Although I’m an American, I’m offering my support to Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn (L-Islington North) in his bid to become the leader of the British Labour Party.
Corbyn, who would probably be an Elizabeth Warren-type Democrat if he were an American politician, has fought for progressive ideals on many issues in over three decades. Most recently, he was one of 47 Labour MPs to vote against Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron’s legislation to gut the British welfare system, despite the fact that the interim Labour leadership advised Corbyn and the rest of their MPs not to vote on the measure at all.
I have been proud to be a trade union rep, a trade union official, a local councillor and a Labour MP for the last 32 years. My purpose in every role has been to share that power, providing a platform to the voiceless, at home and abroad, and to stand up with them.
I am now asking for your support to become Labour leader. I want that role for the same reason – to work with you to right the many wrongs we see around us.
Our party must become a social movement again. It was founded to stand up to injustice, and too often we have lost our way, ignored our supporters or been cowed by powerful commercial interests and the press.
Austerity policies are harming people’s life chances and taking away opportunities. We must reject the notion that the journey to prosperity tramples over people – and become an anti-austerity movement. You can’t build a fair economy by casting people aside.
Corbyn’s campaign is gaining so much momentum, former British Prime Minister and George W. Bush crony Tony Blair is openly attacking Corbyn for standing up for poor and working-class Britons. Given that Blair was a staunch supporter of Britain’s involvement in the unjustified Iraq War, that makes me like Corbyn even more.
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”
The OK GOP’s Facebook post is downright offensive, because it dehumanizes Oklahomans who are on food stamps because they have trouble providing food for their families by comparing them to wild animals. Poor people are not animals. They are people with families that they have to take care of, they are people who are either unable to find a job or work at a job that pays low wages, and they are people who are struggling to put food on their tables.
Oklahoma State Rep. Emily Virgin (D-Norman), noted on Twitter that many teachers and correctional officers in Oklahoma legally qualify for food stamps because they’re not paid enough to be fully able to provide food for themselves and their families:
Many OK teachers, correctional officers, college students, and single mothers qualify for food stamps. OK GOP's statement is disgusting.
If Oklahoma Republicans were serious about actually getting people off food stamps, they’d call for raising Oklahoma’s minimum wage in order to lift thousands of Oklahomans out of poverty, instead of dehumanizing Oklahomans who are in poverty. Sadly, that’s far too much to ask from them.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: While the blog post references the Republicans’ misleading attacks against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over the salaries that her U.S. Senate staffers made, the author of the blog post is a Bernie Sanders supporter, and both Hillary and Bernie support equal pay for equal work.
Republican Wisconsin Governor and likely presidential candidate Scott Walker has, once again, made downright offensive remarks about women. This time, he went onto a right-wing talk radio show hosted by Adriana Cohen and effectively claimed that giving women equal pay takes away from men and compared women working and earning a salary to collecting welfare benefits:
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has gone on the offensive against women again, despite the backlash against his previous ugly remarks about rape victims seeking abortion. As reported by Right Wing Watch, Boston Herald Radio host Adriana Cohen asked him about the issue of equal pay for women, using largely discredited numbers to accuse Hillary Clinton as a hypocrite who pays her staff unequally. Walker could have scored the easy point on hypocrisy and left it at that. Instead he doubled down on why he finds it so offensive to be for equal pay in the first place.
“But I think even a bigger issue than that,” he said, “and this is sadly something that would make her consistent with the president, and that is I believe that the president and now Hillary Clinton tend to think that politically they do better if they pit one group of Americans versus another.”
Walker added that Democrats’ “measure of success in government is how many people are dependent on the government, how many people are dependent, on whether it’s Medicaid or food stamps or health care or other things out there.”
If you’re willing to listen to Scott Walker, you can listen to Walker’s remarks here. You can also view the Right Wing Watch piece that Slate columnist Amanda Marcotte referenced here.
Women earning a salary equal to their male co-workers for the same type of work is not a form of welfare or being dependent on the government; it’s being treated fairly. Full-time working women earn 77 cents for every dollar that a full-time working man makes in this country. Furthermore, working women earning the same amount of pay as working men helps men, especially married men in households where their wives work at a job that pays a salary or wage, because equal pay for women means a higher household income, and, therefore, more money for entire families to spend on goods and services.
To me, it sounds like Scott Walker apparently believes that women shouldn’t earn a salary for their participation in the workforce, and he also apparently believes that women earning more pay somehow threatens men. The former is absolutely absurd, and the latter is absolutely false.
Wisconsin’s Dumb Senator Ron Johnson recently launched an attack on single mothers who are struggling to provide for their children, saying that he thinks that single mothers intentionally have children out of wedlock in order to get more benefits from government-run public assistance programs:
Johnson’s personal attack and stigmatization of women is based on a completely false belief that conservatives have that single mothers would be better off having more children out of wedlock than marrying someone. As Wisconsin progressive blogger Jud Loundsbury noted in this diary on the progressive website DailyKos, Johnson’s claims are absolutely absurd:
As anyone who works and has kids would expect, Johnson and (Republican Congressman Glenn) Grothman’s modern redux of the “welfare queen” has been rated “Mostly False” by Politifact and was given “Two Pinocchios” by the Washington Post’s fact checker. Why? Because it is a ridiculous notion to suggest that when you’re a single parent, working below the poverty line, that you would intentionally have another child to get more government assistance and “increase your take-home pay.” Obviously, food stamps, health care and other government assistance don’t come close covering all the expenses that come with having a child and what Johnson and Grothman fail to grasp in their misleading calculations of “income,” is that children actually eat and children actually get sick– the “increased income” they’re talking about comes in the form of increased benefits that all (in most cases literally) get eaten-up by the children.
In other words, single mothers who receive food stamps and other forms of government assistance would not financially benefit from having another child out of wedlock, since any extra benefits that single mothers would receive by having another child would be used by the children in the form of eating food, getting medical treatment, and so on. What Republicans like Ron Johnson don’t take into consideration is that children eat food, (in most cases) live in homes with some type of heating system, and become ill.
Wisconsin and the rest of America has had to deal with Ron Johnson’s stigmatizing and shaming of the American people, as well as his absurd logic, for far too long. I hope Wisconsinites vote him out of office next year.