Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the category “Freedom & Democracy”

Resist

A couple of weeks ago a 94 year old German man was found guilty of ‘assisting’ in the murder of thousands at Auschwitz. He was an 18 year old soldier clerk and if he had refused to do his job he would have been shot and someone else appointed.
 
The time to resist is not when you have to choose between life and death but when the dark forces of right wing racism, xenophobia, greed and hatred are on the rise. When a man (or woman), in this case Jeremy Corbyn, show the way that a better nation, a better way and a better future is possible then the least we should do is to support him even more so when many would pull him down, They may say it is ‘Realpolitik’ we need someone else in order to get elected, someone like Tony Blair perhaps, that resulted in millions dying and many millions more lives ruined.
 
It’s risky, of course it is, and he and we may lose an election but terrible though that would be it is far better to have taken a stand, to say ‘No! Up with this I will not put’!
 
You can resist the darkness in little ways by refusing to buy or read xenophobic papers like the Sun and The Daily Mail or Express and email the editors to say you wont. If you see a UKIP/BNP/Britain First stall in your town you can, if you have the courage to, confront them, politely with a smile looking for the humanity that is somewhere inside them.
 
Sometime in the future you will then be able to look your children in their face and say “I did all that I could, as soon as I could.”

Israeli Bastards

Watch this video of United States technology given into the hands of Israeli unspeakable bastards! Check when you shop and if it says Made in Israel don’t buy it.

http://rt.com/news/172316-israel-knock-roof-video/

 

Free Speech?

What the hell is happening to freedom of speech and expression in this country. Liberal Democrat MP is censured over his remarks about the appalling treatment of the Palestinians by Israel, I copy it here for you:-

” Mr Ward said he was “saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza”.

Now, what is unreasonable about that statement? There is another outcry regarding the cartoon by Gerald Scarfe in the Sunday Times which more forcefully expresses the same sentiment. Even Rupert Murdoch has been issuing grovelling apologies. Arguably it might have been insensitive to publish it on Holocaust Memorial Day although I would argue that there could hardly be a better time.

We are losing hard won freedoms and rights in this country on a regular basis and if we let freedom of speech slip through our fingers the future is not looking just bad, it is looking horrifying.ShowImage

Only 10% Cut So Far and still in Recession

It’s not good is it? Officially back into the recession that we’ve barely left for two years, despite the Con?Dems austerity program. A program I might add that has so far only implemented just 10% of their planned cuts to expenditure.

This government, with no real mandate from the people is the most vicious I can ever recall, yes, worse even than Margaret Thatcher and particularly bad because they are utterly incompetent, arrogant, out of touch with reality and unable to listen. They were warned, not just by me and assorted other bloggers, but by many financial experts, that their plans pointed towards disaster. Not of course, disaster for them personally as most are millionaires well cushioned with their tax havens and trust funds but disaster for countless citizens of our lands.

Unemployment and fear thereof in the millions and rising including huge numbers of our young people who now may never get a job, hospital waiting lists getting longer, home repossessions on the increase and poorer tenants being compulsory moved from London and South East to the North, leading towards a North/South divide like never before. Thatcher left little public assets untouched but now even the jewel in the crown, our NHS, is being sold off for private profit along with our schools. It didn’t take a genius to predict all this would happen so it has to be assumed that these are deliberate policies conjured up for the sole benefit of those who have manipulated themselves into power.

The current situation tends to lead the electorate into a depressed condition whereby apathy takes over along with a feeling of individual isolation which in turn leads to a sense of powerlessness. We are not though powerless if we collectively recognise that the power is ours and we can take it back from those to whom we unwittingly lent it. We can demand change and change we will get but only if we work together for the benefit of us all. We must remind those who say they can’t be bothered with politics that politics is health, employment, education, social services, the cost of fuel, pensions or whether your sons or daughters are going to war.

Choices

Let’s face it this country is in a mess! It’s like a ship in a raging storm heading towards rocks and the captain shouts “Hold this course!” His Lieutenant who hopes one day to become captain shouts “Hold this course but slow down a bit.” The little cabin boy can see the rocks but feeling helpless crawls into  his hammock and puts his hands over his eyes and cotton wool in his ears, holding on to a blind trust in the madness of the officers because to do otherwise would require him to DO something.

The UK, along with other Western nations, owes money, a lot of money and so it was rightly decided to reduce this debt and this is where our witless leadership went wrong. They had no one with vision or moral integrity and so they set about taking money from those who had little, those without, they believe, power, attacking the sick, the pensioners, students, the lower paid workers who actually produce the wealth that makes us the 6th richest nation on Earth. They chose not to rein in the bankers and financial directors, they chose not to go after those who avoid paying their proper share of taxation amounting to tens of billions each year because they themselves belong to, or aspire to belong, to that elite band. They chose not to save up to £200billion by cancelling the Trident nuclear weapon system which will never be used and deters no one simply because this would deprive them of a seat at the top table of the United Nations. Instead of strutting they may have to walk like the rest of humankind.

They chose not to invest in a massive social housing programme that is desperately needed for millions of our citizens and would create and safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs. In it’s wake this would generate spending power for the workers thus creating more employment and in addition, tax revenues. A bi product would also be a likely reduction in ever increasing housing rental costs which (some) greedy landlords are reaping in such places as London where tenants are now to be evicted because of government cuts to housing benefit. Instead they chose borrowing even more to fund rapidly increasing unemployment which is a tried and tested method of keeping wage increases to a minimum. Not such a surprising choice either when many of those currently in power like Chris Grayling, are indeed wealthy property owners.

We too though have choices. Even in this poor democracy of ours we do not have to be like the cabin boy; the power ‘they’ hold is in reality, our power that we lend to them. They stick together but they are only a few, we are millions and if only we can stick together and demand a new way, a new vision, then we can take back our power and steer our ship away from the rocks, into calmer waters of fairness, justice, democracy, co-operation and peace.

But have we the guts?

The Right to Die

The Commission on Assisted Dying says “the current law is “inadequate and incoherent” and should not continue.” How right they are, the right to a peaceful death at a time and place of our own choosing should be enshrined in the UN Charter of Human Rights. My life is by definition mine and your life by definition is yours, it does not belong to anyone else least of all to the State.

This particular report only goes as far as saying that someone diagnosed with a life expectancy of under 12 months should be able to call upon medical assistance to die peacefully and suggest, quite rightly, many safeguards. This is obviously a tentative step in the direction of legalising what already happens to a fortunate few who have the resources to go to Dignitas in Switzerland which presupposes that you have the financial and physical ability to get there. It also means that perhaps some people are actually going abroad to die earlier than they would wish simply because if they delay they may not be able to travel.

I can understand some doctors not willing to participate either from an ethical value or religious belief and that’s fine they can exclude themselves from helping but no politician or law should prevent me or anyone else ending MY life if I choose to do so in order to save myself a prolonged suffering that will eventually end in death anyway.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/assisted-dying-review-selects-those-who-could-end-their-life-6285115.html

What Do They Expect?

Figures just out report unemployment has risen to the end of November by 49,000 to 2.5million. The number of 16-24 year olds out of work is at the highest level since records began. These figures are just the beginning with the effects of the VAT rise and public sector redundancies yet to come to fruition along with reductions in benefits and pensions.

The current bunch of boys playing at government with their half baked, half thought out ideas appear at first glance to just be idiots but I’m beginning to wonder. The Torys have always liked to have high unemployment as it tends to keep wages at low levels thus creating more wealth for their business compatriots. Changes planned for the Health Service will eventually cost far more than the suggested £3bn but will virtually privatise the NHS with vast profits going to you know who. Education will be similar.

Of course, paying off the necessary debt that the country has, at such a reckless rate will undoubtedly mean that come the next election, in about four years time, there will be quite a bit of cash sloshing around in the nation’s coffers so that ‘the boys’ will feel happy to bribe the electorate with gifts from on high. The expectation being that voters will reward them with re-election. As the public so quickly forgot the eleven out of thirteen years under Labour, of vast improvement in public services and exceptional improvement in living standards it wouldn’t surprise me if the ruse worked.

 

The Big Oppressive Society

Yesterday in Parliament, David Cameron suggested that even more legal restrictions may be introduced to control our Trade Unions. He favoured the idea that no strike may be called unless at least 50% of the union members cast a vote.

We already have probably the most draconian anti trade union laws in Europe, a fact which ‘New’ Labour , to their shame, did little to balance. The right to withdraw labour in persuit of a just settlement in a dispute is a right that if abolished leads along the path back to serfdom. The benefits, comforts and rights that we enjoy to day in our standard of living have been hard won by thousands of our forebears and we owe it to them and indeed to ourselves and to our children, to stand up to those who seek our domination.

Yes, in the event of strike action we the public may suffer some inconvenience but that is a price worth paying for freedom. The early trade unionists suffered far worse for future generations; abuse, violence, imprisonment and deportation. Are we now so softened by the life improvements that they gave us that we no longer have the guts to stand up to injustice?

Cameron believes that over 50% should exercise their vote in a strike ballot; well, how about applying the same rule to electing MPs. The voter turn-out can be 30% or less in some constituencies and very, very, few are elected with more than 50% of the votes cast. Now there would be a problem!

Student Protest

I admit to having mixed feelings about the student protests. I fully support their outrage at what is happening under this appalling coalition government; it’s not just the huge increase in student fees but the huge cuts also in university funding, particularly in social science and the arts. We are the 6th richest nation on Earth and no one can convince me that we can’t afford to invest in our future through educating our young people. The figure of £9000 keeps being bandied about but it’s not just nine grand, it’s nine thousand per year, plus I’d guess at a minimum of another £6000 per year to pay for living expenses. So we’re looking at around £45000 debt for a three year degree, so imagine a couple of graduates going along for a mortgage and starting negotiations with a joint £90000 debt around their necks. What hope?

In general I oppose violence and it was fairly obvious that some at the demonstrations were there just for that. On the other hand one of the advantages of 24 hour news is that you can watch events unfold rather than the three-minute snippets on news bulletins and I saw police provocation and a charge by mounted police that seemed completely un-called for. The small attack on the car carrying Charlie and Camilla of course became the news of the day rather than the student’s cause but they came to no harm and will serve to shake them a little from their complacency of wealth and influence by birth rather than the ballot box. The coverage though does raise another thought. Most of the cabinet (18 of which are millionaires) went to so called ‘public’ schools with Eaton being prominent and then to Oxford or Cambridge university. So too did the top journalists and newspaper editors and media executives.

As I stated earlier, in general I am opposed to all violence but I can’t help recalling history. Would the governor of the Bastille have handed over the keys to a sit down protest and would Britain have given independence to the United States or many of our other colonies unless they fought us for it? I am not advocating violence but the power resides with the people and not with the few who seize it and abuse it and unless they recognise that then violence is almost inevitable.

 

Social ‘Cleansing’

Under this ideologically driven government, because of changes to the Housing Benefit system, many thousands of tenants will be driven from their homes, their neighbourhoods,  their children from their schools and away from their friends and support networks. In addition many, as a result, will also lose their jobs.

Were all the tenants of similar ethnic backgrounds this would be classed as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and would be illegal under international law and questions would be raised in the United Nations and most likely sanctions imposed on the UK.  The tenants though are not all similar only sharing the inability to pay criminally high rents. They will be forced to move to the outer suburbs, assuming that accommodation there is available, thus leaving their old homes for the wealthy. This is surely ‘Social Cleansing’ which to our ever lasting shame is ‘legal’. In addition no mention has been made of the costs of moving; credit reference checks, deposits, carpets, curtains etc and the actual cost of removal. These additional burdens to placed on people of low income.

Yes I can see that some housing benefit costs are ludicrously high and unsustainable but putting the blame on the tenants is like blaming the victim of a mugger for being in that particular street at that particular time of the day.

So what could be done in ‘fairness’, that much abused word of late? Cap the current rent as it is and leave the tenants where they are. When they move or die then bring in the Housing Benefit level at that proposed, for new tenancies.  If the landlords don’t like it, let them squirm or threaten them with compulsory purchase at the lowest national rate. The real problem though is of course a lack of affordable housing. A large and sustained building programme should be embarked upon to house the 1.8 million on housing waiting lists and this would also create thousands of jobs not only in building but in manufacturing and the service sector. The only problem of course is that Conservatives are also capitalists through and through and capitalism depends on a pool of unemployed to keep wages down and a housing shortage to keep those prices up and so increase profits.

 

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