Archive | March, 2014

ESA/WCA inquiry chair: ‘Victims are NOT being sidelined’

31 Mar

Vox Political

Dame Anne Begg. [Image: BBC] Dame Anne Begg. [Image: BBC] Dame Anne Begg has responded to concerns that people who submitted evidence to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into Employment and Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments were being sidelined – with a denial.

The committee’s chairperson said the call for evidence generated 190 submissions, and every single submission will be circulated to all committee members.

In addition, the committee clerk in charge of the inquiry, who will be writing the brief for committee members, has carefully read all the submissions as they have come in, she stated in an email yesterday. (March 30)

“However, in line with our practice in the past when we have received a large number of submissions describing personal experiences (such as our inquiries into the roll out of ESA and the Pensions Bill) we have taken the decision that not all of the personal submissions will be…

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The German Workers Who Struck For Peace

30 Mar

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

German War Corpse

Corpse of German trooper outside his dugout: a vivid image of the horrific carnage experienced by all the combatants in the ‘War to End All Wars’.

This year is the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. The BBC has already commemorating this by putting on numerous documentaries about the Great War, setting up on-line resources for schools so you can see what your particular bit of the country was like and did at the time. they’re also running trailers for forthcoming dramas where idealistic young nurses meet handsome soldiers in a saga of love amid the mass slaughter of the War. Documentaries about the World Wars are a staple of British television anyway. Dan Snow on the One Show has appeared several times striding across a World War I battlefield, while a few years ago Tony Robinson presented a Time Team special on the excavation of a…

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The Mainstream Media’s Relationship With The Far-Right

30 Mar

Guy Debord's Cat

The Right often accuses the BBC of having a “left-wing bias”. Yet when pressed to provide salient examples of this bias, they produce some truly absurd examples. One person on Telegraph blogs claimed that CBBC and CBeebies was biased to the Left because one programme mentioned climate change. Others will splutter “the comedy is left-wing”. Really? All of it? How about My Family? The real discourse being expressed here is this: for all their talk about ‘freedom’, the Right wants to control all discourse and set the terms of debate. Their economic experts pop up all the time on BBC News spouting the same line about the necessity for cuts and are never challenged by an opposing economic point of view. Instead, the economist in question is presented as ‘neutral’ expert.  It’s no wonder that when some BBC reporter conducts vox-pop interviews about the economy, the people on the…

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Gay Wedding, Mixed Reception

29 Mar

Excellent article that I found I completely agreed with and is very relevant today, as Gay marriage came into law today in the UK. I hope you read it and find that the simple logic makes it as obvious to you as it did to me this should in fact have always been as normal as any other type of marriage, and that it really is that simple. all you need is love!

Tories are using the poor for medical experimentation

15 Mar

Tories are using the poor for medical experimentation.

Cameron’s Class Background, Prejudices and Osborne’s ‘Workers’ Budget’

15 Mar

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

131001cameronspeech

This morning the lead story in the i was that Cameron had been told by the Tories that he had to stop the gap between North and South widening any further. Further to this story, Osborne had been preparing a ‘Worker’s Budget’ for next week. Quite how far Cameron is from anyone, who could remotely be described as working class is explained in detail in Owen Jones’ Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class (London: Verso 2012).

Cameron’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all stockbrokers. His primary school was Heatherdown Preparatory School in Berkshire, whose old schoolboys include Princes Andrew and Edward. When he was eleven he flew across the Atlantic with a group of his school chums to go to the birthday party of Peter Getty, the grandson of the oil billionaire, John Paul Getty. He was, of course, like all good snobs, educated at Eton. Before he went…

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Britain Becomes South Africa: Primary Teachers Bring Food for Starving Pupils

6 Mar

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Monica Caro Foodbank

Monica Caro, Campaigner against the government’s benefit cuts, outside the Royal Free Hospital in Camden

A few years ago I used to work with an academic, who was very involved in civil rights work to improve conditions for the Black community. He later moved with his family to the new, post-Apartheid South Africa. Talking to him later, I found that he was appalled at the poverty in his local area, and was trying to find donors, who would provide much-needed equipment for the local school. Apart from the poverty that still afflicts the vast majority of Black South Africans, there area suffered from unemployment. As a result, many of the schoolchildren were coming to school hungry. To combat this, the government had launched the ‘Nelson Mandela Feeding Programme’. This gave schoolchildren a meal when the came to school. My friend told me that it was only a peanut butter sandwich…

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