Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Soon Will the Housing Bubble Burst?

Great to see that the new Bank of England Governor Canadian Mark Carney finally catching me (and many other concerned bloggers) up.

Many informal commentators pointed to a growing problem with personal debt, the use of payday loan companies, credit cards which seems to be fueling the upturn in consumer spending, but the chancellor, the Governor and organisations such as the BCC and CBI didn't even mention it.

How could an economy go from being at the jaws of a triple dip recession and the chancellor losing the country its triple A credit rating to growth in just a couple of months? The answer if course is Funding for Lending and Help to Buy.

Not only are people getting into debt by buying items with loaned money and credit, people are also paying bills by borrowing money.

Now it is has got to the dangerous situation where nearly nine million people in the UK are estimated to be trapped in a spiral of debt and more alarmingly some of them do not realise what a precarious situation they are in and do not realise they have a serious problem. According to the Centre for Social Justice household debt has doubled despite low interest rates and total UK debt has risen to a peak of £1.4tn. Around 8.8 million people are "over-indebted", meaning they have fallen at least three months behind with their bills in the last six months.

It is not just those on benefits who are in trouble, in fact at 20.2% they make up the smallest group. Nearly one in ten (9.8%) of those with bad debts were identified as people who are working for the first time and one in eight (11.3%) are struggling students. However, almost three-fifths (58%) of those with severe debts were found to be in employment and nearly half (48%) live in their own privately owned home.

Around 3.9 million families do not have enough savings to cover their rent or mortgage for more than one month, and poorer people are 'bearing the brunt of the debt storm'.

So the answer to this growing and dangerous debt problem was  for the government and George Osborne to set up a government guarantee scheme to encourage people to get into more debt by loaning people money they have failed to save, to use as a deposit to obtain a mortgage on a house they cannot afford to buy. The repayments on an average mortgage taken out like this would be around £200 per month more expensive.

The result of this is more people are rushing to get into debt and buying houses they cannot afford and this is causing the housing market to over inflate, yet the government seem to be in total denial about the problems they are creating. The fear has always been if interest rates were to rise, what then? House prices in London have risen sharply by 10% in the past month and are rising rapidly in the south east and now right across the country. It seems that George Osborne and David Cameron have learned nothing from the crash.

Now bank of England Governor Mark Carney has issued a warning to 'homeowners' that they must find a way to pay their mortgages if interest rates rise because they will not be guaranteed a helping hand. BoE figures show that thanks largely to the government's interference in the housing market mortgage approvals hit their highest level since February 2008.

This is like a rerun of the last time the Conservatives were in office between 1979 and 1997. Under Thatcher's Right to buy people were encouraged to buy their council houses and when interest rates started to rise many found they could no longer afford to repay their mortgages or loans secured on the property. Under John Major's government interest rates rose to a frightening 15.9%. John Major then PM said there was nothing the government could do to help those facing eviction for mortgage default.

The government and the BoE have now stopped the government's funding for Lending scheme (FLS) and Carney has called on regulators and lenders to cap the size of mortgages compared to the value of the house - the so called loan to value (LTV).

However, the main instigator encouraging people to get into debt is the government's help to buy scheme (HTB) which has been left in place, under this scheme and phase two of the scheme which recently came in, people can borrow up to £600,000 with a government guaranteed mortgage for 95% of the purchase price.

Yet again the government finds itself in somewhat of an 'omnishambles' as it's own cabinet ministers were confused about the HTB scheme, when under questioning alive on air about the housing bubble  Deputy PM Nick Clegg and later Tory Chairman Grant Shapps both indicated that the Governor of the BoE had the power to veto the help to buy scheme, which forced Mr Carney the Governor to write to Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee denying the BoE Financial Policy Committee (FPC) had any such powers and responsibility for HTB lies solely with the Government.

The BoE also revealed new research showing that households with loan-to-income ratios greater than five now account for around a fifth of the total mortgage debt, in the latest sign of overheating in the housing market.

How long can this situation continue before interest rates rise? What happens if the chancellor is forced to cancel the help to buy schemes as well as the FLS?

All this points to an unbalanced 'recovery', if it can be called a recovery at all.

In a post on this blog on November 17th I pointed to eight worrying factors which I believe were showing that the so called British economic recovery is  not all it is made out to be. Exports it tr urns out had fallen sharply by a worrying 2.1%. yet again i pointed out the perils of HTB and at that time Mark Carney was saying nothing, yet one week later he is falling into line with what a lot of people are now pointing out.

What Mark Carney did not say last week was eight important and worrying factors with the UK economy

  1. Retail sales fell by a surprise 0.7% in October 
  2. Fall in exports and rising imports widening trade gap 
  3. Manufacturing growth spurt fails to offset bad year for Britain's factories  
  4. Credit card debt rising 
  5. Use of payday loan companies rising 
  6. Personal debt is rising and threatening recovery
  7. [George Osborne's politically motivated] Housing Bubble
  8. And the true numbers of unemployed is being masked.

There may well be a pick up in retail over the Christmas and January sales period,  but if thus is fueled by credit and debt this will only harm the economy in the long run.

I still remain very concerned that if Mark Carney tries to raise interest rates on the back of false falls in unemployment reaching the magical 7%, this country will be hit with the equivalent of a financial tsunami!

What I fail to understand is why so many journalists seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the line that the economy is looking up when it so obviously isn't.

Meanwhile the government does absolutely nothing about the 'cost of living crisis', cost of energy, food, in fact the Government have exacerbated the situation by helping to drive wages down and keep them down.

Whatever happens I believe this country will be back in recession, that is not an if, it is a when and it happens each and every time the Tories are in power - "Tory boom and bust", they never learn, only this time when it happens the consequences will be as bad as, if not worse than 2008 intentional banking crash and global recession. it is absolute insanity to encourage people to take out loans and mortgages they cannot afford, if interest rates rise they could find themselves in negative equity and the whole crazy housing cycle will be off again - thanks to George Osborne. he doesn't exactly instill confidence, every single aim he has set himself he has failed, "judge me on keeping the triple A credit rating" he said and he promptly lost both main ones and several minor ones. He has borrowed more in three years than Labour did in their entire thirteen years and the whole thing is underpinned by 'falling unemployment' which is not falling, it is most likely rising. if the magic 7% figure is reached and Mark Carney fails to increase interest rates, then we all will know why!

George Osborne and David Cameron have panicked when they saw that the economy was not going to pick up without a stimulus so Osborne invented his ready made housing bubble in the shape of 'Help To Buy', this will give a quick fix, but this is all it will give.

Question is will it last beyond the 2015 general election and will the wary British public fall for government lies?

The Great Lib Dem & Tory 'Coalition' Lie

Forget David Cameron's "Broken Britain". Britain is broke! Britain is the seventh richest country in the world and yet the majority of ordinary British people are broke, they have no money, they are skint, brassic, potless - broke! For most ordinary folk the reality of being broke is being  reduced to delving down the sides of sofas and into the kids piggy banks for loose change to buy food, or gas and electric, to members of the Tory and Liberal Democrat cabinet, the definition of being 'broke' is being down to the last few million quid in off-shore tax havens.

For the past three years wages have been attacked and driven down and pay rises have been virtually non existent. Many workers have seen their hours reduced from full-time to part-time, others have been blackmailed into taking wage cuts. Now we are in the midst of George Osborne's housing bubble boom and supposed "recovery" will company bosses now reinstate workers hours to their previous full time positions and restore their pay to its correct rate?  Has anyone done a study to discover how many people whose work and pay was adversely affected by the 2008 global crash has had their previous hours and pay grades restored?

I believe the driving down of pay and the cuts to workers hours is permanent and that it goes right to the heart of British Government.

Using  a culture of fear of unemployment, fear of being branded a 'shirker or idler or skiver' along with the so called "captains of industry" the government has been able to give a completely false picture of the British economy.

By driving down wages the government has made it appear that those on benefits are receiving much more than those working for low pay.

I believe the decision to drive down wages, cut benefits, Privatise the NHS, education and the justice system was taken  by the Tories and Liberal Democrats long BEFORE a single vote was cast in the May 2010 general election.

It has been a cause of surprise to many that the Liberal Democrats have not walked away from the coalition. so why haven't they? Could it possibly be because they had already agreed to privatise the NHS, education, treble tuition fees, they had already agreed to swinging cuts to welfare and agreed to the introduction of the bedroom tax etc BEFORE they produced that coalition agreement so soon after the hung parliament result in  the 2010 general election?

I have been reading this speech: "A liberal Conservative consensus to restore trust in politics" which was given by David Cameron in Bath in 2007, about 3 years before the May 2010 general election (It was one he has recently tried to expunge from our political history) and it really makes one wonder just what was going on unknown to us. Here are some excerpts from the speech (link above)
And today I am calling for all likeminded people – and especially those who have supported the Liberal Democrats in the past – to join me in a campaign to restore trustworthy government in Britain.
Liberal Conservatism 
Conservatives and many Liberals want social responsibility.So let me make a straightforward argument.Gordon Brown, and the philosophy which drives him, will only be defeated if Liberal and Conservative supporters rally together behind an alternative government-in-waiting.I am determined that the Conservative Party will provide the country with such an alternative government.................................. 
I believe that we need a new liberal Conservative consensus on our country.Let me begin by explaining what I mean by this.Then I will get into the specifics of what a Government I lead would do.I am a liberal Conservative............................... 
Liberalism and Conservatism – like Gladstone and Disraeli – are often in conflict.But at a deeper level they depend on each other............................................... 
On many of the key issues, it is this balance which we need – not state control, but greater freedom and greater social responsibility.Let me touch on four in particular – four crucial areas of policy where, I believe, the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat supporters can find agreement......................... 
When I first said that my party would be more green, more local, more family-friendly, some didn’t believe it.I hope we have shown that we meant it.When I outlined a liberal Conservative approach to foreign policy, some thought I would retract it.But we have held to it, and started to broaden and deepen in.When I said we would be hardnosed defenders of freedom, some doubted it.But we have stood up for our liberties, most recently by defeating the government over their plans to restrict trial by jury.There is no doubt about where this party is going.We are optimists.We have the conviction to take the tough choices – as we have shown on multiculturalism, on family policy and on green policy.We have a philosophy – liberal Conservatism – which has the answers to the great questions our country faces.For anyone who believes in this philosophy, there is a home waiting for them in the modern, moderate Conservative Party.Together, let us work to build a new consensus to restore trust in politics.

It seems clear to me where the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrat party were going in 2007. Nick Clegg became leader of the Liberal Democrat party in 2007. There is absolutely no shadow of doubt that under the leadership of Nick Clegg the Liberal Democrats have become very right wing. Clegg once declared that there is "no future" for the Liberal Democrats as a left wing alternative to the Labour party Clegg said:
“I totally understand that some of these people are not happy with what the Lib Dems are doing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Lib Dems never were and aren’t a receptacle for left-wing dissatisfaction with the Labour Party. There is no future for that; there never was.”

Maybe not under Clegg's leadership it has become manifestly clear that Nick Clegg is Conservative through and through! It also looks as though there was every possibility that the Tories and the Liberal Democrats had come to some kind of agreement a long time prior to the may 2010 general election. I  believe that even if there wasn't a hung parliament in 2010, we would still have seen Liberal Democrats in cabinet. I have not forgotten what Nick Clegg said shortly after becoming Deputy Prime Minister in 2010, when he announce that the Liberal Democrats in coalition with the Conservatives could unite to keep Labour out of power for a 100 years. Pretty odd thing for the leader of the Liberal Democrats to say! I don't think that the Tories, the Liberal Democrats or the newspapers realise just how right wing the people of this country believe David Cameron is, yet Nick Clegg and his MPs still hang on to Cameron's every word and vote through every single Tory attack on the poor, sick, disabled, students, unemployed etc at every chance they get.

My point is that if it can be proved that Nick Clegg and David Cameron conspired to bring about this coalition government, would it make the unelected Conservative controlled Coalition Government's assumption to power illegal?

If true it would make everything the Tories and Liberal Democrats said and did in the two years run up to the general election in 2010 a lie. Everything in their manifestos would be exposed as untruths, fabrications, fanciful words written with the deliberate intention to deceive the electorate, even the Coalition Agreement supposedly written after the hung parliament during those 'faux' negotiations was probably a complete lie and a farce.

We know that David Cameron lied to us about the NHS just a few weeks prior to the general election. When he looked down the camera lens directly at us and said there would be "no more top down reorganisation of the NHS" he blatantly lied, because at the very time he said this he and his then shadow health minister had already been working on plans to inflict the biggest top down reorganisation on the NHS in its entire history, in fact, the Health and Social Care Bill [Act] wasn't even mentioned in the coalition agreement, yet was being pushed through parliament just a few weeks later. It is exactly the same with the trebling of tuition fees, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), promising not to close Sure Start centres and then closing over 550 of them. Promising not to cut winter fuel allowances for our elderly then cutting them. Promising not to treat the poor, sick vulnerable and disabled unfairly then attacking them them all through every single way imaginable.

The sheer speed that all these policies were brought about points to them being discussed and agreed long before the May 2010 general election. Pointing to  Nick Clegg, David Cameron, George Osborne, David Laws, Vince Cable etc all knowing where the Liberal Democrats were heading well before the general election of 2010 and well before they announced that the two parties were to form a coalition after the general election.

If true, then this is not just run of the mill' politicians broken promises that we have come to expect from ALL politicians, this is blatant lying, deceiving and deception carried out with the intentional act to fraudulently harvest votes on the back of deliberate lies while totally misleading the British public.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Coming Is The Winter of Our Fear and Discontent!

According to the Samaritans the numbers of suicides in the United Kingdom has risen significantly in the past few years.
The 2013 report shows that the suicide rate for males is at its highest rate since 2002. The number of suicides amongst females has also notably risen since 2007. Overall, between 2010 and 2011 there was a significant increase in the UK suicide rate.

Government cuts to benefits, low wages and fear over being able to afford the basics such as food, gas, electric and water could also be a contributory factor. On top of all the benefit cuts the Conservative Coalition government have introduced what is now widely known as the Bedroom Tax, which is causing fear and distress in as many as over 500,000 low income households. The disabled who often live in specially adapted homes are also being targeted. Having one spare bedroom will mean people could lose 14% of their entitled housing benefit and having two or more spare bedrooms means people may lose 25% of their housing benefits.

Housing chiefs are calling in the Samaritans as as the Bedroom Tax pushes more tenants to the brink of suicide - one association even reports a client attempted suicide during a phone call, by slitting their wrists.

Another person told staff they had phoned to cancel some repair work as they were going for a swim and intended to keep on swimming because they believed it didn't hurt once the lungs filled up with water. Fortunately both callers spoke to Samaritan trained housing advisers and the police were called and their lives saved.

However, Stephanie Bottrill  a disabled grandmother of 57 tragically committed suicide because of fear of the government's Bedroom tax, when she was told she had to pay another £80 per month, days before her death she had told a neighbour that she just couldn't afford to live anymore. She left suicide notes blaming the bedroom tax.

Teams of suicide prevention experts from the Samaritans (an emotional support charity) are training staff at housing groups around the country to spot suicide risks and demand for sessions has shot up by over 48% in the past seven months.

Disabled and widowed grandmother Jacqueline Harris 53 and a former nurse has become the latest victim of the Conservative Coalition government's cruel cuts when she killed herself after her disability payments were stopped by the DWP on the recommendation of Atos.

Mrs Harris's family blamed the government and slammed the government's assessment of Jacqueline, who was partially sighted, required walking sticks, had a spinal condition and was in constant pain due to arthritis in her neck. Despite her debilitating conditions her benefits were cut in January after a ruling said she was fit to work and she went on to lose an appeal against the decision. On November 2 Jacqueline Harris died from a suspected overdose, just 13 days before her second appeal was due to be heard.

At a time when she needed help and support, his lady a former nurse who had worked hard and given so much to the country and her community was badly let down by this government.

What a sad shocking state of affairs it is when we have sunk so low as a country that we are allowing vulnerable, disabled, poor and sick people to end their lives, in fear, misery and pain.

The Department for Work and Pensions and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith say their "sympathies go out to the family". I dare say the family do not want their sympathies, I dares say Mrs Botrill and Mrs Harris did not want their sympathies either, all they wanted was to be treated fairly and with dignity and given the help they deserved and had every right to expect.

These are not isolated cases either, this is now becoming the norm, how many more "unnecessary deaths" does there have to be before this government stops this cruel and vicious attacks on our most vulnerable people?

On the same day we learn Energy Companies profits increased by 75% this year we also learn that  last winter 31,000 people died because of the cold weather and Winter Deaths rose by 29%. That is 31,000 'unnecessary deaths' this government is responsible for. The majority of these deaths, 25,6000 in 2012/13 were among pensioners.

While in opposition and during televised leaders live debates, David Cameron promised not to cut pensioners winter fuel payments and accused the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown of scaremongering when he said that this was what the Tories were planning to do.

In 2010 the Conservative Chancellor, George Osborne cut pensioners winter fuel allowance aged 60 to 79 it was cut by £50 and aged 80 years onwards it was cut by £100.

The government deliberately driving down wages, low wages, cuts to benefits and cuts to pensioners winter fuel allowance are forcing people into poverty and the usage of foodbanks is escalation out of control. People are now being forced to choose between heating their homes on eating a hot meal.

According to Crisis homelessness is rising in England and Wales as the result of a lack of housing and cuts to the welfare system. The number of people accepted as homeless by their local authority (statutory homelessness) in up 21 percent in England and 17 percent in Wales in the last two years.

Official statistics show rough sleeping is up 31 percent in two years in England. this is thought to be just a snapshot as the true number of rough sleepers is likely to be far higher. Figures compiled over the course of a year by outreach workers in London shown a 62 percent rise in just two years.

Emergency doctors are warning that savage Tory cuts are plunging the NHS into the worst winter crisis ever this year.
Lives are being put at risk because of a shortage of medics, slashed services, dangerous overcrowding on wards and overstretched nurses.

Nurses and doctors are already working at full stretch with too little time and too many patients and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's answer to that is to pass legislation in parliament that will give courts the power to impose prison sentences on nurses and doctors if they slip up and make a mistake. Hospital staff are working with the equipment and within the limitations set them by the Conservative controlled coalition government, yet they are now going to pay with their freedom for the sins of this government, pushing through  their botched £3 billion reforms. Reforms which Cameron promised would not happen, reforms which no one wanted and reforms that were not needed. Since the coalition came to power they have sacked 6000 nurses. Now they trumpet there will be an "extra" 3000 nurses by the end of this year, well these are not extra nurses, they are newly qualified and have yet to gain post qualification experience and there are still 3000 sacked nurses that have not been replaced. How will the NHS attract staff if nurses and doctors are scared to practice for fear of being thrown into prison should they make a mistake?
Doctors ans nurses are seriously concerned about providing a safe service this coming winter.

David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt have left the NHS on the brink of its most dangerous winter in decades. The cold stark truth is that the NHS has fewer nurses, fewer beds and fewer senior A&E doctors than they had last year. As the winter sets in proper, the service is going to be depleted and the mess the government have made out NHS 111 (formerly NHS Direct) is only going to add further chaos to an already chaotic system.

Former PR salesman Cameron has managed to dodge the bullet and avoid taking responsibility for his mistakes, but I feel the net is now closing in on him and the Conservative controlled coalition government. It was absolute insanity to plunge the NHS into the crisis it now faces as a direct result of government interference, but as I have repeatedly warned, to carry out major reforms in education, defence, policing, fire service and welfare and the NHS all at the same time is reckless lunacy beyond which any mere words can describe.

The reforms in welfare affecting the unemployed, housing, bedroom tax, disability rights and benefits to low wage earners is as I have shown causing horrendous problems ending with fear, distress, homelessness and suicides. Universal Credit is creating bureaucratic chaos and leaving people with a roof over their heads, without food and without heat and light. On top of that creating insurmountable problems within the NHS is just adding to nightmare this government have caused across this country in all departments though their gross feckless incompetence.

David Cameron and this government have shown across the board in every department in government that they are totally unfit to run this country, in fact they are shockingly dangerous. The prime minister's behaviour in parliament last week using smear tactics live on TV shrieking out that the leader of the opposition and another senior Labour MP must have enjoyed drug and booze fueled nights out with a disgraced banker, was absolutely appalling. The PM it later transpired was using parliament ti lie through his back teeth in order to smear Ed Miliband and Ed Balls. You would have thought that the PM would keep quiet about bank funding as the City banks and hedge funds etc are responsible for funding over 60% of  the Conservative party.

Instead of doing something about the cost of living crisis that is harming the majority of people in this country and the mess his government are making out of all major government departments, David Cameron has been busy defending the energy companies who are ripping us off, while his chancellor has been in the EU arranging to take the EU to court in order to protect bankers mega bonuses using taxpayers money to do so.

And these feckless fools wonder why most of the people in this country do not feel like there is an economic recovery (a recovery built on a housing bubble).

The whole country is in a dire mess, we are slipping towards catastrophe and many thousands of people will die this coming winter as a direct result of this government's gross incompetence. How many unnecessary deaths have this government caused already and:

How many 'unnecessary deaths' will there be in this  'coming winter of our fear and discontent'?

Cameron will learn that not everything is about money and he will pay electorally, but many in the country will pay for his catastrophic weakness and incompetence with their lives!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Tale of Two Britains

Britain One

Yesterday there was a report in Sunday's Independent that reported figures released that show how austerity is impacting on Britain's poorest and most vulnerable people and showing that the numbers being treated for malnutrition at hospital has nearly doubled.

Rickets In Children is caused By
Primary and secondary diagnoses of malnutrition - caused by lack of food or very poor diet - rose from 3,161 in 2008/09 to 5,499 last year according to the government's own figures released by health minister Norman Lamb. This coincides with the escalation in the numbers flooding to foodbanks because they can no longer adequately feed their families and the soaring cost of living - the country's poor and vulnerable are in crisis.  In another indication of how badly the government's policies are impacting on the poor and weak, figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that diagnoses of rickets have also risen significantly, from 561 in 2008/09 to 702 in the past year. Norman Lamb was forced to reveal the figures after Labour MP Jim Cunningham acquired the figures in a written answer to a parliamentary question last week.

The number of food banks has risen to around half a million a year, according to Oxfam. The largest food bank operator. Oxfam are also now engaged in making emergency aid parcels up as poverty and malnutrition problem continues to increase in the UK. The use of food banks has not been collaborated exactly because as well as the big charities that offer nationwide distribution of food supplies, there are hundreds of small food banks cropping up all over the country as need soars.

People on low pay and who subsist on benefits and those who live in rural areas are among the worst hit. The situation can only get worse as government benefit cuts, bedroom tax, council tax cuts, rising food bills, rising childcare costs and rising cost of energy take their toll on already weak and vulnerable incomes and people. The new charges for gas and electric come into force today which will place further strain on household incomes, in many cases people are just going to be completely unable to absorb the new energy hikes and for those on prepayment meteres covered in depth HERE, the costs will be even greater, as these consumers are already charged more for their gas and electricity by the energy companies. It's a typical case of the poor being hit with a double whammy simply because they are poor.

This is the state of this country today, this is the country that Cameron, Osborne and Clegg are making, this is the country we are now living in, where the poor are blamed for being poor and never was it so evident than in last week's bedroom tax debate in parliament when Tory MP after Tory MP stood up to attack and berate people for being poor.

What next from the Tories and Liberal Democrats? Will they be saying the 'undeserving poor' do not need to eat? Iain Duncan Smith the work and pensions secretary at the DWP says that; "the benefits systems leaves no one struggling for their basic needs" yes that's true if you do not have to eat, or pay to light and heat your home and according to Tobias Ellwood Tory MP for Bournemouth East when he spoke in Labour's debate on the bedroom tax last week, poor people are not allowed homes anyway as he said; people living in council houses have no right to call their house their home and must be prepared to move as and when required. So that's food, heat, lighting and residence taken care of by the Tories and they've already started dismantling work on our state education system and NHS, so pretty soon all poor people will be homeless, malnourished, dying of poverty related illnesses and be unable to be educated about them, or treated for them in an NHS  hospital and they will all be in the Tory and Lib Dem Coalition process of being expunged from society and hopefully from the face of the earth where they cannot bother Tory and Lib dem types ever again!

So no more need for the country's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies to worry further about all children being given vitamins to halt the process of diseases like rickets as the country slips back to the Victorian era and abject poverty and malnutrition, and she can forget all about the fact that "child mortality rates in some of the poorest parts of England are three times higher than in rich regions. Soon we will have socially cleansed the lot and eradicated those "damned spots" on the landscapes for good.

Britain Two

David Cameron at the Lord Mayor's banquet last week, speaking from behind a gold lectern stood next to the Lord Mayoress bedecked in her gold chains of office and sunk into the plush red velvet upholstery of her ornate golden throne telling a room full of over fed, over privileged bankers, hedge funders, corporate businessmen and private health companies etc that 'austerity is permanent', after dining on a lavish dinner of fillet of beef and a celebration of British mushrooms washed down by fine wines and champagnes - Dave doesn't do paradox - obviously.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cameron, Osborne and Carney Must Think We're Barmy!

Austerity is here permanently for you 'plebs'
says David Cameron
Cameron's natural instincts to suck up to big business was evident last week when Mr Cameron gave a speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet where he said that "austerity was permanent". It isn't even the fact that Cameron hails from a long line of privilege and property and country estates, and has never wanted for a single thing in his whole existence on this Earth that people found so galling and so utterly offensive, it was the fact that there he was in white tie and tails, delivering his austerity speech to a room full of bankers, hedge funders, big business, equity companies and all manner of City types stood behind a gold lectern to a room full of privileged people who had just dined on the very best fillet of beef with a celebration of British mushrooms washed down by the finest wines and champagnes, while standing next to the Lord Mayor bedecked in her gold chains of office sitting on her gold throne with plush red velvet upholstery.That dinner that 'our Dave scoffed down' could have probably paid the food bill for a family of four for a whole week.  It was like something out of a Dickens novel and so out of touch is David Cameron and his advisers that none of them even thought about, let alone recognised the insulting nature and the paradox of such thoughtless actions.

Once again while the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband was out and about meeting and talking to ordinary people and owners of small businesses about the things that concern them and worry them.  As well as bringing a debate and a vote to parliament on energy prices and trying to get a vote through parliament to force the government to abolish their ill thought through bedroom tax which is causing such despair and pain to nearly three quarters of a million people.

The leader of the opposition Ed Miliband has successfully driven energy costs right up to the top of the agenda, if it were not for Mr Miliband and Labour, the prime minister David Cameron and the Tory Coalition would not have done a single thing, they would have just sat back and allowed the energy conglomerates to put energy prices up just the same as they have done every year. All Cameron has done in previous years is have the energy bosses in for coffee and biscuits at the taxpayers expense, waffle about cooperation and self regulation and that's it the energy bosses go on their way free to charge us what they like.

The water companies only came into Cameron's and the government's panicked sights when Ed Miliband gave an interview to a local paper mentioning them see HERE.
Never has it been clearer that the general public want and need a government that is capable of standing up for the public against big business and the energy conglomerates which have been ripping us off for years. This government is not the Coalition and it is certainly not the Tories who are in cahoots with big business as we can see 'our Dave'  is never more comfortable than when he is sucking up to big business.

Living standards are being purposefully driven down by Cameron and his government in order to falsify the unemployment figures so that his mates the businessmen can employ two people for the price of one.
While Ed Miliband was trying to raise the problem of the cost of living crisis for ordinary people Cameron was out wining and dining the very people who are purposefully keeping wages low. Much the same as the other week when Miliband was offering his head on a platter to be kicked by the energy companies while trying to get the government to act on energy costs, Cameron's chancellor, George osborne was busy in the EU making arrangements to take the EU to court on behalf of Britain's bankers to help safeguard their huge bonuses and is now forcing the taxpayer to pay over a million pounds in bankers legal fees.

And we, the people who work and keep this country going and we the people, the nurses, the doctors, the cleaners, the school dinner ladies, the road sweepers, the factory workers, the local authority workers etc who NEVER caused this problem caused by the bankers greed who helped crippled the global economy, are told that we must face a lifetime of austerity and what is more we must pay to bail the banks out and then pay again for their legal fees while Tory chancellor George Osborne fights their case in the law courts so they can keep their huge salaries and massive bankers bonuses.  What do you expect when this particular government and this particular Tory party are in the pockets of big business, the corporations, the energy conglomerates, many make financial donations to the Conservative party, why wouldn't they scratch each others backs? The British Conservative party is just the political wing of the establishment; big business, the corporations, the energy conglomerates, the multinationals, the private healthcare companies and the banks and hedge funds! See HERE

You couldn't really make it up.

Also during last week we are forced to listen to George Osborne's political sidekick of a Governor of the Bank of England telling us our glasses are all half full and the 'recovery' has taken hold because? Well he said so, based on his predictions - can you actually believe that? (It's not as if the Bank of England's predictions have even come true in the past.)

What 'recovery' is Carney talking about?

This sudden and highly suspect fall in inflation is a misnomer too, they say the price of food has gone down, well would someone tell that to the supermarkets because my bill is rising week upon week. Since the horsemeat scandal the price of meat has rocketed and not fallen back to previous prices there is no reason for this either, it's the supermarkets making money out of us another rip-off. Everything in my shopping basket is more expensive than it was a year ago.

Unemployment is falling and employment is rising we are told - really?

The faux rise in employment is a deception and a deception of the British people by this their government on a massive scale

There are several reasons for the rise in employment and none of them good. Mainly these 'new' jobs which are supposed to be being created are mainly public sector jobs being reclassified as private sector jobs and these job transfers are mainly taking place in education and the NHS. Take a cursory look at companies like Care UK and Virgin Care, they have taken over huge swathes of NHS contracts and staff and suddenly those NHS staff who worked for the public sector are now classed private sector and the government is using these figures to tell us that employment is rising and that 1.4 million 'new' jobs are being created, they are not it is a blatant lie, the public are being deliberately misled. (If the staff object to being taken over by the private sector they are told to resign.)

Then there is deception of falling unemployment - it is not falling, in fact, I would bet my house that unemployment has actually been rising this past year and I say this for several indisputable reasons:

Workfare - The government are forcing thousands of people onto workfare contracts, people are being forced to work full-time for their JSA and these people are NOT counted on the unemployment register. According to the Labour Market's Statistics the number of people on government supported training and employment programmes and classified as being in 'employment' rose by 8000 to 168,000. This is the highest number in unpaid work since 1998. This means that over half of the 47,000 the ONS and the government say that unemployment has fallen are currently on unpaid workfare programmes. You can see how eax ch month these figures are being deliberately distorted. Adding 168,000 to the jobless tally suddenly gives a different picture to the true state of the economy and unemployment in this country!
If people do not enter these full-time unpaid work schemes (which prevent them looking for properly paid full-time work) then their job seekers allowance is sanctioned, meaning it;s cut. Thousands have been sanctioned because they have attended job interviews and they have seen their JSA cut, which is why the claimant count is falling. The government Department Work and Pensions (Iain Duncan-Smith) are literally forcing people off of the unemployment register in order to deceive the public.

Zero hour contracts - over a million people on zero hour contracts are classed as working even though they may not earn any pay for weeks. They are deliberately left off  unemployment register by the Office National statistics (ONS) because even though they may not earn any wages for weeks they are still technically classed as 'employed' and are prevented from claiming JSA by the DWP. It is the government (DWP) who classify those on zero hour contracts as working, so do not forward the numbers to the ONS.
These workers cover care workers who often wait for work or report for work and are told on the day they report for work that there is no work for them at that time.

Self Employment - rising numbers of people being pushed into self-employment by jobcentres are masking the true state of the jobs market and these people are not counted on the unemployment register, even though they may not be earning a penny and they are also prevented from claiming JSA, or any other benefits, because they are technically classed as working when they are not. These people are labourers, builders, temps, hairdressers, shop workers etc. There has been a 9% rise in self-employed people since the start of the recession in 2008.

Part-time work and underemployment -  there is another rise in the number of part-time workers who would otherwise work full-time but cannot find full-time work, these people are not counted on the unemployment register, they are 'underemployed' and are now being forced to find hours of work (which are often not there ) or risk losing part or all of their tax credits. This is another way the government (DWP) is deliberately misleading the public over those claiming benefits count.

UK 'Unemployment Fall' masks Plight of Unemployed 50 year Olds - More than 400,000 people aged over 50 in the UK who are registered as unemployed (according to the latest labour market data). These people are classed as long-term unemployed and are now under threat of sanctions by the government (DWP) of having their JSA removed if they do not either attend the Jobcentre for 30 hours per week spread over five days per week, or pick up litter on the streets for 30 hours per week for their JSA, which is between £56.80 and £71.70 per week according to government figures. Hopefully it will not be your mother, father, or grandparent treated in this fashion in order to help this government falsify data and mislead the public.

Out of the jobs which are being created most are low waged so the employer can treat his workers like some kind of BOG-OF *buy one get one free* or because they pay terrible wages (which the taxpayer is forced to subsidise through tax credits) employers can afford to hire two people for the price of one. Wages have been falling for 40 out of the 41 months David Cameron and the Tory Coalition have been in power and this is not by accident, it is by design!

None of which is good for the economy, now the Mark Carney can waffle on about glasses half full if he wants to, but it is the real people out here who will tell him when the economy is doing well and thus far there is NO recovery for us and until all of the above changes, there will be no proper and sustained recovery. if people are being affected badly by the cost of living crisis and are forced into low paid jobs and workfare schemes etc because at the end of the day it is just a matter of simple economics of supply and demand. If people are on low wages and struggling to pay their bills and are already using credit on cards and on loans from payday lenders, how are they going to buy things in the shops? Already last week in what went widely unreported there are signs of a consumer slowdown, which do not quite fit in with Mark Carney's overly optimistic view of the economy, in fact Carney did not even mention the 0.7% surprise fall in retail sales! If people have no spare money, they either tighten their belts and do not spend, or they simply cannot spend or they borrow to spend and all three spell disaster for a weak economy and the UK economy is weak, because this false recovery is built of misleading unemployment data.

What Mark Carney did not say last week was eight important and worrying factors with the UK economy

  1. Retail sales fell by a surprise 0.7% in October 
  2. Fall in exports and rising imports widening trade gap 
  3. Manufacturing growth spurt fails to offset bad year for Britain's factories  
  4. Credit card debt rising 
  5. Use of payday loan companies rising 
  6. Personal debt is rising and threatening recovery
  7. [George Osborne's politically motivated] Housing Bubble
  8. And the true numbers of unemployed is being masked.

A really terrifying factor of this deception is that Carney has said once unemployment reaches Carney's magic 7%, he will raise interest rates! So in effect it looks like the government have been so successful in falsifying the true unemployment data that Carney's magic 7% unemployment will be met some 18 months sooner than expected. If Carney raises interest rates on the back of these misleading unemployment data, it will prove catastrophic for the UK economy, but if he doesn't raise interest rates people, (especially savers) are going to demand to know the reason why - leads me to this question: "Is Mark Carney, who chancellor George Osborne placed in position at the BoE as Governor, part of a political cover-up on the true state of unemployment in this country today? I see that Carney and the BoE are already trying to row back from the interest rate problem.

The only reason we have a little growth is because of the utter insanity of Osborne trying to buck the housing market with his Help to Buy and Funding for Lending schemes. These are driving a debt fueled false 'recovery' built on consumer spending which is built on credit.
The chancellor has virtually given 95% mortgages underwritten by the taxpayers to people who cannot afford to live and save for a deposit at the same time. If they cannot afford to live and save for a deposit at the same time then they certainly cannot afford a mortgage.
He has sanctioned people who already own their own houses who want to trade up and is underwriting their mortgages up to £600,000. Osborne is already said to be going to borrow a further £248bn in just five years, (more than the previous Labour government did in their entire 13 years), how much more will he have to borrow by underwriting mortgages? Bearing in mind Osborne has already lost the UK our triple A status which makes our borrowing more expensive.

None of which are helping first time buyers (which the market depends upon), Osborne is causing the price of houses to rise out of control, especially in London and the south east, but house prices in general across the country are now starting to rise as people gradually push out from London and the south east in order to get and affordable property.

What will happen to all these people who are already overstretching themselves to buy a house under the government HTB and Funding for Lending schemes if interest rates rise next year as unemployment falsely falls to 7%? If the bubble bursts because people will no longer be able to afford houses, then thousands of people are going to be left struggling to pay mortgages which are in negative equity - it is the same old story'

A return to Tory boom and bust! George Osborne hasn't learned a thing and neither have the people clamouring for mortgages borrowing money from the government they cannot afford to use as deposits for mortgages on property they cannot afford.

It will be 2008 all over again (only much worse) and this time it will be entirely the fault of George Osborne, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and the Conservative Coalition government because it is them that have deliberately sparked a housing bubble by underwriting loans and subsidising the private sector construction industry with taxpayers money. What will happen if the government who is acting as guarantor for thousands of mortgages and loans suddenly starts having to cough up for people that have defaulted on their mortgages and loans? It means of course that we the taxpayer will have to pay to bail them out.

Osborne was meant to be rebalancing the economy but it is as far from being rebalanced as we are from the sun and we are being kept in the dark about the true state of this economy.

Yet where did the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney mention any of this in his glass half full speech?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cost of Living Crisis? "What Cost of Living Crisis" Says Climate Secretary Greg Barker

The out of touch Tories lurched further to the right this morning as the Climate Secretary, Greg Barker tells Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News that "there is no cost of living crisis".

He also called Ed Miliband an "idiot" for wanting to implement a 20 month energy price freeze while the energy market is restructured and reset and the necessary legislation is passed through parliament to support it along with the introduction of a new energy regulator with 'more teeth' to keep the energy companies in line.

When challenged by Mr Murnaghan, Mr Barker said that he and the government are doing something about the soaring energy costs as they have "sat down with the Big 6 and asked them to find ways of regulating themselves".

So the Tory-led Coalition government's answer to the energy crisis and the cost of living crisis is twofold:

  1. Deny there is a cost of living crisis;
  2. Make up their energy policy as they go along
Mr Barker had ample time on Sky News to explain to those who are being severely affected by the sharp decline in their standard of living and who are struggling to pay their bills with escalating cost of living and to reassure them and to explain to them what the government were doing to help them and he failed on all counts, instead, he sat there for 10 minutes blaming Labour for everything and had absolutely no answers.

If the minister would care to explain to those people who are being driven to using expensive credit cards, or worse still taking out payday loans in the Tory created "Wonga economy" to pay their bills, heat their homes and feed their families why he believes there is no "cost of living crisis", I'm sure they would be very 'grateful'. 

It's OK folks there is no cost of living crisis, just like hundreds of thousands of people are not being forced to use food banks to feed their families. I wonder if the minister thinks it is an over exaggeration that the Trussell Trust is also reporting that some people are even handing back food that needs cooking because they have no money to buy the gas or electric required to cook it?

But hey, there is no "cost of living crisis" - apparently.

Footnote: Can someone please send the Tory Coalition Government and their Liberal Democrat enablers a memo informing them that they have been in power for over THREE YEARS, and blaming Labour for the GLOBAL RECESSION and the international BANKING collapse is wearing very thin - time they took responsibility, if they can't handle the pressure then call a general election.

"Broadsword Calling Dodgy Dave Boy" - Phone Hacking - Leveson

Scene From "Where Eagles Dare"

At the fourth day of the hacking trial: (yesterday)

Yesterday in the Prime Minister's buddies Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks at the  phone hacking trials, it was stated that a "complicated and risky security operation" to move alleged 'evidence' from one place to another was being carried out by the NI  security team and Charlie Brooks (Rebekah Brooks' husband). However, it had been thwarted by a cleaner near the Brooks London apartment complex.

The cleaner apparently discovered a bin bag of material (said to be laptop, a mobile phone and papers belonging to the Brooks's etc) stashed near the waste bins, he handed it to his supervisor who called in the police.

The operation was being coordinated by Mark Hanna, the head of NI security, and Charlie Brooks using someone posing as a pizza delivery man. When the bag of material was left by the bins in an underground carpark beneath Brooks's home, the bogus "pizza delivery man" sent a text message saying "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" - "Pizza delivered and the chicken is in the pot".

How odd that Charlie and Rebekah Brooks should choose the "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" line which was taken from a line played by Richard Burton in the film "Where Eagles Dare" because it happens to be a film that prime minister David Cameron once said he has watched 17 times. Of all the thousands and thousands of films made they had to choose that one! Wow what a "coincidence"!

Rebekah Brooks is a 'close friend' of the prime ministers and looked adoringly on and reduced twice to tears when David Cameron made his speech to the 2009 Tory party conference.

Between 130 and 150 texts were sent by the prime minister from number 10 to Rebekah Brooks but were never submitted to the Leveson Inquiry! I wonder is they were all "coded messages"?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Welcome To Breadline Tory Britain 2013

With all the furore over energy prices and now water bills, it's about time someone mentioned those who are forced to buy their energy through prepayment metering by the energy companies.

Often it is the weakest, the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society who are forced to purchase their energy like this. For example: The low-waged; the disabled; the elderly; the unemployed and single parents, those forced to live on benefits and also those "hardworking people" the prime minister talks so glibly about who are struggling with the soaring cost of living. These are the people who are existentially being hit by these price hikes much harder than people who pay directly by direct debit.

As these people have been placed on prepayment plans by their energy providers they will end paying more than the price hike for their domestic fuel bills. Prepayment means they will be asked to pay for their gas and electricity before they actually use it.

Those consumers who have been placed on prepayment metering have usually been placed on them because they cannot afford their energy bills or may have been late paying their bills on a few occasions. These consumers often have no choice and and the metre[s] will be installed by their energy providers whether the consumer wants them or not.

The energy companies take the view that they will not terminate supply for non-payment but will install a prepayment metre. Often the rate of gas or electricity consumption is set on an estimation of how much the consumer is likely to use, plus the metre is also set to recoup any debt owed to the company. So if the consumer buys £15 of electricity or gas on their card/key to top up their prepayment metre and they owe the energy company for a previous bill, the energy company will automatically take half of that payment to recover any arrears and for standing charges. The consumer may be left with as little as £7.50 for gas or electricity out of their original £15.00. This process will continue until the debt is cleared. So if the debt is around £100  it may take at least around 16 weeks to clear. That is 16 weeks of often the poorest, the disabled, the low waged, the unemployed and often some of our most vulnerable consumers of gas and electricity who are already experiencing fuel poverty being forced into even more fuel poverty while the debt is collected. Unfortunately the energy companies do not usually make adjustments for seasonal collections of debt, so the arrears could be being collected through the deepest of our winter months, exposing people to the risk of hypothermia!

Many of these metres are placed outside in awkward to reach places or inside in awkward to reach places making it very difficult for the elderly or disabled to reach. This also has hidden problems and dangers if the consumers does run out of gas for any reason it will mean relighting pilot lights on gas boilers before normal supply can be fed through to their heating systems, often people, especially the elderly and the disabled have great problems reigniting these pilot lights especially if they have back boilers as this means laying on the floor to reach the pilot light and this means they will be forced to sit in freezing cold conditions until someone can come and help them. (if indeed they have anyone that can help!)

This is not all, because these vulnerable people are on prepayment plans and metres, the energy companies say it costs more to collect their bills so people will usually pay more for their energy. if they cannot afford to buy tokens or re charge their card or keys then they will not have any energy. Also during the coldest months when people need to buy more gas and electricity to keep warm, then the more energy they purchase, the more of their money will be taken off of them to pay off their arrears.

There are also hidden costs, the nearest charging point may not be near and consumers will be faced with the additional cost of getting to their nearest charging point. If people are on both gas and electricity prepayment plans then the charging points for gas and electricity may even be located in separate locations adding to the problems.

What is the government doing about this very serious problem? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As usual David Cameron is standing by and allowing his friends the in the energy companies to make even more money out of our most vulnerable people.

Not only is Cameron and this hideous government doing nothing to help these people, they are actually making their situations worse by cutting their benefits, even though many of these people will actually be IN WORK!

Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions has made these peoples lives intolerable in many different ways will be making it impossible for these struggling people not only to feed and clothe their families and themselves this winter, but to pay something as basic as their fuel bills will also prove impossible.The hidden costs of the Tories and Liberal Democrats welfare reforms are many and varied.

Bedroom Tax - thousands of people are now being forced to pay between £14 and £24 per week or between £56 and £96 extra per month out of their low wages or benefits for extra bedrooms if they are deemed not to be needed by the DWP. Many of these people are working on low pay or are disabled and need their bedrooms and thus far it has not created one single situation where it has actually helped anyone, there are no smaller properties for people to move into. It is one of the nastiest ill thought out, ill conceived pieces of legislation in the entire history of the British parliament. Yet still this government will not admit they have got it wrong and get rid of this ludicrous policy. (If the Labour party win the next election they have promised to repeal the bedroom tax) 96% of people affected by the Tories bedroom tax have nowhere to go, in effect they are trapped and are now falling into arrears with council for non payment of bedroom tax as well as falling into arrears with domestic fuel bills.

Housing Benefit Caps - Starting in July 2013 and earlier in some pilot areas, the government introduced a cap on the amount of housing benefit you can receive. At first, the benefit Cap will only affect those in receipt of Housing Benefit, however later, it could also affect those who are in receipt of Universal Credit. if the cap affects  you then your benefit will go down. Again this not only affects those who are entirely in receipt of benefits, it also affects those on low wages who receive help with their rent and council tax.

Working Families Tax Credit Cuts - Due to government changes the new rules on working tax credits from April 2013 will hit around 212,000 low income families according to information published in the House of Commons Library. This will reduce income on average by around £2,600 per year. This affects ALL those "hard working people" that David Cameron keeps talking about. Up until now providing one partner works at least 16 hours per week, they would be eligible for tax credits, but now couples will need to work at least 24 hours between them to apply, with one partner working at least 16 hours. It means that "hardworking families" will see their incomes fall by around 30%.

Council Tax benefit cuts - Are forcing people to stay on the side of the law or to break it in order to feed, liable for charges between 10% and 30% of the full bill.  Again many of these people are IN work earning low pay and have been forced into this position by this government. How much money are councils losing in non payment and in chasing people for payment? how much money is taking all of these people to country costing the country? How are people already struggling to live going to manage having to pay higher fuel bills and some are paying the bedroom tax and some are also now being charge council tax on top of everything else. how will they manage?
People Queuing outside Peterborough Magistrates Court
Answering Summonses for non payment of council tax.
It's not they won't pay it is because they CAN'T pay!
clothe their families and heat and light their homes. More than a 100,000 people have been issued with court summonses for non payment of council tax. Many people whom have never been in council tax arrears in their lives before now suddenly find themselves in debt owing large amounts and hundreds are turning up on council office doorsteps to protest, or are being forced to form queues outside Magistrates courts where they will be tried and fined EXTRA money for non payment of council tax bills. Most of the people who are being fined do NOT have the money to pay the bill in the first place which is why they are now being forced to court. An estimated 1.9 million who did not have to pay council tax before the changes now find themselves deeply in debt with their incomes cut and no way of paying for soaring food prices and soaring energy prices.

As you can see some of David Cameron's and the Tories and Liberal Democrat government's "hardworking families" can be clobbered at least 4 times each and the total effect on their weekly incomes will be absolutely devastating, can anyone in this absolutely ludicrous insane narcissistic government please explain how on top of all these cust, people are going to be able to pay to keep their homes warm and lit? How will all those on prepayment metres cope with the soaring costs of energy on top of all of these cuts?

Why isn't someone doing something about the energy companies charging vulnerable people MORE per unit of energy ABOVE the price everyone else pays?

The devastating verdict is in just one year this Tory led Coalition Government has pushed a million people into absolute poverty and all the progress the previous Labour government made in tackling relative child poverty has ground to a halt. In their first year this Government have pushed a million people into poverty and it is getting worse.
Now more than 5 million people in Britain are being paid less than the minimum wage, thanks to the Tory and Lib Dem Coalition Government's naked attack on peoples living standards and their deliberate driving down of wages.

How are these people going to afford to heat and light their homes?

A recent Oxfam report says that austerity will drive more than one million children into poverty. The Oxfam report says George Osborne's cuts and tax rises are "massively increasing" inequality in the UK and the Government's austerity policies will push a further 800,000 children into poverty. Oxfam warns that by 2020  there will be an additional 800,000 children - up from 2.3 million at present - and 1.9m more adults living below the breadline.

How are these people going to afford to heat and light their homes?

Food Banks - Over 350,000 people received emergency help from the Trussell Trust food banks between April and September 2013. Inquiries  for help at foodbanks has tripled this past year. The level of poverty and deprivation in the country is not acceptable, it is scandalous. Michael Gove should hang his head in shame for accusing people of not managing their money properly, they have no money to manage he and his government have seen to that! And his wife filling her fridge and cupboards with junk foods throughout the summer and writing about it is just callous and shows how out of touch this hideous government is.

The Trussell Trust has also reported that people have been giving back items that need cooking because they cannot afford the gas or electricity to cook them, this is an absolute abomination, we are the 7th richest country in the world and we are forcing the poor, unemployed, the elderly, the disabled and the vulnerable to pay for the greed of the bankers.

And what is George Osborne's answer to this while Ed Miliband is fighting the Government and the energy conglomerates to try and get a better deal for people? George Osborne is away with the fucking fairies in the EU taking them to court to safeguard bankers mega bonuses and just to add insult to injury, Osborne is forcing the taxpayer to pay over a million pounds in bankers legal fees!

The government is grabbing money from poor people hand over fist at the same time as they have given a huge tax concessions to millionaires handing them at least a £100,000 cheque tax cut. I bet they do not have to worry about turning the heating on, or worry about having enough power to cook the food a food bank gave them!

Today it is reported that cabinet ministers have been claiming thousands of pounds for energy costs, while Tories are all in it together!
Nadhim Zahawi laughing with the PM
after the millionaire claimed £5882
back in energy costs

 our poor and vulnerable are freezing cold and cannot cook their food, and one millionaire Tory Nadhim Zahawi claimed  £5882 off of the taxpayer in just 12 months, more than four times the average household bill! Yep those

I am so glad they think the situation they have caused in this country to be so funny, they laugh while millions struggle in despair and the winter hasn't even started properly yet!

Someone needs to do something and do it fast, if they do not then people are going to die of starvation and hypothermia this winter.

And why are the energy conglomerates charging people with prepayments metres MORE for their energy? It is a bloody disgrace!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

EXCLUSIVE! Lynton Crosby - David Cameron and the Macquarie Group

David Cameron and Lynton Crosby

Yesterday the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband added to the pressure that he has placed prime minister David Cameron under by turning his attentions to the cost of water. In a letter to a newspaper yesterday Mr Miliband wrote:
"I think the water industry is something that should be scrutinised to make sure it is working properly and make sure it is working properly for the benefit of consumers, because I know concerns have been raised." Read Here for full story.
Up until  Ed Miliband's article appearing in the Exeter Express and Echo yesterday, David Cameron had not shown the slightest interest in the cost of water and rising water bills and has wasted three years doing absolutely nothing about them. If David Cameron was so concerned about the Conservative privatised utilities that have brought us all escalating energy and water bills why didn't he act before yesterday evening?

Now in a sudden and panicked press release Downing Street announced that the government are looking into ways to reduce water bills. I wondered what was behind that panicked press release surely Number 10 realised that they just looked as though they had jumped the gun after being caught lagging behind Ed Miliband once again? After a little digging I came up with this:

The Australian owned  Macquarie Group  who purchased Thames Water is one of Lynton Crosby's (the prime minister's spin doctor's) clients
Lynton has worked for FTSE100 and ASX companies, brought in to counsel strategy and direct research. His work has included multi-million dollar programs; public affairs work; as well as lobbying. His clients included QANTAS, Macquarie Group and Coles See Here.  
The Macquarie group wanted to increase water bills by £29 to pay for the so-called super sewer, but this is just not true. I first raised how private companies were ripping us off on Ayes last August "Tory Led Coalition Helps Foreign Companies to Rip Us Off"  I told about how George Osborne the Tory chancellor allowed Thames Water to offset loans against their tax bills, loans that were NOT even taken out in this country! Lynton Crosby's client the Macquarie Group pay no corporation tax and hardly and UK tax either!

I wonder what is David Cameron's response to the fact that his spin doctor and close lobbyist friend Lynton Crosby's connections to the Tory privatised water industry and is there any area at all that Lynton crosby does not represent?

Isn't it time that Lynton Crosby resigned or is David Cameron and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats going to continue ignoring all these very serious conflicts of interests concerning Lynton Crosby?

Lynton Crosby also has interests in:

  • Tobacco Industry 
  • Drinks Industry
  • Private Health Companies (H5) and the NHS
  • Fracking
  • Links to Syrian Rebel fighters
  • Offshore tax havens
  • YouGov Polling Company

Crosby uses and owns a mysterious offshore tax haven based in Malta. The company 'Rutland' is run from the offices of a trust firm specialising in "wealth preservation" and hiding the true identity of company owners. Read more Here The paper trail linking Lynton Crosby, Malta and a secret offshore trust HERE 

Shortly after Crosby was hired by David Cameron, the government proposed policies on plain tobacco packaging, and minimum alcohol pricing which were due to be announced in the Queen's Speech was dropped.

The New Zealand PM John Key has a few things in common with David Cameron: They both have had 'dealings' with Lord Ashcroft; they both promised to go ahead with plain tobacco packaging and then suddenly went cold after heavy lobbying from Lynton Crosby's clients in eh tobacco industry one Philip Morris. They both have dealings with Lynton Crosby. John Key and David Cameron met years ago when they were both at Oxford University and reaffirmed their 'friendship' when they were both opposition leaders. It looks like they are both taking Lynton Crosby's advice to "get the barnacles off of the boat". But this Lynton Crosby scandal is not going to go away, he is fast becoming the barnacle on the Tory boat and I suspect this story will gather pace as the 2015 general election approaches.

Conflict of interests began to emerge after Lynton Crosby started work for the Conservative Party. Not long after he took up his role the Tory-led Coalition government shifted its position in favour of private health companies by trying to sneak NHS regulations through the House forcing services out of the market. At the time experts expressed surprise at the sudden shift in position. It then became clear in a 'leaked document' why this happened when it was disclosed that Lynton Crosby's company told its client how to exploit perceived 'failings' in the NHS in 2010, based on an opinion poll. Read More at The Guardian. This resulted in Crosby's clients being rewarded lucrative NHS contracts by the government.

Lynton Crosby has his tendrils all over fracking too. Mr Crosby's lobbying firm, Crosby Textor, represents the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, an oil and gas lobby group campaigning aggressively for fracking. The Tories are very keen on fracking, so keen that just a few weeks after the Conservatives hired Lynton Crosby, George Osborne offered companies like APP above a 50% cut in tax if they come and frack in the UK (they can frack anywhere they like as long as it is not at the bottom of a Tory MP's drive apparently).

And surprise - surprise Mr Crosby is also the director of nine companies including Crosby Textor and its subsidiaries *as well as YouGov, the pollsters*! 

"Strangely" and "coincidentally" the Conservative's hiring of Lynton Crosby is almost *instantly* reflected in the downward trend of the Labour Party's polling results. Polling companies can legally change the way their data and methodology is read and used and YouGov have done that several times this past few months, each time it seems to be followed by a further narrowing in the polls for Labour. Con incidence? you a make your own mind up! Polling companies can also be selective where and who they poll which will lead to fluctuating poll results and coincidentally YouGov has been fluctuating wildly over the past few months, sometimes in stark opposition to many of the other pollsters. I am not saying YouGov are doing this, I am simply pointing out that YouGov can get the results it wants by simply asking questions in a specific way or by polling people from certain areas. Also if you perpetually report that Labour are slipping in the polls and it is hysterically reported in the press then this in itself could have a downward trend on polling. It is one of the reasons why I believe the Labour lead is probably higher than YouGov state, especially as the Lord Ashcroft polling of the 40 Tory - Labour marginals gives Labour 32 wins out of 40 and has them 14% ahead, something looks wrong with YouGov's methodology.

Crosby Textor's chairman, Robert Champion de Crespigny, was in 1999 found to have acted unlawfully when he bought out a rival gold mining company. Mark Fullbrook, the group's London managing director, is former head of campaignin for the Conservative Party.

David Cameron's support for the Syrian uprising has also been brought into question after it was revealed that Lynton Crosby's company work for the rebels. The UK branch of Lynton Crosby's lobbying empire represented the Syrian National Council See Here and Here.

After david Cameron lost the vote, Downing Street was engaged in a furious and foul mouthed attack on Ed Miliband after Mr Miliband refused to back David Cameron and William Hague's 'war cry' to help the US bomb Syria. Downing Street accused Ed Miliband of being a "copper bottomed s***"  and a "f******* c***" when the Labour leader told the PM that his party would not back the vote on whether to take military action on Syria. (Since Miliband's refusal to back the government's and the US's bombing Syria campaign, Syria has destroyed its chemical weapons making facilities and is now starting to destroy all its chemical weapons - none of which would have happened if Ed Miliband had given in to the PM's bullying and haste over military action in Syria.)

What has also never been answered by David Cameron and number 10 is just how much time Lynton Crosby has spent there. A "Tory spokesman" has told the FT last May (2013) that Crosby spends about half of his time working inside number 10 the heart of the British government and the other half working at Millbank the Tories official headquarters. Yet still to this day david Cameron refuses to answer questions about his top aide. Why does an aide hired by the Conservative party need to spend so much time inside number 10? By strange coincidence it was last May that the government shelved plans for plain tobacco packaging along with plans for minimum alcohol pricing.

With the prime minister's spin doctor Lynton Crosby's connections to the tobacco industry, drinks industry,  private health companies (H5), Syrian rebel fighters, the water companies and now the banking industry it explains why David Cameron and the Tory led Coalition government are very reluctant to produce a list of the companies that Lynton Crosby is involved with and it also explains why the government are reluctant to take on bankers of any description, from any country, and why, when Ed Miliband was fighting hard for energy consumers rights and cost of living the Tory chancellor George Osborne was arranging to take the EU to court over bankers mega bonuses and forcing the British taxpayer to pay the legal bills, which are expected to run into at least a million pounds. It appears the Conservative party's connections to the banking industry span globally and their fingers are in pies all over the world - in one way or another!

The Conservative Party is inexplicably linked to the once nationalised but now privatised utilities, utilities that were privatised under Margaret Thatcher. Rail under John Major and now the NHS, education and the Royal Mail under David Cameron.

Angela Knight a former Tory MP was once the mouthpiece and apologist for the banking industry, is now an apologist for the energy conglomerates.

Yes this the Tories and their mates are certainly "all in it together" and the Liberal Democrats are helping it stay this way too!

According to the propaganda from the Conservative government at the time of privatising all these industries they told us privatisation would "drive prices down and increase efficiency through increased competition". This excuse has been repeated frequently over the past 35 years since the Conservative privatisation programme began (interrupted by 13 years of Labour government). Not only for water, but for gas, electricity, the railways and more recently Royal Mail and it is being used as an excuse to sell off great swathes of our NHS to private companies. Instead of going down each and every one of these facilities has soared in cost, both to the consumer and to the government, so the taxpaying public are hit with a double whammy.

It is only now since Ed Miliband stuck his head above the parapet and forced the cost of living up the agenda over energy costs and now water prices, that criticisms made of privatisation at the time during successive Tory governments about profiteering, corruption and general misconduct by some companies involved are more than justified. What terror does that fill you with for our NHS, education, firefighters, paramedics, police and defence?

The wheels are finally beginning to fall off of the Tory privatisation programme and predictably there is great reluctance on behalf  of the Tory led Coalition government to do anything about it other than follow where the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband, leads. In fact, rather than learn their lessons over privatisation, the Conservative government with the help of the Liberal Democrats are in the process of privatising state education, the NHS and Royal Mail.

All we get from the government are mealy mouthed platitudes and useless rhetoric about bringing household bills down and running after Ed Miliband shouting "we'll bring down water bills too", this government seriously needs to get a grip. Cameron has lost control of the country and now big business is taking over and it doesn't bode well for the future.

This latest outcry over the cost of living and the Tory privatised utilities is justified as were the criticisms made of it at the time of their privatisation, but the sobering question now is, do we as the general public ignore those same voices and much the same kind of criticisms that are currently being screamed by hundreds of voices from hundreds of campaign groups who are trying to warn us about the Conservative privatisation agendas of education and the NHS?

If we ignore the clarion cry against these privatisations now, just what problems are we setting ourselves and more importantly our children and grandchildren if we stand back and watch while the NHS and education is being privatised by stealth under our very noses by the same Conservative party ethos that brought us the privatisation, sell-offs, rip-offs in water, gas, electric, rail and now mail? We are condemning our future generations to privatised healthcare where only the rich are covered by the size of their wallets.

The solution to the terrible consequences of Tory privatisation is first and foremost stop them from privatising our NHS and state education. We can do this by voting Labour en masse at the next general election, as only the Labour party have promised to repeal the Tory's privatisation NHS reforms (Health and Social Care Act 2012) if they win the next election. By the same token Ed Miliband has also promised to take on the privatised energy companies and to control them with effective legal legislation after imposing a 20 month price freeze in order to get restructuring of these industries and the installation of a new regulator to control them through parliament.

The choice is clear and the choice is ours, the Tories and their false recovery and seriously deceitful unemployment stats, the party for the rich and sod the poor (no change there then), or the party that genuinely will try help everyone - Labour?