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What’s going wrong with Britain?

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  • #16
    Food Bank Use

    Recent British Parliament reforms to Social Security benefit is causing many thousands of people hardship and they are being forced to rely on charitable food banks to feed their families. The video covers this as gives the non Brit a chance to see Britain's dysfunctional House of commons at work:-

    Government scraps official food bank figures - video - Channel 4 News

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    • #17
      Just return the Malvinas to us and everything will be fine

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      • #18
        Sorry guy's if I keep going on about this. I know that the Ukrainian citizen's readership of this website is small, but I feel obliged to counter the cosy imagery as produced by BBC TV and the British Council about Britain.

        "Social apartheid" warning as 1.5 MILLION more kids grow up in poverty than 40 years ago - Mirror Online

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        • #19
          Am I perverse?

          The URL links to a Scottish newspaper and relates to the number of British politicians who are eager to be seen opening the burgeoning number of charitable food banks. The demand for these food banks is increasing as Britain's government makes it a longer process to start claiming social security benefits, coupled with the fact that many of these benefits are being reduced in real terms.

          I suppose they seize this photo opportunity in an attempt to gain popularity (some kind of street cred)!
          I must have a perverse mentality because I agree with the sentiments of the article. Using my logic a serving politician should distance himself from these places wherever possible. The existence of food banks is testimony to the complete failure of today's politicians and their government to manage their nation's economy :-

          Wings Over Scotland | The pride of Britain

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          • #20
            Truth or propaganda?

            Britain has traditionally provided a support system for chronically ill and permanently disabled people within the UK. However it is now the aim of the current Conservative / Liberal democratic Party coalition government's policy to investigate those welfare recipients to see if they are as unfit for work as previous doctor's examinations have declared. I am hearing alarming reports that disabled people are being declared fit for work, when the evidence is that such a person has an obvious inability to be able to get work in 99.9% of the few jobs available to them.

            Please see this disabled persons lobby group video to decide if you think the British government's programme is wrong, or is this video clever propaganda?

            https://vimeo.com/75673397

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            • #21
              People are stealing for food

              As the British Conservative / Liberal Democrat Party coalition (ConDem) government enact greater austerity measures against its citizens, particularly by reducing social welfare payments, stealing from supermarkets is being reported as on the increase.

              In Ukraine security is always visible in supermarkets. Often dressed in uniforms walking through the aisles, or otherwise in plain clothes, but clearly holding a radio transceiver to indicate their purpose in the store. This method is clearly a warning and preventative measure that is designed to try and deter thefts arising.

              However, the British method is different, the use of ceiling mounted high definition closed circuit video cameras, and the use of security staff acting as other shoppers with hidden intercoms seems the preferred way to allow thieves to complete their thefts. They can be then be apprehend with the unpaid goods leaving the store to provide sufficient evidence for prosecution.

              Shop thefts rise as economic downturn bites | Business | theguardian.com

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              • #22
                I find the security in Ukrainian supermarkets a bit intimidating. It's distinctly different from what I'm used to seeing, mainly because the security teams in Ukraine act as if they're protecting the Mona Lisa. The guys with the radios run around, not literally, from isle to isle. Not knowing any stats on this, I would assume it works better that way though. Dealing with police and arrests and reports is a lot of hassle. Frankly I'd rather be watched by some guy than a camera, even though both are used.



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                • #23
                  Britain moves closer to the "western Christmas" where many parents worry about how they're going to fund yet another Christmas when they've barely finished paying for the last one. The need for extra food and the burden of buying presents for family and perhaps friends.
                  I saw a UK TV news channel that reported on families receiving Social Security benefits who didn't have the money to buy the expensive gifts that their children were demanding for Christmas. The parents seemed to have some perverted ideology that "it's not the children's fault that we don't have money" and " what will the children say when asked by school friends about their presents received". Their response is to go to pay day loan sharks who will give high interest rate loans against a direct claim from their future welfare payments. This will undoubtedly cause greater stress and misery to the family in the following weeks.
                  I was born into a genuinely poorer post war Britain where the rule was simple "you can only spend what you have in your in your pocket". My parents must have budgeted well because we had the Christmas tree and decorations (perhaps not a Turkey meal) and we received Christmas presents. Modest by modern comparison, but then we weren't brainwashed with TV advertising, so we subsequently didn't have today's "I want" culture.

                  One of the biggest reasons for increasing poverty in Britain is the cost of living against incomes that have either not risen at the same rate, or indeed have often been reduced. The outstanding factor here is accommodation costs. Residential property prices have been rising steadily except in those regions of high unemployment, from where people are taking flight for the more prosperous regions of Britain where they hope to find work. Subsequently in the London area former non luxury social housing flats (apartments) can demand no less than £500 GBP weekly ($816 USD). So as a result even lower wage workers have to go cap in hand to the UK's Social Security for a rent allowance to avoid being evicted. It's an absolutely crazy situation that appals me.

                  Why should it be like this? I can only assume that in a Britain where even low wages are much higher than Indian or Chinese labour, coupled with the fact that European Union regulation makes running small businesses uncompetitive, the sure way to make cash in the UK is property. The short supply of affordable housing has become a licence for landlords to screw their tenants for every penny.

                  Rents rise twice as much as earnings | Money | theguardian.com

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                  • #24
                    I likewise get annoyed with the association of Christmas and gifts. That why I love Ukrainian traditions of expecting St. Nick (Svyatuj Mukolaj) on December 19th. Celebrating Christmas in January. It's a great thing.

                    Our family isn't really into the gift giving. We're all grown and if we get ourselves something it's not going to be something useless nor do we have a deadline. People now ask what I got for Christmas and I feel like it's just something people get used to saying. Because after you talk to them, most either likewise got nothing or some $25 gift.

                    But what you mention is really important, the children. That is a big problem. Everyone goes to school and everyone will be bragging about what they got for Christmas. Parents, unfortunatly, need to compete.



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                    • #25
                      A true Peoples Parliament!

                      So many people are sick to their back teeth with the current political scene. Political parties nominate future parliamentary candidates for election before the voters are even considered. Too many are long term cosy and self serving MP's, most of whom have never had a proper job in their lives. They must adhere to their party line or risk being thrown out, and the party policy is largely shaped by the political party's sponsorship. Subsequently that familiar phrase "it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always get in" has significance.

                      I would like to see a "None of these" box created in the election ballot paper. If this non vote equaled 50% or more the election should be declared void and parliament closed by HM the Queen.
                      A sufficient period of time should then be allowed to enable trustworthy individuals of good repute, who have been gainfully employed and paid UK taxes for at least 10 years, to present themselves at available venues to engender support.

                      Britain has developed a talent show contest culture and mobile telephones could provide a method of voting. Previous serving politicians would be eliminated from this contest. There would need to be elimination rounds to determine a short list actually going forward for voting ballot nomination.

                      The House of Lords would be abolished and replaced by a committee of experts. Some lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, agriculturist, teachers, airline pilots, experienced truck drivers etc etc, in consultation with relevant civil servants could scrutinize and advise modification of any new bills being proposed by the new parliament.

                      But to see meaningful change it would be necessary to disentangle the UK from this superfluous and expensive layer of interfering bureaucratic political old boys club the European Union, then the UK really could give itself a breathe of new life. It would face the wrath of the established multi-national business and financial oligarchy vested interests, but with unimpeded control and power over its own economy I'm convinced it could win through to give its citizens a brighter future.

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                      • #26
                        Britain's rich are wealthier than ever

                        'Wealth expert Philip Beresford, who compiled the list, said he had never before seen such a "phenomenal" rise in personal fortune'.
                        BBC News - Sunday Times Rich List 'wealthier than ever'

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                        • #27
                          Why people will be voting for Ukip this Thursday
                          207 comments 20 May 2014 16:20 Ed West
                          Despite levels of media scrutiny and hostility unseen in recent political history, this Thursday up to 30 per cent of British voters will opt for Ukip.

                          The odd thing is that the more outrageous the slurs made against them, and the wackier the members unveiled in the press, the more their popularity surges, perhaps out of bloody-mindedness; if a Ukip candidate was caught committing autoerotic asphyxiation dressed in a Gestapo uniform tomorrow the party would probably be on 50 per cent by the end of the week.

                          One of the reasons is that Ukip is a product of lowered trust; the party’s supporters have noticeably less trust in politicians than voters in general, and I would hazard a guess that they have far less trust in the media. And because of the internet, the traditional press is less powerful and so the days when ‘it was the Sun wot won it’ are long gone.

                          Part of this breakdown in trust is due to Ukip supporters feeling that the powers-that-be have different values to them. Elite liberal values are assumed in the broadsheet media, in politics and in polite society generally, yet many people feel uncomfortable with them. And it is not that these values are wrong necessarily but that they have gone through a political form of Fisherian runaway, and become absolutist and highly intolerant of others; I don’t necessarily want conservative social values to triumph, but I do want them to be a counterweight to liberal ones, and the Tory policy of pre-emptive surrender isn’t entirely effective.

                          Combined with these social issues are the economic pressures being placed on the middle and lower middle class. Thanks to globalisation and technology, across the first world middle-level jobs are being stripped away; inequality is growing in the west, and when that happens mainstream politics makes way for more radical alternatives.

                          Mass immigration is one facet of globalisation, in essence similar to outsourcing (although trades unions are less critical of it). It makes things more competitive, and therefore more of a struggle for the less wealthy, talented or connected.

                          Critics of Ukip have described it as a Poujadist party, and that is a reasonable comparison although one they might not welcome. Pierre Poujad represented a middle class struggling in the face of competition from big business and ignored by Paris-centred politicians, and he stood for the same socially conservative values as Nigel Farage’s party does. Most importantly though Ukip does not have Poujadism’s anti-Semitism, but then that is not so much in the English tradition, or at least the classical liberal tradition from which Ukip emerged.

                          But Ukip is not a racist party, as most people would understand racism, although that comes down to definition. One of my criticisms of the Labour years is that the mainstream came to adopt a utopian idea of race relations, one in which all racial prejudice could be eliminated through education; they ignored the fact that what the utopian Left calls racism, that is the desire to live around people like ourselves, is part of human nature.

                          You can certainly reduce ethnic conflict and make overt racism socially unacceptable; but basing a system on the idea that human nature can be perfected does not have a great track record in history, to put it mildly. And so it has proved here. Britain’s political and media establishments have, in their pursuit of the ideal, ostracised those who are worried about immigration and multiculturalism, who are merely sneered at, at best. But such people, though angry, are more tolerant and open-minded than is imagined, and Ukip is successful because its view of the subject is close to the median – you might describe it as one of mixed feelings, neither racial hostility nor unbridled enthusiasm for diversity.

                          It’s perfectly natural that when people see an overwhelming change in their society, one dictated from above and over which they had no control, they are going to lose faith in and connection with mainstream politics.

                          Some find Ukip alarming, or even to blame for provoking violence (without any of that boring ‘evidence’ that pedants insist on). The paradox is that people who believe in the wonders of a multicultural society are also more likely to see it as fragile, diversity being such a strength that it can all be brought down by a man called Nigel. For once I don’t share their pessimism, and would simply argue that the party is a response and corrective to a political system that is experiencing runaway liberalism. Voting Ukip is an entirely rational and sensible thing to do. Why people will be voting for Ukip this Thursday Spectator Blogs

                          æ, !

                          Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

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                          • #28
                            Britain's economy improving....really?

                            The Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron's are vomiting statistics designed to make UK citizens have a "feel good" factor. However, I don't think it's working because a recently formed group called "People's Assembly" are canvassing to get people to go to London this coming Saturday to mass protest against EU style austerity measures that have curbed, welfare benefits, social & municipal services, along with stagnation of wages. During this period the rich continue to get richer, with this situation being better reflected in London and the south east of England only.

                            The Guardian newspaper article and supporting video clip illustrate the situation accurately:-
                            Insecure Britain: poll shines light on nation's economic anxiety | Society | The Guardian

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                            • #29
                              The 50,000 people protest that didn't happen!

                              Yesterday in London an anti-austerity march organised by trade unions, human rights, anti-corporate tax dodging activists and others united to march together. Assembling outside the BBC HQ (because they now have a history of not reporting such events) they marched to Parliament Square where a number of popular anti-UK government policy speakers addressed the assembly.

                              The event was not screened on BBC (I checked) and so far no comment on its website. I've also read that it was not screened on ITV (UK's independent commercial terrestrial & cable channels). Also it was not shown by the SKY satellite broadcaster. Most of UK's media is now in the hands of the large multi-national corporate media organisations as is the USA media scene. However, RT (Russia's service in English) gave the London protest comprehensive airtime, as did Al Jazeera.

                              It is not surprising then that the UK is lagging well behind many European states in a recent Press Freedom analysis where mostly Scandinavian countries do best (Finland is best). However the USA is much further down the list being half way between the best and the worst such as Russia and China.

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                              • #30
                                Britain refuses visas to Ukraine academics

                                An international congress of pancreatologists was to take place in Southampton (UK), June 24-28, under the chairmanship of Professor Natalia Gubergrits, a Ukrainian doctor and a recognized medical authority. The congress, naturally, took place. However the chairman needed to be replaced at the last minute.:-
                                Why Britain denies visas to Ukrainian scientists | EUROMAIDAN PRESS | News and Opinion from Across Ukraine

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