Time To Take The Blame, Lord Smith!

It is, of course, a triumph of optimism over experience that we should expect a former Labour Minister to apologise for or even acknowledge their mistakes, for the Blairite/Brownite debacle was never one for taking the blame. But, it is especially rich of Lord Smith, head of the Environment Agency, to defend himself by pointing … Continue reading

Thinking Caps…

The arrival of benefits caps¬† is today’s big news and, unsurprisingly, the talk is of what might be done next – regional variation, perhaps, or reducing the cap level further, or specific measures such as limiting child benefit to the first two children of the unemployed and stopping under-25s from being eligible for housing benefit. … Continue reading

The Bedroom Dilemma

So, we have our first official death due to the so-called bedroom tax. Stephanie Bottrill is reported to have killed herself because she could not afford to pay ¬£80 towards her rent on her three-bedroom home. From initial reports it seems that she was already in dire financial straits and that the additional charge was … Continue reading

Enter Stage Right, The Star Chamber…

Merry old England was always a land of liberty until an odious new order took power and began to strip away the rights of freeborn Englishmen, allowing such fundamental injustices as secret trials and imprisonment with trial. That sounds like the Tudor period when the Star Chamber ruled supreme over English law and allowed monarchs … Continue reading

Rusty Politics

It was perhaps inevitable that the death of Margaret Thatcher would bring out the wailing and gnashing of teeth from one side of the political divide and songs of jubilation from the other, yet I cannot help but feel the whole thing is over-egged. It is true that she will go down in history as … Continue reading

The True Welfare Myth

I have just been reading an opinion piece by ‘left-wing writer’ Brendan O’Neill (I’ve no idea who he actually is, but he sees himself as an expert on the welfare-ridden poor). In it, he addresses the way in which the liberal middle classes are bemused at the failure of the poor to rise up and … Continue reading

The Stench of Hypocrisy!

It should come as no surprise that the smell that lingers around politicians is the stench of hypocrisy. Introducing a benefits cut for anyone whose home includes a bedroom designated as unused (according to government guidelines, which do not always accord with reality), one Minister stepped forth to lecture the poor that, in his four-bedroom … Continue reading

Destroy The Poor!

Yesterday, I saw a description of how the benefits changes will work and, I have to say, if I was living on my own, I don’t think I’d be able to survive. Ironically, wealthy people with an eligible disability are going to be entitled to more help than the able-bodied and people with ineligible disabilities. … Continue reading

Which death do you prefer?

The Eastleigh by-election has been much analysed by parties and pundits, all keen to predict the future and opine upon what needs to be done by each party to ensure success in the next general election. Labour, of course, took comfort from the fact that they stood no chance in Eastleigh and, so, stick their … Continue reading

The Great Health Data Heist

Whether it is actually on the books, or just a glimmer in Big Brother’s eye, I don’t know, but the latest wheeze of the data-centralists is to seize information from GPs on our health without worrying about little things like confidentiality or consent. Now, perhaps I’m being naive, but when I hand over information under … Continue reading