Category: austerity

Why are the Brits such willing doormats?

Just a year and a half after winning an unprecedented landslide victory the French President and his En Marche! “centrist” party have triggered a huge crisis with their policies of punishing workers and the poor, and pushing hard-right neoliberalism.

One of their first moves on assuming power was to lavish a huge tax cut on the wealthiest 1%, and ever since it’s been one regressive and unpopular policy after another: Attacks on pensioners’ incomes, anti-worker legislation, a move to flog off the French rail network to Macron’s speculator mates, extremely unpopular education reforms, and the final straw was a series of fuel tax hikes designed to load the economic cost of combating climate change onto ordinary people, especially those who live in remote rural areas and rely on their cars for survival.

The result has been the rise of organic and leaderless gilets jaunes (yellow vests) mass demonstration all across France.

The mainstream media have obviously focused on examples of violence and vandalism in Paris in order to discredit the movement as much as possible, but the reality is that the vast majority of gilets jaunes protests are peaceful marches and roadblocks outside of Paris, which the overwhelming majority of French people support.

Within 18 months of Macron coming to power and imposing neoliberal policies and enforcing an unjustifiable upwards redistribution of wealth, the French public have had enough and they’re fighting back.

Now just consider how different things are in Britain. It’s over 8 years since the Lib-Dems enabled the Tories back into power (103 months). We’ve had ruinous austerity dogma, a massive unprecedented upwards redistribution of wealth, massive public service cuts, a ruinous “lost decade” of zero wage growth, draconian social security cuts, countless hard-right privatisation disasters (including the mass giveaway of state schools to unaccountable private profiteers), and shocking rises in child poverty, in-work poverty, and homelessness.

Not only has a gilets jaunes protest failed to materialise, but the British public have actually twice reelected the Tories who have been brutalising us like this!

The only hint of protest was the spectacular act of self-harm in allowing the very same hard-right Tories who trashed our standards of living (Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Priti Patel …) to convince us that immigrants and the EU were to blame for the horrific consequences of their own damned austerity policies and then voting for Brexit!

And when an opposition leader comes along to actually oppose the devastating hard-right fanaticism of the Tories (as opposed to pathetically imitating it like his predecessor) the political establishment, mainstream media hacks, and the “I’m alright Jack” chattering classes spew unprecedented amounts of hatred at him!*

Even now, after eight years of austerity dogma, wage repression, public service cuts, ruinous privatisations, and malicious attacks on the social security safety net, and two and a half years of stewing in their own damned Brexit mess, they’re soaring high in the polls (between the high-30s and low-40s).

To really put this contrast between the Brits and the French into context consider the changes in our standards of living over the last decade.

While Brits have experienced an outrageous 0.5% per year collapse in real wage growth, the French have experienced annual real wage growth of 0.7%.

For the last decade French workers have experienced growing real terms wages (at just about the average rate for Europe), while the British have been slumped at the bottom of the table with other European stragglers like Greece, Italy, and Spain.

But who are the ones engaging in a mass popular revolt against neoliberalism and the greed of the mega-rich?

The French!

So what is it about the Brits that makes them such willing doormats?

What makes them so comfortable with the erosion of their wages and living standards that they actually vote in favour of the culprits rather than fighting back?

I’m not actually sure I can answer the question.

Yes, it surely has something to do with Britain having the most right-wing media environment in Europe which repeatedly gives free passes to outrageous examples of Tory malice and incompetence, whilst holding opposition figures to way higher standards.

Yes, it probably has something to do with traditional British attitudes like “stiff upper lip” and “make do and mend”.

And yes, the sickening deference to establishment figures with plummy accents that’s still rife in Britain is surely a factor in the almost total impunity for the Tory toffs who have spent most of the last decade ideologically vandalising our country and vindictively abusing our most vulnerable citizens.

But are these factors enough to explain why the French stand up for themselves and the Brits just sit there and take dogs’ abuse from millionaire Tory elitists for years, and then actually vote the callous abusive bastards back into power?

What do you think?

How do you explain it?

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



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Incidentally the Venn diagram of self-declared “centrists” who have been bitterly spewing hate at Jeremy Corbyn for the last three years, and those who greeted Macron’s election in France as if it was the second coming of Christ would be more-or-less a perfect circle.

Is food bank gloating the sickest Tory publicity stunt yet?

Since the Tories came to power in 2010 rates of poverty in the United Kingdom have soared, and ever more people have found themselves in such dire economic circumstances that they’ve had to resort to charitable food handouts from an ever expanding network of food banks.

The Tories always bluster on about how “work is the best route out of poverty” but what they don’t ever admit is that under their extreme economic mismanagement the number of UK workers living in poverty has been increasing way faster than the new jobs Tory ministers keep bragging about.

The upshot of this deliberate Tory policy of turning the UK into a low-wage economy is that four million British workers are living in poverty, and ever increasing numbers of working people are becoming reliant upon food bank charity in order to feed themselves and their families.

You would have thought that the dire consequences of this ideologically driven Tory assault on the economic well-being of UK workers would be a source of shame for them, but you’d be making the mistake of imagining that members of this grotesque elitism club are capable of feelings like guilt, remorse, or shame.

In fact the Tories are so shameless that they actually decided to launch a coordinated publicity stunt to gloat about the wave of food poverty they’ve inflicted.

It’s difficult to imagine the thinking processes of the Tory wonks who came up with a coordinated effort to send Tory MP out to their local food banks for publicity pictures to upload onto Twitter.

Perhaps they thought that pictures of Tory MPs at food banks would cast them in a sympathetic light as if they actually care about people in poverty?

Aside from the fact that numerous Tories were so inept at pretending they cared about poor people that they all lazily copied the same copy n’ paste Tweets, there was also the obvious public backlash to consider.

Soaring rates of poverty in the UK didn’t just happen by chance. The huge rise in families in such poverty that they can’t afford to feed themselves are the result of eight devastating years of Tory economic misrule. 

  • Not only have the Tories overseen a historic collapse in the value of workers’ wages, they’ve also attacked the social security system for low-paid workers. Arbitrary and ideologically driven cuts to Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, parental pay, and Child Benefit have dumped huge numbers of workers into destitution.
  • The Tory decision to engineer a deliberate six week wait into applications for Universal Credit has also left huge numbers of families in destitution, because the last thing you need when you lose your job is six weeks without a penny as you wait for Universal Credit to kick in.
  • The shocking rise in Zero Hours Contracts and fake self-employment jobs in the gig economy have created levels of job insecurity not seen since the 1930s.
  • Tory austerity dogma has resulted in economic stagnation, shocking under-investment in infrastructure and public services the slowest post-crisis economic recovery in Centuries, and startling collapses in economic demand and productivity. All of which has made Britain a much poorer place than it could have been under a sensible investment-based economic recovery strategy.

In light of these factors is it any wonder that huge numbers of people saw the Tory food bank publicity campaign as the political equivalent of depraved trophy hunters posing beside the carcasses of the wild animals they’ve shot?

It just goes to show how wildly out of touch with reality most Tories must be that none of them even questioned the wisdom of a deliberate coordinated effort to associate themselves with the appalling wave of food poverty they’ve created.

The fact that their ruinous hard-right anti-welfare anti-worker, anti-investment policies have created such suffering and destitution is bad enough, but their total bone-headed willingness to even recognise what they’ve done makes them utterly unfit to rule ever again.

 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.



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Shut up and eat your Tory ice cream

When IPPR analysis of the Tory budget revealed that once again the Tories are rigging the economy against women, the vast majority of mainstream media outlets refused to even mention the evidence that the misogynistic Tory “war on women” is continuing unabated. Only The Guardian covered the story in any detail.

Fast forward just a few days and there’s a huge mainstream media frenzy going on about Margaret Thatcher being long-listed to be the ‘scientist’ to appear on the new £50 note because of her ‘contributions to science’.

Her claimed contribution being a short stint between 1949 and 1951 working for the processed food company that introduced soft-serve ice cream to the UK. A fact that has gradually been inflated over the years to her being the sole and outright inventor of Mr Whippy type ice cream.

Nobody seems to care that soft-serve ice cream was actually invented the decade before in the United States, and that the company Thatcher worked for had teamed up with the US giant Mr Softee to bring it to the UK.

So Tories are openly celebrating that they’ve managed to game the system to get Margaret Thatcher long-listed as a “scientist” based on the absurdly-easy-to-disprove urban myth that she invented soft serve ice cream, and the mainstream media are pushing out as many articles on the Thatcher-£50-ice cream story as possible in order to hoover up all the clicks.

If sense prevails then Thatcher should get nowhere near the final shortlist because her contribution to science is trivial at best, if not entirely fanciful.

But the real issue here isn’t that Tories have gamed the system in a pathetic effort to replace legitimate British scientific legends (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick, Edmund Halley, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace, Peter Higgs …) with their ridiculously divisive political idol, it’s that the mainstream media have made such a huge frenzy over this trivial story, after steadfastly ignoring the ruinous impact of Tory austerity dogma on the hundreds of thousands of poor and ordinary women just a few days ago.

People are literally starving, low-income workers are relying on food bank charity in ever greater numbers, hundreds of thousands of struggling single mothers are struggling to feed and clothe their kids, children are turning up to school so hungry and malnourished they can’t concentrate on their work, and the Tory government is actively making this situation worse … but fuck that eh? Who would even read about that, even if we published it, so here are 20 virtually identical churnalised articles about Thatcher, and ice cream, and £50 notes.

They’re doing it because they think this Thatcher-£50-ice cream idiot fodder is way more likely to generate clicks and advertising revenue than the evidence that the Tory party is continuing with their grotesque and profoundly misogynistic economic attacks on the poorest women in society.

They’re doing it because they think you prefer being distracted with utterly trivial nonsense like this than being informed about reality.

So shut up, don’t think about or research anything for yourself, and eat your delicious Tory ice-cream straight from the mainstream media churn.

 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.



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The Tory ‘war on women’


In 2017 House of Commons researchers demonstrated that an appalling 86% of the economic burden of Tory austerity has been loaded onto the shoulders of women.

The people who have suffered the worst consequences of Tory austerity dogma have been low-paid and part-time workers (mainly female) and single parents (overwhelmingly female), while the people who have done by far the best out of the austerity years are the (mainly male) mega-rich who have have literally doubled their wealth.

Once it became absolutely clear that Tory economic policy was highly discriminatory against women, the Tories were left with a very simple choice; do something to reverse the discrimination inherent in their economic agenda, or carry on with the exact same sexist policies and prove beyond doubt that they are a bunch of misogynists who wholeheartedly believe in trampling down low-income women while they shovel tax breaks and handouts at the mega-rich.

It was always obvious which direction the Tories would choose given that they’re completely bankrolled by the mega-rich.

Despite their constant identity politics game-playing over the fact that Theresa May is a woman, the Tory party were never actually going to lift a finger to help the poor and ordinary women they’ve been misogynistically grinding into destitution.

So the fact that the Tories’ latest budget is yet another ideologically driven assault on the economic well-being of low income women and single parents is completely unsurprising.

Neither is their complacency. The Tories know that their chums in the mainstream media won’t bother to highlight the evidence that their economic policies continue to be profoundly misogynistic, just as most of the mainstream media have given them countless easy rides in the past over the constant stream of court defeats for their malicious welfare and employment legislation, the two damning UN reports into their systematic abuse of disabled people and their ruinous austerity agenda, and the fact that despite all of the economic misery they’ve inflicted on our people, and on our communities, they’ve continually missed their deficit reduction targets by miles.

Literally the only newspaper to have picked up on the IPPR evidence of the Tories’ ongoing assault on low-income women and single parents is the Guardian. The rest of the media have simply ignored it as if the UK government continuing to wage a profoundly sexist economic war on women is an entirely unremarkable facet of British life!

The Tories know perfectly well that their austerity agenda is profoundly misogynistic, they know that targeting the bulk of their cuts at low-income workers and single parents is inherently sexist, yet they continue to do it because of their unwavering confidence that their mates in the mainstream media will draw as little attention to it as possible when this kind of institutional sexism should actually be a massive national scandal.

 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.



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The Brian Cox conundrum

If you’re familiar with Twitter you’ll know that every so often someone posts such an appalling take on there that you can’t quite believe that they think like that. 

Often it’s some kind of professional contrarian who whips up maximum publicity for themselves by saying the most extreme stuff possible, but then every now and again it’s someone you actually admire.


I always assumed that because Professor Brian Cox is an intelligent and progressive guy, he’d be an ally of the most vulnerable people in society, but in a single Tweet he shattered that illusion to pieces.

Cox’s Tweet was a reaction to John McDonnell saying that he’s never seen human suffering like this in all the time he’s been an MP, and that he can’t forgive the Tories for what they’ve done to our communities, and to the most vulnerable people in society.

Here’s what McDonnell actually said:

Brian Cox’s worst take Tweet implied that McDonnell’s ‘civil but not pally’ attitude towards the Tories means that he desires a one-party state where all political debate is forbidden, and attempts to seek the moral high ground by directing sympathy towards the wealthy and privileged Tories that McDonnell doesn’t feel like being chums with, instead of towards the vast numbers of ordinary people who have suffered absolute destitution and appalling circumstances as a result of Tory welfare extremism.

The devastating impact of Tory welfare extremism is all too familiar to those who have to pick up the pieces for the last eight years (charities, mental health workers, food bank volunteers, friends and families of the victims …) and to those of us who are actually capable of basic human empathy too.

  • The Tories have used hard-right austerity dogma to load the burden of the 2007-08 bankers’ insolvency crisis onto the shoulders of poor and ordinary people, while continuing to shovel ever more tax breaks and handouts at the already mega-rich. 86% of Tory austerity dogma has been enforced on poor and ordinary women, while wealthy males (like Brian) have generally continued to do very nicely indeed. The United Nations have condemned Tory austerity dogma saying that it inflicts “unnecessary misery” and that if you got “a group of misogynistic men in a room” they probably couldn’t devise a more effective way of hitting women!
  • The roll-out of Tory Universal Credit has been an absolute disaster, causing massive increases in in-work poverty and food bank dependency in the areas it’s been imposed on. It’s such a flawed and damaging welfare reform it’s impossible to explain how bad it is in just a bullet point, so here’s a full article.
So how is it that Brian Cox seems to have more sympathy with the wealthy and privileged Tories who have imposed these barbarous policies than with their victims?

How is he more upset that John McDonnell doesn’t want to be pally with people whose welfare extremism is routinely condemned by the United Nations, than with the ideologically-driven architects of all of this suffering?
 

How is it that Cox creates the absurd argument that refusing to be buddies with people who wilfully inflict such suffering is akin to wanting a one-party dictatorship?

Brian Cox doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who lacks basic human empathy, so presumably the reason he is more reviled by John McDonnell calmly criticising Tory welfare extremism than by the devastating real life consequences of this Tory extremism is that he’s simply unaware. 


He just doesn’t know anybody in the social classes who have suffered the appalling consequences of the systematic Tory abuse of disabled people, their devastating Universal Credit farce, their misogynistic austerity agenda, or their draconian sanctions regime.
Perhaps he’s just so insulated from the devastating real-life consequences of Tory welfare extremism so he actually sees no reason to be angry?

Presumably everything is absolutely fine in the social circles he moves in, so he’s got nothing better to do than post glib platitudes onto Twitter for Tories and the appalling “centrist dad” neoliberals to lap up.

Aside from the ivory-towered disregard for the people suffering at the wrong end of Tory disability abuse, Universal Credit, Sanctions, and austerity dogma, there’s a far more important issue.

When Cox claims that refusing to be pally with ideological extremists shows that you believe in a one-party state he’s wandering ineptly across the paradox of tolerance.

The basis of Cox’s argument is utterly flawed. It’s super-simplistic black and white thinking to say that just because you vehemently oppose the policies of a political opponent to the extent of not being pally with them, that you desire a one-party state.

Of course political debate is essential, but when it comes to stuff like Nazism, white-supremacy or the Tory policy of psychologically torturing disabled people, there’s no grounds for friendly debate. This kind of extremism just needs to be opposed as vehemently and consistently as possible.

You don’t convince Nazis to stop being Nazis with a friendly chat over canapés, and you don’t stop the Tories from systematically abusing disabled people by being chums with them in the bars and diners of the Houses of Parliament either.   


I mean how far is Cox willing to go in his desire to see us befriend our political opponents?

Apparently misogynistic austerity dogma, the deadly sanctions regime, and the abuse of disabled people are just talking points amongst political buddies rather than outrages, so what about even more extreme political ideas like those who would just love the chance to begin rounding up people they disagree with into concentration camps? Do we have an obligation to be friendly with them too?

In political reality the only way to stop political extremism is unyielding resistance.

If I refuse to be pals with neo-Nazi thugs, does that mean I oppose democracy and desire a one-party state? 

Of course not.  

If I refuse to be chums with white supremacists who believe they’re genetically superior to others because of the amount of melanin in their skin, does that mean I oppose democracy and desire a one-party state? 

Of course not.

And if actively supporting the systematic Tory abuse of disabled people is friendship red-line I won’t cross, does that make me desire a one-party dictatorship? 

No. It makes me someone who finds it extremely difficult to turn a blind eye to the unspeakably suffering of others so that I can be buddies with one of the people who is wilfully making them suffer like that.

The idea that we should maintain friendly relationships with our political opponents, no matter how vile and damaging their policies is not just naive, it’s incredibly dangerous.

Cox finishes off his Tweet that “certainty suggests hubris, doubt suggests wisdom”, but this isn’t even correct in his scientific field, let alone in politics.

Yes it’s a great idea to keep an open mind where there’s genuine debate, but when it comes to people like flat-earthers, climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, and other psuedo-scientific kooks it’s an appalling mistake to openly debate them as if their nonsense is as equally valid as your meticulous research.

The same goes for politics. There are few things better than a good civilised debate between friends with different views, but if someone is a neo-Nazi, or a White Power extremist, or someone who actively supports the systematic abuse of disabled people, you need to be firm with them that their politics are completely and utterly unacceptable, rather than creating the impression that the virtues of ethnic genocide, white supremacism, or the systematic persecution of disabled people are somehow open topics that are up for debate.


When it comes to life-wrecking political extremism there’s no grounds for neutrality. Anything other than resistance is collusion, and it’s simply grotesque if your ridiculous centrist delusions lead you to actively maintain friendships with the perpetrators without regard for the victims, just because you’re afraid of actually picking a god-damned side.

 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.



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Theresa May knows exactly what she’s doing

A few months ago a despicably dishonest Independent article misrepresenting Jeremy Corbyn’s  speech to the EFF (the British manufacturing lobby) went mega-viral on Twitter as tens of thousands of anti-Corbyn ranters gleefully spread it around because that pack of lies, distortions and ludicrously misrepresented selective quotations confirmed their biases.

Today Theresa May has given an utterly risible speech to the CBI (the British business lobby) in which she whitewashed the Tories’ ruinous track record in government, casually ignored her own appalling track record at the Home Office, and spread dog-whistle anti-European xenophobia in the hope of appealing to the fickle extreme-right ultranationalist blue-kip demographic who are apparently deserting her party in droves.

Theresa May whitewashed the devastating impact of ideologically driven Tory austerity dogma for the last eight years, she championed the tax-dodging, job-destroying Corporate behemoths like Amazon who are wrecking high streets up and down the country by using their artificial tax advantage to undercut tax-paying businesses, she praised the gig economy, she misrepresented the Tories’ despicable track record of imposing the longest sustained decline in workers wages since records began, and she openly bragged about cutting the deficit by 80% in 8 years when they had originally bragged that they’d have completely eliminated it in less than five years.

But the most despicable and duplicitous aspects of her speech came near the beginning where she whitewashed her disgraceful personal record at the Home Office, spread ludicrous fairy stories about the kind of immigration system the UK will supposedly have if her hard-right shambles of a Brixit deal somehow avoids failing at the first hurdle, and uttered a desperately cynical anti-European sound bite designed to whip up hatred against Europeans in general, and most specifically Europeans who have come to the UK under their European Freedom of Movement rights.

When Theresa May publicly accuses EU citizens who have come to live and work in the UK of “jumping the queue” she knows exactly what she’s doing. She’s deliberately appealing to the basest instincts of the extreme-right ultranationalist Blue-kip mob who were instrumental in allowing her and her horrible Tory mates to cling onto power by their fingertips in 2017.

Theresa May and her advisers know that the Blue-kippers are abandoning the Tory party in droves because Theresa May’s hard-right job-destroying power grab of a Brexit deal is nowhere near bonkers or destructive enough for their tastes, so she’s attempting to woo them back with crude hate-mongering caricatures of European migrants as a queue-jumping job-nicking threat (rather than people who are on average far more likely to be hard-working net contributors to the UK economy than the British-born)!

When she creates the narrative that “unskilled” EU citizens are unfairly queue-jumping ahead of skilled workers from elsewhere, she’s completely ignoring the fact that £millions worth of crops have already been rotting in the fields because of the hostile environment she’s created towards EU workers is driving them away before Brexit has even happened, and because neither British workers, nor skilled workers from outside the EU want to do that kind of back-breaking low paid seasonal work.

And by creating this crude ‘job-nicking’ caricature she’s ignoring the fact that aside from agriculture, other hugely significant sectors of the UK economy like manufacturing, health care, and the leisure industry rely heavily on EU workers too, meaning her Brexit shambles would be a disaster for these sectors too.

By painting EU workers as ‘queue-jumpers’ who have cheated their way into Britain, she’s once again distracting from her own appalling track record by inviting the blue-kip mob to focus their hate on the 3 million EU citizens living in Britain.

Additionally Theresa May has created a bizarre fantasy of what immigration would look like under her Brexit deal. She claims that “instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer”.

But her track record in the Home Office paints a very different picture. Take the way Theresa May made it her personal mission to chase foreign students out of Britain when all the economic and academic experts tried to warn her that it was a damaging mistake. Take the way she fixated on cutting immigration to below 100,000 regardless of the skills and talents of the people in question. Take the way she introduced draconian and discriminatory new immigration thresholds to block entry of non-EU spouses of British citizens regardless of their skills, talents, or earning potential. And take the way she massively expanded “Golden Visa” schemes to allow mega-rich immigrants (Russian oligarchs, corrupt Chinese officials, the families of African dictators, Middle Eastern oil barons) to buy British residency regardless of where they sourced the £millions they’ve been buying their way in with.

The only way anyone could possibly believe that Theresa May is motivated by a desire to make the UK immigration system fairer is by ignoring her hate-mongering rhetoric, and mindlessly taking her at her word that she wants to make the system fairer rather than examining her proven track record of making the UK immigration system way more unfair, corrupt, and illogical than it ever was before!


So have the Twitterati reacted with fury to Theresa May’s vainglorious, deceptive, and downright despicable speech in the way they reacted to the pack of lies and deceptions they gleefully spread about Jeremy Corbyn’s industrial policy speech a few months ago?

Of course they haven’t.

Many of them are too busy desperately trying to save Theresa May’s skin by attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party to give the slightest damn about Theresa May’s dangerous hate-mongering rhetoric against the 3 million EU citizens in the UK, about her transparently ridiculous false promises of fairer immigration system, or about her brazen whitewashing of her own track record at the Home Office.

 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.



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Another reminder that Jeremy Corbyn was the on…

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Another reminder that Jeremy Corbyn was the only Labour leadership candidate to vote against austerity and the Welfare Bill. 184 Blairite/Centrist/right-wing Labour MPs chose not to vote against the Tories’ cuts. These are the same people who have spent the majority of their time bemoaning the left-wing gaining power back within the Labour Party and continually undermining the twice democratically elected leader of opposition. They would rather continue Tory austerity than have a left-wing Labour government.

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Austerity has always been a political choice that dehumanizes the poor and punishes them for their poverty. Until the Tory government is voted out and a transformative left-wing Labour government is elected, these policies will continue (and that is regardless of what happens with Brexit).

Regular

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The UN report by Philip Alston goes on to document a series of findings which combine to
present a withering assessment of Britain’s approach to its poorest
citizens.

14 million people – a fifth of the UK population – live in poverty

Child poverty is predicted to rise 7% between 2015 and 2022

Homelessness is up 60% since 2010 and an exponential growth in
the number of food banks.

A 49% real terms reduction in funding for local governments since 2010

“The command and control approach reflected in universal
credit is that sanctions should be harsh, immediate and painful – and
yet all of the evidence that I’ve seen indicate that sanctions are
usually counter-productive, that they create fear and loathing among
claimants and they impose immense hardship.“

When asked about the kind of future the UK faces, Mr Alston said:
“Britain is heading towards an alienated society where you have pretty
dramatic differences between the upper classes and the lower classes.”

Responding to the findings, Labour’s shadow work and pensions
secretary Margaret Greenwood urged the Tory government to listen to the
people being pushed into poverty by its policies. “Universal credit is failing miserably, leaving families in debt,
rent arrears and at risk of becoming homeless. Three million children
are growing up in poverty despite living in a working household.”

“Labour will stop the roll out of universal credit, end the
benefit freeze and transform the social security system so that it
supports people instead of punishing them.”

#TORIESOUT

UN’s damning verdict on poverty in Britain, re…

UN’s damning verdict on poverty in Britain, released today via Philip Alston:

“British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous approach… The Tory government has created a highly combustible situation that will have dire consequences. Poverty is a political choice. Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so.”

The Conservative government will continue these cruel policies until they are voted out at the next general election.

It’s the anti-Corbyn hypocrites who are really trivialising remembrance


It’s 100 years to the day since the end of the First World War, a conflict my great-grandfather died in, leaving his two young daughters fatherless. My mother’s grandfather was one of 8 million military casualties (a similar number of civilians died during the conflict too).

I’ve spent the day thinking about my great-grandfather’s tragic death and the ramifications that have rippled down through the generations for my family, and contemplating the unimaginably vast waves of grief, suffering, and poverty that WWI wreaked upon millions of other families all across the world.

Today of all days we should be solemnly remembering the horrifying consequences of war, but like clockwork the right-wing virtue signallers are out in force to use Remembrance as a stick to attack their political foes with.

This year they’re deliberately trivialising the whole subject with pathetic claims that Jeremy Corbyn’s grey raincoat wasn’t solemn enough (?!?) and outright lies that he wasn’t wearing a poppy (he wore two poppies on his raincoat and suit jacket while he laid a large wreath of poppies at the Cenotaph).

In 2015 the right-wing shreikers made ludicrous efforts to claim that Corbyn disrespected veterans and the war dead by not bowing deeply enough at the Cenotaph (when he was actually the only political leader to stay behind after the ceremony to chat to veterans as the rest of the dignitaries cleared off to a slap-up meal in the warmth).

The next year it was the absurd claims that Corbyn supposedly danced on his way to the Cenotaph, which turned out to be pictures of him having an animated conversation with a WWII veteran who had been crudely photoshopped out by The S*n (isn’t photoshopping them out of pictures in order to create cheap political smears a wonderful way for Rupert Murdoch’s hacks to ‘respect’ veterans on Remembrance Sunday?).

Every November 11th this howling right-wing mob set about screeching about Corbyn’s coat, the angle of his bow, the size of his poppy, or pictures they’ve deliberately photoshopped to make him look disrespectful. In doing so they’re proving that they don’t really give a shit about Remembrance, nor solemnly considering the death and suffering of war, nor the welfare of veterans, nor efforts to ensure that such mass slaughters are avoided in the future.

All they care about is bitterly twisting the whole issue of Remembrance to score ridiculously cheap political points.

This deliberate trivialisation of Remembrance would be absolutely shocking if we didn’t know any better.

After all these are people are the mob who have backed the Tory austerity con to the hilt despite the massive death toll; who supported Theresa May’s racist and depraved “deport now, hear appeals later” Hostile Environment policy; who caused immense amounts of suffering and death by supporting the Tory defunding the NHS and social care; who believe in selling £billions worth of weapons to the despicable Saudi tyrants who murder their critics with impunity and deliberately use famine and disease as weapons of war to kill unimaginable numbers of civilians in Yemen; who have supported the merciless eight year Tory campaign of impoverishment and abuse against British disabled people; and who sat by and said nothing as the Tories created a huge rise in homelessness on our streets (which is an issue that disproportionately affects veterans who have been left out in the cold by society after having outlived their usefulness in the armed services).

These howling right-wingers are people who have time and again proven themselves willing to sacrifice thousands of people’s lives on their horrific austerity bonfire, through their systematic abuse of disabled people, through their deadly NHS and social care cuts, through the massive increases in extreme poverty, homelessness and suicide that they’ve engineered, and huge numbers more deaths overseas through to their unwavering support for the murderous Saudi war criminals.

Of course these people would gladly trivialise and debase Remembrance to score cheap political points, because they simply don’t have the basic human decency to even understand what Remembrance is all about.

Compassion, empathy, and solemn reflection are so alien to these despicable people that howling about trivial nonsense like someone’s coat being supposedly disrespectful, or their poppy being too small actually seems like a great idea to them, despite the fact that such crude and unnecessary distractions from the meaning of remembrance are the equivalent of them turning up at the cenotaph wearing pairs of underpants on their heads and shouting gibberish in order to wreck the ceremony.

To them it’s a festival of virtue signalling, faux patriotism, furious witch hunts against anyone who dares not conform (by not wearing a poppy, or by choosing to wear a white one instead), and opportunistic point scoring against their political rivals.

They don’t even have the wit to realise that their pathetic efforts to paint Jeremy Corbyn as supposedly disrespectful every single year on November 11th are actually infinitely more disrespectful than anyone’s choice of coat, depth of bow, or size of poppy will ever be.

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