Tagged: Daily Mail

In the ‘I’ Today: Grant Shapps Tried to Shut Down Left-Wing Blog

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Here’s another instance of the Tories attempting to silence Left-wing bloggers and online critics. Today’s I newspaper for the 18th December 2014 has a story on page 4 about Grant Shapps being accused of trying to shut down The Political Scrapbook. Shapps used his lawyers to try to bully the blog, sending it three letters threatening to sue because of two stories it published about the Tory chairman. The same firm of lawyers acting for Shapps also sent a letter threatening legal action on behalf of another, unnamed Tory MP, who was also the subject of a blog post. Despite the threats, neither Shapps nor his unnamed colleague have followed up with legal action.

This isn’t the first or only time politicians, of both the Left, Right and Centre, have tried to close down their critics through threats of legal action. There have been any number of cases of…

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Proud Stocktonian Mike McGrother’s open letter to producers of Benefits Street

Wildcats of Kilkenny frontman Mike McGrother wrote this to Love Productions.

As revealed  yesterday, Love Productions is currently filming the second series of the controversial Channel Four show in Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate in Stockton.

Middlesbrough Evening Gazette published a detailed interview with the company in which one of its directors explained why Teesside had been chosen for the second series.

And that prompted proud Stocktonian Mike – who had previously contacted the Daily Mail over its coverage of the town – to write this open letter to Love Productions.

“I understand you have decided to come to our town and make a television series about it.

“As far as I can see, your justification comprises of:

“1. There are unemployed people there;

“2. You will be giving them ‘a voice’.

“I find your statement ‘In Stockton and the Kingston Road area there are a large number of people on benefits’ at best lazy and at worst, unscientific.

“If this is the level of research Love Productions proudly use to back up their choices, the academics of Oxford, Cambridge and the world must be quaking in their boots!

“I then note you want to ‘give a voice to a community that don’t really have a voice.’

“How wonderfully philanthropic and not in the least bit patronising of you.

“But you see, the thing is, we Stocktonians already have a timeless voice we are deeply proud of.

“It could be heard consistently during the summer through our massive carnival, in festivals, sunflower commemorations and in our schools, workplaces and community hubs.

“If you would like to truly give us a voice, then why did your production crews not film these and choose to work so secretively?

“Why have you not consulted properly with local support services and – if and when you did talk to them – ignore what they advised?

“Why do you preach fair representation but then exclude the majority of residents?

“Do you really doubt our integrity so much to think we believe that television editing can provide a fair, honest and truthfully representative platform from which people can be heard?

“And so while we can’t stop your ironically named ‘Love Productions’ team coming to Stockton, what I – and more people than you may wish to think about – can also not be stopped from is making our own ‘productions‘ whilst you try to film.

“If we disrupt your lives over the coming months, think about how you are disrupting ours.

“Don’t expect demonstrations, conflict or confrontation.

“But do expect to witness a community that already has an identity, a spirit and a very much bigger voice than you perhaps anticipated – to be heard, to be seen and to shine.

Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette,  27 Aug 2014

The Feral Children of the Upper Classes

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I was reading A Gay Mentalist’s blog a little while ago, and a term he used to describe the middle classes struck me. He called them ‘feral’. It’s not a word that usually applied to the upper ranks of society. Usually it’s given to the underclass and their children, the type of people, leading bleak lives of deprivation and pointless moral squalor. The type of people with no jobs, and no self-respect, whose chief and often only activities seem to be drunkenness, drug dealing, violence and sexual promiscuity. The type of people who provide the raw fodder for Jeremy Kyle, as they slouch onto his show to present their sordid tales of domestic abuse and accuse each other of stealing each other’s partners.

It does, however, also perfectly describe the attitude of the middle classes, and particularly the hysterical ranting of the middle market tabloids and the vicious, punitive attitude…

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Bishop Auckland MP apologises over “puppets” tweet

A North-East MP apologised last night after branding leading Conservative women MPs “puppets” who are interesting only for their clothes.

Helen Goodman, the Bishop Auckland MP, faced fierce criticism after backing a newspaper’s controversial “catwalk” coverage of the new Cabinet.

The Daily Mail has come under fire for sexism after a double-page feature focused on the hair, clothes, shoes, handbags – and even the legs – of promoted female Cabinet ministers.

But, yesterday, Ms Goodman tweeted: “#Mail’s page on Tory women was fair: all are puppets who’ll change nothing and their appearance really is most interesting thing about them.”

The comment triggered a major Westminster row, with immediate demands for Labour’s culture spokeswoman to withdraw the “demeaning slur”.

Anna Soubrey, the defence minister, said: “Helen Goodman’s comments were deliberately insulting. She should personally apologise to every one of the talented women she has chosen to cheaply slur.

“Ed Miliband needs to make clear that these comments are absolutely unacceptable otherwise once again we will see that he is too weak to stand up to his own shadow ministers.”

And Nicky Morgan, the new Education Secretary, said: “Helen Goodman’s comments were disgraceful and there is no place for them in modern politics.”

A letter sent to Mr Miliband demanded that the Labour leader “take disciplinary action” against the Bishop Auckland MP, unless she backed down.

Initially, Ms Goodman attempted to ride out the storm, arguing the comment had been meant as a joke and saying: “I’m very sorry my last tweet offended some people. I intended it as a light-hearted remark.”

 And Labour declined to criticise her, telling The Northern Echo: “The Labour Party’s view is that David Cameron’s promises on increasing the representation of women are a sham.

“He said a third of all his ministers would be women – fewer than one in four are. It is David Cameron who has failed.”

However, more than three hours later – as criticism intensified – Ms Goodman tweeted: “I was wrong in what I tweeted about Tory women ministers and I apologise to them unreservedly.”

> Sigh – another capitulation.

In the much-ridiculed Mail feature, Elizabeth Truss, the new Environment Secretary, was described as looking “bright and sensible but a little bit too eighties air hostess”.

And the newspaper called work minister Esther McVey a “thigh-flashing vision in grey check by Vivienne Westwood”.

> Considering how Fester McVile  gets described in blogs…

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg poked fun at the Mail, posting a photo of himself wearing a suit, shirt and trademark Liberal Democrat yellow tie – and joking that he hoped he did not look “too 80s cabin attendant”.

> No Nick. You just look like a prat.

Source –  Northern Echo, 18 July 2014

Number Of In-Work Housing Benefit Claimants Rockets 60% Under The Coalition

The number of people ‘in-work’ and claiming Housing Benefit has rocketed by 60% since the coalition government took office in 2010, latest figures show.

According to figures compiled by the House of Commons Library on behalf of the Labour Party, the number of Housing Benefit claimants who are in-work and struggling to keep up with their rent payments increased from 650,561 in May 2010 to 1.03 million by the end of 2013, and is continuing to rise.

It is believed that the shocking increase in the number of working people claiming Housing Benefit will cost taxpayers (which includes the claimants) an estimated £4.8 billion extra by May 2015, rubbishing sensationalist and derogatory articles in the likes of the Daily Mail and The Sun newspapers, who frequently refer to benefit claimants as “skivers” and “scroungers”.

 The total amount spent on Housing Benefit is expected to reach £21.9 billion over the five years between 2010 to 2015 and could rise to as much as £25 billion by 2017.

In England alone the number of in-work Housing Benefit claimants has risen by 350,783 since 2010. Scotland has seen the figure rise by 21,409 and in Wales an extra 14,080 working people are now seeking help to pay their rent.

Source – Welfare News Service  08 May 2014

http://welfarenewsservice.com/number-work-housing-benefit-claimants-rockets-60-coalition/

 

UK falls to Number 33 in global press freedom rankings – Amy O’Donoghue

Inforrm's Blog

Web Following government harassment of journalists and editors, the UK has fallen from number 29 to 33 on Reporters Without Borders’ annual  World Press Freedom Index .

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Explaining the Coalition’s War on the Poor and Disabled

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Stow Rich Poor

A rich man ignoring a beggar’s cries for charity, from Bateman’s Chrystal Glass of Christian Reformation of 1569

The Coalition is responsible for some of the harshest and punitive legislation directed at the poor, the unemployed and the disabled in recent years. Under the pretext of trying to pay off the immense debt created by the bank bailout, Cameron and Clegg have together passed highly illiberal legislation intended to pare down the welfare state to its barest minimum. The result has seen as massive resurgence in poverty in the UK, with thousands now reduced to relying of food banks or scavenging in skips for food. This has been accompanied by a concerted campaign of vilification and demonization directed at the poor, the unemployed and the disabled. The middle market tabloids, the Daily Mail and Express, are notorious for their attacks on single mothers, unemployed ‘scroungers’ and immigrants, whom they…

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The world doesn’t owe you a living

The end of politics

“People who are successful do not owe you a living. Stop jealously coveting the success of others, get off your backside, and work at being successful yourselves, instead of expecting government to steal the fruits of other peoples’ labour for your consumption.”

“The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.”

“We’re in the middle of a recession, it’s an employer’s market, and the world doesn’t owe you a living.
we paid the education when there was grants.we did’nt claim dole because we were brought up with a strong work ethic.we did’nt need self help books,we had common sense,and iniative.many of us fought for all the things you now take for granted.the world does’nt owe you a living.”

The above are all comments…

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RIP Tim Salter and Denis Jones. Is This What You Wanted Iain Duncan Smith?

the void

Iain-Duncan-Smith415Ever since this Government weren’t elected the question has been raised whether Iain Duncan Smith really is a murderous tyrant, or whether he’s just a fucking idiot.

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter anymore.  The end result of his policies will be the same whichever is the case.  A result as tragic as it was predictable, as poverty not seen in generations returns to the UK.

The recent case of Tim Salter, who committed suicide after benefits were stopped due to the brutal Atos assessment regime, is far from the first death directly linked to welfare  reforms.  At the end of last month two suicides linked to Atos assessments were reported in just one week. Also reported just before Christmas was the death of Denis Jones, a disabled former soldier who died alone five weeks after his benefits were stopped.  Whilst his death was recorded as natural causes…

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