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

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

Basically I continue to be enraged by the election result.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following article discusses this issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did you vote for five more years of hell?

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

The sick and disabled

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tories use first day back to attack the disabled

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

December 17, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Homeless

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those living in poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are 1.9 million pensioners living in poverty

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

Poverty in later life

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

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

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

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

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

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

A massive increase in food banks

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

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

State of Hunger

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

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

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

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

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

The climate crisis

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

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

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

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

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

Read the analysis directly from Greenpeace

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

The NHS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuts to school funding

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

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

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

Islamophobia

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

The article below takes you through ten years of Tory racism

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

Read more:
The Tories’ Ten Years of Racism

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

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

 

The benefit cuts

Frankly I don’t know where to begin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The badger cull

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

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

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

Concerning other issues relating to animals welfare:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

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

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

Related links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t vote Tory: Child Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read about the lives of three children living in poverty:

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

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

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

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

Read more:

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

Take Action

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

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

Take Action to Help Older People Get The Care They Need.

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

As a result of Tory austerity polices the most vulnerable in our society are suffering and continue to suffer.

Here is but one example:

In the 6th richest country in the world, the UK, more than 1.2 million older people in England currently can’t access the basic care they need to do everyday things, like get dressed and make themselves a meal. Things need to change for vulnerable people, things need to change for everyone.

Right now, the government is devising new plans for social care in England. We need to make sure that the needs of older people are addressed.

Please sign petition

Sign our petition for fair care:

Dear Jeremy Hunt

We believe that everyone should be supported to lead the lives they want for as long as they can.

That’s why we are calling for a care system that:

• Makes sure that everyone who needs care gets it.

• Gets rid of poor quality care.

• Values carers and care workers.

Read full petition and please sign and share:

https://campaigns.independentage.org/node/82/utm_source=email&utm_campaign=GP1&utm_term=b1#

Please sign even if like me you loathe and detest the Tories for the misery and suffering they have inflicted on vulnerable people such as children, the sick and disabled, low paid workers, the elderly and do not forget the NHS upon which the vast majority of us rely be we rich or poor and which they are systematically destroying with cuts to funding.

While it is good to sign petitions and work within the existing government to bring about change to the unfair policies of the Tories , we must in the end be rid of them if anything is to really change for the good of the majority of us.

Petitions are always well worth signing

Signing a petition sends them a message, lets them know that we do not approve of the grave injustice inflicted on our most vulnerable citizens.

“We need leadership in this country, which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick     and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger.”
Bernie Sanders US senator

The above quote applies to the UK and anywhere else that fails to improve or even makes worse the lives of the majority of it’s citizens, particularly the most vulnerable such as those with disabilities, elderly people and children. It may shock you to know that one fifth of our citizens – 14 million people – live in poverty with the worst decline among children and the elderly. There are  1.9 million pensioners (16 percent) living in relative poverty according to these statistics:
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/reports-and-briefings/money-matters/rb_aug17_briefing_poverty.pdf

Fifth of UK population now in poverty amid worst decline for children and pensioners in decades, major report reveals

“Britain’s record on tackling poverty has reached a turning point and is at risk of unravelling, following the first sustained rises in child and pensioner poverty for two decades, a major report has warned.

Nearly 400,000 more children and 300,000 more pensioners are now living in poverty than five years ago, during which time there have been continued increases in poverty across both age groups – prompting experts to warn that hard-fought progress towards tackling destitution is “in peril”. ”

Continue reading:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/poverty-britain-joseph-rowntree-foundation-report-theresa-may-social-mobility-commission-million-a8089491.html

This country is in a really sorry state, most people are suffering as a result of the misery inflicted by a bunch of over privileged bastards who have never known a day of poverty in their lives, who have never known what it is like to be hungry and cold shivering on the streets, no home, no hope no future. Never felt the anxiety of financial insecurity, never felt the anxiety for the future of their children, never had to work for all the hours god made to eke out a pittance now often not even enough to buy food or pay the rent. How many Tories have had to send their children to school hungry, how many go home to an unheated house, how many face retirement struggling on a pittance which barely pays the huge council tax , food, rent, repairs if you own your own home after paying an extortionate mortgage for the best part of your life! Most older people watch their home fall apart unable to afford the huge cost of repairs! Recently I had an estimate to fix a lock on a window – I can’t open the window without this – cost £ 145, more than a single pensioners entire income for a week. How about clothing or  a holiday – A Holiday!!!!!! how many elderly people get even a weeks holiday?  Not many. Things have to change we cannot allow our lives to be ruined by the greedy few, not only here in the UK but the world over.

We must rid this world of the vile cancer of greed and exploitation namely right wing ideology of social inequality. We must end the society of greed, the corrupt exploitative capitalist system that is destroying lives, destroying the very air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Our land, our oceans, our planet is dying as are the myriad species with whom we share it, killed by the voracious  greed of the few at the expense of the many.

Please sign and share this petition and every petition that sends a message that you have had enough of social injustice which treats our citizens so shamefully, enough of inequality, of environmental damage to our world, of the exploitation of human and nonhuman animals.

Benefits UK: Are We Getting Like The US?

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
Elie Wiesel

It looks like it will be a cold winter this year here in the UK. Yesterday I saw a homeless man on the street sleeping in a shop doorway, it was 09.30 and bitterly cold. I could not afford to give him money but did so as I was worried that he was not well and needed a reason to wake him.  This country is an awful place with extreme social injustice condemned by the UN, a country where many people have no money to live on. Poverty is high and getting higher – childhood poverty has soared by 400,000 since the Conservatives came to power.  While corporations get tax concessions and tax payers fund another extravagant royal wedding poor people get their benefits cut or taken away from them.

How long I ask myself is this nightmare going to be allowed to continue. We cannot have people living in poverty in the 6th richest economy. Shameful. Anyone who votes Tory should be ashamed for you are responsible for the damage to thousands of people’s lives including children. How do you sleep at night, not like the homeless man mentioned above ? The indifference of many people to the plight of those needing benefits has also played a role in consigning many people to lives of misery and despair, not knowing where their next meal will come from or if they will have a roof over their heads.

Under cover of the announcement of the royal wedding – 0dd how there is plenty of money to indulge those who already have it in
abundance – the government announced that they intend to continue the freeze on benefits:

Benefit freeze to stay for working people costing typical family £300 a year

“Millions of people will have their benefits frozen for another 12 months from April in a move that will cost a typical working family with two children about £300 a year.”

“The freeze, which has been in place since 2015, means a real-terms cut in income for millions of people because of rising living costs.”

Continue reading:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/benefit-freeze-to-stay-working-people-costing-typical-family-300-a-year

Poverty and homeless increase yet who cares, most people carry on with their own lives oblivious.

How many of us were aware that back in July 100 tenants each day where being evicted as a result of cuts to benefits, this number will no doubt rise with the introduction of Universal Credit. 

“More than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). It is an increase of a third since 2003 and the highest level recorded. The research appears to confirm fears that a mixture of rising costs and falling state support would lead to a rise in people being forced out of their homes. It will raise concerns that even those in work are struggling to pay their rent.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/22/100-tenants-a-day-lose-homes-rising-rents-benefit-freeze

It is important to note that UC is a benefit for working people paid low wages.

Three thousand people responded to an a House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits when only about a hundred responses were expected. Responses are still coming in after the deadline has passed.

Inquiry into disability benefits ‘deluged’ by tales of despair

More than 3,000 people have written to work and pensions committee in despair at system, many saying they have been driven to suicidal thoughts

“A House of Commons inquiry into disability benefits has heard from more than 3,000 people in despair at the system, including dozens who say they have been driven to suicidal thoughts by the process.

Frank Field, the chair of the work and pensions committee, said it would be usual to receive about 100 responses, but the inquiry had been deluged by people sharing stories about being denied disability benefits or battles to keep their entitlements.

The evidence includes testimony from many saying their mental health had deteriorated as a result of trying to claim the employment support allowance (ESA) for daily living costs and/or the personal independence payment (PIP) to cover the extra costs caused by long-term disability.”

Continue reading the full article:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/27/inquiry-into-disability-benefits-deluged-by-tales-of-despair?CMP=share_btn_tw

Life for many in the sixth richest economy is hell thanks to Tory polices and the indifference of other people.

Read the Story of Sue and others lives turned into a nightmare by UC

‘It’s just mistake after mistake’ – stories from the universal credit catastrophe

“It was introduced to simplify benefits and encourage people to work. Yet from a bungled rollout to Kafkaesque rules and the infamous six-week payment delay, universal credit has caused untold misery. John Harris meets people who have had their lives turned upside down. ”

With only £48 a week of child benefit coming in, Sue had effectively stopped eating. “I was trying to make stuff from the food bank last longer. I lived off cereal, so the kids could eat. That went on for three months.”

…the time it took to process her application and start paying her the right amount of money went way beyond six weeks, to almost three months.

One of her most vivid memories is of explaining what was happening to her eldest son. “I sat down with him, and I was crying my eyes out. I said: ‘I’m so sorry – I’ve got no money at all for anything for Christmas . It was only through our church’s generosity, giving us bits and pieces for the kids, that they actually had presents on Christmas day. None of it was from us.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/20/mistake-universal-credit-catastrophe-misery

This is the tip of the iceberg. People’s lives have been made hell on earth since Tory changes to welfare, so many people do not know where to turn or have the wherewithal to write to committees, either worn down by the misery of draconian welfare assessments, by the severity of their illness often made worse by the nature of these assessments or they simply do not have the ability to write about their situation.

The Tories are on a mission to dismantle the UK’s welfare state.

I get sick of hearing that the Tories are out of touch with reality. The implication being that it is incompetence rather than a deliberate attempt to destroy our welfare state. The truth is the Tories are using cuts  as a means of destroying the welfare state – including the NHS which they detest.

Read

How to dismantle the welfare state in five easy steps – and ways to spot the Government doing it

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/how-to-dismantle-the-welfare-state-in-five-easy-steps-and-ways-to-spot-the-government-doing-it-a7025711.html

The above article is eighteen months old but the points it makes are valid now as they were than.

Don’t be fooled with the misleading implication of Tory ineptitude, even by those opposed: benefit cuts and cuts to NHS funding are deliberate a attempt to end our welfare state.

Universal credit is not the only problematic benefit. The Tories new Personal Independence Payment PIP which replaced Disability Living Allowance DLA has left thousands of disabled people without this extra support or with a less amount of money.

The government are slowing dismantling our social security until it resembles the US –  virtually nonexistent.

If you think this is far fetched, such abuse of sick and disabled people would not happen in the UK think again.

Read the following

The staggering rise in PIP complaints shows there’s rot in the system

It’s not just the scale of the complaints, it’s the increasing evidence that disability benefits are being removed on fabricated grounds

‘Almost 80% of disabled people put through the PIP test have seen their health deteriorate due to stress or anxiety.’

Complaints about the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment process rose by nearly 880% last year,

For the past four years, I’ve been reporting on the radical changes to disability benefits orchestrated by Conservative governments. The lack of humanity is glaring: there’s the Open University student with agoraphobia, Asperger’s and complex mental health problems living without a washing machine, oven or television after benefit cuts left her destitute; the 14-year-old child carer listening to her disabled dad crying because he doesn’t know how he’s going to pay the bills after having his disability benefits taken. But as the DWP’s complaints show, the scandal of this goes even further: there’s increasing evidence that benefits have been removed from disabled people based on entirely fabricated grounds.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/30/staggering-rise-pip-complaints-rot-system-disability-benefits

Note in the above article that there are “claims of  widespread dishonesty in the disability benefit system, with more than 250 PIP claimants alleging assessors repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations. ”

Claiming PIP is a harrowing and degrading experience added misery, anxiety, stress and depression to the lives of vulnerable people whose lives are already difficult as  consequence of their conditions

After reading this story why you might ask why did this person receive zero points

Cece’s epilepsy last May left her bed bound for three months!

Her “focal onset seizures ranging from between once a week to sometimes ten to fifteen a day – these leave me confused, exhausted, emotional, unaware, and unable to speak or move. I’ve caused harm to myself many times, being alone in my flat while my partner is at work.”

“The assessor was shocked when she saw that I struggled to write my own name because I’d had a seizure three days prior to the assessment; she was shocked when I told her about my job; she was shocked to hear that on bad days I can’t even walk to my GP surgery which is only a 15 minute walk away, or stand in the shower which is why we have an unbecoming IKEA stool in our lovely bathroom, that when my partner is away I can’t cook for myself because I can’t be by the stove unsupervised; she was shocked to hear that if I have a seizure while out, I become confused and lose my way and struggle to read maps – even a tube map, yet I grew up in London. Every Londoner knows that a tube map is like their children’s Bible and by the time you hit adolescence, you don’t even need that bad boy because you have it memorised. Well, not when you have recurrent seizures.

None of this was in this assessment report however… No mention of my awkward crying either, or the constant prompting for answers, because of my slow brain. Furthermore, my mobility problems, medical history and mental health issues were also relegated to thin air, and in the end I scored zero points.”

This World Isn’t Made For People Like Me – My PIP Assessment

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/this-world-isnt-made-for-people-like-me-my-pip-assessment_uk_5a11b32ce4b0e30a958507fe

While it’s bad here in the UK it could get worse. Sadly I rather think this is what the government intend for the UK

Read the following from the Washington Post

10,000 people died waiting for a disability decision in the past year

597 days.
And still waiting.

10,000 people died in the past year while stuck
in a backlog of judges’ disability cases.

What will happen to Joe Stewart?

“Stewart had first applied for federal disability benefits on May 21, 2015. The application was denied, and so was his appeal. When he appealed the second rejection, he went to the back of one of the federal government’s biggest backlogs, where 1.1 million disability claimants wait for one of some 1,600 Social Security administrative law judges to decide whether they deserve a monthly payment and Medicare or Medicaid. “A death sentence” is how Stewart, who has no health insurance, has come to think of another denial.

For other applicants, the wait itself may be enough to accomplish that. In the past two years, 18,701 people have died while waiting for a judge’s decision, increasing 15 percent from 8,699 deaths in fiscal 2016 to 10,002 deaths in fiscal 2017, according to preliminary federal data obtained by The Washington Post. The rising death toll coincides with a surge in the length of time people must wait for a disposition, which swelled from a national average of 353 days in 2012 to a record high of 596 this past summer.”

Please take time to read the full story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2017/11/20/10000-people-died-waiting-for-a-disability-decision-in-the-past-year-will-he-be-next/?utm_term=.16e88fbb0b2c

Write to your MP and demand change:

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

Remember anyone can be ill at any time, lose their job, become homeless. None of us are immune to the suffering that is taking palce here in the UK as a result of vicious tory policies which are taking us back to a time we had hoped had faded into history.

Related Links

Apparently universal credit claimants will now only have to wait five weeks instead of six! BIG BLOODY DEAL when you have no money. Housing benefit to continue for an extra two weeks after the start of a universal credit claim. Again hopelessly inadequate, not everyone has savings for a rainy day, thousands of people here in the UK live from week to week . By way of comparison, in 2015-16, government targets for the waiting times for income support, jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance were between 10 and 14 days).

An insult, a joke. .These changes as pathetic as they are  will not come in time to help claimants struggling before Christmas, as they only take effect from next year.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/22/universal-credit-wait-reduced-to-five-weeks

Keep in mind also that UC the new system’s shift from a mixture of benefits paid monthly, weekly and fortnightly, to a once-a-month payment will make people’s budgeting even more difficult.

The fact that UC depends on an internet connection makes it very difficult for a lot of people to access, not least because of the government’s closure of hundreds of public libraries.

 

Tories Out: Please Attend Demo Tuesday November 21st

A bit short notice if you are not already aware of the following protest, but if you can please do join the demonstration outside Downing street and around the country taking place tomorrow Tuesday November 21st.

If you can’t participate in the protest please send an email to your MP supporting the demonstration.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

Or Send him or her a Tweet

Your MP’s Twitter address will be included in the above contact information. All you need is to enter your postcode

There are other events nationwide.

PROTEST

#SackTheTories
Stop the Universal Credit Crisis – Stop Tax Avoidance – Fund Our NHS
Day of action ahead of the Budget

Tuesday 21 November, Nationwide

Check out more details click below:

#SACKTHETORIES – BUDGET DAY PROTEST

http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/budget_toriesout

The Tories have been accused of “economic murder” and rightly so as their relentless austerity policies have resulted in the deaths of 120,000 people.

120000 DEATHS LINKED TO AUSTERITY

The Conservatives have been accused of “economic murder” for austerity policies which a new study suggests have caused 120,000 deaths.

Continue reading:
http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/120000

The Tories’ destruction of our welfare system is unrelenting.With every passing day more and more shocking facts come to light as vulnerable and poor people are plunged ever deeper into poverty and despair.

Here are some of the latest

A cheap stunt by the government over Universal Credit will lead to thousands of children a year being worse off

“The government has made a significant change to the controversial roll out of Universal Credit. It’s launched a consultation on proposed changes to a policy affecting over one million children. It says more children will be helped by the plans.

But dig a little deeper into the details and it actually seems like a cheap stunt. Because the proposals could eventually lead to around 16,000 of the most deprived children being worse off every year.”

Read More:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/18/cheap-stunt-government-universal-credit-will-lead-thousands-children-year-worse-off/

No Money for Christmas for 60,000 households with 40,000 children

Landlords have already sent out notifications anticipating that their tenets will not be able to pay rent as a result of delays to Universal Credit (UC).

Note the following:

Food bank use has increased 30% in areas where UC has been rolled out

3 million families are losing an average of 2,000 a year as a result of UC

Action on poverty says that more than a million children will be in poverty due to cuts as a result of universal credit.

Does this insensitive robotic woman have no feelings. The number of people being evicted has gone down so she says in the above video, by a whole third, so that makes it all right then despite the fact that two thirds, hundreds of people, continue to be evicted as a result of universal credit. You’re just a number to them, this woman and others of her ilk have no feelings, no compassion no concern for you as an individual.  It has been announced that over Christmas people who are changing to universal credit will get no money until after the christmas period. How the hell are they supposed to survive for six weeks with no income. Hard at anytime but more devastating this time of year.

Please sign the following petition:

A small admin oversight by the government will mean thousands of people will be left penniless this Christmas, without enough to pay their rent or buy food – let alone celebrate Christmas.

Please read more and sign the petition:

Please make an exception to Universal Credit rules this Christmas
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/2998?utm_source=email&utm_medium=blast&utm_campaign=20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&bucket=email-blast-20_11_2017_universal_credit_christmas&utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blast2017-11-20

What is happening to poor and disabled people here in the UK is disgusting

The government will not even  investigate whether people claiming Universal Credit are forced to use food banks

Separately, the Peabody Trust housing association, one of the UK’s biggest social landlords, has calculated the delays will put about 23,000 families – with 41,000 children – at risk of destitution in the run-up to Christmas.

The problems are likely to escalate with the extension of Universal Credit. Even by the end of January, only 10 per cent of benefits claimants will be receiving it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/universal-credit-government-food-banks-benefits-work-pensions-dwp-charities-mps-dan-jarvis-a8048496.html

Here is the reality of UC

Below is a chart showing the impact of UC

The government claim that people struggling without money can claim advance payments. Don’t be fooled. Here is the reality of so called advanced payments:

How the hell can anyone live on £22 a week. Moreover this money has to be paid back!

Here is more of the grim reality of Tory Britain as diseases of the Victorian era return to Salford: rickets and beriberi – thought to be long eradicated – are on the rise due to food poverty according to a shocking new report

Never forget if you vote Tory you are complicit ! Your actions in the ballot box have set the clock back to a time and circumstances that we had hoped had been consigned to history long ago. Your vote is destroying the lives of children and disabled and sick people. Think of that when you sit down to your Christmas dinner, in your warm home and watch your children pay with their new toys. Thanks to your vote Christmas for many people will be like something out of Dickens!

To make matters worse the Tories could care less and even laugh about the suffering caused by UC.

Comment on the Guardian article above which basically sums up the situation.

“One way to judge a society is by our children .If that is the case this cruel tory goverment has proved to be an abject failure .There is a massive divide between the rich and the poor.This has to be a deliberate policy. This goverment has chosen to give more to the very rich at the cost of the poor .There policies are designed to be cruel to those struggling to get by .This Tory goverment are well aware of the plight of the poor .By there actions have proved they don’t care.

Food banks are mistake this goverment has allowed .these statements on our society are just the tip of the ice berg .Our public services a vital life line for us all are collapsing.worse child poverty is rife in our country in 2017 .employment deregulation is seen as outrageous .When the ultra rich benefit from tax breaks ,and then to add insult to injury use tax havens to avoid there responsibility to society we all live in .The duty of any goverment is to ensure its citizens are treated fairly .Its obvious this goverment has failed.”

If you can, please attend your nearest protest tomorrow.

Also please write to your MP express in the strongest terms, though politely, your outrage concerning the continuous onslaught of misery and suffering caused by Universal Credit and other benefit cuts and changes on vulnerable members of our society including children, people with disabilities and the elderly.

Contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

End the injustice of benefit cuts.

On a  recent visit to Conset in county Durham Jeremy Corby called on the government to halt Universal Credit which requires a six week wait resulting in poverty, debt, insecurity, food bank use.

“Mr Corbyn said people will have to wait six weeks for payment when they transfer to Universal Credit, causing “terrible hardship”.

He said many legitimate claimants did not have access to a computer but were being told to go online to access Universal Credit.

“The Government has a great opportunity on Wednesday week, which is the Budget,” he said.

“Why don’t they say: ‘We have looked at it, we have listened, we have heard the hardship, we are going to pause the roll out?'”

https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2017/11/10/halt-universal-credit-before-it-makes-millions-worse-off-jeremy/?ncid=webmail

 Please contact your MP and demand a halt to Universal Credit

Demand an end to the injustice of Universal Credit The Government has an opportunity on November 22nd, the autumn budget, to stop the misery and suffering and bring a halt to Universal Credit. Contact your MP demand a pause to the roll out of Universal credit:

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Please sign petitions

Abolish Universal Credit
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/abolish-universal-credit

Change Universal Credit
https://www.change.org/p/jeremy-corbyn-mp-scrap-universal-credit

Imagine the misery, the anxiety, of not being able to buy food to feed yourself or your children, watch them go to school without breakfast, not be able to heat your home or to pay your rent or live any kind of quality of life. Never forget we live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet this callous evil government – sanctioned by so many people as they yet again cast their vote for austerity for the poor and tax concessions for the rich – denies people a basic standard of living

The more and more that such cases relating to Universal Credit UC and other benefits as those below come to light the more angry I become. It seems to me that all care and compassion has gone, that generally speaking few people give a damn as to the plight of sick and disabled people and the government’s appalling treatment of them and those who are unemployed or subsist on low wages and require benefits to maintain even the most basic of existence. All people think about these days is money money money.They say that money is the root of all evil and this is just so true.

If you support the Tories after ten years of hell for vulnerable people you disgust me.

If after reading the following stories of grave social injustice that is taking place in our country and indeed throughout the world and you remain unmoved and couldn’t give a damn you need to ask yourself what the hell is wrong with you. Are you a sociopath perhaps rather like most Tories and you are incapable of caring? Maybe you’re worn down by your own misery, after all few but the very rich have remained unscathed by Tory austerity policies. However if  you voted Tory anyway you do not have my sympathy and you are worse than a sociopath. If you are simply ignorant or naive and believe all the rubbish they spout aided and abetted by the media, well get educated, don’t take anything at face value.The conservatives are not for everyone, they support the rich at the expense of the poor.

If you are not convinced than read on

The UK is the 6th richest country yet a seriously disabled woman denied benefits has to survive by eating out of garbage bins and living in her car!

Ann a former nurse, was told she isn’t eligible for disability benefits and has been struggling to get by ever since.

“A disabled woman says she has had to survive by eating out of bins, after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) axed her benefits.

“I can’t go on like this”

Ann Cumberland-Quinn is a former nurse living with a condition known as paresthesia. It causes weakness in the arms and legs, which means Ann has to rely on crutches in order to get around. But even though a neurosurgeon said Ann uses her crutches “with great difficulty”, the DWP denied her disability benefits. The DWP told her she hasn’t “got proof of entitlement”.”

Read More

A woman is ‘eating out of bins to survive’, thanks to the DWP
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/11/09/woman-eating-bins-survive-thanks-dwp/

The next heartbreaking case concerns a 38 year old woman who died alone and in the cold, a victim of callous Tory austerity.

More about the tragic death of this unfortunate woman

“How many people have got to die before this government realises they are killing vulnerable people?”

Probe into death of mum in freezing home after benefits were stopped
http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/uk-news/probe-death-mum-freezing-home-13880840

If that didn’t make you angry, sad or depressed what is wrong with you.

According to this article more children will soon be in poverty since records began  back in 1961

“Soon more British children will be poor than since records began, back in 1961. In four years, progress will be reversed and all the good that was done undone. Over a million more will be plunged below the decency threshold.

For 37% of children to be brought up poor is a national humiliation. Any politician boasting pride in “British tolerance” should include our remarkable tolerance of poverty, which exceeds all similar European countries. This is who we are and what we expect, so today’s chilling report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies didn’t make it into this morning’s BBC news bulletins. Sex and Brexit obsess us, while poverty is just normal Britishness.

It doesn’t have to be this way. This is a political decision, supported by enough voters.

Read More:

When 37% of children are brought up poor, that’s a national humiliation
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/02/37-per-cent-children-poor-national-humiliation-ifs

Sick and disabled people are dying and few care, sad sick world. As of course it is not only here in the UK that the vulnerable are under attack. A similar situation is enfolding in the US as a result of a crack down on welfare.

Trump Vs. America’s Children: Child Poverty In America Is Indefensible

For the country’s poor, the American dream is a living nightmare which is heightened by Trump’s ill-conceived budget.

“The state of poverty in the United States, particularly among children, is abhorrent. It puts America, the richest and most powerful country in the world, in a shameful light.

Successive U.S. administrations are guilty of immense negligence toward poor children. They have inflicted incalculable damage to millions who continue to suffer. This causes a tremendous loss of human resources and productivity to the country.

The following heart-wrenching statistics demonstrate the magnitude of the problem. One in 11 children, approximately 6.5 million nationwide, live in extreme poverty (an average of $12,129 per year for a family of four).”

Read more of the shocking facts about poverty in one of the world’s richest countries

https://www.theglobalist.com/donald-trump-budget-cuts-united-states-poverty/

And in Australia

Australian government intensifies welfare “debt” crackdown

“In an attempt to meet corporate demands to slash social spending, the Liberal-National government of Malcolm Turnbull is escalating a welfare offensive initiated by the previous Labor government. Using an automated data-matching system introduced by Labor in 2011, it is dispatching thousands of “debt notices” every week, demanding that current and former welfare recipients repay hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars.

In order to intimidate people relying on pensions, family tax benefits, unemployment benefits or other welfare payments, the government is sending out corporate debt collectors. It is also threatening to jail people unless they pay the demanded amounts or produce documents to disprove any alleged over-payment.”

“Decades of cuts by successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have resulted in Australia having one of the most punitive welfare systems among “developed” countries.”

Read More:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/09/welf-j09.html

Capitalism is killing us, other species and the planet, but few want to know. Sad pathetic what kind of a society have we become, greed greed greed that is all that motivates most people. Maybe we feel so powerless to stop the onslaught, though the fact remains that there are just so many who are indifferent, uncaring.

Related Links

Warning that Wales could see the biggest rise in absolute poverty if benefits changes go ahead

“Britain’s most respected economic think tank has warned that Wales could see the biggest rise in “absolute poverty” of any UK nation or region if benefit cuts go ahead.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has sounded the alarm with a major report which also predicts an increase in child poverty in Wales.

It expects the absolute child poverty rate to climb from 28% for the 2013-2015 period to 34.9% for 2019-2021. There will be further concern at an expected rise in overall absolute poverty in Wales over this period from 22.5% to 23.3%.”

Read more:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/warning-wales-could-see-biggest-13845675

Sadly it will be a bleak Christmas for many if the government does not halt Universal Credit.

Universal Credit roll-out leaves food bank with shortage fears

“THE UK’S biggest food bank network has unveiled a five-point plan as it calls for urgent action in the run-up to Christmas.

The Trussell Trust warns volunteer groups could struggle to meet dem- and this winter unless urgent action is taken to improve Universal Credit.

Many recipients face waits of up to six weeks when transferring on to the benefit, which is being rolled out across the UK as part of welfare reforms aimed at saving the UK Government millions.”

http://www.thenational.scot/news/15644429.Universal_Credit_roll_out_leaves_food_bank_with_shortage_fears/

Tories Out: Help Stop Universal Credit

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

Hubert H. Humphrey

With all the Brxit chaos, the plight of the most vulnerable members of our society –  including disabled people and the low paid – seems to be increasingly overlooked. This, one of the greatest social injustices of our time, means an additional 400,000 children in the UK will be pushed into poverty by benefit changes, including the roll-out of Universal Credit

The study found that the freeze on most working-age benefits will see around 7.5 million low income households have their benefit entitlements cut by more than £500 per year in real terms. The limiting of tax credits and universal credit to two children will leave some low income families with £2,500 less in benefits than they otherwise would have received, the report says.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/02/400000-children-pushed-into-poverty-by-benefit-changes-and-universal-credit-roll-out-7049382/?ito=cbshare

Before continuing please take the following actions to end Universal Credit

Petitions

Two petitions from 38degrees

Abolish Universal Credit
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/abolish-universal-credit

Pause the rollout of Universal Credit
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/universal-credit-pause

Petition from the Labour party
Theresa May: pause and fix Universal Credit now
https://donation.labour.org.uk/page/s/universal-credit

More suggested actions further down

The reality of Universal Credit (UC) as a mother of two is unable to pay her rent, forced to use a food bank, choose between gas and electricty and take out a £900 debt as a result of delays in payment

Mum-of-two reveals Universal Credit delays forced her to choose between gas and electricity while relying on foodbanks to feed children
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-two-reveals-universal-credit-11453141

Even severely disabled people are not exempt, in fact one of the policy’s most shameful parts is barely being noticed: the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people. Philip, mentioned in the article below, who has multiple disabilities is losing £40 per week after changing to UC. He cannot afford to eat properly and skips meals which is affecting is health. He now has rent arrears of over £450.

This article shows the hidden cut being forced on some of Britain’s most severely disabled people.

Universal credit’s hidden cut pushes disabled people into poverty
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/31/universal-credit-pushing-disabled-people-into-poverty

Note the following from the article above:
“Up to half a million disabled people like Philip and their families will be financially worse off under universal credit, according to disability charities, through the removal of the disability premiums, as well as cuts to child disability payments, which could affect 100,000 children at an annual loss of £1,000. Ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and it states that the support given by SDP is now provided through personal independence payments, (Pip) and social care from local councils, and that “transitional protection” will be available when disabled people are moved from ESA on to universal credit in 2019. But press further, and it turns out that cash-strapped local authorities have no obligation to provide support. And there is no help for disabled people like Philip who are transferred early.”

Concerning the treatment of disabled people a UN inquiry has said that the tories have created a “human catastrophe” for disabled people in the UK. The UN report has stated that the UK government have committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of human rights . 

For more detail please read the following from The Canary

“Here are some of the main criticisms :

  • The UK government has forced through reforms with no regard for the rights of disabled people.

  • The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) “processed rather than listened to or understood” disabled people during Work Capability Assessments (WCA).

  • The WCA gave disabled people significant “anxiety” and “financial, material and psychological hardship”.

  • The Conservatives had introduced reforms that had evidently caused “high levels of stress, anxiety and depression”.

    The UNCRPD was also critical of the Conservatives’:

  • Cuts to Legal Aid.
  • Failures to monitor how reforms were affecting disabled people.
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012; specifically that it broke set international conventions on disabled people’s rights.
  • WCA not recognising the complexity of disabled people’s conditions.

No independence

The report also specifically noted that 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.

Be sure to read the full details concerning the UN’s damning indictment of the UK’s treatment of sick and disabled people:

BREAKING: The UN has just accused the Tories of creating a ‘human catastrophe’ in the UK
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/08/24/breaking-un-just-accused-tories-creating-human-catastrophe-uk/

Read about the controversial roll out of universal credit which with its seven weeks wait for payment of benefits  – sometimes 60 days if there are delays –  has left people unable to pay their rent, needing to resort to food banks and eventually getting into debt resulting in poverty and distress.

Severely disabled people will lose as much as £78.35 per week.

When faced with some difficult questions, this Tory minister’s silence over the DWP was deafening [VIDEO]

‘Deeply flawed’

But Paula Peters from DPAC does not think UC is “working”, as the DWP says it is. She told The Canary:

UC will cause extreme poverty and distress for millions of claimants. Conditionality under UC will be the order of the day. And if claimants are unable to meet the stringent demands under the Claimant Commitment they will be sanctioned.

Under UC disabled people will find they will miss out on transition protection, and in many cases treated as a new claim. This means that severely disabled people stand to lose £78.35 per week, as UC has no severe disability or enhanced disability premium. This will plunge disabled people further into poverty. Research has already shown that the additional cost of being disabled is £500 a month, and with the removal of social security payments disabled people are unable to meet these costs.

But calling for UC to be paused does not go far enough. This system is deeply flawed and will cause, and is causing, mass distress and harm. It needs to be scrapped.

Read More:

https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/10/07/faced-difficult-questions-tory-ministers-silence-dwp-deafening-video/

Below is an important damning quote from Thersea Degener chair Of UN committee on the rights of people with disabilities not reported by the media

Here are more real life accounts of the devastating affects of the Tories welfare reforms

Mum and new baby face Christmas eviction after WCA ‘nightmare

“A disabled woman with a new baby is set to be evicted a fortnight before Christmas because the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her benefits when she failed to attend a “fitness for work” test she had not been told about.”

“The mother-of-two said last night (Wednesday) that she felt as though she had been living through a “nightmare”.

She had previously had seven miscarriages, before giving birth through IVF to her first son Harrison, who is now three, and Edward, who was conceived naturally.

She said the ordeal DWP had put her through felt like “someone is standing on your head and pushing you under water”.

She said: “I feel numb by the whole ease with which they can destroy somebody.

“I know that some people have committed suicide [in situations like this]and I can totally see how something like that can happen. The system is so cruel.”

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/mum-and-new-baby-face-christmas-eviction-after-wca-nightmare/

‘Selling everything’ because of universal credit

Holly Sargent first applied for universal credit eight months ago.

But administrative problems and her vulnerable mental health means 10 applications later she has still not received the benefit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-41590794/selling-everything-because-of-universal-credit

One poor women is expected to live on just one penny per month as a result of a UC Sanction, impossible of course.

Distraught pregnant woman must survive on 1p a month due to Universal Credit sanction
http://metro.co.uk/2017/10/19/distraught-pregnant-woman-must-survive-on-1p-a-month-due-to-universal-credit-sanction-7011899/?ito=cbshare

From top graduate to fleeing a bedsit – how Universal Credit nearly destroyed me

I waited months for Universal Credit. Then my landlord kicked me out and I was forced to move in with a man I didn’t know.

“Where are you living right now?”

“I’m just staying on his floor for now. It’s a bit dodgy because I have to leg it every Friday when the landlord’s son comes to collect the rent – he can’t know I’m living here.”

“You’d definitely be a priority for a place in refuge. How soon can you get here?”

I blinked. Some faceless person on the other end of a phone wanted to help me. I pushed down the flicker of hope that had ignited within me. There was probably a catch. I couldn’t trust that I might finally be free.

“If you text me when you arrive at the station, I’ll come and pick you up. I’ll text you my number now. See you soon.”

As promised the text came through. I sprang to life. Throwing the few belongings I had left into a suitcase, I began a journey that took me across London, to one of its outer suburbs. As promised, there was a car waiting. I was driven to a large, spacious house with a garden.

The case worker showed me to my room, gave me a bag of toiletries, then went back down the stairs. Once I was alone, I sank to the floor, completely numb. It was over. Being homeless, getting abused, was over.

But I was left with a question: how could this happen? How could Universal Credit change someone’s life so disastrously?

Continue reading

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2017/11/top-graduate-fleeing-bedsit-how-universal-credit-nearly-destroyed-me

Regarding the opening quotation concerning the moral test of a government. It is obvious that the government have not passed such a moral test and never will. It is only Labour who have in the past fought for social justice regarding those who are vulnerable in our society. Why people continue to vote for the policies of injustice I can never understand as no one knows if they or those they care about will need benefits in the future.

Take Action

– Support DPAC and Black Triangle, campaigning for disabled people’s rights.

As always you can contact your MP
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Related Links

Anger as ‘quarter of Universal Credit recipients in Leeds hit with sanctions’

A quarter of single unemployed people in the city have faced sanctions in the first year

Read more at:
http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/anger-as-quarter-of-universal-credit-recipients-in-leeds-hit-with-sanctions-1-8835579

Department for Work and Pensions refuses to disclose Universal Credit reports

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/department-work-pensions-refuses-disclose-universal-credit-reports/

 

Disgusting Callous Tories Set to Massacre 33,000 Badgers

What gives the vile disgusting Tories the right to massacre 33,000 defenceless badgers who have as much right to exist as any other creature. A total of eleven new licenses have been issued.

The majority of people oppose the massacre of badgers but yet again the Tories do what the hell they like regardless of democracy,
ethics -sadly an alien concept to the Tories – or plain and simple common decency.

Huge increase in badger culling will see up to 33,500 animals shot

Up to 33,500 badgers will be shot this autumn in an attempt to control tuberculosis in cattle, a huge rise from the 10,000 killed in 2016.

The government has announced that 11 new badger cull areas have been licensed, adding to the 10 already in place. Devon now has six badger culls under way, with Somerset and Wiltshire having three each, with others in Cheshire, Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

Continue reading:
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/11/huge-increase-badger-culling-see-up-to-33500-animals-shot

As usual it’s all about money, they don’t give a damn about the cows. It is simply killing one animal, badgers, so that there are more of another animal, cows, to kill to satisfy the palates of meat eaters in order for them to eat a food that is not natural and eaten simply for pleasure, while making a profit of course. That’s what it is all about these days profit profit bloody profit at the expense of most people, other animals and the environment.

Take Action

I waited a couple of days before posting but so far there are no current petitions, at least none that I can find, relating directly to this new round of killings, if anyone knows of a petition please leave a link in the comments.

Update Sept 16th – Thank you to Animalista Untamed for finding the following petition and information concerning the latest culling.

Please sign and share:

Stop the UK Badger Cull

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-the-badger-cull/

Also

#CANTHECULL

“In 2013 the British Government started its current and unrelenting campaign of badger culling to counteract the devastation and spread of bovine TB in cattle. In response to the mass opposition by over 300,000 members of the public, badger groups, and wildlife campaigners DEFRA appointed an Independent Expert Panel to assess the effectiveness of the culls; the IEP assessed the culls as ‘ineffective and inhumane’.”

Continue reading for current detailed information and other actions you may take:

https://www.badger.org.uk/can-the-cull

Here is a related petition

Demand those responsible for the illegal snaring and shooting of badgers in the Peak District area of England are prosecuted.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/504/817/429/demand-an-end-to-the-mass-wildlife-slaughter-on-peak-district-shooting-estate/

In any circumstance a letter or e-mail is helpful to leave the government in no doubt concerning public opinion.

Write to your MP particularly if he or she is a Tory expressing politely your objects to the cull/killing

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

Labour have pledged to end the cull/killing but it might be an idea to write to them anyway and make your protest as it will show the level of public opposition to this disgusting massacre of animals who have a much right to inhabit the countryside which is their natural environment as we have.

A message from Bill Oddie

Related Links for more information

The government has just admitted the badger cull isn’t working. But it’s going to kill another 30,000 of them anyway.

On Monday 11 September, the government released a report [pdf] showing that the so-called ‘Badger Cull’ hasn’t actually worked. But at exactly the same time, it also announced a sharp increase in the cull; which could mean up to [pdf p13-14] another 33,841 being killed (more than a 200% increase on 2016).

Read more and do check out the report by clicking the link report [pdf]
https://www.thecanary.co/2017/09/11/the-government-has-just-admitted-the-badger-cull-isnt-working-but-its-going-to-kill-another-30000-of-them-anyway/

League Against Cruel Sport
https://www.league.org.uk/badger-cull?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI44rDz-qf1gIVzJPtCh2hGgq0EAAYASAAEgK7L_D_BwE

Stop the badger cull

Facebook

https://en-gb.facebook.com/stop.the.cull/

Keep an eye on what’s happening and join the action if possible:

Hunt Saboteurs Association on Twitter https://twitter.com/HuntSabs

Justice For Grenfell

Scroll down for petitions

Over 170 years after Engels, Britain is still a country that murders its poor

The victims of Grenfell Tower didn’t just die. Austerity, outsourcing and deregulation killed them – just as Victorian Manchester killed the poor then.

While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.

Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

While in Victorian Manchester, Friedrich Engels struggled to name the crime visited on children whose limbs were mangled by factory machines, or whose parents were killed in unsafe homes. Murder and manslaughter were committed by individuals, but these atrocities were something else: what he called social murder. “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual,” he wrote in 1845, in The Condition of the Working Class in England.Over 170 years later, Britain remains a country that murders its poor. When four separate government ministers are warned that Grenfell and other high rises are a serious fire risk, then an inferno isn’t unfortunate. It is inevitable. Those dozens of Grenfell residents didn’t die: they were killed. What happened last week wasn’t a “terrible tragedy” or some other studio-sofa platitude: it was social murder.

Please continue reading the entire article
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/20/engels-britain-murders-poor-grenfell-tower

Austerity killed the victims of Grenfell –  the deadliest fire in Britain since the country began keeping records at the turn of the 20th century, claiming at least 87 victims  – as it has killed the victims of cruel Tory welfare reforms, and those who have died as a result of cuts to the NHS Austerity will continue to kill the most vulnerable members of our society while the small majority continue to sanction by their vote the gravely unjust treatment of poor people.

Behind austerity is the greed of the rich who get tax cuts at the expense of the poor/working class, greedy exploitative employers who want employees to literally work for nothing   – there are few laws to protect workers. The list of exploitation of the poor is lengthy and by far the worst example is the Grenfell tower. Eighty people died in the fire because of pure unadulterated greed for a grand saving of £2 a square metre for cladding, about £5,000, of an £8 million refurbishing contract, cladding which was banned in the USA. Further tests show that cladding from 190 tower blocks in 51 local authority areas across England is unsafe and there is a 100 percent failure rate in fire safety tests on cladding used in public high rise buildings.  The British government did not ban the cladding used at Grenfell. Thanks to cuts to local councils, and the slashing of red tape, building inspection has been gutted and privatized. The recent refurbishment of Grenfell was sub-contracted, and a fire-resistant cladding alternative was jettisoned in favor of the cheaper option.

Tory economic polices are designed to move money from the poor to the rich and in the process people are dying.

How many more people have to die before those who vote Tory finally decide enough is enough!

Take Action

Don’t let the shock and horror of this atrocity fade into obscurity

Please sign the following petitions:

This government must carry out a FULLY TRANSPARENT INVESTIGATION into the Grenfell tragedy

The investigation into the Grenfell tragedy must be FULLY TRANSPARENT and allow the MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION of the affected residents, their families, and the surrounding community. The government cannot be allowed to cover up any uncomfortable revelations about negligence and poor planning of the Grenfell estate by the Tory-run Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://www.change.org/p/this-government-must-carry-out-a-fully-transparent-investigation-into-the-grenfell-tragedy-allowing-for-meaningful-participation-of-the-residents-their-families-and-the-surrounding-community-their-voices-must-be-heard

Grenfell Tower: never again

The government were warned time and time again of the fire risks in blocks of flats like this. But these warnings were ignored. Now, pressure is growing for the government to change the law to make buildings like Grenfell Tower safer when there is a fire.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/grenfell_tower

Please sign to help ensure justice for all victims of Grenfell:

We, the undersigned, call on the Government to announce an immediate amnesty, with permanent residency, for surviving occupants of Grenfell Tower.

Please read more and sign the petition:
https://goodlawproject.org/petition/grenfell-disaster-petition/

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

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

Related Links

London’s Grenfell Disaster is An Indictment of Austerity

The fire’s victims were caught in the crosshairs of public cuts and a housing crisis.
http://inthesetimes.com/article/20296/londons-grenfell-disaster-is-an-indictment-of-austerity

Examples of Tory welfare reforms kill

BENEFIT TALES -stories from the frontline of benefit changes in the UK.
https://welfaretales.wordpress.com/category/death-after-fit-to-work-decision/

“The rich have broken Britain and it’s the poorest who are paying

The rise in tax breaks for the ultra-rich and austerity measures for everyone else has left Britain on the brink, says Mail Opinion.

Read More
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/rich-broken-britain-its-poorest-10099743

 

Trump: Cuts to Food Stamps and the Detriment of Right Wing Politics

President Trump wants Congress to drastically cut federal support for food assistance to the poorest Americans by some 25 percent over the next decade. An astonishing 43 million of the US’s poor people rely on America’s Food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program SNAP. Most recipients live in households with children (about 72%) and more than a quarter live in households with seniors or people with disabilities.

To make matters even worse Trump in a really devious ploy proposes to penalise (charge) retailers who accept food stamps.

Please sign and share the petition below which now needs only another 500 signatures

“Once again our country’s most vulnerable citizens are the target of President Trump’s brutal cuts. This time the it is the 43 million Americans that rely on the SNAP program – formerly known as the US Food Stamp Program – that could be hit hard. The Trump administration is proposing $191 billion dollar in cuts to the program over the next 10 years but what’s more he now wants to charge – read penalize– retailers for accepting the food stamps that often serve as a temporary lifeline for America’s poor. 

The proposed fee to SNAP participating retailers could encourage independent and smaller grocers to leave to program. This means that there would be fewer retailers available to SNAP participants, many of whom already live in food deserts. For example, the National Association of Travel Plazas and Truckstops has come out against the president’s plan because, while most city dwellers view truckstops as a place to grab a quick snack, for many of the rural poor it is the only place to shop and get sustenance. “

Please continue reading and sign the petition

Congress: Don’t Let Trump Stamp Out Benefits for Food Stamp Recipients

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/880/854/517/

Millions of people like Reginald Porter-Bey will suffer as a result of this gravely unjust proposal:

“Reginald Porter-Bey, 59, who used to work as a printer at the Pentagon, started using food stamps a decade ago when he was homeless and jobless. “They’re very important to get through the month. You’ve got to know how to find bargains.”

Porter-Bey, who has five children, added: “It would have a hell of an impact. That’s taking food out of my mouth and other people’s mouths who’ve got kids. That’s not fair. People voted for Trump and he slapped them in the face. There are people in West Virginia who are poor just like here. He doesn’t care because he’s all right.”

Read more stories of people who reply on food stamps to survive:

Food stamps: a lifeline for America’s poor that Trump wants to cut

Residents of the Congress Heights section of Washington DC tell of the devastating impact the president’s plan to cut food stamps would have on their families:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/28/food-stamps-lifeline-trump-america

Note the following in the article

“Conservative media outlets such as Fox News have previously referred to food stamp users as “moochers”, “parasites” and “takers” instead of “makers”. Last week Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney said: “If you’re on food stamps and you’re able-bodied, we need you to go to work.”

But according to the government’s own figures, most families on Snap – 55% of them – do have a family member working. The issue is that they do not make enough money to feed their families. “This budget is not an evidence-based exercise in policy-making. It’s oriented at cutting government spending in order to lavish tax cuts on the wealthy,” said Dean.”

If you live in the UK the above rhetoric is very similar to comments made by the media here and implied by the Tory government referring to benefit claimants – including sick and disabled people and people who simply cannot get jobs because there are few jobs available too them – as scroungers fraudsters , parasites, skivers, work-shy, lazy, stupid, feckless with terms such as”handout” “something for nothing” .  Note also like the UK many of the people who claim SNAP are working people whose wages are too low to support them sufficiently even to put food on the table. Yet another similarity is that cuts to Snap and other benefits are made in order to cut taxes to the rich.

I cannot understand the mentality or the purpose of these constant attacks on the poor though of course the language of “scrounging” “parasites”and so on is meant to poison people’s attitudes to benefit claimants. Whether here or in the USA such treatment of vulnerable people is deeply unjust, grossly immoral and not worthy of any country that wishes to be considered civilised. To deny people enough food to nourish them when enough food is available is surely a violation of a basic human right. To go hungry even die while food stores are overflowing with an abundance of food is a great social injustice and frankly a crime against humanity. The US is a rich country, it is shameful that a government of millionaires led by a fabulously wealthy president sees fit to attack the most vulnerable of its citizens while giving tax breaks to the rich.

Both here and in the USA it seems that poor people are under constant threat of cuts to their meagre incomes by the right wing governments that for reasons beyond my comprehension millions of working class people continue to vote for. Here in the UK once again the electorate which comprises mostly working class people (60% of Britons regard themselves as working class) return a right wing government to five more years of power, five more years of austerity: cuts to benefits for sick and disabled people, including the removal of mobility vehicles, cuts to the NHS , to schools and recently voting for a one percent pay rise cap for firefighters, nurses and other pubic sector workers, to name but a few of the austerity measures implemented by the present government. And we must never forget the latest casualty of austerity the Grenfell fire where well over 80 people lost their lives    – though the final toll could be far higher – as result of cut backs and profits before people. I can well envision that if the Tories, propped up by the equally extreme DUP, continue their term in government for the full five years we will see an end to the NHS and universal free health care.

I fear for our future and for future generations, the other species with whom we share this earth and the very earth itself. I can well imagine a world where the vast majority will have no or little food, shelter and the basics of existence while the tiny minority will live surrounded by obscene wealth supported by the labour of those who will barely have enough to subsist on. Furthermore as a result of automation there will simply be millions thrown on the scrap heap, their services not required eking out a living from a dying planet destroyed by the insatiable greed of the one percent – seemingly aided and abetted by the very people whose lives are detrimentally affected by the right wing polices of greed, inequality and social injustice which the electorate seems so keen to support.

Related Links

Behold the full horror of Donald Trump’s 25 percent food stamps cut

President Donald Trump wants Congress to slash federal support for food assistance to the poorest Americans by some 25 percent over the next decade, the White House budget unveiled Tuesday shows.

Such a deep cut could be backbreaking for the more than 40 million Americans — many of them children — who qualify for the nation’s premier anti-hunger program.

Please read more:
Austerity’s violence, aimed at hollow stomachs
https://thinkprogress.org/trump-budget-food-stamp-cut-7c612489fe9e

Trumps cuts to food stamps is not the only austerity measures which will effect poor people.

Trump’s budget: major slashes to social programs – but $1.6bn for the wall

Millions of people stand to lose Medicaid access, alongside cuts to welfare and food stamps, under a proposed budget that still has numerous hurdles to jump

Donald Trump will embrace hardline rightwing economics on Tuesday with a budget that proposes severe cuts to social safety net programmes while allocating $1.6bn to a border wall.

Read about the history behind SNAP. Again similar to the UK the US is proposing to take a step back in time and undo all its social progress concerning welfare which again like the UK requires improvement rather than reducing its effectiveness, I can well imagine that both here and in the US such welfare programmes will eventually be dismantled after years of gradual cuts.

Donald Trump’s Budget Cuts Would Leave Many Americans Hungry

Their bellies were swollen and their fragile limbs covered with sores that would not heal. Clothed in rags, these children of the Mississippi Delta huddled in crumbling shacks with empty iceboxes, not a morsel of food to be found.

It was a level of human suffering and despair that brought a New York Senator to tears. Walking, stunned, from one hovel to the next, Senator Robert F. Kennedy saw conditions that rivaled what he’d seen in third-world countries.

It was 1967. Kennedy had headed south in response to a report by civil rights attorney Marian Wright that detailed levels of childhood hunger unconscionable in the richest nation on earth. What he saw there helped galvanize a nationwide response.

Please continue reading:
http://time.com/4838245/trump-health-care-congress-food-stamps/  

Since Trump has been in office he has inflicted the most  brutal cuts on the working poor  “The Senate health care bill he seeks to pass targets the sick, elderly, disabled and impoverished with breathtaking precision. His proposed budget threatens not just SNAP but heating aid, legal services, student loans and mental health care for those most in need. And, while that budget cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from policies to empower the working class, his tax plan would give even more than that to the very richest among us.”