Category: Tories

“Humiliation is Victory” – Orwell would be proud


“May’s Finest Hour” blares the front page of the Express, while the S*n and Daily Mail also carried similarly delusional interpretations of Theresa May’s humiliation at Salzberg.

From the moment her Chequers Plan was released it was always going to come to this.
Theresa May was warned time and again that her effort to threaten the EU into letting her cherry-pick the benefits of EU membership without shouldering any of the responsibilities was doomed to failure.

But she carried on regardless, in the desperate hope that her endlessly repeated threat to launch a mutually destructive “no deal” flounce if she isn’t given her way would frighten the EU negotiators into caving in to her demands.

Then the Tories made yet another one of the glating strategic errors that have plagued the party ever since David Cameron’s time as PM. They decided to defy the mainstream EU consensus by aligning themselves with all of the extreme-right, neo-Nazi, and Europhobic parties in the European Parliament to oppose a move to censure the vile anti-Semitic, judiciary-rigging, free speech repressing Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán.

This Tory tactic was intended to divide the EU27 by getting the hard-right Hungarian and Polish governments onside, but it backfired spectacularly as this disgustingly cynical move pissed off the EU negotiators to such an extent that they finally put their foot down at Salzberg.

Having her desperately unrealistic wish list publicly rejected was clearly a humiliation for Theresa May and a humiliation for Britain, yet the right-wing propaganda rags are celebrating this shameful farce as some kind of wonderful victory.

This reality-reversal is so transparent that comparisons with Orwell are inevitable. So let’s just get it out of the way. “Humiliation is Victory” easily fits in alongside the 1984 slogans “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength”.

How on earth did we get to this point?

  • How did we allow Theresa May to trigger Article 50 without even having drawn up a proper negotiating tactic first? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May to inhibit the chance of ever getting a workable Brexit by scribbling “red lines” all over the place? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May and the Tories to sideline the House of Commons, UK businesses, trade unions, civic society, opposition parties, devolved parliaments, charities … to run the whole Brexit show themselves? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May and the Tories to present the shockingly unrealistic Chequers Plan as some kind of negotiating triumph, rather than an absolute shambles that doesn’t even satisfy the Tory party that developed it, let alone the rest of the UK, or the EU negotiators who quite understandably shot it down in Salzberg after the Tories defied the mainstream European consensus to side with Viktor Orbán.

The answer to all of this is obvious. It’s the toxifying influence of the right-wing propaganda rags. They promoted Brexit when they knew the Brexiteers had no plan for how to achieve it.

They celebrated Theresa May’s ridiculous red lines, her toddler-tantrum negotiating tactics, and her decision to trigger Article 50 with no negotiating plan.

They attacked the judges as “enemies of Britain” when they overruled Theresa May’s efforts to sideline parliament and tried to orchestrate an ideological witch hunt of academics who dare to question or critique the Brexit process.

They triggered cascades of Brexiteer death threats every time they called the remain-oriented Tories “mutineers” and “traitors”. They did nothing to hold Theresa May and the Brexiteers to account over their ridiculous time-wasting tactics. And now they’re presenting Theresa May’s inevitable humiliation as some kind of epic triumph!

And if they’re prepared to reverse reality in order to re-write Theresa May’s humiliation into a wonderful victory, don’t doubt that there’s no lengths these propagandists won’t go to in order to con people into continuing to support Tory misrule, even when it’s ludicrously obvious that they’re lying through their teeth.

 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.



OR

Regular

politicalsci 2018-09-22 11:42:47

image

Here’s the reason “centrism is really struggling to make headway”


In a speech to the Lib-Dem conference Gina Miller lamented the fact that “centrism is really struggling to make headway” before going on to call people to the left and right “fascists” with “cold hard ideologies”.

The obvious problem with centrism is that the term itself is a complete misnomer that implies that hovering aimlessly around near the centre has some special moral virtue no matter how far off into the political extremes the prevailing political orthodoxy might go.

Thus during the post-war decades the political centre was the mixed economy of public ownership of vital infrastructure, services and industries combined with a strong welfare state and regulated capitalism (a position occupied by Labour, the Liberals, and the Tories), and the privatise everything, “greed is good” deregulate the financial sector right-wingers were fringe lunatics.

Fast forward to 1979 and the hard-right fringe were propelled into power and their mass privatisation, welfare-wrecking, deregulation mania has continued unabated for four decades with truly appalling consequences.

Just look at the behaviour of the self-declared centrists between 2010 and 2016 and you can see the disastrous consequences of this morally weak and utterly wrong-headed determination to occupy the centre ground between raving ideological extremism of the Tories and the Blairism that went before it:

  • In 2014 Theresa May introduced her extremist “hostile environment” legislation and bragged about how the Tory government could “deport now, hear appeals later”. Dozens of black British citizens were deported under these rules. Several died in exile. Thousands more were denied employment, housing, access to public services, access to banking services, even medical treatment. The majority of ‘centrists’ either voted in favour of this disgusting legislation, with only a tiny minority of MPs opposing it on principle (or because their “cold hard ideologies” wouldn’t allow them to enable it as Gina Miller would no doubt describe it).
  • After their election defeat Labour centrists like Chris Leslie actually tried to argue that losing the election by copying Tory extremism rather than opposing it meant Labour should shift even further to the right! Thankfully the Labour membership strongly disagreed and voted for a candidate who would actually oppose ruinous Tory austerity dogma instead of meekly copying it.
  • During the Labour leadership election the Labour centrists decided to abstain on a massive programme of Tory welfare cuts designed to further impoverish the poor, especially the working poor. Jeremy Corbyn was the only Labour leadership candidate to vote against it.

Centrist collusion with Tory austerity dogma had appalling consequences: The longest period of sustained wage devaluation on record, public services put under massive strain or shut down entirely, in-work benefits slashed, soaring food bank dependency, exploitative employment practices like Zero Hours Contracts and fake self-employment spreading like wildfire …

Then it came to the Brexit vote and suddenly the complacent centrists were trapped in a pit of their own digging. The far-right Brextremists opportunistically blamed immigrants and the EU for the wage collapse, the failing public services, the in-work poverty, the suffering … But the centrists couldn’t fight back with the truth that these things were the result of austerity, because they were all complicit with austerity.

The only way the centrists have countered the far-right anti-immigrant anti-EU lies would have been to admit that ‘centrism’ itself was a fraud!

Amazingly centrists still occupy this bubble of delusion that it’s somehow morally superior to triangulate with hard-right Tory austerity dogma than to oppose it. That all the ‘centrist’ MPs abstaining on Theresa May’s vile “hostile environment” policy was acceptable and palatable xenophobia, but the xenophobic Brextremist lies were somehow so much worse than a policy they couldn’t even be bothered to oppose that eventually led to British citizens dying in exile abroad!

The problem is that centrists promised us that their watered down version of neoliberalism would bring prosperity, but what it’s actually delivered is Tory austerity dogma, collapsing wages, failing public services, exploitative employment practices, ridiculous privatisation scams, grotesque “hostile environment” policies, soaring in-work poverty, and eventually the centrist‘s own worst nightmare; Brexit.

But rather than admit their culpability in creating this dreadful situation, they’re intent on moral high-horsing and abusing everyone to the left, and everyone to the right of them as “fascists”!

And it’s exactly this kind of self-aggrandising and aloof sneering that’s going to keep them in the political wilderness, because like it or not, the idea of aimlessly drifting around in the totally artificial territory of the ‘centre ground’ is finished.

The choice now is between the hard-right neoliberals who want to keep us on the same course we’ve been on for four decades (more privatisation, more undermining of workers rights, more public service cutbacks, more under-investment in infrastructure spending and research and development, more welfare cuts for the poor, more tax cuts and lavish handouts for the mega-rich) or those on the left who want to change direction and make Britain more of a high-tech, high-skill society with a decent welfare system like Norway, Finland, Germany, or Denmark.

Of course it’s necessary to take an ideological position to step away from the complacency and aimlessness of the political ‘centre’, but there’s nothing “cold” or “hard” about opposing the political orthodoxy of welfare cuts on the most vulnerable people in society (the sick, the disabled, the working poor, the jobless, the children, the elderly and infirm …) in order to lavish corporations and the mega-rich with ever more tax cuts and handouts.

Quite the contrary, it takes a “cold hard” heart to go along with such barbarity solely because you want to maintain the illusion that by doing so you’re somehow a ‘moderate’ occupying the ‘centre ground’!

When centrism actively helps the Tories grind the most vulnerable people in society into absolute destitution for five years in order to feed the greed of the mega-rich, and then centrists accuse others who object to this horrific agenda of “fascism” and having “cold hard ideologies” then you really can’t expect anyone other than your ever-diminishing echo chamber of delusional ‘centrists’ to applaud your unbelievably hypocritical message.

 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.



OR

Why do Tory MPs get a total free pass on their astounding anti-business attitudes?


Today a Tory MP publicly accused the boss of a major UK employer of lying. The accusation was made by Bernard Jenkin who responded to the fears of Jaguar Land Rover that a “no deal” Brexit would be catastrophic for their company and their workforce by saying I think he’s making it up.

Now just imagine for a moment that a Labour Party MP had openly accused the boss of a major British employer of lying to the public.

The mainstream media would obviously be absolutely teaming with “Labour are the anti-business party” takes, at least for the rest of the day, and with the incident referenced over and again for months as evidence of Labour’s anti-business agenda.

But because the badmouthing of British business is coming from a Tory MP, it’s barely elicited a whisper of condemnation from mainstream media hacks, other than a few Tweets from half-decent journalists like Gavin Esler and Norman Smith.

Sustained media partisanship

Alarmingly this isn’t the only example of highly partisan editorial decisions to avoid vehement condemnation of the Tories. Last week the majority of Tory MPs joined all the fascist parties in the European Parliament to vote in support of Viktor Orbán’s anti-Semetic, judiciary-rigging, free speech-attacking, human rights-trashing regime in Hungary.

Again, just imagine the deafening howls of condemnation had it been Labour MEPs defying the European consensus to vote in favour of the most notorious anti-Semite in Europe, but somehow the Tories get a free pass.

Labour are now the party of business!

If you believed all the mainstream media rhetoric about Labour being rabid extreme-left fanatics under Jeremy Corbyn, the idea that they’ve taken over as the obvious pro-business party would seem insane, but the reality is very different from what orthodox neoliberals in the mainstream media are trying to make you think.

Admittedly Jeremy Corbyn has said that corporations would have to pay their fair share in tax (especially if they want to bid for government contracts) and that the Corporation Tax rate is going to have to rise so that it’s back in line with the G7 average, which wouldn’t go down all that well with Britain’s most avid tax-dodgers and corporate profiteers.

However, most business leaders should be able to see the sense in many of Corbyn’s strategies, and that the economic responsibility of paying their fair share in tax comes with significant payoffs too.

Making sure that major corporations pay their fair share in tax would create a much fairer playing field for hundreds of thousands of small and medium sized businesses that can’t afford to pay expensive tax lawyers to hide their profits in tax havens.

Corbyn has clearly listened to British businesses (large and small) and to trade unions and he’s made it clear that Labour would seek to retain access to the Customs Union and Single Market, while the Tories keep on threatening the ruination of a “no deal” Brexit and smearing prominent business leaders who express their concerns about this reckless game of ideological brinkmansip as liars!

Labour’s policies of investing in Britain’s creaking public infrastructure and building hundreds of thousands of affordable homes would clearly create huge opportunities for construction companies, engineering firms, and myriad suppliers.

Labour’s “Build it in Britain” industrial policy certainly must make a lot of sense to British-based manufacturers.

And Labour’s policy of introducing a National Education Service to provide free education and training to all, would clearly help to ensure that the UK has the kind of flexible and highly-skilled workforce that is needed in order to reverse the Tory productivity crisis and make Britain a high-tech economy fit for the 21st Century.

Whether you support Jeremy Corbyn’s investment-based economic strategy or not, you certainly won’t be hearing any Labour MPs saying “fuck business” like Boris Johnson, or smearing prominent British business leaders as liars like Bernard Jenkin just did.

You can read more about Labour’s industrial strategy here.

 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.



OR

The shockingly inadequate reaction to the bankers’ crisis is the reason Britain is in such a state today

It’s 10 years to the day since Lehman Brothers collapsed into bankruptcy and practically nothing has been done to rein in the excesses of the mega-rich speculator class who created the Bankers’ insolvency crisis.

First the entire establishment class rallied around to ensure that their mega-rich speculator mates wouldn’t lose out as a result of the crisis they caused with their reckless gambling, with bailouts, and quantitative easing cash galore to prop up the value of the assets of the rich.

Then Tories cynically used the bankers’ economic crisis as an excuse to impose ruinous austerity dogma as a means of pushing the cost of the crisis onto ordinary people through wage repression, in-work benefits cuts, welfare cuts for sick and disabled people, local service cuts, etc.

Meanwhile the Tories actually rigged the economy even further in favour of the mega-rich by slashing corporation tax, slashing taxes on the mega-rich, and lavishing the speculator class with ridiculously one-sided outsourcing contracts, and handing them massive chunks of public infrastructure and services at bargain basement prices (like the Royal Mail) or even for free (like the state schools given away to private academy profiteers).

The bankers’ insolvency crisis called for decisive action to ensure such a meltdown could never happen again. Action like breaking up the “too big to fail” banks, restraining the ridiculous short-term bonus culture to make financial rewards dependent on the long-term sustainability of the institutions paying them, jailing the most reckless and fraudulent of the financial sector gamblers, increasing competition and diversity in the financial sector, reducing the amount of wealth that gets funnelled into non-productive areas of the economy like property price speculation and the vast global derivatives casino …

But instead of decisive action nothing was done, so that the property bubble and the the global derivatives casino have continued sucking vast amounts of wealth away from the real productive economy.

But what’s even worse is what the Tory response to the bankers’ crisis taught the mega-rich speculator class.

It taught them that financial crises are absolutely fantastic news for them. Their losses will be protected through bankers’ bailouts and obscene policies like quantitative easing, while the cost of the meltdown is borne by the poor and ordinary.

And now, instead of waiting for the next crisis to come along (when the housing bubble bursts, or major banks gamble themselves into insolvency on the global derivatives casino again) the mega-rich speculator class are seeking to deliberately cause the next crisis.

They know that they can plunge the entire UK economy into a much bigger crisis than the bankers’ meltdown if they can ensure that the UK conducts a “no deal” flounce out of the EU.

If they know exactly how and when the crisis is going to occur, the opportunities for making £billions by betting against Britain are obviously absolutely huge.

Then once they’ve made a killing by betting against Britain, and against the elements of the real economy they know will suffer huge losses in a “no deal” meltdown (manufacturing, haulage companies, leisure and tourism, aviation, shipping, agriculture, the automotive industry …) they can pile back in with the £billions they made by betting against Britain in order to buy up masses of distressed British assets on the cheap.

The UK establishment response to the bankers’ crisis created moral hazard by proving that the state would not let the mega-rich speculator class fail under any circumstances (even when they gambled themselves into insolvency).

Tory austerity dogma made the moral hazard even worse by demonstrating that the Tory party would deliberately load the cost of the crisis onto ordinary people, whilst actually rigging society even further in favour of the mega-rich speculators who trashed the economy in the first place.

And Brexit is the culmination of this truly outrageous response to the bankers’ crisis.

First the Brexiteers used the wave of public anger at the consequences of austerity madness to deliver the Brexit vote, by attacking immigrants and the EU as the reason wages were collapsing, public services were failing, and poverty was rising …

And now they’re seeking to use this Brexit vote as an excuse to deliberately trigger another economic meltdown so that their greedy billionaire speculator mates can make even bigger fortunes on the social and economic suffering of the rest of us.

You’d have to be a fool to not see how the shockingly inadequate response of the establishment class to the bankers’ crisis, and the imposition of ruinous hard-right Tory austerity dogma are responsible for the absolute state of Britain ten years later.

 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.



OR

Why did the Tories align themselves with all the extreme-right nasties in the European Parliament?

Days after the Tories aligned themselves with all the extreme-right nasties in the European Parliament to vote against censure of Viktor Orbán’s anti-Semitic, judiciary-rigging, free press-attacking, human rights-demolishing government in Hungary, Theresa May and the Tories are still refusing to provide a convincing explanation for their actions.

The political parties the Tory MEPs aligned themselves with include:

Fidesz – Orbán’s ruling party in Hungary.
PiS – The extreme-right government in Poland that is launching similar attacks on the judiciary and the free press to Orbán.
Golden Dawn – The Greek neo-Nazis
Front National – The French extreme-right led by Marine Le Pen.
FPÖ – The Austrian extreme-right party founded by the Nazi Anton Reinthaller.
AfD – The German extreme-right anti-immigrant party.

True Finns – An anti-immigrant nationalist party in Finland.
Sweden Democrats – The Swedish extreme-right party with fascist and white supremacist origins.
Lega Nord – The Italian extreme-right who are in coalition government with the populist anti-vaxxer Five Star movement.
PVV – Geert Wilders’ extreme right party in the Netherlands.


Fortunately the Tories decision to back Orbán’s fanatically right-wing government failed as the motion of censure was passed by 448 – 197, just passing the 2/3 majority needed.

The Tory party were the only ruling conservative party in Europe to back Orbán, with the rest of the European conservatives joining the socialists, liberals and greens to condemn his undermining of the independence of the judiciary, his attacks on free speech and the freedom of the press, his vendetta against Hungarian civic society, his anti-Semitic smear campaigns, his anti-Muslim bigotry, and his discriminatory ethno-nationalist policies.

When the scandal initially broke Theresa May tried to wash her hands of it by claiming that she had no knowledge of how her own MEPs had voted!

This excuse is an extraordinary admission that Theresa May imagines that using her own incompetence and poor leadership as an excuse is an adequate reason for supposedly not knowing what her own MEPs are up to!

The next excuse the Tories tried was that the vote was just a technical matter rather than an endorsement of Orbán’s extreme-right government, with Downing Street instructing all the Tory MEPs who sided with the extreme-right nasties to back Orbán’s government to issue a tweet claiming that their vote to back Orbán’s government wasn’t an endorsement of Orbán’s government!

This narrative is ridiculous enough in its own right, but it’s truly absurd when it’s viewed in the context of the Tory Foreign Secretary’s gushing praise for Orbán and his extreme-right party earlier this year after they used a massive anti-Semitic poster campaign to win the Hungarian election.

There’s a lot of speculation going around that the Tories deliberately aligned themselves with the European extreme-right in this way as a cynical Brexit manoeuvre to undermine the EU position in the negotiations by eliciting support from the mainly Euro-sceptic extreme-right.

If that’s the case then it certainly puts their Brexiteering into perspective. They’re so keen to launch a hard-right economy-tanking, environment-wrecking, workers’ rights-abolishing, food standards-trashing Brexit that they’ll gladly align themselves with the European extreme-right fringe to achieve it.

But don’t expect Theresa May to be pressed very hard on this outrageous scandal because backing her into a corner over her party’s demonstrable support for one of the most dangerous anti-Semitic bigots in Europe runs entirely counter to the prevailing mainstream media objective of steadfastly defending the neoliberal orthodoxy by vilifying Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s return to democratic socialism under his leadership.

 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.



OR

Regular

Tory MEPs just aligned themselves with the European extreme-right to defend the Hungarian anti-Semite Viktor Orbán



Theresa May and the Tories continually use the anti-Semitism furore to distract attention away from their lamentable track record in government, but when it comes to the crunch their actions speak louder than words.

When it comes to proof of higher rates of anti-Semitism in the Tory ranks, Theresa May does nothing to weed out anti-Semitism in her own party’s ranks.

When it comes to other forms of bigotry it’s even worse, with the Tory party outright stonewalling calls for an inquiry into anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory party from the Muslim Council of Britain and two Muslim Tory politicians.

But the actions of the Tory group of MEPs in the European Parliament absolutely take the biscuit, with 17 of the 19 voting against a motion of censure against Viktor Orbán’s blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim government in Hungary.

The right-wing Hungarian government has been interfering in the independence of the Hungarian judiciary in order to stack it with pro-government judges, attacking press freedoms, and using anti-Semitic smear campaigns.

The European Parliament motion of censure against the Hungarian government for their attacks on the independence of the judiciary and press freedom was passed by 448 votes to 197 after the vast majority of liberal, socialist, green, and centre-right conservative MEPs supported it, but it’s deeply concerning that the Tory party aligned themselves with the rag-tag bunch of extreme-right parties that opposed it.

The parties the Tories decided to side with include Orbán’s own Fidesz party, UKIP, the French neo-fascists Front National, the extreme-right Italian Northern League, the Nazi-founded Swedish Democrats, and the extreme-right Polish government who are enacting similar judiciary-rigging and free speech repressing policies themselves.

Theresa May then attempted to wash her hands of this scandalous vote with claims that she was unaware of the vote, as if incompetence is somehow an excuse for her allowing members of her party to side with a judiciary-rigging, rights-quashing bunch of extreme-right anti-Semites!

So when it comes to Tories weaponising anti-Semitism in order to score points against Labour, just remember that when it comes to actions, the Tories align themselves against the political majority in Europe to stand shoulder to shoulder with the extreme-right to defend the anti-Semitic extremist Viktor Orbán!

 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.



OR

politicalsci 2018-09-12 12:24:30