Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Get real: The DUP won't bring down Theresa May because they've got her exactly where they want her


Some people are terrible at maths. If you add all the Labour, SNP, Lib-Dem, Plaid Cymru, and Green MPs together they're clearly outnumbered by the Tories plus the DUP, but some people still seem to imagine that Theresa May would lose a parliamentary confidence vote.

Yes Theresa May's cowardice is utterly despicable; Yes her decision to postpone the Brexit vote was an affront to parliamentary democracy and a national humiliation on the world stage to boot; Yes she's brazenly prioritising her own career over the best interests of the nation by selfishly clinging onto power for as long as possible; And yes her decision to shove a subordinate (David Liddington) into the parliamentary pit of fury at her despicable actions to go around Belgium and the Netherlands doing fake busywork further underlines the her absolute shamelessness.

But a vote of no confidence at this point would be a massively self-defeating waste of time and effort from everyone who is opposed to Tory rule, and everyone who is opposed to the Tory Brexit farce.

The reason is obvious.The DUP sectarians she bribed into propping up her government after her spectacularly failed hubris election have her exactly where they want her. Weak, desperate, unpopular, and absolutely dependent on their support.

They're essentially holding the Prime Minister hostage until she caves into their demands, so why on earth would they throw this advantageous position away by backing a vote of no confidence in her and toppling her government?

Why would they release the hostage without the payoff?


When Theresa May and the Tories decided to bribe the DUP bigots into propping them up last year they clearly had absolutely no idea what they were getting themselves into.

Presumably they imagined that it would be just like the Lib-Dem coalition all over again. A weak and pathetic minor party to use as lobby fodder to push through all kinds of vile and deeply illiberal legislation (austerity dogma, social security cuts, school privatisation, secret courts, the gagging law, NHS sell-off, Bedroom Tax, hostile environment, wage repression, tuition fees hike ...) then using them as willing human shields at the 2015 General Election to soak up the furious public backlash.

The DUP aren't a bunch of directionless power-hungry wets who would betray their supporters and reverse their principles just for a tiny taste of second hand Tory power. They're ruthless ideologically driven fanatics on the right-wing fringe of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland.

Expecting them to cave in on their British unionist fanaticism like the Lib-Dems caved in on tuition fees and electoral modernisation is an absurd fantasy, and expecting them to just give up the unprecedented position of strategic advantage they've obtained is farcically naive.

Expecting any Tory MPs to put the national interest ahead of their own narrow party political interests is perhaps even more naive (especially given Anna Soubry's admission that she'd much rather inflict the economic ruination of Tory Brexit on the UK than give Labour a shot at political power).

The likes of Vince Cable, Chuka Umunna, Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and the rest of the people calling for a futile confidence vote must be aware that surviving a confidence vote would actually give Theresa May a helping hand out of the Brexit shit pit she's dug for herself, and keep her appalling threat of a "no deal" meltdown on the table.

They're not idiots. They've shared the halls and chambers of power with the DUP bigots. they know what these ideological fanatics are like in person. And Nicola Sturgeon has witnessed the belligerent and unyielding face of hard-right British nationalism in person north of the border.

They should all know better.

None of them can possibly believe the DUP would give up the incredibly advantageous position they've worked themselves into. So what the hell are they playing at trying to help Theresa May win a confidence vote that would obviously be paraded around in the Tory press as a vindication of her appalling false dichotomy between her awful Brexit deal and her malicious threat to launch a "no deal" socio-economic catastrophe in retaliation if it's rejected?

Why are they playing the absurdly risky game of putting their faith in a bunch of ruthless hardline sectarian bigots, and a desperately futile appeal to Tories put the interests of the nation above the interests of their own political party?

It just doesn't make any sense.


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OR

Monday, 10 December 2018

Theresa May's cowardly goalpost-shifting is a humiliation for Britain


Theresa May's last-minute efforts to postpone the meaningful Brexit vote are an absolute humiliation for Britain.

Just think back to her bombastic Lancaster House speech in early 2017 and how she unveiled her bad faith threat-based negotiating tactic of threatening to explode a ruinous "no deal" economic bomb under Britain and the EU if she didn't get her own way.

Threats; ridiculous red-lines; squandered leverage; continual appeasement of the ERG Brextremists in the Tory ranks; throwing away her parliamentary majority in her monumentally hubristic vanity election; repeatedly defying democratic accountability to the point of becoming the first government ever to be declared in contempt of parliament; running the whole Brexit show as a closed Tory shop with no input from opposition parties, devolved parliaments, UK business leaders, trade unions, academicas and experts, civic society, or anyone but her closed clique of Tory mates ...

Theresa May's appalling blend of authoritarianism and incompetence was always a recipe for disaster, but the Tories lapped it up in delight, and an astounding 13.6 million people flocked to the polls in June 2017 to actively endorse this hard-right, ultranationalist, and above all diplomatically incompetent farce.

Then in order to convince MPs to back the hopeless shambles she eventually cobbled together at the last minute she cynically resorted to threatening the anti-Brexit MPs with a ruinous "no deal" meltdown if they didn't support her (a "no deal" threat which she came up with in the first place!), whilst simultaneously threatening the pro-Brexit MPs with the possibility of "no Brexit" if they didn't support her!

But as the date of the meaningful vote approached, it became clear that only the Tory party ultra-loyalists were prepared to support it, so in a monumental act of cowardice she moved to delay the vote rather than face losing it.

This unbelievably cowardly decision reveals the pure self-interest that Theresa May is driven by. Her only instinct is to shamelessly defy the national interest by selfishly cling onto power for as long as possible.

It's clearly in the national interest to clear Theresa May's unpopular, unworkable, bad faith, threat-based, Tory shambles of a deal off the negotiating table and try a different approach, but she won't let it happen because she knows it would be absolutely the final straw for her tenure as Prime Minister.

But what's worse that Theresa May desperately trying to sideline parliamentary democracy and defy the national interest to keep clinging to power like a limpet composed of pure selfishness, is that she's behaving in this despicable manner in front of the entire world.

The EU 27 have been patiently waiting for the Tories to sort their act out for 30 tedious months, and then when it comes to the crunch, Theresa May puts her own self interest above the everything else and delays the vote.

Having our political leader cynically move the goalposts out of pure selfishness like this in front of the eyes of the world is an unprecedented humiliation for Britain.

So I hope the 13.6 million of you who flocked to the polls last year to actively endorse Theresa May and the Tories are proud of yourselves for the absolute humiliation you've inflicted on out country today.

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OR

Theresa May is still shamelessly and selfishly clinging onto power


It's one historic humiliation after another for Theresa May, but she just keeps clinging onto power.

Last week it was having her government become the first in history to be found in contempt of parliament over their efforts to hide the legal advice they received on her Brexit proposals.

Today it's the postponement of the meaningful vote on her Brexit proposals purely because she wants to avoid the humiliation of losing it.

Make no mistake, the meaningful vote was set be one of the most significant parliamentary votes of the Century given that the outcome defines our entire future relationship with our European neighbours.

She's not just bottled any old parliamentary vote because she's afraid of losing it (which would be a humiliation in its own right), she's bottled the single most important parliamentary vote of her entire tenure as Prime Minister!

The self-serving cowardice of it is absolutely extraordinary. Her government spent the last few weeks talking up the importance of the vote and fear-mongering terrible outcomes if she doesn't get her way (cynically threatening a ruinous "no deal" Brexit to Brexit-sceptics, and a "no Brexit" scenario to the Brexiteers), but when it came to the crunch she just shifted the goalposts to some unspecified date in the future, solely to avoid defeat.

The fact that she's cynically moved the date of the vote at the last minute for her own personal advantage just proves what a ruthlessly self-serving and manipulative charlatan she is.

Let's be clear. She's not delayed the vote for any reason other than her own self-interest.

She knew that if she lost the vote she'd have been left with no choice but to step down and let someone else have a go at fixing the Brexit chaos David Cameron lumbered us with when he decided to gamble the entire future of the nation in order to grub a few thousand votes off UKIP at the 2015 General Election, but she desperately wants to cling onto power for as long as possible.


It's clearly in the national interest to get the vote out of the way, clear Theresa May's lamentable proposals off the table, and do it in good time for someone else to have a go at figuring out how to deal with this absolute Tory chaos before the Article 50 notification expires on March 29th.

The European Court of Justice ruling says that the UK can unilaterally withdraw Article 50 without fear of retribution from the EU, and anyone claiming that the EU wouldn't allow an Article 50 extension to renegotiate once Theresa May and her bad faith threat-based negotiating tactics are out of the way is talking absolute rubbish too.

But Theresa May insists on defying the national interest by shamelessly clinging onto power for as long as she can get away with.

The really sad thing is that this kind of self-serving chaos was always inevitable with an incompetent wannabe-tyrant like Theresa May running the show. Yet when she presented the nation with a fantastic opportunity to get rid of her with her 2017 hubris election, 13.7 million people flocked to the polls to give her the biggest Tory turnout since John Major's 14 million in 1992!

And as a consequence we all have to sit here and watch her shamelessly clinging onto power for as long as possible when everyone (Remainers, Brexiters and everyone in between) can see that it's clearly now in the national interest for her to put her own self-interest aside, let her shambolic and astoundingly unpopular Brexit plan fail, and let someone more capable have a go at tidying up this outrageous Tory Brexit mess.


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OR

20 questions mainstream media should ask about the Institute for Statecraft scandal (but probably won't)


The Tory government has been caught red-handed shovelling over £2 million in public cash at a dodgy propaganda unit called the Institute For Statecraft which disguises itself as a charity for the purposes of avoiding tax.

A cache of leaked documents has revealed that this publicly-funded pseudo-charity has been interfering in the democratic processes and broadcast media outlets of our European neighbours, and furthermore the Twitter account they runwith the extraordinarily misleading name "Integrity Initiative" has repeatedly published highly partisan political attacks on the Labour opposition.

Here's a full article on the scandal with more details.

The mainstream media have been extremely quiet on the story, and don't be naive enough to expect to be hearing any BBC coverage of this scandal whatever.

However if we did have any kind of functional mainstream media (one that was intent on actually holding the powerful to account and asking incisive questions about their behaviour rather than generally running distraction for them and burying their scandals), here are some of the questions mainstream media journalists should be asking about the Institute for Statecraft scandal:
  • What is  UK-based charity doing meddling in Spanish political processes?
  • What is a UK-based charity doing bragging about "silencing" people on Serbian television?
  • Are the Spanish and Serbian governments aware that a UK-based (and UK government funded) organisation has been actively meddling in their states, and did they give permission?
  • What Key Performance Indicators have the Tory government set in regards to the £2 million+ in public funding, or is it just a "no strings" handout from the government?
  • Aside from the £2 million+ in government funding, who else is funding this pseudo-charity?
  • Were Tory government ministers aware ofInstitute for Statecraft's foreign interference tactics before the internal document cache was leaked?
  • Did Tory government ministers sign off on the covert political interference in other European states, or did the charity use public funds in this manner purely of their own accord?
  • Is this foreign meddling an abuse of charitable status, and how much do these clearly uncharitable political activities undermine public faith in what charities actually exist to do?
  • Is it acceptable for the governing UK party to lavish £2 million+ of public funds on an organisation that smears their political rivals?
  • Does a UK governing party actually have any legal responsibility to ensure that the public funds they're distributing are not used for the purpose of attacking their political rivals, and if not, why not?
  • Does the £2 million in government funding for an organisation that is interfering in other nations' sovereign affairs constitute evidence that the Tories are quietly privatising and outsourcing the functions of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office?
  • If this was a right-wing pro-Brexit pseudo-charity (like the Institute for Economic Affairs for example) that was caught red-handed spreading partisan political smears and interfering in democratic processes, would award winning investigative journalists like Carole Cadwalladr be quite so keen to talk the scandal down and pivot criticism away from the guilty parties?
  • Have members of the "cluster" cells this pseudo-charity has set up received payment or incentives for their involvement, and if so how much? 
  • Have the MPs who have involved themselves with this pseudo-charity properly declared their involvement, and any payment or benefits, on the Register of Parliamentary Interests?
  • Is the colossal amount of money this government-funded pseudo-charity is flinging around on running seminars and foreign jollies (globs of between £20,000 and £60,000 for seminars and academies),  an absolute affront to decency at a time when disabled people, low-income workers, and literally millions of British children are being condemned to destitution by Tory austerity dogma?
  • Isn't setting up shadowy publicly-funded operations to spread online propaganda and interfere in the affairs of other European democracies exactly what the UK government accuses Putin and the Russian state of doing?
  • Even if we agree with this pseudo-charity's extraordinary use of public funds, isn't getting caught red-handed meddling in other countries affairs a massive display of incompetence from whoever signed off on this scheme at the Foreign Office?
  • Doesn't getting caught engaging in shady cyber-war activities and overseas political interference massively damage the UK's credibility when it comes to criticism of stuff like Russian propaganda bot farms, and Russian political meddling overseas?
  • Is it time for the Charity Commission to draw up new rules to prevent this kind of egregious political abuse of charitable status?
Aside from these specific questions, there's also the thought experiment of whether Jeremy Corbyn would be getting such an easy ride had he become Prime Minister and then set about pumping £2 million+ of public funds into a shady left-wing pseudo charity that smeared his political opponents at home and interfered in the democratic processes and broadcast media of our European neighbours? [if your answer to this thought experiment isn't "absolutely no way" then you can't have been paying much attention at all for the last three years have you?]

None of these are difficult questions to come up with, and any journalist willing to peruse the cache of leaked documents should be easily capable of thinking up plenty of other pertinent questions about this scandal.

However it seems unlikely these questions will be asked by most mainstream media outlets (and especially the BBC) because they undermine the prevailing mainstream media narrative that casts the Russians as the perpetual baddies because they spread propaganda and interfere in other countries affairs (which they do) and the Brits as the honest and trustworthy goodies standing firm against the nasty Russian threat (despite getting caught red-handed engaging in the same kind of propaganda tactics, foreign meddling, and geopolitical influence-mongering).

In fact the leaked Institute for Statecraft documents reveal the shady means by which this prevailing 'new cold war' mainstream media narrative is actually being spread, including the development of "clusters" of journalists working to spread the Institute's propaganda.

Half of the problem is that in order to question the Institute for Statecraft scandal, a lot of mainstream media hacks would have to question themselves and their colleagues.


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OR

Sunday, 9 December 2018

12 things you should know about the "Brexit Betrayal" march


On Sunday December 9th 2018 some 3,000 people attended an extreme-right "Brexit Betrayal" protest in London led by the street thug and convicted fraudster Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Tommy Robinson) and the absolute dregs who haven't yet abandoned UKIP (even former leaders Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall have recently quit the party in disgust at what it's become).

Here are 12 things you should know about the protest.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon

Most of the other speakers barely managed to hold the attention of the crowd because the majority of them were just waiting for their idol "Tommy Robinson" to stick it to the Muslims and immigrants.

Yaxley-Lennon followers don't give a damn that he's using a fake name, that he's a convicted fraudster, that he's a hate-preacher who has inspired deadly terrorist attacks against innocent people, and they don't care that he's living the high life on the back of all of their donations and hundreds of thousands in payments from shady hard-right propaganda outfits in the US who are seeking to destabilise Britain and other developed nations by funding extreme-right agitators.

Yaxley-Lennon has amassed a fortune in donations and used it to build a significant property portfolio, including a large country house in rural Bedfordshire.

Do the people who throw cash at him realise that he's just siphoning it off to enrich himself? 


They probably do realise it, but just don't care, just like "Tommy" and his extreme-right flock don't care about all the evidence that the EDL street thug organisation that he founded is absolutely riddled with paedophiles and other sex offenders.

The decline of UKIP

The UKIP leader Gerard Batten was at the demo alongside Yaxley-Lennon, and it just goes to show how far the party has collapsed since their heyday just a few years ago when they won 24 seats at the 2014 European elections (all but 7 of them have subsequently quit the party) and bagged almost 4 million votes at the 2015 General Election.

Now they've been reduced to a tiny kernel of ideological extremists pathetically riding on the coat tails of an extreme-right hate preacher and convicted fraudster, and even then only attracting 3,000 people to the event they invested so much time, money, and effort to publicise.

I'm obviously not at all fond of Nigel Farage or his successor Paul Nuttall (to put it mildly), but it's no surprise that even hard-right cranks like them have quit the party in disgust at what UKIP has become.

Huge counter-protest

3,000 people turned up to the extreme-right Brexit Betrayal protest, an estimated 15,000 turned up to the anti-fascist counter-protest.


It's clearly not going at all well for the extreme-right if there are five counter-protesters telling them to piss off for every extreme-right supporter at their event.

A noose for Theresa


One of the Brexit Betrayal protesters brought a noose to the protest. When asked why he was carrying it he explained that it was for Theresa May. "That's for Theresa May, that's what treasonous people get".

It's obviously despicable and barbaric for people to go around calling for their political opponents to be hanged, but then Theresa May and her hack mates in the right-wing propaganda rags bear a lot of responsibility for actively creating this febrile and abusive political environment.

Remember "Crush the Saboteurs"


Remember the McCarthyite Tory witch hunt against pro-European academics?

Remember when the Daily Mail printed their "enemies of the people" front page and sparked a wave of abuse and death threats against the three High Court judges who ruled against Theresa May's Brexit power grab because parliament is sovereign?

Well Theresa May actually hired the hack who wrote the "Enemies of the People" article shortly afterwards as her Downing Street press secretary!

Let's be clear that nobody deserves this kind of vile political abuse, but surely Theresa May and her mates must have had an inkling that their strategy of whipping up such torrents of ultranationalist fervour, hatred, and death threats over Brexit would one day rebound back on them if they ever tried to do anything whatever that went against the wishes of the radical extreme-right Brextremist fringe?


High-viz jackets
 

One of the most despicable things about the extreme-right Brexit Betrayal mob is the way they've tried to appropriate the yellow high-viz vest thing from the French gilets jaunes movement.

Like them or loathe them (over 70% of French people support them by the way) it's impossible to deny that the central theme of their movement is anger at economic injustice.

French people are furious that Macron is imposing fuel tax hikes on ordinary people to protect huge corporations (70% of carbon emissions come from 100 of the biggest corporations), and even lavishing a vast tax break on the 1% of wealthiest people in France.

The "no deal" fanatics at the Brexit Betrayal march are protesting in favour of the opposite.

They actually want to trigger an economic meltdown and yet another collapse in British living standards by demanding the most chaotic and economically damaging interpretation possible of the Brexit vote.

Presumably they're doing this because they're fully aware that extreme economic deprivation and the rise of extreme-right ideologues and tyrants go hand-in-hand.

It's an absolute insult to nick the symbolic and effective yellow vests off the French protesters for entirely contradictory purposes.

Extreme-right recruitment
Aside from all the UKIP propaganda at the Brexit Batrayal March, there were several extremist organisations using the demo as a recruitment opportunity. There were loads of banners and literature and placards from the vile white supremacist Generation Identity movement , and the extreme-right EDL successors the "Democratic Football Lad's Alliance" were handing out their propaganda too.


Jo Cox


Nooses, home made banners full of outright political lies, extreme-right and white supremacist literature and banners are appalling enough, but they pale into insignificance in comparison to this absolutely vile conspiracy theory about the murdered MP Jo Cox.

There is no doubt whatever that Cox was brutally murdered in the street by a "Britain First" screaming extreme-right terrorist who later gave his name in court as "death to traitors, freedom for Britain".

Just imagine the mindset and motivation of someone  who would chose to claim that this murder was some kind of false flag operation by the political establishment to murder one of their own. 


The extreme-right inclinations of Jo Cox's killer is obviously so close to the extreme-right views of the person holding this vile placard that they'd rather promote outrageous and sickening conspiracy lies than accept that the murder was committed by one of their own.

Funding

As usual the question needs to be asked, where did this rag-tag band of extreme-right fanatics dig up all the cash to promote and hold this demonstration? Who paid for the publicity? Who paid for the flags and banners? Who paid for the stage and sound equipment?

You'd have to be delusional to think it was Ordinary Joe right-wingers who stumped up the cash given that only 3,000 odd even bothered to turn up. So who was it? Another one of the shady US propaganda outfits who bankroll Yaxley-Lennon, or someone else?


Israel and the British extreme right

On the face of it Zionists and the British extreme-right make extremely odd bedfellows, especially given the history of extreme-right abuse of British Jewish communities (the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, Wood Green in the 1970s) but there were Israeli flags on display amongst the Union flags, pro-Trump propaganda, UKIP banners, and white supremacist placards.

It was always the left (the socialists, the communists, and the anarchists) who stood in solidarity with British Jews against the extreme-right thugs trying to parade through their neighbourhoods, so seeing Israeli flags at extreme-right marches really does induce confusion.

What do Zionists hope to achieve from colluding with the British extreme-right fringe, and what do the extreme-right fringe get out of promoting Zionism?


Jonathan Pie

Everyone with a social media account must have seen at least one Jonathan Pie video. At his peak his brilliant eviscerations of the Tory government were social media gold.

He's disappeared off the radar a little bit recently, but then he's re-emerged at the Brexit Betrayal march, getting welcomed like a hero and doing loads of grinning selfies with the Ukippers and Tommy Robinson fanboys.

Is he working on some kind of undercover exposé of the inner workings of the extreme-right fringe, or was he just basking in the adulation of a bunch of extreme-right fanatics?


The Daily Mail hate chamber absolutely loved it

The comments on the Daily Mail article about the Brexit Betrayal march are exactly what you'd expect from the extreme-right echo chamber of hate that the Daily Mail have cultivated.

The top rated comment of all is a declaration of 100% support for 'Tommy Robinson'. Just imagine offering your uncritical and unyielding 100% support to any political figure, let alone a street thug, wife-beater, and convicted fraudster like Yaxley Lennon!

Most of the other top rated comments praised extreme-right agitators, smeared the left-wing and anti-fascist counter-demonstration, hurled abuse at someone called MacConnell (I think they probably meant the Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell), and spread the usual extreme-right victimhood narratives.

One of the most down rated comments? A concerned Brexiteer saying that Brexit should be about Brexit and sovereignty, not a platform for providing free publicity to criminal extreme-right thugs like Yaxley Lennon.



Conclusion

This collection of 3,000 bigots, racists, ukippers, EDL street thugs, and outright cranks clearly doesn't represent all of the 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit, but then Brexiteers never were a unified group with unified demands.

Unfortunately for those who held their noses and voted alongside the millions of bigots, xenophobes, Ukippers, extreme-right agitators, Britain First followers, EDL street thugs, and the hard-right fringe of the Tory party in favour of Brexit, they've got virtually no representation in the mainstream media, meaning this grotesque circus of bandwagon-jumping extreme-right cranks is how they're're going to be portrayed unless you start speaking out, condemning this revolting freakshow, and explaining what it is that reasonable Brexiteers like you actually want.

Of course not all Brexiters are racists, but on the evidence of the Brexit Betrayal protest, all the racists are definitely Brexiters.

If you're an non-racist, no-bigoted, non-fascist Brexiter, are you really going to let this utterly vile mob speak for you?


Are you really going to allow extreme-right agitators and hate preachers to usurp Brexit and use it to promote their disgusting ideology?

Well if you do you're either dooming your Brexit ambitions to failure, or worse, dooming Britain to a terrifying future of extreme-right demagoguery, ethnic and religious persecution, and extreme repression of political non-conformity.



 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




OR

Theresa May's Putinesque propaganda war


Interfering in other countries' democracies, channelling public funds to shady operations that attack and smear opposition politicians and undermine the freedom of the press, maintaining secretive networks of loyalist journalists and civil servants at home and abroad, spreading social media disinformation, electoral cheating to maintain power, and all as the head of a political party bankrolled by dodgy Russian oligarchs.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a description of Vladimir Putin and his regime, but in fact it's Theresa May and the Tories.

Anyone who has paid the remotest attention to how the Tory cabal funds itself will know that they've racked up more than £3 million in donations from dodgy Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies since 2010, including the sale of direct personal access to government ministers just weeks before the Tory government quashed Labour moves to clamp down on the tsunami of dodgy Russian cash flooding into the City of London.

Anyone who was paying attention during the 2017 general election will know that the Tory party is just as willing to use despicable social media propaganda to achieve their objectives as Vladimir Putin and the armies of Russia-based social media propaganda bots.

And who could forget the brazen electoral cheating the Tories got away with in 2015?


And now we're learning about the incredibly shady activities of a government funded propaganda operation called the Institute for Statecraft after the leak of a cache of damning internal documents about the global propaganda operation they're running (see here to browse the documents for yourself).

The Institute for Statecraft has been set up as a charity so as to avoid paying tax, and has benefited from around £2 million in public cash channelled through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

They've established what they refer to as "clusters" in democratic states across the developed world, including the UK, Spain, France, Greece, the US/Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltic region, and the Balkans. These shady cells act as anti-Russia propaganda outfits and also actively interfere in other countries' democratic processes.

One of the operations they're most proud of was their mobilisation against the appointment of Army reserve colonel Pedro Baños as Spain’s Director of National Security with a concerted smear campaign in the media within hours of the announcement.

They also openly brag about their interference in Spanish politics and the "silencing" of non-conformist voices on Serbian television in a document called "Top Three Deliverabilities for the FCO".

So the UK government is funding this organisation to the tune of £millions, and they're reporting back on their successes in interfering with the political systems and free press of other democratic states.

For an organisation that has been ostensibly created in order to counter Russian propaganda, this all seems more than a little Putinesque does it not?

The Institute for Statecraft operates a Twitter account called "Integrity Initiative" which, according to their Twitter bio, exists to "counter disinformation and malign influence" and "promote media literacy and media freedom".

So now we have an organisation that brags about silencing unwelcome voices on Serbian television simultaneously posing as champions of "media freedom" on Twitter!

And it gets worse. This government funded Twitter account has published several highly partisan political attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, including one Tweet labelling him a "useful idiot" and others sharing the work of bitter anti-Corbyn propagandists in the mainstream media.

So we have a shady propaganda outfit that's pretending to be a charity in order to avoid paying tax raking in £millions from the Tory government while they abuse the leader of the opposition on social media.

The channelling of public funds into a shady organisation that attacks and smears the leader of the political opposition is an absolutely appalling look for an organisation that ostensibly exists to counter Putinism.

The Tory government's use of public cash to fund a shady organisation that interferes in other countries' democracies, attacks press freedom, and bitterly attacks the leader of the opposition would be an absolute outrage under any other circumstances.

Just try to imagine it. Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister and then sets about channelling £2 million in public cash into a shady left-wing pseudo-charity propaganda outfit that actively interferes in other democratic states and bitterly smears his political opponents at home.

Do you honestly believe that there wouldn't be absolute outrage about it across the BBC and the corporate mainstream media?

But you almost certainly won't be hearing anything about this outrageous Tory scandal on the BBC or in the right-wing propaganda rags, and one of the principle reasons why is that this shady pseudo-charity has infiltrated them (especially the Times with three of their 'journalists' listed as Institute for Statecraft assets) as well as dozens of charities, think tanks, and government departments.

Another principle reason is that the mainstream media groupthink is to desperately defend the crumbling and incompetent Tory establishment out of fear that Jeremy Corbyn will actually follow through on his word and reform the political system to put the interests of ordinary people at the heart of government for the first time in decades, rather than continually pandering to the wealthy and coddled establishment cass to which most mainstream media hacks belong.

Hence this scandal will be brushed under the mainstream media carpet along with all the other outrageous Tory scandals they either forget about within days, deliberately obfuscate, or don't even bother to cover at all.


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OR

Saturday, 8 December 2018

How has Britain has become so normalised to Tory lawlessness and contempt for democracy?



To get a measure of how utterly normalised we've become to Tory lawlessness, just consider the fact that they became the first government in UK history to be held in contempt of parliament for deliberately refusing to comply with a parliamentary vote to release the legal advice they received on Brexit, and it's already been forgotten about within days.

This is always the case. Tory lawlessness and contempt for democracy always gets swept under the carpet and forgotten about.
  • Remember when Theresa May and the Tories were defeated in the Supreme Court over their efforts to completely sideline parliament in order to make democratic opposition to Theresa May's hard-right Brexit scheming impossible? 
  • Remember when the Tories absolutely gutted Legal Aid in order to price poor and ordinary people out of the justice system and make it almost impossible for the victims of their malicious and unjust welfare policies to seek justice in the courts?
This is a government riddled with contempt for parliamentary democracy and contempt towards the rule of law, yet they're barely ever held to account for it by the mainstream media. And on the rare occasions that the public do actually hear about these extraordinary scandals, the tendency is to shrug it all off as if lawlessness, corruption and contempt for democracy are normal and unavoidable, rather than outrageous and unacceptable.


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