Food Banks; post growth in Parliament; immigration

Food Banks was on BBC Radio 4 ‘Any Questions’ again tonight. No growth has been discussed in Parliament, and Nick Griffin and I have said something similar on immigration.
On Food banks, the Conservative spokesperson trotted out the usual unctuous sophistry explaining that government policies had nothing to do with the proliferation of food banks, they are a phenomenon all over Europe, and yes, there are some people taking advantage who weren’t their intended beneficiaries. This drew predictable anger from others on the panel and the audience. But once again, I couldn’t help shouting “Citizens’ Basic Income” impotently at the radio. In this little Twitter and Blogland bubble, one could get the idea that the Cits BI is catching on. Well it hasn’t reached ‘Any Questions’ yet. One speaker (I have a hearing difficulty, and don’t catch everything, and can’t always distinguish voices) wondered why with such a huge benefits bill, it wasn’t getting to where it is needed. I have bad news for him. The Cits BI will look even bigger, but that is due to the sheer scale of the taxation of the poor caused by means testing. Regular readers will know what is coming next. It’s all there, chapter and verse in ‘Dynamic Benefits: towards welfare that works’. (Click ‘Publications, and find Sept 2009). But if the welfare bill is still huge, the Department of Work and Pension’s pitiless sanctions and workfare strategy can’t be working. Perhaps Johnny Void can supply some figures on what proportion of the DWP budget actually goes to the fat cats employed to invent jobs just to make people do them. The whole strategy of forcing people to work at a time of high unemployment is senseless, and the very existence of food banks is a disgrace.
No growth discussed in Parliament? I wish. What actually happened last Wednesday night was a ‘People’s Parliament’ session in a Committee room in the Houses of Parliament. It had been organized by the ‘Green House’ Think Tank. The panel was Andrew Dobson, Molly Scott Cato, and Caroline Lucas MP. Again, my hearing loss impairs my ability to report it fully, but if some of the things get said in the real parliament, we might be getting somewhere.
I made the point that there is evidence that governments and the media are already under the control of the 1%. Yes they are destroying the ecosphere, and calls to wrest power from them are understandable, but they are too strong, and will remain strong until it is too late. What none of us have yet thought of is some way of getting the destroyers on side: how to persuade those making megabucks just now to desist.
Oddly enough, talking afterwards to Barb Jacobson, of the European Guaranteed Basic Income movement, she detects a split in the ranks of the powerful few. Some are virulently opposed to the Cits CI principle, but others are in favour. I hadn’t realized that, but it is what I have hinted at in previous blogs. So perhaps all is not lost, despite the euro result, which I am dreading. The BBC have given the Simplistic Party all the help they can, but the Green Party has not helped its case by defending immigration at a time of insecurity, keeping our secret weapon – the Citizens Basic Income – a secret.
I have been involved in a Twitter debate on immigration this week. Unfortunately I gather neither of my two adversaries had read my last week’s blog. Consequently when I said, limited to 140 characters, that ‘Immigration was selfish’ both got the wrong end of the stick. I had to explain that it is Britain which is selfish, denuding the already threadbare Bulgarian health service of its last remaining staff. But one of my correspondents then produced a U tube video of Nick Griffin saying much the same thing a year ago. Sorry folks, that Hitler was a vegetarian doesn’t make it wrong. One correspondent said, correctly, that we need immigrants due to our ageing population. Sigh. (I am having to repeat myself). The Cits BI is not a panacea, but the flexibility it creates will ameliorate the age structure problems. But if we will be in difficulty without immigrants, how the Hell do you think Bulgaria is going to cope? I know my correspondents don’t mean it, but their words could easily be twisted to imply that their compassion ends at Dover, or certainly at the Bulgarian border.
As I have said, this is a difficult area for Greens, because prior to ‘Limits to Growth’ it was territory that Nick Griffin had to himself. It was put to me that free movement of people is vital. Quite. Sorry to sound utopian for a moment, but once a Citizens’ Basic Income is in place, everywhere, free movement of individuals can become a matter-of-fact reality.
Shortish blog this week. The election gets closer.

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2 responses to “Food Banks; post growth in Parliament; immigration

  1. Only wanna tell that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this. aakdbbgdceed

    • Thanks. Just re-tweet, or whatever you do with these things in the blogosphere which I don’t fully understand, so don’t use to the full.

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