Friday, 13 July 2018

The Brexit White Paper: Hard Brexit with cherry-picking


After wasting an incredible 15 months of the Article 50 negotiating period on their internal squabbles and distractions like Theresa May's failed vanity election, the Tory government have finally released their long-awaited Brexit White Paper.

In this article I'm going to address some crucial issues with the White Paper, but I strongly advise you to have a look through the document yourself (I'll provide a link at the end of the article) and to check out other people's analyses too, because the way Brexit is implemented is of such importance to our future as a nation that it would be grossly negligent not to investigate what the government is proposing for yourself. 


An anti-democratic shambles

If the way the Tory government released their Brexit White Paper is indicative of their approach to Brexit, we're in for an anti-democratic farce of epic proportions.

The Tories decided to completely ignore parliamentary protocol by sharing copies of the White Paper with selected members of the press at 9am, while only providing opposition MPs with copies during the new Brexit minister's speech (necessitating the extraordinary spectacle of the Speaker suspending parliament for five minutes in the middle of the speech as copies were literally thrown around the chamber).

The reason the government is supposed to provide copies to opposition MPs in advance is obviously to provide time for them to read the proposals and formulate questions in order to hold the government to account.

The decision to cut out the opposition parties in favour of providing preferential access to their mates in the media just goes to show the absolute contempt the Tories have towards stuff like democratic scrutiny and due process.

Filler, fluff, and sound bites

Before we get to the actual details of the White Paper it's crucial to note that it's absolutely stuffed full of slick pro-government fluff, much of it utterly devoid of real meaning.

Take the repetition of the phrase "principled and practical Brexit". It's just more evasive and essentially meaningless floss from the "Brexit means Brexit" and "red, white, and blue Brexit" school of empty sound bite trickery designed for no other purpose than appealing to the hard-of-thinking.

Superfluous waffle

Take this concluding quote from just the 2nd point in the whole paper:
"The UK hopes that this will be the basis of a serious and detailed negotiation in the coming weeks and months that will lead to a historic agreement in the interests of both sides".
Why on earth is it necessary for the UK government to waste space by stating that it hopes that negotiations will take place and an agreement be reached, given that this is the entire purpose of the White Paper we've waited 15 wasted months for?

Toddler tantrum diplomacy

In the preceding days the new Brexit Minister Dominic Raab has reiterated the threat that if the EU don't cave into Tory demands, they're going to inflict an extraordinarily damaging hard-right "no deal" Brexit in retribution, and to underline the point the Tories have been briefing their allies in the press that they're planning to stockpile canned food and emergency generators to show that they're serious about their threat to plunge the UK economy into "no deal" chaos.

"Give us what we want or we'll destroy our own economy" is a totally crackpot negotiating strategy for two key reasons.

One is that the underlying threat completely undermines any goodwill that is earned from all the kind words, hopeful aspirations, and begging for cooperation in the White Paper.

the second is that the majority of the economic, social, and reputational damage from a "no deal" flounce would obviously fall on Britain, meaning the EU actually has an incentive to call our bluff, and then welcome the massive flood of businesses, skilled workers, and capital fleeing the self-inflicted "no deal" chaos in the UK.


Cakism

The economic partnership section calls for a new free trade zone for goods to avoid disruption to the modern cross-border supply chains that have built up over the last four decades, but this call for free movement of goods is totally undermined by the demands for the destruction of the right to free movement of people.

What the Tories are demanding is an agreement that provides greater freedom of movement to a British-made packet of crisps, than to a British citizen.

Not only is this proposal something that's already been rejected by the EU as cherry-picking, it's also a pure distillation of the warped Tory mentality that property has more inherent value than people.

Agencies

The White Paper proposes that the UK should be allowed to retain membership of multiple EU agencies such as European Chemicals Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency, the European Medicines Agency, the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), Rapid Alert System for Serious Risk (Rapex), the Information and Communication System for Market Surveillance (ICSMS), Interpol, the European Criminal Records Investigation Sytem (ECRIS) and Interjust.

It's beyond obvious that the UK would be absolutely crackers to quit these agencies, especially given the necessity of spending £billions to replicate the regulatory roles they perform, and the total impossibility of replicating the functions of agencies like Interpol and ECRIS.

The decision to request continued membership of these agencies is one of the rare outbreaks of common sense in the White Paper, but continued alignment is likely to send the hard-right deregulation-obsessed Brextremists into fits of irrepressible rage.

European Court of Justice
"Where the UK participates in an EU agency, the UK will respect the remit of the Court of Justice of the European Union."
Brextremists will be incandescent with rage at this bit too because they hate the European Court of Justice with an undying ideological passion.

Customs

One of the most contentions issues for the fanatical Tory Brextremists is the customs issue. The White Paper proposes the establishment of a Facilitated Customs Agreement (FCA) with a common rule book on goods, including agri-foods.

This is obviously going to be completely unacceptable to the hard-right Brextremists who see a free trade deal with the Trump administration as their number one priority. 

A Trump-Tory trade deal would be completely incompatible with continued regulatory alignment with EU food standards because one of the main US negotiating objectives is to crack the UK open to cheap substandard American produce like chlorinated chicken, hormone riddled beef, and unlabeled GM produce.

If the UK government begins allowing cheap substandard US produce into the UK as part of a Tory-Trump trade deal, then the EU will obviously need to enforce customs checks to stop this American crap leeching across the UK border into their territory.

Standards

Food standards are not the only area that is under threat from a Tory administered Brexit. In November 2017 Labour put forward an amendment to the Tory EU Withdrawal Bill to prevent the Tories from using Brexit as a Trojan Horse to attack our workers' rights, environmental laws, consumer protections, equal rights protections, and food standards.

The Tories and their bigoted DUP backers stripped out this amendment, saying that we should just trust their word that they have no intentions to trash our rights, standards and protections (but why would they remove the amendment to stop them from doing it if they had no intention of doing it?).

Now they're making similar claims to the EU, claiming they have no intention of attacking and undermining workers' rights and environmental laws because they've made "strong domestic commitments" not to.

it's important to remember that the Tory party also made "strong domestic commitments" to not raise VAT during the 2010 General Election, then raised VAT within weeks of being enabled into power by the Lib-Dems.

One suspects that the EU negotiators won't be quite as naive as the British public when it comes to believing Tory promises.

Rule-takers

The White paper proposes that the UK would maintain regulatory alignment with the EU by continually updating its own laws (in Westminster and the devolved parliaments) in order to avoid the necessity of customs checks.

This raises a couple of really crucial issues.

What happens if one of the British parliaments decides to defy new EU standards (which is likely to happen sooner or later)? Do we then get customs checks by default?

And what's the sense in quitting the EU where we had the power to shape and influence new EU rules and standards as one of the largest and most influential member states, if we're simply going to accept the rules and standards they decide, without our input, in perpetuity?

Disputes

In the section on how the UK and EU deal with disputes the White Paper proposes an extrajudicial system of dispute resolution with no appeals process that is very similar to the hated ISDS components of the thankfully abandoned TTIP corporate power grab.

Here's the section:
"An independent arbitration panel, which would include members from both parties. In some instances, the arbitration panel might include specialist expertise such as where a dispute required detailed sectoral knowledge ... with the decision of the panel binding on the parties."
So if the Tories get their way, instead of disputes being decided in open courts, they'll be decided in closed rooms full of corporate lawyers with no scrutiny, and no right of appeal.

Mutual recognition

Throughout the White Paper the British government begs for mutual recognition of qualifications, mutual recognition of geographical origin designations, as well as for continued access to stuff like the Erasmus scheme and the EHIC travel insurance scheme.

All this begging raises the question of why we're leaving at all if we're so damned keen to cherry-pick so many of the benefits of membership as we leave.

Lexiter hell

All the left-wing people who voted for Brexit because they thought it would free the UK from the neoliberal influence of the EU should be spitting blood at this White Paper because the Tories are promising to tie Britain into all the hard-right, anti-state, pro-privatisation dogma the Lexiters voted Leave to escape from.

Here's an extract:
"To support the depth and breadth of the future UK-EU economic partnership, the UK would propose to incorporate its domestic choice to maintain a robust state aid regime into its future economic relationship with the EU. In light of this, the UK would make an upfront commitment to maintain a common rulebook with the EU on state aid, enforced by the Competition and Markets Authority."
Anyone who voted Leave in 2016 because they thought it would mean an escape from the hard-right anti-state dogma in the EU rules should be absolutely kicking themselves for imagining that such an escape could ever have happened under the Tories (who were instrumental in pushing these hard-right rules on the EU in the first place).

Outright dishonesty
"The Government has already demonstrated during the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that it will actively engage with suggestions from both Houses"
Anyone who actually followed the progress of the EU Withdrawal Bill knows that this is total bullshit. The Tories colluded with DUP to strip out all but one of the opposition amendments from the House of Commons, then they quickly stripped out all 15 of the amendments from the House of Lords with virtually no time allocated for debate over the amendments they were removing.

A more truthful statement would read: "The Government has already demonstrated during the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that it will actively ignore suggestions from both Houses".

Public reaction

One of the most alarming things about the Brexit White Paper is the bizarre public reaction to it, with an astounding 40% of the public claiming that Theresa May's approach is "too soft" as opposed to just 13% who think it's "about right", and 12% who think it's "too hard".

One wonders what percentage of the respondents to the YouGov poll have actually read the White Paper and found for themselves that it's clearly "hard Brexit with cherry-picking". I'd guess well below 1% of them. Which raises the question of how they have come to believe that it's "too soft".

My view is that it's come about through strategic Tory media manipulation. An absolute mass of coverage has been given to hard-right Brextremists like Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Jacob Rees-Mogg to slam May's proposals as "too soft", with virtually no coverage given to those who would accurately describe it as "hard Brexit with cherry picking".

The orchestrated Brextremist resignations have played a vital role in framing the public debate so that millions of people who have no intention of actually reading what's being proposed are left believing that the main problem with the White Paper is that it's "too soft" when the real problems are that it's too hard, too right-wing, and too much of an unrealistic shambles.

The Tory intent is obviously to move the public towards the economically ruinous "no deal" catastrophe the Brextremists have been craving from the beginning, and if over three times as many people see this White Paper as "too soft" as those who see it as "too hard", then their perception management strategy is clearly succeeding.

Conclusion

It's taken the Tory government an incredible 15 months to come up with this strategic document, when it's beyond obvious that they should have figured out what they wanted from the negotiations before they even considered triggering the time-limited Article 50 process.
Having left it so late to set out their objectives huge numbers of people remain spectacularly under-informed about what the White Paper actually proposes.

What they've actually come up with is a right-wing hard Brexit shambles that is massively over-reliant on unrealistic cherry-picking of the benefits of EU membership, while all of the good will necessary for any such cherry-picking to be allowed is being continually eroded by their toddler tantrum threats of a ruinous "no deal" flounce away from the negotiations if they don't get their own way.


Here's a link to the White Paper so you can have a look through it for yourself.


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Thursday, 12 July 2018

Just imagine the mainstream media outrage if a Labour MP posted something as bigoted as this


Now that the local elections have passed, the raging orchestrated Labour anti-Semitism bonfire has died down to embers, with few people ever having realised that anti-Semitism is actually way more prevalent in the ranks of the Tory party.

The reason people don't realise is that proof of rampant bigotry within the Tory party is rarely reported because it simply doesn't align with the mainstream media "groupthink" objective of undermining Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour opposition at every opportunity.

Of course there are pockets of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party (any organisation with 500,000+ members is always going to have difficulty rooting out every single person with bigoted views), and of course the Labour Party is correct to have set up robust procedures for dealing with bigots, but when the the ruling party is evidently over-run with bigots, it seems like an odd thing for the media to fixate upon.

Take the repeated calls for an investigation into rampant anti-Muslim hatred within the Tory party from Muslim groups like the Muslim Council of Britain and Muslim Tory MPs like Sayeeda Warsi.

These calls haven't just been ignored by the Tory party, they've been openly publicly ridiculed by Tory MPs!

And now consider the vile pro-Trump Tweet in the article header from the Tory MP Michael Fabricant that depicts the Muslim Mayor of London being fucked by a pig.

The fact that Fabricant thought this image was so hilarious that he actually shared it on Twitter is indicative of the extreme-right anti-Muslim bigotry that is absolutely commonplace within the Tory ranks.

Shockingly the mainstream media have remained absolutely silent on this overt display of anti-Muslim bigotry from a Tory MP.

There are two main reasons for this silence:

One reason is that anti-Muslim hatred has become so normalised in Britain after years of anti-Muslim hate-mongering in the tabloid press and online hate chambers like the Guido Fawkes hate mob and the (now banned) Britain First Facebook page. Thus in modern Britain anti-Semitism is (rightly) considered grotesque, while anti-Muslim hate barely registers as bigotry at all for millions of people, especially people who have been normalised to anti-Muslim hate by hard-right media sources.

Then there's the fact that highlighting proven examples of vile bigotry within the Tory party would be absolutely counter-productive to the mainstream media "groupthink" agenda of continually attacking and undermining Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership.

Just to illustrate the point, consider how furiously mainstream media hacks would have reacted had it been a Labour MP sharing a picture of a Jewish person being fucked by a pig. Just consider the days of coverage they would have wrung out of the scandal in order to inflict as much damage on Labour as possible. And just consider the absolute silence over Fabricant's vile display of bigotry.

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Saturday, 30 June 2018

The doubly ridiculous Tory spin on BAE's Australian warship contract


The Australian government has announced a new deal for the construction of nine Hunter class frigates, but the Tory spin on this story is doubly-misleading and absolutely ridiculous.

The Tories are attempting to present the story as if the contract represents some kind of £20 billion boost for the British economy, but in reality the vast majority of the £20 billion will be spent in Australia, creating Australian jobs, and stimulating demand in the Australian economy.


The only significant benefit to Britain will come indirectly through profits made by the British-based arms company BAE Systems. The biggest single investor in BAE is an American investment company called Capital Group. And one of Capital Group's most notable employees happens to be ... Theresa May's husband!

It's not like we're building the ships and sending them over there, and it's not even like the profit margin will actually make its way back to Britain either, it'll be divvied up amongst the mega-rich multinational investment class.

To put this Tory spin into perspective, just consider how the Australian government have been presenting this deal to their own people (see picture). The overwhelming majority of the investment is staying within Australia, it's going to create thousands of Australian jobs, and it's going to stimulate the Australian economy.

Also consider what BAE themselves have said about the deal making a "significant contribution to the Australian economy" and "creating thousands of jobs, supporting new industries and boosting the national supply chain for decades to come".


Even worse than their misleading presentation as if this contract is somehow a £20 billion boost for Britain, is the way the Tories have misleadingly presented this deal between the Australian government and a multinational arms company as some kind of justification for their Brexit farce.

In reality the Tories know that Brexit is going to be an economic disaster. That's why Michael Ashcroft has been praising Malta as a business base during Brexit. It's why John Redwood keeps telling the public that Brexit will be wonderful whilst telling private investment funds to get their cash out of Britain during the Brexit process. It's why Nigel Lawson is seeking French residency. It's why Jacob Rees-Mogg has opened up a new branch of his investment fund in Ireland.

The behaviour of these leading Brexiteers makes it obvious what's going on.

It's engineered disaster capitalism.

The Brexiteers have engineered the economic disaster that is Brexit and Tory Brextremists like Jacob Rees-Mogg are striving to ensure the disaster as destructive as possible with their constant "no deal" posturing. Meanwhile them and their mates are shifting as much cash as possible out of the UK before the economic implosion, so as to flood back in again like vultures once the Brexit recession hits to pick over the bones and gobble up £billions worth of distressed British assets on the cheap.


The Tories are not only misleadingly dressing up a financial benefit for them and their mega-rich investment class mates as some kind of £20 billion boost for Britain, they're using this deception in order to propagandise for the disastrous hard-right "no deal" Brexit they're plotting, which will also end up benefiting them and their mega-rich chums, but this time at a massive cost to the British public, British workers, and the British economy.


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'Centrist' dupes are giving tiny handouts to corporations to own the left!


The last time I looked at my PayPal donations account I noticed something odd, a spate of tiny attempted donations of just 1p or 10p. This was great news for PayPal because the corporation simply kept the entirety of these small payments for themselves in transaction fees, but I couldn't think of a reason for multiple people to attempt to send micro-donations all at the same time.

It turns out that the reason for this spate of tiny donations to my blog is that there's a ludicrous conspiracy theory spreading in right-wing political circles (from pro-austerity "centrist" Labour right-wingers to extreme-right ultranationalists) that sending tiny donations to independent left-wing media sites actually costs them money.

The people sending these micro-donations are so hopelessly gullible that their great fightback against the growing influence of independent left-wing media sites like Another Angry Voice, the Skwawkbox, Evolve Politics, Novara Media, and The Canary is actually to send us micro-donations in the ridiculous hope that it somehow costs us more money to receive them than they're worth.

On planet reality these micro-donations don't cost us anything, they actually just serve as free gifts to PayPal because although they take all the money for themselves in fees their policy is that if the donation is really small, the fee never exceeds the payment.


Just imagine being such a hopelessly gullible believe-everything-I-read numbnuts that you'd not only actually believe that the biggest online payments system on the planet has a glaring flaw that allows enemies of political free speech to shut down websites by sending them micro-payments, but actually attempt to join in such a futile attack.

If so-called centrists as so mind-bogglingly gullible, is it any wonder at all that they lap up and mindlessly regurgitate every single ridiculous pro-establishment propaganda trope the mainstream media drip feeds them? 


It's actually pretty hilarious that in their efforts to harm the independent left-wing media sites that speak out against the ruinous impact of right-wing economic dogma and the crony capitalist economy this rotten ideology has created, these delusional people have ended up lobbing free money at a giant corporation.

Attempting to attack left-wingers and getting owned by capitalism. If that isn't 'centrism' in a nutshell, I don't know what is.

On a serious note

Independent left-wing media provides a small but vital counterbalance to the hard-right, pro-austerity, pro-privatisation, anti-worker, orthodox neoliberal bias that has infested Westminster and the mainstream media for the last four decades.

Independent left-wing media is brilliant at producing viral content, but in terms of budget and overall reach we're absolutely dwarfed by the mainstream media outlets that endlessly push the right-wing neoliberal orthodoxy.

One of the best ways you can help us to increase our influence is to set up small monthly subscriptions. Maybe imagine how much you might have spent on newspapers and political magazines in the past (perhaps £10-£15 per month?) and divide that sum into small subscriptions to some of the independent left-wing sites you value the most?

If you can't afford to donate money to keep us going you can still help by sharing our content as widely as you can; by sharing on social media, by linking to our work, by email, and even by printing off our articles and sharing them with people who don't actually use social media.


 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.




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Friday, 29 June 2018

UKIP's new memes are truly "dank"


Just a couple of days ago the leaders of the shambolic remains of UKIP announced that they'd hired the services of four of the most grotesque right-wing hatemongers on the Internet.

There's the guy who became famous for teaching his girlfriend's dog to do Nazi salutes at the phrase "gas the Jews" (Mark Meechan), an inexplicably popular white supremacist and Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Youtuber commonly known as "map wanker" (Paul Joseph Watson), a guy who responded to a flood of rape threats against Jess Phillips by saying "I wouldn't rape you" as if he's only interested in raping women he finds attractive, accused the #MeToo movement of being "golddigging whores", and expressed sympathy with the misogynist mass murderer Elliot Roger (Carl Benjamin) and an extreme-right former Brietbart editor who advocated the benefits of sex between adult men and 13 year old boys (Milo Yiannopoulos).

Hiring these foul extreme-right self-publicists is a move straight out of the Donald Trump "no such thing as bad news" approach to publicity.

As far as UKIP are concerned the extremist views and actions of these vile characters are irrelevant, as long as UKIP gains some second-hand publicity through association with them.

The objective here is obvious. UKIP are desperately attempting to drum up support for their spectacularly imploding party by piggybacking on the large social media reach of these disgusting extreme-right Internet celebrities.

In a truly cringeworthy video address the leader of the Welsh UKIP branch Neil Hamilton (yes, he is the guy who was so corrupt and self-serving he even got booted out of the Tory party in the 1990s!) gleefully welcomed these four vile extremists into the party and said how he was looking forward to them producing some "truly dank memes" ...

On the very same day he was announced as a new UKIP recruit the paedophile apologist Milo Yiannopoulos immediately gave Neil Hamilton and the Ukippers one of the "truly dank memes" they were craving when he told an Observer journalist "I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight".

Just two days after his comments about killing journalists a gunman entered the building of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis and gunned down journalists on sight, just as Yiannopoulos wanted, resulting in the death of five, and the grave injury of several more.

Then Yiannopoulos got himself banned from PayPal for sending a $14.88 payment to a Jewish journalist as a coded message to David Lane's 14 word fascist slogan and "Heil Hitler" (H being the 8th letter of the alphabet).

It's undoubtable that openly fantasising about the murder of journalists and sending coded references to "Heil Hilter" to Jewish people is publicity generating behaviour, but whether this kind of publicity ends up being of any benefit to a political party that has always fervently denied being fans of extreme-right terrorism and anti-Semitic abuse is another issue altogether.

The endlessly repeated Ukipper schtick that "we're not extreme-right racists, we just want to leave the EU" doesn't work so well when your party is actively endorsing a man who fantasises about acts of extreme-right terrorism and sends anti-Semitic abuse to Jewish journalists.


Just try to imagine the media outrage if Jeremy Corbyn (or even Theresa May for that matter) had recruited an online celebrity as a political ally, only for them to openly fantasise about extreme-right terrorist attacks against journalists and then send anti-Semitic abuse to a Jewish journalist within hours of their appointment.

But the British mainstream media seem to have little interest in the fact that UKIP have hired the services of some of the most vile people on the Internet in order to sponge publicity from their huge social media reaches, or even that by refusing to discipline their new member they're normalising and endorsing vigilante violence against journalists and anti-Semitic abuse.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Theresa May is openly taking Tory voters for gullible idiots again



Theresa May has had an awful time defending her party's relationship with British businesses since her Foreign Secretary decided to say "fuck business" in response to the concerns that a shambolic Tory "no deal" flounce out of the EU would leave them with no choice to quit the UK and relocate to the continent.

Jeremy Corbyn raised these concerns at Prime Minister's questions, emphasising the risk Theresa May's chaotic Brexit floundering represents to hundreds of thousands of skilled British workers.

The Tory benches laughed and jeered when Corbyn read out a letter from a worker in the car industry with concerns that his job could disappear if Theresa May allows Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG extremists to deliver the ruinous "no deal" catastrophe they're craving (so that they can make a killing buying up distressed British assets on the cheap).

The sound of dozens of privileged Tory MPs laughing and jeering at the concerns of a British worker who is worried about the future of his job is a perfect encapsulation of the absolute contempt that these people have towards ordinary working people.

But things got even worse when Theresa May resorted to the scripted drivel she always spews instead of ever bothering to answer the questions she's asked.

"If he wants to stand up and talking in favourable terms about business he's got a decision to make; he can either back business or he can want to overthrow capitalism. He can't do both" she skwawked.

Presumably the privileged Tory wonk who wrote this riposte thought it was incredibly clever and witty, but the problem of course is that it's yet more contemptuous Tory idiot fodder.

Just consider the 2017 Labour Manifesto, and its commitment to reverse the Tory race to the bottom in order to restore Corporation Tax rates to nearer the G7 average.

What's the point in Corbyn doing this if he actually wants to 'overthrow capitalism' as the Tories accuse him of?

More specifically, what's the point of fairly taxing corporations if they don't exist?

Of course this kind of vapid scaremongering rhetoric plays well with the Tory base, because they're either too hopelessly misinformed to grasp that Corbyn is actually a middle of the road democratic socialist, not an extreme-left bogeyman intent on the destruction of capitalism, or they're well aware that it's utter bullshit but have so little faith in the rest of British society that they're happy to hear scaremongering propaganda gibberish from the Prime Minister because they imagine the rest of us are gullible enough to believe in it.

You'd have to be utterly delusional to imagine that a man who wants to slightly raise Corporation Tax rates (to a level lower than they were under Margaret Thatcher) is some kind of militant intent on completely overthrowing capitalism.

But then you'd have to be severely cognitively challenged in order to see a Prime Minister who allows her Foreign Secretary to go completely unpunished for saying "fuck business" in response to their legitimate concerns as some kind of champion of capitalism.

All in all you'd have to be hopelessly gullible to see the Brextremist-controlled Tories as a business-friendly party, but then by spewing such witless and sub-juvenile political caricatures of her opponent, Theresa May is clearly demonstrating that that's exactly how she sees most Tory voters: Hopelessly gullible dupes who will mindlessly believe whatever ludicrous crap she spouts.


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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The hard-right Daily Express propaganda rag is openly intimidating British MPs


In November 2017 Theresa May's Tories and their bigoted DUP enablers forced a shambolic hard-right anti-democratic power grab called the EU Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons.

The opposition parties attempted to make several amendments to limit this outrageous Tory power grab, but without the support of the vocal Tory so-called "mutineers" (who all, despite all of their fine words, actually voted in favour of it) they simply didn't have the numbers to constrain Theresa May's dictatorial and anti-democratic ambitions, so the bill scraped through to the next stage.

The House of Lords made 15 amendments to the bill and sent it back to the House of Commons.

Not all of the Lords' amendments are sensible, but most of them are (see image).

Whether we agree with the amendments or not (I disagree with amendment 110A for example, but very strongly support amendment 11) debating proposed amendments to government legislation is clearly a perfectly normal function of our sovereign parliament.


One of the big problems is that Theresa May and the Tories have made an absolute mockery of parliament by allocating just 12 hours to debate and vote on the 15 amendments (a paltry 48 minutes per amendment).

Then there's the fact that the right-wing propaganda barons are absolutely terrified that the opposition parties and some of the so-called "mutineer" Tory MPs will inflict a string of humiliating defeats on Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.

None of the amendments are about stopping Brexit. They're all about constraining the Brextremists' most anti-democratic and dictatorial urges, limiting the social and economic damage the hard-right Tory Brextremists can do through Brexit, and ensuring that the Brexit process in conducted in a democratic manner.

This reality doesn't suit the Brextremist propagandists who work for hard-right propaganda rags like the Daily Express though, so they've simply warped reality to pretend that the parliamentary debate over the 15 House of Lords Amendment is some kind of cynical plot to derail Brexit and undermine "the will of the people".

What's more is the way they're predicting perilous consequences for any MP who dares to support the efforts to constrain Theresa May's dictatorial and anti-democratic EU Withdrawal legislation.

The Express hacks are well aware that the Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered in the street by an extreme-right terrorist just two years ago.

They're also well aware that just a few months ago another jailed extreme-right terrorist admitted that he'd plotted to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn before carrying out a murderous attack against random Muslims at Finsbury Park instead.

They're also well aware of the tidal waves of extreme-right abuse and death threats triggered by previous right-wing headlines attacking judges ("Enemies of the people") and politicians ("Mutineers", "Proud of yourselves").

These vile hard-right hacks know exactly what they're doing when they print massive front page headlines threatening harmful consequences to politicians who refuse to bow down to Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.

They know that what they're doing is nothing short of intimidation.

If opposition MPs and Tory "mutineers" are hit with yet another wave of abuse and death threats after the publication of this intimidatory front page, these irresponsible right-wing hacks should be held accountable.

And if the worst comes to the worst and another MP is physically assaulted or even killed for daring to defy the tyrannical machinations of Theresa May and the Brextremists, the role of the right-wing press in repeatedly whipping up these tides of hard-right hatred must be investigated.

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