Wednesday, 4 January 2017


 Credit card debts hit a record high in the run-up to Christmas. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
A credit boom that is close to levels not seen since the 2008 financial crash should set alarm bells ringing in Theresa May’s government, debt charities have warned.
The latest figures from the Bank of England show unsecured consumer credit, which includes credit cards, car loans and second mortgages, grew by 10.8% in the year to November to £192.2bn, picking up pace on the previous month to grow at its fastest rate in more than 11 years.
In September 2008, the month that Lehman Brothers collapsed and the banking crash triggered a worldwide recession, the level of UK consumer credit debt hit a peak of £208bn.
Credit card debts, which accounted for £66.7bn of the total, hit a record high last month as Britons used the plastic to fund shopping as never before in the run-up to Christmas.
The debt charity StepChange said the rise in debt levels would leave thousands of families vulnerable to higher levels of inflation and changes in income from wage cuts, divorce or redundancy.
Its head of policy, Peter Tutton, said: “Levels of outstanding borrowing are approaching the 2008 peak, and the growth rate of net lending is at its highest since 2005. Alarm bells should be ringing.
“Previous experience shows how such increases in the levels of borrowing can leave households over-indebted and vulnerable to sudden changes in circumstances and drops in income that can pitch them into hardship.
“Lenders, regulators and the government need to ensure that the mistakes made in the lead-up to the financial crisis are not repeated and that there are better policies in place to protect those who fall into financial difficulty.”
Research conducted for National Debtline by YouGov found that one in three British adults bought Christmas food or presents on credit this year.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said there had been a spike in calls to its helpline.
“Consumer credit continues to soar, and this is something we should all be concerned about amidst the current uncertainty over the UK economy,” she said.
“Most people are currently able to handle this extra borrowing, but if the economy does indeed suffer in the years ahead, these extra debts could become even more difficult to repay.”
Economists polled by Reuters expect economic growth to more than halve this year to a rate of 1.1%, as inflation rises to close to 3% from zero at the beginning of 2016 due to the effect of sterling’s sharp fall since June’s Brexit vote.
Recent surveys of consumer confidence have shown a sharp dip after a recovery from the panic that dented sentiment after the Brexit vote.
The charity’s warning follows more than a year of intense competition among credit card companies for new customers, who are commonly offered 0% interest rates for several years.
Households have £66.7bn of credit card debt outstanding, up £600m on the previous month, while the total level of outstanding consumer credit reached £192.2bn, up £1.9bn on October.
Last month the Bank said some households were highly indebted and might struggle as unemployment rose, and separate data showed British households saved the lowest portion of their incomes since 2008 during the three months after the EU referendum.
But the Bank’s figures showed homeowners remained upbeat, with the number of mortgages for house purchase approved by lenders rising to an eight-month high of 67,505, from a slightly downwardly revised 67,371 in October.
The Bank forecast in November that mortgage approvals would slow to a monthly average of 65,000 over the next six months, and major lenders expect weaker house price growth.
Net mortgage lending, which lags behind approvals, rose £3.157bn in November, the Bank said, less than a forecast of £3.5bn in a poll of City economists.

Friday, 9 December 2016


International development aid is a lifeline to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. We should be proud that the UK is committed to spending money on helping those that need it the most.

A Greenpeace investigation has revealed how British government diplomacy and foreign aid have been used to pave the way for UK oil companies to explore for oil in Lake Malawi, where the UN warns that a spill could wreck the fragile ecosystem. [1]

Aid has the power to transform people’s lives and lift them out of poverty, but drilling in places like Lake Malawi could put the same people’s livelihoods at risk.

Aid should never be used as a bargaining tool for business, at the expense of people and the environment, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Tell Priti Patel the International Development 

Minister that aid is for people and not for oil.
Drilling for oil around Lake Malawi will threaten a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Africa's most iconic lakes as well as driving more climate change in a country that's already bearing the brunt of it. The lake supports the livelihoods of more than 1.5 million people living on its shores - it’s also home to Nile crocodiles, hippos, monkeys, and African fish eagles.

Friday, 2 September 2016


Relationship psychologist Oliver James is a regular panellist on the popular daytime TV show ‘The Wright Stuff’. On the show, which draws around 223,000 viewers each episode, James joins a panel to discuss various topics – from relationship issues to family problems. However, in a recent episode, James went beyond his remit – criticising the establishment and calling out the “right wing Blatcherites” in the Labour Party. Live on air!
During the paper reviews section of the episode, the panellists review a series of stories on Jeremy Corbyn, including the prediction that he will win the Labour leadership campaign with an even bigger mandate. In a discussion on Corbyn’s leadership and the future of Labour, James states:

The only way out is the one that, thank goodness will now be taken, which is to get rid of the right wing Blatcherites who make up three quarters of the Parliamentary Labour Party. A bunch of, you know, people like Caroline Flint. Second rate, low grade politicians. The sort of detritus. The rubbish that’s been cleared out and left at the end of new Labour.
His comment clearly shocks host, Matthew Wright, who struggles to counterbalance James’ statement.
In a response to Wright on the uncertain future of Corbyn’s Labour, James goes on to say:

What’s going to happen is there is going to be a financial crash. People will not believe the economy is safe with the Tories. Corbyn will say we need Scandinavia not America. People will say you’re damn right.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

TRUE NEWS: corbyn's post brexit blueprint the tories don't co...

TRUE NEWS: corbyn's post brexit blueprint the tories don't co...: He cuts the head off the racially divisive rhetoric employed by both politicians and right-wing news outlets over immigration, plaguing bo...

corbyn's post brexit blueprint the tories don't come close

He cuts the head off the racially divisive rhetoric employed by both politicians and right-wing news outlets over immigration, plaguing both sides of the referendum campaigns, honing in on the true paths to the economic mess that led to 17 million votes to leave the EU:
Years of destructive austerity and a broken economic model have delivered acountry of job insecurity, shortages of affordable housing, agency working, wage undercutting and gaping inequalities.
After clarifying the most pressing reasons behind Britain’s vast inequality, he goes on to immediately address the rise in racial abuse since the vote, and debunks the belief that immigration is the cause of hardship for British people.
His position is clear – he doesn’t just acknowledge and condemn racism. He clearly and purposefully proves why it has no basis in truth.
Part of it was clearly about the impact of immigration on a deregulated jobs market and investment-starved housing and public services.
But leave voters were also concentrated in former industrial areas hit hardest by low pay, job insecurity and economic stagnation.
Corbyn makes clear that immigration does indeed have an economic impact, but it has been negative only in combination with an electorate hit hard by economic policies that, since the late ’70s, have created a ‘precariat‘ class.
Immigration has been proven to generally have an economic benefit for the UK; because the hugely diverse and multi-faceted ‘immigrant’ demographic pays more in tax overall than the benefits received by ‘immigrants’. The Conservatives know this, but it doesn’t fit their line – if the lower classes can’t blame each other, they’ll start blaming the political and business classes.
Highlighting the lies of the Labour coup
Another criticism to be debunked is that of Corbyn’s lack of influence over voters in the referendum. In his constituency of Islington North, three-quarters voted Remain. Overall, Labour voters were two-thirds in favour of Remain. And still, this was one of the many false accusations levelled at Corbyn by his colleagues during the attempted Labour leadership coup.
Labour MPs opposing Corbyn – several of whom had an overall leave vote in their own constituencies – criticised him for not working hard enough in persuading the voters to come out behind the Party’s official ‘In’ campaign.
Corbyn notes Labour’s overall remain vote, adding that “Labour-supporting cities that voted remain, such as London, Bristol and Manchester, have far higher migrant populations than many that backed leave.”
Corbyn’s attention to success stories of more unified cities, rather than to division, stands in stark contrast to those MPs who have ignored their constituents to focus instead on battling amongst themselves within the Party.
Strategy and leadership focus
Corbyn outlines Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s three “red lines” for an EU economic strategy:
the maintenance of existing employment and social rights, freedom of trade with Europe, and protection of work and residency rights for both EU citizens in Britain and British citizens in Europe.
Current Chancellor George Osborne, however, disappeared for days following the Brexit vote. He emerged to tell the British people to expect to be poorer, because even though he had made “extensive contingency plans” there would need to be – of course – more public spending cuts.
Osborne’s latest announcement, that he will further cut taxes for corporations, has been condemned by EU leaders including German Finance Minister Schäuble as unfair, and potentially triggering “a race to the bottom”.
Corbyn reminds readers that, during the referendum campaign, he:
argued for an end to EU-enforced liberalisation and privatisation of public services – and for freedom for public enterprise and public investment, now restricted by EU treaties. Those freedoms need to be part of the coming negotiations.
For those who voted leave in opposition to the EU’s negative impact on the economy, this makes clear the true opportunity that has arisen from Brexit. Rather than simply a financial crisis of immigration or overspending, it’s also the top-down enforcement of austerity policies by the EU – in a similar fashion to the Conservatives’.
Corbyn confirmed that he will be:
meeting fellow European socialist leaders in Paris this week.
Why leftist Labour are the ones to deliver
‘Socialism’, as explained and defended here by prominent Labour MPs, is simply ‘solidarity, not selfishness’. Late MP, and mentor to Corbyn, Tony Benn points out that “Labour has never been a socialist party but it’s always had socialists in it”, and yet it’s “greatest socialist legislation” – the NHS – is also it’s most popular.
Corbyn outlines the need for socialist values that reject exploitation, and why the Conservatives’ rejection of social policies hasn’t worked to date, and cannot work for a post-Brexit Britain:
…none of those seeking to replace David Cameron has any kind of exit plan. Instead, once again, they are planning to make working people pay, with yet more spending cuts and tax rises.
If freedom of movement means the freedom to exploit cheap labour in a race to the bottom, it will never be accepted in any future relationship with Europe. But the reality is that we have allies in that cause across Europe, as on many other issues that will be at the heart of the negotiations ahead. Those negotiations cannot be left to a Tory government that does not speak for the country.
He points out that under his leadership, he and MPs working alongside him have gathered real victories against the worst of Conservative austerity:
we have repeatedly forced the government to drop damaging policies, won every byelection, and beaten the Tories in the local elections. I have made clear I am ready to reach out to Labour MPs who oppose my leadership – and work with the whole party to provide the alternative the country needs.
Corbyn then condemns both the traditional imperialism and elitism of the right-wing Conservative Party, and New Labour:
After years of disastrous wars, ballooning inequality and a failing political elite, there can be no more business as usual.
Democratic leadership, not personality politics
Finally, while many of us who support a turn to the left for our country occasionally fall into the trap of faux-worshipping Corbyn, he himself has made clear that it’s his policies, not him individually, that will benefit the country. He would stand down if someone else was elected by the membership.
Our priority must now be to mobilise this astonishing new force in politics, and ensure people in Britain have a real political alternative. Those who want to challenge my leadership are free to do so in a democratic contest, in which I will be a candidate.
As in the Brexit vote, accepting a democratic decision is of utmost importance. For a political class so out of touch with the average citizen’s needs, and a citizenry so divided and out of touch with each other’s needs, it’s imperative that we have a leader who not only listens to the people’s opinion on his own leadership, but also commits to taking forward a democratic decision which he campaigned against. And, that he do so while debunking the false reasoning given for those divides and democratic decisions:
the responsibility of our whole party is to stand up in united opposition to the Tory government. If we come together, we can take them on and win.
Whether or not Corbyn has enough support yet to win a snap general election is unclear. However, this outline of his clarity of purpose and leadership, in line with what so many of the public have been calling for, should put to rest many of the false charges levelled at him.

Friday, 17 June 2016

II WANT MY COUNTRY BACK. I want my country back that is a funny, smart, brave, sassy, intelligent, caring, loving, creative country. I want my country back that doesn't force sick people to go out to work. I want my country back that doesn't see education as a gold mine for business. I want my country back that loves what Europe has to offer. I want my country back that isn't fazed by newcomers but understands that good things come from difference. I want my country back that is industrious enough to build enough houses for everyone. I want my country back that can allocate resources to areas of stress. I want my country back that doesn't use the results of war to divide and rule us. I want my country back where we don't provoke fear to get our ends. 
Pass it on.
Tell your friends.
Write it on a banner.
Write it in the sky.