The News In Shorts

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

Sunday, 30 August 2015

I Want To Tell You A Tory.

I want to tell you a tory. My grandfather died in 1917 at the age of 31. He didn't die in the trenches because he was in a reserved occupation - he was a carter for the Great Western Railway. He died because he couldn't afford an operation for a condition that, even then, was easily corrected if you had the money. He died in a work house infirmary because, out of work because he was ill, he couldn't afford hospital fees. My grandmother, after her husband died, got no help from the state because he had not served in the armed forces and she couldn't get a war widow's pension. She died in 1932 from malnutrition after years of starving herself to feed her children. My father, their youngest son, had no choice but to join the Army in 1935 because when he turned 18 he couldn't get a job because employers didn't want to pay him an adult's wage. This is the kind of Britain that the present Tory party wants to recreate. An NHS flogged off to their rich mates at bargain basement prices so they can steal from the sick and pay off the Tory party with "donations". The welfare state dismantled so that those in distress can die early and reduce the excess population. A job market that doesn't provide a living wage so that fat cats can get fatter and provide the Tory party with yet more "donations." The question is - is this the kind of country that you want? The Tories will tell you that there is no alternative and, of course, from their perspective there isn't. How else can they maintain their privileged and pampered life style in a world wrecked by their criminal mates, the bankers? Is there an alternative? Of course there is, all we need is the courage to take it. Which is why the Tory's deal in fear and finger pointing. Frightened people vote Tory and Tory voters love to blame the poor, the underprivileged and the disabled. And the Tories are always frightened, frightened of losing their money, frightened of losing their undeserved privileges, frightened that one day, they too, might have to do an honest day's work.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Are The Tories Good For Anything?

David Cameron told us that, if we elected him into office, he would reduce immigration to under 100,000 per year. Despite this immigration into Britain has never been higher and is now topping 600,000 per year. This was their biggest selling point - devised almost exclusively to beat off the challenge from UKIP. So what went wrong? Nothing, actually, since David Cameron was lying through his teeth knowing full well that he could do nothing. But it did have the desired effect of persuading all the numbskulls in Britain to vote for him instead of Nigel Farage. So what have the Tories succeeded in doing? Have they saved the NHS as they promised? Well yes, if you count flogging it off piecemeal to their rich mates for next to nothing as "saving the NHS." They promised that they would come down hard the banks. Have they? Well yes, if you count flogging off our investment as taxpayers in them to other rich and greedy bankers at a nice hefty discount. Have they closed the tax loopholes for the rich and greedy? Well yes, if you count not doing a damned thing as "closing the loopholes." What, then, have they actually achieved? Well they have found that 2,650 people in the last two years were fit for week despite the fact that they were all dead within weeks and they've managed to breathe life into an economic system that was proven to be unfit for purpose in 2008. We asked a Tory spokesman for the party's reaction; "Well its win/win isn't it? We have shovelled huge amount of bullshit over the past six years and won a general election because of it. Now we can sit back, ignore all the problems and fill our offshore bank accounts with lots of lovely dosh courtesy of the taxpayer, the sick, the disabled and the poor. What's wrong with that?"

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Here We Go Again.

After seven years of austerity which has seen the poor across the world paying for the mistakes of the rich and greedy the whole rotten financial system, it would seem, is once more on the brink of collapse. How, you make ask, could this happen? It's quite simple really. Neoliberal economics is mumbo-jumbo - nothing more than propaganda by the rich to fool the rest of us into handing over our money to protect them against their own greed and stupidity. In 2008 the world economic system, deregulated by corrupt politicians for their own advantage, was shown to be a complete disaster. Banks were shown to be little better than organised crime syndicates while the myth of "trickle down" was exposed as a "pouring upwards." Yet, though this was obvious to all, the rich and greedy were able to turn the argument on its head and persuade far too many of us that it was all the fault of the unemployed, the sick, the disabled and the poor. Punishing them for crashing the world economy, they told us, would cure all our woes. The wheels may have come of the financial system, but, they assured us, re-attaching the same broken wheels was the only thing we could do. So what has crashed the economy all over again? Is it the poor, the unemployed, the sick and disabled again? No, it's the bankers and financiers - the same bankers and financiers who crashed it the last time and then walked away leaving us to pick up the pieces. Undoubtedly the Tories will tell us that here in Britain what is needed is yet more austerity - for us, of course, not them. The NHS, they will tell us, is now totally unaffordable. More public assets will have to sold to their rich mates at knock-down prices to pay off the national debt that they have trebled in the last six years and to protect the tax cuts they are planning to reward themselves with. To all those of you who voted Tory at the last general election - are you enjoying having your noses rubbed in the soft, sticky brown stuff?

Monday, 24 August 2015

Iain Duncan Smith: "Work Is As Good As Health Treatment."

Iain Duncan Smith, Britain's nastiest politician, has defended his vicious attack on the sick and disabled by explaining that working is as effective as health treatment. "Look at me." he told our reporter, "I'm as mad as a bag of snakes, suffer from delusions of grandeur and am a well-known sociopath, but work has been marvelous for me. Without my job at the DWP I would never have been able to do all the nasty vicious things to the poor and vulnerable that I've always wanted to do. Before I was given the position of Fuhrer at the DWP I was deeply depressed by my total incompetence as a politician and by my total failure as a human being. Now I'm full of beans because my psychopathic tendencies have been given free rein. I'm a new man, worse and more sadistic than ever before it's true, but a new man nonetheless." We asked IDS's former psychoanalyst for his reaction; "Iain is quite right - he is as mad as a bag of snakes. To be honest he's completely beyond help and should be locked up as soon as possible before he destroys the lives of many more people. What really bothers me, to be honest, is what kind of an electorate would give any political party with this nutter in its ranks a majority. At least 37% of the electorate in this country are in urgent need of psycho-analysis."

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Labour: "We Don't Like Democracy After All".

Certain parts of the Labour party are in turmoil today as they begin to realise that democracy doesn't always give you the result you might want. But, as events in Palestine, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan have amply demonstrated, that is the trouble with democracy. Many are now crying "foul" and suggesting that diabolical Tories are infiltrating the party in order to foist a completely unwanted Jeremy Corbyn as the new Labour leader. So convinced are they of this that they even banning real Labour supporters "just in case". What they fear is that the socialist party founded by Kier Hardie might be "taken over" by - horror upon horror - socialists! Calls have been heard to halt the election because it's all "going the wrong way." There are dark mutterings that, if Corbyn wins, the revolutionary and Tory wing of the party will stage an uprising or, perhaps more likely, throw their toys out of the pram. This is the unhealthy place that British politics now finds itself in - a place where neoliberal economic mumbo-jumbo has become the new orthodoxy, where socilaism has become a dirty word and democracy is now a dangerous idea. Well, as Franklin D Roosevelt once observed, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." What, after all, is the worst that can happen? A Labour government will borrow some money, something that the Tories have been doing for the last five years with absolute abandon, but, instead of giving it to bankers and the already far too wealthy, they will invest it in those things that the country needs - mainly housing. The NHS will be saved from the clutches of various giant American health corporations who are slavering to get their hands on assets for nothing that belong to you and me. Education will become less expensive for our hard pressed children. The railways and utilities, plundered by the rich and greedy for decades, will be returned to public ownership where service, rather than profit, will be the aim. And, after five years, if Corbyn should win a general election but fails to improve the country, we can all vote him out of office. That's what democracy is supposed to be about isn't it?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The First Casualty Of War.

It is well known that the first casualty of war is truth and, in the war that the Tories are waging against the weak and vulnerable, the truth never stood a chance. Iain Duncan Smith, undoubtedly the most evil creature amongst a whole gaggle of evil Tory creatures, was an accomplished liar even before he had a war to give him an excuse for lying. His entire life, from his claims about his education, his military service and his time on benefits has been one long catalogue of lies. Now we discover, as if many of us didn't already know, that he has been lying through his teeth about how thankful benefit claimants have been for the sanctions imposed upon them. Leaflets produced by the Department for Work and Pensions have "suggested" that many claimants have positively welcomed these sanctions. People like "Sarah" who was inspired to discover that Holy Grail of all the unemployed - the "killer CV" - because her benefits were cut. People like "Zac" who gushed about how wonderful the benefit system is now that IDS has "reformed" it. All lies, of course, since the Department has had to admit that none of these people actually exist while their so-called "stories" were for "illustrative purposes only." These were not simply lies, however, but something far more invidious - they were propaganda - the favoured technique of the morally bankrupt. It would, under normal circumstances, be difficult to find anyone who is more morally bankrupt than Iain Duncan Smith but, in the present Tory cabinet, he is merely primus inter pares - the first amongst equals. No wonder people are flocking to support Jeremy Corbyn in his bid to lead the Labour party. People long for an authentic voice amongst the daily gaggle of lies, evasions and sheer spiteful vitriol that most of our so-called politicians deal in.

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Legend Of The Killer CV.

As the gap between average pay and that of company executives continues to accelerate the Tories have stepped forward to "help" the young into work. This includes extra training in such vital skills as interview techniques and the writing of the "killer CV". The "killer CV" is one of those modern myths that have sprung up in recent years to excuse governments for their lack of ability to create real jobs in the real economy. The "killer CV" is supposed to consist of a single-sided resume of past achievements so cunningly written and startling interesting that employers will fall over themselves to give a job to the applicant. Those who have written hundreds of CVs and applied for hundreds of jobs with no result have no one to blame but themselves for failing to compose the "killer CV" The real problem is, of course, that there is precious little left of the "real economy" which has been largely replaced by various Ponzi schemes, confidence tricks, scams and outright criminality. The Tories will never admit this so they have come up with yet another initiative that, myths aside, also contains what they call "incentives". These "incentives" include the usual bag of horrors such as working for nothing, low-paid "apprenticeships" and having benefits cut if a job - any job - is not promptly found. Naturally such considerations don't affect their own children since they have been taught at such places as Harrow and Eaton how to make crime pay while there is no need for a CV when Daddy gets you your first job at his merchant bank where tea-making is a highly skilled profession attracting an annual bonus of several hundred thousand pounds at Christmas.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Past Is A Foreign Country.

There are many people in Britain today who will fail to recognise the above photograph. It is a ruined factory - a place where people used to go, make things and earn money. Young people who didn't have the aptitude to be a banker, a property speculator or diversity coordinator would get apprenticeships at such places, learn a trade and get a proper job at the end of it all. In 1979 Margaret Thatcher and her Tory henchmen decided that we didn't need manufacturing industry any more and that we could base our entire economy on banking and shopping. Apprenticeships in factories were replaced with training for a life of crime in banking and finance. The working class was essentially exported abroad to India and China where their votes don't count over here in Britain and the Tories looked forward to a new generation who would have no idea that an alternative to neoliberal economics was possible. And it worked. Even the Labour party, the traditional party of the working class, went along with this idea. The economic insanity of "trickle down" became orthodoxy and , in times of famine, it became normal to present the rich and greedy with ever-increasingly bigger meals. Those who didn't fit into this new world, the ill-educated, the sick, the disabled and the unemployed became "scroungers". Those who argued against it became "dinosaurs" or, as Liz Kendall recently put it, "a throwback to the past." That, apparently, would be a terrible thing. Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party, or heaven forefend, as Prime Minister would reverse all the "progress" of the last 30 years. Just imagine it. Ordinary people with full time well paid jobs. Hospitals well funded by the taxes paid by these people in full time well paid jobs. Entire industries such as gas, electricity, water and railways dedicated to creating public services instead of ripping off their customers. A society more equal in which the rich pay taxes as well. A society in which the sick and disabled are treated with a measure of dignity and the unemployed are helped back into real jobs that pay real money. Awful isn't it? "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Can The Tories Waste Any More Taxpayers Money?

It is the great political and economic dilemma of our times - how can the Tories waste even more taxpayers money while still benefiting themselves? Selling off RBS at a loss of £1 billion to the Tories rich mates in the City is a doddle. All George Osborne has to do is to stand up in Parliament and tell everyone with a straight face that this "is a good deal for the British taxpayer." Child's play for an accomplished conman like George. Explaining away the hundreds of millions lost to the NHS by Jeremy Hunt has proven a bit more tricky. Softening up the NHS for privatisation is, of course, the aim, but how to explain it? Cue Jeremy who now has the sheer brass neck to turn the argument on its head and suggest that the NHS cannot control its shrinking budget. "NHS spending is simply unaffordable" he tells the public while he gloats over the tax cuts for his £1 million mansion and congratulates his rich mates for their ingenious tax-dodging scams. Meanwhile, sniggering up his sleeve, George Osborne has asked public sector workers "for their ideas on how to deliver public services more efficiently" since he doesn't have a clue. "We need to save at least £20 billion if Dave and I are to get our next tax cut," George told our reporter. "Asking public sector workers to cut their own throats saves me the trouble and, when it all goes tits up, I can simply point the finger and remind them it was all their own idea. Brilliant! But its true that political scams and con tricks are becoming increasingly hard to pull off. In the 70's and 80's things were much easier when the world's most successful peadophile ring - Parliament - was bullet proof. Now we have the likes of Tom Watson and Jeremy Corbyn swanning around telling everyone the bloody truth. Thank God for offshore banking is all I can say."