Monday, 31 October 2011

Jarrow Marchers arrive in London

The photograph above is indeed very dramatic, an activist holds up a crucifix as a barricade burns during the recent evictions from Dale Farm travellers' camp site. That one snapshot more than anyother brings it home, it is an illustration, an image of struggle and of war. Some will say that such a description is over the top and dramatic if not provocative, possibly rabble-rousing and even inflammatory. And do you know what, I don’t really care or give two hoots.

At the best of times I hate wars, I hate struggles and confrontations, but for all that still there is a war being waged in our so-called civilised society – it’s a class war.

The side that I am on has come about not through choice, but rather circumstance and birth, that’s the thing about this war’ you don’t pick the side you’re on, you are born into it and you grow up with it; of course a great many don’t realise it but that’s changing slowly, surely and unquestionably.

It’s as if people are beginning to awake from a long sleep, as if the penny has eventually dropped into the bottom of the box. Dale Farm, St Pauls, Public Sector Workers, Campaigns to Stop Cuts and Save Services, Students fighting the government’s education white paper and Workers fighting to halt pay cuts, such as the thousands of council workers across the country who are facing yet another onslaught and ambush of attacks on jobs, services, pay and conditions, or the construction workers who are fighting a 35 per-cent pay cut.

One hundred construction workers and supporters recently took part in a demonstration outside the Tate Modern in London, against the massive cuts in pay they are facing and their bosses are demanding. The industry is looking at a 35% pay cut for construction workers and has recently seen demonstration from Electricians, known as "Sparks" in and around London.

The UCATT General Secretary candidate, Michael Dooley, was there to give words of support and to lead the demonstration on a march that found them standing outside the Blackfriars construction site, which is being managed and run by large company, Balfour Beatty. Balfour Beatty one of the companies supporting the pay cuts and their workers are being asked to attend up and coming demonstrations being held in London, starting with November 9th national demonstration of students, this will link students, Occupy LSX at St Paul's Cathedral and Trade Unionist together; they make a very important connection as we move into the autumn, an autumn of resistance!

I can of course give chapter and verse of the attacks upon the living standards of working people, of the class war being waged against the poorest and most venerable in society, against the unemployed, the disabled, the young and the old in our unequal society of today, and with real, physical unfeigned psychological dogmatic vengeance.

In the weeks that lay ahead of us we have to take the opportunity to build bridges of unity to other sections of our class, we need like never before to support every campaign, every occupation, strike and initiative and class creativity that brings all the issues to the forefront of conciseness, which lights the fuse that further awakes the masses to new ideas and real possibilities.

On November the 5th, the Jarrow Marchers will arrive in London. They will have marched 330 miles from the North East, demanding, jobs, education and a decent future! Why not join the mass rally in central London that will greet them.

For further information look here…  

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

November 9th national demo: route confirmed as students prepare for the autumn of resistance

November 9th national demo: route confirmed as students prepare for the autumn of resistance

Contact: and 07964791663

Route for 9th November national demo agreed by police

Tens of thousands expected to attend in fight over government’s education white paper

Demonstration will link up with St Paul’s Occupation, and will rally symbolically at Moorgate

Protest to be joined in the capital by thousands of striking electricians

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The clerics at St Paul's would do well to re-read the scriptures

“Jesus made a whip of cords and he drove those who were selling livestock and changers of money out of the temple. He turned over the table of the money changers. He said to those who were selling doves: Take these away from here and do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise.”
When people stand together anything is possible, and who would have thought that the occupation currently taking place outside of St Pauls Cathedral would have generated so much interest, and indeed support in the larger community as a whole, which it has, as people keep asking me about the occupation, and in the face of such hostility from press, media, politicians and misguided leading clergy that run this great landmark of a Cathedral, and I have to say more like an on-going business concern rather than a house of prayer, a house of worship, a place surely to be with ‘God’ first and foremost in proclaiming the Christian gospel in words actions and providing services of Christian worship and praise. And yet to my mind what we have seen on display this last week is a few ‘grandee clerics’ who still think that ‘The Church of England’ is still the Tory party at prayer.

This now can only be seen as very damaging for this state establishment church of which the Queen is still its head and her governments have a big say in the appointment of its leaders, is it any wonder that there is a decline in attendance when such people like those in St Paul’s are running the show. After all there has been a 55% fall in attendance since 1980 and the decline in Church attendance is significantly higher than membership. This tells us that even amongst the membership the Church in general struggles to attract people to services, but will this badly handled situation at St Paul’s drive in yet another nail into its coffin I do wonder?

If the Church of England was the national football team they would have sacked the manager long ago.

Well it wasn’t really my intention originally to attack the church in this post, for there remains, and just like in the Labour Party, still some good people who nonetheless belong and follow the true light of the shepherd, so please except my profound apology if in any way I have caused you offence, and then I say it is not intended or directed at you!

As the blizzard of controversy continued to blow around over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration and the possible camp eviction in partnership with the City of London Corporation, but now other Christian activists have said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul's. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: "We represent peace, unity and love.”

Christian groups have now drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul's Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.

Christian groups who have publicly sided with the protesters include one of the oldest Christian charities, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the oldest national student organisation, the Student Christian Movement, Christianity Uncut, the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust and the Christian magazine Third Way. In addition, London Catholic Worker, the Society of Sacramental Socialists and Quaker groups have offered their support.

This is the second Sunday in succession that a post on this blog has taken on a religious theme albeit circuitously connected to Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) protest, but just coming back to what I said at the beginning, this protest has cut through from side to side the real class hostility towards those who object to the growing inequalities that blight and disfigure the lives of millions not just here in Britain but around the world. The protest one of many being staged around the ecosphere of the world has won the support of people from all backgrounds and walks of life who agree that corporate greed and the worship of money has gone on for long enough and that people whoever they are should come first, the clerics at St Paul's would do well to re-read the scriptures, and then try to learn to love their neighbours even while they may live in temporary’ tents. 

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Youth unemployment - Capitalism the real rough-cut course of all our troubles!”

I think I would best describe myself as having been fortunate to have left education and found employment in the 1970s, and quite easily really, and when you consider today, those who have just left school only a week or so ago, may not have such providence or good fortune.

For instance in the mid-1970s, 174 school leavers from two Nottinghamshire Schools left education and 32 per cent obtained the first job they applied for, whilst 86 per cent had jobs within a month.

My statistics are obtained from ‘The Transition from School to Work’ by M. West and P. Newton 1983. West and Newton’s book and study was one of the last British inquiries to be completed before school-leavers’ prospects changed radically. In their study they paid little attention to youth unemployment which was not really a problem back then, only in depressed regions and among specific ‘problem groups’ such as persistent truants, young offenders, and other young people who seemed unable to settle and hold onto any jobs.

In the 1970s training schemes did not feature at all, there were none except what was known as ‘Community Industry’, introduced in 1972 to cater specifically for those young people who were deemed incapable of obtaining or had problems of holding on to jobs that were then plentiful in most parts of the country.

The youth employment scene and, indeed, the entire process through which young people enter the work-force today, is very much different, or would that be an understatement.

The principal change has undoubtedly been the decline in youth employment itself. It is very true to say that unemployment levels throughout the workforce have become much higher and more persistently so since the 1970s than in the 1950s and 60s. This is a trend forced on by modern capitalist production, new methods of mass production connecting it with the new technology, rendering many crafts and trades totally redundant, not to forget an available easy to reach and cheap workforce in other parts of the developing world.

Recessions have been deeper than those experienced during the so-called thirty glorious years of almost continuous economic growth and full employment that lasted from 1945 up to the early 1970s. Subsequently there have been insufficient jobs to accommodate all would-be workers, and teenagers’ difficulties have been one aspect of the wider unemployment problem. However, employment among young people has declined much more sharply than the pace at which general unemployment has risen, and youth employment failed to recover during the economic boom in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Young people have normally been especially sensitive to any general trends in employment and unemployment. In times like this of rising unemployment young people have become particularly vulnerable for three reasons. First, employers slow down recruitment and this always has especially strong effects among newcomers to the labour market who have no existing jobs to hang on to. Secondly, when profit margins have been under pressure, employers have often made savings on training. Firms have been reluctant to train young people when they have felt unable to guarantee future employment. Employers have often taken the view that such training would waste young people’s time as well as the firms’ resources. Thirdly, in times of high unemployment school-leavers have needed to compete for jobs against displaced adults whose experience has often given them the edge. It is unnecessary to look beyond these factors to account for the spread of youth unemployment from the 1970s to the present day.

What may have sponged up the worst effects of visible youth unemployment such as further education provision which has now become unaffordable for many and means that many young people will be marooned on the sinking Ireland of mass unemployment, although we can expect the government to move and force young people to be placed on dead-end work experience schemes that are exploitative, authoritarian and will offer nothing for the future. Capitalist economies cannot generate enough quality jobs and have inevitable difficulties in keeping young people in transit for as long as is necessary, this I suggest was a factor that led to the summer riots. The social systems of the Western countries are producing more would-be workers, generally young people with good qualifications and modest or high aspirations, than can be accommodated in good jobs. It is this sort of social system which we have in Britain, a kind of disequilibrium and instability that capitalism has been unable or unwilling to fix since the 1970s means that today many young people’s transition from education to work will end in failure. Some may become, and forced into a new underclass. The most vulnerable individuals will be from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of family structures, their parents’ employment records, and the levels of unemployment in their localities. It is likely that their parents, schools, and teachers, the young people themselves will continue to be blamed; anything and everything will be blamed except the system or capitalism the real  rough-cut course of all our troubles!”                                        

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Exposed: Media fabricated 'empty tents' story at OccupyLSX

I have not been to the occupation of St Paul’s as much as I would have liked in the two weeks since they set up camp outside this great Cathedral in the heart of the city of London’s financial centre as part of a world protest against the unfettered and unrestrained activities that plunged the world into crisis, that has thrown millions out of their homes or and employment and spread like a plague poverty and neediness want in one country after another.

Whatever we may think of this occupation there is one undeniable fact, and that goes for all the occupations, and that’s, they have highlighted to the populations of the world that we don’t have to just sit back and allow banks and other financial institutions to bleed us and society dry with sheer greed, complete and without restriction or qualification and backed up by elected and proven corrupted politicians in yet again, one country after another!

So today, the City of London Corporation and St Paul’s Cathedral have announced they will begin legal proceedings to evict the anti-capitalist protesters who have been camping in the heart of the capital’s financial district for the past fortnight. This has not come as any surprise; the powers that be have been clearly frustrated by the protest from the start, and with support within some quarters of the church have now been able to clear the way for eviction, having said that this may take months and to my mind can only harm the standing of the Church of England in the greater community.

Whilst I am still gathering my own thoughts on where the occupation goes from here, which I may blog about over the weekend I just wanted to promote the video below that disproves claims made in some newspapers this week that only 10 per cent of protesters were staying overnight. They the Occupy LSX, at St Paul's Cathedral have now made their own video in an attempt to prove that the thermal imaging software used to show their empty tents is flawed.          

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Top directors' earnings rose by almost half last year

Just what more demonstrated amount of prove dose anyone need; that inequality in Britain is rife, widespread and rampant, than just one look at this morning’s news which is telling us that DIRECTORS in the country’s top companies have seen their pay rise by almost 50 per cent in the past year – sparking and quite rightly so condemnation and denunciation that they are failing to show restraint at a time when Britain could be heading for a double-dip recession – this is out of control greed comrades!

Average earnings among directors in FTSE 100 companies rose to just under £2.7 million according to research by Incomes Data Services (IDS) released today.

The figures come as a senior Bank of England policymaker warned reports from the retail sector suggested the economy had already begun to contract.

The soaring cost of childcare is forcing low-income families to turn down work or consider leaving their jobs, according to new research.

A report from Save the Children and The Daycare Trust has found that all parents, regardless of income, say they can’t afford not to work, but struggle to pay for childcare and that almost a quarter have got into debt because of childcare costs.

Some 80% of parents in severe poverty and currently in paid employment said they were in a similar position to as if they were not working after childcare costs were accounted for. Nearly two-thirds of parents living in severe poverty said they were struggling to pay for childcare compared to 37% of those on higher incomes.

British parents spend almost a third of their incomes on childcare – more than anywhere else in the world. The costs of childcare are now equal to what 41% of families send on their secured loan on their home or rent.

And let us not forget that these very same top directors have used tough business conditions to impose real wage cuts, which have hit people’s living standards and the wider economy, but have shown no such restraint with their own pay!”

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

My first win on the Work Programme

One in ten Londoners are now without a job; not surprising is it really, and if anything its set to get by far much worse in the months that lay ahead of us. So whilst London’s employment fell, 3.82 million Londoners are now in employment, which equates to a 34,000 quarterly fall.

The number of people out of work in Britain has hit its highest level in 17 years and youth unemployment has reached a record high as the economic slowdown continues to take its toll.

The Office for National Statistics said that 2.57 million people were out of work over the June to August period, the highest since the autumn of 1994. There were almost 1 million unemployed young people. And the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month increased by 17,500 to 1.6 million in September.  

I think that it would be safe to say that London our capital city has become an unemployment black spot as almost a quarter of all working age Londoners are economically inactive – 1.3 million people.

Personally specking, I don’t think that the general situation will ever get any better as London has lost much in the way of industry that has packed up and gone elsewhere; and today it is being reported that London will lose around 27,000 financial jobs this year due to the euro zone debt crisis and economic stagnation in Britain as well as the prospects of financial regulation. London's economy has during the last 20 years experienced rapid de-industrialisation. Until the early 1960s London was still a major manufacturing centre but from then onwards manufacturing jobs disappeared very rapidly, a decline which was only partly offset by the growth of service jobs, and in particular local government.

Accompanying the changes in London's economic structure have been changes in its occupational structure. As manufacturing industry has declined, so have the skilled and semi-skilled, predominantly male, factory jobs which went with it.

I have to say and I have said this before on this blog Inner London is not being "Americanised": it is not on the way to becoming mainly a working-class city, a "polarised" city, or a vast ghetto for a black proletariat. The real risk for inner London is that it might well be gentrified with a vengeance, and be almost exclusively reserved for a selected higher-class stratum of our society.' Which comrades I am now going off the intended thread of this post.

All of which paints a very bleak picture for London, because when you lose jobs in one area it hits and affects another, if city workers are laid off in such numbers then this will inevitably have a knock-on effect on other jobs and business, a coffee bar, a sandwich shop or a local wine bar may close and its workers made unemployed and forced down to the dole office, but don’t worry for help is at hand and I kid you not –The Work Programme has arrived!  

At the beginning of this week I was placed on the Programme’ no option but to attend and as they say, ‘you must attend its mandatory’, which as you know is another word for compulsory.

To me the mechanics and technicalities of the Programme are confusing and I am only just now getting to grips with who runs what, and in reality as far as I can ascertain is also very unclear to most other unemployed claimants; you are not really told a great deal about the Programme and find out about its worst aspects when referred onto it, as I did this week.

I was placed with a local charity known for work it does in my locality of Canning Town, Newham. This so-called charity ‘Community Links’ is a sub-contractor for an organisation called CDG which is an abbreviation and acronym for Careers Development Group. They claim to have been working as a charity for 30 years and committed to doing all they can in helping people back into work. In my mind this raises the question what exactly is a charity or passes for one these days, for it seems to be some tax fiddle and contrivance if you ask me! And any concern, charity that engages in this Programme should not be looked upon as being charitable in any real sense and meaning of the word, especially if this is all about strong-arming the unemployed into low paid employment or worst still throwing them off benefits so as to save money for the government’s wars and deficit reduction plans.

So I turned up on Monday morning and to my horror found that I was placed on a week-long intensive training course, granted only for a week from 9.30 till 4.30 with an hour break for lunch, but I found that after the morning session on the first day I could take no more of this nonsense of assessment, information and motivation, and I walked off and have not been back, today I requested a transfer to another programme provider that did not run such a course, they agreed reluctantly after I quoted from the CDG jobseekers welcome pack which states quite clearly the following:

“On the Work Programme, there are no set courses, days or hours in which everyone must attend. What you do is agreed between you and your advisor, and will depend entirely on what will help you find work”.

It was simple and I told them I had not agreed to this course, I was told that I had to go on it by my personal adviser, and simply he was wrong and I was right, and that’s what comes from having gained the experience and benefits of many years membership of the Labour and Trade Union Movement.

I am of course still on the Work Programme and there will be more battles to come but tonight I feel that after a very miserable start to the week it ends with a smile on my face. There will be more from me on the Work Programme as I have laid plans now to try and organise the unemployed in my area with the help of London Coalition Against Poverty who I meet this morning in Hackney.

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Saving St Paul's Cathedral

What a lovely Sunday morning comrades, sun shining up on high and of course my thoughts are with the comrades camped outside St Paul's in London who have now been urged by the cathedral authorities to move, amid concerns over health and safety and loss of income.

A spokesman told Radio 4's Sunday News, it was losing between £16,000 and £20,000 a day, well there you go all comes down to money yet again!

Specking to may mum about it this morning, she suggested just maybe the church is being leaned upon by the powers that be? Mum may well have a good point for a number of reasons, the establishment have no control over this peaceful protest that’s staged right bang in the middle of a very busy tourist area and route for them wishing to take in the London sights such as the Tower just down the road, indeed bad publicity and may even be an advertisement of encouragement to do the same when you get back home to your own country.

But coming back to that awful stuff we call money, God has given us more than 800 Scriptures about money. Here are a few of the many verses that will help you understand how God views finances, and seeing it is Sunday after all there can be nothing more appropriate for a Sunday morning post:

Matthew 6:24

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

Proverbs 22:7

"The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender."

Mark 10:21

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me
I like the last quote and was thinking that maybe the Queen who is the head of the church could heed and listen to the good advice that Jesus gave. I read this very morning that Her Majesty, The Queen is close to joining millions of her subjects in becoming a victim of fuel poverty. She has to heat four palaces and one castle and at a time when energy bills have risen by around 15 per cent but the Queen’s income has been frozen by the government, poor sod and dammit. A suggestion for Her Majesty, why not downsize, sell off some of your properties and split the proceeds between paying off your utility bills and at the same time helping out St Paul's – simple!”                             

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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Occupy Movement and Youth Fight for Jobs - build the Fight

Hundreds of Thousands of people have taken to the streets throughout the world, and a new movement has come into being, the Occupy Movement is what I like to call it, and they have been a gathering in city centres right across the world, over 900 cities have hosted and seen co-ordinated protests directly or loosely affiliated to the Occupy cause.

It all started as you know in New York, the city that Francis Albert Sinatra sang about that never sleeps; 1,000 people first turned up in Wall Street just over a month ago now and then it snowballed around the globe standing up and against the status quo, the existing state of affairs in the fastidious, robbing finance canters of world capital. Backed up by capitalist supporting governments in hostility to this movement which has had its trials and tribulations to contend with, police brutality, political threats from the media winding up the establishment politicians of all the colours and many shades. However, there is one thing that stands up and stands out, they are a visible active live and living 24 hours a day antagonism to capitalism, whatever anyone thinks of their politics and demands especially on the left in some quarters of our movement.

Remember this comrades’ the world is in crisis and all around the global economy is failing like never before, an answer is not forthcoming and of course it never will.

In Britain the motherland of capitalism, we have a foul coalition in office, backed sometimes by a Labour opposition who are neither use nor ornament. The government introduce round after round of spending cuts whilst Labour play political checkers, not so fast, not so deep they keep bleeping, signalling no opposition or resistance.

And these attacks are directed at the vast majority of us. Savage attacks on the unemployed, sick and disabled sit alongside massive public sector redundancies which will create a fixed and permanent pool of unemployed labour that will be used to keep cost down and set worker against worker in competing as rivals for any opening that helps them escape the workhouse of dictatorial schemes such as the new work programme. We have seen attacks on parents, on education, on a health service being prepared with a whole castigating mountain of lies for privatisation; the Vultures and profit seeking scavengers are gathering comrades, the question is what are we going to do about it?

Back in 1971 you could buy a dozen eggs for 23p, take the family out to the pictures for 30p a head and fill up your car at 7p a litre. In the intervening years the costs of all these items have risen and living standards have started to fall. Workers are now facing a squeeze, the like of which many people have never witnessed before. The Institute of Fiscal Studies recently warned that households are looking at the largest fall in their disposable incomes since 1981, with data for the first 11 months of 2010-11 showing earnings falling by 3.8%. Pay is lagging behind inflation, meaning real earnings are likely to fall by at least 2% this year.

According to wealth boffins, the financial squeeze has worsened because there are fixed costs for today's worker which simply did not exist 40 years ago. The worker of 1971 was far less likely to own a car, a telephone or a television, and there are also costs like broadband, mobile phones and gadgets which many of us would not now care to live without, which tragically is a real shame, and this to some extent ties us all down to the horrible world of consumerism, consumer confidence is said to have tumbled for a fourth month in a row in September as unemployment increased and accelerating now towards 3 million 8.1 per cent in the three months through to August as the government affirmed its commitment to the biggest budget squeeze since World War II.

The hard times of austerity and a fight for capitalist survival is upon on us all; the upholders of capitalism whether that is Labour or Tory, and the one thing that is clear as daylight, they act  on behalf of international capital as proven by the actions of the last and present government’s.

However, if we want to win, we need more than ever to be united and recognise that saying you are right is time wasting and not enough, the left should put any differences to one side and find the many things that unite us. The Occupy Movement is only one aspect of struggle, it may not be what some call perfect, and of course the easiest thing in the world is to sit at home and be an armchair critic, isn’t there already plenty of that from the capitalist media and for all the obvious reasons.

If we want to change the world, we will have to empower ourselves by winning over others to our side, that can only be done not from the side-lines of criticism, but by giving freely to support for such ideas and great campaigns like Occupy Movement and the current Socialist Party’s Jarrow march demonstration and rally when it reaches London on 5 November, 75 years on from when 200 unemployed men from Jarrow marched from their homes in the North East to London to demand jobs and an end to their poverty conditions. Throughout October Youth Fight for Jobs is marching the same route, taking the socialist message on the road and hopefully opening the eyes of many.

But let us be clear and honest, the biggest imaginable occupation or march won’t change the world unless it’s accompanied by mass direct action of the working classes, and its now time comrade’s to build in that direction and for those actions, don’t you think so? 

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Friday, 21 October 2011

There is an alternative

“The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly. The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existenceKarl Marx
The world is rich in materials although some may be running short like fossil fuels, oil and gas won’t last for ever, but we have technology, knowledge and human “doing power” to the extent that if the world was organised in a different way everyone would enjoy a comfortable poverty-free life.

Why don’t we re-organise society to reap the benefits of these scientific advances? Because governments that people are hoodwinked, Influence by slyness are tricked and yes if you like deceived into electing, and yet all these entire capitalists’ governments look for solutions within the framework of money/wages/buying-and-selling system of society.

History shows us that capitalism was set up by a minority of people (the owners of capital) to run in the interests of that minority. If we all had enough capital we’d not be compelled to become wage slaves – then who would do the work?

So, if there’s no profit in it, there’s no production of it and no supply of it. That’s the way the system works today! If you can’t afford it, you’ll have to do or go without it, which includes food, housing and medication.
Some people (because they’ve been encouraged to think solely in terms of money, wages, buying and selling) will unquestionably dismiss any alternative as a far-off dream. Others will claim that human nature will make it impossible.

It’s essential that you understand and believe in the ability of people to change, or you give up any possibility of serious change in society.

The alternative is the world belonging to all the people, producing the things we need to live and enjoy life. Directly meeting people’s needs! This means no money, wages, buying and selling.

Why should we have to buy back what we’ve collectively produces?

This outmoded forced rationing system must go. There’s a world of abundance to work for. Work would be co-operatively organised on a voluntary basis. Everyone would have open access to what they need, and equal voice and vote in all decisions which would affect their lives – this is a world worth fighting for!

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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Work Programme and Slavery - The Same Thing!"

“The Work Programme will be the largest welfare-to-work programme the UK has seen since the 1930s.” Chris Grayling, 15 February 2011

At least 90% of organisations involved in delivering the Government's flagship back to work scheme, the Work Programme, risk having their contracts terminated because of unreachable performance targets set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Social Market Foundation, the think tank originally behind the idea for the Work Programme and responsible for the analysis, has said that without an urgent rethink of the performance criteria this could lead to the failure of the entire scheme with potentially dire consequences for the 2.4 million long term unemployed it is designed to help.

Not my words but the very words chosen and published by the respected eminent and politically independent Social Market Foundation.

There is only one way of looking at government policy in regard to resolving long term or otherwise the growing dole queue, and that’s like beating people with a stick into submission of taking up low paid employment. That’s what the Work Programme and all that came before it is really all about. I have a theory, a philosophy, a viewpoint and that’s this; capitalism would not be able to run itself without us.

Think about it for a moment – we run but don’t control the system. It’s true, without us the capitalists would have nothing; who would make their goods, who would build their towns and cities or construct them skyscrapers and towers that touch the sky, just who will keep the power flowing that kept the power on in the home, the factory, the office and enabled the banker to transfer billons and trillions at the flick as it seems of a switch – just who?

Capitalism is not something separate from our daily lives like a line of figures in the financial columns of a newspaper, or a media bulletin on the state of the economy. It's more intimate than that - something we experience daily in our social and work lives, in our family life, in our physical bodies and in the most intimate sense we have of ourselves. At best, it's an uncomfortable experience. Sometimes it's far, far worse than that.

For all capitalism's great potential to create abundance, it has no power to deliver. It is just not designed that way. And though for those of us who work for a living it often dangles personal fulfilment and real freedom before us, it sets them always just beyond our grasp.

The basics of life: water, food, shelter, heat and light. All and sundry should have these, right? Everyone should have these but millions don't and even here in the Britain, many struggle to obtain them. Why? Because the stinking capitalist profits system as exemplified above take the riches YOU have made and at the same time prevents access to these basics unless you can pay again, all in the name of profit. How about turning up the heat on them and pulling the plug on this system - instead we can unite and work towards putting a new socialist one in its place, where the necessities of life will be available to all.

You may have been told that slavery was abolished; you may have thought that slavery was abolished, well I have news for you it still exists and it’s intensifying, as always the master class will want to select the best workers to work its capitalist treadmills, and only the best will do.

The key to defining slavery is to look closely at the core characteristics in the life of a slave and in the slave’s relationship with their master or slaveholder the capitalist. 

While most North Americans and Western Europeans tend to hold in their mind a picture of slavery that existed in the Deep South before 1865, slavery existed at the beginning of human history and has taken many forms over the past 5,000 years. Nearly every culture and historical period has known slavery, and it has been “packaged” differently at each time and place. The true nature of slavery, however, does not exist in the “packaging” or justifications for slavery.
Slavery exists first in the lives of slaves – what are you?

The Work Programme, which when you think about it, is a really nasty name and description for forcing people into wage slavery through instruction, command and or a course of lectures.

If we look closely at the lives of slaves throughout human history we find that the core characteristics of slavery are the same. Slavery means the loss of free will; it means that violence will be used to maintain control over the slave, and it means that the slave will be exploited, normally in some sort of economic activity. The truth is we are all born into this slavery and our lives will be controlled through violence which takes many forms such as the violence of being unemployed, not having enough money to keep body and soul, or a place of safety that provides shelter and warmth.

Normally we may think the life of a slave is marked by the fact that they receive no payment for their work, this is not true of modern slavery, the modern wage slave receives a subsistence, which means we have to keep going back for more for years on end or possibly as this government would like without an end, until we drop perhaps.

In the weeks that unfold I will be writing much more about being unemployed and forced onto and on the Work Programme, and what the Programme is like how it affects me and others, what I have to do and so on, as I think there should be a far greater understanding of what is going on in our society, and how those in and out of work are played against each other in order to own and control rule and divide, all in the interests of profit.

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