International Womens’ Day

As an oblique reference to International Womens’ Day, let us celebrate the brave stand taken by Rep Tulsi Gabbard, the Congresswoman for the 2nd Hawai’ian Congressional District, who recently resigned as Vice Chair of the Democratic Party’s National committee (DNC) to endorse Bernie Sanders

Gabbard is an impressive politician, originally born in American Samoa, and the first Hindu ever in Congress. She is currently one of two serving Congresswomen who are combat veterans, having volunteered for two tours in Iraq, and she is now a major in the Hawai’ian National Guard.

Gabbard has taken a very strong stand in opposition to Obama’s policy of seeking regime change in Syria, and she is supportive of Russia’s military action in Syria in aid of the sovereign government in Damascus.

Gabbard also takes progressive stances over the economy, banking reform, protecting social care and medicare, LGBT issues and gay marriage, and standing up against big oil.

Rather unusually for an elected American politician, Gabbard also links to an article from Peoples’ World from her website, which is broadly equivalent to the Morning Star here in the UK.

Gabbard has a sophisticated understanding of the moral contract with the military, where young working class people are put in harm’s way by the decisions of politicians, not only for the interests of national defence, but also due to illegitimate objectives of regime change and interventionist wars. Yet those same politicians also fail to deliver jobs, care and security for veterans of those wars.

24 comments on “International Womens’ Day

  1. jock mctrousers on said:

    Steve,

    To quote from that appalling drivel:
    ” The refugee crisis strengthened the radical right across much of Europe. … and may even have encouraged the Russian Government to intensify its Syrian operations as a means of destabilising Europe via refugees ”

    LOL Do you not maybe think that the evidence suggests that Russia wants to sell gas to Europe, not destabilise it?

  2. And this is how the socialist unity project ends: not if fire but in ice. I imagined a “Vive Bashar” post would have been the last hurrah, or maybe something about the Labour Party. But hey, an ode to Tulsi Gabbard is also great, and will suffice for your purposes, Прощайте, товарищи!

  3. George Hallam on said:

    Karl Stewart:
    I wonder if “moderation” is still on?

    The site seems to be deserted and operating on autopilot; at bit like an internet version of ‘Red Dwarf ‘

  4. Andrew Grace on said:

    What’s the largest size a post can be before it transforms into an Article?

  5. Karl Stewart on said:

    George Hallam: The site seems to be deserted and operating on autopilot; at bit like an internet version of ‘Red Dwarf ‘

    Maybe the John White regime has been overthrown?

  6. Karl Stewart,

    No. Socialist Unity has now been achieved. Since Jeremy Corbyn became leader, everyone who matters is apparently now in the Labour Party. The historic task of this site has therefore been successfully accomplished. 😉

  7. Vanya1 on said:

    I’m hoping there’s going to be something about the centenary of the Easter Rising.

  8. Anyone got anything useful, thoughtful or not entirely a dogs’ dinner to say about the issues raised by my comment — the only comment by a woman on the International Women’s Day thread and the only comment dealing with concrete exploitation of women in the concrete here and now? A better illustration of left males and lip service to to left issues could not be had.

  9. Karl Stewart on said:

    Anna Chen,

    Hi Anna, thanks for posting the link. Some excellent points there and yes as well as the arguments you make in the article itself, there is a serious issue about the lack of women commenting on political discussion sites.

    This particular site appears to be no longer active, but generally speaking, it’s important to focus on what can be done to encourage more women to participate in online political discussion and debate.

  10. Vanya on said:

    #14 Sorry, I missed that comment somehow.

    Absolutely shocking, and as one of the commentators on your blog says, Labour should be taking this up in a big way.

    Do you know if it’s been covered in the Morning Star? If not it should be.

  11. Phew! Thank you for chasing off the tumbleweed. Jack, that’s a useful article on the subject. I’ll add the link to my piece — thanks. Karl and Vanya, cheers. I haven’t seen anything about it in the Morning Star but I hope that’s just because I’ve missed it. The all-round media silence on the subject of the paupersiation of women and “waspi” women in particular is very telling.

    Labour needs to break the spell and wake everyone up to the horror of the government picking on the weakest. What sort of human being thinks it OK to pick on the disabled, youth, children (academies, dear lord!) and women? Chivalrous, much? The only other category left is animals (I can see this lot kicking puppies to death) and they are now even going to do them by deregulating what is already a cruel industry.

    As the establishing press officer who turned around the SA and STWC, I am watching Labour flounder around under Seumas Milne through clenched fingers. Yes, I did offer my services to John McDonnell in 2010 when he made his leadership bid but I suspect I wasn’t in the right sect. http://madammiaow.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/swp-sex-implosion-its-dehumanisation-in.html

  12. jock mctrousers on said:

    Anna, some commenters on your site linked to excellent posts (which everyone should read) on John ward’s blog. Here’s another:

    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/waspi-blow-leadership-back-pedalling-on-aims/

    As to left males only paying lip service… like everybody else I just didn’t notice it, but I have to say, if you hadn’t squawked at us I would just have given it a glance, noted the graphs, and skipped to the conclusion (which wasn’t very clear). I had the same problem with the John Ward pieces,to be fair.

    Like equations, graphs scare off readers. I have qualifications in several subjects which included modules in, and use of statistics, but, like most people, the effort to tune in to a graph is usually just too much like work. However I did try just for you, and I confess I still don’t understand your graph.

    So what’s my point? HALF A MILLION WOMEN CHEATED OUT OF PENSIONS!!! I mean this is a huge, potentially election-turning constituency, already organised in WASPI – if I can come up with a catchy slogan, why can’t they? Graphs don’t cut it; not a lot of votes in graph-readers.

    But thanks for trying

  13. Hi Jock, the government’s graph is not clear, granted. It took me ages to make sense of their closed paper but the key for me is this:
    “Women born in the 1950s — who have not been given a reasonable time to make the transition — will lose around £36K in having to wait the extra six years for their pension. But that’s not enough for the Tories and their “hard working people” mantra. We now have to pay thousands more in order to pay for those years to get as near to 35 years of contributions as possible.”

    HALF A MILLION WOMEN CHEATED OUT OF PENSIONS!!! is the sort of headline I’d like to see coming from Labour. But considering only 47% of people know that Corbyn stands for remaining in the EU, I don’t expect much passion and fire from Labour over this.

    That Waspi piece is most depressing. They haven’t commented AFAIK on the Class 2 NICs debacle. So women are left undefended.

  14. jock mctrousers on said:

    I referred above to some posts on John Ward’s ‘the Slog’ blog, linked to by a commenter on Anna Chen’s excellent piece. I want to maximise the chances of SU people reading these – they’re so good:

    REVEALED: THE £1.4 TRILLION FRAUD HIDDEN IN OSBORNE’S BUDGET
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/revealed-the-1-4-trillion-fraud-hidden-in-osbornes-budget/

    BUDGET SCANDAL EXCLUSIVE: Why Big Corporate lobbying made Osborne more tearful than 500,000 WASPIs on the breadline
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/budget-scandal-exclusive-why-big-corporate-lobbying-made-osborne-more-tearful-than-500000-waspis-on-the-breadline/

    Excerpts:

    Funding 500,000 ‘new’ (ake defrauded) female pensioners tomorrow would cost almost exactly £3bn going forward.
    It sounds like a lot, but perspective is needed here: the cost of an HS2 nobody but the Prime Minister wants has leapt tenfold to £64.2bn; yesterday, the FT estimated that the costs to the UK of corporate tax avoidance/evasion are respectively £50/£70bn; and in the ten months since the 2015 Election, the annual cost of EU membership has already risen by the very same £3bn.

    At Summer Budget 2015 it was announced that corporation tax (CT) payment dates forcompanies with profits in excess of £20m paying by quarterly instalments would be brought forward by four months, effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2017. This measure puts back the change in due dates to accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019. This will give businesses more time to prepare for the transition to the new payment schedule.’
    So international big business and banks get lots of transition time, but not loyal pensioners with 30 years of NI payments behind them.
    The cost of this cave-in to lobbying is a whopping £6.5bn…more than twice the cost of redressing the State Pension fraud totally and immediately.
    In the light of this inquity, I would respectfully suggest to the WASPI senior movers that they have nothing to apologise about. But why be extreme when you can be reasonable? Look at some of the other ‘priorities’ Osbollocks put ahead of pensioner destitution:
    Freeze on fuel duty – £435m
    Relief for oil companies – £265m
    Freeze on alcohol duty – £85m
    New rights to buy   –   £35m
    Tax cuts to personal allowance & higher rates – £2bn
    ISA savings allowance – £170m
    Not investigating senior mgmnt tax fiddles on loans – £260m
    Reduced corporation tax – £1.1bn (2020)

    My suggestion is this: the Government lie about “having to wait a further 18 months for a State pension” is in fact SIX YEARS for women born in 1955 or later. That should be cut to one year from 60th birthday with immediate effect. For the 150,000 WASPIs involved in that, there is a 50% duplication with more women who have no partner, private pension or other means of support. That group should now get their pension immediately, backdated to 60th birthday.
    The remaining 175,000 WASPIs not in either group should have their delay halved, as a penalty levied on the Treasury for ignoring the Turner Commission. This would mean that all those who were, say, 60 in 2011 will get their pensions immediately, backdated to 2013.
    The total cost of this in the coming fiscal would be in the region of £2.4bn. As one can see from the list above (by no means exhaustive) there is plenty of fat in there.

  15. jock mctrousers on said:

    REVEALED & EVIDENCED: The Four Big Lies that caused needless distress to 20.3m British citizens
    https://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/revealed-evidenced-the-four-big-lies-that-caused-needless-distress-to-20-3m-british-citizens/

    “The only alternative to spending cuts is tax increases”
    There are myriad alternatives to tax increases. To find them, however, means trying to decode the innately dishonest accounting of Whitehall Sir Humphreys.
    In the clearest figures available on total spend estimated for the current fiscal (2015-16) there is a sum 3rd in size behind healthcare and pensions….and bigger than welfare. At a whopping £66bn, it is dubbed ‘Other Spending’
    Drill down into that, and you find lots of tiddlers, plus another total at the bottom called – again – ‘Other Spending’. This comes in – way ahead of the sum saved on welfare to date – at £35bn.
    In this twilight zone, we find these two oddities:
     
    General Government 9.2bn
    Protection £13.8bn
    8.2bn of general goverment turns out to be ‘executive and legislative functions’, of which there are only three – the Commons, the Lords, and the Cabinet. The Slog has established that this does not include Whitehall, which has its own separate budget.
    So we’re being asked to believe here that it costs £8.2bn to run, staff and administer a total of around 1600 legislators, staff and ministers of the Crown. Frankly, I don’t believe it.
    ‘Protection’ involves police, fire services, prisons and the Courts. But within this is £1.6bn devoted to ‘public order and safety research and development’. Translated, it means water cannons, gridding and other forms of crowd control: it’s for protecting them, not us.
     
    Drilling further still, there are some less than tiddly-piddly sums at this second level, and these are the ones that leap out:
    Broadcasting & publishing services £4.3bn
    Economic enterprise development  £3.8bn
    R&D Economic Affairs                          £6.1bn
    Cultural services                                     £1.9bn
    Every of these becomes a kind of sub-atomic zone peopled entirely by sets of initials beginning CK or GK. No further explanation is given, but they are all potentially explosive: broadcasting and publishing (now the politically neutral COI has been conveniently abolished) is, I know, abused on a daily basis: it is NOT the BBC, but it is a quiet third-level accountancy dumping ground in which to hide things like covert media manipulation and paid for PR…for example, of an anti-Brexit nature.
    It is clear that NONE of the economic enterprise and ‘R&D’ is real research, because – laughably – that is recorded elsewhere at £0.0. But the total for this grand project is a whisker short of £10bn. As the non-financial economy of the UK has actually shrunk by 18.2% since Osbollocks began ‘rebalancing’ the UK economy, I would contend that – for all practical purposes – these spends should be diverted to the amelioration of people pauperised by austerity-fuelled recession.
    Towards the end of my years working as an adman with the COI as a client, I met several senior civil servants and ministers. Based on what I was told at the time, my most likely ‘explanation’ of the numbers above would be a combination of cockups, consultants and hidden political communication budgets thieved off the taxpayer.
    It comes to a total of £16.1bn PER YEAR…or 73% of the total cut from frontline welfare over FOUR YEARS.
    In total, the dubious and/or unexplained costs of UK government per annum come to a total of £40.4bn per year….just short of the total budget for the Defence of the United Kingdom.
    And I didn’t even start peering in the Defence budget. That is not what I’d call “no alternative to cuts in welfare”.

  16. jock mctrousers on said:

    I’ve lost a post to moderation – too many links maybe. Anyway, the above post will makes more sense when its companion returns, though it stands alone too.

  17. jock mctrousers on said:

    IMPORTANT UPDATE: I referred above to a post that had ‘gone to spam’ (mostly links to and escerpts from John Ward). Under the circumstances it looks like it will stay there till this post is long forgotten, so, because it contains stuff I think everyone should read, and also makes sense of my other post, here it is again – the excerpts without the links:

    Excerpts:

    Funding 500,000 ‘new’ (aka defrauded) female pensioners tomorrow would cost almost exactly £3bn going forward.
    It sounds like a lot, but perspective is needed here: the cost of an HS2 nobody but the Prime Minister wants has leapt tenfold to £64.2bn; yesterday, the FT estimated that the costs to the UK of corporate tax avoidance/evasion are respectively £50/£70bn; and in the ten months since the 2015 Election, the annual cost of EU membership has already risen by the very same £3bn.

    At Summer Budget 2015 it was announced that corporation tax (CT) payment dates forcompanies with profits in excess of £20m paying by quarterly instalments would be brought forward by four months, effective for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2017. This measure puts back the change in due dates to accounting periods beginning on or after 1 April 2019. This will give businesses more time to prepare for the transition to the new payment schedule.’
    So international big business and banks get lots of transition time, but not loyal pensioners with 30 years of NI payments behind them.
    The cost of this cave-in to lobbying is a whopping £6.5bn…more than twice the cost of redressing the State Pension fraud totally and immediately.
    In the light of this inquity, I would respectfully suggest to the WASPI senior movers that they have nothing to apologise about. But why be extreme when you can be reasonable? Look at some of the other ‘priorities’ Osbollocks put ahead of pensioner destitution:
    Freeze on fuel duty – £435m
    Relief for oil companies – £265m
    Freeze on alcohol duty – £85m
    New rights to buy   –   £35m
    Tax cuts to personal allowance & higher rates – £2bn
    ISA savings allowance – £170m
    Not investigating senior mgmnt tax fiddles on loans – £260m
    Reduced corporation tax – £1.1bn (2020)

    My suggestion is this: the Government lie about “having to wait a further 18 months for a State pension” is in fact SIX YEARS for women born in 1955 or later. That should be cut to one year from 60th birthday with immediate effect. For the 150,000 WASPIs involved in that, there is a 50% duplication with more women who have no partner, private pension or other means of support. That group should now get their pension immediately, backdated to 60th birthday.
    The remaining 175,000 WASPIs not in either group should have their delay halved, as a penalty levied on the Treasury for ignoring the Turner Commission. This would mean that all those who were, say, 60 in 2011 will get their pensions immediately, backdated to 2013.
    The total cost of this in the coming fiscal would be in the region of £2.4bn. As one can see from the list above (by no means exhaustive) there is plenty of fat in there.