Tagged: Question Time

Northumberland charity accuse UKIP of ‘sabotaging’ youth event

UKIP has been accused of attempting to “sabotage” a charity event intended to get young people interested in politics.

Northumberland youth charity Leading Link blamed the UK Independence Party for its decision to reschedule a Question Time-style event.

And the charity said police were even drafted in to cover a replacement event on Thursday night, in case of disruption.

The question-and-answer event has been held by the Bedlington-based charity for the last four years, and sees a debate between local schoolchildren, members of the public and guests.

It was due held at County Hall in Morpeth on Thursday, and young people had invited representatives from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties to attend.

UKIP were not invited, which the party claimed was “undemocratic”.

Leading Link said it was contacted by a string of regional and national UKIP representative demanding to know why the party had not been invited, with one claiming the charity was contravening various acts.

Charity bosses say they explained that attendees had been selected by the young people and made it clear the event was not linked to May’s general election.

But then, the charity says, several tickets were acquired online in the names of local UKIP figures.

And the organisers took the decision to postpone the event until after the general election.

In place of the cancelled event, a replacement just for the young people was organised with just the current Wansbeck MP, Labour’s Ian Lavery.

And the charity said it had arranged for Northumbria Police to attend, in case of any disturbance.

Charity assistant manager Jonny Hall said:

“The reason why we were holding it was to give these young people a real experience of debating and making a positive change.

“Because we now feel that the spirit would be completely lost and it became a politically-motivated campaign, we have since cancelled it and moved to this closed session instead.

“The whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. The fact a school debate is having to be cancelled speaks volumes.”

Mr Lavery hit out at UKIP for “jeopardising” the chances of young people getting engaged in politics.

He added: “Lyn (Horton, charity manager) said she has never known anything like this. It is sad we have not had the original event.”

The media officer for UKIP’s Wansbeck branch, said it was “blatantly untrue” to claim the event was not political given the attendance of the other parties.

Why invite three politicians? And how do you educate the young people if you do not invite all political views?” he said. “It is totally undemocratic.”

He added:

“I think they have cancelled because they knew we would get it advertised to the public in Wansbeck. We had kicked up a bit of a fuss.”

Asked if anyone from UKIP would be attending the event, he added: “Nobody knows where it is.

Northumbria Police confirmed that officers were attending. A spokesperson said:

“Members of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams regularly attend community events to continue to build on the strong links already in place.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 05 Mar 2015

Panellists hijack Question Time to attack Iain Duncan Smith

Mike Sivier's blog

Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn't give him the chance. Finger-jabbing protest: Iain Duncan Smith talked over Owen Jones in his last Question Time appearance; this time the other panellists didn’t give him the chance.

Around three-quarters of the way through tonight’s Question Time, I was ready to believe the BBC had pulled a fast one on us and we weren’t going to see Iain Duncan Smith get the well-deserved comeuppance that he has managed to avoid for so long in Parliament and media interviews.

There was plausible deniability for the BBC – the Isis crisis that has blown up in Iraq is extremely topical and feeds into nationwide feeling about the possibility of Britain going to war again in the Middle East. The debate on extremism in Birmingham schools is similarly of public interest – to a great degree because it caused an argument between Tory cabinet ministers. Those are big issues at the moment and the BBC…

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If DWP lawyers don’t attend tribunals it means benefit claimants AREN’T cheating, Daily Mail!

Mike Sivier's blog

Daily Fail Logo

The Fail has struck again with a comically inaccurate piece about benefit appeal tribunals.

“Benefits claimants cheats (sic) are able to keep money they are not entitled to because government officials fail to turn up to legal hearings,” thundered the piece by MailOnline political editor Matt Chorley, who should know better – both in terms of grammar and logic.

“The Department for Work and Pensions sent lawyers to just four per cent of tribunals held last year to rule on decisions to cut benefits.

“It means that in many cases people are able to successfully argue in favour of keeping their money, because the government has failed to turn up to challenge it.”

No – that’s not what it means.

If the DWP has made a decision not to send lawyers to defend the cancellation of a claimant’s benefit, it means they expect the facts to speak for themselves…

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Denied work, Britain’s poor have become ‘untermensch’

A piece from RT.com by Tony Gosling, which pretty accurately sums up the current situation for many in “Great” Britain today.

Not satisfied with their seventh home, brace of sports cars and servants, the rich are paying Tory politicians, press and the City to grind the faces of Britain’s poor into the dirt.

 

Millions of hardworking families can no longer afford a social life, shoes for their children, to go swimming or to the cinema.

A depraved Sheriff of Nottingham is ruling Britain. While the superrich loan shark 0.001 percent are given the red carpet treatment to loot the family silver, Sheriff Cameron and his Bullingdon Club bullies are putting all the blame at the door of whom? The destitute and disabled.

Past recessions and the desire of businessmen to drive down wages and conditions have swelled the numbers of the unemployed in Britain to around 3 million. Since the post-World War II Labour Party ‘National Insurance’ and ‘Social Security’ laws, these jobless have always been given enough by the government to live on. But those days are over under this sheriff, the poor are being lashed.

Including government help with inflated housing costs, Britain has around 25 percent of the population dependent on various welfare payments. Cameron’s wheeze is an online ‘Universal Credit’ scheme to lump all these payments into one. After several hiccoughs and cost overruns the latest 140 million pounds (US$225 million) written off from this pilotless project just this week beggars belief. It could have provided a year of low paid public sector jobs for around 10,000 people languishing on the dole and saved the taxpayer a cool 300 million pounds altogether.

It has been left to the poorest in society, struggling after being stripped of their statutory legal aid, to challenge these attacks in the courts. Last month forced laborer Cait Reilly won a Supreme Court challenge and her slavery scheme was ruled unlawful. Now this week government abolition of ‘Independent Living Allowance’ for disabled people has also proved Sheriff Cameron and his poor-bashing henchman Iain Duncan-Smith have been breaking the law.

This week figures emerged too that a staggering 700,000 of Britain’s poorest unwaged, while denied work, have had their subsistence payments removed for not complying with a privatized scheme called the ‘Work Programme’, designed to bully them into low paid work.

Undercover recording back in 2012 revealed privatized employment staff being trained to regard the jobless as not deserving anything to live on at all. Job advisers were told by training staff to regard clients as ‘benefit scrounging scum’.

My own experience on this scheme verifies consistent bullying tactics are being used daily on the thousands of the weakest in society. The complaint system which I tried to use turned out to be a crooked sham, but the private company running my scheme, Seetec, still stands to be rewarded with approximately 15,000 pounds of taxpayers money for doing nothing to help me find work at all.

While on the program I witnessed one unwashed, educationally subnormal young man of about 25 arrive for his interview in clothes that looked as if they hadn’t been changed in weeks. Just before he sat down, his ‘job adviser’ yelled at him in front of the whole open plan office, “Back again are you? You said you would. Why haven’t you got a job yet?!”

The young man visibly shrank back from the chair as if he was preparing himself to receive a physical punch, his eyes were darting around as if for a safe place to run to, or perhaps someone he could trust.

The young woman who had stopped talking to me, my adviser, visibly cringed. Not saying anything she made it clear to me she didn’t approve of her colleague’s behavior – the cruelty was naked and inexcusable. She left the job shortly afterwards.

Before I left that day another client told me the police had been called to deal with a fight earlier, but as he was telling me the story I had to get up and move away. Another client started swinging his right arm back and forth, remonstrating about how he had been practicing throwing hand axes, grinding his teeth as he described what a mess they made of someone you didn’t like when lodged in their back.

On the way out that final day I got chatting in the lift to a 50-year-oldish woman who told me she had a degenerative nervous disease. Government contractors ‘Work Capability Assessment’ company, ATOS had certified her ‘fit for work’ so she had to struggle into Bristol City center three times a week to apply for jobs she knew – in competition with able bodied young people and migrants – she could never get.

Since Britain has enjoyed such high living standards and maintains its position as one of the wealthiest handful of countries in the world, we are feeling the ‘pinch’. The sense of injustice and moral outrage has become palpable on the BBC TV’s weekly ‘Question Time’ which nowadays breaks out into angry exchanges despite the producers largely keeping the socialist left off the panels.

It’s a policy designed to start a second civil war, threatening ordinary people with starvation, prison or eviction seems to be all Britain’s coalition government can think of to ‘motivate’ the populace.

Just as Switzerland’s wicked Gessler had his William Tell and France’s Villefort family had their Count of Monte Cristo, quietly Britons are beginning to see Robin Hood’s Merry Men coming together.

The market’s nightmare vision is for a Big Brother technocrat and authoritarian regime. But what Britain and the rest of the NATO zone really needs is a reasserting of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, a united front for an updated set of universal social standards with no sinister strings attached.

Switzerland and Cyprus are now proposing one excellent solution, the basic income, but go one stage further and we can guarantee citizens for free what that basic income is supposed to provide.

As its first priority the state should abolish the threat of eviction, instead making the dignity and subsistence the order of the day. Water, food, healthcare, energy and a rent-free roof over every head. Above and beyond that people will have plenty of time to work and better themselves, with taxes kicking in as families pursue more luxurious lifestyles.

A nationalized banking system that goes hand in hand with good government would force the moneychangers out of the temple, to serve the people once more. We’d have no more of their weasel words: ‘There’s not enough money for that!”

Original article – http://rt.com/op-edge/britain-poor-denied-work-425/