A Desperate Plea From A Relative Of A Rough Sleeper By The Masked Avenger Anonymous

We have all walked past a rough sleeper on the street. Sometimes we give it a second thought. Sometimes we stop and chat, maybe even try to help.

But mostly we walk on by.

Most of us are fortunate enough to have never been there and while we sympathise, we often try and forget it and move on with our busy lives. Rushing to get somewhere; an appointment or some such.

We often don’t see the person beyond the sleeping bag. Sometimes it is very hard to imagine how someone got there. The government dehumanise rough sleepers. They advise us not to feed them as though they are pigeons in Trafalgar Square. They put spikes on floors to stop them being able to get some shelter in a shop doorway. Again treated like pests. So it’s no wonder that we walk on by. Sometimes it is a taboo subject.

But for me it is different. I happen to know a rough sleeper very personally.

You might want to ask me a few questions. Does anyone help him? Is he loved? Do you help him? The answer is yes. To all of the above.

But our help is not enough and the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ he gets into this position is what is complex.

My uncle has undiagnosed mental health conditions. He is an addict. Self medicating I guess. He has never had the support he needed from the professionals. And this is the product of years of neglect.

Born in the 60s to parents with severe mental health issues that lost everything down to gambling, my uncle was not diagnosed with anything himself or supported. Instead when the family broke down, my grandmother had a mental breakdown and no one was there to help. The authorities left my grandmother to it and just took my uncle away into care when he was 7. And that was the start of it. In and out of care. In and out of trouble.

” A handful, naughty, out of control, the mother can’t cope”

While he was in the place that was supposed to care for him, he was abused.

He went in as a child with problems and came out disturbed with even bigger problems.

No one knew what happened at the time. This is only a recent revelation. So he continued. In and out of trouble causing merry hell for the family.

As he got to adulthood he started to ‘self medicate’ and slowly but surely became an addict. Which led to petty crime, prison. And eventually being institutionalised .

“A write off'”

On paper yes. But what no one else saw was the snippets of the man he could have been if the support had been there during his childhood.

Detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure, he had structure, routines and he flourished. He took courses and passed them all. He read and learned and became a talented writer.

He did endless courses and took all of the opportunities he could. He grabbed them with both hands.So when he went back into the outside world he started his own business, he even wrote for a national newspaper as a regular columnist. He became a published author. Some semblance of a normal life was finally coming his way.

He was capable and intelligent and we could see the person he could become if he’d been given more support as a youngster.

But things happened and again the support fell away. Without the guidance of a probation officer, without the structure, his mental health problems that simmered under the surface reared their ugly, scathing, self destructing head again.

Addiction came back with a vengeance and along came some new ones too.

So we saw him slip back. He lost everything and again he went on the slippery slope into the abyss of addiction and self destruct.

So, we try to help as a family, but its not possible to keep an eye on him 24/7.

The downward spiral was and is fast and relentless;he loses touch of where he is and he ends up on the street. He loses contact with any kind of support network and before you know it he is sleeping rough.

We can’t track him. We don’t know where he is.

We’ve had phone calls in the past from wonderful passer bys that have tried to help him. In his moments of lucidity he remembers a number of a random relative and some very nice person decides to help him and calls.

We then hear he’s been in various places begging as he has lost everything. So we get there and we have to try and get him some help. He’s unwell and doesn’t know where he is. The police come and tell us not to bother with A and E as they are overcrowded but that they will try to help him.

Do you notice that even though I’m describing events in the past that I am using present tense? Why you might ask?

Because this is a recurring event. This happened last month but it could happen tomorrow, next week, next month. We never know what will happen next. This is the pattern that happens over and over again.

Services that are cut to shreds still try their best to help him. There are genuinely good mental health staff, hospital staff, police officers and key workers out there.

But it’s not enough.

The services need to be joined up. They need more funding to give him the intensive therapy and support for his mental health needs as this is the root to all of his problems, I believe.

But all that happens is the problem is treated that day. Acute support is given while he is physically unwell. But there is not enough in place to prevent this from happening again.

So I sit here and wonder what people must think when they walk past him. When he ends up on the street, bounding in and out of shops, trying to get someone to help him.

They will never see the man he can be. The man he has been, the man he could have been.

Every person has a story, but homeless people are nothing more than pests to the Tories.

If we followed the advice that they give us, which is to ignore a homeless person, don’t give them money or food; if every passer by that has helped my uncle thus far listened to this advice that this ‘government’ dish out my uncle would be dead by now. Perhaps that’s what they want. By treating homeless people like pests perhaps they think they will just die off.

But instead there are good people out there, people try to help. And for now he and we are riding our luck. That might just change one day. And we dread phone calls sometimes. What will happen next we just don’t know.

So I want to say to the people that help, the doctors, the nurses, the passers by, the staff in Pret that give out food, the key workers: Thank You!!!

Don’t ever change and maybe one day if we fight hard enough we will have a government that cares too so that real change can happen and people living in the streets being dehumanised by a callous government will be a thing of the past.

What! The Conservatives Respect the Act of Union? Do They Really? By Sarinder Joshua Duroch

The Tories drove Scotland away from Socialism to Scottish Nationalism

It is a well-known fact that in Scotland there is antipathy towards the Tories, it is virtually a tradition to be anti-Tory in Scotland. Some may disagree based on election results that this is changing, or is it the case that Scots are just desperate to see an opposition to the Scottish Nationalists be it Labour or Tory?

Who can ever forget the anti-Thatcher chants at the Scottish Cup Final in 1988, Celtic won on the day and Thatcher presented the trophy to the winning captain, Roy Aitken.

Anyone who is old enough can clearly remember the audible memories of the moment she appeared to present the cup. From the joy of winning the cup she managed to create a cauldron of hate filled chants from the crowd, clearly displaying how much she was disliked north of the border.

For a party that is adamant to ‘protect’ the Union at all costs and oppose the Scottish National Party, one needs to examine their track record in Scotland.

The Abolition of Rates Act 1987 brought an end to what we know as the traditional rates system to pay for local government services, and what we got in its place was the Poll Tax or officially known as the Community Charge.

What was George Younger, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, thinking of when he lobbied Thatcher into introducing the Poll Tax in Scotland in 1989, one year before it was introduced in England?

He was the Secretary of State for Scotland between 1979 to1986 and he lobbied Thatcher to introduce the Poll Tax in Scotland first to avoid an expensive review of the old Rates system.

What the Tories didn’t realise, through their total ignorance towards Scotland and the Tory traditional view that Scotland is an ‘addendum’ to the nation, was that the Act of Union of 1707 was clearly being broken under Article 18.

It was abhorrent to watch any government imposing its totalitarian authority on a minority of the population.

This was the beginning of Thatcher’s demise, agreed, it was the beginning of her departure and what was to develop later was so much anger towards the Tories that it developed into Scottish Nationalism.

Mr. Randolph Murray, a solicitor, failed to submit his details to the Poll Tax office based on the reason that a constitutional inequality had taken place. He was fined £50 for failing to register, he contested this and lost his appeal at the time.

However, he held the government to account at the time and probably had the Gandhi mindset of Satyagarh, a nonviolent, non-cooperation, insistence on truth approach and opposition to colonial masters.

Did the people of Scotland feel that they were being subjected to the same level of injustice through this historic tax that was always met with anger that had the ability to create divisions on a colossal scale?

It is evident through all the protests and people going to prison that the question is answered in full evidence; yes they were faced with an injustice that they had to rebel against.

We must accept that Gandhi went to prison over the salt protests and encouraged Indians to collect and sell salt. The British government at the time prohibited all Indians from making and selling salt so that they had the monopoly over it and could charge a heavy tax on it.

Citizens in those days were forced to buy from the government and were given no choice. The people found this to be very unfair and protested over it, at least 60,000 were arrested over the protests.

Similarly in 1989 the unfairness of the government’s actions in breaking a Parliamentary Act had to be met with protest.

The Tories totally neglected their position and responsibility, they were the custodians of the law and governance and they still gave no regard for such an important Act of Parliament.

An Act of immense importance was completely disrespected to push through the Poll Tax agenda in Scotland even if it meant breaking the Act of Union.

The Tory agenda, for them, was the most important act to adhere to, not the Act of Union.

Mr. Murray had to be right in taking a stance where the Act of Union had clearly been violated and broken!

Surely the Tories and their historic past behavioural pattern of non-cooperation with the working classes was the driving factor in delivering the policy of the Poll Tax.

An example of this autocratic behavioural pattern takes us back to 1984 when the strikers at Cammell Laird shipyards were imprisoned for their occupation of the shipyard; they were on an official strike and found themselves in prison for thirty days for not vacating the site.

The ship yard was in Birkenhead, we are all aware of how the Tories treated socialist Liverpool back in the ‘80s. The Iron fist seemed to strike a lot faster in the northern parts of the nation where there was a socialist will to fight for equality and rights.

Political expediency was clearly at the top of their agenda, engaging and listening was not and never will be an asset the Tories possess when engaging with the working classes. They only know how to oppress when engaging in dialogue, their historical behavioural pattern confirms this.

Given the fact that the Tories and their ilk have been so privileged to have the ‘best of education’, one would have thought that someone within their ranks would have reminded them King Richard II brought in a Poll Tax in 1381 that lead to the peasant revolt and almost brought him down.

Arrogance and education do not mix; like electricity and water and one needs to speak with variety and the other listen with an open mind. The Tories obviously had already proven with the miners’ strike they were not willing to listen to anyone, so why would the Scots be any different?

One could argue that at the time of Richard II the public were just recovering from the Black Death, we on the other hand were enduring the slaughter of the unions by Thatcher over 600 years later!

At the time of 1380 the Poll Tax did not consider the wealth factor or ability to pay regardless if one was rich or poor. In May 1381, the poor revolted and sacked the City of London.

The same happened with the Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar Square in 1990, didn’t any of the well-educated Tories and their advisers realise that the historical name of ‘Poll Tax’ was a bad omen?

It was the Tories that created the nationalistic temperament in Scotland by not playing fair in the first place, the bully in the playground does not know what to do when his victims stand up to him and fight back.

The Tory desire to punish the Scots for being historically socialist has in effect turned on them; they were and are the instigators and creators of what we see and hear in Scotland today.

It is their fault in its entirety when the people of Scotland ask the question, “What has Westminster ever done for us?”

The answer is the historic behavioural pattern of the Tories in the first place!

Because if we examine the Act of Union of 1707 and Article 18 it clearly defines that taxation/excises should be implemented equally on both sides of the border. This policy and its implementation clearly broke the Act of the Union and resulted in people willing to go to prison and face fines.

There was uproar at the time; sadly, the injustices are still happening today.

If we look at the gulf between the rich and the poor today, it has increased immensely and it is obvious that inequality in its implementation is visible through zero-hour contracts and exploitation of immigrant workers.

This in turn makes it a culture for employers and agencies to behave in such a manner towards the wider population making it an acceptable culture of ‘take it or leave it’.

The Tory injustices have continued not only in the ‘Tory experimental laboratory’ known as Scotland but nationwide too.

The Chartered Institute of Housing and the University of Sheffield have managed to provide statistics relating to the suffering of those on benefits.

84% of the 106 local authorities and 70% of the housing associations revealed that welfare policies are a major contributing factor to homelessness.

The lower benefit cap is leaving a huge gap and rents are not being met, it clearly shows that the gulf between rich and poor is result of policy provision and implementation.

The Tories have turned our nation into a sorry state, it is traditional for them to take such actions given their history and behavioural pattern towards the working classes and anyone who wishes to challenge them.

If we look at out of work benefits in Scotland and compare it to the UK level it is presently at 2.9% whilst the UK level is 2.3%.

In comparison, the South East of England reflects very different figures at 1.3%.

The North West of England has 3.1% claimants for out of work benefits, even concerningly higher is North East of England where the level is 4.4%.

The inequalities are evident in the figures and it is obvious that northern parts of the nation with a strong Labour voting tradition are victims of the growing divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

The economics of the Union cannot just be repaired with a High-Speed Rail Line from London to the North.

The GDP of our Union has a huge gulf between London and the rest of the nation, it is presently 22% of the total GDP and that comes from 12.5% of the UK population.

No wonder the Union was nearly compromised because of the Independence Referendum in Scotland back in 2014.

Anyone examining the figures can see that the gulf will only increase over the years and the suffering will continue not just in Scotland but in the North West & East of England as well.

The Union isn’t getting any equality from Tory policies and the Tories are clearly creating greater divisions and apathy towards the Union rather than unifying the nation.

We only need to look at these figures to ascertain that Theresa May’s mantra of a ‘fairer society’ throughout the Union of our nation is not going to work.

False words and false promises are being delivered whilst the rich are clearly getting richer and the poverty gap is increasing.

The historic antics do not need to be searched and sought for in history books, it’s all happening in front of our eyes daily in virtually every part of the nation.

Tory antics will not strengthen our Union but cause greater division both socially and economically; we need a socialist government that unites the Union and gives it the economic and social prosperity it needs.

Sources – Chartered Institute of Housing and University of Sheffield.

Parliament Acts UK Parliament & Nomisweb.

Compulsory Competitive Tendering AKA to the Tories as Council & Community Termination By Sarinder Joshua Duroch

The Tories branded Compulsory Competitive Tendering as efficiency, quality implementation and provided value for money to the local tax payer.

It proved to be the dismantling of the democratic relationship between the citizen, elected members and service provision, which is at the heart of local authority provision.

The Local Government Planning and Land Act of 1980 introduced a block grant and compulsory competitive tendering (CCT). A block grant is the bulk of funding that a local authority gets from Whitehall each year, local authorities can spend it as they see fit to do so, but the amount is determined by central government. Ring fenced grants are also given by central government, but are solely for a specific purpose and the local authority cannot spend as they please.

Savings through CCT would result in savings and less to pay out from a central government viewpoint.

Thatcher’s crusade against Labour councils had begun and the implications certainly made their impact until Labour came into power and changed CCT to Best Value(Local Government Act 1999). Best Value gave far greater consideration to service users and local authorities.

At the time the U.K was the only place in Europe where an act of Parliament dictated that local councils must tender out their services to the cheapest bidder; the Tory governments turned our local authorities into nothing but auction houses.

During the years of CCT local government was only a local authority in name, the services and maintenance that is rightfully meant to be supplied by the people for the people had been sourced out to the cheapest bidder and in many cases the councils had to accept the cheapest bid.

CCT value was only assessed by the cheapest tender and CCT did not consider the employment agenda, the process of the tender submission stage characterises CCT in a nutshell. It is very fair to say that the Tory ethos was to ensure that private industry increased their ability to pay more corporation tax to the government whilst making the corporations bigger players in society.

What employment rights were in place one may ask, they were not expected to be in the submitted tender and more so where was the union in all of this?

The answer is nowhere in sight, because many who worked on tenders were not part of a union, and by working for the private sector they were cultured to participate in the mindset of the cheapest size fits all and profits before people.

The Tories knew fine well that council employees who were blue and white-collar workers were both part of the union movement, and by implementing the CCT strategy it eliminated council worker participation and they were replaced by the ‘profits before people’ ethos. CCT has affected all services across the board from parking to parks, from housing management and home to school transport.

How could the presence of the union, employment rights, legislation and fair opportunity for those in local government service be secured when the services themselves had been tendered out under the legislation of the Local Government Acts of 1988 & 1992?

As for social requirements being incorporated into the tender this is allowed in European nations but in the U.K it was outlawed. Citizens of democracy were being treated as consumers and the elected members of the council were simply ‘just there’ for the sake of being there and are not being active participants in the say of the private company’s way of working and service provision.

The key issue is the elimination or severe reduction in democratic control over service provision. Public service safeguarding was completely ignored, and business objectives were put in place. Service provision at the cost of democratic provision is a total capitalistic hostile takeover directed by the Tory machine that will not stop until it is satisfied that society has no or very little say in the process of service provision!  

The nature of CCT took a lot of power away from elected members and officers of the local authority seemed to be the negotiators and acted as the officialdom that the tenders went through.

Traditionally officers have advised members but CCT took the power away from members making officers more involved with the private contractor?

Is this the Tories idea of greater democratic provision? Social and political objectives were outlawed from the tendering process, surely this eliminates the elected member from the electorate, is this the Tory’s idea of greater democratic participation?  

We will obtain better value for money and higher quality services” (Michael Heseltine, Secretary of State for Environment, January 1992).

This statement turned out to be the Cri de Coeur for anyone who believed in local democracy.  

At what cost is there better value for money, direct employees of the council having no employment and facing redundancy!

Direct Service Organisation employees are employed directly, and they cannot be replaced for a cheaper alternative by the local authority.

Private firms know this very well and can easily employ people on low wage, temporary and agency contracts to get the job done as soon as possible. Just how can a local authority compete one may ask the obvious question?

With the exploitation we see today of European workers and others we all know how much employment agencies have managed to get away with!

Making the poor poorer – Is this not a traditional Tory policy?

For many council staff that couldn’t remain employed by the local authority they found themselves being employed by the private contractor. Their wages went down, their hours reduced, their holidays were impacted, and sick pay was non-existent. The nature of the competitive tender resulted in health & safety practices being exploited to cut corners and make savings.

A survey instructed by the Department of Environment discovered that, in those services that fell victim to CCT one in eight jobs had been lost. A further examination of 20 local authorities revealed that CCT caused more than 10,000 part-time jobs to be lost in the lower paid sectors of building and cleaning.

Evidence that the poor and working classes were the victims of the Tory policies that hit that most financially vulnerable in society.

The main objective of the Tories was to increase taxation revenue and take away the powers from the unions and the Labour party controlled authorities. Once again, the working classes in the north of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland were badly affected.

Unions were seriously affected, bargaining power was taken away from them, reduced membership and less consultation over management policies and decisions. It really was a major clean up operation for the ‘fat cat’ Tory thus ensuring a comfortable income for the Treasury, company shareholders and the losers, as usual, were the working classes.

What did Heseltine care for the working classes when he made his 1992 statement, he was in the full swing of his political domain and with the income that comes with it. All he had to do was play the Tory tune at every opportunity he could to make enterprise the way forward and local democratic participation a thing of the past and an outdated concept.

Nationally and locally agreed pay structures were ignored and the position of the local authority as a major local employer was clearly undermined or diminished in many cases. Did the Tories consider the fact that people like cleaners and maintenance workers were having to claim for in work benefits and housing benefits to make ends meet due to the treatment they were getting by the private contractor?

In addition to this the job losses that the local authority had to endure were immense and many in ‘secure long term’ employment found themselves with no work at all.

Did the Tories care? No, they did not!

That was not their concern, when was the last time the Tories cared for anyone apart from themselves or their associates and friends in industry.

Remember profits before people and power over society is the main concern and policy of the Tories and their ilk.  

One would believe that the Tories would have least protected themselves and their friends in industry. By the early ’90s The Public Service Privatisation Research Unit discovered that the failure rate of private companies was 4.5 times higher than that of the work carried out by the local authorities.

Complaints relating to the standard of cleaning to the maintenance work carried out in schools was in high occurrence. Work was not completed on time, in many cases incomplete and overall very poor standard.

In 1997 Hilary Armstrong, the then Local Government Minister, changed the agenda of CCT to prioritising Best Value and making consultative changes. CCT was replaced by Best Value in 2000, the TUC welcomed the proposals by the then Labour government and added that pay and working conditions were of paramount importance.

At the time Jon Monks, the TUC General Secretary said, “This is a clear recognition that CCT has failed. Its market-driven approach has failed to deliver improvements in service quality and has driven down pay and conditions for public sector workers.”

The Tory divisions of class and social segregation spared nobody as it usually does. The first wave of victims were blue collar workers and in 1993 white collar workers were targeted.

As usual all services were subjected to phased changes causing uncertainty and insecurity spreading throughout the workplace; fear was the best instrument to select for the Tories as a resource to subdue and control the working classes.  

In 2016 the state owned Calmac ferries won the contract over Serco to run the ferry service in Scotland. The employee centric focus and modern technology commitment was a major factor in winning the bid. An area of attraction was a commitment to maintaining the living wage and boosting local employment including apprenticeships, in addition to this their bid involved communities in the decision-making process.

This clearly has the hallmarks of the Labour changes that were made in 1997 and best value characteristics are evident.

The Scottish Conservative response to this successful bid was in defence of private companies – (Quote from BBC news coverage) The Scottish Conservatives said the tender process had been designed to deter private companies from bidding and winning, and that a number of questions remained to be answered as to why Serco’s bid was ruled out as being non-compliant.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36330479

CCT and other Tory policies were selfishly thought out by Thatcher, she firstly prepared the police to be on side to deal with the miners and any form of protest.

They carried out her physical and brute force agenda, whilst appeasement to the corporations extracted out whatever willpower and strong blood was left in the veins of society and its representatives through taking power from the local authorities.

The very nature of using corporate enforcement and breaking the relationship that the electorate has with elected members in relation to local service provision will always be at the centre of serious controversy.

Greed has no limit and does not know when to stop. However, a mind that is cautious of the implications of greed and puts society first will prevail; that mind belongs to the electorate and they must choose wisely to deal with the crusade that has taken from the poor and allowed the rich to exploit at will.  

Sources: BBC, Unison, EURWORK & The Insecure Workforce (Walsh & Davis report 1993).

Carillion: Public Risk, Private Profit By Kelly Grehan

So Carillion has gone into liquidation, plunging the lives of the 20,000 people working for them in the UK and those reliant on the public services they are paid by the coffers supplied by taxpayers to provide, into uncertainty.

Carillion is one of largest providers of NHS facilities management, covering:

200 operating theatres;

-300 critical-care beds and

-11,500 in-patient beds.

It also has contracts to maintain:

-50,000 armed forces’ houses;

– £680m contract to provide 130 new buildings in Aldershot and Salisbury plain for troops returning from Germany;

– It provides cleaning and school meals for 875 schools and

– Maintains 50% of prisons.

When governments began outsourcing the work for public services we were told it was a means  of transferring the risks arising from major projects to the private sector.

Of course this has proven to be categorically untrue.  

Outsourcing and privatisation doesn’t transfer risk to a company. Instead, it transfers any profits or savings made (coming from general taxation)  to shareholders and leaves taxpayers exposed and vulnerable towards all the risks and failures; because if they fail the government bails them out.

Privatisation simply means no accountability for public money

For over a year now, Carillion has been in meltdown. Its shares have dropped 90% and it issued profit warnings, and went through three chief executive within six months  Yet they continued to be awarded government contracts including the £1.4 billion HS2 contact.

Could the reason Carillion have continued to be given government contracts have anything to do with their Chairman, Phillip Green being a Tory Party donor?

Of course, while Carillion workers are likely to face a difficult time with regards to their future, no such worries exist for those who headed up the company.

Carillion’s pay policy wording was changed to make it harder for investors to claw back bonuses in the event of ‘corporate failure.’

Chief operating officer Richard Howson has made £1.9m in cash and share bonuses during his tenure while ex-finance chief Richard Adam has received £2.6m.

Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has already said contracts run by Carillion should be bought back ‘in-house.’

Rehana Azam, the National Secretary of the GMB Union, said: “The fact such a massive government contractor like Carillion has been allowed to go into administration shows the complete failure of a system that has put our public services in the grip of shady profit-making contractors.’

So what will happen next? Is this the beginning of the end of the privatisation of public services?

We are told that MPs will be holding an enquiry into outsourcing Public Sector jobs in the wake of the Carillion collapse.

Jeremy Corbyn echoes once again what most of us are thinking and hoping for. He has said that this ” Is a watershed moment for PFI contracts”.

One can hope.

What they will ‘find’ and act upon remains to be seen and many will feel that this is just the current government making another empty promise in a long and sorry saga of public services outsourced for private profit.

Isn’t It Time We Made Homes Fit For Human Habitation? By Kelly Grehan and Lisa Mulholland

The second reading of Karen Buck MP’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill is on January 19th 2018.

We can hardly believe that, in the 6th richest country in the world, in 2018 it is necessary for such a bill to be raised.  

It is astonishing that such a protection is not already in existence for tenants. Tenants have no avenue for redress or means of compelling landlords to make repairs or even secure the safety of the property.

The Bill would empower tenants by giving them the right to take their landlord to court if they fail to take action to resolve a problem.

There are currently around one million rented homes with hazards that pose a serious risk to health and safety. This affects over 2.5 million people.

You might think that this lapse in the law is an oversight that just needs to be rectified. But you would be mistaken.

A version of the Bill was first introduced by Karen Buck in 2015 and was ‘talked out’. A version of the Bill was also proposed as an amendment to the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and was voted down by the government. Including the 87 Tory MPs who are landlords.  Their argument was that such legislation would burden upon landlords and discourage people from renting out homes.

How did we get in the situation we are in today, one might ask.

Many years of under funding and de regulation of the housing market we could argue.

What could be a greater burden for any person than trying to live in a ‘home’ unfit for human habitation, you might wonder.

Data from the English Housing Survey 2017 found that Almost a third (29 per cent) of homes rented from private landlords fail to meet the national Decent Homes Standard; meaning they either contain safety hazards or do not have acceptable kitchen and bathroom facilities or adequate heating

Poor housing impacts on children by making them 25% more at risk of ill health or disability, including raised risk of meningitis or asthma and a greater chance of mental health issues.

They are also more likely to miss school through illness.  Almost one million privately rented homes are deemed to be in a state of “substantial disrepair”, while 442,000 have damp in one of more rooms.

Poor housing also places a greater burden on other services and affects society as a whole, not just children.

Substantially more working age adults living in bad housing report fair, bad or very bad general health (26%) than those living in good housing (17%), with adults in bad housing 26% more likely to report low mental health compared with those living in good housing.

Those living in bad housing are almost twice as likely to have their sleep disturbed by respiratory problems at least once a month.

The association between living in bad housing and health problems is particularly acute among those above retirement age; with Pensioners in bad housing a third more likely to have fair, bad or very bad health compared with those in good housing (58% vs 38%).

Almost a fifth (19%) suffer from low mental health compared with 11% in good housing.

Almost twice as many pensioners living in bad housing suffer from wheezing in the absence of a cold, compared with those in good housing.

Not only is this unacceptable and immoral in this day and age but it also undoubtedly places more burden on the cash strapped NHS, including mental health services and schools that are already under so much pressure.

So what can we do about this?

We welcome the second reading of the bill and hope that this can proceed to the next stage. MPs will have a vote on this issue and we the people can apply pressure on our local MPs to vote the right way.

You can find who your local MP is and and how to contact them by clicking on the link below.

http://www.ukpolitical.info/YouandyourMP.htm

The above is taken from Natcen’s 2013 report on People in bad housing.

Are the Tory Walls About to Come Tumbling Down? By Sarinder Joshua Duroch

What’s really changed since 1985?

It’s April 1985, the privatisation ethos is in full swing. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are facing the full wrath of Tory policies, individualism and the tyranny of the ‘I’m alright Jack attitude’ sent from the Tory south east of England has increased the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’…

I am now 44 years of age and it is fair to say I’ve seen the impact of Tory policies and unfairness, the memory of the violence that was displayed by the Police on behalf of the Tories to the miners and their families was totally abhorrent.

In fact, the news I was watching should have had a British Board of Film Classification certificate.

I will never forget the Police waving £20 notes at striking miners showing off their overtime pay, and shouting “thank you Arthur Scargill”.

Many were sent from the south east of England to the northern counties, Orwell was right when he said, ‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’ That boot certainly was faced by anyone who had a socialist bone in their body. As for the cities, the skinheads were booting people around with limited intervention from the Police.

The teachers strike was in full swing at the time. How could I forget, I would turn up to classes and got sent away, we would wander around the streets of Glasgow and be fearful if the then Strathclyde Police would give us a hiding for being truant from school.

Don’t forget for a moment I was subjected to a fear of the police and them using force due to what happened to the miners.

Even at that age we were told that the Police are pro Queen, pro Protestant and certainly pro Tory; what chance did a young Celtic supporter have if he was stopped and questioned?

Well, we move on to 2017, what chance has any youngster got when this generation is still being used as free labour? Back then it was the slave labour of the YTS (Youth Training Scheme) and today we have people being sent on work trials by the job centre and they work for nothing or their benefits are stopped.

Has much changed under Tory rule?

NO!

Not much has changed at all, we lived in the fear of the far right then and had to be subjected to hate crimes that were laughed at by the authorities and the Police, in comparison today it is not an exaggeration to say that it was a totally different world.

Hate crimes have increased but they are treated with urgency now not like in the past where if you took a hiding for being who you are then it was your fault according to the authorities.

One movement did make a difference to the socialist mindset and strengthened the will of many young people, it was the famous school children’s strike of April 1985.

10,000 school children took part in a strike against the Tory’s YTS scheme. Rightfully so given that they were expected to complete their schooling and be oppressed by the employer; who was probably enjoying the delights of the Chamber of Commerce meetings in smoke and alcohol filled rooms down in the golf club or some country club whilst the working classes could hardly afford a pint down in the Working Men’s Clubs of Liverpool.

The whole thing was designed to ensure that the children of those union members would become reliant on the wages of torture whilst business leaders profited from their misfortune of being working class children.

Well, the Tories had something else coming and that was the will of these young heroes who refused to be broken by the state and its attempt to supress the youth into submission, and make them subservient just like those in the colonies who joined the police and carried out the agenda of the masters.

Do not be disillusioned by the exploitation of cheap labour abroad by these corporations where there are little or no employment laws.

India is a prime example with the violations of child labour and the call centres that are in place to serve these corporations based over here. So, it is the same ethos of brutal corporate colonialism and appeased to by the subservient servants who are serving the cause and continuing the suffering of their own people.

Those kids in the city of Liverpool were striking for their future and without any arms apart from their school bags and uniforms off they went to the banks of the Mersey to show the government that their will cannot be broken.

In a time when there was no social media all they relied on was leaflets and word of mouth. They still managed to generate 10,000 kids, all achieved in a city where poverty was rampant because of the unfair policies aimed at the working classes.

The south east overall was relishing in the waves of new cash that was being made available by the sell off from public owned industries and the cash being generated from the boom that was created for the Tory voters in the south east.

As for the northern cities, their kids were taking up the cause of fighting for their justice and future opportunities there were no wages for their efforts only the hope of a better future.

When was the last time holding your ground for principle and morals paid you? The wages of sin only go to the sinful.

The odious Norman Tebbit who was the Education Secretary at the time made it clear that all benefits for 16 & 17 years olds will be stopped if they do not go into further education or if they fail to find work; they were forced to engage with the infamous YTS scheme.

Has much changed in 2017?

Today we have the increase in the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, corporations are booming from tax incentives and loop holes in the system where taxation can be avoided legally.

Yet we have people being sent to work on work trials for free and then sent back to the job centre to be humiliated for not securing employment!

We need the spirit of the school children who went on strike in 1985.

The will has not been totally broken to stand up for the change in government. I do believe we need to take on Orwell’s words and stand by them by not being afraid of political correctness that in result creates appeasement that silences our principles.

George Orwell ~

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, impostersthieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices”

Do we want to become the accomplices, or do we want to be like the kids of 1985 who were petrified of being suspended, or even arrested by the Police on some breach of the peace act or public disorder act being in place.

Don’t forget, now you can simply Google everything, back in 1985 you needed to learn your rights and know them well because it was deemed that you had no rights if you were northern, working class and the son or daughter of a socialist.

To remind the youth of today, I must express this example of what the Tories and their antics are really like.

We must agree that we are a charitable nation, are we not?

Yes of course we are.

I grew up at a time when the famine in Ethiopia was killing the whole nation, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure started the Live Aid campaign and it certainly showed the world that we are a charitable nation of substance.

Our working classes did what they could to raise money for the Live Aid cause and showed their charitable nature.

There is no doubt those who watched the scenes on the news were moved to the point where it left a psychological scar on the mind.

Watching children die in their parents’ arms and be subject to the torment of starvation really moved this nation.

It didn’t move the Tories or Thatcher though did it!

I will never forget her being collared by Bob Geldof because she refused to exempt the Band Aid record, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ from 15% VAT.

So here we have the working classes raising money for the cause to save the lives of starving children and doing something for humanity, whilst they themselves were still nursing the wounds of police batons from the miners’ strike.

Thatcher with a deluge of support from the Tories would refuse to exempt the record of VAT and return any tax made from the record to the starving children of Ethiopia.

A Labour MP at the time held Thatcher to account and asked her to refund the 15% tax. MP Al Morris of Manchester, Wythenshawe said:

“Every penny of this money was intended for starving children in Africa, and not for the Billy Bunters of the Treasury. You cannot praise the Good Samaritan and then mug him to the tune of 15% of his aid.”

“I want Mrs Thatcher to instruct the Treasury to find a way to refund their pickings from this wonderful event -which may run into many thousands of pounds.”

MP Morris became the first Minister for the Disabled in 1974 and his work played a huge role in passing legislation in 1970 for disabilities and chronic illnesses.

I wonder what he would have to say about the Tories and their antics with PIP and the indignation that disabled people must go through today.

So, what has changed since 1985?

Years later, in November 2014, George Osborne eventually surrendered to the idea of VAT exemption and informed Geldof he can keep the money for the Ebola cause.

Did he want to appease the working classes by making this decision or was he just as moved as his loyal tears for Margaret Thatcher at her funeral?

They say in politics that one must vote and speak with their conscience, so didn’t one Tory MP have the courage to stand up and hold the hierarchy of the Tory party to account?

At least in the Labour party Blair felt the wrath from Robin Cook over the Gulf war and had his own MPs holding their ground.

The Tories were and still are petrified of their leadership, any sign of change will be for their own financial gain or a power grab; not for the principles of humanity, that you can forget right this very instant.

So, what has really changed?

We still have massive profits being made by companies that bought our industries!

We still have cheap or total free labour.

The human trafficking situation is way out of control because profits before people is still the main concern of the Tory government.

People cannot make it to the end of the month financially, food and fuel poverty is a massive problem and zero hours contracts have been allowed to flourish without much opposition or questioning from the Tories.

We have had a recent increase in rail fares and buses are no longer the cheaper option for the working classes.

The 1985 deregulation act of our buses was implemented in October 1986, Labour Lords managed to create an amendment that prevented PM May from prohibiting local authorities from running a bus service back in 2016.

Labour made it clear that municipalisation must remain an open option to local authorities, thus allowing the opportunity of public ownership returning to the people who were victims of corporate theft by the Tory government.

Bus fares have risen faster than inflation and bus usage has fallen by more than a third causing more congestion on our roads.

So again what has changed since 1985?

It’s the same corporate tyranny supported by the Tory government, someone is certainly getting richer from all of this and it isn’t the people who are paying for all, that is a certainty.

Consumers must accept it or just simply must walk to their destination; the market is like a hostile takeover where three bus companies hold the monopoly they are Arriva, Stagecoach and First Bus.

The Tories have totally ensured that the working class pay for this proper, since 1995 to 2016 bus fares outside of London rose by 156% whilst the Retail Price Index rose by 77%.

What has changed since then?

This month saw another rail fare increase for the same quality service where delays, cancellations and not getting a seat is a daily occurrence.

As for the Tory faithful; the membership I am referring to, that is falling according to media sources and activists the figure could be under 100,000 members.

Is it the case that the autocratic ethos of the Tories has finally broken the will and participation enthusiasm when only 28% of them have a say on policy formation?

Could it be that many Conservative members have been mislead and when they visit their doctor’s surgery or local hospital the reality hits them straight in the face?

Maybe the reality of life hits them when they need to access the NHS or face unemployment.

Whatever the reason, brick by brick, this wall is tumbling down.

The next repetition we will be seeing is more seats like Canterbury becoming Labour; Canterbury was a massive victory and with Jeremy’s leadership more towns and cities will become Labour.

Whatever he is doing it is working and working exceedingly well the membership reflects that at over 500,000.

I will leave you with the lyrics of the 1985 song Walls Come Tumbling Down by the Style Council, it may just rekindle your desire for change of government and not stand for this social oppression.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5HfOipwvts

You don’t have to take this crap

You don’t have to sit back and relax

I know we’ve always been taught to rely

Upon those in authority

But you never know until you try

How things just might be

Are you gonna try to make this work

Or spend your days down in the dirt

You see things can change

Yes, and walls can come tumblin’ down

Lights go out

Walls come tumblin’ down

Yes, they do

Yes, they do

The competition is a colour TV

We’re on still pause with the video machine

Until the unity is threatened by

Those who have and who have not

Those who are with

And those who are without

And dangle jobs

Like a donkey’s carrot

Are you gonna

Get to realise

The class war’s real

And not mythologised

And like Jericho

Yes, and walls can

Come tumblin’ down

Lights go out

Walls come tumblin’

They’ll be too weak

To fight it

Oh, the world’s united

Oh, we’ll unite it

Are you gonna

Be threatened by

The public enemy

Number 10

Those who play

The power game

They take the profits

You take the blame

Are you gonna try

To make this work

Or spend your days

Down in the dirt

You see things can change

Walls can come

Tumblin’ down

Oh, lights go out

Walls come tumblin’ down

Yes, they do

Lights go out

Walls come tumblin’ down

Oh, lights go out

Walls come tumblin’ down

Oh, lights go out

Walls come tumblin’ down

Source BBC Politics, Daniel Zeichner Labour MP for Cambridge.

Educational Attainment and the British Indian Sub-Continent Origin Vote By Sarinder Joshua

They say be careful about what you wish for, are British Indians entering a cauldron of ingredients full of division and hate?

For the many not the few, this is Jeremy’s equality mantra and given the last election result it has become evident that this is clearly resonating with the British public.

There is another issue of concern relating to what we would classify as for the many and not the few.

I am referring to the education opportunities in the nation and who are becoming the beneficiaries of the divisions that have been placed in our society since the Tories have been in power and their attempt at the ‘Big Society’.

It is evident from the statistics that the white working-class males are not excelling in education and they have become sound recruits for the populist mantra and the far right.

Are we supposed to believe that this is all the ‘fault of the foreigner within our midst’?

Is it the case that we must surrender to the belief that the ‘white British are lazy at work and educational engagement’ and leave it at that conclusion?

No! I disagree with these socially disruptive and falsehood statements that are brandished around like hearsay that is providing entertainment whilst there is a power cut for hours and people make up folklore to pass the time of day until the light returns.

The facts do reflect that the white working classes are falling behind in education, the highest performers are Indian & Chinese origin children in our schools.

One can agree that the investment in education within these cultures is of paramount importance.

We need to understand why this is the situation, I am of Indian origin, third generation, and I have my own perception of why this is the case.

Firstly, the white working classes have traditionally been directed towards apprenticeships and other trades.

This is no longer available in abundance and there is no doubt that the white working classes have suffered terribly from the demise of the extended family ethos and communities have been broken by the selfishness and self-centred ethos implementation of the Thatcher years that were continued by subsequent Tory governments.

The white working classes were ignored on an industrial scale once they were subjected to buying their council homes and generating money for the economy in the eighties. Did they ever recover from that Thatcher initiative?

I always believed this was to place the working classes in debt by having mortgages, so they would think twice about striking and rebelling against an employer.

On the other hand, we can look at first generation Indian sub-Continent immigration and ask ourselves why were they ignored and not subjected to integration and better race relations.

Why suddenly are third and fourth generation Indian sub-Continent origin British nationals being embraced by the Tories? The answer is simple, the Tory Conservative mindset that promotes business, family and traditional values resonates with the British Indian community.

However, their parents always voted Labour as a safety net due to the threat of being thrown out of the U.K.

We can’t ignore the Birmingham speech by Enoch Powell most popularly known as the Rivers of Blood speech and that many Indian origin immigrants were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin. Once these immigrants, of which many were British nationals in the first place settled into Leicester and implemented their business acumen, they became of interest. Prior to their arrival they were encouraged not to come to the U.K and were met with anger in many cases.

Naturally the first generation would have been petrified about their status in this nation and saw the socialist outlook of Labour to be a safer vote and most of all a secure move to make; resting assured that they would not be thrown out of this nation.

Education is essential to people of Indian origin, there are cultural traits that dictate excellent results in education. For a lot of parents their pension policy is their children and the oldest son is expected to look after his parents in old age, one can only do this if the financial resources are available to do so.

The other issue that is of a major concern is the status symbol of education and caste, we know the Indian caste system is an abhorrent system of dehumanisation and it has found its way into this society without being questioned or opposed by all political domains in the early days of Indian sub-Continent immigration.

The exception to this is Jeremy Corbyn who has publicly opposed the caste system and has not been afraid of the multicultural appeasement agenda in doing so.

For many who immigrated here in the early years of the fifties and sixties it was to their amazement that they could even sit on a chair and do their work in a classroom whereas, in India if one was from a scheduled caste or regarded as an untouchable one would be humiliated and made to sit on the floor of the class whilst the higher castes were given preferential treatment by being given chairs and desks.

This gave many the hope that education should be embraced and most of all the opportunity; is it any surprise most of them have done well in the fields of education and employment by having an opportunity that does not dehumanise them.

I am convinced that the white working classes have been left behind by the Tories so that apathy is developed into voter stagnation and they rebel against Labour and choose the populist vote.

As for the Indian origin third and fourth generations they have been subjected to corporate appeasement rather than multicultural appeasement by the Tories. Did they care about them as first-generation immigrants?

Now that India is doing well in an economic sense we are seeing the Tories embracing the third and fourth generations, David Cameron’s warm up act at Wembley Stadium when PM Modi arrived here was a classic example. Even though many see his government as a theocratic lead government the Tories still are ignoring the concerns and pushing the division agenda. He went as far as speaking Hindi on stage and making the statement that there will be an Indian origin Prime Minister in Downing Street one day, if there will be a Tory PM it will certainly be one that is moulded into the expectation of the Tory prototype.

The divisions are evident, we are seeing a shift in ethnic minority voting patterns.

In the 2015 election we saw 1.6 million ethnic minority voters support Labour and for the first time the Conservatives managed to get 1 million ethnic minority voters.

However, the area of concern is the origin of the voters and the divisions that are being created. Muslims and Christian ethnic minorities are still voting for Labour and the Tories know this very well indeed.

Historically there have been divisions between these communities, the partition of India and Pakistan is evidence of this but what are we seeing now in the U.K, have we moved to a new category in the class divide?

Is it now evident that minorities within minorities will become categorised by a new class hierarchy structure that is only applicable to ethnic minorities in this nation?

The Conservatives have clearly managed to convince the professional British Indian community to vote for them and thus create a new class in society.

In my youth, people of Asian origin would only really stay in cities and in their city suburbs at the most, now we are seeing third and fourth generation people moving into the areas that are Conservative and rural. To fit in and get the best employment opportunities and display their educational prowess they are certainly managing to change their voting intention and social integration; falling straight into the hands of the Conservative plot to create a new division in society.

It is evident from the research that the Conservatives are focusing on the Hindu vote, 41% voted Conservative and 49% Labour. Muslim voters were very different in their behavioural pattern, 64% Labour and 25% Conservative.

Whilst the Tories are placing political expediency before equality the gulf between British Indian, Chinese and white British within education is increasing rapidly.

Students with five or more GCSEs at A*- C grade or equivalent in 2014-15 was immense in difference.

Chinese origin students reached 86.8%, Indian origin students reached 80.8%, white British 65.9%, Pakistani origin 62.4% and Black Caribbean reached 58.1%.

Obviously, we know that fuel poverty and food poverty have increased immensely over the years so when one looks at the same figures for those who are in receipt of free school meals there is a bigger gulf of a difference.

Chinese origin girls reached 80.6%, Chinese origin boys 67.6% Bangladeshi origin girls 59.6% and Indian origin girls 58.2%.

The national average is 57.1% for this category in receipt of free school meals, the figures plummet from the national average indicating that the groups that need the most help are clearly becoming victims of social exclusion due to the Tories and their desire not to have a cohesive and fair society.

Black Caribbean girls 40.9%, White British girls, 32.0%, Black Caribbean boys 24.4% and White British boys 24%.

If the Conservatives call these figures a success I would like to ask them what a failure looks like.

Some in the media have been critical of Jeremy Corbyn, highlighting that his opposition to the caste system and a greater vision for welfare reform will not resonate with the British Indian community.

My view is steadfast on these views that are being brandished around, we don’t need to appease to one social evil to keep the multicultural appeasement ethos happy!

Where there is an injustice we need to stand up against it in full force and hold our ground.

I will not tolerate appeasement to keep a segment of the British Indian or any other community happy, if a practice is not conducive to the laws and values of this land it has no place within it.

Jeremy Corbyn is working to prohibit this abhorrent system of caste discrimination in our nation.

It is evident that the Tories are willing to appease those who are supporters of this system to continue with their fast pace of recruitment and voter retention among the Hindu & Sikh communities.

There are many who still support caste based temples and see Jeremy Corbyn’s stance as an impingement to their culture or some would rightfully call it social apartheid.

Jeremy Corbyn has been on the case since 2012 to ensure that greater equality is displayed within the British Indian community by dealing with the issue of caste discrimination.

An equal society must be equal in all its components, where political expediency exploits differences for its own advantages it is a gross act of selfishness and indirect hate implantation; the Tories have already imposed this ethos to the white working classes.

Now it seems they are working their way into the British Indian community.

Do not forget, colonialism was not successful without those who wanted to benefit from the arrival of the menace on their shores.

Can we justifiably state that Priti Patel and others have the same ethos of the collaborator where they benefited from engaging and dancing to the tune of the Tories?

We do know that even UKIP became victims of the Tory plot, the Tories always wanted to control immigration but after Enoch Powell’s speech they were very careful how they tread on the terrain of immigration.

One could argue that UKIP played the tune that the Tories wanted to broadcast and hear but were not willing to speak the language that UKIP were using.

My perspective as a British Indian is not unique, I am free in this nation and I am a proud British citizen and a convert to the Christian Roman Catholic faith.

I am glad that I am free to choose my faith and be free to express my opinion, having the support of a new proper socialist leader who believes in the defence of his citizens against such inequalities be it economic, geographical or caste based discrimination is assuring and strengthens my identity as a British national of Indian origin.

I call those who disagree with Jeremy to come forward and argue with him over his stance against discrimination.

It is the next challenge that we face where a new division is being manufactured and supported, British Indians can argue that they are free to vote for who they want.

The issue here is, are they aware of the new class divide that is being created under the guise of practicing democracy by voting for the Tories or are they welcoming a new-found class that is only promoting division?

It has happened to the white working classes and created a massive surge in voting for populism and a recruitment ground for the far right.

Will British Indians sub consciously or deliberately make life harder for themselves if they become the victims of populism and the far right; will their ‘new’ Tory friends come to their rescue when there is hate breeding in society and they become the victims of their own desire to be part of the Tory elite?

Sources:

DFE,

University of Leicester,

The Economist November 2015

British Future.