The News In Shorts

How the news would look if everyone stopped waffling and told the truth.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Ian Duncan Smith: Britain's Greatest Shirker.

Ian Duncan Smith, Britain's most evil politician, has today finally admitted that he is also the world's most useless Tory. Having over-promised on his scheme to make the unemployed, vulnerable and disabled as miserable as he can, he has now had to admit that he can't actually deliver his fellow Tories wettest of wet dreams. He can create a true underclass in the country by cutting off the poor from the money economy and forcing them to use tokens at Asda. He can have the disabled vilified in the press and assaulted in the streets. He can humiliate the unemployed. He can attack the vulnerable. But he can't deliver his much vaunted scheme for a single benefit system and he can't cut the welfare bill so he and his rich mates don't have to pay tax. While 4,000 people queued today for the chance of a low paid job at a new supermarket site, Britain's biggest and best shirker stands revealed as the utter waste of space he's always been. Boastful, arrogant and completely without any charity in his vicious little black soul, IDS is also incapable of doing the job he was given by the similarly useless David Cameron. What the Tories don't seem to understand is that their nasty little schemes, intended to create the sort of economy and society they lust after, is totally, completely and utterly unworkable. It asssumes that the country must be led by them as a natural elite, while the rest of us dutifully do as we are told. Britain, however, is a joint enterprise and can only work to its maximum capacity when we all have a stake in its success. We've tried over the last 30 years to do what the Tories want and it has delivered only a disastrous inequality and economic stagnation. The time has come now for the second sober thought - and thinking was never the Tory's strongest suite.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Torry Ideology Continues To Destroy The Economy.

What is ideology? In a modern political context ideology is the thing that politicians use instead of brains. For the Tories it has another use however - it provides an alibi for policies that even they must know damage the country. The reason they use it to cover their blushes is beacuse it serves their interests and allows them to pretend that they aren't really being completely selfish and self-serving. "Everyone knows that private industry is more efficient," they claim even as companies like G4S continue to be utterly useless at everything they do. A more recent example of this is the awarding of the East Coast rail franchise to a private company despite the line flourishing under public ownership for the last three years and after the previous owners, National Express, made a complete pig's ear of it. As Bob Crow so succinctly put it; "This is a politically inspired wrecking move designed to flog off this publicly-owned intercity route before the next election regardless of the consequences." Criticism has also been levelled at the Tories latest piece of nonsense involving loan guarantees to would-be home buyers. Seemingly designed for the rich to buy second homes using tax payers money, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR)has pointed out that the only likely outcome of the scheme is to drive up house prices even further. Considering the property portfolios of the Tory party in general and Tory MP's in particular this comes as no surprise since the good of the country always comes a poor second to their bank balances. It is axiomatic that the Tories always try to cash in whenever they manage to grab power, but the extent to which Britain's national interest is taking second place to the Tory party's greed and selfishness is even raising eyebrows across the Atlantic. Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has told the BBC that Tory economic policy seems to defy logic, while austerity is obviously not working and is so counter-productive that even the most idiotic must know it by now. Of course the Tories are not idiotic - selfish, greedy and utterly vicious yes, but not idiotic. For them the world recession is an opportunity to plunder what is left of the national economy, an excuse to shrink the state so they don't have to pay taxes and to flog off national assets to themselves through various proxies. Their ideology, such as it is, is nothing more than a thin vaneer disguising their essential lack of patriotism and their criminal tendencies.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Great Confidence Trick Continues.

The face above is the face of the neoliberal capitalist system that has shattered the world economy and revealed itself as little better than a criminal conspiracy. Yesterday George Osborne delivered his fourth budget in defence of this unjust and unworkable system. Apart from 1p off beer and the new £10,000 tax threshold, which will benefit the rich just as much as the poor, there was little in it for ordinary people. While the poor are being taxed for having too many bedrooms, the rich are being given the opportunity to buy second homes with interest free government loans. This will "revitalise" the housing market Osborne tells us, but it is a measure designed only to support the sagging value of his own property portfolio. That nothing has changed and cannot change as long as the Tories warm their oversized backsides on the government benches is demonstrated by two facts that Osborne might not wish to discuss but are true nonetheless. The first fact is that Barclays Bank, at a time when they are being fined £290 million for the criminal manipulation of the Libor and Euribor rates, have given £39 million in bonuses to just nine executives. The criminals are rewarding themselves for getting away with it even as their customers have to pay the fines for their crimes. The second fact is that the government's drive against tax avoidance has raised the staggeringly small sum of just £20 million pounds per year. How could cracking down on tax avoidance produce such meagre returns? To begin with the real tax avoiders, the multi-nationals, have been almost totally ignored while HMRC concentrated on plumbers, tutors and ice cream vendors. This is what Osborne has been concentrating his efforts on behind the scenes - defending the banks and protecting the multi-nationals. While the rest of us are being squeezed for every penny Osborne and his rich mates are cashing in. The Tories think they have a right to govern but have no idea as to what their obligations to their country actually are. They are criminals in league with even bigger criminals and we, the people, are not their responsibility, we are their victims.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Cyprus Says "No!"

It is sometimes difficult to understand what politicians use for brains. This week the EU literally ambused Cyprus and threatened them that of they didn't grab 10% of their citizens savings then the island would face bankruptcy. This was the best they could come up with - a strategy that threatened to undermine confidence in banks across Europe and start a run on them not seen since 1929. The Cypriot negotiators flew back to Cyprus, told their citizens what was about to happen and then stared into the headlights like so many startled rabbits. The people of Cyprus, quite understandably, told their politicians to go shove it and their government then failed to vote for their own policy. There is an alternative, but the EU isn't going to like it. Cyprus could sell off the gas that has been discovered off its shores to the Russians. This would give the Russians an even tighter grip on energy in Europe and allow them a sphere of influence in the eastern Mediterranean both of which would be far from welcome. All of this could have been predicted by almost anyone other than a European politician who seem to have their heads firmly planted up their nether regions.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

"Steady As She Goes!"

George Osborne's budget, due tommorrow, is being widely trailed as a "steady as she goes" budget. That makes about as much sense as the Captain of the Titanic shouting "Steady as she goes" as his bridge slipped below the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Osborne's so-called economic strategy is a failure. He has managed to double the national debt, stiffled any chance of growth, stoked inflation and lost Britain's AAA credit rating - all things that he said would be the measure of his success. The reason for his utter failure is plain to see. He has adhered to the very same economic "principles" that got us into this mess in the first place. The self-serving ideology that tells him that growth is only possible if the private sector is expanded at the expense of the public sector and that wealth is best given to the already wealthy. For the last 30 years we have all witnessed the slide of unregulated capitalism into criminality, the growing inequalities that have sapped demand and the sheer inability of monetary policy to control economies. But George Osborne chooses to ignore the overwhelming evidence and to give us more of the same in the forlorn hope that some miracle will save his threadbare ideology. Instead it is widely trailed that his budget tommorrow will reduce taxes on beer and that he is prepared to spend a measly £2.5 billion to "kickstart" the economy. The plan seems to be that, as his weak and ineffectual stimulus does absolutely nothing to help revitalise the economy, we'll all be too drunk to notice. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about it. Osborne will do tommorrow what all good military tacticians warn against - he will reinforce failure.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

George Osborne Smarms The BBC.

In one of the easiest interviews ever seen on the BBC, the Andrew Marr Show basically invited George Osborne to tell us all what a wonderful person he is. An easy ride hardly describes the interview during which Osborne told us all, again, that "there is no alternative" and, with a straight face, told us that the NHS is "safe in Tory hands." On the vexed question of what was happening in Cyprus he assured us it couldn't happen here - probably the best reason to grab our money before he does given his loose association with the truth. He then went on the assure us that British service personnel in Cyprus would be compensated by the British government. In other words the bill will be passed on to you and me, the taxpayers, and, in effect, the Cypriot bank levy is now being partly funded by us. Commentators reacted with suprise at this, telling us that Osborne had reacted swiftly to "reassure" us all. Too swiftly in the opinion of The News In Shorts since this suggests that Osborne must have known all about it in advance. It looked as if things might improve when Ed Balls and George Osborne were then interviewed together on the sofa. The BBC allowed enough time for Osborne to get his highly innacurate jibe in that it was all Labour's fault, before suddenly switching to a group playing a song "for St.Patrick's Day." The irony was that the song was entitled "Taking Us Back To Where We Started." The message was clear - George Osborne has to be treated with kid gloves because he can't stand up to close questioning and the BBC were offering their thanks for the Tory betrayal of Leveson.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Cypriot Government Steals Savings.

If you have ever wondered how far a government will go in order to save the banks from themselves then look no further than Cyprus. The government there has negotiated a 10 billion Euro loan from the EU to bail out their criminal bankers and, to get it, they have levied a 10% tax on all savings. Cypriots and expats immediately rushed to the cash points to remove their money only to find that they were allowed only to remove 90% of it. The Cypriot government had not only literally stolen their money, they had also made secret plans to prevent savers from removing it in advance of the news breaking. In Britain the Tories are persecuting the vulnerable and making the poor even poorer while attempting to steal the NHS in order to flog it off to the highest bidder. Meanwhile the Lords are cutting the wages of their waiters so they can continue to enjoy the best food available at the lowest cost to themselves. Across Europe this is what "we're all in it together" means. Money is being diverted to the already wealthy, assets are being stolen, the rich are getting even richer and a new world is being made fit for criminals and their political lapdogs to live in. These so-called politicians are making a mockery of the word democracy and are trampling to concept of the sovereignty of the people in the dirt. There is no crime they won't contemplate, no swindle they won't try and no lie they won't tell to save themselves, their money and their privileges.

The Repackaging Of David Cameron.

David Cameron decided to trot out the central tennent of Toryism today - "Trust me I'm lying to you." His chosen metaphor was "ladders" - the sort that would exist in a just society so that the brightest and best can reach the top. Unfortunately these have been in short supply in Britain now for some time - about 1,000 years to be precise. People like Cameron and George Osborne, by way of contrast, are born with the necessary ladders where the rest of us have backbones in order to carry their bags and shoulder the burdens of things such as taxation. The Tories, he claims, are not about creating more privilege but "spreading it". So far, however, he's only managed to spread it to his rich mates in the finance industry. He says the Tories are all about aspiration and giving everyone a helping hand, but has presided over a government that makes having a decent job and a decent place to live a hopeless aspiration while their idea of a helping hand is actually a kick in the teeth. "Give people the tools," he told his less than adoring fellow Tories, "and they will finish the job" in yet another attempt to usurp the image of Winston Churchill. "Let the word go forth from this hall and this party," he said, plagarising John F.Kennedy's innaugral speech. It has and the word is "rubbish." The bald truth is that no government has forced so many into poverty, none has ever persecuted the vulnerable with such relish and none has ever borrowed so much money in order to do so little. "Fine words butter no parsnips" the old saying goes, but Tory flannel, by way of contrast, seems to knows no bounds. Winston Churchill once told the British people "I have nothing to offer but blood sweat and tears." Cameron should have said "I have nothing to offer but empty words, empty promises and empty bellies - and empty heads, we have plenty of those in the Tory party."

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cameron Backs The Gutter Press.

Cameron has once again shown his true colours today and its yellow not blue. Having stated that he would impliment Leveson in full "as long as its not completely bonkers" he has gradually shifted his ground, squirmed and now has completely weasled out of his promise. His reasoning is not difficult to understand, especially after Rupert Murdoch invited Nigel Farage to dinner - he is a craven coward who would rather see a million Millie Dowler's having their phones hacked rather than risk having the press say something nasty about him and the bunch of crooks known as the Tory party. His word is valueless, his promises hollow and his actions completely reprehensible. He has betrayed the British people at every turn and has proven beyond all doubt that his only political principle is "I'm all right Jack." His record speaks for itself. He has done nothing to rein in the banks, has broken the British economy to protect his money and that of his rich mates, has strained every muscle to flog off the NHS to those same rich mates, has wrecked the British education system and has now crawled into bed with the lowest of the low. No better than scum floating atop the fetid pond of British politics, this man is unfit to be Prime Minister and should be removed from power before he inflicts yet more damage on the country.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Why British Children Must Starve.

The changes to benfits in Britain have one inevitable consequence that can neither be avoided nor brushed under the carpet - more than half of British children will condemned to live below the breadline by 2015 according to the Joseph Roundtree Foundation. While David Cameron and his cabinet colleagues continue to do very well thank you, the true meaning of his famous phrase "we're all in this together" is becoming increasingly clear. He and his Tory pals are continuing to enrich themselves while the majority of British children are literally facing starvation. They continue to tell us that "there is no alternative" and, from their point of view, this is absolutely true. If they are to keep their fortunes intact the disastrous economic system that plunged the world into crisis must be saved. And, in order to achieve these two aims, the poor must pay. Austerity is not about saving the country, it is about saving an economic system that delivers only for the already wealthy. It is about rolling back the welfare state so the rich won't have to pay taxes and their fortunes can be preserved in the face of an economic meltdown that they and their rich mates caused in the first place. Under those circumstances the health of the economy is neither here nor there and, despite the meaningless rhetoric of the Tories, Britain now languishes in 158th place out of 184 countries in terms of growth. Put quite simply the Tories have no plans for and no interest in growth. That, in turn, explains why George Osborne has the reputation of being only a "part-time Chancellor." Nor is this label confined only to those on the left since even his own constituents see him that way and, as a poll by ComRes has discovered, more than 80% of them believe he's far too interested in the Tory party's preperations for the 2015 election to think too much about the economy. This is what Toryisn means - selfishness and greed raised to the level of policy and the Devil take the hindmost.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Clegg Stifles Debate On The Economy.

Nick Clegg and the other Tories who have hijacked the LibDem party have managed to stifle any debate over the economy at their conference today. The Social Liberal Forum (SLF), a LibDem pressure group that still believes democracy actually exists within their party, were "frustrated" when they were expertly outmanoeuvred by the Tory-inspired Insane Tendency that has all but destroyed them as a political force. Prateek Buch, director of the SLF said; "I cannot understand how a serious party of government can decide, against the democratic will of our members, not to debate the single most important issue that faces our country." We asked Nick Clegg for his explanation; "We cannot discuss the economy in any meaningful sense because Britain no longer actually has one. There is absolutely no point in endlessly talking about something we haven't got a clue about or are prepared to do anything about. People have to realise that in order to create a more equal society we have to get rid of poverty and the quickest way to do that is to get rid of the poor. It is clear that making the poor pay for the criminal activity of bankers is the fairest way to tackle this problem - otherwise rich people will have to pay for it and that would never do. The LibDems didn't get where they are today because of democracy or because they know anything about economics. We got here by lying to the electorate and we must persevere with the strategy that has stood us in such good stead so far. The problem with the economy is not that it is flatlining but that people keep asking awkward questions about it."

Sunday, 10 March 2013

G4S Efficiently Kill NHS Patient.

G4S, the company famous for earning millions after failing to provide security at London's Olympic Games, have finally succeeding in killing a patient in one of their ambulances. The company, whose humerous tag line is "Securing Your World", failed to secure the wheelchair of a double amputee and then killed him when the wheelchair tipped over. We asked a Tory party spokesman for their reaction to the news; "G4S have an outstanding record in delivering a very efficient, if also completely nonexistant and very expensive, service to the public. We don't regard this unfortunate accident as indicative that a privatised ambulance service will be an unmitigated disaster. Indeed we believe that killing patients during the ambulance journey to hospital will cut down waiting times and free up health staff for more important things such as book-keeping and list ticking. Useless sick people, especially crippled ones, should be grateful for our new streamlined euthenasia programme delivered free at the point of need by such an efficient private company. Killing people within a nationalised service has always been difficult, what with adverse publicity linking the government with such deaths, and we mean to prevent attracting such blame in the future. G4S have kindly offered to take the flak for a derisory £10 billion a year or so, which is a great deal for the tax payer and even better for the Tory party."

Paddy Ashdown Has A Laugh.

Paddy Ashdown premiered his new role as the LibDem's comedy relief today, though he failed to wear the traditional red nose, as he advised his party to prepare for a return to government. "We have a taste of the rewards available to those prepared to tell any lie for votes," he told the LibDem Conference, "and we want more. More power, more money, more privileges and more opportunities to screw ordinary people while we laugh at their stupidity. You can't change a country overnight. You can't deliver on the liberal promise in just one government. It takes time or, as I like to put it, never. We must build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life, especially our new best friends - the Tories. Only when we have delivered the sort of society in which every millionaire can succeed against all the odds to make even more money and poverty is erradicated by killing off all the poor will we have an equal society." He then went on to tackle the sex scandals that have rocked the party of late. Allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women, he said, would be "investigated thoroughly and independently and then completely ignored while perverting the course of justice will, from now on, be confined to the floor of the House of Commons."

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Hunt Makes Last Ditch Attempt To Flog The NHS.

Jeremy C..., sorry, Jeremy Hunt, the slimiest individual in the Tory swamp, has stepped up his campaign to soften up the NHS so he can flog it off to the criminals who bankroll his party. As the member of the government most closely associated with the atempt to strangle the finances of the NHS, C..., sorry, Hunt has had the sheer brass neck to warn that 'The weeds of failure grow more quickly in a garden of mediocrity." As a Tory he would naturally know all about that. What C..., sorry, Hunt, is doing is to blame the victim for a policy designed to bring the NHS into disrepute even as it kills people. The Tories have spent decades slavering over the NHS, itching to privatise it so they steal as much money as they can get their grubby hands on. Staffordshire was a symptom of this process and not an example of why privatisation should gather pace. The Labour party, frightened by the bogeywoman, Margaret Thatcher, actively encouraged it and the result has been disaster. While both parties are eager to pour billions into the armed forces and the aid programme so their leaders can stut the world stage pretending they are important, people have been dying in Britain for want of a properly funded NHS. There is no case for the disgraceful idea that the NHS should make a profit. It is not a business, it is a service funded by us for us. There is no place in the NHS for politicians on the make or businessmen hoping to plunder it. It is ours and should have a sign on it saying "HANDS OFF." C..., sorry, Hunt, is a mediocre little spiv, like his predecessor Andrew Lansley, whose only qualification as the Minister for Health is that he managed to screw up the BSkyB confidence trick. He, like the entire coalition government, are not fit to lick the boots of the lowliest hospital porter.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Cameron Caught Telling Fibs.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has asked David Cameron to stop telling lies today as they accused him of deliberately misleading the public over austerity. Cameron had claimed in a major speech that the OBR agreed with him that austerity was not responsible for Britain's economic woes when they had said no such thing. We asked an OBR spokesman for his view; "Well, not to put too fine a point on it, Cameron is a f******g liar. Everyone knows that the Tory plan to force poor people to pay for the recession is a b******g disaster. While ordinary people are being forced onto the street by the bedroom tax and bankers are still being paid huge bonuses for being criminals, Cameron and his millionaire cronies are not only coining it but are actively trying to flog off the NHS to make themselves even richer. This is not a government - its a bunch of barbarian marauders with all the economic expertise of Attila the Hun." Stunned by such a forthright analysis of the Cameron regime we turned to a leading economic expert from Cambridge University for a more balanced view; "Cameron is a f*****g liar who should be horsewhipped through the streets of every major city in Britain. As for George Osborne, hanging is too good for him. These people have set out to rob the country in broad daylight and have only managed to survive so far because of that two-faced t**t, Nick Clegg. Their so-called economic policy is nothing more than a mugging and why they haven't been dragged into the streets by a howling mob is a complete mystery." In yet another attempt to get a better opinion of Cameron we invited a Tory spokesman to give the party view; "Cameron? He's not only a f*****g liar, he's not even a very good one. We expect our leader to lie in a far more convincing manner than this. It's a constant source of great sorrow in the Tory party that we are not being led by Nigel Farage - now there's an idiot we can all be proud of."

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

It's Not Easy Being A Tory.

Life as a Tory has never been easy. You have to be prepared to be so nasty that real human beings can't stand to be in the same room as you. Most Tories can cope with that because the rewards - a chance to be as nasty and vicious as you like, scrounging from the public purse and the overwheening sense of entitlement - are so, well, rewarding. But what makes life almost unbearable as a Tory is that you also have to be completely incompetent. Not the simple bumbling incompetence that marks out the moron, but the truly mind-numbing and totally brainless incompetence that marks out the true Tory. This week has seen some outstanding examples of classic Tory incompetence. Ian Duncan Smith has finally discovered that his nasty little scheme to make benefits unavailable to those who actually need them cannot be implimented because the science fiction IT programmes he hoped could be developed are sadly impossible. Worse yet he has now found out that his cherished "bedroom tax" is so vicious that it can't even pass muster by the legal profession - people who regularly run laboratory mazes on the basis that there are some things that even rats won't do. David Cameron, meanwhile, has discovered that food banks, unlike many Tory policy wheezes, are not so easy to hide from the public, while his plan to flog off the NHS while nobody was looking has been spotted after all. Then, to add insult to injury, Tory opposition to capping banker's bonuses has been scuppered by EU leaders who do have some idea what the word "fair" actually means. Fortunately for the rest of us the Tories are now busily engaged in the pastime that eclipses even their lust for damaging the country - stabbing each other in the back. Cameron's days seem to be numbered, happily so are those of the Tory party in general.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Cameron Takes Out His Tory Phrasebook.

David Cameron took out his Tory phrasebook today and wrote a piece for the "Telegraph" that manages to be both insincere and unbelievable at the same time. Plagarising a few Churchillian-type phrases such as "the Battle for Britain" Cameron set out, in his usual smug and self-satisfied style, to persuade us that were still "all in this together." He even had the sheer brass neck to claim that the Tories were the only party who really wanted to protect the NHS. More mystifying still the most right-wing and vicious Prime Minister in living memory told us that he refused to "lurch to the right." Lurch to the right? Where would that put him if he did? Lecturing Ghengis Khan for being too soft? Even more astonishing is his "wish list" by which people will "be able to look back at this government and see that we paid down our debts, helped create millions of jobs, sorted out welfare, made our schools world-beating and built homes for a generation." Apart from flogging off the NHS and ending any kind of welfare for anyone he has done none of these things and there is no sign that he ever intends to. Cameron, far from creating some mythical political legacy, is being crushed in a vice of his own making. Hated by a large section of the British population for being what can only be described as a lying, self-serving piece of Etonian scum, he has also managed to annoy his own party by not being Nigel Farage. The "Telegraph", quite sensibly, allowed no public comment on the story but feel free to comment on this piece if you like.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Rampaging Right Fiddles As We Burn.

The banking crisis in 2008 showed us all the utter lunacy of the free market, no holds barred neoliberal economic policies that have plagued the world for the last 30 years. There was no mistaking why the crisis happened despite the claims to the contrary coming from the right. Deregulation of the finance industry had encouraged greed, stupidity and outright criminality right at the heart of the world's economic system and, after the crisis hit, failed to do anything about it. Effectively the argument as to whether neoliberal economics made any sense at all was over and the verdict was damning. Right-wingers, however, did not throw in the towel as you would expect. In Britain the Tories managed, with support from an opportunistic LibDem party, to make a last ditch rearguard action against reality and to force through policies designed to make the victims of the neoliberal failure pay for it. In the United States the Republicans failed to field an even remotely credible candidate in the Presidential election and lost badly. Their answer is to block President Obama at every turn and to force massive cuts in the budget that will harm the ordinary citizen but leave their vast fortunes unscathed. On both sides of the Atlantic unscrupulous right-wing politicians are willing to countenance economic disaster for the majority in order to protect their own narrow interests. Wedded to an economic system designed to promote these narrow interests during the good times, it is hardly surprising that the greedy and selfish would seek to protect those same interests during the bad times. For them neoliberal economics is a no-brainer since its central tennant - heads I win, tails you lose - serves their insatiable lust for money. In Britain nothing, not a triple-dip recession, a loss of the AAA credit rating or rioting in the streets will divert the Tories from their utterly sefish course. They will starve the needy, persecute the disabled and steal whatever they can get their hands on in order to maintain an economic system that this country can no longer afford. The Tories have proven, once and for all, that they are not a political party in any real sense - they are simply an expensive and wholly irrelevant interest group unfit to govern now or at any time in the future.