What Tories Say

August 19, 2011

“Our members are the most socially-engaged, the most civic-minded, the most neighbourly bunch of people in Britain.”
David Cameron, 2010.

It wasn’t long after not winning the election (or before actually), that the Tories who had clearly been told to keep quiet for the past few years whilst Cameron built up his “progressive, green Conservative” persona, managed to make it known just how much contempt they have for anyone who isn’t them. I thought i’d provide a definitive list of the things Tories say:

“You might ask how all the single mothers congregating with their push-chaired spawn are able to afford both their beer and their tattoos – I have a horrible idea I am paying for both.”

– Recently suspended for calling the rioters “jungle bunnies”, Tory Councillor on Dover District Council, Bob Frost.

“Good candidate, shame he’s black.”

– Tory Councillor John Major (not ex-Prime Minister) on an interviewee for a position as Chief Exec. of Monmouth County Council.

“half a wog.”

– Tory Councillor John Major (not ex-Prime Minister) on a slightly tanned work colleague.

“I think I have behaved impeccably. I’ve done nothing criminal. Do you know what this is about? Jealousy. I’ve got a very, very large house. Some people say it looks like Balmoral, but it’s a 19th century merchant’s house. It’s not particularly attractive, but it just does me nicely and it’s got room to actually plant a few trees. I still don’t know what all the fuss is about. What right does the public have to interfere in my private life? None! It reminds me of an episode of Coronation Street.”

– Tory MP for Totnes in Devon, Anthony Steen when questioned about his expenses claims, of which he claimed £87,000, for servicing his stately home, including 500 trees.

“There is a real danger that the abolition of section 28 will lead to the promotion of a homosexual lifestyle as morally equivalent to marriage.“

Theresa May, the Equalities Minister. Seriously.

“Evidence is quite clearly emerging that man is not having the impact on the climate that the EU climate alarmists claim.“

The website of “Freedom Association“, of which Tory MEP Roger Helmer is a key member. He is our East Midlands MEP. We received his campaign leaflet, of which it said:

“Conservatives played a key role in making new laws to cut carbon emissions and promote renewable energy“.

This part of the leaflet, was a major factor for the campaign, given that it had an entire section dedicated to:

“tackling climate change”

– We can always trust the Tories to have a public agenda that soon gets trumped by their private agenda. The leaflet then tells us just how busy and relevant their work in the European Parliament has been!

“You can still buy your fruit and vegetables in pounds and ounces thanks to Conservative MEPs“

– No more sleepless nights for me!

“Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It would be a blessing, really.”

– Tory Councillor Gareth Compton of Birmingham County Council, talking about writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. You can bet if she’d have said the same thing about him, most Tories would be up in arms about the disrespect a Muslim is showing to England.

15 hours in Council today. Very hard hitting day and the usual collection of retards in the public gallery spoiling it for real people.

– Leader of Kingston Upon Hull County Council. The “retards” being protesters, angry that the 15 hour day he had to so horribly endure, ended by him and his councilors making 1300 people redundant. They must have spoiled the joy on the faces of the miserable Tories who take such delight in instant job destruction.

“I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel, I took the view that if it’s a question of somebody who’s doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn’t come into their own home.”

– Tory MP Chris Grayling. By his logic, businesses should be allowed to turn away anyone they don’t like the look of. If you’re Black, Grayling’s logic says that if a shop owner doesn’t want you in their shop, for being black, tough. A Gay couple shouldn’t have to worry that they might get turned away, for no other reason that the B&B owners religious bigotry. Same old Tories.

“Given some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, cannot be as productive in their work as somebody who has not got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable given the employer was going to have to pay them both the same they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk.
If those people who consider it is being a hindrance to them, and in my view that’s some of the most vulnerable people in society, if they feel that for a short period of time, taking a lower rate of pay to help them get on their first rung of the jobs ladder, if they judge that that is a good thing, I don’t see why we should be standing in their way.””

– Tory MP Philip Davies cloaking his apparent desire to see disabled people in the UK treated as a source of cheap labour, in bubble wrapped manipulative, like-he-gives-a-shit language.

“if there’s anybody who should fuck off it’s the Muslims who do this sort of thing.”

– Tory MP Philip Davies, after an act of vandalism which was later proven to have not involved any Muslims at all.

“Why it is so offensive to black up your face, as I have never understood this?”

– Tory MP Philip Davies.

“I can understand how it looks, but it is being a bit too politically correct.”

– Tory Councilor for Bolton, Bob Allen’s half arsed apology, in which, like every Right Winger when they’ve said spewed some deeply offensive moronic bullshit, blaming political correctness, after he posted a photo of a gorilla next to comments about an Asian colleague.

“IF YOU DON’T PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS YOU WILL RECEIVE 3 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ABSOLUTELY FREE.”

BNP Tory Councillor Simon Farnsworth for Ribble Valley council, at the end of a racist email joke sent to Tory colleagues. Then forwarded by Councilor Ken Hind. My favourite, is Hind’s apology:

“I am privileged to name amongst my friends and associates many who are of Asian or African origin.”

– He can’t be racist! He knows a black person!

“I object to being required to embrace an agenda that actively supports and positively discriminates in favour of people who I consider to be sexual deviants and who engage in practices contrary to my religious beliefs.”

– Tory Councillor for Derbyshire County Council, Patrick Clark, on Homosexuality. Another brilliant excuse:

“The term deviant just means different, it was not derogatory.”

Conservativehome.com, quick to distance themselves from Clark’s comments, went full force with their attack on his 1950s style homophobia and dogmatic religious nonsense:

The “sexual deviants” reference was pretty unfortunate

– YEAH! That told him!

“All women should be sterilised”

Tory Candidate Ross Coates offering his gem of wisdom on the “problem” of women getting pregnant at work.

“close to the minimum wage”

– Tory MP David Wilshire, describing his £64,000 a year salary.

“Recruiting ethnic people into key public sector organisations— in place to protect us—is a risk.

– Tory MP, and ex-Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, Patrick Mercer, on revelations, which not surprisingly turned out to be entirely false, from the Daily Mail that the police force had been infiltrated by Muslim Extremists working for Al Qaeda.

“I came across a lot of ethnic minority soldiers who were idle and useless.”

– Tory MP and ex-Shadow Minister for Homeland Security, Patrick Mercer, on his time in the Armed Forces.

“The witch hunt against MPs in general will undermine democracy. It will weaken parliament – handing yet more power to governments. Branding a whole group of people as undesirables led to Hitler’s gas chambers.”

– Tory MP David Wilshire, comparing MPs during the expenses scandal, to Hitler’s Nazi Germany. This is a few weeks after it was revealed he had claimed over £100,000 for the running of his own company. Apparently, we should be proud of that essential democratic tradition of profiting from public funds during economic downturns.

“Should rioters also lose benefits? I approach this question with a belief that loss of benefits for a significant period might be a deterrent to some rioters, irrespective of whatever other punishments the courts may rightly impose.”

– This beautiful statement was made, as I was writing this. Tory MP James Clappison calling for rioters to have their benefits cut. Interesting moral crusade, given that Clappison claimed over £100,000 despite owning 24 houses, a cricket club, 75 acres of land and a farm. His claims include TV licence, a cleaner, and Sky TV. The hypocrisy is outstanding. Actually, it makes my head want to explode. I cannot comprehend the upper class stupidity at this level. They are oblivious to the real World. To be fair to Clappison, he is trying to join the 21s….actually, the 20th Century, by claiming £295 in 2007….. for a VCR.

“Yes, if you can believe it, homosexuality will be on the curriculum for students studying maths, geography and science.
This plan is ludicrous and pushes political correctness to new bounds
I would have thought raising educational standards and teaching our children to read, write and add up is far more important than imposing questionable sexual standards on those too young to understand their equality czars.”

– Apparently Tory MP Richard Drax (full name: Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax) doesn’t think teaching children the importance of social acceptance is a reasonable idea. He seems to believe we either teach kids that homosexuality is not a great taboo, or we teach them how to read. Apparently we can’t have both. He then claimed he had meant that kids just wouldn’t understand teaching homosexual issues. Meanwhile, Tory Schools Minister Michael Gove said that our history class rooms should:

“celebrate the distinguished role of these islands in the history of the world, a beacon of liberty for others to emulate”.

– If that isn’t propaganda of the worst type, I’m not sure what is. I wonder if children will understand that?

Cameron’s morality machine 2011, is in full swing!

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#realbrokensociety

August 18, 2011

Police_asbo_notice_Richmond

A Vulture Fund is a hedge fund that buys up National debt at a tiny price because the debt is about to be defaulted, and pursues it vigorously through the courts. Liberia, a Nation in deep poverty, one of the World’s poorest Countries, had debt that was bought up by a Vulture Fund owned by Hedge Fund manager Eric Hermann. He took war torn, poverty stricken Liberia to court, in which his Vulture Fund won £12m from Liberia – 5% of their annual budget, for debts from 1978, before his Vulture fund was even set up. The debt, plus interest earned the Vulture Fund a nice profit, that would otherwise be used to build half a million homes in Liberia. The funds thrive on poverty. In 2010 a bill came through Parliament aimed at stopping these Vulture Funds. It took up a lot of time, and right at the last minute looked likely to pass. Tory MP Philip Davies then penned an amendment to try and stop the bill passing. It didn’t stop the Bill. But suddenly, a Tory MP on the front bench shouted “object” (a silly Private Members bill rule), and so the bill failed to pass. All the Tory front bench sat with their hands over their mouths so no one would know who made the bill fail. #realbrokensociety

According to the Telegraph:

Six-year-old Abdullah Qadoos was hit by cluster bombs fired by the British Army as they took the Iraqi city of Basra in March 2003. Shrapnel smashed through the window of his home, cut off his arm and tore open his abdomen.

– The UK government banned clusterbombs years ago. But a loophole in the law means banking institutions can invest in companies that manufacture clusterbombs. Royal Bank of Scotland, which is pretty much owned by the taxpayer, has invested more than £115m in Alliant Techsystems and Lockheed Martin – two clusterbomb manufacturers. Given that Cameron deplored a “culture that glorifies violence“, will he be closing this loophole? Well, no. Of course not. Mainly because when a kid suggests looting a Footlocker on Facebook it’s a great evil, but when rich companies fund violence, it’s fine. Number 10 said:

The issue of indirect financing is for individual institutions to consider. We as a government have made it very clear that direct financing of cluster munitions is illegal. We would encourage NGOs to come together and engage with the banks to find a mutually agreeable approach to indirect financing.

– Encouraging banks to self regulate? Really?
#realbrokensociety

Ex Chief Exec. of RBS presides over bank that loses £24.1bn of other peoples money. The biggest loss in Corproate history. Described by the Guardian as one of the 25 people at the heart of the financial meltdown Worldwide, and is punished, by having his pension reduced to £342,500 a year from £555,000 a year. Meanwhile, a man in Manchester is about to face jail for “looting” an ice cream cone and two scopes of ice cream. #realbrokensociety

Jeremy Isaacs, donated £190,000 in the past five years to the Tories, and who happened to be the boss of the Asia/Europe branches of Lehmann when it collapsed and engulfed the World. #realbrokensociety

Npower just announced profits of 130% larger than last year. Still, they think raising gas prices by 15.7% is “necessary“. Elsewhere, Bolton County Council have had to sell a painting by the great English painter Sir John Everett Millais to an American art collector, meaning the painting will probably never be in this country again, just to help fund its arts and culture sector which has been needlessly slashed. #realbrokensociety

If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” bleated David Cameron, in response to the rioting across England two weeks ago. In the 1980s, Cameron was a member of the notorious Bullingdon Club Elite, who ritualistically smashed restaurants and pubs up. New members only become aware that they have been accepted, when they find their rooms trashed and smashed. After rioting, the Bullingdon Club chant: “Buller, Buller, Buller! Buller, Buller, Buller! We are the famous Bullingdon Club, and we don’t give a fuck!“. When the Bullingdon club were out one night, a plant pot was thrown through the window of an Oxford restaurant. Eye witnesses say they saw a bunch of men including David Cameron run away. This week, two men imprisoned for 4 years for inciting riots on facebook which didn’t actually lead to any trouble. #realbrokensociety

Sir Philip Green was asked in 2010, to write a report into Government spending and procurement. He reported that there were mass failings in Government procurement. The entire procurement professional dismissed the report as nonsense. Philip Green’s Arcadia Group business has thus far avoided £25bn in taxes. In 2005, his dividend on 92% of the shares in Arcadia, gave him £1.2bn. My home city of Leicester was found to be home of a sweatshop factory in a basement, where workers were paid less than minimum wage, providing clothes for Top Shop. Top Shop is owned by Sir Philip Green. Meanwhile, a rioter is imprisoned for 6 months for stealing a water bottle worth £3.50. #realbrokensociety

Clive Goodman, jailed in 2007 for hacking the phone of Prince William, had penned a letter to the News of the World, which stated that Coulson among others, had regularly discussed phone hacking, and told Goodman that if he didn’t implicate the News of the World in the scandal in 2007, he would be given his job back when he got out of prison. The letter was sent from the solicitors Harbottle and Lewis who are investigating internal N.O.T.W emails, to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee two days ago. Hacking into the voicemail of dead schoolgirls, and then covering it up, and then becoming the Prime Ministers chief of communications. #realbrokensociety

The Minister in charge of deciding whether Murdoch should be allowed to buy BSkyB, and decided in favour of take over, is Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. In 2009 a ‘sleaze watchdog’ found that he had allowed his friend to stay rent free in his tax payer funded house, whilst claiming expenses for both of them. Fraud, I believe it is known as. Will he face jail for looting the public purse? “If you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment” according to Cameron. Well, no. He said sorry. So he only have to repay half of the £20k he fraudulently claimed. Whilst claiming for that house, he was also fraudulently claiming for mortgage payments on another house. But it’s okay. He said sorry. #realbrokensociety

One in four UK households are now classed as fuel poor. Fuel poor means when the cost of heating your home exceeds 10% of annual income. Roger Carr, the Chairman of Centrica which owns British Gas and has just announced a 25% increase since December 2010, is also the President of the CBI. The CBI have called for deeper spending cuts than have been so far imposed, and have opposed any tax rise on Capital Gains tax. Effectively, meaning they wish to see Winter Fuel Allowance for the neediest cut drastically, but the taxes on their huge profits lowered. #realbrokensociety

The maximum tax credit of £54 a week for families with a disabled child will now be cut to £27 a week. Thousands will be plunged into poverty due to this cut. Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, who is worth £7.5million, pays himself in dividends rather than a salary from his company Castlemead, saving him money on tax. Also, to avoid the 50p top rate of tax, he moved his shares into his wive’s name, who pays a smaller rate of tax, allegedly saving the Transport Secretary £25,000 a year. On Question Time, he called it “rearranging my affairs“. #realbrokensociety

I think it’s about time the Prime Minister instilled a sense of humanity and moral decency in his own household before he continues this ironic moral crusade.


The Osborne Delusion

August 17, 2011

I am not going to comment on the Clive Goodman letter, needless to say, Cameron’s decision to bring Coulson into the heart of government, is just another example of the blatant hypocrisy the Prime Minister is exhibiting recently, in his new self appointed role as guardian of all morality.

So I will focus my attention on the Chancellor instead.

Every couple of years a mad American Christian will insist that the end of the World is fast approaching. They will it, because their religious delusions, they believe, could not possibly fail them. Logic and evidence are shunned for dogmatic religious doctrine that they refuse to give up on, despite the failure time and again of their religion to provide any substantial justification for its existence and its claims. George Osborne is a Tory whose doctrine is about as far right economically as one could possibly get. He will insist his doctrine is the only one that works, despite its massive failures time and time again. Neoliberalism is a religion, George Osborne is a manic preacher who cannot let go.

It was more than obvious before the general election, to most free thinking Englanders, that George Osborne’s assessment that the UK was on the brink of bankruptcy was entirely false. The 6th largest economy in the World, with a triple A credit rating coupled with low inflation and falling unemployment, after the deepest recession in living memory, is not on the brink of bankruptcy. It was a nice little phrase to use in order to attempt to win an election….. which they didn’t.

We knew that England wasn’t Greece. We knew that 80% of our debts matured in 14 years as opposed to Greece’s 3 years. We knew that Greece is in the Euro zone and so has no exchange rate flexibility. We knew Greece is ranked 109th in the World for ease of doing business, with the UK ranked 4th. We knew that Greek public debt is 142% of GDP whilst the UKs was 76%. We knew that Greece was a CCC rated country according to credit rating agency Fitch, whilst the UK was AAA rated. We knew that what George Osborne was saying, his comparison of the UK to Greece, was simply the case of the Tory machine trying to win an election.

But it didn’t stop there. He’s still at it. Either he knows he’s very very misleading, or he’s genuinely insane. Osborne has been insisting recently that he has apparently saved the economy from total collapse. He claimed recently, in an article in the Telegraph, that:

In retrospect, the use of political capital to implement immediate efficiency savings, pass the emergency Budget, agree the most difficult Spending Review for generations and put in place long-term fiscal reforms to pensions was an excellent investment in our country’s economic stability. Thanks to these decisions, the credit rating agency Standard & Poors took the UK off negative outlook and reaffirmed our AAA rating.

– The problem with that statement is, Standard and Poors reputation as a credible source for credit ratings, is rather inadequate. Ezra Klein writing in the Washington Post, said of Standard and Poors and the bursting of the credit bubble:

Standard Poor’s didn’t just miss the bubble. They helped cause it

– They did this, by assigning Triple A credit ratings, to collaterised Debt Obligations, that were risky enough to cause the entire system to crash. Investors bought up the CDOs thinking they were safe, when in fact they were standing on the edge of a cliff, with a hurricane behind them.
Just this month, the US Treasury found that the downgrading of the USA’s Triple A credit rating by Standard & Poors was based on a $2tn mistake in their calculations. The US Treasury said:

The magnitude of this mistake – and the haste with which S&P changed its principal rationale for action when presented with this error – raise fundamental questions about the credibility and integrity of S&P’s ratings action.

– To use Standard and Poors as a sign that our credit rating was saved by the Tories, Osborne is quoting a woefully incompetent source.

So how well is “Plan A” working?
Osborne claimed that Britain was leading the way in growth. He also claimed the latest 0.2% growth figures for the second quarter were a good sign. Here is how that “good sign” looks on a graph:

– Do you see the blue line edging ever so slightly downward? How in the first quarter of 2011, growth was at 0.5%? How it fell 0.3% and how Osborne thinks that’s a “good sign”?
0.2% is apparently great news, for Osborne, yet when growth in January 2010, under Labour, was 0.1% following the recession, Osborne said this:

If you’re looking for the reason why the British economy couldn’t have weaker growth at the moment, literally statistically, it’s only 0.1%, the reasons for that is that businesses are uncertain about the future, there’s no government plan for the recovery, there’s no government plan that is credible when it comes to dealing with the deficit and answering those things would help job creation.

– So the difference between terrible economic growth, and fantastic news, is +0.1%? Fickle Osborne. What about his insistence that the UK is leading the way out of the mess in Europe? Well, whilst the UKs second quarter growth figures were 0.2%, the second quarter growth figures for Italy were 0.3%. Spain was 0.2%. Poland was 1%. Ireland was 1.3%. Finland was 0.8%. Estonia was 2.4%. Sweden (with its large tax rates and well funded public sector) was 1%. In fact, the entire Euro zone growth was 0.2%. Suddenly, Osborne acting as if he is Superman is a little bit more comical than when he blamed the snow.

The inflation rate – the Consumer Prices Index – rose by 0.2% in July from June. It is now at 4.4%. Clothing and footwear measured for CPI saw the biggest rise on record.

The BBC reported today that rail users will see prices increase by 8% next year due to the inflation statistics. A great example of the “efficiency” of the privatisation project over the railways.

The Office For National Statistics revealed that manufacturing in the UK fell by 0.4% in June, and the trade deficit in goods and services grew from £4bn in May to £4.4bn in June. The ONS also point out that overall production output in June 2011 was 0.3 per cent lower than in June 2010. Mining took a hit, at 13% lower production levels than June 2010.

Imports are down. Exports, due to austerity across the World, is down. So to base a Nation’s recovery on manufacturing (Osborne insisted on an export led recovery), whilst exports are down – leading to the fall in production, is walking a very very thin tight rope. We will be relying on the service sector, because the manufacturing base of the UK was absolutely destroyed under the previous Tory administration.

According to today’s figures, unemployment rose to 2.49 million, a rise of 38,000 in the three months to June. Soon to hit the 3 million mark? Unemployment among 16-24 year olds rose to 949,000, up 15,000. Welcome to the 1980s.

The Council of Mortgage lenders said that repossessions had dropped by 24% to 36,300 in 2010. That figure is now rising, and is expected to reach 40,000 by the end of 2010.

Doingbusiness.org ranks countries by their ease of doing business. In 2010, under Labour we were ranked 4th in the World. In 2011, we are ranked 4th in the World. Absolutely no change. Despite drastic cuts, tax breaks, the desirability to do business in the UK has stayed the same. Yet, ease of starting up a business in 2010, we were ranked 16th. Now, in 2011, after the Chancellor saved us…. we are ranked 17th. Brilliant. We dropped a place.

The big six energy companies have announced plans to increase prices. Npower stated it would increase electricity prices by 7.2% and gas by 15.7% by October. This increase comes after they announced first quarter profits, up by 130%. The rise will add an average £140 onto bills. And Npower’s hike, is the lowest of the big six (other than EDF, who haven’t announced yet).

The Office of Budget Responsibility, created by Osborne in May 2010, said that the target of 1.7% growth this year, was highly unlikely, and that growth would be relatively weak. The Chancellor announced a target of 1.7%…. the Chief of the OBR said there there “aren’t many people” expecting that to happen. To hit 1.7% growth rates, the UK needs 1% growth rates over the third and fourth quarter. Given that it was 0.2% in the second quarter, it would appear that the Chancellor was so miserably wrong, it actually hurts to think of how we managed to be stuck with such a person in charge of the Nations finances.

According to BBC Panorama, when adjusted for inflation, the average UK employee takes home £1,088 a year less than two years ago.

So, to sum up, inflation is rising; if it hits 5% the increase in earnings compared to the increasing in prices will reach 3%, exports are down, unemployment is getting worse, manufacturing is falling, train prices are beyond ridiculous, wages are stagnant, disabled children in poor areas are suffering more, people ARE losing their homes, growth is all but flat lining, and energy and gas prices are going to bankrupt most of us. Is this what leading the way to recovery is like? Can we swap it please?

With stagnating wages, rising inflation, rising unemployment and harsh austerity, is it any wonder that growth figures are so low? Where does the demand come from, when people have no money, no help, and are constantly afraid of losing their jobs and their homes? Is it any wonder that imports are down? There is no demand. When the Government “saves” money, so does the public. Under the atmosphere of stagnating wages, rising energy and gas prices, high inflation and harsh austerity, it is indescribably insane of the Chancellor to have expected growth of 1.7%.

Phrases like “difficult decisions” for millionaires like Osborne, who watch the poorest, riot in London from his holiday home in California, are beginning to sound very tiresome. It is impossible to justify taking vast amounts of money from disabled children, from EMA, and at the same time back the bail out of Portugal and invest in a war in Libya that has achieved absolutely nothing. To continue to allow the very wealthiest to get away with tax avoidance, by changing the rules on profit brought back to the UK so those profits are now not taxed at all, whilst keeping VAT high, is not a plan to deal with the economic woes of the Country, it is simply Tories being Tories. We’re in safe hands, as long as George “I avoid paying £1.6m tax on my trust fund…we’re all in this together” Osborne is in control.

Is there any good news? YES!!!…….. oh wait, no, no there isn’t.


Cameron’s (im)moral crusade.

August 16, 2011

The rioting appears to have sparked a debate about the social implications of a culture focused on consuming. The Prime Minister has been forced onto the ropes, bruised and battered, agreeing tentatively to an inquiry into the underlying causes of the riots. Ed Milliband surprised me yesterday, made me sit up and take note of him, in a way that no Labour leader has done in quite some time. In his speech, Milliband said:

‎”People who talk about the sick behaviour of those without power, should talk equally about the sick behaviour of those with power.”

– It is perhaps a little opportunistic of him to have waited so long, to have been a Brownite and not said a word, to have spent the past year as leader of the Labour Party, not really separating himself from his predecessors. Silly little concepts like Blue Labour followed the post-97 tradition of capitulating to the Right on social issues, when they had the opportunity to take the title of “Progressives” away from a deeply regressive Liberal Democrat Party, made me wonder if I could bring myself to vote Labour again. But Milliband seems to be trying to distinguish himself now, from both the New Labour legacy, and the ToryLib Coalition – which, if you watch Simon Hughes speak, is slowly crumbling. So whilst opportunistic, Milliband has created a gulf between himself and the Government, the lines of which were forever blurred when Blair and Brown held the keys to power.

David Cameron, by comparison, is apparently on a rather ironic moral crusade to instill moral values into poorer communities by the time the Parliament is at a close. A particularly ironic statement he made was that the riots can partly be blamed on:

A culture that glorifies violence

– Ironic, because in five weeks time London will host DSEi 2011, the biggest arms trade fair in the World, just a few short months after a disastrous rush to intervene in Libya.

Cameron thus far has offered no solutions. The only thing of substance he managed to muster, was the idea to take benefits away from rioters. Cuts being the cause of the unrest in the first place, Cameron’s solution is more cuts? His ironic moral crusade is vile. I say ironic for a few reasons. Firstly, where was this moral outrage when the Banks were destroying the World? I don’t remember Cameron ever demanding that those responsible for the financial breakdown and its transformation into a sovereign debt crises, come out the massively inflated bonus packages of the crooks who caused the mess. Secondly, it is easy, as a Government with no mandate to do what they’re doing, to see physical violence as the collapse of the moral fabric of England, to watch the looting of private business and express outrage. It is easy to do what Republican Americans tend to do, and scream and shout about the need for smaller government, whilst threatening to evict families from their homes if their children were involved in rioting, or banning social networking and having security services monitor it closely. Their idea of Government is just as big as it ever was under Labour, the difference is the Tories seem to believe that thugs looting the private sector, is somehow worse than the Government absolutely gutting the public sector. But then I guess the aforementioned Bankers, according to the Telegraph, have bankrolled over half the funding of the Tory party in the previous five years to the tune of £43mn.

By contrast, A disabled children’s charity called “The Children’s Society” cannot afford political influence like that of the Banking sector. It is no surprise then, that the Children’s Society found that due to public sector cuts, when a disabled child reaches the age of 16, some families could be up to £22,000 worse off. That’s just for one child with a disability. Two or three children with disabilities in the same family; the damage caused by cuts is unthinkable; unless you’re Tory, in which case it’s a “difficult decision” but “necessary”. Perhaps agreeing to tax on wealth being brought back from tax havens be entirely scrapped; marking the biggest change in Corporate tax rules, in years, so that the richest tax avoiders get away with paying nothing when they move back, represents a “difficult decision”? The curse of the nasty party. I am ever more unsure how anyone can justify taking so much money away from families who need it the most. It represents looting of the worst kind.

In 2010, before the election, Gordon Brown suggested that Sure Start would be under threat under a Tory government. Clearly he was ignored, as Cameron and his Party of the family, said:

“Yes, we back Sure Start. It’s a disgrace that Gordon Brown has been trying to frighten people about this. centres do not need to close”

– Well, the lying, nasty party of big business, between July 2010 and July 2011, has closed 20 Sure Start Centres…. that’s in just one year. The average cut to Sure Start per child is £50 across the Country. Though, in the poorest areas; Tower Hamlets and Hackney for example (coincidentally, where rioting took place), the average cut will be £100 per child. Yet, in the richest areas such as Richmond, it will be £30 per child. In contrast, here is the holiday home that Cameron stayed in during the riots; isn’t is lovely?

A few chavs stealing Nike trainers from Foot Locker isn’t even a drop in the ocean of the destruction caused both by Government cuts, and by those rich few in the Private Sector who happen to be the traditional support base of the Conservative Party.

Those that stand to gain from the destruction of the public sector, are guilty of the exact same crime that the London rioters are guilty of; attacking the community that they live, for their own selfish benefit. Eton educated Stuart Wheeler, who donated £5,000,000 to the Tory Party in 2001, is quoted as saying of party donations by individuals:

“absolutely natural and unobjectionable” for big donors to gain influence over policy”.

It is no surprise then that the NHS reforms are market orientated reforms, in which private equity firms and individuals who have donated to the Tory Party in the past stand to make a fortune. Perhaps we should investigate the absolutely immoral behaviour of Tory Donors?
Take Lord Blyth. He used to be chairman of Boots, and then Chairman of Diageo – the company who make Guinness. Under his leadership, Diageo restructured its model, to avoid paying any tax in the UK. The amount it should be paying, given that 30% of its production is in the UK, would cost 20,000 families to fill the gap left by Corporate theft committed by a company that was run by one of the Tory Party’s top donors.

Short Selling stocks no doubt was one of the major causes of the financial crises. People lost their homes and their jobs, their lives, the means to feed their families, because Hedge Fund short sellers gambled on the failure of the economy. John Nash is a Hedge Fund manager. He also ran Care UK. A Private healthcare company. He also donated £21,000 to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s private office whilst still chairman of Care UK. In June 2011, NHS Buckinghamshire announced that Care UK had “won” a contract to provide a Musculoskeletal Service costing £2,000,000. Since 2010, Care UK has seen a rise in profits of £1.6m, with a rise in turnover of £94m. Quite a large increase. Especially when one considers that since 2009, countless councils have cut all ties with Care UK for frankly awful service. Take Islington, who ended their contract with Care UK in 2009, stating:

“We have made the decision carefully and decided that clients’ needs will be better served with a different model of care from another provider. We look forward to announcing publicly the new contract partner in due course.”

– Lennox House in Finsbury Park, run by Care UK, came under fire when two care home resident’s bodies were left in their bedrooms for over two days.
Dr KRH Adams Bolton, a Health consultant for 26 years in Bolton, wrote this of Care UK:

They do not manage complex cases. They do not have intensive care facilities. They do not have the research and teaching responsibilities that the real NHS has. I would also question if the CARE UK staff have the same training and experience as a real NHS consultant.

Care UK Hertfordshire received over 2000 complaints in 2009. In Harrow, Care UK received a zero-star rating from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, listing 20 failings, not once but on two separate visits. Not only that, but the miserable company has just won a £53m contract to provide healthcare to prisons.
Given that the Tory Party are clearly the new guardians of morality, why would they choose to offer any contracts whatsoever, from a Private Healthcare provider who have failed in their duty to provide quality healthcare where ever they can be found infecting our health system, if it not for the fact that donations equal influence over policy? There is no other reason.

David Rowland, a Tory Donor who was set to become Party Treasurer in 2010, before revelations about his dodgy business deals and immoral attitude toward the Planet forced the Party to cancel his appointment, though not cancel his next £1mn donation on top of his previous £3mn donation the year before, is really not a great person to have on your side when you’re preaching morality. Rowland bought a lead smelting plant in Idaho which had, before he bought it, caused a massive environmental disaster, leading to acute respiratory health problems for children in the surrounding area, and the deaths of thousands of animals. Rowland bought the company, used the money set aside for the clean up to secure a property deal in New Zealand, and then sold the company. He tried to hide it, by moving the funds to Bermuda, but the US Justice Department blocked it after mass protests and political pressure. Rowland moved to Guernsey to avoid tax in the UK. So arrogant is this thieving immoral shit, that he unveiled a statue on Guernsey… of himself. Cameron appears to be obsessed with looting the public sector, whilst unveiling tax exiles, and immoral Corporate fraudsters, as the answer to the troubles of the Conservative Party. Blatant hypocrisy.

Jeremy Isaacs donated £190,000 in the past five years to the Tories. He was head of the Asian and Europe part of the Lehmann Brothers company; a company that helped plunge the World into financial meltdown.

Hedge fund managers like John Nash are not a productive force. They make nothing. The gamble on the lives of millions. They are dangerous and unnecessary. The World would carry on without them, just fine. And yet seven of the top ten Tory donors, are hedge fund managers. In fact, Stanley Fink, who donated almost £2m to the Tories, is considered the “Godfather” of hedge funds. £13m from ten bankers, contrasted with £11mn from the Union Unite – with its two million members, as opposed to ten men – to the Labour Party and suddenly the influence of the Unions is about as relevant as Nick Clegg.

So, given the rhetoric on instilling a sense of morality, and knowing this must extend to every part of society, including the super rich, and the banking industry and its bonus culture that created such a mess in the first place, what are the Tories doing? Well, before the election, David Cameron said this:

where the taxpayer owns a large stake in a bank, we are saying that no employee should be paid a bonus of over £2,000.

– After the election, Stephen Hester of RBS was able to collect a £2.1m bonus. His salary and other payments, means he took home over £6m for the year. Brilliant. Eric Daniels at Lloyds; £1.45m bonus. Brilliant.

In 2009, George Osborne demanded that the Labour Government put a stop to ALL retail banks:

“paying out profits in significant cash bonuses. Full stop.”

– After the election, and after Osborne now has the power to stop it… full stop… Bob Diamond of Barclays is to take home around £4m in cash bonuses.

And most scandalous of all, especially for a Government that promoted honesty and transparent government, was the rather shocking revelation from a leaked Treasury paper, that whilst the Tories were telling the public they would seek to create new tough rules on banking bonuses across Europe; they were secretly lobbying to make sure the law never passed through the EU Parliament. The Government failed, and the directives passed the EU Parliament despite the Treasury in the UK working its hardest to fight it. Then, in true Osborne style, he said in the Commons, after the directive that he tried to destroy passed the EU Parliament:

on 1 January this year we introduced the most stringent code of practice of any financial centre in the world.

– Not only is he taking credit for something that he tried to destroy, it also isn’t true in itself. The EU originally wanted a 20% cap on upfront cash for bonuses. Osborne pushed for it to be raised to 40%. Under the rules for the UK, bonuses are not considered “large” until they reach £500,000. Significantly more than the EU. Certainly less than the £2000 Cameron was demanding before the election.

So, will Cameron be insisting these people are evicted from their homes? Or banned from the Internet, or imprisoned? Well, his spokesman said this:

“We’ve made a broad statement which is about the need to see some restraint and some responsibility from the banks, but we are not going to set bonus pools for individual banks,”

– The concept of morality from a Tory perspective, is evidently unnerving, dangerous, and breaks the immoral barrier down within seconds. We now have to deal with five years of a Party that is far more destructive, wedded as it is to big business, and dangerous than it ever was before, under a Chancellor whom, every day, seems more and more deluded and out of his depth.

The rioters are from a class that has been ignored, abused and disenfranchised for decades. The solution doesn’t lie in punishment alone, the solution lies in sorting out the immoral practices of the people at the very top first. The REAL trickle down affect. We need, as a society, to see looting by the wealthy as being just as wrong as looting by the poor. It is ironic, hypocritical and if it wasn’t so unnerving and dangerous, it’d be laughable, that a Prime Minister, from a Party with such a shady record on its ties to dodgy businessmen and a cabinet full of millionaire Parliamentary expenses abuses, would have the nerve to insist he is the one to instill moral guidance upon us all.


The Headlines:

August 10, 2011

There are a number of worrying headlines doing the rounds across Media land today.


– The incessant need by Tory bloggers to point out that opportunism is at the heart of these riots, is not only hopelessly narrow minded, reflecting their narrow minded approach to economic policy; it is not only a defence mechanism to try to persuade us that their economic violence and public service looting is actually quite wonderful and couldn’t possibly cause social tension; it is also disastrously hypocritical. Diane Abbott, in her article for the Telegraph, said:

As was the case 26 years ago, nothing excuses violence. There is no doubt that all types of mindless thugs latched on to the disturbances. There were also hours of looting at Wood Green and Tottenham Hale, both shopping centres I know well.

Angie Bray, Tory MP, then released a statement in which she said:

For senior Labour politicians to use cuts as an excuse for the kind of criminality we have seen over the last few days is unacceptable, irresponsible, and completely wrong. Londoners who have seen their homes and businesses destroyed expect more from local leaders.

– Another massive bout of ignorance, and refusal to accept that economic shock will always lead to social violence. It is a far more eloquent way to say: “Look, why would you riot? You don’t need Sure Start or any Youth Services……hold on, I just need to finish my Cocktail by the pool in the Caribbean……anyway, yeah, what is your problem? So you can’t afford to live in London any more. Stop your complaining and just fall further into deprivation with a sense of uselessness in silence, peasants, and come and clean my moat.” To this day, I am aghast as to why people think voting Tory is a good idea. They are dangerous. It is that simple.

Bray in her statement refused to print the piece of Abbots article that I just printed above, and only chose to include this part of Abbotts article:

Just as with the original riots, parts of the community seem to have been a tinder box waiting to explode. Haringey Council has lost £41m from its budget and has cut youth services by 75 per cent. The abolition of the education maintenance allowance hit Haringey hard, and thousands of young people at college depended on it. Again none of these things are reasons for rioting and looting. But with these and other cuts in jobs and services, it is difficult to see how areas like Tottenham can become less flammable soon.

– As far as I can see this is a fantastic point and absolutely relevant. Pretty much identical to argument I set out in my blog yesterday. Instead of Bray simply saying it’s “irresponsible and wrong“, she should refute the argument Abbot is making, with reason. Making empty statements as Bray did, simply highlights the weakness of the Tory argument.

The Tories then went on to say that Abbot was trying to have it both ways. That claiming violence is wrong, whilst suggesting cuts provoked violence, is opportunistic in itself. In this, they fail to understand Abbots argument, or the argument I tried to make yesterday. The point is, the deep austerity and the lack of opportunity coupled with fear that one is not secure in a job or a home, and the fact that we’ve had it pelted into our skulls for decades that owning shit that we do not need is the measure of what makes a person “somebody”, all adds to an atmosphere that makes rioting inevitable. The rioters may be opportunistic, and they may have absolutely no idea of the inner political and economic workings that have lead them down that violent and dangerous path, but the atmosphere that they have grown up under and live under every day is very much the underlying political issue, and it has been exaggerated a hundred fold by this current Government. The rioters are years away from the level of destruction forced on the UK by our financial sector. But if the Government’s handling of that can be anything to go by, I expect the rioters will be given massive pay offs and an over inflated bonus for the destructive nature. The Tories failure to comprehend the deeper social context of the rioting, is their downfall, and one of the many many reasons I would rather throw myself in front of a speeding train, than vote Tory. Labour’s refusal to acknowledge a growing discontented and disenfranchised lower class who see no future and are politically unrepresented because their traditional Labour Party is trying to constantly appeal to a Middle Class, caused the lower class to become easy prey for the BNP and EDL. The economic and social climate, lack of opportunity, crap low paid jobs that were never secure, caused a climate in which the Far Right thrived, a Far Right that organised violence rather than the disorganised violence we see with the rioting, but essentially the economic factors are the same. It is absolutely a class issue.

How many times must we have to sit and take the Tory Party line that everyone else is to blame but them. That it’s ludicrous to blame them. That their policies of slash everything could not possibly have a detrimental affect on the social fabric of England. The Miners were to blame. The Unions were to blame. Labour were to blame. Gay people were to blame. Immigrants were to blame. The EU was to blame. Students were to blame. And in the case of Oliver Letwin, anyone from Sheffield who wants a holiday is to blame. Must we wait until the next Tory Government causes the exact same social unrest due to economic violence and public sector looting, as this lot have done? Or like the Thatcher lot before them had done? How many times are we going to accept that it might just all be a coincidence? There has to be a strong resistance to the Right Winged narrative, because it’s becoming so absurd as to almost be laughable now. The are the nasty Party of Eton, that rules for Eton, by Eton, deflecting the blame onto everything and anyone else other than themselves.

Archer’s books are still pretty popular. Over here in Australia, I see them everywhere. Ash and I stayed in a lovely little boat house in Tasmania last year, in the middle of nowhere overlooking a beautiful lake with Mount Wellington rising above the horizon. In the little bookshelf underneath the TV, was an Archer book. Yet I think I speak not just for Londoners, but the entire Country, when I say that London got off lightly with Boris. If things had been a little bit different, Jeffrey Archer could now be Mayor London. That is a scary thought. I doubt he’d win if he ran again, the way Boris has not handled the riots shows his complete disinterest in the plight of those who don’t live and work in Canary Wharf. Today in fact, giving a speech in London, whilst being the victim of constant heckling from people who had to remain in their homes scared to death, whilst the Mayor was on holiday refusing to come home, Boris said that people shouldn’t listen to those claiming there are sociological and economical reasons for these riots. The typical Tory attitude. Employ economic violence on those less fortunate, and then wash your hands of the consequences. One can only imagine how much worse that particular speech would have been had the pathological liar, Jeffrey Archer been giving it.


– Roger Helmer MEP is an idiot. He has been an idiot for a very long time. He is a throw back to the Euro sceptic Tories of the 1980s, who not only dislike the idea of joining a single currency, but want us absolutely out of Europe in every way. People like Helmer has this odd sense of British superiority as nostalgia from the days of Empire, whilst the rest of the World has moved on. With China, Brazil and India growing every second of every day, how he expects a tiny nation like Britain to compete, without being integrated in Europe is something he doesn’t elaborate on.
As well as calling for people to be shot, Helmer has also said that women who are date raped:

“surely shares a part of the responsibility”.

That homophobia is a propaganda tool used by the “militant gay lobby”, that the UK would benefit from American style healthcare, and that clubbing “dumb cub” seals over the head was humane because they were pests for eating too many fish. In short, the man is categorically insane.


– This is absolutely not a parody. I kid you not. An Iranian man with a desperately funny wig has issued a statement urging police restraint. A Country who, according to Human Rights Watch:

“Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and assembly, deteriorated in 2006. The government routinely tortures and mistreats detained dissidents, including through prolonged solitary confinement.”

– has urged caution in the UK. On this issue, I am absolutely speechless.

The Chancellor is appearing ever more insane. Blaming the snow for poor growth was one thing, but his ability to just make shit up is almost an art form now.

Last Monday the IMF said this:

On Saturday the Bank of England said this:

Last Thursday, his own office said this:

On Sunday the Business Secretary said this:

Later that day, this happened:

Today, it was reported that:

But it’s okay, the Chancellor is ignoring it all and making up his own news.

– I am not sure incompetency is the word. Charlie Brooker labelled Osborne as an 11 year old novelty Chancellor. I think that’s pretty much spot on. He is refusing to back from Neoliberal Tory doctrine, no matter how dangerous and wrong it is proving to be. It is isolating massive amounts of the UK community, everyone fears for their jobs and their homes.

Never trust a Tory.


Panic on the streets of London

August 9, 2011

Theresa May: We can cut police budget without risking violent unrest
– Home Secretary Theresa May, September 2010.

I love London.
There is no city on Earth like it. I miss living there, every day. There is an odd sort of pride and even serenity in the crowds of people coming to experience such a great history. Watching it burn is saddening, but not surprising.

The riots have spread across London. Tottenham was first, Croydon and Hackney were hit. Brixton rioted. Reports that Camden High Street took a battering; the electric ballroom was smashed to pieces and the stretch between Camden Town and Chalk Farm Underground Station has been blocked by police. Peckham is under siege. Oxford Circus – a group of 50 people throwing rocks at shops. Bethnal Green Road has a youtube video showing the extent of the violence. BBC reporting that Canning Town in East London was hit, with cars smashed on Portabello Road. A five minute walk away from my old place in Southwark, Old Kent Road was attacked. An horrendous fire has been lit at a Sony Distribution Centre in Waltham Abbey. It isn’t just London either. A police station in Handsworth, in Birmingham was set alight tonight, with 87 people in the city being arrested. Bristol is experiencing riots. Police in Liverpool are advising people to keep away from Upper Parliament Street, after violence erupted in the North. It is utter madness.

The motives are of course opportunistic. There appears to be no political motive. It has purely brought out the violent and senseless mob who are achieving nothing but the destruction of their communities. But the social and economic situation in relation to these riots cannot be ignored. We must accept that when one person commits a crime, it is an individual problem. When thousands commit the same crime, on the same day, there is a deep social problem. Certain tweeters have said they watched people looting supermarkets of nappies and milk. The underlying issues need addressing. Many of the Greek rioters last year, were opportunistic in nature. But the economic pressures created an atmosphere where rioting was essentially inevitable. A government who go out of their way to initiate a shock to the system that forces unemployment up deliberately, whilst living cost and rising inflation also rise purposely, is a government that is committing economic criminality. It is similar in the UK. A study by the business information group Experian found that inner city poorer areas are not equipped to deal with economic shocks like that of austerity, because they are still dealing with the after affects of the economic shocks of the 1980s. It found that Elmbridge in Surrey was the least likely to be affected by austerity, coincidentally, Elmbridge in Surrey was labelled as the town with the highest quality of life by a Halifax Estate Agency, and the “Beverly Hills of England” by the Daily Mail. The looting of the public services and economic violence from the Government, will absolutely always lead to social violence and criminality.

Bringing business to poor areas doesn’t always help. This is where the public sector, can and should step in to fill the gap. The study by Experian showed that:

areas such as Islington and Tower Hamlets in London have relatively high business resilience compared to their people, place and community scores.

– Business may pick up, but the affects of austerity on a place like Tower Hamlets and its community, are far deeper and widespread. Unsurprisingly, rioters struck less than a mile away from the Tower Hamlets border. It highlights the importance of the State to provide better educational opportunities rather than taking away EMA. Bringing more low paid jobs to an area like Tower Hamlets, does not increase the overall feeling of worth and belonging. Making opportunities to better oneself through the education process is the key. And it begins with absolutely key programs like Sure Start.

The riots are quite simply, the culmination of an aggressive and regressive social engineering project.

There were warning signs:

Pre-election Nick Clegg warned of Greek style rioting, if a Tory government was elected and pushed through deep austerity. In October last year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the austerity measures would hit the poorest areas of England the hardest. On the earlier point of looters looting for nappies, it is no coincidence that the IFS said that the poorest people, with children, would be the hardest hit of all.

A teacher posted on Twitter:

“Taught in E17 10 years ago- clear this was going to happen- kids have been made to feel like nothing for so long.”

– If people are surprised that a growing inequality gap between the poorest and the richest, increasing under Labour, exploited and increase further still by the Tories has resulted in widespread riots in low socio-economic areas, they are incredibly naive.

We are a nation that condemns. If you’re homeless, if you’re on benefits, if you’re taking drugs. if you’re foreign, if you’re Muslim, if you’re Gypsy, if you’re poor. We condemn, without trying to understand, and yet we feel alienated when people don’t understand our problems. It is true that the rioters are a disgrace to the Country; but the issues that lead, and have always led to riots and rebellions are still not being addressed. It is all economic.

Earlier this year, The Government had planned to cap housing benefit to £290 for a two bedroom flat. Though that is slightly misleading, because before the cap – the Local Housing Allowance was based on the median average of rents in that area (known as the 50th Percentile), now it is based on the 30th Percentile. Which means the £290 is the absolute maximum, and not many will be able to claim that. Couple that with LHA being cut for people on jobseekers for more than a year, and people are suddenly able to claim pretty much nothing. Poorer people absolutely will lose their homes. Meaning, whilst business is down, unemployment is inevitably high, government austerity means people cannot afford to now pay their rent. Social exclusion of the worst kind, during the most troubled of economic times. Piling the pressure on the shoulders of the most vulnerable, is a disastrous policy from a nasty party. If Tories thought that this wouldn’t culminate in social unrest, they are living on another planet; or a Villa in Tuscany.

Labour pointed out rightly, that cuts to the Sure Start program for poorer areas (specifically mentioning Hackney) would deprive a family of around £100 per child. Whereas, in an affluent town like Richmond, it was only £30 per child. A massive discrepancy.

This video accurately defines the mentality of kids from deprived areas, after having been further deprived, of their youth facilities due to government enforced cuts. A girl on the video says that the council didn’t alert the young people or prepare them for mass youth service closures, and that one moment the youth services are there, the next they’re gone.

The Guardian article from 2009, highlighting the apparent inherent racism of the Met was spot on in its opening paragraph:

Murder and racism, indifferent and incompetent policing combined with continuing injustice, make for a toxic mix.

– The Met’s record these past three years has been disastrous, and sooner or later was going to push the situation one step too far. From the killing of Ian Tomlinson, to the kettling of kids, they get it wrong every time, and then proceed to lie their way out of trouble. We have no idea what happened to Mark Duggan. But the silence from the Met is slightly suspicious. The leaking of Duggan’s death to the press, before even informing his next of kin, was in sensationally poor taste. In fact, it then took hours for the family to get any sort of explanation from the police. The Met are shameful. The pressure from the community became volatile. It was always going to happen.

An entire generation has been told that we must own stuff. That the purpose of life is to consume. We are given easy credit to fuel the debt needed to sustain an economy and a prevailing social wisdom built around consuming. People who have very little, who are told they will always have very little, living in areas where the opportunities are bleak at best and non-existent at worst, are still encouraged to consume. The materialist mindset that has dominated all other thought processes for far too long, must not be ignored as a contributing factor to the unrest; this can be seen quite evidently with the looting of non-essential, luxury goods. We are what we buy. And that is a problem. A generation of young people have had luxuries dangled infront of their faces by incessant advertising, only to be told they would never be able to afford them; well that temptation exploded and now they can get those desirable consumer items for free.

Whilst London burns, the Mayor is on holiday. The Chancellor is on holiday. The Deputy Prime Minister didn’t return early, but is now in London following the natural end of his holiday. The Prime Minister is in Tuscany having tennis lessons in his rented villa, and the only person to come home so far is Theresa May, the Home Secretary, whom during the outbreak of the News Corp phone hacking scandal, was being tipped as a possible challenger for the leadership of the Tory Party if the scandal brought David Cameron down. One suspects she is still positioning herself as an eventual successor, given that she’s the only one to bother coming home from an apparent government-wide holiday, to deal with these problems. I cannot imagine the public – especially those hit the hardest by austerity – would happily get on with their lives as they become more impoverished, with the knowledge that the people who have forced this on them, are holidaying around the World and indulging in tennis lessons in the sunset of Tuscany. Though I fully expect Cameron to give a speech in which he states “lessons must be learnt”, without recognising the irony in his statement.

Cameron is proving to be weak. First, his cabinet start announcing ridiculous initiatives without his knowledge; selling the trees for example. Then his Chancellor blamed the snow for poor growth figures. Then he has to backtrack on NHS reform. And now his long refusal to leave the comfort of privileged life in Tuscany, to come home and deal with the mess that the Country is in, after spending the past four years telling us only he could fix “broken Britain” is telling. Britain was fine. The Tories broke it. And now they wish to wash their hands of it. I very much doubt he will recognise the underlying economic issues that led to this crises.

There can be no mistaking that the rioting, vandalism and violence are motivated by and large, by opportunism. For many, the idea that one could get a free iPod by storming an Apple store in an area of London where police are no where to be seen because they’re dealing with the same shit elsewhere, is too great an opportunity to miss. It has no political motivation on the surface. But the underlying issue, the social deprivation, high unemployment, high VAT rates, the end of EMA, rising inflation, the mass of cuts to youth services, and the unfair and shock economic violence by a government that has grown up enjoying the benefits of a strong public service, only to loot it when they came to power, thus burning the ladder up which they themselves climbed, is an obvious precursor to social violence from communities that feel ever more excluded.


Tweeting Tottenham

August 7, 2011

What an eventful day. Whilst David Cameron is away, and George Osborne is on Holiday in California (coincidentally, the same week that the US credit rating is downgraded…. that’ll teach them, for letting him into the Country), from my tiny screen in an old miners cottage in Victoria, Australia, I have followed minute by minute coverage of the Tottenham riots. Twitter is a great tool. It has the power to both inform, and be woefully incorrect. The riots have been the top trend today. So I followed along on Twitter. More specifically, following the right winged reaction to the riots in Tottenham.

The causes remain unclear. All I know is that a man was shot and killed by police, which led to community outcry over the abuse of power by the Met. The Met is saying that their officer was shot at first, and fired back, shooting a gangster who was armed. In that case, I have no sympathy for the man. If you fire at the police, then don’t express shock when you’re fired on. It is hardly a case of police injustice and brutality, if the man had shot at police. That actually is about as much as anyone knows. Twitter is alive with people telling me about their “reliable witness“. As if i’m supposed to just accept the reliability of a supposed witness. If it is true that the guy shot first, the fact that he even carried a gun, suggests he wasn’t exactly an innocent victim of police brutality. The problem is though, many people claim he wasn’t armed and didn’t fire. Given the Met’s recent record, one can hardly trust their statements. I am not entirely sure who to believe, and think the adage of “innocent until proven guilty” applies to both the Met and the dead man on this one. No one knows the truth other than the police officer involved.

The riots seemed to start with a protest against police brutality, and just turned into a mass loot. The community of Tottenham this morning will be in ruins. The riot will have caused more pain to the innocent people of the city, than anyone else. It cannot particularly be defended.

The Right Winged outcry was the most outrageous of the comments sweeping Twitter, shortly followed by Sky News journalists begging the public for information, given their own apparent incompetence.
Here are some of my favourites:


– The opportunistic attacks on multiculturalism are a little unnerving. The situation in Tottenham is not a multicultural issue. Muslims are not fighting Christians on a daily basis across the Country. People live quite happily 99/9% of the time, side by side. Kids play with each other in schools regardless of cultural background. Multiculturalism has absolutely worked. On the whole, people live together in harmony. That is a testament to the brilliance of multiculturalism. I can sit discussing football with Sikh, Muslim and Jewish friends without it becoming a full scale riot.

The people tweeting comments like those above, tend to conveniently ignore the 99.9% of the time when absolutely nothing is happening in the way of destructive race relations, and focus on the 0.01%. The Tottenham riots, are not a part of that 0.01%.The used it as a chance to express their vicious Nationalistic ideology, their fascist bullshit. And when brought up on it, they say the following:

– I then asked this idiot to elaborate on the correlation between Marx’s Das Capital, and the Tottenham rioters. He responded with this:

So far, right winged tweeters have blamed black people, jewish people, Chinese people (One had wondered why a Chinese takeaway hadn’t been looted and thought it convenient), people on benefits, socialists, students and anyone with slightly darker skin. Amazing.

The entire thing could have been avoided, had someone shone the Bat Boris signal. Only Boris could have stopped the madness, from his Boris Bike.