Monday, 15 November 2021

A compendium of Tory corruption


Some people don't seem to grasp the sheer scale of Tory corruption, so here are details of just a fraction of what we already know about (with sources):

πŸ”΅ Tory MP Owen Paterson was caught red-handed breaking the ministerial code of conduct by lobbying for his employers within government. Randox were paying Paterson £100,000 per year, he sat in on ministerial meetings about the company, and they ended up getting £600 million in Covid contracts

πŸ”΅ A cross-party committee of MPs found that Paterson had brazenly defied the rules, and ordered him to serve a 30 day suspension from parliament. Instead of accepting the findings of the Paterson investigation Boris Johnson ordered Tory MPs to vote through controversial legislation designed to tear down the parliamentary standards authority, and let Paterson off scot free!

πŸ”΅ Tory leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was one of the leading advocates of using the Owen Paterson scandal as an excuse to demolish the parliamentary standards authority. In 2018 Rees-Mogg used his company Saliston to lend himself almost £6 million at significantly below the market rate of interest, and he didn't even bother to declare these loans on the register of MPs interests (no wonder he was so keen to tear down the parliamentary standards authority!).

πŸ”΅ Boris Johnson has been caught up in multiple scandals himself, dating back to before he even became Prime Minister. There was the £126,000 in public cash paid to his mistress Jennifer Arcuri without any declaration of their relationship as one of Johnson's registered interests; the dodgy loan he received to decorate his Downing Street flat; his false declaration of a luxury holiday in Mustique; and his recent holiday in the luxury Spanish villa owned by a tax-dodging company operated by former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, who Johnson gifted a lifetime peerage in the unelected House of Lords after he lost his parliamentary seat in the 2019 General Election

πŸ”΅ On the subject of the House of Lords, all sixteen of the Tory Party's former treasurers over the last seven years have been handed unelected lifetime peerages in the House of Lords, after having donated over £3 million each to the Tory operation! 

πŸ”΅ Tory politicians have been handing out untendered PPE contracts like sweeties, to such an extent that former Health Secretary Matt Hancock's former pub landlord, and his dad's mate, and his sister even got lucrative £multi-million contracts. Hancock 'accidentally' failed to include his 20% stake in his sister's PPE contract winning company on the register of MPs interests! 

πŸ”΅ The Tory government was found to have broken the law in handing a £560,000 coronavirus contract to former colleagues of Tory minister Michael Gove and Boris Johnson's ex-adviser Dominic Cummings.

πŸ”΅ Another of the major winners of this no-tender PPE bonanza was Meller Designs, which was a fashion designer until they bagged £160 million worth of PPE contracts, boosting their annual profits from £144k to £13 million. The owner is a regular Tory Party donor called David Meller, who personally lobbied the unelected Tory minister James Bethell for PPE contracts. 

πŸ”΅ P14 Medical was turned from a failing company into an absolute cash cow via a whopping £276 million in untendered PPE contracts. The owner Steve Dechan, a Tory party councillor in Stroud, used his profits from the Tory PPE bonanza to buy himself a luxurious £1.5 million country house in the Cotswolds. 

πŸ”΅ A company called Clipper Logistics got in on the untendered PPE bonanza with a £1.3 million contract. No surprise that the owner of the company is a major Tory Party donor called Steve Parkin. 

πŸ”΅ Another major Tory donor called Haraldur Agustsson bagged over £100 million worth of untendered PPE contracts across his companies Globus Shetland and Alpha Solway. 

πŸ”΅ After raking in over £1 billion in untendered coronavirus contracts, Tory-linked firms repaid the favour by kicking back a small percentage of their gains via £615,000 in donations to the Tory party!

The Tory minister who oversaw so many of the astounding no-tender PPE contracts was the unelected House of Lords stooge James Bethell who failed to declare 27 meetings with private health companies that went on to rake in over £1 billion in untendered covid contracts and then made up loads of nonsensical and contradictory excuses as to why he couldn't hand over his phone after he was caught red-handed using private WhatsApp chats to conduct government business.

πŸ”΅ The Tory government has pumped an astonishing £37 billion into the privatised shambles that is their Test and Trace operation, which has become the largest publicly funded corporate feeding frenzy in British medical history. It's been hit by ballooning costs, missed targets, 600 million lost covid tests, and scandalously high consultancy fees. The Public Accounts Committee have slammed it as an unimaginable waste of money that's had "no clear impact". No worries for Dido Harding who has presided over this absolute shambles, because she's married to the government's "anti-corruption tsar", Tory MP John Penrose!

πŸ”΅ The corporate outsourcing giant Serco have been lavished with literally hundreds of millions of pounds worth of Test and Trace contracts. Their CEO is Rupert Soames, brother of former Tory MP Nicholas, and grandson of Winston Churchill!

πŸ”΅ Former Tory DWP minister Iain Duncan Smith got in on the private medical pilfering, chairing a government taskforce that produced a report advising the government to give the green light to non-alcoholic hand gel, while earning a £25,000 per year salary from Britain's largest producer of non-alcoholic hand gel (a salary he forgot to declare as an interest in the report). 

πŸ”΅ More than a quarter of Tory MPs use the practice of second-jobbing in order to boost their salary of £82,000 (plus lavish expenses).

πŸ”΅ In 2015 the Tory government scrapped the requirement that MPs who take second jobs register their employment contracts with parliamentary authorities, which means that the employment details of every single one of the second-jobbing MPs across parliament are secret.

πŸ”΅ Perhaps the most egregious Tory moonlighting MP is Ben Bradley who claims salaries for 60 hours per week on top of his MPs duties. The average MP works 69 hours a week, so if Bradley's not shirking his responsibilities as an MP, we're expected to believe that he's putting in 129 hours a week at work, leaving him less than five and a half hours per day for sleeping, eating, travel, leisure, shopping, personal hygiene, and family life. All combined! 

πŸ”΅ Tory MP Mark Pawsey has a moonlighting £30,000 per year second job as chairman of the Foodservice Packaging Association. He leads Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Packaging Manufacturing Industry (no conflict of interests there eh?), and he's repeatedly spoken during parliamentary debates to criticise regulation of the food packaging industry, and to decry efforts to make retailers and manufacturers contribute more to the cost of recycling their plastic waste.

πŸ”΅ Tory MP Alun Cairns was hired on a lucrative £15,000 salary (more than £200 per hour) by a company that was part of a consortium that was awarded a £10 million coronavirus contract the following month.

πŸ”΅ More than 50 former Tory ministers have taken up private sector jobs in sectors they covered during their time as government ministers, many of them are still in parliament as MPs, or in the vast unelected crony club that is the House of Lords.

πŸ”΅ Tory Minister Nadhim Zahawi banked £1.3million from oil company Gulf Keystone Petroleum while working as an MP, but kept his second job earnings secret via a parliamentary loophole that allowed him to avoid declaring the payments by diverting them through a consultancy company he established with his wife.


πŸ”΅ 34 Tory MPs have accepted political donations from firms linked to the Russian oligarch Viktor Fedotov, whose dodgy dealings were revealed in the Pandora Papers. Not a single one of these donations has been returned. 

πŸ”΅ The Pandora Papers also revealed that the unelected Tory lord Paul Deighton, a former government minister, had failed to declare a load of his secret offshore investments.

πŸ”΅ Former Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has been raking in literally £millions for legal consultancy work, which included representing the British Virgin Islands tax haven, while arguing against closing tax loopholes in parliament

πŸ”΅ In 2004 Cox bought a £535,000 Battersea flat, relying on public funds to pay his £1,750 a month mortgage repayments. He now rents the property out for about £1,000 a week, living in a different London flat so he can claim £1,900 a month in public cash to pay the rent

πŸ”΅ Former Prime Minister David Cameron was caught lobbying the Tory government on behalf of a company called Greensill Capital, who were paying him absolutely vast consultancy fees. The government then over-rode their own £50 million limit on emergency Covid loans to award Greensill a whopping £400 million, all of which was loaned to companies associated with billionaire Tory-donor Sanjeev Gupta. Greensill went bankrupt a matter of months later! 

πŸ”΅ Tory MPs have been taking thousands of pounds worth of freebies and junkets from gambling companies and the gambling lobby then making pro-gambling statements in parliament and producing pro-gambling advertorials for websites like ConservativeHome. Probably the worst offender is Tory MP Laurence Robertson who earns £24,000 per year (at £200 per hour) as a gambling lobbyist who argued against stronger regulation of the gambling industry in parliament, then had the barefaced cheek to claim that there was no conflict of interest. 

πŸ”΅ The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Douglas Ross "forgot" to declare £28,000 in earnings from his second job, but insists that it's all just a big mistake.

This lot is just the visible tip of the Tory corruption iceberg!

If you're aware of any other Tory corruption scandals, feel free to add details in the comments.


 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.



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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Spot the Difference


In 2019 voters in the Don Valley constituency in South Yorkshire elected their first ever Tory MP, a private landlord by the name of Nick Fletcher.

It's absolutely astonishing that people in a poverty-stricken post-industrial part of South Yorkshire would wilfully elect a member of the Tory party as their MP, but political memories are clearly incredibly short, and it seems like people have already forgotten the horrific Tory de-industrialisation policies of the 1980s and 90s that annihilated local economies across the north of England.

They've forgotten the disastrous de-industrialisation policies; they've forgotten the demented Tory "leave it to market forces" fanaticism of just leaving entire towns to rot, so that younger generations had no choice but to leave for more affluent areas where they could actually find decent well-paid jobs; and they've forgotten the Tory austerity ruination that siphoned £billions out of local government budgets as they were simultaneously lavishing tax cuts and handouts on corporations and the mega-rich!

It's bad enough that people in a left-behind former coal mining area elected any Tory to represent them on the political stage, but it's especially galling that he's a property-hoarder who profiteers off parasites like him buying up all of the affordable housing, so that ordinary people are forced into paying off his mortgages, rather than buying houses of their own.

He's not just an economically unproductive exploiter representing a party that inflicted ruination on the area he represents, he's also ridiculously dishonest, to the extent of taking people for absolute mugs.

On December 21st 2020 he posted a Facebook selfie, taken in the town of Thorne.

On September 20th 2021 he posted the exact same selfie, with Christmas trees still visible in the background.

And on November 10th he posted the same selfie again claiming to have visited the town, and seen it "thriving again after a tough year".

Of course using the same photo over and again isn't even remotely on the same scale of dishonesty and corruption that Johnson's Tory party is absolutely mired in (dodgy PPE contracts, the Owen Paterson scandal, Geoffrey Cox skiving parliament to earn £hundreds per hour representing a tax haven; Tory donors apparently buying peerages at £3 million a pop; MPs accepting freebies from gambling companies then lobbying for them in parliament; David Cameron lobbying for Greensill to get £350 million in Covid loans just before they went bankrupt; Rishi Sunak's wife investing in a firm just weeks before her husband gave them a massive loan ...), but misleadingly posting the same photo multiple times is the kind of dishonest behaviour ordinary people would call their friends out for, isn't it?

It's similar to Tory liar Lucy Allan's bizarrely staged election pictures in 2017.

Of course her mendacious lie about not being invited to remembrance day events (when she actually had her constituency manager reject both invitations) is worse, as is the way she fabricated a death threat in order to smear a constituent who wrote to her in 2015 urging her to oppose David Cameron's war-mongering in Syria, but the fact these people resort to deception, when it would almost certainly be easier to just tell the truth is illustrative of their characters, isn't it?

It absolutely boggles the mind that people wilfully vote to put charlatans like this in parliament, especially when it's people in deprived former coal mining areas like the Don Valley.

 
 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.



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Thursday, 28 October 2021

Analysing the Daily Express budget analysis


These days the Daily Express is basically nothing more than a pravda propaganda rag for the Tory party, so you'd have to be pretty naΓ―ve to expect anything other than heavy pro-Tory bias in their Budget analysis, but in 2021 they went the extra mile with a quite astonishing front page.

Rishi Sunak has just raised the UK tax burden to the highest level since the post-WWII recovery period in the 1950s!

He even admitted it in his budget speech, using the passive voice to say that  "taxes are rising to the highest level of GDP since the 1950s", as if the taxes are somehow rising of their own accord, rather than him being the person who is raising them!

Yet the front page of the Express blares Cheers! Rishi On A Mission To Cut Taxes

He's just raised taxes to the highest rate in over half a century, but hooray for his future ambition to cut taxes!

The disjunct between the reality and the presentation is absolutely laughable.

There are an awful lot more issues in the small print too (too many for me even to fit into the article header infographic!).

2 Billion extra for schools This might sound great if you've been living in a sensory deprivation chamber for the last 11 years, but in reality it's not enough to even return per-pupil funding back above 2010 levels this year, next year, or the year after. 

It'll finally catch up in 2024/25, meaning that an entire generation of school kids will have had their education hindered by massive budget cuts for no discernible reason whatever. Yet the Express somehow consider this decade and a half of wanton destruction of our nation's future economic potential as a cause for celebration!

£150 billion spending spree Hang on. We just suffered a decade of austerity cuts because public spending in the wake of a crisis was supposedly terribly bad, yet the debt's gone up dramatically since 2010, and now we're supposed to celebrate £150 billion in post-crisis spending as if the last 11 years simply didn't happen?

If spending in the wake of a crisis is good, then that obviously means a decade of Tory austerity extremism was pointless, ruinous self-harming, economically illiterate, and extremely bad, doesn't it?

Business Rates Boost For High Street  Everyone knows that tax-dodging online retailers have been dramatically undercutting High Street outlets for the last decade, and that giant out-of-town supermarkets are now soaking up entire family shopping budgets that used to be divided amongst perhaps a dozen different small independent High Street businesses.

Nothing's been done about this until it's far too late, and now High Streets across Britain have been reduced to derelict ghostly shadows of their former glories, occupied mainly by boarded up premises, thrift stores, gambling outlets, and charity shops.

There's some limited help on the table now, especially for the likes of pubs, restaurants, and tea rooms, but it's far too little, far too late.  The lockdown measures have absolutely hammered the majority of the retail economy by forcing them to close their doors, while online retailers and supermarket giants were allowed to continue operating, soaking up £billions in artificially inflated profits. 

There's no effort to rake any of these artificial gains back, and nor will there ever be with a Tory rich-boy like Sunak running the show.

Universal Credit Giveaway The framing here is absolutely insidious. What Sunak's actually done is ever-so-slightly reduced the amount that the state confiscates out of low-earners' wages through reduced social security payments.

Under the Tory-designed Universal Credit system the government used to confiscate 63p in every additional pound a low income worker earns, but Sunak's reduced the confiscation rate to 55p in the pound (which is obviously still more than half!). 

Somehow confiscating a tiny bit less of low-income workers' wages is a giveaway, but the £billions he's handed to bankers by cutting the Surcharge Tax to 3% isn't a giveaway.

In fact it somehow doesn't even warrant a mention!

"By the end of this parliament I want taxes going down, not up" Somehow the Express is celebrating this statement from Rishi Sunak as if it's some almost divine political objective, rather than one of the key strategies of Tory electoral politics:

Front-load all the tax-hikes and attacks on people's incomes into the years after winning power, then ease the boot of people's necks a little bit prior to the next election so they feel like things are getting better and vote Tory, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

It's an expression of standard, cynical, short-term electoral political strategy, not some kind of saintly moral mission!

Cheers! Rishi The main headline, and the picture of Johnson and Sunak (who doesn't even drink) holding pints are an example of the oldest trick in the budget book.

Place a slight cut in the price of a pint at the forefront of the budget, in order to distract the plebs from the horrifying details you don't really want them thinking about:
  • Highest tax rate in seven decades
  • Massive tax break for bankers
  • Cutting tax on short-haul flights (just days before hosting a climate conference!)
  • Implicit admission that austerity was a huge mistake
  • National Insurance hike for millions of ordinary workers
  • Insufficient help for High Streets
  • School funding still below 2010 level
  • No windfall tax for pandemic profiteers
Unrivalled coverage This is just about the only thing they managed to get right on their entire front page. It's so laughably bad that not even the Daily Mail or S*n managed to do worse!

 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.



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Tuesday, 26 October 2021

8 ways to over-ride Facebook's censorship algorithm


As regular readers will know, the Another Angry Voice Facebook page has been having its posts hidden from its audience for over two months, based on ludicrous and unappealable accusations that links to facts and evidence constitute "spam".

Even before Facebook imposed these ridiculous and unjustifiable sanctions, the Facebook algorithm has been making Another Angry Voice, and a whole host of other independent left-leaning media sites, far less visible to their followers since 2018.

As a result of these changes to the algorithm, the vast majority of the 377,000 people who follow Another Angry Voice on Facebook never see a single post from it, from one month to the next.

Here are eight tips for trying to over-ride Facebook's censorship algorithm.

1. Weed: One very simple trick to improve your Facebook feed is to weed the pages that you follow. Go to your follow list and unfollow anything you’re not interested in any more.

2. Prioritise: Go into the "follow settings" on the Another Angry Voice page, and set it as one of your "favourites", this means you'll be much more likely to see AAV content in the future.

3. Reboot: (no need to do this if you did step 2). Go to your list of followed pages, then for any you particularly like Unfollow the page and immediately Follow again. This makes it look like the page is a ‘new interest’, which will give it priority in the algorithm.

4. Interact: Regularly interact with the Facebook pages that you particularly like (like, comment, share). The more you do this, the more you'll be shown their content in your Facebook feed. Even if it's just hitting the "like" button and leaving a one word/emoji comment on each post you see from them, this prioritises the page in your feed (I absolutely guarantee that no page owner is going to be annoyed at likes and/or one word/emoji replies).

5. Bookmark: Save the Another Angry Voice Facebook page as a bookmark in your usual web browser, and check in on it every now and then to see what the Facebook algorithm hasn't been showing you.

6. Backup: Follow the dormant AAV backup page Yet Another Angry Voice, which exists in case something happens to the main page.

7. Upgrade: Install the Facebook Purity add-on to your web browser. Then select the setting that over-rides the Facebook algorithm and allows you to see your news feed in chronological order. FB Purity is a truly excellent add-on, which dramatically upgrades the whole Facebook experience in multiple ways. There are a few other downloads that allow you to see your Facebook feed in chronological order too: Social Fixer is a browser add-on, and Friendly Browser is an app that works on mobile devices.

8.Diversify: Follow Another Angry Voice elsewhere (the blog and the Twitter account):

These tips also work for other Facebook pages that you particularly like. Add them as a 'favourite' in the page setting; interact regularly; bookmark them; follow their content on other platforms; and install an add-on to see your Facebook feed in chronological order.

I hope you find these tips useful.

If you have any other tips for over-riding the Facebook algorithm, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Tom (AAV)



 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.



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Thursday, 21 October 2021

The ringleader of the Gove ambush was a Tory


When Michael Gove was accosted by protestors in the street, the self-righteous condemnation from establishment politicians and the corporate media hack pack was instantaneous.

The usual radical-right suspects like Julia Hartley Brewer and Tom Harwood shared clips of the incident to whip up outrage by exclaiming how "shocking" and "unacceptable" they found it.

Several senior Labour MPs rushed to join in the performative outrage with tweets condemning the incident.

Former Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper described the scene as "completely unacceptable" and thanked the police for stepping in.

The dreadful Chris Bryant dialled up the outrage with more vehement condemnation and the ludicrously over-dramatic declaration "what have we become?"

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds took a break from his19 month invisibility act to proclaim that these scenes were particularly inappropriate because they happened in the week after the David Amess murder.

Obviously a load of Tories jumped into action too, attempting to weave the incident into their absurdist non-sequitur of a narrative about how the murder of an MP by a known Islamist extremist who slipped through a government anti-radicalisation programme ... means they now need to abolish Internet anonymity!

The thing that absolutely none of these establishment outrage mongers bothered to mention is that the ringleader of this harassment was until recently a Tory party councillor!

Will Coleshill was ejected from the Tory ranks in 2018 for hurling racist abuse at a Labour Party councillor, but he's come back to do his beloved former party a massive favour by giving the political establishment and corporate media outrage-mongers an incident to moral high-horse about, and weave into their authoritarian drive to crush Internet freedom.

Will Coleshill has never hidden behind Internet anonymity. He uses his real name on all of his social media accounts, and on his Resistance GB bio too, and on his abandoned Tory party councillor profile too.

He carries out all of his extremism in public, using his real name, and gets away with it.

Coleshill has got form for harassing MPs too, having accosted Jess Phillips in the street in 2019.

There's literally no excuse for Labour MPs to not know who this racist Tory-boy extremist is.

It's no wonder the Tories are playing along with the outrage-mongering narrative, because it could hardly fit their radically right-wing authoritarian agenda better, but what the hell are Labour playing at?

Why on earth are they spewing faux outrage about the incident, rather than pointing out that the ringleader was actually one of the Tories' own?

The answer seems to be that Keir Starmer is completely onboard with the Tory agenda. He's already declared that he'll whip Labour MPs into supporting the Tory attack on Internet freedom if they rush the legislation back into parliament this year!

I'm sure his dwindling band of apologists will be more than willing to do the required mental gymnastics to explain how "forensic" it is for Sir Abstainsalot to promise to support legislation that isn't even properly drafted yet ...

The fact that the ringleader of the Michael Gove ambush was actually a Tory would be a great attack point for any opposition worthy of the name, but instead Starmer and the useless nincompoops he's surrounded himself with have actually joined in with the Tory outrage-mongering, and the hard-selling of the Tories' authoritarian crackdown on Internet freedom!

It looks an awful lot like the entire political establishment class is colluding to attack our freedoms, and racist Tory-boy agitator Will Coleshill is actually helping them push this radically right-wing authoritarian agenda.


Big credit to Lloyd Hardy on Twitter for doing the digging on Will Coleshill's very recent Tory past. Make sure to give him a follow if you're on there.

 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.



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Wednesday, 20 October 2021

How social media platforms reward misinformation-spreaders


Dan Hodges is the anti-left polemicist who wrote the Daily Mail's grotesque "Labour Should Kill Vampire Jezza" article, just ten days after Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered in the street in 2016.

Dan's absolutely notorious for his ability to find the wrong take on pretty much any subject, and many have even argued that he's actually delivering some kind of absurd wrong-on-purpose performance piece designed to create as much reaction as possible.

You may well ask why on earth anyone would want to make themselves look like a venal, mindless idiot on purpose, just for attention?

The reason of course is that social media sites are designed in such a way that the loudest, crudest, most attention-seeking idiots actually get rewarded by the algorithm, as a result of the reaction to the bile and misinformation they spew.

These grifters either get their content positively shared by users who have had their minds rotted away by years of exposure to the venal radical right culture war bollocks, or it gets amplified by masses of reasonable people trying to point out how wrong and/or completely unreasonable they're being.

The golden ticket for attention-seeking grifters is the kind of post that does massive numbers from both of these target audiences, like that dreadful GB News hack who was invited onto the BBC to argue in favour of drowning migrants, which caused the extreme-right demographic to gleefully retweet clips of it, and liberal icons with vast social media followings like Gary Lineker to spread it further and wider by retweeting it in order to say how much they disagreed with it.

This kind of polemical attention-seeking grift is the entire modus operandi of GB News, and it's absolutely no surprise that Dan Hodges has got himself involved with their professional grifting operation.
 
In some cases the traffic is entirely made up of condemnation, as with Dan Hodges' economically illiterate interpretation of a BBC News item about a tiny fall in the rate of inflation, which he tweeted with a caption reading "Cost of living falls, just as everyone predicted".

Over a thousand people responded with comments pointing out that Hodges was completely misrepresenting the meaning of the story, either through economic illiteracy, or out of a desire to deliberately spread misinformation.

It's absolutely obvious that a fall in the rate of inflation from 3.2% to 3.1% is not wonderfully good news for the British people, or for the government, when the inflation target is 2%, and the Bank of England rate of interest is a paltry 0.1%, but who cares about facts and evidence, when Dan can just claim the article he's sharing means the opposite of what it actually says?

A fall in the rate of inflation, is simply not the same thing as inflation falling (deflation), and it's no wonder that public understanding of economic issues is so poor, when high profile commentators like Dan Hodges spread economic misinformation like this with impunity.

After such a large backlash, anyone with a shred of decency would delete the post and put up an apology, but attention-seekers who value their social media numbers above their reputation would never erase such a post, because 1,400+ negative replies, and 400+ negative quote tweets all still point to the Twitter account of Dan Hodges.

For being totally wrong about something, Twitter rewards him with thousands of links pointing to his profile, and the algorithm even begins automatically offering his account as a 'suggested follow' to people who got involved in the conversation about how wrong he was!

Why on earth would Dan Hodges delete his reward for spreading misinformation?

And it's clear that he knows it's misinformation too, because his follow up Tweet admitted that he got it wrong, then smugly implied that the people at fault are actually the ones who got "agitated" by his misinformation (which produced himself another reward of hundreds more negative replies and negative quote tweets).

Dan Hodges publicly admits that he knows that it was wrong, but he's leaving it up anyway, meaning there's no way it can now be interpreted as anything other than deliberate misinformation.

And he's actually gloating at all the people who have called him out, and revelling in all the attention and free publicity!

If social media sites like Twitter actually cared about confronting misinformation, they'd allow users the means to effectively report misinformation (crowdsourced peer review), reduce the visibility of misinformation-spreading accounts, and improve the visibility of accounts that routinely tell the truth and cite their sources.

Instead, social media algorithms reward misinformation-spreaders by treating all the criticism of their misinformation as if it's people merely sharing and replying to something that's "interesting"!

We're well into the second decade of the social media age, and none of the social media platforms have even attempted to try to effectively resolve this rewarding misinformation problem.

In fact Facebook has even developed a bizarre "violations" system designed to reduce the visibility of accounts that cite evidence and sources, whilst allowing outright liars to get off scot free!

This failure to address the rewarding misinformation problem means the rabble-rousers, hate-mongers, attention-seekers, and misinformation-peddlers are obviously going to continue gaming poorly-designed algorithms to bag themselves ever more social media prominence.

In a system in which the more wrong, more venal, and more provocative the content, the higher the reward, it's natural that amoral attention-seeking grifters like Dan Hodges would continue to work the system to their advantage, 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.



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Tuesday, 19 October 2021

The kinder, gentler gaslighters


Remember when Jeremy Corbyn said he wanted a find a less abusive way of doing politics?

And how the commentariat class absolutely ridiculed him for it, using the phrase "kinder gentler politics" whenever anyone from the left as much as used a swear word, despite Corbyn himself remaining calm, polite, and dignified in the face of undoubtedly the most concerted UK media vilification campaign in living memory.

The political establishment class and corporate media hack pack worked together to whip up raging firestorms of anti-left hatred; they accused Corbyn of disrespecting veterans by not bowing deeply enough at the Cenotaph; the next year they faked photos of Corbyn supposedly dancing at the Cenotaph; they faked photos of him wearing a Russian-style hat on a Kremlin background; they endlessly platformed every deranged anti-Corbyn ranter they could find; they spliced the wrong answers onto different questions to create outrage-mongering 'fake news' (and kept their jobs when caught red-handed); they derided Corbyn's "Chairman Mao style bicycle"; they spread nonsensical conspiracy theories about Corbyn being some kind of Czech Spy, Russian stooge, terrorism-loving, communist, Jew-hater; they ridiculed and grossly misrepresented virtually every policy position Corbyn ever took ("nationalise sausages"!); and they churned out endless hate-mongering rabble-rousing articles like "Labour Must Kill Vampire Jezza".

Just some of the political and media figures to switch
seamlessly from vilifying Corbyn to pretending they
oppose online hatred and abuse!
Then oh how they erupted in fits of laughter and frivolity when Corbyn was violently assaulted by that right-wing extremist; and how they chuckled and then instantly forgot about it when British soldiers used Corbyn's face as a target on a shooting range; and then they just ignored the multiple assaults on elderly Labour Party campaigners during the 2019 election (whilst uncritically amplifying outright Tory lies about Matt Hancock's aide supposedly being "punched" by a Corbyn-supporter).

To top it all off, they barely even bothered to object to the terrorist assassination plot against Corbyn and Sadiq Khan by the extreme-right Finsbury Park killer; or any of the numerous other examples of abuse and death threats against Corbyn and the Labour leadership team.

In fact their priorities were so utterly warped that they created vastly more faux outrage about a so-called "brick" through Angela Eagle's window in 2016, despite no evidence of who actually did it ever emerging, than coverage of an actual death threat made against Corbyn in the same week as brick-gate!

The political establishment and the commentariat class deliberately whipped up these firestorms of hatred because they detested normal democratic socialist policies like nationalised rail, energy, and water so much, and outright rejected the idea that the very-rich should just pay a bit more into the pot.

Then when their hate-mongering delivered the inevitable abusive, violent, and potentially deadly consequences, they simply turned their backs, refused to report it, belittled it, or even outright laughed at it.

Well now the very same people are all suddenly saying they want a 'kinder, gentler politics' in order to promote a right-wing authoritarian Tory crackdown on our Internet freedoms.

The gaslighting bastards!




NOTE: Of course these people and their supporters will resort to victim posturing, and pretending that proven facts about the vilification of Corbyn, and the conclusion "gaslighting bastards!" constitute the kind of horrifying abuse they're suddenly so concerned about. They didn't get where they were within the establishment order without knowing how to distort and manipulate everything to their advantage.

 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.



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Monday, 18 October 2021

Landlordism is even more exploitative than capitalism!

One of the most commonly-held delusions amongst the property-hoarding class is that being a "landlord" makes them some kind of "capitalist".

It's completely wrong to imagine that landlordism is a sub-branch of capitalism, when it's actually a distinct sphere of economic activity, but it's easy to see how this confusion occurs.

Firstly there's the shockingly widespread misconception that "capitalism" is some kind of synonym for "trade", or "doing business", rather than a specific and defined form of economic organisation involving ownership of the means of production (which it actually is).

Then there's the fact that capitalism and landlordism are both highly exploitative practices that involve profit extraction from other people (employees/tenants), meaning it's easy to mistake one form of living off other people's backs as a version of the other.

The reality of course is that landlordism isn't capitalism, because capitalism is about owning the means of production (materials, facilities, machines) then paying workers below the actual value of their labour in order to extract profit.

I'm no fan of capitalism (to put it mildly) but at least there's some productive output at the end of it!

Landlordism on the other hand creates nothing.

All rentiers do is monopolise existing assets in order to extract unearned profits (whether that's buy-to-let slumlords, or private profiteers monopolising essential services like energy, water, public transport, etc).


Capitalism is a form of parasitism on economically productive activity.

Landlordism is an even purer form of economic parasitism, because it doesn't even produce anything other than unearned profits.

Of course landlords will try to pretend that there is some productive activity involved in landlordism, after all, don't they have to paint and redecorate when old tenants move out?

This is just a con-trick, because if the property was lived in by people who actually owned it, then they'd be much more inclined to invest above the basic bare-minimum, because their motivation is to make their home as comfortable and secure as possible, not to maximise profits by doing things on the cheap, and by cutting corners on long-term maintenance.

It's extremely telling that landlords try to dress up their bare-minimum of investment as some kind of economically productive activity, when it actually represents a reduction in investment on what would probably have occurred had the property never fallen into the hands of economic parasites.

Another common refrain from the idle landlord class is that they're somehow "providing a service" by buying up all the affordable housing, and renting it out to the people they've priced out of the property market!

If rented accommodation is such an essential service, then surely it should be taken under public control, so that it's run for the good of the British economy, and in the best interests of the British people, meaning any profits go back into improving the housing stock, rather than being siphoned off into private pockets?

But the landlordists react in absolute outrage at suggestions the rental market should be nationalised.

How are they expected to survive if they can't idly extract profits merely through ownership of property assets?

How are they expected to survive if they actually have to get a real job, and engage in economically productive activity like the rest of us?

Suddenly the provision of rented accommodation isn't the "important service" they just claimed it was. The only aspect of this "service" they actually attach any real importance to is preservation of the unearned income for themselves!

Of course the landlord class react with hot-headed indignation at those who describe the reality of their grubby, exploitative, unproductive economic parasitism, and desperately try to dismiss this criticism as if it's some kind of radical left-wing conspiracy against noble and honest people like them.

So I'll just leave you with a few quotes about landlordism from people that absolutely nobody in their right mind would ever describe as "leftists":

Winston Churchill
"Roads are made, streets are made, railway services are improved, electric light turns night into day, electric trams glide swiftly to and fro, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains - and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and cost of other people. Many of the most important are effected at the cost of the municipality and of the ratepayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is sensibly enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare; he contributes nothing even to the process from which his own enrichment is derived." [source]

Adam Smith
"As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed" [source]

John Stewart Mill
"Only the landowners grow richer, as it were in their sleep without working, risking and economising" [source]

David Ricardo
"The dealings between the landlord and the public are not like dealings in trade, whereby both the seller and buyer may equally be said to gain, but the loss is wholly on one side, and the gain wholly on the other" [source]


 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.



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