@Rachael_Swindon

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If you wish to make a donation towards my campaign costs then please use the link. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support!












Saturday, 24 December 2016

Theresa May's Christmas Crisis, Not That You Would Know

Its Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid. Or something like that anyway.


Although quite a few of us living under the regime of Theresa May's Conservatives feel like we do have something to be afraid of. What vital service will they take away next? What cuts will fall on the most vulnerable next time? And its on a local level too. In my home town of Swindon the Tory-run (only just) council have decided to AXE 11 out of the 15 public libraries across the town. They've also decided that council tax will go up every year until at least 2020.

And we know this is a familiar story all over Britain.

When I look at this government I see mayhem, a divided cabinet with ministers so far out of their depth they have a wate display bursting out of their forehead. In my not very neutral opinion, Britain is facing an unprecedented threat from the very people elected to represent us.

This country that works for everyone is plain and simple bullshit. We know it, they know it, and they simply do not care. They are stumbling from one crisis to another, such as:

NHS CRISIS:

Where do you possibly start? How about NHS chiefs warning Theresa May that hospitals are on the brink of collapse? Or even experts warning there could be a "glut" of services shut down as providers face a £23bn national funding deficit. Campaign group 38 Degrees has uncovered 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) being drawn up across England. Your A&E's, CUT BACK AND SHUTDOWN with barely a whisper from the British media, the most right-press in Europe.  Then there's the hospital bed shortage. This from Professor John Appleby, chief economist for The Nuffield Trust:
"With such high levels of bed occupancy linked to higher infection rates and longer waits in A&E, these pressures pose a real threat to the smooth running of hospitals and, ultimately, to patient safety.
What's more, the NHS is going into this winter in an even worse position than it was a year ago, with record deficits, worse performance against the A&E target, far more trolley waits, record delayed discharges from hospital, and fewer people getting the help they need with social care.
When you add into that mix the sort of intense pressure on beds we've demonstrated hospitals experienced last winter, patients' care is bound to suffer."

And then there's privatisation. That will be saved for another blog as its worth so much more than a paragraph or two. The Tories even tried to SNEAK OUT £7.9 BILLION worth of your NHS to private providers.

That's £7.9 BILLION!!






HOMELESSNESS CRISIS:

I have covered this in depth on previous blogs as its one that's quite close to my own heart. We have 124,000 children in Britain that are considered to be homeless. I had to double the check the figure such was my horror. What kind of civilised country allows this?

Just in England alone, 3,500 people slept rough last year. That is 30% up on the figures for 2014. I would also say this number is vastly underestimated. Since 2010, rough sleeping has DOUBLED under the Tories. How is this not a crisis?

When Boris Johnson became Mayor of London he pledged to eradicate homelessness by 2012. How did that go then Boris? He DOUBLED IT by 2012. The Tories have no idea how bad the housing and homelessness crisis actually is. We do. The ones that are living it day in, day out, through no fault of our own.





I think you get where I am coming from?

Now I could go on and on, running through every government department, but its Christmas Eve, and I want to watch Eastenders and have a nice cuppa, not think about the devastating mess that Theresa May is leading us in to.

What about Brexit? No plan, no idea, and we are the laughing stock of Europe. Social Care? I wrote about Corbyn skewering May at PMQs over Social Care funding. She told a clear lie as pointed out in my blog. Did the media call it out? No, of course not.

They are complicit.

We have a hunger crisis, a rail crisis, a prison crisis, an education crisis, even the cabinet are in crisis. But so what?! Let us all look at Jeremy Corbyn trying to fend off one botched attempt after another from his own politically confused MPs.

I think my point stands. We have a government in absolute crisis, and they need holding to account, by the official opposition, and by us.




Have an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas everyone, thanks for taking the time to read my blogs and thank you for all your donations towards my campaign costs and your very kind support.


@Rachael_Swindon

If you like what I do and can donate towards my campaign costs there is a link at the top of this page. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Happy Christmas all.





Thursday, 22 December 2016

Failing Chris Grayling: The Minister For Dishonesty And Ineptitude

Let us be clear about this. Grayling is an absolute disaster. Known to be, shall we say, less than honest, and every governmental department he touches turns to rubble. In my humble opinion Chris Grayling is the most USELESS government minister in British political history. Somehow, Theresa May appointed him as Secretary of State for Transport back in July. What has Grayling got on these people? In fact, don't answer that. I don't think I want to know.




Lets take a brief look at some of Grayling's 'Best Bits':


Grayling famously claimed that  billions of pounds are lost to benefit fraud  which was based on figures showing that £2.5 billion was lost due to fraud and error in the system.  It then turned out that the amount lost to fraud alone was less than £1bn. Grayling has never apologised for distorting figures. This led to the likes of Richard Desmond's (yuk) Express tabloid claiming 75% off benefit claimants on the sick are scrounging thieves. This coming from a porn peddler? If people ever need to know why disability hate crime exists then I'd suggest its the like of The Express, Mail and Sun that play a huge part in giving some sort of validation to the idiotic perpetrators that commit the crime. Just a theory though.



Another Grayling lie was uncovered when he claimed violent crime had soared under a Labour government and he deliberately chose to ignore the change in the way crime had been recorded which led to a furious rebuke from the UK National Statistics Authority.  Chairman Sir Michael Scholar was forced to write to Grayling accusing  him of misleading the public and risking damage to public trust in official statistics. A Tory manipulating figures? Now there's a surprise.

We aren't done there. Back in August 2009 Grayling made a 'Broken Britain' headline-grabbing speech in which he likened life in Manchester to that in Baltimore, Maryland, as portrayed in the acclaimed television series The Wire. “When The Wire comes to Britain’s streets, it is the poor who suffer most. It is the poor who are the ones who have borne the brunt of the surge in violence under this Government,” he said. Manchester has a population almost five times that of Baltimore, yet Baltimore has a murder rate around seven times higher than the Northern city. His friend and colleague, Boris Johnson, described Grayling's comparison as "absolute nonsense". 

Can you sense a theme here?


It gets worse. Grayling was secretly recorded (audio) suggesting that people who ran bed and breakfasts in their homes should "have the right" to turn away homosexual couples. If ever you needed to try and understand the thinking of Chris Grayling then this tells you so much about him. A quick look at his voting record shows he voted against the initial legislation to establish civil partnerships, against fertility treatment for gay couples and was absent from the vote on repealing the notorious Section 28. Do you think Chris has an issue with homosexuality?


Moving on... In his time as welfare minister Grayling named Deloitte Ingeous as "preferred bidders" for seven out of 40 contracts being awarded by his department to get people off benefits and into jobs. Chris declared a donation of £27,978 from Deloitte prior to the Tories taking over in 2010. 


Can you see how it works yet?

A browse through some of his expense claims are quite revealing. 



Chris claimed thousands of pounds to renovate a flat in central London, bought with a mortgage funded at taxpayers’ expense, even though his constituency home is less than 17 MILES from the House of Commons. Neighbours said they rarely, if ever saw Chris at his luxury flat. The Mystery Of Chris Grayling's Expenses also provides an insight in to what he really is all about. Chris knows how to play the system rather well. He employs his wife on a handsome salary of somewhee between £35-40,000, paid for by you.




Still not done with you Chris.


Earlier this year Grayling tabled a motion arguing that MPs who are arrested should have the right not to be named until they are charged, protected under the Human Rights Act. Now pardon me for pointing out the obvious Chris, but YOU want to scrap the Human Rights Act, No? One rule for them and one rule for us in Tory Britain.

Why on earth should MPs get any sort of extra human rights?

In his quite literally disastrous time as Justice Secretary, Chris was accused by the outgoing chief inspector Nick Hardwick of trying to interfere with prison reports. A damning allegation, again suggesting Grayling isn't the most pleasant of people. He wanted criticisms of the government removed from a report, painted in a positive light according to Mr Hardwick. This article  from the excellent Vox Political showed Grayling had been drawing up contracts which will ensure profits for the period of the next two parliaments – for private companies (G4S, Serco et all) taking over probation services, and massive penalties for the next government if it cancels the contracts. “Taxpayers will face a £300m-£400m penalty if controversial probation privatisation contracts are cancelled after next May’s general election under an “unprecedented” clause that guarantees bidders their expected profits over the 10-year life of the contract,” according to The Guardian. How to play havoc with the nations finances, by Failing Chris Grayling.



Now Grayling finds himself heading up Transport. Tory MP Bob Neill has already called for Grayling's resignation after he was accused of putting politics ahead of passengers a when a leaked letter showed he opposed the devolution of suburban rail services in the London area to keep the network "out of the clutches" of a Labour mayor. Grayling announced that he would not be handing control of routes currently operated by Southeastern to London Mayor Sadiq Khan despite the Government and then-mayor Boris Johnson publishing a joint prospectus in support of the measure in January. The Evening Standard published a letter written in 2013 by Mr Grayling to Mr Johnson in which he said he was against the policy. The Rail industry is currently in crisis, caused by Grayling and made worse by Grayling. Does Theresa May honestly have confidence in Grayling to sit down and talk with unions? No, nor do I Theresa. Again I ask, what has he got on her?



It would only be right to finish off with Grayling's latest failings. A video emerged of Grayling opening his car door and sending a cyclist and his bicycle flying into a lamppost, leaving him dazed and bruised on the pavement. The cyclist said his bike sustained a damaged wheel, brakes, mudguard and lost its lights. 



One blog I read earlier described Grayling as a "lying, cheating, scheming, money-grabbing bastard".  I've tried hard to find some reason to disagree with that statement, but I all I can do is simply endorse it.

The most useless minster in the history of British politics is a dangerous man.


@Rachael_Swindon

If you like what I do and can donate towards my campaign costs there is a link at the top of this page. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Happy Christmas all.



Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Burning Injustice Of Prime Minister Theresa May

My disdain for this government grows more by the day.





This is what Theresa May had to say on her very first day as unelected Prime Minister. For the record, I also thought Gordon Brown serving as Prime Minister without a mandate from the people was wrong. Mr Brown and the remnants of New Labour paid the price in 2010.

Anyway, back to Theresa May, do you remember her saying his just a few months back?

"That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you’re born poor you will die on average nine years earlier than others. If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white, working class boy, you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately. If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand. If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home."



That is what she said. I doubt I was alone in thinking it was a huge pile of tosh at the time. David Cameron had "We're all in this together" and Theresa May has "A country that works for everyone".

There was no togetherness for me with Mr Cameron and I can guarantee May's country that works for everyone won't work for me, and millions of others.



Today we need to talk about the Child Poverty Unit. The what? The Child Poverty Unit was set up by Tony Blair and between 1998-2012 it was credited with lifting 800,000 children out of poverty, a record that is recognised around the world. In 2013, the CPU had just over 23 full time staff members, which had fallen to 10.5 for 2015-16, an earlier ministerial statement revealed. I have no idea who the .5 of a person is, but I do know the CPU has now been swallowed up by the toxic and disastrous Department For Work and Pensions.

Skip forward a few years of Tory mayhem and embarrassing figures the Tories released themselves confirmed child poverty now stands at 3.9 million. This jumped up by a massive 200,000 in just 1 year. So that's around 28% of children in Britain now living in poverty. The Tories keep telling people that they are "making work pay". AN INCREDIBLE 66% of those children living in poverty have at least one family member in work.


Imagine a school class of 30 children. 9 of those children are living in poverty under Theresa May's Tory government.


Now this comes on top of the shocking revelation from homeless charity Shelter that 124,000 children are now homeless in Britain.

Go back to that school class of 30 children. This is around 4 in every 30 that are homeless under Theresa May's Tory Government.





So this is how Theresa is getting on with sorting out these "burning injustices" that undoubtedly cause her many sleepless nights:


I think you get my point. Theresa May is part of the problem, she is not the solution and she never will be. Show your Tory voting friends how their government (it'll never be mine) are actually getting on. Do they understand the misery they are causing? The Prime Minister has absolutely no intention of fighting poverty, this generation of children will go the same way as millions did under Margaret Thatcher.



I'm sure the 120 BILLIONAIRES IN BRITAIN with a combined wealth of £344 billion could all pay just a little bit more tax. What's the problem with this?

I will leave the last words to Jeremy Corbyn. He is one of the few voices in British politics that wants to change things. He wants the top 1% to pay just a little bit more in. He can only do this with a party that unites behind him and the vast majority of members that have elected him twice. You can find out a bit more about Jeremy Corbyn's 10 pledges ON THIS LINK - The media won't give them much publicity so share them as much as you can. WE are his media, after all.




"We don't have to be unequal. It does not have to be unfair, poverty isn't inevitable. Things can, and they will change."



@Rachael_Swindon

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If you can donate to my ongoing campaign costs then please see the link at the top of the page


















Sunday, 18 December 2016

124,000 Homeless Children: Merry Christmas From The Tory Government




Shelter have just revealed the number of children waking up homeless on Christmas Day this year is 124,000. The original estimate was a staggering and disgusting 120,000. The Tories have managed to add another, 4,000 to that number. And we aren't just talking about children in temporary flats and houses (often rented by the local authority from private landlords at extortionate costs), its so so much worse than this. Action is needed now Theresa May. You may not be fully responsible for this astonishing crisis but you are the one that's in charge, even if we had no say in your crowning whatsoever. 

Deal with it, and deal with it now.



Data released by the Department for Communities and Local Government reveals a rise of more than 300% since 2014 in the number of families in England who are being housed ILLEGALLY (for more than the statutory maximum period of six weeks) in B&B's by local authorities, because they cannot find any alternative places.



The cause? Welfare cuts, rising rents, and a lack of social and affordable housing and all of these are things your government should be dealing with. Instead of this we have children growing up in Bed and Breakfast's and temporary accommodation because local authorities have no other option.

Does Theresa May know that up to A THIRD OF YOUNG PEOPLE are turned away by the local authority unaided? I doubt she cares in the slightest.


Successive governments have failed. If anyone wants to tell me its all the fault of the migrants that prop up our public services as you eat your Turkish kebab, drinking your Polish beer and employing them for wages that British people simply won't work for then you may as well jog on now and hook up with Paul Nuttall's Barmy Army.





If I hear one more person say "If I had brown skin I'd get a house off the council straight away" I may actually scream. That argument is absolute codswallop. I know, I've been there, in fact I am 'there' now, my kids are amongst the 124,000 classed as homeless. So I do have a little bit of a head start on this one. We can't keep on blaming the failings of government on migrants, we really can't, we are just letting them get away with it.


Even now I can imagine some thinking that we all have the latest iPhones and Sky TV. If you believe everything you see on Benefit Street (production company 70% owned by Sky) then I pity you. Its not hard to find a gullible claimant o play up for the cameras in the name of 'entertainment'. Its not entertaining, its poverty porn and its disgusting.



Before you go, please take a look at this short video released by Shelter. It shows what its like for a family living in a hostel. Glenn and his family are not alone, Britain has a crisis on its hands and its not dealing with it. But everyone look at Theresa May's new £995 trousers instead, made by workers earning as little as £1.49 an hour. If the Tories could get away with it here, they would.

Lets all hope those 124,000 children have the best Christmas possible and a better 2017. 

Although with this hard-right Tory government I really can't see it getting any better.



@Rachael_Swindon

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you would like to make a donation towards my campaign costs there's a link at the top of the page. Happy Christmas to all.





Friday, 16 December 2016

The Solution To The Tories Great Train Robbery


Many of our train services are publicly owned. Now the not so good bit: They are publicly owned by members of public from other European countries. They saw our great idea of public ownership, copied it, watched us sell it all off, helped themselves to it and now return MILLIONS AND MILLIONS in dividends back to their countries.


About 1.7 BILLION passenger rail journeys were made in the past 12 months, compared with 801m in 1997. The figures come from analysis by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, and is based on data from the auditors KPMG.
The study found that people make an average of 24.7 train journeys each a year, a 60% increase from 1998, when private operators took over running UK train services from British Rail. The growth in journeys is faster than in France at 25%, Germany at 23% and the Netherlands at 10% over the same period.
British Rail was broken up and privatised between 1994 and 1997, and since then rail services in the UK have been provided by private companies. There are 16 rail franchises in the UK, where the government gives train companies funding to run services for a certain period. 


The cost of running the railways has more than DOUBLED, from £2.4 billion from 1990-95 to around £5.4 billion per year from 2005-10. It gets worse. According to the Tories own data the cost of running Britain's railways for 2014/15 was a staggering £13.6 BILLION!
Since privatisation, the average price of a train journey has increased by 23.5% in real terms. Fares on some routes have increased by 245%! That really is quite incredible. It gets worse. We pay, on average, around 30% MORE for rail travel than any other country in Europe. 




The big problem here is obvious to most people. Public ownership of our railways would save us £1.2bn every year. This would be enough to offer an 18% cut on the cost of train tickets. That's not the sort of cuts the Tory Party like to talk about. This is because They have shareholders to keep happy.
Tory MP James Brokenshire is a fine example of stupidity personified. He has spent years voting for privatisation (pictured) and against capping fares private providers can charge, like most of his Tory colleagues. He wants the privateers to make as much cash as possible out of you, despite running the risk of being overwhelmed by the stench of urine when you dare venture for a luke-warm coffee and a cheap tasting chocolate muffin (yours for the national debt of Greece) 
So you can imagine my surprise when I came across this letter from James, complaining of the "appalling" service, sent to the big boss of Southeastern Rail. For some reason James didn't oppose Southeastern being handed another franchise.
Anyway, I can go on about Tory hypocrisy for hours on end, quite literally.





I want to suggest a solution.
We know there is OVERWHELMING SUPPORT from the British people for a People’s Railway, better and more efficient services, proper integration and fairer fares, starting from the principle that franchises will be brought into public ownership when they expire. One by one, line by line.
As the last link to the YouGov poll shows, re-nationalising British railways is popular with the British public. Most want it returned to public ownership because they believe they should be accountable to taxpayers rather than shareholders


Not really the most radical notion ever, is it?
More about the solution.
I think you may have guessed by now? Nice man, in his 60's, beard. No, not Santa Claus.
Jeremy Corbyn.
Scoff all you like non-believers. Even a majority of Tories support the Corbyn Policy of rail renationalisation. What's not to like? Its a clear vote winner, and with Jeremy Corbyn this isn't a Blairite jump on a bandwagon moment, this belief runs to the very core of him. In fact it was his first policy announcement after his first vistory in the Labour leadership contest. In short, Jeremy Corbyn wants to ensure that billions of pounds of taxpayers money is not creamed off by privateer shareholders. He even wants to make sure the hardworking staff are looked after! That gets my vote Jeremy.


Don't forget, Mr Branson went for Jeremy Corbyn for a very specific reason. The same reason that the billionaire media moguls and political establishment go for him. He is a threat to the billionaires and their vested interests. In Branson's case its trains and healthcare, the latter for which Virgin Care pay NO TAX in The UK whatsoever.









I'll end by saying public ownership is more than possible, In 2009, the East Coast line was taken into public ownership (after National Express walked out on the contract) and it was a huge success. The service had a 91% customer satisfaction rate, required much less public subsidy, paid back £1 billion to the Treasury and was the most efficient franchise in the UK
The Tories re-privatised the East Coast line in 2015, handing it to Virgin Trains, who else? But this example shows that if the railways were run for people not profit they could keep passengers happy and save us all lots and lots money.
Only Jeremy Corbyn can deliver on this vision.

@Rachael_Swindon
If you like what I do and would like to make a donation towards my campaign costs then please see the PayPal link at the top of the page.



Thursday, 15 December 2016

Why We, And Britain, Need A #CorbynFightback

Its pretty obvious. The Tories, led by an unelected Theresa May, have had it easy. Not just from their media baron friends, they're Tories, they'll always have the support of Murdoch media. Thatcher, Blair and more recently, David Cameron, one Tory Prime Minister after another, have all been able to call on the support of the readers of The Sun.


But I was also thinking about Her Majesty's Official Opposition.

Corbyn supporters will tell you the Parliamentary Labour Party have put us in this current state with their continuous plotting, smearing and one of the most ridiculously timed coups in recent British history. Being one of them I wholeheartedly agree. I'm not naive enough to think Jeremy got everything right, he is not perfect. Communications coming out of the leaders office have not been heard clearly. Partially down to some poor decisions at some level or another but mostly because of a big chunk of the PLP and the party machine that can't seem to find any common ground between their entrenched neoliberalism and Corbyn's ideas for 21st century socialism. Scary things, like homes being built, a rollback of NHS privatisation, public-owned railways, the rich paying their fair share of tax! In fact, take a look at Corbyn's 10 pledges - there's even a video of the man himself.


A lack of opposition and a pro-Tory/anti-Corbyn media have left us in a position where the Tories are getting away with blue murder. Theresa May can do whatever she likes. She can lie when she wants because very few people in the British mainstream media will report it. Its left to independent media, people like the brilliant The Canary who work tirelessly exposing the sheer ineptitude of this awful government.



Here's just a few things that most voters won't know. Some of them won't care - The 'I'm alright Jack' attitude is a huge obstacle to overcome, but if enough of us try it, then anything is possible.


The Tory government target cuts towards the most vulnerable people in our society. They work on the basis of the weakest not having a voice and not being able to fight back. Benefit sanctions forced on to people suffering with mental health issues have gone up by 668% but in Tory Britain we can afford to give a £93 BILLION corporate welfare handout to our big donor friends.


Jeremy Corbyn wants to end benefit sanctions and ask big corps to pay a bit more tax. Good idea that.


In 6 Tory years child homelessness has risen by nearly 60% and this Christmas Day more than 120,000 children will wake up homeless. This is the equivalent of 4 chidren in every school. The obvious end result of a chronic shortage of new affordable and social homes being built by consecutive governments. Then add in Tory austerity and it wont take a rocket scientist to work out the end result.



Jeremy Corbyn wants to undertake a huge house-building programme that ensures every person has a home. Hardly radical, is it?


Did you know that just 2 months back the Tories sneaked out the biggest ever privatisation of The NHS? £7.9 billion worth to be exact. That is more than 7% of the entire NHS budget! But not a whisper from a media happily diverted by any of the latest Corbyn smears. Will they ever run out of them?

Do Tory voters know that just 3 months ago NHS chiefs warned the government of our hospitals in England being on the brink of collapse?




Do they know that NHS hospitals will embark on a "GLUT" OF CLOSURES with Accident & Emergency units and key services for the elderly among those stripped out and centralise?

Jeremy Corbyn believes in an NHS entirely owned by the public, putting patients first, and not profits. I reckon that's a good idea, don't you?



Social Care is in absolute crisis. Its a big one and it will have an impact on every one of us at some point. Its so bad that even a senior Tory MP, Dr Sarah Wollaston, penned an open letter to Theresa May telling her to stop giving the false impression that the NHS is awash with cash. The letter warned the her of the looming Social Care crisis saying an urgent cash injection was needed. 

Jeremy Corbyn challenged Theresa May's Social Care funding dishonesty at PMQs this week, and scored a direct hit as I covered here yesterday. We really need more of this.

If you have friends that take very little interest in politics, much like I did a few years back, then tell them what is actually going on. Tell them how it will impact on their lives. The things we take for granted may not be there for much longer if we continue to allow the Tories to run riot, which is quite incredible considering the tiny parliamentary majority they have.

A Corbyn fightback is needed now more than ever. It seems all he has done is fight to be heard since the first day he was elected leader of The Labour Party. The fight he wants, the fight we want, is to take it to the Tories.

The Tory party themselves have their own internal issues. The Brexit debate still lives on, its still more important to them than Britain ever will be. This will catch up with them, and an effective opposition can expose every little crack.

As social media evolves and grows, our role in this will be more important than ever.

Support the Corbyn fightback!



@Rachael_Swindon