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The Internet, The Tory And The Black, Black Oil | A Greater Stage.

I’m not saying there’s a massive, untapped oil field off Scotland’s west coast.

I’m not saying David Cameron flew up here to see for himself.

I’m not saying he has conspired with oil companies to hide this information from the Scottish public until after September 18th.

I’m not saying that Westminster will resort to the most desperate acts to prevent us leaving the UK.

 

JobCentre Advisor ‘Disciplined For Not Sanctioning Enough’ | Same Difference.

Ian Duncan Smith and the DWP have said time and time again that there are no targets for their Jobcentre Plus staff to reach, regarding the sanctioning of welfare claimants. Despite copies of letters to the contrary supposedly released by whistle-blowers, they have been adamant that no such criteria exists.

Yet here we have another DWP employee, an advisor with Jobcentre Plus, who is claiming to have been disciplined for not sanctioning enough claimants. Thus, it would appear that there is a covert set of targets for them to reach. In what could be described anecdotal evidence to back up this claim, is the rapid rise of claimants sanctioned. As reported in The Guardian on May 14th this year, the amount of claimants punished in such a manner rose to 227,629 in the last three months of 2013, an increase of 69,600 on the equivalent quarter in 2012. 

This begs the question, if there are targets to hit and staff are in danger of not reaching it, would they falsify a sanction in order to protect their own job? If so, that means there could be literally thousands of people unable to pay rent, afford food or heat their homes because of an outright lie. Someone is being forced to either punish another human being undeservedly, just so that they can keep their job and continue to do the same. That should not just scare unemployed people the most, but it should scare anyone who thinks that our government is prepared to help them should they lose their jobs.

Bankers who gambled with out money and politicians who didn’t legislate to prevent it may have brought the economy to its knees, but it’s the country’s poorest who are now ultimately paying for the rich peoples’ mistakes.

Can an Independent Scotland stand on its own two feet?.

An excellent piece by John Jappy, who confirms that contrary to popular misconception and media distortion, Scotland is more than capable of standing alone after independence.

I’ll let the article speak for itself.

I’m sure the phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is one you have heard before. In fact, the city name is often amended to include most holiday destinations where people take fun to a new level. However, with mobile phone cameras capable of capturing images and video and uploading to the web almost instantly, that old saying is no longer true.

Of course it’s not just the technology which has changed over the years, but the behaviour of our young people when they go abroad.Much has been made of the binge drinking culture that saw groups of lads, then latterly, groups of girls getting too drunk to walk, or even stand. This was not helped by pubs having 5 hour long happy hours, cheap drinks promotions or a buy one, get one free offer.

However, when that kind of drinking culture goes abroad, the game changes dramatically and inevitably gets out of control. There are simply too many bars, offering too many promotions to people who do it every night of their holiday. There is little or no policing within the drinks industry there and holiday makers are actively encouraged to drink during the day, at night  time and in as many bars as possible. There are special drinking tours arranged, where a company will (for a fee) take you around bars, playing party games that involve strong alcohol and lots of it, and all the while encouraging you to push the limits harder and higher. Ironically, the prize for winning a game is often more alcohol.

So this week, the world awoke to a new low when a girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men, solely to win a cocktail worth approximately $4.00. Social media immediately swung into action, with people the world over branding the girl ‘disgusting’, a ‘slut’, ‘a whore’, and many other colourful names. That’s easy, involves no thought and doesn’t really attempt to dig deeper into the issue. She may be all of those things or she may not, but let’s not forget that this is a young girl who is now known throughout the world for something that will be with her for the rest of her life.

So who is to blame?

No doubt the girl will be blamed by a lot of people and while I can’t deny she deserves some, I don’t think it’s all down to her. The girl was already drunk and therefore, her judgement was impaired and her actions may be atypical of her normal behaviour. I realise that some people will not find that to be an acceptable excuse, but it IS a factor. There can be few among us who hasn’t done or said something stupid, hurtful, dangerous or embarrassing while under the influence of alcohol. Granted, we might not do the things that she did, but there are many levels of stupidity.

There have been suggestions that the drinking game was arranged by tour reps, or by persons conducting some kind of drinking tour. So if that’s the case and these people organised this ‘entertainment’, surely they are responsible for the people in their care – particularly if the holiday makers have paid for the entertainment? The idea of taking people around pubs and encouraging them to drink massive amounts of alcohol, is an invitation to disaster, mayhem and potentially dangerous situations.

What about the bar in which it happened? The UK has very strict laws when it comes to drinking and especially towards what could be called, adult entertainment. Had this happened in an British pub,  there would have been serious repercussions for the bar’s owners and the employees who served someone so clearly inebriated. Pubs also have a duty of care towards customers, and that can often mean protecting them from their own stupidity. Having worked briefly in pub security in the 90’s, I can tell you that this would NEVER have been tolerated.

Let’s not forget that there were 24 men involved in this mess, who may or may not have been drunk, but who in my opinion took advantage of a drunk and vulnerable girl. If upon seeing a drunk woman your first thought is to take advantage of her by making her perform a sex act on you, then you are a sex offender – in my opinion. It’s a cliché I know, but try to imagine that was your sister, girlfriend, or wife who was treated so badly.

Young people, even those who are 18 and classed as adults like this girl, are still learning. We don’t turn 18 and suddenly become adults, devoid of fun and adventure. At this age, it’s often their first holiday away without their parents, so there is the tendency to go a little wild. I understand that, I really do. So maybe when young people book these holidays, they should be given a guide along with their tickets reminding them of the possible dangers they face? Rather than holiday company reps arranging booze cruises and drinking games, they should be telling their customers that they are here for a good time but not to be stupid? Bars and clubs NEED to start refusing drinks to people who have clearly had to much, as we are supposed to do here.

I am genuinely concerned that this girl’s life will be so devastated by a stupid mistake, that she will never be able to lead a normal one. I am also concerned that like many other young people who have been threatened with private pictures being uploaded to the web, the actual uploading of this video will cause another suicide. Stupid she may be, but she doesn’t deserve to suffer at the hands of the faux outraged judges on social media.

NAMED: The 177 MPs who voted YES to the Bedroom Tax after claiming up to £25K EACH in accommodation expenses. | JACK MONROE:.

Having re-blogged earlier about the way in which benefit claimants are treated, I thought it was a good idea to show you how very well paid people are treating the public purse.

This informative piece by Jack Monroe, names the MP’s who voted for the Bedroom Tax whilst claiming vast sums of money for their own accommodation. The hypocrisy of these men and women and of the system which allows this, seems to know no bounds!

BBC responds to complaints about anti-austerity demo – with a form letter.

50,000 people in the middle of London, telling their Government to stop attacking its people with austerity DIDN’T merit coverage by the BBC. I, like many others asked why and this was their response:

Dear Mr Connolly

Thanks for contacting us about coverage of the People’s Assembly anti-austerity demonstration on 21 June.

We understand you feel there was insufficient coverage of this demonstration by BBC News.

We have received a wide range of feedback about our coverage of this story. In order to use our TV licence fee resources efficiently, this general response aims to answer the key concerns raised, but we apologise in advance if it doesn’t address your specific points in the manner you would prefer.

Your concerns were raised with senior editorial staff at BBC News who responded as follows:

“We covered this demonstration on the BBC News Channel with five reports throughout Saturday evening, on the BBC News website on Sunday, as well as on social media. We choose which stories we cover based on how newsworthy they are and what else is happening and we didn’t provide extensive coverage because of a number of bigger national and international news stories that day, including the escalating crisis in Iraq, British citizens fighting in Syria and the death of Gerry Conlon.

We frequently report on the UK economy and what it means for the British public. We also reflect the concerns of people such as those demonstrating, and others who hold opposing views, across our daily news output on TV, radio as well as online, and we also explore them in more depth including in our political programming and current affairs investigations, debates on ‘Question Time’ and during interviews and analysis on programmes such as ‘PM’ and ‘Newsnight’. Inevitably, there may be disagreements over the level of prominence we give to stories, but we believe our coverage of this subject has been fair and impartial.”

We hope this goes some way to explaining our position, and thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards

BBC Complaints
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

Oh well that’s OK then!

 

Benefit Claimant Bashing- The New Bloodsport.

Having just had the flat screen TV, laptop and iPhone debate with some knuckle dragging Daily Mail types myself, I felt this was an appropriate comment to re-blog today.

It seems as though being vilified is not enough punishment for those claiming Jobseekers Allowance while looking for work, but we must be seen to be poor and deserving enough to justify that support. God forbid we have a TV, or a mobile phone, or access to any form of technology. The thought that those items may have been in our possession prior to job loss isn’t considered, and for some people, it is of no consequence. I have even seen suggestions that benefit claimants sell such items of value, and live off the money instead of being supported by the state.

This blood lust for the unemployed or any kind of benefit claimant may be running rampant, but I don’t hold those individuals solely responsible for their stupidity and their hatred. The fuel for their fire is gleefully provided by pillars of virtue like the Daily Mail. Their journalists delight in presenting the worst possible examples of humanity, holding them up as representatives of all unemployed and the cause of the country’s blighted economy. When Channel 5 present sensationalist programmes like Benefits Street or On Benefits and Proud, the sheep take to social media in mass hysteria demanding something be done . That ‘something’ is often a call for violence,l but unless you ar a TV personality or famous for something,  the authorities aren’t particularly interested.

Still, it keeps the proletariat occupied and divided while the real criminals in Westminster dismantle the state, give private contracts to their greedy friends, fiddle their expenses and hand out peerages to their best party donors.

BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London | Pride’s Purge.

Given the curiously large amount of time given over to the banal on programmes like BBC Breakfast, it seems strange that 50,000 people gathering not far from its doors was deemed not newsworthy.  Surely someone looked out of their window at BBC HQ and thought “Well that’s odd!”?

Imagine being a journalist or news correspondent, tasked with searching out stories for your editor on a daily basis. I imagine there will be slow news days where not a lot happens, and I can’t think of anything particularly pressing in any news bulletin I saw yesterday. Wouldn’t a massive, orchestrated crowd gathered in protest  at their country’s Government, be a bit of a gift for you?

People need to wake up and realise that examples of others protesting is not what your leaders want you to see, because that just might make you start thinking. It may just be the beginning of your enlightenment and that is something they really cannot afford.

What did make the news yesterday was that the Queen bought Prince William a new helicopter, costing a whopping £8m. NOW do you understand why austerity is not news they want you to see?

BBC News – Michael Fabricant apologises for Yasmin Alibhai-Brown ‘joke’.

Conservative MP’s are often accused of being out of touch with the people, yet rather than trying to disprove the sentiment they seem to view it as a challenge to be even more removed.

Mike Fabricant, who already has something of a Middle Earth aura about him, has this week shown himself to be something of a troll by saying he’d probably punch a female journalist in the throat. Now I don’t believe he would actually do it, but it’s hardly a subject that anyone in his position should be ‘joking’ about. I use the term joking advisedly because although I don’t believe he would do it, I think he probably longs for the days when giving the little woman a slap was just ‘normal’.

It seems to me that he is of a time when women were supposed to know their place, which was probably in the kitchen or the nursery with the children. There are plenty like Mike in the Conservative Party who despite their leadership’s attempts to move into the 21st century, will always drag them back to darker days. Indeed, when David Cameron championed the rights of gay people to get married, many of his back benchers were horrified at the prospect and fought him. Again, this tells us that while a few try to garner the populist votes, the majority either keep quiet or display breathtakingly backwards thinking.

Of course, Mike did tweet a general apology…of sorts:

If anyone believes I would seriously threaten someone with violence, I of course withdraw and apologise.”

So he’s only really apologising if you or I are the sort of people who believe he would punch a woman, rather than being sorry for what he said. The implication being that you or I, simply overreacted to his comments. 

Addressing Yasmin Alibhai-Brown directly, he then tweeted:

Sorry @y_alibhai if you actually thought I would punch you. I actually don’t do that sort of thing. But you are utterly infuriating! xx

Once again, he wasn’t apologising for what he said as such. He apologised if Yasmin actually thought he would punch her, which means she would have to feel personally threatened by him in order for the apology to be meaningful. As for the kisses at the end of it, well that was just plain sarcasm!

In the style of any true politician, Mike has not only offended women by joking about violence towards them, but he makes an apology which ridicules Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and anyone who accepts it. That to my mind, is no apology at all.

Ruth Davidson backs currency union | Scottish National Party.

So Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Union Party says she would back a currency union if Scotland votes for Independence. Granted, she says she would support it AFTER a yes vote, but that still goes against her Westminster bosses and directly opposes what George Osborne has said. Do we take this as unofficial confirmation that Westminster would capitulate to the currency union and if so, has Ruth just undermined everything Cameron and co have been saying? Has she in effect, called her party’s own bluff?

It would certainly confirm YES supporters’ suspicions all along, that the question of sharing a currency has merely been an attempt to kill the independence argument. It is still one of the biggest topics of debate between both sides of the support, with the NO supporters wringing their hands in desperation as they ponder how we’ll get along without the pound. I and many others simply don’t believe the threat was in any way credible, as not sharing the currency would do massive damage to trade between Scotland and the UK. Business leaders would simply not stand for a government who threatened their survival, just as we’re trying to claw our way out of recession. And of course there’s the question of exactly how Westminster would deny us the pound. Are they planning to send the troops in to confiscate our wallets and purses?

I am concerned however, that the realisation of threats from Westminster being only bluff and bluster will come too late and that fear will lead us to vote NO. Bravery, and the willingness to make a leap of faith have long since deserted many Scots.