The News In Shorts

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

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Not So Unexpected Bill From Europe.

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

Cameron Is Handed An Unexpected Bill.

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 And The Bone Idle

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

Tory Complacency.

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: Tory Reasons For Not Striking.

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

A Coalition Of Tories And Even More Tories?

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

Ebola And UKIP Break Out.

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

Lid Dems: Whistling In The Dark?

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

Tory Conference Tries To Sell A Bleak Future.

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.