Why circa 100,000 men women and children are exempt from the Bedroom Tax..and the consequences!!

The ‘Bedroom-tax’, is not only morally wrong, it has always been a badly thought out directive, driven by the morally corrupt Iain Duncan Smith. Someone who had spent time being jobless and whose fortunes changed after his marriage. If an ex-officer of the British Army, could not find employment, how does he expect other to find work?

Whistle While You Work (For Nothing): Positive Affect as Coercive Strategy – The Case of Workfare

The present UK Government is attacking those less able to protect themselves, whilst giving tax-breaks to large corporation. We are back in Edwardian England, not the 21st century.

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

In this post, Lynne Friedliand Robert Stearnlook at the role of  psychological coercion, notably through the imposition of positive affect,  in UK Government workfare programmes. There has been little or no debate about the recruitment of psychology/psychologists into monitoring,  modifying and/or punishing  people who claim social security benefits. This silence raises important ethical questions, including about the relationship of psychology to the medical humanities.

Whistle while you work (for nothing): positive affect as coercive strategy
– the case of workfare [1]


The growth and influence of discourses of positive affect in systems of governance and ‘technologies of the self’ has been widely observed.[2]  ‘Strengths based discourse’ is a significant policy imperative in health and welfare reform[3] and underpins  ‘the application of  behavioural science and psychology to public policy’ via the UK government’s Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) or ‘nudge unit’.  Positive affect plays an important supporting…

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The demise of the mutual sector? We don’t think so.

The Co-operative Group started to loose it’s way in the 80s, when it decided it would pursue ‘Growth’.  It shut down their large stores, which were very popular with those who were on low-incomes.  The Co-op divi, was a form a savings for those on low incomes, this was also stopped.  Even their attitude towards organic foods leaves a lot to be desired.  Being one of the UK’s largest farmers, they insist on large fossil-fuel, intensive industrial farming methods and promote GMOs.  This in itself, shows they are not thinking in a sustainable way, but thinking as any corporation, that pursues profit at any costs.  Thankfully, as the article below suggests, there are plenty of small co-operatives around to fill the vacuum left by the larger Co-operative Group.

The demise of the mutual sector? We don’t think so..

Prof Kevin Anderson (Tyndall #Manchester) writes open letter to EU boss about #climate policy

We in the Global North are not doing enough to reduce our carbon emissions, instead pressurising the Global South, to make the cuts?

manchester climate monthly

Professor Kevin Anderson has written an open letter to the President of the European Commission about the EU’s  climate policy.  In the letter, Professor Anderson expresses his “serious concerns that the process for determining the EU’s 2030 decarbonisation target is being conducted in a vacuum of scientific evidence.”  He also puts the view that the proposed target “fails to quantify honestly the EU’s high-level statements and international obligations on climate change.”

The letter (click on the images!) hopes to influence the forthcoming European White Paper on climate policy, and states that the already-published Green Paper contains both an “abuse of probabilities” about the (fast disappearing) ‘two degrees’ target and an unfair division of labour between developing and developed countries on carbon dioxide emissions.

It is a typically robust, clear and scientifically-grounded letter, as anyone who has encountered Professor Anderson will expect.  Sadly, it will probably have little effect.  Scientists can…

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Scientists: Current international warming target is “disastrous”

Some years ago I attended a seminar on Global Warming, where a Norwegian scientist said 1 degree C was too much, when everyone else was talking about 4 degrees C.


Ever since the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, world leaders have agreed on 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) as the maximum acceptable global warming above pre-industrial levels to avert the worst impacts of climate change (today we’re at about 0.8 degrees C). But a new study, led by climatologist James Hansen of Columbia University, argues that pollution plans aimed at that target would still result in “disastrous consequences,” from rampant sea-level rise to widespread extinction.

A major goal of climate scientists since Copenhagen has been to convert the 2 degree limit into something useful for policymakers, namely, a specific total amount of carbon we can “afford” to dump into the atmosphere, mostly from burning fossil fuels in power plants (this is known as a carbon budget). This fall, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pegged the number at 1 trillion metric tons of carbon, or about…

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