1) Real Media Gathering
2) Maximus protests today
Nationwide protests are taking place today against the new provider of Work Capability Assessments; Maximus. The American provider replaces ATOS but concerns remain high as Maximus has a history of fraud and fundamental changes to the assessment system have not been implemented leaving sick and disabled people at risk of further problems.
Paula Peters explains more in this video interview with the Artist Taxi Driver, and you can find out more here.
3) Homelessness up more than 50% since 2010
Statistics released last week show that street homelessness has risen 55% since the coalition came to power.
In London, street homelessness has risen 80% since 2010.
Rick Henderson of Homeless Link said:
“We should ask ourselves why it is acceptable that anyone has to sleep rough in Britain today.
“What’s even more shocking is that the number of people in this situation has risen every year since 2010.
“Unfortunately, many charities have seen funding fall at the very time that demand for help is on the rise.
“To turn the tide, politicians need to make sure the right support needs are available in every area so that no one has to live on our streets.”
4) Rifkin in ‘policy for sale’ scandal, Cameron attempts to smooth over corruption
Much like Boris Johnson’s defence of tax avoidance by Boots as ‘doing the job well’, Cameron now defends MP’s second jobs as they need a ‘range of experience’ despite the clear conflict of interest. We’ll leave it to Mark Steel writing in the Independent to sum up this one:
“Members of Parliament should have second jobs, said David Cameron, to give them a “range of experience”, and keep them in touch with the common person. So that’s why they do the sort of second jobs they have, because nothing keeps you in touch with the common person as much as being paid five grand a day consulting an Arab bank.
“They also maintain there was nothing underhand about the services they were offering. This may be true, and when Straw offered to work for a Chinese company, it never occurred to him that the reason they were interested in him was he could use his position to influence ministers. He thought they’d heard he was really good at filing. And when he said he charges between £5,000 and £8,000 for a speech, he never imagined companies pay that to get access to the Government. He gets that much because he does a hilarious impression of Saddam Hussein, and juggles with cauliflowers for an extra 50 quid.”
5) Greg Wise and Emma Thompson refuse to pay tax until HSBC are punished
“Wise spoke of his disgust with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the bank after the Guardian and other news organisations published leaked details of 100,000 accounts held by HSBC’s Swiss arm which showed how the bank had helped clients to move cash out of the country.
“I want to stop paying tax, until everyone pays tax,” Wise told the Evening Standard. “I have actively loved paying tax, because I am a profound fucking socialist and I believe we are all in it together. But I am disgusted with HMRC. I am disgusted with HSBC. And I’m not paying a penny more until those evil bastards go to prison.”