Tories

#GE2019: IT’S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE FOR WORKING PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES. VOTE LABOUR ON DECEMBER 12.

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The following has been taken from the Labour Unions website and can be viewed by clicking here.

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Working people are finding it harder to make ends meet, jobs aren’t secure, and our schools and hospitals have been pushed to the brink. Britain simply cannot afford 5 more years of the Tories.

LABOUR WILL:

  1. Protect our NHS and improve patient care, with a £26bn rescue package, and increase GP training places so everyone can get an appointment when they need one.
  2. Introduce a real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour immediately, for all workers aged 16 and over, and ban zero hours contracts.
  3. Reverse school cuts, making sure every class has a qualified teacher, cap primary class sizes, give free school meals to all primary children and limit school uniform costs.
  4. Kick-start a green industrial revolution, creating a million good, skilled jobs in every region and nation of the UK.
  5. Win higher pay, more job security and a better deal at work by strengthening unions to give power back to working people.
  6. Build a million genuinely affordable homes over 10 years, including at least 100,000 council homes a year by 2024.
  7. Pay public service workers properly, with a 5% payrise in April, and above inflation pay rises every year.
  8. Support working families, giving all 2-4 year olds 30 hours free childcare a week, strengthening flexible working rights and opening 1,000 Sure Start Children’s Centres, so there’s one in every community.
  9. Make bus services work in the interests of passengers, re-opening 3000 bus routes that have closed under the Tories.
  10. Save people money on fares and bills by  bringing rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership and rolling out a publicly owned full fibre broadband network, free to every home.

VOTE LABOUR ON THURSDAY 12 DECEMBER TO REBUILD BRITAIN FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW.

#GE2019: Reasons to #VoteLabour

In the run up to the General Election on December 12th, I will be writing a number of political posts aimed at any indecisive voters that may still exist in our pulverised country.

I will not apologise for arguing the case for a Corbyn-led socialist Government that will deliver the real change that the UK is crying out for. The fact that it will improve conditions for the disabled community, is a welcome bonus.

I will now hand over to my good friend and political comrade, Adam Samuels, who has written the must-read piece below.

#VOTELABOUR #JC4PM #VOTEHOPE #VOTECHANGE

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ROLL UP! ROLL UP! THIS IS YOUR ONE-STOP LIST OF THINGS TO SHARE/EDIT/RE-PHRASE AS YOU WISH RE JEREMY CORBYN & LABOUR. WE HAVE BEEN ASKED MANY TIMES TO SHARE THIS NOW, AND SO WHEN THE PEOPLE ASK, Clwyd South Labour Party RESPONDS!**

Many people now are no fans of Blair & Brown (while acknowledging good things were also done), but Labour didn’t cause the crash in the UK. In fact, Brown took steps that assured it wasn’t worse. The Tories backed EVERY penny of Labour’s plans then, as admitted recently by Osborne. In 9 years the Tories have missed EVERY SINGLE ONE of their own fiscal targets. By their OWN figures, people will be on less on average in the mid 2020s than they were in 2007. TWO decades of unprecedented wage stagnation and regression. The Tories, in those 9 years, have borrowed more than every Labour government combined. Ever.

Borrowing is not the issue, but borrowing AND implementing the economically stupid & morally reprehensible austerity shows how shit they are re economics. We are, literally, the most unequal country in Europe. Slowest growing major G7 economy. Foodbank usage was 41,000-odd in 2010. It’s now 1.6 million. 14 million people below the poverty line. 4 million children. Meanwhile the top 1% have DOUBLED their wealth in that same time period. 60% of those in poverty are IN work!!! IN work!! Record homelessness, record suicide rates, record insecure work, record worker rights and union repression, record crime etc etc etc.

Labour’s economic plans are backed by 130+ of the world’s top economists, including at least two Nobel Prize winners. Every penny of where money came from and where it will be spent was fully costed in Labour’s ‘Grey Book’, which will again be published for this election. Labour’s plans are based on the National & Regional Investment Banks as used so well in Germany and elsewhere. So, unless you think the best economic minds and Germany are economically stupid…Add to this that Johnson has REMOVED worker rights, environmental protections, consumer protections and food standards from his Brexit Deal, and them OPENLY admitting they will be changing worker rights if we leave…

Re Iraq, Corbyn organised the 2 million people march AGAINST it and his own Party. Check out his voting record. He was correct re Iraq X 2, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria X 3 now, not arming Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s when we did, Apartheid where he was getting arrested for being anti-racist when the Tories were literally calling for Mandela’s head, the financial crash of 07/08 down to the specifics of the American sub-prime mortgage market issues (and was ignored), Israel/Palestine, the Birmingham 6, the Guildford 4, started the proper NI peace talks and is cited by both sides as doing so, he, along with Abbott & McDonnell was one of only 6 MPs voting against Windrush, AUSTERITY when he and anyone supporting him was told in 2015 that to be anti-austerity (which NO other Labour leadership candidate was) was a “Far Left, commie, utopian, unelectable, loony left fantasy” Now even Tory MEMBERS are anti-austerity!!! Now Johnson & the Tories are pretending they will out-spend Labour while trying to claim Corbyn is a Marxist dictator?! You can’t have it both ways!!!

Corbyn has tripled membership of the party, making Labour the biggest Party in western Europe. In 2017, he gained the biggest vote share increase of any party leader of any party since Attlee in 1945. With the entire media establishment against him/us. He’s made the party far more democratic than ever before, and as with the famous, popular 2017 manifesto, it gets written by everyone from me up to Corbyn. He gets hourly death threats, has had assassination attempts on him (Darren Osborne-see court records), punched in the head etc etc. All for US. Not him, US. He cannot be bought, hence The Establishment hating him and smearing him. He is the most lied about politician of all time (see independent LSE report, BBC bias report etc-there are several). He’s defeated coups, has the ENTIRE media against him on all formats, with no mainstream media on his side (The Mirror & The Guardian previously turned on him).

Oh, and to nip this one in the bud…he has been made Right Honourable by the Queen. Which means he’s on the PRIVY COUNCIL-i.e. access to top level UK & world secrets, where you have to be vetted by MI5, MI6, GCHQ etc….therefore, he OBVIOUSLY CANNOT be pro-IRA murders, a Russian stooge, a Czech spy, an anti-Semite (to paraphrase the great Andrew Feinstein who was a South African MP under Mandela, lost 39 family members in the Holocaust & lectures on the Holocaust: “Jeremy was there from day one re Apartheid. He’s literally the least racist person I know. I am proud and honoured to stand as a Jewish man with Jeremy”), or whatever rubbish they try and make people believe he is because they’ve lost the political argument-so try and discredit the individual.

He pays TOO much tax (check out his public tax returns), pays for members of his own team out of his pocket, donated his pay rise to charity as promised, then uses what money he has left to fund the local Credit Union for people who cannot get loans. Indeed, in the 80’s he took out a £30,000 to build a desperately needed community centre used by many different groups-it wasn’t even in his constituency!!! He was there day one re Orgreave, Hillsborough (we have a Corbyn & McDonnell banner on the Kop at Anfield), and was the lowest ever expenses claimer-£8.95 for an ink cartridge when some Tories were claiming £100,000+ to clean their moats amongst other things! Literally!

So, if you want an NHS, vote Labour. If you want a second ref-literally the ONLY way is to vote Labour. If you voted Leave and reject the dangerous Johnson/No Deal, Labour has already agreed a Leave option in theory with the EU-so vote Labour to choose that in the Ref if you are a leaver. If you want to end austerity, literally the only way is to vote Labour. Only two people can be PM-Johnson, a man backed by fascists & billionaires who is openly going to sell off the NHS to Trump, who voted AGAINST STOPPING privatisation of the NHS last week, along with the Tories. The Lib Dems abstained???!!!, or Jeremy Corbyn.

I do not want to look future generations in the eye when they ask “Why did you get rid of the NHS, why can’t I buy a house or even afford the rent, why have I got unpaid hols, why in the environment getting worse, why is there no secure work, no pensions worth having etc” and then tell them “It’s because Corbyn didn’t sing the National Anthem, they believed the lies, someone didn’t like the way he wore a suit etc…”. Justify that! Justify my terminally ill friend having his benefits cut again to literally fund a tax cut for billionaires.

Whether you love, hate, are indifferent to Corbyn, this election is WAY beyond ‘normal’. It is a battle for the very soul of the UK. Labour built the NHS, the Welfare State, a National Education system in their 1945-1951 government. From scratch. When the country was truly broke after WW2 with debt at 250% of GDP. While growing the economy far faster than previously-with SOCIALISM/Social Democracy. Ditto FDR in the USA who massively grew the US economy in the 1930s the same way. Ditto Portugal now who, via anti-austerity, have completely turned around their economy after a horrific Conservative failed government. Scandinavia has been doing it for years. Bolivia, under Morales, has been an amazing success story and are now independent of the World’s Bank. Ecuador under Correa for ten years was a huge success.

Re Tax Increases: If you earn £82,000 a year, you’d pay £8.30 more a month in tax under Labour. Don’t forget ONLY 5% of the UK earns £80k or more- 95% OF US ARE NOT AFFECTED by these tax rises. In return, we’d get a Green New Deal, free education, a proper NHS and homes for all. Don’t let the CONservatives et al scare you with their outright lies re Labour’s tax plans. Oh, and Labour plans to raise corporation tax to levels STILL lower than Germany, the USA etc. I don’t see companies fleeing those countries…SME (Small Medium Enterprises) will be supported to adapt to any changes with taxes, or, for example, the raising of the minimum wage.

Debt per GDP here in the UK is now 88% approx (MASSIVELY increased since the Tories took over in 2010). So I am quite sure we can easily do what Labour wants now. If WE fight for it and stop believing the white noise of lies. Corbyn is NOT a pacifist, but he is force ONLY as the LAST resort. He has won at least 3 International Peace Prizes, including the Gandhi Peace Prize. He does not want to get rid of our armed forces-quite the opposite-he wants them properly paid, not sent to war on a lie or for some power/oil-grab, he wants them housed and not on the streets as many are, with proper kit if they do have to risk their lives. But this is a fight we MUST win. Let’s make sure we don’t blow it, eh? ✊❤️

#VOTELABOUR #JC4PM #VOTEHOPE #VOTECHANGE

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Why disabled people need a general election now

The following article appears on the DPAC website, was written by Mark Dunk and Paula Peters and can be viewed here.

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Boris Johnson’s hubris and scheming in his attempt to bounce the country into leaving the EU with no-deal has brought about the prospect of an early General election. 

While many are wary of Johnson manoeuvring over the date of the election we believe that any opportunity to get the Tories out should be seized upon. 

If this chance to take on the Tories at their most divided is squandered it would see disabled people and others suffering after almost a decade of Tory attacks facing that brutality for longer. 

As with any battle in our long war there is no guarantee that we will win but if we do not fight we have already lost. In the last election in 2017 the press and polls would have had us believe the Tories were on course for a historic win – it wasn’t true then and we shouldn’t believe they are right now. We must certainly be wary of advice from figures such as Tony Blair who never had our interests at the front of their thoughts or actions when laying the basis for the WCA.

The former Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s paper the Evening Standard is certainly not of the opinion that Johnson and the Tories are confident of electoral success:

“The fact is that Mr Johnson’s closest electoral advisers think privately there is a high chance that he might lose an election.”

We need to stop and scrap the horror of Universal Credit, sanctions and the Work Capability Assessment now – not at some fictionalized perfect moment in the future which may never come. 

We need a general election now. 

[By Mark Dunk and Paula Peters]

Make sure you are registered to vote: Register to vote – Easyread instructions

The People Must Make the Final Decision on Brexit

I am sharing the following email that I received as a Labour Party member, from our First Minister, Mark Drakeford. Throughout the email, Drakeford puts forward views that are necessary to get us out of the impossible situation that has been created by the Tories in Westminster.

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Dear Nathan,

I know that over the past few days you will have seen many reports in the press around Brexit and our Welsh Labour Government’s view on what should happen next. And I wanted to write to you directly to explain how our position has evolved.

Since 2016, when Wales voted – narrowly – to leave the European Union, the Welsh Government has argued for a form of Brexit which would, as far as possible, protect Welsh jobs and the Welsh economy. Our Labour colleagues in Westminster have done the same – most recently in negotiations with the UK Tory Government.

However, the collapse of the talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn and the current election for a new leader of the Conservative Party changes all that. The Tory leadership race is rapidly becoming a contest between harder and harder forms of Brexit – hugely increasing the very real danger of a no-deal Brexit that would be catastrophic for our nation. Recognising that, means we have to re-think how we approach Brexit in Wales. I believe the chance to do the sort of deal I have always advocated – a deal that would protect Welsh jobs and the Welsh economy – is now at an end. That is why my view, and the view of the Welsh Labour Government, is that going back to the people and asking them for their verdict is the best way forward. The final decision on Brexit must now be made by the public in a referendum. And, for the avoidance of any doubt, a Welsh Labour Government would campaign in such a vote for Wales to remain in the EU.

I am delighted that following last week’s election, Jackie Jones will sit in the European Parliament, and I know she will be a brilliant Welsh Labour MEP. But there is no hiding the fact that last week’s results were clearly deeply disappointing for our Party. Over the coming weeks and months, I want to take every opportunity to get out across Wales and hear from as many of you as possible. I know that many of you have passionate, differing, and sincerely held views, and I believe that the diversity of our membership is a strength, not a weakness. We are – and always have been – a broad church, but we are united by our belief in social justice and the firm conviction that we achieve more together than we do alone. In these turbulent and polarised times, it is more important than ever to remember that and act accordingly.

Best wishes,
Mark Drakeford
Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister

Our opponents are the Tories, not each other

Just received the following email from Jeremy Corbyn and I feel that it needs sharing as widely as possible in the face of disloyal MP’s and a hostile mainstream media.

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Dear Nathan,

Our country is in crisis and needs a Labour Government.

Our opponents are the Tories, not each other, and it’s disappointing that a small group of MPs have felt unable to continue to work together for the Labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and saw us increase our vote by the largest share since 1945.

Labour won people over on a programme for the many not the few – redistributing wealth and power, taking vital resources into public ownership, investing in every region and nation, and tackling climate change.

The Conservative Government is bungling Brexit, while Labour has set out a credible alternative, keeping all options on the table, including a public vote to stop a disastrous ‘no deal’ Brexit.

When millions are facing the misery of Universal Credit, rising crime, homelessness and poverty, now more than ever is the time to bring people together to build a better future for us all. For those millions the only solution is a Labour Government that will invest in and transform our country.

That’s why we must be united – not for ourselves but to deliver a Labour Government.

Yours,

Signed, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party

#TrashTheTories – how you can help make sure June is the end of May

The time to act is now – that is why I will be on the streets for the next few days practising what I preach and hoping it will result in a change of Government.

This article originally appeared on Disabled People Against Cuts

It’s doubtful that anyone reading the DPAC blog will be in any doubt that Deaf and Disabled people in the UK cannot afford the Tories to get re-elected in June. Since 2010 the Tories have relentlessly attacked Disabled people, hitting the same group of people again and again with cut after cut.

While inequality and poverty increased for Disabled people and the poorest in society, the rich have got richer. Since 2010 when the Tories took power the richest 100 people in Britain have increased their wealth by £55.5 billion. Meanwhile nearly half of the poverty in the UK is now directly associated with disability.

Despite the UK becoming the first country in the world to be found guilty of grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights, the Tories are determined to push through their planned welfare savings and ideological dismantling of state support whatever the cost to us.

Already, just this year, changes to PIP brought in through emergency legislation to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny have taken essential support away from 164,000 people predominantly with mental health support needs, Employment and Support Allowance has been cut by a third for people in the Work Related Activity Group and in April the Government sneaked through three more hidden cuts affecting Disabled people.

At the same time, social care packages are being cut to the bone leaving Disabled people trapped indoors without choice, control, dignity or freedom. Over the Summer, the Department for Work and Pensions will be rolling out the new “Health and Work Conversation” to create an added barrier before Disabled claimants even reach the notorious Work Capability Assessment.

It is wrong to assume however that because the Tories have been getting away with this for so long that this is what the majority of the public wants. Most people are shocked and horrified when they find out what has taken place, incredulous that this can happen in the UK in the twenty first century and angry that anyone would and could pursue policies of, in Ken Loach’s words, such “conscious cruelty”. As I argued in a previous post, the majority of people would rather live in a fair and just society that values diversity and works for the benefit of the many rather than the few.

What we have at the moment is a system when power and wealth are in the hands of the elite and that includes control of the mainstream media and the ability to communicate misleading information and to distract from the real problems in society. Thus we find people blaming migrants and benefit scroungers instead of challenging the real enemies who are those who choose to put profit before people.

Precisely because we are the many and they are the few, the obstacles to achieving a fairer society are not insurmountable. Jeremy Corbyn’s two elections as leader of the Labour party in spite of everything the right wing of the party and the media threw at him, the second time with an increased mandate, show that united we can win.

But social justice and a fairer society are not things that will ever be handed to us on a plate, they have to be fought for.

With a General Election called and the prospect of another five years of Tory rule bringing with it insurance based systems to replace benefits and the NHS, now is one of those times when we have to step up and fight even harder because of the very real human cost that a loss will entail.

We all have a part to play in the coming weeks.

It is up to us all to do what we can to make sure the real information gets out there about what a Tory election will mean for Disabled people.

On 2nd May DPAC will be officially kicking off our election campaign to #TrashTheTories with our #NotTheFuckingTories protest: https://www.facebook.com/events/247652075641387.

We would like as many of you to join us as possible on the day but what is even more important is that members get out on the streets and your keyboards in the coming weeks to get that information out there to make anyone thinking of voting Tory or voting in a way that would help the Tories get in, think again.

The voices of Disabled people can and does make a difference. In the 2014 local elections the Disabled campaign group Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition Against Cuts ran street stalls to engage with the public and hand out information about how the cuts were impacting on local Disabled people and what the different local political parties were saying on disability issues. Unexpectedly, Labour unseated the Tory Council and followed through on honouring significant pledges they had made to Disabled voters before the election on issues such as abolishing home care charging.

We are asking all our members to think about what you can do and how you can help and encourage you to target marginal seats. There are some resources you may find useful at the end of this post. The media are often keen to cover stories about access to voting for Disabled people so do use this angle to get local attention.

Can you:

         Make sure your friends, neighbours and colleagues are registered to vote before the deadline on 22 May and plan to use their vote?

         Leaflet on street stalls or door to door with information about how important this election is to Deaf and Disabled people?

         Circulate information about what the different parties are saying on disability issues?

         Hold a local screening of I Daniel Blake with a Q and A after?

         Organise a local Deaf and disability hustings event?

DPAC has some funding for leaflets, stickers and posters which we can post to you if you have an event organised. Please keep us informed with how you are getting on.

Love and solidarity.

Stars in my Eyes

It’s just another typical weekend where I enjoy spending my time wallowing in self-pity and bemoaning the structure of our couple-centric society.  My loneliness helps create a vile bitterness that I try to harness and turn into a positive creativity, whether this works or not is for readers of my book and this blog to decide.

I definitely have a “glass half empty” outlook, but deep down – below the negative surface – I know how lucky I am compared to many other people.  Once in a while, I am reminded of this in no uncertain terms and I find it to be quite humbling.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a birthday card and signed photograph from Jeremy Corbyn.  The card was a little late in arriving, but I didn’t mind because someone I admire greatly had taken the time to send me his best wishes. I think this is a measure of the man as even though he must have a hectic schedule in trying to fight the Tories, he still found a minute to congratulate me on my 40th birthday.

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Cerys Matthews has been a very important figure in my life.

In 1999, I had a car crash in Huddersfield while listening to Road Rage by Cerys’ band Catatonia.   To read the full story of my accident in West Yorkshire, simply click here.  Then in 2008, I went to watch Cerys, who was now a solo artist, perform a concert in Llangollen while my wife at the time went to Birmingham to meet an old friend.

It was a great concert and Cerys was absolutely sensational.  I still have fond memories of that evening even though my ex-wife later admitted that she had been snogging the face off her old friend.  It’s a pity she couldn’t see what me and Cerys had got up to in my dreams.

In 2010, I went to see Cerys perform again in Glyndwr University and was annoyed to find out that my sister had stayed behind and met Cerys while I rushed home to placate my newly employed Personal Assistant.  I hope I will get the chance to meet her again soon.

Therefore, imagine my surprise and delight when I received a parcel from none other than Cerys Matthews that included two signed albums and a note apologising for the late arrival.  I was overjoyed to receive this and I will treasure these gifts, from such a talented beauty, always.

However, the real star of the show is none other than my good friend Valerie Leney who organised my celebrity surprises.  I am also going to watch Stoke City against Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on April 8 thanks to Valerie contacting Eddie Niedzwiecki – former Wrexham goalkeeper and Stoke City coach – and encouraging him to mark my birthday with an unforgettable surprise.

I am lucky to have a friend like this.  Valerie is such a special person that I am fortunate enough to have in my life.  Indeed, the biggest achievement of my time at the University of Nottingham was not achieving a 2:1 in American Studies or spending a semester in the University of Illinois, but making such a close circle of friends that I am still in touch with.  These people helped me to enjoy my 40th birthday celebrations and reunited especially for the occasion.  This will no doubt serve as a constant reminder that when the chips are down, I can always rely on the bonds I created over 20 years ago…