Star date: 26th June 2014


Protesters carrying Pickle The Bedroom Tax placards greeted ConDem Government Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles as he arrived in Manchester to speak at the CIH Housing Conference at Manchester Conference Centre (G-Mex) today.

Meanwhile, an official attendee at the Conference told the Salford Star that he had been excluded from asking Eric Pickles a question because he hadn't paid £1,300 for a special delegate pass which allowed access to the session.

Full details here…

Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre
Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre
Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre Eric Pickles Protest at Manchester Conference Centre
click image to enlarge

Eric Pickles was given a Greater Manchester welcome to the CIH Housing Conference at the Manchester Conference Centre (G-Mex) this afternoon, as people opposed to the Bedroom Tax and local government cuts gathered outside, many carrying placards reading Pickle The Bedroom Tax.

Angry speakers at the anti-Pickles protest attacked the ConDem Government Local Government Secretary both for his role in the Bedroom Tax debacle and for his cuts to local governments which have meant housing support services have been axed all over the north west (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

"A lot of UNISON members work in social housing supporting people and it's absolutely astounding that Eric Pickles has done absolutely nothing for local government" said UNISON's Rena Wood "He's stood by when the Government disproportionately cut the rate support grant to the North West councils – while in David Cameron's constituency they got a 3% increase. That tells you everything. These cuts are all about an ideological attack against us, the working people."

Urging anti-Bedroom Tax campaigners and those opposed to local government cuts to join public sector workers on the picket lines and at rallies when they strike on July 10th, Rena Wood added "Eric Pickles doesn't care about local government – because the Tories don't use local government services, our people use them."

She explained that vested interests were working against ordinary people, both by the BBC's lack of coverage of the 50,000 strong People's Assembly march last Saturday in London and the agenda being set by those who own the mainstream media. Meanwhile, she said, Government ministers themselves have been cashing in on social housing `reforms'…

"In terms of the Bedroom Tax, the Government is shelling out more money than its actually saving, so why aren't they challenging those baron landlords?" she asked "Well, just look at all the Government ministers who have benefited from hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money, our cash…"

John Clegg, UNITE Community branch secretary and also representing Manchester Trades Council, addressed both the protesters and those attending the Conference, as he called for more social housing…

"Over a 25 year period virtually no social housing has been built by any political party in government" he said "They've failed the people of this country abysmally, not just people who are here now but the children who are growing up in unacceptable housing conditions. Whoever is in Government should give a commitment to work with tenants across the country to provide the housing that people need."

He finished by attacking Eric Pickles, in line with every other speaker…

"Eric Pickles caused hundreds of thousands of workers across the country to lose their jobs through millions of pounds worth of cuts" he explained "Yet his own department was called to account because for overspending its budget. They spent £40,000 on biscuits..."

… "And we all know who ate them" came a call from the crowd…

Listening to the speakers was Salford's Bill Smidt who, as a volunteer with one of the city's social housing associations, was an official visitor to the Conference. He had hoped to ask Eric Pickles about the housing issues but found that he wasn't allowed into the session with Local Government secretary…

"I was refused entry into the Pickles session because I wasn't a delegate, only a visitor" he explained "So me and my colleagues couldn't ask him anything. I might have asked him about the Bedroom Tax but I wasn't allowed in. To be a delegate cost £1,300."

Photos by Steven Speed

For more photos see Salford Star Picture Stories - click here


Bernard Brough wrote
at 22:54:58 on 13 July 2014
Dave if you keep prattling on about Black History Month what do you expect. What is your problem with it? Not that I expect you to answer, you rarely do. I'm really not sure what gets you wound so tight. I started this debate by stating that teaching counterfactual history anywhere would be a mistake. You took offence at that, maybe you didn't know what I meant by counterfactual. I called a TV programme you sited a piece of fluff, you then accused me of calling peoples actions a piece of fluff. Your opinions really are of no interest to me whatsoever. I'm bored with your overlong posts. I really can't be bother reading and replying to your bitter meanderings anymore. You really are a nasty, bitter, little man and not worth my time.
David cameron wrote
at 10:59:51 on 13 July 2014
See we're going back to the use of racism to try and win an argument and stop debate, typical leftwing yogurt knitter. Ps go back to Broughton house and tell the people there, that the two brave young women who died in that camp were diatribe. Yes it was a bit long, but only for people who have trouble reading, remember the teachers went on strike for pay and pensions. Went to uni- amazing you got through it, with all them big books they have there. Oh yes all these history programmes that have been made down all the years, made by real historians, ones with initials after their names, not ones who can't read short articles in the salford star, these history programmes are all wrong factually are they, I'll take their knowledge on the subject long before I'll take the dodgy knowledge of a person who has trouble reading
Bernard Brough wrote
at 19:01:39 on 12 July 2014
Dave, I said that a TV programme about things that did not happen was "a piece of fluff". I will not be lectured by somebody who thinks that The History Channel is the font of all knowledge. I had family who lived through and fought in World War Two, I spent many hours at talk with and listening to veterans at from Broughton House, I have actually studied history at university. I suggest you spend less time watching TV and writing overlong diatribes here. What is clear is that you are a racist xenophobe of the type the heroes and heroines you mention fought against.
David cameron wrote
at 05:42:17 on 12 July 2014
@bernard. You describe what these people did as a piece of fluff because if didn't happen, it didn't happen because that generation changed history. These same people who were trained by the SOE were the same people who later parachuted in to occupied Europe, many not returning, I'll never forget watching the history channel about the SAS working behind German lines in France and the testimony of a special forces soldier who was captured and put in to a concentration camp, who witnessed two young beautiful women aged around 21-22. He watched them as that came into the camp, he noticed the fear on their faces as they walk past him, he also noticed that they were British, they were taken to a block a cross the way from where his block was, he would see them now and again at the window of their block nervously smoking a cigarette and after a few days they had disappeared. many months later, when the camp was liberated he rejoined his SAS unit and as other SAS units did as the war ended went looking for the people who killed captured SAS operatives in cold blood and brought them to justice, this SAS soldier made it his mission to find out what had happened to these two SOE operatives, he found out that these two brave women were tortured, giving up no information to their captures and after a couple of days they was taken to a room with doctors and told to strip naked they was then told that they was going to be given a vitamin injection the doctors told them to lie on two tables so they could be given the injections, minutes later they stop moving. Their bodies we're taken down to the crematorium and their bodies were put in to the ovens as the flames engulfed their bodies one of the women awoke and started to scream, the lethal injection didn't work she was half dragged out of the furnace and one of the doctors pick up a shovel and smashed the top of her skull in. The doctors of this act and acts against the SAS were all tracked down and later hanged. Bernard I find it offensive that you find the bravery of the above people to be fluff, but not surprising, you being a lefty, that these people are not worthy of mention in history, if it was not for the sacrifice of these brave men and women,this site would not exist you would't be allowed to have an opinion. Bernard watch hitlers Britain and see the brave men and women who were prepared to defend this country with their lives. You Bernard encapsulate everything that is bad and dangerousness about socialism, an ideology of hate for ones country and envy. A thousand years of British history and hero' s and you write a 5000 word essay on Vietnam. No wonder you describe SOE operatives as fluff, Bernard when you and your fellow lefties were born, the best bit left the delivery room in a bucket. Ps every bit of history is important, you can learn as much from defeat as you can from victory, this country can spend a month a year celebrating black history but the above brave men and women are not worth a mention and treated as fluff. This is why what Michael Gove is doing is important in the education system, it's time to rout out the lefties in our schools and give kids a chance in life, instead of churning out brain dead leftwing labour supporters.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 14:02:05 on 09 July 2014
Dave history is not about what might have happened if the Normans had not invaded England or if the Restoration had not taken place of if Germany had invaded Britain during the war. You said that a piece of fluff about something that did not happen should be taught in schools. I merely pointed out that counterfactual is not history and should not be taught anywhere.
David cameron wrote
at 08:34:09 on 09 July 2014
@bernard. I remember you reading around a 300 word story on a teachers striking over pay and pensions and then calling everyone who read it thick because you said it wasn't about pay and pensions, when quite clearly it was, so I'm sorry Bernard, if you can't read a 300 word write up on a strike then I'm going to be a bit sceptical on a 5000 words on Vietnam. You'll be telling me next that the planes that went in to the twin towers weren't planes , but missiles. Hitler Britain, have you seen it, probably not, it was made using material and documentation from the time and also on what the Germans did in Europe and the Channels islands, it was only "if" in your type of history Bernard because of the brave men and women who had the backbone to stand up for this country, for those people in the TV programme and in the country at the time, it wasn't "if" but when the Germans would land on British soil. The programme talks about a book that German troops were to be issued once in Britain detailing the British infrastructure, a book the only copy left in existence taken from Hitlers Berlin bunker called German invasion plans for great British isles 1940, so Bernard "if" yes but only because of the bravery of that generation, this is the problem with lefties they judge British history from a nice comfy seat, they hate British history with every page turn of British history. I don't feel shame when I look at this countries history, I feel pride. Love watching the history channel on ww2, just when you think you know about apart of the war, then that is blown out of the water, take the dieppe raid a complete disaster, everyone thinks it was a dress rehearsal for the d day landings, the real reason, Churchill took to his grave with a heavy conscience. a couple of years ago an American did a bit of detective work and found the actual truth, quit literally right out of a James Bond book.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 11:43:10 on 08 July 2014
Must have been made in secret because I have never found any mention of it. And having written a 5000 word paper on the Vietnam War I researched the subject thoroughly. I do kn ow that Ho Chi Minh wrote to Truman asking for US help in achieving independence, but was ignored. Counterfactual history is "what happened if" and not history at all. It's the sort of thing TV companies make inane TV programmes about.
David cameron wrote
at 08:16:46 on 08 July 2014
The promise was made during ww2 by America that Vietnam if it helped to defeat the Japanese,it would be free, and what do you mean by teaching counter factual history, kids today are lucky to be taught any kind of history, seems to the lefties in this countries education system, hate British history, what the hell is black history month, no wonder the kids today have no identity, their taught by the lefties to hate our British history.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 12:48:08 on 07 July 2014
America made no promises after WWII. It was agreed at Potsdam that the French could reoccupy what was French Indochina. America became involved because of the containment policy adopted by the Truman administration after WWII. As for teaching anybody counterfactual history, don't even contemplate it.
David cameron wrote
at 19:16:51 on 05 July 2014
@bernard, I do read history books, I have always been fascinated with the Second World War and the bravery of the men and women of that period, could the men and women of today do what they did in their day. That can do attitude that they had in their day has all but gone in today's society, if we had the people of today in that period we'd have been defeated in a matter of weeks, the point about chamberlain is whilst he was waving his piece of paper about, hitler was already near the end of rearming Germany, people like Winston Churchill, R J Mitchell and others saw this from the early to mid 30s but were called warmongers, war was inevitable but some chose to stick their heads in the sand and hoped it would go away, like I said, appeasement, the mother of all f*ck ups. If anyone is interested in ww2 get the video Hitlers Britain was shown about 6-7years ago on channel 5, awesome documentary, should be made compulsory viewing in schools. It's about what Hitler would have done if he'd have invaded Britain, and how men and women as young as 19 volunteered for the SOE to be trained in covert operations, trained in silent killing, explosives, intelligence gathering, weaponry including machine guns, sniper rifles, anti tank weapons. amazing how they were told ( use of the snipers rifle ) that their first targets was't to be a German soldier, but the highest ranking police officer in their area, because he was the only one who knew of their identity and their mission, and he had to be eliminated before the Germans could get the information. Each of these SOE operatives were told, on the Germans landing in Britain their life expectancy would be about 2 weeks if they were lucky and if caught, tortured then killed, each operative was issued with cyanide tablets and told this was better than being caught. The documentary is told through the eyes of the SOE operatives then in their 80-90, information was taken from nazi documentation of that period of the invasion of Britain. The last of the great generation. On Vietnam, America got involved because they broke a promise, before ww2 the French occupied Vietnam but were defeated when Japan invaded south East Asia, America promised Vietnam if they fought with the allies, after the war they would be free and independent, after ww2 France tried to reoccupy Vietnam, but got their arse kicked, America then went in because of the Cold War thinking that Vietnam was going to fall into Communist hands, which at the time America had a big thing about. For the first couple of years the viet cong were battered, because they tried to fight the Americans from distance, which suited the american's because they could use overwhelming air and artillery power, the Vietnamese changed tactics and used close quarter and hand to hand fighting, getting amongst the American soldiers, this stopped the Americans from using there air and artillery advantage so dragging out the war. On trident it's not supposed to be used, that's the point, it's a doomsday weapon, it's not a everyday weapon, it's the final weapon, why do you think America won't go into North Korea, because of the nuclear weapons North Korea has, expensive, but do's exactly what it say on the side of the tin. We need a conventional army, and a nuclear option, nuclear because we'll never be strong enough or big enough to defend ourselves against the likes of Russia or China.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 18:24:53 on 03 July 2014
Dave, I think you will find that the current government are cutting the armed forces far more radically than I would ever consider prudent. The trouble with Trident is that it is simply a waste of money. It would never be used. As for reading history book, try it sometime. Chamberlain came back from Berlin saying "Peace for our time" in September 1938. German troops did not invade Poland until almost a year later. Being heavily armed does not guarantee anything. The North Vietnamese attacked the USS Maddox in 1964 precipitating the send of US combat troops to Vietnam shortly after. While the threat of aggression is always present and the capability to defend oneself is necessary the two programmes I mentioned are a waste of money, money which could be better used on other things, including a broader defence capability.
David cameron wrote
at 21:24:20 on 02 July 2014
Scarp the Trident and the two 65000 ton aircaft carriers and make massive savings. Spend that money on buildind social housing fit for people to live in. @ Bernard, more socialist crap again. We've got the rise of Russia, China, militarily, Islamic terrorists on the march in the Middle East and we have a socialist advocating cutting the Armed forces, pity people like you and our government, Tory and labour don't read history books, I remember a certain man coming back from nazi Germany holding a peace of paper in one hand and his dick in the other, saying peace in our life time, whilst German stormtroopers marched into Poland and just like back in the 20s and 30s just as today we've spent decades cutting back on our armed forces instead of building them up,appeasement the mother of al f*ck ups, we only just took back the Falklands due to the bravery, professionalism of our armed forces and it was decades of cutting our armed forces that nearly cost us the loss of the Falklands and we still haven't learned our lesson. Bernard it is the bravery and professionalism of our armed forces today with no thanks to our self serving politicians, that we are a free and democratic country. And Bernard if you want to look at cost savings, then let's stop all international aid,£12 billion a year that could be better spent here. time to look after our own first. @B. Marlow, could't agree with you more
the end wrote
at 17:00:26 on 01 July 2014
still no positive comments about the improving job situation, no wonder you are not taken seriously ref B.Marlow, the next comment from Bernard will just be a load of insuts
Bernard Brough wrote
at 14:14:51 on 01 July 2014
You will find that most people reliant on Housing Benefit are working. Tha..Thatch..ohhh you know that evil woman decided that selling council housing and everything else was a great idea. The problem is that the modern Labour Party are merely a slightly watered down version of the Tories and want to continue along the course of wealth redistribution, from poor to rich as has always been the Tory way. The point I was trying to make to you is that both main parties are trying to blame the unemployed, sick and disabled for something that those worst off have no control over. The solution is quite easy. Companies such as Boots, Amazon, Starbucks have not been paying the amount of tax that they should, make them. Individuals have not been paying the amount of tax that they should, make them. Scarp the Trident and the two 65000 ton aircaft carriers and make massive savings. Spend that money on buildind social housing fit for people to live in. You know is an idiot like me can work that out why can't out leaders?
B Marlow wrote
at 19:10:11 on 30 June 2014
Do please excuse me 'Bernard Brough' but I must say that at NO point in my comment did I say that people in social housing had caused the current financial crisis. What my comment was about was the balance and accuracy of the input from the union rep surely as a Labour party defender of the realm you understand this! The bullshit bit occurs in the fact that the union rep said that this was an attack on working people, bollocks it's an attack on the workshy, bring that on I say. On your second point of governments selling off housing can I just point out to you that the biggest sell off of housing in Salford was done by the local Labour council when they GAVE City West half of the cities housing stock for nothing, the other half of the city will be following shortly in the direction of Salix. As for your con trick oneliner comment can I just let you know now that I am not a Tory, but then again I don't allow myself to be conned and fooled so I would not vote Labour either. I don't know what party you support Bernard but looking at your previous posts I would guess at Monster Raving Looney? Oh and for the record overspending and mismanagement of the BOE and markets by the last Labour government in order to make us all feel good was a primary factor in the financial crisis.
Bernard Brough wrote
at 22:17:48 on 29 June 2014
B Marlow, "excuse me" but the people living in social housing did not cause any of the current problems. Successive governments have sold off housing stock and not allowed it to be replaced. They did not cause the so called financial crisis, the bankers did that. As the song goes "It's the same the whole world over, It's the poor wot gets the blame, It's the the rich wot gets the gravy, A'int it all a bleeding shame." People like you merely fall for the old Tory con trick of blaming everybody but those responsible. Time to rid Britain of short sighted idiots who can't see when they are being lied to and conned.
B Marlow wrote
at 08:26:45 on 29 June 2014
The UNISON rep Rena Wood says "These cuts are against the working people", excuse me but the working people don't pay the bedroom subsidy as they pay full rent because they are working. Only the skivers and cheats are liable for the subsidy because many of them live in houses much larger than needed and all because the do gooders tell them they are entitled to these properties. Social housing is for those in need, not for every free loader who wants a big 3 bed house yet they live alone. Time to rid Britain of these free loaders and maybe that would clean up many of the sh1thole estates in scum ridden Britain.
THE END wrote
at 16:15:12 on 27 June 2014
I notice the doom and gloom Salford Star has failed to mention the improving job situation in Salford (see national press). i suppose its nothing for you to moan about
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