Wednesday, August 31, 2011
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.
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
I came to a YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJURNC0e6Ek 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.
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.
Before the NATO invasion Libyans enjoyed the highest standard of living in Africa and ahead of Russia, Brazil and Arabia.
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,.
Gaddafi vowed to home every Libyan before his own parents; he kept his promise and his father died before he was housed.
Before Gaddafi less than 20% of Libyans were literate; now education is free, high quality and the literacy rate is 83%.
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.
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.
All loans are interest free by law; if a Libyan buys a car the government pays 50% of the cost and the price of petrol is $0.10 a litre
Any Libyan wishing to become a farmer is given free use of land, equipment, livestock and seed.
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.
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 
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  .
Prior to the 'rebellion' Gaddafi was working to change payment for Libyan oil from the US dollar to the African dinar; Sarkozy said Libya was a 'threat to the financial security of Mankind'.
Rothschild's banks create money out of thin air and sell it to the people with interest, meaning they can never repay their 'debt' .
Unlike Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy etc., Gaddafi refused to sell his people out and Libya was DEBT FREE!   
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. 
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
A Telegraph report (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8728179/100000-older-workers-forced-to-retire-early.html) 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 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14692596) 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. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14605459)
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 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/8712661/Eric-Pickles-says-no-to-higher-property-taxes-for-middle-classes.html 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.