Monday, January 23, 2017

The baying enforced optimism mob

British people have a tendency to point at the absurdity of American politics and exclaim stuff like "phew, at least we're not as bad as that" in order to make ourselves feel better about our own corrupt and malfunctioning political system.

Sometimes we have a point. Even the archaic and desperately unrepresentative Westminster voting system probably couldn't result in the candidate who lost the election by 3 million votes becoming our political leader (although in 1951 Churchill got 230,000 fewer votes than Attlee and somehow won the election), and Theresa May's press team have yet come out with anything quite as bonkers as "alternative facts".

In other ways the British system is even more crackers than the American system. Take Theresa May's appallingly invasive Snoopers' Charter, the likes of which simply couldn't happen (legally) in America because the American public are technically protected from this kind of invasive state interference by the US Constitution.

Another example of a kind of madness that is peculiar to the British is the enforced optimism about Brexit. Anyone raising doubts or questions about the glories of Brexit is now routinely shouted down, told to "shut up" and derided as a "Remoaner", "traitor", "sore loser", "whinger" and all manner of other Brexiter insults and character attacks by a baying mob of furious Brexit fanatics.

Of all of the insults hurled by the enforced optimism crowd "Remoaner" is  by far the most lacking in self-awareness. Brexit only came about because anti-European campaigners relentlessly moaned about Europe for 40 years, then immediately after they got what they wanted, anyone who raises concerns of any kind about the conduct of Tory Brexit is suddenly guilty of the heinous crime of "moaning"!

It doesn't seem to matter a jot to the enforced optimism crowd that Theresa May has outlined a savagely right-wing Tory interpretation of Brexit that is almost certain to end up isolating the UK from our 27 former European allies.

Attempting to cherry pick access to the Single Market for favoured corporations (Theresa May specifically mentioned banking and vehicle manufacturing for these special favours in her woeful Brexit speech) is spectacularly unlikely to work, because no sane club would ever allow departing members to cherry-pick themselves a better deal than the deal offered to the actual remaining fee-paying members.

Theresa May's over-optimistic cherry-picking strategy looks bad enough in its own right, but it looks even worse when backed up with the threat that "we'll turn ourselves into a bargain basement corporate tax haven if you don't give us what we want, and then you'll be sorry".

Thus Tory Brexit is clearly going to be a lose-lose situation for ordinary British businesses and citizens. Either we get a country that is even more rigged in favour of major corporations than it is now (they get to benefit from Single Market access while the rest of us are locked out and have to pay tariffs), or we end up in a corporate tax haven dystopia where public services and infrastructure are slashed away at even more than they already have been in order to cover the cost of bribing multinational corporations to locate here.
Don't dare to point this out though, or you're certain to be furiously denounced as a "Remoner" or even a "traitor" by the enforced optimism mob.

Another indicator of this delusional enforced optimism is all of the ludicrous talk of rushing through trade deals with other countries. 

Theresa May pinned her hopes on the prospect of a quickfire trade deal with Trump's America in her Brexit speech as if the Trump administration are going to just hand Britain a wonderfully beneficial deal instead of putting our diplomatically isolated country into a half-nelson and demanding as many benefits for American corporations as possible in return for a face-saving deal for Theresa May to crow about.

Imagine the delusional levels of optimism necessary to imagine that the socialist NHS principle of providing care on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay for it would survive a Tory-Trump trade deal.

Aside from the US and EU (our biggest trading partners by miles) talk of other trade deals is delusional nonsense too. We have obvious cultural links with countries like New Zealand, South Africa and India, but we export twice as much to tiny Belgium as all three combined, so they're hardly likely to rescue us if Theresa May succeeds in erecting a vast trade barrier between Britain and the continent.

As for China; who could forget Chinese State Media slamming Brexit as a display of a "losing mindset" and Chinese experts laughing off the fantasy of a quickfire China trade deal with estimates that such a deal would likely take a team of 500 British diplomats ten years to make?

Cartoon credit: Kevin Kallaugher
The enforced optimism crowd keep telling us that Brexit represents a wonderful opportunity for Britain to draw up brilliant new trade deals all over the world, but the geopolitical reality is a lot more sobering.

Britain has put itself in an extraordinary position of diplomatic weakness, because every potential trade deal partner will know perfectly well that we need them more than they need us, and will therefore be looking to extract as many favours and bribes as possible in return for signing our hastily cobbled-together trade deals.

What is even more worrying than the delusionally over-optimistic interpretations of the Tory Brexit shambles is the way that all of this fantastical nonsense is ruthlessly enforced by a baying mob of furious Brexiters, who see any efforts to doubt or question the Tory handling of Brexit as completely unacceptable attempts to snatch away their beloved Brexit utopia.

Us Brits can continue to laugh and sneer at Donald Trump and the farcical state of American politics if we like, but the goings on closer to home are just as ludicrous. The Tories and their chums in the right-wing press are busy concocting bizarre Orwellian narratives (Theresa May and the party of wealth and privilege are the anti-establishment rebellion! The bullies are the victims! Our weakness is our strength!) and millions of people are soaking up these counter-factual stories and then mindlessly regurgitating them as if they're their own well-considered political opinions rather than painfully obvious drivel they've just obsorbed through the process of mental osmosis.

Let's be honest with ourselves: With the farcical shit-parade of Tory Brexit going on, we don't really occupy sneering-at-others territory do we?

 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.


The best of #AlternativeFacts

Donald Trump is such a thin-skinned narcissist that the first days of his administration will be remembered for an astoundingly farcical display of truth-denial from the White House rather than any meaningful political initiative.

Trump was clearly furious at the press for pointing out that Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration attracted much bigger crowds that Trump's in 2017. 
First into the fray was Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer who furiously denounced the media with claims of some kind of vendetta to "minimise the enormous support", telling quite a few demonstrable lies in the process before storming out of the press conference without actually answering any questions from the press.

Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway then attempted to defend Spicer's lies with the astounding claim that they weren't lies, but actually "alternative facts"
The Twitter response to the public coining of a brand new euphemism for "lies" by a government spokesperson was brilliant, with the #AlternativeFacts hashtag trending for the rest of the day. Here are a few of the best examples:

Several people used #AlternativeFacts as they were originally intended (to make Trump's inauguration seem very much more glorious than it actually was)

Some people pointed out the way that Trump had left his wife behind as he rushed out of the car and up the steps, and then again as he hurried through the door was not "rudeness", but "alternative chivalry"!

People were quick to point out that "alternative facts" probably won't work so well with policemen, teachers or the tax authorities.

Kris Sacrebleu pointed out the chillingly Orwellian nature of "alternative facts".

Daniel Phillips helpfully provided some synonyms to help people get their heads around what "alternative facts" actually are.

The Merriam Webster dictionary offered a helpful definition of the word "fact" for anyone suffering confusion.

And a librarian got in on the act too:

Here are a few more people demonstrating that they get the idea:

Scientists for EU picked up on the similarity between "alternative facts" and Vote Leave campaign pledges.

After just one day in the White House the Orwellian lunacy of "alternative facts" was enough to make people lose patience with the Trump administration.

Possibly the best Tweet of all was this one that shows a very good understanding of the Trumpster thought system: uncomfortable truth = "fake news" / Trump administration lie = "alternative fact".

Chillingly Dan Rather points out that the ones with the most realistic power to stop the insanity of stuff like "alternative facts" are the Republican Party (who allowed themselves to be usurped by Trump in the first place), and hopes that the press (who elevated Trump to the White House with all of the free publicity they gave him) collectively decide to pressure Republican politicians into holding him to account.

 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.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

How many plebs is Theresa May willing to kill?

If it wasn't already clear how genocidally insane Theresa May was being when she bragged about her willingness to incinerate 100,000 innocent men, women and children in a nuclear fireball last year, it's even clearer now.

It turns out that the Tory government knew that a Trident missile had flown off in the wrong direction just weeks before the vote, but they hastily covered it up in order to make sure the parliamentary debate to write a blank cheque for Trident renewal was won.

Seeing as it's now clear that the Tories knew that our nuclear missile delivery system is prone to flying off towards the people it's supposed to be defending, it seems that Theresa May was actually expressing her willingness to incinerate 100,000 British men, women and children in a catastrophic nuclear missile malfunction, just as long as the (mainly American) arms companies that run our "independent" nuclear deterrent get to gorge on the £205 billion+ it's going to cost us.

Even if you think it's a bit of a stretch to say that the extraordinary cover up of the malfunctioning missile indicates that Theresa May is willing to incinerate British people with nuclear weapons, it's still absolutely undeniable that she's willing to see an awful lot of British people die in order to cover the obscene cost of renewing our stockpile of Doomsday Machines.

People are dying in hospital corridors because of Tory cuts to the NHS, and yet they're still ruthlessly slashing NHS services while demand keeps going up. The Tory policy of deliberately under-funding the NHS and social care is undeniably costing lives.

Just a fraction of the obscene amounts Theresa May wants to squander on Trident would save thousands of lives if it was spent on the NHS and social care. But the lives of ordinary plebs just don't matter to Theresa May and her ilk. Whether it's the innocent foreign plebs she openly admitted that she would incinerate in a nuclear weapons crime against humanity, or the British plebs dying in hospital corridors to pay for her Weapons of Mass Destruction vanity project, she just doesn't give a damn. They're just the "lower orders" after all, meaning their lives are just as disposable as the cannon fodder who were marched to their deaths during the First World War.

As long as Theresa May gets to secure a vast windfall of public cash for her arms company mates then it doesn't matter how many plebs have to suffer and die to cover the cost of it.

 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.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Orwellian propaganda of the British establishment

When George Orwell wrote the phrases "War is Peace", "Ignorance is Strength" and "Freedom is Slavery" he intended them as a warning about the dangers of totalitarianism. Nowadays examples of this kind of "Black is White" Orwellian propaganda are alarmingly commonplace in establishment political discourse.

The Bullies are the Victims

In the wake of Theresa May's woeful January 2017 Brexit speech the right-wing propaganda rags went into overdrive to try to convince the gullible that her rhetoric laden speech was some kind of triumph rather than an excruciatingly embarrassing low point in British diplomatic history, utilising a load of Orwellian "Black is White" propaganda in the process.

May's speech sent the excruciatingly weak diplomatic message that unless our 27 former European allies cave into her pro-corporate demands, then she's going to turn the UK into a vast bargain basement corporate tax haven, and then they'll be sorry.

Resorting to such ludicrous threats before the negotiations have even begun was bad enough, but Boris Johnson (who is somehow Britain's top diplomat) followed it up by insulting the people we're going to have to negotiate with by comparing them to brutal Second World War prison camp guards.

The Express somehow twisted this Tory idiocy around completely in order to paint the ones making ludicrous threats and insulting people as the poor innocent victims, and the targets of these threats and insults as the terrible foreign bullies!

The Establishment is the Anti-Establishment

When it comes to "Black is White" propaganda narratives The S*n went even further by trying to paint Theresa May (the leader of the millionaire-financed party of wealth and power) as some kind of anti-establishment hero intent on "ripping up the privileges of the elite"!

The attempt by the Murdoch press to twist Theresa May's "give our major corporations special privileges or we'll turn ourselves into a tax haven" threats into some kind of heroic anti-establishment stance on behalf of ordinary British people is an utterly absurd example of Orwellian propaganda, but it's hardly unusual these days. In fact it's possible to find examples of establishment politicians actually arguing the three Orwellian slogans "War is Peace""Ignorance is Strength" and "Freedom is Slavery"!

Ignorance is Strength

Anti-intellectualism is of fundamental importance to any extremist political ideology because extremist ideologies cannot tolerate dissent, thus the importance of attacking and demeaning anyone with the critical faculties to subject the prevailing political ideology to any kind of intellectual scrutiny.

The Brexit campaigner Michael Gove exemplified this anti-intellectual "Ignorance is Strength" stance when he said that British people have "had enough of experts" when challenged to name some economic experts who actually thought that Brexit would actually be a good idea.

It's obviously no surprise that the man who vandalised our education system and filled our schools with totally unqualified teachers is an anti-intellectual who thinks people should make important political decisions based on ignorance and gut instinct rather than careful considered analysis of what the experts say. Nobody would expect anything else from him because there's no coherent argument in favour of this shambolic "let's make it up as we go along" Tory version of Brexit.

If there had've been an actual Brexit plan then it could have been subjected to intellectual scrutiny, but since there was no other plan apart from "let's all vote for Brexit and then let the hard-right of the Tory party make it up as they go along to suit their own interests", criticism and belittlement of critical expert opinion was absolutely vital for the success of the Leave campaign.

Freedom is Slavery

In January 2014 the former Work and Pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith gave an extraordinarily narcissistic and self-aggrandising speech in which he claimed that his welfare reforms were the modern day equivalent of the abolition of slavery!

One of the most absurd things about this ludicrous claim is that one of Iain Duncan Smith's flagship welfare reforms was a massive expansion in the modern-slavery Workfare system.

Under numerous Tory workfare schemes hundreds of thousands of unemployed people were stripped of their labour rights and compelled, under the threat of absolute destitution via sanctions, to work for no wages, often at highly profitable corporations.

Just imagine the scenario that you've worked your entire life since leaving school at 16, paying National Insurance contributions throughout your working life. Now you're 60 and you've lost your job. But instead of being allowed to access the unemployment benefits you've earned through your decades of National Insurance contributions, the Tory government has told you that you won't get a penny of it unless you complete a Workfare sentence of 30 hours a week of menial labour at Poundland for six months (significantly more hours of unpaid labour than the maximum community sentence handed out to actual criminals).

Faced with the prospect of absolute destitution you decide to do your sentence of unpaid forced labour at Poundland where you find that your boss is some jumped up Express-reading Tory fanboy who is less than half your age and considers you to be the kind of idle workshy scum Express columnists have indocrtinated him to hate, and treats you accordingly. No matter how much verbal abuse this disgusting Tory oik slings at you, no mater how much he demeans you in front of the other staff and the customers, you can't quit, because if you quit you know you'll be punished with benefit sanctions.

You get no sympathy at all from the other staff at Poundland. They understand the threat you represent to their jobs. Why would Poundland keep paying them actual salaries when they could just sack as many of them as possible to be replaced with an endless supply of free workfare slaves like you. The problem for the other staff members is that their employers and the Tory government are colluding to replace their paid jobs with forced unpaid labour, but you're the physical embodiment of the problem, so they hate you for it. But you can't quit otherwise you get thrown into absolute destitution.

During his tenure at the DWP Iain Duncan Smith forced hundreds of thousands of people into situations like this, yet he actually patted himself on the back for it, and even compared himself to the slavery abolitionists of the 19th Century, which is an astoundingly brazen attempt to equate "Slavery" and "Freedom".

War is Peace

During the siege of Aleppo a number of Tory revisionists attempted to create the narrative that David Cameron's failed rush to war in 2013 was some kind of glorious missed opportunity. Their argument was that had Cameron had his way, Assad would have been defeated, Aleppo wouldn't be happening, and Syria would probably have become a wonderful bed of roses by now.

The reality of course is that the destruction of the Assad regime in 2013 would have created an incredibly dangerous power vacuum, which would likely have been filled by ISIS, just like they filled the power vacuum in Iraq after our catastrophic intervention there.

Of course the ongoing civil war in Syria is appalling, but anyone who thinks that David Cameron handing the keys to Damascus to ISIS would have made the situation better than it is now, really is clearly preaching from the bonkers "War is Peace" handbook.

Another example of this ludicrous "War is Peace" rhetoric is the Tory justification for continuing to arm Saudi Arabia despite their ongoing war crimes in Yemen, and the fact that over 2,000 Saudis are enforcing the savage ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

"We need to sell them £billions worth of weapons because they're helping us with the war on terrorism" the Tories plead, even when the proof of Saudi weapons, finance and fighters in ISIS have been proven time and time again.

The Tories would have us believe that "War is Peace"; that Saudi Arabia is not a vile Islamist regime that has been spreading terrorism and Salafi extremism throughout the middle east and the world for decades, but actually a wonderful global peacemaker!


It's considered rather trite to exclaim that "George Orwell's 1984 was intended as a warning, not a political handbook", but the regularity with which members of the political establishment actually try to argue that "Black is White" these days is pretty alarming stuff that Orwell would surely be criticising and satirising if he were still alive today.

 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.


The Guardian Fake News headline about Jeremy Corbyn

I have to admit that I was momentarily fooled by the Guardian's Fake News about Jeremy Corbyn supposedly deciding to whip Labour MPs into supporting the Article 50 bill that hasn't even been written yet.

The title of the Guardian article when shared on social media reads "Corbyn to impose three line whip on Labour MPs to trigger Article 50".

When I first saw the headline I thought "what the bloody hell is Corbyn doing? What an utterly stupid position to take!" because it would obviously be complete lunacy for the leader of the opposition to declare that they're going to force their MPs to vote in favour of a government bill before anyone even knows what's actually going to be in the government bill. Such a move would be an open invitation for the government to fill the Article 50 bill full of all kinds of unacceptable nonsense.

After the initial feelings of anger and disappointment generated by the headline began to dissipate, a bit of investigation soon revealed that the article didn't actually contain a single quote of Jeremy Corbyn, or any of his team saying that they're going to whip Labour MPs into supporting the Article 50 bill.

About halfway through the article it actually admitted that the real Labour Party position is that "no formal decision on whipping had been made and the party would seek to amend the bill if it did not meet its priorities for negotiations", which is completely at odds with the article headline that claims that Corbyn will order Labour MPs to vote in favour of it.

The big problem here is that vastly more people will have seen the article headline in their social media news feed than will have actually clicked on the article, read at least half of it, and then clocked that the headline was clearly contradicted by the actual contents of the article.

John Shafthauer at The Canary explained the problem very clearly when he pointed out that The Guardian has taken this reality: 
Labour MAY tell MPs to vote a certain way DEPENDENT on what’s in the bill. 
And turned it into this: 
Labour WILL tell MPs to vote a certain way REGARDLESS of what’s in the bill.
There's no escaping the fact that the Guardian has invented a Fake News headline about Jeremy Corbyn and spread it all over social media.

I was far from the only person to be duped by the Guardian. I'm a huge fan of the Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, but she fell for this Fake News headline and shared it on her Twitter feed.

It wasn't just the liberal-left who got duped by the Guardian's Fake News headline either. The Spectator (a right-wing news comic owned by the tax-dodging Barclay brothers) worked themselves up into a synthetic rage over Corbyn's supposed hypocrisy. How dare he be a serial backbench rebel and then impose a three line whip on his own MPs?

Probably the worst thing of all about this Guardian Fake News headline is that it came in the same week as Theresa May announced that the long-awaited Tory "negotiating strategy" we've waited six months for is a ludicrous threat against our 27 former European allies that represents a massive lose-lose situation for the vast majority of British people and British businesses.

Either the EU gives in to the Tory demands for a massively uneven playing field where banks and major corporations get preferential access to the Single Market while ordinary British people, independent traders, small and medium businesses and the like suffer the economic damage of getting locked out, or the Tories get rebuffed by the EU and then set about following through on their threat to turn the UK into a bargain basement corporate tax haven.

When the focus of criticism should have been on Theresa May and the Tories, the supposedly left-liberal press were far too busy fabricating Fake News headlines to damage Jeremy Corbyn's leadership to bother attempting to counter the absolute tide of euphoric uncritical guff in the right-wing gutter press about Theresa May's woeful threat-based posturing.

 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.


Friday, January 20, 2017

The over-optimistic fantasy of a beneficial Trump Trade Deal for Britain

After discarding all of the over-optimistic and often downright contradictory rhetoric in Theresa May's woeful Brexit speech (almost all of it), she really didn't say very much that we didn't already know.

Aside from confirming that the long-awaited Tory negotiating strategy is actually going to be based on the quite extraordinary threat that "if you don't let us cherry-pick access to the Single Market for favoured corporations then we'll turn the UK into a bargain basement corporate tax haven, and then you'll be sorry" one of the other notable features of the speech was the bit where she pinned her hopes on Donald Trump giving the UK a free trade deal saying "President Elect Trump has said Britain is not 'at the back of the queue' for a trade deal with the United States, the world's biggest economy, but front of the line".

If TTIP was scary, how isn't a free trade deal between Trump and the Tories?

One of the first things to note about this is the way that a proposed Trump-Tory corporate power grab blatantly contradicts all the anti-TTIP rhetoric from the Leave camp during the referendum campaign.

Despite the numerous observations that TTIP was dead in the water already because the governments of Greece, Portugal and France would never ratify it, opportunistic Brexiters used fear of this corporate power grab in order to persuade people to quit the EU.

Now, suddenly Brexiters are celebrating the idea of TTIP 2.0, but not based on an agreement between Barack Obama's centre-right government and the diverse political structure of the EU, but between President Trump's billionaire cabinet and Theresa May's hard-right Tory government!

I always strongly opposed TTIP, and it's a good thing for the remaining 27 EU nations that this toxic corporate power grab is dead in the water, but as I said all along, Britain quitting the EU would likely mean the development of even more ferociously right-wing corporate power grabs, and Theresa May's speech has made it absolutely clear that a corporate takeover deal between the UK and the US is one of her big priorities for post-Brexit Britain.

Trump's speech

Just a few days after Theresa May's pitiful Brexit speech, Donald Trump made his inaugural speech as President of the United States. Here are a few extracts:
"From this day forward, it's going to be only America First, America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families."
"Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength."
"We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and hire American."
Theresa May is pinning her hopes on a free-trade agreement with the United States, but the new President is talking boldly about protectionism, putting America First, rigging trade agreements to benefit America and refusing to buy or hire British.

Donald Trump's bold protectionist rhetoric makes Theresa May look blindly and pathetically optimistic if she thinks she's going to get a trade deal with Trump's America that will benefit anyone but the Americans.

A position of weakness

By resorting to childish threats before the negotiations have even begun Theresa May has put the UK into a position of weakness. If the EU do as expected and rebuff the Tory efforts to cherry-pick access to the Single Market for favoured sectors of the economy (banking and vehicle manufacturing were mentioned by name), then she'll be left to decide whether to follow through on her threat to turn the UK into a bargain basement corporate tax haven in retaliation.

If Theresa May gets "no deal" from the EU, then the UK will clearly be in a position of extreme geopolitical weakness, and the countries lining up to form trade agreements with us will factor that into their negotiations. They'll be in the position to say "you need us more than we need you, so what are you going to give us?".

The idea that Donald Trump wouldn't use Britain's geopolitical weakness as a huge advantage in the UK-US trade negotiations is absolute fantasy. He's not going to give the UK a cushy deal just because he's got Scottish ancestry, or because he'd like to grab Theresa May by the pussy, he's going to use Britain's weakness and isolation like a diplomatic half-nelson to extract the best deal possible for America.

Tax Haven Britain

Another consideration that arises from Theresa May's threat to turn the UK into the biggest corporate tax haven in the world is how compatible this would be with Donald Trump's "America First" rhetoric.

Is Donald Trump going to sit idly by while Britain lowers its corporation tax rates to near zero in an attempt to get major multinational firms to abandon Europe and the US to relocate in Britain?

If Trump sees tax haven Britain as a threat to his "America First" rhetoric, how is that going to influence his decision making? Would he introduce protectionist measures to counter the threat of tax haven Britain, or would he join us in a "race to the bottom" drive to eliminate taxes on corporations and the super rich, creating an anglo-American corporate dystopia?

Whatever Trump's reaction to tax haven Britain, it's hardly likely to be good for ordinary British people.


The idea that a rushed trade agreement between the Tories and Donald Trump administration is going to be some kind of saving grace for Britain is frankly delusional. Even at the best of times such a hastily cobbled-together deal between two hard-right governments would hardly be beneficial for ordinary people, but with Britain going into any negotiations in a position of extreme geopolitical weakness, it's likely to end up being a very one-sided deal with very many more benefits for America and American corporations than benefits for Britain.

 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.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

What on earth are 55% of British people thinking?

It's becoming increasingly clear that huge numbers of people didn't even understand what Theresa May was actually saying in her woeful Brexit speech. They just bought into all the flag-waving patriotism, delusionally over-optimistic fantasies and vacuous self-contradictory gubbins and ignored the main economic points entirely.

She's clearly demanded that the EU give preferential access to favoured corporate sectors of the economy (the financial sector and vehicle manufacturing were mentioned by name) while small and medium businesses, start-ups, independent traders, local shops and the like (both in the UK and in Europe) suffer the economic damage of the new trade barrier she's intent on erecting.

Towards the end of the speech she made it clear that if she doesn't get this pro-corporate wishlist fulfilled, she's going to turn the UK into a vast bargain basement corporate tax haven in retribution.

Thus the choice is between a deeply divided country where the banks and major corporations with the economic might to bribe/coerce the Tories into actually representing their trade interests get to keep access to the Single Market, whilst the rest of us suffer the consequences of being forced out of it, or the Tories follow through on their threat and turn the UK into a corporate tax haven then set about wrecking the remaining vestiges of the social democratic model (the NHS, schools, other public services, public infrastructure, the social security system, Legal Aid ...) to cover the cost of bribing multinational corporations to relocate here.

This choice between two Tory corporate dystopias won't even be in our hands either. The choice will be in the hands of our 27 former European allies, and given the icy response to Theresa May's Brexit speech on the continent, they're hardly going to allow the Tories to cherry-pick the best bits of Single Market access for their favoured corporations. They're almost certainly going to call Theresa May's bluff and say "go on then, turn yourselves into a basket case corporate tax haven and see who comes off worst".

There remains a strong suspicion that the Tories have deliberately put an impossible proposition on the negotiating table so that they can cry victim when the EU rebuffs it. "we don't actually want to do this" they'll claim as they slash corporation tax to near zero and set about gleefully trashing what remains of our public services "but the nasty, evil, foreign EU concentration camp guards made us do it as punishment for trying to escape".

Astoundingly a post Brexit Speech YouGov poll found that 55% of British people actually think this ludicrous pro-corporate threat-based posturing from the Tories is going to eventually turn out well for Britain and 47% of us still have faith in Theresa May's negotiating skills, even after she's just had a foot-stamping toddler tantrum on the international stage while dressed in a tartan clown suit!

Given the overwhelming public support for this ludicrous "give our favoured corporations special advantages over the rest of the UK economy or we're turning ourselves into a tax haven" stance, I can't help thinking that the British people are going to end up suffering the appalling consequences that so often befall gullible people who can't/won't engage their critical thinking skills, even when their entire future depends upon it.

 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.