In 2015 #ukip promised Fat Cat Farmers they’d keep subsidies on #BREXIT! In 2018 @Conservatives say subsidies will last for at least five years … #FBPE

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BzS7Tq-CEAAeCrbWhen Matthew Goodwin writes Nigel Farage’s biography, I am sure you will, Matthew, perhaps he ought to call it Farage: The Diary of a Foxhunting Man (who liked a tab and a pint down the Stockbroker’s Arms)?

Farage (heading a party of the working man, women need not apply) has been spending a goodly amount of time cosying up to the Country Land and Business Association (formerly the Countryside Landowners’ Association).  Back on July 19th 2014 at Blenheim, Oxfordshire, Farage, a regular Game Fair visitor and shooter, promised that farming subsidies would continue if Britain were to leave the EU.  You know, the money we pay to the EU now that Farage says that, if we were out of the EU, we would use to give the low paid a tax ‘cut’.  You will note, though, that the panel’s response to the shooter’s anti EU stance was not all favourable.  Nice, however, to see that writer and racehorse trainer, Charlie Brooks, has already managed to find (gainful?) employment!

Now, you may be wondering about what Farage’s appearance at a Game Fair has to do with repealing the Hunting Act 2004?  Well, check out this article in the Sunday Express of 28th September 2014.  Yes, Elizabeth Truss (a member of the party of the working class, its trade union that has a bit of a problem with women) thinks devoting Parliamentary time to repealing the Act, if the Tories form the next Government, is more important than other matters which fall within her portfolio.  I am sure her stance is in no way affected by the thought of losing 500,000 votes to ukip.

So we have an organisation devoted to representing the interests of the landed Establishment (a trades union) lobbying two Right wing parties, dominated at the top by members of the Establishment.  And yet, ukip, in particular are the insurgents, the mould breakers, the party of the ‘left behind’, a peasants’ revolt in the making …  The definition of the ‘left behind’ has become very flexible, if it now includes people like country landowners and their neighbours, the peasantry (in the original sense of the word)?

These landowners hardly need ukip’s help to get their points across.  They sought to infiltrate the National Trust and overturn its hunting policy in 1998.  You will note who they did get elected, whose friend he just happened to be and the use of the term ‘political correctness’.  Now take a look at FONT’s slate in 2001.  A number of them, Clarissa Dickson-Wright in particular, ‘forgot’ to mention the reason why they were seeking election.  Ms Dickson-Wright wanted to put her culinary skills at the disposal of the Trust.  All she had to do was volunteer to work in the kitchen at one of the Trust’s properties not go to the trouble of getting elected to its ruling council.  I took particular pleasure in voting against FONT’s slate.  Incidentally, ukipers, the National Trust is more democratic than ukip and a lot more fun (and British) too!

Labour, Matthew Goodwin particularly says, needs to face up to the challenge of ukip.  In this regard, good advice about 200 or so years ago, but today most of us live in urban areas and we have universal suffrage.  It did, however, take from 1949 to 2004 for the will of the people to prevail and a hunting with dogs ban to be enacted.  Matthew is big on ukip addressing the issues of the ‘left behind’ whose interests he, condescendingly and patronisingly, thinks do not extend to matters such as climate change.  Well, Matthew, care to explain the level of support for the Hunting Act to remain in force?  Looks to me like a lot of us (working class boy made good, me), including ukip supporters support the ban.  Our concerns, Matthew, and those of “metropolitan liberals” quite often overlap.  I do wonder if Matthew was spooked by Polly Toynbee during his formative years.  It would certainly explain a lot!

Finally, lest we forget, we are not just talking about allowing people to hunt foxes again, a Christmas card scene, but Bambi’s mother as well.  Let us also not forget the words on a placard (held by a farmer) in a Steve Bell cartoon marking a Countryside Alliance March against the passing of the Hunting Bill, “Give us yer money and eff off our land!”  Well, ukip, just whose side are you really on?  Him and the ruling, rural elite or the rural poor (and the many who support the Hunting Act)?

Michael Gove forced to plough £10bn into farm grants after Brexit

Marxism In A Total Quality Management Setting Part 1 #GE2015 #TQM #Deming #Marx #KarlMarx #WEDeming

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I have been promising for a while now to write up this case study and here goes.

Attendance management is a major issue for businesses, public sector bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations.  However, of the three sectors, the public sector is the one most often put under the media microscope as to the level of its sick absences.  There is usually a comparison with the private sector that is never other than detrimental to the public sector.

Firstly, I challenge the validity of such comparisons on the grounds that such a crude approach is of little or no value to addressing the issue of attendance management, but it does generate excellent ratings and viewing figures.  Secondly, I would contend that the figures for sick absence in the public sector are more likely than not to be more accurate than those for the private sector.  However, even if the absence levels were similar then that would not be a sufficient argument to not look at how matters might be improved.  Incidentally, when next a media outlet runs an attendance management story check to see if their own organisation’s sick absence record is included in the debate.  I would be very surprised to learn if it is.

The Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to tackling sickness absence invariably involves a mix of carrots and sticks.  The balance between carrot and stick varying as much with the ethos of the organisation as it does with the effectiveness of the carrots and sticks being dangled and applied.  The best that may be said for many of these approaches is that they are unlikely to increase the level of sick absences.

The stick approach tends to turn sick absence management into a disciplinary matter thereby brigading it with those who take unauthorised leave.  Quite often such an approach increases stress levels for the absentee and their manager.  Consequently, the level of time off work may increase not fall.  Alternatively, those who feel intimidated by the process and so return to work earlier than they should may not only spread infections to co workers, but also need more time off a few days later to fully recover from their own illness.  Stick policies have a tendency to drive up absence and are toughened to address the increased absence and so on.

The carrot approach is harmless although sometimes demeaning.  Gold stars for good attendance.  An end of financial year letter congratulating one for not having a day off sick for the whole year from the District Manager and similar.  A slightly different approach is to be more proactive, for example by arranging lifestyle checks, providing free gym memberships, courses in time and stress management.  Alas, I never seemed to have the time to put the stress avoidance techniques into practice!  Seriously, if you are suffering from sick organisation syndrome then no amount of yoga or massage sessions are going to make you any less prone to illness.

Sick organisation syndrome brings me neatly to the Royal Mail and the approach they adopted to addressing attendance management about 25 years ago.  RM had recently begun to practice Total Quality Management and felt attendance management was an area on which they might usefully deploy the TQM tools and techniques.  The first aspect of the approach is to determine whether or not you have a problem.  If you do, is the problem partially or totally within your control?  A problem caused, for example solely by the weather is unlikely to be controllable and so may only at best be mitigated rather than resolved.  If the problem is within your grasp to address is it a significant one?  Is it worth spending time and effort on addressing it rather than some other aspect of your business or organisation’s operations?

For RM, they felt they had a problem with levels of attendance management, that it was at least partially something they might influence and that it was a significant issue deserving attention as a matter of priority.  Sick absence affected service levels, customer satisfaction and increased the salary bill through recruitment of casual staff to cover absences.  In addition, absences caused more work for those not off sick and so increased the likelihood of them becoming unwell if their workloads were above the normal level for any significant period of time.  Staff morale is (or should be) very  much of a concern, particularly to those whose business is serving members of the public whether they be patients, passengers or customers.  Take note, TQM works as well in the NHS or a Jobcentre as on the shop floor at Jaguar.  I know, I have seen the improvements made through TQM in Jobcentres, I have been told by TQM clinicians about how it is used to improve care on acute wards and I have seen it in action at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant.

RM decided to use one fairly typical postal district as a starting point for further analysis.  They then gathered together all the sick notes for a given time period and divided them up by type of illness or condition.  They then used a Pareto approach where the piles of notes were set alongside each other with the highest pile on the left descending to the lowest pile on the right.  They then worked through the piles removing those outside of their control such as legs broken on holiday, appendectomies etc.  They were then left with two sizeable piles and some much smaller ones.

The first pile was a collection of foot related conditions.  Some of these cases were diagnosed as trench foot.  The largest number of absences was down to delivery workers being unable to get around on foot.  Some years before, RM had provided each member of staff with two good quality pairs of shoes each year with an expectation that they wear them, unless medically advised not to do so.  One day RM hired some management consultants to identify areas where they might ‘save’ money.  They had recommended withdrawing the business provided shoes.  RM  acted on their recommendation and staff wore whatever they felt was suitable and/or could afford.  Most of the foot related absences were traced back to this saving.  A case of a known unknown.  We know we will save money, but not what the real cost, if any of doing so will be.  The consultants had of course collected their fee and were long gone.  Incidentally, TQM is to many management consultants like garlic is to a vampire.

The second pile was injuries incurred by van drivers, in particular those collecting mail from post boxes.  Many of the injuries were shoulder related.  Further investigation revealed drivers were quite often not wearing their seat belts and/or sliding closed the driver side door.  Consequently, when they braked for any reason they ran the risk of injury.

These two categories of condition made up the bulk of the causes of the absences so remedying them would significantly improve attendance management.  Back came the shoes on the same conditions as before.  The collection drivers were told to wear their seat belts and close the doors, but crucially the timings of their rounds were increased, the number of points from which they collected reduced and more drivers and vans provided.  You will note, I trust, that both solutions require actions by management and staff to be effective.  By the way, trades unions like TQM, because an evidence based approach rarely weakens their arguments.  Moreover, discussing data about which both management and trades unions agree helps to makes negotiation generate more light than heat (or so I have been told).

One other aspect of the TQM approach is that it is scalable so absences felt not worth investigating at a District level might well be worth looking into at an individual office level.  For example, Ms X (no names, no pack drill) worked in a Jobcentre and routinely asked for leave at the last minute and quite often had her requests turned down.  She then frequently went sick for the same period for which she had asked to take as leave.  Ms X is certainly the sort of case that would trigger at least an informal warning.  That it did not do so did nothing for the morale of her co workers.  In addition, Ms X’s husband invariably used to ring in to the office saying she was not well and usually told us precisely what day she would be returning to work.  It never seems to have occurred to either of them that sick leave was not an addition to Ms X’s annual leave entitlement.  Ms X used her sick absences to cover half term holidays and so on.

You did not need to adopt a TQM approach to match Ms X’s absences with school holidays.  However, a TQM approach does create a basis on which responses to absences by different individuals may be made on the basis of their personal circumstances and not in line with a one size fits all policy.  A policy approach that invariably increases absence rather than reducing it.  A flexible policy, sensitively, but firmly applied to all those absentees is good for them, their co workers and those for whom they work.

RM’s variation on Ms X was Mr Y who quite often asked for Thursdays off at short notice.  And mostly he was not allowed the time off.  It became apparent through analysing his (self certified) sick notes that he had a tendency to develop 24 hour bugs for those Thursdays he had wanted to take off, but which he was told he had to work.  And the Wednesday evenings before these Thursdays were co-incidentally those days when the football club he supported were playing an away fixture.

I must stress that the above is not an example of good practice to be slavishly copied by people wanting to reduce the number of sick absences within their organisation.  It is a case study.  A big concern of those who advocate TQM is that people tend to ignore the process by which improvements are made and simply pick the solutions they hope may work for them.  The reason why many management consultants fear TQM is that once you have learnt how to apply the tools and techniques then your need for their services reduces significantly.  You design your own systems and processes to deliver the goods and services that meet the requirements of your service users, customers, patients and passengers.  Moreover, as those requirements change you evolve your systems and processes to address those changes.  TQM accepts, if not embraces the need for continuous process improvement.  The organisation that does not evolve to meet changing customer need dies or at least loses goodwill.

No political party shows much sign of grasping the fact that unless we challenge perceived wisdom, the Anglo Saxon Business Model, then they may make whatever pledges they like, because British management (in whatever sector of the economy) is mostly incapable of making those pledges a reality in a way that will make the electorate feel they have been met.  In particular, both ukip and the Green Party have a touching faith that business as usual (in Whitehall and local government) would deliver their policies effectively and efficiently were they ever to form part of a Government.  Andy Burnham has at least shown signs that he recognises that a TQM approach may be the only way to both shore up the NHS and allow it to develop its services to meet the need of individual patients.

TQM poses a challenge to extremists on both the right and the left.  It says to both groups that a confrontational approach in labour relations is destructive and that an evidence based approach creates common ground between both parties.  It also says that organisations and businesses exist solely to serve their users and customers, because only if they do so will they create value and profits.  It says to many on the right that cuts invariably result in increased costs and to a few on the left that savings may be achieved whilst maintaining and improving service delivery.  Moreover, that savings create headroom within budgets and therefore the answer, in part, to shortages of funding is to make those savings to create that headroom.  Not everything in the public sector may be improved by throwing money at it.

In fact, given the state in which management in both Whitehall and local government are now in, it is unlikely they could make effective use of additional funding until their ability to manage it has been significantly improved.  Those on the left who think the public sector may be turned around on a dime sometimes seem more out of touch with reality than some of ukip’s supporters.  As for the Green Party’s middle class, middle management (quite often salaried public sector) supporters then they strike me as being part of Britain’s management problems rather than the solution to them.  IDS and Universal Credit in practice are what Natalie Bennett and the Basic Income are in theory.  The only difference being that the Green Party is well intentioned.  Note to the Green Party, railways in whatever sector they are should be run in the interests of passengers not the passengers, their workers and the people.  You will see from the above than when RM effectively addressed attendance management they improved customer service and the well being of their staff.

We appear have tried everything else, except an evidence based approach to management.  Time we consigned the Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to an industrial heritage museum.  Time we kissed goodbye to the thinking that said Japan was dumping cars at below cost price in the USA, because US car firms could not produce them at the same price and make a profit.  The likes of Toyota could and still do.  Toyota’s big recall a few years back was because they had turned their backs on over half a century of practising TQM.  A senior executive went public, said they had made a mistake and that they were going back to TQM.  Such a statement was a major loss of face.  When US car firms were being ‘dumped’ on their Chief Executive Officers and Presidents had the bare faced cheek to go to Japan (with Bush Senior) to put their case.  Bare faced?  They earnt many times more than their opposite numbers in Japan and yet their companies were not as profitable as those of the competition.  Moreover, their counterparts in Japan only received salaries about 11 or so times as much as their shop floor workers.  In the USA no one would consider themselves valued as a CEO or President, if they were not at least offered more than 11 times as much in salary as their front line staff.

One final point, TQM, because it incorporates a philosophy of Plan, Do, Observe and Act is the closest many of us will ever come to continuous (r)evolution.  Yes, dear reader, TQM is Marxism in a management setting.

Further Reading

William Edwards Deming

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (and Ethical Values)

The UK Retail Industry: A Case of (Paying Lip Service to) TQM at Tesco Supermarket?

Five Deming Principles That Help Healthcare Process Improvement

Deming’s Quality Principles: A Health Care Application

Do Doctors Need Deming?

Selected Articles By Dr Deming

The Deming Institute

The Danczuks, Never Mind Quality Of Our ‘Facts’ Just Admire Our Rhetoric! 2/2 #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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“On immigration, Karen says Rochdale is at the “end of its tether”.  Simon adds: “The liberal intelligentsia, this north London liberal elite, don’t have to live with the problem.  Proportionally there are more asylum seekers in Rochdale than in London.”

The reason people should listen to them, they say, whether it is on child abuse or the problems of welfare, is that their views come from experience.  “If my mum had been forced to work and not live her life as a single parent on benefits, she would have had a job and friends and a better life, which would have benefited me,” Karen says.

And immigration?  A rich country like the UK should take in asylum seekers and economic migrants, Simon argues.  But Rochdale’s cheap housing makes it a magnet. “I do feel that the strains and stresses being put on a relatively small town is unfair.  It is all about fairness.” ”

We’ll keep telling it like it is on welfare, immigration and the liberal elite

The following datasets provides 2011 Census estimates that classify non-UK born short-term residents in England and Wales by country of birth.  The estimates are as at Census day, 27 March 2011.

A non-UK born short-term resident is defined as anyone living in England and Wales who was born outside the UK, who intended to stay in the UK for a period of between 3 and 12 months.

Out of a population of 8,173,941 in London in 2011, ONS estimates that 0.8% or 68,992 were non-UK born short-term residents (see first table).

Out of a population of 211,699 in Rochdale in 2011, ONS estimates that 0.07% or 144 were non-UK born short-term residents (see second table).

Table population: All non-UK born short-term residents

Country of Birth by measures

Units: Persons

date 2011
geography London
value
All categories: Country of birth 68,992
Europe: Total 27,515
Europe: United Kingdom: Total 0
Europe: United Kingdom: England 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Northern Ireland 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Scotland 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Wales 0
Europe: Great Britain not otherwise specified 0
Europe: United Kingdom not otherwise specified 0
Europe: Guernsey 15
Europe: Jersey 17
Europe: Channel Islands not otherwise specified 4
Europe: Isle of Man 9
Europe: Ireland 930
Europe: Other Europe: Total 26,540
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Total 23,080
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Total 16,071
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: France 4,084
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Germany 2,339
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Italy 2,892
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Portugal 497
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Spain (including Canary Islands) 2,709
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Other member countries in March 2001 3,550
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Total 7,009
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Lithuania 818
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Poland 2,118
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Romania 1,412
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Other EU accession countries 2,661
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Total 3,460
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Turkey 863
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Other Europe 2,597
Africa: Total 4,855
Africa: North Africa 778
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Total 2,399
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Ghana 395
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Nigeria 1,652
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Other Central and Western Africa 352
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Total 1,666
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Kenya 195
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Somalia 279
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: South Africa 510
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Zimbabwe 95
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Other South and Eastern Africa 587
Africa: Africa not otherwise specified 12
Middle East and Asia: Total 24,655
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Total 2,683
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Iran 579
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Other Middle East 2,104
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Total 6,570
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: China 3,599
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) 603
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Other Eastern Asia 2,368
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Total 12,356
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Bangladesh 844
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: India 7,186
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Pakistan 2,315
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Sri Lanka 1,349
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Other Southern Asia 662
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Total 2,691
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Philippines 509
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Other South-East Asia 2,182
Middle East and Asia: Central Asia 355
The Americas and the Caribbean: Total 9,307
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: Total 5,941
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: United States 5,072
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: Other North America 869
The Americas and the Caribbean: Central America 348
The Americas and the Caribbean: South America 2,600
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Total 418
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Jamaica 120
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Other Caribbean 298
Antarctica and Oceania: Total 2,660
Antarctica and Oceania: Antarctica 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Total 2,636
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Australia 2,015
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Other Australasia 621
Antarctica and Oceania: Other Oceania 24
Other 0

In order to protect against disclosure of personal information, records have been swapped between different geographic areas.  Some counts will be affected, particularly small counts at the lowest geographies.

Table population: All non-UK born short-term residents

Country of Birth by measures

Units: Persons

Date 2011
Geography Rochdale
value
All categories: Country of birth 144
Europe: Total 41
Europe: United Kingdom: Total 0
Europe: United Kingdom: England 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Northern Ireland 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Scotland 0
Europe: United Kingdom: Wales 0
Europe: Great Britain not otherwise specified 0
Europe: United Kingdom not otherwise specified 0
Europe: Guernsey 0
Europe: Jersey 0
Europe: Channel Islands not otherwise specified 1
Europe: Isle of Man 0
Europe: Ireland 3
Europe: Other Europe: Total 37
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Total 35
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Total 14
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: France 4
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Germany 4
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Italy 2
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Portugal 1
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Spain (including Canary Islands) 0
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001: Other member countries in March 2001 3
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Total 21
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Lithuania 2
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Poland 11
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Romania 0
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011: Other EU accession countries 8
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Total 2
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Turkey 0
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe: Other Europe 2
Africa: Total 8
Africa: North Africa 0
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Total 5
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Ghana 0
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Nigeria 2
Africa: Central and Western Africa: Other Central and Western Africa 3
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Total 3
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Kenya 0
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Somalia 0
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: South Africa 0
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Zimbabwe 1
Africa: South and Eastern Africa: Other South and Eastern Africa 2
Africa: Africa not otherwise specified 0
Middle East and Asia: Total 90
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Total 3
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Iran 1
Middle East and Asia: Middle East: Other Middle East 2
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Total 4
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: China 3
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China) 1
Middle East and Asia: Eastern Asia: Other Eastern Asia 0
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Total 80
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Bangladesh 4
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: India 16
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Pakistan 55
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Sri Lanka 0
Middle East and Asia: Southern Asia: Other Southern Asia 5
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Total 3
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Philippines 1
Middle East and Asia: South-East Asia: Other South-East Asia 2
Middle East and Asia: Central Asia 0
The Americas and the Caribbean: Total 5
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: Total 4
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: United States 2
The Americas and the Caribbean: North America: Other North America 2
The Americas and the Caribbean: Central America 0
The Americas and the Caribbean: South America 1
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Total 0
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Jamaica 0
The Americas and the Caribbean: The Caribbean: Other Caribbean 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Total 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Antarctica 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Total 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Australia 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Australasia: Other Australasia 0
Antarctica and Oceania: Other Oceania 0
Other 0
In order to protect against disclosure of personal information, records have been swapped between different geographic areas.  Some counts will be affected, particularly small counts at the lowest geographies.

The Danczuks, Never Mind Quality Of Our ‘Facts’ Just Admire Our Rhetoric! 1/2 #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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“On immigration, Karen says Rochdale is at the “end of its tether”.  Simon adds: “The liberal intelligentsia, this north London liberal elite, don’t have to live with the problem.  Proportionally there are more asylum seekers in Rochdale than in London.”

The reason people should listen to them, they say, whether it is on child abuse or the problems of welfare, is that their views come from experience.  “If my mum had been forced to work and not live her life as a single parent on benefits, she would have had a job and friends and a better life, which would have benefited me,” Karen says.

And immigration?  A rich country like the UK should take in asylum seekers and economic migrants, Simon argues.  But Rochdale’s cheap housing makes it a magnet. “I do feel that the strains and stresses being put on a relatively small town is unfair.  It is all about fairness.” ”

We’ll keep telling it like it is on welfare, immigration and the liberal elite

Out of a population of 8,173,941 in London in 2011, 63% or 5,175,677 stated their country of birth as the United Kingdom (see first table).

Out of a population of 211,699 in Rochdale in 2011, 89% or 188,102 stated their country of birth as the United Kingdom (see second table).

See next post for details of the non-UK born short-term residents in both areas in 2011.

Country of Birth by Sex (2011 Census)

Units: Persons
Date 2011
Geography London
All persons Males Females
All categories: Country of birth 8,173,941 4,033,289 4,140,652
Europe: Total 6,174,371 3,063,095 3,111,276
Europe: United Kingdom: Total 5,175,677 2,589,406 2,586,271
Europe: United Kingdom: England 4,997,072 2,496,875 2,500,197
Europe: United Kingdom: Northern Ireland 32,774 16,847 15,927
Europe: United Kingdom: Scotland 89,527 47,279 42,248
Europe: United Kingdom: Wales 53,828 27,045 26,783
Europe: United Kingdom: Great Britain not otherwise specified 544 275 269
Europe: United Kingdom: United Kingdom not otherwise specified 1,932 1,085 847
Europe: Ireland 129,807 59,884 69,923
Europe: Other Europe: Total 868,887 413,805 455,082
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Total 711,133 338,198 372,935
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001 341,981 163,032 178,949
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011 369,152 175,166 193,986
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe 157,754 75,607 82,147
Africa 621,613 295,781 325,832
Middle East and Asia 966,990 490,027 476,963
The Americas and the Caribbean 326,280 143,476 182,804
Antarctica, Oceania (including Australasia) and other 84,687 40,910 43,777

In order to protect against disclosure of personal information, records have been swapped between different geographic areas.  Some counts will be affected, particularly small counts at the lowest geographies.

Country of Birth by Sex (Census 2011)

Units: Persons

Date 2011
Geography Rochdale
All persons Males Females
All categories: Country of birth 211,699 103,642 108,057
Europe: Total 194,495 95,069 99,426
Europe: United Kingdom: Total 188,102 92,029 96,073
Europe: United Kingdom: England 184,354 90,231 94,123
Europe: United Kingdom: Northern Ireland 886 423 463
Europe: United Kingdom: Scotland 1,929 918 1,011
Europe: United Kingdom: Wales 915 449 466
Europe: United Kingdom: Great Britain not otherwise specified 4 3 1
Europe: United Kingdom: United Kingdom not otherwise specified 14 5 9
Europe: Ireland 1,852 825 1,027
Europe: Other Europe: Total 4,541 2,215 2,326
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Total 4,161 2,037 2,124
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Member countries in March 2001 1,447 672 775
Europe: Other Europe: EU countries: Accession countries April 2001 to March 2011 2,714 1,365 1,349
Europe: Other Europe: Rest of Europe 380 178 202
Africa 2,654 1,319 1,335
Middle East and Asia 13,883 6,901 6,982
The Americas and the Caribbean 497 252 245
Antarctica, Oceania (including Australasia) and other 170 101 69
In order to protect against disclosure of personal information, records have been swapped between different geographic areas.  Some counts will be affected, particularly small counts at the lowest geographies.

The Danczuks, The Dangerous Dogs Act & Those Enduring Myths About Lone Parents #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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“In a political arena in which words are carefully chosen, PR narratives carefully designed, and human frailties rarely admitted, the Danczuks stick out.  They both come from broken families, in which dependence on benefits was par for the course.

Karen, one of five children, was the only one to carry on her education after school and says she lives a life that her siblings wouldn’t recognise.”

“Danczuk has been an outspoken critic of politics geared towards the metropolitan elite.  On welfare, he and his wife agree that Labour isn’t tough enough.  “Instead of people being sat around on benefits, if they are capable of work why not have them make a contribution locally and keep them in mind for work,” Simon says. “If you want to call it hard-line, so be it.” ”

“The reason people should listen to them, they say, whether it is on child abuse or the problems of welfare, is that their views come from experience.  “If my mum had been forced to work and not live her life as a single parent on benefits, she would have had a job and friends and a better life, which would have benefited me,” Karen says.”

We’ll keep telling it like it is on welfare, immigration and the liberal elite

Well, Karen, in my experience your kind of subjective approach to policy making leads to Dangerous Dogs Act outcomes.  Personally, speaking, again from experience, I think we have already had quite enough of that sort of ‘informed’ approach to Social Security and Welfare to Work.

Alas, for Simon and Karen, I am not a member of the metropolitan, liberal elite, although I do live in a metropolitan county.  I was, though, Birmingham and Solihull’s lead Employment Service Implementation Manager for New Deal for Lone Parents in 1998 and a deputy Childcare Partnership Manager for the same area in the late 2000s.  I know a fair bit about Children’s Centres, I have worked alongside Gingerbread and the National Council for One Parent Families, I have worked with groups supporting lone parents, groups of lone parents and I have even interviewed a fair few lone parents in my time.  I suspect that gives me as much, if not more insight than the Danczuks into the challenges facing lone parents, but I would not say enough of an insight to be able, on my own, to draft policies addressing those challenges.  I may know most of the questions to ask, but few of the answers to them.  I know my limitations!

In over two decades I only ever came across one person who regarded herself as married to the State.  Frankly, I was gob smacked that anyone would want to be a lone parent until they claimed their State Pension at 60, but this person was very much the exception to the rule.  I did segue into the dependant on the State line on the grounds that surely she would not want to bring up more children on just Income Support.  What about their quality of life?  I say more children as she was in front of me, because her youngest child had reached 16 and so she had no option, but to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.  She seemed more than a bit put out by the requirement to be both available for and actively seeking work.  She took the line that at 40 or so it was too late to take up employment hence the discussion of possible alternatives to paid work.

Now, Karen and Simon would it really be a good idea to build our party’s (that is Labour’s, by the way, and not ukip’s) policies for lone parents on that interview alone?  You certainly seem to think that your personal experiences are representative evidence of the behaviour of the typical (tabloid) single parent and thus the basis on which to formulate a tougher Social Security regime for lone parents.  Or would it be better to adopt an evidence based approach?  One starting with the facts (listed below) about single parents, courtesy of Gingerbread, an organisation that thinks discussions about lone parents (a very diverse group) should be based on reality and not myths.

Incidentally, Karen is Simon’s second wife and he had two children with his first partner so I guess he knows a bit about making lone parent families (see fourth bullet point in the list below), if nothing else about them.  A policy of tough on lone parents, but not tough on those who put many in that position, eh, Simon?  And what happened to sticking with one’s husband or wife through thick and thin until death do you part, eh, Simon?  Surely, a big problem is the ease with which one may get divorced, eh, Simon?  Now is it not the liberal elite which was responsible for making divorce easier, eh, Simon?  Shame on you Simon, a working class boy, for allowing yourself to be seduced from the path of righteousness into the path of divorce.

Simon, some days I wish I had been born a decade or so earlier than I was so I might enjoy the experience of living through the 1960s first hand.  I get the distinct impression that you (like Farage, Howard and Blair) wish that decade had never happened.  Well it did, get over it and move on.  And, I have no problem with your divorce or the divorce laws, but I do with your hypocrisy.

Roy Jenkins was a real Socialist when it came to addressing the social issues of the 1960s.  He saw through Parliament, when Home Secretary, the permanent abolition of hanging, the relaxation of the licensing laws, the ending of theatre censorship and introduced a ground breaking Race Relations Bill.  He secured government time to ensure the passage of Private Members’ Bills on both homosexuality, finally legalising it and abortion.  He ended flogging in prisons.

In 1976 he told the Police Federation conference that for many prisoners, prison did not work.  He urged them to look at the evidence and to recognise how little the widespread use of prison reduces crime or deals effectively with the individuals concerned.  Faced with concerted booing, he gave his hostile audience a lecture on democracy.  The rule of law in a democratic society did not mean our pet prejudices, but the rule of Parliament as applied by the courts.  One cannot have a rule of law while dismissing with disparagement Parliament, the courts and those who practise in them.  The job of the police and that of the Home Secretary, he told them, is to apply the law as it is and not to decry it.

Roy Jenkins was one of the most reforming Home Secretaries of all time.  He was in favour of evidence based policy.  I understand you think people like me are in the wrong party, because we are proud not only of his bringing in such liberal legislation, but because we want to do more?  That our liberal tendencies makes us less socialist than you?  Personally, I think you would be more at home in ukip with its net curtain twitching, back to the 1950s, knee jerk attitudes than in a party which is at its best when it bases policy on evidence not anecdote.  Evidence, Karen, tinged with more than just a little empathy for those worse off than ourselves.

And now for those facts about single parents

There are 2 million single parents in Britain today (1) – they make up a quarter of families with children, a figure which has remained consistent for the past decade (2)

Less than 2 per cent of single parents are teenagers (3)

The median age of single parents is 38.1 (4)

Around half of single parents had their children within marriage – 49 per cent are separated from marriage, divorced or widowed (5)

63.4 per cent of single parents are in work, up 19.6 percentage points since 1996 (6)

The employment rate for single parents varies depending on the age of their youngest child.  Once their children are 12 or over, single parents’ employment rate is similar to, or higher than, the employment rate for mothers in couples (71 per cent of single parents whose child is 11-15 are in work) (7)

Who are single parents?

There are 3 million children living in a single parent household (23% per cent of all dependent children) (8)

Around 8 per cent of single parents (186,000) are fathers (9)

The average duration of single parenthood is around 5 years (10)

Only 6.5 per cent of all births are registered alone, and 10 per cent are registered to two parents who live apart (11)

Single fathers are more likely to be widowed than single mothers (12 per cent of single fathers are widowed, compared with 5 per cent of single mothers), and their children tend to be older (12)

Just under half of couples divorcing in 2009 had at least one child aged under 16.  Over a fifth (21 per cent) of the children in 2009 were under five and 63 per cent were under eleven (13)

The proportion of single parent families has increased since the 1970s, but it hasn’t changed much in the last ten years

In 1971 just 8 per cent of families with children were single parent families (14)

In 1998 24 per cent of families with children were single parent families (15)

In 2011 26 per cent of families with children were single parent families (16)

Single parent families and poverty:

Children in single parent families are nearly twice as likely as children in couple families to live in relative poverty.  Over four in every 10 (42 per cent) children in single parent families are poor, compared to just over two in 10 (23 per cent) of children in couple families (17)

Paid work is not a guaranteed route out of poverty for single parent families; the poverty rate for children in single parent families where the parent works part-time is 30 per cent, and 22 per cent where the parent works full-time (18).

The median weekly income for working single parent families doing 16 hours a week or more is £337, compared with £491 for couple families with one worker and £700 where both parents work (19)

43 per cent of single parents are social housing tenants compared to 12 per cent of couples (20)

71 per cent of all single parent renters receive housing benefit compared to 25 per cent of all couple renters (21)

Single parent households are the most likely to be in arrears on one or more household bills, mortgage or non-mortgage borrowing commitment (31 per cent) (22)

38 per cent of single parents said that money always runs out before the end of the week/month compared to 19 per cent of couples (23)

63 per cent of single parents have no savings compared to 34 per cent of couples (24)

Work and childcare

Where single parents are not working, this is often because there are health issues that make work difficult: 33 per cent of unemployed single parents have a disability or long-standing illness (25) and 34 per cent have a child with a disability (26)

Over half of single parents are in work (59.2 per cent), up 14.5 percentage points since 1997.  In the same period, the employment rate of mothers in couples has risen three percentage points to 71 per cent (27)

Single parents rely heavily on informal childcare.  Of those using childcare, 46 per cent said it was informal. (28)  For single parents working 16 hours a week or more 34 per cent had a childcare arrangement with the child’s grandparents, and 17 per cent had an arrangement with their ex-partner (29)

Working single parents paying for childcare are much more likely than working couples paying for childcare to find it difficult to meet childcare costs (32% compared to 22% of couples where one partner is in work, and 20% of couples where both work) (30)

Child maintenance

Only two-fifths (38 per cent) of single parents receive maintenance from their child’s other parent (31)

For all those with an agreement for child maintenance (both through the CSA and private arrangement) the median weekly amount received is £46 per family (32)

The average amount of child maintenance liable to be paid through the CSA is currently £33.50 per week (£22.50 if all cases with a weekly assessment of zero are included in the average). (33)  Among parents with care in receipt of income-related benefits, the average amount is £23 (excluding cases with a weekly assessment of zero) (34)

Of single parents receiving child maintenance through the CSA, 40 per cent receive less than £10 per week, 38 per cent receive between £10 and £50 per week and 22 per cent receive more than £50 per week (35)

Family life

At least 9 per cent of single parents share the care of their child equally, or nearly equally, with the other parent (36)

The majority of children have face to face contact with their other parent.  71 per cent of resident parents said that their child had direct contact with the other parent (37)

65 per cent of those with contact said this included overnight stays, usually at least monthly (38)

Only 20 per cent of all resident parents say that their child has no contact with their other parent (39).  Of these, 63 per cent said there had been no contact since the parental relationship ended (40)

Parental separation by itself is not considered predictive of poor outcomes in children (41)  Parental conflict has been identified as a key mediating variable in producing negative outcomes in children.  A comparison between couple families experiencing high levels of conflict with single parent families found that children fared less well in conflicted couple families, demonstrating that family functioning has a greater impact than family structure in contributing to child outcomes (42)

Parental separation and the resulting single parent status often leads to financial hardship.  That resulting poverty may be a significant factor in explaining poorer child outcomes rather than family structure (43)

References

    1. Families and households 2014, Office for National Statistics, 2015
    2. Families and households 2014, Office for National Statistics, 2015
    3. Figure produced for Gingerbread by the Fertility and Family Analysis Unit, Office of National Statistic and derived from the Annual Population Survey (APS), (Labour Force Survey plus boost), 2009 data
    4. Lone parents with dependent children, January 2012, Office for National Statistics
    5. Lone parents with dependent children, January 2012, Office for National Statistics
    6. Working and Workless Households, 2014, Table P. Office for National Statistics, October 2014
    7. Families with children in Britain: Findings from the 2008 Families and children study (FACS), Table 3.2. Department for Work and Pensions, 2010
    8. Households Below Average Income, An analysis of the income distribution 1994/95 – 2009/10, Table 4.1ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2011
    9. Lone parents with dependent children, January 2012, Office for National Statistics
    10. Leaving Lone Parenthood: Analysis of the repartnering patterns of lone mothers in the U.K. Skew, A., Berrington, A., Falkingham, J. 2008, on data from 2005
    11. Derived from Households and Families, Social Trends 41, Table 6 & 7. ONS, 2011. Data from 2009
    12. Analysis of Labour Force Survey data from June 2006 produced for Gingerbread by ONS
    13. Divorces in England and Wales 2009. ONS Statistical Bulletin, February 2011
    14. General Household Survey 2007, Table 3.6. ONS, 2009
    15. General Lifestyle Survey, 2009, Table 3.6. ONS, 2011
    16. Lone parents with dependent children, January 2012, Office for National Statistics
    17. Households below average income (HBAI): 1994/95 to 2012/13,Table 4.14ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2014
    18. Households below average income (HBAI): 1994/95 to 2012/13,Table 4.14ts. Department for Work and Pensions, 2014
    19. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 6.3. DWP, 2010
    20. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 9.1. DWP, 2010
    21. English Housing Survey, Household Report 2009 – 10, Table 3.6. Department for Communities and Local Government, 2011
    22. Wealth in Great Britain. Main Results from the Wealth and Assets Survey 2006/08, p.108. ONS, 2009
    23. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 8.8. DWP, 2010
    24. Family Resource Survey UK, 2008-2009, Table 4.10. Department for Work and Pensions, 2010
    25. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 3.2. DWP, 2010
    26. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 12.5. DWP, 2010
    27. Working and Workless Households, 2012, Table P. ONS Statistical Bulletin, August 2012
    28. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 16.5. DWP, 2010
    29. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 16.1. DWP, 2010
    30. Childcare and early years survey of parents 2009, p.83. NatCen/Department for Education, 2010. Research Report DFE-RR054
    31. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 15.1. DWP, 2010
    32. Family and Children Survey 2008, Table 15.4b. DWP, 2010
    33. Child Support Agency national statistics, June 2011. CMEC/DWP, 2011
    34. Parliamentary Question, Hansard 24/03/2011, col 1242W
    35. PQ response to Karen Buck, March 2011, Letter from Stephen Geraghty (CMEC), 17/3/11 Col 566W
    36. Problematic contact after separation and divorce. Peacey, V., Hunt, J. Gingerbread, 2008
    37. I’m not saying it was easy…Contact problems in separated families. Peacey, V., Hunt, J. Gingerbread, 2009
    38. I’m not saying it was easy…Contact problems in separated families. Peacey, V., Hunt, J. Gingerbread, 2009
    39. Problematic contact after separation and divorce. Peacey, V., Hunt, J. Gingerbread, 2008
    40. I’m not saying it was easy . . . Contact problems in separated families. Peacey, V., Hunt, J. Gingerbread, 2009
    41. Impact of Family Breakdown on Children’s Well-Being. Mooney, A., Oliver, C., Smith, M. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 2009
    42. Impact of Family Breakdown on Children’s Well-Being. Mooney, A., Oliver, C., Smith, M. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 2009
    43. Impact of Family Breakdown on Children’s Well-Being. Mooney, A., Oliver, C., Smith, M. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 2009

The Types of #ukip Activists and Politicians #GE2015

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ducksoap

UKIP is a raggedy concoction of the dregs and peripherals of society.  Its activists, councillors, MPs, MEPs, parliamentary and council candidates, and chairpersons of various propaganda subgroups are easily categorised by a finite list of types.

1) Tory careerists

Only a few MPs in the Tory party are able to acquire senior positions that lead to political celebrity and visibility, that subsequently lead to lucrative post-political career consultancy posts.  If a careerist wants to make the most dosh out of her or his election as an MP then occasional garbled nonsense from the backbenches is insufficient.UKIPRecklessCarswell

Reckless and Carswell had made little impact as Tory MPs; both were lost within the twitching blob several rows behind Cameron.  Reckless’ main claim to fame was his inability to open a door due to drunkenness.  In UKIP, both are out front, grinning stupidly next to Farage as if he and they have farted simultaneously, slobbering media jostling around…

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#ukip Return of Alf Garnett Or If U Want Rumanian For Neighbour, Vote Labour? #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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There was another piece of codswallop (and book promotion) from Matthew Goodwin in the Guardian on Monday 15th December.

And here is the prime piece of codswallop:

“In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values that separate who we might loosely term pro-Ukip and anti-Ukip voters.  Pro-Ukip voters are instinctively receptive to Farage’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Westminster message, and comprise between 25% and 30% of the overall electorate.  These are the voters who grew up before Britain joined the EU (so they must be 57 and over at least if they voted in the 1975 referendum), before increased immigration (67 and over, if talking about post Empire Windrush) and in an era when genuinely competing ideological projects existed in politics (over 100 if we are to believe the far left).”

These voters are, I assume, the people for whom Farage speaks when he says he is ambivalent about homosexuality, but understands why older people who grew up before the EU are made uncomfortable by gay people?  There being no LGBTs, visible ethnic minorities, liberals, people on Social Security, lone parents, in fact anyone ukippers rant on about whilst on painkillers in the UK before 1975.  Time Goodwin outed Farage, surely?  We are not talking about the EU here are we?  But instead the 1960s, that decade that Tony Blair and Michael Howard both blamed for all of society’s ills back in the 2005 General Election.  I do not see Farage rolling up for a Magical Mystery Tour either, not unless Sir Cliff is driving the bus.  Back to the 1950s means a repudiation of the social advances of the 1960s.  Advances which were partly in reaction to a stifling, conformist conservative society.

I really have no idea what Goodwin is an expert in and these days I wonder if he does so himself.  In 1964, 11 years before the EU referendum, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”  All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  However, it proves, once again, that Goodwin knows precious little about this country’s economic, political and social history.  He also seems confused if he thinks that the commitment of most political parties to equal opportunities for all is not, in part at least, a matter of ideology (as well as political necessity) and a sign that they are as important to someone living in Smethwick as they are to the stereotypical Islington social liberal.

ukip’s forebears were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to anyone particular class.  Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

In one sense, Goodwin is right, we have been here before, because I can hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.  Moreover, Goodwin says, “In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values” of voters.  Goodwin, there always has been such a divide and there probably always will be.  Partly because, Goodwin, some of the voters, some of the time, whatever you may think, are stupid.  Bevan asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory and now ukip supporter?  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  What intrigues me, Goodwin, is why you seem to think they do and whether your ignorance about the state of the modern labour market, especially the implications of deindustrialisation, is feigned or real.

“Calling out racism where racism exists is important” says Goodwin, “But over the longer term this will not get our society very far.  If it did, then Europe as a whole would not have seen a stubbornly persistent rise of radical right politics over a 30-year period.”  There was a time when it was felt calling out racism was not important, because it was stubborn and persistent.  There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”  It is a moot point whether he would have wholly approved of Labour’s Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would accept that Labour has moved on.

By the way, Goodwin, Labour is spelt with a u.  Your Tweet of yesterday referring to blue collar workers suggests you either think this is the 51st State or that (like the libertarians in ukip) that it should be.  Bevan would, though, have recognised Joe the Plumber, the archetypal blue collar worker of the 2008 Presidential Race.  The man who proved voters can be stupid when he told Obama that he, Joe, would be worse off as a result of the candidate’s proposed tax cuts (for middle class voters like Joe).  The same Joe the Plumber who feels his right to bear arms trumps the right of others to life.  Definitely a natural Labour supporter!

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.  One hopes he is equally successful with ukip’s electoral chances!