Thursday 13 July 2023

Check out Another Angry Voice on Substack

During the Another Angry Voice heyday I was getting huge amounts of traffic from Facebook and Twitter, but I've gradually been tuned down to such an extent that links I post to this blog are now virtually invisible to the 400,000 people who follow AAV across these platforms.

During the 2017 General Election Facebook virality made me the most shared political writer of the entire election campaign. Three of my articles achieved over a million hits each (the #1, #2, and #7 most shared articles of the entire campaign), and almost all the other articles easily passed 100,000.

These days AAV has been tuned down so much that it's a rarity when one of my increasingly rare blog posts beats 10,000 hits, which equates to a 90%+ collapse in visibility since 2017, despite my follower count continuing to rise slightly.

The Facebook algorithm has basically made AAV invisible to 97% of the people who follow the page, including many thousands who have explicitly asked for AAV to be prioritised in their feed via the "see first" option.

I've basically got no choice at this point but to try to diversify my social media presence, and creating a new AAV Substack seems like the logical pace to start.

Substack is like a blog host, social media account, fundraiser, and mailing list all rolled into one.

The main benefit is that there is no dodgy social media censorship algorithm between me and my Substack audience, deciding on their behalf that the majority of them no longer want to to see any of my content.

If you follow me on there, you'll get notifications every time I put up a new post, unless you decide to unsubscribe for yourself.

I'll aim to do around five posts per week to begin with to avoid overwhelming people with too much stuff.

I'll continue posting things on Facebook too, because I still have a huge audience there. But the new plan is to try to build Substack up as a kind of "inner circle" for my most supportive and enthusiastic readers.

I fully expect the majority of Substack subscribers to choose the free option, but if you can afford to sign up for a paid subscription you will be really helping me out enormously, and supporting me to keep producing more content.

Here's the link:

Another Angry Voice on Substack

Thanks everyone,

Tom (Another Angry Voice)

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Is AI really a threat to the survival of humanity?

AI experts have once again warned that AI represents a potential threat to the survival of humanity, putting it on a par with pandemics and nuclear war.

The smug conspiratorial response from people who aren't AI experts is that the AI experts are deliberately overstating the existential threat to human survival to drum up interest in AI, which they're doing for their own personal profit.

"The tool I've helped create could wipe out humanity" seems like a very odd way of advertising your services if it's actually just a harmless piece of tat that simply creates new memes and writes fake essays isn't it?

However the dangerous applications and consequences of AI are already becoming clear to those who have been paying attention.

One of the most concerning things is the way AI simply invents citations (research papers, news reports, criminal cases ...) to support the assertions it's asked to make.

One teacher set their students the task of getting AI chatbots to write an essay for them, and then finding the errors for themselves. 100% of the 63 AI generated essays contained hallucinated information, fake quotes, citations to invented sources, and/or misrepresented citations to real sources.

A lawyer in the United States was caught using ChatGPT to write a legal filing, which referenced legal cases that did not exist, and when the lawyer asked the chatbot for its source for the fictional legal cases, it lied that they were found on real legal databases.

ChatGPT has already accused multiple innocent people of being criminals, including a law professor it accused of groping students on a trip to Alaska, citing a 2018 Washington Post article. In reality the professor has never been accused of sexual misconduct, he's never even been to Alaska, and the Washington Post article does not exist.

The fact that AI chatbots are capable of ruining people's lives with false accusations, outright lying, and making up false sources is just the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.

These AI lies are fairly easy to spot now because the fake sources they cite are so obvious, but when challenged the chatbots have attempted to create the fake sources for themselves, to back up their own lies.

You only have to imagine the potential for chaos when these chatbots get better at lying, and better at creating fake sources to justify their lies.

Imagine somebody gets AI to spread lies about an impending nuclear attack on Russia and China by the United States, backed up by fake news articles, fake maps with fake secret nuclear bases in Turkey or wherever, deepfake video of the US President discussing this nuclear attack strategy ... (or threats of nuclear attack on the US and its allies from China or Russia).

We all know that fake news spreads across social media like wildfire, and the when the truth is revealed it invariably travels at a snail's pace and gets only a tiny fraction of the engagement, so how dangerous could a hoax like this actually be?

AI obviously doesn't have to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war to pose a threat to humanity, this is just a hypothetical example.

Imagine the destructive consequences of ever more powerful AI misinformation tools in the hands of the climate change denial lobby; fascist dictators; genocidal maniacs; stock market speculators; corrupt politicians police, and/or secret services; bonkers conspiracy theorists; scam artists; terrorists; or downright trolls who just want to watch the world burn.

As AI lies become more and more convincing, it's going to become even more difficult for people to discern the difference between reality and fiction, to a point where nothing remains believable.

We already live in a world where the boundaries between truth and fiction have been alarmingly eroded away, with so little pushback and punishment against dishonesty that the biggest political liars of all have already risen to become heads of state of some of the most powerful countries on earth (I don't even need to name them do I?)

But AI has the potential to accelerate the process dramatically, so that stock markets and governments tumble based on AI fakery, and real events and scandals are increasingly ignored and dismissed as fake.

We don't have to get locked into a debate over the worst case scenario of human extinction to recognise the very real dangers.

So what could be done about it?

There's already strong resistance to AI regulation from within the industry, and even if regulation were to be introduced, there would be significant problems.

What would stop AI industries simply moving to the countries that have the least AI regulation?

And if regulation was introduced to prevent AI misinformation, where would the line be drawn?

Banning AI from telling lies is nowhere near as simple as it sounds, because every time someone asks AI to do a funny task like find out who Nathan Fielder's "out of frame" friends are in his viral tweet, they're asking AI to lie about reality.

How do you make a computer programme discern the moral difference between faking an image for laughs, or faking an image to cause a stock market crash or to incite political/ethnic tensions?

So, is AI capable of making humanity extinct?

Nobody really knows. Maybe AI experts are overstating the power of their industry for dramatic effect, or maybe things just keep on getting more and more insane and dangerous from here on, until human survival is genuinely at risk.

But what is beyond doubt is that AI in the wrong hands will clearly have the power to spread conspiracies and lies; crash stock markets; topple governments; cause false persecution; accelerate climate change; trigger wars and ethnic cleansing; and erase the boundary between truth and fiction, which are all legitimate grounds for serious concern.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Tuesday 16 May 2023

Is it time for Britain to adopt "geniocracy"

There's suddenly a lot of fuss about vote-rigging with Labour and the Conservatives both bitterly accusing the other side of "gerrymandering".

The Tory press have been bitterly accusing Labour of vote-rigging over the idea of expanding the franchise to 16/17 year olds, and to people from overseas who are long-term resident and tax-payers in the UK.

Keir Starmer is such a dishonest and unprincipled flip-flopper it's impossible to know whether he'd actually go through with what he's "pledged", but the principle is sound. Giving more people the right to vote is a good thing, within reason.

Then there's the absurd Tory toff Jacob Rees-Mogg, who outright admitted that the Tory government implemented new voter ID rules in order to gerrymander elections in favour of their own political party, which is exactly what a lot of critics accused them of doing as they were doing it.

Lots of Tories have tried to argue that it's ridiculous to give votes to 16/17 year olds because they're too ignorant and uninformed about the world to use their votes wisely, however it's an absurd generalisation to pretend that the average 16/17 year old is more ignorant and unwise than the most ignorant people in older generations, who all get the right to vote, no matter how dull-witted or politically illiterate they happen to be.

This Tory insistence that youngsters are too ignorant to be allowed to vote raises the question of why intelligent and informed 16/17 year olds should be denied the vote, while the even the most stupid and gullible of over-18s get exactly the same voting power as people who actually know anything about what's going on.

If the Tories are right, and ignorance is something that needs to be combatted in elections, there are ways to do it.

People could do a simple politics test at polling stations, with the results defining the weighting of their vote, with the votes of those who score highly on the test counting for more than those who get all the answers wrong.

I'm not talking about some kind of intense and intimidating exam, just a check up on the absolute political basics:
  • Who is the current Prime Minister?
  • Who is the current head of state?
  • Who is the current MP in your constituency?
  • Which is the UK's finance minister? [Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the House of Commons, Speaker of the House of Commons]
  • Which is the UK's upper legislature? [House of Commons, House of Lords, Supreme Court, Houses of Parliament]
  • When is the name of legislation when it becomes law? [White Paper, Bill, Act, Point of Order]
  • Which level of government is responsible for libraries and bin collections? [The Government, House of Commons, House of Lords, Local Authority]
  • Which organisation isn't Britain is a member of? [UN, NATO, WTO, EU]
  • What is a measure of national wealth? [Average wage, GDP, Population density, Gini Coefficient]
  • Which political ideology is based on public ownership of core industries? [Capitalism, Liberalism, Socialism, Conservatism]
The first three could be set questions, followed by a random selection of (relatively easy) multiple choice questions about politics.

Tories would obviously scream that it's unfair to make people do a test before they're allowed to vote, but this would just expose their hypocrisy, because they're the ones who just introduced the principle of making people do things before being allowed to vote (acquiring and bringing the correct photographic ID).

They'd also object to the idea that those who know about politics should have more say than those who know nothing, because they know that tricking the gullible into voting against their own political interests is absolutely crucial to the success of Tory politics.

And in objecting, they'd be demonstrating their hypocrisy and venality. They want smart 16/17 year olds to be collectively punished because some of their age group are ignorant and uninformed, but they want the votes of ignorant and uninformed over-18s to count exactly the same as the votes of those who actually know what's going on!

The name for knowledge-based voting systems is "geniocracy", and with modern technology, it's easily implementable, and the data would be easy to collect and work with.

Hardcore "geniocrats" reckon that only people of above average intelligence should be allowed to vote, and only the very intelligent should be allowed to stand for public office, but there's absolutely no need to ban people from voting at all. The system could simply be operated to assign more weight to the votes of the politically informed than the politically ignorant.

If the post-election data showed that certain demographics (age, region, voting preference etc.) are lacking in basic political understanding, it would be in the public interest to help them to improve.

The data would tell us which parties had been most politically disadvantaged by the ignorance of their own voters, which would create very strong incentives for all political parties to ensure that their voters have a basic level of political understanding.

Of course it's almost impossible to conceive a system like this ever actually being implemented, because no ruling party truly wants an informed and politically engaged electorate capable of actually following what's going on, and holding them to account. But it's an interesting idea, because it's the logical solution to the problem of political ignorance that the Tories say they're so concerned about, and it's entirely compatible with their new policy of making people prove things before voting, isn't it?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Saturday 1 April 2023

Keir Starmer: A Misunderstood Political Genius

He may have his detractors on the left, but Keir Starmer is a true political phenomenon who has already proven himself perhaps the greatest politician in the history of British politics. 

Just consider his remarkable track record.

You have to admit that it takes a certain amount of genius to get parachuted into a safe Labour seat that's never been lost to the Tories since it was created in 1983.

Then to participate in an internal coup against the party's democratically elected leader just over a year later was a demonstration of his breath taking audacity (it's just a shame that silly Labour Party members failed to appreciate Owen Smith's ice cream van of political delights isn't it?).

After the Labour right's failed 2016 chicken coup, they then almost failed in their efforts to sabotage the 2017 election meaning the Labour surge delivered the biggest swing in the party's favour since 1945.

Something needed to be done, and Keir Starmer was the man to do it.

In 2019 the Labour right desperately needed to lose the next general election in order to take back control of the Labour Party, and handing Boris Johnson a whopping great majority to impose a ruinous radical-right Brexit shambles was clearly a small price to pay for to achieve this over-riding objective, wasn't it?

These people clearly have their priorities absolutely spot on.

So Keir Starmer came up with the ideal plan to drive away pesky northern Labour voters in their millions. He was going to tell the 150+ Labour held constituencies that voted leave in 2016 that Labour was now "The Party of Remain", and indicate to everyone, that after three tedious years of Brexit horse trading he was going to prolong the whole interminable process even longer by holding a "sore loser" referendum.

And if anyone needed to be shown that they had no place in the Labour Party, it's the stupid gullible idiots who thought Britain would be better off outside the EU. Am I right?

2017 proved that it's much harder to deliberately throw a general election than anyone had ever imagined, but in 2019 Keir Starmer turned out to be the man to deliver Labour the electoral thumping that so many of their MPs were craving.

This guy really delivers doesn't he?

Then Starmer delivered again with a masterful Labour leadership election campaign, in which he lied through his teeth about virtually everything in order to dupe Labour members into believing in the absolute fantasy that he was going to continue with Corbyn's humanist democratic socialist policies, when he was, and always will be, a loyal servant of capitalism and establishment interests.

It's been genuinely delightful to see Starmer backtrack on all of his pro public ownership pledges and impassioned speeches against NHS privatisation, hasn't it?

And if anyone needed to suffer a cruel betrayal, it's the stupid gullible socialists who genuinely believe that some things (public transport, energy, water, mail, education, health ...) are too important to be left in the hands of greedy and reckless capitalist profiteers. Am I right?

Then in another political masterstroke Starmer bragged to Andrew Marr that he would lie to people again if he thought it would win him more political power, proving that he's every bit as dishonest as Boris Johnson, but somehow even more open and upfront about being a cynical and opportunistic political liar than the bloviating oaf.

If anyone deserved to be shown that Labour's not the political party for them, it's people who are sick of being lied to by politicians, isn't it?

After winning the Labour leadership election Keir Starmer immediately binned all of his pro-Remain posturing, rubber stamped Boris Johnson's shambolic Brexit mess, and pledged never to try to make any substantial improvements to it.

And if anyone needed to be shown that the Labour Party delights in betraying them, it's stupid gullible Remainiacs who thought Britain made a mistake in quitting the EU in a hailstorm of Tory jingoism, incompetence, and hubris. Am I right?

After he cleverly cheated his way to the top of the party Starmer immediately brought in new leadership election rules to make sure the Labour Party would always be led by people like him. We all rolled around laughing at the way his new rules would have excluded every person of colour who has ever stood to be Labour leader, as well as all but two of the women who have ever been nominated too, including both of the women who had the temerity to stand against him in 2020.

If anyone needed to be given a right good kicking by the Labour Party it's uppity women and pesky people of colour isn't it?

One of the absolute best things about Starmer is the way he's finally got to grips with antisemitism.

Instead of endlessly apologising and desperately trying to get the right-wing dominated Labour Party bureaucracy to deal with antisemitism allegations in a quick and efficient manner like his disgraced predecessor, Starmer's playing an absolute blinder by having his goons systematically accuse left-wing Jews of being self-hating antisemites, and driving more Jews out of the Labour Party than any Labour leader in history!

After the shambles of the Corbyn years, Starmer honestly doesn't get enough credit for turning Labour into an institutionally antisemitic party that weaponises the antisemitic "self-hating Jew" trope to bully and exclude scores of Jews.

And if anyone needed to be subjected to systematic persecution by Starmer's Labour Party it's the Jews isn't it?

Another of Starmer's great achievements is his development of an excellent "Hierarchy of Racism" within the Labour Party, and making Labour a Hostile Environment for people of colour. Imagine the balls it takes to block 19 mainly Black and Asian Labour councillors from seeking re-election in Britain's most multicultural city of Leicester, after having deliberately thrown the Forde Report and all of its anti-racism recommendations in the bin! 

Starmer is a man who takes a no-nonsense approach to telling Black and Asian voters that Labour isn't the party for them, and he deserves a lot of credit for it.

Not only is Starmer doing a wonderful job of maintaining a "Hierarchy of Racism", he's also brought back all the anti-immigrant mug people like Yvette Cooper who so wisely abstained on Theresa May's unlawfully racist Hostile Environment in 2014, facilitating the Windrush scandal and the systematic abuse of thousands of Black and Asian Brits across the country.

And if anyone needed to be made unwelcome in Starmer's Brave New Labour Party it's Windrush Brits and those stupid, annoying anti-racists, isn't it?

Another of Starmer's major political achievements was driving anyone with any kind of socially liberal principles out of his shadow cabinet by instructing them to abstain on Tory legislation to give impunity to rape cops, and to those who commit war crimes in British military uniforms.

If anyone needed to be driven away from the Labour Party it's the kind of wishy washy social liberal who thinks British soldiers shouldn't be committing war crimes, and that undercover cops shouldn't be tricking unsuspecting women into having sexual relationships with them. Am I right?

Another of Starmer's triumphs was banning several Labour-affiliated organisations, and then retroactively purging loads of Labour Party members for having shared links and social media posts in the times before they were banned.

It's genuinely hilarious that Labour is led by a lawyer who clearly detests the concept of due process, and if anyone needed to be driven away from the Labour Party it's the kind of naive idiot who believes in fairness and natural justice, isn't it?

One of the best things about Starmer is the way he's actively turned his back on ordinary workers in the midst of an unprecedented inflation crisis. He's absolutely right to ignore the pleas of British workers who have simply had it too easy for too long, and fully deserve to have their living standards eroded away by inflation and capitalist greed. It's not like the founding principle of the Labour Party was to represent the interests of workers in the corridors of power, is it?

And if anyone needed to to be shown the cold shoulder by the Labour Party it's those tiresome workers and irksome trade unionists, isn't it?

And Keir's made it absolutely clear that when he tries to drag Britain into another foolish, unwinnable, and unlawful war of aggression, he'll viciously purge anyone within the Labour Party who tries to warn him not to.

If anyone needed to be driven away from the Labour Party it's the kind of pathetic snowflake who thinks Britain shouldn't be arming apartheid states and blood-soaked tyrannies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, or creating terrorism breeding grounds and vast refugee crises by reducing foreign countries to rubble, isn't it?

Another of Keir's genius moves was to get a trendy bunch of London image consultants to tell him to try to trick working class people into voting for him with a fascism-adjacent ultranationalist propaganda blitz of "flags, family, and fatherlandism", before rigging Labour selection processes to exclude working class people in favour of the kind of upper middle class, comfortably wealthy liberal-capitalists the Labour Party is meant to be represented by.

If anyone needed to be patronised like a bunch of idiots and excluded from participation in the Parliamentary Labour Party, it's the working class, isn't it?

You have to applaud Starmer's judgement in appointing a private health bankrolled lickspittle like Wes Streeting as his shadow health minister, and allowing him to publicly attack NHS workers and repeatedly spout NHS privatisation propaganda.

If anyone needed to be completely disillusioned by the Labour Party it's those daft idiots who love the NHS, and consider it the finest achievement of any Labour government in history, isn't it?

These awful leftists have tried to claim that Starmer's politics is just reheated Blairism, but this is incredibly unfair. In 1997 Blair stupidly tried to give people hope that Britain deserved better than Tory sleaze, chaos and continued national decline, and he foolishly tolerated alternative views within the Labour ranks, allowing the likes of Tony Benn, Robin Cook, and Jeremy Corbyn to defy him over the Iraq invasion, without even mercilessly hounding them out of the party to create a closed ideological echo chamber like Starmer obviously would have done.

Keir Starmer is just a man with the the downright good sense to tell centrists exactly what they want to hear? "We're lying to you, we don't care, nothing is going to get better, and we're just going to be marginally more competent than the Tories at managing Britain's inevitable economic decline", and he deserves a lot of credit for that.

So it's sickening to see all these Jews, people of colour, socialists, trade unionists, social progressives, and Remainers queuing up to air their petty grievances about being lied to and abused by Starmer's Labour when people have been saying literally the most horrible things about our beloved leader.

They've called him "The Silent Knight", and "Keith Stalin", and "a haircut in a suit", and they've even deliberately misspelled his name as "Kier"!

Just think about the pain and trauma these awful people have caused to poor old Keir with their horrible mouth words ... and then they have the absolute temerity to whine that they're merely being systematically purged, marginalised, discriminated against, abused, and ignored!

Have they no sense of perspective?

Keir Starmer is like a 1997 era Tony Blair without any of the useless and unimportant things like charisma, inspiration, oratory skills, verve, or tolerance of other people's opinions.

All in all, he's an absolute dream boat for sensible liberal-capitalist centrists isn't he?

It's as clear as day that Keir Starmer is so much more than a "boring haircut in a suit". He's as dishonest, vindictive, and profoundly unlikeable as politicians get, and isn't this exactly the kind of person that us Brits demonstrably love to be ruled over by?

And who could possibly doubt Starmer's genius strategy of driving away pesky, annoying, and unimportant minorities like:
  • People who wanted the UK to leave the EU
  • People who wanted the UK to remain in the EU
  • People who are sick of political liars
  • Workers
  • The trade unionists who actually fund the Labour Party
  • The clear majority of Brits who believe in public ownership
  • People who disapprove of rape cops and war criminals
  • Genuine socialists
  • 200,000+ Labour Party members and activists
  • People who don't want Britain to repeat horrifying foreign policy disasters like Iraq
  • Social progressives
  • The working class
  • People who believe in democracy and natural justice
  • People who love the NHS and respect NHS workers
  • Anti-racists
  • Women
  • People of colour
  • Jews
In order to appeal exclusively to important core political demographics like:
  • Comfortably wealthy Guardian hacks on six figure salaries
  • Fading celebrities who remember their receding heydays coinciding with Blairism
  • Liberal-capitalist twonks who support political liars, as long as it's their political liar
  • Billionaire capitalists, media moguls, and private health profiteers
  • "Soft Tories" who want vicious, dishonest, radical-right neoliberalism that's just a fraction less malicious than the Tories themselves
The man's a misunderstood political genius, and there's no way that the British public could ever be foolish enough to believe that they deserve better.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Friday 24 February 2023

Technology is already driving inequality, now the AI bots are eroding human creativity

The rise of AI art and chat bots is getting deeply concerning.

The problems are obvious.

If you can generate artwork for your blog, for example, by typing a few prompts into an AI art bot, to almost instantaneously generate free, or ultra-cheap content, why expend the time, effort, and money on commissioning a human to do the job?

As an online writer it's vital to keep hitting the zeitgeist, because the content that shares most is usually the content that's about the topic of the moment, and because these days the news cycle moves incredibly quickly. So it makes sense to generate images as quickly as possible, rather than going through the lengthy process of commissioning real artists to do the work.

Under these circumstances what happens to the human artists, especially the emerging ones who haven't yet built up a client base or sufficient fans to support their work?

Artists were amongst the first to begin feeling the pressure from AI bots, but the AI chat bots are on the rise, and encroaching into written communication too.

Several of the chat bot issues have already been covered in detail by others, like the use of chat bots to cheat exams, people prompting the chat bot to produce hate speech and extremist content, and the fact that chat bots have no morality, so they're capable of outright lying, to the extent of inventing a load of made up citations to add fake legitimacy to their lies, but there's also a growing threat to writers' livelihoods.

The Science-Fiction magazine Clarkesworld is one of the best places for aspiring sci-fi writers to submit their work. They're not only really quick and efficient at dealing with submissions, they also pay well too.

Over the last couple of months they've been completely inundated with AI-generated content, submitted by scammers seeking to get commission fees for bot-written stories.

There's not really much chance that they'd actually succeed, because the bots have a long way to go before they can generate content that's good enough to pass as the kind of high quality sci-fi that Clarkesworld specialises in, but the sheer number of bot-written submissions has overwhelmed them, forcing them to close all new submissions.

As the magazine has outlined in a Twitter thread, there's no obvious solution:
  • Chat bot detectors are too unreliable.
  • "Pay-to-Submit" policies sacrifice too many legitimate writers, especially those from poor countries and under-privileged backgrounds.
  • Third party identity confirmation tools are too expensive, and would create regional holes which would amount to effectively banning submissions from entire countries.
  • Paper submissions are unrealistic in this day and age.
  • Restricting submissions to those who have already submitted would effectively ban all new authors.
If these are the problems faced by just one publication, then it's obvious how bad things could get across the publishing industry.

For now the main problem is scammers ruining opportunities for real writers by overwhelming submission systems with junk, but as time goes on the fake submissions are going to become more and more indistinguishable from genuine content.

And this problem obviously won't just apply to aspiring authors, it could potentially impact anyone who writes for a living.

As an example, why would media outlets continue to pay substantial wages to so many journalists if future chat bots become capable of writing news articles, reviews, opinion pieces, rabble-rousing polemics, etc, all at the click of a button?

The philosopher Bertrand Russell used to say that if capitalists could be prevented from extracting all of the gains for themselves in unearned profits, improvements in technology could eventually reduce the need for human labour to such an extent that humanity could focus more on the things that make life worth living, such as the creative arts.

Sadly things haven't gone in this direction at all, to such an extent that the 1% minority now takes a bigger share of new technology-generated wealth than the rest of humanity combined; retirement ages are being driven up across the world; wages have been stagnant in real-terms for decades; and ultra-exploitative low-pay gig economy exploitation is rife.

Consider Amazon and food delivery apps.

The technology isn't being used to alleviate humanity from mundane low-paid labour by automating processes, it's being used as a means of extracting obscene amounts of unearned wealth by making workers subservient to the demands of in-work apps.

As workers toil away for a pittance, the owners of the technology that directs their tasks generate literally £billions.

And to make matters even worse, the technological advancements that could have saved us from poverty and the drudgery of mundane labour are now encroaching on the creative arts, and undermining the already limited scope for people to make a living through creativity, rather than unfulfilling grunt work.

Not only is the technology making workers ever more machine-like, it's now also eroding the possibility of escaping this kind of mundane toil by usurping our creative arts.

It used to be the case that humans told the machines what to do. Now the machines increasingly tell us what to do. And as we are forced to become more like the machines, the machines become more like us.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Saturday 25 June 2022

Why does Starmer keep insisting that the public are wrong?

Keir Starmer was elected as Labour leader on the back of 10 pledges, which promises party unity, the continuation of Corbynite policies, and a clear cut commitment to communal ownership of vital infrastructure and services like water, rail, and energy.

Starmer knew he couldn't win the Labour leadership without promising these things, because public ownership is not just overwhelmingly popular with the Labour Party members who were voting, they're popular policies across the entire British public.

Polling consistently demonstrates that overwhelming support for renationalisation of the energy sector, the water supply in England, and the railways.

In the two years after his election as Labour leader circumstances have handed Starmer a series of ideal opportunities to promote these overwhelmingly popular renationalisation policies.

Raw Sewage

In 2021 Johnson's Tory rabble triggered a massive public backlash when they voted to allow privatised water companies to keep artificially inflating their profits by dumping vast quantities of raw sewage into our waterways and coastal waters.

Starmer could easily have used this scandal to promote the popular policy of bringing England's privatised mess of water suppliers back under public ownership.

Instead he sent his subordinates out to argue that the profiteers must stay in charge of the water supply, in order to signal that Labour represents no threat to vested capitalist interests.

Energy Crisis

We've all seen the chaos of massively inflated energy bills, soaring energy producer profits, a sequence of energy suppliers going bust, and the government regulator forcing abandoned customers onto much more expensive tariffs.

Starmer could have highlighted the way the French government imposed a 4% cap on energy bill rises onto their publicly owned energy company (EdF), while the Tory government allowed EdF and other energy companies in the UK market to raise bills by an astonishing 54%.

He could have offered the public the renationalisation policies they want, but instead he decided to once again adopt the position that the public are wrong, and that the private profiteers must stay.

And Starmer didn't just spurn the opportunity to promote the energy renationalisation policies that the public want, and that he pledged in his leadership bid, he even publicly bragged that he lied in his leadership campaign, and insisted that he'd lie to people again to win more power!

Rail Strikes

Labour is supposed to be the party of working people (the clue is in the name), but Keir Starmer has decided to oppose the RMT rail strike against below-inflation pay offers and mandatory redundancies.

He's so vehemently opposed to the strikes that his minions are trying to force Labour MPs to apologise for showing solidarity with striking workers!

It's truly absurd to see Starmer's shadow cabinet team insisting that they won't support the strikes because they don't want to "pick a side".

It's capitalist profiteers and a profoundly malicious Tory transport secretary against ordinary low-paid rail workers (not train drivers).

If Labour won't even pick a side in this scenario, what the hell is the point in them.

And then the polling has come out to show that the British public are overwhelmingly on the side of the rail workers, meaning once again Starmer has positioned himself far to the right of public opinion.

Outflanking the public to the right

Despite pledging popular renationalisation policies in his leadership election, Keir Starmer has deliberately placed the Labour Party well to the right of the British public on water, energy, and now rail.

Instead of offering the public what they want, Starmer is siding with the capitalist profiteers and insisting that the public are wrong to want things to just be a bit better and fairer for British consumers and British workers.

Starmer's dedicated to the protection of vested capitalist interests, so he's going to keep Labour positioned well to the right of public opinion; offer a bland and uninspiring "more of the same" policy platform; and hope that he can win the next election purely by not being quite as repulsive and divisive as Johnson.

It looks a lot like a deliberate attempt to replay Ed Miliband's catastrophically uninspiring 2015 Tory-lite election campaign, in which Labour decided to pathetically imitate Tory austerity ruination, rather than opposing it and pledging to invest for the future instead.

It seems an absurdly inexplicable strategy to repeatedly chide the public that they're wrong to want things to be a bit better, and then expect them to vote for you regardless.

Unless of course Starmer considers the protection of capitalist profiteering to be so important that he'd risk driving millions of traditional Labour voters away, and throwing an election over it.

And if that's the case, what the hell is this absurd person doing as leader of the Labour Party?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Friday 24 June 2022

What the Mick Lynch phenomenon tells us about UK politics and the media

Not so long ago few people outside of the rail industry had even heard of Mick Lynch, but in the space of a week, the head of the RMT union has absolutely taken the UK media by storm by
calmly stating the facts in the face of relentless provocation from members of Britain's depraved media class.

Lynch has been such a success that even liberal dweebs like Gary Lineker have been singing his praises, because in just a few days he's managed to do more to stand up for working people and hold this atrocious Tory government to account, than the Silent Knight Keir Starmer has done in two interminable years.

This fascination with Mick Lynch is easy to understand, because we live in a country where left-wing and working class voices are routinely marginalised. 

The media, politics, and the whole rotten establishment is absolutely stuffed with people from privileged backgrounds. And it's absolutely obvious that most of the tiny minority of working class people who did ever get anywhere near the top, knew that they needed to demonstrate conformity to the establishment ideology to get where they were.

And just look at the absolute state of the Labour Party, which was founded to represent the interests of ordinary working people in parliament, yet all but a few of its MPs are anti-socialist,
 "more of the same" liberal-capitalists from comfortably wealthy backgrounds, not real workers and real socialists from working class families.

For a few years Labour had a party leader who wanted to bring more local, working-class, and genuinely socialist people back into the PLP, but the liberal dweebs had a four and a half year tantrum aimed at keeping the Tories in power until Corbyn could be driven out and replaced by someone who would deliver what they wanted; marginalisation of the left and the relentless rigging of internal party elections and nomination processes to parachute in ever more of these turgid, uninspiring middle class yes men.

The liberal dweebs got exactly what they wanted, yet now they're looking at Mick Lynch's brand of passionate, informed, and authentic politics with envy, and wondering why the bland, unprincipled, triangulating liberal mess they've made of the Labour Party is so utterly incapable of generating the same kind of popular appeal!

Imagine how different things would be if the BBC actually committed to its so-called neutrality by balancing every politician from a posh background with a working class voice, and by balancing every capitalist mouthpiece with an alternative view (socialism, anarchism, trade-unionism, left-libertarianism, communism, anti-capitalism, syndicalism, green-left ...).

But we all know the BBC commitment to neutrality only extends to countering evidence based stuff like climate science with some slimy mercenary creep from an oil industry bankrolled radical-right think tank, and never to balanced class representation in the media; ensuring trade unionists get equal airtime to capitalists; or highlighting actual alternatives to the ruinous hard-right capitalist orthodoxy Britain's been trapped in since 1979.

It's in this context that Lynch has, in the space of a few days, made Kay Burley, Richard Madeley, and Piers Morgan look like the vapid hyper-partisan fools they are, which makes for incredibly viral content, but you'd have to be profoundly naive to not see that he's playing a very dangerous game.

There are an awful lot of people in Britain who absolutely hate to see uppity working class people making their social superiors look stupid and venal by calmly stating facts at them, not least Britain's depraved punditocracy themselves.

And the media class motivation to take Lynch down keeps on multiplying. There's their underlying hostility to left-wing and working class voices; the class solidarity amongst the pundit class is making them furious that he's repeatedly making their compatriots look foolish; and there's now the self-interested desire to go viral by being the first media figure to finally take this 'uppity pleb' down a peg or two.

They're behaving like a swarm of bees trying to eject an intruder from the hive, and they're doing it right in front of our faces.

This relentless bias against left-wing and working class voices means we've all just become normalised to the idea that it's generally only posh capitalists who participate in politics, or talk about politics in the media.

But in reality there are hundreds of thousands of educated, informed, genuinely left-wing, politically active working-class people like Mick Lynch in Britain, it's just that the establishment gatekeepers don't want people like us in the media, or anywhere near the corridors of power.

The fact that Lynch is being portrayed as some kind of strange and exciting novelty by all and sundry speaks volumes about the under-representation of working class voices in British political discourse.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.


Thursday 16 June 2022

Something's gone terribly wrong with Labour

Keir Starmer has once again demonstrated Labour's chaotic lurch to the right under his lamentable leadership, this time by forcing Wes Streeting to apologise for expressing a bit of solidarity with striking UK rail workers last week.

Let's not forget that Labour is supposed to be the party of the workers (the clue is in the name). 

It's supposed to defend ordinary people from the greed and exploitation of capitalists and landlords. 

If Labour founding-father Keir Hardie was alive
today, Starmer would no-doubt force him to
apologise for saying things like this
It was founded by socialists and trade unionists, and it's still almost entirely funded by socialists and trade unionists through their membership fees and union subs.

But Starmer sees it as his own personal fiefdom, which he rules over through relentless factionalism; petty diktats; depraved ideological purity tests; constant vote-rigging; forced apologies; and regular witch-hunts against those who refuse to bow down to his authoritarian hankerings.

Starmer started off by hastily driving anyone with a shred of decency out of his shadow cabinet by insisting that they abstain on a couple of truly vile pieces of Tory legislation designed to allow undercover cops to rape women with impunity, and to provide impunity to British soldiers who commit war crimes overseas.

These ideological purity tests did what they were designed to, and drove all of the genuinely left-wing and socially progressive figures out of his shadow cabinet, so he then set about demoting all the so-called "soft-left" figures too (like Dodds and Thomas-Symonds), replacing them with his right-wing allies.

Starmer and his bully-boy enforcer on the NEC David Evans have issued loads of diktats banning local party members from discussing certain subjects, or holding no confidence votes in Starmer or Evans, because if there's one thing that petty tyrants can't tolerate, it's open and free discussion amongst people they believe to be their inferiors.

Starmer forced Alex Sobel (hardly a radical leftist) to issue a grovelling apology for suggesting that he thought capitalism was to blame for climate change, then he cynically rigged the Labour leadership nomination process to make it almost impossible for his successor to be socialist, female, or a person of colour.

Then Starmer positioned himself miles to the right of Tony Blair by going after the anti-war group of Labour MPs, threatening to expel them from the party if they refused to bend to his will. 

Even though Iraq turned out to be an absolutely horrific disaster, meaning Blair really should have listened to the warnings of rebels like of Robin Cook, Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell, Jeremy Corbyn ... he still allowed them to dissent without threatening to expel them from the party like Starmer does to anyone with a different opinion to his own.

And now Starmer's humiliating Wes Streeting, and showing utter contempt for the trade union movement that pays the Labour Party's bills, by demanding Streeting issue a grovelling apology for his expression of sympathy towards striking rail workers!

If Starmer's punishing a right-wing lickspittle like Streeting for coming across as too left-wing, it's beyond obvious that something has gone catastrophically wrong with the Labour Party.

It's been usurped by the political right, and under Starmer's leadership it's being used as a battering ram to undermine, disempower, demoralise, and silence the left, instead of offering a better alternative to this cesspit of Tory incompetence, corruption, and degeneracy.

The workers' party has been taken over by people who favour greedy capitalists over exploited workers; selfish private landlords over suffering tenants; the power of the state over the power of the people; and property rights over people.

It's been taken over by a wannabe-tyrant who refuses to accept any opinion other than his own, and clearly considers the genuine left within his own party to be a much bigger problem than Johnson's malicious, corrupt, and incompetent ghouls in government, who he repeatedly refuses to properly oppose.

I would never have picked Starmer as Labour leader, but I could also never have imagined that things would have degraded so rapidly under his perpetual abstention of a leadership. 

He's more of a right-wing control freak than Blair; he's more obsessed with defending the neoliberal economic order than Brown; he's more other-worldly and unengaging than Miliband; and he's far worse at getting to the point and hammering home the political advantage than Corbyn was!

He's like some kind of Frankenstein's monster composed of all of the worst aspects of other Labour leaders, without any of the good bits. 

Without the charisma of Blair; without Brown's aura of decency; without Miliband's desire to make the Labour Party more democratic and accountable; and without Corbyn's popular policies.

What's more is how utterly dismal Starmer is on policy and strategy.

He seems to be convinced that his strategy of repeating the same mistakes of the past will prove successful this time. 

Attacking the left rather than properly holding the Tories to account delivered Neil Kinnock his absolute pratfall of an election in 1992, and in 2015 Ed Miliband's mistake of pathetically imitating Tory economic insanity rather than opposing it turned what should have been an absolute gimme of an election, into a humbling defeat.

Starmer's going to do both at the same time, as well as insisting that the public are wrong to want energy and water renationalisation, when the sewage scandal and the energy crisis had actually provided him absolutely golden opportunities to offer the public the renationalisations that they've repeatedly told pollsters that they want (and what he'd promised in his leadership election pledges to boot!).

Starmer's just as determined to lecture the public that they're wrong, as he is to ignore the lessons from Labour Party history!

It's absolutely mind-boggling that there are still people within the Labour ranks who insist on trying to gaslight the public into believing that this unlikeable, unengaging, unsympathetic, untrustworthy figure is actually brilliant, funny, charismatic, relatable, and honest, and that we're all at fault for not having noticed yet!

Starmer's been far worse than even his harshest critics could have imagined in 2019, and yet Labour seem determined not to get rid of him, and to go into the next general election with this absolute dud dictating, and foot-stamping, and micromanaging the party into another devastating electoral pratfall.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. Access to my online writing will always remain free. If you see some value in what I do, please consider supporting my work with a small donation/subscription.