Sunday, 14 April 2019

The two biggest lies in British politics

Whatever our political views, or our position on Brexit, it's impossible to deny that British politics is now in an absolutely farcical state.

After almost three years to prepare for it, the Tory government have twice missed their own Brexit deadlines, and left themselves no choice but to go grovelling to EU leaders to beg for extensions in order to avoid the danger of the "no deal" Brexit meltdown that they repeatedly bluffed that they were going to launch if they didn't get their own way!

Whether you think Brexit is a great idea, terrible nonsense, or somewhere in between, only the delusional would try to argue that Brexit hasn't turned into an absolute shambles.

So how did we get here?

There are obviously all manner of interrelated reasons, but one of the biggest reasons of all is the susceptibility of the British public to believe in the most absurd political lies, and two political lies in particular have played crucial roles in creating this nationally humiliating Brexit farce.

The austerity lie

In the wake of the 2008 financial sector insolvency crisis the Conservative party launched an extraordinary propaganda campaign to shift blame for the crisis from the reckless bankers who gambled themselves into insolvency onto the Labour government.

Of course the Blair-Brown neoliberal incarnation of Labour shared some measure of responsibility for failing to oversee the financial sector and regulate the risks they were taking, but in the pre-crisis era it's vital to remember that the Tory opposition continually demanded even more financial sector deregulation!

As the crisis was brewing the Tories weren't warning of the dangers and offering to do things more sensibly, they were demanding that Labour deregulate even further and make the risks even greater!

After the Tories established the lie that the Labour government were to blame for the global financial sector crisis and the Lib-Dems enabled them into power in 2010, they set about their agenda of transferring the cost of the bankers' crisis onto the poor and ordinary people who make up the majority of the British population.

They imposed ruinous austerity policies, ruthlessly slashed vital public services like the NHS, policing, and education, gutted local government funding, oversaw the worst period of collapsing real terms wages since records began, vandalised the social safety net, built the lowest number of new houses since the 1920s, and reduced infrastructure funding to the lowest rate of any country in the developed world.

Meanwhile they rewarded the bankers and speculators who caused the crisis in the first place by slashing taxes for corporations and the mega rich, lavishing unprecedented handouts on the asset rich, and creating a privatisation bonanza by handing out £billions of state assets on the cheap, or completely for free.

They made the majority of people pay for the crisis while they simultaneously worked to transfer ever more wealth to the mega-rich class who caused the crisis in the first place!

The Brexit lie

Millions of Brits felt the pinch of reduced living standards through stagnating wages, failing public services, low-paid insecure work, destruction of the social safety net, reduction of in-work benefits, and severe local government cutbacks, but the next Tory lie was even more brazen than the last.

Instead of admitting that all of this suffering was the result of their (by then completely discredited) ideological austerity agenda, they opportunistically pinned the blame for the consequences of their own hard-right policies onto immigrants and the EU in order to propagandise in favour of Brexit.

Tory Brextremists cynically weaponised the dire consequences of their own austerity lie in order to create their next massive lie.

The opportunistic Tory Brextremists own the majority of the blame for this grotesque Brexit lie, but the centrists own a fair share of responsibility too.

Between 2010 and 2015 the Lib-Dems actively participated in the Tory austerity government, so they could hardly set the record straight on the Tory Brexit lie without implicating themselves as culprits in the living standards collapse they helped the Tories to deliver.

The Labour right-wingers also share a portion of the blame too because their pathetic "austerity-lite" positioning at the 2015 general election gave the English public virtually no means of fighting back against austerity other than protest-voting for the Green Party in a rigged electoral system where they didn't stand a chance of making any real breakthrough.

The architects of Labour's "austerity-lite" agenda Ed Balls (who lost his seat) and Chris Leslie (who defected to the CUK squatters) are complicit in creating Brexit because they pathetically acquiesced to the Tory austerity lie instead of standing up and fighting the Tory malice and deception head on.

If the centrists had actively confronted economically illiterate Tory austerity fanaticism head on, instead of actively enabling it and pathetically imitating it, then it's highly unlikely that we'd ever have ended up in the farcical situation we're in now.

Why do people end up believing such obvious lies?

The Tories blamed the Labour government for a financial crisis caused by the mega-rich in order to dupe the majority of British people into believing that we all deserved to be economically punished with austerity dogma, and then the Tory Brextremists blamed the collapsing living standards caused by this ruinous austerity agenda on immigrants and the EU in order to break Britain's membership of the biggest trading block on the planet.

So how did so many millions of people end up believing these absurd lies and actively re-electing the party that kept telling them?

It's tempting just to blame these millions as idiots who will believe any old nonsense, but a widespread lack of critical thinking skills isn't actually the fault of the individuals, it's clearly the product of an education system that rewards obedience and rote learning more than it rewards questioning and critical thinking.

If kids spend a decade and a half learning to unquestioningly rote learn and repeat what the teacher authority figures tell them in order to get the dopamine hit of praise and good grades, then what do we expect of them in adulthood when they end up reading the hard-right propaganda rags and watching BBC political output that steadfastly refuses to provide balanced coverage on austerity fanaticism?

Is it any wonder that millions end up uncritically rote learning and believing nonsensical lies?

If the mainstream media was fit for purpose then the debate over austerity fanaticism would have raged endlessly since 2010, rather than most journalists simply accepting the outright lie that there was no alternative to punishing the majority to pay the cost of a financial crisis engineered by the mega-rich minority.

The BBC are especially to blame because when it comes to issues like climate change or extreme-right terrorism, they're always willing to "balance" sensible or scientific views with the mad ramblings of science-deniers and far-right extremists.

But when it came to the economic illiteracy of Tory austerity fanaticism, they threw "impartiality" out of the window to simply accept austerity dogma as essentially unquestionable, and never ever sought to balance their political panels with at least as many anti-austerity voices as pro-austerity ones

The mainstream media deserve a large share of the blame for their outright refusal to subject ruinous Tory austerity fanaticism to the constant barrage of scepticism that it so richly deserved, and then for their complicity with the Tory blame-shifting lie that immigrants and the EU were to blame for the consequences of their own hard-right austerity agenda.

If the mainstream media hack pack were even remotely interested in holding the powerful to account then the vast majority of Brits would have been well aware that Tory austerity was always a con job, and that austerity dogma was the primary reason for the collapse in living standards that Brexiteers gleefully blamed on immigrants and the EU.

If the mainstream media had actually worked to hold the Tories to account on their austerity lies during the 2010-2015 austerity coalition, then there's absolutely no way they could have got away with blaming the dire consequences on immigrants and the EU.

The mistake of course is the assumption that it's the job of mainstream media journalists to hold the powerful to account, when reality proves over and again that the majority of them actually see it as their job to act as gatekeepers of public discourse tasked with shutting out and relentlessly smearing those who dare to question the establishment order.

They don't get paid lavish six and seven figure salaries for questioning the establishment order, they get paid so handsomely for defending it.

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



Pal said...

And just how many lives have been paid to enforce this lie? Bet that's something you won't read in any mainstream media outlet.

Mr. Magoo said...

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