The march stopped briefly at David Cameron’s backdoor, the often forgotten other end of Downing Street next to St James Park, before making its way to Buckingham Palace where police were forced to hurriedly make a line in front of the gates to prevent the Palace being stormed. Sort of. Then it was onto the Pall Mall squat which had been occupied in protest at London’s housing crisis and was conveniently evicted on the morning of the march. A line of bailiffs were guarding the building and as the crowd approached one of them unexpectedly lashed out at a protester punching him in the face before being restrained by his colleagues and bundled inside. This took place in full view of several police officers who chose to do precisely fuck all about an unprovoked and vicious assault. Is it any wonder people call them the filth?
“There was a time when policies to send sick or disabled claimants on workfare, or sanction the benefits of lone parents, would have been met with horror by the electorate. There have always been grumblings about the social security system, as with any other institution, but unemployment was once seen as a personal tragedy caused by wider economic failings, not a personal failing caused by laziness or the wrong attitude.”
Originally published May 2013, this is still a very relevent.
“By portraying housing benefit as a payment for “the shirkers”, not “the strivers”, Cameron and Osborne aim to convince the public that their draconian, unprecedented welfare “reforms” are justified. 60 percent of people visiting food banks last year were in work. But unemployment benefits are just 13 percent of the national average earnings. What Cameron’s Government have done is created extreme hardship for many of those in work, and further severe hardship for those who are unemployed.”
Tax avoidance is robbery, regardless of what any silver-tongued outrider of the corporate world tells you. Companies depend on the labour of their wealth-creating workers: a workforce expensively trained up by a state education system, kept healthy by state healthcare, and whose low pay is subsidised by the state.
The private sector depends on a bailed-out financial system, state-funded infrastructure, state support for research and development, and a law and order system to protect them and their property.
Leading economist Gavyn Davies has argued that low wage growth accounts for more than two thirds of corporate profits since the 1980s. As a substantial proportion of these profits have been used to pay dividends to shareholders, executives who are directly paid in restricted shares have directly increased their pay at the expense of their workers.
Michael Gove has written: “For some of us Victorian costume dramas are not merely agreeable ways to while away Sunday evening but enactments of our inner fantasies … I don’t think there has been a better time in our history” in “Alas, I was born far too late for my inner era”.
A better time for what, precisely? Child labour, desperation? Prostitution? Low life expectancy, disease, illiteracy, workhouses? Or was it the deferential protestant work ethic reserved only for the poor, the pre-destiny of the aristocracy, and “the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate”?
A clue is in the name: The word “Tory” derives from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe, which means outlaw, robber or brigand, from the Irish word tóir, meaning “pursuit”, since outlaws were “pursued men”. It was originally used to refer to an Irish outlaw and later applied to Confederates or Royalists in arms. The term was thus originally a term of abuse. The Tories live by plunder. They steal your taxes, your public services, your state provision and your labour, in order to raise more money for the rich.
Last week I revealed how Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, had awarded a new contract to Health Management Ltd, subsidiary of US multinational company, Maximus, to take over from doctors to decide when you should return to work if you claim more than four weeks sick pay.
The programme is to be rolled out from November to next May aims to save up to £165 million a year by getting people back to work faster as part of Lord Freud’s welfare reforms. Effectively it will mean you will get a telephone consultation from a call centre and be emailed when you should return to work. If don’t co-operate you will lose your benefit.
Researchers spent eight months failing to unearth any examples of joblessness as a lifestyle choice, or multiple generations of a family in which nobody had worked. And – crucially: “They did not find any prevailing aversion or reluctance to work.”