Looks like the Sun, and no doubt other right-wing press owned by Murdoch or otherwise are up to their old tricks.
The E-mail:From: (removed)
Sent: 27 April 2010 11:15
Subject: request from Jenna Sloan, The Sun
If you have relevant information for the media professional concerned please click this link to reply: email@example.com
Request deadline: Thursday 29 April, 2010, 4:00 pm
Contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
My request: I’m looking for a teacher and a nurse to be case studies in The Sun next week.
This is for a political, election feature and both must be willing to say why they feel let down by the Labour Government, and why they are thinking about voting Conservative.
We’ll need to picture them, and also have a chat about their political opinions.
We can pay the case studies £100 for their time.
Please do let me know if you think you can help.
I always thought newspapers were supposed to report the news, not invent it. Of course they'll have a hard job finding anybody to say it for free. People who have worked in the NHS or the education systems know full well how much they have improved over the last 13 years. Schools were literally falling apart 13 years ago, with huge class sizes. As for the NHS when you have people dying in the corridors of a hospital because there aren't any beds or dying in the months or years they'd have to wait to see a specialist, things weren't exactly going great which was one of the main reasons Labour was put into power in 1997, to stop the Tory destruction of our public services.
If I still lived in Yeovil, I'd be voting for this guy... He has a cool bookshelf.
Answering some questions put forward by the Labour Representation Committee.
The Tories would like you to believe that a planned National Insurance increase of 1% for workers earning more than £20,000 a year will cause job losses. They haven't actually gone on to say anything specific about it. In the computer industry there's a little saying we have, FUD it stands for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Essentially the Tories are guilty of spreading FUD. They're trying to scare people into thinking this will lead to mass unemployment.
However a 1% increase in National Insurance is not statistically significant. Based on my calculations with estimates provided by the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales (which are probably high estimates at that) such an increase would only cause an effect of less than 0.2% on what companies spend on employing people. And that figure is probably inflated as I don't have the exact breakdown of workers earning more than £20,000 so instead it takes into account the entire UK workforce, so in reality it is probably closer to 0.1%. That's taking the Tories at face value.
The rise doesn't happen until 2011 - after 12 months of growth
An increase in employment costs of between 0.1% and 0.2% will get absorbed by a year of growth. A report out today from OECD states that the UK will grow an annualised 2% in the first quarter of this year, and that they expect the UK to be growing faster than any developed nation other than Canada with a massive 3.1% in the second quarter of this year. The bottom line is the UK is well on track for a solid and rapid recovery before 2011, business can easily afford the planned rise in National Insurance. Business should pay more, they caused the recession, they chucked people out of work despite being profitable, now they can at the very least least help pay for it.
The Tories said the same about the minimum wage
Let's also not forget that the Tories claimed introducing the minimum wage would also hurt employment, they claimed it would lead to a million more unemployed - in reality the numbers in employment grew. Just like employment will be growing in 2011 - not shrinking like the Tories claim.
More people in work, despite just coming out of recession than in 1997
Labour's track record on employment has been solid. In the 1980s the Tories chucked millions of people out of work. Even with the biggest recession in a century, there are more people employed today than when Labour took over in 1997. That's not down to chance, Labour continued spending to keep the economy running, the Tories if they had their way would cut spending and cause a deeper and longer recession, just so the rich wouldn't have to pay a penny more. At the end of the day government spending is money in the economy, it doesn't dissapear into a black hole, it pays for teachers, nurses, doctors, civil servents and so on, those people inturn spend money to keep the economy going. Cutting spending, is cutting jobs. It isn't something that can be done likely or willy-nilly just to fund tax breaks for the rich.
So the Pope is at it again. By being at it I of course refer only to spreading the word of his god.
The Pope has faced a backlash after urging Catholic bishops in England and Wales to fight the UK's Equality Bill with "missionary zeal".
Pope Benedict XVI said the legislation "violates natural law".
What has the Pope so worked up in the new Equalities Bill? Well in short one of the key aims is to extend discrimination protection into private clubs and associations.
Basically the Roman Catholic Church in the UK would be no longer able to discriminate against gays.
So that's not terribly surprising in my opinion. Religious people have always been anti-gay. What is surprising is how surprised people are over his statements, have they never flicked through his holy texts and seen what they say?
"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." - Leviticus 18:22
"If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." - Leviticus 20:13
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
And that's after 2 minutes of searching. Labour MEP Stephen Hughes comments:
Religious leaders should be trying to eradicate inequality, not perpetuate it.
Religious leaders don't give a damn about inequality, which has always been the domain of secularists. Religious leaders' only concerns are with the preservation of their Bronze Age mythology and getting their fingers into society with as much extent as possible to influence it according to their ancient books. The Pope's job is to lead the Roman Catholic Church, to think he'll become a champion for something that opposes the beliefs of his church is naïve. You can't just attack the figure head, the entire religion is founded upon this sort of nonsense.
So the communists have ruled in China for 60 years, well about 30 years, the last 30 have been way too bourgeois. Yes some sort of zombie Mao would work quite nicely at addressing some of these issues.
My review so far of the events: The military parade was crap compared to 1999 and they only had about half as many infantry, I suppose Jiang Zemin knew how to put on a decent parade despite being too soft to reverse Deng Xiaoping's policies. Two things I've got to mention though, the women were wearing way too much makeup, and the women reservists looked silly in their pale-pink hats and white boots, they used to be black, why change it now? In fact it looked like the red ran out of their uniforms into their hats and boots. Not seen the civilian parade yet, but will keep an eye out for it.
It looks like the Vale of Glamorgan CLP has adopted an all-women shortlist.
As far as I'm concerned AWS are blatantly immoral and illegal, despite whatever temporary hack the government put in place in 2002 to bar election candidates from the Sex Discrimination Act until 2015.
Let's just quote a few lines, and replace the word women with men if people can't read how sexist it is without a little prompting.
"We have a long history of championing men into elected office".
He added: "We have the highest representation of male councillors on the Vale of Glamorgan Council and are delighted to support the selection of a new parliamentary candidate from a men-only shortlist."
Discrimination is discrimination no matter who you're discriminating against.