Cameron's economic policies will kill, not cure : Johann Hari

I'm not an economist but I can tell that everything the Govt. is doing will lead the country to disaster.

Kinnock's words in 1983 have never sounded more prescient:

I warn you.

I warn you that you will have pain–when healing and relief depend upon payment.

I warn you that you will have ignorance–when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right.

I warn you that you will have poverty–when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay.

I warn you that you will be cold–when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.

I warn you that you must not expect work–when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies.

I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light.

I warn you that you will be quiet–when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient.

I warn you that you will have defence of a sort–with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding.

I warn you that you will be home-bound–when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up.

I warn you that you will borrow less–when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.

---- --- ---

- I warn you not to be ordinary

- I warn you not to be young

- I warn you not to fall ill

- I warn you not to get old.


As Hari points out during the Thatcher years public spending actually went UP 1.1% year upon year. Cameron plans cuts of 25% to 40%.

Cameron's economic policies will kill, not cure : Johann Hari

Antiquated benefits system faces overhaul | Reuters

*Sighs*

Where to start with the folly of this? Let's start with the elephant in the room that politicians never mention - the startling but indisputable fact that there are far more people in the UK than there is paid work for them to do. Yet there is an overwhelming all consuming obsession that people should be working and even forced to work if they don't particularly want to, and soon even the unemployed will be forced into 'work for welfare' schemes (what will amount to state sponsored slavery). Moreover they've already started tinkering with the retirement age so people will be working longer. That's all so very nice if you're in a job you like - but hell if you're in one you hate. This is being done under the guise that people are living longer and longer. (Um, that's not an argument that sits well with me when my mother died at 68.) And anyway aren't there new statistics that many children born today aren't going to outlive their parents due to obesity and ill health?amo

And aren't we the only country in the EU where people work the longest hours (but are paradoxically also among the lowest in terms of levels of productivity)?

Anyway the point I'm reaching for is that it's the whole world of work that needs to be looked at and overhauled in many crucial areas. But with the blind worship of anything in the private sector by a succession of governments you can guarantee that's never going to happen. Well, you know -do anything big business doesn't like and those party donations might stop coming in.

So what's left to do..? oh yeah. Blame the victims for their own plight. Unemployed people aren't unemployed because there's no jobs or because employers don't want to employ them - of course not. It's because they're idle and feckless and the benefits system is all so generous - that every unemployed person has two homes, and can claim for giant plasma screen tvs, and champagne and caviar, and duck houses, all on taxpayer's money. Oh wait. That wasn't the unemployed (as the Daily Mail likes to portray them) that was the MPs. *headslap* Well there you go - if they do it then they must know how to stop the unemployed scamming the system... or something.

We're basically living in a state of perpetual delusion - we've just had an extended period where we allowed the financial sector of the western world bloom into a feel-good fantasy world where property prices where going to go on increasing unto infinity and banks could sell mortgages to people who hadn't a cat-in-hell's chance of ever paying back, and that's now collapsed in a heap. But now we're heading into another whole new fantasy state where if we go through an extended period of austerity and cut backs and prune back the state (making a few thousand unemployed in the process) then by magic they'll soon be jobs for every one of us and the good times will roll again...

until the next crash.

Antiquated benefits system faces overhaul | Reuters

ID card astroturf

Creepy.

ID card astroturf - No2ID beats the truth out of IPS • The Register

Murdoch's media empire scares me

All very interesting:
Glenn Beck's Incendiary Angst Is Dangerously Close to Having a Body Count.
- Huffington Post.

Fox hunt: cracks in Murdoch dynasty. - Guardian

I'm also worried about the BBC now that the Tories are back in power - every time there has an election where Murdoch has backed the winner - (we used to call that propaganda you know) there's always a little payback due to Murdoch afterwards. And this time round his beady eyes have long been set on the BBC - who sees as competition, and I'll bet they'll be something about the internet - Murdoch hates that too - he sees that as losing him money....

Tory tension over 'Brokeback coalition'

"The corollary of the big society is the smaller state. If you talk about the small state, people think you’re Attila the Hun. If you talk about the big society, people think you’re Mother Teresa,"

-David Davis

Tory tension over 'Brokeback coalition' - Channel 4 News

Ian Tomlinson death: police officer will not face criminal charges

So let me get this right:

an innocent passer-by gets fatally assaulted by an out-of-control policeman who's in full riot gear. It's captured on video and shown for all the whole country to see – they have an absurdly long official enquiry only to conclude that because of 'technical reasons' no one is going to face a trial.

And what sort of message does this send out to the general public do you think?

Welcome to Police State Britain.


Ian Tomlinson death: police officer will not face criminal charges.

'Water poverty' loans to utilities set to hit €4bn

Golly - that's terrible, awful - they should priviti.... oh, wait.

So back in the Eighties a certain Mrs Thatcher had the great idea of selling off the publically owned water companies. Part of it was sold under the impression that once they were private companies they would be free to be able to raise their own funding and this would in turn benefit the customer - who'd see lower bills as a result. What it meant in reality was the stocks were sold too cheaply to the public, who then in turn sold them on to other companies for a quick profit. Now nearly all of the UK - bar one I think are owned by European companies, and everyone saw their water bills sky rocket through the roof... and that's were the 1999 legislation came in. Simply because more and more poor people found they couldn't pay these ever increasing water bills, but to have cut them off would have been a massive public health disaster.

Now it's all becoming even more of a mess... mmmmm. Why am I not surprised?

Dunno about you but I tend to think a basic commodity like water for domestic use shouldn't ever be run for profit - and the Government ought to be ensuring everyone gets it as cheaply as possible, so long as people aren't being wasteful with it.


'Water poverty' loans to utilities set to hit €4bn

Big Society

oh noes. I have a bad feeling about this...

I watching the early news - apparently later today our new overlord is to make announcements about his plans for 'the Big Society' - which I'm guessing is all about to mobilising a hidden army of volunteers to take over lots of little jobs 'the state' should be or is already doing. Where are these volunteers going to come from? Ermmmmmm, let me think - I seem to remember quite a few plans being floated around before the time of the election about getting the long term unemployed to work for their benefits...

So. Cutting back 'the state' = people losing their jobs = their work having to be done by unpaid 'volunteers' (probably eventually by the same people who used to do that job as a living when they can't find another job and being made to do it for their dole money). All of this to be funded by money that doesn't even really belong to the state, money taken from 'dormant accounts'. Doesn't that sound dodgy in itself?

US Punishing the Unemployed - NYTimes.com

So things aren't much better in the States then.

Op-Ed Columnist - Punishing the Unemployed - NYTimes.com

Seriously - if the bankers and the Politicians want there to be a revolution where the entire population eventually turns on them - they're going the right way about it.

Graduates warned of record 70 applicants for every job

Class of 2010 told to consider flipping burgers or shelf stacking to build skills as they also compete with last year's graduates.

[I had a written a fairly long post from google bar but that's completely vanished -grrr. So I'm having to write this from memory.]

But isn't it the point that most people go into higher education to get a degree precisely so they don't have to get a job flipping burgers and stacking supermarket shelves? Not to mention that if they do take these sorts of jobs then what's left for the people who don't have degrees going to do? Moreover how the hell are they supposed to start paying back their student loans?

For quite some time we've seen degrees increasingly devalued as there are more and more people with them -and recent graduates have been forced into taking jobs like call centre work - and now they've being told to set their expectations even lower?

This seriously fucked up stuff.

Hey! For the first times in years Blogger has eaten one of my posts.

It's just vanished completely. I blame the new updated google bar. Grrrrrr.

Dell Streak Android

Mmmmm. Potential gadget lust. Although think I'll wait until both the retail and smartphone data plans drop drastically in price*, and after it gets an update to Android 2.2

Dell Streak Android tablet phone • reghardware

*I think £35 a month is a ludicrous amount of money. But then I am a pauper.

food stamps for food from Charities...

Ministers consider scheme to hand out food vouchers to unemployed.

Yup. What's next? Re-opening the Poor Houses?

Oh gawd. I hope I haven't given them an idea.

airships a'coming

I've been banging on about this for years - that with the end of peak oil and carbon footprints etc. that they'll have to bring airships and blimps back.

Helium-powered ships could be carrying freight – and even passengers – in as little as a decade's time.

Global Blimp Network Will Deliver Our Goods by 2020.


Next - re-opening the canal network.

Housing Benefit cuts planned

"The new government has unveiled plans to cut housing benefit by 10% for people claiming jobseeker's allowance for 12 months or more from April 2013. The cuts would hit Britain's 200,000 single, childless claimants hardest. Someone in London with a weekly rent of £350 would see their benefit cut by £35. The NHF said tenants would be forced to make up the shortfall from their £65.45 weekly allowance, leaving just £30.45 for food, clothing and energy."

Treasury orders cabinet ministers to brace themselves for 40% cuts | Politics | The Observer

Well, well, well, it didn't take long for those empty promises about protecting the most vulnerable in society to get broken did it?

I predict a riot. Seriously. People have forgotten that every time we have a Tory Govt. we get riots.