The Price of War

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some facts about military budgets

All currency is calculated in US dollars. This is because most of the on-line information is calculated in dollars.

World military spending totaled more than 1.6 trillion dollors in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of this total.

List of countries by military expenditures
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

The US government alone spends over 700 billion dollars annually on its military.

The cost  to end world hunger  is $30 billion  per year — $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense

The U.S’s. military expenditures exceeds the following seven nations combined, in order of expenditure: China,( For every dollar China spends the US spends $2.77) Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France, Japan: US Defence Spending Compared to Other Countires: 

I must say that India being right up there in the top seven military budgets spending a huge 53.6 billion is surprising but shocking with around 170 million people living in poverty.

The UK has a military budget of 55.5 billion dollars  but apparently under the present conservative government not enough money to adequately fund the NHS and Social Services: Cuts to benefits including those for disabled people,who people have experienced vicious cuts in benefits and services and Social services including neighbourhood services . Also cuts to school budgets of 3billion  a small amount compared to the UK’s military budget.

The USA recently dropped on Afghanistan a bomb costing $314 million yet there is not enough money for education, health care, the 50 million people who go hungry in the USA, meals on wheels, housing, the Environmental Protection Agency, Legal aid for the poor and low-income heating assistance – the last four are to be cut in accordance with the latest budget proposals

Is this what most of the world’s people want? Are we happy that our extortionate taxes pay for our governments to massacre and make destitute millions of people, not to forget animals killed in war, and the destruction of the environment. While the rich get richer and profit from the slaughter the poor die in wars, either as combatants or as civilians who readily support such conflicts, willing going to fight like lambs to the slaughter misguided by the warped ideology of patriotism or other supposedly noble notion.

There is one thing for certain wars are rarely fought for noble causes.

“All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth” said Socrates, throughout history nothing has changed, war continues to benefit the wealthy, who are protected from its immediate effects, at the expense of the poor.  Trump will be sitting in his opulent golden tower or playing golf while tens of thousands of men women and children die in any conflict with Korea. He was playing golf on Good Friday morning at his West Palm Beach golf course in Florida as North Korea threatened to go to war with the US if provoked

I wonder how keen Trump would be if he like the Kings of times past was expected to lead his troops into battle. Would he be so all fired up to go to war if he had to leave his home and his family and put his life on the line? I doubt it. Like the coward he is he sends others to die with the callous indifference typical of a sociopath .

Apparently Pence told the Japanese that the U.S. will confront the North Korean nuclear threat:  “I say on his (Trumps)behalf today to all the people of Japan, in these challenging times, we are with you 100 percent.” Ummm I wonder where Pence will be when the bombs start dropping, in his nuclear bunker I suppose as will be Korea’s murdering sociopathic monster , the so-called Supreme leader Kim Jong-un

“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.”
Leo Tolstoy

What real say have any of us had concerning the war mongering escapades in recent decades undertaken by the US and it’s ally the UK, yet it is mostly the civilian populations that suffers . Here in the UK the mostly bitterly divided parliament almost always agree when it comes to waging war. Yet if this was put to a referendum the outcome may well be very different.

“A people free to choose will always choose peace.” Ronald Reagan

Most of us wherever we live: Syria, UK, USA, Japan North or South Korea just want to live our lives in peace. Instead our lives are destroyed by power-hungry sociopaths in their quest for power and acquisition. If given a choice most of us want this money spent on enhancing our lives, ridding the world of poverty, hunger and disease. The overwhelming majority would rather this money was spent on providing food, universal health care and services for sick and disabled people, free education, decent housing and… Well a quality of life free from the treat of war and insecurity.

What could the USA better spend 700, million dollars on : how much could that money have helped the American people. 

How about spending some of this money in combating homelessness in the USA rather than make people homeless and destitute in the Middle East and elsewhere.

How about universal health care, America’s health care is one of the most expensive in the world. It’s estimated there are between 20,000 and 45,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance

Under a recent proposal Meals on wheels which delivers food to elderly and disabled people and housing assistance part of the $3 billion Community Development programme is set be completely dismantled. Included in the same proposal is increased funding for the military and Trumps border wall. Yet £2.4 billion is a puny amount compared to the US’ military budget.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-budget-latest-mick-mulvaney-cuts-food-poor-meals-wheels-welfare-taxpayers-compassionate-white-a7634561.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-meals-on-wheels-cut-pay-mexico-border-wall-immigration-fema-us-coastguard-budget-a7632551.html

Among many inhumane proposals in Trump’s new budget ideas, is the cutting of free school lunches by raising the bar for qualification. This will cause at least 18,000 schools to no longer qualify!

There are over 50 million people in the USA who do not have enough to eat, would not this money be better spent ensuring that everyone receives enough food.

India

India has over 55 billion dollars for its military budget, more than France and is fifth on the list of countries by military expenditure . India also has highest number of people living below poverty line

India has the largest number of urban poor and landless people in the world approximately 65 -70 million people live in urban slums. According to the Hindustan Times The Delhi government is turning a blind eye to the homeless?

UK

In the UK there are almost 14 million people living in poverty

In this time of so called austerity when allegedly there is not enough money to pay for benefits for sick and disabled people or the unemployed, where 3.7 million Children live in poverty and people have to rely on food banks and suffer endless austerity measures, such as cuts to public services, there is always money for war.

We should not forget the poverty worldwide in countries such as Africa, wouldn’t the global military budget of  $1.6 trillion be better spent in providing food, clean water and medicine. 

795 million people go hungry worldwide though I rather suspect this is an understatement and the figure is far highter

“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. Almost all the hungry people, 780 million, live in developing countries, representing 12.9 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries”

Read More:
http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/

One person every four seconds dies from hunger or hunger related diseases… Sadly, it is children who die most often.

How many people die from lack of access to clean water and life saving/enhancing medicine and health care? Here are some alarming facts: 663 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water and almost 900 children die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water.   Half the worlds Population has no access to healthcare

Here is a shocking statistic

A price has been set and estimated by the United Nations to solve this crisis (world hunger) – $30 billion a year. It may seem like a large sum of money, but when compared to the U.S. defense budget – $737 billion in 2012 – $30 billion seems more attainable.

“The cost to end world hunger…

— $30 billion per year is needed to end world hunger
— $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense”

Read More:

The Cost to End World Hunger
https://borgenproject.org/the-cost-to-end-world-hunger/

China 

China has a military budget of 215.7 billion the second largest after the USA. In China more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 2012,  however still today China is one of the top five poorest countries in the world where one in ten Chinese is poor, there are at least 82 million people in China live below the poverty line. China also has an homeless population of about 2,579,000   According to the following article: There Are One Million Children Living On The Streets In China 

As with the US and UK China’s military budget (over 200 billion dollars) would most certainly improve the lot of millions of poor people.

How about the poorest country in the world which may be the Central African Republic . According to the lastest available data this country spends $54,800,000. While modest in comparison, for a country that is so poor such an amount could well be spent improving the lives of its citizens.

I could continue down the list,  in every country in the world there are poor people,  many desperately so, many go without adequate food and not all of them live in Africa either or other developing countries, though in these countires the problem is more severe of course.People go without food in rich countries such as the UK and the USA

As as a matter of interest North Korea is ranked No. 1 in the world for military expenditures relative to its Gross Domestic Product, an annual State Department report showed between 2004-2014, North Korea spent nearly a quarter of its GDP on the armed forces.

N. Korea ranks No. 1 for military spending relative to GDP: State Department report
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2016/12/23/26/0301000000AEN20161223000200315F.html

Poverty in North Korea is extensive.
“Forty percent of the population, about 24 million people, live below the poverty line. Most workers earn $2 to $3 per month.

“Unlike earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions, war is a disaster created entirely by people, against people. It is never an accident: making war is always somebody’s decision. Nations spend vast amounts of money on training soldiers to fight and kill. They spend even more on devising and manufacturing weapons and machinery for fighting and killing. That is not the only expense. Huge sums are also needed for dealing with the damage when a war is officially over. (‘Officially’, because the effects of war continue long after the truce has been signed.)

From this evidence alone, it ought to be clear to everyone that there’s little to be said for war. But little has been done to liberate the world from it. War still fascinates and excites some people, though it fills many others with revulsion and horror. Too many people – and too many of their leaders – still think that war is defensible, and that it’s not actually wrong for people to learn how to kill each other in large numbers. 

For all these reasons, and more, the invention of war is one of humankind’s greatest blunders. It needs to be put right.”

Read More:

Why is War Wrong
http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/infodocs/st_pacifism_m1.html

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left”
Bertrand Russell

Related Links

U.S. Military Spending vs. the World
U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.

Military > Expenditures > Percent of GDP: Countries Compared

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/Expenditures/Percent-of-GDP

 

Please Take Action to Help Prevent the Tragedy of Grenfell Tower Ever Happening Again

“Something you can’t avoid is that Kensington is a tale of two cities,”

“The south part of Kensington is incredibly wealthy, it’s the wealthiest part of the whole country. The ward where this fire took place is, I think, the poorest ward in the whole country.”

Jermey Corbyn https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-fire-inequality-idUSKBN1962XI

My heartfelt thoughts go out to all those who died in the terrible Grenfell fire and all who have lost love ones and whose lives will be changed forever as a result of their tragic loss. There are no words that anyone can ever say to mitigate such an awful event.

I am so shocked by this tragedy which should never have happened and no doubt did as consequence of Tory austerity cuts and profit before people.

Most people here in the UK are deeply shocked and saddened by the fire which tore through the tower block of Grenfell in North Kensington in the early hours of Wednesday 14th June.  What makes this tragedy even more awful is the fact that it should never have happened. Seventeen people so far have been confirmed dead many others are in a critical condition in hospital. There are reports of 70 people unaccounted for, so the death toll may be much much higher. Many have lost loved ones, in some cases their entire family.  All have lost their homes, their possessions and along with it their memories. All suffer and will continue to suffer psychological damage. Most tragic of course is the loss of life in the most horrific way imaginable. 

It must never happen again.

How many people have to die as a result of Tory Austerity cuts to services including the reduction of fire services and their general attitude towards poorer people – I very much doubt this would happen in a luxury private apartment block where fire precautions of the highest standard would be in place. The Tory run council have neglected the safety and well being of the poorest people in the entire country in favor of policies favoring the interests of the rich. It has been suggested that the main purpose of the cladding was for aesthetic reasons for the benefits of Kensingon’s wealthy inhabitants whose expensive apartments overlook the Tower blocks:

Listen to what the young man has to say in the interview below

You can read more about the reasons why this disaster should never have happened yet it did despite constant concerns directed to the council from Grenfell Action Group:

“Regular readers of this blog will know that we have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in RBKC.

ALL OUR WARNINGS FELL ON DEAF EARS and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time. Below is a list of links to previous blogs we posted on this site trying to warn the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, who own this property, and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation who supposedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf:”

Click the link to acess
https://grenfellactiongroup.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-fire/

Please sign and share the petition below. There follows further information and other suggested actions for you to take.

Speak out for the victims of Grenfell
Please sign the petition to make sure this never happens again.
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/grenfell_tower?utm_campaign=speakout_campaign_2277&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=thank_you  

After signing the petition you will be taken to new webpage where you have the opportunity to send an e-mail to the minister responsible for housing regulations.

You may also want to write to your MP and express you concerns, your anger and outrage.

Contact Your MP;
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

In addition you may wish to contact Kensington and Chelsea Borough council :

Please express in no uncertain terms your views concerning this devastating fire which should have not happened:
https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/contact-us/contact-us

Their postal address:

Town Hall
Hornton Street
W8 7NX

Telephone

Call on 020 7361 3000

Contact them on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/rbkc

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/RoyalBorough/

I know it is tempting to give them a piece of your mind in an abusive way but Please be polite as insulting abusive rhetoric is unlikely to be read.

In your comments to the council and the government you might like to raise some of the following issues

Below you can read about the eight reasons which resulted in this awful disaster including dangerous cladding, a change in the law, single stair case, no sprinklers, missing fire doors, eight failures in all

Eight failures that left people of Grenfell Tower at mercy of the inferno:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/eight-failures-left-people-grenfell-tower-mercy-inferno/

Concerning cladding, in the US no cladding is permitted on buildings taller than 40ft instead a fire-proof one which would have cost £5000 more is used.

The same cladding used in France and Australia resulted in an out break of fire

London fire: Grenfell Tower cladding ‘linked to other fires’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40283980

It has been suggested that empty buildings of which the council of Kensington and Chelsea have the most should be requisitioned to provide homes for those who have last their homes in the fire:

Grenfell Tower fire: Jeremy Corbyn suggests using empty Kensington properties for victims
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/empty-homes-owned-by-overseas-investors-should-be-requisitioned-to-rehouse-grenfell-fire-victims-a7791986.html

This map shows the location of 20,000 empty homes in the capital the highest in Kensington, no one should have to live in tower blocks.
http://metro.co.uk/2017/05/11/map-reveals-shocking-number-of-empty-homes-across-london-6630121/

Frankly it is a disgrace that people sleep in the streets while there are so many homes which stand vacant

This article cites the number of empty homes which are vacant as 57,000:
http://metro.co.uk/2016/04/08/need-a-place-to-live-almost-57000-london-homes-are-lying-empty-5804072/

Related links

Theresa May Avoids Survivors of Grenfell Tower Fire During Visit to Scene of Disasterhttps://theintercept.com/2017/06/15/theresa-may-avoids-survivors-grenfell-tower-fire-visit-scene-disaster/

‘Regeneration is a euphemism for ethnic and class cleansing’: Kensington resident and writer

https://www.channel4.com/news/regeneration-is-a-euphemism-for-ethnic-and-class-cleansing-kensington-resident-and-writer

 

Election Results: Who Voted Tory?

While Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the USA; Theresa May is now an embarrassment to the UK . Trump with “Make America Great Again” ; May with “Strong and Stable” both worn out mantras, empty meaningless. America great for the rich; UK strong and stable also for the rich. Now to add to the travesty that yet again so many people voted for the party which supports the minority May clings to power by forming a coalition with terrorists or at least a party supported by terrorists

Theresa May should do the decent thing and resign, an alliance with the DUP Democratic Unionist Party … whatever next!  Desperation to cling to power? What a fiasco.

Why I have to ask myself did so many vote Tory, a real mystery to me as the Tories’ policies have upset most people.The dismantling of our NHS alone should have been enough to have swayed the vote towards Labour. Most if not everyone relies on the NHS, even those who use private health care will need the assistance of the NHS in an emergency and like the rest of us will want an efficient service which saves lives!

People vote for selfish reasons. Travelling through the country side I noticed many farmers displaying Tory election boards prominently. As a vegan I am not in favour of live stock farming of course for obvious reasons but this time single them out for criticism because of their selfishness regarding the election which shocks me, as clearly they are voting solely for some personal advantage, never mind the NHS, sick and disabled people, the elderly or anyone else, they just vote from self interest. Sadly this is the case for most people, but even so the under funding and deterioration of the NHS surely should be paramount in casting your vote and override other perceived advantages.

So who voted Tory – well it wasn’t the sick and disabled that’s for sure!

Watch the video below, it is shocking how something like this does not outrage people enough to vote for Labour yet not only will you find few people who know about this shameful treatment of disabled people, which has come to the attention of the UN human rights committee and been condemned, but sadly few care.

Note this is a lengthy video featuring other issues the part concerning people with disabilities is right at the beginning.

You can Listen to the woman at 47:10  or click the following link to read some of the text.

https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/07/tens-thousands-died-name-austerity-senior-torys-response-utterly-despicable-video/

After listening to this woman’s passionate appeal to Dominic Raab how can you than go and vote Tory. Do you not hear what she is saying, thousands have died as a result of Tory austerity measures on the backs of sick and disabled people in the form of benefit cuts and cuts to services, many by their own hand.  IF YOU VOTED TORY you are complicit!

Tens of thousands have died in the name of austerity. A senior Tory’s response is utterly despicable [VIDEO]

“There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015 alone in the name of Conservative austerity, according to an Oxford University report. Cuts to health and social care are likely to be the “main cause” of tens of thousands of British citizens losing their lives early. And on The Big Debate, senior Tory Dominic Raab’s response on the matter was utterly despicable.”

Continue reading:
https://www.thecanary.co/2017/06/07/tens-thousands-died-name-austerity-senior-torys-response-utterly-despicable-video/

It sure wasn’t young people who voted Tory. Thousands turned out to vote. I am sure they did not endorse the Tory tuition fees of £11,000 per annum!

Students inspired by Corbyn played big role in Labour surge

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/students-inspired-by-corbyn-played-big-role-in-labour-surge

Neither was it parents, why would they with a 3 billion cut in school funding.

Nor was it nurses of other public workers with a pay freeze of just 1 percent

I certainly can’t imagine older people voting Tory after the abandonment of the triple lock, raising the state pension age, cuts to winter fuel payment and forcing people to use the value of their own homes to pay for social care.

It most certainly was not people who defend foxes, badgers and other wildlife, the hunt saboteurs, the League Against Cruel Sports, vegan/ vegetarians, animal rights activists. Again why would they as the Tories have been elected the Badger cull will commence once again and they will attempt to repeal the hunting fox hunting bill and have not pledged a total ban on the ivory trade.

Anyone opposed to fracking which is now taking place in our National Parks and extensively elsewhere     would surely be unlikely to vote conservative.

Who could not vote for the nationalisation of the water industry for cheaper bills and a more efficient service, the same with the railways and the postal service. Labour also promised to partially nationalise the energy industry with a pledge that no ones bill would be more than £1000 per annum, yes it is still a lot for many but better than the situation we have now.

The list of the Tories detrimental polices is extensive, add to the above the huge increase in food banks, homelessness, child poverty, low wages, zero hours benefit sanctions see previous blog post , the above is but the tip of the iceberg. There can be few people surely for whom Tory polices have not had a detrimental effect.

So who voted Tory as it looks to me as though there are few people left who the Tories have not adversely affected. The exception being big corporations with low taxes or no taxes.

I am frankly disgusted that anyone with any decency would elect them for another five years. I doubt that at the end of it the NHS will be recognizable. Is it ignorance, selfishness or greed and gullibility, believing the the Tories represent prosperity for all?I wonder how many now regret this in light of the Tories parties’ coalition with the DUP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Tory Punitive Welfare Cuts: Vote Labour

“The moral test of government is how it 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 shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”
Hubert Humphrey

Here is how the conservatives have treat disabled and chronically sick people since 2010

I must first say how shocked I was that so many of the audience in last night’s BBC Question Time where more concerned about Jeremy Crobyn’s reluctance to use nuclear weapons to kill millions rather than show concerns over the Tories shameful treatment of sick and disabled people and cuts to the NHS, including the disgusting treatment of nurses!

In this or any previous debates no one has mentioned the UN inquiry concerning the Tory government’s shameful treatment of sick and disabled people; the resulting report is one of the most damning assessments of a Western government in modern times. The government had already been warned once by the UN in 2012 regarding this – but the Tories chose to ignore it.

“The UN report confirms that, despite Theresa May’s warm words, this government is failing sick and disabled people.”
Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams

A United Nations inquiry into the treatment of disabled people here in the UK found that Tory changes to welfare had resulted in grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s rights.

Among other concerns, the committee said the UK government had helped to create a public perception where disabled people:

have been… negatively portrayed as being dependent or making a living out of benefits; committing fraud as benefit claimants; being lazy and putting a burden on taxpayers, who are paying ‘money for nothing’. Persons with disabilities continue to experience increasing hostility, aggressive behaviour and sometimes attacks to their personal integrity.

The report was highly critical of how government reforms had affected disabled people’s right to live independently. It specifically noted the UK government had violated rights due to:

  • The Bedroom Tax.
  • Changes to Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
  • Cuts to social care.
  • The abolition of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).
  • Caps on benefits.

Theresa May’s government fobbed off the UN findings, saying it “strongly disagreed” with the report.

More about the UN’s Report:

BURIED: UN slams Tories over UK human rights abuses
https://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/28/buried-un-slams-tories-uk-human-rights-abuses/  

Please read the above carefully, it is not only the UK’s treatment of disabled people which comes under fire but also the following:

“The UN also slams the government over its treatment of migrant workers, in terms of exploitation, low pay and health care access.

The government comes under criticism for its sales of weapons to foreign countries

The UN is also critical of the practices surrounding government-backed private companies’ conduct in foreign countries

  • the number of self-employed, part-time and zero hours contracts jobs, and the effect on marginalised people.
  • the housing crisis in the UK, including the lack of social housing, sky-high rental prices and rogue landlords.
  • the “exceptionally high” levels of homelessness and the Conservatives’ inadequate response to this.
  • the government’s record on education and failure to address inequality affecting pupils attainment levels.
  • a failure to address food poverty and the heavy reliance by millions on food banks.
  • the rising levels of poverty among marginalised groups, and the government’s failure to tackle child poverty.”

Also:

The UK government has just been slammed for violating human rights, and Theresa May doesn’t care

The UN was critical of the government’s assumption that people are better off in work. It said that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “processed rather than listened to or understood” disabled people during Work Capability Assessments (WCA). In particular:

the needs, views and personal history of persons with disabilities, and particularly those requiring high levels of support such as persons with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities, were not properly taken into account or given appropriate weight in the decisions affecting them.

Continue reading:
https://www.thecanary.co/2016/11/08/uk-government-just-slammed-violating-human-rights-theresa-may-doesnt-car

If you sincerely wish to know the extent of the damage to our society under Tory rule it is important you read the above articles.

I am frankly staggered about the extent of the violations cited in this report. I never would have expected this of the UK even under a Tory government. The rights of disabled people have never been under such a vicious, sustained, prolonged attack in Britain since the foundation of the welfare state in 1945!

Please read the information below and remember it when voting June the 8th and vote Labour. Even if you do not like Jeremy Corbyn – why I can’t imagine as he is a decent principled human being, a true socialist and advocate for equality and a better life for everyone – please vote Labour and not be tempted to vote for the LibDems, the SNP or the Green Party.  Voting for these or any other including independent candidates splits the vote and will help secure another win for the Tories. I admire both the Green Party and the SNP but Labour is the only party with any hope of winning this election and bringing about change and a better life for all.

If you care about sick and disabled people, about children and the elderly your only chance of stopping the on-going violations to their human rights and their right to a better quality of life is to vote Labour.  At the very least sick and disabled people young or old  require enough money to feed and cloth themselves, to have suitable shelter, the money for disability aids and the best opportunities available for them to live as full a life as possible within the limitations of their conditions. All children need an education, the quality of which is now under treat as a result of Tory cuts. NO ONE should live in poverty, particularly in one of the richest countries in the world.

Yet in the last seven years the income and services for disabled and sick people has been severely reduced and continues to be chipped away at piece by piece resulting in poverty, isolation, neglect, worsening conditions, death -including death as a result of suicide.

The Tories have waged seven years of failed austerity on the backs of disabled people. Since 2010 welfare reforms have devastated the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens, including people unfortunate to be unemployed by no fault of their own. Thousands of disabled people have died after being declared fit for work as a result of punitive assessments. Cuts have been made to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with reduced weekly payments from £102.15 to £73.10 (£57.90 if you’re 24 or under) – this cut or any other was not introduced to incentivise people as is claimed but rather to save money on the pretext of paying back the deficit. Changes to PIP (Personal Independence Payment) have meant that 50,000 disabled people have had their  mobility vehicles seized.   The bedroom tax has affected  420,000 disabled  people, each of whom lost an average of £728 per year. Note for many disabled people a “spare” room is used for medical equipment, or for carers to sleep in. The Independent Living Fund has been closed down, meaning 19,373 people with severe disabilities lost their direct entitlement for money to support their independence.
Between December 2012 and September 2016 “85,112 people on ESA benefits  had their income docked after being “sanctioned” for failing to meet Government guidelines.”

More disability facts

19% – of families with one disabled person live in poverty

I don’t care for the word reform as in the use of the phrase “welfare reforms” when used to describe the disastrous changes in benefits since 2010 as to most people reform means improvement, which the Tory changes are  most certainly not!

Finding information that lists cut after brutal cut since the Tories began their assault on our most vulnerable citizens has proved difficult therefore the information here does not reflect the entire extent to which the Tories have in one way or another seriously destroyed lives, so much so that the UN undertook an inquiry

When you vote on June 8th please consider the following

A list of some of the abuse to sick disabled people as a result of Tory Benefit changes including: The deaths of thousands of people after being declared fit for work. The reduction of ESA by £1,500 per year/£30 per week . The WCA’s (Work Capabilities Assessment) regime’s discrimination against people with mental illness and slashing PIP payments by 33 per cent

Read more information concerning the shocking abuse of sick and disabled people:

The systematic Tory abuse of disabled people
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/the-systematic-tory-abuse-of-disabled.html

Degrading and demanding disability assessments

“Pushing people to the brink of suicide: the reality of benefit assessments

Can you tell me why you haven’t killed yourself yet?” As she speaks to me from her home, Alice Kirby is not recounting abuse shouted at her in the street but the question put to her in a disability benefit assessment.”

“Kirby subsequently had her PIP cut: both the part of the benefit that pays for her care, like a support worker to help her at home, and for her extra mobility needs. It means she’s lost more than £250 a month and can no longer afford a regular carer.

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/04/benefits-assessments-damaging-lives-hardworking-britain

Benefit Sanctions

It was my job to impose cruel benefit sanctions – that the DWP can’t justify

As a jobcentre adviser I was once told to call in a “customer” to get them on to the Work Programme. I explained that he was about to be admitted to hospital for major surgery, but I was told he must be called, otherwise he would face a sanction that could stop his benefits for four weeks.

Continue reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/30/cruel-benefits-sanctions-dwp-job-advisers-evidence-work

Half of disabled PIP claimants have had benefits cut by DWP

…nearly half (45%) of PIP claimants who had a planned review of their award in 2016 either saw it cut or lost it entirely.

Continue reading:
http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/half-of-disabled-pip-claimants-have-had-benefits-cut-by-dwp#ZVka5eMF4DjE2R2l.99

Here are the stories of real people affected by draconian Tory welfare cuts

People Reveal The Shocking Reality Of Cuts To Disability Benefits

“…three people affected by cuts to their disability benefits reveal how the reforms have impacted their lives.”

Continue reading:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/disability-living-allowance-personal-independence-payment-cuts-reality_uk_591ed7ffe4b094cdba53486c

More than 40,000 disabled people have had their benefits docked since 2012

More than 40,000 disabled people receiving Employment Support Allowance (ESA) have had their benefits docked since 2012, new data released by the Department for Work and Pensions reveals.

The figures, released quarterly, come as the Government prepares to cut ESA benefits for new disabled claimants from April by £29 a week in the work-related activity group (Wrag). It is estimated to affect around half a million new claimants and has been criticised by campaigners for making it harder for disabled people to find work.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/disabled-esa-claimants-more-than-40000-benefits-docked-2012-dwp-work-and-pensions-welfare-a7584161.html

Comment at the end of the above article: “You ain’t seen nothing yet ,wait until the Tories are free of Europe ,some nasty plans in the pipeline

I can well believe it! A lot of the rights we now enjoy are a result of our membership in the EU

Disabilities minister quietly ‘blocks PIP benefit payments to 160,000 people’

‘Life costs more if you’re disabled – on average £550 a month,’ says policy and research director Anna Bird

Conservative ministers have introduced emergency legislation which denies 160,000 people from receiving benefits that are “rightfully theirs”,

Continue reading:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/disabilities-minister-penny-mordaunt-dwp-block-benefit-payments-160000-people-emergency-pip-bill-a7598391.html

What the UN Says about the UKs treatment of disabled people (includes video):

!The report’s findings were rejected by the current government, with little sign of major reform in response that would bolster support for people with disabilities.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/uk-disability-rights-un-report-government-treatment-disabled-people-a7616101.html

What will Labour do

Please read carefully the following excellent articles concerning the Tories treatment of sick and disabled people.

The Labour Party manifesto is fantastic for disabled people

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/the-labour-party-manifesto-is-fantastic.html

The systematic Tory abuse of disabled people

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/the-systematic-tory-abuse-of-disabled.html

June 8th for the sake of sick and disabled people vote Labour . Only a Labour government has any chance of winning over the Tories. It is imperative that we do not have another conservative government .If you vote conservative you are responsible for the continuing violations of the rights of disabled people. If you vote conservative you shame our country. The UK was the first to be investigated under a UN convention it signed up to since 2007.The fact that the UN has to investigate a country such as the UK concerning the rights of disabled people is outrageous. A socking reality which seems to have been swept under the carpet or perhaps people now are so callous and uncaring that his outrage passes them by.  I would like to think not. I hope that the on June 8th the UK electorate will show that we are still a caring nation.

 

Related Links

 

The disability benefit cuts Philip Hammond forgot to mention in Budget 2017
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2017/03/disability-benefit-cuts-philip-hammond-forgot-mention-budget-2017

Scrap benefits sanctions or risk mental health crisis, psychologists warn
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefits-sanctions-letter-mental-health-crisis-british-psychological-society-a7600596.html

MPs who voted for ESA Cut
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/esa-wrag-disability-benefit-cut-disabled-mps-vote-tories-iain-duncan-smith-a6918556.html

WHY THE U.K. GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED THE DISABLED COMMUNITY
http://www.newsweek.com/uk-government-has-failed-disabled-community-461517

Reasons to Vote Labour: Nationalisation of water

If they win the election Labour will return the water companies to public ownership. The cost of this vital resource has risen considerably since privatisation,  as much as forty per cent! I recall when the charge seemed relatively insignificant but now particularly for those struggling on low wages and benefits – reduced even more by Tory polices – paying your water bill can add significantly to the ever-growing list of expenses from a decreasing income. Furthermore profits go to share holders which could benefit all rather than the privileged few. The privatisation of water has to be among the most appalling of all the mass privatisations. The right to clean water should be a basic human right and should not therefore be under the control of the private sector to sell for profit!

Labour plans to nationalise the water industry introducing a network of regional publicly-owned water companies.

Jeremy Corbyn has said that doing so could on average cut household water bills by £220.

“Labour said it would take England’s national water companies into public ownership as a reaction years of customers being “ripped off with sky-high bills”.”

““The Tories have rigged our economy so that bill payers fund wealthy shareholders of companies which in turn pay little in tax. It doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.

“Labour will rebalance our economy so that the many are no longer ripped off by the wealthy and powerful few. Labour will transform our energy, water and mail markets so that they work for consumers. Our plans for public ownership and greater transparency will slash bills and drive investment in efficiency and renewables.””

http://labourlist.org/2017/05/water-nationalisation-will-end-years-of-rip-offs-says-corbyn/

Water companies make huge profits from a resource which is vital for survival, good health and quality of life. Moreover some have avoid paying corporation tax.

Water giants make £2 BILLION in profit – but SEVEN of them didn’t pay a penny in tax

Some of Britain’s biggest water companies are raking in billions of pounds in profits without paying a penny in tax.

The 19 water firms made profits of more than £2.05billion in 2013, handed out £1.86billion to shareholders but paid just £74million in tax. Seven of them paid no corporation tax at all.

The figures also show the industry is failing to help customers struggling with sky-high bills.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/water-giants-make-2billion-profit-4703371

Water companies continue to make huge profits. It goes without saying, though sometimes I think that many people overlook this, but Excessive profits, indeed any profit, raises your bill and privatised facilities will always put profit first and consequently quality suffers along with rises in price.

Frankly as a vital component of life water should be freely available paid for and maintained by the state. Unlikely I know but at least with the nationalisation of water, bills will be lower and the service improved.

 

A Tory Vote is a Vote For Poverty: Food Banks

A vote for the Tories is a vote for more Foodbanks.

Today in the sixth richest country thousands of people will go hungry, including children.

Why? The reason people are so desperate they need to go to food banks is as a result of poverty as a consequence of low pay and brutal cuts to benefits. Under the last seven years of Tory government the use of food banks has increased at an alarming rate. According to the The Trussell Trust the reasons for food bank referrals were benefit delays, low income and changes to benefits. Back in October research by Oxford University reported the following: “For every ten sanctions applied in each quarter of the year, on average five more adults would be referred to foodbanks in the area.”

Areas where Universal Credit with a six week waiting period has been introduced has seen double the use of food banks. School holidays leave 3 million children at risk of hunger  A report by a cross party group of MPs has cited “evidence of children existing on holiday diets of crisps, hungry youngsters unable to take part in a football tournament because “their bodies simply gave up”, and others surviving on stodgy, unhealthy diets “bought to fill hungry stomachs”.”The report said those at risk of hunger over the summer include more than 1 million children who receive free school meals during term time, and 2 million more with working parents who are still in poverty.”
Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/24/school-holidays-leave-3-million-children-at-risk-of-hunger-report-says

Tracey had to use #foodbanks because her Universal Credit was delayed

The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 food banks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the country. During the last year they gave 1,109,309 three day emergency food supplies to hungry people in the UK. Of this number, 436,938 went to children.

Here are the latest figures:
https://www.trusselltrust.org/2017/04/25/uk-foodbank-use-continues-rise/

The numbers of people who receive help with food could be higher as there are other food banks run by churches, faith groups and other charities.

Here are just three examples

Barnabas Centre Strewsbury:
http://www.barnabascommunityprojects.org/foodbank.html

Claremont Parish Church in the Glasgow area
http://www.claremontparishchurch.co.uk/connect/ek-community-food-bank/

This food bank in Greater Manchester supplies food for longer than three days in cases where this is required:
http://lchaimfoodbank.co.uk/index.php

Also the Salvation Army and the Red Cross provide food and other essentials.

It is important to note that the Trussell Trust  food banks supply only three days of emergency food, what happens to people who suffer chronic food shortage I have yet to find out though some of the other food banks may well supply food for a longer period.

Here are the real people, people who go without food when the supermarkets are stocked to access and food is thrown away.

Hunger is back in the UK , for the first time since the establishment of the welfare state larger numbers of ordinary people are turning to charity to provide food for themselves and their families. The next video was published in 2012, since than nothing has changed for the better, the situation is increasing worse with a continuing rise in poverty and hunger here in the UK and consequently the necessity of food banks.

Three and a half million parents go hungry so they can feed their children. One million people in our country are living is destitution. A mixture of welfare reform, high rents and poverty pay are forcing people to use food banks. Also according to the video below 2.2 million people were sanctioned back in 2015. Sanctions in some cases may be for long periods of times, as long as six months to three years!

The truth of the matter is Tory polices have driven people into dire poverty , if they are elected again for a further five years more and more people will suffer. If you vote conservative on June the 8th you will be condoning one of the greatest of social injustices, and that is taking from vulnerable people including children the right to have adequate food which is a basic human right. For people to go hungry, even starve in a rich country such as the UK were the shelves of thousands of supermarkets are crammed with food, a lot of which if not sold is thrown away, is a moral outrage.

A vote for the conservatives is a vote for poverty hunger and deprivation – June the 8th Vote Labour
https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/25/woman-using-food-banks-breaks-live-tv-i-need-let-nation-know-like/

Related Links

Student nurse slams Theresa May’s ‘disgraceful’ food bank comments
https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44519/Student+nurse+slams+Theresa+Mays+disgraceful+food+bank+comments

Food banks have tragically become a normal way of life as 3.8 MILLION UK workers live in poverty:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/food-banks-tragically-become-normal-9420952

Charity reveals staggering rise in foodbank referrals in Lincoln
http://thelincolnite.co.uk/2017/04/foodbank-charity-reveals-staggering-rise-in-foodbank-referrals-in-lincoln/

Don’t Vote Tory If You Value Our NHS

“The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it”
Aneurin Bevan

I am still reeling over a shock announcement that a snap general election has been called.    My greatest concern is for the NHS, anyone thinking of voting Tory will in effect be sanctioning the dismantling of the finest institution that Britain has.

At a recent demonstration over cuts to the NHS  Jeremy Corbyn urged tens of thousands of demonstrators to “defend the NHS with all of your might”. “Defending the NHS is defending a basic human value and a basic human right. “You don’t walk by on the other side when somebody is in difficulties or needing help.”

“The NHS is in crisis, in crisis because of the underfunding in social care and the people not getting the care and support they need.

“There are those waiting on trolleys and those who are desperate to get into an A&E department waiting hours for treatment.

“It is not the fault of the staff. It is the fault of a Government who have made a political choice.”

Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, tweeted: “I’m marching because I am furious. Tories destroying the greatest gift the people of this country have created”

In this coming election in just five weeks 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 election day.

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 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.

“The 2012 Health and Social Care Act was clearly designed to carve the NHS open for privatisation. Meanwhile a number of other Tory policies such as budget cuts, the forced closure of dozens of A&E units and maternity wards,  driving young people away from studying towards careers in the health service by scrapping bursaries and conducting an ideological war with junior doctors and deporting non-EU NHS workers for the “crime” of not earning above £35,000 per year all look designed to put the service under such severe strain that they can offer up privatisation and American style health insurance as the solution.”

Please continue reading
Why do people who like the NHS vote Tory?
http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/why-do-people-who-like-nhs-vote-tory.html

Under the Tory government here are some of the detrimental changes that have taken place to our NHS

There are now 3.9 million people on NHS waiting lists

1.8 million people wait four hours or more in A&E including this baby:

Note this is not the fault of NHS staff, it is the fault of the Tory government’s cuts including hospital closures.

One in four patients have to wait a week or more to see their GP
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/nhs-campaign 

There are now 6000 fewer mental health nurses than in 2010 despite Theresa May claim the Tories will improve mental health care.

“The number of mental health nurses working in the NHS has dropped by almost a sixth since the Conservatives came to power in 2010, figures show.

The revelation has sparked fresh doubt that government pledges to improve mental health services are being matched by progress at the NHS frontline.

Philip Dunne, the health minister, has admitted in a written parliamentary answer that while there were 45,384 mental health nurses working in England in 2010, there were just 38,774 in July this year.”

Read More:
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/01/number-mental-health-nurses-nhs-drops-sixth-tories

Anyone still in any doubt concerning the Tories track record for the NHS read on

“As an A&E consultant I have a to tell you that Tories are underfunding and destroying our

NHS Crisis: Medical Staff Share Fears Of Conservative 2017 General Election Victory”

Read More:

NHS Crisis: Medical Staff Share Fears Of Conservative 2017 General Election Victory
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nhs-crisis-public-duty-hashtag_uk_59005305e4b0af6d7189aa3f?utm_campaign=NHS_Hunt_huffpostUK

A selection of tweets with the following hashtag #publicduty

A nurse exposes the state of the NHS under the Tories. And it’s heartbreaking. [VIDEO]

“Vote for the NHS

Whether directly or indirectly, NHS workers are warning that a Conservative victory in the upcoming general election will be the end of our health service

… a win for the Tories would certainly embolden their privatisation agenda – which they’ve previously sought to keep under the radar. In recent years, the party has deliberately set the NHS up to crash and burn, so the private sector can swoop in and ‘save the day’. Statistics show just how much the Conservatives have defunded our health service:”

Read More:
https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/27/a-nurse-exposes-the-state-of-the-nhs-under-the-tories-and-its-heartbreaking-video/

Under the Tories privatisation has risen by a staggering 76% which amounts to £48bn of our NHS handed to private health. If Elected Labour will eradicate this. Private medicine has one main goal and that is profit, profit will always come before the patient.

On June 8th vote Labour your very life may well depend on it, a vote for the Tories is a vote to end the NHS. 

Related Link

A VOTE FOR THE TORIES MEANS A VOTE TO DESTROY THE NHS
http://www.eclecticblue.org.uk/a-vote-for-the-tories-means-a-vote-to-destroy-the-nhs/