Classwar, The Musical

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 6, 2010 by anacarlo

It appears that classwar is making an impassioned call out, requesting folk to rock up for a Poll Tax riot reunion.

Classwar, the Musical

Could it be that the venerable Classwar Federation are restyling themselves as some sort of ‘Sealed Knot’ re-enactment society, the bearded wonder that meets up to refight old Civil War numbers, Ah back in the day, the nostalgia brings a tear to my eye , etc.

I shouldn’t knock em really, this could go on to great things. Properly choreographed  there is every possibility that the Poll Tax Riot Reunion will become a box office smash hit with scenes reminiscent of the ‘Battle of the Terraces Ballet’ in Billy Elliot mashed up with ‘Chim-Chimeny’ from Mary Poppins. They just need to get Webber and Elton on board to score it and they’re away. My moneys on Su-Bo being cast as Thatcher.

I’ll be going anyway, it promises to be a right hoot and I need some cheering up. Hey why not come down too, bring the family and a packed lunch.

The 4th Plinth, J.Caulty

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Sunday Morning Footy deemed too prole for St James and Green Park.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 28, 2010 by anacarlo

Seems that Lord Snooty and Pals have taken umbridge at the old Sunday morning kickabout in two central London parks. Offended by ‘chavvy’ jumpers for goal posts, Friends of  St James Park, who count amoungst them, Lord Rees-Mogg, Allan Duncan MP and that mockney tosser Jools Holland, have requested that the rozzers enforce a ban on games in the parks. Police have been cited, in the Bog Standard, as saying that they will stop any games as, ‘A Matter of Priority.’ Well, we’ll all sleep easy in that knowledge. Now, anyone up for a Flash Mob Croquet Match.

On-Line Cult of Virtual Penguins Ready to Take the World of Tomorrow

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 25, 2010 by anacarlo

My Daughter has just joined an on-line cult of virtual penguins where she is undertaking Ninja training. It seems pretty inocuous stuff at first, you know, preform virtual tasks for virtual coins to buy virtual stuff (Oh so very like the parallel real world) but i have had a wander round the Penguin Republic late at night and have come across some pretty subversive activity, there seems to be a profusion of igloo allnighters, playing an ecclectic mix of trance/techno, drum and bass and funk, doing the rounds, the location and times passesd on clandestinely by penguins wandering randomly through the crowd, whispering PARTY AT MY IGLOO! and also i belive, what can only be described as, a spate of underground fish dealing. The style code for penguins is a case of ‘mix it up propper good’ with penguins adopting a style of dress the Dadaists would have reveared, indeed i met a penguin at a party who arrived wearing a deep sea divers helmet redolant of Salvidor Dali’s address  (Fantomes Paranoiaques Authentiques) to the opening of the 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition at the Burlington Galleries

Now the World of Club Penguin is powered by those all time great peddlers of schmultz and neo-con values, Disney Corp, but its ace to see all these weens subverting the world that they can influence. ‘Viva la Penguinos!’

Oh if you want a go you can find it by goooglin Club Penguin. thats not an ad but hey having looked around t’internet seems its quite a rave fad or i’m well behind the times huh? So heres a screen shot someones pulled off

and why not, while i’m at it- ‘Getting down at the ‘Frag-A-Go Go’

Paying for Care

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 9, 2010 by anacarlo

Courtesy of Emlyn Lloyd, Secretary of  ‘NOAPAW’, National Old Age Pensioners Association of Wales.

Presented in response to WAG (no not the Whitechapel Anarchist Group) Welsh Assembly Government proposals on funding future care schemes for the aged in Wales. Relevant this side of the Great Severn Divide (All Tolls Collected on the English Side, (‘Harri Webb’)

Something to talk about when you’re checking that your elderly neigbour is ok during this inclement cold snap.

_________________________________________________________

PAYING FOR CARE IN WALES:

CREATING A FAIR AND SUSTAINABLE SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION

The first thing that strikes you when you read this document and in particular with regard to the conclusions it suggests as the only feasible options, is the mindset of the panel. When viewed through the eyes of the 75+ generations it is only too obvious that this document is the product of the Baby Boomer era.

If we draw a broad brush through this era the picture it reveals is an insatiable consumer society driven by credit. This has resulted in 2007, in household debt as a proportion of disposable income reaching a record 180%. Also a desire to become a property ‘owning society’, coupled with a refusal to build affordable rental housing, has resulted in far too much capital locked up in housing. This placed an intolerable burden on those attempting to enter the housing market. These two factors alone resulted in accessible savings reaching an all time low, whilst at the same time squeezing the margins available for taxation to be used as a tool to provide for long term care. In other words greed and bad governance has dug this hole. It is time for the Baby Boomers to show the kind of moral fiber to dig a way out, without making the elderly the sacrificial goat to appease their self inflicted pain.

NO GAIN WITHOUT PAIN

Before responding to the documents proposals it is salutary to review the development of ‘Care’ in our society. Prior to the Reformation it was considered a religious duty for all Christians to undertake the seven corporeal works of mercy (see Mathews, chpt.5, vv.32-46). These were: – feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, visit the prisoner and bury the dead. After the Reformation and the dissolution of the monasteries many of the old values and moral obligations disappeared. It became necessary to regulate the relief of poverty by law. During Elizabeth’s 1st reign a spate of legislations from 1552 onwards entrusted the relief of the poor to the Parishes. They too at the time must have cried, “ We cannot afford this”. With a little tinkering the Poor Laws trundled along until they were confronted with the OLD AGE PENSIONERS ACT, August 1908. Many people apposed to the act thought it spelt the end of Society, but Lloyd George persisted and in his Budget speech of 1909 said “ this is a War Budget. It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness. I cannot help hoping and believing that before this generation has passed away, we shall have advanced a great step towards that good time, when poverty, and the wretchedness and human degradation which follows in its camp will be as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested our forests”.

That generation has all but virtually passed away, but I do know that they believed and campaigned for the principle that care for the needy should be a burden shared, through State intervention, by Society as a whole.

Response to the GREEN PAPER ON PAYING FOR CARE

Demographically we are an ageing society with a growing imbalance between those of working age and the retired. Solutions to this could be: –

Work until you drop

Encourage higher birthrates

Increase the numbers of migrant workers. Note at present we are besieged by economic migrants. If climate change really kicks in then the plight of eco-migrants forced to leave their countries because they are no longer habitable is a problem we are yet to confront.

Increase in migrant workers would work, but in the long term it would have a profound, but not necessarily, an adverse affect on our Society.

The Panel considered the following funding options for paying for care.

Option 1, paying for it yourself. The panel did not support this mainly on the grounds that care outcomes could be unpredictable and insurance cover difficult. No Actuarial evidence was give to support this view. We should note that motorcar insurance covers unpredictable events, yet is affordable.

The really worrying aspect of private insurance for Care, would be the use of DNA data to highlight the population predisposed to Cancer, Heart Diseases, Dementia and Osteoporosis. This list is likely to grow, leaving many people having difficulty in obtaining cover.

Surprisingly all panels ignored this aspect, which will impinge on all likely partnerships with the private sector.

Option 2, Taxation. The panel discounted this option on the grounds that the burden fell unfairly on the backs of the working population and taxes would be too high. When State Pensions were first launched, taxes had to be raised from the working population to pay for it. Their decisions here has more to do with Baby Boomers desperately trying to maintain an unsustainable life style.

Option 3, Partnership. The question here is how does one fund the remaining two thirds etc. of ones care costs. The specter of DNA tests precludes insurance.

Option 4. Private Insurance. Surprisingly the Panels did not present examples of how private insurance worked or was costed in countries where it had been adopted, why! When examples like this are ignored one begins to doubt the capabilities of these panels.

Option 5, State –backed System. The panel really lost the plot in discussing this scheme. They ignored the fact that a highly efficient scheme to pay for pensions already exists by way of the National Insurance Scheme. Why could not this be extended to include Care? Also they entered into the mine field of whether people should be able to opt in or out of the State –Backed Insurance, surely they must have been aware that this in/out system undermined the SERPS project. If it is a State-backed Scheme it has to be compulsory, just like taxation and the NI system.

Option 6. Comprehensive. Obviously to those in work this is either a Taxation system or a State-Backed scheme under another name. Its main function is to extract payment for care from those already in retirement Again there is a lack of analysis as to the impact or ability to pay that this would have on people already in retirement. Those who have been in retirement for some time have already seen their savings dwindle and would not have the resources to make a down payment nor fund a government HP scheme. One also wonders whether those newly entering retirement could also pay. The Times, 30th October 2009 noted that 88% people retiring have a Pension Pot of less than £50,000. Currently £50,000 would buy you a joint life annuity of £2788/annum.

So for you Baby Boomers, the party is over. Are there some Monks out there, another Lloyd-George or a Bevan with the courage and foresight to make the changes so that Ageing ad its demand on Care can be adequately met, one would hope so.

Emlyn Lloyd 2009

__________________________________________________

Theres something to think about comrades, pending the great red revolution.

Jolity Farm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by anacarlo

Heres something to warm us all up during these cold winter nights, click play and rub your hands infront of the screen.

Pensioners Winter Fuel Poverty

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 9, 2010 by anacarlo

Its Life or Death for many this winter, simple as that.

Age Concern and Help the Aged estimate that one in three pensioner (2.7 million pensioner households) live in fuel poverty and that these households are at the greatest risk of winter deaths, collating figures from 2008-2009 that show a 49% increase in Excess Winter Deaths amoungst low income pensioner households in the uk. 36,700 Excess Winter Deaths last year ammounts to a shocking 300 deaths per day, by ‘excess winter deaths’ they mean no; of deaths above the mean average during the winter months (Dec-March minus Non-Winter Deaths which are from the previous Aug-Nov + the subsequent Deaths from Apr-Jul). These figures come during a period when we have seen massive rises in the cost of energy with current forcasts predicting a rise of between 14-20% by 2020.

Excess_winter_deaths_-_Nov_09

Both groups are calling for an Energy Bill and for it to include mandatory social tariffs providing security from fuel poverty and alliviating the worry and risks facing those most vulnerable.

Basing calculations around the average yearly energy bill of £1,026 it is estimated that reductions of energy costs of  between £100 and £300 per year would reduce fuel poverty by 45-75%. Thats not alot to ask from a government that happily chuck billions at financial institutions when they run into a bit of bother.

At present and despite the huge number of pensioners living in fuel poverty, only an estimated 800,000 customers benefit from discounted tariffs and as Age Concern/Help the Aged highlight, ‘According to Ofgem, a social tariff must be at least as good as the lowest tariff in the customers area but not all providers comply and offer other lower prices,’ bringing about a problem with complexity and that, ‘Older people complain they do not understand social tariffs or do not know about them. There is a lack of clear information in a format those most in need of social tariffs can access.

Now just think a bit, i’m a bit poor and certainly can’t afford to run my heating as much as i would like but i can put another jumper on, grin and bear it, or, i can go out for a walk, visit a friend, go and check out the dailys in the local library or thaw myself out in the sub tropical climes of my local M&S. As you get older you shed all that excess body fat, become less efficient at converting calories, develop arthritis and rhumatism amoungst a host of other jolly things we all have to look forward to, not to mention the slippy pavements etc and so it’s essential to maintain at least one room of toasty warmness in your house 24hrs as you get on a bit.

Energy companies currently have a voluntary agreement regarding the provision of social tariffs with governmant that ends in 2011. Age Concern and Help the Aged are fronting a campaign to ensure specifically that mandatory social tariffs are introduced so that energy companies have to offer thier lowest tariff to low income consumers irrespective of thier payment method.

Follow the campaign and get involved:

http://www.helptheaged.org.uk/en-gb/Campaigns/PensionsBenefits/FuelPoverty/fuel_pov_whatyoucando.htm

In the meantime Check on your neighbours, offer to do some shopping or some cooking-Both! and check they’ve got some heat.

Until then Stay Warm and chuck another Banker on the fire

Election Mobilisation, Special Edition

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 9, 2010 by anacarlo

ANARCHIST ELECTION ACTION

http://ianbone.wordpress.com/

Let a thousand flowers bloom. Theres to be a second weekend of anarchist planning for action around the general election. This is not the same one as the Class War meeting on Jnuary 24th but is organised – as Alessio succinctly puts it ‘ by thepeople who had the balls to organise the G20 action’. Here’s the details – I fully support this initiative and will be attending with news of what was decided at the 24th meeting.We’ve got three months to organise together – let’s fucking go for it.

Please forward. Time is short.

As the G20 mobilisation brought upwards of 8,000-10,000 people onto the streets against the financial crisis, a broad coalition is shaping up aiming to vent alot of the frustrations and anger that exists at the “democratic process” of rubber stamping the rule of capitalism over our society. This invite is open to all who want to contribute or work with others in a expressing this dissent. Already there are talks of a Climate Camp intervention, Class War action, all the way to local community initiatives. As the tories await their next turn to whip the proles arses for the next 5 years, maybe its time to bring back a the notion that we are not just passive comsumers waiting for the next big bonanza sales but active agents in our lives with the anger and vitriol for a ruck against this dead system.

**Warning: Some people at this meeting you may not agree with, get over it!**

ELECTION MOBILISATION MEETING
&nbs p;
You are cordially invited to attend..

An open-ended meeting, arranged so people can consider how a
coalition of groups and tendencies might mobilise together in 2010, for
a new society. It’s suggested this should be in the context of the
general election, and on the strategy for an effective, decentralised
movement in response, but the agenda is not fixed. All groups and
individuals committed to a world free of oppression, very welcome.
And please forward this invitation.

Meeting Dates: Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January
Venue:  Downstairs at The Foundry, Old Street tube, 80 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3JL‎
Time: 3-7pm (both days)