Monday, November 21, 2011


Why the hell is the government saying the taxpayer shouldn’t pay for poor people to have a decent lifestyle, yet through the Housing Minister, Grant Shapps (Conservative
Member of Parliament for Welwyn Hatfield) is saying the taxpayer will bail out homebuyers who find they cannot pay their mortgage?

In other words, they are saying to the private housing industry, who were instrumental in bringing about this supposed economic recession through mortgaging people who couldn’t afford it, give 95% mortgages to people who can’t afford them and we’ll intervene if they cannot pay. The economics of the madhouse!!

The answer to the housing crisis and to stimulate the building and ancillary industries is to move away from the emphasis on home ownership and build good quality council housing, not piecemeal on bits of land here and there as the private housing industry does but wholesale, as in new housing estates. The money spent will come back to the government in rents and council taxes.

There is plenty of land on which to do it; unfortunately the minority rich own most of it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I have just read the article:



I have never read such rubbish.  Starting with the comment ““Private rents are market led and, therefore, significantly driven by housing supply…” I would argue that if that is the case then it is government’s job to ensure a plentiful supply of housing to keep rents low. In fact, my first argument against this statement would be that shelter is such a basic human need that market forces should not be involved in its provision or cost. Effectively, I am arguing for council housing and a massive local authority building plan to ensure affordable housing, controlled by government, both local and central so that low income families and single people can have good, secure accommodation without the fear of slum landlords and frankly unscrupulous landlords charging what they like for unsuitable accommodation.  

The statement ““Excessive regulation would drive up rents and reduce choice for tenants. Rent controls, historically, resulted in the size of the private rented sector shrinking from 55% of households in 1939 to just 8% in the late 1980s.” is balderdash. The reason that the private rented sector shrank so drastically is because of the lack of affordable council houses available in 1939 and the massive post war government provision of council houses; it had nothing to do with the needed regulation of unscrupulous landlords.

Traditionally, Shelter has been concerned with providing affordable rented accommodation for the poor. Their emphasis is on this and less on how we do it. It is time for Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive to take the bull by the horns and say private rented accommodation doesn’t work for the people who need it; wealthy private landlords are against regulation to keep rents low, supported by their rich politician friend’s ; the only alternative is local authority provision of affordable rented housing.

Do the right thing, Mr. Robb. Say we need more local authority housing provision and less unregulated private landlords.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Executive Pay- More Smoke and Mirrors from the LibDems

Vince Cable wants ‘unearned’ fat-cat director fees to be controlled by allowing a veto by shareholders.

This sounds like another great idea from the LibDems; until one analyses the proposition and realises it may not only be ineffective but also iniquitous.

How will this work if the director is a majority shareholder or holds enough shares to only need one or two other shareholders on board to pass a huge pay rise? How will it work if the director(s) decide to pay themselves through share dividends; surely the other shareholders will not vote down such a payment? And I fail to see how he will convince the Tories to introduce more red tape by ’…requiring companies to set out the criteria used to determine pay and perks.’

And how does this help ordinary workers whose wages have been effectively reduced over the last 30 years? Should the criteria be ‘earned’; or should these massive payments be subject to restriction across the board, as the pay of the workforce so often is?

The idea that anybody should receive a massive pay increase when the economy, as we are so often told, is in difficulty? Why shouldn’t these pay increases by taken in tax, before being paid to directors, whose P.A. is often the driving force behind their efficiency, rather than use a system where shareholders, whose agenda is similar to that of directors, decide and that is open to abuse? If they can afford huge pay increases, they can afford to pay their share- we are in it together… aren’t we?

Mr Cable also says he doesn’t want state control of pay; this is misdirection; more smoke and mirrors; either Vince Cable is very naive or thinks we are! You cannot say ‘we want legislation to curb [anybodies] pay’ while also saying ‘we don’t want state control of pay’.

If you really want a fair system of director pay restriction, let the whole workforce, not just employee representatives (who will be open to ‘persuasion’, bullying and self-interest) on remuneration committees vote on proposals; perhaps then directors will be more inclined to fairer pay negotiations; this would be a real change, a fairer change. It would also put some power removed by biased and unfair anti-union legislation back into the hands of the workforce.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How Long Will Free Schools be Free?

Is Nick Clegg naïve or just plain deliberately misleading under the ‘it’s not us; it’s the Tories’ umbrella? While he is saying the new free schools must be inclusive and not divisive, I can only think of the student fees fiasco and the broken promises made there.

Has he answered the question of why the first round of free schools is more or less in more affluent areas? No. Has he explained how he intends to force his issue if the Tories manipulate free schools to favour the wealthier parent? No. Should the Tories win the next election outright, how does he intend stopping them from allowing free schools to be profit motivated?  

The way the free schools legislation has been written facilitates this or a future government’s ability to make free schools elitist, based not on academic ability or need but on ability to pay. The way is paved to allow a future government to not just allow, but to insist they are profit motivated; education at a premium; and that could leave local authorities, who currently fund the free schools out of pocket. It is, as this administration is only too aware, almost impossible to reverse such actions.

Is that the plan? Fund free schools with tax payer’s money, then hand them over to their rich supporters to profit from them with little or no cost? And to put another nail in the coffin of local authorities, further weakening their financial position because they have funded the free schools?

Mr Clegg can wax lyrical all he wants about how he sees free schools working. But his party, which is itself divided on the issue, is a junior member of the coalition,  and I have to say once again that the student fees issue show us how much sway the LibDems really have in the coalition. Or if you want to be cynical, it shows us how the LibDems can espouse a cause, only to renege on it later, blaming the impositions of the coalition.

When the next round of free schools begins, in the less affluent areas, what happens if or when the poorer local authorities cannot afford to fund them? Does the coalition bring in private industry, with a profit motive? Or just leave them to decay, physically and intellectually.

Michael Gove has already said that the free school system did not need profit motive “at the moment”. Anybody who doesn’t believe that is political-speak for “its coming” is kidding themselves.

When asked on the Andrew Marr show about the future Michael Gove said "Well we're in a coalition now, and we're working to ensure that we get more free schools."  That avoided the question completely. It also suggests that while in the coalition, they will for now play the coalition game; but that plans are in place for a post coalition administration to change the rules.

At the moment, free schools are paid a premium for taking pupils from disadvantaged areas and backgrounds. When the inevitable private and profit motivated money comes in, that will change. The funders, shareholders, call them what you will are sure to demand the right to fund where and how they see fit and to run the ‘free’ schools to their (the shareholders) best advantage. And they will win, because if they don’t, the private money will dry up; no government could allow that to happen, and as I have already postulated, it will be very difficult for a future government to allow this to happen and reverse the free schools experiment. It is and will be a fait accompli.

But there is a more fundamental issue here. It is the issue of publicly funded industries being sold off, at frankly peppercorn prices to private industry. It is something the Tories have always done. Yet suggesting a privately owned utility, such as water should be returned to the public domain is met with cries of outrage; that it is unfair to investors and shareholders. Well stealing tax-funded public services to hand over to wealthy businessmen is, in my view at least equally abhorrent; and the more so for playing the shady game with education.

But my greatest fear, the thing that becomes more apparent by the week to me is the ultimate aim of government policy that subverts the will of the people; the intention to ensure that the working class, and to some extent the lower middle class receive poorer education and poorer health care, thus making them impotent in the face of authoritarian government; the idea of ensuring the jobs that retain the power to change the system stays with the rich elite from public schools, the mere mention of whose name opens doors.

It isn’t just in education and health care. It is in every aspect of government policy if considered as a whole, rather than considering each area of policy in isolation. It can be seen in the inaction of the police in the recent riots enabling government to promote draconian legislation that will affect us all, not just rioters. It can be seen in genetically modified food, the consumption of which could have effects of which we are not and cannot be aware. It is in the enforced fluoridisation of water, with industrial waste, not the supposedly beneficial, clean fluoride government pronouncements would have us believe are used. It is in the dumbing down of planning legislation from 1,000 to 52 pages, with the possibility of ancient woodland and green belt land being exploited by wealthy developers; and who enjoys this land? Yes, you and me, the ordinary folk. What will be the long term affects on health when trips to the countryside are no longer possible? And what is the point of the right to roam if there is nowhere to go?

Of course, the rich will still have their large homes and adjoining land to enjoy.

As Joni Mitchell sang- “They paved paradise, to put up a parking lot”

Maybe we’ll be lucky. Perhaps they’ll take “all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum”.  Wonder how much they’ll charge us to get in?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Sirte: Loyalist Last Stronghold; Can the Rebels Win the Moral Victory?

Oh, my! Who wrote this? Who gave the quotes? Surely not a serious journalist; surely the source wasn’t a member of the interim government; or a freedom fighter who knows what the hell he’s fighting for?

It is so full of holes and contradictions words fail me. “Shamsiddin Ben-Ali, a spokesman in the rebel city of Benghazi, said 800 people had been killed in the past three days.”Many of the people of Sirte are on our side now and want to be part of the revolution," he said. "The people with guns though are still resisting.”" How does he know this; because the ones without guns aren’t shooting at them?  No resistance (because of nothing to resist with) means they are on the rebel’s side?

And the suggestion “Rebel leaders know that Sirte's long association with Gaddafi – he was born just outside and went to primary school in the Mediterranean town – make it difficult to win over.” Are you kidding? The rebels have consistently refused to talk, and they think it will be difficult to win over the people of Sirte. What is the plan for winning them over, then? To kill everybody who doesn’t come over to the rebel cause?

“At a meeting close to the front line on Thursday, rebel commanders besieging the city agreed to extend a Saturday deadline for negotiations by a week. “ Are these the same negotiations the rebels have consistently refused to enter into? Or are they negotiations at gunpoint, real or threatened gunpoint?

“In the meantime, said Mr [Shamsiddin ] Ben-Ali, the RAF will continue to soften up Sirte's defences…
…And the longer the siege continues, the more he [Shamsiddin Ben-Ali] believes the city will look to surrender.“ this doesn’t seem to me to be the actions or comments of a man who really wants to negotiate; they are the actions and comments of a man who wishes to crush resistance, forcing not negotiation but provocation.

“"The population know the way to end these conditions [without electricity, cooking gas or petrol.]  is to join the revolution," said Hasan Droy, Sirte representative on the National Transitional Council.
"The problem is that many people in the city don't have TV or radio and don't understand what has happened to the rest of the country."”

So, stop the conflict by agreeing to the causes of the conflict- the reason you are resisting rebellion? But they, by the rebels own admission don’t know what’s on offer, anyway. So how do they agree?

Are we expected to swallow all this? The rebels may well have a just cause; in that case they should take the moral high ground and negotiate!

Syrian Oil Sanctions Agreed: Just in Time for Lybian Oil.

Oh the idiosyncrasy of British foreign policy; if only it were merely idiosyncrasy and not government policy (whose government- ours, the EU or USA I’ll leave to you to decide. I go with ‘a little from column A, a little from column b…’

Libya has a no-fly zone to aid the ‘rebels’ against a allegedly violent, unjust and unwanted dictatorship; this no-fly zones quickly becomes a Biggles paradise with ‘targeted’ bombing; then we discover both American and British forces have been in the country aiding the ‘rebels’. Now are we sure it was just aiding? How long were they there? Couldn’t be they were there before the uprising spreading discontent and questionable propaganda, could it?

Then there is the pronouncement of William Hague, Foreign Secretary (anybody noticed the irony of his surname?) that ““Very significant” sanctions on the sale of Syrian oil to the EU have been agreed”

And just in time for the Libyan oil bonanza!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Troop Numbers to be Cut; Ghurhas Treated Differently (Again)

Someday I hope somebody can explain this government to me. We have troops in Afghanistan and Libya, yet they want to cut numbers? There were mooted threats to use troops in the recent riots, yet they want to cut numbers?

Though the MoD says that the troops in these geographical areas will not be affected, who will replace them if the conflicts and peacekeeping duties continue for an extended period of time? Saying they will not be affected is misleading.

And what about troops to aid in violent civil unrest; one thought during the riots was that troops would need to be used because of the reduction in police numbers due to cuts (something we were told would not happen). But now the MoD is to reduce the number of our armed forces as well. Where is the logic? Where is the sense?

One could take a cynical view and consider that with an increasingly disillusioned police force and armed force (though in my view the distinction between the two is becoming blurred somewhat) they might be willing to support a violent rebellion, much as happened in Russia in 1917. Is that the government’s real fear?

And the government’s view that the cuts are necessary because of a £38 million ‘black hole’ left by the previous government also has me questioning the logic of these cuts. When did our armed forces become a profit making concern? Any money spent on defence goes into a so-called ‘black hole’. Once again, the choices are cuts or taxes. We all know which side of the fence the Tories fall on.

But the most heinous aspect to these cuts is the disproportionate cuts the Ghurkhas will bear. Defence officials claim this greater burden is necessary because of the changes to the Ghurkhas terms of service fought for and won in 2008. This gave them similar terms as the rest of the army. Except, it appears, when it comes to cuts.

They go on to say it is more expensive to employ them. Sorry, misrepresentation; it is more expensive to employ them that it was when their terms of service were unjust; it is now no more expensive than to employ any other soldier in the British army.

This just oozes ‘revenge’; it screams payback; it is as unjust and unfair as treating our bravest, most loyal troops as second class ‘Johnny Foreigners’.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crime and Criminality

Of course, the full facts aren’t known yet. But this assault case has echoes of racism.

I’m sure a comment like 'I'm going to fucking kill you black bitch' would have rendered such an attack racially motivated. So why is it 'I'm going to fucking kill you white bitch’ isn’t?

It’s time the law was applied equally; not just in this case; not just in racist attacks; but when a benefits defrauder is treated differently to an MP that fiddles their expenses; when a rioter is given a more severe sentence than might be expected normally for the same offence; when a crime against profits is treated more severely than a crime against the person.

And especially when crime is always seen as the evil within a person rather than the evil within an unjust society.

"Curiouser and curiouser" cried Alice as Cameron Protects the Fat Cats

So David Cameron doesn’t want jobs put at risk through banking reform; here we go again. The taxpayer donation to the banks following the credit crunch is worth £10 billion annually to them; they continue to pay bonuses many of us will never earn in a lifetime; and Cameron forgets his election promise ‘we’re in it together’; yeah, until it affects his big banking buddies.

I am pleased, thought I hate to admit it, that Vince Cable seems to be on the side of the people when he insists the banks should split their retail arm so in time of financial trouble ordinary consumers accounts can be protected from City bankers and their excesses.

One thing that puzzles me; when Cameron and his crew announced his welfare and public spending cuts, the job losses were acceptable and would be absorbed by the private sector; but with possible job cuts to tame the bankers, the possible job losses are unacceptable. “Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Truth About Libya?

I came to a YouTube video that intrigued me. I decided to do some research of my own to verify or otherwise the claims of the 'tube'.

Below are the results of that research. I spent all day looking at the referenced links, and many more. My opinion is that the claims are essentially true. I do not expect you to change your opinion (if it is different to the proposals) based on these claims. I merely ask you consider them; and to do your own research; and to consider why these claims do not make it into the mainstream media, if only to be contested.

In 1949 The United Nations was given jurisdiction and decided that Libya should become independent, which it did on Dec. 24, 1951, as the United Kingdom of Libya. The 1950s in Libya were characterized by great poverty; minimal economic development was possible only because of payments and loans received from various Western nations.

In 1958, petroleum was discovered and by the early 1960s Libya's revenues grew from the exploitation of that resource[1].

However, aware of the potential of their country's natural wealth, many Libyans had also become conscious that its benefits reached very few of the population[2].

Before the NATO invasion Libyans enjoyed the highest standard of living in Africa and ahead of Russia, Brazil and Arabia[3].

In Libya homes are considered a human right; newly married couples receive $50,000 to buy their own home and electricity is free to all people[4],[5].

Gaddafi vowed to home every Libyan before his own parents; he kept his promise and his father died before he was housed[6].

Before Gaddafi less than 20% of Libyans were literate; now education is free[7], high quality and the literacy rate is 83%[8].

It is reasonably understood that whereas the United States of America is reputed as a developed nation, the poorest man in Libya is incomparable to the poorest in America; the latter will perceive the former as rich[9].

Healthcare is free and high quality; if Libyans cannot get the education or healthcare they are entitled to in Libya the Libyan government funds them to go abroad to access it[10].

All loans are interest free by law[11]; if a Libyan buys a car the government pays 50% of the cost and the price of petrol is $0.10 a litre[12]

Any Libyan wishing to become a farmer is given free use of land, equipment, livestock and seed[13].

On July 1st 1.7 million (95% of the population of Tripoli, about 1/3rd of the population of Libya) people assembled in Green Square to show defiance against NATO bombing of Libya[14].

The central bank of Libya is state owned, and unlike all western banks is not owned by Rothschild and issues debt free money. Reports that the 'rebels' have already established a new Central Bank of Libya suggests there are outside [banking] influences involved[15] [16]

At the trial of the Lockerbie bombers, the US paid witnesses $4 million to testify against the accused Libyans. They have since recanted their evidence[17] [18] .

Prior to the 'rebellion' Gaddafi was working to change payment for Libyan oil from the US dollar to the African dinar[19]; Sarkozy said Libya was a 'threat to the financial security of Mankind'[20].

Rothschild's banks create money out of thin air and sell it to the people with interest, meaning they can never repay their 'debt'[21] [22].

Unlike Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy etc., Gaddafi refused to sell his people out and Libya was DEBT FREE! [23] [24] [25]

It begins to become clear why Gaddafi gets the loyalty of his people and who is behind the bombing of a free and sovereign state and its people.

Libyans shared in the wealth of their country, free from the shackles of usury and private banking interests.

Gaddafi believed that parliamentary democracy was inherently corrupt. He believed true democracy come from the people. He believed the people should rule themselves; he explains this in his Green Book. [26]

Please read Qaddafi's Green Book. Download link:

The draft UN report on human rights in Libya before the NATO bombings & invasion.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fifty Plus? Then it's the Benefits Bus.

A Telegraph report ( suggests that if you are 50+ and lose your job, you are likely never to work again and be forced into early retirement, with a consequently lower pension- and perhaps dependence on state benefits?

That's bad enough, but what about the manual workers who cannot get their pension until they reach whatever arbitrary age the government decides on?

I though this government was all about reducing public spending, in particular the benefits bill to improve the countries finance? Surely this will place a greater burden on the public purse. Or maybe their plan to slash benefits, irrespective of the human and economic cost means this will have little overall impact?

And I have to ask the Telegraph, why have you said "…the Institute of Public Policy Research, which has links to the Labour Party"? What relevance does having links to the New Labour Party (correct title, if you please) have? Either the report is a reasonable assessment from a reputable body, or it isn't and if it isn't, explain why they are wrong; don't try smear tactics by associating them and the report with New Labour.

I am of the opinion there is too much emphasis on getting the young into work. There should be no emphasis on helping any group back to work. The government must ensure the jobs are there, that they are secure and that anybody receiving benefits takes any reasonable job offer. This will only be done with the rebuilding of British manufacturing, at tax payers' expense (initially) if necessary. But if there must be an emphasis, it should be with the older worker with a proven track record who, as the report suggests may find themselves unemployable.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


There is a BBC report ( that the unemployed may be made to pay full council tax.

It seems there is a need to save 10% off the current bill. But hang on; wasn't that money taken off benefits by Thatcher's government in the 1980's and paid direct to the council? So effectively it is going to be taken twice.

And how are the single unemployed expected, out of around £56 a week supposed to find £20 council tax? That leaves £36 to eat, pay gas and electricity bills.

All the while the debate continues as to whether to keep (and it looks like it will go) the 50p tax rate and whether there should be a mansion tax.

Looks like once again the poor pay while the rich gain.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The Telegraph reports that EU legislation will give agency workers the same rights as other employers with regard to holiday time, pay, maternity leave and other perks. These rights to equality will be available to agency workers after twelve weeks. While I am glad this is at last to happen, what a pity we have to rely on European legislation to be treated equally. What a pity an agency worker will have to wait 12 weeks to get it; because I can see employers laying off agency workers after 11 weeks, and reemploying them a week later.

Employers are unhappy that the government has agreed to this, with claims of job losses, risks to the recovery etc. the same claim that employers have always made when an improvement in workers' wages or conditions is enshrined in the law. The same was said about holidays; the same was said about paid holidays; sick pay; health and safety; equal pay for women. Who, even if they believe it to be true, would dare to say today that women should not be paid the same as men? Why then should an agency worker be paid less than the man or woman working next to him; purely because the employer would rather let an agency take the risks rather than employ somebody directly?

My most earnest hope is that this will bring about a change in employer attitude, and they will start to employ directly, rather than through agencies. And that equal pay will be from day one, not 3 months after you start work.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Tony Blair has finally had his say on the U.K. August riots. (

I find it difficult to find (acceptable) words to describe my position. Doesn't he realise it is his, his Tory predecessors and his New Labour and Tory successors that are the root of the problem? That their disastrous policies, pandering to the bankers, the rich elite and to big business (big in profits, not employees) that has caused the disaffection he describes?

Is his reference to "…canons of proper behaviour" a veiled reference to his new found catholic faith?  And to talk of "…a proper solution," after his disastrous years of tenure is beyond belief.

Tony, you should have done something when you had the chance, not begin pontificating now about "…deal[ing] with the problem in the only way that will work."

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It seems Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary doesn't want a mansion tax. Neither does he want the 50p tax kept, according to an article written by the Telegraph-
Some choice clips from the article:

• "Liberal Democrat Coalition partners have "got to understand" that introducing any form of so-called mansion tax would be a "big mistake". "
• "He adds that the 50p higher rate of income tax should be scrapped so [rich] families can "keep more in their pockets". "
• "It's a red line for the Coalition. "
• "A growing number of Conservatives believe there should be tax cuts, starting with the removal of the 50p tax rate…"
• "I believe you get more tax revenue by lowering taxation …"

Funny isn't it? Lowering the VAT rate doesn't seem to figure in the "I believe you get more tax revenue by lowering taxation …" idea.

Funny, how the poor are told cuts in benefits and services are necessary, but the relatively rich can't be penalised by paying more to help.

Except it isn't really funny; not if you are poor; not if you are intelligent enough to spot the flaw in the arguments.

It will be interesting to see what the LibDems have to say about Mr Pickles statements. Will this be their 'red line' in the coalition? Will they have the guts to say 'no more. We are out. Call an election.' Somehow I think that is quite unlikely.


I have waited until the hue and cry has died down before I say my piece. I also wanted to give the mainstream media a chance to take the bull by the horns and take an impartial role, not toe the government line or expound the failing of the youth rather than that of the government.

The rich see the poor as a drain on their wealth. The fact is that riots tend to happen in times of high unemployment, social and economic exclusion and an unjust and biased social, economic and legal system.  A police state would be far more expensive to run than a welfare state is. This is something the wealthy do not realise. This is something the government does not want the wealthy to realise.

Just as the government would have you believe that rioting is a modern disease, a cultural or racial event; a show of disrespect for the law and the establishment; pure greed and criminality. But let's take a look at the history of UK riots-

·         St Scholastica Day riot 1355, started because of an altercation between two Oxford students and a tavern keeper. It resulted in almost 100 deaths. Quite ironic that the place the riot started, the Swindlestock Tavern is now the site of the Santander Bank.

·         Evil May Day, 1517. This riot started because Londoners resented foreigners, especially the wealthy foreign merchants and bankers of Lombard Street. I mention this because of the parallels with the riots recent in London, Manchester etc. Edward Hall, a lawyer and chronicler of the time said that for two weeks after a xenophobic speech by a Dr. Bell rumours went around that "on May Day next the city would rebel and slay all aliens". Fortunately, they didn't have Blackberry's. The mayor and aldermen called for a 9 o'clock curfew. Looting of houses took place and by 5th May (5 days later- ring any bells?) there were 5,000 troops in the city.

·         The Spitalfield Riots of 1769 were the result of an attempt to arrest a meeting of weavers who had organised into an (illegal) trades union and met with resistance. Shots were fired and two weavers died the rest then dispersing. Not much of a riot, you might think but that is the spin the government of the day gave it.

·         In the early 19th century the Luddites were renowned for their violence and riotous actions in an attempt to stem the flow of technology that removed the skill (and quality) of their product. The name Luddite is now used as a derogatory term that describes somebody who refuses to accept industrial change or innovation. Personally, I am proud to be called a Luddite.

·         The Swing Riots (so called from a fictitious often used on threatening letters to local farmers) were the agricultural equivalent of the industrial Luddites. The anger of the rioters was directed at three targets that were seen as the prime source of their misery: the tithe system, the poor law guardians, and the rich tenant farmers who had been progressively lowering wages while introducing agricultural machinery.

·         The Tonypandy Riots of 1910/11 were the result of mine owners attempting to reduce wages, accusing men of working slowly (though they were paid by the ton, not the hour), attempts to lockout the miners resulting in strike action and the bringing in of strike breakers.

·         The Llanelli railway strike In August 1911 began when the railway strike in Llanelli was brutally suppressed by the police; 2 men - John 'Jac' John and Leonard Worsell - were shot dead by troops of the Worcester Regiment. Rioting followed and magistrates' homes were attacked and railway trucks were set on fire, resulting in an explosion which killed a further four people.

·         On Peace Day, July 19, 1919, Luton Town Hall was burnt down during a riot by ex-servicemen unhappy with unemployment and other grievances.

·         Bristol Old Market riot, 1932 where 3,000 unemployed engaged in running battles with the police as they tried to march to the city centre, led by the National Unemployed Workers Movement. Police baton-charged protesters outside Trinity police station and along Old Market.

·         The St Pauls riot occurred in St Pauls, Bristol, England on 2 April 1980 when police raided the Black and White Café on Grosvenor Road in the heart of the area. After several hours of disturbance in which fire engines and police cars were damaged, 130 people were arrested. The riot occurred against a background of increasing racial tension, poor housing and alienation of black youth.

·         The Brixton riot of 1981was a confrontation between the Metropolitan Police and protesters; Brixton in South London was an area with serious social and economic problems.

·         The Toxteth riots of July 1981 were a civil disturbance in Toxteth, inner-city Liverpool, which arose in part from long-standing tensions between the local police and the black community. Though termed 'race riots' there is evidence white youths came to the area to support the local residents against the police. Again, an area of high unemployment due to job losses at the docks, caused by containerisation.

·         The UK Poll Tax Riots in the 1980's and 1990's were a series of mass disturbances, or riots, in British towns and cities during protests against the Community Charge, commonly known as the Poll Tax.

·         Cardiff Ely Bread Riots, 1991 were an outbreak of supposedly racially motivated disturbances that occurred in the council suburb of Ely in the Welsh capital of Cardiff that started when after argument between a white and Asian shopkeeper who had begun to sell bread, putting the other out of business; however, many locals believe that this was just a spark for a more significant problem of social exclusion resulting from unemployment & crime.

·         Stokes Croft Tesco riot; on 21st April, 2011, there was a riot in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol following a raid by police on a squat named 'Telepathic Heights'. A protest ensued, and they withdrew; at 9pm that evening, riot police blockaded the area and entered the squat. A crowd quickly gathered, with about 300 people defending the squat, and a further 1000 caught up in the mayhem. More than 160 officers were involved in the operation. The reason for the operation given by the police was that they held intelligence that petrol bombs were on the premises designated for the Tesco development opposite.
There are other riots, many in the 1980's and 1990's that are designated 'racially motivated'. A closer look often reveals they take place in areas of high unemployment, social, political and economic exclusion, these places often being areas where large racial minorities live. But just looking at those I have chosen to highlight my contention the latest round of rioting is politically, socially and economically motivated (even if thieves and vagabonds did usurp them) one can see how the reasons for and reaction to riots has changed over centuries. From a disagreement about the quality of ale to the feeling of futility and injustice forced on us by an unelected and misleading government; from local law enforcement to calling in the troops as was considered recently.

For those that believe we are in a depression; that there is no money; that the rich are suffering alongside the poor I'll believe it when I see ruined businessmen jumping out of office windows, demands for payment clutched in their fat little hands.

For those who believe that everybody on welfare is idle, I'll believe that when these same businessmen start to pay decent wages and folk still refuse to work.

Yesterday, on Eric Pickles, the Communities secretary said "But you know I'm a Conservative, I like the idea of lowering taxation." Yes, and lowering wages (but not bonuses!). He also said "I believe you get more tax revenue by lowering taxation because people work harder. I like people to keep more in their pockets for their family." Funny; when, as a shop steward I used the same argument for higher wages, employers, Conservative supporters thought the idea ridiculous.

But there are other arguments for higher wages and full employment. It removes the argument that a riot is political, or social, or economic. It leaves the rioters out in the cold. More to the point, it removes the need to riot.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


There is little I can say about THIS report. A fantastic opportunity for two students to show this sham government they are WRONG WRONG WRONG!

I can only hope the judges, who after all are supposed to be unbiased and apply the law as it is, not as governments would like it to be will do just that.

(Please be aware that BBC links are subject to change and may not point to the report intended)


The BBC shows its true [blue] colours reporting on u2's Glastonbury debut marred by tax protest. Everything it says is true. However, the article says little about the detail of the band's supposed [legal] tax evasion. But the article goes on to other performers and the weather! If you are reporting on an issue, stick to the issue. Don't try to muddy the waters with inconsequential and irrelevant information.

But anybody who knows anything about reporting will know this is a well known and well used technique to appear impartial while in fact directing the reader's/viewer's attention away from the facts (though there are few facts relating to the headline!)

I would like to know more about the issues the protesters were campaigning about. Why weren't Art Uncut interviewed and their views reported? Because the BBC supports the wealthy and their ability to [legally] avoid their [moral] tax responsibilities.

For those interested in more information about the protester's grievance, here's a link to Art Uncut's blog post on the subject

It appears the story on the original link I posted has now changed from the 'tax protest' story. Fortunately, News Sniffer has the story here-


BBC News reports that the rules on student admissions are to be relaxed to allow universities to accept more high achieving students. This is likely to result in fewer places for poorer students.

So there we have it- social mobility- if you can afford it. For those that question this statement on the grounds that it is based on ability, not income then I make the case that the wealthier you are, the better the education your children are likely to receive. Not just because you can live in wealthier areas that tend to have better schools but because it is easier for you to travel further to better schools. And of course, wealthier parents can afford private tuition and public school fees.

If this government is dedicated to social mobility and a fair education system then it is high time they took that education away from privatisation and back into the hands of the state. Let a politician's child have the same options as a labourer's child. This should not be a fear for the politician- or any other parent. If their child is truly gifted, they will excel in any system.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Uk's wealthiest have increased their wealth by 18% in the past year. (Sunday Times Rich List).

Apparently, the 'economic crisis' wiped £155 billion from the collective wealth of the 1,000 richest people in 2009. They are now worth £395.8 billion.

So much for the 'Big Society'.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I see the BBC is using its usual 'unbiased' reporting to manipulate public opinion once again. This morning's BBC Breakfast show headlines that civil servants and public sector workers to have their final salary pensions replaced with average earnings pensions; they should retire later and contribute more.

Immediately, 99.9% of non-civil servants will say it is right, based mainly on the premise of 'I don't get it; why should they?' Coup number one; they have successfully introduced the 'divide and conquer' scenario. Why aren't we supporting them and saying leave them alone; we want the same?

I suspect the same 99.9% of non public servants will envisage public sector workers and civil servants as the well-paid, pin-striped, bowler hatted old boys club, the popular conception of the civil servant.

In fact we are talking about nurses, hospital porters, doctor's receptionists, policemen and firemen. Coup number two; journalists are well aware that what you headline tends to form the opinion of the reader/viewer. In this instance, they will be well aware that headlining 'nurses, policemen and firemen' would possibly, even probably elicit a different response; one of support for our front-line services. (By the way we were promised these would not be affected by the cuts. Remember?)

This of course leads us into the May elections. What can we do that will boost our public perception? Hit the civil servants, but not too much detail or there might be a backlash if they realise it's the civil servants the most vulnerable rely on that we will hit the hardest… again.

Of course, this is still at the report stage. I suspect, however that the biased reporting is to ready us for the almost inevitable implementation of most of Lord Hutton's recommendations.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


What a laugh! The coalition increases tuition fees to £9,000 and Nick Clegg, Mr. Trustworthy himself then lambasts Oxford and Cambridge for having the audacity to charge £9,000 tuition fees!

Does he think this attack on the institutions he and his fellow conspirators gave the rise to will win him brownie points with students; or with any of us, for that matter?

If, as he claims, the universities can't decide tuition fees, then who will? And saying they need to open their doors to poorer students is ridiculous. This is only reasonable if the poorer students have the academic ability to study at that level. And if they do then there should be an open door policy irrespective of fees.

But the whole education strategy is designed to see that poorer students- or prospective students- stay that way, with a poorer education to match which will see far fewer at any university.  Nice big pool of uneducated unemployed to hold down wages and keep us in fear of our jobs.

I call for us to stop calling ourselves 'working class' and start to use the more accurate 'mostly unemployed class'.

Friday, February 04, 2011


I have been watching Ed Miliband with interest. I hoped the anti-Labour movement that tried to tar him 'Red Ed' were right. That maybe he would lead the Labour Party back to its socialist roots, and I could vote for them once again. But his comment, reported at that "the UK had its own version of the "American dream"" has led me to re-asses my tentative acceptance of his leadership of Labour. He is a Blairite, a Capitalist and will not persuade me with such talk that Labour is fit to govern- any more than the coalition is.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


David Cameron says banks should pay smaller bonuses.  But he won't do anything to make them.

The article goes on to bleating bankers and how tough the rules are in the U.K.

They all should take a stint at the sharp end and see just how hard it is for ordinary folk before they complain about multi-million pound bonuses not being enough.

Friday, January 07, 2011


"The best the coalition can hope for is a declaration from the banks that they will pay out less than they would have without government intervention."

It seems this coalition can legislate to make those less able pay the for the deficit. But is unable to legislate to make the bankers, who owe the country billions, do the same.

'Were in this together'. Trouble is, some of us are in it up to the neck, with bankers standing on our heads.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


How in heaven's name does raising VAT from 17.5 to 20% boost jobs? And if income tax was raised in the right places, e.g. Super-bonuses over a set limit, say £50,000 and raising the top rate of tax to 75& for those earning £200,000 and over we wouldn't need the VAT rise that hits us all.

VAT was introduces to replace the several rates of purchase tax and was designed to be a 'luxury tax' on goods deemed not essential, such as fur coats and Rolls Royce cars so that those that could afford such goods would contribute more through their purchases. Hard to believe when we see it on everyday clothes we all have to buy.

This rise will hit spending and therefore jobs. High wages and low prices are not diametrical opposites. This is a good, efficient expanding economy. The problem is successive governments have concentrated on holding down wages while prices have been left to the whims of their wealthy friends.

And why isn't VAT charged on newspapers and magazines? I haven't bought either of these items for years and get on quite nicely. Could it be the government don't want to upset their friend's in Fleet Street and attract bad press?

It's time VAT was applied strictly to luxury goods, such as the ones I mention above. Then they can charge 90% as far as I am concerned.

Saturday, January 01, 2011


It's a Happy New Year from me- and a Happy New Year for them!