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Ed-Target Billionaire Tax Cheats not the Poor

Unedited version of Aamer’s column for Scottish Sun on Sunday 9th June 2013

Ed-Target Billionaire Cheats not the Poor

Ed Miliband proved this week that he can be just as tough as the Tories on the welfare budget by announcing that state benefits would rise by less than the rate of inflation and that spending on disability, sickness and housing benefits would be capped.

Ed is absolutely right when tells us that we are up to our necks in debt and that we need to ‘be laser-focused on how we spend every pound’.

Millions of ordinary working people are angry and tired because each day is a battle for survival.

Some of those struggling wonder how it is that a very small minority on benefits can afford to get drunk, sleep all day, dress their ‘many’ kids in the latest gear and even have family holidays?

In reality this stereotype of ‘lazy benefit scroungers’ is bogus one or a very tiny minority given credence by politicians desperate to scapegoat those on benefits rather than the bankers who actually ripped us all off for trillions.

If the mantra is ‘making tough and difficult choices’ why is that the only people being asked to ‘tighten their belts’ are the poor rather than billionaire tax dodgers?

Ed seems more than happy to attack the ConDem coalition, yet when he says ‘the coalition spending limits will be the starting point’ what he means is that not one of Coalitions attacks on the poor and the disabled will be reversed.

I really don’t understand why Ed finds it so hard to raise his game? I have no doubt his opinion ratings would rocket through the roof if he focused his ‘laser’ on billionaire tax dodgers and their ‘gold-plated lifestyles’ instead of benefit claimants.

UK tax loopholes mean that global companies who make billions of pounds in profits can channel their returns to offshore tax havens and end up paying less tax in percentage terms than ordinary working people- sometimes as low as 1%.

Some of the biggest names involved in ‘legal’ tax avoidance include companies like Google, Amazon, Starbucks and Vodafone.

20% of the world’s tax havens just happen to be British protectorates but for some reason Ed is unwilling to put them out of business.

He needn’t worry that companies will disappear from the UK after all they still want to make billions from us the consumers. They just need to pay their taxes due and stop stashing trillions in off-shore accounts.

It’s great headline grabber for Ed to go after winter fuel allowances for wealthy pensioners, but most British pensioners are more worried about having to choose between food and heating this Winter.

Why doesn’t Ed focus his ‘laser’ on big energy companies who put their prices up by 20% each year? Even a tiny dent in their profits would save pensioners from dying from hypothermia or poverty each Winter.

Millions are sick of just surviving and paying for a crisis they never created, so if Ed wants to prove his ‘economic credibility’ then he should try and appeal to them.

Since Thatcher the card routinely played by Scottish Labour has been that the only way to avoid Tory rule is to vote for Labour, but with Ed Miliband stealing Cameron’s clothes and abandoning what is left of Labour’s principles, the Westminster choice really is between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

With both promising more austerity, more misery and revolving doors of corruption, an independent Scotland is fast becoming a much more attractive option.


This week the court martial of a 25 year old soldier began in the United States. Bradley Manning after spending 4 years in solitary confinement faces a lifetime in prison without parole if convicted.

His crime is the release of hundreds of thousands of files to Wikileaks about what the US military were up to in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the leaks was the notorious video of two Apache helicopters in 2007 which gunned down 12 innocents in a Baghdad street including 2 Reuters journalists.

Bradley described the pilots actions as being akin to a ‘child torturing ants with a magnifying ants.’

Accused of ‘indirectly aiding the enemy’  Bradley however claims he wanted to ‘provoke a public debate’ and save lives of American soldiers as well as innocent civilians.

Many of the war crimes committed by the US would have remained classified had Bradley not become a ‘whistle blower’.

For me Bradley Manning is a hero who had the courage to act on his conscience. I wish him all the best. 


The trials of Mrs A took a turn for the worse as she waited for me to turn up at our son’s first parent’s evening before he starts school. Trying to stop our toddler from running off with another parent’s handbag, she then turned round to find our son being told off by the headmaster for dive bombing on the school chairs. Maybe it is time to bring back corporal punishment?