I told a lie to claim benefits. Now I am an MP and I want to tell you why : Guardian.


Good on you Metiria Turei and no people should not falsely claim benefit but many do to survive and all cases some be looked at on their merit.

Fraud for greed should be pounced on, but fraud to live should be different. These people need help and the Society in which they live is not producing that help. It may be that they need help to run their life better so that fraud is not the manner to exist.

Punish the true fraudsters not those just wishing to live.

Society does look down on fraudsters and in many cases rightly so., but many in that Society are also fraudsters. How many try to avoid paying tax or should I say minimize our tax payments, for there are some legal ways to do so, such as ISAs.

But some of the biggest fraudsters are those who appear to have plenty to live on. Some have been MPs in the UK by fiddling expenses, some are Corporations who use many ways to minimize their tax liability many of them being legal, but for a few some that are not.

But why does it appear the person in the street is more likely to be charged than the Corporations, is it because they are easier targets, while Corporations can afford to bring in legal experts to argue when they are suspected of fraud.

Surely all should be equal in the eyes of the law and all should be prosecuted if fraud is suspected and the punishment fit the crime taking into account the circumstances.

The reality of needing to claim benefits also needs to looked at, as for some the need to claim benefits is a necessity not a luxury, as even with benefits they will never be anyway near a luxury status.

All in Government and also the press need to reflect on this and then and only then will the stigma of claiming benefits be lifted and also will the public view of persons on benefits.

The majority on benefits do need these benefits and the fraudsters and certainly so called scroungers are the very few, especially the latter. But are real people who need benefits newsworthy, unless there is a dramatic story more than likely leading to loss of life. The occasional benefit scrounger story is so more apparently newsworthy, so what does this say about ourselves and our so called Society.

SUBSTRATUMS

A homeless person in the centre of Auckland.
A homeless person in the centre of Auckland. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Last weekend I revealed a lie, a lie that I decided to talk about because of the situation we as a society find ourselves in.

I am the co-leader of the Green party of Aotearoa New Zealand – the third biggest political party in our small democracy. We are two months from our general election, and we’re in a tight tussle to change the government.

Over the weekend, at our party’s AGM, we launched an incomes policy which would create the most significant changes to New Zealand’s welfare system in a generation. It’s a comprehensive piece of work that…

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Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism


The worst is yet to come.

Stop Making Sense

Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine, writes for The Intercept:

We already know that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.

Speculation is unnecessary. All that’s required is a little knowledge of recent history. Ten years ago, I published “The Shock Doctrine,” a history of the ways in which crises have…

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Trump And Exxon: CEO Who Could Be Secretary Of State Runs Company That Often Lobbied The State Department


Surely a conflict of interest, but then Trump can not understand this concept, hence bringing Ivanka into his administration. This is a case open to corruption on a large scale, will America survive.

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David Sirota reports for the International Business Times:

Image result for exxon ceoIf ExxonMobil’s top executive is appointed to run the State Department, he will be running an agency his company has repeatedly lobbied in recent years.

Under Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who is expected to be nominated Donald Trump’s secretary of state, the oil colossus has directly lobbied the State Department on everything from sanctions against Russia and Iran to climate policy to the Trans-Pacific partnership and other controversial trade deals. An IBT review of federal records shows Exxon has been listed as lobbying the State Department on 20 separate government disclosure forms since the beginning of the Obama administration in 2009. The forms list a combined $43 million worth of total Exxon spending on lobbying, though not all of that was spent specifically lobbying the department that Tillerson would run.

Tillerson has mocked investments in renewable energy and has downplayed the effects of…

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The grim truth of Chinese factories producing the west’s Christmas toys


The consumers in the West wish for products at a reasonable cost, but give no thought regarding their manufacture, for if they did, they would realise the wages the workers received.

Investigations such as these by NGO China Labor Watch bring this information to the attention of Western consumers together with descriptions relating to the working conditions and the hours worked.

We in the West could do more to stop these practices by boycotting the products, this would show these workers that we do care. However, this could mean instead of improving their conditions the employers could just stop production, which would then mean the workers would lose the pittance that they now receive.

So, alternately, we could make a combined effort to bring these practices to the attention of the ruling authorities in a way that they will have to take action.

Stop Making Sense

Gethin Chamberlain reports for The Observer:

Related image[…] An investigation with the US-based NGO China Labor Watch reveals that toys including Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine and Hot Wheels were made by staff earning as little as 86p an hour.

Overtime can run to nearly three times the legal limit. In some factories – including one producing Happy Meal toys for McDonald’s from the new DreamWorks movie Trolls – that means some are on 12-hour shifts and have to work with hazardous chemicals.

According to China Labor Watch, the world of toys may be heaven for children, but it is a world of misery for toy factory workers.

The group’s founder and executive director, Li Qiang, said: “We can’t tolerate that children’s dreams are based on workers’ nightmares, and we must fight against the unfair oppression of workers who manufacture toys.”

Undercover investigators infiltrated four factories, and the group shared wage slips…

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American Irrationalism


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Chris Hedges writes for Truthdig:

There is no shortage of signs of impending environmental catastrophe, including the melting of the polar ice caps and the rise of atmospheric carbon to above 400 parts per million. The earth’s sixth mass extinction is underway. It is not taking place because of planetary forces. Homo sapiens is orchestrating it. Americans are at the same time bankrupting themselves by waging endless and unwinnable wars. We have allowed our elites to push more than half the U.S. population into poverty through deindustrialization. We do nothing to halt the waves of nihilistic violence by enraged citizens who carry out periodic mass shootings in schools, malls, movie theaters and other public places. The political and financial elites flaunt their greed and corruption. Donald Trump appears to pay no federal income taxes. Hillary and Bill Clinton use their foundation as a tool for legalized bribery. Our largest…

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CETA: Why Is Britain Pushing for an EU Trade Deal Before Parliament Can Vote On It?


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Oscar Rickett reports for VICE News:

In an EU referendum campaign that has rarely been anything other than banal or absurd, the issue of British sovereignty has been the overriding theme. The Brexit campaign is founded on the idea that the European Union is a shady, labyrinthine organisation that would see every free-born Englishman bound by the chains of Brussels bureaucracy. David Cameron reckons this is bullshit, saying the idea of Britain having any more real power outside of the EU is an illusion. We wouldn’t have the power to stop British businesses being discriminated against, or to make EU countries share border information with us, for instance. Sometimes power can be a bit more complicated than making your own laws in a world where there are other countries also making laws that might affect you.

But how much does Cameron actually care about sovereignty? Leaked documents shown to VICE by

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Vox Political on Nick Gibb Address to Teacher’s Conference


Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Mike over at Vox Political ran this story from the Groan, which reported the kind and courteous welcome Nick Gibb got when he spoke to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers at their conference in Liverpool. Of course, I’m being ironic when I say that it was ‘kind and courteous’. In fact that they jeered him. And I don’t blame them. What Gibb said was pure rubbish.

The Tories are, of course, determined to turn 17,000 primary schools in England into academies. Gibb made the usual attempt to try to justify this massive privatisation to the Tory party’s corporate backers by saying that it would lead to an improvement in quality. He told his audience of educational professionals that if they spoke to the headmasters, who had become heads of the academy chains, they would hear that academy schools were flourishing. Because they’re professionally led.

This is, of course…

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Hitler, Mussolini, Trump and Rhetorical and Political Inconsistency


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A number of media commenters have pointed out the inconsistencies and contradiction in Donald Trump’s speeches as he tries to drum up support for his presidential campaign. Kyle Kulinski over at Secular Talk, for example, has pointed out how Trump has argued for separate, and opposite positions on the Middle East, healthcare and the economy. For example, on the Middle East he has at one moment declared that America should go in much harder to carpet bomb whole cities, and torture and kill not just terrorists, but also their families. At other moments, sometimes just after he has argued passionately for the preceding policy, he has completely reversed his position. Instead of renewing America’s campaign in the Middle East, he has argued instead that America should not get involved, and instead leave Vladimir Putin to sort out ISIS.

His position on healthcare is similarly muddled. At one point he appeared…

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