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Cameron claims transparency, but constantly blocks Establishment being held to account

Why if you can’t get a job and are 5 minutes late for a job interview or work programme do you get ‘sanctioned’ and have all your benefit (for which you’ve contributed all though your working life via national insurance contributions) taken away for 4 weeks and left with no money at all, whereas if you cheat the State through elaborately artificial tax avoidance on an industrial scale (notoriously like Barclays Capital or indeed any big bank) you’re not bankrupted, not disqualified from continuing in the finance sector you’ve disgraced, and not sent to prison?

Why (a recent case reported in the Manchester Evening News) if you have progressive retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative incurable disorder, and are registered blind are you then told by Atos that you must go back to work or lose benefit, whereas if Serco charges the State (taxpayers) millions of pounds for false electronic tagging of prisoners that never took place, you suffer no penalty are told a few months later that you can continue to bid for government work?

Bob Diamond, the disgraced former chief executive of Barclays, presided over the rigging of the Libor inter-bank market (as did at least another dozen big banks) which adversely affected interest rates for $360 trillion contracts worldwide, was never put on trial and is now reported to be seeking a fortune in new deals in Africa. Neither Fred Goodwin nor any of the leading executives of all the big banks that crashed the world economy into the longest recession for a century through a mixture of greed, incompetence and negligence ever been prosecuted or jailed.

Ernst & Young and its former auditor, have never been punished after being found guilty by the Financial Reporting Council, the industry’s independent regulator, for failing to make known (as reported a few days ago) the liquidity and cash flow problems of Farepak, the Xmas hamper savings club that collapsed in 2006, which led to thousands of members of the public suffering losses. A judge ruled yesterday that, despite his concern at “what appears to be a potentially well-founded claim that the UK authorities were directly implicated in the extraordinary rendition” of the Libyan dissident Belhaj, he was nevertheless bound, because the government claimed it would harm relations with the US, to “preclude the right to a remedy against the potential misuse of executive power and in respect of breaches of fundamental rights”.

In response to discovery (grace of Edward Snowden and the Guardian) of the limitless electronic surveillance of citizens, even the US set up a review board to examine the NSA’s data-mining activities. The UK government has done nothing. There has been no investigation of who originally authorised this mass surveillance State, no checks have been placed or are currently proposed to restrict GCHQ’s limitless intrusion into the privacy of ordinary people, and no radical reform as is obviously needed of the laughably inadequate ISC self-appointed by the PM to investigate his own investigatory agencies. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (especially since the government’s denuding of the public sector has left realms of wrongdoing effectively unregulated)?


  1. ShirleyKnott says:

    Why are the ‘little people’ being shafted, while the upper echelons get away with murder (sometimes almost literally)? Tis because we aint citizens, we’re merely subjects. Subject to the whims of Giddy Osborne and the Dave.

  2. Rod says:

    @ Shirley

    With respect, it’s our fault – we’ve invited them to shaft us, we voted for them.

    I first joined Labour when Harold Wilson was P.M. Throughout the whole of my life I’ve never voted for any political party other than Labour – the party that, during Blair’s reign, destroyed as many manufacturing jobs as Thatcher (see: Cost of Inequality by Stewart Lansley) and were complicit in unspeakable military disasters, which many within the PLP would like to repeat.

    But I voted for Blair with great enthusiasm in ’97.

    And the L.P. has since then been transformed into another version of the Tory Party (see: NHS plc by Allyson Pollock).

    Michael, above, mentions a number of practices many consider unacceptable – Labour was complicit in all of these.

    We’ve been shafted by the political elite, both Labour and Tory.

    It was a hard lesson to learn, and it took me a long time, but I got there in the end. Lesson learned.

  3. ShirleyKnott says:

    I completely disagree that it’s ‘our’ fault. We’re virtually powerless when those who are in positions of power take decisions about which we are given no choice – on the ballot or anywhere else. Labour de-fanged its own party in the 90s, leaving the membership with very limited input to the political process, the choice of policies/policy direction and shaping, and ring-fenced those positions which did have any real input. Policies now are pre-made products of various corporate funded think-tanks, so are therefore reflective of the demands of corporations rather than the needs of the people – the *electorate*. We get offered product x or product y on polling day. Nothing except ‘back of the envelope’ stuff that’s soon tossed out comes from the demands of the grassroots any more. If policy came from ‘us’ do you think zero hours job contracts and permanent job insecurity would be legal? Would rent controls have been abolished, making way for so many buy-to-let profiteer landlords? Would privatising and contracting out prisons, nhs, etc to US profiteers be legal? These are lobbyist wet dreams, not ours!

  4. treborc says:

    Politics has been like this for centuries, and will carry on, we vote once very five years to bring in people like Miliband Osborne Reeves who we are told will be a leader in waiting. It’s little wonder that when a person like Hitler comes along people throw them selves at them because they offer something different and we all fall for it.

    I’ve given up voting I had hoped UKIP would be something for which I could vote for turns out to be a joke party with a joke leader, Griffin is a racist moron Miliband done nothing and is now a mouth piece for Progress and well the Tories are the Tories.

    It’s easy to moan about the parties not so easy to state what we can do about it.

    I will be sitting at home at the next election

  5. Rod says:

    “I completely disagree that it’s ‘our’ fault. We’re virtually powerless… ”

    Why keep voting for the numpties then? Most people who contribute to this blog are L.P. members and most, it seems, disagree with L.P. policy as enacted by the PLP. But come 2015 they’ll be out canvassing and voting for Miliband and his Progress cronies.

    Better to stop wasting your time and your subscription money.

    Take a look at Lewisham’s People before Profit movement if you want an example of how local politics can be organised around non-Progress values.

    Take a look at veteransforpeace(dot)org(dot)uk if you want an example of an alternative to Progress campaigns for military intervention.

    There’s plenty to be done and plenty you can do but it’s not going to get done by trying to participate in a party that is more concerned with its pet ideological projects than it is with the interests of the electorate.

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