Category: uk



Jeremy Hunt hasn’t got a clue

The Tory health secretary Jeremy Hunt is widely despised in the NHS. There’s so much evidence that he’s been doing a bad job it’s impossible to fit the slightest fraction of it into the introductory paragraphs of a short blog post.

From the 100,000 unfilled jobs in the NHS to soaring waiting times and scrapped waiting time targetsFrom his ideological war with junior doctors to the ocean of debt the NHS is swimming in. From forced closures of dozens of NHS wards and facilities to plummeting service satisfaction ratings. From people dying in corridors and ambulances after the Tories slashed the number of NHS beds by 14,000 to the covert privatisation by stealth agenda that’s going on under our noses. Jeremy Hunt’s tenure as health secretary has been a disaster for the NHS.

The only way Theresa May’s assertion that “Jeremy Hunt has been an excellent Health Secretary” can be accepted at face value is if she’s actually delighted with his efforts to run the NHS into the ground in order for the Tories to make the argument for privatisation and the abolition of the socialist NHS principle of providing universal health care that is free at the point of need.

On January 18th, and after well over five years in the job, Jeremy Hunt posted an extraordinarily dim-witted Tweet about the supposed “clever use of technology” at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to keep track of staffing levels.

Before we even get to the meaning of the slew of orange and red panels in the attached picture, it’s important to note that a health secretary who has been in post for over five years marvelling at a spreadsheet as if it’s some kind of profound high tech innovation is akin to someone who has been running an engineering company for five years marvelling at the fact that foundations are made out of concrete as if it’s some kind of wonderful and revolutionary development.

Aside from the fact that Hunt seems to think staffing spreadsheets are some kind of pioneering innovation, there’s also the fact that the spreadsheet he attached to the Tweet clearly demonstrates that under his watch all three of the shifts at the hospital are rated as unsafe, and several wards are rated as high risk because of staff shortages.

Any health secretary with a grain of sense would have realised the significance of the orange and red panels and decided against sharing proof that dangerous staff shortages are commonplace on their watch, but not Jeremy Hunt.

The guy just hasn’t got a clue, and what is worse is that everybody knows it, yet Theresa May is such a weak and directionless leader that she actually let him talk her into giving him even more responsibilities (for the social care sector), when her actual intention was to fire him!

If his track record of under-funding, staff shortages, ever increasing waiting times, and pointless ideological battles with NHS staff weren’t evidence enough that Jeremy Hunt has been promoted way beyond his ability, this utterly clueless Tweet is surely evidence enough that he’s spectacularly unfit to be doing such an important job.

 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.


The Tory EU Withdrawal bill is such a shambolic power grab Labour had to vote against it

Last night 243 Labour MPs voted against the Tory government’s Brexit bill.

The Tories tried to make as much capital out of this vote as possible by whipping up their Brextremist followers into a rage with outright lies that Labour were “blocking the delivery of a smooth Brexit”, which are a tad difficult to accept at face value given that the Tories and their bigoted DUP backers actually won the vote!

In reality the Labour Party (and other opposition parties) tried to do everything in their power to amend the Tories’ basket case European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, and when virtually all of these amendments were defeated by the Tories and the DUP extremists they bribed into supporting them, Labour had no choice but to vote against this cynical and shambolic power grab the Tories have cobbled together under the guise of leaving the EU.

It’s vital to understand that Labour and the opposition parties tried really hard to improve the EU Withdrawal bill, but the Tories and the DUP fanatics simply scrapped all the changes.

Here are just a few of the amendments that the Tories refused to make to their shambolic legislation:

  • Labour tried to ensure that no EU derived consumer protections, environmental standards, and workers’ rights are scrapped during the process of quitting the EU. The Tories scrapped that amendment.
  • The SNP and other opposition parties tried to ensure that the Tories couldn’t use the extensive law-rewriting powers they were giving themselves to revoke powers from the devolved parliaments (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). The Tories scrapped that amendment.
  • Labour tried to stop the Tories from using the EU Withdrawal Bill to reserve all repatriated powers directly to Westminster, rather than to the devolved parliaments.  The Tories scrapped that amendment.
  • Labour tried to ensure that the Tory government carry out economic impact assessments on whatever Brexit scenario they decide on (a Brexit agreement or a “no deal” flounce) before parliament votes on whether to go ahead with it. The Tories scrapped that amendment.
In light of this just ask yourself why the Tories scrapped all these amendments to protect human rights, environmental laws, consumer protections, animal rights, the integrity of the devolved parliaments, and to ensure the government carries out economic impact assessments before they plough ahead with whatever they decide to do?

If they have no intention of using Brexit as a Trojan horse to attack all of these rights, protections, and laws – then why did they scrap the amendments that would have prevented them from doing so?

If they have no intention of using Brexit as an excuse to attack and undermine the powers of the devolved parliaments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland – then why did they scrap the amendments that would have prevented them from doing so?

And if they have no intention of ploughing ahead with a shambolic “let’s make it up as we go along” hard-right Brexit – then why did they scrap the amendments that would have made them at least conduct economic impact assessments on the final Brexit situation they decide on before moving to enact it?

Labour and the other opposition parties tried to co-operate and improve the Tory Brexit legislation, but the Tories and the DUP lackeys they bribed into supporting them just trashed all the amendments.

This Tory intransigence left Labour with no choice but to vote against the shambolic legislative mess the Tories have put forward.

When historians look back at this time, nobody will blame Labour for at least trying to amend the Tory Brexit legislation to make it fit for purpose.

However now that the Tories have demonstrated their intention to use Brexit as an excuse to attack our rights, scrap our consumer protections, erode our environmental laws, undermine our devolved parliaments, and do so in a reckless make it up as we go along manner with no economic impact assessments to justify their actions, nobody (aside from the ‘we want Brexit at any cost’ extremists) could possibly argue that Labour were wrong to vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The next stage for the EU Withdrawal Bill will be the unelected House of Lords, which will make an interesting spectacle as a bunch of unelected peers attempt to amend this absolute shambles of a Tory power grab to make the bill itself more democratic, and the Tory govenrment more accountable for their actions.

 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.


Theresa May is letting Ben Bradley keep his job

As the rest of us were celebrating the New Year, the Tories decided to quietly sneak out an announcement that they’d appointed the vile hard-right polemicist Toby Young to their new (and supposedly impartial) universities watchdog.

Within a matter of hours it became clear that the Tories had failed to do even the slightest due diligence on the guy they were handing a job to. Not only did Toby Young have a disgusting back catalogue of misogynistic, homophobic, and downright disgusting Tweets, he’d also been attending secretive pro-eugenics conferences full of white supremacists and paedophilia apologists, and writing articles attempting to rehabilitate the concept of eugenics.

Eventually, after a nine day shit-storm over his repulsive comments and views, Toby Young resigned, and any sensible and/or vaguely competent political party would have looked into how they managed to appoint someone with such an appalling track record, but not the Tories.

On the very same day that Toby Young resigned over his back catalogue of despicable articles and Tweets, Theresa May appointed the recently elected Tory MP Ben Bradley as Vice Chair for Youth.

Apparently his job would be to get more young people to engage with the Conservative party.

Had they bothered to check Bradley’s Internet history before appointing him, they would have come across a truly disgusting blog post calling for the sterilisation of unemployed people, as if unemployment is some kind of genetic disease, rather than a necessary condition in capitalist economies. 

I mean just think about it, how else are the exploitative capitalist class going to extract as much profit from the labour force as possible if there isn’t a permanent pool of unemployed workers ready to replace any worker who agitates too loudly for pay raises or better working conditions?

One of the most shocking things about his elitist views on unemployment is that Bradley is the first ever Tory MP in the former mining town of Mansfield.

If anyone should know that unemployment can be thrust upon people, families, and even entire communities through no fault of their own, then surely it’s people in a former mining town that was socially and economically decimated by the closure of the mines (as well as the textiles industry and the Mansfield brewery)?

But no, they’ve actually gone and elected this elitist Tory prig as their MP.

How someone with such vile elitist views about the sterilisation of the poor ever made it through the selection process to become a Tory parliamentary candidate is bizarre enough, but his appointment to Theresa May’s government as a kind of youth engagement officer, well it just defies belief doesn’t it?

Bradley and his right-wing backers have attempted to defend his comments by making out they happened ages ago, but 2012 wasn’t that long ago, and his comments were made in defence of Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare cuts, as if sterilisation of the unemployed is somehow a natural extension of Tory party welfare policy.

We all know that if Labour (or any other political party) had appointed someone with such vile views to an official position, the Tories, the right-wing dominated print media, and the Guido Fawkes smear-mongering operation would be in all out attack mode over it. But because this guy is a Tory, they’re churning out excuses, and pretending that the Tory mask hasn’t slipped.

Theresa May has decided that someone who has so recently expressed such vile elitist views is an appropriate person to try to engage young people with right-wing politics.

But the truth is obvious for everyone to see. Not only did the Tory party welcome Bradley with open arms and promote him to an official position within the party, and either they did no due diligence on his background at any state, or they did do due diligence and concluded that sterilise the poor blog posts are well aligned with the Tory party ethos.

The Tory mask has well and truly slipped, and Theresa May’s decision to let Bradley keep his job could well backfire. Perhaps he has more extreme pro-eugenics views lurking around in his past, and even if not, any youth Bradley tries to get hooked on right-wing politics can be easily warded off with warnings “don’t listen to him, he’s the sterilise the poor guy”.

 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.




The Carillion collapse is a textbook example of Tory economics

The collapse of the construction and outsourcing giant Carillion is a textbook example of the Tory privatisation ideology in action.

We now have 43,000 workers worrying over their jobs; hundreds of public services at risk (including hospitals, schools, prisons & other public infrastructure); a government in chaos because they carried on handing out £billions in contracts to this stricken company even after three profit warnings; and a pension fund with a £600 million black hole in it (which will be bailed out by the taxpayer).

Meanwhile executives at the company stand accused of rewriting their bonus rules in 2016 (when the company was already in huge trouble) so that they could keep all their bonuses, even in the case of corporate collapse.

A bunch of private profiteers has walked away with stacks of cash, leaving the public to pick up the bill for sorting out the chaos they’ve created.

However, the problem is that the Tories are pro-privatisation extremists. There’s no way they’d bring the services back in house to protect jobs and public services. Their fanatical hard-right ideology prevents them from doing that, so they’ll scrabble around trying to get other private sector profiteers to take over Carillion’s contracts, and likely pay extortionate inflated prices, because other private sector companies know that the Tories need them to take over the contracts more than they actually need the contracts themselves.

The corporate executives got rich. The shareholders were handed dividends every year as the company drained vast sums out of employees’ pension schemes. And now the scam has collapsed, the Tories are going to ensure that the taxpayer covers the cost by bailing out the pension fund, and by re-tendering all the contracts at inflated prices.

From a taxpayers’ perspective, or from the perspective of good governance, the Carillion collapse is an absolutely scandalous failure.

However from a Tory party perspective it’s actually another success story, because it’s yet another example of the private sector soaking up all the profits at the taxpayers’ expanse, then dumping the debts onto the taxpayer when the hollowed-out husk of the company collapses into liquidation.

 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 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.


The company that runs Britain is near to colla…

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