Housing crisis? What housing crisis? There’s plenty of empty housing in #Sheffield 12/22. @Number10gov @urban_splash

Housing crisis graphics v1.012


Not voting is already a failed strategy and it’s my fault #VoteForSomeone #GE2015

Screen shot 2015-05-05 at 17.12.51

It’s my fault. Well, not mine alone, but for some years I have been a non-voter due to the usual list of of reasons: apathy, cynicism and laziness.

It is said that we get the government we deserve, but what kind of karmic felony did I commit to give us a government that is more greedy, spiteful and corrupt than even Margaret Thatcher’s notorious cabal of mis-educated thugs and sociopathic toffs from the 1980s and 1990s? I voted in 1997 and was genuinely elated with the Labour landslide.

Oh dear.

The Labour Party has a long way to go to regain the trust of the British people after the grotesque betrayal of Tony Blair and New Labour, but I agree with Owen Jones when he says that he would rather fight the Labour Party than the Conservative Party, and this is the crux of it. Labour activists and socialists know that they have a mountain to climb in order to restore faith in British socialist politics, but my number one priority is to remove the Nasty Party (their phrase, not mine) from government.

I joined the Green Party in order to express some support to their much more radical, left-wing policies, but I will be voting Labour in Heeley, Sheffield, because it is a safe Labour seat and I want it to remain safe. At least from the Conservatives and UKIP.

The attribution is disputed, but I like to quote Edmund Burke, who said “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

The shortening of disadvantaged people’s lives by denying them readily available funds is evil. The proliferation of war for profit is evil. The theft of public assets is evil, and the incitement of hate against people of different colour, creed or religion is evil.

All these thing have been made flesh by the UK Conservative Party via benefit sanctions, via complicity with the United States’ foreign policy, via the fall-guy trickery perpetrated against local authorities and the right-wing seeded anti-immigration rhetoric we hear all around us.

I know it might have been repeated a little too often, but I also remember what Aneurin Bevan, Labour Minister for Health (1945 – 1951), who oversaw the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS), said:

“No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

I will be voting tactically and I hope you will do the same.

Please vote. Please vote them out.

Austerity for Dummies Part 5 – The difference between the deficit and debt – FYI @George_Osborne @David_Cameron #LongTermEconomicPlan

Osborne deficit

This is a rewrite of an explanation I read on the “Another Angry Voice” blog, although I don’t like the driving analogy used. I prefer to explain it in more traditional terms.

Imagine you are running a business that has a gross turnover of £100,000 and your entire costs, including wages and tax, are equal to £100,000, this would leave you with a net profit of zero but no deficit and no surplus.

If your turnover remains the same, but your total costs are £90,000, then you will be making a profit and, hence, a surplus.

If your total costs are £110,000, then you have a deficit. For your business to keep running  you might need to borrow money, and this accumulates as a debt. Not the same thing as a deficit.

If that deficit is the cost of buying new equipment as an investment (as a temporary debt), it does not mean that your business is not viable, even if it is running a deficit in the short term. Once the equipment is paid for, and starts to earn money from additional business, it is hoped that the increased income will pay off the debt out of your income surplus.

Conversely, if your business sells an asset, this might produce a short term surplus, but that does not mean that the surplus will continue, or that the business is viable.

The operating deficit of a business is not necessarily related to its debts, although it can be, but one thing is certain, the two things are not the same.