Crocodile tears wouldn’t have mattered if May had shed buckets full!

Its a bitter irony that the  Grenfell Tower fire should happen as Britain starts to negotiate  its way out of the European Union central to which is seen by some of  its main protagonists as  keeping out foreigners who are “enjoying” this countries  largess. Racism!

Those of  us who argued for withdrawal  from the EU on  economic and political grounds will though need to search our consciences and  ensure there does not lie within us any xenophobic trace and root it out.

The irony is piled on when you consider that the laggardly  response to the plea of middle east women and children to  people caught up in but denied asylum as practices by successive  governments meant that  they could have, some were  I believe, perished in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

They would certainly have joined people housed in the worst possible conditions Britain can provide where private landlords, though not in this case,  make huge profits from their suffering. Some of their own amongst them profiting from the miseries they provide.

This is compounded by the disregard for tenants whose questioning of the dangers of the conditions lived in go ignored. When, as with Grenfell Towers, improvements are made more thought is given to its appearance in the eyes of its rich neighbours, by adding cheap cladding, while failing to fix safety measures such as sprinklers and alarms.

That Theresa May failed to make with the usual crocodile expected is the least of the concerns left in the flames of the towering inferno it shows up a system rotten to the core.


Le Care said it

I found this in Smiley’s People, Le Carre, featuring “your old service”(Labour), “George” (Watson) and my old trot mates

Trots “And there was a scandal George and your old service, the service you love, was involved with a notoriously revanchist outfit – volatile, talkative, violently anti detente -with all manner of anachronistic fixations – a total hangover from the cold war The very archetype our masters told us to avoid

The Old did for May as much as the young!

I find it puzzling that in the various analysis of the 2017 general election the older generation were all along said to be responsible for the ascendency in the Conservative Party’s vote.

I grew up and was active within two generations (at least) between 1945 to 1995 in a period of working class militancy unequalled in the 20th century and certainly since. This was at work, in the communities and in politics, with a small “p.”

We were the “Beat generation,” we “rocked and rolled,” took to “Flower Power” and to “Punk” as we thumbed our noses or “showed our arse” to the ruling class and authority in whenever it impinged on our rights Not just that but building on the struggles of the pioneers we organised and built the trade unions that secured the best wages and conditions ever seen for the working class and its allies.

Did its spirit fade in the face of middle of the road politics? If any section of the population is for turning, as “preached” by Tony Blair it is a section of the middle classes who are more likely to be bought for their votes.

So what? Well; can it be that Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto and demeanour with a “gleam of socialism” relit the gleam in oldies eyes and they returned to its roots and Labour.

It can’t only be the young that Jeremy’s team appealed to. Labour’s popular vote rose by 3.5 million between 2015 and 2017, so it has to be more than the young hasn’t it? The older generation, has a serious claim to be a part of that

Roy Jones, Colwyn Bay.

Vote! Vote! and only Labour

Labour MPs feared of a lost seat on June 8 listening to media siren voices whispering “tactical voting” should be told no matter the odds we can’t “outflank” the Tories – they have to be challenged head on.

The Communist Party’ has grasped the nettle of the importance of this election with the chance of a left political climate change that needs every vote for Labour garnered, with the popular vote as important as the seats gained, thus sustaining this change well beyond 2017.

Every vote against the Tories will show that the people are not willing to be used as pawns in a cynical snap election aimed at some kind of super power giving May a free hand in the Brexit negotiations.

The task is big for a working class activists, by hand or brain, frustrated by the ruling class’s long political dominance over their lives, having tried everything , short of revolution, to “beat the system“

Its understandable frustration at a Tory Party, sustained by millionaires’ wealth, in return sustaining the millionaires powers. Tory governments by administrative means helping bosses and hindering workers, in its extreme form by anti-trade union laws.

The ruling class’s tentacles are every where especially in a media proving daily that “black is white” to citizens who rely on its news and views for guidance but gets propaganda. Its gone into overdrive deriding Corbyn and Labour and extolling May’s “virtues.

We justly claim that “They are few and we are many,” bound together by our needs. But to make this count it needs unity in action countering a ruling class’s use of division in our ranks. Unity is needed now.

It is a two horse race no pacemakers no outsiders its “us or them!” Best make it us.

Dealing with Britain’s probems Nero did better

Thoughts for the Day on Maggie May.

The Snap election hailed as “Maggie” May’s capitalising on Labour’s low poll rating is I really about the chance of five more years before an unsuspecting electorate finds out the bleak economic future Britain faces.

A quick(ish) way out of this economic gloom would be tax the rich who have got tonnes of money, but are the Tory paymasters, so once more they will seek to “grind the faces of the poor” who have little money.

This is the latest Tory story of six years in having spared no one from austerity but the rich, while paring away the other sections of the populace’s incomes.

Any semblance of “work” no matter how poorly paid and part time counts and helps shortens the dole queue figures. Linked to benefits or not, it is encourages, or in the case of the disabled, “forces” to labour for a pittance..

Those in full time work labour under the minimum wage those 24 years old and under getting less a vast army of part and full time low paid and unskilled toil in warehouses, call centres, food preparation, retail, hotel and catering. The worst of the jobs go to immigrant workers.

Those at work have seen wages capped at nil or stagnate for eight years and more, has not and will not, rise enough in the coming years.

To help “hard working families” the Tories increased the “threshold” below which the citizen pays tax now to £11,500 (£221.00 a week) reducing the tax take not only from the bottom 20p basic but the (middle classes) 40p top rate level.

Pensioners incomes are/have been cut through changes to the formula for annual increases by replacing RPI with CPI. Second and graduated pensions cut to 1%, Pensioners Savings Credits cut (None if a pensioners after April 2016). Interest on saving yield next to nothing.

The “rich” though have had cuts in taxation and through their accountants knowledge of the way to do it without cheating. By cheating the super rich pay little or tax at all.

The balance of payments now relies on the City and and tourism rather than production and industrial goods. The stock marketeers or the weather Britain’s two great areas of unpredictability!

The lack of government funds to finance public services is the problem but instead of the measures increase revenues by creating wealth and thus taxes the Tories cut services and reinforcing poverty. Nero did better.!

The basic state pension’s not enough!

The basic pension was never enough and was further undermined by Thatcher 1980 and now Theresa May 2017    – How read on.

Those advocating axing the annual rise in the Basic State Pension through the triple lock should be aware first that “One in six older people in Britain and Northern Ireland live below the poverty line and up to 6 million have an income of less than £11,000 a year.”

The National Pensioners Convention points out that a very real reduction in value that the BSP suffered when the link with earnings was broken by the Thatcher government in 1980. and linked to prices. This meant by 2012 when the triple lock was introduced, the BSP’s figure of £97.65 which would have been £161.30 a week had the earnings’ link still been in place.

This remained th same until 2012 when the David Cameron Tory government introduced the triple lock of RPI, average wage or 2.5 % which ever the highest

Many now argue that the the triple lock has done its job with the state pension now being too generous. In the six years the lock has been in place the minimum of (2.5%) has been used three times and twice by the prices and once on wages.

That doesn’t mean either that pension’s annual increase hasn’t been reduced. In 2012 the CPI replaced the RPI the CPI being lower. In April 2017 the rise is reduced again with the second (SERPS) and the Graduated pensions increase cut to 1% from the normal same as basic pension increase.

Far from having done its job, the triple lock is still needed to ensure that the gap between pensioners’ incomes and the rest of society does not widen. The simplest and fairest way of doing this is through improving the state pension for all pensioners – taking it to a level which is 70% of the living wage.

What is needed is a state pension in the UK set above the official poverty level, at around £200 a week and linked to the triple lock.

The UK’s state pension is among the worst in the developed world (ranked as 32nd out of 34 OECD countries) and successive governments have allowed it to deteriorate. All older people, both now and especially future generations need a guaranteed income on which

Roy Jones of the NUJ’s 60+ Council.

Thoughts for the Day 1

Thoughts for the day.. So Trump has assumed the the US presidential personna and all’s well It involves firing missilles and dropping man’s biggest bomb, or (worse)  the US military is. Before he was said to be  bonkers.

What is the point of BBC Radio and TV News telling of a North London murder item .. Is there nothing happening in Wales?

The National Trust at Penrhyn Castle, nr Bangor,  home of the quarry owners Lord Penrhyn(s) has put on an exhibiton telling of the Bethsda quarries where his vile treatment of the quarrymen led to a year(s) strike in 1900.  The first time the quarrymen who made the Penrhyn’s millionaires  using money  made fro Jamaican slaves.

Literery Bonkers.

I don’t mind so much when television “drama” written by numbers has two bonks, four letter words, gratuitous violence on a darkened set entirely populated by mumbling miserable bastards but when perfectly good plays and books are “adapted” with these same ingredients for today’s “modern” audiences enough is enough.

The frequent defence that Shakespeare used the same devices won’t do because the rest of the scripts are not drivel and his plots can be followed to their dramatic conclusion without being littered by confusing devices although even he has not been free of “interpretation.”

Judging by his adaption of War and Peace Andrew Davies who over the years has given the authors of classic novels a chance to have their stories told in their own “unique” way has fallen into the sex scenes (that always fail) trap and I anticipate his adaption of Victor Hugo’s Le Miserables with trepidation.

This piece though was spurred on by the BBC production of Agatha Christie”s “The Witness for the Prosecution” to which was added two bonking scenes and a four letter outburst never ever read in a Agatha Christie novel story. And Not Needed!

Then a master piece of an unsuspected ending to a murder mystery story was destroyed by an added ending as the main character John Mayhew (Toby Jones) shows up a sexual frustration in an attack on his wife.

The problem with these would be emperors trying to embelish great writers is that they “Have No clothes.”

Damn! that bleeding Tin

It was the honey pot that put this article in motion which was more than could be said for its lid!

By Roy Jones.

An attempt at the normal method of holding the jar tightly in the left hand and and unscrewing anti clockwise gave no indication that it would yield neither did the use of a cone shaped ribbed rubber cap aid for the disable, help.

There was I noticed a minute indent on the rim of the metal lid which before the placing of a tea spoon handle could be used to prize it free. A teaspoon handle though was too thick to do the trick but I was nearly there and a smallish (??// ) screwdriver with a twist did the trick.

Although 86 I have retained quite a number of ways of usage that apply to hands and as a man some strength and a number of tools from my days at work and in the home a number of tools and the skills to use them. These tools and attributes s would not apply to all men and I would presume women from an age earlier than mine.

This capacity of manufacturers of a number of items with the seeming intent of testing the strength, skills and implements (why else would to be) of older people to contend with obstacles put in the way of getting at items, food for instance) that are needed to ensure their well being if not their very survival.

Talking of which how are the chances of the survival of elderly patients helped by the packaging for their needs encased in plastic that have to be pushed out from stubbornly stuck wrappings with thumbs/fingers that have to be like tempered steel if the operation is to succeed.

The odds of succeeding in this operation in time to stem a heart condition becoming fatal are at best remote.

All kinds of implements from toothbrushes, to Swiss army knives to paint brushes are encased in a plastic sealed at the edges with the power to entry indicated by a dotted line that proves to be impenetrable except by the use of a Swiss penknife (which is still encased in its wrapping

Those of us who take porridge as part of the breakfast menu will have come across the ingenuous/dangerous devise at its packet’s top corner designed to transform it into a pour-er with a – flap all that is needed is a “SHARP KNIFE” and some dexterity .. I have found the perfect solution to avoiding the loss of the aforementioned steel fingers, (and a lot of the above).

I leave it to the wife!

The Be-Witching of Corbyn

The media which-hunt that has dogged every step of of Jeremy Corbyn’ s Labour leadership has the classic elements of where a victim is blamed for the ills of a community then cleansed by its destruction.

Since his election his dress, singing, abilities and intellect have been savaged in broadcasting and print; twopenny commentators embroider with sly jokes and innuendo any ability he has is questioned.

What was said, done and to whom in the past are used in evidence to solve unsolved mysteries concerning known Satanic (political) activities and curses are uncovered.

There are those in the witch- hunt for personal reasons. “But “friends” (some close) find doubts arising from this “evidence.” The plot unfolds ending in trial by fire or water. Guilty if surviving or innocent if not.

Missing from this plot is a person who considering this so unjust will speak out.. Hilary Benn maybe in his pose as the conscience of the Labour Party instead joins the Blairite sitting with the knitters (deprived of their due,) by the pyre.

The latest accusation against Corbyn is his inability to stop the flow of abusive social messages received by Women Labour MPs, (his challenger Owen Smith says it has grown under Corbyn.

The practice of abusive messages, which has to be challenged, is in fact common and growing and has for some time been, to some degree, a weapon of journalists, politicians and sports people. That Corbyn should be able to stop single handed, (even in the Labour Party) what is a major problem for society is asking a bit much. .