Absolutely disgusting

Not content with destroying the economy and the social safety nets, the ConDem coalition is also threatening those who are exposing the effects of their policies:

The chair of the Trussell Trust has said that the charity made a decision to tone down its criticisms of the benefit system after someone in power warned them that they could get shut down.

Chris Mould, chair of the Trussell Trust, was giving evidence to the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector yesterday when he said that the charity, which aims to tackle poverty, had been criticised by the government for raising awareness of the need for food banks.

He said that he had seen several examples of how “people in power do pretty inappropriate things at times to try and curb and curtail independence of a voluntary organisation when it proves to be inconvenient to them”.

Mould, who made it clear that the charity was not a campaigning organisation, told the panel that most of these examples had arisen in private conversations with those in power.

“Nice charity you have there. Shame if something happened to it.”

“Trespassing scum”

HMRC boss Dave Hartnett is the man responsible for cutting dodgy deals with Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and other large corporations that have cost the taxpayer billions in lost revenue.

When we discovered that he was making his retirement speech at an elite tax avoidance conference, we couldn’t resist popping in. We donned our best Goldman Sachs and Vodafone costumes, bought some flowers and knocked up a fake award. This is what happened.

They do not like it up them, do they? Kudos for making these scroungers feel uncomfortable, even if it won’t stop them from stealing more. Not that you can call it stealing of course; everything Hartnett did for his corporate friends was strictly legal, while what those beastly protestors did was not. In this way ruling class violence is legitamised while most things the working classes can do to protect themselves against it are ruled illegal.

Consider. That twentyfive billion pounds Hartnett has given away isn’t just an abstract amount, it’s twentyfive billion less that the UK government has had to spent on social benefits or the NHS. Which means that there may have been benefit cuts that didn’t need to have happened if Hartnell had done his job, or hospital investments that didn’t happen because he couldn’t be bothered, which means that sooner or later people have died who’d still be alive without this theft. Of course those deaths can never be directly linked to his actions and perhaps it only means several thousand people’s lives on benefits will be just that little bit worse off, or people will be just that little bit longer ill than they had needed to be. But in no way can Hartnell be ever held responsible for this, as no justice system on earth ever recognises this sort of violence, just the violence of the protestor who “tresspasses” to confront him with his actions.

Which is why we should always be very careful before we decide as activists to be bound by the justice system and laws that have been designed to make their kind of violence possible, but our kind of confrontation illegal.

Your Happening World (23)

The ‘charging threshold’, ridiculous as it may sound, was to try those who had 20 or more UK Uncut leaflets on them at the time of arrest. I guess we will never know if this was a deliberate manipulation of the evidence, or just incompetence – neither of which reflect very well. It being clear that I was 4 leaflets shy of what the prosecution deem as guilty – they had to let me go. Well lucky me, but the remaining defendants are still there. Those 4 flimsy leaflets are what stand between me and my friends who are still on trial.

How the police decide who to prosecutefor the occupation of Fortnum & Mason last year during the anti-cuts demonstrations in London.

The power network behind the Murdoch phone hackings.

Christ, what kind of douchenozzle worries about his icecream being pro-ay marriage?

As a healthy antidote to the last link’s idiocity, have an oral history of The Brixton Fairies and the South London Gay Community Centre, Brixton 1974-6, courtesy of Urban75.