The News In Shorts

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

Friday, 28 February 2014

Tories Fail In Bid To Kill Badgers .

The Tories are experiencing one of their regular bad weeks at the moment. A new report into the badger cull has revealed that they managed to miss 50% of them despite the badgers spectacularly bad camouflage and the fact that the Tory hit squads were shooting at them from point blank range. Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith has failed to explain how the bedroom tax is actually helping to end child poverty even as our part-time Prime Minister was being given the brush off by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nigel Farage has spent the week pulling faces at the Tories when it was revealed that, despite Cameron's promise to reduce immigration, it has actually on the increase. Worse yet Mike Penning, the minister for disabled people, has been forced to apologise for his department demanding that a woman in a coma find work. Still, it wasn't all bad news. The Tories can at least celebrate the death of Mark Wood from malnutrition in Oxfordshire last August after his housing benefits and employment support allowance were stopped by the DWP. "This is a great success," Iain Duncan Smith told our reporter. "Once again I have single-handidly saved a poor and vulnerable man from the sin of scrounging off the state. His doctor is claiming that he suffered from various mental problems but we didn't feel it necessary to consult such an obviously biased healthcare professional. If he did have all these things wrong with him then I'm only thankful that God placed me in a position to end his useless life. Some people have suggested that I am hard and uncaring but this is completely untrue. I believe that I am right and, if you ask him, I'm sure that God will agree with me. Scrounging is a terrible crime, unless you happen to be rich like me in which case its completely all right. This man is responsible for his own death since he neglected to become the right kind of scrounger - an MP, a buy-to-let landlord or a banking executive."

Monday, 24 February 2014

Cameron Undecided As To How Rich Britain Actually Is.

David Cameron donned a plastic yellow hat and a high visibility jacket today so he could threaten Scotland from a North Sea oil rig 60 miles offshore and still be seen. His message was loud and clear - revenue from the North Sea would be in danger without "the broad shoulders of the world's tenth largest economy" to support it. For those of you who don't work in London's financial centre, he was describing Great Britain. Why "the broad shoulders of the world's tenth largest economy" can't support its own children and give them enough to eat, prevent its pensioners from freezing to death each winter or pay a living wage to large swathes of the population remains a mystery - and will continue to do so as long as Cameron is warming his backside in No.10. George Osborne, meanwhile, was grinning like an idiot as he told reporters that Britain had "an open chequebook" as far as supporting the new Ukrainian government was concerned. Not that they were asking you understand, but George never passes up an opportunity to boast about his "miracle economic recovery" and how rich we are - unless you happen to be unfortunate enough to be British that is. Worried that their conflicting message might be confusing voters Iain Martin writing in the "Telegraph" told the Tory party today that Cameron needs Michael Gove to be unleashed against Ed Milliband. So far advice for saving the Tories from electoral disaster has swung between Nigel Farage as a replacement for Nick Clegg, Iain Duncan Smith being canonised for his services to the poor and Norman Tebbit being disinturned and shocked back into life. But Ed Milliband being savaged by an intellectually challenged Pob lookalike? Surely they can't be serious?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

This One Is For The Ukraine.

There is only one thing that can be said about the situation in the Ukraine and it can be expressed in one sentence. Any government that kills it own citizens to maintain power has lost any pretence of legitimacy. Good luck to the citizens of the Ukraine and let us all hope that your young democracy survives this terrible crisis.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tory Plot To Murder The Poor And Elderly.

The Tory propaganda campaign to undermine the NHS and soften it up for privatisation has been revealed for all the see by the Channel 4 series "Despatches". Having set unrealistic targets for the NHS the Tories have then fined hospitals for not achieving them and, in the process, have effectively cut more than £1 billion from their budgets. Starved of funds these hospitals have even less chance of meeting the Tory targets and even more money is taken from them. This has provided the Tories with valuable propaganda as they manoeuvre the NHS towards the jagged rocks of privatisation and the waiting corporate healthcare sharks circling in anticipation. The Tories have already sold our most private healthcare records to their thieving corporate mates but their latest move beggars belief. The Tories are seriously suggesting that healthcare should only be available to those they deem "of benefit to society." The long-term sick, children, the unemployed and the elderly need not apply and, according to the evil Tories, should be allowed to die without the benefit of new drugs. This breaks the most basic principle of healthcare, "Primum non nocere" - First do no harm - recognised everywhere except, apparently, within the Tory party. Essentially the Tories are now openly proposing that only the rich should benefit from healthcare and, of course, they will be first in the queue since it is their most sacred principle that rich politicians are the most important people in the world. The Tories are already responsible for many deaths amongst benefit claimants and now look set to unleash the ATOS kangaroo courts on NHS patients as well. Murder might be too strong a word, but what other word can be used to describe this?

Monday, 17 February 2014

Uncounted Unemployed And Exploited Teenagers.

Iain Duncan Smith likes to talk in terms of his "mission", to parade his religious "beliefs" and compare himself to William Wilberforce. He pretends that his "tough love" approach to welfare is intended to liberate the poor and enable them to improve their lot. The truth is that he is a serial liar, a scrounger without any sense of shame and a hypocrite whose religious beliefs are a thin veneer for multiple acts of sheer evil. Let's begin at the beginning. Iain Duncan Smith lied on his CV when he became a politician, boasting that he had studied at the University of Perugia in Italy when he did not. He also lied about his rank in the army. When out of work briefly after leaving the army he deliberately mislead the DWP in order to claim money to which he was not entitled. Not that his time being unemployed was quite as traumatic as he would later claim since he was, at the time, married to the daughter of a Lord. As leader of the Tory party during their deserved "wilderness years" in the late 1990's Iain Duncan Smith was an abject failure and was eventually stabbed in the back by his own party who couldn't stomach him any more. Now he is the Minister at the DWP where he has unleashed a pogrom against the unemployed, disabled, sick and elderly unprecedented in Britain's political history. His attempt to create a universal credit, despite multiple warnings that it could never work, has been an unmitigated disaster. Despite assuring the electorate that it would be rolled out "on time and within budget" he has managed to do neither while he has also wasted millions on a junk computer system sold to him by one of his crooked mates. Worse yet it now turns out that the Tories much vaunted decrease in unemployment, apart from the usual massaging of the figures, is at least partly due to the DWP's "accidentally" forgetting to count those unemployed unfortunate enough to be on universal credit. Nor is IDS too keen to tell us about the teenagers that are now being forced to work in the sex industry or lose their benefits. Incompetent, evil, hypocritical, dishonest and corrupt - a typical Tory and a blight on the reputation of this country - a man in office only by virtue of his complete lack of virtues.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Socialism Resurgent In Tory Heartlands.

Socialism is enjoying an unexpected resurgence in the southern Tory heartlands where thousands are queuing up to get help from the rest of us in the wake of the flooding. People who wouldn't normally give a tinker's cuss for global warming or have a good word to say about the hard working poor on benefits because of starvation wages are now standing with their hands out begging for help. These are the same people who, just a couple of weeks ago, were glued to their TV sets to watch their prejudices confirmed by "Benefits Street." Now they are looking for benefits because of conditions that are beyond their control and suddenly a smaller less caring state looks less attractive. There are now calls for increased spending on flood defences in places where not a peep was heard about the scandal of food banks. Taxpayers money is now demanded by people who scant weeks ago were calling for tax cuts and a less generous state, content to see poor children reduced to destitution but now suddenly all concern for their own plight. A nation divided between the "have everything's" and the "have nothing at all's" was of no interest to them, smug and self-satisfied because of the money they had worked so hard to inherit. The question is should we help those who were happy to turn their backs on the rest of the country? The answer is quite simple. Yes, because despite the disdain they have showed in the last three years we remain better than they deserve. Because we believe that Britain is a community we should offer a helping hand to those less fortunate than ourselves. We should do it because it's the right thing to do even though come election time they will still vote for greed and selfishness.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Tories Fail To Agree On New Criteria For Child Poverty.

Tory plans to redefine poor children as fabulously wealthy have been put on hold as Iain Duncan Smith and the Treasury have failed to agree on how nasty and evil they can afford to be. Essentially the new measures are to be based on the nasty little prejudices of the Tory party with child poverty being judged on how many of the parents work, whether the parents "do" drugs and something the Tories call "wordlessness", while income will become merely an incidental consideration. Since the number of children who live is households where no one works, have drug addicts for parents and suffer from "wordlessness" is vanishingly small we can all look forward to child poverty vanishing virtually overnight. Children who live on the breadline, along with their poverty-stricken parents, will be reclassified as comfortably well-off and child tax credits, as sure as day follows night, will be reduced. The argument between the DWP and the Treasury seems to be centred on the vexed question of how much child tax credits can be reduced to provide the Tories and their rich pals with yet another tax cut. "We have to take a multidimensional approach to child poverty," a Tory spokesman told our reporter, "otherwise I won't be able to afford a new polo pony next year and my yacht will remain un-calked. On the other hand if we get too greedy then children might start keeling over in the streets and the United Nations may accuse us of uncivilised behaviour. It's a very difficult balancing act but we are confident that we'll be able to hammer out a deal that will transfer enough money from the poor to satisfy most Tory MP's."

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Money An Object After All.

David Cameron has parked his wellington boots today in order to whisper about what he was bellowing yesterday. "Money", he told us when it comes to sorting out flooded Britain, "will be no object." Today, however, money has become an object once again as our part-time PM was forced to admit that there would be no new money and what there is will be both limited and difficult to access. Nor will the 500 flood defence workers being made redundant have a reprieve - after all what good will they do now? It seems that Cameron is convinced that a tissue of lies will be enough to plug the gap in Britain's flood defences and, in any case, are necessary if he's to give himself and his wealthy mates a nice tax cut this year. Tory voters in Somerset and the Thames Valley are now finding out what the rest of us already knew - Cameron is as contemptuous of Tory voters as he is of everyone else. No one is safe from his austerity campaign and they, despite their moderate wealth, are no better than the other peasants. Cameron's ideology is vicious, primitive and destructive and designed to shovel as much money as possible into the pockets of the super-rich at the expense of everyone else. There is no new money for flood defence because it has all fled to offshore bank accounts. The Tories are not governing Britain they are plundering it while Cameron is doing a creditable impression of King Canute.

Cameron Pledges "Unlimited Funds" To Save His Grubby Neck.

David Cameron has decided to ditch austerity for the moment in order to bail out, literally, the swathe of Tory voters who have suddenly fallen victim to his campaign of spending cuts. "We goofed," Cameron told our reporter as he pulled on his wellies for yet another photo opportunity. "The cuts were never supposed to affect Tory voters and I blame everyone else for this. It might well be that Britain can't afford welfare for the sick and disabled, the NHS or pensions for useless old people but we have billions when it comes to those who can't afford to protect their own homes against flooding and happen to vote Tory. People have to realise that the country is nearly bankrupt after Labour crashed the world banking system because of their mismanagement of the property market in the United States and we only have enough money to subsidise rich Tory voters. There is a world of difference between benefit scroungers and flood defence scroungers - at least in terms of how they vote. The most important thing, however, is that this money, which has appeared as if by magic, will save my political neck. Tory voters shouldn't worry because I promise that those responsible for this disaster - the unemployed, the sick and the disabled - will pay for it. Don't forget, Tory voters, we're all in this together - the rest of the country can and will go to hell."

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Will The Tories Bring In A Floodplain Tax?

Tory voters in Somerset and along the Thames Valley are holding their breath today and not just because they're under water. There is a growing suspicion that David Cameron's pledge that "We're all in this together" might apply to them as well. Unnamed Tory ministers are reported to be muttering about a floodplain tax, pointing out that flood defences are no longer affordable during a time of austerity and will be even less so as global warming takes hold. "We think it only fair that if those on benefits with too many bedrooms can be forced to downsize then, perhaps, those who have chosen to live on floodplains should be forced to move uphill," one Tory MP told our reporter. "As more and more becomes unaffordable - the welfare state, the NHS and pensions - it seems only fair that those scrounging money for flood defences from the state should share the burden. Don't forget the Tory party are very big on fairness." Meanwhile the idea of privatising flood defences has also been suggested. "We believe that privatising flood defences would bring much needed efficiencies and we are already in talks with G4S," the Tory MP continued. "After their triumph at the Olympics and their outstanding success running prisons, we believe that they are just the right kind of bloodsucking corporate crooks that Britain needs at the moment. The public shouldn't worry about regulation. We have already approached a Tory party donor with a view to making him the head of a new regulatory body, Offlood, with a starting salary of £450,000 per year plus bonuses and a two-day working week. We believe that a new tax and privatisation will cure the flooding problem in the foreseeable future - at least until after the general election in 2015."

Monday, 10 February 2014

Will The Floods Sink The Tories?

Most of the world does not accept blood products from Britain because they fear that our blood supply is contaminated with CJD or mad cow disease. The reason for this is because Margaret Thatcher deregulated the food industry so her rich land-owning mates could make more money. Deregulation, in the wake of the banking crisis of 2008, is no longer in vogue but, nothing loath, the Tories have a new insane idea that they want to foist on the rest of us - austerity. The picture above illustrates all too well what austerity actually means. It means the very rich pay less in tax while public services are starved of funds, it means the rich get more and we get less - or so they hope. This was all going well while it was the inner-city poor, the unemployed, the sick and the disabled being targeted because they have no voice. Flooded river valleys are a very different kettle of fish however. This is where the moderately wealthy blue-rinse set hang out, those who tend to vote Tory on the basis that the nastiness won't affect them but might, just might, save them a few quid in taxes. Now the Tories, with no convenient poor people to blame, are turning on each other - pointing fingers in the hope that they can avoid personal responsibility. But the Tories and those stupid enough to vote for them cannot avoid responsibility for the floods. This is what tax cuts for the rich mean so you can either get used to it and move to higher ground, or you stop voting for greed and selfishness and start voting for a society that actually works. Its your choice.

Iain Duncan Smith Outlines Scheme To Steal State Pensions.

As much of the country lies below sea level as a direct result of the Tory's "we don't want to pay any tax" policy, Iain Duncan Smith has been outlining his next criminal enterprise. Celebrating his success in persecuting the unemployed, the sick and disabled, IDS is now turning his attention towards to that other hated section of society - the old. The DWP Efficiency Review is "restricted" at the moment because IDS doesn't want the taxpayers to know what he's up to, but his aim is quite clear. Using the same old alibi of "saving" money, he wants to hand over the running of the pension service to his rich mates, confident that they will steal as much taxpayers money as possible, refuse to pay any tax on their gains and then return a nice big chunk of it to the Tory party in the form of "donations". Essentially then IDS's idea of "efficiency" is to efficiently transfer taxpayers money into the pockets of his wealthy pals and, ultimately, into Tory party coffers. Better yet the front-runners for taking on the juicy multi-million pound contracts are Capita, Serco or G4S, all of which are under investigation for defrauding the public. Meanwhile the right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs has come out in support of IDS's latest money-laundering scheme, telling us; "As life expectancy increases, the current system is unsustainable for both our children and grandchildren." Which, of course, is newspeak for "The current system is unsustainable if we are to give ourselves and our rich mates more tax cuts." Be warned, the Tories have your state pension in their sights and they will do anything to get their thieving hands on it.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Tories Undecided Who To Blame For Flooding.

Eric Pickles has decided to break ranks with his fellow Tory conmen and has now admitted that it is the cuts that are to blame for the catastrophe unfolding in Somerset. David Cameron had sought to blame Labour hoping that would be enough to draw attention away from the £97 million cut in spending on flood defences that he had sanctioned as soon as he had slithered into No.10. Recognising that no one was fooled by this clumsy attempt to shift the blame, Eric Pickles has now decided that the best thing to do is tell the truth - something no Tory has attempted in living memory. However, his admission was accompanied by a plea for the electorate to "forget the past" on the basis that it is the charitable thing to do if blaming Labour won't wash. Nonetheless he couldn't resist putting at least some of the blame on the Environment Agency. "We perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice," he told the BBC, "we thought we were dealing with experts." In fact the Environment Agency warned the government what might happen if they cut spending on flood defences four years ago but were ignored. Which just goes to show that, even when they try to tell the truth, Tories still can't resist telling a few porkies at the same time. Still you can't blame them. Somerset is a largely Tory-voting area and, if they can hide the truth that spending cuts undermines the whole economy with a few nonsensical homilies that the national budget is just like a household budget, they can't hide the flood water lapping at the front doors of those stupid enough to have voted for them. The overarching truth is that austerity is bad for everyone, except the very rich, and simply hoping that Tory voters are too dim to understand this will not be enough to win them the next election after all. Despite all their efforts to "shrink" government so they can be paid for doing nothing, the Tories are now beginning to realise that, like the rest of us, they will have to work for a living instead.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Tories Tackle National Emergency With Yet More Lies.

As Britain braces itself for probably the worst storm in living memory the Tory party have responded with their usual mixture of evasions, half-truths and outright lies. In the largely Tory voting Somerset the electorate, unaccustomed to budget cuts affecting them and wilfully blind to their favoured party's habit of lying through their teeth, are beside themselves with rage as their homes disappear beneath the flood waters. Like the rest of us, however, they are now being treated with the same contempt Cameron & Co have meted out to the unemployed, disabled and vulnerable. Unable to explain away why they have cut spending on flood defences they have instead produced a chart, shown above, that is deliberately misleading, hoping that those who are stupid enough to vote for them in the first place will be stupid enough to believe what they are now being told. Essentially the chart, which is supposed demonstrate how spending on flood defences compares well to other areas of government investment, is scaled in such a way that spending of £1 million appears to be little different to spending of £10 million. In fact, as the chart shows quite clearly, the Tories are spending far more money on "communications" (Tory speak for propaganda) than they are on flood defences which, if nothing else, shows everyone what their priorities actually are. As Sir Andrew Dilnot, the head of the UK Statistics Authority has written the chart gives a deliberately “false impression of the relative size of investment between sectors”. Or, as we would understand it, the Tories are lying to mask how their vicious cuts are damaging the country for no other reason than to allow for tax cuts for themselves and their rich mates.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

It's All Good News On Planet Tory.

Apparently, according to the Tories, there is little that can be done about half the country being under water - especially as the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has been suddenly rushed into hospital in order to preserve his ability to turn a blind eye. He will be replaced for the time being with Eric Pickles perhaps in the vain hope that his huge bulk might block the view of the Somerset Levels. Meanwhile George Osborne has been outlining his plans to do absolutely nothing about the housing crisis for at least the next ten years while proudly announcing that his programme of cuts has only just begun and we can all look forward to a government so shrunken in terms of its responsibilities that it will soon be doing even less than it does now. All this good news has been further boosted by Boris Johnson's declaration that cutting tax for the richest people in the country will be "at the centre of the next Conservative manifesto" and that he can "see no reason why we shouldn't bring it down." The Telegraph agrees and has declared that the 45p higher tax band is "punishing success" - though much of what they call "success" is indistinguishable from outright criminal behaviour. Essentially the Tories are proudly announcing that we can all expect less in the future - less in terms of the national income, less in terms of services, less in terms of government action and, if what is happening in Somerset is any guide, less in terms of dry land to live on. But we shouldn't worry because the Tories have announced that they too will be getting less - less in terms of taxes, less in terms of their responsibilities and less in terms of the regulation that keeps their greed and selfishness in check. Sounds like a deal doesn't it?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How "Trickle Down" Works.

We've been living with the "trickle-down" theory of economics for over 30 years now - so the question is "How has it been for you?" One of the most striking facts to emerge since the banking crisis of 2008 is the growing gap between business productivity and wage levels. Across the western world productivity has more than doubled. Wages, especially in Britain and the United States, have however remained virtually flat in real terms. Essentially ordinary people, despite all the hard work, restraint and patience they have exhibited, have not had a real wage increase for over 30 years. Meanwhile large corporations, especially the banks, freed from what they call "the burden of over-regulation" embarked on the longest spree of outright criminal activity in the history of the world. Eventually greed overcame their common sense and they managed to crash the entire world economy. They achieved this remarkable outcome by the creation of sub-prime lending which was designed to underpin the demand that should have been supported by wages. Once the sub-prime lending market collapsed so did demand and the result was a recession. "Trickle down," it would seem, didn't work after all. In fact the reverse had been happening all along, with wealth pouring upwards as productivity increased but pay remained stagnant. But then again, and despite all the right-wing propaganda, that was what it was designed to do. When the banking crash brought the world economy to a shuddering halt the truth was plain for all to see and right-wing politicians across the world suddenly discovered words such as "society" and phrases such as "we're all in this together." Society, they told us, had to bail out the banks because we couldn't afford to lose them and, in the face of such an overwhelming disaster, we all had to pull together. So our tax money was diverted from things that benefit us to the black hole of the banking system while wages, instead of merely stagnating, were now deliberately shrunk. Having not benefitted one whit from the economic system in the last 30 years, it was now our responsibility to bail it out and suffer increasing poverty into the bargain. And that is how "trickle down" works. We pay with hard work and stagnating wages when times are good and then pay again with hard work and falling wages when times are bad. The truth, for those who care to look, is contained in the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics which demonstrate quite clearly that, despite Cameron and Osborne's claims to the contrary, real wages have fallen by 2.2% since the Tories seized power in 2010. Essentially they are at it again and we, as always, are paying for it while the "cost of living crisis," disguised for the last 30 years by cheap credit, is actually nothing new .