Letter in The Guardian today, PROUD to be a Signatory, please READ & SHARE:
For chronically ill and disabled people, recent years have been a disaster. The UN recently found “reliable evidence that the threshold of grave or systematic violations of the rights of persons with disabilities has been met” (Report, 8 November 2016).
We have been forced through a work capability assessment that the government’s own expert adviser described as “inhumane”, and which in 2015 was found to be associated with an additional 599 suicides.
Many needing help are now forced through another persecutory assessment – the personal independence payment – designed to reduce the numbers qualifying for help by half a million.
Theresa May says this is “focusing disability benefit payments on those most in need”; but it means removing support from many in great need. Over 50,000 people have lost their vehicle, with some losing their…
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Here is the funding document to the Labour manifesto, showing where the money will come from to implement the manifesto commitments. As John McDonnell says in the Foreword:
“In this pamphlet we publish the costs and funding sources, and reference the research and calculations for each policy proposal. Every spending commitment is fully costed. Every source of funding is explained.”
The warning is the same as the one I gave in my previous blog on the manifesto: read the actual document, not just the media reports.
News from France. The other day it was announced that 24 parliamentarians from the previous ruling “Socialist” Party have signed up to stand as candidates to become Macron MPs (députés) in the legislative elections next month. Macron is the new President. One of these beauties turns out to be former Socialist prime minister Valls. I speculated to friends that all this might undermine Macron’s claim to be a fresh-faced anti-establishment candidate (apart, that is, from his history of being a member of the outgoing government and an ex-banker). I am backed up by today’s news: Edouard Philippe will be Macron’s PM.
Now, remember Macron is supposed to be the new broom, sweeping through the dark corridors of state, bringing change to France where it is so desperately needed, and his aim is “to reunite France”. Is Edouard Philippe the ideal choice for this role?
Edouard became a member of the Socialist Party when he was a student. He later became a follower of Michel Rocard, who was Socialist Party prime minister in the early 1990s. Edouard then moved to the right (Oh, Gawd, not that old story) and worked for Alain Juppe when Juppe was president of the right-wing UMP in 2002. He remained faithful to the UMP from then on and was one of the pillars of the Juppe primary campaign for President this year.
So the old guard (left, right and centre) is coming forward to help Macron. But, as Macron accepts the help, will it be to “reunite France”? Or simply to reunite the old establishment under his banner and reassure them that the old gravy train is still running?
Just wondering out loud.
[Juppe should have an acute accent on the “e”, but I’m on my iPad and I can’t find how to do it. Apologies!]
Whatever the spat between them this week over dinner, Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May are both of the pro-neoliberal centre right, and they need each other
“Praise god it’s not Russia this time!”
The Russian embassy in London neatly trolled Theresa May as she stood on the steps of Downing Street this week accusing Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU of interference in the British general election.
It was an extraordinary claim. Though it has to be said, the leaking to Germany’s leading conservative paper by officials on the Juncker side of what seems to have been an ill-tempered over-dinner meeting with May to discuss Brexit was unusual only in terms of who the target was.
Britain is not Greece. But the behaviour of the Luxembourgeois Juncker came as no surprise to anyone in the southern European country that has been ground in the maw of the European institutions over the…
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It is because I love this land that I despise
Your dirty rag. It is because I love this planet
And humanity in all its hues that I have never
Purchased you. And yet your reputation,
So preceding is it, that I’ve never needed to,
For what you do and say is parroted from every
Right-wing quarter every day and poured into my
Eyes and ears by all your corporate, mainstream
Peers as though your narrow, xenophobic tract
Did constitute empirically known fact.
But you are everything you claim to hate –
So rabid in your enmity of citizens and State.
You make your living sieving any information
That ingratiates you to the racists, homophobes,
Misogynists, elitists and the nationalists who’d
Have us in our places. You are bigots with a
Passion for a petty use of microscopic focus;
You are locusts to the fields of understanding,
Tolerance, compassion and…
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