The Hypocritical Oaf…

Today our dear leader, David Cameron has preached made a speech at a summit in Sweden about equality. Included in his utter bullshit words of wisdom he said “case is overwhelming that companies and countries run better if you have men and women working together at the top. So the real nub of the issue is how do we accelerate, how do we fast forward to having at least 30% of boards made up by women. The evidence is that there is a positive link between women in leadership and business performance, so if we fail to unlock the potential of women in the labour market, we’re not only failing those individuals, we’re failing our whole economy.”

“That’s where you get down to quotas, which I don’t think you should ever rule out. If you can’t get there in other ways, then maybe you have to have quotas.”

Time to practice what you preach Mr C? 

http://www.number10.gov.uk/the-coalition/the-cabinet/  Currently in the 29 strong Coalition Cabinet we have just 5 female’s. Now, I’m not great at maths but even I can work out that a ratio of 29/5 is a tad short of the desired 30%…

Downing Street later said the government had no plans to introduce quotas and wanted the impetus to come from business….

In other news, David Cameron has shown his full support for his latest scapegoat  Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.  Here is David showing the rest of us “his full support” ; )

David Cameron's Full Support..

David Cameron’s Cap… #wrb

Image

Following today’s bullying over-rule of The Lords’ amendments to the much feared Welfare Reform Bill, it seems that David Cameron has indeed got his new cap…

Nick Clegg – Hero or Zero? #HousingBenefit #Clegg #DLA #ESA

Conservative Manifesto 2010  : We will ensure that receipt of benefits for those able to work is conditional on their willingness to work.

Which roughly translated into a 10% drop in Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) after one year of unemployment..  This so designed to force encourage the lazy feckers  /  work-shy unemployed to find work in their area or move to seek employment.

Today this policy has been dropped from the proposed bill on Welfare. Nick Clegg is said to have grown a pair stepped in to demand it’s removal as it effectively discourages private landlords from renting to LHA claimants.  Too late.  Private landlord’s already discriminate against LHA claimants and increasingly so since the LHA has been paid to the claimant not directly to the Landlord or Letting Agent.  I have personal experience of this, having “lost” several houses now due to being in receipt of LHA whilst awaiting for and recuperating from my recent operation.

Before we all shout hurrah for Nick and hoist him up on our shoulders there is another angle to this story. This policy was voted for. This policy was wanted by the general public!

Has that hit home?  I remember countless “man on the street” interviews prior to, during and for a long time after the election, calling for this policy.  “Its not right we are paying their rent when they re too lazy” etc etc..  Tabloids headlines screamed about millionaire’s mansions being rented to “no-good scroungers”.  The public WANT the “work-shy” to go out and get a job. Fact.

What the public are getting is a U-Turn on a policy which could possibly work, with and ONLY with substantial investment in employment opportunities.

So what IS being introduced in this bill?  Why, set the REAL no-good, scrounging, lazy fecks to work of course.. the disabled.  Re-assessing “Incapacity Benefit” claimants WAS in the Tory 2010 manifesto sadly: We will re-assess all current claimants of Incapacity Benefit for their readiness to work … Even the way it is phrased implies that they are capable, just are they “ready” and willing?

We all know people who are or have claimed benefits they are not entitled to.  We all know we support some “lazy feckers” but in forcing all health related benefit applicants to be re-assessed and by removing DLA for residential care-home residents we are showing how badly thought out this bill really is.

But the good news is, “Euthenasia Packs” may soon be available from ATOS…

Twit-Watch UK – 9/01/2011

Inspired by @Chislehurst, this is the first TwitWatch UK post.. if all goes to plan and you like them, I will make them weekly all year 🙂

Coalition raise VAT to 20% – Twitter plot’s to scupper the extra tax on biscuits by pledging to buy Jaffa Cakes instead of HobNobs..  mwa ha ha..  (I had trouble finding Jaffa Cakes today, they were sold out in a lot of stores #TwitterWin )

1st Anniversary of the day a man made a stupid joke  – A year ago this week, Paul Chambers sent the #TwitterJokeTrial tweet, which led to a conviction and him losing his job.  Paul (with the help of fantastico lawyer @JackOfKent aka David Allen Green) is taking the case to the High Court in a bid to clear his name.  To help Paul, please donate what you can to the Trial Fund or buy a fab T-Shirt or Mug 🙂

I Am Spartacus!

Kenneth Tong, You’re SO Wrong..  This week also brought us the joy that is Kenneth Tong, a man with the plan to make all women a size Zero. I have NEVER been a size Zero in my life, certainly not going to try it now.. pass the Jaffa cakes..

RIPs – Twitter mourned the loss of Gerry Rafferty and Pete Posselthwaite this week and for an hour or so, that of Gabrielle Giffords, the US Senator who was critically injured (first thought of as dead) in a horrific shooting for which the Tea Party are seemingly responsible.. if only indirectly, which left 6 people including a nine-year old girl, dead.

Expenses Scandal MP Jailed –  On Friday, Labour MP  David Chaytor was rightfully imprisoned for 18 months over his £20,000 expenses fraud. This news was somewhat overshadowed by sordid revelations by my MP!

Hashtaggery – A silly hashtag #LameToFame gave us all a laugh this week, my contribution was the fact I have a pair of Johnny Vaughn’s discarded long-john’s.. long  john’s/long story.. !

Jaffa Cakes – In support of the splendid Jaffa Cake and inspired by last week’s TV special #StarGazing presented by Professor Brian Cox, Humph revives the wonderful “Eclipse” advert…

Full Moon...

 

Half Moon....

 

Total Eclipse !!

What starts with “E” and ends in homelessness?

Eviction is one of those words that you’ve heard your whole life, like bankruptcy or jail but never in your darkest, cheese-induced dreams did you ever think you might face yourself.  It’s a “grown-up” word, a word whispered in corners or highlighted in a seedy documentary.

I certainly never considered for a moment that it would ever be a word to cause ME sleepless nights and heart-thumping panic.  That was until I lost my job. Many of you are aware that I’ve had on-going medical issues over the past year, you may not know that I was “let-go” in November.  It was very quick and painless, without  fuss or ceremony, just a P45 dropping quietly onto my doormat.

Nothing to be alarmed about, we have systems in place to help the unemployed of Britain don’t we?  Yes we do and I am so grateful for them, I am a lot worse off financially now than when I was receiving the minimum sick pay from my employer but I knew that with adjustments we had enough money to live on and a roof over our heads.

Then my Landlord gave me notice.  Not a worry, I began looking for another house and found one in my village almost immediately.  Then came the bombshell that made the “Eviction” word a part of my world.  Since the government announced their planned Welfare Reforms, Letting agents will no longer rent properties to Housing Benefits claimants.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Who claims Housing Benefit ?  Single parents, lower-paid workers, mature students, pensioners, unemployed and the disabled.

Putting aside the others as this post is for the Broken Of  Britain, Housing Benefit is claimed by the disabled who are unable to work due to their disabilities or who are in poorly paid employment.  Not only are they already under a lot of financial strain and living in fear of the benefit changes being implemented but now they risk  homelessness as well.

There is a way around the letting problem though, you provide a guarantor for the letting agency.. at double the usual referencing cost and at huge cost to your pride and self-esteem. 

But what if you can’t provide or afford a guarantor?  What will happen to these people? Local Housing Association lists in many areas are already so strained they can only allot houses to homeless people.  My dream is to have a LHA house, to be able to afford the rent which would be half (yes HALF) what I am paying now to my private landlord.  The money I am saving in rent would remain in the public purse, rather than filling the fat wallet of my landlord..

One suggestion I have to address Letting Agent’s concerns is for the government to return to the policy of paying Housing Benefit directly to the Landlord, rather than the claimant. Another would be to reassure claimants and Letting Agencies that HB will always be paid to the low-income disabled and ill people of Great Britain and, if it isn’t already, to make it illegal to discriminate against them in this way.

As for me, I lost the village house to a working family but am now in the “referencing” stage of renting another.. My Landlord has filed papers to commence the process but I am keeping EVERYTHING crossed that the “E” word doesn’t soon become my reality.

On the first day of Cripmas… #disability

.. the Coalition gave to me…

The Broken of Britain proudly present Imana (11 years old) singing “The Twelve Days Of Cripmas”

Twelve Days Of Cripmas Lyrics by @Hossylass :

On the first day of Christmas the Government took from me the right to peace and harmony.

On the second day of Christmas the Government took from me,
social standing,
and the right to peace and harmony

On the third day of Christmas the Government took from me,
my I B,
social standing, and the right to peace and harmony.

On the fourth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
my contributions,
my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony.

On the fifth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
my bu-us pass,
my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony.

On the sixth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
rights to housing,
my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony.

On the seventh day of Christmas the Government took from me,
mobility in care homes,
rights to housing, my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony

On the eighth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
5 years of pension,
mobility in care homes, rights to housing, my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony

On the ninth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
council funded care,
5 years of pension, mobility in care homes, rights to housing, my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony

On the tenth day of Christmas the Government took from me,
All my DLA,
council funded care, 5 years of pension, mobility in care homes, rights to housing, my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony

On the eleventh day of Christmas the Government took from me,
Independent Living Fund,
All my DLA, council funded care, 5 years of pension, mobility in care homes, rights to housing, my bu-us pass, my contributions, my I B, social standing, and the right to peace and harmony

On the Twelfth day of Christmas the Government gave to me,
a ticket to Dignitas.

Heads I Win…

Since 1840 the Monarchy’s head has appeared on British stamps, one attempt by Tony Benn in 1965 to change that failed.. Now, just 8 months into our Coalition government, Royal Mail is up for sale and the back of our Monarch’s head could be licked for the last time.  Whilst images of bright orange Tango or Easy Jet’d post boxes and vans spring horrifically to mind,  the Coalition blame Labour, Labour blame the Coalition, Labour/Coalition, Coalition/Labour… lets call the whole thing off….

Personally, I am surprised by the government’s epic failure to protect the status quo, however it does leave Ms Cushion with a marvellous opportunity ; )

Thanks to @johnrisby for the stamp link ; )

Don’t feed them after midnight… #LibDems

My name is Humphrey Cushion, I am a Lib-Dem… there, I’ve said it.  Much to the disappointment and derision of my family, I have always been a Lib Dem – right from my first nervous entrance into my local church hall to vote in the council elections at 18ish..  Paddy Ashdown inspired trust in me, that along with a slight crush ; )   and when he handed over to Charles Kennedy I still supported them, although I was naturally disappointed Paddy was no longer the figurehead.  “Old Labour” came across as too rough, too angry for me while the Lib Dems were kind but fair, green and more palatable by far than the Conservatives.  We suited each other.

When Tony Blair became Labour leader I had a change of heart, I despised the Conservatives and so for the first time, put my cross in the Labour box.  I have never regretted making that choice, indeed I am proud of Labour’s achievements and sing from the rooftops about them as you may know!   This is mostly due to the changes Labour have made to mine and my families lives.  I remember struggling for years, alongside my husband to make ends meet until the introduction of Tax Credits. 

Some time after, we moved to Spain for a few years and upon my return I saw a real difference to the services in our country which, being so close you may not have noticed.  There was an awful lot of red-tape, political correctness and intrusion though.. 

We came back  from Spain smack in the middle of the so-called “Credit Crunch”.. how I hate that expression, my work colleagues talked about it constantly.. they couldn’t understand that it literally meant STOP BORROWING MONEY! If you want something, save up for it.. whatever happened to that?  I sadly remember Woolworths going belly-up that year, it was awful, almost as though Christmas itself took a last, choking breath in sympathy.

Naturally, with the GE2010 was coming up I had to take a long, hard look at where the country was and who to support.  Although I admired Nick Clegg a lot, (his performances in the Leaders Debates were outstanding) I did not think for one minute that the Lib Dems would garner enough votes to keep out the Conservatives.  I threw myself headlong into supporting and became a card-carrying member of Labour.  I even got to meet Gordon & Sarah when they visited Bedford (and nicked a couple of BIG signs to hang in my windows, shhh)

Sadly, Labour couldn’t pull in enough votes and the Coalition was born.  Although very unhappy that Clegg & Co made what I think was the wrong choice, I trusted my natural party to lessen the impact of the Conservatives on Britain. How wrong I was.  It seems that somebody fed the Lib Dem MPs after midnight and the sweet Mugwai became “The New Batch”…. instead of watering down Tory policies they have thrown themselves headlong into the havoc being wreaked on this country.  I have images of Cameron and Osborne giggling maniacally whilst dropping water (wine) on them and feeding them Fois Gras after midnight.  What will it take for them to wake up and smell the coffee?  They deliberately and calculatedly courted the younger votes during their election campaign, focusing on social networking sites.  Together they signed a pledge promising to vote AGAINST tuition fees..  the young believed them and gave their extra 1 million votes.  Now the Lib Dem MPs are seemingly shocked that the students are rebelling and holding them to account and are desperately trying to wriggle out of their solumn, heart-felt and PERSONAL pledges.

I still love the real Liberal Democrats and what they stand for, the ones who voted to scrap tuition fees in their 2009 conference..  however I fear for their future.  Unless “Stripe and Brains” do the decent thing and not only allow their MPs to vote against the tuition fees on Thursday but stand alongside them,  I think the Lib Dems are history.  The Coalition will continue to hit the vulnerable of Britain, the beggars will return to our tubes, jobcentre queues will become once more commonplace, the homeless will reinhabitate our doorways. 

Come on Wild Things..  show you have some balls and vote AGAINST the tuition fees on Thursday!!  #IAmGismo

(If you have a Lib Dem MP, please lobby your heart out this week! You can email them via this link: They Work For You  )

*A short blog post which caught my attention this morning;  Explaining Modern Government.. in 3 sentences!

The Young Ones…

Students are getting a bad press at the moment, it really is like we’ve gone back to the 80’s where students were “The Young Ones”.  Earnest, vegetarian, peacemaker Neil, rebellious Rick, smashing-things-up Vyvyan and way-too-old-to-be-a student Whatshisname, the boring guy…

    

The students who are protesting now are not “The Young Ones” but mostly bloody fantastic kids, brought together to fight against a very unfair rise to tuition fees.  They are not even demonstrating for themselves in truth, as these rises may not affect them personally so they are taking action for every younger kid in this country who wants to have a decent education.  MY kids.. not old enough to demonstrate, will hopefully benefit from the actions being taken today. YOUR kids.. OUR kids..

For most of these students, the contact they have with the police during the protests, will be the first contact made.  Like my kids, they have been brought up to respect and fear the police, I pray the police do not abuse this respect by continuous kettling.  Last week I was horrified to see pictures of OUR kids, being contained for hours against their will by the police.  Yes, there was violence at the first protest. No, that does not mean that all students are there for a fight.

Schoolgirl Protestors Protect Police Van

They are demonstrating, legally and in the only way possible to prevent the unfair rises in tuition fees, despite what Nick Clegg may say to the contrary. NO rise is fair Nick!  Your party, the Liberal Democrats (timely reminder) know and oppose this and ANY rise in fees.  YOU signed a pledge, along with your fellow members to VOTE AGAINST a rise in fees, now your own Universities Minister, Vince Cable is frantically back-peddaling on this pledge in order to keep favour with your Masters, the Conservatives.   Following your targetting of them, many of the protesting students voted Lib Dem in the 2010 General Election, they voted for your FAIRNESS, for your CHANGE.. change they certainly have, but any fairness has been stamped upon.

The rises in tuition fees are a blatant attempt by the government to reduce the uptake in University places.  By setting the fees so high (up to £9000 p.a) they are effectively preventing poorer kids from continuing their education. I know that as a single parent, I will be unable to support my children through University so they will either have to take out loans or give up on their dreams.  In the long-run, I suspect the state will be poorer for this tax-wise and will continue to bring in “foreign talent” to fill the “high-brow” vacancies.

You don’t have to travel that far back in history to find Thomas Paine standing up for the Rights Of Man  “Government’s sole purpose is safeguarding the individual and his/her inherent, inalienable rights; each societal institution that does not benefit the nation is illegitimate — especially the Monarchy, the Nobility, and the Military”

So glad to read tonight that the Welsh Assmbley have promised that no domiliciled Welsh student, studying in England will have to pay the tuition fees.

I’ll leave you with this.. “Rar Rar Rar, We’re Going To Smash The Oiks” :

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