Osborne’s cut to ‘short money’ is a risk to democracy, says Electoral Reform Society

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

THE UK Government’s decision to cut public funding for opposition parties will undermine Scotland’s representation at Westminster, the Electoral Reform Society has said. George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that “short money” – funding that goes to opposition parties … Continue reading

Anything Kids Company Did The Govt Could Do Better?

Gallery

‘There is no doubt that Kids Company has made a big difference to the lives of some very vulnerable children. But so have Barnardos, the Children’s Society, Trussell Trust foodbanks and many, many more low-profile children’s charities whose names are less … Continue reading

Community: How the desire to self-promote can get in its way

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

No I’m not going to write a critical piece about the Nigerian wife, of the former Nigerian Prime Minister, Goodluck Jonathan. Although I am going to compliment her expensive and elaborate headdress, her equally expensive and no doubt elaborate lace … Continue reading

Faking It…

Gallery

This gallery contains 5 photos.

That’s just the point you can’t, fake it. James Murdoch, the chairman of News International, when closing down the News of the World Newspaper, announcing that ‘the final edition would be published that weekend, cited the “inhuman” alleged behaviour of … Continue reading

Rising Damp

4d6f9c7b6You know those tents the UN hands out to refugees fleeing conflict in various corners of the globe? Well, here’s a picture of some of them, this is just in case you have no clear idea of the kind of tent your local council may elect to offer you when you apply for help from the Social  Welfare Assistance Fund. I kid you not, some councils are inclined towards handing out tents in lieu of short term cash payments, that might help lever low paid workers or the destitute out of short term difficulties. And that’s not all, in the last year whilst food bank aid has increased Welfare Assistance provision to the poor, sanctioned and destitute has been only half of that which local councils could have given.

dancehall_queen_yardhype1

Are you a hard working single mother trying and failing to manage the rent payments? Have you approached your local council and then found that you don’t fit the eligibility criteria in quite the way you would have under the Social Fund? Well why not do what follow the example of the heroine of the film ‘Dancehall Queen’? Pimp your oldest daughter out to the local racketeering landlord and when the child rebels, pimp yourself out. That way the bills will be paid, the rest of the children will be fed, and what’s more since you didn’t importune your locally elected council for help, they will be ecstatically happy.

If, as a single parent, you have been relocated to an unfamiliar neighbourhood, as a result of the bedroom tax, you may not be able to apply for Welfare Assistance, because of the Habitual Residence Rules. Rules which state that you will need to have been resident in specific neighbourhoods for at least three months before applying for council help. And it gets better, even if you are eligible for Welfare Assistance you may not even be aware that such a fund exists or even how to apply for it since some councils have elected not to publicise its existence.

70s-frances-de-la-tour-then-290x400

Experiencing rising damp? Finding yourself living in a property with dodgy electrics, leaking ceilings, and at the mercy of a landlord because of rent arrears? Well, don’t expect your local council to help you, particularly if its Nottinghamshire or Oxfordshire (they’ve closed their Welfare Assistance Schemes). It might instead be wiser to ‘befriend’ your dodgy landlord and manoeuvre yourself into a situation in which your accomodation is ‘rent free’. Since 2013, only a portion of the money made available for the Social Fund in the past, has been apportioned to councils for the payment of Welfare Assistance. And after 2015, the government has made it clear that there will no longer be any money made available for the provision of Welfare Assistance by local councils. And if you don’t relish the idea of throwing yourself upon the mercy of those who have taken full advantage of the governments latest ‘buy to rent’ scheme, well why not become a ‘grifter’ as so many have.

990GTR_Anjelica_Huston_006

 

Man Up!!!!

North Korea Military Parade

‘Although we are fast approaching the end of the current academic year, we are only about ten weeks away from the start of the next academic year in September.’

– Dr Fox, Principal of Ryde Academy

And there we have the world according to the DFES, one in which sitting in isolation with your hands stretched out on a desk is considered ‘functional’ discipline. And in which a Headmaster objecting to a lack of discipline within his school, sees nothing wrong with suggesting to parents that they go out and buy a new school uniform, two and a half months away from the end of the school year. Does he know how many of his parents are in work? Or perhaps how many of them are unemployed or even disabled and claiming benefits? Does Sir Michael Wilshaw know?Picture1

Grimy crumpled school uniforms, incomplete homework, struggles with literacy? All good reasons to call a child’s teachers together and work out what extra support might be required I should have thought. But no..Sir MIchael Wilshaw has asserted that the parents of such children should be castigated as bad parents and fined. Well and good if the parents aren’t coping with mental illness, disability, chronic illness, unemployment, post-natal depression, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, need I go on? But if they are, what will the self-righteous assertions of middle class teaching staff achieve? A child struggling to make progress in an already competitive environment will wither on the vine altogether, if repeatedly told how no good they and their parents are. And then of course there’s the whole point of telling them how far short of the standard of excellence they and their parents have fallen. Which is quite simply to urge them on towards meeting those targets, which will ensure that come inspection time the school can exhibit impressive stats, which will earn it a nice big tick of approval.

There is really nothing quite like the seething, suppressed resentments carried by students who have been bullied, pummelled and pushed towards excellence. Sooner or later somewhere in the midst of their education those resentments will find their expression and, very likely undo some of the ‘outstanding’ good that an academy education was supposed to have helped them achieve.

SNF0122AB_682_397933a

 

Feudal Practices

CHINA/

A picture of Muslims at prayer and I know I’m stating the obvious when I say this but with all the media coverage lately it does need saying. When these guys get down on their knees and bow forward to pray? They’re not praying to Al-Qaeedah, they’re not praying to which ever Muslim fundamentalist with a beef against whichever government happens to be holding a bomb, they are praying to god. Yeah, I know that it sounds as though i’m assuming that people on the whole don’t realise that, but it can get that way when the media (particularly the BBC) gets on its hobby horse.

Muslim vigilante patrols? That would be men with little to do, irritating everybody else, by striding aggressively up and down outside the local mosque (my apologies to those who have been forced to do so by racists). Britain First vigilante patrols? Racist men barely able to keep within the bounds of the laws of the land on any given day, trying to lay down the law (how ironic!) to Muslim Communities.

And the real enemy? Picture this, failing businessmen who have successfully obtained mortgages for properties they can ‘buy to let’, charging outrageous rents for very poor housing. And then increasing those rents so that they can boost their ‘cash reserves’ in order to invest in more predestined to fail business deals. Picture tenants who are struggling to pay their rent and feed themselves and their families. Picture grandparents providing not just the funds, but the housing for children who have no work or are so poorly paid, that they can’t afford a home of their own. This is happening all over the country to people of every race and religion and culture.

And now imagine this, an employee at a franchise booth at a busy train station positioning the occasional customer at a counter. And doing so in such a way that the distraction thieves positioned in various locations around that booth can take full advantage of the occasional customer. Now this could be happening in any town or city in country in the world, it isn’t right, but it’s a convenient way of making up for the money your employers should but refuse to pay you. And the interesting thing? Watching thieves and franchise employees of every religion, race and culture work together to achieve that result.

better5