IDS’s latest bedroom tax strategy is all men are rapists!!

22 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

The very inept UK Government, goes from one stupid assertion to another!

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

All men are capable of rape therefore all men are rapists was one of the strident assertions of the New York feminist movement in the early 1970’s.

Contrast that with what Iain Duncan Smith says about the bedroom tax and I quote directly from a DWP argument put into the Upper Tribunal which says:

a. the Government intended that all rooms that are capable of being used as a bedroom should be classified as such (see for instance DWP circular U6/2013);

The absolute perversity of such a statement is lost on the DWP legal department.  It is legally, economically. practically and politically perverse to say a room capable of being a bedroom is a bedroom.

  • I can fit a mattress on my bath therefore its a bedroom.
  • I can fit a single bed in my bathroom therefore it is a bedroom.
  • I can fit a bed into my kitchen therefore…

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Stafford protest camp sets vital NHS example – ignored by media

19 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

This Government has misused what have been poorly configured assessments to black list hospitals for closure. They have done irreparable harm to the National Health Service, in order to achieve the objective of privatising the health service.

Originally posted on The SKWAWKBOX Blog:

If you don’t live in Stafford or the surrounding area, you won’t have heard that the people of Stafford have gone to extraordinary lengths to try to save their hospital. For some time now, a ‘Greenham Common’-style camp – started and entirely run by ordinary local citizens – has been pitched outside the hospital to protest against the relentless plans by the government’s ‘TSA’ (Trust Special Administrator) and to try to save vital health services.


You would think, all things being equal in a 24hr-news age, that such an unusual thing would have attracted the interest of all kinds of media – at the very least as ‘filler’ on thin news days. But apart from a few mentions in the local media and in the blog of local activist group SSH (‘Support Stafford Hospital), the existence of the camp has been conspicuous by its absence in the press and on…

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Peterloo Massacre 195th Anniversary

17 Aug

August 16th was the 195th Anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, and a commemoration of the event was held on the 17th August 2014, on Windmill Street on the edge of the original site.  A number of different groups had walked in from other parts of Lancashire to represent the original marches to join the Peterloo Rally. 

The Middleton contingent  walking up Southmill Street towards Windmill Street, passing, what was the Free Trade Hall.

The Middleton contingent walking up Southmill Street towards Windmill Street, passing, what was the Free Trade Hall.

A couple of the replica banners from the Peterloo Rally August 16th 1819

A couple of the replica banners from the Peterloo Rally August 16th 1819

Maxine Peake had appeared the year before at the Manchester International Festival, doing a reading of Shelley’s Masque of AnarchyDSC_0008. 

The Maxine Peake started the proceedings.

The Maxine Peake started the proceedings.

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester started the reading of those innocents killed on that inglorious day.

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Manchester started the reading of those innocents killed on that inglorious day.

A number of Ancoats Dispensary Trust and supporters, were at the event. 

A number of Ancoats Dispensary Trust and supporters were at the event.

A number of Ancoats Dispensary Trust and supporters were at the event. 

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Tribunal Rules ‘Absent Parents’ Can Have Spare Bedrooms For Visiting Children

16 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

The courts keeping finding legal flaws in the criminal bed-room (Spare Room)tax law.

Originally posted on Same Difference:

Well known Bedroom Tax blogger SPeye Joe has some very good news.

He goes into a lot of legal detail, which you can read from his site if you wish.

However, this is such an important ruling that I thought I’d summarise it for those who have less of an interest in the full legal background.

Basically, readers, the case the post reports on is this:

A father has two sons. One son lives in Scotland with his mother but goes to his father in England for one weekend a month and school holidays.

The father was hit with a 14% Bedroom Tax for his one spare bedroom, where his son who also lives in Scotland stays, until the tribunal found that  the Right to Respect for a Private And Family Life section of the European Convention Of Human Rights required it to rule that  a ‘home’ includes a place…

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Biggest London march in support of Gaza, Palestine.

10 Aug

Jews against Zionism.

Jews against Zionism.

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America's 9/11, Palestine's 24/7.

America’s 9/11, Palestine’s 24/7.

Entering Grosvenor Square, home of the US Embassy.

Entering Grosvenor Square, home of the US Embassy.

Everton Fans against apartheid.

Everton Fans against apartheid.

Arsenal Fans against apartheid.

Arsenal Fans against apartheid.

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At the start of the march in Portland Place.

At the start of the march in Portland Place.

#AbolishWCA and Replace With A Fair System Of Social Security

8 Aug

#AbolishWCA and Replace With A Fair System Of Social Security.

A response to ‘7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict’

6 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

Israeli lies given too much credence by our politicians and media.

Originally posted on Radical University:


A response to Ali A. Rizvi’s ‘7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict’ published in The Huffington Post

Nikhil Datta & James Duckworth

Some of you may have seen Ali A. Rivzi’s Huff Post article trending recently, which ultimately calls for some balance to be taken when observing the Israel-Palestine conflict. It is a well-constructed piece that to a large number may seem convincing. Nevertheless, it is riddled with fallacious arguments, cherry picked facts, apologism for military aggression, and comes with a pre-supposition that Hamas are no more than an Al-Qaeda equivalent who seeks nothing but nihilistic destruction. As a result we felt it necessary to give a point by point response.

Prior to that however, we just want to make clear what is meant by ‘Anti-Israel,’ in this instance it simply means being opposed to their foreign policy (what they perceive to be as…

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Housing Benefit – a £4bnpa subsidy for low wage UK employers

5 Aug

Patrick Sudlow:

Tax-payers subsidisng low paying employers.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

This article finds that Housing Benefit subsidises low wage paying UK employers to the tune of £4.86 BILLION per year.

It also finds that social housing receives £1.125 billion per year in capital subsidy yet produces savings to the taxpayer of £4.08 billion per year as it charges the taxpayer £23.41 less in HB for its 3.37m HB claimants than a private landlords receives.

Hence the £4.08 billion saving that social housing gives back to the taxpayer is then (and some more) given to unscrupulously low wage-paying employers so that working families can afford to work for such wages.

Strange how a few facts reveal that long held myths such as social housing is subsidised when the real subsidised is British employers!!

Do read on as what started on a very closely related subject led me to the startling yet true facts above.


Those who have read any of my…

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Mapping Climate Communication, new posters July 2014

21 Jul

Patrick Sudlow:

Dr. Boehnert has produced 3 intersting charts on Climate Change and as stated, they are still a work in progress. The top chart does show how the USA has tried to discredit the science behnd climate change. And more recently how the UK Government scrapped the Sustainable Development Commission: and has made large cuts to the Environment Agency.

Originally posted on EcoLabs:

Mapping Climate Communication: Timeline

This series of three posters maps climate communication by means of a timeline, a network visualization and a strategy map. The work illustrates
relationships between climate discourses, prominent actors and major organizations participating in climate communication including science institutions, academic institutions, media organizations, think tanks and government agencies – along with the interests and funders linked to these organizations. Various discourses are mapped including climate science; counter-movements (contrarianism); ecological modernization, neoliberalism and corporate capture; and social movements (climate justice). The timeline visualizes the historical processes that have lead to the growth of various ways of communicating climate change. The network visualization illustrates relationships between actors and prominent discourses. The strategy map displays methods used within four discursive realms.

The posters are still work in process. They will be presented at the ‘Changing Climate Communication’ conference in July 2014. Feedback from this presentation will inform a final stage of the visualizations, to…

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Scooby Doo investigates the bedroom tax and IDS

19 Jul

Patrick Sudlow:

More on the Bedroom Tax and the Governments mis-information.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

We have stopped the burgeoning welfare benefit spend the country cant afford chirps IDS ad infinitum


We have cut Housing Benefit spend with the Bedroom tax and Benefit Cap (blah blah blah)


It is only workless scroungers who claim Housing Benefit (blah blah blah) Here’s a graph of those in work and claiming HB!

%ofworkign tenants on HB

Oh by the way dear reader all the above simple graphs come form figures produced by …Yes you’ve guessed it IDS’s own Department of Work & Pensions.  Would you like a few more?  Oh ok then!

What about we can’t afford the burgeoning welfare state argument (blah blah blah) How much do we in the UK spend as a percentage of our GDP compared to other European (boo hiss!) countries.  The Economist tells us:


Yes those well known welfare benefit spendthrifts the Germans can manage to afford to send 12% more than the UK on their…

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