Category: chris grayling

Who is the most incompetent Tory government minister?

The modern Conservative Party is a microcosm of all that’s gone so wrong in modern Britain. The vast majority of the top positions have been gobbled up by wealthy, over-entitled elitists with establishment connections, and there’s practically no social mobility within the party to provide competition to replace people who are manifestly incompetent, so there’s basically no getting rid of the people who created the appalling situation we’re in.

Background


David Cameron bears a lot of responsibility for the state of things given his extraordinarily lax attitude towards the incompetence of his ministers:

  • Theresa May cocked up one piece of legislation after another, introduced the horrific “hostile environment” policies that created the Windrush scandal, and failed her (ridiculous and arbitrary) promise to cut net migration to below 100,000 so badly that net migration reached an all time high. 

Since Theresa May took over the lax Tory attitude towards incompetence is even worse, especially since May threw away her majority in 2017 and left herself relying on the sectarian DUP bigots to cling to power. Even if she had the will to discipline errant and incompetent MPs, she’s definitely not got the authority.

Take Boris Johnson’s continual array of gaffes and errors as Foreign Secretary that even led to a jailed British citizen in Iran having their sentence increased. Take Gavin Williamson’s utterly pathetic “Russia should go away and shut up” comment that made Britain look a laughing stock for having such a jumped up little squit as their Defence Secretary. And take the way the DWP minister Esther McVey has been allowed to totally get away with barefaced lying to the House of Commons with no punishment.


The contenders

Karen Bradley

Karen Bradley was appointed Northern Ireland Secretary in January 2018. She was always an odd choice for the job given the difficulties involved: Brexit and the Irish border question, the absolute deadlock in the Northern Irish devolved parliament, the massive increase in sectarianism, and the very real risk to the peace process caused by the DUP propping up the UK government while the territory is effectively under indefinite “home rule”.

Given the seriousness of the circumstances one would have expected an experienced heavy-hitter to take on the role, but instead Theresa May passed it off to the shockingly lightweight but pliable and subservient Karen Bradley.

In September 2018 Bradley made the shocking admission that she didn’t even know that Northern Irish politics is divided on sectarian lines. That’s the kind of absolute basic that anyone who pays the remotest attention to Northern Irish news understands, not the kind of thing the actual government minister for Northern Ireland was completely ignorant of.

Chris Grayling

When Theresa May became Prime Minister her decision to appoint Chris Grayling as her Transport Minister was a signal of the absolute contempt she has towards public transport users, because his woeful track record in other departments has earned him the nickname “failing Grayling”.

As minister for Employment in Cameron’s government he introduced unlawful tribunal fees to deter workers from seeking recompense when sacked by bad bosses. The messes he made in the Ministry of Justice were even worse, with his spectacularly botched privatisation of the Probation Service still creating headaches for his successors to this day.

At Transport “failing Grayling” has truly excelled himself, presiding over two simultaneous farces with Southern Rail and Northern Rail services in chaos, meanwhile he ended up having to return the flagship East Coast Mainline to public ownership for a third time as yet another private operator ran away rather than face making losses on the contract they signed.

When it comes to the ever increasing threat of a chaotic “no deal” Tory Brexit Britain faces huge challenges when it comes to issues like aviation, shipping, licencing issues for hauliers, and the infrastructure for customs checks at UK borders. You really couldn’t think of a worse person to deal with all these complexities than a serial failure like Chris Grayling.

Liam Fox

Shortly after Theresa May appointed the disgraced Liam Fox as her International Trade minister he bragged that securing a trade deal with the EU would be “the easiest in human history”.

Fast forward two years and Fox is claiming that there’s now a 60-40 chance of the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal at all, and attempting to cast blame onto the EU negotiating team for his shocking complacency, and his abject failure to get to grips with his brief.

Theresa May

Theresa May’s 2017 vanity election will surely go down in history as an examplar of political hubris. She had the comfort of a reasonable majority until 2020, but she somehow decided to gamble it in the hope of achieving a landslide election victory and a super-majority so that she could take conduct Brexit as an unstoppable hard-right autocrat.

Amazingly Theresa May learned nothing from David Cameron’s spectacularly misjudged Brexit gamble that was only intended to win a few votes off UKIP at the 2015 General Election, not throw the entire nation into years of turmoil

Having learned nothing about the inherent risks of political gambling from the demise of her predecessor she threw away her parliamentary majority with another ridiculously ill-judged gamble of her own.

But aside from her ridiculous vanity election there’s another telling issue. There’s the fact that she was personally responsible for appointing all three of the other candidates for the most incompetent Tory minister.

Conclusion


There are strong cases to be made for all four of the candidates for most incompetent Tory minister, but since one of them is directly responsible for the appointment of the other three, so she’s surely got to be the leading candidate.

Anyhow, feel free to vote in my Twitter poll on which one of them is the worst of all.

 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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Jeremy Corbyn should demand an apology from Chris Grayling over his defamatory comments

On the BBC Radio 4 Today programme the Tory government minister Chris Grayling told an absolute whopper of a lie about Jeremy Corbyn. Unsurprisingly the Today programme presenters didn’t think to call Grayling out on his lie, they just left it there, further rotting away the BBC’s own shockingly degraded reputation, as well as his.

The lie Grayling resorted to was a claim that “Jeremy Corbyn attended the funeral of terrorists” in Tunisia.

Here are the actual facts:

  • At the invitation of the Tunisian Prime Minister in 2014, Jeremy Corbyn attended a remembrance ceremony for the victims of an Israeli terrorist atrocity (the 1985 bombing of the Palestinian government in exile in Tunis that was even condemned by Margaret Thatcher at the time).
  • The event was not a “funeral” in any way shape or form because nobody was buried there on the day Corbyn visited.
  • There is no evidence that the Black September members who were buried in the graveyard in 1992 were “terrorists” or Munich “plotters” as alleged in the shockingly dishonest Daily Mail front page that kicked off this latest anti-Corbyn smear campaign. 
  • If Israel did have any evidence whatever of their involvement in the Munich plot, then perhaps they should have arrested them and put them on trial, rather than carrying out an extrajudicial assassination?

In light of these basic facts, Grayling’s accusation that “Jeremy Corbyn attended the funeral of terrorists” is clearly highly inaccurate and defamatory.
Even by the utterly debased standards of British political discourse, you can’t just accuse people of attending the funeral of terrorists with no factual justification whatever.

And even considering Grayling’s stupidity, you would have thought that he would have learned the lesson that baselessly slandering your political opponents is an unwise move after Ben Bradley’s mega-viral apology Tweet over the Czech spy nonsense (still the most viral Tory Tweet of 2018 by far!).

In my view Jeremy Corbyn should instruct his lawyers to offer Chris Grayling the chance to avoid legal action by making a public apology for his defamatory statement (perhaps in the form of a Ben Bradley type “please retweet” apology from an official Tory party account) and a significant donation to a Israeli-Palestinian peace organisation.

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The company that runs Britain is near to colla…

The company that runs Britain is near to collapse. Watch and worry | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian: undefined

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Don’t you just love reshuffle day?

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Chris Grayling accused of going into ‘hiding’ in Qatar as train fares soar above inflation: undefined

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.

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The secretive Tory “party within a party” drawing up insane policies and promoting Brextremism

Most people are aware that ever since Theresa May threw away her parliamentary majority in her vanity election, she’s been at the beck and call of the extreme-right Europhobic fringe of the Tory party because she has no room to manoeuvre without continually appeasing them.

What is less commonly known is the fact that this hard-right fringe of the Tory party have clubbed together to form a shady and highly secretive “party within a party” which uses taxpayers’ cash to bankroll their push for an extreme and highly destructive hard-right version of Brexit.


This group of Brextremist Tory politicians call themselves the European Research Group, and between them members have claimed over £250,000 in parliamentary expenses for work they claim to have done on behalf of this fringe pressure group. 

The Tory MPs who have claimed taxpayer cash for work done on behalf of their secretive Brextremism operation include Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom, Sajid Javid, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Chris Grayling, David Gauke, Penny Mordaunt, and Liam Fox.

It’s estimated that the ERG has around 80 members but nobody knows for sure. Numerous efforts have been made to establish which specific Tory MPs are members of this secretive hard-right Brexit pressure group, but they continually refuse to provide details of their membership or activities, despite the significant amount of taxpayers’ cash that has been claimed on behalf of the group.

It’s been reported that the group run their own whipping operation within the Tory party to ensure that the members of the group continually push for the hardest and most anti-democratic interpretation of the Brexit referendum vote.

They also have a secret WhatsApp group they use to coordinate their activities, and hold regular meetings at which government ministers have been know to assure the group that Theresa May is complying with their Brextremist demands.


Here is a list of known members of the group (politicians with positions within Theresa May’s government in bold):

  • Suella Fernandes (the current chairperson of the group & PPS at the Treasury))
  • Steve Baker (previous chairperson of the group until promoted into the Brexit department)
  • Liam Fox (Minister for International Trade)
  • Craig Mackinlay (Former UKIP politician who defected to the Tories)
  • Andrea Leadsom (former Tory leadership candidate, Leader of the Commons)
  • Sajid Javid (Minister for communities and local government)
  • Chris Heaton-Harris (The Tory whip who sent McCarthyite inquisition letters to UK universities)
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg (regularly touted as a future Tory leader)
  • Chris Grayling (Minister for Transport)
  • Michael Tomlinson (low profile Tory MP and deputy chair of the group)
  • Michael Gove (Minister for the Environment)
  • Penny Mordaunt (Minister for International Development)
  • David Guake (Minister for Work and Pensions)
As can be seen from this list, Theresa May’s government is absolutely riddled with members of this Brextremist pressure group.

Just to get an idea of the extremist nonsense this group is using taxpayer funds to come up with, just consider the new report drawn up by the former-Ukipper turned Tory Craig Mackinlay, which calls for the introduction of visas for all EU visitors to the UK.


Mackinlay claims that such a move would raise £150 million by charging everyone who visits the UK from the EU, but it’s spectacularly easy to spot the flaws in this plan.

The first major flaw is that the £150 million “profit” does not take account of the lost tax revenues caused by driving away potential visitors with time consuming and costly visa applications. It would only need a small percentage drop in tourism from the continent to massively reduce tax revenues and eclipse the £150 million “profit” leaving country significantly worse off.

Aside from the obvious false economics of the scheme there’s also the fact that such a move from Britain would obviously trigger a reciprocal response, with the EU requiring visas for British visitors to any of the EU member states. This would create the situation where EU citizens would have the choice of visa free travel anywhere within the EU, or the time and expense of applying for a visa to visit the UK. Meanwhile British citizens would have to apply for visas to visit all ten of our top ten travel destinations (which are in order: Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, USA Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Greece, Poland).

It’s bad enough that this fanatical group of Tory MPs has appointed a rabid former-Ukipper to come up with an absurd plan to kick the UK tourism industry to pieces, significantly reduce UK tax revenues in order to raise a paltry £150 million by rinsing cash out of any EU citizens who still chose to visit Brexit Britain, and trigger a reciprocal tit-for-tat response from the EU that would significantly impact millions of British visitors to the continent.

But the fact is that they’re actually claiming huge wodges of taxpayers’ cash to promote this kind of hard-right Brextremism is the most extraordinary thing about it.

Then there’s the fact that members of this secretive Brextremist group are embedded throughout Theresa May’s government, with leading members of the ERG claiming that they have the power to “get anything they want” from Theresa May.

 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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Why Brexiters should pick fruit and veg

The National Farmers Union (the only right-wing pro-Tory union) has joined the chorus of complaints about the fact that the Brexit vote has chased away thousands of seasonal migrant workers, and left food rotting in the fields across Britian.

Hundreds of tons of Apples in Worcestershire, blueberries in Scotland, raspberries in Kent and various other crops like broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkins have been left to rot because there’s simply not enough workers to pick them after the Brexit vote.

The NFU’s monthly Land Labour Survey found a 29% labour shortage in September, up from 17% in 2016, which raises the question of how much worse these labour shortages will get after Brexit goes ahead, especially if the hard-right Tory fringe get the ruinous “no deal” cliff edge Brexit they’re pining for.

These agricultural labour shortages also raise the question of how the Tory transport minister Chris Grayling thinks the solution to post-Brexit import tariffs should be for UK farmers to just “grow more food”, when Brexit and the subsequent collapse in the value of the pound is already causing huge agricultural labour shortages, and massive financial losses as perfectly good food is left to rot in the fields.

One potential solution to the crisis of food rotting in fields is for the people who actually voted in favour of the absolute madness of allowing a bunch of inept and disgustingly self-serving Tories to pursue a shambolic “make it up as we go along” Brexit to get off their lazy arses and go and pick the fruit and veg themselves before it all goes rotten.

It’s hardly surprising that Brexiters (and British people in general) don’t want to do the poorly-paid backbreaking physical labour that seasonal migrant workers do. It’s bloody hard work, and it’s really poorly paid.

Of course Brexiters in particular would object to doing backbreaking physical labour for the minimum wage, because they’re the kind of people who wanted to “take back control” and “get our country back” just by making a mark on a piece of paper, then going home and letting someone else do all the actual work.

What is surprising is that so many Brexiters failed to realise that the wealth and prosperity that they enjoy (which includes the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables on our supermarket shelves) is the result of the labour of the working poor, including an awful lot of poorly paid seasonal migrant workers.

Now it’s obvious that not all Brexiters were motivated by xenophobia, but plenty enough of them were to swing the referendum in favour of Brexit. A post referendum ICM poll found that 23% of Brexit voters supported the proposition that EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU should be forcibly repatriated to their countries of origin.

Extrapolate that result and some 4 million of the 17.4 million Brexit voters actually want the fields cleared of all EU seasonal migrant workers, as well as a mass purge of EU workers from our universities, NHS, emergency services, high-tech industries, and all other sectors of the economy. And in return they want the forced repatriation of some 300,000 UK pensioners from Spain, as well as another 900,000 British people who have used their EU right to free movement to make their lives overseas, and who might just be somewhat peeved at being forced to return to Blighty.

Of course something as insane as this is unlikely to happen, no matter how much this extreme but significant minority of Brexiters pine for it, because ethnic cleansing, nationalist discrimination and forced repatriation are the kinds of overtly fascist policies that most of Europe left behind in the 20th Century with the adoption of the European Convention on Human Rights (liberal British values bestowed on post-war Europe by the determination of Clement Attlee of the Labour Party and Winston Churchill of the Tories).

The sad truth is that the significant minority of extremist Brexit voters didn’t just want this agricultural crisis to be happening, they actually want it to be much worse, with all EU workers expelled, and even more perfectly good food left rotting in the fields.

And what is worse is that these people who have inflicted this damage on the UK agricultural sector because of their xenophobic whims won’t even volunteer to do the work that needs doing now that they’re becoming aware of the problem they’ve created. They’ll just sit idly by and expect others to clear up their mess.

So if you’re one of the significant minority of Brexiters who voted the way you did because you wanted the foreigners expelled, go and pick the fruit and veg before it rots in the fields.

It doesn’t matter if you’re retired, picking fruit and veg slowly and inefficiently is better than leaving it to rot. 

And it doesn’t matter if you already have a job. Fruit and veg picked at weekends and on Bank Holidays is better than produce left to spoil because there’s nobody to pick it at all.

And if you’re one of the Brexiters who voted without really thinking about the consequences of your actions for the agricultural sector, maybe you should lend a hand too, because it’s highly unlikely that the four million odd seething xenophobes you sided with are going to take any responsibility for their actions at all isn’t 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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We could “grow more food” but who is going to do the work?

The Tory transport minister Chris Grayling has come up with a fantastic solution to the “no deal” Brexit chaos the Tories are actively planning to inflict on the UK economy.

A “no deal” Tory Brexit would mean import and export tariffs on a huge range of items, including food products. This wouldn’t just mean taxes on food imported from the EU, it would mean taxes on food from all of the countries the EU has negotiated trade deals with too. This is because the UK would not just be crashing out of the Single Market in a “no deal” scenario, the country would also be crashing out of every trade deal the UK has joined through the EU over the last four decades.

The UK imports almost 45% of the food we eat. Nearly 80% of these food imports come from EU states, and the vast majority of the rest comes from countries that Britain has trade deals with that have been negotiated through the EU.

Chris Grayling’s glib and simplistic solution to the problem of import tariffs on food products is “we’ll grow more food here”.

Aside from the fact that it’s impossible to grow a lot of products in the British climate that British consumers now take for granted on their supermarket shelves, and the fact that it would cost £billions in investment in stuff like greenhouses, machinery, polytunnels, etc to increase the productivity of the UK agricultural industry so dramatically, there’s also the glaring question of who is going to do the work?

Brexit hasn’t even happened yet, but 2017 saw a 20% shortfall in seasonal migrant agricultural labour. Once a ruinous Tory “no deal” Brexit is launched, the shortfall is certain to grow dramatically, as migrant workers from the EU would lose their right to free movement, and end up facing a bureaucratic nightmare as the massively over-stretched Tory government try to cobble together a new set of immigration rules overnight.

In order to massively increase domestic agriculture output at the same time as the agricultural sector is suffering a massive labour shortfall because Brexit is chasing away a huge percentage of seasonal migrant workers, someone else would obviously have to do the work.

So where are the Tories going to find the labour supply to do all of this agricultural work?

Here are a few ideas based on previous Tory policies and proposals by Tory MPs:

One obvious source of agricultural workers would be to force jobless people to go out picking fruit and vegetables in return for no wages (instead of retraining or searching for actual paid employment). The Tories have demonstrated time and again that they believe that the state has the right to confiscate the labour of the individual through their use of numerous exploitative and economically damaging “Workfare” forced labour schemes.

Another solution would be to run with the Tory MP Philip Davies’ proposal that disabled people don’t deserve to be paid the minimum wage. Of course a workforce of severely sick and disabled people on wages of just a few quid an hour is hardly likely to be the most efficient workforce in the world, what with their physical limitations, their reluctance to work hard for below minimum wage pay, and their increased likelihood of falling ill or dying on the job, but there are millions of sick and disabled people for whom the Tory government have displayed absolute contempt (with their arbitrary disability welfare cuts, their cuts to statutory sick pay, their confiscation of mobility vehicles, their deliberated discrimination against people with mental health conditions, and their dehumanising disability denial factories). Who cares if sick and disabled people would make an inefficient workforce who keep dying on the job? It’s not hard to imagine certain Tory ministers seeing the appalling death toll as a cost benefit because more dead disabled people would mean fewer mouths to feed on Brexit Britain’s dramatically diminished food supplies.

Another solution would be work with the proposal made by the unelected peer Michael Bichard that pensioners should be forced to work for their pensions in order to avoid being “a negative burden on society”. Of course herding elderly people into the fields to do back-breaking agricultural work would have the same problems of inefficiency and a very high labour force death rate, but there would be some element of poetic justice given that the economic chaos of a “no deal” Tory Brexit would have been enabled by millions of pensioners flocking to the polling stations to give the hard-right fringe of the Tory party the green light to just make Brexit up as they go along.

You wouldn’t put it beyond the most cruel and compassionless Tories like Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling, Philip Davies and Priti Patel to force sick, disabled, and elderly people to do backbreaking agricultural labour for little pay, or no wages at all, but in all seriousness, the most likely supply of agricultural labour will come from the wave of unemployment triggered by the “no deal” Brexit meltdown.

“No deal” would mean chaos and mass redundancies in a wide range of industries, especially in the manufacturing, tourism, aviation, the financial sector, and the export/import industries. And without the right to freedom of movement, looking for jobs in the same industries elsewhere in Europe would be out of the question. So Chris Grayling’s “no deal” Brexit dream is for Britain do downgrade and deskill down to a more rudimentary agrarian economy, with former pilots, travel agents, production line managers, financial analysts, logistics experts, and the like sent out into the fields to pick cauliflowers for crap pay so that the country doesn’t starve.

Still, Brexiteer Tory politicians and the mercenary hacks shilling for hard-right billionaire propaganda barons like Jonathan Harmsworth, Richard Desmond, the Barclay brothers and Rupert Murdoch will still keep pushing as hard as they can for their fantasy of a nuclear “no deal” Brexit, because there’s no way they’re going to be the ones who are going to end up living in huts in the back end of nowhere and doing backbreaking cabbage-picking work for the glory of Brexit Britain is there

 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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