Thursday, 25 December 2014
David Cameron, the only political leader in Britain with the sheer brass neck to describe himself as a "Christian", gave his Christmas message to the country yesterday and spoke the usual garbage about "Christian values" and "giving, sharing and taking care of others". George Osborne seems to have taken his leader at his word when he recently gave one of his closest friends, Rupert Harrison and described as Osborne's "Chief of Staff", a 19% pay rise increasing his salary to a staggering £95,000 per year. Worth every penny I'm sure you'll agree when NHS staff are not worth a miserable 1%. To underline their message the Tories applauded when police in London seized blankets, sleeping bags and food donations belonging to people sleeping rough in the streets. "This is all part of our solution to the problem of poverty in Britain," a leading Tory told our reporter. "We are now hoping for a particularly nasty cold spell so that many of them will simply die. A good cover of snow would be a bonus since it will hide the bodies under a romantic covering of nice fluffy stuff. Don't forget our favourite saying in the Tory party - out of sight, out of mind. None of us should forget, during this season of goodwill, peace on earth and other meaningless cliches, that poverty is a lifestyle choice and that poor people are essentially evil. Rich people should not be subjected to unpleasant sights such as poor homeless people cluttering up the streets and making them look untidy. We see this as a fair solution to what is a growing problem, though we have absolutely no idea why so many people are deliberately making themselves poor and homeless. It all very mysterious."
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
The UK's nastiest and most self-righteous politician, not to mention the most successful Tory scrounger of all time, Iain Duncan Smith, has outlined his plans for the poor on Andrew Neil's "Sunday Politics" if the Tories win the next general election. Cutting child benefit, he suggested, would "save money and prompt behavioural change”. This "behavioural change" seems to mean that the undeserving poor will be "encouraged" to have less children so that the deserving rich can reward themselves with yet more nice fat juicy tax cuts. The suggestion is, of course, that only rich people can possibly have intelligent, talented, children while the poor can only produce dimwits who act as a drag on the forward march of mankind. So what proof is there that IDS is right? There would, if IDS is to be believed, have been no Leonardo Da Vinci, whose peasant mother was a single parent. No Benjamin Franklin, whose father was a poor candle maker. No Abraham Lincoln, whose parents were poor dirt farmers. No Andrew Carnegie, whose father was a hand-loom weaver. No Walt Disney, whose father was constantly out of work. No Charles Dickens, who spent much of his early life living with his father in debtor's prison. No Charlie Chaplin, whose mother had three illegitimate children. No Harry Houdini, who begged for money in the streets when he was young. One thing is for sure - there are many like IDS, especially in the Tory party, who are nothing more than second-raters and owe their prominence not to any innate intelligence or ability but simply to being born into a privileged background. Its not fewer poor people we need, though that could easily be remedied with better wages, better education and better prospects, but fewer people like IDS whose dedication to greed and selfishness knows no bounds. The only difference between IDS and the poor he despises so much is that he is a superior and more successful scrounger than any of them. When it comes to getting something for nothing IDS leaves the vast majority of people in this country in his dust.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
With no real economic strategy except for compelling the poor to pay for the mistakes of the rich, with no friends apart from the greedy and selfish, with no policies except a return to the golden days of the 1850's and with a leader who can't negotiate, the Tories have decided that their only recourse is to buy the next general election. In possession of a £78 million war chest, courtesy of greedy big business hoping that they won't have to pay any tax at all after May 2015, they have announced that parties can now spend 23% more than the previous £26.5 million limit. Of course no other party is backed to such an extent by the smug and self-satisfied and cannot hope to spend such an obscene amount on propaganda. The Tories received a staggering £21,072,508 from hedge fund donors alone who were then rewarded by George Osborne in the 2013 budget with a £145 million tax break courtesy of the poor, disabled and under-privileged. This is all in stark contrast to David Cameron's pledge before the 2010 election to end the ‘big donor culture’ and ‘cut what is spent on a general election’. Nor have the Tories been entirely honest in the methods used to get this increase, changing the law through a statutory instrument the terms of which are not debated in Parliament and are more usually used to make changes to laws that have already been agreed by the major parties. We should, of course, expect no better from an utterly cynical political party that leaves a slimy trail of greed, corruption and selfishness behind it wherever it goes. But don't forget that the propaganda the Tories intend to flood the marginal constituencies with will be paid for with your money - money stolen from you by corporate sharks in the form of tax breaks provided by a corrupt Tory political machine intent on dismantling the state and throwing you to the wolves.
Friday, 28 November 2014
Andrew Mitchell born in Hampstead the son of another Tory MP, Sir David Mitchell, was educated at Rugby school, studied history at Jesus College Cambridge and was an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment. A typical Tory then, born into a privileged world, the beneficiary of an expensive education, arrogant, rude and prone to approaching every problem with an open mouth. A pity then that he doesn't seem to have learned very much during his stellar career. It's never a good idea to badmouth a copper, as any working class kid could have told him, but its even a worse idea to take a newspaper into court on a flimsy charge of libel. He should have known better. That he didn't probably explains his use of the term "pleb" as an insult. His classical education should surely have informed him that in ancient Rome such an insult would have made no sense. During the early phase of its history Roman society was indeed divided between a privileged and wealthy patrician class and an underprivileged and much poorer plebeian class. However, over time many in the patrician class lost much of their wealth and their privileged position while many in the plebeian class gained both wealth and positions of great influence. During the Republic the Tribune of the Plebs, who by law had to be a member of the plebeian class, was the only politician who could enact legislation and could veto any law proposed by a Senate that could only only suggest new laws and not enact them. Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony) was a plebeian as was Gaius Marius, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great). In fact the policemen that Andrew Mitchell called "f*****g plebs" are in very good company - except, perhaps, when dealing with an ill-educated lout like Andrew Mitchell.
Thursday, 27 November 2014
There is a very interesting video doing the rounds at the moment and its well worth a look. The video was taken during Prime Minister's Question Time as David Cameron was in full flow. But its is not David Cameron that commands our attention but George Osborne seated next to him. To say that Osborne looks disorientated is putting mildly. In truth he looks as if he's off his face on drugs. Two questions arise from this. First, why is this man in charge of Britain's economy? Second, why isn't this video being played on BBC news?
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
The new owners of Royal Mail have stepped up their propaganda today with fresh warnings that they won't be able to deliver your letters after all. Once again they have blamed competition from other mail carriers who, they suggest, have an unfair advantage over them. Apart from the fact that competition is what capitalism is supposed to be all about, why is is that industries taken out of the public sector are such a disaster? We have an energy industry that is so expensive that many OAP's die in Britain from hyperthermia every winter. We have a property rental sector that is so expensive homelessness is now endemic. We have a water industry that is always short of water in a rain-soaked Britain. We have a segmented railway system that is both expensive and unpleasant to travel on. The threadbare arguments that the privatised sector is somehow more efficient and delivers better value for money is patently and obviously untrue. So what has gone wrong? Capitalism as an economic theory has some very compelling arguments and its antithesis - communism - has been left in its dust since 1990. There can be little doubt that capitalism won the central economic argument during the Cold War hands down. After 1990, however, its been pretty much all down hill. The reason for this is not so difficult to find and it lies not with capitalism as such but with the boneheads who run it. Whereas capitalism was once characterised by competition, risk-taking, innovation and a desire to excel, all this has been replaced with a single characteristic - greed. Greed is not usually associated with great intelligence and tends not towards risk-taking but to outright criminality. The capitalist system was once led by great captains of industry, ruthless and often greedy but also men of vision. Now it is being led by the whinging executive who risks none of his own money and bemoans competition while demanding a new form of socialism that protects him from his own stupidity. He demands ludicrously high pay not because he's so good at what he does but because otherwise he'll run away from home. Capitalism has lost its fire and its vigour because it is now being run by a bunch of bean-counters without any real vision and very little real talent. None of this has been helped by a new breed of politician, as greedy as his business counterpart and with as little vision or talent, eager only to trouser the bribes on offer from so-called lobbyists. The system is corrupt and badly needs an overhaul but there are few involved in running it that have enough working brain cells to realise this.
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
The number of those forced to go to food banks simply to survive in Cameron's Britain has increased by a staggering 1,500% in the last five years. The Tories first reaction to this shocking fact was to suggest that the demand has increased because the British working class are natural scroungers always on the lookout for something free. This largely fell on deaf ears as most of the electorate recognise spin, or lying as it used to be called, when they see it. Last Wednesday Jeremy Lefroy, the Tory MP for Stafford, inadvertently revealed the latest Tory tactic for combating the unfortunate and inconvenient truth about food banks when he left some very illuminating notes lying around at the Child Poverty Action Group conference. Written on the bottom of his notes was an instruction by his party bosses that read "Don't talk about food banks." So there you have it - when faced with embarrassing facts that cannot be spun out of existence, simply ignore them. This, of course, sits somewhat uncomfortably with Iain Duncan Smith's ludicrous claim that his policies are returning a "sense of dignity" to the poor and Danny Alexander's claim that his party's support for Tory spite has "helped, not hurt the poor." If there's no problem then what is there to ignore? Quite a lot if the United Nations, presently investigating the British government for systematic violations of human rights, is to be believed. The real question however is not how the Tories can ignore the shame of food banks, Red Cross parcels being sent to Britain for the first time since 1945 and the persecution of the sick and infirm but how can we, the electorate, do so? Vindictive policies aimed at the underprivileged are the norm as far as the Tories are concerned, but what excuse do the rest of us, who would still like to think that we are real human beings, have? None is the short answer. No country laying claim to any notion of civilised behaviour should tolerate a political party as vile as the Tories. Are we becoming then more and more like the United States where the electorate vote as if they are all temporarily financially embarrassed millionaires? Britain used to be known for its sense of fair play but is now becoming better known for its greed and selfishness. Perhaps we can all ignore that as well.
If, as George Osborne and David Cameron claim, the British economy is now recovering and if, as they also claim, the deficit is falling then why is Britain's national debt continuing to mount? In 2008 the national debt stood at £530 billion but is now standing at £1.7 trillion. Why? Well to begin with the deficit is the difference between what Britain produces and what Britain spends. So, even if the deficit is falling, the national debt can continue to grow - spending more than you make even if you reduce that spending will still put you further into debt. Yet if we are making more, as the so-called "recovery" takes hold, and spending less, especially on social services, why is the national debt three times what it was in 2008 and still climbing? The answer is in two parts. First the much-vaunted "recovery" is nothing of the kind with much of it based upon a rise in property values which feed into the GDP figures. These rises are mere illusion and are based on nothing more substantial than what people believe property is worth. It's not as if houses in this country have suddenly become more productive or increased their efficiency - they remain simply bricks and mortar. Osborne and Cameron have also used an economic sleight of hand to bolster their claims to a "recovery" by fiddling the figures and including estimates on the value of the black economy - such things as prostitution, drug dealing and money laundering. Yet the suffering caused by cuts to spending on social services - unemployment and sickness benefits and the the so-called "Extra Bedroom Subsidy" - have been very real and so too, you would think, would be the effect on the national debt. So, where has all the money "saved" gone? Much of it has gone into subsidising business through working tax credits as wages continue to fall. In other words we, the taxpayers, have been paying ourselves so that the rich and greedy don't have to. A great deal of it has gone on "quantative easing" - the new socialism for bankers which rewards them for being rich and greedy and also for being utterly stupid. Much of it has gone in the form of tax breaks for the rich and greedy so they will come to Britain and be as rich and greedy as they like. In other words a great deal of Britain's GDP has been transferred from the poor to the rich by circuitous and devious routes and we taxpayers, too poor to actually give the rich loads of ready cash, have effectively been forced to borrow the money in order to give it to them. To add insult to injury the people we've been forced to borrow the money from are the very bankers who got us into this mess in the first place. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Britain is still up to its neck in debt, why you and I have been forced to foot the bill and also how the Tories have turned socialism on its head.
Thursday, 20 November 2014
David Cameron and George Osborne are in glum mood tonight after failing in their attempt to protect the outrageous bonus culture in the banking industry from controls imposed by the EU. Both have been heard to mutter darkly about "the brightest and best banking executives leaving the country". Our reporter immediately repaired to Heathrow airport where he battled his way through the crowds of banking executives heading out of the country in order to interview some of them. "I for one cannot remain in a country where honest crooks can't do what they like," one banking executive told our man. "I'm off to Russia where men of my caliber and lack of morals are still welcome. I pity the poor City of London which will now have to put up with honest bankers determined to work within the rules. Its a tragedy." Another banking executive with his weeping family in tow added; "This is the last straw as far as I'm concerned, I'm getting out before Labour get in and tax my £50 million ex-council house in the East End. What the British people have failed to understand is that I represent the very pinnacle of evolution within the business world with high degrees of dishonesty, greed and smug self-satisfaction - all the things that are demanded in banking. Before you know it British banking will be filled with second-rate Captain Mainwarings working in the interests of their customers instead of keeping British banking where it belongs - at the forefront of organised crime." Meanwhile Tory cabinet members are reported to be in a state of utter despair; "How will we support ourselves after we've been thrown out of power?" one distraught minister asked our reporter. "Without a nice juicy banking directorship to fall back on most of us will be reduced to living off a measly £300 a day in the House of Lords until the Labour party turn it into an elected chamber. Then where will we be? Some of us will have to get real jobs and face the shame of having to work in trade. Oh the ignominy of it all, oh the inhumanity."
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
After one year of Royal Mail privatisation it was revealed today that profits are down 6.5%. So, what could possibly have gone wrong? According to the boss Moya Greene its all due to competition from other mail carriers and this threatens the company's ability to deliver across the entire country. Unfortunately Royal Mail was only privatised because the new private owners promised to maintain a country-wide service while their competitors were operating in much the same way a year ago. So what has really gone wrong? Surely it couldn't be down to profits being siphoned off to pay greedy executives and shareholders? Perish the thought. What appears to be happening is the usual special pleading with the newly privatised business hoping for taxpayers money to maintain a service that it swore it could maintain from profits alone. What they are hinting at is for the extension of the new socialism that the banks enjoy - taxpayers money being given to the wealthy to save them from the consequences of their own ineptitude. The railways have been recipients of a similar "helping hand" from the taxpayer ever since they were privatised, but despite this they continue to operate a ramshackle service while charging the highest prices in Europe. This reporter's own local railway service is a case in point. They have recently introduced what they call "The Falling Leaf Timetable". This, the title of the timetable would seem to suggest, is the railway company's answer to that scourge of all rail operators - the dreaded fallen leaf. Essentially the new timetable means that certain trains no longer stop at all the stations along the route despite the fact that they still have to go through them. So how does this help exactly? It also begs the question as to why the service is just as bad during the summer? Unexpected sunshine? Essentially all of this simply illustrates the problem that many private companies suffer from - the over-paid, bone idle and inept executive who's only real talent is getting something for nothing.
Those who pretend to run our country and our economy have been talking about their amazement at discovering the real world this week. Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, started it all by coming to the incredible conclusion that it might be a good idea if criminal bankers are punished instead of rewarded. "It suddenly occurred to me that bankers are just like ordinary criminals," Mr.Carney told our reporter, "and, like ordinary criminals, will stop being criminals if they are punished for their crimes instead of being handed billions of pounds of taxpayers money to support their film star lifestyles. A radical thought, I know, but perhaps worth considering." Such is the power of radical thought that David Cameron paused for a moment in his headlong rush to punish poor people for the crimes of wealthy bankers and thought about the impact of the world economy on the domestic economy. "There are red lights flashing on the dashboard of the world economy," he warned Parliament. "Although the last Labour government claimed that the recent recession was caused by the banking sector committing collective suicide I had no idea that economic conditions in the rest of the world could really have an impact here in Britain. Of course it was still all Labour's fault, but I've now realised that my own complete and utter economic failure can be blamed on some one else. Phew, what a relief! Luckily for me the answer to another recession caused by a mindless programme of austerity is yet more mindless austerity." Meanwhile, from the world of entertainment, Myleene Klass has been talking about her sudden realisation that being taxed out of your home might be a bad thing. "I've heard about poor people moaning that they have been forced out of their homes by the bedroom tax but, until now, I thought it was just a bunch of benefit scroungers whinging. The mansion tax, however, has made me realise that rich people like me might have to pay taxes as well and force us out of our humble £2 million hovels. This is outrageous since rich people are far more important than poor scum." Still, as the police have found out this week, looking at the real world is not always a good thing especially when it comes to counting recorded crime. As a police spokesman told our reporter; "The problem with counting all crime is that it puts the crime rate up and brings into question our effectiveness as a police force. In order to combat the rising tide of crime while enhancing our reputation it has become increasingly necessary to ignore most of it."
Saturday, 15 November 2014
In 2008 it was finally revealed that the banking industry was being run by a bunch of criminals. Across the world banks had been lying and cheating their customers and deliberately inflating the global property market to a point where they managed to crash the whole world economy. They had deliberately lent money to people they knew would never be able to pay back the loans and then passed on these bad debts to other financial institutions hoping that they at least would avoid the consequences of their criminal behaviour when the inevitable market crash occurred. Unfortunately it turned out that all the banks had been involved in this cynical game of pass the parcel and that none of them were immune to the consequences. It was without doubt the largest and most widespread Ponzi scheme scam in economic history. Since then no banker has been prosecuted while the banks themselves have been the grateful recipients of billions of pounds in "quantitative easing." Far from being punished for their crimes bankers have been rewarded and have continued to stuff their pockets with bonuses stolen from the taxpayer. To protect the over-inflated property market and assure that the rich don't lose a penny of their "investments" the Bank of England has resolutely refused to raise interest rates, punishing savers and denying the country much needed investment in our floundering economy. Instead the Coalition government has squeezed the incomes of ordinary people and denied the unemployed, disabled and sick the benefits they need simply to survive. It is us, the ordinary people of Britain, who have been forced to pay the huge debt created by a privileged and criminal elite who have continued to plunder the economy for their own selfish ends. This they call a prudent economic policy, this is what they call "fair", this is what they call being "fiscally responsible." Of course it is nothing more than business as usual, a return to a discredited economic system designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Unable the hide this truth from anyone with a single working brain cell and the ability to add 2 and 2 together, the Tories and their pals in the right-wing dominated press have mounted a desperate and transparent campaign to discredit Ed Miliband. The right-wing press have asked their right-wing readers if Ed Miliband will make a good Prime Minister. Of course their answer is a resounding "no" which the press is now offering as proof that Ed Miliband is not trusted by pretty much the entire country. Why aren't they asking their readers if bankers should be arrested and thrown into prison? Why aren't they asking for the £375 billion in "quantative easing" to be returned to its rightful owners - the taxpayer? Why aren't they asking why the special pleading of criminal bankers is being heeded while the cries of the sick, disabled, unemployed and dispossessed are ignored? Because they, like the Tory party, are not part of the solution but simply a part of the problem.
Saturday, 8 November 2014
The story goes like this. The Tories have known for months that they would be landed with a big surcharge from the EU. This is how the EU works. When your economy is doing well you pay a surcharge, when its not you get a rebate. Since both David Cameron and George Osborne have been boasting almost non-stop about their non-existent "recovery", even going so far as to include the estimated activity of the prostitution and drug dealing "industries", the surcharge was inevitable. The Treasury would even have have been able to calculate the size of the surcharge based on their own fictitious figures. But the EU has never been popular with the Tories and, with UKIP breathing down their necks, is even less popular at the moment. So how to turn this farce to their advantage? Feign surprise and then state firmly that Britain will not pay the £1.7 billion demanded by the December 1st. Simples! Cue George Osborne who borrows David Cameron's shiny suit of armour (sadly they only have the one between them in these times of austerity) and sallies off to tilt at the windmills in Brussels. After ten hours of talks in which St.George agrees to pay the full amount in two installments, he eventually emerges to announce a complete victory over Johnnie Foreigner. Having quickly changed out of his shiny suit of armour and into an evening suit with a fez on his head he then calls a press conference and does his impression of Tommy Cooper. And, since accountancy tricks and economic sleights of hand have served their cause so well in the past, why not claim that you've halved the bill by announcing that this will be negated by any future rebates? ("Just like that!"). The only problem is that any child with an abacus can see that this is utter rubbish and amounts to nothing more than a cynical exercise in deception and propaganda. The Tories have nothing but contempt for the ordinary people of Britain so it should come as no surprise that they are quite prepared to insult our intelligence but even the usually right-wing press in this country are having trouble swallowing this one.
Saturday, 1 November 2014
The Tories are busy girding their loins as they prepare to trounce all comers at the next general election and are proudly boasting about their achievements. So what are those achievements? First and foremost is the miracle economic recovery that they have engineered over the last four-and-a-half years. The strength of this "recovery", they would have us believe, is unparalleled in modern British history. So good in fact that wages have fallen faster than at anytime in the last 100 years. So good that the gap between rich and poor has widened to an extent not seen for 150 years. So good that the national debt is now higher than at anytime in recorded history. Second is their stewardship of the NHS which, you may remember, was safe in their hands. Following a top-down re-organisation which they swore would never happen, they have managed to waste billions of pounds in a cack-handed attempt to privatize the service without anyone noticing. Having sacked as many "superfluous" nurses as they could they are now feverishly recruiting replacements in Spain and Italy to prevent a complete meltdown in the NHS. Meanwhile A&E departments across the country are buckling under the strain as patients, unable to see their GP because they are too busy making money, flock to them as their only way to access even basic healthcare. Third we can all admire the Tory overhaul of the benefits system which, as IDS promised us, is "on time, on budget and ready to roll out across the country. Well sort of. Actually its not ready and is so badly behind schedule that it will probably never be rolled out while the cost is now being counted in the billions with much of the money being spent on an IT system that everyone except IDS knew would never work. Still at least he's delivered on his promise to give the poor and disabled a sense of dignity as their benefits have been cut and their homes taken off them because of the bedroom tax. Fourth we have David Cameron's triumph over the EU which, despite his use of Britain's "veto", is still doing exactly what it wants and ignoring Britain completely. But at least he's managed to bring the immigration figures down to exactly the same level that they have always been. The truth is that their only "achievement" has been to save the greedy and selfish from the consequences of their own actions and reward the criminal bankers and financiers who, despite the Tory claim that it was the last Labour government, actually crashed the world economy in 2008. What we have witnessed is nothing less than a Tory masterclass in deceit, scapegoating and self-justification with nearly five years completely wasted by a government determined to to retain an utterly discredited economic system that serves no one's interests but their own. Everything that the electorate needs to know about the Tories was expressed this week when it was announced that the Royal Navy will no longer be involved in rescuing illegal immigrants adrift in the Mediterranean. Leaving these people to drown, the Tories assure us, will "save lives" in exactly the same way that making rich people richer helps the poor and taxing rich people less increases revenues. Yeah, right!
Saturday, 25 October 2014
The so-called unexpected bill of £1.7 billion from Europe turns out to be less unexpected than Cameron would like us to believe. When the Tories began to count estimated earnings from illegal drug dealing and prostitution in order to bolster their claims to an "economic miracle" they must have known that this would lead to an increase in our contributions to the EU. The Treasury, it turns out, knew about the bill at least a week ago and, since they are in charge of the nation's economy, must have been able to both anticipate and calculate the size of the bill months ago. So no surprise after all. The question then is why all the fuss? Shouldn't the Tories be crowing about this as "proof" of their economic miracle? The answer to this riddle is as obvious as it is sickening. Cameron saw the £1.7 billion bill as an opportunity to both crow about his non-existent economic recovery while, at the same time, bashing the EU to placate his back-benchers and head off the increasing threat from UKIP. Having lied shamelessly about the strength of the British economy Cameron is now trying to dodge the consequences of his lying while also attempting to gain brownie points for "standing up" to those dastardly Europeans. This is politics Tory style - a sleight of hand hidden behind fake surprise - bluster and lies all wrapped up together in a nice bundle and presented to the Daily Mail as their idea of journalistic heaven. Cameron is simply hoping that the fiction of an economic recovery that most of us cannot see in our day-to-day lives can gain greater traction with the electorate if he can divert attention by polishing his silver armour and mounting a lone cavalry charge at the EU. He simply delayed the news of the surcharge by a week while he and his cronies in the Tory party could lay plans to present the story in the worst possible light as far as the EU is concerned while milking it for all it is worth in terms of the "economic recovery". This is what our Prime Minister does with his time - crafting well constructed fantasies about the economy while finding ingenious ways to point the finger at foreigners to divert our attention from the truth. Pity we haven't got one that takes the job seriously instead.
Friday, 24 October 2014
You know the feeling. Christmas is coming up, its costing you a fortune to get to work every day, the council tax is due, your gas and electric bills are spiraling as the colder weather begins and then the boiler breaks down or the engine of your car explodes. All the savings you've managed to scrape together during the previous year are now about to evaporate and next years holiday in Spain is becoming less and less likely. How would you feel then if you'd recently changed your job and were now earning more money only to find that the government was demanding that you hand over your extra pay to them? That is how poor David Cameron must be feeling this morning as the EU demands an extra £1.7 billion before the beginning of December because of the "strength" of the British economic "recovery". It must be even more galling since the so-called "recovery" is nothing of the kind and is largely based on the notional increase of house prices in London. The Tories are about to be hoist on their own petard though, as always, it will be the taxpayer (that's you and me, not the Tory's corporate chums who don't pay tax) who will pick up the bill. Cameron and Osborne have been enjoying themselves immensely for months boasting to Europe about their non-existent recovery and trying their best to kid the rest of us into voting for them in the forthcoming May general election. The EU has called their bluff and how can Cameron and Osborne now plead poverty? Oh dear what a dilemma. Still its not all bad news. At least the rest of us can sit back and watch the spectacle of Tory back-benchers falling over each other in their haste to join UKIP.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Lord Freud, like all Tories, doesn't like idle scroungers. "We cannot have people loafing about, doing nothing and expecting the state to finance their lifestyles," he has said. "Poor people should take more risk," he has suggested. "After all, they don't have a manor house to lose like I do." Of course it's easy to make such observations when you are a privately-educated ex-banker who inherited your money and has never done a real day's work in your life. People like Freud are born into a privileged background, sent to the best schools, handed lucrative careers on a plate because of their family connections, promoted into positions of little responsibility and large pay packets, ushered into the House of Lords where they can claim £300 per day in expenses whether they manage to remain awake or not and then allowed to pontificate about ordinary people's lives from a position of utter and profound ignorance. Disabled people, he now tells us, should be "helped into work" by undermining the principle of the minimum wage or, as the rest of us would understand it, a seemingly attractive and very thin edge of an extremely large and very thick wedge. Lord Freud, like all Tories, has to wrap up his most insidious and outrageous ideas in cosy blanket of misdirection and weasel words. He doesn't dare say in forthright terms what is really on his mind. "How can I make the poor even poorer so I can have a nice fat juicy tax cut?" "How can I, who's never done a real day's work in my life while the state finances my lifestyle, continue to loaf about the House of Lords on £300 per day without anyone noticing?" "Who's poor and meagre possessions can I put at risk so my manor house remains nice and safe?" Fortunately sooner or later all Tories trip over their own tongue simply because they can't resist wagging it about while lecturing the rest of us. Sooner or later they all trip over their own feet as they stampede towards the feeding trough. When such accidents occur it gives us all the opportunity to see what they really are. We have no excuse if we ignore these little slip ups and no one else to blame if we keep voting for this vicious, small-minded, greedy and selfish scum.
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
The Tories have demonstrated quite clearly in the last two days that their complacency knows no bounds. First we have their attitude to the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. Essentially they have done nothing to protect the country, the head of the Border Force Dan O'Mahoney freely admitting that since the outbreak began 1,000 people a month travelling from West Africa have been allowed to enter the country freely with no health checks whatsoever. But not to worry because, according to the Ministry of Health, we shouldn't expect more than about 10 cases diagnosed in Britain before the end of the year. The reason we shouldn't worry about this, according to Boris Johnson, is because we have a much better healthcare system than is found in West Africa. The NHS, it would seem, will act as a barrier to a widespread outbreak in Britain and those selfless and courageous public sector employees who work for it will willingly risk their lives to save the rest of us even as they are being refused a measly 1% pay rise. The Tories have not shown such idiotic complacency with regard to public health since they deregulated the food industry under Margaret Thatcher and gifted us all with new variant CJD or Mad Cow Disease. Next we have George Osborne, the world's leading economic ignoramus, carefully explaining why the falling rate of inflation in Britain (except in the housing market) is good news for us all. In a time of economic expansion and growing economic strength this would be true. In a time of sluggish economic activity such as we are presently experiencing it is most certainly not. Low inflation under these conditions is simply a reflection of the lack of demand in the economy - a lack of demand caused by a deflationary policy of austerity that has undermined confidence and forced down wages. To paraphrase Tacitus; "They create a desert and call it economic success." The Tory party should carry a health and wealth warning - "You vote for these morons at your peril".
Monday, 13 October 2014
NHS staff went on strike today for all of four hours - as much as their conscience and sense of duty would allow - and faced the usual hostile interrogation from the BBC. Echoing the Tory party they trotted out the usual litany of threadbare reasons why NHS should never, never strike. These include the "massive disruption" to services, the need for the NHS to pay back the national debt (doubled over the last four years as the Tories plundered the economy for their own benefit)
seemingly single-handidly and the "unfairness" of increments. So let us look at these elements in the Tory arguments against any strike in NHS. The "massive disruption" is, of course, nothing of the kind. The strike today lasted for only four hours while full emergency cover was maintained at all times. There was no danger that the blue-rinse set or "angry from Guildford's" existence was put at risk while no MP was harmed during the course of the strike. There was no mass demonstration on the picket lines, no Molotov cocktail was thrown and no policeman was injured. The cost of a 1% pay rise, recommended by the government's own review board, pales into insignificance when compared to the huge costs involved in the Tory "reform" of the NHS and their amateurish bungling. Increments are not pay increases as the Tories would have the rest of us believe. They are a slow progression over the course of five years for new staff which recognises that a new starter will not be as skilled as someone who has been in the job for several years and brings them up to the same level of pay as their more experienced colleagues as their usefulness to the NHS increases over time. Increments are not the same as bankers bonuses and certainly nothing like the unlimited expense accounts enjoyed by MP's and those who doze all day in the House of Lords. Yesterday, in a display of breathtaking Tory complacency, Boris Johnson told the BBC that Ebola would inevitably reach Britain and that, in order not to upset rich businessmen and disrupt trade, no restrictions were to be placed on flights from West Africa. Britain is not like Africa, the tousled-headed Tory comedian told us with smug satisfaction, because our health care is so much more sophisticated and professional. What he was saying is that the NHS stands between us and catastrophe. An NHS, he might have added, that is not worth a 1% pay rise, whose sophistication and professionalism is so much in doubt that it urgently needs to be privatised, an NHS that must be made to pay the price for the criminal activities of the banking sector and the greed and avarice of a Tory party bent on asset-stripping the entire country to reward the tiny elite who bankroll them. All of this Tory cant and propaganda, it might be added, comes on a day when senior Tories have admitted that their "reform" of the NHS was a grave mistake that has cost the country an estimated £3 billion and has caused "profound and intense" damage to the NHS while Andrew Lansley's original reform plans were described as “unintelligible gobbledygook”.
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Following UKIP's landslide victory in Clacton over the Tories Nigel Farage is suggesting that his party will hold the balance of power after the next general election and may enter into coalition with another party to form a government. It seems unlikely that UKIP, nothing more than the Tory party with even less common sense, would enter a coalition with Labour while the Lib Dems will have completely disappeared so we must assume that Nigel is hinting at a Tory-UKIP partnership. So what would such a government look like? We asked a leading Tory spokesman for the party's view; "Bloody marvelous. Not only could we do all the nasty things we've been dying to do for the last four years, we could blame UKIP for them! We could flog off the NHS, tell Johnnie Foreigner where to get off, give the sick, disabled and unemployed an even bigger kicking, reward all our rich mates for being rich already and make fox hunting legal again. After using that bloody weak-kneed Nick Clegg for four years we'd have the opportunity to use a much more substantial political figure as a human shield. I know we've been wittering on about going to bed with Nigel Farage and waking up with Ed Milliband to frighten Tory voters into still voting for us but, in reality, the entire country could go to bed with Nigel and wake up with David Cameron and Nigel. Instead of Nick Clegg for ever wringing his hands and claiming "Its wasn't me" David Cameron could be the one wringing his hands and pointing the finger at Nigel. It's enough to make one drool with anticipation! All we have to do is to investigate the mystery of what other policies UKIP has, apart from leaving the EU, and its a done deal. I can't believe that UKIP could have any more insane or nasty policies than we dream about so, as far as I'm concerned, its a match made in heaven - though the rest of you plebs might see it as a match made in hell. Kerching! I can hear the money pouring into my offshore bank account already!
Friday, 10 October 2014
It seems increasingly likely that, for the first time, Ebola has broken out of Africa and is now threatening a world-wide pandemic that could see the demise of 70% of the world's population. Scary stuff - but not as scary as watching Douglas Carswell's weirdly mobile mouth threatening to break out and roam unfettered across his face. UKIP, like Ebola, has now broken out of its confines and is threatening to infect 70% (or at least 60% if Carswell's winning margin is any guide) of the British electorate with an attack of utter stupidity. Pinning UKIP down on policies seems to be a futile since any announcement they make is almost immediately contradicted by Nigel Farage while Carswell's appeal to "first and second generation Briton's" begs the question as to what they stand for at all. It would seem that their major theme, bashing Johnnie Foreigner, is still OK as long as it doesn't threaten to alienate those whose votes might yet come in useful. Talk about asking turkeys to vote for Christmas! Grant Shapps, terrified that UKIP is out-Torying the Tories, was quick to get into a TV studio to warn us all that a vote for UKIP is "a step closer to seeing Ed Miliband in No.10". Oooooh! What he was actually saying is that a vote for UKIP is a step closer to seeing the complete demise of the Tory party - something that should be welcomed and is long overdue. Though it is true that in the other by-election in Manchester UKIP did make inroads into the Labour majority, it still represents a bigger threat to the Tories who have proven beyond all doubt that they have absolutely nothing to offer ordinary people in Britain. UKIP at least offer a chance for the man in the street to kick some bloody foreigner and pull faces at the EU, though what else they are offering remains a complete mystery.
Monday, 6 October 2014
Yesterday it was Nick Clegg who was carefully explaining why the Lib Dems had nothing to do with government in Britain over the last four-and-a-half years even as he sought, at the same time, to crow about his party's "success" as part of the Coalition. Today it was Vince Cable explaining how those nasty Tories are ideological dingbats who have only been kept in check by a courageous Lib Dem party who had absolutely nothing to do with all the unpopular policies they have only apparently supported. The best that can be said about such claims is that the Lib Dem party is in denial, hands in pockets and whistling loudly while staring at the sky. The reality is that the Lib Dems are cynically adopting a cake and eat it approach to politics, pretending that they are a responsible party who only acted irresponsibly because they had no other choice. To say their message is garbled is being kind. Desperate to find a way out of the moral maze they find themselves in all they can do is talk to themselves because no one else is listening. There is no rational explanation for what they have been doing for the last four-and-a-half years and no amount of groveling and apologising can repair the moral damage they've inflicted on themselves and the societal damage they've helped to inflict on the rest of us. They could have stood aside and let the Tories form a minority government, unable to to get through their nastiest policies in the face of an uncertain majority in parliament. Under those circumstances the Tories would not have dared to punish the poor and vulnerable, reward the greedy, selfish and criminal, undermine the NHS or plunder the British economy for their own ends. The vicious nasty policies that the Tories have lashed ordinary people with were only possible because the Lib Dems sold themselves to the highest bidder and no amount of claiming that they have "found their soul again" can undo the damage they have done to Britain. Once you sell your soul to the Devil it remains sold.
Saturday, 4 October 2014
The Tory Conference has spent all week presenting their case for re-election in May 2015. David Cameron once again trotted out the story about his late disabled son as "proof" that the NHS was safe in Tory hands, though he forgot to mention that since he became Prime Minister £1.5 billion in contracts have been awarded to private companies who also just happen to be contributors to the Tory party. Meanwhile George Osborne tore into "evil" charities whose activities he described as "anti-business which, to him, is the same thing as treason. But the real message as to what will happen under a Tory government after 2015 boiled down to three things; There will be further tax cuts for rich people, probably funded by a hike in VAT for the rest of us; Austerity for poor people will continue unabated to pay back a national debt that has more than doubled in the last five years; We will lose our human rights so that the Tories can continue to squeeze wages and strip away workers rights. These unwelcome and rather nasty policies were not, of course, presented in quite that way. Tax cuts for the rich were broached in terms of "lifting the tax burden on hard working families", continued austerity was all the fault of the previous Labour government and the loss of our human rights is necessary to protect us all from evil foreigners. Whichever way you cut it, however, what the Tories are peddling is a bleak and uncompromising future in which hope of any kind is strictly limited to the already rich and self-satisfied while the rest of us can expect increasing poverty because that's all we deserve.
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
As a counter proposal to Iain Duncan Smith's plans to pay the unemployed through prepaid benefit cards it has been suggested (at least by The News In Shorts) that MP's should be paid in the same way. There are many reasons for doing this, not least that it would put an end to IDS flitting around in a swanky racing car and wasting taxpayers money on expensive lunches. It would, in a wider context, also prevent MP's from cleaning their moats at our expense and housing their ducks in houses bigger than that allowed for a single human being if they happen to be on benefits. Hopefully it would also end once and for all the abuse of a system that allows MP's to enrich themselves through London property investments paid for by us. So far there hasn't been much support for this idea at Westminster where MP's are still getting over the shock of getting a paltry 11% pay increase while the rest of us got a pay cut. IDS seems to be very concerned about the luxuries that the poor might spend their money on, drugs, booze, cigarettes and sky TV, while the idea that they might get into debt throws him into an fit of indignant outrage. While MP's get all these things paid for through their expense accounts, IDS seems to have no problem handing the entire country with a doubling of the national debt over the last five years. The feckless poor, IDS suggests, have "destructive habits" that he is determined to end. Meanwhile his own destructive habits, such as wasting tax payers money on utterly useless IT systems and an unworkable single benefits system, go largely unremarked and unreported. It is nice to see, however, that IDS continues in his self-appointed role of being the anus of the Tory party.
Monday, 29 September 2014
Speaking at the Tory conference in Birmingham today George Osborne has promised that the nasty party will continue to hold poor people responsible for the greed and selfishness of the rich. Austerity, he told his adoring audience of fat cats and the irredeemably stupid, is here to stay and he feels that this bleak message to most of the country is a real vote-winner. While the poor are to be sacrificed once again to protect an increasingly wealthy minority, the NHS will be starved of funds in order to kill off those who can no longer contribute towards bankers bonuses and the profits of corporate criminals. With tax increases for his rich pals not an option Osborne has no choice but to cut expenditure further in order to service a national debts that he has managed to more than double in less than five years. Throughout his speech he called on the electorate to vote for a future that will be even worse than the past. Only the Tories, he said, are serious about running the economy - though he forgot to add that they are serious about running it into the ground. Those who will suffer the most will be the feckless scroungers who work full-time for part-time wages - those of us whose wages have shrunk so much while corporate fat cats stuff their offshore bank accounts with yet more tax-free cash - because scroungers is what we have all become according to the Tories. Essentially Osborne has written off most the people in this country for the crime of not being born amongst an ever-increasingly privileged minority, for not choosing our parents with more care and for not being the heartless and utterly money-obsessed freeloaders that they are. We don't deserve a future, he told most of us today, and he will make absolutely sure that we don't get one.
Saturday, 27 September 2014
As it becomes increasingly clear that being nasty is just not enough to guarantee election victory Tory backbenchers are increasingly desperate to save their parliamentary expense accounts and are beginning to jump ship like the rats they are. Given their greedy and selfish natures it was difficult, in the past, for them to cross the floor in order to join the Lib Dems or, if desperate enough, the Labour party. Fortunately for the likes of Mark Reckless there is a new party in town - just as nasty as the Tory party but with the advantage that the true scope of their nastiness is yet to be inflicted on the country. UKIP has two key policies that no Tory, fearful of losing his seat on the gravy train, simply cannot resist - leaving the EU and closing the immigration door to Johnnie Foreigner. The appeal of UKIP to the general electorate should not, however, be underestimated. Immigration is not popular, indeed it never has been, while the EU now seems so far removed from the concerns of ordinary people that it has become increasingly irrelevant. The electorate feels betrayed, with all the major parties seeming to ignore their concerns while our economic problems, despite the EU, seem beyond the ability of any British politician to solve. Why can't we make things anymore? Why can't we build houses? Why are we getting poorer and poorer while the rich seem to get ever richer. Why can't we control criminal corporations and banks? Why does Britain need an ever-expanding population made up of foreigners? UKIP provides simple answers to these questions. Get out of the EU and close to door to Johnny Foreigner and everything else will fall into place. No wonder desperate Tory MP's are casting envious eyes in the direction of UKIP and thanking their lucky stars they have such a convenient bolthole.
Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Tories like to talk in terms of "success", "competition" and "hard working families" but do not like to discuss the costs of their policies. So how "successful" is Britain? It is the fourth most unequal developed country in the world. Pay has fallen three times faster in Britain than in all but three of EU countries - Greece, Portugal and Spain. Briton's work the third longest hours in the EU for the second lowest wages in the OECD. We have the third highest housing costs, the highest train fares and the second highest levels of fuel poverty. We have the highest level of child mortality in the industrialised world and the worst levels of child poverty while our pensioners are the fourth poorest. The gap between the richest and poorest in Britain is twice as high as any other EU country and yet we manage to retain the title as the least productive industrialised nation in Europe. We can now understand what the Tories are talking about. "Success" is measured only in terms of how rich they and their corporate pals are getting. "Competition" is actually nothing more than a cover for lowering wages and shovelling as much money from us to them as possible. "Hard working families" are, it must be admitted, very hard working but, then again, they have no choice in the matter. The Tories are wedded to the idea that inequality is natural and necessary if we are to remain "competitive". The reality is that inequality is not natural, as all our EU partners demonstrate on a daily basis, and, far from being necessary, is in fact a dead hand that slows our growth and undermines our economic performance. The Tories are wrong and they know it but persist in their insane economic policies because it benefits them and their rich backers and only them and their rich backers.
Saturday, 30 August 2014
The threat from the Tories in Britain has been raised to "severe" as it becomes increasingly likely that they will lose the next election and will attempt to fill their offshore bank balances at our expense. The National Debt is now larger than at any time in our history while George Osborne has now borrowed more than every Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer combined. Analysts have speculated that this may be the result of lower tax returns than expected which has come as a complete surprise despite the record level of tax cuts and evasion loopholes provided for wealthy corporations and individuals. "We just can't understand it," a Treasury spokesman told our reporter. "Despite lowering the tax bill for millionaires we have failed to collect more money as predicted by our economic models. Since it is a well known fact that taxing rich people actually produces less revenue then lowering their tax liability should have returned more revenue. It stands to reason doesn't it? We can only speculate that poor people must have been hiding their income from benefits in offshore bank accounts while the working poor must have found a way to avoid PAYE. No other explanation fits the facts. Fortunately none of this threatens the economic recovery since that is based almost entirely on the London property market and, even if it does, we still have most of the NHS available to flog off to our rich pals in an emergency." Warnings have now been issued by security experts that the threat to the British way of life from militant Tories is now at an all-time high. "These people are desperate and utterly ruthless terrorists," one adviser told our reporter. "They subscribe to an evil ideology and think nothing of stealing food from starving children or stealing money from helpless pensioners. The only thing that remains safe is property prices in London and that is about the only thing that stands between ordinary people in Britain and what the Tories like to call "market forces" - an evil perversion of economic theory first promulgated by the Ayotollah Margaret Thatcher."
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
There can be little doubt that the civilian death toll in Gaza is appalling. But the truth is that the civilian death toll is always appalling wherever there is a war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians have died in the wake of western interventions in these two countries over the last decade. The lesson to be learned from all this death and destruction is that no national leader should even contemplate a war unless he or she is willing to shoulder the responsibility for horrendous casualties. Both Israel and Hamas have been more than willing to do so, both sides so filled with hatred for each other that casualties, whether amongst their own or amongst the enemy, seem to mean very little. Today Baroness Warsi has resigned over a matter of principle, asserting that she can no longer be a member of a government that has refused to condemn Israel in forthright terms. So where was she when her government were happily selling Israel munitions and military equipment? The money from such sales was welcomed by both her and her government when it helped to underpin George Osborne's otherwise largely fictional "recovery." And where was her sense of moral outrage when her government was whaling into the unemployed, sick and disabled in this country? Why is her government's lack of policy over Gaza so more important than their completely heartless policy towards its own people? Baroness Warsi would like us all to believe that she is caught up in a moral maze but, like all Tories, she simply lacks a moral compass.
Monday, 21 July 2014
Ken Clarke, free at last to express his real opinions, has lambasted Osborne's so-called "economic recovery". Speaking to the "Guardian" he described the recent slight economic improvement as nothing more than "a bit of cyclical upswing" while Britain's economy is "fragile, vulnerable to shocks, and still lacks the strong productive base necessary to compete long-term in global markets". "It's not firmly enough rooted on a proper balance between manufacturing and a wide range of services and financial services," he says. "I mean, we have this mystery of why we can't get productivity to start rising again." Describing Osborne's policy as merely reviving the "ludicrous cycle of house price booms," he has, in effect, trashed the Tory party's entire economic policy. Not that there is much to trash since their policy consists entirely of erecting a solid wall of economic privilege between themselves and the rest of the country and then pulling up the drawbridge. Ken Clarke, it must be said, is the last of a dying breed within his party - a "one nation Tory" who believes that a government should govern in the interests of the whole country and not in their own selfish interests. As such Ken Clarke is a bit of a dinosaur as the "modernising" Tories seek to turn the clock back to the 18th century and grab what they can while they can. Pity he didn't say all this when he was in a position to make some sort of difference.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
Nick Clegg has had an epiphany. After supporting a minority Tory administration for over four years he has finally admitted that the Tory party is full of "head-bangers" and that the bedroom tax is both unjustified and horribly unfair. Which rather begs the question as to why he supported it in the first place? The basis of his objections now seem to lie in the fact that the policy hasn't "worked". Worked in what sense? The tax has punished the poor for being poor, forced many into further debt and led to many losing their homes. So what did Clegg expect the policy to do exactly? Did he really believe that people would be able to move into smaller properties even though he knew that these did not exist? Apparently, since Danny Alexander said today that the Lib Dems "have always said that we'd be guided by the evidence and now we have it." Is he really telling us that he now has "evidence" that non-existent properties are actually non-existent? Did the Lib Dems really have help to inflict untold misery on thousands of people simply to gather evidence of what everyone else already knew? Are they so unutterably stupid that they need evidence of the bloody obvious? If so they are hardly worth voting for, if not then they are too hypocritical to vote for. Either way Nick Clegg's belated epiphany cannot be equated with St.Paul's epiphany on the road to Damascus. Rather Nick Clegg is on the road to his own personal Cavalry and, with the rest of his treacherous party, will suffer a well deserved crucifixion in May 2015.
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Cameron has reshuffled his cabinet and what is the result? Gove, after a disastrous four years in education, has been moved from pouting at and bullying teachers to pouting at and bullying Tory backbenchers. While David Cameron described his petulant colleague as "a heavy-hitter" his real motive seems to lie in ditching an electoral liability who has managed to drive teachers into industrial action, entire schools into the hands of right-wing dingbats and religious fundamentalists and parents to the point of despair. To redress the Tory image of a bunch of Etonian toffs completely out of touch with the rest of the country, Cameron has beefed up the number of females around the cabinet table - replacing several insane male right-wing ideologues with an equal number of insane female right-wing ideologues. Esther McVey has been promoted from bad-mouthing poor people on behalf of Iain Duncan Smith in parliament to bad-mouthing poor people in the cabinet where IDS needs all the support he can get after his total failure to starve the poor into submission. Indeed Cameron's failure to move IDS somewhere where he can't inflict any more harm on vulnerable people or cost the country even more money is the real story of the cabinet reshuffle and tells us everything we need to know about the course of any future Tory government after 2015. Vicious and incompetent at the same time, IDS is what modern Toryism is all about. Forget the idea that Cameron's cabinet is now more Euro-sceptic - that's simply window dressing to recapture the swivel-eyed loons who have deserted to UKIP - what this reshuffle really tells us is that, after 2015, we can only expect more of the same. More poverty, more austerity, more social division and more disdain of ordinary people from a party who see themselves as somehow superior instead of the greedy scroungers they actually are.
Sunday, 6 July 2014
We are used to politicians legally dodging their tax liabilities and "accidentally" claiming too much on their expenses. We've even become used to politicians perverting the course of justice and then returning to government after being "re-habilitated." The disproportionate number of MP's and Lords with criminal records is no longer shocking, though it should be. Nor are we any longer amazed when a so-called celebrity is shown to have feet of clay and to have been hiding from us all a darker side. But what is about to crash into the headlines, the widespread abuse of power by politicians in the 1980's, threatens to rock our democracy to its very foundations. Should we be so shocked however? It is clear from the cases involving Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, the miner's strikes and Hillsborough that there was something very wrong about the 1980's. Perhaps Lord Tebbitt summed it all up for us when he revealed on TV that a cover up was not unlikely and that, at that time, such things were routine. It was a different time with different attitudes he blithely informed us as if that makes it all OK. The truth is that, apart from the attitudes of the political elite, it wasn't different in the 1980's. I was a young man then and, if sexual freedom was taken for granted, rape, sexual abuse and child molestation were not. It was a matter of knowing right from wrong. Sex, even then, was a mutually consensual activity and children under 18 were strictly off limits. What is being revealed by all of this is that the abuse of power in the 1980's was not only widespread but was considered normal. The 1980's were not what many of us believed they were and now stand revealed as a house of cards erected upon rotten foundations. Worse yet we now find that the establishment cover up continued well after the 1980's and even up to the present day. Today the Labour MP Simon Danczuk has revealed in the Mail Online that he has been pressurised by a Tory Minister to keep quiet about child abuse by politicians, while documents are now known to have conveniently disappeared. Meanwhile Michael Gove is desperately trying to tell us that this was all in the past and we should now concentrate on the future instead of raking over old coals. The Tory party is heavily implicated in all this, although it should be noted that they don't stand completely alone. But one thing is now becoming crystal clear at that is that Tory hegemony of power between 1979 and 1997 was a period in which the abuse of power lay at the very heart of government and, like now, formed a cornerstone of Tory philosophy.
Monday, 30 June 2014
The Tories have recently been addressing the problem of the housing crisis, cruising the TV studios telling us all about their concerns and presenting statistics that seem to indicate that they are doing something about it. Having ignored the problem for four years they were galvanised into action after very public warnings from the EU and the Bank of England that the recent re-inflation of the property market is a grave danger to the British economy. The problem for George Osborne is that the property boom constitutes the major element in his otherwise non-existent economic recovery. Building houses threatens this recovery for the rich only that Osborne has engineered and the growing inequality between rich and poor that he champions. Not to worry though because, behind the scenes, he, the Tory Party and their wealthy backers, are still cashing in for all they are worth in the property market. Mike Weatherly, Tory MP for Hove, has been busy promoting anti-squatting laws on behalf of wealthy property tycoons who are responsible for a staggering 710,000 empty houses in Britain and who have paid him thousands of pounds in personal "donations". Meanwhile Richard Benyon, pictured above, Tory MP for Newbury, has been investing in social housing estates in London and then raising rents in an effort to get rid of the working-class families that presently live there and replace them with wealthier tenants. The eventual goal, a spokesman for the consortium that has bought the New Era Estate in Hoxton said, is to "raise rents to the going market value." In case you're wondering the "going market value" in East London is it is £2,000 per month. Few, if any, of the present tenants could possibly afford such a rent hike and it seems unavoidable that they will soon be evicted and replaced by tenants more the Mr.Benyon's taste. This then is the Tory housing policy. Hundreds of thousands of empty houses put to one side as an "investment", unaffordable rents for ordinary working people, increasing homelessness and a rich rentier class sucking the lifeblood out of our economy.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
After his outstanding triumphs with regard to Andy Coulson and Jean-Claude Juncker, David Cameron has decided that he now has to reach out to the peasantry. What is needed, he reasoned, is to show that the Tories are not just a bunch of toffs but are also firmly grounded in the working class. What is needed is for working class Tory MP's to step forward and show the peasants that they too can be Tories if they're not careful. Just for good measure the initiative was to be launched by the ex-gnome manufacturer John Major, son of a working class circus performer. It was a good plan - simple, effective and graphic. Unfortunately, after an exhaustive search in the House of Commons, the Tories could only produce 14 out of 305 MP's who can be described even loosely as "working class". "I can't understand it given our huge following in the North of England where we keep our working class," a Tory spokesman told our reporter. "The electorate just don't seem to understand that many of our MP's did not come from independently wealthy backgrounds, even if they are now all as rich as Croesus. Many of them are engaged in trade and, though I for one wouldn't allow them into my home through the front door - that's what the tradesman entrance is for - I am proud that they are members of the Tory party. I think what we need is a recruitment drive amongst the peasantry. Inducements could be offered such as giving them a nice pair of used army boots to replace their worn out clogs or permission to attack useless cripples, the unemployed and foreigners in the street. We need to reach out to the hard-working people of this country and persuade them that working even harder for a whole lot less is their patriotic duty. Then we can get out of the EU, cut my tax bill and go on to win the World Cup in 2018."
Saturday, 28 June 2014
David Cameron is celebrating his victory over Europe tonight as his party congratulate themselves on isolating the rest of the continent with the exception of Hungary. "We have made a principled stand against European federalism," a Tory spokesman told our reporter. "If it wasn't for those bloody Hungarians our victory over Johnnie Foreigner would have been complete. Trust some dago southern European country to steal our thunder and spoil our Dunkirk moment." As was clear from the beginning, Jean-Claude Juncker will now become President of the European Commission while Cameron's refusal to recognise this and negotiate a deal means that he has managed to get absolutely nothing in return for Britain. While Cameron has been reduced to making dark threats about the "waifer-thin support for the EU in Britain" the EU has totally ignored his amateurish attempts to sway the vote and is quite happy to watch him flounce off yet again muttering about dignity, principle and the nobility of defeat. The truth is that Cameron is a hopeless negotiator while his claim that he can "reform" the EU in order to fend off a referendum looks less and less likely. His only hope now is that he will lose the next general election and then be able to accuse a Labour government of betraying Britain's interests. His worst nightmare is that he'll win and then have to face his own back benchers baying for his blood when he comes up with yet another paper thin excuse for not giving them the referendum they want. His problem then will be trying to reconcile the loony right of his party with the fat cats who bankroll the Tories and support a federalist Europe if it forces down wages and offers fewer barriers to the free movement of their money from one offshore bank account to another. This is the fault-line in the Tory party as they struggle with their hatred of foreigners and their desire to avoid paying tax on their profits. If only they could come up with a perfect blend of their greed and stupidity, a way of maximising profits, reducing their tax bill and keeping the riff-raff out all would be well. Shame.
Friday, 27 June 2014
So what have we learned about Andy Coulson, the Murdoch Empire and the British Government? Andy Coulson is guilty of a conspiracy that involved the hacking of telephones and illegally rooting around in other people's private business. The Murdoch Empire is run by a bunch of incompetents that have no idea whatsoever of what they or their staff are doing at any particular time. Successive British governments, of all political colours, have been guilty of cosying up to a bunch of criminals out of fear and cowardice. However, only David Cameron has been so wilfully blind and so utterly stupid as to invite a criminal into the actual workings of government. The reason for this is not hard to find. With the likes of Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, Jeremy Hunt and Andrew Lansley in government Andy Coulson was in good company. The Cameron government is little better than a criminal syndicate dedicated to asset stripping the country and stealing the benefits that most recipients have worked hard all their lives to qualify for. While bankers still count their "bonuses" safely deposited in their offshore accounts, while George Osborne has created more tax loopholes than he's closed, while children starve in Britain and the Red Cross send food parcels, while the national debt has tripled in four years, while the property bubble has once again been reinflated and Boris Johnson orders water cannons to cow the peasants, the Tory party is still merrily diverting public money through their mates in big business and into their party funds. Without Coulson David Cameron would not have scored the limited success in the last general election that he did. Without Coulson there would be no Prime Minister Cameron and no Coalition Government. The whole rotten structure is based on rotten foundations and all it now needs is one good kick to bring the whole shameful and tottering cesspit of corruption, greed, selfishness and graft to the ground. Then, perhaps, we can start again without a government and a media sharing each other's fleas as they lie down together.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Yesterday London was brought to a halt by a protest of 50,000 ordinary people marching against austerity. Most people in Britain could be forgiven for knowing absolutely nothing about it because it failed to be even mentioned by the media on television or in print. Andrew Marr on the BBC today was far more interest in the none-story that some Tories think that Ed Miliband will not make a good Prime Minster and would not be a popular contestant on "Big Brother" while he happily talked to the disgraced former Foreign Secretary, Liam Fox, about the Middle East. Faced by the fact that the Tory party is raping the country and happily murdering its own citizens for money, the BBC is content to report on tittle-tattle and cooperate in the rehabilitation of a corrupt Tory politician. The BBC in particular seems to be ignoring the wider questions about our so-called democracy in favour of reporting rumour and gossip from the "Westminster village". What the blue-rinse set thinks about Ed Miliband or what Liam Fox thinks about anything is not news. That 50,000 people spent a hard-earned weekend day off protesting against this vicious and treasonous government is news and, given the normally supine attitude of the British public, should be the lead story right across the media. The fact is that we live in a country that, despite all its tub thumping, has a media dominated by the Tory right wing content to ask Chuka Umunna why Ed Milliband, though obviously an honest man, is not more photogenic and to invite him to praise George Osborne's economic "miracle". The media in Britain is simply just another cog in the corrupt machinery that runs Britain, the publicity arm of a selfish and greedy elite who would sell their own grandmother to get an extra quid.
Friday, 20 June 2014
Helen Grant, the Tory Minister for Tourism, has given some advice to those whose holidays have been ruined by the understaffed passport office. She has suggested that they should forget their holidays abroad and, instead, have a "staycation" at home in Britain. The fact that she said this from Brazil where she is enjoying the World Cup courtesy of the tax payer is neither here nor there. She was eager to point out that there are lots of sporting events that can be enjoyed on TV, making the somewhat dubious assumption that most Britons only ever think about sport and have little reason to visit foreign countries since they are too stupid to really appreciate foreign cultures in the first place. David Cameron was quick to come to the defence of his moronic minister by telling us that he and his family have "often holidayed in the UK". In fact Cameron would have been equally correct if he'd simply said that he and his family "often holidayed". It wouldn't be too hard to believe that his entire government has done nothing but holiday since they seized power in 2010 if the mess made of the entire country is anything to go by. Essentially the Tories are asking the country to ignore what is going on right under their noses and carry on as if nothing is amiss. They might just as well tell us all to not tax our limited brains with anything as complicated as politics and simply grin and bear it. Nothing could illustrate better the gulf between ordinary people and the over-privileged and ignorant oafs currently infesting No.10 Downing Street.
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Membership of the Tory party has slumped by nearly 9% in the past year alone, continuing a 30-year trend, while it has shrunk from 253,600 to 134,000 since David Cameron became leader. Yet the Tories are in power and are being as nasty as they've always wanted to be. They have been able to heap abuse on the sick, the unemployed and the disabled with impunity, egged on by a right-wing press that thinks it smells the blood of socialism in the water. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer while the NHS has been pushed to the very edge of privatisation. So what is going wrong? Some might blame the coalition with the Lib Dems, seen as a betrayal of the really nasty tendency in the party. Others might blame UKIP, able to outbid the Tories in the "we despise all foreigners" stakes. Many would point to Cameron's failure to produce the long-promised referendum on Europe and his total failure to stem the "tidal wave" of immigration by Johnny Foreigner. All of these may well be true to a certain extent but it would be nice to think that former supporters of the Tories have finally woken up to the fact that they are really unpleasant people who should not be trusted within a thousand miles of No.10 Downing Street. Put simply what the Tories have been inflicting on the country over the last four years is thoroughly un-British. They have not been moderate, charitable or fair while the rank smell of their greed is beginning to permeate even the middle classes. While Ed Miliband has said that we are better than this, David Cameron has demonstrated that we are, perhaps, not prepared to be a whole lot worse.
Thursday, 12 June 2014
In the wake of the "Trojan Horse" school scare in Birmingham David Cameron has said that he wants "British Values" to be part of the curriculum. The problem, however, is what "values" Cameron wants taught. He heads a government that persecutes the unemployed, the sick and the disabled, a government that shows no concern over the housing crisis, ignores environmental concerns, favours tax cuts for the rich while the wages of ordinary people continue to shrink and takes no action while utility companies steal what little money we do have. Apparently then the "values" that Cameron favours are greed, selfishness, arrogance and a complete disregard for the plight of others. The truth is that Cameron and his fellow Tory crooks have no values and certainly not any that any of us would want taught in our schools. Meanwhile with Gove in charge of education our schools are being turned over to various corporate sharks, religious maniacs and right-wing dingbats. It also begs the question why, in Britain, we still allow superstitious mumbo-jumbo to be taught in our schools in the first place? Schools are for education not to indulge the irrational belief systems of those who want to use religious observance for their own perverted ends. One thing for sure is that no one in the government has any interest in encouraging critical or original thinking. What they want is a straightjacket designed to shackle young minds to an unthinking acceptance of the status quo - to be good, obedient Tory voters and to accept their place in the great scheme of things without question. While the Tories are busily engaged in turning our schools into machines for the dissemination of Tory propaganda what right do they have to complain when some other control freaks want to do the same?
Sunday, 8 June 2014
The Tories love the 19th century and often talk about it in terms of cricket on the village green, happy well-fed yeomen taking their ease at the village pub and smock-bedecked children happily learning the "Three R's" (ritin, readin and 'rithmatic). Of course for the vast majority of our ancestors, trapped in urban slum housing and choking on the pollution, it was nothing like that but never mind. So what would Britain look like if the Tories were given free rein? First and foremost, of course, would be tax cuts for the rich - preferably to the point where they pay none whatsoever. Second a clear division between a hugely wealthy house-owning elite and a working poor paying out most of their income as rent. A state school system with a curriculum frozen around the year 1840 and a public school system frozen even further back in time. Workhouses for the undeserving poor, unemployed and disabled with glitzy 21st century hospitals for those who can afford to pay and the workhouse infirmary for all the rest. Contracts of employment will be a thing of the past with day-labour, low wages and no paid leave getting us all fit to compete in the new world economy. Pensions for ordinary people would vanish in a puff of smoke as the Tories friends, bankers, tell us why they are no longer affordable and wring their hands in anguish before counting their bonuses. The welfare state, to which most of us owe our very existence, was the reward we were allowed after saving the elite's bacon during World War II - one that had been denied us after we'd saved their bacon in World War I. Of course the Tories, as we've seen over the last week of celebration for the D-Day landings, will continue to tell us how marvellous we all were but, regretfully, we will now have to put all that behind us because of the new "realities". We've had our reward, now its time to get back to business as usual and, in any case, they no longer need us to man the trenches. Essentially, in a world that rewards the smug and self-satisfied for being smug and self-satisfied, we are surplus to requirements - an expensive drag on the forward march and further evolution of Homo Inhumanitatum.
Tuesday, 3 June 2014
The Tories are today celebrating a return to the disastrous conditions that almost destroyed the world economy in 2008 while George Osborne is reported to be "gobsmacked" that both the Bank of England and the EU have warned him that his housing policy is insane. House prices in Britain have risen by 11.1% over the last year, forming the only tangible element in Osborne's so-called recovery. Meanwhile homelessness is on the increase even as disposable income shrinks in the face of the spiralling cost to those forced into renting property. In other words we have a "recovery" which is confined purely to a wealthy class of rentier property owners. While exports falter, manufacturing remains stagnant, wages continue to shrink and house building continues to languish our national debt is out of control. This is because increasing house prices does nothing to improve the balance of payments but does encourage debt as house owners borrow against the notional value of their property. All that Cameron and his idiot "fag" Osborne have done is to reinvent the wheel - and a broken worn out one at that. But the Tories have at least achieved their main aim of rewarding their rich mates in London especially in the banking industry. They love to berate Labour for the crash in 2008 after following an economic policy that everyone else in the world, including them, cheered on. In 2014 we should all know better so what is the Tories excuse for following exactly the same path? Essentially they don't have one, they are simply greedy chancers hoping to feather their own nests before the next economic downturn sees them thrown out of Downing Street. While the rest of us are scratching our heads and wondering when the recovery will benefit us they are busy stuffing their offshore bank accounts with tax free money and greedily eyeing the NHS as they prepare it for privatisation. At best the Tories are snake oil salesmen, at worst they are criminal asset strippers with all the patriotism expected from a party financed by corporate big business.
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Businessmen and political leaders are gathering in London on Tuesday to discuss how to "renew the capitalist system". As usual the ideas being put forward are almost entirely self-centred and greed driven with such ideas as making it easier for people to invest in business or start their own. What they are looking for is a fig leaf that they can wear while continuing to grab whatever they can at the expense of wider society. The "News In Shorts" would like to add a couple more ideas for them to consider. First, pay your taxes instead of exploiting tax loopholes. Second. stop bribing corrupt politicians to create those tax loopholes in the first place. Capitalism has demonstrated time and again that it has no conscience and, given the opportunity, will indulge itself in criminality. They have corrupted politicians across the globe and bribed them to deregulate business so they can be as stupid and reckless as they've always wanted to be. How can capitalism be renewed? It can be regulated, forced to recognise the same standards of behaviour as the rest of us, constrained from breaking the law and reminded that it has a responsibility to the rest of society. In other words it is time for the Neoliberal economic experiment to be scrapped along with its rationalisation of greed and selfishness. This economic mumbo-jumbo has had its day and its time to go back to the system that created wealth for all instead of a self-selected elite whose only interest is self-interest.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
First let's look at the facts. In the Council Elections last Thursday the Tories lost 231 seats while the Lib Dems lost 307 - a total of 538 seats in all. Of those loses Labour won 338 seats - a total of 63%. UKIP won 161 seats - 30% of the seats lost by the Coalition. And what was the headline in the Daily Mail the next day? "The Savaging of Red Ed". Pardon? Shouldn't that have read "That Savaging of the Coalition"? Or "The Savaging of Whimpy Clegg"? Or even "The Savaging of Etonian Cameron"? Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been "How UKIP Surged Without Actually Surging"? There was no UKIP surge as such, merely a bunch of Tories deciding to vote for another bunch of Tories. UKIP is simply the Tory party with a pint of beer in its hand instead of a bottle of champagne. The true lesson of the night was the loss of 307 seats by the Lib Dems as Nick Clegg has managed, in four years, to reverse all the hard work of his party over two generations. Way to go Cleggy! So what is the excuse of the Tory rag known as the Daily Mail? They don't have one. They simply took a straightforward story and twisted it beyond all recognition because that's what they do - presenting Tory propaganda as "news". A waste of good quality paper you read this rubbish at your peril.