Murdoch's rotting politics

The Murdoch Empire is the symbol of the rottenness of our political system. It used its power and huge share of the media market to wield political influence and shape government policy. The admissions at the Leveson inquiry this week demonstrate how much the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats jump to the tune of the Murdochs. Christmas Dinner with Cameron, private jets to fly him to meetings with Murdoch, Jeremy Hunt and his staff liaising with Murdoch on a daily basis when it was seeking to make a huge amount of money from the BSkyB bid.
The Murdoch scandal goes all the way through the British political establishment. From the revelation of News International supported hackers deleting voicemail messages on missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler’s phone, the influence wielded at the London Metropolitan Police with leaks and people hired that were pro-News International to the leaking of ministerial statements on the BSkyB bid with the request that the Murdochs help rewrite and counter opposition arguments. This is a catalogue of the disgrace of the political and state elite.

Gideon's economic disaster zone

Britain is suffering a double dip recession for the first time since 1975. Yesterday’s output figures show that the UK economy is nowhere near recovering from the credit crisis that started in 2007.

What does a ‘double dip’ recession mean? In jargon, it means that in six of the eight quarters (each year is split into quarters) since the ConDem coalition took office, the British economy has been shrinking. When Gideon Osborne, the 'arrogant posh boy' Chancellor, took office, the economy was growing by 1.1% per year. Once he started the drums of ‘austerity’, cutting public services to keep the rich in the City happy, that growth quickly turned negative.

In reality, a ‘double dip’ recession means that the charity UK Foodbank, which provides food parcels to people unable to pay for themselves, doubled the number of people who it helped last year. It is opening 2 new foodbanks every week at the moment. For the last six years, wages have fallen behind price rises and the cuts in benefits have made the suffering worse. If people have less money to spend, then less will be bought in shops so the service sector (a whopping 75% of the British economy) is stuck in recession.

Pass the Poorest

The madness and cruelty at the heart of ConDem austerity policies has been exposed again. The London Borough of Newham in East London, one of the poorest areas in the UK, has a housing waiting list of over 28,000 people. Last year, because of ConDem local government grant cuts, it made £100 million of cuts in services. These cuts are having a terrible effect on some of society’s poorest but more is to come.

The ConDem housing benefit cap has placed further pressure on the council budget as private market rents are above the cap in Newham partly due to the coming Olympic games in the area. This means that the council will lose money each time it places a family on the waiting list in a London house or flat. This is not an incentive to help London’s homeless and in need. Capping the private rental charges makes more sense but goes against 'market knows best' mantras that get more hollow by the day.

Tax is for little people

Britain’s tax-dodging millionaires were officially exposed when new Treasury figures revealed that many are paying a lower rate of income tax than many low-waged cleaners.

The figures, which come as no surprise to tax justice campaigners, show almost one in 10 people earning more than £10 million a year are paying less than the 20% basic rate of income tax.

The Treasury figures also showed that 6% of £10 million-plus earners paid less than 10% in tax and another 3% came in below the basic rate. Fewer than three-quarters (72%) paid more than the higher rate of 40%.

A Treasury spokesperson admitted: “There are currently millionaires paying a lower tax rate than ordinary taxpayers.”

The figures relate to the 575,600 individuals in the UK who earn at least £100,000, with 10,600 of these each earning more than £1 million.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "These are truly shocking figures. For too many of Britain’s super-rich, tax is something for the little people.

"Unfortunately the government is making the mistake of trying to deal with tax reform in a piecemeal way — one day rewarding the very wealthy with a cut in their tax rate, the next trying to unpick their allowances that benefit charitable institutions."

The hatred and fear that stalks Europe

The trial of Anders Breivik in Norway this week has revealed the dangers of resurgent fascism across Europe. His own testimony has shown that he hates the multicultural society in which different communities live together and work together and targets immigration as a cause. He hates Islam, viewing it as a threat to his idea of ‘civilization’, which obviously involves murdering innocent people. Anders Breivik bombed government buildings in Oslo killing 8 then massacred 69 people on the island of Ut√łya, mostly teenagers attending a summer camp.

The poison of his ideas was matched by his deeds, revealing the problem with allowing fascists to air their racism. When they are allowed to speak and organize, it gives them confidence to attack, terrorize and kill. The trial of Anders Breivik illustrates that the main threat of terrorism comes from the far-right fundamentalists.

"The pull of Galloway" - George talks to The House magazine

George Galloway is perhaps the most experienced ‘newbie’ MP you’ll ever meet. As he walks through Westminster Hall, he urges guests not to step on the plaque to ‘Braveheart’ William Wallace. On the way to the Central Lobby, he points to the statue of Charles James Fox, his favourite parliamentarian (a fellow radical, anti-imperialist with a colourful private life). Up the steps to the Committee Corridor, he identifies the spot where Spencer Perceval was shot dead. And, adding a bit of 20th century history, he even recalls the site where John Reid once threw a punch at him during a row over the first Gulf War.

Like a London cabby showing off his (pre-SatNav era) Knowledge, the newly elected Member for Bradford West certainly knows the nooks and crannies of the Palace of Westminster. He may have a New York radio show, a TV programme in the Middle East, a column in the Daily Record and a new fanbase in West Yorkshire, but the Respect Party MP can’t resist the lure of the House of Commons.

Why people don’t believe main stream politicians

Have you heard the one about the Chancellor, the former Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

You couldn’t make it up!

Last week I was shocked to learn that: the Chancellor, George Osborne didn’t know that lots of rich people actually avoid paying tax. Yea right!

That was closely followed by former Prime Minister, Tony Blair had no recollection of any rendition flights to Libya in 2004. Blimey what is he like eh!

By the end of the week the Labour and official opposition leader, Ed Miliband had skilfully avoided any lessons from the Bradford West bye-election humiliation. Failing completely to ‘get the message’ that Labour had lost an ultra safe seat to a party that actively ‘opposes’ Austerity, War and Privatisation.

And the main stream or more appropriately the lame stream parties wonder why people don’t believe them!

Finally, I believe that trade unions should stop funding him [Miliband] and all the other Labour MP’s and Councils that continually refuse to support trade union policies.

Very eloquently written by Jerry Hicks of Unite the union.

The Bradford Spring: A stunning election victory for the people of Bradford West

This Thursday, 29th March, the people of Bradford West sent a clear message to the leaders of Labour, the Liberals and the Tories: "You can no longer take our votes for granted."

George won 18,341 votes beating Labour by over 10,000 votes.

In a stunning by-election victory, won over less than three short weeks, Respect's George Galloway has shaken up the political 'establishment.' Labour's is vote down, the Tory is vote down and the Lib-Dems are reduced to the fringe. Surely the austerity agenda of the Con-Dem Coalition or the 'austerity-lite' of New Labour fails utterly to address the concerns of everyday people.

The Respect Party intends to take George's victory further in the local elections in May - Bradford deserves Respect in the council as well as at Westminster.

You can help us by joining the Respect Party today.

George Galloway, Respect: 18,341 (55.9%)
Imran Hussain, Labour: 8,201 (25%)
Jackie Whiteley, Conservative: 2,746 (8.4%)
Jeanette Sunderland, Lib Dem: 1,505 (4.6%)
Other: 2,021 (6.2%)
Turnout: 50.8%

Majority: 10,140

Time to go, and end this disaster

The occupation of Afghanistan stands on the brink of disaster. It's time to get out.

That was the response of George Galloway to the latest grim news from Afghanistan - the shooting dead of 16 civilians, nine of them children, in a nighttime killing spree by a US soldier. That follows the deaths last week of six British soldiers from Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire, and widespread protests and killings last month at news that US forces had burned copies of the Koran at Bagram airbase.

"We now stand at a immensely dangerous tipping point," says Galloway, who opposed the Afghan adventure from the beginning and is taking that message to the voters of Bradford West, where he is a candidate in this month's by-election.

"We were told over a decade ago that this would all be over by Christmas. But 11 Christamases have come and gone and the killings are soaring - Afghans, British, Americans and others. We were told that all this was necessary because there was no chance of talks and negotiations. But the US is talking now with the Taliban, who have opened an office in Qatar not far from the American Centcom headquarters from which this war and the invasion of Iraq were launched.

"So what can the politicians who led us into this - from all three establishment parties - say to the grieving relatives in the unemployment blackspots of Britain or the devastated villages of Afghanistan? No good purpose can possibly be served by any longer fighting this losing occupation. This is now about face-saving for those who blundered us into this war, just as they did into the catastrophe of Iraq.

"And time is of the essence. The news that a US staff sergeant, who served three tours of duty in Iraq, has run amok is spreading through every village and town in Afghanistan. Tragically, we must expect even more dogged and deadly reactions from Afghans who have made it so clear that they want an immediate end to the occupation of their country.

"How many more must die on both sides? Far worse is to come if the British government does not change course and, like so many other European countries, pull our troops out now. Instead, David Cameron is beating the drum of war against Iran. But Iranian influenced forces in the west of Afghanistan have so far held back from outright fighting. All that will change if Iran is attacked. And the people who will pay the price will be Afghans and ordinary British soldiers who thanks to our leaders now face enormous hostility in the hottest of hot spots in Afghanistan which they were plunged into as part of the US surge.

"It is time to end this, to announce the swiftest possible withdrawal and to close this chapter of 10 years of catastrophic foreign policy, begun under Tony Blair and continued under Cameron and Clegg. If the British government do not change course, outright disaster beckons - and all the crocodile tears in the world will not wash away their responsibility for it."


Let’s look at the unemployment figures ahead of the announcement of latest figures by the Office for National Statistics. The first quarter of 2012 is likely to see the prospects for UK jobs take a significant hit.

This is because a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has shown that the three-month period is set to be the most difficult in the employment sector since the economic downturn.

According to the study, an increasing number of businesses will be looking to get rid of UK jobs - which could lead to unemployment figures totaling 2.85 million by year-end.

It was demonstrated that the difference in numbers between employers planning on taking new staff and the amount set to let workers go is currently at its highest since 2009.

Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD said: "This will exert yet more pressure on a jobs market that is buckling under the strains of contractions in economic growth."

The jobless total increased to 2.68 million last month and is expected to rise again when the figures are announced on Wednesday. Surely the figures will give us the false impression of unemployment because they will only take into consideration the people who are out of work.

However according to the TUC study, the actual number of unemployed people in the UK could be 6.3 million, the highest since early 1990s.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "The headline unemployment figures are bad enough, but the true scale of joblessness is even worse. Over six million people are either out of work or under-employed. Tackling this crisis should be the Government's number one priority.”

"Our jobs crisis is not confined to those out of work. Nearly two million people are being forced to take low-paid, insecure, short hours jobs because of the lack of proper full-time employment. This means people are taking home much less pay, which is putting a real strain on family budgets.”

"When ministers say there are plenty of jobs out there, they are ignoring the sheer numbers of people looking for work, as well as the suitability and location of the jobs available. Rather than seek to blame unemployed people for being out of work, the Government should start helping them by putting proper resources into employment schemes."