Ten Tory MPs with less than 50% of the vote.

July 10, 2014

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It is true that if you were to include the number of potential voters in each constituency, no current Cabinet Minister would have received over 50% of the vote. But with the freedom to vote, comes the freedom to not vote, and with that in mind we should look more closely at the the percentage that current Tory MPs – seeking to impose voter threshold on strike action – managed to win at the 2010 general election, among actual voter turnout.

So here’s a quick list of ten:

  • Sajid Javid – MP for Bromsgrove and Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities – 43.7%.
    – A man who is in control of the state’s involvement in culture, media, sport, and has the key responsibility for equality in the UK, was elected with less than 50% of the vote in Bromsgrove.

  • David Jones – MP for Clyde West and Secretary of State for Wales – 41.5%.
    – A Secretary of State for an entire country, elected with a little over 40% of the vote.

  • Oliver Letwin – Minister of State at the Cabinet Office and Chairman of the Conservative Party’s Policy Review – 47.6%
    – Letwin – after winning less than 50% of the vote – insisted that public sector workers require “discipline and fear”. On a completely unrelated note, Letwin used £2,145 in Parliamentary expenses to fix a leaking pipe on his tennis court.

  • Mark Garnier – MP for Wyre Forest -36.9%
    On his website, speaking of strikes in November 2011, Garnier writes:

    “These strikes, which will cost the economy up to half a billion pounds, were not voted for by a majority and will hit ordinary working people hardest.”

    – Replace the words “strikes” with “Tories” in this massively ironic statement, and you have a far more honest sentence.

  • Jessica Lee – MP for Erewash & Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General Dominic Grieve – 39.5%.
  • Stephen Mosley – MP for the City of Chester – 40.6%
    – On his website, Mosley says:

    “The strike action undertaken by PCS union members in June highlighted the unconsidered approach that appears to be the default setting for many unions.
    Less than 20% of their members voted for the industrial action and less than half walked out on their responsibilities that day.”

    – Interesting admiration for majority votes, when almost 60% of Mosley’s own constituency doesn’t want him representing them.

  • Nicky Morgan – MP for Loughborough – 41.6%
    – Elected with a minority of the vote, and yet voted in an attempt to ensure same-sex couples couldn’t get married. She believes with less than 50%, she gets to regulate the love lives of others.

  • Edward Garnier – MP for Harborough, Knight Bachelor and former Solicitor General – 49%.
  • James Morris – MP for Halesowen & Rowley Regis – 41.2%
  • Paul Uppal – MP for Wolverhampton South West – 40.7%
    – Uppal voted in favour of a change to striking laws that would prohibit strikes in the transport sector unless a majority of the workforce voted in favour and not merely a majority of those voting. This same principle, if applied to Parliament, would mean every Cabinet Minister would not have been elected. The closest would have been Theresa May, though she’d still have fell short by 7%.

    – If a Conservative Party wishes to impose a 50% voter threshold on strike action, then I see no reason why there should not also be a 50% voter threshold on the ability to propose legislation and vote in Parliament. Indeed, if MPs with less than 50% of the vote in their own constituency can vote to restrict pay and pensions for public sector workers, I see no reason why those same public sector workers can’t then strike with less than 50% of the vote.


  • A list of things Obamacare leads to…

    November 11, 2013

    A few months ago I wrote on the absurdities that conservatives tend to invoke when they’re losing an argument that they’ve staked their reputations on. Back then, it was gay marriage. The list of terrible, World ending catastrophes that same-sex marriage was going to inevitably lead to, according to conservatives, was extensive and staggering. But now they’ve moved on to a new subject. And so I thought I’d present a comprehensive list of the most outlandish and absurd suggestions that US conservatives have decided are the product of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act:

  • A Communist takeover of government and the end of the Catholic Church in the US. Here.
  • Following the path of Hitler (you know, the guy who killed 6,000,000 Jewish people in gas chambers, and tried to establish a “racially pure” empire) and Stalin. here.
  • Worse than Watergate. Here.
  • Worse thing since slavery. Here.
  • Armageddon. Here.
  • President Obama killing a variety of old people. Here.
  • Kids having secret abortions at school ‘sex clinic’. Here.
  • The most dangerous piece of legislation EVER passed. Here.
  • President Obama starting a race war. Here.
  • The death of all prosperity. Here.
  • Mandatory microchips implanted into all Americans. Here.
  • The destruction of the institution of marriage. Here.
  • The work of Satan seeking to destroy freedom. Here.
  • Obamacare causes cancer. Here.
  • The reintroduction of Feudalism. Here
  • The Government murdering people based on how productive they are, and children with Down Syndrome being judged by a panel on whether he or she can live or die. Here.
  • Conservatives sent to concentration camps. Here.
  • The US becoming a leading outpost of an Islamic Caliphate. Here.
  • Health insurance companies going along with the Affordable Care Act, are no different to Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps. Here.
  • Systematic genocide. Here.
  • As destructive to personal liberty as runaway slaves being forced to go back to their masters. here.
  • A racist tax against white people. Here.
  • Worse than the Boston bombing. Here.
  • A gay man going to prison because he has no money, and is forced to play roulette, because of Obamacare. Here.
  • Schools preparing children to accept Death Panels. Here.

    Naturally none of them mention the exact part of the bill that lead to their outlandish claim.

    When I began this, I didn’t expect the list to be as long as it eventually turned out to be. We are apparently a generation that is gifted with access to information and fact on a level no previous generation has enjoyed. And yet, it seems that facts and reasoned debate are often drowned out by a deafening constant screech of absurdity that creates an atmosphere in which Michelle Bachmann and Ted Cruz are trusted with political power. They represent nothing more than a comprehensive failure of education and access to accurate information in order to form rational and well rounded democratic decisions. What a waste of a wonderful gift.


  • Capitalism and Language

    August 7, 2013

    It is impossible to go a day or two without being presented with language that means very little, whilst appearing to mean a lot. It gives the appearance of some sort of professionalism, but that is all it is; appearance. It exists in its own World, somewhat divorced from reality. It perhaps mimics notions of professional dress codes; professional hair cuts; making sure tattoos aren’t on display; all the signs of modern day lifeless ‘professionalism’. It is all appearance, with very little meaning behind it. It is a religion unto itself. Allow me to give you some examples I once noted down having seen on a company mission statement:

    “Our team works to prioritise mission-critical web-readiness, leveraging cross-platform web services.”

    – I have studied this wording for quite some time, and I’m still unable to tell you what it means. I think it means; “We update our website a lot.

    Orwell once took this beautiful line from Ecclesiastes:

    “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”

    – And transformed it into modern, business-English:

    “Objective consideration of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.”

    If we take a look at language we’re so used to hearing from the business community, from politicians, and from those who are speaking from a position of considerable privilege, we can easily note that the rhetoric tends to reflect the prevailing social and economic centres of power, used – among other things – to water down injustices within that particular system. Words and phrases are used to subtly promote the prevailing structure. The Liberal Democrats have taken to using the word “fair” to describe policies that do not fix inherent problems (like housing shortages) but do such untold damage to those who at the bottom, that repeating the word “fair” over and over seems like nothing more than an insecure exercise in trying to convince themselves of what they’re saying.

    Conservatives are wonderful at claiming to be a Party willing to take “tough decisions“. As if that’s an inherently good thing. As if “tough” translates to “right“. It ignores ideology, if you claim the decisions were tough. You might envisage the millionaire Chancellor weeping as he signs off on cuts to disability funds for the most vulnerable, as if his anti-social security ideology isn’t a factor. It’s no different to Republicans in the US claiming it a tough decision to strip women of reproductive rights. Or slave owners in the Antebellum South claiming it’s a tough decision to whip their slaves. Those with the privilege do not get to claim a decision that perpetuates that pivilege, whilst oppressing those already oppressed, is “tough“.

    In the business world, “End of play” suggests a sort of child-like fun that you must be having. ‘Flexible accumulation‘ used to suggest an inherent and unavoidable part of the system that means of production, of distribution, and so labourforce (people) are in fact all unimportant in themselves – secondary – to the most important aspect of life; the accumulation of capital (which, oddly, is deemed a natural ‘good’). And so as language analysts suggest; if workers are convinced of their own nature as ‘flexible’ they are more likely to accept that their jobs are part of that ‘flexible‘ cycle, willing to work longer hours for less. If you tell a worker he or she is ‘expendable‘ or ‘worthy, until the boss deems otherwise‘, you’re unlikely to inspire much loyalty (a loyalty, the boss isn’t obliged to reciprocate). ‘Flexible accumulation’ is a very subtle threat, hidden behind more creative language. Just today, we read that the Institute of Directors has responded angrily to suggestions that zero-hour contracts be banned, insisting that it risks the UKs ‘flexible’ labour market. Another way to describe a ‘flexible‘ labour market, is job insecurity. According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine; anxiety, depression, and poor health increase dramatically in those people who consider their job to be insecure. This, to the Institute of Directors, is an unimportant consequence of a “flexible labour market“.

    Burst bubble” denotes something out of anyone’s control, and so those who were at the very centre of the financial crash are exonerated by a linguistic con-trick. Those who suffered the most from the impact of the “burst bubble” tend to be those with very little political or economic power, and so it is easy to transfer the blame from those at the centre of the bubble, to those who were reliant on the bubble. The rule of divide and conquer. Ensure those on incredibly low wages, with a falling standard of living, and insecure jobs (flexible workforce) believe it is the fault of those who are poorer than they, rather than those with the power and the wealth. The poor must be ‘scroungers’ or they are ‘leechers’ or they are ‘Welfare dependent’ or ‘lazy’ or ‘immigrants taking our jobs’.

    We are bombarded with how ‘the markets‘ will react, to any social or economic change. ‘The markets‘ are treated as a mysterious, God-like entity that must be obeyed. A new Theology. Milton Friedman appears like a Prophet promising “freedom” but delivering destitution. The ‘Market‘ God is treated as if infallible. As if perfect rather than what they actually are; indifferent, amoral. For example, if I were to drive my car a mile away to the shop, I must buy a car, I must buy insurance, I must pay my road tax, I must buy petrol, I might choose to buy a new CD for the car, or an air freshener. Doubtlessly, driving a mile down the road to the shop contributes to the growth of ‘the markets’. Or, I could choose to walk the mile to the shop. I am benefitting the environment this way, it is far more healthy for me to do this, and yet, I contribute nothing to the growth of ‘the markets’ this way. In this example, my health and the health of the environment are less important, than pollution and laziness. The Institute of Directors, who care little for the health of humanity, would be thoroughly unimpressed if I were to walk to work. But for the thriving of Capitalism, especially after such a risky crises, the language used to portray ‘the markets’ must be positive and lofty at all times, whilst those that fall victim to the insidious side of market forces, portrayed as weak, lazy, and a burden. By dehumanising the most vulnerable, people are able to turn their heads when harsh economic violence is conducted against them.

    We are told that policy must be directed to benefit those we now consider “job creators“. They are our saviours. We are indebited to those people. As if their money is how wealth is created. As if they don’t just ride the tide of demand. We have called it supply-side, we have called it trickle-down, now the rhetoric has moved on to labeling anyone with money as a ‘job creator’. We are told that if we do not cut taxes for the richest, whilst slashing social programmes that those taxes fund, the ‘job creators‘ will all leave. And so, they must be given the biggest Welfare payment of all; a massive tax cut. This is the real something-for-nothing society, because the obligation for someone who has used a well funded public system and social security safety net and framework in order to gain great wealth, to pay back into that system in order for the next generation to be afforded the same opportunities, is cut the moment a government give into the threat of leaving if taxed. The poorest do not have that option.

    Interestingly, through all the media hype and demands of “catching” Welfare cheats, alongside exaggerated shock stories of parents claiming millions in Welfare, for their 40 children, in their 140 bedroom house, and their Spanish beach home, all paid for by your hard work!!!!!…. only £1.2bn was lost to Welfare fraud in 2010/11, which is 0.8% of the total benefit expenditure. If the total benefit expenditure was a £1 coin, less than 1p would be lost to fraud. By contrast Vodafone (that’s one company, not an entire Nation) was allowed to write off its tax bill of £6bn. That’s six times more than that lost to Welfare fraud across the whole country. Rather coincidentally, the head of tax policy at Vodafone is a man named John Connors. Connors used to work at HMRC and enjoys a close relationship with current head of HMRC, David Hartnett. They go for cosy lunches together, and then they casually wipe £6bn from the Nation’s second largest company on the Stock market’s tax bill. Unsurprisingly, Hartnett is the most wined and dined civil servant in the country, by corporations. I’m sure it’s just because he’s such a nice guy. Yes. That must be it.

    The Conservative Party does not like talking about individual cases of those suffering intensely due to Tory budget cuts. Iain Duncan Smith, when presented with families struggling to live, started his answer with “this is typical of the BBC“.
    In March 2012, according to figures by the Department for Communities and Local Government, local authorities registered 48,510 households as homeless, representing a 14% leap. The largest in nine years. A report from the same department also showed the number of people sleeping rough had jumped by a fifth, in a year.
    Leslie Morphy the Chief Exec. of Crises said:

    “Our worst fears are coming to pass. We face a perfect storm of economic downturn, rising joblessness and soaring demand for limited affordable housing combined with government policy to cut housing benefit plus local cuts to homelessness services.”

    Similarly, the Chief Exec. of Shelter, Campbell Rob said:

    “These figures are a shocking reminder of the divide between the housing haves and have nots in this country,”

    Similarly, Matt Harrison, interim chief executive of Homeless Link said:

    “This comes at a time when reduced funding has already hit services and further cuts are expected this year. Our research indicates that there are now fewer projects, fewer beds and more of our members are turning people away because they are full.”

    – With overwhelming evidence, and statements from those whose lives are dedicated to helping the most vulnerable, wishing to highlight the situation, you’d think the government might firstly accept their is a problem given that the 7th largest economy in the World has a rising homeless population, and secondly, set out just what the government intends to do about this horrendous situation. Instead, Grant Shapps said:

    “the debt-laden economy we inherited is leaving a legacy of hard-up households across the country”.

    During the Mick Philpott murder case, George Osborne echoed the sentiments of the right winged Tabloid press, when he hinted that the murder of children, could in any way be linked to the concept of Welfare. Social security under attack politically, needed a rhetorical bedfellow, and it was handed it with the Philpott case. Tory Councillor John Bell, ran with this:
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    – The manipulative nature of the rhetoric is evident when we note how the Daily Mail dealt with the case, in its story:

    “Michael Philpott is a perfect parable for our age: His story shows the pervasiveness of evil born of welfare dependency. The trial spoke volumes about the sheer nastiness of the individuals involved. But it also lifted the lid on the bleak and often grotesque world of the welfare benefit scroungers — of whom there are not dozens, not hundreds, but tens of thousands in our country.“

    – The suggestion being that there are two groups of people in the UK; those not on any form of Welfare, and those on Welfare who are also potential child killers. The Daily Mail headline that day, above a picture of Mick Philpott was simple:

    “Vile Product of Welfare UK.

    – Yet, when Stephen Seddon murdered his parents for his £230,000 inheritance, the Mail did not suggest this was the ‘vile product‘ of the concept of inheritance. When the Mail editors got hold of the Philpott story, their main objective was to further the demonisation of Welfare. Nothing more. Any tenuous link was going to be drawn. Capitalism, that inevitably leads to the necessity of social security is not to blame, for the Daily Mail. That social security itself, is to blame.

    When the Shropshire millionaire Hugh McFall murdered his wife and daughter, the Mail said:

    “Detectives believe the mild-mannered family man snapped as he struggled to cope with spiralling debts…..Last night his sister Claire Rheade said: ‘It’s unbelievable – he doted on his family, he would never harm them. ‘He was a gentle man who wouldn’t hurt a fly.’ ”

    – Note the rhetorical differences.
    The Philpott case: “evil“, “sheer nastiness“, “grotesque“, “scroungers“, “bleak”.
    The McFall case: “mild-mannered“, “family man“, “doted on his family“, “never harm them“, “gentle man“, “wouldn’t hurt a fly“. They mention his “personal spiralling debts” as a catalyst. Here, they limit responsibility to he alone. They could call the McFall murders a “vile product of Capitalism“. They don’t.

    To water down injustices within the system, whilst promoting the prevailing order, it is necessary to inflict linguistic damage upon those considered ‘outside’ of the system. Those who lose out. Those on the receiving end of the injustices, because to face up to the injustices puts those who gain the most, in a threatened situation. Marx was convinced that the injustices would eventually manifest in the collective consciousness of the oppressed, which in turn, would lead to revolution. Marx faltered in his underestimating oppressive discourse and how it becomes so ingrained into the social fabric (especially if it is repeated over generations) so as to threaten opposition by stigmatising it as much as possible. It represents a narrowing of both social, and political discourse. You can usually tell just who benefits the most from the prevailing rhetoric of the day, because they’re the ones with the power.


    The Privilege of Dan Riehl.

    July 20, 2013

    Conservative commentator Dan Riehl is apparently more annoyed at the President for speaking out on the fact that he has experienced being followed in shops simply because he is black, than he is that the President has experienced being followed in shops simply because he is black.

    He also didn’t get this angry when Donald Trump and the Tea Party faction demanded the President’s birth certificate, in one horrendous display of racial profiling.

    Yesterday, President Obama stood in the White House Press room, and shared his thoughts on the Trayvon Martin ruling. The President said:

    “I think it’s important to recognise that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn’t go away. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience in this country, of being followed when they’re shopping in a department store. And that includes me. There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street, and hearing locks click on the doors of cars. That happened to me. There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator of a woman clutching her purse nervously. Those sets of experiences inform how the African American community interprets what happened one night in Florida.”

    – For what it’s worth, I rate this as the President’s most important speech. It was impromptu, and that gave the speech its honesty. It was personable, heartfelt, and it struck right to the heart of the privileges that do not face the average white American every day, yet affects the average African American every day.

    Predictably, conservatives across America react nonsensically, not wishing to know the feelings the first African American President has toward race relations in the country. Typically, as conservatives tend to be with women, with minorities, with the gay community the message coming from them is loud and clear; “we don’t want to know, shut up and deal with it.” Dan Riehl, rather oddly, says:

    Untitled-1
    – Apparently President Nixon’s Southern Strategy; a strategy designed to provoke racial tension in the south thus attracting white supremacists over to voting Republican, isn’t considered racist. Nixon is also on tape saying:

    “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white, or rape.”

    – Apparently considering a child of mixed-race to be as terrible as rape, doesn’t qualify as racism.
    Apparently, President Lincoln’s thoughts on race relations being:

    “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.”

    – is not racist. Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and many more US Presidents owned slaves. Apparently, this isn’t racist. Nor Ronald Reagan’s subtle racial remarks on “Welfare queens” and his strategy to appeal to “George Wallace inclined voters“. But, President Obama sharing his experiences of a post-civil rights culture slowly trying to shed its racist past, makes him the “first Racist in chief”. The President was not suggesting the creation of a brand new social and economic system, based on black supremacy. The President was highlighting racial inequality and ingrained cultural racism.

    Dan Riehl believes that any African American suggesting that America might still have race problems, or highlighting that racism, are themselves a racist for doing so. Dan Riehl is under the impression that the status quo, as long as the cracks are kept silent, is acceptable. He can enjoy the privileges afforded to him by virtue of his skin colour, without having to think too much of those that the system leaves behind.

    So what are those unearned privileges afforded to Dan Riehl?

    Well, it starts with education. Naturally, when a particular minority has spent 200+ years discriminated wildly against when it comes to standards in education, as well as healthcare, housing, justice, opportunities; they are at a disadvantage from birth. It is institutional. To alleviate those disadvantages, there must be a concerted effort to increase standards through funding among other things. Half of all public school funding, comes from property taxes. And so, the poorest areas (and those who have already suffered discrimination in housing, for decades) are disproportionately underfunded. Dan Riehl’s facebook page, tells us that he studied at Steinert High School in New Jersey. New Jersey is ranked second highest for graduation results, test scores etc……. New Jersey is also the second highest spender per pupil, spending on average $15,000 per pupil. Whereas Mississippi for example (which has an African American population 23% higher than New Jersey) is ranked 48th for student success, and spends just $9,708 per pupil. Dan Riehl is privileged simply by being born in a State that for white, economically advantaged students, is an educational haven.

    Of course, had Dan Riehl, during the 90s, and right up until 2003, drove through New Jersey, he would have had the privilege of not being suspected of being a drug kingpin, and pulled over, in the nationwide scandal in which officers in New Jersey testified that they were told by their superiors to racially profile motorists on the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 95.
    Most drug users in the US, are white. In fact, only 13% of drug users in the US, are African American. And yet, 74% of those sentenced to prison for drug use in the US, are African American. African Americans are on average, 11 times more likely to be imprisoned for drug use, than white Americans. If Dan Riehl wanted to use drugs, he will experience the privilege of being far more likely to get away with it, simply for the colour of his skin. In fact, he could have happily driven trucks full of heroin through New Jersey, and been able to do so, because officers were busy watching out for African Americans.

    The denial of white privilege by those who gain the most from it, is not new. Currently, it seeks to turn any sort of alleviating of institutional racism into a sort of privilege for African Americans. For example, over here in the UK I often hear the claim that a Pakistani person got a job ahead of a white British person. As if that’s inherently wrong. Similarly, in America I often read claims that a white person didn’t get into a particular college, because, despite getting lower grades, the place was given to an African American person (not forced, just given). In both cases, the white person claims to have been the victim of some sort of reverse racism. And in both cases, neither bother to accept that not only does affirmative action not force a company or school to “put aside” places for people of different races (it is race neutral), but they also don’t seem to understand that white people have also been given a place ahead of them.

    For example, A study by the American economic review between July 2001 and May 2002 entitled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination” found that job applicants with a white sounding name are 50% more likely to be asked back than an applicant with a black sounding name. It proved that regardless of credentials, African American applicants were 50% less likely to get a callback than a white applicant. And so the claim that work placements or college placements should be “based on merit” is fine, but isn’t the case in reality. In October 2012, the African American unemployment rate was around twice as high as the white unemployment rate. In fact, in one in six industries, white and black segregation has increased since the 1980s. Dan Riehl is privileged, simply by having a white sounding name.

    In 2001, Gallup reported that 40% of white people believe that African Americans are treated the same as white Americans in the US. By contrast, only 9% of African Americans believe they are treated equally. Similarly, in 1962, 95 of white Americans believed African Americans had the same opportunities to get a good education, as white Americans. 1962. Prior to the civil rights act, and in the midst of Apartheid America. Dan Riehl has the privilege of being able to say “sure, they’re treated fine“, whilst never having to experience what it’s like for 91% of African Americans who completely disagree.

    But white denial (which I characterise as a defence of white privilege; a way to try to ensure that ‘white‘ must come first) goes much further back. The philosophy employed in attempts to defend slavery in the south prior to the Civil War was full of denial.
    The American Social Theorist George Fitzhugh argued that the Capitalism of the north would disproportionately affect African Americans, given that they were, in his mind, less able. And so slavery, according to Fitzhugh, actually protected African Americans. Fitzhugh comments:

    “We do not set children and women free because they are not capable of looking after themselves, not equal to the constant struggle of society. But half of mankind are but grown up children and liberty is as fatal to them as it would be to children.”

    – Suddenly, we have a philosophy of white, patriarchal denial. The privileges bestowed upon white Americans, defended as philanthropic. As if beaten, and immiserated African American slaves, treated like animals, should thank their ‘Masters‘ for the kindness of protecting them, from being free. Obviously, they have no choice in whether they wish to be enslaved or free in the first place. Perhaps they should have thanked their ‘Masters‘ for that too. The justification from Fitzhugh for slavery is as filled with a defence of white supremacy, as it is with denial. And it continues. Generation after generation, conservative white people insist that there is no problem. Fifty years later, they admit, there might have been a problem fifty years ago. During the antebellum period, any attempts to suggest an abolition of slavery, or African American civil rights, was met with conservative anger and derision by which it claimed those policies were in fact, anti-white. During the civil rights era, any attempts to equalise education, transport, housing, for African Americans was met with conservative anger and derision, by which it claimed those policies were in fact, anti-white. Today, it is no different.

    Today, as then, those arguments simply reflect a desire to uphold a system of unearned, racial privilege and barriers that perpetuates a lack of opportunity, suspicion, fear, and poverty. The sort that President Obama was absolutely right to touch upon, and the sort that plenty of white President’s have used to their advantage in the past.

    Dan Riehl will never accept, nor even understand the privileges that have allowed him to get to a position in which he refers to the nation’s first African American President, as ‘racist‘ simply for describing the prejudice he has faced in his own life. Riehl isn’t concerned about losing rights. Riehl is concerned about losing privilege.

    Conservative America apparently doesn’t like to accept that there is an ongoing race problem in the US. What a completely new and original response from them.


    A list of things gay marriage leads to….

    June 23, 2013

    When it becomes very clear that rational argument and debate is over; when one side has clearly won, the other side has two choices. Firstly, they can give up. They can admit defeat, and move on. Their argument wasn’t strong enough, the facts were not with them. The right thing to do, is to admit this. Secondly, they can choose to become hysterical. This is usually accompanied by presenting prejudice as factual. Conservatives, when it comes to the same-sex marriage debate have lost the argument. And so, they choose the latter option. They become hysterical. Fallacy after fallacy is employed. We are treated to their creative ingenuity on quite a spectacular level when attempting to present prejudice as factual. Allow me to summarise their creative arguments against same-sex marriage, and what legalising marriage for same-sex couples will inevitably lead to in the minds of conservatives:

  • A Marxist-Leninist coup designed to bring down British culture and government. here.
  • Marrying your dog: Here.
  • Marrying your brother or sister. Here.
  • A father marrying his son for inheritance tax purposes.Here.
  • A generation of barbarians. Here.
  • God destroying the World Here.
  • Marrying your computer. Here.
  • The legalisation of child molestation. Here.
  • Making destroyed children commit all sorts of terrible crimes. Here.
  • Gay propaganda Disney films. here.
  • Granting special rights to people who sleep specifically with St Bernards. Here.
  • The 2008 Financial crash. Here.
  • Michael Savage puking, continuously. Here.
  • ‘Sexual anarchy’ that will destroy the soul of America. Here.
  • Marrying a lot of people. Here.
  • Everyone becoming gay and not having children, leading to human extinction. Here.
  • Churches forced to hire Satan Worshippers and Cross Dressers. Here.
  • Marrying a turtle, a goat, a duck, or a dolphin. Here.
  • Children’s minds being raped by a ‘homosexual mafia’. Here.
  • The normalisation of paedophilia. Here.
  • Poverty. Here.
  • The reason for the collapse of the Roman Empire and Weimar Republic. Here.
  • A lesbian Queen with an artificially inseminated heir. Here.

    Strangely, none of this has happened in Canada, who legalised same-sex marriage in 2003 through the courts and 2005 nationwide. Perhaps the Marxist-Leninist, homosexual mafia like to wait over a decade before striking at the heart of the ‘soul’ of a nation and forcing churches to hire cross dressers.

    Once all of these grievances have been aired in public, conservatives then tend to get defensive. They insist, after all of that, that they aren’t the bigoted ones after all. Their hysteria, leads to defensiveness. We are trying to silence them, they shout, as if the rhetoric of a Marxist-Leninist coup of crossdressing Priests represents a genuine threat. I guess it is a coping mechanism for subconsciously accepting that their hysterical arguments are intensely ridiculous. They insist that it is in fact the pro-same sex marriage majority – with our pesky historical and scientific facts – who are the bigoted ones, for not taking seriously the idea that gay marriage will lead to marrying a computer, or cross dressing Satan worshippers leading Sunday prayers, or a lesbian Queen with an artificially inseminated heir, or Jeremy Irons marrying his son, or a homosexual mafia raping children’s minds, or God destroying the World. And why would we not take those arguments seriously? They all seem mightily well thought out arguments to me. Hysterical conservatives. A gift that keeps on giving.


  • “…. as it proceeds from love so it cannot but end in love”

    May 25, 2013

    King James I

    King James I

    Parliamentary Tories this past week experienced a sort of renaissance of absurdity and bigotry, not really as noticeable on this scale since the Thatcher years. For example, Sir Gerald Howarth – self confessed ‘devoted to Thatcher‘ (and 1980s prejudices, apparently) – stood up to denounce the same-sex marriage bill as the work of “aggressive homosexuals” using it as a “stepping stone for something even further“. He didn’t elaborate on what “something even further” meant, or who the “aggressive homosexuals” specifically are. But he did show the World the intensely ridiculous lengths of a masterfully ignorant bigot, that we so woefully refer to as “Sir” will go to protect his prejudices.

    Then came the manic ramblings of old Norman Tebbit. Tebbit remains insistent that allowing a same-sex couple to marry, would eventually allow him to marry his son to avoid paying inheritance tax. I address the ridiculous use of the slippery slope fallacy with regard same-sex marriage here, so I wont repeat myself. But Tebbit’s finest moment in this debate came, when he suggested that the Bill may in fact lead to a lesbian Queen with an artificially inseminated heir. Heaven forbid we have a Monarch who isn’t the result of slightly incestuous relationships.

    It would appear that Tebbit is under the impression that people are only gay, if they can get married…. and that a gay Monarch would in fact be completely heterosexual, if only gays aren’t allowed to marry. Or maybe he’s suggesting that the gay Monarch will hide his or her homosexuality, and marry someone of the opposite sex, to produce an heir. Living their whole life as a lie, which apparently, doesn’t undermine the sanctity of marriage in the minds of the swivel-eyed loons. Norman Tebbit is more suited to the court of King Henry VIII, obsessing over heirs, than he is to any time after the 1950s.

    Tebbit, as it turns out, in warning of a possible homosexual Monarch, is about 1000 years and about five Monarchs too late. The United Kingdom has had gay Monarchs in the past. Here are a few.

    The third son of William the Conqueror, William II of England, succeeded to the thrown with great expectation. He was the Tiberius to his father’s Augustus. The second in the line of Norman Kings that began in 1066. William II was a rather terrible King. He was considered a tyrant, and had an incredibly fiery temper. He never married, produced no offspring, and surrounded his court with “pretty young courtiers” – all men. It is claimed that he promoted male courtiers, based almost solely on how attractive he found them to be. Rumours of his homosexuality sparked harsh disagreements between his court, and the Church. Owing to the times, William was ridiculed for surrounding himself with long haired attractive male courtiers, so much so that Henry I, upon succeeding William, insisted that no male courtier be allowed long hair. Rumours of his homosexual relationships were rife at the time.

    In the graveyard of Hulton Abbey in Staffordshire, laid a decapitated body, belonging to a man named Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger. He was hung, drawn, and quartered following the overthrow of King Edward II by his wife Isabella in 1326. Despenser was married to Edward’s niece, Eleanor de Clare. This brought him close to Edward. He was considered a favourite of the King, joined him in battle, and was with him right until the end. The King reigned more and more favours and titles upon his nephew-in-law, leading to huge unrest with the nobility of the day. Despenser is also rumoured to be King Edward II’s gay lover. He wasn’t the first either. According to commentators of the day – including The Lanercost Chronicle – and some modern historians, posit that King Edward had been sexually linked to Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall, whose Royal patronage caused much upset during the reign. Gaveston’s biography, written by J.S. Hamilton, says:

    “there is no question that the king and his favorite were lovers.”

    Similarly, in “The Life and Times of Edward II” by Caroline Bingham, it is stated that when the not-yet-King, Edward was introduced to Gaveston for the first time, as youngsters:

    “….the king’s son saw him he fell so in love that he entered upon an enduring compact with him.”

    – There was a growing anger toward Edward’s treatment of both Gaveston, and Despenser. Queen Isabella noted that Despenser was a “sodomite“, and her jealousy is well documented.
    The Meaux Chronicle, written a couple of decades later, states that King Edward:

    “….took too much delight in sodomy.”

    – We can of course never prove that King Edward was gay, or was sexually involved with some of his male friends, but the rumours at the time, the discomfort the Queen felt toward the relationship between her husband and male companions, and subsequent writings and plays from Marlowe, all strongly suggest it to be true.

    It is rather ironic that those seeking to use the Bible to condemn homosexuality, may choose to do so by using the King James Bible, given that King James, is the only Monarch we can say with almost 100% certainty, that was gay. And a Monarch so dedicated to one of his lovers in particular, they would openly kiss in public, according to contemporaries at the Court of King James.
    In the book “A History of England” by James Franck Bright, we are told:

    “The first of his favourites was Robert Carr, for whom the King acquired a peculiar affection while he was lying wounded from an accident at a tournament. Carr had been his page in Scotland, and the King, feeling a natural interest in him, visited him and fell in love with his beauty.”

    – We then learn that the King has a falling out with Carr, complaining, among other things, in a letter to Carr that still survives that Carr had recently been:

    ….withdrawing yourself from lying in my chamber, notwithstanding my many hundred times earnest soliciting you to the contrary.”

    – After the downfall of Carr, King James seems to met, and fallen for George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham. Villiers was known to be a handsome man, of high intelligence. He was a commoners, and elevated to the Dukedom by the King.
    In the early 2000s, the decaying Apethorpe Hall, a favourite of King James and the Duke of Buckingham was restored to past glories. During the restoration, a secret passageway was found, linking the King’s bedchamber, to the Dukes.
    During time spent apart, Letters between the two that still exist raced between the two, and represent rather beautifully written Renaissance letters of romance and sexual flirtation. In one, Buckingham states:

    “sir, all the way hither I entertained myself, your unworthy servant, with this dispute, whether you loved me now… better than at the time which I shall never forget at Farnham, where the bed’s head could not be found between the master and his dog”

    – The King is also prone to letters of romantic intrigue, sent to Buckingham on several occasions. In one, James writes, referring to Buckingham as his wife:

    “I desire only to live in this world for your sake… I had rather live banished in any part of the Earth with you than live a sorrowful widow’s life without you… God bless you, my sweet child and wife, and grant that ye may ever be a comfort to your dear dad and husband”

    – In one particularly telling letter from King James to the Duke of Buckingham, James is extremely candid about the effect had on him, of their recent parting:

    “I am now so miserable a coward, as I do nothing but weep and mourn; for I protest to God I rode this afternoon a great way in the park without speaking to anybody and the tears trickling down my cheeks, as now they do that I can scarcely see to write. But alas, what shall I do at our parting? The only small comfort I can have will be to pry in thy defects with the eye of an enemy, and of every mote to make a mountain, and so harden my heart against thy absence. But this little malice is like jealousy, proceeding from a sweet root; but in one point it overcometh it, for as it proceeds from love so it cannot but end in love. Sweet heart, be earnest with Kate to come and meet thee at Newhall [Buckingham’s mansion in Essex] within eight or ten days after this.”

    – His jealousy, is out of love. His heart is hardened against his absence. The King refers to Buckingham as ‘sweet heart’. The passion and the love between the two is quite evident, and rather spectacular. I would recommend reading their correspondence. It is a wonderful story of romance, at a time when homosexuality was widely and violently condemned. On March 27th, 1625, King James died in his bedchamber, with George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, at his side.

    Rulers, not just in England, have been heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual throughout history. The only reason it is less discussed, and less historically provable, is because two of those three sexualities, have been oppressed so viciously for no other reason than religious doctrine. Rumours of homosexuality of rulers range from the Roman Emperors Nero, and Tiberius (the gender of a lover in Rome, was met with very little opposition, and far more indifference than much of the conservative party accept 2000 years later), to Emperor Jianwen of Liang, whose own poems speak of sexual liaisons with men. From Frederick the Great, to Al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad. They range from Christendom, to Islamic societies, to the far reaches of the Chinese Empire. They do so, because the spectrum of sexuality is as natural and insuppressible as the spectrum of eye colour.

    Norman Tebbit is simply echoing the bigoted screams heard throughout the centuries from hysterical anti-gay voices that wish a monopoly on telling others who to love, based on religious fanaticism. What we can take from this, is that Medieval anti-homosexuality language such as “sodomy” and “sinning”, and the unwarranted stigma that this attaches to homosexuality, is still used today by those who have apparently decided to forego all social, neurological, and genetic advancement, and instead choose to cling to archaic views made popular by 13th Century Papists who we may say, had the excuse that they knew no better. Norman Tebbit, and others like him do not have that excuse.


    The Cruelty of the Bedroom Tax

    February 13, 2013

    6072103It is my understanding, that civilised society should be judged on how it looks after its most vulnerable, rather than how big a tax break it can offer its wealthiest. Apparently the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party take the opposite view. I cannot fathom what kind of disturbed mind a person must have, to believe that threatening to kick people out of their homes, people who are already struggling horrendously, is a worthwhile or noble cause. It is cruel extremism, and nothing less.

    As the Bedroom Tax takes vitally needed money out of the pockets of 400,000 families with disabled children; our wondrous government will at the same time be handing a tax cut to 8,000 millionaires, giving them an average £107,000 more. This, alongside the Welfare Uprating Bill; essentially a huge cut to Jobseeker’s Allowance, Maternity Pay, Child Benefit and Income Support; all to pay for huge tax breaks for the wealthiest, means that whilst parents of disabled children will miss meals, and be unable to heat their homes; the millionaire Cabinet will be able to go shopping for new Yachts.

    Where was the moral outrage from Tory supporters who now yell “Putting your kids in two separate rooms is an insult to the tax payer!!!” before the Tory Party actually mentioned it? Feigned outrage again.

    Kicking people out of their homes seems like an easy solution, to rich men pacing the corridors of Whitehall, or maybe it isn’t even a thought whilst the millionaire Prime Minister spends £680,000 of taxpayers money making Downing Street look a bit nicer inside, including refurbishing the kitchen. But to the people who are settled, who are part of the community, whose children play on the street with their friends (i’m fully aware that children leading happy lives, is not something Liberal Democrats or Tories are really too concerned about, given the horrifically increasing rates of child poverty they have created). They are destroying homes, and applying unnecessary pressure to families already struggling to cope. The Bedroom Tax can be described as nothing more than heartless.

    The IFS estimated that 3.5 million children in the UK live in poverty. The also estimate that this is set to rise steeply. 14% of children in poverty go without a warm coat during winter. 26% of parents whose children are in poverty, skip meals through lack of money even though 61% of parents of children in poverty, have at least one person in work. And now, if those people also claim housing benefit to help make life even a little more bearable, they will lose more money, or be forced to move home.

    As we know, the ‘Bedroom Tax’ refers to the reduction in housing benefits for anyone who has a spare room in their council house. The idea is, people will downsize to a smaller house, or have their housing benefit cut by 14 per cent for people seen to have one spare room and 25 per cent for those with two or more. The cruelty is intense.

    Whilst the most vulnerable, with very little money, and living every day wondering if they’ll eat stand to lose their home or even more money, the Chancellor will be reflecting on his “tough decisions” from his 215 acre estate, given to him to live in, free of charge, in Dorneywood….. here:
    dorney_1924910c

    Then there is ‘Baron’ Freud (I know what you’re thinking, he’s sure to be in touch with common folk). He is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Freud is in control of Welfare Reform. All of this, is his doing. Here is where ‘Baron Freud’ lives:

    PEOPLE+ONLY+COPYRIGHT+UNKNOWN+Lord+Freud's+Kent+Mansion
    – I wonder how many rooms in this massive mansion are underused. Or, how much land accompanies it, on which homes, blocks of flats, shops, businesses could be built if ‘Baron’ (seriously, he’s a Baron) Freud downsized to a property that wasn’t too big for his needs.

    These are the people who run your lives. Multi-millionaires, in mansions, unsurprisingly cutting taxes for multi-millionaires, in mansions. This is Versailles. The Court of King Louis XIV Cameron.

    According to the Government’s figures, 660,000 households will be affected by the changes, and of that, 420,000 are households including someone with a disability. Low income households, who have faced a plethora of cuts since the start of this monstrous Coalition, now facing a huge cut to their welfare payments.

    The point of this article is to get the Bedroom Tax down from numbers (Clegg justifies his support for this idea, with numbers), and back to individual cases. People.

    ITV broadcast the story of Tony, Diann, their three year old daughter Shanice, and their 15 year old daughter Stephanie. Stephanie has 1p36 deletion syndrome, and a mental age of four. She struggles with words, and mobility. All three bedrooms in their house are currently occupied. Stephanie requires her own room, because she wakes up around 5am and can become loud and violent due to her illness. But under the rules of the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the two daughters will be required to share a bedroom, because they’re both under 16. That, or face a huge cut to their Housing benefit payment. They will be deemed to have a spare room. Tony and Diann say the cut would mean cutting down on meals.

    Maria Brabiner has lived in her home since 1978. It is indescribably cruel of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to wish to see her kicked out of the security of the house she has made a home, all because of a spare room. Do you know why she now has a spare room? It is because her mother, whom lived in the room, died recently. Miss Brabiner said:

    “I’m scared of what’s going to happen to me, I’m worried about whether my electric will be cut off, whether my gas will be cut off.

    – This economic violence, by perhaps the two nastiest Parties we have seen in the UK, is being forced upon a woman whose mother has recently died, and whose house is more than just a house; it is a home. Worse still, it is being forced on her, by a Cabinet of multi-millionaires, with multiple houses that remain unoccupied and included acres of land that could be used to build new houses on.

    Terry Avery is unable to use the left side of his body, after a severe stroke left him needing a wheelchair. He sleeps in a separate room from his wife, because of his situation. Under the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the room Terry sleeps in, is considered ‘spare’. Which means, he and his wife either move out, or not eat. Or a third choice; Karen, Terry’s wife would have to sleep on the floor, in absolutely no room. Karen says:

    “With the hospital bed, lift, chest of drawers and turning space for his wheelchair there is no space for a wardrobe which is kept in my bedroom. There is not even room for me to sleep on the floor comfortably, which I would have to do as there is no room for a second bed or mattress.”

    Julia Jones is 59, and has worked since she was 15. Her husband David contracted bowel cancer four years ago. Six months after having a irreversible colostomy he returned to work. Two years later, he contracted brain cancer and sadly passed away seven weeks later. Julia is now alone. During David’s illness, Julia rejected care allowance, and spent all of her time and money looking after him. They were given the home she now lives in, because it was easy for David to get around in. David’s ashes are buried in the garden, under a rose bush planted especially for his. Here is Julia’s plea to the millionaire Prime Minister:

    “The most powerful men in the country imply we are scum so we must be scum.
    Do you not consider that I would give everything for my husband to be alive, me to not have incapacitating pain and we could both be the hard workers we once were? I live in small 1 1/2 bed bungalow that was built for older people. It is supported elderly living so I feel safe. It could not house a family as under 55s are not allowed.
    You now want to take my home from me. The home that literally made my fingers bleed cleaning as it had been neglected for 20 years when we moved here. You want me to leave my husband’s ashes, my neighbours who take me shopping and give me some form of social life? I have no family, we could not have children.
    I am living without heating at present so how can I pay what I do not have to stay in my home?”

    – This is the cost, when we bring it down to a human level, of the Tory and Lib Dem Bedroom Tax. The entire debate should be framed around the most vulnerable cases, those who stand to lose the most, not just in terms of money, but in living standard, and the brutality of stripping someone, a family, children away from the home that they call their own, and the community that they love.

    In the Chancellor’s own Constituency, Tim Pinder, chief executive at Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust – a housing association said:

    “Many of our customers are determined to stay in their homes despite the changes, but we fear this may lead to significant financial hardship. For some households this could mean having to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.”

    – It is just another ill thought out, nasty policy, from an incompetent and nasty government.

    Over two thirds of those affected, have a household income of less than £150 a week. Apparently The Liberal Democrats feel that’s too much money. They should have less. 72% of those affected, have a member of the household with a disability of major health concern. 5% of those affected, have a spare bedroom for the carer who occasionally has to stay over. 9% use the spare room to store equipment for a disability. These people are all affected by the cruelty of the Bedroom Tax.

    The human cost of cruel Conservative and Liberal Democrat policies, is heart breaking. It follows the narrative that has sprung to the front of political discourse since 2010; that the poor, the most vulnerable, the disabled must be stigmatised and demonised. It is a horrid tactic that takes the focus away from the people who caused the economic mess in the first place; very very wealthy individuals and friends of the Tory Party. We note this week, that Anthony Jenkins, the boss of Barclays, was paid more than 80 times the salary of the lowest paid. Whilst Jenkins makes £1,100,000 basic salary, alongside £4,400,000 share award, and £363,000 pension contribution, the lowest paid makes just £13,500 a year. Couple that, with the announcement that Barclays intends to cut 3700 jobs, and you start to see a bit of a problem.

    This is what Tories do. We shouldn’t be surprised. They are a modern day nobility. The most vulnerable will always suffer under the nobility. When we elect a Conservative government, we must expect heartless policies, rising child poverty, a distinct lack of empathy, and a woefully underfunded NHS. That’s just what Conservatives do. So Progressives must focus their anger at the Liberal Democrats. It is shameful for a ‘progressive’ party to have so utterly abused the votes of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 by supporting policies that I would take a confident bet that less than 1% of Lib Dem voters would ever have supported. They cannot be allowed to forget the scale of the betrayal they have inflicted. This week really does sum up exactly what the Liberal Democrat Party has become, the moment Nick Clegg showed vigorous support for the Bedroom Tax.

    For a party that apparently bases itself on getting government out of the lives of the individual; in a few months we’ve had Conservative MP Alec Shelbrooke wishing to tell Welfare claimants where they can spend their money (whilst himself, claiming tax payer funded expenses to pay for his licence fee, a bunch of Tory MPs telling you that you don’t deserve the same Rights as them if you happen to be gay and now a Tory coming into your home, checking who’s in the bedrooms, forcing your disabled partner with all his/her equipment to move back to one room with you, and telling you to pack up and move out if you dislike it. These people thrive on government interference. These are very wealthy, very privileged people and with that, has come the most cruel government the UK has seen in a very long time. When we speak of the nasty party, we must include the Liberal Democrats in that.


    The Terrible Tory Week

    December 5, 2012

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    “No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party.”
    – Aneurin Bevan

    It’s an odd feeling, to not be shocked when seeing the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the United Kingdom, bursting into fits of laughter over the fact that the Shadow Chancellor has a stammer. It doesn’t shock me. My initial reaction when watching, was one of “typical”. Their lack of compassion is not only repulsive when it appears on the surface, but it is even more so when reflected in their policies. I expect insensitivity, racism, sexism, homophobic, anti-disabled rhetoric and policy from them. They represent, in so many ways, the problem that – in the words of Glen from The Thick of It – the born-to-rule-pony-fuckers are to this country; evidenced further by today’s Autumn Statement.

    Screams of joy reverberated throughout the Tory back benches today as the Chancellor announced that certain benefits would rise way below the rate of inflation over the next three years, amounting to a real terms cut. The idea of a single mum struggling to put food on the table is what keeps these bastards going, much like the idea of laughing at someone with a handicap. The cut pays for their tax breaks.

    The Autumn Statement can be summed up quite simply; the rich don’t have enough money and should be given more…. the poor have too much money and should have it taken away. Actually, it can be summed up with even fewer words; the Tory extreme economic agenda has failed. Miserably.

    Jobseeker’s Allowance,
    Employment and support allowance,
    Income support,
    Maternity,
    Paternity
    Adoption pay,
    Child Benefit….
    Will all rise by just 1% over the next four years. That is effectively a massive cut. But that’s not all. The link to inflation will be broken with a new ‘Welfare Uprating Bill’ to be introduced shortly. The reason for this is that current legislation means certain benefits, by law, much rise in line with prices. By effectively abolishing this, using new legislation, it means that any future link between benefits and inflation, must be introduced through new legislation, four years from now, in 2016. I cannot imagine a future Tory government agreeing to that idea. The link between welfare and inflation may now be lost forever. A massive change to the welfare system. A system of protection for the most vulnerable, destroyed in one sentence of an Autumn Statement, by far-right economic agenda that did not gain a mandate in 2010.

    Further, the link to inflation using the CPI instead of the far more generous RPI was reason enough for the Institute For Fiscal Studies to claim responsible for a projected rise in child poverty. Osborne has removed it entirely. For child poverty, the removal of the link to inflation at all, is a massive blow.

    Osbourne used the predictably right winged example of scroungers, or “people in bed, whilst hard workers are out earning” to justify the cut. I’m not sure how that justifies a cut in maternity allowance. Child benefit affects ‘hard working’ people as well as the unemployed. And the unemployed is not simply another word for scrounger. They are unemployed, because the most incompetent government in living memory actively sought to plunge the country into a double dip recession, followed by a stagnant economy. They are the pawns in the Tory game. And they are being punished for it. Meanwhile, whilst Starbucks are in the news for both aggressively avoiding tax, and punishing their workers with contract changes…….. corporation tax is slashed by a further 1%. Welcome to Corporate England. Apparently having the lowest Corporate tax rate in the G7 was not enough. It needs to be lower. Much lower….. a quarter lower since they came to power, just two Make no mistake, the Autumn Statement was a huge hand out to the wealthiest, and a huge grab from the most vulnerable. By 2016, the annual loss per family with two children, will be £315.40 a year.

    George Osborne stood up to the dispatch box to announce that his plan has not worked. But to fix the plan that has not worked, he announced more of the same failed policies. Austerity will now last until 2017-2018. A year longer than previously stated. In March the OBR predicted that the UK economy would grow by 0.8% this year. The Chancellor today announced that the OBR had revised that, and the economy will have infact shrunk by 0.1% this year.
    In fact, the OBR is excellent at getting figures widely wrong. Here, OBR forecasts for 2012 over the past two years:

  • June 2010 – 2.8% growth for 2012.
  • November 2010 – 2.6% growth for 2012.
  • March 2011 – 2.5% growth for 2012.
  • November 2011 – 0.7% growth for 2012.
  • March 2012 – 0.8% growth in 2012.
  • December 2012 – -0.1% growth in 2012.
    How are the OBR taken seriously? Why do the media insist on quoting them, they are simply adding to the horrendous incompetencies of perhaps the most delusional and incompetent Chancellor in history.

    Further, GDP growth has now been downgraded every year until 2018.
    Unemployment is set to rise alongside.
    In fact, here are the Governments own stats on unemployment (downgraded, like every thing else Osborne has predicted).

    Unemployment-500x91

    What this shows is unemployment will not be down to 2011 levels until 2016. This cannot be blamed on Labour any more, nor is it natural. It is by design.
    And here is the evidence that the highest burden, will be placed on the

    We must also point out that whilst the Tory benches cheered with delight at the £5bn promised for infrastructure programs (an admittance that government investment CAN work), they appear to have ignored that two years ago, £22bn cut in investment projects, and has just announced a further 1% cut in departmental budgets.

    Here is how the OBR predicts the changes through the Autumn Statement will fall.
    121204tax-1
    – It shows a horribly regressive pattern, with the bottom 10th of Britain losing 1.75% of their net income. The bottom 3 deciles, getting just horrendously hit by Osborne’s destructive and failing policies. Whilst the middle income bracket also tend to lose out, they lose out far less…… those be the swing voters. The lowest 10th, have actually seen their net income fall over the entire past decade. Now, it will fall again. This, Osborne claims is Britain “on the right track”. According to Poverty UK the “income of the richest tenth is more than the income of all those on below-average incomes (i.e. the bottom five tenths) combined.”

    When 2015 comes around, we can expect Tory supporters of economic neoliberalism to vote Tory regardless of the fact that their agenda has led to a rise in the National debt, a rise in borrowing, a rise in unemployment, and, well, no positives whatsoever. But those on the centre and centre-left politically should never forget that none of this would be possible without the Liberal Democrats. They should be destroyed at the next election.


  • Aidan Burley and the curse of the nasty Party

    August 3, 2012

    800px-Olympic_stadium_and_The_Orbit_during_London_Olympics_opening_ceremony_(2012-07-27)_2

    The Olympic opening ceremony was a spectacular representation of the progress from industrialism to, well, Dizzie Rascal apparently. I adored it. There cannot be many more years go by without Danny Boyle not becoming Sir Danny Boyle. Boyle’s opening ceremony expressed progression. He not-so-subtly directed the audience left ward. Though it seems to have angered the Right Wing. And rightly so. It was a kick in the teeth to everything they stand for. It was a display of the achievements of the Left in this country. Tory MP Aidan Burley tweeted during the opening ceremony with the following:

    This is the same Aidan Burley who was sacked as Parliamentary Private Secretary after attending a Nazi themed stag party, in which he himself hired Third Reich outfits and toasted the groom with nazi salutes. Burley’s credibility as a political commentator to be taken seriously, is hardly rousing.
    Unfortunately for Burley, the NHS (opposed by the Tories), Welfare (opposed by the Tories, at every level), and union advancements to fairer work conditions (opposed by the Tories), minimum wage(opposed by the Tories) and maternity pay(opposed by the Tories) is modern Britain for the majority of the people living here. It isn’t champagne, nazi themed stag do’s and taxpayer funded moat cleaning for the majority. It is multicultural, it is black, white, gay, straight, female, male and everything else. It is dole queues, and a lack of hope – largely the result of the policies of his Party. It isn’t just a golf course is Kent with wealthy businessmen and a group wank over their new yacht. I cannot imagine Burley is going to last much longer as an MP.

    Boris Johnson has said there was nothing left winged about it, Cameron has called Burley an idiot for suggesting it. They are both wrong. Burley is right. It was left leaning in nature. That’s why I loved it. To suggest the glorification of the NHS, of union advancements and of the suffragettes were not left leaning, is to suggest that the Tory Party had either supported all of those things, or played a part in them. This would be disingenuous and they know it. It works to the Tory Party’s advantage if they show how much they just love the NHS, if they keep quiet and reluctantly support the show of union advancement. Why let them have that? They achieved none of it. They fought it at every opportunity. So yes, the Olympic Opening Ceremony declared what every decent Brit cherishes; and none of it came from the Conservative Party.

    So everyone from the far left to the Prime Minister weighed in on this, attacking Burley for his tweet, and telling us all how wrong he was. That he should apologise. An embarrassment to the Tory Party. And I think that’s a mistake we on the Left make far too often.

    Burley is a Tory that has contempt for anyone that isn’t like him. But he isn’t alone. He is a regular Tory. They all think like him, the rest of them just have the sense to stay quiet. Or, Burley just has the balls to say exactly what he thinks. This is troubling, because come election time (as in 2010) the Tories can present themselves as new, cuddly, loving, ‘compassionate conservatives’, that the NHS is safe in their hands, that their budget will deliver growth and help for ‘hard working families’, that the likes of Burley do not represent the whole Party; because any outward display of their true colours is quickly silenced, not just by their Party superiors, but by the left. We demand apologies. This is in fact the British Left shooting themselves square in the foot, because it allows the Tory Party to engage with mass thought and mould communication around it. If we did not complain so loudly, the Tory Party would doubtlessly show themselves for the awful bigoted bunch of over privileged toffs that they have always been, rendering them unelectable. We now know that the NHS was not safe in their hands. We now know that listening to the advice of Britain’s biggest businesses when they supported the Chancellors plans to cut, cut, cut, was a massive lapse of National judgement in collectively believing they wanted to actually help the country rather than line their own pockets…. we know this, because it has failed miserably. We now know that they had planned to raise VAT yet cut Corporation tax and other wealthy taxes. We now know that many of their associates working for them keep their money in offshore accounts whilst shamelessly attacking anyone on welfare. The attacks on welfare are easy. These people do not fund the Tory Party, so they are unneeded; the country hates benefit cheats, because the media completely over hypes the situation, whilst the biggest cons – the tax avoiders who fund, work for, and appear in the cabinet (see George Osborne) sit comfortably dividing and conquering. But…. let them speak, their one weakness, their regressive attitudes to absolutely everything, and they will fall.

    Burley later attacked the decision to allow Dizzee Rascal to perform. He wasn’t sure why we allowed rap music to feature. A further attack on multiculturalism. Clearly Burley isn’t aware that Dizzee Rascal has four number 1 hits, a Mercury Music award, NME awards, BET awards, has worked to encourage youth voting, and is internationally known. This isn’t an obscure musician. This is a guy who epitomises a certain age group, a certain social and economic background, and has shot to the top. He is also from the East End, not far from the Olympic village. A global musical star, from that area. Seems like the right choice to me. Who would Burley choose instead?

    The two fundamental belief that drive everything the Tory Party stand for, that I despise are:
    1) The rich are ‘job creators’.
    2) Unless you are white, heterosexual, English born, and have a mind for business, wearing a suit the moment you were born; you are different, and different = wrong.
    Give them the opportunity, and they will express both of these dangerous ideas time and time again. They will play on prejudices to make sure their obvious bigotry is somewhat clouded – i.e- mention constantly how awful people on welfare are. Deflect the negativity onto those who have no real political representation. And it works, because a pessimistic population has no time to look into these claims, as everyone is working more, for less, thanks to Tory economic policy.

    The Tories are rather good at covering their inherent prejudices. If we take the case of Chris Grayling, the Minister for Work and Pensions; this man is a compulsive liar. But he backtracks. Or his lies are just forgotten; glossed over by the Tory spin machine. Usually compulsive liars; those whose lies become a sort of way of life, are nothing to worry about. But when they hold incredibly important offices with the responsibilities of those of Grayling, we must all be concerned. I would go so far as to suggest he has one of the most profound records of fabrication in any government of the post war era.
    As shadow minister for work and pensions, Grayling pushed the lie that £2.5bn was lost to benefit fraud in 2006 by stating:

    …billions of pounds are still being lost to fraud.”

    – Actually, less than a billion was lost to fraud in 2006. The National Audit Office who actually released these figures said that £690m was lost to fraud. Chris Grayling has never admitted his mistake here. It is also extremely odd that he seems to take offence at the morality of misspent taxpayers money, given that his Parliamentary expenses receipts show that he bought a flat in Central London, less than 17 miles from his constituency home, using tax payers money, and then renovated said flat, with tax payers money, claiming almost £2000 alone for refurbishing the bathroom. One wonders what taxpayers are getting out of the fact that he can have a more luxurious shit every morning? Or what taxpayers are getting out of his lovely new £1,341 kitchen And one wonders how this is any different to a single mother getting a few £ extra out of the system every week. In fact, it is worse, because Grayling is on a salary of £64,000 and has a house that was worth £600,000 in 2000, and two buy to let properties in London. Grayling spread the cost of the renovations on his flat over two years (one year would have gone over the maximum allowed by Parliament) claiming:

    …..decorator has been very ill and didn’t invoice me until now.

    Grayling, is a hypocritical, lying turd.
    After saying that he supported the right for B&B owners to not allow gay couples to stay in their B&B, he backtracked, stating:

    I am sorry if what I said gave the wrong impression, I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone… I voted for gay rights.

    – Humble apology. Though a complete fabrication. If we look at his voting record on gay rights we find that….
    Civil Partnerships – Grayling voted against.
    Fertility Treatment for Gay Couples – Grayling voted against.
    The Repeal of Section 28 – Grayling did not show up to vote.
    The Right for Gay Couples to Adopt – Grayling voted against.
    – He couldn’t have lied more if he tried. There are more examples of Chris Grayling’s lies, blogged several times. The most prolific, and where I started my research is here.

    We know where their hatred lies. Burley disliked the left wing attitude that the Olympic opening ceremony took on. That includes the trade unionism. Is it any surprise a Tory Party member – whose current cabinet is made up almost exclusively of millionaires – dislikes a movement that protects those who do not have a voice in Parliament? We are all playing the Corporate game. They want you to work longer, for less pay, whilst the guys at the top do less, for more. Here is a government that have led the country into the biggest double dip recession in decades. They have blamed the unions, Labour, the snow, the royal wedding. All whilst giving the wealthiest a huge tax cut. It is easy. There aren’t many public services – Sure Start, libraries, youth centres – that would ever likely benefit Conservatives, so swap them for a wealthy tax cut, and they’re all happy. It seems we have become a country that judges its success on how well we treat the wealthiest. The balance is tipped in the wrong direction and it has all but destroyed the economy.
    In two short years the UK has gone from signs of growth and recovery (1.2% in the first quarter of 2010 – Labour’s last few months – staggering given the recession that we’d just come out of), to a shocking -0.7% drop in growth. There is no one left to blame. The economics of ‘businesses and rich people create jobs’ is a myth. Demand creates jobs, and by stripping the economy of demand as part of their unfortunately named “Budget for Growth” in 2010, the Tories have been given the harsh reality of making sure they only look after the people who fund them. Because let’s not forget that as part of Grayling’s flagship ‘back to work’ programme, the company Deloitte Ingeous was awarded 7 out of 40 contracts to get people back to work…… this comes after the same Deloitte Ingeous donated £28,000 to Grayling in 2009. The same back to work programme that found a certain Mr Stephen Hill fit for work.

    Stephen Hill had been referred to a Fit For Work assessment by the private healthcare company Atos, after signing up for Disability Living Allowance whilst waiting for tests on his heart. Despite the fact that doctors had diagnosed him with heart failure, he was still found “fit for work”. He appealed, and won. But the Department sent him another letter demanding a second assessment, this time whilst he was waiting for heart surgery. The assessor commented:

    “Significant disability due to cardiovascular problems seems unlikely.”

    Stephen Hill died a couple of weeks later. Atos have just won £587mn worth of new contracts to carry out assessments.
    Welcome to Corporate England, and the joys of private healthcare companies.

    A country works best with a healthy national health service to ensure healthy members of an economic community. It works best with a safety net to catch those who fall, or who cannot help themselves. JK Rowling famously defended the welfare state with this rather beautiful summation of how it works:

    I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.

    It works best when those who benefitted the most from a healthy public sector – roads, health, education – do not burn the ladder up which they climbed for future generations, as the Tory Party is doing now. It works best when we fight to protect the most vulnerable, not to force them to work in order for unemployment figures to look better on tomorrow’s newspaper. It works best when we focus on how our Nation treats our poorest, and not how many yachts our richest can now afford.

    Back to Burley. He is not alone in his contempt. Along with Grayling’s apparent dislike of homosexuality (and the disabled, claiming 75% of those on disability, were “skiving”), and the entire policy of forcing those with quite blatant disabilities back into work just to improve employment figures, whilst using the new found revenue flow to fund tax cuts for wealthy donors, other Tory’s have been quick to show, and then hide their true colours these past few years.

    George Osborne, the Chancellor, a noble post, stood up in Parliament, and referred to gay Labour MP Chris Bryant as a “Pantomime dame”, followed by a sickening smurk and a barrage of laughter from his pompous back benchers.

    “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.

    “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.

    “Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.’

    – Tory MP Dominic Raab.
    This is the same Dominic Raab who complained about tax payers money should not be spent on Government staff who are working on union projects. And yet, doesn’t seem to have a problem with millions of £ in taxpayers money being given to previously mentioned companies like Atos. Raab appears to rabidly dislike Unions marching, but has no problem with a company like Care UK majorly benefiting from changes to the NHS at a time when they donated £21,000 to the private office of the health secretary. Raab seems to have no problem with his party choosing Philip Green to head the “efficiency of government spending review” despite himself keeping his multi-millions in offshore accounts, being accused of excessive pay by awarding himself a dividend of £1.2bn, whilst his company avoided £125mn in tax payable to the UK, whilst also being accused of treating workers poorly by using sweatshops. By the way, the money spent on union planning that Raab is so angry about, came to £6mn. That’s about 20 times less than Philip Green’s company alone avoided in taxes. We see where Raab’s priorities lie. Alongside the rest of the Tory Party; with Corporate England.

    So you see, it is wrong of us to insist on silencing Tory prejudice. It is inherent to them. They are the party of big business and bigotry. The nasty party. They haven’t changed, nor will they. Shouting abuse at Aidan Burley will not make him change his views that multiculturalism is anti-British, or that the NHS, the suffragettes, and the union movement are all disastrous. He, and his wealthy colleagues are simply playing a Corporate game with the lives of ordinary people. We should leave them to spurt their occasional venom at anyone who isn’t like them. It does the right wing no favours, and can only turn voter after voter off ever voting for these putrid little scumbags ever again.

    And maybe, just maybe…. the ‘left wing’ aspects of the Olympic opening ceremony were used, because they are the things the British are most proud of.


    Panic Petrol: A Tory blunder

    March 31, 2012

    On Question Time this week, the frankly embarrassing Liberal Democrat Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Teather blamed the Unions for the panic buying of petrol that we’ve seen this week in the UK. In typical Tory fashion, she could think of no other reason why people might rush to the petrol pumps, than to blame the Unions for actually doing nothing of any significance. Unite has ruled out strike action over easter. The union seems more likely to focus on talks, than threats. All the fear, has come directly from Downing Street.

    I take a different view, and I think, a view shared by those of us who aren’t living in Tory-land.

    Today has been damning for the Tories in this whole dispute, because whilst on Question Time, Teather seemed disgusted by the suggestion that this was all political on the part of the government, a memo has been leaked from Downing Street stating:

    “This is our Thatcher moment. In order to defeat the coming miners’ strike, she stockpiled coal. When the strike came, she weathered it, and the Labour Party, tarred by the strike, was humiliated. In order to defeat the coming fuel drivers’ strike, we want supplies of petrol stockpiled. Then, if the strike comes, we will weather it, and Labour, in hock to the Unite union, will be blamed.”

    – This is about as damning as it gets. A lady suffers 40% burns, because the Tories want to win political points over Labour? Playground politics turned tragic.

    I think there are three reasons why the Government issued several warnings in the press this week regarding the possibility of a strike, and Teather played along with it on Question Time. When asked who is to blame for the panic buying, she said “The Unions are to blame, for calling this strike“. Now, the Union hasn’t called a strike. In fact, as we speak, there is very little chance of their actually being a strike. Sarah Teather played the typical Conservative line; blame unions at all costs. Which includes lying. Teather is in the cabinet, she knows the unions have not called a strike, so why say it? This is reason one. Conservatives are usually very good at making unions look bad. This was another opportunity. During the public sector pension strike, Conservatives issues statement after statement about how hard working families are struggling, how private sector pensions are much lower than public sector, how economic times are woeful, and how the unions are making it worse. All of which, have been absolutely caused by Tory/Lib Dem economic austerity failure. The message seems to be “We expect you to just sit back and take it“. For Liberal Democrats, this is utterly disgraceful. For Tories, we know this is what they do. We know that even if economically speaking, the Country was strong, Tories would do the same thing. Slash, burn, destroy, and immiserate.

    So, point 1) Take another opportunity to make the unions look bad; link the Labour party to the unions.

    On the second point, and I think the most significant. The OECD pointed out that in the last quarter of 2011, the economy shrank by 0.3%. The OECD then pointed out early this week, that they believe the first quarter of 2012 will see a drop of 0.1% in growth. This means the UK is in recession. This is a terrible indictment on the absolute failure of austerity. They cannot blame Labour for this anymore. They cannot blame the snow. They cannot blame unions. They cannot blame Europe. The Tories and the Lib Dems only have themselves to blame. The “budget for growth”. Remember that? What we have is stagnation and failure. What they have done, is risk an economic and social engineering program that has led the country to ruin. To avoid a recession, by propping up spending at the end of the first quarter of 2012….. induce panic buying. Tell the country that you are prepping the army to deliver oil in the event of strike. Needlessly tell the country you are having meetings of the crises response team “Cobra”. Tell the country to fill up cans of petrol and take them home. For what reason? IN CASE of a strike? Strikers must give seven days notice. Ben Fenton at the Financial Times tweeted something similar:

    There is absolutely no way we will be in recession after all this #pasty #petrol buying, though. What a brilliant tactical ploy.

    There is one problem with this theory. To buy back 0.2% of GDP growth, consumer spending would have to top £800mn over the past three days. This is quite a stretch. Be interesting to see 2nd quarter growth figures.

    Point 2) Prevent double dip recession in the most cynical way possible.

    Going back to the point about lack of growth here is what the Government’s “budget for growth” has achieved. You see the green bar? That represents government debt as a share of GDP as outlined by the Tories on how they thought the austerity measures would work. The blue line, is what has actually happened. No amount of spinning this can make it positive.

    And lastly, Bad press attention over the past week. First, a budget that cut the top rate of tax for the highest earners, whilst continually hitting the most vulnerable, especially pensioners was announced. Secondly, cash for access promises to be the scandal of the year for the Conservatives. Every employee in the country might not be too pleased to know that the man who wrote the government report on the need to strip workers of their rights when it comes to unfair dismissal, Adrian Beecroft, donated over £500,000 to the Tory Party. I’m not sure it’s right that very wealthy Tory donors should be allowed to create government policy. As well as the Tories not having a mandate to do any of what they have so far done, the public certainly didn’t vote for an odious little turd like Beecroft to oversee certain policy making endeavours.

    Ed Staite, a former media advisor for the Tories is accused of trying to sell policy to the highest bidder. He is filmed by undercover reporters that they can use their money and influence to affect government policy in a way that helps their business, by pushing for the sale of Royal Mail. How does Staite defend himself? Well, on his website he says:

    I was suggesting a transparent approach to generate new ideas which may well never become Conservative Party policy. That is how the policy formulation process works.

    – How this is a defence, is beyond me. Policy is generated, he is suggesting, by selling access to very wealthy individuals? How is that a defence? And these people have the nerve to attack the Labour Party for its ties to unions? Unions represent hundreds of thousands of people. The one or two that speak to despicable advisors like Staite, represent their own private business interests. It actually disgusts me that these people are allowed anywhere near power. It seems, even though they did not win a mandate, like vultures they are attempting very successfully to use government to enrich themselves and their friends. This is corruption on a horrendous scale.

    Francis Maude made the entire media onslaught a thousands times worse by insisting that people stock up on fuel at home in jerry cans. It was made a million times worse when a woman in York suffered 40% burns after transferring fuel at home and setting herself alight. Maude should resign.

    Party funding, should be public.

    Point 3) An attempt to divert the horrendous press the Tories have received this week away from them, and onto the unions and the Labour party.

    It is all political. If it isn’t political, then it is such vast incompetence, it is scary to think that these idiots are running the country. This wouldn’t surprise me, given the different messages coming out of Downing Street. Firstly, fill up your cars. Then, fill up your jerry cans at home. Then, only fill to three quarters. But don’t panic. There is no coherent message. When a government goes out of their way to tell the entire nation not to panic….then there is going to be panic.

    And then there are those who blame the public.

    “Well they should have used their common sense!”
    What a ludicrous argument. What a weak defence of an indefensible and perpetually shambolic government.
    People don’t have all the information.
    People are told the government are in emergency meetings for this.
    People are told to stock up on cans.
    People are already struggling, so when they hear this, they react.
    People are aware that governments are more informed than anyone else on the situation.
    It just so happens, that the government weren’t more informed.
    And it just so happens that they weren’t more informed….. on the week of a big cash for access scandal, and reports of double dip.

    Here is a particularly favourite argument I have came across:

    – I highlight this argument, because it seems to be quite common. And yet, it’s very contradictory. He is saying that people should think for themselves instead of listening to government. And then he’s saying (in regards to the riots), people don’t listen to government at all. I’m not sure what the overall point is.
    ‎”If the government advised people to chop their testicles off to reduce over population, do you think people would just blindly do it?
    The “if the government said chop your testicles off blah blah utter bollocks” argument is as painfully uninspired as any other. Just a silly comparison. We know chopping a testicle off is detrimental. It’s common sense. There is no weighing up of pro’s and cons. But when a government who are privy to information we aren’t, on the proceedings of 1) government 2) economic conditions and 3) the possibility of strike action because they’re constantly updated on the threat ….. then people, who lead busy lives, or businesses that are struggling to cope, cannot be expected to spend hours wading through all the information and coming to a rounded judgement, especially when they do not have all the information and cannot possibly get all the relevant information. Of course people rely on official sources for their information. If you think a top Cabinet Minister going on TV and saying “we’re holding emergency Cobra meetings” and “fill up your tanks, take petrol home” is going to make people take a day off work so they can sit and read through all relevant documentation and information available, I think you’re expecting a bit too much. The government have a responsibility. They purposely caused panic in this instance.

    Also, the riot analogy is just as weak. The riots themselves were not the result of sudden desperation and a fear of a lack of essential supply. There was an obvious economic and social undertone to the riots, and always have been when it comes to violent disorder. How he managed to compare the two, actually hurts my head. As I noted in a previous blog written just after the London riots:

    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.

    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.

    – To add to this. We live in a greed fueled culture. Humanity has many different traits. Our economic system is based on one trait; greed. Which isn’t always a terrible thing. But it does mean that that particular trait is quite obviously amplified, because it is rewarded. This is how the trickle down affect actually works. Greed at the top, will trickle down to the very bottom. This is when unrest becomes inevitable. Wealth trickling upwards, results in unrest trickling downwards. It isn’t a conscious phenomena, it is a product of the system that we live.

    The petrol crises is the fault of the government. No one else. It was a cynical political game that has backfired miserably. People are still panic buying, petrol stations are closing, fuel is running low….. and there isn’t even likely to be a strike. What a total mess. Typical of such an awful government.


    Sun Shame

    February 29, 2012

    The Sun is on a moral crusade. The Sun…. on a moral crusade. THE SUN! The very idea baffles me. Whilst they’re currently being investigated for paying police for stories, they’re taking the moral high ground elsewhere.
    Today The Sun has said it:

    CALLS on all Brits to be patriotic and report any cheats you know by calling the National Benefit Fraud Hotline

    – This is in reponse to their story that benefit fraud costs the UK £1.2bn a year. The figure sounds huge, especially when written in block capitals, as it is in the Sun article. The problem is, the figure is actually tiny.

    The story comes from figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions called “fraud and error in the benefit system”. What it actually states is:

    The estimate for the percentage of total benefit expenditure overpaid due to fraud in 2010/11 has remained the same when compared to the 2009/10 and preliminary 2010/11 estimates, at 0.8%

    – £1.2bn is actually representative of just 0.8% of the total benefit expenditure. If the total benefit expenditure was a £1 coin, less than 1p would be lost to fraud.

    In December 2010, the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee found that HMRC happily ignored Corporate tax avoidance worth up to £25bn. Vodafone was allowed to write off its tax bill of £6bn. Rather coincidentally, the head of tax policy at Vodafone is a man named John Connors. Connors used to work at HMRC and enjoys a close relationship with current head of HMRC, David Hartnett. They go for cosy lunches together, and then they casually wipe £6bn from the Nation’s second largest company on the Stock market’s tax bill. Perhaps the “scroungers” mentioned by the Sun should give Hartnett a ring and go out for lunch. All would be fine then.

    According to the tax justice network’s report into tax abuse, the figure of £25bn, when added together with tax evasion (the likes of Labour candidate for Mayor; Ken Livingstone accused of using a tax loophole to save up to £50,000) costs us £69bn.

    Corporations involved in widespread tax avoidance love Hartnett THAT much, he is the most ‘wined and dined’ civil servant in the Country, having been treated to wonderful Corporate hospitality a total of 107 over three years. I’m sure they do it just because he’s a nice guy. That must be it. I’m sure of it. How many times have you been asked “who would your ideal dinner guest be if you had a choice?” I always answer “Not Oscar Wilde, not John Lennon, not Christopher Hitchens, not Mohammad Ali… none of them…… give me David Hartnett any day of the week! What a guy.

    Another company that enjoyed the dining company of Hartnett, was Goldman Sachs. It will come as no surprise that Hartnett personally shook hands with Goldman Sachs officials on a deal that waived £10,000,000 interest on a tax avoidance program that went wrong. If you’re a single mum struggling to raise kids, and are taking a few quid more than you’re legally entitled to, the Sun want you dead. If you’re a multimillionaire company that believes it owes nothing to anybody and actively breaks the law; as long as you take the head of HMRC out to lunch, you’re perfectly fine.

    Like everything The Sun says and does, hypocrisy is at the apex of this story. News International owns The Sun. When its CEO Rupert Murdoch is not defending allegations of hacking the voicemail of a dead school girl, or bribing police for stories, it used to spend its time losing legal battles over unpaid taxes. In 2009 the Australian capital territory won its battle to reclaim $77 million in taxes and penalties owed by News Corporation. When News Corp moved its headquarters to the US, through tax loopholes, it deprived Australia of millions of $ in unpaid capital gains taxes.

    The Sun has decided to block use of its “beat the cheat” picture on its article. It can be found here.
    But I thought I’d create my own.


    The curse of Letwin

    August 1, 2011

    The Conservative Government REALLY need an Alastair Campbell. Desperately. They attempted to secure a Campbell figure to head their PR team, with the [sarcarm] brilliantly managed and executed appointment of Andy Coulson.[/sarcasm] It would take a top PR team most of the day, every day, to ensure Oliver Letwin, the Minister of State for Policy, keeps his grotesque mouth closed whenever someone from the press is around, because he betrays the idea that the Tories have change, or modernised, since, well, around the 19th Century. Letwin is a left over from a group of Etonians who clearly and misguidedly believe they have a right to rule by way of their heritage. It is an arrogance that the Cameron Government will never shake, because they are the living embodiment of that privileged arrogance. They have disastrously inter-breeded this mentality with a Thatcherite economic mentality that is as dangerous as it is out-dated. His disastrous face, screams contempt for anyone who isn’t Oliver Letwin. He is a PR disaster. It is one of the many reasons (another being massive incompetence and dishonesty – which we’ll come to later) that he was overlooked when the Tories were searching for a leader. Hell, they even chose Iain Duncan Smith, does anyone remember him?

    With a face looking as if someone had created him out of the concept of pompous twat, Oliver Letwin has once more allowed the Conservative Party mask it currently shrouds itself in, to fall, revealing a Thatcherite brigade just as frightening and dangerous as their 1980s counterparts.

    Letwin had told a consultancy firm, that his proposals for public sector reform should instill:

    “some real discipline and some fear”

    He said this, because he believes the productivity of the public sector has failed. It is a strange comment and angle to take, given that the private sector has spent the past four years creating sovereign debt crises’ everywhere it goes. Productivity is very difficult to measure in the public sector, because the public sector is not about creating anything. Investment in the public sector has seen waiting lists for operations down year on year since the last Tory administration. Teaching standards are also up. The public sector does not “make” things. So talk of productivity in comparison to the private sector, is futile and misleading. It strikes me as wholly patronising that a man such as Oliver Letwin has the balls to lecture public sector workers – teachers, doctors, nurses, firemen – on what “real discipline” is. They are not children. They also did not claim public money for ludicrous items like mortgage interest payments. Also, the public sector hasn’t spent twenty five years creating a system of easy credit to boost the excessive pay of CEOs and Managing Directors, whilst the average worker saw overall increase in wages? And then when the company or bank failed miserably, the “fear” was THAT pertinent that the CEOs are given massive pay offs and lovely big bonuses. All this, whilst the public sector is told constantly, and has been told constantly, from Thatcher, to Major, to Blair, to Brown and now to Cameron, that it is not good enough, that it must be modelled on a failing private sector built on squeezing productivity out through long hours, a mountain of stress, and all for less pay whilst the big boss is compensated for his little contribution to overall productivity with huge salary and bonuses; and that their jobs are always on the line. A private sector model should be as far away from inflicting misery on the public sector, as possible.

    It isn’t the first time Letwin has revealed his hostility to those less fortunate. Earlier this year, he surprised and disgusted the most posh of Tories, Boris Johnson, by telling Johnson:

    “We don’t want more people from Sheffield flying away on cheap holidays.”

    – At least he recognises that the North suffered horrifically with the gutting of jobs and thus wealth during the Thatcher years. Though he seems to have suggested that it is perfectly okay for the wealthy Southerners to pay for expensive holidays and that holidaying abroad should be based on wealth. I expect he thought he was at home with Boris, and could reveal his true feelings, but sometimes posh Tory twats seriously misjudge the situation, and regret the fact that their well crafted public self has been set on fire by their real self. This seems to happen a lot with Letwin. And now on to why I referred to his as a hypocrite:

    In 2005 Letwin used the phrase “Wealth Distribution” in a positive light! I know! I was shocked too when I first read it. A Tory, interested and supportive of wealth distribution? Surely not! Well, actually, not. 2005 was the year Cameron was trying to pose as being a “progressive conservative“, deeply contradictory term yet one he managed seemingly to work. Letwin clearly took on that contradictory term, by trying to fill out a left wing term with right winged substance in the hope that no one would scratch below the service. He said:

    …….not by trying to do down those with most but by enabling those who have least to share an increasing part of an enlarging cake.

    – In practice what this means is, a desire to scrap the top rate of tax for the richest, a desire to lower the Corporation tax rate to the lowest recorded level, a desire to allow companies like Vodaphone a get out of jail free card by writing off their tax debt, whilst at the same time cutting allowance for the disabled, the elderly, according to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Letwin must be talking about the 16000 less police Britain will have after this Parliament; according to the leaks that the Guardian currently has; the Tory’s new director of policy Steve Hilton, suggesting abolishing maternity leave whilst also abolishing ALL consumer rights legislation. Just to reiterate….. this man, is the Nation’s DIRECTOR OF POLICY. Now i’m not saying these idiotic and deeply right winged ideas of Hilton’s are likely to become a reality. To suggest so would put me on the same wavelength as the manic Right Wingers who would constantly suggest that New Labour were about to ban England shirts and change the name of Christmas, or ban you from being white. Letwin must believe Hilton’s ideas will “enable” those with the least to a share of an increasingly large cake. Tories consider Hilton a genius…… not just because of his ideas (which aren’t in any sense a spark of genius) but also because he doesn’t wear shoes in Downing Street and they consider this “wacky”. In their defence, it is as wacky as most Tories are likely to see, given that they are born wearing business suits, slick back hair, and spend the next twenty years trying to hide the fact that their schooling experience is a plethora of homoeroticism cunningly disguised as a love of “Rugger“. It can’t have been too many years ago when gay and black people were described by most Tories as “wacky“. Hilton, like Letwin, is politically dangerous.

    The reason why Letwin is hypocritical in his desire to do away with the idea that public money can actually do good, is because he used public money to claim over £80,000 for his Cottage in Somerset, in order to heat the place, empty the septic tank, £1000 in mortgage interest and most beautifully of all…… over £2000 to repair a leaking pipe underneath his tennis court. So much for “real discipline and fear“.

    Either the Tory Party spend some time searching and investing in a decent PR figure, or they sew Oliver Letwin’s mouth closed, he is a liability to the Conservatives, and a liability to humanity.


    This could be 1983

    May 13, 2011

    The Conservatives haven’t changed. It is true that they are the epitome of what it means to be wealthy, privileged, and have an in-built mechanism of contempt for anybody who isn’t wealthy and privileged. I find their politics to be vicious and nasty, and their economics to be self serving and hypocritical. They are typical of the type who wish to use a system to climb to the heights they have, and then burn the ladder up which they or their family before them, climbed.

    They will always use the “deficit” (which isn’t that bad) to justify the unjustifiable, simply because no one except a tiny band of elite scumbags will ever accept their economic principles. Libertarianism is dangerous and unhealthy to a civilised society. It is built on the premise of judging a nation by how rich its most wealthy have become, how concentrated that wealth has become, rather than how society protects its most vulnerable.

    Their language is arrogant, vicious, dirty, and out dated, to match their political stance. Here is a few examples of Tories being Tories.

  • Wandsworth Council today announced plans for the Autumn, to charge children £2.50 to use the local park. It is in response to the £55mn it needs to find in spending cuts. Instead of fighting the obvious manipulation of figures from the Treasury which suggest we’re on the verge of becoming Greece (which we aren’t), and instead of pointing out that the Treasury is in worse shape now than it was when Labour left office, and expected to get worse, with regard to inflation and unemployment……… the Council has just accepted the bullshit, and decided that along with the disabled and the unemployed, children should be the next to be hit. We now have more property millionaires than anywhere in Europe – creating an horrendous property apartheid especially in the South, we have a banking system that has managed to get away with causing chaos, and we have a mass of Corporate tax avoiders costing the system £25bn a year….. and yet Wandsworth Council think the way to go is to make children aware that from now on, any ounce of fun, is going to cost them money. The excuse? The same typical excuse Libertarians use all the time, the same tired, nasty excuse Tories have been using for decades:

    “Why should Wandsworth taxpayers subsidise children from other boroughs?”

    – Who thinks like that? It makes me squirm.
    If that’s the case, why should the majority of left leaning voters (over 57% at the 2010 election) subsidise the jobs of a right wing government? I don’t want our family tax money to pay for our Tory MP to live so comfortably. I don’t want our tax money to go to paying a National debt whilst the very wealthy manage to pump their money into offshore accounts, and be allowed to claim expenses on running those offshore companies, against the UK tax they don’t pay. We are subsidising their ability to pay nothing. They couldn’t run a successful business in the UK, and offshore its profits, without functioning roads, a decent healthcare system, a property protection system like the police force, an education system to prepare their future workforce. And yet, their right to offshore, is supported by our Government who instead choose to attack children’s parks. Great.

    The Tories main campaign poster in 2010 was this:
    – So imagine our surprise when Mark Britnell, who made it into the Top Ten of the most influential people when it comes to healthcare in the country by the HSJ, former Director-General for Commissioning and System Management for the NHS and now “health policy expert” on David Cameron’s personal NHS advisory group said this to a group of Private Healthcare lobbies, organised by private equity firm Apax:

    “In future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer. The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.”

    Minister for Health Andrew Lansley, who is worth an estimated £700,000, and spent the Labour years flipping his second home, claiming expenses for renovating a cottage designated his second home, before selling it for a tidy profit, before claiming for furniture for his flat in London now designated his second home, insists that he isn’t considering NHS privatisation. One wonders what his most charitable donor, John Nash, of Private Health company Care UK thinks about that. Nash donated £21,000 to Lansley’s private office, whilst they continue to make 96% of their profit from the NHS. Care UK stand to make a great deal more from increased involvement of the private sector in the NHS.

  • Cameron promised that front line jobs would not be cut from the NHS, before the election. Vowing to protect the NHS is a big vote winner in the UK. Cameron knew that. He then didn’t win the election, didn’t get a mandate, and so decided to rip the NHS to shreds. According to Unison, 500 jobs at St George’s Hospital in South London are to go, along with three wards and 100 beds. Similarly, Kingston Hospital in South West London announced that around 20% of its workforce will need to go, to meet the governments cost saving demands. The government repeatedly claims it is increasing spending on the NHS in real terms. Another lie. NHS spending is set to grow by less than under the Thatcher years, which is when the NHS was gutted almost to complete meltdown. Here’s how that “increase” looks on a graph:
    Between 1997 and 2010, the number of doctors increased by 57% and nurses by 31%. Funding rose from around £1bn a year (less than Philip Green paid his family in dividends in 2009, which he financed by taking out a loan, which in turn reduced his Corporate tax rate as the interest on the loan could be offset against Corporate profits of his firm Arcadia) under the Tories, to £4.3bn under Labour, which increased the activity of the NHS by over 40%. It worked. We are healthier now than we were in the 1980s, we are living longer, and morale in the NHS was higher than the 1980s. Increases in spending this year, when adjusted for inflation, will be 0.024% from April 2011. Great. In fact, Sir David Nicholson, Chief executive of the NHS said this about the new spending plans for the NHS:

    there has never been a time where we have had four years of flat real growth. It is unprecedented.

    – There are many Tories that will argue consistently and poorly, that Osborne and the Tories are championing the NHS and funding it amazingly well beyond all recognition. Listening to them, is perilous.
    Waiting lists are already sky rocketing. In Coventry, it was reported that there would be a 13 week waiting list for Hernia repair at Walsgrove University hospital. That has now increased to 26 weeks and should be considered “just a guideline” as lists are likely to increase again this year.
    According to County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust:

    Trust is undertaking a £60m cost cutting exercise to be delivered by 2014, including £20m in 2010/11. The trust is also cutting 300 beds. 300 nursing jobs will be lost through natural wastage Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: equivalent cost savings of around 200 fewer jobs are required to meet financial targets. In cash terms, the trust is making cost efficiencies of £25m over 3 years. City Hospitals Sunderland: The Trust undertook a £22.5m cost cutting exercise for financial year just gone. NHS County Durham and Darlington : The NHS service providers in County Durham and Darlington are undertaking a £200m cost cutting exercise over the next 3 years. The trust is cutting 62 senior nurse posts and replacing them with 78 more junior posts. In addition, County Durham PCT has identified 110 management posts for redundancy.

    The managerial posts are “in addition” to front line nursing.

  • Cameron told a female Labour MP in the House of Commons – the NATIONAL LEGISLATURE – to “calm down dear”. One wonders what Tory MP for Loughborough Nicky Morgan thought of this childish, sexist outburst from our Prime Minister, given that she was seen visibly laughing in the House of Commons at that pathetic remark, yet accused ME of being sexist when I simply asked if she had asked a planted question a few weeks back.
    This comes a few weeks after Cameron took a swipe at ethnic minorities in his attack on multiculturalism, in which he mentioned Islam and Muslims 36 times in twenty minutes, and Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist not a single time. It was an attack on Islam, to the point where even Nick Griffin called the speech “provocative” and members of the EDL said that Cameron “understands us”.
    That came about a week after Osborne referred to an openly Labour MP in the Commons as the “pantomime dame”. It isn’t surprising, their stance on homosexuality, given that whilst 100% of Lib Dems, and 99% of Labour MPs voted to repeal the nasty little Section 28 law that banned anything positive being said about homosexuality in schools, only 24% of Tories voted to repeal it. And whilst 100% of Lib Dems, and 95% of Labour MPs voted in favour of allowing gay adoption……. only 6% of Tories voted for it. So that’s homophobia, sexism, and racism all within a year. What else is left? Ah yes, class.
    David Shakespeare, leaders of the Tory Councillor for Buckinghamshire Council said that poor northerners who are losing their jobs due to the cuts, should go down to London and pick the fruit of the land owners down south, instead of seeking job seekers allowance. He also said:

    ‘The North may replace the Romanians in the cherry orchards, that may be a good thing’

    – Not even a necessary thing? Not even a regretful thing? A GOOD thing? He doesn’t mind kicking people out of their work and their jobs, he thinks it’s a great thing, because they’ll come to the south and work on his land for next to no money! He’s happy that the North is about to be gutted, again, of all funding whilst the south thrives, again, like the 1980s. Luckily I am from the Midlands, so I’m not sure i’d have to pick this overweight Tory prick’s fields, but i’m not sure if I have to bow as he drives past in his luxurious horse and cart.

  • Osborne announced this week that he was going to make it easier for companies to cut pay, cut pensions, dismiss people, and be allowed to get away with being discriminatory. In essence, he plans to make job security as unsafe as possible. It will be golden news to people like my boss. It is an attack on the workforce again. Presumably he will moan about Unions trying to hold the country to ransom whilst he attacks the rights of as many workers as possible, expecting us all to just bend over and take it. I hope the Unions unite and fight, I hope for a period of industrial action on a scale never seen before, and I hope a general strike is called as soon as possible If it is going to be a case of a very wealthy minority making life as miserable and difficult as possible for the many, then I hope the many fight back. Osborne claims employment rules are holding back job creation. He of course, is wrong. Job creation is held back significantly by a vast majority of big bosses plundering money into dodgy stocks or increasing their salaries beyond recognition. Why not cap private sector managerial wealth to a percentage of the lowest paid? Therefore when the lowest paid gets an increase, so does the highest paid. The extra-profit to be used to employ new people. Why attack the right of the workforce to a decent level of job security and working conditions? Why is that the only solution? Do you know what else creates job losses? It is happening on a smaller scale across the country, cuts are having affects on jobs and livelihoods. Cuts….
  • Derby’s Historic Industrial museum has had to close, 9 job losses.
  • Bishop Aukland College – 179 jobs losses.
  • South Tyneside College – 200 jobs to go.
  • Tyne Metropolitan College – 66 jobs to go.
  • Stockton Riverside College – 23 jobs to go.
  • City of sunderland College – 69 jobs to go.
  • Newcastle College – 171 jobs to go.
  • East durham college – 76 jobs to go.
  • New Cross library, Crofton Park library, Sydenham library, Grove Park library, Blackheath library all to close.
  • Oxford Brookes University – 400 support staff received “at risk” letters.
  • Diss weekly Youth Centre praised by police for helping troubled children, to close, and staff to lose their jobs.
  • Taunton Primary School – no more music teacher, no more music lessons.
  • A Big Society initiative – new volunteers to help out at museums in Hampshire – to replace 25 staff who have lost their jobs. Unpaid staff to replace paid staff. Great.
  • Five libraries in Lewisham to close.
  • Cuts to NHS disabled transport in Dumfries – jobs losses expected.
  • 50% of pupil support assistants assigned to children with special needs, to be cut in Aberdeen.
  • 21,000 job losses at Lloyds……..
  • ….. former Lloyds boss Eric Daniels takes home a bonus of £1.45mn…..
  • ….. new Lloyds boss António Horta-Osório takes a signing on fee of £6mn and a salary of £1.6mn.

    In short, the poor need jobs to live. The rich need the poor to be as close to slaves as possible, reliant entirely on them to be able to eat, to be called lazy and scroungers and attacked as greedy if they unionise or refuse to work for a piss poor boss in piss poor conditions for piss poor pay. It is not a plan to increase job creation, it is a plan to enable the very wealthy, to get even more wealthy – to buy an extra yacht to fill the void in their soul – by asking more and more of their staff for as little as possible, and it’s always been the case. The project is designed to make people believe their tax money is wrongly being used, not just by people who claim to have a physical disability whilst they play tennis and golf 24 hours a day, but also by children playing on swings in the town next to yours, as opposed to the fact that your tax money is actually used to make sure that the wealthiest get massively insane tax cuts with Corporation tax expected to drop from 28% in 2010….. to 15% in 2020. That is what your tax money is funding. Make sure the man in the expensive house in Notting Hill thanks you for his lovely new Mercedes….. but don’t let your kids play on the park next to his house, you scrounging scumbag.

    The progress the country has made since the hell of the 1980s, is about to be burnt to the ground. Do not be fooled into thinking this “has to be done”, it is Conservative party ideology, they have waited over a decade to have this chance.

    They are attempting to replace compassion, with greed, and it’s working.


  • Welcome to Corporate England…

    February 9, 2011

    It was an exceptionally busy day in British politics yesterday.
    First, the dirtiest and most destructive years of the past half a century in Britain is being made into a film, staring Meryl Streep as Satan Baroness Thatcher……..

    How scary is that?
    To research the role, Meryl will be spitting on a few homeless people, and giving your money to her friends in the City.
    I hope it explains the situation of the Thatcher years accurately. I hope they don’t presume to tell the World she created a wondrous property and share owning society. I hope they explain that her deregulation of the banking sector lead to the biggest financial mess we’ve ever had; that her selling off the council houses lead to numerous housing market crises and a lack of affordable homes for the next generation; that selling a few shares in British Gas (which hasn’t improved British Gas as a service) is not an adequate substitute for stagnating wages and the destruction of pensions; that passing power from the unions to finance capital has not been a great achievement leading to wondrous trickle down economics like her dirty ideology promised.
    That would be nice.

    Secondly, the BBC announced that the Banking sector was FURIOUS at the Treasury for the increase on the bank levy. They are apparently “livid”. It reminds me of the first episode of The Royle Family where Nana rings Barbara just to tell her that the post office wont accept her voucher because it’s a couple of days out of date. Barbara tells Jim. Jim doesn’t care. Barbara says “I’ve told Jim……… oooo he’s livid“. It is a similar situation. The increase on the bank levy of an extra £800mn more is minuscule. The bankers are not “livid”, they are simply saying so, to make it seem as if the Government is being tough of banks. It is a joint effort, and it probably wont work, because people aren’t stupid. The banks will then announce that they have come to an agreement to start lending again (even though that’s what they’re supposed to do anyway), they will presume we will all be grateful to them for doing what they’re supposed to do as opposed to just extravagantly rewarding themselves for breaking things, and the Chancellor will seem like a hero who tamed the banks. The reality, is quite the opposite.

    The bank levy is still less, even with this extra £800mn, than it was under Labour. The banks are being asked to pay less than is required of them for destroying the entire system in the first place. Barclays Chief Bob Diamond will take home a bonus (not salary) of £8mn this year. Correct me if i’m wrong, but this is the exact same situation we were in before the crises. It will happen again and again. It is inherent to the excessive power of finance capital. The unions may have had too much power in the 1970s, but finance capital, backed by the forces of Conservatism has an even greater hold on power now.

    Thirdly, as the bank levy was made public yesterday, the Tories knew it would take up much of the coverage in the Press. So this gave them a chance to spill the beans on a horrid little change to the Corporate tax laws. When I say “little change“, I mean, the biggest change to Corporate tax laws in decades. It is the greatest transfer of wealth from a gutted public sector, from services to children, to the elderly and to the disabled – to big business, I think I’ve ever known and it is massively unjustifiable.

    The change is this;
    The corporate tax rules used to say that if you paid 10% on your overseas profits, and the rate here is 28%, you’d have to pay 18% when you shift your profits back here, to make up the difference. Which is sane.
    Now, under the new Tory rules; companies pay nothing on money made by their overseas branches.
    When the money gets here, through tax havens, they will have paid nothing on it. But, this rule change only applies to “large and medium firms“. Small businesses still have to pay.
    And here’s the icing on the feces cake…. the “large company” that now have even higher profits because it doesn’t have to pay tax on it, can still claim expenses for funding its overseas branches, against the tax it pays here. They don’t pay the tax on that overseas branch, but they can still claim expenses to run it.
    Oh and by 2014, the 28% rate will be dropped to 24%.

    The point of doing this, is obviously ideological. It is an ideology that says a lower corporate tax rate is better for us all, the extra money will trickle down to us from those philanthropists of the business World, and whilst the rest of us have to deal with mass unemployment, no police, cuts to any form of social service, privatised health care, child care cuts, fear of job and house loss, extra funding for school sports being abolished, the selling off of forests and our libraries closing; we should be thanking the Government for allowing our richest companies to get even richer. Because they will provide the jobs that will kick start the economy apparently. Like they definitely fucking didn’t did in Ireland.

    Welcome to Corporate England. Welcome to Wednesday afternoon, brought to you by Starbucks. Enjoy the air you’re breathing, sponsored by Nike. Indulge in some conversation, promoted by Walmart (Disclaimer: At the end of every sentence, you must use the phrase: this sentence was brought to you by Walmart).

    It is of course no surprise that the Tories are bending over the kitchen table and winking provocatively at the City. It was revealed in the Guardian yesterday, that over 50% of Tory funds come from the City. One of my favourites is Peter Hall, an Australian Fund Manager, who in 2008 told the Sydney Morning Herald that the oceans should be sold off as property. If privatising the sea wasn’t enough, David Rowland, the multimillionaire worth an estimate £700mn donated over £4mn to the Tory Party. Hedge Fund manager Stanley Fink donated £1.9mn. He was then made Tory Treasurer. The money is astounding. For all the talk of Labour being in the pockets of Unions, it is no better that that Tories are in the pockets of the richest and most powerful men on the planet. Actually, that’s a lie. It is worse than being in the pockets of Unions. Unions represented average men and women, thousands upon thousands of people. The City represents the most narrow of elites, whose main concern is increasing their own power and wealth.

    It is no wonder that Corporate Tax cuts and a banking tax cut is being masked as a great coup against a greedy banking sector. Who do our public servants work for? What a funny, blinded little World we live in, when we claim we’re a liberal and free democracy. We are too cowardly to fight back. The Egyptians are showing us how it should be done. The public face of Finance Capital, is the Tory Party, and that is not a good thing.

    I seem to remember there were Liberal Democrats in this Coalition at some point? Are they still calling themselves Progressives? Is that still what they insist on going with? Can a massive delusion really last this long?


    On this day…

    January 21, 2011

    I am 25 today.
    It’s rather old.
    A quarter of a century.
    I dropped Ash off at Gatwick this morning and have just got home.
    She has now gone home.
    I have to wait five and a half months to have her back.
    I don’t like that at all.
    Up until about an hour ago my day was particularly dull.
    I bought a lovely Redbull at Watford Gap.
    That was a little bit of an up point.
    Can you imagine the up point of your day being a can of Redbull?
    It’s been a pretty average January 21st.
    Not the worse ever.
    I think King Louis XVI off of France had the worst January 21st given that he had his head cut off.
    George Orwell’s January 21st wasn’t too much fun either back in 1950, given that he died.
    Emma Bunton, Baby Spice has to live with the fact that she was in the Spice Girls, her entire life.
    It’s a cross I wouldn’t like to bear.
    She was born on January 21st too.
    I have managed to reach 25, in Leicester, without yet having at least three kids by three different women, and without having stabbed anyone or contracted a nasty drug habit.
    I am impressed by my record.
    But still, the day was starting off very boring indeed.

    So imagine my joy when my entirely dull day turned to brightness when I turned on my TV screen to see that Tory Director of Communications and ex-News of the World editor/King of illegal Phone Hacking Andy Coulson has “resigned”. It’s certainly not a surprise. What is a surprise is that he still insists he knew nothing of phone hacking whilst he was editor of the News of the World. Which means one of two things…. 1) He’s lying (I suspect this is the case) or 2) He was an incredibly bad and out of touch editor. He resigned from the N.O.T.W because he claimed he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done nothing wrong, and now he’s resigned from the Government….. because he claims he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done no wrong. How odd. He also claimed he was not a despicable bully. He insisted it. And yet, in 2008 he was taken to an Employment Tribunal and the claim of bullying, against him, was upheld. The defendant was awarded £800,000 as a result. Which begs the question, if Coulson was involved in bullying, and was editor of a Paper in the middle of a phone hacking scandal, why would the Prime Minister employ him? Why is tax money (££140,000 a year as of May 2010) going to pay his wages whilst local council care budgets are being slashed?

    Coulson’s resignation comes a day after Labour’s massively incompetent and useless leader Ed Miliband announced that Alan Johnson, the shadow Chancellor was to resign for family reasons. It was a little bit of a media blunder for Johnson to have resigned on January 20th, because the papers and the TV news were bound to run with it, rather than the story that was grabbing headlines on January 19th, suggesting that David Cameron’s latest target is set on severely disabled children. The media repainting the Tories as the Nasty Party is exactly the wake up call people need. The harsh and unnecessary cuts to services like those that support the families of severely disabled children, whilst Vodafone have a tax bill written off by the Treasury, of close to £6bn. It could have lingered in the media and put pressure on the Government.

    The mainstream media reported that David Cameron, pre-election, promised to protect the rules for Councils providing care for disabled children. He made that promise to the parents of Holly Vincent, whom suffers from quadriplegia, has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and is blind.

    They applied for respite care to Gloucestershire County Council. They were denied. This is because the wondrous Big-Society, We’re all in this together brigade of selfish rich economic thugs have not ringfenced spending for respite care. They have provided £800mn over four years to the County Council but it isn’t ringfenced. They have lifted the rules. Councils now are not obliged, legally, to spend funds protecting the most vulnerable. Cameron, pre-election told the parents of Holly Vincent that he “would never do anything that would hurt disabled children”.

    As a result of the lack of funds spent on Holly Vincent, her parents have signalled their intention to put her into a care home, because they simply cannot afford to look after her any more. They currently only get five to six hours respite a week.

    Riven Vincent, Holly’s mum said:

    “…..there’s nothing to stop cash-strapped local authorities from using the money elsewhere. I have no wish to put my daughter into a home. We want to look after her, all I am asking for is a little more support.
    Without this, we simply cannot cope and nor can families up and down the country just like ours. We are crumbling

    I don’t want her in a residential care home – it would destroy me. But without extra help, I find it hard to see how we can meet her needs at home.”

    If a politician had promised to help my struggling family, if we had a child who was so severely disabled and getting worse as she gets older, and then he cut the funding to the local authority and didn’t ring fence the remaining funds…… I’d get all the publicity possible to make that politician out to be the absolute scum bag liar hellbent on destroying hard pressed families up and down the Country for the sake of tax cuts for the wealthiest. The Prime Minister is a disgrace. The Tory Party and all of their heartless supporters, are a disagrace.

    Alan Johnson should have let this story linger for a while, so it has a chance to sink into the minds of the British Public that we have elected Thatcher-on-speed. Absolutely every promise they made, they appear to be backing down on. No one voted for backdoor privatisation of the NHS. No one voted for such a massive Tuition fee rise. No one voted for the releasing of rules surrounding respite care ringfencing. I can’t imagine many people would have voted for such a shit Party, had they expressed their desire to be the bringers of Neoliberal hell to Britain.

    Although, the Tories were kind enough to give me the birthday present of Coulson’s resignation. Perhaps next year they will try and top it by sacking Cameron, Osborne and Clegg.
    That would be amazing.