Friday, April 28, 2017

Wake up Theresa: The UK is facing a 27 vs 1 diplomatic nightmare


On Thursday 27th April 2017, over ten months since the vote for Brexit, and almost a month since Theresa May set the clock ticking on the Brexit negotiations by triggering Article 50, the AFP news agency reported the "breaking news" that Theresa May has accused the other 27 EU countries of lining up to oppose Britain over Brexit!

It beggars belief that Theresa May came out with such a ridiculous statement, and that anyone consdered it newsworthy for any reason other than the fact that an actual British Prime Minster could have made such an extraordinarily slow-witted observation.

Of course the other 27 EU nations are opposing Britain over Brexit. It was obvious that Brexit was going to cause a massive diplomatic nightmare way before the referendum even took place.
  • Who on earth could have imagined that the EU would bend over backwards to give Britain what it wants, even if we were departing their club on amicable terms (which we're certainly not under Theresa May's lamentable leadership)?


  • For goodness sake. Why wouldn't they defend their own economic interests and the integrity of their union?

  • What on earth would possess them to offer better terms to a departing member than the terms available to existing (fee-paying) members of their club?
The thing that makes this statement from Theresa May all the more ridiculous is that if anyone is most responsible for the hard line the EU diplomats and member states are taking, it's clearly Theresa May herself.

Theresa May is hardening attitudes against us with her displays of bellicose foot stamping belligerence and her disdain for the liberal values that have bound Europe together ever since the two great British statesmen Winston Churchill (Tory) and Clement Attlee (Labour) collaborated to ensure nothing as horrific as the Holocaust could ever happen again by enshrining liberal British values across the whole continent of Europe through the European Convention on Human Rights.


After an excruciating six months of "Brexit means Brexit" dithering Theresa May finally announced her so-called "negotiating strategy" in her infamous January 2017 clown costume speech unveiling the centrepiece of her strategy to be a ridiculous threat that boiled down to "give us what we want or we'll trigger an economic meltdown by stropping away from the negotiating table with nothing".

It hardly takes a genius to recognise that threatening to blow up an economic bomb over Europe is not the way to establish good diplomatic relations with the EU 27.

Aside from making this belligerent threat the centrepiece of her "negotiating strategy" Theresa May has also severely pissed off our 27 former European allies by showing utter disdain for human rights. She's threatening to attack Churchill's finest legacy by scrapping the human rights of all UK citizens and residents, and her government also voted down an opposition party amendment to her Article 50 Act that would have obliged the government to at least begin looking into the process of protecting the rights of EU citizens who are resident in the UK.

Theresa May's contempt for human rights has horrified politicians across the European political spectrum from the centre-right EPP group all the way across to the progressive left and the greens. Her insistence on treating the lives of 3 million EU citizens in the UK as bargaining chips in the reckless game of brinkmanship she's playing is probably even less popular on the continent.

It's quite extraordinary that the British public, egged on by the jingoistic shouting of the right-wing propaganda rags actually allow themselves to believe that Theresa May's ludicrous threats against the economy of the people we have to negotiate some kind of deal with, and her extreme-right disdain for liberal values are examples of the "strong and stable leadership" that she's always wittering on about like a broken robot.

If the British people vote for a strutting combative charlatan like Theresa May, when they can see full well that she's too cowardly even to face Jeremy Corbyn or the other party leaders in a live debate, they'll be sleepwalking into chaos.

On June 23rd 2016 absolutely nobody voted for Theresa May to adopt a belligerent and self-defeatingly combative "make it up as I goes along" approach to Brexit, but if the British public hand her a thumping parliamentary majority on June 8th, then we'd be giving her a mandate to deliver a total bloody disaster.

Don't say you weren't warned.


 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

How Tory cuts to the fire service are killing people


Since 2010 the Tory party has been slashing away at the nation's fire service.

Between March 2010 and March 2016 the Tories axed 9,668 firefighter jobs and the cuts have still been going on for the last year, meaning it's 100% certain the number has easily exceeded 10,000 by now.

The Tories have already slashed the fire service budget by 30% and they have another 20% cut planned by 2020.

By the time of the 2015 General Election the Tories had already shut down 39 fire stations, including 10 in London that were shut down in the same week that the taxpayer owned bank RBS announced a mind-boggling £607 million in bonuses for their staff despite having lost £5.2 billion that year!

The closure of fire stations and the significant reductions in staff and vehicles at remaining stations mean that response times have been soaring all over the country, especially in rural areas. For example in Suffolk the average response time has already increased from 10 minutes to 13 minutes, and with even more Tory cuts in store it's only going to get worse.

Anyone who thinks "oh it's only three minutes, what are you complaining about?" clearly has no experience of how vital seconds can be in an emergency situation, let alone whole minutes.

People are dying because of these cuts. The government's own statistics revealed that the number of fire related deaths soared 17.4% in a single year between 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The Tory minister for policing and the fire service Brandon Lewis is blazé about the deterioration in the nation's fire safety due to the ongoing campaign of Tory cuts, in fact he says that there's room for even more reductions in fire service budgets beyond the 30% cuts they've already announced and the 20% cuts they're planning by 2020.

People are dying because of their fire service cuts and the Tories literally don't care. In fact they're intent on making the situation even worse by continuing their relentless economic assault on the nation's fire service.

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse the planned Tory cuts and rebuild the fire service
. This means that if you vote for a Tory government on June 8th you're voting for more people to die in house fires. You think their lives are a worthwhile sacrifice for whatever benefit you think you'd be getting from a Tory government.

Now that you've read this article and seen the evidence you just can't pretend that's not what you're doing.



 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

Weak and chaotic leadership in my own self-interest


Pretty much everyone in Britain must be familiar with the Tories' massive "strong and stable leadership" propaganda drive to convince everyone that Theresa May is what an extraordinary abundance of evidence says that she simply isn't .

Incredibly they're also trying to claim that Theresa May would rule "in the national interest" when this whole damned election is a crystal demonstration of Theresa May putting the narrow party political interests of the Conservative Party way above the interests of the nation as a whole.

Weak and chaotic leadership
  • Does anyone believe that Theresa May is conducting her election campaign almost exclusively in Tory "safe spaces" where the public are excluded and the press are often banned for asking questions because she's such a strong leader?
  • Does anyone believe that announcing an election promise-breaking hike in National Insurance and then U-turning on it within a week, leaving a £2 billion black hole in your first budget, is a sign of strong leadership?
  • Does anyone seriously believe that Theresa May is "strong and stable" just because she keeps saying that she's "strong and stable" like a broken robot?
In the national interest

Let's just remember how Theresa May came to be Prime Minister in the first place:

When David Cameron gave the nation the most important referendum decision in decades what did she do? Did she pick a side that she thought was in the national interest and then argue it as strongly as she could?


Of course she didn't. She wasn't thinking about the national interest at all. She was thinking about her own self-interest, and the plan she came up with was a perfect example of low cunning in action.

She decided that her personal self-interest would be best served by hanging on to one of the high offices of state by paying lip service to David Cameron's official line that Brexit is a bad idea, but basically doing a very low-profile non-campaign just in case the Leave side won.

If Remain had won she could have stayed as Home Secretary and simply waited for David Cameron to retire (as he had said he was going to before the 2020 General Election), but her self-serving non-campaign paid off when Leave won because she had very little pro-Remain baggage to deter the Brexiters from accepting her total Brexit U-turn.

It was a masterful display of devious self-serving scheming, and it paid off exactly as she'd planned.


Now think about the reason, and the timing of Theresa May's opportunistic snap election.

Who on earth could believe that it's in the national interest to call a snap election just three weeks after triggering Article 50 and setting the clock ticking on the most complex and risky diplomatic process the United Kingdom has ever faced?

How can it be in the national interest to divert government ministers' attention away from the indescribably important task of trying to get a good deal out of the Brexit shambles for two whole months right at the beginning of the process, when they should be working like dogs to try to overcome the extremely daunting 27 vs 1 odds we're facing?

How are people failing to understand that Theresa May's decision to call her opportunistic snap election (that she repeatedly promised the nation she wouldn't) is far more about winning a thumping majority before the Tory electoral fraud cases begin going to court than it is about anything else?

How are people failing to see that Theresa May's opportunistic snap election is proof-perfect that Theresa May is putting the narrow party political interests of the Tory party way above the interests of the nation as a whole?

What we can do

The vast majority of the mainstream press is simply not going to hold Theresa May to account for any of this, so it's up to us.

The most important thing is to try to get the message through to people who don't use social media, or even the Internet.
Show people on your phone, or on your tablet. Print the articles off on paper if you think it will help. Don't worry about copyright issues - I don't give a damn.

If we don't fight back and do the job the mainstream media is abjectly failing to, then Theresa May is going to win a thumping majority to behave as recklessly and maliciously as she pleases.

 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

So much bullshit in just one sentence


The mainstream media has made it clear that they have absolutely no intention of properly holding Theresa May to account for the absolute bullshit she has been spouting, so it's up to us to ensure that her lame propaganda is exposed for the dishonest drivel that it is.

In this article I'm going to concentrate on just one sentence of this pitiful drivel and demonstrate how much is wrong with it.

"Strong and Stable leadership"

[full article]

Theresa May and the Tories genuinely seem to believe that if they endlessly repeat the phrase "strong and stable leadership" like a bunch of broken robots then the British public are so gullible and lacking in critical thinking skills that they'll accept it as fact despite the absolute abundance of evidence that Theresa May is actually a cowardly and self-serving leader of a chaotic government full of incapable and inept government ministers.

Just look at the timing of the snap election. She blundered and bluffed for 9 tedious months before triggering Article 50, and then just three weeks after setting the clock ticking on the most complex and risky diplomatic negotiations the United Kingdom has ever faced she called a self-serving and opportunistic snap election that she repeatedly assured the public and the financial markets that she wouldn't be calling.

Surely Theresa May and her ministers should be concentrating on the vital Brexit negotiations for the good of the country, not on trying to make the electoral fraud investigations go away by grabbing a bigger majority for the good of the Conservative party.

"Certainty"

Theresa May and the Tories have the absolute gall to talk of "certainty". First they delivered a chaotic Brexit without even bothering to develop a contingency plan in case the public actually voted for what the right-wing fringe of the Tory party were telling them to (hence the nine months of dithering before triggering Article 50) and now Theresa May's so-called "negotiating strategy" is to try to face down the EU 27 with the astounding threat that the UK will commit a huge act of economic self-harm by doing a massive "no deal" strop away from the negotiating table if they don't give Theresa May what she wants!

Resorting to such hyperbolic threats doesn't provide certainty at all, it makes the likelihood of a massive Brexit recession ever more likely, and according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies a "no deal" cliff edge Brexit would trigger an even bigger recession than the one that followed the global financial sector insolvency crisis (you know, the one we still haven't recovered from thanks to seven years of Tory economic mismanagement).

Theresa May's belligerent approach to the Brexit negotiations doesn't provide certainty at all. By gambling so recklessly with the nation's future, and millions of people's livelihoods, she's providing the polar opposite.

"Delivering for people up and down the country"


Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has made it absolutely clear that if the Tories return to government and continue with their planned tax and welfare reforms almost everyone is going to be worse off.

Over the last seven years the Tory government have already overseen the worst collapse in the value of UK workers' wages since records began (a fall in the real value of wages matched only by crisis-stricken Greece) and now they're intent on stripping away the social safety net too.

As is always the case with the Tories the worst affected by their policies will be the poorest in society, but now they're going out of their way to ensure that children will suffer the severest consequences.

A look at the source for the chart in the header image reveals that the poorest 10% of working age families with children are facing a whopping 15.3% decline in their household incomes.

The Tories are promising to deliver a £3,000 per year income cut for the poorest households with children, significantly above £1,000 in cuts for the bottom 50% of all households with children, over £250 in cuts for 80% of households with children and over £200 in cuts for 50% of all households without children too.

The only households with children to get away with an income cut of less than £100 will be the richest 10%!

It's more of the same Tory inequality-increasing malice: Take from the poor to give to the rich.

Conclusion

Theresa May is lying about providing "certainty" because her belligerent Brexit "no deal" threats represent the riskiest gamble anyone has ever tried to take with the UK economy.

Theresa May's leadership is neither "strong" nor "stable", she's a weak self-serving coward who is petrified of having her record held up to proper scrutiny that she's conducting her election campaign almost exclusively in Tory "safe spaces" full of Tory loyalists who have been bussed in from miles away, the ordinary public are excluded, and where the press are often banned from asking questions if they've been invited at all.

Theresa May talks of "delivering for people up and down the country" but she refuses to say what she's planning to deliver, because it's yet another Tory assault on people's incomes and living standards, and if the EU 27 call her bluff on her "no deal" threats, a much bigger recession than the one that followed the global banking sector insolvency crisis too.

What we can do

The vast majority of the mainstream press is simply not going to hold Theresa May to account for any of this, so it's up to us.

The most important thing is to try to get through to people who don't use social media, or even the Internet.

Show people on your phone, or on your tablet. Print the articles off on paper if you think it will help. Don't worry about copyright issues. I don't give a damn.

If we don't fight back and do the job the mainstream media are abjectly failing to, then she is going to win a thumping majority to behave as recklessly and maliciously as she pleases.


 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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

95 years on and virtually nothing has changed


If you use the mainstream media as your primary source of political information you are willingly allowing yourself to be misled.

A London School of Economics study found that just 11% of newspaper articles about Jeremy Corbyn bother to accurately represent a single one of his policies. In the extreme-right Daily Mail and Express the figure was 0%.

If you think the BBC is impartial you're deluding yourself. It was only earlier this year that an internal BBC investigation found that their politics editor Laura Kuenssberg fabricated a fake story about Jeremy Corbyn to launch a partisan political attack on him. She was allowed to keep her job, and she's still pushing so much pro-Tory bias that she recently warped the story of Theresa May hiding from the press into an "isn't Jeremy Corbyn shit" Tweet!

The UK print media is overwhelmingly dominated by right-wing propaganda rags, and even the supposed left-liberal media outlets (The Guardian, Mirror and Independent) that have much smaller circulations repeatedly fail to hold the Tory government to account for their shockingly woeful track record.and instead focus on dividing the opposition or lazily "churnalising" government press releases.

Just look at the appalling track record of the Tory government:
  • The Tories have created a social care funding crisis with their £4.6 billion worth of cuts. This means even more pressure on the NHS, more pressure on unpaid carers, and more vulnerable people dying.
  • The Tories just introduced the most extreme surveillance laws of any developed nation on earth that allow over 20,000 state employees to snoop on your private data, (including thousands of non-terrorism related workers employed by agencies like the Health and Safety Executive, The Gambling Commission and the Food Standards Agency).
  • In 2016 the Tories voted down an opposition amendment to their Housing Bill to ensure that all rented properties are "fit for human habitation". Just imagine the mentality of a party that believes that landlords shouldn't have an obligation to ensure they ensure their properties are habitable before they rent then to people to live in.

Despite all of this material to attack the Tories with and much more, the mainstream press continue cheerleading for them, and allowing the ridiculously backwards Tory "strong and stable leadership" mantra to go unchallenged.

Just think about it. Is it any wonder that the tax-dodging newspaper billionaires and the hacks who work for them are so biased in favour of the Tories given that Jeremy Corbyn is vowing to clamp down on tax-dodgers and make sure that the super-rich actually pay their way?

So never mind the newspaper billionaires, push out those who have brought your country to the verge of ruin.

Well, at least check out some of the Labour Party policies that the right-wing billionaire press barons don't want you thinking about before you decide how to vote.



 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

How the Tories used mass immigration to create a fake recovery


Two of the most commonly occurring arguments in the Tory tribalist arsenal are the cherry-picking of economic statistics to make it look like the Tories have done a good job of managing the economy, and the fearmongering about Labour and mass immigration.

In this article I'm going to show that not only are these arguments completely wrong-headed, but that they're also mutually exclusive.

The fake economic recovery


If the Tories have done such a wonderful job of recovering the economy how is it possible that UK workers have suffered the worst wage collapse anywhere in the developed world except crisis stricken Greece?

If the Tories have done such a fantabulous job of making the country richer, why are they still shutting down hospitals, gutting local government spending, laying off police and other emergency service workers, slashing the education budget, systematically impoverishing disabled people, and condemning yet another 250,000 children to poverty with their cuts to the child welfare budget and in-work benefits?

The answer of course is that the economy isn't actually growing in real terms at all, but that they've created a fake economic recovery by measuring their success by increases in GDP (a measure of total economic activity) whilst letting record numbers of immigrants into the country under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office.

Theresa May's immigration record

In 2010 Theresa May promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000, but what she actually managed to achieve as Home Secretary was the biggest migration inflow in history, with the annual rate peaking at over 300,000 several times.

In November 2015 immigration reached an all time record high of 336,000, meaning Theresa May was missing her arbitrary target by an astounding 236%! Amazingly the right-wing anti-immigration mob adore her because she regularly spouts a load of divisive anti-migrant rhetoric, and they clearly enjoy Theresa May's immigrant bashing so much they allow themselves to forget that she's actually let in more immigrants than any Labour Home Secretary ever did!

GDP per capita

It's absolutely obvious that the UK economy would be seen to be growing more quickly than other developed economies if their population is increasing at a much faster rate due to the huge migration influx that happened under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office.

The only sensible way to measure the UK's relative economic performance under these circumstances is to measure performance using GDP per capita (the total amount of economic activity divided by the actual population).

When we look at the GDP per capita figures, it's clear that the UK isn't recovering at all, in fact it's suffered a lost decade where the amount of economic activity per person has actually slumped after the figures are adjusted for inflation.

In 2007 the amount of economic activity per person in the UK was $49,950 in current US dollars, by 2015 it had slumped to $43,930 [source]. Since the vote for Brexit the pound has lost about 15% of its value against the dollar, meaning another slump in per capita GDP is on the cards once the 2016 figures have been calculated.

Tory sympathisers will obviously believe anything

The evidence is absolutely clear that the UK has been getting poorer under Tory misrule, but that it's been offset by the mass immigration that happened under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office. The only reason the economy looked like it was growing was that the population was growing so quickly due to Theresa May's wave of mass immigration.

It just goes to show how the forelock-tugging Tory tribalist is willing to believe anything their lords and masters tell them.

They ignore the wealth of evidence that the country is getting poorer (the shrinking wages, the incessant Tory cuts and the still ballooning national debt) in order to celebrate crude out-of-context GDP figures that only look reasonably good due to mass immigration.

Then they believe the right-wing press that Labour is responsible for mass immigration when it's actually their beloved Theresa May who let in more immigrants than anyone else, which is the only reason the crude GDP figures they're wildly celebrating over look any good at all.

Just imagine the level of blustering under-informed party political tribalism it would take to argue that the Tories' mass immigration-boosted GDP figures are a measure of Tory economic success, whilst simultaneously decrying Labour for supposedly being in favour of mass immigration!  


 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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ruth Davidson says you should vote against the Tories if you have a shred of human decency


When the Scottish parliament debated the despicable Tory rape clause the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson advised the UK public to vote against the Tories if they find the rape clause abhorrent.

To get an idea of how abhorrent the Tory rape clause is, consider the fact that it even managed to unite the Scottish Labour Party and the SNP in opposition to it (getting Scottish Labour to agree with the SNP on anything is no mean feat). The Scottish Greens and the Lib-Dems also strongly opposed it.

During the debate the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said "no woman anywhere should have to prove she's been raped in order to get tax credits for their child. I can't believe in 2017 that I'm having to stand up in the Scottish Parliament and make that argument".

The Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale called the rape clause "an absolutely sickening state of affairs" and quoted from an email from a rape victim in her condemnation of the policy.

The Lib-Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said that the policy of compelling women to provide evidence that they have been raped in order to obtain Tax Credits for their children "has no place in a civilised society".

The Green MSP Ross Greer said that "when you cut through the tank-riding, bagpipe-playing bravado, Ruth Davidson is just another cruel member of a cruel party".

The whole idea of limiting Tax Credits is abhorrent in itself, especially given the severe wage repression that UK workers have suffered since the Tories came to power in 2010. The majority families receiving tax credits these days are working families, not the unemployed.

The Tory welfare cuts that the abhorrent rape clause relates to will end up driving another 250,000 UK kids into poverty, and that's on top of the 400,000 extra kids growing up in poverty since 2010.


When the issue was voted on the only MSPs to vote against the motion to condemn the rape clause were the Tories. All of the other parties voted in favour. The motion to condemn the rape clause was passed by 91 votes to 31.

During her evasive defence of the rape clause policy (in which she evaded using the word rape) the Scottish Tory leader said that "if people across the UK do not support it, then there is an option on June the 8th to ask someone else to have a go".

In other words, if you find the rape clause abhorrent, you should vote against the Tories.

So take it from Ruth Davidson. If you have a shred of human decency, then make sure to vote against the Tories on June 8th no matter where you live.


 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