Tory Housing Transformation Nothing more than another attack on the poorest

Sadiq Khan was in yesterday’s Mirror offering his opinion on the Tories “plan to transform sink estates“;  he speaks of how “having a secure and affordable home meant my parents could build a better life for me…”; this was also my experience.

My mum when widowed January 21 1965, was in the process of moving home, with my dad they’d bought a new bungalow  and sold the terraced house they’d lived in for a decade, completing on Saturday 16/01/65. Due to the insurance documents not being signed at the same time, when my dad died of an unknown chronic heart disease on the Thursday, she and I were made homeless.

After two years of ‘making do’ at my grandparents we moved into a maisonette, on a new and at the time, state of the art council estate. Over the past 49 years the same estate has gone from being the flagship for Leicester City Council to so-called sink estate, now surrounded by  iron bars. Yet it was that estate where I grew up, went to grammar school and ultimately university and on to post-grad education.

In 2012 “St Matthews Estate in Leicester is classed as the second most social deprived estate in the country” and yet despite this, my now 85 year old mum, still lives there out of choice. She has friends who have also lived there for decades and she receives support and help from the now majority Somali community; when she had a fall five month ago it was a young Somali man, who she didn’t know, that helped her home.

Given mums home is on ‘the second most deprived estate” it is likely that St Matthews will be one of those estates Cameron will want to transform. Some people will hearing/reading about this will think it a good idea, but my experience and that of  Sadiq Khan, and perhaps more surprisingly The Economist, this transformation will destroy far more than it builds.

Not only will the residents be moved away from where they are comfortable and have the support networks vital for safety; as the Economist points out “Unnervingly, poor children seem to fare better in poor neighbourhoods.” The article ‘paradox of the ghetto‘ shows that “poor boys living in largely well-to-do neighbourhoods were the most likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, from lying and swearing to such petty misdemeanours as fighting, shoplifting and vandalism”. As a long term youth worker I suggest this has to do with the need to be accepted, rather than these boys being inherently ‘bad’. The need to fit-in is well documented and experience has shown me that where acceptance is not an option, being feared is the next best thing, and thus young people from these so called ‘sink’ neighbourhoods become the self-fulling prophecy.  This theory is also supported by Professor Tim Newburn who says ” Living alongside the rich may also make the poor more keenly aware of their own deprivation”; therefore in order not to become the victim of the bullying being the outsider often results in, the poor child acts out. Further living in a community where families know each other and communicate, results in young people knowing any unsocial behaviour will be reported back; in my experience this makes you police yourself for fear of the wrath of mum.

Given the above I would suggest the Governments plan has far more to do with their aspiration to abolish social housing, rather any real  “ambition” to enable the families living there. Reading the ‘Notes to Editor’ on the official press release, it claims ‘successful regeneration’ has already occurred at Woodberry Down in Hackney and Packington Estate in Islington However it does not address why both estates have been rebuilt with only 50% social housing, nor what happened to the other half of tenants?   I can only imagine what will happen if Leicester City Council allows St Matthews to be ‘transformed’ (and the legacy of previous decisions made by our City Mayor strongly suggests it will); will my mum be forced into an unsuitable poky flat away from her network of friends and the close proximity of family, and it so how will she cope? This terrifies me as I’m only too aware of her attachment to her home.

The plan will also destroy the real community that exists on the estate, a community of former refugees who have already been forced from their homeland and yet have come together to create a neighbourhood of safety and opportunity. This is what precisely what the designers of St Matthews Estate desired 50 year ago and demonstrates exactly what Cameron’s Transformation plan ignores.

 

 

 

Tory Cuts KILL – perhaps it’s because they’re Psychologically disturbed?

Yesterdays news was full of the latest findings from Institute for Fiscal Studies demonstrating  the ConDems Changes to the Tax and Benefits system has cost households £1,127 a year on average, and even the Mail concedes this means “poor families have lost the most as a percentage of their income“; and yet despite this, the Government still maintained “UK income inequality is now lower than when this Government came into office“.

I doubt anyone will be remotely surprised at the Coalition disputing the data, this is another example of how this unelected Government has persistently and systematically Lied to the people.

There been countless claims on social and even occasionally in main stream media about the number of people dying as a result of Welfare Reform, and those of us involved in any of the campaigns to raise awareness, need no persuading this is an absolute truth. The situation where respected organisations produce solid date, which then gets refuted and spun by Politicians is the pro forma stance by the Condems.

Lucy Mangan in Today’s Guardian writes maybe the best answer I’ve read in the national media – “If you don’t understand how people fall into poverty, you’re probably a sociopath“, this is something many of us on social media have said on countless occasions, and it certainly seems to apply to Cameron, Ids and Co, but what does this mean in reality. A Sociopath is listed in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), as an Antisocial Personality Disorder, with a “propensity for violence, a remorseless mind, indifference to others’ rights and not caring about ethical behaviour or laws”; this suggests the cabinet at the very least is led by people who have a recognised psychiatric disorder.

If we accept this as an explanation as to why those in question behave the way they do it explains much, perhaps this is how IDS can laugh as fellow MPs relate tales of hunger and starvation from their constituencies, why vital cancer treatments can be denied because of a budget target, and precisely why The poorest were not hit hardest by tax and benefit changes by chance: it was by design. 

However explaining what is behind the behaviour of the Government doesn’t help us, what it can do is offer us another argument to demonstrate just how damaging the current Government is the the nation’s people. I expect I will now receive the popular refutation of Political parties all being the same, I do not concede with this . I do agree given the definitions above, all Parties do have certain members to whom this may be applied, but this is not reason to do nothing; we have an opportunity in May to rid ourselves of this dysfunctional group, and we Must, for the sake of the people take it.

If you accept any of the above argument, don’t sit on the proverbial fence of having no choice, reclaim your personal power and pass on the evidence – the unelected Party in power today are Unfit to Govern and MUST GO.

Join us in our campaign to hold #IDS to account and sign IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES and make at least one of the Sociopaths answer for his actions

Tories indicate Benefit Claimants to be their REAL Enemies in WAR

Here we go – the lead up to the last Tory Conference in this round of Government and the ‘big guns’ are blazing across the Tory press, making their pre-election ‘promises’/threats. Cameron in the Times states,  he will cut a further 3,000 from the benefit cap reducing this to £23,000 & stopping all out of work benefits for anyone under 21, Grayling in the Telegraph is vowing to strip away the remainder of our Rights, with the shredding of the Human Rights Act; and then we come to IDS, who according to his latest delusions he is responsible for breaking up TV programmes!

IDS, relegated to the tabloids says his” DRASTIC curbs on welfare benefits are starting to break up Britain’s “Shameless” housing estates”; he justifies this by stating ” the proportion of people in social housing who do not work had fallen from just under 50 per cent in 2010 to 41 per cent”. Where IDS gets this data from is as usual a mystery, it may be based upon the the fact “The proportion of people in social housing has dropped from almost a third (31.4 per cent) in 1980 to one in seven today (16.8 per cent)“, which is in due to the scarcity of social housing rather than anything to do with benefits. Alternatively, it might be the reality a growing number of people are paying towards their Council Tax, albeit this was a response from Local Authorities to DWP Cuts,  that aided him form his belief.

Continuing his chosen way of utilising personal creed rather than reality,  IDS proudly quoting the fictional  ‘Shameless’ & the much derided Benefits St TV programmes as his examples of ‘evidence’, continued to praise the Work Programme; claiming this has added to the ‘success’ of people leaving benefits. This is of course despite countless sources demonstrating the failure of this project, including the DWP themselves.

These messages all combine to indicate the speeches and associated media coverage over the next week will continue Lie about demonising the poorest and most vulnerable in society. To me this seems to be an enormous use of hype against 5.3 million working age benefit claimants, (excluding HB DWP Feb 2014), compared with the total number of people in this age bracket is 39.4 million. Further when we add the 4.9 million of Housing benefit claimants, this group also form a part of the ‘Hard Working People’ Cameron pledges to cut taxes for?

Is it any wonder we as dependants upon Social Security are angry? Every day across social media, people are talking about the injustice of  this small minority of the UK being wrongly blamed for the ills of the nation because we are ill, disabled, unemployed etc, we’ve dealt with persistent Lies, and have even been called “Extremists” in Parliament!  For me, it raises the question of exactly WHO DO the Tories, consider to be the greatest enemy of the Country?

Time for TRUTH #Nowpetition #ImpeachDWP

More Tory Lies – or Disability Discrimination in Action?

Cameron today announced “All government policies will have to pass a “family test“”; this apparently means that from October, Impact Assessments must be undertaken on ALL Government Policies with regard to families, these will include cost effectiveness .

These Impact Assessments are what Lord Freud insists are “not possible” to be carried out for disabled people!

How can the Government manage to conduct numerous assessments against the impact on  18.2 million families in the UK, when it is allegedly ‘not possible’ to do the same for approximately 1,760000 disabled working age adults??

Is this Disability Discrimination in Action, or merely more Tory Spiel ???

‘Stop the Spin’ TODAY

Join the TRUTH Campaign

#NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

 

 

The Tory Party’s dodgy use of stats

 

It is precisely examples such as those from alittlecon below which unpin the TRUTH Campaign

READ THESE AND…

The Tory Party’s dodgy use of stats.

1. Grant Shapps claims that “nearly a million people” (878,300) on incapacity benefit had dropped their claims, rather than face a new medical assessment for its successor, the employment and support allowance.

2. David Cameron falsely states in a Conservative Party political broadcast that the coalition “was paying down Britain’s debts”.

3. David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt rebuked by the Government’s own statistics watchdog yesterday for claiming that spending on the NHS had risen in real terms in recent years.

4. Boris Johnson rebuked over use of dodgy crime statistics

5. Iain Duncan Smith rebuked over immigration statistics

6. Statistics head Andrew Dilnot says a Treasury graph on infrastructure left readers with “a false impression of the relative size of investment between sectors”

7. Iain Duncan Smith rebuked for falsely claiming the coalition’s controversial benefits cap had already caused 8,000 people to move into jobs.

HAD ENOUGH ??

SIGN & SHARE  our 2nd Petition TODAY Stage 2 – “Lies,Damn Lies, IDS and The DWP; STOP Spinning Statistics” #ImpeachDWP #NOWPetition

 http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-lies-damn-lies-ids-and-the-dwp-stop-spinning-statistics-impeachdwp-nowpetition

TELL the Tories NO MORE LIES

Cameron values:

Complements my post beautifully Juli – Exposes Camerons ‘Values for what the are ‘Fantasy Lies’.

Enough with the SPIN – the TRUTH Campaign #NOWPetition #ImpeachDWP

juxtaposed

Cameron values:
Belief in Freedom – and the ability to take liberties;
Tolerance of others – so long as they are brothers
In his crony alms;
Accepting personal and social responsibility – by
Giving it to personnel who lord the harm and those
Who can’t afford not to make scapegoats just to
Plug the gap in due accountability;
Respecting and upholding the rule of law – insofar
As it does not impinge on the entropic economic,
Greed-is-to-aspire death machine.

And, too, he goes compare and sees his values
Everywhere in symbols. How the motifs and his
Motives face and bow!

For how he loves his Union Flag
As much as all the striver/skiver tags;
He relishes his fish and chips – though maybe not
As much as people rummaging for food in skips.
And how his football quips attest to his devotion to
All patriotic notions! Under Cameron Mao, now

View original post 73 more words

Why is the Government Arguing for British Values?

I’ve already reblogged a gay mentalist’s excellent post “There are no such things as British values” this morning but feel so strongly about the Government’s Rationale behind this push for ‘British Values’,  here I want to add discuss the purpose. I find it amusing that the PM David Cameron has deigned these values to be “belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law“, as I consider these to be in the main, the very ideals Government Policies are removing from the majority of the British public.

Definitions of Freedom include:

personal liberty, as from slavery, bondage, serfdom; It has been argued on numerous occasions that WorkFare, where people receiving benefits are forced into unpaid work or lose their social security is in direct conflict to personal liberty.

Tolerance of others for me refers to challenge of inequality and the ‘isms’ and enforcement of The Equality Act (2010); The irony of this is the Governments Austerity Measures have witnessed as rise in racism, sexism, domestic violence,  ill health of disabled people, homophobia, and poverty; all which indicate a growth in intolerance of others, as does the Governments own rhetoric on the adverse effects of immigration.

Personal and social responsibility appears to refer to an unwritten obligation we are all supposed to adhere to; as we ostensibly choose our own actions we are therefore responsible for the outcomes,  and that we all have a duty to act for the benefit of society as a whole. If this is the case, the actions of the Government which continue to ensure the 1% wealthiest members of the UK, prosper at the expense of the majority, clearly do not comply with this ‘value.

respecting and upholding the rule of law – The ‘rule of law  is a system of rules and rights that enables fair and functioning societies; Government Polices have seen reductions of workers rights, of right to appeal against deportation, and access of right to justice as examples.

The above are merely examples of precisely how the Government’s behaviour demonstrates its commitment to so called ‘British Values’ and given this, I contest the ideology behind this campaign is another attempt at Social Control. It is well documented where a society shares values, they quickly become the ‘norms’, the acceptable ways of behaviour; thus the adoption of these British values allows Government to behave in a manner that suits the rulers.

I do find it ironic that Cameron has ‘attached’ this campaign to the 800 year anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.  This was after all the baronial uprising against the reigning king; is he really suggesting the Elite overthrow the  Monarchy or, and more likely in my opinion, reasserting that those not of such high birth are not worth of Right at all?

 

Follow The TRUTH Campaign Tweet #ImpeachDWP #NOWPetition

Cameron a Christian???

Today’s Telegraph has an article by Damien Thompson on the death of Ivan Cameron & his (Thompson’s) seemingly shocked view that Ivan’s family loved him!! As a parent who’s second son developed leukaemia and died at 3 1/2, I’m deeply pissed off at this

Thompson finds it striking that “the tragic handicaps that afflicted their little boy did not lessen their joy in his presence” I find nothing remotely striking in this. I don’t remember having met many people either in real life and on social media who don’t feel exactly the same; and I am friends today in both worlds, with adults born with severe disabilities who will make the same claim.

What I find so offensive is this blatant attempt by Thompson, to humanise the man who as PM, has led the most brutal attack on disabled UK people in many years. He shares a front bench with Politicians who laugh and jeer as the life stories and deaths of disabled people are told by the opposition; and he supports a team at the DWP & the Treasury who knowingly are removing the financial lifeline from people who share the same illness as his son. If Cameron indeed held a “truly Christian attitude towards the sanctity of human life” he would not be allowing this.

This has to be the most blatant attempt to remove the tarnish from Cameron’s image I’ve seen to date, and all I can say is remember the expression “you can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter”!

THE CORE OF THE UK

Below is a poem well worth reading by Chris Wayne

THE CORE OF THE UK.

Services in the UK  

Are slowly being cut 

But Cameron and his chums                

 Just don’t give a f*ck…

Don’t wait until it’s too late                        

As once the government is through                        

 When you need vital assistance                          

  Who’ll be there to turn to?

Check out his blog and find him at

Chris The Eclectic

@ChrisWayne9 

The First Tory Truth??

I think I’ve read the first set of comments from a Tory I can believe in! Today’s Guardian covers a speech by Cameron to the Lord Mayor’s  banquet  wherein he finally admits the “government is to forge a leaner, more efficient state on a permanent basis…We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.” I’m sure most of you will agree the ONLY word in this that isn’t true us WE!

Prior to this we’ve been forced to listen to the Lies that he and his Tory collaborators have claimed the cuts were ‘necessary’  and built on need rather than through “some ideological zeal”.

This recognition does two things, firstly it terrifies me; if the people of this country are either selfish or uninterested enough, this man and his cronies might actually get into Government again in 2015. This would spell the END to any real support for the  mid/low waged, the un/underemployed the sick and disabled and anyone who has the misfortune not to be at least a high rate tax payer with private pensions and insurances for Health, job loss etc.

Secondly in a strange way in gives me hope; maybe people might come to the same realisation that many of us in those ‘lower’ socio-economic groups have grasped and decide her and now they will not sit back and let this happen. Perhaps people might decide to take note, determine to fight back against the current status quo and…more importantly choose to participate in the next election and Vote these Bastards OUT!

Interestingly as I write this I’ve also just seen an article in The New Statesman that concurs with my thinking.