Saturday 30 March 2019

eBay have joined the culture war ... on the side of anonymous hard-right Twitter trolls!

In case you've been living under a rock for the last 9 years, there's an ideological war going on in UK politics.

On the one side there are hard-right fanatics who believe in impoverishing the poor and ordinary (via ruinous austerity, unprecedented wage repression policies, devastating public service cuts, catastrophic infrastructure under-investment, and vandalism of the social safety net) in order to lavish handouts and tax cuts on corporations and the mega rich. These austerity-fetishists are backed up by the vast majority of the UK mainstream media, and by various corporate lobbying groups like the CBI and a network of shady secretively-funded hard-right think tanks (Policy Exchange, Adam Smith Institute, IEA, CPS, Taxpayers' Alliance ...).

On the other side are the people who oppose austerity-fanaticism on the grounds that "let's cut our way to growth" is absolutely nonsensical pseudo-economics that outright defies economic history, and that this pro-cuts narrative is simply being used as a smokescreen to hide the real agenda, which is a massive and unprecedented upwards redistribution of wealth, regardless of the cost to the poorest and most vulnerable people in society.

Arguing in favour of a pro-austerity position is increasingly unjustifiable for a number of compelling reasons.

The primary reason is that it's spectacularly failed in its own terms. Back in 2010 the Tories promised that austerity would lead to complete elimination of the budget deficit by early 2015. It's now 2019, and after 9 years of cratering living standards and soaring in-work poverty, the budget deficit is still not eliminated!

Another compelling reason is that even right-leaning international organisations like the IMF and OECD have openly admitted that austerity is an economically damaging ideology.

But such is the power of the mainstream media in the UK that the austerity fanatics are still routinely presented as occupiers of the "common sense" position, while it's up to a bunch of small independent media outfits, economics experts, and lone wolf bloggers like me to make the counter-argument that austerity is economically illiterate nonsense that crushed living standards, caused the wave of public anger that drove Brexit marginally over the winning line in 2016, and pushed tens of thousands of people into early graves.

But some people on the political right simply can't tolerate the fact that there's any opposition to austerity fanaticism and its dire consequences at all, hence a new anonymous hard-right propaganda campaign aimed at defunding left-leaning news sources like Evolve Politics and The Canary by pressuring advertisers into pulling their ads from these sites with false accusations that these Impress regulated sites are spreading "fake news".

They obviously think it's easier to simply get opponents of austerity dogma and the systematic persecution of disabled people shut down with accusations of spreading "fake news" and spurious allegations of anti-Semitism, than to actually argue in favour of the policies they support.

These anonymous pro-austerity Twitter trolls first dragged the cancer charity MacMillan into their culture war by getting them to pull ads off The Canary (which happens to be one of the most consistent champions of sick and disabled people's rights in the British media and exactly the kind of socially progressive site a cancer charity would benefit from advertising on).
EBay UK publicly announcing their collusion with
this hard-right censorship campaign

And now they've convinced eBay to pull their ads from the Canary too.

Now I'm strongly against people cancelling their donations to a cancer charity because they've been tricked by hard-right culture warriors, because they do great work helping cancer sufferers with issues like palliative care ... but fuck eBay right?

If eBay are going to pick sides in the culture war and come out batting for the anonymous hard-right smear-mongering austerity fanatics, then fuck them.

But there's no good in just swearing to yourself that you won't use their services, or bickering about their decision on social media.

Write to them and tell them that if they're going to collude with an anonymous hard-right censorship campaign to defund Impress regulated websites, then you're not going to use their services, and you're going to tell people how eBay is actively siding with the hard-right to repress and censor legitimate criticism of stuff like austerity, wage repression, public service cuts, UN-condemned government discrimination against disabled people, brutal social security cuts, and deliberate under-investment in the drivers of future economic growth like infrastructure, housing, and education.

Here are some ways of getting in touch with eBay:

Email their UK managing director: Rob Hattrell
Facebook: eBay UK
Twitter: eBay UK news

Instagram: eBay UK

And please remember these rules for effective communication

1. Be firm but polite (absolutely no swearing or abuse)
2. Tell them what they did wrong
3. Ask them what justification they had for what they did
4. Ask them to rectify their actions
5. Tell them you will be boycotting their services until they rectify

Here's a template email you can copy n' paste in case you don't have the time to compose your own


Dear Rob Hattrell,

I'm writing to raise my concerns about eBay's decision to side with an anonymous right-wing campaign to smear the Impress regulated website The Canary as "fake news". As you will know, your company have publicly announced a decision to block adverts on their website as a direct result of this political censorship campaign.

I would like to know what investigations and considerations you undertook to justify this action.

  • Did eBay contact the independent UK Press Regulator Impress to ascertain whether the accusation of "fake news" against the Canary is a fair one?
  • Did eBay identify any examples of "fake news" at all on The Canary website and report them to the press regulator before the decision to blacklist was taken?
  • Did eBay contact The Canary for comment before this action was undertaken?
  • Or did eBay take a hard-right pressure group entirely at their word and block advertising on a left-leaning website without conducting any investigations to verify the accusations first?
  • Did eBay consider the free speech ramifications of siding with an anonymous hard-right campaign to defund and silence left-leaning socially progressive political commentary?

    Did eBay consider the reputation damage that uncritically siding with an anonymous hard-right censorship campaign could do to the eBay brand?
I hope you understand that I will be boycotting eBay and advising my friends and family to do likewise until this situation is rectified.

I look forward to hearing from you.



Aside from contacting eBay with your concerns, you can also help to support independent anti-austerity media with a small monthly donation, or just by sharing their articles, infographics, and videos.

The Canary
Evolve Politics
Novara Media
Another Angry Voice (me)

Thursday 28 March 2019

Will we be stuck in this humiliating Brexit farce forever?

So the results of the long-awaited indicative votes are in, and MPs rejected all eight of the options on the table.

The one that got closest was Tory veteran Ken Clarke's compromise proposal for a Customs Union Brexit, but it lost by just eight votes after almost 100 MPs abstained.

Labour's proposal for a confirmatory vote was defeated by 27 votes (with a significantly lower abstention rate than the Customs Union proposal), so MPs don't want to put the decision back to the public.

Jeremy Corbyn's compromise plan (Customs Union, Single Market, workers' rights, cooperation on science, security, and environment, no Irish border) was defeated by 70 votes, which is odd because it's very similar to Ken Clarke's proposal. Presumably a lot of anti-Labour MPs voted against it simply because they didn't want to give Corbyn the win.

A ruinous "no deal" flounce out of the EU was resoundingly defeated by 400 votes to 160, but still remains the default option if nothing changes before the EU finally get sick of this nonsensical game-playing farce.

Joanna Cherry's proposal to Revoke Article 50 if no solutions are found in order to prevent a "no deal" meltdown was defeated by 109. This would have been my preference, but it's perfectly obvious why a lot of MPs opposed it, because if it was adopted as a policy it would give Brexit-sceptic MPs a perverse incentive to steer the UK towards a "no deal" flounce in order to get the whole mess revoked.

The other three proposals were variations on the the compromise-Brexit theme, and all were resoundingly defeated.

So where does this leave us?

After following up the biggest government defeat in history with another humiliating defeat, Theresa May is attempting to bring back her absurd farce of a deal for a third time, and trying convince the Brextremist Tories to defy the national interest to vote it through by promising them that she'll quit as Prime Minister immediately if they pass it.

The problem is that an awful lot of these Brextremists have described her withdrawal plan in the most pejorative terms, including Jacob Rees-Mogg's accusation that it would turn the UK into a "slave state".

Theresa May is banking on the fact that her fellow Tories are now so keen to see the back of her that they'll wilfully vote to turn the UK into a "slave state" (their own words) in order to get rid of her!

The DUP sectarians she bribed into propping up her shell-shocked and shambolic government after the failure of her hubris election in 2017 are having none of it though, which means she's going to have to appeal to the pro-austerity "centrists" again.

The Independent Group squatter MPs have already clearly indicated that they'll actively prop up a Tory austerity government in return for another roll of the dice, regardless of the fact that nothing has been done to deal with the issues that caused Remain to lose the last referendum (no clamp down on electoral cheats an liars, no new regulation on social media dark ads, no real outreach to left-behind areas that voted Leave, no end to the living standards-trashing austerity dogma that caused Brexit in the first place, and the same kind of egotistical, elitist, grandstanding, pro-austerity militants pushing themselves to the forefront of the Remain campaign).

The Lib-Dems have adopted a similar pro-Tory pro-austerity begging strategy in the hope of another reckless roll of the dice. But after the absolute annihilation they suffered in their 2011 Alternative Vote referendum, they should know better than anyone that allowing the Tories to pick the options, the wording, the eligibility criteria, and the timing of the ballot to their own advantage would dangerously load the dice in favour of creating an inescapable double-mandate for a hard-right Tory-conceived, Tory-administered Brexit.

Labour will keep pushing for a General Election to break the deadlock, but it's highly unlikely to happen because the Tories certainly won't be voting no confidence in themselves, no matter how farcical it gets, the DUP definitely won't vote to kill their golden goose, and the Independent Group squatters will never vote for elections because they know the local constituencies they just betrayed will gladly punish them by booting them off the parliamentary gravy train.

So unfortunately there's no light at the end of the tunnel. No Brexit deal, no compromise Brexit, no referendum, no revocation of Article 50, no general election, just more of this interminable Brexit farce.

But this national humiliation is exactly what we get for 17.4 million of us voting for a vague ambition with no actual plan at all for how to achieve it, and then 13.6 million of us flocking to the polls to reelect the malicious and incompetent Tories who created this mess in the first place after they gave us an unexpected chance to get rid of them in 2017.

We can't really expect to see any more coherence and purpose from our political class if we keep voting for absolutely nonsensical things ourselves can we?

 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 26 March 2019

Grand Wizards and Nazi conspiracy theories: what the hell has the Tory party turned into?

First we found out that the Tory Brextremist faction have been gleefully paying tribute to the KKK by going around calling themselves "the Grand Wizards" and then within the space of a day the Tory MP Suella Braveman openly promoted the modern era reworking of the anti-Semitic Nazi era conspiracy theory of Cultural Bolshevism (Kulturbolschewismus) by ranting about the threat of cultural Marxism.

This is definitely a story about obscene bigotry and extreme-right fanaticism within the Tory ranks, but it's also a story of two very different styles of journalism.

The chief political editor of the BBC News Laura Kuenssberg was the one to break the extraordinary Grand Wizards story, but she named no names, and did absolutely nothing to hold the Tories to account for their grotesque tribute to the KKK white supremacist terrorist group who have lynched and killed thousands of people.

In fact once the story that she broke started going mega-viral, she desperately tried to put the story back in its box with an extraordinarily panicked Tweet aimed at downplaying the story, and creating the absurd fiction that none of the Tory ERG Brextremists were aware of the fact that Grand Wizard is the name of the head of the KKK when they started calling themselves "the Grand Wizards".

What Kuenssberg tried to do was portray the scandal as just an innocent mistake, but it simply came off as a desperate last ditch PR damage limitation exercise on behalf of the Tory party after her original matter-of-fact Tweet ballooned into a huge scandal.

Suella Braveman ranting on about the extreme-right Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory  demonstrates an extraordinary lack of awareness, and to do it when the Grand Wizards thing was still brewing up into huge scandal was unbelievably bone-headed.

But this time the journalist didn't treat it as some kind of benign anecdote and then desperately try to row the story back when people pointed out how outrageous it was. This time Dawn Foster immediately pointed out to Braveman that the mass-murdering extreme-right terrorist Anders Breivik was fixated with the Cultural Marxist conspiracy theory.

This challenge resulted in Braveman actually doubling-down on her use of the Cultural Marxism conspiracy theory, claiming that "no one can be offended" because "we're in a war" and "it's damaging to our British genius"!

It's delightful to see a journalist actually holding a politician to account on the dangerous rhetoric they're spouting rather than running damage limitation PR for them like Laura Kuenssberg

But it's disheartening that Dawn is one of the minority who actually do their job and hold the powerful to account, and even more dispiriting to see that most of the mainstream media have chosen to just ignore the fact that a Tory MP and former government minister has been publicly spouting Nazi rhetoric.

Of course there are reasons for this lack of coverage. One is that highlighting an extremely overt and obvious case of Tory anti-Semitism would spectacularly undermine the carefully curated mainstream media narrative that Labour are the nasty bigots with the anti-Semitism problem.

Another reason this story isn't getting traction is that a lot of the pro-Tory establishment propagandists in the mainstream media hack pack understand how much of a headache this would present for Theresa May if it gets amplified.

May would be left with the choice of suspending Breveman from the party which would incur the absolute wrath of the ERG Brextremists, or she could ignore it which would infuriate the "moderate Tories" who detest what she's allowing their party to turn into.

Tories from all factions of the party are already itching to get rid of Theresa May, so her supporters in the press don't want to rock the boat by amplifying this story, for fear of causing the May government to collapse and ushering Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street in the ensuing General Election.

These outrageous Tory scandals aren't just an indictment of a Tory party that is rushing headlong towards the extreme-right to such an extent that they're publicly espousing the vile rhetoric that motivated Anders Breivik and the Christchurch killer, it's an indictment of the mainstream media for allowing this to grotesque Tory radicalisation go on right in front of their faces as they desperately try every trick in the book to paint the vehemently anti-racist Labour opposition as the terrifying bigots.

 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.


Laura Kuenssberg demonstrates everything wrong with BBC politics in two tweets

Laura Kuenssberg is the political editor of BBC News. She's already been in trouble for her displays of political bias before, especially when she was reprimanded for creating "fake news" about Jeremy Corbyn by misleadingly splicing his answers onto completely different questions.

In just two Tweets she managed to illustrate how far BBC standards have dropped under her watch.

In the first Tweet she casually reveals that the Tory Brextremist faction are calling themselves "the Grand Wizards", which is the title of the leader of the Ku Klux Klan (a white supremacist terrorist organisation, not just a bunch of freaky bigots in white cloaks).

Somehow Kuenssberg completely fails to point out how vile and outrageous this nickname is, which is a puzzling one to explain. Either she's so lacking in basic political knowledge she's unaware of the very clear KKK connotations, or she is aware of the KKK aspect but saw no problem.

Despite Kuenssberg's casual and offhand presentation of the "Grand Wizards" story, Twitter absolutely exploded in condemnation, with people from across the political spectrum weighing in to condemn this racist nickname.

But then in her second Tweet Kuenssberg did something even more extraordinary that the casual offhand presentation in the first.

She actually tried to row back the story that she had created by portraying the people who self-applied the Grand Wizards nickname as being so naive and innocent that they didn't realise that it had grotesque racist connotations, and making out that the seriousness of her story is diminished because it's only based on a couple of anonymous sources anyway (as if half the mainstream media's political coverage isn't based on tittle-tattle from anonymous sources).

She asks us to believe that the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson, Steve Baker, David Davis, and Iain Duncan Smith are all so ignorant that not a single one of them is aware that the leader of the KKK is called the Grand Wizard, and that  they came up with their "Grand Wizards" nickname with "no intended connection to anything else"!

She tries to shut down the mega-viral story that she created by asking us all to believe an absolute absurdity.

Now just try to imagine if a faction of the Labour Party had been calling themselves "the Gestapo" or something equally disgusting. Do you think Laura Kuenssberg would present the story in such a casual manner, as if she was incapable of even recognising that such a self-applied nickname is grotesque and offensive?

Of course she wouldn't. It'd be ammunition in a full frontal attack (and rightly so if anyone in Labour were sick enough to behave like that).

And do you think that she'd actually try to row the story back by creating an absurd fiction that the Labour faction were so unbelievably naive that they didn't see their "Gestapo" nickname as being offensive?

Would she try to claim that they were just "using the nickname informally" and that there was "no intended connection to anything else"?

Of course she wouldn't. She'd be repeatedly harking back to the offensiveness of it every time she mentioned anything to do with the Labour Party for months. It'd be the new endlessly repeated "brick through Angela Eagle's window" or "where's Jeremy Corbyn?" attack line.
There's absolutely no way that Kuenssberg would be trying to do free PR damage limitation work for the Labour Party if a Labour faction had self-applied such a sickening nickname.

When the chief political editor of BBC News is behaving in this extraordinary manner, the pro-Tory bias is impossible to ignore. 

But as we learned from the total lack of punishment Kuenssberg received over the Jeremy Corbyn "fake news" story she concocted, she'll continue to get away with this kind of overt political bias. And as long as she's still running the BBC's political output, it's entirely justifiable for the public to perceive the supposedly unbiased and impartial BBC News as simply the propaganda arm of the Conservative Party.

 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 25 March 2019

What's going on here?

Every single time I mention the indisputable fact that the older demographics are more likely to vote Tory, to support Brexit, and to approve of right-wing authoritarian propaganda tropes, the inevitable response is a barrage of  self-defensive "how dare you!" comments from people stating their age and then saying that they never voted Tory in their lives.

Nowadays I always preface comments about age demographics with "obviously not all old people are like this and it's wrong to generalise" type disclaimers in order to deter the inevitable barrage of "how dare you!" comments, but it doesn't seem to matter.

They still turn up, state their age, and chastise me for generalising about all old people despite my explicit disclaimers explaining that discussion of demographic trends is not the same as generalising about all old people.

Whether I shroud my comments about demographic trends in disclaimers or not, these comments always appear without fail.

So what's going on here?

Why are so many older people so determined to self-defensively shout down commentary on the observable demographic reality about the voting habits of older people?

Surely we're all familiar with the fragile male who interrupts the conversation about issues like rape and domestic violence to proclaim "not all men", as if he's interpreted criticism of rapists and wife-beaters as being an attack on his personal masculinity.

And we're familiar with the ultra-defensive white fragility of some white people when it's pointed out that whites are still the beneficiaries of systemic racism, as if the fact that systemic racism still exists is somehow a personal attack on them for being white.

The same thing is going on with over-60s when they lash out at the demographic evidence that tells us that the majority of their peers vote Tory, support Brexit, and tend to fall for right-wing authoritarian and ultranationalist rhetoric.

They're lashing out because just like the "not all men" interrupter misinterpreting criticism of rapists as criticism of his masculinity, and the white fragility sufferer misinterpreting criticism of systemic racism as an attack on their white identity, these older people are misinterpreting the demographic discussion as an attack on their self-identity as an older person.

It turns out that it doesn't really matter how many facts and evidence and disclaimers we use because this self-defence response isn't a rational one, it's an emotive one.

As soon as people feel their identity as an older person, a male, a white, or whatever is under attack, logic and reason go straight in the bin, they tend to become impervious to facts and evidence, and a vehement emotive defence is mounted.

This kind of emotive reaction to perceived criticism of the self-identity is clearly a deeply embedded human trait, and one that it's easily possible to weaponise.

Older people who ignore all of the disclaimers to post their "I'm [insert age] and I'm not a [Tory/Brexiter], how very dare you generalise about me!" beneath any reference to age-related demographic trends are frustratingly predictable, but in the grand scheme of things they're pretty much harmless. After all their emotive response is to defend their self-identity as a good person who cares about society.

What's a lot more concerning is the way these emotive self-identity reactions are weaponised by the extreme-right, because the extreme-right know that once you've got people thinking with their emotions, they're incredibly easy to manipulate.

The reason victimhood narratives are so prevalent in extreme-right politics is that telling people their identity as a white/wealthy/male/heterosexual/Christian/Brit/whatever is under threat from the immigrants/Marxists/Feminazis/queers/atheists/PC thought police/Jews is designed to trigger this emotive self-defence reaction.

And the further towards the extreme-right the Conservative party drifts, the more we see Tory politicians and Tory supporters actively spreading these extreme-right victimhood narratives, conspiracy theories about "cultural Marxists", "the great replacement", "white genocide" and "postmodern neo-Merxism", and fear-mongering about the terrifying plot to erase Western culture and western people's identities.

This extreme-right political tactic is incredibly sinister and dangerous because these ideas are driving terrorist attacks like the Jo Cox assassination and the Christchurch massacres.

However the emotive self-identity defence these extreme-right victimhood narratives are designed to trigger have exactly the same emotional root as the old lefty typing out a furious "how dare you!" comment in response to the demographic data that proves that older people are generally more susceptible to this kind of identity-driven right-wing propaganda than the younger generations are.

Like I said before in my multiple disclaimers, these self-defensive "how dare you!" older people are not sinister, and they're not the enemy. At worst they're a mild annoyance for the way they just climb over the massive walls of disclaimers I've erected to post the exact same comments as if the walls weren't there at all.

But there is actually a lot to be learned by thinking about the instinctive and emotive self-identity defence reaction that drives these self-defensive comments, and how these often-harmless instincts and emotions can be manipulated for nefarious political purposes.

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


Sunday 24 March 2019

Are you guilty of unwittingly spreading hard-right Tory austerity propaganda?

There was a time not so long ago when Tory austerity myths were all pervasive, with virtually nobody besides a few obscure academics and leftist bloggers calling it out for the brazen wealth transfer con it always was.

The darkest days were when poor hapless Ed Miliband allowed pro-austerity neoliberal ideologues like Ed Balls and Chris Leslie free rein at the shadow treasury, meaning all three Westminster parties were simultaneously pumping out economically illiterate pro-austerity gibberish about the fictional need to 'cut our way to growth'.

The space for dissenters to talk about rational pro-investment economic policies was extremely limited, and ruinous austerity dogma went almost entirely unchallenged in the mainstream media and wider UK public discourse for a significant period of time.

The problem of course is that when a crackpot ideology is presented as essentially unquestionable "common sense" for a singificant period of time, the fundamental assumptions that make up the foundations of that ideology tend to seep into the public consciousness.

Even now when right-leaning organisations like the OECD and the IMF have admitted that austerity is an extremely damaging economic ideology, these pervasive pro-austerity myths continue to circulate within public discourse.

One of the most most pervasive myths of all when it comes to austerity dogma is the "There Is No Alternative" (TINA) argument, which is just a simple Tory reworking of 1980s Thatcherite pro-privatisation propaganda for contemporary purposes.

The TINA austerity argument goes like this: National borrowing is too high. The only way to reduce borrowing is to reduce spending: Therefore there is no alternative to our programme of austerity, wage repression, public service cuts, vandalism of the social safety net, and deliberate under-investment in drivers of future economic prosperity like infrastructure, education, and affordable housing.

This narrative outright defies the lessons of economic history that have proven time and again that investment is the true key to success.

Just look at the New Deal in the US. Look at the unprecedented four decade growth boom in China and the role that massive investment projects have played in facilitating that growth. And look closer to home at the post-war Attlee government that managed to significantly reduce Britain's all-time record high debt mountain by founding the NHS, expanding the welfare state, introducing Legal Aid, rebuilding our shattered nation, and building millions of decent affordable houses.

The problem is that the toxic Tory TINA austerity narrative has been so well drilled into people that you often hear anti-Brexit people resorting to the argument that Brexit will be a disaster for ordinary people because it would inevitably mean more austerity.

Of course this argument makes sense as long as we assume that the Tories would be in control of government in perpetuity (something a lot of mainstream media figures seem to want), because the Tories would obviously see the Brexit meltdown of their own making as an ideal opportunity to ramp up their favourite upwards wealth transfer con all over again.

But the assumption that austerity would be completely inevitable under a Brexit recession is actually just Tory propaganda, because like I said before, economic history has proven time and again that the true way out of economic difficulties is targeted investment in productive sectors of the economy, not wanton slash-merchantry.
Of course inefficient forms of spending can be cut in conjunction with targeted investment (no sane economist is in favour of waste), but the assumption that departmental budgets across the board need to be slashed in order to reduce borrowing is total economic madness, when the truth is that increased investment is the key to recovery.

Successful nations invest their way out of trouble, and those led by ideologically driven slash-merchants end up in chaos.

Brexit is actually an example of this reality in action. Austerity trashed our living standards, hard-right ideologues blamed these falling living standards on immigrants and the EU, millions of people protest-voted in favour of Brexit because none of the mainstream political parties gave them the option of rejecting austerity, and now the Tories are trying to use Brexit as an excuse to drag workers' rights, living standards, environmental laws, consumer protections even further downwards in order to benefit their mega-rich backers.

If the economy tanks under Brexit, which definitely would be a bad thing, the solution is still investment, not austerity.

Anyone pushing austerity as an inevitable solution to Brexit chaos is guilty of spreading Tory propaganda.

It pains me to see people who seem to get that austerity is a bad thing using this atrocious TINA argument to fear-monger about Brexit causing even more austerity, because use of this argument demonstrates that they've completely failed to understand what is actually wrong about austerity.

Austerity is wrong because it's an ideological choice, not a necessity.

Austerity is wrong because wantonly cutting productive areas of the economy at a time of economic crisis, as if all spending is essentially just waste, is not a logical common sense solution, it's economic vandalism.

Austerity is wrong, and anyone making out that it's an inevitable reaction to economic crises, no matter what their motivation, is guilty of spreading the exact same hard-right Tory propaganda these slash-merchants used to justify it in the first place.

They're so confused that they're trying to oppose Brexit, but they're actually guilty of pushing the very same propaganda that justified the devastating austerity years which caused the Brexit vote in the first place!

So don't be a Tory propagandist, and never imply that austerity is inevitable because that's exactly what the Tories want people to believe.

 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.


What if they treat white people like blacks?

Before I get started I'm going to have to put my cards on the table in order to avoid the all-too-predictable accusations that I'm some kind of rabid Brexiter, or that I'm somehow bullying David Schneider by considering the subtext of what he said.

I was one of the most viral anti-Brexit campaigners on Facebook during David Cameron's botched referendum gamble (examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and I've remained a staunch critic of Tory Brexit ever since. 

I'm actually a fan of David Schneider, and I've quoted him on my Facebook page too. It's just that in this instance he's said something really telling that reveals the blindness of so many liberal white progressives.

I'm sure that he wrote "I’ll be marching with EU citizens worried they’ll be treated like the Windrush generation" with honest intentions, but the subtext here is actually really quite sickening if you try to see it from a black perspective.

It's not difficult to see the undertones.
'I'm protesting against Brexit because I'm worried they'll start abusing mainly-white European citizens in the way they have been treating black British citizens for years!'
'I didn't take to the streets to protest against the Windrush scandal, but I'll invoke it now to publicise my own issue'
'I'm going to objectify the unspeakable suffering of others, not to protest against it directly, but to use it as a proxy for what I actually care about'
'I'm protesting about Brexit because thy might start treating white people like blacks!'
Where were the million+ marching when it was revealed that Theresa May's vile Hostile Environment policy had forced black Brits out of their jobs, denied them housing, and social security, and pensions, and banking services, and even urgent medical care?

Where were the enormous protests when it was revealed that scores of black Brits had been deported from their own country, with many of them actually dying in exile overseas?

There weren't any comparable protests because so many white liberal progressive types just went "oh dear" and got on with their lives because Theresa May's disgusting Windrush scandal didn't affect them personally.

The same goes for the sickening Tory mistreatment of sick and disabled people that's been condemned by the United Nations as a grave and systematic human rights violation.

After 9 years of this barbarity nobody has an excuse for not knowing about the disability denial factories, the slashed disability benefits and confiscated motability cars, the terminal cancer sufferers told to "get a job", the mentally ill people asked why they haven't committed suicide yet, the thousands who have dies within weeks of being declared "fit for work".

But just like the Windrush scandal, a million+ mainly-comfortable mainly-white, progressive "centrists" never flocked to London in to decry the despicable Tory abuse of disabled people either, because they only protest when they fear the policy is going to affect them personally.

And then we can look back to the crux of it all. The ruinous Tory austerity agenda that trashed our living standards and created the wave of public anger that drove Brexit marginally over the winning line in 2016.

Where were the million+ when the Tories were using austerity dogma, wage repression, public service cuts, local government cuts, destruction of the social security net, deliberate under-investment in housing and infrastructure to impoverish millions of people and decimate left-behind communities up and down the country?

Perhaps if more of them had lifted a finger to protest against Tory austerity dogma and its ruinous consequences between 2010 and 2016 then we wouldn't have ever ended up in this Brexit farce in the first place?

And then we look at the politicians at the march and on the podiums giving self-righteous speeches against Brexit at the march in London, and we see who they are.

There are the politicians who enabled the Windrush scandal by helping Theresa May's Hostile Environment policies through parliament (the Tories and Lib-Dems who voted in favour of it, and the Labour right-wingers like Yvette Cooper, Tom Watson, and David Lammy who all abstained on it to let it glide through parliament virtually unopposed).

They're the people who invented the disability denial factories (Labour right-wingers like Yvette Cooper) and those who actively made the disability denial factories even more vile and dehumanising (the Tories and Lib-Dems).

And they're the people who supported the ruinous austerity dogma that created Brexit in the first place (Tories), those who enabled it (Lib-Dems), those who imitated it instead of opposing it in 2015 (Labour right-wingers), and even those who continue pushing this same ruinous potential-destroying, life-wrecking, living standards-eroding ideology even now (the "Independent Group" parliamentary squatters).

Like I said at the beginning there's no way Schneider intended this Tweet to upset victims of the Windrush scandal, or to imply that the abuse these people have suffered was fine as long as it was only happening to blacks and other incomers from the colonies, but it's impossible not to see the subtext.

It's impossible not to see the way he's invoked this outrageous scandal not to criticise the scandal in itself, but to create publicity for the political issue he actually cares about.

The fact is that an awful lot of people who consider themselves to have liberal and progressive values just didn't stand up until they saw that the Tory political chaos might affect them directly through Brexit. But it's actually worse than that because they're so blind to their own indifference that they'll use the actual suffering of others as a warning that the same might eventually end up ... shock horror ... happening to "people like us".

 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.


Remain liars are every bit as politically toxic as Leave liars

People who vehemently oppose this ongoing Tory Brexit farce are perfectly understandable. After all it's been obvious from the beginning that the Brexiteers had no real plan for how to extricate the UK from the political union we've been integrating with for four decades, and that their Leave campaign was run by a bunch of opportunistic liars.

The problem of course is that there are liars on the Remain side too. People who have seen the effectiveness of the Leave lies, and instead of thinking 'we need to find more efficient and effective ways of countering these lies' they've gone for the 'if they won by lying, we need to lie through our teeth too' strategy.

One of the worst things about Brexit is the way it created such a tribalist division that ordinary Brexiters have felt compelled to defend the most extreme and egregious Brexiteer lies out of some weird tribal loyalty to people on the same side of the Brexit division.

Anyone with a social media account must have seen some desperate Brexiter performing absurd mental gymnastics to try and defend Boris Johnson's "£350 million for the NHS" lie, even after the Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings admitted that it was a lie, and that Leave probably wouldn't have won without it.

And the same goes for Remainers and the outright liars in the extremist fringes of the Remain camp.

When Eddie Marsan publishes an 18 month old picture of Jeremy Corbyn doing an Eric Morcambe pose on Twitter in order to spit vitriol at Jeremy Corbyn for campaigning in one of Britain's poorest and most austerity-damaged communities, he's lying through his teeth.

And when the lawyer Jo Maugham amplifies Eddie Marsan's lie by Retweeting it with a sneering anti-Corbyn screed of his own, it's simply another outright lie.
Spreading political lies and dismissing the people of Morecambe (and their 26.4% child poverty rate) because Jeremy Corbyn decided to campaign there instead of attend an anti-Brexit march in London with the likes of Alistair Campbell (anti-Semite and the professional liar who helped create the Iraq disaster), Tom Watson (who announced that he actually wants to vote in favour of Theresa May's shambolic Brexit deal to a chorus of boos from the crowd), and Chuka Umunna and his band of parliamentary squatters (who are literally begging Theresa May to let them prop up her pro-Brexit pro-austerity government) is exactly the kind of elitist London-centrism that people often unfairly smear the entire anti-Brexit movement as being.

All these lies do is reinforce the idea that Remain is some kind of elitist project with absolutely no regard for the truth, or for left-behind communities like Morecambe that have been ravaged by issues like deindustrialisation, austerity dogma, collapsing wages, child poverty, exploitative employment practices, trashed public services, barren high streets, failing schools, food bank dependency, local government cuts ...

But instead of calling out these lies, loads of Remainers (especially the #FBPE cultists) have actively retweeted them, and used them to publish bitter and shockingly dishonest anti-Corbyn screeds of their own.

If people like Marsan and Maugham are willing to use outright lies in order to further their political agenda, then they're clearly just as politically toxic as the Brextremists who created this Tory Brexit farce in the first place.

And if you're willing to help amplify, or even just make excuses for these Remainer lies just because you feel like you have some tribal debt of allegiance to them because they're on the same side, then you're every bit as bad as the Brexiters who think that the Leave campaign were justified in lying their way to victory in 2016 because they ended up getting what they wanted as a result.
But in a way the people spreading these sneering Remainer lies are even worse, because at least the Leave lies had a clear sense of purpose (tricking and terrifying people into voting Leave) while sneering-at-Morecambe type lies just make Remainers look like a bunch of smug, lying, sneering, metropolitan elitists who don't give a shit about ordinary people or left-behind communities, which is clearly a staggeringly counter-productive way of portraying yourself and your movement. 

In conclusion, political lies erode the standard of political discourse, and political liars should be called out, no matter whether these liars are on your side of any particular political divide or not.

 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.