To Hell and Back in a Handcart

I increasingly wonder about the standard of journalism in this country today. If you want to find out what is really going on, most times in the tabloids and the media all you will get is a whole pile of Spin, not any real examination of the facts.
At this time more than ever the public is crying out for proper investigative journalism, a clear examination of the facts, and not the incredible amount of manure which is political press releases.

It all seems to be Spin, Spin, Spin,which is just a polite word for Lies!

The public are presented constantly with the same stuff, and to be fair, they are only too happy to buy it if It makes them feel righteous or superior to others.

While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that the press colludes with Government, It is certainly influenced by them, and by the rich and powerful.

After the 2008 crash, what we have seen very clearly is that while the public were made to pay off the debts of the financiers and bankers,whilst society in Britain suffers from job losses, increasing poverty and powerlessness, the rich and powerful have been grabbing everything they can.

Where the Bankers were seen very clearly as the villains, they were not by any means alone, they were encouraged and enabled by government,and by large corporations.
What was a financial disaster soon turned out to be a means for trampling down the masses.

The villains now are not the MPs who stole over a million pounds in fraudulent expense claims, nor is it even the Bankers and the Banks who we still pay for, nor is it the large corporations who avoid paying Billions of pounds worth of taxes, no the villains now are the chronically sick and disabled, the unemployed and the working poor.

Austerity does not apply to the rich and powerful, it is a cruel method to punish the poor and weak.

A visitor from a far off galaxy would see this, but somehow many of the public don’t, as newspaper headlines scream about Scroungers, Foreigners, and Benefit Fraudsters.

So let us pause a moment to examine where the fraud and abuse lies.

Back in 2010 Westminster MPs falsely claimed for in excess of £1 million in expenses, a handful of the worst offenders were selected as sacrificial goats and found guilty of fraud, the others didn’t even have to pay back the full amount of what they had wrongly stolen from us.
Recently Maria Miller the now former government cabinet minister fraudulently claimed for £45,000, only she never got charged with fraud, and indeed David Cameron was very reluctant to lose her from her post of Culture Secretary, and she has only been asked to repay £5,800. If this had been a jobless benefit claimant they would be locked up!

The HMRC let Bernie Eccleston the Formula 1 boss off with £2Billion whilst doing a secret deal with him to only pay £10million, a mere fraction of the tax sum avoided, had that been a small business man or company, they would have hounded him into bankrupty and he would have lost everything!

Vodaphone and Starbucks between them were let off with Tax of £8.2 Billion! Goodness alone knows what the total figures for all those big business’s are? Yet they chased me for £300 which If I had been savvy enough to know their rules and do my paperwork properly, I would not have owed at all.

All of the above is just the tip of the iceberg, In the UK state which has the 3rd worst record in the developed world in the gap between the rich and the poor. It is an increasingly corrupt and unjust country. Morality has been shredded up and thrown out of a passing train.

Yesterday saw the introduction by Westminster of the new benefit laws.
The jobless will now have to report to their unemployment offices every day or face sanction. Alternatively they can do forced voluntary work for 6months. The government also announced that there are no reasons for anyone to be out of work as here are 600,000 jobs available.

On the face of it that may seem fair to some, in realty it is not! People, including myself last year, have been sanctioned unfairly in up to 80% of cases gone to appeal.
This means no money for 4 weeks, which in reality is actually 6 weeks. This forces further and further pressure on foodbanks.

The new rules will mean that more and more people will fall into the sanctions trap, as you may be sanctioned for being 5 minutes late for an interview. So by having to sign on every day, they will be 10 times as likely to fall foul of sanction.
They have to pay their own travel expenses to go and sign on, so for a £3 bus fare to sign on previously, they will now have to fork out £30 a fortnight, this comes off their £71 a week, leaving even less to spend on food, clothing and heating and other bills.

if there are 600,000 jobs available, how many of these are they qualified to actually do?
How many are zero hour contracts where you are not guaranteed to work at all. I have worked for a company since January, and received 6 hours work from them in that time!
I have applied for hundreds or even thousands of jobs, and got nowhere, despite having 3 degrees, and despite going for anything and everything from portering to cleansing, to call center work to research. Yehh, no excuse right?

But the real sickener for me was the announcement highlighted by the single parent group Gingerbread, that mothers with children under the age of 5 face sanctions, and can be sanctioned even if their child is unwell and can’t make the appointment.

So lets have a look at stats provided by Citizens Advice:

“The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error.

“So to get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK”

“Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%.”

“The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%.”

“So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it.”

The Immorality, criminality, and abuse of privelidge in the UK has been going on for years,under one government or another, this has now turned to absolute Abuse and injustice, for the poor, the weak and the helpless, plus a whole host of others in work and struggling by.

That, if no other reason alone, is enough for me to vote for Scottish Independence, as we cannot surely allow such injustices to continue, and while we cannot be certain of our own rogues of which we have our share too, at least they can be more answerable to us.
We cannot allow this travesty of a supposed union carry on any longer and be part of it.

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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6 Responses to To Hell and Back in a Handcart

  1. bringiton says:

    The media in the UK may not be hand in glove with the government but their right wing stance is mirrored by politics in England.Whether it is the horse leading the cart or viceaversa is open to debate but the result is the same,a concerted campaign to vilfy the poor and vulnerable in our society.
    This situation will get worse should UKip do well in the EU elections coming up and since we cannot do much about right wing media owners,our only chance is to ditch the UK government and try to ensure greater plurarity of views in future Scottish media.
    It is very sad that people who are possibly only a pay check away from being hounded by the establishment,continue to support it through purchase of right wing newspapers and support of politicians of the same ilk.
    Independence gives us a chance to break this cabal and have a society which is driven by civic values rather than a culture which rewards those who prosper by imposing suffering on others.
    Sorry to hear about your own circumstances….utterly disgraceful in a wealthy country like Scotland.
    Thanks Rod.

    • Thanks.
      I rarely comment about my own personal circumstances, as they are far better than what many others have to face.

      However I suppose an upside to it all is that partially thanks to the UK government, they allow me the time to write about Scottish Independence, so they can’t be all bad, right? 🙂

  2. Drew says:

    Very well put Rod.

  3. Bob G says:

    i hope with the internet the TRUTH will get out to the people before they are fooled into a NO vote Scotland MUST CAN SHOULD be an indy country like ALL the REST

  4. Geoff Huijer says:

    Totally agree.

    I got kicked out the Job Centre in Kirkcaldy (7 mile round trip walk) 6 months ago for being 25 minutes early for signing on. 3 weeks ago I was 15 minutes late (1st time ever) & I got a written warning that if late again I will have my benefits stopped.

    I have tried everything to get work (incl Voluntary work, and still do) to no avail.
    I even wrote & published my own Fictional Scottish Historical novel but Waterstone’s want 65% of price (leaving no profit for me) and with Amazon I get £1 which doesn’t even cover postage.

    I was even made to sign on the day after my mother’s funeral with the dole ringing me (phone on silent) the day before to remind me as the coffin disappeared behind the curtain.

    The ‘Job Centre’ is the most depressing, humiliating place I have ever been; and they are useless.

  5. YESGUY says:

    My two sons are in the same position, myself , disabled and getting worse with age but they cut my benefits too and have forced me on work assesments when they openly state on my med forms i am highly unlikely to ever work again. A complete waste of taxes chasing me. (No-one in there right mind would give me a job, Im pretty dependent on family just to get by as it is)
    To hear you have the same problems with a degree or three shows how bad this country is that we cant employ even our brightest. What chance the rest.
    I wish you all the luck in the world Rod and believe after independence You might consider a job in MSM after we get rid of the shocking biased journo’s

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