Archive | June 2012

Workfare walk of shame in Leeds 11th + 12th July.

These walks are part of Boycott Workfare’s week of action. The facebook event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/296199677142491/

If you are unable to make it then feel free to contact the following companies involved in workfare. Please snapshot any reply you recive:

A4e  facebook      twitter
Argos  facebook     twitter
Asda  facebook    twitter
Greggs facebook   twitter
Holland & Barrett  facebook   twitter
Interserve  facebook    twitter    (formerly BEST)
McDonalds  facebook    twitter
Poundland  facebook   twitter
Primark  ?facebook?  ?twitter?
Shoezone  facebook   twitter
Topshop/Topman/Dororthy Perkins (but not BHS)  twitter1  twitter2   facebook1   facebook2   facebook3
Whsmith   facebook  twitter
Wilkinson facebook   twitter  They state:  “The official Twitter page for the home of family values”
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pickets,protests,taxes,torches

Torch-PCS-Protest

A busy day with massive contradictions. Firstly I was part of a group to ‘welcome’ the olympic torch with our “save our leisure centre’ banners. They can afford a big cavalcade of sponsors and buses but not £100-300,000 per year to keep a leisure centre open. We had agreed to only interrupt the torch if we got near 100 people. The early morning reduced our numbers. So far the torch has only been interrupted in Northern Ireland but in Sheffield a number of NHS campaigners will hopefully get some press. There is so many reasons (eg. Bhopal) to stop the route but in principle no one disagrees with sport.

Next we went to a picket of tax office workers organised by PCS. A lot of tax still goes uncollected. Even conservative (as opposed to party) estimates show that an extra £20bn could be recovered from tax havens but some think it could be above £100bn. We even own some of these companies! note the shiny Lloydstsb bus following the olympic torch in the top left photo!! We are even still paying money to these part owned banks from the disastrous PFI deals. Some of the worst are within health; double or triple times the amount of the loan is eventually paid back!!!  Within the last few days David Cameron accused Jimmy Carr’s tax evasion as “morally wrong”. The comedian rightly apologised but now asks why he has been singled out. We certainly are not in it together!

Today and over the weekend David Cameron has come out with this shocker. He decided to go one step worse than workfare. You CANNOT force people into work which doesn’t exist. When will these politicians understand that even those working are on reduced hours or frozen pay? You cannot simply cut yourself into a healthy economy*: you simply damn people to the ‘scrap heap’.

Whilst on the picket line I found out that ATOS <insert expletive here> have recently been given the HMRC contract. Clearly the private sector is having a field day while the rest of us limp on; more so if you have just been certified as ‘fit for work’ by ATOS. The use of ATOS shows once again how much the government hate the idea of medical opinion. Why do they hate ill people?

However…

Over in Germany the Greens and Socialists are close to getting a financial transation tax, we can only wish the day will come for own “Robin Hood Tax/Tobin Tax”.

*Note I did not use the word ‘growth’ since growth generally destroys people and planet. I am a big fan of the citizens wage and believe that since infinite growth is impossible we shall be forced into a ‘steady state economy’.

PAFRAS fundraiser

I recently went to a well attended gig in aid of PAFRAS – Positive Action for Refugees & Asylum Seeker   in Leeds. They raised several hundred pounds. All of the acts were excellent and I particularly enjoyed Biscuit Head & the Biscuit Badgers and La La & the Boo Yaa. A memorable song was Stanley King by LL&BY. It recounts a 2007 letter by ex Bradford councillor Stanley King stating his objections to a children’s Madrasah extending its hours from 7.30 to 10.30pm. He further suggested that they were up to no good!

Of course during the evening there was no mention of UK migration policy. This tends to divide people metaphorically and in reality. I personally would love to know how many people in the UK support the idea of No Borders. For more information see “No One is Illegal”