Closed shop mentality will only damage Labour

I’ve watched with interest this weekend  the uproar surrounding the news that Alan Milburn was to accept a role as the new ‘social mobility tsar’  for the coalition government. The reaction from a number of Labour members and supporters, particularly on Twitter has been disappointing, but not altogether surprising. Whilst I myself do not hold any especially warm feelings for Milburn, this continued tribal attitude to politics, and to the Labour Party itself does us no favours at all. In fact; it makes us look childish and silly.

People have a short memory. After all, it was only a short time ago that Gordon Brown was trying to assemble his own ‘Government of all the talents.’  Like it or not, Cameron is only attempting to do exactly the very same thing; and we are now in a situation where the public mood calls for greater cooperation between the main political parties.

As a party we have bigger fish to fry. We are going through a vital leadership campaign, one which will decide the electability of  Labour in the coming years up to and beyond the next general election. We must put all of  our energies into getting our own house back in order; a great deal of damage has been done to the party in recent years, and we have lost a lot of Labours traditional support  throughout the country. Now is the time to complete the leadership process, and then to unite as a party behind the eventual winner. Not only must we concentrate on ensuring  that we  provide an effective opposition to the inevitable damage that the coalition will cause; but  we must also regain the trust and support of the Labour heartland.

Milburn and his like belong in our past; and we should consign him there along with our petty partisan attitudes…….

Quote of the day

As the weekend of despondency continues, it’s nice to know that I can rely on my favourite Nazi arse-face, uber-fuhrer Nick Griffin to put a smile on my face. The BNP have been holding what can only amount to crisis talks.

Reading between the lines this is simply because they’re broke and members are leaving the party faster than one of my ex-girlfriends after they discover what they’ve really let themselves in for.

So, over to the ‘bonk-eyed fuck-wit’ himself:

‘ Put simply, the party has not been performing as well as it should have.’

BNP so broke, Griffin forced to sell ‘good eye’

It’s a dull, rainy day here in Kidderminster. The sort of day that makes you want to reach for that bottle of Night Nurse that been lurking in bathroom cabinet for the past seven years. However, the latest news from  HOPE not hate has brightened up a very dull day. It seems that the BNP are broke. Skint. On their collective Nazi fuck-wit uppers. In short, fucked….

This has really made my day, all the in-fighting, resignations and court costs have left Griffin one step away from running off to Brazil. The BNP are now in melt down, and whilst this is the best news possible, we must be aware about what could happen with regards to the possible after effects.

Read the full news report HERE

Welfare not to Work

Since the country returned to the dark side with the election of the ‘Condem’ administration. we’ve heard a lot about plans to shake up the benefits system in this country. Having worked previously at a local Jobcentre Plus, I have some experience in this field, and plenty of frustrations at how our system fails to provide help and support where most required.

In many ways, Labour failed to deliver on benefit reform; of course they did introduce some very good measures, such as the minimum wage, working tax credits and ‘Backing Young Britain’. This didn’t go anywhere near far enough though; the new government needs to be radical in its thinking, whilst remaining fair to those claiming.

Of course, my main fear is that Cameron intends to target benefit claimants in a bid to save money; and as was reported today this is exactly what is being planned. Including the pathetic idea of using credit reference agencies to snoop on claimants. Better time and money would be spent chasing those who dodge paying tax in this country, costing up to £40 billion.

So, time for some observations. As mentioned, all too often we fail to provide targeted  advice and assistance to claimants. Targeted support needs to be offered from day one; this should include CV completion, skills checks, better off in work calculations, training, help with application forms and interview preparation. These are basic, but essential tasks that are all too often left too late, or not provided until the claimant has been receiving job seekers allowance for over twelve months. At this stage they are referred to a third-party employment services provider, (such as the one I now work for), where these services suddenly become available.

This is such a stupid way of doing things. Why should an individual have to wait a year before receiving the direct type of help that they in some cases obviously require? I quite often see clients, who after being unemployed for what could be considered a long period of time, who don’t have a CV, have little or no idea how to apply for jobs online and have very limited job search skills. This is where the system really needs to be shaken up. We should be providing these services much earlier, in some cases by twelve months it’s too late, and as a result you end up with a long-term claimant. This really is a tragic state of affairs, particularly when I see so many young people out of work.

However, this is not the fault of jobcentre plus staff, the majority of whom work very hard under quite often difficult circumstances. The system is simply not set up in a fashion to allow JCP staff the flexibility and scope to offer targeted help.

This is where the third-party providers come in. The best solution would be to offer claimants the opportunity to be referred to these providers from day one of their claim. This would be on a voluntary basis, and would provide them with access to training and assistance early on in their claim. There can be no doubt at all that this would increase their chances of finding employment at a far earlier stage. At the moment, under ‘Flexible New Deal’, claimants are referred to providers at twelve months – this should be decreased to six months, and as happens now, this would be compulsory. Only by introducing a programme of assistance at an earlier stage will we begin to tackle the unemployment problem that we have in this country.

Of course, there are those individuals who play the system. People who are claiming benefit, yet not actively seeking work, (a fixed condition of claiming JSA). This is another area where the government need to be brave and radical. There should be much tougher penalties for those either shown to be not looking for work, or for those who refuse employment. I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve seen over the last few years who’ve turned down employment, sometimes for the most pathetic reasons. This should not be an option; all too often I see several different generations from the same families claiming benefit. It seems all too often that the ‘work ethic’ that was instilled into me as a child has all but disappeared from many of today’s families. Of course, the responsibility for this must remain with the parents; but in no way should we write these people off – Cameron will look to target these families in a bid to save money; what we should be doing is looking to change attitudes and behaviour. All part of the so-called ‘Big Society’….

BNP continues to implode

The full-scale implosion within the ranks of the BNP ‘leadership’ continues today with the news that Lee Barnes, the BNP  ‘legal officer’ has resigned his position with immediate effect.  Barnes has gone as far as to accuse Nick Griffin and Jim Dowson of committing acts of fraud. He has also attacked those in the party who he describes as the “vermin in the gutter of British Nationalism”.

This infighting is obviously good news for those of us who seek to expose the lies and hatred within the very soul of the BNP and it’s supporters. Griffin is becoming increasingly isolated, and I’m sure it wont be too long before we find him hiding out in his own version of a Berlin bunker, loaded revolver close at hand.

You can read Lee Barnes’ full resignation letter by clicking here – as reported on the excellent Kirklees Unity site.

Update – August 2010

Hello once again; as you can see I have returned.

As seems to be the case in recent times, I like to have a little break between bouts of feverish writing. This happens for various reasons; in the main it’s due to being rather bored with the subject matter. It’s been a odd year so far; I’ve changed job and as such am now free from the repressive world of the civil service, (not that this ever stopped me before), and I’ve had a few rather worrying health problems, (thank God for the wonderful NHS). This coupled with a few other ‘personal issues’ has left my mind somewhat distracted of late….

So, it seems a lot has happened; Brown has gone at last and New Labour perished, (as I predicted would happen in this very blog two years ago). Clegg has taken Cameron’s limp Eton penis up his arse; taken his fellow Lib Dems along with him, and are already getting ready to fuck us all firmly up the arse. Oh, and the BNP and EDL are still a bunch of thick, (but dangerous) fuckwits…

Time to get angry again then. Time to make a stand.

It’s good to be back…..

OK Nick, you can fuck off again now….

As was to be expected, the fallout from Nick Griffins appearance on Question Time continues apace. Those who favour a ‘no platform’ policy with regards to the BNP have looked upon the subsequent media coverage of the event to claim that the BBC were in fact wrong to invite Griffin onto the programme; and that events during the past two days validate this view.

nick-griffin-cartoon

A YouGov poll in today’s edition of  The Times indicates that 22% of people in this country would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the far-right party in an upcoming election. Let’s just look at that: 1 in 5 people asked would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the BNP – that’s consider, not WILL vote for the BNP. Eight Million people watched Question Time on Thursday night; as a result, I’m not at all surprised that support for Griffin and his dubious friends received a little boost, this is to be expected, and hopefully over the coming weeks this will reduce significantly. Of course, this poll makes a great headline, but let’s not forget the other 78% of voters in this country who would hopefully NEVER consider voting for that pathetic bunch of fascist fuckwits.

I still think that the BBC were right to include Griffin on the programme. Those who favour ‘no platform’, including Peter Hain, look upon this as a massive early Christmas present for the BNP, providing them with massive exposure, and possibly leading to a large increase in their overall support. The answer to this is very simple; by censoring Griffin and the BNP, the media storm does not in fact dissipate – it remains and it makes a martyr out of Griffin to his misguided supporters. You see, with a character such as Griffin, you really can’t win; if you invite him to speak on Question Time he claims he was bullied; if you don’t, he’ll claim he’s being censored by the ‘liberal elite’. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s far better to let the fascists make absolute fucking fools of themselves. Personally I’m just as concerned about the lies and filth peddled every week in the Daily Mail and Express.

The way in which we react to the BNP in the coming weeks and  months is vital. Let Griffin have his five minutes in the spotlight, this will soon fade. There is a view that says that you can’t reason with a racist – this might be true enough, however, through debate and conversation, we can hopefully persuade all but the most hard-core BNP supporter not to vote for them in the future.

There is undoubtably a huge task ahead of the major political parties to reconnect with those voters who have unfortunatly drifted towards the BNP and their policies of hate and division. It may be that Labour has the most work to do here, especially in the North and the Midlands. However, it would be misguided and wrong to lay the blame squarely at Labours door. Yet, this is what certain Tories are now trying to do; Iain Dale has kicked things off  in predictable fashion on his blog by claiming that Labour are responsible for the ‘rise of the BNP’. This was followed up by an appalling performance by Nadine Dorries last night on Radio 4’s ‘Any Questions’, during which, she launched into what can only be described as a hesterical rant on the subject, the end result of which ended with Jacqui Smith asking her to ‘calm down’. Typical behaviour from Dorries I’m afraid – continuing to live in her own little fantasy world.

The responsibility to tackle the BNP remains with all of us, regardless of which political party we follow or support. All of us have a duty to protect and nurture the fair and tollerant society in which we live, and it is pathetic and unfair of the Tories to suggest otherwise.

Griffin: “I’m not a Nazi….” REALLY!?!?

Aug09_VE_Nazi-NickSo, now that the dust has settled, and with the whiff of moral indignation still heavy in the air, I suppose now is as good as time as any to discuss my thoughts following the appearance of Nick Griffin on last nights Question Time.

To be honest, I’m still in two minds. As things go, I thought that it went as well as we could have hoped for. Prior to transmission I would admit to being rather concerned as to how the evening would pan out. The last thing I wanted was for the nasty little Nazi to be given the opportunity to spout a load of populist nonsense with regards to the topics of the day.

As it turned out this did not happen. As I’m sure many of us expected, Griffin came across as the narrow-minded, evil little racist that he’s always been. Nothing he said last night could have changed that. From the very start he appeared completely out of his depth amongst the other panelists, he spluttered and squirmed his way through a series of questions, dropping in a few hideous and disgraceful comments along the way.

As for the other panelists; on the whole I thought they performed rather well. Each one contributed and played their part in Griffins downfall, although, let’s be honest, Griffin is such a fool, he needs no help.

Of course, today, Griffin has now come out complaining about his unfair treatment on the programme, in fact saying that he was a victim of a ‘lynch mob’. The irony of this is surely not lost on us. After all, this is the same man who shared a platform with KKK leader David Duke, and who last night described that vile organisation as almost ‘totally non-violent’. True to form, Griffin then questioned the choice of London as a venue for the programme.

He told Sky News today that:

“That audience was taken from a city that is no longer British … That was not my country any more. Why not come down and do it in Thurrock, do it in Stoke, do it in Burnley? “Do it somewhere where there are still significant numbers of English and British people [living], and they haven’t been ethnically cleansed from their own country.” He added: “There is not much support for me there [in London], because the place is dominated by ethnic minorities. There is an ethnic minority that supports me: the English. But there’s not many of them left.”

This is typical Griffin, and a good example of the insidious way in which the BNP attempt to worm their way into society by playing on the fears and worries of those who feel disenfranchised not only with modern politics, but also with life in this country.

Griffins gang of fascist supporters will of course now rally behind their bullied leader. No sooner had the programme finished then claims were coming out from the BNP bunker about increased website traffic, and increased membership interest. By the way, this is despite the fact that their membership levels have in fact decreased over the past two years.

Last night proved once and for all that the ‘no platform’ idea does not and will never work. As much as I loath Griffin and all that he stands for, I’m more than happy for him to make a complete and utter fucking fool of himself on national television. Once and for all we need to understand that we can not defeat the BNP by censorship. You will not defeat the BNP by following a policy of ‘no platform’, and, most importantly, you will never defeat the BNP by holding violent protests and trying to invade the BBC. Words over violence is the only way forward; you beat the BNP by the strength of our ideas. You beat the BNP by exposing the truth, uncovering the many lies, by laying waste to the hatred and disgust that the fascists have for our open and tolerant society.

Unite-Against-Fascism-dem-001

Violence breeds violence. As comrades, together in a common cause, we must take every single opportunity to expose these people for what they really are. The truth is a far more damaging and lasting deterrent to the preachers of hate, far more damaging then throwing eggs and fighting on the streets of our towns and cities. One again the UAF are way off the mark; not a week goes by without them setting our cause back, and in the process creating more sympathy for the likes of Griffin. As has happened in the past, the leadership and supporters of the UAF fail to adapt or move forward – too stuck in their ways, with their rigid, dogmatic code of no platform. When will they finally understand that the tired old ways of protest simply do not work anymore. It is time to evolve, to move forward, to use our brains and not our fists.

If last night showed us anything, it was that Griffin hasn’t changed, and his party will never change, and the fight against the fascists is far from over. There could be dark days ahead, but never forget: WE are in the right. We live in a tolerant and diverse country, I’m proud to say that I still have faith in the people of this country to do the right thing. The great people of this country will not fall for Griffin’s racist bile. Together, we can defeat the BNP; together we can create a society where those holding fascist views are confined to the dustbin, along with all the other extremists who try to spread fear and hatred. We must not, and will not let them win.

St. Nadine

nadineDM0603_228x674Earlier this week, I thought it might be a good idea to remind people about the disturbing Christian fundamentalist friends and organisations linked to Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP. I need not have worried- true to form, Ms Dorries has yet again provided us with another prime example as to why politics and religion do not, and should not ever mix.

In her latest blog post she manages to berate the Bishop of Liverpool for being ‘slightly too political’. Then in the same breath accuses him of not speaking up on Christian matters that also have an impact on the political world.

Of course, this all comes down to the abortion issue yet again. Ms Dorries is ‘amazed’ that Church of England Bishops do not speak our more with regards to the ‘big questions’. This is obviously in comparison with the more evangelical forms of Christianity that Ms Dorries prefers. For example, as I’ve mentioned previously we know that Ms Dorries has worked closely with groups such as Christian Concern for our Nation; and that through Ms Dorries these fundamentalist groups have received unprecedented access to Parliament – access that most other hard line religious groups could only dream of.

To clarify: I really don’t care about an individuals personal religious views – you should be free to worship or believe in anything you want. What I do find disturbing is when a publicly elected member of parliament allows her own religious views to colour her public duties. Worse still is the fact that Ms Dorries allows herself to be publicly associated with fundamentalist groups.

As Alastair Campbell once famously said – “We don’t do God”. Guess what? He was right as well  – David Cameron would do well to remember that.

The Danger of Dorries

Another week goes by, and as sure as night follows day, Nadine Dorries continues to fail to engage brain before mouth. Last week, via her blog, (essential reading as always), and now on Twitter, she continued to maintain her unchallenged claim of being the Walter Mitty of politics.

We all watched last week as Nadine basically lied about the TUC’s call to ban high heels in the workplace.We all watched as she attempted to whip up a media storm for her own publicity seeking self.

All of which brings us to Nadine’s latest blog post regarding Iran, and Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denials. What starts out as a fairly balanced piece, calling for greater support of the opposition movement, ends with Nadine calling for pre-emptive strikes against key installations.

No one wants to see an ancient Persia with its people and history in danger. However, no sensible person wants to see the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty broken after 40 years, or a bomb in Ahmadinejad’s hands.

It may be that sanctions are necessary, it may also be that these will be coupled with air strikes of critical installations.

We are nearer and nearer to such a reality each day.

It is a terrifying unedifying thought and one that could be avoided if those within Iran who wish to topple the regime were given more support from outside.

So, more sound and fury signifying nothing? Or, should we once again look more closely at the people and organisations behind Nadine Dorries?

In May 2008, Dorries was featured in a Channel 4 edition of Dispatches. The episode, “In Gods Name”, investigated various aspects of the fundamentalist Christian movement in this country – much of which was centred around the group Christian Concern for our Nation. This group was effectively using Dorries as a mouthpiece in the build up to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. In a blog post at the time, I questioned the viability of an elected member of parliament allowing a fundamentalist group access to parliament. A group that not only opposes gay rights and homosexuality in general, but also declares Islam to be a ‘false religion’.

Yet again, I fear that Dorries is actively pursuing an anti-Islamic agenda – pushed forward by not only CCFON, but also by their sister organisation, the Christian Legal Centre . As before, the link is Andrea Minichiello Williams , a key advisor to Dorries, and a woman who quite openly describes herself as a fundamentalist.

Here they are together last year. This clip is so disturbing it’s almost laughable.

I could be clutching at straws here, after all, it is very easy to mock Dorries and her often ridiculous comments. However, it is important to consider what could happen should the Tories gain power next year – politicians such as Dorries will not be sidelined by Cameron, and as such we should be very, very fearful of a swing to the right by the Tories.

A move that could not only lead to  greater religious and sexual intolerance, but could also put thousands of women at risk following a potential change in this countries abortion laws.

We must not let that happen.