Camerons’ “divine inspiration” came from Max Weber, not God

Dyno-Rod Cameron and Iain de Torquemada Duncan Smith – when all else fails, tell ’em “God told me to do it!”

via Camerons' "divine inspiration" came from Max Weber, not God.

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Techniques of neutralisation: Cameron says keep calm and carry on climbing Allport’s ladder

As ever, an excellent piece of writing. If you’re not reading her blog, why not?

via Techniques of neutralisation: Cameron says keep calm and carry on climbing Allport's ladder.

In case you think the media aren’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes

It is heartbreaking that both countries I call home are going the same way. That Australia is, yet again, blindly following the UK and USA into disaster. The traditional media has failed us. The Opposition have failed us (in both countries). All we can rely on is ourselves.

The only solution is to abandon mainstream media completely, including the news channels, and put our OWN information out there. Everyone who attends a protest, everyone who makes a noise, everyone who signs a petition, everyone who does anything to try to make a change… post to twitter, facebook, livejournal, wordpress, blogger, even google+, everywhere you can. Share your thoughts, pictures, ideas with as many as possible and ask them to share as well. If you have the slightest desire to make a change and have the ability, stand as an independent candidate wherever possible. When I was fit, I did it. If the fibro would let up, I would seriously consider doing it again.

And always remember that we are “policed by our own consent” – the police rely on the majority of people “doing as they are told” because if we didn’t they could not deal with it. The police know this. It is why they try tougher and tougher tactics to try and shut down protests. They are terrified of being overwhelmed. They can only do what WE let them get away with. One, two, even three police attacking a single protester while 30 other people look on and take video/pictures with their phones… really? The balance of numbers doesn’t occur to people?

via In case you think the media aren't trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Marks and Spencers’ Leading Ladies. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Dear “Leading Ladies” (Annie Lennox, Emma Thompson, Rita Ora, Rachel Khoo, Lulu Kennedy, Baroness Lawrence, Alek Wek & Roma Agrawal),
Let me ask you, is your contract with Marks and Spencer on Workfare conditions? Or are you getting paid? Are M&S actually able to pay you because they are getting free labour? Did you know that Workfare is NOT voluntary? Unless you deem loss of any income at all and your family starving to death as a valid alternative. Did you know that Workfare is indefinite for sick and disabled people who the DWP deem “may” be fit for work in under a year (“may” be fit by then but are being sent on Workfare schemes anyway). Would YOU accept a position paying under £2 per hour (for 35 hrs/week, with all the extra expenses employment brings & also complying with DWP rules to look for paid employment for another 35 hours per week)?

Dear Marks & Spencer, How many paid, entry-level, positions have you made “redundant” because you’re filling them with unpaid “slave” labour via the Workfare scheme and others like it? Voluntary “work experience” in an appropriate employment sector for a couple of weeks is one thing, but this? This is so close to slave labour you could barely get a fag paper between them. Taxpayers’ money going to fund corporate wages.

Leading Ladies, you should be ashamed of yourselves for promoting a corporation that participates in this scheme.

Marks & Spencer, I refuse to shop with you until you stop, completely and utterly falling in with these scheme to exploit the unemployed, sick and disabled.

When we have half a million vacancies and 2.5 million unemployed (and that’s after the DWP faff with the figures and hide those on sanctions and Workfare schemes from the stats) surely it would make more sense to actually employ people than to throw more onto the job queue. If you want to “do the right thing” and encourage unemployed into work, why not offer more traineeships at (or preferably above) minimum wage with a guaranteed job at the end if certain tests/assessments are acceptable. If you can take on free labour you have the capacity to take on paid.

This goes for all large corporations who are benefiting from public funds instead of paying their staff.

Labour must turn and fight now – or give up its electoral hopes altogether

I voted Labour for years, ever since I was old enough to vote, both in UK & Australia. I moved back to the UK from Australia shortly after NuLabour won the 1997 election, feeling hopeful for the future of this country for the first time since my family had moved to Aus when I was 16. I spent the next decade watching as ever more totalitarian legislation to control the populace was proposed (and in many cases forced through) but regulations on companies and banks were loosened to near non-existance as Blair tried to become a British version of Dubya while lining up a lucrative retirement for himself.

I voted LibDem for the duration of Labour’s rule. I disliked Clegg but agreed with the majority of their manifesto. I will admit to a cautious optimism when the Tory/LibDem Coalition was formed after the last election. It could have been a really good thing. If the LibDems had been sensible and recognised that they did hold the balance of power – but they sold out their supporters, and the rest of the country, for an illusion of power and a vote/referendum or two on a couple of their long-term goals that were promptly quashed by their “partners”. If one more LibDem whines to me that they can’t oppose the Tories because they are “the smaller partner” I might have to slap them until they understand the concept of “withdrawing support” as a political manoeuvre, or at least until they understand that by not opposing the various evil pieces of legislation being imposed, by not opposing the cuts being made, they are as culpable for the deaths, poverty and misery as their “larger partner” in the Coalition.

LibDems making noises as if they will be in any position to form a coalition with anyone at the next election are simply deluded.

I will never, ever vote Tory. It is not a tribal thing. It is a sense of self-worth thing. It is a self-respect thing. I value myself more than that.

If Labour ever want my vote again, the leader (whoever s/he is, and I really don’t care as long as they do what is needed and keep their promises) needs to stop being a fucking coward. Stand up to the Tories. Stand up to the sodding tabloids. Do the right thing, not the Right thing.

via Labour must turn and fight now – or give up its electoral hopes altogether.

Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks

Of course Raab knew he was misquoting the Trussell Trust (aka lying). It’s a pity there’s never anyone on the panel (including the presenter) with either the knowledge or the guts to challenge him and his ilk when they spout rubbish. I’ve given up on watching Question Time or listening to Any Questions on R4 now, both given me an unwanted increase in blood pressure and put me in a bad temper.

via Dominic Raab on BBC Question Time on Foodbanks.

Idiot estate agents

We’ve had the house on the market for 4 weeks. We need to move to a bungalow as stairs are getting too hard for me to cope with. Four weeks and NO viewings at all. An “open house” had been arranged for 2 weeks ago, but was cancelled at the very last-minute by the agents (an hour before it was to start). To say I was pissed off would be a colossal understatement. With my health, doing a massive tidy and “staging” of the house for viewers is not a trivial thing.

I have 2 other agencies very keen to work with us (calling regularly to see how things are going), so I rang this lot to find out what the problem was.
“Oh, there’s a lot of interest, so we were going to arrange another open house for next weekend, if that’s ok with you?”
I asked why we weren’t getting people booked in to view if there was so much interest.
“We put people off having a viewing until we have an open house, then we can show them all through at once!”
WTeverlovingF?
No, dear agent, as soon as someone expresses interest, you ask if they would like to view. Then you call me with the day/time that suits them and as long as it is at least the next day or later, and I will be home, I will say “Yes!” – and I will accept “unaccompanied viewers” as well if it’s just too much work for you.

Need to check the contract to see double-check dates and see how hard I can batter them with the threat of going multiple agency.

Anybody after a 3-bed/1-bath, 250+ year old semi-detached mill-worker’s cottage in the Mendip Hills (Somerset – not in a flood risk area!), split-level garden, 2 sheds (one has been used as an office), 2′ thick walls, predominant beams, cottage doors, a duel-fuel burner set in the centre of the old stone walls (keep it burning for a few days and the heat radiates through the stone via the chimney to heat the house), deep windowsills and new carpets downstairs? OIRO £215,000 – it’s on Rightmove 😉

Cameron’s Class Background, Prejudices and Osborne’s ‘Workers’ Budget’

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

131001cameronspeech

This morning the lead story in the i was that Cameron had been told by the Tories that he had to stop the gap between North and South widening any further. Further to this story, Osborne had been preparing a ‘Worker’s Budget’ for next week. Quite how far Cameron is from anyone, who could remotely be described as working class is explained in detail in Owen Jones’ Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (London: Verso 2012).

Cameron’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all stockbrokers. His primary school was Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire, whose old schoolboys include Princes Andrew and Edward. When he was eleven he flew across the Atlantic with a group of his school chums to go to the birthday party of Peter Getty, the grandson of the oil billionaire, John Paul Getty. He was, of course, like all good snobs, educated at Eton. Before he went…

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Charging for benefit appeals is no accident: it is the neoliberal way

Oh No! Too many people are winning their appeals against the DWP! Whatever shall we do?!

Ah! There’s the answer… force them even further into debt and destitution for daring to disagree with their betters! What? Most of them can’t afford to pay for an appeal? Result!

Charging for benefit appeals is no accident: it is the neoliberal way.

“We ARE a wealthy country, and we need to make the right choices in 2015. Flooding is awful – but extreme poverty, isolation, freezing cold homes and hunger are as well.”

I agree with Jane Young:

“Disabled people clearly don’t matter. Poor people clearly don’t matter. Older people matter a bit, but not enough to ensure social care is properly funded. But suddenly, after lots of people and communities have been suffering from dreadful flooding for many weeks, the Thames breaks its banks. As if by magic, the Prime Minister tells us “Money is no object. We are a wealthy country”. I feel sick.” (my emphasis)

One of the things that depresses me the most, living in Somerset (fortunately in a higher area and never likely to flood), is that come May 2015 whatever turn out we actually have will be almost evenly divided between Tory and LibDem tribal voters. It doesn’t matter how devastated families have been by the actions of this government, they will still turn out to vote the way their parents and grandparents voted. Because that’s the way it’s done here! Which one of them gets in will depend on how the splinter vote goes, whether more jump ship from Tory or from LD and which way they go (to the other or to a smaller party – around here that includes Labour). The incumbent will get back in unless they do something to seriously piss off their supporters in the 3 months before the election.

BTDT, getting really sick and tired of it.

We're a wealthy country… money's no object….