Saturday, 18 August 2018

Let's pay tribute to Kofi Annan by supporting his campaign for rational drugs policy


Following the announcement that the former UN Security General Kofi Annan has died, a whole host of war-mongering monsters (Tony Blair, Theresa May, Alistair Campbell, David Miliband) took to Twitter to pay glib tributes to the man who did his best to avert the vast human tragedy that they created in Iraq.

Annan remained unequivocal about the catastrophic invasion and occupation of Iraq, calling it a "disaster" and condemning it as "illegal" under international law, so it's hard not to see these war-monger 'tributes' as gloating that the man who tried so hard to tame their blood lust.

Whether we approve of gung-ho war-mongers with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on our hands like Tony Blair and Theresa May or not, there's something more we could do than posting glib platitudes on Twitter and then just soon forgetting all about Kofi Annan.

One of the most important things we could do is support one of the ideas that he spent his later years promoting; the concept of a rational approach to drugs policy.

Here's what he said on the issue.
We must take four critical steps.

First, we must decriminalise personal drug use. The use of drugs is harmful and reducing those harms is a task for the public health system, not the courts. This must be coupled with the strengthening of treatment services, especially in middle and low-income countries.

Second, we need to accept that a drug-free world is an illusion. We must focus instead on ensuring that drugs cause the least possible harm. Harm reduction measures, such as needle exchange programs, can make a real difference. Germany adopted such measures early on and the level of HIV infections among injecting drug users is close to 5 per cent, compared to more than 40 per cent in some countries that resist this pragmatic approach.

Third, we have to look at regulation and public education rather than the total suppression of drugs, which we know will not work. The steps taken successfully to reduce tobacco consumption (a very powerful and damaging addiction) show what can be achieved.

The legal sale of cannabis is a reality that started with California legalising the sale of cannabis for medical use in 1996. Since then, 22 US states and some European countries have followed suit. Canada looks likely to become the first G7 country to regulate the sale of cannabis next year.

Initial trends show us that where cannabis has been legalised, there has been no explosion in drug use or drug-related crime. The size of the black market has been reduced and thousands of young people have been spared criminal records. But a regulated market is not a free market. We need to carefully think through what needs regulating, and what does not. Although most cannabis use is occasional, moderate and not associated with significant problems, it is nonetheless precisely because of its potential risks that it needs to be regulated.

And therefore, the fourth and final step is to recognise that drugs must be regulated precisely because they are risky. It is time to acknowledge that drugs are infinitely more dangerous if they are left solely in the hands of criminals, who have no concerns about health and safety. Legal regulation protects health. The most risky drugs should never be available "over the counter" but only via medical prescription for people registered as dependent users, as is already happening in Switzerland.
It really is difficult to see anything in what Annan said that any rational person could take issue with. Yet somehow, under Theresa May's inept leadership (first at the Home Office, and then as Prime Minister) the United Kingdom has continued swimming against the changing tide on drugs policy, pushing the failed war on drugs harder than ever before, while others all around have been accepting that this ideological approach doesn't work and pursuing more rational strategies to deal with the issue.

Sadly Kofi Annan's efforts to avert the catastrophe in Iraq were ignored by the war-mongers, and we're still suffering the consequences today as brutal Islamist terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaida thrive in the power vacuum that was created.


The least we could do is listen to what he said in later life, and concentrate on fighting for a rational approach to drugs policy that focuses on regulation, harm reduction and rehabilitation rather than the failing approach of propaganda, punishment, and leaving control of the drug market entirely to unscrupulous criminals.

 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, 17 August 2018

10 reasons the Westminster establishment club are way more of a cult than Jeremy Corbyn supporters


One of the most commonly occurring mainstream media propaganda tropes when it comes to people who support Jeremy Corbyn is that they're a "cult".

Mainstream media outlets that have regularly resorted to this "cult" smear include the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Times, Sky, S*n, Guardian, Spectator, Bloomberg, LBC, Mirror, Express, Financial Times, Independent, City AM, and the supposedly 'impartial' BBC.

Other less mainstream outfits that have resorted to the "cult" smear include the vile Guido Fawkes hate chamber, the excruciable New European 'centrist' rag, and the Politics Home blog.

One of the oddest things about this "cult of Corbyn" label is the fact that most of the establishment politicians and journalists using it remain blissfully unaware of the fact that they're the cheerleaders for a much more obvious cult: the cult of orthodox neoliberalism that has infected the Westminster establishment class for four ruinous decades.

There are many reasons that the professional political pundit class refuse to admit that they're the paid cheerleaders for a dangerous and increasingly unpopular cult. Here are just a few of them.


Denial

Brainwashed people always refuse to accept that they're the victims of brainwashing. Thus the politicians and mainstream media hacks who promote orthodox neoliberalism and viciously attack anything that threatens it will steadfastly refuse to accept that they're part of an ideological cult.

If the majority of your peers and colleagues are also members of the ideological cult, it's easily possible to imagine that you and your friends are the normal ones, while it's those on the outside have been infected with some kind of ideological degeneracy.

The tendency to deny one's own cultish behaviour because it's completely normal within the cult is clear evidence of cultism.


Ideological pillars

The reason that establishment elitists so often take the position that "the stupid plebs are wrong again" is that they simply won't accept anything that goes against the core pillars of their cult-like faith in neoliberal economic dogma.

Even when two of the pillars were completely destroyed in front of their eyes, the neoliberal cultists somehow managed to keep their unshakeable faith in them.

In 2007-08 the UK financial sector collapsed into insolvency as a result of their reckless unregulated gambling on complex financial products they clearly didn't even understand.

The only way the government could save the bankers' from the consequences of their own actions was to initiate the biggest state intervention in the history of the British economy.

Thus two pillars of orthodox neoliberalism were reduced to rubble in front of the nation's eyes. The belief that deregulated markets regulate themselves rather than collapsing into insolvency, and the belief that state intervention is bad.

But somehow the neoliberal cultists in the Westminster establishment simply blocked out the undeniable evidence that the pillars of their faith had broken, to continue pushing the same pro-deregulation small-state fanaticism that everyone can see is flawed.

The tendency to perform absurd mental gymnastics to maintain faith the face of demonstrable evidence that it's wrong is evidence of cultism.

Reassuring mantras

To neoliberal cultists mantras like "private sector good, public sector bad""more deregulation""more privatisation""tax cuts for the rich, welfare cuts for the poor""more outsourcing" seem like perfect common sense, because it's pretty much all they ever hear within their bubble of privilege.

To many on the outside these ridiculous incantations sound like the gibberish of brainwashed fools. But the neoliberal cultists will never accept that they're wrong because their belief in all of this nonsense is continually reaffirmed by others within the echo chambers of privilege they occupy.

The tendency to resort to ridiculous incantations of faith that sound like gibberish to normal people is evidence of cultism.


Outsiders

To outside observers it's remarkably obvious that Westminster is utterly obsessed with the cult of neoliberalism.

Until Jeremy Corbyn came along all three of the Westminster establishment parties offered the public only slightly differing concoctions of the same nauseating gruel of pro-austerity orthodox neoliberalism.

The polls are absolutely clear that there is massive public support for ideas that go against the neoliberal orthodoxy: Renationalisation of the railways. Higher taxes for the rich. Better pay and working conditions for ordinary workers. Increased funding for the NHS. Investment in social housing ...

However it's much easier for the cult members to believe that "the stupid plebs are wrong again" than to actually question the core tenets of their economic ideology.


Thus if the public believe that rail privatisation is a shambles, it's not because they can see the evidence of their eyes that it is, it's because they're too stupid to know that it's against the rules of the cult to ever question the wisdom of privatisation.

If the public ask why the Tory government imposed ideological austerity on the poor and ordinary whilst showering corporations and the mega-rich with handouts and tax cuts, it's not that they're right to be complaining about the transparent unfairness, it's because they're too stupid to know that it's against the rules of the cult to ever question the upwards redistribution of wealth.

If the public ask why the Tory government kept showering the borderline insolvent company Carillion with contracts, it's not that they're right to be asking about such idiocy, it's because they're too stupid to know that it's against the rules of the cult to ever question the wisdom of corporate outsourcing.

The tendency to treat outsiders and non-conformists as dangerously stupid people who are best ignored is a classic sign of cultism.

Elitism

Members of cults tend to see themselves as the elite, the enlightened few, the chosen.

If you're incapable of seeing how elitism, arrogance, and aloofness are absolutely commonplace within the Westminster establishment, there's really no helping you is there?

The Westminster political establishment behave like an elitist mafia, constantly closing ranks to protect their own from the criticism of outsiders.

And the mainstream media more often behave as their official scribes, mindlessly churnalising government press releases and propaganda narratives from within the Westminster establishment bubble, rather than acting like people charged with actually holding the wealthy political elitists to account.

The tendency to consider cult members as the enlightened few is a classic sign of cultism.

Select texts

One of the most telling signs of cultism is the way adherents of the cult are encouraged to only read certain texts that are approved by the cult leadership.

Orthodox neoliberal politicians continually share links to mainstream media sites, and even to vile right-wing hate chambers like the Guido Fawkes blog because these are the cult's approved sources.

And they're also desperate to smear independent media sites (like Another Angry Voice, Novara Media, Evolve Politics, The Canary, Skwawkbox, Double Down News, Tom Pride, Vox Political) as unreliable "fake news" to be ridiculed and ignored.

Of course Independent media sites are not infallible, but anyone trying to make out that independent sites like Another Angry Voice and Evolve Politics are somehow worse than the Daily Mail propaganda outfit or the grotesque Guido Fawkes hate mob is clearly pushing an ideological vendetta.


The tendency to revere select texts and writers as the only reliable sources, and to deride the entire output of other writers and sources as unworthy of attention is definitely cult-like behaviour.

No accountability

Another sign of cultism is that the leadership are simply not held accountable for their errors.

Just think of the enraged right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin furiously haranguing Jeremy Corbyn in parliament as he was apologising for Labour's role in the Iraq war in light of the damning Chilcot Report.

As far as cult members are concerned, it doesn't matter how much evidence they're shown that their beloved leaders deceived them, tricked them, lied to them, led them into disaster ... they'll never accept it, and they'll turn their fury on those who dare to criticise their idols, or hold them to account.

If anyone suggests Tony Blair should be held to account for war crimes in Iraq, or that David Cameron should be held accountable for driving the UK off a Brexit cliff just to nab a few votes off UKIP at the 2015 General Election, then cult members react with absolute fury.

The tendency to relentlessly attack those who attempt to hold the cult leaders to account is a definite sign of cultism.

Heretics

Now that the cult of orthodox neoliberalism is so firmly embedded within the power structures of the establishment, any politician who comes out fighting against the core tenets of the cult is obviously going to be treated like a heretic and a pariah.

And this is exactly what has happened to Jeremy Corbyn for proposing stuff like public ownership, free education from cradle to grave, ending the reliance on dodgy one-sided outsourcing contracts, a national investment bank, a real crackdown on tax-dodging, improved pay and working conditions, increased funding for the NHS and emergency services, investment in social housing, and a proper planned industrial strategy rather than the ruinous "leave it to the markets" chaos of the neoliberal cultists.

The three year long campaign of hate from pretty much the entire Westminster establishment class (including dozens of members of his own political party) and the mainstream media is firm evidence that in the eyes of the cultists Jeremy Corbyn is a heretic who needs to be eliminated for his refusal to comply with the strictures of the cult of orthodox neoliberalism.

The ostracisation of heretics is one of the most obvious indicators of cultism it's possible to witness.

Personal benefits

Every politician and almost every mainstream media hack has done very nicely indeed out of the neoliberal orthodoxy. Most of them earn lavish salaries that ordinary people could never dream of. Most of them own property in London and the south, meaning they're also beneficiaries of neoliberal house price inflation. None of them have suffered the absolute destitution of benefits sanctions or the humiliation of the Tory witch hunt against sick and disabled people. Most of them have plenty of insider contacts with other other orthodox neoliberals, meaning they've got their foot in the door for lucrative consultancy contracts or speaking gigs as long as they always continue to toe the neoliberal line.

They can't be unaware of the downside of neoliberalism for millions upon millions of ordinary people. The soaring rates of child poverty. Millions of people trapped in unstable low-pay jobs on Zero Hours Contracts and in the fake self-employment gig economy. The longest sustained decline in workers' wages in history. Massive NHS waiting lists. An estimated austerity death toll of 120,000 people. Students being loaded up with crippling debts they've got no chance of ever clearing despite a lifetime of loan repayments. The systematic abuse of sick and disabled people. Soaring violent crime as a result of Tory police cuts ...

They just choose not to focus on these things because they know that they've personally done very nicely out of orthodox neoliberalism so far, and that highlighting the failings of the cult is really obviously against their own personal self interest.

A system of rewards for loyalty to the cult is as essential as a system of punishment for those who dare to question it.


The golden hammer

One of the most obvious signs of cultism is the belief that the same cultish behaviour is the solution to all manner of problems.

  • The crops have failed -  more sacrifices to the Gods
  • There's a drought -  more sacrifices to the Gods
  • The people are dying of disease -  more sacrifices to the Gods
  • There's a plague of locusts - more sacrifices to the Gods
  • there are heathens at the gates of the village -  more sacrifices to the Gods
  • There's flooding  -  more sacrifices to the Gods
This is exactly the same way the cult of neoliberalism works. Whatever the crisis, the solutions always remain the same: More privatisation, more outsourcing, more deregulation, more tax cuts for the rich, more welfare cuts for the poor, more centralisation of political power, more attacks on workers' rights ...

Thus the Tory solution to the bankers' insolvency crisis (which was caused by neoliberal cultism) was yet more hard-right neoliberal economic dogma crudely repackaged as austerity.

When neoliberal austerity dogma resulted in falling real terms wages, collapsing public services, a huge NHS crisis, flatlining productivity ... the Tory solution was yet more neoliberalism in the form of a hard-right Brexit shambles aimed at stripping away our EU derived workers' rights, consumer protections, environmental laws, equality legislation, and food standards.

When the Tory Brexit shambles results in another massive economic crisis, no doubt their solution will be yet more neoliberalism in the form of wage repression, privatisation, deregulation, tax cuts for corporations and the mega-rich, public service cuts ...

When all you've got is a hammer, then every single problem begins to look like a nail.

This insistence upon using the same cultish solutions to all manner of problems (many of which were caused by adherence to the cultish way of doing things in the first place) is absolutely clear evidence of cultism.


Conclusion

Adherents of orthodox neoliberalism will react with fury to the argument that they're actually the ones who are stuck in a cult. They'll turn to their other cult members in horror and furiously decry the outsiders for daring to point out all of their cult-like behaviour.

We're 'centrists' they'll plead. We're 'moderates'. What we believe in is 'common sense'.

But for all of their protestations they can't answer one simple thing.

If they're so right, and Jeremy Corbyn is so wrong that they've spent three years trying so hard to destroy him, why are the neoliberal establishment club so unpopular that their attacks on Corbyn actually end up ringing out as endorsements in the minds of people who refuse to subjugate themselves to the bankrupt ideological dogma of orthodox neoliberalism?


 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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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Margaret Hodge has completely lost the plot in her latest anti-Corbyn rant


Labour are once again ahead in the polls, and like clockwork Margaret Hodge has emerged to badmouth her own party in the most extraordinary manner. In this article I'm going to look at just some of the desperately cynical, wantonly offensive, and downright dishonest nonsense she spewed in her interview with Sky News.

Muddying the water

Hodge said a lot of off-the-charts nonsense in her interview, but I've got to start with the most cynical and dangerous of her assertions. In an effort to have a stab at Jeremy Corbyn she claimed that there's "a fine line between being pro-Palestinian, and being anti-Semitic".

This is blatantly untrue. One involves having a bit of basic human decency and expressing solidarity towards the victims of decades of brutal Israeli repression. The other involves being a disgusting bigot who hates Jewish people for no reason other than that they're Jews.

There is no "fine line" between decency and indecency, and this effort by Margaret Hodge to claim that there is, is nothing but a cynical effort to intimidate decent people out of expressing solidarity with the Palestinians for fear of being labelled a racist bigot for having done so.

Trivialising the Holocaust

After screaming vitriolic and defamatory abuse in Jeremy Corbyn's face Margaret Hodge was subjected to a brief disciplinary procedure which involved the sending of a few letters, an meeting, and her getting let off scot free for an offence that would have seen any ordinary Labour Party member hoofed out of the party for good.

In a desperate attempt to present herself as the victim, Hodge actually compared this disciplinary process to the horror of fleeing Nazi Germany.

Just try to imagine the absolute tower of self-righteous delusion a person would have to be sitting upon in order to imagine that trivialising the horrors of the Holocaust in order to pose as the poor victim of a flawed softball disciplinary process that let her off scot free for an offence that would have had any normal person in a normal job rightly expecting the sack.

By trivialising the Holocaust in this way Hodge has demonstrated that she's massively over-privileged and extremely disconnected from reality.

Entitlement


Let's not forget that this is the same Labour Party that attempted to rig the 2nd Corbyn leadership election by purging thousands of left-wing members for "crimes" such as once retweeting a non-Labour MP, voting for a different political party long before they even joined Labour, and even liking the Foo Fighters too much!

Hodge was let off scot free for what would probably have seen any ordinary person like you or I sacked from our jobs, but she didn't have a single word of criticism when thousands of ordinary people were being purged from the Labour Party for no reason other than they were likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in a leadership election!

Basically Hodge believes she should be allowed to do whatever she likes to bring the party into disrepute, because disciplinary processes, punishments, and expulsions are only for the little people.


Hypocrisy

In comparing Labour's softball disciplinary procedure to the Holocaust in her victim-pleading rant Hodge has accidentally revealed her own hypocrisy.

The pro-Israeli lobby have long argued that it's grotesque to compare stuff like the deliberate killing of scores of unarmed civilians (including medics, journalists, and children) in the vast open air prison camp of Gaza to Nazism or the Holocaust, even to the extent of smearing a Jewish Holocaust survivor as an anti-Semite just to have another crack at Corbyn.

But if comparing indisputable acts of brutality and repression to the actions of the Nazis is tasteless, then how on earth can it be considered reasonable to compare something as benign as an internal party political disciplinary process to the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust?


Outright lies


By claiming that Jeremy Corbyn has overseen an increase in anti-Semitism Hodge wasn't just veering off into hyperbole, she was outright lying.

The evidence is absolutely clear that rates of anti-Semitism have fallen dramatically in the Labour ranks since Corbyn became leader.

The obvious explanation for this trend would seem to be that the massive influx of left-leaning socially liberal people into the Labour Party since 2015 has significantly diluted the pre-existing levels of anti-Semitism.


Let's not forget that back in 2005 Labour's top spin doctor Alistair Campbell masterminded grossly offensive poster campaign depicting a Jewish political rival as a pig and a Fagin character.

This was at a time when Hodge was an actual government minister, but somehow, she didn't speak out about this grotesque anti-Semitism right at the heart of the Labour Party and use it to attack the party leadership.

Now that anti-Semitism rates have fallen dramatically under Corbyn, and nobody at the top of the party is doing anything remotely as bigoted as running an anti-Semitic poster campaign, now she's persistently complaining about the issue?

Surely anyone with any sense at all can see that someone who turns a blind eye to the blatant anti-Semitism of her political allies can't possibly be making a fuss over the issue in good faith when it comes to her political opponents?

Rabid anti-Corbynism

Hodge attempts to undermine Jeremy Corbyn's popularity by raising concerns about the "rise of populism" but completely gives the game away with her list of supposed populists.

She mentions Boris Johnson and Donald Trump first, with no negative description, but when it comes to Corbyn she says "the cult of Corbynism", thus revealing she's actually got more antipathy towards Corbyn's democratic socialist agenda than Boris Johnson's extreme-right ultranationalism, or the frightening and ideologically incoherent lunacy of Trumpism!

It's no surprise that Hodge is such a vehement opponent of Corbynism given that she was the beneficiary of a £1.5 million tax-dodging scam via a Liechtenstein-based fund

If anyone is likely to oppose Corbyn's determination to clamp down on the tax-dodging of the mega-rich it's someone who participates in that kind of thing.

Excuse me, who are the cultists?

In insultingly dismissing everyone who supports Jeremy Corbyn as a "cult", Margaret Hodge is simply showing how out of touch she is with the wishes of the Labour Party membership.

People don't support Corbyn because they see him as some kind of infallible idol but because he represents a genuine alternative to the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that has served the mega-rich and the political class do well over the last four decades at the expense of the rest of us.

the reality is that a lot of people are drawn to Corbyn because of his principles and policies (stuff like renationalising the railways, sticking up for workers, combating tax-dodging, stopping arms sales to despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia) but wish he was a bit better at forcing the point home. 


Hodge really doesn't seem to realise that the vast majority of British people have absolutely had it with self-serving political elites flogging off our national assets to their mates on the cheap, gutting our local communities, trashing our wages and working conditions, and imposing ruinous austerity dogma on the nation in order to make the poor and ordinary shoulder the entire cost of the bankers' bailouts, lavishing handouts and tax breaks on corporations and the mega-rich, and fiddling their expenses all the while to maximise their own personal gains.

The reality is that it's the Westminster establishment club and their lackeys in the mainstream media who are living in a cult, but because they have little or no concern for ordinary people.

They're content in their cosy little ideological echo chamber full of reassurances that strict adherence to the orthodox neoliberal ideology is still an unquestionable article of faith, and that anyone who actually listens to what the little people want must be the mad, bad, dangerous, extremist with the cult following!


Irresponsible journalism

One of the most disturbing things about the interview is the complicity of the interviewer, who instead of actually questioning any of the dishonest, deluded, and borderline deranged nonsense Hodge was spouting, actually nodded along like it's the received wisdom!

Maybe you could give the journalist a break for being too taken aback by the outlandishness of it to interject during Hodge's extraordinary Holocaust hyperbole, but failing to point out the fact that she was outright lying about anti-Semitism having increased under Jeremy Corbyn is an extraordinary failure.

Isn't it the least we can expect from journalists that they actually hold powerful establishment figures to account when they lie, rather than acting as their enablers and mouthpieces?

 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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Yet another Tory Brextremist is cashing in by betting against Britain on the sly


The Tory Brextremist Steve Baker has been caught investing over £70,000 in a company advising its clients to invest in gold in order to avoid the financial hit of a Tory "no deal" Brexit.

This isn't just any old Tory either. Baker was until recently an actual government minister working under David Davis (the guy who wasted practically all of the Article 50 negotiating period before huffing off in a strop because Theresa May's hard-right economically ruinous Chequers proposal wasn't hard-right or economically ruinous enough for his tastes).

Before Theresa May invited this ideological fanatic into government, Baker was actually the head of the secretive ERG group of Tory Brextremists which is now headed up by Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The company Baker has invested in is called Glint Pay Limited, and they've regularly advised clients to invest in physical gold in order to financially insulate themselves from the negative economic impact of a Tory "no deal" Brexit.

This is far from the first example of leading Tories publicly pushing the hardest possible version of Brexit whilst personally insulating themselves from the social and economic disaster they're attempting to trigger.





  • Nigel Lawson (chairman of the Vote Leave campaign) has applied for French residency in order to maintain his own personal Freedom of Movement in Europe as the Brextremists seek to revoke Freedom of Movement from millions of their fellow Brits against their will.

Their behaviour makes it increasingly obvious that all of the leading Tory Brextremists know that the hard-right "no deal" Brexit they're pushing for will trigger a massive economic recession that will likely dwarf the impact of the 2007-08 bankers' insolvency crisis that we've still not even recovered from a full decade later.

The way they're advising their wealthy backers to divest from Britain (into overseas assets, foreign currency, gold) just goes to prove what Brexit is really all about.

Their argument that Brexit is about parliamentary sovereignty has long since dissolved after they sought to over-rule the sovereignty of parliament in the courts, and then included anti-democratic Henry VIII powers in their Brexit legislation to allow Tory ministers to rewrite thousands of laws with no parliamentary scrutiny whatever.

Their argument that it's about the "will of the people" has also crumbled away with their determined opposition to a second EU referendum on the final terms of the Brexit agreement. Apparently, according to them it's important to listen to the "will of the people" when the people are voting blindly on a potential future deal they can't possibly know the final details of, but equally important to deny them a say when the terms of the deal actually become clear!

So what Brexit is really all about is disaster capitalism. 

Not the kind of disaster capitalism as described by Naomi Klein that sweeps in after a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina to socially cleanse neighbourhoods and force the privatisation of public assets. 

Nor is it the kind of disaster capitalism that bombed Iraq to smithereens and then handed out £billions in outsourcing contracts to western companies to rebuild the infrastructure, and attempt to keep the peace in the deadly terrorism-riddled power vacuum the disaster capitalists created there.

Brextremist disaster capitalism involves cynically appealing to patriotism in order to trigger a deliberate economic meltdown in your own country in order that your mates in the mega-rich international investment class can swoop in and pick up £billions worth of distressed British assets on the cheap like vultures picking the flesh off a carcass.

The audacity of it is astounding. The Brextremists actually pose as patriots standing up for plucky little Britain against the horrid EU, but their behaviour betrays their true objective: Deliberately wrecking the British economy in order to benefit their friends in the mega-rich international investment class, and to unleash a terrifying hard-right power grab to crush the last remnants of democratic socialism in the ensuing crisis (the NHS, local government services, emergency services, the social welfare system).

The saddest thing is that millions of people remain completely unaware of this increasingly obvious Tory disaster capitalist agenda, and react with the cultish mantra of "Project Fear" to dismiss any and all evidence that a Tory "no deal" Brexit will be a social and economic catastrophe.

All you need to do is look at the furtive betting against Britain on the sly by Tory Brextremists like Steve Baker, and their true agenda shines through.


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Why are the mainstream media ignoring the brazen extreme-right takeover of the Tory party?


After Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in 2015 the party membership swelled with hundreds of thousands of new members, mainly traditional Labour folk enthused by the party's first democratic socialist leader in decades.

The mainstream media were horrified by this surge of support for a guy who threatens the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that has served people like them so well for the last four decades, at the expense of millions of the rest of us, so the attacks on these new Labour Party members have been pretty much constant ever since.

The Labour membership surge

Ever since the Labour membership surge mainstream media hacks and opponents of democratic socialism have worked tirelessly to discredit it.

Aside from all of the abuse ("trots", "dogs", "rabble", "thugs", "Nazi stormtroopers") two themes have constantly stood out, the idea that left-wing people joining Labour are "entryists", and that Corbyn supporters are a "cult".


Anyone who is familiar with the history of the Labour Party would surely put up a counter-argument that the likes of centre-right pro-privatisation Thatcherites like Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson, John McTernan, Margaret Hodge, and Alistair Campbell were the "entryists" who took over the party, and that the post-Corbyn membership surge is the mass home-coming of those who were driven away from the party by the right-wing pro-privatisation pro-austerity Tory lite agenda between 1997 and 2015.

But still the mainstream media persists in portraying the hundreds of thousands who joined Labour since 2015 as "entryists" and "cultists" rather than just ordinary people enthused by an actual alternative to the hard-right Thatcherite consensus of the last four decades.

Ukipification of the Tories

Ever since the 2016 EU referendum it's become increasingly obvious that the Tory party is being usurped by the small hard-right anti-EU faction (the crackpot element John Major used to refer to as "the bastards").

Theresa May called her vanity election in 2017 because she believed that having unified the traditional Tory vote with the extreme-right ultranationalist Blue-kip demographic, a landslide majority would be inevitable. But she didn't count on Jeremy Corbyn or the energised Labour membership orchestrating the biggest turnaround in British politics since universal suffrage.

Since the 2017 general election we've all seen how Theresa May dances to the tune of the ERG Brextremists, knowing that Jacob Rees-Mogg and his ERG mob easily have the parliamentary numbers to trigger a leadership election if she refuses to obey their instructions.

And now we've even got the spectacle of Nigel Farage's extreme-right anti-immigrant Leave.EU campaign openly bragging that they've infiltrated the Tory party membership with 10,000 Brextremists in order to ensure that the next leader of the Tory party is a hard-right Brexiteer.

They're so confident of their success that they've actually announced what they're up to on Twitter!

The mainstream media silence on this ongoing Brextremist takeover of the Tory party is staggering given the absolute brazenness of it, and the enormous fuss they made over the Labour membership surge.

The Orwellian state of the British media

On the one hand you have hundreds of thousands of left-leaning people finally coming home to the Labour Party after years in exile due to the right-wing pro-privatisation, pro-austerity gruel being offered by the orthodox neoliberal leadership.

And on the other hand you've got an extreme-right Brexit campaign group openly and publicly bragging about the way they've infiltrated the Tory party in order to interfere in the party's leadership election.

But somehow the former is the grave concern worthy of hundreds of columns and TV segments ranging from patronising faux outrage to outright abuse of ordinary people, and the latter barely gets a single mention.

If anyone in British politics is an "entryist" surely it's got to be a follower of Nigel Farage and Arron Banks tearing up their UKIP membership in order to join the Tory party and influence the next leadership election in favour of the most extreme Brexiteer in the running?

If anyone in British politics is a "cultist" surely it's people who continue to glibly dismiss every single piece of evidence that a "no deal" flounce out of the EU would be a social and economic catastrophe as "Project Fear".

Yet somehow left-wing Labour supporters are still continually derided as "entryists" and "cultists" by the mainstream media, while the Brexit cultists who are openly and brazenly usurping the Tory party in front of our eyes are just left in peace to get on with it!


The only conclusion that can be drawn out of this extraordinary contrast in mainstream media coverage is that the vast majority of the coddled mainstream media class are way more comfortable with extreme-right, anti-immigrant, Brextremists brazenly taking over the ruling Tory party in front of our eyes than they are with the Labour opposition returning to its democratic socialist roots!

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Italy's governing Five Star party dismissed concerns that the Morandi Bridge could collapse as a fairy story


At least 39 people were killed when the Morandi Bridge in Genoa collapsed, sending 20 cars and three HGV's falling 45 metres to the ground, and crushing everything below under vast mounds of concrete.

The initial response of the Italian government was quite extraordinary. The Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the fascist Northern League party Matteo Salvini actually attempted to deflect blame for the tragedy onto the EU, and then set about deliberately deflecting attention onto Mediterranean refugees.

Salvini's desperate attempt to blame the EU for 'budget restraints' that supposedly prevented Italy from repairing or replacing the bridge is absolutely ridiculous.

Of course the EU has imposed ruinous austerity measures on countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain, but nobody in the EU has ever vetoed a bridge repair budget, (in fact the EU has distributed vast amounts of money for public infrastructure projects like road upgrades).

Then came the revelation that Salvini's Five Star coalition partners actually opposed repair work to the bridge, and publicly dismissed concerns that it could collapse as a children's fairy story ('favoletta') in 2013.

The Five Star party hastily removed the offending article from their website once people began looking at it, but it still exists in archive form as you can see here.

Only the very worst of Internet illiterates imagine that you can simply make a story go away by deleting the page in question, but this IT illiteracy is something that the Five Star movements have in common with their UKIP allies in the European Parliament, who also have a habit of deleting incriminating web pages once people come across them.

So while one coalition partner gratuitously blames the EU for the disaster, the other coalition party actually led the campaign to prevent repairs to the bridge and patronisingly dismissed concerns that a tragedy like this could happen as a fairy story!

One might hope that Italian people would wake up to the folly of electing a bunch of extreme-right populists and outright fascists to lead their country. But it'll probably take more than a bridge collapse followed by a bunch of blame-shifting lies and evidence deleting evasions to turn public opinion.

I mean just look at how quickly the Grenfell Tower tragedy was lobbed down the collective memory hole after the Tory council left 72 people to burn to death in an absolute firetrap.

If the Tories can simply walk away from an outrage like that after most of the public forget about the sheer horror of it, no doubt Italy's far-right coalition will walk away from this horrific bridge collapse too once the news shifts onto something else.


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