The People’s Assembly Could Be Manufactured Surrender, But It Could Be Something Else

partisans-milanIn parts of the UK, especially some areas of London, there is no sign of the crisis that is currently demolishing millions of lives.

There is no-one holding up the supermarket queue paying for value food with a fistful of vouchers and copper coins.  There are no stressed out mums and dads who’ve dragged kids out in the rain to charge up the electricity key, no arguments in the Post Office over missing benefit payments and no mob-handed gangs of police frisking and harassing defiant teenagers.

For some austerity means at worst one less holiday this year, a dip in the investment portfolio or a slighter cheaper pair of designer shoes.  For others it is just a dinner party talking point, little more than a pose, a nostalgic game of thrift played out in vintage clothes shops and antique markets.

This is the pampered reality for most of those who spoke from the top table at this weekend’s People’s Assembly.  Len McClusky, boss of Unite union, never experiences the chill of fear that accompanies a brown DWP envelope dropping through the letter box.  PCS Secretary Mark Serwotka does not lay awake at night worrying about how he will pay his bedroom tax, or which city he will be relocated to due to the benefit cap.  It is true that unlike some involved in the People’s Assembly, trade unions leaders have all had real jobs at one point.  But it is astonishing how quickly the experience of poverty is forgotten once basic needs are met and how once undreamed of luxuries become everyday normal things as pay packets swell.

This does not mean that their anger is not sincere, or that their political convictions are invalid.  But fighting austerity is part of their job descriptions, it is not them fighting for their lives.  We are not all in it fucking together.  Only the poor are being forced from their homes,  driven to suicide, forced to work unpaid or lining up outside foodbanks after benefits have been slashed or sanctioned.

This is why Len McClusky can call Labour’s recent workfare proposals and commitment to brutal sickness and disability benefit assessments ‘a good start’.  Len will never have to go on workfare or face an Atos assessment.  And that’s why he would have the rest of us believe that Labour, perhaps nudged slightly towards the left (stop laughing), is the best deal on the table.  Vote Len, vote Labour, pay your union subs and leave it to them to negotiate our surrender.

The People’s Assembly was largely organised by Counterfire, a left wing sect which began within the Socialist Worker’s Party.  Many of those involved in Counterfire were formerly active within the Stop the War Coalition which emerged to dominate the resistance to the war in Iraq.  There are two significant facts about the Stop The War Coalition, the first being that they didn’t stop the war.  The second is that despite this, the leaders of the Stop The War Coalition considered the organisation a great success.

There is a danger that The People’s Assembly lays the groundwork for a similar managed defeat in the fight against austerity.  It is not in the interests of the Union bosses, or MPs who spoke at the People’s Assembly, to have the kind of radical changes to society many people want and increasingly need.  That is why so many of them have little more to offer than empty platitudes, largely abandoned one day strikes, and a quiet commitment to the idea that a Labour government will make everything alright again.

And to fight for the Labour Party is to fight to lose.  There will be no end to austerity if Ed Miliband is elected, as he chose to make clear himself in a speech elsewhere over the weekend.  The struggle we face now has little or nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with class war – and the modern Labour Party is on the wrong side.

Of course the People’s Assembly became more than just a crude attempt to rally support for the Labour Party and an attempt to resurrect the glorious failure of the Stop The War Coalition.  The people themselves saw to that.  There have been encouraging reports that when the assembly broke down into local groups, and the celebrities fucked off, far more was achieved than just hot air with some concrete plans emerging for local organising.  Even Counterfire’s proposed day of direct action on November 5th could be a good start,  but only if it is more than a day of theatrical stunts, ten minute walks outs, A to B marches, and yet more political speeches from self-styled leaders.

Strikes, occupations, sabotage and riots have been the real tools of social change throughout history.  Any day of direct action cannot be left in the hands of trade union bosses, journalists, MPs or anyone else who has simply too much to lose from any meaningful confrontation.  A day that will truly make the rich and powerful tremble will not be organised by the ever so slightly less rich and powerful.

The legacy of the People’s Assembly could be manufactured surrender, but it could be something else.  Or it could just be ignored completely.  It will be down to the people themselves to decide.  Owen and Len can nip to the bar and get the drinks in whilst we make our own minds up about how to resist the onslaught we face.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

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185 responses to “The People’s Assembly Could Be Manufactured Surrender, But It Could Be Something Else

  1. Your points of view would be more acceptable if you resisted the urge to use the F word so much.

    What gives you the idea that there is no sign of the crisis in London? Do you actually live there? My neighbour (mother of 5 children) brought her modest tray of lasagne round to my place yesterday to be cooked in my oven, because she didn’t have money to put in the gas meter.

    London food banks are being used more & more

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22717665

    Protests & riots are breaking out all over the world….it won’t be long in coming to the UK. IMHO.

    • “Your points of view would be more acceptable if you resisted the urge to use the F word so much.”

      I disagree. JV’s style is fucking marvellous.

      • I agree too. I think Johnny uses his deserving F words in a very uplifting way. Good for us to let of a bit of anger and steam, rather than being submissive to the oppressive tyrants. Bollocks to you CodewordConduit . Leave Johnny’s writings alone. Please keep the F words going Johnny. You rarely sneak em in, usually at the end and that’s why its so FUNNY.

      • Oops sorry CodewordConduit, I meant bolox to the lady Helen above you. Yes JV’s style is fucking marvellous.

        • Paul Callaghan

          As my old ma used to say, if they can`t take a joke, Fuck em

          • LOL your ol mar ain’t wrong Paul. I tell thee. Do you find it gets the anger out and makes you feel better for a while. I’ve sworn a lot on here. The Ridged retched Gov makes you, cant be helped so too right Fuck em.

        • Hahahaha I nearly sprayed my pop all over the screen when I read that first message, well done :p xx

          • something survived...

            Sorry I misread it up to now. You are talking about the word ‘f***’?
            I thought the foul, unpronounceable F-word you were discussing was:
            FARAGE

    • Who cares about a few “sentence enhancers”? Profanity is just away of letting off steam & a few well -chosen swear words cam put the emphasis on a point far more than any more sedate language could ever do.

    • I’m leaving the swearing thing alone but you have a point. I completely agree with you about London. It’s complete ignorance that people think there is no poverty here. It has some of the worst in England and it is more noticeable as everything is so expensive in comparison. Poor people here are probably poorer than most poor people in England. It is a myth that is constantly propagated that we are all so well off in London and one that many haters are happy to believe. Even the wealthiest boroughs are next to poverty stricken ones, or have poor people skirting around the perimeters, trying to subsist.

      All the comments you are getting are just stupid and puerile and show why the poor will always be under the thumb. People are far too busy snipping and being petty to actually bother to do something constructive. These sorts of comments are a gift to those who seek out public opinion. They won’t see this lot as having any relevance at all and serve to negate the blogger’s words in part.

      This blog is fantastically researched and trustworthy but the readers often don’t do it justice. The writer deserves more. The swearing is sometimes appropriate in the posts but the language used by the readers is often vile and alienating.

      • And if the swearing (when gratuitous) doesn’t put you off, the lack of grammar or punctuation that renders many comments unintelligible will!

  2. I meant some parts of London obviously, and not the part I live in.

  3. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    This is a sop to defuse some of the anger we feel, like online petitions, its just a way to say we are doing something then they will say sorry and so defuse the situation.. UNIONS are never for the people, they are for their leaders to get six figure salaries and grace and favours. Unions are the problem, they are part of labour, and labour is like the tories so the unions are collaborating with the tories to deny people life and liberty. BY their inaction they are morally guilty of the deaths of all those who have died, will die, will suffer under this regime.

  4. they examine the chard’s of glass to distract one, from the culprits fleeing the scene…

  5. Pingback: The People's Assembly Could Be Manufactured Sur...

  6. Its a good thing helen doesnt read chris spivey john she would never get past the first sentence..

  7. Contributions toThe Struggle Against the Blue and Red Tories, the Banksters and Austerity, Intended To Be Discussed, Corrected, And Principally, Put Into Practice Without Delay-

    http://incubusblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/some-thoughts-on-a-new-social-movement/

  8. Pingback: Reportage: The Peoples Assembly 22nd June 2013 (updated 24th June)

  9. ‘Len will never have to go on workfare or face an Atos assessment.’

    While I can see you points in the rest of this I think you need to have a think about the realities of long-term illness and disability because the reality is the anyone, even Len, could end up facing an Atos assessment. Only 18% of disabilities are life long all the others are acquired. It doesn’t take much a slip, a car accident, a virus a cancer cell and your whole life is altered – no one is safe from disability.
    This might seem like a petty point but it really isn’t.
    Given the death toll associated with the WCA everyone should be scared but because the able-bodied community like to live with the delusion that
    they are safe, that it doesn’t affect them and so they can get on with their lives without worrying about what is happening to those ‘disabled people’ because we are ‘other’. This is why breaking down the idea that anyone is safe from Atos is so important, if people realise they were also at risk they’d be far more likely to take action, instead of ignoring what’s being done.

    • Yes, anyone can become ill/disabled but only those who rely on financial assisstance from the state will have to face ATOS, those who are wealthy enough not to have to claim ESA will never have to face ATOS no matter how ill they are.

  10. I fucking agree with Helen !! Cut it out Mr V !
    More !!!!

  11. Rosemarie Harris

    The way i see it is we have to get organized locally but forget all about left and right we need to fight injustice and have a argument against reasons for and against we all need to fight together on all the cuts .we will need sub groups on different aspects of the cuts what we can do and how to use the law. We need to also use the unions in funding for us to get legal advice and fight the bedroom tax on ones we can win to get publicy. Get networks set up all over the country and help other areas in the fight.We need to make contact . At present we are too disjointed not joined up so don’t have enough power, but when we do then we can go forward and achieve to reverse the injustice that the rich have tried to enforce.
    What do we want…… And when do we want it…???????

  12. Brilliantly written, well thought-out piece. All that we’ve come to expect from “The Void”. So he swears a bit? When your anger is as great as his, you’d be a saint not to! And who would read this if it was written by a saint?

  13. Johnny why don’t you get on about how UKIP are organizing opposition to cuts and austerity? I don’t see any sign of this, except hearing them trailing for votes via rhetoric.
    I don’t want labour in any more than anyone else especially because they know there is no real opposition to them if the tory vote is split by ukip, that is up until election time that is, there is more chance of ukip winning votes from disgruntled labour voters who don’t appreciate who or what they would REALLY be voting for. Perhaps you could suggest a winner other than the minority tusc.

  14. Paul Callaghan

    Give the peoples assembly a chance, many of the people I know who went up to London on a bus (organised and paid for by the unions) were working class people suffering the effects of austerity, as were most of the 100 or so people who attended a Peoples Assembly in Cardiff the week before.

    • Eric Greenwood (4727)

      Where these Union members or the unemployed,

      • Paul Callaghan

        there were a mixture of unemployed people (like myself) trade union members, pensioners, students and a whole range of other people including a vicar at the Cardiff meeting I went too, though what that has to do with the price of strawberries defeats me

        • Eric Greenwood (4727)

          Because, The unemployed the people not in unions like the unemployed have no voice in the union, in fact most unions will USE them, Other unions are pro workfare and yet they want to use the unemployed to boost their subs which goes to pay their leaders. There is a disconnect between union members who usually have jobs and the Unemployed who are not allow to join. This shows that the leaders are as isolated as the mp’s. How many of those union leaders remember what it is like to be on the dole, even back then, todays life on the dole is far far worse. Yet most of the unions will not speak out. Len is Pro workfare, the PCS will not speak about it. Yet who are the people who get it in the neck the low level pcs union members. this trouble and violence could be stopped IF the unions spoke out, Yet they dont care about us. They have jobs for life with 6 figure wages. This peoples assembly is a sop to make people think things are done. It sounded like those busing people in to boost the numbers of attendees, and to give it a faint veneer of respectability, What about those that could afford to go there, would the unions have paid for all those, or is it just people who known high up union members got the journey free.

          Until Len and Serwotka actually experience todays job centre then they are and i repeat is as isolated and protected from every hardship.

          • I agree with every word you said, Eric. Trade Union leaders are as disconnected as politicians. BUT … I wish there was still a stronger link between Labour and the Unions as this was the only method by which working class people could get into parliament. Today even our Labour MPs are ex-Public Schoolboys (or girls) and no-one in parliament has a Scooby’s what life is like at the bottom of the heap!

            • Eric Greenwood (4727)

              IF the union leaders, were more understanding to the big picture, rather than focusing just on what their working members want. If the leaders had experience of the real world of today rather than when they worked. THEN maybe the unions would be worth supporting. The person they are denigrating and ignoring today could be their potential union member tomorrow, by their inaction against unfair policies including sanctions makes me less likely to trust joining a union.

    • paul c…
      can you please answers these questions…what was said about ending 3rd party involvement in dwp medical assessments, (notwithstanding that the medical dispute is actually between the gp.nhs and dwp…and not the benefit entitled), and about ending benefit conditionalities.. ending bed tax…rent caps..reducing rents and pegging rents…?

      • Paul Callaghan

        Rome was`nt built in a day.

        • paul c…ok breifly what was discussed…?

          • Eric Greenwood (4727)

            So essentially nothing was said, how long will it take before these people get up and do something rather than use this as a PR stunt

          • Paul Callaghan

            As I said earlier Eric the unions paid for a bus to take all those who wanted to go to London, the bus was free and open to all

          • Paul Callaghan

            The discussions were wide ranging and covered amongst other things the bedroom tax, DLA and the cuts in general which everyone who spoke (and everyone who wanted to speak was able too) were united in opposing. The only bone of contention was after a speaker from the PCS asked us all to support the civil servants fighting against cuts in their pay and conditions. The Vicar I mentioned earlier who is from the Gurnos one of the poorest places in the UK said the vast majority of the people on her estate could`nt give a flying fuck about the pay and conditions of civil servants ( I paraphrase slighty) she was widely applauded for saying this though the Union guy did`nt look to happy. As for your question about the causes of austerity I agree with Mark Steel

        • paul c…what do you think is causing austerity?

  15. UKIP are in favour of the cuts just as anti disabled as the rest and in favour of workfare and aligned with fascists..screw them…

  16. Anyone planning on protesting at the CRAPITA welfare to profits conference in manchester? Someone has got to kick up a fuss there surely ?

  17. Paul Callaghan

    Did the unions advertise that they had free buses on the unemployed websites or blogs that the unemployed subscribe to, because I didn’t see anything?

    • Paul Callaghan

      The bus I was talking about was sorted locally in Cardiff. I have no idea what happened elsewhere, As I understand it there are a number of Peoples Assemblys coming up throughout the Country, Maybe you should go along to the one in your area and suggest they lay on a bus for the next National one

  18. i see the boss of atos has just gotten a massive pay rise..so no austerity for him…!

    • Paul Callaghan

      The Tories and their cronies in big business including Atos are doing brilliantly out of this austerity programme, while Labour stands on the sidelines tutting they are turning the rest of us in to Ragged trousered philanthropists. To stop them we need to unite and fight

      • paul c..i agree but who are we fighting?

        • Paul Callaghan

          The Tories the lib dems and any other bastard who supports these attacks on the poorest in society and our Welfare state, which as far as I can see does`nt include the peoples assembly. Check out Mark Steel on you tube particularly the bit where he says the trouble with the left is that people will listen to someone and agree with 95% of what they say and then spend the next 5 years arguing about the 5% they did`nt agree with

          • paul c…these measures were brought in piece by piece by successive labour and tory govts since lets say 1979…and fully supported by the unions…and the next labour govt will only consolidate this govts measures….so do you think unions are going to invite you to fight the unions…

          • ps pual c
            we will be lucky to get 5%….and as far as i am concerned i will be happy with 95%…which is the points i outlined above, which is…”ending 3rd party involvement in dwp medical assessments, (notwithstanding that the medical dispute is actually between the gp.nhs and dwp…and not the benefit entitled), and about ending benefit conditionalities.. ending bed tax…rent caps..reducing rents and pegging rents…?” ie the unconditional establishment of basic human rights…too food shelter clothes and decent medical care…the basic vitals of human existence…can we afford to spend the next 5yrs arguing over getting them…and i’ll happily leave the politics to the politicians…

            • pps paul c the first album i bought was “with the beatles”..and in mono…

              • Paul Callaghan

                I agree with everything you say, and no we on the left should`nt be arguing about them its a disgrace that Labour the party of Nye and Atlee seem to agree with neo liberal policies that are driving the poor in to ever increasing poverty and despair. but unless we unite and fight what chance do we have of changing things

            • paul c…yes, it is frustrating i know…but somehow we must work out how..to change things for good…individual resistance…is powerful…

            • Paul C, your Lennon reference comment had no ‘reply’ to click on, so it’s going here instead. I must correct you. The lyric you refer to actually said “But when you talk about DESTRUCTION, don’t you know that you can count me out…” These things are important!

  19. Paul C

    The trouble is I think we can all agree on a some of the things each of the parties say but none of them are worth voting for with regards to the cuts and austerity.

    • Paul Callaghan

      yeah but maybe and I agree its a big maybe something like the peoples Assembly can shake up Labour and force them to represent the working class instead of sucking up to big business and Mail readers, will I vote Labour if they stick to tory spending plans? fuck no! but realistically Labour is the only game in town, if we can move Labour to the left we have a chance otherwise we are stuck with permanent right wing rule be it by Labour or the Tories I see the peoples assembly as a possible left wing tea party. Just as the Tea party moved the republicans to the right in the US maybe we can if we unite and organise move Labour to the left

  20. Paul Callaghan

    I agree that moving the labour party to the left would be a step in the right direction but I don’t think you will achieve it, mainly because it has been infiltrated by centerist and moderate right thinking middle class voters.
    Most of the grass root members tore up their membership cards when Tony Blair was elected and Miliband does not want to lose votes from the class that he,balls and yvette cooper represent.

    • Paul Callaghan

      Exactly the Unions and through them the Labour Party was created to fight for the interests of the working class. Now the Labour leadership is full of public schoolboys and the the majority of union leader see their role as looking after there own members and sod everyone else

  21. I saw the behaviour of Labour Party members and Trade Unionists in the 1980’s under Thatcher. They almost always hate us, but are prepared to be condescending to us when it suits their political agenda ( I remember, for example, one Trade Unionist stabbing a finger at our little demo and saying “Keep your heads down and wait for a Labour Government’ … yeah! We got fucking Blair, mate!)

  22. Helen should watch the Angry Taxi Driver Youtube.

    Now THATS swearing.
    Excellent piece Johnny….apart from the swearing.

  23. Food Poverty: “I was brought up not to steal. But that’s how bad it’s got”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2013/jun/24/food-poverty-growth-in-shoplifting-groceries

    • Good piece.

      Unfortunately, until stories like that appear regularly on the front of the Mail, the majority of people will continue to believe the propaganda the government want them to believe.

      • if they do appear on the front of the mail it will be to blame these people as deviant antisocial thieves.

        WE can’t win – which ironically is how you exacerbate the situation.

        These tory/libdem filth are complicit and should be prosecuted.

        • something survived...

          They hang the man, and flog the woman,
          Who steals the goose from off the common.
          But let the greater villain loose,
          Who steals the common from the goose.

  24. Polly Toynbee:
    “The social fund is the last resort, the final gasket that blows in the benefits system. Jobcentres did offer social fund loans or grants in an emergency, but in April that function moved to local councils to do as they please, un-ringfenced. The Children’s Society finds they make randomly different provisions and conditions. In Stoke four experienced staff, sympathetic but canny, field some 50 calls a day from people at the end of their tether. Checking the caller’s status on several data bases, they can hand out vouchers for food banks, open their own food cupboard, sometimes offer clothes or top up empty gas and electricity keys. Families needing nappies, milk or school uniform are sent to children’s centres. “No, I’m sorry, we don’t give out money or loans any more,” begins almost every phone call. “No, I’m sorry, only food for three days”. No, no bus money.

    Most callers have been referred from the jobcentre, an irony since most people’s crises are caused by what the jobcentre has done to them. Errors delaying payments have left some starving. Many have been “sanctioned”, with benefits stopped for weeks: a catastrophic punishment, often for trivial infringements – even the best reasons for a missed appointment are dismissed. This team sees letters demanding attendance that arrive after the appointment date, but people are still sanctioned. The Department for Work and Pensions denies the existence of quotas, but jobcentres are under intense pressure to cut people off, with league tables and threats to offices or staff who sanction too little. The DWP is delaying the publication of data on these new tougher sanctions – expected to be shocking.

    All human misery is here. Some callers are in tears, some shout in frustration after a series of rebuffs, some plainly have mental health problems ignored by the sanctioners. Some are just out of prison, arriving with nothing at all, no change of clothes. One ex-army man suffering panic attacks has been sanctioned when he couldn’t leave his home. Some have been on the streets: homelessness is rising in Stoke. How desperate can you be when you have nothing to feed your children and debt collectors are pressing? A man who went totally blind last year has been thrown off disability benefit for missing an appointment, his debts building as he has a spare room.

    Some have lost disability benefits after an Atos test, and can no longer make ends meet. Many are deeply ashamed at having to beg for a food parcel. Council tax and bedroom tax debts escalate. One frantic woman loses it after being evicted, her husband’s family is harassing her, and she’s been kicking off at the jobcentre, which doesn’t help. Then her phone battery goes. Calls to this office have risen by a quarter but the fund has exactly £80,000 a month, regardless of demand.

    If Cameron and Osborne visited Stoke Citizens Advice bureau, they’d find people queueing round the block as the service struggles to cope with this crescendo of woe. The debt advisers find growing numbers cannot survive as benefit cuts and council and bedroom taxes push them over the edge. There is no Sky, no cigarettes, no drink – yet after rent and electricity many are left with an impossible £10 a week for food, clothes, travel and everything else.”

    Polly can say all this, and yet she still supports Labour. Incredible.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/25/osborne-spending-review-intensive-care

    • Tore this article out of the Grauniad last week and have stuck it on the wall for visitors to read while on the loo. She often writes this well and, yes, it’s astonishing she still supports Labour, but I wonder who she’ll be advocating come the election? One thing worth considering (or one bunch of straws worth clutching at) is whether or not Labour and the unions might be playing the Tories at their own game, namely saying one bunch of things in opposition and in their election manifesto (about continuing austerity and being tough on claimants, which caught them so much flak recently), but once in power will go back on them and turn out to be the good guys after all! A long shot, I know, but we’re getting desperate here!

  25. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    Unison is advising its members to co-operate in collecting rent arrears resulting from the bedroom tax or risk putting their jobs at risk http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/tenancies/unison-members-must-collect-bedroom-tax-arrears/6527455.article?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Ocean+Media+&utm_campaign=2712985_IH+Daily+News+25.6.13&dm_i=1HH2%2C1M5CP%2C7UMPI2%2C5LT0K%2C1#.UclvqCjoXlE.twitter Complicit in the destitution of the poorest, If anyone dies due to this UNISON is morally guilty of murder Just shows how “caring” unions are

  26. I think it’s a bit unfair to slag off people like Owen Jones for not being genuinely poor. Are only the poor allowed to speak about austerity?

    I do agree that the unions need a massive kick up the arse and need to be told emphatically to fuck off until such time as they wake up. I sent several tweets (such is my power!) throughout saturday (i didn’t attend) calling on people to demand Serwotka refuse to allow his members to sanciton people. I heard nothing back.

    There is a danger this could be a talking shop and, perhaps worse, a clique. But the left is a broad church that has to accomodate everyone that isn’t a rich profitering tory cunt. It’s easy for them, they have power wealth and means and generally share the same simple goal: make money out of us. We on the other hand come from different walks of life, different classes even.

    In fact this whole class thing needs to be rejected. We should be fighting for a more equal society, not falling prey to more divide and rule. Hope is not enough, but it’s a good start. Dismissing this out of hand, as some old class warriors seem to be happy to do at the exclusion of evreything else, is counter productive.

  27. Frances Leader

    I attended the Peoples Assembly on Saturday. I got there under my own steam & I am unemployed. I value the solidarity and support of the Unions & some brave MPs. But most of all I value the 4,000 British Citizens of every type & variety that I sat with and discussed our points of view. The Assembly provided us with a chance to find other like-minded folk, in each of our own areas & those connections are vital. Especially in Dorset & Wiltshire where I live. 8 people represented those two big counties, so I was shocked to realise how much work is necessary at home. We are fired up to work on building awareness & dispelling the blinkered self-satisfied Tory/LibDem strongholds of the SouthWest but we are the minutest of minorities there. Do try to nurture the embryo of CHANGE! Boodicca of the Icenii 2013 xx

  28. Frances leader

    I think overburdeneddonkey wanted to know what the unions are prepared to do in solidarity with the unemployed i.e. call for a general strike against the austerity measures and atos assessments, also what came out of the peoples assembly regarding new left wing policies for the labour party.

    It is one thing to discuss things with like minded people, it’s another thing to be able to influence those in the the seats of power, i.e. unions and the opposition party, until you can change their policies you will have no chance of convincing the electorate that there is somebody worth voting for, somebody that really wants a fairer society, more accountable government and non-corrupt private or public for that matter business enterprises.

    RESTORE CLAUSE 4 FOR A START.

  29. I think Johnny is being very unfair to poor old McClusky. Surely he doesn’t want him to miss out on a knighthood for his services to capitalism; after all, it was good enough for his his old boss at the TUC, Brendan Barber, and we wouldn’t want to stifle Len’s ambition to get on in life – Heavens! think of the angst and trauma he might undergo missing out on hobnobbing with all those jolly aristos in the House of Lords. And besides, he’d look very dapper in ermine squatting on those plush benches spouting nonsense with the old dears.

  30. I would give more credence to people bemoaning that the Trade Union leadership do not do anything if the people saying it were doing something along the lines they are calling on others to act. If you believe that only civil disobedience is the answer then go out and do it. The Union leadership’s actions reflect their membership. The mass rank and file are not calling on their leadership for general strikes and the mass ranks of the population are not calling for acts of civil obedience. While the ‘left’ squabble within their own political bubbles, the far right are out on the streets mobilising. If a public uprising does happen anytime soon, the only outcome I see is a further swing to the right. And if it does happen, the left will still be arguing about which banner they should mobilise under. Why not try getting behind something for a change. The easiest thing in the world is to criticise, blame others and scapegoat people for the mess we are in, all the while without offering realistic alternatives or tactics. If you havent already realised that is exactly what all political parties do. If you want to see real change, best not adopt the same tactics of those you wish to overthrow or it isnt really change is it?

  31. how about we just post r own made up jobs on ujm and just apply for them instead of real jobs.

    also if everyone on benefits has to use that site they wont be able to as it wont take 3 million ppl using it at the same time +jcp hacking through it as well there bonkers if they think it will work

  32. So kevinlsmith64 are you one of the right that is supposedly mobilizing as a UKIPer, or are you one of the left criticizing the left who also have been mobilizing under the peoples assembly banner it seems?
    When it comes to the economy, the far left are in agreement with ukip just not on HOW to achieve growth and prosperity, i.e. repatriating immigrants to their “own” countries even though most are of mixed race and born here, and to repatriate our human and civil rights laws from Europe for a right wing government to trample all over us are not such good ideas either, but I’m sure ukip has convinced it’s faithful that they will be the untouched next elitists if elected.
    You may be mobilizing but gathering a lot of dross.

  33. overburdendonkey

    UKIP and co are trying to convince everyone that the far left have no distinct policies and are in a confused state – not true, but they lack millionaire backing to help mobilize them against the centerist left, like ukip are doing against the centerist right.
    The more they keep insulting the radical left and classifying them as the “loony left”, like mud it tends to stick.
    That is why the tory party and it’s supporters are condemning ukipers as “swivel eyed loons and fruitcakes” to lessen their following also.

  34. ps
    Kevinlsmith64 is also telling the sick and unemployed that the unions are not backing them, probably because half of them are tory or ukip voters who are not really the slightest bit interested in the unemployed other than wanting their votes.

  35. I wouldnt really describe myself as a UKIP supporter or a person who is mobilising the right. I have been known to argue with people on the left but it tends to be a futile exercise where age old ideology of a time gone by is constantly quoted but is totally irrelevant to the world we live in now. All I know is that the majority of the public have swallowed the deficit myths hook line and sinker. And even when you come across people that are sympathetic to the anti cuts message the conversation normally ends with a proviso that it is all the fault of the ‘immigrants’. If you want to mobilise people, the first step is to get them to realise all the lies that are being peddled. This site does a good job at that but unfortunately I would hazard a guess it is only read by those who are sympathetic to the opinions being expressed. What I never understand is the constant necessity to attack Trade Unions. If a mass movement is to grow then I would imagine getting the 6 million or so union members on board would be a good starting point and I dont think attacking their Unions will help in that. I believe that the only way forward is constant engagement with people who are not really aware of what is happening and I dont believe that civil disobedience is a good starting point to get such people involved in the struggle. That follows once you have built a movement, something we have all failed miserably in achieving over the last 3 years. Hence why I am receptive to such ideas like the Peoples Assembly and willing to give it a chance. Because unfortunately nothing else has worked so far in building a mass movement against all the unjust measures this and the last govt and the one before that have introduced

    • kevinl…i used to be an active t&g rep…but when a union moves on to the other side of the coin, to debt management then alarm bells start to ring…an acceptance has set it…and i for one will never accept poverty as a soak for the rich nor for austerity…human needs should always come 1st in my book…

  36. If calling for a general strike is considered to anachronistic, why should those that are suffering most, i.e. the sick and unemployed via cuts, support the unions – support is a two way street – but those in work are too frightened to jeopardize their own jobs and livelihoods for the sake of those that are suffering so much some are committing suicide.

  37. I think your missing my point. We can all call for whatever we want but unless it has considerable support of union members or the non unionised public it is unlikely to happen let alone succeed

    • kevinl…
      i believe the most powerful force of human being comes from the resisting individual….often the premise change from within an org..leads to change with in the person…noted even from roman times..when the romans eventually become habitated, by the culture that they were intent on trying to dominate…

  38. I get the impression that some on the comments section on here have little grasp of the uphill battle we are facing. For example a couple of weeks ago our local anti cuts group put 3000 leaflets through the doors of social housing tenants about the Bedroom Tax and promoting demonstrations outside the local council offices. Out of those 3000 leaflets directed at the people being affected by that bastard policy, ONE person turned up at the demo. I wont stop fighting and I am sure others in our group wont either but its no good burying your heads in the sands. The reality is we are all a long long way from building a mass movement of resistance

    • kevinl…yes, there is a lot of work to be done…

      • ps to ian bone…i love the speakers idea…

      • I think the reason for the low turnout is people are simply so ground down with the realities of day to day life, they don’t have the energy of drive to take up a cause, even if it involves their own standard of living. Add to that the all-pervading sense of hopelessness and the feeling there is literally no use in even trying to make a difference and there is no wonder there was only 1 in 3000 turning out. Many people have in a perverse way got used to austerity, which demonstrates how resilient people are when faced with hard times. It might take even more drastic falls in people’s standards of living before people finally feel pushed to get onto the streets and demand change – then we’ll see things go bang…

  39. something survived...

    I heard a bunch of ?nazis/EDL?BNP? or similar marched in (People’s Assembly) and caused aggro. One man on our side tried to argue against them and HE got arrested and was taken to Charing Cross police station. Reported from my friend who was there.
    Why did the police not arrest the nazis?????!

    My friend went to the session about asylum, immigration, racism and the threat from the far right.

    Nazis – All their brains fit conveniently on one microdot.

  40. Kevinlsmith64

    It is true there is apathy amongst those that are suffering the cuts, largely because they see little support for their cause from those in work whether in or out of a union. Where I live the housing association is run like the gestapo and most of those employed in it especially in top positions own their own homes and consider those in council housing beneath contempt, most vote tory or ukip and would be quite happy to exercise their right to evict anyone in arrears over bedroom tax.
    If it is an uphill struggle it is because of people in prominent positions not because of the downtrodden.

  41. ps stop blaming the victims and start attacking the corporate culprits.

    • fawkes….exactly….and frances of iceni..buddug!

    • People do suffer apathy, and believe they have to obey the fat fucking tyrants!! I for one will not!!!! Many people conform and do just what a leader tells them. The more of us that wake up and snap out of this apathy, the better it will be. People are so cruel and can not understand the crippling affects of some peoples disabilities such as chronic pain. People just can not put themselves in our position, not for one minute. I am talking about the waged working class people, who Gov have angered and put them against the out of work. These are the people we have to try and reach. Because controlling vile Gov have come down on the immigrants, I think many are supporting the Nasty Tories, thinking they are not that bad. This is sneaky and stealthy, done on purpose. I’ve been trying for months telling some of my working class friends, but still they will not totally come round to my way of thinking. I have been bashing my head against a brick wall. Telling them of the suicides. People = Shit, as the band Slipnot quoted. How right they are. I mean look what happened with Hitler and the Jews. We say “now how did he get away with it”???. “Why were the Jews putting up with it?” “That could never happen again could it???? ” Well Really!!!!! People do need to wake up!!!!

  42. wonder if i can sue the dwp for wasting 15 years of my life doing these so called courses ans wasting tax payers money doing it.lol

    id say 20k for each year is fair compo :)

  43. If I were to apportion blame and I am not, it certainly wouldnt be towards those who are affected. I just get frustrated by those who I perceive should know better and seem to think the whole country is ready for a general strike and mass civil disobedience. I simply dont think they are. Lets hope I am wrong

  44. Let’s hope you are wrong kevinl because when the downtrodden see the employed as their friend, not someone who attacks them as lazy louts hiding behind closed curtains while they are off to work, maybe then we will see some movement by all concerned.

  45. no jobs at my jcp no job points to look nor are they going to get pcs in for ujm so duno what this hit squad is going to do at my jcp?? march every one down the librey to find 6 pcs for 600ppl

    they got 1000s piling in from failed provider each week and its getting worse fast at mine and the attitude of the staff there just going to get smashed up

  46. or the hit squad at mine will be using machine guns lol

  47. Super ted

    Nobody seems to be replying so I will – what is it to be then £250k compo or a bullet for you?

  48. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    Off topic slightly http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/25/sex-industry-advice-wales_n_3498159.html?1372186444 Welsh Government Job Scheme Offering Advice For Sex Industry Hopefuls Among the tips offered by the Business Wales website included about how to become a stripper as well as running a lap dancing club and escort agency.

    • something survived...

      How to become a successful stripper, lapdancer, and escort

      Dear Eric Pickles,
      you have been mandated for this exciting opportunity, involving self-employment, travel, entertainment, and meeting people.
      here is your uniform enclosed (1 G-String). Failure to comply will result in the immediate loss of your money, home, and food. Also please find enclosed an instructional brochure and DVD. Please note that objecting to sexual acts will count as noncompliance (Don’t worry – it never goes beyond ‘Rape Lite’!), and you will be sanctioned.

      -On behalf of all of the lesbians and Muslim women mandated to apply for these vacancies. Not to mention all the other women who don’t want to do it.

  49. well if its in that order it will be the best and worst day of my life haha

    waiting for the brown envelope to turn up lol saying im no longer intitled to jsa as im unemployable and under ujm not able to provide cv cover letter or got any quals from school to go on it so that’s the hit squad in the bin for me no pcs to use ujm how can i look for work?.

    next time i go if the jp are still of say i wont allow cookies on my pc and from October demand 1 for job searching for 8hrs a day or stump up the cash to go use 1 end off

    dell might do a good deal on 2-3 million computers ujm is the wp just all in 1 place as i just had to job search there anyway

  50. Superted

    Things could be worse, if you live in Wales you could be sent on a course to learn to be a stripper or would that appeal to you?

  51. would that appeal to you? im band from tescos lol

  52. what about this for getting in practice for a job stripping?

  53. Has anyone been watching the Ken Loach film “The spirit of 45″? That is the type of attitude we need now, but with decent wages not on the back of cheap labour.
    We need democratic control over the economy not privatization where only the few benefit from any profits.

  54. Super ted

    They are looking for people to bare it all not bear it all – no wonder your banned! lol.

  55. The only way to find out what people are thinking is to go out and ask them. Most reasonable people even if they have preconceptions about the unemployed, disabled and sick, when confronted with the facts are intelligent enough to then see through all the lies. The main problem is no-one really bothers to talk to them, so there only source is the media and we all know how bias that is.

  56. kevinlsmith64

    You would think that to be the case wouldn’t you, but not if you read Jasmines account further up this chain of comments.

  57. “Portland, Oregon: School board denies education to disabled children”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/25/port-j25.html

    There today, here tomorrow.

  58. Annos

    I know special schools for disabled children closed where I live and the children were moved into mainstream schools.

  59. Yes you may be right Kevin s. The media have done so much damage. People need to stop buying certain papers. Hopefully when people stop reading the false DWP stuff and statistics in the papers, start reading bloggs like these, they may become more autonomous. People are protesting all the time, perhaps word is getting out. People also need to stop watching crap on the t.v esp the BBC. People are being brain washed and not really aware of what is going on in their own country. If however society is becoming more narcissistic, and I think it is, then god help us. This Neoliberalism and individualistic shit is not good for society. The Tories love this. We need to bring communities together some how, and check disabled, sick and poor people are all right and are managing under this harsh Regime with little food to eat, Check they are not falling under.

    • Yes, I think people who habitually read the Mail/Express/Sun would be better informed if they read The Dandy, though all newspapers suffer to some degree in presenting a somewhat slewed view of ‘truth’, whatever that is. Ditching the TV is also a good move, one which I found quite easy as I’m terribly allergic to advertising and ads every 10 mins totally destroys any concentration, though it’s become so bad that 10% of programmes are now ‘recaps’ for those channel hopping. Nowadays I make do with BBC iPlayer on the PC, which actually makes me far more selective – I still don’t bother with any of the other channels as I detest advertising breaks, and the streaming quality is usually crap. But this brings me to the point. If you watch The Editors this week on BBC iPlayer there is an item about economic conditions in Blaenau Gwent… with coverage, albeit brief of what people themselves are doing to try and negate the effects of austerity… The Grub Club thing is particularly interesting. However, the piece is still cringe-worthy in that it opens somewhat stereotypically with a male voice choir… well, it’s Wales innit, and the obligatory reference to coal mines!

      If there are sound self-help ideas starting up in places like Blaenau Gwent we should all take note. If we are to have a decent social support system we have to create and manage it ourselves, that way we can avoid the type of huge mess we’re in now where the government holds all the cards and can effectively do exactly what it likes, as we here are all aware

  60. “The “People’s Assembly Against Austerity”, held in London on June 22, was a desperate attempt to uphold the threadbare authority of the trade unions and to suppress any movement independent of them and the Labour Party.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/26/asse-j26.html

  61. Annos

    I wonder what Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens are doing to mobilize people who want to be an independent left wing grouping’ big enough to have any impact on the pressing austerity cuts that people are facing NOW and would they attract those that are union voters and in work?
    It is alright for WSWS to criticize, but until they can offer a better alternative to not only our situation but that of those workers being exploited in third world countries, perhaps they should keep their opinions to themselves.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      Nice one Guy Fawkes, I’ve been waiting to use this line for ages, I believe it’s from one of the Dirty Harry movies:

      Opinions are like Assholes, everybody has one!

      • something survived...

        Some people have to have it removed… that’s where all the left-over assholes go, Parliament.

        Real name of a chemical compound: Arsole

        Dad, dad, I’ve just seen a really huge gaping arsehole.
        -How many times? I’ve always said you shouldn’t be watching po……
        -…litics.

        Difference between politicians and arseholes: We can live without politicians.
        Another difference: If you really know about politicians, it’s easier to decide which of the two you’d rather kiss.

        David Cameron went into hospital for an asshole transplant.
        But the asshole rejected him.

  62. Obi Wan Kenobi

    11:32am BBC2 now – Spending Review – now we will see where the new cuts are gonna happen.

  63. If acts like a food bank, quacks like a food bank then it’s a food bank regardless of how it likes to dress itself up _-http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jun/18/hate-called-food-bank?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487
    What’s disturbing about this article are those behind this set-up featured, a company that tackles food waste. Which suggests, to my cynical, jaded eye that the food being handed out is only fit for the bin & what’s more clients are charged £2.50 for the pleasure of being given a bag of whatever..

  64. Obi

    I’m not wasting 3 hours watching the condems emphasize the need for more cuts, with the lib dems trying to exonerate themselves with the line” we will not support more cuts on the poor until they hit the rich first.” Not much consolation for the poorest that are finding it hard going now without more cuts.
    The labour party know they have the elctorate over a barrel and no real political choice at present and that is what sticks in my craw, making me so angry towards the WSWS and it’s critical findings of people who are trying to be collectively pro-active, even if it is to slag off labour along with all the other parties.

  65. Sorry all, the above link appears to be broken, you’ll have to copy & paste

  66. overall welfare cap being proposed by Gideon is absolutely disgusting, it will not only set claimant against claimant it will further reward greedy landlords if they do not get rents under control.

  67. Weekly signings! Is this for real? Jobcentres can barely cope as it is. Someone please take Mr Osborne outside and have a quiet word…

  68. Upfront work search to be introduced for benefit claimants, new seven day wait before people can claim benefits. More discriminatory austerity heaped on those that are out of work, because of government failure not to provide work not the unemployed persons failure to find it.
    If this cruel creep thinks this makes him popular I would like to know in whose eyes his policies popular.

    • It’s not as if money is thrown at new claimants anyway. When I signed on a couple of years ago I was given a jobsearch straight away and had to go to three interviews the next day. They were suitable jobs so there was no problem, but Mr Osborne’s misrepresentation of the signing-on process for new claimants is disingenuous at best.

      • Another Fine Mess

        IBS keeps saying he’s making it easier to sign on and off, so that you you can take temporary work.
        So how does increasing the time before first JSA payment fom 3 to 7 days help.
        Conflicting policies? = Clueless.

      • something survived...

        Today UJM (by email) sent me ‘195 jobs’. The link to see the rest didn’t work. It showed me 14. All were hundreds of miles away and none were in things I have an interest/aptitude in or qualifications for. The JCP wants me to apply for one of them, which is in Chester. It is as an engineer. You must be a qualified and experienced engineer (I’m neither), ablebodied, with a driving licence and vehicle. The Apply button didn’t work, so I can’t even fake-apply for it. If I was the employer, and assuming that I wasn’t totally mental, then the last person I’d think of hiring would be a tiny disabled and sick person with no qualifications in engineering, that can’t drive. I’d be interested in employing…. um an engineer?!
        Why UJM thinks this job is a ‘match’ for me, is a mystery up there with the Marie Celeste. In no particulars do I even match the job requirements, let alone come close. Geography is not UJM’s strong point. But then it has failed all its subjects, even Remedial English (Word-Power). To give it an F, would be to grossly overestimate its talents.

        If companies get forced to sack their staff and take on workfare, and if the workfare people are fixing people’s cars (not being experienced, qualified, trained, or interested) – how long before people start dying in car crashes because their car was worked on by a workfare slave who didn’t want to be there (but worked due to threatened sanctions, despite stating their unwillingness and incompetence)?

        it’s turning into ‘Brazil’. If you enjoy your job, you’ll be taken off it to do something you hate and are lousy at. Open heart surgery to be performed by the cleaners of chicken soup machine nozzles.

  69. 1321: Jobseekers will be required to come to job centres every week, rather than every fortnight.

    • If you’re returning from the Work Programme it’s potentially every day! Either way, if they call you in on a day that isn’t your normal signing day they have to pay the transport costs – I can see that limiting how much they call people in by.

      • something survived...

        They slagged me off for going to the JCP (to look for work on the Jobpoint) too many times, but THEY had mandated me to go there. And for being there on the wrong day, but on my signing day the machines didn’t work at all and I was asked to leave. THEN they slagged me off for arriving at JCP too late to do much jobsearching. I was walking for 6 and a half hours in the rain (later added up to 9 hours) today: first to go to the clinic, and then to apply in person for a job. On the way back from that I went to JCP. They hassled me for printing off some jobs, but hassled me for not printing off some other jobs (usually because there was no chance I’d be hired). And for printing jobs for my friend. Her local jobcentre was one of the ones that got closed down years ago, so this is her closest one. She has no time to come here to look for random jobs that might not be there. Her house is in the middle of nowhere. After a long walk to the middle of her isolated village, it’s a long wait for few buses. Now she can drive, but her car is dodgy and keeps breaking down. She can afford petrol, but if she came in to jobsearch here, she couldn’t afford the parking fees. And it’s only when JCP is closed that she could come, as she teaches.

  70. error…..should read government failure to provide work.

  71. well they can pay the bus fair when its not my signing day as i cant even look for work at my jcp to use ujm so what is the point?

  72. I have a funny feeling this won’t happen across the board. How they expect the jobcentre to cope with double the work overnight is beyond me. It will either be a select “lucky” few who get pulled in weekly, or it’ll be weekly signings with a cursory interview with less than a minute or two spent in the JCP.

    Whatever changes that happen are unlikely to be introduced immediately. Lots of work needs to be done to prepare things first.

  73. The unemployed should get free bus fares on a permanent basis not just when they have an interview, so that they can job search properly.

    Universal credit is already supposed to be paid 4 weeks in arrears without making them wait another seven days before they can claim. Who cares about the delay while they prepare for all of this, we should be fighting to reverse all of this shit!

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if most of what Osborne said about the unemployed is just hot air. This will be difficult to bring in, and my guess, like I said before, is it’ll be a good few months at least before any of this actually happens.

      But then I could be wrong! I wouldn’t put anything past this venal government.

    • Landless Peasant

      Everyone should get free bus fares on a permanent basis. Nationalize the bus companies. Tax the rich.

    • something survived...

      It’s stupid old bollocks. On alternate weeks, between signing, I’m jobseeking. Being required to spend that day in a JCP would actually STOP much of my jobseeking!

  74. Anotherfinemess

    Your right about their conflicting policies and how idiotic they are, like the one for more free schools in areas where there are a surplus of schooling as opposed to areas where there is limited schooling, but there again the political class did not get into power because of their education it’s because of privilege and most of them are academically thick and lack common sense. A few elecution lessons and a lot of boot licking goes a long way for them too.

  75. elocution typo.

    • Another Fine Mess

      I’d settle for electrocution lessons.
      Especially now that HB/CT run-on has been canceled ,if you take 3 or 4 weeks temporary work, you’re guaranteed to loose a full weeks income and be worse off for your efforts. – genius! Perhaps they’ll do a U turn or something – just for a change.
      Same with paying HB direct to claimants , so that they can be responsible with money, at the same time as trying to bringing in food vouchers for claimants because they’re NOT responsible with money.
      We’d all be better off if the cabinet spent their time doing NOTHING at all.

  76. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Also everyone who wants to claim benefits will have to be able to speak english – if not they will have to go on courses to learn english – that should upset all the foreigners.

  77. obi

    Personally I don’t think having to speak English is an unreasonable request for those living in England.

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      Guy:

      That is the only reasonable thing Georgie boy has come out with since he became chancellor.

      • Another Fine Mess

        I think he’s missed a trick.
        In some parts of the UK to get work, Polish might be more appropriate.

  78. Obi Wan Kenobi

    I really can’t see Jobcentres seeing every single claimant every week, I know for a fact our JCP is on it’s knees right now, then you have to remember there will be all the new school leavers for this year, the Work Programme finishers ongoing daily, together with the normal amount of jobseekers, not to mention those thousands who are losing their jobs on a daily basis.

    No Chance!

  79. Actually, some of the highest levels of poverty in the country exist in London. Precisely because it is so expensive. It is harder to survive here than anywhere else, because everything needed for basic survival costs more. Many jobs pay just the minimum wage too. I’ve compared jobs nation wide and its rubbish to say that for lower paid (yet in many cases pretty highly qualified) employees, wages are better. They tend to be worse. The only difference is that there are more of these hideously underpaid jobs. I can’t wait to get out of London to have a chance to afford to pay my own living expenses. It simply can’t happen in London.

  80. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Is this due to come in as of now or in April 2015?

  81. Robert

    If Londoners think the cost of living is too high why are they not amalgamating to fight the high cost of living in their area, but using it as an excuse for backdoor regional benefits is also unfair.
    London has a lot of cheap markets that do not exist in other towns further up north, there are cheap areas to shop in, but the greatest hardship is in the rented sector due to greedy landlords and property developers pushing house prices up.

    • Hackney and Tower Hamlets are among the most deprived boroughs in England. We don’t think the cost of living is too high – we know it is. Costs elsewhere in the country are cheaper for everyday things too, from food in supermarkets and everyday goods. People in London are as concerned about poverty issues as anyone else and do as much. But fat chance when ignorant people choose not to be united but take the opportunity to have a go instead. Housing is just a part of it. No one could ever live on minimum wage here but you could in other areas of the UK. We will never get rid of dependency on the state here while costs are so high. It’s why many benefits are paid to working people.

      Petty jealousy of Londoners who in large numbers suffer great poverty is a very effective divide and rule tactic. I honestly know that my £75 buys more in Newcastle than it does down here, I have lived there. Sorry if the truth hurts. Yes there are rich people here but rich people in other places have even more for their money. The vast majority of people are earning well below the average wage and it wouldn’t make them as well off if living elsewhere either. Practically all the jobs I see are for between 12 and 15 thousand a year and that involves paying about £35 a week to get to it.

      “The masses never revolt of their own accord, and they never revolt merely because they are oppressed. Indeed, so long as they are not permitted to have standards of comparison, they never even become aware that they are oppressed.”
      ― George Orwell, 1984

      They also don’t revolt because people are so petty and prefer not to group together in solidarity.

  82. obi

    about English lessons it will keep the foreigners happy too, because those that can speak English can acquire jobs as teachers for those that can’t.

  83. i got a letter from provider saying go to job club ie go to room with pc to look for work.

    told me to use the library other day wtf they on ill get an English course next get told to do 8hrs a day job search so that means there is no time left to go to an interview and 2hrs short if i sign on 2 times a fortnight ill ask my adviser for a time machine pmsl :)

  84. Super ted

    You and something survived should team up, you both make me laugh.
    Andrew Neil on his spending review spoke of zomble companies, gideon in pmq’s spoke of cyber weapons – are they living in another dimension anyway from the rest of us?

    • something survived...

      Daily Filth and Daily Excess (Mail and Express) were rank today. ‘This tide of immigration must be stopped’. (headline) They mean ‘this tide of black people must be stopped’.
      Millions of white Brits are expats or have second/holiday homes abroad. Should they all come back to Britain then?
      It’s easy to say ‘immigration’, but you are referring to PEOPLE. Why is an immigrant a problem by default?

      The other month I wanted to put all the nazis on Rockall. Now I’ve seen a film of Rockall, I’ve seen how tiny it is. It’d be unfair on the seabirds. Maybe there is a rusty old oil platform we can stick Griffin on.

  85. i do this whe i get letters from providers pmsl just change thunder for wp :)

  86. Well, I got part way through the comments and felt sorry for Helen (first comment). Shame that a whole load of people who believe in the same morals end up slagging Helen off for pointing out the obvious and ignoring the rest of her post. Resistance 0, Government 1.

  87. God

    I thought they were resisting by objecting to Helen being a sanctimonious, dictatorial linguist – a bit like the government.

  88. something survived...

    Gordon Brown: A fart in the bath
    Michael Gove: A silent but deadly fart
    Eric Pickles: A fart that shakes the plates off the shelf of the lady across the street, and the false teeth out of her mouth
    Tony Blair: A fart that promises not to smell, and then suddenly does
    Silvio Berlusconi: A fart, accompanied by drops of blood, that emerges from hiding as your cellmate disengages
    Emma Harrison: A classic fart that goes PHTHHHHRRRPPP
    Boris Johnson: A cheery, loud, silly, and noxious fart
    George Osborne: A fart that turns into a shit, that spills into your pants and runs down your leg.
    IDS: A fart that pretends it isn’t there, and then comes out at full force, odour and volume, right in the middle of a church service.
    Jeremy Hunt: A fart that leads to a referral to a proctologist.
    Nick Griffin: Denies it is a fart right up until it happens, and actually induces a severe rectal prolapse.

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