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.

 

Stop the Badger Cull Vote Labour June 8th

Badger cull death toll hits 14,829

Only Labour will bring an end to the cruel killing of badgers who are a protected species. Badgers have as much right to live as you or I. We cannot kill them simply because they are deemed inconvenient. This is even more so when the reason involves killing them to exploit and abuse another animals, namely cows.

Bring an end to this barbarity which has no place in any ethical society by voting Labour on June 8th.

Labour have pledged to bring an end to the badger cull and propose to vaccinate instead of kill:
“We will cease the badger cull, which spreads bovine TB. Labour ended fox hunting, deer hunting and hare coursing.Only a Labour government will maintain the bans.”
http://www.labour.org.uk/page/-/Images/manifesto-2017/Labour%20Manifesto%202017.pdf

For the sake of badgers and other wildlife  – foxes, hares mink – which will be under threat if the Tories return to power, Please vote Labour June 8th.

Apologies to international visitors and followers of this blog, but until June the 8th I hope to focus on the UK’s general election which is so crucial to the well-being of most of our citizens, particularly disabled people and the NHS. The outcome of this election is also vitally important for our wildlife and the environment. With the threat of the repeal of the fox hunting bill, the continuation of badger culling and  fracking in our national parks, and indeed anywhere and everywhere, it is vital that the Tories do not get re-elected.

Also apologies to followers if I have not visited your blogs as much as usual but I am been so involved with on-line campaigning that my time is more limited than usual. I hope to read all your blogs soon.

For a Total UK Ban on The Ivory Trade Vote Labour

 

“But perhaps the most important lesson I learned is that there are no walls between humans and the elephants except those that we put up ourselves, and that until we allow not only elephants, but all living creatures their place in the sun, we can never be whole ourselves.”
Lawrence Anthony

Please consider the following when you vote June 8th:

While the conservatives have not included the total ban on the trade in Ivory in their manifesto Labour has made a commitment to do so along with other plans to protect animals from abuse:
“We will prohibit the third-party sale of puppies, introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading, and support the ban on wild animals in circuses.”

Labour manifesto:
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/leading-richer-lives

“If I were a minister, I would ban the lot and stop any trade in or movement of ivory. The survival of the elephant is far more important than a museum, however great it and the curators of the modern age may be, however wise, experienced and brilliant they may be and however great their genius.”
John Mann MP

Indeed elephants are more important than the preservation of antique ivory. Ivory is the leading factor in their threatened extinction, stopping the demand for ivory in any form, any age is fundamental to the survival of elephants.

“Elephants have roamed the wild for 15 million years, but today this iconic species face the biggest threat to survival due to continued ivory poaching. As long as there is a demand for ivory, elephants continue to be killed for their tusks. Today it is estimated up to 25,000 elephants are killed annually.”

REASONS TO SAVE THE ELEPHANT:

  • If we don’t act now elephants could face localized extinctions.
  • In some countries of Africa including Senegal, Somalia and Sudan, elephants have already been driven to extinction.
  • Communities across Africa are dependent on elephants for an income through tourism. Saving the elephants also means preventing poverty, sustaining livelihoods and promoting sustainable tourism.
  • Elephants are a keystone species. Other animals, plants and entire ecosystems rely on them for survival.
  • ‘As go the elephants, so do the trees.’ Elephants are known as ‘nature’s gardeners’, plants and trees rely on elephants to disperse their seeds far and wide through their dung.
  • Elephant’s large footprints act as water collectors for smaller animals.
  • By uprooting trees to feed, they control the tree population leaving grasses to thrive and sustain animals such as wildebeests and zebras.
  • Elephants share the same emotions and cognitive behavior as humans. They grieve for their lost loved ones, they feel fear, joy and empathy and are highly praised for their intelligence.

Read More about the threat to elephants and please take as many of the suggested actions as you can:
http://iworry.org/crisis/?gclid=CJHG-vXnlNQCFYE4GwodAXYHBQ

One action you can take on June 8th is to vote Labour, a total ban on the trade in ivory by the UK will help to protect elephants from poaching.

Elephants are on the brink of extinction and could well be gone from the wild in twelve years time.

China has put in place a ban on ivory however the “Chinese ban on trade specifically excludes items described as “genuine antiques”. This exemption raises concerns that elephants will continue to be poached to supply an increased trade in “ghost ivory” (illegal ivory sold as antique legal ivory) as the legitimate market closes.”

“You see old ivory on the same shelf as new ivory. I realized then there’s a major market in the Far East that looks at ivory as a commodity as well as an art form, and that the old ivory market is fuelling modern ivory demand.”
British auctioneer James Lewis
http://www.newsweek.com/elephants-china-ivory-trade-white-gold-extinction-545002

And this is the reason why we need a total ban on ivory, be it new or antique, existing ivory carvings perpetuates the demand in ivory. Furthermore it is not an easy matter to differentiate which is old ivory and which is new. In my opinion with the exception of antique ivory presently existing in museums, all existing ivory should be destroyed.

The UK needs a total ban which means also the ban on trade in antique ivory.

This will not happen under a conservative government. If you care about elephants vote Labour in the general election. Labour will put elephants before profits.

Related Links

Why would Theresa May ditch a pledge to ban ivory trading?

“The Tories’ manifesto has dropped a promise to outlaw the trade. Protecting wildlife should be a priority, not an option”

“Strange news: Theresa May has decided to drop a Tory pledge to push for a total ban on ivory trading (only the sale of ivory items produced after 1947 is prohibited). Why would she do that? Doesn’t she need votes? I thought nearly everyone loved elephants – who votes for helping to wipe them out? Apparently, wealthy antiques dealers. Lady (Victoria) Borwick, the Tory candidate for Kensington and the president of the British Antique Dealers’ Association, is an acquaintance of the PM; perhaps she was whom May had in mind.”

Continue Reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/22/why-would-theresa-may-ditch-pledge-ban-ivory-trading

“Foxes, badgers, robins and now ELEPHANTS: hidden manifesto plan by Tories to allow ivory trade

“Under David Cameron the Conservatives had pledged – along with other UK political parties – to put into place a ban on ivory trading. This follows bans by China, the US and other important ivory trading countries to end domestic trades in ivory by the end of 2017.

But there is no mention of the ban in Theresa May’s Tory 2017 manifesto.”

Continue reading:
https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/tories-bow-to-wealthy-antiques-dealers-and-drop-ban-on-elephant-ivory-in-manifesto/

 

Reasons to Vote Labour

“When Labour wins, the British people win. The nurse, the teacher, the small trader, the carer, the builder, the office worker win.”
“take our wealth back”
Jeremy Corbyn

If the Tories win , the rich and powerful win and the average person loses. Not only people of course but wildlife and the environment will lose as the fox hunting ban is repealed and the badger cull/massacre continues as does fracking which is now taking place in Yorkshire, Lancashire, the midlands and elsewhere  in some of our most scenic places, including our national parks.

Reasons to vote Labour

Firstly this election is about more than Brexit, at least it should be.

“This election isn’t about Brexit itself. That issue has been settled. The question now is what sort of Brexit do we want – and what sort of country do we want Britain to be after Brexit?
Jeremy Corbyn

For anyone who is in any doubt concerning Labour’ position on Brexit please read the following:

Labour “accepts the referendum result” and intends to build a close new relationship with Europe “not as members but as partners”.

“Labour will always put jobs and the economy first”

“We will prioritise jobs and living standards, build a close new relationship with the EU, protect workers’ rights and environmental standards, provide certainty to EU nationals and give a meaningful role to Parliament throughout negotiations.

We will build a close co-operative future relationship with the EU, not as members but as partners.”

Read More concerning Labours plans for Brexit:

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/brexit

It is likely that a Tory Brexit will be of benefit for only the few. Any money saved will be handed to corporations as tax cuts.

New trade deals sought with the USA and others will drive down working conditions, food and environmental standards and I suspect animal welfare will suffer.

A Tory Brexit will erode workers rights, cut taxes to corporations and isolate the UK from our closest allies and trading partners.

Consider the following:

…Brexit will impact more than just the 70 millions human animals living in the United Kingdom. It is also a devastating blow for the approximately 1 billion non-human animals per year who are killed in the UK for food, trade, and experimentation.

Approximately 80 per cent of UK animal protection laws originate from the EU, and these laws have prohibited some of the worst aspects of industrial livestock production. Veal crates have been banned from 2007, barren battery cages for egg-laying hens from 2012, and sow stalls from 2013. The EU ‘constitution’ also contains a declaration that animals are sentient beings and that all EU and member state legislation must take into account the effect on animal welfare.

Brexit has put all of these advances at risk. The UK will no longer need to comply with these rules, and it appears unlikely that they will do so voluntarily.

https://sentience-politics.org/billions-betrayed-by-brexit-and-they-didnt-even-get-to-vote/

Labour  include a number of positive animal welfare pledges  in their manifesto – more about this further down.

Labour commits to the following:

NHS

Labour pledges to  increase NHS funding by 6 billion annually.   The party will ‘commit to over £6 billion extra in annual funding through increasing income tax for the highest 5% of earners’

Here are just a few highlights of Labours proposals for our NHS

“We will invest in our NHS for world-class care”

Labour guarantee “access to treatment within 18 weeks, we will take one million people off NHS waiting lists by the end of the next Parliament.”

“We will ensure all NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments”,

“We will guarantee that patients can be seen in A&E within four hours.”

“We will increase funding to GP services to ensure patients can access the care they need.”

“We will ensure all NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatments,”

“Labour will focus resources on services to provide care closer to home and deliver a truly 21st century health system.”

“Labour will set the ambition to make our country autism-friendly.”

The party also plans to scrap NHS pay cap and  ‘give our NHS workers the pay they deserve’.

Labour pledge to give “mental health the same priority as physical health means not only ensuring access to services, but also making improvements, to those services.” This will include  investment “in early intervention by increasing the proportion of mental health budgets spent on support for children and young people.”

Here is a shocking fact, Suicide is now the most common cause of death for boys aged between 5 and 19.

For full details of Labour’s proposals for the NHS please read the full section of their manifesto:
Healthcare for all
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/healthcare-for-all

The NHS was founded by the Labour party and is one of their greatest achievements which makes available free universal healthcare to all.

Don’t allow the Tories to privatise our NHS and make health care a privilege for the few.

Labour plans to re-nationalise the railways, Royal Mail, and water and also says it will restore parts of the energy industry into public ownership.

Railways

As Franchises expire Labour pledges to return private railways to public ownership. Since privatisation prices have risen while the quality of services has decreased. Operating not-for-profit returning to public owner ship will reduce fares. Since the Tories came to power rail fares have rocketed by 27% – that’s a rise three times faster than the growth in wages. Some season tickets are up by over 40%.

Royal Mail

As soon as possible Labour plan to reverse the privatisation of  Royal Mail. Since privatisation of this national asset, which was sold off cheaply, there has been a significant increase in postal charges and a poorer service – do you remember when you got your post before going to work and a second delivery late morning. Now you ‘re lucky if you get your first and only delivery before mid day!

Energy

Since privatisation the cost of energy has increased at an alarming rate leaving many people unable to afford the cost of heating their homes while energy providers rake in massive profits. During 2015 private energy providers overcharged customers by £2 billion

Labour says it will bring energy into partial public ownership – this will begin with an immediate “emergency price cap” on energy bills to ensure that the average duel fuel household energy bill remains below £1,000 a year.

Water

“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,”

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

Water companies make huge profits from a resource which is vital for survival, good health and quality of life. As a result of privatisation water bills have risen by 40 per cent. 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.

“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.”

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

Returning water to public funding could cut household water bills by £220

Following a worldwide trend Labour plan to take back public utilities into public ownership “to deliver lower prices, more accountability and a more sustainable economy. “

Read more about Labours plans to return key public services to public ownership and further proposals relating to the economy:
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/economy

The Environment

Labour promises to ban fracking and supports other positive environmental intitiatives.

A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party’s draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

Read More:

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2988930/corbyns_green_vision_wins_leaked_manifesto_promises_huge_environmental_gains.html As the article points out all is not positive but will be one hell of an improvement on what the Tories have to offer.

Do you know that right now fracking is taking place in Yorkshire:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/20/fracking-to-go-ahead-in-north-yorkshire-after-high-court-ruling

Now fracking firms set sights on beauty spots across Britain: Hundreds of sites could be approved for drilling including national parks:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3607888/Now-fracking-firms-set-sights-beauty-spots-Britain-Hundreds-sites-approved-drilling-including-national-parks.html

Also included in the manifesto are plans to ” introduce a new Clean Air Act to deal with the Conservative legacy of illegal air quality,“plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better flood management. Unlike the Conservatives who attempted to privatise our forests, Labour will keep them in public hands.”

You can read more details concerning Labour’s environmental plans:
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/leading-richer-lives

Tuition Fees

Labour intends to abolish tuition fees and reintroduce maintenance grants.This goes without saying is a more fair system and opens opportunities for everyone with the necessary ability to advance his or her education rather than only those who can afford it. Who really could not consider this a fair just policy.

Labour plans to give “everyone the opportunity to access education throughout their lives.”

Labour “will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that ‘Every Child – and Adult Matters’ and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.”

Read more about Labour’s pledges for education at all stages of life:
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/towards-a-national-education-service

Benefits

During their time in government the conservatives have slashed social security plunging millions into poverty and increased the need for food banks. In the UK today one of the richest countries in the world 4 million children live in poverty.

Among the many plans Labour has to undo the misery of rising poverty as a result of the conservatives failed attempts on the backs of the poor to reduce the deficit is to scrap the bedroom tax , reinstate housing benefits for the under twenty-ones,  scrap the cruel and unfair sanctions regime .

Labour will also:
” reform and redesign UC, ending six-week delays in payment and the ‘rape clause’.

“commit to tackle child poverty with a new Child Poverty Strategy.”

  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group, and repeal cuts in the UC limited capacity for work element.
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance by £11 to the level of Jobseekers’ Allowance.
  • Implement the court decision on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) so that there is real parity of esteem between those with physical and mental-health conditions.
  • Scrap the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments and replace them with a personalised, holistic assessment process that provides each individual with a tailored plan, building on their strengths and addressing barriers. Labour will end the privatisation of assessments.
  • End the pointless stress of reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions.
  • Commission a report into expanding the Access to Work programme.

“We will change the culture of the social security system, from one that demonises people not in work to one that is supportive and enabling.”

http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/social-security

Watch the video of May as she is challenged by a lady with learning disabilities who frankly was not fooled by May’s repetitive vague promises

Animal Welfare

Keep the fox hunting ban

Labour will keep the fox hunting ban, a ban which the overwhelming majority approve.

You can sign a Labour Party petition directed at the Tories to tell them you wish to keep the ban
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/content/keep-the-ban-on-fox-hunting   However the most affective way to ensure the ban remains is to vote for Labour

The Tories on the other hand fully intend to reinstate this horrifically cruel blood sport

“Theresa May sensationally confirmed she hopes to bring back fox-hunting after the Mirror exposed a secret Tory plot to repeal the ban.

Speaking in Leeds today, the Prime Minister admitted she has “always been in favour” of the cruel blood sport and will press ahead with plans for a free vote of MPs after the election.”

Read more of this story which includes a video

Theresa May confirms she wants to bring back fox hunting after secret Tory plot exposed:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-confirms-wants-bring-back-10387487

Stop the badger cull – vaccinate instead.

“I am opposed to Badger cull. No to killing tens of thousands of these protected animals. Vaccinate against BTB”
Jeremy Corbyn Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/321343538413588483?lang=en

The Tories tend to extend this cruel massacre of badgers and have already killed 10,000 of these animals who have as much right to their lives as you or I

You can read more detail in the following article:

More than 10,000 badgers have been killed to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in cattle, the Government has announced, as it revealed it is considering extending the culls.
Read More:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/12/16/10000-badgers-killed-cull-says-government/

Concerning animal welfare Labour pledges the following:

“Labour’s vision is for the UK to lead the world with high animal welfare standards”

“Labour will increase the maximum sentence for those convicted of committing animal cruelty.”

“Labour  will prohibit the third-party sale of puppies, introduce and enforce a total ban on ivory trading, and support the ban on wild  animals in circuses.

As with fox hunting Labour banned, deer hunting and hare coursing and only Labour will maintain these bans.

In order to protect bees the Labour  party will promise to ban neonicotinoids, an insecticide that has led to a decline in population.

“Labour promises to “protect our bees by prohibiting neonicotinoids as soon as our EU relationship allows us to do so.”

Read Labour’s plans concerning the environment and animal welfare :
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/leading-richer-lives

The above are highlights of Labour’s plans for the UK

Read the entire manifesto here:
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto/2017

Please vote wisely at this most crucial election. It is easy to be led astray by empty Tory promises but check closely the last seven years under the Tories with the rise in poverty, food banks, poor services, austerity for the few while the wealth of the rich increases. Ask yourself do you really want to see more children in poverty, longer queues at food banks, more cuts to benefits for our most vulnerable citizens, fracking in our countryside, the return of fox hunting, the continuation of the killing of badgers and the Tories lack of support for a total ban on the trade in ivory.

A final comment about Brexit

How many of us can really say we understand what the hell is going on with Brexit, yet when asked people cite concerns about Brixt like some well-worn mantra the essence of which I fear few understand. Brexit in my opinion is in any case one of the biggest disasters in recent times brought about  largely as a result of ill-informed people voting either under the misconception that the money saved would go to the NHS or for racist zenophobic reasons and anti-immigration bigotry – I wonder how people will react when stricter immigration rules hit services. Yes NHS needs EU employees to avoid collapse  However the rights and wrongs of Brexit are not the point of this blog. Article 50 has been triggered Brexit will go ahead, yes the form it will take will depend on who is running the country, the Tories who support the rich and powerful or Labour who support a fair society for all. However Brixit is not the only issue and in my opinion not the most important by a long shot.

Related Links

Jeremy Corbyn promises a ‘reckoning’ for Britain’s unscrupulous elite

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-reckoning-greedy-labour-general-election-2017-snap-theresa-may-a7725186.html

Jeremy Corbyn speech at Labour’s campaign launch

‘The next Labour government will reverse privatisation of our NHS and return our health service into expert public control. Labour will repeal the Health and Social Care Act that puts profits before patients.

Read further pledges:
http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/political-news/gp-funding-to-be-boosted-under-labour-reveals-leaked-draft-manifesto/20034416.article

  • Labour “accepts the referendum result” and intends to build a close new relationship with Europe “not as members but as partners”.
  • Retain benefits of single market and customs union.
  • Immediately guarantee existing rights of EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens living in another EU country.
  • No “no deal” option at the end of Article 50 negotiations, with “transitional arrangements” negotiated instead to avoid cliff-edge.
  • Scrap Great Repeal Bill and replace with EU Rights and Protections Bill.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-manifesto-leak-what-is-in-draft-document-and-what-is-the-clause-v-meeting-a3536181.html

For full details of Labours proposals for the NHS please read the full section of their manifesto:
Healthcare for all http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017/healthcare-for-all

 

 

 

Please Take Action to Help Captive Elephants

The plight of elephants and indeed other wild animals confined and exploited in zoos is so sad and unnecessary. Worldwide there are approximately  15,000 to 20,000 elephants held captive, mostly for entertainment in zoos and circuses. These animals live miserable lives, often alone like Mali the elephant who holds her tail for comfort, like Mali many are abused and neglected without proper medical care and attention. Without exception all wish to be free as nature intended.

Below there are a number of actions you can take to help captive elephants, please take as many of these actions as you can.

Firstly please sign and share the following petitions to help at least two elephants confined in zoos who lead lonely miserable lives:

“HELP TRANSFER SUFFERING & LONELY MALI TO BLES SANCTUARY. PLEASE HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN BY SIGNING & SHARING (OR RE-SHARING)THIS PETITION”

SHE IS SO LONELY, SHE HOLDS HER TAIL FOR COMFORT. PLEASE HELP MALI THE LONELIEST ELEPHANT IN THE WORLD.

Lonely Mali was stolen from her close-knit loving family in Sri Lanka while she was still nursing. For almost 40 YEARS Mali has been confined to a barren concrete enclosure and denied the company of other elephants, which is essential to her emotional and mental well being.

Please read more and sign and share:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/841/626/994/

Read More About Mali:

Mali the Lonely Elephant Holds Her Own Tail for Comfort
http://www.care2.com/causes/mali-the-lonely-elephant-holds-her-own-tail-for-comfort.html

The Bronx Zoo, Release Happy the Elephant to a Sanctuary!

Unfortunately her name belies her situation, happy is most certainly not happy:

Happy, an Asian elephant, is one of the loneliest elephants in the U.S. She is 45 years old, and has been without a companion of her own species for 10 years.

“Please sign this petition to urge the Bronx Zoo to release Happy to the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary.”

Please read more ,sign and share the petition
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/551/210/358/the-bronx-zoo-release-your-three-elephants-to-sanctuary-no-more-zoos/

More Petitions and other actions

Melha Shrine Circus: Go Animal-Free Again!

The Melha Shrine Circus made a very smart, progressive, and humane decision in 2016 to remove animals from their circus, but unfortunately they have decided to bring elephants and tigers back this year.

Please read more, sign and share the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/633/576/253/melha-shrine-circus-go-animal-free-again/

Elephants have been held in captivity for more than 4,000 years beginning in the Indus Valley. Since that time elephants have been take from their natural environment and trained, used as labour and exploited as entertainment in zoos and circuses.

“Around the world there exist between 15,000-20,000 captive elephants and the circumstances for most of them are abysmal.”

You can read more about the history of their captivity and their use and abuse by clicking the link below:

Traditions, use & abuse
https://www.elephantvoices.org/elephants-in-captivity-7.html

Take More Action

Please take the following actions:

You might also like to sign the elephant charter, open to signatures of Friends of Elephants, which is members of the public who care about elephants, Elephant biologists who are scientists whose profession involves or has involved the study of elephants and “Elephant Professionals who are individuals whose profession involves or has involved the care, medical treatment, protection, conservation, legal defense of elephants, advocacy for elephants or education about elephants.”

Please everyone sign the Elephant charter:
http://www.theelephantcharter.info/index.php/signatories

Please take as much of the recommended action included in the same website:

What YOU can do
https://www.elephantvoices.org/support-now/what-you-can-do-support-now-70.html

Related Links
Elephants In Zoos Don’t Do Well

“For every elephant born in a U.S. zoo, on average two others die”:

Read More:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201212/elephants-in-zoos-dont-do-well

Innocent Prisoners

“…there were over 40 elephants currently housed alone in zoos, circuses and private facilities across Europe.”

If you have not the time to read the article please watch the video. Just so sad and depressing to see this poor elephant entirely alone without the companionship of her own kind


Read More:
http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/zoo-check/captive-wildlife-issues/elephants-in-captivity/

A Vote For The Tories is a Vote For Fox Hunting And Badger Culling (Massacre) June 8th Vote Labour!

When you list all the reasons why you should not vote Tory it seems inconceivable to me that many people are about to grant them five more years of power to destroy our lives!!!!!

All potential Tory Voters: If you don’t care about losing the NHS to privatisation, or are not concerned about the shocking treatment of disabled people such as denying disability benefit to 165,000 of our sick and disbaled and a £30 cut each week in benefits , the rise in food banks, the bedroom tax, low pay, zero hours, homelessness, cuts to education, increases in tuition fees and limitless austerity please at least think about what the Tories will do concerning our wildlife.

Please consider the following:

If the Tories gain power in addition to all the above, they will eventually try to repeal the fox-hunting ban and will most certainly continue their massacre of helpless badgers referred to as culling.

The Badger Cull (massacre)

Watch this lovely video of these amazing creatures as a mother her keeps an eye on her cub as they walk through a Bluebell carpeted wood.

Surely these creatures are worth saving?

Read More about the badger cull from Team Badger :

http://www.teambadger.org/

Team Badger need your help:

“We are looking for people to help with all aspects of Team Badger”
https://en-gb.facebook.com/TeamBadgerCoalition/

More information about the badger cull from the League Against Cruel Sports:
https://www.league.org.uk/badger-cull?gclid=COCPyZfL2tMCFRSeGwod60YJng

See also https://twitter.com/ally_wsm?lang=en for regular tweets concerning badgers, also graphics to use in our fight to keep the Tories from murdering these innocent defenceless animals who are a part of the countryside, living feeling sentient beings who enjoy life as much as any other animal including you or your cat or dog. Badgers have a right to life and should not be killed by the Tories or any other person simply because they are perceived as an inconvenience in the exploitation of another species, namely cattle, to satisfy the insatiable greed to acquire wealth and to consume a food – meat and milk – that is not natural.

Fox hunting – hunting with dogs

Along with the continuation of the badger massacre (cull) a Tory government will make another attempt to repeal the fox hunting ban

From the League Against Cruel Sports

THE HUNTING ACT IS UNDER THREAT

“There is a very real danger this election could deliver a pro-hunt majority in the House of Commons. This would be the very first time there has been a clear majority of pro-hunt MPs in Parliament since the Hunting Act was passed in 2004 – if we don’t stop it.

We have a matter of weeks to fight this.

Make no mistake – the hunt lobby will be doing everything they can to get pro-hunt MPs into power and destroy the landmark law protecting UK wildlife. They will stop at nothing to legalise the abhorrent cruelty of chasing terrified animals with packs of dogs and tearing them limb from limb.”

Please continue reading for more information:
https://www.league.org.uk/act-to-protect-the-hunting-act

Also check out their Twitter stream
https://twitter.com/LeagueACS?lang=en

A reminder of why fox hunting is a cruel and a wicked so called sport.

How can anyone kill these beautiful defenceless animals.

Do we really want a government comprised of people who wish to continue killing  wild animals for “sport” or profit?

A recent poll shows that 84% of British people want fox hunting to remain illegal. Opposition to hare hunting and deer hunting was even stronger, at 91% and 88% respectively.

The best way to ensure this is not to vote Tory on June 8th.

More information about fox hunting:

The League Against Cruel Sport
https://www.league.org.uk/fox-hunting

Hunt saboteurs Association
http://www.huntsabs.org.uk/

If re-elected, how many badgers and foxes will be killed over the next five years.

A few reminder of the horrors of fox hunting

At present Tory politicians and Teresa May are focused on winning the election. There is not much going on to campaign against this barbarity. However right now you can take the most important and most decisive action to stop the repeal of the fox hunting ban and the continued culling of badgers and that is not to vote Tory in the coming election. 

June 8th. VOTE LABOUR!  Our wildlife depends on it!

With the Tories gone the badger cull would be over and the ban on fox hunting would remain in place.

Save badgers, foxes, and other wild life  Vote Labour June 8th

Vote Labour for a more compassionate fair society for us all, both human and non human animals.