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Striking a blow for equality 172

Posted on February 14, 2021 by

The SNP have plumbed some real depths recently, but this is a new low.

Although we suppose on one level you could spin it as a positive, namely that disabled people really are just like everyone else – they can be despicable scumbags too.

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Fleeing England for their lives 196

Posted on May 29, 2017 by

From the Victoria Derbyshire show today in Dunstable.

“This election is life or death for us.”

The Oxford University research she’s talking about, and the Napier and Heriot-Watt Universities research into the mental health impact of Work Capability Assessments.

The cosmic shopkeeper appears 80

Posted on March 14, 2014 by

Tony Benn, who died today at the age of 88, was an archetypal British nationalist. He wanted Britain out of the EU, but opposed Scottish independence on the grounds that it would turn his mother into a “foreigner”.

Nevertheless, even to a lot of people on the Yes side he represented, in the words of pro-independence New Statesman columnist James Maxwell this morning, “a Britain I could’ve voted for”. (NB Retweets are not necessarily endorsements.)


A man who went to court to fight against his own personal privilege, Benn was an anachronism in a country full of politicians who spend much of their time battling to protect their access to the great trough of public money on the banks of the Thames.

So it’s no surprise that his passing has unleashed a tidal wave of hypocrisy.

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The blood sacrifice 123

Posted on February 09, 2014 by

As David Cameron came out of the closet this week to proclaim his great love for Scotland (a love most commonly demonstrated by forcing policies on it that its people despise and its elected representatives vote overwhelmingly against), we found ourselves pondering what could have provoked such a drastic step.


After all, it’s hardly a revelation that Etonian English Tory Prime Ministers are not necessarily a demographic Scots are inclined to hear sympathetically. As noted by the esteemed Lallands Peat Worrier earlier this week, until now the operation of the “Better Together” campaign has been clear – Tory money paying for Labour activists, because the latter are a lot more likely to command the hearts of those (mainly the working-class poor) on whose vote the referendum hinges.

So why has Cameron thrown all that away to take a gamble?

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The death of the social contract 78

Posted on November 09, 2013 by

The raison d’être of a government is to act in the interests of their populace, yet there’s a widespread perception that they instead now exist solely to serve the political and corporate elite, sometimes with not even lip service paid to the wishes of the public.

It’s a perception backed up by hard fact in the form of opinion polls, which demonstrate that the clearly-expressed desires of the electorate are regularly ignored by all parties in favour of blind ideology, cuts to services the public value, and tax breaks for those who don’t need them.


Whoever’s in power, the assets of the nation are sold off against the will of the people, in the name of a private-sector market ideology, for the short-term profit of wealthy City speculators, and for the benefit of other countries who ironically often end up running British industries as (foreign) state-owned public enterprises.

This happens because the votes of most of the electorate don’t count for anything.

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At war with Eurasia 72

Posted on August 28, 2013 by

This site has on several occasions praised the Daily Record for its sustained – and almost alone in the UK media – campaigning against the callous savagery of “Work Capability Assessments” carried out for the Department of Work and Pensions by the ironically-named Atos Healthcare, though we’ve also pointed out the Record’s curious reluctance to mention how Atos came to be in that position.

Today, though, mere economy with the truth has evolved into all-out lying.

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Blankety blanks 47

Posted on June 06, 2013 by

One of the odder quirks about the BBC iPlayer is that it’ll let you rewind live TV broadcasts for up to two hours, but not radio, despite radio using vastly less bandwidth. So at the moment we can’t bring you a verified quote that Liam Byrne really just told Radio 4’s Today programme that the idea of rent controls as a solution to the UK’s housing benefit bill was “going a bit too far”.


But there’s another new Labour welfare policy that’s missing a fairly vital chunk of information this morning, which is even more worrying than the shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions having less intelligence, insight, principle and moral courage than a starving weasel.

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Some sort of charity 20

Posted on September 27, 2012 by

Scottish Labour mouthpiece the Daily Record is currently running a long series of horror stories about Atos “Healthcare” and their appalling persecution of the sick and disabled. We heartily and sincerely commend the Record for doing so, even if it usually fails to note that Atos were unleashed on the poor and vulnerable by a Labour government, and occasionally just outright lies about it.

You might expect, then, that the valid concerns of the Record and its readers would be earnestly reflected by the nation’s Labour MSPs when the Scottish Parliament debated the issue of Atos’ conduct of Work Capability Assessments yesterday.

You’d be wrong, of course.

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Reality control 22

Posted on September 20, 2012 by

From “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, by George Orwell, published in 1949:

“The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it never has been altered in any specific instance. For when it has been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed.”

From the Daily Record, 20 September 2012:

“Iain Duncan Smith promises more disabled benefits cuts in Scotland: the Work and Pensions Secretary was the man behind bringing in Atos, who have been criticised for humiliating fit-for-work tests.”

Atos Healthcare was first employed to conduct Work Capability Assessments on claimants of Incapacity Benefit (and other disability benefits) in October 2008, under the Labour government of Gordon Brown, when said Labour government introduced Employment Support Allowance in order to reduce the welfare bill by replacing the previous benefits with one that was, for most recipients, around a third lower.

A 2009 report by the Citizens Advice Bureau highlighted Atos’ tendency to find people unexpectedly fit for work, but Brown’s government took no action against the company.

Iain Duncan Smith has merely continued Labour policy, using the same company hired by Labour to carry it out. The Daily Record is attempting to nakedly rewrite history to excuse Labour from responsibility for a measure which hurts a great many Record readers. Unfortunately for the Record, people are watching.

Only the Union can kill the poor 60

Posted on September 19, 2012 by

If you’re still not convinced that the UK coalition government’s plans to “reform” welfare – by slashing tens of billions of pounds from the DWP’s budget, in order to fund tax cuts for the rich – are an example of pure, unambiguous evil at work, we suggest you spend half an hour reading this page and the ones linked at the bottom of it.

Done that? Filled with boiling rage and an urge to commit violent acts of revolution? Good. That suggests that you’re a vaguely decent human being with at least some basic level of compassion for the most vulnerable people in society. Congratulations.

It probably also means you’re NOT a Labour Party politician or activist, because a 2010 report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (entitled “Not much disagreement on welfare reform”) pointed out that Labour’s policy on the brutal state persecution of the poor and the crippled – like its policies in almost all other areas – differs from that of the Tories and Lib Dems only in degree and speed, and even then only slightly.

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