Category: Nationalisation

Angela Smith is spouting pro-privatisation sewage in the Guardian

The right-wing Labour MP Angela Smith has written an excruciatingly poor article in the Guardian fear-mongering against Labour’s popular manifesto commitment to bring the privatised water companies in England and Wales back under national control.

The article is so poorly structured that it’s difficult to actually discern the crux of the argument, but it seems to be some kind of argument that running national water supplies as public not-for-profit enterprises (rather than profit-seeking corporate entities) risks a collapse in standards that would make Britain “the dirty man of Europe”.

The article is so riddled with basic errors, logical inconsistencies, and downright deceptions that it’s quite extraordinary that it was written by an actual MP and published in a (supposedly reputable) national newspaper, especially considering Angela Smith claims to be some kind of expert on the water industry and chairs the all-party parliamentary group on water!


Britain?

The most glaring error of all in the was the way Smith referenced privatised water supplies in “Britain”, suggesting that she didn’t even know that water supplies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are nationalised. A mistake which blows a massive great hole in the main thrust of her argument: If nationalising water supplies would supposedly cause a dreadful collapse in standards, why is Scottish water doing so well, and why hasn’t Northern Ireland descended into a hellish sewer since Northern Ireland Water was renationalised in 2007?

Public ownership

Smith’s case that public ownership could lead to a collapse in standards further disintegrates when we take a look at Germany, where the vast majority of the water supply is provided by a network of some 6,000 publicly owned municipal water companies, only 3.5% of which are fully privatised.

Is Germany the kind of hellscape of contaminated water, overflowing sewers, and filthy rivers and beaches that Smith fear-mongers about in her article?

Of course it’s not. In fact standards in Germany are actually significantly higher than England and Wales, especially when it comes to issues like repairing leaks (7% distribution losses in Germany vs 19% in England and Wales) and municipal waste water treatment (94% treated to the highest standard as compared to just 39% in England and Wales).

Smith’s conflation of public water provision with poor standards simply doesn’t stack up, in fact the actual evidence points to the opposite: standards of largely public water supplies in Germany are way higher than the privatised water companies in England.

China

Another gaping flaw in Angela Smith’s argument against public ownership of the UK water supply is that chunks of it are publicly owned under the current system that she’s so desperate to defend, but just not by Britain! 

When the Chinese sovereign wealth fund purchased a huge stake in Thames Water in 2012 the company was essentially part nationalised under the control of the Chinese state.


Angela Smith tries to paint people who support water renationalisation as having their judgement clouded by ideology, but surely someone like Smith who bitterly opposes UK government involvement in the UK water supply, whilst defending Chinese government involvement in the UK water supply is the one who needs to have their ideological judgement questioned?

Admitting the truth

In the 4th paragraph of her article Smith admits the truth; that “EU regulations have played a crucial role in raising standards”, which blasts another gaping hole in her pro-privatisation argument.

Then twisting it

In order to make this inconvenient fact fit her pro-privatisation narrative Smith then tries to argue that it’s only down to privatisation that the cost of meeting EU standards were met, but again, this is contradicted by the reality. Standards in Germany have actually improved far more quickly where only a tiny fraction of local water companies have been privatised there.

Investment

The reality is that water company bosses have extracted £billions upon £billions to pay out in shareholder dividends and bloated executive salaries, all of which could have been spent on repairing leaks and treating more than a paltry 39% of waste water to the cleanest standard.

Smith’s whole argument that privatisation led to a boom in investment utterly misrepresents the couldn’t have been afforded under public ownership completely misrepresents the way the water industry is funded.

Water supplies don’t have to compete for “scarce government resources” against “schools and hospitals” as Smith claims. They raise their revenues through water rates in the same way as private providers do, but then save huge amounts of money by not paying out £billions in shareholder dividends and bloated executive salaries.

If a Labour government nationalised the water supply and then set about trying to raid the money raised through water rates to pay for other government services there’d rightly be uproar about it, but that’s not what they’re proposing to do at all. It’s just dishonest propaganda from someone with an ideological axe to grind.

Cost to consumers

handing the water supply over to private profiteers comes at a cost of £2.3 billion per year to water rate payers.

If the water supply was returned to not-for-profit public ownership this £2.3 billion could be returned to water rate payers through reduced water bills, or it could be used to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements to bring our standards up closer to the standards in Germany.

The profit motive

When profit is the primary motive, stuff like improving water quality and dealing with leaks inhibit the profit rate.

Privately owned water companies have a primary duty to create profits for their shareholders. If the fines from failing water quality standards or widespread leaks are higher than the cost of improving standards then the changes will be made, however if the fines are lower, then they’ll be written off as a cost of doing business.

This means that any improvements that have happened since privatisation have happened despite the private water companies, not because of them.

Public opinion

Public opinion is massively in favour of water renationalisation, so Anglea Smith isn’t just arguing against the Labour Party leadership and the Labour Party members who support the Labour commitment to renationalise the water companies, she’s criticising the vast majority of the public too.

Ideology over fact


At one point in the article Smith even says that “when it comes to ensuring we have clean water and a safe marine environment we cannot allow ideology to be the master of fact”, which takes an awful lot of brass neck from someone who is so blatantly prepared to ignore and/or misrepresent inconvenient facts (as detailed above) in order to grind her pro-privatisation axe.
We’ve all seen countless examples of this kind of Orwellian reality-reversing propaganda from the Tories, but it’s still quite shocking to see it from a Labour Party MP.

Conflicts of interest

One of the most extraordinary things about Angela Smith’s article is the fact that she omits to mention that her husband works in the private water industry, and that the all-party parliamentary group on water that she chairs is funded by the private water lobby.

Even if Smith refused to admit the fact that she’s essentially just a lobbyist for the private water companies embedded within the Labour Party and parliament, the Guardian should at least make Smith’s conflicts of interest known to their readers.

Problems for Corbyn

This article isn’t just proof that one of the most high profile Labour right-wingers is such a lame duck that she can’t even write an article about her own supposed area of expertise without a mass of errors, logical inconsistencies, and outright deceptions. It’s also a demonstration of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn would face serious problems were he to become Prime Minister.

When the Labour Party was controlled by the right-wing faction of the party between 1994 and 2010 numerous pro-austerity, pro-privatisation neoliberals like Angela Smith were parachuted into Labour seats. This means that even if Corbyn won a majority at the next election, he’d struggle to implement his manifesto commitments like nationalising the water supply, creating a National Education Service, and scrapping Tory austerity dogma as a result of ideological opposition from the rump of self-serving, right-wing orthodox neoliberals embedded within his own party.

Nobody ever said it would be easy

Nobody ever claimed that returning the Labour Party to its democratic socialist principles would be easy, but just because a job is difficult doesn’t make it not worth doing.

The UK has suffered four decades of unbroken neoliberal rule since 1979, resulting in an absolute mess of inequality, stagnating wages, failing public services, collapsing productivity, ruinous austerity dogma, and now the Brexit shambles.

Something has to change because “more of the same” simply won’t cut it any more. 

Jeremy Corbyn has outlined a path towards Scandinavian-style democratic socialism, which is obviously unappealing to right-wing orthodox neoliberals like Angela Smith, but the other alternative is the kind of hard-right frenzy of deregulation, ultranationalism and deliberate disaster capitalism envisaged by the Brextremists.

We’re facing a political choice between maintaining existing standards on workers’ rights, environmental laws, food standards, equal rights legislation, and consumer protections alongside a move back towards public ownership of vital state services and infrastructure, or a fanatically right-wing deregulation frenzy.

And by publicly fear-mongering about Labour’s democratic socialist policies, Angela Smith is acting as a useful idiot for the hard-right Brextremists. 

But then the suspicion remains that when it comes to issues like austerity dogma, wage repression, imposing barriers to social mobility, and privatisation mania, numerous right-wing Labour MPs actually have far more in common with the fanatical Tory Brextremists than they do with the Labour leadership, with Labour Party members, and even with the general public.

 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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How many of these Labour Party policies did you actually hear about this summer?

During the summer of 2018 the Westminster political establishment and their chums in the mainstream media ran an extraordinary smear campaign aimed at discrediting the lifelong anti-racist campaigner Jeremy Corbyn as a terrible racist.

The reason they’ve kept relying on the tactic of continually smearing Jeremy Corbyn is that they know they haven’t got a chance of winning the political debate if they ever allow it to focus on policies and issues, rather than personal attacks.

So in this article I’m going to give brief overviews of some of Labour’s policy positions that have been almost completely drowned out during the summer of smears.

Media

In August 2018 Jeremy Corbyn introduced a very interesting set of proposals for the media. These include reducing government influence over the BBC by democratising the BBC Board of Directors, empowering investigative journalists by giving them more Freedom of Information powers, and taxing social media giants in order to fund local journalism.

Unsurprisingly the right-wing propaganda rags decided to misleadingly attack Corbyn’s proposals to empower local and investigative journalists and reduce his own ability to interfere with the BBC as a terrible attack on free speech, before dropping the subject as quickly as possible and returning to the smear campaign.

Railways

Throughout the summer Jeremy Corbyn has continued highlighting Labour’s popular policy of bringing the rail network back under public control so that it can be used for the benefit of British people rather than being milked as a cash cow by corporate profiteers and the state rail companies of foreign states.

Another of Corbyn’s rail policies is the upgrade of rail infrastructure in the north of England, especially a much-needed upgrade to the transpennine route between Liverpool and Hull to create a Crossrail for the North.

There is widespread public support for renationalisation of the railways, which is why you’ve probably heard very little about Labour’s rail policies over the summer, buried as they have been under the landslide of smears.

Police

As violent crime continues to soar out of control across the UK, Jeremy Corbyn has reiterated Labour’s policies of reversing the Tory cuts to the police force, putting an additional 10,000 police back on the streets, and actually listening to public order experts like the Police Federation (rather than attacking and belittling them as Theresa May does).

Industrial strategy

In July 2018 Jeremy Corbyn delivered a detailed speech on Labour’s industrial strategy, outlining multiple policies to make Britain a fairer and more prosperous place, but somehow an absolute hatchet job of an article portraying Corbyn’s speech as some kind of Trumpian anti-immigrant rant went absolutely viral with the anti-Corbyn mob.

In reality the speech focused on issues like reversing the decline of British manufacturing (from 32% of the economy in 1970 to 12% today), creating a level playing field when it comes to taxation, investing in infrastructure, and the importance of establishing a customs agreement with the EU as a matter of priority.

It didn’t matter to the anti-Corbyn mob that the fake news article they were sharing deliberately cherry-picked highly selective quotes and stitched them together to create a shockingly misleading account of Corbyn’s actual speech. 

The article attacked Corbyn so they made it go mega-viral by sharing it, despite it being an utterly reprehensible pack of lies.

You can read about what Corbyn actually said in that speech and how it was so brazenly misrepresented by his political opponents here.

Education

Jeremy Corbyn has spent the summer expanding on Labour’s fantastic policy of introducing a National Education Service to provide free education and training for all, from cradle to grave.

Corbyn is often presented as a clueless old duffer who hates business, but his education strategy is actually what’s needed for Britain to become a high-skill high-pay economy like Germany. 

With technological developments moving at an ever faster pace, workforce flexibility is increasingly vital. And what better way to increase workplace flexibility than making sure every worker knows that they’re entitled to free education and training to give them the skills to move from one job to the next?

Aside from his unmistakable enthusiasm for higher education, further education, and life-long learning, Corbyn also recognises the damage that Tory cuts to the education system are doing to the younger generations. It’s beyond obvious that kids growing up in over-crowded under-funded classrooms are less likely to be able to make full use of their potential, so that’s why Corbyn is promising to begin the process of reversing the shocking 8% per pupil cut in education spending that’s happened since the Tories came to power in 2010.

Opposing Tory “no deal” Brexit

If you believed Jeremy Corbyn’s detractors you’d think that he was guilty of supporting the Tory Brextremists’ every move, but if you actually look at the parliamentary votes it becomes clear that Labour have opposed the Tories in virtually every House of Commons vote on Brexit.

Over the summer Corbyn has reiterated time and again that Labour oppose the extreme, hard-right anti-democratic, and economically ruinous “no deal” Brexit Theresa May and the Tories are working towards.

In one vital vote on the Tory Trade Bill that could have ruled out a ruinous Tory “no deal” Brexit for good, Corbyn and the majority of the Labour Party voted against the government only to be betrayed by four Labour Brexiteers (including Frank Field who has somehow promoted to political sainthood by the very same people who claim Corbyn doesn’t oppose Brexit enough after he quit the Labour whip with an anti-Corbyn tirade).

Aside from the four Labour Brextremists, the Lib-Dem leader Vince Cable and ex-leader Tim Farron didn’t even bother to turn up to the vote at all. Farron was too busy giving a £5 per head speech about how wrong he thinks gay sex is!

Water

Privatised water companies cost the public £2.3 billion more per year than public ownership. The British public are split 70-30 in favour of water renationalisation.

Over the summer Corbyn has raised the issue of water nationalisation several times, but if you search for mainstream media coverage of “Corbyn Water”, you’ll actually find more mainstream media articles written about the ridiculous Tory Love Island style water bottles they were giving away than on Jeremy Corbyn’s water renationalisation policy!

Saudi war crimes

When the Saudi Arabian tyrants blasted a bus full of small children to pieces with a guided missile in August 2018 as part of their campaign of war crimes against the Yemeni people, Labour strongly opposed it, while the Tories just sat on their hands and refused to do anything to intervene.


One of Jeremy Corbyn’s strongest positions is his stance that the UK should not be issuing arms export licences to regimes with poor human rights records at home, or records of committing war crimes abroad.

The Tories still believe in arming countries like Saudi Arabia, despite knowing that they’re using British weapons to commit war crimes!

Outsourcing

Jeremy Corbyn is planning to introduce new rules to ensure that all companies that bid for government outsourcing contracts are registered in the UK and pay their fair share of tax.

In a way it just goes to show how warped the political debate has become that people who have allowed tax-dodging corporations to suckle the public teat for decades are routinely described as “moderates” and “centrists”, while the guy who wants to put a stop to this farcical situation is derided as some kind of far-left lunatic.

Rational drug policy

Globally the tide is turning on drug policy with more and more nations ditching criminalisation and punishment in order to adopt sensible evidence-based harm-reduction strategies

Unfortunately the UK has been left swimming against the tide thanks to Theresa May’s right-wing authoritarian stance at the Home Office, and since she became Prime Minister.

In the summer of 2018 Jeremy Corbyn signalled that he’s open to rational drug policies by talking about how the drugs debate is moving on, and his personal preference for the decriminalisation of small amounts of cannabis.

Basic Income

In July 2018 Labour announced that they will include proposals for a Basic Income trial in their next manifesto.

Basic Income is the concept of allowing every citizen a basic subsistence income, with the aim of ensuring nobody falls into absolute destitution, but also that everyone who works ends up better off by virtue of the fact that they get to keep their basic income payment as well as their wages.

NHS

In June 2018 Jeremy Corbyn addressed thousands of people at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS where he spoke out against the Tories’ hard-right agenda of cutting NHS and social care funding, and privatising NHS facilities and services.

In his speech he made a clear commitment to ending the 8 years of Tory cuts to NHS funding, so that NHS funding rises as a share of GDP in order to deal with rising demand for services, rather than falling as it has done under the Tories.

Ban employers from stealing staff tips

Even if you’ve never worked in the service sector the fact that employers steal their employees should annoy the hell out of you. When we leave tips we leave them for the staff, not as an additional income stream for the restaurant owners.

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to put a stop to employers from pinching their staff tips.

Austerity

Jeremy Corbyn won the 2015 Labour leadership election by virtue of being the only one of the four candidates to actually oppose Tory austerity dogma, so it should come as no surprise that he’s still opposing it.

In the summer of 2018 he went further than ever before by raising the fact that Tory austerity dogma comes with a death toll when he said “there is clear and mounting evidence that austerity and inequality are killing people”.

In a way it’s astounding that people thought that it would be possible to slash funding for the NHS and social care services without thousands upon thousands of people dying as a consequence, to cut the welfare system without extremely vulnerable people being left to die as a consequence, to cut fire services without more people dying in house fires, to cut 21,000 police without violent crime soaring out of control …

Even though Labour failed abysmally in their duty to oppose this ideological madness before Corbyn became leader, at least they’re opposing it now.

Conclusion

The reason the mainstream media have concentrated their efforts on whipping up the anti-Semitism storm is beyond obvious. They know that the majority of British people would be strongly in favour of most, if not all, of these Labour Party policies, so they’re intent on steering the political debate as far away from policy issues as possible.

The more people hear about the Labour anti-Semitism row, the less time and space is dedicated to providing honest coverage of Labour’s actual policies like the 14 I’ve outlined above.

It doesn’t matter a jot to the mainstream media hacks that anti-Semitism is actually much more rife in the Tory ranks, or that senior Tories have been meeting with the extreme-right white-supremacist kingmaker Steve Bannon, they’ll keep on banging on about Labour anti-Semitism because they simply don’t want the public thinking about all of the Labour Party policies that they’re highly likely to agree with.

 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 Tories are a billionaire-backed zombie political party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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If the Daily Mail really want to “stand up for Britain” they should ditch the toxic Tories

The Daily Mail are whipping up a huge storm of nationalist outrage that their beloved blue passports will be manufactured in France, but if you look at the root cause of this issue it turns out that the Daily Mail and their readers are heavily responsible.

The reason that the production of UK passports was put out to competitive tender in the first place is that the production of passports was privatised in 1996. Before that British passports were produced by a state owned company.

This privatisation was one of the last acts of vandalism of John Major’s dead duck Tory administration. And who supported these Tories back into power in 1992 despite knowing all about their obsession with hard-right privatisation dogma?

The Daily Mail and their readers of course.

Then there’s all the other Tory privatisation scams the Daily Mail and their readers have enabled through their unyielding support for the hard-right privatisation obsessed ideological dogma of the Tory party.

Here’s some of the other stuff the pro-Tory propaganda rags and their Tory-voting readers are responsible for:

  • The pre-1997 Tories were bad enough, but the post-2010 Tories are even worse. They don’t just hand British infrastructure and services to their private mates and then let them gradually fall into the hands of foreign governments. They’ve decided to cut out the middle man and flog off our national silver direct to foreign governments. Perhaps the most egregious example being the sale of the GPSS underground aviation fuel pipe network to the governments of Oman and the United Arab Emirates for £82 million, followed immediately by a ten year £237 million contract to use the system we owned until the Tories flogged it off.

All of this Tory economic vandalism puts the passport contract into context. 

If having our passports printed overseas is the grotesque affront to our national identity that the Daily Mail are making out that it is, then surely the distribution of our rail services, nuclear expertise, national grid, water supply, and airport fuel supply network are also affronts to our national identity?

But the Daily Mail and their readers have relentlessly backed the political party that inflicted all this crackpot privatisation dogma on our nation. And what’s more is that they continually hate-monger against Jeremy Corbyn because he wants to undo the worst of the damage and return core British public services and infrastructure to British ownership.

So if the Daily Mail really wanted to “stand up for Britain” they’d ditch the toxic Tories and throw their weight behind Jeremy Corbyn and his economic repatriation policies.

If they had any sense of perspective at all the Daily Mail (and their readers) should have a good long period of self-reflection about their role in creating the passport situation they’re so furious about …

But we all know that they won’t, and that they’ll be back to Corbyn-bashing and their outright refusal to describe hard-right Tory privatisation mania as the profoundly anti-British agenda that it actually is.

 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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Beware of shady hard-right pro-privatisation extremists posing as reliable experts

On January 21st 2018 the Sunday Times ran a scaremongering story claiming that Jeremy Corbyn’s renationalisation plans would be a “£176 billion gamble”.

On further investigation the Centre for Policy Studies report that this “£176 billion gamble” headline is derived from was written by a former adviser to the Tory MP Amber Rudd and the unelected Tory lord Nigel Lawson called Daniel Mahoney

The Sunday Times conveniently forget to mention that the author of the report they’ve churnalised into an anti-Corbyn hatchet job is an outright Tory!

Aside from uncritical appraisals of his “report” in numerous right-wing newspapers, Mahoney was also invited onto the BBC to opine about why the Carillion collapse isn’t a demonstration of the failure of the hard-right privatisation and outsourcing agenda, without them even bothering to explain that he’s a Tory. Neither did they identify his Tory party links when they quoted his objections to Labour’s plan to bring hospital cleaning services back into public hands.

Then there’s the fact that the Sunday Times article tried to dress the Centre For Policy Studies up as some kind of neutral and impartial “think tank” when in fact they’re undeniably a shady hard-right pressure group that is completely riddled with Tory politicians and Tory party donors (see image).

Far from being the kind of organisation to be quoted extensively by the BBC and the mainstream press as if they’re a reliable and impartial research organisation, this is a hard-right pressure group that reads like a who’s who of the pro-privatisation lobby.

The 16 person board of directors includes eleven out-and-out Tories. The other five include a fanatically right-wing academic, the chairman of HSBC bank, the editor of the hard-right Spectator magazine, the wife of the Daily Mail owner, and the chairman of the Times Newspaper Group.

It’s interesting that the Sunday Times omitted the fact that the Centre for Policy Studies is a hard-right pro-Tory, pro-privatisation pressure group. Given that their chairman is actually a member of it, it’s hardly likely that they didn’t know exactly what it was when they decided to churnalise it’s “report” into headlines.

Aside from being absolutely riddled with out-and-out Tories and representatives of the right-wing press, the Centre For Policy Studies has also been given the lowest possible ranking for opacity by Who Funds You? because they release no information whatever about where any of their donations come from.

So the next time you see a newspaper citing the Centre for Political Studies, remember that they’re an incredibly shady hard-right pro-privatisation propaganda unit staffed almost entirely by Tories and people with links to the hard-right press.

 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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Credit to The London Economic for exposing the people behind this shady hard-right “think tank” before I did. Check them out and give them a follow (Website / Facebook / Twitter)

If you hate socialism, then you hate the NHS


Millions of people in Britain have allowed themselves to be conditioned into hating the concept of socialism by the toxic influence of the hard-right billionaire propaganda merchants.

The way they do this is by steadfastly ignoring the reality of what socialism actually means, and continually offering absurd caricature definitions of socialism like “spending other people’s money” or “jealousy at other people’s success” instead.

In reality socialism is about making sure public infrastructure and services (like schools, hospitals, public transport, the police and judicial system, libraries, roads, and energy infrastructure) are run for the public good, and kept out of the hands of private profiteers.

It’s all about getting people to hate a ridiculous caricature of socialism, rather than explaining the political situation using accurate definitions.

The polling data shows that a clear majority of British people who express an opinion either way strongly support the fundamental socialist principle of public ownership when it comes to police services (96%), schools (93%), the NHS (89%), the Royal Mail (76%), the railways (71%), the water companies (70%), and the energy companies (63%). [source for statistics]

Given that the socialist policy of public ownership is so overwhelmingly popular with the British public, it seems incredible that so many British people have allowed themselves to be conditioned into hating “socialism” so much that they go out and vote for a radically right-wing political party that is hellbent on ignoring public opinion, scrapping public ownership, and continually transferring the operation of our police services, schools, NHS facilities, and Royal Mail into the hands of private sector profiteers.


Around nine in ten people support the socialist policy of running the NHS as a not-for-profit public service, so mainstream media propagandists have to use all kinds of deceptions to confuse people into hating “socialism”.

One of the most important tricks they use to get people spewing bile like a pack of slavering Pavlov’s dogs at the mere mention of “socialism” is to completely whitewash the positive aspects of socialist policy.

The political right hate the NHS with an undying passion because the concept of prioritising health care on the basis of need, rather than the ability to pay for it, is a fantastic demonstration of socialism in action.

Right-wingers are smart enough to realise that the British public love the concept of universal health care, so instead of attacking the NHS directly, they undermine it on the sly whilst pretending that they actually love it.

You’ll never hear a Tory admit that the NHS has been a shining example of socialism in action ever since it was founded by the Labour Party in 1948. Neither will you see right-wing columnists and political commentators admit that the NHS that they pretend to support is actually an unmistakably socialist endeavour.

This refusal to define the NHS as an example of socialism in action is deception by omission.

Right-wingers want people to immediately think of stuff like bread queues in communist Russia or their ridiculous caricatures of socialism as “spending other people’s money” whenever the subject of socialism comes up. 

They definitely don’t want people thinking about the fantastic hard-working NHS staff who have helped them and/or their family members through accidents, illnesses, and/or child birth.

However it’s vital to understand that even though the political right are unwilling to describe the NHS as the socialist enterprise that it is for fear of demonstrating that almost everyone in Britain has been a beneficiary of socialism in action at some point in their lives, they hate it with an unbridled ideological passion.

These elitist right-wing ideologues don’t want to identify the NHS with socialism for fear of giving the “lower orders” the idea that socialism is actually a good idea. So they just quietly work to wreck it through massive funding cuts, service closures, deliberately manufactured staff shortages, and an ever accelerating privatisation agenda.
  

Then when their wrecking agenda comes to fruition, and the NHS is reduced to a hollowed out and under-funded wreck that is incapable of dealing with public demand, they’ll suddenly reverse their embargo on describing the NHS as socialism, because once it’s been reduced to ruins by the right-wingers who always hated it, they can use the wreckage they’ve created to support their deceptive argument that socialism doesn’t work.

As long as the Tories and the right-wing press continue their strategy of obscuring the fact that the NHS is an example of socialism in action, we can be fairly sure that they fear that it’s somehow still working well enough to actually give socialism a good name.

But when they suddenly start spewing propaganda about how the NHS is failing because socialism doesn’t work (rather than as a result of their deliberate wrecking agenda), we’ll know that they’re on the brink of completing their project to run the NHS into the ground in order to justify their decades-long dream of privatising the remains and scrapping the “free at the point of need” principle.

 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 are right-wing grievance-merchants having such temper tantrums over the Virgin/Daily Mail non-story?

Twitter is suddenly full of hard-right polemicists filling their nappies over the story about the Virgin West Coast rail franchise deciding to stop selling copies of the Daily Mail on their trains.

Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Isabel Hardman, Fraser Nelson, Daniel Hannan, Michael Ashcroft, and a wave of assorted Tories, Ukippers, Biffers, and Brextremists have all posted hysterical comments about this so called “ban”.

The main problem with this whole pathetic story is that the fuss is so grotesquely disproportionate to what’s actually happened.

Nobody is banning people from taking copies of the Daily Mail onto the train, and nobody is banning anyone from using the on board WiFi to access the Daily Mail website. 

In reality the private train company has decided to stop selling issues of the paper on board the trains, mainly because they were only selling 70 copies per day!

The incredible amount of froth and noise over this ludicrous non-story is quite remarkable from a bunch of people who never seem to stop yelling “snowflake!” and “social justice warrior!” at anyone to the left of Joseph Goebbels who takes offence at anything or calls for any kind of social change.

It’s almost as if they’re a bunch of total hypocrites isn’t it?
How is it possible to explain all of this hypocritical right-wing hysteria over a newspaper market that’s worth a paltry £45.50 per day (70 x 65p a copy).

The reason the hard-right have decided to have such nappy-filling tantrums over this story is because they know that facts are almost entirely irrelevant to their target audience.

They know that a story like this is perfect material for the victim complex mentality they work tirelessly to foster amongst the cognitively lazy.

The fact that this decision actually involves such a trivial number of newspapers (just 0.004% of the Daily Mail’s circulation) is completely irrelevant because the person this kind of trope is aimed at will already be too consumed with the desired feelings of rage, hate, and self-pity over the story to ever consider checking the facts for themselves.

The reason the hard-right foster the sense of self-pity with this kind of hyperbolic grievance-mongering is that they know that once people have had their victim complexes inflated to the size of hot air balloons, it only takes the slightest puff of air to get them all mindlessly floating in the desired political direction.

Then there’s very real examples of public transport censorship. Regular readers of this page will know that access to Another Angry Voice is blocked by the onboard WiFi of multiple public transport companies, including Arriva.

Are the hard-right up in arms about the fact that the private profiteers who operate swathes of our public transport system have chosen to censor a political blog that openly calls for the renationalisation of public transport?

Are the hard-right calling for public transport providers to stop blocking access to political sites on their onboard WiFi?

Of course they’re not. And the reason is obvious. They don’t really give a damn about freedom of speech at all.

All they really care about is creating simplistic political tropes to feed to the easily led about how the hard-right are the perpetual victims. They do this because grievance-mongering is an absolutely essential lubricant for the kind of socially and economically ruinous hard-right dogma these fanaticists are actually pushing behind the scenes.

Part of this ruinous hard-right dogma is the rail privatisation agenda which has seen the UK rail network carved up into franchises with the primary function of generating huge profits for their owners (be they private companies like Virgin, or foreign state rail operators). 

One of the side-effects of this right-wing privatisation agenda is that the private companies that run the trains get to decide which newspapers they sell on board.

If the right-wing grievance-mongers had any wits about them at all, they’d be able to see their own culpability in the situation they’re whipping themselves up into a frenzy about.

For all of the right-wing temper tantrums and soiled nappies over this pathetic non-story, one person is talking sense about the whole thing. Jeremy Corbyn has announced that there will be no newspaper “bans” once the railways are brought back into public ownership.

The irony of course is that if the right-wingers who have been filling their nappies over this non-story really want to be able to buy a copy of the Daily Mail on the train, they should vote for Jeremy Corbyn at the next election. And if they vote Tory they should accept that they’re voting for the continuation of private profiteers leeching profits out of our rail network and deciding which newspapers they want to sell on board the trains.

 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 Tories are the political extremists with unpopular attitudes and unwanted policies

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour Party leader in 2015 the mainstream media have worked tirelessly to create the narrative that Corbyn and Labour are scary political extremists, while the Tories are safe and sensible political moderates.

The problem of course is that this near constant mainstream media trope is a complete reversal of reality. 

When it comes to party policy it’s Labour who promote policies with lots of public support like reversing the ongoing Tory privatisation of the NHS (84%), renationalisation of the railways (60%) and Royal Mail (65%), and public ownership of the water companies (59%). Meanwhile it’s the Tories that have been enacting radical hard-right policies with practically no public support like the mass privatisation of state schools (6%), privatisation of police services (3%), and privatisation of NHS services and facilities (10%). [source for percentages]

When it comes to other Labour policies like free university education, running the National Grid as a not for profit public service, and the establishment of a National Investment Bank, these are not radical or extreme policies at all, in fact they’re actually commonplace across the developed world.

When it comes to party policies it’s clear that Labour have some very popular ideas that are considered completely normal across the rest of the developed world, while it’s the Tories who are intent on pushing a radical and extreme political agenda that has very little public support.

Aside from the mainstream media campaign to smear the Labour leadership and Labour policies as scary and extreme, there’s also a concerted and ongoing effort to portray ordinary Labour Party members as a bunch of dangerously radical nutters with extreme ideas that are miles away from the political centre ground.

The problem of course is that this is another deliberate reality reversal by the mainstream media.

An in-depth survey of political party members by Queen Mary University and YouGov has demonstrated beyond doubt that Labour Party members largely share the same political territory as the Lib-Dems and the SNP, while it’s Tory party members who hold the radical and extreme beliefs. 

When it comes to attitudes on immigration Labour, Lib-Dem and SNP voters are clustered extremely closely together on the belief that immigration enriches British cultural life, while Tory members are the radical outliers who believe that immigration undermines Britain’s cultural life.

When it comes to representation in parliament a clear majority of all of the other party members wanted to see more parliamentary representation for women, disabled people, the working class, ethnic minorities, young people, and the LGBT community. 

Tory members were the only group where the majority don’t want to see more parliamentary representation for women, disabled people, the working class, ethnic minorities, young people, and the LGBT community. 

Presumably they don’t want increased political representation for any of these groups because they’re perfectly happy to be ruled over by an over-privileged elitist clique in which wealthy, white, able-bodied, older males are massively over-represented, and every other demographic is significantly under-represented.

When it comes to austerity dogma, Labour Party members have broadly similar views to the SNP and Lib-Dems that austerity has gone too far, while Tory party members are the fanatical extremists who still overwhelmingly support the demonstrably ruinous economic vandalism their beloved party has been inflicting on the nation for almost 8 years. Presumably they cling to their belief because to admit that it’s been a failure now would be to admit their own role in damaging British society and the British economy, so it’s easier for them to maintain their delusion than to just admit their mistake.

When it comes to a whole range of other subjects, from a second EU referendum once the actual terms of the deal are clear, through forcing school children to uncritically obey authority, to reintroduction of the death penalty, Labour members align closely with the views of SNP and Lib-Dem members, while it’s the Tory members who hold the radical and extreme positions.

Whichever way we look at the situation, it’s clear that the Tory party are actually the dangerous radicals.

Theresa May is a weak and directionless leader who threw away her majority and put herself at the mercy of some of the most extreme elements in British politics (the headbanger Tory hard-right, the ultra-nationalist blue-kip demographic who abandoned UKIP to prop up Theresa May’s Tories, the DUP who she had to bribe into supporting her government, and the fanatically right-wing propaganda merchants like Rupert Murdoch, Paul Dacre, and the Barclay Brothers).

The Tory party have spent the last seven years imposing one radically right-wing and spectacularly unpopular policy after another. From trashing our local services to lavish huge tax breaks to corporations and the mega-rich, through their systematic abuse of sick and disabled people, to spectacularly unpopular privatisation scams. They’re demonstrably a bunch of extremists with practically no regard for what the public actually want.

Then there’s the actual Tory party members. What else can we say about this bunch of regressive, xenophobic, hard-right, anti-worker, elitist, homophobic, austerity-fetishists? Is it really any wonder the Tory party is so full of horrific politicians pushing grotesque policies given the absolute state of the Tory party membership?

So next time you see the mainstream media trying to portray Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party as the scary political extremists, just remember that they’re deliberately reversing reality to confuse you, and that it’s the Tories who rely on the bunch of regressive political deviants in the Tory party membership to help push their radically right-wing and highly unpopular policies.

 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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Toby Young is terrified of losing his place at the Tory trough

After deciding to completely whitewash a British Medical Journal study linking 120,000 excess deaths with Tory austerity dogma just a few weeks ago (because the BMJ are supposedly not a reliable enough source), the BBC decided to give the sneering Tory fanatic Toby Young a platform to spew a load of anti-Labour bile on the Sunday Politics show.

You may remember Toby Young as the hard-right Tory propagandist who led the Tories for Corbyn campaign in 2015 under the spectacularly misguided delusion that a genuinely left-wing Labour leader would destroy the Labour Party and create a permanent Tory hegemony.

Young doesn’t seem to have acknowledged his own idiocy in actively promoting Jeremy Corbyn, and neither has he learned the lesson from the 2017 General Election that hyperbolic anti-Labour smears simply don’t work anymore.

Young’s latest hyperbolic propaganda attack against the Labour left is to compare the grassroots Labour campaign group Momentum with the Britain First hate mob.

Britain First is a disgusting extreme-right BNP splinter group led by a bunch of criminals with multiple convictions for crimes like harassment, criminal damage, and assault, and in June 2016 one of their supporters brutally murdered the MP Jo Cox.

Momentum is a democratic socialist campaign group within the Labour Party that supports Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and works to promote greater democratic participation.

Britain First have announced all kinds of policies over they years, including extrajudicial lynch mob killings, the introduction of systematic government discrimination in favour of white British people, book-banning, a total ban on abortion regardless of circumstances, the abolition of the right to a fair trial, compulsory Christian indoctrination in schools, the deportation of all refugees, government control of the media, a ban on all Muslims from holding public office, withdrawal from the United Nations and NATO, forced labour schemes, an Orwellian ban on the use of the word “racism”, restoration of the death penalty, compulsory national service, an expansion in the sell off of social housing, imitation of Tory austerity dogma, and “repatriation” of British-born people of foreign descent.

Britain First’s political tactics involve spreading anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, white supremacist, and anti-intellectual propaganda on social media; providing social media echo chambers for their followers to spread hatred, yearn for fascism and plot criminal activities; street patrols and mosque invasions; conning donations out of unsuspecting people with honey trap scams like pretending to raise funds for animal welfare issues; turning a murdered British serviceman into a poster boy for an extreme-right ideology his family say he would have abhorred; and ripping off the poppy logo from the Royal British Legion in order to raise funds for their own extremist party.

Momentum support the centre-left policies outlined in the Labour Party manifesto. These include running essential British infrastructure and services (the NHS, Royal Mail, railways, water companies, national grid) as not-for-profit public services; the establishment of a National Investment Bank; treating education as a right that is beneficial to all of society, not a commodity to be sold at the highest possible price; curbs on tax-dodging and excessive boardroom pay; a £10 minimum wage; an end to the systematic abuse of disabled people in the welfare system; and the replacement of ruinous Tory austerity dogma with a sensible investment-based economic strategy.

Aside from supporting the Labour Party manifesto, Momentum also aim to encourage greater political participation and democratise the Labour Party from within, giving much more power to ordinary Labour members.

So on the one hand you’ve got a neo-fascist, ultra-nationalist, extreme-right, white supremacist political party with a load of bonkers policies ranging from keeping the worst elements of Tory fanaticism as they are (austerity dogma, the destruction of social housing, welfare cuts …) with outright racism and zealotry, that is run by a bunch of criminals, and supported by a huge online hate mob who openly yearn for fascism and praise acts of extreme-right terrorism.

And on the other hand you’ve got a group of 23,000 law-abiding citizens from all ages, races and walks of life who promote centre-left economic policies that are commonplace across Europe and the developed world, and work to make the Labour Party more democratic and responsive to the will of its members.

The reason Toby Young wants you to equate this kind of peaceful centre-left democratic socialism with a lawless extreme-right hate mob is that he’s one of the big personal beneficiaries of right-wing Tory ideological dogma.

In a spat with the left-wing political commentator Owen Jones over his absurd Momentum/Britain First comparison Young actually patted himself on the back about having set up free schools and working as a director of a pseudo-charity called New Schools Network which is designed to siphon cash out of the taxpayer funded education budget in order to stuff it into the pockets of a bunch of “directors” in the form of bloated salaries and advisory fees.

Aside from topslicing cash out of the education budget, Young also earns a pretty penny working as a Tory propagandist for the tax-dodging Barclay Brothers, so he’s definitely a man who knows which side his bread is buttered.

Young knows that a democratic socialist government would present a grave risk to parasites like him who gorge themselves on state funds whilst pretending to love capitalism so much.

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to reverse the incremental privatisation of the NHS, establish a National Education Service, and to take heavily-subsidised national industries out of the hands of exploitative private sector profiteers and run them as not-for-profit public services.

This not-for-profit agenda strikes terror into the hearts of Toby and his ilk who believe that they have a God-given right to use government budgets to enrich themselves and their cronies and to milk the British people for every penny they’re worth through exploitative employment practices, rip-off private sector utilities, and the virtually unregulated private sector rental market.

These people are so used to enriching themselves at everyone else’s expense that the idea of more democracy, not-for-profit public services, and a clamp down on tax-dodging seems even more extreme to them than the wanton street thuggery, abolition of women’s reproductive rights, state control of the media, religious indoctrination in schools, extrajudicial lynch-mob killings, white supremacism, and all of the other depraved stuff that Britain First promote.

Toby Young and his ilk are nothing more than frightened piggies at the Tory trough, and they’re absolutely terrified that a rejuvenated and democratised Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn might actually hinder their absolute gluttony at the expense of the rest of us.

 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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On planet reality the Tories are the radical economic extremists, not Jeremy Corbyn


Every single time you hear someone from the political right trying to make out that Jeremy Corbyn is some kind of hard-left economic extremist (as if the Tories are economic moderates in comparison), you’ve got to remember that they’re trying to convince you that black is white.

In reality Labour’s core economic policies under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (public ownership of the rail industry, water companies, mail service, health service, police services & national grid + a National Investment Bank) are quite normal centre-left policies that are commonplace across the developed world.

Not only are these policies commonplace across the developed world, they’re all incredibly popular with the public.

Renationalisation of our core infrastructure and services has overwhelming public support, and the only reason British people are a bit more divided over the excellent idea of a National Investment Bank is that Britain has never had a proper sovereign wealth fund like Norway, so a lot of people are unfamiliar with the idea.

There is a constant right-wing political narrative that Jeremy Corbyn is a terrifying hard-left economic extremist which rarely ever gets challenged by the mainstream media. But the really crazy thing is that while mainstream media hacks continually allow right-wingers to smear Jeremy Corbyn and Labour as economic extremists when they’re not, they’re simultaneously letting the Tories get away with implementing one crackpot economic policy from the hard-right fringe after another.

Only 3% of the British public agree with the proposition that police services should be privatised, yet that’s exactly what the Tories have been up to. In 2012 they ignored expert opinion and public opinion alike and privatised the Police Forensic Science Service. Now that police privatisation policy has come back to haunt us all as one of the privatised forensic science companies has been caught manipulating the results of 10,000 samples from criminal cases. That’s thousands of potential miscarriages of justice! Thousands of potential retrials (at the taxpayers’ expense of course). Potentially thousands of innocent people fined, or even jailed for crimes they didn’t commit. And most worrying of all, these manipulated samples could have allowed rapists, murderers and violent criminals to roam free as innocent people took the rap for their crimes.

Then there’s schools. Only 6% of the public believe that schools should be privatised, yet that’s exactly what the Tories have been doing since 2010. Over the last seven years they’ve transferred ownership of literally thousands of state schools to shady unaccountable private sector psuedo-charities that have then used bloated executive salaries in order to siphon millions out of our children’s education budgets and into their own pockets. The mainstream media completely let them off the hook for implementing this fanatically right-wing policy. It’s incredibly rare to see the mainstream journalists frame the situation as hard-right radicalism gone wrong whenever a privatised academy chain collapses into ruins, but that’s exactly what it is because hardly anyone wanted our schools privatised in the first place.

Then there’s the NHS. The public is split 84% to 10% in favour of running the NHS as a not-for-profit public service (which is Jeremy Corbyn’s position), yet the Tories have been carving it up and giving away the pieces to their private sector mates ever since their disastrous 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The more they cut NHS funding and distribute services to their private sector mates, the worse NHS services are getting (just ask anyone who actually works in the NHS), but the mainstream media barely ever frame the worsening conditions in the NHS as yet another example of hard-right Tory radicalism gone wrong, because they’re too busy trying to frame Jeremy Corbyn as the terrifying extremist for actually offering the public what the overwhelming majority of them say they want!

If Jeremy Corbyn was on about nationalising the airlines there would be legitimate grounds for claiming he’s an economic extremist given that only 14% of the public support the idea, while 68% oppose it, but he’s certainly not proposing that. And even if he was proposing a more radical left-wing policy like that, it’s still not quite as extremist or unpopular as the Tory policies of privatising police services (87% against – 3% in favour), the NHS (84% against – 10% in favour) and schools (81% against – 6% in favour).

So the next time you hear a right-winger trying to deride Jeremy Corbyn as an economic extremist, you’ve got to realise that they’re taking you for an idiot and trying to con you into believing that black is white.

And whenever you see someone from the mainstream media refusing to hold the right-winger to account over this kind of Orwellian deception, remember that they’re making themselves absolutely complicit in the con.

 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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Note: All public opinion percentages used in this article and header image are sourced from this May 2017 opinion poll from YouGov