Friday 30 January 2015

TTIP Lewisham People Before Profit Candidate Helen Mercer speaks at public meeting.

As you read this People Before Profit and 100 other activists are in Brussells to lobby opposition to Ttip thanks to 38 degrees.

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Thursday 29 January 2015

#Syriza and #Podemos the UK Activists you may not be aware . Media keep quiet about shed load of votes they win

is at

Thanks to Isabelle for the pictures and to John for turning it into a video.

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Wednesday 28 January 2015

People Before Profit in 9 mins. Interview on LBC radio

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Tim Gluckman (@TimGluckman)
On @LBC radio in 9 min. @Raywoolford w/ usual lucidity v persuasivly xplains #actions & policies of @PeopleB_4Profit…

Just click on the Soundcloud link to hear and then retweet or bolog.

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Monday 26 January 2015

#Housing crisis People Before Profit Occupy town hall green and build an eco home 2 highlight Lab failure in Lewisham.

Press Release; OCCUPIED NOW

Lewisham People Before Profit, have Occupied and built a Eco home on the Entrance Green to Lewisham Town Hall in Catford , it Even has its  own Piano..

TODAY AT 12 Midday Local Mums and children dumped in Hostels will be holding a Tea Party at the House, to highlight the Misery of Families in Hostels and B&B .

Lewisham Labour council, has built just 6 Council homes in 40 years of Labour Council control and 13 Years of Labour Government.

Lewisham has 2.521 Empty homes by its own published figures, which does not include the staggering number of empty buildings across Lewisham left to rot by Labour.

Beeson Street New Cross was a Council estate owned by Labour Lewisham , after People Before Profit campaigned on the scandal of hundreds of empty homes left to rot, Labour just Bulldozed the estate, 8 years later the Land is waste when homes could have been built for as little as £30.000, it Costs £44.000 a year to keep just one of the Mums attending out Tea Party in a Hostel.

Lewisham Labour Councils homeless persons unit is a disgrace the way it treats homeless people is a National Scandal , with people ending up living in our parks .

Lewisham Labour Council has removed 10.000 people on its waiting list as further evidence of a Labour Council out of touch with the people it was elected to serve, with many believing that the present Labour Council is in the pocket of the Developers..

As a Nation we spend £27 Billion on Housing Benefit, More and More homes are going up in Lewisham not to support or deal with local housing need, but to boost profit and weath of  Overseas investors.

Lewisham People Before Profit secured 20.000 Votes in Mays local election beating all other Party’s in our 6 target wards coming second to Labour.. Something main stream media seem to have chosen to Ignore.

People Before Profit house of cards at Catford Town Hall

Packed LPBP Burns night supper

Thursday 22 January 2015

TTIP People Before Profit submission 2 Goverments select committe into TTIIP

This submission is on behalf of Lewisham People Before Profit. LPBP is a campaigning organisation made up of ordinary people of Lewisham. We are a non-profit making organisation and political party which has stood in local, Mayoral and GLA elections.
Our policies aim to address the problems of Lewisham people and are firmly rooted in our understanding of the national and the global crises: the economic and financial crisis, the environmental crisis and the crisis of poverty and inequality.
LPBP helps people to help themselves and has played a significant part in organising and campaigning to save the local hospital, as well as other housing and local amenity protection. Some members are also very actively involved in running a food bank for the working and non-working poor of the borough and environs.
A key belief of our organisation is that the private sector is not a force for good in running public and essential services. Its primary motivations of profit and reward for shareholders take precedence and tax payer’s monies are used for these purposes instead of solely providing a good service. The altruistic and vocational essence that is present in most public service organisations and their staff is not present to the same degree in private sector companies.
In summary, LPBP holds the following views in relation to the TTIP:
1.      LPBP opposes TTIP, with or without the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
2.      As TTIP appears to have a key aim of opening services, including Public services, up to the private sector, it will be detrimental to the service quality and uneconomic as taxes will be diverted to pay profits and dividends. The obligation for equal treatment, enshrined in TTIP, will lead to governments having to fund any company that successfully seeks to run a public service, if previously it did so; a school or university for example.
3.      TTIP is uncompetitive and could destabilise local economies. It would interfere with local council’s efforts to buy locally or prioritise local businesses and labour.
4.      Projected benefits are small compared to the potential losses as public services are taken over by private corporations whose actions are one or more steps removed from the democratic process of central or local government.
5.      It is our belief that similar ‘trade’ agreements have tended to benefit the bigger economies (often host of the bigger corporations) to the detriment of smaller or less developed economies. That said, there is research that indicates that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) showed a net loss of over a million jobs in the USA in the first 12 years. At the same time, Mexican farmers were undermined by subsidised US agricultural goods and 5 million jobs were lost.
6.      It is clearly stated, for example by the CBI, that there are few barriers to trade between Europe and the USA. Begging the question as to why the TTIP is necessary. It appears that it is more about so-called ‘harmonising’ of trading regulations and that in all likelihood this will lead to a ‘race to the bottom’, as US companies will want the relatively progressive and generous standards for employment, food quality, H&S, environmental protections, etc. to be reduced, not increased; in order to enhance profit margins.
7.      It is notable that the one area where the UK could benefit from more rigorous regulation is in the financial sector which the UK has sought to exclude from TTIP. It has actively chosen not to seek exclusion of the NHS from TTIP in the same way that France is seeking exemption for its film industry.
8.      Like other critics, and in keeping with the millions of people across Europe who gave their view on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), we believe this is a wholly undemocratic device which risks deterring local and national governments from taking actions that are wanted by their electorate, if they might fear financial repercussions in the form of a company ‘suing’ them through the ISDS trade tribunals. It is clear from examples across the globe that these actions can run in to the billions of pounds and would be ruinous for local governments, and even national governments would be likely to moderate their actions or legislative agenda rather than risk being successfully sued.
9.      Sadly, it would seem many of our elected representatives are either so enthralled with promoting big business and corporatisation at the expense of democracy or so poorly informed that they are not aware of the true risks from TTIP. It is difficult to be well informed as the process of the negotiations have been shrouded in secrecy and even the limited efforts now to provide some information about ‘negotiating positions’ are woefully inadequate. It is a disgrace when our elected reps and opinion formers are so badly informed.
In sum, the view of this organisation, and that of many working to stop TTIP, coincides with those of the major political parties in the UK, TheCityUK and European Commission;  that TTIP is important for UK consumers, but for the rather different reason that it seems likely to do them harm, not good as they assert.
 We have been reading extensively on this issue – documents from both ‘sides’ – and  have observed the workings of similar trade treaties in other parts of the world, so we are unconvinced by the bald, unsubstantiated statements produced by those in favour of TTIP, many of which are based on partial information on which there is now considerable counter-evidence.
 Martin Allen
Lead on TTIP

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Bedroom tax the Legal challenges victims can use. Understand the law and legal position here

In a number of posts recently I have stated that the bedroom tax UT ruling will cause havoc with the new decisions due in early March for the coming financial year 2015/16.  See here and here and also note the Nearly Legal view of this here too.
With every HB decision the claimant, the tenant, has 3 types of challenge to that decision by right and these are:
  1. Request for more information (aka a full statement of reasons)
  2. Request the council reviews its decision (a reconsideration) and,
  3. A formal legal appeal to the tribunal
What the UT ruling does is say that the council must consider all relevant circumstances on a case by case or individual basis.  Paragraph 54 says this unambiguously:
“Parliament intended to allow decision makers to take account of all relevant circumstances on a case by case basis.”
The relevance of this can only be fully understood with an understanding of the first type of challenge above – asking your council for a full statement of reasons as to HOW they came to the decision to impose the bedroom tax.
The bedroom tax tenant has an absolute right to request their council gives them a FULL statement of reasons as to how they came to their decision, as long as they do this within one month of the decision.
In an early 2013 blog I suggested up to 20 questions could be asked of your council as to HOW they made your individual bedroom tax decision.  This I then condensed into a template letter with 6 or 7 of these which was widely used yet as I have noted recently councils ignored but now CANNOT ignore due directly to the UT ruling.  Your council has to conform to and demonstrate in a full statement of reasons they have considered all relevant factors.
Today I saw a rejected Freedom of Information request from Darlington Borough Council to a bedroom tax tenant who asked these same questions, or at least 16 of them, in a FOI request as they maintain he is a vexatious litigant.  The details are here from What Do They Know.
Whether the tenant is or is not a vexatious litigant is not the issue here and I make no comment as to that.
What IS the issue is that these questions largely comprise what is a full statement of reasons as to how a council makes a bedroom tax decision and all 684 others in Darlington can legitimately ask these when the new decisions land in early March 2013.  For that matter so can all 471,887 bedroom tax affected households who are affected nationally ask these same questions as it is their absolute undeniable right!
Those original questions need some tinkering with and of course the UT ruling also adds more questions as your council does have to show HOW they have considered ALL relevant circumstances on a case by case basis – and of course your council does not know your individual circumstances so just how it can say they are relevant or not is impossible!
Read the FOI request and response above and you will begin to get a flavour of why I said that councils are dreading the 2015/16 bedroom tax decisions and why the UT ruling means that all councils will incur huge costs of complying with requests for statement of reasons that reflect each tenants individual circumstances.
WHEN, those allegedly full statement of reasons do return to the tenant the tenant can they request a review of the decision and citing some or all of thee ‘relevant circumstances’ that their council did NOT take into full consideration before they made the decision to impose the bedroom tax.
More work, more resource, more cost and a huge increase in all of those for every local council who are the only decision makers in the bedroom tax.
YET I have no sympathy whatsoever for local councils as this is what they should have done in the first place and instead they – incredulously – chose not to do this and chose simply to believe the landlords word on an en masse blanket approach basis.
IF all 471,887 bedroom tax households who were shafted by their councils in this fettered en masse approach that the UT has said is not lawful as Parliament’s intention was to see all relevant circumstances considered on an individual basis, then they can hardly moan if all 471.887 shafted bedroom tax households take up their absolute right and demand an individual and full statement of reasons.
Do unto Caesar dear tenant and shaft the hell out of your council with a lawful and just response to their unlawful and unjust sham of a bedroom tax decision making process.
Anyone still believe the new bedroom tax decisions will see councils get away it this time?  No I thought 
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Friday 2 January 2015

Property Developers & Community " like a war of Attrition" claim planners.

DefendCouncilHousing (@LewishamDCH)
The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities

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The Political movement growing fast across the world is People Before Profit in London have been getting shed loads of votes mostly unreported on doing amazing work on housing. jit costs just £5 to join and you do not have to just live in London to be a member.

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