Oh and guess what … now he’s coming for the pensioners!

Reposted from BBC News

When I first read this I honestly thought it was a joke.

Who in their right mind makes quotes like this? … I mean, seriously!!!

Many of those hit by a cut to the winter fuel allowance might “not be around” at the next election, said Alex Wild of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

And others would forget which party had done it, he added.

Here’s some info about Alex Wild (likes to big himself up doesn’t he)


Taxpayers' Alliance meeting

Image captionAlex Wild, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said he made “practical points”

Ministers should waste no time to make unpopular cuts to pensioner benefits, a think tank director has said.

Many of those hit by a cut to the winter fuel allowance might “not be around” at the next election, said Alex Wild of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

And others would forget which party had done it, he added.

At the group’s meeting at the Conservative conference in Manchester, former defence secretary Liam Fox said spending cuts must be “for keeps”.

Mr Wild said the Tories could not wait until a year before the next election to make the necessary cuts to the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes, the Christmas bonus and other pensioner benefits.

Mr Wild, who is research director of the think tank which campaigns for lower taxes and highlights examples of Government waste, said the cuts should be made “as soon as possible after an election for two reasons”.

“The first of which will sound a little bit morbid – some of the people… won’t be around to vote against you in the next election. So that’s just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then.”

He added: “If you did it now, chances are that in 2020 someone who has had their winter fuel cut might be thinking, ‘Oh I can’t remember, was it this government or was it the last one? I’m not quite sure.’

“So on a purely practical basis I would say do it immediately. That might be one of those things I regret saying in later life but that would be my practical advice to the government.”

‘Day of reckoning’

Mr Fox told the meeting that the government had to act now to make further cuts to benefits and welfare.

He said “we can never go back” to the “historically high” levels of public spending seen in recent years and the government’s public spending cuts must be “for keeps”.

“This is the time to fix the roof” he said.

“We have a broken opposition. We have just won a general election and we need now to take the tough decisions we believe are right.”

Now that Labour was not such a “great threat”, this was a “great opportunity for us to do some of the more difficult things, however unpalatable they will be in the short term are what we need to do for the country”, said the backbencher, a leading voice on the right of the party.

He added: “We need to do what we all know deep in our hearts to be right.”

Liam FoxImage copyrightConservative Party

Image captionFormer defence secretary Liam Fox said the government had to make further cuts

Mr Fox added that the government had to make the “moral” case for reducing public spending further.

“We are borrowing from the next generation to spend today. That is otherwise known as a Ponzi scheme,” he said.

“It’s what we are operating as a national financial policy.”

He added: “If you continue to overspend there will be a day of reckoning.”

He said this was because borrowing costs would rise and the era of low inflation would not last forever, meaning economic growth on its own was not enough to balance the books.

Older people would understand the need for cuts to their benefits to help the next generation, he suggested.

“We have got to start to get really honest with people because this is not a sustainable position,” he said.

“We can’t afford it now, we can’t afford it in the future, why don’t we try to get a longer-term plan put in place so that people can make the adjustments they will need to make for us to be able to get back into balance.”

UPDATE:  An apology


I couldn’t put it better than this twitter user:

John Hurr Retweeted Peter Hale

Too late, chump. You’ve let the cat out of the bag, if it hadn’t been for social media would you have rescinded?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

…and now he’s coming for the self – employed

Reposted from the Void

As part of his cunning plan, Gidiot Osborne – the Chancer (No – not a spelling mistake) of the Exchequer, now has his sights set on the self – employed.

Plans to raise the minimum wage will mean a brutal benefit cut for the lowest earning self-employed workers due to complex changes to in-work benefits.

When Universal Credit is fully introduced (stop laughing) then anybody who is self-employed will be subject to the ‘Minimum Income Floor’.  What this means is that when calculating in-work benefits, such as Tax Credits and Housing Benefit, the DWP will assume a level of income regardless of how much the self-employed worker is actually earning.  For most people this means that the rate of benefits they receive will be based on them earning the equivalent of the minimum wage for 35 hours a week.  This will apply even if they earnt nothing at all that month, potentially plunging people hundreds of pounds into rent arrears just because they’ve had a bit of a slow period.


You’ve got to ask yourself – is on drugs or what!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thanks to Corbyn the country can now, at last, properly debate issues like Trident

Reposted from Tom London blog

The great 18th century democratic revolutionary, Tom Paine, wrote: – “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Jeremy Corbyn is now challenging the received wisdom over a whole range of issues. He is making people think. 
Corbyn is also forcing the country’s politico-media elite to engage in debate on issues which they have effectively kept off the public agenda for decades. They will find it increasingly hard to dismiss challenges to the status quo by simply dismissing the people making them as flaky, mad and extreme. They will be forced to engage with the actual arguments. 
Corbyn is a twenty first century equivalent of those brave people who challenged the consensus of their own day that slavery was acceptable, that it was right that only rich men could vote, that women were second class citizens, that non-white races were inferior, that gays should be locked up.
A good example of what Corbyn is doing is the issue of whether the Trident replacement is a good idea for our country.  Should Britain retain an “independent nuclear deterrent”?
In the last election campaign, the Tory and Labour front-benches were united in favour of replacing Trident. The media were supportive. There was no real public debate except in Scotland, where the weapons are based and where the SNP are opposed to them. 
Those in favour of renewal of Trident have generally taken the attitude in public that the case for renewal is so obvious that they would not waste their time engaging with those who are too naïve, foolish or pacifist to see it. 
Corbyn faces opposition from both inside and outside the Labour party. David Cameron’s response has been to say that Corbyn’s views show that he is “unfit for office”. 
Now that Corbyn is leader of his party, Cameron and others are unlikely to be able to close off debate by name-calling. They will be forced to engage.
People will judge the issue on the arguments. Whether people are ultimately persuaded by them or not, Corbyn has plenty of arguments that cannot be dismissed as mad or dangerous.
Here are some of them. 
1. Can the weapon system really be used independently of the USA? If so, the two countries are not always in step. They were not in 1939 or over the Falklands. What if there is a President Trump?
2. Why do we need these weapons for our security when the vast majority of countries in the world do not?
3. These weapons are useless against terrorists. Post-Cold War, is there any at all likely scenario in which they could be of any practical use?
4. Do these weapons in fact make us less safe against IS type terrorism, as there is always the risk of a security breach? 
5. The weapons always carry the risk of accidents.
6. The SNP is against having nuclear weapons in Scotland. Would people in the South East of England feel differently if the weapons were based there?
7.  If the £100 billion cost of the new weapons was all kept in the defence budget, could it not be spent more productively to ensure our security? There are people in the military who think the money would be better spent on conventional weapons.
8.  If, alternatively, some or all of the £100 billion cost was used outside the defence budget, it could make a significant difference to the prosperity and well-being of the country.
9.  The moral arguments against using WMD against civilian populations.
10. Should we ignore the words of former Tory Defence Minister, Michael Portillo? Earlier this year, he said: – “You’re probably familiar with these men who are worried about their own virility and buy large sports cars, and this I think is a case in point. [As the army and navy] have become smaller, so the status symbol of having nuclear weapons becomes more important, at least to some people. Our independent nuclear deterrent is not independent and doesn’t constitute a deterrent against anybody that we regard as an enemy. It is a waste of money and it is a diversion of funds that might otherwise be spent on perfectly useful and useable weapons and troops. But some people have not caught up with this reality.”
And what about the famously bellicose Tony Blair? In his memoirs, he said of Trident: “The expense is huge and the utility … non-existent in terms of military use.” He said he could clearly see the force of the “common sense and practical argument” against Trident, but in the end he thought that giving it up would be“too big a downgrading of our status as a nation”.
Maybe it is all about concerns over virility/status and not really about defence, as claimed, at all. Or maybe we really do need to keep nuclear weapons because without them we can never be safe. Thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, we will now have a proper debate. That’s progress.
Posted in Defence, Trident | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why The British Establishment Wants Jeremy Corbyn Buried

Reposted from Truepublica.org.uk


The term “the establishment” refers to leading politicians, senior civil servants, senior barristers and judges, aristocrats, Oxbridge academics, senior clergy, the most important financiers and industrialists, governors of the BBC, members of and top aides to the royal family to mention most, but not all.

The term in this sense is sometimes mistakenly believed to have been coined by the British journalist Henry Fairlie, who in September 1955 in the London magazine ‘The Spectator’ defined that network of prominent, well-connected people as “the Establishment”, explaining: “By the Establishment, I do not only mean the centres of official power—though they are certainly part of it—but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised”.

Following that, the term, the Establishment, was quickly picked up in newspapers and magazines all over London, making Fairlie famous.  Today, the term ‘the establishment’ is used generally in a negative sense and it’s easy to understand why.

“The British public has become deeply cynical about the political class at Westminster”, states a recent Financial Times editorial.

“Bankers feel they have an ethical duty to steal from taxpayers” – another reads

“Why are we subsidising the royal family at a time of gross inequality” says another headline.

There has been a rising tide of contempt and anger towards bankers, property speculators, hedge fund bosses, politicians and even religious leaders and the royal family.

For instance, membership of Britain’s unelected upper house, the House of Lords has soared from 666 peers in 1999 to nearly 850 today, well in excess of the House of Commons. The Lords is now the second largest parliamentary chamber in the world behind only the Chinese Peoples Congress. Whilst their chamber is 3.5 times larger, it’s population is 18 times the size of ours. The House of Lords is clearly an expanding repository of political patronage for the prime minister and is no longer fit for purpose or for a modern democracy.

It appears that those who lecture the working and middle classes about financial and moral belt-tightening are the very ones up to their necks in corruption and scandals of all kinds, including sex and paedophile rings to name but a few. The Establishment is now under fire.

In the past, these scandals were kept under wraps. They closed ranks to protect themselves. Top judges and police chiefs covered up for wealthy and powerful friends, including politicians. After all, they were from the same social class, shared the same clubs and sent their children to the same private schools, a grotesque example highlighted recently with David Cameron and Lord Ashcroft’s ‘Piggate‘ revelations.

In recent times, the rich have become much wealthier and everyone else poorer. Tories, Liberal Democrats and New Labour fell over themselves to please their friends in the City of London, a gang of speculators who stripped the nation of its prosperity and then paid themselves huge bonuses for having got away with it.

David Cameron is currently at the centre of this group, financed by the rich and super rich who was described in the commons “a dodgy prime minister surrounded by dodgy donors”, who turned a blind eye to tax avoidance by the rich and big business.

In order to keep the reigns of power, the establishment is frightened of one thing and one thing only – Democracy.

Extending real voting options to the poor would obviously present risks to their position. For instance, Conservative statesman Lord Salisbury told parliament in 1866, Giving working-class people the vote would, he stated, tempt them to pass “laws with respect to taxation and property especially favourable to them, and therefore dangerous to all other classes”. Today, you can hear exactly the same narrative against the new labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a scathing attack by media barons and corporate executives along with politicians and even military generals.

The establishment is characterised by those with ideas that legitimise and protect the concentration of wealth and power in very few hands. The establishment do not want democracy at all but a veneer of democracy must be provided.

It is because the establishment is made up of politicians who devise our laws, police to enforce those laws, corporate entities who are increasingly dominating economic performance (unpaid taxes for instance) and a smaller band of media barons who also set the terms of debate and the result of that debate that we see a closed shop network construct itself.

A conflict of interest of epic proportions. It is here that we find a common psychology and shared understanding.

The scandal surrounding the money laundering and tax evasion operations at HSBC exposes the links between a corrupt banking elite and a rotten political establishment. Lord Green, former head of HSBC, was at the centre of this tax dodgers’ row. He chaired HSBC until December 2010, when he became a Conservative trade minister and was given a peerage by David Cameron. You can see a major conflict of interest here unless afflicted with total sensory deprivation.

Lord Green was then given staunch backing by the Church of England. Needless to say, these preachers of great moral fortitude have a long tradition in protecting their own. Lord Green, a millionaire banker is a devout Christian and ordained Anglican priest. The archbishops of Canterbury and York said they were grateful to the former HSBC boss for his “contribution and expertise”. One could easily assume this to be a clan of hypocrites that have attacked politicians for failing to provide a “fresh moral vision”, but then act no differently.

Another religious entity, The Vatican, has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with Credit Suisse in London and Zurich with Morgan Bank and Chase-Manhattan Bank and others in the US and UK. All of these organisations have been involved in global, anti-social criminality adopting fraud as the basis of its profit centres, especially in London.

The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches (such as property and gold bullion) than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. With covering up sex crimes, inappropriate behaviour among prelates, political infighting and the existence of a clandestine gay cabal at the highest levels, the Catholic Church has a long shameful history and is the epitome of the establishment.

The crimes of the establishment are racking up at an alarming rate. However, if you get caught without paying your TV licence fee,laws designed to catch terrorists are used by the BBC to ensure your good behaviour.

In the meantime, one can take the example of how the establishment works when it blames society for all it’s troubles as a diversionary tactic. The media have managed to make the British population believe that 27% of social security money has been fraudulently gained when the figure is actually 0.7%. The media barons, and there are only five of them in Britain who own 80% of printed media outlets, don’t live in Britain and none pay tax in Britain but they want to continue pillaging Britain and get away with it.

This same tactic provides cover for the government to impose austerity that has caused the biggest transfer of wealth from the vulnerable, the poor, working class and middle classes directly in a route north.

The establishment are largely responsible for a neoliberal ideology that is so damaging to society as a whole – It’s the business model that fits. They use the term ‘economic freedom’ as if this is to somehow benefit us all, which it rarely does. For example, almost universally, this philosophy is used to transfer state assets to profit driven business (privatisation) that has enriched the few and made everyone else pay.

If the political system remains committed to the type of capitalism that exists in Britain today, it will always end up justifying a system that produces a mega-rich and privileged elite. Hence, why Jeremy Corbyn is such a threat to the establishment.

Jeremy Corbyn looks like the first senior politician who will not be corrupted by the establishment. Bankers will not be funding the party. He will not support war. He doesn’t support Israel, He is not religious and doesn’t believe in the monarchy. He will be the first prime minister (if elected) for decades that does not, and probably will not support the establishment.

So frightened of Corbyn, the establishment is now mobilising their entire resourcefullness at him, evidenced by a threatenedmilitary coup – not quite akin to Chile in the 1970’s but an extreme tactic to say the least, one spawned from desperation for sure.

The crisis of extreme, out of control ‘capitalism’ simply exposes the rottenness of the system. British capitalism has become casino capitalism, based upon property speculation, banking and financial services. In fact, the services sector now provides 80% of business activity in Britain leaving millions without meaningful work or income.

Extreme capitalism means a concentration of wealth at one pole, and poverty and degradation at the other with the bit in the middle being eviscerated. This is where the establishment languish. Jeremy Corbyn does not fit in. The stakes are very high.

Posted in Capitalism, Democracy, Jeremy Corbyn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Daughter of man who committed suicide after being found fit to work takes human rights case to UN

Reposted from The National

Anne-Marie Sullivan is making a complaint to the General Medical Council about its handling of her late father's work capabilty assessment

THE grieving daughter of a disabled man who took his own life after being wrongly declared fit for work is getting help from Scottish disability rights campaigners to take his case to the United Nations over human rights violations and also make an official complaint to the General Medical Council (GMC).

Medical adviser Dr Stephen Carty, an Edinburgh GP and medical adviser for the Black Triangle campaign group, is helping Michael O’Sullivan’s daughter Anne-Marie compile a complaint against the GMC’s handling of her father’s assessment and their failure to act.

As part of the UN’s investigation into Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms, they are putting together a dossier of information about the 60-year-old’s tragic case.

Details of a coroner’s report, which ruled that father-of-two O’Sullivan died as a direct result of being found fit for work by the UK Government’s disability assessors, was exposed by the Disability News Service investigative journalist John Pring last week and it’s the first time the UK Government’s ruthless welfare cuts have been blamed for the death of a claimant.

In the report to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the coroner for inner north London demanded it take action to prevent further deaths after concluding the “trigger” for O’Sullivan’s suicide was his fit-for-work assessment.

The north London man was moved from Employment Support on to Jobseeker’s Allowance after 10 years despite providing reports from three doctors, including his GP, stating that he had long-term depression and agoraphobia and was unable to work. He killed himself at his home on September 24, 2013.

Anne-Marie insisted her father should never have been ruled fit to work and plans to explore very avenue in her fight for justice.

John McArdle, Black Triangle campaign manager, said: “We are helping Anne-Marie to compile a complaint against the GMC and their lack of action against the doctor, employed by Atos, who ignored all other medical advice and found her dad fit for work.

“We have had a meeting with our campaign medical advisor Dr Carty and we are preparing the paperwork as we speak. This is a complaint against the doctor who carried out the assessment and, more importantly, about the failures in the systems and policies that we believe are to blame.

“We are also putting together a dossier to make a submission to the United Nation’s human rights rapporteur who are doing an investigation into the alleged grave and systemic violations of disabled people’s fundamental human rights and we will send a copy to the UK Government.”

Last week Black Triangle campaigners urged the GMC to “step into the breach” over O’Sullivan’s death after an Atos Healthcare-employed doctor, a former orthopaedic surgeon, assessing him for the DWP had not taken the same view as other doctors treating him that he was not fit for work.

Carty said it was “incumbent” upon the GMC to look into the case.

He told The National: “This is a very serious case, for a coroner to say that the patient committed suicide because of decision that was made, it really is incumbent on the GMC to take some leadership here.

“The GMC publishes good medical practice which advises that a doctor must act where there are systems and policies that may cause avoidable harm.

“If you take this doctor who has not done an adequate risk assessment, ignored further medical evidence and when the information is provided by the claimant not asked about suicide risk, not passed it up the chain to the medical adviser and has just made what with hindsight is a very ill-informed decision.”

Campaigners also called on the Scottish Government to get involved and put the GMC’s chairman Professor Terrence Stephenson before the Scottish Parliament’s health and reform committee for questioning.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government has made its views clear on the UK Government Work Capability Assessment. We believe it is a process that is not fit for purpose and at times can penalise vulnerable people, as this case has highlighted.

“We have established a range of programmes and services, underpinned with significant investment, to mitigate against the worst of the UK Government’s cuts.

“We support the calls for a full Department for Work and Pensions review of this case and the wider system, and we would also encourage anyone that is concerned about a Work Capability Assessment to seek advice and support.”

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John McDonnell’s speech to Labour party conference

Reposted from Politics Home

Can you imagine Gidiot Osborne making a speech like this …

I warn you this is not my usual rant, they get me into trouble and Jeremy has told me to behave myself.

Jeremy and I sat down at the beginning of his campaign for the Labour leadership to discuss what they call the strap line for his campaign leaflets and posters.

We came up with the strapline you see now.

Straight talking, honest politics.

It just embodied for me what Jeremy Corbyn is all about.

So in the spirit of straight talking, honest politics.

Here’s some straight talking.

At the heart of Jeremy’s campaign, upon which he received such a huge mandate, was the rejection of austerity politics.

But austerity is just a word almost meaningless to many people.

What does it actually mean?

Well, for Michael O’Sullivan austerity was more than a word.

Michael suffered from severe mental illness.

He was certified by his GP as unable to work but despite the evidence submitted by 3 doctors, he was assessed by the company given the contract for the work capability assessment as fit for work.

Michael killed himself after his benefits were removed.

The coroner concluded his death was a direct result of the decision in his case.

I don’t believe Michael’s case stands alone.

I am grateful to Michael’s family for allowing me to mention him today.

I send them, I am sure on behalf of all us here, our heartfelt sympathy and condolences.

But also I want them to know that this party, when we return to Government, will end this brutal treatment of disabled people.

Austerity is also not just a word for the 100,000 children in homeless families who tonight will be going to bed not in a home of their own but in a bed and breakfast or temporary accommodation.

On behalf of this party I give those children my solemn promise that we will campaign for and when we return to government we will build you all a decent and secure home in which to live.

Austerity is not just a word for the women and families across the country being hit hardest by cuts to public services.

Women still face an average 19.1% pay gap at work.

Labour will tackle the pay gap, oppose the cuts to our public services and end discrimination in our society.

Whenever we cite examples of what austerity really means the Conservatives always argue that no matter what the social cost of their austerity policies, they are necessary to rescue our economy.

Let’s be clear.

Austerity is not an economic necessity, it’s a political choice.

The leadership of the Conservative Party made a conscious decision 6 years ago that the very richest would be protected and it wouldn’t be those who caused the economic crisis, who would pay for it.

Although they said they were one nation Tories, they’ve demonstrated time and time again, they don’t represent one nation, they represent the 1%.

When we challenge their austerity programme, the Conservatives accuse us of being deficit deniers.

Let me make this absolutely clear.

Of course we accept that there is a deficit but we will take no lessons from a chancellor who promised to wipe out the deficit in one Parliament but didn’t get through half

Who promised to pay down the debt but has increased it by 50%.

I tell you straight from here on in Labour will always ensure that this country lives within its means.

We will tackle the deficit but this is the dividing line between Labour and Conservative.

Unlike them, we will not tackle the deficit on the backs of middle and low earners and especially by attacking the poorest in our society.

We have always prided ourselves on being a fair and compassionate people in this country and we are.

We will tackle the deficit fairly and we can do it.

Here’s how.

We will dynamically grow our economy.

We will strategically invest in the key industries and sectors that will deliver the sustainable long term economic growth this country needs.

Economic growth that will reach all sections, all regions and all nations of our country.

And I meant it.

I was devastated by Labour’s losses in Scotland.

The SNP has now voted against the living wage, against capping rent levels and just last week voted against fair taxes in Scotland to spend on schools.

So here is my message to the people of Scotland:

Labour is now the only anti-austerity party.

Now’s the time to come home.

We will halt the Conservative tax cuts to the wealthy paid for by cuts to families income.

Three weeks ago we saw one of the starkest examples of the difference between us and the Conservatives.

The Conservatives cut tax credits to working families to pay for a multi billion pound cut in inheritance tax.

Families who had done everything asked of them, working hard but dependent on tax credits to make up for low pay.

They will have £1000 taken from them to pay for a tax cut to the wealthiest 4% of the population.

The Conservatives argued that they’d introduced a so called living wage to make up for the tax credit cut.

But we all know that it was neither a living wage nor according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies did it make up for the amount families lost.

I tell you now, when we return to office, we will introduce a real living wage.

Labour’s plan to balance the books will be aggressive.

We will force people like Starbucks, Vodaphone, Amazon and Google and all the others to pay their fair share of taxes.

Let me tell you also, there will be cuts to tackle the deficit but our cuts will not be the number of police officers on our streets or nurses in our hospitals or teachers in our classrooms.

They will be cuts to the corporate welfare system.

There will be cuts to subsidies paid to companies that take the money and fail to provide the jobs.

Cut’s to the use of taxpayers money subsidising poverty paying bosses.

Cuts to £13 billion tax breaks given to buy to let landlords for repairing their properties, whether they undertake the repairs or not.

And cuts to the housing benefit bill when we build the homes we need and control exorbitant rents.

Where money needs to be raised it will be raised from fairer, more progressive taxation. We will be lifting the burden from middle and low-income earners paying for a crisis they did not cause.

If we inherit a deficit in 2020, fiscal policy will be used to pay down the debt and lower the deficit but at a speed that does not put into jeopardy sustainable economic growth.

We’ll use active monetary policy to stimulate demand where necessary.

We’ll also turn the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills into a powerful economic development department, in charge of public investment, infrastructure planning and setting new standards in the labour market.

This is a radical departure not just from neoliberalism but from the way past administrations tried to run the economy.


Well we just don’t think the current model can deliver.

We don’t think that destroying industries and then subsidising a low pay economy through the tax system is a good idea.

But our radicalism, it comes with a burden.

We need to prove to the British people we can run the economy better than the rich elite that runs it now.

That’s why today I have established an Economic Advisory Committee to advise us on the development and implementation of our economic strategy.

We will draw on the unchallengeable expertise of some of the world’s leading economic thinkers including Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, Professor Marianna Mazzucato, Simon Wren Lewis, Ann Pettifor and former member of the Bank of England Monetary Committee, David Blanchflower and many, many others drawn in for their specialist knowledge.

I give you this undertaking that every policy we propose and every economic instrument we consider for use will be rigorously tested to its extreme before we introduce it in government.

And we will demand that the Office of Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England put their resources at our disposal to test, test and test again to demonstrate our plans are workable and affordable.

These bodies are paid for by taxpayers and therefore should be accessible to all parties represented in Parliament.

In government we will establish and abide by that convention.

The foundation stones of our economic policy are prosperity and social justice.

We will create what Marianna Mazzucato describes as the entrepreneurial state.

A strategic state works in partnership with businesses, entrepreneurs and workers to stimulate growth.

Government’s role is to provide the opportunity for massive advances in technology, skills and organisational change that will drive up productivity, create new innovative products and new markets.

That requires patient long term finance for investment in research from a effectively resourced and empowered national investment bank.

A successful and fair economy cannot be created without the full involvement of its workforce.

That’s why restoring trade union rights and extending them to ensure workers are involved in determining the future of their companies is critical to securing the skills development and innovation to compete in a globalised economy.

We will promote modern alternative public, co-operative, worker controlled and genuinely mutual forms of ownership.

At this stage let me say that I found the Conservatives rant against Jeremy’s proposal to bring rail back into public ownership ironic when George Osborne was touring China selling off to the Chinese State Bank any British asset he could lay his hands on.

It seems the state nationalising our assets is ok with the Tories as long as it’s the Chinese state or in the case of our railways the Dutch or French.

Institutional change has to reflect our policy change.

I want us to stand back and review the major institutions that are charged with managing our economy to check that they are fit for purpose and how they can be made more effective.

As a start I have invited Lord Bob Kerslake, former head of the civil service, to bring together a team to review the operation of the Treasury itself.

I will also be setting up a review of the Bank of England.

Let me be clear that we will guarantee the independence of the Bank of England.

It is time though to open a debate on the Bank’s mandate that was set by Parliament 18 years ago.

The mandate focuses on inflation, and even there the Bank regularly fails to meet its target.

We will launch a debate on expanding that mandate to include new objectives for its Monetary Policy Committee including growth, employment and earnings.

We will review the operation and resourcing of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to ensure that HMRC is capable of addressing tax evasion and avoidance and modernising our tax collection system.

This is how we will prepare for the future and the day we return to government.

Let me now return to today’s economy because to be frank, I am fearful for the present.

George Osborne fought the last election on the myth that the slowest economic recovery from recession in a century has been some sort of economic success.

In reality the Tories presided over the longest fall in workers’ pay since Queen Victoria sat on the throne.

A recovery based upon rising house prices, growing consumer credit, and inadequate reform of the financial sector.

An imbalanced economy overwhelmingly reliant on insecure jobs in the service sector.

Our balance of payments deficit, which is the gap between what we earn from the rest of the world and what we pay to the rest of the world, is at the highest levels it’s been since modern records began.

I worry that the same pre-crash warning signs are reappearing.

The UK economy is in recovery despite the Chancellor’s policies and not because of them.

You know the narrative George Osborne wanted to present of us this week.

Deficit deniers risking the security of the nation etc.

It was so obvious you could write it yourself blindfolded.

He has brought forward his grandiose fiscal charter not as serious policy making but as a political stunt.

A trap for us to fall into.

We are not playing those games any more.

Let me explain the significance of what we are doing today.

We are embarking on the immense task of changing the economic discourse in this country.

Step by step:

First we are throwing off that ridiculous charge that we are deficit deniers.

Second we are saying tackling the deficit is important but we are rejecting austerity as the means to do it.

Third we are setting out an alternative based upon dynamically growing our economy, ending the tax cuts for the rich and addressing the scourge of tax evasion and avoidance.

Fourth having cleared that debris from our path we are opening up a national discussion on the reality of the roles of deficits, surpluses, long-term investment, debt and monetary policy.

Fifth we will develop a coherent, concrete alternative that grows a green, sustainable, prosperous economy for all.

We are moving on the economic debate in this country from puerile knockabout to an adult conversation.

I believe the British people are fed up of being patronised and talked down to by politicians with little more than silly slogans and misleading analogies.

This is an immense task.

That’s why we need to draw upon all the talents outside and inside the party.

I admit that I was disappointed that after Jeremy’s election some refused to serve.

In the spirit of solidarity upon which our movement was founded I say come back and help us succeed.

We are in an era of new politics.

People will be encouraged to express their views in constructive debate.

Don’t mistake debate for division.

Don’t mistake democracy for disunity.

This is the new politics.

Many still don’t understand its potential.

As socialists we will display our competence with our compassion

Idealists yes but ours is a pragmatic idealism to get things done, to transform our society.

We remain inspired by the belief and hope that another world is possible.

This is our opportunity to prove it.

Let’s seize it.


– See more at: https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/news/john-mcdonnells-speech-labour-party-conference#sthash.DuJbQGKd.dpuf

… and to end on a musical note … a song that I feel sums up the mood …
Bob Dylan The Times They Are A Changin’ 1964 –

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Upper Tribunal says ALL bedroom tax decisions unlawfully determined

Reposted from SPeye Joe (Welfare Writes blog)

Excellent news from the Upper Tribunal regarding “Bedroom Tax”

Yet another flawed government policy and not only that it’s unlawful as well!

Read more about it here:-


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