Saturday, September 28, 2013

BUPA Child Abuse!

The latest BUPA advert uses charming children to promote a benevolent cuddly image. 

If someone were to use children to, shall we say, oppose NHS privatisation you can just imagine the Daily Mail choking on the carpet fulminating about indoctrination and propaganda. 

The role of BUPA is to help people with money to jump the queue for health care. Queue jumping is the only crime which carries the death penalty. In this case it is those at the back of the queue who suffer and die waiting for care while BUPA pushes the ones with money to the front. 

Medical care should be based on health not wealth. If I want to see a cardiologist I have to wait months and then sit in an unprepossessing waiting room for three hours. They then take my blood pressure and say it is a bit high!

If a private patient wants to see the same cardiologist in the same NHS hospital they pick the date and time. 

So there is nothing nice about BUPA and using children to promote queue-jumping is child abuse. 

Every Tory cut (or Labour cut come to that) makes more people see bribing their way into health care an unfortunate necessity and BUPA profits. We need a health service which would make BUPA irrelevant. The political elite are not interested but the 99 percent are. We need a party to represent us. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Energy companies resist price freeze. Shocking!

Energy prices

The limited proposal for Labour to freeze energy prices has put a cat among the pigeons. The Daily Mail went into doubleplus rant mode and predicted disaster. Interestingly whereas a strike by workers gets them foaming at the mouth, a strike by the power companies would have their support.

The Independent had a news story that the energy companies would rather have the public pay higher prices than for their profits to take a hit. In what way is that news?

The fact of the matter is that a government which wanted to confront the fat cats would need to be prepared for vicious retaliation. Any supplier who cut off supplies would forfeit their rights. They could, if the government had the guts, face imprisonment for economic sabotage and profiteering. Six months in Strangeways would do them more good than those unhealthy bonuses. At the bare minimum the energy companies would have to be taken into public ownership. 

As for compensation, haven't you heard? Skivers have to work for their benefits these days. The prospect of fat cats having to work for their compensation would be popular. 

It was interesting, but probably irrelevant, that yesterday's men like El Portillo and Prince of Lies Mandelson rushed to toady to the power companies. The poor old things probably just wanted to see their names in the papers. 

Socialists will support a price freeze and damn the fat cats. At the same time the battle against Labour cuts, Labour evictions and Labour traitors will not be put on hold!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Miliband vs Lucas

On the Andrew Marr show this morning there was a politician advocating "Saving the NHS, Fighting Austerity, Railways into Public Hands, Scrapping Trident" Well it could hardly have been Ed Miliband could it?

No it was Brighton MP Caroline Lucas. There is an advert greeting delegates to Brighton "Welcome to Brighton – Home of the True Opposition in Parliament. p.s. Labour is down the hill on the right”. I assume that the down the hill on the right is geographically accurate. It is 100% politically accurate.

Marr then attempted to interview Miliband. Oh dear. He has some good policies - scrapping the bedroom tax and "strengthening" the minimum wage. Coming on the same day as UKIP "sluts" made a complete pig's ear of their publicity the announcement of these policies on Saturday made a positive news story.

When pressed by Marr on anything, e.g. whether "strengthening" the minimum wage actually means increasing it Miliband said "we have made this absolutely clear." He said it at least eight times. Compared with Caroline Lucas' clear policy statements all we were getting from Miliband was fudge. And clotted cream fudge at that.

Caroline Lucas's bold approach to opposing the Tories puts "One Nation" Labour to shame. It is likely trade unionists and socialists will be supporting Green candidates when there is no alternative. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is that alternative. The Greens in local government in Brighton do not have the same chutzpah as Caroline Lucas nor do they have a consistent anti-austerity line.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Politicians seek votes by attacking the muslim community

The rich and powerful will use any means necessary to defend their wealth and power. If that means turning their venom on defenceless women for what they are wearing then they will do just that.

Women who are deemed to be dressed too immodestly are told they are "asking to be raped." And women who wear the niqab are demonised in the press as if we didn't have anything more pressing to worry about.

Throughout history ruling elites have used 'divide and rule' to keep in power. Never mind that the politicians and corporations are robbing you blind. Look at that woman in a veil. She is your real enemy.

This is rubbish and the organisations of the working class need to tell them so. The politicians scent a cheap scapegoat. This ridiculous debate is not only insulting it is divisive and irrelevant.

Tory MP Philip Hollobone is wasting parliamentary time fulminating against the niqab. He even turns his back on any constituent who wears one. Didn't his mother teach him any manners? This wiseacre claims that he is "acting in the interests of muslim women". Apparently muslim women are oppressed by patriarchal Islam and the only cure for this is for them to be oppressed by white patriarchs like Hollobone. He knows what is in their best interests. Certainly he would not dream of allowing women to take their own decisions.

Hollobone was frightened by the Birmingham Metropolitan College ditching its ban on the niqab but this ban would have meant denying an education to a proportion of the population on the grounds of their religious belief and the way they dress. If we tolerate such discrimination where would it end?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cromwell comments on MPs expenses scandal

Rather prescient words from Oliver Cromwell!

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

In the name of God, go!

(OK there is a bit of hyperbole here but on the whole it is a good summary of the nature of the political elite)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Giving nepotism a bad name

Legend has it that Guy Fawkes was the only person ever to enter parliament with honest intentions. It is an exaggeration. Today's news shows that it is not much of one however.

What follows is the list of shame, those MPs who give public money to family members on one pretext or another. Dave Nellist was hounded and vilified by the Parliamentary elite. Why? He insisted on working for the average wage of a skilled worker and donated the rest of his parliamentary salary to trade union causes. Of course they hated him. He showed them up for what they were.

Dave Nellist is now in the forefront of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party. If your union has any spare cash the Labour Party is too proud to take, there is a campaign they could endorse :)

List of Shame: Every MP Who Employs a Family Member

Adrian Bailey: Jill Bailey £9,999
Adrian Sanders: Alison Sanders £29,999
Aidan Burley: Jodie Jones £29,999
Alan Campbell: Jayne Campbell £4,999
Alan Haselhurst: Angela Margaret £44,999
Alan Meale: Diana Gilhespy £19,999
Albert Owen: Samuel Blyth £29,999
Alec Shelbrooke: Susan Shelbrooke £14,999
Alex Cunningham: John Cunningham £9,999
Alistair Burt: Eve Burt £39,999
Andrew George: Jill George £4,999
Andrew Miller: Frances Miller £29,999
Andrew Robathan: Rachel Robathan £24,999
Andrew Smith: Valerie Smith £14,999
Andrew Turner: Carole Dennett £19,999
Angela Smith: Steven Wilson £39,999
Angus MacNeil: Jane MacNeil £24,999
Angus Robertson: Carron Anderson £29,999
Annette Brooke: Eleanor Perera £4,999
Barry Gardiner: Caroline Smith £24,999
Ben Wallace: Liza Wallace £24,999
Bill Cash: Bridget Cash £29,999
Bob Ainsworth: Gloria J Ainsworth £14,999
Bob Blackman: Nicola Blackman £34,999
Brian Donohoe: Christine Donohoe £24,999
Caroline Flint: Phil Cole £39,999
Cathy Jamieson: Ian Sharpe £14,999
Charles Walker: Fiona Walker £29,999
Cheryl Gillan: John Leeming £19,999
Chris Grayling: Susan Grayling £39,999
Chris Ruane: Gillian Roberts £24,999
Chris Williamson: Margaret Amsbury £29,999
Christopher Chope: Christine Chope £49,999
Clive Betts: James Thomas £34,999
Craig Whittaker: Sophie Whittaker £19,999
Dan Jarvis: Rachel Brookes £9,999
Dan Rogerson: Heidi Rogerson £9,999
Daniel Poulter: Carol Poulter £39,999
David Amess: Julia Amess £19,999
David Burrowes: Rebecca Chard £39,999
David Crausby: Enid Crausby £39,999
David Davies: Aliz Harnisfoger-Davies £9,999
David Davis: Doreen Margery Davis £34,999
David Hamilton: Jean Hamilton £29,999
David Mundell: Oliver Mundell £29,999
Dennis Skinner: Lois Blasenheim £39,999
Derek Twigg: Mary Twigg £29,999
Desmond Swayne: Moira Swayne £9,999
Diana Johnson: Kevin Morton £39,999
Frank Roy: Ellen Roy £4,999
Gareth Johnson: Wendy Johnson £14,999
Gary Streeter: Janet Vanessa Streeter £14,999
Gavin Williamson: Joanne Williamson £4,999
George Howarth: Julie Howarth £34,999
George Young: Camilla Young £34,999
Glenda Jackson: Clare Fletcher £9,999
Glyn Davies: Bobbie Davies £19,999
Graham Brady: Victoria Lowther £44,999
Graham Evans: Cheryl Evans £24,999
Graham Stringer: Eleanor Carr £29,999
Graham Stuart: Niki Roberts £34,999
Graham Morris: Michelle Morris £14,999
Greg Knight: Janet Knight £24,999
Gregory Campbell: Frances Campbell £19,999
Helen Grant: Simon Grant £9,999
Helen Jones: Michael Vobe £39,999
Henry Bellingham: Emma Bellingham £14,999
Henry Smith: Jennifer Lois Millar-Smith £24,999
Hilary Benn: Sally Clark £24,999
Hugo Swire: Alexandra Sasha Swire £34,999
Hywel Francis: Mair Francis £44,999
Iain McKenzie: Alison McKenzie £4,999
Iain Wright: Tiffany Wright £29,999
Ian Davidson: Morag MacKinnon £34,999
Ian Lavery: Hilary Lavery £24,999
Ian Liddell-Grainger: Jill Liddell-Grainger £34,999
Ian Lucas: Noah Lucas £9,999
Ian Murray: Hannah Woolfson £9,999
Ian Swales: Anne Marie Swales £9,999
Jackie Doyle-Price: Mark Steven Coxshall £19,999
James Gray: Phillipa Gray £34,999
James Paice: Ava Paice £14,999
Jeffry Donaldson: Eleanor Donaldson £24,999
Jim Dobbin: Mary Dobbin £34,999
Jim Hood: Marion Stewart Hood £24,999
Jim Sheridan: Joanne Riley £29,999
Joe Benton: Doris Benton £24,999
John Healey: Jackie Bate £14,999
John Mann: Joanna White £34,999
John Robertson: Laura Robertson £4,999
John Stevenson: Tracy Nixon £9,999
Julian Brazier: Katharine Elizabeth Brazier £19,999
Julie Elliott: Miles Elliott £24,999
Karen Bradley: Neil Bradley £44,999
Karl McCartney: Cordelia McCartney £39,999
Kelvin Hopkins: Patricia Hopkins £14,999
Kevin Barron: Andree Deane £14,999
Laurence Robertson: Anne Marie Adams £44,999
Lee Scott: Estelle Scott £34,999
Liam Byrne: Sarah Harnett £9,999
Linda Riordan: Stephen Roberts £39,999
Lindsay Hoyle: Catherine Hoyle £14,999
Malcolm Bruce: Rosemary Bruce £35,000
Margaret Beckett: Lionel Beckett £30,000
Mark Garnier: Caroline Garnier £40,000
Mark Pritchard: Sondra Spaeth £45,000
Mark Simmonds: Lizbeth Simmonds £25,000
Mark Tami: Sally Tami £20,000
Martin Caton: Bethan Caton £35,000
Martin Vickers: Ann Vickers £10,000
Meg Munn: Dennis Bates £25,000
Menzies Campbell: Elspeth Cambpell £30,000, Donald Lothian £25,000
Michael Dugher: Joanna Dugher £35,000
Michael Fallon: Wendy Fallon £20,000
Michael McCann: Tracey Ann McCann £35,000
Michael Moore: Alison Moore £20,000
Mike Penning; Angela Penning £35,000
Nadine Dorries: Phillipa Dorries £45,000, Jennifer Dorries £35,000
Neil Parish: Susan Parish £20,000
Nigel Adams: Claire Adams £20,000
Oliver Heald: Christine Heald £40,000
Owen Paterson: Rose Paterson £35,000
Patrick McLoughlin: Lynn McLoughlin £40,000
Patrick Mercer: Susan Gray £40,000
Paul Beresford: Julie Beresford £30,000
Paul Farrelly: Victoria Perry £5,000
Paul Flynn: Lynne Flynn £20,000
Peter Aldous: Mark Bee £10,000
Peter Bone: Jeanette Bone £50,000
Phil Wilson: Margaret Brown £40,000
Philip Davies: Deborah Davies £25,000
Phillip Lee: Anthony Lee £10,000
Rehman Chishti: Nusrat Ahmed £25,000
Richard Ottaway: Nicola Ottaway £15,000
Richard Shepherd: Davida Catleugh £40,000
Robert Buckland: Sian Reed £5,000
Robert Goodwill: Maureen Goodwill £20,000
Roger Gale: Susan Gale £40,000
Ronnie Campbell: Deirdre Campbell £15,000
Russell Brown: Gillian Carey £25,000
Sharon Hodgson: Alan Hodgson £35,000
Simon Danczuk: Karen Burke £30,000
Simon Hart: Abigail Hart £25,000
Stephen Crabb: Beatrice Crabb £20,000
Stephen Gilbert: Jaqueline Bull £15,000
Stephen Hammond: Sally Hammond £45,000
Stephen Pound: Maggie Pound £25,000
Teresa Pearce: Paul O’Neill £10,000
Tim Loughton: Elizabeth Loughton £10,000
Tom Harris: Carolyn Harris £35,000
Tony Lloyd: Angharad Lloyd £10,000
Valerie Vaz: Paul Townsend £40,000
William McCrea: Robert Watters £25,000
Yvonne Fovargue: Paul Kenny £25,000
£4 million-a-year of your money goes straight into their pockets…

This information comes from the Guy Fawkes blog. 
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Per ardua ad astra

Paul (Dr Paul McMillan) has started tweeting. His monicker is Mcmillan_astro which I thought was a character in the Jetsons but apparently not. He will be dealing with all matters astrophysical in a theoretical way/

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Miliband gives in to anti-union prejudice

In 1964 the Tories won an unexpected victory in Smethwick as a result of an openly racist campaign. The Labour Party branded the Conservative tactics as caving in to racial prejudice and fought back successfully in the 1966 election.

Fast forward to 2013, the Conservatives and the millionaire press are baying for trade union blood. Miliband's only response is to "distance himself" from the trade unions. The Tories and the political elite hate the unions because the unions are the only people standing up to them, They also believe that the working classes have no business interfering in politics. Politics is a matter for their betters.

The media has made much of the polls which indicate that union members support Miliband's reforms. Another way of looking at it would be to say that they do not see the point of unions giving money to the Labour Party when all they get in response is lectures, abuse and betrayal.

And are the rabid right satisfied with Miliband's craven attitude? Not a bit of it. Today's Express claims
'ED Miliband has “buckled under pressure” to the unions after failing to come up with new plans to challenge their power over Labour, it was claimed last night.' The inverted commas indicating that "sources in the Conservative Party" were saying that. Well they would say that wouldn't they?

The backwoodsmen seem to be looking for some kind of dutch auction between the parties over trade unions. If Tories say ban strikes, Labour says ban some strikes. Tories say shoot the lot, Labour says only shoot some of them. Tories say send them all to Hell, Labour says well give some the option of going to t'other place. 

Union money would be better spent supporting anti-cuts candidates than giving a carte-blanche to Labour.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Action speaks louder than words

Ronnie Draper of the bakers union speaking at the NSSN in  Bournemouth mentioned zero hours contracts. Workers at Hovis in Wigan were on strike over Zero Hours contracts. They have successfully got proper contracts for the workers on zero hours contracts. There will be further strike action over the abuse of agency workers.

The speeches from Bob Crow and Martin Powell-Davies were excellent. A joint strike by NASUWT and NUT is on the cards for this term. It is possible other unions could coordinate strike action on the same day. 

The blacklist support group has successfully got workers reinstated with the support of NSSN.

Frances O'Grady always speaks very well in condemning the government of the bankers.Action from the TUC would speak a lot louder however. It is true that the government can use the law against the unions if they seek to call a general strike.

I remember when a government was pig-headed enough to do so. They imprisoned five dockers in July 1972. There was a completely illegal strike (for which nobody was ever prosecuted) which spread like wildfire and the government was forced to produce the Official Solicitor like a rabbit out of a hat and release the dockers. More recently the POA held union meetings during working hours as a form of strike action.

An ounce of audacity is worth a ton of speeches. 
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Saturday, September 07, 2013

TUC get off your knees

The political elite have turned their backs on the people. Anyone on benefits is stigmatised as a skiver. People in work are told they must work harder and don't deserve pay rises. Nobody is standing up for the poor.
The TUC ought to be doing this. The TUC needs to act as a general staff of the working class. The TUC ought to be giving a lead.
The National Shop Stewards Network is lobbying the TUC with precisely that agenda.
Stop pussyfooting around the issue of a general strike and get on with it.

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Friday, September 06, 2013

State funding of political parties?

If there is one thing which has become clear in recent years it is that the political elite are out of touch with the lives of ordinary people. They live in a Westminster "bubble" with a protected privileged lifestyle.

At the same time "cash for favours", "cash for peerages" and "cash for influence" scandals have revealed the seedy side of Westminster politics.

Now that some union leaders have called time on donating millions to the Labour Party, a new proposal has been brought forward. The Labour leaders now propose state funding for political parties.

This will only insulate the political elite from the popularion still further. The rich will always find ways of funding the political policies which favour them. The trade unions and the general public will be on the outside looking in.

The rich have three parties to do their bidding. There ought to be a party for the 99%.

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