Always reblog for the thighs
Always reblog for the thighs
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?
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.
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”.
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 technology conference in Boecillo, Spain, on 28th December 2017.
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.
2017 out! Here are some of my personal favourite toons from last year, hope to do more topical stuff in new year.
The rumour is that Nick Clegg is due to be handed a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours.
Aside from the fact that the British honours system is an absolute affront to democracy, there’s surely nobody less deserving of such a politically motivated award than Nick Clegg.
If we think back to 2010 we’ll recall the fact that after decades of rebuilding and restructuring, the Liberals were a genuine third party, looking at securing well over 20% of the vote.
The Liberal Democrats were in fine form, with popular and engaging policies like their pledge to oppose any more tuition fee increases, and their determination to reform our outrageously outdated and unrepresentative political system.
In Vince Cable they had another apparent asset in someone who could talk about economics in an engaging and understandable manner. Before the General Election he cautioned against the fire-sale of public assets at below their true market value, and against austerity dogma with appeals for increased public investment in infrastructure projects.
By 2017 the Lib-Dem share of the vote has collapsed to just 7%, Nick Clegg is gone as party leader, and ousted from his Sheffield Hallam constituency too.
The reasons for this collapse in fortunes are obvious.
One of the main reasons is that Clegg and his Lib-Dem chums immediately betrayed everyone who voted Lib-Dem because they believe education is a right and a social benefit, rather than a privilege to be commodified and sold at the highest possible price.
By colluding with the Tories to increase tuition fees to £9,000 per year, with interest on the debts hiked to an absolute rip-off 3% above inflation, Clegg has lumbered hundreds of thousands of students with vast debts that over three quarters of them will never pay off, despite paying 9% of their disposable income in aspiration tax for their entire working lifetimes.
When it came to much-needed reform of the political system, Clegg betrayed that core Lib-Dem demographic too.
Instead of making fair votes one of his red lines in the coalition negotiations, he capitulated and agreed to nothing more than a referendum on a worst possible voting reform called Alternative Vote. A voting system Clegg himself once famously referred to as “a miserable little compromise”.
The referendum was lost and reform of the House of Lords wasn’t even attempted as Clegg actually sat by and watched David Cameron stuff the Lords with unelected cronies at a faster rate than any Prime Minister in British history!
Then there was Clegg’s economics spokesperson Vince Cable, who went from warning against public asset fire-sales and ruinous austerity dogma, to serving in George Osborne’s treasury, selling off the Royal Mail at way below it’s true market value, and helping Osborne slash Britain’s rate of infrastructure investment to the lowest level in the developed world.
What’s worst of all is that the Lib-Dems are rabidly pro-European, and only the most blinkered of Lib-Dem fanatics could possibly try to deny the vital role Nick Clegg played in creating Brexit.
Firstly he enabled the Tories back into power and then backed their ruinous austerity fetishism and wage repression policies to the hilt, thus eroding the living standards of millions and creating the ideal situation for a massive public “fuck you” to the political establishment.
Then there’s the way he normalised lying to the electorate with his absolutely brazen deceptions about opposing tuition fee increases. Watching Clegg completely get away with that extreme level of dishonesty surely emboldened the most shockingly dishonest Brexiteers like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Priti Patel, and Iain Duncan Smith.
Then there was his refusal to press the Tories into electoral reform to make the voting system fairer and more representative. Had he made the introduction of a proportional voting system a red line in his coalition negotiations, David Cameron would never have been able to win a thumping majority with just 36.8% of the vote, and he would never have been able to gamble the entire future of the UK on a whim like he did.
Not only has Clegg wrecked his own party and rendered himself so politically toxic that his own constituency got rid of him, he’s also played an instrumental role in bringing about the Lib-Dems own worst nightmare in Brexit.
Anyone with any grip on reality whatever would look at a man who wrecked his own party, lied to the electorate, wilfully imposed ruinous Tory austerity dogma and wage repression on millions of people, played an instrumental role in delivering his own worst nightmare in Brexit, and even got dumped by his own constituents, must surely conclude that he deserves a badge of shame rather than a reward.
However the Westminster establishment club are so shockingly out of touch with reality that they can look at an incompetent, profoundly dishonest, self-defeating, and massively discredited charlatan like Nick Clegg and think he deserves one of the highest honours the nation can bestow on a person!
Nick Clegg’s reward for such abject failure actually tells us way more about the ridiculous bubble of delusion the Westminster establishment club exists in, than it tells us about the man himself.