Friday, April 11, 2014
So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly, calling me ‘arch priestess of the sightless,’ ‘wonder woman,’ and a ‘modern miracle.’ But when it comes to a discussion of poverty, and I maintain that it is the result of wrong economics—that the industrial system under which we live is at the root of much of the physical deafness and blindness in the world—that is a different matter! It is laudable to give aid to the handicapped. Superficial charities make smooth the way of the prosperous; but to advocate that all human beings should have leisure and comfort, the decencies and refinements of life, is a Utopian dream, and one who seriously contemplates its realization indeed must be deaf, dumb, and blind. Helen Keller (letter to Senator Robert La Follette, 1924)

(Source: jinnigan)

Sunday, April 6, 2014 Friday, April 4, 2014



no but imagine the rawness of slytherin feminists

alternatively you could imagine a room full of tories who think of margaret thatcher as a feminist icon ‘cause it’s pm the same thing

Monday, March 24, 2014 Saturday, March 22, 2014

Government fiddles unemployment figures by classifying all people sanctioned as having left claimant count


‘Sanctioning’ is a particularly harsh and brutal way of treating unemployed people. They have all their benefit removed even for the most trivial infringements, e.g. being 5 minutes late for a job interview or for a work programme session. Their benefit (£71 a week JSA) is removed for 4 weeks for the first infringement, for 3 months for the second, and (almost unbelievably) for 3 years for the third. This quickly reduces the victims of this abhorrent policy to destitution and leaves them with no alternative but to beg for board and lodging from family or friends. There is no appeal against these decisions which could well be regarded as a breach of the common law by deliberately reducing a person to penury by administrative edict against which there is no redress. There are now nearly a million people who have been subject to this inhumane practice of sanctioning. That is awful enough, but it has now become clear there is another motive on the part of government driving this policy.

There has been great puzzlement in economic circles at the plunging drop in the unemployment figures over recent months from 7.8% to 7.1% which was far bigger than might be expected from the state of the economy and the very low level of labour productivity. It even caused consternation in the Bank of England where the governor Mark Carney was forced to revise his ‘forward guidance’ which had been based on raising interest rates when the unemployment level fell to 7%. It now seems this enigma can be explained. The government has adopted the utterly dishonest practice of excluding from the claimant count all those persons who have been sanctioned. Thus the abrupt fall in the claimant count is explained by the scam of regarding all sanctioned persons as no longer seeking work, though they clearly are.

What makes this wheeze even more contemptible is that the Office of National Statistics, set up specifically to verify the accuracy of official statistics, is being denied information by DWP about the impact of sanctioning on the unemployment figures. It seems that the Tories, having under Thatcher concealed the true levels of unemployment by re-classifying hundreds of thousands as ‘disabled’ instead – a classification from which they are now removing them by having Atos re-classify them back again as ‘fit for work’, have now concocted another fraudulent way of reducing the figures to burnish the Osborne recovery-that-never-was. They have also massaged the headline unemployment rate by basing it on a sample of just 41,000 or 0.16% of the population which is statistically meaningless. There seems no limit to Tory mendacity, but this one is certainly going to be nailed.

– Michael Meacher MP


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


It’s a testament to Margaret Thatcher’s belief that naked self-interest always defeats class solidarity that she imagined that the 1984-5 miners’ strike would end swiftly due to pressure from miners’ wives. Among the tranche of documents in this year’s National Archives release are handwritten notes Thatcher took during a meeting she held with the wives of strike-breaking Welsh miners.

Rose Hunter, from North Staffordshire Miners’ Support Group, recounts her experiences at a commemorative event in Bethnal Green: “Thatcher thought the women would get the men back to work. No. We wouldn’t put up with it. You don’t attack our community, our comrades, our sisters. So we organised.” And so Women Against Pit Closures formed 30 years ago, organised quickly and with remarkable tenacity for those with little direct experience of campaigning – and women’s groups sprung up and flourished in every mining community in Britain.

From the soup kitchens they began with, the women involved became increasingly politicised. Sometimes dismissed as little more than food distributors, the women marched, campaigned, collected money and picketed alongside the men. One of the most infamous photographs of the strike shows Sheffield WAPC’s Lesley Boulton at the “Battle of Orgreave”, raising her hand as a police officer on horseback prepares to strike her with his truncheon.

The women were keen to forge links with others experiencing systemic oppression – visiting Northern Ireland and welcoming the lesbian and gay miners’ support groups which drove to join pickets. Women from the Midlands noted how Asian communities ploughed money into the strikes when they saw the police treatment of miners mirroring their own experiences, and when Asian workers at Kewal Brothers clothing factory in Smethwick went on strike in 1984, 150 women and miners joined them in solidarity on their picket line.

Margaret Thatcher didn’t expect it, but miners’ wives galvanised the ‘84 strike

Sunday, March 16, 2014
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has submitted plans for the Faslane naval dockyard to pour more liquid waste into the Gareloch as the number of UK nuclear subs based there rises from five to 14 by 2019. The waste comes from the subs’ reactors and includes radioactive cobalt-60 and tritium. Casual reminder that the UK government stores nuclear submarines as far away from London as possible, right next to Glasgow, a city that conveniently houses pretty much zero Conservative voters, meaning that our opinions aren’t really relevent. Now they want to dump a bunch of nuclear waste into part of the Clyde, ie the river that runs through the middle of Glasgow itself. I can’t imagine why people are campaigning for Scottish independence.
Friday, March 7, 2014 Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Saturday, March 1, 2014

this is not even funny


this is not even funny