Kate Belgrave: Talking with people dealing with public sector cuts AND highlighting the importance of integrity in public life
By Swheatie of the KUWG
These days as KUWG's friend Kate Belgrave highlights in her interviews taken outside jobcentres, jobcentres are more geared to torturing vulnerable people economically in the name of 'promoting personal responsibility' than they are into 'the help you need when you need it'. Link to Kate's latest blog piece on her fieldwork outside Kilburn Jobcentre. Such blog pieces so far rely exclusively on transcripts of interviews rather than video-footage.
Kate also does a lot of blogging about the plight of homeless single mums in LB Newham that do incorporate video camera work. Newham's policy is not to help economically vulnerable people find waged work — no way! Rather than Newham's policy being anything like 'nice work if you can get it', Newham's policy equates to 'hope of housing if you can get the work, and sod off if you can't'. Kate's latest blog piece juxtaposes video-footage of Newham Mayor Robin Wales facing the Focus E15 Mums of Stratford and Kate Belgrave herself, with video-footage of mould growing in rented, Housing Benefit-subsidised accommodation that is not desirable for growing human minds. Link to blog piece: Children in mouldy, decaying houses, councillors at property investor fairs in Cannes …
That blog piece incorporates links to information about a property-developers' fair in Cannes that was attended by Newham Mayor Robin Wales. Wales is quoted as telling the Guardian regarding the expense of Newham being represented in Cannes:
“It's all paid for by our development partners.”
I find that extremely worrying as Kate Belgrave does when she calls for “absolute transparency on all of this — who met with who, when, why, what was discussed, who willbe 'investing' in what and what sort of money will move between whichorganisations and people and why — and how the people who turnedout to [a 'Meet the Mayor of Newham' event] to try and get theirhousing problems solved will benefit.”
This is all at a time when there is a controversial matter called the 'Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership' being discussed in the European Parliament that is alternatively known as TAFTA [TransAtlantic Free Trade Agreement] in the USA. That potential dodgydeal would allow global corporations such as those intending to profit from wining and dining elected representatives of UK democracies, to sue UK democracies should, say, the electorate vote in a party that does not go in for dodgy deals that would result in a sell-off to global billionaires and tax-dodging corporations. The potential beneficiaries of TTIP already act as latter day colonial rulers, never bothering to look at the mould and mice droppings that people in their 'colonies' have to face on a daily basis.
In closing, I note that the property-developers' fair in Cannes that Robin Wales attended is now an annual event that is organised by Reed MIDEM — A member of Reed Exhibitions'.
Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, Reed also owns the social work 'trade magazine' Community Care. Former Community Care blogger Mike McNabb's 'Outside Left: Weighing into the social policy debate' blog series contains a very revealing blog piece that pre-dates benefit caps and all the woes to poor families emanating from the Welfare Reform Act 2012. Link tot blog piece: Asylum seekers' £2m home: but who's playing the system? Since that blog piece was written, Mike McNabb lost his blogging station at Community Care. Link to his 'Outside Left' swansong piece, The last post: Thank you and goodbye from Outside Left. Now that Mike McNabb can no longer embarrass customers of a Reed-promoted property-developers' fair while drawing a Reed calary cheque, it's great that Kate Belgrave can help highlight the importance of integrity in public affairs.
Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group's over-riding motto is 'Never attend anywhere official alone'. With the aid of Kate Belgrave's video-capture and interview transcripts, more and more people can serve as witnesses to the hardships and official indifference faced by the Focus E15 single mums of Newham even while the integrity of Community Care magazine as social work's 'trade magazine' is brought into question by association of parent company with arms fairs and property-development exhibitions.