UNESCO international Day of solidarity with the Palestinian people

UNESCO, the ‘United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’ has observed November 29th as the International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people since 1978. There’s a good reason for that. This is the date when, in 1947 the partition plan (Resolution 181) was passed. The plan was to partition Palestine and in so doing create both a Jewish and a Palestinian state.

By 1979 it had become clear that Palestinian people have not been able to secure basic rights as a nation state ever since. Ongoing occupation and annexing of land by Israeli settlers has robbed many Palestinians of their homes and forced them to flee to makeshift and yet cruelly permanent camps.

Some remain there for decades. Some have lived their entire lives in the camps, robbed off their land by Israeli ‘settlers’, beaten and abused by the Israeli occupation forces and treated as though human rights just didn’t apply.

So today, on UNESCO’S International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I, like many others will be watching to see what our British politicians have to say to mark the occasion.
Both our main political parties claim to oppose oppression and the mistreatment of entire populations. How will they acknowledge this day of solidarity in the face of what has been described an ongoing land grab of monumental proportions in direct contravention of resolution 181? The land claimed by Israeli settlers, often with the aid of Israeli military forces goes far beyond the borders drawn up in the original partition. You can download the original document here.

Will our illustrious leaders comment upon the absolute disregard for the rights of those denied both sovereignty and statehood?

And if they, our elected representatives on the world stage do not, I think we must all ask ourselves one very important question…

Why not?

Thankyou, Tories!

Dear Tory MPs.

Thankyou so much.

Sincerely, thankyou all from the bottom of my heart for what you have done (and failed to do) about working class children during this pandemic.

Not only have you voted TWICE to deny help for hungry children whose parents lost their incomes because of the Pandemic. Not only did you claim TWICE that there wasn’t the money to pay for such help at a cost of less than 1% of the money you ‘Spaffed’ up the wall on Dominic cummings’ mate’s failed ‘Track and Trace’ programme. Not only did you demonstrate your incredibly skewed priorities but also… and this is the best bit…

You revealed to a struggling nation just how bestial, how selfish and how corrupt you really are. A handful of MPs, including you, Mark Jenkinson MP, my own constituency’s incumbent made some remarkable claims about abuse of food parcels without a modicum of evidence or a hint of plausibility. It may be, of course, that you, Jenky and your monstrous mates were telling the truth but many of us are extremely skeptical, to say the least. And skeptical we will remain until sufficient evidence is produced to support your outrageous claims.

But here’s the kicker – to top it all off, your own dear leader, the one who got you to show your true colours in the first place, U-turned in the face of public pressure… TWICE

Let’s face it… you’ve been well and truly screwed by the very man you looked toward to save you. You have been the architects of your own downfall, choosing this most ridiculous of hills to die on, to throw away your credibility by denying the people a paltry sum for massive social gain, not to mention political goodwill. That goodwill might have been yours but has gone instead to a footballer – a brown footballer at that!

Thankyou all so very much. Especially you Jenky – you’ve shown the people of Workington exactly who and what you are. A self-serving monster!

Thankyou for revealing your true selves – warts and all.

Now get back under that rock you crawled out from.

Lincoln YMCA: A validating environment

This weekend I went to Lincoln, a city I first visited during my homeless days back in the 1980s. It gave me a chance to meet some old friends and make a video combining my two main passions… Left wing politics and social/mental health care. What’s not to like?

Jenky MP: Promises versus reality

JenkyMark Jenkinson MP entered the House of commons as Member of Parliament for Workington on 13th December 2019. He cruised to victory in the 2019 General election, partly because of Brexit and partly on the back of promises and pledges he made. Promises which have been saved for posterity in his election address. Promises which we can refer to when assessing his honesty. Promises which provide a framework to determine just how much he really cares about the circumstances of those people who elected him.

So what were these promises? According to Jenky’s printed election address he was going to…
Support our NHS
Invest in schools
Increase police and support tougher sentencing
Support businesses and jobs
Improve infrastructure
Support town centres

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To date Jenky has not voted against the government even once. This seems remarkable enough in itself for anyone who claims to have integrity. The work of this callous government seems so far removed from that of decent, caring human beings that opposition is a duty, not just a choice.

Mark Jenkinson_1We’ve already noted that Jenky voted against the rights of working people – hardly a positive move on behalf of a working class community like ours.

We know that he voted to abandon unaccompanied refugee children – one of the most callous decisions British politics has seen for decades.

19530663_303.jpgWe know that he, along with every other Tory MP, voted to disempower the House of Commons and remove the HoC’s right to scrutinise government proposals. This was the first move in Boris’ increasing journey toward Dictatorship.

Now let’s see what else he’s been up to since he entered Parliament. Use these two links to confirm all that follows…

Public whip

They work for you

On the NHS and Social care

It’s no secret that there is a funding crisis in health and social care, largely as a result of Tory and Liberal Democrat underfunding since 2010. Jenky and his tory mates had the chance to vote to change all that by voting to provide adequate funding – funding that currently goes to the most wealthy in tax cuts. Given Jenky’s commitment to support the NHS you’d have thought he’d be happy to be one of the people supporting this motion. Alas, no. On January 16th he voted to deny both services the basic funding they would need to start to rebuild their efficiency. So much for that promise.

Boris party of the NHS

Not only that, on Feb 4th 2020 he voted to scrap government responsibility for targets and monitoring and to prevent further funds being made available to the Health Service. He even voted to let the Health secretary avoid making an annual statement on health funding. That should help hide the Tory party’s appalling under-funding of the NHS from here on in, shouldn’t it?

On police

Police passing out paradeIt was January 29th when Jenky voted to refuse the extra funding necessary to fulfil his pledges about more and better policing. Remember that this is the guy who said the Government’s majority meant they could do everything they want to – and he was right. So why won’t they do what they promised to? Could it be because they didn’t mean it? Could it be that Jenky’s own voting record shows that he doesn’t care about honouring his pledges to his electorate either?

On rights

On January 8th Jenky voted against maintaining protections for working people post Brexit. This is interesting because during the election campaign he stated categorically that EU standards for working peoples’ rights were merely a minimum (which is true), that UK rights provisions exceed them and there is no plan to reduce that provision of rights for workers. Why then did he vote to detach us from the minimum that we apparently plan to exceed anyway? Could it be that there really is a plan to reduce our rights still further? After all, that would be in keeping with the erosion of rights that has already been the hallmark of Tory policy for a decade.

Human rights

On January 20th Jenky voted against reversing austerity and against clamping down on tax avoidance. On the same day he voted against measures intended to extend full employment rights to all workers, to end in-work poverty and to introduce a real living wage. It’s almost as though he doesn’t care about working class communities or the ‘Workington man’ who voted for him.

On homelessness

Jenky voted against providing the relatively small amount of money needed to end homelessness, a problem that has grown several-fold under the Tories throughout the last 10 years of ideologically driven austerity.

Two weeks later he had the audacity to ask a question in the house about help for veterans, a group disproportionately affected by the very homelessness that he refused to eradicate.

This is the hypocrisy of Mark Jenkinson MP.

A grim future

Jenky and all the other newly elected Tory MPs who now represent the former ‘Red wall’ constituencies may well have been elected on the back of a Brexit promise but British politics is and always has been about much more than just one, single issue. Similar articles (indeed almost exactly the same article) could be written about them all – so slavishly do they tow the party line.

Together they are destroying the working class communities of Britain.
They are destroying the communities they claim to represent.
They are destroying the livelihoods of the voters who trusted them.

New tory MPs 2019

It was bad before but it’s even worse now. Boris’ huge majority in the house means he can get away with anything he wants to – or rather his handler, Dominic Cummings can. There’s nothing we can do about that for the moment though – the die is cast and we’ll just have to hang on and weather the ideological storm – a storm that will make Thatcher’s 1980s look like a walk in the park.

So please remember these betrayals, remember the voting records of hypocrites like Jenky and let’s kick them out in 2024.

Let’s take our democracy back from these hypocritical liars and con artists!

A little history: Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus crucifiedThe Nazarene (0-33) seems to have been an extreme lefty by today’s measures. He preached against greed (many of his followers conveniently ignore that bit) and recommended compassion instead. He even got a bit ‘fighty’ with the capitalist pigs in the Temple grounds.

Like other socialists, he was especially unhappy with the usurers (like modern day bankers) whom he described as ‘thieves’. These were the money changers, the guys who took normal money in exchange for unsullied ‘Temple coin’ that could be used to purchase sacrificial lambs at Passover. The money-changers charged exorbitant rates – a bit like Wonga (which is linked to the Tory party, by the way) and so profited from the obligatory observance of the faithful. Jesus seems to have had a point there.

Jesus apparently hated inequality. He was the guy who said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He lived among the poor, helped the sick and the disabled and eschewed the tables of the wealthy whose oppressive ways simply maintained the suffering of their fellows.

Like many others before and since from Confucius, the Buddha and Lao Tzu to a host of Gurus and philosophers he recommended living by the Golden rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That’s why he fed those who were hungry and advocated help for the sick and those without shelter, the direct opposite of this present government’s actions. The tories have spent the last 10 years increasing homelessness, forcing people to use foodbanks to survive and denying sick and disabled people the resources they need. They’re even starving the NHS of funding in preparation for selling it off to private enterprise as a way of increasing personal profit through the suffering of others.

It’s amazing how many Tories profess to be Christians and yet ignore almost everything their Messiah said.

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once remarked…

“I am confused as to which Bible people are reading when they suggest that religion and politics don’t mix!”

To those non-religious Tories and others and others who either support oppressive Tory ideology or stand idly by and look the other way, the good Archbishop had this to say…

“When the Elephant stands on the mouse’s tail, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”

Dear Mark Jenkinson, MP

This is an open letter to my MP, one Mark Jenkinson of Workington in Cumbria. I’ve written it because I’m absolutely disgusted at the way this tory majority government has been riding roughshod over peoples’ rights, including abandoning unaccompanied children. Please consider doing the same. Either amend this letter or write your own, Send a paper copy or Email to your MP and also publish it widely across social media. Then wait for the response. Let’s make these appallingly cruel bastards face what they’ve done. Let’s make sure everyone knows just what monsters they have elected and let’s make sure that they never get to pretend to be decent human beings ever again!

Dear Mark Jenkinson, MP,

Jenky

I am a Workington resident and so one of your constituents. I find it difficult to understand how anyone claiming to represent this fine community of hard-working people could vote repeatedly to abandon unaccompanied and isolated children. The horror of this scenario for vulnerable minors, including toddlers and presumably even orphaned babies will be beyond the experience of most if not all of your constituents and presumably beyond your own experience too.

Yet even you should be able to understand the helpless vulnerability to which you and your colleagues have condemned so many young refugees and asylum-seekers. If you have within you the slightest ability to empathise then I ask you to search your conscience now and undertake never again to repeat any similar travesty in the name of the people of Workington. Remember, people ‘lent’ you their vote because many in our community are impatient to get Brexit done but they did not consent to barbarity of this nature.

I do not know whether or not your votes to remove child protections and then to oppose the proposal to reinstate them were subject to party whips but it makes no difference. You may say that you had to vote with the government or lose the party whip but so what? You’d still keep your seat. You could still vote on any issue you wanted to, you could support the government when your conscience allowed and you could still maintain your integrity.

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But no – the price of you remaining in the tory party (to whom you’ve shown precious little loyalty in recent years) is the abandonment of vulnerable children. They pay the price of your acceptance into the parliamentary tory club. And what a club it turned out to be, a nasty little cadre of abusers who are prepared to treat children this way isn’t a club I’d want to be part of.

  • Why is it so appealing to you?
  • Why is it so difficult for you to empathise with the children you have just condemned out of hand?
  • Why are you prepared to see children suffer and die all alone in makeshift canvas villages just so that you can remain a tory?
  • What makes you think that any of your constituents would ever consider that to be a reasonable trade?

I would be very grateful to hear or read your responses to the various questions I have put to you. I will be equally keen to publish your response alongside my letter or, if no response is forthcoming by Friday January 31st 2020, to publish a notification that you did not respond.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Sorensen
Workington resident

Paul’s gone to the dogs part 2

Part 2 of my interview with Paul from ‘Gone to the dogs’. He has some very big plans to harness the power of the community to help those in need. It goes way beyond feeding people, important though that is.Here Paul talks about some of the fantastic help and goodwill the project receives from local people and businesses. This really is a community working together for the common good.
https://youtu.be/BLoovB3opVs