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Blankety blanks

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.

The BBC News website, along with many other media outlets, carries a piece on Ed Miliband’s imminent speech about welfare. Among other things, it claims that:

“The Labour leader will say ‘people’s faith in the system has been shaken’ by the appearance that a minority of people are getting ‘something for nothing and other people nothing for something.’

He will pledge to restore the ‘contributory principle’ to jobseeker’s allowance, so that only people who have paid in ‘for significantly longer’ than the current minimum of two years will be eligible.”

We scoured the article repeatedly, but fruitlessly, for news of what Labour proposed would happen to everyone without a job who didn’t meet those criteria.

What of school-leavers unable to find work despite what Labour acknowledges to be crippling levels of youth unemployment? What about mothers who hadn’t previously worked but were forced into the job market to help support their family? What of the severely disabled not previously expected to work but now pushed onto the dole queues by Atos and their brutal “Work Capability Assessments” (invented by Labour and continued by the coalition)?

Britain’s pittance of a payment to the unemployed is already the lowest in Europe (see p.9, section 4). Now it seems that Labour plans to take even that away from those who need it the most. But how exactly are those people supposed to live? Are we the only ones interested in even asking the question?

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47 to “Blankety blanks”

  1. HandandShrimp says:

    But still we are Better Together.
    I think think they would say that even if UKIP was in power and the swivel eyed ones brought back the Workhouse. In fact Labour would probably look to realign its policies so it was more attractive to those who want to skin and eat the poor.  

  2. Gordon Hay says:

    Is this simply sound-bite politics of the ‘look how tough we can be’ kind, or is he really saying they would scrap income-based JSA (and other income-related benefits too) which is currently the alternative basis to contribution-based payment for all those groups cited by the Rev.
    Do they think these things through or are they being deliberately obtuse? Hmm

  3. jr ewen says:

    targeting the weakest again.

  4. Doug Daniel says:

    “But how exactly are those people supposed to live? Are we the only ones interested in even asking the question?”
    That’s easy, Stu – why do you think Labour are so keen to see a growth in foodbanks? In Labour’s Brave New World, welfare shall be provided by charities. Why waste taxpayers money on something that charities will do for free?
    And there’s always perfectly good food sitting in supermarket dumpsters, which is only half-rotten.

  5. MajorBloodnok says:

    You know what – someone should create a left wing party demonstrating honesty, integrity and socialists ideas with a vision to reject all these neo-con verities and to create a different and more equitable society.
    There’s plenty of room for one on the main-stream political spectrum now and you never know, someone might vote for them.

  6. But how exactly are those people supposed to live?
  – clearly!

  7. HandandShrimp says:

    Liam didn’t think there aws any money left back in 2010. The Coalition policies have crippled growth and increased debt. It would seem that despite all the noises made in opposition, Labour would be just as Draconian.
    There is no alternative (TINA)
    TINA actually refers to Westminster and our political choices not economics. We do have a choice in 2014. Let’s grasp it with both hands because if we vote No hands might be a taxable luxury in a future UK.  

  8. HandandShrimp says:

    PS has Ed said anything about Soylent Green yet?

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    There’s more from the speech here, but it doesn’t make things any clearer:

  10. Desimond says:

    Labour the Party of Work isnt Working.
    Crazy Stuff. Eevry day it seems its yet another Self-Respect Bison falling over a Cliff…i trust U2’s One is playing at Labour Party Headquarters come election and referendum  time.
    new Labour – Willing to whore itself to anyone for a shot at the prize!

  11. Red squirrel says:

    What about basic human decency? Oh silly me, forgetting this was Labour.
    the really scary thing is that this is playing to the voters – just who are these folk & why are their twisted values more important than a more equal society? Oh filthy money, oh I see.
    further proof if any is needed of the evils of the Anglo-American capitalist model. All UK parties should hold their heads in shame for this disgraceful race to see who can screw the poor the most. We have to aspire to better things – on the present evidence, it is quite depressing that we won’t have to try that hard.

  12. Stevie says:

    Stuart – the link when posted on my FB page looks unimpressive and uninviting – it needs a picture in order to make people wish to click the link to the WOS page

  13. Max says:

    A line has been drawn.
    The UKUNT parties (United Kingdom UNionists Together) are all on one side, alongside various right-wing nut jobs, and we the people are on the other. 
    Perhaps its time for our own version of the Arab Spring. Enough is enough.

  14. Desimond says:

    At which point will someone ask “So if every penny counts…do we really need a replacement for Trident and discussions on an increase in MPs salaries then?”

  15. Alex Taylor says:

    I just got the end of Radio 5 Live’s phone-in on the subject of wind power.
    Completely off topic, a clearly very patriotic old Scot based in England claimed that the votes of the Yes side in next year’s referendum will need to be “weighed rather than counted” such is the clamour for an independent Scotland. He further stated, when Nicky Campbell said the polls show the opposite, that the BBC was only giving us the polls they want us to see.
    It was nice to hear even if it’s only one guys opinion. Sometimes you just need a wee bit of sunshine amidst the doom and gloom.
    But oh how I hope he’s right.

  16. John Lyons says:

    Max, I’m not an advocate of violence and hope we can achieve independence without bloodshed, but I thouroughly believe it’s peaceful political independence now or bloody revolution later. There’s only so much shit people can take, and this government has dumped a LOT of shit on the people and that’s UK wide, not just Scotland.

  17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Stuart – the link when posted on my FB page looks unimpressive and uninviting – it needs a picture in order to make people wish to click the link to the WOS page”

    Um, it’s got a picture.

  18. Max says:

    Ed Miliband, “Not a country where people who can work are on benefits.”
    Ed I think you’ll find that under both Labour and Coalition governments, far more working people were/are claiming benefits that those who were/are unemployed. 
    Why do you think that is Ed? Has a light go ON in that massive brain of yours? FI!

  19. Luigi says:

    Ed’s head does resemble a light bulb. Unfortunately, it is not switched on.

  20. ianbrotherhood says:

    Someone mentioned, in another thread a while ago, that the bookies were offering a bet that Milliband will never be PM. Anyone know if they’re still doing it?
    I’m not a gambler, but you wouldn’t have to be to foresee that this eviscerated scrotum has about as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as Johann Lamont has of being crowned Miss Scotland.

  21. scottish_skier says:

    Survation poll on the EU puts Scotland way in favour (2:1 Yes) whilst England not.

    Interestingly, in this one, Scotland would keep England/the rUK in the EU LOL.

    Over 100 subset for Scotland so not a bad indicator.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Over 100 subset for Scotland so not a bad indicator.”

    I have to disagree. Anything below 1000 is unsatisfactory, and below 500 basically a total waste of time.

  23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Someone mentioned, in another thread a while ago, that the bookies were offering a bet that Milliband will never be PM. Anyone know if they’re still doing it?”

    11/10 (ie double your money plus a bit) from Ladbrokes that he WON’T be PM before 2020 (effectively never):

  24. scottish_skier says:

    In theory a 10% error rev. Although that would apply if weighted to Scotland alone, rather than weighted to the UK as is. 16.5% would be needed for neck and neck.

    Either way, it’s just another indicator of Scotland being Yes to the EU as per other polls.

    I expect support for the EU to rise more in Scotland. I mean if lots of Tories want out and UKIP too, there must be something good about it surely?


  25. ianbrotherhood says:

    That link is brilliant.
    ‘Ed Miliband Specials’!!
    A plausible nickname for crotchless Y-fronts.

  26. scottish_skier says:

    Also, probability means the bigger an error is, the less likely it is to occur. Does not prevent one occurring, but make it statistically more unlikely.
    For this reason, it is extraordinarily rare to find an EU poll subset where Scotland wants to leave, even in the case of Yougov which is biased towards unionist parties due to weighting methods.

  27. Ken Johnston says:

    On the Oddschecker site, YES for Independence, 55% NO 45%.
    Need to get another £50 on before the odds shorten.For some reason, I don’t bet, Hill would only take a £50 bet, I wanted £100.

  28. Brian Ritchie says:

    “Stuart – the link when posted on my FB page looks unimpressive and uninviting – it needs a picture in order to make people wish to click the link to the WOS page”
    Um, it’s got a picture.
    It’s a Facebook thing – sometimes it won’t post a pic.  Best to try again later.

  29. Geoff Huijer says:

  30. Tonia Wight says:

    I felt sick when I read this morning that Job Seekers allowance would only be available if you had already contributed under Labours plans. We are risking creating a country where people starve on the street, homeless for life. Basically we are talking about going back to Victorian times. Seriously. I feel properly ill at such suggestions.

  31. Jamie Arriere says:

    Ed’s head does resemble a light bulb. Unfortunately, it is not switched on….
    and the wee wiry filament in it is hanging loose…..

  32. Jamie Arriere says:

    BREAKING NEWS!! Labour has just announced a complete reversal of everything they’ve been proposing for the past couple of years.
    With a Labour government, the people of Britain are now going to get NOTHING for SOMETHING!!

  33. Jamie Arriere says:

    OK no more jokes and smart-arsed comments.
    The welfare state was and still is the glue that unites the kingdom(s) between those people with and those without, the rich and the poor, the able-bodied and the disabled, the healthy and the sick – the fulcrum of the redistribution of wealth. The political heart of Christian values. If Labour, YES LABOUR, who spent the first half of their history campaigning to establish it, are proposing to start compressing the throat of the system (who knows where they’ll stop?) with no details of a safety net below and no details or ideas of how to revive the economy and gather more taxes/prevent avoidance, then there’s no way there’ll ever be a united country, even if everybody voted No.
    YES is the only vote!

  34. Robin Ross says:

    Sorry to take issue with you, Stu, but this time you are guilty of the grossest cullumny on starving weasels.
    Jimmy Reid said ‘the rat race is for rats – we’re human’.  The Labour volte face on just about every one of their principles cannot be likened to any activity in the animal kingdom, but increasingly lacks the one essential ingredient required of a civilised society – namely humanity.

  35. ianbrotherhood says:

    Have been reading American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips. Having to take it very sloooow as it’s got lots of numbers and dates etc…anyway, FWIW, perhaps what we’re seeing here, right now, is the bigger Bush chickens coming home to roost – military-industrial complex/Texanomics, utter corruption, state being forced to cover corporate theft, cronyism gone haywire, the gentrification of inner cities, state-support of all kinds sliced at both ends until they’re chopping thin-air…and perhaps worst of all, the criminalisation of people whose poverty is deemed ‘offensive’ by the guilt-riddled one-per-cent who keep getting richer without lifting a finger. 
    They’re laughing, taunting, daring us – Occupy, Anonymous, any ‘active’ sector of society, bloggers generally – to defy them. If we do, we get the full ‘Enemy Within’, ‘Al Qaeda cell’ ‘Pinko Subversives’ labels, along with a face full of pepper-spray followed by a truncheon right across the napper and a couple of taser-blasts for good measure.
    They couldn’t make it any more obvious if they tried – they want a showdown.

  36. CameronB says:

    @ Ianbrotherhood
    I would appear that Enron style accounting has become the norm. Ken Ley (former head of Enron), was a close friend of the Bushes and a major contributor to the ‘shrub’s’ election funds. It seems as if Enron may even had Federal assistance in their corporate malfeasance, but we will never know as all the evidence collected for the investigation was destroyed on that fateful Autumn day in Manhattan. This documentary is a pretty good place to start, if you want to look in to it yourself.
    I don’t think ‘they’ want a showdown as they are ‘incremental-ists’. Ever played with a ruler, to see how far it would bend before it broke?

  37. drygrangebull says:

    I know this is o/t but please check out press tv …anti independance , prepare to be love bombed….lol I am the biggest luddite out there so don’t know too much about pasting on a tablet

  38. scottish_skier says:

    OT but check out the comments on the compensation payouts to people put in concentration camps and tortured by the colonial British in Kenya.

    Let’s just say the popular ones are not about feeling guilty and trying to make amends for Britain’s crimes.

    You’ve got people saying ‘This was like out great grandparents ancient history’ as excuses. I understood Lizzie was Queen at the time and I imagine there’s a good few in the House of Lords who were around.

    Some folks certainly don’t like being reminded how nasty Britain is at times.

  39. john king says:

    “I’m not a gambler, but you wouldn’t have to be to foresee that this eviscerated scrotum has about as much chance of becoming Prime Minister as Johann Lamont has of being crowned Miss Scotland.”

    Oh I dont know? if you get her in a certain light?
     wha? what ? 
    oh what a horrible dream, I just dreamt Joanne Lamont was crowned miss Scotland, and her crown was an eviscerated scrotum
    I really must stop drinking that terrible English wine

  40. ianbrotherhood says:

    @john king-
    I should stress that I wasn’t decrying Johann Lamont’s physical appearance – she is a fine figure of a woman and does have a certain aura when she smiles. But the simple fact is that she would have no chance of winning Miss Scotland because of her extreme political views. 

  41. reginald says:

    If Atos deems you fit for work and you toddle along to the DWP to sign up for availability for employment,there are two streams open to a claiment for financial support.ONE==If you have a recent history of work you will have accrued credits but if you have been on benefits for years this stream is not open to you.The other stream is if you are bereft of any means of support you are eligible for help. I forget the parameters that make you qualified for this second stream but healthy savings is obviously  a disqualification. 

  42. john king says:

    ” should stress that I wasn’t decrying Johann Lamont’s physical appearance – she is a fine figure of a woman and does have a certain aura when she smiles.”
    really? and not because she looks like a bulldog chewing wasp then? 🙂

  43. CameronB says:

    @ ianbrotherhood
    Lambrinied already?

  44. ianbrotherhood says:

    Shertainly not.
    BTW, what’s this stushie I half-heard about on radio about Lord Strathclyde saying something offensive about Scotland? Haven’t been able to catch the news all night…

  45. ianbrotherhood says:

    @john king-
    Be honest man. Have you ever seen Johann smile? The transformation is incredible – reminds me of my favourite dinner lady at primary school, and she only ever smiled when we protested at finding intact blood vessels in our mince.

  46. Alastair Naughton says:

    @ CameronB
    Lord Strathclyde is always saying something offensive – it’s nothing unusual. It was him who said that an rUK government would have to bomb an independent Scotland’s airports if they represented a security risk.
    On a separate note, but in keeping with the topic in general, speaking of how far to the extreme right middle England has swung, I saw a headline in the Daily Telegraph yesterday (Wed. 5 June) saying that David Cameron pledged to “drain the swamp of extremism” in Britain. Giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he does in fact mean ALL forms of extremism, from Islamic hate preachers to the English Defence League, it is interesting to see that UKIP obviously does NOT count as an extreme party in England any longer. In fact, many “mainstream” Tories are considering defecting, and if not, then at least openly calling for co-operation with them. Compare and contrast this with the reception Farage received in Edinburgh, and you can see quite clearly that the UK is no longer fit for purpose, if it ever was. 

  47. Holebender says:

    The Lord Strathclyde thing; there were reports on Twitter that he had been speaking at the inaugural meeting of Better Together in London and he said (twice) that there was a poison at the heart of Scottish politics and he unambiguously meant the SNP/independence movement. As usual, this got top billing on the BBC… or not.

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