Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Macmillan Cancer Support have commissioned a new report which shows the severe financial problems now being experienced by cancer patients in the UK.

The problems are entirely due to the government’s crackdown on so-called ‘benefit scroungers’ and the resulting ‘reforms’ to sickness and unemployment benefits.

Macmillan found that since the government’s changes to the welfare system:

  • 2 in 5 cancer patients now can’t afford to heat their homes adequately
  • 2 in 3 cancer patients are now waiting at least 6 months for financial help
  • 1 in 5 cancer patients are now waiting at least 9 months for financial help
  • 1 in 4 cancer patients have difficulties attending their hospital appointments for financial reasons
  • Over half (56%) of cancer patients now experience financial worries

So when you hear government ministers or the right-wing press going on about ‘benefit scroungers‘ – what they really mean is ‘cancer patients‘.


If the definition of a civilised society is how well…

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Politics and Insights

Originally posted on

Benefits and Work

JSA sanctions

Sanctions against claimants have reached record levels and it is very clear that they are being imposed for the tiniest deviation from agreements or even for no good reason whatsoever. They are now affecting not just JSA claimants but also ESA claimants – particularly those forced onto the work programme.
Below we’ve given our top tips for avoiding sanctions and some of the most outrageous examples of unfair sanctions that we have come across.
We also explain how to sue the DWP or work programme provider if they make an activity mandatory and it is unreasonable because of your health condition or disability
But we’d very much like to hear from you about your experience of sanctions, or threats of sanctions, and also any advice you can give fellow claimants on how to avoid or challenge unfair sanctions.

Top tips for avoiding sanctions

Don’t assume…

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Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

According to UKIP’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall, Oldham is the “birthplace of UKIP”.

Very appropriate then that Oldham UKIP has just been reported to the police for a shockingly racist election leaflet it’s been distributing.

The leaflet includes this paragraph which explains how Labour candidates supposedly keep winning in Oldham:

UKIP leaflet oldham

Here’s the full story from the Manchester Evening News:

Fresh election race row hits UKIP over claims Asian candidates are intent on rigging the poll

And here’s the offending election leaflet in full, if you can stomach reading it:



Ironic that in the leaflet UKIP complains the police won’t interfere in elections.

Because they are now.


Related articles by Tom Pride:

Meet UKIP’s PR officer doing a spot of public relations:

A handy detailed guide to UKIP’s policies on the main problems facing Britain today:

Nigel Farage and the man who trashed the pound. Twice.

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Politics and Insights

Posted originally by Michael Meacher, MP here
April 3rd, 2014
This is the edited text of a speech I made today in the House of Commons, in a debate I initiated on the many cases of sanctions being wrongfully applied to benefit recipients, calling on the Government to review the targeting, severity and impact of such sanctions.
The process of sanctioning benefit recipients is now being used on an enormous scale—almost 1 million sanctions a year. Even the right-wing Policy Exchange think-tank acknowledged in a report published last month that about 68,000 benefit claimants each year are having their welfare payments stopped unfairly. Given that the penalty for the first infringement is the loss of benefit for four weeks, for the second the loss of benefits for three months and for the third the loss of benefits for three years, the number of people being driven into destitution by administrative diktat…

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the bippity boppity beautiful blog

Thomas Hart Benton, “Hollywood”


Text has been a part of human creation for hundreds of years. People have used art and literature to express themselves and the human condition. But the text is also a social force. Cultural criticism has changed the way readers view literature and art. Art is not merely used for entertainment or artistic expression.

Early critics include Hegel, Arnold, and Marx, while later social critics include Marx, Williams, Horkheimer, Adorno, Benjamin, and Foucault. From Hegel to Foucault, art and texts reflect, reify, or alter social structures.


Hegel focuses on how an idea finds meaning in relationship to others. Hegel believed “an individuals entity’s meaning rests not in itself but in the relationship of that thing to other things within an all-encompassing, ever changing whole” (Leitch 536). Hegel uses the idea of the dialectic, “which entails the confrontation of any thesis with its opposite (antithesis)…

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Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

Natural England thought their plans to allow the widespread destruction of robin and starling nests and eggs would go unnoticed.

In fact they hid their plans so well that most people only heard about them the day before the so-called public consultation period was due to end – yesterday.

However, Natural England seem to have been panicked into making a hurried defence of themselves after the widespread sharing of this article on the subject:

Here’s the real reason the Tories are allowing the destruction of robin eggs and nests

Here’s Natural England’s response, taken from their website:

natural england 4

Sounds reasonable?

Well it would if it were true.

Natural England is trying to pretend that they want to allow licences in cases where nests may pose a health and safety hazard.

This is a lie.

Because Natural England already allow licences to destroy nests in those cases.

What the…

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Don’t forget this.

Politics and Insights

Dr. Lawrence Britt examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook some of the parallels with the characteristics of our government here in the UK. Controlled mass media is one example of such a defining feature of fascism, with “news” being directly controlled and manipulated by the government, regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship is very common. And then there is an obsession with “National Security” – fear is used as a “motivational tool” by the government over the public.
A few months ago, a visit by Government national security agents to smash up computers at The Guardian newspaper hit the news surpisingly quietly, when Edward Snowden exposed a gross abuse of power and revealed mass surveillance programmes by American and British secret policing agencie

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Politics and Insights

Sadiq Khan Posted by Sadiq Khan, Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Justice Secretary and Member of Parliament for Tooting, on 19 May 2014 In Huff Post Politics blog.
Solicitors, barristers, judges, legal advisors, campaigners and others will today take part in the London Legal Walk. Thousands of people will snake their way from the Royal Courts of Justice to Hyde Park and back to raise money in support of free legal advice charities in London and the South East. Last year, 7,500 walkers raised a staggering half a million pounds. With this year being the tenth anniversary, and the need for free legal advice being as great as ever, the London Legal Walk is aiming to surpass last year’s fantastic total.
Given this is a really important cause I was determined to find time in this week’s busy election campaign schedule to join the walk. Today, I’ll be walking with colleagues from the…

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