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Saturday, 13 May 2017

Ask well-informed questions of candidates while government bodies still gather the statistics!

Richard Osley of Camden New Journal and Islington Tribune writes in the Islington Tribune:

No mistakes: Justice Secretary Liz Truss can’t think of a single error made by Tory government (1)

JUSTICE Secretary Liz Truss was stumped today when the New Journal asked her if the Conservatives had made any mistakes at all in government since the last general election.

With cabinet members arriving in the target constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn at a rate of one every four days since Theresa May called a snap election, Ms Truss was in West Hampstead this afternoon (Thursday) to help with the local Conservative campaign aiming to unseat Labour’s Tulip Siddiq.

After rolling off a list of achievements and insisting that, despite her role in the Remain campaign, that her party had been right to call a national referendum on EU membership, the New Journal asked the simple question as to whether she could think of any mistake the government had made over the last two years.

She paused, looked surprised by the question, and then replied: “Well, I think given where we were as a country, given what we inherited in 2010, which was a country with serious financial problems, I think we’ve done a very good job in getting us back into a better position. We have record levels of employment, we’ve got more children in good and outstanding schools, we are putting more money into the NHS and that’s what people want to see....”

Perhaps that phrase ".... and that's what people want to see...." is the most telling piece of her speel, given the new policy of the Department for Work & Pensions closing jobcentres without a consultation of service users, and saying that closing jobcentres will 'improve the service'?(2) Her Party does not want the people who are not in regular 'nine-to-five' employment to be seen to expose the lies and statistical manipulations involved in her 'record levels of employment' vision that masks the misery of zero hours contracts and sanctions.

As William Davies writes of Tory leader yet to be mandated as Prime Minister, Theresa May: Theresa May's Vapid Vision for a One-Party State: (3)
.... The prime minister’s rhetoric since calling the general election has implied that the best outcome for “the national interest” would be to eradicate opposition altogether, whether that be in the news media, Parliament or the judiciary....
Elsewhere, the non-party-political Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty writes:

Questions for all Parliamentary Candidates;
Each question should be prefaced with


The NHS has reported that over 7300 people were admitted to hospital with malnutrition in 2014/15. Up 50% in the four years since 2010? http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/food-bank-britain-amid

That the Office for National Statistics has revealed an unprecedented increase in deaths in 2015 after decades of improvement? http://www.theactuary.com/news/2017/03/an-unprecedented-rise-in-uk-deaths-will-see-life-expectancy-fall/

That the regressive impact of the market and austerity has damaged the health and wellbeing of millions of citizens since 1979 and in particular since 2010?http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/tap-health-equality-campaign-of-9-blogs-against-a-national-disgrace-we-publ

That because rents are rising faster than incomes The Resolution Foundation has forecast ​ever ​lower incomes after housing costs reducing by 16% for the poorest citizens over the next four years while the highest incomes rise 4%? http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/app/uploads/2017/01/Audit-2017.pdf

That Income Support, Employment Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance all at £73.10pw and Universal Credit of £317pm are too low live on AND have to pay rent due to the bedroom tax and council tax http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/the-great-injustice-in-cutting-esa-by-30-a-wee

That given what we know about the physical and emotional costs of moving house, the vulnerability of children’s education to frequent moves and the disruption to schooling and social networks, that councils are demolishing council estates rather than maintaining them?  http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/25331/412554-Housing-as-a-Platform-for-Improving-Education-Outcomes-among-Low-Income-Children.PDF

​To allow the UK to sleepwalk into a proliferation of insecure work which is short sighted, damages health and costs the taxpayers? http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/allowing-uk-to-sleepwalk

In 2010 it was estimated that inequalities in health accounted for productivity losses of £31-£33 billion per year, and £20-£32 billion a year in lost taxes and higher welfare payments.  Additional NHS healthcare costs associated with inequality were estimated to be in excess of £5.5 billion a year?  http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/health-inequalities-004
Rev Paul Nicolson
Those questions are based on official statistics that no doubt Justice Secretary Theresa May, Prime Minister Theresa May etc would rather have the public not see. So I would say, grab every opportunity you can! Ask those questions of candidates and highlight those statistical realities.

Otherwise, those who have landed Britain in such a mess in the name of 'austerity' and the reality of making economically vulnerable people subject to the bankers' debt, will abolish the requirement and budgeting for official bodies to gather the relevant statistics.

Successful legal challenges embarrass the abusers of vulnerable people in a very unequal and divided Britain, and so do the statistics resulting from a legal system designed and equipped to challenge injustice rather than perpetuate injustice.

Link References

  1. http://islingtontribune.com/article/no-mistakes-justice-secretary-liz-truss-cant-think-of-a-single-error-made-by-tory-government
  2. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/terra-firma-benefits-services-closures-leave-the-economically-vulnerable-in-the-lurch.html 
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/opinion/theresa-mays-vapid-vision-for-a-one-party-state.html
  4. http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/question-candidate-mps-more-deaths
  5. http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Ministry+of+Justice

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