Plus change, plus la même chose

5 Apr

Wee Ginger Dug

So a wee while ago there was a meeting between La Nicla, which is defined in French dictionaries as “la femme qui puts les shiteurs up l’establaissment britannique”, and the French ambassador. The purpose of the meeting may or may not have been to have a wee laugh at George Osborne’s attempts to make political capital out of the Battle of Agincourt, but La Nicla and L’Ambassadeuse had a wee natter over some Ferrero Rocher about things that diplomatic protocol says that ambassadors and first ministers should have a wee natter about, and as is normal minutes were taken and a report was sent as a matter of courtesy to the UK Foreign Office. There is apparently no truth in the rumour that the minutes of the meeting were taken by someone on work placement from Reporting Scotland, but since the British media doesn’t feel the need to check their…

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A Very Caledonian Coup

5 Apr

surgFormer Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Roy Hattersley, a man not noted for his fevered commitment to the communist cause, once advised that we should “never underestimate the British establishment’s ruthless determination to destroy its enemies.”

Sage advice, to be sure, and one wonders if Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is familiar with the quote. If so, we can imagine her nodding in resigned agreement at the end of an extraordinary week.

She was branded by the Daily Mail as “The Most Dangerous Woman in Britain” – surely a badge of honour, awarded as it was by the notorious Hitler-worshipping rag? – and then wowed even English voters during the leaders’ debate on Thursday evening, topping the many resulting polls.

The events that followed, then, represented a certain inevitability. The SNP oppose austerity, oppose the scape-goating of immigrants and oppose the destruction of free education and the NHS. As…

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There Is No Such Thing As A Fair Benefit Sanction And They Are Not A Tory Invention

10 Mar

Excellent piece

the void

sanction-deaths A pregnant women who was sanctioned in disguise at a recent protest so Jobcentre staff don’t recognise her. From The Poor Side Of Life

Iain Duncan Smith’s mass use of benefit sanctions is driving people to their deaths.  But it began under Labour, and was not opposed by most trade unions or charities established to support people living in poverty.

In 2008 the Labour government published a green paper entitled ‘No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility’ (PDF).  Gordon Brown himself wrote the forward to the document pledging “tough responsibilities that respect tax payers” for all of those on some form of out of work benefit.

Even for a Government which had already introduced workfare and the despised Work Capability Assessment, some of the measures proposed were shocking.  These included mandatory work related activity – a vague term that often means workfare – for both sick and…

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Bell end of the Union

9 Mar

Wee Ginger Dug

When it comes to Scotland, the Guardian’s cartoonist Steve Bell is an uncomprehending humourless twank who long ago crossed the line between satire and a casual patronising racism. In his right on politically correct zeal to condemn everything he suspects may be nationalism, which is of course always bad when it’s not of the invisible British Labour variety, he traduces and shows contempt for an entire country. Steve Bell swims in his Labourite British nationalist sense of superiority exactly like a homophobic Ukip oaf wondering why there are no heterosexual pride marches, and displays the same blank incomprehension of a phenomenon he doesn’t understand yet which he feels threatened by.

As a result the drawings of the left wing cartoonist scourge of Thatcherism would not look out of place in the Daily Mail. Actually, even the Daily Mail might pause and consider whether to publish them – their racist contempt…

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Loki: The Scottish National Collective Party

9 Mar

Can you smell the fear?

8 Mar

Wee Ginger Dug

Can you smell the fear? It’s reeking, rising in a fog of incomprehension, wafting up from the sweaty furrowed brows of Unionist politicians, dripping from the pens of the metrocommentariat columnists. It’s the rank odour of a rotting and rancid Project Fear which is now eating itself, consumed in hubris, dissolving in its arrogance. Confused and lost by how events have turned against the winning side in the referendum. The wind has changed. It blows fair for Scotland.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Better Together was supposed to mean that Scotland better listen passively, Scotland better do what it was told what was best for it. But Scotland isn’t listening any more. We no longer listen to those who don’t hear us. Scotland wants Home Rule. Scotland was promised Home Rule, we were vowed the closest thing to federalism it was possible to get. We were told that…

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New Scoring System To Decide Support Group For MH Claimants

26 Feb

Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

A new scoring system has been created to decide if claimants with mental health issues can get into the support group because of a risk of harm to themselves or someone else. The system has been deliberately designed to make it more difficult for women to qualify than men.

There have also been important changes to the way health professionals estimate how far claimants can walk or ‘mobilise’.

SUBSTANTIAL RISK
The substantial risk regulations are now one of the most important ways of getting into the support group.

According to the independent reviewer of the WCA, Dr Paul Litchfield, 38% of all new support group entries are on substantial risk grounds . Two thirds of these are decided on the papers alone, without the need for a medical assessment.

The regulations apply where a claimant has not qualified for the support group, but…

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