Thursday, 15 December 2011

Who Gives an Atos !

So unemployment has reached a 17 year high, the Government has plans to introduce a piece of nonsense called the Welfare Reform Bill along with changes to the Housing Benefit system you can only wonder how it will end.

Presently, all Income Support and Incapacity claims are being replaced by Employment Support Allowance which require all those who are classified  as Disabled or suffer from Long Term  Sickness, by their own GP’s,  being put through a degrading and humiliating Medical Assessment, most of the time conducted by Specialist Nurses employed by ATOS HEALTHCARE, a division of ATOS IT who’s gross annual revenue is £8.6 Billion, and who are disgustingly paid over £100 Million per year by the Government, to deem the most sick and vulnerable within our society fit for some form of work.

Three quarters of those who attend these Medicals will indeed be cured by the key stroke of a keyboard, and will find themselves not within the qualifying criteria to receive the replacement Employment Support Allowance, unless they take their case to Appeal.  Whilst waiting they will receive only the bare essential component of Employment Support Allowance although their daily needs or medical conditions have not changed.

If successful, and most are, they will then indeed be entitled the full Employment Support Allowance an entitlement they received under the old Income Support and Incapacity Benefit system.  All of this can take up to 9 months to resolve and in some cases longer. There have been cases of many who have not lived long enough for their Appeal Cases to be heard.  So far it has cost the Government a staggering £80 Million for the cost of these Appeals.  Although, Atos are responsible for initially considering individuals fit for work, they are under no obligation to refund any cost back to the Government when someone has a successful Appeal outcome.

But really at the end of the day with the soaring unemployment figures can we really believe that the jobs are really available for the disabled and long term sick, or should the Government just be honest and tell the public that the Government had misappropriated the National Health Contributions spending the money unnecessarily elsewhere, or that’s what I’ve heard.

On the other hand the Government is determined to introduce their Work Programmes, funded by the Government again from the public purse and lining the already bulging pockets of their own.  In order to justify the need for such programmes they will need the clients, and with little or no choice those who are the most vulnerable and ill will be FORCED to attend.

Shame on you all…

Monday, 21 November 2011

Gone but not Forgotten – John MacLean!


On the 27 November there will be held in Glasgow a Rally in memory of John MacLean who’s commitment to Socialism in Scotland should not be forgotten.

SRSM Annual John MacLean Rally

March starts at 1.30PM

Speakers and Social afterwards

Here's hoping for a great turnout, a chance for us all to remember our heritage!

See you there…

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Politics of Ignorance!

Whilst catching up on new developments at the Occupy London Protest, I was deeply saddened to view a comment left by another reader. They stated “I'm not a fan of bankers. My pension schemes have suffered by them. However as far as the protesters go I'm hearing the same old envy based politics which has been proved to be unworkable”.

Envy based Politics, what an insulting, ignorant statement, and why exactly we have reached this crisis.  I despair when I read this drivel,  I can only assume that they live very insular, blinkered lives.  So then a few, shameful statistics for the ignorant.

The top five Bankers with Barclays Bank shared a total bonus pot of £34.85m.  This did not include their own Salaries, with the top earner receiving £730,000 per annum.

Several of Central Governments top Civil Servant’s earn between £227,500 and £288,700 per annum with approximately 500 individuals from within the same Government Departments earning well over £100,000 per annum. 

In 2010 there had been 619,000 millionaires in the UK, which will reach 826,000 by 2020. 

A single person on Income Support will receive £65.00 per week, roughly £3,120 per year, before anyone has a go, yes they do receive help with housing costs, much of the time this does not cover the full cost of their rent, the shortfall being met from their own Benefits.  There is no low cost Electricity, Gas or Food for those on benefits and low incomes, contrary to popular belief.

Don't forget anyone can claim for extra help through the Benefits and Tax Credit system if you fulfil the criteria.  A single person with a child receiving Income Support can claim Child Tax Credit, if you have a child and earn £40,000 per year you also can also claim Child Tax Credit.

In 2009/10, the percentage of the population living in relative poverty stood at 17.1% (before housing costs) and 22.2% (after housing costs)

In 2009/10, 16% of children (2.0 million) were living in UK households in low income and material deprivation.

In 2009/10, 5% of children (0.7 million) were living in UK households in severe low income and material deprivation.

This list could go on and on.

So for those caught in the poverty trap with little or no prospects of earning anything like the figures previously mentioned, the future is very bleak indeed, forget the misguided notion of the Politics of Envy, for those trapped, there exists only the Politics of Deprivation, Exclusion and Struggle.

I don't think I have to say anymore, we are all welcome to our own opinions, as for those who buy into the notion of the Politics of Envy, at least have the decency, if only for the children living every day in these conditions, of trying, on some humane level to understand why people are taking to the streets.   

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Scottish Labours Six Top Shots!

So six candidates have been confirmed in the race to become Leader and Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour party. Tom Harris MP and MSPs Johann Lamont and Ken Macintosh. Deputy Leadership contenders are MPs Ian Davidson and Anas Sarwar, as well as MSP Lewis Macdonald.

One for the watching is Glasgow South’s own little cowboy, Tom Harris MP. Labour Party rule changes allowed Westminster MP Tom (Ban Blair-Baiting Petitioner) Harris to declare his interest in the campaign which had previously been restricted to MSPs.

Perhaps as Labour Leader Ed Miliband is desperately trying to promote a return to old Labour values, a staunch Blairit like Tom was no longer welcome at Westminster. At least he wont be making those £143,282 expenses claims if he secures the Scottish Leadership.

I’m sure the coming weeks and months will produce all manners of unexpected twists and turns, we will have to wait with baited breathe as the whole rodeo unfolds.

The last word then from the old 60’s western Support Your Local Sheriff! “He's got a heart as big as the whole outdoors, but he don't have one brain in his poor old head.”

Until the next time…


The Anti-Capitalist Demonstrators will relocate from George Square to Kelvingrove Park after reaching an agreement with Glasgow City Council. 

Aamer Anwar, representing the protesters, said: "It's a victory because, as I understand it, it's the first time the council have offered an alternative location for an occupation that's taking place on city council property.

"One view of the occupiers will be that Glasgow City Council perhaps support the anti-capitalist movement and have given a helping hand to the protesters by relocating them to Kelvingrove Park."

Even the notion that Glasgow City Council would support an Anti-Capitalist ethos is a joke, apparently it has nothing to do with Remembrance Day or the Glasgow Loves Christmas Events that start in George Square on the 20th November running through to January 2012, least we forget all the revenue the latter generates. We are talking about Glasgow City Council here, Revenue over Democracy, no contest.

I did wonder why, if the Council are being so generous they did not offer the Demonstrators Glasgow Green as a camp.  After all the Green has a long history of debate and demonstration. I suppose it is a touch to close to the City Centre and the Capitalists themselves, don't want to spoil their festivities. 

However, on the other hand the decision to relocate the Demonstrators to Kelvingrove Park could have come down to logistics, the Council I’m sure had taken into consideration the fact it would be harder to kettle and forcibly remove the Demonstrators in the wide open spaces of the Green.

Well good luck to the Anti-Capitalist Demonstrators, out of sight out of mind, for the time being anyway…

Viva Democracy!!!

Monday, 17 October 2011


I recently read an small but thought provoking article that appeared in the South Glasgow News.

The article in question had revealed that Glasgow Housing Association proposes a £7 million transformation of one of three multi-storeys, earmarked for demolition, in order to offer key worker and young professionals, local to the new Southern General Hospital and Digital Media Quarter at Pacific Quay the opportunity to rent one of 98 affordable priced flats, with an option to purchase later.

Part funding for this project, 1.1 million, will be provided by the Scottish Government’s, Innovation and Investment Fund. GHA’s Executive Director of Development and Regeneration Alex McGuire, had said “We are determined at GHA to help increase the number of housing options people have in the City, not everyone can buy in the current market”. Capital Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil said “With the public purse under huge financial strain we need radical and innovative approaches to increase housing supply at maximum value for taxpayer’s money, we called for fresh thinking and new ideas and in response Councils, Housing Associations and Private Developers have risen to the challenge magnificently”.

The story concluded with the information that the previous tenants had been re-housed in upgraded properties, new built homes or houses belonging to other registered Social Landlords.