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Love Sheffield? Hate Cuts.

October 25, 2010

In a sense it may already have become apparent that the person who started this blog (that’d be me) has their own political agenda. I think presenting a medium that portrays some individual perspectives on a city will always reflect that – especially if the city is viewed through the eyes of someone politically active.

I’m proud to say that I’m a socialist, and an activist, and a trade unionist. So I’d like to take this opportunity to do a short write up of what happened today, and then to ask you all for a few moments of thinking.

Yorkshire and Humberside TUC along with Sheffield Trades Council today called a demonstration in the centre of Sheffield to make a stand against the public sector and other cuts currently being carried out and proposed by the coalition government. More recently this was coupled with a march from Sheffield University to the demo, as well as a number of ‘community walks’ from various estates around the city, all bringing locals and those from further afield in Yorkshire together.

I started my day late, having been to another fantastic Na Zdrove event and feeling a little worse for wear, but quickly made it to the university to organise myself with my colleagues and comrades for a day of action. As we sat in the cafe in the students union the crowd outside slowly grew to around 100, and  then grew larger than that still I feel (but I’ve never been a great judge of these things). People were asked to make short contributions via the megaphone to the crowd before we set off, and for my piece I made an unrehearsed, ad hoc speech championing the campaign for free education and an end to all fees (not just the new proposals), and against the cuts agenda.

The march moved down to Hanover Way, to West Street and down, cutting through to Divison Street and eventually down to the top of the Moor and along Pinstone Street to our final destination outside the old Town Hall, where we found hundreds of activists, workers and trade unionists there to greet us and await the speakers.

From then on in I spent the day realising how wet and cold I was (mostly not caring, though an emergency sock-buying trip was made later on) after a period of obliviousness, and ‘networking’. What this actually meant was talking to as many attendees as possible and  talking to them about the cuts, how we can fight them, and how they can get involved. The biggest part of this was advertising the launch of the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Campaign (that’s a working title so maybe caps are inappropriate?).

This is the bit where I ask you to join in.

Out of the PCS Union branches in Sheffield from across the Departments (DWP, DfEd, BIS, Home Office, HMRC etc etc) comes a call for a grassroots, labour movement led anti-cuts movement in Sheffield. The inaugaral meeting will be on 24th November, 5pm at the Sheffield Novotel. This meeting will bring together workers, trade unionists, students, pensioners, the unemployed, volunteers, community campaigners and the people of Sheffield in general to set up a working, grassroots and fully democratic body of action to fight and mobilise against the cuts.

I want you to come to this meeting, and publicise it to the people you know. The ‘usual suspects’ in terms of fighting the cuts (e.g. the organised left and trade unions) are not able to pull this together on their own. We need a situation where people who have never taken part in ‘activism’ are organising leafleting, coming to meetings, and educating their friends and neighbours. There IS an alternative to the cuts that the mainstream media refuse to publicise, and Cameron’s ‘we’ means that we are not all in this together, but the working classes and the poorer majority in Britain are all now facing a devastating cuts agenda together – we must fight back against a situation caused by the banks, where the poor pay and the rich get off scot free. Please download this leaflet and start circulating it wherever you work or involve yourself. The motion will be going to Sheffield Trades Council for support on Tuesday night and has the full backing of local union branches in PCS (all branches), Unison, GMB, UCU, Unite, NUT and NUJ, and we expect this group to grow over the next month before the meeting.

See you there.

Rosie @ LS

16 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2010 8:06 am

    Please detail an alternative plan (in detail) to cut that massive deficit left by the last Socialist government because frankly, I do not wish to pay any more taxes!

  2. October 25, 2010 11:54 pm

    This is the start of a simple FAQ guide to the current economic debate for people who want simple answers and stats on what is going on and why it is wrong.

    I appreciate a lot of people are starting from scratch on economic issues but are still interested in the ongoing debates. So I’ve tried to be simple and straightforward, with links that explain more.

    This is just a starting point: I hope to expand this and add more information (feel free to write suggestions below). Parts of this will also be used for a new website some of us are building, to defend public services.

    * * * * * * * * *

    What is the Deficit?
    The deficit is the difference between government income and spending in a financial year. In the financial year 2009/10, the UK government had to borrow £159.8 billion to cover the shortfall, which was equivalent to 11.4% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP: the size of the economy). That figure is the deficit.

    How is that different to Debt?
    Government debt is the total amount of money the government owes to lenders. Most countries around the world have debt, and this is considered fine as long as the debt ratio (to GDP) is at a manageable level. At the end of March 2010, government debt stood at £1000.4 billion, equivalent to 71.3% of GDP. The deficit contributes to overall government debt.

    As you can see from the graph below, UK deficit and debt was very manageable before the recession that started in 2008. Then it took off.

    Why did the deficit suddenly explode?
    Some parts of government spending is difficult to control because ‘automatic stabilisers’ (e.g. welfare benefits) kick in automatically when people become unemployed. As a result, governments usually run deficits during a recession because tax revenue falls and its spending rises.

    After the crash, tax revenues plummeted and unemployment rose faster than expected. As a result the deficit ballooned. The Labour government decided that it had to temporarily maintain spending in order to keep the economy afloat. Cutting spending when the economy was in the deepest post-war recession could make the recession even worse.

    But as the financial crisis wore on, the deficit became a problem because tax revenues still have not recovered.

    Do we need to reduce the deficit?
    In short, yes. We are not in dire financial straits but we need to bring it down to a manageable level. Our national debt is also lower compared to other developed countries.

    But isn’t the situation dire??
    No. The debt, as a percentage of our national income (GDP) is at a historic low. Both indicators are within limits we can manage for now without bankrupting the economy. But tackling the budget deficit is more of a medium term priority than the national debt.

    This graph shows that debt (as a % of GDP) was much higher in earlier decades.

    This article explains that interest payments on our debt (as a % of GDP) were higher during Thatcher years.

    How we do reduce the deficit?
    There are two main ways of reducing the deficit: cutting spending and increasing tax revenues. Cutting spending does not necessarily reduce the deficit and can actually make it worse! More on this below.

    A government can otherwise seek to increase tax revenues. This can be done by raising taxes or stimulating economic growth, or both. Economic growth can be stimulated through temporary spending, reducing interest rates (makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and invest), devaluing the currency (usually leads to more exports of goods) and cutting taxes on consumption (to stimulate more consumption spending).

    Why are Coalition cuts so bad?
    The Coalition is planning a ration of 80:20 – 80% cuts to 20% tax rises, over four years, to plug the deficit by 2014.

    If you cut spending that drastically (as the Coalition is proposing to do) then it can lead to a rise in unemployment and a fall in consumer spending. A rise in unemployment would mean more spending as benefits are paid out, while a fall in spending depresses the economy even more. Furthermore, a drastic fall in government spending leads to knock-on effects in the private sector because many private companies also rely on the public sector or are dependent on consumer spending.

    This is what happened in the 1930s – the last time the government tried to cut spending so drastically.

    Do we need to reduce the debt?
    We need to eventually bring debt back to less than 60% of GDP. That is the limit the EU applies to member countries and is considered a safe limit. But it’s worth noting that other countries have much higher debt ratios.

    Is there evidence the cut are making things worse?
    Yes, lots. These are just from the last few months:

    Warning that up to 50,000 firms could go bust as a result of cuts.
    Pessimism about future ‘highest on record’ (will lead to lower spending)
    Osborne’s cuts causing ‘double dip’ in housing
    Employers say cuts ‘arriving at wrong time’
    IMF admits: West stuck in ‘near depression’
    IMF fears government cuts will damage growth
    Budget cuts depress confidence in housing
    ‘Toughest economic environment for 30yrs’
    Boris says Ed Balls could be right on economy!
    Figures show markets don’t reward big cuts
    New report predicts more job losses

    So why are the cuts taking place?
    The cuts are ideologically driven. The government wants to permanently reduce the level of public services: from the NHS and public transport to spending on developing alternative energy sources, housing an education.
    Sunny Hundal

  3. October 25, 2010 11:57 pm

    Wednesday’s Spending Review announced, as expected, that the plan is to further punish the public and the workers for the elite’s fuck ups. Osborne announced nearly 20% cuts in public expenditure, clobbering welfare, social housing, public sector workers yada yada. The axing package – already dubbed as this generation’s Poll Tax – was acknowledged, even by government-friendly think tanks, as passing the burden of the cuts mainly to the poorest in society.

    The Age of Austerity (TM) is characterised by a lurch to the right under cover of crisis. Remove safety nets, make workers leaner and ‘hungrier’, then privatise and hand everything over to corporations to run and profit from. And if an insufficient profit is to be made, the public purse is always there for a bailout. Just make sure the cops are tooled up enough to keep order when the market inevitably ‘fails to deliver’. While cooked up on the playing fields of Eton, the after-taste is definitely more American in flavour.

    For those who know that the real crisis has yet to begin to play out, resistance is in the air. Is it an opportunity to wake up the masses before they sleepwalk-on-ice-factor-idol themselves into the biggest change in the ‘social settlement’ between rich and poor since the Second World War?

    Protests took place in many UK cities on Wednesday evening, including Cardiff, Newcastle, Sheffield, Barnsley, Cambridge, Southampton, Bolton, Luton and London. In Dorchester protesters marched in white boiler suits and masks to represent the ‘faceless’ nature of workers in the firing line.

    The London turn-out was the largest with 3000 people marching on Westminster. Most then packed into the Central hall, whilst hundreds waited outside. The focus was on the half million public sector job losses and the 41% cut in university teaching budgets, amongst more general anti-slashing anger.

    Notably absent from the throngs of trade unionists and student activists was leader of the opposition Ed Milliband, who had promised earlier in the month that he would “definitely” attend.

    If he was worried about associating with misbehaving members of the public he needn’t have worried. The main march passed peacefully. It was only several hours later, at around 8pm, that any minor mischief occurred when 12 protesters broke into the government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in Whitehall. Three were arrested for criminal trespass, while others avoided the nick by leaving when asked. Immediate arrests do tend to put a dampener on these high-profile occupations…

    On Thursday in Glasgow a few unlikely suspects continued the disobedience. Eleven members of Citizens United group, including several pensioners, occupied a Lloyds TSB branch in the city centre. The group entered the building shouting “No Cuts! No Cuts!”, and, at the time of writing, are still there.

    Admirable, yes, but it looks as though it will take until at least the weekend for the resistance to pick up steam. A series of protests across the country are planned for Saturday, including in Cardiff at the City Hall, Edinburgh which kicks off at 11am at East Market Street, and Sheffield outside the Town Hall at 12.30pm.

    MadPride, the mental health system survivors group, are taking a creative approach for their demo planned at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park for the October 26th at 1pm. Mental health service users will re-enact the opening chapter of Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’, and a life-size effigy of a Con-Dem politician will be publicly hung, drawn and quartered. The day will also be a ‘Medication Strike’, with participants refraining from taking medications and any use of the mental health services for 24 hours.

    As the reality of the cuts sink in, will this relatively calm start gain significant momentum? The seeds of nationwide unrest have been scattered but to reach European levels it will need a outbreak of “We’re all in it together”…

    Photos from a march on 23rd October 2010, which was organised by the Right to Work campaign, from Sheffield University to the Town Hall, where the Yorkshire and Humberside Trades Union Council were holding a rally against the cuts.

    Despite the rain, protestors from around the region assembled on the Sheffield University concourse, where there were some speeches and then people marched through town to the Town Hall.

    All images Copyleft to feel free to use full colour high resolution copy’s on request e mail worldwarfreeatriseupnet with subject Sheffield Right To Work Demo it helps the Monkeys as admin..

    Full set of images All 20 was posted here

  4. The Loop Garoo Kid permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:11 pm

    Erstwhile Sheffield City Council election candidate for Labour and lefty political activist turned small businessman in the city centre here that serendipitously stumbled across this well written and at times politically incisive blog and is now armed with a question for the militant socialist author of this article… You allude to being in support of free university education for all, which hypothetically speaking would inevitably be provided at enormous expense to the tax payer, how do you reconcile your passionate defence of the hard working classes with the notion that their taxes would be funding young people from affluent backgrounds studying frivilous courses such as Cultural Studies, FTVRS, Media to name but a few? And in the course of your belief in free education do you also advocate a return to the old system of non-repayable grants instead of student loans in line with inflation so that the hard working class tax payer funds young people from affluent backgrounds’ drinking habits and Video Game, CD and DVD collection?

    And also, changing the subject entirely, I reccommend you watch these two videos if you haven’t already:

    One of the reasons I stopped being politically active within Labour was because they weren’t listening to my calls to prioritise disabled people in their budgets and legislation and they wouldn’t entertain the idea of all disabled people shortlists (and indeed all young people shortlists) in elections in order to work towards a truly representative democracy. But then things slipped into further retrograde as Brown, Darling and The DWP went on a witch hunt of disabled people which is now being continued and indeed accelerated by Cameron, Clegg, Osbourne et al and they will have blood on their hands as a result of the cuts and the lack of protection they give to disabled people.

    The UK, it’s politicians and it’s people arguably treat disabled people the worst and with the most ignorance out of any country in the developed world and the massive amounts of campaigning from disability charities does nothing to change this as they just don’t exude enough gravitas. And the organised left that you appear to be admirably fighting alongside don’t recognise that this is the worst thing happening on these shores. Disabled people all over the UK are suffering, being victimised, being misunderstood, being attacked, living in poverty and dispair. After my postgrad and failed election campaign I spent an arduous year working as a press and campaigns officer for a militant disability charity (so militant that it only employed disabled people- when no other charity in the sector adopted this policy) and I saw so much of the extent of the sheer devastation and dispair out there amongst disabled people and I actually started to feel lucky, my own negative experiences as a disabled person paled in comparison. Short of ‘militant disabled’ terrrorism, what does one do to change this when campaigning alone is evidently futile? Answers on a postcard.

  5. November 4, 2010 3:09 pm

    No solidarity with the bosses in their pathetic hypocritical struggles

    With some departments saying they intend to announce redundancies before the end of the year, and welfare and housing benefit cuts expected to mean increased poverty and homelessness, Christmas for many families could be bleak.

    “Hundreds of thousands of others face a new year which will be marked by the government’s insistence that mass unemployment is a price worth paying to achieve its ambition to undermine the welfare state. We can not allow this to go unchallenged.”

    Mark Serwotka

    I have been thinking about this a lot – there’s a lot of anti-cuts campaigns that I wouldn’t usually get involved with as I feel there’s a lack of thorough analysis. Movements campaigning against cuts to the arts, for example, but not framing this within the wider context of tory ideology, political disempowerment and class war, are for me very problematic. I’ve been pleased to see some callouts actually doing the framing, for example one earlier this week I believe said that art is not just for the rich, which made me very happy to support that campaign. I’ve also been very impressed to see so much of the usual infighting being left to one side, and a lot of the old IWW spirit, “an attack on one is an attack on all” etc. But it’s when the filth start complaining about cuts to their profession that I start thinking fuck off – they’d be the ones beating the shit out of us for defending our jobs etc.

    I’m more and more coming to see the importance of another part of IWW philosophy, it’s kind of obvious but I think well worth pointing out to answer some of my concerns.

    Sometimes we lose sight of the distinction between boss and worker, as classes (obviously, as I don’t want to make a distinction between someone who works and someone unemployed on that basis alone, I’m long-term unemployed myself).

    I’m not all that familiar enough with The PCS to make proper comments, but to my reading, someone who pushes someone else into a specific job with threats is very much boss class. People who’ll be grabbing tightly onto their jobs and pushing everyone else off with pleasure. Which is exactly what my experience has been like for a few years.

    Obviously there are issues – The PCS is presumably not just boss class so we need to think about ways to support those who need support and confronting those who need to be confronted. But if people who happily fuck over other workers without a moment’s thought are now asking for our help, they need a good kicking.

    Many workers and the unemployed are fed up with the TUC’s decision not to call a national demo against the Cuts till 5 months after the spending review. The PCSU are now pushing for a big London demo on december 11th. Here’s the info from the PCS NEC meeting

    “At its special meeting on 26 October, the NEC agreed, given the speed with which the Government’s cuts will impact and the success of the 23 October marches and protests, that a national demonstration should be held this year in late November or early December, in addition to the demo next March.

    “The PCS be discussing this with other unions and will propose at the TUC Public Sector Liaison Group meeting on 8 November that the TUC call such a demonstration.

    Out of the PCS Union branches in Sheffield from across the Departments (DWP, DfEd, BIS, Home Office, HMRC etc etc) comes a call for a grassroots, labour movement led anti-cuts movement in Sheffield.

    The inaugaral meeting will be on 24th November, 5pm at the Sheffield Novotel. This meeting will bring together workers, trade unionists, students, pensioners, the unemployed, volunteers, community campaigners and the people of Sheffield in general to set up a working, grassroots and fully democratic body of action to fight and mobilise against the cuts. Sheffield Anti-Cuts Campaign Speaking out in support of public services in Sheffield

    Wednesday 24th November
    5:30 p.m. – Furnival Suite,
    Novotel Hotel, Arundel Gate Sheffield, S1 2PR

    We The unemployed need to add our voice to the campaign and speak up for public services to help ensure that the people who paid for the bailout don’t have to pay for it AGAIN with their jobs and services and attacks on our beanafits.

    This initial meeting aims to bring together Sheffield Trade Unions, community groups and students to discuss how best to organise and campaign against the cuts – all are welcome to attend.

    For further information contact

    As an unemployed person I have an issue with workers at the DWP they’re the people that place people onto slave labour work at A4E and such crap placements, the people that stop people’s income if they fail to comply to being on crap placements such as A4E..

    They’re the people who refuse to see us, the unemployed, as human. It seems we are being asked to campaign at their side and save their jobs..

    But when New Labour’s New Deal came in the PCS did not take strike action, not a murmur and those who did take action the so called workers phoned the police and had us nicked..

    As an unemployed personI will defend people and there jobs, but unity comes both ways and in the last few days I have had to deal with The DWP and once more I have been treated like nothing more than scum by front line workers, all I asked was a change of addres form.

    They in turn become aggressive and in body language ie pointing a finger at my chest saying I was the one being abuse..

    So when has hello could you help, I need a change of address form been abusive? This was all what was said in turn I had staff and securtiy giving myself full on intimidation and harassment, these front line workers place us unemployed in fear.

    But when us unemployed begin to organise they say we are attacking them as happened to myself last few days, once more these cunts have proven why a lot of people who are unemployed treat them with contempt:

    Perhaps they need to ponder their actions towards us the unemployed and understand trust and respect will be given back when they’re on the picket line, but as it stands at the moment The PCS can in words just fuck off..


    • The Loop Garoo Kid permalink
      November 7, 2010 11:14 am

      Projectsheffield, you say you’re not familiar enough with the PCS enough to make comments then say it can “fuck off” because you’ve had what you feel to be a negative experience with one or more frontline jobcentre staff. You can’t possibly have had negative experiences with every PCS member and all the bosses of the union can you? So as such I think it’s very unfair to generalise and let your interaction with a minority or even just one or two individuals shape your whole view of the union, it’s objectives and all it’s members. There are good and bad eggs in every organisation, even the Tory party (some will no doubt be well intentioned but misguided, eg they might not be very bright and don’t know the true meaning of conservatism as an ideology and how malignent it is).

      In other news I’m currently suffering from major insomnia and I’m refining my plan for the charity I intend to set up in an embryonic form in due course. I came up with the idea 18 months ago but then it got sidetracked when my business partners and I bought the business we now run but I’m rejigging my workload/schedule and revamping my lifestyle to fit it in. It’s going to start as a blog and then develop into a website and social networking site encouraging and imploring people all over the world to do altruistic acts for other people, large or small, and blog about it/enter into public discourse on what they did, why they did it and how it made the recipient feel. Eventually I’ll accept donations and use 100% of the money to do even bigger things with. But there’s a little more to it than that. Sorry, I’m babbling now and I have to be at Meadowhell in an hour to meet a friend. I’m going to be wondefully alert company, oh dear :-P

  6. November 7, 2010 12:45 pm

    The Loop Garoo Kid of course your right in context but speak with former DWP workers and active members of The PCS, you will get an whole another world.. The staff giving the abuse could if wanted just stand back no they implement The New Deal/JSA send people on crap work placements, they have discretion and if organised unity with the unemployed, no we are been attacked by the very people who are asking for our support in this context they can fuck off , if they show unity respect to people like myself then of course it shall be given back i will be at the meeting to have this conversation..

  7. November 7, 2010 4:58 pm

    Project Sheffield.

    Surely the fact that this post was written by a DWP member of staff/PCS activist proves your point redundant? You attitude is completely at odds with any sense of unity at all.

    It might surprise you that workers don’t implement DWP projects because they hate the unemployed, but because that is the job that they are paid to do. I have already made a call to a previous unemployed workers project in Sheffield (which I have heard nothing of since might I add) to link up between service providers and service users, and actually, the vast majority of PCS members in DWP are extremely frustrated with the service that we give.

    By directing your anger and ‘fuck you’ attitude towards the workers rather than the minsters or DWP bosses, surely you are as bad as anyone on the street who condemns striking Firefighters for endangering the public, or bus drivers for inconveniencing them? Our answer to that is always ‘blame the bosses, not the workers’ and it should be the same here.

    Bafflingly, you seem to equate all DWP workers (and so I assume all in the public sector, effectively) as being the same as ‘the bosses’. How can you justify this kind of opinion? Any Jobcentre Plus employee will tell you that we are just as hard done by by our bosses as the service users/claimants are. 18,000 Jobcentre Plus job cuts to come in the next 9 months, and you suggest that we want that as we are as bad as the bosses?

    “I’m not all that familiar enough with The PCS to make proper comments, but to my reading, someone who pushes someone else into a specific job with threats is very much boss class. People who’ll be grabbing tightly onto their jobs and pushing everyone else off with pleasure. Which is exactly what my experience has been like for a few years.”

    Well you’ve said it yourself – you’re not familiar. The vast majority of workers in DWP are extremely low paid and to suggest that they are ‘boss class’ is absolutely laughable.

    You also suggest that you have suffered intimidation at the hands of the Jobcentre staff which fills you with fear. You have also called those same staff ‘boss class’, ‘cunts’, and said that they can ‘fuck off’. And you expect unity? I and other activists regularly talk to our colleagues about the fact that our staff deserve respect, and that the DWP management’s attitude that all claimants are ‘scum’ or ‘scroungers’ is disgusting. But this is the government’s point of view, not the employees. It is the most basic level of the understanding of solidarity that discusses the difference between the workers and their bosses. When a member of staff in a pub asks for ID from someone we would argue that they do not get angry about it because it will be their rules and their management that have told them to do so, not the member of staff. You should understand that this rule holds true in public service as well. If the Jobcentre staff do something that you don’t like (New Deal etc) that is down to policy, and not their own volition! If a member of staff was to go against everything they had a moral objection to without proper negotiation and campaigning they would sacked, which is entirely unhelpful to the cause of reforming public services!

    Considering how threateningly you write about myself and my comrades at work, I’m not entirely sure if I want you on my side anyway – the amount of hostility you show here is absolutely obscene. If you have experienced hostility from DWP staff I apologise, but just in the sense that I described above with the bar workers – workers can often be rude and unhelpful in their jobs, but that is usually down to their own treatment. If you can’t see that then you clearly have a very basic level of understanding of solidarity.

  8. November 7, 2010 5:00 pm

    Also – to The Loop Garoo Kid, on disability.

    I absolutely agree with you – the way my Department and the public sector treats the disabled (as if they are lying etc etc) is abhorrent. And I am actually making active steps in Sheffield to start campaigning over this, I hope you’ll get involved. You might be interested to read this article I wrote on the subject:

  9. November 7, 2010 6:09 pm

    Rosie hello this mozaz ie project Sheffield: Look much of what you say i find myself agree with in context, why i say context because the fact is as you know and have seen some staff have assaulted myself and lied in open court..

    If had not been for CCTV where it was shown they attacked myself, it was the first time i have been grateful for the swift response of The Police as no doubt the unprovoked attack on myself would have been more serious..

    I have kept away from The DWP for over 2 years in the hope matters would have calmed down, no when i had to contact last week for a change of address the same hostility was there, and intimidation..

    It was from active members of your union i might add, i did not respond as was wanted and let it, i will works towards unity with yourself and the unemployed..

    But lets make this clear this is 2 way road and some staff need to move on from where we have been, but i will make this very clear i will defend my right to be unemployed.. I have been from 1986 and i shall never or desire to work..

    I will work with The PCS on a united front, but if i find the hostility as i found last week, i will likewise defend my right to be unemployed by any means.

    I take the view self defense is no offense, though i have moved on from the days of blatant hostility towards all staff, is it not time that staff in your union do likewise to myself and the rest of the unemployed.

    Please spare me only doing my job, i know how this works and know former and current DWP workers, who tell me some staff are to use a sexist term (agreed) just cunts on a power trip and use the union to hide behind when attacking the people there are now saying they will defend, sister words are fine but what we need is action..

    All so note The PCS was one of the most right wing unions, before the election of Mark, times change and there are some workers still left who simply do not have the right to hold the jobs they do within The DWP is is simple NO PARTISAN..

  10. November 7, 2010 8:31 pm

    “This is the new reality of capitalism – it doesn’t need as many workers. Jobs have gone in every single recession since the seventies and not come back in the same numbers after the recovery. After every global recessionary period the number of jobs that return after recovery has fallen – experts predict that this crisis – even if we officially recover from it – will be the worst in that respect. So even if there are no more blips in the ‘recovery’, even without an official ‘double dip’ the ‘jobless recovery’ is going to be an ongoing reality for decades – and if you believe we are entering a period of costly oil and natural resources – then it is fair to say forever.'”

    Checking my last comment it it full of mistakes forgive I was in a rush..

  11. November 8, 2010 8:26 am
    Benefits reforms could include compulsory manual labour?

    The dreams of the last century, that increased mechanisation and automation would lead to increased leisure time for the masses, relieved of the drudgery and sheer mindlessness of much unskilled work. Instead, compounded by the outsourcing of jobs and the influx of cheap immigrant workers, the best the 21st century can come up is forced labour at slave wage levels, extended working hours, and the age of retirement heading for 70.
    So with the stroke of IDS’s pen, we go from an economic strategy that deliberately creates mass unemployment to one that deliberately creates cheap labour. Brilliant. There’s an honour in this for you, Ian, rehabilitation, glory, a statue.

    My God, my ancestors will be turning in their graves. The Tories are finally realising what they have long dreamed of – throughout the years of the post-war settlement, they moodily incubated a determination to reverse the social and economic gains fought for and won by people of unparalleled toughness and determination, people who took on the might of privilege and wealth and defeated it.
    This is the New Tory moment; this when they come out from behind their cosmetic masks of reasonableness and fairness and social concern and display their true dark hearts before the world.

    But I reserve my greatest contempt for those of us on the left; this is all happening on our watch. We betray those people I mentioned above, who vanquished the landowners and the factory and coal owners.
    So what are WE up against? a couple of Bullingdon hooray-henries and a leadership reject with the political acumen of petrified bird droppings .
    But the neoliberal apologists and careerist politicians that have infested the Labour Movement see only the votes of bigoted Middle Englanders and the ignorant Sun reading dross that posts here waiting to be harvested. The latter busy calling for their own enslavement, too ignorant or misinformed to notice the turkey staring back at them in the mirror of a Christmas Morning.
    Now in the new Dark Age heralded in by Ian Duncan Smith, every morning will be Christmas Morning for the beneficiaries, the businesses who will exploit this measure to access free labour, the talk of charities being a transparent smoke screen to hide the fundamental dismantling of the human right for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

    Make no mistake, this is just the beginning. Anyone who thinks that once the principle of unpaid labour has breached the social repugnance it generates that it will stop at a month’s work for ‘idlers’ is the kind of fool the Tories are relying on get this through.
    These are the descendants of people who built vast fortunes and empires on the sweat and death of their factories and workhouses; they are past masters at dressing up inequality and evil in Protestant work ethics and biblical rhetoric denouncing the peril of idleness – except where it’s practised in its purest forms of course, by digital fortune shufflers and land owning parasites drawing their subsidies while they indulge Mediterranean waves with their oversized cock-yachts.

    Shame, shame on us all. Tolstoy said everyone was innocent. I say everyone is guilty. Our children will never forgive us for allowing this to happen. The Tories talk of not saddling future generations with our debt; I think only of future generations facing the return of evils greater than any debt, that we had long thought banished from the lexicon of social intercourse and post war economics, all presented as some kind of economic panacea. Who is really ‘taking the piss’ here?

    No doublethink, no prevarication, no quarter.

    Either fight now or fuck off.’

  12. the loop garoo kid permalink
    November 8, 2010 11:21 am


    Agree with everything in your article, but just so you know, it’s not pc to say ‘the disabled’, the correct terms are ‘people with disabilities’ or ‘disabled people’. The term ‘the disabled’ doesn’t encourage the reader to see the person before the disability and that’s something that’s paramount, it also has semantic undertones of implied inferiority. I know it might come across as minuscule or melodramatic nit picking, but any qualified disability equality trainer will have this exact same thing on the syllabus (Indeed, I got pulled up on it when I was working for the British Council of Disabled People, even though I am actually a person with a disability myself :-P). It’s like how you wouldn’t just simply say ‘blacks’ anymore because it’s not pc, you would say ‘black people’ or ‘people who are members of an ethnic minority’.

    I’m interested to know your strategy for campaigning on these lines and will of course offer any help I can give but I’d like to know whether you think Chlamydia Cam, Nobrot Nick or even Tory Teddy (Milliband is not one of us as I’m sure you’ll know, he’s an upper middle class spoilt rich kid that’s never done a proper job and who has no direct experience of social injustice, I voted for Burnham but he’d never have the party’s support because post Blair it’s over brimming with people who are actually Tories) will listen or give two hoots? As far as I can see there’s nobody with any compassion with any power in this country and therein lies the problem.

    Famous Illuminati member Meyer Rothschild once said that if you control a nations money then it matters not who makes it’s laws, the problem was he used that maxim to only look after himself and his mates with his billions. Imagine if one was to subscribe to the basic premise but use it for good? Personally speaking I care not for financial wealth, give me a roof above my head, a nice veggie meal, water, a good read and some brandy and then I’m content, but imagine if one could set up a charity that people globally donate money to on a regular basis because they believe in the cause and trust their money to be spent wisely? The internet is the perfect plateau to create such a benevolent financial furore with the right marketing strategy and that’s something I have a lot of experience in. If you’ve got the money to change things and right wrongs then you have the power, not the government. Eg imagine people could turn to a charity for hardship funding when they’re unemployed and have been unjustly denied benefits by the government? That’s part of my vision. And you’ll see me get the ball rolling in the next few weeks.

    It’ll no doubt take many years to take off properly, I don’t doubt that, but the basic premise is merely about doing good things, large or small, just for the beauty of doing good things. So if it never escalates to the epic levels I so desire then myself and many other people will still have done a lot of good for the world that may not have been done otherwise. A win-win situation.

  13. December 6, 2010 8:33 pm

    A month on from mentioning my erstwhile charity idea and inspired by the political musings on this blog I have started my own site that contains the original details for the idea I had (amongst other stuff). It was going to be called Project Altruism. Give me a couple of years to get the things I’m working on now out of the way and I’ll actually buy the website again and set it up as a registered charity. If anyone reading this wants to read about it, as well as reading some short stories and rants and musings from a pretentious and asinine Sheffield man then feel free to go here:


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