Theresa May lost a confidence vote

Yesterday Theresa May lost a vote of confidence in her right to be Prime Minister.

200 MPs voted in favour.
450 MPs did not vote in favour.

Despite the abject defeat, Theresa May will continue as Prime Minister.  

It is a mockery of democracy that a Prime Minister is allowed a mandate to continue when more than two-thirds of elected representatives did not vote for her to have that mandate.  However, the apparent legality of the continuation of her tenure as Prime Minister after such a heavy defeat is typical of the faux democracy in Britain where an unelected head of state, an unelected second chamber – the House of Lords – and the Supreme Court can interfere with the decisions of an elected government.

The British system of government is intrinsically opposed to real democracy.  It is a con, a subterfuge and a sham.  The sooner it is removed the better.

Related blogWestminster is falling down

 

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Theresa May lost a confidence vote

Tory ghouls grinning at the effects of their Social Murder policy

Tory social media accounts last weekend were full of ghoulish MPs grinning victoriously as they celebrated the necessity for foodbanks.

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Dominic Raab

Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab was pictured above wearing a bib asking for donations to foodbanks.  Raab is an employee of Institute of Economic Affairs, an extremist libertarian think-tank that promotes the complete destruction of public service infrastructure and is funded by disaster capitalists seeking a cliff-fall no-deal Brexit, and he wrote an essay for another such think tank, Centre For Policy Studies, wherein he demanded a bonfire of workers’ rights, human rights and health and safety regulations: Raab’s ‘Escaping The Straight Jacket’.

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Claire Perry

Claire Perry, who attracted infamy to herself via a deliberate libellous remark about Jeremy Corbyn on BBC’s Question Time, seemed ecstatic in the photo above.  People go to foodbanks because they need the food to survive.  Using a foodbank is never a choice.  Perry’s glee was akin to shitting in the faces of the people who are forced by destitution to go to a foodbank.  A pair of scissors was in her hand; she had cut a ribbon to open the foodbank.  

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Iain Duncan-Smith

Via his think-tank Centre For Social Justice, Iain Duncan-Smith created the vicious policies that caused the destitution that led to the necessity for foodbanks.  His presence at a foodbank with a forced smile was particularly disgusting.  He had the smirk of a successful assassin.

Some Scottish Tory MPs publicised their respective visits to foodbanks with similar comments.  A template from Tory central office helped to construct the messages and each MP was careful to remember to advertise the supermarket.

FoodbankScotsMP.png

Clearly, the only reasons for an exponential rise in the number of foodbanks and an even steeper rise in the number of users are Tory policies on welfare, housing and employment law.  The mix of a multitude of vicious cuts to benefits, sanctions, high rents and low-paid, low-hours insecure employment has left millions of people with insufficient income to survive.  Foodbanks, relying on donations from the public, are a fine example of public generosity but are also a guilty verdict on the Tories Social Murder strategy.

The Tories’ motivation to be photographed at foodbanks was a PR stunt for the MPs and for the party.  The stage-managed coordinated nature of the photo opportunities over the last few days was not only a grotesque insult to the users of foodbanks but also an insult to the general public because the Tories assumed everyone will fail to make the connection between the prevalence of foodbanks and Tory policy.

These PR stunts were infused with ghoulishness and pleasure.  An acute absence of humanity is required to be able to grin with pleasure at the existence of a last resort for survival when the grinner is the direct and only cause of the destitution that led to that last resort.  The Tory MPs that partook of the stunt were proud of themselves.  They had the air of hunters posing in front of their kills.

People’s willingness to donate to foodbanks is a wonderful natural human response.  It is humanity that the Tories could never understand or even imagine.  For the Tories, a foodbank is a photo opportunity devoid of self-awareness.  

Recommended reading
Kate Belgrave for Independent

Tory ghouls grinning at the effects of their Social Murder policy

Amber Rudd: Tax-dodging, bankruptcy and Social Murder

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd is the current chief Social Murder strategist at the DWP.

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Rudd lost her job as Home Secretary earlier this year as a consequence of the Windrush scandal.  (Theresa May, the architect of the Windrush scandal when she was Home Secretary, did not lose her job as Prime Minister.) 

After a few months had passed, Rudd was handed a new ministerial salary in government.  The gap between her ministerial jobs was less than the length of some sanctions applied to people who claim welfare benefits.

As soon as she began her new role Rudd made clear her intent to continue with Universal Credit, a key component of the Tories’ Social Murder policy.   

Rudd’s first comments in parliament about Universal Credit included a libellous dismissal of a UN Report into poverty in Britain.  A cursory dismissal of the report’s conclusions coupled with standard Crosbyite accusations – describing the report as “”extraordinarily political” – showed that Rudd’s intent was to continue with the devastation regardless of criticism and to treat such criticism with contempt.

Her callousness and deliberate ignorance were displayed in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today show – quotes from iNews report – where she described Universal Credit as a “tremendous force for good in this country” and “revolutionary” and said that the destitution, homelessness, exacerbation of illnesses (including terminal illnesses) and death were “teething problems.”

Becky Polain from Hastings Advice and Representation Centre explained the truth about the effects of Universal Credit in Rudd’s Hastings constituency – quotes from Hastings Observer report:

I have witnessed the systematic destruction of a support system, designed to help those that need it most, to create a widespread situation of poverty, ill-health and despair.  This may sound overly dramatic, but it is exactly what has been happening, especially since the introduction of ‘austerity’ and the disastrous ‘welfare reforms’.  Arguably, the hardest hit have been those with illness and disabilities.  Over 95 per cent of the cases we take on are won at tribunal with an increased rate of benefit.  We are finding that the health care professionals who carry out these assessments are completing reports that are regularly inaccurate.  Despite most appeals being successful, a claimant may have to wait over a year from the initial decision to their case being heard at a tribunal.”

They suffer financially, having to make decisions between rent, food and bills with what little they have, often falling into debt or becoming homeless.  This puts greater strain on already overburdened services that have all seen cuts in their budgets, in all sectors. Some people will resort to crime, or turn to self-medication with legal and illegal drugs.  The impact is felt by the NHS, police, local authorities and social services, to name but a few.  The cut in funding to the voluntary sector means that fewer people can be assisted through advice centres, homeless charities and food banks.  The demand ever increases for the services constantly receive less in funding. It is no coincidence that the demand at the Hastings Food Bank has increased by 87 per cent over the last few years.

Public awareness is rising with regards to issues such as this, but more people need to get involved.  Many articles detailing specific experiences of claimants tug at the heartstrings of those already with a social conscience, but will have no effect on those that simply do not care, that have no empathy, and view people claiming benefits as ‘scroungers’. Those are the people we need to target.  If they are made aware of how much of the tax they pay is being spent on repeated unnecessary assessments, the appeals process, the emergency services, the NHS, etc. maybe they would feel as passionate about this problem as we are.  If you are concerned about these assessments and the impact they are having on all our lives, please write to your MP, and the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd. She need to hear your experiences. It is time for change.”

But, Rudd said “I have seen Universal Credit do some fantastic things.  In my constituency in Hastings and Rye, it really has transformed lives” – quotes from Evening Standard report.

Rudd’s wilful blindness to the effects of sadistic welfare cuts in her own constituency revealed that her approach to the job as DWP Minister will be as dishonest, as criminal and as vicious as her recent predecessors McVey, Gauke and Duncan-Smith.

(Rudd won her seat at the last general election with a slim majority of 346.)

Rudd’s business career, bankruptcies and tax-dodging
Bankruptcy can affect many people, personally and to their businesses.  It is a device to protect investors and creditors and to avoid destitution for the bankrupt. 

However, the structure of the process of bankruptcy can be abused by professional bankrupts who use it as a means of avoiding business debts (including tax demands) after the business’ assets have been stripped by the person or persons who are declaring bankruptcy.

Ken Long provided a précis of Rudd’s interesting business history for A Fairer Society.  The recurring theme throughout her business career was directorship of a company that acquired millions in investments and soon after collapsed owing millions, and then Rudd left to repeat the process somewhere else.

The leak of the Panama Papers listed thousands of public figures’ dodgy financial management techniques and tax avoidance; Amber Rudd appeared there as a director of Advanced Asset Allocation Fund and of Advanced Asset Allocation Management, both based in Bahamas.  Rudd elucidated her attitude to tax-dodging earlier this year when asked about David Cameron’s father’s thirty years of dodging tax via offshore accounts in tax havens: “I think the key thing is here that the prime minister and his family paid the correct amount of tax that they were due.”

Guardian report on the Panama leaks included more facts about Rudd’s businesses.

Records at Companies House also identify her as a director of Monticello plc, which became the centre of an investigation into share ramping after one of her co-directors, Mark O’Hanlon, gave an interview in January 2000 in which he made false claims about the company’s prospects.  Monticello’s share price subsequently skyrocketed and trading on its shares was suspended.  Rudd resigned as a board member five months later, two days before she also resigned as director of Advanced Asset Allocation Management.  The episode led the Department of Trade and Industry to investigate, and in 2007 O’Hanlon was convicted of making a false statement and sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.  He was jailed again in June 2013 following an unrelated fraud conviction.”

It isn’t clear from the above information how much Amber Rudd profited from the rise in Monticello’s shares that occurred due to misinformation from her co-director.

Shameless tax avoidance and the tactic of bankruptcy defined Rudd’s business career and defined her as a person.

Rudderless
Amber Rudd is a typical Tory MP.  She has persistently manipulated the law to enrich herself at others’ expense while supporting despicable policies that have caused extreme hardship and death, first with Windrush and now at DWP.

There is nothing to note about her career that isn’t worthy of utter contempt.

Related blogs
Universal Credit: Social Murder By Design
Social Murder

Amber Rudd: Tax-dodging, bankruptcy and Social Murder

The Declaration: Principles of the Law Governing the Internet

Unrestricted worldwide exchange of information
Social media has enabled people from all over the world to communicate with each other, to exchange information and ideas, to educate each other, to organise protests, to express solidarity and to challenge injustice.  Bypassing controlled space imposed by governments and by compliant media, people have sought the facts about issues and sought the opinions of others who are directly involved.

The easy and immediate exchange of information has helped to prevent cover-ups and to expose lies by governments.  For example, it is less easy for a representative of a government to claim something happened or did not happen if a live video of the incident has already been seen by millions worldwide on social media.

Social media interaction between people from all over the world has countered the constant othering and xenophobia from various governments and think-tanks.  It has shown that issues and problems around the world are similar with similar causes and similar solutions.

The resultant knowledge accrued from social media interaction has been used to challenge governments informatively.  Armed with the facts, people have been able to refute claims and to destroy fraudulent analyses. 

Clearly, worldwide public knowledge of facts and cross-border solidarity are problematic for those who rely on public ignorance to retain control.  Censoring of and restricting access to social media has become a necessity for governments.

State response: Censorship
Using the guise of reacting to irregularities in funding for the Leave campaign prior to the referendum on EU membership in 2016 and using a faux campaign to counter “intimidation” of elected representatives, Tory MP Damian Collins has been at the forefront of a strategy of preparing a narrative that seeks to conclude with restrictions and censorship applied to online communication.

Tactics enacted so far included a concocted report by Lord Bew on “intimidation of politicians” followed by intent to restrict the right to vote and the right to stand in elections led by Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith.

This week, Collins and a gang of capitalist politicians from the second division of influential countries have declared what they would like to be the basis of ‘Principles of the Law Governing the Internet.’

The five principles were included in The Declaration and are reproduced below.

i. The internet is global and law relating to it must derive from globally agreed principles;
ii. The deliberate spreading of disinformation and division is a credible threat to the continuation and growth of democracy and a civilising global dialogue;
iii. Global technology firms must recognise their great power and demonstrate their readiness to accept their great responsibility as holders of influence;
iv.  Social Media companies should be held liable if they fail to comply with a judicial, statutory or regulatory order to remove harmful and misleading content from their platforms, and should be regulated to ensure they comply with this requirement;
v. Technology companies must demonstrate their accountability to users by making themselves fully answerable to national legislatures and other organs of representative democracy.

Notes on the five principles
i. Clearly, it is absurd to expect every country in the world to agree to similar rules regarding access to and use of the internet.  Some countries are very censorious toward online communication – for example, China and Saudi Arabia; some countries have laws that allow state intrusion into online privacy – for example, Britain and its Investigatory Powers Act; other countries are opposed to both censorship and to intrusion.  Laws are different in different countries as are economic systems, trade relationships and military alignments.  How could a single set of laws for internet use bypass these differences?

ii. The authors of The Declaration fear challenges to the “growth of democracy.”  That is a stringent political concern.  Some countries exist with non-democratic systems of government – for example, Vietnam and Cuba.  Advocating non-democratic systems of government is a legitimate political act.  The inference from this proposed principle is that only a particular system of government (democracy) should be allowed to be promoted online and promotion of other systems should be banned.

iii. Global online social media platforms are not “holders of influence.”  Their respective platforms provide tools for communication, both useful and destructive, but the caretakers of the platforms should not be exercising influence.

iv. In authoritarian countries some social media platforms have agreed to severe censorship including the removal of political expressions of free speech.  This principle of The Declaration appeared to fully endorse such behaviour.

v. Social media platforms are answerable to their users and should certainly not be answerable to state bodies.

The Declaration
The declaration affirms the Parliamentarians’ commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability and the protection of representative democracy in regard to the internet,” claimed the pre-preamble in The Declaration.  By “transparency” the authors meant access by state agencies to private communications by civilians; by “accountability” they meant the social media platforms being accountable to state agencies rather than accountable to their users; “protection of representative democracy” was an assertive statement against non-democratic society.

The Declaration’s preamble was Orwellian.

It is an urgent and critical priority for legislatures and governments to ensure that the fundamental rights and safeguards of their citizens are not violated or undermined by the unchecked march of technology.”

A translation of the above would be that capitalist states are frightened that easy immediate communication between the people of the world could undermine the authority and capability of governments: Fear of the consequences of free-flowing undiluted information.  

The democratic world order is suffering a crisis of trust from the growth of disinformation.”

A “crisis of trust” in the “world order” should be welcomed.  “Disinformation” is a problem but the flow of information is what scares the “world order” the most.

The Declaration affirmed that “representative democracy is too important and too hard-won to be left undefended from online harms.”  That was another signal of the intent to censor and remove non-democratic political views from online discourse.

Another pseudo extract from ‘1984’ re-stated the real intent of The Declaration.

It is incumbent on us to create a system of global internet governance that can serve to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of generations to come, based on established codes of conduct for agencies working for nation states.”

The latter part of the above sentence ignored the fact, mentioned above, that different countries have different laws regarding free speech and political expression and, so, “established (worldwide) codes of conduct” are unattainable.  

The first part of the above sentence was archetypal doublespeak.  The words “serve” and “protect” meant “control,” and “fundamental rights and freedoms” meant whatever rights and freedoms that those in control choose to bestow upon the people.

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Tory MP Damian Collins, chair of DCMS select committee and The Declaration signatory

Second division
The signatories of The Declaration were representatives from the governments of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Latvia, Singapore and Britain.

No-one from the entire continent of Africa.
One signatory from the entire continent of Asia.
No-one from a non-democratic country.
No-one from Russia, China or USA.

Serve and protect
The Declaration was laughable grandstanding but it contained disturbing indicators of authoritarian intent. 

Instant worldwide communication, sharing ideas and information, and live broadcast of political activism and state behaviour are positive consequences of the ease of use of social media platforms.  Ideas, analysis, facts and opinions are distributed instantaneously without any media or government filtering.  That is what frightened the governments whose representatives devised and signed The Declaration.

Related blogs
Tory plan to restrict right to vote
GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming and IP Act
Analysis of Bew Report
Rafael Behr fears twitter

The Declaration: Principles of the Law Governing the Internet

A cursory response to May’s Brexit letter to the British people

Theresa May has written an open letter to the British public about the latest government proposal for the terms of departure from the EU.  

The letter is very short of details and full of lies.

The entire text of the letter is re-produced below (in italics) with responses inserted. 

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When I became your prime minister the United Kingdom had just voted to leave the European Union.”
The British people did not vote for May to be prime minister.
Some parts of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, some did not.  Examples of the latter include Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

From my first day in the job, I knew I had a clear mission before me – a duty to fulfil on your behalf: to honour the result of the referendum and secure a brighter future for our country by negotiating a good Brexit deal with the EU.”
There has never been a single day, single speech or single sentence from May that expressed clarity on Brexit during her tenure as prime minister.
May voted for (and had campaigned for) Remain; thus, it is a self-contradiction that she states that departure from the EU gives Britain a “brighter future.”
Every step of her “negotiation” with the EU has been a sorry mess riven with impossibilities, contradictions and lies.

Throughout the long and complex negotiations that have taken place over the last year and a half, I have never lost sight of that duty.”
The “long and complex negotiations” have been a series of on-the-hoof daft ideas by a variety of ministers, most of whom departed abruptly and contentiously before the job was done.

Today, I am in Brussels with the firm intention of agreeing a Brexit deal with the leaders of the other 27 EU nations.”
The EU will say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to whatever May says.  That is all the EU is offering her.

It will be a deal that is in our national interest – one that works for our whole country and all of our people, whether you voted ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’.
The deal has been rejected resoundingly by both remainers and leavers in Britain.

It will honour the result of the referendum.”

We will take back control of our borders, by putting an end to the free movement of people once and for all.  Instead of an immigration system based on where a person comes from, we will build one based on the skills and talents a person has to offer.”
If immigration will be “based on the skills and talents a person has to offer” why are doctors and teachers leaving Britain, some by instruction from the Home Office.
What “skills and talents” did Meghan Markle have to offer?

We will take back control of our money, by putting an end to vast annual payments to the EU.”
Will these “vast annual payments” be greater than the multitude of extra costs incurred due to not being in the EU?

Instead, we will be able to spend British taxpayers’ money on our own priorities, like the extra £394 million per week that we are investing in our long-term plan for the NHS.”
The Tories are systematically destroying the NHS.  The constant lies and deceptions about “investments” have been eviscerated many times.

And we will take back control of our laws, by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.  In future, our laws will be made, interpreted and enforced by our own courts and legislatures.”
EU laws on food safety, workers’ safety, workers’ statutory rights, human rights are going to be binned.

We will be out of EU programmes that do not work in our interests: out of the common agricultural policy, that has failed our farmers, and out of the common fisheries policy, that has failed our coastal communities.”
Britain doesn’t produce enough food to feed the population.

Instead, we will be able to design a system of agricultural support that works for us and we will be an independent coastal state once again, with full control over our waters.”
Britain doesn’t produce enough food to feed the population.

The deal also protects the things we value.  EU citizens who have built their lives in the United Kingdom will have their rights protected, as will UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU.”
EU citizens are being kicked out of Britain every day including those married to British citizens and with British-born children.

A free trade area will allow goods to flow easily across our borders, protecting the many skilled jobs right across the country that rely on integrated supply chains.”
Like the, er, Common Market?

Because our European friends will always be our allies in the fight against terrorism and organised crime, the deal will ensure that security co-operation will continue, so we can keep our people safe.”
Almost all terrorism in Britain in recent years has been perpetrated by British citizens. 
Britain has “security co-operation” with countries outside of the EU and outside of Europe.  Whatever deal May claims to have concocted for Brexit bears no relationship to international “security co-operation.”

As prime minister of the United Kingdom, I have from day one been determined to deliver a Brexit deal that works for every part of our country – for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, for our Overseas Territories like Gibraltar, and also for the Crown dependencies.”
May has flapped about ever more desperately for over two years as proposal after proposal was immediately shafted and chucked and minister after minister scarpered.

This deal will do that.”
This deal will do nothing that isn’t better done in the EU.

Crucially, it will protect the integrity of our United Kingdom and ensure that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland – so people can live their lives as they do now.”  
For how long will there be no “hard border?”

It is a deal for a brighter future, which enables us to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.  Outside the EU, we will be able to sign new trade deals with other countries and open up new markets in the fastest-growing economies around the world.”
The EU is able to “sign new trade deals with other countries.”  If Britain is in competition with the EU to acquire “new trade deals with other countries” then the EU is in a stronger negotiating position than Britain.

With Brexit settled, we will be able to focus our energies on the many other important issues facing us here at home: keeping our economy strong, and making sure every community shares in prosperity; securing our NHS for the future, giving every child a great start in life, and building the homes that families need; tackling the burning injustices that hold too many people back, and building a country for the future that truly works for everyone.”
A recent UN report highlighted gross inequality and enormous levels of poverty in Britain, issues that will not be helped by leaving the EU.
The Tories are systematically destroying the NHS for the benefit of their privateer vulture friends, as they are doing with all public services.
The Tories have removed funding for further and higher education.
The Tories have prevented council homes being built and have allowed developers to lie about building affordable homes.
All the economic injustices in Britain right now are direct consequences of deliberate Tory policy.  The EU did not enforce these injustices.  The Tories have no intention of changing any of them; they intend to use the departure from the EU as an opportunity to make things worse.

On 29 March next year, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.  We will then begin a new chapter in our national life.  I want that to be a moment of renewal and reconciliation for our whole country.”
The first thing that will happen after departure is a general election.

It must mark the point when we put aside the labels of ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ for good and we come together again as one people.”
Come together?”  Tory political strategy is infused with division.

To do that we need to get on with Brexit now by getting behind this deal.”
It’s a mess that satisfies no-one.

Parliament will have the chance to do that in a few weeks’ time when it has a meaningful vote on the deal I hope to strike today.  I will be campaigning with my heart and soul to win that vote and to deliver this Brexit deal, for the good of our United Kingdom and all of our people.”
The “heart and soul campaigning” has included handing out a knighthood to an influential Tory MP who doesn’t (currently) like May’s deal, as a bribe.

Recommended reading
Theresa May’s Actual Open Letter by Lizzie Fletcher for Unity News.
Steve Bullock’s reply as a twitter thread.
Joseph Guthrie’s response for Media Diversified
InFacts factcheck

A cursory response to May’s Brexit letter to the British people

Remain Incivil!

tories-are-lower-than-vermin

Spokespersons for wealth terrorists abhor being challenged.  They demand that the victims of exploitation stay obedient, keep quiet and eschew revolt.  

The Tories are so fearful of verbal and written protest that they intend to restrict access to the right to vote and to the right to stand as a candidate in an election for anyone who doesn’t observe absolute civility toward Tories.  Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith said “the measures being consulted on would protect voters, candidates and campaigners so they can make their choice at the ballot box or stand for public service without fear of being victims of misinformation or abuse.”  The Tories hope that the threat of removal of democratic rights will curb valid criticism of Tory policy. 

gagging law imposed on charities to prevent them exposing the effects of Tory policy has been expanded several times and there has been frequent use of non-disclosure agreements between the government and charities.

Alongside laws and gags, the Tories have tried to invent a narrative that they, and their collaborators, are under attack from rude and angry people.  This narrative was used, via the Bew Report, as false impetus for the aforementioned restrictions on democracy.

Age Of Incivility?
To try to perpetuate the invented narrative of unacceptable angry response to their attacks on humanity the Tories’ latest stunt was a team-up between the their Commission for Countering Extremism and right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange

Policy Exchange concocted a report – An Age Of Uncivility – that used a ruse to justify the report’s necessity: “Recent years have seen a sustained and significant coarsening of the tone in British politics.”  That statement is, of course, nonsense; responses to Tory attacks have always included the widest breadth of use of the English language.  What is remarkable is how civil and restrained most people are when face-to-face, or in online discourse, with a Tory.

The report was peppered with screenshots of social media posts that the authors wished to criticise.  Stylistically, it was a horrible mess. 

Its content was politically biased. 

Momentum, in particular, seems to provide a home to many who view politics in the most polarising and shrill terms.  Activists within that movement have been repeatedly accused of engaging in behavior that comes close, or crosses the line into, intimidation and abuse.  By some accounts, this even extends to other Momentum activists who differ in approach and outlook.  By contrast, the mainstream Conservative party has set its face firmly against such behaviour – and made a point of requiring local election candidates to sign up to a ‘respect pledge’ earlier this year.”

Note the use of the phrase “repeatedly accused” rather than “proven to be true.” 

Earlier this year Tory chair Brandon Lewis, a brat with a persona akin to a petulant teenager, asked all politicians to adhere to a ‘Respect Pledge.’  However, an example of how much respect Lewis has for his political opponents occurred in July when he deliberately violated a parliamentary pairing arrangement with Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson who was on maternity leave. 

The “Conservative party has set its face firmly against such behaviour” via, for example, the childish bullying behaviour of the Tory Bratboys whenever an opposition MP has spoken in parliament, particularly Jeremy Corbyn.

Throughout the report, random repetition of smears against left-wing politicians and activists sat beside pathetic complaints from the authors about critical observations of Tory policy.  An example of the latter was a complaint about the public reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire and to the removal of British citizenship of the Windrush generation.

This inclination [to be aware of intent of Tory policy] was particularly evident in the wake of the Grenfell Disaster and, more recently, the scandal of the way in which the Windrush generation had been treated.  Both those episodes represented serious failings by the system – yet they were weaponised by sections of the left to impute morally repugnant motives to those on the right.”

Windrush was, and is, a deliberate policy created by the prime minister when she was Home Secretary that targetted people of Caribbean descent and was motivated by her ongoing intent to prove her racist credentials.  The Grenfell Tower fire was a direct consequence of policy decisions by the corrupt Tory Kensington council.  Both Grenfell and Windrush were examples of the intent of Tory policy in action.  

The report objected to the fact that socialists are socialists.

A section of the political left has made plain its hostility to ‘finance capitalism’, which it holds responsible for many of the ills of the current world. Against this backdrop, calls to direct action against corporations have been accompanied by fierce denunciations of ‘bankers’ and others associated with high finance.”

The observation above about attitudes to the intrinsically exploitative financial system showed that the clear purpose of the report was to encourage censorship of political opposition to that system.

The current Tory government, like any conservative government, is peopled with gimps of wealth terrorists and operates with acute relentless dishonesty by necessity.  To observe that fact was objectionable to the Policy Exchange report.

A hallmark of the new politics of incivility is the assumption that the purported views of one’s political opponents are not legitimately held.  Instead, they stand condemned as being variously corrupt, venal, and even evil. Such an outlook often forms the flipside to a sense of selfrighteousness – and the belief that one’s own politics are inherently virtuous.  A classic example below conveys the message that the Conservatives are fundamentally malign in their politics.”

Even regarding the Tories, rightly, as “enemies” received a rebuke from the report.

The most extreme manner in which some seek to delegitimise their opponents is by resorting to overt dehumanisation.  This tendency can be witnessed across the political spectrum – but seems especially prevalent among sections of the left for whom the ‘Tories’ are sub-human and, far from being rivals with whom one might debate, are enemies.”

Policy Exchange is in a duonanstic relationship with the Tories.  Every word of the former’s report was designed to protect the latter from inspection and analysis.  The report is not about incivility.  It is a demand for censorship of criticism.  It is a plea for the lies of the Tories to be left completely unchallenged.

To promote its report Policy Exchange had a launch at which a few right-of-centre politicians and hacks had a whingefest.  European Research Group member Jacob Rees-Mogg said “there’s a reason to be civil – it’s a way to win political arguments!  If people shout at you in a mask & we put our arguments calmly then we win – there is no rationality in abuse.  It’s not about limiting free speech but about defining responsible boundaries, eg threats of violence are never appropriate.”  Rees-Mogg has never uttered an honest word in his life and his approach to winning political arguments included hiring a thug who punched a woman at a speech given by Rees-Mogg.

Telegraph hack Sebastian Payne said “pretty much every time I go on TV I get messages saying I must the love child of Jacob Rees-Mogg  and Michael Gove. I can laugh a lot of that off – but some of it is nastier.”  The horror!

Remain Incivil!
The two most visible facets of Tory strategy are the intertwined policies of Social Murder and public infrastructure giveaways to privateer vultures.  Both facets are anti-humanity and anti-society and do not require civil debate in response.

Every Tory MP works against the majority of the British people.  They work for a small group of financial gangsters.  The venal, dishonest and destructive Tory government must be criticised continuously and robustly. 

The wealth terrorists for whom the Tories work must be identified and eviscerated.

The partners of the Tories, including right-wing think-tanks like Policy Exchange, must be exposed. 

All are enemies.  Civility toward them is not just unnecessary, it is wrong.  Incivility is a necessity.

Related blogs
Policy Exchange
Be Incivil!
Respect a Tory MP?
Tory Bratboys
Analysis of Bew Report
Hillsborough, Grenfell
Social Murder
Privatisation
Jacob Rees-Mogg

Remain Incivil!

Oxford privilege, white supremacism and cowardice

Yesterday, Donald Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon, a professional promoter of racism and white supremacism, spoke at the Oxford Union.

Bannon’s invitation to speak was never intended to be a forum for scrutiny of his racist views.  Like all of his extremist ilk, Bannon does not debate and does not respond to queries or to criticism.  Whenever he is given a public platform it is solely an opportunity for him to encourage bigotry, racism, antisemitism, white supremacism and to spout a torrent of fabricated conspiracy theories.

Oxford Union president Stephen Horvath invited Bannon to enable him. 

StephenHorvath.png
Oxford Union president Stephen Horvath

Privilege
Dr. Moudhy Al-Rashid‏, postdoc at Wolfson College, Oxford reminded the Oxford Union mob to check their privilege.

And before the ‘but free speech’ crowd tries to weigh in, check your privilege. It must be nice to remain safe from the policies enabled by racist, homophobic, xenophobic hate speech, but for the rest of us, this isn’t about the marketplace of ideas. It’s about our lives.”

Oxford Union’s decision to grease the wheels of Bannon’s hate machine was a decision derived from privilege.  Multi-privileged students at Oxford, wallowing in inherited comfort, are able to espouse whatever deceptive nonsense about “free speech” they want because they are not the targets of Bannon’s racism and white supremacism.

The association of “free speech” with liberal philosophy appeals to those who perceive the world from lofty safe viewpoints where consequences of divisive rabble-rousing are rare visitors.  But, their privileges were attained via the benefits of division and othering.  Their campaign for liberalism is a conscious illusion.

Cowardice
Like every other mouthpiece for racism and white supremacism Steve Bannon is a coward, intellectually and physically. 

In every public appearance his intellectual cowardice is displayed via evasion and deflection.  Morally and rationally, his views cannot be defended.  For him to allow even the slightest inspection face-to-face or to explain logically his perspective would be catastrophic for the structure of his idealism; any self-inspection of his philosophy would change it.  Perpetual cowardice is his defence mechanism to avoid disruption to his beliefs.

Bannon’s physical cowardice was on show throughout his appearance in Oxford.  With the collaboration of Oxford Union, his invitation to speak wasn’t publicised until a couple of days beforehand and only members of Oxford Union were allowed to attend; both those conditions are very unusual for Oxford Union events.  Bannon travelled to the location in a police van and entered surrounded by police and by his own mercenary thugs; the latter entered the building with him. 

Police actions included closure of roads, driving the van containing Bannon recklessly into a crowd causing injuries and assaults against peaceful protesters.  

Privilege and racism are partners
Privilege is maintained via division of the enemies of the beneficiaries of privilege.  Racism is a common tool used to create division.  The privileged’s collusion in the dissemination of racism is cognizant.

Recommended reading
Afroze Zaidi-Jivraj on Bannon

Related blogs
BBC platform for Bannon
Bannon meets Tories

Oxford privilege, white supremacism and cowardice