How on earth any person could put forward a statement that he could live on £53 per week in Britain, whilst he lives in luxury and is rolling in money is madness? It is incredible that a grown man, Iain Duncan Smith, who holds such a high position, could make such a statement.
At the same time that he made this statement he was seen enjoying a trip costing £2,400. He watched Tottenham vs. Arsenal from the directors’ box with his son. The Parliament’s Register of Members’ Interest shows the prime seat, which includes lavish hospitality, cost £2,400.
Surely even Mr Smith must realise that if he puts out a statement like that people will challenge his words and he will ultimately look foolish. His words were no sooner said than 300,000 people signed a petition challenging him to live on such a hopeless amount of money, £53, a week. At least he had the sense to refuse straight away. Did he realise he couldn’t do it? Either way he has no qualms about enforcing it on others? In case you are wondering
Mr Smith lives in a rent free £2million home and has an annual salary of £134,565 plus surely many other incomes such as dividends on shares and parliamentary perks..
His claim and refusal to accept the challenge did nothing to enhance his name. IN the past he has shown some dreadful manners too. There is an enlightening report dating back to 2010 when confronted by a Treasury official. According to the Work and Pensions Secretary the outburst happened in 2010 when Chancellor George Osborne was trying to block the Universal Credit scheme. According to the treasury official it happened during a row over the welfare reform. Mr Smith overheard a telephone conversation between his aide and a Treasury official which became heated. Smith snatched the phone and said: “If you speak to my officials like that again I’ll bite your balls off and send them to you in a box.”
This is the first time that the public have been told about language like that from ministers. It makes you wonder if such language is used in Parliament and how much more is not being reported in newspapers? Surely the public expect a better tone and manners form officials they voted for?. Related reading:Iain Duncan Smith petition challenge
Jo Johnson has been appointed as head of a Conservative policy unit, by David Cameron. It is another example of jobs for members of the old boy network, the Bullingdon Club.
The younger brother of Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson has been promoted to the position of head of policy and Cabinet Office minister. As the Guardian
reports "The prime minister has appointed Jo as his new No 10 head of policy charged with finding new ideas to invigorate the government, specifically the blue part".
Jo is another Bullingdon club old-boy from the infamous Oxford University club. The Prime Minister also introduced a new policy advisory board, chosen mainly from young Conservative MPs. The idea behind this is to bring new notions to the attention of Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister. All is not well in government, as l
ately a number of MPs have been rebelling. Jesse Norma and George Eustice who are now part of the new policy advisory board, for example. This move may be intended to keep the rebels quiet but it will add another huge expense onto British taxpayers. However, the reason given was that there was a growing concern in Downing Street that they were not being “overtly political enough”. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The prime minister recognised that the drawing up of policies has been neglected in the view of many traditional Conservatives. It looks like a move back to Thatcherism. Apparently the policy unit was already established but the head was a civil servant or political adviser, not an MP or minister.
Already senior MPs have voiced their concerns as they feel it will be a “Thatcher-style” policy unit. Jo Johnson will work at Downing Street and issue Conservative policies, rather than Coalition ones. Nick Clegg has civil servants and advisers working on issuing LibDem plans which will be acceptable to the Coalition.
A Conservative source said: “The appointment clearly represents a more political policy operation and a more Thatcher-style Downing street Policy Unit. The Advisory Board will strengthen the connection between Downing Street and Parliament and Mr Johnson will be a great asset in helping the Prime Minister drive Conservative policy priorities through Government.”
Jo Johnson, a former journalist at the Financial Times, joined Parliament in 2010. He is another fast rising Conservative star, like his brother Boris. He also attended Eton College and then Oxford University. He also was a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club. He is seen as a future PM candidate and rival to Boris.
There are other members of the newly established Conservative Parliamentary Advisory Board, Jane Ellison, Paul Upton, Nick Gibb and Jake Berry. Also appointed were Peter Lilly, a former Cabinet Minister under Baroness Thatcher, and Sir John Major. Two more members who were mentioned are Mr Norman, who defeated the Coalition plans to overhaul the House of Lords, and Mr Eustice, a former press secretary to Mr Cameron who criticised his European policies.
This new advisory board was established after a serious attempt to challenge Mr Cameron's Conservative leadership. It will attempt to reconnect Cameron with the Tory party. He was recently criticised as out of touch by backbench MPs and a number of former ministers.
Looking at the choice of members of the advisory board they show a strong leaning towards Thatcherism which will be very worrying to the pubic. Many Conservatives shut their eyes to all of Margaret Thatcher’s wrong doings even though the evidence is there that she destroyed British industry. By the end of the reign of the Conservative Party, Britain had five million unemployed which is not a success story
Therefore, if this government is following her policies again it will mean noting but trouble. Expect even more devastation.
Source::The GuardianRelated reading:
How can Bullingdon Club member Osborne serve the peopleDavid Cameron's old club burns £50 notes
Osborne can take it on the chin, but which one?
George Osborne is the Chancellor of the UK.
The man who holds the country's purse strings and decides who will live in wealth, with a modest income or abject poverty. Whilst this may sound simplistic it is a fact. The policies he heralds in will determine how many people in the UK live.For sure George seems to be doing quite well, at least as far as his own prosperity goes. As he addressed an audience in Glasgow Tuesday, about Scottish independence and their future currency, his pudgey face seemed that bit fuller. It is as if almost every day the man exhibits the signs of living off the fat of the land and on the backs of others.He may be doing quite well as far as his own standard of living goes but it is fair to say that he is creating a complete mess of the British economy.
Since 2012 the IMF, international monetary fund, has been advising Mr Osborne to change his tactics and move away from tough austerity measures. Measures that in truth are crippling the British economy and causing pain to the most vulnerable in British society. As austerity is not working toward helping the economy the conclusion is that Osborne and his political buddies have their own reasons for inflicting financial pain.
Even German Chancellor Mrs Angela Merkel, a frugal Frau if there ever was one, advised Osborne to rein austerity measures in. Last week the IMF advised him once more to introduce a "plan B" but all to no avail as we know the Chancellor will not listen. Perhaps there is no plan B which is a scary thought?
The original idea for his famous, or should that be infamous, ‘Austerity’ measures came from the work of two Americans named Carman Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff. By now they have earned their nickname, the “godfathers of austerity”. So the seeds of his idea were not planted and grown in Number 11 Downing Street, the Chancellors official residence, as the idea is just another unfavourable and unwanted American import.
The pair, Reinhart and Rogoff, claimed economic growth slows if debt is allowed to hit 90 per cent GDP, which is the measure of what a country can earn in a year. Now it has emerged that they made a grave technical error on their spreadsheet. Whoops. Rival academics have proved their sums were wrong.
This is all very well because we are all human beings and even experts can make mistakes. Where the root of the blame lies is with Mr Osborne who accepted their predictions without double and treble checking them? Surely he must have enough experts around him to be able to discover such an error? An error which took the country down into a triple recession. More than likely a fourth will follow, plus another down grading of the pound to boot. What all of this has done to the people is unforgivable.
Shadow Treasury minister, Labour, Chris Leslie said: “When even the IMF is telling the Chancellor he needs a Plan B he needs to wake up.”
In the view of many people it is high time he changed course and tactics. The problem with the Chancellor, as well as the Prime Minister and quite a number of the government ,is that they are so convinced they are a great government, full of arrogance, that they will never back down and admit they are wrong.
Ministers now have one eye on the next general election. Already they are busy putting together another range of promises to create their political manifesto. This manifesto will be broken no doubt be broken, just like the last time, unless they are all lies in the first place?
Well, the Chancellor is under more pressure than ever now, not only from his own public but from Europe also. Will he listen now and change to Plan B, as he must have now realised that the two Americans got it all wrong? Many ministers were pointing out that Mr Osborne was on the wrong path some time ago and have been calling for his resignation since 2011. However, Mr Cameron always stands up for his friends, even if they are totally wrong. This is not a very healthy outlook, especially in politics. He did the same with Dr Fox, Mr Coulson and Mr Mitchell until he was forced to act.In the meantime Britain crumbles and people suffer needlessly.Related reading:
http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/14062778-uk-pm-camerons-desperate-trade-delegation-to-india UK Treasury queries Scottish independence currency pact
Police now under investigation for "battle of Orgreave"
Former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester John Stalker gave a full picture of what went on during Margaret Thatcher's time in office, her "reign". He remarked that Britain was heading for being a police state at that time. He remembers that as a Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester he experienced first hand her authoritarian policies. In the long run it would have destroyed the trust between British people and police officers around the country. The police was put into a paramilitary type of force and war-like zone.
He recalls when he met her a number of times, as senior police officer, she had an unusual outlook on law and order and acted as both Home Secretary and Prime Minister.
It became obvious, especially during the miners’ strike in 1984. In Mr Stalker’s view Margaret Thatcher took Britain to the edge of becoming a police state. It was “her” police force and she commanded that they keep the miners and pickets under control, in effect working to break the strike.
In 1974 changes brought about big new forces such as with the Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Strathclyde forces. Mrs Thatcher changed all that and brought them all together. A “mutual aid System” was established to deal with the miners. It was a nationally mobilised police force commanded by Scotland Yard. It was the greatest impact on the independence of policing. A chief constable was now second in command and had to follow government wishes.
Forces received endless instructions from the British Home Office and at the end of each was stated ”of course, the Chief Constable has complete control over operational matter, but this is our advice.
” One way of covering themselves. Mr Stalker was always staggered by events.
One in particular he remembers well. The guideline said that it was “perfectly in order”
for miners in Kent to be prevented to travel to Yorkshire if they were likely to cause disorder. It meant a 300 mile exclusion zone. It was nothing less than house-arrest. There were many instances when pickets were turned back at county borders.
No chief constable would take such measures and even the courts would have called it nonsense. This was a militaristic operation but made to look like policing. The whole operation was even based on national emergency legislation, existing only for war situations.
Margaret Thatcher saw the miners’ strike as war. Some chief constables started to feel like generals. There were even rumours going round that soldiers dressed up as police officers to increase the number on duty. Mr Stalker never found out the truth and couldn’t vouch for it to be true or false.
As the miners strike went on some police officers did act repressively and aggressively but there were men on both sides who went too far. He remembers many officers who were attacked and never worked again.
Looking back today he can see that the police relationship with the public had a set-back for a long time. In some parts of the country, like South Yorkshire, it has still not been fully restored. Our police lost a great deal, though individually many gained a great deal financially. They lost the respect and people became scared of them.
If the miners’ strike had not ended Stalker is convinced that the police force would have turned into a permanently national-controlled police force, in other words Britain a police state.
Mr Stalker said that he could have quit the force because he knew it wasn’t right but he loved his work and now he helps to build trust back and show young police officers how policing should be done.Source Daily Mirror
Related reading at the Guardian
News of the death of Margaret Thatcher revealed that she had been residing at the Ritz during the last few months of her life. Reports also showed that she had occupied the most luxurious bedroom in the Ritz. According to the Daily Mail
"The suite, which would cost up to £3,660 a night, boasts 24 carat gold leaf and antique Louis XVI furnishings, and is the size of a small flat". Baroness Thatcher had stayed here since Christmas.
This rubs more salt into the wounds of ordinary people whose lives have been destroyed by Thatcher's policies which closed down mines, shipyards and privatized National companies in order to sell them off to foreign bidders. The country is still suffering from the after-effects of Thatcher in many other ways. Energy such as gas and electricity plus railway transport are now overpriced to fill the pockets of shareholders.
Her final home is also an insult to taxpayers who footed the bill for her luxuries in the Ritz because she continued to receive £500,000 per year for ‘expenses’ while the general public have to sell their homes to fund care when they become ill or infirm, They then live in care homes which are often run diabolically. It is unclear if she was stayng at the hotel as a free guest of Ritz owners the Barclay Brothers
or at a reduced rate. The Barclay Brothers also own the Daily Telegraph. Either way she was receiving an obscene amount of money each year for expenses courtesy of taxpayers.
Now it has even been decided to spend over £10milion on a ceremonial funeral for not only an ex-prime minister but also one who ruined the country by having five million unemployed by the time she was forced out of office. She certainly was an Iron Lady but named so for all the wrong reason. She cold bloodedly destroyed jobs, families and communities.
The miners and workers fought bitterly but were defeated by her police who she paid high salaries and bonuses to be on her side. It is no wonder that people are still bitter and up in arms following news that she not only had every luxury living in the Ritz, including quite an army of attendance and securities, but now will also receive the full glory of a ceremonial funeral.
All these actions went far beyond the norm and it is shocking to see a picture of her luxurious bedroom in the Ritz. Especially now that many pensioners have lost almost a third of their money in cut-backs, again from her famous or more truthfully infamous nasty Tory party. This generation should receive all the comfort after the sacrifices they made during the war to save their country yet they receive the worst treatment.
In office Thatcher also de-regulated the banks and finance sector which is still causing havoc in the UK economy, with bankers receiving over £1million in annual salaries and even higher bonuses. This coalition will not regulate the banking sector because it is their friends and contributors to their party who work in leading roles in the industry. Most surprisingly the Labour party did not regulate the backing sector when they were returned to office.
When you take an overall view Margaret Thatcher was only ever working for her friends and to break the Unions who had the power to oppose her. This was the real reason she broke the industries’ back and the people. Although it is a bit gory that people celebrated her death it is little wonder after what they went through and are now going through again. All the time while she was living in the lap of luxury which money can buy but paid for by British taxpayers. Taxpayers who are now so hard up they have to decide whether to buy food or heat their homes.
Tory MP Conor Burns, who visited her regularly. stated that her memory was not great but she was still interested in the future and its politics right until the end. It looks and sounds like she was still there giving advice to her party. Note: Thatcher's late husband was a millionaire. Her son "Sir" Mark Thatcher is a multimillionaire. Are the Thatcher family contributing towards funeral costs or are the cash strapped British public footing the bill, period?
The British government can afford £1million a week for jets to transport French troops fighting in Mali yet the coalition preaches austerity.
The Ministry of Defence is £38billion over its budget and has been forced to axe 20,000 front-line jobs, those of soldiers. Furthermore, the famous ‘Desert Rats’ lost their tanks and were reduced to infantry.
The British Navy is without aircraft carriers and yet there is money available to support French troops fighting in Mali. If that is not lunacy, what is? William Hague, the British foreign secretary, is also supplying the so-called rebels in Syria with tanks and Britain is still on the ground fighting in Afghanistan. A war which had nothing to do with the UK and has cost huge sums of money plus too many lives.
The Ministry sent the C17 transport to Mali in January for a three-month deployment. In the mean-time it was extended to six months and most probably will extend further. This will also indicate that Britain is involved in the fight in Mali which again had nothing to do with this country.
In January the French government became involved in Mali, to prevent fighters with a connection to al-Qaeda taking over the country.
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that al-Qaeda is a great, powerful and terrible threat but slowly it begins to look like the 50s fight to stop communism. There were wars igniting here and there and fighting which cost hundreds of thousands of lives to stop it. Today communism is it collapsing in most countries naturally and the USA and the West couldn’t really stop it at that time.
Fighting al-Qaeda could cause more rebels and increased hatred towards the West surely?
An MoD spokesman insisted that the money was well spent and it would be better to fight the rebels now to stop al-Qaeda spreading. It is all very well thinking that way but to axe troops at home and equipment to correct the budget, then spend it to support the French troops is surely not justifiable?
Prime Minister David Cameron broke yet another promise. He promised he would increase real-term spending from 2015. At least he already broke his promise now as when in 2015 the general election is held, and if he would be re-elected again the train of broken promises would start again.
One point to his honour, the Prime Minister reprimanded Defence Secretary Philip Hammond when he demanded to cut more welfare to boost his defence budget. This was officially but what goes on behind the doors we rarely know.. When all the deeds are done we receive one piece of shocking news after another.
This seems to be the ultimate mathematics. The government is destroying the “Dessert Rats” regiment, which will lose their tanks, and the Red Arrows even though both are legendary. It is such an insult to the memory of the soldiers who died for this country. An insult to the memory of General Montgomery, who developed an ingenious plan to break the stronghold of Rommel’s African Korps. But now they have come up with another saving. The government plan to destroy seven barracks which would save £240million a year.
Fair enough if it can be done effectively and painlessly but now bear this sum in mind as you read on.
The plan will include a relocation of 30,000 troops to so called key “cluster” sites in the UK. It will also include 20,000 troops returning from Germany.
But now comes the crunch. The £240million saved a year is meaningless as around £2billion will have to be spent on new Army housing and the refurbishment of existing barracks. Now this is real arithmetic and saving, don't you agree? The government has not given a figure for the costs involved in the upkeep of these so-called “cluster” sites, which surely will swallow up the £240million saving a year without the £2billlion cost for building on top.
Einstein must be thanking his lucky stars that he won’t have to deal with the arithmetic of this Government. It would make his head spin.
As Media eyes will be on Birmingham next week there are some facts and figures which should be disclosed about the city.
Since the Tory Government ruthlessly cut the city's budget Birmingham is almost on its knees, crippled under the burden. Essential services have been cut with serious consequences, namely too many public sector job losses. The poorest people were hit by changes to or loss of benefits. Birmingham received a bigger slice of austerity than the south of England.
The Government decided that areas or cities with lower council tax receipts should suffer bigger cut backs. Therefore, Birmingham already being a deprived area will be even worse off than before. This is not politics it is lunacy.
The council budget had been cut by £212million from 2011 to 2012 and another £60million was cut this year. This must obviously have a devastating result.
The West Midlands Fire Service had to make the biggest cuts with 11 fire stations closed and the loss of 600 fire-fighters.
The Birmingham police force experienced the second biggest cuts in England. To begin with they had to lose 800 officers and a further 1,015 until 2015. Everybody knows that Birmingham, like other big cities, is almost overrun with criminals and the government ruthlessly ordered these police officers to be sacked. Where is the fulfilment of Cameron's promise at the election that they would be tough on crime?
Furthermore, to rub salt into the wounds of the citizens of Birmingham the Surrey county, where all the fatcats are, received no cuts in police numbers but instead an increase of 49 officers.
It is these sorts of politics which tells you the whole story and attitude towards ordinary people, in other words them and us.
Birmingham has also the worst youth unemployment in the country, with 14,000 young people out of work. These are aged between 18 and 24. Yet, the Prime Minister spends £40million on the French firm ATOS to assess Disabled people only in the North as to whether they are able to work or not. Eventually it will be £206million when they have assessed the whole country. There must be more behind it than meets the eye and it is not all about saving Disability Benefits because these people will now get job seekers allowances and unemployment benefits.
Here is another fine example of the North and the South. While families get into poverty, the charities and voluntary groups which help them were also cut by £15million but and now it seems that Ashford in Kent will not even see a cut but have an increase of £1million in funding.
To cut £15million from charities and voluntary groups is horrendous and especially criminal in an area like Birmingham. TO CROWN IT ALL THEY ARE HOLDING THE ANNUAL CONSERVATIVE PARTY CONFERENCE THERE NEXT WEEK. What a joke
Information has been revealed that the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, is wasting too much time playing computer games. The allegation came from Cameron aides who said that he uses a crazy amount of time playing Fruit Ninja. Hmm. Nice work if you can get it!
For people who do not know about Fruit Ninja this game flashes fruits across the screen and the player has to chop at them with a virtual sword. David Cameron once jokingly remarked that "if you can’t have a reshuffle play Fruit Ninja." Perhaps he was more serious than w first thought?
Labour MP John Speller told him to axe his iPad and added: “I think it is frankly extraordinary that he is wasting time on computer games when Britain is in the throes of an international economic crisis.” This bloggeI can assure you Mr Speller that so do most of the people.
Of course, No 10 Downing Street denies the allegations. The PM does not spend hours playing Fruit Ninja, according to official sources. They emphasize that it is his children who play the game and not him. Apart from this being scandalous, the amount of times Cameron's spokesman or spokeswoman has had to wipe the slate clean is amazing. Their arms must be aching constantly.
The accusation might be just a vicious rumour. However in ordinary life, when there is a rumour, it might be exaggerated, but more often than not it holds an element of truth in it.
Well let’s hope David Cameron is more successful with Fruit Nnja than he is running the country right now!
Former UK Pension Secretary, Lord Hutton, became chairman of the civil service's new part-privatised pensions arm. He drew up the reform which makes public sector employees work longer, pay more in pension contributions and get less back in retirement. Doesn't this sound like the Coalition government all over?
The workers have to share in the new company MyCSP and Lord Hutton will be 'working' there 20 days a year. This will work out to a lucrative £1,000-a-day, after he has cut millions of workers entitlement to their well-earned retirement pensions. Well done Lord Hutton who during the rest of the year will have other non-executive directorships which will earn him even more pay packets.
It is that sort of mismanagement which should not be allowed. Non-executive directors, are too costly for what they do. What do they do, when all is said and done?
The Unions understandably are furious. Mark Serwotka, of the civil service PCS union, said it had been " Set-up against the wishes of many workers who wanted to remain part of the Whitehall workforce"
Democracy??. Far from it. He stated further: "And to rub salt in the wound, they handed Lord Hutton a cushy job."
Brian Strutton, of the GMB union, said: " Hutton delivered a toadying report on cutting public sector pensions. Now his £1000 a day puts him on a higher rate of pay than the Prime Minister."
Are we allowed to ask where the austerity is for these people? It seems that it only goes as far as the steps of the UK Parliament and will not go any further. 'Austerity' must be scared it seems to go further and enter Parliament, to show its face amongst the "UK Fat-Cats".
The six million public sector workers affected by austerity must be sick and tired of the lies and attacks. For one thing to have their pensions cut, but then to hear about a scandalous £1,000-a-day pay deal for the man responsible, is a disgrace. Especially with regard to the cut in pensions, which are needed so much when you retire, and are at your most vulnerable because you cannot work any more.
CAN THEY SINK ANY LOWER? MOST PROBABLYRead more here on Lord Hutton