Jeremy Corbyn letter to P.M. Theresa May re the Grenfell Tower fire and aftermath:
Dear Prime Minister,
Thank you for your letter dated 15 August 2017 setting out the terms of reference for the inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower.
It is, of course, a relief that the inquiry is now up and running, and that survivors are one step closer to the answers they so desperately need.
However, I am deeply concerned by the decision to exclude the broader social and political issues raised by the fire from the terms of reference of the inquiry. The fire has raised profound concerns about the way that social housing is provided and managed in this country, and I - as well as many survivors - worry that, without a wider focus, the inquiry will fail to get fully to grips with the causes of the fire.
The fear is that the priority is to avoid criticism of your party’s policy failures rather than secure justice for Grenfell survivors, along with the safety of the many other people who live in social housing in this country.
On the issue of social housing, your letter accepts that ‘there are a number of concerns, that have gone unheard for too long.’ However, you are vague on how these concerns will now be addressed. The promise that your Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, will meet and talk to social housing residents will be of little reassurance to such residents, particularly in light of the failure of Conservative Governments to implement the recommendations of the inquest into the 2009 fire at Lakanal House in Southwark.
Learning the lessons of the Grenfell fire will require more far-reaching action. I therefore ask that you immediately set out a clear, independent and thorough process for identifying and addressing the broader failings that led to the Grenfell fire.
This process should work closely with Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry where appropriate and should include within its remit social housing policy and all aspects of the relationship between residents and the local authority and the tenant management organisation. Only by rooting out the more systemic failings that led to the Grenfell fire will we ensure that nothing like it ever happens again in this country.
I am also troubled by your response to Sir Martin’s request that the Government take all possible measures to reassure survivors worried about their immigration status. You re-state the 12 month immigration amnesty already in place. However, it seems clear that Sir Martin is indicating a 12 month amnesty is insufficient and that concerns remain that a number of survivors will be discouraged from participating in the inquiry as a result.
I therefore urge you to grant indefinite right to remain in the UK to all survivors who need it, on a discretionary basis. Failure to do so will impede their ability to contribute to the inquiry and may undermine the inquiry itself.
Finally, you note Sir Martin’s intention to appoint a group of assessors with wide-ranging experience and expertise. But you do not specify the nature of this diversity beyond having experience in relation to the occupation and management of social housing, the administration of local government and “more technical matters.” I continue to seek guarantees that Sir Martin’s assessors will include people from minority backgrounds in order to introduce a broader range of experiences and perspectives into the inquiry, as many residents have demanded.
Given the significant public interest in the subject matter of this letter, I will be making it public.
More at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/aug/17/jeremy-corbyn-theresa-may-letter-grenfell-tower-fire-inquiry
Politics can be a here today gone tomorrow game so how come some people are drawn to it?
For some it is a desire to improve the country or the lot of its people while for others it is for what they can get out of it.
BUT I hear you say look at all those MPs who lost seats last week after Mrs May gambled, held a General Election and the gamble did not pay off?
Well take a look at this share from Facebook. The first sentence is an opinion and the rest via the Birmingham Mail:
Don't feel to sorry for the MP's who lost their seats, their leaving package is very generous, even for those who have not held the job long :
Open Rights Group has responded to Theresa May’s post election hints that she will continue with Conservative plans for Internet clampdowns.
Executive Director Jim Killock said:
“To push on with these extreme proposals for Internet clampdowns would appear to be a distraction from the current political situation and from effective measures against terror.
“The Government already has extensive surveillance powers. Conservative proposals for automated censorship of the Internet would see decisions about what British citizens can see online being placed in the hands of computer algorithms, with judgments ultimately made by private companies rather than courts. Home Office plans to force companies to weaken the security of their communications products could put all of us at a greater risk of crime.
“Both of these proposals could result in terrorists and extremists switching to platforms and services that are more difficult for our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to monitor.
“Given that the priority for all MPs is how the UK will negotiate Brexit, it will be especially hard to give the time and thought necessary to scrutinise these proposals.
“It could be tempting to push ahead in order to restore some of Theresa May’s image as a tough leader. This should be resisted. With such a fragile majority, greater consensus will be needed to pass new laws.
“We hope that this will mean our parliamentarians will reject reactionary policy-making and look for long-term, effective solutions that directly address the complex causes of terrorism."
There have been allegations that Iain McNicol and his election campaign team were far from even handed during the 2017 General Election campaign.
Was this simply mismanagement as some believed the hype that Jeremy Corbyn was unelectable or something more sinister?
Some seats classed as "safe", if there is such a thing these days, were widely supported while more marginal seats were left to get on with it.
Certainly at our last CLP meeting, when one person asked about campaigning in more marginal seats, they were given short shrift.
But look at the above received by a Labour Party member in Hackney South.
Now read what this person has shared with the JCEffect Monday:
the Skwawkbox has shared an article about not funding marginal seats. [see below]
Mail shot copy sent to us by a friend highlights how some within the Labour Party are already showing their true colours and it is not LABOUR RED:
"We intend to contribute constructively to the debate about how we build on Thursday’s results and return Labour to government, and to continue to ensure that the voices of moderate party members are heard, that the rulebook is upheld and enforced, and that important policy positions that were maintained in the manifesto, such as Trident renewal, are stuck to.
Open Rights Group condemns the appalling attack at London Bridge; this is not only a violent assault on individual lives but an attack against the freedom and security we enjoy in the UK.
It is disappointing that in the aftermath of this attack, the Government’s response appears to focus on the regulation of the Internet and encryption.
This could be a very risky approach. If successful, Theresa May could push these vile networks into even darker corners of the web, where they will be even harder to observe.
But we should not be distracted: the Internet and companies like Facebook are not a cause of this hatred and violence, but tools that can be abused. While governments and companies should take sensible measures to stop abuse, attempts to control the Internet is not the simple solution that Theresa May is claiming.
Real solutions—as we were forced to state only two weeks ago—will require attempts to address the actual causes of extremism. For instance, both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have drawn attention to the importance of finding solutions to the drivers of terrorism in countries including Syria, Iraq and Libya.
Debating controls on the Internet risks distracting from these very hard and vital questions.
About Open Rights Group
Open Rights Group is the UK's leading voice defending freedom of expression, privacy, innovation, creativity and consumer rights on the Internet.
Founded in 2005, we have over 3000 paying supporters and a movement of 36,000 activists.
Winner of the Liberty Human Rights Campaigner of the Year Award 2012
Labour Press statement June 3
Conservatives’ campaign chaos as extent of millionaire donations revealed
The Conservatives election campaign is in chaos as the extent of their millionaire-backing is revealed, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn says today.
In the latest in a string of errors and about-turns, Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon’s pledge that people would pay no more tax under the Tories was immediately contradicted by Theresa May, who refused to rule out a tax hike on working people, through rises in income tax or higher National Insurance contributions.
The Tories were already reeling from the chaos and confusion over their plans for social care and where they would set the cap they originally said they had rejected, and were forced to withdraw their school breakfasts policy after it was exposed they had only set aside 6.8p per meal.
The threat of further Tory tax rises on working people comes as it was revealed just 49 individuals have donated more than a third of all Tory party funding since Theresa May became Prime Minister.
In contrast, Labour’s manifesto clearly commits to no income tax, National Insurance or VAT rises for 95 per cent of taxpayers, with big businesses and those paid more than £80,000 a year asked to pay a bit more to reverse years of underinvestment in our NHS, schools and other public services.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, said:
“First social care and school breakfasts, now the Tories are in chaos over their tax plans for the super-rich, as it is revealed they are entirely dependent on them for their funding. While Michael Fallon claims there will be no tax rises, Theresa May refuses to rule them out. You can’t trust a word the Tories say.
“Labour is the low tax party for the many while the Conservatives are the low tax party for the few. We won’t raise taxes for 95 per cent of taxpayers but will ask high earners and big businesses to pay a little more so we can give nurses and other public servants a pay rise, and invest in the public services we all rely on.”
Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s Joint National Campaign Co-ordinator, said:
“The Tories are bankrolled by millionaire bankers, tycoons and hedge fund bosses – the very people they’ve given tax breaks to while everyone else pays more. In contrast, Labour is funded by thousands and thousands of people making small donations because they want a better society for everyone.
“Labour’s plans are fully costed and fully set out in our manifesto for everyone to see. The only numbers in the Tory manifesto are the page numbers. The wheels are coming of the Conservatives’ election campaign, with Theresa May hiding from the public, refusing to debate Jeremy Corbyn, and backsliding on social care, NHS and schools funding, and now their tax plans.”
Steve Howard who worked for the NHS and is now retired but has a pension from the NHS which he paid for says;
I'm a pensioner twice over as I have an NHS pension as well. The Tories are aiming to introduce means tested benefits to pensioners. Once we accept that the WFP should be means tested we are only one short step from having our old age pensions (which they have deceitfully renamed benefits) means tested too.
I worked all my life to get my pensions.
I resent some person in a fancy suit telling me they are benefits.
I also resent the fact that the contract I started work on all those years ago, which kept me in this country and loyally paying taxes and any other dues such as rates, VAT, poll tax, council tax and more, can now be arbitrarily taken away by a Tory government that has a history going back Centuries of stealing out of the mouths of the poorer members of British society.
This austerity hasn't stopped the increase in sales of luxury yachts or cars, has it, Sir Philip Green, Mr Virgin and others?
Nor has it stopped the building of luxury housing and priced most people out of our large towns and cities.
To me all I see is Austerity for the Masses and Socialism for the Rich. Once again they are buying this election and unlike 200 years ago all the papers and mainstream media virtually support these crooks.
I dont want my inheritance to be limited to only £100,000. Theirs isnt, in fact they use trusts and off shore accounts to hidden their wealth, while we the people patriotically pay our dues.
The Tories have never been friends to anyone but themselves. They will step over the homeless to get into their Savoys but they wont lift a helping hand to help one.
People who refuse to vote or 'just dont care' are as guilty of treason against this fine country of ours as any disaffected refugee fleeing our bombs and dont take this statement as an excuse for terrible atrocities, but as a fact.
Terrorism doesnt happen in well adjusted households/societies that have community values as its underpinning purpose. I mean real family values, not the sort that are 'sold' to us as values where we are encouraged to compete against each other in activities where we should be cooperating and collecting our ideas and building a better environment for us all. (Mental illness excluding , of course)
And thats another area incidentally that the Tories flagrant Austerity has shunted back into the dark ages of prison, run by private jailers or back on to the streets of despair.
This country, as Corbyn very rightly points out is on the cusp of a complete return to the dark ages of where Class and Status were the guiding principles under which we lived.
I don't want it.
You shouldnt want it and if you cannot see it then you've got your eyes firmly shut, because you are afraid to accept your own role in allowing it to happen.
It is said that the first step to recovery is recognizing your disease. So to those of you who are still keeping your eyes closed and hoping that your Apathy will go away, all I can say is open them, see your part and play it next Thursday because if you dont , you'll bring the rest of us down with you too. And
you dont want that do you?
Thank you Steve Howard.
#imvotinglabour for the many not the few
As Theresa May and her colleagues use their new catchphrase "The Money Tree" Phil Tyler shares a few thoughts;
Where will the money come from?
Here are few ideas I have collected, from here and there, for finding the money to support public expenditure etc. They are all controversial in one way or another but people have thought them; I am sure there are many more thoughts and ideas around.
1. Last year the government (Bank of England) created, £70bil, (not out of taxes or borrowing, but part of the £420bil Quantitive Easing Programme) and put it into the banks and financial markets. This has only helped for the few but in future could be put into the real economy where we live work and earn a living.
2. Avoid spending £billions on Trident.
3. Increase the national income, and the tax taken, by investing much more in infrastructure, without increasing government debt, by putting the Bank of England (BOE) created money directly into projects or through a national or regional, investment bank/s. This would create decent jobs and help build the communities where we live.
4. The same could be done for housing by building social housing and not selling it off.
5. We could stop the financial institutions and large corporations avoiding tax and getting billions in handouts.
6. If the receipts from National Insurance had been used for generalised spending; It is said that there is enough money in the NI account if it were used for its intended purpose.
7. £2.8 billion pounds are taken out of the railways in profits to shareholders etc. annually and we also subsidise the system. Nationalise the railways and save money. Money put into renationalising the railways would not be inflationary and so could be produced by the Bank of England without debt.
8. Legalize and regulate and tax cannabis, and perhaps some other drugs.
9. Build social housing and increase public ownership of housing so that billions in housing benefit is kept in the public sector thus using this money more than once before it disappears from the real economy into our bloated financial sector.
10. Have a higher rate of VAT on internet purchases. This could help level up the playing field for smaller/local businesses and effectively get some tax out of large corporations who avoid paying any. This tax take could be used to reduce business rates particularly for small businesses who employ local people.
11. Stop foreign investment in UK housing so that Housing Benefit money circulates within the UK economy.
12. Restructure/pay off at original value / expropriate PFI schemes, by money created by Bank of England.
13. Banks have close to complete control over the supply of new money. New Economics Foundation (NEF), Positive Money and the Copenhagen Business School have shown that this monopoly means in practice an average annual subsidy of banks by us of £32bil. If the Bank of England issued electronic money, this cost could be avoided and further money gained to invest in the real economy.
Where there is a will there is a way and it is all about political choices and priorities..
Kaitlynn Bailey-Park tells The Jeremy Corbyn Effect why she is voting Labour June 8:
So people may ask me why I'm so passionate about voting Labour and why I have such a problem with the conservatives. So I will tell you.
My husband is 28. He is disabled through no fault of his own. He is unable to cook his own meals,organise his own appointments, do his own washing. He is unable to walk more than a few metres. He is in constant pain.
We had to fight for his disability benefits. My sick husband had to sit in front of a panel and tell them what had happened. He had to recount the pain and the trauma. The doctor on the panel cried. It took them 10 minutes to rule in his favour. A waste of public money and unnecessary stress for a sick person.
I had to leave my job to care for him. We are not entitled to a carer or support worker because he is able to shower himself. I am paid the grand sum of £62 a week to be on call 24 hours 365 days of the year a grand total of 36p an hour.
We currently live in a privately rented house that costs £100 more than the LHA for our area. Our house is not suitable. It has two bedrooms so Will has his own room and I share with our two-year-old. We have been on the housing list for 18 months.
Due to the selling of the council house stock by the Tories in the 80's and failures of successive governments to rebuild we can expect to wait a further 18 months a least.
Because I "dont work" we are unable to access private rentals.
Letting agents won't even show me around.
That's straight up discrimination against the disabled.
Our circumstances are not taken in to account. The fact that we have rented for seven years and never missed rent counts for nothing. The Tories have refused to cap rents and to bring agencies to account so this discrimination is fine.
In four years Will has had several procedures. He has had 8 major surgeries. I've seen nurses work their arses off with their wages frozen since 2009.
The NHS are so very stretched that it took months for Will to get the appointments he urgently required. Waiting times have gone up 180% in four years under a Tory coalition givernment and now a Tory government.
Please think of others when you vote.
Please don't vote Tory.
#imvotinglabour for the many not the few what about you?