Monthly Archives: June 2014

Coulson convicted – now Cameron has serious questions to answer

Good post. Good points and yes- it is important we get real answers so it means plugging away at every opportunity and not let it slide under the carpet.

Mike Sivier's blog

Beleaguered: A weary-looking David Cameron tried to defend his choice to employ convicted phone hacker Andy Coulson in a BBC interview. Beleaguered: A weary-looking David Cameron tried to defend his choice to employ convicted phone hacker Andy Coulson in a BBC interview.

The conviction of former Downing Street press supremo Andy Coulson on charges of conspiracy to hack telephones should have serious consequences for David Cameron, the Prime Minister who brought him into the heart of the UK government after he committed these crimes.

Cameron has said he takes “full responsibility” for employing Coulson. He may regret those words in the future.

Interviewed by the BBC, he said: “I did so on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turn out not to be the case.” What undertakings? That he hadn’t taken part in any hacking or that he was very good at it and wouldn’t get caught?

For a Prime Minister in charge of a barely-legitimate Coalition government with an agenda…

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The truth about Employment Support Allowance

A good start!

CarerWatch Blog

Congratulations to Dame Anne Begg who has finally spoken the truth about the Employment Support Allowance  “work related activity” group (WRAG).

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dame Anne Begg, chair of the work and pensions select committee,  said last Friday that large groups of people appear to have been “parked” on the benefit in the “work-related activity” group, which covers all those found neither to be fully fit for work nor so disabled that they cannot be expected to look for employment.

Disability activists across the country will be as delighted as Pat’s Petition and CarerWatch that politicians are finally admitting to the false premise on which Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was based.

ESA is a failed experiment conducted live on sick and disabled people.

Sick and disabled people who are assigned to the WRAG are found not fully fit for work. Almost none of them are…

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The illusions of activity at the BBC

Very interesting and thought – provoking.

@russincheshire

Last week, the BBC chose to ignore a protest march against Austerity.

You may have heard of it: 50,000 people marched from the BBC’s new HQ to Westminster, the latest in a series of protests against the agenda of cuts and privatisation which are slowly, inexorably destroying the fabric of the British State.

But in spite of it starting at the BBC’s front door, the corporation chose to ignore the protest. That evening’s news bulletins were filled with 30,000 people having a party to celebrate the Summer Solstice; and the important news that a single Scotsman had cheered for England at the World Cup.

But nothing at all about any views which run counter to those of the coalition. There was (apparently) a 25 second mention on BBC Radio 4, and two days later a 30-second clip appeared on the BBC News website. But that’s it.

This is the latest…

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Stop bashing the young and try giving them work experience

Very useful blog with some excellent statistics on how we are failing our young.

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

Everybody knows that young people lack the basic skills needed in the workplace. It’s not just a problem with skills. They have bad attitudes too. These reports appear every few months, gleefully covered by the newspapers and providing soundbites for grandstanding MPs. It’s no wonder, then that youth unemployment is so high. Surely, no employer in their right mind would want to recruit such people.

I have long been sceptical about all this, though, because I first heard it when I was one of the people being complained about. Employers have been banging on about the poor skills and bad attitudes of young people since the 1980s, at least.

Yesterday’s report from the UK Commission for Education and Skills (UKCES) provides some useful background to the debate. It found that, while the UK’s unemployment rate is below average when compared with other EU countries, relative to our adult unemployment rate, it is high.

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In other words, countries like Greece and…

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Latest DWP lie: Millions ‘unspent’ in support for ‘welfare reform’ victims

More lies and tory spin…

Mike Sivier's blog

Fraud: This man wants you to believe DWP austerity measures are succeeding, in order to win votes at next year's general election. They aren't. He is a liar. Fraud: This man wants you to believe DWP austerity measures are succeeding, in order to win votes at next year’s general election. They aren’t. He is a liar.

The Department for Work and Pensions is merrily claiming that more than £13 million allocated to help people who have been hit be the government’s unfair ‘welfare reforms’ via Discretionary Housing Payments has gone unclaimed. Lord Freud wants you to think “recent scare stories about councils running out of money were grossly exaggerated”.

He was – of course – lying through his teeth.

A quick look at the facts reveals that Discretionary Housing Payment was overspent by £3,505,582 during the 2013-14 financial year. That’s two per cent more than the government allocated.

The £13,285,430 underspend quoted in the press release refers to just 240 out of the 380 councils that distribute DHPs. It completely ignores the £16,791,012 overspent by 127…

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No more austerity: are protests ‘news’?

A thoughtful analysis about the non-reporting of the anti-austerity march last Saturday. If 50,000 people did some really good follow up action then it would make a real difference.
Thinking caps on!!

x

Paul Bernal's Blog

On Saturday 21st June the People’s Assembly, Trade Unions and campaigning groups held what they described as a ‘national demonstration and free festival’ to ‘demand’ an alternative to austerity. As expressed on the People’s Assembly website:

“Living standards continue to drop, forcing millions into poverty, yet the politicians remain addicted to austerity.

This demonstration will assemble right on the BBC’s doorstep and march to Parliament to demand that the alternative to austerity is no longer ignored. Join us.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 09.03.22

50,000 or more people did join them, including Russell Brand, Green MP Caroline Lucas and others. And yet the result, at least as far as the BBC was concerned, was that the protest, and the alternative to austerity, was ignored. On the day, the BBC gave it no coverage at all, to the fury of the protest organisers and the radical twittersphere. Eventually the BBC did put up a cursory mention…

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Cumulative effect of welfare reform revealed – deprived areas hit much harder than the rich

Mike Sivier's blog

Deprived parts of Glasgow were worst-affected by 'welfare reform' according to The Courier [Image: thecourier.co.uk]. Deprived parts of Glasgow were worst-affected by ‘welfare reform’ according to The Courier [Image: thecourier.co.uk]. The headline should not come as a surprise – of course changes that cut benefits for the poor are going to harm them more than rich people.

But do you remember David Cameron’s claim that his government would be the most transparent ever?

Isn’t it interesting, then, that the independent Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found a way to compile information on the effects of tax, social security and other spending changes on disabled people, after the government repeatedly claimed it could not be done?

It seems Mr Cameron has something to hide, after all.

We already have a taste of what we can expect, courtesy of our friends in Scotland, who commissioned the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University to study the relationship between…

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Disabled and without a carer for the night …. go to Asda

Shocking. Dangerous and downright disgusting that care is in the shambles it is.

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

Reposted from Kate Belgrave

This one goes out to every prat MP and commentator who says we must keep hacking away at social security until there is nothing left to cut. I like to think this story will remind those people about some of the crap that disabled people have to put up with as they take the brunt of cuts:

Video: I didn’t have a carer and I was so thirsty I went to Asda at 5am in my wheelchair to get a drink with a straw and help

A week or two ago, I again accompanied Angela Smith of Wembley as she travelled to her jobcentre and work programme appointments in her wheelchair. (I first went with Angela to Wembley jobcentre about a month ago). Angela has a master’s degree and worked for about 20 years in policy and disability support until she was made redundant…

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Austerity Protest in London (June 21st 2014)

1 million marched against the Iraq war…..

imatigerrr

Protest pictures and comments on mass austerity protest in London on June 21st 2014

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BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

Hmmnnnn…….

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

If you were in the centre of London today you might have noticed 50,000 people taking part in a massive march against the government’s austerity policies:

no more austerity photo from People’s Assembly

If you did notice, you’re doing better than most of the UK press who seem to have entirely missed it.

It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep.

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Related articles by Tom Pride:

I still remember when firefighters were heroes. Now we just ignore them.

Ian Hislop comes out on BBC Question Time

Government ministers announce plan to deter immigrants to UK by making it shit

Scientists discover dim stars orbitting massive black hole at heart of BBC

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