Jobs are not enough: it's the quality of work that counts

Nice comment, and it's true, despite Cameron having a whole new 'happiness index' or something, no one asks about the nature of some jobs. If the choice is being unemployed or a low paid job - where you have low status, or you might be bullied, or it's unsocial hours etc. -things that could well impact on your general well being and mental health - you could very well be better off staying unemployed (although the on-coming welfare 'reforms' look set to make the unemployed and disabled and old people's life as miserable as possible as a matter of course).

Jobs are not enough: it's the quality of work that counts | Stephen Overell

German universities face funding fears as states scrap fees

Well - that's interesting. Wonder if our coalition Government is taking notice of this. Probably not.

German universities face funding fears as states scrap fees | World news | The Guardian

Maurice Glasman, Labour peer

I caught the last few minutes of an interview with Maurice Glasman on BBC's Hard Talk tonight. He came across as very interesting - laying out what NuLabour had been doing wrong before it lost power (although I'd put forward that the one big reason Labour lost (among many other reasons) was down to Gordon Brown's hubris. The only person who wanted Gordon Brown as PM - was unfortunately, Gordon Brown himself)


three links:

Maurice Glasman – the peer plotting Labour's new strategy from his flat.

The struggle against debt servitude

Bankers and politicians have failed to grasp how much distress debt can cause, which is why the anti-usury campaign matters.

and last but maybe far more interesting: Confronting the city.

Patients attack healthcare firm's doctors for claim clawback

THE HQ of a firm employed to weed out welfare claimants and slash benefits has been branded "Lourdes" because so many ill people are being told they're fit to work.
Patients attack healthcare firm's doctors for claim clawback - The Daily Record

I think it's beyond disgusting what the Tory party are inflicting on people too ill to work. The Nasty party are back and making up for lost time in their mean-spirited viciousness.

More from the Guardian:
'The medical was an absolute joke'

"At the protest outside Atos's headquarters last month, one young man, nervous and clearly not accustomed to addressing rallies, took the microphone to explain how his uncle, who had severe mental health problems, committed suicide after the test gave him zero points and found him fit to work.

Dismayed to find his benefit claim rejected, he had appealed against the decision, and won at tribunal. But shortly after that decision, he was called in for another assessment, and for a second time scored zero points and was told he did not qualify for the benefit. He began appealing against the decision again, but a few days before another tribunal date was set, he hanged himself.

When it comes to depressed and mentally ill people - what they put them through - well, they might as well have death camps, the results being the same.

this is a bit worrying

Isn't this one of the 10 steps to a fascist shift Noami Wolf was warning about?

Suspend the rule of law.

Michigan Governor Seeks Emergency Powers |

Housing benefit cut to hit 450,000 disabled people

Campaigners fear thousands will be forced from their homes.

From April 2013, housing benefit for working age people in social rented homes will be linked to the size of property councils believe they need.

Ministers say they want housing benefit claimants to choose to rent properties they can afford when in work.

Soooooo - the private sector is suddenly, in just 2-3 years going to provide thousands of cheap affordable accommodation suitable for lots of disabled people? Is it? Really? That's going to happen? Personally speaking all I've seen the private sector do is build luxury executive apartments and tiny noddy town houses for rich families.

BBC News - Housing benefit cut to hit 450,000 disabled people

Lord Hutton has made scapegoats of public sector workers | Mark Serwotka

See what's happening here -and how it's so very similar to what's happening in Wisconsin? It's all about cutting and saving money from ordinary workers to fund the holes left in public finances by the bankers bail outs.

Trouble's a brewing...

Lord Hutton has made scapegoats of public sector workers | Mark Serwotka

Who reaps the rewards of productivity?

30 to 40s years worth of neoliberalism has been great for giant corporations and bankers - but not so great for the rest of us. Funny that. It doesn't help that the richer these people get the more influence they can buy from politicians - who are now trying to cut spending on the things people need so they don't have to take it off the corporations and bankers. And so it goes on...

Who reaps the rewards of productivity? | Dean Baker

Energy Security — Global Issues

Energy Security — Global Issues: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Child Poverty Action Group mounts legal challenge to welfare reform

Government's proposed caps to housing benefit would purge parts of UK of welfare claimants, say lawyers.

From April, claimants will no longer be able to claim for homes with more than four bedrooms, irrespective of family size, and there will be maximum limits on housing benefits. The government has said weekly payments cannot exceed £250 for a one bedroom flat, with a maximum £400 for a four bedroom house.

Such changes, say campaigners, will trigger a forced migration of thousands of families – most immediately from central London but thereafter in the rest of the south, as rental prices outstrip the housing subsidy available.

Ethnic cleansing 21st century style.

Shirley Williams warns Clegg against coalition with Conservatives

This is an old piece but it echoes what I believe should have happened. Clegg should never have joined with the Tories in a coalition - that way he would never had have to embarrass himself and his party by doing a 180 degree about face on so many LibDem election promises and would have kept some credibility. The Tories should have been left to form a minority Government and have to have fought for every one of their ideologically driven 'reforms' one by one, case by case, and even if it wouldn't have stopped the worst of them - it would have slowed them down drastically and prevented a lot of the damage they're now wrecking to - everything they're touching. It might have even done them some good too - because at the moment they're generating so much resentment once we've finally got them out - they're going to be out in the wilderness for a long time to come - all because they've proven themselves to be completely untrustworthy - which is what is going to happen to the Lib Dems now. No one is ever going to trust them ever again - not unless they do a rebellion and quit the coalition now - even if it forces a general election. At least we'd have one where all parties will have to be honest about their intentions - rather than telling us one set of promises only to tear them all up as soon as they get their feet behind their desks. The evil conniving bastards.

Shirley Williams warns Clegg against coalition with Conservatives

Nick 'Don't write off the Liberal Democrats' - Channel 4 News

Seriously how deluded is this man? 10 months ago the LibDems were presenting themselves a more left wing but sane and sensible alternative to the disaffected New Labour voter. Yet as soon as they got a sniff of power they sold out nearly every principle and manifesto promise they had and are now quietly supporting one of the nastiest - most regressive - vicious neoliberalist incarnations of the Tory Party yet. That sort of thing doesn't look good on a CV - and especially not in those places outside of affluent London where the cuts in services are promising to be the deepest and standards of living which aren't that high already are going to be worsening...

Clegg has damaged himself, decimated his party and shown that coalition Governments are meaningless if the LibDems only act as figleaves for the worse excesses of whomsoever they get into bed with next.

Nick Clegg: 'Don't write off the Liberal Democrats' - Channel 4 News

Britain at risk of another financial crisis.

At risk? It's more like a 100% certainty - we've already seen the Tory's let their banker friends completely off the hook, (didn't see that one coming) we've seen how they've inflicted vicious deep cuts - rather than get the banks to pay back any of the bail outs - or tax their ridiculously high and totally undeserved profits and bonuses...

We would have had a double dip recession now if we had -you know had come out of recession in the first place... oooh, all that snow heh. Blame that snow.

And not a single scrap of legislation put in place to stop it happening all over again, except this time - there's simply not the money to bail them out all over again...

Britain at risk of another financial crisis, Bank of England chief warns - Telegraph

Look at what the Conservatives are achieving

Oh dear.

well, there's proof if there ever was that Tories are deluded fantasists. I guess that is what happens when you keep children in a bubble - sending them to one weird institution to another (prep school - public boarding school - overpriced university - Parliament) they just have no experience of real life whatsoever. Trouble is - it should also mean they should never ever be allowed positions of power because they haven't really a clue as to what they're doing...

Look at what the Conservatives are achieving - Telegraph

See how he manages to miss out a few other truths..

Mentally ill people committing suicide because ATOS has deemed them well enough to work. People with terminal heart conditions deemed well enough to work and sent home - only to die of heart attacks later.

Universities charging the full top amounts of fees - while at the same time EMAs are cut so young people from poorer backgrounds (and there are going to be a lot more of those around as more and more people get made unemployed) won't afford to take up further education any more.

Council run dinner clubs for OAPs (where they get their only hot meal of the week) forced to close...

the list just goes on and on and on - but everything in Michael Fallon's privileged little narrow band world is hunky dory - so that's all right then.

So many tories are just idiot monsters.

The awful truth: education won't stop the west getting poorer

Argh. Stop scaring me.

No, education as it stands won't save the West. Not when degrees have become a vocational thing teaching corporate office skills.

The awful truth: education won't stop the west getting poorer | Peter Wilby