Tories and the police – it’s like an acrimonious divorce


Originally posted on Vox Political:

Confrontational: Theresa May has made an enemy of the police. They'll be taking solace from the thought that one day they might be asked to arrest her. [Image: Daily Telegraph]

Confrontational: Theresa May has made an enemy of the police. They’ll be taking solace from the thought that one day they might be asked to arrest her. [Image: Daily Telegraph]

Does anybody remember when the police were the Conservatives’ best friends? This was back in the days of the Thatcher government, when she needed them as political weapons against the unions.

She gave them generous pay and pension deals, let them move out of the communities they policed (providing a certain amount of anonymity – people no longer knew their local Bobby personally), and put them in patrol cars rather than on the beat. In return, she was able to rely on their loyalty.

The same cannot be said today. Current Home Secretary Theresa May wants you to think the police service is out of control.

In fact, it isn’t. The problem for Ms May, whose position on human rights…

View original 469 more words

“Nice Democracy You’ve Got there. It Would Be a Shame If It Got…Broken”


Ukip free speech The image above wasn’t made by blogger and Green party member Michael Abberton. He simply checked the claims and annotated it, with links where he could find them, and with a not that admitted he couldn’t find a source when UKIP had erased the information from their website. He then posted it on Twitter. Even so, Ukip’s local Government spokesman and national nominating officer, Cllr Peter Reeve, complained to the police, and two officers called on Abberton as a result. I cannot see a good reason for the police, who readily admitted that Abberton had not committed an offence, to call on him at all, as they could have just looked at the picture online and decided that no further action was required of them. That they did visit, and that they asked him to remove the tweets containing the image (or even just suggested it) is extremely worrying. They even asked Abberton not to mention their visit! Surely they were guilty of interfering with the political process. Maybe that’s why they didn’t want anyone else to know what they were up to. Reeve claims to have reported  Abberton for electoral fraud, rather than for abuse,because his post did not contain an official declaration that it was Green Party material, as required by the Electoral Commission. As usual with UKIP, this is nonsense. For one thing, as far as I know, Abberton isn’t an official spokesman for the Green Party, and his Twitter account is a private one, representing only his own views. He is not a candidate for office either, nor an agent for a candidate. Secondly, his profile picture on Twitter clearly shows his political allegiance, Abberton so even if he was obliged to make such a declaration, he already had! What connection is there between Reeve, or UKIP generally, and the police that persuades the cops that they should waste their valuable time pandering the the hurt feelings of a politician? Are secret handshakes involved? Or does UKIP’s membership boast several police officers? Whatever the reason, this development is sinister, and comparisons with the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany are inevitable, and should have been foreseen by whoever sent the two police officers to call on Michael Abberton.

More from around the web:

Cancer sufferer’s benefits are cut – and the chattering classes demonise HIM


Originally posted on Vox Political:

The vindictiveness of our Conservative-led government knows no bounds.

Not only has the government cut a man’s state benefits after he was diagnosed with cancer, but its supporters then attacked him in the local newspaper’s comment column – even though they knew nothing about his situation.

The gentleman concerned is Pete Woodcock of Scunthorpe who, according to a report in the Scunthorpe Telegraph, has been unemployed for around eight years.

Rather than sit around, he has spent his time volunteering in the community – for up to 40 hours per week – while also job hunting.

But when his doctors told him he had cancer, DWP officials cut his benefit money by 40 per cent (from £140 per week to £84). This is because attending hospital on both sides of the Humber meant he was unable to attend job clubs and had to claim a sickness benefit instead.

“When…

View original 645 more words

Chaos At The DWP As Bungled Help To Work Scheme Attempts To Launch


Originally posted on the void:

Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success.

Unlike Help To Work, the new Keep Volunteering Voluntary campaign has already been a huge success.

Despite wildly optimistic claims from the DWP, today’s launch of mass workfare seems to be in chaos behind the scenes.  With barely any information yet available on the scheme it appears that the flagship Help To Work programme has no-one actually running it, no guidance for companies involved and no real plan to deal with the huge influx of claimants to Jobcentres from daily signing.

According to the BBC a mere 70 so-called charities have signed up to provide placements on the scheme which will involve forcing unemployed people to carry out 780 hours of unpaid work.  For ‘Help To Work to be successful, these charities will need to accept hundreds, or possibly thousands of placements each.  Predictably the DWP are not saying who the charities are.  So far the only voluntary sector organisation…

View original 551 more words

The War on the Poor (continued)


Food Banks
I’ve mentioned before that, though I don’t respect religion, I have a great deal of respect for some religious people. The Trussell Trust is a Christian organisation that battles poverty and injustice, best known for running food banks. There is no religious test to receive their help, however, so I can happily endorse them, even though I’m an atheist.
Some Christians are less sympathetic. Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Trussell Trust of having a “political agenda”, and his DWP lackeys regularly brief against them. The Trust’s crime? Telling people facts about their work. There are more food banks than ever before, and they are used more and more.
Now the Mail on Sunday has joined the fray, sending a reporter to a Citizens Advice Bureau office to obtain a voucher by misrepresentation. That he succeeded is not an indictment of the Trussell Trust, nor even of the CAB really, though they could beef up their procedures a little.
It is an indictment of the Mail and its staff. Just because they are dishonest, and because they can find a few other people who are, doesn’t mean everyone who uses food banks is a crook.

 

There has been one positive note following this story. The backlash against the Mail has encouraged more people to donate to the Trussell Trust. If you’d like to add your donation, click here.

 

More from around the web:

Dyno-Rod Dave, the Messiah of Downing Street


St Cameron

David Cameron has resurrected his “Big Society” idea, long after it was discredited the first time. It was widely mocked, and quietly dropped from any Tory publicity. Until now.

Now Cameron has claimed divine inspiration, despite his government’s various attacks on the very people Jesus was supposed to have been most concerned about; the poor, homeless, the hungry, the sick and disabled.

The only fundamentalist position he hasn’t adopted seems to be homophobia.

He also wants people to think of him as “a giant Dyno-Rod”, but if there’s a Biblical reference to professional drain-cleaners, it’s passed me by.

See also:

Tory dogma and hypocrisy: the “big state”, bureaucracy, austerity and “freedom”


Originally posted on Politics and Insights - kittysjones :

1965037_301820166635705_1502392114_n (1)
The Tories are not “paying down the debt” as claimed. They are raising more money for the rich”
Labour’s social and economic policy was a success, and this is substantiated by the LSE’s definitive survey of the Blair-Brown years:
“There is clear evidence that public spending worked, contrary to popular belief.” Nor did Labour overspend. It inherited “a large deficit and high public sector debt”, with spending “at a historic low” – 14th out of 15 in the EU.
Labour’s spending increased, and money was invested in public services and social programs, and until the crash was still “unexceptional”, either by historic UK standards or international ones. Until 2007 “national debt levels were lower than when Labour took office”.
After years of neglect during the previous Conservative administration, Labour inherited a mess: public services in very poor state, shabby and squalid public buildings and unforgivably neglected human…

View original 1,727 more words