Tuesday 28 February 2017

The BBC fake news headline about the NHS

The BBC has created a fake news story with a headline damning the NHS for a massive loss of patient data, even though the data loss actually happened at a private outsourcing company called NHS Shared Business Services.

The headline of the article (the only bit that huge numbers of people will actually read) blames the NHS for the loss, and it's only in the fifth paragraph that the article actually mentions the reality that the responsible party was a private mail redirection company.

As Kerry Ann Mendoza at the Canary points out, other elements of the media went on a churnalism frenzy, with Rupert Murdoch's propagandists at the S*n and Sky News also using the data loss story to slam the NHS.

This isn't the first time that stories about private companies cocking up NHS work have been completely twisted by the mainstream media in order to attack the NHS, and even to actually promote the idea of even more NHS privatisation as the solution to such blunders!

In June 2014 Rupert Murdoch's hacks at Sky News invented the headline Newborn Dies As NHS Drips Poison 15 Babies when the evidence was absolutely clear that the contaminated drips were actually supplied by a private company called ITH Pharma Limited.

In May 2015 The Daily Mail ran the headline Bungling NHS bosses apologise after wrongly sending 850 patients letters telling them they might have CANCER without even bothering to mention in the article that the blunder was actually caused by a private printing company doing outsourced NHS administration work.

Now we have yet another example of the mainstream media pinning the blame for private sector failings onto the NHS, and this time it comes from the supposedly politically neutral BBC!

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Nigel "snowflake" Farage is having a hilarious hissy fit

Nigel Farage is having a huge hissy fit because he wants a seat in the unelected House of Lords or a Knighthood and Douglas Carswell (UKIP's only actual MP) lightly mocked him over it.

The jaw-dropping hypocrisy of Britain's self-proclaimed saviour from the terrible anti-democratic EU technocrats scuttling around in search of peerage to sit in the unelected House of Lords is so brazen that perhaps even a few 'Kippers might actually be capable of thinking "hang on a minute".

When asked by UKIP insiders to intervene in order to help secure anti-democratic gongs for Farage, Carswell responded in an internal party email that maybe Farage could be nominated as an OBE for "services to headline writers". Carswell's email has now been leaked and Farage is having a total meltdown over it. 

Farage's furious reaction to Carswell's jibe is an illustration of just how enormously over-inflated his ego has now become. Farage has claimed that Carswell's slightly mocking words were motivated by "jealousy" and then demanded that the comically inept new UKIP leader Paul Nuttall expel Carswell from the party for daring to criticise him.

Imagine the size of the ego that imagines a bit of light personal ribbing against the dear ex-leader is more damaging to the party than a witch hunt to expel the party's only MP!

Carswell is also clearly despised by Arron Banks, the obnoxious millionaire UKIP donor who is busy blackmailing the party into making him party chairman by threatening to stop pumping cash into the party if they don't.

I'm no big fan of Douglas Carswell because (like Farage, Nuttall and Banks) he's an ex-Tory, and he consistently votes in favour of pretty much every appalling scam the Tories come up with. However, being called "a terrible individual" by a slimeball like Arron Banks is clearly a feather in his cap that he can be well and truly proud of. And winding up Farage so much that he's has a pathetic dictatorial foot-stamping fit ... well that's provided everyone with a little bit of light political amusement, which we can all be thankful for in these dark and dangerous days.

 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.


Monday 27 February 2017

The abusive Tory relationship with Cornwall

The Labour Party legend and founder of the NHS Nye Beven once described the art of Conservative politics as wealth persuading poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power. There's no better example of poor people handing political power to wealthy out-of-touch Tories than Cornwall.

Cornwall has the highest rate of poverty in England (in fact it's classed as the second poorest region in the whole of northern Europe behind only the West of Wales), yet somehow every single one of the six MPs in Cornwall belongs to the Tory party.

Not only do people from the poorest region in England vote for the party of wealth and privilege, they also voted massively in favour of Brexit and giving the Tories free rein to drastically reform the United Kingdom in favour of multinational corporations, landed gentry and the super-rich.

The mystery of why Cornwall is populated by so many forelock-tugging Tory voters is one of the biggest puzzles in British politics. How can so many poor people be so politically naive that they imagine that the party of wealth and privilege is ever going to represent their interests?

It's absolutely clear that the Tory party has no intention whatever of rewarding the Cornish people for their misplaced loyalty, in fact the Tories are intent on administering a savage economic punishment to the Cornish serfs so that there's no danger of them ever getting ideas above their lowly station.

Cornwall already looks set to lose the £60 million per year in funding they get through the EU when Brexit goes ahead, and now the Tories have offered Cornwall a paltry £18 million in Growth Deal funds, which is 14% of the £127 million in funding that Cornwall applied for.

Despite the grovelling loyalty of so many Cornish Tory voters, the Tory party are totally content for Cornwall to remain an under-developed backwater and one of the poorest regions the whole of northern Europe.

The Tory relationship with Cornwall is like a cruel and merciless 19th Century lord of the manner who believes that administering savage beatings and harsh pay cuts are the best methods of keeping his servants in line. It doesn't matter how much the servants doff their caps, bow and scrape or tug their forelocks, their cruel lord and his obnoxious family members will always rigidly adhere to the policy that the only way to instil discipline in the servant class is through a draconian regime of impoverishment and severe beatings.

The really sad thing for Cornwall is that if it wasn't obvious that voting Tory is a counter-productive strategy for England's poorest region; and it wasn't obvious that voting out of the EU when your region benefits so significantly from EU Structural Adjustment Funds - then it's clearly not going to be obvious to the Tory voters of Cornwall that they're getting absolutely shafted by a party that has always worked relentlessly to protect the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else.

Cornwall is pretty much the perfect example of people being content with their servitude. It doesn't matter how much damage the hard-right Tories do to Cornwall, the Cornish people seem intent on electing ever more of them, and then signing ludicrous blank contracts with the Tories that allow them to just make things up as they go along to suit the interests of their wealthy financial backers.

Some people just love their abusers.

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Patrick McLaughlin's bullshit excuse for slashing disability benefits

The Tory party chairman Patrick McLoughlin has come up with a bizarre justification for the £3.7 billion cuts to disability benefits his party are forcing through. He tried claiming that the cuts would help to cut the deficit.

It's been clear for well over a year now that the barbaric Work Capacity Assessment regime costs far more in corporate outsourcing fees to administer than it will ever save in reduced benefits payments.

In light of this it is beyond obvious that if the Tories actually gave a damn about cutting the deficit, then they would immediately set about scrapping the barbaric and discriminatory Work Capacity Assessment regime, but they don't.

They don't scrap it because they see the profits of the private corporations that carry out the assessments as infinitely more important than either the suffering of the disabled people who are forced to go through these dehumanising assessments, or achieving value for taxpayers' money.

The Tories continue putting hundreds of thousands of sick, disabled and terminally ill people through the stress and anxiety of their dehumanising Work Capacity Assessments, and they're making ordinary taxpayers foot the bill for this barbarity.

The Tories actually make the deficit worse with their barbaric schemes against the disabled then they lie through their teeth about how much they need to strip hundreds of thousands more disabled people of the benefits in order to cut the deficit.

Of course narrow-minded tabloid rote-learners will buy into this brazenly dishonest "because austerity" rubbish, but hopefully the politically aware will be conscious of the fact that the Tory austerity agenda is nothing more than a blatant wealth redistribution con, and the fact that the Tories actually care so little about cutting the deficit that they actually use taxpayers' cash to subsidise their savage mistreatment of sick, disabled and terminally ill people.

 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.


Sunday 26 February 2017

An alternative look at the Copeland By-Election result

The mainstream media reaction to the Labour Party loss in the Copeland by-election was utterly predictable. The ubiquitous blame-Corbyn narratives were identical to those scratched together in anticipation of the 2016 Local Election catastrophe that failed to actually materialise.

Of course Jeremy Corbyn isn't entirely blameless when it comes to the Copeland result, but the mainstream narrative that the blame is essentially his has been well and truly set, and the mindless political rote-learner drones are out in force spewing this simplistic trope as if it's their own carefully considered opinion rather than something they're repeating without even bothering to think more deeply about things for themselves.

In this article I'm going to take a quick look at some factors other than Jeremy Corbyn's competence that influenced the Copeland result, including the really big story that the mainstream press more-or-less ignored in their haste to damn Jeremy Corbyn.

A long-term decline

Copeland had been Labour Party territory for decades, but anyone claiming it was anything but a marginal constituency is dealing in pure political fiction. The Labour high-point in Copeland came in 1997 when Jack Cunningham won the seat with 58% of the vote. Ever since then the Labour Party has been on a downwards trajectory in Copeland. They lost 6.4% of the vote in 2001, another 1.3% in 2005, another 4.5% of the vote in 2010 and yet another 3.7% in 2015.

The 2017 by-election saw yet another decline in the Labour vote share of 4.9%. That's five elections in a row where Labour lost popularity in Copeland. If Corbyn is to be blamed for this loss, the blame has to be put in its proper context. Corbyn clearly didn't cause the long-term decline in the Labour vote, but he did fail to reverse it.

Even if ...

Even if Corbyn's Labour had've managed to stop the decline in the Labour vote share they would still have lost the Copeland by-election. 42.3% of the vote was enough for Jamie Reed to win in 2015, but it would only have been good enough for second place in the 2017 by-election because the Tory candidate bagged 44.3% of the vote.

The real story

The real story in Copeland is how the Tories managed to leapfrog Labour to such an extent that Labour would still have lost if their vote share remained the same from the 2015 General Election.

The answer is the collapse in the UKIP vote. UKIP's vote share fell from 15.5% in 2015 to just 6.5% in 2017. This 9% fall in their vote share is almost exactly matched by the Tories 8.5% increase.

The real story is that Ukippers are abandoning their party in droves in order to throw their support behind the Tories now that Theresa May is pushing a rabidly right-wing authoritarian more-UKIP-than-UKIP political agenda.

On the national scale

This drift of Ukippers into the arms of Theresa May's brand of savagely right-wing authoritarianism is being repeated across the country.  In the run up to the 2016 EU referendum UKIP consistently polled above 15%, within less than a year they're averaging below 12% and gradually slipping further.

It's pretty difficult to imagine Ukippers defecting to the Europhile Lib-Dems or to a Labour Party that is far more focused on internal factional squabbling than actually defining a coherent party line on the utter shambles Theresa May is making of Brexit. 'Kippers are clearly defecting to the Tories because they're attracted by Theresa May's more-UKIP-than-UKIP posturing.

Ideological blood brothers

UKIP and the Tories are ideological blood brothers. A look at the UKIP ranks stuffed full of failed, disgraced and defected Tories should be enough to convince anyone of the fact that UKIP are a Tory Trojan Horse of a political party. Then there's the fact that UKIP is almost totally bankrolled by Tory money too.

UKIP dragging the UK political spectrum way off to the right and then gradually folding themselves back into the Tory party was always inevitable. As the single issue party that no longer actually has a single issue inevitably loses votes, it's obvious that a Tory government that insists on aping Ukipper anti-European posturing and anti-immigration rhetoric is going to be the main beneficiary.

What now?

If the UKIP vote continues leeching to the Tory party, England is going to end up as a de facto one party state. The Tories already have a considerable electoral advantage, and if they pick up another four or five percentage points from UKIP and succeed in gerrymandering the political boundaries too, there will be virtually no chance of removing them from power for the foreseeable future.

The entrenchment of Tory rule seems inevitable whether Labour is led by Jeremy Corbyn, or by some as-yet-unnamed alternative figure who is somehow more popular and talented than any of the numerous leadership challengers Corbyn has seen off with total ease (Owen Smith, Angela Eagle, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendal).

Even if Labour were unified and promoting consistent and engaging political alternatives they would be facing an uphill challenge given the inevitable leeching of support from UKIP to the Tories, but in their current state it's looking absolutely futile. Aside from the incessant and incredibly damaging internal bickering there's also the fact that English Labour Party bigwigs like Sadiq Khan insist on nailing Scottish Labour into their self-made coffin with insulting out-of-touch rhetoric about how the majority of working age Scots are a bunch of racists for daring to want independence from Westminster establishment rule.

Even if the Labour Party were capable of solidarity and strategic competence they'd be facing tough times, but in their current guise they're totally screwed, and anyone within the Labour Party trying to pin the blame for that solely on Jeremy Corbyn is clearly more guilty than he is.

Corbyn can't help being a limited and unengaging public speaker. Neither can he help the fact that talent is so thin in the Labour Party ranks that he's seen off all leadership challengers with total ease. However the internal party critics could have actually tried to help him rather than constantly plotting, backstabbing and briefing against him to the press and then crowing deliriously when Labour actually lose elections!

 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.


Saturday 25 February 2017

Sadiq Khan's ill-judged intervention in Scottish politics

The Labour Party in Scotland have suffered one of the most rapid declines in popularity in British political history, but it's absolutely clear that they simply refuse to learn any lessons.

In 2015 Labour lost 40 of their 41 Scottish constituencies in the General Election, and in 2016 they were beaten down to third place in the Scottish parliament elections by the widely reviled Scottish Conservatives.

Anyone would think that a party that had suffered such a rapid and humiliating fall from grace would engage in at least a little reflection about what went so terribly wrong, but no.

The Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has waded into Scottish politics to try to claim that there is no real difference between supporting Scottish independence from the corrupt Westminster establishment, and the extreme-right political elements who try to "divide us on the basis of background, race or religion".

The first thing to note is that the tactic of calling people racists backfired spectacularly twice in 2016 with Brexit and then the election of Donald Trump. Even if these two political campaigns were indeed heavily supported by divisive extreme-right bigots like the Britain First hate group and the alt-right white supremacist movement, labelling all Brexiters and Trump voters as racists just helped to feed into the self-pitying victimhood complexes that the extreme-right absolutely thrive on.

The other thing to note about this absurd claim that Scottish civic nationalism is no different to the racism and bigotry of the extreme-right is that the extreme-right are actually amongst the most vocal opponents of Scottish independence.

The essence of what Sadiq Khan is saying is that in order to not be a nasty divisive racist, Scottish people should campaign alongside Britain First, UKIP and the National Front in opposing Scottish independence from Westminster rule!

This kind of idiotic and deeply insulting nonsense is clearly the product of a Labour Party that absolutely refuses to accept that they've made some absolutely catastrophic strategic errors in Scotland.

It's the attitude of an astoundingly arrogant political party who pin the blame for their electoral hammerings on the stupidity of the Scottish electorate rather than their own obvious failings, and imagine that Scottish voters will eventually come around and see sense if enough Labour bigwigs come up from London to hector them about how wanting to put an end to London rule makes people the kind of bigots and racists who are famed for their opposition to Scottish independence.

As long as out-of-touch Labour politicians continue treating the Scottish electorate as if they're just too stupid to appreciate how great the Labour Party actually is, and using this kind of smeary, bizarrely counter-factual and ridiculously condescending "Scottish nationalism bad, British nationalism good" propaganda, the Labour Party in Scotland is certain to continue its hasty decline towards total political irrelevance.

 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.


Monday 20 February 2017

What's your position on Brexit?

In the United Kingdom there is an awful lot of confusion and delusion over what Brexit is eventually going to mean. The country seems to be even more divided than before the referendum. 

In this article I'm going to run through some of the distinct identifiable groups.
  • Brexit realists: People who accept that Brexit is going ahead, but understand that the UK is in a pathetically weak negotiating position due to the fact that any one of our 27 former European allies can torpedo any post-Brexit deal and that even if a deal is cobbled together, it's going to be negotiated by a callous and incompetent bunch of Tories. It doesn't take much grounding in reality to understand that the UK simply isn't going to get a better deal from the EU than the deal they had before.
  • Brexit deniers: People (like Tony Blair) who seem to think that Brexit can somehow be undone before it is even started. As much as it's becoming clear that Brexit will end up being a disaster, especially for those who are least able to insulate themselves from the economic consequences, there's pretty much no way that the public can stop the Tories from pushing on with their longstanding dream of turning the UK into a right-wing tax haven. If a million plus people marching through London against the invasion and occupation of Iraq couldn't stop Blair from doing it anyway, it's hard to envisage what he thinks the public can do to stop the Tories from marching us on towards the cliff edge.
  • Militant Brexiters: Not everyone in the Brexit enthusiast camp has the hyper-optimistic delusions of the Brexit utopians. Some people, like former the former DWP minister Iain Duncan Smith, accept that Brexit is going to have some very nasty consequences, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable in society, but they remain undeterred because they believe the economic and social suffering of others is a "price worth paying" for the opportunity for the Tory party to redesign the UK as some kind of hard-right authoritarian tax haven.
  • The apathetic: 28% of registered voters didn't even bother to vote in the EU referendum. The ranks of the apathetic will likely have swelled significantly with people who have either been disengaged by bizarre platitudinous gibberish from the Tory government like "Brexit means Brexit" or "red, white and blue Brexit", the divisive, disrespectful and downright abusive tone of the ongoing Brexit debate, or by the seemingly endless quibbling over the specifics of what Brexit is actually going to look like.
  • Brexit refugees: Believe it or not there are lots of people in the UK who don't look forward to being stripped of their European citizenship against their will, and lots of UK businesses who regard the abandonment of Single Market access as a major problem. There are several potential ways around these issues. If people have a parent from another EU member state, or an Irish or Italian grandparent, then they're entitled to inherit EU citizenship. An awful lot of businesses are looking to relocate part, or all, of their operations to countries that remain in the Single Market. Other people and businesses are looking at Scotland and the likelihood of a second independence referendum with the hope of keeping their EU citizenship, or at least access to the Single Market by living in, or relocating to a post-independence Scotland.
  • Brexit sloganeers: There are some people who seem to contribute absolutely nothing to the debate other than the repetition of ridiculously over-simplistic slogans. "Brexit means Brexit" is the worst, but people can be found regurgitating all sorts of absolute drivel like "no deal is better than a bad deal". If the Tory government or the right-wing press say it, it seems there will always be people willing to mindlessly repeat it, no matter how devoid of meaning, or downright ridiculous it is.
  • Resigned Brexiters: There seems to be a significant demographic who, despite originally not supporting Brexit, now think that since Brexit has been decided, it's best to "just get on with it". The problem for this group is that the process of quitting the European Union is just not as simple as saying "we quit". If the Tories submit the Article 50 notification in March as they say they're going to, the negotiation process is set to take another two years. The only way Brexit will be decided before March 2019 is if the Tories decide to go for "nuclear Brexit" when they realise that our 27 former EU allies aren't going to let them cherry-pick the best bits of EU membership, whilst scrapping all the bits they don't like
  • Brexit doom-mongers: There are some people (on both sides of the debate) who are looking forward to Brexit because they're keenly anticipating some kind of appalling Doomsday scenario. There are plenty of Brexiters who seem to imagine that the UK is so important that the EU will collapse into social and economic Armageddon as soon as we leave. But there are also Doomsday Remainers who are smugly looking forward to being proven right by the appalling social and economic devastation they predicted for post-Brexit Britain.
This list isn't intended to be exhaustive, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who have their own different take on Brexit. Even if you don't identify with any of the ten groups I've described here, I hope this article helped to show that the debate is a whole lot more complex than the over-simplistic binary polarisation between pro- and anti-Brexit that an awful lot of people tend to rely on.

 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.


Wednesday 15 February 2017

Paul Nuttall just deleted his website

Even judged by the staggeringly dishonest standards of his political contemporaries the UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is in a field of his own.
  • Nuttall put a furious anti-NHS diatribe up on his website, then when called out about it decided to delete the page and pretend that he now loves the NHS. Only the most ridiculous Internet n00b could believe that deleting the webpage makes things disappear from the Internet.
  • Nuttall's LinkedIn profile claimed that he had a PhD from Liverpool Hope University which was an outright lie. His excuse for this one is that the page had nothing to do with him or his team, expecting people to believe that his own LinkedIn profile was actually part of some terrible anti-UKIP conspiracy.
  • Nuttall was forced to admit that claims that he'd played professional football for Tranmere Rovers were outright lies. Just imagine the stupidity of a person who thinks that the football nerds wouldn't eventually go through the records to check out such a bold claim.
In the wake of the Hillsborough lie Nuttall seems to have gone into hiding. I can't see his Twitter feed these days because he blocked me for tweeting this photo at him, but I'm told that he's stopped tweeting. He's also completely pulled down his website, presumably to stop people scouring it for more of his blatant lies.

The idea of going into online hiding just a week before a high profile by-election is quite extraordinary.

Most politicians wouldn't try to hide from the lies so pathetically, but it seems that Nuttall's lies are so numerous and so brazen that he feels that he's got no choice but to keep his head down and hope that the people of Stoke Central are stupid enough to elect such an obvious and distasteful liar, with no connections whatever to the area, as their parliamentary representative.

The problem with Paul Nuttall isn't that he's dishonest. If dishonesty was any kind of political impediment how on earth would it be possible to explain David Cameron's political career?

No - the problem is that Nuttall is such a hopelessly bad liar that surely even the most idiotic of people (Daily Express readers, Britain First enthusiasts ...) can't help but see that he's an absolute bullshitter.

 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.


Tuesday 14 February 2017

How the remaining EU states could use higher education policy to turn Brexit to their advantage

When it comes to discussing what the inevitable consequences of a huge decision like Brexit might turn out to be, debate in the UK has tended to fall into two main camps.

Probably the most heavily populated camp is the pessimistic scenario that Brexit will turn out to be a costly and damaging move for both the UK and the European Union.

Another conception, one that has been widely promoted by the right-wing press, is that Brexit is going to be great for Britain, that the EU will get a jolly good beating if they don't give Theresa May what she demands, and that anyone who tries to question what is actually going on is engaging in some kind of atrocious anti-democratic treason against "the will of the people".

An awful lot of British people are particularly preoccupied with the outcomes for Britain and unlikely to spend a comparable amount of time thinking about the potential outcomes for Europe, so it's obvious that the small scale of positive coverage about prospects for the EU has been completely dwarfed by the scale of (in my view incredibly unrealistic) hyper-optimistic coverage about the UK's prospects.

Of the UK media articles on post-Brexit prospects for Europe that I've come across, a significant majority have been pessimistic. Optimistic views about the future development of the EU are pretty hard to come by in the UK media, but they're actually quite easy to envisage.

I'm never going to say that everything in the EU is going to be great, as if politics is some kind of childish fairy story with heroes, villains, dragons to be slain or happy endings, but it's easy to envisage some potential benefits. The EU has far too many structural defects for things to turn out all hunky dory for everyone, but to say that there would be no benefits whatever for our 27 former European allies would be to make the opposite kind of massively over-simplistic prophesy as claiming that everything will turn out ideally for the UK.

Aide from not having a bunch of lazy obnoxious 'Kippers stinking out business in the European Parliament with their obstinate voting patterns (when they can be bothered to vote at all), their relentless expenses scamming and their toxic grandstanding, one of the most obvious potential advantages for the EU could arise in higher education and the development of high skill economies.

Given the circumstances in the English higher education system (the highest tuition fees in the world for study at public universities) it's pretty extraordinary that there isn't already a huge brain drain to the continent where university tuition costs generally range between absolutely free to a few hundred, or maybe a couple of thousand euros per year.

Given the huge disparity in tuition costs between English universities and the continent, Brexit could give European nations a huge advantage in long-term development potential if they play their cards right.

Now that the Tories have scrapped the maintenance grant there is yet another debt disincentive to aspiring university graduates from low income backgrounds, but if the EU nations decide to continue to offer free or significantly cheaper professional qualifications to English students, the hopes of bright aspiring kids from poorer backgrounds could lie on the continent.

It's indisputable that people from ordinary backgrounds are heavily discriminated against in modern Britain. Look at parliament; look at the executive boardrooms of major corporations; look at the judiciary; look at the mainstream media - There is a huge under-representation of people from poor and ordinary backgrounds and a huge over-representation of the 7% who went to fee paying private schools.

A recent study found that workers from lower income class backgrounds are paid an average of £7,000 per year less than people doing exactly the same job who happen to come from privileged backgrounds.

The hopes and dreams of the English working classes could end up with a highly beneficial lifeline if the European Union adopts a talent-spotting higher education policy.

The neglected English lower income classes would get a higher education lifeline, and the adoptive EU member states would get a steady supply of confident and adventurous young people who are motivated to learn.

The benefit of this for the EU is so obvious it barely seems worth stating. If a certain percentage of these English migrant-graduates decide to stay in their country of study in would be a huge advantage in the building a high-skill workforce. Even if the graduate uses their degree as a passport to work in any of the other 27 EU states it would still be of significant benefit to the wider EU.

And why wouldn't these students stay in a country where their working class background and accent doesn't cost them a £7,000 reduction in their salary due to the extraordinary biases of the British class system, but their fluency in English actually offers them an actual career advantage due to the fact that English is the global language and the majority of the world don't give a damn about the particularities of the British accent it's spoken with?

This all depends on whether the EU adopt a progressive strategy of enticing UK students with low fees, and whether the Tories opt for "nuclear Brexit" where they storm away from the debating table with no agreements in place whatever.

Even under "nuclear Brexit" circumstances it would be difficult to see how the Tories could try to prevent bright kids from poorer backgrounds heading for the continent should the EU adopt a deliberate policy of attracting neglected UK talent by providing university education at the same low costs that are afforded to remaining EU citizens.

The number higher education courses taught in English within the 27 remaining EU states is rapidly increasing year on year. It would seem like a counter-productive move for EU states to impose huge fees on English students, but it's obviously entirely possible if the Tories end up turning the Brexit "negotiations" into some kind of bitter ideological battle full of bitter recriminations and self-destructive tit-for-tat retaliations.

Whether the EU adopts a strategy of offering a lifeline to neglected lower income English kids or not is a question that can only be answered by time, and it's obviously far from the only advantage that the EU could continue to seek from Brexit. An exodus of major corporations keen on retaining access to the Single Market is probably the most oft cited potential benefit for the EU. Just consider the effects that kind of business exodus could have on the perceived advantages of having professional qualifications from universities in EU member states.

If there is a shift of high pay jobs to the single market zone, and the cost of university tuition in the EU continues to be significantly cheaper than in England, why wouldn't working class kids with aspirations of a better life take the lifeline out of a deeply divided class-system ridden Tory Brexit Britain and the prospect of a vast (likely unpayable) tuition fee debt, just in order to land a job in which they're paid thousands of pounds a year less than their privileged posh-talking counterparts?

My advice to any English teenager would be to at least consider the option of studying elsewhere in the EU. That right exists now for all of us until our EU citizenship is extinguished by the Tories. Whether it continues to exist depends on the EU's specific post-Brexit strategy. If they decide to use the high fees in England as an advantage to entice bright working class/lower income kids, it could be a huge advantage.

It's obviously not possible to give guarantees under the massively uncertain current circumstances, but it's definitely worth at least looking at what European universities have to offer before deciding to lumber yourself with vast tuition fee debts or to give up the dream of higher education and professional qualifications entirely (as plenty of Tories so obviously want you to).

 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.


Note: I have been careful to differentiate between the English universities and the universities in the rest of the UK. Should Brexit lead to a second Scottish Independence referendum and the break-up of the United Kingdom the lack of massive tuition fees in Scotland could also be used as a long-term development advantage for the Scottish economy by attracting neglected English students from low income backgrounds.