Sunday, 19 August 2018

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Liberty & Nation Says Scrap The Cap!

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Liberty & Nation Says Scrap The Cap!

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THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY has long campaigned against the Tory 1% pay cap imposed on Britain’s public sector workers. Indeed, over the past year we’ve produced several special e-posters to highlight the plight of nurses, paramedics and other NHS workers.


In March of this year, health workers got the news that they would get a 6.5% pay rise over three years. This would work out at 3% in 2018-19 and then 1.7 percent in both of the following years. They would also get a 1.1% lump sum in the second year. Those at the very bottom of the NHS pay scale would get a higher increase.

This news was applauded by many, but we need to look beyond the headlines to get the full picture. With this in mind, we quote from the Scrap The Cap Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/ScrapTheCapNHS/posts/1926224284263746 – which has long argued that the pay cap has effectively served as a pay cut for workers in the National Health Service:

‘In an age of pay restraint which has lasted longer than World War II, the real value of our salaries has fallen by over 14% since 2010. It is little wonder that there are more than 78,000 vacancies in NHS England alone.

This is unsustainable.

It is clear that the government is not listening. Despite the attempts of trade union negotiators, the Department of Health has stuck to its guns in refusing to scrap the 1% pay cap.

We call on all our health unions to ballot their members over this derisory 1% pay offer. While taking industrial action is a last resort, given the lack of movement from the government, we feel that we have reached that point.

Some of us are turning to food banks and pay day loans just to make ends meet. As the service staggers from one crisis to the next, staff shortages are plugged by underpaid workers picking up extra shifts.

We cannot go on like this.

If we want to stand up for the service, we must also stand up for ourselves.’

Although this was obviously written before the pay increase announcement in March, we feel that the above text provides valuable context and explains why NHS staff were so opposed to this particular Tory policy.

Many Health Care workers are in two minds about the Tory offer.

On the one hand there’s enormous relief that the government has seen sense. It has seemingly acknowledged the worth and value of NHS workers and has seen fit (in financial terms) to recognise this. Indeed, some unions like Unison have recommended that staff accept the offer – http://www.unison-scotland.org/2018/06/25/unison-scotland-recommends-yes-vote-in-nhs-pay-offer/ – and will announce the result of the vote sometime after the middle of next month.

On the other hand, some folks smell a rat. Unsurprisingly they wouldn’t trust Theresa May (or any other Tory for that matter!) as far as they could throw her. They’re wondering if this pay award will come with strings attached, such as extra work or a change in working conditions. Indeed, will the government give with one hand and take away with the other?

For the moment the jury is out. However, one thing is clear to Liberty & Nation – the voice of the National Liberal Party – and that’s the National Health Service is not safe in the hands of the Tories. The vast majority of Britons deeply appreciate the NHS. They still want it to be ‘free at the point of delivery.’

However, others don’t share this view and regard the NHS as a potential future cash cow – especially if many services are Privatised. These people have no love or loyalty for either their people or nation. They only love themselves and their only loyalty is to money.

It is against this background that the National Health Service recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. If the NHS is to survive another 70 years everyone both the general public and NHS workers will have to remain vigilant.

• Also check out:

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Scrap The Cap! http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-national-liberal-trade-unionists-%e2%80%93-scrap-the-cap

Caledonian Voice Says Scrap The Pay Cap For Scottish Public Sector Workers! http://nationalliberal.org/caledonian-voice-says-scrap-the-pay-cap-for-scottish-public-sector-workers

English Voice Says Scrap The Pay Cap For English Public Sector Workers! http://nationalliberal.org/english-voice-says-scrap-the-pay-cap-for-english-public-sector-workers

Ulster Voice Says Scrap The Pay Cap For Ulster’s Public Sector Workers! http://nationalliberal.org/ulster-voice-says-scrap-the-pay-cap-for-ulster%e2%80%99s-public-sector-workers

Welsh Voice Says Scrap The Pay Cap For Welsh Public Sector Workers! http://nationalliberal.org/welsh-voice-says-scrap-the-pay-cap-for-welsh-public-sector-workers

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SIKHS TO OBTAIN RECOGNITION?
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After Sikh lobbying and other group’s campaigns, including the National Liberal Party (see ‘The British Census and Identity’ http://nationalliberal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/The-British-Census-and-Ethnic-Communities.pdf), it looks like the 2021 census will list Sikhism as a distinct ethnicity rather than only as a religion.
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In the last census in 2011, more than 83,000 Sikhs refused to tick any of the choices in the question on ethnicity, rejecting options such as Indian in order to write “Sikh” in the space for “any other ethnic group”.
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Prior to the last census English wasn’t recognised as a separate group but was so in 2011. Other groups have been recognised over previous censuses.
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National Council member Jagdeesh Singh says “The outright opposition to a straight-forward and positive Sikh recognition as an ethnic entity and the pressure for Sikhs to call themselves ‘Indian’ instead, reveals a great deal of underlying pro-Indian mindset and, furthermore, the irritation felt towards a rising, aspiring, self-determining and self-identifying Sikh population.”
He added ”The Sikh ethnic question is more than just about Sikhs. It is about out recognition for Dalits, Tamils, Kurds, Polish, English, Scottish, Welsh, Gujarati, Bengal and more; as expressed in the debate today. It is about positive equalisation and inclusion.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will make the final decision but they are under a lot of pressure to make the change and we sincerely hope that it does. Indeed, although we desire integration and all those that make the UK their permanent home to see themselves as loyal citizens, we recognise that private identity and difference to be important.

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UK GOVT STALLS ON ANTI-CASTE LEGISLATION

The Government has decided not to enact the Caste legislation which was designed to make it illegal to discriminate on grounds of caste. The latter, unknown in British history, has become an issue as some Indian diaspora have allegedly brought their views on the supremacy of higher castes (a form of class stratification) to the UK. The NLP has campaigned for the recognition of caste discrimination for a number of years. One of the most active members of the Party National Council, Jagdeesh Singh, on this issue gives his reaction and his disappointment with some of the South Asian establishment

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The UK government’s EQUALITIES OFFICE has announced that it will not be progressing the intended and proposed anti-caste legislation to give legal recourse and remedy to victims of caste based discrimination. Its Equalities Office has announced that anti-caste legislation would be ‘divisive’, complicated and there would a ‘low volume of genuine cases…’.
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This is a scandalous rejection of the critical need for legal protection against the medieval to modern evil caste practises which are rampant and mainstream across South Asia and are visibly and palpably evident in the UK’s South Asian population too, including Sikhs! The Hindu ferocious caste system has spread it’s evil tentacles into all communities which inhabit South Asia. No-one has been left unaffected by this life destroying system, which has inflicted substantially more evil and oppression spanning over many centuries than the several decades of apartheid in South Africa.
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The pretence by some Hindu and Sikh ‘leaders’ and voices that caste does not exist or is no longer relevant, is a gruesome denial and lie! This combined and dual resistance to anti-caste legislations is extremely tragic and reveals a great deal about the inner mindset of these select Hindu and Sikh organisational voices. Denial is an easy, instinctive, insular response. Embracing real life issues, just like other rampant issues affecting these communities, would be very courageous and principled. The lack of principled leadership in both these communities is an open reality. The caste issue has brought out panic opposition from organisations and supposed ‘leaderhip’ voices from both. In contrast, ordinary, grassroot, day to day Hindus and Sikhs openly accept and recognise the reality of caste in their lives. Whereas Sikh ethics and origins firmly and robustly challenge the entire embedded caste machinery which has inflicted misery, murder and mayhem on South Asia for centuries; the current stance of Sikh organisations and supposed ‘leaders’ has been shocking and scandalous. They have taken a totally unprincipled and suspicious position of opposition. This reveals a great deal about the dubious quality of these ‘leaders’ and organisations. None of these organisations have entered into a open, discussion, debate and conversation with the community about caste. Instead, they have formed bland statements by themselves to oppose anti-caste legislation. This siding and perpetuating a medieval Hindu evil, reveals a lack of credibility on these unprincipled Sikh sources. It contradicts with their frequent rhetroric about Hindu supremists and xenophobia epitomised by the infamous BJP and RSS. Where do the real intentions of these Sikh ‘leaders’ and organisations actually lie? This exposes a contradiction to their routine rhetroric about human rights, freedom, self-determination, which have increasingly become bland platitudes and sloganeering without any substance. Organisations like the Sikh Council and Sikh Federation are invited to step forward and engage in an open, public conversation on the caste issue!
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Jagdeesh Singh
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Distributism As A Means of Achieving Third Way Economics (Part 1)

THE raison d’être of National Liberalism is self-determination. The National Liberal Party – NLP – is the political expression of National Liberalism in Britain. And even the briefest examination of the NLPs web-site – http://nationalliberal.org/ - and two Facebook sites – https://www.facebook.com/groups/5273904313/ and https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/ – will reveal its commitment to the principle of self-determination. For the NLP notes that self-determination ‘can be applied largely in three areas; National, Political and Economic.

National Self-Determination seeks to ensure decisions affecting the collective future of a nation are taken by ALL the people via referendum. This may be ‘External’, for example: the creation or maintenance of a nationstate, or ‘Internal’ – framing/updating a constitution to reflect how a people should rule themselves. (We favour independent nations and liberal, democratic, states).

Political Self-Determination seeks to ensure that the collective will of the people as well as the variety of political opinion is reflected in decision making. Thus, for example, we favour greater use of referendums to meet the former, and PR to reflect the latter (we favour a system close to the Swiss model of Direct Democracy). Economic Self-Determination seeks to distribute ownership as widely as possible and as close to the individual as practical by favouring home ownership, self-employment, small

businesses, cooperatives and employee shareholdings. (We believe that ownership is the key to economic and social health: where workers obtain a just reward for their labours and gain a feeling of well-being through their having a genuine personal stake in society).


The above principles underpin many National Liberal policies but others are rooted in common sense and usually aim to strike a balance between conflicting opinions, as befits a centrist party.’

With this in mind, we’re reproducing an article entitled Distributism As A Means of Achieving Third Way Economics written by Richard Howard in 2005. It originally appeared on the web-site – http://www.hsnsw.asn.au/index.php – of the Humanist Society of New South Wales.


As usual, we invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ It goes without saying that there are no official links between Richard Howard, the Humanist Society of New South Wales and the National Liberal Party. You can read the original article here http://hsnsw.asn.au/Distributism.html Readers will note that this article uses the phrase ‘Third Way.’ Here it is used in a context that distinguishes it from capitalism and socialism – indeed, it refers to an economic position that goes way beyond both capitalism and socialism.

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Distributism As A Means of Achieving Third Way Economics (Part 1)

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s the other way around.”

Introduction

At the beginning of the 21st Century of the Common Era, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and with it the political credibility of state socialism, we are daily confronted by those who claim that these events are a vindication of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism.

Whilst undoubtedly a new golden age for corporations whose transnational commercial opportunities and economic might are increasingly beyond the regulatory power of even medium sized national governments, we find the dawn of the age of globalism accompanied by the concentration of more and more wealth in the hands of a few whilst the wages and living standards of the many are moving rapidly backwards.

In these circumstances, it is perhaps opportune to look again at alternatives and consider whether the failure of communism has vindicated laissez-faire capitalism or whether, perhaps, a genuine Third Way is possible.

In recent years, many have sought to lay claim to the concept of a Third Way, but for most, like British PM Tony Blair, use of the term is simply self-serving rhetoric and spin for business-as-usual.

There is however one claimant to the mantle of a Third Way that does not simply collapse on closer examination into welfarist capitalism or state socialism in drag, and that is the political movement known as distributism.

Origins

Distributism’s philosophical origins can be traced to the same nineteenth century roots as socialism, as a reaction against the perceived inequalities and misery of late Victorian high capitalism in England.

The inspiration for the Distributist Movement was the 1891 Papal social encyclical, De Rerum Novarum – On the Condition of Labour – calling for a new compassionate interpretation of capitalism, although a majority of distributism’s later supporters were not Catholics and many were in fact former radical socialists who had become disillusioned with socialism.

Local attempts to form grower co-operatives to redress the impoverishment of agricultural producers who were paid little for their crops by middlemen who then on-sold them to consumers at a great profit had achieved considerable success in rural Ireland in the mid-19th century. Equally, the credit union and building society movements, that sought to lend money on a not-for-profit or minimal cost basis for housing and small business development enjoyed great success, particularly in Scandinavia. In England, the success of the Rochdale co-operative retail outlet proved that not-for-profit retailers could operate successfully, and continues to form the basis of all retail co-ops to the present day.

It was however left to Hillaire Belloc and GK Chesterton at the turn of the century to draw together the disparate experiences of the various co-operatives and friendly societies in Northern England, Ireland and Northern Europe into a coherent political ideology which specifically advocated widespread private ownership of housing and control of industry through owner-operated small businesses and worker-controlled co-operatives.

This became the basis of a concrete set of political goals which formed the objectives of the distributist movement and which, ironically, achieved their greatest successes outside England in Italy, Canada, Northern Europe and most spectacularly in Spain.

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Ulster Voice Debate (1) – Do Secularists Have A Point Concerning Islam?

WELCOME to the first debate hosted by Ulster Voice – the voice of the National Liberal Party I Ulster.

Our attention was recently drawn to an article – https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2016/08/conflating-abuse-with-criticism-of-islam-risks-a-return-to-a-uk-blasphemy-law – which appeared some time ago on the web-site of the National Secular Society – NSS. It’s a group which ‘works for the separation of religion and state and equal respect for everyone’s human rights so that no one is either advantaged or disadvantaged on account of their beliefs’.

The NSS article looks at how anti-Muslim bigotry and criticism of Islam are often conflated. This is extremely dangerous and poses a great threat to free speech. It also notes that the word ‘Islamophobia’ is meaningless and sinister. Ulsterfolk may recall that after delivering an ‘Islamophobic’ sermon in 2014, Pastor James McConnell was arrested under ‘hate-crime’ legislation. Here, the NSS – to the surprise of many – supported McConnell’s ‘fundamental right to free expression’.

We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ It goes without sayin that there are no official links between Benjamin Jones, the National Secular Society, Ulster Voice and the National Liberal Party.

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Conflating Abuse With Criticism Of Islam Risks A Return To A UK Blasphemy Law

Anti-Muslim bigotry and legitimate criticism of Islam or Islamic states are often conflated. Indeed, those who are opposed to ‘Islamophobia’ have failed to provide an accurate definition of the term. This is extremely dangerous and poses a great threat to free speech.

The BBC and Demos have published an accidental case study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word ‘Islamophobia’.

The BBC has made much of a report from Demos warning that thousands of ‘Islamophobic’ tweets are sent in English every day. But the researchers, like everybody else who uses the term, have totally failed to define what ‘Islamophobia’ actually means.

The research by Demos into ‘Islamophobia’ was reported by the BBC under the headline “Islamophobic tweets ‘peaked in July’”. From reading the BBC report you might imagine that 7,000 bigoted and anti-Muslim tweets were sent every day in July.

In fact, Demos have inadvertently set out what has been warned of for many years; that ‘Islamophobia’ is a nonsense word with sinister implications.

On reading the report it is clear that the Demos research isn’t just focused on anti-Muslim tweets, or bigotry against Muslims, but, as they define it in their research paper, “anti-Islamic ideas”.

In their report Demos selects some tweets it included in the study, which they presumably think are good examples of their methodology in action. A tweet stating “Morocco deletes a whole section of the Koran from school curriculum as it’s full of jihad incitement and violence The Religion of peace” is treated the same way as a tweet saying “I fucking hate pakis” in their methodology.

One of these tweets criticises an idea. The other is racist. One describes and mocks a belief system, the other (verbally) attacks people. Demos’ methodology treats both of these tweets in the same way.

I have read (an English translation of) the Koran. Saying it contains violence (it does) is in no way comparable to using racist language.

This is an appalling conflation, which creates a false moral equivalence between racism and criticising a set of ideas.

Another tweet Demos offer as an example reads: “Priest killed in #Normandy today by a Radical Islamic Terrorist yet Hillary says that Islam is peaceful! 1274 attacks this year=peaceful? Ok.”

Is asserting that Islam doesn’t seem to be conducive to peace really ‘Islamophobic’?

The BBC apes Demos’ dangerous line, referring not to anti-Muslim, but explicitly to “anti-Islamic” tweets as ‘Islamophobic’.

The Demos research says that anti-Islamic ideas are “possibly socially problematic and damaging.”

Wanting to jail homosexuals might also be “socially problematic”, but pointing out that half of British Muslims do want to crimilalise homosexuality (1) and most think it is immoral (2) would have me labelled an ‘Islamophobe’ under Demos’ methodology.

And just what are “anti-Islamic ideas”? For many orthodox Muslims and the overwhelming majority of Muslim states, anti-Islamic ideas include apostasy, equality for women and the right to be gay.

Demos is being foolish in including such a vague concept in their methodology. Under their methodology a Pakistani ex-Muslim living in fear for their life who tweeted in English (for instance) “Islam is oppressive” would be labelled an ‘Islamophobe’.

And how subjective is Demos’ research?

In the methodology section of their paper Demos say “An Islamophobic expression was defined as the illegitimate and prejudicial dislike of Muslims because of their faith.” I would prefer that was labelled ‘anti-Muslim bigotry’, but this alone would be among the least bad definitions of ‘Islamophobia’ you could devise. But Demos go on: “Islamophobia can take on a very large number of different forms, and its identification, especially within Twitter research, was often challenging.”

Here we get to the nub of the Islamophobia con. It is “challenging” to identify and takes a “very large number of different forms” because ‘Islamophobia’ is a nonsense term which accumulates bigotry and threats of violence, with criticism of a religion and a set of ideas; ideas which have no rights whatsoever and which must never be protected in law and ought not to be protected by social convention.

Anti-Muslim bigotry and criticism of Islam are separate phenomenon, they may overlap, there are some who engage in both, but it is methodologically meaningless to consider both of these things in one term. That is why Demos’ researchers found ‘Islamophobia’ “challenging” to define.

What they have produced is therefore subjective, as Demos admit: “Ultimately, this research comes down to the judgement of the researchers involved.”

Demos argue that Islamic terror attacks drive ‘Islamophobic’ tweets. Perhaps challenging Islamism would therefore be a good place to start if you want to cut anti-Muslim bigotry off at the source?

The implications of this term’s use are very unsettling. The moral equivalence that is being drawn, increasingly, between abuse against Muslims, and the robust criticism of an idea (Islam), poses an immense threat to freedom of speech.

Muslims and Islam are not the same thing. Hating all Muslims is bigotry; criticising Islam is not. You can say whatever you like, however sharp, rude or inaccurate about an idea. There is no such thing as libel against an idea.

The National Secular Society was instrumental in abolishing the vestigial blasphemy law in this country, but now I fear that our culture is returning to the legal protection of ideas, and Islam specifically. Ideas have no rights, nor any entitlement to be treated with respect. Yet influenced by American campuses and elite sensitivity to something called ‘Islamophobia’, that is the way our wider culture moves.

(1) https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/11/british-muslims-strong-sense- of-belonging-poll-homosexuality-sharia-law


(2) https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/may/07/muslims-britain-france-germany-homosexuality

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Trump Isn’t Another Hitler. He’s Another Obama. (Part 2)

TOWARDS the middle of June we published part 1 of an article by Caitlin Johnstone which was originally published by the US on-line publicatione Medium. You can read the original – and full article here: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/trump-isnt-another-hitler-he-s-another-Obama-51ea7db498b4

This is the second part. Here, Johnstone continues with her general theme, which is that President Trump is not really much different from President Obama. The National Liberal Party would go one further and say that probably since President Bush, all have been working at the behest of the US Military-Industial complex. They’re all effectively working for the Yankee Dollar.

All US presidents talk about ‘freedom’ and the ‘American way’. How much of this they really believe is open to debate. But one thing is very clear – the only real difference in US policy is down to personality. We believe that if Hillary ‘the War Hag’ Clinton had been elected, she would have followed much the same path as Trump – especially when it came to foreign affairs. Anything else would have just been political theatre. At the end of the day, big business and high finance will dictate what the US does. Money is God to many politicians, so they simply dance to the tune of capitalism.

This article should be read directly on from part 1, which you can find here:http://nationalliberal.org/trump-isn’t-another-hitler-he’s-another-obama-part-1 We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on our Facebook sites here https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/ and here https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/ It goes without sayin that there are no official links between Caitlin Johnstone, Medium and the National Liberal Party.

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Trump Isn’t Another Hitler. He’s Another Obama. (Part 2)

Both President Donald Trump and wannabe President Hillary Clinton are working for the Yankee Dollar. The only difference between them is purely cosmetic – it’s simply political theatre. At the end of the day, big business and high finance will dictate what the US does. Money is God to many politicians, so they simply dance to the tune of capitalism.

In the lead-up to the November elections those of us on the left who backed third parties were promised over and over and over by Democratic party loyalists that if Hillary Clinton failed to secure the election they’d be goose-stepping stormtroopers patrolling the streets and murdering non-whites with impunity, concentration camps for Muslims and white supremacist extermination programmes. Comparisons to Hitler went on nonstop, and anyone who failed to fall in line with the mainstream liberal narrative can attest that they were accused of aiding actual, literal Nazism on a regular basis.

A year into Trump’s presidency, and not only did the apocalyptic predictions of national genocide fail to come true, he’s not even deporting as many immigrants as Obama (1). He is, however, out-bombing him (2).

We were promised another Hitler. Instead, we got another Obama, who was himself another Bush.  The march into corporatist Orwellian police state at home and globalist oligarchic hegemony abroad continues unhindered for the United States of America.

And of course that march would have continued had Hillary won as well, it just would have looked a bit different. Fewer environmental deregulations, likely catastrophiv escalations against the Syrian government and possibly Russia, the exact same approaches to Iran, just as much hawkishness toward North Korea but minus the tweets about button sizes, no attempts at dismantling Obama’s corporatist healthcare plan. Not much more than that.

Nobody wants to hear this. The Democrats still want to believe that the sitting president is simultaneously a Nazi, a Kremlin secret agent, an idiot, and a lunatic, and Trump supporters want to believe that he’s a populist savior fighting to liberate the nation from the claws of the deep state. Because of their partisan blinders they will both find reasons to believe they’ve got either a savior or a traitor in the White House despite the fact that their country’s actual policy and behaviour remains more or less the same.

I still sometimes get Democrats telling me (3) that Trump is about to flip into Hitler 2.0 any minute now and start throwing non-whites into extermination camps. Whenever I point that they were wrong about their “your choices are Hillary or Hilter” alarmism I get a bunch of them telling me “give him time”. Well he’s had time. They were wrong. They didn’t get a Nazi, they got another shitty neocon. And since the Dems have been paced into alignment with the neocons ther’s no one left to oppose their agendas, which is why we’re seeing so little pushback on Trump’s Iran saber rattling.

I get Trump supporters telling me that he’s fighting the deep state, but the only way you believe that at this point is to redefine what “deep state” to mean to mean “Democrats and their supporters”, which would actually just be more partisan bickering, which is all we’re actually seeing at this point. The only people you see pushing the collusion narrative and working for impeachment at this point are Democrats and Never-Trumpers; now that Trump has proven himself a good, compliant little boy the intelligence community has been putting its energy into the anti-détente propaganda effort to manufacture support for its new cold war escalations instead.

(1) https://www.economist.com/united-states/2017/12/14/donald-trump-is-deporting-fewer-people-than-barack-obama-did

(2) https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/8xvn8v/more-bombs-more-boots-more-casualties

(3) https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-latter-ebafaadc293c

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