Thursday 28 September 2017

Nick Robinson and the Westminster bubble

The BBC's Nick Robinson (a former chair of the Oxford University Conservative Association) has desperately tried to discredit independent media by saying that criticism of the BBC is so persistent that it's negatively affecting public perceptions of mainstream media, and also accused independent media of living in a "social media bubble".

I'll tell you what really negatively affects people's perceptions of the BBC. It's stuff like the BBC politics editor Robbie Gibb moving directly from the supposedly impartial BBC directly to Theresa May's propaganda team at 10 Downing Street, BBC journalists like Laura Kuenssberg fabricating fake news stories to attack Jeremy Corbyn and being allowed to get away with it without punishment, and the shockingly biased BBC coverage of stuff like the Scottish Independence referendum (massive anti-Independence bias that was obvious to all but the most rabid of Unionists) and the General Election debates (Jeremy Corbyn getting relentlessly grilled on his sticky subjects while Theresa May was tossed one ridiculous softball question after another).

As for living in bubbles, it's not the diverse range of independent media journalists who are living in a deluded political bubble, it's clearly the mainstream media journalists who operate in the cosy Westminster clique alongside the politicians they're supposed to be holding to account.

How else is it possible to explain that the political class and Westminster bubble journos were both so ridiculously out of touch with the public mood that their only debate about Theresa May's vanity election was whether she'd end up with a super-majority of 100+ or a mega-majority of 150+?

Mainstream media journalists have become so absorbed in the Westminster political bubble that they've ended up uncritically repeating the tropes that are circulating amongst the privileged political class (many of whom went to the exact same elitist private schools as they did) instead of actually trying to hold the political class to account for their actions. 

All too often mainstream journos just regurgitate these delusional tropes from Westminster bubble as if they're news, whilst basically ignoring the serious real life issues faced by ordinary people (the lower orders) like the unprecedented ongoing Tory wage slump since 2010, the systematic abuse of disabled people, the housing crisis, and the critical state of the NHS, the education system, local government services, and the rail network.

Their total immersion in the insular Westminster bubble perspective is the reason so many mainstream media journos were flabbergasted and completely incapable of understanding how Theresa May lost her majority on election night.

The gradual realisation that independent media had a significant role to play in the result that took the mainstream journos by such surprise has got them fired up and angry.

They're furious because they see themselves as the true and only legitimate gatekeepers of public opinion, and they can't stand the idea that uppity plebs from ordinary backgrounds are now using social media to influence public opinion away from the predetermined news agenda favoured by the elitist establishment class of Westminster politicians, mainstream media hacks, and corporate fat cats.

People like Nick Robinson are outraged because they tried every propaganda trick in the book to guide the public into handing Theresa May a huge parliamentary majority, but we didn't do as we were told, shopping around for news that better matches our own perception of reality than the ludicrous tropes that emanate from the Westminster bubble and get magnified by the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media.

Just hours after Robinson fearfully aimed both barrels at independent media the Tories shot a massive great hole in his already sinking argument by parachuting the former chair of the BBC Trust Rona Fairhead into the unelected House of Lords to take up a ministerial position in Theresa May's government!

How on earth is anyone expected to believe that the BBC are actually an impartial public service broadcaster when these days they're obviously more of a fertile recruiting ground for new members of the Tory government than an institution committed to holding the Tory government to account?

But Robinson and his ilk would have you believe that any critical coverage of the revolving door between the BBC and the Tory party, or the desperately deteriorating standard of BBC political coverage, is some kind of nasty conspiracy spread by sinister forces who are intent on upsetting the natural order of things.

As far as they're concerned the intimate relationship between the BBC and the Tory government is all above board and nothing to worry about.

And it's this complacency and complicity that is the main reason that their influence is being gradually eroded by independent media journalists who cover politics from outside the confines of the insidious Westminster bubble.

 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 Robert Kimbell guide to creating shockingly misleading Brexiteer statistics

Robert Kimbell is a Brexit fanatic, Ukipper and Twitter celebrity. He's regularly lauded as an economics expert by the hard right, but in this article I'm going to expose the cynical cherry-picking trick he keeps using to create utterly misleading EU-bad narratives.

A quick browse through Kimbell's Twitter feed reveals his extreme Brexit bias, with links to fanatically right-wing Brexit propaganda sites like Westmonster and Brexit Central strewn amongst links to the pro-Brexit right-wing corporate media (Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph, S*n) and Retweets of numerous hard-Brexit celebrities and commentators.

Kimbell's favourite Twitter trick is to pick a country in the EU that has fallen down the global GDP ranking a little bit since their entry to the EU, and then compare them to a random country from the developing world that has risen slightly in the global GDP ranking over the same period (see screenshots).

Beware of crude GDP figures

Anyone with a bit of basic economic nous understands that relying on crude GDP figures is a surefire way of creating misleading economic narratives.

Take the talk of the so-called Tory "economic recovery" between 2010-2015 that helped them win their unexpected majority at the 2015 General Election.

It is true that the UK's GDP grew a bit between 2010 and 2015, but what the Tories omitted to mention was that nearly all of that economic growth was generated by the rising population caused by Theresa May's all-time record breaking increases in the net immigration rate.

Between 2010 and 2015 our economy was only really growing because of the all-time high levels of immigration, with the amount of economic activity per person (GDP per capita) remaining well below the level it was before the economic crisis.

Reworking the crude GDP con for Brexiteering

Kimbell's approach is that if the Tories could win a General Election by pushing a shockingly misleading crude GDP narrative, he can use the same trick to make the ongoing Brexit shambles look like a fantastic idea.

Thus he's repeatedly used comparisons of crude GDP figures on Twitter to make EU countries look like failures compared to growing economies in the developing world.

I'll go through five examples of him using this trick to show how utterly misleading his little anti-EU propaganda tropes are.

Hungary vs Bangladesh

Since Hungary joined the EU in 2004 it has fallen from 44th to 58th in the global GDP ranking. In the same time Bangladesh has risen from 57th to 46th.

What Kimbell has omitted to mention is that Bangladesh has a population of 163 million people (the 8th most populous country on earth), while Hungary has a population of 9.8 million (the 92nd most populous).

A look at the International Monetary Fund's GDP per capita figures reveal that Hungary is the 45th most prosperous country per person ($27,482), while Bangladesh is 139th ($3,891 per person).

Additionally, since 2004 the GDP per capita in Hungary has increased by over $4,000 per person (more than the entire current GDP per capita of Bangladesh), while GDP per capita in Bangladesh has increased by less than $1,400 per person.

The idea that Bangladesh is now surpassing Hungary thanks to the failure of the EU is based on a crude statistical trick that completely ignores the fact that the population of Bangladesh is over 16 times the size of Hungary, and has in fact grown by over 20 million (double the population of Hungary) since Hungary joined the EU just 13 years ago!

Luxembourg vs Oman

Since 1960 Luxembourg it has fallen from 55th to 76th in the global GDP ranking. In the same time Oman has risen from 97th to 75th.

What Kimbell has omitted to mention is that Oman has a population of 4.6 million people (the 125th most populous country on earth), while Luxembourg has a population of below 600,000 (the 166th most populous).

The question shouldn't be why has Luxemburg fallen behind Oman, but why has it taken Oman so long to catch up given their population is over seven times the size, and the large oil and natural gas reserves they've been exploiting for decades.

The International Monetary Fund's GDP per capita figures reveal that Luxembourg is the 2nd most prosperous country per person ($104,003), while Oman is 21st ($46,698 per person).

Omitting to mention the fact that Oman has a population seven times the size of Luxembourg, the fossil fuel bonanza that has fuelled Oman's climb up the GDP rankings, and the fact that the people of Luxembourg are actually the 2nd most prosperous on earth to create an EU-bad narrative are all indications of the lengths Brexiteers will go to in order to con people into supporting Brexit.

Austria vs Nigeria

Since Austria joined the EU in 1995 it has fallen from 21st to 28th in the global GDP ranking. In the same time Nigeria has risen from 57th to 27th.

Again Kimbell is using the same trick of ignoring population growth, ignoring GDP per capita, and ignoring a huge fossil fuel bonanza going on in the cherry-picked developing nation. Here are some of the stats.

Austria has a population of 8.8 million (the 96th most populous nation). Nigeria has a population of 193.5 million (the 7th most populous).

A look at the International Monetary Fund's GDP per capita figures reveal that Austria is the 19th most prosperous country per person ($48,005), while Nigeria is 126th ($5,942 per person).

Nigeria has a population over 20 times the size of Austria's, yet they've only just climbed to one place ahead of them in the crude GDP statistics, and the amount of economic activity per person in Nigeria is one eighth of the amount per person in Austria.

In fact, since 1995 the population of Nigeria has grown by 85 million people, so in order to surpass Austria by one place in the crude GDP rankings, Nigeria has had to increase its population by over 9 times the total population of Austria!

In the same period GDP per capita in Austria has grown by over $10,000 per person, an increase of almost double the current total GDP per capita in Nigeria!

The idea that wealthy Austria is somehow being held back by the EU because their economy has fallen one place behind a poverty stricken developing nation country with over 20x the population is exactly the kind of hopelessly delusional drivel that hard-right Brexiters thrive on.

Slovenia vs Angola

When Slovenia joined the EU in 2004 it had the 65th biggest economy, now it's 85th. In the same period Angola has risen from 81st to 63rd.

It's exactly the same trick again.

In 2005 (one year after Slovenia joined the EU) Angola had a population of 16.5 million, now it has a population of 28.4 million (48th in the world). In the same period the population of Slovenia has changed from 2.00 million to 2.06 million (146th).

One country has almost doubled its population in the period, whilst the other has remained almost completely static. Is it any wonder that a country which now has a population eight times the size of the other has edged above them in the crude GDP ranking?

A look at the much more informative GDP per capita rankings paints a very much less misleading picture. According the the IMF, Slovenia are 37th in the world at £32,085 per person, while Angola are 120th at $6,844 per person.

The effort to attack the EU by painting Slovenia as some kind of failing dump and Angola as a thriving success story based solely on crude GDP figures is clearly the work of a person who takes their audience as a pack of absolutely gullible idiots.

Malta vs Zambia

Kimbell asserts that Malta has fallen from 124 to 132 in the crude GDP rankings, while Zambia has climbed from 126 to 107.

Between 2004 and the present the population of Malta has increased slightly from 401,000 to 437,000. In the same period the population of Zambia has increased from 11.4 million to 16.4 million.

In 2004 Zambia had a population over 28 times the size of Malta, and now it has a population over 37 times the size of Malta. It's not a surprise that the Zambian economy is now bigger than the Maltese economy at all. What is surprising is that they were still behind the tiny island of Malta just 13 years ago.

Let's compare the GDP per capita of failing Malta and booming Zambia:

Zambia are 140th in the world with $3,880 in economic activity per person per year. Malta are 28th with $39,834.

Only the most agenda driven fanatic could try to paint wealthy and stable Malta as some kind of failing economic basket case compared to poverty stricken Zambia, which has less than a tenth of the economic activity per person as the former-British colony in the Mediterranean.

Beware of Brexiter statistics

I'm sure most of us remember the disgraceful £350 million for the NHS lies promoted by the Vote Leave mob, but it's still worth remembering that these same dishonest Brexiteers are still out there programming people with warped narratives, cherry-picked statistics, and downright lies in order to con them into continuing to support the hard-right anti-democratic Tory Brexit shambles.

The really sad thing is that the UK education system has failed so spectacularly that huge numbers of people have not been equipped with the critical thinking skills to even see through such crude and manipulative statistical cherry-picking.

What to do about people who have been let down by the education system and left with such weak critical thinking skills that they don't even question such ludicrously cherry-picked stats is a question for another time, but what to do about Robert Kimbell and his ilk is easy: Call them out on their shockingly deceptive idiot fodder whenever we see them spewing it.

 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 27 September 2017

How will Brexit fanatics react to the Americans' 219% Bombardier tariff?

Given the way Theresa May shamed Britain by pathetically grovelling at the feet of Donald Trump for a post-Brexit trade deal in January 2017, the 219% import duty the Americans have just whacked on Bombardier (endangering thousands of jobs in Northern Ireland) should be seen as a total disaster for hard-right Brexit fanatics.

Winning a beneficial trade deal for the UK from a guy who is continually promoting "America First" protectionism would have been pretty much impossible to achieve under the best of circumstances, but with weak and directionless Theresa May and her three inept Brexiteer clowns representing UK interests, only the most delusional of hard-right Brexiters could still be looking at this absolute mess with any kind of confidence.

This move from the Americans (despite Theresa May's widely reported efforts to beg them not to do it) should be a clear wake up call for those who see Donald Trump as some kind of wonderful white knight who will ride to Brexit-Britain's rescue with a glorious new US-UK trade deal (rather than a ruthless opportunist with decades of experience of trampling all over the little guy).

But sadly it won't be a wake up call for them, because the kind of people who envisage Trump as their shining white knight of Brexit are also the kind of people who are oblivious to Nigel Farage's outrageous extreme-right tendencies; blind to the outright Brexit lies spewed by Boris Johnson, Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and their ilk; and totally unconcerned about the way Theresa May and the Tories are turning Brexit into an excuse for the kind of elitist hard-right anti-democratic power grab they've always quietly craved.

A punitive 219% trade barrier endangering British jobs is just another inconvenient fact for militant Brexiters to evade or avoid until the subject dies down again, then it will be left in the collective memory hole like the rest of the facts that don't fit into their glorious Brexit narrative.

Let's face it, if they're the kind of people who were prepared to give the green light to the fanatically right-wing fringe of the Tory party to haphazardly redesign the UK's political and legal systems to suit the interests of their billionaire backers (which the vote for Brexit has undeniably done), then they're the kind of people to actually perceive Theresa May as a "strong and stable leader", to actually see the likes of Boris Johnson and the disgraced Liam Fox as competent diplomats, and to actually consider Donald Trump to be their shining white knight of Brexit, rather than the relentlessly dishonest opportunist that he is, and has always been.

These types are so invested in their delusional fantasies of a glorious Brexit with no downsides whatever, that they'll put on yet another display of demeaning mental contortionism to pretend that this ridiculous act of US protectionism has nothing to do with Brexit, has no bearing on the likely outcome of any future US-UK trade deal, and tells us nothing about the true character of their shining white knight of Brexit, nor of Theresa May's ineptitude and impotence. 

Just you watch them. The feats of mental contortionism from hard-right Brexiters are only going to get ever more absurd and demeaning from here on in ...

 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 6 September 2017

Why are the mainstream media so relaxed about extreme-right terrorism?

Yesterday it was announced that the extreme-right terrorist organisation National Action had infiltrated the British army with at least four serving soldiers belonging to the banned white supremacist, anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi organisation.

Today the news cycle has already moved on to other things leaving the "neo-Nazis in the army" story to fade into old news obscurity.

Now just imagine if it had been a banned group of Islamist fanatics who had infiltrated the British army. Do you think the mainstream media would have let the story drop down the old news memory hole inside a single day?

We all know that the right-wing dominated media would only just be gearing up their intense campaign of anti-Muslim outrage if it had been Islamist fanatics instead of white neo-Nazis:

Outrage that British taxpayers' money has been used to train Islamist fanatics how to use weapons. Questions over why these fanatics weren't reported by the Muslim community. Demands that the Muslim community do more to confront the extremists in their midst. Insinuations that there's something inherent in Islam that causes people to become radicalised, and that all Muslims should be held collectively responsible.

But because the terrorist army infiltrators were white British neo-Nazis, the same kind of commentary goes unmade and the same kind of questions go unanswered.

Where is the outrage that British taxpayers' money has been used to train extreme-right neo-Nazi terrorists in the use of weapons?

Where are the questions about why the white communities didn't report these terrorists for their extremist views, or their membership of a banned neo-Nazi organisation?

Where are the demands that the white community do more to confront the growing number of dangerously radicalised extremists in their midst?

Where are the insinuations that there is something inherent in white culture that causes people to become fixated with disgusting extreme-right ideas like white supremacy, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and anti-Semitism?

Where are the insinuations that all white people should be held collectively responsible for the actions of a fringe group of violent ideological fanatics?

These questions haven't been asked because Brits, driven by the influence of the UK mainstream media, is clearly a lot less concerned about extreme-right radicalisation than they are about Islamist radicalisation.

Perhaps it doesn't matter as much to the mainly white-British mainstream media because they don't consider themselves the primary targets of extreme-right fanaticism?

History has proven how dangerous this relaxed attitude towards extreme-right fanaticism is.

When the fascists gain political power they begin by wiping out the left. People like me would be the first on their hit lists because they hate people like anarcho-socialists, left-libertarians, syndicalists, the green-left, and Marxists even more than the people they consider to be racially or genetically inferior.

After they've massacred the left, they turn their attentions to ethnic cleansing and enforced ideological conformity. If you have so-called "moderate" political views (rights-based liberalism, democratic socialism, traditional conservatism) then you'd better get with the fascist programme, or suffer the same horrible fate as the lefties, ethnic minorities, LGBT people, and the disabled.

Even after the extreme-right have brutally murdered a left-liberal MP in the street, and used the exact same methods as the Islamist extremists to murder pedestrians with vehicles in Finsbury Park and Charlottesville, the British mainstream media are still very much more relaxed about the growth of white supremacist fanaticism than they are about Islamist fanaticism.

For me they're two sides of the exact same ideological coin. They both have the same objective (an ideological war between Islam and the West); they both use extreme violence to further their cause; they both use hatred to divide people; they both represent a tiny minority of the cultures they claim to represent; they both hate liberal western values (democracy, the rule of law, social liberalism ...); and they increasingly use the exact same method of attack (ramming pedestrians with vehicles).

The fact that one is treated with so much less concern than the other by the UK mainstream media is deeply concerning because the hatred of the extreme-right fuels the hatred of the Islamist fanatics and vice versa.

Every time a Britain First follower writes a hate-filled diatribe about how much they'd love a campaign of anti-Muslim ethnic cleansing, or attacks random Muslims in the street, they're working as recruitment agents for the Islamist fanatics.

And every time an Islamist fanatic commits an atrocity against the west, extreme-right hate chambers like Britain First thrive by spewing their divisive hateful rhetoric.

In conclusion, the white community have a responsibility to deal with the growing number of extremists in our midst. The public have a duty to report people for hate speech and membership of extreme-right hate groups, and the mainstream media have a responsibility to treat extreme-right hate preachers and white supremacist terrorism with the same degree of seriousness as they treat Islamist hate preachers and Jihadist terrorist organisations.

 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 5 September 2017

When did it become a radical leftist position to have concerns about in-work poverty?

One of the most shocking statistics about poverty in Tory Britain is that more than half of people suffering poverty in the UK actually live in working households.

One of the Tories favourite propaganda lines is that "work is the best route out of poverty", but what they never tell you is that after seven years of enforcing their hard-right economic agenda, it's now significantly harder for people to work their way out of poverty.

Not only have the Tories created the longest sustained decline in UK workers wages since records began (a wage collapse only matched in severity by Greece anywhere else in the developed world) they've also overseen an explosion in exploitative employment practices like Zero Hours Contracts, ruthlessly slashed in-work benefits like Tax Credits, and allowed virtually unregulated profiteers in the private rental market to gouge vast profits out of people by charging eye-watering rents.

All of these Tory policies combined have resulted in a shocking increase in in-work poverty to 7.4 million, which means that an astounding 55% of people living in poverty are from working households.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the single biggest factor in this alarming increase in in-work poverty was living in expensive and insecure private rental properties.

Some Tory apologists might try to squirm out of responsibility for this situation, but the facts show that their hard-right economic policies are fully responsible.

Between 2010 and 2017 the Tory government oversaw the lowest level of new house building since the early 1920s and despite repeatedly pledging to cut immigration to below 100,000, the Tories actually oversaw the biggest migrant inflows in history, peaking at 336,000 in 2015.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with high migration if the government builds the housing and infrastructure necessary to sustain it, but if house building slumps to the lowest levels in over 90 years and the government continues implementing a fanatically right-wing policy of slashing local government budgets, public service cuts, and severe cutbacks in infrastructure spending, then increased demand for housing and services becomes highly problematic.

Additionally the Tories have also strongly resisted Labour efforts to ensure that private rental properties are fit for human habitation, and to clamp down on exploitative profiteers who have used the Tory housing crisis to charge extortionate rents.

The Tories and their propagandists in the mainstream press continually tell us that "work is the best route out of poverty", but they have spent the last seven years trashing our wages and working conditions, slashing in-work benefits for the lowest paid workers, and allowing prices in the private rental market to soar way out of control.

The solutions to the problem of in-work poverty are obvious: Increase the minimum wage, stop the Tory policy of cutting in-work benefits for the poorest working households, build more houses (especially council houses and affordable homes), reintroduce the Migrant Impact Fund that the Tories scrapped,
 and bring in new regulations (rent caps, fit for human habitation legislation) to prevent the exploitative excesses of the private rental sector.

Of course anyone who follows politics will know that all of the above are Labour Party policies under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, and that all of this stuff is strongly opposed by the Tory party who continually describe these kinds of poverty alleviation policies as being dangerous extreme-left radicalism.

The reason the Tories oppose these policies is obvious. They are, and always have been, on the side of the idle rentier class. They're on the side of exploitative buy-to-let slumlords who charge vast rents for outrageously poor housing, and they're on the side of unscrupulous employers who pay their workers so little that they end up living in dire poverty despite working full-time.

Labour's housing and employment policies have been designed to make sure more people who work can afford to pay their rent and bills, and provide for their families, but millions of people are gullible enough to believe the ludicrous Tory narrative that any efforts by the government to reduce their soaring rates of in-work poverty are dangerously radical left-wing fanaticism.

Unfortunately millions of people buy into the shockingly dishonest hard-right Tory rhetoric that the government has no responsibility to reduce in-work poverty, and that people who are poor despite having jobs are in that situation because of some moral deficiency of their own, not because the Tories have spent the last seven years actively restructuring society even more in favour of corporations, exploitative landlords, and the super-rich.

So these people trot off to the polls to actively endorse the party that has plunged huge numbers of working families into poverty over the last seven years because they've been duped into believing that any efforts to reverse this sustained Tory assault on workers, and especially the working poor, is dangerous extreme-left fanaticism.

What a country we live in that the fanatically right-wing Tory policy of grinding the working poor and private rental tenants into the floor is considered acceptable and vote-worthy, and people who suggest the moderate proposal that the government of the day should actually be working to ensure that "anyone who works for a living should have at least enough to cover their rent and bills and provide for their family" are considered by many to be raving extreme-left lunatics!

 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 4 September 2017

Brexit didn't come up once in the German Merkel-Schultz TV debate

Yesterday Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz faced each other in a 95 minute debate for the German election and the subject of Brexit was not even raised once.

Some people have tried to make out that this is because the Brexit issue is trivial and unimportant in Germany, but in my view that's a stretch.

Brexit is an important issue in Germany because the nuclear "no deal" strop that the Tories keep threatening would obviously trigger significant economic fallout on the continent. However Brexit is not coming up in their election debates because the EU27 are united, their negotiating positions are clear, and both Schultz and Merkel back the EU27 negotiating stance, so there's nothing for them to actually debate.

The debate is raging on in the UK because it's increasingly obvious that the Tory Brexit position is a "back of a fag packet" shambles being negotiated by a hard-right billionaire-bankrolled and still bitterly divided political party who only achieved their "mandate" to negotiate on behalf of the entire country by lobbing a £1 billion bung at the DUP after Theresa May's ridiculously timed vanity election backfired so spectacularly.

Both Merkel and Schultz back the EU27 negotiating position on Brexit, so there's nothing for them to actually debate.

The Brexit ball is in Britain's court, and all the Germans can do is watch on to see what kind of chaotic mess we're going to make by allowing shockingly incompetent charlatans like bumbling David Davis, the disgraced Liam Fox, the offensive oaf Boris Johnson and the worst Prime Minister in living memory the power to trash our economy and scrap our rights with as little scrutiny and accountability as they think they can get away with.

All the Germans really have to debate about Brexit is whether watching the UK wilfully commit such drastic social and economic self-harm is side-splittingly hilarious, or actually pretty concerning because the blowback from Britain's self-inflicted implosion will eventually end up singeing the German economy too.

 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 2 September 2017

Are all white people racist?

I wouldn't normally react to a political rant written by a model I'd never even heard of because there are more important things going on in the world, but the way Munroe Bergdorf has been turned into some kind of heroic martyr after getting sacked by L'Oreal for her all white people are racist rant, I think it's important to criticised the misplaced hero worship and adoration she's receiving.

Firstly I'll begin by quoting what she actually said to get herself fired (with important bits in bold).
"Honestly I don't have energy to talk about the racial violence of white people any more. Yes ALL white people
Because most of ya'll don't even realise or refuse to acknowledge that your existence, privilege and success as a race is built on the backs, blood and death of people of colour. Your entire existence is drenched in racism. From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***
Come see me when you realise that racism isn't learned, it's inherited and consciously or unconsciously passed down through privilege.  
Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth… then we can talk. Until then stay acting shocked about how the world continues to stay f***** at the hands of your ancestors and your heads that remain buried in the sand with hands over your ears."
ALL white people

Monroe Bergdorf clearly accused all white people of being guilty of racial violence. There is no ambiguity here. She even used all caps to emphasise the point that she was making her accusations against ALL white people.

The dictionary definition of racism (Merriam Webster) is that it is "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race".

Accusing all white-skinned people of being guilty of racial violence, and claiming that white people are the most violent and oppressive force of nature on earth is brazen and obvious racism because it's defining people by the colour of their skin, not by the content of their character.

White supremacy

Several people have presented that the fact that she got sacked for this blatantly racist rant as some kind of proof of white supremacy. 

One excruciating Independent article (that failed to even disclose what the model said so that the reader could make up their own minds about whether she was just "speaking out against racist rhetoric" as the article claimed, or spewing racist rhetoric herself) even painted her as a "trailblazer to lose out on opportunities for calling out the insidious ways that racism functions"!

In reality the fact that she got sacked is proof of nothing except the fact that L'oreal is a corporation that considers anti-white racist views incompatible with their brand identity.

As someone who is considered by many to be a radical leftist I don't often find myself defending massive corporations, but the decision to fire a brand ambassador who decided to attack a huge swathe of their own customer base as being guilty of racial violence simply because of the colour of their skin, doesn't actually seem that outrageous at all.

Of course white supremacy exists, there's no debate about that. We just need to recall the events at Charlottesville, or any number of other violent extreme-right rallies, or the hateful bile spread in online hate chambers like Britain First to see that this sickening white supremacist ideology persists, but a model getting sacked for spewing anti-white racism isn't proof of anything except the fact that overt racism of all forms is unacceptable.

Only whites can be racist?

Not only does Bergdorf accuse all white people of being guilty of racial violence, she also seems to suggest that white-skinned people are the only ones who are capable of being racist because racism is supposedly learned and passed down through white privilege.

Of course this theory of racism is narrow-minded rubbish that ignores all of the countless examples of non-white racism like the ethnic genocide in Rwanda and the oppression of the Kurds in the middle east, through to the huge increase in white-on-white racism that has happened in the UK since the Brexit vote.

But what really rubs it in is that this ridiculous theory that racism is propagated only by white privilege is being expressed in the very same statement as a load of blatantly racist anti-white rhetoric.

Collective responsibility

Bergdorf accuses white people of having their heads buried in the sand over the crimes of our ancestors and ignoring the fact that empires of privilege were built through the exploitation of people of colour.

As an anti-imperialist I'm well aware of the way the British empire was built on exploitation and I don't need some racist rant from some model I'd never even heard of to accuse me (and all other white-skinned people) of racial violence and wilful ignorance to accept the fact.

Aside from understanding the depravity of the imperialist exploitation and genocide that built the wealth of Britain, the United States and numerous other western countries, I'm also well aware that the victims were not always people of colour.

I'm from a working class background and I have some Irish heritage, so I know perfectly well that while the establishment class were building up the vast fortunes they maintain today.

Not only did the British ruling establishment build their fortunes on the backs of people of colour across the empire, they ruthlessly exploited the white working class in Britain too in their mines, in their sweatshops, and on their battlefields.

When it comes to imperialism, the occupation of Ireland was absolute proof that when it came to exploitation, genocide and famine, the British ruling class drew little distinction between white Irish people and people of colour elsewhere in the empire.

So why, just because of the colour of my skin, should I bear collective responsibility for the crimes of exploitation the British ruling establishment committed against my white working class ancestors to build their fortunes, and their savage repression of my Irish ancestors?

Tarring all white-skinned people as being collectively guilty for the crimes committed by some white people in the past isn't just ill-considered as a tactic for getting white people to consider the history of oppression that others have suffered, it's downright racist.

Imagine if someone tried to argue that all black people are collectively responsible for the crimes of Idi Amin, or Mobutu Sese Seko, or that all Asians are collectively responsible for the crimes of Japan during WWII or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

There would rightly be an absolute uproar about it, but when it comes to tarring people with white skin with the imperialist genocide and exploitation of the past, there are many who actually laud this kind of racism as if it's the wonderfully progressive anti-racism of a heroic trailblazer for freedom!


Of course white privilege exists. Countless studies have proven stuff like white sounding names on identical CVs achieve far more success than non-white sounding names, however white privilege isn't the only form of privilege.

In the United Kingdom it's been proven that people from non-elitist backgrounds get paid thousands of pounds per year less than people from establishment backgrounds for doing exactly the same job.

Talk to anyone with a physical disability or a mental health condition about the way they are discriminated against.

Anyone who sees the world in terms of ALL white people being privileged and ALL people of colour being oppressed is thinking in a childishly two dimensional manner.

As a transgender person Bergdorf should know that privilege is a multifaceted issue that involves race, sex, class, creed, age, sexual orientation, physical and cognitive abilities and countless other things, but she decided to paint it in absolute terms as a skin colour issue in her rant.

In the 21st Century UK an able bodied, wealthy person of colour who has been educated at an elitist private school obviously has far more privilege than a white person from an ordinary working class background, a regional accent and a physical or mental disability.

How to alienate people

Issues like the legacies of imperialism and exploitation, continuing race discrimination, privilege and widespread indifference/denial are incredibly important, but to frame such important issues in the context of a racist anti-white tirade is massively counter-productive.

You don't engage people into thinking about these issues by furiously deriding them as massively ignorant and violent racists who are automatically defined as guilty simply because of the colour of their skin.

Such a confrontational and openly racist approach to these issues is clearly likely to be severely counter-productive, because tying these issues up with displays of brazen anti-white racism is more likely to turn people away from giving them proper consideration than it is to suddenly wake them up.


Bergdorf may have got herself sacked as a brand ambassador for L'oreal, but she's certainly whipped up a mass of free publicity with her racist rant.

Instead of being just some obscure model few people had ever heard of, she's now being championed as some kind of heroic anti-racism campaigner by people too thick to see that ranting about "ALL white people" is the polar opposite of anti-racism.

It seems that social media platforms, and especially Twitter, have created an appalling online environment where calm and considered analyses usually get ignored, and the people who spread the most extreme views get the bulk of the publicity.

If you want to get a following of millions for your views on immigration and Islam, call refugees "cockroaches" and propose a "final solution" for the Muslim problem. Even if you get sacked from your radio show, it'll be worth it for the storm of free publicity.

And if you want to be lauded as a hero by right-on liberals, don't talk about issues like imperialism and privilege in rational evidence based terms, furiously generalise that all white people are violent and wilfully ignorant racists. Even if you get sacked as a brand ambassador for L'oreal, it'll be worth it for the storm of free publicity.

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