If you ever needed a demonstration of what a pathetic bunch of charlatans the Tory party are, look no further than Theresa May’s lamentable Tweet attempting to steal all the credit for the ban on secret credit card charges that is being rolled out across all EU member states.
It’s important to see this latest credit-pilfering effort from Theresa May and the Tories in context. It’s absolutely clear that Theresa May turned herself into a puppet of the most rabid hard-right Europhobes in Britain with her ludicrous vanity election.
After losing her parliamentary majority and her authority her every move is dictated by the secretive and fanatically right-wing hard Brexit cabal within her own party, by the DUP bigots (who get a veto on her every Brexit move), by Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail mob, and by the fickle hard-right ultra-nationalist Blue-kip demographic who abandoned the wreckage of UKIP to prop up Theresa May’s shambles of a government.
This disgusting rabble would obviously have erupted in outrage if Theresa May had told the truth; that the ban on sneaky credit card charges is one of the many positive aspects of EU membership.
But instead of taking the coward’s way out and simply saying nothing about this new legislation for fear of enraging her hard-right backers, May has actually decided to create the absurdly misleading narrative that it’s the Tories we should be thanking for the ban on sneaky credit card charges.
The absolute brass neck of it!
According to Theresa May we should be thanking the party that are making an absolute shambles of ripping us out of the organisation that actually gave us this new consumer protection in the first place!
One of the most incredible things of all is that this is the second time in the space of a week that Theresa May and the Tories have tried to steal all the credit for the implementation of EU legislation after they tried to present the extended 5p plastic bag charges as their own policy, rather than the implementation of a piece of EU legislation that Tory MPs actually voted against and worked hard to undermine and obstruct as it made its way through the European Parliament!
Just think about the absolute contempt the Tories must have for the general public (you) that they think that they can get away with repeatedly re-branding pieces of EU legislation as their own achievements.
They’re assuming that we’re such a bunch of gullible halfwits that we’ll just mindlessly absorb their propaganda without clocking the deception, and that nobody is going to capitalise on such obvious deceptiveness by sharing the evidence they’ve just handed us proving what an outrageously dishonest bunch of chancers they are.
The former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has propelled himself back into the headlines by announcing that he’s coming around to the idea of a second referendum on EU membership.
This is obviously quite a sensational announcement given the absolute bile Brexiters generally fling at people who suggest that perhaps the British people deserve a democratic vote once the terms and conditions of Brexit are actually known.
Most Brexiters strongly resist the idea of a second referendum because they know that the 2016 referendum was a freak result, won with a tiny minority against a backdrop of collapsing public services and stagnating wages caused by ruinous Tory austerity dogma.
Brextremists are understandably afraid that a second vote would result in a reversal of Brexit, especially in light of Theresa May’s catastrophic, increasingly unpopular, and profoundly anti-democratic handling of the Brexit process so far.
The fact that Farage is going against the position held by the majority of Brexiters by suggesting a second referendum raises the obvious question of why?
If we take Farage at his word, he’s claiming that a cancel-Brexit campaign fronted by the likes of Tony Blair and Nick Clegg would fail spectacularly, and anyone with a grain of political sense must be able to realise that Clegg and Blair are now so politically toxic they would undoubtedly damage any 2nd Remain campaign by association.
However, it’s also worth noting that the likely leaders of the 2nd Leave campaign would also be politically toxic too. Only a fool would put their trust in the likes of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove after their “£350 for the NHS” lies, and Theresa May would be at the forefront of the whole 2nd Brexit campaign trying to argue in favour of whatever lamentable deal she’s managed to cobble together.
Even taking into account the fact that Blair and Clegg are politically toxic, a second EU referendum campaign looks like an almighty risk for Brexiters, given that their likely figureheads are just as politically toxic as the their opponents.
Aside from saying that he’s coming around to the idea of a second referendum, Farage said something else telling. He said that the idea of a multiple choice referendum would confuse the British people.
This is interesting because he’s clearly envisioning a binary choice between just two options.
Obviously the hard-right Brextremist mob have jumped on this idea saying that the choice should be a fake Brexit or Brexit choice between whatever hard-right Tory Brexit Theresa May manages to cobble together, and a totally catastrophic “no deal” flounce out of the EU.
But this kind of ridiculous false choice is clearly not what Farage has in mind, because it’s impossible that Blair or Clegg would front either of those campaigns.
Farage clearly wants to re-fight the battle all over again and win a decisive Brexit victory against those who wish to remain in the EU.
This is interesting because it indicates that he’s willing to shackle himself to whatever deal Theresa May and her three Brexiteer charlatans come up with. This seems like a pretty bold gamble given the chaotic and incompetent shambles the Tories have been making of the Brexit process so far.
Farage also doesn’t seem to have considered the fact that that a second Brexit vote could be seen as a way of slapping the government in the face.
Just as huge numbers of people saw the 2016 Brexit vote as an ideal opportunity to slap David Cameron and George Osborne in the face by voting Brexit, a second referendum could easily be seen as a means of slapping Theresa May in the face, but this time by voting to lob her chaotic Brexit shambles onto the scrapheap.
One of the more compelling explanations behind Farage’s U-turn on the idea of a second referendum is pure self-interest.
Ever since Farage felt the euphoria of winning the Brexit vote in June 2016 his star has been fading. He’s gone from being a leader of one of the most consequential political rebellions in decades to begging unsuccessfully to be made Donald Trump’s butler, backing Marine Le Pen’s failed National Front presidential bid in France, speaking at extreme-right rallies in Germany, and backing an alleged paedophile who actually managed to lose an election for the Republicans in Alabama!
Perhaps Farage wants a second referendum because he wants to be back in the limelight again?
Then there’s Farage’s financial backer Arron Banks who managed to build up a huge social media propaganda empire through the last EU referendum. Unlike the official Vote Leave campaign that folded up after the 2016 referendum, Banks’ Leave.EU operation has continued churning out extreme-right propaganda and links to Banks’ own Westmonster propaganda site ever since.
A second referendum campaign would obviously allow Banks to further expand his extreme-right propaganda empire, no matter what the final result.
All in all Farage’s confidence that a second referendum would result in a landslide for Brexit seems massively over-optimistic given that such a scenario would offer the British public a chance to step back from the cliff edge, and to give Theresa May a massive slap in the face in the process.
However, whether Farage is motivated by exuberant over-confidence, or by self-interest, or just by a desperation to push himself back into the limelight, one thing is for sure; whether he intended it or not he’s done a huge favour to those of us who believe democracy would be better served by a serious and properly informed Brexit referendum once the terms and conditions have been made clear, than by the hastily rushed and profoundly dishonest farce of a debate that happened in 2016.
Like him or not, Farage has completely shattered the Brextremist trope that a second referendum would be anti-democratic and against “the will of the people”, because we now have one of the leading Brexiteers arguing that a second referendum would actually be a democratic opportunity to decide the situation once and for all.
In 2014 the European Parliament held a vote on reducing disposable plastic bag waste. The Tory MEPs in the European parliament voted against the measure and demanded a load of concessions from the European Parliament.
In 2015 the legislation was finally passed in the European Parliament. The new measures oblige member states to either adopt measures ensuring that the annual consumption level does not exceed, on average, 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by the end of 2019, and not more than 40 bags per person by 2025; or alternatively, to ensure that they are not given for free at stores and sales points by the end of 2018.
Tory MEPs refused to vote in favour of this legislation.
Now we fast-forward to January 2018 and suddenly Michael Gove and Theresa May are trying to claim credit for the shiny new Tory policy of … errrm …clamping down on disposable plastic bag waste.
Neither the Tories, nor their sycophants in the mainstream press have bothered to point out that these measures against plastic waste originated in the EU. And neither is anyone pointing out that the Theresa May and Michael Gove are actually trying to steal credit for a policy that their fellow Tories in the European parliament voted against, and worked to undermine and obstruct.
Take the coverage of the extended 5p plastic bag charge in the hard-right Daily Mail propaganda rag.
There’s loads of praise for Theresa May and the Tories in the article, yet not a single mention of the fact that the plastic bag charges are a result of EU legislation to clamp down on plastic waste, nor of the fact that the Tories tried to scupper these rules as they made their way through the European Parliament.
If the rabidly anti-EU Daily Mail had any integrity whatever they wouldn’t be presenting this extended plastic bags charge as a glorious victory for Theresa May, they’d be howling with rage at the nasty EU interfering with our God-given British right to lob as much plastic waste as we like into our waterways and oceans.
Just like the Daily Mail, it’s obvious that the Brextremist Michael Gove is not going to admit that the policy he’s attempting to soak up all the credit for is actually a product of the EU that he hates so much.
And neither is Theresa May going risk upsetting the new blue-kip demographic of rabidly right-wing and ultra-nationalistic ex-ukippers she’s rendered herself completely reliant upon with a dose of the truth.
There’s absolutely no way she’d dare to destabilise her own position by explaining to this fickle and reactionary mob that her shiny new policy is actually one of the measures that her party tried and failed to defeat in the European Parliament.
Of course it’s a good thing that measures are being taken to address the shocking levels of plastic pollution in the environment, but to see Tories attempting to wring as many positive headlines as possible out of a policy they steadfastly opposed in the first place is yet another demonstration of what a shifty and opportunistic bunch of charlatans these people actually are.
The 2015 General Election was an absolute disaster to any non-Scottish person with even remotely progressive social values. The Scots could celebrate their remarkable wipe-out of the neoliberalism-fixated Westminster establishment parties, but elsewhere there was little to celebrate after Ed Miliband squandered his golden opportunity to win a landslide victory by opposing ruinous Tory austerity dogma, because he chose to offer a disgustingly unpalatable and uninspiring prescription of austerity-lite snake oil instead.
One of the few highlights of the 2015 election was the people of Wirral West seeing sense and ditching their atrocious MP Esther McVey.
The ruthlessly self-serving McVey had spent the previous three years acting as Iain Duncan Smith’s merciless henchwoman at the DWP, and the people of Wirral West were rightly sickened and appalled at her callous attitudes towards the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the unemployed, so lost her seat, and her role in government.
McVey used to brag about how rising dependency of food banks is a good thing, and she also had a central role in promoting the draconian Tory sanctions regime.
The mainstream media rarely address the issue of the benefits sanction regime that McVey had such an important role in expanding, but even fleeting analysis reflects extremely badly on the Tory party, so it’s no surprise it gets so little coverage.
The first thing to note about McVey’s beloved sanctions regime is that despite a barrage of lies and denials (including from McVey herself), the Tories operated a system of benefits sanctions targets and league tables designed to incentivise Jobcentre staff into sanctioning quotas of people per month. The purpose being to drive down the unemployment figures by throwing people off benefits for the most trivial of infractions (people out of work and not claiming benefits are not classed as unemployed!).
The next thing to note is that the most likely people to get caught up in the Tory benefits sanctions regime are the most vulnerable. Just think about it for a moment. If you were a hard-pressed Jobcentre employee with a target of sanctioning let’s say two people a week, would it be easier to go after the minority of hardened benefits scroungers who probably know the benefits rules better than you do yourself, or to trick a few people with mental health issues or learning disabilities into committing sanctionable mistakes?
Just take the case of the former soldier David Clapson who was sanctioned and left penniless. He died at home from diabetic ketoacidosis after his electricity was cut off leaving his supply of insulin to spoil in the fridge. When opposition MPs questioned McVey over the dangers of sanctioning vulnerable people like David Clapson, she responded by accusing them of “inflaming” the issue.
Just imagine the scheming callousness of a woman whose own policies have resulted in a man’s death, who refuses to accept any responsibility, but instead tries to play politics by posing as the victim herself.
Another important thing to note is that Esther McVey repeatedly talked out of her posterior claiming that the sanctions regime exist to “help” the unemployed.
The reality is the exact opposite. Numerous studies have shown that leaving people penniless hinders their ability to find work. Just think about it. If you can’t afford to eat properly, clean your clothes, get a haircut, public transport fares, your phone/Internet bill, the cost of printing CVs … would you really be more likely to find a job? All the research says no you wouldn’t. Esther McVey says yes you would.
Then there’s the absolute kicker. It turns out that deliberately thrusting hundreds of thousands of people per year into absolute destitution actually costs the taxpayer more money than it saves in reduced benefits payments!
This means that Esther McVey’s draconian system of condemning hundreds of thousands of people per year to absolute poverty actually costs the taxpayer vast sums of money, making it a grotesque example of taxpayer subsidised Tory malice.
After she was rejected by the people of Wirral West the Tories handed McVey a ticket back into Westminster by parachuting her into the super-safe Tory seat of Tatton at the 2017 General Election. Now, within the space of a year, Theresa May has actually appointed this callous and scheming woman as the head of the DWP.
Make no mistake, this appointment is a clear statement of intent from Theresa May. She’s not going to reverse course and stop squandering taxpayers’ cash on the kinds of wasteful, socially destructive, and downright malicious Tory impoverishment schemes favoured by Iain Duncan Smith.
In fact she’s decided to double-down on this kind of disgusting hard-right malice by appointing the cruellest and most uncaring of Iain Duncan Smith’s minions to carry on his work of punishing and abusing the poor and vulnerable.
You couldn’t really get a stronger indication of Theresa May’s absolute contempt for the welfare of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society than the appointment of Esther McVey as the head of the DWP.
So be warned. This is Theresa May’s unmistakable message to the people of Britain: “don’t get old, don’t get sick, and don’t lose your job”.
After eight days of damaging revelations about the odious hard-right polemicist Toby Young, he has resigned from the Tory government’s new universities watchdog.
Young had tried to hide his disgusting past by deleting some 50,000 Tweets, but people had already taken screenshots of some of the worst comments including anal rape ‘jokes’, casual misogyny and homophobia, a description of masturbating over images of starving children, and crude comments about the breasts of an underage girl.
Aside from the shower of gross Twitter comments there was Young’s journalistic output, which included an article admitting the supply of cocaine, an article describing his efforts to trick lesbian women into having sexual contact with him, and most concerning of all, articles in which he tried to rehabilitate the concept of eugenics.
Had this been a Labour Party figure (like Jared O’Mara for example), we all know what the reaction would have been from the likes of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and the hard-right Guido Fawkes blog. But instead of a tidal wave of faux outrage we witnessed a week-long exercise in ridiculous Tory excuse-making.
Theresa May said that she was “not impressed” by Toby Young’s comments, but refused to sack him; Boris Johnson described Young as having a “caustic wit” as if describing wanking over dying children is the work of a modern day Oscar Wilde; Toby Young even thanked the Guido Fawkes blog for their support in his ludicrous Facebook self-exoneration; and the universities minister Jo Johnson (the brother of Boris) even found himself defending anal rape jokes and modern eugenics in parliament after opposition MPs secured an emergency debate over Toby Young’s appointment.
After a the furore showed no signs of dying down after a week the Tories even circulated a memo urging Tory MPs to deflect attention away from Toby Young by attacking and smearing Labour politicians. This wasn’t just members of the Tory boys club sticking up for their horrible mate, it was an orchestrated effort by the Tory party machine to defend the indefensible.
Despite the desperate rearguard action from the Tory party machine, the pressure eventually told and Toby Young gave in and announced his resignation. It’s astounding that despite all the repulsive comments and articles, he was allowed to walk away of his own volition, not fired.
The fact that the Tories stuck with such a repulsive and desperately unsuitable appointment to a supposedly neutral and impartial public sector role tells you all you need to know about how nasty they are, but there’s another angle too.
The way they spent eight days robustly defending the indefensible and sustaining damage to their reputation just to let the guy resign illustrates their sheer incompetence.
Any competent organisation would have nipped the scandal in the bud by admitting the comments and pro-eugenics articles were unacceptable, and cancelling the appointment. But that’s just not the way the Tory party works, especially under the weak and directionless leadership of Theresa May.
Toby Young is part of the Tory boys club and untouchable. Even if Theresa May had the inclination to sack him, she couldn’t because she’s in such a weak position and Toby’s fellow members of the Tory boys club like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, and Jo Johnson would have kicked up a stink that would have threatened her position as party leader, so as usual she put self-interest above all and let the obnoxious creep keep his position.
Even after Young’s resignation, Tories like Jo Johnson are still intent on making the situation worse by continuing to spew one-sided Toby Young eulogies and smearing everyone who objected to his appointment as “armchair critics”.
It’s as if they genuinely can’t see what’s wrong with appointing such a savagely biased and repulsive character to a supposedly impartial public position, and they’re going to take their fury out on any members of the general public with the rudimentary judgement skills necessary to see why such a person is so catastrophically unfit for public office.
In their warped minds masturbating over starving children, anal rape ‘jokes’, casual misogyny and homophobia, obsessing over the breasts of a minor, and efforts to rehabilitate eugenics are absolutely fine, and Toby Young is some kind of unfortunate martyr, and that’s the ridiculous narrative these out-of-touch Tory boys club buffoons are actually running with!