Category: 2017

The Tories are a billionaire-backed zombie political party

Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the Labour Party has had a massive surge in membership to well over half a million people. The amount the party has raised in fees has increased from £6 million in 2014 to over £16 million last year (which accounted for almost a third of their overall income).

Meanwhile the Tories continue hiding their membership numbers. However the latest Tory party accounts reveal that the amount they received in membership fees has collapsed from 1.46 million in 2016 to just £835,000 in 2017 (below 2% of their income).

In fact the Tories made twice as much from legacies left to them by dead people as they did from membership fees from the living!

Tory membership costs £25 per head with discounts available for people under-23 and active members of the armed forces. 

Given that young people and active military personnel are surely a small minority of the party, the £835,000 figure suggests that Tory party membership is somewhere around 44,000, which is less than 1/12 of Labour’s membership.

The discounts for young people and military personnel excuse is exactly what the Tory Chairman Brandon Lewis came up with to defend the party’s minuscule takings in membership fees

But even if we adopt the ridiculous proposition that 1/3 of Tory members are under-23, 1/3 are active military personnel, and just one 1/3 are non-military adults over the age of 23, that still only works out at 55,670 members, which is less than half of what the Tories like to claim their membership as, and pretty much a quarter of the 200,000 members the Telegraph were bragging about in July 2018.

The comparatively tiny amount of cash the Tories make in membership fees is offset by the fact they raked in an astounding £34 million+ from their mega-rich backers (including massive wodges of cash from Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies).

Isn’t it interesting that the mainstream media keep on pushing the trope that Labour’s democratic socialist agenda is somehow a “cult” with very little public appeal, when in reality their return to democratic socialism under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has attracted more new members than at any time in decades?

Meanwhile the comparatively tiny Tory party which only appeals to a minuscule “I’m alright Jack” segment of society with their hard-right austerity dogma, wage repression, and public service destruction policies, are never referred to as being an unpopular crackpot ideological cult with limited public appeal.

When it comes to policies the story is the same. The Labour public ownership platform (railways, NHS, education, National Grid, water supply, police, Royal Mail) is spectacularly popular with the public.

Meanwhile the Tory policy of privatising the police, schools, justice system, and NHS services is strongly opposed by almost everyone.

Yet somehow the media paint Corbyn and Labour as the unpopular cult with extremist policies, and the Tories as the popular sensible ‘common sense’ party with widespread public appeal!

Whichever way the mainstream media try to spin it, Labour is actually in a very healthy financial position thanks to their massive grassroots support, while the Tory party are a zombie political operation with hardly any grassroots support which is only being kept going by the legacies of dead people and a bunch of selfish mega-rich influence-buyers expecting their pound of flesh in return for their cash.

 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.


Jeremy Hunt is so bad at his job that he’s now…

Jeremy Hunt is so bad at his job that he’s now resorted to rewriting the history of the NHS | The Independent: undefined

#DeleteFacebook is a monumentally stupid campaign for the political left to be pushing

We all know the left has a spectacular propensity for self-harm, from factionalism and splits, through to the alienating language that so many on the left tend to use, but the Cambridge Analytica Facebook data scandal has unleashed a truly spectacular self-harming campaign on the left.

Left-wing people are taking to Twitter to call for others to #DeleteFacebook.

Of course Facebook has some very serious problems, including the alleged misuse of Facebook data to create psychological warfare tools to rig elections, their hosting of disgusting terrorism-inspiring extreme-right hate chambers like Britain First for years, their continued promotion of fake news, and their willingness to allow political parties and campaigns to spread outright lies through targeted dark ads.

I’m clearly not denying Facebook has serious problems, but to focus on all of the problems and refuse to recognise that Facebook was the scene of a massive left-wing victory during the 2017 General Election is wilful myopia.

After decades of hard-right neoliberalism completely dominating the means of communication, suddenly Facebook provided a voice to people to express an alternative.

Analysis by The Guardian found that every single one of the 30 most viral political stories on Facebook during GE2017 was pro-Corbyn, anti-Tory, or both.

My own analysis demonstrated that a small rag-tag bunch of left-wing political bloggers completely annihilated the Tories and the mainstream press for Facebook virality during the final week of the GE2017 campaign.

The 2017 General Election proved that there was an enormous public appetite for left-wing news that dared to step outside the parameters of the narrow spectrum of permissable mainstream media debate.

People wanted to read analysis that offered an alternative to the ridiculous caricature of Jeremy Corbyn as an irredeemable and incompetent terrorist-sympathising communist, and they wanted to read analysis that actually held the Tories to account for the seven years of ruinous austerity dogma, wage repression, local government cuts, privatisation scams, and impoverishment schemes they’d overseen.

2017 was the moment that the left finally fought back against the mainstream media cheerleaders of neoliberalism, and Facebook was the battlefield on which this all-too-rare left-wing victory was won.

So the idea that left-wing people should suddenly up sticks and abandon the vital media territory they’ve only just won, without even putting up a fight, is quite extraordinary.

Some might argue that Twitter is a better platform for political debate, but anyone who thinks winning on Twitter would be enough on its own is completely delusional.

Only 7% of British people have a Twitter account, significantly fewer are regular Twitter users, and even fewer still are deep into ‘politics Twitter’.

On the other hand almost half of British people have a Facebook account. 

If you concede defeat on Facebook then you haven’t got a chance of winning the social media battle. It’s that simple.

Nobody who is on Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family is going to delete it over a load of Cambridge Analytica scandals they probably don’t even understand that well.
The right obviously won’t care a jot that a dodgy company allegedly misused Facebook data to deliver Britain to a the Brextremists and the White House to Trump, so it’s going to be predominantly lefties and liberals who go along with this #DeleteFacebook campaign.

So the only people who are going to strop off Facebook are politically active people on the left.

What could actually be a worse idea than left-wing people abandoning the largest and most effective social media platform of all, and leaving it to the Tories and the extreme-right?

Facebook is a fantastic means by which politically engaged people like me can reach out to less politically engaged people to present alternatives to the right-wing tropes that remain almost ubiquitous in the mainstream media.

And what’s more is that the evidence shows that people are vastly more likely to share a political story if it’s come to them via a friend, family neighbour, or work colleague than they are to share content that’s been targeted at them in sponsored Facebook ads.

Yet the #DeleteFacebook crowd are pushing for people on the left to just throw this fantastic means of reaching out to ordinary people away, and abandon it to the Tories and the extreme-right!

Of course Facebook needs to be held to account for their actions. Of course Facebook has a responsibility to introduce new measures to combat stuff like dodgy data-mining, fake news spreaders, extreme-right hate chambers, and dishonest political dark ads.

But you’d have to be completely and utterly delusional to imagine that a whole bunch of left-wing people deleting their Facebook accounts and conceding the biggest social media platform of all to the Tories and the extreme-right is a great idea.

We only just cracked a way to counteract the nefarious influence of the billionaire hard-right press barons who have ruled the parameters of UK public discourse for decades, and these #DeleteFacebook melts want us to just throw it away!

 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.


Always reblog for the thighs

Always reblog for the thighs

Imagine the press reaction if some crazed leftist had admitted their plot to kill Theresa May …

The extreme-right suspect in the deadly Finsbury Park attack has admitted in court that he originally intended to kill Jeremy Corbyn when he hired a van and drove it to London on June 19th 2017.

In the end the van was driven into a group of Muslims in Finsbury Park in Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington constituency, resulting in one death and several serious injuries.

The mainstream media have reported the fact that the terrorism suspect intended to kill Jeremy Corbyn, but in a fairly neutral manner and without any effort to apportion blame on the people who radicalised him.

Just imagine the mainstream media reaction if the roles were reversed and it was some kind of radical extreme-leftist who had plotted to kill Theresa May, then driven a vehicle into a random group of people outside a Conservative club in her constituency later that day.

Even if the attacker was a member of some random Stalinist cult with no links whatever to the Labour Party, we all know that there would be a concerted effort to link the attacker with Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum, and to force Jeremy Corbyn to apologise for the attack as if it was his personal responsibility.

Yet Theresa May has been allowed to get away with saying absolutely nothing about it, as if extremist plots to kill her political rivals are perfectly normal and unworthy of comment.

As it stands nobody in the mainstream media is holding hate-spewing Tory politicians or the right-wing propaganda rags responsible for the extreme rhetoric they used against Jeremy Corbyn, which eventually triggered this assassination plot against him.

Take Zac Goldsmith’s disgusting BNP-style propaganda during his failed bid to become Major of London, or the grotesquely misleading attacks on Jeremy Corbyn on the front pages of the right-wing propaganda rags during the general election, or the continued hate-inciting rhetoric of Tory MPs like Nadine Dorries.

All of these people who have attempted to smear Jeremy Corbyn as some kind of supporter of radical Islamist terrorism should be held accountable when people decide to take the law into their own hands and develop assassination plots, especially after the murder of Jo Cox by a right-wing extremist in 2016.

We know that Darren Osborne was radicalised by Britain First, and that he was praised and lauded as a hero in the Britain First echo chamber after the attack was carried out, but when that extreme-right organisation is actually held to account for radicalising people like Darren Osborne into plotting to assassinate politicians is a question for a different article.

The big questions here are why hate-inciting Tories like Zac Goldsmith and the right-wing propaganda rags are not being forced to apologise for spreading the kind of extreme anti-Corbyn smears that inspired Darren Osborne to develop a plot to assassinate him? And why Theresa May is being allowed to get away with saying nothing when we all know the mainstream media would be desperately trying to smear Jeremy Corbyn by association, and demanding that he apologise in person if the circumstances were different?

 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 Daily Mail is by far the most dishonest newspaper in Britian

In 2017 the Daily Mail was by far the biggest offender when it came to making up inaccurate content. They had 37 inaccuracy-based complaints against them upheld by the press self-regulator IPSO. That’s more than twice as many as the two next worst offenders (the Daily Express and The S*n).

It’s important to bear in mind that these 37 upheld complaints only scratch the surface of the dishonesty and inaccuracy of the mainstream press. IPSO only proceeds with investigations if newspaper content provokes a wave of public complaints. Even if numerous people do complain, it’s entirely up to IPSO whether they bother conducting an investigation or not.

Even though the complaints procedure is so inadequate, the number of rulings against inaccurate content paint a concerning picture of a right-wing dominated mediascape where cynical hacks working for billionaire propaganda barons (Jonathan Harmsworth, Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers) consider themselves free to make up reams of inaccurate content, safe in the knowledge that they’ll receive little or no punishment, even on the occasions that the toothless press regulator bothers to investigate and proves them to be liars.

Back in 2016 the three worst offenders were also the Daily Mail. S*n, and Express who racked up 43 rulings for inaccurate content between them. In 2017 the total between these three serial offenders has risen to 70, suggesting that the problem of hard-right propaganda rags spewing inaccurate/misleading/dishonest content is getting significantly worse.

In 2016 the Daily Mail racked up 17 rulings against their inaccurate content, but in 2017 a total of 17 adverse rulings was only enough for The Daily Express to secure a distant second place, after the Daily Mail managed to more than double the rulings against them to 37.

These figures suggest that the Daily Mail is by far the most dishonest newspaper in Britain. In fact their deluge of inaccurate, heavily biased, and misleading content was enough for Wikipedia to classify them as an unreliable source, yet millions of people still read this vile and demonstrably dishonest hard-right hate rag.

What you can do

If you see any misleading/inaccurate/dishonest content in the mainstream press, you should consider lodging a complaint with IPSO.

Yes, IPSO is far from ideal, and totally toothless when it comes to punishing newspapers that lie to their readers, but they work on a public complaints basis, and if people don’t complain about inaccurate content, they simply won’t bother to investigate it.

Save the link to the IPSO complaints form in your bookmarks, and use it to lodge a complaint the next time you come across a mainstream media article that you consider to be demonstrably misleading/inaccurate/dishonest.

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


Theresa May’s message to Britain: “don’t get old, don’t get sick, don’t lose your job”

The 2015 General Election was an absolute disaster to any non-Scottish person with even remotely progressive social values. The Scots could celebrate their remarkable wipe-out of the neoliberalism-fixated Westminster establishment parties, but elsewhere there was little to celebrate after Ed Miliband squandered his golden opportunity to win a landslide victory by opposing ruinous Tory austerity dogma, because he chose to offer a disgustingly unpalatable and uninspiring prescription of austerity-lite snake oil instead.

One of the few highlights of the 2015 election was the people of Wirral West seeing sense and ditching their atrocious MP Esther McVey.

The ruthlessly self-serving McVey had spent the previous three years acting as Iain Duncan Smith’s merciless henchwoman at the DWP, and the people of Wirral West were rightly sickened and appalled at her callous attitudes towards the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the unemployed, so lost her seat, and her role in government.

McVey used to brag about how rising dependency of food banks is a good thing, and she also had a central role in promoting the draconian Tory sanctions regime.

The mainstream media rarely address the issue of the benefits sanction regime that McVey had such an important role in expanding, but even fleeting analysis reflects extremely badly on the Tory party, so it’s no surprise it gets so little coverage.

The first thing to note about McVey’s beloved sanctions regime is that despite a barrage of lies and denials (including from McVey herself), the Tories operated a system of benefits sanctions targets and league tables designed to incentivise Jobcentre staff into sanctioning quotas of people per month. The purpose being to drive down the unemployment figures by throwing people off benefits for the most trivial of infractions (people out of work and not claiming benefits are not classed as unemployed!).

The next thing to note is that the most likely people to get caught up in the Tory benefits sanctions regime are the most vulnerable. Just think about it for a moment. If you were a hard-pressed Jobcentre employee with a target of sanctioning let’s say two people a week, would it be easier to go after the minority of hardened benefits scroungers who probably know the benefits rules better than you do yourself, or to trick a few people with mental health issues or learning disabilities into committing sanctionable mistakes?

Just take the case of the former soldier David Clapson who was sanctioned and left penniless. He died at home from diabetic ketoacidosis after his electricity was cut off leaving his supply of insulin to spoil in the fridge. When opposition MPs questioned McVey over the dangers of sanctioning vulnerable people like David Clapson, she responded by accusing them of “inflaming” the issue

Just imagine the scheming callousness of a woman whose own policies have resulted in a man’s death, who refuses to accept any responsibility, but instead tries to play politics by posing as the victim herself.

Another important thing to note is that Esther McVey repeatedly talked out of her posterior claiming that the sanctions regime exist to “help” the unemployed. 

The reality is the exact opposite. Numerous studies have shown that leaving people penniless hinders their ability to find work. Just think about it. If you can’t afford to eat properly, clean your clothes, get a haircut, public transport fares, your phone/Internet bill, the cost of printing CVs … would you really be more likely to find a job? All the research says no you wouldn’t. Esther McVey says yes you would.

Then there’s the absolute kicker. It turns out that deliberately thrusting hundreds of thousands of people per year into absolute destitution actually costs the taxpayer more money than it saves in reduced benefits payments!

This means that Esther McVey’s draconian system of condemning hundreds of thousands of people per year to absolute poverty actually costs the taxpayer vast sums of money, making it a grotesque example of taxpayer subsidised Tory malice.

After she was rejected by the people of Wirral West the Tories handed McVey a ticket back into Westminster by parachuting her into the super-safe Tory seat of Tatton at the 2017 General Election. Now, within the space of a year, Theresa May has actually appointed this callous and scheming woman as the head of the DWP.

Make no mistake, this appointment is a clear statement of intent from Theresa May. She’s not going to reverse course and stop squandering taxpayers’ cash on the kinds of wasteful,  socially destructive, and downright malicious Tory impoverishment schemes favoured by Iain Duncan Smith.

In fact she’s decided to double-down on this kind of disgusting hard-right malice by appointing the cruellest and most uncaring of Iain Duncan Smith’s minions to carry on his work of punishing and abusing the poor and vulnerable.

You couldn’t really get a stronger indication of Theresa May’s absolute contempt for the welfare of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society than the appointment of Esther McVey as the head of the DWP.

So be warned. This is Theresa May’s unmistakable message to the people of Britain: “don’t get old, don’t get sick, and don’t lose your job”.

 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.


David Cameron with two of his children, Nancy,…

David Cameron with two of his children, Nancy, 13, and Elwen, 11, and two other runners, after running The Great Brook Run together in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, on 28th December 2017. Photograph taken from Twitter.

Nick Clegg and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez at a t…

Nick Clegg and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez at a technology conference in Boecillo, Spain, on 28th December 2017.

We’re being ruled over by a bunch of self-serving Tory cowards

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that Britain is facing its biggest and riskiest diplomatic challenge in decades in Brexit, as well as a catastrophic NHS crisis, and the ruinous economic legacies of almost eight years of toxic Tory austerity dogma and wage repression policies.

At such a crucial juncture it’s incredibly vital that we have political leaders with the honesty to explain the seriousness of the situations we face, and the bravery to stand up to the challenge.

Unfortunately we have exactly the opposite. We’re governed by a deceitful bunch of cowards.

The National Health Service has collapsed into its worst winter crisis in decades, with NHS England cancelling outpatient appointments and day case surgery, and deploying consultants to make up staff shortfalls in A&E units.

As this NHS meltdown is unfolding the Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt is in hiding.

This latest display of cowardice from Hunt is hardly unusual. In May 2017 he hid from the public during the massive WannaCry cyber attack on the NHS, and he’s spent the last two months pathetically hiding from the actor Ralf Little who challenged him to a public debate on the NHS back in early November.

Then there’s the Tory transport minister Chris Grayling who is hiding in Qatar to avoid scrutiny of the astounding mess he’s making of his brief (his successors are still desperately trying to clear up all the messes he created during his time as David Cameron’s Justice Minister long after he was moved on in 2015).

UK rail commuters have experienced yet another fare hike of 3.4%, meaning that season ticket prices have increased by 50% since the Tories came to power in 2010, and against a backdrop of collapsing real terms wages too.

Then there’s the astounding £2 billion bailout Grayling has handed to the Virgin/Stagecoach East Coast Franchise, allowing them to quit years early without paying what they owe the taxpayer under the terms of the contract they signed up to.

The recently departed chair of Theresa May’s National Infrastructure Commission Andrew Adonis has called on Grayling to quit over his grubby deal with Virgin/Stagecoach, and challenged him to a public debate over the absolute mess he’s making.

Grayling is hiding in Qatar.

This cowardice problem is clearly endemic within the Tory party, and it’s pretty damned easy to see where it’s stemming from.

During the 2017 general election Theresa May outright refused to debate Jeremy Corbyn, or any of her other political opponents. Her cowardice was so extreme that she even sent her recently bereaved subordinate Amber Rudd into a live debate to act as a human bullet shield for her.

It’s no surprise at all that senior Tories think that they can get away with such brazen displays of cowardice, because they’re simply following the example set by their own party leader.

Then there’s the fact that Theresa May is even still in her job despite slinging away the Tory parliamentary majority with an astounding act of hubris and one of the worst general election campaigns in British political history.

The Tories know that she’s a lame duck Prime Minister who is being forced to dance to the tune of the many of the most extreme influences in British politics (the headbanger Europhobes on the Tory hard-right; the DUP bigots she had to bribe into backing her government; right-wing propaganda barons like Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre; and the ever-so-fickle blue-kipper demographic who she’s rendered herself completely dependent upon).

The entire Tory party knows that Theresa May is a weak and directionless leader with no room for manoeuvre, and that it’s clearly against the national interest to go into the Brexit trade negotiations with such a spineless and compromised leader, but they have their own self-interest to think of.

They know that forcing Theresa May out as leader would massively increase the likelihood of another election, and of Jeremy Corbyn storming to victory with scores of Tory MPs losing their seats.

So the Tory cowards would rather keep their lame duck leader in power to the obvious detriment of the national interest, just so that they can keep their ministerial cars and salaries, and avoid the loss of dozens of Tory seats.

The question shouldn’t really be why the Tories are such bunch of cowards, but why so many millions of British people are content to be ruled over by such a spineless, self-serving rabble.

 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.