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Guest weekend long read: Lancashire Police tipped off benefit officials about disabled anti-fracking protesters

DRILL OR DROP?

181020 PNR Rod Harbinsondotcom Photo: RodHarbinson.com

In this guest post, John Pring, of the Disability News Service, reports on how Lancashire police sent information to a government department about disabled anti-fracking protesters. He also investigates accusations that the force repeatedly targeted vulnerable people at protests.

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Britain’s heart is broken

Fear and loathing in Great Britain

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How do I know that Britain’s heart is broken? I know it because I am living it and living with the grief of it moment by moment. I know it because my own heart is broken. I know it because I see who and what broke it. I’ve seen it since 2010, when the great betrayal manifested itself, a betrayal planned for long treacherous years and then was callously and brutally unleashed. I watched helplessly as it swept across Britain and people began to die. I watched austerity begin to brutalise people and I watched as people despaired, lost hope and took their own lives and I knew I had to do something.

I racked my brain, I searched my soul and desperately looked for what I could do, of my own volition, requiring no ones permission, that I had the ability to self sustain over time. I needed something…

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Billionaire money for Hitler then, for AfD now

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This German 24 November 2018 video is about far-right billionaire August von Finck financing the AfD party.

By Peter Schwarz in Germany:

From the Nazis to the AfD: Big business finances the far-right

28 November 2018

According to an investigation by the weekly Der Spiegel, the rise to prominence of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was facilitated by huge financial contributions from 88-year-old billionaire August von Finck. His father, also named August von Finck, financed Adolf Hitler and made a fortune by confiscating Jewish property through the process known as “Aryanisation”.

Der Spiegel concludes that several million euros that flowed into the founding and development of the AfD originate from Finck’s business and financial empire. In 2013, Finck was placed 10th on the Forbes list of the richest Germans, with a fortune of $8.2 billion. In order to avoid paying taxes…

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The connection between Universal Credit, ordeals and experiments in electrocuting laboratory rats

Politics and Insights

Image result for skinner lab ratI’m currently writing an article about the intimacy between neoliberalism and behavioural economics, following Richard Thaler’s recent Nobel award. While I was researching, I came across an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) document about Nudge from 2012Tax and benefit policy: insights from behavioural economics, which suggested the introduction of “ordeals” into the social security system. The authors claim it would “deter fraud”. Although the IFS didn’t quite commit to calling for the idea to be implemented formally via policy, they did present the idea as an incontrovertible fact. Yet it is a controversial opinion, which is not supported by empirical evidence.

Introducing ordeals to social security also deters our most vulnerable citizens from claiming the support they need in order to live. Because of this, it wouldn’t be possible to determine the number of people who were intending to make a fraudulent claim. Prior to the welfare “reforms”…

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#Torygate: ten things that Laura Pidcock didn’t say, and five that she did.

The World Turned Upside Down

When Laura Pidcock said, quite casually, in an interview with Skwawkbox, that she had “no intention” of being friends with Tory MPs – the same MPs she’d witnessed cheering welfare cuts over the summer – she was castigated in the mainstream media, on social media accounts belonging to political commentators from the liberal left to the hard right. Not just once, but relentlessly, for weeks and months. The ferocity of the attacks, and the wild misrepresentation of her words, was a bit of a shock – especially when directed at an MP of just a couple of month’s standing. But it shouldn’t have been: because the political-media nexus which dominates Parliament cannot allow a challenge, not when they’re this insecure and frightened. The slippage from the specific point about the cosy Westminster club to an attack on all Tory voters, on women, on people’s family members, was all very deliberate…

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