“Don’t Bring Politics Into Politics!”


IDS and Lurch Selous
This is Andrew “Lurch” Selous with his boss, festering Iain Duncan Smith. It was Selous who is reported to have threatened that the government would “shut down” the Trussell Trust for campaigning on behalf of the people who have been reduced to relying on foodbanks. Apparently, the Trust should “keep politics out of charity work”.
Starvation is about as political a problem as there is. To talk about it at all is political. What it isn’t is Party Political unless, of course, the party you support is working hard to push people into poverty and starvation. Most decent people don’t want that. No doubt Christians who owned slaves had much the same problem with abolitionists (most of whom were also Christians, by the way).

Another DWP lickspittle, Neil Couling, has claimed that the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks are merely a front for their “evangelism”.

As an atheist, I’d find it disturbing if that was true, but even a cursory glance at their website strongly suggests it is not:

“Whilst we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs or none. We are passionate about inclusion and being non-judgemental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future.”

IDS, on the other hand, doesn’t get this accusation from Couling, even though he often uses his Catholic beliefs to override actual evidence. He “believes” that taking money away from poor people helps them, while IDS himself needs the taxpayer to pay for his underpants, because marrying into money makes hime somehow more deserving.

Andrew Selous is so strapped for cash that he once claimed 55p on expenses for a cup of Horlicks. Perhaps he has an addiction for the drink, and slept through some of the more pertinent Bible passages, the ones about compassion, and caring for the poor.

Passport to Hell


DWP passport

There’s a “Passport Crisis”, apparently, and the mainstream media is full of it.
I sympathise with holidaymakers, especially those of modest means, who may have struggled to save enough to go away, and families of expats who may be unable to see their loved ones, perhaps for another year, if they have work commitments.
I’m not going to decry the media’s coverage of this story. What angers me is their abject failure, often wilful, to properly cover the plight of thousands of people living in terror of losing their benefits.
Some Job Centre Plus staff go out of their way to help claimants but, more and more, others go out of their way to entrap them, in order to sanction them. Those most at risk, such as disabled and mentally ill people, are in most danger of losing their money, but even the most stark cases, such as someone in a coma being found fit for work, don’t make the headlines, and usually don’t get reported at all, except on internet blogs.
The State is failing the most vulnerable people in society, people are starving to death, and the media’s only response, in most cases, is to parrot government Ministers as they try to bully charities like the Trussell Trust to stop them reporting the problem.
They’ve already silenced the mainstream media.

Daily Telegraph uses death of baby and outright lies to smear NHS


Originally posted on Pride's Purge:

(not satire – it’s the sick UK gutter press)

The right-wing press in the UK have finally taken to telling out and out lies in their campaign to smear the NHS.

Daily Telegraph hack Laura Donnelly today directly blamed the tragic death of a baby and the poisoning of other children by contaminated drips on the NHS:

telegraph nhs lies

In fact, the contaminated drips were supplied by a private company called ITH Pharma.

But Donnelly and her sick colleagues at the Telegraph have no qualms about using such a tragedy – and outright lies – to continue their political point-scoring in support of the coalition government’s commercialisation of the NHS.

Well done Laura. You’ve managed to drop below even my extremely low expectations of gutter press hacks when it comes to decency.

I’ve just got one question for you Laura.

How do you sleep at night?

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Big thanks to @thisisamy for the heads up on this.

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Please…

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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…

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“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…

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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…

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