Friday, 30 August 2013

Never count the (our) chickens before the eggs have hatched

Don’t know about anybody else but in a strange kind of way, I have a feeling that at long last, some kind of common sense is beginning to prevail, although we should never count the (our) chickens before the eggs have hatched, that’s a young bird, fish, or even a reptile emerges from the egg?”

No but seriously; I think that our War loving Prime Minister has received a major setback in regard to the fast moving ground that is Syria and this the ‘end of summer madness’. He must feel very frustrated and well annoyed that not only is he beginning to look like the aggressor, the attack dog (self-appointed) of the West, but his plan to  be seen as a strong warlike leader is not having the desired effect.  

Funny how things can change in 24 hours then. He David Cameron and the Tories top table are bitterly annoyed, vexed, irritated and indignant towards Ed Miliband and Labour. And you could not have seen better footwork performed on the part of the Labour leader than the tango he has led, only 24 hours ago he was giving Cameron some sort of support  but today and according to The Independent: has ‘learned’ that Mr Miliband toughened Labour's stance after being warned by Rosie Winterton, the Opposition Chief Whip, he would face a huge rebellion among the party's MPs if he supported military action.  Some Labour insiders claim there could have been “one or more” resignations from the Shadow Cabinet.

What's this a rebellion - or is it what I think; a compelling move brought about by public mistrust  with the Westminster elite, and the lies that have taken us (Britain) into other wars and world conflicts with dire consequences.

As I write and contemplate this post which has been most of the day, I’ve learnt that MPs have rejected the Government motion on the principle of military action in Syria by just 13 votes.
The motion, calling for a strong humanitarian response which may have included military action, was defeated by 272 votes to 285 on Thursday night. Oh what a relief that is comrades all - Have we just stood back from something so terrible, frightening as to what this may have easily become - the potential for World War III.  

This a big victory comrades and even though by 13 votes. Cameron is fatally wounded, his leadership is in danger...this is a very bad setback for the ruling class...I’ve enjoyed it today.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hands off Syria


'Several hundred people gathered opposite Downing Street on Wednesday to protest against possible UK military intervention in Syria and of course ahead of a parliamentary debate and vote today.

Waving placards bearing the slogan 'Hands off Syria', the crowd was addressed by MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott, who said they would vote against military strikes in Parliament on Thursday.The majority of people in Britain do not believe that intervention in Syria is the right way to deal with the regime of President al-Asssad, despite the chemical attack in Damascus last week.

While the government appears more than keen to be involved in any military strike on Syria, the British public is far less convinced.Research carried out by the polling organisation YouGov - after allegations of a large-scale chemical weapons attack emerged last week - shows the British public remains broadly opposed to any kind of military involvement in Syria.

The Labour party has said it will wait for the results from a UN inspection team in Damascus before deciding whether to support strikes.

My own observations whilst remaining totally opposed are contemptuous to the governments saber rattling with a single cutting edge and well before the UN team of inspectors has even finished to collect it’s evidence, collate, and combine (texts, information, or sets of figures) in proper order, it seems very irrational, not logical or reasonable. One other scenario is what if the rebels carried out this atrocious act then what?”         

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Child Labour

In the industrial revolution British capitalism made its fortune on the exploitation of child labour, but the advent of the trade union movement, after a long hard struggle, saw that exploitation ended. Ever ready to make profits the British capitalist class have shifted their source of child exploitation to Asia. The British sugar giant Tate & Lyle has imported large volumes of sugar from Cambodia through a supplier that is accused of using child labour. 'Tate & Lyle - which is the EU's largest cane producer and whose ingredients are used in a wide range of foods around the world - has used the Thai KSL group since 2011 for its supplies from Cambodia. However KSL is alleged to have
been complicit along with the Cambodian government, in the eviction of people from the land, arson and theft. ..... Children as young as nine years of age work on Cambodian plantations run by KSL.' (Guardian, 9 July)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Empty Rhetoric and it's a Mad World

Politicians always emphasise the importance of new legislation and of course their own importance. 'The Child Poverty Act of 2010 holds the government accountable for reducing child poverty. And yet, new figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that not only are they failing to do so, the numbers of children living in poverty will actually rise, from 2.4 million to 3.4 million by 2020 – the date that was set for the elimination of child poverty in the UK' (Guardian, 8 May). So after all that pompous talk and so-called erudition what is the result? More kids are living in poverty than before the brilliant legislation.

Many opponents of socialism think we are a little mad. A world based on production for use? No profits? No Money? Crazy! But what of present day society? 'A racing pigeon named Bolt officially became the most expensive pigeon in the world when a Chinese businessman bought him at auction for $400,000' (Business Insider). We live in a society wherein millions of people try to exist on less than $2 a day and yet a member of the capitalist class can spend $400,000 on a pigeon. Who are the mad people?

There are many reasons to abolish capitalism. War, poverty, racialism and nationalism, to mention but a few, but here’s another powerful reason. 'Malnutrition is responsible for 45 per cent of the global deaths of children under the age of five, research published in the Lancet medical journal suggests. Poor nutrition leads to the death of about 3.1 million under-fives, annually, it says' (BBC News, 6 June). Capitalism is a baby killer – we must get rid of it.

The illusion nurtured by supporters of capitalism that workers are constantly improving their financial position is shattered by another study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Wages have fallen more in real terms in the current economic downturn than ever before, according to their recent report. 'On top of rising cost of living, one third of workers who stayed in the same job saw a wage cut or freeze between 2010 and 2011, said the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). ....... In 2009, the average public sector worker earned about £16.60 per hour, which dropped to about £15.80 in 2011, the IFS said. Meanwhile, hourly pay for private sector workers in 2009 was just over £15.10 and dropped to £13.60 in 2011' (BBC News, 12 June). Even the capitalist class institutions like the IFS know that the worker’s position is getting worse off.

Is there anything more despicable than stealing a baby’s milk?

Supplementing with powdered milk formula unnecessarily can reduce mothers’ breast-milk flow.

Is there anything more despicable than stealing a baby’s milk? Danone appears to have no such qualms, according to The Independent. The company identified the baby-milk market in Turkey – with a population of 73 million, a relatively high birth rate and salaries on the rise – as one with major potential. But traditionally Turkey had high rates of breastfeeding – and no tradition of using formula milk. So it set about creating one.

In 2009 Numil, Danone’s baby nutrition arm in Turkey, enlisted 577 paediatricians to measure the breast-milk production of mothers of children aged six months.  The company then attempted to calculate a figure for the amount of breast milk a mother should be providing their child. Numil took a WHO bulletin, which referred to an independent research paper on the energy children need to get from complementary food after six months of age. The paper was not designed to prove how much breast milk a child needs, and the resulting figure is not recognised as a recommendation for a breastfeeding child by international authorities.

Danone then launched a marketing campaign to promote the 500ml figure – which it inaccurately claimed was a WHO recommendation – with the slogan, “Half a litre every day”. The message was promoted on TV, online and in supermarkets. One television ad stated: “Your baby needs at least 500ml milk per day. If your breast milk is not enough, give Aptamil formula to support your baby’s immune system.”

At the same time, Danone publicised an online test it had developed so mothers could check if they were providing 500ml. The test asks mothers questions about the frequency and duration of breastfeeding. Thousands of women have filled it in – and according to Danone, most have so far been given the result that they are not providing 500ml. The advice to those who are deemed to be providing less than 500ml is to use formula.

Dr Colin Michie, chairman of the British Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s nutrition committee explained  “Mothers who follow Danone’s advice could end up moving their babies on to formula milk unnecessarily.”

Dr Helen Crawley, director of First Steps Nutrition Trust, said. “The relatively high exclusive breastfeeding rates in Turkey may be undermined by any campaign which suggests a volume that may sound unachievable.”

Dr Gonca Yilmaz, director of one of the biggest paediatric units in Turkey, also condemned the campaign. “The health benefits of breast milk are enormous and mothers must not be pressured into buying formula based on inaccurate advice.”

Capitalism will do anything for profit, even as far as stooping so low as to pluck a baby from its mother's’ breast.

Welfare cuts

Welfare cuts that are meant to get the jobless back to work are driving down the living standards of hundreds of thousands of people who are in no position to find a job.

Chancellor, George Osborne, told MPs in June “It is about reducing dependency and changing people’s lives for the better … Where is the fairness in condemning people to a life on benefits because the system will not help them to get back into work?”

Researchers examined the potential impact of the reforms in areas covered by 325 local councils, and found that, in 314 of them, most of the savings would come from reducing benefits paid to households where somebody works. Social security reforms will save taxpayers £11.8bn in 2015-16, but it is reckoned that 59 per cent of that will come out of 530,000 households where there is someone working, compared with 41 per cent coming from 1.18 million households where no one works. Almost half of the total savings, £5.3bn, will come from a tightening up of tax credits.

Sharon Taylor, chairman of the  Local Government Association’s finance panel, warned “In many areas welfare reform is not encouraging people into work because the jobs simply don’t exist, while the opportunities for people to downsize their homes to cope with reductions in benefits are severely limited by a lack of affordable accommodation. Unless more is done to create new jobs and homes, households will be pushed into financial hardship and we will see a huge rise in the number of people going to their councils asking for help to make ends meet.”

TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, however, said: “The Government has tried to sell its welfare reforms on the back of mistruths and nasty stereotypes. However, this research exposes what a devastating impact its policies are having on communities throughout the country. Ministers are not cracking down on cheats as they claim, but destroying the safety net that our welfare state is meant to provide for those who fall on hard times through no fault of their own.’

The study calculates that most families on benefits will receive £1,615 a year less than they would have done under the old system – except in London, where high housing costs will reduce the incomes of households on benefit by £1,965 a year.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Syria there’s a Propaganda War On

With Western powers considering military strikes, despite vocal opposition from Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies, any evidence to support rebel claims that government forces fired gas-laden rockets five days ago that killed hundreds of civilians will be a key element in arguments for peace or war. There is now an increasing clamor to unleash a massive offensive against President Bashar and his supporters, the Western Press are busy preparing public opinion in support of any such military intervention, they think nothing of the money that will be wasted in these times of austerity as the arms manufactures rub their hands in glee at this wonderful opportunity and  windfall to profit more, even from the daily misery and suffering endured by the Syrian people.

The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn takes a more sober look at the fast unfolding Syrian crisis, writing for Common Dreams he suggests the following: 

Evidence of Chemical Attack Seems Compelling, but Remember There’s a Propaganda War On

Pictures showing that the Syrian army used chemical weapons against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta just east of Damascus are graphic and moving. But they are likely to be viewed skeptically because the claims so much resemble those made about Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) before the US and British invasion of Iraq in 2003. Nevertheless, the present claim differs from previous ones in the number of dead, variously put at between 213 and 1,360 and the quantity of YouTube evidence of the dead and dying supported by interviews with local activists.

Like the Iraqi opposition to Saddam, who provided most of the evidence of WMDs, the Syrian opposition has every incentive to show the Syrian government deploying chemical weapons in order to trigger foreign intervention. Although the US has gone cold on armed involvement in Syria, President Obama did say a year ago that President Bashar al-Assad’s use of such weapons was “a red line”. The implication is that the US would respond militarily, though just how has never been spelt out.

But the obvious fact that for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons would be much against their own interests does not prove it did not happen. Governments and armies do stupid things. But it is difficult to imagine any compelling reason why they should do so since they have plenty of other means of killing people in Eastern Ghouta, such as heavy artillery or small arms, which they regularly use. Every day, Damascus resounds to the sound of outgoing artillery fire aimed at rebel strongholds.

The problem is that the evidence so far for the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army is second-hand and comes from a biased source. This is a good reason to have a 20-strong team of UN experts in Damascus to investigate in three cases if either the government or the opposition has been using poison gas. Could they go to Eastern Ghouta and investigate the opposition claim immediately? This is not very likely given the limited nature of their mandate and the necessity to cross between government and rebel-held territory.

In June, the US said it has conclusive evidence for the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government and would therefore give aid to the rebels. The US action was most likely precipitated by the government’s loss of the town of al-Qusayr and a fear that the Damascus government might be starting to dominate the battlefield. Chemical-weapons experts expected the US to go out of its way to prove its conclusions were correct by being open about the origin of tested materials and the means by which they reached laboratories in the US. They also wanted details of the laboratory testing but little of this was produced.

International media organisations do their best to verify YouTube footage, but they do not have reporters who are eyewitnesses to chemical-weapons attacks. Scepticism about film produced by opposition activists has increased in the past two years but frequently it is the only evidence available. The difficulty is, can it be concocted or edited to prove a point? The propaganda war fought through YouTube is an important front in the Syrian civil war. How sure is one that a film of a Syrian soldier being decapitated by al-Qa’ida-linked fighters has not been staged by Syrian security? Opposition groups use film against each other. Film purporting to show that 400 Kurds had been massacred by the rebels appears to have been manufactured by a Kurdish party using film of similar atrocities in Syria and Iraq.

Outraged denunciations and demands for an investigation by the US and Britain are unlikely to cut much ice because of memories of similar statements about WMDs in Iraq. At this stage of the war in Syria it is also unlikely that the stalemate will be broken by foreign intervention.

Work in boxes, live in boxes - time to think outside the box!

Studies have suggested England has some of the smallest housing in Europe, and that shrinking space is limiting people's routine activities at home, including socialising, home study or work and storing personal belongings.

In 1920, the average semi-detached new-build had four bedrooms and measured 1,647 sq ft. Today's equivalent has three bedrooms and is 925 sq ft. Typical new terrace houses have shrunk from 1,020 sq ft and three bedrooms, to 645 sq ft and two bedrooms.

Work in boxes, live in boxes - time to think outside the box!

The erosion of everything socialism requires and capitalism despises

Would it make any sense if I said that we need Socialism so that people can change and change for the better, but then it is equally true to say that we need people to change before we can get to Socialism.

People still revere leaders who will inevitably let them down time after time. However people are beginning to now realise that living in a world where some have everything and others very little and in consequence suffer both alienation and disempowerment is not good in any way for any of us. We see and experience this all around us all the time, we hear about it in the media and on the news. Drugs, alcoholism, families where children are not cherished - parents being often too preoccupied nursing the wounds inflicted by the system.

There is an erosion of everything socialism requires and capitalism despises - cooperation, self-respect, love even.

I must admit that I hesitate to use the word and term “love” when talking about human relationships, the suspicious, sidelong glances I sometimes get makes me wonder if it is thought  I am advocating multiple orgasms for everyone. Love to me represents the possibility of having such good feelings about ourselves and life that we can afford to have them about other people too. And yet in this miserable world where money and exploitation must come first, we are discouraged from showing too much concern for one another in case this detracts from our real purpose-to provide profit and power for the minority. Only last night on twitter I read the following:

“The things that no longer matter: philosophy, education, morals, family, honor. The only thing that matters now is money.”

How very true is that?”

It has never been enough to have shelter, ample food and leisure. There is more to the human psyche than that. Even those who subscribe to the philosophy of “Bugger you Jack and Jacqueline, I’m all right must be partially aware of the emptiness of their lives. Since we are born and then we are gone, so it seems a great pity then that we don’t make more of our earthly existence.

It is distressing to see children beaten about the head in supermarkets, chastised for daring to whine or cry. The chances are they will also reach adulthood and behave similarly towards their own offspring. We can only speculate on the frustration, misery and ignorance in the lives of people who viciously smack at little legs in pushchairs and issue dire threats at what's going to happen “when we get home”. And we can only blame this on a system where “success” (often unwarranted) is accredited only to those who make money or, as is often the case, get others to make money for them. There is so much talent, so much flair in all people. It is all there and yet capitalism spurns it unless it can be seen to be profitable. So all we can do is look at the world and be glad that a percentage of the people see what we see. And it could even be that they are not yet Socialists - Not yet!”    

Sunday, 25 August 2013


Some years ago I stood at the top of a very steep hill about to make my descent carrying a very flimsy paper bag filled to the brim with fruit and vegetables I had just purchased, when the carrier bag split under the weight of the goods and within seconds apples, oranges, tomatoes, sprouts, onions, potatoes and last but not least a cauliflower went cascading down the hill at full pelt. There were several other people on the hill at the same time, either coming up or going down, and they each of them sprang into action whilst I stood transfixed. They gathered up armfuls of anything they could save to give back to me; one man even crossing a busy road at the foot of the hill, risking life and limb in the process of retrieving an orange which had rolled into the gutter.

A mundane little story I know, but an incident in my life that has stayed with me.

People by their very nature are helpful, sociable beings. We here every day of acts of valor performed by people who, when asked why they risked their lives to save others, will respond that they didn’t know why, that they just did it and had they actually thought about it for any length of time they probably wouldn’t have dived into a lake to rescue a drowning child, climbed up the side of a high building to save someone hell-bent on suicide, or dragged somebody from a burning house. These are of course extreme examples and not everybody would be capable of such deeds. But what it does say is given the right circumstances we humans can act altruistically. We can cooperate and we can celebrate the need we have for one another.

Personally I have always been more concerned with people than I ever have with Marxist theory or economics. I chose Marx because the insanity of capitalist society drove me to it. The evidence for the alienation felt by people in the present world is now so glaring that it will never cease to astonish me that more people are not embracing Socialism. However the real worrying question has always been for me what comes first, the chicken or the egg?   

UK unemployment fell by 4,000 in the three months to June leaving 2.51 million out of work, that's not right I'm still without work 3,999

The fortnightly trip to the Canning Town Jobcentre (or any Jobcentre for that matter)  has become an ordeal for most claimants, not knowing what to expect on arrival; most times you are in and out after signing the declaration, but still one must approach the trip these days with apprehension and the fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen, you do feel sick with anxiety and worry, especially if you have been on the receiving end of a sanction and I’ve had  two last year alone, so you could not even imagine how I felt when four weeks ago I was told that my JSA was inactive because I had failed to turn-up for an interview. It wouldn't be so bad had I been informed by post or verbally that my presence was required, but I had received nothing from the local office.

Being the person that I am in the first instance, I questioned the adviser why I had no knowledge of the interview, however this was not bearing any fruit, so I asked what her advice would be, she told me to make a Rapid Reclaim which I did that day online and as this is now the criteria for all new claims, only problem with that is my claim ended up in the pile of new claims income based’ so when I attended the office for a job focused interview my Rapid Reclaim could not proceed and I had to make another new claim, still keeping my cool I did this.

During the course of that weekend I resolved that the whole matter should be taken up with the DWP first at local level and then if need be at a higher level. Since then I have sent in a number of emails and to save time let me reproduce some of the text so you get an idea and handle on what is going on the first was sent on the 10th August.

“I am writing to you in regard to my missed managed claim for JSA which was closed by your office on Freemasons Road, Canning Town.

This is a complaint in regard to the closing down of my JSA and the subsequent sending of a P45 to my home address.

On the 20th July I attended your office to sign on, called over to WP desk I was informed by the adviser that my claim was inactive, she the adviser told me that a letter was sent out to attend the office for some sort of meeting and that because I had not attended and my JSA claim had been closed; I said that I had not received any letter, she advised me to open a rapid-reclaim  which I did on-line.

Since then I have spoken to DWP call center worker re-my new claim and informed that no letter was ever sent out in the first place and further to that there is no record evidence on the computer system that I was informed verbally, and of course I had not ever been informed ever, or I would have attended.   

Trying to keep this short and to the point - things have gone from bad to worse a work-focused meeting could not take place because the automated system that DWP use had wrongly recognized not as a  rapid-reclaim but as income-based JSA claim, subsequently I had to make a new claim, and all being well have a work-focused meeting on Tuesday morning coming. The DWP worker who helped me fill in the new form on the phone has taken a brief statement that is included, this email is both a complaint and a supporting account on my side to be used by the decision maker as I would like my JSA to be backdated, as fault lies with the DWP not on my part and that my claim has been very clumsily mismanaged in the Canning Town Office, causing me stress, anxiety as well as not being able to buy food pay bills and so on, I have no gas and  the council have cancelled my housing benefit and I have now received a bill for £499.90 council tax.

In addition I will CC this letter to my local member of parliament in the event that I decide to take the matter much further like to the ombudsman and to the courts.

So in conclusion would you be so kind as to attach this email to my new rapid reclaim before my work-focused meeting that takes place on Tuesday, thank you.”   

The Reply

Hi Mr Lawrie

I am contacting you further to your enquiry about the appointment letter that was issued to you.
The letter was issued 11.7.13 via 2nd class post.

We have a business account with the Royal Mail so invoices are paid centrally.
The letter was for an appointment at Canning Town Jobcentre on 22.7.13.

Royal Mail collect our mail from our office every evening at around 4pm for distribution the next day.

The address we would have sent it to is your home address

We would not have any proof of posting from Royal Mail. 

I cannot confirm that your claim will be backdated.  You would need to apply for your claim to be backdated on a separate claim form called a JSA5 which you can collect from our office when you come in for your new claims interview. The decision regarding backdating would be made by the benefit centre.

My Reply
“thank you for your reply and all your help thus far.

However yet again I'm going to say, that your reply on behalf of the DWP and Canning Town Jobcentre falls short of any except-able conclusion, and now I am more determined than ever; that this whole matter will have to be taken on to its fullest limits,  terminal point and boundary, which may be the courts if the DWP fails to provide any evidence that a letter was sent out in the first place, and particularly because this has plunged me into debt and hardship.

I'm in the process of filling in the form for missing mail with Royal Mail, they will in due course be in contact with Canning Town as part of their inquirers into this matter.

In the meantime let me say this to you, it looks as if Canning Town office has no evidence to support either way whether or not a letter was sent out in the first place, even the small amount of 42 you say has no supporting evidence that a letter addressed to me was amongst them. - therefore it can be realistically put that no letter was sent.  .

A note on a computer does not indicate that that letter was dispatched.

So can I ask you some questions.

1) do you have a copy of that letter

2) When was That letter generated (date time and supporting evidence)

3) May I have a copy ASP”

Well the emails (exchange) went on a bit longer and I will not bore you with all the details, only to say that I think that the Canning Town Office has been caught on the back foot they cannot produce any evidence that supports their (forceful) assertion that a letter was sent out, they have no copy and cannot say when that letter was generated and to top all that off yesterday I received a new letter informing me that they have looked at my backdated claim and decided that I have satisfied the Labour Market conditions for JSA from 20 july to 8 August.

The letter also went on to say:

“We have also decided that you have not shown good cause for the delay in making your claim for 20 July to 8 August.”

But they are pleased to tell me that I will be given National Insurance Contributions for the said period - you could not make this up - or could you?

Of course I will be lodging an Appeal and ASP, will keep you all informed. Just one thing that I have left out and thats regarding Royal Mail, who are investigating the lost or missing post, that’s if it was ever it was sent out?"      


Saturday, 24 August 2013

The fraudulent means of controlling others.

Keeping your head -when all around seems to be losing theirs is no easy matter, but sometimes in life we have to just keep cool, no matter how difficult the going gets. I can honestly say, that I’ve seen many lose their heads and even sadly one lose the fight to stay alive this week - tragic and extreme but nonetheless true. This week has been fully charged with such grim realities, and as I compose this post I ponder the death of an acquaintance who is now one of this week's statistics, a young man taken away not even 30 by a drug and drink binge that blighted his and so many live, someone's, son, brother and may have even been someones father for all I know.

He was just a druggy, someone who may have been at his worst when beating up a girlfriend, hurling abuse at others and any remnants of authority that he still very much distrusted; possibly in early life he may have felt let down, abandoned and strangely as it may seem the prison, the jail was always there - and as always for him.

In the seven years that I’ve lived in Canning Town I have come to be familiar with what many call an underclass, not a description that I like as it implies that fault lies with the label and that the system is somehow exonerated and absolved of all blame. Sometimes I think that civilisation is nothing but a trick, a deceptive and very much a fraudulent means of controlling others.

I only hope that this young man with all his faults is able to find peace in his long sleep.

As they say stay tuned comrades

I have been without money, funds (dole money) now, for about a month and it’s been quite testing but not at all a Cut-And-Dry time really surviving’ on what I can collect and sell to the local scrap-yard here in Canning Town. I suppose you could say that in some respects it’s reminiscent of sights that were seen in some period  TV drama (people collecting coal) or another, such as I remember Sam (1970s) set in the coalfields of Yorkshire, and actually experienced by working class communities of the past and not so distanced either.  However this is not some South Yorkshire mining village but an inner-city London Borough. And just as I’m thinking that things can’t get any worse I injure my right leg and spend two days hanging around in my local A&E having my leg checked out for a suspected blood clot which proves to be thankfully nonexistent.

I’ve not attended an A&E or even spent any time as a patient in Hospital for years, which is a good thing (better to count my many blessings I suppose) thank you God, and you do exist!”

Any A&E late at night is indeed an interesting place to be, in a manner of speaking that is; and in my case as a people watcher or observer I found my experience illuminating to say the very least; with time on your hands you cannot but wonder at the marvel and in total Admiration at the dedication, the quality of being dedicated to one's job or profession as the modern NHS worker is and now as observed at close quarters. We are indeed lucky to have some really lovely human beings that perform difficult (daily) useful tasks, such as caring for the sick, injured, old and dying.

They are the Doctors, Nurses, Ambulance Service, Porters, Cleaners and many others behind the scenery of our NHS, or should I say what’s left of it - the real cool heroes of today.

Just observing these workers as I did made me think that with this sort of demonstration of human compassion mixed with the professionalism of free choice, free thinking, it could easily  be a blueprint for a different kind of society, with of course a few changes, mostly to do with proftering.

Anyhow, my thoughts and gratitude go out to every NHS worker, you all do a fantastic job - thank you!”

As for my claim for unemployment benefit,(JSA), I have become convinced; that I’m on a hit list of claimants that have been singled-out by the DWP Canning Town Branch, and in particular, those deemed long-term, targeted and then thrown-off or sanctioned. In my case, thrown-off without any notice; claim closed down P45 dispatched. If the government is complicit in spying on it citizens as the Lawrences and the people who supported their fight for justice have now experienced, then what says that they don’t operate a black book at the DWP. Why not?”

Four police officers were deployed and sent secretly into an enemy's camp, the enemy being the Lawrences, to spy on the family and friends of the black teenager murdered by white hating and extreme right racists is - complicit with their crimes. One of the spies now tells us, to hunt for "disinformation" and "dirt". Their purpose? "We were trying to stop the campaign in its tracks."

Instead of defending citizens and the public realm, it has been used (spying) to protect the police from scrutiny and stifle attempts to engage in politics.

There are so many things wrong with existing society and coming to light today, almost anything is possible. Would you have thought ten years ago that a banking crisis on such a global scale, came so close to the utter imploding of capitalism; would you believe that the poor years on are still being made to pay for that crisis whilst ineffective journalism runs stories of multinationals that don’t play or intend playing by the rules.

I think that many are only just beginning to see for themselves, that you can play by the rules all your life, get a job, hold onto it, and have the compunction to pay your dues, support the system, and yet - still get screwed - the slot machine eventually and in the end, takes the penny.

Take that now National Treasure of Ricky Tomlinson the Bafta-winning actor who still insists that a glittering career (good for him) in show business was never his dream role. Indeed he took to the stage and to our screens when he become blacklisted along with thousands of others, they were activist trade union members involved in the building and construction industry of the 1970s.

Ricky and pal Des Warren became known as the Shrewsbury Two after they were imprisoned for conspiracy to intimidate in 1972.

The actor, 73, who back then worked as a plasterer, served 16 months in prison over picketing tactics during the national building workers’ strike.

Now Ricky is campaigning to get the convictions overturned and says it is a disgrace that he is still classed as a “threat to national security” by the Government.

As he handed a National Lottery award to Gartnavel Chapel Cancer Support Centre in Glasgow this week, he said: “I got into the entertainment game because I was a victim of blacklisting.
“In the end, I got lucky but thousands of workers from the construction industry had their lives – and the lives of their families – destroyed as a result of this murky practice.

“I’m still blacklisted and branded as a threat to national security – it’s a complete joke.”

Many things have changed in the building and construction industry since Ricky was blacklisted all those years ago but one thing stays, the practice is more widespread than ever and not just confined to this industry alone, however notwithstanding all this the new tool in the bosses black box of tricks has got to be the imposition of zero hours.  

And at that juncture in this post I’ll take a break but I will continue my current of thoughts over the weekend rounding up on what I’m doing to challenge the DWP - As they say stay tuned comrades.

The Socialist Way

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