2007 - 2020

The Department of Work and Pensions

Cg5gFBKUkAAhzmKIt’s a sad day for BHS, asset-stripped by Sir Philip Green of hundreds of millions of pounds. There will be thousands of redundancies and a much larger number will see their company pensions disappear. Meanwhile we’re told that Green is buying a new £100 million luxury yacht.

It’s a sad day but of course nothing will happen apart from some Crocodile Tears and some interviews with Mary Queen of Shops and some tired old analysis of ‘What’s gone wrong with BHS?’ This is normal practice. We need to be ‘open for business’ and ‘cut re-tape’.  Accountability is an anathema. Responsibility is for idiots. This is the Wild West presided over by a government you didn’t elect, whose values you don’t hold.

We’re told that: “Retail tycoon Sir Philip Green is facing calls to give up his knighthood if he does not pay back dividends received from BHS when he owned the stores chain.” To which he may turn round and holler from his new boat ‘Bovvered”.

Meanwhile North Ayrshire Council’s STRIVE programme have been suspended pending an investigation after it was revealed that individuals have been fined for as little as tutting or having their hands in their pockets. Shirkers on the one hand and tv stars in the making on the other: millionaires fit for the Lords. One community impoverished the other ennobled.

The fact that any of this is challenged or comes to light is only really the  result of the relentless work of diligent campaigners, whistleblowers and volunteers. On Tuesday last week we were told that the ‘DWP may have to publish details of benefit claimant deaths’. This only came about because The Disability News Service (DNS) won its appeal against the DWP’s subsequent refusal to publish any information about the fact that they (the DWP) had conducted 60 reviews into the deaths of benefit claimants (this after a freedom of information request in 2014.)

Only recently we were told that this family of nations was held together by common bonds and to create a functioning democracy would leave us exposed and impoverished, we were ‘Stronger Together’.  Each day it seems a new layer to that lie seems to be exposed. Yesterday it was revealed by official figures from Eurostat that parts of Britain are now poorer than Poland, Lithuania and Hungary.  Whether it’s the rogue private utilities of Rip-Off Britain or conned shipyard workers being sold down the river as expendable pawns in the UK Govts economic catastrophe or the punitive world of benefit claimants, it’s a country where civil liberties are a joke and the rich are free to act as they like. It’s a society based on institutionalised inequality. All the lies are coming home to roost.

 

Comments (12)

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  1. Ian Kirkwood says:

    Yes. Our little countries are bound together by a historic tie. One that is at the root of inequality. A nation that allows the privatisation of public value in the form of site or natural resource ‘rents’, is doomed to endure the automatic construction of citizen outcasts, inequality, a fractured society and increasing poverty.

    Some countries have made sterling efforts not to (no thanks to IMF pressure to the contrary). And they are the places that leap over the economic heads of their oppressed neighbours. I salute Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Botswana — who embrace AGR.

    Because in these places people share in the rents that they create together as societies.

    1. bringiton says:

      You forget that in the British Isles,since Thatcher,there us no such thing as society and that is the root cause of most of our current ills.

      1. Ian Kirkwood says:

        Absolutely. No such thing!

  2. John Edgar says:

    Gordon saved “the world”. Send for him again like a latter -day Cincinnatus at the plough. Oh, Cincinnatus was doing a real practical job. Maybe not send for Brown. .Who is left? Corbyn? Jeremy always looks and sounds as if he is in a dwam, the Islington sage, and us not connecting with reality. At central government they are conduction a war of attrition with the junior doctors in England or squabbling over Brexit. Gove and Nay now disputing what is government policy on human rights safeguards in or out of the EU. There does not seem to be anyone at the helm of the “ship of state”. The Windsors are navel gazing, recovering from the adulation of the subjects in last week’s cult of the something and some are wondering how it will be at the back of the queue when Obama says No.
    It is as if the broad shouldered, pooling and sharing UK where we are all better together with the strength of Trident deterring attacks from, well who exactly, is in a fankle. And a former rejected LibDem M P from Caithness has been elected from an electorate of three to become a hereditary peer at the Lords. Methinks Ruritania-Balmorality UK is an unfit for purpose failing state.

  3. Douglas Robertson says:

    This short report prepared for the on-going Dundee Fairness Commission, which is investigating the incidence of poverty within the city, reveals just how threadbare our welfare safety net has become. The cruelty and heartlessness it reveals shames all of us, and these experiences are just a snapshot of one place, Dundee. Take time to read this, it explains how people experience poverty.

    http://www.dundeepartnership.co.uk/sites/default/files/Fairer%20Dundee_Executive%20Summary_3%20Dec%202015%20-%20Absolutely%20Final%20Draft.pdf

    1. Ian Kirkwood says:

      Scanning this document is painful. The privatisation of public value is the cause (socially created land values given as a free privilege to the owners of land). AGR would halt the shame and give each citizen a share in the prosperity we build together.

  4. Duncan Brown says:

    “A society based on institutionalised inequality” is perhaps the most succint and accurate description I’ve ever seen of the British State.

  5. Shane Fraser says:

    I can not of the life of me gather a sense of humility and honesty among Scottish Men and Woman to discharge a class of people who wish to drown and kill by legal means to kill and drown the voice of SCOTTISH SOVEREIGNTY !

  6. Willie says:

    It’s the British way. Riches beyond avarice, rags for the many. But sadly we voted for its continuation. Clearly, not hurting enough or we’d have voted for change. And now the independence movememt’s principal vehicle for change is under attack from the bit players who would fragment the vehicle for change. But hey, a few percent here, and the odd percent there, and Rise, Respect, Solidarity will sort the Westminster run state that we all so love. But that’s why I am voting SNP one and two. One voice, one objective, till we get to where we want to be. No one said it would be easy,and it isn’t Mike.

    1. shane fraser says:

      i agree 100% .. We are where we are. Unionists Are Suffering From Cognitive Dissonance on an endemic scale not seen since the bubonic plague. The commonest form of plague in humans, characterized by fever, delirium, and the formation of buboes. A swollen inflamed lymph node in the armpit or groin. In Other Words I Would Recommend A Kick In The B***S Would Be Suffice !

      SNP X2 = 🙂

  7. The Glasgow Clincher says:

    Willie, if I still resided in Scotland I would vote SNP as well, but please don’t labour under any illusion that they will run a more equitable state; getting into bed with the Chinese capitalists and not renationalising Scotrail are just a few starter examples. Independence first, then the real battle starts. Nicola et al will still dance to the capitalist tune.

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