davidmarsden + is   116

Agreed: Nuclear War is not Such a Bad Thing | OffGuardian
James Porteus looks at the deluded and amoral paradigm evinced in Foreign Policy magazine’s ‘analysis’ of the ongoing confrontation with North Korea. You don’t really have to read either of these Foreign Policy articles mentioned below. Whether the authors are arguing It’s Time to Bomb North Korea or It is Not Time to Bomb North Korea, the basic narrative is the same: There are pros and cons in using nuclear bombs to ‘stop’ the threat of North Korea. Both ‘arguments’ are framed in such a way so as to give the ‘impression’ that Serious Debate is taking place. Indeed, the subtitle for each might be: Be prepared for intelligent discussions on the moral and legal and ethical consequences of using nuclear or other bombs to annihilate a sovereign country. And its people. But no. Most of the pros and cons are the same. Most are based on the general assumption that this bombing will take place and it will be justified on every level known to man and that it would be silly to waste … via Agreed: Nuclear War is not Such a Bad Thing
IFTTT  Agreed:  Nuclear  War  is  not  Such  a  Bad  Thing 
january 2018 by davidmarsden
Sex addiction isn’t an illness, treating it as one is a bad idea | New Scientist
Harvey Weinstein is being treated for sex addiction, but many health professionals say it isn't a real illness and addiction-style therapy doesn't help via Sex addiction isn’t an illness, treating it as one is a bad idea
IFTTT  Sex  addiction  isn’t  an  illness  treating  it  as  one  is  a  bad  idea 
october 2017 by davidmarsden
The Real Reason Washington is Worried about North Korea | OffGuardian
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrives for the opening ceremony of a newly built residential complex in Pyongyang on April 13 [2017]. Photo: Reuters   By Stephen Gowans in What’s Left A number of countries have recently tested ballistic or cruise missiles and a handful, not least Russia and China, possess nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of striking the United States. And yet the missiles and nuclear weapons program of only one of these countries, North Korea, arouses consternation in Washington. What makes tiny North Korea, within its miniscule defense budget, and rudimentary nuclear arsenal and missile capability, a threat so menacing that “worry has spread in Washington and the United Nations”? [1] “The truth,” it has been said, “is often buried on the front page of The New York Times.” [2] This is no less true of the real reason Washington frets about North Korea’s missile tests. In a July 4, 2017 article titled “What can Trump do about North Korea? His options are few and risky,” reporter David E. Sanger, a member of the Council … via The Real Reason Washington is Worried about North Korea
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august 2017 by davidmarsden
How Prison Labor Is the New American Slavery | OffGuardian
by Sara Burrows, June 13, 2016, via Return to Now If you buy products or services from any of the 50 companies listed below (and you likely do), you are supporting modern American slavery. American slavery was technically abolished in 1865, but a loophole in the 13th Amendment has allowed it to continue “as a punishment for crimes” well into the 21st century.  Not surprisingly, corporations have lobbied for a broader and broader definition of “crime” in the last 150 years.  As a result, there are more (mostly dark-skinned) people performing mandatory, essentially unpaid, hard labor in America today than there were in 1830. With 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population, the United States has the largest incarcerated population in the world.  No other society in history has imprisoned more of its own citizens.  There are half a million more prisoners in the U.S. than in China, which has five times our population.  Approximately 1 in 100 adults in America were incarcerated in 2014.  Out of an adult population of 245 … via How Prison Labor Is the New American Slavery
IFTTT  How  Prison  Labor  Is  the  New  American  Slavery 
july 2017 by davidmarsden
The Grenfell tragedy is a direct result of the Tories’ openly declared war on health and safety | Pride's Purge
The Grenfell Tower tragedy was NOT an accident.

Health & safety was DELIBERATELY IGNORED to save money.

And ignoring health and safety at Grenfell was not a one-off case.

Since they came to power, the Tories and their friends in the right-wing tabloids have DEMONISED what they call the “health and safety monster”, because it harms the ability of private companies to make a profit.

Watch this video of David Cameron in 2012, openly DECLARING WAR on health and safety, and after you’ve watched the video, share it so people can see why we have to in turn declare war on a culture that puts our children’s lives at risk for the sake of profit:


via The Grenfell tragedy is a direct result of the Tories’ openly declared war on health and safety
IFTTT  The  Grenfell  tragedy  is  a  direct  result  of  Tories’  openly  declared  war  on  health  and  safety 
june 2017 by davidmarsden
Why breaking encryption is a bad idea that could never work | New Scientist
UK home secretary Amber Rudd says WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption is "completely unacceptable" – but breaking encryption would be unhelpful and unworkable via Why breaking encryption is a bad idea that could never work
IFTTT  Why  breaking  encryption  is  a  bad  idea  that  could  never  work 
april 2017 by davidmarsden
Most people don't know climate change is entirely human-made | New Scientist
Even in eco-friendly Norway, only a minority of people realise that global warming is entirely due to our actions, survey of four European countries reveals via Most people don’t know climate change is entirely human-made
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march 2017 by davidmarsden
End of nations: Is there an alternative to countries? | New Scientist
Nation states cause some of our biggest problems, from civil war to climate inaction. Science suggests there are better ways to run a planet via End of nations: Is there an alternative to countries?
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january 2017 by davidmarsden
In Castro's Cuba, this is what life as a doctor was really like | New Scientist
Amid Fidel Castro's funeral and furious debate over his legacy, Cuba's health system is often praised. Despite its flaws, it deserves it, says Rich Warner via In Castro’s Cuba, this is what life as a doctor was really like
IFTTT  In  Castro’s  Cuba  this  is  what  life  as  a  doctor  was  really  like 
december 2016 by davidmarsden
Cramped, unpleasant and vulgar: is this the internet we planned? | New Scientist
The internet was supposed to usher in a new e-paradise. A new book, Utopia is Creepy, suggests it's not quite panned out that way via Cramped, unpleasant and vulgar: is this the internet we planned?
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september 2016 by davidmarsden
Theresa May's grammar school meritocracy is a deluded idea | New Scientist
If the government's vision of a new raft of selective schools to create a meritocracy comes true, it will cement the UK's dire inequality, says James Bloodworth via Theresa May’s grammar school meritocracy is a deluded idea
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september 2016 by davidmarsden
Our water is full of drugs and we don't know their effects | New Scientist
Water reuse means we are all consuming a cocktail of other people's leftover medicines, but measuring their impact is almost impossible. It's time we clean up our act via Our water is full of drugs and we don’t know their effects
IFTTT  Our  water  is  full  of  drugs  and  we  don’t  know  their  effects 
september 2016 by davidmarsden
How the News Agenda is Set - Craig Murray
David Cameron gets heckled every day of his life. The media never bother to report the names of the hecklers or the gist of what they say.

Yet a single heckler shouts at Jeremy Corbyn at Gay Pride, and not only is that front page news in the Guardian, it is on BBC, ITN and Sky News.

What makes a single individual heckling a politician newsworthy? There are dozens such examples every single day that are not newsworthy.

The answer is simple. Normally the hecklers are promoting an anti-establishment view, so it does not get reported. Whereas this heckler was promoting the number one priority of the establishment and mainstream media, to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. So this heckler, uniquely, is front page news and his words are repeated at great length in the Guardian and throughout the broadcast media.

The impression is deliberately given that he reflects general disgust from young people, and particularly gay young people, at Corbyn over the EU referendum. The very enthusiastic reception for Corbyn at Gay Pride is not reported.

Nor is the fact that the incident was not a chance one. The “heckler” is Tom Mauchline, a PR professional for PR firm Portland Communications, a dedicated Blairite (he describes himself as Gouldian) formerly working on the Liz Kendall leadership campaign. Portland Communications’ “strategic counsel” is Alastair Campbell.

So far from representing a popular mood, Mauchlyne was this morning on twitter urging people to sign a 38 Degrees petition supporting the no confidence motion against Corbyn. Ten hours later that petition has gained 65 signatures, compared to 120,000 for a petition supporting Corbyn. Mauchline formerly worked for 38 Degrees, unsurprising given their disgraceful behaviour over the Kuenssberg petition. I am waiting for the circle to be squared and Kuenssberg to report on the significance of Mauchline’s lone heckle.

I find it incredible that the mainstream media are all carrying this faked incident while not one single mainstream journalist has reported who Mauchline really is.

The post How the News Agenda is Set appeared first on Craig Murray.

via How the News Agenda is Set
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june 2016 by davidmarsden
The EU vote: this is what a social crisis looks like - Counterfire
Tail-ending the Cameron Remain campaign is hemorrhaging working class support for Labour and the left, argues John Rees

via The EU vote: this is what a social crisis looks like
IFTTT  The  EU  vote:  this  is  what  a  social  crisis  looks  like 
june 2016 by davidmarsden
So many reasons why sleep is too important to miss | New Scientist
Getting enough sleep is arguably one of the best things you can do for your health. How can you make the most of it? via So many reasons why sleep is too important to miss
IFTTT  So  many  reasons  why  sleep  is  too  important  to  miss 
may 2016 by davidmarsden
Manchester United's treatment of Louis van Gaal is nothing short of a disgrace - and needs reviewing - Just Football
As the pressure grew on the encumbered Manchester United manager, with just the FA Cup offering the last vestiges of hope for any kind of salvation, pundits, fans and even former United players...
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

via Manchester United’s treatment of Louis van Gaal is nothing short of a disgrace – and needs reviewing
IFTTT  Manchester  United’s  treatment  of  Louis  van  Gaal  is  nothing  short  a  disgrace    and  needs  reviewing 
may 2016 by davidmarsden
To solve a crisis of empathy we must first decide what it is | New Scientist
The empathy crisis, as identified by the pope and others, is too loosely defined for us to do anything about it, if it exists at all via To solve a crisis of empathy we must first decide what it is
IFTTT  To  solve  a  crisis  of  empathy  we  must  first  decide  what  it  is 
may 2016 by davidmarsden
What is Paleolithic Art?: How to decode the shadows on the wall | New Scientist
Why did early humans cover caves with vivid images? Watching the great mind of Jean Clottes make sense of it all is a rare joy via What is Paleolithic Art?: How to decode the shadows on the wall
IFTTT  What  is  Paleolithic  Art?:  How  to  decode  the  shadows  on  wall 
may 2016 by davidmarsden
Islamic State Is Political and Uses Religion as a Reference, by Pedro García Hernández
[Prensa Latina] According to Thierry Meyssan, president and founder of the Voltaire Network, the Islamic State (IS) or Daesh is an essentially-political movement that uses religion as a reference to create chaos and divide the Arab world. In an interview with Prensa Latina, Meyssan, who is also a journalist and a political activist of French origin, noted that it is a continuation and weird mix of organizations like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. However, he noted that "aside from (...) via Islamic State Is Political and Uses Religion as a Reference, by Pedro García Hernández
IFTTT  Islamic  State  Is  Political  and  Uses  Religion  as  a  Reference  by  Pedro  García  Hernández 
may 2016 by davidmarsden
Vivaldi Web Browser Community - No time to rest. Vivaldi 1.1 is here with enhanced tab handling, better hibernation and more!
It's hard to imagine that a little less than three weeks ago we launched Vivaldi 1.0. It seemed to strike a chord. Hundreds of articles and millions of downloads followed all over the world.

It is a great feeling to see the work we have done together with you has gathered so much attention. But we are not resting. Today we're launching Vivaldi 1.1. This is a result of the feedback we've received over the last 3 weeks, to make Vivaldi even better. Read on to find out more about some of the interesting changes.


Download Vivaldi 1.1


We know tab handling is important for many of you, so we now have even more options. You can select opening behavior on cloned and stacked tabs. You can close all other tabs by holding Alt and clicking on the tab close button or via Quick Commands.

You can further adjust tab activation options upon closing a tab. For instance, you can choose whether to automatically activate the tab to the right or left.

We also made tab hibernation even better. You can now choose to hibernate an entire Tab Stack. You can also select to hibernate tabs by Ctrl or Shift clicking on the tab.

Speed Dials are imported from Opera 12. Hopefully, this will convince some hold-outs to try Vivaldi ;)

We also updated to Chromium 50, which brings in the latest standards support. This means we no longer run on Windows XP, Vista and Mac OSX below 10.9 nor use older (less secure) plugin formats.

If you want to know more, the full Vivaldi 1.1 changelog is here or download the Vivaldi browser from vivaldi.com.

Thanks for your continuing support.

via No time to rest. Vivaldi 1.1 is here with enhanced tab handling, better hibernation and more!
IFTTT  No  time  to  rest.  Vivaldi  1.1  is  here  with  enhanced  tab  handling  better  hibernation  and  more! 
april 2016 by davidmarsden
Depression is Political
depression mental health mental illness by Bobby London I am here sitting in my bed fighting my depression, trying not to bask in somberness for too long,… via Depression is Political
IFTTT  Depression  is  Political 
april 2016 by davidmarsden
Religious Morality Is Mostly Below The Belt | Edge.org
Religious Morality Is Mostly Below The Belt Michael McCullough In most facets of life, people are perfectly content to let other people act in accordance with… via Religious Morality Is Mostly Below The Belt | Edge.org
IFTTT  Religious  Morality  Is  Mostly  Below  The  Belt  |  Edge.org 
march 2016 by davidmarsden
Erdogan Is Prime Suspect in March 22 Brussels Bombing, by Webster G. Tarpley
He Had Threatened Belgium with Terror Assault in March 18 Speech Protesting Pro-Kurdish Demonstration in Belgian Capital; “The Snakes You Are Sleeping with Can Bite You Any Time,” Raved Erdogan to Belgian Government; Turkish Strong Man Also Implicated in November 13 Paris Massacre; Trump-Cruz Feuds Continue Mutually Assured Destruction of GOP; Row Shows It's Easy to Get Trump's Goat; Trump's Vote Percentage in GOP Primaries and Caucuses Still Below 40%; More Republicans Brand Him As Fascist via Erdogan Is Prime Suspect in March 22 Brussels Bombing, by Webster G. Tarpley
IFTTT  Erdogan  Is  Prime  Suspect  in  March  22  Brussels  Bombing  by  Webster  G.  Tarpley 
march 2016 by davidmarsden
Is British football ‘winded’? | Outside of the Boot
The post Is British football ‘winded’? appeared first on Outside of the Boot.

Outside of the Boot - Tactical Analysis, Scout Reports, Ramblings, Debates, Special Features

Andrew Thomas makes his debut for us with a cracking article about wind, England, and technical footballers. Excuse the pun, but it’s a pun worth pursuing so please bear with me… I remember reading an excellent book by Gabrielle Marcotti and Gianluca Vialli a couple of years ago entitled ‘The Italian Job’, it was an […]

The post Is British football ‘winded’? appeared first on Outside of the Boot.

via Is British football ‘winded’?
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march 2016 by davidmarsden
BBC Radio 4 - Seriously... - Seriously... - Is Mindfulness Meditation Dangerous?
Is Mindfulness Meditation Dangerous? For a new series of Out of the Ordinary , Jolyon Jenkins investigates whether meditation can do you more harm than good.… via Seriously... - Seriously... - Is Mindfulness Meditation Dangerous? - BBC Radio 4
IFTTT  Seriously...  -  Is  Mindfulness  Meditation  Dangerous?  BBC  Radio  4 
march 2016 by davidmarsden
Why Immigration Concern Is Racist - Craig Murray
Since 1979 UK governments have deliberately and systematically pursued policies which prioritised the speculative financial industries of London and damaged large scale manufacturing. The apotheosis of this policy was the massive transfer of money from everybody in the land to the bankers in 2008 by Gordon Brown.

There are two major results of this forty year policy. The first is that the deliberately engineered manufacturing decline has caused social and economic devastation in the UK outside South East England. The second has been an astonishing accumulation of wealth in a tiny number of hands as income inequality levels have risen to the highest disparity in all of human history, wealth centred in South East England.

This has naturally led to rising discontent among many people in many areas, despite the concentrated use of mass communication media under elite control to spread narratives to contain or divert discontent. But as unrest has continued to threaten control, a particular diversionary narrative has become dominant.

In truth, the cause of mass poverty amidst great wealth is the existence of state structures which direct economic activity to the exclusive benefit of a tiny elite of the ultra-rich. But rather than the ultra-rich who control the state structures, ordinary people are encouraged to blame their own lack of access to resources on immigrants. A false narrative is created whereby the cause of poverty is not the billions and billions monopolised by the ultra-rich, but rather that poor foreigner over there.

This is an argument of stunning intellectual paucity. It depends on a totally false narrative of an economy as a thing of fixed size. In fact, immigration is a massive driver of economic growth. If immigration really made countries poorer, then the United States would be the poorest country in the world and Germany the second poorest. That is plainly untrue. Immigration is not the cause of poverty, quite the reverse. It is only the benefit of millions of energetic new migrants that has prevented deflation in the UK these last few years.

Yet, despite being obvious nonsense, the argument sticks. The ultra-rich succeed in diverting the anger of society at inequality of resources, away from themselves and onto that poor foreigner over there.

And why does this obvious nonsense work? Because it appeals to a deep-rooted, basic, instinct of atavism. Because it appeals to a xenophobia that transcends logic and intelligence. Because it is a simple appeal to racism.

Concern about immigration is racism. A racism deliberately whipped up to divert people from their real enemies.

The post Why Immigration Concern Is Racist appeared first on Craig Murray.

via Why Immigration Concern Is Racist
IFTTT  Why  Immigration  Concern  Is  Racist 
march 2016 by davidmarsden
The DWP is trying to psychologically 'reprogramme' the unemployed, study finds | UK Politics | News | The Independent
Iain Duncan Smith PA Government policy has taken worrying steps towards depicting unemployment as a mental health disorder, medical researchers have warned.A… via The DWP is trying to psychologically 'reprogramme' the unemployed, study finds | UK Politics | News | The Independent
IFTTT  The  DWP  is  trying  to  psychologically  'reprogramme'  unemployed  study  finds  |  UK  Politics  News  Independent 
march 2016 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Hillary Clinton IS The Guardian
Hillary Clinton is American, owned by financial interests to whom she is completely in thrall, a rabid neo-conservative warmonger, completely uncritical of Israel and focused for any claim to be progressive entirely on identity politics. Which is also a precise description of today’s Guardian newspaper. The once august and intellectual title is now a shrill cheerleader for far right Blairites and wealthy American feminists.

The Guardian is as unabashed in its support for Clinton as in its support for the Blairites. The stream of “feminist” articles about why it would advance the cause of women to have a deeply corrupt right winger in the White House is steadily growing into a torrent. It is a perfect example of what I wrote of a month ago, the cause of feminism being hijacked to neo-conservative ends.

Bernie Sanders is not perfect – nobody is. But he understands that obscene and still burgeoning wealth inequality is the greatest problem of western society, and that the state framework supporting crazed banking structures is the root cause of this. The support for him is a sign of the inevitable popular reaction to the extreme inequality of society. Sanders is channelling that reaction effectively.

The establishment therefore circles its wagons around Hillary Clinton. The hope is that women can be persuaded it is an act of misogyny simply to stand in her way. The other great establishment hope is that the Democrat party machinery is so strong in black communities, that black Americans can be in effect ordered to vote for a woman who epitomises the system which disadvantages them, rather than an apostle of genuine change in the economic order. I retain hope the establishment may find that black Americans are cleverer than that.

The machinery used to manipulate identity politics – racial and gender – is all that Clinton has. If Clinton beats Sanders, it will be the perfect demonstration of the fact that identity politics has become the enemy of progress in society.

In the field of identity, Bernie Sanders would be the first non-Christian President of the United States. Would that not be wonderful in a country whose politicians feel the need to genuflect to swarms of religious evolution-denying nutters who believe foreign wars are good because they presage the Rapture?

And would it not be great if the first President since Carter not in thrall to Israel were Jewish?

via Hillary Clinton IS The Guardian
IFTTT  Hillary  Clinton  IS  The  Guardian 
february 2016 by davidmarsden
Column: The Fire Is Here | The Wild Hunt
Five people protesting the police killing of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man, are shot and injured by a group of white men in Minneapolis. A candidate for… via Column: The Fire Is Here | The Wild Hunt
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january 2016 by davidmarsden
Why ISIS has the potential to be a world-altering re...
​​​​​‘Virtue, without which terror is destructive; terror, without which virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an… via ISIS is a revolution
IFTTT  ISIS  is  a  revolution 
december 2015 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Sadly, Terrorism Is Easy
I wish a speedy recovery, both physically and mentally, to the people stabbed at Leytonstone tube station. It must have been horrifying.

The following comments are in part predicated on a presumption that the media reports of the incident are broadly true. This comes with a serious health warning. At this stage after another tube station incident, we were universally assured that various official “sources” and “eye-witnesses” had affirmed that Jean Charles leapt the barriers and ran through the tunnels, wearing a bulky jacket with wires sticking out. All of those turned out to be absolute lies deliberately spread by the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office.

But assuming this time the account of his shouting about Syria is not lies, what we can see from video is that a single man in a very silly hat, armed with a very small knife indeed, can carry out a vicious terrorist attack with apparently no need for planning at all. Not even planning enough to get a less tiny knife from his kitchen.

Because, sadly terrorism is easy. As I stated recently, if I were crazed enough to want to kill somebody tomorrow, and did not care how I did it, who I killed or if I died myself, I could kill a few people without too much effort or planning. That is why the continual propaganda about “seven foiled ISIS terrorist plots” or “4,000 active Islamic terrorists in the UK” is quite simply untrue. If all those terrorists existed, they would not be so entirely unproductive. What the authorities do catch continually are fantasists, often children, boasting and “plotting” online about being terrorists. That is quite a different thing. It is worth noting that nobody has been charged over any of these seven foiled ISIS plots. Strange that, isn’t it?

As for the man in the silly hat, I fear he is mentally unstable. That is no comfort to his victims. The truth is, of course, that it is always the little people who get hurt. None of the 1% who foment, promote and profit from war have ever set foot in Leytonstone Tube Station. But their agenda is forwarded today. By its continual acts of violence and repression, the neo-con state eventually goads a mentally unstable person into a nasty, vicious and pointless act. They then use that act to justify more wars and repression.

For the security and armaments industry it is a very profitable cycle.

via Sadly, Terrorism Is Easy
IFTTT  Sadly  Terrorism  Is  Easy 
december 2015 by davidmarsden
Is Turkey Trying to Distract the World From its Debt Crisis Shooting Down a Russian Plane? | Armstrong Economics
There is something not quite right about this entire incident of Turkey shooting down the Russian fighter jet and then attacking the rescue helicopter. Sorry,… via Is Turkey Trying to Distract the World From its Debt Crisis Shooting Down a Russian Plane? | Armstrong Economics
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
Longform: English Is Not Normal by John McWhorter
How English became the weirdest major language in modern use.

John McWhorter | Aeon | Nov 2015

[Full Story] via English Is Not Normal
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
Why pretend social work is about social justice? It's not | Social Care Network | The Guardian
I became a social worker because of a strong feeling that the world is unfair. But working in child protection has shown me that justice isn’t a high priority

Isabelle Trowler, the government’s chief social worker for children and families, said recently that social justice is at the heart of what social workers do. I was at the meeting where she made these comments, and they made me think, because I disagree. I don’t disagree that it should be, but I disagree that it is.

In 2014, the International Federation of Social Workers formed a new definition of social work, saying that “principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work”.

Continue reading... via Why pretend social work is about social justice? It's not
IFTTT  Why  pretend  social  work  is  about  justice?  It's  not 
october 2015 by davidmarsden
My charity is forced to deliver services it is not qualified for | Voluntary Sector Network | The Guardian
To save jobs and vital connections with unsupported families, my charity has bid for work it doesn’t know how carry out

I’m a business development manager, which means my job mainly involves trying to save the charity I work for. It really is that simple and the weight of the responsibility is exhausting. If I meet my target we go on another year, if I don’t then we have to go to our board of trustees with a deficit, and our charity will fold. Every success or failure is tied to everyone else’s fortunes, the jobs of our staff and lives of our beneficiaries.

Our flagship service, which involves working with children of parents who misuse drugs and alcohol, was cut earlier this year. For more than 10 years the local authority had paid us to deliver this service and we have helped thousands of families in that time. Our organisation depended on that funding to operate. Our only option was to, instead, bid for another contract. We bid for a portion of the treatment services and hoped we could – using the same team and vastly reduced finances – deliver this service while continuing to support the families we had worked with before.

Continue reading... via My charity is forced to deliver services it is not qualified for
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october 2015 by davidmarsden
The irony of the Kids Company debacle is that the kids have barely featured | Social Care Network | The Guardian
There has been a lot of attention paid to the money invested in the organisation, but little about what this actually acheived

As quickly as it burst into the headlines in the summer, Kids Company seems to have disappeared from public view since its closure on 5 August. But what about the children and young people involved?

The irony of the Kids Company debacle is that the kids have barely figured in it – other than some enlisted at the end to try and keep it going. Meanwhile, public interest seems to have focused much more on financial accounting than on what was happening to the young people the organisation was supposed to serve.

Continue reading... via The irony of the Kids Company debacle is that the kids have barely featured
IFTTT  The  irony  of  Kids  Company  debacle  is  that  have  barely  featured 
october 2015 by davidmarsden
Is hearing voices an illness or a cure? – Shruti Ravindran – Aeon
Rosie’s marriage did not last long. But many months after she returned to her parents’ cottage on a south Indian tea estate, her husband’s voice rattled around… via Is hearing voices an illness or a cure? – Shruti Ravindran – Aeon
IFTTT  Is  hearing  voices  an  illness  or  a  cure?    Shruti  Ravindran  Aeon 
october 2015 by davidmarsden
Do psychiatrists think everyone is crazy? – Joseph M Pierre – Aeon
When a psychiatrist meets people at a party and reveals what he or she does for a living, two responses are typical. People either say, ‘I’d better be careful… via Do psychiatrists think everyone is crazy? – Joseph M Pierre – Aeon
IFTTT  Do  psychiatrists  think  everyone  is  crazy?    Joseph  M  Pierre  Aeon 
october 2015 by davidmarsden
A tumor gave him amnesia and dementia. Surgery unlocked old memories and a new life.


via A Tumor Stole Every Memory I Had. This Is What Happened When It All Came Back
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october 2015 by davidmarsden
Who is twitter-luring refugees to Germany?, by Andrey Fomin
This study adds to the preceding. It shows that the current wave of migration to Europe is organized to direct human crowds to Germany. via Who is twitter-luring refugees to Germany?, by Andrey Fomin
IFTTT  Who  is  twitter-luring  refugees  to  Germany?  by  Andrey  Fomin 
september 2015 by davidmarsden
Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower? A new theory inches us closer to an answer.


via Why Is Light So Fast?
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september 2015 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » The BBC is Irredeemable
As I get older and I see the institutions of British society twisted and distorted to fit the extreme neo-liberal agenda, I find myself advocating all kinds of responses which I would have found anathema even a decade below. One f these is that I definitely believe that the BBC should be abolished as a public funded institution, and the BBC poll tax (aka license fee) abolished.

The extent of BBC bias during the referendum campaign was breathtaking. I have worked, and specifically reported on the media, in dictatorships which had a less insidious and complete bias than the BBC has against Scottish independence. The relentless anti-Corbyn propaganda shows that the BBC exists to reinforce the neo-liberal narrative at all costs, both at home and abroad. Laura Kuenssberg achieved levels of disdain and ridicule in her report on Shadow Cabinet appointments this evening that ought to disqualify her forever from employment anywhere but Fox News. This was followed by “Reporting Scotland” and a long propaganda piece against the idea of a second referendum, replete with lies about pledges of “once in a lifetime”.

I do not think in the 21st Century we need a state broadcaster. If you want right wing propaganda, you can watch it on Murdoch, without paying a compulsory tax for it. I don’t want to watch baking, “celebrities” I have never heard of dancing, or people abseiling to win a holiday in Jamaica. If I did, I am sure I could find someone to provide it commercially.

The more worthwhile parts of the BBC’s output could be maintained or commissioned as arts spending and broadcast on commercial or internet platforms. You do not actually need a state broadcaster to have symphony orchestras and just a minute.

Even the Tories are occasionally right about something, and they are right that the BBC is a hugely bloated organisation, with 107 bureaucrats who earn over 100,000 and 23 who earn over 200,000. Forget all the ideas about reform. Just chuck the worthless bunch out on the street.

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september 2015 by davidmarsden
It is very nice (Phil Gyford’s website)
Since ripping all my CDs and only buying MP3s, I’ve missed the ability to easily browse my albums when deciding what to play. While I don’t hate iTunes as much as many people seem to, it still turns music into a joyless spreadsheet.

So, given scrolling through lists of data rarely gave me the inspiration that browsing shelves of CDs once did, I came up with a typically laborious and completist solution: make a playlist containing only complete albums and EPs, and finish finding all their cover art.

It’s not a ground-breaking innovation but it is very nice. It’s easy to scroll through my decades-in-the-making playlist until something grabs me. Much better than looking through a spreadsheet of artist and album titles. I’m re-playing music I’d forgotten I owned, that I forgot existed, that was previously buried away among rows and columns of uninspiring text.

Of course, just as when I used to browse CDs I still find myself thinking, “No, none of these 1,200 albums are quite right.” And this still feels like a solution from the past, for people who miss physical music, and like listening to complete albums, and still buy music occasionally. But I like it.

via It is very nice
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september 2015 by davidmarsden
Alcohol addiction is ruining older lives, too | Clare Allan | Society | The Guardian
A radio documentary about my beloved Uncle Pad shows how easily ‘normal’ drinking can escalate in response to the stresses that come with ageing

Problem drinking among older people is on the increase, with an estimated 20%-25% of over-65s drinking at unsafe levels, according to research published last week by the institute of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience at King’s College London. Moreover, prosecutions for drink-driving of adults over 65 have increased by a sobering 40% in the last 10 years.

I know something of the devastation alcohol addiction can bring from experience within my own family. My much loved aunt struggled with severe alcoholism for 20 years, before falling while drunk in her early 60s and suffering a brain haemorrhage, which led her to develop dementia.

Related: We need to address drinking problems in older age

How could it be that my Uncle Pad, the best storyteller I’ve ever known, failed to escape his own bleakly tragic ending?

Continue reading... via Alcohol addiction is ruining older lives, too | Clare Allan
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september 2015 by davidmarsden
“Our raison d’etre is based on dissent – dissent from a policy that endorses destitution.” | National Coalition of Independent Action
We hear a lot from service providers about how they have no alternative but bend to government and state policies or risk going out of business. But another way is possible. Those of us who went to the recent NCIA meeting in Sheffield were lucky enough to hear Gina Clayton talk about the work of … Continue reading

via “Our raison d’etre is based on dissent – dissent from a policy that endorses destitution.”
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august 2015 by davidmarsden
How Corrupt is Britain? - Counterfire
Lindy Syson finds that neoliberal capitalism extends corruption across society and the economy, reviewing the collection of studies, How Corrupt is Britain

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july 2015 by davidmarsden
As Greece prepares for a monumental decision, there is only one certainty: the European Ideal has been irrevocably damaged.

I am a Europhile. Not only that, I am a product of the Union. I have structured my life around the idea of free movement; my identity around the notion that I can be more than one thing: Mykonian, Greek, Londoner, British, European. For the first time in my life, I am beginning to wonder, whether the European project is now simply too broken to be fixed.

Do not misunderstand me. I am passionate about the notion of a Europe of partners, united around principles of solidarity and trade. I just think we have taken wrong turns. So many and so wrong that I feel very uncertain as to whether we can ever find our way back.

I am not alone in feeling like this and it is not of consequence only with regard to Greece. I have had numerous messages in the last few days from pro-European friends here in Britain, telling me that the way the institutions have treated Greece, have convinced them to cross over to the “out” camp for the forthcoming UK referendum on European membership.

I am not in the deluded camp who think that national sovereignty is a magic bullet that will restore some nationalist utopia which only ever existed in our minds. Governments have been captured by corporate interests, so completely and at every level, that all EU exit changes is the field on which necessary battles must be fought. No flag provides protection from that, however tightly we wrap ourselves in it.

Neither do I want to suggest that the project hasn’t been a success. Before it was captured by this fatal monetarist fever, it achieved decades of unprecedented peace and prosperity, extraordinary advances in working and consumer rights, and a mingling of cultures and populations which has enriched us all. But I know, in my heart, it is now irrevocably damaged.

The choice being presented to the Greek people is a difficult one. Stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, as they say. On one hand, continuing a programme which has decimated the country and its economy, plunged millions into poverty…

You can read the rest of this article here on BYLINE – a crowd-funded alternative news platform, on which writers can express their opinions with no fear, favour or editorial control. It is completely free and has no advertisements or spam. All we ask is that you consider funding us, if you have the capacity to do so. 

july 2015 by davidmarsden
True employment equality is still a pipedream for people with mental health problems | Clare Allan | Society | The Guardian
People who have spent time in mental health institutions have valuable experiences and skills that they feel they have to hide from prospective employers

A friend of mine has recently been applying for a full-time job, after years of freelancing for various organisations. Like me, she has spent a long time in the psychiatric system; in fact that’s where we met. Like me, she was unable to work for several years as she shuttled between various wards, day hospitals and crisis centres, finally doing an 18-month stretch (her term, her humour) on a locked ward in Northampton.

It’s a pity for the person forced to conceal the gaps in their CV, like brushing strands of hair across a bald patch’

In her personal statement, she left out the hugely valuable interpersonal skills she’d honed on a medium secure ward

Continue reading... via True employment equality is still a pipedream for people with mental health problems | Clare Allan
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july 2015 by davidmarsden
Dominic Cummings (who ought to know) is not impressed by Michael Barber, Tony Blair’s former adviser and self-styled ‘delivery man’ » The Spectator
Sir Michael Barber Photo: Getty Allen Lane, pp.316, £16.99, ISBN: 9780241004975 In 2001, Tony Blair took Sir Michael Barber from his perch as special adviser in… via Dominic Cummings (who ought to know) is not impressed by Michael Barber, Tony Blair’s former adviser and self-styled ‘delivery man’
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Closing the College of Social Work is yet another attack on the profession | Social Care Network | The Guardian
Social work is becoming less independent as the government pursues its own agenda

The closure of the College of Social Work is being presented by the government as a business decision made on the basis of the college’s failure to balance the books. Social workers, on the other hand, see the denial of contracts and further funding to the college as symbolic of a much deeper ideological struggle with the government and a weakening and restructuring of the profession. Meanwhile, for service users and carers, the college’s closure – along with cuts to welfare spending, local services and social care budgets – is more likely to feel like another attack on some of the most powerless people in society.

Related: Profession in shock as the College of Social Work forced to close

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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Longform: What Is Code? by Paul Ford
A 38,000-word answer.

Paul Ford | Bloomberg Businessweek | Jun 2015

[Full Story] via What Is Code?
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Longform: What Is Code? by Paul Ford
A 38,000-word answer.

Paul Ford | Businesweek | Jun 2015

[Full Story] via What Is Code?
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Foot-in-mouth Tory Chairman Grant Shapps says recession is like “an amusement ride” | Pride's Purge
(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps thinks the recession we’ve been experiencing for the last 7 years is like ‘an amusement ride’.

He also suggests struggling families can survive the recession by investing in real estate, futures or bonds, eating ice cream and taking regular skiing holidays!

Obviously when people are actually struggling to feed their families, he wouldn’t dare say such an outrageous thing under his own name for fear it would affect his party’s electoral prospects.

So he didn’t.

He said it under his pseudonym, Michael Green, instead.

Michael Green refers to himself as ‘a successful online marketer’,  ‘marketing guru’ and states ‘his wealth is such that he actually flies his very own personal plane and also lives in a fabulous mansion’.

But Grant Shapps, the Tory Party co-chairman, has admitted Michael Green is the pseudonym he uses to separate his business activities (which have been having some serious difficulties) from his political activities.

Mr Green/Shapps has produced what he calls a ‘self-help guide for negotiating your way to better times’ called ‘How To Bounce Back From Recession‘.

It can be downloaded for free from here if you want a copy:


In this strange document, Shapps likens the recession to an ‘amusement ride’ – and he also offers invaluable tips for the unemployed to survive hard times and feed their families.

Tips such as:

Invest in real estate, futures or bonds

Buy a house or vehicle

Borrow money from a bank

Take a skiing holiday (I’m not making this up, really)

Learn to knit or play guitar

Treat yourself to an ice-cream

So thanks to Mr Shapps invaluable advice – we as a nation now know where we’re going wrong when it comes to making ends meet.

Struggling families are not buying nearly enough houses, going skiing enough or eating enough ice-cream.

Talk about out-of-touch Tories ……….


Please feel free to comment and share. Thanks:

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march 2015 by davidmarsden
Is This the Most Dangerous Banner in Britain? - Class War
 Is This the Most Dangerous Banner in Britain?

Posted: Updated:

The post Is This the Most Dangerous Banner in Britain? appeared first on Class War.
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march 2015 by davidmarsden
Cutting obese people’s benefits is bullying | Clare Allan | Society | The Guardian
A government proposal that singles out people affected by weight or addiction problems creates easy scapegoats when effective health support is needed

We are living in a country being run by a pack of playground bullies. If anyone still had any doubts about this, government announcements of the last few weeks must surely have removed them. The systematic targeting of the vulnerable in the form of benefit sanctions (while protecting the interests of the powerful) panders to the lowest instincts of the crowd.

Related: David Cameron calls on obese to accept help or risk losing benefits

Overeating is suggestive of underlying psychological issues, but that doesn't suit the self-infliction rhetoric

Continue reading... via Cutting obese people’s benefits is bullying | Clare Allan
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march 2015 by davidmarsden
Michael Rosen: Times tables knowledge is for ministers to segregate
All knowledge in English education is linked to testing, league tables, academy conversion and the like.  In other words the question in front of us isn't really 'Is this or that subject or piece of knowledge more or less important for children to study?' but instead: 'Which form of knowledge will be the best means (for the government) by which to select, segregate, and divide pupils, teachers and schools?' With most primary schools refusing to convert to academy status, the government had to invent a new means by which to force them to do so. 

That's why ministers talk of forms of knowledge that can be micro-measured as right or wrong: times tables, punctuation, spelling. 

On the way, this kind of work forces schools, teachers and pupils to spend hours sitting still and learning things by rote. Though there's nothing much wrong with doing this sometimes - especially if you choose to do it, - what's wrong is that if you are forced to do loads and loads of it, hours and hours every day, what you are also learning is submission, subservience, bowing down to unquestionable and unquestioned authority. 


via Times tables knowledge is for ministers to segregate
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february 2015 by davidmarsden
After the election of Syriza in Greece - power is not in parliament

An article by Andrew Flood that looks at the impact and possibilities of a Syriza victory in Greece.

read more

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january 2015 by davidmarsden
Is depression a kind of allergic reaction? | Life and style | The Guardian
Barely a week goes by without a celebrity “opening up” about their “battle with depression”. This, apparently, is a brave thing to do because, despite all… via Is depression a kind of allergic reaction?
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january 2015 by davidmarsden
Longform: A Strange New Gene Pool of Animals Is Brewing in the Arctic by Tim McDonnell
Climate change is giving rise to intermating between previously distinct species. Welcome to a world with “grolar bears.”

Tim McDonnell | Nautilus | Dec 2014

[Full Story] via A Strange New Gene Pool of Animals Is Brewing in the Arctic
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december 2014 by davidmarsden
What’s dying is not the Mobile Web | Stop
I didn’t have time before to comment on a tweet I saw last April: “Mobile Web is dead. It’s all about apps. Hmmm, are we sure? That’s not what that pie chart tells me. I see a different, much more serious issue there. If that’s how things stand, what is dead or dying is the […] via What’s dying is not the Mobile Web
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november 2014 by davidmarsden
How digital technology is transforming social care | Social Care Network | The Guardian
Digital resources are widely used in the sector, challenging the notion that social care and technology dont mix

Its not so long since I didnt come into social care to work with computers was a common response to digital technology in the care sector. How things have changed. As part of Skills for Cares ongoing work looking at digital capabilities in the adult social care sector, a research team asked over 500 managers and staff in adult social care services about their digital capabilities, experiences and attitudes. Our results showed that more than 95% used digital technology in their work, and the great majority are strongly positive about the potential of digital technology to improve efficiency and quality of care services.

Unsurprisingly, digital technologies are most commonly used in business administration and communications. However, technology is also significantly impacting the delivery of care and support services. Three-quarters of organisations use digital technologies to plan and record services, and more than half use them directly with the people they support. Theyre used to enhance communication between service users and their family and friends, to organise leisure activities for service users, and to help people plan their own care and support.

Continue reading... via How digital technology is transforming social care
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november 2014 by davidmarsden
This Is What Developing Acute Schizophrenia Feels Like | VICE United States
The brain, showing the cerebral cortex. Photo via Wellcome Images A year ago this winter, I began to not recognize myself. Sleep was the first thing to change.… via This Is What Developing Acute Schizophrenia Feels Like | VICE United States
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october 2014 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Bombing Is Good For You
If bombing a country really made it better, we would have made a paradise of Iraq by now. Instead it is a total disaster, with access to electricity, drinking water, education and health services all far worse than they were before we started bombing it. That is even without the growth of the Caliphate, or ISIS, a direct result first of our deposing Saddam and conniving in the intolerant Shia rule of Maliki, and then of our connivance in arming and funding anyone willing to fight Assad.

So now we are told we have to bomb Iraq yet again, and this time, finally, that will make it all better. There are two extraordinary contradictions in the British position.

1) The justification in international law given by the neo-cons for the current bombing of Iraq is that it is at the invitation of the government of Iraq. But simultaneously they propose to bomb Syria to attack the government of Syria. This is the most astonishing hypocrisy.

2) The Caliphate forces were encouraged and trained by the CIA initially. They continue to be massively financed from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. In fact, the Caliphate is still funded to a massive degree from the very states who are currently bombing them alongside the United States – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE. It is the ruling families of those states which are attacking ISIS in an official capacity, who are financing ISIS in a private capacity. The BBC manages to avoid any mention of Saudi funding for ISIS. The interests of the City of London are, as always, the most important factor for the British establishment.

The security state here in the UK needs the “War on Terror” to justify its continued existence and the power and jobs of those who administer it. One thing that is certain to keep the conflict going, and thus keep the security state going, is for us to start bombing the Middle East again.

The right wing old crawler Menzies Campbell just came on the BBC to support British bombing. Stand by to see the Unionist parties united in neo-imperialist brotherhood.

via Bombing Is Good For You
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september 2014 by davidmarsden
Proof Cameron is running scared of UKIP – in his own words | Pride's Purge
(not satire – it’s David Cameron!)

Here’s a fun spot-the-difference game for you to play.

Contrast the things David Cameron said before UKIP posed a serious threat to him with the things he’s saying now:


David Cameron is clearly scared sh*tless by the rise of UKIP.

Can’t blame him really – he’s probably right to be.




What I learnt from my stay with a Muslim family

Cameron: Immigration is good


Be more British Cameron tells UK Muslims

British factories must say no to eastern European workers


Please feel free to comment. And share. Thanks:

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september 2014 by davidmarsden
Video: ‘This is Uganda’ | Hynd's Blog
There are lots of reasons why I love living in Uganda. Equally, it never ceases to frustrate me the distorted and perpetually negative way Uganda is so often portrayed in my home country of the UK. It is partly because … Continue reading → via Video: ‘This is Uganda’
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
Is our genome full of junk DNA? – Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher – Aeon
A genome is not a blueprint for building a human being, so is there any way to judge whether DNA is junk or not?


via Is Our Genome Full Of Junk DNA?
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went - Issue 16: Nothingness - Nautilus
Your brain needs to forget in order to grow.


via This Is Where Your Childhood Memories Went
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
The Warsaw Ghetto and the assault on Gaza - is there anything in the comparison? | Anarchist Writers
The text below is translated from the poster at the centre of this image of the destruction of Gaza by the Israeli state. But it refers not to this horror but another in 1943 when the Nazis crushed the Warsaw ghetto, wiping out the poorly armed organised resistance that operated out of a warren of bunkers & sewers hidden beneath the ghetto. This poster was by one of the armed factions that defended the Ghetto, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)


All people are brothers;
Yellow, brown, black, and white.
Talk of peoples, colors, races -
Is all a made-up story

read more
via The Warsaw Ghetto and the assault on Gaza - is there anything in the comparison?
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » There is Another World
Resigning minister Mark Simmonds earns 417 pounds an hour for his “consultancy” work for Circle Healthcare, a group looking to profit from the massive privatisation of NHS services and functions. Simmonds gets 50,000 a quarter from Circle, broken down into 12,500 payments once a quarter, for ten hours a month or thirty hours a quarter. That is 417 pounds an hour
This is blatant corruption. Simmonds has no great expertise worth that money, it is simply that the private healthcare industry is buying the MPs who will vote to privatise areas of the NHS to them. New Labour are just as bad as the Tories. Alistair Darling received 12,000 pounds for one after dinner speech to Cinven Ltd, a firm which does nothing but benefit from privatisation of NHS services. Was it because Alistair Darling is just the entertainment people want after a good dinner? No, they were buying his vote. New Labour and Tory MPs are both up to their eyeballs in NHS privatisation money.

It is the same with defence spending. Lord Taylor of Blackburn epitomises the rampant corruption in this area the professional in infant education who earned hundreds of thousands of pounds as a “consultant” to British Aerospace. This blog now has ten times more regular readers than it did when I wrote this article, and I beg of you to click the link and read it. It may open some eyes.

Simmonds has come into the spotlight by resigning on the pretext that his total salary and expenses as an MP in 2012-13 of 271,000 pounds – including a 25,000 for his “secretary” wife and 32,500 in rental allowance – were not enough for him to be able to live a family life in London. This man voted for the benefit cap that limits the total income of families on benefits to 26,000 pounds – that is under ten per cent of the amount which is inadequate for his family to live on. These bastards really do live in another world.

In their world, however, all is good and foodbanks are a sign of a healthy society. This will take your breath away.

via There is Another World
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
Duncan Smith reckons cutting welfare for cancer patients is “creating jobs” | Pride's Purge
(not satire – it’s Iain Duncan Smith!)

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith is claiming that his welfare reforms are creating jobs.

Quite how cutting welfare payments to terminally ill cancer sufferers – for example – is supposed to create jobs, he doesn’t quite explain:

Deadly delay for cancer patients as thousands are waiting months to get benefits

Perhaps he’s referring to an uptick in jobs being created in the greetings card, flower delivery and undertaking sectors?

And to be fair to Duncan Smith, dying probably is quite a good way to get you off the unemployment figures.

Sometimes I think trying to satirise this government is getting to be almost impossible.

They satirise themselves so much better than I ever could.


Related articles by Tom Pride:

UK today: 40% of cancer patients can’t afford to heat their home properly

Dad deported from UK for having cancer

DWP blames cancer patient for her illness

Daily Telegraph uses death of baby and outright lies to smear NHS

Meet the Telegraph journalist on a one woman campaign to smear the NHS

Thinktank proposing monthly fee for NHS is funded by private healthcare companies

UKIP deputy leader calls for end of NHS

Shirley Williams’ bare-faced lies to her Lib Dem colleagues on the NHS


Please feel free to comment. And please share. Thanks:


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august 2014 by davidmarsden
ClubOrlov: German Stunner: “West is on the Wrong Path”
Gabor Steingart, the the publisher of Germany’s leading financial newspaper Handelsblatt, just let loose with an editorial directly challenging Washington's idiotic anti-Russian policies.
The appearance of this document is very timely: just yesterday Russia unleashed the first round of counter-sanctions, banning the import of foodstuffs from the US and the EU. These counter-sanctions are cleverly designed to cause pain in proportion to the level of anti-Russian activity of the country in question; thus, the three Baltic countries, which are virulently anti-Russian in spite of having large Russian populations and surviving largely through trade with Russia, face staggering losses, followed by equally anti-Russian Poland, followed by the rest of the EU, including poor Greece, which is friendly to Russia and should be considered collateral damage. The greatest beneficiaries of these sanctions are all those countries that opposed (11) or abstained (58) when the UN voted to condemn Russia's annexation of Crimea: they get to leapfrog over EU and US economically by exporting foodstuffs to Russia. Russia's consumers and Russia's agricultural sector are also among the winners: Russians will eat healthier food, with no GMO contamination, while profits that used to flow to the US and the EU will now be invested in domestic agriculture, making Russia more self-sufficient in food and aiding in the development of rural districts. Another clever element to these sanctions is that farmers tend to be politically vocal and influential. I see tractors clogging the streets of Europe's capitals and dumptruck-loads of manure decorating the steps of government buildings before too long.
As to his diagnosis of Obama's true motivation, I think he has it wrong. It's not all about pleasing the Tea Party. They, and American voters in general, are irrelevant, it makes no difference who gets elected, and Obama's policies are not Obama's. There is a deeper reason why the oligarchs who own and operate the country formerly known as America are currently attempting to enlarge every problem they see, be it stoking civil war in Ukraine or provoking ISIS into attacking Americans: they are desperate to avoid a scenario where the US collapses on its own, with no external enemy to blame. Not only would it be just too humiliating, but also the population, suddenly brought out of its stupor, might turn on those actually responsible rather than helplessly blame some foreign scapegoat. Putin has to fit the bill, reality be damned.

Read more » via German Stunner: “West is on the Wrong Path”
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
BBC Sport - Luis Suarez banned but what are football's deadliest sins?
Spitting, butting, brawling, kicking...where does biting figure on the charge sheet of football's worst misdemeanours? via Biting, butting, spitting...what is football's deadliest sin?
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june 2014 by davidmarsden
Khat users could 'turn to alcohol' once herbal stimulant is made illegal next week - Get West London
The herbal stimulant Khat is popular in the Somali community but is due to become a Class C Controlled Drug from June 24. via Khat users could 'turn to alcohol' once herbal stimulant is made illegal next week
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june 2014 by davidmarsden
Chris Grayling Is A Lying Bastard Court Hears At Workfare Tribunal | the void
So desperate are the DWP to hush up the names of charities using workfare that they have been reduced to using a blog post titled “Chris Grayling is a lying bastard” to prove how horrible everyone is being to them because of their forced work schemes.

The post was part of the evidence provided by the DWP at yesterday’s tribunal brought to appeal the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) decision that charities using workfare should be named.  This followed a Freedom of Information request made two years ago asking for the names of organisations who are accepting workfare placements on the Mandatory Work Activity scheme.

The DWP have pleaded that if this information was made available then workfare will collapse such is the awesome power of Boycott Workfare.  Reams of evidence has been produced by the department, largely taken from the media and Boycott Workfare’s website, which they claim shows how MWA will be destroyed if the public learns the names of these charities.

They also complain that anger at forced work has been ‘strident’ rather than ‘standard’ criticism, and that some bastard had even referred to charities using workfare as “thieving fucking criminals” (which if you read the post you’ll see isn’t strictly true).

The DWP’s argument seems to be that workfare is so unpopular that who is involved has to be kept a state secret.  This is despite the duty of charities to be open and transparent about their activities.  Luckily we know only too well the names of many of the charities forcing people to work without pay.  Household names including @salvationarmyuk, @YMCA_England and @groundworkuk are just some of the organisations who use forced workers on Mandatory Work Activity.  They are not thieving fucking criminals, they are just exploitative cunts.  Boycott them.

A judgement is expected in four to eight weeks.  The individual who brought the original FOI has published details of the arguments made by both sides at the tribunal.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

via Chris Grayling Is A Lying Bastard Court Hears At Workfare Tribunal
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june 2014 by davidmarsden
Who are ISIS? What do They Want? Who is Behind Them? | The Progressive Press
On June 11th, the world woke up to the news of ISIS (The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant* -alternatively translated as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-) taking over major cities in Iraq and advancing towards Baghdad. This was not, of course, news to the people who have been following the situation in the region since the invasion of Iraq, but for many, ISIS is the new genie in the bottle. Especially puzzling, how was this relatively small extremist group of people able to seize the second most populous city of Iraq, along with other cities and towns... via Who are ISIS? What do They Want? Who is Behind Them?
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june 2014 by davidmarsden
MP’s Scrounging Is Out Of Control: Cap Esther McVey’s Housing Benefit | the void
MPs are being handed huge subsidies to rent second homes in London whilst thousands of the capital’s poorest residents are being socially cleansed due to slashed benefits and soaring rents.

Unemployment Minister Esther McVey claimed a whopping £17,227 last year to rent a swanky central London pad whilst invisible Housing Minster Kris Hopkins trousered £18,045.

The total bill for MPs languishing in luxury properties at our expense came to over £5 million says pressure group Generation Rent who compiled the figures.

The maximum Housing Benefit available in London is just over £250 a week for a single person, around £100 a week less than McVey scrounges.  This benefit goes to people in and out of work alike and was capped shortly after the current government weren’t elected.  Soaring rents in London have meant that many new housing benefit claimants are working full time but still cannot afford the eye-watering cost of living in the capital.

Previously ministers, including Iain Duncan Smith, have claimed that there are plenty of properties still available in London to those affected by the cap.  So why can’t McVey live in one of those instead of living on hand outs?

McVey earns far too much already to be eligible for housing benefit and in any case it is not payable for second homes, even if you claim you need them for work.  She can easily afford to pay her own rent and if not then any state support she receives should be capped at the same level she expects everyone else to survive on.  It’s about making the system fair after all, and it might even incentivise McVey to get a real job for once in her miserable life.

Above graph taken from an infographic produced by Generation Rent, for the full image visit their website

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

via MP’s Scrounging Is Out Of Control: Cap Esther McVey’s Housing Benefit
IFTTT  MP’s  Scrounging  Is  Out  Of  Control:  Cap  Esther  McVey’s  Housing  Benefit 
june 2014 by davidmarsden
The Charity Commission doesn't know what charity is | Comment is free | theguardian.com
Thanks to one deeply ignorant decision, any organisation with a human rights agenda stands to lose its charitable status

Does the Charity Commission have any idea of the meaning of charity? Not if you read its decision on the Human Dignity Trust, which fights in the courts to end discrimination against homosexuals in other countries.

This could not possibly be for the public benefit, the commission has ruled, because changing these laws is contrary to public policy and could prejudice our relations with states that put gay men in jail. For these reasons, the commission has denied the Human Dignity Trust registration as a charity, a decision that will be challenged in court today.

Continue reading... via The Charity Commission doesn't know what charity is
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june 2014 by davidmarsden
Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium
It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire. Computers, and computing, are broken.


via Everything Is Broken
IFTTT  Everything  Is  Broken 
may 2014 by davidmarsden
Is it worth voting at the European elections? | Hynd's Blog
Yes.  Of course it is. It goes without saying….doesn’t it? Well, no. Apparently not. Lots of people are so unsure of the answer to this question that they type it into google. Bonkers huh? People are trusting a search engine … Continue reading → via Is it worth voting at the European elections?
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may 2014 by davidmarsden
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