Monday, 22 February 2016

Cameron Cuts Too Far

"But council leader Ian Hudspeth hit back, saying the curbs were the result of reductions in funding from central Government." (This is the council leader in Cameron's own constituency.)
"Mr Cameron's spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has talked many times about the need, as we look at how we manage our public finances better, to make sure we are making efficiencies through back office savings and therefore continue to protect the frontline and the services that local people need."

They speak as though backroom and frontline staff somehow work in isolation of one and other. This is of course not the case. Mostly the two areas carry out entirely different roles that complement one and other. 
Depleting operations of backroom staff is a false economy as it forces more and more admin work onto the shoulders of the frontline staff, the ones who are meant to be delivering the service.
Ergo, services can only be properly operated with backroom staff backing up the work of frontline staff.
Let's take away Cameron's researchers and admin staff and see how well he performs in Parliament. On the other hand...

Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Spoilt Twats of Today Haven't got a Fucking Clue

I found this interesting piece of social commentary on Facebook. Reading down the list of things we 60s kids didn't give a fuck about I couldn't help but agree with most of the points. Sure the 60s were in many ways tough. But to say, 'The spoilt twats of today haven't got a fucking clue!' shows a real ignorance of what is going on in Cameron’s UK.

I wonder if the author of the piece would include as clueless spoilt twats the 100,000 children that went hungry in the UK last year? Or those who go to school most days without breakfast?

Just for the record, I'm 59 and my childhood spanned the 1960s. While the 60s were tough, I'd say today is far tougher for many of Britain’s youngsters. Here’s why. I came from a working class background, five kids in the family and two parents. None of us went hungry. We lived in a council house with secure tenure of tenancy. There were rent controls that stopped the excesses of rapacious landlords. Evictions from council housing was unheard of.

My father worked in a job that didn't depend on tax credits. Back then we had strong trade unions which meant people earned a decent living wage. The closed shop gave a degree of protection to tradespeople. This government is about to bring in a series of laws that will drag trade unionism back to the days of the combination acts that outlawed worker collectivism.

As a family we went on holiday most years. Often the entire family travelled to Ireland. My parents staying for a couple of weeks, then leaving two or three of us there for the duration of the school summer holidays.

All our medical needs were met by the state, not necessarily the case today. My parents weren’t expected to contribute towards our schooling in any way. Schools provided all the equipment a child needed to be educated. School dinners were cheap and nutritious; and were necessary free.

Children who went on to university (and around 18% of my class from a secondary modern school got into university) did not have to pay a penny towards either tuition or living costs, indeed few needed to work while studying.

Public transport, buses, underground and British Rail were affordable, regular and clean.

The 1960s were not perfect by any means. Racism was still rampant. Being Irish held its own special treatment. We lived in a more deferential society. For instance, doctors were treated as though they were doing you a favour by being arsed to even deign to treat you. The Old Bill were feared; courts were very scary places; and of course the death penalty still existed.

My point is that fifty-some years on we as a society are going backwards. The gains made by the post-war Labour government; and the battles won by trade unions will be lost. Our welfare state and NHS could be obliterated by 2020.

I am personally proud of the fucking clueless spoilt twats of today who are, with the aid of social media and a renewed sense of politics, fighting against austerity; battling for their public services; marching for the NHS; defending their neighbours from eviction; all this while trying to afford an education, look for affordable housing; find work without the assistance of state benefits…   

Tuesday, 2 February 2016



Once I had a job working on the line
It was a living and everything was fine
Then Liz Sayce grabbed the Tory bob

Which threw thousands of us out of a job.

Working at Remploy meant I wasn’t poor

And it kept the bad wolf away from my door

It put food on the table and paid the bills

As well as helping me to develop new skills.

Although the work didn’t always stretch my mind

And sometimes it felt like more of a grind

Yet the camaraderie, the jokes, the craic

Made up for any humdrum, as I look back.

In wage talks our steward’s knew their brief

Knowing any stitch-ups would end in grief

So all offers went first to the shop floor

If a rep bypassed us, he was shown the door.

Then MP Margaret Hodge decided to have a go

Describing Remploy as a workplace ghetto

A warehouse for crips to congregate

To while away their time, and to vegetate.

The very notion that we were segregated

In workhouse conditions now antiquated

Couldn’t be further away from actual truth

Her comments made without the burden of proof.

If Remploy workers were late in the mornings

The management would issue written warnings;

Like other workers we grafted from eight to four

And on the bell we were straight out the door.

But it wasn’t only MPs who wished our demise

The big charities also eyed up the Remploy prize

Damning factory life with lies and distortion

In the expectation of grubbing their portion.

When finally, the factories shut up shop

The craven charities were caught on the hop

As there was no pot of gold, no fat dividend

All they were left with was a reputation to mend.

This is, sadly, a tale of betrayal and of woe

For Remploy workers who felt the cold blow,

Abandoned by Iain Duncan-Smith’s DWP

Brought about by Sayce’s perfidious decree.

So if you ever come across the Judas Sayce

Remind her that she’s a fucking disgrace

For consigning so many people to the dole

Just so she could achieve her selfish goal.