PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES…

…SHOULDN’T WALK AROUND NAKED

Image result for  kenneth williams naked

Richard Leonard tweeted: Child poverty is rising under the Tories and the SNP. Scottish Labour’s plans to raise child benefit will lift 30,000 children out of poverty. It’s time to use Holyrood’s powers to bring about for the many, not the few.

This was in response to a Daily Record story about a survey carried out by Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, which has found 33% of Scots have gone without food because they were too poor to afford it and that 28% of those questioned had done so between one and six times in the past year. Horrific figures in an oil-rich country which forms part of one of the top ten richest in the world (and one which only a few years ago we were told we were better together within!).

(It’s fair to say that as the survey is open to anyone to complete, that it can be done more than once, and will have a relatively limited audience, the accuracy of the figures may be called into question.)

There is no doubt though, that ten years on from the financial crash, overseen by Labour’s Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, but a long time in the making (Tony Blair, take a bow), the poor have got poorer and the rich richer throughout the UK, thanks to massive pay increases and generous tax policies for the best off, a living wage that no one could live on,  a punitve benefits regime and the lowest retirement pension in the developed world.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg used the crash as an excuse to cut benefits to millions of poor people, and they were backed along the way by their friends in Labour. To balance this up, the people who caused the crash were dealt with too. Fred the Shred Goodwin had his knighthood removed. That’ll teach them.

Much could be said about the iniquities of the policies that led to that crash; policies which were echoed in several other countries, not least USA, Ireland and Iceland, all of which are now making a far better fist of recovery than the UK.

My point here is that Labour seems to think that it is fair to blame the Tories and the SNP for the problem.

Image result for david cameron posh

Every party of government must take some responsibility for the way it allocates funds, and although the SNP has worked hard to find money to mitigate some of the worst features of the Tory austerity programme which has made the lives of tens of thousands of people unbearable, many would argue that it could have done more, whether by concentrating better its resources or  more recently by increasing the few taxes that are devolved.

My argument with Labour is that it, although it is not in government either in England or Scotland, must take its share of responsibility for this mess. After all, it was Labour that introduced the horrific benefit reforms which the Tories grabbed with both hands and doubled down upon, using the Labour banking crisis as an excuse. Take a bow New Labour: In its last term of office, New Labour began to phase out Incapacity Benefit and replace it with Employment and Support Allowance. At the same time, the Work Capability Assessment became the gateway to the new out-of-work sickness benefit. The policy objectives for the new test were: to accentuate the positive by “looking at what you can do, not what you can’t do”.

Labour’s assessment stopped taking into consideration those who would find it nigh impossible to find work. No one ever stopped to think about how to persuade employers to take on someone who probably could do something”.

Image result for list of labour mps who voted for austerity

Labour has over and over again voted for austerity measures introduced by the Tories.

And, in 13 years of UK power, Labour did little or nothing to increase the tax burdens on the richest. Britain has the biggest gap (by a long way)  between rich and poor. It did in 2000 and it still had in 2015 after 10 years of Labour and 5 years of Tory and Liberal Democrat rule. Unionism seems to work for the rich.

inequalities

 

But one of the most telling truths and one that seems to have escaped Richard Leonard’s attention over and over again is that Labour is in power in Wales. Wales has a semi-autonomous government in Cardiff. It has many (but not all) of the powers that Edinburgh has.

And the record of the Welsh government is not one to be proud of.

Not just on child poverty, but this one will do for starters.

Mr Leonard has a history of demanding that the Scottish government act on matters that are outwith its control, often at least partly because Labour voted against these matters being devolved.

He has, in fact, made a fool of himself on several occasions in parliament at FMQs, to the embarrassment of his own team.

It would probably be best if he spoke rather less and researched a little more in future.

And one last thing… and this goes for EVERY party.

Whoever told you repeating the same slogan line over and over again is clever?

Image result for tory strong and stable stance theresa may

Mrs May’s “strong and stable” or “I am clear”, and Richard’s “For the Many; not the Few” get right up the nose after a few hearings. Especially when they are absolutely rubbish.

 

55 thoughts on “PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES…”

  1. Your graph showing the gap between rich and poor in the UK is TBH quite staggering. I’d somehow expected the USA to come top, or maybe some mafia-style Balkan state. I’d have thought the UK would have been no worse than any of the richer EU countries. I mean it’s not as if Labour hasn’t had a fair innings in power over the past century or so.

    I’d already Googled and found this graph of pension levels :

    Another shocker IMO! However do the likes of Lithuania, Bulgaria or (FFS!) Turkey pay more?

    Yet despite all of this our upbringing with constant BritNat propaganda has led many of us to honestly believe that the UK is the best and most equal place on Earth, home of Fair Play and all that.

    Another thing though which I’d like explained is food banks. I don’t deny the truth of their need, the scandal of their very existence, so don’t get me wrong here …
    However, I’ve had to live on benefits or state topped up self-employed earnings from time to time, and while I’ve often wished I had a bit more disposable cash, I’ve never gone short of basic foodstuffs. But there again I’m a single person. So please someone, spell out for me how so many people literally rely on charity to just keep body and soul together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw another graph at one point (can’t remember where) showing how in different countries there was a different difference (eh?) between the average wealth of people who lived in the capital and those who lived in the regions.

      True that even in egalitarian countries like Norway and Iceland there WAS a difference. But once again the difference between London and the rest of England was earth-shatteringly more than anywhere else.

      And yet, yes, they keep bragging about our democracy (which is probably the most dubious in Western Europe, what with there being no constitution, an hereditary head of state, an unelected house of peers which outnumbers the Commons, a privy council and special measures… and a first past the post system. Yet people believe we are a democratic nation.

      I suspect that our minimum wage is probably at the bottom end of the European scale too.

      There are many reasons that people use food banks. I’m not an expert, but I read that the main reason is that the DWP have messed up benefits, or sanctioned someone for being late for an appointment, or not looking hard enough for a job. In particular, this Universal Credit that IDS dreamt up, is a shambles and they keep rolling it out despite being told that it is causing untold misery. People have died because of it.

      Of course sometimes it is that a family has had an unexpected bill of some sort. The car that they depend on to get to work needs a big job and they have to find £300+. A pal of mine recently had to find £400 for a car bill. It’s a huge amount out of a months salary. He was ok, because he had friends and family. Some don’t, or not ones who can afford to help.

      A huge number of people have no backup savings.

      Many have been persuaded to buy their own house and a change in circumstances has meant that the repayments are dangerously high, and they have to cut back on food/heating.

      Some old people, stuck in the house all day every day, feel the cold and are building up massive electricity and gas bills, even in the summer.

      Of course, some may have wasted the pittance they get and get to the end of the week and are hungry. I know people who, when they get paid think that they will never be poor again, and treat themselves to a carry out from the Chinese Restaurant, only to be broke two days before their next payment is due. Not everyone manages their affairs as well as they might, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for that careful reply. Food for thought indeed.
        — A huge number of people have no backup savings.
        … and apparently anything beyond the most modest savings counts against your ability to claim benefits. It’s almost as if they were trying to catch folk out …

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t know what the threshold is now, but for means tested benefits, there certainly is a limit to what people can have put away for the proverbial rainy day.

          Of course with inflation at above 3% and interest rates on most accounts at 0.2% less tax, saving is a game for mugs.

          Like

        1. At the other end of the scale, pensioners in the United Kingdom suffer from the worst deal of any OECD country, receiving just 29% of a working wage when they retire. To put this into perspective, the OECD average is 63% and the average for EU member states is 71%.

          Says it all about this shithole.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. What can be done?

          Kill folk off at 80? Make people pay more for a pension that they will live longer to receive? Putting up the retirement age for most just doesn’t work.

          Who wants a 70 yo, train driver, or supermarket assistant, doctor, electrician, window cleaner?

          Like

  2. The only country in the world to become poorer after the discovery of oil is Scotland.

    Even Nigeria (the most corrupt nation on the planet at the time – apprently) saw a doubling of wealth amongst the poorest.

    How could this possibly happen in our glorious kleptocracy I wonder 😉

    Also for the love of sanity PLEASE STOP putting pictures of that fucking cunt Blair up please Tris? Apologies about language but if ever someone deserved what he dealt out (legalised mass murder/torture) then its him. Straw should be right beside him, not forgetting Brown. Does my head in seeing him 😦

    Liked by 4 people

    1. A proud record.

      They wasted it all. They paid for a disruption and poverty caused by Thatcher’s industrial revolution. While Germany modernised industry, the UK shut it down and paid benefits, then tried to squeeze miners, steelmakers and shipbuilders into their new call centres.

      When I look at Norway it makes me weep. That is what could have been.

      I put up Blair’s pic. because I rather thought that 20 years after that young man became prime minister, he looks like a ghost. Just shows what years of being evil does for you.

      I’ve no idea what Straw look like. Since he was caught in that sting trying to earn himself a LOT of money for using his influence, he has been rather quiet. But I’d love to see him sharing a cell in the Hague with his old mate, Blair.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Straw’s son is an MP.

        Blair couldn’t quite manage that even with Labour nepotism – himself & Brown are likely to be the only BritNat PMs not to get knighted. Even the “Windsors” know a con artist when they see one…

        Liked by 2 people

  3. When the occasion demands, I do give this sermon from time to time; so what the hey……let’s take another crack at it.

    I know I will never agree with my SNP friends about Tony Blair, and the wholly transparent political tactic of branding a democratically chosen head of government who prosecuted a legally sanctioned war, as a literal war “Criminal”…….which cheapens and denigrates not only the democratic political process, but also the very concept of “war crimes” as distinct from war “policies.” This is not to mention the fact that it places the REAL monsters of history……Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc…..in much more democratically respectable company, and therefore, by inference, not really being all that much worse than Blair and his democratically chosen ilk.

    Such political tactics do from time to time result in demands from European leftists that American presidents present themselves at the Hague to answer war crimes charges. One can roll one’s eyes with amusement at such self-righteous silliness, but also, with more serious reflection, about the tactic of branding one’s political opponents as being literally “evil,”…….as opposed to simply being “wrong”…….and by inference, one’s own political associations as being the embodiment of moral, ethical, even spiritual, rectitude.

    I get it that pacifists can’t ever really come to terms with the fact that wars prosecuted by democratic nations…..horrendous as they are……are generally prosecuted legally. And yes, the political tactics available to pacifists are limited in a world that generally accepts warfare as occasional instruments of national policy. But it does tend to diminish the efficacy of a system that identifies and punishes ILLEGAL war crimes and war criminals if we can’t or won’t for example, as an obvious political tactic, differentiate Tony Blair from Adolf Hitler.

    This is in principle not unlike the policy adopted by the radical Republican right wing in America, which styles itself as being morally and spiritually superior to the “Godless” “evil” Democrats; a political tactic that we may view with bitter irony as we survey the wreckage of civil political discourse in America in the age of Trump. It is no accident that the first big rallies of the Republican Tea Party movement in 2010 had placards showing Hitler and Stalin in the company of…….wait for it…….”War Criminal” Obama.

    Political civility sermon over! Now I’ll turn to another issue.

    Who in the world are those wealthy Brits who are SO much richer than Americans……not to mention the Germans and French? Are there THAT many royals running around? And do they have PERSONAL title to the palaces and the crown jewels? 😉

    Like

    1. @Danny
      I don’t want to appear self righteous, but a war criminal is a war criminal no matter how many people they murdered. Are you suggesting that the courts should differentiate between war criminals based on the number of deaths, methods used to kill or torture?
      Blair went to war in Iraq as a consequence of his meeting with Bush when he stated “we will be with you, no matter what” or words to that effect. This was before the dodgy dossier with the fake Weapons of Mass Destruction, that Sadam could unleash rockets to the UK in 45mins. Fake, fake, fake lying scumbag. He got away with it because he has friends in high places, including across the ditch. That does not make him innocent.
      The fact of the matter is that Libya, Iraq and Syria have been targetted by “the West” because the rulers were no longer prepared to capitulate to western demands, not because they were run by evil tyrants. Simply because they were not our evil tyrants anymore.
      Try googling “General Wesley Clark – Wars were planned – seven countries in five years” you should be able to see him on youtube.
      Try reading Larry Perkins book “I was an Ecomonic Hitman” and also consider why the US has invaded half the planet since WW2. The USA are NOT the good guys they are just another bunch of mobsters running a protection racket.
      Trump admitted as much at the recent Nato summit. Again you can see this on youtube where Trump states that the USA is protecting Germany from Russia and therefore Germany should not be getting their gas supplies from Russia.

      America took over from the UK as the big bully tyrant after WW2, it is only now that China, Russia and others are standing up and saying enough.

      As for the last part “Who are these wealthy …..” simple answer, they are Our Mobsters and they have been running the protection racket for a lot longer than the USA so they have more wealth, power and influence than you might think. All done off the record by pulling the puppets strings.
      Try reading Robert Sephers book “1666 Redemption through Sin”. It seemed crazy to me however it all fits rather nicely with the historical record to be all fantasy and conspiracy theory.

      When one understands and accepts the above it will be clear that it will be immensely difficult to extricate Scotland from the UK without the Regime committing “war crimes” against our citizens with the express approval of the US and others. Before I hear the wails of “They wouldn’t do that, they’re civilsed” just remember Glasgow 1919 English Tanks on the streets. Just one of a litany of establishment force being used to quell protesters.
      We independence supporters really have no idea how difficult Nicola Sturgeon’s real job is getting us out of the hell hole in one piece.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. After yesterday, Kangaroo, we need to start moving on that right away.

        Mayhem was looking desperate yesterday. She’s an incompetent ninny when she’s firing on all cylinders. A desperate May may do anything.

        Let’s get while we can.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It wasn’t “legally sanctioned”.

      It was an illegal war of aggression & that dear boy is a war crime. They hung Germans and Japanese for that very charge after WW2.

      I understand that USAians think they’re the “good guys” but you’re not – you are a warmongering country which requires constant war to keep your economy running. You’ve invaded or engineered coups in every single mainland country in the Americas bar Canada. You are most definitely the bad guys in recent history!

      Nor are we – in fact the only times “Britain” has been the good guys was when fighting lunatics like Napoleon & Hitler. The rest of the time we have been the murdering genocidal bastards!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh and in case you’re not aware “Britain” murdered more civilians in India than Stalin did in his entire lifetime.

        You need a serious history lesson Danny but you won’t get it in your country.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Vestas………I’ve pontificated at length about the fact that the Brits raped and pillaged the world in the days of empire. But that doesn’t alter the fact that “Britain” can’t be prosecuted for a war crime as a result. Neither I suspect could any of the Prime Ministers of the period, who carried out the policies of the nation state. Neither could any of the American Presidents who are periodically ordered by anti-American lefties in Europe to report to the Hague for a war crimes trial. It does however make wonderful headlines in the leftist press. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. We need to remember that for Blair (in keeping with Labour tradition) it was always only about money and how much he could accrue to himself. All very sad about dead Iraqis etc, but money is more important. If being termed a war criminal is a side-effect of chasing the money, so be it, in Blair’s morals-free calculation.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Conan……I see that Niko (below) found a clip from the 15 minutes or so in the middle of “2001…..” that had a storyline and dialogue. Imagine what Kubrick could have done if he had hired a screenwriter to fill up the rest of the run time of that pretentious piece of cinematic garbage. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Arthur C. Clarke once said, “If you understand ‘2001’ completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered.”
          Rock Hudson was completely mystified by it, apparently.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Conan……While we’re on the subject, I do want to point out my boundless contempt for artistes who proclaim that their towering works are so intellectually and artistically gawd awful wonderful that they only raise questions. Surely the answers will take years to divine by even the most perceptive and insightful among us.

            Rock Hudson deserved an award for walking out of the premier. When confronted by someone yammering on about this great cinematic achievement, I always ask them what it was “about.” I usually get a blank stare, followed by something about HAL the computer. It’s all anyone remembers, because it’s pretty much the only part that had WORDS. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    3. I think they are Russians, Danny. They donate a lot of money to the Tory party and are allowed to make their residences in London. Of course the Royals are obscenely wealthy too in their own rights, because most of their wealth is, according to Panama Papers, held elsewhere!

      The way I see Blair is that he agreed to, in advance, action with Bush, over Iraq “no matter what”.

      I was in France when President Chirac made his address to the French people, saying that he would not commit to invasion of Iraq until Hans Blix’s report was in. He also believed that the UN had not given permission for the invasion of Iraq and that it would require another resolution. I agreed with everything he said and nothing that Blair said.

      Indeed Blair’s own legal advice was that another resolution was required, but he chose to ignore that. Knowing that France and China and Russia would vote again EngAmericaland, there was no chance of them asking the UN.

      There were, of course, no weapons of mass destruction, or at least in all the years that Iraq was occupied no one ever found them, regardless of the fact that Powell showed us photographs of them and should have been able to take the troops there in the first day.

      Hundreds of thousands of people’s lives were taken. Many more were maimed. And Iraq was left as a ruin of a country, driven back to the middle ages and under the rule of religious nut jobs.

      There are many who blame Blair and Bush (and their hard right wing mates in Italy and Spain) for the rise of ISIS and the spread of even more Middle East Terrorism.

      And Blair ended up with a Congressional Medal and multi millions of pounds.

      Whereas my friend’s sister’s Iraqi boyfriend’s family were wiped out, along with their home, their business…

      Of course that’s not all we hate Blair for.

      He was prime minister, and nominally in charge, when Brown was wrecking the financial system. But of course, he was far more interested in prancing about on the world stage, playing the big boy with his head firmly in DubYa’s arse than bothering about what was happening in little Britain. Oh no, he was far too important for that. Of course that doesn’t make him a war criminal, but there’s a pile more misery, poverty and bankruptcy that can be laid at his door.

      I’m not usually an uncharitable person, but I can’t in all truth wish him any kind of well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tris……I agree on every point. My quibble (especially absent formal charges) is just with the occasional war “crime” and “criminal” rhetoric. I’m sorry that there is no legal or political remedy for what DubYa and Cheney did….especially the phony “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for war. But as a matter of individual personal responsibility, I don’t confuse either one of them with Hitler; particularly since approval of the war was voted by both houses of Congress by roughly 3 to 1 margins. So when I hear that the president should report to the Hague to be tried for war crimes, I wonder if they will also have room for the majority of Congress. OR could it be that war crime tribunals are not really very well suited to punish the actions of nation states? I would have thought that the PM’s actions were even more circumscribed by Parliament than the President’s by Congress, and that the ultimate political responsibility for his actions were widely shared. But I could well be wrong about that.

        All that said, the temptation to view the elected president as a demon can be almost irresistible. I have a friend, a Democrat, who lost her mind when Trumpy was elected. She’s been yammering about fascism and Hitler ever since. As she plans his trial, I hope it occurs to her to go vote at the next opportunity. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The Germans voted for war too.

          Just because two rabidly right-wing elected assemblies vote for war doesn’t make it legal internationally.

          If you don’t understand that then you’ve drunk the kool-aid.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Vestas……I can’t find any reference to the Reichstag ever voting explicit war powers. It appears that they voted effective dictatorial powers to Hitler by the “Enabling Act” of 1933. So Hitler bore personal criminal responsibility for the prosecution of the war and the genocide. I’m just saying that however much of a schmuck he was, it seems highly unlikely that a British PM could prosecute formal military action without the support of Parliament.

            Like

              1. Tris……That’s very interesting!
                The constitution specifies that Congress declare war, but the last time that a joint resolution of both houses of Congress used that exact terminology was the WWII declarations.

                Wiki: “In the United States, Congress, which makes the rules for the military, has the power under the constitution to “declare war”. However neither the U.S. Constitution nor any Act of Congress stipulate what format a declaration of war must take. War declarations have the force of law and are intended to be executed by the President as “commander in chief” of the armed forces. The last time Congress passed joint resolutions saying that a “state of war” existed was on June 5, 1942, when the U.S. declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. Since then, the US has used the term “authorization to use military force”, as in the case against Iraq in 2003.”

                By the time war hysteria is at hand, the politicians are usually afraid NOT to vote an authorization. Hillary Clinton was a Senator and voted YES on the Iraq war authorization…..much to her later political discomfort after the DubYa debacle came crashing down.

                Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoever told you repeating the same slogan line over and over again is clever?

    snpBAD snpBadsnpBAD snpBad snpBAD snpBad
    snpBAD snpBadsnpBAD snpBadsnpBAD snpBad

    Works for me
    Obviously tris has never
    Attended a yoon media
    Training session

    Liked by 1 person

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