Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Why is Starmer so intent on reanimating the corpse of late-stage Blairism?

Keir Starmer’s inner circle is heavily dominated by Blairite loyalists. That’s a pretty indisputable assertion right?

Starmer’s Blair-hagiography of a Conference Speech made it absolutely clear that he’s worshipping at the altar of Blairism (to anyone who had the misfortune of actually listening to it at least).

And to match his words with actions, it’s also crystal clear from his strategy of removing and demoting the soft-left, which has followed his purge of all the genuine socialists and social liberals from his so called “unity cabinet” (via his depraved loyalty tests of whipping Labour MPs to abstain on vile Tory stuff like rape cops and war crime impunity, and booting them out of his cabinet if they refused).

One of the most interesting aspects of this Blairite involvement in Starmer’s vapid form of managerialist posture politics is the way they fail to even recognise the way Starmer has been imitating the failing late-stage Blairism that ended up driving millions of traditional Labour voters away, rather than the exciting early Blairism that promised to do away with a shambolic and sleaze ridden Tory government, that should surely have been removed from power at least half a decade previously.

In order to make the case that they’re imitating the wrong kind of Blairism, it’s necessary to admit that Blair and his government actually got some things right, which I’ve always been willing to do.

The increased investment in public services that began in 1997 was a damned-sight better than the privatisation-obsessed Tory shambles that preceded it, or the economically ruinous austerity extremism that succeeded it.

Other positives included The Good Friday Agreement and improved economic freedom for Scotland and Wales. But it’s the economic investment in infrastructure and services and the living standards increases that are most relevant here. We don’t need to talk about their lamentable policy failings here, because everyone who has even read this far should be well aware of where Blairism went badly wrong.

Blair did some things right to win power and then delivered some good policies in the early years in government ,and the parallels with now are pretty damned obvious. Yet for some absurd reason Starmer and his inner circle are intent on bringing back the hectoring and unpopular late-stage Blairism that drove people away instead.

In 1997 Blair absolutely trounced Major’s Tories by giving people a bit of hope, then he cemented his position in power by being seen to deliver: Rising wages, economic growth, resuscitating the UK’s vandalised social safety net, education, and NHS funding.

So if Starmer and the people who surround him idealise Blair so much, and have so much nostalgia for the Blair years, why aren’t they following Blair’s recipe for electoral success, rather than desperately trying to reanimate the risible and unpopular politics that Labour slumped into after they’d been in power for ages, run out of ideas, and complacently imagined themselves invincible after winning a third straight election, even after creating a disaster like the invasion of Iraq?

Why are they like this?

The answer seems to be that most of the architects and big players in the early Blair years are past it, retired, or deceased, leaving a pathetic residue of obsequious yes people, who were parachuted into positions of power and influence by Blair’s inner circle, without ever having learned where the power actually comes from.

The power comes from the people.

Even in a country like the UK that suffers a hopelessly rigged, archaic, unrepresentative, and decaying democratic institution like Westminster, you have to offer people what they want, rather than overtly mocking and ridiculing their desires for policies that would actually make life just a bit better and fairer for ordinary people.

But the Labour right Blair-loyalists who control the party now have no idea how to offer this, because they were raised in an environment in which it was their job to bend public will to fit the objectives of the Labour government, and to castigate anyone who argued that they should actually be doing things better.

How many of the big figures from Blair’s 1997 triumph are still kicking around? Blair retired to his riches a decade and a half ago. Brown only pops up occasionally. Prescott’s long-gone. Darling, Milburn, Straw, Hoon, and Blunkett are dinosaurs. Beckett and Harman are among the last in still serving in the Commons, and they’re both retiring next time around. Robin Cook, Frank Dobson, Tessa Jowell, Mo Mowlam, and Donald Dewar are all dead. And long-standing Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown has recently been kicked to the sidelines by Starmer.

What’s left of Blairism now is a profoundly unpleasant residue of arrogant and complacent career politicians who mainly got their positions through privilege and patronage, without ever having put in the the hard work of creating genuine public appeal.

Between 2015 and 2019 these second generation Blairites saw Corbyn trying to offer hope, But they clearly thought that he was ‘doing politics wrong’ by trying to appeal to the public, especially his efforts to woo young voters and new demographics who had rarely or never voted before.

As far as they were concerned he should have been offering uninspiring neoliberal gruel,  performing parlour tricks for the media, rehashing the arrogant “this is all you’re getting” stance they cut their political teeth on, and bitterly chastising any objectors for the impertinence of suggesting politicians could and should be doing better.

They were so convinced that Corbyn was wrong, that once they took control of the Labour Party again, they even made it an immediate party priority to  kill off public hopes and aspirations by systematically salting Corbyn’s allotment of policies, and deliberately driving away the hundreds of thousands of politically engaged and active supporters he’d attracted to the cause.

Rather than picking the best and most popular of Corbyn’s policy crop for their own use (investment economics, public ownership of essential infrastructure and services, workers’ rights, higher wages, better education, mass party membership rather than reliance on mega-rich donors ...) and discarding anything they really disliked, they decided to salt the lot, and revert to the only kind of politics they’re familiar with:

Telling people what to think, playing parlour tricks for the media, and chastising the public for daring to want any better from them.

So here’s the challenge for any Blairites who have managed to read this far without suffering fits of rage at the “thoughtcrime” of believing that Labour actually needs to be doing miles better at the moment:

Can you offer a better explanation than mine for why Starmer and his supporters have failed to adopt the positive, vibrant, hope-inspiring and ultimately winning version of Blairism, in favour of trying to reanimate the rotting corpse of late-stage Blairism that the electorate had already had more than enough of 12 years ago?

And more importantly, do you think it’s even possible to make them change course now, after watching them try to flog the same rotting corpse into action for two interminable years?

I mean these are people who steadfastly refused to learn or utilise the power-winning tactics of their own political figurehead before they resumed control over the Labour Party, so what would it actually take to make such a bunch of nitwits suddenly and dramatically improve their game now, after two years of this mind-numbing inertia?

Essays and video clips from from the likes of Another Angry Voice, Novara Media, and Owen Jones certainly aren’t going to wake them up to what they’re doing wrong.

So unless you’re going to sit there and actually try to convince people, including yourself, that these hopelessly inept people aren’t asleep at the wheel, what is it that you need to do to wake them up?

And I say “you do” because they’re only ever going to listen to it from their supporters, if they listen to it from anyone at all. Never from anyone like me.

Do you guys want to wake the sleeping driver? Or do you want to just sit tight, pretend they're doing an excellent job, and hope that everything’s somehow going to work out fine through pure luck?

It’s clearly up to you lot if you want to save your own project from itself, 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.



OR


Friday, 1 April 2022

What the Will Smith slap tells us about the war in Ukraine



Everyone has been talking about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, and before that loads of people have been talking about the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. 

In this article I'm going to explain what the Will Smith slap tells us about the war in Ukraine:

The Will Smith slap tells us absolutely nothing about the war in Ukraine.

It's got bollocks all to do with it, and this headline is obviously an April Fool's prank from a commentator you'd hopefully expect not to conflate two completely unrelated things for clicks (on any normal days of the year).

It's especially insulting to conflate completely unrelated things when one is a bit of Hollywood pantomime between two millionaire mates, and the other is a massive humanitarian tragedy, resulting in thousands of deaths, and millions of refugees.

Unfortunately there are people out there who are so desperate for clicks and attention that they'll do it in earnest.




 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.



OR


Monday, 28 March 2022

The shocking truth about Saudi Arabia that Facebook doesn't want you to know



In March 2022 Facebook deleted one of my posts about the tyrannical government in Saudi Arabia, and accused me of "hate speech".

I was allowed to appeal, but only by clicking a button saying that I disagreed with their decision. There was absolutely no means of submitting evidence that what I'd said was true.

The deleted image, and
Facebook's warning
The deleted post made a number of claims about Saudi Arabia, which I will substantiate in this article.

"The Saudi tyranny just mass executed 81 people"


This is a completely uncontroversial statement of fact.

This barbaric mass execution was widely reported across scores of media sources, including the BBC, left-leaning outfits like Byline Times and hard-right broadcasters like GBNews (archived) It was also condemned by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

Saudi Arabia is "committing war crimes in Yemen"

Saudi Arabia's ongoing bombardment of Yemen hardly gets a fraction of the coverage of Putin's attack on Ukraine, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening.

Human Rights Watch have documented multiple Saudi war crimes in Yemen, and it should be widespread knowledge that the Saudis have bombed all kinds of civilian targets from funeral gatherings, to children's school busses.

Saudi Arabia "fund and support terrorism"

In 2016 Hillary Clinton's leaked emails demonstrated that the US government were well aware that Saudi Arabia were funding terrorism in Syria.

Furthermore US President Joe Biden has openly admitted that Saudi Arabia provided "hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons" to Al Qaida's successor organisations in Syria.

Then there's Boris Johnson, who accused Saudi Arabia of "twisting Islam" and conducting proxy wars across the middle east.

Saudi Arabia have also provided funds to terrorist insurgencies in Afghanistan, which led to the creation of Al Qaida, and the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States, in which 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudis.

Saudi Arabia "brutally repress political opposition"

Saudi Arabia's repression of political opposition is well documented. Amnesty International reports that in Saudi Arabia freedom of expression, association, and assembly are all repressed.  

Their repression of political dissent is so extreme that they've even sentenced a 14 year old child to death for attending a pro-democracy march!

It's hardly hateful conduct to point out that one of the most tyrannical regimes on earth is politically repressive.

Saudi Arabia "dismember critical journalists"

This is clearly a reference to the Jamal Khashoggi assassination, where the Saudi regime lured him to the Saudi embassy in Turkey, where they tortured him, murdered him, dismembered his body, and dissolved it in acid. 

The murderers then reportedly took Khashoggi's severed fingers back to the Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salmen as a trophy, because he'd boasted that he'd cut off the fingers of any writer who criticised him.

Khashoggi was just one of the dissidents and critical journalists targeted for assassination by the so-called "Tiger Squad".

Saudi Arabia are "misogynists and homophobes"

Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regimes on earth for women's rights, and they still have the death penalty for homosexuality.

Even when they don't condemn homosexuals to death, they dish out utterly barbaric punishments like public lashings, and long prison sentences.

Saudi Arabia "threaten terrorist attacks against western countries to get their own way"

The Saudi regime famously threatened terrorist attacks against Britain in order to get an investigation into corrupt arms deals shut down, and during a spat with Canada a verified Saudi Twitter account posted a photoshopped picture of a 9/11 style terrorist attack against Canada!

Boris Johnson went to Saudi Arabia to "grovel for more oil"

Johnson's grovelling trip to Saudi Arabia was widely reported. And the reason for his visit was repeatedly given as seeking an oil deal in an attempt to reduce reliance on Russian energy supplies.

Conclusion

I've substantiated every single assertion in the banned infographic, but the truth simply doesn't matter to Facebook.

They've set up reporting systems that are incredibly easy to game. Whether a post is true or not is completely irrelevant. The simple truth is that if the post gets mass reported, then it'll be deleted as hate speech, no matter how easy it is to substantiate literally all of the points.

What we're witnessing is an absurd weaponisation of liberal language in order to erase fact-based criticism of probably the most illiberal regime on earth.

Defenders of this disgusting regime are gaming Facebook's report functions, and using the language of anti-racism to pretend that truthful criticism of Saudi Arabia is racist hate speech.

And by going along with these tactics, Facebook are complicit in attacking the truth.

The deletion of my post came with a warning that the Another Angry Voice Facebook page is under threat of deletion, so if it does disappear, you'll know that one of the main reasons it was deleted out of existence was the fact that I chose to tell the truth about Saudi Arabia, and instead of standing up for the truth, Facebook stood with the tyrannical regime to attack me for telling the truth.

 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.



OR

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Kwasi Kwartang's brazen nuclear energy deceptions



Tory Energy Minister Kwasi Kwartang has released a short Twitter video boasting about the Tory government's nuclear energy policies.

The problem of course is that it's every bit as honest as you'd expect from a government led by the most notorious liar in British politics.

Kwartang's description of the government's nuclear energy policy states that it will deliver "clean, affordable power generated in the UK, for the UK". 

Every single word of this is either deceptive, or a downright lie.

Clean

The idea that nuclear power is "clean" is an absolute fairy story. In reality Finland is the only country in the world preparing permanent safe storage for all of their nuclear waste. Britain's nuclear waste storage is an absolute shambles. For decades we just lobbed it in landfill, buried it in trenches, threw it down a well at Dounreay, and even set ourselves up as the nuclear dustbin of the world, importing nuclear waste from as far afield as Japan.

Most of Britain's nuclear waste is stored at the Low Level Waste Repository near Drigg in Cumbria. This enormous 270 acre site contains one million tons of nuclear waste, in temporary storage, and it's at risk of coastal erosion and flooding!

Amazingly this huge nuclear dumping ground is being run as a private profit-making company, but when it needs clearing up, there's absolutely no doubt that it will be paid for out of public funds.

Around 75% of the most radioactive waste in the UK is in temporary storage at Sellafield. The most recent cost estimate (2015) for cleaning up the radioactive dumping ground there is an astonishing £117 billion.

Anyone claiming nuclear energy in the UK is "clean", when we don't even have a single permanent nuclear waste storage facility is quite simply lying through their teeth.

Generated in the UK

One of the main boasts in Kwartang's little clip is about the construction of the Hinkley Point C reactor, which will admittedly be geographically located within the UK.

But what Kwartang deliberately omits to mention is the fact the the UK government has bribed the French government (in the guise of EDF) and the Chinese government (CGN) to build it for us.

The reason Britain can't build its own new nuclear infrastructure is that the Tory government privatised away our nuclear expertise, with Britain's entire fleet of nuclear power stations eventually falling into the hands of the French government (EDF).

Have you ever been informed by the BBC or by corporate media about the fact Britain handed control of its entire fleet of nuclear power plants to the French government?

Maybe ask yourself why the majority of the UK population have been kept in the dark about this utterly extraordinary situation.

Affordable

The only way the Tory government could get the governments of France and China to build them a new reactor at Hinkley Point C was to bribe them into doing it by promising to pay them double the market rate for electricity for 35 years

The National Audit Office have estimated that the terms of this deal mean that UK energy customers will end up paying an astonishing £50 billion above the natural market rate.

£50 billion siphoned out of the pockets of UK energy consumers, by the state-run energy companies of France and China, and this deceptive Tory piss-taker is telling us how "affordable" it's going to be!

For the UK

The idea that energy generated in the UK is exclusively "for the UK" is another deception. 

In the case of natural gas, exports out of the UK have doubled during the energy crisis, because the profiteering private companies operating our energy sector are driven exclusively by the profit motive, not by any desire to maintain the energy security of whichever nation they're operating in.

The only reason the French and Chinese governments would definitely be selling their electricity to the UK, is that the UK is the only country on earth stupid enough to promise to pay them double the market rate for 35 years.

If the UK government seriously wanted to secure the nation's energy supply, they'd take the sector out of the hands of the private profiteers and foreign governments it's fallen into since privatisation, and operate it as a not-for-profit publicly owned business, run for the good of the British people and the British economy.

Only a fool would think that promising to pay the governments of France and China double the market price for electricity was a good idea, and something to boast about. And only a downright liar would try to pretend that it represents a strengthening of the nation's energy security!

Conclusion

The inescapable conclusion is that Kwasi Kwartang is a profoundly deceptive character, who either doesn't understand the first thing about his ministerial role, or is lying through his teeth.

But it's more sinister than just one Tory minister churning out deceptions. The whole department is rotten to the core. 

It's beyond doubt that energy privatisation has been an absolute disaster for the UK, but instead of bringing it back under public ownership, they're bribing the French and Chinese governments to build our energy infrastructure for us, and then dressing this absurd nonsense up as if it represents some wonderful safeguarding of Britain's energy security.

Anyone in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with even the slightest clue what's actually going on knows perfectly well that it's a pack of deceptions and lies.

And any BBC/corporate media journalist who pays the slightest attention can see what a shambles it is too, and how deceptive Kwartang's being.

But there's a code of silence, so nobody speaks out.



 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.



OR

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Rishi Sunak the loan shark


Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an insultingly inadequate policy of offsetting soaring energy bills with paltry but mandatory £200 mini-loans for all domestic energy consumers, which then has to be paid back in instalments over the next five years.

The £200 will be automatically discounted from all household energy bills, whether customers want to be drawn into energy-debt or not, then Sunak's five £40 annual repayments will be added onto all energy bills, regardless of whether the bill-payer actually received the £200 discount or not!

Let's consider how this policy will work for students, people working their way out of poverty, people who get a home of their own after a period of homelessness, or couples who separate/divorce over the next five years, which obviously amounts to a very significant number of people.

Imagine a multi-occupancy house, with say five adults. They can be students in the final year of university, or people trying to work their way out of poverty by house-sharing to save rent.

The household receives a single £200 energy bill discount between the five individuals, but then the household splits up and the individuals get houses of their own (the students graduate, the workers go their separate ways).

One household with one energy bill becomes five households with five energy bills, mandating five sets of five £40 annual "repayments".

A £200 loan ends up requiring up to £1,000 in repayments is the kind of exploitation you'd expect from payday lenders and loan sharks.

Separating/divorcing couples will also be forced to repay up to double what they initially received when they were living together.

As for the recently homeless (street-sleepers, squatters, couch-surfers, hostel-dwellers) who find themselves a home of their own in the next few years, they'll be forced to make years of repayments on loans they never even received a penny of!

When it comes to people who are lucky enough to be living in comfortable housing situations for the foreseeable future, Sunak's misleadingly named "rebate" is just an ineffective and insulting 'sticking plaster on a severed limb' solution.

But when it comes to people in multiple occupancy homes, the working-poor, separating couples, people escaping the horror of homelessness, and others in insecure housing situations, Sunak's strategy is pure daylight robbery.

Of course Sunak and his millionaire Tory chums don't give a damn about the young, the working poor, the recently-homeless, or others in insecure housing situations, and when they devised this crackpot policy, they probably didn't even consider the implications for people they perceive to be lower than scum.

But neither do most of the over-privileged UK media commentariat, who, let's remember worked tirelessly to keep these malicious and economically illiterate Tories in power (because they were so utterly horrified at Corbyn's proposal that the wealthiest minority like them should pay a bit more tax, so life could be a bit fairer for the rest of us).

Of course the £billionaire-bankrolled Tories are going to keep legislating against the interests of the young, the poor, and the marginalised, and of course most of the over-privileged commentariat aren't going to hold these vile and vindictive Tories to account for it, because the majority of them are simply far too concerned with promoting their own class interests, to bother about those of us getting trampled and exploited at the bottom.




Don't forget to check out my other article detailing loads of other problems with Sunak's mandatory energy bill mini-loans.
 
 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.



OR

Friday, 4 February 2022

Seven reasons Rishi Sunak's energy bill mini-loan policy is an insulting joke


Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the energy price cap is going to rise by an astonishing 54%, meaning a £694 hike in the energy bills of ordinary households.

In order to pretend that he's doing something to help, he's announced that energy consumers will be automatically enrolled in £200 mini-loans, which will be subtracted from their inflated bills, but then be paid back in £40 energy bill additions over the next five years.

In this article I'm going to briefly explain why Sunak's absurd energy bill mini-loans are dishonest, inadequate, over-optimistic, complacent, ineffective, economically illiterate, and driven by hard-right capitalist ideology.

1. Dishonest 

Sunak's mini-loans are being presented as a "rebate". This is astonishingly dishonest because rebates (like the massive UK rebate on EU membership fees before the big flounce) are discounts that do not have to be paid back at a future date.

If it has to be paid back at a future date, like Sunak's deluded nonsense, then it's not a rebate at all, it's a loan.

So when the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and a load of Tory MPs; and Britain's woefully biased media hacks keep describing these loans as "rebates", they're being profoundly dishonest.

2. Inadequate

You don't have to be any kind of maths genius to figure out that a £200 loan is insufficient to cover a £694 price hike.

3. Over-optimistic 

Sunak's decision to force a "borrow now, pay later" strategy on all UK energy consumers relies on the very big assumption that energy prices will quickly fall back to lower levels by next year.

But what happens if they don't fall back, and remain high, or even continue inflating even further?

The answer of course is that UK energy consumers would then be facing sky-high energy bills, with repayments on Sunak's mandatory loans piled on the top.

4. Complacent 

Sunak's complacency is obvious if you just care to look at what other European nations are doing in the face of inflating energy prices.

The left-leaning Spanish government have temporarily scrapped energy taxes, banned energy suppliers from cutting off non-paying customers, and introduced windfall taxes on energy company profits.

Meanwhile in France the liberal-capitalist Macron government have imposed energy windfall taxes and limited energy bill rises to 4%.

If the Spanish or French governments had allowed prices to soar by 54% and offered anything as pathetically inadequate as Sunak's mini-loans, there'd be massive public protests, especially in France.

But Sunak complacently expects the British public to just quietly suck it up like good, obedient little plebs.

5. Ineffective

Sunak's shoddy little mini-loans are a spectacularly ineffective sticking plaster on a severed limb sized economic problem.

What's needed is serious consumer protections, and urgent reforms to the UK's absolute shambles of an energy sector.

Here are a few ideas:
  • The Energy Price cap should only have only been increased at the rate of inflation, if at all.
  • There should be new legislation to protect non-paying customers from being cut off.
  • Windfall taxes to be levied on the obscene profits of private energy companies.
  • Energy suppliers that go bust should be renationalised.
  • Energy infrastructure should be brought back under public ownership in order to put the energy needs of the nation above the profit-seeking behaviour of private businesses.
  • The government should implement a Green New Deal to speed up adoption of renewable energy, in order to end the UK's dangerous over-reliance on expensive imported gas.
But instead of any real action to combat the current crisis, or to protect the UKs energy security in the future, all we get is Sunak's insultingly inadequate energy bill mini-loans.

6. Economically illiterate

Anyone who has ever run a business will know that there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking out loans in order to make investments, in things like property, machinery, or training. 

But if you're taking out loans to cover the cost of your day-to-day expenses, like payroll, materials, or bills, then you're in really serious trouble and veering towards insolvency.

Rishi Sunak is so economically illiterate that he thinks that loans to cover expenses are such a good idea that he's going to forcibly sign every energy customer in the UK up to them!

Surely now it's time to turn the persistent myth of Tory economic competence into the joke it should have been ever since they started enforcing their ludicrous and economically illiterate "let's cut our way to prosperity" austerity ruination agenda in 2010?

7. Ideological

Sunak is allowing profiteering energy companies to keep their unearned gains, while insulting the British public with the fake-help of these ludicrously inadequate mini-loans.

His decision to protect capitalist interests while throwing insulting crumbs at the public in order to pretend he's helping is a product of his hard-right capitalist ideology.

The entire purpose of the modern day Tory party is to prioritise the interests of capital above what's best for the British people and the British economy.

Just look at who bankrolls the Tory party operation, and look at all the multi-millionaires in Johnson's cabinet of hard-right ghouls, topped by Sunak himself.

You'd have to be hopelessly naive to expect the Tories not to side with capital, and against ordinary British people, which is why some of us have been consistent in our advice to "Never Trust a Tory".

Conclusion

Sunak's energy bill mini-loans are clearly dishonest, inadequate, over-optimistic, complacent, ineffective, economically illiterate, and driven by hard-right capitalist ideology.

But the Tories firmly believe they can get away with offering nothing but this insultingly inadequate fake-help in the midst of the worst living standards collapse in decades.

After all, the British public have let the Tories get away with an entire decade of economically illiterate austerity ruination, so why on earth would they suddenly rise up and demand change over soaring energy bills and Sunak's woefully inadequate insult of a response?

 
 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.



OR

Friday, 3 December 2021

How to lose support and alienate people: The Progressive Alliance communication strategy


When attempting to build a broad political coalition you've decided to call "The Progressive Alliance", it may be considered wise not to deliberately antagonise pretty much anyone with vaguely progressive or left-leaning views ... but there's no telling liberal capitalist aggro-centrists how to do political communication is there?
  • Liberal capitalists laid the groundwork for Brexit by propping up the ruinous Austerity Coalition, which caused the unprecedented wage collapse, failing public services, the housing crisis, and the devastating under-investment that the Brexiteers then cynically weaponised by blaming on immigrants and the EU.
  • They delivered their own worst nightmare of Brexit with their condescending and ineffective "jobs for the boys" non-campaign.
  • They blew probably the best opportunity ever to hammer the Tories by turning the Brexit referendum result into an excuse to launch a bitter factionalist coup to get rid of Labour's democratically elected leader instead!
  • Then they handed the keys of Downing Street to Boris Johnson by turning the 2019 General Election into a rerun of the Brexit referendum they'd already lost. 
If these people has 1% of the strategic capabilities they imagine themselves to have, we wouldn't be in anything like as much of a mess as a nation, but they will keep insisting that tepid, unappealing, liberal capitalist gruel must be the only alternative to radically right-wing conservative capitalist poison.

A lot of the People's Vote campaigners who invested so much work in throwing the 2019 general election have respawned themselves as The Progressive Alliance, which apparently aims to remove the Tories from power by building an astonishingly unlikely political coalition.

I won't spend too much time explaining why it's so unlikely, you just have to consider the vitriolic anti-SNP bile in Keir Starmer's much-lauded Labour conference speech to understand that the Labour right detest the SNP Westminster-outsiders infinitely more than they mildly disapprove of their Tory Westminster brethren.

Anyway. Onto the astonishing infographic in the article header image.

This is a real thing, that was actually designed and approved by Progressive Alliance people, and posted on their social media accounts (here's the link on Facebook, at least until they delete it).

"But The Lib-Dems went into coalition with the Tories"

The Progressive Alliance may try to trivialise this with the misleading claim that it all happened "a decade ago" when the Lib-Dems were still enabling Tory malice will into 2015, and the Brexiteer-style cry of "get over it", but the fact is that the ruinous Austerity Coalition imposed a shocking range of anti-progressive policies that are still causing devastating social and economic consequences today. 

What's more, the Lib-Dems are completely unapologetic about it, to the extent that they picked one of the very worst Tory-collaborators, Ed Davey, as their their new leader, when they had the chance to turn over a new leaf with the much more progressive Layla Moran.

The message here is that if you're horrified by austerity ruination; systematic "fit for work" disability persecution; Theresa May's unlawfully racist Hostile Environment and the ensuing the Windrush scandal; the worst period of wage repression in recorded history; unlawful Tribunal Fees; the Royal Mail scam and £billions in other privatisation rip-offs; the student loan betrayal; the brutal social security sanctions regime; arms sales to tyrants, despots and war criminals; privatising literally thousands of schools into the hands of unaccountable private profiteers; devastating local government cuts; economically illiterate cuts to the drivers of future economic prosperity (education, infrastructure, R&D); or any of the other profoundly anti-progressive policies enacted between 2010 and 2015, you can just piss off, because this lot don't want your vote.

"Jeremy Corbyn is no longer Labour leader"

The logic of attacking Jeremy Corbyn supporters and socialists in general is unclear.

Apparently sneering at them with the Brexiteer style slogan "he lost, get over it" is going to magically win them over to the Progressive Alliance cause!

Who cares that Corbyn was demonised by the press and repeatedly sabotaged from within his own party, purely for promoting progressive social and economic policies?

If you supported Corbyn's policy platform, you can also piss off, because the so-called Progressive Alliance don't want your vote!

"Blah blah jabber jabber Tony Blair blah blah Iraq"

The UK government ignored the legitimate concerns of millions of British people, illegally invaded another country, caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and a refugee crisis of millions.

They triggered a cycle of terrorist violence that spread throughout the target country, across the entire region, and eventually culminated in terrorist atrocities across Europe perpetrated by the ISIS fanatics that metastasised out the lawless terrorism breeding grounds that Tony Blair and his ilk created in Iraq.

"Blah blah jabber jabber ... get over it": What an arrogant and offensive way to dismiss legitimate concerns over one of modern Britain's most horrific foreign policy catastrophes! 

If you're the kind of progressively-minded person who opposed the Iraq war, the so-called Progressive Alliance clearly hold your political opinions in the same regard as dog much on their shoes, they simply don't want your vote.

"The Lib-Dems will just flounce off with the Tories"

They want to re-argue point one over again, just to make their list look longer, but the essence of their case is that we should just trust the Lib-Dems this time, despite them being led by one of the worst Lib-Dem ministers in the ruinous Austerity Coalition!

This is less an effort to tell potential voters to piss off, more of a desperate appeal to the astonishingly gullible!

"But Keith ... [insert politically illiterate rant here]"

Ah right.

listen up!

Anyone who has any concerns whatever about Keir Starmer's pathetic abstention of a leadership so far; his broken pledges; his obsession with factionalist infighting; his campaign of abuse against left-wing and socially progressive Jews; his repeated purges of left-wing and progressive voices out of his shadow cabinet; his abject failure to hold the Tory government to account; his repeated abstentions on sickeningly anti-progressive pieces of Tory legislation like the Rape Cops Bill; or even just his robotic lack of charisma.

You can all piss off too!

"I will always vote for [party] out of loyalty"

Nobody doubts that tribal voters exist, but has anyone ever uttered such an unconvincing phrase to say that they won't tactically vote to get the Tories out?

I guess if we're expected to believe that people said "blah blah jabber jabber Tony Blair jabber jabber Iraq". we're expected to believe anything!

And as for pointless tribally motivated voting, what about all the liberal capitalist dweebs who went out and belligerently voted Lib-Dem and Green in ultra tight Labour-Tory marginals in 2019, despite Labour caving in and offering them the sore loser referendum they said they wanted?

Loads of these people, who helped create a Tory mega-majority, have now quietly thrown away their "People's Vote" outfits, and come back wearing "Progressive Alliance" garb, to tell other people how to vote!

Conclusion

Given the shockingly outdated and unrepresentative Westminster voting system, I tend to agree with tactical voting, and have voted tactically myself in the past.

People like me should be the natural target audience for a campaign like The Progressive Alliance, but for whatever reason they've decided to tell me to "piss off" four different ways, taken me for a gullible idiot, and insulted my intelligence, all in a single infographic!

They're clearly more concerned with laundering the reputations of their liberal capitalist idols like Tory Blair, the Lib-Dem austerity enablers, the right-wing Labour saboteurs, and the democracy-defying CUK squatters, who all helped turn people away from progressive politics in different ways. and installed Boris Johnson in Downing Street, than in actually building a broad coalition of progressive and left-wing people.

If our hopes of a better future rely on the strategic capabilities of this lot, we're clearly doomed to Tory rule forever!

 
 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.



OR

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):

🔵 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

🔵 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!

🔵 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!).

🔵 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

🔵 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! 

🔵 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! 

🔵 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.

🔵 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. 

🔵 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. 

🔵 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. 

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

🔵 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.

🔵 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!

🔵 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!

🔵 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). 

🔵 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).

🔵 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.

🔵 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! 

🔵 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.

🔵 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.

🔵 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.

🔵 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.


🔵 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. 

🔵 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.

🔵 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

🔵 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

🔵 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! 

🔵 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. 

🔵 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.



OR