Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “the Nasty Party”

Striking the Strikers

In another attempt to spread peace and goodwill the Conservatives are proposing:

  • at least half of eligible union members to vote in order for a strike to be lawful
  • a three-month time limit after the ballot for the action to take place.
  • unions to set out on the ballot paper the exact form of action they were proposing
  • a vote on each aspect of the dispute

Summarised from: BBC News Website 18 July 2014 : Tories outline strike law manifesto pledge

This is an interesting idea; “democracy” requires 50% consent of all and proposals should be disaggregated and implemented within 3 months. It might be more widely applied: Read more…

Zeroing in on employment dignity

Interesting penultimate comment in the Guardian(!) article on the increasing use of “zero hour” contracts:

So what happens now? In one sense, a controlled experiment is under way. If the free marketeers are right, then companies such as Sports Direct will thrive while Tesco will not. Similarly, those countries that have “flexible” labour markets such as the UK will do better than those countries that cling on to social democratic values.

The implications of this are actually quite frightening. Read more…

Nastiness (part 3 of many) KensalNacht

The Independent Reports:

Home Office officials have conducted a series of “racist and intimidatory” spot checks to search for illegal immigrants in the wake of the Government’s “go home or face arrest” campaign.

Officers wearing stab vests have conducted random stop-and-check operations near stations in the London suburbs of Walthamstow, Kensal Green, Stratford and Cricklewood over the past three days,. …

Onlookers described their shock at the operations, with one member of the public saying it was akin to “Nazi Germany”. The Labour MP Barry Gardiner has now written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, demanding an investigation into the checks which he said violated “fundamental freedoms”. The raids come just a few months after Ms May took direct responsibility for immigration from the disbanded UK Border Agency.

“We do not yet live in a society where the police or any other officers of the law are entitled to detain people without reasonable justification and demand their papers,” Mr Gardiner wrote. “The actions of your department would however appear to be hastening us in that direction.”

Witnesses who saw the operations in London claimed the officers stopped only non-white individuals, and in Kensal Green said that when questioned, the immigration officials became aggressive.

Independent Website 1 August 2013 Exclusive: The new stop-and-search – spot checks near stations in hunt for illegal immigrants 

Why am I not surprised? Read more…

Nastiness (part 2 of many) and this one is legal!

Disabled families have lost a court challenge to social housing benefit cuts for residents with spare bedrooms in England, Wales and Scotland.

The High Court ruled the policy, dubbed the “bedroom tax” by critics, did not unlawfully discriminate against disabled people.

Ten families sought a judicial review of the change, introduced in April.

One claimant described the ruling as an “absolute travesty of justice”, and said they would appeal against it.

Charlotte Carmichael, who has spina bifida and sleeps in a hospital bed which, she argues, her husband and full-time carer cannot share, told the BBC that she felt obliged to pursue the case.

BBC News Website 30 July 2013 Housing benefit challenge dismissed by High Court

The Government says it is “being fair” to the likes of you and me. Read more…

Nastiness (part 1 of many)

A council leader has said he is “absolutely horrified” over government plans to drive vans through his borough with adverts calling on illegal immigrants to leave.

Brent’s Muhammed Butt said the plan was an “act of desperation” and that more needed to be done to process people’s claims.

He added it would “just drive people underground”.
BBC News Website 23 July 2013 Council ‘horrified’ over scheme for immigrants to go

The Government (Immigration minister Mark Harper) says:

This pilot is just another part of the reforms of the immigration system that have cut out abuse.
ibid

The council leader heard about the Daily Mail catching initiative on Twitter. Read more…

Food banks: Big Society in Action or Society in Failure?

The use of food banks (a staple part of America’s “safety net” e.g. Feeding America) are a growing part of our society.

In 2011-12 food banks fed 128,687 people nationwide, in 2012-13 we anticipate this number will rise to over 290,000. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to food banks for help.

The Trussell Trust partners with churches and communities to open new food banks nationwide. With over 325 food banks currently launched, our goal is for every town to have one. Trussell Trust

The Conservatives, who seem to have a desire to ape so many aspects of “the American System” probably view food banks as welcome evidence of the “Big Society”. Read more…

Cameron’s Home Truths

Basically if you are under 25, you can’t have one. (BBC News Website 24 June 192012) Read more…

Disillusioned and still Disenfranchised

What a surprise, the forces of conservatism have won.

The fact that I have not posted for months underlines how I feel about UK politics – I just cannot see the situation changing other than the possible break up of the Union. Read more…

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