Together We ‘Minorities’ CAN beat the Uphill Struggle for Equality

A new report from the uni of Sheffield has found Welfare reform reinforces growing class prejudice reminiscent of Victorian era –

” many people now attribute unemployment and poverty to the failings of individuals, rather than to structural weaknesses in the British economy and entrenched socio-economic inequalities. Worryingly, negative views around welfare were also extended to the physically disabled and mentally ill. The research therefore suggests that, in the aftermath of the recession, there has been a decline in empathy and understanding for some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups in our society

Today the Guardian have turned over comment is free to black contributors, this is fantastic and exactly what we need more of as according to FleetStreetFox  “it’s 2014 and we’re speaking about foreigners in much the same way we did 100 years ago, with just as much nastiness, stupidity and flawed logic“. Other reports have arrived at similar conclusions, both the British Social Attitude survey and the Archbishop of Canterbury have shared concerns about the rise in racism. As a white woman I can’t speak on what this means in everyday day, but I empathise from the perspective of being disabled; I also accept it is my responsibility to challenge any racist attitudes wherever I find them.

I can’t help thinking this decline in empathy and understanding has something to do with the lack of challenge from the Country’s’ leaders towards prejudice, instead the current Political discussion is full of ‘blame culture’. When comments such as “we’re like under siege’ from ‘huge numbers’ of migrants“,  “some” disabled people are “not worth the full wage”, “Women ‘to blame’ for being raped” or  ‘people getting really good benefits are going to charity food banks; not only go with out challenge but are also regularly justified by skewed statistics pulled from the ether, we as a nation, are  in trouble.

The ease with which we can find comments like the above, and blogs and posts from people experiencing not only an increase in prejudice, but also discrimination, is terrifying;  further it is hard evidence of the reality of life in Britain for many of us from the ‘minority’ sectors of society. Continuing to to accept our problems are the fault of other minority group members, and, or choosing to believe the bigoted hype of the elite ran main stream media, can only result in the continuing collapse of the society we’ve grown up with. Acknowledging our own prejudices and electing to view them from the other side  is the way we individually fight back.

The really crazy thing about this, is we the ‘minorities’ actually  form a ‘majority’, and the only thing holding us back, are our individual fears of difference and of change. As a long time community activist I believe in people, not in a notion that all people are good, but in the belief we are better when we come together. As a collective sharing our strengths, skills knowledge and experiences we individually grow more powerful; but together we become formidable and through utilising the diversity, we can create change.

It is only by using our collective strengths we can challenge the structural weaknesses and demand the changes to the existing socio-economic inequalities that encourages prejudice to grow, thus ensuring our children and grandchildren benefit from a fairer and more equal society.

Together We Are STARS shining in the  dark and fighting against the Capitalist Light Pollution

 

 

Mr Bigot’s Halloween….

I could not resist sharing this piece of sheer Genius – THANK YOU Paul xx

Paul Bernal's Blog

MR BIGOTs Halloween cover

Mr Bigot liked Halloween.

It was one of his favourite celebrations. Mr Bigot liked scaring people – it was one of his favourite activities. Only that morning he’d tried to scare all the listeners to a radio programme about how all those nasty immigrants were coming over here to take their jobs, to claim huge amounts of money in benefits, to destroy their health service, fill their schools, and much, much more. Just like every other morning.

Oh yes, Mr Bigot liked Halloween a lot. And this Halloween was going to be particularly special. UKIP had organised a very special party. Mr Bigot was really looking forward to it.

He didn’t really need a costume. He was scary enough as it was – and he knew it. Just a set of fangs and a cloak would do. He could put on a Romanian accent – everyone knew Romanians were scary…

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Here We Go Again – DWP to Repeat the ATOS Disaster ?

I’m sure I’m not alone in being totally unsurprised, albeit sick to my stomach at the latest revelation to be leaked from Tory proposals for Benefits, the drastic cutting of  ESA; it appears that new claimants placed in  WRAG will only receive 50 pence a week more than JSA. This has led me to wonder if this extreme reduction has anything to do with the increase in the number of people claiming out of work sickness or disability benefits?

The fact the cut was ‘leaked’ on the same day, and to the same source as the claim, Maximus will be the company taking over the contract from ATOS, also leaves me unsurprised. I can imagine the key players from DWP and Maximus sitting around the table and plotting this decimation of ESA as a part of the contract. The key aim of Welfare Reform has always been to slash Benefits, irrespective of need, and now seemingly wants to privatise all out of work benefits; therefore given Maximus’ existing  involvement in running the Work Programme, and the new Health and Work programme  this pairing seems a perfect match.

However when John Pring initially suggested, Maximus was the preferred bidder to replace ATOS, he also revealed the company’s “chilling” record of incompetence, discrimination and alleged fraud“. Thinking back to when ATOS was initially awarded the contract for WCAs, there were similar concerns around the unsuitability of ATOS, and we all know the outcome of that appointment.

It appears the DWP have completely failed to learn from the ATOS debacle and is planning to enter into another disastrous contract with a seemingly corrupt company, all for Corporate Greed.  Further the DWP seems to be continuing the rhetoric of  blaming us being ill; refusing to acknowledge their attacks on poorest and most vulnerable people through both the continuing  scapegoating and their discriminatory Policies, are in any way responsible.

The ‘leaking’ of these two announcements today suggest the DWP are maintaining their insidious behaviour, softly ensuring their plans emerge into the public psyche in an attempt to build public support:

‘the poorest people are choosing the higher paying benefit to avoid looking for work, because  they are lazy, the DWP are doing the majority a favour by stopping these idlers take the easy option, and are bringing in a company who will stamp this out’

What can we can fight back against this? Johnny Void suggests we gather the information necessary to take Maximus out of the picture and I agree; but I also believe we need to demonstrate WHY sick and disable people need the extra money to survive, lets collect your stories that demonstrates precisely what we do with the difference between JSA and ESA, because if we don’t – We Will Lose it!

 

If Labour did this one thing they would walk the next election

I personally share tom’s thinking on the EU…. but agree – any genuine movement to make democracy real by offering a free vote has to be a winner ?

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s Labour!) 

For some strange reason being anti-EU is seen as right-wing.

Personally I would vote for the UK to stay in the EU, but some of the most left-wing people I know – and I know a few – believe the UK should leave the EU.

We should never forget that it was a Tory government which signed the accession agreement for the UK to join the EEC, and it was Tory Prime Ministers who signed the Single European Act and Maastricht.

And in 1975 it was a Labour government which held a referendum on EU membership.

If Ed Miliband and Labour were brave enough they would offer a no-conditions promise to the electorate that if they win the next election they will hold an in-out referendum on EU membership.

And if they did that, they would walk the next election.

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Please feel free to comment. And share. Thanks:

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Apparently, David Cameron looks like a Prime Minister…

The Wonderful Juli @juxtaposed, has written an excellent analytical piece on the weird workings of the media as the relate to the reporting of Politics – This time The PM

A MUST

juxtaposed

Apparently David Cameron looks like a Prime Minister – which must surely be based on the fact that he is the Prime Minister rather than on any notion that he’s actually any good at it. Not that I’m claiming that Ed Miliband necessarily would be a good Prime Minister either but, really: Call-me-Dave is no leader, is he, not by any measurable means. He can’t command the loyalty of his troops, he’s really terrible at negotiating, he’s crap at strategy and he thinks in puddle-deep box sets. And as for his policies: they are ridiculous, petty, ignorant, cruel and extortionate. What Dave is good at, though, is insisting on the validity of tosh, pretending that he has had a coherent plan all along and reverting to the mob mentality of jeering and bullying when cornered. What he is good at is whipping out his serious face and reddening it on…

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blue chip narcissists

As always @Juxtaposed hits the mark with this latest poem – Excellent

juxtaposed

Solutions?
Don’t be stupid!

They take time
And will and wit
And wisdom
Built on knowledge
And informed consent.

Common sense?
Don’t hold your breath!
Have you seen your screen
Or read the nonsense in the Press?

Integrity?
Keep wishing
While you’re witnessing
The dark heart of Establishment

This isn’t just a crony prism:
This is blue chip narcissism
We’re undone by nigh on everyone
Who’d touch the hem of government.

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