Thursday, May 31, 2012

Documentary highlights state of public services

The BBC "56 up" program follows the lives of individuals in an
unprecedented documentary narrative spanning the time since the
participants were seven. This week it highlighted the plight of public
services. Lifelong library service worker Lynn Johnson said "for the
last thirty years I have been banging my head against a brick wall but
now nobody is listening. They say that the work I do, anybody could do

It is worth emphasising she lost her job as a result of "nice Labour
cuts" not "nasty Tory cuts."

Now, rather than being able to take early retirement her husband has
had to take on full time work to make ends meet. "the goalposts keep
getting higher" for retirement. "People who started work assuming they
could retire at sixty, find the situation has now totally changed."

She regrets the fact there "is no party of the left" although she says
she is not political... and adds "they haven't got a clue what they
are doing. Some people are never ever going to recover from it and
unfortunately they will be quite devastated. We have no more left-wing
Labour Party any more. Tony Blair saw to that. They all veer to the
right. "

You can still see it on Youtube if you type in "56 up documentary" and
it is well worth a look. On the same program a wealthy Tory barrister
boasts that there is no class society in Britain :) Lynn felt her work
promoting literacy and love of literature with children had been
worthwhile. How many rich Tory parasites can say the same?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Putin gets a new rottweiler?

Dog owners were reportedly outraged when Spin Doctor Alistair
Campbell, was described as Blair's rottweiler.

Campbell has been in the news recently in relation to the Leveson
Inquiry where he revealed for the first time that Blair's entourage
thought there was a problem with the relationship between the Murdoch
media and politicians - although there is no evidence they ever did
anything about this "problem".

He has now turned his talents elsewhere and will be a spin-doctor for
a firm whose clients include McDonalds, (who notoriously hired
million-dollar lawyers to attack two individuals for handing out
leaflets) Vodafone (whose tax affairs are regarded as a public
scandal) and Google (who have scant regard for the privacy of anyone
who uses their search engine). He will also be working for Tesco's
because every little helps.

Another client is Vladimir Putin. It is hard to tell whether this is a
step up or down after working for Blair. We can at least be sure he
wont be mocking Mr Putin for going to a "bog standard comprehensive".

If anyone wanted yet more evidence of the moral and political
bankruptcy of New Labour - well you couldn't make it up, could you?

Derek McMillan
Mid-Sussex Socialist Party

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Merchants of Death grow fat - cuts for everyone else

Tough times... for some of us. For soldiers who have lost limbs the
government is going to cut their disability payments. For the weapon
manufacturers, the merchants of death, the government obsession with
playing soldiers has earned them a pretty penny.

The government was determined to buy the F38C joint strike fighter
plane but has now opted to buy the F38B. The cost of this blunder has
been variously estimated as 40 million pounds down the toilet or 100
million pounds down the toilet. That money could have provided some of
the "help for heroes" we all hear about.

It is good to know that this is what the government calls "fiscal
responsibility." No squandering money on health, welfare and pensions.
The cost of the F38C has actually doubled to two billion pounds.

Batting on a sticky wicket, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond claimed
that the decision to buy the F38C "was right at the time" but the
decision to buy the F38B was right now. Well for the time being

It sounded on the BBC news as if he were saying they needed to fit
catflaps on the aircraft carriers but in fact they needed to fit
"catapults" and "traps". These public school boys know how to have fun
don't they? And it is with billions of pounds of our money they they
are having fun.

In addition to which the RAF air-to-air refuelling planes are alleged
to be costing the taxpayer a good 100 million pounds over the odds.

The question nobody asked, the "elephant in the room" was why on earth
the country can afford this profligate expenditure when everything
else needs to be cut. New Labour were silent on this because – you
guessed it – they suggested the F38B in the first place.

A real political opposition will not come from the hopelessly
out-of-touch political elite.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012