Wednesday 27 November 2019

3 extraordinary fakery scandals in a single day from 3 of Britain's biggest broadcasters

Yesterday provided yet more damning proof that we've entered the era of full on fake news in British politics, which goes so much further than randoms making up fake websites and spreading copy n' paste lies.

We've now reached the level where mainstream journalists are spreading ludicrous made up nonsense, because they know they can get away with it, because nobody will hold them to account.

The Hindu Council

The first piece of fakery was spread by the ITV journalist Paul Brand, who tweeted an anti-Labour letter from the "Hindu Council" accompanied by the dramatic claim that "Major interventions in this election today from pretty much every major faith in Britain. Astonishing".

But if you actually read the letter, it's a poorly written anti-Muslim diatribe, full of bizarre clunky language, spelling mistakes, weirdly tangential points, utterly brazen bias in favour of the Indian BJP government, and seething undisguised hatred of Muslims and the Labour Party.

Then if you look up who the "Hindu Council" are it turns out to be a tiny ultra-obscure pro-BJP pressure group with just 206 Facebook followers!

206 Facebook followers: "major intervention" ... "extraordinary"!

It looks an awful lot like Brand didn't research where the letter came from, didn't even bother to read the lamentable diatribe, and just tweeted it out as a "major ... major ... astonishing" scandal because the letter chimed with the anti-Corbyn agenda!

The anti-Corbyn mob obviously pounced on Brand's Tweet and retweeted it over 3,000 times amplifying it beyond the scale of anything this bunch of hyper-partisan weirdos could ever have dreamed of.

Then the Daily Mail picked up on it and included it in one of their grotesque anti-Labour diatribes, but they couldn't even find a picture of the leader of this ridiculously obscure 'Hindu Council' outfit (Anil Bhanot), so they had to include a picture of Corbyn himself in the article header image instead!

Instead of reporting the news, Brand blatantly created it by lavishing free publicity on a nasty hyper-partisan bunch of Muslim-bashing BJP extremists, and by fabricating the absolute fiction that this tiny ultra-obscure operation is somehow representative of the entire Hindu faith in Britain, purely because their vile, incompetently scrawled letter chimed with the mainstream media "Get Corbyn" agenda.

Leaked chat screenshot

The next piece of fakery was even more absurd, and even more widely retweeted, with multiple iterations of the image in question going viral on Twitter.

The original source for the screenshot was the Sky News Technology correspondent Rowland Manthorpe, who published an outraged Tweet about a supposed Labour WhatsApp plot to media-manage the reaction to the Andrew Neil - Jeremy Corbyn interview (more on that later).

The glaringly obvious thing about the leaked media management instructions from a supposed Labour campaigner is that they're all right-aligned, which means, as anyone who has ever used a messaging app will know, whoever leaked this set of instructions to the press is actually the person who wrote them.

You would have thought that the Sky News technology correspondent should have an understanding of the absolute basics of how messaging apps work, but apparently not.

Manthorpe shared the screenshot with absolutely no indication that the leak had been composed by the person who leaked it.

When pushed on the actual source of this screenshot, Manthorpe said it was posted in a Labour activist group, then said that the post has now (conveniently) been deleted.

He won't say which activist group it came from, nor who leaked it to him, so it's entirely unattributed, as well as being obviously fake.

All we know about it really is that whoever came up with this scam was so utterly thick that they didn't even bother setting up two accounts so that they could send it to themselves, then leak what they'd written themselves as received messages, rather than sent ones.

But despite the ridiculous cack-handed fakery of it, this absurd screenshot has been spread all over social media, and seen hundreds of thousands of times, all triggered by a technology correspondent who apparently doesn't know how messaging apps work!

Andrew Neil's lie

Corbyn's interview with Andrew Neil went about as well as anyone would have expected given Neil's ridiculous interview technique of spewing furious monologues, and then continually hectoring and interrupting when his interviewee victim attempts to reply.

Neil caught Corbyn in an all time classic trap, called the wifebeater fallacy, listing a load of Labour's failings on antisemitism, then demanding Corbyn apologise for it all, even though he had absolutely no influence over almost all of it (Labour disciplinary procedures are independent from the party leader for obvious reasons).

Corbyn refused to fall into the wifebeater trap, because he knew the mainstream media would play it as an admission that he was personally apologising for being an anti-Semite, which he obviously isn't ... but it's a double edged sword, so literally all of the front pages of the right-wing propaganda rags bar the Daily Star are blaring about Corbyn refusing to apologise to Jews!

The only problem is that in his barrage of 'evidence' about Labour anti-semitism, Neil included an outright lie.

He said "let me give you the case of Lesley Perrin...She posted a video denying the Holocaust and questioned whether the six million figure was accurate. And what did the Labour Party do? It gave her a written warning. No expulsion, no zero tolerance, just a written warning".

This seems unequivocally bad, but then look into the actual facts of the case and it turns out that Perrin actually quit the Labour Party as soon as the investigation into her comments was opened.

Labour didn't let her off with "just a warning" as Neil claimed, because they actually had no power whatever to investigate or discipline her, once she'd quit the party.

Of course it's fair game and a legitimate line of questioning to ask Corbyn about antisemitism, and what Labour are doing to combat it, but if the problem is as awful as so many people are making out, why on earth is there a need to exaggerate and make things up?

Neil's lie isn't actually as bad as the previous two examples, because he could simply have got his 'facts' muddled up in his extended Labour antisemitism monologue, but it's far worse in scale because him hectoring Corbyn to apologise for something that didn't even happen formed the basis of anti-Corbyn hatchet jobs on the front pages all of the billionaire-owned right-wing propaganda rags the following day.


The BBC's Andrew Neil won't be held to account for lying about Labour disciplinary procedures. Just like Sky's Roland Manthorpe won't be disciplined for sharing the kind of obvious fakery a technology correspondent should be able to spot instantly. Just like ITV's Paul Brand won't be disciplined for boosting a ridiculously obscure bunch of politically partisan, far-right Islamophobes purely because their rabid screed aligned with the "get Corbyn" mainstream media agenda.

These people, from three of the UK's biggest and most influential news broadcasters, will suffer no consequences whatever for amplifying extremist groups, spreading ridiculous fakery, and telling lies about antisemitism, so they'll obviously do it again, and again, and again, because they know they can get away with it, and because they know they get rewarded with masses of attention when their fakery goes viral.

No consequences for them means terrible consequences for the rest of us: which will manifest as the continued deterioration of journalistic standards to the point where journalists can just spread whatever made-up bollocks and lies they like in order to generate retweets, and front page headlines, to the point it becomes almost impossible to differentiate between what's real, and what's just partisan fakery.

How are we supposed to believe anything we see from mainstream media broadcasters when their journalists are willing to just make stuff up, and amplify palpable nonsense, purely to fit the partisan political agenda they're pushing?

 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.


Thursday 21 November 2019

13 of the best bits from Labour's 2019 manifesto

Before I get started, it's vital to say that you should definitely read the Labour Party manifesto for yourself rather than solely relying on other people's interpretations of it.

Don't let the right-wing billionaire propaganda barons and their mercenary hacks tell you what to think about it, don't fall for the Tories' fake Labour Manifesto website, and also remember that this article of mine isn't a comprehensive analysis either, it just covers some of the main themes.

If you don't have time to read it for yourself now, bookmark it and read it later: Labour Manifesto 2019

Investment not austerity

The Tory austerity ideology has failed.

The list of austerity failures is spectacular: the worst post-crisis economic recovery in centuries, the worst sustained collapse in UK workers' wages since records began, the lowest level of infrastructure development in the developed world, the UK's AAA credit ratings gone, the national debt doubled, collapsing public services, soaring violent crime, the lowest level of house building since the 1920s, and a plague of poverty spreading across the United Kingdom.

"Let's cut our way to prosperity" was always economically illiterate madness, when the tried and tested economic method has always been investment in infrastructure, education, transport, research and development, high-skill jobs, and affordable housing.

Labour will throw Tory austerity into the dustbin of history where it belongs, and actually invest in our economy to increase our future economic potential, rather than strangle it like the Tories have been doing for the last nine years.

The centrepiece of Labour's investment strategy is the development of a national investment bank, with the explicit aim of lending to businesses, infrastructure projects, and other productive sectors of the economy across all of the UK's regions, rather than just leaving investment to the private banks, who continually target the majority of their investments at property price speculation and gambling on the global derivatives casino.

If you want investment targeted at the engines of economic productivity, rather than used to re-inflate the house price bubble, or gambled on the kinds of junk bond derivatives that caused the 2008 economic crisis, Labour's economic strategy is the correct choice to make.

National Education Service

Education should be treated as a right which benefits everyone in society, not just the individual who receives it, not a commodity to be rationed out in order to maximise profits for the rich.

Labour's plan to create a National Education Service to provide free education to anyone who needs it, no matter their age, education level, or background is a truly transformative policy on a level with Labour's creation of the NHS back in 1948.

Things change so fast in the modern world that most people change careers multiple times in their working lives these days, meaning successful economies need flexible a flexible workforce.

Labour's education policy isn't just that young people get a good education without paying through the nose for it for their entire working lives, it's that anyone who loses their job, or chooses to change careers, can acquire the retraining and skills they need, at any age.

The National Education Service wouldn't just be for kids and young people at university, it would be for all of us.

Public ownership

Do you think that vital public infrastructure and services like the railways, water supply, Royal Mail, broadband infrastructure, national grid, and prisons should be operated by private profiteers as money-making enterprises, or as not-for-profit public services?

The overwhelming majority of British people believe in the not-for-profit public service option, however the unrepresentative Westminster establishment class have spent the last four decades defying the public will and transferring ownership of £billions in public assets to their wealthy mates.

Labour's 2019 manifesto represents a golden opportunity to set about reversing this process, and de-privatising things that should never have been given away to private profiteers in the first place.

Labour's manifesto includes commitments to de-privatise the water supply, the national grid, Royal Mail, the railways, broadband infrastructure, and prisons.

The privatisation fanatics will try to argue de-privatisation costs too much, but the way they come up with their ludicrous figures is to treat de-privatisation as an expense (money down the drain), rather than an investment (providing returns on investment).

A report from Grenwich University found that de-privatisation of key public services would pay for itself within the space of just 7 years.

Reverse Tory wage repression

The UK is the only economy in the developed world
where the economy has been growing but wages have
been falling in real terms.
Tory wage repression policies like allowing the spread of exploitative Zero Hours Contracts and years of below-inflation public sector pay freezes have resulted in a lost decade of wage growth for UK workers, and the longest sustained decline in the real value of workers' wages since records began.

Labour understands that workers with money in their pockets spend more, which creates economic demand, which creates more jobs, which creates more prosperity in a virtuous circle.

Henry Ford understood this in the 1930s, which is why he gave his factory workers good enough salaries that they could afford to buy his cars.

The Tories failed to understand this, and adopted the view that the best way to increase profits for the very rich, is to decrease the wealth of the very poor, as if the economy is a static balance sheet with a rigidly set supply of money to be carved up in the way that best benefits their mega-rich donors.

Labour understands that the economy is dynamic, and that there's actually more possibility for the wealthy to make money if workers have money to spend.

Thus Labour is pledging to raise the Minimum Wage to £10 straight away to give UK workers the pay rise they deserve, and to reverse the Tory public sector pay cuts in order to bring wages back up to the level they were before nine years of Tory austerity extremism.

Restore the NHS

If you haven't needed to use the NHS in recent times, perhaps you're unaware of how bad things have become after nine years of being deliberately under-funded, run-down, and ideologically vandalised by the Tories. If you really don't know, please take the time to speak to someone who works in the NHS about how much worse things have got since 2010.

Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs to pick itself up off its knees, they'll restore NHS Bursaries in order to combat the NHS staffing crisis, and they'll reverse the radically right-wing Tory NHS privatisation agenda that saw a record £9.2 billion in NHS services fall into private hands last year.

Labour will also ensure that all parts of the NHS, the treatment of patients, the employment of staff and medicine pricing are all fully excluded and protected from any international trade deals.


Four decades of right-wing "leave it to the market" ideology has created a housing disaster, with nowhere near enough homes being built to meet demand, and literally millions of people priced out of home ownership altogether.

Labour housing policies include: 

  • Building more houses, with at least 150,000 new council houses per year by the end of the parliament.
  • Rent controls and binding minimum standards for private landlords in order to prevent unscrupulous profiteers renting uninhabitable hovels at rip-off prices.
  • Scrap the Tories' bogus definition of 'affordable', which is set as high as 80% of market rents, and replace it with a definition that is actually linked to local incomes
  • A concerted effort to combat the homelessness epidemic that has absolutely soared since 2010
  • New powers to allow local government to bring empty properties back into use.
  • A £1 billion fire safety fund to ensure nothing like Grenfell ever happens again.
Rebuild local government

Some of the most devastating impacts of Tory austerity extremism have been felt at local government level, as a result of the extraordinary 67% cuts to local government funding.

If you've been wondering why your council tax bills keep going up, but your local services keep getting worse and worse, the Tory local government cuts are entirely to blame.

Labour's manifesto pledges to reverse these devastating cuts, and ensure local government funding is restored to pre-2010 levels.

Dignity for disabled people

Literally thousands of disabled people have died within weeks of being declared "fit for work" and thrown off their disability benefits by the Tory disability denial system, which isn't just an inhumane way of treating some of the most vulnerable people in society, it actually costs more to administer than it will ever save in reduced disability benefits.

Labour will end this systematic abuse of disabled people, adopt the social model of disability, and promote the acceptance of neurodiversity.

After a decade of unprecedented UK government hostility to disabled people (so bad it's been condemned by the United Nations), Labour are pledging to actually listen to disabled peoples desires, and care for their needs.

Public procurement

From Serco and G4S stealing hundreds of millions from the public through electronic tagging scams to the collapse of Carillion, there are countless examples of public procurement disasters.

Labour won't outlaw outsourcing, but they will dramatically reform the way government sources from the private sector.

Firstly Labour will end the current presumption in favour of outsourcing public services and introduce a presumption in favour of insourcing.

They will also stop the public getting ripped off by taking back all PFI contracts over time.

One key change will be the introduction of best practice public service criteria, meaning no more government contracts for companies based in tax havens, with poor environmental records, or who pay poverty wages to their employees.


Labour's commitment to the environment is written throughout their manifesto, from large infrastructure projects like the construction of 9,000 wind turbines and massive investment in solar technology, to legislative action like banning fracking and incorporating climate and environmental impacts into government budget forecasts so that the cost of not acting will be factored into every fiscal decision.

Green protesters will be disappointed that Labour haven't committed to making Britain a zero carbon economy by 2030, instead aiming for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s, looking for credible pathways to speed up the process.

This means Labour's zero emissions target is 2039 at the very latest, the Lib-Dems' target is 2045, and the Tories are intent on delaying until 2050.

Foreign Policy

One of the big reasons the political establishment class hate Jeremy Corbyn so much is that he's been proven right on foreign policy so many times, while they've been proven horribly and disastrously wrong.

Back in the 1980s Corbyn was protesting against Apartheid in South Africa, opposing UK weapons sales to Saddam Hussain, and encouraging peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. He was on the right side of history, and mainstream politics caught up with him in the 1990s in rejecting Apartheid racism, and finding a peaceful solution to the Northern Ireland conflict.

In 2003 Corbyn famously opposed the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and was proven absolutely right about his warning that this invasion would set off a spiral of conflict that will fuel the wars, the terrorism, the depression, and the misery of future generations.

The ISIS terrorists grew out of the lawless terrorism breeding ground the US and UK created in Iraq, and then in 2011 Corbyn was one of the minority of MPs who opposed doing the same thing to Libya, which turned out to be a policy with deadly blowback in Britain as the Manchester Arena bomber came back to Britain from the terrorism breeding ground that our political elites decided to create there.

Labour's manifesto commits to avoid imperialist war mongering, and to put human rights at the heart of Britain's foreign policy objectives, which obviously means ending the Tory policy of flogging weapons to tyrannies, terrorism-spreaders, and war criminals.

Final Say referendum

The Tory decision to gamble the entire future of the UK with a completely undefined option on the ballot paper has created an absolute shambles. 

There's obviously no easy way of clearing up such a calamitous and divisive Tory mess, and anyone who says there is is either an idiot, or lying through their teeth.

Labour's proposal is to get rid of Boris Johnson's bodge job Brexit (which is even worse than the proposal Theresa May cobbled together), renegotiate a Brexit that doesn't annihilate the economy, and then put the decision back to the public in a final say referendum.

It's far from ideal holding a referendum between a defined Brexit and remain, because this is how it should have been done back in 2016, but at least it offers a credible choice to both sides of the Brexit debate, and avoids totally screwing over the 48% (like Boris Johnson and the Tories are taking such delight in doing) or screwing over the 52% (like the Lib-Dems are threatening).

Workers' rights

Last but definitely not least is Labour's position on workers' rights, which you'd expect to be good from a party calling itself "Labour".
  • Give British workers a well deserved pay rise with a £10 minimum wage, and the reversal of the callous Tory squeeze on public sector pay.
  • Provide free education for all means British workers will be have a right to improve their skills on the job, or acquire new skills when moving between jobs.
  • Strengthen protections for whistleblowers and rights against unfair dismissal for all workers.
  • Scrap punitive Tory anti-trade union laws.
  • Ensure no income tax rises at all for anyone earning below £80,000 per year.
  • Ensure workers have a say within government by creating a Minister for Employment Rights
  • Ban long-term Zero Hours Contracts and bogus fake self-employment contracts in the gig economy.

Labour's manifesto provides a blueprint for a better, fairer, healthier society in which all sectors of society enjoy the benefits of increased national prosperity, rather than just the mega-rich elitists.

Policies like investment in infrastructure and services, restoration of the NHS, de-privatisation of monopolies, action to combat the housing crisis, free education for all, and improved workers' rights aren't just abstract things that don't really matter. They're policies that have the potential to shape all of our lives for the better.

If this election is going to be fought on policies and which party has the better blueprint for what the UK could become in the future, this manifesto is a winner.

If however it's fought out in the political sewer, with deceptions, smears, lies, vacuous personality politics, fake websites ... then there's every chance these transformative policies will never see the light of day as the militant hard-right, ultranationalist, pro-privatisation, billionaire-bankrolled Tories spend the next five years trampling on ordinary people in order to rig society ever more in the favour of the billionaires who fund their entire operation.

We're at a crossroads as a nation, between what Labour have laid out here, and a very dark path indeed.

 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 17 November 2019

12 things you should know about the Lib-Dem policy of Ultra-Austerity Forever

It's a busy election campaign so I shouldn't really be wasting my Sunday analysing the activities of a silly nonsense party like the Lib-Dems, but their latest policy announcement of 'Ultra-Austerity Forever' is so bizarre, so wrong headed, so economically illiterate, so off the charts crazy, it's a matter of morbid curiosity.

Like a horrific pile up on the other side of the motorway, it's giving me the compulsion to slow down and have a look.

I know it's sick and wrong to gawk like this, when I've got much more important election priorities to focus on like hammering the Tories for their malice and incompetence, or talking about the ambitious democratic socialist policies Labour are putting forward, or taking a more detailed look at the political landscape in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland ... but I just can't help it.

So here are 12 things you should know about Lib-Dem Ultra-Austerity Forever.

Ultra-Austerity forever

There are two main strands to the Lib-Dem policy of Ultra-Austerity Forever.

The first is the enforcement of a "fiscal rule" that the government must create a permanent budget surplus of 1%, meaning that the government permanently extracts more wealth out of the economy than it invests back into it.

The second element is that the government deny funding to any project that cannot prove itself economically profitable, no matter the other benefits (social, environmental, public health, immeasurable effects on future economic prosperity ...).

No apologies

The Lib-Dems have never apologised for the ruinous consequences of the austerity fanaticism enforced by the 2010-15 Tory/Lib-Dem coalition (collapsing living standards, soaring poverty, the worst sustained decline in the value of workers' wages since records began, the slowest economic recovery in centuries, vandalism of the social safety net, deliberate under-funding of public services, the worst house building figures since the 1920s, the loss of the UK's AAA credit ratings, the lowest levels of infrastructure investment in the developed world ...).

Neither have they apologised for the fact that austerity extremism caused the living standards collapse that drove the Leave vote marginally over the winning line in 2016.

All of this devastation and chaos was caused by George Osborne's incompetent efforts to cut state spending back to a balanced budget (a 0% deficit).

The Lib-Dems aren't just unapologetic about their role in this devastation, they're actually promising to intensify austerity by aiming for a budget surplus of 1% (a deficit of -1%)!

They're not just refusing to apologise for austerity extremism, they're doubling down on it and pushing it harder than ever!

Investment vs Austerity

Investment economics says that you create prosperity by investing in stuff like infrastructure, housing, skills and education, high skill jobs, quality services.

Austerity economics says that you create prosperity by wantonly slashing away at all aspects of state spending in the vain hope that your economy will finally be the one that breaks precedent by demonstrating that it is possible to mindlessly cut your way to growth and prosperity.

There's absolutely no way that any Lib-Dem can pretend that their party leaders are intending to use tried and tested investment economics to achieve this 1% surplus because their political language is utterly infested with the kind of economic baby talk we've come to expect from austerity fetishists.

During the Lib-Dems' Ultra-Austerity Forever launch speech Ed Davey said "The spending competition between the Labour and Conservative fantasists has made Santa Claus seem like Scrooge".

He's literally ridiculing the idea of investing in public services and infrastructure projects! You'd have to be utterly clueless to not understand that this kind of anti-investment rhetoric is motivated by undying belief in crackpot 'let's cut our way to prosperity' austerity dogma.

Arbitrary economic illiteracy

Politicians love to put inflexible targets on things because they think "fiscal rules" make them sound important and knowledgeable, but in reality economists tear their hair out at nonsense like an inflexible 1% budget surplus, no matter what the circumstances.

You don't even need to have any economics training whatever to understand the idiocy of arbitrary targets like this. Just ask yourself why exactly 1% is the economically ideal number. Why not a 0.9% surplus? Why not a 1.25% surplus?

There's clearly been no actual calculation done. They've just settled on 1% because it sounds catchy and memorable, haven't they?

Also, what happens if something changes dramatically? What if these's a natural disaster? or a nuclear power station melts down? Or somebody explodes a dirty bomb in a British city?

Or what if it's something utterly mundane like the cost of government borrowing going up or down dramatically?

Under what circumstances does it become acceptable to break this completely arbitrary 1% fiscal rule?

Shrinking the state

An arbitrary fiscal rule enforcing the government to only ever spend 99% of what it extracts from the economy is quite obviously a recipe for shrinking the state relative to the size of the economy.

The desire to shrink the state has always been a mainstay of hard-right politics, and the Lib-Dems have actually thought of a way to legislatively encode this state shrinking ideology!

Bully for them. They're more dedicated to the hard-right state shrinking ideology than the Tories!

The price of everything, the value of nothing

The Lib-Dem strategy of using beancounters to analyse every single bit of government spending to ensure it is capable of turning a profit might sound fairly sensible in practice, but in reality it's an exercise in knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Just think about investments like a NHS diabetes awareness campaigns, or providing children's music lessons in schools, both of which cost money in the present, but have extremely nebulous and hard-to-measure potential future economic benefits in the long-term.

How is it even possible to estimate the long term economic benefit of these things in terms of reduced demand on NHS services and fewer lost sick days from work, or the potential future contribution to the £100 billion UK creative industries market?

And what might the cost of scrapping their funding turn out to be in 25 years time? How would you even begin to calculate the long-term economic repercussions?

Then there's the simple fact that money isn't everything.

OK, maybe a public investment only returns 90p in the pound, but what about other factors like the social benefit? Environmental benefits? Public health benefits? Quality of life benefits?

Why scrap all of that into the bin just to fixate on whether the investment pays back more than it cost in monetary terms?

How about paying for granny's operation after she's had a fall?

It turns out that elderly people with broken hips become exponentially more likely to die the longer they wait for treatment , which means the state would save huge amounts of money on the cost of the operation, the cost of future medical care and social care, the cost of future pension payments etc.

Spending money on reducing hip replacement waiting times for elderly people is clearly counter-productive if you view things from a purely fiscal perspective.

If it's more profitable to just let granny slowly die in agony rather than replace her broken hip, isn't that the fiscally responsible thing to do?

Incompatibility with their own damned policies

The idea of scrutinising every single element of government spending from a purely financial perspective isn't just narrow-minded, it's also incompatible with a number of the Lib-Dems own policies!

Take their pledge to plant 60 million trees.

From an environmental perspective tree planting is actually a fairly good idea (although not as good as setting aside land to naturally re-wild itself), but in terms of an economic investment alone, it's unjustifiable.

How on earth is planting millions of trees over thousands of acres of viable farmland ever going to spin an economic profit for the government?

The Lib-Dems are so inept that their headline election pledges are completely at odds with their proposed fiscal rules!

Outflanking the Tories

It's quite extraordinary to see the party of Charles Kennedy attempting to outflank the Tory party on the economic hard-right, with their state-shrinking, Ultra-Austerity Forever agenda.

This is a party that competed with Labour for socially progressive centre-left votes until just a decade ago, yet now they're presenting themselves as the most radical economically right-wing political party in British politics!

The last of the Cameroons

The last politician to dare raise the spectre of austerity to infinity was David Cameron, who gave a truly extraordinary speech promising permanent austerity for the masses, whilst surrounded by gold ornaments and all of the trappings of wealth and privilege at the Lord Mayor's banquet in 2013.

Promising 'austerity forever' was a bold move, even at the height of austerity mania in 2013, but promising it now, in the middle of an election campaign, when austerity has gone completely out of fashion so much that even the Tory party is trying to distance itself from it ... well it's absolutely wild, isn't it?

The Lib-Dems are clearly pining for their glory days of coalition government, six figure salaries, ministerial cars, important cabinet meetings ... And in their pathetic attempts to bring those past glory days they've resorted to the magical thinking of channelling David Cameron's political ghost!

Reconsidering the austerity coalition

Jeremy Corbyn has won the Investment vs Austerity argument so comprehensively that even the Tories are trying to distance themselves from austerity extremism, so it's incredible that the Lib-Dems have decided to double down on it as the last austerity party standing.

Given the Lib-Dems are the last remaining advocates of hard-right austerity fanaticism in British politics, surely it's time to reconsider their claims to have moderated the Tories during the austerity coalition years?

Why are we taking their claims at face value, when it now seems much more likely that they were just as keen on austerity as the Tories at the time, if not actively egging them on?

Tory target seats

Attempting to outflank the Tories to the economic hard-right looks like a suicidal political move if you think the Lib-Dems are after 'centrist' socially progressive votes, but in reality almost all of the Lib-Dems' priority target seats are Tory-held constituencies in the south and in suburbia.

Are they attempting to portray themselves as "more Tory than the Tories" in order to poach Tory target seats?

With the Lib-Dems there's always the strong possibility that whatever they're doing is the result of abject strategic incompetence, but in this case it does seem possible that they're attempting to resuscitate Cameroonian austerity extremism in order to woo voters in these marginal Tory seats.

Remainer doublethink

What the Lib-Dems clearly haven't considered is how their efforts to reanimate the political corpse of austerity is going to come across to the other core demographic they're targeting: Remainers.

For the last three years Remainers have been arguing against Brexit by saying it would mean "more austerity"*, so how on earth can Remainers even try to square this austerity is bad anti-Brexit argument with the Lib-Dems' stated economic policy of delivering ultra-austerity forever?

If you see yourself as a socially progressive 'centrist' type, who opposes Brexit because of the disastrous effect it would have on ordinary British people, how on earth would it be possible to support a party that's going to push ruinous austerity extremism even harder than Cameron and Osborne did?

Orwellian doublethink seems like the only plausible answer.


The Lib-Dems haven't just learned absolutely nothing from the two thoroughly deserved electoral kickings they've taken in 2015 and 2017, they've somehow convinced themselves to believe the polar opposite of the lesson they should have learned.

The obvious lesson they should have taken from these electoral routs is that they colluded too closely with the Tories, and that austerity extremism was a social and economic disaster that they should apologise for.

They should have not just apologised for the dire destruction in living standards that austerity delivered, but for the fact this austerity living standards collapse contributed directly to their own worst nightmare of the 2016 Brexit vote.

But what they've actually convinced themselves to believe is that the 2010-15 pre-Brexit period was some kind of magnificent utopia, and that the only way to return to those marvellous glory days is to dig up all the corpses from the austerity graveyard and reanimate them as ultra-powerful austerity zombies!

They're trying to bring back their own personal glory days by returning to the very stuff that actually brought their party crashing down!

 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 Remainer argument that "Brexit means more austerity" is every bit as dishonest as the Brexiteers' "£350m for the NHS" ... and I say this as a Brexit-sceptic. Austerity is a policy of cutting investment in an economic downturn. It's an economically illiterate response to crises. The tried, tested, and proven response to economic crises is investment in stuff like infrastructure, housing, transport, manufacturing, services, skills and education (create quality jobs and modern infrastructure = create prosperity). No matter the scale of a Brexit economic downturn, austerity would always be the wrong answer, and anyone claiming it would be inevitable is guilty of legitimising the outright lie that austerity is the correct response to a crisis, when the slowest economic recovery in centuries and the worst period of wage decline since records began post-2008 is damning proof that austerity is absolutely the wrong one.

Here's an article on this tragic piece of remainer 'groupthink': Are you unwittingly guilty of spreading hard-right Tory propaganda

Thursday 14 November 2019

Who are the people behind all these annoying fake-grassroots Tory spam ads?

During the 2017 General Election campaign several small independent left-wing sites (Evolve Politics, The Canary, Another Angry Voice ...) went absolutely mega-viral on Facebook, generating hundreds of thousands of interactions, and millions of views, without paying out a single penny on sponsored Facebook adverts.

Incredibly I produced the number one, number two, and number seven most viral articles of the entire general election campaign, without paying Facebook anything. The articles went mega-viral purely because so many people liked, shared, and commented on them.

Facebook will not allow this to happen again.

Last year they dramatically clamped down on small independent media sites, using their algorithms to prevent any repeat of this kind of mega-viral independent media phenomenon.

So instead of seeing organic viral content in your Facebook feed this election, you're increasingly likely to see sponsored anti-Labour attack adverts from fake-grassroot organisations that have spent thousands of pounds to inject their propaganda ads into the Facebook feeds of their target audiences.

In this article I'm going to look at four of the worst offenders so far, and reveal the people behind them.


This fake-grassroots attack page was created on October 29th 2019.

The person behind it is Tory Party councillor Suraj Sharma who initially tried to pass it off as a non-political page to bypass Facebook's rules on political advertising. He was soon caught and made to register with the Facebook Ad Library, where you can see the propaganda he's been sending out, how much he's been spending, and who he's targeting with this Tory propaganda dressed up as grassroots activism.

Clearly none of this spending is being registered as Conservative Party election spending, and it's entirely unclear whether Sharma is using his own money to bankroll this propaganda campaign, or laundering it from elsewhere.

Right to Rent, Right to Buy, Right to Own

This page is masquerading as some kind of property rights advocacy group, but if you check out the sponsored ads they're pumping into people's Facebook feeds, it's clearly just a succession of hyperbolic anti-Labour, anti-Corbyn propaganda ads.

The page was created on September 30th 2019, less than a month before the general election was called, and has already managed to pick up 2,000 followers (presumably a bunch of selfish buy-to-let slumlords).

Clicking through to the "RtR,RtB,RtO" website provides absolutely no detail on who is behind this propaganda operation, with their "About Us" section telling you absolutely nothing about who they are, other than the fact they hate Jeremy Corbyn, a lot.

The Facebook Ad Library entry for this propaganda outfit names someone called "Jennifer Powers" from Surrey as the person who paid for all of these anti-Corbyn ads, and guess what ... she turns out to be another Tory party activist.

Parents' choice

This page promotes the private school sector, and defends the ability of elitist private schools to hide behind charitable status in order to avoid paying tax, despite many of them raking in tens of thousands per pupil, per year.

The page was set up on October 11th 2019, and has been pumping literally thousands of pounds worth of Tory propaganda into people's Facebook feeds.

The man behind this fake-grassroots operation is yet another Tory, this time the former Tory MP Richard Patrick Tracey.

Campaign Against Corbynism

This anti-Labour propaganda outfit is the most vitriolic of the lot, and guess what ... check out their Facebook Ad Library entry, and the guy paying for all of this vitriol is a Tory party activist and Conservative Home columnist called James Bickerton.

This page stands out from the others because it was created in March 2019, rather than immediately before the general election campaign, but it's pursuing the exact same strategy of blasting huge amounts of cash on pumping fake-grassroots Tory propaganda into people's Facebook feeds.

Where does all the money come from?

Back in 2017 left-wing pages like mine didn't need to pay Facebook to spread our content news feeds. We relied solely on the fact that we were providing an alternative narrative to the lamentable mainstream media narrative that Theresa May and the Tories were going to romp to victory, with the only possible debate being the eventual size of their thumping parliamentary majority.

This time around the Tories are attempting to buy the Facebook election with numerous fake-grassroots pages blasting through thousands of pounds each to inject their crudely disguised Tory propaganda into people's Facebook feeds.

It doesn't take a lot of investigative work to figure out who is behind these disingenuous propaganda operations, but it's impossible to trace where the money to pay for these propaganda ads is actually coming from.

Are we seriously expected to believe that these pages, most of which popped up out of nowhere at the exact same time, using the exact same tactics, similar graphic design styles, all operated by Tory party insiders, are not part of some deliberate coordinated Tory party effort to flood Facebook with a tsunami of fake-grassroots Tory propaganda?

Do they really expect people to be this gullible?

 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.