The News In Shorts

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

Friday, 31 May 2013

Yet Another Tory "Does The Right Thing".

The latest Tory crook to be rumbled, Patrick Mercer MP for Newark, has been caught in yet another Panorama sting operation taking bribes to use his "influence" in Parliament. The Right Dishonourable Mr.Mercer was apparently quite happy to sign up with a fake company in order to "lobby" Parliament on behalf of a foreign country. He was less happy, apparently, to either declare this interest or disclose how much money he was getting for tabling Parliamentary questions aimed at getting Fiji back into the Commonwealth. Now, having suddenly rediscovered what "the right thing" actually is, he has resigned from the Troy party to save them embarrassment. He has failed, however, to resign his seat since that would trigger a politically damaging by-election and really embarass the party that, up until now, has always seemed rather insensitive to such things. While persecuting the unemployed and disabled, blatantly privatising the NHS while pretending otherwise and forcing low-wage workers to seek charity food handouts raises hardly a blush, fighting a by-election, it seems, is a step too far. We can now all look forward to yet another Tory "doing the honourable thing" after being found out and then being forced to take a demeaning job for more money per year than most of us will see in a lifetime. Undoubtedly after a suitable, if rather short, period in the political wilderness, he will be taken back into the fold suitably chastened and given yet another government job where he will be permitted to make money for old rope. Thank God we're all still in this together!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Is Going On Holiday Cameron's Answer To Everything?

There's one thing you can always say about David Cameron, he never allows a crisis to get in the way of a jolly good holiday. And why not? After all he's not paying for it - we are. He certainly seems to have developed a bit of habit of sodding off abroad whenever things get a bit hot at home. Nothing, not economic crisis, war, riots or the brutal murder of British servicemen in broad daylight in the heart of London, diverts Cameron from his favourite pastime of "chillaxing." Pity most of us can't afford four or five holidays every year. The difference is, of course, that we are all bone idle would-be scroungers who only work because we have to while he is a bone idle actual scrounger who works only because it allows him access to an unlimited expense account. Is this what the Tories mean by a "fully flexible work force"? We bending over backwards to keep our jobs while Cameron bends over backwards to top up his tan? We might "all be in this together" but some of us, it would seem, are "in it" while relaxing on a beach. Meanwhile the country is on the verge of meltdown - politically, socially and economically. Still, as Cameron told us all before he grabbed his permanently packed suitcase, "Keep Calm - I know I will."

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Is Britain In A State Of Incipient Civil War?

Let me make this plain from the very beginning, this story frightens the crap out of me. But the question has to be asked - is Britain in a state of incipient civil war? What is a civil war after all? It is two competing political, legal and cultural codes competing for power in the same geographical space. It is an argument over relative power and uncertainty as to where it actually lies. It is a cultural clash without any desire for compromise. It is a war between two cultures who refuse to change in order to accomodate each other. It is about identity and a million personal decisions about which side of the divide the individual identifies with. It is about being different. In those terms multiculturism is a foolish experiment which history tells us can only end in tears. Being different is an expression of individualism, but can also be a means to sneer at others. Islamic militants want a divided society because that will legitimise their murderous attacks and create a Palestine in every western nation from which these attacks will be more easily launched. Racist militants want it because that will legitimise their political agenda and make their murderous attacks more acceptable. There are evil men on both sides who want civil war and will stop at nothing to promote it. The danger becomes acute when we all start to choose sides. But that is the very basis of multiculturism. We have been encouraged to choose which part of a divided society we belong to by successive governments promoting diversity. This was always a dangerous idea since diversity is the exact opposite of unity. The step from there to choosing sides in a civil war is too short for comfort.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Energy Companies Rigging The Market.

Two months ago the wholesale price of gas doubled because of shortages so acute that Britain had only 6 hours of supply left. At least that was the story the energy companies wanted us to believe. In fact the gas companies had plenty of gas that they deliberately kept off the market in order to force prices up. Ofgem, the industry regulator, has now swung into action and is dragging its feet on the question explaining that finding out the truth must take second place to investigating "properly" - or as the rest of us would describe it, not at all. David Cameron is so concerned about all of this that he has appointed a new advisor on energy. She is Tara Singh, a former lobbyist for British gas where her chief function was to persuade the government that stealing money from customers is fair because they are too dumb to deserve any better. She is also a climate change sceptic at a time when the Tory party want the rest of us to stick our head in the sand over the issue so they and their mates can make even more money. This, apparently, is the Tory's idea of a "coherent energy policy" designed to shape the future and infrastructure that Britain will need if our money is to be stolen by the energy fatcats in the most efficient manner possible.

Iain Duncan Smith To Be Asked Why He Keeps Telling Lies.

While the national debt continues to spiral out of control in order to fund George Osborne's insane ideas about economics, Iain Duncan Smith is to be quizzed about being economical with the truth. As money flows out of the country like a river, the truth is the only thing that IDS and his Tory mates hoard like misers. The particular lie that IDS is being asked to explain by a Parliamentary Select Committee concerns the idea that anyone finding a job after becoming unemployed does so because they were forced to do so by his policies. This assumes two things - that the unemployed are all feckless scroungers and that IDS is a genius. According to IDS over 8,000 have been forced to find work because of his policy of starving them to death if they don't while another 878,000 scroungers have come of invalidity benefits after having been found to be faking their illnesses. Unfortunately it turns out that IDS has not one shred of evidence to back up his extraordinary claims. Essentially, then, the Select Committee is accusing IDS of lying although they call it "a misuse of statistics." This is a somewhat odd phrase considering that the "statistics" don't actually exist and therefore can hardly be "misused". Of course IDS wouldn't be the first politician to be accused of lying but, given the sheer lunacy of the ideas that the Tories choose to believe, this bunch have little choice in the matter. In a world that simply refuses to behave in the way that the Tories want they have to rely on made up figures to help them sleep at night.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Yet Another Fatcat In Smash And Grab Raid.

You might be forgiven for believing that the rise in the value of stocks and shares means that the economy is finally beginning to heal. Forgiven, but given no prizes for common sense. The truth is that the economic system that pauperised the vast majority in order to benefit a small elite is struggling to survive a fatal wound after being treated with a sticking plaster. The fatcats who inflicted untold misery on hundreds of millions in order to line their own pockets are still out there, counting their ill-gotten gains and figuring out their latest confidence trick. One such is Sir David Nicholson whose tick-box approach to the NHS led to the death of several hundred people and a knighthood for himself. Revealed as an unimaginative an immoral money-grubber of the worst kind he has finally decided to leave his post as the Chief Executive of the NHS before a lynch mob catches up with him. Having earned over £200,000 a year for turning the NHS into a circus he is now set to walk away with a pension pot totalling nearly £2 million. Just another corporate pirate then, except this one put at risk thousands of lives in order to line his own pockets and many patients, such as those at Stafford Hospital, paid the ultimate price to assure his comfortable retirement. It is a stark as that. Criminals have been in charge of the corporate world for over 30 years now and, after being found out, are avoiding punishment to enjoy their stolen millions in the lap of luxury. We, on the other hand, have been handed the bill for their greed and dishonesty and are now expected to meekly accept austerity as a price worth paying to save an economic system that didn't benefit us in the first place.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Looney Right In A Tiz Over Gay Marriage.

If we all thought that Europe would have the Tory party fuming, then the contoversy over gay marriage has seen them positively foaming at the mouth. The looney left raving over such irrelevancies as worker's rights, low wages and unemployment is as nothing compared to the looney right's incandescence over the all-important question of where people choose to park their marriage tackle. While the Church of England is having an attack of the vapours over the possibility of gay Bishops and the like, the Tories are in a high fever over who should be holding who's hand in public. Norman Tebbit, the Tories answer to the Grim Reaper, is making dire predictions about gay tax dodging, the Royal Family turning queer overnight even as he is forced to marry his own son to avoid death duties. The Tory press is furious that David Cameron should waste valuable Parliamentary time when the economy still hasn't been totally wrecked as yet and the NHS remains to be fully privatised. Thank God Ed Milliband and the Labour party were on the ball, saving the gay marriage bill from the evil clutches of those who proposed it in the first place. If anything could demonstrate the utter absurdity, not to mention the complete futility, of British politics then this is it. While the rest of us are concerned about such minor matters as rising unemployment, rising prices, an insane housing market, the theft of nationally owned assets, the plundering of our pensions and the persecution of the disabled, our elected representatives are more concerned with regulating our sex lives. The News in Shorts has a message for our Right Honourable Members of Parliament - stop talking about inconsequential nonsense and get a grip on the real issues. Either that or move over and let some adults govern the country.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Tories Begin To Implode.

Jeremy Hunt visited the BBC today to tell them that the Tory party is completely united, especially over Europe, and that the grassroots are falling over themselves to support Cameron et al. But enough of the Tory leadership's illusions, wishful thinking and unwarrented optimism - or, as the rest of us call it, the economy. The truth is that Cameron is the most unpopular leader of the Tory party since the last one though, to be fair, trying to manage them is like trying to herd cats. It is reported that he can depend on the support of only 20 backbenchers, while the Chairmen of local constituency party are openly calling for him to stand down before he buries the party once and for all. The problem, however, is not Cameron as such. The problem is the Tory party itself which simply can't get its collective head around the fact that they've been rumbled. They have in the past been very successful at getting the British electorate to cut their own throats but the crisis in capitalism after 2008 has put an end to that. The party's over, the jig is up and the Tories, despite all their best efforts, cannot reinvent the wheel - especially one that has lost all its spokes. They are desperately trying to turn back the clock, trying to wipe out all memory of the last 70 years while, at the same time, saving the last 30. The message is simple. 1945-1979 bad. 1979-2008 good - except for those pesky socialists who ruined it all. In fact Labour did no such thing. They were as eager as the Tories to embrace the neoliberal economic mumbo-jumbo. They were simply unfortunate enough to be in power when the whole rotten system ground to a shuddering halt. Now the Tories are determined to rescue neoliberalism from the wreckage. Not because it was good for ordinary people or even the country as a whole, but because it was good for them. Most of us did not share in the good times and somewhat puzzled by the concept that we should now have pay for it after it all fell apart. Why should we? What's in it for us? Twenty years of austerity? The price is simply too high and even the Tory party is beginning to realise it. There's nothing in it for them either.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Some Are More Equal Than Others.

Yesterday David Cameron was cheerfully doing what he does best - lying to the electorate. Despite his "pledge" that oil executives found rigging the market would "face the full force of the law", he was already quite aware that this was not so. There is simply no mechanism by which corporate criminals can be prosecuted in Britain and the Tories have made absolutely sure that it remains that way. That is hardly surprising since the Tory party itself consists almost exclusively of corporate criminals more interested in widening their own business "interests" rather than curbing excesses. Their attention is firmly fixed on the progressive privatisation of the NHS, the Fire Services and Royal Mail which they hope they can then plunder while fobbing the rest of us off with inferior services and ever-rising prices. As usual the Tories are using their favourite misleading words such as "reform", "efficiency" and "transformation" when what they actually mean is rip-off, theft and plunder. Their rhetoric appeals only to the smug, greedy and dismally stupid and it's not as if they haven't pulled this particular confidence trick before. All anyone has to do is look at their gas and electricity bills, water bills, motoring costs or rent. That is what Tories mean by efficiency - they are efficiently taking the money out of your pocket and stuffing it into their own. These so-called "reforms" are criminal acts in their own right with the price tag charged to the public stretching out into the far distant future.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Tories Put Armed Forces On Zero-Hour Contracts.

Philip Hammond, the Tory Minister for Defence, appeared on the Sunday Politics Show today to explain yet another idiotic Tory scheme designed to save those who support the Tory party from paying any tax. The scheme involves putting Britain's armed forces onto zero-hour contracts under which they will only get paid if they're actually being shot at. What used to be the Territorial Army and is now the so-called "Reserve" will form the backbone of our armed forces. As a scheme to save money, however, it suffers from some very grave shortcomings. Reservists called up for active service will have to leave their real employer in the lurch for the duration. To overcome this Philip Hammond suggests that the employer will have to be compensated by the taxpayer. In other words the pay that used to go to full time service personnel will now find its way into the hands of businessmen. Businessmen, of course, pay as little tax as possible whereas service personnel, like all employed people, have no choice but to pay their taxes. In addition to this home goal the demand that wages to ordinary people create in the economy will be lost as business takes the new public money shoved into its greedy little hands and puts it into various offshore banks. This so-called defence strategy then, far from saving money, is nothing more that yet another scheme to transfer public money to the private sector. In the meantime the defence of this country will be increasingly dependent on volunteers who will be expected to leave their workplaces at the drop of a hat and be shoved into some God-forsaken Third World hellhole to defend an oil industry that is ripping them off at home. Don't you just love neoliberalism? No, me neither.

Tories Set To Vote Against Their Own Queen's Speech.

A couple of weeks ago a 53-year old woman killed herself in Birmingham by throwing herself into the path a truck hurtling along the M6. Her reason for this desperate act of self-destruction? She could not afford to pay the £20 per week demanded by the government's bedroom tax and couldn't find alternative accomodation more suited to her needs. She was caught between a government completely unconcerned for her welfare and a housing market designed to benefit the few at the cost of the majority. She was a direct victim of neoliberal economic policy that puts greed at the centre of its entire philosophy. The government is now hell bent on privatising the NHS for the same reason even as ambulance waiting times are climbing faster and faster and nurses find themselves trapped on wards where a lack of staff is a greater threat to patient's health than their illnesses. Meanwhile, in true Tory fashion, Lord Young has reacted to these tradegies by pointing out that the Tory engineered recession is just the time to exploit cheap labour. The Tories are quite happy then to stand by as the people they are supposed to protect, whose interests they are supposed to govern in, are exploited and driven to despair even as criminal bankers and moronic executives plunder the economy and enrich themselves at the expense of us all. With such an uncaring, selfish and utterly incompetent government in power it is perhaps unsuprising that the Tory party is in disarray and is threatening to vote against its own government's Queen's Speech. Any self-respecting and humane MP would be hard-pressed to support it. However, the Tory party is not about to rebel against its own leadership out of any feeling of humanity or fairness. No, they are rebelling because the Speech contained no pledge for a referendum on Europe. While people are killing themselves over government policy, while the vulnerable and disabled are being persecuted, the unemployed are humiliated, patients are told to pay for private medicine or die and our children are denied a decent education, this disgusting collection of spivs, conmen and thieves are obssessed with thumbing their noses at Johnnie Foreigner. Not only are these people little better than criminals with no moral compass whatsoever, they are also completely and utterly brainless. What in God's name are they doing running this country?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Is Mark Hoban Britain's Most Successful Scrounger?

Mark Hoban, the Employment Minister who has spent much of the last two years advising banks how to avoid regulation, has today been outed as Britain's most shameless and successful benefits scrounger. The employment minister, who has been in the forefront of Tory efforts to bully and humiliate the unemployed and deny them benefits, has pocketed a cool £133,000 after selling a flat in Pimlico funded by the taxpayer. He was able to do this by exploiting a loophole in the rules that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing. Nor is he on his own as it seems that another 20 MP's have exploited the same loophole which has allowed them to keep their sticky fingers on profits of up to £180,000. Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith has continued his campaign to make the poor pay for the recession by using yet more dodgy statistics to support his dodgy policies. His latest claim, that over 8,000 benefit scroungers have moved into work after having their benefits stopped, has been revealed by the UK Statistics Authority to be an outright lie. IDS and his criminal colleagues have invented a mythical class of benefit scroungers to hide their own far more successful plundering of public money. They are truly unspeakable.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Chinless Wonders Panic.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the most chinless wonder in the Tory party, is calling for Cameron to drop his alliance with the LibDems and give cabinet positions to members of UKIP. Appealing to a patrotism amongst voters that doesn't actually exist within the Tory party itself, Rees-Mogg is apparently "encouraged" that the protest vote in Britain is largely right-wing. As a Nazi-in-waiting this is hardly surprising but it is extremely worrying for the rest of us. It is also a totally stupid idea since UKIP doesn't actually have any MP's and ditching the LibDems would mean the Tories having to rule as a minority government. This would be good news for us since the Tories wouldn't last five minutes before a vote of no confidence would force a general election. The best that can be said about Rees-Mogg's idea is that it is brainless from a political point of view, though in the Tory party it would probably be regarded as a stroke of sheer genius. Any political party that can destroy British industry and then expect an export boom to save them from the embarassment of a triple-dip recession or believe that deliberately deflating the economy will lead to recovery is truly stupid. But then again with outstanding talent such as Rees-Mogg in their ranks what more can we expect?

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Nigel Lawson Gives The Game Away.

Political pundits were left scratching their heads today after Nigel Lawson, one of Margaret Thatchers more disastrous Chancellors, suddenly came out in favour of Britain leaving the EU. This was the man, after all, who voted for entry into the EU in 1975 and who thought that the ERM was such a good idea that he nearly bankrupted Britain to stay in it. What could possibly have changed the mind of this mighty economic genius? In a word, the banks. It is no coincidence that the Tories have become ever more anti-European as the EU has sought to muzzle their best mates and put them back in their boxes. Now they have seen how popular such a stance has been for UKIP they are positively champing at the bit. Cameron is breezily telling us that he intends to renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU and, if he fails to get what he wants, will allow us a referendum on the question. Such an insult to Britain by Johnny Foreigner is virtually guaranteed to give him what he wants. But what, exactly, does Cameron mean by a "renegotition" of Britain's membership? Essentially he is looking for an exemption from regulation for Britain's financial sector so that they can continue with their criminal activities and, from the profits, continue to bankroll the Tory party. The Tories don't give a tinker's cuss for industry or exports if their own offshore accounts are endangered and will happily see Britain sink if they can keep their personal wealth intact. They neither know nor care about the effects of British withdrawal from the EU since it will hardly impinge on their pampered and privileged lifestyles and it will be ordinary people, as always, who will pick up the bill.

Monday, 6 May 2013

The United States Spreads Its Disease.

There are few things more dangerous that an American with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other. Because of their gun laws, which are incomprehensible to the rest of the world, hundreds of millions of firearms slosh around their society and murder using guns is commonplace. So commonplace that the mass murder of primary school children and their teachers hardly makes an impression any more. Their self-righteous defence of their right the bear arms is both breathtakingly stupid in terms of their own society and self-serving since they are the biggest exporter of deadly weapons in the world. Now a group called "Defense Distributed" from Texas (where else?) has designed a plastic gun that can be created using a 3-D printer and are planning to make it freely available on the internet. The group is headed by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas, who describes himself as a crypto-anarchist and says that his insane plan is all about "liberty." The truth is that he is an irresponsible moron who is doing this thing simply because he can. No doubt, in the near future, he will be a multi-millionaire living in some tax haven somewhere and be completely immune from law or justice courtesy of his money. Whatever the future holds for this idiot, he certainly represents one of the most dangerous human beings on the planet as he stands ready to spread the American disease of gun-toting mayhem to the rest of the world. Worse still these weapons will be largely invisible to security systems in airports and other dangerous and sensitive locations making terrorism attacks that much easier to carry out.

Friday, 3 May 2013

UKIP Shouts "Boo!"

UKIP pushed its way onto the national political stage today, relegating the LibDems to third place, threatening to elbow the Tories to one side and leaving the Labour party staring like a rabbit into the headlights. The Coalition immediately went into panic mode with Nick Clegg insisting that his party's disastrous showing was a springboard to future success and David Cameron suddenly discovering phrases such as "respect for the electorate's verdict" and "lessons must be learned." While the LibDems have had time to contemplate their imminent extinction as a political force in Britain for some time now, for the Tories this is a new and frightening experience. Cameron, in particular, seems to have been taken by complete surprise that lying to the electorate and ignoring how they feel may no longer be enough. All three former major parties might even wake up to the fact that manifestos should include some element of truth and that the electorate expects their pledges to mean something. The signs, however, are not encouraging. The LibDems continue to emulate an ostritch, the Tories are still telling us that complete economic policy failure and growing discontent is no reason to change course, while Labour remains confident that saying nothing at all is the best course. UKIP is not much better in reality. Apart from putting a stop to all immigration and withdrawing from the EU they don't have much else to say. The tragedy is that this has proven to be enough. Immigration is not popular in Britain and the electorate are increasingly disenchanted with the EU while ignoring these realities is now becoming politically impossible. Right-wing politics has been in the ascendency over the last 30 years with disastrous consequencies for us all but it looks as if the country is about to lurch even further to the right as the three "main" parties chase after UKIP. Whatever the eventual results of this are one thing is for sure - Britain is no longer a country at ease with itself.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Britain's Water Now The Most Expensive In The World.

Its official - water in England is now the most expensive in the world. In a country where water falls from the sky in huge amounts it costs more to collect and distribute it than does in Saudi Arabia or anywhere else for that matter. The reason for this is that prices have increased by an average of 68% in the last ten years. Spokepersons for the water mafia will tell us that the money is needed to improve the infrastructure. You might be forgiven for doubting this - especially when the water companies pay their chief executives more than £1 million per year. They have an explanation for this too. Apparently they are forced to pay such levels of renumeration in order to guarantee that the "best" people are attracted into the industry. The truth is that the water industry is fast becoming the poster-boy for rip-off Britain - the place where public utilities were stolen from the public by our own governments and flogged off to their mates so they could trouser huge profits and employ expensive accountants in order to avoid paying tax. It is the same depressing story that is found in the gas, electricity and railway industries, where the so-called "efficiency" of privatised companies is restricted to picking the public pocket. What is increasingly clear is that privatisation was a deliberate fraud, designed to divert public money into private hands by corrupt politicians eager to shove their sticky fingers into the cookie jar. Rip-off Britain is no longer an adequate description for this country - mugged Britain is far more accurate.

Tories Mount Yet Another Ram Raid.

The criminal syndicate know as the Tory party has stepped up its national campaign of ram raids today. Having stolen the NHS while no one was looking and got away with mugging the poor, they have today announced the beginnings of their latest scam - fencing the Civil Service to the wealthy commercial backers who bankroll their criminal activities. Nothing delights Tories more than flogging off at knock down prices something that doesn't belong to them and handing it on to the "more efficient" private sector. But, as G4S, the banks, the railways and the utilities have amply demonstrated, this again will be little more than an exercise in diverting public money into private hands. Such privatisations bring nothing of value to the public and only serve to privatise so-called profits while the only too real debts continue to be our responsibility. This latest confidence trick is merely the latest in the project to create socialism for capitalists and uncontrolled red in tooth and claw capitalism for the rest of us. The public purse is gradually being pushed into the hot and eager hands of the greedy and feckless private sector while all we get in return is the certainty of higher prices for services and the knowledge that we will be expected to pay when it all goes ponto again.