Interesting Articles

I do tend to tweet a lot (follow @Krupesh4Brent!). Now and again, I retweet interesting articles I’ve read on the web. Here are the last 10 [politically relevant] articles I have linked;

  • Cuts will bleed Council reserves dry in 5 years says Senior Tory – LINK – Brent has traditionally had low levels of reserves. That it is why it is financially important that in an era of increased risks to Brent Council, we keep sufficient reserves to cover those risks.
  • Disability rights groups protest at DWP against Paralympics sponsor Atos – LINK – Atos is a French IT company that carry out Work Capability Assessments with disabled people. Unfortunately, the Labour Party is not innocent in all of this as we did as award the original contract to Atos, but pressure to attack benefits from the current Government has exacerbated things. The Coalition has gone even further by naming Atos as a main contractor for carrying assessments for disabled people’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) entitlement. PIP is the benefit that will replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Mark Ferguson on LabourList on a Lab / Lib Coalition being a non-starter – LINK
  • Save Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E – LINK – The Brent Labour Party has provided campaign materials for people to join in on the campaign against the current proposal that will permanently close the A&E Department serving the most deprived part of the Borough.
  • Fleet Street Fox’s article on tax and cuts to disabled people – LINK
  • Lib Dem Peer says their Party should consider disposing Nick Clegg – LINK
  • Mark Steel on Atos – LINK
  • Retiring Andrew Strauss may bat for the Conservatives at the next election – LINK – after quitting cricket for good, the ex-England captain is being touted as a future Tory MP.
  • Welsh health survey: One in three take no exercise – LINK – This is an article related to Wales, but it is a trend I am very worried about. The positive effects of regular physical exercise are well documented.
  • Caught Yellow Handed – LINK – I was reminded last week about this document highlighting Lib Dem Hypocrisy through their actions in Parliament and their leaflets and campaign work in their constituencies. Brent Central Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather has a starring role.
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP (Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)
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Tory Liberal failure on the economy – Double-Dip recession

With the news that we are officially in a double-dip recession period LINK it is becoming clearer that the Tory Liberal economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Yes, they inherited a large deficit, but they also inherited a growing economy.

Cutting too far too fast has recklessly damaged the UK’s good prospects of getting our economy moving again. So far, the Tory Liberals have increased unemployment by

  1. Slashing jobs in the public sector on the unsubstantiated claim and risk that jobs will miraculously appear in the private sector to make up for the rise in unemployment in the public sector
  2. Increasing VAT which has an impact on a business’ take home profits, meaning that they have less profit available to employ people and expand
  3. The VAT rise also impacts on consumer spending and disincentivises businesses
  4. Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund which equips young people to be work ready. Indeed the long term impact of this has also been ignored by the Tory Liberals. Even if there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country, it is important that these schemes are invested in so that people are equipped with the skills they need and are work ready for when the economy does recover and there are jobs for people to go into.

Unemployment should never be a price worth paying. The immediate and long-term impact of worklessness is far worse than pursuing an aim to get rid of the deficit in four years. The Tory Liberal Government have made this their priority and ignored the impact that this damaging course has on ordinary people.

The VAT rise also had a detrimental impact on inflation. Naturally, it costs more to buy products because there is more tax paid on spending money. This leaves less disposable income to the individual and what’s more, wages are not going up with inflation. People are being squeezed with higher costs and lower income.

This brings me to my final point on the deficit, which has increased under this Tory Liberal administration – LINK

Growth is a key component to tackle the deficit. Without economic growth, it becomes difficult to address the deficit. This has been the Tory Liberal Coalition’s main failure. There is the issue of the Eurozone crisis that the right wing Government will point to. However, slashing public sector jobs with a front loaded approach and the VAT rise are policies of the Government’s own making.

The Tories are out of touch with ordinary people and their stance on the 50% tax rate at this very moment in time is testament to that. The Liberals aren’t bothered about issues such as employment, jobs, the economy, crime and the NHS – this is proven with how easily they flipped their position on these what I consider core issues. They are far more concerned with the House of Lords and the electoral system and appear more principled on these issues than ones that have a more profound impact on people.

Labour win in Wembley Central by-election! Krupa Sheth becomes Brent’s youngest ever Councillor

Brent Labour has claimed a sensational by-election victory in Wembley Central Ward in which Krupa Sheth has become the London Borough of Brent’s youngest ever Councillor.

The results are as follows:

1st  – Krupa Sheth (Labour) 1402 votes

2nd – Afifa Perez (Lib Dem) 1022 votes

3rd – Madhuri Davda (Conservative) 349 votes

4th – Martin Francis (Green) 130 votes

The Liberal Democrats chose to attack the candidate. On their leaflets, the Liberals labelled Krupa on the forefront of their leaflets as the ‘Brent Labour Council Boss candidate’ (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!)

Credit where it is due to the Tories and their candidate Madhuri Davda who ran a much cleaner and respectable campaign and did not resort to the same electoral tactics.

People don’t need us to spell out the hypocrisy of the Brent Liberal Democrats, fighting for local services on one hand but supporting the decimation of them in Government with the other. They can see it for themselves.

We ran a positive campaign promoting our candidate at the forefront rather than starting our campaign position of inciting hatred towards others. I’ve known Krupa for over two years now and am personally delighted to have her as a colleague at Brent Council.

Tory Liberals attack people’s right to vote!

The Lib Dems and Conservatives have schemed a method of voter registration that will counteract one of the most basic principles of a modern democratic society; the right to vote.

At the moment, one letter is sent to a household in Brent and only one individual in that household is required to fill out the voter registration form and sent it back to their local authority. Under the Lib Dems and Tory proposal, they want people to individually register to vote.

Unofficial tellers, wearing party rosettes, si...
WikiImage

Ed Miliband at Labour Party Conference said, “we should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder.”

Even more alarmingly, the Electoral Commission, which is a non partisan body said that 10 million voters “predominantly poor, young or black” voters will fall off the register. And yet, in full knowledge of this, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories still want to go ahead with this evil proposal. These are statistically more likely to be Labour Party voters, so it is no surprise that the Lib Dems and Tories are doing what they can to stop them from voting and excercising their basic right at the ballot box.

Labour is fighting to protect your right to vote.

Left Foot Forward: Former Coalition economic adviser says that slower cuts are “common sense”

Interesting article on the evidence based blog Left Foot Forward, in which it is revealed that a former adviser to the Lib Dem Tory Coalition Government has denounced the speed of the cuts that the Government is choosing to implement. LINK TO THE ARTICLE

Kenton by-election result

Unfortunately Labour was unable to gain a seat from the Conservatives in Kenton ward yesterday following the death of Councillor Arthur Steel which triggered the by-election. Conservative candidate Suresh Kansagra won by 156 votes.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Suresh Kansagra (Conservative) – 1,063 votes
  2. Ellie May Southwood (Labour) – 907 votes
  3. Robert Dunwell (Independent) – 185 votes
  4. Alan Mathison (Green Party) – 75 votes

(turnout – 25.96%)

The seat would have been a real coup for Brent Labour as it has been Conservative since its existence. It remains the only ward in Brent which has three Conservative Councillors. It was a fair fought election and Ellie was a splendid candidate and managed to increase the Labour vote in Kenton Ward by 2.8%. Meanwhile the Lib Dem vote collapsed from 14.4% in May to 7.4% yesterday and were even shamefully beaten by the Independent candidate Robert Dunwell.

Change from May 2010 elections

Party May 2010 Result Feb 2011 by-election Result Change from May election (%)
Conservative 46.3 % 43.9 % – 2.4 %
Labour 34.7 % 37.5 % + 2.8 %
Lib Dem 14.4 % 7.4 % – 7 %
Green 4.6 % 3.1 % – 1.5 %
Independent 0 % 7.6 % + 7.6 %

I’d like to congratulate Suresh on his victory and I look forward to working with him at the Council.

Brent anger over fees

Brent Labour received an overwhelming positive response this weekend as we were joined by Labour Students and Labour Young Labour on the streets of Brent with our petition calling for our local MP to vote against the proposed rise in tuition fees and not to scrap EMA, which would affect 4,000 children in Brent.

We have the petition online and you can sign it here: LINK

One individual I spoke to in particular, who lives in Kensal Green, voted for Sarah Teather at the 2010 general election and vented that she was disgusted with herself and felt physically sick that she had been swayed by her.

Not everyone however was in support of our campaign. I did speak to a Willesden Green resident who I learned used to be vice-chair of a local Conservative Ward. He was pleased because throughout all of these years, he had always wanted a Tory MP and now in Sarah Teather he finally has one. But hey, you can’t win them all.

Lib Dem Hypocrisy: Social Housing

In a speech to Liberal Democrats’ spring conference in Birmingham on 13 March 2010, Teather said Conservative plans to abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes would be a “total disaster.” She said their housing plans lacked substance, causing them to try and keep housing off the agenda.

She said there was no “bearable” alternative to her party’s aim to invest £1.4bn in bringing 250,000 empty homes back into use.

“The Tories think the only way to solve the housing crisis is to change the law so that it is easier for big developers to stuff vulnerable families in to houses the size of shoe boxes”.

If you abolish subsidised rents for Council and housing association homes, all that is going to happen is that many more people will end up on housing benefit, and many fewer people will be able to work.

Put poor people into worse housing, and make them pay more for it. That’s it. That’s the Tory big idea.”

(Sarah Teather, 13 March 2010 speaking at the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference in Birmingham)

Well that is now also Sarah Teather’s big idea as well.

It would be “immoral” to “burden the next generation with higher debts” – The Liberal Democrats

The Coalition of cabinet millionaires just do not have a clue how difficult their intention to treble fees will make going to University for young people from middle and lower income families.

They have benefitted themselves having free higher education and now they want people to pay up to £9,000 a year in fees. If we’re all in this together, every MP who votes for the fee cap rise should pay £27,000 into the higher education system.

THIS WILL RUIN THE LIFE CHANCES OF A GENERATION!

They are intent on tackling the deficit within one Parliamentary term because they say that the economy should not be built on a foundation of debt. But they think it’s ok for young people to be consigned with debts of up to £50,000 and build their whole lives on a foundation of debt. Where is the logic in that?

When they wanted to sell these extreme cuts, the Conservative and Liberal Democrats would turn moist-eyed and say it was “immoral” to “burden the next generation with higher debts.” So as a solution they have introduced a program that will burden the next generation with much higher debts.

Johan Hari, the Independent

During the years when young people have begun to work, are at the prime age to start up families and enter the housing market for the first time, a chunk of their disposable income will be removed from them at the time when they are in most need of it as they will have to deal with their student debt – thereby affecting their future life choices.

The Lib Dem comeback seems to be that it’s all Gordon Brown and the previous Labour Government’s fault. I disagree strongly – but you can blame Gordon Brown all you want… it doesn’t change the fact that Nick Clegg lied.