Sunday, 20 June 2010

Return of the Chingford Skinhead (Part 2)

If we read and decipher between the lines of the almost daily newspaper and in general media converge of the Con/Dem coalitions impending and imminent "close at hand " austerity measures, it’s not hard to ascertain that the unemployed and the alleged eight million dependants of some state benefit or another, which includes pensioners, disabled and long-term sick are to be singled out, hit and made to pay for the crisis of capitalism, and a crisis not of their making!

In effect this government intendeds to give the axe and launch an attack on the most vulnerable and undefended sections of our society. They will use this opportunity to further undermine and dismantle the welfare state, and as we have come to know it, and in times of hardship have been able to depend on its safety net, as they used to say from the cradle to the grave.

The only welfare that matters to this and previous governments, is the welfare of the Banks and Financial Institutions, the very parasites and leeches that live on a host (the working class); and obtains nourishment from the host without the host benefiting, these are indeed the real spongers of our so-called sick society.

And when I say sick that’s exactly what I mean, only in a sick society, will a person be allowed to commit suicide whilst not one of our honourable legislators blinks an eyelid, this was the case when a pregnant mum jumped to her death clutching her baby son after her benefits were stopped last year. Just to recapitulate: Philosophy graduate Christelle Pardo, 32, plunged from the balcony of her sister's third-floor flat in Hackney, east London, killing herself and five-monthold Kayjah.

‘Her sister Olaya said: "She was upset and stressed because she felt that she didn't exist. If it hadn't been for me she would have been out on the street."

Miss Pardo had been claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) since leaving London Metropolitan University in May 2008.

She became pregnant shortly afterwards, but in December her JSA was withdrawn because she was within 11 weeks of giving birth and deemed unable to work.

As a result she lost her housing benefit and her claim for income support was refused.’ (Daily Mirror 2009).

They say that a leopard (Panthera Pardus) never changes its spots don’t they, well I would put this to every member of the Labour Party, who still thinks that the party is the chariot of change, and then say never! They started to hound and punish those of us who have no other means of living available other than to claim benefits; they introduced and passed the reforms to make amongst other things the unemployed work for their pittance, this now comes with the changing of the capitalist guard; has proven to be a gift to this administration, and they in turn will not waste any time in looking this gift horse in the mouth, we can rest assured of that!

The new regime at the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP), can be at best described as frightening, headed by Iain Duncan Smith, protégé of the Chingford Skinhead (Norman Tebbit), and hailing from the same reactionary wing that delivered un-to-us the blessed (joke) Maggie Thatcher.

When I look at the ministerial team that Smith has assembled then the averring phrase ‘you can’t make an omelet without cracking eggs’ springs to mind, although cracking heads would be more appropriate when you take a closer look at them.

Chris Grayling

The Minister for Employment, or would that be better changed to Minister for Unemployment; has responsibility for Employment and related benefits, the Work Programme, Labour market and the economy, Jobcentre Plus, Skills and the Health and Safety Executive.

What’s interesting about Grayling is that he started out politically from the SDP prior to joining the Conservative Party, and of course he meets all the necessary requirements to deal those on benefits having had his hand in the old presumptive and preverbal level of experience; dipping into the House of Commons expenses money box. He Grayling claimed for a flat in Pimlico, close to the House of Commons, despite having a constituency home less than 17 miles away, and owning two buy to let properties in Wimbledon. Grayling claimed over £100,000 for the flat between 2001 and 2007. The Daily Mirror reported that Grayling would benefit from the increase in the price of the flat, at least £100,000. Grayling says he uses the flat when "working very late" because he needs to "work very erratic and late hours most days when the House of Commons is sitting."

One other matter which must be mentioned whilst we review his curriculum vitae is the comments which he recently made in regard to telling the think-tank Centre for Policy Studies that owners of bed and breakfasts should have the right to turn away gay couples. Grayling said:

"I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel, I took the view that if it's a question of somebody who's doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn't come into their own home."

Steve Webb

Now Steve Webb is number three in the peaking order at the DWP and a coalition member drawn from the Liberal Democrats side. He mainly is responsible for Pensions and related benefits and the Social Fund. Steve Webb is one of the contributors to the right wing Orange Book (2004) and is the author of a chapter in The Future of the NHS; other contributors include Patricia Hewitt (Labour), David Lansley (Conservative) and the Secretary of State for Health, Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute and agony aunt Claire Rayner. Well what can one say about this strange collection of bed fellows, my first instincts are the old school tie and there combined class interests, which they clearly hunger to preserve and seek to serve up. I never did trust agony aunts!

For those that don’t know; The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism is a book written by a group of prominent British Liberal Democrat politicians and edited by David Laws and Paul Marshall in 2004. Beside Laws and Marshall, the contributors include Vincent Cable, Nick Clegg, Edward Davey, Chris Huhne, Susan Kramer, Mark Oaten and Steve Webb. The book was published in association with the liberal think-tank CentreForum.

In the book the group offers liberal solutions – often stressing the role of the free market – to several societal issues, such as public healthcare, pensions, environment, and globalisation, social and agricultural policy, local government, the European Union and prisons. It is usually seen as the most economic liberal publication that the Liberal Democrats have produced in recent times. Such, along with its impact upon the party, it has helped cause the dividing line within the party: those who advocate a social market economy observing social liberal values such as the Beveridge Group and those (such as authors, contributors and supporters of the Orange Book) who advocate a free market economy.

Four of the five Liberal Democrat members of the Cabinet had been contributors to this book. The new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government will come as no surprise to those who have studied the development of the free-market philosophy at the core of current Lib Dem thinking. What we have seen here since the general election is the climax of a right-wing grab for power in what was formerly – albeit loosely – perceived (by some) as a progressive centre-left party.

The Liberal party of Jo Grimond, David Steel, Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy has had its inner progressive heart removed by neo-economic liberal activism and replaced by a right-wing cabal that includes Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Ed Davey, David Laws and Vince Cable. A coalition with the Tories was no ideological barrier to their personal ambitions. Meanwhile, supposed left-leaning Lib Dem MPs such as Simon Hughes are condemned as Tory lackeys and hypocrites.

Maria Miller

Miller is the only women member of the team, presently Minister for Disabled People, her role is self explanatory really, and not a great deal is known about her as she is just beginning to cut her ministerial teeth. However it may be too soon to know the detail of the government's policies, but we already know enough to expect them to be an even more brutal regime when it comes to forcing disabled people off benefits. And I’m sure that Miller will soon be displaying what she’s really made off, and at the expense of the disabled, make no mistake, who will be downtrodden and trampled on!

Lord Freud

The "cream of the cream" (crème de la crème). Oh yes and then there was Lord Freud decreed by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to provide an independent (joke) review of the British welfare to work system. His kudoses called for expanded private sector involvement in the welfare system for substantial resources to be found to help those on Incapacity Benefit back into economic activity and for single parents to be required to work earlier. While his recommendations on single parents were immediately adopted and speeded up, when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in June 2007, other restructuring measures were soft-pedalled. He was later made an adviser to the government when James Purnell was appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in 2008. He worked to produce a white paper, published in December 2008, which would require most people receiving benefits either to participate in some form of employment or prepare formally to find work later.

In February 2009, Freud joined the opposition Conservative Party. He was given a life peerage as Baron Freud, of Eastry in the county of Kent, and became a shadow minister for welfare in the House of Lords.

I recognise that this post is rather long which cannot be helped as I feel it’s important that we get to know and understand the direction in which the class enemy is coming from in their goal of preserving the system and tying down the vast majority who are forced to sell labour power in order to live. These are uncertain times, not just here in the UK but throughout the capitalist world and nobody is able to say what will hit us next, but what ever it is one thing is for certain, it won’t be pleasant, that‘s for sure, and the more that I look at the collection and completion of this coalition the more I realize that Parliament and its representatives is nothing more than an illustration, that socialism will never come that way!

To Be Continued…


Chris H said...

Excellent post! Always good to know a bit about the enemy, and make no mistake these are the enemy.

A big question at the end there as to whether a socialist society can be created through our Parliament and current political system. Thirty years ago I would have said yes, maybe. Now I would emphatically say no, impossible. The party, democratic and Parliamentary process has been tinkered with too much, both by Labour and Tory to be of much use to the working man and woman. Instead MPs being representatives of the people they are pre-selected to be representatives of the system. Can you imagine the Labour Party nowadays producing a candidate MP of the calibre of McDonnell, Corbyn or Heffer? No, neither can I. So the question becomes 'How do we obtain socialism?'

Norbert said...

Thanks Chris,

The first thing I would say, is that I believe that the attacks on welfare and benefits, now and in the time to come, furnishes us with an opportunity to gather together and build a movement to defend existing welfare and to demand improvements, regardless of cost or profit and should have no part in the consideration of doing that which is right for all in need!

Turning to the question, the big question of striving and reaching to arrive at a socialist society,' has no easy answers attached, and I really have none to offer, only to say that it must be world wide, that its not about installing one party or group of leaders in a given country to run and control the population here and there, with force, with military or police. No, socialist society would hold the promise, the sensuality that the human race can work, live and be together, resolving daily problems without the need for war or any form of violence.

The Labour Party and despite the few good MPs that still fight the good fight is finished and so is the Parliamentary process in this country and around the world.

'How do we obtain socialism?'

I believe that World Capitalism is only unbeatable as long as everyone thinks it is.

As soon as everyone thinks it is finished, then it will be!

We are moving towards a time, where the only viable future for the human race lies - in that post-capitalist society of common endeavour and common concern through common ownership of the World.

The simple ideas of a socialist society can and will be grasped by the vast majority if we continue to do our bit and refuse to go away, then and only then will the capitalist nettle with stinging hairs be dropped!

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