Commenting on social, political, economic and general topics

Archive for August 2013

Universal Credit ‘claimant commitment’: no choice, no law, no money – no appeal

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If you’re unemployed, you need to read this; if you’re working, and in particular working and claiming any kind of benefit, you need to read this; hell, if you aren’t a millionaire YOU NEED TO READ THIS!

In just a few short weeks, the new Universal Credit benefit system starts to roll out, albeit more slowly than originally planned (but already in operation in pilot areas). This new benefits system rolls a wide variety of benefits into a single process, including unemployment benefit – and crucially, it extends ‘conditionality’ even to people who are already working, so that penalties can be applied to people for not having enough hours, or if they are not considered to be trying hard enough to get more hours.

The government’s ‘policy aims’ for this new system state that:

“Universal Credit is designed to ensure that for people who can, work is still the best route out of poverty and an escape from benefit dependence. The aim of Universal Credit is to increase labour market participation, reduce worklessness and increase in-work progression. The conditionality regime will recast the relationship between the citizen and the State from one centred on “entitlement” to one centred on a contractual concept that provides a range of support in return for claimant’s meeting an explicit set of responsibilities, with a sanctions regime to encourage compliance.”

reblogged from Universal Credit 'claimant commitment': no choice, no law, no money – no appeal.

2,018 words.


Written by Smiling Carcass

31/08/2013 at 7:23 AM

Why do the Tories keep emailing me?

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“Michael Gove; asked me for a tenner.”

On March 2nd I wrote to a Mr. Brady, leader of the 1922 Committee of the Tory party.

This is what I wrote:

“Dear Mr. Brady,

It is my belief that David Cameron, and his cabinet cohorts are not only destroying the Conservative Party’s chances of re-election anytime in the foreseeable future, he is taking the country to hell with him.

From information I have received, it appears that a leadership contest can be triggered by 46 letters sent to you as leader of the 1922 Committee.

Consider this to be one of those letters.


So, I have been receiving regular emails from Tory politicians, presumably prompted by this communication and mainly ignoring them, but not unsubscribing in case something err, interest, shall we say- came along.

That day has arrived and Michael Gove is the latest Tory to assume I am a True Blue. This is his communication:


Tony Blair once argued that the Labour Party should not be the political arm of the trade union movement.

But under Ed Miliband, who owes his position as party leader to the unions and relies on their money for 77% of his party’s donations, Labour are sinking back into their same old position of living in the unions’ shadow.

Radical left-wing union leaders now believe the Labour Party can be theirs again – and they are taking it back seat by seat, policy by policy, all before Ed Miliband’s impotent gaze.

Union leaders are openly fixing selections for candidates who will back left-wing policies and reverse our vital work to cut the deficit and fix the welfare system so that it rewards hard work.

We can’t let them do that to Britain – so please donate £10 today to help us win the next election.

Ed Miliband has failed to act – and has no plans to act – to prevent the open and blatant takeover of his own party by the union bosses who anointed him leader.

Britain cannot afford – as we had in the Seventies – the same old Labour Party with a weak leader buffeted by union pressure to adopt policies only they want and asking hardworking people to pick up the bill.


Michael Gove”

This is my response:

“First, I believe that the Labour Party should be the political arm of the Trade unions.

Second, the Tory party is funded by the enemy of the proletariat, big business, so why shouldn’t Labour be funded by the unions in defence of the working class?

Third, I don’t believe there are any really radical left wing union leaders, or they’d have had the guts to call a general strike by now, and damn the anti-trade union legislation.

Fourth, your so-called vital work is not rewarding hard work; it is penalising the most vulnerable, holding down wages and using the savings to fund tax cuts for those that should be paying more.

Finally, if the Labour Party returned to their roots and the policies of the 1970s to redistribute the wealth created by the blood, sweat and tears of the working class, they could rely on my vote.

I know you won’t like what I’ve said, but I am not the only one saying it and our numbers are growing.


Paul Higgins.”

Can’t be any clearer than that; I wonder if they’ll write again?

Written by Smiling Carcass

28/08/2013 at 7:55 AM

The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer; (and the economic fallacies we are led to believe.)

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rich and poor

“The rich get richer, while the poor get poorer; that’s austerity, that is.”

Let me start by saying I am no economics expert; but what you are about to read- and possibly learn- is the big lie of government about austerity. I had written this and asked a friend to cast a critical eye over it and she agreed that it is accurate and pointed me to this article, which goes much further in explaining the way government finances work and how austerity does not get a country out of debt.

The Five Big Reasons Why Austerity Has The Opposite Effect From The One George Osborne Expects

If you find my effort at explaining the fallacies we are drip-fed interesting, I suggest you follow the link and read further.

We are told that if you only have £300 coming into your household budget, but have £301 going out, your household budget is in deficit and you cannot continue to run your household economy this way without eventually having to borrow, and this borrowing will eventually have to be drastically reduced or stopped altogether to pay off your accumulated debts. (These are the equivalents of deficit and national debt- and the reason politicians like to discuss falling deficit but not the national debt; because while the deficit is falling, the national debt is still increasing as long as we run at a deficit.) This is self-evident; at some stage you need to adjust your outgoings to match your income.

And so it is with the national economy; we cannot continue to spend more than we earn. This too is self-evident.

This is why, they tell us, the current austerity measures are desirable- essential, even.

But are they?

What we are not told is the difference between a household budget and a country’s budget; they don’t quite work in the same way. Because a household budget is linear; X comes in, Y goes out; if X is greater than Y, we have a surplus; if Y is greater than X, we have a deficit.

A government’s budget works similarly; but, a government’s budget is not linear as a household budget is; it is cyclical. Much of the money in a government’s budget stays within the system. For example, money spent on wages for government employees returns to the budget in paying for the services the government supplies and in taxes. Money spent on benefits returns to the budget in the same manner. There are many other ways a governments expenditure returns to the government coffers. For example, if a government employee spends part of their wages outside the system, on manufactured goods or services from a private company, this company pays tax; it employs people who pay tax and it reduces the benefits bill by employing people. I said a government’s budget works similarly; reading back, it doesn’t really work anything like a linear household budget!

If there is a shortfall, the government ‘borrows’ to make up the shortfall; but again, it is not borrowing as we understand it, though politicians would have you believe it is for it fits their austerity agenda. It is not the borrowing we do when our household outgoings exceed our income, such as bank loans, credit cards etc. The government borrows its own money!

Yes, folks. The government borrows its own money, by selling guilt edge securities which they will buy back from future tax revenue. They are borrowing the taxes they haven’t taken off you yet. It is more a form of gambling than borrowing; the government is saying we will give you this security against a loan, and buy it back when we have the tax revenue to do so, gambling the tax revenues will be sufficient to honour these guilt edge securities. It is similar to a re-mortgage- you re-mortgage your house to pay your debts in the belief your future income will meet the new payments. It is worthy of note here that the British government has never defaulted on a guilt edge loan.

Eventually, of course the government’s expenditure has to be significantly less than its income.

This can be done by reducing expenditure or increasing taxes to meet their commitments. It used to be that the Tories would reduce expenditure and Labour would increase taxes to meet these commitments. Both flavours of politics now tend to the reduced payments agenda, which almost always means that the poor carry proportionately the greater burden through reduced services and benefits and increased taxes.

Currently, the government has decided that austerity is the only way to balance the books. They have further decided to slash benefits to try to do this.

Doing as the government does, and likening this to your household budget, this is similar to balancing your household budget by reducing outgoings on the lowest drain on your resources- remember, much of the benefits being slashed returns to the government in taxes etc. It is similar to reducing payments to your gas, electricity and water services, the essentials rather than reducing payments for luxuries such as your weekly meal out, your night at the pub or that new car or mortgage- the equivalent of the governments tax breaks for the rich.

Finally, it should be obvious from this that franchising or selling public services to private companies puts a much greater drain on the government’s budget than keeping them in-house, not just because of the profits that are creamed off, but because the money is paid out to a private company and much of it is not returned to the government coffers. It is the taxes of the rich that are reduced, while their profits increase arguing that this will encourage growth. It does nothing of the sort. It is pounds in the pockets of the proletariat that stimulates growth- because they are far more likely to go out and spend their pounds on goods and services than to use them to find tax loopholes or put them in offshore accounts.

Austerity may- and I stress may be a necessary evil, but let’s start at the top, cut expenditure where it can make a real difference- and tax the super rich according to with their wealth, or as us old Marxist like to say, according to their ability to pay.

Written by Smiling Carcass

27/08/2013 at 6:47 AM

Bailey ‘hounding’ investigation dropped. Now there’s a surprise..

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So, the police have dropped the investigation into the alleged ‘hounding’ of ‘Cure the NHS’ founder Julie Bailey because of lack of evidence.

Lack of evidence. The police unable to find enough evidence that any of the ‘hounding’ actually happened – despite having conducted an investigation that included interviewing ‘witnesses’ and examining CCTV footage, according to the Express and Star newspaper.

Excerpt from Bailey ‘hounding’ investigation dropped. Now there’s a surprise... Full story 577 words

Written by Smiling Carcass

25/08/2013 at 1:56 AM

Christmas Is Coming, Some Are Getting fat…

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A Christmas Carol - Ignorance and Want

“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

I have reproduced this comment from Vox Political, (DWP refuses to provide information on ESA/IB deaths. What is it hiding?) here, with the kind permission of Geoff Reynolds

Geoff Reynolds said: August 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

Soon be winter, my joints are starting to hurt bad as the temperatures subside.
Looking forward to gazing at the beautiful patterns in the ice on the insides of my windows. The gas fire has not been lit for four years now but the glow from the cuppa soup and several layers of clothing should ease the pains………….
Some will be celebrating, but i doubt the poor, homeless and disabled, will not be taking part this year.
The DWP party, with its banter about achieving sanction tables and “how i made them suffer”, will be in full swing.
Staff bonuses from the £44 million they stole from us will help pave the way for a great night out, alcohol running freely as their victims idly stare at the clocks, shivering and wishing they could end it all………
Ofgem and its ilk will also be on a jolly up, talk of how they misled the public once again and sided with their paymasters to push the energy prices beyond the realms of the most vulnerable.
As the clock strikes midnight on christmas eve, many will have perished. Hopefully they will transfer to a better life where people treat people like human beings. Their are no shirkers with closed curtains or disabled being spat at.
They might have considered the alternative, the infernos of hades, at least it would be warm!
What would we do if we had a bonus for failure? Could you ever consider a real branded item from a top shelf or would it be the usual, economy line plain wrapper item that you have grown so used to buying?

Yes, Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, and so is, Duncan Smith, the evil f*ck*ng prat!

…… the last chimes of Christmas eve, herald in Christmas day, those of you who can still manage, raise an empty glass to those who could not see the error of their ways………….

Doff your cap as the hearse of welfare reform sneaks past your window, crunching tyres on the newly fallen snow as the crackers are pulled in Downing Street……….”

I don’t believe further comment is necessary.

Written by Smiling Carcass

22/08/2013 at 3:08 AM

Closet Tory Liam Byrne is cosying up to the Coalition – and will cost Labour the next election

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‘Creepy’ Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne wants Labour to adopt Conservative policies but carry them out in a different way. Why would anyone vote for that?

Now what’s that creepy Liam Byrne up to?

First he warned the Coalition that plans for further, hugely damaging, cuts in social security spending will cost around £1.4 billion more than they save.

Then he offered to help Iain Duncan Smith, of all people, to save Universal Credit, of all things!

The Torygraph has claimed this is Labour’s “strongest backing yet” for Universal Credit.

Is Ed Miliband, as Labour’s leader, blind to the amount of damage this will do to his party?

Reblogged from Closet Tory Liam Byrne is cosying up to the Coalition – and will cost Labour the next election. 1,129 words.

DWP minister Hoban gets JSA amount WRONG – and jobseeking unaffordable

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mark hoban

DWP minister Hoban gets JSA amount WRONG

What I’m about to share with you demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt the reckless, couldn’t-give-a-**** attitude of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) toward the people it is supposed to be supporting.

It also demonstrates (yet again):

  • that the DWP’s concept of the the cost of living, the cost of jobseeking and the reality of life on benefits is utterly divorced from the daily experience of those for whom it is responsible (remember IDS’ ludicrous claim that he could live on £53 a week if he had to?);
  • the way in which the DWP, which has become thoroughly malignant under Secretary of State Iain (Duncan) Smith and other ministers, redefines benign words as their polar opposite in their attempt to disguise the attitudes and behaviours that are pushing millions into poverty, and making it harder for the unemployed to get work or even get by, as ‘help’ and ‘support’.

Reblogged from DWP minister Hoban gets JSA amount WRONG – and jobseeking unaffordable 1,478 words.

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