That was a long haul!

10 years ago ConDem austerity destroyed my Ltd company. It wasn’t necessary – it was ideological. The Condemn government used the global financial crash to give tax cuts to the wealthy and make the rest of us foot the bill. Small businesses like mine went to the wall, public sector workers faced a seemingly unending pay freeze and the unemployed and disabled faced such cuts to their benefits that the united nations declared UK to be an abusive state.

It took me 10 years sleeping in vehicles & cheap rooms traveling around UK for work, paying out most of my wages to keep afloat & keep the family housed & fed. In the early days I found myself only able to eat every other day. The kids were well fed though.

Every missed payment to creditors increases the pressure by design. Interest piles up and with it minimum payments rise to accommodate the ever-increasing balance owed. I paid back the original sums several times to no avail because of increased interest and penalties on late payments.

The system is designed to keep us indebted to those investment bankers who caused the problem to begin with. Their sub-prime opportunism inevitably came back to roost but it wasn’t the bankers who suffered for it. They were still getting paid big bonuses and pretending they were needed to keep the economy afloat. Yeah, right!

At times I thought I’d never get out of the hole those greedy lenders had dug for me. But I did it! This week I registered as sole trader again. Back on my feet, no thanks to the tories.

But anyway, now I’m back. I’m offering #mentalhealth & #socialcare training again either face to face (distanced) or online via and also 1:1 work via 
Give me a call. I’m good at what I do. You’ll get a damn fine service at a reasonable price.

Go on, you know you want to!

Far right bingo card: Our jobs, benefits and women

They’re taking our jobs/benefits/women


Okay, let’s begin with a few home truths, shall we?

First of all, they’re not ‘your’ jobs. It’s a global market. If Bexit has taught anything at all over the last few years it’s that. People with the appropriate skills come to this country, just as everyone in the land has wanted (especially the 52%). So unless you’re a trained doctor you really can’t complain that ‘your’ job is being done by that well-respected and highly trained man or woman from another country. It’s not your job, it’s the employer’s job and the employer gives it to the candidate best suited for the aims of the business or organisation.

It may be that this decision is made cynically to save money by paying below minimum standards but if that’s the case then the way to combat it is to join together with the immigrants in a trade union and press for fairness and parity. You won’t solve the problem by turning against your exploited brothers and sisters. They’re not the ones paying low wages – they’re just people, like you trying to make ends meet.


Benefits, eh? I thought it was jobs. That does seem a tad contradictory, especially since most immigrants actually contribute more to the government coffers than they take out. The majority come here to build a better life. Many were gainfully employed until the bombs we sold fell from the sky on to their homes and workplaces. That’s what drove them away – British made weaponry. Weaponry we profited from and continue to profit from.

So no – most immigrants into UK, be they refugee or not, come here to build a better life for themselves by working hard to earn enough to fulfil their responsibilities to their families either here or abroad. Funnily enough it’s what many British emmigrants do only we don’t call them immigrants – we call them ex-pats and nobody seems to complain about them taking jobs or benefits in the Costa del sol. It’s interesting to note just how many Brits have chosen to retire in Spain, Italy or Southern France where they contribute nothing to the local economy but take full advantage of the local healthcare facilities. That’s also part of the global outlook this country appears to be adopting, or do you think that should just be one-way?


What do you mean, ‘Our women’?

When did you gain the right to dictate to women of any race, creed or colour who they should fall in love with? Since when do British women need to gain your consent to have the right to have children?

Get over yourself, you misogynistic piece of shit!

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?

DWP’s decision delayed by 6 months and counting

Meet Sharon. Sharon has worked hard all her life to raise her family and keep food on the table. She’s paid tax and national insurance and remains an active member of her local community’s government. She’s campaigned against injustice and continues to do so in as much as her current health allows.

This is Sharon’s story.

Eat your greens!

“Eat your greens! There are kids in Africa who’d be really grateful for what you’ve got there.”

So my mother used to rebuke me. It was a mealtime ritual that has stuck in my memory ever since. I was a picky eater as a child, to say the least. Oh to return to those heady years of my 32” waist and slim fit shirts. Those were the days!

We weren’t exactly wealthy when I was a kid. A student grant doesn’t go far when feeding three children and a single mother who’d gone back to college when my Dad abandoned us. We had lots of homemade rice puddings with strawberry jam. We had crumpets grilled on a toasting fork over the electric fire. We ate cereal a lot (not the fancy stuff) and jam sandwiches. My grandmother’s tatie pots were a joy to behold on winter evenings. So were her meat and tatie pies. It was basic fayre but it was tasty enough. And it was food.

Today, 50 years later I can still hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head. But this time the starving kids she talks about aren’t in far off parts of the developing world. This time she (or rather my mental representation of her) is talking about the children down the road, the school-leaver sanctioned because he didn’t get the DWP letter or the family of four with a single zero-hours contract to live on.

Today, in the world’s fifth largest economy there’s more hunger, poverty and destitution than ever before in my lifetime. And that’s just disgraceful!

This is what we get after 9 years of tory rule.

What will we see after another 5?

I genuinely do not believe that the majority of tory voters really meant for this hardship to continue – even to increase but as is becoming all too obvious, that’s what’s happening. That doesn’t mean that those usual labour voters who ‘lent’ Boris Johnson’s far right government their vote are stupid. But it does mean that they were lied to by an efficient main stream media and a slick marketing campaign aimed at whitewashing the conservative record and deifying Boris in particular. My people, my working-class brothers and sisters aren’t stupid but maybe they’re too trusting.

There’s no point in becoming too despondent about that right now. Instead we need to get active. Community groups are cropping up all over UK to combat the worst abuses of Boris’ government, to help feed the hungry and house the destitute. You can find out what’s going on by checking this link or by subscribing to this blog. Over the next five years I’ll be interviewing and showcasing a host of community action organisations, offering them encouragement and ensuring they keep getting their voices heard.

Why not join one – or start one yourself?

Corbyn’s Christmas challenge

Mia and Jade are just a couple of ordinary Northern women – but they have a dream. Not only that, they have a plan to go with it.

Like many others, these two Lancashire ladies were devastated when the news broke of a Tory majority last Friday. They knew all too well what that landslide result will mean for Britain’s most vulnerable people. 130,000 unnecessary deaths due to Tory policy already is hard to ignore, after all.

Like true Northeners the pair decided not to wallow in despair, despite the disaster that has befallen the nation. They decided to sort things out.

As Mia told me

“It’s time for the many to look out for the few!”

Jules’ story

My childhood friend, we’ll call her Jules

Our lives kept pace through different schools

She was a child when Daddy died

The cancer ate him up inside.

She didn’t know about the pain

Relief that fogged his addled brain.

She didn’t know her great grandma

Had gone the same way years before

No pain relief for her back then

No hospitalisation

She lay there helpless, agonised

Till mercifully at last she died.


Times were hard for Jules’ Mum

Child benefit was such a boon

Three kids to feed and free school milk

Meant Jules grew strong – all the kids did

Free meals at school meant Jules stayed nourished

While Mum to better herself studied


Jules mother strived to make life better

A grant for college and a letter

Explaining how she’d few resources

Helped her to study pre-reg courses


By the time we went to secondary school

Jules’ Mum was working as a teacher

She’d passed her exams, fees all paid

And life was going up a grade


Jules’ flew through school, she’s very clever

And uni was her next endeavour

Free tuition, like her Mum

A great career had just begun


Soon after getting her first job

Jules conceived her first child, Bob

Her aunt had lost her job that way

But Jules just got maternity pay

And soon enough she came right back

Nobody had given her the sack


Bob grew up strong, a fine young man

And so is Mike, Jules second one

They’re both good lads, Bob’s soon to vote

He’s thinking Labour’s worth a punt

But Jules took him aside last night

And warned against that left wing shite

Fine words are all well and good you see

But the Labour party’s done nowt for me!