Wednesday, 28 March 2012

£20 for the Tory Party



How much does our Lib Dem membership cost a  year? £20 and less for young people like me. DO you know how much the Tory party charges for membership? They do it on a sliding scale. It starts at £50,000 annual membership which will give a member direct access to Cameron at parties and lunches. The lowest charge is £50 a month (£600 a year) and it only gives a member the privillege of campaigning in marginal seats as a party patron.

Even if I wanted too, which I don't, I couldn't afford to be a Tory supporter. I then  thought about what i could offer the Tories. I have a shredder which I pestered my Mum to get me for Christmas. It hasn't come in much use apart from accidentaly shredding my Mum's bills. If I give the Tories £20 can i do their shredding for them? This would be the modern day equivalent of sending the child up the chimney.
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Friday, 23 March 2012

The Remploy Ploy - part 3


On 7th of march 2012 Maria Miller MP, Disabilities Minister, said that money to support disabled people into employment should follow individuals not insitutions and that Remploy factories should be set free from Government control. She also said that Government funded segregated employment is not consistent with an objective of disability equality.

If segregated employment is not the way then why not close all of the  Remploy factories? Instead the Government is going to work with Remploy's Board to identify which of Remploy's businesses can become free from Government control. Why is the Government then picking winners which will still result in segregated employment? Talking about segretated employment, only 25% of Remploy's management were disabled. Remploy's management consisted of 75% of able-bodied and able-minded people. Where was the segregated employment then in this?

The Government have made an attack on disabilities. They have used very clever wording like 'segregated employment'. The Government has portrayed places like Remploy as being similar to Victorian workhouses. They make segregated employment look like a place where disabled people are imprisoned and are unable to intergrate into society. This is not true. I speak to people who work at Remploy and working there provides them with a livelihood and a safe place to go to. Normal workplaces cannot always provide the right help or service needed to enable disabled people to work. You help people who have special needs by catering to those special needs.
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Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Remploy Ploy - Part 2


I previously blogged in Part 1 about how manufacturing is on the Government's agenda but Remploy's work in manufacturing does not seem to have made an impact. This is a mystery to me.

A campaign called 'Make It In Great Britain'  which is assisted by the Government is 'aiming to transform the image of modern British manufacturing and to raise awareness of its importance for the economy'  and is scheduled to stage an exhibition during the Olympics and PARALYMPICS. Why is Remploy, where manufacturing is done by disabled people, being closed down then?

The Welsh government seems to recognise this point because the Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, wants to consider developing a social enterprise issue for Remploy. Seven Welsh Remploy factories are due to close and 272 disabled people will be laid off. Maria Miller, the UK Minister for disability, said that by closing down Remploy the government can help more of the thousands of disabled people in Wales who do not get support at the moment and who would benefit from doing so. What sort of logic is this? So Maria Miller wants to make a few employed disabled people unemployed so they can join the other unemployed disabled people who will have to live off reduced welfare benefits.

The 'Greater Good' argument does not apply to the rich does it? It only applies to those lower down. Redistribution is a poor man's game. The rich accumulate.


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Friday, 16 March 2012

The Remploy Ploy - Part 1

It is a normality to hear about companies closing and jobs being lost in the UK but there is something socially unjust about the closure of Remploy and it doesn't make business sense either. I have been doing alot of research into this and a number of discrepancies occur.

This blog post has been inspired by my friendship with Peter Gordon Smith who works at Remploy Ashington. I have to write this blog post in 3 parts which will be posted over the next few days because there is so much to analyse.

Remploy is actually a British manufacturing firm. From looking at the Remploy website the words 'industrial strategy' come to mind. I heard Vince Cable talking about this at conference last week. In a speech given on 26 October 2011 Mr Cable said that, 'One of the first decisions I took was to put manufacturing at the centre of our long term economic vision.'

In the letter that Mr Cable wrote to David Cameron, which was leaked to the press, he said, 'Second and more controversially, we should be willing to identify British success stories as identified through success in trade and explicitly get behind them at the highest political level..."advanced" manufacturing and related services. For example, the aerospace and automotive sectors are each an important UK success story. Beneath these industries are broad supply chains and key relationships with other growth areas like composites and plastic electronics'.

Remploy makes things for the car, electronics, health, clothing and building industries. This is manufacturing. Computers refurbished by Remploy are exported to Africa. Remploy is involved in enviromentally friendly production. Mr Cable also said in his speech that in the UK there is a decreasing proportion of the supply chains that are local. If you examine the list of products made by Remploy you will see that these are supply chain solutions.

The 36 factories that are going to close have been called 'not commercially viable'. Why isn't procurement being looked at? In fact, Remploy itself states on its website that public bodies can take advantage of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 which allows buyers to support businesses like Remploy.

It is alleged that Remploy management have been turning down commercially viable contracts because they have been planning for the closures. I cannot provide evidence to back this up but a number of my sources tell me this.

I am interested to hear your views.
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Thursday, 15 March 2012

No Oil-Sri Lanka


There's no oil in Sri Lanka. Ah! That could explain why the world's governments aren't doing anything. There is one more chance though. The UN is about to vote on whether to support America in pushing for an investigation into war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government. Let's hope for justice. 
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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cameron, Ohio and Hot Dogs


 
David Cameron will soon be beamed across the world from OHIO sitting at a basketball match beside President Obama with hot dogs in hand. Why is he doing this? Ohio is a swing state and the American presidential elections will be held in November.

Cameron is helping Obama win over voters. I don't know whether it will be Cameron or the hot dog or the basketball match that will gain Obama more credibility. I suspect that to the Americans they probably will be expecting Tony Blair to appear as the British PM so will say,'who's that guy?', when they see Cameron. The hot dog and match will probably make Obama more electable in Ohio.

What does Cameron get out of it? A ride in Air Force One to Ohio from Washington and to be photographed on US home ground with Obama looking like best pals. Big Deal! What matters to us in the UK is that Cameron and Obama sort out Syria and agree on a EU/US trade deal. 
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Monday, 12 March 2012

Children-The Collateral Damage of War

The deaths of nine Afghanistan children by a US serviceman is yet another sickening example of how children are the victims of wars fought by countries in the name of international 'peace'. The youngest child to be killed was only three years old. Why is this injustice allowed? 
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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Disability Cuts, Now Remploy

Remploy + Welfare reform = We are all in this together

Remploy is a company that employs disabled people and they are proposing to close 36 of their factories which willl result in 1,700 jobs being lost. This is ok because the disabled people who lose their jobs will be able to fall back on our welfare system, right?

http://thepotterblogger.blogspot.com/2012/03/please-could-you-help.html#comment-form

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/risk-to-1700-jobs-as-remploy-closes-36-factories-7543811.html#disqus_thread
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Monday, 5 March 2012

A Dickens Coalition Play


                                        
                                         "Please Sir, I want some more"
                                   A coalition play starring children from squeezed
                                       middle families and children with parents who
                                            will receive reduced welfare benefits.
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