in any case is not ideal, insurance companies are after all in it for profit. Without insurance treatment, major surgery for example is beyond the means of most people.

Incidentally regarding cost, the USA charge far more than most other countries for medical treatment. Consider the following:

In the USA heart surgery is about $90,000, in India it is just £1,8000 while treatment for diabetes is less than 10% of what it costs Americans.

“In Bangalore, India, heart surgeons perform daily state-of-the-art heart surgery on adults and children at an average cost of $1,800. For the record, that’s about 2% of the $90,000 that the average heart surgery costs in the United States. And when it comes to the quality of the heart surgery, the patient outcomes are among the best in the world.”

U.S. health care needs a wakeup call from India: Column

Though this is cheap most families in India and indeed the USA still cannot afford insurance or find the money to pay for treatment even at this low-cost. Healthcare still needs to be universal, free for everyone. Nevertheless such low-cost needs to be commended and is better than the state of affairs regarding over priced medical care in the USA, furthermore “…contrary to what Americans may assume, the entire surgical experience is cutting edge, and beyond what is available almost anywhere in the United States.”

Time to make health care a universal right for everyone regardless of income or location.

The NHS has been there during my life time and I cannot imagine what it must be like not to be able to receive treatment when I am ill. The insecurity, particularly for poor people must be a significant detriment.

Health care USA Style

The following is a shocking and harrowing story of the struggle for survival of a seriously ill man as he tries to get the treatment he desperately needs to save his life and his difficulties concerning the enormous bills which rapidly accumulated.

“Matthew Stewart owes $62,668.78 for drugs, surgeries, and other treatment. With both bankruptcy and possibly fatal liver failure looming, he doesn’t even bother opening his bills anymore, he told The Week. “There was no point. They just upset everyone,” he says.

Stewart is 29 years old,…”

“The details of Stewart’s story are immensely complex, but the basic reality is fairly simple. A man got very sick, and had to have a serious medical procedure, or die. That care was available, and he did get it. But the medical system then bled him of every last penny it could legally get its hands on, despite his supposedly good insurance. The immense cost wrecked his finances, but merciless means tests made it all but impossible to access the skinflint social insurance system in Texas.”

Continue reading:

http://theweek.com/articles/666799/how-american-health-care-kills-people – If you are in any  doubt about the complexity of healthcare in the USA be sure to read this article, I cannot even begin to imagine the hell that this poor man and his family endured trying to navigate the complexity of this chaotic, callous health care system where medical providers find loopholes that they can exploit to their advantage.

“Doesn’t ObamaCare have out-of-pocket limits that would prevent this sort of thing?

It does indeed. But there are numerous loopholes that medical providers can and do take advantage of.”

The above is a  good case in point for the introduction of a universal health care system similar to the NHS here in the UK. In the mean time Obmamacare has made improvements but much more needs to be done to improve it rather than repeal it, such as fixing the above mentioned loopholes.

Here is what will happen without Obamacare

Katie’s Story And Why America Needs Obamacare

“The Republican leaders don’t seem to care about Kate, about you, about me, about Americans.”

“With the Republican leadership meeting behind closed doors last week to consider the future of America’s health care system, I want to share a pertinent story. Before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) passed, my wife, Katie, sat with Michelle Obama during the president’s speech on health care to a joint session of Congress. Three weeks before that, Kate introduced President Obama at the town hall on health care held in our home town.  Kate was selected for the town hall because she was once dropped by her health insurance company, something President Obama wanted to highlight that day.  But in truth, Kate’s story with recurrent cancer includes at least a half dozen of the problems that Obamacare solved.”

Continue reading:

Health insurance facelift requires a scalpel not an ax

“Tom Bohigian, former state director for Sen. Barbara Boxer, says as the new administration and Congress prepare to chloroform the Affordable Care Act, it is important to look at the broad picture of our fellow Americans. More than 20 million Americans who did not have health insurance before the ACA now do”

“The Affordable Care Act has continued that progress of keeping more Americans healthy. I hope our leaders today will take the time to think this through before acting. It truly is a matter of life and death.”
Read more:

Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can’t let that happen.
Kerry Washington

Here is what Trump says about health care

“I support health care for people. I want people well taken care of. But I also want health care that we can afford as a country. I have people and friends closing down their businesses because of Obamacare. “
Donald Trump Emphasis mine

The last sentence sums up nicely his real agenda. As for affording health care… The USA is one of the richest countries in the world. There is money to cut corporate Tax, build walls , wage wars but no money for health care? 

I don’t know about making America Great Again but it is certainly time to Make America Healthy Again don’t you think Mr Trump?

Please sign and share the petition:

Tell Congress: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care

Related Links

More about healthcare USA  style

A slightly different issue but related nonetheless

Healthcare and Trump’s travel ban: data shows success of doctors trained abroad

Research shows slightly better outcomes for US patients treated by doctors educated outside US – and many come from countries affected by Trump order




More Action to help rabbits: Please Urge Online Retailer Zulily to Stop Selling Angora

Please speak out for helpless rabbits who suffer horrendously as their fur is ripped from their bodies.


Please send a message to online retailer Zulily which continues to sell angora despite having heard from PETA and their supporters that rabbits are often tied down and scream in pain as their fur is torn out. It is time Zulily joined the  230 companies that have already banned angora-including fellow QVC Group subsidiary QVC, Gap Inc., Lands’ End, H&M, Inditex, Express, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and many others.

If all retailers stop selling Angora this cruelty will end. Please help PETA’s campaign to urge Zulily’s to stop supporting this cruelty and discontinue it’s sale of clothing and accessories made from angora. 

Please support the following campaign from PETA by sending a message to Zulily’s

“Why would anyone want to wear clothing or accessories made with fur from tortured rabbits? Zulily, an online retailer that sells clothing, toys, and home products around the world, continues to do just that—despite learning from PETA that rabbits are abused to obtain angora wool.”

Please read more and send the message. Edit if you can and use your own words, but if this is not possible for some reason simply send the message as it is. Please be polite.

Urge Online Retailer Zulily to Stop Selling Angora:

http://www.peta.org/action/action-alerts/zulily-angora/?utm_campaign=021017%20peta%20e-news&utm_source=peta%20e-mail&utm_medium=e-news  – scroll down to send the message.

Other Action

Please send them a Tweet:

Please also comment on facebook:

Further information

Please click the following link to read more about the cruelty of the angora trade and sign a pledge never to wear angora

A Look Inside the Angora Rabbit Wool Industry

After watching this video, you’ll never buy Angora again.

Warning: Distressing images which will most definitely upset many people – if you are a normal caring compassionate person that is, sadly there are many people who care only for profit at the expense of animals and are prepared to overlook such vile atrocities as the cruelty behind Angora. 

“The undercover footage, shot by PETA Asia, reveals routine cruelty to angora rabbits, whose long, soft fur is often used in sweaters and accessories. The investigator filmed workers who were violently ripping the fur from the animals’ sensitive skin as they screamed at the top of their lungs in pain. After this terrifying and barbaric ordeal, which the rabbits endure every three months, many of them appeared to go into severe shock. After two to five years, those who have survived are hung upside down, their throats are slit, and their carcasses are sold.

Rabbits who have their fur cut or sheared also suffer: During the cutting process, their front and back legs are tightly tethered—a terrifying experience for any prey animal—and the sharp cutting tools inevitably wound them as they struggle desperately to escape.”

Continue reading and sign the pledge.

Please share widely – With with all the turmoil throughout the world we should never forget the ongoing plight of animals who desperately need our help.

The Tory Government is no Longer Accepting Disabled Refugee Children Escaping the War in Syria

Just when you think this government could not get more callous, more cruel, more indifferent.

The Tory Government is on longer accepting disabled refugee children escaping the war in Syria and elsewhere because it says it cannot cope with their needs.


According to the following article in the Independent the Government’sVulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, which is supposed to rehome 3,000 children with their families from countries including Syria, Libya, Yemen and Iraq, is not accepting young people with complex needs, including disabilities and learning difficulties.”

Shantha Barriga, director of Human Rights Watch’s disability rights division, said: “Shutting the door on vulnerable children is an affront to British values.

“People with disabilities endure unimaginable hardship during conflict, and many faced huge hurdles in escaping the violence. That the UK now says it’s not prepared to accept refugees with disabilities is unthinkable.

“It’s an indefensible decision and blatant discrimination. The UK is not simply lacking ‘suitable accommodation’ in this case, but seems to be lacking political will.”

Read more:

So many of the comments following the above article are just appalling, how people can say such things so openly, particularly when it concerns the welfare of children is shocking, their selfishness and bigotry is so palpable.

Shame on the government, a new low even by Tory standards. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, of course we can care for these disabled children. It is just that the government does not want to, they would rather give tax concessions to corporations. The Tories have no humanity, no compassion. These long suffering and very vulnerable children should be taken in and given refuge, we are more than able to provide the care these children need here in the UK as we are the care that our own disabled children and adults need but which they are often denied .

Sadly we do not take care of disabled people already living in this country. In both cases it is not the lack of finances or the inability to provide for disabled people whether refugees or otherwise, it is simply that the government do not want to do so. With cuts in services and to benefits life is a struggle for disabled and sick people here in the UK. This latest decision to deny access to the UK for disabled refugee children confirms the government’s callous uncaring attitude to disabled and sick people.

Not only the government of course it seems that as a country we have become less caring, ignoring the plight of others with callous indifference even outright hostility, not only of people from other countries but at home also. So few have stood against the government’s assault on disabled people, the cuts in  benefits and services which have left disabled people struggling, making already difficult lives more miserable.

If we – as a nation – get used to being mean-spirited to refugees, then we will end up being increasingly mean-spirited to others ‘closer to home’.  The ‘not my problem’ mantra will turn into a habitual mindset, which will eventually include (or exclude) all of us.

The above comment on the independent article sums this up nicely. It is one of the very few supportive compassionate comments.

Also the UK the UK government announced it will end a scheme that allows unaccompanied child refugees to come to the UK.

Action you can take – petition, tweet, send e-mails/letters

Stand up for the right of unaccompanied child refugees to seek a safe home in the UK.

Please sign petitions and take the other actions below, while they do not specifically relate to disabled refugee children they nonetheless concern refugee children the UK had previously promised to allow entry in the UK


UK: Don’t abandon Syrian child refugees

“The Syrian war has left thousands of children without a family. Alone in the world, carrying the trauma of the horrors they have been through, many of these children still have nowhere safe to call home. Please sign this petition to demand that the UK government honour its pledge to give sanctuary to 3,000 Syrian child refugees.

Please read more and sign the petition:

Please read the following from   Global Citizen and take the suggested actions

“On Wednesday, our government announced it will end a scheme that allows unaccompanied child refugees to come to the UK.

I believe this is shameful – and requires immediate public outcry. Click here to send a tweet to Home Secretary Amber Rudd calling for reversal of this decision.

The scheme was devised by a former child refugee – Alfred Dubs – who was rescued from the Nazis and brought to London as a 6-year-old by the ‘Kindertransport’ in 1939. He now says he owes his life to Sir Nicholas Winton, who started the scheme.

We are not talking about terrorists. We are talking about children who are alone, with no family, home, or safe place to go. If we, as one of the richest countries in the world, cannot find the compassion to help, who will?

I believe Britain is better than this. If you agree, click here to tweet Amber Rudd calling on her to keep this scheme running and allow unaccompanied child refugees a safe home in the UK.

With hope,

Zoe and the Global Citizen team

PS. Not on Twitter? Click here to write a letter to a refugee instead.

There are just 3000 children, a small number.

Write to Amber Rudd and Teresa May voicing your concerns about the abandonment of lone refugee children along with the UKs’ recent rejection of disabled children. Both shockingly shameful acts. Please be polite. I know it makes those of us who care about others very angry, we cannot understand the cold indifference to suffering, particularly to vulnerable children, which of course all children are whether able or disabled.

You can contact Amber Rudd here:

You may wish also to send your comments to Teresa May:

Related Link

50,000-name petition against the scrapping of asylum scheme for child refugees is delivered to Downing Street

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/50000-name-petition-against-scrapping-9800408  It is so good to see that many people care about this grave social injustice.

Join March Against Racism


“There is a link between inflammatory statements by politicians and racist attacks and hate crimes on the street. There has been a rise in such crimes in Britain, following the EU referendum and a similar pattern has emerged in the US. Now is the time for people of goodwill to unite and stand up to racism.”
Diane Abbott 

Please join the following national demonstration on 18th March 2017 

National demonstration: March Against Racism March 18 2017, UN Anti-Racism Day London, Glasgow and Cardiff

National Demo- Refugees and Migrants Welcome – Stand Up To Racism, Islamophobia & Anti-Semitism

Amid a vitriolic atmosphere of anti-migrant hysteria following the EU referendum, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced she will trigger article 50 by the end of March 2017 in order to “have the freedom to choose the way we control immigration.”

In a situation where migrants, Muslim women and anyone considered to be ‘foreign’ are being attacked on a daily basis and refugees are being abandoned by Britain and Europe to destitution, drowning and exploitation, there has never been a more important time in recent history to stand up to racism.

Read more – includes details of march and public transport information.


Check Twitter and facebook for more action ideas and notifications



“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Fred Hampton

Since Brexit and Trump’s election there has been a marked increase in racism, or at least these two events have given racists leave to openly display their hatred. Since last year racists have been emboldened as a result of these occurrences, particularly the US elections.  Unless we speak out, as a result of the hateful rhetoric and the actions of Donald Trump and others both in the USA and here in the UK there could well begin the normalisation of racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-immigrants, anti-Muslim, even anti-Semitism and hatred for refugees despite their obvious plight and the enormous suffering they have endured.

With the election of Donald Trump racists the world over now feel encouraged; their hatred, prejudice and bigotry inflamed, now sanctioned by the most powerful man in the world, the president of the US. Trump used people’s prejudices and hatred to secure his election victory inciting hatred towards Mexicans, black people, immigrants and Muslims.

The aftermath of the UK’s EU referendum has also resulted in a sharp rise in racism including hate crimes ranging from verbal abuse to violent attacks. Such attacks have focused on Polish immigrants and Muslims, one pregnant Islamic woman lost her baby as a result of one such attack  and many Polish people have been the focus of racist motivated abuse and violence.

In both cases the flames of racism have been fanned by politicians. In the USA immigrants have been used as scapegoats. Trump’s campaign rhetoric portrays a country under siege from refugees and immigrants, particularly Mexicans and Muslims.  To stir hatred he slanders Mexicans as “rapists” and “murderers,” threatening to build a wall and imposes the Muslim ban. The conservative government has used a similar tactic to distract from the financial crisis and their failing economic policies blaming immigrants and refugees for many of the ills that have befallen this country as a result of the Tory policies of Austerity. Encouraged and baited by the government and the media many people now blame immigrants for the shortage of housing, long NHS waiting lists and job shortages to name just a few of the many grievances for which immigrants have been scapegoated. I consider that many people voted to leave the EU simply as a result of their zenophobic/racist attitudes. The UK was once a more tolerant society who stood up for the underdog, we had a reputation for lack of racism and other prejudice. Sadly so much has changed. I like our multicultural society, the presence of other cultures enriches our own. We are, after all said and done, one species, one race, the human race.

Please attend the March on the 18th March we must never allow the current climate of racism and other prejudices to become acceptable.

More anti racist quotes

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
Joseph Fort Newton

“Forty-two years after Dr. King was murdered, we are still a nation of inequality. People of color, women, gays, lesbians, and others are still treated as second-class citizens. Yes, things have changed but we have still not achieved equality among all humans. And nonhuman animals continue to be chattel property without any inherent value.”
Gary L. Francione

“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
Thurgood Marshall

We all have no choice but to do better.

The world is in turmoil, the rise of right-wing political agendas, bigotry, rampant racism,  anti-Muslim, anti-Semitism
ant-migrants, anti-refugees, homophobia, sexism … I have I missed anything, it seems that everyone hates everyone else. It has to stop, we need one world, one race, the human race.

Related Links

Keep in mind it is not only over in the USA and here in the UK but also in the rest of Europe that we need to be concerned about the rise in racism and other prejudices.

It’s not just Trump’s US. Anti-Muslim hate threatens Europe too

The Islamophobic ideologues at the heart of the new US administration have allies on this side of the Atlantic. We must all fight the spread of their divisive lies

8 Surprising Facts About Migration the Tabloids Don’t Want You to Know

Blaming immigrants and a tolerant society

Muslim-Mexican scapegoats in Trump’s America: Voices

Brexit: Surge in anti-immigrant hate crime in areas that voted to leave EU

Credit: Racism quotes from Good Reads http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/racism

Please Send a Message to Tell Kathmandu: Stop Paying for Duck Torture!

Tell Kathmandu: Stop Paying for Duck Torture!


“To be clear, there is no ethical way to rip birds’ feathers out—how could that ever be OK? Yet Kathmandu claims to use “100% ethically sourced” down in its products. Puh-lease.”

Please support PETA’s campagin to ask  Kathmandu to stand up for animals and stop selling—and lying about—down.

Please continue reading and send the message. Edit if you can do so, but please send the message as it is if you cannot. Please be polite.


For anyone who does not know Kathmandu is a retailer of outdoor wear and camping equipment.

In addition to the PETA message you may wish to write to them using your own e-mail account or send a letter. You can use the PETA message as a template. Please be polite.

You can find contact details for the UK here: http://www.kathmandu.co.uk/help-centre

Below are the contact details ( e-mail and telephone) for the following countries:

New Zealand:http://www.kathmandu.co.nz/help-centre


The postal addresses of all three countries are available here:

As always please share widely.

If you don’t live in any of these countries you can of course write using any of the contact details above or use the “Get in Touch” form in the above link.


Warning very distressing imagines of appalling cruelty to Geese

“Investigators saw workers violently rip feathers out of fully conscious geese—leaving open, bloody wounds. Many struggled to escape and screamed as their feathers were torn out, while others froze, paralyzed with fear.”

There is no way to ethically acquire down. Keep in mind that the use of feathers from birds killed for meat is of course not ethical or humane, death is never humane, how can it be all beings wish to live. Animals have a right to their lives. The right thing to do is not to use down, refuse to buy garments or bedding which contain down.

There is no need to use down, there are plenty of synthetic materials which are just as warm if not warmer. As I often say I cannot understand how people can be so cruel, it takes a callous emotionless person to rip feathers from a living sentient creature who feels pain and suffers as we do. The fact that there are such people in our society that can do this without much concern or hesitation disturbs me greatly. You cannot be a good caring person towards your fellow man if you can so callously without remorse deal so cruelly with helpless animals.

The quotations below say it all

“Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character; and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”
Arthur Schopenhauer (philosopher)

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
Immanuel Kant

The Story of an African Elephant

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?”
David Attenborough


Scroll down for petitions and other actions to help elephants.

Shocking fact: African elephants could be extinct in our lifetime!

As a result of the actions of a minority of human beings in the name of superstition and greed elephants face imminent extinction unless we act now!

Poachers slaughtering  these highly intelligent animals as a response to the demand for ivory is the greatest threat to these iconic animals. Both the legal and illegal trade in ivory is devastating many elephant populations.

Click the link below to follow the story of one little elephant and learn how you can help save her species.

The herd into which this little elephant was born amounted to thirty animals, now only 12 remain. She is only 7 years old yet during her short life elephant populations have plummeted by 30 per cent!

According to the Great Elephant census poaching is wiping out these animals to the point of extinction. From a population of 1.3 million in the 1970 elephants have dwindled to just  350,000 animals

Learn more about poaching and ways to help save these highly endangered animals by following the story from the African Wildlife Foundation of this baby elephant and also taking some or all of the suggested actions further down:


We can at times feel so helpless, signing petitions seems so little, so distant from the problem. How can this help we may ask ourselves? The fact is every signature counts. The more people who sign the more hope there is that things will change You may be but one voice, one signature but that joins thousands even millions of others, like drops of water every single signature adds up.

Robert F Kennedy said:“The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.”

Every action helps to improve the situation and bring about change. Every signature counts towards “making things better” so please sign as many petitions as you can.

Pleased do not be put off if asked to comment or personalise a message. All well and good if you can but not everyone is up to the task, it not,  just add you name that is the most important action you can take.

Take Action

(Apologies for the last minute notice on some of these petitions however this post was written a while ago and the publication has been delayed) Please sign as many of the suggested actions as you can

Bloody Ivory Campaign Petition

“Elephants are still being killed in their thousands for Bloody Ivory. Illegal ivory is still being smuggled out of Africa.
We must stop this happening and support improved protection for elephants.”

Please Sign below now!

Petition: Shut down the domestic ivory market in the UK.  This petition can only be signed by residents in the UK. – There are more petitions and actions everyone can take further down. 

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/165905    Important: Please note this petition has reached over 100,000 signatures this means parliament has to consider the petition for debate.  Parliament has set a date for the debate on 6 February 2017. But please keep signing and sharing, the more people who sign the more pressure there will be on the government to stand by their manifesto pledge for the past two elections to shut down the UK’s domestic ivory market . 

You’ll be able to watch online at parliamentlive.tv

Send a message

Also please take the following Take action from IFAW and send a message to your MP ( I am not sure but I think that this message can only be sent by residents in the UK)

Ask your MP to help ban the UK ivory trade:
There is a template letter please edit if you can, but if for some reason this is not possible send it as it is. This needs to be sent straight the way as the debate takes this coming Monday Feb 6th.

African Elephants are not the only elephants under threat, Asian elephants also face a fight for survival as a result of human impact on their forest homes, poaching and disease.

Save the Asian Elephants

Read more about the plight of Asian Elephants and take the recommended actions

Save the Asian Elephant:  https://stae.org/    –  Please at least sign the petition:
Petition to end the cruel treatment of elephants in India – by Save The Asian Elephants  https://www.change.org/p/save-the-asian-elephants-savetheasianelephants

More action you can take from Save the Elephants:
  – Scroll down this page to access ideas of how to help, please take as many of the suggested actions as you can.

Save the Elephants: STOP BLOODY IVORY
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/no_more_bloody_ivory/?pv=14&rc=fb  This is a quick sign petition

Action from WWF: Adopt an elephant

“The magnificent Asian elephant is threatened by extinction in the wild, its habitat is shrinking fast.

Asian elephants used to roam across most of Asia, but now they’re restricted to just 15% of their original range. Asian elephant numbers have dropped by at least 50% over the last three generations, and they’re still in decline today.”

Read more about adopting an elephant


More Information

Why are Elephants Important?

“Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousnesses that are capable of strong emotions. Across Africa they have inspired respect from the people that share the landscape with them, giving them a strong cultural significance. As icons of the continent elephants are tourism magnets, attracting funding that helps protect wilderness areas. They are also keystone species, playing an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live.”


Action for Elephants UK

Photo Credit:

By Rob Hooft – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13973


One in Four People in The UK Live in Substandard Housing

Again this is another delayed blog post which was written back in October last year, however as before in such matters little has changed.

Other than being homeless there can be few things in life more depressing than living in substandard housing, yet here in the sixth richest country in the world the UK one in four people spend most of their time in cramped unhealthy and unsuitable homes. It seems even worse when the people concerned are elderly, like the couple in the video included in the article below, or children.

“More than four in 10 homes in Britain do not reach acceptable standards in areas such as cleanliness, safety and space, housing charity Shelter says.

Shelter’s new Living Home Standard considers affordability, neighbourhood, decent conditions, stability and space.

It said affordability was the biggest problem, and people should “live and thrive” in homes, not just “get by”.

The government said housing was an absolute priority and its affordable housing budget was doubling.”

Continue reading
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37655908  – Please be sure to watch the video

The government’s idea of affordable homes leaves much to be desired. With low wages it is difficult to save a deposit never mind the repayments. Below is an example of what you might be expected to pay for the least expensive properties  in the northeast usually considered one of the cheapest locations. Though you can find cheaper there may be a lot of work required to bring it up to standard.

Last year the average price of a house or flat in the North of England was £123,914
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36656134  –  A deposit of 5 or 10 percent is usually required.

I don’t have exact figures as it is very complicated but a house with the price of £99.950 you will need a deposit of £4,998 and keep in mind houses that cheap which are worth buying are few and far between.

A deposit of nearly five thousands pounds is hardly affordable, it is not easy to save that kind of money on a basic minimum wage while paying high rent in the meantime. Apparently affordable housing includes rented property… Where I would like to ask? Where is there a house or a flat that is really affordable. Even social housing is not affordable and takes a huge amount of your income, as for the private sector with an average rent of £764 a month, private rent is unaffordable for those on a low income and is furthermore  insecure. Rents in general are expensive, even more so in certain areas of the country, London in particular

Rents continue to rise across the UK and in London

Latest figures show average rent outside London rose to £764 a month, while within the capital it hit £1,543

House prices are ten times the average wage

According to the following article house prices are 10 times the earning of people in England and Wales

Rising house prices drove the cost of buying a home in England and Wales to more than 10 times the average salary in over a third of local authority areas, official figures show.

Analysis of median salaries and prices by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) underlines how the growth in house prices has outpaced the increase in earnings in recent years.

Between 2002 and 2015, prices have risen by 88%, but median earnings have increased only by a quarter. As a result, the median price paid by buyers across England and Wales rose to six times average salaries in 2015, up from just four times earnings in 2002.

Continue reading:

The lady in the video  included in the BBC article above , sorry I can’t include the video here directly, says she doesn’t want to die there however she and her husband and others like them do not want to live there either.  My sister and brother-in-law lived in very similar accommodation, though there was an additional spare room the accommodation was cramped and dark, the radiator did not work, the housing association who owned the property did not bother to fix it. I recall a similar curtain dividing the tiny kitchen from the tiny living room. All the rooms were small with no access to a private outside area. I thought this was appalling,  which it was but for the couple in the video it is even worse, so claustrophobic.  No one should live in unfit accommodation. Space to live a full life is vital for well-being, to have room to participate in hobbies, to study, to work and to fulfill the need for privacy is essential, one of the reasons that the bedroom tax is a great social injustice.In an ideal society each person should have a room of his or her own, even children value their privacy. As a child I shared a room with my aunt and my sister , although this was some time ago now nothing much has changed it seems.

My present home has a huge problems with damp, a highly unsuitable living condition which is a significant detriment to health and wellbeing. Water running down your wall from October to March, and in recent years occasionally during the summer, is awful to live with as is the black mould that grows as a result, not only is it unhealthy it ruins your soft furnishings, your wood, your cloths, books and is so unsightly and smells just awful. If you ‘re not well it can become overwhelming to clean, it always returns and the black stain it leaves behind can only be painted over. Many homes in the UK are riddled with mould. It is expensive to fix. We do not have the finances to fix the problem so each year we have to face this on an ever-increasing intensity as the mould get worse with each passing year. There are no grants to help people to get this fixed, the cost of doing so is astronomical and the council loans are expensive

The photograph in the article below shows what it is like with black mould growing on the wall yet this is not mentioned in the substandard criteria, as you can see it is a significant detriment, no one in this wealthy country of ours should have to live with this sort of thing whether you rent your home or own it. Owning your home does not mean you ‘re well off, quite the contrary in fact. You struggle all your life to pay the mortgage subsisting on low wages and working long hours only to find that, even if by some miracle you manage to make your final payment, as you get older and have to subsist on a pension or you become sick or disabled or unemployed you cannot finance repairs such as a damp course or other damp proofing or roof repair all enormously expensive. Also if you get sick or disabled and cannot work you may not be able pay your mortgage and may end up homeless. Such is the insecurity of housing here in the UK.

Four in 10 British homes not up to standard, says Shelter

Also see

The Living Home Standard

I suspect in a short while the dust will settle. This story got a brief mention on the BBC news but I had to track it down on the internet. Things will continue much as before and people will continue to live out their lives in miserable homes while others live well beyond their needs . Such shames our country and our society. We need to demand a fair standard of living, decent wages for everyone, regardless of the job we do – we all have to live, we all contribute, everyone’s work is important, everyone’s life is important and everyone should have a good standard of living . You would know how vital a shelf filler’s work was if people who filled the supermarket shelves went on strike, yet they get poor wages. This also applies to people who through not fault of their own either as a result of sickness or disability are unable to work. All regardless of circumstances should have decent housing.

Note this comment on the Guardian article above

“It’s time the government called a halt to all regeneration schemes such as the Winstanley York Road behind Clapham Junction where 600 council flats are to be demolished to make way for a couple of thousand luxury flats starting at £1m+.

Wandsworth Council is suggesting tenants on the Winstanley give up their secure accommodation decamp to privately rented accommodation in… Birmingham.”


This is happening all over the country, and especially in London. We’ve already had the Heygate, West Hendon and Aylesbury fiascos, with the Winstanley, Alton and St. Johns already underway in just Wandsworth alone.

Maybe a different topic but related. The very idea of moving people away from their secure council homes to private rented properties  is appalling. Besides the cost of moving would take much of the puny financial incentive, it is never easy moving to another part of the country where you do not know anyone or have any family.

The article says the policy is a form of social cleansing and gentrification

The policy has also been slammed as ‘social cleansing’ and critics claim it is a back door attempt to gentrify areas of London by moving out low income families. But supporters say the incentives are being used encourage pensioners to free up larger homes for families.

I am certain that moving to another part of the country is not a good idea for pensioners who need the support of friends and family. Why should anyone move to some pig in the poke like the couple in the BBC article simply because they are old. Suitable accommodation is a must for everyone with space to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. As people age and become less active they do not wish to be shut up in some cramped accommodation looking at the same four walls day after day, living in the same room in which you sleep. This is what it is like in purpose built homes for the elderly. In a village where I lived I knew an elderly lady who lived in council sheltered accommodation for single people which consisted of a tiny bed sit with room for just a chair a TV and a table, behind a curtain at the end of the room was the single bed. A tiny kitchen and bathroom was all that there was. There was no private outside space or even a communal garden.

This country is now riddled with social injustice it hard to know where to start , I could rant on here indefinitely, it seems that poor people are shunted about from pillar to post at the whims of the wealthy, discarded when they are no longer useful or become an inconvenience.