Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is…
Shameful Treatment Of Disabled Workers ..
For 70 years, since the end of World War Two, Britain has led the world in providing supported employment to disabled people, mainly through a company called Remploy.
But in July 2012, the Conservative Government announced that 27 Remploy factories will close by the end of the year, which will make around 1,700 disabled workers unemployed.
Fat-Cats Must Be Forced To Share The Cream ..
Everyone accepts those at the top will be paid more, but the gap is widening into an unacceptable chasm, all the more revolting as millions of workers are struggling to get by. We want an economy operating for the millions, not just the millionaires, and that means raising living standards at the bottom while curbing boardroom excesses.
In any company every person on the payroll contributes to the success of that enterprise and their contributions cry out for a fairer link between earnings at the top and the bottom. Fat-cats must be forced to share the cream rather than lapping most of it up themselves.
( Daily mirror, 26.08.2017 )
The Tories Are Trying To Con The North Again ..
The day Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced the cost and new route for HS2 from London, the Institute of Fiscal Studies reported the growing inequality between North and South.
Southerners now have average incomes 25% higher than northerners.
Talk about Mind The Gap!
But like Thomas the Tank Engine, Failing Grayling chuffed away with gusto.
He thought HS2 was “good news for everyone” and was “proud that it would be built and operated by the private sector, at a cost of £55billion and in over two decades”.
I recall a previous Tory Transport Secretary in 1996 said the same about HS1 – the High Speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link from London to the tunnel in Kent.
They promised this Eurostar service would go to Scotland.
They even bought the sleeper train for it.
Yet within 12 months, the private company said it was going bust and demanded £2billion more of taxpayers’ support because it failed to estimate passenger growth and future costs. It was my job as Transport Secretary in 1997 to sort out the mess.
I told them they could go whistle for the money and instead took HS1 into public ownership. I reorganised its governance and finances without its extra demand for public subsidy. We got it delivered on time and on budget without extra taxpayer money.
It became so profitable that Cameron’s Government privatised it.
But the route never extended to the North and we had to flog the unused sleeper trains to Canada!
Now the Tories are trying to con the North again.
( John Prescott, 23.07.2017 )
Brexit Is A Withdrawal From The World ..
To half the country, and most outsiders, Brexit is a withdrawal from the world, a retreat back to some mythical golden age. A shrivelling into our shell which has shrunk the pound and economic growth and diminished our clout as a global power.
Since the Tories took power, big city councils have seen their budgets slashed by 50%, meaning fewer libraries and sports centres, dirtier streets, worse care for the elderly and more unfixed potholes, while citizens pay more council tax.
Talking of pay, it’s currently shrinking quicker than a man’s todger after a December dip in the sea off Blackpool. Unless you’re the one doing the shrinking.
In the mid-1970s the average British CEO earned 20 times what his average employee did. Today the average FTSE chief executive earns 386 times more than a worker on the National Living Wage, pocketing an average of £5.3million a year.
( Brian Reade, 29.07.2017 )
The Worst Education Secretary On Record ..
Just wondering if Michael Gove, lover of free schools, as well as the worst Education Secretary on record (just ask a teacher), has read about the fortunes of pupils attending Route 39 Academy, a free school based in Devon? It’s just been placed in special measures after failing to enter ANY year 11 pupils for their GCSEs.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )
Rape And Sexual Grooming In Care Homes ..
The most perverted individuals prey on the most vulnerable as yet another horrific story of abuse has confirmed.
According to confidential police documents, concerns were raised over the suspected rape of an autistic man as well as ‘sexual grooming’ of residents at three homes run by Hillgreen Care, which apparently specialises in the ‘care’ of young adults.
The documents also highlight incidents of staff having sex while on duty.
The deputy manager of one home was a convicted sex offender.
The Care Quality Commission, which has powers to prosecute, kept the information to themselves and has failed to act. I, for once, am lost for words.
( Fiona Phillips, 29.07.2017 )
A Scam To Make City Investors Richer ..
The reaction from Tory politicians whenever British Gas massively hikes its tariffs is priceless. They take to the airwaves to urge hard-hit customers to embrace capitalism by playing the markets, switching provider and hitting the exploiters where it hurts.
Funny how that kind of advice was never in the brochures when Thatcher privatised gas in 1986 by urging us : “If you see Sid, tell him.”.
There was no warning that flogging off a publicly-owned utility was just a scam to make City investors richer.
( Brian Reade, 05.08.2017 )
Taxpayers’ Money Used To Subsidise The Profits Of Fat-Cats ..
When Ted Heath was Prime Minister in 1973 he coined the phrase,
“The unacceptable and ugly face of capitalism”.
He used it to describe the UK mining company Lonrho, for trading with apartheid Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe.
Prime Minister Thatcher’s response was to privatise energy, railways, buses, steelmaking, telecommunications and shipbuilding.
She encouraged private companies to run care homes, education and health.
Now, after two decades of privatisation, we see our services in crisis, the state subsidising the profits of these private companies and higher prices.
British Gas is to increase bills by 12.5% as the wholesale price of gas falls and parent company Centrica earns half year profits of £639million. Its chief executive Ian Conn pulls in more than £4million a year.
We subsidise their greed.
The Government gave £6billion of tax breaks to BP and Shell to boost declining North Sea production. Theresa May is happy to let capitalism get uglier by the day.
She scrapped her election pledge to cap energy prices as soon as she won and axed rail electrification across the North. The market has failed Britain.
Housebuilding is down to its lowest rate in almost 100 years.
It’s time the Government got back to meeting the public interest by building the homes, supplying the energy and running the trains. Instead of subsidising the profits of fat-cats with a licence to print money – OUR money.
( John Prescott, 06.08.2017 )
Nearly Four Million Children Are Living In Poverty In The UK ..
Buttle UK, an anti-poverty charity, published a report which stated :
“The plight of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children is deteriorating – more are living in poverty than at any time in the last 10 years – 3.9million children across the UK living below the breadline”.
The CEO, Gerry McAndrew estimates around 400,000 children have no beds. No beds!
The Institute of Fiscal Studies expects one million more kids to be living in poverty by 2020. Nine out of the 10 most impoverished regions in northern Europe are in the UK.
How can anyone be proud of a nation that fails so many?
( Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, 20.08.2017 )
It’s no coincidence that there are over 70 Tory MPs who are private landlords and the Conservative Party, including Mrs May, voted AGAINST a proposed Bill by Labour to force private landlords to make their properties ‘Fit for human habitation’.
( R.S. Hutchison, January 2016 )
Another Scandal By One Of Our So-Called Leaders ..
UK Chancellor Philip Hammond took a personal stake in a food technology company just months before it won a share of a £560,000 Government grant and he became Chancellor. Mr Hammond, when he was Foreign Secretary, took the 15% stake in Cambridgeshire-based Hydramach in October 2015, according to records at Companies House. Months later – in April 2016 – Hydramach was one of eight companies which won the grant to develop low fat and low sugar soups, ready meals and sauces from Innovate UK, a tech start up quango run by the Department for Business.
The fact that Mr Hammond took a direct stake in a company when he was a Cabinet minister with the possibility of receiving advance knowledge of Government plans for start-up companies is scandalous.
( Reported in The Telegraph, January 11, 2017 )
Historically High Levels Of Deaths, Assaults And Violence ..
Around 85,000 people are in prisons in England and Wales.
The prison population peaked at 88,000 in 2011, partly explained by the riots that summer, before falling to 84,000 at the end of 2012.
The total population of the UK has also increased over time.
There were 182 prisoners per 100,000 adults in England and Wales in 2016.
This is higher than historic levels back to 1901, apart from the peak in 2011, according to the House of Commons Library.
A quarter of prisoners are held in crowded accommodation.
Around 24,000 people work in operational roles in the prison service. 10,800 more work in non-operational roles, like management, administration and services.
The number of staff in both areas has fallen since 2010.
In March 2017 there were 30% fewer operational staff, and 29% fewer non-operational staff, than there were in March 2010.
Over the last 12 months the number of operational staff has fallen by 168.
This is largely due to falling numbers of operational support staff and supervising officers, which outweighs the increase in prison officers. The number of non-operational staff has increased by 248, driven by 155 more managers.
There are 15,000 ‘front-line’ prison officers working at band 3 or 4, who are not in management or supporting roles. That number is down from 20,000 in 2010.
More frontline officers left than were recruited or promoted every year until 2015.
Although this changed in 2015 (with 507 net new officers) the total number of full-time equivalent frontline officers first increased in 2016.
In 2017, there was a net gain of 711 front-line officers through recruitment and promotion, which translated into an increase of 122 full-time equivalents.
The government announced in November 2016 that it plans to recruit 2,500 new frontline officers by 2018.
The number of deaths in custody fell slightly for the first time since 2013 this year, but remain at historically high levels. Other measures of violence have reached record highs. Assaults on other prisoners and staff are the highest on record.
( Extract from Full Fact article, 02.08.2017 )