"If you vote for us, it will get the Tories out." That was the promise of the Liberal Democrats where they had a chance of unseating the Tory incumbent. The result was the despicable ConDem government which launched a one-sided war against the poor.
"Labour is the lesser evil" was something people might have believed until Labour refused to fight the Poll Tax. The invasion of Iraq put the tin hat on that phoney argument. Is Labour civilian bombing the lesser evil for the civilians? When Labour bombed hospitals, women and children did it give the Iraqis a warm glow? And today Labour want to keep Trident - a weapon for nuclear war. Would a Labour nuclear war be all warm and cuddly?
On 6 April a change
was made in the renewal of Discretionary Leave to Remain. Until 5th
April all applicants for renewal had to fill a form with about 15
pages in it, most of the pages were in fact redundant if the person
had committed no offences over the 2½ or 3 years since they had been
granted DLR. There was no fee - only the postage cost.
The change means that
applicants have to fill in a 32-page form and also have to pay £649
per individual, including dependant infants, plus a further £600 per
person for a brand new "Immigration Health Surcharge".
There is also charge of £40 per person for their "Biometric
Residence Permit", unless they have one already. But most people
don't have one because it was introduced more recently than 3 years
This means that a
family of three, for example will be paying £4,000. Where are they
supposed to find that kind of money? MPs sit on massive expense
accounts. Migrants do not.
The biometric Residence
Permit identifies the person as a "migrant". It is the
equivalent of the Yellow Star which Jews had to wear in Nazi Germany.
The Labour Traitors are remarkably quiet on this issue.
candidates might be completely useless. The Labour Traitors are remarkably quiet on this issue.
If so I sympathise. You could
however write to them so they cannot claim “none of my constituents
is concerned about this issue”
The event at Worthing Library was packed out. The speaker was Juliet West. She is the author of Before the Fall. A former journalist, she was inspired to write the novel by an old story which was brought to light when she was working for the Daily Mail. The story was about a love triangle in the First World War and the fact that the information came in Coroners' records will tell you the tale is not a laugh a minute.
For me the most interesting exchange was the final question from the audience, "How do you know something you have written is good?"
Juliet West's response was to say that if the writing is flowing really well it will probably need extensive re-writing. She went on to say that she has come to enjoy rewriting because "at least then you have something to work on."
Personally I favour expropriating the 1% but as requested by 38 degrees, I have sent the following letter about the modest proposal for a "Robin Hood" tax..
I'm a constituent in the parliamentary seat that you are contesting, I would like to know your views on the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), popularly known as the Robin Hood Tax. My reason for asking this question is that I will be asking all your opponents the same question and I will vote, and encourage others to vote, on the basis of the answer I receive. If the answer I receive is nothing or yet another complaint about 38 degrees, I will draw my own conclusions.
Currently, on the European mainland, 11 countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are about to introduce an FTT. The revenue will not go to Brussels but to their own Exchequers and, if all assets discussed are included, it has the potential to raise in the region of £30 billion a year.
That money could be used to pay back the cost of bailing out the financial sector and the on-going problems the global financial crisis caused, as well as ensuring that international commitments to combat global poverty and climate change are met.
The financial sector can certainly afford this tax - which would be charged at a fraction of 1% on finance firms rather than individuals – in the same way that it has borne tens of billions in fines due to a host of misdemeanours from product mis-selling to rigging currency rates. Moreover, an FTT would improve the financial system by tackling short-termism and reducing destabilising activities such as High Frequency Trading.
It is often forgotten that the UK currently has an FTT - the 0.5% Stamp Duty on share transactions, which successfully raises £3bn a year. I think the UK should extend our existing FTT to other financial transactions, joining other European countries, to regulate and tax the financial sector more.
Every day, we hear that there will be more and more cuts. Surely it is high time the sector behind the financial crisis bears a greater burden of the costs of sorting it out.
I look forward to hearing your views.
*Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you'd like to declare your position on the Robin Hood Tax, which will then be published on the Robin Hood Tax campaign's website: robinhoodtax.org.uk
Rank and file UKippers have signed the NUT Stand up for Education
petition supporting "a qualified teacher in every classroom." They want
to go back to the old days when they were educated by qualified teachers
and believe their children definitely deserve the same. They usually
then go onto a rant about migrants but that seems to be a tic with Ukippers.
Tim (nasty but dim) Cross - UKIP's rising star in Worthing West -
categorically supported private education, free schools, unqualified
teachers - the whole Tory mess. So long as there were no migrants
involved of course.
ON NHS privatisation however he opposed privatisation. He wanted the NHS
"the way it used to be." He was silent on how that was supposed to work
without half of the nurses and a quarter of the doctors who are - let's
whisper it - migrants.
Well done Worthing "Skeptics in the Pub" for organising the candidates'
debate in West Worthing on 13th April. This was a great evening even
though one member of the audience, thanking the chairman, said that it
had convinced him not to vote for any of them.
(My report is not unbiased - beware of unbiased reports, they are seldom
what they seem!)
The questions from the audience were wide-ranging and the candidates had
time to answer all of them. That would make for a long report so I will
jump to the final question (it happened to be mine!)
"What use is Trident? Is there nothing else we could be spending public
Sir Peter Bottomly clearly thought the issue was far too complicated for
us (dare I say "plebs"?) to understand but he went on to say that he
wanted a nuclear deterrent but it had to be "transparent". So far so honest.
Tim Cross of UKIP was disappointing on this question because he clearly
had not given it any thought. He just repeated the mantra that we needed
to spend billions on Trident "to defend ourselves." How we defend
ourselves against home-grown suicide bombers with Trident was beyond his
Ms Thorpe (now there is a Liberal name from the past!) fumbled over
whether a like-for-like Trident replacement was a good idea but opted
for a bargain basement nuclear deterrent. That does sound a little unsafe.
David Aherne had at least done his homework. He pointed out that use of
Trident would break the UN Charter and the 1996 ruling of the
International Court of Justice - both of which Britain is signed up to.
He was against it - it is not very green to have a nuclear war.
We got two for the price of one from Jimmy Deen. He admitted Miliband's
love for Trident is one of the romances of the decade but he himself was
opposed to it.
Two audience comments,
"It makes no sense for Hazel Thorpe to say how important education is
when her party famously supported tuition fees."
"Tim (Cross) is nasty but dim. To blame everything on immigrants makes
him look foolish."
I could also mention that Bottomley does come across as smug; David
Aherne isn't going to set the world on fire (that wouldn't be very
environmentally friendly anyhow) and if you vote for the nice Labour
Candidate will it be enough to stop the nasty consequences?
Nobody who voted for that nice young Tony Blair thought they were voting
for the Iraq war!
And I repeat my thanks to Worthing Skeptics in the Pub - a good time was
had by all.
If I had the chance I would vote Socialist! There are no Trade Unionist
and Socialist Coalition candidates in Worthing West. Not this time.
Once people saw Labour as "the lesser evil." Labour was a party committed to public service and peace through Clause 4 of its constitution. One can argue whether that was a tenable position.
Can anyone argue that Labour is still "the lesser evil"? The Iraq war was a turning point for many. Were Labour bombs less evil than Tory bombs? Did the women and children who died because of Blair's lies grateful that at least they were Labour lies and not Tory lies?
And Blair is not a ghost from the past. He has bribed Labour with his blood money. The Labour leadership has not repudiated his support. They have not denounced him as a war criminal. They have not questioned his support for the dictatorship in Kazakstan or his interesting statement that "democracy is not as important as good government".