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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Gentrification and commuting times

Wembley Matters blogger Martin Francis currently has blog posts about links between
  1. gentrification and regeneration in South Kilburn,(1) and
  2. gentrification, housing and travel commute times(2)

Here is Dude Swheatie of Kwug's now-published comment on the latter:
A recent Camden New Journal lead story: Priced out of Camden, teachers commute by rail... from Folkestone.(3)

It can be very instructive to relate the impositions on benefit claimants re travelling distance they are prepared to commit to in daily commutes. Eg, there is this from 2008 when the Labour Employment Minister was actually Tony McNulty:
"John McNulty, a DWP minister responsible for employment, claimed around £60,000 in allowances for a second home in his Harrow constituency, just 11 miles and a 40 minute tube ride away from Westminster. Yet he has recently decided that jobseekers’ allowance claimants should be prepared to travel up to three hours a day (instead of the previous two) to find work. - See more at: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/social-care-experts-blog/2009/06/dwp-ministers-hypocrisy-over-e/#sthash.7Cvvbsf1.dpuf" — Souce: Community Care article DWP Ministers' hypocrisy over expenses claims(4)
Nowadays, travel commute expenses are also an issue when it comes to people on 'work for your benefits' sentences being sent from Kilburn to Tottenham and the like.(5)

Question: what was it Gary Vaux said in introducing the blog piece DWP Ministers' hypocrisy over expenses claims(4)?

The stories about MPs’ expenses have shown some are making the type of claims that would have benefit claimants in court - See more at: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/social-care-experts-blog/2009/06/dwp-ministers-hypocrisy-over-e/#sthash.YE0lX1hb.dpuf
The stories behind MPs' expenses have shown some are making the type of claims that would have benefit claimants in court.(4)

That was said in 2008. Now it seems, the grounds for benefit claimants being sanctioned into worse penalties than people get with court fines are ever diminishing in proportion to the extended length of the sanction.(6)

Comments on this blog are always welcome but seldom sent. How to leave a comment on a blogspot blogpiece.(7)


(1) http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/regeneration-and-gentrification-in.html
(2) http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/housing-and-anti-gentrification.html
(3) http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2015/apr/priced-out-camden-teachers-commute-rail-folkestone
(4) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/social-care-experts-blog/2009/06/dwp-ministers-hypocrisy-over-e/
(5) https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22travel+expenses%22+workfare&fr=yfp-t-903
(6) http://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/resources/benefit-sanctions-britains-secret-penal-system
(7) https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/42399?hl=en

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Monday, 25 May 2015

Housing Action Group — Kingsgate CC meeting Tuesday 26 May, 12 Noon till 2pm

Samantha 'Sam' Lewis a Kingsgate Community Centre-based Community Organiser writes:

HI folks!
The last T,H.A.G. [The Housing Action Group] meeting until further notice this Tuesday 26th may 12-2pm at Kingsgate community centre. Hope you can all make it look forward to seeing you all. How to get there.
Regards Sam

Sam and the remaining other Community Organiser appointed in May 2014 are coming up to the end of their one-year contract. The future of THAG is in the balance, as is the future of the Community Organisers.

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Monday, 18 May 2015

Corporate-vs-constituents'-interests in the Labour Party leadership elections

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

The Wembley Matters blog has republished a newly-elected-Labour-MPs'-letter that was published in Saturday's Guardian.(1) The letter calls upon Labour Party leadership contenders to not go in for any return to Blairite 'New Labour'.

One of the signatories is now MP for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough, the former seat of David Blunkett. Blunkett became much too heavily connected with a private company that had global ambitions, A4e [aka 'Action for Employment].(2)

When Blunkett was Secretary of State for Education and Employment David Blunkett, A4e was expanding its 'welfare to work industry' operations from the North of England into London. The reason I know that is that I was a jobseeker and intern with another 'welfare to work industry' company in London and told by the Head of Jobsearch of that company to complete weekly jobsearch portfolios relating a minimum of 16 job leads and I actually applied for a job with a company called A4e that was expanding into London. (3)

Since Blunkett owed a double allegiance to that company and his constituents, if not before, 'welfare to work industry' customers in Sheffield and elsewhere have been well able to tell Labour candidates that a privatised 'welfare to work inustry' is more of a problem than a solution.

It would, I am sure, be very interesting to see what other 'interests' Labour MPs hold in the private sector while mass media commentators focus so much on the power of 'the trade union lobby' in the Labour Party leadership election process.

See also

A4e head Emma Harrison steps down from family champion role (4)


(1) http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/no-return-to-new-labour-call-by-group.html

(2) https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A9mSs2NRn1lVLUwA9StLBQx.;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcxNzAwMwRfcgMyBGZyA3lmcC10LTkwMy1zBGdwcmlkA2FRak5qSkJrUXgyV1M3Wm51U1A3SEEEbl9yc2x0AzAEbl9zdWdnAzQEb3JpZ2luA3VrLnNlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMEcXN0cmwDMzEEcXVlcnkDImRhdmlkIGJsdW5ldHQiICJhNGUiIHNoZWZmaWVsZAR0X3N0bXADMTQzMTkzNzMxNQ--?p=%22david+blunett%22+%22a4e%22+sheffield&fr2=sb-top-uk.search&fr=yfp-t-903-s

(3) That Head of Jobsearch told me when I objected to that directive of quanitity over quality, that the directive came from 'no less than the office of David Blunkett'. A subsequent investigation in response to complaint from me found that 'Direct Computer Training' (DCT) claimed that that monitoring measure was actually only a recommendation and not mandatory. Yet at the time that I received the findings of the 'investigation' DCT intern contacts gave me a subsequent internal memo marked 'confidential' that reaffirmed the 'mandatory claim' associated with the jobsearch portfolios and threatened 'termination' [sic] to anyone not complying with that directive. The reason that irked me so much was that my written application to A4e including customised CV and hand written covering letter that had taken me several drafts and several days to accomplish had resulted in an interview.

I doubt that I would have accomplished an interview had I complied with A4e's 'advice' that we submit photocopies of the same standard CV with each job application!

(4) http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/feb/23/a4e-emma-harrison-steps-down-family-champion

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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Consultation on homeless hostel in Brondesbury Park

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

At Kilburn Times article page Brondesbury Park residents have two weeks to oppose homeless hostel on their doorstep(1), Wembley Matters(2) blogger Martin Francis has placed this comment:
"Perhaps Conservative Cllr Shaw should haven word a with her Conservative government about policies that makes people homeless - soon to be extended to 18-21 year olds."
Perhaps others would like to comment on this matter via the comments space at that Kilburn Time article page or via a blog piece?

Meanwhile, I was amused by this NIMBYist paragraph because of something that happened under LB Haringey in Tottenham:
Rob Churm, 46, who founded the action group said: “There are a lot of parents with children and plenty of vulnerable and elderly residents living here and many are concerned about increased risk from the hostel, especially as hostel users will have to walk through the estate to get to the block.”
Q: "Well, what did happen in Tottenham?"

Maybe the 'residents action group' members are among those aspiring to buy their social housing home at reduced price, as per the recent Tory General Election Manifesto? Maybe we could invite one of the opponents of this hostel to a KUWG meeting as 'guest speaker' — but maybe with more time for them to answer questions than they would feel really comfortable with?


(1) http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/brondesbury_park_residents_have_two_weeks_to_oppose_homeless_hostel_on_their_doorstep_1_4075803
(2)  http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/
(3) http://www.taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/spurs-bosses-dont-want-corporate-customers-walking-through-council-estate-haringey-council-plan-demolition-of-estate/

Friday, 15 May 2015

Fri 12-05-15 play about Sylvia Pankhurst

Just received by email. Late notice compensated by 'no-one turned away for lack of funds'

SYLVIA THE play about Sylvia Pankhurst, artist and 
7pm - Friday 12 June 2015
Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX
7pm Friday 12 June 2015  Wheelchair
Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London NW5 2DX
£3.50 unwaged & low-waged £7 higher waged no one turned away for lack of funds
Booking: contact@crossroadswomen.net or 020 7482 2496
Sign language interpreter to be confirmed  No admission after 7.15pm, thank you.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Council Tax scandal

From Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty

EVERY ONE SHOULD SEND A COPY OF "Council tax support;  the continuing story"



"Council Tax Support - the continuing story" was published by the Local Government Association in January 2015. They call on the new government to fully fund council tax support, acknowledging that the current scheme costs the councils millions of pounds and has increased the cost of living for some of the poorest..
They estimate that councils will have lost £1 billion over the three years since April 2013 when they dumped the the whole of the 10% cut in central government funding of council tax benefit on benefit claimants by taxing their poverty incomes in work and unemployment.
Over three million late and non payers are still being summoned to the Magistrates courts in England and Wales every year thousands at a time, adding court costs while threatening the bailiffs and prison to residents who cannot pay the tax.
A council tax scandal.  

​Good wishes, 


PS I also strongly recommend a read of this important research from Harvard University USA.. As Ian Duncan Smith renews his reign at the DWP it is time for him to ask what is wrong with his perspective on poverty rather than base policies on the assumption that poverty is the fault of his poorest fellow citizens.

from the Rev Paul Nicolson​
Taxpayers Against Poverty
No British citizen without an affordable home and an adequate income in work or unemployment. 

93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889, 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Housing Action Group Tues 12-May-2015

HI all just a reminder that the housing action group is tomorrow from 12-2pm at Kingsgate community centre ,hope you can make it, look forward to seeing you all
Regards Samantha Lewis, Community Organiser at Kingsgate Community Centre 

Dude Swheatie notes that Sam and the other Community Organisers at Kingsgate are coming to close of initial one-year contract. So this is partly a time of review as well as 'what next?'

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Knowing ourselves beats propaganda

Above title by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Dude Swheatie thanks Gordon Peters — Green Party parliamentary candidate for Hornsey & Wood Green constituency  in the 2015 UK General Election — for forwarding the link to the blog post from which the following end paragraph was copied and pasted.
When we are clear that the defences we are up against are built to protect the system (a ‘system’ maintained by peoples’ frightened grabbing defensiveness), and when we refuse to be defined by our opposition to that system, then all this eruption of creativity and communication finds its way like water around the sandcastle of the supposedly powerful, and we know we’re heading in the right direction because we’re already there.
— Remembering "a man on amphetamines", by bellacaledonia
on May 8, 2015(1)

(1) http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2015/05/08/remembering-a-man-on-amphetamines/

Friday, 8 May 2015

From ignorance to hope

Martin Francis of the Wembley Matters blog writes:

We must release passion and creativity to produce an alternative vision of society after the Tory victory

As I left the Civic Centre in the early hours this morning, sickened by the thought of five years of Tory government that will dismember the welfare state, continue the ideological war on the poor, disabled and migrant, and overcome by the sheer ugliness of the Tory's vision for the country, I was arrested by the pure beauty of the song of a blackbird as it opened the dawn chorus in the shadow of Wembley Stadium.

Yes, life goes on and so must the struggle....

Continue reading at http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/we-must-release-passion-and-creativity.html

GE2015: Hampstead & Kilburn constituency result

Uploaded by Dude Swheatie of Kwug with the help of Camden New Journal and the BBC

  RESULT: Labour's Tulip Siddiq is the new MP for Hampstead and Kilburn
Tulip Siddiq, Labour, 23,977.
Simon Marcus, Conservative, 22,839.
Maajid Nawaz, Lib Dems, 3,039.
Rebecca Johnson, Green, 2,387.
Magnus Nielsen, UKIP, 1,532.
The Eurovisionary Carroll, Independent, 113.
Robin Ellison, The U(niversal) Party, 77.
Pie chart by Dude Swheatie and Lotus 123 shows percentage shares of result.

Dude Swheatie's analysis

Tulip Siddiq's polling shows an Labour majority. Nationwide Labour did very poorly by contrast in terms of numbers of seats won. That largely demonstrates that local Labour activists who could be seen going to and from Labour campaign HQ on the Kilburn High Road were successful in trumping the combined impact of opinion polls and fallout from the failings of 'austerity-lite' and local Labour councils in LB Brent and LB Camden.

It also perhaps demonstrates that Tulip Siddiq was much more electable than London SE3 resident Glenda 'What Do You Expect Me to Do About It?' Jackson who only achieved a majority of 42 at the 2010 General Election.

KUWG activists were among Tulip Siddiq's supporters. My own favourite was Rebecca Johnson who proved an excellent candidate, performing well at hustings and reportedly being excellent at engaging with the public on the street. My contacts with Green Party activists in Camden and Brent, though based on limited sampling, showed much greater interest and support for Rebecca's campaign on the Brent side than the Kilburn side. Like those who 'held their noses' to vote Labour' the one Camden Green Party member I spoke to about Rebecca's campaign was concerned that Rebecca's campaign were worried about 'letting the Tories in'.

Rebecca and some Green Party inclusion in initial televised 'leaders' debates' served to increase the Green Party's 'market share' of the vote by 3% from the 2010 General Election. (2)

This should help the Green Party in the 2016 London Assembly Elections that have a number of Assembly Members elected by Proportional Representation. The Green Party currently has two Assembly Members in London, Darren Johnson and Dame Jenny Jones, who will be standing down from the London Assembly at the next elections for the Greater London Authority.

Nationally, the Green Party of England & Wales achieved only the return of the one Green Party MP Caroline Lucas albeit with an enhanced majority.(3) Gifted and experienced public performer commendable Caroline Lucas had a great record in Parliament but also a strong focus of national activists' support.

In order to have a chance of getting one parliamentary seat in a 'first past the post system', the Green Party has targeted resources into a few constituencies. A vast proportional pooling of the Green Party of England & Wales' financial resources are required even to come 2nd in a parliamentary constituency, and with 'first past the post' even that does not 'hit the spot' into having an impact on Parliament this time around.


(1) http://www.camdennewjournal.com/liveblog
(2) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000727
(3)  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32633718

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech

Uploaded by Dude Swheatie of Kwug

I believe that this video has resonances with the striving for disabled peope's striving for equality in the UK of today.

Eight years ago (31 March 2007), a UK Government signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to little mass media attention.(1) A century before MLK's 'I Have a Dream' speech was launched in the capital city of the USA, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address during the American Civil War. (2) (3)

Both King and Lincoln died from assassins' bullets. Blacks now considerably outnumber white people in American prisons. And since the UK's signing of the UNCRPD the life prospects of disabled people in the UK have actually got worse not better. Whoever is elected into UK Government today, we must reclaim our power and put more pressure onto mass media to publicise our case. We must not leave it to an undemocratic mass media to spell out what our 'options' are.

We must not give in to what King called 'the tranquilising drug of gradualism'. He said that the gulf between previous proclamation promise of equality for American blacks and the subsequent realities had been explained away by 'insufficient funds'.

I say, "Beware the rights denying halucinogen of 'austerity'. What really matters? What is priceless to our society?"

Further Reading

Disability News Service search finds re UNCRPD. (4)


(1) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2007/03/30/uk-government-signs-un-convention-on-disabled-peoples-rights/
(2) Emancipation Proclamation - Hear and read the full text https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pM3HS3rr-w0
(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Bojjx_Dew
(4) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/?s=uncrpd

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Is benefit fraud major problem for hardworking taxpayers?

From Housing Inside Housing publication's Housing Myth Buster (1)

Myth 8: Benefit fraud takes up a large chunk of the welfare bill  (2) 

Busted? Ministers launched a £1m poster campaign in October warning that the government would come down hard on benefit cheats. Government minister Mark Harper said at the time:’Those who cheat the system need to know we will use everything in our power to stop them stealing money from hardworking taxpayers, and that they could land themselves in jail when they’re caught.’
But is benefit fraud a big problem for the taxpayer? In 2013/14, £1.2bn of benefit was lost due to fraud. The total paid out in benefits was £164bn. So benefit fraud made up less than 1% of the overall welfare bill that year. However, the total amount of cash lost due to fraud will be less than that, as a lot of the money will be recovered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Source: Department for Work and Pensions
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

 Dude Swheatie says on this:

It seems to me that the real problem is Government ministers such as Mark Harper misleading the public with incorrect information such as the above and then scuppering debate by not turning up.


(3) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ashamed-tories-quit-newsnight-welfare-5562526 

Immigrants do not get fast-tracked social housing

From Housing Inside Housing publication's Housing Myth Buster (1)

Myth 9: Immigrants are taking social housing (2)

Busted? The notion that foreign nationals are taking up social tenancies in droves has been a pervasive message and the tabloid press often call for stronger curbs. Migrants taking up Britain’s housing stock is also a key flank of UKIP’s election campaign. ‘Currently a home has to be built every seven minutes just to cater for migrant demand,’ the party’s housing spokesperson Andrew Charalambous has said.

But are immigrants ‘jumping the queue’ and moving into social housing in their droves? The evidence would suggest no. According to CORE data (official social lettings statistics) about 90% of social lettings go to UK nationals. Six per cent are let to people inside the European Union and 4% go to those outside the UK.



No KUWG Kingsgate CC meeting Thursday 7 May but

KUWG will not be having its regular Thursday afternoon business meeting this Thursday 7 May which is also General Election day.

Instead we will be demonstrating outside Kilburn Jobcentre, 3 Cambridge Avenue, NW6 5AH. Location map. In so doing we will be affirming to our constituents that we intend to still be there for them whoever gets into Parliament from this General Election.

Below is a picture of how some of us celebrated May Day 2015 at the same venue.
KUWG standing up for what we believe in

KUWG standing up for what we believe in

Welfare cuts and suicides revelations

Compiled by Dude Swhatie of Kwug from email inbox content

The Guardian reveals:(1)

Revealed: hitlist of welfare cuts facing next chancellor

Exclusive: ‘Extremely controversial’ ideas drawn up by civil servants include benefit freeze and making it harder for sick people to claim state aid, leaked papers show...
Green Party Work & Pensions Spokesperson's follow-up to Daily Politics Welfare Debate (2)

Green Party calls on Duncan Smith to  apologise for misleading public over benefit claimant deaths

7 May 2015

The Green Party has requested that Iain Duncan Smith, Secetary of State for Work and Pensions, issue a formal apology for misleading the public after  he denied knowledge of the number of benefit claimant deaths shown to be caused by suicide.

Contrary to Mr Smith's statement, issued whilst taking part in a BBC Daily Politics debate on Welfare, research by the Disability News Service (DNS) has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has withheld research showing that over 40 benfit claimant deaths since 2012 have been linked to suicide.(3)

Commenting on the exposure by the DNS, Jonathan Bartley, Green Party Spokesperson for Work and Pensions, said: ....

(2) https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/05/06/green-party-calls-on-duncan-smith-to-apologise-for-misleading-public-over-benefit-claimant-deaths/
(3) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/information-watchdog-to-probe-dwps-secret-reviews-on-benefit-deaths/

Green Party calls on Duncan Smith to apologise for misleading public over benefit claimant deaths

6 May 2015
The Green Party has requested that Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, issue a formal apology for misleading the public after he denied knowledge of the number of benefit claimant deaths shown to be caused by suicide.
Contrary to Mr. Smith's statement, issued whilst taking part in a BBC Daily Politics debate on Welfare, research by the Disability News Service (DNS) has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has withheld research showing that over 40 benefit claimant deaths since 2012 have been linked to suicide.
- See more at: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/05/06/green-party-calls-on-duncan-smith-to-apologise-for-misleading-public-over-benefit-claimant-deaths/#sthash.bK0iHG1o.dpuf

Green Party calls on Duncan Smith to apologise for misleading public over benefit claimant deaths

6 May 2015
The Green Party has requested that Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, issue a formal apology for misleading the public after he denied knowledge of the number of benefit claimant deaths shown to be caused by suicide.
Contrary to Mr. Smith's statement, issued whilst taking part in a BBC Daily Politics debate on Welfare, research by the Disability News Service (DNS) has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has withheld research showing that over 40 benefit claimant deaths since 2012 have been linked to suicide.
- See more at: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/05/06/green-party-calls-on-duncan-smith-to-apologise-for-misleading-public-over-benefit-claimant-deaths/#sthash.bK0iHG1o.dpuf

Green Party calls on Duncan Smith to apologise for misleading public over benefit claimant deaths

6 May 2015
The Green Party has requested that Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, issue a formal apology for misleading the public after he denied knowledge of the number of benefit claimant deaths shown to be caused by suicide.
Contrary to Mr. Smith's statement, issued whilst taking part in a BBC Daily Politics debate on Welfare, research by the Disability News Service (DNS) has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has withheld research showing that over 40 benefit claimant deaths since 2012 have been linked to suicide.
- See more at: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/05/06/green-party-calls-on-duncan-smith-to-apologise-for-misleading-public-over-benefit-claimant-deaths/#sthash.bK0iHG1o.dpuf

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

2015 UK General Election, austerity and women asylum seekers

Guest blog piece by All Africa Women's Group

Originally published as a letter in Camden New Journal (1)

Election 2015: Women asylum seekers and immigrants are targets of austerity

Published: 30 April, 2015
• WE are a self-help group of women asylum seekers and immigrants based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre.

We’ve discussed the effect the election is having on us. Most political parties blame us for the lack of jobs and housing, the low wages, the strain on schools and the NHS. We didn’t cause austerity. We were its first targets.

We are here because we were imprisoned, raped, starved, our children killed or taken from us under dictatorships and corrupt governments propped up by the West. Companies go into Africa and mine our resources. They are like kings. But when we come here, fleeing proxy wars fuelled by British weapons, we are treated like beggars and criminals.

We escaped to the UK for protection, but our torture has continued. We are put in detention, racially and sexually abused. We took part in hunger strikes against the inhuman conditions in Yarl’s Wood detention centre. When released, we are made destitute – nowhere to sleep, no money, no food. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work so we are forced into exploitative relationships, prostitution or worse.

A mother was imprisoned and her children were taken into care when she applied for a NI number so she could get a job and support her family.

We suffer racist attacks, from name-calling and spitting to physical assaults. We can’t go to the police for fear of being deported or imprisoned.

An estimated £7.5trillion is owed to Africa for the slave trade. Yet as soon as we are allowed to, we work. Many nurses, doctors, transport and care workers are immigrant. Britain didn’t pay for our education but benefits from it. We are among the first victims of the infamous zero-hour contracts.

British, immigrant, asylum seeker… if we want a better world we should support each other. That’s what we do at the Crossroads Women’s Centre.

Crossroads Women’s Centre
Kentish Town Road, NW5

(1) http://www.camdennewjournal.com/letters/2015/apr/election-2015-women-asylum-seekers-and-immigrants-are-targets-austerity

Judgement Weds 6 May 2015 10am Nicolson v Tottenham Magistrates & LB Haringey

From Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty



Judgement in my case against Tottenham Magistrates & The London Borough of Haringey will be handed down tomorrow  Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 10am at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand London, Court No to be announced

​from the ​
Rev Paul Nicolson

Taxpayers Against Poverty
No British citizen without an affordable home and an adequate income in work or unemployment. 

93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889, 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Will Work & Pensions debate sideline abuses against benefit claimants and carers?

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

(An email from a concerned family carer got me to do this blog piece that I actually started at about 4:55 this morning.)

On Monday 12 April a contributor to CarersUK online forum about today's Daily Politics Show stated:

 I watched question time last week and the only person that mentioned the worry and concerns of people with disabilities and Carers was Natalie Bennett. It was brief and the subject wasn't continued!

Then we had William Hague, stating that their party had created jobs to get people out of poverty when questioned about the rise in food banks and the amount of people who had to use them. George Osborne stated the same recently. This is all well and good but how do people cope until they do find work and get on their feet! This party quote numbers about people who are now employed but I am led to believe that many are zero hour contracts (casual labour) and jobs with little security.(1)

I had a similar experience back in about 2008 at an Economics Conference run by the Guardian in tandem with the Trades Union Congress. As the then spokesperson for the Green Party of England & Wales on such matters, I asked the panel that included Labour's appointed 'Happiness Guru' Lord Layard how they would improve the economic conditions of family-based carers who were little supported by Carers Alllowance and the removal of their support services from local councils, etc.(2) (Family-based carers saved the UK economy more than the total NHS budget even before the 2010 General Election!) The panel chaired by the Guardian's Economics editor and including one East Midlands Member of the European Parliament were greatly relieved by the chairperson's sidelining of that question as irrelevant.

Since then we have had a harsher 'Work Capability Assessment' i(WCA) n order for people to 'qualify' for Employment & Support Allowance; that test though not piloted until 2011 was actually authorised by Labour's last Work & Pension Secretary Yvette Cooper. And Carers Allowance is being made harder to claim on account of the changes from Disability Living Allowance as gateway benefit to 'Personal Independence Payments' that is tested by the notorious Atos. And the orchestrated smear stories intimidate Labour politicians into mitigating their language against giving proper support to benefit claimants, while its MPs obviously have histories of neglect and abuse of benefit claimants and jobseekers that they would rather not allow to resurface, such as the DWP system meltdown that happed on their pre-2005 General Election watch as a result of staff cuts and a move to remote control of benefit claims.(5)

And I also recall great unease and frustration in carers campaigning colleagues at the 38 Degrees online pressure group's non-inclusion of Atos and carers-related issues before the 2010 General Election when it asked people to vote for its campaigning priorities. Of course, since then things have got much worse, including the scrapping of Independent Living Fund that Labour is not keen to reinstate.

So I would ask my readers to put pressure on the BBC Daily Politics show ahead of their Work & Pensions Debate today, by emailing dailypolitics@bbc.co.uk (6)

Do we get the governments we deserve, or merely the 'options' that even lobbyists such as 38 Degrees and ivory-towered mass media moguls such as Paul Dacre tell us are our [only] options? While I do not approve of violence, maybe it's a case of 'shoot the censors' rather than the politicians as messengers in debates? How about firing an email at them? Politicians can say they are getting support and are supporting people who email them with their concerns, and maybe the censors might feel put under pressure. (Yet I wonder how many of the frontline recipients of email to mass media outlets are themselves unpaid graduate interns?(8))

Post Script

See also:

Carer Watch blog post: Will Iain Duncan Smith turn up for Welfare Debate (9). And note that because of election impartiality rules, if one party does not turn up the debate is cancelled!
Pollsters' 'vision' excludes those offline?,(10) on opinion pollsters as hegemonic censors in the sense of "the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group". (11)

Iain Duncan Smith did turn up and was strongly challenged over 'welfare reform' related deaths by Green Party Work & Pensions Spokesperson Jonathan Bartley. The spokespersons' podia were arranged so that a ding dong between Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative could be covered via one camera position, and the camera rarely moved from that position of a discussion between those who had 'been there, done that'. The only spokesperson who mentioned the plight of family-based carers was UKIP Work & Pensions Spokesperson Suzanne Evans and she was soon marginalised. (12)


(1) http://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-and-advice/carer-and-disability-benefits/daily-politics-show-welfare-debate-may-5th-22708?p=304562
(2) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2009/07/16/change-the-terms-of-carers-allowance-to-allow-more-carers-to-work/
(3) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2007/09/20/carers-unpaid-support-is-worth-more-than-nhs-annual-budget/
(4) http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=568244
(5) http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2006/11/16/jobcentre-plus-poor-service-continues/
(6)  http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/5-party-welfare-debate-tuesday-5-may.html
(7) http://www.newstatesman.com/media/2013/12/man-who-hates-liberal-britain
(8) http://www.newstatesman.com/economics/2013/08/generation-jobless-worst-youth-unemployment-crisis-european-history-should-be-blam
(9) https://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/will-iain-duncan-smith-turn-up-for-welfare-debate/
 (10) http://kilburnunemployed.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/pollsters-vision-excludes-those-offline.html
(11) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hegemony
(12) This is now available on BBC iPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05tb4pz/daily-politics-2015-election-debates-welfare

Beware of small print on election leaflets!

Dude Swheatie has just received email notification that a candidate standing for General Election in a North London constituency has been sending out leaflets attacking one of their opposing parties in colours associated with yet another party.

Officials of the yet another party concerned have received complaints from recipients of those leaflets, and through having locals in the area have discovered that the small print does say that the leaflet comes from the campaign office of the 2010 elected Member of Parliament standing for re-election. Negative campaigning is 'not the style' of the yet another party.

So it's not just benefit claimants who have dirty tricks played on them!

5-party-welfare-debate Tuesday 5 May 2015


Tuesday May 5th Daily Politics debate BBC2 2pm BBC News 8.30pm(1)

Presenters Andrew Neil and Alison Holt 

Participants — in alphabetical order of surname

  • Jonathan Bartley Green Party
  • Suzanne Evans UKIP 
  • Rachel Reeves Labour
  • Iain Duncan Smith Conservative 
  • Steve Webb LibDems

See also

Election watchdog's Easy-Read 'insult to disabled people'(2)

.... I watched question time last week and the only person that mentioned the worry and concerns of people with disabilities and Carers was Natalie Bennett. It was brief and the subject wasn't continued!.... (Comment Posted Mon 12 April 2015)
Source: http://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-and-advice/carer-and-disability-benefits/daily-politics-show-welfare-debate-may-5th-22708?p=304562 (4)

Vote for Policies online interactive portal (5)

(1) https://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/daily-politics-welfare-debate-tues-5th-may/
(2) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/election-watchdogs-easy-read-insult-to-disabled-people/
(3) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/election-2015-jury-backs-greens-as-tories-ignore-invite/
(4) http://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-and-advice/carer-and-disability-benefits/daily-politics-show-welfare-debate-may-5th-22708?p=304562
(5)  https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

What Green Party votes stand for

A Personal View By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

In the face of not only BBC cenorship of the Green Party leader's involvement in last Thursday's 'leaders debate' but also BBC news broadcast non-reporting of the Green Party in daily broadcasts of 'what the main parties are doing in the run-up to Thursday's poll', I offer the following clues, some of which have clickable links to manifesto entries on the Green Party's website.

There are alternatives

 Margaret Thatcher's infamous saying, "There is No Alternative," gave her the nickname 'TINA'. Perhaps the BBC News editors should be described as Auntie TINAs?

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group is non-party-political and contains members of various political parties and none. Outside of the options presented by the BBC as the only valid options, the main parties of interest to Kwug members seem to be TUSC (Trade Union & Socialist Coalition)(1) and the Green Party of England & Wales(2). Some Kwug members while being keen on TUSC advocate voting Labour as a lesser evil than letting in a party that promises or threatens '£12bn further [and unspecified] welfare cuts' even where Hampstead & Kilburn Green Party candidate is making an excellent stand and getting electoral support as a result. I disagree with that stand point, not only on the grounds of making a stand for Proportional Representation.

Green Party votes acknowledge the level of internal democratic process that has led to the formulation of a real alternative electoral platform and the elections of Green Party Members of the European Parliament, London Assembly Members and a Green Party MP.(3)

What Green Party votes stand for

No ifs, no buts, the Green Party stands for no benefit sanctions

We have everything we need to build a fair economy: natural resources, skilled people, modern technology.

But the Westminster Establishment has built an unfair [economy] where those at the top gain while those at the bottom suffer.

We can transform our economy if we have the courage to challenge the vested interests and close the gap between the righ and the poor.

[Read on... ](4)

We all want somewhere warm, safe and secure to call home.

But we have a housing crisis with soaring private rents while social housing is being sold off left, right and centre....

[Read more....](5)

We have world class universities, brilliant teachers and talented students.

But by putting a price tag on education, running schools as businesses and making them exam factories we are wasting children's potential and stifling creativity....

[Read on]....(6)


(1) http://tusc2015.com/
(2) https://www.greenparty.org.uk/
(3) See 'What Difference Can a Green MP make?' short film accessed 4 May 2015 https://youtu.be/Uq31QIMjVtU
(4) https://www.greenparty.org.uk/we-stand-for/fair-economy.html
(5) https://www.greenparty.org.uk/we-stand-for/decent-homes.html
(6) https://www.greenparty.org.uk/we-stand-for/free-education.html

BBC rejects Green Party leader involvement

Petition update

Alex W just posted an update on the petition you signed, BBC: Invite the Green Party to the TV Q&A programmes on 30 April.(1)

Well, we tried...

May 03, 2015 — Unfortunately, despite nearly 7000 of us adding our voices to this petition, and the BBC being aware of it, the BBC didn't invite Natalie Bennett to last Thursday's Q&A. The Green... Read more
Read more

(1) https://www.change.org/p/bbc-invite-the-green-party-to-the-tv-q-a-programmes-on-30-april
(2) Read more link https://www.change.org/p/bbc-invite-the-green-party-to-the-tv-q-a-programmes-on-30-april/u/10663637

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Hampstead & Kilburn UKIP candidate update

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

The Hampstaead & Kilburn hustings on Monday 20 April at UCL Academy organised by KUWG with the Somali Cultural Association and Winch Youth Project there were Conservative, Green Party, Labour and Lib Dem candidates but not UKIP candidate Magnus Nielsen. I asked about his absence and was told that he had been invited but not turned up.

I concluded that he wanted nothing to do with the Somali Cultural Association and clearly wanted to conserve his energies. And having heard him speak at one or two hustings, I had thought that before some audiences at hustings in Brent, the Conservative and the UKIP candidates gave themselves 'enough rope to hang themselves' electorally once they took up an invitation to speak. Eg, the Tory candidate for Brent Central had said that if zero hours contracts were abolished, gone would be one of the avenues of Conservative job-creation.

Now, Magnus Nielsen has clearly exposed Isalmophobic tendencies in an 'incendiary' writing comparing Islam to carbon monoxide poisoning, as outlined on Martin Francis' Wembly Matters blog with assistance of the Camden New Journal. Martin had already encountered a full frontal attack from the UKIP agent for Brent Central constituency, describing Martin as a 'dangerous left wing extremist' and Brent Central Green Party candidate Shahrar Ali as an 'anti-Semite'.

Hampstead & Kilburn UKIP candidate attacks Islam and admires former EDL leader (1)


'Cease and Desist' UKIP threat against Wembley Mat


(1) Hampstead & Kilburn UKIP candidate attacks Islam and admires former EDL leader  http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/hampstead-kilburn-ukip-candidate.html accessed 3 May 2015
(2) UKIP candidate circulates incendiary election 'address' comparing growth of Islam in UK to carbon monoxide poisoning http://www.camdennewjournal.com/ukip#.VUUCpz_vQcF.twitter accessed 3 May 2015
(3) 'Cease and Desist' UKIP threat against Wembley Matters http://wembleymatters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/cease-and-desist-ukip-threat-against.html accessed 3 May 2015

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Friday, 1 May 2015

KUWG and others vs Jess' eviction

Jess with defiant throng outside her flat in December 2014

Jess reports on the anti-eviction event at Gloucester House on the South Kilburn Estate and Brent Housing Partnership's response:

I got help to stay in my home from Community Organisers and the KUWG group in NW6 when last December Brent Housing Partnership staff came to evict me with a Bailiff. We resisted the eviction by standing in front of the door. By doing this I was able to peacefully defend my right to housing.

At a recent meeting with Brent Housing Partnershiip I was told they will be using other methods to remove me next time.

"It strikes me that a way of looking at the criminalising of subletting of council flats is that it deflects attention away from Parliament's abnegation of the responsibility to invest in house building while taxpayer-funded 'Right-to-Buy' legislation has depleted the housing stock far more than subletting has ever done.

"And on 7 May 2015 there is a UK General Election in which such housing and homelessness realities should be highlighted."

— Alan Wheatley, from KUWG

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