The UK Hits Moral Rock Bottom 170


I return from summer break with a shock as the UK hits moral rock bottom. On the day that it is revealed that 2,380 people in three years died within 14 days of being declared fit to work by an ATOS assessment and having benefit stopped, we also have 45 of the most appalling members of the political class elevated to trough it for life in the House of Lords, at a possible cost to the taxpayer of 67,500 pounds per week in attendance allowances alone.

It is worth remembering that it was the Red Tories who brought in ATOS, and Yvette Cooper, to be precise, who ordered the extreme tightening of the unfit to work assessment which has resulted in death for thousands and dreadful stress and misery for hundreds of thousands. Ian Duncan Smith may have also gleefully implemented it, but this particular horror was entirely inherited from the Guardian’s favourite leadership candidate.

The House of Lords appointments are so horrible it is difficult to comment. The most utterly objectionable of all is one of the least known to the public. Stuart Polak becomes a Lord for services to the Conservative Friends of Israel. That you can, unelected, become a legislator of the UK based on your loyalty and service to another state is appalling.

Others are more obviously dreadful. Lord Hogg now has a title that befits the moat of his home, which he had cleaned by the taxpayer prompting much rage in the expenses scandal. Tessa Jowell benefited from hundreds of thousands of pounds of corrupt money from the sordid Berlusconi, claiming she did not read the mortgage documents in which his cash paid off her house, before she signed them, and going through an entirely risible pretence of temporary separation from her husband, David Mills, who escaped a corrupt Italian justice system. David Willetts was rejected by his constituents because of extreme expenses scamming, and walks grinning back into the Lords.

Michelle Mone is rewarded for her opposition to Scottish independence. The woman sold out the workforce who made her fortune by expensively covering her crotch and now comes out as a Tory knicker saleswoman. Darling also is ennobled for services to the union, after being too cowardly to face the electorate in May. The Lib Dems get more legislators today than they could manage at the general election. That is simply astonishing.

The conduct of the political class is utterly shameless. Meantime they indulge their fantasies of stripping workers of all protection and of stopping aid to the needy, and while the politicians gorge and gorge, the poor are quietly being slipped away to die.


170 thoughts on “The UK Hits Moral Rock Bottom

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  • Jon

    Jemand – thanks for the reply. No time to comment atm, but will do so soonish.

    Wasn’t aware I’d left something of yours unanswered – happy to try to address that too. My heart sinks at any organised religion, to be honest – they become political vehicles with their own internal hierarchies, and their congregations the unwitting fuel for anti-democratic tendencies. I am generally not willing to damn one more than another, especially if that involves fuelling criticism that is really based on “different to us” ideology (e.g. Islamophobia or anti-Semetism).

    I’ll get back to you (and feel free to remind).

  • Mary

    The Friends of Israel will not be pleased to read of this success.

    The Palestine Solidarity Campaign works for peace & justice for Palestinians, in support of human rights & against all racism

    Dear friends,

    We’ve got some fantastic news.

    Veolia has just announced that it is completely pulling out of its contracts with Israeli apartheid! This is a huge victory for solidarity with Palestine and the BDS movement and sends a clear message to other companies – doing business with Israel risks your reputation and profit.

    The campaign against Veolia notched up major successes with Veolia losing major contracts. The pressure from campaigns like ours was too much and today they announced they’re selling the Light Rail shares too! That means Veolia has completely withdrawn from Israeli apartheid, exactly what our campaign wanted them to do.

    So we just wanted to say thank you.

    /..
    http://ymlp.com/z5IKsV

    ~~~

    Boycott-hit Veolia dumps Jerusalem rail, completes Israel withdrawal

    28 August 2015

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/boycott-hit-veolia-dumps-jerusalem-rail-completes-israel-withdrawal

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    Conjunction

    Thank you for your comments on disability claimants/benefit; I gather from them that doctors were more likely to be tough when assessing rather than lenient, which is interesting (and contradicts what I had heard).

  • Mary

    An anecdote on Medialens

    Just came back from ATOS assessment
    August 28, 2015, 6:33 pm

    ..”Ohh that’s clever there’s a “pop-up-shop” selling “pips” look sweethearts I wonder if it will be our friend?” ..The only things in there were two receptacles one for trash one for recycling (he, he), a large flat screen tv. (not on), a reception desk and receptionist, chairs, security guard and water dispenser (oh, and some red tops in a rack), no CLOCK (check out Post Offices -Tm-, they don’t have ’em n’more either),..I am reminded of “The Phantom Toll Bo(o)th” (“ware plague! WARE PLAGUE………….!”), …….

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1440783217.html

    ~~

    PS I had to look that up as it was unknown to me. A book and a film.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_Tollbooth
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Llg5VODW6n4

  • Mary

    After hated Atos quits, will Maximus make work assessments less arduous?
    Bombarded with abuse and with its reputation tarnished, Atos has bought its way out of its £400m state contract to assess if benefit claimants are fit to work. A new company, Maximus, is taking over. Who is behind it – and will they do anything differently?
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/18/after-hated-atos-quits-will-maximus-make-work-assessments-less-arduous

    ‘Last March, the company announced it was quitting its five-year £400m contract early, paying to escape prematurely with a “substantial financial settlement” to the Department for Work and Pensions. (“Atos declared not fit for work,” headlines noted.)

    In March, a new, US company, Maximus, will take on the job of assessing whether claimants are eligible for sickness and disability benefits. To listen to ministers’ excitement about the switch, it is as though this moment heralds a beautiful new dawn for the most controversial scheme in the government’s welfare reform programme.’

    ~~~

    Maximus Inc no less.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximus_Inc.

    Their UK arm.
    http://www.healthmanltd.com/what-we-do

  • lysias

    John Spencer-Davis,

    The solution to your problem is a written constitution which limits the power of the Parliament, and which can only be amended through a difficult and complicated procedure involving supermajorities.

    That’s what we already have here in the U.S.

    In Athens, what they did was to distinguish between nomoi (basic laws, passing which required a more complicated procedure) and psephismata (ordinary legislation). A person who proposed a psephisma which was found (by a later jury of randomly selected citizens) to be subject to a graphe paranomon (legal proceeding against unconstitutional decrees) was subject to criminal penalties.

  • Mary

    Petition

    Assess full impact of all cuts to support & social care for disabled people

    Govt has ignored calls for a full assessment of the impact of Welfare, Social Care & NHS reform on disabled people and their families. The number of households with a disabled family member living in “absolute poverty” increased by 10% between 2013 & 14.

    Since WOWpetition collected 104,000 signatures the Government claimed IFS said it was too difficult to do a CIA, IFS subsequently contradicted the claim and said it could be done. EHRC and Social Security Advisory Committee have also called for a CIA of how cuts have affected disabled people and their families. A Cumulative Impact Assessment undertaken by Landman Economics and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research proved disabled people have been hit the hardest by cuts.

    Sign this petition
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106068

    8,350 signatures

    At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition

    At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/106068

    ~~~~~~

    The Orwellian sounding acronyms are:
    IFS Institute for Fiscal Studies
    CIA Cumulative Impact Assessment
    EHRC Equality and Human Rights Commission

  • fedup

    good bit at the end where Cameran gets his elder brother shot, putting the blame on his love rival, and takes control of the family fortunes.

    Welcome to the real Islam.

    You have given up all pretence and now are gunning for Muslims without your usual PBUH lark.

    Of course being a myopic racist you have not thought that fratricide is one of the original sins, as in Cain and Abel! Shoving the real Islam there is just a measure of your hatred which you have disguised all these times by pouring your bile as fellow Muslim without anyone pulling up on that.

    The real world of Islam is about control, power, money, sex, corruption.

    Interesting isn’t it? The attacks on Islam are bolstering the attacks on Muslims and Asians in particular.

    Dr Nazir CEO of Brunei Wafirah, now selling Halal products in Tescos under a different name, employed an English manager to do his dirty work for him

    Tesco have been selling Kosher products for years, and now are selling Halal products, it is their business and they know if they want the custom; best cater for their customers. CEO normally hire mangers to do the job. But of course that is not good for a racist like you, whom cannot stand to see any Muslim getting appointed as a CEO of an state (Brunei)owned company and to get £250,000 in salary!

    he changed his personal address and car when he realised that his nasty vindictive business practises had been reported by his disgruntled staff to me.

    Well you are such a threat to all Muslims. They need to go into hiding to remain safe from you. Although sadly the law seems to have so far tolerated you and your chums openly racist and disgusting incitement to hatred towards Muslims without any reprisals or punishment.

    You know nothing about the corruption in the Asian Muslim business community and the level of collaboration with our war criminal politicians of the Asian Muslim imams.

    Is corruption only limited to the Asian communities? Why should the Asians be held to a higher standard from any other group of people in this country? Why should the Asians be focus of such a vitriol and hatred by you and your chums?

    Wah Muslims are getting beaten up. yes by other Muslim families trying to get the better of them.

    The racist scum the likes of you and your chums always find an excuse as Afrikaans did with Black on Black violence as the KKK do in US. This is to disguise the racial harassment the beatings the insults, the discrimination by blaming it on the victims for perpetrating these attacks themselves.

    Do you know the second largest expense in Asian families after mortgages is paying quack maulanas to put on and take off evil spirits from them? It’s £100 for saying hello and of course nothing will happen quickly. You might see some results after 20 more hellos.

    This is the real weird part!

    The freedom of choice does not apply to the Asians because they cannot spend their money as they see fit. As the laws of the land do precious little to protect the Muslims from the daily attacks and racial harassment, in an uncertain world whence the poor bastards caught in the cross hairs of you and your chums for comfort and trying to make sense of it all they find recourse in getting rid of devils, by spending their hard earned cash!

    Shamanic practices are not unique to any one community and they take on different forms and different format rituals. Why should it be any of your concern? Is it your money they are spending?

    All in all the succession of hateful posts should leave little doubt for anyone as to your true intent and mission on this blog and elsewhere, and you have been yet again caught with your pants around your ankles pouring hate and bile towards Muslims, Islam and Asians.

    =======

    Jon you forget that your own dogma of believing you have the ultimate truth itself is a religion!

    Human beings sometimes need some form of an anchor in world that seems to make no sense and is full of slings and arrows. Yours is your unbending belief that religions are bad because you know the truth; there is no god!

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (la vita e’ bella)
    27 Aug, 2015 – 5:03 pm

    “No. It was a question in the form of an observation. Careful re=reading required.”
    ……………………………………………………………

    Does your keyboard not have a hyphen button Habbabkuk?

    I have noticed that you often use the = sign when you should be using the hyphen to join words that are grammatically linked.

    Perhaps you think = is a double hyphen?

  • Jon

    Fedup, no – I don’t claim to have access to ultimate truth.

    However, I think everyone should agree with the rationalist edict that bold claims require bold proof. The claim that god(s) exist is very bold indeed, and whilst I am happy for people to believe in whatever emotional anchors they find useful, if religious ideology interferes with secular politics – as it frequently does in real life – then society has a right to object.

  • Macky

    @Jon, Oh dear, that’s a rephrasing of that intellectual giant & reknown man of peace & love, Christopr Hitchens!; “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. I guess you must have solved the riddle of the Human Condition, otherwise you would not used the phrase “rationalist edict” in relation to things that are unkownable ! You also betray a complete misunderstanding of what Religon is with your further comments; here’s a small clue, for a real relgious person, everything, life, family, politics, country, etc, absolutely everything, comes not even a close second.

  • fedup

    bold claims require bold proof

    Equally bold claim that god does not exist requires proof, won’t you agree?

    if religious ideology interferes with secular politics – as it frequently does in real life – then society has a right to object.

    Jon religion and politics are in similarity akin to chicken and egg conundrum. Both of them are designed to wield power and organise the minions. Secularism itself becoming a dogma replaces the religious dogma.

    Society! Remember it does not exist as Maggie the destroyer used to put it.

    The fact is politicians are envious of the power of the religious leaders. Hence the bitterness and the rivalry. But in either case we the people at the bottom of the pile get either the sacred shaft or the vulgar secular shaft!

    You seem to forget the roots of your politics and your laws are to be found in religion (laws of heredity and marriage, names, surnames and kinship). Regardless of the objections of the “society” most people need an anchor to make sense of their world and somehow explain away the uncertain world that could at any time come crashing down around their ears. Ever noticed the religious zeal of most of the leaders that is political or otherwise?

    Why should the “society” object, perhaps ought to be explored, would you care to elaborate on this matter?

    Here is a bit of a strange justice for you ;

    The girls, from the “untouchable” caste, are being punished for their brother’s elopement with a married woman.

    Two sisters in India will be gang-raped for a social “sin” committed by their brother unless the country’s Supreme Court intervenes with protection, according to a report by Amnesty International.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “… for a real relgious person, everything, life, family, politics, country, etc, absolutely everything, comes not even a close second.” Macky.

    Sweeping statement. It’s never been as simple as that, anywhere. What’s a “real religious person”? And many elements and even edicts of many religions stressin the integrated nature of all this – they do not see religion as opposed to “everything, life, family, politics, country, etc”. There have always been those for whom it has been oppositional at various times. But if one looks at Jesus, Muhammad, the other Biblical/Quranic prophets, and many of the figures form Hinduism, for example, whether in ‘evangelical’ mode or ‘Give Unto Caesar’ mode, religion has been deeply enmeshed with all of these things, not separate form it. Muhammad, for example, set up a functioning city-state which rapidly became an empire. He was a businessman, an employee of his wife. He was not at all in opposition to the things you mention.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In other words, at the risk of sounding trite, religion is a most complex thing. What you say certainly has been an element of it. Yet it has been most things to many people at various times. It has been both hierarchical and egalitarian, often simultaneously. It has been oppositional and conformist. It has been inclusive and exclusive. It has been peaceful and violent. It has inspired great architecture, literature, music and visual art and it has inspired terrible oppression and mass slaughter, pogroms, bloodbaths, burnings at the stake, etc. In short, religion has been a reflection of the human species and contains within itself all the contradictions, power dynamics, horror and beauty of our species. As far as we can tell, other animals do not have religion. The religious impulse seems to result from our awareness of our own mortality and our sense of awe in the face the universe and it is something which seems almost ‘hard-wired’ into us.

  • nevermind

    I’m afraid that those who still support and cajole these wretched characters on here are supporters of David Cameron and IDS, they are as bad as those who carry out these slap in the face policies thatpush people into suicide.
    I suppose IDS will become a lord for his services to HMQ Government, she being equally responsible for signing off these Haderlumps, these self serving kleptocrats.

    This corrupt system need axing, not gently nudging into the red Tory camp were the likes of Burnham and Cooper waiting in the wings to carry on as usual.

    I fear for Corbyn when murderers like Blair are talking of ‘rugby tackling him’, Jeremy has cycled most of his journeys and had no major accidents, so should he now have one its not going to be down to him but others.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Nevermind, 9:19am, I agree. I also heard somewhere that computer hackers can remote control the computer systems of some cars and make them crash. And, one suspects, not just computer hackers. So, someone in, say, Oregon can make a car crash in, say, Dorset. That is a truly terrifying thought. We are entering into the world of the computer game, or rather, the world of the computer game has entered into us. I suppose that’s the concept behind behind the ‘Matrix’ movies.

  • Mary

    Whilst human bodies, including those of children, lay putrefying in sealed lorry and others drowned in the Meditteranean, the only responses to this massive crisis have been:

    Weeping and wailing from Mr Ban Ki-Moon

    Statement attributable to the Secretary-General on recent refugee/migrant tragedies
    http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=8938

    Proposals to introduce body searching for European train passengers

    France train attack: Talks in Paris to debate security
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34092544

    A large NATO exercise in Spain, cost unknown

    Spain Prepares for Exercise Trident Juncture 2015 http://www.jfcbs.nato.int/page7715057/spain-prepares-for-exercise-trident-juncture-2015-.aspx

    The latter in a country impoverished by the bankers’ crash with 23% unemployment.

    More of the laughing in our faces.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, Macky, it’s utterly shocking. And as you rightly suggest, nowhere in the MSM does one hear it voiced prominently as a challenge to those in power as in, “What have we done?” In other words, the fact that we and our hoods are responsible for this human catastrophe. This current refugee crisis is happening because we destroyed Libya and we (together with our local Uncle Tom regimes) are continuing to help destroy Syria. Both countries were functioning states with high levels of human indices and education and so on. Dictatorships? Yes. Every state in the region is one. Are we going to destroy them all? No, of course not – it’s just an excuse to impose strategic hegemony. And how many Syrians has the UK taken in? What exactly did we expect to happen? The whole thing – and now the media treatment of it as an ‘immigration’ or an ‘organised crime’ issue instead of as a ‘war crime’ issue – is infuriating.

  • fedup

    You are an extended fart balloon.

    The equal opportunity racist’s “comprehensive” and an “eloquent” response to this that also sports a link to the “beebeecee World Service”**, evidently in an attempt to qualify his disgustingly racist attacks on Muslims and their religion.

    ** The same beebeecee that keeps on broadcasting “71 migrants” found dead in Austria, not refugees running away from the wars of choice in the mid east that have been waged on the benighted inhabitants of that region. These “migrants” were all choosing to come to UK no doubt because they will be getting; “free money, free mobiles, free houses, free ……..” with a friendly population awaiting their arrival. The same “friendly bunch” are not going to kick the seven bells out of them for being Muslims, and even murder them for the sake of fun of it all.

    The dehumanisation of Muslims goes on unabated to the extent that even in progressive blogs the racist attacks on them are tolerated, accepted and thought of part of the course in any “debate” concerning Muslims.

  • Mary

    Right Macky and Suhayl.

    Coming home just now, I was listening to From Our Own Correspondent on Radio 4. It was really sad to hear from the reporter of the qualified professionals who have left and are leaving Syria – doctors, vets, civil engineers and the like. The point was made that their home country is obviously the poorer without them and that the EU will benefit.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b066tgxb

    ‘The news behind the news. In this edition: severe turbulence in the financial markets in China: why the country’s leadership makes no mention of it and the mainstream media avoids the subject;

    what’s it like living on Little Diomede, the American island in the Bering Strait, just a few miles from Russia?

    Our correspondent has been talking to fishermen trying to pursue their livelihoods amid mounting tension between the two superpowers; hundreds of migrants have been arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos. Some there, we find, are treating the new arrivals as business opportunities;

    we’ve been meeting some of the hermits and holy men still living in caves amid the sandy wastes and rocky mountains of the West Bank

    and have been touring Jamaica in search of a moonshine rum with a particularly notorious reputation.’

    The segment on the refugees commences at 12′.55″ in.

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