Wednesday 31 May 2017

Amber Rudd said "judge us on our record" so here goes ...

The indisputable highlight of the BBC Election debate that Theresa May chickened out of, was the moment when her human bullet shield Amber Rudd caused hilarity when she tried to defend the Tories' shambolic uncosted manifesto by saying "judge us by our record".

It was a fantastic moment because it showed that the Tory reality-reversing propaganda is no longer washing with the British public.

Here are 40 things from the Tory record for you to judge

Spectacularly missed economic targets
In 2010 the Tories promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015. In 2017 they're still nowhere near eliminating it, and they've openly admitted that they won't be doing it any time before 2021. Over 11 years to do what they promised to do in under 5, and more new public debt created in the process than every single Labour government in history combined? If that's "strong economic management", I'd hate to see what Tories would classify as chaotic, debt-soaring ineptitude.

Longest fall in value of wages since records began

Under Tory rule British workers have suffered the longest sustained decline in the real value of their wages since records began. The fall is so bad that it's the joint worst wage collapse in the developed world with Greece. The difference of course is that Greece did that to their workers because they were forced to by the Troika, the Tories did that to British workers because they wanted to.

The austerity con

After such spectacularly missed targets and George Osborne's departure from Westminster politics it's amazing that millions still believe in his austerity con, but Theresa May is still parroting the same kind of economically illiterate justifications for a blatantly unjustifiable economic agenda. The evidence is now absolutely clear that austerity only succeeded in transferring wealth from the majority to the super rich minority at the expense of the real economy.

NHS cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed £20 billion off the NHS budget. Their current spending plans involve a further £22 billion in funding cuts between 2015 and 2020. Slashing the NHS budget, closing dozens of hospitals and other NHS facilities; reducing services; and laying off tens of thousands of staff would be bad enough in it's own right, but at a time of rapidly increasing demand on NHS services it's a recipe for disaster.

The productivity crisis
The UK is suffering an extreme crisis in relative productivity. The UK lags 35% behind Germany and 30% behind the US. This means that the average UK worker has to work an hour to achieve the same economic output as a German can manage in 39 minutes. The problem is getting worse and worse, and it's easy to understand why. Unhappy and exploited workers don't work as hard as those who feel valued and well paid. Well educated workers are more effective workers than those who have suffered a poor education system. If the UK wants to resolve the productivity crisis it needs to improve wages and working conditions and invest in the education system. The Tories have been doing the polar opposite of that for seven years.

Systematic abuse of disabled people
The amount of appalling schemes and degrading assessment regimes disabled people have to go through under this Tory government is absolutely shocking. There's so much of it I've written a full article detailing over a dozen of the worst things.

Huge rise in child poverty

Since 2010 the number of children growing up in poverty has risen by 400,000. The latest Tory cuts to the child welfare system and in-work benefits are set to plunge another 250,000 kids into lives of poverty.

Railway chaos
As a result of the shambolic Tory privatisation of the railways the UK has the most expensivemost over-crowded and least reliable rail service of any comparable developed European nation. What's more is that the profiteering private companies who operate the services take more in government subsidies than it cost to run the entire system under British Rail!

Corporations paying less tax than their employees
Since 2010 the Tories have reduced the rate of corporation tax paid by the biggest multinationals from 28% to 20%. They plan to cut it even further to just 17% by 2020. This means that the UK has one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the developed world. The global average is 27% and the G7 average is 33.4%. Theresa May has threatened to reduce the corporation tax rate even further too. Labour would reverse the corporation tax cuts and bring the UK back into line with other advanced nations.

Most unaffordable homes ever
Since 2010 the Tory government has overseen the lowest levels of housebuilding since the 1920s. When Theresa May was Home Secretary she increased demand on the nation's housing stock by overseeing the biggest surges of net migration in UK history. This combination of weak supply, very high demand and collapsing wages has pushed house prices to their most unaffordable level ever.

NHS recruitment crisis
One of Theresa May's first acts as Prime Minister was to scrap NHS bursaries, which caused an astonishing 10,000 decline in applications for nursing courses. Add into the mix the fact that NHS staff from EU countries are quitting the NHS in record numbers and there's a massive NHS recruitment crisis on the cards.

The school privatisation agenda
An awful lot of people don't seem to have even noticed that the Tories have been privatising thousands of state owned schools, property and all, for free, into the hands of private sector pseudo-charities, many of which are owned by major Tory party donors (like Philip "Carpetright" Harris, Alan Lewis and John Nash). Read this article about the scandalous Perry Beeches academy chain to get an idea of the seriousness of this Tory vandalism of our education system.

Rip-off tuition fees

With the assistance of their lying Lib-Dem sidekicks the Tories introduced £9,000 per year tuition fees for university students, meaning English students now face the highest fees in the world for study at public universities. The fees are so high that 2/3 of graduates will never be able to pay off their student debts, despite paying a 9% aspiration tax on their disposable incomes for their entire working lives.

Huge rise in Food bank dependency

The Tories have seen a huge rise in food bank dependency since 2010. Over a million food parcels were handed out by the Trussell Trust last year, and they're just one of the food bank organisations. New research has shown that areas that have suffered the rollout of the Tories' hopelessly botched Universal Credit scheme have significantly higher rates of food bank dependency than areas where it hasn't been rolled out yet.

Unqualified teachers
In 2010 the Tories changed the rules and scrapped the requirement that teachers actually be qualified to do the job. Since then the education system has been flooded with ever more unqualified teachers, rising to 22,500 by 2015. It's worth remembering that the education secretary who brought in the policy of flooding our schools with unqualified teachers was Michael Gove, you know, the guy who claimed that the UK has "had enough of experts" during the EU referendum campaign.

Secret courts
In 2013 the Tories (in coalition with the so-called Liberal Democrats) introduced a new law to create secret courts in which a person can have their fate decided in a courtroom they are not allowed to enter, on charges they are not allowed to know, based on evidence they are not allowed to see. In secret courts even the person's lawyer is barred from entering the courtroom or seeing the evidence. These shocking secrecy rules don't just apply to criminal courts or terrorism related offences, they can be used in civil cases too! Theresa May was the Home Office minister responsible for this attack on the concept of open justice.

Since coming to power in 2010 the Tories have been privatising public assets at a faster rate than any government in UK history (even Thatcher). Many of their privatisation scams have been completely senseless and resulted in vast rip-offs for the British public; they sold Royal Mail off at over £1 billion below its real market value; they sold off the publicly owned banks at massive losses to the taxpayer; they've carved up and given away £billions worth of NHS services
they gave away thousands of publicly owned school properties, for free, to unaccountable private pseudo-charitiesthey've sold off the student loan books at a loss; and they sold off the UK government's stake in Eurostar for a tiny fraction of what it cost us to set it up.

Foreign ownership of British rail franchises
One of the most ridiculous things about the Tory privatisation ideology is that the only country that is barred from bidding for UK rail franchises is ... err ... the UK! Vast swathes of our rail system are now operated by foreign governments like Germany, France, the Netherlands, Singapore and Hong Kong. These foreign governments then extract their taxpayer-subsidised profits back to their own countries to be used to improve their own rail systems. The Netherlands state rail operator Abellio now operates so many train services here that their UK network is two and a half times the size of the entire Netherlands state railway!

Social care crisis

The Tories have slashed £4.6 billion from the social care budget at a time of rising demand due to the UK's ageing population demographics. This social care funding crisis has coincided with the biggest increase in the death rate since the 1960s, and is putting an immense amount of pressure on already overstretched NHS services and unpaid carers.

Tax-dodgers winning government contracts
The Tories have brought giant outsourcing corporations in to do all kinds of government functions. Huge numbers of these corporate leeches are now having their contracts renewed automatically with no cost-benefit analysis and no competitive tendering process. The Labour Party have proposed a new law to ban outsourcing companies from receiving government contracts if they're based in tax havens. The Tories are quite happy to continue using taxpayers' cash to pay tax-dodging corporate outsourcing companies to do the work the government should be doing itself.

Filibustering is an incredibly cynical strategy politicians use to block proposed legislation by talking and talking until the debate runs out of time. Some of the proposed laws that have been derailed by Tory MPs deliberately blabbering on for hours to run the clock down include first aid lessons for school children, free hospital parking for carers, cheaper off-patent drugs for the NHS, and a bill to prevent revenge evictions by landlords who have been asked to maintain their properties. Several of these bills had cross-party support, but were deliberately wrecked by a handful of hard-right Tories like Philip Davies, Andrew Rosindell, Sam Gyimah, Alistair Burt and Cristopher Chope.

Fire service cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed 30% off the fire service budget resulting in the loss of 10,000 firefighter jobs and the closure of 39 fire stations. Between 2015 and 2020 they intend to slash another 20%. In 2015/16 the number of fire deaths increased by 17.4%.

Prisons chaos
Violence, riots, widespread drug use, escapes, chronic understaffing and soaring suicide rates. The UK prison system is in chaos. One of the worst prisons of all is HMP Northumberland that was privatised by the Tories in 2014. It's supposed to be a training prison to give prisoners jobs skills so they're less likely to return to crime. At HMP Northumberland a private contractor Novus was giving prisoners pictures of Peppa Pig to colour in as their employability training, all at the taxpayers' expense of course.

Unfair dismissal fees
In 2013 the Tory led government introduced £1,200 fees in order for employees to seek unfair dismissal compensation from their employers. So now if your boss sacks you unfairly (for your age, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political orientation, trade union activities, or refusal to suck his cock) you have to find over a grand in order to go to an employment tribunal. The Tory presumption of course being that your boss is a great guy and all of his employees are worthless scum, and the fewer people who take him to tribunal the better. The person who came up with these fees is a major Tory party donor called Adrian Beecroft who also runs the payday loan company Wonga (which would obviously benefit from a significant increase in the number of people being unfairly dismissed and priced out of seeking compensation). Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to remove this economic barrier to justice by scrapping employment tribunal fees.

Police cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories axed 34,000 police jobs. Between 2015 and 2020 they intend to axe tens of thousands more. The police have managed to juke the statistics by non-recording vast numbers of reported crimes, but the impact of these police cuts can't be hidden off the violent crime statistics, which have increased by 96% between 2012 and 2016.

Flood defence spending
Of all of the Tory cuts their decision to slash the flood defence spending budget is one of the most stupid. For each £1 spent on flood defence spending the nation saves £8 in avoided damage and disruption. Several of the areas that had their flood defence schemes cancelled in 2010-11 ended up suffering severe flooding. As a departing gift after resigning in disgrace David Cameron handed a DBE to Caroline Spelman who was the Tory politician who oversaw this ideologically driven lunacy!

Adult education
Adult education colleges had their budgets slashed by 24% between 2010 and 2015. The vocational training budget was slashed even more, by 40%. Over a million adult learning places have disappeared since 2010. It's beyond obvious that re-educating adult workers is absolutely vital in the modern era where the concept of jobs for life has been all but eradicated. Any government intent on developing a modern high-tech economy would invest in adult education in order to provide workers with the skills retraining they need to move between jobs. The Tories have been doing the exact opposite.

Forced closure of NHS services
During the 2010 General Election the Tories promised to stop the forced closure of NHS services. In 2012 the Tory government attempted to force the closure of Lewisham Hospital in South London. In 2014 the Tories introduced new legislation to make it much easier for them to force the closure of NHS services and facilities. Since 2015 the Tories have been working on a secret plan to shut down dozens of A&E departments, maternity wards, walk in centres and mental health facilities up and down the country.

Sweetheart tax deals
One of the sickest things about the Tory government is the way they allowed HMRC to draw up sweetheart tax deals with massive corporations like Google, Starbucks and Vodafone. Why should Google get to negotiate a 3% tax deal when ordinary working people have to pay what they actually owe?

Democracy under threat
The proposed Tory Great Repeal Bill is an astounding assault on the concept of democracy and accountability. If this bill passes it will give Tory government ministers the ability to rewrite tens of thousands of UK laws with no parliamentary scrutiny. If people supported Brexit because the EU is too undemocratic, it would take an astounding display of doublethink them to now be supporting Theresa May and the biggest anti-democratic assault on the UK in history that they're planning.

The Snoopers' Charter
Theresa May's Snoopers' Charter is the most extreme state surveillance law ever introduced in a developed nation. It allows over 20,000 government employees to trawl through the private communication data of innocent people (including loads of non-terrorism related organisations like the Food Standards Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Gambling Commission). It also allows the state to tell lies in court in order to secure convictions.

Dictators and despots

Theresa May and the Tories love sucking up to dictators and despots like the Islamist tyrants in Saudi Arabia and the Turkish autocrat Recep Erdoğan. The disgraced Liam Fox was even in the Philippines to suck up to the brutal dictator Rodrigo Duterte and talk up our "shared values".

In-Work benefit cuts
The majority of people receiving non-pension benefits in Tory Britain are the working poor, not the unemployed. When the Tories slash things like housing benefit and tax credits, what they're actually doing is further impoverishing the working poor. Incredibly they have repeatedly introduced new welfare cuts to make working families poorer whilst simultaneously spouting the Orwellian propaganda that they're "making work pay" as they do it!

The trade deficit
The UK is suffering a massive problem with trade deficits. This means the UK imports far more than it exports. The problem has been going on for a long time, but since 2010 the problem has been getting a lot worse, with the record being smashed over and again. In the month of the Brexit referendum the trade deficit in goods swelled to an astonishing £12.5 billion, the highest ever recorded. The UK's terrible balance of payments deficit is offset a bit by financial services export and vehicle exports, but a Tory hard Brexit would throw a massive spanner in the works, especially if they go for the "no deal" cliff edge strop Theresa May has been threatening.

Contempt for human rights
Theresa May has a burning contempt for your human rights. She has expressed her determination to tear up the European Convention on Human Rights on many occasions, and join Belarus as the only European nation that doesn't adhere to the human rights legislation that was bestowed on Europe by the British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

Mental health funding cuts
The Tories love talking up how much they care about mental health conditions, but their actual track record is disgraceful. Between 2010 and 2015 they slashed £600 million from mental health services. They're still slashing away now. In fact they even advised the corporate outsourcing companies carrying out their disability assessments to actively discriminate against disabled people.

Taxpayer subsidised malice
One of the worst things about the Tory government is the fact that several of their malicious anti-welfare schemes actually cost more to administer in corporate outsourcing fees than they will ever save in reduced benefits payments. The Work Capacity Assessment regime for sick and disabled people and their draconian sanctions system are both examples of socially ruinous schemes that actually cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds to operate.

Rising inequality

While UK workers suffered the worst collapse in the value of their wages on record the tiny super rich minority literally doubled their wealth. There is an abundance of evidence showing that the more unequal a society is the less economically prosperous it is, and the unhappier the people are. Take from the poor to give to the rich, that's always been the Tory agenda. The worst thing is that these malicious reverse Robin Hoods even had the gall to tell us "we're all in this together" as they were deliberately rigging society even more in favour of the tiny super-rich minority than it already was!

Armed services cuts
Between 2010 and 2015 the Tories slashed over 33,000 jobs in the armed services. The army has been pared back to its smallest size since the Napoleonic War! Meanwhile the Tories have been blasting money like it's going out of fashion on aircraft carriers with no aircraftpaying 40 Admirals and 260 Captains when we've only got 19 warships, and the 205 billion renewal of Britain's privatised supply of weapons of mass destruction.

Biggest education funding cuts in decades
The Tories are planning the biggest education funding cuts in decades. Follow this link to find out how much they're planning to slash from the budget of your local school.

The Hinkley Point C scandal
The Hinkley Point C deal is one of the most scandalous affairs in UK political history. The Tories have agreed to bribe the French and Chinese into building us a nuclear power station by promising to use taxpayers' cash to pay them double the market rate for electricity for 35 years, then cover the cleanup cost at the taxpayers' expense too. The reason we have to bribe foreign governments into building our nuclear infrastructure for us is that the Tories privatised the UK's nuclear expertise in the 1990s, and the private company was then allowed to be purchased by the French government.

And another thing

Just in case you're not convinced by the 40 (carefully sourced) things I've listed here, listen to Mark McGowan's reaction when Theresa May used this "judge us on our record" line earlier in the election campaign:


If you judge the Tories by their unspeakably dismal record in government then there's no justification for voting Tory at all (unless you're one of the super-rich elitists who have doubled your wealth thanks to the Tories rigging the economy in your favour).

The only reason they say words like "judge us on our record" is that they're assuming that the British public are too intellectually lazy to actually judge their political record, and instead simply assume that the record must be good because they're boasting about it.

Perhaps we're not quite as thick as the Tories assumed us to be?

We'll find out in a few 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.


Theresa May's latest excuse for her cowardice is the worst yet!

Theresa May's latest excuse for chickening out of the election debate is the most ridiculous yet.

When confronted by journalists about why she was refusing to appear in the debates, she did a crackpot forced laugh, then tried to claim that Jeremy Corbyn is at fault for wanting to appear on the telly (as if putting yourself and your views before public scrutiny is some kind of abominable thing for a political leader to do), and that he should be paying more attention to "thinking about Brexit negotiations".

There's so much wrong with this excuse it's absurd.

The ticking clock

Firstly, and most obviously, if Theresa May was so concerned about the importance of Brexit negotiations, then she would never have called this self-serving snap-election in the first place.

How is it even possible for her to think the public are thick enough to buy her excuse that Brexit negotiations are suddenly so incredibly important to her, when she decided to put the negotiations on hold for two months to do this election when she thought she had an unassailable poll lead?

How does setting the clock ticking on the most complex and risky set of negotiations and then calling a two month holiday in order to conduct a totally self-serving snap election demonstrate anything other than contempt for the seriousness of the situation we're facing?

Amber Rudd

If the idea of appearing before the public is such a laughable concept, why on earth has Theresa May decided to send the Home Secretary Amber Rudd in her place?

If the concept is contemptible, then just boycott it. If it's not such a waste of time appear yourself.

This halfway solution is yet another demonstration of directionless leadership. She decided not to go, then instead of admit she was wrong and actually turn up, she's sending one of her underlings to act as her human bullet shield.

She's too cowardly too appear herself because she knows she'd get eviscerated, but she's too directionless to stick by her decision so she's sending out Amber Rudd to take all the criticism on her behalf.

That forced laugh

Perhaps Theresa May's image consultants have told her to try to lighten up a bit because her snarky and brittle persona is putting people off?

We all remember that bonkers shoulders-back fake laugh she did at Prime Ministers' Questions. She looks completely deranged when she puts on a laugh, so forced laughter hardly seems to be a sensible approach.

What else can she do though. Staring furiously, angrily shaking her head when she's presented with facts she doesn't like, and launching into furious rants when things aren't going her way are hardly mannerisms that are going to win people over.

The transparency of her false laugh is perhaps the strongest indication of why she won't appear in the live debates. She doesn't want people to see how her scripted persona is completely fake as she descends into either crackpot displays of faux hilarity, or furious snarky jabbering.

Why should Corbyn be preparing Brexit negotiations?

The idea that Jeremy Corbyn is wasting his time subjecting himself to public scrutiny because he should be preparing for the Brexit negotiations is an extremely odd argument for Theresa May to make.

The only way to interpret May's words is that she thinks Corbyn is actually going to win the election, otherwise why on earth would he need to concentrate on his Brexit negotiating stance, instead of reaching out to members of the public?

Watch it for yourself

Just look at the state of it. This cowardly and directionless woman isn't fit to run a bath, let alone a country.


Theresa May is a directionless coward who will say literally anything to excuse her yellow-bellied behaviour, no matter how nonsensical.

She thinks she can get away with it because she believes the UK public to be a gullible bunch of halfwits who will believe any old word salad, as long as it's presented in a posh accent.

It's up to us, the British public, to prove her wrong.

 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 30 May 2017

Bridging the generational divide

The results of the latest ICM poll paint an extraordinary picture of a shocking inter-generational divide.

Just look at the graph in the header image and consider the fact that Labour are outperforming the Tories by almost 5:1 amongst the younger generation, who see Jeremy Corbyn's transformational investment based manifesto as a beacon of hope for a future with decent opportunities after seven bleak and ruinous years of Tory asset stripping.

Unbelievably, despite the Tories' despicable Dementia Tax policy of imposing a huge stealth inheritance tax on anyone who hasn't hidden their assets in shady offshore shell companies, the over-65s are going to come out in force for the party that plans to strip them of their winter fuel allowance, scrap the triple lock on their pensions, and asset strip them if they end up suffering from age-related degenerative diseases.

It's alarming that so many millions of pensioners are not only intent on voting to allow the Tories to trash the aspirations of their grandchildren by gutting education funding, keeping exploitative zero hours contracts, enforcing the highest fees at public universities anywhere in the world, chronically under-investing in infrastructure and innovation, and gutting public services in order to fund their tax cuts for corporations and the super rich, they're also intent on voting against their own interests too.

For goodness sake why?

Obviously not all pensioners are intent on voting for a dystopian future where the aspirations of the young are crushed and the assets of the old are asset stripped in order to fund tax cuts for very wealthiest in society, but a huge majority are.

The reasons why are not clear cut and identical for all elderly Tory voters, but here are two of the big ones.

Echo chambers

The first big reason is that the older generations are very much more likely to be stuck in a mainstream media echo chamber, where their only sources of political news are the television, a single (incredibly biased) newspaper or their favourite radio station.

Independent media simply has no way to reach the large percentage of pensioners who don't even have access to the Internet, let alone social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Mainstream journalists often talk derisively about social media echo chambers, and the problem of selection bias on social media is undoubtedly a real one ... but anyone who thinks that people who use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are suffering a worse echo chamber problem than those who only ever rely on mainstream media for their news has got the situation so ridiculously backwards it's beyond parody.

Mental decline

There's no polite or politically correct way to put this so I'm just going to come out and say it (with evidence to back it up of course): The older people get on average, the more gullible they are, the crapper their mathematical abilities, the more they're likely to over-estimate their own expertise, and the more attracted to right-wing authoritarian leaders they become.

The Online Privacy Foundation carried out some very interesting analysis into the political psychology of the 2016 EU referendum vote. You can view the results here.

One of the most remarkable results was that Brexit voters are very much more attracted to right-wing authoritarianism than Remain voters, but also that older generations are very much more attracted to the right-wing tyrant style of leadership than the younger generations (here's another study into older people and right-wing authoritarianism)

Theresa May is undoubtedly the most right-wing authoritarian Prime Minister the UK has ever had

Yes Margaret Thatcher crushed whole communities in pursuit of her hard-right ideological agenda, but she never openly fantasised about trashing the European Convention on Human Rights and scrapping our human rights!

Another thing that the research revealed is that the older people get the worse their critical thinking skills and mathematical abilities become, meaning they're very much less able to see through shockingly misleading political propaganda, blatant smear jobs, misleading push polls and the like.

People like to think it's the young who are gullible and naive, but the research shows that the wisdom of old age is a total myth. Once you start getting older, you start becoming ever more susceptible to believing in ridiculous economic fairy stories and mathematical jiggery-pokery.

One other thing that the research shows is that older people are very much more likely to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is the problem that people with a very limited understanding of a subject are liable to significantly overestimate their level of expertise, while actual experts are liable to underestimate their level of expertise (the more you know, the more you realise you don't know too).

The older people get, the more likely it is that they end up as a blowhard know-it-all on all subjects, even subjects they actually know next to nothing about.

Obviously not all old people suffer this kind of mental decline (the best ways to avoid this kind of mental decline are mental and physical exercise, a good diet, and avoiding brain cell wrecking substances like alcohol as much as possible) but on average most people do end with declining cognitive abilities.

Most older people end up losing their ability to critique the things they're told, seriously over-estimating their own expertise, and craving harsh dictatorial right-wing governance.

What we can do

The only way we can try to stop the older generations from wrecking the aspirations of their children and grandchildren is to talk to them.

We have to try to bridge the generational divide by getting them to rekindle the skeptical abilities they had in their youth.

We have to try to make them understand that the majority of the mainstream media, and especially the right-wing dominated newspapers are trying to con them into voting for the Tories.

Older people tend to suffer significant mental decline, but one hugely important thing that really stands in older people's favour is that they are very much more likely to be conscientious

They're far more likely to care about other people, behave selflessly, and put other people's needs above their own.

Appealing to older people's-interest is a reasonable strategy. Telling them that the Tories are going to rip them off by scrapping their winter fuel payments, abandoning the triple lock, and asset stripping them if they get ill and need social care might work.

However the cynical Tories know that they're more likely to be conscientious, so they've dressed these ideologically driven economic assaults against pensioners up as necessary sacrifices for the greater good. 

The Tories are so depraved that they know older people can be tricked into accepting massive personal impoverishment by telling them it's for the greater good, rather than a way of funding yet another round of lavish tax breaks for corporations and the super-rich (as it actually is).

If you're going to try to appeal to an older person's self interest, it's absolutely vital that you make sure they understand that the Tories are lying through their teeth: That the cuts aren't for the greater good at all, but actually a way of funding even more giveaways for the millionaires and billionaires.

Probably a much better way of appealing to older people is to talk about the significant differences the Labour manifesto makes for the younger generations, their own grandchildren.

Talk about how the Tories are going to scrap free school meals and slash education funding so the kids of today have worse opportunities than previous generations of children.

Talk about student debts. Explain that tuition fees in the UK are the highest in the whole world, and that nearly all the good jobs need a degree these days. Tell them that an incredible 70% of today's students will never be able to actually pay off their student debts despite paying a 9% tax for their entire working lives.

Talk about exploitative zero hours contracts and how they represent a modern incarnation the unstable employment days of the 1930s where dockers and steelworkers waking up at the crack of dawn to queue at the gates in the desperate hope of being called to work, and having to go home with absolutely nothing if their name wasn't picked.

Help them understand that the Tories aren't just taking wealth from the older generations, they're robbing wealth and opportunities from the younger generations too, just to stuff the already bulging the pockets of the super-rich elitists who totally bankroll the Tory party.

Give them a copy of the Labour Manifesto to read, and ask them to consider it for themselves. Tell them that you really like it, and that they should disregard what the Tories and the mainstream media say about it and judge it for themselves.

Good luck

The only way the Tories can be stopped from getting a whopping great majority, with which they can rob all generations in order to line the pockets of their super-rich mates, is if we all talk to our parents and grandparents and plead with them to disbelieve the Tory lies, think of themselves, and above all think of their grandchildren's futures.

Good luck.

 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.


9 things every voter needs to know about the Corbyn-IRA smear campaign

We all knew perfectly well that the billionaire right-wing press barons and their lackeys in the Tory party would attempt to smear the hell out of Jeremy Corbyn during this election campaign. 

They hate his policies of standing up for ordinary people and repatriating vital British infrastructure and services out of the hands of multinational corporations and foreign government like China and Qatar.

They hate his policies so much they're absolutely fixated on trying to destroy his reputation with anything they've got, and his early involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process is seriously the best they can come up with, because they know it feeds into the anti-Irish bigotry that still unfortunately exists in Great Britain.

In this article I'm going to set the record straight by detailing 9 things that every voter should know about the Corbyn-IRA smear campaign.

1. Condemning the IRA bombings (part one)

When Jeremy Corbyn was interviewed by Sophy Ridge during the 2017 election campaign he clearly condemned the IRA bombings, but the Tories outright lied that he didn't.

The right-wing propagandists really seem to believe that people will mindlessly lap up their reality-reversing lies rather than quickly checking things for themselves (see video)

2. Condemning the IRA bombings (part two)

Anyone who says that Jeremy Corbyn has "never" condemned the IRA bombings is lying through their teeth. In 1994 Corbyn signed a parliamentary motion on the 20th anniversary of the IRA pub bombing in Birmingham which described the attack as a deplorable terrorist atrocity.

It's on the parliamentary record here for all to see.

3. Misrepresentations (Sinn Féin are not the IRA)

Anyone sharing pictures of Jeremy Corbyn with people like Gerry Adams or Martin McGuinness to "prove" that he met the IRA is either being thick, or totally disingenuous.

Adams and McGuinness were not the IRA, they were leaders of the democratic political party Sinn Féin, which is the political wing of the Irish Republican movement, not the now-disbanded terrorist faction.

People who share these pictures are either so blinded by anti-Irish bigotry that they can't differentiate between a political party and a terrorist organisation, or they know the difference perfectly well, but they're sharing the pictures in order to feed into the anti-Irish bigotry of people they consider to gullible and easily led.

4. Peacemaker

In 2013 Jeremy Corbyn was awarded the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award for his efforts to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. 

You can read his acceptance speech here.

5. The Loyalists

The right-wing smear merchants are always desperate to bring up the fact that Corbyn met with Irish republicans, but they're a lot more reticent about the fact he also met plenty of Loyalists too in his campaign for peace. 

Corbyn met with Gary McMichael and David Ervine (Ervine was a jailed loyalist terrorist turned politician for the PUP), and he also spoke regularly with Ian Paisley who, according to his widow Eileen, considered Corbyn to be "likeable", "courteous", "polite" and "a gentleman".

In light of the indisputable fact that Ian Paisley was a fierce opponent of Irish republicanism, why on earth would he say such things about a guy, who according to the Tory smears, was undermining the loyalist cause by promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict?

6. Openness vs Secrecy

Corbyn spoke openly to Irish republicans and Ulster Loyalists during the 1980s. Nobody is denying that.

The problem for the Tories is that declassified records prove that Margaret Thatcher was secretly negotiating direct with the IRA terrorists at the time. The shocking thing isn't that she was negotiating with terrorists though, it's the fact that she outright lied to the British public over and again every time she repeated her "we do not negotiate with terrorists" phrase.

People who attack Corbyn for openly talking peace, whilst refusing to condemn Thatcher's secret negotiations with the IRA, or the succession of lies she told to the British public are clearly as happy with secrecy and lies from right-wingers as they are furious with openness and honesty from left-wingers.

7. Abject Tory hypocrisy (that councillor)

If right-wingers really honestly cared about criticising politicians with links to the IRA, why is it that they're perfectly happy to have an ex-IRA terrorist and arms smuggler serving as a Tory councillor in Croydon?

You can find more details on this ex-IRA Tory politician in this article, or by Googling "Maria Gatland" for yourself.

8. Boris Johnson's super-hypocrisy

Of all the people resorting to IRA-Corbyn smears, the crap-haired buffoon Boris Johnson surely has to be the most hypocritical.

Not only did Boris share a picture of Corbyn with a member of Sinn Féin to "prove" that he met the IRA (refer back to point three and draw your own conclusions about whether Boris is being intensely thick or sickeningly disingenuous) he also claimed that this picture of Corbyn and McGuinness in the 1990s (while the peace process was really beginning to move forward) was proof that Corbyn is untrustworthy!

An accusation of untrustworthiness from a man who repeatedly lied that the NHS would get £350 million a week extra after Brexit!

Even if you agree with Brexit, only the worst kind of political tribalist could possibly try to argue that Boris brazenly lying to the British public like that in order to swing the vote was acceptable and trustworthy conduct.

9. Sheer bloody desperation

Perhaps the most important point of all is the sheer desperation that these Tory-IRA smears demonstrate.

They don't have any positive policies of their own to promote. They don't have any coherent criticisms of Corbyn's policies. So all they have left is a sickening smear campaign in the desperate hope that a combination of public fact aversion and anti-Irish bigotry is enough to put people off voting in favour of Labour's transformational manifesto.

They don't have a single legitimate argument in favour of themselves, or against Labour's policies so they're resorting to the dirtiest muck-slinging tactics possible.

I'll leave you with a quote from Margaret Thatcher about that kind of politics: 

"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." - Margaret Thatcher

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