Wealth Inequality in UK Now Equal to Nigeria, UN Report

Scriptonite Daily

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The UK has been sliding down the UN Human Development Report since 1991, and by 1996 became the most unequal nation in the developed world .  The gap between rich and poor in UK society has risen sharply during the leadership of the Coalition government, yet long before these people got power, the gap between rich and poor in UK society was equal to Nigeria, with the poorest here living on roughly the same as their counterparts in Hungary and Korea.

Inequality, Inequality, Inequality

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The 1996 and 2013 reports makes truly depressing reading, but should come as no surprise to those warning of exactly these results from ideological austerity policies.

Key Findings:

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Zero hours, zero benefits, zero enthusiasm. Why would anyone take a job on these terms?

Vox Political

The rise of the zero-hours contract must be deeply disturbing to all those with an interest in fair employment practices.

The arrangement is that an employee agrees to be available for work whenever required, but with no set number of hours or times of work specified. The employee is expected to be on-call at all times but is paid only for the number of hours that are actually worked.

There appears to be no pension scheme, no sickness cover, no holiday entitlement – no rights other than those laid down by health and safety regulations (which the government is trying to ditch) and the National Minimum Wage Act (also under threat from the Conservative-led government).

Also, the system is open to abuse by managers, who can use it to reward some employees (and the term is used in its loosest possible sense) with extra hours or punish others with…

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Xenophobia

Vox Political

Those of us who are lucky enough not to live in London have yet to see the amazing advertising vans that have been conveying instructions to Conservative-leaning voters, to treat with hatred, suspicion and contempt anybody who is not a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant.

It seems clear that these vehicles are intended to promote racism and heighten racial tension, setting British citizens against each other – because the aim is to encourage the suspicion that another person may be an illegal immigrant – in the same way Coalition policy on social security set citizens against each other by pretending it was commonplace for individuals to receive more in benefits than in paid work.

According to the Public Order Act 1986, it is an offence for a person to publish threatening, abusive or insulting material if this is intended to stir up hatred against any group in the UK…

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North East People’s Assembly: build a movement to stop cuts

North East Peoples Assembly Against Austerity

16 February 2013, when over 1000 marched in Newcastle

By Alex Snowden

DISCLAIMER: The following article is the opinion of its author and does not represent the views of the People’s Assembly or of any political party

The North East People’s Assembly is a unique event. It is not simply another anti-cuts meeting or conference. The all-day convention on Saturday 14 September will be bigger, broader and more representative than any previous anti-austerity meeting in north-east England. And it will be a platform for action, not merely an occasion for talks and discussions.

Hundreds of people – representing a wide range of campaigns, trade unions and political backgrounds – will gather at the fabulous Northern Stage, in Newcastle’s city centre, to plan the resistance to austerity. We will be sharing experiences, exchanging ideas and developing the connections that can shape a more powerful co-ordinated opposition to cuts.

The regional…

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non-violent action

Views and comments?

The Slow Burning Fuse

The Methods of Nonviolent Action

(from Gene Sharp, The Methods of Nonviolent Action, Boston 1973)

FORMAL STATEMENTS

  1. Public speeches
  2. Letters of opposition or support
  3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
  4. Signed public declarations
  5. Declarations of indictment and intention
  6. Group or mass petitions

COMMUNICATIONS WITH A WIDER AUDIENCE

  1. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
  2. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
  3. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
  4. Newspapers and journals
  5. Records, radio, and television
  6. Skywriting and earthwriting

GROUP REPRESENTATIONS

  1. Deputations
  2. Mock awards
  3. Group lobbying
  4. Picketing
  5. Mock elections

SYMBOLIC PUBLIC ACTS

  1. Displays of flags and symbolic colours
  2. Wearing of symbols
  3. Prayer and worship
  4. Delivering symbolic objects
  5. Protest disrobings
  6. Destruction of own property
  7. Symbolic lights
  8. Displays of portraits
  9. Paint as protest
  10. New signs and names
  11. Symbolic sounds
  12. Symbolic reclamations
  13. Rude gestures

PRESSURES ON INDIVIDUALS

  1. “Haunting” officials
  2. Taunting officials
  3. Fraternization
  4. Vigils

DRAMA AND MUSIC

  1. Humourous skits and pranks
  2. Performances of plays and music
  3. Singing

PROCESSIONS

  1. Marches
  2. Parades
  3. Religious processions
  4. Pilgrimages
  5. Motorcades

HONOURING THE DEAD

  1. Political mourning
  2. Mock funerals
  3. Demonstrative funerals
  4. Homage at burial places

PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES

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Amnesty International has condemned the erosion of human rights of disabled people in UK

Politics and Insights

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Dr Simon Duffy recently wrote an outstanding briefing: How the cuts target disabled people which shows very clearly how the poorest and most vulnerable citizens are paying for an economic problem that they did not cause.

Austerity has never had any moral legitimacy, or indeed any other kind of basis for validity. We know it isn’t working. Osborne’s careful selection of “leading economists”  (who are mostly business leaders with vested interests, rather than economists of an  academic calibre) to endorse his very damaging austerity program meant that he carefully excluded those who presented valid criticisms of the centrepiece of Osborne’s strategy: accelerated austerity for purely ideological ends, (see also Minarchism: the Nightwatchman State), and it halted the recovery that happened under the previous Labour Government. Much of the case for austerity also rests on The great debt lie and the myth of the structural deficit.

The widespread and relentless use…

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UK Sleepwalking into Fascism: Workhouses for Disabled, The #RacistVan, Racial Profiling

Know your rights!

Scriptonite Daily

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This week has seen a plethora of actions by the UK government, which if adopted by any other country, any compassionate person would consider fascist. Government sponsored vehicles are roaming the streets telling people to dob in suspected illegal immigrants, the UK Border Agency are stopping mostly non-white commuters on the transport networks and requesting they display credentials to prove their right to be here, and disabled people are being carted off to modern day workhouses. Yet in spite of all this, many are still reluctant to face the gut wrenching reality that all is not well in blighty.

Godwin’s Law? Oh Give it Up

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No doubt someone is already preparing a comment accusing me of Godwin’s Law for making this comparison.  So I’ll take a moment to set out why I am making it, and why it does not conform to the term.

Godwin’s Law was intended…

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