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?
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’.