Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Unwise Brighton politicians - put back on the record (from 2010)

This is a statement made in April 2010 by Unite Against Fascism and a supporting response from Brighton Unity made in April 2010. Its signed by a number of politicians, and I put it here just so it is on the record (having been airbrushed off the internet elsewhere...).

The UAF statement was massively rejected and opposed by many of their 'usual' supporters - as 'March for England' opposed any participation by EDL, and is generally considered a peaceful 'pro-England' group.

Following this call by UAF to counter-march in Brighton, it seems EDL were actually inspired to march in Brighton some months later - well done UAF, creating trouble/friction were there was none...

STOP THE RACIST EDL FROM MARCHING IN BRIGHTON!
On Sunday April 25th there will be a 'March for England' taking place in Brighton. In previous years we have ignored this demonstration as it has been small and peaceful. However, this year members of the racist and violent English Defence League (EDL) will be attending the march.
The EDL is a racist organisation with links to fascist groups like BNP and Combat 18. They claim to oppose only 'militant Islam', but they target all Muslims by demonstrating against mosques such as in Harrow and Dudley and chanting slogans such as "Pakis Out" and "if you build your f*ucking mosque we'll burn it down".
Just weeks ago Sussex UAF members were sent racist private messages by local EDL supporters and the Sussex UAF page was vandalised with posts from several regional EDL divisions.
Previously where the EDL have marched, Asian people have had their property vandalied, been physically attacked and also stabbed. When they have been outnumbered they have been prevented form attacking anyone.
Lets stop them marching in our town to show them that Brighton will not be divided! There will be unity festival to defend and celebrate multiculturism in Brighton, join us!
Sunday 25th April
Meet 10am,
Victoria Gardens, Grand Parade.
(North Of Brighton Pavillion)

*******************

Brighton Unity Statement
We state our strong opposition to a march that is planned for Brighton town centre on the 25th of April.
We believe this march, which claims to celebrate St Georges Day, will actually bring the unwelcome presence of the violent and racist group the English Defence League (EDL) to our city.
The organisers ‘March for England’ claim to be an anti-racist organization with no connection to the EDL, but the site forum has several mentions of EDL groups joining this march, and the website includes links to other far-right organisations including the EDL.
Forum discussions on the he EDL’s own website show many of its members are planning to join the march.
The involvement of EDL members with this march is an unwelcome development, elsewhere when this group has been involved in marches, such as Luton, Stoke and Dudley the result has been violence, racial abuse and attacks on individuals, property and on places of worship.
Brighton and Hove is a city that its residents value for its tolerance and peaceful nature.
We live in a vibrant multi-cultural community, where other peoples’ lifestyles, race and faith are accepted and appreciated, we do not need this march and we will not support it.
Many people in Brighton will enjoy and celebrate St Georges Day and the rest of the weekend, without the nasty xenophobic and islamaphobic rhetoric of the groups involved with this march.
Signed,
Cllr Paul Elgood
Lib Dem Group Leader
Cllr Rachel Fryer
Queens Park, Green Party
Cllr Vicky Wakefield-Jarrett
Hanover & Elm Grove Ward, Green Party.
Cllr Ian Davey
St Peters & North Laine Ward, Green Party
Cllr Amy Kennedy
Preston Park Ward, Green Party

Nancy Platts
Labour parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion
Berni Millam
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion
Dave Hill
TUSC Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown
Simon Burgess
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Phelim Mac Cafferty
National Chair LGBTGreens.

Peter Atkinson,
Branch Secretary,
Unison, Sussex Community and Mental Health
Stephen McClean
senior steward for Brighton Unison health (pc)
Susan Bowes
Unison, Brighton Local Gov Branch Equalities Officer (jobshare).
Tom Hickey,
Chair of the co-ordinating committee
UCU, University of Brighton
Steve Pepper
PCS branch secretary
Kevin Dale,
Make your vote count co-ordinator PCS East Sussex

James Ledward
Publisher/Editor G-scene magazine

University of Sussex students Union:
Tom Wills
President, Students' Union
Biz Bliss
Ethical & Environmental Officer
Ciaran Whitehead
Welfare Officer
Josh Jones
Education Officer
Michael Holder
Communications Officer
Riya Mary Al'sanah,
International Students' Officer
Kelly McBride
Chair - Sussex LGBTQ
Kirsty Murdoch
Women's Group Representative
Casimir Schauman
Community Engagement Officer
Simon Englert
Entertainments Officer

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Brighton and Hove Community Seaside Homes - You can't trust the Green party.

Probably the first blog of several on this subject...

Brighton and Hove city council have just sold off 499 council properties.

The greens have pushed this through, breaking all sorts of principles that they have claimed to support...
Some of the 'problems'...

1) It was expected to raise £45million - it actually raised only £30million.

2) Previously 70% of all council tenants voted against stock being transferred from council to housing association ownership but 499 figure means no re-ballot is required (500 or more would have meant another ballot!),

3) Exploiting a loophole - this was rushed through to avoid expected changes to legislation - it is not a well considered situation, but a dash for cash.

4) The business plan for the company taking on the properties depends on avoiding VAT and other duties that may otherwise be payable - simple tax avoidance which may be clamped down on.

5) As a private limited company the new company is not subject to FoI etc and other transparency measures expected of public sector organisations.

So a £15million kickback to a private company from the council taxpayers, avoidance of consultation with
tenants, sharp practices on legislation, tax avoidance - thats just for starters...

And as Brighton and Hove's Green council privatise council housing, nationally the Green party are calling for privatised services (PFI) to be nationalised! http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/23-09-2011-greens-say-nationalise-PFIs.html

This must be hugely disappointing for anyone who actually trusted the Greens!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Abuse of 'company' - how the rich stay rich - Part 1

This is just to document one example of how 'companies' are abused by the rich to avoid taxes.

If you or I buy a property and sell it, we will be subject to a various taxes including stamp duty and capital gains tax - the average man in the street has no real scope to avoid these taxes.

However, the wealthy don't need to worry about such things. They will create a new company, and that new company will buy the property. As owners of the company they can use the property as their own (getting tax relief on all costs associated with the maintenance and upkeep of the property) and when it comes time to 'sell' the property they effect this by selling the company that owns the property to the new owner...

Because this is simply a sale of shares, there is no property stamp duty to be paid and all kinds of company tax breaks can be used to minimise (or completely avoid) capital gains and other taxes.

The 'company' is an artificial construct - an organisation with its own legal identity - that has enabled massive growth and development - however this privilege is being massively abused by the rich - as are trusts. Common people die, their estates are liquidated, taxed and redistributed - companies and trusts 'live' for ever they can acquire asserts and sit of them in perpetuity - depriving real, living, people of opportunity. And this is all for the benefit of the few mega-wealthy in our society.

Why don't politicians address this simple abuse/tax avoidance? Well where do you think their money comes from? Its a conspiracy/cartel of the rich powerful against the common man - and powerful politicians are not on the side of the common man...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

"Fairness" the cabinets petard - let them be hoist by it.

If Cameron, Clegg, Osbourne, Cable et al really believe tax is a 'fairness' issue then they must start writing those big, back dated, personal cheques now - or for ever be branded hypocritical liars and exploiters...

I pay my taxes because I'd be prosecuted if I didn't - the tax man is just a bully, viciously threatening people who don't do as he says. He is bigger than me, so for now I give in to the bully.

Politicians prefer to lie and talk about 'fairness' in taxation.

I don't know about you, but if I think something is unfairly to my advantage and someone else's disadvantage I don't wait to be 'found out' or 'told' to fix it, I just go ahead and make it fair off my own bat.

If I am given too much change, I'll say so - if I found a wallet/purse in the street I'd hand it in - I don't want to unfairly profit at someone else's expense - it would demean and belittle me. I don't want an unfortunate shop assistants pay to be docked to make up for the 'loss', or man/woman to go short through someone me being greedy.

How does this relate to tax?

Well if someone really believes that, as a rich person, they are 'unfairly' paying too little tax they have no reason or need to wait for the tax rates to change - they can write out a cheque this very instant and pay whatever extra tax they think it 'fair' for someone in their position to pay... Further, they can make amends for their 'unfair' excess wealth by backdating that payment - and paying any extra tax they have ever 'unfairly' retained in the past.

Our government, the condem'd cabinet are millionaires and are complaining that it is 'unfair' that they are not being taxed more - the solution is in their own hands.

Cameron, Clegg, Osbourne, Cable et al - start writing those big, back dated cheques now - or for ever be branded hypocritical liars and exploiters...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Schools - Artificial monopolies are always bad.

For most people the state has a monopoly on providing education. The state has taken all our money and spent it as it sees fit.

Supporters of this monopoly often want to extend it to everyone by banning all private schools. Looking at the results from schools I suspect this is because state-monopoly supporters don't like us, the public, to have the solid evidence of state-school failure. But while we have private schools we can see for real just how bad state-education is.

It is true that kids in private schools will often be from wealthier families - but family money doesn't make a kid smart. It is schools that are responsible for getting the best educational outcome for an individual child. And time and time again we see thick rich kids reaching their potential, while clever poor kids are kept down. Clever, poor kids kept down so far that even the thickest rich kid has far surpassed them by the time they leave school. This is how social mobility is arrested and everyone is kept in their place. After all if social mobility means people can go up, then it also means people may go down - and the rich couldn't have that, could they?!

Most kids are well trained to play their role - both the 'snobby' kids who look down on the 'oiks' and 'chavs'; and the 'oiks' who play dumb and play up and hold others back so they can pretend to be happy with their lot - rather than striving and running the risk of failure and humiliation at the hands of the toffs.

Some of us think this must change, and often it will be those of us who did strive and take the risks and may well have alienated both the 'oiks' we went to school with and the 'toffs' whose bastions we seek to assault.

This is how it starts.

A basic private education costs in the region of £10,000 a year. Funnily enough the LEA's (Local Education Authorities) who run the state school monopoly receive about this per year for each child they need to educate.

So on cost it is even - private and state education can cost the same - it is only the quality (as evidenced by the outcomes) that differs. Given this - that 'we' already pay for private quality education for all - why do we allow the failed state-education monopoly to provide such rank service? More importantly, how does this get changed?

I say - let the money follow the child. Let the family (parents, child etc) choose where and how the child is educated and let the £10,000 per year go to the chosen educators. Send you child to a state school, private school or whatever, give them the choice.

Educational establishments will need to compete for the pupils/students that they want - they will need to attract them by offering the best quality educational experience, leading to the best outcome that they can.

If suitable educational establishments don't exist there will be no barriers to parents clubbing together to create their own. Maybe in new premises, converted premises or maybe subletting from another school, using their physical facilities but providing their own educational regime. Its not for me to dictate every available option - millions of parents and teachers minds are better than one.

If you take a sterile academic economic view you may not see how this works - but while soulless companies may work to mechanical rules on investment, return and profit - people have a human element that separates us from computer models, especially when dealing with children and extra-especially when dealing with our own children.

A company does not (and cannot get a 'buzz' out of any sense of achievement - but people do. A headteacher who is only interested in the cash they get in their pocket and would move in an instant to get a few pounds more is worthless. But such a person may do well in (say) Banking.

Let parents choose how their kids are educated, let the tax-man pay the £10,000 per year directly to their chosen establishment, remove barriers to creating new schools, and let parents and children be the quality controllers of their education.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Autophulephobia

Auto-Self
Phule-Tribe/Race/People
Phobia - Hatred/Fear

Autophulephobia (auto-fu-lay-phobia) a hatred of ones own people, evidenced as anglophobia and cultural genocide that UK politicians continue to execute against the english people.

Cultural suicide - cultural genocide - if not, then where has everyone gone?

Anglo-phobia

Defining 'Englishness' or 'Britishness' is like defining 'inteligence' - simply not possible. The closest You are likely to get to apply a test similar to that created by Alan Touring (for artificial inteligence) - and simply ask!

Because while the meaning of these words cannot be precisely or scientifically defined, English/British people can pretty reliably tell you what is and what is not 'English' and 'British'. There are many clear cut issues - Fish and Chips are an English/British thing, but Kangaroos are not. But the border, the grey area, is fractal -- the closer you look the less clear it is where the exact divide is.

One thing that has been on the rise among the English recently is a determination not to be seen as 'superior' to any other nationality/race - the plain fear of being called a 'racist'.

This, however is where things are going wrong, very wrong. The fear of being called a 'racist' has led to much English self-loathing. English people very, very keen to do down the English, however, not being suicidal the loathing is directed at *other* English people - people who are also English, but different enough not to include oneself. It is these groups of 'other english people' who are then targeted, blamed and even sacrificed by these autophulephobes. You hear it all the time 'chavs', 'pikeys', 'feral underclass'  etc.

Of course the place this really makes a difference and really matters is in the hands of those with real power - in politics. The UK political class is made up almost exclusively of people who hate the English. Either because they are from one of the other 'home nations', or because they are English autophulephobes.

If you are English, rich, powerful and feeling guilty about all three how do you compensate? Well you could give up your wealth and power - but that isn't going to happen! so you are left only one option, to punish your 'Englishness', but, of course, without hurthing yourself personally. In this way the rich and powerful English come to attack, punish and destroy the English people who aren't quite 'one of them' -- and if you are a rich powerful policitian that means attacking/sacrificing the English general public.

For every English person in poor housing, in poor health, with poor education etc the rich and powerful can feel that bit less guilty about being English, rich and powerful - after all don't the English suffer and have their burden too?

Far fetched? I wish it were - but the evidence is all around us. Politicians dragging down the English - we suffer for what they, themselves, consider their sins.

Brighton and Hove Greens - 'Ban Low Pay' (But No Pay is just fine).

The Brighton Greens immorality and duplicity shows again - claiming support and success for their 'living wage' for people providing council services - but now confirming their support for making people they think aren't worth the minimum wage to work for NOTHING or to not work at all. Its disgusting.

Once again the Greens show their 'cuddly' image is nothing more than a cover for exploitation of the those who are already most disadvantaged.

They pretend to 'help' people/council workers by introducing a so called 'living wage' which they claim is the minimum anyone requires to be part of society (minimum wage is supposedly what is needed to just survive).

But as with minimum wage, a living wage just means any work that is not *worth* the minimum is either not done, or is outsourced to an organisation who can pay less. So salving the conscience of the 'green' employers by having someone else break their principles for them, and keeping those green hands clean.

If you should doubt the insincerity of the Greens then a look at their recently confirmed policy on the use of volunteers for providing some council services - this will clear any doubt, and show the green peril that everyone - especially the poor and disadvantaged - face.

The greens recently confirmed 'volunteers policy' linked with their 'living wage' - means anyone providing council services who isn't qualified/able to justify earning the 'living wage' must either do council work for NOTHING or not at all. So attacking those who are clearly least able to defend themselves.

The green 'living wage' policy says that no work or persons time is worth less than that amount, to the extent that people are banned from working from less, that working for less would be exploitation.

But their volunteer policy says that while  low pay is evil, no pay is just fine.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Mr Cameron shows who is 'phoney'...

Speaking about the recent riots on the 10th August Mr Cameron spoke of "phoney concerns for human rights" in the past not being tolerated in the pursuit of rioters.

I sent an FOI request to Number 10 asking specifically which occasions he was considering when referring to 'phoney concerns for human rights'.

It turns out that the day after my request, he was asked a similar question in a House of Commons debate and replied:

"The specific point that I was making was about the concern that is often expressed, and was expressed to me over the past couple of days, as to whether under the Human Rights Act "Wanted" pictures. as it were, could he published. I wanted specifically' to send a message to police forces and local authorities that they should go ahead and do that."

There are two obvious flaws with this statement:

Firstly who is Cameron to decide the lawfulness or otherwise of the actions of police or local authorities? He is an advertising man, at least Blair had a legal background!

Secondly this statement does not answer the use of the word 'phoney' - phoney suggests insincerity or dis-ingenuousness in the concerns about human rights - whereas his statement in 'sending a message' could only effect *genuine* concerns.

Then what can you expect from an adversing man? Their claims rarely stand up to scrutiny!

But anyway - thank you Mr Cameron, we know exactly what is phoney now.

(FoI Request: http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/phoney_concerns_for_human_rights#outgoing-145482)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

English Parliament? No Thanks.

I am a citizen of the UK. Parts of the UK are now run by government/assemblies that I have no say over. As I travel around my country, I becoming subject to laws that I have had no say over, laws that have absolutely no democratic mandate from me.

This is simply wrong.

Just because I don't actually live in Wales or Scotland there is no reason that I should have no say over how I am treated when I am there.

As a citizen of the UK I should be treated exactly the same as all other citizens and treated exactly the same where ever in the UK I happen to be.

I only want one parliament - and that is a UK parliament at Westminster. If there is to be a different parliament, an English parliament, then it has to replace the UK parliament - no one needs two.

If this does come about, and we have an English parliament, then I would expect the English parliament to take full advantage of the superior size/wealth of England as compared to the other 'home nations'.

Just as Germany sucks all the wealth out of the smaller, poorer Eurozone countries and takes it to itself, I would expect England to drain as much wealth and power from the other 'home nations' - all English state funded services, functions, employees etc would be repatriated as would all military functions, bases. And as far as possible financial services should also be sucked into the City of London - no Scottish banks, building societies, insurance companies etc should fail to feel the red hot breath of fierce competition from England.

As I say - I prefer a United Kingdom, but if the home nations are to go their own way, England must show no mercy...

Why do ministers so like being seen in schools with lots of ethnic kids?

Politicians see poor white kids as a reminder of political failure; and rich white kids as a reminder of their own privilege - so try to avoid both.

Under the former Labour government, when a minister appeared in a school, it was not uncommon for barely any white pupils to be seen. This happened to the extent that it got mentioned and discussed on a number of social networks.

Now just the other day, Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister - Leader of the Liberal Democrats) appeared in a class of children in a clip related to his belief that holding back kids with good parents will help kids with bad parents (weird idea, but there you go).

In this clip Clegg is seen sitting in the middle of a row of about a dozen kids - with (as far as I saw) one while kid far away near one end. The child immediately next to Clegg - to whom he actually spoke before leaving was a little girl wearing a hijab head scarf (so very clearly and obviously 'ethnic').

What's all this about?

Well, undoubtedly politicians are very careful about their photo opportunities and leave nothing to chance, so this must have been carefully arranged and thought out - as must be the earlier labour school visits. But to what end?

My conclusion is...

UK politicians are embarrassed to be seen with obviously native poor (average) kids in school - it shows that the UK and UK politicians have failed these kids, failed their parents and probably failed their parents too.

UK politicians are embarrassed to be seen with obviously native rich kids in school - it reminds viewers of the obvious privilege our MPs have often experienced, and the privilege their kids will undoubtedly experience.

So ministers, MPs and politicians prefer to be seen with kids who look relatively new to the UK - obviously ethnic and not too integrated - because they are kids who actually have some hope of doing better than their parents. They are kids who may really be socially mobile.

This is in contrast to the native kids who either 'have it all' already or know that they are going nowhere and have no hope - a nasty reminder of what politicians should be focusing on but, for whatever reason, choose to avoid.

Could this same reasoning be behind the deliberate and huge immigration figures the UK has been experiencing for many years now? Our politicians find native citizens, the results of their policies, an embarrassment they want to ignore -- so by importing new, enthusiastic, people from abroad they have a fresh generation to let down - but by the time those results are seen the politicians will be long gone, tucked up comfortably with their ill gotten wealth and privilege.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Tuition fees and student loans - it must be all or nothing.

In my gut I have always knows that 'state funded' student loans are disgusting, and have railed against them.

I think I now have a clear explanation of what my gut was telling me.

Many people - Lib Dems, Conservatives, some Labour and even some UKIP supporters have spoken out about the student loans being a *fantastic* bargain - too good to be missed. Such a good interest rate/deal that any sane person would *choose* to take the loan rather than pay up front.

I think the argument they present is nonsense, however to let them prove their case I put up this suggestion...

Make student loans for tuition fees COMPULSORY. If they are such a good deal, no-one could possibly object could they?

Oblige every person attending a UK university (regardless of nationality etc) to pay for their course on credit over the life time of their subsequent employment.

Why does this make sense?

Imagine (if you will) two MP's - one an old etonian whose parents paid for every thing up front so they could enter their adult life with no debt. Imagine another, who went through the state system, clawed their way into an through university and is now an MP with huge (student loan) debts to pay...

Imagine a government keen to 'improve their image' regarding frugality - so cutting MP's pay/allowances etc... Now who is going to suffer first and who is going to suffer most? It is the poor and middle class who will suffer (they have massive loans to repay) while the 'toffs' not only keep more of their pay an expenses, but have enough wealth behind them to not even need it anyway!

So one of my main points against student loans and the huge burden they will place on those taking them is that it tilts the whole playing field of viable careers *against* the middle and working classes and in favour of the toffs.

While I despise the LibDems already - I didn't take them for a party to support the aristocracy lording it over the masses - but clearly that is precisely what they are.

I believe tuition fees/loans are really a 20% additional tax on the middle class and poor - to be proved wrong, the either have to be applied to *everyone* or *noone*, there is no middle ground.