Category Archives: Tory Scum

Meet Stephen Crabb, Like Iain Duncan Smith Only Shitter

crabb-brent-guitar

Spot the difference. One is knob. The other is a fictional character.

Jobcentre busy-bodies should be valued as much as firemen and nurses the new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said in his first speech today.  He has seen, first hand, he claims the life-changing interventions made by Jobcentre staff and now wants them to stalk benefit claimants even once they start work with the sinister announcement they should always be “coaching you….mentoring you….supporting you”.

This is what the introduction of Universal Credit will mean for millions of people.  Endless Jobcentre bullying with no escape.  Benefit sanctions that drive people into desperate poverty that traps them in a twilight world of a daily battle for survival.  Vicious cuts to sickness benefits that disabled people have warned will make them less likely to have the means to look for work.  There will even be benefit sanctions for workers to ‘incentivise’ those who need housing or other in-work benefits to constantly strive to earn more, or find an additional job.

In some tragic cases these life-changing Jobcentre interventions will be fatal as more sanctioned claimants are driven to suicide and ill health.  What Crabb and all the grasping poverty pimps who turned up to see him speak today fail to realise is that it is the so-called help from Jobcentres that is the problem.

Crabb was speaking at the Early Intervention Foundation conference, a vol-au-vent munching skive for charity bosses and think-tank dickheads where they pretend to care about socially excluded kids for the day.  The event was sponsored by Capita whose shocking abuse of disabled benefit claimants was exposed on Channel 4’s Dispatches last night.  Also speaking was Philippa Stroud, the former advisor to Iain Duncan Smith who used to try and cure people of being gay with magic.  Crabb would approve, he himself is an ardent supporter of a Christian cult that has organised conferences on curing gay people.  And this evangelical fervour lies behind everything Crabb says.  His coded reference to the ‘foundational role of the family’ reveals his true agenda.  Crabb voted against gay marriage.  He doesn’t like that kind of family.  He probably thinks they should go to hell.  Unless they can be cured of course.

The sad truth is that Stephen Crabb is like an even shitter version of Iain Duncan Smith – who he today called a great social reformer.  The only difference is that Crabb doesnt have any ideas of his own and so is doggedly sticking to the endless messianic schemes intending to fix poverty by making people poorer that his predecessor introduced.  That’s why there were no policy announcements today beyond an ominous threat to use unpaid workfare schemes more ‘creatively’ and yet more harassment of claimants on sickness and disability benefits.  Instead Crabb went on about his mother, as usual, and tried to convince the assorted delegates what a nice person he was.  He really cares, he’s a bit like Jesus.  So let’s fucking crucify him.

Above pic from: Is the new Work and Pensions Minister the REAL David Brent? #EIFNatCon #TheOrifice

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

First Demonstration Called Against New DWP Boss Demanding #CrabbMustGo

crabb-resign-stickerIf new Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb had any decency at all he would resign from his position as patron of the local branch of Mencap.

Ever since Crabb voted to slash benefits for many disabled people to little over £70 a week the Haverfordwest based charity, who run a once popular community garden, have faced outrage from the public over their relationship with Crabb – and with good reason.  It is beyond belief that a member of a government that has so ruthlessly attacked disabled people has he gall to hide his sins beneath a charitable facade.  And it is beneath contempt that he would rather see this charity destroyed then do the hornourable thing and step away.

This is sadly unsurprising however.  Crabb happily referred to his own mother as welfare dependent when he gave an interview about saving her from a violent attack by his father when he was just eight years old.  He has no shame in dragging his family’s traumatic past out under the public spotlight when he thinks it might win him some sympathy with voters.  Even a recent re-union with his father – which conveniently took place just days after his appointment to Scretary of State – appeared to be little more than stunt to further his political aspirations.  After what must have been a difficult and emotional meeting for both of them, Crabb’s first thought on leaving was to ring the Daily fucking Mail and tell them all about it.

A broad coalition has now emerged in Crabb’s home town demanding that he step down in his role as Mencap patron.  He should step down as Secretary of State as well.  His nasty affiliation with a ‘gay cure’ Christian cult seems to be the only sincere thing about him.  We got rid of the last bastard now let’s get rid of this one.  Join the fine folk of Pembrokeshire for a demonstration against Crabb this Saturday April 2nd from 11am-1pm outside his constituency office, Upper Market St, Haverfordwest, SA61 1QA.

Please share the facebook page for the event and help keep up the pressure on Pembrokeshire Mencap to get behind the people they claim to support and sack Crabb immediately.  And keep up the pressure on all the other charities hiding dirty little Tory secrets as part of Operation #ToryDump

Sign the petition calling for Crabb to step down as a Mencap patron at: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stephen-crabb-resign-as-mencap-patron-pembs-immediately-voted-for-disabled-to-lose-ps30-a-week-esa-1

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

‘A Failure Regime’, Apprenticeships Slammed By Government Committee

broken-ladderThe government’s flagship Apprenticeship programme has been slammed after a report from the cross-party Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission made wide-ranging criticisms of the scheme.

Just over a week ago Business Secretary Sajid Javid gave a speech praising Apprenticeships and following up David Cameron’s pledge to increase the number of placements available to three million.  According to Javid, Apprenticeships are no longer seen as a second-best option, or a safety net for kids who didn’t make it to A-levels or university, but instead are an “incredible opportunity” to prepare young people for being “the leaders  of tomorrow”.

The reality, as revealed this week’s report, is that many young people are taking a lower level of qualification then would be expected had they stayed in mainstream education..  Over two thirds of Apprenticeship starts for those between 16 and 19 were at GCSE level – the same standard of qualification they may already have gained at school.  As the report notes “It is reasonable to expect that young people should progress in education; that each qualification they take is another rung up the ladder.”  Few on Apprenticeships are being given this opportunity.

The report also finds that the growth of Apprenticeships amongst young people is collapsing, whilst the number who complete the programe has fallen to just over two thirds.  For the highest level Apprenticeships, equivalent to degree level study, the figures are dismal – only 4% of Apprenticeships are at this level and the vast majority are taken up by those over 25.  Just 5,300 under 25s began an higher level Apprenticeship in 2014/15 compared to almost 300,000 taking lower level qualifications.

The vast majority of Apprenticeships are found in sectors identified by the report as low paying and with little chance of progression, such as hair-dressing, childcare, hospitatlity or construction.  Apprenticeships are also reinforcing gender division in the workforce – a shocking 98.4% of construction Apprenticeships and 86.2% of Information Technology placements were taken up by males.  In contrast women made up 85.3% of Health Public Services and Care Apprenticeships.

The report concludes that the Apprenticeship system has a range of problems which “hold back opportunity” and suggests that the scheme could be “perceived as a failure regime by those seeking social mobility.”  Politicians of all parties now consider a young person becoming a hair dresser or builder to be a failure.  Fuck social mobility – we just want the money.

Sajid Javid claims that Apprenticeships are giving “ALL of Britain’s young people the opportunity they need to rise to the top”.  The truth seems to be that the scheme is really ensuring young people get conditioned to a lifetime of low pay and lack of career progression.  Most Apprenticeship pay rates are set at minimum wage except for those under 19 or in their first year who receive a meagre £3.30 an hour.  For all this government’s talk of aspiration, the rise of Apprenticeships seems really intended to teach the young the working class to learn their place.

You can read the report at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-young-people-and-social-mobility

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

“Fantastic year” Getting To Know Gay Hate Cult Says New DWP Boss Stephen Crabb

crabb-care

New Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb may have air-brushed his relationship with Christian gay hate cult CARE from his website but they didn’t return the favour.  Crabb’s glowing endorsement of the organisation is still proudly featured on their graduates page despite the 2012 scandal when MPs distanced themselves from the group after their involvement in a gay cure conference was revealed.

CARE, or to use their full name Christian Action Research and Education, helped to fund the Sex in the City conference in 2009 along with evangelical group Mainstream Anglican who still offer a run down of conference which included  discussions on “mentoring the sexually broken” and gay cure therapies.

care-conference

This was not the first gay hate event funded by CARE.  They also sponsored a conference in 2007 which asked the question “The Time for Truth, Is Gay Real?”.  Which is a bit rich coming from people who worship an invisible man who lives in the sky.

As well as being a graduate of the CARE internship scheme Crabb also hired a CARE intern himself in 2008.  When he was eventually confronted about his relationship with CARE in 2012 he refused to condemn them.  He cannot say that he is unaware of the beliefs of this group he so avidly supports.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the aim of Care is to “build a new generation of committed Christian politicians.”  Crabb’s devotion to the cause was evident in 2008 when he was one of a handful of MPs who signed an amendment to proposed laws criminalising incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexuality. The amendment said nothing should prohibit or restrict “discussion of, criticism of, or expression of antipathy towards conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct according to that orientation”.

So Crabb does not just have a lifetime relationship with an organisation who believe that LGBT people can, and should be cured.  He does not just give them a glowing endorsement on their website.  He has also acted in his role as an MP to ensure they have the right to continue to spread their gay cure agenda.

To say LGBT people should be cured is to say they shouldn’t exist.  If similiar language were used about any other minority then it would be the end of any MPs career who went near them.  And so it should be the end of Crabbs.

In his role as head of the DWP, Stephen Crabb is now responsible for millions of people, including those going through great difficulties.  Young LGBT people forced to leave the family home for example, or facing discrimination in the workplace.  How can they be expected to trust Crabb when he is so cosy with an organisation that appears to want gay people wiped off the planet?  He may have only been in the job two minutes, but if this government really means what they say about LGBT equality then Crabb must go, now.

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

A Bungling Fucking Idiot On A Mission From God, That Was The Real Iain Duncan Smith

IDS-slug

Good riddance, to an absolute tool.

Pass the fucking sick bag.  Iain Duncan Smith’s performance on the Andrew Marr show this morning was one of the most nauseating displays politics has seen in a long, long time – and there’s been stiff competition.  His crass portrayal of himself as a decent man, trying to do the right thing for both the people and his party, is perhaps his greatest self-delusion yet.  Remember one thing from that interview if you were unlucky enough to watch it.  Iain Duncan Smith, quietly amid his bluster, admitted that he agreed with the cuts to disability benefits that he resigned over, but that they should have come as part of a package of wider support.

Every claimant knows what that support would be.  Yet another chance to squander billions pursuing his messianic fantasy of himself as a great welfare reformer with more workfare, more sanctions and more harassment from Jobcentre busy-bodies.  George Osborne said no, cut the fucking crap, we’re supposed to be pretending to save money.  So Iain Duncan Smith did what he always does when he doesn’t get his own way.  He had a tantrum.

This petulant temper is why it has been tactically useful at times to portray him as a conniving and brutal architect of death and hardship. This approach no doubt even contributed to his recent flounce.  The truth though, is that he’s not that clever.  He’s worse than that.  Iain Duncan Smith is a bungling fucking idiot on a mission from God.  And like all zealots before him, so convinced has he been that he is treading the one true path that his eyes, and heart, have remained closed to the consequences of his actions.  Consequences that have been tragic.  Consequences that have included the state’s bureaucracy driving some of the UK’s poorest citizens to their deaths by placing intolerable and unsurvivable pressure on those already living fractured lives.  He has not been called a killer for nothing.

But to view his actions as the work of a mere power-crazed murderer fails to see the entire horrifying picture.  Which is that amongst think-tanks, charities, self-appointed experts in the welfare-to-work industry and even the Labour Party – perhaps most of all the Labour Party – Iain Duncan Smith’s views are not extreme.  There is a consensus amongst these respectably clad vermin, even if not all would have the stomach to play out their ideological beliefs to their logical conclusion – as Iain Duncan Smith was proud and happy to do.  This consensus believes that poverty is an individual failing not a structural problem.  That it can be cured by fixing poor people, not society.  That all it takes is hard work to prosper under modern capitalism and so it is right, natural and unavoidable that our entire lives should be a competition – we must constantly strive, every day, to reach the next rung on the economic ladder.  That happiness is just around the corner if we work hard and do the right thing – and if we don’t then we must be punished, to help steer us on the path to prosperity.

It is, they imply, a competition everybody can win if we all just pull our socks up and put in the hours.  But competitions don’t work that way, especially when they are rigged by private schools, elite universities, inherited wealth and structural unemployment.  A lottery where everyone wins means sharing the spoils amongst us all.  The capitalist class have no intention of ever doing that.  Their ideology is a sham, a crude self-deception to wash away their guilt and justify their greed.  And they are all fucking in it together.

None of this gets Iain Duncan Smith off the hook.  He is a truly nasty man.  A devious bigot, a liar and a calculating plotter without the intellect to back it up.  A proper fucking wanker who needs kicking round a pub car park – not that it would teach him anything,  it wouldn’t, but it would be nice to see him bleed for a change.

Like most of his fellow Tories, his own privilege shielded him from any understanding of what he was really creating.  He seems to think that a benefit sanction – removing the only means of survival for those without work or savings – is just a mild rebuke, a welcome jolt as he put it to encourage people to try a bit harder.  In the world of Iain Duncan Smith money never runs out, so how could he understand what it really means to have nothing at all.  Why would he understand the devastating and debilitating consequences of extreme poverty.  How anguish, hunger and intolerable stress demolishes people.  That destitution means spending the day thinking about where the next meal is going to come from, not updating your fucking CV.  His reckless reforms have been like a doctor injecting cyanide into the veins of his patients and then being appalled when they die.  Then thinking the dose must be too low, they need more poison, to incentivise them back to health.  To help them learn.

Of course the likes of George Osborne have been only too happy to exploit this moral shield that, until now, had masked the cruelty of his government to the dwindling number of genuine conservatives in his party.  Those who believe in God, and charity, who put a penny in the box for the poor and pat cripples on the head.  The ones who don’t want to upset the vicar and only torture kittens when they are absolutely certain no-one else is watching.   Iain Duncan Smith’s social justice facade was the perfect cover for Osborne’s class war.  Austerity appeared to map perfectly to an insistence that those with nothing can be taught not to be poor anymore by making them poorer.  It worked, for a while.  When Osborne pulled the strings IDS danced.  But the Chancellor under-estimated one thing about Iain Duncan Smith – his incessant need for power and status.

This is a man who truly believes himself to be magnificent despite his meagre talents.  Who will happily tear his own political party in two, for the second time, to place himself as the great man of history in control of dramatic events.  Whether his obsession is Europe or social security reform makes little difference as long as he is at the centre of any chaos he creates.  Vain he may be, but he can take the criticisms, the insults and the fact he can’t hang around in a pub car park for too long these days, as long as he can convince himself that he is important.  Despite his claims to be compassionate he loved the thought of the poor being forced to scurry around like lab rats whilst he prodded and poked to see how much they – we – could take.

His grandiose schemes like the Work Programme and Universal Credit have been the props on which this fragile self-belief depended.  Without them he is just another grubby Tory, cutting disabled people’s benefits and whining about the poor.  That is not enough for Iain Duncan Smith.  That is why he resigned.  If he doesnt get to be the messiah then he doesn’t want to play anymore.  Good.  Bring on the next cunt.

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

Shocking Announcement: Disability Benefits To Be Slashed For 640,000 People

ceiling hoist

A ‘low, one off cost’ according to the DWP

The government is set to slash benefits intended to meet the additional cost of living with a disability warning that up to 640,000 people could be affected by 2021.

The shocking announcement follows a recent consultation into Personal Independence Payments (PIP) – the benefit currently being rolled out to replace Disability Living Allowance.  This benefit is awarded based on a points system which assesses addional costs incurred due to disability such as care or mobility needs.  In a press release issued this morning the DWP have said that in future the numbers of points awarded to people who need some form of aid or appliance to help them dress or manage toilet needs will be halved.

According the department this is because much of the equipment needed by disabled people to manage these activites is available for one one off purchase at a low price or can sometimes be accessed for free from local councils or the NHS.  The key word here being sometimes.  If a disabled person needs a ceiling hoist to help them dress, or a specially adapted toilet, and their local authority will not pay for it, then unless they can find the money they will not be able to do these things unassisted.  And this money may have to come out of meagre out-of-work sickness benefits, soon to be slashed to just over £70 a week for some disabled people.

The changes were widely opposed in the recent consultation with just 11 individuals agreeing change were required to the current system out of a total of 281 responses.  Many disabled people’s organisations warned of the high costs of disability equipment, which also needs to be replaced, repaired and insured.  A list of equipment which could be affecting by the changes is included in the consulation and include ceiling hoist – currently availalable for just £1,410 on ebay, incontinence products – £11.04 for 40 pads from Age UK and grab rails which can cost over £100 according to the Disabled Living Foundation.  This is what the DWP means when they say items which can be “purchased for a low one-off cost”.  In a shabby attempt to disguise a straight up benefit cut, the department says some of these things will be covered by other areas of the PIP assessment.  This ignores the stark fact that these changes will mean some people will no longer be entitled to PIP at all.

The changes will initially only apply to new claimants, those who have a change in circumstances, such as moving house, and those being tranferred from Disability Living Allowance onto PIP – which will soon be everybody.

Charities and disabled people’s organisations have said that this cut will mean many disabled people will lose their independence and that costs may be pushed onto local councils and the already over-burdened NHS.  But even this will create a postcode lottery for vital support which many disabled people need to live an independent life.

With a new Health & Work Programme on the way, which could see forced medical treatment as a condition of claiming benefits, vicious cuts to out of work disability benefits and now a slashing of support available to pay for disability aids and equipment, this is a government waging war on disabled people like never before.  And that is a war on everybody.  The UK used to be a place where there was a consensus that if you became sick and disabled then the cost of living an independent life would be socialised – a social insurance system that benefitted us all. It may not have always worked out that way, disability benefits have never been generous, but that’s what most people wanted, and probably still do.  Soon however only the rich will be able to meet the cost of living with a disability.  For the rest of us an accident or illness will mean being abandoned to poverty as a lesson to the working class of what happens if your productivity and ability to generate profits for wealthy might be slightly impaired in any way.

You can read the government’s response to the consulation they ignored at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/personal-independence-payment-aids-and-appliances-descriptors

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

What An Embarrassment, Basic Errors Exposed In Adam Perkins’ Benefits Bashing Book

The humiliating climbdown from the Adam Smith Institute

The humiliating climbdown from the Adam Smith Institute

Claims of scientific proof that the benefits system is creating a generation of ‘work resistant personalities’ are in tatters after Adam Perkins’ recent book The Welfare Trait was revealed to contain a string of sloppy errors.

The book was first published late last year and initially recieved little attention.  This is because it was shit.  But that didn’t stop the right wing press, along with think-tank The Adam Smith Institute,  claiming that the author had been censored by left wing academics for finally telling the truth about the welfare state. Perkins claimed to have scientific evidence for almost every lazy stereotype ever published about benefit claimants – that social security encourages people to have more children, that unemployed people are lazy and criminal, that benefits encourage people to neglect their children, and even that the welfare state turns people into murderers.  His conclusion is that the poor should be encouraged not to be breed, warning that otherwise the human capital of the nation will be genetically eroded.

When a talk by Perkins was cancelled by cowards at the London School of Economics after a couple of facebook posts discussing whether to hold a protest against the book’s publication, the right wing press went into meltdown.  Here was yet another example, they claimed, of bullying left wingers and students silencing views they did not wish to hear. Right wing commentators like Toby Young stepped up to defend Perkins work, claiming that his conclusions were ‘bleedin’ obvious’.  He clearly had not read the book, or if he had has little understanding of how scientific evidence works – a troubling thought given that he runs a school.

Perkins central claim, which is that social security benefits encourage people to breed, was the first evidence to be demolished when economist Jonathan Portes questioned the data he had used.  Figures showing that ‘workless’ families have more children on average than families with two parents in work did not take into account those with no children leaving a gaping hole in the evidence.

Perkins wriggled and claimed this was deliberate, implying he wanted to show that parents claiming benefits have more children on average, not that they are more likely to have children.  But then someone else pointed out that those he accuses of being workless include stay at home parents – of which there are over two million according to the Office for National Statistics.  People unable to work due to sickness or disability are also included in the figures, as are lone parents, including those with very young babies.  Also those he calls workless, and therefore possibly possessing a work-resistant personality, could be carers, students or volunteers.  That Perkins seems to have misunderstood his own data means that the conclusion of his research – that benefits should be cut until the birth rate of claimants is equal or lower to that of non-claimants – is nothing but bollocks.  He hasn’t even demonstrated that those on benefits have more kids.

Perkins is in favour of cutting the incomes of the poorest families because he claims research shows that parents on benefits fritter their money away on ‘luxury chocolates and electronic gadgets’.  The children of benefit claimants he insists ‘tend to be neglected regardless of household income’.  His proof for this nasty claim comes from research carried out into just 33 poor families in Sheffield in the 1960s.  Evidence showing that the best way to help those in poverty is unsuprisingly to give them more money, is conveniently ignored throughout the book.

perkinsbollocks4

Perkins is adamant that people on benefits neglect their children, citing evidence that families on welfare in the US were shown to speak less to their children and to have a lower vocabulary.  This leads him to say repeatedly that claimants ‘barely talk to their children’ despite spending all day with them.  His evidence for this is a study carried out into just five families in Kansas in 1995.  This research has since been discredited as biased and loaded with cultural assumptions – the five families were all black and were being compared to mostly white rich professionals.  All it shows is that poor black people speak differently to posh white people.

Towards the end of the book Perkins even decides that the introduction of the welfare state was responsible for an increase in the murder rate that began in the 1960s.  Whilst he admits he cannot prove causation for this – that social security actually turned people into killers – he points out that an obscure and controversial book once came to a similiar conclusion and that if theories by scholars point in the same direction to his own then it is probably true.  His problem here is that the murder rate, along with violent crime, has been falling since the 1990s.  He therefore can’t even demonstrate correlation – as the number of people on benefits has gone up the murder rate has fallen.  Perkins shrugs this off though saying that’s because the police take murder more seriously these days and doctors are better at saving people’s lives. He then points out another mechanism that might turn claimants into murderers – they get to have a lie-in in the morning which gives them time to spend the night ‘stalking for victims’.

perkinsbollocks

Later claims in the book, that the welfare state makes people racist and that stopping child benefits might encourage women to find a better man to look after them, are made without any attempt at providing evidence.

perkinsbollocks3

perkinsbollocks2

It would take another book to point out all the errors, bias and misuse of evidence in The Welfare Trait which reads more like a fervent conspiracy theory than a piece of academic research.  It is genuinely astonishing, to the point of suspicion, that it received peer review and was published at all.  What is not so surprising is the jubilant reaction of right wing pundits who declared their nasty little prejudices finally proved.

What has actually taken place is that an attempt to scientifically justify hatred for the poor has been exposed as a sick joke – and along with it the bleedin obvious bigotry of the likes of Toby Young, The Daily Mail and the Adam Smith Institute.  If Perkins has demonstrated anything it is that you cannot prove that benefit claimants are lazy, feckless, neglectful of their children and promiscuous without making shit up.  There is reams of evidence that contradicts every claim made in The Welfare Trait, although Perkins ignores it all.

This shabby attempt at pseudo-science reveals the constant benefit bashing rhetoric for what it is – lies.  Already the right are on the retreat.  Toby Young appeared to sulkily concede that the evidence was flawed on twitter recently although said he’d like to hear Perkins’ side of the story.  The Adam Smith Institute have now put a disclaimer on their gushing review of the book*, saying had they been aware of the ‘basic errors’ in the book they might have taken a ‘somewhat diferent tone’.  Perkins, who initially called the criticism “correct politicalness buffoonery” whatever the fuck that means, has now gone quiet after becoming a laughing stock on social media.  What an embarrassment.  Let’s all point and laugh.

*h/t @AnitaBellows12

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid