2017 Autumn budget….poor show

So we have just had Philip Hammond’s autumn budget. Forgive me for seeming a little grim here but after talking about the significant drop in economic forecasts, this all seems like some Tory fairy tail.

So large economic reductions in forecast, spending sprees to businesses and small amounts of money for the people. Typical Tory budget then. Nothing to plug the NHS, defense and social care budget gaps. This is yet another poorly thought our budget. No wonder the countries fiances and economy is in a mess.

The fact that £3 billion was set out for brexit and £2.8 was provided to the NHS (£1.7 billion below the black-hole created by the Conservatives) just shows how out of touch and how much the Tories show contempt towards our vital public services.

This was Hammond’s chance to try and put the Tories on the front foot, instead we go a revised (poorer) economic future forecast and grim warning that the next decade they expect it to get even hard for people in terms of wage squeezes and inflation rises. He failed, not only his party but the people of this country. He offered nothing but more of the same old austerity (which has clearly failed) to the poorer classes in society.

We need true inspiration, a leader to who will stand up and make change happen. Unfortunately no a single person in the Tory party has any of these true leadership qualities. This is what makes Britain’s future look like the titanic heading towards and iceburg!

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Posted in Austerity, Brexit, Budget, Econemy, Politics | Leave a comment

Sexual harassment

So Parliament is broiled in another scandal. This scandal though, ranges the nation, not just in this country but across the globe.

I’m not going to go into names or industries as this is no about trying to score political joins. This issue involves all parties and all parts of this country. So lets start with the very simple and basic concept. Women are no object, trophies or male play toys. Women are people just like the rest of us. They have feelings, interests and their own mind. We live in a culture were women are expected to dress “sexy” and be seductive. This is evident from the programs on the TV, in magazines, and even in work places. The internet is completely filled with porn. All of this sends the wrong message to women and to men, particularly the younger generations. Changing this involves a huge culture change, and that is not an easy things to do. Or quick!

Women, just like men deserve respect. They need to feel valued and not like a commodity to throw away once used.

Now with so many allegations coming out of parliament at the moment we need to separate some of the issues as they are not all sexual harassment. There is a clear difference between, for example, an MP trying his luck with a journalist and being rejected and an accusation of sexual assault and rape. By an MP trying his luck I mean making a suggestive pass or comment towards to woman and being rejected. This is wrong and sleazy, however, it is not illegal. Also two consenting adults broiled in an affair at work, is also not illegal. An MP making suggestive comments, touching, grouping is illegal and this is sexual harassment. These cases must be reported as we have to take a zero tolerance stance with this. There does seem to be an adherent link that the men in a position of power use this to intimidate and harass women. I totally agree this is a real problem and it needs stamping out. A real man does not use this power to get what he wants but to use this power to make a positive difference to peoples lives.

It seems that some of the media are mixing much of this up as if all male members of Parliament are sexual predators. This is not the case and I do imagine over the next few weeks we will see more allegations then we will see the media reporting the differences more accurately. At the moment they are trying to make it look like Westminster is filled with sexual beasts hiding in each dark corner waiting for their victims.

It is very easy to work with women, respect them and treat them equally. There is nothing wrong with seeing a woman and thinking she is attractive, it is human nature. The issue is how we as men act towards women that is the problem.

I can’t remember who said this quote fairly recently but it is indeed hitting the nail on the head. This is a male problem and we need to sort it.

Posted in Harassment, Parliament, Sexual Assault | Leave a comment

Weak government….time to step aside!

Ever since Theresa May took control of the Conservative party they have taken a serious decline in public opinion as well as public confidence. Things for the Tories have been in decline for some time and they have managed to  cover up their plummeting membership. They now claim to have roughly 100k members, which many believe in reality is far less than that, but they do admit that their membership in the decline and has been for the last decade.

So since the snap election that May called, they have gone from one politician disaster to another. They claimed every vote at the GE would make her hand stronger at the negotiation table with the EU. The public clearly rejected this as she lost her majority. We see that the negotiations have been somewhat a disaster thus far. 6 months on from article 50 yet still no real headway made. We have seen the PM travel twice to the EU basically begging to move the negotiations on. Germany and France both slapped down the Tories decision to beg for a transitional period. For now at least. Remember when David Davis claimed it would be a cinch and the EU need us more than we need them? Seems those lies have well and truly been exposed.

Add to this that Jeremy Corbyn was asked to give a speech to the EU conference in which he got a standing ovation, makes this government look very weak and clinging to power.

They have been engulfed with the disastrous universal credit roll out. Not only have they had to back down and drop the 55p a minute charge for the line, they were embarrassed when they called a three line whip to abstain from voting to postpone the next phase roll out. They were defeated 299-0. So not only were they defeated they are ignoring this result and still steam rolling it through. This is their flagship policy that they know has been a disaster. This just shows the contempt the Tories have for the poor and those on benefits. They are ignoring the vote in parliament, avoiding debating the issues and forcing it through.

The Tories also lost the vote to increase student tuition fees. The increased then £250 but they wanted to basically double them. The vote Labour forced shows this government can’t govern a sweet shop let along parliament.

Then we have the Tories other idea of closing job centers across the UK. Their idea is to close a few for their planned cuts in Glasgow to start. Then eventually roll this out across the country and it will be chaos trying to get appointments or help for job seekers. This on the back of their blatant attack on the NHS and closure of A&E’s along with countless walk in centres. Look at the mess the health service is in!

The national debt has doubled under this government. When they took office, the UK was 750 billion in the red, with 150 billion of that being a deficit. Since taking office they have driven the deficit down to roughly 55 billion and at the same time created debt of 1.7 trillion.

The economy has stalled and inflation is on a continues increase, while productivity is the poorest in the EU. Wages are squeezed and no sight of pay rises as the Tories allow companies to exploit workers while paying their top brass lavish bonuses and pensions.

We have also seen the latest crime figures expose the failed policies the Tories forced on the police. The rise in crime has hit 13%. On top that police say they can’t afford to spare what little resources they have to investigate burglaries, muggings, shop lifting and robbery unless there is good camera/CCTV  footage as they can’t afford to spare officers where crimes have a unlikely probability of catching the perpetrator.

This government is incompetent but they are also guilty of grouse negligence. It’s time they stepped down and let the Labour government in waiting take the rains as that old saying states, you can’t trust a Tory.

Posted in Austerity, Brexit, Conservatives, Econemy, Jeremy Corbyn | Leave a comment

Disastrous Tory party conference 2017

If you had seen the Tory party conference you would have noticed this event was…….seriously lacking in debate, ideas and enthusiasm. It was flat, mundane and boring. This was all before Theresa May’s speech at the end of the conference. This was the polar opposite of the Labour conference just the week prior.

What we did see, which was very clear, was that the Tories are on the ropes. They can’t fight back, they have nothing to challenge Labour with. When Philip Hammond took stage all he did was ignorantly boast was how Labour and Jeremy Corbyn would take us back top the 1970s. Claiming socialism had failed the world and that a vote for him was a vote to turn the UK into Venezuela. What utter nonsense! Philip Hammond, in his speech, summed up the Tory parties problem. They keep producing spin and lies. At a time when the economy is performing the worst of all of the G8 countries and the worst in the EU, to spout these lies shows you are trying to cover your failures.

With continuous rhetoric this switches people off, their eyes glaze over as it begins to bore them. The fact that Hammond, being probably the most boring man in politics, delivered this speech that was so lacking inspiration that he failed to fill half the seats in the conference room. When you remove the spin, they have nothing to offer the country. They have no new ideas as they keep promising the same old policies with little detail, this majorly backfired at the last election. I thought they would have learned this as it cost them many many votes. With the constant attacking on Labour, social media had a field day, tearing into them like hungry wolves devouring their prey. The constant attacks on Corbyn was as if he had infiltrated their conference with the Tories even realising.

We then had Boris Johnson making idiotic jokes about cleaning up dead bodies in Libya to make it the next Dubai. Not only was this insensitive to the civil war he’s making jokes at the innocent people who have been caught up in this conflict and lost their lives.

Then we had Theresa may’s speech. It was basically Ed Miliband’s speech from back in 2015 or so. So many policies were basically stolen from him. Claims of building an extra 5000 homes year was laughed at by the media as this is a drop in the ocean as to what is required in this housing crisis. Caps on energy prices were also a “major” policy announcement. We have heard this for almost a decade now and that prices are to high and they need tackling. This is basically another failed policy that will do nothing.

All of this, before I even mention the disaster that her speech became. Now she had a very bad cough so I will not hold that against her as we all get these. She tried to deal with it as best she could. What was a real concern is a prankster that got to the stage and handed her a fake P45. This was hugely embarrassing, where were her security? The prankster was gently ushered away and he then approached Boris saying “I have given her the P45, you now have a clear run at the leadership like we agreed Boris”. This could have been a Boris ploy all along, but we are getting into conspiracy theories here. Then as she delivered her speech, the wording behind her began to fall down. Letter by letter.

Apparently after the speech she burst into tears knowing how bad things has been for her while on the stage, knowing the media are going to talk about this for a while. These are selfish tears. Tears about how bad it was for her. Not a single tear for how badly she, and the rest of the Tories, have treated the public sector workers, the sick and the disabled. The extreme austerity they have beat the country down with. I have no sympathy for her.

They say what goes around, comes around. Maybe karma is just returning to her for what her and her government has done to this country!

Posted in Austerity, Conservatives, Politics, Propaganda | Leave a comment

Labour Party Conference 2017

What a Conference! Regardless of your political standing you can’t disagree with how positive and how much the members are behind the Labour leadership.

This Conference was a huge success. Jeremy Corbyn’s vision for Britain and the Labour party is clear. The Labour party is offering hope, change, fairness and social justice to this country, something Britain has needed for many many years. There was also also honesty which is something rarely seen at conferences.

Labour set out it’s stall regarding re-nationalising many industries such as energy, rail, postal and health care. Add to this that John MacDonald advised Labour are expecting, and have planned, a run on the pound due to expected economic crisis that Brexit will bring. As usual the right wing rags twisted this and tried to spin it that Labour are preparing for a run on the pound due to their policies (here). Which is not what was said in the slightest, but what do you expected from a bias, lying and corrupt mainstream media?!

It was clear from the conference that left wing politics is not dead, we are constantly told from the mainstream media. It is alive, kicking and growing. Labour’s membership has soared since Jeremy Corbyn became leader (here). In the recent general election it was “claimed” from many that Labour would be wiped out and this would be the death of the party. How they were wrong!

The conference saw delegates from all over take part in discussions in all areas, even areas that I never thought would make it to the platform. It was refreshing to see so many people being passionate, enthusiastic and determined to take the fight to the neo-liberal failed political sphere. We saw so many trade unions, groups and individuals offer so much towards progressive politics in this conference, that Labour are indeed offering hope and change.

The week before we saw the Lib-Dems conference kind of fissile out before it barely started but next week we have the Conservative conference. We know they are fighting among themselves over Brexit and there are also rumors of a leadership challenge as Theresa May is now polling so badly and the polls are showing Labour would win if a general election was called today. It will be interesting to see how the planned protesting at their conference goes. The Tories are also facing collapse according to Robert Halfon deputy chair of the Conservative party (here).

After decades of lies and deceit from the right wingers, we are seeing democratic socialism make a huge comeback. Capitalism has failed the people, we were all told how great it would be and how rich we where all going to be. Move on 30/40 years since Thatcher tried to con the country and we are in a worse situation than we ever where. People are sick of it, they want change. Labour are truly a government in waiting!

Posted in CWU, For The Many, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, Trade Unions | Leave a comment

Tory Brexit shambles continues!

So we are still no further forward. We still have no clear path for Brexit. Remember when “Brexit means Brexit”, and “no deal is better than a bad deal”? Well these seem to have  disappeared into the archive of forgotten failed political slogans these days.

Since the EU negotiations started the governments negotiating team seems to have completely fallen apart. After each meeting we hear that the talks went well from the government, but the EU side come out each time explain that we are no further forward as the UK government don’t know what they want and that the seem to think that David Davis is unfit for the job as he walks in, no notes, puts his feet up and tells the EU what he wants. As you can imagine, this arrogance gets the meetings off to a bad start and not much is discussed.

So after months of negotiations, Theresa May finally delivered a speech conceding that a transitional period will be required. This is what Labour has said from the start, that an additional 2 year period (until 2021) will need to be in place as businesses need more time to change and adhere to the new developments from the discussions. We recently saw complaints from leading business that a meeting thay had with government officials (assuming they where to be updated) that the meeting was nothing more than the government asking for ideas of how to deal with Brexit. You can imagine business leaders frustrations and shock to this as 15 months after a referendum result, the government still have no plan or idea how to deal with Brexit.

So in her speech she still produced the same mantra we are leaving with confirmation that we will not longer be part of the single market or customs union. So we are going full front for a hard Brexit, but begging the EU for another two years to do this. It has never been more clear that this government thinks it can have its cake and eat it.

Literally the same day as the speech, Moody’s, downgraded the UK’s credit rating to AA2 (here), two from the triple A status the country enjoyed back in 2013. They believe that the governments finances are not in order and will only get worse after Brexit. This also follows the claims that there are 50 documents the government refused to publish regarding the devastating impact Brexit will have on the UK economy (here). This looming disaster will not harm those with wealth too much, but it will see the working class everyday person suffer dramatically.

It is astonishing that after the general election result, whereby the nation, rejected giving the Tories a mandate for a hard Brexit, she still tries to pursue this avenue. The clock is still ticking on this governments time in office, they are desperate to force through everything they want, regardless what the public opinion.

Posted in Brexit, Conservatives, Econemy, European Union | Leave a comment

Why join a union?

I often get asked why join a union? What can they do for me? Do they have any power? Do we have to strike all the time?

Firstly, I always recommend joining a union of the field you work. This fundamentally is a type of job insurance. I’m a member and representative of the CWU. There are many unions and below is a list of a few (with links):

GMB
UNISON
FBU
NUT
UNITE

Unions offer protection under the law and are experts in these matters. Unions are there to protect their members. If you are ever bullied, discriminated against, harassed or belittled in the work place the union will stand up for you. The representatives from the unions will endeavor to ensure that employers meet not only their legal obligations but that they are making every effort to make the work place safe and a decent place to work.

Now more than ever has a union’s role in the economy been needed with the recent Tory cuts, attacks and discrimination practices towards workers, the disabled and the people receiving benefits.

Since the financial crash in 2008 companies have tried to exploit their workforce. At the start of the crash and a few years after, some companies were in trouble and needed to stop pay increases etc. However, once they had ridden out the storm they found they could save money using the crash as an excuse not to pay its workers a fair wage. They have stagnated wages deliberately to increase profit margins. Put more pressure on workers to ensure that companies can put extra work loads on their employees rather than creating new jobs, in essence costing jobs. Again saving themselves money, all the while the upper management keep getting huge increases to their bonuses and luxurious diamond plated pensions. They have attacked workers pensions in an attempt to water down how much the companies are willing to put into workers pensions (here). Companies have even moved over to zero hours contracts to avoid sick, holiday and maternity/paternity pay (Sports Direct / here). A record number of companies have also been named, shamed and fined by the government for paying less than the minimum wage (here).  We are seeing companies trying to exploiting the workforce using the system.

You can always fight your own battles but working together you can get far more done. This is why unions are vital in the workplace. It gives workers a voice collectively that the company will listen too. You won’t always get your own way but it provides you with protections and give you a louder voice.

Unions can also negotiate on your behalf. For example, each year brings a pay review when employed. The unions can take all it’s member and negotiate on your behalf. Recently the CWU got BT employees a 2.6% pay increase (here) while the market place overall saw less than 1% pay increase over all sectors (stagnating wages). Unions can also negotiate working conditions such as shifts, holidays, pay and pensions among many other area.

The myth that unions are only around to cause trouble is nothing more than right wing propaganda attempting to belittle the power of collective bargain. Many companies don’t like unions and refuse to recognize unions because they call out employment exploitation. They don’t like the fact that workers can stand up for themselves.

Some companies do volunteer to recognize unions and work with them to ensure the work place is happy and taken good care of. In these cases, this is were you see the strongest companies in the market, as the employer listens and respects the worker voice, and in return, employees show loyalty and work hard for the company.

Joining does not cost much, it’s a small amount for the protection and benefits the unions offer their members.

Posted in CWU, Econemy, Trade Unions, Work Place | Leave a comment