New Labour’s poor record: a million impoverished households in rural England and a failure to reduce child poverty

Almost one million households in rural England live in poverty, a study says.The report, by the government’s rural advocate, says many people in the countryside have prosperous lifestyles.

But the picture is “not so rosy” for more than 928,000 households with incomes below the official poverty line of £16,492, Stuart Burgess adds.

Dr Burgess, who heads the Commission for Rural Communities, said the priorities for rural communities were providing more affordable housing, strengthening the economy of rural areas and supporting voluntary and community work.

One of his recommendations is to promote community land trusts, which ensure properties are affordable for rural workers and do not become second homes.

He told BBC News: “No government, whichever colour of the day, is going to interfere dramatically into the market economy. But what we can do is mitigate the problem.” [Emphasis added]

It seems Dr Burgess suffers from an impoverished imagination… an English parliament at the very least would be prompted to deal with this problem: I can imagine limits on second home ownership accompanied by an expansion of council housing.

It’s not just rural poverty, child poverty is another New Labour failure on poverty. (It’s ironic really – for the ruling class, it’s a sign they can be trusted.)

Child poverty, it was promised by Blair in 1999, would be halved by 2010. This target will not be reached.

Remember, it could be ended within weeks – but no, child poverty like rural poverty is a New Labour policy.

Brown gets a coat of red paint from the press

I give you the red-wash:

 1. Gordon Brown’s class war attack on Cameron

2. Gas and electricity bosses told ‘give back profits’, Energy giants told to help poor or face levy

3. Gordon Brown to curb second home ownership

The reality, of course, is somewhat different…

Tensions between Gordon Brown and the trade unions were exposed at the closing session of Labour’s spring conference yesterday when the leader of the affiliated unions rejected the prime minister’s call for a commission on agency workers.

Tony Dubbins, the chairman of Tulo, the group representing unions affiliated to Labour, angered party officials when he demanded talks quickly on a second wave of pro-union reforms and said unions should oppose attempts to cap their donations. [Emphasis added]

Second wave? Whatever happened to the first wave? We are hardly witnessing a tsunami of socialist measures…

Look who lunch with, and donate to, New Labour:

Lord Sainsbury, 67, Labour’s most generous donor, giving more than £8 million since 2002.

Still large stockholder in supermarket chain that bears his name. Junior Minister for Science under Tony Blair, resigned in November 2006 to spend more time working on charitable causes. Questioned by police over the cash for peerages

Jon Aisbitt, 50, director of Man Group, Britain’s largest hedge fund firm, thought to be worth more than £100 million. Has donated £250,000 annually to Labour over past three years.

Also gave £250,000 to Mr Blair’s 2005 election campaign and pledged £2 million for city academy in Brighton

Martin Littler, 59, chairman and CEO of Oldham-based Inclusive Technologies, said he had given around £15,000 to Labour and was “flattered” to be invited to dinner

M T Rainey, or Mary Rainey, 52, former advertising executive, close to Mr Brown. Set up mentoring networking website,, launched last year at No 10 reception.

Non-executive director at Scottish Media Group and WH Smith, founded Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe. Says she has given small amounts but not enough to register with Electoral Commission

Sonny Leong, 55, from Chiltern, Oxfordshire, chairman of airline chartering service One Charter plc, has given £56,755 to Labour since 2004.

Came to prominence last month after Alan Johnson was criticised for registering late donations, including £2,000 from Mr Leong. Previously involved in successful publishing ventures

Bill Bottriell, 50, from North London, founded online recruitment company SThree which floated in 2005. Has given £48,000 to Labour’s HQ since then, but came to attention last year when Mr Hain failed to declare donations including £5,000 from Mr Bottriell towards deputy leadership campaign.

Reportedly a Tottenham Hotspur shareholder, once paid £1,700 for tour of No 10, auctioned by Cherie Blair to raise funds for sons’ school, the London Oratory

Stefanos Stefanou, 66, chairman of Hertfordshire construction company John Doyle Group plc, has given £40,000 to Labour. Donated to Harriet Harman’s successful mdeputy leadership campaign.

Appointed OBE last January for services to construction industry.

Why public ownership of public utilities will be cheaper for the average family…

I give you this, from the Torygraph by way of explanation:

Bills reach £42 a day as cost of living soars
By Lewis Carter
Last Updated: 2:45am GMT 03/03/2008

The average British family is having to spend £42 a day on bills, as the cost of living continues to increase.

* Phone firms profit from cash or cheque fees

Household bills have risen to £3,426 a year for the typical family, it is claimed, a figure that will rise again next month when council tax and water bills increase.

Added to the average mortgage, which costs almost £12,000 a year, it brings the annual bill to more than £15,000 – or £42 a day.

Data shows that mortgage costs have increased by an average of £600 from this time last year as a result of Bank of England rate rises and the impact of the credit crunch.

But it is the rising cost of utilities which is squeezing finances.

So folks, we need a Campaign for Public Ownership.

Don’t expect the Torygraph to start plugging it…

Prince Harry doesn’t like England


But he does like Afghanistan.

He says he’d like to return.

To Afghanistan, that is. He’s in England now.

All he got was a lousy propaganda coup, and the government takes most of that:

The Sun, in 11 pages of sycophantic coverage of the Harry the hero of Helmand story (inclusive of a pull-out poster), proudly reported yesterday that Harry had killed 30 Taliban fighters, a far cry from his earlier comments, when the press reported his words on hearing he was being posted to Iraq: ”I’m shitting myself”.

The Sun was not alone in prostrating itself in front of this blood-soaked parasite, the servility was ubiquitous: The Dailly Mail gave ten pages to the story, Daily Star (5 pages), Daily Express (10 pages), Daily Mirror (14 pages), Daily Telegraph (5 pages), The Times (7 pages). How much of this coverage of Harry’s exploits was given over to the millions killed as a direct result of the post 9-11 invasion of Afghanistan, or to the real reason that country was invaded – oil? What, you really need me to answer this for you? A cursory look at The Sun’s coverage would suggest the whole “Harry in Afghanistan” thing was stage managed; one huge photo-posing opportunity to boost the popularity of the royals and to gauge public support for what is becoming a very unpopular war.