"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Poverty

Is #ChloeSmithMP Taking The Piss?


 

"We've discovered rubbing these chocolates all over your skin then seven pairs of thermals will work wonders. Just don't eat the chocs..they're fattening."

Well, you judge for yourselves!

Ms.Smith has been up at Asda on the Norwich ring road today launching her new Warm Up For Winter campaign, which offers advice to people on how best to fight off the cold in the coming months and ‘potentially save lives’.

Obviously she regards the days ‘campaigning’ as a bit of a blinder…

“It was really successful, and a lot of people were extremely interested in the information we had available and I was glad they found it helpful.

It was also positive to work alongside the council and have Age UK provide literature.

No one should face the choice between food and fuel. Too many of the elderly and vulnerable in our community suffer in the cold weather. This winter, it does not have to be that way.

If you have any questions about the help available to the elderly or vulnerable during the winter, please do come and see me at the surgery. I will have information on the financial assistance available as well as lots of practical and simple tips for keeping warm.”

Now we’re sure many of you will want to take her up on her piss-taking offer and get her to explain how exactly Tory cuts will reduce the annual mortality rate of elderly people who die of cold and lack of food during winter. This currently stands at around 25,000 people in the UK so we’re really interested in what this advice she’s offering could possibly be! Fifty push ups in the garden or chucking another family photo album on the hearth perhaps?

Here’s a tip …Jog on Chloe! (Now there’s an idea…)

Her next surgery will be at St George’s Church on Sprowston Road on December 4 at 11.30am.

See you there! 

 

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Norfolk Community Respondents Initiative Blog Online


Meetings and discussions continue to take place to launch the Norfolk Community Respondents Initiative and some great plans and ideas are being put in place.

Keep and eye on the new blog http://norfolkcommunityrespondentsinitiative.wordpress.com/


To Tramps, The Unemployed, The Disinherited, And Miserable, by Lucy Parsons 1884


 

Lucy Parsons in 1920

An article by Lucy E. Parsons in anarchist magazine Alarm, October 4, 1884. Also printed and distributed as a leaflet by the International Working People’s Association. How times DON’T change…

A word to the 35,000 now tramping the streets of this great city, with hands in pockets, gazing listlessly about you at the evidence of wealth and pleasure of which you own no part, not sufficient even to purchase yourself a bit of food with which to appease the pangs of hunger now gnawing at your vitals.

It is with you and the hundreds of thousands of others similarly situated in this great land of plenty, that I wish to have a word.

Have you not worked hard all your life, since you were old enough for your labour to be of use in the production of wealth? Have you not toiled long, hard and laboriously in producing wealth? And in all those years of drudgery do you not know you have produced thousand upon thousands of dollars’ worth of wealth, which you did not then, do not now, and unless you act, never will, own any part in?

Do you not know that when you were harnessed to a machine and that machine harnessed to steam, and thus you toiled your 10, 12 and 16 hours in the 24, that during this time in all these years you received only enough of your labour product to furnish yourself the bare, coarse necessaries of life, and that when you wished to purchase anything for yourself and family it always had to be of the cheapest quality?

If you wanted to go anywhere you had to wait until Sunday, so little did you receive for your unremitting toil that you dare not stop for a moment, as it were? And do you not know that with all your squeezing, pinching and economising you never were enabled to keep but a few days ahead of the wolves of want?

And that at last when the caprice of your employer saw fit to create an artificial famine by limiting production, that the fires in the furnace were extinguished, the iron horse to which you had been harnessed was stilled; the factory door locked up, you turned upon the highway a tramp, with hunger in your stomach and rags upon your back?

Yet your employer told you that it was overproduction which made him close up. Who cared for the bitter tears and heart-pangs of your loving wife and helpless children, when you bid them a loving “God bless you” and turned upon the tramper’s road to seek employment elsewhere?

I say, who cared for those heartaches and pains? You were only a tramp now, to be execrated and denounced as a “worthless tramp and a vagrant” by that very class who had been engaged all those years in robbing you and yours. Then can you not see that the “good boss” or the “bad boss” cuts no figure whatever? that you are the common prey of both, and that their mission is simply robbery? Can you not see that it is the INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM and not the “boss” which must be changed?

Now, when all these bright summer and autumn days are going by and you have no employment, and consequently can save up nothing, and when the winter’s blast sweeps down from the north and all the earth is wrapped in a shroud of ice, hearken not to the voice of the hypocrite who will tell you that it was ordained of God that “the poor ye have always”; or to the arrogant robber who will say to you that you “drank up all your wages last summer when you had work, and that is the reason why you have nothing now, and the workhouse or the workyard is too good for you; that you ought to be shot.” And shoot you they will if you present your petitions in too emphatic a manner.

So hearken not to them, but list! Next winter when the cold blasts are creeping through the rents in your seedy garments, when the frost is biting your feet through the holes in your worn-out shoes, and when all wretchedness seems to have centred in and upon you, when misery has marked you for her own and life has become a burden and existence a mockery, when you have walked the streets by day and slept upon hard boards by night, and at last determine by your own hand to take your life – for you would rather go out into utter nothingness than to longer endure an existence which has become such a burden – so, perchance, you determine to dash yourself into the cold embrace of the lake rather than longer suffer thus. But halt, before you commit this last tragic act in the drama of your simple existence. Stop!

Is there nothing you can do to insure those whom you are about to orphan, against a like fate? The waves will only dash over you in mockery of your rash act; but stroll you down the avenues of the rich and look through the magnificent plate windows into their voluptuous homes, and here you will discover the very identical robbers who have despoiled you and yours. Then let your tragedy be enacted here! Awaken them from their wanton sport at your expense! Send forth your petition and let them read it by the red glare of destruction.

Thus when you cast “one long lingering look behind” you can be assured that you have spoken to these robbers in the only language which they have ever been able to understand, for they have never yet deigned to notice any petition from their slaves that they were not compelled to read by the red glare bursting from the cannon’s mouths, or that was not handed to them upon the point of the sword.

You need no organisation when you make up your mind to present this kind of petition. In fact, an organisation would be a detriment to you; but each of you hungry tramps who read these lines, avail yourselves of those little methods of warfare which Science has placed in the hands of the poor man, and you will become a power in this or any other land.

http://www.lucyparsonsproject.org/index.html


Cameron’s Ideological Destruction Of The Welfare State


The most dangerous man in Britain today?

We knew we were in trouble no matter who won the last election.

Another four years of New Labour and the injust and intrusive ‘Big Brother’ state and the continuation of the destruction of the Labour movement, or the toffs of the Conservative party with their sole interest, the propping up of the rich to the detriment of the poor in our society…

How many of us however realised just how far a new Tory government, with their Liberal poodles, would go?

Yes we’ve been aware there were likely to be cuts in the public and private sectors. Each of our darling political parties told us so. What we didn’t know however was the extent to which this government was aiming to fulfil the same old Thatcherite ideology- nothing short of the total destruction of the welfare state.

In a week where the announcement that banking profits have gone far beyond even the most optimistic economists predictions, and news that housing prices are once again on the rise, David Cameron has announced the plan to eradicate the right to stay living in council housing indefinitely.

While the word ‘community’ keeps popping out of Camerons mouth he plans to wipe out what little ‘community’ we have left.

Once we could grow up in the same house, move to a house nearby when old enough to start families of our own, grow up in an area with people we had known all our lives…

Years of government inaction by refusing to build new social housing put an end to that kind of ‘community’ many years ago. People have had to move miles away from families and friends because there was either a shortage of housing or buying property was simply out of the question due to an obvious lack of economic fluidity to most ordinary working people.

Now it gets worse. If you leave home, will your parents be evicted because they no longer need the housing now you’ve fled the nest? Will you lose your home because you’ve found a job that pays that £1000pa more?

It’s time to stop living in a fantasy people, time to turn the TV off and open your twitchy curtains.

We are heading for the destruction of all the great rights and achievements our great-grandparents won for us.

No more health service, public housing, workers rights, welfare and sickness benefits for the most vulnerable…just a return to the days of old…serfdom at the beck and call of the privileged elite who are getting stronger and stronger by the day.

Question is, have you the willingness to actually turn that thing off and take a look at what’s actually going on around you before it’s too late?

Telegraph Report: No more council houses for life, says David Cameron.

Guardian Report:David Cameron announces plan to end lifetime council tenancies

Channel 4 News:Cameron signals social housing reform


Welfare Cuts Are Not Workable, Say Unions.


The government’s biggest benefits overhaul in decades will not work unless jobs are available, unions and campaigners have warned.

Proposals to reform Britain’s benefits system to “make work pay” had been unveiled by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

He outlined how he wanted to rectify the current system, where he claimed that benefits pay more than work and which, he claimed, has created “ghettos of worklessness” where “idleness has become institutionalised.”

One option included combining the current income-related benefits and tax credit systems.

Another called for supplementing monthly household earnings through credit payments reflecting circumstances such as children, housing and disability.

But Unite assistant general secretary for public services Gail Cartmail said: “Most economic forecasts are indicating that British growth in the next two years is likely, at best, to remain low.

“That means the likelihood of new jobs being created without the impetus of state spending is negligible.”

PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka agreed that the proposals wouldn’t work if there were no jobs to go to.

“The government’s own research shows that for every job cut in the public sector, another job will be lost in the private sector, and the cuts could add another one million people to dole queues,” he said.

Child Poverty Action Group policy chief Imran Hussain said the government must mend the safety net for families who cannot find work and provide fair public services for those who need them most.

A spokeswoman for single parent charity Gingerbread argued that more detail needed to be drawn up with assurances that the most vulnerable will be protected.

Scottish TUC general secretary Grahame Smith added that the fundamental issue of low pay as a key contributor to poverty and a drain on the welfare budget had been sidestepped.

source