Posts Tagged 'Poverty'

‘Charities’ taking people for fools for their own ends

It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify worthy and genuine charities, those that prioiritise the delivery of good works for people in genuine need by channelling every penny possible to them.

In the first instance, if a charity relies on state handouts for the bulk of its funding then it isn’t a charity at all, but an extension of the state.  It also suggests the charity does not appeal to donors sufficiently to make them want to part with their money.  Prompting this is a column by Amanda Platell, which reminds us of the corruption of the definition of the word ‘poverty’ by groups such as the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), to suit their own ends.  As their website explains:

What this adopted ‘definition’ shows is that in affluent societies where real poverty does exists but is comparatively rare, the only way a charity like the CPAG can justify its existance is through a corruption of the definition and creation of a problem that isn’t really there.  In that way it can enjoin the state to fork over our money to tackle – if one can describe their work in such terms – ‘relative poverty’.

You may wonder what’s in it for CPAG.  A look at their website makes that very obvious…

What this menu of options tells us is that CPAG is a business.  It has people on the payroll focused on publications, media, education and lobbying.  It is an enterprise that generates income (pg 5) for a staff whose primary focus is merely:

Such awareness consists of adverts and videos like the one below which, while purporting to tell us the truth about benefits Britain, singularly fails to recognise or mention that governments use benefits as electoral bribes and have a vested interest in making people dependent on the state; increase the cost of living through rising taxation; wheezes like fighting ‘climate change’; subsidising wealthy companies and land owner involved in renewables; sending aid money overseas; financing the EU’s largesse and so on.

There is much talk but little direct intervention on show.  I’m sure the ‘poverty’ stricken will be glad of this ‘help’, especially when the first £1,362,314 of the ‘charity’s’ income in the last financial year (pg 20) was spent on salaries, National Insurance and pension contributions, more than £70,ooo of which was spent on the chief executive, Alison Garnham.  At least she has enough money for a selective diet, activity participation and customary amenities:

To keep this show on the road, the Child Poverty Action Group needs to keep the cash coming in.  To keep the cash coming in it needs to keep inventing crises, peddling myths and constructing a narrative to give the impression there is a major and immediate problem that has to be addressed, requiring substantial public funds that have the happy coincidence of meeting the employment costs of like minded activists.  In this it is no different to so many other of these fake charities.

People are being taken for fools.  The current multi-pronged campaign being waged by self serving ‘poverty’ activists on everything from wages to food banks to deprived children, is a scam.  These committed political activists are applying pressure and being joined in their cause by simple minded virtue-mongers who need the supposed issues to be true to justify their chest beating and scattergun condemnation of everyone and everything they believe to be less virtuous than them.

As these entities are reliant on state funding rather than individual donations, the only way to stop feeding the beast is to show up these campaign chartities for what they are – so even the government will not want to be seen by taxpayers as being associated with them.  It’s time for the rip off to end.

Open letter to the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

Dear Lord Archbishop,

I read with great interest the report of your comments to the BBC on the subject of tax avoidance in the context of morality.

In your interview you said of tax avoidance that, ‘It is sinful, simply because Jesus was very clear; pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’  Perhaps, My Lord, you would care to give consideration to the fact that much of our wealth belongs to us and does not belong to today’s Caesar at all?  To accuse individuals and companies of being sinful for finding ways to ensure they only pay the tax for which they are legally liable, is frankly nonsense.

But there is an additional concern here, which is the notion you raise that by only paying the tax for which individuals and corporations are legally liable, they are  ‘not only robbing the poor of what they could be getting, they are actually robbing God, because God says “bring into my store house all the tithes”‘.

This is a disgraceful and outrageous assertion, My Lord.  Government policy throughout the world is far and away a greater cause of poor people being deprived than any other factor.  Your assertions seeks to position government as an absolute force for good, while ignoring the fact so much poverty in the world is caused by government spending decisions.  To lay the blame for poverty and hunger at the door of those people and businesses that do not wish to see the money they have earned squandered on electoral bribes, gerrymandering, servicing vested interests (including at local government level), and feathering the nests of powerful supporters, rather than directed at essential public services and infrastructure, is an appalling inversion of what should be considered as moral.

Where do you see government being ‘just’ or ‘walking humbly’ as it uses taxation as a tool of coercion and takes more than it needs?  Surely, by coveting their neighbour’s goods and taking what they are not owed, it is the government robbing God, the world and my neighbour.  Government has a duty to take only that which is needed, but it refuses to be bound by that covenant and abuses its power.  Why should taxpayers tolerate such abuses at the expense of them and the well-being of their families for who they have responsibility?

The Anglican Church, more than most other institutions, has good reason to doubt the moral credentials of the government, which increasingly interferes in matters of conscience and spirituality and undermines the practice of one’s faith in the pursuit of secular orthodoxy.  It would serve you well to remember that before presenting government as a moral authority only held back from good works because taxpayers strive to retain what is lawfully theirs.

For an educated and intelligent man, your comments point to a naivety and childish simplicity that while it may be touching for some, is profoundly disturbing and results in an articulated ignorance that does more harm than good.

Yours sincerely,

AM

Energy policy chickens coming home to roost

The negative effects of the dash for gas, to pick up the slack for poorly performing renewables, didn’t take long to kick in did they?  The failure of successive governments to develop new nuclear generation is writ large.  The people paying the price are the likes of you and I.  Meanwhile the renewables speculators get rich at our expense with their lavish subsidies, even though the output will have a marginal impact on energy supply in this country.

On 7th December last year, this blog mused on the great energy delusion, observing that:

After all, renewables are supposed to become our baseload power source if you believe the idiots in Westminster who are bought in to the power generation revolution. It’s easy to say that gas fired power stations will pick up the slack, but the dash for gas is forcing the price upwards as demand from China to western Europe is on the increase. While we are able to get gas from Norway we will increasingly be relying on gas from Russia and the middle east to meet the energy gap created by unreliable and over rated renewables.

Today we have British Gas announcing it is hiking its gas prices by an average of 18% in August. Why? Although these comments were carried on BBC radio the BBC web report leaves out some key details, so we defer to the Evening Standard for the full explanation:

British Gas said wholesale prices had increased by 30 per cent since last winter because of “increased gas consumption in Asia and the impact on supply of unrest in the Middle East and North Africa”.

Managing director Phil Bentley said: “We know there is never a good time to raise prices, but we are buying in a global energy market and have to pay the market rate.”

But what of our wind turbine adoring Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Lhuhne?  As always, he is off in the land of make believe where he is seeking to distance himself from the consequences of the policy he supports:

I refuse to stand by and watch this happen.

The UK electricity market has to change so we escape the cycle of fossil fuel addiction.

Alternatives, like renewables and nuclear power, must be allowed to become the dominant component of our energy mix.

Only radical reform now will give us the best chance in the long run of keeping the lights on at a price that doesn’t wreck our economy over and over again.

What we are experiencing is what has been caused by the approach he supports.  He shares the blame.  As a Eurofanatic he actively supports EU actions that are driving up our energy costs, yet is putting all the blame on the energy companies.  Lhuhne as a renewablesfanatic supports the exorbitant cost of renewables subsidies, and the forcing of the energy companies to purchase all power produced by the turbines regardless of their cost.  He has long been rigidly opposed to state subsidy for nuclear power and continues to be.  But reality is starting to bite and now he is calling for more nuclear which is reliable, despite putting our money into renewables that are not.

So where is this radical reform he speaks of?  It’s nice to see Lhuhne talking about the best chance of ‘keeping the lights on’.  According to his own party leader, Nick Clegg, there was no evidence that there’s going to be a terrible energy gap and that the lights are going to go out in the middle of the next decade.  Chris doesn’t seem to agree with Nick any more.  But the problem is the climate change lunacy, the obsession with unreliable and intermittant wind power, the regulations and obligations imposed on us by the political class  is wrecking our economy already and plunging millions of people needlessly into fuel poverty.

Huhne’s attempts to point the finger at the energy companies, who are forced to deliver on government policy, must not be allowed to wash.  The buck stops with him and his ideologue pals who have accelerated our descent into chaos and exacerbated the problems he claims to be refusing to stand by and watch happen.

Huhne does not have the solution.  He is a major part of the bloody problem.

The selfish vanity of the political class writ large

While the likes of Andrew Mitchell (Minister for International Development) and John Major (quisling former Prime Minister) urge the British people to rejoice in the fact our hard earned money is being sent overseas – while services at home for our own benefit are cut to reduce debt and subsidise follies such as wind power and extremist organisations who seek to do this country harm – we see a further squeeze in our disposable income as gas and electricity prices soar to even higher levels.

We are already at the point where poorer people are having to choose between spending money on food and spending it on heat and light. This round of huge energy price increases will dramatically increase the scale of that problem. Yet the wealthy (and therefore immune from their own policy agenda) members of the political class that has got us into our financial mess, with outlandish and reckless borrowing and insanely wasteful spending decisions, are reducing the help available for the most vulnerable in our society.  As EU Referendum observes:

“Nearly a million extra households face the prospect of being plunged into fuel poverty within months after one of Britain’s largest energy companies raised gas prices by almost a fifth and electricity prices by a quarter”.  That is from the paywall Times, with the Failygraph giving more details about the price rises.

And where one leads, the rest follow. We are in for a torrid time, and the timing is impeccable. Only a week ago, the Cleggerons announced a cut in winter fuel allowance, as they sought to turn us into a “development superpower”.

Superpowers, by definition, tend to have their own house in order before projecting their strength. Conversely our house is in ramshackle state, our landlord in Brussels is extracting more money from us year on year and forcing us to spend more of our dwindling resources on their latest wheezes, and yet we are pretending to be a powerhouse so politicians can look virtuous on the international stage.  It is perverse.

Here we see no more clear an example of how the interests of the political class are not our interests.

I defy any politician in this country to identify a single British voter who believes it is reasonable that we let people in our country die from malnutrition or hypothermia due to avoidable poverty, in order to spend money on people abroad whose own government prefers to spend billions of its own money on a new aircraft carrier and advanced fighter jets rather than alleviating the poverty of its own people. Why should we sacrifice our own fellow nationals to service the ambitions of a political class overseas?  This is a scandal, but it should be a crime.

Taking the argument a step further, it is no secret that there are pockets of extreme poverty in this country.  This was underlined in the BBC1 programme ‘Poor Kids’ last night.  While our money is being sent overseas and politicians speak of helping poor people whose lives are blighted, perhaps we should stop and think about these youngsters who live in squalid conditions and get nothing like the help needed for those who need the help of a safety net.

Consider that destitute family in the Gorbals in Glasgow that is desperate to move to acceptable accommodation because they are living in a damp riddled flat, their health suffering and lives a misery as a consequence. Then consider the spending priorties of that city’s council which focuses its resources on climate change strategies and spend money on its new Riverside Museum while that family continues to suffer. The city council’s ‘vision statement’ shows how low down its list of priorities its residents are:

We want Glasgow to flourish as a modern, multi-cultural, metropolitan city of opportunity, achievement, culture and sporting excellence where citizens and businesses thrive and visitors are always welcomed.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the vision was to devote its resources to ensure no child in this 21st century lives in accommodation that livestock would be banned from inhabiting and that vulnerable people will not be allowed to go hungry or freeze to death? Wouldn’t it be nice if Glasgow City Council’s vision was a vision we could all identify with and its priorities put people before ideological campaigns and monuments to self glory?

The answer is to ensure government at local and national level cannot spend money on anything unless we approve it.  One wonders how many people would vote to spend money on climate change wheezes and new cultural buildings rather than ensure rubbish is collected weekly, people live in properties that are not covered in mould and elderly or infirm residents get at least one hot meal per day. It is time to make our priorities the ones our public servants focus upon.


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