The Australian government has announced a new deal for the construction of nine Hunter class frigates, but the Tory spin on this story is doubly-misleading and absolutely ridiculous.
The Tories are attempting to present the story as if the contract represents some kind of £20 billion boost for the British economy, but in reality the vast majority of the £20 billion will be spent in Australia, creating Australian jobs, and stimulating demand in the Australian economy.
The only significant benefit to Britain will come indirectly through profits made by the British-based arms company BAE Systems. The biggest single investor in BAE is an American investment company called Capital Group. And one of Capital Group’s most notable employees happens to be … Theresa May’s husband!
It’s not like we’re building the ships and sending them over there, and it’s not even like the profit margin will actually make its way back to Britain either, it’ll be divvied up amongst the mega-rich multinational investment class.
To put this Tory spin into perspective, just consider how the Australian government have been presenting this deal to their own people (see picture). The overwhelming majority of the investment is staying within Australia, it’s going to create thousands of Australian jobs, and it’s going to stimulate the Australian economy.
Also consider what BAE themselves have said about the deal making a “significant contribution to the Australian economy” and “creating thousands of jobs, supporting new industries and boosting the national supply chain for decades to come”.
Even worse than their misleading presentation as if this contract is somehow a £20 billion boost for Britain, is the way the Tories have misleadingly presented this deal between the Australian government and a multinational arms company as some kind of justification for their Brexit farce.
In reality the Tories know that Brexit is going to be an economic disaster. That’s why Michael Ashcroft has been praising Malta as a business base during Brexit. It’s why John Redwood keeps telling the public that Brexit will be wonderful whilst telling private investment funds to get their cash out of Britain during the Brexit process. It’s why Nigel Lawson is seeking French residency. It’s why Jacob Rees-Mogg has opened up a new branch of his investment fund in Ireland.
The behaviour of these leading Brexiteers makes it obvious what’s going on.
It’s engineered disaster capitalism.
The Brexiteers have engineered the economic disaster that is Brexit and Tory Brextremists like Jacob Rees-Mogg are striving to ensure the disaster as destructive as possible with their constant “no deal” posturing. Meanwhile them and their mates are shifting as much cash as possible out of the UK before the economic implosion, so as to flood back in again like vultures once the Brexit recession hits to pick over the bones and gobble up £billions worth of distressed British assets on the cheap.
The Tories are not only misleadingly dressing up a financial benefit for them and their mega-rich investment class mates as some kind of £20 billion boost for Britain, they’re using this deception in order to propagandise for the disastrous hard-right “no deal” Brexit they’re plotting, which will also end up benefiting them and their mega-rich chums, but this time at a massive cost to the British public, British workers, and the British economy.
Jeremy Corbyn raised these concerns at Prime Minister’s questions, emphasising the risk Theresa May’s chaotic Brexit floundering represents to hundreds of thousands of skilled British workers.
The Tory benches laughed and jeered when Corbyn read out a letter from a worker in the car industry with concerns that his job could disappear if Theresa May allows Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG extremists to deliver the ruinous “no deal” catastrophe they’re craving (so that they can make a killing buying up distressed British assets on the cheap).
The sound of dozens of privileged Tory MPs laughing and jeering at the concerns of a British worker who is worried about the future of his job is a perfect encapsulation of the absolute contempt that these people have towards ordinary working people.
But things got even worse when Theresa May resorted to the scripted drivel she always spews instead of ever bothering to answer the questions she’s asked.
“If he wants to stand up and talking in favourable terms about business he’s got a decision to make; he can either back business or he can want to overthrow capitalism. He can’t do both” she skwawked.
More idiotic scaremongering rhetoric from Theresa May's scriptwriters.
What's the point of Corbyn proposing to realign Corporation Tax rates with the G7 average if he intends to 'abolish capitalism'?
What's the point of fairly taxing corporations if they don't exist? pic.twitter.com/Rm9mW4SP3o
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) June 27, 2018
Presumably the privileged Tory wonk who wrote this riposte thought it was incredibly clever and witty, but the problem of course is that it’s yet more contemptuous Tory idiot fodder.
Just consider the 2017 Labour Manifesto, and its commitment to reverse the Tory race to the bottom in order to restore Corporation Tax rates to nearer the G7 average.
What’s the point in Corbyn doing this if he actually wants to ‘overthrow capitalism’ as the Tories accuse him of?
More specifically, what’s the point of fairly taxing corporations if they don’t exist?
Of course this kind of vapid scaremongering rhetoric plays well with the Tory base, because they’re either too hopelessly misinformed to grasp that Corbyn is actually a middle of the road democratic socialist, not an extreme-left bogeyman intent on the destruction of capitalism, or they’re well aware that it’s utter bullshit but have so little faith in the rest of British society that they’re happy to hear scaremongering propaganda gibberish from the Prime Minister because they imagine the rest of us are gullible enough to believe in it.
You’d have to be utterly delusional to imagine that a man who wants to slightly raise Corporation Tax rates (to a level lower than they were under Margaret Thatcher) is some kind of militant intent on completely overthrowing capitalism.
But then you’d have to be severely cognitively challenged in order to see a Prime Minister who allows her Foreign Secretary to go completely unpunished for saying “fuck business” in response to their legitimate concerns as some kind of champion of capitalism.
All in all you’d have to be hopelessly gullible to see the Brextremist-controlled Tories as a business-friendly party, but then by spewing such witless and sub-juvenile political caricatures of her opponent, Theresa May is clearly demonstrating that that’s exactly how she sees most Tory voters: Hopelessly gullible dupes who will mindlessly believe whatever ludicrous crap she spouts.
In November 2017 Theresa May’s Tories and their bigoted DUP enablers forced a shambolic hard-right anti-democratic power grab called the EU Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons.
The opposition parties attempted to make several amendments to limit this outrageous Tory power grab, but without the support of the vocal Tory so-called “mutineers” (who all, despite all of their fine words, actually voted in favour of it) they simply didn’t have the numbers to constrain Theresa May’s dictatorial and anti-democratic ambitions, so the bill scraped through to the next stage.
The House of Lords made 15 amendments to the bill and sent it back to the House of Commons.
Not all of the Lords’ amendments are sensible, but most of them are (see image).
Whether we agree with the amendments or not (I disagree with amendment 110A for example, but very strongly support amendment 11) debating proposed amendments to government legislation is clearly a perfectly normal function of our sovereign parliament.
One of the big problems is that Theresa May and the Tories have made an absolute mockery of parliament by allocating just 12 hours to debate and vote on the 15 amendments (a paltry 48 minutes per amendment).
Then there’s the fact that the right-wing propaganda barons are absolutely terrified that the opposition parties and some of the so-called “mutineer” Tory MPs will inflict a string of humiliating defeats on Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.
None of the amendments are about stopping Brexit. They’re all about constraining the Brextremists’ most anti-democratic and dictatorial urges, limiting the social and economic damage the hard-right Tory Brextremists can do through Brexit, and ensuring that the Brexit process in conducted in a democratic manner.
This reality doesn’t suit the Brextremist propagandists who work for hard-right propaganda rags like the Daily Express though, so they’ve simply warped reality to pretend that the parliamentary debate over the 15 House of Lords Amendment is some kind of cynical plot to derail Brexit and undermine “the will of the people”.
What’s more is the way they’re predicting perilous consequences for any MP who dares to support the efforts to constrain Theresa May’s dictatorial and anti-democratic EU Withdrawal legislation.
The Express hacks are well aware that the Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered in the street by an extreme-right terrorist just two years ago.
They’re also well aware that just a few months ago another jailed extreme-right terrorist admitted that he’d plotted to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn before carrying out a murderous attack against random Muslims at Finsbury Park instead.
They’re also well aware of the tidal waves of extreme-right abuse and death threats triggered by previous right-wing headlines attacking judges (“Enemies of the people”) and politicians (“Mutineers”, “Proud of yourselves”).
These vile hard-right hacks know exactly what they’re doing when they print massive front page headlines threatening harmful consequences to politicians who refuse to bow down to Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.
They know that what they’re doing is nothing short of intimidation.
If opposition MPs and Tory “mutineers” are hit with yet another wave of abuse and death threats after the publication of this intimidatory front page, these irresponsible right-wing hacks should be held accountable.
And if the worst comes to the worst and another MP is physically assaulted or even killed for daring to defy the tyrannical machinations of Theresa May and the Brextremists, the role of the right-wing press in repeatedly whipping up these tides of hard-right hatred must be investigated.
Whether you like Jeremy Corbyn or not, it’s easy to see that the state operated broadcaster casting the main political opposition as agents of a foreign power is the kind of extreme propaganda you’d expect to see in a tyrannical state like Russia, rather than a liberal western European democracy.
After a flood of complaints about their decision to red tint and alter a picture of Jeremy Corbyn and photoshop it onto a picture of the Kremlin, the BBC investigated itself and found that their decision to do that was totally “fair and impartial”!
This latest ruling is a truly Orwellian piece of propaganda which focuses heavily on Corbyn’s hat, and completely ignores the glaring contradiction between their initial responses to the scandal, and the findings of this report.
The report tries to claim that it is supposedly “immediately apparent to viewers that the contrast and colour balance of the photo had been adjusted to create a stylised image but this was standard practice on the programme” but if we compare this excuse with their initial excuse we find a glaring contradiction.
Their initial excuse was that they’d used the same Kremlin background for the Tory defence secretary Gavin Williamson, the whole thing falls to bits, because in Williamson’s case they didn’t red-tint or otherwise alter the image, and they positioned the picture of Williamson facing away from the Kremlin rather than merging him in to create a “stylised image”.
So their current excuse that it’s “standard practice” to manipulate photos to create “stylised images” is totally contradicted by the picture that they Tweeted out as their previous excuse!
To see the excuse morph from one thing to another like this is extraordinary, especially when one excuse clearly contradicts the other.
Even if you actually dislike Jeremy Corbyn, you’d have to be completely cracked to agree with the BBC’s whitewash conclusion that there are supposedly “no grounds for regarding the contents of the item as less than impartial or fair to Mr Corbyn”, especially given the blatantly contradictory excuses the BBC have pushed out to justify it.
Since Theresa May came to power in 2016 the Tories have accepted £800,000+ in donations from Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies, and the Tories have repeatedly obstructed Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to clamp down on all the Russian dark money flowing into the City of London, yet it’s not Theresa May portrayed as a Putin stooge on the BBC, it’s Jeremy Corbyn … And what’s even worse is that they actually expect people to be gullible enough to swallow their Orwellian claims that using this photoshopped image as their background was completely “fair and impartial”!
This isn’t even the first time the BBC has been caught photoshopping images of Jeremy Corbyn to make him look bad. In the run up to the 2017 General Election they photoshopped him into a picture with Osama Bin Laden, and after the Trump election they photoshopped a Trump “Make America Great Again” baseball cap onto his head.
Each time they create anti-Corbyn photoshop propaganda like this they generate more complaints and controversy, but they keep on doing it, and then keep on completely absolving themselves of blame like petulant children.
The more people complain about their transparent bias that we’re all being made to subsidise through our TV licences, the more biased propaganda they feel inclined to put out, and the more Orwellian the excuses they come up with to defend the petulant contrarianism of their producers.
If they’d even vaguely admitted that the background was poorly considered and politically biased, or that there was a significant discrepancy between their treatment of the Tory defence secretary and Jeremy Corbyn, then we could perhaps believe that they intend to learn from their mistakes and recommit themselves to political impartiality.
But given their whitewash the conclusions are obvious. If a state funded and supposedly impartial broadcaster can look at such a transparently biased editorial decision and conclude that they did absolutely nothing wrong, that’s an open declaration that they see no problem with the dissemination of blatant anti-Corbyn propaganda.
Furthermore it’s clearly an open invitation to BBC politics producers to continue disseminating anti-Corbyn propaganda, safe in the knowledge that no matter how obviously biased it is, any BBC investigation will be another total whitewash.
This whitewash is an open declaration that the BBC intends to continue disseminating anti-Corbyn propaganda, and they have absolutely no intention of admitting that this is what they’ve been doing, or that it is wrong.
Ultra-cynical Tories in Southampton are so desperate for power that they’re blaming Labour for the consequences of their own party’s actions in government.
The reason council tax bills are going up while services are worse than ever is that the austerity fixated Tories in government have cut the local government budget by a whopping 67% since 2010.
In Southampton the result of this hard-right ideologically driven Tory madness is a £485 per household cut to the council’s budget.
It’s not just Southampton either, these brutal hard-right Tory cuts have left councils up and down the country with no choice but to ruthlessly slash back local services (bin collections, libraries, leisure centres, social care, highways maintenance, children’s services, planning departments, street cleaning …) to save money, whilst raising Council Tax as much as they can get away with in order to plug the gaps in the most critical services (domestic abuse shelters, children’s services, care services for the elderly and infirm) in order to prevent the most damaging outcomes (domestic abuse, child abuse, deaths).
And make no mistake, these Tory cuts weren’t driven by necessity, they were driven by the Tory desperation to ensure the upwards redistribution of wealth via massive tax breaks and handouts to corporations and the mega-rich.
Just imagine the cynicism of knowing that your own party’s ideological fixation with hard-right austerity dogma has caused this dreadful situation, but deciding to print up a load of propaganda to blame your political opponents for it.
That’s the cynicism of the Tories in a nutshell. Deliberately and systematically wrecking local government services up and down the country for eight ruinous years, then trying to actually take over local councils that have been gutted by this strategic wrecking by blaming the local councils themselves for the appalling financial position that Westminster Tories have left them in.
The really sad thing is that because of the mainstream media refusal to critique Tory austerity dogma as the disastrous hard-right fanaticism it so obviously is, a lot of people will be unaware of the massive cuts the austerity obsessed Tories have imposed on their own local council, and will actually believe this kind of outrageous Tory propaganda when it gets shoved through their door.