Jeremy Corbyn

Emergency on Planet Earth #39

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

 What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

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With thanks to ROFA and John Pring for the following news articles. Anyone wondering about the progress of the #SaveWILG petition should scroll down as I have included a brief update, including footage of the petition being discussed by Welsh politicians.

I have also included a news report from Skwakbox below as I tried to highlight the relevant news of the day whilst struggling to find the time to formulate writing of my own. It is becoming evermore apparent that I am in dire need of my reassessment by ICS. This is part of the deal we struck with the Welsh Government to ensure that those unhappy with their Local Authority assessments could access an independent assessment.

The delays we have been facing due to the Coronavirus Crisis are unfortunate and can not be helped, but having said that I have written countless times to ICS and have to wait long periods without a reply.

I hope to have my reassessment by the end of the month, but I need time to organise such a meeting and I will be writing to ICS yet again on Monday to try to push things forward. The physical and mental strains of not receiving the support I need is exhausting, but in the meantime I you can enjoy the article below that I have managed to cobble together.

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Unite Community are organising a National Day of Action on 15th July to highlight the injustices of Universal Credit.

Unite Community campaigns for a fairer social security system for all, which works to end poverty, and which allows claimants to live with dignity.

The three immediate demands are:

  • End the five-week wait for payment
  • Make the temporary £20 per week extra permanent and give to ALL existing benefit claimants
  • Stop Benefit Sanctions

For more details click here.

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Government Reintroduces Benefit Sanctions During Pandemic

Disabled campaigners have described the government’s decision to reintroduce benefit sanctions – in the middle of a pandemic – as “barbaric” and “life threatening”.
The decision meant an end to the three-month suspension of benefit sanctions and conditionality* in England, Scotland and Wales, which had been introduced in March as part of the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Jobcentres will start re-opening this week in England, but not in Scotland and Wales, where claimants will only receive services online and by phone.

This means that some claimants in England will now begin to have face-to-face discussions with work coaches in jobcentres.

For the full story from the Disability News Service click here. 

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The petition that I originally submitted in October 2017 – to reconsider the closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant and support disabled people to live independently – was considered again by the Senedd Petitions Committee on Tuesday. The relevant section can be seen from the 48 minute mark via this link.

I am delighted that the Committee have agreed to keep the petition open until everything is finalised. There are still issues that need to be resolved and my determination to see disabled people receiving the support they deserve has only been strengthened by the passing of former WILG recipient and friend Tracy Pritchard…

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A few years ago, I was very proud to be a member of the Corbyn-led Labour Party and disappointed with the direction Carwyn Jones was taking Welsh Labour. It is funny how things can change as now the exact opposite is true – Mark Drakeford has my full support as First Minister while Keir Starmer seems to be testing my loyalty to the Labour brand.

Video: Unite’s Beckett slams Tories for dumping austerity fall-out of pandemic on working class – and takes Labour to task for weak response

Coronavirus: Welsh pubs and cafes to reopen indoors on 3 August

Emergency on Planet Earth #7

I WILL WRITE A NUMBER OF EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH BLOGS THROUGHOUT THE TORY SPONSORED CORONAVIRUS CRISIS.

What follows is a random collection of thoughts from a human being trapped in 21st Century British society.

Sunday 5th April

I don’t know what is more scary – the continuing spread of Coronavirus or the loss of an effective left-wing opposition in British politics?

I echo the views of Clwyd South CLP:

We can welcome in our new party leader Keir Starmer while also sharing this. From the Conservative & Daily Mail writer Peter Oborne. As well as demonstrably being correct here, massive respect to him for this.

From The Skwawkbox:

SACKING GARDINER, STARMER BETRAYS LACK OF INTEREST IN EVEN APPEARANCE OF UNITY OR APPEAL TO LEAVE TOWNS

THANK YOU JEREMY CORBYN

The following article has been written by my good friend Adam Samuels, for the excellent Dorset Eye website. 

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As Jeremy Corbyn steps down as leader of The Labour Party, there is so much to say. In the same way that Jeremy is being proven spectacularly correct now about the policies he stood on, and the humanity, compassion & intelligence he has always shown, history (as it already is again now) will prove him to be correct. When sometimes things were unpopular at the time, this never stopped Jeremy throwing everything he had at defending what is correct and just. His track record truly is second to none. Remember in 2015 when he was the only Labour leader candidate to insist on anti-austerity policies? Look now; even Tory party members are anti-austerity! Back then we were told such thinking was “impossible, loony left, Marxist, utopian, unaffordable, naive, far left, fantasy student politics” etc?! By not just the media and right wing, but the Labour Party Establishment? THAT is how much he has changed the political landscape. I said in 2015, even if Jeremy never won power, it was essential he won the leadership, in order to create the political space and platform for common-sense policies. To act as an anchor to the runaway train that was/is disaster capitalism/Neo Liberal thinking.

I cannot think of a single politician with a comparable track record of history proving them to be correct. Things that seem obvious to all now, but, in most cases, were things he was condemned for by the people who were consistently, spectacularly wrong about those things. Jeremy was correct about Iraq x 2-indeed, he helped organise the 2 million people marching against his OWN party re Iraq. His infamous speech that day predicted exactly what would happen. He was correct re Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, not arming Saddam Hussein in the 1980s when we did. Apartheid, where he was arrested for being anti-racist! Israel/Palestine, Orgreave, Hillsborough, The Shrewsbury 24, the blacklisted scandal(s), Windrush (one of only 6 of our MPs to vote against it (there is a great clip on youtube of Jeremy predicting exactly what would happen, with John McDonnell & Dianne Abbot next to him), the Northern Ireland peace process, LGBTQ+ rights, disabled rights, anti-snooping rights, the Guildford 4, the Birmingham 6, the financial crash of 2008 down to the specifics of the American sub prime mortgage issues, women’s rights, homelessness, care for armed forces veterans, the climate emergency, Grenfell, worker’s rights, animal rights. The list goes on, and on, and on…

He took out a loan of £30,000 against his own name to fund the building of a desperately-needed community hub for various community groups who were refused funding; it wasn’t even in his constituency! He gives any spare money he has to his local credit union, gave his pay rises to charity, consistently pays TOO much tax every year, pays for some members of his team out of his own pocket, spends many of his days off volunteering for various causes, lives in a very modest house by London standards, uses public transport all the time where possible (when he’s not on his bicycle). He’s won at least 3 international peace prizes, including the Gandhi peace prize. He could have been the first anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, peace-seeking (not a pacifist-force ONLY as a last resort), internationalist leader the West had ever had. Which is what so many comrades around the world literally prayed for. Just ask the Latin Americans…as I say, a track record beyond any other.

Unfortunately, he was/is also the most lied about politician of all time. Never has one person endured as much hate, abuse, bullying etc as Jeremy. He had planned assassination attempts against him (see Darren Osborne court records), was physically assaulted on at least 2 occasions, had our government literally spending millions of OUR money via a secret set-up to push out lies and anti-Corbyn propaganda. Why? Because if you have lost the political argument, you target the individual to discredit in any way you can. He faced this from the media, opposition parties and, disgracefully-even to this day-from inside his own party. He never once reverted to their disgusting behaviour. Never once engaged in personal attacks.

So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU JEREMY. You truly are the best human being I have ever met. You genuinely changed my life. You have personally been my biggest inspiration. I am SO PROUD to have had you as party leader. You will never get the credit you deserve. It is a monumentally devastating reflection of this world that you were prevented from leading the world in international solidarity. I would say now you and your wonderful wife Laura can have a well-earned rest. Except I know you’ll (both) be there, side by side with all of us. Because YOU ARE US. It is in your blood, heart and mind. You are endemically the best humanity has to offer. You are the best human being I have ever met. What an honour it has been to ‘serve’ ‘under’ you. Thank you for changing things positively beyond all measurable indicators. To show the true measure of the man, here is Jeremy in his own words, in his parting letter to Labour Party members:

“Dear Labour Party member,

I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well. I would especially like to thank the thousands of you working in key jobs and professions and those organising in mutual aid groups to help your local community.

As I stand down as Leader, I also want to thank you for all the support you have given the party, and me personally, over the last four and a half years. It has been the honour of my life to lead this party. Our members are my inspiration, and I am so proud that we have become a party of nearly 600,000 strong. I have made it a priority to meet members in every part of our country, and I learned so much from you.

So many of the issues we have been campaigning on over the past few years have been thrown into even sharper relief by the Coronavirus crisis. It has highlighted the underfunding in our NHS and social care as a result of damaging and counter-productive austerity, the lack of employment rights at work, the scandalously low level of welfare benefits, as well as housing insecurity and homelessness.

It has also reminded everyone how the people who keep our society running are not the hedge fund billionaires, but the cleaners, nurses, care workers and supermarket staff – so often women and migrant workers on low pay. The strength of our party is that it is rooted in our workplaces and communities in all their diversity.

Over the past five years we have changed the agenda on austerity and how the economy is run. In 2015, opposing austerity was seen as radical; today it is the political mainstream. A majority of the public supports Labour on issues such as public ownership and higher taxes on the richest. We now look forward as a party of economic inclusion, climate justice, peace and human rights.

Of course, we could have achieved so much in government, and I am sorry that under my leadership we did not get there. In 2017 we came close, winning the biggest increase in the popular vote since 1945. Sadly, the 2019 election was a Brexit election and our attempt to bridge the gap between Leave and Remain voters was unsuccessful.

I firmly believe that together we have the ideas, policies, energy and organisation to win a Labour government next time. We can build a society based on social justice, equality, and care for our environment. But it will not come about unless we fight for it.

Our party grew out of local communities and that is where we must focus our efforts, just as we always have. I will continue to campaign on the issues and principles that have motivated me as Leader, as an MP, as a councillor and as a party member for more than 50 years. I can assure you my voice will not be stilled. I’ll be out there campaigning for socialism, peace and justice, and I feel sure we’ll be doing that together.

Best wishes,
Jeremy Corbyn”

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

MUCHO GRACIAS HERMANO. VIVA JEREMY! EL PUEBLO UNIDO JAMES SERA VENCIDO! HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE!

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone”

 

Today was Jeremy Corbyn’s last Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). Watching it I was humbled, inspired, proud and my respect for this truly, truly remarkable human being could not greater. I genuinely have never met a better human being. He embodies absolutely everything good about the human species, no matter what is thrown at him. In terms of the humanity & selflessness towards others, he is the Cuba of human beings. Unfortunately, being proven to be correct, and on the correct side of history AGAIN as he is now in our greatest time of need, was not enough to win power as Prime Minister. This, again at our greatest time of need, is a genuinely devastating loss to the UK and our comrades all over the world. That he chose his last PMQs to fight for the voiceless, the vulnerable and ALL of us, with not a thought for himself or grandstanding, again showed the monumental, and for many, fatal mistake the UK voting electorate made.

For what it is worth, at this current time, I genuinely think it is incredibly self-indulgent of The Labour Party to continue with this leadership contest. By all means declare the winner, but it seems nothing short of daft to not pass the baton on AFTER all this crisis has settled down. We should not be focusing on internal matters at this time. The team in place know each other well and are best suited to dealing with things now. Not because whoever takes over will be incompetent, not at all, but because why change things, a team that has worked together for several years now, at such a time of national emergency?! If I was an ‘outsider’ I would be calling out The Labour Party for such self indulgence. But we are where we are.

So I will conclude by saying THANK YOU Jeremy Corbyn for changing society, politics and my life for the better. THANK YOU for setting such an example of how we as society should conduct ourselves. Thank you for having the resolve to take planned assassination attempts (see Darren Osborne court records), literal punches to the head, and literally the most lies, hate and worst of human behaviour that has ever been thrown at any political party leader in the UK (and beyond). You remain standing, they never crushed you, your resolve held out. I look forward to still fighting the good fight side by side with you, Jeremy. I will be immensely proud to do so. I know you will always be there, until your last breath.

El Pueblo Unido James Sera Vencido! Hasta La Victoria Siempre!

As Joni Mitchell sang: “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone”.

Adam Samuels

 

As you sow, so shall you reap…

You can’t say the left-media didn’t try to warn you, but no, you had to listen to the right-wing mainstream media and elect a buffoon to get Brexit done. I hope you can own the chaos you have created by voting in response to simplistic soundbites, with no real meaning.

As Jim Bowen used to say, ” have a look at what you could have won”.

 

A Decade of Growth…

The annoyingly nameless decade that is rapidly drawing to a close has been a time of desperate struggle for many sick and disabled people living, or trying to, in these bleak times of austerity.

The Conservative – Lib Dem coalition was unleashed on the great British public back in May 2010. They immediately announced that they would be making severe cuts to the benefits system, and public services in order to balance the books. This political choice would target the poor and vulnerable, as they were held responsible for the global financial crash.

I don’t have the time to go through the last decade month by month, but suffice to say that these austere policies set the mood for the entire decade. I remember watching the TV news with a feeling of dread, as I knew what would follow would damage our society in ways that we hadn’t even dreamt of.

I had just escaped from an unhappy marriage, and had moved in to my new bachelor pad where I was to employ a team of personal assistants to help me to live independently. Unfortunately, I was in and out of hospital during 2010, as I suffered a nasty bout of pneumonia as well as having three operations to remove kidney stones.

This wasn’t going to be an easy decade, that much was obvious. I had a decision to make – do I give in and accept my position as a worthless member of society, or do I stand up for myself and fight back against the establishment? – I decided on the latter option…

I was forced in to politics as an activist, by my repressors and they have created a monster that will not rest until social justice is served to each and every one of us. It all began when the coalition government introduced the bedroom tax, and WCBC targeted me as someone who should be paying for having more than one bedroom. I wasn’t standing for that, and decided to make a piece of art in protest, that appeared in the Daily Mirror and had the desired impact. Combining art and activism was something I would continue to do with success throughout the decade.

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One of 20 postcards created for the Postcards from the Edges initiative. 

Fortunately, I seem to have blossomed with my back against the wall. This is particularly evident through the success of the #SaveWILG campaign, through which I have made numerous friends, enjoyed trips to Cardiff and Westminster and built political connections on a cross-party basis. We have held an art exhibition to promote the campaign and even had a awareness day in Wrexham, that saw musicians, poets and comedians show their solidarity. The postcard campaign that we ran, also saw the campaign gather support from acclaimed film director Ken Loach, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and even Jeremy Corbyn.

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Jeremy Corbyn meets Nathan Lee Davies at the Welsh Labour Conference in April 2018. 

There is still some work to be done to finalise everything with regard to independent living for former ILF recipients in Wales, but sincere thanks must go to everyone who has helped make this campaign a success.

The fact that I have also managed to publish two books and receive an Honorary Fellowship from Glyndwr University within this period, is something that I am very proud of. It seems that I can be productive with the right levels of support. It also helps not having to put up with a significant other and her three noisy children. Married life is just not something I am cut out for. Of course, I get lonely at times, but I do not think that a conventional relationship is the answer for me. The need to remain focused is more important at this moment in time.  I wrote a blog about my personal situation earlier this year. You can read it by clicking here. 

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Receiving an Honorary Fellowship from Glyndwr University.

Whilst enjoying the company of three great friends at the pub yesterday, I was comparing my situation with the one I found myself in at the dawn of the previous decade. There is no doubt that the work I have done over the past ten years has put me in a stronger position for the difficult years ahead. Let no one be in any doubt that the Johnson regime will lead to considerable difficulties for many of us, but it is no good just moaning and worrying about it all. The time to act is now, and we all have a part to play in creating a society that works for the many, not the few.

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Good friends are hard to find, but I have been extremely fortunate. 

I have a few exciting projects lined up for 2020 and beyond, such as developing my poetry, working on my third book and creating art exhibitions to try to reach the politically confused.

Whatever I end up doing, it is sure to be a bumpy ride. Buckle up…

Dorset Eye – We Need A Day Of Reckoning: The BBC = Fake News

The following article was written by my good friend and comrade Adam Samuels and appears on the Dorset Eye website. The original article can be found by clicking on this link. 

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bbc-prop

I did unpaid work at the BBC in a couple of locations with their news & current affairs teams several years ago now. I decided not to pursue a career with them because I was appalled at what I saw in the culture of the BBC’s news & current affairs programming. However, never in a million years did I believe the standards would fall to such a level that the BBC would become a full-on outright lying propaganda machine for any government. Yes, the BBC has always been part of The Establishment, but this past election has shown the BBC’s credibility has absolutely gone. Totally gone. They have, and I use this word carefully, betrayed the country and electorate.

To be very clear here, it’s not just the BBC. But to see the BBC, on several occasions, actually edit footage, removing boos and replacing them with cheers for Johnson, changing footage and adding things in from the archives and then passing it off as footage/news from that day. The avoiding of reporting on basic things; so, for example, during the election period alone, I barely saw any BBC journalist ask Johnson about the massive (in relative terms) problem with anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim and general outright, blatant racism in the Conservative Party.

So, Evolve politics (and others) exposed Johnson writing a book referring to black people as n*****s and c**ns several times, referring to Jewish people as controlling the world’s finances, referring to Arabs as “crooked nosed” etc etc. Obviously, also, his MANY racist comments previously, his outright homophobic comments. I didn’t hear/see him be asked about the actual Holocaust deniers that the Tories suspended as candidates. Or many councillors suspended then re-instated without any due process, despite blatant racism. I never saw Johnson asked WHY his government is officially affiliated with (and vote with) the almost openly anti-Semitic Hungarian government (and Polish government).

I have not heard Johnson be asked about Tommy Robinson, Katie Hopkins and Britain First joining the membership of the Tory Party. Or about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s anti-Semitic comments. Or about Johnson being sacked twice for lying by his own party, for him lying to the Queen, to Parliament, about all the back-tracking he has already done in the first week of this new government. Or about his rampant sexism. Or about the seemingly open hostility to the Trans community. Or about the still astonishing treatment of the ‘Windrush’ generation. I have no idea at all why the BBC allows on racists and hate-spreaders like Melanie Phillips, Douglas Murray, Rod Liddle etc, and-despite publishing actual Nazi propaganda targeting left wing commentators and where they live, political editor of The S*n ‘newspaper’ Tom Newton-Dunn. Unchallenged.

I saw the chief political reporter for the BBC compare Johnson’s lies to the Queen, his family, his Ministers, the electorate, Parliament etc to Jeremy Corbyn saying he watched the Queen’s speech. I saw this same reporter blatantly break the electoral code by reporting on postal votes than no one (should have/had) seen, and that it was “looking bad for Labour” re these votes. Totally illegal to do/say that. Then, disgracefully, I have seen lead presenter after lead producer come out and DEFEND all this as being some kind of ‘conspiracy theory’ and dismiss this. THAT is how a dictatorship acts. Not a democracy. I mean, how on earth do you defend a BBC reporter saying live on air that it is hoped Boris Johnson “gets the majority he so deserves”?! HOW & WHY are they defending this behaviour?!

So, why the BBC in particular that I am targeting? Well, because of the reach and influence of the BBC across the world. I credit the staff members and those who have left key roles for trying to be heard and criticising the BBC for such behaviour. But then, obviously, it barely gets reported or even acknowledged. WE also pay for the BBC. they are legally obliged to be impartial. Especially during an election campaign. As we have seen from several independent reports now about the election coverage, the media-from the press to advertising to broadcast media, has totally abandoned impartiality. This is EXACTLY the kind of behaviour the BBC and others (correctly) condemn Fox News & Trump for.What is perhaps even worse, because of a clear, irrational outright hatred of Jeremy Corbyn, the so-called ‘liberal’ media has joined in. I know from journalist friends how the BBC & The Guardian, for example, outright lie about world politics. I have seen it myself earlier this year when I was in Cuba. Remember, The Guardian was once the paper that exposed the Wikileaks story. Now it is the one protecting those exposed & condemning those that exposed these things. I would like to single out brilliant people like Tom Mills, whose book on the BBC I highly recommend. Also, the employee of The Daily Mail group & staunch Conservative Peter Oborne, for his bravery in taking on his own newspaper and naming & shaming these journalists. Peter Hitchens too. Again, someone whose politics I do not share, but I admire their honesty & bravery in exposing their colleagues.

This is not something to brush under the carpet. As you can see from the media attacks on Keir Starmer, for example, who hasn’t even officially entered the Labour leadership contest & who can hardly be labelled as on Corbyn’s side of the party politically!, this is now seemingly permanent. We in Labour have to realise that ANY leader even slightly to the Left of Genghis Khan, is going to be absolutely & totally destroyed, undermined, abused, ridiculed etc by the media. ALL the mainstream media. What is more, this is casually seen as acceptable and so just shut up about it. Well, frankly, fuck that. If you get sick of people like me saying these things then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW YOU ARE BEING LIED TO BY OUR MEDIA. Instead of attacking those trying to expose these atrocities.

The consequences of this propaganda are very, very serious indeed. We have seen massive rises in hate crime, an emboldened actual fascist far right who, literally, now ARE the Tory party. We have seen minorities physically & verbally assaulted. I myself was assaulted while out campaigning. OAPs have literally been knocked out campaigning. Why? Because, in every case, of the media’s outright lies, and Johnson et al’s outright lies. Can you imagine the uproar and media coverage if this was Tory supporters receiving this abuse?! If it was Corbyn who had done & said the things Johnson has-and is.

These are genuinely very, very, very scary times. The echoes with the 1930’s UK are there for all to see. In the same way the racists & fascists were emboldened then by our media and right wing politicians/commentariat, we are seeing this now. ALL of us need to unite to fight this, because if we don’t, the consequences are something even more scary than anyone reading is contemplating. Remember, these things are ALREADY happening and already being defended and not exposed by our highly, highly irresponsible media & commentariat.

What is so sad, is the BBC’s propaganda has gone unrewarded-they are now more under attack from those they lie on behalf of. It gets even worse with the Tories throwing out there the laughably absurd ‘dead cat’ story about BBC Radio 4 bias from the ‘Today’ programme. OBVIOUSLY this is literally the opposite in reality, but it then distracts from the obvious bias the BBC has shown the Tories. It then allows the BBC to say “Well, if both sides are shouting re bias, it must mean we’re getting the balance correct.”

Finally, and this is vitally important, we NEED a BBC. We need a public broadcaster who informs, educates & entertains. I will, as Corbyn and those most attacked often do, defend the need for a BBC. But, obviously, this one has done untold damage to its reputation. Let us hope the damage is not permanent, and let us hope those making the decisions are removed absolutely ASAP. Our country may well depend on it. Until then, WE must UNITE, defend our communities, defend the independent media and do the media’s job for it, as best we can. Solidarity.

Adam Samuels

Suddenly

**MUSICAL INTERLUDE**

No wonder Mr Anderson is angry, so would you be if you had his dentist.

I wish I could stop watching TOTP 1988 on BBC Four. I was watching it last night and watched Angry Anderson perform his one and only hit, propelled by the popularity of an Australian soap opera.

I always had the subtitles on when watching classic Top of the Pops, so that I can enjoy the lyrics being sung. I usually end up catching on to one particular line from a song and correlating it to my own life. I don’t know why I am admitting this, but I am. Last night, I found myself  wishing that somebody would read my Open Letter and “suddenly see me, just the way I am”.

It was with this profound thought that I finally fell to sleep, but not before I found out who was keeping Anderson off the top spot. Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan were at number 2 with Especially For You but I should never have stayed up to see who was on top of the charts. As soon as Caron Keating announced that week’s biggest seller I began to grab for my remote to switch the TV off. Unfortunately, my fumble fingers are too slow to react so I had to endure thirty seconds of the awful earworm that is Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard.

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I know this was back in 1988, but my worry is that I have never trusted the British public whatsoever as I always seem to disagree with their opinions. This is particularly concerning ahead of the most important General Election in a generation.

It is difficult to gauge what exactly is going to happen on Thursday, as it is impossible to trust the nonsense that is being peddled by the mass media. I am preparing myself for the worse possible scenario, but at the same time I have faith and belief in Jeremy Corbyn and his Cabinet.

I am growing ever more anxious as we edge ever closer to the General Election. I am doing all I can to get the Labour message out there, but due to my disability this is largely confined to sharing stories on my blog and social media. I have also got Labour posters in my window. This would have more of an impact if I didn’t live on a cul-de-sac, but it is a bit late in the day to be moving house to a more prime location. If I could do more, I would, but circumstances dictate.

My friends and neighbours who receive Xmas cards before Thursday will be reminded on the envelope to Vote Labour while I am also giving a poetry reading at Glyndwr University on Tuesday, dressed in a Vote Labour t-shirt. Every little helps…

#VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019

 

#GE2019: Jeremy Corbyn pledges to end the ‘shameful’ Tory treatment of disabled people #VoteLabour2019

The following article was taken from Welfare Weekly, which can be accessed by clicking here. I have also used the main picture used in Welfare Weekly, which is credited to Knox O (Wasi Daniju) via photopin cc

This article concerns the new Disabled Manifesto released by the Labour Party. They are the only party to have produced such a Manifesto dedicated to those that have suffered greatly as a result of Tory austerity. The actual Manifesto can be read in a multitude of forms by clicking on this link. 

#VoteLabour2019 #JC4PM2019 #ChangeIsComing

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The Labour Party has today (Tuesday) launched its manifesto for disabled people, titled ‘Breaking Down Barriers’, which lists ways the party hopes to tackle the discrimination and cruel treatment faced by disabled people and their families.

The pledge comes after a UN report accused the Tory Government of “systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people, and slammed benefit cuts for driving disabled people and their families “to breaking point”.

According to Labour, poverty in families where someone is disabled has risen by over a million since 2010 and almost half of all working age adults living in poverty live in a family that includes a disabled adult or child.

Labour has pledged to end “the scandal of disabled poverty” through measures designed to alleviate poverty and destitution and allow them to live independent lives.

Labour’s manifesto for disabled people includes pledges to:

  • Make sure a disabled child on Universal Credit (UC) receives the same amount as a disabled child on Child Tax Credits.
    • Currently a disabled child on UC receives less than half the basic addition for disabled children in Child Tax Credits to help parents cover the additional costs of having a disability – £1,513 a year, compared with £3,355 a year under Child Tax. The difference is currently £1,842 a year, or £154 a month, or £35 a week.
  • Introduce a self-care element into UC to support severely disabled people without a formal carer – the equivalent of the Severe Disability Premium. Currently, severely disabled people without a carer are worse off on UC than both those on legacy benefits and those on UC who do have a carer.
  • Increase Employment and Support Allowance by £30 per week for those in the work-related activity group.
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance to the level of the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • Abolish the punitive sanctions regime, immediately suspending all sanctions and scrap the dehumanising Work Capability Assessment and Personal Independence Payment assessment which are unfit for purpose.

According to Labour, these reforms will cost around £2.6 billion by 2023-24 and are accounted for in Labour’s Grey Book ‘Funding Real Change’.

Labour has also committed to halving the disability employment gap, invest in specialist education for disabled people, tackle the rising level of disability hate crime and ensure that victims have access to justice, break down barriers to disabled people in transport, give British Sign Language full legal recognition ,and reinstate the Access to Elected Office fund to enable disabled people to run for elected office.

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said: “The treatment of disabled people by Conservative and Lib Dem governments, from devastating cuts to social security support, to cruel and unnecessary assessments, and a complete failure to address the disability employment gap, should be a source of shame.

“Labour will put right this injustice. We’ll ensure that disabled people get the support they need to lead independent lives and participate fully in society. We are on your side.

“This election is a chance for real change, for a more inclusive, fair and equal society that works for the many, not the few.”

Marsha de Cordova, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Disabled People, said: “I have heard from disabled people all over the country who are angry at how they have been treated by Conservative-led governments and passionate about working with Labour to transform how government approaches disability rights.

“I am proud that Labour is the only party with a manifesto developed by and for disabled people, according to our principle of ‘nothing about you without you’. Labour in government will embody that principle, empowering disabled people and enhancing our voices.

“Breaking Down Barriers takes us beyond what we’ve previously committed, and sets out how we’ll radically shift our approach to ensure the economic, social and structural barriers faced by disabled people are addressed. It’s time for real change.”