Britain is on the brink of ‘social collapse,’ Labour council leaders warn

From Morning Star: Britain is on the brink of “social collapse” after “eight years of uninterrupted austerity” caused by brutal Tory spending cuts, Labour council leaders warned today.

Twenty-six leaders of Labour-controlled councils have signed an open letter calling on the government to “recognise the catastrophic impact” that #austerity has had on local authorities across Britain.

The statement, released under the banner of Councils Against Austerity, says budgets have been squeezed by direct government cuts and other pressures.

Pointing out that the shortage of funding has had a “disastrous knock-on effect” on services, the council leaders said that nearly half of all local authorities nationwide have experienced serious setbacks in their daily operations and increasing numbers are cutting all services to a bare minimum.

The leaders warn that many councils will soon be unable to perform the basic level of service expected of them, with street cleaners, park maintenance workers, library staff and other municipal workers facing an uncertain future.

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Video: Why austerity doesn’t work

Why austerity doesn’t work, neatly explained in this easy-watch social video from the Labour Party.

Cycle of Austerity

Austerity doesn’t work.

Posted by Jeremy Corbyn on Friday, August 17, 2018

Vince Cable says ‘centre of gravity’ shifting to second Brexit vote

From The Guardian: The “centre of gravity” on Brexit is shifting towards a second referendum on the final deal, the Liberal Democrat leader has said. Vince Cable was speaking as thousands of opponents of Brexit in the south-west of England took part in the first of a series of regional days of action planned by the People’s Vote campaign across the country.

Joining Conservative and Labour MPs and a Green MEP in addressing more than 700 supporters of a second referendum at Colston Hall in Bristol, Cable rejected claims that it would be undemocratic to put the question of EU membership back to another public vote, after the 52%–48% victory for leave in 2016.

Promises of a smooth and amicable withdrawal deal and a cash boost for the NHS had proved unfounded, Donald Trump’s protectionist policies had cast doubt on Brexiters’ vision of new trade deals, and voters were now more aware of the complexities of issues such as the Irish border, he said.

“The world has changed,” Cable told Sky News. “It is perfectly reasonable to go back to the public and ask, ‘Is this what you really want, or do you want to stay in the EU and reform it from within?’ It is a perfectly legitimate democratic expression.

“It is perfectly normal in countries that have a tradition of referendums – which we haven’t in the UK – to have confirmatory votes at the end to see whether people are happy with what the government has negotiated.”

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Responsibility for Windrush deportations rests “squarely on Theresa May’s shoulders” – Caroline Lucas

From Morning Star: Responsibility for the Windrush scandal falls “squarely on the shoulders” of Theresa May for ignoring a report warning her what would happen, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas charged yesterday.

The Brighton Pavilion MP had tabled a written question asking if Ms May, as home secretary, had acted on the Legal Action Group’s prescient October 2014 report Chasing Status.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes responded: ”No specific action was taken as a result of this report.”

The report recommended a number of measures which could have prevented the Windrush scandal, including to set up a special unit to fast-track cases of people living in Britain on January 1 1973.

It also called for the restoration of legal aid for these cases, allowing Commonwealth-born citizens to work, access the the NHS and claim benefits and for Home Office proof of residence standards to be revised.

Another of the report’s recommendations was for “greater openness” from the Home Office about its archiving and destruction policies, and for it to accept that some immigration records could be rendered inaccurate or incomplete over time.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

Lib Dem MP: Probably half the Cabinet have used cannabis

From ITV News: Former health minister Norman Lamb has called for the complete legalisation of cannabis – after alleging that “probably half the Cabinet” have used the class B drug.

The Liberal Democrat MP said the Government’s policy towards cannabis represented a “dreadful hypocrisy” and echoed calls from former Tory leader Lord Hague to bring in a regulated market for the drug.

Mr Lamb, speaking after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review into medicinal cannabis use, said: “Isn’t there a dreadful hypocrisy in Government policy in drugs more generally.

“Probably most of the Cabinet drink alcohol, the most dangerous drug of all, probably half of the cabinet has used cannabis, possibly even the Home Secretary — unless they’re a group of very odd people.

“Shouldn’t the Home Secretary actually follow the advice of the former Conservative leader Lord Hague, who makes the case for a regulated legalised market and that that is the best way to protect people from harm who at the moment buy from criminals who have no interest in their welfare at all.”

Mr Javid responded, saying that on this occasion he did not agree with Lord Hague.

[Read full article on ITV News website…]

Jeremy Corbyn owns Theresa May at PMQs over Boris’s Trump comments

Theresa May is owned by Jeremy Corbyn, and the look on her face is highly amusing!

This is what they called 'being owned' 🔥🔥🔥

This is what they called 'being owned' 🔥🔥🔥

Posted by Owen Jones on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Video: Mhairi Black on the absurd anti-democratic behaviour of Tory MPs in Commons

From ScotRef: SNP MP Mhairi Black on the appalling anti-democratic tactics used by Tory MPs in the House of Commons to filibuster out Private Members Bills they don’t like.

(Mhairi was talking on a pro-Scottish independence platform, but whatever your views on that topic this is a good watch!)

Everyone needs to watch this at least once. And I mean *everyone* 👍⚔️🗡️⚔️🗡️⚔️#ScotRef

Posted by ScotRef on Saturday, April 7, 2018

Caroline Lucas to step down as Green party co-leader

From The Guardian: Caroline Lucas has announced she will stand down as co-leader of the Greens in the autumn, saying it is time for others in the party to step forward and widen the pool of its prominent figures.

Lucas, the party’s only MP, returned for a second stint as leader in 2016 on a joint ticket with Jonathan Bartley, who leads the opposition group on Lambeth council in south London.

The party requires it leaders to re-stand every two years, and Lucas told the Guardian that while she remained committed to her Brighton Pavilion constituency, she would not be continuing in the co-leader role.

“I think making space for other people at this point is a straightforward thing to do and a good thing to do,” she said. “We have a wonderful array of talent in the party and I would love the opportunity for more of that to be showcased.”

Nominations for the leadership and for a series of other senior party positions will be open during June, and there will be a vote in August.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

‘Shocking’ rise in coroner warnings over NHS patient deaths, says Labour

From The Guardian: The number of legal warnings issued by coroners over patient deaths in England attributed to NHS resourcing issues has risen by 40% in three years.

There were 42 prevention of future death reports (PFDs) relating to issues such as lack of beds, staff shortages and insufficiently trained agency staff in 2016 compared with 30 in 2013.

Coroners have a statutory duty to make reports to a person, organisation, local authority or government department or agency where the coroner believes that action should be taken to prevent future deaths.

Labour, which compiled the figures, blamed the increase on the government’s austerity policies.

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“Fracking statement cements Tories’ disregard for evidence-based policy-making” says Green MEP

Press release from Keith Taylor MEP: Responding to the Tory Government’s announcement that it will accelerate its plans to fast-track fracking across England, by relaxing planning laws and overriding local democracy, just seven days after a consultation on the proposals closed, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for the South East, said: “This process has been a sham; the Government can’t claim with any credibility that it has assessed even a handful of the responses to the hefty consultation on these anti-democratic plans that it closed only last week.”

“Ultimately, the Conservative government, for all its empty green promises has proven determined to defy the evidence and local communities and hasten the climate breakdown by fast-tracking a fracking enterprise for which it has been unable to demonstrate either an economic or energy security case. It is with absolute certainty that experts and climate campaigners say: there is no possibility that the UK will meet its legally-binding climate targets if fracking is rolled out across England.”

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Labour MP David Lammy: My constituent arrived from Jamaica in 1964 aged 6. Now he’s received notice of deportation

Labour MP David Lammy writes on Facebook: “I am disgusted and appalled by the case I have just received. My constituent arrived from Jamaica in 1964 aged 6. He has shown me his letter from the Home Office telling him that he will be deported despite having a National Insurance card from 1974 & NHS documentation from 1964.

“The Home Secretary and the Immigration Minister you must sort this today. Why is my constituent being treated like an illegal immigrant despite providing documentation from 1964? This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice. Grant him his citizenship and passport.

“I have had 6 Windrush cases come in this morning already at it is only half past 11. Each case is heartbreaking and an utterly shameful indictment of this government. I am so angry at the way my constituents have been treated. The scale of this crisis is absolutely unfathomable.”

I am disgusted and appalled by the case I have just received. My constituent arrived from Jamaica in 1964 aged 6. He has…

Posted by David Lammy on Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Labour MP David Lammy on the Windrush scandal

David Lammy, Labour MP for the diverse London constituency of Tottenham, and whose parents were part of the Windrush generation, tells it like it is: the Windrush scandal is the logical outcome of Theresa May’s “Hostile Environment” policy.

David Lammy: Treatment of Caribbean immigrants is "inhumane and cruel"

“If you lay down with dogs you get fleas, and that is what has happened with the far right rhetoric in this country.”Labour MP David Lammy says the “inhumane and cruel” treatment of the Caribbean ‘Windrush generation’ is a “national shame”, while Amber Rudd says she is ”concerned” that the Home Office “sometimes loses sight of the individual”.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spending on children and young people’s services cut by nearly £1bn in six years, figures reveal

From The Independent: Spending on children and young people’s services has been axed by nearly £1bn in real terms over the past six years, new analysis shows, prompting concerns that thousands of families are missing out on “lifeline” support.

[Read full article on Independent website…]

The majority of older people across England are living in areas breaching air quality limits

From The Labour Party: New Labour analysis of figures obtained from the House of Commons Library reveals the numbers of older people living in areas with illegal levels of air pollution across England. The analysis reveals that over 7 million older people aged 60 and over lived in areas which breached legal pollution limits in 2015, including:

  • 3.7 million people aged 70 and over
  • 1.45 million people aged 80 and over
  • 257,000 people aged 90 and over

In total, 56 per cent of all people aged 60 and over in England lived in an area which breached air quality limits for nitrogen dioxide in 2015.

Outside of London, Yorkshire & the Humber had the highest percentage of people aged 60 and over living in areas breaching air quality standards (79 per cent), followed by the North East (72 per cent), North West (67 per cent) and the West Midlands (62 per cent).

[Read full article on Labour Party website…]

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