Wednesday 28 February 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg just shared some catastrophically innumerate Brexit propaganda from The S*n

The Tory Brextremist-in-chief Jacob Rees-Mogg has taken to Twitter to demonstrate what a gullible and innumerate fool he is.

He made this demonstration by Tweeting a clipping of some absolute idiot-fodder from The S*n.

Rupert Murdoch's hacks at the S*n helped to bring about the Brexit farce with a relentless barrage of misleading pro-Brexit propaganda, but they're so invested in it that they're refusing to admit what a shambles it's turning out to be, and continuing with yet more pro-Brexit distortions.

It hardly takes a genius to spot some of the many things that are wrong with the S*n clipping that Rees-Mogg liked so much he tweeted it to his followers.

One of the most obvious problems is that a significant number of the items mentioned are produced within the EU.

Why would you worry about paying a tariff of fake mozzarella-style cheese when membership of the European Single Market means that we can buy genuine mozzarella from Italy with no tariff at all, and be sure that you're buying the genuine thing because of protected designation of origin labelling rules?

Then there's the supposed saving on beef. Why on earth wouldn't you just eat British or Irish beef that come with 0% tariffs, rather than crying that you have to pay a tariff on imported hormone-riddled beef from the United States?

Aside from beef and mozzarella, there are numerous other products that could easily be purchased tariff free because they are mass produced in the EU, like cherry tomatoes, butter, and dog food.

Then there's the "no deal" Brexit scenario to consider. A decision to quit the EU with no trade deal in place would mean a reversion to WTO rules, and WTO tariffs. This would mean that tariffs would have to be paid on products imported from the EU, and that the EU would impose tariffs on products of British origin.

Brextremists like Rees-Mogg and the secretive "party within a party" ERG Brextremism group he leads are actually pushing for a "no deal" Brexit flounce that would dramatically increase the tariffs on regular supermarket items, but they're deliberately reversing reality and pretending that they're opposed to tariffs.

Then there's the LG flatscreen TV. It's hardly a secret that the EU has a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, meaning that tariffs of South Korean flat screen TVs have already been eliminated.

A chaotic "no deal" flounce out of the EU would actually mean the re-imposition of tariffs on South Korean electronics. So that's yet another piece of Orwellian reality reversing nonsense from the Brexiteers at the S*n.

The S*n clipping is truly Orwellian in the way it invents fake tariffs on products to make Brextremism look like a great option, when everyone knows that the kind of hard Brexit favoured by Rees-Mogg and his ilk would result in new tariffs being applied on products from within the EU, and on products from within the dozens of other economies the EU has bilateral trade agreements with (like South Korea). 

Then there's the supposed tariff on the Viking bicycle. Whoever compiled this deliberate misinformation forgot to mention that Viking is actually a British company, and that British consumers wouldn't have to pay import tariffs on their bikes under any circumstances.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of all is the disgraceful mathematical illiteracy of the whole thing. Take the butter as an example. If the butter costs £1 originally but has a 50% tariff applied on it, then the price rises to £1.50, not to £2.

If the price is £2 after the imposition of a 50% tariff, then the original price was £1.33, not £1.

The same goes for all of the other calculations too. Every single one of them have been made by someone so innumerate they'd fail Year 6 maths.

If the Brexiteers are so innumerate that they can't even cope with simple mathematical operations that my 9 year old son can understand, then who on earth would trust their judgement on an issue as complex as Brexit?

When it comes to Rees-Mogg actually sharing this nonsense, once again we're drawn back into the age old debate of whether the Tories have resorted to this lamentable propaganda because they're thick enough to believe it themselves, or because despite knowing that it's absolute reality-reversing and innumerate trash, they're such arrogant elitists they see the general public as such a bunch of gullible halfwits that we'll simply believe it without conducting any critical analysis whatever.

There is a case to be made that because Ress-Mogg is this type of arrogant elitist because he once described people who attended state schools as "potted plants".

If he's arrogant enough to dismiss 93% of the UK population as "potted plants" he's easily arrogant enough to deliberately spread such brazen misinformation. But in this case I think it's sheer stupidity. The man has seen something that triggers his confirmation bias, and instead of subjecting it to even the most rudimentary of critical analysis, he's just tweeted it out to his followers.

The way Rees-Mogg actually thanked the S*n for making these misleading and innumerate calculations indicates that he couldn't be bothered to check that they were accurate before sharing them, which is decidedly odd behaviour given that he considers himself a member of the vastly superior intellectual elite, yet it was state educated "potted plants" like me who actually bothered to conduct some rudimentary critical analysis on what he shared.

Idiot or elitist, either way, Rees-Mogg's dissemination of such abject and innumerate misinformation is absolutely unforgivable. But the Tory party is such a mess these days that there's not the flicker of a chance that he'll ever be made to apologise for spreading such easily disprovable lies.

 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 is letting her ministers get away with publicly attacking the UK business community!

Between 2010 and somewhere around mid-2017 the CBI were relentless cheerleaders for ruinous Tory austerity dogma, and their unprecedented campaign of wage repression, but ever since it became clear that the Tory party has been completely taken over by the most extreme fringe of hard-right Europhobes, they've cooled their support for the Tories dramatically.

The CBI claim to represent the interests of 190,000 British businesses. While their relentless (and economically illiterate) support for Tory austerity dogma and wage repression seemed to go against the interests of many of their members* their stance on the Brexit negotiations is clearly focused on pushing for a Brexit deal that won't end up wrecking tens of thousands of the businesses they represent.

Some of their key priorities include not erecting damaging trade barriers with the Single Market, retaining a migration system that allows employers to find the labour they need to survive, and avoiding the economic catastrophe of a cliff edge "no deal" Brexit.

When Jeremy Corbyn announced that Labour will seek to develop a customs union agreement with the EU the CBI cautiously welcomed it as a "real world solution" to Brexit, but this mild praise caused fits of apoplexy from the Tory Brextremists.

Boris Johnson appeared on the radio to attack the once uber-Tory CBI and their leaders as "wrong". To put this in perspective, that's as extraordinary as a senior Labour figure publicly attacking one of the big unions like Unite or Unison.

The Tory International Development Secretary Liam Fox joined in the Brextremist attacks on the CBI accusing them of tying one arm behind Britain's back by not supporting his fanatical interpretation of the Brexit vote.

This series of attacks on Britain's biggest business lobby from the Tories is absolutely extraordinary stuff from the party that once claimed to be the party of business, but what's more extraordinary still is that Theresa May has done nothing whatever to intervene.

Any Tory leader with a shred of authority would have stopped her senior ministers from publicly attacking one of the Tories' most influential allies, but Theresa May is far too weak and directionless to do anything at all.

May knows that her future as Prime Minister is entirely dependent on the 70 or so Tory MPs who are aligned with the secretive ERG Brextremism pressure group led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, and that any effort to discipline any of the Brextremists in her cabinet could be her final move as Prime Minister.

When given a choice between what's best for the nation, and what's best for her own career, Theresa May chose to embrace Brextremism and the DUP bigots rather than relinquish power. Then When it comes to a choice between what's best for her own party, and what's best for her own career, she's choosing to allow the Tory Brextremists in her cabinet to publicly attack the British business community, rather than take a stand and risk triggering the Brextremist revolt that would drive her out of 10 Downing Street.

 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 CBI's relentless support for ruinous Tory austerity dogma and unprecedented wage repression policies made very little sense from a pragmatic perspective. All businesses rely on good public services and infrastructure, so it made very little sense for the CBI to support the Tory austerity strategy of deliberately underfunding public services and reducing Britain's level of investment in infrastructure to the lowest in the developed world. Additionally most businesses tend to thrive when consumers have money in their pockets (disposable income), so the Tory policy of imposing the longest sustained collapse in the real value of UK workers' wages always seemed like a very odd thing for Britain's biggest business lobby to be supporting.

Tuesday 27 February 2018

The Tories are now so toxic they're having to pay people to support them on Twitter

Over the last few years the Tories have been completely thrashed on social media.

During the 2017 General Election there wasn't a single pro-Tory article in the top 25 most shared articles on Facebook, and since the General Election by far the most viral Tory tweet is Ben Bradley's grovelling apology for writing defamatory comments about Jeremy Corbyn, rather than anything that casts them in a good light.

The Tories know that they're getting thrashed on social media. They know that the Tory brand is increasingly toxic to the under-50s, and that they only really appeal to the hard-right ultranationalist Blue-kip demographic, and that Labour's 500,000+ membership equates to a voluntary army of online campaigners they haven't got a hope of competing with.

The Tory solution to this situation is quite extraordinary. Instead of devising policies that actually appeal to the younger generations, their Chairman Brandon Lewis has announced his plan to lob a load of cash at the problem by hiring huge numbers of paid Twitter astroturfers to spread pro-Tory propaganda.

This Tory astroturfer strategy is useless for a number of reasons.

One of the main reasons this strategy stinks is that people are very much more likely to engage with a political post from a friend, family member, or a famous person they admire, than with the posts of fake @ToryBoy28783654 type propaganda accounts, so the Tories are going to be paying out significant amounts in wages to people who will have far less natural reach than genuine Labour campaigners.

Another problem is that widespread public knowledge that the Tories have hired an army of astroturfers will seriously delegitimise the social media postings of genuine Tory supporters.  The existence of the Tory astroturf army will create the suspicion that genuine Tory types are just paid social media mercenaries, rather than people who genuinely believe in what they're doing.

Another problem for the Tories arises from the election expenses rules. If any of this mercenary army of Tory astroturfers promote specific Tory MPs during election periods, then their wages should surely be classed as local election expenses.

If the Tory astroturf mercenary army are to comply with the election rules, there needs to be transparency about who these people are, what they're being paid, and which social media accounts they're operating.

A lack of transparency would allow the Tories to bypass election expenses rules, but transparency would wreck the whole project, because what's the point of running a load of fake pro-Tory accounts if everyone knows that they're fake accounts?

Additionally there's the Russia thing. It's a well established fact that Russians have been using "bot farms" staffed by paid propagandists to interfere in other countries' elections. In fact the Tory MP Damian Collins has been probably the most vocal MP in attacking Facebook and Twitter for their inadequate responses to questions about Russian meddling

The fact that the Tory Chairman is suddenly proposing that the Tories use the exact same shady "bot farms" and astroturfing propaganda tactics as the Russians in order to influence political debate creates a very strong impression that the Tory party is a ridiculously contradictory shambles, where one hand literally doesn't have a clue what the other is doing.

Then there's probably the most obvious problem of the lot. If you have so little natural support that you need to pay people to campaign for you, you quite obviously don't have any policies that are actually worth campaigning for.

 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 26 February 2018

The most viral Tory Tweet of 2018 so far is a grovelling apology for defamation!

There's no better proof of the absolute ineptitude of the Tories when it comes to social media than the Tory MP and vice-chair Ben Bradley issuing a humiliating retraction of his seriously defamatory comments about Jeremy Corbyn. 

Part of the apology agreement specified by Jeremy Corbyn was that Bradley would Tweet his apology.

Over the next couple of days Bradley's apology Tweet has gone mega-viral with over 47,000 Retweets so far.

To put this in perspective, that's more retweets than the combined total of all of the retweets  the official Tory Twitter account has managed since January 1st!

So the most viral Tory Tweet of 2018 so far is an apology and admission that the Tory MP in question used social media to spread "untrue and false" smears against a political opponent!

The most viral Tory Tweet of the year so far is an absolute gift to the Labour Party!

But the Tory social media ineptitude doesn't stop there. 

On the same day that Bradley's apology Tweet was going mega-viral, his boss Brandon Lewis announced his plan to hire an army of paid Tory Twitter trolls to the Daily Telegraph.

The Tories are so terrified of Labour's half million members and the growing social media power of new independent media that they're trying to buy popularity on Twitter by paying people to spread pro-Tory propaganda.

Aside from the obvious problem that people are much more likely to engage with political content shared by actual friends, or by famous personalities they respect and admire, rather than obvious Tory shill accounts, there are also the electoral expenses rules to consider.

If these pro-Tory shill accounts retweet or mention any specific Tory MPs during General Election campaigns, then surely their salaries should be included in local election expenses returns?

And then there's this ridiculous Tweet from Brandon Lewis too:

This kind of accuse your opponents of what you're guilty of yourself deception is a classic extreme-right propaganda tactic, and right-wingers also resorted to another well worn extreme-right trope to deflect attention away from Bradley's admission that he's an outrageous liar.

Kate McCann from the Daily Telegraph resorted to victim complex pleading to argue that people Retweeting Ben Bradley's apology were being "vicious and vindictive" by doing so.

So we had a right-wing hack from one of the billionaire tax-dodger owned propaganda rags that spread the Corbyn Czech spy nonsense claiming that the MP who admitted posting extremely defamatory social media comments about a political rival as the poor victim, and the members of the public who did as they were asked and retweeted his apology as the "vicious and vindictive" bullies.

This bizarre effort to portray an admitted liar as the poor victim is yet another example of the kind of reality-reversing Orwellian rhetoric that right-wingers end up resorting to in order to defend the indefensible actions and policies of their beloved Tory party.

The Tories' most viral Tweet of 2018 to date is an apology for dishonest smear-mongering, and the Tory response to this debacle is even more reality-reversing rhetoric about how the proven liar is the poor victim and the public are the bullies.

Under these ludicrous circumstances it really any wonder that the only way they can get people to campaign for them on Twitter is to pay them?

 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 21 February 2018

Why not read Jeremy Corbyn's "red rag" speech for yourself?

On Tuesday February 20th 2018 Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech to the EFF confederation of British manufacturers about Labour's economic strategy. The response of the Evening Standard (edited by former Tory Chancellor George Osborne) was to publish a front page hatchet job describing the speech as a "red rag" to the City of London, and Jeremy Corbyn's economic strategy as a plot to turn London into "the last Soviet era city west of Pyongyang".

Shockingly hundreds of thousands of Evening Standard readers will have uncritically accepted this ludicrously hyperbolic appraisal of Jeremy Corbyn's speech without even referring to the source material and judging it for themselves.

So here's the speech so that you can judge for yourself whether George Osborne's minions at the Evening Standard were justified in claiming that Corbyn's speech is some kind of proof of his intention to turn Britain into a Soviet style state where private industry is banned, or the outline of a sensible economic strategy to undo the damage and reduce the private debt mountains caused by four decades of hard-right economic dogma:


Industrial revolution

Britain was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and many great inventions from the cash point to the jet engine. Manufacturing continues to punch way above its weight accounting for 10% of output, but 44% of exports and a massive 70% of business investment in research and development.

Output per hour is £4 higher in manufacturing than the average for all sectors and the average annual earnings of someone working in manufacturing are nearly £4000 higher than average earnings from across the whole economy.

I know from my childhood the value of manufacturing jobs. My dad had one, as an electrical engineer who worked successively for Westinghouse, English Electric and GC. He enjoyed good, satisfying work with decent pay. The contributions of manufacturing of all of you to our economy cannot be understated, and the case for supporting more manufacturing jobs and industries is undeniable. And yet for too long Government hasn’t done enough to support you. 

Lagging behind 

Businesses are crying out for infrastructure investment. We are lagging behind other leading countries, but the Government simply isn’t delivering. That’s why we have pledged to create a National Transformation Fund to upgrade our transport, energy and digital infrastructure so that it is worthy of the 21st Century.

We must also invest in our people as well as our physical infrastructure. We have, on the one hand, university graduates who can’t find a suitable job while thousands of underemployed workers can’t get the skills they need to advance. And on the other hand, businesses are struggling to recruit workers with the right skills.

Time and again, businesses tell me how difficult it is to hire employees with the skills they need. And that far too often school leavers are unprepared for the workplace. Life-long learning Labour’s National Education Service will tackle that problem head-on, providing free, life-long learning to all, so that anyone can retrain or upskill at any point in their life.

We will put vocational education, too often the poor relation of our education system, at the heart of the National Education Service ensuring that science and technical learning starts early in primary schools.

Children should engage in practical learning from a young age not just in the classroom, but through play and activities.

And we will build links with industry into the National Education Service, to make sure that our education system keeps pace with the changing needs of our economy, expanding the type of training that qualifies under the Apprenticeship Levy so that businesses can actually use it for the skills they need.

The Tories’ approach to Brexit is threatening to turn our skills crisis into a catastrophe, especially for manufacturers who rely on recruiting skilled workers from overseas.

Labour said from the start; we would give an unconditional guarantee to EU citizens of their right to stay in the UK. Not just now but during the transition period as well.

This is not just because of the valuable role EU citizens play in our economy and in many of your businesses, but because they are people who have built a life here.

Unlike the Tories, we will not use people, mothers, fathers, neighbours, friends as bargaining chips.

Brexit position

Brexit is for many an emotive subject. But for business, it is first and foremost a practical matter.

To make decisions about where, when, perhaps even whether to invest, you need to know what markets you will have access to, what regulations and product standards you will be subject to, who you will be able to recruit, what will happen to our supply chains, which we all know are currently integrated across many national borders. That’s why Labour has from the start taken the practical position of accepting the result of the referendum and insisting the economy must come first.

We are leaving the EU, but our businesses must not withdraw from European markets. Business needs clarity and with four out of six of the Government’s “Road to Brexit” speeches already delivered, the Tories approach to Brexit is if anything less clear.

It’s time for the Cabinet to stop fighting and the Government to say where it wants to take the country.

And it’s not just in its approach to Brexit that the Government is failing to put the economy first. For too long manufacturing has been undervalued.

Those who make things 

For all their warm words, whether Osborne’s “March of the Makers” or this government’s new-found enthusiasm for the words ‘industrial strategy’ for decades now, the Conservatives have created, encouraged and sustained a system that rewards those who lend and speculate over those who make things.

Thatcher’s progressive abolition of restrictions on financial trading culminating in the ‘Big Bang’ deregulation of 1986 placed the needs of speculative finance at the helm of British economic life.

When Thatcher took office the ratio of private debt to GDP was 60%. In the 30 years that followed, that trebled.

That increase wasn’t due to banks supporting a healthy and productive economy by lending to businesses represented here today. It was because banks started lending to households and inflating asset prices on a scale never seen before. At the same time, investment banks began trading new kinds of financial products, packaging up debt in increasingly opaque ways and becoming ever more removed from the real economy.

Now let me be clear, finance has a central and essential role to play in a functioning economy.

Oiling the wheels

Without access to finance, how would the entrepreneur or business person just starting out find the means to get their idea off the ground?

How would a growing company afford new equipment that will make their business more productive and more profitable? Or expand their activities by opening new premises?

Finance is the grease that oils the wheels of our economy, and without it, economic activity would seize up.

But when private debt is twice the size of the real economy, when traders no longer understand the products they are trading and banks are funding speculation, rather than productive investment, something has gone grossly wrong.

Banks should be helping the real economy not suffocating it. Let me remind you of the words of John Maynard Keynes when he said: “There cannot be a real recovery . . . until the ideas of lenders and the ideas of productive borrowers are brought together again . . . . Seldom in modern history has the gap between the two been so wide and so difficult to bridge’.

“ Keynes was writing about the Great Depression of the 1930s but the gulf between finance and the real economy may be even wider today.

Money flows away

We know the results, money flows away from the productive activities that you are engaged in that create jobs and exports to instead inflate asset prices, concentrating money in the hands of a few owners, not producers, while households become more reliant on borrowing.

And we end up with an economy with more risk, more volatility and more instability.

It was a “heads I win, tails you lose” gamble for the banks, not my words, but those of the Governor of the Bank of England. And we’re all still paying for the inevitable crash.

When the last Labour Government stepped in to shore up our major banks as they stood on the brink of collapse it prevented a total meltdown. But the public should have been given a say in how the banks, propped up by our money were being run.

And there should’ve been a much more concerted effort to rein in banks’ speculation to refocus on productive lending.

We need a fundamental rethink of whom finance should serve and how it should be regulated.

Sluggish economy

There can be no rebalancing of our distorted, sluggish and unequal economy without taking on the unfettered power of finance.

For forty years, deregulated finance has progressively become more powerful. Its dominance over industry, obvious and destructive; its control of politics, pernicious and undemocratic.

The size and power of finance created a generation of politicians who thought the City of London could power the whole economy.

Out of control financial wizardry and gambling were left barely regulated, while the real economies in once strong industrial areas were put into managed decline.

The welfare state was left to pick up the slack with sticking plaster redistribution to the people and places held back by the finance-led boom of predominantly the South East of England.

For a generation instead of finance serving industry, politicians have served finance.

We’ve seen where that ends, the productive economy, our public services and people’s lives being held hostage by a small number of too big to fail banks and financial institutions.

No more. 

The real economy 

The next Labour Government will be the first in 40 years to stand up for the real economy. We will take decisive action to make finance the servant of industry not the masters of all.

The reign of finance doesn’t stop at the gates of the City of London. Its extractive logic has spread into all areas of life with short-term performance and narrow shareholder value prioritised over long-run growth and wider economic benefit.

Take GKN, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious engineering firms with a big factory in Telford where I grew up. It employs 6,000 workers across the UK, contributes an estimated £1.3 billion to the economy, paid a healthy £174 million in tax each year and invested £561 million in Research and Development in the UK alone.

And yet GKN is currently facing a hostile, allegedly debt-fuelled takeover bid by Melrose, a company with a history of opportunistic asset-stripping.

A quick buck

It’s an all too familiar story like when Kraft took over Cadburys. A valuable company could be sacrificed so that a few can make a quick buck.

We rightly praise the growth of companies like GKN and their location in the UK. And yet when we are faced with the possible destruction of that company, the Government refuses to act.

That’s why the next Labour government will broaden the scope of the ‘public interest test’ to include explicit consideration of the needs of our economy taking advantage of new freedoms outside of the EU to allow Government to intervene to protect our industrial base.

An important step towards reprogramming the economy, so that it works for the many, not the few.

Reprogramming our economy; to reward good business practices, reining in speculative finance so that it serves – not distorts the whole UK economy – backed up by a strong industrial strategy, as well as investing in our physical infrastructure and our people. This approach is vital if we are to develop our manufacturing strength. That is what the next Labour Government is committed to working with you to achieve. 

Thank you very much.


Anyone with a grain of sense should be able to see that Corbyn isn't outlining a plan to abolish private industry or the financial sector, he's just calling for a better, fairer system that is geared more towards those who make things than those who recklessly gamble with other people's money.

He's not saying there's no place for speculative finance, but that finance should be used to fund new businesses, new infrastructure, and better services, rather than for unregulated gambling on extraordinarily complex derivatives that even most of the traders don't even understand.

You could see why city traders who have enjoyed four decades of enriching themselves at the expense of the real economy would object to any effort to get them to invest in the real productive economy rather than gambling away with impunity, knowing that they'll be bailed out by the taxpayer again whenever they next fail.

But Corbyn's speech should be music to the ears of anyone who values the real economy above the selfish interests of a tiny clique of city speculators who see it as their right to live off the backs of the rest of us, and have us pay for their economic crises through austerity dogma while the government actually lavishes handouts on them.

And even if you think that the interests of city speculators should trump the needs of the real economy, you'd have to be absolutely clueless to accept the idea that a call for more financial investment in private sector manufacturing is some kind of Soviet style communist plot.

Sadly though, there are actually people thick enough to accept such brazen Tory propaganda at face value, hence eight years of ruinous Tory austerity dogma damaging the future economic potential of the UK, rather than anything even remotely resembling an actual plan to make sure the financial sector insolvency crisis can never happen again.

 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 20 February 2018

The Tories are so short of ideas they're recycling Liam Byrne's 8 year old joke note again!

The Tory party are so short of reasons for anyone to actually support the Tory party that they're sharing ancient anti-Labour propaganda from eight years ago.

The first thing to note is that the notorious "no money" note from Liam Byrne was intended as a friendly joke with the incoming Tory administration along the lines of the "Good luck, old cock.... Sorry to leave it in such a mess." note from the former Tory Chancellor Reginald Maudling to his Labour Successor Jim Callaghan.

Then there's the fact that you'd have to be an absolute simpleton to actually believe that an assertion that there's no money left is a serious one, because the Bank of England can create money out of nothing whenever it likes (quantitative easing), and private banks create money out of nothing whenever they issue a loan, in fact the government only produces 3% of the money in circulation (coins and notes). So how can there be no money if the vast majority of money in the modern economy is simply magicked up out of nothing?

It's clear that "no money left" propaganda trope is the same kind of demeaning economic baby talk that the Tories' endlessly repeated "magic money tree" gibberish.

The fact that the Tories keep persisting with these demeaning economic fairy stories leaves us wondering whether they're so economically illiterate that they actually believe this rubbish, or whether they're so damned arrogant and elitist that they know it's absolute gibberish, but they view the general public as a hopelessly gullible bunch of halfwits who will believe literally anything they're told.

Then there's the fact that Labour are a very different party from what they were in 2010. Back then they were utterly dominated by the right-wing Progress faction who pushed ruinous hard-right policies like privatisation mania, corporate outsourcing, and bank deregulation. Now they've moved away from the hard-right neoliberal consensus that both Labour and Tory governments inflicted on the UK since 1979.

Then there's the Tory track record in government over the last eight years. We should all remember how they promised to eliminate the budget deficit by 2015, then failed so spectacularly that they're now projecting it won't be resolved until 2031. That's 21 years to achieve what they bragged that they would do in less than five! 

Any Tory with a grain of sense would be hoping people forget about what was going on when they came to power in 2010, rather than actively reminding people about it.

Aside from their pathetic failure to achieve their number one headline economic target, the rest of the Tory track record is lamentable too: The longest sustained decline in the value of workers wages since records began, massive trade deficits, an unprecedented collapse in UK productivity, the lowest levels of infrastructure investment in the developed world, ruinous austerity dogma, millions of children growing up in poverty while the Tories lavish handouts on their mega-rich chums, and the impending economic chaos of Brexit too.

It's quite extraordinary that the British public have eight years of woeful Tory economic incompetence to consider, yet the Tory propaganda unit imagine that all of this demonstrable failure can be trumped by nothing more that a ridiculous joke note from eight years ago. That's how much contempt they have for the general public!

 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 19 February 2018

How thick does Theresa May imagine students are?

Theresa May and the Tory party have some incredible brass neck to announce that they're going to conduct a year long review into education funding because of the shocking levels of student debt that graduates are building up as a result of the Tory/Lib-Dem policy of imposing the highest tuition fees in the world for study at public universities, and applying rip-off inflation plus 3% interest on the resulting debts.

It's absolutely extraordinary that Theresa May is now pretending to be concerned about these extreme debt levels when she voted in favour of this impoverishment strategy along with the rest of her Tory chums.

We know that they voted in favour of this policy because they see the huge debts and the 9% aspiration tax that graduates must pay on their disposable incomes as a highly effective means of limiting social mobility and ensuring that the economy is rigged even more in favour of those with parents rich enough to pay the tuition fees up front*.

We also know that Theresa May didn't give the slightest damn about the issue of student debt when she became Prime Minister in 2016 because one of her very first acts was to scrap the maintenance grants that helped students from low-income backgrounds.

This Tory "review" has obviously been inspired by sheer panic at the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn's proposal to scrap tuition fees and institute a National Education Service to provide free education to anyone who needs it, no matter what their age, income or background.

It's taken the Tories eight years to realise it, but lumbering the majority of graduates with vast unpayable debts with ridiculous interest rates is a sure-fire way of creating a generation of people who hate your political party with an absolute passion.

But instead of admitting that their tuition fees hike was a deeply unfair policy of erecting social mobility barriers in order to benefit the children of the establishment, and that Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely right that education should be considered a social good that benefits everyone in society, rather than a commodity to be flogged at the highest possible price, they've decided to make a big fuss about kicking the issue down the road for another year in the hope that it makes it look like they actually care.

Had Jeremy Corbyn won the 2017 General Election these outrageous rip-off tuition fees would have been abolished already, yet all Theresa May is offering is "we'll look into it and get back to you in a year".

Theresa May must imagine that students are pretty damned thick to buy this ridiculous song and dance the Tories are making about how much they care about the devastating impact of their own damned policies. And she must imagine that they're absolute bloody half-wits if they're going to accept Tory 
"we'll look into it and get back to you in a year" guff as preferable to a Labour commitment to immediately scrap rip-off tuition fees.

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* = Finding an extra £9,000 per year for your kid to go to university is an impossible dream for most ordinary families, but £9k is an absolute snip compared to the £39,000 per year fees at Eton (David Cameron's school)  £37,740 at Westminster (Nick Clegg's school).