Tag Archives: benefits claimants

Iain Duncan Smith: Cut your children

How many children do you have?

I don’t have any. My sister has one son. Iain Duncan Smith has four – two sons, two daughters – and it appears we should ask him:

Which of your children do you think you could give up if you became poor?

Would he give up the two oldest children? Or the two youngest? Keep one boy, one girl? Both boys? Both girls? Which children would he willingly cut out of his family if he came one of the working poor who need to claim Housing Benefit because rents are so high, tax credits because wages are so low? If he lost his job and had to claim JSA?

Iain Duncan Smith: poverty is a sin
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Problem family on the cards

Imagine this. A middle-aged man who, forty years ago, was removed from his family at the age of 7, sent to one “approved school” after another, the last with a reputation for violence, at which he was a troublemaker and learned to take illegal drugs. After he left school he joined a gang of thugs who regularly got drunk and violent. He straightened up, more or less – got married, had children, one severely disabled for whom he claimed benefits: he ran a chain of nightclubs that specialised in getting people very drunk at a cut rate. He became leader of a powerful organisation with strong links to crime, accepting large financial gifts from people who made their money in very shady ways. Despite this, he lives in state-owned housing and claims more than thirty thousand a year. A few months ago, he and his wife were out drinking and abandoned their young daughter in the pub when they went home, and still more recently, one of his close associates was convicted and jailed* for swearing at police officers. This is a problem family.

Right?
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Filed under Benefits, Poverty, Riots, Supermarkets

Something for nothing: workfare

In the past quarter, between March and May, the number of UK people out of work has fallen by 65,000 to 2.58m. The ONS says “the overall unemployment rate is now 8.1%, dropped 0.1% than the previous quarter” and though there are still over a million people aged 16 to 24 unemployed, youth unemployment also fell by 10,000.

The number of people in employment rose by 181,000 to 29.35m, the highest for almost four years.

Chris Grayling, Employment Minister MP, said: “This is an encouraging set of figures in what is still an incredibly difficult economic climate.”

I got a letter the other day. To clarify this: I don’t own a company and I’m not an employer. But for a few years I was a sole trader using a business name/website, and I still sporadically get advertising calls/letters for that business name. Mailing lists never die.

The Youth Contract – Supporting local businesses in Edinburgh

The letter was from Ingeus, who are doing their bit for the UK economy by taking fees from the government for “helping people out of unemployment”. Ingeus in the UK is now 50% owned by Deloitte, one of the “big four” accountancy firms who helpfully lend staff and donate consultancy work to government departments.

But it was founded by Therese Rein, one of the richest people in Australia, married to Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former Prime Minister. Continue reading

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Who decided Newsnight shouldn’t look at low wages?

Yesterday, Shadow Minister Toby Perkins tweeted:


Shanene Thorpe says

I got a call from my supervisor asking if I’d be happy to be filmed at work to show the side of the working single parent/ young person. Of course I’d be happy to do that, being a working mum is something I’m proud of… Its not been all plain sailing.

Turned out that was Newsnight actually intended, in a duplicitous move fully in the Daily Mail tradition Continue reading

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Filed under Economics, Poverty, Supermarkets, Women

Lewis Carroll on the rioters

From Sylvie and Bruno Concluded:

“The causes, acting from without, are his surroundings—what Mr. Herbert Spencer calls his ‘environment’. Now the point I want to make clear is this, that a man is responsible for his act of choosing, but not responsible for his environment. Hence, if these two men make, on some given occasion, when they are exposed to equal temptation, equal efforts to resist and to choose the right, their condition, in the sight of God, must be the same. If He is pleased in the one case, so will He be in the other, if displeased in the one case, so also in the other.”

“That is so, no doubt: I see it quite clearly,” Lady Muriel put in.

“And yet, owing to their different environments, the one may win a great victory over the temptation, while the other falls into some black abyss of crime.”

“But surely you would not say those men were equally guilty in the sight of God?”

“Either that”, said Arthur, “or else I must give up my belief in God’s perfect justice. But let me put one more case, which will show my meaning even more forcibly. Let the one man be in a high social position—the other say, a common thief. Let the one be tempted to some trivial act of unfair dealing—something which he can do with the absolute certainty that it will never be discovered—something which he can with perfect ease forbear from doing—and which he distinctly knows to be a sin. Let the other be tempted to some terrible crime—as men would consider it—but, under an almost overwhelming pressure of motives—of course not quite overwhelming, as that would destroy all responsibility. Now, in this case, let the second man make a greater effort at resistance than the first. Also suppose both to fall under the temptation—I say that the second man is, in God’s sight, less guilty than the other.”

Lady Muriel drew a long breath. “It upsets all one’s ideas of Right and Wrong—just at first! Why, in that dreadful murder-trial, you would say, I suppose, that it was possible that the least guilty man in the Court was the murderer, and that possibly the judge who tried him, by yielding to the temptation of making one unfair remark, had committed a crime outweighing the criminal’s whole career!”

“Certainly I should,” Arthur firmly replied. “It sounds like a paradox, I admit. But just think what a grievous sin it must be, in God’s sight, to yield to some very slight temptation, which we could have resisted with perfect ease, and to do it deliberately, and in the full light of God’s Law. What penance can atone for a sin like that?”

“I ca’n’t reject your theory,” I said. “But how it seems to widen the possible area of Sin in the world!”

“Is that so?” Lady Muriel anxiously enquired.

“Oh, not so, not so!” was the eager reply. “To me it seems to clear away much of the cloud that hangs over the world’s history. When this view first made itself clear to me, I remember walking out into the fields, repeating to myself that line of Tennyson ’There seemed no room for sense of wrong!’ The thought, that perhaps the real guilt of the human race was infinitely less than I fancied it— that the millions, whom I had thought of as sunk in hopeless depths of sin, were perhaps, in God’s sight, scarcely sinning at all—was more sweet than words can tell! Life seemed more bright and beautiful, when once that thought had come! ‘A livelier emerald twinkles in the grass, A purer sapphire melts into the sea!’ ” His voice trembled as he concluded, and the tears stood in his eyes.

Protect the benefit system against attempts to use it as a weapon

Stop demonising the young, single mothers and benefit clamainants

Riot Offenders Should Not be Evicted from Council Housing and Should Not Lose Benefits

Politicians should pay from their own pockets the cost of telling courts to throw away the rule book on Riot sentancing

Amnesty for the rioters

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Filed under Lewis Carroll, Riots