Friday, 20 February 2015

Not 1, not 2, but 3 Bites of the Political Cherry!

It's been a while since I did a 'bite of politics' but I now seem to have caught a hefty dose of General Electionitis.  So here goes with 3 'bites' all at once ...

Bite 1

I hated Thatcher but I not sure I feel anything for Cameron.  It's not so simple with him.  Whereas she had a relatively humble upbringing and totally betrayed her roots, Cameron was born with a very expensive silver spoon in his mouth and has only ever known wealth and all the ease and comfort that comes with it.
But I do hate what he is doing, and that he either hasn't listened or taken notice of what the UK is telling him.  But then he's surrounded by more of the same and they are not simply capitalists, they have moved even further right, behaving as though wealth gives them automatic rights.
For much of the last 4+ years what they have done and the propaganda they have spread has been simply wicked, using stereotypes and making generalisations to con many of the electorate into vilifying the disabled and the less well off.  Maybe, just maybe, they have blown it now we know that their indecently wealthy donors are able to squander £1000s on a banquet, and donate yet more millions to put in their election pot.

Bite 2
"The politics of jealousy/envy" is one of those really obnoxious phrases that's used all too often by wealthy Tories to deflect any criticism they receive. 
What they ignore is that the vast majority of people in Britain simply want a decent home, enough food for themselves and their family, some play as well as work, and just rewards for hard work.  Only fair isn't it?

Bite 3
Eddie Izzard did a brilliant sketch some years ago, all the more so because of how true it was.  He recognised that extremism, regardless whether it's far left or far right is equally as bad.
So I have decided we need to stop giving terrorists a name - it gives them unearned credence, even respect, when it makes no difference what the cause is.  Extremism is simply bad, and extremists are simply bad people.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Poor v Rich

Have you noticed how some words denigrate those who are worse off?   'Poor' is often used to mean 'not as good' eg 'poor results', 'poor timekeeping', 'poor at their job' etc. 

As if it's not bad enough having so little to spend that the choice is often between eat or heat.

As if it's not bad enough that the mostly right wing media is currently doing it's damnedest to convince everyone else that those on benefits are 'all lazy scroungers'.

As if it's not bad enough being continually insulted by well off hypocrites with comments like 'frittering away your benefits on fags & booze' whilst they of course do just the same with their money on expensive clothes, cars & houses.

As if it's not bad enough being taken advantage of by loan sharks - legal as well as illegal - who know you are so desperate for money to feed your family that you cannot see further than the supposed 'friendly' face at the door or on the website.  They offer help and make it so easy 'you'd be a fool not to accept it'.   But of course this apparent 'solution' is only short term which quickly spirals downwards into a horrible long term nightmare.

On the other hand the word 'rich' does the opposite such as 'has a richly rewarding life', 'enjoys rich food', 'his award is richly deserved'.  Well lets turn this round and condemn some of the 'rich' ...

those who squirrel their money away offshore to avoid paying tax in the UK

those who award themselves ludicrous bonuses when the company itself has made a loss and making people redundant

those who are so greedy that even though they have money coming out of their ears still go on to commit fraud and sadly all too often don't get caught

those who get knighted and for what, well just being rich it seems to me!

PS What's the difference between a Loan Shark and a real shark?  One is a nasty creature which will 'bite off your hand' if you are unfortunate enough to get too close, whilst the other is a much maligned animal that swims the ocean which will also bite your hand off but only if you are dumb enough to get too close!


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Always two ways of looking at it

There have been two TV programmes over the past few months which have highlighted the situation for many on low incomes and/or benefits, namely Benefits Street and Dave, Loan Ranger.

Sadly as is so often the case, the producers of the former have reduced it into the usual lowest common denominator reality TV fodder, ending up simply vilifying those on benefits.  As if we haven’t got enough of the media already trying to con us all into believing the worst of anyone in receipt of welfare. 

Not surprisingly those who agreed to appear on it feel pretty aggrieved at how they have been portrayed.  But what makes me so angry is that this gives such an atrociously skewed view of those out of work.  The truth is that the vast majority do NOT WANT to be on benefits, but DO WANT to be in work providing for their families.

In total contrast the latter has actually shown that trusting people can pay off.  People in low paid work, as well as on benefits, often need a loan to tide them over.  The eponymous Dave risked £25000 of his own money lending it to them at a reasonable rate of interest instead of them having to use loan sharks or payday lenders.  In effect what Dave is doing is his one-man equivalent to a credit union – people helping people not taking advantage of them. 

And guess what?  They all paid him back! 


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Rich beyond Money

It’s Christmas time and far too many families are having to rely on foodbanks to get them through, because they are having to choose between two necessities – food or warmth.  As if this isn’t bad enough they are labelled with the word ‘poor’.

In the Evening Post tonight there’s an article which is headed ‘poor take-up of flu jabs’ and children who are not good at exams are sometimes reported as being ‘poor achievers’.  I’m sure there are plenty more examples that I could come up with but you get the picture.

So I want to start a campaign to stop using the word ‘poor’ when describing those who don’t have much money.  My Dad never did but he was one of the ‘richest’ men I’ve ever met – great talent just never got paid for it.  

We have to end this awful trait of automatically aligning monetary wealth with worthiness.  And if you need proof as to why, just look at the cabinet!


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

HOGGOF – Have one gripe, get one free ; The Sequel

When is a solution not a solution?

My first gripe is continuing the theme of a previous blog on why you shouldn’t do something because it only works on one level but not on another.  Confused?  Let me explain …

Apparently 200 elderly (today's Daily Mirror) will die of cold each day this winter – that’s nearly 75000!  The cynic in me (which grows daily) reckons that this ConDem government are quite satisfied with this as it will go some way to solving the rising age population. 

So back to my point – you don’t solve this problem by in effect killing people.  On paper it works, but in reality it is totally utterly completely awfully & morally WRONG!

And secondly …

Who on earth picked this Sue Lewis, (again today's Daily Mirror) new lead of Financial Services Consumer Panel?!  Obviously somebody who was having an off day, or someone just as totally blinkered as she is when it comes to Payday Loan companies.  Up to a point, when she likens a payday loan to using a credit card , I can see where she is coming from, as there are a few people who are able to use them like this.  But it’s only a few.  Lets’ be clear here – if it weren’t for the thousands who get dragged into rollover loans, and get into deeper and deeper debt, the likes of ****a wouldn’t make any money.  The ConDems austerity measures have led directly to the boom in ‘business’ for these companies as they are allowed to benefit out of the misfortune of others.  They are there solely to make shedloads of money.

Credit Unions, on the other hand, are there – in providing loans at decent rates, with no hidden costs, no tie-in to rollover loans, and free life insurance – solely to help people help each other.
‘So what’s the catch’
I hear you ask?  
Well, they don’t turn round and give you the money straight away.  Instead they help you check that you have done your sums right and can afford the loan repayments so you don’t get into debt. 
Not really a catch, then.
‘There must be something’ you continue.  ‘What else?’ 
Oh yes, they also help you to save money by insisting you pay money in on a regular basis, like £1 (yes that’s right) a week.  The idea is that in future you wont need to go elsewhere and take on loans at extortionate rates of interest, and rack up horrendous debt. 
So that’s not really a catch either. 
‘So just why are they doing all this for me?’ 
Simple, because you are also doing the same for them. 

Think about it!


Saturday, 14 September 2013

HOGGOF (Have one gripe, get one free!)

First gripe ... maybe it’s naive of me but I do find it very disappointing that the Lib Dems have to tell lies in their Focus leaflets.  So I’ve been asking myself why.
Unfortunately once something is stated as a fact very few will ever know that it’s not true, and if you try to challenge it, you often come across as being petty and unconvincing!  This kind of thing happens everywhere, where ‘you’ are actually in the right and ‘they’ are in the wrong.  Like when a kid bullies another but if they try and fight back they usually get told off as well as.  And the newspaper that prints a misleading and defamatory headline on the front page, with an apology next day if you’re lucky, on page 96 in very small letters. 
So very unfair – but so very common.  At least I have answered my question – the Lib Dems do it because like everyone else they can! 

Second gripe ... more on an observation really (and one that I you might not like!) but I actually believe there are some decent Tories, even rich ones – I just don’t agree with their politics.  But – and this is a big, Huge, MASSIVE But – they are certainly few and far between, and most definitely extinct from the UK cabinet!


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Jobs or Benefits? Silly question!

I can be a bit thick sometimes – I believe it’s called being ‘tup’ round these parts.  But perhaps I’m doing myself a bit of an injustice.  Maybe you are the same - for ages you know something but you don’t really KNOW it, and then suddenly out of the blue it clicks.

Ever since the coalition got in, like every fairminded person I’ve been anti the attack on people who are on benefits.  Yes of course there are the odd ones who do cheat the system, but as I’ve said before there are thousands upon thousands having who have no choice.

The Tories (with their little LapdogDems following them) have created division between what they have called strivers and skivers – one of the oldest political tricks in the book  So they decide that the benefits bill is too high and IDS gets the task of putting forward a plan to reduce it.  He comes up with one which basically means the innocent poor end up paying for the guilty rich. 

Yes, I know you know all this but I’m getting there!  This morning I had that Eureka moment – creating jobs or cutting benefits?  ACHIEVE BOTH!!!!  More jobs means less on benefits – the simplicity is intoxicating.

So why aren’t the government doing this?

Answers on a postcard …