Friday, 4 March 2016

Tory politics: plenty of empty tough-talking rhetoric, no results

When it comes to Tory politics, there's nothing that Tory tribalists love more than a good bit of tough-talking rhetoric. Whether that tough-talking rhetoric matches observable reality, or is followed up by any meaningful action, appears to be completely and utterly irrelevant to the Tory faithful.


In March 2016 it was revealed that HMRC had paid £27,000 to Facebook for targeted adverts in 2015, which is more than six times what Facebook paid in UK Corporation Tax in 2013 and 2014 combined. 

The fact that Facebook paid virtually nothing in UK corporation tax between 2013 and 2014 contrasts incredibly sharply with George Osborne's tough-talking rhetoric back in early 2013 when he said "the last Labour government turned a blind eye to these abuses for too long ... this government is taking action domestically on avoidance and evasion" [source].

If confronted with the fact that a £multi-billion business like Facebook paid less in UK Corporation tax between 2013 and 2014 than the average British worker has paid in Income Tax, what's the betting that George Osborne would simply trot out some more tough-talking rhetoric about getting tough on tax-dodging, while trying to distract attention towards New Labour's poor track record (even though that all ended six long years ago)?


Back in 2010 Theresa May and the Tory party pledged to reduce net migration to below 100,000 by 2015. What they actually achieved (despite the introduction of numerous incredibly callous family-destroying economic apartheid schemes) was the biggest spike in net migration since records began (336,000).

Whether you agree with the 100,000 target or not, it's absolutely obvious that Theresa May abjectly failed to achieve it.

When it became clear that their pre-election promises to cut migration to below 100,000 were going to be impossible to keep, the Tories audaciously deleted the promises off their website in the hope that everyone (including the mainstream press) would simply forget about the whole thing.

It turns out that the public are so forgetful the Tories ended up getting re-elected, and the Tory faithful are so forgetful that they even gave Theresa May a rousing ovation after she decided to recycle her broken promise to cut migration to below 100,000 at the 2015 Tory party conference!

Who needs any actual achievements when empty tough-talking rhetoric will do eh?

Ideological austerity

Back in 2010 towel re-folder and Modern History graduate turned Tory Chancellor George Osborne and his Tory party colleagues promised that their austerity agenda would completely eliminate the budget deficit by 2015.

Lot's of people tried to point out that ideological austerity is economically illiterate rubbish that couldn't possible work because "lets cut our way to growth" is a poor strategy at the best of times, but in the wake of an gigantic global financial sector insolvency crisis, it's economically suicidal.

When it became clear that eliminating the budget deficit by 2015 would be completely impossible, the Tories simply re-branded their monumental failure as a success by constantly repeating "we've cut the deficit by a third"!

Obviously the Tory tribalists lapped it up, then during the 2015 General Election campaign George Osborne promised that the Tories would eliminate the budget deficit by 2020 and the Tory faithful lapped that up too!

What's the betting that by the time we get to the 2020 General Election, the budget deficit still won't be gone and the Tories will still be blaming a New Labour administration that left office a full decade before, and promising to eliminate the budget deficit by 2025 with more ideological austerity?


Britain is a country where some 24% of the electorate (11 million+ people) are happy to judge Tory politicians on what they say, rather than what they actually do. Unfortunately our embarrassingly outdated and pathetically unrepresentative voting system means that such a small percentage of the electorate is sufficient to guarantee the Tories more than 50% of the MPs and a majority government!

Given that this is the case, it seems that all the Tories will ever need to do to hold onto power is to continue repeatedly re-branding their failures as successes, spouting empty tough-talking rhetoric for the Tory faithful to lap up, and deflecting attention away from their own culpability by blaming a previous New Labour administration that is receding further and further into the past.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

The lamentable decline in the standard of public debate
Theresa May's economic apartheid against British families
The pre-election "contract" the Tories want you to forget

Dog whistles and dead cats
How the mainstream media frame the political debate
Theresa May's anti-immigrant rhetoric