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 kittysjones:

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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…

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Corruption is Standard Now in the UK


Miller the Minx

There was a time, not so long ago, when the merest hint of wrongdoing by a Cabinet Minister would be a matter for resignation, if only to avoid undermining the government as the MP fought to clear their name.

These days, it seems, politicians can be caught with their hands in the till, and not only will they carry on as normal and refuse to resign but, as in the case of Maria Miller, make things worse by trying to intimidate the very people investigating her.

Not only did she have her special advisor threaten the Telegraph, for whom MP’s expenses is something of a crusade, she managed to bully the Commons Standards Committee into reducing the amount of ill-gotten gains that she had to repay from £45,000 to a mere £5,800. And even that wasn’t enough – she tried to get it reduced further, to £4,000!

The Prime Minister has given her his full backing, a phrase which used to be a prelude to a sacking. That appears to be another thing that’s changed, though. David Cameron has cited the independent, non-MP, members of the Standards Committee, and their casting vote, as evidence that Miller’s wrongdoing was a trivial mistake on her part.

In fact, the lay members of the Standards Committee don’t have a casting vote. They don’t have a vote at all! It was Miller’s fellow MPs who sought to minimise the damage to her bank account. Cameron either lied (par for the course for this government), or he showed a serious lack of judgement. Either way, he’s done his own career some damage.

Now all that’s needed is for someone to notice.

More on this story from around the web:

New Childcare Contract for ATOS – WHY


Originally posted on jaynelinney:

I know from the number of press articles, I’m not the only one astonished that ATOS – the now infamous IT Company with more trading arms than an octopus and renowned for both its part in the disastrous  Border Agency computer meltdown  in 2012 and its failure to administer the equally beleaguered Work Capability Assessments (WCA) for the DWP, have now been given the contract for delivering the Coalitions Childcare Voucher scheme. What I don’t get is WHY?

Before anyone tells me about the links between ATOS, and the extensive range of links – I’ve seen the speculation; but what I don’t understand is, given the recent scathing reports from both the public accounts committee, and the Work and Pensions Select on ATOS; WHY has the Treasury backed NS&I decided that ATOS are a suitable company to deliver anything; unless the caption below is true!

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I find the Government outsourcing any…

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Never mind Margaret Thatcher – let’s demand Tony Benn Day!


Originally posted on Vox Political:

Immortalised: The late Tony Benn with a statue of himself that stands at Bristol City Council's headquarters. He represented Bristol South East in Parliament for 30 years.

Immortalised: The late Tony Benn with a statue of himself that stands at Bristol City Council’s headquarters. He represented Bristol South East in Parliament for 30 years.

Would you support a plan to rename the August Bank Holiday ‘Tony Benn Day’, in honour of the great socialist who passed away last week?

It’s probably the last thing he would have wanted, but Mr Benn is far more deserving of the honour than some – Conservatives wanted a ‘Margaret Thatcher Day’ after the death of their iconic former Prime Minister but the idea was dropped after only 13 per cent of the public said they would support it.

Supporters of ‘Thatcher Day’ said she had been a great force for the UK.

Against that, let’s set these words of Michael Meacher MP, on Mr Benn: “Through his passion for democracy, transparency and accountability, he wanted to build up the…

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Capita – The New Punishers of the Poor


Image5

As Atos desperately try to extricate themselves from the Work Capability Assessment contract. Capita stands ready to take up the reins. The coalition government, and IDS in particular, must think that, as Atos have made such a mess of the job, Capita will give them some breathing space, and any difficulties would be described as “teething trouble”.

The problem is, Capita have already blotted their copybook in their dealings with people on benefits. This is the company that’s responsible for Voice Analysis Tests, which several councils are eagerly spending millions of (taxpayer’s) pounds buying.

Lie detectors aren’t noted for their reliability when they’re used in controlled circumstances, but these are telephone tests. They supposedly detect stress in a callers voice but, even if they work, they won’t be able to tell what causes the stress. It might be that the caller is lying, as Capita claim on their website, but people on benefits, at whom this pseudo-scientific technology is aimed, have many other reasons to be stressed and, when you throw illness and disability into the mix, there are even more.

Whether Capita is as bad as Atos, time will tell. There’ll be a lot of us watching.

#IDS – Still Evil or Incompetent. Or Both.


Would you like to annoy this person? See below!

It’s over a year since I posted about the bogus jobs on Universal Jobmatch (and I wasn’t the first to notice even then), and the mainstream media have at last noticed the problems too, at least some of them. Even the BBC are reporting the story.
When it was pointed out that some of the “jobs” advertised weren’t compliant with the DWP’s own rules, the response was not, as we have a right to expect, to tighten up enforcement of those rules nor, as we’ve come to expect from IDS, to change the rules. The rules were simply hidden, as if pretending there wasn’t a problem at all would make it go away. Yet catalogue jobs still infest the site. Just one page contains a block of Avon “jobs”:
Avon UJ
If you narrow the search to local jobs it is often worse. I’ve seen several pages in a row filled with “jobs” advertised by Avon, Kleeneze and others.

Bullying young people into working in the sex industry seems to be OK with the DWP too. Although their now invisible* rules say otherwise, it seems to be acceptable to advertise “escort” services, at least until there’s an outcry. Then the advert is taken down, and assurances are given that the DWP “regularly monitor the site and remove jobs that don’t meet our rules, such as duplicate advertisements or jobs for franchises.”

Such assurances ring more hollow every time.

 

 

*Correction: The relevant rules are visible again, but numbered differently. Who knows how long they’ll stay this time, so I’ve taken a screenshot and highlighted the one that refers to catalogue “jobs”.

UJT&C