Saturday 28 May 2011

Weekly Overview

Well, I'm back. I think.

The Sickie Jinx got me quite spectacularly, reminding me that perhaps I'd been overdoing it just a touch. My GP sent me to bed on pain of a hospital admission if I didn't stay there.

I could make the point that this is the result of someone working who really shouldn't be, but that can wait. Summing the week up might be a bit tricky as I'm not sure I remember all of it, but certain things stood out.

Firstly, in a hugely important development, four disabled people won their case at the high court against the Tory/Lib Dem Birmingham Council. The high court judge ruled that the UK's biggest council acted unlawfully over a decision to cut it's provision of care to only provide for those judged to have "critical" needs. The judge described the move as potentially devastating and found that the cuts failed to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

As the Guardian reports,

"Karen Ashton, who represented three of the four families in the case, said the ruling gave disabled people a voice in law; the proposed policy would have had devastating results. "In cash-strapped times such as these, the public sector must do more to avoid the consequences of cuts falling on those who are least able to bear them. What this case demonstrates is that this may be not only a moral obligation but also a legal one. Local councils, and all other public authorities, must learn this lesson and learn it fast – otherwise there will be many more of these cases coming before the courts."

Other judgements are pending and this is a huge step forward in our fight to be heard. It sets a precedent for other councils and give sick and disabled people a voice painfully lacking from politicians and often media.

In a less obvious ruling, the Metropolitan Police found that pulling Jody McIntyre from his wheelchair and hitting him with a baton did not amount to assault or brutality. 

"The DPS said McIntyre had been tipped out of his wheelchair and pulled across the road for his own safety."  

It is, at the very least, hard to see how pulling someone from a wheelchair they need could ever be for their own safety - surely wheeling him away from the alleged personal danger would have been much more effective and efficient? Any body that investigates it's own failings must surely be unlikely to come to the same conclusions as an independent investigation? 

Finally, in other news, George Osborne is becoming more and more isolated in his mission to cut our deficit faster than any other nation. Both the Times and the Financial Times reported comments from the OECD 

“We see merit in slowing the pace of fiscal consolidation if there is not so good news on the growth front,” Pier Carlo Padoan, the think-tank’s chief economist and deputy secretary-general, told The Times. “We have seen that [growth numbers] are a bit weaker than expected; should that continue to be the case, there is scope for slowing the pace.”

Barack Obama also failed to endorse Osborne's deficit reduction plan, instead emphasising the need for "investment" and stressing that "every country was different".

As just about every economic indicator moves in the wrong direction and growth targets are repeatedly lowered by every official body, the only miracle appears to be how anyone could still think the chancellor has a clue what he's doing. 

When the baby-chancellor took over, the deficit had fallen by over 20 billion thanks to Labour stimulus and Darling's policies. Growth was the strongest in Europe. Now it is projected to be the weakest. We simply cannot afford to let the Tory narrative go unchallenged any longer. This government are dangerously wrong economically and they're running out of excuses. 

It is no coincidence that Cameron and Osborne have opposed Gordon Brown as head of the IMF. If the man who he claims to be responsible for Osborne's terrible mistakes were to become the most respected economic leader in the world, it would totally undo the lie they have so carefully crafted. When commentators call Dave "un-statesmanlike" for not backing Brown, I think the word they're looking for is "terrified". 

So, that's it from my foggy brain. When I said "I'm back" I'm not sure that was completely true......


  1. I suspect the Tories don't care about growth or the deficit or the national debt. I think their real mission is the complete destruction of the welfare state and the privitisation of the NHS and they are using the deficit as a smokescreen to achieve it Shock doctrine style.

    They are treasonous economic terrorists.

    I think a full blown 1930s style Great Depression would be a "price worth paying for them". After all they are millionaires and their wealth would largely insulate them from the consequences.

    I think they would happily sit in opposition for a generation if they could complete their mission sipping champagne and patting each other on the backs congratulating each other for completing Thatcher's work.

  2. I can't decide if the cuts are ideological (in the sense than nanobot claims) or if the Tories are simply incompetent and think you can run a country like a business.

    'Righty ho chaps, look at this right old mess the lefties have made. Time to tighten our belts and get back to reality! Ho hum'

    I'm inclined to think it is the latter. The ideological approach gives them too much credit.

  3. The ideological approach of the conservatives is to have control of the underclass of the UK and to make sure they have no voice. Getting rid of the NHS in the form of privatisation along with the destruction of the sick and disabled from the welfare bill are there main priorities and since Margaret thatcher have always been their top priorities

    The only way that they can be stopped will be an uprising by the people those who set fire to themselves who then go on to hit the headlines will be the peoples saviour just as Bouazizi: The Man Who Set Himself and Tunisia on Fire He is now famous throughout Tunisia and the Arab world — a legend, in fact.

    The dark days that lie ahead and the pain for many are not enough for the likes of the conservatives they wont stop until they have cleansed this country from the evil spongers that they see in the sick and disabled people as all they have ever seen is just money and that is all they have ever seen truth be told

  4. Hope you are feeling better soon, Sue. The Sickie-Jinx is a pain, isn't it?

    This is quite an interesting article on the wrong-thinking behind the cuts: