Blinded by Patriotism

February 27, 2011

In 2003 the Americans tried to convince the World that Al Jazeera had been infiltrated by spies, in an effort to produce propaganda for the war in Iraq. It is an interesting and mightily hypocritical claim by the U.S who have a media largely in bed with the American Government, and largely responsible for the biggest manipulation in war time history. Propaganda is an absolute specialty of the United States of America.

Ex CBS reporter Dan Rather stated recently, on the subject of his unquestioning adherence to absolutely everything the Bush Administration was insisting, that:

“Had journalists questioned the deceptions…the invasion would not have happened.”

The truth is, Al Jazeera is the only news network in the World who were investigating the horrors of the U.S invasion of Iraq. Where were the U.S press, the freest press in the World, when the population of Fallujah were being massacred? Phrases like “terrorist” and “insurgent” were being used everywhere, to describe anyone in Iraq who wanted to fight back against the U.S invasion.

Fox went along to an anti-war rally in 2004, and suggested several times, that the protesters were “unpatriotic“. Fox went along to the Tea Party rallies in 2009 and 2010 and referred to them as “true patriots“. Fox was the most watched news broadcaster for news on the war. Throughout coverage of the war in Iraq, Fox displayed a little waiving American flag in the corner of the screen.

Similarly, MSNBC played a segment every week, called “America’s bravest”, which showed photos of American soldiers deployed in Iraq.

Peter Arnett, a reporter with NBC was fired for questioning the legitimacy of the war. He had interviewed Iraqi officials and said the American “first war plan had failed”.

A Maryland University study into the media affects on public perception of Iraq, found that 57% of mainstream media viewers believed Iraq was involved in 9/11. 69% believe that Saddam was directly involved in 9/11. 22% believed WMDs had been found in Iraq. 80% of Fox News viewers had one or more of the above misconceptions.

Media watchdog group “FAIR” found that 79% of all 319 news stories on Iraq in 2003, were sourced from Government officials or Military officials.

The media became the mouthpiece for a barrage of lies and propaganda. This is evident even today. When Wikileaks leaked the war files, the news outlets, from Fox in the US to the BBC in the UK focused almost entirely on Wikileaks itself. American Republicans are referring to Assange as a traitor for exposing their criminal activity. The UK media was focusing on Assange personally. No one focused on what the war logs were saying.

Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster, along with a team of researchers, surveyed 4,800 people in Fallujah and concluded that dramatic increases in cancer rates and infant mortality since the relative genocide by American troops, is “worse than Hiroshima”. After Fallujah, US Marines admitted, after first strongly denying, that they had used white phosphorus. The report is open for any to read, called “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009“. It shows a 38 fold increase in leukaemia (compared to a 17 fold increase, after Hiroshima), a ten fold increase in breast cancer, and an increase in brain tumours. This sharp rise if health defects, was not helped by the fact that the city continued to be blocked off to essential supplies, by the US, long after 2004.

Whilst the U.S networks were struggling to understand a map of the Middle East:

And using handy little catchphrases that seemed to give credit to the horrors:

Al Jazeera was getting right into the heart of the situation, and showing images, like the one below, which is beyond awful. (I have spent the past few minutes looking at this photo, and it is something I cannot comprehend without being overcome with quite profound sadness):

It is then, no wonder that the one media outlet that was actually bothering to do some investigative journalism, rather than imbedded journalism (in which the Western Military dictates what a Journalist is allowed to see and where he can go), showing pictures and videos of innocent people’s lives ruined, in the same way that Fox and CNN were after 9/11 were bombed. The Al Jazeera Kabul and Baghdad offices were bombed by the Americans, who also drew up plans to bomb the Al Jazeera office in Doha – Qatar!. Why? They weren’t harbouring terrorists. They were just a threat to US mass propaganda. We were not supposed to see the destruction and terrorism left by the Americans. We were supposed to see a happy population, joyfully welcoming the Americans as great liberators fighting for freedom. If people fought back, we were supposed to believe they were “insurgents” who “hated our freedoms”, rather than the fathers of dead children or orphaned children.

The “reality” of war, is not a natural reality, it is a construct. When thousands are killed in American and British aggression it is called the “reality of war“, simply because a Western Government has used the word “war” to describe it. But when a far smaller number are killed by extremists, it is called “terrorism” and it is “evil”. It is the creation of a narrative that seeks to propel Western aggression as necessary, to defeat evil. Whether that evil be Communists, Muslims, Vietcong, or Arabs. That is the public narrative. The truth is that if your dictator opens up his markets to American Capitalist ventures, he will be propped up for years to come. The moment he closes those markets, we will take them by force.

How blurred the lines of “reality of war” really are, and absolutely always in favour of the Western World. Vietnam, the propping up of Latin American and Middle Eastern Dictators, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb, the invasion of Iraq. None of it is labelled “terrorism”, and yet what else is it other than the spreading of terror and death across Nations that aren’t ours.

It isn’t new. The British Empire did it in Australia. Terrorised the Country but apparently it was for their own good. What if Aboriginal Australians had invaded England? Rome labelled anyone who disagreed with its policies as “Barbarians”. The concealing of crimes behind romaticised ideals is not new. Especially with America. America celebrates Columbus Day. A day when Europe began the mass genocide project across that continent.
The great American author Kurt Vonnegut sums this up in his book “Breakfast of Champions“:

rout and Hoover were citizens of the United States of America, a country which was called America for short. This was their national anthem, which was pure balderdash, like so much they were expected to take seriously:

O, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thru the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

There were one quadrillion nations in the Universe, but the nation Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout belonged to was the only one with a national anthem which was gibberish sprinkled with question marks.

The motto of Dwayne Hoover’s and Kilgore Trout’s nation was this, which meant in a language nobody spoke anymore, Out of Many, One: “E pluribus unum.” The undippable flag was a beauty, and the anthem and the vacant motto might not have mattered much, if it weren’t for this: a lot of citizens were so ignored and cheated and insulted that they thought they might be in the wrong country, or even on the wrong planet, that some terrible mistake had been made.

It might have comforted them some if their anthem and their motto had mentioned fairness or brotherhood or hope or happiness, had somehow welcomed them to the society and its real estate. If they studied their paper money for clues as to what their country was all about, they found, among a lot of other baroque trash, a picture of a truncated pyramid with a radiant eye on top of it. Not even the President of the United States knew what that was all about.

It was as though the country were saying to its citizens, “In nonsense is strength.” A lot of the nonsense was the innocent result of playfulness on the part of the founding fathers of the nation of Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout.

The founders were aristocrats, and they wished to show off their useless education, which consisted of the study of hocus-pocus from ancient times. They were bum poets as well. But some of the nonsense was evil, since it concealed great crimes. For example, teachers of children in the United States of America wrote this date on blackboards again and again, and asked the children to memorize it with pride and joy: 1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them.

Here was another piece of evil nonsense which children were taught: that the sea pirates eventually created a government which became a beacon of freedom to human beings everywhere else. There were pictures and statues of this supposed imaginary beacon for children to see. It was sort of an ice-cream cone on fire. Like this [the Liberty torch].

Actually, the sea pirates who had the most to do with the creation of the new government owned human slaves. They used human beings for machinery, and, even after slavery was eliminated, because it was so embarrassing, they and their descendants continued to think of ordinary human beings as machines

Vonnegut is ingeniously pointing out the illogical mental illness of Patriotism and its refusal to accept the horrors that came before it, and are committed in the name of it. It is a delusional, non-existent entity that exists to hinder human progression rather than help that seed to grow. A heartfelt anthem and a flag are just ways to mask injustice. It is a clever social construction, to make you think what you are doing is for the greater good and that the greatest good is the Nation State, when in fact the truth is, it is all for the sake of profit.

The dominant superpower will always place itself as the moral standard, and we buy into the bullshit, because it takes too much effort to stop playing on Fifa, and actually read.
Instead of seeing a little girl marched out of her home, crying and scared and made to kneel down on the floor with her hands in the air, by our troops, isn’t presented in the media. Instead, the media will have experts in to talk about how awesome our aircraft is, or how the Democrats are trying to block Defence funding. As if any of that bullshit matters.

We don’t see a bunch of vicious soldiers shooting random people or committing mass murder in Fallujah. Instead, we see a Saddam statue being brought down and how wonderful and free Iraq now is. We don’t see the pictures of a family digging their dead child out of the rubble, instead we only hear words like “insurgents” and “terrorists”. If my child had just been killed by American forces, for no reason, I’d fucking do all I could to kill the bastards too.

We are all desensitised to war, by this obsession with an us VS them mentality. Consumerism is a useful tool against the questioning of the immoral actions of big business and government. It is a simple narrative to understand, we don’t have to read too much into it, we’re busy working our arses off for shit we don’t need, so we consume easily accessible news, without questioning its motives or its intentions. We are apparently the good guys, and they are apparently the enemies, that is how it is presented. A healthy dose of National Pride, by making pictures of American soldiers draping their flag over the head of the statue in Baghdad, ensures that we are kept docile and unquestioning. We don’t want to seem unpatriotic.

Whereas, the reality is that the good guys are the idiots who are compelled to fight to perpetuate the economic war system, on both sides, rather than joining hands and fighting the very people who profit from war and make it a rational product of Capitalism. Do we really believe that the American private defence contractors and oil companies would love to see a peaceful World? They exist, to profit from war. Therefore, the financial sector profits from war. It is gross manipulation. These are the real bastards, not a few farmers in Afghanistan.

David Cameron went to Kuwait and told them that 20 years ago a brutal and violent dictator invaded their home land, and they had a right to defend themselves. How offensive; we sold those arms to that brutal dictator, before we designated him a brutal dictator, because he was nice to our businessmen. I keep seeing arguments defending Cameron’s arms sales across the Arab World as “good for jobs in England”. Economic matters are being placed above human rights. It is believed that British arms were used in the massacre of protesters in Libya this week.

Blair’s government lifted sanctions on the sale of weapons to Libya in 2004. Since then British companies have sold £500,000,000 worth of arms to Libya n 2009 alone. This includes Sniper rifles, tear gas, and crowd control ammunition. Are we seriously suggesting that selling tear gas and crowd control ammunition to a dictatorship, is going to be used to protect itself from an evil outside force? They are always going to be used against protesters, to keep the dictatorship in power. For that, I don’t care how many jobs it creates in the UK, we should be ashamed.

And so whilst the Libyan government uses our weapons, like Saddam did before him, on its own people, the rest of the World will sit back and have lots of UN meetings and keeping saying “please stop“.

Sometimes, death is good for the economy, and so we are all expendable.
Was is an essential ingredient of Capitalism.


London’s burning

December 9, 2010

I’m all for violent direct action; but I draw the line when those damn students made the future King of England ejaculate out of his eye. That’s too far.

London is burning again. The protesters have spoken. I genuinely hope this is a sign of things to come. I hope the Unions get a backbone too. The middle classes certainly wont. They need to watch Coronation Street’s live episode and complain about students. I am a strong supporter of violent direct action, when Government’s quite clearly piss on the very people who elected them. It gets the message across. Always has. Shock Capitalism has been tried on Countries in the past, with shocking consequences. We should not allow it to happen here, we don’t want it here. We will not be peaceful about it either.

So the Tuition Fee debate lasted five hours. The biggest decision on higher education in decades, was decided in less time than it takes to drive from Manchester to Devon. Nick Clegg and Vince Cable didn’t stay for the debate.

The Government won by 323 votes to 302. Their majority of 86, swiftly cut to 21. A number of Lib Dems showed the had to courage to vote against the rise, and surprisingly, a few Tories voted against it too.

Still, here is the list of Lib Dem MPs who voted for the rise in tuition fees, despite pledging to vote against any such proposal.

Let’s make sure this is the last Parliament they ever sit through.

Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Norman Baker (Lewes)
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley)
Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington)
Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane)
Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)
Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam)
Vince Cable (Twickenham)
Alistair Carmichael (Orkney & Shetland)
Nick Clegg (Sheffield Hallam)
Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton)
Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)
Don Foster (Bath)
Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay)
Duncan Hames (Chippenham)
Nick Harvey (Devon North)
David Heath (Somerton & Frome)
John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley)
Norman Lamb (Norfolk North)
David Laws (Yeovil)
Michael Moore (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk)
Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove)
Jo Swinson (Dunbartonshire East)
Sarah Teather (Brent Central)
David Ward (Bradford East)
Steve Webb (Thornbury and Yate).

If any of these are your MP, and you voted partly due to their stance on tuition fees; email them. Let them know that they are a disgrace. Let them know that they have absolutely forfeited their right to be known as Progressives. Let them know that they are Tories.


Who needs principles anyway

August 19, 2010

“closing those huge loopholes that only people right at the top, very wealthy people who can afford a football team of lawyers and accountants to get out of paying tax”

– Nick Clegg, April 2010, on how he would pay for cuts.

I admit I am a little bias. I despise everything the Conservatives stand for. They are a cancerous leech created and represented by a very rich minority, they cause chaos and they destroy and their rise to power is in the same lugubrious category to me as the rise of AIDs or the news that a robot army with 10 inch metal penises has risen in rebellion and is coming to specifically rape me, and me only, or even worse, right winged American Christians are all moving to England en masse. I hate everything they stand for, everything they say, everything they do, I hate that I’m sure George Osbourne says “crickey” a lot, and I hate that they are now in control of the Country.

I think the writer Charlie Brooker says it far better than I ever could;

The Conservative party is an eternally irritating force for wrong that appeals exclusively to bigots, toffs, money-minded machine men, faded entertainers and selfish, grasping simpletons who were born with some essential part of their soul missing.

I did however like the Lib Dems a short time ago. When Clegg had principles. When he was discussing his priority to close down tax loopholes that the very rich use to actively tax avoid. So that being said, isn’t it amazing how a few months in office can change a Politician’s opinion to the point where he is happy to discard his principles entirely?
Whilst the Coalition plans £61bn worth of cuts across the entire public sector because they have a sense of emergency about saving money, whilst claiming they are not doing this on ideological grounds; they seem perfectly happy to employ Sir Philip Green as a Government advisor. He will be in charge of a White Hall spending review, to ensure that cuts are met across department. He will identify areas that can be cut.

Why is this a problem?

Sir Philip Green is Britain’s 9th richest man. He owns Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Topman, Topshop, and Wallis. He owns about 12% of the UK’s clothing market. He is the UK’s 9th richest man however, because his companies are in his wife’s name, who happens to live in a tax haven, in Monaco. Which means, in 2005 alone, the arrangement cost the Treasury £285mn (which would employ 12,720 public sector workers for a year, according to The Gov statistics site), because his wife Tina did not have to pay any tax on the £1.2bn dividend she received. Green therefore, is one of the UK’s biggest tax avoiders. Whilst he is still actively avoiding taxes and making over £1bn a year in dividend payments, he has told his UK staff in 2005 that members of the Company’s final salary pension scheme must work five years more and increase their contribution to the pot by half, if they are to receive the same payout. He is also known for using sweatshops. So, he is a billionaire because he uses and abuses cheap labour in sweatshops, he actively tax avoids to net himself a lovely £1.5bn, and he makes his workers contribute more, and work longer, for the same shit payout. And he is the new efficiency advisor? Really?

Whilst Green gets knighted at Buckingham Palace, and then suns himself in Monaco on the money he’s saved from avoiding tax, his employees who make him that money in the first place, work for pittance, and have to pay tax because they’ll end up in prison if they don’t. The little people, the same little people who would must have been naively enticed into voting Tory in May, are being screwed over beautifully.

As well as employing 12,720 public sector workers for a year, had he not avoided tax on that single dividend and paid the £285mn, the Government would have enough to pay for certain schemes they are scrapping, like £150mn the the health in pregnancy grant, a one off payment that helps mum and baby stay healthy and covers wider health costs for pregnant women, which the Tories are entirely scrapping. Or the £180mn child tax credit supplement they intend to cut quite viciously.

David Cameron told the Sun recently that “benefit fraud is the first and the deepest cut we will make“. He is talking about single mums and struggling families who scrounge a few extra pound a week to help pay the bills. Hypocritically, he is not talking about the man he just appointed who costs the UK a fortune in lost tax revenue every year, to look into savings across the public sector,

And they wonder why people like me refer to them as the same old Tories, looking after their own? The same old ideological right winged warfare against anyone who isn’t actively tax avoiding and who doesn’t earn millions of pounds a second?

Clegg, that ‘progressive’ politician has kept breathtakingly quiet on the subject. Like a lapdog who will do and agree with everything his master tells him. Who needs principles anyway?


Budget 2010: A Very Tory Budget

June 24, 2010

Shamefully, Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander washed away any suggestion that he should be ashamed of himself for campaigning throughout the election months on the premise that the Lib Dems would DEFINITELY NOT have to rise VAT in order to fund their economic plan, only to announce jointly with George Osbourne, that VAT would have to rise. Alexander defended it by suggesting the economic situation, since he took office, had “dramatically changed”. The trouble is, none of us know how it has dramatically changed. In fact, for all intents and purposes, it’s safe to say the situation hasn’t changed at all. The smirking face of Clegg sitting behind Osbourne as he made his budget speech, was all I needed to see, to ensure that I would never vote Liberal Democrat Tory-lite again. Alexander then said that the budget was progressive in that the richest, contributed the most. He lied again. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the budget was “not progressive” in that the richest households did not pay more, the corporations who tax avoid were not being punished, and banking bonuses were not being taxed. Cutting benefits, raising regressive taxes, and then cutting corporation tax, can never ever be described as progressive, no matter how blinded you are by current Lib Dem rhetoric. We all know that Labour lied appallingly in their last manifesto, but Clegg and the Liberals have taken political deception and selling out their principles, to a whole new level.

Whilst in Australia, i’ve kept a close watch on George Osbourne’s “emergency” budget situation. The term “emergency” in that phrase, the Tories have used for the past few months, and it’s very tedious. Playing politics with the economy, which they largely have very little control over anyway, is a little unnerving.

Cameron and Osbourne have suggested that the economic figures for the last Parliament could have been ‘fiddled’ and pledged to make sure that kind of behaviour would never happen again. The problem is, the figures were not fiddled, as a report from the Office for Budget Responsibility pointed out recently. The same report rubbishes another Tory claim that the UK could become the next Greece. The report shows that Greek debt is double the UKs, Greece is still in recession and we’re not, and the debt maturity for Greece is 3 years, compared to ours which is 14. We, quite conclusively, are not Greece. The OBR report also revised figures for borrowing, showing that the situation had indeed improved. George Osbourne, having seen the Labour had not fiddled the figures, and that we were not the next Greece, and that borrowing had improved, responded quite ridiculously with:

“this is damning evidence that the mess the previous government left behind is even bigger than we thought.”

It is against this report that Osbourne made his first budget speech. The key points are:

  • VAT will rise from 17.5% to 20%
  • Council tax frozen for a year.
  • Capital Gains Tax will rise from 18% to 28% from midnight for higher rate taxpayers.
  • The “entrepreneurs relief” rate of 10% on the first £2m of gains will be extended to the first £5m.
  • Child benefit frozen for three years.
  • Tax credits reduced for families earning over £40,000 a year.
  • Housing benefit for longterm unemployed will be cut.
  • Sure Start maternity grant restricted to first child.
  • Single parents punished for not looking for work, when their child starts school.
  • Welfare in general, cut by £11bn over three years.
  • Pensions linked to earnings again.
  • Retirement age increased to 66.
  • NHS budget protected.
  • Corporation Tax cut by 5% over three years.
  • Small Companies tax rate cut to 20%.
  • No real commitment to tackling climate change.
  • 25% cut from every department.
  • All children under 15, will be punched in the face.

    Okay I made that last one up.

    How is this a progressive budget? It couldn’t be any more regressive unless one of the pledges was to reintroduce Feudalism. The NHS budget is protected, which is good. But departments like the Home Office (which means crime and education) will be slashed viciously. As will Climate Change financing. We are regressing, and not just by enough needed to ensure recovery, we are regressing for ideological reasons.
    No tax on banking bonuses. No punishing the banks. No tax avoidance loopholes closed. No punishing companies who have spent the past twenty years actively tax avoiding, costing us pretty much our entire budget deficit in lost revenues? No acknowledgement that it was not the Public Sector that failed, it was the Private Financial Sector that failed. Just an attack on people who have no political power. Same old Tories.

    The medical checks for Disability Living Allowance, along with 25% cuts for the department are massively harsh. The majority of those claiming this benefit, are the elderly, to help pay for their care. 25% cuts will not just hit those who are scrounging the benefit, it will hit the elderly who need it too. But it’s okay, because whilst they will now have to work an extra year anyway, the money that would have gone to providing care for the elderly, will now go to funding
    the “relief rate” of 10% on the first £5m a businessman earns. Thank God for that. The elderly should not be given any help, when the money could instead be used for more important social needs like buying a businessman a new yacht.
    The goal is to get us into budget surplus again, in six years time. Labour had pledged to halve the deficit over four years. There is no urgent need to create a budget surplus in six years. It is ideologically driven, rather than driven out of necessity.

    I have never understood the need to cut a deficit in the middle of a recovery. The budget was a Tory ideological budget. A glint in their eyes. As far as I knew, you prop up an economy when it’s falling. When it has recovered, and tax revenues increase, you then start to decrease spending.

    As far as i’m concerned, the Tories were wrong when they told us everything would be wonderful if they sold the railways, gas, and destroyed British industry; they were wrong when they told us minimum wage would drive companies out of Britain and leave us in a terrible position globally; and they are wrong now. To massively cut a deficit when recovery is underway, is like kicking away the walking stick from a man whose broken leg is still getting better.

    By calling it an ëmergency budget for the past few months, and by blaming Labour for the problems with the banks, rather than a mix of Tory banking deregulation and Labour lax oversight, they are merely indulging in a bit of ideological warfare. I guarantee unemployment rates will shoot up, and then they’ll blame Labour. Or the gays. Or muslims. But if/when double dip recession hits, they will no longer be able to blame Labour.

    The budget was a very neoliberal budget. It bases its entire existence within this new coalition, on the premise that budget deficits are necessarily awful things that must be cut immediately. There are many many economists who would tell you that that way of thinking, is not “actual knowledge of basic economic principles” and only serves as ideological Friedmanite warefare. Milton Friedman would have very different ideas about what constitutes basic economic principles, than John Keynes.

    Deregulating finance, in the 1980s led massively to fake booms economically, because credit became far too easy, and consumer debt went through the roof. And all of these new fake booms, fromt dotcom to subprime, failed miserably. That’s the legacy of right wing economics. And now, this budget, is a throw back to the days when deregulation, and cutting corporate tax whilst increasing regressive taxes and hitting those less fortunate, was considered a wondrous solution to stagnation. It didn’t work before, it wont work again.

    The Tories, on their quest to rubbish the N.I rise during the campaign also failed to mention that they whilst they said they’d scrap it completely, what they meant was they’d only scrap it for employers. Employees are still going to be hit with the rise. They said they had absolutely no plans to raise VAT, in fact, they made it part of their campaign. So in essence, they have no mandate to do this. Actually, they have no mandate to force deep cuts this year anyway, given that the majority of the country voted for cuts to come over a five year period.

    Attacking single parents, for not working is another harsh measure. As is cutting housing benefit for longterm unemployed. If the economy was flourishing and jobs were in abundance, it would be almost understandable; but that isn’t the case. There are very few jobs. Cutting benefits during a recovery from the biggest recession in decades, is simply throwing another generation onto the scrap heap. Forget any ambition you might have, you either get a job in McDonalds, or you go homeless. Professor Colin Talbot of Manchester Business School estimated that because of the cuts promised, one fifth of all public sector workers would lose their job. What about them? The Government will fire them, and then offer very little help? It is the lack of compassion that drives the Conservative Party, and now, the Liberal Democrat Party.

    The Liberal Democrats should be ashamed. They are now firmly placed on the right wing of the economic scale. They are not progressives. They are Tory-lite.

    Contrary to what Osbourne claims, we are not “all in this together”, because when 77% of savings comes from cuts rather than taxation, the poorest will always be hardest hit. When Tory friends in the City are rewarded with tax decreases, yet VAT rises and benefits are cut along with departmental spending, the wealthiest are not helping to cut the deficit, they are benefiting from it. This was not a budget for you and I, this was a Tory budget for the rich.

    The economic problem that we face, is not just figures and statistics, it is the philosophical base of the economy itself. Until we as a society take note that those on benefits take up such a small piece of the public purse, and those scrounging benefits even smaller in comparison to the corporations who actively tax avoid, we will never progress. We have just elected a government, who have no problem with corporate tax avoidance and private sector over-extravagance. Until we realise that neoliberalism got us into this mess, and so electing a neoliberalist government will not get us out of this mess, we will never progress.

    The whole notion of needing more, has been the base of our economy for the past thirty years. The idea that growth, on a national scale, has nothing to do with actually bettering society, and everything to do with owning more shit that none of us actually need is mirrored in the idea of growth in the individual, growth is not the idea of personal betterment, but how many holidays someone can go on in a year, or how much better your car is compared to your next door neighbour. That mindset is ingrained in our minds. Including mine. Our sense of self is based entirely on what we consume, and anyone who disagrees is an evil socialist. I completely 100% blame Thatcherism and Reaganomics for that idea. New Labour and today’s Tories are just an offshoot of the 1980s. Because before Reagan, even President Nixon, a Republican, would have been considered a socialist by their standards. I’d suggest that to combat this horrendously weak base for an economic system, we should be investing public money in new industry, we should be directing funds and encouraging investment toward the betterment of society and we certainly shouldn’t be redirecting money away from the poorest and toward the richest. There needs to be a fundamental move away from the failures of Neoliberalism and toward a far more progressive left direction. Otherwise, all we are doing now is laying the foundations for the next economic collapse, and the circle will continue for another generation.

    If anything, i’m pretty sure England can again produce some fantastic anti-Tory music. A new Clash please!


  • A leopard cannot change its spots.

    May 14, 2010

    The day before I was elected leader, Mr Cameron suggested we join them. He talked about a “progressive alliance”. This talk of alliances comes up a lot, doesn’t it? Everyone wants to be in our gang. So I want to make something very clear today.
    Will I ever join a Conservative government?
    No.

    Nick Clegg’s speech to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference 2008.

    This pains me to say, but I fully support the new Government’s immediate scrapping of the third runway at Heathrow, and the I.D Card Scheme. Both were huge mistakes by Labour. To claim to be committed to carbon reduction, whilst planning a third runway at Heathrow, was political bullshit of its most nonsensical kind.

    Now that’s out of the way, there are a few initial problems I have with this new coalition Government.

    Firstly, as mentioned previously, the three main Lib Dem negotiating team that worked tirelessly to strike a deal with the Tories after the General Election caused a hung Parliament; Chris Huhne, Danny Alexander, and David Laws, are the only three members of the Lib Dems (other than the leader, and his No.2, obviously) to be given a place in cabinet. Which stinks. Chris Huhne is at Climate and Energy, David Laws is Treasury Secretary, and Danny Alexander is Scottish Secretary. What a lovely little negotiation that must have been.

    Secondly, David Cameron, the New Prime Minister (I shuddered, writing that) said this would be a “new kind of politics” with “new people, and new ideas”. Interesting. Let’s look at the cabinet shall we?

  • Work and Pensions Secretary: Iain Duncan Smith. Ex-leader of the Tory Party. Very anti-European. Had a post in William Hague’s shadow cabinet. William Hague said he only promoted people to his shadow cabinet, if they had a full commitment to financial deregulation. You know, the issue that caused the problems we face now economically. Oh how wonderful. Voted for the Iraq war. Voted strongly against all gay rights legislation and against the ban on fox hunting.
  • Secretary of State for Justice: Kenneth Clarke. Has been alive since the beginning of time. Served in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. Voted against gay rights legislation. Voted against a more transparent Parliament. Voted against the ban on fox hunting. Voted against foundation hospitals.
  • Communities Secretary: Eric Pickles. Been in Parliament for 18 years. Ex-Chairman of the Tory Party. Voted against all gay rights legislation. Voted against removing hereditary peers from the Lords. But then voted for an all elected chamber. But then voted again for a partially elected chamber. Voted against foundation hospitals. Voted for the Iraq war. Voted against the ban on fox hunting.
    Voted against IVF treatment for lesbian couples arguing the need for “a father and a mother”.

  • Foreign Secretary: William Hague. Been in Parliament for over 20 years. Keen Thatcherite. Ex-leader of the Tory Party. Lost the 2001 general election to Blair’s Labour Party. Voted strongly against removing hereditary peers from the Lords. Voted against foundation hospitals. Voted against gay rights legislation. Voted against the smoking ban. Voted against the ban on fox hunting. Voted for the Iraq war.
  • Home Secretary and Equalities Minister: Theresa May. This is my favourite of the lot. Being Minister for Equality, she has to deal with raising the standard of equality across the board. This includes gay rights. Theresa May has voted against every piece of gay rights legislation, and said of the repeal of that nasty little piece of Tory legislation “Section 28” which forbade anything positive being said about homosexuality in schools; “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.“. She then voted against the right of Gay people to adopt. This is our new equalities minister. A bigot, is our new equalities minister. It’s like the Republican Party of America just won the election.

    The list goes on…and on….and on. New people, with new ideas. Which, happen to be the same old people, with the same old ideas. Interesting.

    The final thing that has annoyed me already about these utter bastards, is the way in which they have locked themselves into a fixed term. Of course it was ridiculous to allow the PM to dissolve Parliament and call an election. It meant any time within a five year period, he could go to the polls.Cameron has waivered that right, and good on him for doing so. But, he then found a new novel way of getting around that issue. For a vote of no confidence to bring down a Government, a majority of 50% plus one, of the members of Parliament must back a vote of no confidence. It is the mechanism that brought down the Labour Callaghan minority government in the ’70s. Cameron currently has 47% of MPs in the House, and so there was enough at any time during the next five years, to enact a vote of no confidence, because the other parties hold exactly 53% of the MPs. The new government has increased that threshold to 55%, which means there now is absolutely no chance of a vote of no confidence. He has locked in his government. Which means if the coalition were to fail, and Cameron run a minority government, there is no way for the Conservatives to dissolve Parliament on their own, nor is there any way for Labour, the Liberals and the other parties to dissolve the Parliament. It is now institutionally impossible to muster up the 55% needed. Dangerous politics. And they had the fucking nerve to suggest that Gordon Brown was “clinging to power”.

    It’ll be interesting to see what comes next….


  • The nature of “Change”

    May 9, 2010

    It amazes me that people actually consider any party; Labour, Tory, or Lib Dem of being the “party of change”. Absolutely unreal to believe that. I voted Liberal Democrat, almost in a moment of madness. I suppose I got caught up in the excitement of the election. It amuses me how many fellow students actually believe they were voting for “change” for the Liberal Democrats. It makes me feel like banging my head against a wall. The same feeling I get when people say “Well Gordon Brown caused this mess, so the Tories have to fix it!!!“. I am actually quite ashamed of myself for voting. I agree with the Lib Dem policy on Trident, and I agree with them on laying the foundations for a Greener economy. I disagree, profoundly with them and the Tories and Labour, on pretty much everything else. But my main issue with them, and my main issue with why they offer no real change, is because they still seem to believe that democracy is only acceptable in the Political sphere, and that the economic sphere is best left to faceless businessmen, as if they know what’s best for the World and the rest of us should just accept it.

    Why was financial reform not at the top of the agenda? Why did centre-left and left wing parties allow the political discourse to become one of the necessity of savage public spending cuts? Why did centre-left and left wing parties allow the discourse to suggest that it is the public sector that is to blame, that government spending is to blame for the deficit? It is because they are not centre-left or left wing parties, they are parties for the rich, by the rich. The Lib Dems offer no real change. They offer the status quo, and the status quo is centre-right.

    Financial deregulation was started by the Conservatives in the 1980s. It continued under Labour. The Liberal Democrats did not oppose it. The Liberal Democrats have no plans to reverse it. What they have basically been telling us for thirty years, is that government spending distorts the market by artificially affecting the demand side of the economy, whereas a bank offering easy imaginary money to stimulate our obsession with debt fuelled consumerism, is perfectly acceptable. They decided that it’s okay for a bank to use our money and our savings, not to invest in productive enterprises that progress mankind, but in totally non-productive speculative gambling and massive monopolising corporate take overs and mergers.

    The very people who got us into the mess over in the private financial sector, are the same people who finance the parties across the World who are now not offering any kind of financial reform to stop them doing it again. A global banking transaction tax is surely only going to end up being passed onto consumers? The financial industry holds us all to ransom. When we hear them say that capital will flow out of the country, and cause investment to drop, if tax is put up……. they’re right. A lot of people dispute it. But they are correct. You almost have to bribe them to try and get them to stay in the Country. Bribing with political power, is usually the way it’s done. If you look at Latin America, what tends to happen when a Latin American government tries to invest in social justice, and attempts to help it’s people through a better standard of schooling and health, is that either America funds a right winged coup (see Nicaragua), or capital flows out of the country, which is then brought to it’s knees, and the Western World blames the evils of Socialism. When in reality, what is happening, is that slowly, politicians have less and less power, they have to give in to the owners of great wealth, otherwise capital flows out, and investment falls. The economic sphere, has the most power, and we have no say over that. Financial speculation has absolutely no social good. It is a cancer on the fabric of society. The financial industry, holds the World to ransom. And until the public have some control over the economic sphere, it is never going to change. The Lib Dems, certainly aren’t going to change it.

    If you think through the logic of this, you’ll see that so long as economic power remains privately concentrated, everybody...everybody…….. has to be committed to the one overriding goal: and that’s to make sure that the rich folks are happy.
    Whenever a reform measure does come along somewhere, they have a big propaganda campaign against it saying ‘it’s going to hurt jobs, it’s going to hurt investment, it’s going to hurt business confidence and so on. That’s just a complicated way of saying unless you keep business happy, the population isn’t going to have anything.

    – Professor Noam Chomsky

    There are no left wing intellectuals left within the political system any more. Politics demands leaders of Parties who pander to the public mood, which is artificially created and implanted, by the media. Immigration is a great example. Migration is caused by global inequality, nothing else. When capital and goods are free to flow across the World, so will human beings. It is our survival instinct at work. And so the only real way you deal with immigration, is to deal with global inequality. Stop the IMF destroying poorer countries with ideological warfare. A global initiative to tackle exploitation. A Global bill of rights ensuring a minimal standard of living for all human beings. In the 21st Century, where it’s considered morally acceptable to allow someone to amass a fortune worth billions of pounds, it seems abhorrent that it is considered morally acceptable to allow another to starve to death as a result of nothing more than this nightmare of an economic system. A Global financial sector regulator that is fully independent of any private interest. To sum up, a Global initiative to create a socially responsible form of Capitalism, rather than a regressive Darwinian form of Capitalism we’ve all had forced down our throats. Global solutions, to Global problems. Politicians across the UK and the World, especially in the developed Nations, pander to idiots, bigots, and xenophobes who do not understand the World, and offer easy and quick Colonian-esque solutions to complex problems. The Lib Dems do not offer any change here either.

    So, who do we vote for, for real change?


    Broken Britain

    May 6, 2010

    David Cameron is right.
    Britain is broken.
    We are becoming like the third World.
    I know this, because I cannot afford a new DVDR player.
    And my Canon 400D Digital Camera is at least two years out of date.
    Ethiopians know how I must feel.
    Do you know, I had to save for TWO WHOLE MONTHS to afford my plane ticket to Australia.
    England = Sudan.
    When I went to Tesco yesterday, I could only afford an orange juice. A salad. And a pizza.
    When I was young, there were constant burglaries around my area.
    Now, I haven’t heard of a single one in well over a year.
    Do you know why that is?
    It’s because there are CCTV cameras, and more police in this area.
    1984 MUCH?
    I once knew a woman who scrounged a few extra pounds of benefits, to help feed her kids.
    The crazy thieving bitch.
    If we stopped all of her kind from doing that, we’d have more money to give in tax relief to the mega wealthy.
    And they’d then be able to afford a new yacht.
    That’s how we fix Britain!!
    Some people my age, can only afford one drunken night out at the weekend. Think about that for a second. Difficult to imagine, isn’t it?
    How do these people cope, I hear you asking yourself.
    Well, we struggle.
    We need charity appeals for us in England.
    AND….a couple of days ago, I saw a young man in a hoodied top….. get this……….. help an old lady off the bus.
    The bastard.
    It shocks me. It really does.
    It shocks me just how much New Labour have DESTROYED this once great, all white, all crime free, England.
    WE NEED TO FIX BRITAIN!
    Back to the ’80s and ’90s!!
    When a good old fashioned mass riot sorted out our issues!
    What happened to rioting? I miss it.
    And what’s all this about the EU?
    WE DON’T NEED THE EU!
    We once ruled the World you know.
    The EU should do what we tell them to do.
    But they don’t.
    Infact, some people think we should accept that we aren’t some masterful empire any more, and join the modern World.
    They’re liars.
    They hate England.
    Do you know what’s worse? I’ve fallen for all the left wing bullshit. The politically correct liberal media has made me believe that this state of affairs isn’t all that bad.
    It even convinced me that my muslim friends, are not terrorists intent on taking over England and implementing Sharia Law.
    Or that the gays aren’t unnatural and hell bound.
    I’m so easily manipulated.
    Shameful.
    The Liberals want to get rid of our Nukes.
    Do they not realise that we have Muslimists and Gays to watch out for!!!
    When I go to the cinema, or out shopping, or out for a meal, or to a sporting event, or to University.
    I have to drive my dad’s car.
    I can’t afford my own car.
    Especially given that I have to pay for my New Years trip to Rome, Paris, and Florence.
    Kenyans must hear about our plight.
    And weep at our misfortune.
    That is why David Cameron is right.
    Vote Conservative today.