Friday, April 1, 2016

Why I've decided to join the Tory party


 
Did you check the date today?

Of course the title of this article is an April Fool's prank. I would never join the Tory party because their ideology is rotten to the core. In this article I'm going to give a list just some of reasons why I will never support the Tory party.


Reasons I will never join the Tory party

Inequality

The core objective of the Tory party is the upwards redistribution of wealth. They slash the subsistence social security of the poor and vulnerable and repress the wages of the majority of workers. Meanwhile they shower lavish subsidies and tax breaks on corporations, the asset rich and high earners. That is what they do. They have always been the party that serves the interests of the wealthy minority. That is what they have always done.

The reason that the Tories serve the interests of the wealthy minority (multinational corporations, the landed gentry, the asset rich and very high earners) is completely obvious. The Tory party receives the vast majority of their donations from corporations, the landed gentry, the asset rich and high earners.

Economic illiteracy

One of the most persistent pieces of folk mythology is that the Tories are economically competent. The indisputable fact that George Osborne has created more new public debt than every Labour government in history combined should give people some indication that the story of Tory economic competence is either badly out of date, or a complete fabrication from the beginning.


It doesn't take a genius in macroeconomics to understand that the Tory "let's cut our way to growth" austerity ideology is an economically destructive one, especially when combined with a policy of showering corporations and the extremely wealthy with lavish tax cuts.

Slashing investment in infrastructure, services, research and development and support for infant industries during a prolonged credit squeeze is obviously economic lunacy because it reduces economic capacity and stymies economic demand.

Continuing with the upwards redistribution of wealth is not good for the economy either because it's a well established fact that poor and ordinary people create demand by spending a large proportion of their income, while the super-rich are likely to save any extra income (or just stash it in tax havens for that matter).

Ideology above evidence


The Tory ideological austerity agenda is far from the only example of them putting ideology above evidence.

The Tory plan to force privatise every school in England is not backed up by evidence, in fact, a look at some of the financial scandals that have gone on at numerous academy chains constitutes evidence that forced privatisation of every school in England would simply increase the scope for ruthless profiteers to siphon cash out of taxpayer funded education budgets to line their own pockets.

Another example of Tories putting ideology above evidence is their obsession with "Workfare" forced unpaid labour schemes for the unemployed. The Tories were well aware of the evidence from Canada and the US that such schemes don't help people find paid work, and in many cases actually act as an impediment to people finding proper jobs, but they've ploughed ahead with numerous forced labour schemes to extract free labour from hundreds of thousands of individuals regardless. Still this utter contempt for the evidence is hardly surprising from the DWP during Iain Duncan Smith's tenure, after all, he explicitly stated that he felt perfectly justified in misrepresenting statistics as long as he believed that his crude misrepresentations were the truth.

Yet another example of the Tories putting ideology above evidence is their absurd Psychoactive Substances Act. In 2015 they were warned by the experts that it's so incoherently drafted that it would be unenforceable in reality, but in 2016 they went ahead and put it on the statute books regardless. In the month before the act was due to come into force it turned out that the Tories have indefinitely delayed it after legal experts have told them that it's unenforceable!

Orwellian propaganda

The Tories have such contempt for the general public (the "lower orders") that they believe that they can hoodwink us into voting for them by presenting a series of Orwellian propaganda narratives like "we're all in this together"  - as they cut social security for the poor and cut taxes for the super-rich minority.

Another example is their constant talking up of their "economic recovery" when the actual evidence shows that under Tory rule the UK has suffered the slowest post-crisis recovery on recordworking people have suffered the longest sustained decline in real wages since records began; the UK is going through an appalling productivity crisis; the trade deficit and current account deficit keep hitting all time highs; and GDP per capita is still below the pre-crisis level. In order to achieve all of this failure, George Osborne has created more new public debt than every Labour government in history combined!

Perhaps the most brazen of all of the Orwellian Tory propaganda efforts was their utterly bizarre attempt to re-brand themselves as "the workers' party". Surely even political novices know that the Tories hate ordinary workers and trade unions with an undying ideological passion and take every opportunity they can to oppress trade unions and strip workers of their labour rights?

Outright lies

In my view much of the responsibility for the fact that high profile Tories feel that they can lie with impunity falls on Tony Blair's shoulders. Once he got away with deliberately distorting the intelligence in order to promote the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq (that eventually resulted in the rise of ISIS), it was a green light to the Tories that they could lie to the public with impunity.

Here are just a few examples of brazen Tory lies:

  • The so-called "contract with the electorate" that David Cameron made such a big fanfare of signing before the 2010 General Election is so full of lies and broken promises that they decided to delete every trace of it off their website in the hope that everyone would simply forget about it.
  • In 2013 David Cameron lied about "paying down the debt" in a party political broadcast and was rebuked for it by the UK Statistics Authority. During the Tory party conference in the autumn of 2014 he repeated the exact same lie, knowing that the UK Statistics authority have no power to sanction him for deliberately lying to the public, other than the sending of stern letters.
Lowering the standards of public debate

It's fair to say that every government has a share of language and logic manglers who have such a poor grip on logic and the English language that nobody in their right mind would allow them to teach in an infant school, let alone run a government department (the former New Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith springs immediately to mind), however this Tory government really is something else.

If you've ever had the misfortune of hearing the snide, wrong-headed, evasive, fallacious, misleading and downright dishonest crap spouted 
in interviews by the likes of Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel, Nick Gibb, Grant Shapps or Claire Perry you'll know exactly what I mean.

Alarmingly David Cameron is probably the worst of the whole lot. He simply won't ever give a straight answer to a question; he lies with impunity; he has no capacity for unscripted debate because his only talent seems to be mindlessly regurgitating the glib snidey remarks his script writers have prepared for him; and he runs away from unscripted debate like a coward. The man comes across as such an inveterate liar that you suspect that he'd lie in any situation, even if it was much easier for him to actually tell the truth.

It's absolutely shocking that such a high percentage of British people see such a dishonest and snidey spiv as being "statesmanlike", simply because he wears expensive suits, talks in a posh accent and carries a permanent air of smug self-entitlement.

I don't like Tories past or present, but I do think that articulate and intelligent Tories from previous eras like Benjamin Disraeli and Winston Churchill must be spinning in their graves at the fact their party is now being led by such a snide and intellectually stunted individual who continues dragging the standards of public debate down to ever more dispiriting lows.

Privatisation

In 2012 the Tories carved the NHS open for mass privatisation, ever since then massive chunks of NHS services have been handed out to private interests, many of them donors to the Tory party.

Since 2010 the Tories have been privatising thousands of publicly owned schools, for free, into the ownership of unaccountable private sector pseudo-charities, many of them owned and operated by Tory party donors.

In 2013 the Tories sold off a massive chunk of the Royal Mail at a bargain basement price. One of the biggest beneficiaries when the share price rocketed upwards from the artificially low starting point was a hedge fund that employed a guy who was best man at George Osborne's wedding!

After the previous private rail franchise bailed out of their contract to run the East Coast Mainline it was run as a not-for-profit public service for a while. Under public ownership it soon became the best performing and most popular franchise in the entire UK rail network. The Tories couldn't abide this crystal clear demonstration of the public sector massively outperforming the private sector so they re-privatised it even though the vast majority of people actually want the rail network renationalised.

The Tories have already sold off chunks of the part-nationalised banks at significant losses and now they're now planning to sell off the taxpayers' stake in RBS at an eye-watering £22 billion loss to the taxpayer.

Not content with steadily privatising over 5,000 publicly owned schools over the last six years the Tories have now announced plans to force privatise every single school in England by 2022.

During the last parliament the Tories were defeated when they attempted to privatise the Land Registry in order to create a cushy little monopoly for their private sector mates to rake in the cash. That appalling proposal has been snuck back onto the table


Right-wing authoritarianism


One of the most concerning things about the Tory party is their love of right-wing authoritarianism. They want to introduce new spying powers that would have made the Gestapo turn green with envy, launch economically insane deportation policies for working people, carry out a massive crackdown on the feeble vestiges of trade union power, abolish of the right to free speech, ban of intellectual opposition to the government, and continue to operate numerous forced labour schemes.

To top it all off, in 2015 David Cameron uttered a truly chilling sentiment (see image) that the government needs to actively interfere in the lives of law abiding citizens. This is the kind of deeply sinister thing you'd expect a villain in a Marvel Comic to say, not a British Prime Minister.


Incompetence

The Tory party is completely riddled with incompetence. From an economics spokesperson who stated that debt and the deficit are the same thing to an environment minister who thought she'd win brownie points from Osborne and Cameron by savagely slashing flood defence spending, only for several of the places that had their flood defence schemes cancelled to suffer £billions worth of flood damage in the following years.

Until Iain Duncan Smith quit the DWP, David Cameron's government operated on a tripod of abject incompetence, with IDS as one leg, and George Osborne and Theresa May as the others.

I could go on for paragraph after paragraph about the incompetence of these three individuals, but I'll just give one example for each for the sake of brevity.

Perhaps the worst thing of all is that even after six years of such incompetence, two of them are still in their jobs, and the other one was allowed to quit rather than get fired!

Conclusion

I will never join the Tory party, and it's always best to read the article before getting outraged about the title (especially when the date is April the 1st!).

  
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MORE ARTICLES FROM
 ANOTHER ANGRY VOICE 
         
The lamentable decline in the standard of public debate
           
David Cameron's Orwellian word games
                     
Don't read this article
       

Dog whistles and dead cats
                             
How the Tory WCA regime costs more to administer than it will ever save
                
The Tory plot to force privatise every school in England
                      



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