Tagged: academics

Labour now too posh for the North ? UKIP to benefit ?

> Sadly, this scenario seems all too possible…

Posh Labour is leaving the door open for a UKIP victory – and Hartlepool could be about to prove it.

That’s the message of two academics who say the Labour party is foolishly ignoring the threat to its Northern heartland from the UK Independence Party.

With one eye on the 2015 General Election, and even the 2020 vote battle, the professors say Labour must learn that UKIP is not just a problem for the Conservative party.

Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin warn in their Revolt on the Right book that Labour leader Ed Miliband is about to get a big wake up call.

Prof Ford has told the Sunday Sun that voters in Hartlepool were probably still fed up with having Peter Mandelson made the Labour candidate in 1992, despite his lack of any local connections.

Prof Ford said the party was ready to start reaping the rewards of having local council candidates.

“The problem with Labour as regards UKIP is that is has a lot of people. Particularly in the contemporary Miliband Labour party, who are young, Southern based, university graduate, socially liberal, outward looking.

“The world of UKIP is a world they have basically no familiarity with, it might as well be Mars. They don’t realise how angry these voters are, how alienated they feel from Labour.

“Labour will say, ‘Look at these seats, we get 40%, 50%, there is no threat.’ But what they don’t see is the threat. There are now more ex Labour voters in some areas than there are current Labour voters.

“Those people who have sat out will not sit out forever, and they have lost the habit of voting Labour. You get a strong showing in 2015 for UKIP and in 2020 they will be selling themselves as the only party that can defeat Labour in the North and winning seats.

“UKIP will try to capitalise on the feeling that Labour takes the region for granted.

“South Shields is one of the safest Labour seats in the country and UKIP got 25% of the votes without really breaking a sweat. That’s not enough to get a seat, but it is enough to get second place and to make people think maybe I can have a voice now. It should be a wake up call but they have not taken this on board, Labour thinks it has it all figured out now.

“They see UKIP as an irritant rather than a real political threat.”

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright said: “The professor from Manchester may sit in his ivory tower, but he obviously hasn’t visited Hartlepool. You don’t see UKIP in Hartlepool from one election to the next. I think it is important that candidates demonstrate how they are working for an area all year round, but you don’t see that with UKIP.

“That’s why they lost council seats in Hartlepool a couple of years ago. To think they will turn up six months or so before an election demonstrates they would take the electorate for granted and shows arrogance of the highest order.”

Jonathan Arnott, UKIP’s General Secretary and the Lead party candidate in the upcoming Euro elections, said the authors were right to highlight Hartlepool.

He said: “At the last European elections, UKIP took more votes in Hartlepool than any other party. We know that there is huge potential in Hartlepool, and this research merely confirms what we already know.

“Many Labour voters are attracted to UKIP’s policies such as ‘No Tax on Minimum Wage’ and our opposition to open-door immigration from Eastern Europe which has driven wages down for hard-working people. It’s not about the old left/right struggle, but about rewarding people who work hard.”

> And by definition punishing those deemed not to be working hard enough or otherwise undeserving ?  Different arseholes, same old shit…

Source –  Sunday Sun,  30 March 2014

Thatcher’s Fatal Legacy

The legacy of Margaret Thatcher includes the premature death of many Britons and a continuing burden of suffering, academics have claimed.

The experts the universities of Durham, Liverpool, West of Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh denounce the policies on the well-being of the British public after they concluded their study into social inequality in the 1980s.

They accuse the governments of Thatcher of wilfully engineering  an economic catastrophe across large parts of Britain by distmantaling traditional industries to undermine the power of working class organizations.

> This is not difficult to believe. Nor is it difficult to believe that her current heirs, and their Lib Dem collaborators, are continuing the job of selling off everything and grinding the poor into the dirt.

Dr. Alex Scott-Samuel from Liverpool University said: “Margaret Thatcher’s legacy includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing burden of suffering and loss of well-being”.

Dr.  Scott-Samuel added that around 5,000 excess deaths — attributable to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis — were witnessed towards the end of 1980s in addition to 2,500 excess deaths per year because of unemployment caused by Thatcher’s policies. The study said that the poverty rate had witnessed a rapid rise to 12% in 1985 from 6.7% in 1975 in the UK.

So many people died because of increase in infections on wards that were a result of policy changes in healthcare like the outsourcing of hospital cleaners.

Co-author Professor Clare Bambra, from the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Durham University, said that their paper draws a very clear picture of impacts made by the politics on health inequalities.

The group also took aim at the coalition government . Prof David Hunter, of Durham Univ’s Centre For Public Policy & Health, said: “Taking its inspiration from Thatcher’s legacy, the coalition government has managed to achieve what Thatcher felt unable to, which is to open up the NHS to markets and competition. It’s task was made consideralby easier by the preceding Labour government which laid the foundations for the changes introduced in April 2013.”

> Yes, and it’s important to emphasise New Labour’s , and Tony Blair’s in particular, role in setting things up for the current government’s excesses. As much heirs of Thatcherism as the current mob.

The findings of the study have been published in the International Journal of Health Services.

Source – Durham Times  14 Feb 2014

UKIP: elitism, libertarianism, anti-intellectualism and contradictions

Guy Debord's Cat

Ever since last Friday’s county council election results tumbled in, the Kippers have been crowing. Emboldened, too, by the BBC’s rather one-sided coverage their party, UKIP supporters have taken to social media in their droves to spout their anti-intellectual bullshit and hurl abuse at anyone who doesn’t share their belief that Nigel Farage is Britain’s political messiah. The BBC ought to know better: UKIP doesn’t have a single Westminster MP, while The Green Party not only has an MP, it also has a large number of local councillors and members on the Greater London Assembly (The Green have 2 AMs and UKIP has none). It also has representation in the Scottish Parliament (The Greens have 2 MSPs and UKIP has none), whereas UKIP have found it difficult to win a seat in both parliaments. But the Greens got no mention, while  Farage and his mates Paul Nuttall and Godfrey Bloom have…

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Durham University in ‘unpaid teachers’ row

THE North East’s  leading university has become embroiled in a pay row, after advertising unpaid “voluntary” teaching jobs.

On its own website, Durham University is offering what it calls a “voluntary development opportunity” for PhD students to design and offer “extracurricular seminars” for undergraduates in its Department of Theology and Religion.

The University and College Union (UCU), which represents academics, said unpaid posts undermined the principles of equal pay, exploited people able to work for free and discriminated against those who could not afford to do so.

UCU regional support official Jon Bryan said: “The advert says its requires applicants to devise and deliver courses without payment, which is completely at odds with the firm commitment Durham gave us last year that it does not recruit unpaid staff.

“The university needs to make a clear statement outlining its position on people working for free.

“We simply do not accept the defence that teaching for free is a development opportunity – clearly it is not available to people who cannot afford to work for free.

“Universities should be striving for excellence, not seeking to exploit those who can afford to work for nothing as free labour.”

However, a Durham University spokesperson  said the seminars were set up in response to demand from its postgraduate students who wanted to broaden their teaching experience for their own professional development.

The spokesperson said: “Participation is entirely voluntary and feedback has been positive from both the postgraduates designing and delivering the courses and the undergraduates who take them; many said it improved their understand and appreciation of the subject area.

“A wide range of paid teaching assistant opportunities are also available within the department and our postgraduates have the opportunity to apply for these.”

Durham, one of the world’s top 100 universities, charges the maximum £9,000-a-year in student tuition fees and has been criticised by the trade union Unison for allegedly paying hundreds of its workers less than the living wage of £7.45 an hour while vice-chancellor Professor Chris Higgins picks up a salary of £232,000 a year.

 

Source – Northern Echo  22 Oct 2013