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.

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

Don’t Vote Tory: Poverty

“Wherever we lift one soul from a life of poverty, we are defending human rights.
And whenever we fail in this mission,we are failing human rights.”

Kofi Annan United Nations Secretary-General

For a better life for millions of people living in poverty, vote out the vile Tory Party, Vote Labour.

In the UK there are 14 million people living in poverty including 4 million children

I hope to include an article about child poverty soon, but this time I am going to concentrate on poverty in the general population here in the UK

Keep in mind that the UK is the world’s 5th richest economy which makes the deliberate impoverishment of our citizens an appalling violation of human rights. Yes deliberate, as surely it is by intent.

You can read more on poverty and human rights in the document linked below from the United Nations Development Programme

Poverty Reduction and Human Rights

Poverty is a denial of human rights. Human rights refer to rights that are inherent to the
person and belong equally to all human beings.

Declaration of human rights articles associated with poverty:
http://content-ext.undp.org/aplaws_publications/1873321/povertyreduction-humanrights0603%5B1%5D.pdf

Article 23: We all have the right to employment, to be free to choose our work, and to be paid a fair salary that allows us to live and support our family. Everyone who does the same work should have the right to equal pay, without discrimination. We have the right to come together and form trade union groups to defend our interests as workers.

Article 25: We all have the right to enough food, clothing, housing and healthcare for ourselves and our families. We should have access to support if we are out of work, ill, elderly, disabled, widowed, or can’t earn a living for reasons outside of our control. An expectant mother and her baby should both receive extra care and support. All children should have the same rights when they are born.
https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Below are reported instances of poverty here in the UK. These are only a few examples, there are many more including much that goes unreported of course – the vast majority in fact. I think that it is often difficult to grasp the enormity of the situation. We are told that 14 million people in our affluent country live in poverty but somehow our mind does not grasp extent of this situation as it is difficult to envision such a large number.

Also it has to be said that in addition to these 14 million there are many others who struggle to get by, maybe they barely pay the bills and put food on the table and after doing so there may be little left for anything else. For many it is a struggle to maintain their home,  buy adequate clothing, participate in society, such as entertainment, or take a holiday. Often it may appear that a person is doing okay, they may have, a computer, a mobile phone and so on yet they cannot afford to repair the roof, fix damp or any other huge expenditure and as a result their lives can be miserable and their health may be compromised. It costs a few hundred pounds for a computer, and so on but to fix huge problems such as damp or to replace a roof can cost thousands of pounds and for many it will mean taking out a loan for which the payments are high. Older people may feel anxious to take the risk as they may lose their home if they cannot afford the repayments, while younger people may feel anxious about job security in order to make repayments. Many work long hours yet cannot afford a holiday or any additional expense beyond the basics, barely scrapping by. In many cases even with two adults working it can be a struggle and many people resort to food banks because of poor pay and high rents. Some people barely manage to pay their bills after which there is nothing left for food. Many people sit in a cold home with little or nothing to eat. Send their children to school without a coat and struggle simply for a basic standard of living.

It may surprise many that here in the UK people have died of starvation during the ten years of Tory cuts to benefits

Vulnerable man starved to death after benefits were cut

44-year-old died months after sickness and housing benefits were stopped following Atos fitness-for-work assessment
Read more:
Killed by benefits cuts: Starving soldier died ‘as result of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reform’
Diabetic David Clapson, 59, died with just £3.44 left in his account after his Jobseeker’s Allowance was axed because he missed an appointment

Just shocking, absolutely appalling.

If you deny that there is genuine poverty here in the UK check out the links below

I didn’t ask for my Illness, no one Does


Read more:

https://wowvoices.uk/i-didnt-ask-for-my-illnesses/

Read about the struggle this unfortunate women has because of universal credit, a struggle for survival that many are facing in this the 5th richest country.

Videos

Living in poverty while politicians bicker over Brexit

 

Tory Britain: 94 per cent of food bank users are “destitute”

 

Related links

You should be horrified that children in Cambridge are living in poverty in 2019
The Channel 4 Dispatches programme on child poverty highlighted something we all knew to be true but which no one wants to think about

One of the wealthiest and most powerful countries has child poverty so severe that children are sleeping in their coats in the middle of winter because they cannot afford heating.

Nowhere is this more exemplified than in Cambridge.

The beautiful and historic city has led the way in scientific and technological developments worldwide for decades, if not centuries.

But this success is not shared by the poorest residents.

The programme, Growing Up Poor, the family from Cambridge must survive on just £5 a day after their mum escaped abuse seven months ago.

Read more:
https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/news-opinion/you-should-horrified-children-cambridge-17363744

Cambridge is a wealthy city but many people do not benefit from this wealth it seems

Gap between rich and poor grows alongside rise in UK’s total wealth

Top 10% of households had 45% of national wealth in 2018, while the poorest 10th had just 2%
Britain’s total wealth grew by 13% in the two years to 2018 to reach a record £14.6tn, with wealth among the richest 10% of households increasing almost four times faster than those of the poorest 10%.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/dec/05/gap-between-rich-and-poor-grows-alongside-rise-in-uks-total-wealth

UK’s six richest people control as much wealth as poorest 13m – study
‘Extreme inequality is the story of Ferraris and food banks,’ says the Equality Trust

“This report should shock anyone who cares about the state of the UK today,” said Dr Wanda Wyporska, the executive director of the Equality Trust. “Such a huge gap between the very rich and the vast majority of the country is dangerous. Such extreme wealth in the hands of so few people demonstrates just how broken the economic system is.
Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/dec/03/uk-six-richest-people-control-as-much-wealth-as-poorest-13m-study

4.1 million children are living in poverty in Britain – but we have the solution

“There are 4.1 million children living in poverty in Britain. The Child Poverty Action Group makes the telling point that this is nine children in a class of 30. Strip out the proportion of children at the most privileged and mostly private schools and the real poverty level for our kids in schools serving working-class families is substantially higher.”

Read more:
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/41-million-children-are-living-poverty-britain-we-have-solution

Do the Tories really hate the poor?
The use of food banks is rising, homelessness is soaring and a quarter of children in the UK live in poverty. The Conservatives aren’t doing well to prove otherwise

Read More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/general-election-boris-johnson-tory-poor-people-austerity-a9196281.html

There should now be no one living in poverty in our world, but here in the UK a wealthy country there should be no poor, there is no reason and no excuse. The Tories have increased poverty to an alarming degree with their policies of austerity which are focused on the most vulnerable in our society, including disabled people, the elderly and children, destroying lives of both young and old alike while giving tax concessions to the rich.

One of many cuts to benefits is the Two Child limit.

Two-child benefit limit will push thousands into deeper poverty, MPs warn Boris Johnson

“Legislated for by David Cameron’s government and implemented in April 2017, the restriction means child allowance under the universal credit and tax credit systems is not paid for a third or subsequent children in a family.

“According to official figures, around 160,000 households have been affected by the two-child restriction that was introduced to drastically cut the welfare budget under austerity measures.”

Read more:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-two-child-benefit-poverty-austerity-universal-credit-general-election-latest-a9182166.html

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

Child poverty  “is as shameful as it gets. Children scavenging in bins to eat discarded apple cores for breakfast. Headteachers finding their primary school pupils sleeping rough on a mattress with their parents after being evicted. Forget a few extreme cases, in many areas growing up in poverty is not the exception – it’s the rule.

The government’s own analysis shows the scale of this: since austerity was rolled out at the start of the decade, half a million more children in this country are living lives blighted by poverty.

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

On December 12th Remember those living in poverty and destitution and VOTE LABOUR, for a better life for everyone

 

 

Tories out: Notes of Despair

Here are stories of life under the Tories which people driven to despair pasted around the UK.

They make for depressing reading. But things can change and we need to vote out this vile government. Vote Labour

“These bleak stories of British life under Tory austerity are going viral
The #ToryStory Twitter trend is showcasing urgent issues of mental health, homelessness, and housing under the Conservative government
Contrary to what the Tories want us to believe, the UK is anything but strong and stable, and a series of handwritten notes posted across the country, which have gone viral under the hashtag #ToryStory, paint a heartbreaking story of the impact Conservative-sanctioned austerity has had.

It all started with a now-viral handwritten note posted at a UK bus stop, which points at the Tories’ welfare reforms (read: cuts), urging people to register and vote Labour. “Had my benefits taken away. Work two jobs now and I still barely make the rent every month. Always worried I’ll lose work if I have to take time off to care for sick family members. Don’t know how much more of this I can take. We have to get the Tories out,” it reads.

Since then, hundreds of notes have begun appearing all over the country and then elevated further on social media, telling personal stories of those impacted most by the Conservatives and their ruthless policies, who’ve spent the last nine years stripping public services, funding starvation, and distracting us with the Trojan horse that is Brexit.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the vital stories that need to be heard.”

Read more and view some of the notes
https://www.dazeddigital.com/politics/article/46800/1/tory-story-bleak-stories-british-life-conservative-austerity-going-viral

Also check out #ToryStory

Here are a few of the most recent

Thursday December 12th vote for change, vote Labour. 

Don’t Vote Tory: Benefit Cuts

“It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”

Hubert H. Humphrey

 

December 12th Vote for change, Vote Labour

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. If you believe that you are naive at best, seriously misguided at worse.

If you even hesitate to dismiss this commitment as the election bribe that it is continue reading to remind yourself of the misery and suffering caused by punitive benefit cuts to sick and disabled people including children.

The sole purposes 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.

Read the following extracted from the Canary article: Here’s the bombshell buried in Boris Johnson’s ‘do no harm’ Tory manifesto. The article discusses the UK’s human rights act and the Tory pledge to update it, no doubt in a detrimental way. It discusses the Tories record of human right violations, one of which concerns the governments treatment of disabled people.

“The Human Rights Act protects citizens from both inhumane treatment and discrimination. The unnecessary austerity regime sucessive Conservative governments have championed over the last nine years has heaped plenty of both on Britons. As The Canary’s Steve Topple reported in 2017, for example:

“The UN has condemned the Conservative government for creating what it calls a “human catastrophe” in the UK. It follows a previous report which stated that the Tories had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights on British shores. And the UN accused the government of using a “smoke screen” and “misusing statistics” to try and cover its tracks.

These UN judgments specifically related to the government’s treatment of disabled people. The UN’s special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, meanwhile, further investigated the government’s austerity regime in 2018. He stated:

“The costs of austerity have fallen disproportionately upon the poor, women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, single parents, and people with disabilities.”

He also said:

“Britain is certainly capable of eliminating most, if not all, of its poverty if it wanted to. But it’s clear that there’s a political choice: that it doesn’t want to.”

Read more:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/11/25/heres-the-bombshell-buried-in-boris-johnsons-do-no-harm-tory-manifesto/

Here are a few facts concerning Tory benefit changes: 

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies driven by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity, the United Nations poverty envoy has found.

UK austerity has inflicted ‘great misery’ on citizens, UN says
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/16/uk-austerity-has-inflicted-great-misery-on-citizens-un-says

17,070 disabled people have died while waiting the decisions on their independence payments.

More than 17,000 sick and disabled people have died while waiting for welfare benefits, figures showhttps://news/uk/home-news/pip-waiting-time-deaths-disabled-people-die-disability-benefits-personal-independence-payment-dwp-a8727296.html

In one year alone nearly 50,000 sick and disabled people were hit by £30 cuts to ESA

Nearly 50,000 Disabled People Hit By ‘Appalling’ Cut To Benefits In Last Year Alone, Analysis Reveals
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nearly-50000-disabled-people-hit-by-appalling-cut-to-benefits-in-last-year-alone-analysis-reveals_uk_5c0504ede4b0606a15b70525

During 2016 more than half of long term sick and disabled people suffered food insecurity.

Man died ‘in hunger’ while waiting for Universal Credit just days after ITV interview
https://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2017-10-24/man-died-while-waiting-for-universal-credit-days-after-itv-interview/

Many people who are seriously ill either physically or mentally are told they are fit for work

Below is one of the most shocking cases of a seriously ill man who nonetheless was told he was fit for work

“Stephen Smith’s weight plummeted to six stone and he could barely walk due to several serious illnesses, he was still deemed ‘fit to work’ by the government

A government department has apologised after it was revealed a man with several debilitating illnesses was deemed fit to work.

Stephen Smith was denied benefits, despite barely even being able to stand.

The 64-year-old from Liverpool was rushed to hospital over Christmas because his health had deteriorated so significantly. Despite his condition, and weighing less than six stone, he had to leave in order to contest a decision by the department of work and pensions (DWP) that he could work.”

Read more:

DWP apologies for telling starving man to get a job
https://www.joe.co.uk/news/dwp-starving-man-stephen-smith-218611 

If you click the link above you will see a very disturbing utterly shocking photo of this poor man which most people will find upsetting. 

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

Consider the information below

Note: The only way to bring about change is to vote Labour. The Tories will continue with their punishing benefit reforms including sanctions which leave people with no income whatsoever.

“The Government’s “cruel and harmful” welfare policies have left tens of thousands of poor families hungry, a damning new report has said.

Global charity, Human Rights Watch, said successive governments had “violated” the right to food, but took particular aim at the Tories.

It listed a string of welfare policies over the past decade, including the introduction of Universal Credit and the benefit cap, as being behind a surge in hunger in England.”
Read more:
https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/government-and-public-sector/policy-making/news/103950/cruel-tory-welfare-cuts-blame-poor

Tax cuts for the rich, benefit cuts for the poor

“Benefit updating should be based on need, not the whim of a government addicted to inflicting austerity on the poorest families

April used to be the month when social security benefits and pension rates were uprated in line with the cost of living.

This was a fair deal, giving working people the additional support they needed to keep up with rising prices.

But the updating of most working age benefits has been frozen since the 2015 Summer Budget, and workers are now braced for the start of a fourth successive year.”

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the first three years have already pushed 200,000 people into poverty – around half of them children.”

Continue reading:
https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/britains-broken-politics-tax-cuts-rich-frozen-benefits-working-families

Now watch the following videos concerning benefit changes and cuts to benefits and related issues

Benefit cap: Emma’s Story

65-year-old man dies at job centre in Wales after being declared ‘fit-to-work’

This man should have been retired. In this day and age where jobs are so few people should now enjoy retirement much younger. The Tories have raised the retirement age “From December 2018, the state pension age will rise for both men and women, until it reaches 66 in October 2020 and 67 between 2026 and 2028″ and they intend to raise it as much as 75 years. Do they mind if we have some lives to ourselves to live as we so please, surely by 65 this poor man had done more than his fair share and may have undergone years of exploitation simply to increase profits of some big corporation or to make another person rich in some way or another. Wake up, end this misery unless you want to work until you drop. Read the comments, people are waking up but more need to do so. It’s not just here in the UK, notice the comment about the Australian government putting up the retirement age to 70!“Here in Australia the government has just raised retirement age to 70. They have also ordered all doctor’s to NOT help people get disability pension. Western governments are totally out of control.”

Breadline Britain: Tory housing benefit cuts have caused a homelessness explosion

No expectations? Expert compares UK welfare policy to age of Dickens

If you want things to change for a fair society for everyone Vote Labour December 12th

Don’t Vote Tory: The NHS

“Johnson’s Trump-deal Brexit puts a price tag on our NHS. So we’ll say it again and again until the message gets through to the White House: our NHS is not for sale.”
Jeremy Corbyn

You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS is an old adage which is true nonetheless.

In this coming election December 12th vote as though your life depends on it, because without the NHS your very life and the lives of all those you love may well depend on the action you take on this vital election day.

On the 5th July 1948 The National Health Service  NHS was founded by Aneurin Bevan Labour’s post war minister of health at the Park Hospital in Manchester, making healthcare accessible to everyone regardless of their ability to afford it .

Read more about the history of the NHS

The Birth of the NHS
https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Birth-of-the-NHS/

For 70 years the NHS has provided healthcare to everyone regardless of ability to pay and most of us want it to continue to do so.

But our NHS IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT

Watch the video below with comments from a medical student .

Don’t be fooled by Tory lies, the Tories want to privatise our NHS. The Tories are not a party for working people, they never have been and never will be and will always put the interests of business over those of the vast majority. There is huge profit to be made from private health care but always at the expense of the average person. Keep in mind that the Tories voted against the formation of the NHS. The Tories are now chipping away at the NHS by increments, bit by bit, cut by cut.

This is what has happened to the NHS

The Tories have cut 7 billion pounds from social care since 2010

Here’s why you cannot trust the Tories with our NHS

US trade deal

The NHS is under threat by a Tory sell out to American pharmaceuticals as part of a trade deal after Brexit.

The Observer view on the risk the Tory party poses to the NHS

“The US pharmaceutical industry is desperate to raise the price of its drugs and the hardline Tory right is eager to help it”

“Jeremy Corbyn launched his campaign with a stark warning about the threat of a US trade deal struck by a Conservative government, declaring the NHS is “not for sale”.

“A US trade deal is a cherished objective of the hard Eurosceptic right that now dominates the Conservative party and it poses serious risks to the NHS.”

“It could open the door to rising NHS drug costs to the tune of billions of pounds a year. The NHS is one of the world’s biggest drugs purchasers and exerts a significant downward pressure on prices. Most pharmaceutical companies take part in a voluntary pricing and access scheme that caps the total price the NHS pays for drugs manufactured under patent. The NHS also has a world-leading system for assessing drugs, not just for safety and effectiveness but value for money. Together, these mechanisms mean pharmaceutical companies wanting to sell to the NHS have to offer their drugs many times cheaper than in the under-regulated American market. The price the NHS pays influences pricing across much of the rest of the world.”

The above are exerts from the following article please read the full article carefully
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/03/the-observer-view-on-the-risk-the-tory-party-poses-to-the-nhs

Stop the Tories from making a US trade deal which will affect the price the NHS pays for medication by voting Labour

Note in the last sentence in the exert above from the Guardian : Not only will your vote effect the price the NHS pays for drugs but it will effect the price of medication worldwide.

Privatisation Under the Tories beginning in 2013 with the NHS blood plasma supplier, on which thousands of patients depend and which was taken into public ownership in 1975 to protect the quality of the blood product,  was  sold that off for £200m to a US private equity firm, Bain Capital, Britain kept a 20% stake. It was later sold on to a Chinese company in 2016 for £820m.

The NHS’s expenditure on private health care providers has doubled since 2010 to £9bn

Read more about the above and other 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

As a result of Tory cut backs NHS trusts are increasingly forced to send patients to private hospitals for surgery because they are too busy and understaffed to do the operations themselves.

“Figure show almost threefold increase since 2010 to over 600,000 procedures last year

“NHS trusts are increasingly forced to send patients to for private surgery because they are too busy and understaffed to do the operations themselves. The sharp rise in outsourcing has coincided with the waiting-list for non-urgent operations ballooning to 4.6m, the highest figure since records began in 2007.”

“A decade of cutting over 15,000 beds and failures to recruit staff under the Tories is forcing more and more patients out of the public NHS into poor quality private hospitals,” said the shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth.”

“Tory ministers promised us 5,000 extra GPs but in fact we have lost 1,600 GPs under the Tories.”

Read more:

Revealed: private surgery for NHS patients soars under Tories
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/08/private-surgery-nhs-patients-soars-under-tories?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Cuts to nursing staff 

Nurse vacancies in England have risen to 43,000′

“In the first quarter of 2019-20, 12% of full-time equivalent registered nurse posts in the provider sector were empty, equating to 43,617 missing staff.”

Read more:

The number of nurse vacancies in the NHS in England has increased to a record high, latest data reveals.
https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/workforce/nhs-nurse-vacancies-in-england-rise-to-more-than-43000-08-10-2019/

Ninety three percent of NHS trusts are falling short, with nearly half lacking 10% of the nurses they need: that’s three times more than five years ago. Nurses are being substituted with untrained assistants.”

“Nurse training places fell victim to George Osborne’s first budget: a conveniently commissioned McKinsey report said there would be less need for nurses in future. Later came the 2017 abolition of bursaries for trainee nurses, which cut the number of subsequent applicants. That made training unaffordable for women with children, who are often healthcare assistants wanting to upgrade. The attrition of nurses leaving the profession has worsened, with one in five quitting as soon as they train, and 5,000 going back to other EU countries as a result of the Brexit vote.”

Read more about the full impact of Tory cuts to the NHS

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

Here are examples of the disastrous consequences of Tory cuts to funding

Here is but one case of many of an ex NHS worker who was left on a trolley for six hours!

Patient dies after being forced to wait an hour in ambulance outside overstretched A&E
Paramedics were told there was no room inside Worcestershire Royal Hospital for the man as a total of 34 ambulances waited to get booked in.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/patient-dies-being-forced-wait-21022212?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar

Ex-NHS worker with dementia, 88, left on A&E trolley for 6 hours due to Tory cuts
EXCLUSIVE: Jill Woolley, who worked for the NHS as a doctor’s secretary, went through “trauma” during the huge delays at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre:
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dementia-sufferer-88-left-six-20837189

Working in the NHS under a Tory government – the reality
“Our health service is precious to us all and must be defended from the privatisation agenda…”
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/working-nhs-under-tory-government-reality

Also from the morning Star an article about child poverty and also the NHS

“The story of the NHS after nearly a decade of Tory and Liberal Democrat rule is one of cancelled operations, staff shortages, overworked healthcare professionals, equipment failure and a steady drain of resources as the system becomes more and more like the US, with the profit-hungry private sector being ushered in through the back door.

It is absolutely correct for Labour to warn that a Tory government would be the optimum situation for Britain’s health service to be offered up to US “healthcare” corporations seeking to export capital to economic zones where high profits can be leveraged from services and amenities that are presently in public ownership.”

Read more:
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/e/41-million-children-are-living-poverty-britain-we-have-solution

“The NHS is seeing the first sustained fall in GP numbers in the UK for 50 years, the BBC can reveal.

An analysis by the Nuffield Trust think tank for the BBC shows the number of GPs per 100,000 people has fallen from nearly 65 in 2014 to 60 last year.

The last time numbers fell like this was in the late 1960s and it comes at a time when the population is ageing and demands on GPs are rising.

Patient groups said it was causing real difficulties in making appointments.

There have been reports of waits of up to seven weeks for a routine appointment, while those needing urgent appointments have been forced to queue outside practices in the early morning to guarantee to be seen.”

Read More:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46912055

I think most of us have experienced difficulties in seeing a GP, either not getting an appointment for weeks or having to see a nurse. Maybe at times it is more appropriate to see a nurse but there are times when you need perhaps to discuss on-going issues with a GP.

A VOTE FOR THE TORIES IS A VOTE TO DESTROY THE NHS

Only Labour will protect our NHS

Here is what Labour plan for the NHS

If you are in any doubt check out the Labour Party’s manifesto
https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/

“A decade of Tory health cuts and privatisations has pushed our greatest institution to the brink. Our hospitals are crumbling, equipment is outdated, IT systems are inadequate and community facilities are neglected.

There are 100,000 staff vacancies in NHS England, including a shortage of 43,000 nurses. There are 15,000 fewer hospital beds. Every winter, bed occupancy rates exceed dangerous levels. Patients now wait far too long to see their GP, for an ambulance or for treatment.

Our immediate task is to repair our health services. Our urgent priority is to end NHS privatisation.

Continue reading:

This link takes you directly to the section of the manifesto concerning the NHS”
https://labour.org.uk/manifesto/rebuild-our-public-services/

Please Sign Brexit Petition

Firstly please note the following concerning this blog

I have not been posting to this blog now for many months with the exception of one entry in November which was accidentally published as a result of being scheduled to do so automatically. There are a number of reasons, many of them personal and not really suitable to explain within the context of a blog of this nature .Hopefully I am back on-line for a while but posts are unlikely to be regular after the publishing of the ones which I have written previously. Some of these posts which I hope to publish in the next few days or weeks may seem a little out of date, but who knows I often get comments from posts published as much as four years ago.

Apologies for not visiting follower’s blogs which I hope to do in the very near future or not responding to or publishing comments, all of which I hope to rectify as soon as possible. My first post after this long absence concerns Brexit, if you agree please read, sign and share the petition and take other suggested actions, this may be the last opportunity to have your say

Petition to stop Brexit

Right now here in the UK there is much mayhem concerning Brexit. UK residents only may sign.

Please sign the following petition if you consider that the UK should remain in the EU.

Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.
The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241584

This may be your only opportunity to have your say as the government flatly refuse to have another referendum. Another people’s vote should take place as so much has changed and many people now think differently about leaving the EU

There are over 2 million signatures so far, if you agree please add yours and share widely. The more signatures the better of course.

The government are meant to consider debating all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures.

Also consider writing to your MP and urge him or her to support this petition or call for a referendum:

https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Please join The Peoples March today March 23rd

For more details about the Put It To The People march – and to sign up – please visit

https://www.peoples-vote.uk/

Related Link

We stand on the brink of a historic, national collapse – it’s time to take to the streets to stop Brexit
The Put It To The People march on 23 March will make the case for more democracy impossible to ignore

Brexit is a crisis on a scale that far surpasses our last major international embarrassment, in Suez in 1956. Economically, politically, culturally, diplomatically and in terms of security, leaving the European Union is an unprecedented disaster that will send the United Kingdom on an inescapable downwards trajectory.

Read More

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-final-say-peoples-vote-brexit-march-protest-second-referendum-david-lammy-a8781716.html

 

Trump: Immigration

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”
Barack Obama

“America was founded on immigrants. The immigrant experience is common to all of us.”
Nia Vardalos

I hope you will sign and share the following petitions concerning the appalling treatment of immigrant children in the US and related issues.

If you don’t have time to read the whole blog entry please at least sign the petitions below:

Reunite Families Separated at the Border Now!

“After much public outrage, President Trump signed an executive order today reversing his administration’s cruel and inhumane policy of separating families at the southern border.

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough. The damage is already done.

According to reports, more than 2,300 children have already been separated from their parents since Trump first enacted his cruel “zero tolerance” policy. Even worse, the policy didn’t include a plan to reunite children with their parents.”

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.thepetitionsite.com/224/701/950/reunite-the-families-now/?z00m=30609945

Anyone worldwide may sign the above petition

The following I think is meant for US citizens:

Keep the pressure on to impeach Trump

“Donald Trump is placing families in internment camps. His immigration policy has already separated 2,300 children from their parents, housing kids in filthy, crowded cages.

The American people have had enough: 42% say Trump should be impeached and removed from office — on par with Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate.”
Please read more and sign the petition:|
https://www.needtoimpeach.com/impeach-trump/?utm_campaign=sg_email&utm_source=needtoimpeach&utm_medium=email

Consider that all migrants want is a better life for themselves and their children. They are not criminals. It is natural to want for yourself and your children a good quality of life, a life free from poverty, free from fear, free from of violence or the treat of violence, free from oppression. It is natural to want to protect your children from threats such as drug related violence and poverty to which many people in central American countries are exposed.

“The reality is that many of these families came from Central America to seek asylum because they’re “fleeing gang violence and poverty”. And as HuffPost reported, this situation “has its roots in six decades of U.S. policies carried out by members of both parties”. It continued:

Since the 1950s, the U.S. has sown violence and instability in Central America. Decades of Cold War gamesmanship, together with the relentless global war on drugs, have left a legacy of chaos and brutality in these countries.

https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2018/06/19/children-crying-as-theyre-torn-from-their-parents-heres-the-sound-of-trumps-america/

Clearly the US has a responsibility.

No child should however in any circumstance be separated from their parents, the trauma of which could have life long consequences.  That such treatment of innocent children exists in a country such as the US is as surreal as it is sickeningly shocking. It is inhumane.

“The U.S. immigration laws are bad – really, really bad. I’d say treatment of immigrants is one of the greatest injustices   done in our government’s name.” 
Bill Gates

Consider the following

With the exception of Native Americans the US is itself is a nation of immigrants, Trump’s own wife is an immigrant.

The Americans who support this inhumane treatment of children are complicit in the inhumane treatment of defenseless children – if you voted for Trump and continue to support him you should count yourself among them.

That such behavior exists in a any country is shocking but for the US this seems even more so. It has to be said that US immigration polices are fueled by racism, they always have been.

In this regard consider the following:

Click the above tweet to get to the New York Times article. For some reason I was unable to paste a direct link into this webpage

Below is a real eye opener into the racist mentality of Trump and those who support him

How anyone can condone or justify the separation of children from their parents is beyond my conprehension. If you are one such person listen to the anguished cries of desperate children forcibly removed from their parents.

Information about the video from Youtube

“ProPublica has obtained audio from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing as an agent jokes, “We have an orchestra here.” Read the full story here: https://propub.li/2tcYE9M Correction: A version of this lists the wrong number. An overlay corrects it. And we’re correcting it here: To reach us if you have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, are a worker at a detention center or aid families who have been affected, call 347-244-2134.

“We are a country where people of all backgrounds, all nations of origin, all languages, all religions, all races, can make a    home. America was built by immigrants.”
Hillary Clinton

Related Links

What you need to know about the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jun/06/what-you-need-know-about-trump-administrations-zer/

Facebook doesn’t want you to know that some migrant children have been forcibly drugged.
https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2018/06/21/facebook-doesnt-want-you-to-know-that-some-migrant-children-have-been-forcibly-drugged/

Action to Protect Wildlife Affected by Proposed Mexican Border Wall

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
Isaac Newton

 

The following petition was in my email box this morning, a reminder that the Mexican wall is still on Trump’s bizarre  agenda.

Please sign the following petition to try and halt yet another of Trump’s misguided polices which will adversely affect wildlife, including endangered species, in addition of course to undermining the rights of indigenous communities and harming the environment:

Petition Sponsored by: Defenders of Wildlife

Oppose The Border Wall And Protect Wildlife!

“Funding the wall would destroy wildlife habitat.

President Trump’s crusade to build an impenetrable wall between the U.S. and Mexico could condemn wildlife already on the brink of extinction.

But Congress can put a stop to Trump’s fixation. Federal legislators have the power to deny funding for this disastrous roadblock to the survival of imperiled species. Funding the wall would destroy wildlife habitat and could be the end of the road for these species like endangered Mexican grey wolves, ocelots and jaguars.

We must act now! Demand that Congress refuse to fund the border wall. ”

Please read more and sign and share the petition:
http://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clickToGive/trs/petition/dow_oppose-border-wall/

The border wall is racially motivated, it is bad for people, animals and the environment.

Here are more actions to take to oppose this insane proposal

Petition

Stop Trump From Building the Wall

https://www.change.org/p/united-states-supreme-court-stop-trump-from-building-the-wall

Take a pledge to fight Trump’s Border wall

“More than 650 miles of barriers already exist along the border. These walls, fences and barriers cut through sensitive ecosystems, disrupt animal migration patterns, cause catastrophic flooding, and divide communities and tribal nations.

Now Donald Trump wants a wall across the entire 2,000-mile border. Trump’s wall would harm border communities, perpetuate human suffering, destroy thousands of acres of habitat and halt the cross-border migration of dozens of animal species. In fact, as revealed in the Center’s 2017 report A Wall in the Wild, 93 threatened, endangered and candidate species would potentially be affected by construction of a wall and related infrastructure spanning the entirety of the border.”

Read more and take the pledge

Take our pledge to fight Trump’s border wall today. 

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/border_wall/index.html

5 Ways To Protest The Border Wall Donald Trump So Desperately Wants To Build
https://www.bustle.com/p/5-ways-to-protest-the-border-wall-donald-trump-so-desperately-wants-to-build-33207

This comment included in the first petition raises a good point:”Wildlife & the environment is so much more important than immigrants coming into our country. We’re all descended from immigrants, unless you’re Native American.”

Trump seeks further funding

“President Donald Trump will boost by a half-billion dollars his funding request for his plan to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico, seeking at least $2.2 billion for the controversial project in fiscal year 2019, multiple GOP sources said.

The Trump administration requested $1.6 billion for the project earlier this year, but White House officials are going to increase that amount to at least $2.2 billion and possibly more, the congressional and administration officials said.”

Read More:

Trump to boost request for border wall funding by half-billion dollars
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/21/donald-trump-border-wall-funding-increase-request-601635

The wall will eventually cost $25 billion to complete, a huge cost which could provide medical care, housing, education and other more worthy life enhancing projects.

Related links

Find out from Amnesty International about Trumps numerous violations of human rights

100 WAYS TRUMP HAS THREATENED HUMAN RIGHTS – AND HOW WE FOUGHT BACK

This briefing is not exhaustive and the Trump administration’s ongoing threats to human rights remain
https://www.amnestyusa.org/trump100days/   It is quite a list with more added everyday! The list was in fact complied shorty after the first 100 days, since that time of course there is no doubt much much more to add.

A list of information from Amnesty International concerning US immigration

https://www.amnestyusa.org/search/mexico+wall/

Amnesty accuses President Trump of human rights violations

“Amnesty put Mr Trump in the same group as the leaders of Egypt, Russia, China, the Philippines, and Venezuela.”

Read More
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-43152496

Donald Trump’s wildlife protection board full of people who like killing animals for fun

“Review of board members appointed by interior secretary Ryan Zinke indicates they are likely to agree with his position that the best way to protect critically threatened or endangered species is by encouraging wealthy Americans to shoot some of them.

A new US advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Donald Trump and his family. ”

Read More:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-wildlife-protection-board-members-trophy-hunters-endangered-animals-ivory-trade-a8259131.html

Frankly Trump is a menace to practically every being on the planet!