Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Politics Is This Broken It’s Time To Get Out In The Fucking Streets – Starting Tomorrow, 3pm Conservative HQ

fuck-rich1If yesterday’s election showed anything it is that most people do not want a Tory government.  Just 20% of the public voted Tory – the same proportion of the population the Office for National Statistics estimates have a personal wealth of over £600,000.  The rich are in charge despite what the rest of us want.  As usual.

No matter what might have happened yesterday the rich would still be in charge.  The UK’s electoral system has been designed over hundreds of years to ensure precisely that.  In Scotland the whole country can vote on mass to reject both of the main political parties and it doesn’t make a blind bit of fucking difference.  A million people can vote Green and nearly four million UKIP and nothing will change.  Although the UKIP thing is pretty funny.  Bye Nigel.

Already some in the Labour Party want to lurch even further to the right as if Ed Miliband really was the comedy communist some sections of the press protrayed him as.  This is a party that just lost dozens of seats to the SNP who want to build council houses, scrap Trident and halt many of the most vicious welfare reforms.  Despite what’s staring them in the face Labour still think that being more Tory is the only thing that will lead them to success.  They don’t give a shit about the people who actually did vote for them, in Northern England, London and Wales.  There is no voice for the poor, at all, and that is the way it’s intended to be.

When politics is this broken then all that is left is the streets.  For the last five years the real opposition has not been the Labour Party, but disabled people, benefits clamaints, students, tenants and the low or no paid.  As bleak as things may seem today we are in a better position than we were last week.  The Tory majority is paper thin.  Scotland is rising.  The Libs Dems are dead.  Welfare reforms are still in chaos and Iain Duncan Smith is still a fucking idiot.  And Minister for Employment Esther McVey is now unemployed.

London Black Revs have called a protest tomorrow (Saturday 9th May) outside the Tory HQ in London.  The sooner we get back out on the streets the better.  Please help spread the word, meet at 3pm, Conservative Campaign Headquarters, 4 Matthew Parker St, London SW1H 9HQ.  Visit and share the facebook page for more details.

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What Do We Want? More Fucking Money. Vote Class War To Double The Dole!

ClassW-War-double-doleOver the last couple of decades a warped consensus has emerged, shared by politicians, think tanks and even anti-poverty charities, that the very worst thing you can do for someone who is poor is give them what they need – which is more money.

The belief is that giving people money will dis-incentivise them, make them lazy, trap them in dependency to languish on benefits or discourage them from taking up all of the wonderful opportunities capitalism provides to work in a shit job on the minimum wage.  And it is this last reason that lies behind the ideology.  Bosses are worried that if people were paid decent unemployment benefits then then they would want more money for working.  Wages and working conditions have become so atrocious that they are right to be worried. If benefits were increased then wages would have to rise.

Increasing benefits would be easy.  The main unemployment benefits costs just over £4 billion a year.  The DWP spends nearly twice that on admin and salaries, with much of that money going to private companies paid to harass unemployed people by forcing them onto workfare schemes.  One report found that if the rich were actually to pay all the tax they dodge then it would raise £122 billion a year – enough to double both in and out of work benefits without a single tax rise.  Soak the rich who do bother to pay tax as well and doubling both state pensions and the dole would be a piece of piss.

It is astonishing and shameful that as figures show one million people were forced to depend on foodbanks in the last year that not one of the main political parties is calling for more money for the poor.  Only Class War, whose Westminster candidate Adam Clifford gave a fine interview on the Daily Politics show today, have promised to increase all benefits and pensions by doubling them.

If we have to live under this shit state of affairs, where the rich reduce our lives to near servitude with shit jobs, paltry benefits and soaring rents, then we should fight for every last penny we can take.  Until we are strong enough to take it all.  We want more fucking money – in wages, pensions and benefits.

Follow @ClassWar2015 on twitter and spread the word about Mayday’s Reclaim The Beats event outside the poor doors at 1 Commercial Street.

Class War are fielding seven candidates, including Lisa Mckenzie who is standing in Chingford against Iain Duncan Smith.  Visit their website for more details.

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Inflation Flat, Rents Soaring And Letting Agents Are Still Whining

chicago-rent-strike1On the same day it was reported that inflation had dropped to 0% a report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (pdf) gleefully announced that rents are rising due to soaring demand for housing.
31% of letting agents reported rent increases between January and February with rises highest in the South East and “intense competition” for housing in London. Even the language used reveals a private rental sector that is broken beyond repair.

Tenants are customers, they should not be in competition for housing, landlords should be in competition for tenants. Even by the vile standards of a free market run rampant that is how it is supposed to work. No-one is in competition to shop at fucking Tesco. And yet even during this boom time for letting agents and landlords they can still find something to complain about.

The report warns that 70% of letting agents say landlords will pull out of the market if three year tenancies are introduced as Labour have vaguely promised to do if they win the election. They expect us to believe that buy-to-let landlords will all start paying their own mortgages in protest if they are no longer able to evict tenants at the drop of a hat.  They must think we are fucking idiots.

Millions of people are now living in private rented accommodation and can face eviction, for any reason, with just two months notice. As house prices soar and social housing disappears that means millions of people who will live their entire life without ever knowing what it is like to have a secure home. And all to prop up parasites in the private rented sector who are exploiting the fucked housing market to wring out every last possible penny from their tenants. Tenants who in many cases may already be living in desperate poverty.

Rent caps are needed urgently, but even that would only fix rents at their current astronomical levels. A huge expansion of social housing is the only real solution to the UK’s housing crisis. That means in London not one more yuppy flat should be built until there is no-one at all on housing waiting lists.   Alternatively we could all stop paying our rent and really give the bastards something to complain about.

The occupation of the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark is still going strong.   Follow them @Fight4Aylesbury or for the latest news visit their website.

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What A Fucking Shambles, Work Programme Still Worse Than Doing Nothing At All

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The dotted line represents the percentage of sick and disabled claimants who would have been expected to get jobs if the Work Programme didn’t exist.

It is astonishing that the ‘minimum expected level’ of people finding jobs on Iain Duncan Smith’s Work Programme is the same as would be expected had he done nothing at all.

What this means is that as long as the Work Programme isn’t making long term unemployment worse then both the DWP and the private sector parasites who run the scheme can claim it is a huge success when in fact it’s nothing of the sort.  It is just not doing any damage.  The problem is that in many cases the Work Programme is not meeting the ‘minimum expected levels’.  It is worse than doing nothing and from the latest figures appears to be creating, not curing long term unemployment amongst some groups.

This has left Iain Duncan Smith with nothing to shout about except for the huge numbers of people who have been forced to waste their time on the scheme.  And so that’s what he’s done today as the latest dismal performance figures are released with a jubilant press release declaring that the Work Programme has ‘helped’ more people than any previous employment scheme.  The truth is that the Work Programme has failed more people than any scheme before at a time when we are constantly being told how many jobs are now available.

Of the one million people who have been sent on the Work Programme over 700,000 were back at the Jobcentre after two years of expert help from companies like G4S, Maximus and A4e.  Only a quarter of those on the programme had a spell of 3-6 months in work – slightly below the ‘minimum expected level’.

This is less than the number of people who would have been expected to get jobs if the Work Programme had never existed.  Tax payers have forked out over a billion pounds for this fiasco.  The suffering of claimant’s sanctioned on the scheme is well documented.  The lives lost little more than human sacrifice – scapegoats for a failing economic system.  If there was any more proof needed that benefit sanction harm rather than help then today’s Work Programme statistics provide it.

For sick and disabled claimants the level of failure is shocking.  Just 3.4% of current claimants of sickness benefits (ESA/IB) who started on the scheme in December 2013 had a spell of at least three months in work a year later.  This is barely a third of the number who would have been expected to get a job under their own steam without any compulsory ‘help’.

Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of the Work Programme is what has happened to all those found ‘fit for work’ by Atos and told to frantically look for work or face their benefits being stopped.  Hundreds of millions has been spent harassing this group of claimants, who in many cases are not really well enough to work at all.  Just 1.5% of this group had found a job lasting over 3 months after completing a year on the scheme in December 2015.

Overall the Work Programme is only performing above minimum levels for mainstream Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants who have been on the scheme a year, and then only by a couple of percent.  There is a dirty fucking trick being played here however.  The most successful group of claimants are ‘other JSA’ which represents around a third of unemployed people sent on the scheme.  Over 20% of this group found work after a year.

Other JSA is largely made up of Early Entrants, which means those referred onto the Work Programme before they had been unemployed for over 12 months.  These are often people who have recently left work and are therefore the most employable claimants.  They are not the people the Work Programme was designed for.  They are also by far the most likely to get jobs on the Work Programme.

Documents leaked onto the internet by bungling A4e showed how Work Programme companies can receive huge payments even when someone has found a job themselves and not even started on the scheme.  All they need to do is make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly.  Jobcentre staff are also under huge pressure to produce job outcomes.  By encouraging the most employable claimants to sign up for the Work Programme then Jobcentre staff get a pat on the head when they inevitably find a job and the company running the scheme gets a cheque in the post.  And Iain Duncan Smith can pretend the Work Programme is doing better than it is. Everybody wins.  Except the tax payer and all those sanctioned or forced into workfare and who were back in the Jobcentre after two years wasted on the disastrous Work Programme.

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DWP Attempts To Increase Welfare-to-Work Companies’ Power To Snoop On Claimants

careless-talkPrivate sector Work Programme busy-bodies like A4e and G4S are to be encouraged to snoop on agreements made between unemployed people and the Jobcentre.

From 23rd March 2015  the DWP sent out a memo declaring that: “it would be beneficial for Work Programme Providers to potentially have sight of the Claimant Commitment at the first point of contact.”

The companies running the Work Programme will be expected to encourage participants to share this document, whilst Jobcentre staff will “ensure they highlight to claimants the importance of sharing their Claimant Commitment with their provider at first contact.”

The Claimant Commitment is the agreement that everyone is now forced to sign as a condition of claiming the main out of work benefits.  It details the endless pointless activity that unemployed people are expected to carry out as punishment for being out of work.  Any breach of this commitment can result in benefits being sanctioned.  According to the DWP, allowing companies who run welfare-to-work schemes access to this agreement will provide them with “Information on messaging around a claimant’s non-compliance with work related requirements”.  In other words it will be easier for Work Programme providers to grass you up to the Jobcentre for not carrying out work-related activity.

There is no legal requirement to show your Claimant Commitment to your Work Programme provider however due to data protection laws.  You should not be sanctioned for refusing to let them see it.  The memo warns the providers that “If the claimant refuses to share their Claimant Commitment you should not take any further action to pursue.”

It is up to you.  Make sure everyone knows this.

For more information on what you can and can’t be forced to sign and what information you have to disclose to Work Programme companies visit: http://refuted.org.uk/donotsign/

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Boycott Workfare Week of Action 25 April – 2 May: No workfare! No sanctions! Whoever wins we will resist!

Boycott-Workfare-action

From Boycott Workfare

As the general election campaign gets underway we are already seeing politicians calling for more of the same policies. More workfare. More sanctions. Yet we know that these policies have been a total disaster. It is shameful that workfare and sanctions are supported by all the main political parties. This is why we are holding a week of action in the week before the election. We need your help to expose and challenge workfare and sanctions policies and the political lies that underpin them.

Workfare undermines paid jobs and wages and results in sanctions. It does nothing to improve the chances of people finding a job and exploits those forced to carry it out. Last year over half a million people had their benefits sanctioned. The number of benefit sanctions imposed by the DWP now exceeds the number of fines imposed by the courts. People are being left with nothing for up to three years. There is now overwhelming evidence of the harm being caused by sanctions. Sanctions are damaging the health of claimants and leading to hunger, homelessness and deaths.

Your actions have already had a huge impact in challenging these policies. Dozens of organisations have withdrawn from the schemes following public pressure. Over 500 voluntary sector organisations have now signed the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement to say they oppose workfare and sanctions and will not be involved. 25 councils have also said they will boycott the schemes. All this means it is getting harder and harder for the government’s private providers to find workfare placements. Hundreds of placements have been cancelled and your actions have made a real difference.

The week of action is a chance for everyone who opposes workfare and sanctions to demand an end to these cruel policies. However you can contribute join us to take action from 25 April – 2 May:

  • Join in with online actions throughout the week!
  • Ask charities you support to sign the Keep Volunteering Voluntary agreement!
  • Speak out! Tell those promoting workfare and sanctions what you think of their policies!
  • Hand out our know-your-rights leaflets at your local jobcentre!
  • Plan actions at a workfare exploiter near you!

Remember to let us know what you plan so we can help to publicise it!

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The London Metropolitan Police Are The Biggest Fucking Wankers Of All

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The banner at the recent Aylesbury estate occupation

Class War have reported that at last night’s Poor Doors demonstration the police seized a political banner because of swearing and arrested a person standing next to it.

The banner had been a weekly feature at the boisterous protests outside an East London tower block where residents in affordable housing are forced to use a diffrent door to the rich.  Previously the police had threatened arrests due to claims the banner is offensive, although when coppers tried to find a member of the public who was offended they had been unable to.  It seems that most people agree, the leaders of the four main political parties are  all fucking wankers.

The move sets a chilling precedent.  Will protesters now have to pass a police board of censors before they can display banners and placards at demonstrations?  Will they send snatch squads into the crowd if someone uses a rude word?  Will chants at football grounds of  ‘the referee’s a wanker’ be met with mass arrests?  Or is it only when you call politicians wankers that the Met Police decides to take offence on their behalf?

Class War are predictably unrepentent.  Tomorrow (Saturday 14th March) they will march through Chingford where Lisa McKenzie, recently described as “the living embodiment of class hatred” by Melanie Phillips, will be standing in the election against Iain Duncan Smith.  Join them outside Chingford Station at 12.30pm.

The Poor Doors protest will be back, next week and every Thursday, 6pm, 1 Commercial Street, London E1.

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