BBC reporter (close relative of 2 Tory MPs) accused of collaborating with Theresa May on planted questions

Channel 4 correspondent Michael Crick claims reporters are asking Theresa May questions which have been pre-chosen by her press team:

During campaigning, May’s press team regularly refuse to allow questions from reporters who are “not on their list”.

Interestingly, at a closed event yesterday in York, the first reporter Theresa May called by name to offer her a question was BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier.

A BBC reporter who also happens to be closely related to two Tory MPs – her cousin Mark Garnier and father Edward Garnier.

So no bias at all there then …

You can watch the whole weird press conference here (May takes questions from journalists at about 12.08):

 

LUNATIC Piers Morgan Is DESPERATE To Launch NUCLEAR WAR—If Only He CARED About The NHS CRISIS As Much

Yesterday (3rd May 2017) sleepy-eyed viewers of well-known garbage TV propagandists Good Morning Britain were greeted by the horrific sight of a screaming Piers Morgan — acting a complete madman (well, not that an unusual event when you think about it) — shouting at the Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth demanding that he respond to the question of whether or not Labour would start a nuclear war which would obliterate us all. Ashworth was appearing on the show to be interviewed about Labour’s latest policy announcement, which would kill the much dreaded NHS-fatalising privatisation plans of the Tories — Morgan, it seems, couldn’t give less of a fuck about that though.

Morgan — it appears is obsessed — with demanding that Labour MPs tell him that they would definitely, unflinchingly, without a second thought, launch us head first in total nuclear annihilation. Yesterday’s “interview” followed one the day before with the Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott, in which Morgan yet again demanded that Abbott declares that she would be happy to launch nuclear weapons.

The fact that this kind of serious and important policy is being banded around and “discussed” in a way in which an 8-year old would be able to identify as infantile and moronic says so much about the current political climate. We now live in a country, in which at 6.45 in the morning — on an ITV show whose political depth and insight usually stretches to asking the actor who plays Ian Beale on Eastenders what he thinks about the Queen’s new shoes — the topic of nuclear war is treated as if it’s inevitable. And used as a political weapon to distract from the real issues and the policies that Labour is proposing.

Absolutely no balance is given to this topic — the fact we do not face any nuclear threats currently and are unlikely to in the future means that the question is all but redundant — yet still Morgan demands an answer to his crazy hypothetical scenario which would see the human species likely obliterated.

The reason for Morgan’s focus on the nuclear weapon question is clear: he is touting the Tory narrative that Labour and Corbyn are a threat to national security. Abbott’s recent (minor) LBC brain skip over the Labour policy of adding 10,000 police on the beat — a policy which was designed, I suspect, to help rid the image of Labour as a “national security threat” was quickly turned around on her and Labour by the entire mainstream media with the BBC leading the charge. Like all of Labour’s policy, the police one has been fully costed — as The Guardian reported — if you don’t want to believe The Guardian’s numbers do the maths for yourself.

Yesterday’s interview with Ashworth was actually 10-minutes long and about the damage the Tory cuts have done to the NHS.

The NHS is currently in a state of perpetual crisis, a matter which affects almost all of us. Labour’s policy proposal is to reverse the disastrous Tory sustainability and transformation plan (STP) which will carve up the NHS even further for the private sector corporate thieves, divert funds away from the services that we so desperately need, and will cut GP numbers in half in some areas of the country, amongst many other awful things. The Tory cuts to health and social care — which then have a knock-on impact on the already significantly overstretched NHS are likely contributors to the steep rise of around 30,000 extra deaths in 2015 — the situation is genuinely critical, and couldn’t be more important.

This was supposed be the debating topic, yet somehow Morgan managed to turn this into his favorite question about launching a nuclear war.

After questioning Ashworth on Labour’s NHS policy — and trying to deflect the NHS crisis onto Labour, blaming them for the use of PFI’s (rightly so, but none the less this isn’t the reason for the current crisis) — Morgan then descended into raged lunacy, shouting at Ashworth:

What is Labour’s position about the use of our nuclear armament? Would Labour ever use it, either in a retaliatory way or in a pre-emptive way?

Ashworth responded with at least a degree of sanity saying that:

We can’t speculate about hypotheticals

He was then cut down by Morgan who burst into a full-blown demented rage — as if he’s a character from Dr Strangelove:

Someone has just fired a nuclear weapon at us, Mr Ashworth! Someone has literally just fired a nuclear weapon at this country, maiming and killing many, many tens of thousands of people! Would you, if you were in government, fire back? We have to know the answer!!!!

Morgan was so over the top that Ashworth actually laughed — something which Morgan also gave him a bollocking for.

Ashworth eventually confirmed that Labour would use nuclear arms if they had to — something which hopefully will never happen.

Of course we would do what we have to do in those circumstances. Of course we would use our nuclear armouries, if that’s the advice we were getting from the military experts.

Watch the full clip below to get the full impact of the bizarre exchange at the end of this article.

The clip of a deranged Morgan beating the answer to his nuclear question out of Ashworth has been siphoned off, isolated and spread around the mainstream media — the reason for the interview: the NHS cuts, and Labour’s plan/promise to save the NHS disregarded and forgotten.

The full interview can be found here — you’ll have to go to around 40 minutes in — I recommend muting the adverts (for obvious reasons).

This is a clear attempt at making sure Labour are always painted as a national security threat — maintaining the mainstream media and Tory narrative — in the process of doing so they neglect one of the most important issues during this election: the future of the NHS — something that many people genuinely care about.

People care more about hospitals, and the police than they do about hypothetical nuclear war — the situation that Morgan poses is so unlikely that it is hard to take seriously, yet he screams the question as if we must have the answer! WE MUST HAVE IT! EVERYONE MUST KNOW!

The human species faces two very real threats at the moment: the first is climate change, the second is the threat of nuclear war.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (a group of leading nuclear strategists, and climate change scientists) every year decides how close the species is to obliteration with the publication of their doomsday clock. The doomsday clock is currently set at 2 and a half minutes to midnight — the closest to midnight that it has been at any point since the height of the cold war in the 1980’s. This illustrates the severity of the current threat of nuclear war — the tensions along the Russian border between NATO, and the Russians being just part of this threat — the stakes are incredibly high.

The only way to decrease the likelihood of total obliteration is to descale – no other options will work, and unless we and the US do this, nobody else will.

Even the so-called rogue state of North Korea has offered to de-scale its nuclear program through China, and with the co-operation of the US. This proposal was flatly rejected by the US in favor of pursuing aggressive, and provocative actions against the regime. In the 1990’s President Clinton made a similar deal with North Korea to descale its nuclear program. Both sides mostly lived up to their end of the bargain, therefore, illustrating that political solutions are possible.

All of this was blown apart (unfortunately) by the war-mongering George W Bush who declared that North Korea was a terror state following 9-11 — therefore the US ended the agreement.

If you learn about the history of North Korea you quickly learn that they have good reason to fear the US. Kim Jong-un far from being a crazy, unpredictable dictator is actually being quite rational in defense of his country. I’m not trying to defend the regime here, but the point is diplomacy, it seems, is the best route to sort the situation out — something which is preferable to the outbreak of nuclear war (well, in my opinion).

The effects of nuclear war can not and should not be underestimated and banded around as if we are talking about nothing — as Morgan is doing — this is a serious issue that requires expert analysis and coherent debate.

Theresa May has already proudly declared that she would be happy to press the nuclear button and kill 100,000 innocent men, women and children — this statement in any sane world — would have the media seriously questioning the sanity, and moral fiber of the supreme leader. This act alone would have such disastrous consequences for the human species it simply doesn’t bear thinking about — the fact she so quickly, and unflinchingly made this declaration makes it all the more shocking.

The current Trident nuclear program is supported by about 30-40% of the electorate, with slightly less saying they would like to see a less expensive nuclear option — and about 20% saying we should give up nuclear weapons altogether.

I really think that the number of people who outright oppose Trident, or using nuclear arms in general — would increase if the general population were to ever be given the full facts about nuclear weapons — yet there is absolutely nobody I can think of — apart from John Pilger — on the mainstream media spectrum who actually talks seriously about the real implications of nuclear war.

Left-wing journalists like Owen Jones and Paul Mason have all but endorsed some kind of nuclear weapon. Jones says that the left has lost the argument (even though he still opposes nuclear arms) and Mason says that we should still have nuclear arms, just less expensive ones.

So this means that on the entire left-right mainstream spectrum almost nobody (except Corbyn, and a few others) has ever made a serious case for descaling nuclear arms — this is probably why so many people support nuclear arms — if they had the facts of the matter they may change their minds.

Given the fact that Trident is essentially just cutting the US arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin a check for £200 Billion of taxpayer’s money — for missiles that could be used to cause utter destruction — ignoring our obligations to descale under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — and that May failed to tell Parliament when it came to voting on Trident that the system had recently misfired a £14Million test missile — and that we have no reason to believe that we will be under threat from anybody, let alone with nuclear arms — the legacy of the Hiroshima, and Nagasaki nuclear bombs dropped by the US after the Japanese had all but surrendered during World war 2 — the effects still felt to this day in terms of cancer rates — given all of this, much of which is left out the mainstream debate, is it any wonder that so many people support nuclear arms still?

There is a reason that May covered up the Trident misfire, and it’s not just because Parliament was voting on it, it’s because she knows the real danger of these missiles and nuclear war – and she won’t ever talk about the real damage nuclear war would do — so she has to cover-up and pretend like everything’s fine and dandy. Don’t worry about it! The nuclear missiles are there to protect us! Nothing could possibly go wrong — well accidents do happen with these things…..BUT DON’T WORRY! It’s nothing serious, is it? like obliteration of all human life — nah, no biggie.

The number of times we’ve come close to obliteration from nuclear systems that have been falsely triggered is alarming — we really are lucky to still be here.

And so this obsession with painting Labour as a threat to national security — the Tory line spouted by the mainstream media unquestionably – continues at the expense of informing the electorate of the Labour policies which would save our NHS, and restore some of the police on the street.

The right-wing it appears cannot make up its mind over the policing and national security issue. On the one hand, they’re all about law and order — on the other they seem to object to having 10,000 more police on the beat, and then gun for disastrous and pointless nuclear conflict with enemies we don’t actually have.

Yes, Abbott made a minor gaffe, but Jesus, come on!

Almost every day May makes a much bigger one that doesn’t even get reported by the mainstream media — last week at PMQs May accidentally advertised a pro-Corbyn anti-Tory website thinking that she was being clever — if anybody else done such a stupid thing as advertising for their opponent on live TV, whilst smugly trying to do the opposite — they would be shredded to bits — but if May does it, nobody in the mainstream media pays the slightest bit of attention.

This state of affairs just makes me depressed — what can you say? We have morning TV presenters demanding that politicians start a nuclear war against non-existent enemies — literally shouting at them to do so until they get the answer they want.

If only Morgan would get so outraged about the Tories election fraud, or the NHS crisis, the social care crisis, child poverty, the fact we have 7 million working families in poverty, disabled people committing suicide because of the DWP, disabled benefit claimants dying shortly after being found fit for work, schools begging for money from parents due to underfunding, the fact that 600 of our soldiers have died in the pointless never-ending Iraq and Afghanistan wars, our drone strikes which kill innocent people in the middle east (creating more terrorism), the list is endless.

That phone hacking Morgan is a cunt should be no surprise to any of us – but the way he is acting about possible nuclear conflict is disgracefully irresponsible.

While I expect no better from the ITV cesspit, that just illustrates how low the standards are now. This is normal — normal, yet shocking, yet miserable.

All I can say is fuck Piers Morgan — please Morgan can you go back to the US now? we’ve all had our fill of your bile for now (and forever).

For anybody who wants to reply to me here and accuse me of not caring about nuclear threats or something — I ask you who are these threats? What situation realistically can you imagine these weapons being of use? Knowing that it would essentially cause Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) as multiple nuclear strategists have consistently pointed out.

Labour and Corbyn are not the threat to our national security – mad men like Morgan, the rest of the mainstream media, and the atomic bomb loving Tories are the real threat to national security.

If they don’t blow us up, they make us homeless, or sick and take away our Drs and hospitals — as I’ve written before the real terrorists are the government and we are all their victims.

Sometimes I wonder if people really want to live or not — they fact they keep procreating indicates they do — so why are they so blind and willing in their own destruction?

I think too much — time to put on ITV and melt into the propaganda and forget all this……apparently Joey Essex is on tonight, and he’s trying to count to three! hahahahahahahahahah! He’s a moron! Aahhahaha hah! I’m literally watching a moron! I’ve worked 10 hours in a mind-numbing job I hate today for some of the lowest wages in the industrialised world and I’m spending my free-time watching a moron!

Spare me, fucking sick of this bullshit.

featured image Nuclear Bomb

You can follow Chris Turnbull on twitter at @EnemyOfTheState or at his webpage Enemy of the state

Watch the full clip below to get the full impact of the bizarre exchange.

 

Who will win the General Election — The Media will

Well here we go it’s that time again, Parliament has stopped and it’s time to tell us the sheep  (that is the public) how we should be voting. To be fair the majority of us know exactly how we are going to vote in the General Election already but what about the undecided. The undecided might only count for a small proportion of the overall vote but is always crucial.

So how do they decide well look to the media for your answer, we had the silent majority who denied Scotland independence in 2014, the quiet tory-lites in England who returned the Tories in 2015 to power and the silent anti-euros who shocked us just last year but these were all positions our media backed scared you should be but hope lives.

Well if you are like me and stay in Wales the media will have you believing that the Tories are gonna topple  Labour and send wales Blue(I shudder at the thought) but I think the shock could be the rise of Plaid. Plaid the Welsh SNP are slowly rising if you believe the word on the street and listen I’m not saying that plaid are gonna rip thru Wales winning all the seats but I expect their numbers to rise in every seat and will have a great chance of improving the number of seats they have at Westminster.

But what I will also say (with a heavy heart) the Tories will run Labour close in wales but not because Labour voters are joining the Tories but actually the demise of UKIP with there voters flocking to the Tories giving them a boost in numbers which no doubt be reported as a landmark moment for the Tories in Wales but it ain’t.

Well my homeland the country of my birth Scotland the land I love most (sorry Wales I still love you ) should be a lot simpler to predict if you believe the media SNP collapse from 56 to maybe as low as 46 out of 59 with the Tories picking up the majority of the seats, well I got one thing to say BOLLOCKS. I know that might sound a bit harsh but I just can’t see it , there the media’s reasoning for this is that SNP supporters are fed up with SNP going on about Indy and would rather send another Tory MP to Westminster than a SNP , Labour , LibDem  or Green well I am not buying it right I get people voting to stay in the UK or leaving Europe but to vote Tory no way.

I remember a woman in my grans street as a kid  running for the council as a tory candidate, my gran always spoke to her and never had a bad word to speak about her she even had her in for a afternoon cuppa but did she vote for her NO she didn’t . If the Tories do gain voters from anyone  it will be Libdem or ukip and it wont be enough votes to stop the SNP and Labour well Scottish Labour under Dugdale might do slightly better but they lost all there voters to the SNP and I cant see them going back any time soon.

Now Northern Ireland well having seen the vote at the last election earlier in the year and the lack of coverage in the media so far i’m guessing they expect Sinn Fein to do well at the expense of the DUP. Now I will be honest I don’t know half of what I should know  about Irish politics and have to rely on what my friends on social media tell me but could this be the year Sinn Fein send back more MPs than the DUP probably not with way the region is divided up but expect the DUPs vote to drop if not the number of MPs. But whisper it, the talk of an united Ireland is growing on both sides especially with the young.

Now we come to England the deal maker when it comes to who rules the UK. It wont surprise anyone if I say the media has got it down for a cakewalk for Theresa “the Chosen One” May but will it be. Yes UKIP like in Wales is gonna collapse and  there voters will drift to the right to the Tories( who would have thought the Tories would be more right-wing than UKIP) so will swell the Tory numbers and the Lib-Dem revival is a nonstarter but once again any small rise will be lorded by the media because they are Tory pink and as long as its not Labour or SNP media are happy to give a pat on the back . But I think Labour are gonna surprise a lot around the UK, are they gonna win maybe not but I think ex labour voters and young voters are gonna vote Labour again especially in the north of England.

The people of North England voted to leave Europe yes and they got there wish so given the choice between Labour and the Conservatives I believe they will vote for Corbyn even with the daily media attacks because when it comes down too it Corbyn is at least trying to help the people and give hope rather than the Tory siege mentality of  Europe, the SNP and every one else are trying to destroy Britain and sell our babies . But in the south of England it will be covered in Tory blue apart from the Greens in Brighton and the odd spot of red and Yellow as per usual.

So who do I think will win the Election(or should I say bought) well I can’t bring myself to type that answer but why them you ask well that’s simple the Media. As I said its the undecided who will swing it and the media will play unfortunately the biggest role in that. You see The Conservatives have no policy of any substance but do the media report it , no its Corbyns a hippie SNP want to burn your grannie alive, the LibDems well who cares about them and the Greens won’t get a mention.

May has jumped around like the hooded claw with the media chasing her like the anthill mob never quite catching her out even though they have the tools HSBC scandal( not a word) , MPs scandal from last election (not a peep) , the fact she seems to be intent in upsetting the whole of Europe before negotiations and telling everyone it’s there fault (priceless),  does more U turns than your granny in the dodgems (hey who’s counting) wants to take Britain back to the 14th century (well hooray) and the cuts to NHS, disability, police, armed forces, schools and the list goes on well apart from Trident (Yes Yes Screams the Daily Mail) you can see why I think they will win and the undecided will vote for them because that’s the only option the media are giving them.

But don’t expect the landslide the media are predicting but lets face it if they return with even 5 more seats it will be reported as a landslide and a mandate to do what ever they(or the media tells them) to do and we will all cry as we return to the dark ages or will it be the election that saw Scotland decided to vote for Indy, Ireland to reunite and for Wales to start asking the Question do we want to go it alone ( fingers crossed)

 

 

 

Stand By For Mayhem

Good Morning Scotland claims another victim. I can’t blame my wife for banishing me to the spare room after I rudely awakened her by smashing the radio alarm to smithereens with a wooden coat hanger. To be fair, I probably just dreamed the bit about the morning papers being reviewed by Margaret Curran, Darth Vader and the Duke of Cumberland, but it had the acid tang of plausibility. After that, the real-life introduction of charisma bypass Miles Briggs was simply the final gamma-ray blast that stripped away my veneer of self-control.

In my reflective moments, when it’s just me, a bottle of wine and a couple of imaginary friends on the settee, I have to admit that my anger management could do with some work. An adrenalin turbo-charge might be useful if my daily visit to the Co-Op were regularly bringing me face-to-face with a peckish sabre-tooth tiger. But when the trip’s main challenge is a frantic search of the news-stand to discover where the local arsehole has hidden today’s National, it’s a myocardial infarction waiting to happen.

Theresa May clearly has similar issues. Tories don’t do reflectiveness, because if they ever peered into the abyss of their souls they’d all end up in straitjackets. They don’t do detail either, as five nanoseconds in the presence of David Davis will testify. But even a cursory self-analysis, scribbled on the bit of the Post-It note left over after she’s run out of ideas on Brexit, would reveal Theresa to be a spanner-bag of pent-up irritation.

This was true even before she drank the potion of powdered glass mixed with vinegar and poor people’s tears served to all incoming Tory Prime Ministers. Her policies at the Home Office were a shambolic cocktail of vindictiveness and counter-productivity, defended with the stubborn tetchiness of a politician who’d been absent getting porcupine quills fitted the day imagination was handed out. Their legacy is still stinking the place out, with Highland villagers facing a 20 km round trip for a pint of milk after the closure of their community store because the family running it is being deported. Rules is rules, chum, and you’re one jot short of a tittle in meeting the requirements, so you’re out on your ear, even though nobody this side of Alpha Centauri benefits.

Left to herself, I don’t reckon Theresa would have called the General Election. Would she have wanted to have her ideas, in all their jaw-dropping vacuity, challenged by ordinary people? She’d rather have had a bucket of tepid sick emptied over her. It doesn’t fit the cover story, lapped up by the slavering sycophants of the BBC, in which she gradually warmed to the idea during a walk in the Welsh hills, with her hubby offering sage, owlish advice, fluffy Easter bunnies gambolling around and a male-voice choir humming Cwm Rhondda in the distance. I suspect the bit that’s missing is Lynton Crosby screaming down the phone at her for two hours.

When it comes to the dark arts, Crosby is the 100% cocoa content guy. Say what you like about the British having no negotiating skills, whoever brokered the exchange deal with Australia that sent hapless numpty McTernan to advise their politicians and laser-like assassin Crosby to advise ours is a freakin’ genius. Crosby’s heart may be a shrivelled walnut and he may think scruples are devices for opening wine bottles, but he delivers the goods, even if it means kicking down every door in the street.

Crosby immediately sussed that there was no way Theresa could be exposed to bothersome questions from the public. Giving innocent hairdressers from Macclesfield a death stare for politely asking why the local hospital has no doctors tends to give voters the heebie-jeebies. So, even before the hideous screech of brakes accompanying the General Election U-turn had died away, shadowy sources were whispering that invitations for the PM to participate in a TV debate would receive a two-word response with some sexual content.

Instead, Theresa’s been on a triumphal tour, doughnutted by placard-carrying obsessives, taking no questions beyond Laura Kuenssberg enquiring about her favourite colour, and sweeping away in a presidential motorcade, enveloping crowds of energetic V-signers in exhaust fumes. At Glaxo SmithKline, in her Maidenhead constituency, the workforce who’d been cattle-prodded in front of her were forbidden from answering media questions, and probably even had Special Branch tailing them home in case their spouses asked what sort of day they’d had. Crosby’s got the whole shebang exquisitely choreographed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Theresa has a cyanide capsule hidden in her necklace in case a journalist accidentally corners her.

There’s still the problem of her debating skills being unable to stand up to a gust of wind, so Crosby’s got her and the entire Tory parrot choir schooled in the key soundbites. I mean, bleed’n’ell, everyone, even the ones who need to follow a diagram to put their socks on. According to the mantra, the Tories offer “strong, stable leadership”, a world-view incompatible with sanity, unless “stable” means “thing that’s full of horse-manure” and “strong” just refers to the smell.

Meanwhile, the opposition is alliteratively tagged as a “coalition of chaos”. Well, “coalition” seems fair enough, since even if the public chose to elect 650 Labour MPs and no-one else, Jeremy Corbyn still wouldn’t command an overall majority. “Chaos”, however, can occasionally be creative and has a theory attached to it, so you might be inclined to rank it ahead of the C-words you could place after “Conservative”. Cluelessness, cruelty, criminality and catastrophe all spring to mind, and that’s just before the watershed.

And is our media calling this guff out for the blatant kindergarten-level manipulation it is? Oops, no, it’s set up camp in the same part of the dictionary: compliant, collusive, contemptible and crap. On its jackboot wing, where they head-butt the Caps Lock key for fun, anyone seeking to frustrate the Tories’ will is threatened with being chained up in the Tower of London or worse. On its propagandist conspiracy wing, the hotlines to well-connected liars are already smouldering like a pair of Carmichael’s pants.

Is Jeremy Corbyn doing anything to ward off this tsunami of tripe? Oops, no, he’s declared that, instead of brandishing Theresa’s empty chair at the TV debate to show her up as a snivelling coward, he, er, won’t bother turning up either. I swear that every time this man comes to a fork in the road, he makes absolutely sure it hits him in the face. What are his advisers thinking, apart from “Wonder how long it’ll take me to tunnel out of here using this teaspoon and my bare hands?”

And so to Scotland, where as usual the rules seem to have been devised under the influence of industrial-strength hallucinogens. If the SNP doesn’t win 56 seats out of 59 again, independence is a busted flush, Westminster will have us by the short and curlies in perpetuity and Tesco can safely start ordering in stocks of British haggis. If the Tories win even one extra seat, all of the above statements apply, plus Ruth Davidson will be formally crowned as viceroy, with the right to take away your motability scooter whenever she fancies it. If Labour gets 59 votes, that probably means that at least their candidates remembered to vote for themselves.

Back on Good Morning Scotland, here’s the review of this morning’s papers, and because of time constraints headlines from The National will once again be broadcast in semaphore. Can you hear the flags swishing over Gary Robertson’s chortling?

Featured image Oor Red Raiph

You can follow William Duguid on twitter at @WilliamDuguid1 and at his webpage To September and Beyond

SHOCK! Corbyn Would WIN! If Only Under 40’s Voted—New Mega-Poll Says

Corbyn’s Labour would win the upcoming general election — if only people under 40 voted, a new YouGov mega-poll has found.

The finding should not come as a surprise – the majority of Corbyn’s support comes from a young base. The finding illustrates the sharp generational divide that runs across British politics — Brexit being yet another example.

The reasons for the divide may well have something to do with the fact that young people have borne the brunt of many of the Tory austerity assaults — frankly this country has become so miserable under Tory rule that any alternative that doesn’t involve racism, xenophobia, and offers some form of a positive future looks appealing at this point.

The mega-poll was conducted by YouGov over a 2 and a half week period (2nd-20th April 2017) and questioned a sample of 13,000 voters. The poll found overwhelmingly that Labour would win the next election if only people between 18-40 voted. The finding is in stark contrast to the between 10, and 25 point lead that the Tories have overall — much of which is clearly down to the voting preference of people over 40.

Labour is particularly popular with women under 40, who favor Corbyn by 42% compared to May who received 27%  — Farron received 12% support from this group. Men under 40 also back Labour — but by a much slimmer margin: 32% for Labour and 31% for the Connies — 18% back the Lib Dems.

 

 

Polling typically underestimates the voting intentions of young people, because they say they are unlikely to vote when compared to older people. Only 40% of people under 40 say they are likely to vote compared to 63% of the older people questioned for the mega-poll.

This raises an often overlooked question: if young people do decide to go to the polls in droves to support Corbyn — would Labour win?

The numbers of young people voting have declined steadily over the years due to apathy over the centrist two party neo-liberal system.

But, as I wrote about last week — this election does offer an actual choice between the neo-liberal xenophobic and racist nightmare presented by the Tories – and Labour under Corbyn — who wants to put an end to the neo-liberal disaster, austerity, poverty, privatization, etc, etc..

 

It is particularly telling those young women overwhelmingly support Corbyn — this may well be because women have disproportionately been affected by the Tories austerity knife, of course, this has a knock-on impact on children, families, education, etc.

Corbyn’s cabinet also contains a record number of female shadow cabinet ministers. A point rarely raised except to bash him with as is illustrated here, by that well-known bastion of the left: the Guardian.

Or maybe it’s just his sex-appeal?

The impact of the Tories policies has also been heavily felt — and this continues to be amplified — by young people.

Wage stagnation — cuts in working age benefits —  university tuition fees through the roof that laden us with debt, for jobs which are either underpaid, insecure, non-existent — or reserved for the privileged few who can afford to undertake 6-month unpaid internships.

Millenials are the poorest generation since World War 2 — but, shhhhhhhh, everything’s fine! don’t ever mention this small fact.

The generational difference may also arise from the fact that younger people have far greater access to independent media, websites, such as the Canary, Evolve Politics, Another Angry Voice, Pride’s Purge, (my two-bit operation) and a whole range of other similar outlets have all enabled us to cut through the mainstream media’s nonsense. The older generations, of course, still rely on the BBC for news — we don’t, and we know that it’s clearly biased.

Older people, of course, are kept in a state of fear about the outside world — delusions presented to them as if they are facts by the mainstream media.

“More jobs than ever!” Theresa May announces while The BBC champions the line — forgetting to mention just how badly paid, and insecure these jobs are — forgetting to mention that wage stagnation, forgetting to mention the fact that nobody can save up for a house due to all this, forgetting to mention the ever-growing hours that people are working for less money, forgetting to mention any of this.

Forgetting to mention that fact that what’s counted as employment can mean anything in this day and age — from zero hours contracts to so-called self-employment.

And so older people — frightened by the propaganda against Corbyn from their trusted BBC — who recite the Tory line that Corbyn is some sort of threat to national security —  sit there absorbing all of this nonsense.

They could never vote for Corbyn or Labour, could they? No — the BBC keeps telling them he’s a national security threat and the economy is doing just fine!

Why do all these young dreamers keep banging on about Corbyn? These idealistic idiots — do they not realize how silly they are being?

Why is it now considered to make us idealists, just because we don’t want to live in a country in which disabled people die at the hands of the Tories, and so-called welfare reform?

Why does it make us idealists to save the NHS?

The reason I’m ranting about this, is because I’ve already had an older person say this to me in response to this poll — idealistic?

If Corbyn represents idealism then that’s just a statement about how f*cked up your perception of the world is.

Fuck sake.

The mega-poll illustrates at least 2 important points:

 

  1. Young people need to register, campaign, and vote.
  1. We need to talk to older people more — as angry as it makes me that so many older people seem determined to vote against, not only our interests, but also their own — I honestly think this is mainly because they don’t realise just how bad things are right now — locked away as they are with the TV for company acting a fictional window to the world with nothing but the lovely trustworthy Huw Edwards and Laua K for company.

That’s unless we are talking about the boomer generation — who for some reason — almost always seem determined to be as selfish as one can imagine.

They are the only generation to have experienced growth throughout their lives, and yet still, they cannot even seem to make the most minor of efforts to help or share in their privilege. The neo-liberal generation if you will…

Of course, let’s not forget the fact that many older people do support Corbyn, or at least are against the Tories — I don’t wish to paint everybody with the same brush here, as polling obviously looks at majorities — not individuals.

I have held to the fact that as the older generation die off, and the younger ones start to take over it is quite likely that neo-liberal policy will start to be reversed, and killed off. The findings from the mega-poll support this claim, and my instinct.

In the meantime, though it seems as if we will all have to live under Tory rule — why? Because a bunch of Daily Mail reading, baby boomer, BBC loyalists all think we have to.

Thanks, old people — jeez if  I only had 20 years left to live then I wouldn’t even care about who’s in government.

FFS — you know your pension’s safe! What you need to worry about are your children and grand children’s futures, the local hospital, social care — all of these things.

OF ALL OF WHICH — GUESS WHAT! — LABOUR POLICY IS FAR BETTER THAN THE TORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FFS.

featured image Jeremy Corbyn

You can follow Chris Turnbull on twitter at @EnemyOfTheState or at his webpage Enemy of the state

 

 

 

Dishonest ways of being dishonest: an exploration of Conservative euphemisms

Conservatives are especially conservative with the truth: the media are the message

In 2004, George Lakoff, professor of linguistics at Berkeley, wrote Don’t Think of an Elephant! Lakoff’s central point was that how issues are framed – which points of view the media and other political agenda setters defined as important and acceptable, and the language used to do so – largely shapes how voters think about them.

Media manipulation is a series of related techniques in which partisans create images or arguments that favour their own particular interests. Such tactics may include the use of logical fallacies, psychological manipulations, deception, linguistic, rhetorical and propaganda techniques, and often involve the suppression of information or alternative perspectives by simply crowding them out.

Discrediting and minimisation are often used in persuading other people or social groups to stop listening to certain perspectives and arguments, or by simply diverting public attention elsewhere. An example of diversion is the recent widespread scapegoating of refugees and people who need social security, such as disabled people or those who have lost their jobs, in a bid to maintain the hegemony of neoliberalism and its values at a time when its failings were brought into sharp focus during and following the global crisis – also exposing failings in the behaviours and practices of the government and the vulture capitalist financier class.

Neoliberalism always gravitates towards increasing inequality, extending and deepening poverty. Fear mongering is sometimes used with a diversion or misdirection propaganda technique to mask this, and may be pervasive. Sometimes politicians and media commentators suddenly take a debate in a weird and irrational but predictable direction to avoid democratic accountability.

The process often begins with a marginalised group being singled out and held to blame for the socioeconomic problems created by the system of socioeconomic organisation itself. Using the construction of folk devils (welfare “skivers” , “workshy” “something for nothing culture”, “culture of entitlement” or “dependency” for example), the political class and media generate moral panic and outrage, which serves to de-empathise the public and to justify the dehumanisation of politically created outgroups.

Stigma, prejudice and discrimination follow, all of which serves to subvert responsibility for the harmful consequences and distress experienced by the targeted group. In the UK, people needing welfare support, and particularly disabled people, have been stigmatised and then targeted with discriminatory policies which have placed a disproportionate burden of austerity; cuts to lifeline support and services, on that social group. The policies have contravened disabled people’s human rights.

Meanwhile, the vulture capitalist financier class are still being rewarded, profiting from often reckless, economic and socially damaging behaviours. Of course it’s business as usual.

The media and the government conflate neoliberal authoritarian behaviours and policies that cause distress and harm to marginalised social groups with “power and strength”, and any opposition to this with “weakness”.

Campaigners against social injustice are labeled “extremist” and politicians on the left who stand up against prejudice and discrimination are labeled “weak”, “anti-British” and extensively ridiculed and smeared. Every single Labour leader, with the exception of Blair, has had this treatment from the mainstream media.

During the coalition and Conservative governments, the tabloids have chosen and framed most of the debates that have dominated domestic politics in the UK, ensuring that immigration, welfare, law and order, the role of the state, and Britain’s relationship with Europe have all been discussed in increasingly right wing terms, while almost ironically, the government have colonised progressive rhetoric to cover their intentions.

There is therefore a growing chasm between Conservative discourse, and policy intentions and outcomes. There isn’t a bridge between rhetoric and reality.

The Conservatives have plundered from left wing narrative purely to broaden their superficial appeal and to neutralise opposition to controversial and contentious policy. The legislative context in which such language is being used is completely at odds with how it is being described by purposefully stolen terms and phrases which are being applied most deceitfully.

The negative associations because of Conservative policies have eclipsed the original meanings of the imported language. I always flinch when a Conservative minister says that the government is intending to “support” disabled people into work, or that they want to make welfare “fair” and they support “social justice”,  for example.

It’s very disorienting and disarming to see the language of social justice, democracy, inclusion and equality being used to justify and describe policies which extend social injustice, authoritarianism, exclusion and inequality. It’s also much more difficult to challenge actions that are disguised by a tactic of extensive euphemising, that draws on glittering generalities and the narrative of the opposition (the left generally).

Only a Conservative minister would claim that taking money from the lifeline support of sick and disabled people is somehow “fair,” or about “helping”, “supporting” or insultingly, “incentivising” people who have already been deemed unfit for work by their doctors and the state via the work capability assessment, to work.

The Tories all too frequently employ such semantic shifts and euphemism – linguistic strategies – as an integral part of a wider range of techniques of neutralisation that are used, for example, to provide linguistic relief from conscience and to suspend moral constraint – to silence both “inner protest” and public objections – to the political violation of social and moral norms and human rights; to justify acts that cause harm to others while also denying there is any subsequent harm being inflicted by austerity policies; to deny the targeted population’s accounts and experiences of political acts of harm, and to neutralise any remorse felt by themselves and other witnesses.

Media discourse has often preempted a fresh round of Conservative austerity cuts, resulting in the identification, scapegoating and marginalisation of social groups in advance of targeted, discriminatory policies. Media discourse is being used as a vehicle for the government to push their ideological agenda forward without meeting legitimate criticism, opposition and public scrutiny and without due regard for essential democratic processes and safeguards. The mainstream media will not challenge or undermine the wider state-corporate nexus of which it is a fundamental part.

Noam Chomsky has written extensively about the role of the free market media in reinforcing dominant ideology and maintaining the unequal distribution and balance of power. In Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky and Herman explore the media’s role in establishing the apparence of a political and economic orthodoxy (neoliberalism) and extending a seemingly normative compliance with state policies, while also marginalising antithetical or alternative perspectives, dismissing them as heresy. In the US and UK, most left wing commentors have a very diminished media platform from which to present their perspectives and policy proposals.

This “free-market” version of censorship is more subtle and difficult to identify and undermine than the equivalent propaganda system which was present in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

As Chomsky argues, the mainstream press is corporate owned and so reflects corporate priorities and interests. While acknowledging that some journalists are dedicated and well-intentioned, he says that the choice of topics and issues featured in the mass media, the unquestioned premises on which that “coverage” rests, and the range of opinions that are expressed are all constrained to reinforce the state’s dominant ideology.

How to tell lies dishonestly

Propaganda, PR, spin, manipulation, and techniques of neutralisation (a kind of doublespeak aimed at “switching off” your inner conscience, remorse and morality, and that of witnesses, so you can do things normally considered unacceptable, immoral or plain evil), are indirect or convoluted ways of telling lies. These techniques are very sneaky, often providing “get outs”. As such, the tactics are dishonest ways of being dishonest. While often providing a cover or superficial style of “truth”, the underlying content is always a big lie.

Not “a series of possibilities” or a “terminological inexactitude,” or “a series of misunderstandings” or  “an unwise commitment”, but a lie.

Even the labels “fake news”, “post rationalism” and  “post truth” are euphemisms. We live in an age of great political deceit and lies.

That’s intentional, manipulative whopping whopper lies.

The Conservatives have developed a notorious lexicon of euphemisms, especially designed to divert challenges and debate, to hide their aims and intentions and to reduce opposition, in order to manufacture an illusion of consensus, consistent with old school diversionary and bandwaggon propaganda methods.

Winston Churchill came up with the crafty phrase “terminological inexactitude,” which means being conservative with the truth (see what I did there), or to be more direct, it means telling lies. There are indirect ways of lying – less honest ways of being intentionally dishonest, if you will.

Euphemisms are often a form of doublespeak; they are words used to hide, distort or “neutralise” reality.  Euphemisms put political intentions, actions and their consequences in a better light, in much the same way that the mafia employs language to minimise the consequences of their actions. No-one is ever murdered by the mafia, to hear them talk, instead they are simply “given their medicine” , “clipped” or “wacked”, for example. However, people end up dead, unfortunately. The mafia say that disposing of the bodies of their murder victims is “spring cleaning”.

A credibility assessment of Tory narrating and editing: the sin in the spin exposed

1. “Reforms” =  The stealthy privatisation of public wealth. “Conservative Reforms” entail cuts to social provisions and public services – paid for by everyone – which support the poorest citizens when they experience hardship. The money is then re-allocated to the wealthiest citizens via generous tax cuts and lower business tax  rates which effectively privatises wealth and profit, while making any risks and costs a social burden.

2. “Targeting those in greatest need” = savage and increasing cuts to social security provision, and in particular, to disabled people’s lifeline support. No-one actually qualifies for support, any more. However, a handful may get a favorable outcome when assessors flip a coin to decide which of the very ill people they meet and put through the mill are lucky enough to meet their target of permitting six successful claims per year. From 2017, the target will reduce again to three. By 2020, no-one will “need” disability benefits and support, as we will all be cured by work fare.

Ultimately, this entails a constant moving goalpost of eligibility to publicly funded support. The government reduces the numbers of those previously entitled to welfare by constant, changing and unstated political redefinition of “need”, while implying to the public that welfare and those who need it are dispensable.

3. “Making work pay” = dismantling social security by stealth and driving down wages, ensuring that private companies profit.

4. “National living wage” = small and pitiful increase in minimum wage that does not offset welfare cuts (Universal Credit) and other losses, such as job insecurity, poor working conditions, zero hour contracts.

5. “Supporting/helping people into work” = extremely punitive measures of behavioural conditionality and financial sanctions that hinder people in finding appropriate work, aimed at cutting social security spending and presenting lifeline benefits as dispensable to the public, whilst coercing people to behave in ways that benefit the state and that do not benefit those citizens being manipulated and coerced to fulfil the aims of the policy makers.

2, 3, 4 and 5 also undermine collective bargaining, since people are being coerced to take any work available, rather than suitable, secure work with acceptable pay and working conditions.

6.  “Worklessness” = a made up word that disguises job precarity, unemployment and underemployment because of government, economic and labour market failure, followed by political scapegoating and cultural bullying of the poorest citizens.

7. “Extremists”= peaceful campaigners who object to social injustice, anyone else who doesn’t support the neoliberal status quo, authoritarianism, inequality, growing poverty and human rights abuses.

8. “Hard working strivers” = compliant and exploited citizens whose consumerism and systematic oppression keeps Tory donor big businesses in profit.

9. “Democracy” = authoritarianism, so that means it’s whatever the Tories say it is.

It entails policies which engineer a set of changes with huge distributional consequences: tax credit and benefit cuts will mean low-income working families with children will become significantly worse off, while wealthier families stand to gain a lot as a result of increases in the personal allowance and higher rate tax threshold, for example.

Recent analysis by the Resolution Foundation shows four fifths of the gains from income tax cuts go to the most affluent half of households, while the poorest third of households will shoulder two-thirds of the government’s benefit cuts. This is an extraordinary indictment on a government that claims to have “fairness” and “social justice” at its heart.

10. “Progressive”= extremely regressive, almost feudal.

11. “Behavioural change”= to separate citizens from the prospects of material progress and to condition them to accept both the status quo and the short straw  of neoliberal ” market forces”, disguised as invisible bootstraps.

12. “Policy” = a method of siphoning money from the poorest citizens and public services into corporate and millionaires’ bank accounts, while punishing the poorest citizens as they are robbed, by telling all and sundry it’s their own fault they are poor. Usually involves an element of character divination and quack “cures” for “faulty” people. Often justified by an implied “trickle down” of wealth.

Neoliberal policies require a political framework of authoritarianism as they don’t benefit most people, and strip our public assets. A lot of neoliberalism is about governments kidding people that neoliberalism doesn’t cause massive inequalities, poverty, and the removal of publicly funded social support mechanisms.

While the state shrinks radically in terms of what it provides for ordinary people to meet their needs, it paradoxically develops a massive and increasingly bureaucratic order to deceive ordinary people in order to impose an authoritarian rule allowing the government to keep on imposing ruthless scorched earth neoliberal policies so that a few very, very wealthy folk can get even wealthier whilst everyone else becomes increasingly miserable and struggles in meeting their basic survival needs.

13.  “Supply side economics” = founded on the mythical “trickle down” and the side-splittingly comedic idea that reducing taxes for the wealthiest will increase Treasury revenue. Usually, it’s hiked VAT and another raid on disabled people’s lifeline support that does that.

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, “Mr. David Stockman has said that supply-side economics was merely a cover for the trickle-down approach to economic policy – what an older and less elegant generation called the horse-and-sparrow theory: If you feed the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” This basically means the majority of the population are fed a pile of horsesh*t.

14. “Free market”= economic Darwinism, the triumph of rogue multinationals and predatory capitalism, which brings about the commodification of every single basic human need so a few corporations can make sustained, massive profits, while everyone else is dispossessed by the government.

15. “Big society” = oppressive bureaucratic state that is enforcing the systematic dismantling of the social gains we made with our post-war settlement. It also means privatisation and cutting public services down to Victorian size, but excluding the gin houses. So, in a nutshell, no support but lots of authoritarian surveilance, control and punishment from the government

16. “Work experience” = free labour, exploitation opportunities and big profits for the government’s corporate sponsors. Also part of a wider plan to dismantle welfare and to undermine trade unions and collective bargaining.

17. “The law” = whatever the Tories say it is. If they don’t like it, they simply ignore or re-write it.

18. “Cutting the deficit” = we will probably more than double it, but it’s our smokescreen for a strong neoliberal programme of austerity and redistributing public wealth into a few private bank accounts, probably offshore.

19. “Fair” = whatever the Tories say it is. Usually, Conservative “fairness” entails taking money from the poorest citizens, raiding public funds and handing it out to very wealthy people and providing rogue companies with contracts to help them do so.

Ethically bankrupt companies such as Atos, G4S and Maximus also generally cost the public billions more than they promise to save.

20. “Social justice” = rather like Augusto Pinochet’s bureaucratic authoritarianism: huge and growing social inequality, absolute poverty and harsh financial penalties for many people, such as those who are economically inactive because they are too ill to work, and those who have exploitative employers paying them a pittance. Sanctions and welfare conditionality are held to be “fair” and about Conservative “social justice”.

Low taxes for stingy and disproportionately resentful millionaires, who have gained the most from society but don’t feel like giving anything back, is also considered by the Conservatives as “social justice”. Poor and disabled people experiencing harm, distress and dying because of the Conservative austerity cuts is also included in this definition.

21. “Causal relationship/cause and effect” = whatever the Tories say it is. Anything that challenges Conservative discourse is generally dismissed as “anecdotal”. However the government make up statistics to “empirically support” their own anecdotal dogma.

22. “Small state”= massively bureaucratic administration aimed at incredibly intrusive and controlling state interventions in the intimate areas of our lives, such as decision-making, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. These technocratic interventions inevitably reduce the autonomy and remove the liberties of the poorest citizens, whilst those in positions of power making the decisions are not held accountable for the consequences of their abysmal, callous and usually very greedy choices.

The Behavioural Insights Team, at the heart of the Cabinet, are contributing to formulating policies to save the government money and to make a lot of profit from that. Their aim is to distract the public and “change the behaviours” of mostly poor citizens, providing both a prop and justification for failing neoliberal policies which result in widespread poverty, precarity and massive social inequalities. Welfare conditionality and sanctions, for example, are forms of punitive behavioural “correction” for the assumed character deficits and “faulty” psychology of people who are not wealthy. It seems the government think with impeccable logic that people can be punished out of being poor, by making them more poor in order to stop them being poor.

Meanwhile those who damaged the economy are left to continue making hefty profits from economy-damaging behaviours, because the government decided to make poor people pay for those “mistakes” via austerity measures instead. The behaviour change agenda sends out the message that it is individuals who somehow “choose” to be poor (yes, really), rather than poverty being an inevitable feature of an economic system that is weighted towards rewarding wealthy citizens while increasingly dispossessing the majority of ordinary citizens.

23. “We are all in it together” = it’s everyone for themselves, unless you are poor. The wealthy get socialism and special handshakes, the poor get laissez faire, the work ethic via operant conditioning, Samuel Smiles’ Victorian moralising bibles: Thrift and Self help, and a liberal dose of Malthusian miserablism.

24. “British values” = extremely divided society with a high level of social prejudice, inequality, absolute poverty and human rights abuses.

Used to redefine working class interests by the establishment, designed as a pressure cooker type of diversionary release for oppressed blue-collar workers, by offering them one “opportunity” to democratically register their alienation, anger and fear because of deteriorating social conditions and political disenfranchisement, via the populist Brexit campaign, while maintaining neoliberal hegemony and ensuring an ever-downward pressure on labour conditions, wages and collective bargaining.

25. “Integrated healthcare” = a combination of savage cuts, homeopathy, cognitive behavioural therapy, “pulling yourself together” and being told that “work is a health outcome” a lot. It’s failure precedes and contributes to justifying privatisation.

26. “Truthfully” = I want you to think I am being honest, but I am not. It’s a delivery style rather than being about actual truth content.

27. “Objectively”= the status quo; ideologically driven, more dogma to follow. Anti-intellectualism.

28. “Safe in our hands” = we fully intend to privatise all public services to make profit for big business and ourselves.

29. “Work is a health outcome” = the creation of an opportunity for big business to exploit sick and disabled people by politically coercing them into low paid, insecure work via punitive policies (euphemistically called “welfare conditionality”), and to build a desperate reserve army of labour, thus driving wages down further whilst simultaneously dismantling the welfare state and the NHS.

30. “Transparency” = corruption and authoritarianism.

euphemisms
Picture courtesy of Tom Pride.

You can follow Kitty S Jones at her webpage Politics and Insights

SHOCK, HORROR, OUTRAGE! Corbyn wants EVERY Child To EAT At Least 1 Decent MEAL A Day—MSM’s disgusting Response To Corbyn’s Policy Proposal

 

The mainstream media’s (MSM) response to Jeremy Corbyn’s recent free school meals policy proposal — which would be funded by the introduction of VAT on tax-dodging private schools  — perfectly illustrates just how far to the right the MSM and mainstream political spectrum has shifted over the years. It is now considered controversial for a left-wing politician to say that they want to ensure every child under the age of 11 is able to eat at least 1 decent meal 5 out of the 7 days of the week — during term time.

Like most of Corbyn’s policy proposals, the latest is tepidly modest by traditional socialist standards — because Corbyn is clearly and simply a standard center-leftist himself — hardly the dangerous and crazy socialist that the MSM so tirelessly and ridiculously brands him on a daily basis.

The fact that the policy would be paid for by taxing the very wealthiest people in society — who currently abuse a myriad of schemes to avoid paying taxes (including when they send their children to these elitist institutions) — being yet another point of controversy for the MSM commentariats.

This point bears repeating as it’s so shocking:

In one of the richest countries in the world, these people consider it to be controversial to feed all children under 11 at least one decent meal a day.

Sometimes covering this stuff just doesn’t feel real anymore, yet, sadly, it is all too real.

Class Warfare By The Tories

Corbyn’s policy proposal is in the spirit of many of the already existing universalist and popular, wealth redistributive government programs that form the core of state-socialist policy. Policies such as non-means-tested benefits like the disability benefit Personal Independence Payments (PIP), State Pension, or in fact, the NHS —  policies, and programs that everybody is entitled to regardless of wealth. The idea is clearly to increase equality across the board.

Child Benefit used to be a non-means tested benefit as well, meaning that all children/families were entitled to it — until the Tories started their assault on our welfare state, and made it so that a couple earning more than £60,000 a year aren’t entitled to the benefit — this was done under the guise of saving money. They then cut child tax credit — also a universal benefit — by capping it to a maximum of 2 children per family, again under the same guise of austerity.

The real reason for the cap, and limits? To destroy the idea that the welfare state acts as means to equalize society, and that we should care about each other, help each other, and, of course, to institute class warfare in the process of doing so. The upper-middle class isn’t entitled to child benefit at all — which means that they are less likely to care when child tax credit is capped for poorer families, or in fact, will even be glad of the cap — supportive of such a measure.

The poorer families with more than 2 children then envy those who are making say £45,000 a year but have 2 children and still get the same in child benefit/child tax credit as they do. The couple making £45,000 might be perturbed from making more money because of the effect this could have on entitlement, and so on, and so forth.  At the core of this policy is the idea that you shouldn’t ever help anybody else. If the children of the family who have fallen on hard times that lives on the other side of the country are starving then it’s not your problem, in the neo-liberal system one must only care about themselves.

The classic tactic of divide and rule used mercilessly by Tory scum. This is the real reason for austerity as one quick glance at the ever mounting pile of government debt will attest to. Keep the masses fighting, hating and endlessly competing with each other. Each driven by fear and loathing of the other, desperate to ensure they have enough for themselves and always aware that their own security could be pulled from beneath them at any moment, therefore ensuring that they are ever more compliant and obedient within the selfish neo-liberal system. A system which will ultimately lead to the poverty of all except a tiny opulent minority in the end, unless steps are taken to reverse and end the neo-liberal nightmare.

Corbyn Is Trying to Bring Ideas Of Equality Back Into Society

Corbyn’s proposal clearly aims towards this principle of equality and would benefit basically everybody except the estimated 7% of the population who are currently educated at elitist snob factories AKA: private schools.

Private schools have long been criticized for their elitism — the privately educated take the best jobs in this country — we all know that by now. As well as this they are ethically wrong in a society that claims to be meritocratic in any real sense of the word — essentially the wealthy are just buying their way into elite positions — this has nothing to do with hard work or intelligence.

Corbyn Isn’t The Only One Who Wants To Tax Private Schools — Even Gove Agrees

Corbyn isn’t alone in thinking that we need to tackle the gross inequalities of private schooling. Even the much hated former education secretary Micheal Gove noted many of the disgusting inequalities that private schools champion in a recent article he wrote for the Times, Gove slammed private schools, saying that children of the rich are not:

instrincally more talented and worthy, more gifted and more deserving of celebration than the rest,

Adding that privately educated people are:

massively over-represented in the highest ranks of politics, business, the media and sport

Gove also raised another important point about private schools (one that until Corbyn raised his policy proposal has often been overlooked.) Private schools are as Gove put it:

welfare junkies

Adding the fact that private schools are run for the benefit of:

children of plutocrats and oligarchs

Gove attacked the VAT exemption given to private schools who falsely declare themselves to be charitable institutions — a practice which Gove described as being:

egregious state support to the already wealthy so that they might buy advantage for their own children.

And explained some of the ways in which private schools milk the taxpayer:

Charitable status, and the tax exemptions it offers, is very far from the only way the state subsidises private education. We taxpayers give free uniforms, weapons and rations to private school cadet forces, indeed we pay for the instructors and hand over £20 cash per cadet. The Eton Rifles are welfare junkies.

Although I’m no fan of Gove (quite the opposite in fact) — and I suspect he is just saying this to promote his free school vision — which are far worse than private schools — insofar as they are essentially private schools funded mostly by the taxpayer — opened up purely on the approval of the secretary of state for education, outside of the control of local authorities meaning that they are less democratic than state schools, and less accountable for their actions as a result.

One of the Gove’s and Cameron’s first “flagship” free schools led to a massive scandal in which three members of staff  (two of them being members of the same family) were convicted of committing fraud, and the headteacher sentenced to 5 years in prison. This is not the only case of fraud being committed by free school staff — the problem is no doubt far bigger than this.

None the less the point he raises about private schools being elitist, damaging, welfare queens is correct, his points also illustrate how unpopular private schools are across the political spectrum.

As well as the points Gove makes there is also a myriad of other ways in which wealthy parents can dodge tax to pay for private schools as this article from thisismoney.co.uk points out here.

It seems clear then that something must be done to close the loopholes, and tax the ultra wealthy who are sending their kids to these elitist institutions, which actually end up costing the taxpayer.

We Have a 3 Tier Education System Driven By Class & Wealth

In my view we should get rid of private schools altogether — the general consensus is that they create a two-tier education system, which isn’t true: we have a three tier education system and it is split along class lines. Middle-class children who are stupid at age 5 have a 35% greater chance of going on to have a successful career in the professions or similar, than a clever child born into poverty.

So while it is clear that schooling does have an impact, it would make more sense to focus on equalizing not just education, but also wealth and opportunity. Getting rid of private schools would be a start, but the whole system needs restructuring to ensure that we get closer to a meritocratic society. One in which the wealth you’re born into plays little if any role in how well you do in life. Instead, we have the opposite: the wealth you’re born into almost entirely decides how well you will do in life. The linkage that exists in the popular consciousness between intelligence, hard work and wealth cannot be justified given the fact that the wealth you’re born into essentially dictates the life you will have — not the intellect you’re born with, and the hard work you put into achieving — as any sane rational society would.

Child Poverty — The Shocking Reality Ignored By Elites

We live in a country in which 1 in 4 children lives in poverty — that’s 9 out of 30 children in an average classroom — since the Tories came into power in 2010 child poverty has skyrocketed from 2.3 million at that time — as a direct result of benefit cuts, austerity and tax that number is projected to be 3.6 million by 2020. In 2014-15  there were 3.9 million children in poverty in the UK — 28 percent of children.

The idea that these families are just part of somehow hopeless, feral underclass is catastrophically wrong, two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works — work then despite the rhetoric does not provide a route out of poverty.

A lot of children miss out on free school meals despite being in poverty – the criteria for free school meals is very limiting, for instance, some contribution based disability benefits such as the disability benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or non-means tested disability benefits such as Disability Living Allowance (DLA), do not qualify a child for free school meals — even though families relying on these benefits are still living in poverty.  This Means that many children who are living in poverty are completely left out of the system. Furthermore due to the stigma attached to free school meals some of those that are eligible are too embarrassed to claim — like with many benefits, or entitlements.

The effect that poverty has on you never leaves you — I was one of those children who didn’t qualify for free school meals, even though we lived in poverty: born into a family with a parent who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) — I attended a school that was considered to be one of the worst in the country, in one of the poorest areas of the country. I know first hand the damage all of this does to you. I saw from a very early age that — we — the people living in an awful council estate, attended the worst schools where nobody cared about out futures — essentially left to rot. This is the truth about poverty that nobody ever speaks off, because it’s hidden away by the mainstream media, and largely ignored by the political elites.

Having also worked in education I’ve seen teachers feed children who can’t afford food because their families aren’t entitled to free school meals — yet these families and children are still living in poverty. This isn’t just some fantasy world: this is the reality of our country — and this is precisely why it is so shameful to see the MSM’s response to Corbyn’s modest policy proposal.

The Mainstream Media’s Response To Corbyn’s Free School Meals Policy Has Been Shocking & Disgusting

When Corbyn announced the free school meals policy last week it was instantly met with usual sneering and fear mongering from the right-wing press.

The Daily Mail leading the charge against Corbyn and his abhorrent desire to feed children under 11.

Apparently, Corbyn had come under fire for the proposal. The main ones unleashing the bullets being the Mail themselves, of course — as usual.

The Sun also joined in — this is frankly disgusting even by their sub-human standards.

The Sun which claims to represent the working-class acts as if the working class should feel sorry for the wealthiest people in society — literally the ultra wealthy — madness.

Painting Corbyn as a “hapless socialist” and sneering at his proposal that would just about make the most minor of steps towards equality — the most minor — a minor step that would help feed all children under 11.

The policy did receive some positive press coverage, and by that, I mean neutral press coverage.

However, the majority of the so-called left MSM, and commentariat quickly found multiple reasons to dismiss, and denounce Corbyn’s policy proposal.

This time on the basis that it’s a useless way of helping children because former Lid-Dem deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg failed to implement a similar scheme under the coalition — there is no relevance here to Corbyn so I won’t bother debunking it now.

The Independent accused Corbyn of being a headliner grabber — with no substance.

Jane Merrick then diddled herself to orgasm over the fact that in her opinion Corbyn’s policy will never be introduced — thank god!

Indeed Jane Merrick — thankfully children won’t be able to eat at least 1 decent meal a day 5 out of the 7 days of the week, during term time. I apologize for the repetition here, but the point is just astoundingly nasty to me and bears repeating.

And then, of course, the inevitable narrative that Corbyn f*cked up again — the idiot. The reason, well, isn’t it obvious? No? well, luckily, the Indie 100 explains it for us.

That’s right the scheme will turn into a giant corporate welfare check for big catering companies! Oh well then, sorry children — looks like the liberal media doesn’t want you to have at least one decent meal today. Such caring people these liberal journalists aren’t they? And then journos wonder why normal people hate them and don’t give a f*ck about what they have to say anymore?

Pathetic.

The reasons concocted against Corbyn’s proposal are just stupid and irrelevant. The claim that the money would be better spent just on poorer children, OK, but then what about the NHS? A billionaire could, in theory, use the NHS — and I think that’s a good thing ultimately as they’ve paid into it — the same kind of principle is applied to Corbyn’s proposal here: If the rich are forced to contribute more to the state system then perhaps they will be more likely to use it — but more importantly it heads towards the equalising of society, albeit in a very timid and modest manner.

The other reasons concocted against the policy aren’t even worth covering quite frankly. Corporate welfare? Perhaps, but I’d rather that than have children starve, call me old fashioned that way….

The Corbyn MSM Cycle — Rinse & Repeat Till The End Of Time

The latest event follows the Corbyn MSM cycle that we’ve all come to expect by now.

1. Corbyn makes some sort of modest, usually popular policy proposal.

2. The MSM covers it mainly by finding some sort of imaginary problems, often using talking points from special interest groups such as privately funded right-wing “think tanks” or just out and out lies about the policy and Corbyn.

3. They then label Corbyn a moron or failure for trying, and the bleat on about polling ratings.

4. They ask Corbyn to explain why he doesn’t just quit given the recent policy/polling rating disaster at any given opportunity, no matter how inappropriate.

5. Corbyn responds, usually pushed to the point of losing his cool a little bit as the reporters fail to ask about his policies, preferring instead to endlessly ask about the polling numbers, and why he won’t quit.

6. Corbyn’s response to the reporters about the endless inappropriate use of this question gets used against him for slightly losing his cool — the clip of him losing his cool gets taken out of context and circulated by the MSM to prove that Corbyn is unelectable, etc.

7. Corbyn makes a policy proposal, the cycle starts again.

And guess what? the children of this country still live in poverty, and hunger, while the rich get richer, and the poor increase in number, and in poverty. The fact that stupid children from richer backgrounds have a 35% greater chance of success in life is a testament to the trap of poverty.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being lectured by these people about hard work, and trying your best, and all this garbage — that’s easy to say when you’re at the top of the pile. When you’re at the bottom hard work isn’t a badge of honor, it’s inevitable — not something special as I’m often lectured about by these elites.

The media should feel such a deep shame for the way they discuss and treat these things — yet they don’t, they wallow in their own righteousness.

I wish I had a clever and smooth line to finish this piece, but I don’t, so let me just say it as eloquently as I can.

FUCK ‘EM.

WATCH: Children explain why the need to eat food on channel 5.

You can follow Chris Turnbull on twitter at @EnemyOfTheState or at his webpage Enemy of the state

The Politics Of Fear

I read something recently that I thought gave an excellent insight into recent political events – including the EU referendum and the US presidential election. In this blog, the aforementioned political campaigns were analysed and the reason given for the unexpected results was that politicians had become so disassociated from the electorate that they did not have any ideas on how to relate to their problems. This was a good analysis and the route to power by recruiting the politically dispossessed is one that UKIP have grasped with both hands by telling us what they feel the real problems are without much logical analysis. What UKIP are doing is using contributory factors to progress their quest for power while forgetting about the real root causes as these do not fit their desired narrative. Such thinking only tackles problems at a superficial level but will never solve their origins or effectively tackle their complexities. What David Cameron’s government did was to blame certain groups for the problems of the many and then wonder why the public collectively voted to leave the EU on an anti-immigration – anti-European ticket when, for a lot of the time, he opted to marginalise the same groups to promote policies in order to satisfy the right wing inside his own party. A genuine attempt at trying to solve social integration, reduce increasing immigration numbers or changing the way the EU is run would require long term solutions and the use of considerable time and effort while attaining only small amounts of political advantage in the short term. His gamble was to try to appease the growing negative attitudes towards the EU both in the country and in his own party by holding a referendum. The electorate voted in both the US presidential and the UK EU referendum campaigns the way they had been told to by influential colourful politicians and the right-wing media. When Cameron turned full circle on once firmly rooted opinions this made people think they were being lied to so they collectively continued to support the previous long running narrative. When Donald Trump spoke, he simplified problems and gave short term solutions which appealed to many voters.

Why should politicians bother to listen to the electorate? After all the electorate is relatively easy to manipulate to get whatever the ruling party desires. Weapons of mass destruction? Produce a dodgy dossier –  Unemployed? Blame immigrants taking all your jobs – Banking crisis started in America by overleveraged banks and repackaged sub-prime mortgages? Blame socialist policies and benefit cheats. Have the electorate got wise to this and used the EU referendum as their first opportunity to upset the political establishment? No – they have simply continued to follow the longer running narrative. The electorate now believe the EU is full of unelected, overpaid and unaccountable politicians that produce reams of useless policy that have nothing to do with helping their plights even though much of the financial aid they provided went to communities in the UK that were struggling economically. The electorate believe that the NHS is straining because of health tourism or immigration and not because of a lack of investment, an aging population, overpriced drugs or poorly controlled private finance initiatives. The right-wing media continues to set the agenda.

Some of the electorate are afraid and dictated to throughout their lives – dictated to on what pay rise will be imposed upon them – dictated to when their benefits will be sanctioned – afraid to speak out at work due to not having a union or having a zero hours contract – told when they can take a break. Only by getting these people involved in our political processes will the system change to their advantage.

You can follow Rob on twitter at @LemontopRob  and at his webpage politicalsqueakonomics

 

How good are the Tories at anger management?

I am rather bored by Brexit. Apart from the revelation of May’s crude and decidedly unsubtle negotiating position that must hav been chosen to alienate we learned little more about the UK’s position yesterday. We did learn that Europe will play by the rules: with 27 states to accommadate that was pretty much inevitable.

What has interested me are the absurd beliefs of those people celebrating our leaving that  television presenters have found to interview. Leaving the likes of Farage aside, what has been apparent is the irrationality of their emotionally based arguments. Of course, I know such interviews are not representative, but I suspect we have all heard similar sentiments expressed.

Taking back control resonates, although all the laws that were imposed are being retained, almost without exception.

Money saving is believed to be possible, without evidence being supplied.

Sovereignty is obviously key.

And, of course, migration will be controlled.

i fear our politicians chosen to negotiate Brexit are woefully inadequate for the task given to them. But that may be a minor concern when those who thought they were regaining control can’t spot the difference when Brexit has happened. What then? And how will that anger be managed? That’s what really worries me. And have no doubt that there is deliberately fuelled anger already driving these emotions. That will not be going away. It will only get worse. Life in 2019 may not be fun.

You can follow Richard  J Murphy on twitter at @RichardJMurphy and at his webpage Tax Research UK

featured image Angry Face

“DON’T HATE THE MEDIA, BECOME THE MEDIA

“We are citizen live stream journalists, people like you are us”

 

Sitting at a table in the Glad Café, I was pleased to have the chance to catch up with the self-effacing founder member of Independence Live, Kevin Gibney. The Glad is a integral part of the Southside community, and in itself a key player in the Independence Live story.

Kev always stresses that it wasn’t just him and most people will be more aware of the other founding member, Derek McLean – the enthusiastic 8-badge Yes supporter of Jim Murphy’s now famous train journey – especially as Derek was often the public face of the organisation, but I thought it was time to hear from behind the camera.

 

We start by discussing pre-referendum politics.

Looking back, Kevin says he wasn’t as politically aware as he liked to think he was at the time. He believed he was on top of the politics scene, as he read the Guardian,, watched the news on TV, followed UK political happenings (and occasionally Scottish, when it hit the main headlines). And he always felt he had an instinctive leaning towards greater autonomy for Scotland, voting for Scottish devolution in the 1997 referendum.

 

As time passed, doubt in old political certainties crept in, the Westminster expenses scandal and global banking crisis occurred with the subsequent narratives blaming the poorest in society for the country’s woes and it seemed that Labour didn’t rise to the challenge. This then closely followed by the election of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition and subsequent rise of austerity led to Kevin feeling very disconnected from Westminster and British politics.photo 3.PNG-001

 

After the referendum was announced, he kept waiting for the Guardian to give balanced reporting setting out the arguments from both sides of the debate. After a while he said it felt like a veil dropping when he realised that ‘his paper’ was as just as much a part of the establishment as all of the others. So, like so many others, he went online looking for further information, finding his answers in Wings Over Scotland, Bella Caledonia, Newsnet, etc.

 

Kevin then started to attend Yes events, in particular ones organised by RIC, such as at Langside Hall in June 2013 with Patrick Harvie, Jonathon Shafi and Liam McLaughlan. These meetings inspired him and, while he was happy to canvass and leaflet, he wanted to use his skills to spread the message further.

 

It was around this time he had been given an iPad, and with the help of Derek, they were involved with organising a meeting at the Glad that they intended to livestream. The two of them were incredibly nervous but they got through it, and it was events like these that enabled them to experiment, learning the best ways to facilitate the livestream. They also started working with Cherryman Media to improve the quality of their output, as he said it had to be watchable to engage people’s attention.

Getting the message out is the priority, and Kevin was pleased to add that they are able to get signing for the deaf on a number of their events covered. There is no group which he will not try to engage. One of his favourite events was one they set up for pro-indy ex-military, which lead to the formation of the Veterans for Indy group. This was done as a counter to all the “patriotic Union Jack waving”, such as the total co-incidence that Stirling just happened to get Armed Forces Day on the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. VIDEO: https://youtu.be/hojDDZtU2vQ

 

Kev also made links with Business for Scotland. He says that he attended the inaugural Business for Scotland meeting at a hotel in Glasgow where seven speakers all stated that they wanted a fairer Scotland. He wanted to get that side of the economic case out to non-business people, to fight the ‘Too Wee, Too Poor” stories which were being spread. Ivan McKee from BfS has since become a regular contributor to the site. The economic event at the Glad, organised with help from Crawford at Southside Session, with Ivan & Michelle Thomson MP, filmed by Cherryman Media, has been viewed around 100,000 times.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/1W8cKHcZn60

 

It was around early 2014 that the first crowdfunders started to help fund the small group that had now formed, to pay for equipment, setting up events, travel etc. Post referendum, the increased workloads had put pressure on Kevin, as he needed to be able to set aside more time for the project, so he decided to walk away from his own business and concentrate on doing Independence Live full time, supported by the crowdfunder donations. He stops for a minute to add that he could not have put the hours in without the support of his wife Claire. You get the feeling that the last two years have been non-stop for them, with the frenetic run-up to the referendum, followed by the general election, streaming events, training others and providing as professional a system as possible, available to be used by other groups.

 

As it says on their website:

 

“We have two main aims: one is to facilitate and democratise the news coverage from anywhere by using citizen journalists and a second is to further expand our group across Scotland.”

 

Kevin is thinking big. He takes his motto from J. P. Morgan “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”

 

Independence Live currently has over 25 active individuals involved, including the Glasgow and Edinburgh groups. However, the ambition is for this to grow, to provide coverage of news and culture all over Scotland, and beyond. He sees the groups expanding organically, as those trained then train others, increasing the range of groups and subjects covered. He is also keen to point out that other groups can use them to host their own livestreams.

 

The site has expanded beyond purely the events, and now includes blogs and videos. As they have the ability to Skype livestream, the world is now their oyster, with interviews already taking place from USA, Spain and France.

 

The latest development is of course the IndyLive app, which was launched a few weeks back. But that is not the end of it, with the links Independence Live has formed with a wide range of pro-independence groups, the next stage is a super-app, which if he manages it will be astounding, and will ensure that I for one will NEVER be able to go offline. It seems there are downside to being a political anorak.

 

Independence Live can be found at:

www.independencelive.net

Youtube: www.youtube.com/IndependenceLive

Twitter: @liveIndyScot

Email: liveindependence@gmail.com

PLEASE CHECKOUT THE CROWDFUNDER CLICK HERE

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