Stephen Crabb Sits On Council Of Gay Cure Church Front Group

crabb-resignMore appalling revelations have emerged in this week’s Private Eye about DWP boss and Tory leadership hopeful Stephen Crabb’s links to religious organisations with extremist views on gay and lesbian people.

According to their website, Crabb sits on the Council of Reference of GWEINI, a group which claims to represent the Christian voluntary sector in Wales.  In reality however they appear to be a front group for the Evangelical Alliance who support gay cures in some cases and believe that sexually active gay and lesbian people – even those in committed relationships – should be subject to church dicipline.

The chairperson of GWEINI is Elfed Godding who is also the national director of Evangelical Alliance Wales with whom they share a phone number and address.  They operate under the same charity registration number as the UK wide Evangelical Alliance and explain on their website that GWEINI is “Evangelical Alliance Wales working with other Christian agencies in the nation.”  One of those agencies is CARE, the group that Stephen Crabb once enjoyed a “fantastic year” with as an intern and who in 2009 funded a ‘gay cure’ conference where amongst other things they discussed “mentoring the sexually broken”.  Joining Crabb on GWEINI’s Council of Reference is his old friend Lyndon Bowring, the Executive Chairman of CARE.

CARE have watered down their public opposition to gay and lesbian people recently, but you can’t say the same for the Evangelical Alliance .  In 2012 the they published a book called ‘Biblical and pastoral responses to homosexuality’ to address what they said was an urgent need for guidance on matters relating to sexuality.  To read it is like stepping back in time.  Whilst the Alliance offer sympathy to those that experience ‘same sex attraction’ they insist that any sexual activity between those of the same sex is a sin and incompatible with Christian life.

Instead lesbian and gay Christians should be supported to live chastely says the group and church leaders are encouraged to support ‘reparative therapy’ – meaning an attempt to cure them of homosexuality – for those that want it.  They say they “welcome and support … those who  offer counsel and pastoral support” to help gay and lesbian people live a “chaste life” claiming that part of this process may mean some “experience changes in the strength or direction of their same-sex attractions”.  According to the Alliance there is “plenty of anecdotal evidence” that gay and lesbian sexualities can be changed.

This doesn’t mean they are homophobic they inist, saying they welcome gay and lesbians into churches as long as they don’t ever have sex.  But they also warn that “habitual homoerotic sexual activity without repentance”, and those who promote it, should be diciplined by, or even kicked out of their churches.  And they mean it.  In 2012 they expelled a Oasis, an evangelical ministry who published a piece on their website arguing that monogamous same-sex relationships are not sinful.  They are still happy to work with Stephen Crabb though.

Crabb, who voted against gay marriage, has insisted that he does not support a gay cure.  Yet he is embedded within an evangelical movement who actively promote such practices and who make no secret of their opposition to LGBT people.  Will the real Stephen Crabb ever actually stand up?  Or perhaps, given the appalling bigots he is happy to be associated with, he should stand down.

If you have any doubts about where this group stands read the Evangelical Alliance’s 10 affirmations which they say summarises their position on lesbian and gay people.

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Shades Of The Workhouse, Lord Fraud Hints At Mandatory Jobs Training In Hostels And Women’s Refuges

lord-fraud-freud1People fleeing domestic violence, care leavers and those who are homeless could be required to take part in ’employability courses’ as a condition of accessing supported housing Lord Fraud has hinted today.

The Minister for Welfare Reform was giving a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing discussing upcoming changes to funding for the supported housing sector.  George Osborne has previously announced that the upcoming Benefit Cap will apply to those living in supported housing, meaning Housing Benefit payments will be slashed.  Currently this benefit is used to fund the additional costs of providing this kind of accommodation such as staff and security costs.  Homelessness charities have warned that almost half a million homes could be at risk when the cap on these payments is introduced.

In response the DWP have agreed to postpone the cap for one year whilst a review of supported housing funding is carried out.  And whilst there were no clear policy announcements in Lord Fraud’s speech, the direction of travel is clear.

Whilst praising the work of many larger supported housing providers, Fraud says he want to “root out sub-standard treatment” on the “rare occassions” it exists hinting that for the first time that the government plans to meddle in service provision – and use funding cuts as a weapon.  He also said that reforms offer an opportunity to think about a “quality and an outcomes focus” suggesting some form of performance related model, similiar to the disastrous Work Programme, is being considered.

Perhaps most chillingly Lord Fraud praised the work being done by the Bromford housing association that requires tenants to agree to a package of training and support as a condition of their tenancy.  Fears have been rightly raised that this training could include unpaid work experience, raising the prospect of forced work in return for housing. According to the minister “Bromford are using their relationship with tenants to get them ready for the world of work and away from benefit dependency.”

Fraud also heaped admiration on known workfare exploiters the YMCA who he says “award points towards moving into a self-contained flat for engaging with education, training and employment.”

A report is soon to be published which will give us further indication of the government’s plans for supported housing.  The DWP’s intentions are clear however.  In the conclusion to his speech Fraud spoke of the his department’s determination to bring about a “lower welfare society” and that people should be given tools and support, but also ‘incentives’ to find and stay in work. For those on out of work benefits these incentives usually mean sanctions and workfare.

Lord Fraud talks a lot of shit and it is too soon to draw any firm conclusions about the government’s plans.  But it is not difficult to imagine what any future reform might look like.  Hostels given job outcome targets and the power to compel residents to attend work related activity – which could include workfare – as a condition of being given a bed looks like one likely scenario.  The workhouse grows ever closer.  Any attempt to introduce some form of work related activity or compulsory training as a condition of accessing supported housing must be fiercely resisted.

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To The Streets! Support The Cleaners Striking Against Corporate Property Vultures @CBRE


The jumped up little scrotes who have used the referendum result as an excuse to racially abuse and attack people need to be exposed and dealt with like the stain on our class that they are.  Whether you are Remain or Leave, don’t know or don’t fucking care, it has rarely been more important to unite behind migrant communities, to confront racism and ensure that the (barely) organised far right are not able to profit from recent events.

Another future is still possible in the wake of the chaos the referendum has brought.  But it will not be achieved by a working class at each other’s throat.  As the parliamentary Labour Party embarks on the longest suicide note in history then it is down to all those who want a better UK, for everybody who lives here, to act.

That means solidarity and class before whatever country someone happens to have been born in.  It means claimants, disabled people, migrants, tenants, low paid workers, students and all those fucked over by five years of austerity escalating the fight against the pampered rich to the point where that is the fucking story that is dominating the front pages.

The campaign by cleaners, currently on permanent strike after facing redundancies and poverty pay at offices managed by one of the world’s richest companies, is a good place to start.

The cleaners work at 100 Wood Street in the City of London, a plush office block housing corporate giants like JP Morgan and Schroders.  The building is managed by global real estate firm CBRE who recently contracted Thames Cleaning and Support Services Limited (Thames) to take over cleaning the offices.  According to grassroots union United Voices this led to several staff being illegally sacked.  To make up for the lack of workers the existing cleaners will be expected to put up with an ever more punishing workload.  The company also refuses to pay the London Living Wage.

In response the cleaners have gone on permanent strike which is now entering its fourth week.  Several lively demonstrations have also been held.  Thames, who have blamed building managers CBRE for the shit wages being paid, took out a £20,000 injunction to try and prevent cleaners from protesting or picketing outside the building they work in.  Funny how there is always enough money to attack the poor when they protest but never enough to stop them being poor.

Another demonstration is being held tomorrow, Wednesday 29th June, at 5pm to defend the strike.  Meet at 100 Wood Street EC2V, just round the corner from St Paul’s tube.  Many of the cleaners are migrants and along with their union are fighting for better wages and conditions for all those in low paying sectors.  This is what united working class resistance looks like.  They urgently need support.  If you can’t make the protest please share the facebook event and you can tell CBRE what you think at: @CBRE

United Voices have also put out an emergency appeals for funds to help support the strike – donate at:

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The Future Is There For The Taking, Now Is The Time To Wage Class War Against The Rich

class-war-500The pampered middle classes of the so-called left are furious.  “Racists” they spit from their white only enclaves whilst Eastern Europeans on the minimum wage clean up their shit in the background.  How dare the poor not vote the way the privileged demanded.  What betrayal, they rage, that those with nothing might have put house prices, foreign holidays and cheap au pairs at risk.

The likelihood of course is that none of those things are will be significantly  affected.  There will certainly be no forced deportations or militarised borders.  The negotiations to leave the EU will be a swamp that may yet end more political careers. Up to two million UK citizens living in the EU is a big bargaining chip for the Brussels bureacrats.  No dramatic change is coming overnight.

But even the merest chance that that just for once politics might actually affect them is enough to send the metropolitan elite into meltdown. Now we will see the nasty side of the latte slurping lefties who pretended to be on our side.  The contempt for the most marginalised that has simmered for generations is already on full display.  They will  gloat to the thick racists that King Boris is coming with the most right wing administration in history.  They will secretly cheer if more cuts are announced.  And they don’t even seem to have noticed that the leader of  a government that has attacked the working class like never before has just resigned in humiliation.  David Cameron – the pig-fucking posh boy has gone.  No matter what your views on the referendum if that isn’t a reason to raise a glass then you have no soul.

To believe this vote was purely about immigration is a comfortable deception for the privileged.  Better that than it representing a war cry from the powerless and a plague on all elites, left or right.  It is true that migration has hit working class wages in some sectors and placed pressure on housing and services in some areas* whilst the only response from those unaffected – or who have benefitted – has been disdain.  But it is equally true that if people got paid properly, if the social security system had not been demolished, if the NHS were adequately funded and there was a council house for everyone, then few would really give that much of a shit about immigration policy.  This referendum was the result of all out class war waged on those with least that has driven millions into insecurity and often desperate poverty.  And the poorest, the ordinary, the forgotten and the dismissed have fought back in the only way that was possible.  The working class fucking bites.  Get used to it.

Because what is now needed is escalation on all fronts. It’s time to move beyond marching or empty speeches, and to forge a struggle that makes the ruling class tremble.  To not allow racists, or fascists, to exploit this result, but to take, and keep the political initiative.  To show any Tory or Labour politician who thinks this result justifies more attacks on the poor that they are as out of touch as ever. The EU, an institution that is neo-liberal to the core and an austerity machine, has been defeated in the UK.  The architects of cut throat capitalism are in disarray.  There will never be a bigger opportunity, the future is there for the taking and we have more power than we ever dreamed of.  So let’s put aside any differences the last few weeks have created, and start to fight, really fight for a country that is actually worth living in.  For everybody, no matter where they came from.

*This sentence was amended slightly as it was too broadly drawn. and that affected the tone of the piece.  Sloppy writing, sorry.

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New Disability Tests Are Even Worse Than First Feared, Join The Fightback On July 13th


Disabled people have called a day of action against notoriously crap Capita on July 13th

Vital benefits – designed to meet the additional costs of living with a disability – have been stripped away completely from over 120,00 people DWP statistics revealed this week.

Over a quarter of those previously claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) have lost their benefits after being re-assessed by a private company as no longer having sufficient care or mobility needs to qualify for help.  Savage new benefit eligibility tests have been introduced as part of the switch to Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which is gradually replacing DLA.  So far 27% of those facing this re-assessment have lost their benefit with hundreds of thousands of people still to be tested.  Originally the government claimed 20% of people would lose their benefits due to the change-over.  Chillingly it now appears it could be much worse.  For newly disabled people the situation is even more dire, with only 48% of new claims for PIP being successful.

The shocking statistics come after disabled people announced a day of action against Capita, one of the companies who administer the tests – the other being the despised Atos.  Disabled People Againsts Cuts (DPAC)Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) and Winvisible have joined forces to call for demonstrations in towns and cities across the UK on July 13th aimed at bringing these vile assessments to an end.

In London demonstrators will gather outside Capita’s offices at 71 Victoria Street, SW1 from 13.15.  An online protest will also be held on the day.  Please join and share the facebook page for the latest details of all events.  As the protesters say:

“ATOS and Capita are making a killing from conducting sham PIP assessments which are seeing thousands of legitimate claimants having their benefits reduced, their incomes slashed and their motorbility cars removed.”

It is time to up the struggle and to demand that the corporate assessors #DoNoHarm”

The latest PIP statistics can be found at:

This blog is likely to remain sporadic until after the referendum, and possibly a bit after that.

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How Eric Pickles Acted To Protect The Empty Penthouses Of The Global Super Rich


Join Class War, 1pm, 14th June, Berkeley Square outside the London property developer’s forum.

Imagine if there was a law that prevented the rich from leaving luxury properties empty as investments.  Even better, imagine if this law ensured that if a home was left vacant for over six months then local authorities could take over the management of the property and use it as part of their own housing stock to provide temporary accommodation for homeless people.  That would be a good fucking law, and that’s a rare thing.  And it is a law that the Labour Party accidentally introduced, although their target was not the rich, but squatters and those they claimed were involved in anti-social behaviour.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) came into effect in 2006 to tackles the problem of empty homes which the government said were “magnets for vandals, drug users, squatters and even arsonists”.  They operated exactly as described above, with powers for councils to take over vacant properties and rent them out to those waiting for permanent housing.  Of course this being Tony Blair’s Labour Party the new powers were awash with bureacracy and caveats to protect the rich.  Second homes were to be sadly exempt from the legislation, as were many other empty properties such as holiday homes.  Councils would have to make legthy application to a tribunal and property owners were given wide-ranging rights of appeal.  This didn’t stop the right wing press going into meltdown over the legislation with The Sunday Times declaring Britain had become a communist country.

In the end just 43 EDMOs were issued between 2006 and 2010.  The great expropriation had not happened and the rich continued to horde land and housing as much as ever.  This didn’t stop Eric Pickles rushing to change the laws within months of the Tory’s stealing power in 2010.

Pickles, who was Communities Secretary at the time, announced in early 2011 that he was bringing to an end these ‘heavy handed’ rules.  This news was barely reported at the time.  Now EDMOs can only be issued if a property has been empty for over two years, and more importantly only when local councils can prove the property is being used for anti-social purposes.  Pickles said he did this to protect civil liberties.

There seems little doubt that EDMOs could have been issued against rich investors who buy up luxury properties and leave them empty – a phenomena that is now extending to other cities besides London.  It would have been difficult, and might not have worked – oligarchs have good lawyers – but it would have been worth a try for an imaginative local authority facing growing homelessness.  But now that option has been shut down, to protect the civil liberties of the global super rich who see the booming housing market in the South East as nothing more than an exclusive casino where they always get to win.  And so the number of empty homes in London is now back on the rise despite a desperate housing crisis and record numbers sleeping on the streets.  That’s what this government calls freedom.

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Shocking New Figures Reveal The Collapse Of Social House-Building In London


London’s housing crisis is set to escalate even further as figures show the construction of new socially rented homes in the capital is collapsing.

Statistics from the Department of Communities and Local Government reveal that the number of new socially-rented homes that began to be constructed in the city fell below 5000 in the most recent year for the first time in over a decade.  There were just 4,790 new social home-build starts in 2015/16 compared to 7,860 in 2010/11.  London’s population soared by around half a million in that period.

The figures for the most recent quarter are especially troubling, recording just 660 new starts in the latest period, a fall from over 2000 in the first quarter of 2015/16.

As alarming as these statistics are, they only tell half the story.  Many of these new homes will be ‘affordable’ rather than priced at social rents.  This means that rents could be as high as 80% of those in the local private sector, whilst they may also be let on fixed five years tenancies.  Some local authorities are now prioritising these homes for what they call ‘key workers’ – meaning teachers, coppers and social workers.  This is not social housing in a form that anyone would recognise.

Astonishingly London borough’s are also selling off social housing stock leading to a loss of 4000 homes in 2014/15, many due to Right To Buy.  The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham flogged 418 social houses between 2010 and 2015 and replaced them with just 170 new homes.  Construction did not begin on one single socially rented home in this borough in 2015/16, and the same applies to Kingston Upon Thames, Harrow and the City of London.

Homelessness is soaring in the capital with the number of people sleeping on the streets at record levels.  Appallingly the number of empty homes has also hit a seven year high, no doubt due to luxury flats being built as investments and then left unused.  And what are our elected officials doing about this crisis?  If they were doing fuck all that would be bad enough.  The truth is most of them, Labour or Tory, are making things worse.

Next week will see Labour councillors joining the the Tory Housing Minister Brandon Lewis to suck up to property developers and estate agents at the London Real Estate Forum.  The event is backed by the new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and is being held in Mayfair – the multi-millionaire’s ghetto where the rich live in total isolation of the chaos they are creating in the lives of many Londoners.  They will not be there to discuss growing homelessness, soaring rents or the demise of social housing.  Instead they will be discussing how to further lines their pockets from the carnage.  Every fucking vulture in the world has their eyes on London’s last remaining social housing estates.  Deals will be done, the right people paid off, and our communities will be smashed up even further.  It is vital that these parasites are opposed.

A day of protest against the event is emerging beginning with a morning demonstration outside at 8.30am.  Then at 1pm Class War are calling for revenge with a mass noise protest outside the forum in Berkeley Square.  If you want your kid to have somewhere to live when they grow up then be there.  If you would like to be able to retire in the city you have lived in all your life be there.  If you are worried your council home is under threat or are sick of paying eye-watering rents to private landlords, be there.  If you just hate fucking toffs, be there.  Advance to Mayfair.  Bring the fucking noise.  Spread the word – June 14, 1pm Berkeley Square.

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