New homes bonus for councils will 'worsen England's north-south divide'

Impending £1bn funding crisis will hit the north of England as the affluent south prospers, warn housing experts.

Of course it will. In case anyone hasn't noticed yet - this Government is all about looking after it's own - the wealthy middle class at the expense of everyone else. They aren't even pretending to be egalitarian like Thatcher pretended to be by allowing the working class to buy their council homes (and then refusing the councils permission to build new social housing - which has led to an on-going housing shortage. inflated house prices and a overall mess).

Nearly the whole building developments market -because it's been a free market, has always built too many of inappropriate things at the wrong time. So during the boom years of the Eighties they kept putting up office buildings - only to see crashes and recessions mean there wasn't the expected businesses to rent them. So they stood empty for years. The long boom years of ever increasing house prices and easy mortgages meant the builders turned to building a lot of luxury apartments in city centres that only millionaires could afford... and oooh look - the hundreds of millionaires never arrived. So here we are... all set to repeat another circle of building inappropriate housing for executives. Mmmmm. I have a bad feeling about this.

Race to the bottom

Oh look - there is something really evil behind the idea of 'the Big Society' after all - who'd thunk it.

Big society: Breach of contract | Editorial

Government announces delay to higher education plans

Well, it sounds like they've made a complete mess of the whole thing.

They didn't have to treble the fees.

Of course universities are going to charge as much as they can - especially if it's their main source of income.

All the other stuff where Universities have to prove their encouraging students from poorer backgrounds - is a built-in admission that the whole system is inherently unfair.

The repayment plans are stupid. Why work harder to get a pay rise at a job if it's only going to be immediately taken off you again to pay back your student loan? Far better to get the largest loan you can for a course and afterwards spend the rest of your career working at a relatively lower wage - since it won't make any difference to you to earn more! That's what they call a perverse incentive.

With all that faffing and the extra costs involved in admission and trying to chase up repayments - they would have been easier and cheaper to have stuck or go back to the old maintenance grants system -which actually did encourage people from all walks of life to go to university. And the fact they almost inevitably got better jobs as a result meant they were already paying higher taxes -which served as it's own 'graduate tax'.

I don't think that anyone really thought any of this through at any time - they just wanted to copy whatever America does - because... because... eeerr...


BBC News - Government announces delay to higher education plans

benefit deniers

The medical was an absolute joke

The government's reform of the disability benefits system has angered claimants, who say the new tests fail to identify why they can't work. Amelia Gentleman reports on the fallout of Cameron's war against 'sicknote culture'

and even the man who devised the tests is firing off warnings:

New disability test 'is a complete mess', says the man who designed it

Welfare reform expert Professor Paul Gregg says a rushed roll out of the work capability assessment will cause more anguish.

I left a comment on the first story:

all this needless suffering and cruelty just to save the Government a billion pounds over how many years? Can't they just stop all this nonsense (and stop enriching a foreign company - another part of the obscenity) and just pop across the hall to ask Philip Green to find a billion quid out of his tax avoidance - he's probably got that much in loose change down the back of his wife's sofa.

He'd become a national hero overnight and be contributing to the Big Society and all of that... even I wouldn't begrudge him a knighthood after that either.


In it all together then? Only obviously some of us are deeper in 'it' than others. I might have left a couple of letters out of that last sentence, a s and a h.

Libraries LOL

Except there were no library closures on Cameron's own patch - funny that.

Tebbit advice to Merthyr unemployed 'move to get jobs'

Tebbit is an idiot. An out-of-touch, out-dated, out-of-his-head idiot.

When asked whether people in Merthyr should get on their bikes and look for work, Lord Tebbit replied: "Yes people do have to get up and go.

"People do it in Poland, people do it in Hungary, people do it in Lithuania. Why are they more willing to do it than we are?"

Well - some are already doing exactly that, the recent graduates in Irish are - and the Irish Govt. isn't happy about that. But these are people with qualifications that employers want. Likewise the Eastern Europeans have those qualifications and skills their employers want here.

What have the long term unemployed, un-qualified, un-skilled, experience-less got to offer? (And the last Government and the government before them and this Government haven't done much to address training for these people. Loans aren't enough encouragement when they can see they're not likely to get a job at the end of it and then have to pay the loan back out of nothing.)
Those Eastern Europeans come here to work - and for a short time only - the exchange rates are such that they're willing to suffer bad conditions for a while to amass enough money to go back home. Well, that's the lucky ones - the ones that don't find themselves homeless and sleeping in parks once the work has dried up.

"Why have we got today fathers who have never worked? In that sense we are worse off than we were before the war, before the welfare state."

Why? Because throughout the Eighties your ilk destroyed most of the manufacturing base, and destroyed steel and coal mining. Then started the path of globalisation and allowing companies to 'off-shore' a lot of work - and gave them heavy tax cuts for doing that. The jobs where we actually made things to sell - all went abroad, and those countries sold those goods back to us - cheaper than we could make them. Thatcher believed that the financial sector and the service industry would replace all those lost jobs... Shouty men in suits in the city magicking money out of nothing - while the proles would cut each other's hair and paint each other's nails - while the East Europeans would build our houses and serve us in Restaurants and bars... or something. Except 30 years later - it's proving to have been all a bit of a gigantic delusional mistake - but here we are - back with Tories blaming the victims for the mess that the Tories put them in!

BBC News - Tebbit advice to Merthyr unemployed 'move to get jobs': "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

David Cameron arrives in Egypt to meet military rulers

David Cameron arrives in Egypt to meet military rulers | Politics | "Arms sales are expected to be on the agenda throughout the week, and Cameron insisted there was no contradiction in promoting trade and pushing for political reform, the two themes of the rest of his Middle East trip."

No - well the middle East are such good customers of our for armaments and riot control - we can't afford to lose that market.

As for promoting democracy - he can give them hints on how you have an election, not win it outright, yet still get into power and get to do what the fuck you like regardless for the next five years.

How To Install Android 2.2 Froyo On ZTE Blade / Orange San Francisco

Dare I attempt this?

I haven't got around to unlocking the phone yet...

How To Install Android 2.2 Froyo On ZTE Blade / Orange San Francisco

Social security: The new poor law of 'moral convictions'? from a politician? Any modern day politician?
*raises eyebrow* -*coughs* recent expenses scandals anyone? party donations from banks and big corporations? Need I go on? Glass houses - stones. Hello. *choke*

Any state provision for the poor, the ill, the severely disadvantaged, the old, has only ever been given begrudgingly and has always been tinged with deep resentment and with strings attached. There has always been an inbuilt institutionalised drive to 'punish the poor'. It's endemic - you don't have to look very far at all - it's under your nose - right now whenever there's any mention of 'the unemployed' these comment forums quickly fill with howling indignations from various 'hard working' people proclaiming their endless anecdotal evidence of those darn lazy, work-shy scroungers who somehow always own 50 inch+ plasma TV sets with sky subscriptions to watch Jeremy Kyle on, and spend every day drinking and smoking whilst laughing away at those very same poor, poor, downtrodden people who work for a living and resent every single last penny they pay in tax... (yet are happy to work for free as witless propaganda tools for the state. Goebbels would have been proud of such devotion - why, even the Chinese State Party has to pay for such dedicated writers.) We've all seen the increasingly tiresome clichés by now. But if it wasn't for all those clouds of derision - then we'd have to hear loud and clear from the real actual people who also write in these same forums who are unemployed, and/or ill, or have to provide full time care for family members, and who are already genuinely suffering and for whom - if their lives weren't hard enough already - are about to be made to suffer even more thanks to this coalition government's totally unmandated and somewhat crude reshaping of the benefits system. It was bad enough before - but I fail to see how these 'reforms' are going to make things any better for anyone. Well, except of course for those private companies all set to profit heavily from providing workfare placements etc.

So here we see the beginnings of not a simplified benefits system - but a very crude simplistic, brutal one - with added extra cruelty and punishment built in. Soon nearly everyone, according to ATOS - if you can breathe - will be considered fit for work. Then if you've been out of work longer for a year you're going to be persistently, relentlessly bullied by the DWP (and for-profit private companies) to constantly strive to find work that in most cases doesn't even exist, and then if you can't find that fabled full time work then every so often be forced to undergo community service (a punishment up to now reserved only for convicted criminals) . All just so you know your place as the lowest of the low. It's a benefits system that could have been dreamt up by Kafka.

Meanwhile as part of this whole reform might I ask - what is our government doing to create jobs for the country? Erm? [sound of hands being washed] Oh yes - the 'private sector' will provide. The magical all-powerful 'private sector' is going to rise up and save us all. (Which is nothing but the mirror image of the fantasy that the state will provide.) Not that anyone has been actively discouraging the private sector during these past Nu Labour years -mind. Far from it. Incidentally, what was the result of this same sort of magical thinking when it was applied to the stock markets and banking sectors? I don't remember that ending very well. Oh wait - they're now back to making huge profits - while the rest of us are suffering cuts and having to have the welfare system overhauled...

Something isn't quite right with this picture.

[A saner alternative would be to dismantle the whole DWP, tax credits and welfare system and replace them all with a universal citizen's wage given to every adult - but that's utopian blue sky thinking - like oh, everyone trading in derivatives, a home-owning democracy, or everyone owning shares in newly privatised utilities -so and so forth... except you know - realistic and achievable. But that's an idea for another blog post another time.]

Food poverty on the rise as recession hits home - Channel 4 News

Yup. The message you'll hear again and again from the establishment is: 'Get a job - any job, it's the way out of poverty.' Whooops. But it's only true if it's a properly paid job -and there's not so many of those around these days.

Food poverty on the rise as recession hits home - Channel 4 News

Consumer confidence plunges after VAT hike



Who would've thunk it?

Obviously not 'two brains' Osbourne.

So every year in the new budget the Government (ALL of them) slap on extra duty on alcohol and tobacco as soft targets and with the excuse that making them more expensive will encourage people to stop smoking and drinking so much. I.E. So they know taxes (higher prices) suppresses demand. So when we're in a weak economy - and need people to be spending (and there's less people able to spend as the unemployment figures rise) wtf are they doing pushing up VAT. It's idiocy. Oh what I am saying? It's the Tories - that goes hand-in-hand with idiocy.


Consumer confidence plunges after VAT hike | Business |

I'm the Queen

a sham and a souffle of spin

'New politics' claim a sham, senior Conservative MP warns David Cameron

The party's attempts to gag Sarah Wollaston over her criticism of government health reforms have been roundly condemned.

Soufflé of Spin.

Lib Dem council leaders attack spending cuts

More of this sort of thing please.

BBC News - Lib Dem council leaders attack spending cuts

It was a bit disingenuous of Cameron yesterday's PM Question Time in blaming Labour ruled County Councils making their cuts for cynical political reasons - when that's exactly what Tory run councils have been doing. I can imagine the Tories are currently positively relishing being able to oust the poor from their boroughs when the changes in Housing Benefits start to bite.

Lord Oakeshott quits

Lord Oakeshott quits over George Osborne's banking deal | Politics | The Guardian: "Lib Dem peer leaves frontbench, saying of Project Merlin 'if this is robust action on bonuses, my name's Bob Diamond'

The irony is if more Lib Dems don't start resigning and/or making a lot more fuss over what's happening in parliament then they're never going to be seen as trustworthy again (well insofar as any politician is ever trustworthy) and the electoral reform we desperately need is dead in the water.

And we can't have a situation where on the one hand the Govt, is saying how we're all desperately broke and we have to make cut after cut after cut - and yet it can be seen that that's there's such much money floating around that these individuals can award themselves obscenely huge bonus payouts.

We need a revolution.

Bus services under threat from cuts

Just as higher fuel prices are forcing people to rethink about using their cars - with a benefit knock-on effect of lower carbon emissions - they pull a trick like this...

Bus services under threat from cuts | UK news |