Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Liverpool, Paris & Mostar

Every year I go to Bosnia Herzegovina to stay with my Mostar ‘family’ who I have known since I was there at the time of the Bosnian war in the 90s. 


I recently wrote to them, “If I was well and 30 years younger I would be a revolutionary. Now I just wanna come and chill with you all. Did you ever think we here in the UK would think nostalgically of Mostar as a place of life and sanctuary. Everything is upside down or, as we say, topsy-turvy!”



Yesterday (4 February) a man climbed on the roof of a Liverpool Jobcentre and had to be coaxed down.


He was shouting that he was hungry and ‘You’re not fucking getting me.” A Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said: “The welfare of customers and staff is paramount.” Of course it is.



My son receives DWP ‘Personal Independence Payment' (PIP) benefits and yesterday rang the DWP to enquire about the next payment date. He waited for half an hour before anyone would talk with him. 


His PIP benefits were withdrawn three years ago and he had to take the DWP to court to win them back. He only succeeded because he has a cousin who is a lawyer and took on his case pro bono.



Meanwhile and on the other side of the tracks, The Guardian reports that, “The UK is the world’s greatest enabler of corporate tax avoidance and has done the most to break down the global corporate tax system, accounting for over a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance.”


They fully intend to keep it that way. Theresa May’s comment to Jeremy Corbyn in 2017 about his chances of being PM, “We will never let it happen” now chills my bones. 


As do the words of Roberto Saviano, anti-Mafia lawyer when he said, “Britain is the most corrupt country in the world.”


Meanwhile, and are you surprised, May’s husband Philip has a reputation for tax-avoidance


Talking of fiddles, how much ‘fiddling’ goes on with our voting? I have already written about the private companies who organise the postal ballot.


Then there is the incessant fixing of information carried out by the tax-avoiding billionaire-owned media.

Part of their campaign to not let a Corbyn-government ‘happen’ have been the anti-semitism slurs. Not made against the party with a long history of racism, but against one led by a man who is proud that his mother fought fascists in Cable Street.

As my witness on all this I give you John Bercow, the Jewish and Tory ex-House of Commons Speaker.


The London Economic dealt with this a year ago and the Morning Star located the ‘charity’ at the heart of anti-Corbyn propaganda.

As someone who has depended for my continued life on the NHS, there is its galloping privatisation to consider while we look at the smiling face of Richard Branson. 

Austerity is what lies behind the problems so many of us face while the very few benefit. Noam Chomsky defines it as "Just a fancy word for class war”. 

Back to Liverpool where its mayor has called time on austerity. The Scousers are famous for banning The Sun from their shops and remaining solidly Labour. There is hope.


Further south too, in France, there is hope.


But I am off to Bosnia, but before I go am looking forward to the Dubioza Kolektiv gig at London’s Electric Ballroom next week.


Great music and great politics. What a mix. 


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