Mar 212020

Now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic (or close to the beginning of it), everyone is proclaiming health care workers to be heroes. Not that I disagree.

But if they’re heroes, why have you been cutting their pay for the last ten years? For seven years there was a 1% cap on cost of living pay increases, which came to an end with a 6.5% increase over three years – which is nowhere near enough to make up for the shortfall.

Today a nurse is earning less in real terms (i.e. stuff he can buy) than a nurse earned in 2008.

Is this how you treat heros?

Now we are not individually responsible for taking a few more of life’s little luxuries away each year, but collectively we are.

So make a resolution: Never under any circumstances vote for a Tory ever again.

Solitary Windsurfing
Jun 172017

The election result is in, and the Tories have failed; specifically they failed to increase their majority and indeed no longer constitute a majority. Yet the alternatives have failed too.

The likelihood is that the Tories will form the next government propped up by the reactionary Unionists from Northern Ireland. We can crow over May not getting her increased majority, but she is still in number 10. Which means more years of Tory misrule.

So what went wrong?

Well we could argue that factors such as different attitudes to Brexit, doubt over the Labour leader’s leadership, etc. But there are two big factors.

Firstly the media lies by the Tory press (which seems to be pretty much most of them). Whilst the press is owned by a clique of super-rich Tory supporters, the good news is that the newsprint industry is slowly fading into irrelevance – no doubt helped by their ridiculous bias. And tasteless journalism – the sort of which led to the Sun being boycotted in Liverpool.

Secondly, and perhaps the biggest aspect is that a large segment of the working class has bought into the big Tory lie – that they support the ordinary working family and small businesses. In reality Tories support the super rich with their tax cuts, and don’t give a damn about the working class. The real working class.

Which is not what most people think of when they hear that phrase; it is not just the horned handed agricultural labourer and the worn out factory worker, but it also includes office workers, lawyers, “knowledge workers”, etc. It is everyone who works for a living, Somehow workers in the Tory heartlands are fooled into thinking that the Tories are on their side.

What the Tory alternatives need to do is to persuade these deluded workers that voting Tory helps only the super-rich, and not by painting themselves a fetching shade of blue (as New Labour did).

Apr 302017

Short answer: NO!

One of the infuriating things I come across is the notion that final salary pension schemes are generous; it seems that a generation of Tory propaganda has persuaded people that such schemes were wildly over-generous and completely affordable. Of course many of those doing the persuading are taking advantage of those “generous” pension schemes.

What it is easy to forget is that many of those final salary pension schemes collapsed because successive governments turned a blind eye to the private sector looting pension scheme surpluses and panicking when the surpluses turned into deficits. In other words when pensions were profitable they were affordable, but whenever a company suddenly had to contribute more than it expected they were suddenly too expensive.

Now don’t get me wrong – with increasing life expectancy there are problems with funding pension schemes, and we can decide that they are too expensive, or not. But if a pension scheme was perfectly reasonable in the 1970s, it doesn’t suddenly become overly generous in the 21st century.

As it is, we have “decided” that rather than share wealth out amongst the working-class, it should be kept in the hands of the already wealthy.

Of course we could always decide to revisit that decision and spend more time thinking about it.

Apr 222017

May continue to cut public sector salaries year on year.

May continue to pillage the public services we all use to pay for the bankers mistakes.

May continue to make tax cuts for the rich.

May continue to cut welfare payments to the poorest families in our society causing a huge increase in child poverty.

May continue to stumble and fumble around during the Brexit negotiations in all likelihood resulting in a poor deal for Britain.

May continue to antagonise the non-English countries of the union increasing the likelihood of a break-up.

May continue to add powers to the secret policemen until we’re living in a police state (hint: it’s not that far off).

Time to look past May to June and choosing anyone other than May.

May 242015

Apparently there is some senile old fart who has decided to try and turn the clocks back to the 18th century and wants to bring back hunting with packs of ferrocious animals desperate to rip apart cute fluffy animals (with the assistence of a few hounds). It would seem that wannabee toffs have been nagging their Tory glove-puppets and David Cameron has caved in to their whispers.

For those who were too young back in the day, or for those who have forgotten, we used to let inbred morons ride around the countryside on horses (often crashing through land they didn't have a right of way over) with a gang of yapping hounds chasing around something they could kill – foxes, deer, peasants (well perhaps the later wasn't too common). During the Great Debate on hunting (which wasn't that great really as their excuses for hunting were really quite pathetic), the hunting lobby tried to convince everyone that they were only hunting for the good of agriculture. 

Which had us all rolling aboutt the floor laughing of course.

Perhaps the most ridiculous comment about the prospect of removing the ban on hunting comes from the Countryside Alliance who clain that removing the ban will eliminate the risk of their supporters from being prosecuted for "accidental" fox killings whilst they are playing at hunting. A bit like claiming that murder should be made legal because if I fire off a shotgun repeatedly in a crowded supermarket, I might "accidentally" kill someone.

It's strange how easy it was to ban certain cruel "sports" (such as cock-fighting and bear baiting) which were more popular with the working class whereas the "sport" of the wannabee toffs is trying to make a comeback. Anyone would suspect that class differences are still important today.

But yes let's bring back hunting with a couple of small changes :-

  1. Hunts have to turn in their hounds in favour of Chihuahuas.
  2. They have to release and hunt Grizzlies.

That should either make hunting less popular, or at least reduce the number of hunters to an appropriate level (zero).

Just to pierce a few pre-conceptions about those opposed to hunting :-

  1. I don't like animals much.
  2. Whilst I live in a city, I grew up in a semi-rural area
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