Skip to main content


The strapline for this blog that I'm in danger of ignoring defines this as my record of how I endured the Cameron years. A period I hope history will measure with the requisite degree of justice and objectivity. It has been a period of, in my view, quite unprecedented change. People are now defined by uncertainty with views largely determined by the agendas of a predominantly right wing and unreasonably powerful media; they look to 'common sense' - ie how they feel - to inform their views.

They don't know what is factually correct because the deceitful nature of the political class has soured discourse to such a degree that anyone proposing evidence is treated with suspicion. The only truth is that political correctness, yet again, trounces everything and 'good' people are sacrificed on its altar.

People are placing their faith in trite platitudes (if I hear the phrase 'feel good factor' once more....) and decrying those who dare to speak against the now well-cemented lie that the last government wrecked everything.

We have less than a month to go until the greatest, though not great, and only (more importantly) opportunity to be rid of this awful government. I simply dread to think what will happen if we do not. I am sharpening my democratic (and, for the benefit of the security services, metaphorical) knife for a very very long night.

Last Thursday seven individuals claiming political insight and/or superiority pretended to have a televised debate, conducted in front of an unrepresentative (ie hard-working taxpayers) audience. This farce barely covered anything and didn't cover issues of welfare, disability discrimination, the attacks on the poor and the outrageous exploitation of workers and public services, except, merely, in passing. What hope is there? The same tired political platitudes, essentially scaremongering or preaching to the choir, are reeled out with truth at best a coincidence.

Cameron attempted to invoke sympathy by using his dead son, but didn't bother to mention that he, a millionaire many times over, claimed the same benefit as a relative while his son was alive that his government desperately denies everyone else. People that don't have that kind of wealth (and connections, don't forget - these people are a 'pig' society of their own) are being dashed against the rocks of his economic recovery. A kind that has now, without question, morphed into a 'long term economic plan'. His excuse for heaping the damaging austerity onto society was that it would be the price of balancing the books; something that the Tories, as economic heavyweights, would achieve by this time. No one questions this change of plan. The media dutifully reinforces this propaganda and so the people, they hope, will believe that another five years of this misery is required. More 'sacrifice' is required.

Sacrifice?  Since when did we vote to make a sacrifice? Since when did we even elect a coalition, never mind the Tory government that hides behind that title. The libdems have lied or been lied to - in some cases both: Bristol MP Steven Williams was recently discovered to have supported the Tory plan to sell off the forests (a plan so toxic it backfired almost instantly), while his neighbour, the pensions minister Steve Webb, refused to give way on a discussion about the Bedroom Tax he is intimately connected to. He tried arguing, with consummate arrogance, that people who can't afford the arbitrary theft of their income to satisfy the ruling elite should just 'find more hours' in their jobs. Extraordinary from a man who's mortgage interest is paid by the state.

Selling off the forests; doesn't that just say it all about the ruling class. That they think the very land itself is theirs to do with as they please. That it's just another asset to be stripmined, packaged up and sold off. Once it's gone, it don't come back!

Who are these people to behave like this? We elect them, he says with total naivete, to serve - isn't that the idea? But instead they have placed themselves at the top of the heap, eager to kick the ladder away having climbed it while claiming that all people need to do is work a bit harder, find more hours, and they too can climb tot the top. However with the removal of that ladder, a metaphor for the old school network, everyone else has to make do climbing on top of each other.

That's called ambition. It's what defines a schizoid liar such as Grant Michael Sebastian Fox Green Shapps. The chairman of the Tory party who got to where he is by marketing get rich quick schemes on the Internet. The very peak of human ambition and drive. Perhaps not.

They believe that, once in power, their brief gives them ownership of state services: schools are there to sell to friends and public money is there to be handed, via contentious and largely ineffectual public schemes (such as the Work Programme, an and expensive utter failure).

Cameron only mentioned welfare when referencing cuts: thereby reinforcing in the audience's mind the idea that social security, at best, is a burden. It is an expense that is, inexplicably, dragging the country down. He doesn't of course mention, while claiming wildly that it has ballooned out of control (another lie), half of that budget goes toward pension payments. It is another sacrifice that has to be made because...OUT OF CONTROL! That means don't think about it, Britain, just cut, cut, CUT!

He invoked the hapless spirit of Liam Byrne, the Labour MP who apparently left a piece of paper saying 'there's no money left'. This was a joke. The Tories have taken a joke as actual fact! What on earth does this mean? We truly are through the looking glass when we live in a world like this. But, through desperation (I hope), he waved a piece of paper which could well have had anything or nothing written on it as proof that Labour said this and, more importantly, that it was not a joke but a true statement. If this was true why on earth would the PM call on a scribbled note as evidence thereof when, surely, he could call on the records of the treasury or the Bank of England (Mervyn King has himself said that Labour were not to blame for the banking crisis - which is obvious to anyone with wit) which would have much greater credibility?

We can't really expect much from Cameron and I had zero expectations that anything interesting would come from that debate.

Thirdly, and finally, the NHS. Cameron second attempt at necromancy was to summon the spectre of the Mid Staffordshire hospital debacle. I am no expect in this (there's a long to a blog called Skwawkbox to your right that is) but I do know that, again the odious hand of the media, has its fingerprints all over this story. It is a sorry affair that even led to a heartbreaking radio interview with staff members who were fed up with being bullied and called murderers by the ignorant cattle that thrive on our media. These people did not strike me as callous doctors and managers and nurses. Cameron sought to argue that the ultimate cause of this affair, such as it was, was Labour - that is, the 'target driven' culture that emasculated people of their ability to use 'common sense' and operate sensibly and thoughtfully. There may well be some truth in that, target cultures are everywhere these days and the Tories are no less fond of them. After all look at what is happening in the DWP: a culture obsessed with targets, for which there is no shortage of evidence (just a deficit of honest). Interestingly, Cameron did not go or the jugular on this issue. I mention this because he has a fight on his hands defending his hypocritical treatment of the NHS; you'd think he might have tried tearing into Labour over this as its such an emotive issue. All he could do was timidly refer to 'targets' as the cause, while happy to drive toward certain targets when it suits him (after all isn't that the backbone of the austerity process?).

The Tories have power on the basis of a dark miracle: the largest source of their funding comes from the very place that caused the crash they capitalised on to create doubt enough in the eyes of the electorate to vote Labour out. Which isn't to say Labour are perfect, far from it, but the truth of the matter is they were doing a lot better than the Tories will ever give them credit for.

Truth is capitalism has failed. The Tories have failed - they were always going to because their focus is so narrow and their vision so bereft and short sighted. I've mentioned the Work Programme already, and, once again, it was complete shit. No help of any kind whatsoever - but that didn't stop my adviser accusing me of being the problem, not the programme, the system, or the Salvation Army and its attitude toward the poor.

We need a new system, now more than ever. Instead of quantitative easing we could have bailed out people who would have spent the money in the economy, Exactly where it needs to be. Instead we have a ruling elite bailing itself out at our expense and not oiling the very system they claim to serve.

One could argue that social security payments, benefits, that is, serve this purpose. Helping poor people live (you know, as opposed to die). We live in a system that treats money as some kind of magic force accorded to those we deem are deserving of this reward- and those people aren't always those you might think are most deserving. It's not nurses or teachers, working impossible shifts under heavy political burdens, who reap the most reward; we all know who it is and we all know they wrecked the economy. We all know they will end up doing it again because they speak no other language. It's not the poorest who have the power or the ability to cause that kind of damage, never mind on an international scale; it's the richest. Yet they are rewarded and the poorest are hounded. This cannot be right and must always be challenged. We must expose the lie behind the labels of 'wealth creator' and 'job creator'; that's what we are entreated to call this section of society. Yet it's not these individuals, those who technically own the businesses, that create the wealth. They don't even create the jobs, it's demand for services that does that, which is what makes the fad of self employment as pushed by the JC, so dangerous. But even then what of the quality of these jobs?

Things have to change. I look forward to that day in May when I can look back at this record of the Cameron years and close the book - even if it means the work is only just beginning to build a better society. 


Popular posts from this blog

I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
What's an EEC? Employm…

The State of Services

So it appears that 1in4, a mental health support service I used briefly last year and have mentioned (not always favourably), is among the latest victims of austerity, along with Second Step, who are primarily a housing association. They were never very helpful in my experience, but they don't really provide services pertinent to my needs. Emblematic of these destructive decisions (regardless of my opinion of the services) is that neither have updated their websites to report on this turn of events at this time.

It's a pretty sad state of affairs, to say the least. No alternatives seem to be forthcoming. From what I have gleaned, the attitude of the (Tory) council is that they don't want such people as would be service users in this leafy green shire. This is for the posh and the perfect. Nearby Bristol is where we 'should' go, but of course without being a resident that's impossible. Services do not extend beyond the city limits, even though Avon Wiltshire Men…

Power 2

I'm not sure if this is the last word in the sorry saga of the service user, but it's been about 6 weeks since I had any contact with my adviser. I emailed her boss on Monday to try and find out what was going on. Apparently she (my adviser) didn't receive my emails. I find that hard to believe; there has been no indication mail didn't get sent properly and it's a little too convenient but, as they say, we are where we are.

So I ended up having a conversation on the phone with the boss. I cannot say that I feel good about it all. In fact I feel as if I've had the proverbial rug pulled from beneath me; that I've been subject to the old bait and switch tactic.

When I first started with these people, as anyone that's read these blogs will attest, I felt pretty positive about it. There was no conditionality attached, and, it seemed, no hidden agendas. Now, I'm not so sure. Two things seem to have changed: firstly there is conditionality they just didn&#…