Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Myles’ Blog: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right….”

Blog Post by Myles Cook

“I have drawn quite a lot of criticism from right-wing political followers in the past when I have written columns that are attacks on current Government policies. “Left-wing rant” and “extreme Left blogger with a dark philosophy” are my personal favourites.

On my last blog, I was accused of abusing my critics and I put my hands up to that but only to people who have called me a left-winger. I find that the assignment of that term to me extremely offensive especially when I have gone out of my way to show that I am non-partisan. I have written two columns for this site on the very subject of taking the party politics out of the UK’s political arena and actively encourage cross-party working. I have openly declared my contempt of politicians as a group regardless of their political affiliations. Does this seem like the actions of a left-wing supporter? Of course not.

Right-wingers who wish to disagree with my columns are free to voice that opinion by leaving comments as are people who agree with me; however, ascribing a political position to my work is offensive to me personally. It shows an ignorance of my political stance that is both incomprehensible and puzzling due to the wealth of contrary evidence on this very website. What I write about in my column is what is happening in the here and now. The past is the past and cannot be changed. I can only, in good conscience, attack policies that are being enacted now and that are, in documented fact, killing people by driving them to suicide.

The current administration is the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition. They are the ones with the power to create policy. It would make no sense to attack Labour policies as they are not the ones in force and will not be until Labour takes power again.

It is my right and my duty as an enthusiastic amateur journalist and political/social commentator to draw attention to policies that are adversely affecting the country and its citizens. It seems ironic to think that when Labour takes power again and I start to attack Labour policies, as I have in the past, I will be labelled ‘right-wing’ by their supporters and the right-wing supporters will remain silent as I will be ‘on their side’.
Another criticism of my last blog was that I was talking down to my readers or that it resembled a GCSE textbook.

Well to that criticism, I say this – I pointed out at the very beginning of the piece that 99% of my readers would be astute enough to understand where I was going and would probably get to the destination before I did. That is not talking down to my readers, which is showing that I know that the vast majority of my readers are more than capable of comprehending my writing. That said, however, I have to make my work accessible to the whole population of Thurrock and, given some of the feedback on earlier work and the misinterpretation that has occurred, I felt that a new approach and style for the piece was required. Far from talking down to my readers, I have shown that bloggers have to make their work accessible and have recognised that people of all abilities may well wish to partake of reading another person’s view on different subjects.

A couple of people have questioned the facts I raised in my last piece. This just shows how close to a nerve I hit with the right-wing supporters as my facts come from my research from a range of media outlets and the Government’s own DWP website as well as my own personal experiences and personal observations from working with the mental health service users of Essex who are being adversely affected by the changes in the benefits system. I personally spoke to dozens of service users during a range of consultations and I have heard people at the end of their tether, literally scared out of their wits by what is happening.

I have seen the fear in their eyes and if more people did the same, opposition to the way they are being treated would be enormous. I have spoken with people who work with the physically disabled and the stories have painted the same picture of utter panic within that community too.

I have been accused of ranting in my column; I prefer the word ‘passionate’. I have never claimed to be the sole voice in the defence of the disabled community, another false accusation by a critic; I am, however, rather more vocal than most are able or prepared to be as I feel I have nothing left to lose and have the forum in which to mount the defence. There are many other kind, understanding people out there who see the current situation through either personal experience or through their own observations who fight in their own way and there are many other bloggers out there in cyberspace fighting the good fight.

Another false claim was that I was accusing everyone in the country of hating the disabled when what I actually said was that the levels of hate towards the disabled and those on health-related benefits was growing, which is the truth. Check the Government’s own statistics for yourself and you will find that disability hate crime is on the increase, a sure sign that hate towards the disabled is up.

I was accused of hiding details of the household income to paint a darker picture of the denial of benefits to which I have been subjected. This is a false as I never, at any time, claimed that I was the sole source of income in my household and details of any income to my household is no one’s business except the members of my family. I listed the benefits I have been denied to show how little money I actually receive from the State and, as the commenter clearly states, the threshold for receiving Housing and Council Tax Benefits actually puts my household within the ‘should receive’ group. I even revealed the household income in my response. Despite omitting the full income from my main piece, it actually changed nothing and is still a true reflection of how close my household is from being in real financial distress, especially if I lose the pittance I receive. In fact, it is the pittance I receive that allows my household to survive from day-to-day and we do not live in any extravagant way, I assure you.

I have spent the last few years doing a range of voluntary work when my condition allowed me and the opportunities arose so I have not exactly been idle. In fact, I and others like me should be shown up as examples of Cameron’s Big Society idea; instead, we are demonised by his administration so people will not object to the policies that are disproportionately harsh to the disabled and health-related benefit claimants. There are, however, many who are in an even worse position and I have never denied that either.

In all, my last column has shown just how desperate the right-wingers are getting when confronted by the inconvenient truth that the Coalition is harming this country and its citizens with its policies. Under Labour, who certainly made many mistakes, the economy was growing; under the Coalition’s ministrations, the economy has gone into a double-dip recession, an event that their austerity measures were meant to prevent. Under Labour, the budget deficit was enormous; under the Coalition, the levels of borrowing have increased making the deficit even larger. The austerity measures that the Coalition forced upon this country should have lasted their five-year term of office and should have sorted out the deficit within that time; Cameron has gone on record saying he now sees no end to the need for austerity measures.

Therefore, I say this to my right-wing critics: Do not blame me for pointing out the inconvenient truth that the Coalition has failed in its duty to protect the country and its citizens and is, in fact, adversely affecting both. Do not blame me for your party’s failure. Open up your eyes, the eyes you have kept tightly closed to the truth, see the truth for what it is. Try looking in the eyes of a disabled person or health-related benefit claimant and start talking about the benefit changes and see the fear. In addition, most importantly, do not call me ‘left-wing’ because it is untrue and we will be on the same side when Labour gets back into power and they start enacting policies that harm the country and its citizens because I will be on their backs straightaway, I assure you.

Until next time…

If you would like to comment on any of my columns, please send them to valen1971@hotmail.co.uk or you can check out my personal blogs at http://valen1971.webs.com/ or http://valen1971.blogspot.com. You can also find me on Twitter (@valen1971).

17 COMMENTS

  1. Thats a lot of words to defend yourself Myles when you shouldn’t have to.
    If we had more people like Peter Perrin and yourself running this country may be it wouldn’t be in the sad state that it is!

  2. jmw118 – Thank you for your comments although I doubt Mr Perrin would appreciate being mentioned in the same sentence as him or my being assumed worthy of power as he doesn’t really like the way I treat some of my readers.

    As for defending myself, the column was meant as a way of addressing my critics in such a way that they feel their criticisms have been acknowledged. It was also a way of killing time whilst I work out the kinks in my next blog about the care proceeding costs issue.

  3. Personally I enjoy reading the random blogs from both Myles and Peter.

    However I will have to disagree with Myles on one fact:

    “Under Labour, who certainly made many mistakes, the economy was growing; under the Coalition’s ministrations, the economy has gone into a double-dip recession, an event that their austerity measures were meant to prevent”

    Under Labour economic growth was artificial. Labour did not create a strong sustainable economy but simply created a period of artificial boom followed by horrendous bust. Had our economy grew naturally, without debt and cheap credit, than we would have been in a much better position to tackle the credit crunch which followed. It was also Labour who wrongly deregulated banks further yet it is that party who wax lyrical about corrupt bankers when only 5 years ago they were the bankers’ best friend.
    My economics is by no means perfect but I do wish people realised just how badly run the economy was under Blair and Brown.

    It’s also worth mentioning that it took several years for the UK economy to pick up again after the recession in the early 90s under the craftmanship of Ken Clarke so by the time Labour came to power in 1997 they inherited a growing, but sustainable, economy. In 2010 the Coalition inherited a economy which was contracting faster than they anyone thought.

    I’m undecided on the Coalitions economic strategy at the moment. On one hand the IMF and other financial institutions say they are doing the right thing, then months later they are doing the wrong thing. Unfortunately Mr Osbourne has a huge task on his hands and one that is not going to go away very quickly.

    I don’t think criticising the current administration makes you a left wing nutjob at all. I criticise them all the time if I feel they are doing something wrong. Criticism is necessary in politics to challenge things that may need to be done differently.

  4. Bernard87 – One thing we both agree on is Labour screwed up badly when they were in power. The de-regulation of the banks certainly opened up the possibility of casino banking that helped bring the global economy to its knees. You have a point about the growth towards the end of Labour’s time in office but, with a little creative thinking, the boom and bust scenario could have been averted.

    The thing is the Tories offered an end to the deficit problem within the 5 year term of this Coalition…

  5. (cont) …this was, at best, a serious error based on erroneous estimations or, at worst, an outright deception to gain power. Either way, the Tory-led Coalition’s policies regarding the cuts to benefits are causing more harm to the disabled citizens of the UK and those on health-related benefits.

    Thankfully, not everyone who reads my blogs calls me a left-winger and it’s nice to know that someone agrees that whoever’s in charge should be held to account.

    Thanks for the comments.

  6. It’s never going to be easy to make political points without provoking a response from people. Even harder considering the lying scheming governments of Blair and Brown and the Miliband deniers of the last 13 years. One thing Bernard forgot to mention was about mass immigration. The decision was taken by Blairs government in 2001 to expand immigration. The reasons were economic growth and supposedly the dreaded pensions timebomb. At the same time it was decided to expand the NHS and the education system so Labour embarked on a massive public expenditure programme under the guise of improving schools and hospitals. Not forgetting providing hudreds of thousands of jobs for the future hoards. That’s why we have teaching assistants instead of trained teachers because it would have taken too long to train them and been too costly. The same with lower trained nursing staff. That isn’t a slight on the people that do the job just an observation . Also in 2001 they decided with big business what the acceptable level to business the minimum wage was knowing full well it would never be a living wage. Hence the expansion of the welfare state through tax credits and other benefits to make sure immigrants and others were ready to accept crap wages and wouldn’t be an entire burden on the state. All this was paid for by borrowing hundreds of billions of pounds. I do feel sorry for people like Myles who are in true need of help and probably do get tarred with the same brush as the scroungers. The fact of the matter is the whole country got screwed by Labour because of their left wing ideal of a multicultural society which doesn’t exist in this country even though the Labour party have legislated to make it happen against the peoples will. It is the false presentation by the media and the fact that business has had it’s hands tied, particularly state run organisations, by labours multicultural legislation on employment, that gives a fals perception of multiculturalism in this country and does imense harm to the young unemployed and others desperately trying to find suitable work against a never ending tide of immigration.

  7. NoVoice – You’re absolutely right about the rising tide of immigrants and it being Labour’s fault to some degree. Unfortunately, our membership of the EU makes the open door policy on immigration part of the price we pay. I can’t really play this card too hard though as my wife (or whatever I have to call her now) is an American.

    As for lower qualified versions of staff, I can agree with that too although, again, I have the problem that my ‘wife’ is a teaching assistant. The horrible truth is though…

  8. (cont) …that some of the teachers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting can’t spell, use contractions properly, have a very restricted vocabulary and much less teaching talent than their assistants. Indeed, some teachers actually spend time logged into Facebook during lessons whilst on relatively huge salaries, compared with their assistants, to whom all the hard work of teaching the children is left. It’s been said that teachers are only in the career because of the holidays; for some, that’s the truth…

  9. (cont) …As for the whole being caught up in the “Oh, you’re just a scrounger” group, I realise that some people may look at the fact that I look ‘normal’ as I walk down the street and I realise that it’s only ignorance surrounding mental health that leads to that conclusion. However, when my condition and medication allows, I contribute what I can to society with voluntary work, as do others of my circle of associates. We do what we can because we’re not scroungers.

    Thanks for your comments.

  10. Myles the Labour party introduced the no restrictions on movement within the EU 7 years before they had to (it may be 5). The Ed Balls guide to economics which the Labour party was following assumes that all activity is good activity. Combined with their multiculturalist desires, we as a country were lumbered with mass immigration from countries whose economies were basket cases, usually had no free health or education provision and didn’t even know what a welfare state was. Labour put out the invite “welcome to the promised land” and we as a nation now have to pay for it. Forget the banks, they didn’t make the government fund their own expenditure from borrowing. We are spending more than we earn full stop. That isn’t the banks fault it is the failed policies of the Labour party’s fault. Your wife doesn’t come from a country that is broke so I’m assuming she came here for reasons other than the free health care, education and benefits which isn’t the case for miilions of others. Bernard was absolutely right about false growth but it wasn’t just the banks that behaved recklessly. Labour also behaved recklessly with this country’s future. Ask any young person trying to find a job or buy or rent a property. The biggest failure of the current government is not to stop immigration in it’s tracks. Instead they’re busy trying to dream up new planning laws to allow developers to concrete over the countryside to house all the new arrivals because its cheaper for them to develop the vast millions of extra houses required to house the extra millions arriving on our doorstep.

  11. Editor’s Note

    Could we just explain that news rolls over fast. Myles’ blog is now on blogs.

    We publish around 3000 stories a year as news is our core business.

    Might put it back on Politics as it does generate a debate.

  12. I’ve stopped going on about immigration as no government is going to seriously stem the flow of immigrants arriving here. No government is going to put a ban on all handouts given to recent immigrants including council housing. No government is going to send many of those who are here illegally back to their home countries and no government is going to stand up to the EU and stop all this free movement rubbish which is a socialist term for lets spread the wealth from west to east.

    However besides our ‘welcome in’ open borders, as a country we simply cannot afford to keep paying out every single benefit to everyone who applies. If someone has a benefit which stops them from working full or part time then they should be entitled to such benefit and as Myles says, they can contribute to society in other ways. I am in no doubt that welfare cuts have to be made. The current system appears to be a free-for-all with people wrongly claiming all kinds of allowances. Even if mistakes are made in the beginning it has to be a better system than what we have now.

    As for the talk about teachers….we can lay the blame at Labours door again for watering down university so much that you are able to still come out with a poor grade degree in a nonsense subject and go on to become a teacher hence the low grades we see time and time again.

    The coalition have one huge mountain to climb and most of Britains problems will take at least another decade to make right.

  13. NoVoice – I’ll bow to your assertion about Labour having an ‘open door’ immigration policy before it was required by the EU. Unfortunately, it did become part and parcel of EU membership and we are certainly paying the price for it now.

    As for the economic disaster, I think we both agree that Labour and the banks have played by casino rules for far too long.

  14. Mr Casey – Don’t worry, I neither took offence or even believed my place on the front page was anything more than temporary. Life in the news business is all go and nothing stays on the front page for long.

    BTW – the care proceeding costs piece was slowed up as I’ve been busy doing other things. It is, however, being finished over the weekend – life permitting, of course.

  15. Bernard87 – You’re certainly right about the lack of will over the issue of immigration.

    My ‘wife’ came over because we got married in 1998 and, at the time, my employment prospects were better here than her’s were in the US so we decided to live here. It is a mistake we both now regret. The other reason for her coming here was because she loved me, the poor deluded woman. 🙂

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