Liam Byrne slams Lord Freud over likening benefit claimants to corpses – “The nasty party is well and truly back”

November 23, 2012 1:30 pm

Speaking to the House Magazine, minister Lord Freud said, “I think you don’t have to be the corpse to go to a funeral” in response to the question of what he knows of a life where £10 less to spend each week makes a difference. Responding, Shadow Welfare Secretary Liam Byrne attacked Freud, saying:

“The nasty party is well and truly back.

“Lord Freud is a former investment banker and now a minister of the crown. For him of all people to compare people on benefits to corpses and likening their lives to a funeral is quite frankly disgusting.

“Before the summer his boss Iain Duncan Smith had the temerity to call Remploy workers idlers who did nothing better than sit around drinking coffee. He sacked over 1,000 of them and only 35 have managed to find work again.

“He is quite clearly a man in total denial about the pain his policies are about to cause. Shelter have begged the government to consider the ‘terrifying reality’ of the damage they are doing. Scope talk of disabled people facing a tipping point, risking poverty, debt and isolation.

“This government is next year about to take out billions from disability help and housing. All to pay for their catastrophic failure to get Britain back to work, and a 3 billion tax giveaway to Britain’s richest citizens.

“This government’s so-called welfare revolution is collapsing around its ears. The work programme isn’t working. Universal Credit has become universal chaos. Yet Lord Freud’s response is to kick people when they are down and not even pretend to offer a helping hand.

“Lord Freud should be ashamed of himself, and his government should too.”

  • aracataca

    Take note Alan Giles and Co.

    One of the first things we should repeal on coming in to office apart from the most damaging bits of the Health and Social Care Act is the Housing Benefit cap.

    I haven’t said this very often but here goes- ‘Well said Liam Byrne’

    • AlanGiles

      Liam Byrne says what he thinks expedient at the moment he says it. I take little notice of his crocodile tears or his faux outrage. Lord Freud was a nice man when he worked for Purnell and Brown, and an ogre now. the truth is, he is and was an ignorant little sh!t then and now.

      You can try to burnish Byrne’s repitation as much as you like, but the fact will never be forgotten that it was Labour that originally unleashed Freud on the sick and disabled. You might choose to forget that but intelligent people will not, Bill

      • aracataca

        I’m intelligent enough to know that that’s not how you spell reputation.

        • AlanGiles

          Typical of you Bill to highlight a typo. Like you have never made any yourself. Still I suppose you have nothing better to do with your time. What a sad little chap you are!

          • aracataca

            Yes but it is all the time Alan. Virtually every entry you make contains a gaping spelling or grammatical error.
            If you are going to write garbage on here at least make some kind of attempt to get the spelling and the grammar right when doing so..

          • Amber_Star

            You make plenty or errors yourself, Aracataca. As do I. Many of the ATL writers make typos, & errors of spelling or grammar. Sometimes it is fun to play the pedant & point out specific errors but a blanket attack on another person is not fun!

          • aracataca

            Fair point Amber but then is AG’s abuse of anyone who doesn’t agree with him any fun either? He comes on to a Labour site to do nothing other than slag Labour and their supporters off- How helpful is that?

          • aracataca

            Fair point Amber but then is AG’s abuse of anyone who doesn’t agree with him any fun either? He comes on to a Labour site to do nothing other than slag Labour and their supporters off- How helpful is that?

          • aracataca

            Fair point Amber but then is AG’s abuse of anyone who doesn’t agree with him any fun either? He comes on to a Labour site to do nothing other than slag Labour and their supporters off- How helpful is that?

          • jack johnson

            Don’t we just love intellectual snobs like Arataca and Liam Byrne?

      • aracataca

        Look, actually I agree that Freud is a disgusting individual, which may say something about the naivety of those in Labour who appointed him.

        HOWEVER, you must remember that the situation Labour was trying to address was the one where Tory governments continually massaged unemployment figures by putting an increasing number of people on sickness benefit. For example, some of these people were signed off for depression – they were depressed because they weren’t working – bit of a circular situation, that.

        There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting people back to work – if they are indeed fit and well enough. But it’s quite a different situation to the way this good idea has been corrupted into demonising those on sickness benefit, and making blatantly wrong decisions. Owen Jones referred to the number of deaths following ATOS finding people fit for work on QT last night. He didn’t absolve New Labour of blame either, but it’s this lot who have taken it to the most inhumane tabloid pleasing depths.

        • AlanGiles

          It is absolutely beyond the pale to suggest Freud was a kind caring considerate man before he jpoined the Conservatives, and that he was, as Purnell and Hutton et al described him a “welfare expert”. We all know his area of expertise was investment banking, and that even after his report was issued on February 9th 2009 in a Daily Telegraph interview he erroneously stated that it was the patients GP who put him/her onto IB. IB was at that time in the hands of DWP and they appointed independent doctors to make the assessment. It never was, nor never had been a decision made by the GP. None of the Labour supporters of Freud ever bothered to correct that falsehood.

          As Brum says he never read the whole of Beveridge because it was “too fat” (or more likely he was unable to understand it).

          It is true the Conservatives massaged the unemployment figures by putting people onto sickness benefit – but when you consider that a lot of those people who were were in middle age and living in deprived areas where unemployment was rife, that in a strange way was more humane than making people jump through hoops to try to find jobs which don’t exist, or making them work for charity for Tesco and those other “caring” companies which took advantage of the changes. But I repeat Labour created the monster that is Freud, and to compound their culpability Purnell dragged that bill through Parliament AFTER Freud had been bought by the Tories.

          Byrne should have done himself and everybody else a favour by actually resigning from Westminster, regardless of whether Birmingham wanted a Mayor: it is obvious he isn’t interested in his job and these knee-jerk and bogus responses does nothing to improve his credibility. Ed Miliband could do himself – and the unemployed and disabled – a big favour by sacking the raddled old windbag and appointing somebody with a bit more compassion and genuine understanding. There were, may I remind you, people with terminal cancer being found fit for work prior to Labour losing the 2010 election, and who died shortly after. Neither party can claim the moral higher ground in this matter.

        • AlanGiles

          It is absolutely beyond the pale to suggest Freud was a kind caring considerate man before he jpoined the Conservatives, and that he was, as Purnell and Hutton et al described him a “welfare expert”. We all know his area of expertise was investment banking, and that even after his report was issued on February 9th 2009 in a Daily Telegraph interview he erroneously stated that it was the patients GP who put him/her onto IB. IB was at that time in the hands of DWP and they appointed independent doctors to make the assessment. It never was, nor never had been a decision made by the GP. None of the Labour supporters of Freud ever bothered to correct that falsehood.

          As Brum says he never read the whole of Beveridge because it was “too fat” (or more likely he was unable to understand it).

          It is true the Conservatives massaged the unemployment figures by putting people onto sickness benefit – but when you consider that a lot of those people who were were in middle age and living in deprived areas where unemployment was rife, that in a strange way was more humane than making people jump through hoops to try to find jobs which don’t exist, or making them work for charity for Tesco and those other “caring” companies which took advantage of the changes. But I repeat Labour created the monster that is Freud, and to compound their culpability Purnell dragged that bill through Parliament AFTER Freud had been bought by the Tories.

          Byrne should have done himself and everybody else a favour by actually resigning from Westminster, regardless of whether Birmingham wanted a Mayor: it is obvious he isn’t interested in his job and these knee-jerk and bogus responses does nothing to improve his credibility. Ed Miliband could do himself – and the unemployed and disabled – a big favour by sacking the raddled old windbag and appointing somebody with a bit more compassion and genuine understanding. There were, may I remind you, people with terminal cancer being found fit for work prior to Labour losing the 2010 election, and who died shortly after. Neither party can claim the moral higher ground in this matter.

        • AlanGiles

          It is absolutely beyond the pale to suggest Freud was a kind caring considerate man before he jpoined the Conservatives, and that he was, as Purnell and Hutton et al described him a “welfare expert”. We all know his area of expertise was investment banking, and that even after his report was issued on February 9th 2009 in a Daily Telegraph interview he erroneously stated that it was the patients GP who put him/her onto IB. IB was at that time in the hands of DWP and they appointed independent doctors to make the assessment. It never was, nor never had been a decision made by the GP. None of the Labour supporters of Freud ever bothered to correct that falsehood.

          As Brum says he never read the whole of Beveridge because it was “too fat” (or more likely he was unable to understand it).

          It is true the Conservatives massaged the unemployment figures by putting people onto sickness benefit – but when you consider that a lot of those people who were were in middle age and living in deprived areas where unemployment was rife, that in a strange way was more humane than making people jump through hoops to try to find jobs which don’t exist, or making them work for charity for Tesco and those other “caring” companies which took advantage of the changes. But I repeat Labour created the monster that is Freud, and to compound their culpability Purnell dragged that bill through Parliament AFTER Freud had been bought by the Tories.

          Byrne should have done himself and everybody else a favour by actually resigning from Westminster, regardless of whether Birmingham wanted a Mayor: it is obvious he isn’t interested in his job and these knee-jerk and bogus responses does nothing to improve his credibility. Ed Miliband could do himself – and the unemployed and disabled – a big favour by sacking the raddled old windbag and appointing somebody with a bit more compassion and genuine understanding. There were, may I remind you, people with terminal cancer being found fit for work prior to Labour losing the 2010 election, and who died shortly after. Neither party can claim the moral higher ground in this matter.

          • aracataca

            It is absolutely beyond the pale to suggest Freud was a kind caring considerate man before he jpoined the Conservatives, and that he was, as Purnell and Hutton et al described him a “welfare expert”.

            Check what I actually said:

            ‘Look, actually I agree that Freud is a disgusting individual, which may say something about the naivety of those in Labour who appointed him’.

          • AlanGiles

            Labour were not naive – they knew exactly what they were doing – they wanted to appease the Daily Express, radio phone knee-jerkers. Freud was not an expert in the area of welfare and they knew this only too well: I was an engineer and it would have made as much sense to appoint me as an expert on ballet as to appoint a prissy, queeny voiced multimillionaire to pretend he was an expert on poverty and ill health. I repeat Labour started this nightmare, and Byrnewas one of the cheerleaders when they did. Freud is a fool and Byrne is a hypocrite – and a fool too, if he thinks we actually believe his apparent change of heart.

          • aracataca

            ‘I was an engineer and it would have made as much sense to appoint me as an expert on ballet as to appoint a prissy, queeny voiced multimillionaire to pretend he was an expert on poverty and ill health’.

            I’ll ignore the implied homophobia there Alan but the picture you paint of the last Labour government deliberately setting out to attack the sick and disabled is wholly inaccurate. The point was to get people off IB and to get those who were fit and able into work where possible.This is what Purnell said at the time and I believe in this regard he was being honest. What is being attempted by this government is quite different and the HB cap is going to put families on the street. In respect of London large numbers of poor people are going to be decanted to deprived parts of the country where social deprivation is going to be compounded. It is an attempt at social cleansing and in that regard it is radically different from the goals and intentions of James Purnell.

          • AlanGiles

            Delude yourself all you like Bill – one gets the impression reality deserted you long ago. The fact is Field, Blunkett, Johnson, Darling, Flint and Purnell ALL pandered to the tabloid myopia that all unemployed people were workshy, and that people who were ill were malingering – it suited their “we’re just as tough as the Tories” message. Flint wanted the unemployed precluded from council house waiting lists. Remember?. Field still peddles his views when he is not whinging on about immigration with his pal Nicholas Soames.

            Also, it is a bit rich, but typically hypocritical for Byrne to drag in the Remploy workers, because it was Peter Hain (Labour) in 2008 who started the closure of Remploy, and, no doubt, had he not had to resign because of questions over his financial integrity (like his successor) would have continued the closure programme.

            You say that Labour was “naive” to appoint Freud. Many of us believe they did so because they were anxious to look tough. They were calculating, not naive.

            Purnell pushed the bill through AFTER Freud had OFFICIALLY joined the Conservatives: time for reflection and reconsideration, you might reasonably think – but no, he ploughed ahead with it, and Labour backbenchers didn’t have the backbone to oppose it in the House, although a few of them crawled along to the media to say how much they disagreed with it – AFTER they had voted for it.

            These are facts, however much they upset you and send you looking for typographical errors, like some over-enthusiastic school marm marking the exercise books,a device you use because you cannot deny the truth in what I, and others are saying (and which makes you look very paltry)

            For Christ’s sake stop the pretence that Labour had nothing to do with the terrible situation the disabled, ill and unemployed now find themselves in. I remind you again that:

            1) Purnell himself said in 2009 that it would not be until 2013 that the full effect of the reforms he implemented would be seen. Just about the only honest statement he made during his short and ignomious Westminster “career”.

            and

            2) Byrne said as late as January this year that he “agreed with three quarters” of the government’s welfare reform bill.

            Finally, if you find the need to change your screen name yet again, might I suggest you call yourself “Parsons” based on the character in Orwell’s 1984 – a man terrified of going against the party line, and prepared to “forget” inconvenient facts.

          • aracataca

            Parsons … the character in Orwell’s 1984 – a man terrified of going against the party line, and prepared to “forget” inconvenient facts.

            Oh, do me a favour!

            This is going to be my last comment on this subject, because frankly arguing the toss with you is about as useful as banging my head against a brick wall. OK, Labour made mistakes, but to condemn them completely and decide that they’re no better than the Tories is a very misguided view. All it does is strengthen the position of the Tories.

            What Labour were trying to do was confound their right wing critics who made the absurd charge that Labour approved of a ‘client state’ (as they put it, misunderstanding what ‘client state’ means) of benefits recipients, that they were actually bribing them to vote Labour so as they could enjoy the life of Riley. Now, sensible people who read LabourList know that that’s a load of utter nonsense, and that most people actually prefer to have the self-respect of earning their own living. But it was a charge they thought they should challenge, whilst never condemning those who were unable to work.

            When Labour set up the welfare state in 1945, the idea was never that it was going to support 1930s style unemployment. It was a safety net to avoid the grinding poverty that nobody wanted a return to. Then along comes Thatcher, claiming that ‘unemployment is a price worth paying’ (ie to crush the unions) and we’re back to 1930s levels of unemployment. Then the Tory tabloids blame the victims and say they actually enjoy being unemployed and living off the state.

            So Labour were simply trying to mend our economy and get people back into work. Admittedly, getting Freud on board was absolutely misguided.

            According to David Freud’s Wiki page, when Brown became PM he made sure that Freud’s ideas were watered down, which indicates that he was unhappy about these policies and the rightward drift of Labour under Blair (who originally appointed Freud). Having said that, I don’t believe Blair was a closet Tory, he was simply following what he thought was the new consensus.

            Now we have Ed Miliband as leader, it’s really time to draw a line under the mistakes of the Blair era. Yes, they pandered too much to right wing critics. But Labour were never as heartless, destructive and stupidly incompetent as the present government, and it’s very disingenuous to suggest they were. Constantly arguing that Labour is just as bad is a complete cop-out. We have to believe in and fight for a better future.

          • AlanGiles

            ” But it was a charge they thought they should challenge, whilst never condemning those who were unable to work.”

            So that was why Alan Johnson wanted DWP spies placed in GPs waiting rooms, so they could pester unemployed patients (an idea which never came to fruition since Mr Johnson’s one lonely brain cell didn’t understand that in order for his scheme to work, it would have been necessary for the reception staff to give out names and thus break the GP/patient confidentiality rules).

            That is why Field constantly spewed his bile about the “workshy” (i.e. everybody unemployed for whatever reason) on “The Westminster Hour” and “Any Questions” etc.

            As for:

            ” I don’t believe Blair was a closet Tory, he was simply following what he thought was the new consensus.”

            A great leader LEADS – he doesnt follow. And he certainly doesn’t pander to the gutter press, but we all know how he loved sucking up to Murdoch.

            You can believe in a better future just as you can believe in little green men from Mars, but to build a better future you need people with real grit and determination – not lightweights like Ed Miliband. The next Labour government will be a cross between the Blair/Brown ones – not surpising when you have their cast-offs still in positions of influence and authority.

          • kb32904

            For heavens sake you two! Your constant bickering are just so bloody boring and it puts me off coming to this site.
            I’m a new Labour member and come here to share opinions with allegedly like-minded people yet all I see is this childish bickering between you two – every damn day !!
            If you don’t want Labour to succeed then I for one wish you would bog off and find somebody else to irritate.
            As far as this comment by Byrne is concerned – all I can say is ‘what took you so long ?’

          • aracataca

            ‘but to build a better future you need people with real grit and determination’

            – Like Natalie Bennet for instance?

          • AlanGiles

            If you think Byrne is the answer you are obviously asking the wrong question

    • Serbitar

      Liam Byrne has repeatedly hinted about Labour introducing regional Housing Benefit caps set lower than the Coalition cap in poorer and more deprived parts of the country which will surely make life even more difficult and unbearable for families already struggling at the margins: I suspect that if Liam Byrne has his way the current Housing Cap would not be raised but lowered in many of the poorer areas around the United Kingdom.

      Returning to New Labour’s previously slavish relationship with the evil, idiotic and misguided David Freud, the House magazine article illuminates. I quote:

      ‘And if Brown had given Purnell free reign, would the Freud reforms already be in place? “Probably”, he replies, after a pause, adding: “I’ve not talked to Gordon Brown since, but I speak occasionally to James Purnell.”’

      I interpret this as meaning that Purnell would have gone at least as far as the Coalition in respect to welfare reform if unrestrained. In fact I suspect that simpering Jamie aspired to exceed Freud’s design if given his head and well remember him boasting, during the course of a television interview, about how his package of Labour sponsored of welfare reforms “… actually went further than Freud.”

      Quite a boast all things considered.

      Though not one that any sane or humane man or woman would want to make in public.

    • Serbitar

      Liam Byrne has repeatedly hinted about Labour introducing regional Housing Benefit caps set lower than the Coalition cap in poorer and more deprived parts of the country which will surely make life even more difficult and unbearable for families already struggling at the margins.

      As far as New Labour’s previously slavish relationship with David Freud goes the House magazine article is illuminating. I quote:

      ‘And if Brown had given Purnell free reign, would the Freud reforms already be in place? “Probably”, he replies, after a pause, adding: “I’ve not talked to Gordon Brown since, but I speak occasionally to James Purnell.”’

      I interpret this as meaning that Purnell would have gone at least as far as the Coalition as far as welfare reform goes if given his head. In fact I suspect that Purnell would have preferred to go further and well remember him boasting during the course of a television interview about how his Labour sponsored package of welfare reforms “… went further than Freud…”

      Quite a boast all things considered.

    • Serbitar

      Liam Byrne has repeatedly hinted about Labour introducing regional Housing Benefit caps set lower than the Coalition cap in poorer and more deprived parts of the country, which will surely make life even more difficult and unbearable for families already struggling at the margins. I suspect that if Liam Byrne has his way the current Housing Cap would not be raised but lowered in many of the poorer areas around the United Kingdom.

      Returning to New Labour’s previously slavish relationship with the evil, idiotic and misguided David Freud, House magazine illuminates. I quote:

      ‘And if Brown had given Purnell free reign, would the Freud reforms already be in place? “Probably”, he replies, after a pause, adding: “I’ve not talked to Gordon Brown since, but I speak occasionally to James Purnell.”’

      I interpret this as meaning that Purnell would have gone at least as far as the Coalition in respect to welfare reform if unrestrained. In fact I suspect that simpering Jamie aspired to exceed Freud’s design, if given his head, and well remember him boasting, during the course of a television interview, about how his package of Labour sponsored of welfare reforms “… actually went further than Freud.”

      Quite a boast all things considered.

      Though not one that any sane or humane man or woman would want to make in public.

  • Hugh

    I think Liam Byrne is probably intelligent enough to know how analogies work, and therefore that Lord Freud is not in fact likening benefit claimants to corpses. But, who knows? Maybe he is that stupid.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graeme-Hancocks/1156294498 Graeme Hancocks

      You miss the point. By using such a crass analogy Freud is displaying crass ignorance and insensitivity. That is the point Liam Bryne is making.

      • Hugh

        You’re right, I did miss the point. When he said, “to compare people on benefits to corpses and likening their lives to a funeral is quite frankly disgusting” I had thought he was suggesting that Freud was, er, comparing people on benefits to corpses and likening their lives to a funeral. Silly me.

  • Serbitar

    Lord Freud was once the Labour Party’s welfare guru. Enough said.

    • aracataca

      Guilt by association Serbi? You’d be good on a jury.

      • Serbitar

        Leopards don’t change their spots, Ara. How come nobody noticed that David Fraud was a callous scumbucket while he was working for the Labour Party and busily dreaming up welfare reforms that led us to ESA and Atos?

  • Brumanuensis

    Freud’s main remarks were par-for-the course unpleasantness, but what stood out from House magazine’s interview was this:

    “Freud admits that he has only read the summary of Beveridge’s great tome (“I have to confess… I didn’t read it all, it’s so fat”), but suggests that his own reforms are true to Beveridge’s vision. “I’d be enormously pleased and gratified if my reforms were thought of in the same way as Beveridge. In a funny way it is almost back to Beveridge, some of this. If you like, Beveridge was coming out of a process of very patchy provision into a position where he was always emphasising personal responsibility, prevention of idleness and those things, so we’ve gone through that,” he argues”.

    So, Freud’s never actually fully read Beveridge, but is none-the-less convinced that his ideas are completely in spirit with it. The incurious mind is a remarkable thing indeed.

    • Dave Postles

      It’s redolent of the superficiality of the City, it seems.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What is it with the advertisements on LL? Most of the time, I am presented with an offer from some financial company to manage my “portfolio” of investments to guarantee my secure retirement, assuming I have £250,000 of spare money to invest in some city of London scheme (no one asked me if I have a positive opinion of the city of London …. I do not, or even my opinion if £250,000 is enough to secure a retirement if the Government is determined to destroy our currency … it is not). Now, after a brief foray into Google into land prices in Devon, I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme. It is like being “stalked”, but more to the point, are these advertisements likely to attract the attention of the core Labour vote?

    If the software was very intelligent, which it clearly is not, it would realise that most of my Google activity in relation to money and land prices is an attempt to withdraw my exposure to the sort of nonsense that has caused us to be in this situation. It all seems very odd, and a significant distance from the mainstream concerns of Labour voters.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What is it with the advertisements on LL? Most of the time, I am presented with an offer from some financial company to manage my “portfolio” of investments to guarantee my secure retirement, assuming I have £250,000 of spare money to invest in some city of London scheme (no one asked me if I have a positive opinion of the city of London …. I do not, or even my opinion if £250,000 is enough to secure a retirement if the Government is determined to destroy our currency … it is not).

    Now, after a brief foray into Google into land prices in Devon, I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme. Apart from wondering who on God’s earth needs a “Farming Simulator” programme, it is like being “stalked”, and more to the point, are these advertisements likely to attract the attention of the core Labour vote?

    If the software was very intelligent, which it clearly is not, it would realise that most of my Google activity in relation to money and land prices is an attempt to withdraw my exposure to the sort of nonsense that has caused us to be in this situation. It all seems very odd, and a significant distance from the mainstream concerns of Labour voters.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What is it with the advertisements on LL? Most of the time, I am presented with an offer from some financial company to manage my “portfolio” of investments to guarantee my secure retirement, assuming I have £250,000 of spare money to invest in some city of London scheme (no one asked me if I have a positive opinion of the city of London …. I do not, or even my opinion if £250,000 is enough to secure a retirement if the Government is determined to destroy our currency … it is not).

    Now, after a brief foray into Google into land prices in Devon, I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme. Apart from wondering who on God’s earth needs a “Farming Simulator” programme, it is like being “stalked”, and more to the point, are these advertisements likely to attract the attention of the core Labour vote?

    If the software was very intelligent, which it clearly is not, it would realise that most of my Google activity in relation to money and land prices is an attempt to withdraw my exposure to the sort of nonsense that has caused us to be in this situation. It all seems very odd, and a significant distance from the mainstream concerns of Labour voters.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What is it with the advertisements on LL? Most of the time, I am presented with an offer from some financial company to manage my “portfolio” of investments to guarantee my secure retirement, assuming I have £250,000 of spare money to invest in some city of London scheme (no one asked me if I have a positive opinion of the city of London …. I do not, or even my opinion if £250,000 is enough to secure a retirement if the Government is determined to destroy our currency … it is not).

    Now, after a brief foray into Google into land prices in Devon, I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme. Apart from wondering who on God’s earth needs a “Farming Simulator” programme, it is like being “stalked”, and more to the point, are these advertisements likely to attract the attention of the core Labour vote?

    If the software was very intelligent, which it clearly is not, it would realise that most of my Google activity in relation to money and land prices is an attempt to withdraw my exposure to the sort of nonsense that has caused us to be in this situation. It all seems very odd, and a significant distance from the mainstream concerns of Labour voters.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    What is it with the advertisements on LL? Most of the time, I am presented with an offer from some financial company to manage my “portfolio” of investments to guarantee my secure retirement, assuming I have £250,000 of spare money to invest in some city of London scheme (no one asked me if I have a positive opinion of the city of London …. I do not, or even my opinion if £250,000 is enough to secure a retirement if the Government is determined to destroy our currency … it is not).

    Now, after a brief foray into Google into land prices in Devon, I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme. Apart from wondering who on God’s earth needs a “Farming Simulator” programme, it is like being “stalked”, and more to the point, are these advertisements likely to attract the attention of the core Labour vote?

    If the software was very intelligent, which it clearly is not, it would realise that most of my Google activity in relation to money and land prices is an attempt to withdraw my exposure to the sort of nonsense that has caused us to be in this situation. It all seems very odd, and a significant distance from the mainstream concerns of Labour voters.

    • AlanGiles

      “I am presented with an advertisement for Microsoft’s “Farming Simulator” programme.”

      This is probably to tie-in with yesterdays “one nation” schtick on LL about the land and the sea!

      • John Reid

        Have you got the last couple of News on the Hill labour leaflets through your door ,Alan.

    • Dave Postles

      If you don’t want to be tracked in your web searches, the best policy is to use DuckDuckGo.

    • TomFairfax

      Unfortunately you’ll also find with Google once you ticked the boxes to enable you to use the maps function that it will automatically suggest items concerned with your daily commute, places to eat, the route you should take that day, maybe even the closest cinema and the weather at that locale. ‘Free’ services mean that you and your associated personal data is the product being sold.

      Unless you need to use it, you might want to set the ‘Location’ setting in your phone to off.

      I wonder if that might become mandatory for GPs as patient confidentiallity is a bit difficult to maintain if all the house calls are being monitored by big bro’ in the states. One for the BMA ethics committee maybe.

      However, the Farming Simulator sounds fantastic. I wonder if it simulates the roots of raspberry canes rotting due to the incessant rain we had this summer.

      As for the pension advert on LL. It would be interesting to see how long that lasts. A bit specialised. Maybe they couldn’t afford Google’s rates.

  • jack johnson

    Is Liam Byrne with the programme?The “The welfare revolution” is working as it was intended to by denying poor people the right to live. And since when did Tories want people back to work? Unless it’s for slave conditions!

  • franwhi

    Freud and Byrne – pots and kettles

  • markfergusonuk

    I agree about the bickering. The pair of you are now on a warning. Stop it or by Monday you’ll both be under moderation…

  • Monkey_Bach

    Eeek. You humans are really funny. Or hypocritical one might say. As a monkey it’s hard for me to tell the difference. For example Iain Duncan Smith who considers it scandalous if not sinful for any family, no matter how large, to receive more than £35,000 a year in benefits from from the state saw nothing wrong in claiming £98,000 in expenses for himself last year despite receiving a £134,565 cabinet minister’s salary and goodness knows how much money from investments and his rich wife’s private interests. Eeek. Funny? Hypocritical? You be the judge. Eeek.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Eeek. You humans are really funny. Or hypocritical one might say. As a monkey it’s hard for me to tell the difference. For example Iain Duncan Smith, who considers it scandalous and possibly even sinful for a family, no matter how large, to receive more than £35,000 a year in benefits saw nothing wrong in claiming a whopping £98,000 in expenses himself last year despite receiving £134,565 cabinet minister’s salary from the tax payer and goodness knows how much money rolling in from investments and his own wife’s private interests. Eeek. Funny? Hypocritical? You’d best be the judge. Eeek.

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Thank you Dave. I will look into that DuckDuckGo, but to be honest, it does not worry me too much. I am more bemused by the advertising than irritated. Advertising has always struck me as being a strange profession for someone to willingly enter, and I mostly view advertisements with contempt as they are very often stupid and look down on the reader (and thus reveal the apparent intellectual quality of the advertisement creator).

    Advertisements normally actively prevent me from taking any interest in what is being advertised.

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