Council tax support cuts target the most vulnerable

From the Whitstable Gazette 08/09/2016 Cut So Canterbury City Council are planning to cut the amount of support people get towards paying their council tax. Currently the council operates a council tax support scheme (CTSS) which limits the amount people … Continue reading Council tax support cuts target the most vulnerable

I voted leave in the name of democracy

OK, so I voted to leave the EU. It took a long time to reach my decision. I was pulled both ways. Pretty well all of my friends were voting to remain and it was difficult to find myself in opposition to people I love and who I had shared a platform with on more than one occasion, but that is where my deliberations lead me. The national debate took place almost exclusively on right-wing terms. It was all about immigration and the money in your wallet, with both sides twisting the facts to suit their agenda. There simply wasn’t … Continue reading I voted leave in the name of democracy

Corporations the worst offshore tax offenders

There was something dishonest about the way news of the Panama papers was presented to us by the mainstream media. The first thing we were treated to were insights into the financial arrangements of Valdimir Putin and some top officials of the Chinese Communist Party. It was only later that we began the hear about David Cameron’s dad’s offshore dealings and the possibility that our Prime Minister may have been involved in tax avoidance in the past. After that leaders of all the major political parties were forced to publish their tax returns. So what is it about the words … Continue reading Corporations the worst offshore tax offenders

Austerity: a fancy word for class war

The business secretary, Sajid Javid, has ruled out nationalisation for Britain’s ailing steel industry. On the other hand, when the banks were in trouble in 2007, state aid was lavished upon them in mind-boggling quantities. In the period from 2007 to 2010, the British taxpayer directly subsidised the banks to the tune of £1,162 billion. Try thinking about that for a second. That’s one thousand, one hundred and sixty two thousand million; or one thousand, one hundred and sixty two followed by nine noughts. It’s a huge number. So huge, in fact, that it’s almost impossible to imagine it. But … Continue reading Austerity: a fancy word for class war

Poor paying for profligacy of the rich

It seems our MP voted against a House of Lords plan for an impact assessment into cuts to Employment and Support Allowance to the work related activity group. To translate that into normal English: Julian Brazier has just voted to take £30 a week away from disabled people. Yes, you heard that right. Some of the most vulnerable people in society are now being picked on by our government in order to cover up their mismanagement of the economy. Employment and Support Allowance is money provided to disabled people on the recognition that their disability makes it harder for them … Continue reading Poor paying for profligacy of the rich

We’re being asked to make impossible choices

I’m just looking at Kent County Council’s budget consultation document for 2016-2017. It makes for abysmal reading. After asking us how much Council Tax we would be willing to pay, it goes on to offer a series of increasingly impossible choices. We are asked to identify the most and the least important services from a set of lists of what £1,000 of council spending buys. There are 14 lists altogether. Here are some examples: Twenty two faulty street lights to be repaired; sixty two attendances by a young person at their local youth centre; five hundred journeys on subsidised bus … Continue reading We’re being asked to make impossible choices

Ignore the Tory PR, give Corbyn a chance

Unless you’ve been on Mars for the last week, you should know the result of the Labour Party leadership election by now. Those of us on the left are naturally very happy. I’ve even rejoined the Labour Party. It feels like I’m coming home. Winning the Labour Party election was the easy part, of course. The difficult bit will be winning over the public, who are already being subjected to a propaganda campaign of historic proportions. David Cameron tweeted: “The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.” At the same … Continue reading Ignore the Tory PR, give Corbyn a chance

Tory with a wilted rose

  You won’t be surprised to learn that I am supporting Jeremy Corbyn as the next leader of the Labour Party. He’s not really a “hard-left extremist”, despite what the media tells you. He is an old fashioned social democrat, like the Labour government of 1945, which brought us the National Health Service and the welfare state, or like current governments in the Scandinavian countries, which have some of the highest standards of living in the world. The only reason he can be portrayed as an extremist is that politics have moved so far to the right in the last thirty … Continue reading Tory with a wilted rose