I made a deal…

I made a deal with @labourmatters on Twitter. If it turns out I am wrong, and Douglas Alexander, Alan Johnson, Ed Miliband forgot to say that Labour will not support the change in the way that Housing Benefit will be calculated, that they oppose this inhumane policy(not just the additional cut to JSA Claimants after 12 months)- I will run down the street naked, wearing a hat. And will be happy to do so.

Interestingly enough, the housing benefit cut appears to be causing cracks in Lib Dem support for the coalition http://www.channel4.com/news/coalition-cracks-appear-over-housing-benefits

 

*edited later as accidentally put Danny Alexander instead of Douglas…still they are all beginning to morph into one.

Labour have confirmed where they stand.

Labour will not be opposing the housing benefit cuts that Yvette Cooper has clearly shown will be most harmful. They will be fully supporting the ESA reforms which punish the ill and disabled.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vm47r/The_Andrew_Marr_Show_24_10_2010/

 

Question is- will they have the decency to stop actively misleading the people affected, and tell them they don’t actually oppose these cuts?  Nah…can’t see that happening. They will just keep shouting about cuts that make little difference, and shouting how mean the Osborne, Clegg and Osborne are.

Untitled

Dear Labour Party Leadership,

We the undersigned are members of the Labour Party. We are seeking clarification on the position of Labour leadership on the welfare cuts proposed in June’s emergency budget, and the Spending Review that took place on Wednesday 21st October.

Alan Johnson, Alistair Darling and Ed Milliband have publicly stated that Labour policy is that 20% cuts across departments would be achieved by focusing on the welfare budget in the way the coalition government have done.

 The changes to Employment Support Allowance were described by Alan Johnson as progress, and Labour have not publicly stated that they oppose the change in calculation of Local Housing Allowance from the median of local rents, to the lowest third.  Alan Johnson again described changes to housing benefit and Local Housing Allowance announced in June, as necessary.

There has been opposition to the additional 10% cut in Local Housing Allowance for Jobseekers Allowance claimants who have been claiming for 12 months, but no opposition to the change in Local Housing Allowance which will push pensioners, low paid employed people, single parents, people with disabilities and those too ill to work, into homelessness, debt, and abject poverty.

I would also like clarification of Labour’s position on the reduction in subsidies for rail and bus travel, which allow those of us in rural areas to get to work,

While Labour rhetoric is of general opposition to the cuts proposed, Labour leadership has repeatedly refused to oppose the worst of these measures. Focus has remained on child benefit to high earners, and other ‘middle class benefits’.

We would like clarification on Labour’s policy regarding these issues.

If Labour do support these changes, and will not be publicly opposing them, I would like them to be clear about this, so that those of us affected can look elsewhere for political representation.   It is cruel and misleading to allow the most vulnerable people in our society to believe that Labour offer an alternative in this event.

If Labour do oppose these measures, I would like them to clarify this publicly.

 

THis petition is available to sign here- http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40063.html

Cross party consensus.

 

If you turned on the television or computer after the Spending Review, you would have seen Labour shouting how mean the Tories are. Labour are different, and we should put our faith in them. The Conservatives shouting ‘Labour did it’ and screaming ‘deficit denier’ to anyone who wants to engage in a conversation about our economy that isn’t a sound bite dreamed up at CCHQ. Liberal Democrats doing intricate somersaults of logic, convincing themselves this is what they signed up for.

 All hoping if they shout loudly enough, their fiction becomes truth. The cacophony will convince the rest of us there is more than a fag paper between them.

You may not have noticed Labour saying ‘’Labour also planned to make cuts in welfare that would have the effect of reducing the average size of departmental cuts … to well below 20%’’’. Or Alan Johnson describing the cruellest of the welfare cuts as ‘progress’ on the Andrew Marr Show.  Apparently no one noticed the speed at which the ‘Red-Ed’ tag was shed.

And because Labour are our biggest hope of opposition to this suicidal economic agenda, you can’t mention Gordon Brown’s deregulation of a financial sector beyond Thatcher’s wildest dreams. You daren’t mention the overvalued property bubble that underpins personal private debt of £1457- or ask what happens as millions become unable to service that debt. You can’t mention Darling pouring three times our total annual expenditure into a bank bailout scheme with so few conditions attached, that money is used to pay bonuses of millions.  Demanding debate about Labours role in causing this crisis, would be disloyal and undermine our most effective means of opposing this suicidal economic strategy. 

Cameron, Clegg and Osborne don’t bring it up. That would mean highlighting that they would have done the same. Their strategy for getting us out of this mess is the same strategy that got us into it.

As long as Labour refuse to come out and say what they actually did to contribute to this crisis, we have no defence against an economic policy based on lies and hysteria. Rhetoric about the deserving and undeserving poor, preferable to a discussion about the dire economic situation we find ourselves in.

Millions of us have it confirmed daily that we have no representation in parliament.  Those who are worst affected by these cuts, the ones who will lose their homes, their jobs, and their futures, are left to defend themselves against accusations that their moral defects are the source of the problem. Labour continue deny us the debate about what caused this-hoping nobody looks underneath the murmurings of unfairness, to check whether their policies actually differ.

The tribalist din suffocates any debate about what is actually happening to our country. By the time you have all finished shouting at each other, the opportunity for that debate is lost.  Who knew party politics was such an effective way of diffusing dissent? Still, the election was exciting while it lasted…