In terms of turnout the TUC anti-cuts/there is an alternative demo in London over the weekend was a stunning success.From one quarter of a million to half a million people made the effort to get to London despite the distance to travel, the costs and the use of a precious weekend for many workers forced to work 50 to 60 hours a week.
This was a genuine outpouring of anger at a series of proposed cuts to jobs, services and the living conditions of millions. Anger at ordinary folk being asked to pay for an economic crisis that has nothing to do with them, a fact even conceded by Bank Of England Governor Mervyn King in a rare moment of candour.
The so-called economic crisis was caused by the unbridled greed of the bankers and bosses who were left unregulated by successive Governments to gamble with other people’s bank deposits in pursuit of obscene salaries, bonuses and profits.
It is criminal that these parasites living off the labour of others condemned public ownership and public subsidies to ailing industries like steel, shipbuilding and coal at every turn and demanded the right to make as much as possible and pay themselves as much as they could get away with for decades.
They insisted the profits were privatised.
Yet when their paper chasing casino economy was exposed as the fraud it is panic set in and the banks threatened to collapse across the planet because they had outstretched themselves and couldn’t even meet depositors demand for withdrawals.
All of a sudden, public ownership and subsidies was the order of the day to save their slippery, oily and two-faced skins. Their profits were to be privatised but their losses were to be socialised.
The capitalist free market stripped naked as the hypocritical and inefficient beast that it is.
The banks have received a total of £1 trillion in bail-outs, loans and subsidies. We are told all the time, and were when there bailouts were sanctioned, that all this money from the public purse will be paid back.
If that’s true then where is the crisis?
We are owed £1 trillion from the banks. They will pay, we are told. So, stop the public service butchery.
Then there is the issue of tax evasion. I think I’ve got that right. Tax avoidance is legal for those who can afford the accountants. It’s tax evasion which is illegal.
Even the dogs in the street know the distinction is irrelevant.
The super rich and their companies evade and avoid taxes in the knowledge that they are above the law. They rob the public purse of billions every year and are never punished. They are thieves and scroungers, plain and simple.
I share space with convicted criminals in here right now whose thefts and robberies amount to pennies compared to the billions these well dressed, pin-striped thieves dip from the public purse every single year.
An accountancy professor, Prem Sikka, of the University of Essex (google him) has researched the area of tax evasion painstakingly over many years. Despite the complexity of the crime due to the schemes and dodges created to cover up the grand larceny he was able to uncover a level of tax evasion by rich individuals and companies that amounted to a minimum of £85 billion per year.
Put that into perspective.
The ConDem cabinet of privileged and pampered millionaires insist we have to suffer a cuts package amounting to £81 billion.
If they instead concentrated on collecting owed taxes from their multi-millionaire friends and business associates they could rake in an extra £85 billion a year and allow public services to be expanded, not slashed.
Such a political strategy would save jobs, livelihoods, communities and allow the return of free education, a universal and reliable health service free for all and a pension that can be lived on in place of the pathetic pittance that we currently expect our senior citizens to survive on.
Of course, don’t expect such a strategy to be forthcoming from either the ConDem Government or their pale reflections in New Labour.
He and his party don’t oppose the cuts. They only oppose the speed of their implementation. At least 90% of every cut currently proposed would still be on the table if Labour were in Government.
It is that fact which explains why they’re not in Government. All of these parties represent the rich and big business.
Take the issue of so-called benefit scroungers. Who launched a tirade of abuse against such people in the hope of hounding them and making them pariahs in society? That’s right, New Labour launched the ‘we know who you are’ TV adverts and bus shelter ads.
They spent millions of public sector money to get others to “shop a cheat” and promised vigorous action to prosecute the scroungers working while also claiming benefit.
What sheer and shameless hypocrisy.
They spent millions hounding the poor making some extra money whilst claiming the dole but turned the other cheek to the millionaires defrauding the tax system to pocket billions. Even worse, they rewarded tax cheats whilst hounding benefit cheats.
Take Philip Green of the Arcadia Group, which includes Top Shop, Burtons, BHS and other retail outlets. He was exposed as a major tax evader in 2005. His £1.1 billion dividend that he paid himself that year, a retail industry record, was put in his wife’s name because she was registered for tax purposes in Monaco.
This scroungers actions led to the public purse losing over £300 million in revenue.
That’s a lot of hospitals, schools and street sweepers to keep the entrances to his many stores clean.
What happened to this scrounging, multi-millionaire criminal? Has he roundly condemned by New Labour ministers, as they condemn benefit cheats for claiming hundreds of pounds illegally, not millions?
No. Philip Green, the millionaire tax dodger and scrounger of 2005 was made Sir Philip Green by New Labour in 2006.
He is still a tax evading and scrounging criminal, but now he is a Sir. It is such hypocrisy that turns so many off politics.
Persecution and hounding for poor benefit cheats. Knighthoods and caviar receptions for the millionaire tax dodgers.
It is that double standard behaviour that leads to the universal condemnation of the “violence” at Saturday’s demo. Well, the protesters don’t have access to millions to make TV and bus shelter ads to expose and name & shame the tax dodgers. But they do have the ability to occupy and daub some paint to draw the attention of the public to the scandal of millionaires dodging taxes, and banks who owe us collectively £1 trillion claiming to be skint but paying out £7 billion in bonuses last year alone.
I for one don’t condemn these protesters. I applaud them.
I thank them for exposing the sheer hypocrisy of the situation and the scale and criminality of organised tax evasion in this country. I don’t support physical attacks on individuals, but to groups like UK Uncut and others involved in bank occupations, Topshop occupations and other actions to highlight the massive tax dodging that is practiced by the millionaires and their companies, I say well done! They are effectively making citizen’s arrests of a sort.
Get the rich to pay their taxes and we need make no cuts in library provision, home help services, free education and health.
Such actions as occupations and the painting of slogans will on their own, however, not change society.
The TUC leaders, instead of inviting a charlatan like Miliband to address their massive demo should have named the day for a massive public and private sector 24 hour strike to bring Britain to a standstill against the cuts and force the ConDems to abandon their programme or force them out of office.
Talking, marching & occupying are all important, but co-ordinated and organised strike action is what will really bring about change.
On the jail front everything is fine. In fact, I am now very busy and probably in a very privileged position. No wonder so many prisoners desire the job I got in the joiners assembly shed. It is widely acknowledged to be the best job in the jail.
Not only do I qualify for a wage bonus based on the number of units we assemble and sell to outlets, but I also get to deliver them alongside prison officers.
The other day I got to visit Dobies garden centre off the Hawkhead road and help unload the pallets. No handcuffs, just a sore back.
Some of the staff there were a bit surprised to see me, but it was great to get a wee afternoon outside the jail.
Then, to cap it all off, I found the bonus related to the number of outside table & chair sets we assembled and sold amounted to £25.
25 quid and a wee trip outside the jail all in one week. No wonder some in the press say I’m receiving privileges!
Until next time,