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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

This May Shock You - But #Article50 Isn't All Corbyn's Fault.

The Brexit outrage has been turned up a notch today. The signing of Article 50 has happened and the negotiations begin. It doesn't take a genius to realise having David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson negotiating on behalf of Britain is a disaster waiting to happen. The Europeans think Johnson is a fool, and how right they are. At a recent committee meeting Davis revealed there is no plan, they have no idea what they are doing. And Fox? Would you trust the disgraced minister with anything? Of course not. Hopefully Adam will help him out.

I'll keep this short.

The outrage towards Jeremy Corbyn is somewhat ludicrous. I voted Remain, I campaigned hard for Remain, despite having multiple reservations about the bureaucrats in Brussels, I still felt I could trust them to uphold the rights of British people a damn sight more than a Tory government that's hell-bent on destroying your NHS, cutting £3 billion from the schools budget by 2020, punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and not particularly keen on you actually having any human rights.

But we lost. Reverse the results for one moment: Iain Duncan Smith says we need another referendum because people didn't understand what they were voting for he first time round. What would you say to Iain? Two words, first word four letters, second word is off.

The internal rows in the Tory Party which led to Cameron caving in are not the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. Ed Miliband's Labour getting obliterated at the 2015 general election was not the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. The result of June 23rd 2016 was not the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. The Tory majority was always going to be enough. We all know that, no matter how much some want to cling on to it as a beating stick to use against the Labour leader.

A large chunk of 16 million people need someone to blame for not getting the result they wanted. In my opinion, people with a similar view to me on this won't ever have any chance of winning the Brexit argument until we are completely out of The EU. 1/3 Labour voters voted to leave, that's quite a big number. Again, this is not the fault of Jeremy Corbyn. Are you expecting me to believe Alan Johnson, Tony Blair or any other ardent neoliberal Remainer would have actually convinced more Labour voters to change their mind and vote Remain?

I think Labour will see a recovery in the polls as the reality of Brexit kicks in. In 2 years time, people will still see their public services on the brink, assuming they haven't already gone over the edge. Ordinary voters will see more and more letters from their childrens school, asking for donations so they can fund essential equipment such as pens, pencils, exercise books. They will be waiting longer and longer in A&E, the social care sticking plaster will have come unstuck. Theresa May's supposed "shared society" will be the scared society, for may of us, it already is.

You'll get your £350 million a week alright, but it will be £350 million a week in cuts.

Theresa May's government will collapse like a tonne of bricks. Nearly 2/3 of her own MPs and ministers are Remainers, and despite the publicly unified face (something Labour could learn from), the divisions in the party are as strong as they have ever been. Tories hate losing.

I'll finish off with Jeremy Corbyn.

You may know the tale of King Canute? He thought he could stop the waves. So he went down to the beach and told the tide to turn around. I doubt I need to explain how that went. Now Im certainly not calling Corbyn a king, but it seems nearly 16 million people were and are expecting Corbyn to stop the Brexit wave. He can't stop the impossible from happening.

Anyone that thinks Jeremy Corbyn, a man that's had to fight his own anti-democratic party machine to become elected leader, twice, would take an anti-democratic stance on Brexit clearly doesnt understand what Jeremy Corbyn stands for.

I don't agree with Jeremy Corbyn on everything, but this one, he's got right. I believe in democracy and I believe this Tory government will take a nasty fall in a couple of years time. Now, you can either spend every day blaming Corbyn for everything from the state of his front garden to the signing of Article 50, or you can try having a go at the government of today. The government that has doubled rough sleeping, cut your NHS to the bone, cut school funding, led to thousands of deaths relating to the Work Capability Assessment, been slammed by The United Nations for its violations of the rights of disabled people. Do I really need to go on?

Rumour has it they even signed Article 50.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

It's Been A Shocking Week For The Tories - It Needs Pointing Out

You may have noticed, the Tories aren't having a great week. The honeymoon can't last forever.

From Hammond's humiliating National Insurance u-turn to the disgraceful figures released showing an increase of 400,000 children living in relative poverty under the Tories, these things can't just be ignored.

And to their credit, some sections of the mainstream media are starting to report some of it. And so they should do.

The good news on jobless figures, which at 5.3% is the lowest for years, shouldn't be allowed to paint over the FIVE-FOLD INCREASE since 2011. This isn't just a small increase, its an explosion. 1 in 3 of these people working on zero hour contracts wants more hours. A sensible wage from the likes of Sports Direct would lead to a huge decrease in benefit dependency, surely this is obvious?

Newly-released government data has shown that the number of children living in relative poverty has increased by 400,000 under the Tories. 400,000 victims of ideological austerity. Theresa May has the cheek to accuse Labour of some sort of 'bankrupt Britain' soundbite because the leader wants to invest £500 billion in Britain. Note the word "invest". The Tories are are heading towards a TRILLION POUNDS and borrowing under the Tories is increasing at over £5,000 EVERY SINGLE SECOND - and this is off the back of cuts to public services, zero wage growth, cuts to disability money, I could go on and on here. £500bn spent on Britain or £1 trillion on austerity? You decide.

Then we move on to Tory election fraud. The Tories have just been hit with a record £70,000 fine following an investigation into election campaign expenses. The Tories failed to properly declare £285,813 in campaign spending costs and failed to keep records in 3 by-elections during 2014. Simon Day, the registered treasurer of the party at the time, had failed to ensure spending was accurately reported, and has been referred to the Metropolitan Police. The findings of the Electoral Commission are damning, Sir John Holmes, chair of the Electoral Commission said: 

Our investigation uncovered numerous failures by a large, well-resourced and experienced party to ensure that accurate records of spending were maintained and that all of the party’s spending was reported correctly. Where the rules are not followed, it undermines voters’ confidence in our democratic processes, which is why political parties need to take their responsibilities under the legislation seriously.

Police forces across the country are now handing files to the Crown Prosecution Service, the last count was 13, and this number is likely to grow. And this is 13 forces, not 13 MPs, so the number of MPs could run beyond 20. 

What an absolute shambles. Now I certainly wouldn't want to suggest any wrongdoing towards any particular individual, but come on, do they think we are completely clueless?Finally we see te 30th u-turn made by the Tories since Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party, the first time. The National Insurance debacle has seriously dented Philip Hammond's so called credibility. Of course these 30 u-turns are obviously not just down to Jeremy Corbyn, but he takes plenty of flack as the leader of the party, so he should also take plenty of credit for the achievements.

So all in all, its been a dreadful week for Theresa May and the Tory Party, but somehow, Jeremy Corbyn will be at fault for most, if not all of this.

That's how it works when people blindly follow the divisive opinions of Murdoch and Dacre through their media. But you are reading this, so you're probably not one of them.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Yet Another Screeching Tory U-Turn: But Who Will Pay For It?

The Tories latest attack on "hard-working Britain" lasted just a few hours shy of one week. 7 days of confusion and delusion that's now synonymous with the Theresa May's Conservative government. In a hastily written letter, Hammond told fellow Tory MPs In a letter to Conservative MPs it was "clear that compliance with the 'legislative' test of the Manifesto commitment is not adequate". He added: "In light of what has emerged as a clear view among colleagues and a significant section of the public, I have decided not to proceed with Class 4 NIC measures set out in the Budget."

Well what a nice guy Philip Hammond really is. One Tory MP was in a state of bewilderment saying he has spent the last week defending the N.I hike to his angry constituents, and now Hammond has performed another u-turn, he's going to look rather stupid. You think he would be used to that feeling by now?

To give you a rough idea where we are with the Tories right now: 

We have an NHS on its knees, quite literally. We even have Richard Branson's VirginCare taking legal proceedings against the NHS, because they didn't win a contract! Boo-bloody-hoo Mr Branson.

School funding is to be cut for the first time in 20 years. 

We are sailing towards an EU exit at a rapid rate of knots, does this government have a plan if we can't strike a reasonable deal? Here's David Davis admitting they haven't done any economic assessment of Britain leaving the EU without a deal! 

The Prisons are in total crisis with 7 years of Tory cuts leading to the closure of 18 prisons and 14% of them are now privatised, ran by the likes of the extraordinarily useless G4S and Serco. 

We have the fantastic WASPI women fighting for fair pensions - why the hell should they have to fight for this? 

18-21 year olds will no longer receive any form of Housing Benefit - the Tories pushed through this controversial law and will come into effect within a matter of weeks. Do they think every young person has the luxury of still being able to live in their parents home? The Tory government will happily send you away to serve your country and fight wars that we shouldn't even be involved in, but help with housing? Forget it. You are own your own.

How about Foodbanks? Between April and September 2016, Trussell Trust foodbanks across the UK distributed 519,342 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 506,369 during the same period last year. 188,584 of these went to children. Read that again. That is over half a million in just 6 months. The Tories like talking about 'growth', so talk to them about the growth of proud people going cap-in-hand to a charity so they can feed their family.

And then there is the Surrey Sweetheart Deal: The Tories are confident of this one quietly going away, but it seems Labour have now launched an official complaint, so this shambles is far from over Prime Minister.

Tory Election Fraud? Far from over, fresh revelations have been coming out through various media sources over the last 24 hours, far too many to list here, but I expect Twitter will be full of it over the next 24 hours as yet more whistle blowers come forward.

But despite all of this going on, our dedicated media (dedicated to the Tory cause) have more interest in telling you how evil Jeremy Corbyn is, or even Nicola Sturgeon. Anyone but their precious St Theresa of Maidenhead.

The Tories are the masters of the u-turn: David Cameron performed at least 24 in 5 years and according to some commentators, the Tories have performed 27 u-turns in the time Jeremy Corbyn has been leader of the Labour Party. So, tell me again about ineffective opposition?
The biggest problem we have is clear. Someone will have to pay for this latest National Insurance shambles. Will it be the top 1%? Those that hide their millions away in Panama? Google? Amazon? No, of course not, they're all in it together. 

Once again the burden of the heaviest cuts will fall upon the disabled, the low earners, the unemployed, your public services. All are legitimate Tory targets. We should know this by now.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Another Tory Budget, Yet Another Broken Promise #HammeredByHammond

I'll keep this brief. You've probably read enough analysis of what the budget means for you, so I'll let the professionals do the number crunching, and dinner won't cook itself.

The first word from the Shadow Chancellor when he appeared in the BBC studios after Hammond's Budget speech summed up how I felt after around an hour of monotone drivel. That word was "disgusting". Shortly before this I actually fely quite ill watching Laura Kuenssberg gushing over a "relaxed" Philip Hammond, she was loving the jokes scribbled down for him by some pratt at CCHQ.

Its disgusting for many reasons. The first one that springs to mind is yet another broken promise. The vow in the Tories 2015 General Election manifesto was clear: There was to be no rise in VAT, Income Tax and National Insurance. Here is David Cameron, sleeves rolled up, lying through his teeth. Labour dismissed the pledge at the time as a "ridiculous gimmick". May can send out one Treasury Minister after another and it won't change the facts. They can scream all they like about technicalities, they lied, plain and simple.

It's hardly the first time. Do you remember George Osborne's pledge on VAT back in 2010? As soon as they got in government they increased it from 17.5% to 20%. They lie and lie but the electorate just keep swallowing the spoon-fed mainstream media narrative of a Prime Minister in control. Anyone outside of the bubble can see she is anything but in control.

The Budget also failed to address the huge and growing problem of rough sleeping. The governments own figures show 4.134 people are sleeping rough. Charities have said this is likely to be grossly underestimated. What the figure does reveal is a 16% increase on the previous year. Austerity in action. Why wasn't this prioritised? That is disgusting and made even worse by a Chancellor proudly bragging about how much tax big corporations are having to pay.

It's disgusting because it did nothing to offer any hope to the 124.000 homeless children that are propped up in temporary accommodation, families in bedsits, many staying in vastly overpriced privately rented accommodation. The winners are the landlords, rubbing their hands with glee because they know the local authority needs that home, so they hike the price up. The losers are the tax payer. If this government focused on adequate council housing (that's social housing kids) and not "affordable homes" starting from £450,000, we may actually get somewhere.

And what about this? When George Osborne introduced the 'National Living Wage' (an increase in the Minimum Wage for the over 25s), he said it "will rise to £9 an hour by 2020." 

Buried in a footnote on page 58 of the OBR report on today's budget is an admission that it will probably be significantly less than that. It says "The level of the National Living Wage consistent with our forecast has been revised down slightly since November – from £8.80 to £8.75 an hour in 2020, reflecting revisions to our earnings growth forecast." Disgusting Mr Hammond, absolutely disgusting. How strange you chose not to mention this.

So in short, this was a budget that offered a sticking plaster for social care, not a solution to the massive cuts it has endured under Tory rule since 2010. This was a budget that offered nothing of any real substance for an NHS that is on its knees. An extra GP in A&E's is all very well and good, but, they are Tories, they cut staff numbers, not increase them. This budget offered more joy for big corporations and those with a lot more than most of us, but it offered nothing for homeless people, nothing for disabled people, nothing for an education system in crisis, nothing for people working all the hours they can, but they still need to use a food bank and rely on the kindness of others to get by.

This budget was disgusting, and I commend it to the cesspit of political history.


Thursday, 2 March 2017

8 Out Of 10 NHS Hospitals "No Longer Safe" - Hunt Must Go

Figures released today by the governments own Care Quality Commission reveal the extent of the mess caused by 6 years of drastic cuts, shortages of staff, the rapid decline in hospital bed numbers, A&E's in complete meltdown, and privatisation not just quietly sneaking in through the back door but more steamrolling its way through the front door, with billions and billions of pounds of contracts making their way to the private sector. 

For example: Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Care won a £700m contract to deliver 200 types of NHS and social care services to more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset, sparking renewed fears about private health firms expanding their role in the provision of publicly funded health services.
Yes, New Labour simply got the ball rolling for the Tories. I wont ever argue that point. They got it massively wrong. But this is privatisation with a turbo attached. The scale and pace of private companies’ involvement in the NHS has accelerated rapidly following the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act . After the introduction of the HSC Act, the privatisation list expanded to include GP surgeries and Out of Hours services, urgent care and minor injury units, diagnostic services, maternity care, elective (non-emergency) surgery, community nursing and a range of other community services such as physiotherapy, ambulance services, and prison health. Private companies also became involved in running entire hospitals, including A&E departments. 

This is what you get when you elect a Conservative government. 

Private sector involvement in the NHS is spreading. And who actually benefits? The patients? Just last year it was reported that there had been a record rise in NHS dissatisfaction levels. The patients aren't benefiting from privatisation. We have seen damning images of pensioners waiting on trolleys in hospital storerooms, infants sleeping on floors in corridors, and the blame for this absolute disaster has to be directed towards Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May.

The only beneficiaries will be the shareholders. The links between private health firms and the Tory Party are somewhat eye watering. Care UK, another winner in a £780million deal, was previously slammed by the Care Quality Commission for the quality of care at two nursing homes it runs in Suffolk. John Nash, a former chairman of Care UK, has, with his wife donated almost £300,000 to the Tory party and was given a peerage by David Cameron. 

Google is a powerful tool. This detailed list reveals healthcare links with MPs and Lords. I'm sure I'm not the only one that can see what is going on here. At one point, 1 in 5 Coalition MPs had some sort of links to private health firms.

So we are now in a position where 8 out of hospitals are NO LONGER SAFE. I could be working this out completely wrong. Private sector involvement has increased rapidly, standards have declined rapidly. I'm putting 2 + 2 together, and I think I am coming up with 4.

Its obvious to anyone outside of Downing Street that the NHS needs more funding. The Tories may not want to admit it but NHS spending as a share of GDP is FALLING. You don't have to take my word for it, The Institute For Fiscal Studies are happy to confirm it though.

The Tories were bankrolled by private health in Opposition as they drew up secret plans to put market forces at the heart of the NHS. Once in Government, MPs and peers with links to private health voted it through without a mandate from the public. The mess they have caused is becoming clearer as each set of figures are released. 

This simply can't go on. Your local hospital is staffed by brilliant people. They are under unprecedented levels of pressure and deserve a government that will put their (our) money where their mouth is. I think we all know this will never happen under this administration.

A united Opposition is needed now more than ever.