Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Day 180 - In which those grubby, nose-ringed, rent-a-mob activists attract the ire of her ladyship

An article from Ms Perry in the Andover Advertiser:
THIS month featured party conference season and I headed up to Manchester for my eighth party gathering. It was the largest conference ever and a record number of people made the journey up with me from the Devizes Constituency.
Along with the big set-piece speeches there was a bewildering array of other events and this year was enlivened by some protesters who chanted and sang – and then threw objects, spat copiously and hurled four-letter abuse at delegates. As I ran the gauntlet of grubby nose-ringed rent-a-mob “activists” (stopping to chat to a couple of pleasant people protesting about train services), I mused that it felt like the last hysterical days of an ideological movement that knows its time is up.
What an incredibly aloof and arrogant attitude Perry shows with this article. With any group of people, there will always be those that seek to make their voices heard in an unconventional manner. I dare say that if 70,000+ supporters of the Tory party were to assemble somewhere, there would be plenty of bad apples in that barrel, determined to make their presence felt.

The chief of Greater Manchester Police praised the protesters after the main protest on Sunday 4th, saying that behaviour was very good, and that they'd only had to make 4 arrests.

I was one of those protesting at Manchester. People protesting about the continued austerity visited on this country by the Tories, the ever-increasing gap between those at the top and those below, the many broken promises and outright lies told before the last election, the tax credit cuts, the failure to support the steel industry in the face of cheap imports sold below cost price coming in from China, the damage being done to the NHS by contracting more and more services to the private sector, the funding being removed from green energy subsidies, the failure to invest in social housing, the cancellation of projects looking at investing in renewable energy, the failure of the Tory front bench to answer any question which might prove uncomfortable.

Far from "the last hysterical days of an ideological movement that knows its time is up" I think we can safely say this is a movement which is gaining increasing momentum. When you have hundreds of junior doctors joining the protest, hundreds of disabled people; when you have thousands of teachers protesting, when you have thousands of other healthcare workers protesting, when you have thousands of professional people and senior management from numerous different industries protesting, then you KNOW something is not right.

To dismiss the protest as a "gauntlet of grubby nose-ringed rent-a-mob activists" displays breath-taking ignorance, and conveniently ignores the 99.9% of protesters that attended because they are disgusted at the way this government treats the vast majority of the country's populace. The fact that the group I came up to Manchester with all felt it necessary to come along and pay for our transport, hotels and expenses, should indicate the level of feeling.

We hear the same tired old Tory mantras, trotted out like pre-programmed slogans: 'hard-working families', 'building a strong economy', 'the party of the working people' - this last phrase in particular ringing rather hollow in the light of the average £1,300 per annum cut which anyone receiving tax credits will have to put up with.

Perry desperately needs to get in touch with some of the people in her constituency that will REALLY feel the worst of the Tory's austerity programme. Open your eyes Claire, you keep them closed at your peril!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Day 16 - In which hope for a fair society is pretty much abandoned.

Dear Claire,

The first signs of the Tory's new government policies are slowly and stealthily being drip fed to an increasingly dispirited and disenfranchised public.

We watch, with incredulity, as rumblings about increased interest being taken in people that are operating within the law, but not saying what the government would like to hear.

We struggle to understand why the Tories want to withdraw from the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) and scrap the Human Rights Act. This is supposed to be a prerequisite to EU membership, but then of course Dave Snooty is mixing it up with the EU big cheeses currently, trying to get them to agree to him changing the rules.

We see the endless statements about cutting taxes for the hard-working, reducing the threshold for inheritance tax, removing the top rate of tax, increasing the threshold at which people pay the higher rate of income tax. What isn't mentioned is the impact these changes will have on people claiming benefits.

Let's recount the tale of a mother whose son gets a glimmer of hope in the shape of a job:

"They did that to my 20 year old son. He's desperate for a real job and yet they keep sending him on "work experience" and work based "trials", where they work him like a slave then, funnily enough when he's proved his worth, they haven't got a vacancy at this time. Really?

"Then they found him a "job" so he happily signed off and was really excited to start work at last as a landscape gardener. He started on a Monday, on a self-employed contract, which had him digging 12 foot wide 7 foot deep trenches for garden ponds, lifting rocks into skips, but he was happy because he had a job. The following week he was fired for no apparent reason. The employer saying he was in his rights to terminate my son’s contract any time he liked .. Then we found out a week later that this employer had had 3 other lads from the job centre, and he did the exact same thing to them. He gets them to do all the donkey work. The thing is, because my son signed off, it'll take weeks for him to get any money off the DWP, in addition to which they have dealt his self-confidence a massive blow.
"People only see it when it's happening in front of their eyes I suppose ... I feel crushed for him every time he gets a knock back even though they had no intention of offering jobs to any of these lads in the first place ... Disgusting... They should be ashamed but they couldn't give a damn about us."
So when Iain Duncan Smith talks about more people ‘setting themselves up in business’, this is what he means. They’re forced to go self-employed, so the employer pays no NI for them, and the employer can use them as slave labour, and then cut them adrift before they have to make any sort of commitment.

You know this is happening, as do all of us Claire. Your hands, and those of your government, are covered with blood.

This will be my last letter to you, but you can rest assured I will not give up the fight to hold the toxic legacy of this government, in both its first and its second term, to account.

Let's leave this now, so I'll end with the Tory party ABC. Maybe this could be taught in the schools. I'm getting this printed on a tee shirt. Would you like one?

It’s the Tory Party A B C!
A is for Austerity
B is for Benefit sanctions
C is for Corporate tax evasion
D is for David Cameron’s morally bankrupt government
E is for EU referendum disaster
F is for Five more years of this shit
G is for Gideon Osborne’s fiscal incompetence
H is for Housing being sold off
I is for Iain Duncan Smith’s genocide
J is for Justice Secretary Gove wants to bring back hanging
K is for Key policies of evil
L is for Lies in the Manifesto
M is for Murdoch lying in the press
N is for Neoliberalism
O is for Opposing fairer electoral reform
P is for Pickles spending £10k a year on biscuits
Q is for Quietly removing benefits
R is for Removing basic human rights
S is for Slave labour compulsory for benefits
T is for Tax cuts for the wealthy
U is for Unregulated city banks
V is for Voting irregularities
W is for Work capability assessment
X is for eXpenses fraud
Y is for Young unemployed forced to do community service
Z is for Zero hours contracts

That's it Claire, no more letters from this blog, but you haven't heard the last of me, I promise you that.

Remember that lad mentioned above, being dumped in it, by employers using the DWP free labour scheme to get people off benefits, then screw them before they have to make a commitment. Remember him as you fall asleep tonight in your country pile.


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Day 6 - In which the snake pit takes shape


Dear Claire,

What a week it’s been!

A smug Dave Snooty has been getting his photo plastered all over the press and TV news bulletins, his Cabinet being announced, junior ministerial positions being filled. Good to see you are still junior trains monitor. Let’s hope this session of parliament sees you actually delivering on some of the things you told everyone you had, allegedly, achieved before the election.

It seems that with each subsequent appointment, Cameron seems to have turned over a new rock, from underneath which something slimy this way slithers.

There was a predictable inevitability to Doctor Death (IDS) retaining his position at the DWP. Perhaps he can now get on with the ongoing inquiry into the 60 suicides that have been prompted by his benefit reforms – something he refused to confirm when he appeared on Andrew Neill’s debate on Tuesday 5th, alongside health representatives from other parties.

Dr Death was one of five politicians taking part in a social security debate on the BBC’s The Daily Politics, alongside Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Greens, just two days before the general election. Dr Death lost his cool after being criticised by the Greens’ Jonathan Bartley, who accused him of a “huge compassion deficit”. Bartley, work and pensions spokesman for the Green party, pointed to secret reviews carried out by Dr Death’s department into benefit-related deaths, and asked him why he was refusing to publish them.

DWP has also admitted to the Disability News Service (DNS) that 40 of the 49 reviews were carried out following the suicide or apparent suicide of a benefit claimant. The information watchdog is currently investigating DWP’s refusal to publish the 49 reviews, after a complaint was lodged by DNS. But despite that investigation, and the DWP responses admitting that the reviews had taken place, Duncan Smith told Bartley there had been no reviews, and accused him of making “scurrilous” allegations!

Is Dr Death in denial? It seems he probably is. I can now identify exactly when Dr Death is lying. You need to watch his face very carefully. Watch for any movement of his lips. If they are moving, even only very slightly, he is lying.

Sorry – getting side-tracked with Dr Death again. It is such an easy thing to do: there is so much material.

So, onto other apointments.

Priti Patel has replaced Esther McVey as IDS’s sidekick following the much-celebrated ousting of the very lovely McVie from her Wirral constituency. There wasn’t much good news on Thursday and Friday last week, but that was something that fair had us cheering in the small hours of the morning. So, on to Ms. Patel: A lady with compassion ideally suited to a ministerial position at the DWP. She is very enthusiastic about the death penalty, something which may not sit comfortably with those reliant on benefits for whatever reason. We have already experienced four years of Doctor Death’s genocidal policies in charge of the DWP. We await the statistics for those that have died within six weeks of being assessed as fit for work for 2012, 2013 and 2014, to add to the 10,600 deaths we know about from 2011.

Locally, the North Swindon MP, Justin Tomlinson, has been appointed as Minister for the Disabled. Let’s have a quick look at some of Justin’s finest hours at the lobbies:
1.      Disabled children: He voted against protecting their benefits.

2.      Cancer patients: He voted against protecting their benefits.

3.      Long term sick and disabled: He voted against those who have been ill or disabled since their youth receiving Employment and Support allowance on the same basis as if they had made sufficient NI contributions to qualify for a contributions-based allowance.

4.      Bedroom Tax: He voted against any exclusions being made for those whose benefits have been cut because they have been deemed as having too many bedrooms.

Clearly ideally suited to the job!

Then we find Caroline Dinenage has been appointed Equalities Minister, though she voted against same-sex marriage saying the state had ‘no right to redefine marriage’.

And then the deluded poison dwarf himself, Michael Gove, appointed as Justice Minister, advocates a return to the death penalty!

You couldn’t make it up could you Claire? It’s as if Cameron has decided to appoint those with the least compassion and suitability to each post.

Another ray of sunshine in an otherwise fairly bleak outlook is the demotion of the loathsome Grant Shapps as Selfservative Party Chairman. I would have loved to have seen his usual smirk wiped off his face as he realised that his chances of further advancement in the party have hit a brick wall.

In the next letter, we’ll start to look at the widely feared 100 days’ of carnage that the Tories are starting to unleash in a frenzy of poorly-researched cost-cutting and benefit claimant culling.

We’ll be keeping a body count.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

Day 2 - In which we find it has already started

Dear Claire, 

I wasn’t going to write this quickly after yesterday, but reading the papers this morning revealed something the DWP have sneaked through, hoping it would go unnoticed in the general post-election noise. 

Doctor Death (as I shall refer to IDS from now on) and the DWP has revealed it is cutting a scheme to help disabled people into work. In an announcement on its website, the DWP have said they’re ‘looking’ at capping the £108million Access to Work fund, which helps people and employers cover costs of disabilities that could be a barrier to work. The biggest single users are people with hearing and seeing difficulties. 

I like the word ‘looking’. I don’t suppose they’re ‘looking’ at it in order to increase it, do you? 

Other things reported in the paper (The Independent, should you be interested) include raising the 40p tax threshold to £50,000, as well as scrapping the 45p tax rate for the highest earners.  

So the cleaners haven’t even finished decontaminating no. 10 after Cameron’s last stay, and already we’re making life easier for the highest earners, whilst kicking disabled people’s chances of getting into work into the long grass. 

When will the Tories get it into their expensively-educated thick heads that some of us are fine with the existing tax laws, if it means there’s more money to spend where it’s really needed, such as the Access to Work fund mentioned above?  

There was a very apt, if depressing, analogy for someone voting Tory in the paper. If you had a room with 50 people in it, and you offered all of them £100, or you offered one of them £5,000, but the rest of the people got nothing, the person taking the £5,000 would vote Tory. 

At a local level, may I just say how grateful we all are for your winsome little “Thank you” notices put up over your election banners. We really aren’t worthy, so we’re all overcome with your generosity of spirit. A nice touch Claire. 

Let’s end today’s letter with a very apt quote from Disraeli in 1845: “A Conservative Government is an organised hypocrisy”. 

It’s already started hasn’t it Claire?


Friday, 8 May 2015

Day 1 - In which Claire has a 'licking the mirror' moment

Dear Claire,

I'm going to have a bit of a break from writing letters to you. I'm afraid I am not magnanimous in defeat, I am bitterly disappointed that your party, built as it is on broken promises, bare-faced lies, incompetent ministers, inhumane policies, and the premise that the wealthy and privileged should have their status very much protected and enhanced, at the expense of all those further down the ladder.

Still, I'm sure you can be magnanimous in victory can't you? You know, shake hands with your constituency opponents, try not to look too smug, don't rub people's noses in it. You can do this can't you Claire?

It would appear not. After trying to hold the moral high ground with regard to your election banners being defaced, you evidently feel that it's appropriate to tweet something thoroughly unpleasant to Mark Reckless after his defeat. Your gracious comment "Hallelujah Mark Reckless out. Don't let the door hit your fat arse as you leave." has told everyone what sort of an unpleasant, gloating, belligerent piece of nastiness you really are.

Even your party's daily paper, the Torygraph, carried an article saying you should have known better. I despise UKIP as much as I do the Tories, but your comment smacks of sycophancy, looking for that next step up the ladder: "Here David, over here David, look it's me, your faithful party poodle Claire Perry. Look what I said to that nasty Mark Reckless. Aren't I funny. Go on David, chose me for the cabinet please. I'm ever so ambitious, and I'd like to carry on feathering my own nest, and pretending I'm a worthy member of the human race, even though I have never achieved anything worthy in my entire political career. I can be Prime Minister David, really I can. Look how much I suck up to everyone."

Mark Reckless might have a well-upholstered backside, but at least he doesn't dye his hair in a 'mutton-dressed-as-(tory)-lamb' kind of way.

I also saw a video of you being interviewed by a student, I think it was at St John's in Marlborough. You were so utterly patronising and condescending to that girl interviewing you. It was truly a revolting spectacle. It was an exercise in egotistical narcissism. A real 'licking the mirror' moment.

The letters will stop for a while. I don't know how long for, but I suspect that once the DWP finally reveal the number of deaths their policies have caused since 2011, there'll be plenty to share with a wider audience.

Carry on the self-adoration Claire, you're worth it.


Thursday, 7 May 2015

That's it - In which D-Day is upon us


Dear Claire,

D-Day is upon us!

I’m sure you have been gracing various parts of the estate, er, constituency with your presence, fixed smile at the ready, patronising the grateful serfs. I think we all know the result is in no doubt.

It was interesting to hear Dave Snooty make a bit of a slip-up a few days back when he said the election would be a “career-defining moment”. So it’s all about Dave is it? Good to see he put his career before the country.

Well I’ve seen the exit poll saying EXIT POLL: Conservatives largest party with 316 seats, Lab 239, LD 10, SNP 58, UKIP 2, Green 2, PC 4, Others 19.

Tories 316 seats, Labour 239, Libdem 10, SNP 58, UKIP 2, Green 2, Plaid Cymru 4, Others 19.

If this is reflected in the final results, then the electorate can all look forward to a greater suppression of freedom of speech, human rights and democracy. We can expect an Orwellian nightmare of suppression and manipulation. How can so many people have been hoodwinked into voting for this? Perhaps the 62% of the daily newspapers sold being in support of the Tories, with Murdoch in the vanguard of tax-avoiding Tory supporters.

That your crummy, divisive, malignant, reptilian bunch of malodorous, genocidal pond-life has managed to con so many people, whilst preventing publication of so much evidence of your cack-handed, disastrous and ill-judged period of government is breathtaking in its audaciousness.  

I hear your private ‘Perry’s Patrons’ reception is taking place at Oare House on June 5th. I thought a photo of the venue might be appropriate, such that your subjects might see the sort of in-touch politician you evidently are. I’m sure security will be keeping the riff-raff at bay.

You really should be well and truly ashamed of yourself and your party, all of whom are beneath contempt.

I feel physically sick.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

1 day to go - In which they're all hard at it


Dear Claire,

So, it's the home straight now. They're all at it, burning enough hydrocarbons in their efforts to be in as many places in one day as possible.

Entirely predictable was Cameron addressing a small crowd in a garden centre somewhere in Scotland. One of the crowd shouted a few things at him, and was immediately bundled away by security. Free speech: ha!

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said: the electorate had been left “somewhat in the dark” about the details of all the parties’ spending plans but the Conservatives have more explaining to do, because they are aiming at much more ambitious cuts in public borrowing, an estimated £30billion.

Naturally, IDS refused to give any idea of where these cuts would be made, when he appeared on the debate yesterday chaired by Andrew Neill.

Let's take a look at the various lies that Cameron has peddled these last few weeks:

"Getting on top of debt"
- debt is up by £500bn

"Increased NHS spending yearly"
- 2010-12 NHS spending fell

"We're helping solve the Housing problem"
- Lowest number of homes since 1920 and Tories want to sell more off

"We have invested in education"
- Tories delivered largest education cuts since the 1950's

"Free schools outperform state schools"
- State schools outperform free schools

"We have boosted affordable housing"
- Affordable housing down 26%

"We created 2m good jobs"
28% of those jobs are zero-hours contracts

"We're succeeding tackling tax evasion"
Uncollected tax is up £3billion under the Tories

"We're unlocking NHS beds"
Actually, the Tories cut/axed 9,500+ beds

"I challenge NHS Wales' performance"
Cameron cut Wales funding by 7.5%

"We kept your taxes down"
Cameron put taxes up 14 times between 2010 and 2014

"Labour will hike your taxes £3,000"
IFS say no evidence that Labour will do this

"We cut taxes for the 3m poorest"
Actually, Tories hiked VAT for the 3million poorest

"We're the fastest growing economy"
The UK is not even in the top 10 fastest growing economies

"70 labour MPs have staff on zero-hours contracts"
No evidence. IPSA do not measure Zero-Hours staff.

Let's end today's letter with a few quotations. They all mean roughly the same, but they're all equally moving and relevant. As we read them, let's remember how this government has repeatedly targeted and demonised the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members -- the last, the least, the littlest."
~ Cardinal Roger Mahony, In a 1998 letter, Creating a Culture of Life

If you can live with yourself for belonging to a party which has done so much to erode basic freedoms which we hitherto took for granted, a party which has caused tens of thousands of deaths with its benefit reforms, a party which exists to help the 1% at the expense of everyone else, then there is a fundamental part of your soul missing.

Kind regards