Tagged: shoes

County Durham : Clothes bank set up to help those in need

A clothes bank offering free clothing and toiletries to people who use food banks is to be launched later this month.

Monthly sessions will take place at Brandon, near Durham City and details of similar sessions to take place in Stanley will be announced in the near future.

The County Durham Socialist Clothes Bank is being set up by the Durham Miners’ Association, Durham People’s Assembly and trade unions the GMB, RMT, and Unite.

The first session will take place at Brandon Welfare Hall on Tuesday, October 28 from noon until 2pm and will be open to anyone in receipt of food bank vouchers.

Organiser Dawn Wilson said:

“As far as we are aware, this is the first of this type of scheme to be set up across County Durham.

“We have been inundated with hundreds of items of clothing, toys and toiletries since launching our appeal.”

She added:

“The idea behind the scheme is something which myself and Catherine Ainsley have had for some time, but when recently overhearing a conversation between a young boy and his mother in a shoe shop, during which she explained that she could only afford to buy shoes for his sister this year, this spurred me into taking some action and getting the project off the ground”.

 In the 12 months up to March 2014, approximately 60,000 adults and children used Trussell Trust food banks in the North-East, up from 10,500 the previous year.

Ms Wilson added:

When talking to food banks organisers and users we have found that many are also in dire need of clothing and toiletries, because they simply cannot afford even charity shop prices.

> No “even” about it… the majority of charity shops forgot their original purpose and started chasing the middle class pound. Charity shops are no longer cheap.

“As the winter is drawing in we would like to make a special appeal for shoes, gloves, hats, scarves and warm coats; toys would also be very much welcomed in the run up to Christmas”.

Source –  Durham Times,  18 Oct 2014

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

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/