New Statesman: When David Cameron became Tory leader, he wanted to end child poverty. Now he just wants to stop measuring it

New Statesman: When David Cameron became Tory leader, he wanted to end child poverty. Now he just wants to stop measuring it

Now you see it…  Now you don’t.  The government’s rustled up a party trick for the kids this Christmas. They’re going to make 3.7 million of them disappear.

Britain’s children aren’t going anywhere, of course, particularly those who are growing up poor. But with a legislative sleight of hand, the government plans to quietly give up on the targets to end child poverty enshrined (with cross-party support) in the Child Poverty Act 2010.

And with it, they’re hoping to magic away any mention of child poverty at all. The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission will become the Social Mobility Commission. The Child Poverty Act will become the Life Chances Act.

All this is more than a little politically convenient.  Apart from a solitary BBC Today programme interview with Iain Duncan Smith last year, which left presenter Evan Davis audibly flabbergasted, not even the Government claims it is on track to meet the child poverty targets.

Indeed, the latest available projections, from the Resolution Foundation, warn child poverty will rise from 2.3m children to 3.3m by 2020 – a figure that will be even higher once the poverty-producing impact of the Summer Budget and the Autumn Statement is totted up.

 

I suppose there may be a few chimneys left for them to sweep and the poverty will keep them small enough.

Continue ReadingNew Statesman: When David Cameron became Tory leader, he wanted to end child poverty. Now he just wants to stop measuring it

I was trying to do some poetry

about

the 1% who own 50%

We (most certainly) don’t need them

the 1% who own 50%

But that’s what it’s all about

That’s what it’s all about

tbc …

If it’s all about this 1% that own 50%

then …

there is huge misdirection about why people are pissed off

shouldn’t they be pissed off with the 1% that own 50%

instead of each other?

Wouldn’t it be far more sensible and appropriate to hate the 1%?

Other tings are just nonsense, aren’t they?
1% are ridiculously rich, the rest of us scrape by.

It’s easy to remember isn’t it? the top 1% own 50% and the bottom 50% own 1%

Continue Reading

Commentary and analysis of recent political events

That Conservative, illiberal Nick Clegg is keen to do the Tories’ work

Clegg leaves the door open to further welfare cuts

George Osborne has made it clear that he plans to introduce “billions” more in welfare cuts if the Tories win the next election, including a possible reduction in the £26,000 household benefit cap and new limits on child benefit, but where does Nick Clegg stand? At the Deputy PM’s final monthly press conference of the year, I asked him whether he was prepared to consider a reduction in the benefit cap in the next parliament. He told me:

It’s not something that I’m advocating at the moment because we’ve only just set this new level and it’s £26,000, which is equivalent to earning £35,000 before taxI think we need to keep that approach, look and see how it works, see what the effects are, but not rush to start changing the goalposts before the policy has properly settled down.

The key words here are “at the moment”. While Clegg again declared that he believed the priority should be to remove universal pensioner benefits from the well-off (“you start from the top and you work down”), he was careful not rule out a cut in the level of the cap.

Spiked has a good article on modern slavery being make-believe and Theresa May’s Modern Slavery bill addressing a non-existant problem. This blog has addressed slavery not existing. Spiked are on the Want to make a worthwhile donation this Solstice? page.

Firefighters to strike on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Tony Blair intervened directly in a firefighters’ strike while the FBU was headed by a Labourite idiot. Strange to see Blair referring to the “real world” since he was a total stranger to it.

Image of GCHQ donught buildingHome Secretary Theresa May fails to provide any evidence that the Guardian’s publishing the Edward Snowden leaks have damaged national security as claimed by boss of MI5, Andrew Parker. Keith Vaz, chair of the home affairs committee told May “What you have given us today, and what we have heard so far, is only second-hand information. Mr Parker and Sir John are making statements in open session and nobody knows what the follow-up is.” and “Everyone is appointed by the prime minister … They are asking questions of each other, and giving answers to each other … That is exactly why we need to see them [the agency heads]. But you don’t want us to see them at all.”

Why Cameron is wrong to declare ‘mission accomplished’ in Afghanistan

What the welfare cuts mean for us: ‘The feeling of dread never goes away’

Hungry Christmas: Food Bank Use Soars

2013 in Review: Unions Are the Only Defence Ordinary People Have Left

Poorer than your parents – post-war pensions boom ‘is coming to an end’

Federal judge holds NSA telephone surveillance unconstitutional

Lord Hanningfield says of allowance claims: ‘I have to live, don’t I?’

For the Sake of Humanity Society Must Unleash War on the Tories

SILENT TO THE GRAVE (The Waterhouse Report)

Continue ReadingCommentary and analysis of recent political events