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Meanwhile, in an alternative universe

Posted on July 12, 2015 by

The Economist:

“George Osborne’s political vision is brave, bold – and on many counts wrong. 

Cutting benefits to the very poor while reducing inheritance tax for the wealthy is indefensible.”

The acting leader of the Labour Party:


Of course, it’s entirely natural that the Labour Party and The Economist should be on opposite sides. But somehow everything seems to be the wrong way round.

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  1. 12 07 15 14:20

    Meanwhile, in an alternative universe | Speymouth

  2. 12 07 15 17:53

    Meanwhile, in an alternative universe | Politic...

40 to “Meanwhile, in an alternative universe”

  1. handclapping says:

    Simples. The Referendum was a mirror and we are now through the looking glass 😀

  2. IvMoz says:

    Watched her on the Sunday Politics & she confirmed Labour will not oppose the Welfare Bill. I was astonished.

    The IFS amongst others have pointed out there will be millions of losers because of the budget.

    Others losers will include those on ESA who come under the WRAG group, whose benefit will be the same as those on JSA.

    Who are Labour representing? In their pursuit of power for power’s sake, they’re prepared to sell their soul to the devil for votes. If you’re going to ape the Tories why not just join them.

    There is no place in the UK/Scotland today for a Labour Party. They stand for no-one but themselves.

    If you’re poor, the Labour Party have just admitted that they think you should be shat on.

    At least 56 MP’s will oppose the Welfare Bill.

  3. Muscleguy says:

    Weak in espousing policies people want to vote for more like.

    Yet again if they think bashing the poor will get them votes then if you want the poor bashed why would you elect Labour to do it?

    And in the face of an astonishing performance by an actual anti-austerity party who were articulating the strong case against austerity as an economic policy they plump instead to compete with the arch austerity party for who are the best cutters.

    Really, what is Labour actually FOR? They seem to serve no actual political purpose any more. Either they fuse with both the Yellow and Blue Tories or they wither and die.

  4. UncleBob says:

    Worthwhile having a look at this

    Is this what will happen by 2041?

    A return to this level of poverty and deprivation?

  5. Fiona says:

    Ordinary people had some representation in this country for less than 100 years. We have now reverted to the norm

  6. Hoss Mackintosh says:

    Noted that you did not call Harman acting leader of the opposition.

    Not sure what Labour are doing but they seem quite happy to occasionally sit in Parliament and claim their expenses. They appear to have given up all hope of ever getting elected again.

    Why vote for pseudo-tories in Middle England when you can just vote for the real Blue ones.

    The SNP are now the real opposition in Westminster.

  7. Andy Nimmo says:

    As usual Rev – nail meet hammer.

    Summed up as follows

    SNP – Learned from People. Listened to People. Evolved Like Butterfly

    LABOUR – Lectured People. Listened to Spin Doctors. Perished like Dinosaur.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    Osborne despises the poor and admires the rich – he is the English class system in action:

  9. Helena Brown says:

    Ach once they get the practice in with the foxes they will be out hunting the peasants. How do the future serfs think they built all those grand houses we pay to view when we were living in hovels, we because we were living in Hovels.
    Labour will be standing on the sidelines cheering them on waiting on their buggins turn.

  10. Taranaich says:

    A man dressed in a red tie is sitting in a ladies’ toilet that’s been converted into an office. A man dressed in a sharp suit with a blue tie enters.

    “Hello, my friend. Delightful to see you again.”

    The other looks up, surprised to see him in a place like this.

    “Hey, what’s a glitterati like you doin’ in my dump? I thought you were managing the Tory leader.”

    “Yes, managing David has been my highest priority even though he is temporarily incarcerated for pushing his mother down the stairs. But with his impending release I’ve been strategizing for his glorious return to the shores of Westminster.”

    “Uh, what?”

    “His re-election campaign. You know, politics.”

    “Oh. Oh, man. Yeah, well, who’s donatin’ his body for that one, huh?”

    “Well, word is you manage a stalwart young politico who cannot be knocked down.”

    “Ed? You want Ed to fight Cameron?”

    “Well, the fans are weary of elections that are over before they have an opportunity to even get drunk. I just need a body who can sustain verticality for three rounds.

    “Yeah, but Ed’s no boxer. He’s- He’s just a robot. Cameron will fustigate him.”

    “Well, fustigation aside, you’ve got a choice. You can either sit here in the ladies’ room with your faded memories or you can take your last shot at the big time. And I can make it happen. Three rounds. That’s all I ask.”

    (Weeks later. The big election. Miliband has soaked up blow after blow, but absolutely failed to lay a hand on Cameron. He doesn’t last a minute, let alone a round.)

    “You couldn’t even give me one lousy round. You will always be a loser. Now take your cheque for a hundred thousand pounds and get out of my sight.”

    “I don’t need your stinkin’ money!”

    (The man in red pockets the cheque.)

    *Seriously, the boxing analogies become more and more apt.

  11. Wulls says:

    this in an era where Cafe Nero, Starbucks,Google,Amazon and many many more pay little or no corporation tax in the UK.
    It is morally indefensible that big business be allowed to avoid taxes that would otherwise support our most vulnerable.
    And in a seperate story this week the pope has condemned capatilisim and has stated that hoarding wealth is akin to stealing.
    This is from the leader of the Vatican, the richest state in Europe by miles.
    Irony does not come close.

  12. Wulls says:

    incidentally the vast majority of families with more than two children are immigrants.
    Class wars 2 coming right up…….

  13. Helpmaboab says:

    It was only in March that the late, unlamented Ed Balls declared that he wouldn’t oppose any aspect of Osborne’s previous budget…

    That attempt to sook up to the right-leaning voters of marginal England didn’t do any good. Labour were rejected anyway.

    I await, sceptically, to see whether this latest rightward lurch will help Labour gain some ground. Surely the electors of England will always prefer an honest, full-blooded conservative government to a dishonest, sleekit Labour tribute act?

  14. Fireproofjim says:


  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    London Labour is continuing to evolve from a true, traditional socialist Party to being a sort of not so right wing, Liberal light Party which they hope, will take a place in the future 2 Party UK system. A bit like the USA duopoly whose only real difference is defined by suits and marketing.

    They will have the same backers who will keep the charade of difference running.

    Scotland is being slowly factored out of the equation because they know they will not win the next GE and 2020 has to be their first target. If Scotland is gone by then, they may have a chance.


    We are off.

  16. steveasaneilean says:

    You couldn’t make this up.

    Right wing neo-liberal supporting Economist ackbowledges punishing the poor whilst pandering to the rich is wrong.

    Harriet Harman, prominent member of allegedly Socialist party says punishing the poor for being poor is fine and dandy.

    Twilight Zone…

  17. galamcennalath says:

    Bugger (the Panda) says:

    “Scotland is being slowly factored out of the equation”

    … for Labour, as you say. But also by the Tories, I am beginning to feel.

    After the referendum all Unionists thought it would be back to business as usual.

    After the GE, I reckon they realise Scotland probably will be leaving. Not to say that they will assist the process, but I reckon they realise they can’t stop it.

  18. ken500 says:

    Mundell could be spending taxpayers money in strip clubs. The electorate will not be impressed.

    Mr – Tumbles

  19. Ken500 says:

    Waiting. Letting the cuts take affect. Public opinion turning against the Tories. It is already happening.

  20. Meindevon says:

    UncleBob @ 1.53

    That is a sad, sad list. Mostly women, mostly widows, mostly ill of health. Heartbreaking situations for lots.

    The similarity to today is that a lot of these poor souls were in work. The working poor. Sound familiar?

  21. yesindyref2 says:

    I think the Tories had a large number of sleeper agents in the Labour Party and have been activating them in bulk.

    What on earth is the Labour Party, the party of the People, playing at?

  22. Lollysmum says:

    Good find. About 8 yrs ago I started looking into my family tree. I couldn’t find my Gran (4yrs old) or her 7yr old brother in 1911 census or her parents.

    After going to the County Archives in Nottingham, I found them all in 3 separate workhouses. I was able to arrange to view the workhouse records for the parents but the Training Institution for Destitute Children records no longer exist. (Odd that)We seem to have those problems today!

    Reading those entries in the Workhouse registers was extremely difficult knowing that my ancestors were being written about. The comments in your Glasgow Police link are very similar to those in the workhouse records. My maternal grandfather (a journeyman painter & decorator)was in & out of the workhouse for most of his life as he was very sick. But each time he was discharged he went back to working outside in all weather conditions & soon ended up being admitted again along with the rest of the family. They were destitute through no fault of their own.

    He died in the workhouse, his wife died a couple of months after she was discharged & that set the seal on their childrens lives. On the first day in the TI brother & sister were split up & never ever saw each other again.

    It was a cruel world back then & people didn’t matter at all. 100 years later, it certainly looks as though the tories are determined to push us all back to those living conditions if they possibly can.

    Sickening that history will be repeating itself for the many who have little now & even less to look forward to.

  23. Bill Steele says:

    IvMoz says, “At least 56 MP’s will oppose the Welfare Bill.” Yes but they will be ignored. They are impotent at Westminster. Let’s get them back to sit in Edinburgh.

  24. Macart says:

    Seriously, they truly want to rename at this point, because they’re not really Labour anymore.

    Population control, what’s next, barcodes?


  25. galamcennalath says:

    Lollysmum says

    “About 8 yrs ago I started looking into my family tree”

    I have also done a lot of research on my ancestry. It gives you a window into society in the past far beyond conventional taught history. Not only are you studying real people, but you are exploring relatives, ancestors, people whose genes you carry. Their lives bring the past alive, quite literally.

    My mother said her great grandfather, a modest cooper from Wick carried ‘blue blood’. I evenually cracked this and I have the mixed feelings about my descent from the ultimate robber barons of Scottish history!

    However, at the other end of the social spectrum I have four separate ancestors who died in poor houses across Scotland. In every case their problem was they lived too long. They reached their 80s and were unable to support themselves. The offsprings were old by the standards of the times and had moved on. One in particular I can follow through the ten yearly census of Islay when he begins as a shepherd, then cotter, then pauper, then poor house, then death. A hard uncaring world for the weakest.

    Here we are. 2015 and seems like we have just moved backwards as a society in regard to the needy, and robber barons again are free to pillage at will.

  26. UncleBob says:


    I came across the Police List for 1841 in Glasgow as I was looking for some relatives who came over from Ireland and lived in the East end at that time. I didn’t find them on the list, to be honest I couldn’t face reading much of it.

    Like you it made me think of today’s working poor and how they may end up if we are not able to become an Independent country.
    With the current UK Governments plans for the NHS, no affordable homes and benefits cuts (which will no doubt soon be abolished, the benefits not the cuts), we need to act so that history will never repeat itself.

  27. msean says:

    No change there then,the same party that opened the door for atos and the bedroom tax. Just because you got beat doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the party that beat you wants to do.

    If that was the case,Scottish Labour would be standing for an independent Scotland.

  28. Stoker says:

    @ UncleBob (1.53pm).
    Thanks for that link. Couple of names in there (Baird & Turnbull)
    which are of interest to me and my research. Also, a lot of other
    useful research info such as addresses etc and the name Connelly.
    I shall add the link to my research files. Cheers, mucker!

  29. Peatseeking missile says:

    It’s all looking predictably like Chomsky’s permissible spectrum the limits have been redefined. Look at how much things have changed from e.g. 1970s when conservative policies were way to the left of current labour ones. It’s not accidental. Careful patient long term media strategy. And it works a treat.

  30. jethro says:

    I was speaking to a couple of life long Labour members yesterday, who actively campaigned in the General Election in May. Both ordinary working people, retired now, who always saw Labour as “their” party.

    They were both totally disillusioned, with no appetite for any further involvement with the party. They were completely unimpressed with the so called front runners for the top party jobs.

    And that was BEFORE Harman came out with this!

    Make no mistake, today the Labour Party died.

    Aneurin Bevan called the Tories “lower than vermin”.

    What would he make of Harman and her cronies, waving vicious Tory cuts through parliament to impoverish millions of working families, while pretending to be “Labour”?

    Harman would do well to remember that the last “Labour” leader to cosy up to the Tories was Ramsay MacDonald in 1931. He split his party in two.

    They do say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

  31. Fred says:

    @ Uncle Bob & Co, the east end of Glasgow in the 1840’s was packed with Irish folk fleeing the Famine & seeking work in the textile mills. They were already at a low ebb when the cholera epidemic struck resulting in deaths in five figures.

  32. UncleBob says:


    Sorry for the slight hijack Rev, but at least topical!

    I found my McCartneys in 1841 in Pier?? Street, literally just off the boat and then in 1851 in Thorn Street. Three of them were working in the cotton mills. I’ve still to find them in 1861 and thereafter.

    Have tried to find Pier street and Thorn street on nlsmaps but no joy.

  33. john king says:

    Ken500 says@ 5.30
    “Mr – Tumbles”

    Mr Fumbles
    fixed that for you. 🙂

  34. Fred says:

    @ Uncle Bob, Thorn Street is W1, so Partick, dunno about Pier Street, Hidden Glasgow is a good site to find this & the story of the Cholera Outbreak.
    For info’ on your family try a post on Rootschat pal.

  35. mogabee says:

    O/T aussi!


    You might like to try this site!

  36. UncleBob says:


    Many thanks.
    It’s Pirn street just off Dalmarnock Road.(Not Pier street)
    Brilliant recommendations.

  37. Fred says:

    @ Uncle Bob, that figures, a Pirn’s a bobbin, Shuttle Street etc’.

  38. Martyman says:

    I noticed that there wasn’t a peep from our good friend Duncan Hothersall about this all day. However, within three minutes of Kezia tweeting her position (that she was against ANY cuts on tax credits), up he pops, having a go at Harman.

    However, I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt. It was probably just a coincindence. Duncan is his own man and far be it from me to suggest that our Dunc could have been waiting to see what the offical line was from ‘the boss’ ….

  39. Ealasaid says:

    I was raging at Harman last night for backing the blue Tories.

    What about her own constituents who voted Labour and made her an MP. Who is representing their views and protecting their rights while she decides to back the conservatives? What is the point of voting Labour these days!

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