Tag Archives: we’re all in this together – my arse

How Britain can make more ‘things’ | Jürgen Maier | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

We should also be proud that we have some great UK manufacturing brands, for example in car making, Jaguar Land Rover and Bentley – the latter up 30% on volumes in the first six months this year compared with last.

Isn’t it lovely to know the 1% can afford to buy more luxury cars?

BBC News – UK receives first F-35 stealth fighter jet from US

It has been a long and expensive wait, but Britain has now been handed its first Joint Strike Fighter jet, also known as the F-35.

Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond flew out in person to the searing heat of Fort Worth, Texas, for the official handover ceremony from its US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

He says it is “the best warplane money can buy”. But it is an eye-watering sum – the current cost of each jet is more than £100m.

After watching Britain’s first F-35 take to the skies, Mr Hammond said “this is money well spent”.

He said it would give the RAF and Royal Navy “a world class fighting capability” with the ability to “project power” off the two new aircraft carriers now under construction, anywhere in the world.

Hammond, stop the warmongering. The UK is not a “world power” any more, and we shouldn’t be pretending we are. What is this “power” you want to project anyway? Planning on attacking Iran on the coat tails of the US are we?

Anyway, £100 million pounds for one plane, for an aircraft carrier we haven’t finished yet. I’m not sure we can afford a second plane, so I propose the RAF and Royal Navy sort out a time share on the one we have got. The US military-industrial complex must be rubbing its hands with glee.

Physicians, I feel your pain | Victoria Coren | Comment is free | The Observer

The government is not “curbing spending” on doctors’ pensions. That suggests the medical pension scheme was running at a loss; in fact, it was perfectly self-sufficient. This isn’t a cutback, it’s a raid.

Andrew Lansley said: “People know that pension reform is needed because people live longer.”

That’s not why pension reform is needed. We’ve known for years that people are living longer – doctors know that better than anyone – and pension contributions were put in accordingly. Unfortunately, successive governments spent that money on other things. Ignoring statistics for life expectancy, blind to forthcoming trouble, they failed to ring-fence pension funds for their proper purpose. It was a Ponzi scheme.

It was exactly that kind of live-in-the-now, credit-card attitude, from governments everywhere, that triggered the recession. They’d planned to pay back the “borrowed” pensions with new money that slid down the magic beanstalk. Now, staring in bafflement at a handful of dead leaves, they want to cover their arses by going back and nicking some more.

They are busting a gut to persuade us that we’re “all in it together” and that any public sector workers who choke at longer hours or slashed wages are “greedy” and “not team players”.

But they weren’t “greedy” 10 years ago, were they? They worked and they got paid. They only became “greedy” after our masters had sold off the gold reserves, borrowed fantasy amounts with fantasy collateral, allowed the banks to gamble with it, watched them lose and lose until the creditors came calling, bailed them out with more of our money, then sat back as it was paid out in bonuses to people who had too many yachts already.

And somehow, the moral is that doctors and teachers and train drivers are “greedy”, simply for wanting to live as they did before. God knows we were treated like idiots all along – but if we buy this new propaganda, we deserve no better.

Ms Coren gets it.

BBC News – Think-tank calls for all bank holidays to be scrapped

If public holidays were scrapped it would add £19bn to Britain’s annual economic output, a think tank says.

Why not go the whole hog and make the us work 24 hours a day, seven days a week? That would sort out the economy pretty damned quickly!

The Centre for Economics and Business Research is completely wrong on this. Germany has more public holidays than the UK, and has an economy that appears to be recovering nicely.

The CEBR appears to want us to go back to the 19th century. Wage slaves apparently are not entitled to time off, time to relax and be with their families, or to just get away from it all for a short time. As one of the commenters wrote below the article: “Whatever happened to taking pleasure in life?”

EDIT: Simon Price has rightly pointed out the real story here is not the headline from the press release, but who is behind it. 

CEBR is a right wing think tank, run by a friend of George Osborne, the UK’s finance minister. So, no agenda here then. Why does the mainstream media not pick this kind of stuff up, rather than running with the press release alone? They are doing themselves and us a dis-service.

Privatising our roads will be a terrible deal – just as it was for the telecoms and water industries

Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. In which case, going by his speech yesterday on overhauling Britain’s roads and airports, David Cameron is mad.

I don’t usually do personal, or rude. But if the prime minister really, truly thinks he can do what his predecessors have done over the past couple of decades and not cop precisely the same woeful mess that they did, then he’s bonkers. Gaga. A few Pret sandwiches short of the full picnic.

Strip away the novelty of a prime ministerial speech devoted to, um, tarmac and what the Tory leader proposes is pretty much what we have heard over and over, from Thatcher onwards. Every British prime minister of recent memory has turned to private businesses and investors to build and run hospitals, schools and tube services. Now Cameron wants them to take over our motorways and trunk roads, too.

via Guardian.co.uk

I can find no words, so I won’t even begin to write any.

 

I have stacked shelves and hosed down urinals. Unlike the elite who are now telling lazy scroungers to buck up | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | The Guardian

Yes, I understand the support for welfare reform, but right now we have an elite telling lazy scroungers to buck up. Yes, clean toilets, pick cabbages, move towns, sit in call-centre barns, smile enough to make Mary Portas types think you care. In short, deliver the service, that those who have never served, demand. Know your place.

I guess IDS knew his place at Sandhurst just as I once knew mine. Until I realised that most menial work leads to more menial work. The idea that this is the stepping stone is as much of a fantasy as The X Factor. The stepping stone is education. That’s what makes you free, not work. Now the young are to pay for that and work for nothing? And all while most of our political and media class spout lousy morality tales about lousy jobs while undermining even the basic minimum wage. Please.

As the graffiti I saw the other day said: “Sorry, the lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.” I tell you who really needs “work experience”. Much of this government.

I don’t normally clip the last part of articles like this, but I just had to here. Spot on.

The Green Benches: The full story of Cameron’s visit to NHS Hospital, with new confirmation from a visitor, patient & journalist.

News of the Prime Minister’s Wednesday visit emerged the night before, when Conservative Central Office announced that the PM would be making a high profile visit to a hospital in the NE to a) bolster support for his NHS reforms & b) raise the importance of the damage binge drinking is doing. It was heavily trailed by the Murdoch press (see here for example). Two of my sources, privately, tell me that the staff were not informed of the PM’s intended visit. Publicly, a governor of a Foundation Trust @RichardBlogger confirmed that this has happened before, where visits by the PM to his hospital were not even confirmed or cleared with the Board of Governors. In addition, @Adrian_Pearson, who is a chief correspondent at several North East newspapers, confirmed through a series of tweets in advance of the PM’s visit that it was all very top secret because the last time the PM had visited there were protests (I do not recall those protests being reported do you?).

I am posting without comment. The linked blog article speaks for itself. Please ensure you read it.

Cameron’s attacks on the vulnerable and needy must be stopped | Mail Online

Let us make no mistake what we are witnessing from our Coalition Government is absolutely, unquestionably, categorically scandalous.

The ritual humiliation, brutalisation, threats and punishment of anyone who is considered ‘a burden to the state’. Anyone who is less than perfect, anyone who dares to find themselves in a position where they need the state to support them. Those people are the subject of shocking and terrifying behaviour at the hands of David Cameron’s Coalition.

Cultural observers could not fail to notice the similiarites between what is taking place here towards sick, disabled, elderly or any group perceived to be vulnerable and weak and what occurred in Hitler’s Germany.

This may not be ethnic cleansing that we are witnessing – and some are already experiencing – but it’s a type of cleansing all the same.

There are hundreds of thousands of people around our country right now who are absolutely petrified for their future. It appears so hopeless. There have already been a number of suicides from people who left behind messages to the effect that they simply could not take the hardship any more. Could not face another winter without sufficient food or heat. And in the UK in 2012. Doesn’t it make you proud?

Some of the actions that are being carried out around our great country – and it’s still great no matter what the idiots trying to make it’s not say – are an absolute living outrage and we cannot condone it in any way shape or form.

This Coalition have long since crossed the line of decency. Their attacks on those who need our help the most are vile, and transparently so, and must be stopped. Else we all live to regret it.

I apologise for linking to an article on the Daily Fail’s web site. I generally avoid anything that homophobic, racist, misogynist comic has to say. However, I sense a change of attitude emanating from that quarter—and this article (I do not know if it appears in the print edition) demands to be read and shared widely.

I’ll make no further comment. I’m getting too annoyed by it at the moment.

BBC News – Queen’s jubilee yacht proposal rejected

A suggestion by Education Secretary Michael Gove that the Queen should be given a new royal yacht to mark her Diamond Jubilee has been rejected by Downing Street.

The cabinet minister made the proposal in a letter to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, obtained by the Guardian.

But a spokesman for the prime minister said it would not be “appropriate to use public money at this time”.

Labour said the idea showed Mr Gove was “out of touch”.

Good. Now, back to getting the education system working properly, Govey.