The fact that a third of the non-new money for Clegg’s Youth Contract will now go to employers, by way of a bribe to take people on, seems a bit like giving your mates a few bob to tide them over in tough times. No thoughts on how this will work, or the outcomes, is a gaping hole in the analysis that Cathy Newman provided in an otherwise good piece for Channel Four’s FactCheck http://tinyurl.com/84d38ln for instance.

For one thing, it’s highly unlikely that many small to medium enterprises, SME’s, will take advantage of the scheme for a number of reasons, not least of which is the capacity to invent work in a time of low demand. Larger organisations, already operating on the very edge of legal requirements,minimum wage, maximum hours, have the capacity to use additional staff to ease the burden on already worked to the bone workforces.

The £300m or so, may well be used, especially with the new working regulations, to try out replacement staff for those perhaps unionised, or otherwise troublesome staff that can be sacked, without redress to a tribunal. The opportunity to reduce worker’s rights further, with the threat that replacements are already in place for those stepping out of line is unlikely to be forsworn. It’s another double whammy for Dave and his buddies in Big Business. Slap down the workers and get paid for it.

Intimidation and bullying is a part of the DNA of this CONDEM government. Never again will people say of  the Liberals that they are; ” …too nice” to be in government, especially after the recent Liberal Total Support for the Schools Minister, Nick Gibbs’ repeated threat, reported by the BBC, to withdraw the enhanced pensions offer if the unions don’t settle and cancel the strike.

Not to see this latest ‘reactive scheme’ by Cleggy and Co to deal with the Neep’s abandonement, for what it is..another jolly wheeze by the Tory Toffs to line their pals pockets, slap down the unions and silence the increasingly marginalised Labour opposition, …is to accept that they’ve got the best PR and spin. The rest of us have got ‘Occupy’ and hope.

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Today’s U.S. political scene is scary. To be, what we would call ‘centre right’, which would more closely equate to old style Democrats, todays lot are raving fascists. I don’t quite get it though…when you look at their arts and culture scene, from writers to comedians to musicians, in the popular mainstream, there is a huge appetite for ‘liberal democracy’ and regulated markets. The way they’ve set up their political system means that you have to be very, very rich, or, be very well connected in order to raise sufficient money to stand even. I just don’t get why they’ve allowed their democracy to come to this!? At least our system isn’t that bad ..yet! Of course we’re buried in enrtrenched sectional interests and it’s still very difficult to break the stranglehold of the the three main parties, but it can be done and in a way that can make a difference. I’m thinking really of Caroline Lucas here. She manages to get her voice on the main stage and the big hitters do have to respond. It’s for this and several other reasons, which this isn’t probably the right forum to get into it, that I think, Occupy and The 99% movements have to go mainstream and form a political party. I know what the arguments against would be, like joining the enemy, getting marginalised by the professionals. For me, it doesn’t mean you do one thing or the other…be a campaigning protest group, OR a political party. In a grown up world, we should be capable of forming a truly democratic alliance, responsive to the activists and prevented from joining the Old Boys (and Girls) Clubs of the traditional parties.

Many are calling for those opposed to Thatcher to not celebrate her death when it comes, especially in the Labour Party.

I say………

In a world that cries out for equality, equity and social justice, there is no room for joy. No matter that Thatcher is an old woman, no matter that she is no longer insulting our screens and assaulting our senses with her hate and her hypocrisy. For most of us that lived through the barbarity of her rule, or reign, the death of the tyrant is the only beacon for light we have, or will see, without a terrible revolt that destroys all in order to remake and rebuild.

Many of us will not heed those calls, to replace days of dancing in the street, for a moment of quiet contemplation. We do not see the bright future you would have us await. We WILL shout to the heavens in pure and ecstatic joy. We WILL give the fascism of the right, their small victory, because they cannot do to us worse than she has already done. I WILL take my joy where I can find it. I WILL revel in the death of that hateful disciple, because I will hope that finally, the end of our living nightmare, may be hastened. For all your words of spirit to reincarnate our Labour of old, I ask you, where on your ‘tags’ of your pages, are the words, Equality, Equity, Social Justice. Where the solidarity of ‘The Occupy-ers’, where are ‘THE 99%’. AlmosJustice November 2011

By Naomi Wolf in The Guardian 25/11/2011

 

US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.

But just when Americans thought we had the picture – was this crazy police and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? – the picture darkened. The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that “New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers” covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that “It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk.”

In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on “how to suppress” Occupy protests.

To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force, and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.

I noticed that rightwing pundits and politicians on the TV shows on which I was appearing were all on-message against OWS. Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors’, city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.

Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq, Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people, with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks – under the benevolent eye of an NYPD cop – awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.

That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.

The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, “we are going after these scruffy hippies”. Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women’s wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the time).

In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.

But wait: why on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as members of the middle class (or upper middle class) – but they are leaving DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the “scandal” of presidential contender Newt Gingrich’s having been paid $1.8m for a few hours’ “consulting” to special interests. The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies’ profitsis less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congresspeople are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on companies about which they are legislating – a form of insider trading that sent Martha Stewart to jail.

Since Occupy is heavily surveilled and infiltrated, it is likely that the DHS and police informers are aware, before Occupy itself is, what its emerging agenda is going to look like. If legislating away lobbyists’ privileges to earn boundless fees once they are close to the legislative process, reforming the banks so they can’t suck money out of fake derivatives products, and, most critically, opening the books on a system that allowed members of Congress to profit personally – and immensely – from their own legislation, are two beats away from the grasp of an electorally organised Occupy movement … well, you will call out the troops on stopping that advance.

So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.

Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.

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http://tinyurl.com/cexerfu

I can imagine the conversation between Camoron and Gideon,”The press are all over us on the number of waste of space kids without jobs…what we gonna tell ’em?” …”Ah, this one’s easy! We take the money out of working tax credits coz those people have got jobs anyway and they wouldn’t dare give them up, especially knowing there’s no benefits to fall back on-our buddies in big business can probably even cut their wages a bit! But that’s a double whammy! We can subsidise our buddies in big business to take on the kids…get’s rid of some more of the benefits culture, subsidises our mates so we can get executive directorships when we get our asses kicked at the next election…cool!”

 

What a great way to run a country. Rob Peter to pay Paul politics!

Whatever happened to Dave’s greatest promise “To make working pay for everybody, especially the poor, We’ll use the working tax credits system to make sure that everybody has a working wage”

 

Bullshit Dave!……….

As this is my blog, and you’re just visiting, I should  forewarn you that I’m quite annoyed today, so if you don’t feel like reading a rant against the Tory government, yes I know that Clegg and Co claim to have their own party, but let’s get real, they’ve lost whatever independent constituency they ever had, then i suggest you leave sort of…now..ish! Some people evidently have a lot more belief and trust in  the CONDEM government than myself and many others. . The plain truth is that,the Tories latest wheeze and intention, is to kick people out of their affordable housing whenever the local authority wants, this will then result in the Tories installing their mates in those houses, buying them, and then selling them on for a swift 100% mark up profit. This is the next great sell off of Public property, which we already own to those who can more than afford it, in exactly the same way as Westminster Council tories did in the eighties, with another added bonus for the tories of getting more of their voters into what was more likely to have been labour supporting houses. It’s the same old Tory scam all over again but with the added benefit of this scheme that they can socially cleanse the more affluent areas of the poor,particularly in London, but other cities as well. This nasty bunch of neocons are determined to erase all and any public support and financial help for the poor, the sick and disabled.

As for the Economy……….

Anybody that’s taken in by the absolute myth that austerity is the only way to deal with the country’s huge debt problem is totally gullible. All nations run on debt, as do most companies, which is why the restrictions on liquidity enforced by the banks in order to try and stabilise themselves after their huge gambling brought the country to it’s knees, is now restricting our ability to create growth in the economy to pay down that debt. We have been and still are, subsidising the Financial Services sector to the tune of nearly £50billion per annum, because they were deemed too big to fail, this in turn meant that it didn’t matter how much they gambled, the taxpayer had to pick up the tab. Once you take into account the tax that the sector pays, the FS sector is actually only worth less than 2% of GDP in real money!

. The great money go round of The City that ‘we can’t afford to lose’ actually contributes practically nothing to the real economy compared to it’s size. If it shrunk by half and moved to say New York or Frankfurt,it would actually help our economy to grow other sectors, like manufacturing for instance, where again contrary to what most people believe, the UK is the sixth or seventh largest manufacturing economy in the World.

We should impose the Tobin tax, the Robin Hood tax as it’s known, which will raise a few £ billion pa and stabilise the markets dramatically because it will cut down on market speculation. The few firms that re-locate will not be a loss! It’s time to fight back for the 99%-even if many don’t realise they need us to!

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