assembly, association, ban, Chris Grayling, Coalition, compassionate, conditioned helplessness, conservatism, Conservative, crime, David Cameron, degrading, discrimination, european working time directive, exploit, forced labour, government, hours, Human Rights Act, information, inhuman, Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, minimum wage, national security, opinion, Parliament, people, politics, privacy, punishment, retroactive, servitude, shift, slave, snoopers charter, Tories, Tory, trade union, treatment, trial, Vox Political, Vox Political. Strong Words and Hard Times, work, work conditions, Work Programme, Workfare
It seems certain people are starting to think in some extremely self-defeating ways – opening themselves up to exploitation by our government of millionaires.
Look at this, from a Facebook thread started by a person asking when it became normal for working people to be asked to do 14-hour shifts. He said it seemed that companies were cutting down on staff and doubling everyone’s hours up, because it is cheaper, and voiced the opinion that making anyone work that long is barbaric.
In response, another person wrote: “A job is a job. I’d do anything to get one. Even if it was 14 hours a day… No one wants to hire complainers. There’s plenty of people who would work for pennies.” Worst of all (because it shows a lack of awareness that is staggering: “I’d rather keep my family fed, clothed and warm than worry about me.”
This person clearly did not understand that they were buying into a situation in which employers can reduce pay and increase hours as they please, exploiting workers to the limits of their endurance, because “there’s plenty of people who would work for pennies”. Not only is were they accepting the conditioned helplessness against which this blog warned in early 2012 (Stand up, you slaves! – published in Vox Political: Strong Words and Hard Times, available now in print and as an ebook), but this is exactly the sort of treatment the Human Rights Act, the minimum wage and the European Working Time Directive were set up to prevent.
The Conservative Party would abolish all of them. Only today, David Cameron said Britain needs to scrap the Human Rights Act.
Just think about that. The Prime Minister of the UK wants to remove the human rights of its citizens. If ever there was a reason not to vote Conservative, it’s that.
He’s arguing that abolition is necessary to make it impossible for “people who are a threat to our national security, or who come to Britain and commit serious crimes” to “cite their human rights when they are clearly wholly unconcerned for the human rights of others”.
This is a legitimate concern but it does not require the scrapping of a law that protects people from exploitation in many, many other ways. Besides, concern over this single issue may be addressed by amending the legislation (admittedly not a simple matter as it would involve negotiations with Europe, and this is unpalatable for Conservatives as it suits their purposes for the EU to appear unreasonable).
Do you want the Human Rights Act scrapped?
This would legalise “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (although not torture itself, which would still rank as an assault offence against a person), including poor working conditions.
It would legalise servitude and forced labour – which would be handy for Conservatives who have been forcing jobseekers into such situations for several years, contrary to article 4 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights (which the UK Human Rights Act ratifies in British law).
You would lose the right to a fair trial. Coalition plans, under inJustice Minister Chris Grayling, mean you are likely to lose this right anyway, but the UK would be in contravention of the HRA and the European Convention if it puts these plans through and the Act is not repealed.
There is an article regarding retroactivity – nobody may be punished for an act that was not a criminal offence at the time it took place. It is a matter of debate whether this could be used to combat the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act that was brought in so hastily in March, to retroactively legalise the government’s Workfare/Work Programme schemes (the kind of forced labour that the Act also seeks to prevent). Thousands of people were owed millions of pounds in illegally-removed benefit before the Act was passed. It meant that this money would not have to be paid. Isn’t that punishing somebody for an act that was not criminal when it took place?
You would lose your right to privacy in your family life, home and correspondence. Again, this would be useful for a government that wants to poke around your emails, as Theresa May wants with her snooper’s charter.
You – and I – would lose the right to freedom of expression. We would no longer be allowed to hold opinions, receive and transmit information and ideas, that run against the wishes of the government of the day. This blog would be banned.
(Actually, some of you may think this is a good idea – but do you really want the government to tell you what to think? Do you want people to be imprisoned, or heavily fined, for holding a different opinion?)
You would lose the right to free assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions. So any congregation of a large group of people would be illegal, and groups of workers would lose any legal right to have their collective interests represented in an organised way to management. This opens the door to exploitation in a big way.
The prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status would be lost – meaning, for example, that nobody could object to the so-called ‘racist vans’ that were patrolling London recently, telling Conservative voters that the government was being tough on illegal immigrants.
There are others. It is worth looking up the Act, and the Convention, just to see exactly what protections they provide – and what the Conservatives want to take away from you.
They say they would produce a ‘Bill of Rights’ protecting the freedoms they want to keep. These would naturally include only those rights they believe would not interfere with their plans to render you powerless, with no right of redress against their exploitation of you.
Think about it hard.
Are you really so stupid that you’ll let a proven liar distract you, just because he has honey on his forked tongue (as a far better writer once put it)?
I don’t think you are.
Reblogged this on kickingthecat.
kath gray said:
but this is the logical culmination of capitalism- what else can you ‘monetise’? .slavery.
Mike Sivier said:
Are you saying you approve of this plan?
Carole Frost said:
we should keep the human rights act it protects every citizen in this country what cameron is doing is illegally wrong ..the human rights act was founded many years ago it is a safe gaurd for all of us.
First Night Design • Rogues & Vagabonds said:
To state the bleedin’ obvious, our forebears struggled for nothing, absolutely nothing. They must be spinning in their graves like there’s no tomorrow…which at this rate, there won’t be.
Alex Casale said:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
• Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Cameron if he gets back into power in 2015 will make great strides on going down the path he’s already on with welfare reform the breaking up of the NHS the withdrawal of human rights for certain groups of people and making the worker more enslaved to what the governments tell them a bit like china
in other words he will be aligning this country to china and the way it does things we the public here thou will have no say on the matter
Helen Carroll said:
Visit China first before you call them oppressed. China like Russia is not as is portrayed in the media and the Government
Mike Sivier said:
My impression is that China is like two countries – a wealthy coastal playground and a subjugated inland sweatshop. Is that mistaken, then?
china and Russia are very repressed countries and as mike says theirs one rule for the top class and sweatshops and slavery for everyone else a bit like the uk
David Cameron will after the next election align the uk with china so we will all see who is right and i can assure you i will be as that is the conservatives master plan and i think the vast majority of people in this country will understand where i coming from
Only 40 miles outside Beijing I saw peasant workers in the fields using donkeys to draw a wooden plough. This in the country which produces most of the tractors in the world. There is indeed a huge gulf between the well-off and the poor in China. It is the worst of capitalist countries when it comes to labour relations. They operate on the principle that there are always others to do your job if you object to conditions such as safety or long hours.
I can certainly believe that Cameron and his acolytes want to adopt that model. Stepping back 150 years – they already have plans for workhouses.
Helen Carroll said:
You need to look around. It is hidden but there is more slavery and oppression here than China. Working the land with horse and cart is not oppresion. The Amish do it all the time. We are oppressed by the simple reason that our rights to keep livestock to graze thst live stick etc has been taken away from us – leaving us dependant on the state when we do not have any other way to look after ourselves. That is slavery. The removal of choice in the way you are allowed to fend for your kin.
I have visited China and I wouldn’t wish to live there due to the lack of the freedoms which I, as an individual value.
you may have freedom but what about the likes of myself who don’t and have to live by DWP rules all the time ?
I am disabled (registered blind) so I understand the issues faced by people with disabilities. Unlike China disabled people with genetic conditions are not being sterilised (eugenics is still alive and well in China). Disabled people do indeed face many issues in the UK and not all in the garden is rosey, but I’d much rather be disabled here than in China.
well i have lived a life very far removed from what would describe as normal by the DWP and if i wasn’t so dependent on doctors i would have left this country years ago like so many have done over the years
Unfortunately your blog and others like it are fighting a losing battle. Whilst you can make the information available for people to see what is happening they are not interested.
“Can I afford the latest iPhone”, “can I get totally p**sed at the weekend” (excuse the crudeness) and “how cool does my new car look” are at the forefront of most peoples minds.
Despite the economic downturn and the view that people are working harder for less these “luxuries” have avoided a major slump.
The pursuit of personal pleasure has overtaken simple reason. It matters not that you have to work 8 or 16 hours a day as long as you possess these luxuries.
It doesn’t matter if you see no family or friends, doesn’t matter if you sleep all day when you are off. You have the things that matter because TV tells you having those things matter.
Until things get really worse and we have an epidemic of some sort leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people ( as in the 1600’s when we were first able to travel and work freely) then we will walk into slavery with our minds on which phone is going to be the next out or which celebrity is going into which show..
When I post these blogs on my facebook I get comments such as “Hi comrade”. or “what’s rattled your cage” or “you really need a life”. Now I consider most people I know to be my peers (ordinary working people) and if that is their reaction then we have already lost
Mike Sivier said:
I think it’s very easy to sympathise with that point of view. What do other readers think? Have you had the same experience?
First Night Design • Rogues & Vagabonds said:
On the whole, I have not had that sort of response but then this could be that most of my friends on FB have been at the sharp end of this government’s attacks, either because they’re disabled or because they’re actors and artists. However, I’m fully expecting someone or other to make such a comment as ‘what’s rattled your cage’ as I put this post on FB earlier and wrote a long screed about reality and that if they thought I was exaggerating, they should do some research. I followed this with a list of links to such as Kitty Jones, Sue Marsh etc. We shall see.
No job, no benefits, no income for a whole year. Thanks, Cleggy. said:
I too have a growing sense that “The Stupids” have already won, but we have to make a determined stand against their herd mentality and against the evil of the Tories and the general corruption of all career politicians.
A similar experience yes. Especially with the ‘TV IS GOD’ addiction. (I turned my TV off 2 years ago and it’s stayed off. Now I only stare at the Internet God. One screen for another.)
I’ve found that some people I know seem to agree with the coalitions various attacks and in some cases it’s a stance of – I’m alright Jack, sod everyone else. Others see the Government and their paymasters for what they are, that is – bastards.
I have to agree with the fact that most are still comfortable with the bread and circus machine that is available here and rarely look up and, if they do, the reality just bounces off.
In terms of blogs like these, unfortunately, a lot are only preaching to the choir. We need a much bigger choir, hymns optional.
Mike Sivier said:
I do appreciate what you say about preaching to the choir. Trouble is, we have to build our audiences from scratch. I’m doing up to 3,000 hits a day at the moment, which is a tiny amount when you consider the number of Internet users in the country – but all I, and others like me, can do is keep plugging away at it and hope that it’s getting through.
I see little, and some not so little, victorys all the time. Look at the way the comments sections of the DM and TG have changed over the last 2 years.
About 2007-2009 when I 1st started telling relatively well-off friends to prepare for the comming storm, pay off cards, no new credit etc. and ‘when’ not ‘if’ they lose their jobs, all I got of course was lots of friendly abuse. “There’ll always be plenty of work for those that want it, I’ve worked since I was 15, there’s always pub work”
Nowadays their dreams of selling their property for £500,000! and retiring to Spain are totally shattered, they’ve lost 100,000 (and 3 bedrooms) when they were convinced they were going to gain 150,000. Now they actually ask for my advice, and tell others just to listen to me, unfortunatley I can’t help much.
Whenever you see/hear a hard working taxpayer saying they’re having to work 60 hours a week to make ends meet, and that because of this??? the unemployed should have to work for their benefits! Simply point out that then they will STILL be paying their benefits PLUS the benefits of the displaced worker, PLUS the cost to administer it all. That often stops them dead in their tracks, without even having to explain how it depresses THEIR own wages.
I think 3,000 hits a day is very good! They’re ways to increase it. I think you re-blog too much, often I’ve already read it, and when there’s something new and I comeback to see if there’s any sensible comments, it’s already scrolled off and is difficult to find.
So… keep up the good work.
From some of the people in my fibromyalgia support group I get comments like “that’s a bit militant, isn’t it? I don’t really like that way of thinking.” (right up until they have to face ATOS/DWP taking away their benefits etc, of course, when they start wondering how they can be treated this way). From some family I get “Well, something has to be done or the country will be bankrupt” and these people can’t be argued with, they are always right in their minds. No amount of reasonable and considered economic theory or demolishing of Coalition arguments will convince them otherwise.
It doesn’t stop me, I simply hope that my words and links will make an impression on them regardless.
Mike Sivier said:
Well the UK won’t go bankrupt because it is a sovereign, currency-printing country and that makes all the difference, apparently. See previous articles for the details. Silly Tories tell us it will because they want to scare us.
Gavin MacMillan said:
I’ve been an environmental and political activist since the 70’s, although not in the conventional sense. I do not participate in the mainstream political sphere in any way, including voting, as I do not see that any of the parties existing represent my interests, or the current democratic model either for that matter. Instead, I went the “alternative” route, living in communes, working in cooperatives, etc.. As well, I have spent my adult life travelling the world – as much for work as pleasure (as a hippy traveller, not a rich tourist), and I now live in Spain.
In the ’80’s, I worked as an activist with Greenpeace on their ships – I originally trained as a ship’s engineer. 20 years ago, I moved slightly sideways and got into aid work – as an engineer in development work – and from that moved to emergency aid, working directly in conflict areas helping victims of conflict. I now work off & on for a major aid agency.
In all this time, I have been sadly disillusioned and majorly disappointed at the political naïveté of most of colleagues and compatriots, and while they are not totally obsessed with gadget or C-list celeb culture, it has been surprising just how many certainly subscribe to it to a considerable level.
Living in communes was difficult because of the seemingly almost inevitable egos, & clashes of these. But one thing I did find was that a lot of people there were open to new ideas and learning. Working with Greenpeace was an eye opener as, while on one hand, it was a highly professional and competent organisation, the number of people in the offices on “career paths” was disturbing, while the majority of the people on the boats had very much a single-issue mentality, and their actual political understanding of the economic models & human psychologies that drove so much environmental degradation was superficial at best.
And in the aid world, things are no different. The majority of the people I work with have surprisingly little understanding of the global economic & political dynamics which drive so much conflict. As well, many of the agencies are so in thrall to political correctness that they will actively and willingly shy away from root causes if these are seen to challenge the PC viewpoint – one glaring example is the role population pressure played in the Rwandan genocide. At the time this happened and in the years following, agency senior management refused point blank to publicly recognise this as a driving force, although privately, they all admitted that this had a major bearing on events. It is only in the last 5 years that population pressure has become a discussable issue. Prior to this, this was disallowed as accepting this as an element was seen as “blaming the victims”.
Where I live in Spain, one reason I settled here was because of the high number of “alternativistas” who had moved here following the close down of the UK traveller scene by Thatcher & her heirs. And yet, even here, among people who should know better, there is mainly only a superficial awareness of what is going on outside, with an associated very limited understanding & analysis of the political & economic dynamics which are driving what is happening.
As a final excuse for this however, in many ways, it is because most people no longer feel they have any power to change anything, and so they have become disengaged to the point of near nihilism Summer here seems to be basically an endless scene of parties, barbies, days at the beach, etc.. This is not high cost living, as one of the huge benefits of Spain is that such a lifestyle can still be lived on the cheap – certainly compared to the UK. But if you listen to, or join in the discussions, it is to learn very quickly that politics is rarely discussed, and when it is, the knowledge of & understandings about what is actually going on is extremely limited. Mostly, the talk is about who’s gone back to the UK, what work there is, where to get cheap spares for the motor, who’s screwing who, become a dad, got married, gone travelling & where, died, or whatever. But real, serious awareness & analysis of the politics of either Spain or the UK? I think not…
My luxuries are freedom of speech the right to a work life balance and union representation the right to vote the right to healthcare the right to travel ECT …that is my kind of luxury 🙂
Mam Bach said:
If by ‘Iphone’ you mean tonight’s dinner and ‘cool car’ you mean rent, _then _ you might argue that ‘people think this’
Otherwise, it’s just you.
Your criticism here is misplaced. As an unemployed partially disabled single parent I too have struggled on occasions.
I have relatives who work, friends who work and neighbours who work and most of them have the mentality I mentioned in my post.
I could refer you to my personal Facebook account but I am not going to. I have had these kind of comments and the fact that the government keep getting away with their lies proves my point somewhat.
If the majority of people were struggling for tonight’s tea and rent then the current situation would not exist and we would not be sitting targets.
If you think I am the only one who thinks this I suggest you go and read some of the posts on the Daily heil or other such sites. The selfishness of people is more apparent than you seem ready to believe.
guy fawkes said:
I totally agree with you bookman of wales about the selfishness of people who are not suffering the policies and effects inflicted on the sick, disabled, unemployed and single parents. Where I live even councillors who claim neither to be on the right or left mock those with socialist thinking as the comrades, they knock me sick.
Dick Wells said:
I get that sort of response quite often yes but I keep on explaining and now and again I get a comment from a regular that a glimmer of light has finally illuminated the grey cells. My spirit lifts for a little while and it’s then back to banging my head on that brick wall.
ronwild Ron Wild said:
Very well said, and something I have pointed out on other similar posts. If you ever read the book ‘Propaganda’ by Edward Bernays, published in 1928, it describes this very idea. After the propagada of WWII, many of these psychologists, found work in manufacturing and advertising, specifically to this end. If only governments were so successful.
Will not take my human rights without a fight, because of the (bogey man) that last government tried that and look were that lead them, as it will be doing the work for the evil doers, I mean it come hell or high water will I give up the fight for human rights, to many deaths to secure this peace we all enjoy, there is more chance of a bee sting than an act of savagery by an evil doers should we ban and scrap bees? , the scrapping of your human rights has nothing to do with keeping you safe it is a crazy idea to think removing your human rights will keep you safe when it is the ACT its self that keeps the fascist evil basdards from the door
Samwise Gamgee said:
This is sort of on-topic, since it ties in with the freedom of privacy of correspondence that is guaranteed under the HRA, but more importantly, it seems the government has plans to make access to claimant’ Universal Jobmatch accounts default across the board, with no option to deny the DWP access.
A passage from the FOI request pertaining to this states: “Jobseekers are being informed by JCP staff that there are plans,
which are due to take place in October to allow DWP to gain access
to their UJM accounts.”
The full FOI requests, and the latest government responses, are available at:
I realise there has been no official change in policy yet, and there is no sign of an announcement, but if the DWP does allow itself to access all UJ accounts and denies account holders the right or option to deny access it has massive implications for people’s right to privacy.
Ray Trusty said:
Well i would worry, and worry a lot….cos one of the fail safe’s of ensuring Gov gets what it wants is to thus ensure the middle class are kept happy and docile whilst they slip through more and more agenda’s….They love slipping through an outrageous proposal when the nations eyes are turned the other way, like when Lady Diana was being buried they were passing all sorts of proposals to get them ratified…..This Two horse voting system is at the root of all this evil…We need to get rid of the system….And that includes Fractional banking (Youtube this) because the rich investors who own the BANK OF ENGLAND are draining all our working tax every week to pay the interest they have attached to their Fiat paper money that we use…..Cameron will not be elected next time, but the damage he has done will benefit his kind (The rich) for the next 20 years, and by then we will have forgotten the sting that ALWAYS comes with electing the Cut Throats (Tories)…I mean lets use a bit of common sense here the children of the rich go to University and study politics, and then go onto enter politics….What did you think those rich children were going to do? Did you think they were going to care about the poor….All his rhetoric before he got elected about supporting the poor, well we now know what his interpretation of “Support” means……Therefore i say this….GREED IS AN ILLNESS…Tell your kids, and friends….spread this message far and wide…we need to get the world to believe this. Anyone who intentionally harms the economy, environment, society, people or animals in their pursuit of money is ILL and they need “SUPPORT” with that….These are the things that need protested about…..Demand that “SUPPORT” be given to those who harm the world for money….
blue1avatargerry stevens said:
yes love i agree with you. as a psychiatric nurse i believe its probably correct to certify all of them as insane. keep them in broadmoor for about a year…then by law their own law..they are banned from political life forever. it only takes the guts and the masses to do it. greed is WRONG. greed at that scale is INSANE. the zionazis must be thrown out of britain them and their vile subversions.
ronwild Ron Wild said:
Well said. I refer to an earlier post regading Mark Rowe’s ‘Yellow Powder’ It is free and a absolutely fascinating read.
Anyone who thinks we have already lost,helps the enemy.Any fight is Won by them that want to,and believe they can win.
If a Boxer gets into the ring thinking he will lose,he will lose.Fighting is a psychological battle as well as physical.That is what the staring at the opponent eyeball to eyeball is about.
If people think they are going to lose,they will not get off their arse and vote.It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.See we lost,I said it was useless to vote.
We are still a democratic country,even though it does not seem like it.We can vote people out.
I know a lot of you have a problem with Labour,but it is changing.Why do you think that those who are still New Labour are angry that Ed Milliband won and not David.David was New Labour through and through.
I believe Milliband can make a difference,what is the alternative,the Judas Tribe,Lib Dems.Or Cameron who we all loathe.Or another ConDem Government.I think Milliband is trying to keep his party together.Yet at the same time is biding his time in stating what a Labour Government would do.
If he strikes to early,the right winged press will rubbish anything he says,with their right winged Propaganda.If Ed is no different to the current shower,why is the Right Winged press so afraid of him,that it is throwing anything and everything at him.
Its up to you what you do,but if you will not vote,have you really cause to complain.Our forefathers fought long and hard for our right to vote.We have not always had that right.
The only other alternative to the ballot box is revolution.And that is not pretty,many people would be killed.And those in power have the money and the weapons.Northern Ireland should remind us of that.How many innocents were killed.Plus it will give them in power,more excuses to give us a good kicking.
If you don’t like how Labour is behaving,join and engage with the Labour Party.The Limp Dems have run roughshod over their members,partly because many left instead of staying and fighting.
Nothing worth having is ever easy.Don’t hand our country on a plate to the Corporate Bullies.Fight tooth and nail.My Grandchildren and yours depend on it.
Mam Bach said:
You might be in a democracy. I however, live in Britain. The only thing that voting does in our area is add to the counting time. Our constituency has been Labour since Labour was invented (prior to that, the sheep didn’t get to vote for the Duke)
Lol I will never listen to this government as for the UK being like China as someone said not going to happen….Cameron is lucky we have took this much His wife is probably telling him what to do all the time so he gets angry and takes it out on us I can hear his wife now Cameron get the dishes done ya wee fanny lolol 🙂 OMG if you don’t laugh you will greet Wee happy tip for you guys YOU and i repeat YOU own your government not the other way round 🙂
Thomas M said:
First-I can sort of see Cameron’s point of view in a way. Terrorists and criminals *have* misused the Act to a point. Having said that, it does not justify the collective punishment of everyone in the UK. For every criminal misusing it, there are hundreds using it the way it’s meant to be used.
I utterly despise Cameron and his little yellow helpers and the sooner they are slung out the better, even though I’m not sure if *New*Labour is all that good as a replacement.
If enough people stood together, they could toss Cameron out. Mubarak was forced out by his people after all. But people are either too scared (understandable) too ill (like disabled people who have had their money taken and have to do hard labour for what should be theirs by right) or too lazy. Humans to like government are like ants. A single ant is no threat to a human, but a mass of army ants is highly dangerous. If enough of us said no, we wouldn’t need to descend to terrorism and law-breaking. A bad business could be boycotted, a bad boss or landlord shunned in the street and made to leave town to buy food. Sadly most people are too lazy to do that. As long as most people can’t be bothered to do anything, the few that do act can be stomped on.
guy fawkes said:
but none of the parties are worth voting for.
Helen Carroll said:
I think it has been an abuse of legal aid and legal procedure that the victims of crime have not had the Human Rights Act been made available as a tool to be uased in charges against criminals. Both parties have the same rights but only criminals have had access to the protection within the Human Right Act. We would be in a terrible position without it. So this needs to be addressed.
Roy Watson said:
Mike, at one point you make a mistake which is usually more common among critics of the European Convention on Human Rights, when you implicitly assume that it’s tied up with the EU. The Convention, and the Court which exists under it, are quite separate from the EU and predate it.
Right-wing critics like to characterise the ECHR as the work of unelected people from a culture intractably alien to ours. In fact, the principal drafter was Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, a Conservative MP who was appointed Solicitor-General and later Lord Chancellor by Churchill. This is the man – who also served as one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg Nazi trials – whose work is now being smeared as dangerously liberal by current members of his party.
Mike Sivier said:
I stand corrected.
It is easy to get sucked into these misapprehensions – especially when they are rammed down our throats several times a week. I’m grateful to have knowledgeable readers who can put the record straight.
Steve Chapman said:
What has been said here and there for as long as I’ve been following these posts – watch out the workers – they’re coming for you next! We, the sick, the disabled and the unemployed are your cautionary tale – the reason they are making our lives Hell is so that you would rather put up with losing your rights and your minimum wage! Put up or face a situation driving people to suicide in their thousands
Mike Sivier said:
TrinKats Jewellery said:
Exactly, they are contructing an environment of fear so that they can continue to mould our once caring society into something which better suits their bank balance.
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real = Tory Policy
Alex Casale said:
“The last chapter in any successful genocide is the one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, ‘My God, what are these people doing to themselves? They’re killing each other. They’re killing themselves while we watch them die.'” Aaron Huey
There are several points that need to be made here. Firstly, we really are heading back into the 19th century at a rate of knots. The 14 hour day was the normal, Victorian working day. This law effectively attacks the Factory Acts that great reformers like Lord Shaftesbury introduced. In some ways, it’s actually worse than the Nazis. They passed a law granting the workers the 8 hour day they wanted the day before they dissolved the unions. So Cameron is inflicting on us something the Nazis ruled out for their own people (Jews, Slavs and anybody else the Nazis considered inferior excepted, of course).
Secondly, Cameron in this case is copying the American Right in using the threat of foreign terrorism as a bogeyman to discredit international human rights legislation. It started with the Neo-Cons in the 1980s. The main spectre being used for this purpose in polemic of the American Right is radical Islam, specifically the OIC. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has pressured or is pressuring the UN to make ‘Islamophobia’ a crime against humanity. The American Right argues that this will make any criticism of Islam illegal, and therefore is strongly hostile to the UN. It’s a form of distraction. General Franco used to do the same in Spain whenever public opinion got too rocky for his dictatorship. When that happened, he cause another patriotic row of Gibraltar. If you look at transatlantic Right-wing websites, a lot of them concentrate on posting stories of atrocities committed by radical Islam, linking it to the UN and to the Left and Socialism as a way of scaring the public into accepting their own assaults on freedom.
As for the majority of people being content as long as they have their consumer goods, I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree that this is and will continue to be a problem. People will accept the situation, because of personal greed, political apathy and/or a sense that ‘there is no alternative’. As long as a majority of people feel prosperous, or that prosperity is still within their grasp, the Tories and creatures like them will be voted into power. And some of that is because of human nature. When I was doing the MA, one of the history lecturers pointed out that although the political news might be the most important, what actually matters most to people – what they talk and write about the most – is the showbiz stuff, sport and celebrity gossip. Ancient Rome had the ‘bread and circuses’. In Austria during the revolutionary unrest of the 19th century someone asked one of the ministers why he hadn’t closed the theatres. His response is that it was keeping the theatres open that was stopping the revolutionary fervour from spreading.
I will exempt Dr. Who from contributing to such public apathy, however, Under Russell T. Davis it did have a social conscience. Think about the Dalek Emperor’s speech at the end of Christopher Ecclestone’s stint as TV’s most famous Time Traveller. The Dalek Emperor’s army is cloned from humans, who, the Emperor states, were the poor, the migrants, who made their way to him. The Cybermen in the David Tennant story ‘Age of Steel’ are the hungry and homeless, who have been hideously mutilated and deprived of their humanity by Roger Lloyd Pak’s mad scientist. There’s definitely a left-wing metaphor there, if you want it: a cold, exploitative society leads to the dehumanisation of the poor and weak, who come back to kill and enslave their former comrades.
Bill Matthew said:
no doubt Lord Shaftesbury wont be part of the new GCSE history syllabus
Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
This is another excellent article from my brother, Mike. It clearly demonstrates how the Coalition are taking us straight back to the Victorian era without a second look. The 14 hour day was the standard working day in the early 19th century, before reformers like Lord Shaftesbury tried to pass legislation reducing it for women and children. The 8 hour day, that Cameron and the rest of his class are trying to overturn, was only won through a lot of campaigning by the unions and the socialist parties all over the Europe.
As for the use of foreign terrorists as the rationale to have Britain’s commitment to international human rights’ legislation revoked, this is also in line with the course taken by the American Neo-Con Right. They have consistently rejected the UN and its ability to challenge American exceptionalism since the 1980s. This enabled Reagan to endorse and support some of the nastiest dictators thrown up in Latin America and brutal Right-wing guerrilla movements like the Contras in Nicaragua. Today the bogeyman is radical Islam. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation is seeking to or has managed to persuade the UN the pass legislation condemning Islamaphobia as a crime against humanity. The American Right is using this to argue that such legislation will be used to outlaw any criticism of Islam, and permit the imposition of Sharia law in the US. As a result, the UN is attacked and criticised. If you look at some transatlantic Conservative sites, you’ll find that Islam and stories about atrocities committed by Muslims form a major part of their coverage. It’s a form of distraction, intended to divert attention away from the domestic problems created by illiberal and cruel attacks on the poor, unemployed and working class in the homeland itself. And Cameron is doing likewise here, supported by his cronies in the papers.
There is a book by Mark Rowe available a as a free download. The book is ‘Yellow Powder’ It is extremely well written and informative. It shows you why traditional protest is futile and explains so much more about the government, economy and economists, war, oil, religion and the myth of the dollar.You will be fascinated and informed.
dawn davies said:
I find this oh so scary,its like the people of the UK are worthless and should be got rid of,worked to death or worked until becoming ill and then put down once in hospital by not being treated right,surely there is something us citizens can do in protest,even though our protesting rights are being done away with,i will never vote for this party again,rich gits they are
the prime minister is thinking of using Stephen Hawking on London buses and else ware with the caption in big letters on it (this guys not on the sick )
what a laugh that would be i love Stephen Hawking
on a serious side thou it wont look good for those in wheelchairs there’ll look like slackers ?
David Cameron could run the Stephen Hawking (this guys not on the sick ) side by side on the buses and the tube with the illegal immigrants go home slogan what a laugh there’ll be for some especially in the city where it will show Stephen Hawking with the words (this guy not a city slacker but a city slicker (this guys not on the sick ) )
Mike Sivier said:
Where did you hear this, Nick? I can’t find a reference to it anywhere.
i heard it from a neighbour who works in the city. As i say personally i find it funny and i know that those in the city having worked their years ago will love it as that’s the humour that they love
But on the downside some wont find it funny and see it as in bad taste but Stephen Hawking is a funny guy and if this should happen like the slogan for illegal immigrants we here will have to cross that bridge when we come to it
My own gut feeling is that it’s a joke all round and the doctor using it at his surgery or implying all disabled people were a fake was just tongue in cheek a bit like the in the bbc series little Britten where every time David Walliams back was turned Matt Lucas got up from his wheelchair and started playing around
this is where the idea got started i believe and the government has just seized the opportunity to blame the country’s downfall on the sick and disabled when in fact the country’s downfall is because of people like David Cameron and his friends and his city slickers which has been very obvious for all to see
blue1avatargerry stevens said:
theres no real sense in all this waiting for another election. imo our democracy is theirs. we will get the 19 century slavery style back again. its these cretins favourite dream of lording it everywhere whilst their servants [us] touch our forelocks and grovel for pennies at their feet. so our democracy is dead. i believe the votings been rigged somehow; though in this country we only get to choose between a bunch of zionazis anyway. its the 2 party system itself they have rotted away. if we vote in nothing but properly british INDEPENDENTS who are all vowed to right all the wrong laws and muck these bastars have brought on us…then that might be okay. but it takes years. meantime these zionazi dirts continue. roll on the revolution!!
Guy Ropes said:
As long as badgers aren’t shot and nothing occurs which hinders the transmission of Coronation Street and/or Eastenders, the world of the British worker is complete and unimprovable; even fags and alcohol are not worthy substitutes. If a readjusted Human Rights Act (which as far as I can determine doesn’t protect a complainant in the criminal justice system but it certainly does a suspect) meant that “soaps” were banned from TV screens, the reaction would be seismic and tens (if not hundreds) of thousands would march to demand a return of their “rights”. You fine people are simply wasting your time. In a committee room in Parliament the other day, David Davis (the alternative to Cameron when the Tories last had their say) remarked, “Anyone who decides to become a whistle-blower in this day and age must be completely mad”. A QC and Tom Watson MP didn’t demur. As whistle-blowers only tell the truth, the manifesto of the British Parliament is made plain for all to see by this comment – and please don’t tell me that any Lib Demmer is any different or I’ll come ’round and rip your TV aerial down. Then what will you do?
Mike Sivier said:
I’d watch it on the Net and on iPlayer.
Even if we people are wasting our time, it seems a better way to do so than sitting around watching soaps, so I’ll carry on, I think.
As for the rest of it, I think you make several good points and I’m absolutely not going to say anything nice about the Lib Dems at this time.
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Something that people can do, in their organisations and councils, their assemblies is to read out, in front of the assembled people the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Human Rights art, and ask the people to ratify it. Thus each body would be empowered to uphold both the declaration and the act. This would in effect, bring ownership of it to each body. I do believe that people would come together to do that. As a friend said to me when I was describing what is happening here, and she described what was happening in her country, she said,”In spite of everything, I do believe that PEOPLE are better than that, and when things make themselves known more widely people will come down on the side of what is right.”
We have signs of that happening, and it needs to be grown.
m carr said:
China is going 2 crash & crash big time, esp in the real estate market, they have build new shopping centers, & condos, all over the place that lie empty as they R unaffordable, 4 the people & no 1 is moving stores in2 the malls. The developers owe billions they can’t pay.US 4 1 is moving jobs back 2 US. US is doing what UK should B doing. The media has put a lot in2 supporting, Made in America, even Mexico & China R buying M in A over their own junk.
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I see your point, but it’s one thing to complain about companies wanting to cut costs, but I’m sure you’d also be one of the first people to complain when products and services cost too much. In the UK there will always be a rich/poor divide. There has to be, or what will be the incentive for people to work hard, come up with ideas, and actually see them through.
Instead of thinking ‘what are these people doing for me’ the more poignant note should be ‘what am I doing to help myself’, ‘am I willing to do what it takes by sacrificing the short term, to improve what I can have in the long term’, ‘am I willing to do what others aren’t’. Ultimately that what entrepreneurs do, the people that came from nothing to be something.
We don’t live in a war torn country, we don’t have to walk 20 miles for fresh water, we get free health care, and if your willing to put the graft in, you have every opportunity to get what you deserve.
Really, stop bitching about how life has dealt you a shit hand. Grow some balls, and actually make the changes needed to yourself, so you can benefit from the changes to your life.
Mike Sivier said:
Have you seriously considered what you’re saying here? Are you actually telling me you would gladly sacrifice the human rights of everyone in this country – yourself included – to make sure you could buy cheap stuff?
What will you do, after your rights have been abolished, when they charge a fortune for it all anyway? You won’t be able to protest – YOUR RIGHT TO PROTEST WILL HAVE BEEN REMOVED.
Nobody is saying there should not be a wealth yardstick to gauge personal success in life. But were you aware that the countries with the most contented populations were those with the SMALLEST gap between the highest wages and the lowest? It was mentioned on QI so it must be true (I’m actually being serious here – they take their research very seriously indeed). I think one of the Scandinavian countries was mentioned – Norway, most likely. Check it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. The incentive to do well is still there – minus the resentment that comes from knowing that someone else is getting rich by taking profits that should be spread among those who created them.
I do not understand your point when you say people shouldn’t be thinking “What are these people doing for me”. If this refers to the government that is planning to strip everyone in the UK of their human rights, then it is entirely right and proper that they should be asking that question. Governments are elected to serve the will of the people, not to do whatever they like. The Coalition seems to think it can be utterly irresponsible because it wasn’t elected but was created in a dirty backroom deal, but that is all the more reason for people to question its actions and motives.
Who do you think is “bitching about how life has dealt you a shit hand”? Me? I’m fine, thank you very much. Don’t you worry your head about me!
Worry about yourself. You’re setting yourself up for slavery.
Guy Ropes said:
Agree. My shit hand was to dealt to me by myself. Excuse me Mike but maybe a better way of putting one of the – well made – points you make was by Lord Oaksey at the Nuremberg Trials: “It is not the purpose of the politicians to regulate the behaviour of the public, rather it is the purpose of the public to regulate the behaviour of politicians’ . Maybe this is a particularly good time to remind our politicians, and ourselves, of this wisdom.
guy we are seeing now in Egypt the tide turning that the conservative brotherhood are in deep trouble with the police
This all goes back to a bumbled election after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak who had been a bad leader of Egypt
The people of Egypt were giver a poor choice for the selection of the new president the conservative Muslim brotherhood and a conservative minister that served under Hosni Mubarak
whoever the people chose would have been the wrong person as both of the candidates lacked both credibility and transparency at best the people therefore were voting blindly in a no win situation
i heard both men speak of what they wonted for Egypt and like in our own uk election with cameron and clegg along with brown give there ideas and views for the future of the uk
In both the uk and in Egypt the speeches were full of bullxxxx which i have heard over the past 50 years so i knew they were bull but the people said we have to vote and in Egypt’s case they had to go with the Muslim brotherhood as for the uk we faired slightly better as the people knew the speeches by Cameron and co were bullxxxx and we got a mixed result and ended up with a so called coalition government
it would not have mattered anyhow who we ended up just like in Egypt it was going to be conservative led
The Egyptians have realized they made a bad error by putting in to power the Muslim brotherhood and now the country has to pay the price for having him removed with hundreds being killed which will go on for years to come and could have all been avoided with a little more thought at the ballot box and the same goes for the uk a little more thought here could have saved a whole load of heartache with the many dead of our sick and disabled and those finding life very bleak with the bedroom tax
the bottom line is to not vote at all if there is doubt as to the integrity of the person you are voting for and in reality it’s as simple as that and that is my advice to all people worldwide because by getting it wrong you are risking your life and the lives of your family so you need to be spot on with your judgement
Mike Sivier said:
I disagree entirely with any calls for people to abstain and not use their vote. Your ancestors fought very hard to get you the right to vote and it is not only a breakdown of democracy for you note to use it; it’s also disrespectful to the memory of what they did.
The problem isn’t in the voting system; it’s in the fact that people – ordinary people like you and I – have become lazy and can’t be bothered to get involved in making sure the government they get is one that genuinely serves their interests. The government we have now does genuinely serve the interests of the people who made sure it got into power – the selfish, cruel interests of the monied classes. They worked very hard to put a Conservative government in power and ended up having to put up with just a Conservative-LED government. They are now working very hard to finish the job with a propaganda campaign based on lies that appears to be swaying public opinion – because ordinary people are too lazy to get involved and find out the truth.
Your advice is to let them get away with it. That’s no good to me.
but mike you have no government without honesty and integrity your vote is worth nothing as we are now seeing in Egypt
without a honest government putting it’s people first and not just those at the top is a meaningless exorcise in democracy
if the people had the chance to vote for a party and then a vote as to who would lead that party then that’s a different story entirely as there are a handful of decent conservatives which would make a difference i feel if they were the prime minister
I’m a conservative and always have been and now at the age of 60 don’t plan on changing however my brand of conservatism is far removed from David Cameron leaving me unable to vote as i will never vote for deception and would rather die
without the integrity of the prime minister you know longer have democracy in my view as to me they go hand in hand what you do have however as what we now are seeing in Egypt is Turmoil
A country can only be led by a person with integrity and without that you and your country wherever it is in the world will have a whole load of problems that will never be addressed and you will just end up going round and round in circles in a permanent loop of which can be broken only by an honest and transparent person like myself
i have been lucky in life as all of my dealings with the middle east have been great experiences with some excellent photos from all types of people
i was in sharm one year talking to a police officer as to why the main road was being blocked all day and he said the president was on his way down from Cairo i said to this officer that was a bad move as he only went to sharm once every couple of years and the shutting of the main road showed discourteousness to the holidaymaker
the officer thought about that and then with his collogues agreed with me we then carried on talking in a political way and then the officer turned to me and said “i suppose you wont to run the place”
we all burst out laughing and said i would have done a darn sight better job with my bank of England background then the way things were at present and i could tell by the officers look on their face i was right
you need to be very confident anyhow with the police out there and if your not talking bull you’ll be fine as they know only to well how bad things have been for years and are desperate for good leadership putting the needs of the people first and not like the likes of Cameron and co which just muddy the water so the turmoil continues
and yes i could live in Egypt and would dearly love to if my health were better
Mike Sivier said:
You seem to think that political parties and the people who vote for them are entirely separate entities; they’re not.
People can get involved in politics. They can join, or make their own, political parties and they can push for change. The ability for ordinary people to do that has been hard-won and must not be relinquished without a fight.
Your option – to give up on the whole system – merely opens it up to more corruption. It’s exactly the wrong thing to do.
You won’t get rid of David Cameron by leaving him alone to do whatever he wants!
The reason the middle east is like it is is because the USA and UK governments don’t even know the area they have never even been for a holiday they’ve built no bridges their it’s always been a relationship at arms length
i have been going to Egypt since 1970 for example if i had been the prime minister say from then till now i would still be going so the chances of Egypt going off the rails would never have come about in the first place as i would be seen as a very trusted friend and mubarek would still be in power albeit doing things very differently as that’s what’s friends are for and that’s to listen and learn AND TO NOT TAKE SIDES
Mike Sivier said:
Not sure I understand your point there, Nick.
Would anybody else care to comment?
the point I’m trying to make mike is that if you put no personal effort in with a friendship then you’ll get nothing out
Cameron has only been to Egypt on official business just once in 2011 so whatever he says is not going to be taken seriously I’ve been many times since 1970 and love the people a very big difference if your trying to come across as a trusted friend and move a country subtly forward in a balanced way
Mike Sivier said:
I certainly don’t think Egypt is going to get any meaningful help from other nation states.
with regret your right but hopefully the people of Egypt will ride this storm out like they have done in the past but it would have been a great help if they had been good friends with the uk in the past and not just because theirs a problem a foot any fool can play that game
William Hague needs to up his game and get out and about in getting to know these types of countries and it’s people not just because it’s his job but because he wants to so that when something crops up his input will be credible and conceded as a true friend
it would be very interesting to know just how popular David Cameron and co are on the world stage i can tell you now not at all the same for the USA
years of poking your nose in others countries affairs is not on but had you’d been good friends then that’s a different story and anything possible
You wont get rid of David Cameron full stop and that’s my view come 2015 he’ll still be there still talking a load of old bull
Mike Sivier said:
Is that your opinion? I beg to differ.
And I know that I’m still going to try to get rid of him, alongside other like-minded people, no matter what you say.
Because the possibility of another five years of his government is too horrifying to contemplate.
i don’t like him at all mike and as you say another 5 years is way to much but that bot can talk albeit bull he can hold his own and is more then capable of bluffing the public second time around in 2015
Mike Sivier said:
… which is why I wrote today’s article. This is one instance in which we CAN beat him at his own game. All we have to do is play.
at least we can try mike and hope got the best 🙂
i should add that Nigel Farages demeanour is fantastic the only trouble thou is that like Cameron he has a very bad trait in his not liking of Europe which should automatically rule themselves out of the running for government as this type of approach is in reality just the BNP party so with 3 BNP parties in the uk it’s certainly going to be a very difficult few years ahead
As for nick glegg another conservative not really anything he can offer the uk and then theirs Ed for labour another conservative who has great difficulty trying to come up with a labour route for the uk to take their again not much here as labours route always ends in a dead end
My brand of conservatism is to allow the very best in their fields to have more control on how the country is run so that the younger generation get to understand about the rare quality’s of those at the top and why it makes a difference
I would have a general forum set up so that the government at all times knew what was on the minds of the voting public and could respond with answer and questions from the moderators and their fellow members so that the country at all times were as one and we all had the access at to what is going on
the idea that the government did not know about something would be over we would obversely have disagreements but at least we were having them and they were being debated
we have this now it’s called the house of lords the only trouble it doesn’t take in the view points of the people and with most lords talking a load of bull it’s lucky to still be around
i have found since 2001 since i got on line that i have learned greatly from forums and that in reality of being a member of the worlds largest there is nothing either i or my fellow members don’t know irrespective of topic as with such a large membership the DSLR forum advice and help just like this blog also is just a few minutes away and that is why computer technology is so important as it creates a level playing leaning curve of which we are all equal
Colin Taylor said:
Compassionate Conservatism? now THERE’s an Oxymoron
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