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'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

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'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:30 pm

Original including links is at: http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/scroungers-irrelevant-to-fairness-why-govts-really-obsessed-by-them/

Ivanhoe - this is the article you were asking about, although it's evolved slightly.

'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them



I’ve written variously about this Tory-led government’s fetish for demonising the vulnerable in order to facilitate its attacks on their state support. Disabled people, young people, housing benefit claimants, the unemployed – all come under sustained propaganda attack from government spokespeople, echoed by the right-wing press and even, on occasion, by the BBC.

This demonisation usually takes the form of some kind of ‘scrounger’ rhetoric, although the perpetrators will throw in ‘shirker’ or ‘skiver’ occasionally, just to mix it up a little. It’s clearly a tactic aimed at the basest instincts of people who are able, or willing, to believe it and resent the ‘scroungers’ who are supposedly the opposite of the ‘strivers’, or ‘those who work hard and do the right thing’, according to the Tory mantra.

This kind of rhetoric is in every government statement about the ‘Uprating Bill’ that will be voted on today in the Commons, as ministers talk about whether it’s ‘fair that those who don’t work should receive better rises than those who work hard and do the right thing’, or whatever variant they pick for a particular statement.

Of course, the rhetoric has very little basis in fact. Most benefit recipient – 60% – are working people who are so poorly paid by their employers or so exploited by their landlords that they can’t manage without state assistance.

But is any of it true? More to the point, if it is – does it matter? And do the government’s stated reasons for targeting them have anything to do with the real reasons?

There don’t seem to be any firm figures that indicate how many of such people there actually are, but certainly they’re far fewer than the government would like everyone to think.

For example, an article in the Guardian highlights cases in which the government grossly exaggerated ‘scrounger’ issues for political purposes:

Example 1

Ministers had made a big issue – in order to justify their benefits cap – of a supposedly high number of families that were receiving £100,000 a year in housing benefit.

The reality? There were only 5 such families, in the whole country.

Example 2

Ministers briefed that over 1,300 people had been ‘off work for a decade with diarrhoea.

The reality? They were suffering from cancer and other severe bowel diseases.

Anecdotal evidence also seems to back up the idea that people avoiding work by choice are a very small minority. For example, on a discussion forum for social care professionals, in a debate about ‘scroungers’, one wrote:

I expect our experiences depend a lot on the location and teams that we might work in. Personally I see a LOT more people who are not claiming the benefits that they are wholly entitled to. I’ve come across a few families that might have stepped out of the front page of the Daily Mail but that has been very uncommon in my experience.

There’s no real doubt that a small percentage of people living long-term on benefits do so (as the government likes to put it) ‘as a lifestyle choice’. But most of what evidence there is seems to suggest that it really is a very small percentage.

However, I believe that – at least now and for the foreseeable future – their existence is absolutely irrelevant to the benefits issue. Any reference to them by politicians and media as justification for any benefit reduction or cap is absolutely, and deliberately, misleading – and hides a true motive that’s much darker.

Here’s why.

The numbers game

For the sake of argument, and so that no one can accuse me of minimising the issue to make my assertion more convincing, let’s assume that every single one of the long-term unemployed are living on benefits as a ‘lifestyle choice’. It’s a ludicrous proposition, of course, but bear with me for the moment.

The latest ONS statistics indicate that there are 449,000 people who have been on unemployment benefits for 24 months or more. I’m sure you’ll agree that ‘lifestyle scroungers’ are going to be, almost without exception, in this category.

So, if every single person in that category was a ‘scrounger’, choosing to live on benefits, that means we have, at worst, 449,000 scroungers in this country – out of a jobless total of around 2.5 million.

However, the number of available jobs in the whole of the UK – again according to the latest ONS stats – is 489,000. For 2.5 million unemployed people.

This means that, even if you can get someone into every available vacancy, you would still have over 2 million people unemployed. Of course, you never will fill every vacancy – many of those jobs will be vacant because they require special skills and experience that aren’t available, or because they pay so badly that no person in their right mind would want them.

But, again for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the government cuts benefits so drastically that all our notional ‘scroungers’ decide they are going to have to take those jobs – and we’ll assume that they have the necessary skills to do them.

What situation do we then have? Simple: over 2 million people who want to work, and no jobs for them.

Unless and until we reach a ‘full employment’ situation – one in which there is work for every person who wants to work and is capable of working – the ‘lifestyle scroungers’ are absolutely irrelevant to the benefits or ‘fairness’ issues.

In the current situation, where we have more than 5 unemployed people for every available job, every ‘scrounger’ forced into work means one less job for someone who wants to work. Somebody is going to be on benefits – a lot of ‘somebodies’, in fact – even if we had zero scroungers.

The only time when it would be legitimate to spend Parliamentary time and effort even discussing the genuine ‘scroungers’ would be if we ever return to a full-employment situation. However, there’s a massive reason why we won’t in the foreseeable future – and why it’s incredibly hypocritical for anyone to use so-called ‘scroungers’ as an excuse to ‘bash the benefit claimants’ as the government and the right-wing press love to do. It’s tied up in the last 2 sentences of the previous paragraph – but all should become clear shortly.

The ugly truth

For all their ‘striver vs skiver’ rhetoric, right-wingers don’t want everyone in work – and that includes politicians. They just don’t want people to be able to live on benefits in the long-term - for a very specific reason. That’s possibly a shocking thought for you. However, it’s not just my opinion – it’s on record as fact.

In 1997, the Bank of England’s ‘Monetary Policy Committee’ (MPC) met to discuss its business. In the minutes arising from that meeting, an incredibly frank and extremely revealing couple of paragraphs were included:



According to the Bank of England’s MPC, high numbers of long-term unemployed people does not push down wages – to them a desirable thing – to the same extent as numbers in short-term unemployment.

Lots of people unemployed in the short-term means that those in work are more worried about their job-security – and are therefore more likely to tolerate lower wages and less likely to demand increases. High numbers of long-term unemployed are less ‘effective’ in holding the employed to ransom, because the long-term unemployed aren’t as much of a threat to their job tenure.

Another part of the same document talks about a ‘natural level of unemployment’, saying that if

“the level of unemployment [was] below the natural rate, increasing inflation would generally result.”

In other words, a certain level of unemployment is natural and desirable – the wealthy right does not want everybody to have a job.

The Bank of England’s motivation is, notionally at least, a concern that upward pressure on inflation might stoke higher inflation. These concerns have not gone away since 1997. In one of its 2012 reports on inflationary pressures, the MPC stated:

Since the second quarter of 2011, the number of vacancies had been broadly stable while unemployment had increased, suggesting that the unemployed were less able to fill those vacancies.

But for employers, and the politicians they donate to, there’s another, clearer, baser motive.

Greed.

David Cameron, George Osborne, Ian Duncan Smith and co want there to be a lot of people out of work – because that keeps the rest of us ‘in our place’, and stops us expecting pay rises that will reduce fat, corporate profits. Whatever the rhetoric, the fiscal cost of that level of unemployment is perfectly acceptable to the bankers and CEOs, because it bolsters profits and executive salaries. The Bank of England says so.

They just don’t want there to be many long-term unemployed people – because that doesn’t do the job as effectively. So the Tories and their donors have a vested interest in targeting the long-term unemployed – one that has precisely nothing to do with fairness.

To you and me, if we had to choose which of the 2.5 million unemployed people to put into the <500,000 jobs that exist for them, would probably see it as best, fairest and most logical to fill those jobs with people that really want to do them – whether they’ve been unemployed for 6 weeks or 6 years – rather than have them filled by people who don’t really want to do them.

But the government and its wealthy friends have a different agenda. One that’s better served by having only short-term unemployed people who are desperate for work – so that a sword is always hanging over the rest of us that employers can use to dampen our ‘uppity’ expectations of decent pay and conditions.

Scroungers are irrelevant to the issue of benefits and fairness while we have our current level of unemployment. They are not irrelevant to the Tories’ real, strategic but hidden aims – which go against the very same hard-working ‘strivers’ whose side they claim to be on.

When you hear about the vote today, or think about the issues, or consider whether Labour is doing the right thing for the country by voting against the ‘uprating bill’, bear all this in mind.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:19 pm

I would love to wipe that smug arrogant smirk off his face and I do not mean with my fist that way my fist would not come back covered in SHYTE, I was thinking maybe Machete or something along those lines. Yes I am a nasty piece of work but only when it concerns the tory Ideology.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by boatlady on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:51 pm

SK again a lucid and convincing argument, which shows up this government for the ideology driven and non humane gang they are
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by sickchip on Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:56 pm

skwalker,

....like your good self I have tried to put the case for, what I perceive to be fairness, justice, balance, and reasonable levels of equality/inequality, for many years. However the fact that the british public are apparently happy to consent to these regressive, divisive, and cruel government policies on welfare has led me to despair more than ever of my fellow citizens. I feel we've reached a point where there is no hope, and I am thus considering washing my hands of debate, and political argument..........I really am that disgusted in the apathy and selfishness of the people of this country.

The Labour party too have responded in a vapid, tepid fashion - seemingly only concerned with pleasing a foolish public persuaded by tory propaganda......instead of being bothered to educate the public against tory propaganda. The labour party should be reacting angrily and defending the underprivileged - instead they are caught compromising with tory policies in their concern to win middle class votes. Frankly, they've been abysmal.

Good luck, skwalker! But I believe the likes of us are now banging our heads against a wall. Maybe we should just let it be and wait until it gets so bad that people begin to question why their worlds are collapsing - then we can turn around and say - we told you so, but you didn't listen, and now it's too late....it serves you damn well.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:09 pm

"People get the Government they deserve."

Compare and contrast. (Rough notes to be attached to the Exam Paper)

15 minutes. 15 marks available.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:54 am

sickchip wrote:skwalker,

....like your good self I have tried to put the case for, what I perceive to be fairness, justice, balance, and reasonable levels of equality/inequality, for many years. However the fact that the british public are apparently happy to consent to these regressive, divisive, and cruel government policies on welfare has led me to despair more than ever of my fellow citizens. I feel we've reached a point where there is no hope, and I am thus considering washing my hands of debate, and political argument..........I really am that disgusted in the apathy and selfishness of the people of this country.

The Labour party too have responded in a vapid, tepid fashion - seemingly only concerned with pleasing a foolish public persuaded by tory propaganda......instead of being bothered to educate the public against tory propaganda. The labour party should be reacting angrily and defending the underprivileged - instead they are caught compromising with tory policies in their concern to win middle class votes. Frankly, they've been abysmal.

Good luck, skwalker! But I believe the likes of us are now banging our heads against a wall. Maybe we should just let it be and wait until it gets so bad that people begin to question why their worlds are collapsing - then we can turn around and say - we told you so, but you didn't listen, and now it's too late....it serves you damn well.

I agree we are at the moment banging our heads against a brick wall sickchip, but I tend to think that come April when the 80% of there cuts come in then and only then will the people across the UK wonder what has hit them, then I will be one of the first to say "You would not Listen" we tried to tell you but you where wearing your BLINKERS at the time. I understand your frustration I suffer the same its like talking to a brick wall but by 2015 the TRUTH about the tories and L/Ds dirty tricks will have surfaced and will be felt by all but the ELITE.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by KnarkyBadger on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:30 am

This country is a lot bleaker today for millions.
The poor, the even poorer and us disabled are caught in a perfect storm of lies, hate and ignorance.
Firstly the Lies: The tories, fib-dems and the labour party have all used them to shift the blame for the global collapse of the economy away from their friends bankers and capitalists and moved it on the "poor". The "poor" wanted to many things like schools, hospitals and benefits cos their to idle to work. These lies repeated every hour on the hour for nearly 3yrs by an over whelmingly supportive media have led these lies to become the new "truth".
Hate: The government lies machine has whipped many in Britain today into a frenzy of Hate against their fellow citizens. To put it rather crudely into a "class war" setting. The ruling class turning on the lies machine at the top to turn the middle against the working and the working against the new under class. This these attacks began in earnest back on that day of infamy in May 2010 we've seen hate crimes against the disabled (I've had to many incidents to even count now) explode as people turn of the percieved weakest in society. This coupled with the Strivers v Shirkers BS of the last few months have seen the working poor turn in considerable numbers on the unemployed. Also the attempt to split Public and private sector workers from uniting.
Ignorance: The "I'm alright jack, so sod you" attitiude of the thatcher (spits) years is back (if it ever truely went away). People simply do not know or seemingly even care about what is happening. Bombarded daily with government lies or distractions like the jubilee (nothing is more upsetting than seeing the exploited cheering the exploiters), royal babies, olympics or the old its all the fault of the EU and those dirty foreigners/illegal immigrants taking all our money arguement from the likes of Nigel Farage and his party of oddballs and proto-fascists UKIP.

So whats to be done? Firstly somehow we must unite to form a coherrent opposition to this evil being done in our country. Unite, but where or how? Is the big question. The sad but obvious answer is the Labour Party (which as a Socialist hurts me to say) yes its betrayed us the lower classes numberous times BUT and its a big but its the only organisation with the numbers and resources to do it. Labour 1st needs to rediscover its soul, like what happened it early 1980's the party within a party this time Progress not Militant needs to be expelled - they are all careerist tories anyway.
I've been involved in lots of anti-cuts movements, rallies and protests over the last few years - mostly if we're honest a failure due to lack of unity. Disjointed action simply does not work and allows different groups to be turned against each other.
So what of the unions? They most stand together and not allow tories to buy them of one by one as happened over pensions this time last year. Big show piece rallies are all well and good but the TUC most back them 100% twas a disgrace on October 20th we had 150,000 - 200,000 on the streets when 18months earlier we had 750,000+.
Alternative options? Revolution? Great idea but not going to happen any time soon with such a docile population. A new mass workers party? Not another will, resources, money or people for this to happen effectivly, re TUSC doomed to failure.
Existing political parties? The left: The combined numbers are just to small. SWP claims 7,000 but active members 2500ish, SP (was militant 4000, maybe half that active) are big players add in tens if not hundreds of smaller factions, parties, sects etc. Plus they'd rather fight each other over tactics and dogma.

All in all a depressing picture of Britain 2013. Sorry if this is boring, unconstructed rubbish but I'm stuck in ill and needed a brain dump - I'll revist later and clear it up.

Badger
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:40 am

sickchip wrote:skwalker,

....like your good self I have tried to put the case for, what I perceive to be fairness, justice, balance, and reasonable levels of equality/inequality, for many years. However the fact that the british public are apparently happy to consent to these regressive, divisive, and cruel government policies on welfare has led me to despair more than ever of my fellow citizens. I feel we've reached a point where there is no hope, and I am thus considering washing my hands of debate, and political argument..........I really am that disgusted in the apathy and selfishness of the people of this country.

The Labour party too have responded in a vapid, tepid fashion - seemingly only concerned with pleasing a foolish public persuaded by tory propaganda......instead of being bothered to educate the public against tory propaganda. The labour party should be reacting angrily and defending the underprivileged - instead they are caught compromising with tory policies in their concern to win middle class votes. Frankly, they've been abysmal.

Good luck, skwalker! But I believe the likes of us are now banging our heads against a wall. Maybe we should just let it be and wait until it gets so bad that people begin to question why their worlds are collapsing - then we can turn around and say - we told you so, but you didn't listen, and now it's too late....it serves you damn well.

I sympathise, mate - but I can't agree with you. If we 'wash our hands', we just join the ranks of the apathetic and make ourselves culpable. If those who do care and understand don't take on the job of sounding the alarm and educating those who don't get it yet, the opportunity to say 'told you so' in future will be scant consolation.

Once people understand, they get angry and they want change. I'm a good example of that, I think. Might I ask you to take a look at this post of mine, which was my favourite post of 2012 precisely because it betokens hope?

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/an-nhs-rally-a-homeless-man-3-privileges-and-why-the-tories-must-ultimately-fail/
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by trevorw2539 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:42 am

Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:02 pm

trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Thank you very much, mate!
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:29 pm

The Unthinking Person's Guide to scrounging ....

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3091717/The-Sun-declares-war-on-Britains-benefits-culture.html

As an old "friend" of ours used to say, "You couldn't make it up!"
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:18 pm

trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Skywalker is the best poster on this forum along with Ivan, you get the TRUTH on facts figures and they have special gift of being able to SNIFF out the LIES of the Tories and L/Ds now that is something else.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:37 pm

Redflag wrote:
trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Skywalker is the best poster on this forum along with Ivan, you get the TRUTH on facts figures and they have special gift of being able to SNIFF out the LIES of the Tories and L/Ds now that is something else.

Thank you! But I have to disagree. Ivan's excellent, of course, but there are a lot of other people who make great contributions. This forum is where I post for 'peer review', basically - I value people's feedback, largely because the general standard of thought is very high.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:31 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:
Redflag wrote:
trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Skywalker is the best poster on this forum along with Ivan, you get the TRUTH on facts figures and they have special gift of being able to SNIFF out the LIES of the Tories and L/Ds now that is something else.

Thank you! But I have to disagree. Ivan's excellent, of course, but there are a lot of other people who make great contributions. This forum is where I post for 'peer review', basically - I value people's feedback, largely because the general standard of thought is very high.

Ivan is the one that always gives links to his truth, lot more than some on here.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:53 pm

Redflag wrote:
skwalker1964 wrote:
Redflag wrote:
trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Skywalker is the best poster on this forum along with Ivan, you get the TRUTH on facts figures and they have special gift of being able to SNIFF out the LIES of the Tories and L/Ds now that is something else.

Thank you! But I have to disagree. Ivan's excellent, of course, but there are a lot of other people who make great contributions. This forum is where I post for 'peer review', basically - I value people's feedback, largely because the general standard of thought is very high.

Ivan is the one that always gives links to his truth, lot more than some on here.

Indeed! My attention wasn't to say anything less about Ivan's posts (nor even to be overly modest about the compliment to me! lol) - just to acknowledge that there are a number of great posters on the forum. Smile
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:47 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:
Redflag wrote:
skwalker1964 wrote:
Redflag wrote:
trevorw2539 wrote:Skywalker.

I rarely comment on political issues but your item at the top of this page was good.

Skywalker is the best poster on this forum along with Ivan, you get the TRUTH on facts figures and they have special gift of being able to SNIFF out the LIES of the Tories and L/Ds now that is something else.

Thank you! But I have to disagree. Ivan's excellent, of course, but there are a lot of other people who make great contributions. This forum is where I post for 'peer review', basically - I value people's feedback, largely because the general standard of thought is very high.

Ivan is the one that always gives links to his truth, lot more than some on here.

Indeed! My attention wasn't to say anything less about Ivan's posts (nor even to be overly modest about the compliment to me! lol) - just to acknowledge that there are a number of great posters on the forum. Smile

With you and Ivan being more involved in politics it stands to reason you both know more than me.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Redflag wrote:
With you and Ivan being more involved in politics it stands to reason you both know more than me.

Give it time! Smile

I have no official involvement in politics except as an individual who got informed, and then got mad. I joined Labour a year ago because of it, so you beat me to it lol. I don't know Ivan's exact circumstances, but I suspect they're similar.

Being on here and on Twitter will soon have you as informed as anyone.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by boatlady on Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:20 pm

flower lol!
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:13 pm

boatlady wrote: flower lol!

Skywalker is right I have just recently went on twitter it is gr8 cheers
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by boatlady on Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Steve
You've got a fan club
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:24 am

boatlady wrote:Steve
You've got a fan club

Steve already knows, I hope you come on to twitter boatlady it is one way of keeping up with what is going on in the political world.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:17 am

boatlady wrote:Steve
You've got a fan club

It's a good thing I don't blush easily lol.

Membership is free, mind - but there are no free t-shirts or anything! Smile
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by boatlady on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:20 am

Red
You're dead right about Twitter.
I go on most days and, though often depressing it's definitely a place to keep abreast
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:44 pm

The point surely being that when Government Ministers can only find common abuse to be appropriate to their Cause, the Cause is already lost.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:15 pm

boatlady wrote:Red
You're dead right about Twitter.
I go on most days and, though often depressing it's definitely a place to keep abreast

I'm glad your enjoying it boatlady, my problem is if I come up against a right winger I just lose it but Steve has given me a few ways of dealing with it thanks Steve.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:43 pm

Always nice to learn that someone else recognises the truth: Former member of the Bank of England's interest-rate committee David Blanchflower writes in today's Independent under the headline, "The jobless are lazy? That's just a vile lie."

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-jobless-are-lazy-thats-just-a-vile-lie-8449871.html?origin=internalSearch
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:02 pm

"That's just a vile lie."

Thereby making it instantly attractive to the Tory mind... Shocked
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:03 pm

skwalker1964 wrote:
Redflag wrote:
With you and Ivan being more involved in politics it stands to reason you both know more than me.

Give it time! Smile

I have no official involvement in politics except as an individual who got informed, and then got mad. I joined Labour a year ago because of it, so you beat me to it lol. I don't know Ivan's exact circumstances, but I suspect they're similar.

Being on here and on Twitter will soon have you as informed as anyone.

I was like you Steve it took me years before I joined the Labour party, what spurred me on to join was the Tories getting into power in May 2010 and within days of that I was a very proud Labour party member plus I am well over 21 years old but do have loads of experience but not in politics that is around average knowledge thanks to people on this forum.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by bobby on Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:57 am

PLEASE SEND THIS BACK AROUND TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS – MAYBE THEN THE "GREY REVOLUTION" will begin --- MAYBE !!

POLITICIANS PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!

FORWARDING THIS TO EVERYBODY !!!

‘Entitlement’ my arse, I paid good money for my State Pension and other benefits!!!! Just because they borrowed that money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout !! Gold plated MP pensions and Civil Service Government benefits, aka free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, 20 weeks paid holidays, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call me a 'greedy pensioner' and my retirement, an ‘entitlement’ !!!!!!.....scroll down................

What the HELL's wrong with us???


WAKE UP BRITAIN!!!!

Someone please tell me what the HELL's wrong with all the people that run this country!!!!!!

We're "broke" & can't help our own Pensioners, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,???????????
But spent 1.2 billions of £££'s for G-20 events!
In the last few months we have provided aid to India, Greece and Turkey . And now Afghanistan , Pakistan ...... Home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of POUNDS!!!

Our retirees living on a 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organisations pour Hundreds of Billions of ££££££'s and tons of food to foreign countries!

They call Old Age Security and Healthcare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.

GREAT BRITAIN: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, hospitals being closed, average income families who can't afford dental care, elderly going without 'needed' med's and having to travel 10's of miles for medical care with no reimbursement of cost, vehicles we can't afford fuel for, lack of affordable housing, and mentally ill without treatment - etc., etc.

YET.....
They have a 'benefit' for the people of foreign countries...ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents, clothes, bedding, doctors, and medical supplies.

Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries.

Sad isn't it?


99% of people won't have the guts to forward this.
I'm one of the 1% --
I Just Did.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Ivan on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:00 pm

Being on here and on Twitter will soon have you as informed as anyone.
skwalker1964. Sorry to continue the diversion from the thread topic, but I must put in a word for Twitter. One board on this forum which seems to be patronised only by me these days is this one, where sharp or amusing ‘tweets’ can be re-posted:-
http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/t319-favourite-tweets

I was reluctant to sign up to Twitter as I had a preconceived idea that it was all about people discussing what they had for dinner and what time they were going down the pub, but apparently that’s Facebook! However, I’m very pleased I did join Twitter in November 2011, as I’ve met some really nice people there, some who I value as friends and quite a few who have joined Cutting Edge. (I’ve also met a few very nasty and spiteful people too, but I won’t bore you with the details!). I have about 2,600 followers, including 10 MPs, two of whom (Rachel Reeves and Emily Thornberry) are in the shadow cabinet.

Being restricted to 140 characters at a time is a useful exercise in learning to be concise, but it does also encourage the soundbite mentality. However, what gets re-tweeted often provides links to interesting articles in the news, but of course if you want to write a reasoned and in-depth article, then Cutting Edge is the place to be!

P.S. I think it’s a pity that when we have twenty discussion boards, so many of you tend to congregate on just two, UK Politics and UK Economics, often missing the serious issues on boards such as this:-
http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/f32-other-political-and-economic-issues
So come on members, put yourselves about a bit more, please! Shocked






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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by tlttf on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Nothing like a bit of self promotion Ivan. Very Happy Though in all honesty congratulations.

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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by blueturando on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:19 pm

So come on members, put yourselves about a bit more, please!


Hmm Did that in my 20's and early 30's...don't have the energy for that anymore Smile

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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 3:28 pm

Ivan wrote:-
I think it’s a pity that when we have twenty discussion boards, so many of you tend to congregate on just two, UK Politics and UK Economics, often missing the serious issues on boards such as this:-
http://cuttingedge2.forumotion.co.uk/f32-other-political-and-economic-issues
So come on members, put yourselves about a bit more, please! Shocked
I've been getting into a wider range of threads lately and it's been very rewarding. Can't believe I hadn't seen the 'favourite tweet' thread, though!

I think we have a few people on here who'd be stars on Twitter, if they're not already.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:33 pm

Regrettably perhaps, the customer is always right.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:28 am

skwalker1964 wrote:
sickchip wrote:skwalker,

....like your good self I have tried to put the case for, what I perceive to be fairness, justice, balance, and reasonable levels of equality/inequality, for many years. However the fact that the british public are apparently happy to consent to these regressive, divisive, and cruel government policies on welfare has led me to despair more than ever of my fellow citizens. I feel we've reached a point where there is no hope, and I am thus considering washing my hands of debate, and political argument..........I really am that disgusted in the apathy and selfishness of the people of this country.

The Labour party too have responded in a vapid, tepid fashion - seemingly only concerned with pleasing a foolish public persuaded by tory propaganda......instead of being bothered to educate the public against tory propaganda. The labour party should be reacting angrily and defending the underprivileged - instead they are caught compromising with tory policies in their concern to win middle class votes. Frankly, they've been abysmal.

Good luck, skwalker! But I believe the likes of us are now banging our heads against a wall. Maybe we should just let it be and wait until it gets so bad that people begin to question why their worlds are collapsing - then we can turn around and say - we told you so, but you didn't listen, and now it's too late....it serves you damn well.
I sympathise, mate - but I can't agree with you. If we 'wash our hands', we just join the ranks of the apathetic and make ourselves culpable. If those who do care and understand don't take on the job of sounding the alarm and educating those who don't get it yet, the opportunity to say 'told you so' in future will be scant consolation.

Once people understand, they get angry and they want change. I'm a good example of that, I think. Might I ask you to take a look at this post of mine, which was my favourite post of 2012 precisely because it betokens hope?

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/an-nhs-rally-a-homeless-man-3-privileges-and-why-the-tories-must-ultimately-fail/
If you do not do it skywalker it looks like nobody else will, and I thank you for letting people know exactly what is going on, I think the Tories know they can not get away with blaming The Labour party any more so who is next in line for the blame for there Incompetence "The people that there Incompetence has flung on the Dole".


Last edited by Ivan on Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:59 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Put post in wrong place sorry Ivan)
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:25 pm

Baroness Jay commented today on the Coalition's strenuous efforts to discredit the Universal entitlement to Benefits, saying that if they are successful in stopping bus-passes and pensions for the well-off, then it's only a matter of time before someone questions whether there is any need for the wealthy to avail themselves of the NHS.

Some of us can remember Sir Paul McCartney saying something similar about his family using the NHS for sound Socialist reasons, "We're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't."
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by blueturando on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:26 am

Skywalker wrote

I’ve written variously about this Tory-led government’s fetish for demonising the vulnerable in order to facilitate its attacks on their state support. Disabled people, young people, housing benefit claimants, the unemployed – all come under sustained propaganda attack from government spokespeople, echoed by the right-wing press and even, on occasion, by the BBC.

This demonisation usually takes the form of some kind of ‘scrounger’ rhetoric, although the perpetrators will throw in ‘shirker’ or ‘skiver’ occasionally, just to mix it up a little. It’s clearly a tactic aimed at the basest instincts of people who are able, or willing, to believe it and resent the ‘scroungers’ who are supposedly the opposite of the ‘strivers’, or ‘those who work hard and do the right thing’, according to the Tory mantra.

Maybe you should have a word with Mr.Byrne, or maybe this is now the Labour mantra too...Let me know your thoughts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPzCsg1Huf4

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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:36 am

blueturando wrote:Skywalker wrote

I’ve written variously about this Tory-led government’s fetish for demonising the vulnerable in order to facilitate its attacks on their state support. Disabled people, young people, housing benefit claimants, the unemployed – all come under sustained propaganda attack from government spokespeople, echoed by the right-wing press and even, on occasion, by the BBC.

This demonisation usually takes the form of some kind of ‘scrounger’ rhetoric, although the perpetrators will throw in ‘shirker’ or ‘skiver’ occasionally, just to mix it up a little. It’s clearly a tactic aimed at the basest instincts of people who are able, or willing, to believe it and resent the ‘scroungers’ who are supposedly the opposite of the ‘strivers’, or ‘those who work hard and do the right thing’, according to the Tory mantra.

Maybe you should have a word with Mr.Byrne, or maybe this is now the Labour mantra too...Let me know your thoughts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPzCsg1Huf4


I looked at your link blue, but it was the Tory idea to use the phrase "Shirkers & Strivers" to divide the workers against those that had been sacked by Cameron cuts to public sector not forgetting the ones sacked from the private sector because the private sector suffered the loss of business due too Scam..er..ons cuts also. I do not think I need to name them you will have heard on the news or in the newspapers, but the very people that he professes to want to help will be the very people that will suffer his cuts come April you know the ones you mean " zero hour contracts or less than part-time hour contracts or actual part-time work of 15 hours per week and Cameron has moved the goal posts even on this, the reason for these hours that I have pin-pointed out to you is "That is all that is Available" again thanks to Cameron and that idiot of a chancellor who could not grow Potatoes never mind the economy.

The very people that he professes to want to help are the very ones that will suffer come April between him ands knob head IDS, maybe if he done something about the private sector to encourage them to pay a DECENT WAGE to there staff he would not have to pay out in work benefits thus reducing the Welfare Bill, but as long as he handles the economy the way he is the Welfare Bill will increase or it will end up with riots right across the UK and due to earlier cuts to pay and pensions and staff the police and the armed forces are not going to be very helpful during these riots. cheers
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by skwalker1964 on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:57 pm

blueturando wrote:
Maybe you should have a word with Mr.Byrne, or maybe this is now the Labour mantra too...Let me know your thoughts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPzCsg1Huf4

I've written, too, that it's a bad mistake for Labour to let the Tories choose the battleground or frame the argument:

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/root-branch-balls-mistake-in-letting-the-tories-choose-the-battleground/

Same on this occasion - Labour should be refuting every single lie and distortion of the Tories, not joining in and risking being 'Tory-lite'.
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

Post by Redflag on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:13 pm

Labour have there work cut out for them skywalker, refuting all the LIES & Distortion by the Tories . I do not think that Ed Miliband will be Tory Lite in any way shape or form he knows we have to get away from anything that looks like Tory policy, to let the people of the UK if they vote Labour and Ed Miliband it will be FAIR FOR ALL
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Re: 'Scroungers' are irrelevant to the 'fairness'/benefits issue. Here's why the government is really obsessed with them

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