Tuesday 5 March 2019

Meet the "more of the same" party

The Independent Group of 11 MPs who are squatting in parliament, refusing to call by-elections, and pinning their political hopes on begging Theresa May for an opportunity to prop up her pro-austerity government have announced the positions they've given themselves, and you couldn't have picked more inappropriate roles for several of them if you'd actively tried.

Heidi Allen - Welfare, social care, pensions, and business

Source: Heidi Allen on They Work For You

Heidi Allen is one of the three ex-Tories to join the parliamentary squatter group, and by putting her in charge of welfare and social care this lot are sending a very clear message to their financial backers that they're intent on continuing the savage welfare policies that Allen repeatedly voted in favour of during her time on the Tory benches.

Any "centrists" hoping this new group might adopt a more humane approach than the Tories to issues like disability, social security, and social care will surely be sorely disappointed to see this position handed to a Tory with a proven track record of voting in favour of savage welfare cuts and crippling reduced local government funding in order to fund lavish tax cuts on corporations and the super-rich.

Greedy businessmen hoping for more unearned handouts on the other hand, they'll be punching the air with delight that this new group is intent on continuing the same old "something for nothing" Tory agenda, and actively begging Theresa May to let them prop up her shambles of a government.

Mike Gapes - Foreign affairs and defence

It's difficult to think of a less suitable individual to take responsibility for foreign affairs than the unapologetic warmonger Mike Gapes.

This is a man who voted in favour of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, and then repeatedly voted against investigations into the ensuing catastrophe.

The Iraq war caused hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, triggered a refugee crisis of millions, and created a lawless power vacuum that eventually gave birth to ISIS.

Mike Gapes refuses to accept any moral responsibility whatever for any of this, and remains 100% unapologetic.

Gapes is also a big fan of the tyrannical, homophobic, misogynists, head-chopping, journalist-dismembering, terrorism-spreading Saudi war criminals, and was one of 13 MPs to receive a share of over £100,000 of gifts and freebies lavished on British politicians by the Saudi regime in 2018.

Gapes knows that the Saudis use British weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen because he was a member of the foreign affairs select committee that admitted that this was the case, but he simply doesn't care.

By appointing Gapes to their foreign affairs and defence brief the group are sending a very clear signal to arms manufacturers and the military-industrial complex that they're setting up as a pro-war, pro-imperialist party that is willing to turn a blind eye to the sickening war crimes of disgustingly tyrannical regimes like Saudi Arabia in order to flog them £billions more in weapons.

Chris Leslie - Treasury and trade

One of Ed Miliband's biggest mistakes as Labour leader was to allow a bunch of hard-right austerity fetishists rule the shadow treasury which resulted in Labour's ridiculously unappealing "austerity-lite" agenda that ruined their chances at the 2015 general election.

The 'thinking' behind this ludicrous policy was that Labour could pinch a few thousand soft-Tory votes in marginal constituencies by imitating ruinous Tory austerity rather than actively opposing it. What they clearly failed to factor into this mind-bogglingly stupid plan was the fact that an explicitly pro-austerity agenda would end up driving away vast numbers of natural Labour voters for every "soft-Tory" they managed to entice.

Hence Labour's share of the vote collapsing from 35% in 2010 to just 29% in 2015, despite the Tories overseeing unprecedented collapses in workers' wages and living standards, trashing Britain's AAA credit rating, and spectacularly missing all of their economic targets!

Had Labour actually opposed devastating Tory austerity dogma in 2015, Labour would probably have beaten the Tories, Ed Miliband would have become Prime Minister, austerity would be over, Jeremy Corbyn would still be an obscure Labour backbencher, and there's be no such thing as Brexit!

Chris Leslie was one of the ludicrous hard-right wonks in the shadow treasury who helped to lay the groundwork for Brexit by outright refusing to oppose the Tory austerity madness that was trashing wages, living standards, and public services, and he's still a pro-austerity fanatic now, even years after right-leaning international bodies like the IMF and OECD have rejected austerity dogma as an economically damaging ideology.

Appointing a hard-right economic illiterate like Chris Leslie to their economics brief is a very clear signal to the mega-rich beneficiaries of Tory austerity dogma that this group intends to continue the Tory agenda of using austerity as a means of transferring ever more wealth from to poor and ordinary to corporations and the mega-rich.

Angela Smith - Transport, Local government, housing, energy, environment, rural affairs

Angela Smith is such a talentless incompetent that she managed to completely screw up the biggest day of her entire political career by referring to British Asians as "funny tinge" on live TV on the Independent Group launch day.

Afterwards she excused this racist gaffe by repeatedly claiming that she was "very tired" which is actually significantly more offensive than the original gaffe because it implies that racist attitudes are somehow so natural and inherent that they accidentally slip out when people are tired, drunk, or stressed.

The idea that we're all inherently racists and it only depends how tired, drunk, or stressed we get before we start spouting bigoted racist slurs is absolutely extraordinary, but not quite as extraordinary as this group putting a pro-privatisation ideologue and lobbyist for private water companies in charge of their transport, energy, water, and housing policies.

With a hard-right pro-privatisation ideologue running this huge brief, it's absolutely clear that this group are committed to defying the public will by cementing private profiteering ownership of the railways, national grid, water companies, and other public services.

Putting Smith in charge of this brief is a clear signal to the private profiteers who are gouging vast profits out of our housing, public services, and utilities that this group is absolutely committed to delivering "more of the same"

Anna Soubry - Brexit and justice

Of all of the squatter MPs Anna Soubry is perhaps the most distasteful because of her outright and glaring displays of hypocrisy.

When she's not praising the devastating 2010-15 austerity policies that laid the groundwork for Brexit by collapsing UK living standards as "marvellous" Soubry often talks a good talk, but when it comes to the actions her parliamentary voting record stands as absolute proof that she repeatedly does precisely the opposite.

Take her continual grandstanding on Brexit to pose as some kind of noble Brexit-critic which is completely contradicted by her actions. She poses as a Brexit-sceptic, but in parliament she's repeatedly voted in favour of Theresa May's hard-right interpretation of Brexit.

Soubry's Brexit collusion including votes in favour of May's shambolic Withdrawal Bill in January 2018, votes against opposition amendments to protect workers' rights, environmental laws, equality rules, consumer protections and food standards, and even a vote of confidence in Theresa May after she humiliated Britain by postponing the scheduled "meaningful vote" for no reason other than the fact she knew she was going to lose it.

It's not just talking about opposing Brexit while repeatedly voting in favour of it either. When it comes to police cuts and violent crime she's also proven herself a despicable hypocrite too.

In response to Theresa May's ludicrous assertion that her policy of getting rid of 21,000 police and slashing police budgets has no relation with soaring rates of violent crime, Soubry stated that "of course there's a link between policing numbers and crime".

This Tweet is an admission that she knew that slashing police budgets would end up increasing rates of serious and violent crime all along, but she repeatedly voted in favour of Theresa May's ideologically driven assault on the police service regardless of the dire and deadly consequences she knew would happen. 

She blatantly put loyalty to the Tory party above the lives of violent crime victims, but now she's abandoned that party loyalty as worthless to join the parliamentary squatters, demonstrating that the victims of the violent crime wave she helped Theresa May to create are actually less than worthless in her estimations!

And she's got the absolute brass neck to start carping from the sidelines about the appalling consequences of the austerity fanaticism that she repeatedly and knowingly voted in favour of as if she's now some kind of heroic saviour!

Putting one of the most brazen hypocrites in the whole of parliament in charge of their Brexit brief is a signal to their financial backers that the group are actually extremely flexible on their Brexit position. If the secretive millionaires who are bankrolling this group want them to go all out for a referendum then that's what they'll do, but if the bankrollers decide that a hard-right Tory Brexit is actually in their interests, that's obviously what Soubry and the squatters will eventually vote in favour of.

Change Politics!

The parliamentary squatters' "change politics" slogan is every bit as Orwellian anything the Tory government have come up with over the years ("all in this together" - while transferring as much wealth as possible from the majority to the mega-rich minority, "making work pay" while overseeing the longest sustained collapse in workers wages in recorded history and slashing in-work benefits, "strong and stable" as their campaign slogan during the most shambolic and needless election in modern British history ...).

They repeatedly claim that they want to "change politics" but their actions demonstrate that on all manner of crucial issues from ruinous austerity dogma to war-mongering imperialism, and from privatisation mania to welfare policy, these are people who desperately want to keep things exactly the same.

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Anonymous said...

What we have here are the "Corporate Plutocrat Party".

They are purely a party for the status quo, devoted to foreign wars, privatisation, austerity, offshoring jobs, Saudi Arabia, Atos assessments and no change whatsoever.

They aren't centrist or liberal. They don't favour the politics of Kennedy or Ashdown's era Lib Dems. Nor Nordic style social democracy, pirate politics or German Ordoliberalism.

Mark Angove said...

All they need now is the Treacherous Tom Watson as deputy... job done!

Unknown said...

Russian's getting crucified for allegedly meddling in elections..what are this crowd up to..who is influancing our elections..

Simon J Broome said...

And a goonier squad, Ne'er there were.

Now can someone Rightfully Punt them out of their seats?