Tuesday, 31 October 2017

How to celebrate Halloween like a Tory

In order to celebrate Halloween like a Tory, all you need to do is identify the richest child in your neighbourhood, give them all of your trick or treat sweets, then inform the rest of the kids that the benefit of what you've done will trickle down to them eventually.

Of course the rest of the kids are not likely to take it well, leading to eggs splattered on your house, toilet roll spread all over your garden, and a potato shoved up your car exhaust pipe, but then kids are often smarter than a lot of adults when it comes to figuring out that they've been conned.

Your average right-wing tabloid rote learner knows perfectly well that the Tory party is bankrolled by billionaires. And they also know that the Tories continually favour corporations and the mega-rich with tax cuts, honours and lavish handouts as they simultaneously load the entire burden of their hard-right austerity fanaticism onto people like the disabled, students, the jobless, people in need of care services, children in low income households, and the working poor.

They know this because only the most intensely ignorant of people don't know how the Tory party is funded, and who they shower favours upon in return.

However tabloid-addled people are actually somehow placated by the ridiculous myth of trickle down economics, which has been crudely rebranded as the "job creator" myth in recent years.

As far as they're concerned, jobs are actually created by benevolent rich people with spare cash and nothing better to do, not because of economic demand created by ordinary people having cash in their pockets to purchase more goods and services!

If you tried this kind of absurdly unbelievable fairy story on kids they'd see straight through it, realise that the rich kid is likely to stuff himself silly and then hoard what he can't eat for the future, and take revenge upon your house and garden.

Tabloid rote learners simply refuse to see the simple truth that the extraordinary amount of wealth the Tories have redistributed upwards in the last seven years has resulted in the tiny mega-rich minority literally doubling their wealth while the rest of us have dealt with the worst slump in wages since records began against a background of rampant tax-dodging and catastrophic ideologically driven cuts to public infrastructure and services.

If the tabloid rote learners were as smart as small children are, they'd have turned on the Tories with absolute fury. But sadly they've mindlessly accepted the drivel they're programmed to believe by the right-wing propaganda rags and the biased broadcast media, and they actually went out and voted for the Tories in their millions and allowed Theresa May to carry on clinging to power like the self-serving limpet that she is.

 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.


What's the Papadopoulos London photo all about?

The FBI investigation into Russian collusion has announced that Former Donald Trump adviser George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contact with Russians. The most interesting thing about the announcement is that Papadopoulos was arrested in July 2017, and pleaded guilty on October 5th, meaning that he was already co-operating with the investigation when he apparently visited London last in late October, and probably long before.

Here's what we know:

  • Papadopoulos was arrested at Duelles Airport on July 27th 2017.
  • On 5th October 2017 Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
  • At the time of his guilty plea the case was sealed, making the details invisible to the public.
  • The stated reason the case was sealed was that Papadopoulos was willing to co-operate with the investigation as what they referred to as a "proactive cooperator".
  • A "proactive cooperator" is someone who is willing to wear a wire, so it's almost certain that Papadopoulos wore a wire at some point between October 5th, and October 30th when his arrest was announced.
  • It's also common practice for defendants to prove their willingness and ability to deliver incriminating evidence before they're officially charged with token lesser offences in return, so it's likely Papadopoulos wore a wire before October 5th too.
In light of this information, it seems almost certain that if Papadopoulos was in London, he was there to meet people in the hope they would admit their parts in criminal conspiracies, and it's likely he's been co-operating all the way back to July too.

And if he wasn't actually in London last week 
(as some people are speculating), then the Twitter post was put up deliberately in order to make someone think that he was in London.

It's interesting to imagine who Papadopoulos might have met in London, and there are some interesting candidates. Robert Mercer's election data firm Cambridge Analytica is based in London, Nigel Farage (who is a person of interest in the FBI investigations) is based in London, and Julian Assange is still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy just a few minutes walk from where the Papadopoulos photo was taken.

If the London photo wasn't actually taken last week and was intended as misdirection, it's interesting to wonder who was being misdirected, and for what purpose.

Anyhow. It would be foolish to imagine that the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion is over with just Papadopoulos charged with lying to the FBI and Paul Manafort facing 12 charges of fraud and tax evasion.

It seems highly unlikely they would have exposed the fact that Papadopoulos had flipped and cooperated with the investigation in return for reduced charges, unless his collaboration had already exposed dirt on a bigger target.

I'm guessing that anyone who has met with Papadopoulos over the last few months must be desperately trying to recall what was actually said, and whether they might have said anything that implicated them or others in a plot to collude with the Russians in order to ease Donald Trump into the White House, or any other criminal conspiracy.

 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 Tory sex dossier is an absolute mess

I've seen an uncensored copy of the Tory sex pest dossier and it's an absolute mess. The big problem with it is that it's not actually a list of MPs accused or suspected of sexual misconduct, it's more like a list of sex-related issues that could be used to blackmail MPs into silence or conformity.

Thus the list combines details of absolutely outrageous sexual misconduct, alongside stuff like extramarital affairs, consensual relationships, and the unusual private sexual proclivities of certain MPs (all ideal blackmail material).

Most of the details are very sketchy, and restricted to a single sentence, or even just a few words. For example the entry on the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is nothing more than "Adam Werrity"

It's impossible to gather whether this refers to what the public already know about Liam Fox breaching the ministerial code by allowing Adam Werrity access to classified meetings and official secrets, or whether the Tory party know that there's more to the Adam Werrity scandal than the public were ever told.

In a lot of cases it's simply impossible to tell whether the sexual conduct was consensual or not. 23 of the 40 cases involve MPs' researchers and office staff. In some cases it's obvious that there was harassment involved, but in others it's impossible to tell if what happened was fully consensual or not.

One thing that is absolutely clear is that this dossier was never intended as an exercise in identifying unacceptable sexual misdemeanours like sexual harassment and assaults, otherwise it wouldn't include numerous cases of tittle-tattle like private sexual proclivities, apparently consensual affairs between Tory MPs, and use of prostitutes.

One thing that is very odd about the list is how it names two female Tory MPs for having had sexual relationships with the same male Tory MP, but the male Tory MP isn't included on the list himself.

It appears very much as if the dossier holds female Tory MPs to a much lower standard of what constitutes sexual misconduct, apparently just in order to fill out the list with a few female names. 

One of the most serious cases on the Tory dossier is the case of a married Tory MP who apparently had an affair with a researcher in his office, and then pressurised her to have an abortion after she got pregnant. I thought about naming the guy, but then it struck me that the victim in this case deserves privacy if they don't want their experience to become public knowledge. Since there's a strong possibility that they could be identified if I chose to release the name of the MP who did it to her, it would be irresponsible to name him.

After Guido Fawkes released a heavily redacted version of the dossier many people have been speculating about who the Tory party have identified as "perpetually intoxicated and very inappropriate with women" might be. I don't feel that I'm breaching any victims' confidentiality by saying that's the Tory MP for Beckenham Bob Stewart.

Four other male Tory MPs that this document suggests women should be very wary of are the First Secretary Damian Green, Theresa May's private secretary George Hollingberry, the DWP minister Guy Opperman, and the Tory whip Chris Heaton-Harris (author of the McCarthyite University letters). They're all listed as being "handsy" (which is apparently a quaint euphemism for "a groper").

Another case that leaps out is the Tory MP Nigel Evans. The internal Tory document accuses him of being "inappropriate with male researchers - long history". The long history bit here is key. If people in the Tory party knew that this guy had a long track record of being sexually inappropriate with junior staff, why was nothing done to actually protect junior staff from his inappropriate sexual behaviour?

The Tory dossier also includes two examples of male Tory MPs apparently paying women to be quiet (one former cabinet minister, and one current cabinet minister) and the dossier also accuses another current cabinet minister of having an injunction against him for inappropriate behaviour with a woman.

One of the weirdest inclusions is the former disabilities minister Justin Tomlinson who is listed as dating his researcher, but that's already public knowledge after he ditched his wife for his 25 year old assistant Katie Bennett in 2016.

As I mentioned at the beginning, a minority of the details included in the Tory dossier are clearly private sexual proclivities of the kind that tabloid rags would crawl all over, but don't constitute non-consensual sexual misdemeanours like harassment or assault at all. 

I decided not to publish the whole document because I have no interest in exposing these people for their personal sexual tastes. As much as I detest them for callously and uncaringly imposing the economically ruinous and poverty inducing policies of their party, I actually have a bit of sympathy for them over the way they've been listed by their own party alongside a bunch of actual sex pests, just because they apparently like a bit of kink in their sex lives.

I didn't want to be responsible for outing people just because the Tory party consider a bit of kink to be as bad as being a serial sex pest, but it's obvious that if I've seen the document, it's going to leak out into the public domain sooner or later. So I'm in the unusual position of actually feeling a bit sorry for a few Tory MPs.

All in all the Tory sex pest dossier looks an awful lot more like a poorly cobbled together blackmail list than anything resembling an internal Tory party effort to identify and properly deal with actual sexual misdemeanours. 

The suspicion that it's actually a blackmail list fits with what Theresa May's former communications manager Kate Perrior said about the Tory whips collecting dirt in order to "use it to make sure that MPs know that other people within the party know exactly what they’ve been up to, and that behaviour either is not acceptable, or it will be used against them – you will vote in a certain way or we will tell your wife exactly what you’ve been up to".

 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.


Legal note: All of the accusations in this article are made in the Tory sex dossier. I had no role in compiling the dossier, and this article simply offers commentary on the contents. I have been careful to qualify all commentary with the fact that these are accusations by others within the Tory party, not established facts.

Michael Fabricant tried to claim drunken sex pests are "blameless"

In a BBC Newsnight interview the Tory MP Michael Fabricant laughingly tried to dismiss the sex pest scandal as a "witch hunt" and attempted to make out that people who carried out sexual harassment/assaults that happened when "everybody was sloshed" are somehow "blameless".

The first thing to note is that the dossier of more than three dozen Tory sex pest MPs isn't a "witch hunt" at all, it's a list compiled internally by the Tory party which was then leaked.

Another factor that differentiates the sex pest scandal from a "witch hunt" is that the victims of a "witch hunt" are usually blameless (or guilty only of transgressing some harsh and restrictive social or political convention), while the vast majority of Tory MPs named in the sex pest dossier have done massively inappropriate things, often to junior members of staff or to journalists. 

Something that would actually qualify as a witch hunt would be an effort to criticise/abuse/shame the victims of sexual misconduct into silence (trivialising cases of sexual misconduct and victim bashing does seem to be the sex pest containment strategy adopted by elements of the right-wing media, including The S*n).

The next thing to note is that drunken sex pests are not "blameless". Drunkenness is no excuse whatever for sexual misconduct. Even when drunk it's simply not difficult to tell whether your sexual attentions are wanted or not, and it's definitely not difficult to know that  it's inappropriate to drunkenly grope young journalists, or that junior employees in your workplace are off bounds (even if the place you work happens to be riddled with taxpayer subsidised bars where you and your mates hang about getting "sloshed" instead of concentrating on your jobs).

The next thing to note is that (as he almost certainly knows himself by now) Michael Fabricant is one of the MPs named in the dossier of sex pest Tory MPs.

I guess time will tell whether Fabricant tries to use drunkenness as an excuse in an effort to downplay the case of his own inappropriate sexual behaviour in the sex pest dossier ...

 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.


Monday, 30 October 2017

The Tory party systematically blackmail their depraved MPs into subservience

Theresa May's former Communications Director Kate Perrior has made an explosive allegation that instead of punishing the misconduct of Tory MPs, the Tory whips use knowledge of incidents like degenerate behaviour and sexual harassment to blackmail MPs into toeing the party line.

Here's exactly what she told BBC Breakfast:
"The information is held by the whips, because they use it to make sure that MPs know that other people within the party know exactly what they’ve been up to, and that behaviour either is not acceptable, or it will be used against them – you will vote in a certain way or we will tell your wife exactly what you’ve been up to."
The internal Tory party dossier of 36 sex pest Tory MPs demonstrates that at least 11% of the entire party have been compromised by their scandalous behaviour, and must be susceptible to the system of blackmail operated by the party whips. But this is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

Once you factor in other things that politicians might want to keep from their families or out of the public domain (alcoholism, extra-marital affairs, pornography habits, bigotry, drug dependency, use of prostitutes, fraudulent or criminal behaviour ...) you have to wonder how much dirt the Tory whips hold on other Tory MPs, and how many of their MPs are being blackmailed into subservient loyalty to whatever Tory HQ dictates, no matter how much it conflicts with their principles (if they have any) or with the best interests of their constituents.

The remarkable thing about this internal Tory system of blackmailing their MPs into doing as they're told, is that it clearly gives the Tory party a huge incentive to actually pick sexual miscreants, alcoholics, perverts, philanderers, drug dependants, misogynists and the like as Tory candidates, so that they can be more easily blackmailed by the party whips.

Why would they pick clean candidates who might eventually rebel against the party line at some point, when they could pick a sexual miscreant, addict, bigot or philanderer who can easily be blackmailed into absolute subservience by the party whips?

Additionally this system of internal party blackmail obviously creates a toxic environment where the party has no incentive to combat or control the degenerate behaviour of their MPs, because the more depraved and hedonistic the atmosphere Tory MPs exist in, the more dirt the whips can dig up in order to blackmail them with.

Why on earth would the Tory party ensure that Tory MPs who are struggling with addiction get help, or women in parliament are safe from sexual harassment if they can use knowledge of these problems to blackmail them into unquestioning subservience?

Given the system of blackmail the Tories operate against their own MPs, it any wonder that the Tory party is so full of self-serving, sexually depraved, expenses-scamming, out-of-touch drug and alcohol addled degenerates who regularly vote in favour of unjustifiably disgusting policies? 

Now that such a firm accusation that the Tory party are abusing the party whip system by using the misconduct and misbehaviour of Tory MPs to blackmail them into unquestioning loyalty to party HQ, it's surely about time to begin considering reform of the party whip system if it can be abused so easily.

 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.


Is Theresa May going to suspend any of her 36 sex pest Tory MPs

The Guido Fawkes blog has been handed proof of a significant Tory party scandal, but they've handled it in an atrocious way.

Rumours had been circulating for days that the Tory party had compiled a secret dossier of sex pest Tory MPs. Tory HQ denied its existence, but someone has leaked the spreadsheet to the Guido.

Instead of posting the unedited dossier of 36 sex pest MPs (over 10% of serving Tory MPs are on the spreadsheet), Guido has posted a heavily redacted version with all of the names blacked out, and a significant proportion of the alleged offences too. 

Presumably the intention isn't to permanently hide the identities of those accused of sexual harassment by their own party, but to gradually leak the names out over the course of several days in order to maximise the clicks and ad revenues.

If obscuring the names of sex pests in order to maximise profits on the story isn't gross enough, there's a sad little know-it-all boast at the end that proves how bad the problem of sleazy sexual conduct at Westminster really is, and that Guido is actually part of the problem.

The brag that "Guido had heard all but three of the stories before" goes to show that knowledge of this kind of repulsive sexual misconduct was widespread, but nobody in Westminster actually did anything to confront or expose it.

Numerous people in the Westminster bubble felt comfortable enough to go and gossip to Paul Staines and his Guido mates about the sexual misconduct of their fellow parliamentarians, but they didn't think to confront the sex pests, or to report them. 

And then, despite running a website dedicated to scurrilous Tabloid style muck-raking, Paul and his mates have just openly admitted sitting on the information that more than 10% of current Tory MPs are known/heavily suspected perverts, rather than investigating the accusations further and publicly exposing them.

It's only when the spreadsheet of Tory sex pests fell into their hands that they decided to publish (a heavily redacted version of) it, and presumably only because if they had it, it was clearly only going to be a matter of time before someone else got their hands on it too.

It's pretty much beyond doubt that the names on the list will eventually come out, either as Guido drip feeds them one by one to maximise clicks and ad revenues, or when someone at the Tory party decides to leak the non-redacted version of the spreadsheet to another more responsible outlet to stop the Chinese water torture of one-by-one reveals on the Guido blog.

Despite breaking the story in this grubby and self-incriminating manner, Guido are absolutely right about one thing. This spreadsheet is going to "send shockwaves through the Tory party and the government" however May handles it.

After Jeremy Corbyn moved swiftly to remove the party whip from Jared O'Mara and suspend him from the Labour Party over his history of posting bigoted Internet comments before he even became an MP, May must come under pressure to deal similarly with at least some of the worst of her sex pest MPs; However 
If she suspends even a third of the 36 alleged Tory sex pest MPs, her parliamentary majority evaporates and leaves her completely powerless to enact legislation without the support of MPs from either Labour or the pro-EU Lib-Dems or SNP!

On the orther hand she would have an awfully difficult job trying to explain why most of this grotesque assortment of 36 alleged perverts and sex pests in her party don't deserve the same treatment as Jared O'Mara got while the claimed offences during their time as MPs are investigated.

So she either follows Jeremy Corbyn's lead, does the decent thing, and flushes away her parliamentary majority in the process. Or she puts herself in the outrageous position of being more far more lenient on the repulsive sexual misconduct of her MPs than Jeremy Corbyn was on one of his MPs for having been an obnoxious little Internet gobshite before he even entered parliament.

It's a lose-lose situation for Theresa May, but her limpet like impulse to cling to power means she's almost certainly going to take the PR hit of refusing to punish the sexual misconduct of her own MPs in order to save her own skin.

 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, 29 October 2017

Tories in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

We all saw the absolute hysteria that the Tories and their attack dogs in the right wing press whipped up about the Labour MP Clive Lewis using the word "bitch" at a man during an obscure comedy event and then over the unacceptable comments that the new Labour MP Jared O'Mara made long before he became an MP.

The Tory MP Sarah Wollaston was one of the most high profile grandstanders, posting an article from the disgusting right-wing Guido Fawkes blog alongside a demand that Labour sack O'Mara and call a by-election in his constituency.

Wollaston's fellow Tory MP Nus Ghani even tried to trigger an emergency parliamentary debate on Clive Lewis' "bitch" comment. A move that was dismissed by the Speaker John Bercow as "wholly absurd and inappropriate".

Everyone is familiar with the expression about people in glass houses throwing stones, and when it comes to stuff like homophobia and misogyny, the likes of Sarah Wollaston and Nus Ghani knew perfectly well that the Tory party is absolutely full of bigotry when they were kicking up such a stink about Clive Lawis and Jared O'Mara.

And so it came to pass. Within a week of the Tory hysteria over Jared O'Mara it was revealed that the former Tory minister and leadership candidate Stephen Crabb had been sending sexually explicit text messages to a teenager who had applied for a job in his office (the second time he's been caught out sexting women in the space of a year). Additionally another Tory MP Mark Garnier was exposed for calling his female assistant "sugar tits" and sending her out to buy sex toys.

Not only is Stephen Crabb a sex pest who thinks it's fine to abuse his position as an MP to send sexually explicit text messages to women less than half his age, he's also a brazen hypocrite and a homophobic bigot too.

Crabb is a glaring hypocrite because he loves to pose as if he's a devout Christian and happily married man. 

And yes there's no 11th commandment "Thou shalt not send pervy messages to teenage girls on thy work phone", but it should be glaringly obvious to anyone who is serious about their Christian faith (or capable of basic human decency) that sending sexually explicit messages to teenagers is completely incompatible with having respect for your wife.

Despite having been twice caught out proving beyond doubt that he's willing to completely ignore the basic tenets of his professed Christian faith when it conflicts with his personal desire to send sexually explicit messages to women less than half his age, Crabb has repeatedly used Christianity as an excuse for interfering in other people's lives.

In 2007 Crabb voted against legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT people, and in 2014 he voted against gay equality legislation to allow same-sex couples the same right to marriage as heterosexual couples.

Both times he used Christianity as an excuse for his homophobic bigotry, and what's worse is that he's even taken political donations from a bigoted bunch of Christian extremists called CARE that advocate gay conversion "therapy".

Sarah Wollaston and other Tory MPs have every right to criticise the unacceptable comments that Jared O'Mara made. However if they don't speak out with the same fury when it's one of their fellow Tories speaking or acting like a pervert, homophobe, misogynist or bigot, then we can see that their previous complaints were just faux outrage motivated by a tribalistic urge to score political points against their political opponents.

So has Sarah Wollaston posted a hatchet job article about Stephen Crabb, slammed his misogynistic attitudes towards young women and his wife, attacked his bigoted attitudes towards LGBT people, and called for him to be sacked from the Tory party, and a by-election to be called in his constituency (where his majority over Labour is just 314)?

Of course she hasn't.

And has Nus Ghani decided to try to call an emergency parliamentary debate over Stephen Crabb's abuse of his position as an MP to send sexually explicit messages to a teenager?

Of course she hasn't.

This abject hypocrisy makes them part of the problem. If they're only willing to speak out when there are political points to be scored for their party, but they keep their lips tightly sealed when criticism of abuse, misogyny, homophobia or bigotry would damage the Tories, it's beyond obvious that they've got no real interest in confronting bigotry, and any criticism they aim at opposition politicians over bigoted words and actions is just artificial outrage expressed purely for party political advantage.

Nobody has a problem with people calling out bigotry. The issue here is consistency.

It shouldn't really matter whether you think politicians should be harshly punished for the things they wrote on the Internet long before they became parliamentary candidates, or the fact they got caught abusing their position as an MP to send sexually explicit texts to much younger women for a second time. Or whether you think they should be given the benefit of the doubt when they express regret and state that their views have changed and they won't behave like that in future. 

What matters is consistency. If you're going to howl outrage over bigotry, then be consistent. Howl just as much outrage even when the bigot is a member of your own political party. And if you're going to give your political allies the benefit of the doubt, then you absolutely must give the benefit of the doubt to your political foes too. 

In a way the double standards of Tories like Sarah Wollaston and Nus Ghani are perhaps even worse than Stephen Crabb's bigotry. Being a creepy pervert, homophobe and hypocrite just seems to be part of his personality. It's who he is.

Wollaston and Ghani on the other hand have displayed extreme double standards. Calling out bigotry on the opposition benches, but saying nothing about the bigots in their own party trivialises the issue by piggybacking their own party political agenda onto it. 

They want to turn bigotry into a frenzied media circus when it's to their party's advantage, but just days later they won't even issue simple statements of condemnation when the bigot is one of their fellow Tories.

 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, 27 October 2017

The EU reaction to the Catalonia crisis is absolutely unacceptable

October 27th 2017 will go down as a historic day in Catalonia no matter what happens from here on in. The Catalan parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, and the Spanish nationalist government in Madrid has responded by launching a coup against the democratic and social institutions of Catalonia. 

Within minutes of the Catalan declaration of independence the right-wing Spanish government moved to scrap the Catalan parliament, and to give themselves to power to seize control of the Catalan police (Mossos) and independent Catalan broadcast media.

The Spanish prosecutor in Madrid has threatened that everybody involved in the independence vote will be arrested and held as political prisoners like the two Catalan civic leaders Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart who are already being held captive.

Anyone with any political sense whatever must be able to see what an atrocious mess the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made of the situation with his tactics of violent repression and continual bone-headed escalation.

When he used brute force against non-violent civilians on the day of the referendum he not only created a PR disaster for Spain, he also completely destroyed his ability to cite the low poll turnout as a reason the referendum lacks legitimacy (you can't steal an estimated 700,000 votes from ballot boxes and violently intimidate people away from the polling stations, then complain the turnout wasn't high enough).

When he continually refused to enter dialogue with the Catalan secessionists after the vote, and set about plotting a coup to abolish the Catalan parliament instead, he simply spurred them on to make their independence declaration before the Spanish nationalist coup was launched.

Sadly a lot of people who oppose Catalan independence have bought into the simplistic tribal mentality that if you oppose the Catalan secession, then you need to side with and justify the idiotic and self-defeating moves that Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish nationalist establishment have made in response.

Even more disappointingly, several politicians and institutions that should have been positioning themselves as neutrals have destroyed any hope that they can mediate between the factions by openly siding with the Spanish nationalist government in Madrid.

Just hours before the Catalan parliament declared independence and Madrid responded by launching their coup, the EU President Donald Tusk issued what is likely to be remembered as on of the most ill-considered political statements an EU representative has ever made.

His absurd proclamation that "nothing changes", his determination that the EU will only talk with Madrid, and his pathetic "hope" that the Spanish nationalist government don't resort to violence (again) are unacceptable.

Whichever way you look at it "nothing changes" is a delusional rejection of observable reality. Not only has the Catalan parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain, the Spanish government is launching a social and political coup against Catalonia.

Spain is undergoing its worst political crisis since it joined the EU. In fact it's arguably the worst crisis since the 1936-39 civil war when the fascist  military dictator Franco seized control of the country and set about brutally repressing the Catalan people until 1975.

If this kind of extraordinary political meltdown is considered business as usual in the EU, then perhaps the Brexiters were right all along that the EU is an absolutely farcical organisation that the UK is better off out of?

Tusk's declaration that Spain remains the EU's "only interlocutor" is a catastrophic error of judgement under the circumstances. If the EU leadership had any sense whatever they'd be positioning themselves as neutral mediators not openly siding with Madrid and refusing to even talk to the Catalan political leaders, because after all, the Catalan people are EU citizens too.

Then to tack a vague wishy-washy sound bite onto the end of his statement about how he hopes that the Spanish government favours "force of argument not argument of force" is simply not good enough.

The Spanish government already graphically demonstrated its willingness to resort to violence and repression on October 1st (we all saw it happening on social media) and the EU demonstrated its refusal to condemn it, so EU figures simply hoping that the Spanish government don't resort to violent repression again is clearly no disincentive whatever.

What Tusk should have done is explain that it would be unacceptable for an EU member nation to resort to violence and repression against EU citizens, because all EU citizens are entitled to freedom of speech and freedom from state repression.

Another problem with this vague hope that the Spanish government don't resort to violence and repression is that it's stark-staringly obvious that the only way that conflict and violence can be averted now is through urgent dialogue and mediation. Something that Tusk made all the more difficult in his previous sentence affirming that the EU sides with the Spanish government and has no interest whatever in talking to the Catalans or taking on the role of the neutral mediator.

It's hardly possible to be disappointed with the belligerent, violent, and anti-democratic escalations of Mariano Rajoy and his party. He was always a fool promoted way beyond his abilities, and they were always a bunch of extraordinarily corrupt hard-right fanatics. Only a fool would have expected better from that repulsive bunch.

However, the EU stance, as outlined in Donald Tusk's Twitter statement, is absolutely exasperating. 

If they continue to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to act as impartial mediators this crisis is only going to get worse, and the EU's critics will have an absolute field day when Catalonia descends into tyranny, police violence, mass civil disobedience, the taking of political prisoners, or even tanks on the streets of Barcelona.

It's bad enough that the EU allows this kind of extreme political repression to go on just across the border in Turkey without imposing sanctions and demanding the restoration of liberal democracy, but it'll be a whole new level of wrongness if they allow this kind of repression within EU borders and against EU citizens, and insist on siding with the government that is inflicting 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.


Why aren't the mainstream media talking about the "blue terror"?

Just imagine for a moment that millions of Ukippers hadn't surged to Theresa May's rescue at the 2017 general election and Jeremy Corbyn had won, which is not such a crazy proposition because no political party bagging 40% of the vote like Corbyn did has failed to win an election since 1970.

Now imagine that Corbyn and the Labour Party were colluding to undermine parliamentary democracy at every turn, and their supporters in the media were busy orchestrating witch hunts against anyone who stood in his way (judges, opposition politicians, campaigners, university lecturers ...).

  • Imagine if Jeremy Corbyn hadn't been (twice) elected Labour Party leader in massive landslide victories, but instead had been crowned party leader when his allies in the party and the mainstream media bullied his rival out of the leadership contest.
  • Imagine if Corbyn supporters in the media then used this McCarthyite letter as inspiration to launch a hate-fuelled public witch hunt against any university staff who dare to oppose Corbyn's position.
Of course this is only a hypothetical exercise because Jeremy Corbyn is an elected democratic socialist who has actually been working hard to democratise the Labour Party so that ordinary members have much more say over the direction the party takes, so he would hardly behave in the same profoundly illiberal and anti-democratic manner as Theresa May has been.

But just imagine Corbyn and his supporters had done any of these things. We all know that the Tories and their bully boys in the mainstream media would be shrieking "red terror", drawing parallels with the Stalinist purges, and posing as if they're principled liberals who are determined to stand up for stuff like democracy, academic independence, parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and freedom of speech.

But because these attacks on democracy, academic independence, parliamentary sovereignty, the rule of law, and freedom of speech are being orchestrated by Theresa May and the pro-Tory bully boys in the right-wing press, there's absolutely no talk of "the blue terror" whatever, no parallels being drawn with right-wing tyrants and dictators, and in fact the majority of the mainstream press insist on covering these extraordinary political circumstances as if there's nothing wrong at all, and these continual Tory attacks on democracy, freedom, and the rule of law are just business as usual.

The fact that there's virtually no condemnation from the mainstream media, and absolutely no efforts to frame the profoundly illiberal and anti-democratic scheming of the Tories as "the blue terror" tells us an lot about the attitudes of most of the people who work in the mainstream media.

When it comes to Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party they'll shriek outrage over the most inconsequential things (even completely fictional stuff they've lazily churnalised from the Guido Fawkes blog). But when it comes to the shockingly illiberal and anti-democratic scheming of Theresa May and the Tories, they'll turn a blind eye to pretty much anything.

Presumably they're intent on ignoring these extraordinary Tory attacks of freedom, democracy and the rule of law because they believe that Theresa May's ever increasing authoritarianism will never actually be a problem to them as long as they remain fiercely loyal to her cause.

Presumably they're confident that when the "blue terror" ideological purges of the media happen, they'll be safe while the ones who were foolish enough to ever criticise are forced out of their jobs, or dragged off by agents of the state in the middle of the night.

What they don't seem to have cottoned onto is that their continued complicity and collusion with the Tory party is turning ever more people away from the mainstream media, and fuelling the growth of independent media.

They don't seem to realise that if they keep up their sychophantic extreme pro-Tory bias and their complicity and collusion with Theresa May's illiberal and anti-democratic agenda, then many of them could well be out of their jobs anyway as mainstream media audiences collapse and their advertising revenues dry up.

 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.