Dear Amber Rudd MP . . . . .

I was asked to send a quick message to the MP, Amber Rudd, who is the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions – taking over from Esther McVey, in the job nobody seems to be any good at!
These messages are in the hopes that she might halt and fix Universal Credit but, when I went to do look at her page, and after reading all the many hundreds of messages sent to her already Amber Rudd MP 25th November, 14:42, I found it so hard to stick to a short message, that I decided to write my message to her on my Blog, here, instead:

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Dear Ms Rudd,

 

It’s pretty clear to the majority of people in this country that the roll-out of Universal Credit has been a deliberate attempt to force people out of the Benefits system.

 

UC can’t be fixed, as it has been deliberately designed to create the very thing that is happening to everybody who has claimed it so far – if they are able to work, then it is forcing them into zero-hour contracts, which never pay enough, or give enough hours, to support a family or, in the case of the vulnerable, ill, or disabled, is forcing them off of the very Benefits they need to survive, into a world of starvation, eventual homelessness, great poverty and, far too often nowadays, suicide.

 

There are now thousands of families who face not only Christmas, but all this coming winter, with the prospect of going very hungry, very cold, and eventually losing their homes!

 

While you enjoyed your delicious fish and chips with those wonderfully privileged students at Rye College, did you think of all those who WON’T have a hot meal this Christmas, due to having no money to pay their rent and electric, or gas, bills, so that, even if they ARE able to get help from the multiple Food Banks springing up all over the country, they’ll not be able to heat up the food provided by those same food banks – places that have multiplied since your government took control, and induced Austerity on to everybody but the Rich – while giving multiple tax breaks to those very same rich individuals and businesses – and, while you were about it, also giving yourselves huge pay rises?

 

Please could you start doing the job you are paid a veritable  fortune to do, and stop Universal Credit before even MORE thousands of people end up homeless and starving?

 

If you can’t completely stop it, then could you at least pause it immediately, and do your best to fix it, so that those who aren’t able to work – like the vulnerable, or severely disabled – get to keep their old benefits until their UC claims have been finally sorted?

 

Could you also make sure that everybody who claims UC are garuanteed not to lose out when their present benefits are changed to UC, as UC is paying out a lot less than their old benefits, due to your government’s cap on Benefits, which your government keep stating was due to Austerity measures – a Cap, we all noticed, you didn’t apply to your own wages – wages paid to you out of the Public Purse?

 

Could you also make sure that those who have to pay rent to a landlord / landlady, are able to still have their Housing Benefit paid directly to that same landlord/lady, so that there is no risk of homelessness, due to insufficient funds?

 

With homelessness at an all time high at the moment, and not nearly enough homes being built to house the people needing them, then surely it is the government’s duty to make sure no more people are forced out of their homes due to the long delay in paying UC?

 

Believe me when I say that even a week is too long a delay for people who have been unable to save anything in case of financial troubles – and I’m talking not only about those already on Benefits, but those who are in work – especially those forced into zero-hours contracts, which is about the only type of work available to them nowadays!

And while I’m writing my wish list to you, could you please stop the terrible Sanctions regime being used with Universal Credit, Sanctions that threaten people into doing things your way, instead of the way in which every human being – and everybody who has to claim any kind of Benefit is a Human Being, despite all of the smear campaigns your government  put out there, to get people thinking that, if you have to claim, then you are a shirker, or a liar, or a cheat – should be treated!

 

No matter what Theresa May says on her question time, the whole World knows that UC is failing the very people that it was supposedly designed to help, so please, please, show some empathy and compassion, for once, and help those that really do need that help – and stop UC immediately, or at least pause and fix it!

 

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Filed under Amber Rudd MP, Austerity, Benefits, Budget Cuts, Choices, Conservatives, Corporate Tax Cuts, Degraded Public Services, Deprivation, Despair, DWP, DWP Policies, Homelessness, Housing Benefits, Human Rights, Impoverishment, Mental Health Issues, Public Purse, Sanctions, Smear Campaign, Social Security, Starvation, Suicide, Tory Cuts, Underfunding, Unemployed, Universal Credit, Welfare Cuts, Zero Hours Jobs

Are the Tories now showing us openly that they really don’t care about us – at last?

I’ve been offline for a few days, due to my daughter visiting, and one of the first things I saw when going back online, was a post by the Skwawbox, highlighting the spate of tweets being sent by Tory MPs , touting food banks – here’s the link:

https://skwawkbox.org/2018/12/02/tories-gaslighting-the-poor-with-bizarre-mps-and-foodbanks-campaign/

From what I could see from reading the various tweets, they all seem to have been basically following a single script, and including photos of themselves smilingly donating to food banks across the UK.

Here’s just one example:

thomson fb

. . . and here’s a couple of responses to it:

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sg fb

The Skwawkbox used the word ‘gaslighting’ in his leader and, as I didn’t know what it meant, I looked it up:

 

‘to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.’

 

Reading this, I genuinely feel that the Skwawkbox is right, and that the Tories have always had such a great contempt for the workers of Britain, that they really are intent on manipulating people into thinking something that isn’t real!

 

Looking at the other tweets I found online, I felt sick to my stomach that these exceedingly rich Tory MPs, who are supposed to represent the people in their wards, have the shameless gall – or the sheer hubris – to cynically mock all the many thousands of people their policies have managed to reduce to a state of homelessness, penury and, in many cases, begging – to the point that it is only those self-same foodbanks that are keeping so very many people, and especially families with children, from starving!

 

Since they came to power, Tory ideology has consistently been one that is deliberately destroying every single part of the Welfare State that is possible – in fact, every single part of it that has been so bitterly fought for by the working classes, and some of the more enlightened richer people of the times –  and all that made our lives actually worth living!

 

Included in this, is our much beloved – and very much needed – NHS – something that, without it I, for one, wouldn’t be alive right now!

 

But as well as making it as hard as possible for anyone unable to work, whether because of illnesses / disablilities, or because of the sheer lack of any kind of sustaining work – which has, in many cases, been caused by the decline of  manufacturing industries both here in the UK, and elsewhere in the world – the Tory answer to this lack of work, is to force as many people as possible into zero-hour contracts, or into the virtual slavery being forced on them, if they are unemployed, and having to claim unemployment benefits, to work for so-called ‘charities’, full time, and for nothing but the basic unemployment support provided – and, if anyone refuses, the Tories have consistently used a harsh Sanctioning regime,introduced by Tony Blair’s New Labour (who may as well have been called Mini-Tory) to force them into line, by taking away larger and larger amounts of the little money being paid to support them – in some cases, to the point where people have commited suicide, because of it!

 

But, whatever the job they might have, if it is zero hours, or any other of the myriad ways in which the Tories have explored the exploitation of the working classes, these ’employees’ are given as little of that work as possible, and paid as little as possible, in order to airbrush unemployment figures for the Tories – and having so many people doing short hours of work, will still get that work done, but it means that those forced to do it then have to claim Working Tax Credits to survive at all!

 

This means that the employers are then able to salt away all the profits made – while paying the least amount of Corporation Tax in generations – while the ordinary working British public is left footing the bill, by having to pay more tax, to cover the Tax Credits being recieved because of the low wages! In fact, proportionately, the lower earners are now paying the highest taxes since records began!

 

To make matters worse, the Tories then introduced the most calculatingly cruel welfare reform ever thought of – yes, you guessed it – the universally despised Universal Credit!

 

This welfare reform, despite people thinking that it has just been badly thought out, and needs pausing to fix it, is actually the most calculatingly cruel, cunningly thought out reform to ever be introduced.

 

It was neither put together badly, nor is it mistakingly being kept going, either!

 

Universal Credit has been the most cold-blooded, cruelly deliberate reform ever thought up! It was put together in such a way as to make it the hardest Benefit to ever have to claim and, due to the exceedingly long waiting period before any money is actually paid out to a claimant, for everyone who has to claim it, it has made life as miserable as possible while doing so.

 

In a time where there are still hundreds of thousands of people who still have no access to the internet – whether through lack of knowledge, or lack of funds – it is designed so that a claimant can only make that claim online – and this is just the first stumbling block!

 

UC has been put together in such a way as to make anyone claiming it as confused as possible, especially as to their knowledge of what is expected of them and, when they do finally make a claim, nor is it easily seen what responsibilities the government has, in order to help any claimants.

 

It is so badly put together that even the employees of Job Centers, who are supposed to help people make this claim, are all just as confused as the claimants, where understanding the rules of UC are concerned – to the point where each jobcenter seems to be making up their own rules for it!

 

It has also been deliberately created to cut the Welfare Bill – to the point of utter uselessness  – and, despite the many deaths already caused by it’s cruel practices,  the Tories refuse to listen to anyone who complains – another deliberate slap in the face of those people they are supposed to represent!

 

But, before it’s introduction, the Tories had got to the point where they may have been voted out of government and so, to deliberately divert attention, and to forward other plans they have for the UK (such as the UK becoming a Tax Haven for the super-rich), they brought up the issue of Brexit!

 

Once again, the Tories lied through their teeth, making up story after story as to why it would be better to leave the EU – and hiding the fact that it is only the Laws, enshrined in the EU, that have been protecting the workers of our country from even more of the kind of exploitation that other workers, elsewhere in the world, have to put up with!

 

Without that protection, our country is going to be open to every abuse possible – from chlorinated chicken from the USA, to a private healthcare system that only the rich will be able to afford – in other words, we’ll be stepping straight back  into the world of the 1920’s and 1930’s, before the recommendations of a Welfare State was introduced by the Liberal MP, Sir William Beverage, and where his blueprint was then brought into fruition, in 1945, by Lloyd George’s Labour Government!

 

As it is, we recently had a UN inspector travel all over the UK and, in his report, he was shocked at the devastation caused by the Tories’ so-called ‘reforms’, and he claims that the Tories have deliberately gone about increasing poverty in the UK – which is a believable claim, given that, as anyone can work out with a little thought, with great poverty, comes desperation – and people will work for a pittance when they are desperate!

Another side-effect that perfectly suits the Tories, is the fact that the working classes have also been divided, and conquered, because of that fight for survival! 😦

 

This is something the Tories will welcome with open arms – and with their usual false assurances of help!

 

Just another thought:

 

While MPs have had a 17.7% pay rise since austerity started in 2010:

Use of Trussle Trust foodbanks alone has risen from 41,000 to 1.2 million!
The number of rough sleepers has increased by 134%!

The number of children has risen by 73%!

 

. . . . . and these are just the surface results!

 

The Trussel Trust has almost become a national institution where food banks are concerned, and it has spread quickly across the UK, due to the desperate needs of those suffering under unnecessary Tory Austerity  but, when the Tories decided to change things yet again, into the Universal Credit that is making everything even more worse for us all – and that includes far too many working families – are the Trussel Trust up there fighting for us all?

I doubt that very much! 😦

 

Think on this when a chance comes to replace the Tories in government, please?

 

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Watch The Iceland Christmas Ad Which Will Never Be Shown After Authorities Banned It . . .

This ad has been going the rounds on Facebook for days now and, every time I watch it, I cry – not only for the Oragutan bravely trying to stop the destruction of it’s home, but also for the sheer destruction being allowed  every  single  day – all for the sake of a few multi-billionnaire’s profits!

I still don’t understand why housewives keep buying products full of palm oil – the destruction of the rain forests, in order to grow this stuff, is known world-wide now, so why don’t they boycott the products, and start protesting, along with the few die-hards who have been shouting out about this for years?

I guess the answer will be, they keep buying, because it’s cheaper for their pockets – but they don’t seem to realise that it won’t only be the Orangutans – and every other species – devestated by the rainforest’s destruction, who will pay this desperate price for so-called progress – it will be their children, and their children’s children, who will end up paying the final price for their momentary saving!

I’m not surprised any more at how short-term savings drive such destruction of our environment – but I am surprised that people don’t seem to realise that this is the only home we, and so many other species being killed off for our momentary satisfation, have got, and so it’s up to us to start thinking about the future – or lack of it – of this Planet Earth.

But, in the meantime, this ad brought to our notice, ironically, by the Supermarket chain, Iceland, has been banned from airing on TV by the powers-that-be, for being ‘too political’!

Just how political are most ads we see on the TV screen every day? Quite a lot, thankyou!

But, because the ads are for something that is to the advantage of the reigning political party of whichever country it’s aired in, that’s OK, then 😦

All of my life I’ve loved Orangutans – but even more so since ‘The Librarian’ was introduced to us all, in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series (and, yes, I’m a total Pratcheteer, here!).

Terry brought to life the wonderful gentleness, the fierce loyalty, and the enduring pain, that The Librarian shows in his character and, although he is just a character, it made countlesss thouands of us all aware that we have the basis of this creature, this wonderfully amazing Primate, being torn away from his and her homeland – a homeland the Orangutan has probably lived in for as long as they have been a species – and all that pain, killing, and destruction of their habitat, has come about because of the human race’s greed and avarice, our need to buy products a couple of cents, or dimes, or pennies, cheaper!

I hope this ad gets all around the world because of the internet – and that something can be finally done, before every single habitat of the Orangutan has been bulldozed over!

Iceland’s Christmas TV advert banned for being too political: Supermarket’s Greenpeace film on palm oil’s impact on orangutan deemed rule breach

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‘Disabled People in Wales’ by Rhian Davies (Disability Wales)

Not surprisingly, these figures don’t shock me – or anybody else, like me’ who have health problems and live here in Wales 😦

Nathan Lee Davies

Below I have shared a series of facts and figures that have been put together by Rhian Davies of Disability Wales, who I was lucky enough to hear speaking at the UNCRPD report launch in Parliament last week.

I was really  impressed by her speech which included loads of statistics that I thought would be useful for composing Tweets. She has kindly agreed to allow me to publish the following on my blog to publicise the depth of the problems facing disabled people in Wales.

I would like to express my thanks to Rhian and everyone at Disability Wales for their ongoing support.

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If you are active on Twitter, please feel free to adapt any of the information below to compose Tweets.

Disabled People in Wales 

  • Disabled people comprise 26% of the Welsh population, higher than any other nation or region in the UK (ONS Family Resources Survey…

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Benefits Freeze Adds to Universal Credit Misery.

I was interested to see this post, as I’ve recently been told that my area is going to roll out Universal Credit, and so I went onto the government website to see how I would be affected and, at the present rates, I’m going to end up being around £2,400 a year worse off – I’m really looking forward to both starving, and freezing, while also being housebound, and also unable to keep myself, or my home, clean!

Universal Credit is a disgrace, and the Tories have so much blood on their hands already, I guess they don’t care that it’s going to get very much worse for anyone who is being forced on to it 😦

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Image result for universal credit cartoonMore than the usual ‘system error’.

The controversy about Universal Credit continues to develop.

Today the Currant Bun, not the Claimants’ chum,  headlines

Universal Credit revolt by THIRTY Tory MPs as they urge Chancellor to plug £2bn black hole which will leave millions worse off.

At least two dozen have signed a letter to the Treasury highlighting their fears to the Chancellor – urging him that an extra £2billion is needed for the reform.

Around a million people are expected to go onto Universal Credit next year as part of the rollout to everyone over the next five years.

The letter reads: “As it stands 3.2million working families are expected to be worse off, with an average loss of £48 a week.

“Enabling hard working parents to keep more of what they earn and thus encouraging them to take up more work is at the heart of Conservative policy.

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Camden Momentum’s rebuke to national re smear response: “with every scalp taken, a new target will soon loom into view” . . .

As a Momentum member, I’m in full agreement with the Camden branch, with their letter to the officer group of the NCG.

The NCG’s behaviour towards Peter Willsman is, firstly, as the letter states, ‘a craven betrayal of Willsman, whose long years of service to the movement should not have been cast aside so crassly’. It is also a betrayal of the Corbyn-led Labour Party’s fight to get democracy back into politics, and of everything we at the grassroots are trying to fight against!

This is something that the NCG will have to deal with quickly, if they are not to lose many more of the members who signed up with them – as I did – in the hopes that Momentum would be 100% behind the new Labour Party ideals, that Jeremy Corbyn so very well represents.

I just hope they buck up, and start listening to the people who put them into their positions in the first place, as now is definitely NOT the time to hold back from the fight against all the bogus smears of anti-semitism that the Right have kept throwing at Jeremy Corbyn – and anybody else who supports him – in their increasingly desperate efforts to get rid of a man they know will be the death to all their hopes of keeping the gravy train going!

The mud the Right keep throwing at everyone not in their playpen, is just a diversion that fools nobody any more, but they keep on throwing it anyway, in the hopes that it will somehow stick – I guess somebody will have to tell them soon that it isn’t working!

But the NCG really do need to get onboard with the ideals we are all fighting for, as I’m afraid it’s fairly obvious that their hopes of nobody noticing their sheer lack of any kind of support for our policies are in vain!

Here’s a link to the Skwawkbox post, showing the letter sent:

Camden Momentum’s rebuke to the NCG re smear response . . .

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Unite to back mandatory selection at Labour conference . . .

unitelogo

After the appalling behaviour of a number of Labour MPs recently and the closure of the case against Margaret Hodge, who has denied expressing regret when the Labour Chief Whup confirmed twice that she had done so and had received a formal warning and the case was closed on that basis, huge numbers of Labour members have been demanding ‘mandatory reselection’ (MR) of Labour MPs.

Under Labour’s current rules, existing MPs can only be removed by means of a complex ‘trigger ballot’ process, in which members’ influence is hugely diminished compared to that of affiliated unions and socialist societies, who can usually protect an incumbent if they wish to do so.

Under mandatory reselection, members would vote on an ‘OMOV’ (one member, one vote) basis and the process would be refreshed at every general election – empowering members and vastly increasing the accountability of MPs to them.

Now members have received a huge boost with the news that Unite, one of the UK’s biggest unions and one of the most influential in the Labour Party, intends to back moves to introduce MR at Labour’s annual conference next month in Liverpool – and that even if the measure fails, a push is planned to use the trigger ballot process to replace MPs that have been undermining the party’s push for power.

A senior Unite insider told the SKWAWKBOX:

‘Mandatory reselection is our policy so expect us to push this at the conference. If it didn’t get through I would expect us to be actively looking to use the trigger process.’


To
read the whole Post, please click on the following link to go to the Skwawkbox Blog:

Unite to back Mandatory Selection at Labour Conference

COMMENT:

I was delighted to read this post by Skwawkbox, especially as it has given me a greater hope that we members will be able to get back the correct amount of control that we should have had, especially of the way that MP’s are voted into Seats, and who they should be listening to when they get there, where Party Policy is concerned.

Rather than having to put up with right-leaning Labour MP’s, who are not listening to the people who voted them in to their positions, and are deliberately going against the vast majority of the Member’s wishes – all while doing their best to push out the one man, Jeremy Corbyn, that so many thousands of us had joined the Party for in the first place – as we see in him a hope for the future, where he becomes our next Prime Minister – we now see the possibilities of having the chance to make sure that those same MP’s are given the choice to either toe the Party line  or, if they choose to  go against the majority of the member’s wishes, especially if it’s to do with Party policy, then they can – and will – be voted out of their seats, and we’ll find someone else to be given the chance to help get our Party back into the driving seat again – but, this time, all for the good of the Many, not the Few! 🙂

Whether Unite succeed in getting enough other Unions behind this, we’ll have to wait and see – but their actions show us that our patience has not been in vain, and that hope is still alive for a better future than we can see at the moment!

With enough of us fighting for what we believe Jeremy Corbyn can do for us – and the country – then it’s going to be a bumpy, but exciting ride!

 

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