Monday, 8 April 2013

News, Views and Music Issue 188 (Intro)

April 8th:

Dear all, I won’t ramble on too much this week because there’s two reviews for you this week – a normal length review of the last Byrds LP and a smaller one about the new Stephen Stills box set. As you can see, we’re all back to normal after the last April Fool’s Day download from our future, even if we are a bit worried that one day our lovely site will be just another fading museum in the sky.

Sadly something else happened on April 1st, which should have been a huge April Fool's Day joke, but wasn't. On that day our social justice system unravelled before our eyes as the 'bedroom tax' came into force, council benefit will now be paid by even lower income households and all funding for help with legal cases was basically taken away from the poor. That sounds like a line from a Dickens novel, but its true and its happening now. Frankly the Coalition are looking more and more desperate and ridiculous these days, as their only line of defence is 'well, we had to cut something...' which might make some convoluted senses if they'd tried every option first but no: the same day saw a tax break for millionaires which was unprecedented even in 'boom' times and, just to take the mickey, came the news that funding for the Royal Family was actually going up (is it right that one single family should cost the taxpayer as much as the entire welfare bill minus pensioners? No, quite clearly not - but the only argument you get in response is Ian Duncehead Smith spitting feathers about how dare anyone question him and more false arguments that the welfare bill is 'too expensive'. To put things into perspective: yes the the bill has gone up. But only in line with everything else that happens in recessions. Of course you're going to get more unemployed when there are less jobs. And as for disabled claimants, there happens to be more of them because there's a bigger population and even by their own figures false claims make up around 0.003% of all welfare claimants. Fraudulent? Well not by Government standards, given how many dozens of them claimed for illegal expenses - or are we supposed to have forgotten about that now? If you get the chance please do one of two things: sign the petition going round to make IDS follow up on his claim that he could live off benefits of £53 a week 9and not just one week but every week, for months or years) - even if we all know he's just going to turn round and ignore it, it makes a great, easy to handle story for the media to take up - and check out the Twitter hashtag 'ThingsIainDuncanSmithCanDo' which includes several gems (and half a dozen entries from yours truly!)

In the meantime we’re up to 95,000 hits now after a slightly busier fortnight for our stats counter and continue to point you to the following link for all the Alan’s Album Archives news stories of the week...

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