Tory MP Andrew Percy sent me this nice message on facebook – a concoction of lies, misdirection and abuse, bookended with personal abuse. It is a reply to a brief comment I left where I pointed out the Tory cuts to flood defence spending and accused Percy of self-promotion.
“Keep your stupid comments to yourself you nasty piece of work. Flood defence funding has increased and is at record levels but you don’t care about the facts do you, just making snide comments.
More is being spent than ever before. Now if you want to talk records, let’s talk the last Labour government who were warned after the 2000 floods to massively increase spending. They didn’t increase it as they were told to, but it went up. Then, as in previous periods, it started to fall until we were hit by further floods in 2007 so it went up again.
Sadly, if you want a sensible debate this rise after an event and then reduction in later years as the focus moves on is something all governments are guilty of.
You get difference year on year as some schemes come to fruition and others don’t but under this Government over the course of the last parliament we spent more on capital for defences than the previous Labour government did. This parliament it will be higher still.
Instead of seemingly enjoying the flooding people are suffering you could do what I’ve been doing and get out there and help people. Instead you, who has no expert knowledge at al, is taking to social media to tell people that the reason they are flooding is because of cuts. Well. For one, spending is greater now and two, even if there had been cuts, it would be far too early to say if that had had anything to do with what we are seeing.
Truth is EU legislation making water course management more expensive and more difficult, mixed with governments of all colours not heeding warnings, mean we aren’t as well protected as we might like to be.
You aren’t interested in that though just spreading your bile. Shame on you, you make me sick.”
International propagandist and election campaign strategist for right-wing political parties, Lynton Crosby, received a knighthood in the New Year’s honours list for 2016.
Crosby has operated in many countries assisting election campaigns. Most of his work has been in Australia, Canada and UK.
Crosby campaign strategy Crosby is very limited intellectually and so he sticks to a simple method that utilises the following tools:
Given that the political parties Crosby promotes are always right-wing conservatives, it is vital the public are distracted from analysing anything that these parties have done or are planning to do, as almost all such acts and plans will be for the benefit of only a small minority of people. Crosby achieves this by instructing the party’s spokespersons to indulge in repetition of meaningless soundbites and platitudes in all media interaction and to randomly point the accusatory finger of blame at opposition politicians whenever probing questions are asked.
Nowhere in the brief Crosby receives from his employer does it ever state that his work needs to have even the slightest relationship with the truth. Thus, lies are an integral part of his advice. He advises the politicians to lie constantly about their performance as a government, including gross manipulation and deliberate misrepresentation of statistics, to lie copiously about their plans post-election, including making claims they have no intention of fulfilling and choosing to not mention some of their more objectionable plans, and to lie about their opponents’ achievements, plans and political stance.
Crosby knows that the parties he works for do not have policies that will appeal if fully analysed, and he does not have any cognitive skills that could be used to promote the parties’ policies coherently; therefore, his choice of tactic for persuasion of the electorate is fear. He invents an enemy and then piles on the fear. His invented enemies are, typically, people from other countries, people with different skin pigmentation, people who follow a different religious faith, people with disabilities, people with non-heterosexual sexualities, people who are unemployed, etc. Crosby instructs the politicians to pile on the fear, with no limit on how bigoted the language and how fraudulent the argument.
Crosby hates people and hates democracy Crosby makes a grand living from advising politicians how best to con the electorate. There is an abject lack of ethics, of morality and of soul in his profession and its execution. For him, the democratic process is merely an occasional obstacle and the people, the voters, are an audience to con, fool and defraud. Crosby’s strategy epitomises Tory “values.”
Airhead soulless PR guy David Cameron, the current prime minister of the UK, instructed his team of dutiful inhuman advisers to cobble together a politically charged “Christmas Message.” The full message is printed below (reference numbers inserted by myself), followed by line-by-line comment and a preçis of the intent of the message; the intent differs only slightly from the main political thrust of the hateful statements of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Cameron’s Christmas Message
“(1) If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it’s the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that. (2) Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh and Assad. (3) Christians from Africa to Asia will go to church on Christmas morning full of joy, but many in fear of persecution. (4) Throughout the United Kingdom, some will spend the festive period ill, homeless or alone. (5) We must pay tribute to the thousands of doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers who give up their Christmas to help the vulnerable – and to those who are spending this season even further from home. (6) Right now, our brave Armed Forces are doing their duty, around the world: in the skies of Iraq and Syria, targeting the terrorists that threaten those countries and our security at home; on the seas of the Mediterranean, saving those who attempt the perilous crossing to Europe; and on the ground, helping to bring stability to countries from Afghanistan to South Sudan. (7) It is because they face danger that we have peace. And that is what we mark today as we celebrate the birth of God’s only son, Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace. (8) As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope. (9) I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none. (10) So, as we come together with our loved ones, in safety and security, let’s think of those who cannot do the same. (11) Let’s give thanks to those who are helping the vulnerable at home and protecting our freedoms abroad. And let me wish everyone in Britain and around the world a very happy and peaceful Christmas.”
(1) True, not everyone has that: People made homeless by UK government policy; families split due to housing policy of UK government; families split due to border controls of UK government; people jailed in violation of their human rights in countries supported by UK. (2) There are thousands and thousands of families whose homes in Yemen have been destroyed by British weaponry sold to Saudi Arabia and UAE, whose air forces operate with direct assistance from British military personnel. (3) Does Cameron include the Christians in Gaza, West Bank and Israel being attacked by IDF? Did he mention the Christians in China to the president of China when the latter came to the UK to finalise the purchase of British state assets? (4) Yes, people made homeless by the bedroom tax and welfare sanctions that are targeted at people with disabilities and those with terminal illnesses. (5) The government continues to deliberately weaken the capabilities of the NHS and gives it away piece by piece to its hedge fund tax-dodging friends; it treats carers and the people they care for with absolute disdain. (6) I don’t notice the British air force bombing the oil transportation from ISIS to Turkey. Please do explain the word “stability” to the people of Afghanistan and of South Sudan. (7) The “Prince of Peace?” Don’t tell your arms dealer mates about him. (8) When did Britain become a “Christian country?” I didn’t get that memo. (9) So, I look forward to a member of the royal family marrying someone of the Muslim faith, or Jewish faith or Sikh. What? Are you saying that isn’t allowed? (10) So, as the “we” Cameron talks about is only those who do have safety and security, then his message is not for those who are homeless (due to government actions) or hungry (due to government actions) or denied access to the UK (due to government actions); Cameron’s “we” and “they” draws a clear line. (11) The people helping the vulnerable at home are doing so despite all the obstacles that the government puts in their way.
Intent of Cameron’s message
The purpose of Cameron’s message is to assist the invention and maintenance of a differentiation between an imaginary British christianity and an otherness. The message tries to emphasise a clear distinction between “we” – the British christian – and the other – non-christian in a far off land. The depiction of christians in foreign hostile countries who need the protection of the British war machine, and that same machine protecting Britain from foreign otherness invasion – all is standard imperialist claptrap straight out of nineteenth century propaganda.
Of course, Cameron couldn’t give a princess’s turd about the welfare of christians, or any other faiths, either in Britain or abroad. His motivation is the continuity of the welfare system for the arms industry and a desire to make sure that people in Britain look elsewhere for enemies rather than looking in Downing Street, Whitehall, Palace of Westminster or Buckingham Palace. That is, his purpose is similar to that of, say, Donald Trump in the USA. Republican party nominee Trump’s language and directness is clearer than Cameron’s, but both seek to distract the public by blaming all their respective countries’ ills on a foreign otherness. Trump’s greater and unpleasant bluntness could also be described as just more honest than Cameron about his intent.
CapX is the pro-capitalist think-tank that houses the Screaming Heads And Professional Trolls who have been rejected by other pro-capitalist think-tanks. (Analogously, there is an animalarium in Borth, Wales that houses zoo animals rejected by other zoos in the UK.) CapX is a drab celebration of dampening capitalism and exclusivity, written by contributors who have not mastered a good balance between quantity and quality.
In 2017 sarcastic troll Oliver Wiseman banged his head on his keypad several times and produced some nonsense about Labour’s then shadow chancellor John McDonnell. In Wiseman on McDonnell the “writer” pretended to compare the actions of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling during the Northern Rock Bank scam with actions that McDonnell might take in a similar but hypothetical scenario. Obviously, the intent of the article was to cast doubt on McDonnell’s competence and responsibility because Wiseman fears McDonnell might not genuflect at the altar of banking decadence and theft. Conversely, Wiseman praises Darling for stealing billions from the people of Britain to feed a reckless bank. It is a formulaic article that re-writes history, conflates “the country” with financial gangsters and reeks of fear.
In The teachers strike is the wrong move, for the wrong reason, at the wrong time Mark Lehain, ‘Head of Education’ at Centre For Policy Studies (CPS), said striking is “the wrong move because it’s divisive when we need everyone to be pulling together because the whole country is facing inflationary pain. Those with least are feeling it most – including many in the communities that schools serve.” The “inflationary pain” is applied by price-gougers, some of whom are donors to libertarian think-tanks like CapX and CPS. Lehain’s plea for “pulling together” accompanied by blaming teachers’ strike for exacerbating problems “in the communities that schools serve” was typical conservative blame-switching and division tactics. He stated his unambiguous encouragement of division: “Industrial action will split staffrooms across the country, pitch heads against teachers, teachers against support staff, and schools against their communities.”
Lehain doubled-, tripled and quadrupled-down on his attachment of blame to teachers. “Unions were amongst the loudest voices calling for closures and other Covid measures to be kept in place the longest, so they hold a lot of responsibility. One might have hoped that they’d be reluctant to hold children’s education to ransom again, but it seems to still be their go-to response.”
He followed his assault on the teachers with demands from media, public and pupils.
“I don’t think reasonably well-paid people demanding more off the backs of the less well-off and their kids will go down well once the media spotlight turns on them.” “It undermines the ability of teachers to command respect from their pupils. Can teachers credibly insist students do as they’re told when they’ve refused to do the things they’re paid to because of a dispute with the Government?”
Donors for CapX and CPS require low wages and poor working conditions and, thus, despise industrial action. Lehain knows who pays his salary.
Alys Denby pretended to write Gareth Southgate is a metaphor for the state of the nation – but not the one you thinkabout Gareth Southgate and the England men’s football team and how much she disapproved of their intelligence and humanity but mid-piece she switched to the standard conservative strategy of criticism of NHS with no reference whatsoever to its deliberate destruction by Tory government. “NHS consistently does poorly in international comparisons on the measure that really matters – keeping people alive. Civitas [another libertarian think-tank] has found we have among the lowest survival rates in the OECD for five common cancers. If this was a football tournament we’d barely make it past the group stage.” Civitas, CapX and CPS receive generous funding from privateer racketeer healthcare industry. She added “doctors are holding patients to ransom by going on strike.”
It’s not unusual for right-wing think-tanks to join in culture war battles. They declared the culture war and they supply politicians and columnists with ammunition and targets. Tom Jones observed in The culture wars are turning into the conservatives’ Vietnam that Tories were fighting wrongly but he didn’t note that the war is entirely a creation of libertarian imagination. He claimed “it is hard to think of a single [art-based] institution in Britain that has not pivoted towards progressive ideology of one kind or another. Many were formerly politically neutral, but have now been weaponised to advance a particular ‘liberal’ agenda’.” He lied. He invented. Always, art institutions are more likely to be progressive and challenging unless restricted or censored by government. Jones’ point is he wants adherence to conservative ideology. He said some conservatives “withdraw from public appointments” and cited the examples of Katherine Birbalsingh and Toby Young. Rightly, their bigotry, offensiveness and unpleasantness led to their departures. Good riddance.
Jones’ proposal, to ensure all public bodies including art institutions are in line with conservative policy and ideology, is to remove funding from those that aren’t. “Any future Conservative government that is truly interested in wresting control of the public sphere back from progressives is going to have to fight where it matters. That means challenging the political consensus that has allowed ‘artivism’ to prosper with government funds.” It isn’t “government funds,” it’s public money. Political control of arts and other cultural bodies is not compatible with democracy.
In Even with Corbyn cast out, Labour still has a long way to go on antisemitism Nicole Lampert said “I am not a hysterical person, but in the run up to [December 2019] general election I was frightened enough to have told my family that if Jeremy Corbyn became Prime Minister, I wasn’t sure whether Jews like us would be safe in our country. Jeremy Corbyn made antisemitism mainstream for the first time in a major UK political party.” She’s not an “hysterical person,” she’s a liar.
The examples above show that CapX’s style is not coherent analysis. It is agenda-driven bloggy opining bereft of factual accuracy, logic and sense.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks: UK think-tanks
A year ahead of Labour’s successful 1997 election, Progress was created as an internal pressure group with the objective of ensuring that a Labour government did not stray from a right-of-centre capitalist-friendly stance. War-happy Blair and laissez faire financial deregulator Brown did not need much persuasion from Progress. They and their merry breed of centrist Herberts were happy to be a continuation of Major’s banality and to pass the unprincipled baton of administration onto Cameron (and Clegg).
Progress retreated into the arena of in-house chat room until Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader. Then, an explosion of bile, rancour and peremptory abuse erupted from the terrified Progress mob, so scared are they of the possibility of a Labour government with a left-of-centre core. Alongside relentless attacks on Corbyn’s (and McDonnell’s) every word, gesture and decision, including those said and made many years ago, Progress repeats frequently the claim that a left-leaning Labour is less electable than a more centrist Labour, despite the fact that the latter Labour type lost the last two elections precisely because it was not an alternative to the Tories. As Corbyn’s popularity increases steadily, the members of progress have been reduced to whining about abuse and ridicule directed at them by the former’s supporters.
Several current and recent Labour MPs contribute to the Progress Online website, most notably
Gloria De Piero
Each of the above offers nothing more than a decayed potpourri of bitterness, spite, condescension and patronising advice to the new Labour leader and his supporters. Progress is defined by gracelessness of defeat.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
The Tax-Payers’ Alliance (TPA) is PR tool for corporate customers and high-earners that focuses on campaigning in the media for reduced taxation for them and for reductions in fiscal spending on vital public services. Complicit media and politicians, who share TPA’s objectives (though sometimes reluctant to admit so), are happy to allow TPA members to be cast, frequently, as ‘independent experts’ on issues related to tax and to public spending. To differentiate itself from other think-tanks that promote assaults on necessary public-spending and assist the elite minority of exploiters, the TPA pretends to be a defender of typical middle- and low-earner tax-payers, a pretense that is very transparent.
In a section on fiscal “debt” the TPA makes the following hilarious comment
“Public Sector Net Debt now stands at £1.3 trillion. That means the government has borrowed £1.3 trillion from the taxpayers. Over £20,500 is now owed to every single citizen in the UK.”
This “debt” that the government accrues is definitely not money borrowed from the people of Britain, or of any other country. Indeed, this so-called “debt” is an imagination of the banking and financial worlds. For the TPA to claim that this “debt” is owed to the people of Britain reveals both the TPA’s intrinsic dishonestly and its abject stupidity.
Case study: TPA reaction to tax-avoidance in Panama The recent leak of tax-avoidance details linked to Panama has featured voluminously in the media. Self-appointed ‘experts’ have had their respective agents working as assiduously as accountants to acquire a few minutes on a news channel or a cobbled-together incoherent article on a newspaper’s website. There has been much (often ill-informed) analysis of the mechanics of tax avoidance, its morality and its use by prominent politicians. For a think-tank that claims to represent tax-payers, the TPA’s media presence has been almost unnoticeable. One or two of its usual suspects have uttered platitudes here and there but it has been remarkably circumspect on this issue.
Eventually, a statement appeared: TPA Panama statement. After a cursory comment expressing disapproval of criminals hiding stolen money, the TPA explains that people misunderstand what tax havens are because “clearly, some just use the term [tax haven] pejoratively rather than to meaningfully categorise jurisdictions,” and that “the amount of tax avoidance that actually takes place is often hugely overstated.” In common with all con-tanks, the TPA invents a phrase in order to purposely misrepresent the topic being discussed: They are not “tax havens,” they are “low-tax jurisdictions.” One such fraudulent phrase is not enough for the TPA; they also use “international financial centres.” Quoted extensively throughout are James Hines who is a respected academic analyst of international corporate taxation, but Hines’ objective analysis is presented by the TPA as if it is supportive of tax-dodging. To add a comedic facet to its statement, the TPA also quotes Gordon Casey, a “Managing Director of a hedge fund consultancy based in the Cayman Islands.” That description is worth repeating in bold: Managing Director of a hedge fund consultancy based in the Cayman Islands! The statement concludes by asking the UK government to do absolutely nothing about the UK’s tax havens because “if the UK were to place, for example, Jersey under direct rule and subject it to the UK’s tax regime, its unique selling point would be lost and its economy destroyed.”
If anyone was unsure of the TPA’s real role then the aforesaid statement on the Panama leaks should clarify exactly where it stands: A cheerleader for the wealthy elite.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks: UK think-tanks
The Statement of Principles of Henry Jackson Society (HJS) elucidates, with blatant arrogance and aggression, a modern colonialist attitude that updates, but doesn’t refine, the violent European colonialism of the 19th century. Three of these principles combined (nos. 3, 6 and 7 on HSJ statement and reproduced below) make clear that the HJS is a PR lobbying group for violent military action against any state that does not conform to capitalist control.
[The HSJ] supports the maintenance of a strong military, by the United States, the countries of the European Union and other democratic powers, armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach, that can protect our homelands from strategic threats, forestall terrorist attacks, and prevent genocide or massive ethnic cleansing.
[The HSJ] believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate, and that the political or human rights pronouncements of any international or regional organisation which admits undemocratic states lack the legitimacy to which they would be entitled if all their members were democracies.
[The HSJ] gives two cheers for capitalism. There are limits to the market, which needs to serve the Democratic Community and should be reconciled to the environment.
The signatories to the Statement of Principles (HJS Signatories) include some of the most disreputable and most unpleasant Tory MPs: Damian Collins, Stephen Crabb, Michael Gove, Stephen Hammond, Robert Halfron, Greg Hands and Edward Vaizey; Labour signatories include Fabian Hamilton, Chris Bryant and Gisela Stuart; other signatories include right-wing journalist Stephen Pollard.
HJS is an extremist imperialist pressure group that promotes the complete hegemony of capitalist exploitation backed by military force. It executes the inter-connected tasks of aggressive attacks on any political viewpoint, activity or movement that does not stick rigidly to acceptance of capitalist control alongside a gleeful demand for greater and greater government funding of the military. Keeping the welfare system for the arms industry well-oiled is a key objective.
Its director Alan Mendoza enjoys spouting random incoherent mini-diatribes aimed at either the Chinese government or at Islam. His output is similar to Donald Trump’s with slightly better punctuation.
HJS publications reflect Mendoza’s choice of targets: Islam and the Chinese government, and there is plenty of promotion of the imaginary concept of “Global Britain.” In ‘The South China Sea: Why It Matters To Global Britain’ the authors said
“the Royal Navy [should be] bolstered to meet the growing challenge from China and other revisionist states, [and] also maintain a persistent, if not permanent, naval presence in the Indo-Pacific region, and Southeast Asia and the South China Sea in particular.”
The above is typical of the new colonialism of HJS with rancid xenophobia accompanied by encouragement of military posturing and violence.
Nafeez Ahmed revealed in Trumpocracy In The UK the duonanistic relationship between HJS and extreme-right USA think-tank Gatestone Institute and connections between white supremacist Steve Bannon and HJS.
Ahmed pointed to several examples of HJS policy or papers influencing or pre-determining Tory party policy. Right-wing think-tanks influence Tory policy routinely but, often, papers that describe policy, that is later the policy of the government, are written by Tory MPs who use the think-tanks as vehicles to express, or essay, ideas. Whether think-tank members influence Tory MPs or Tory MPs create or write for think-tanks, is, ultimately, exactly the same procedure.
Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard listed many direct connections between senior Tory MPs and HJS in HJS and Tory party including payments by HJS to the MPs and £83,452.32 paid to HJS by the Home Office in four payments during 2015-17 to produce a report on UK connections to “Islamist terrorism.”
The Freedom Association (TFA) is a group of hard-right activists that exists to misrepresent and hide the intentions of wealth terrorists. Peopled by a PR team for financial gangsters, TFA lies relentlessly about the intent of its employers.
TFA’s contributors write and speak at the intellectual level of Fox News. There is no attempt at serious analysis; articles and speeches are dominated by constant ham-fisted distractions and misdirections. The strategy of dishonest communication is deliberate.
TFA council includes the usual suspects in the Tory hard-right including MPs Philip Davies, Philip Hollobone, Gerald Howarth, Andrew Rosindell, Christopher Chope and ubiquitous right-wing think-tank rodent MEP Daniel Hannan, alongside creepy UKIP weirdo Roger Helmer, former Cameron advisor Alex Deane and editor of ConHome Mark Wallace. The TFA faces below may appear in the media.
Examples of TFA substance and style A regular contributor to TFA and “Hon. Chaplain of The Freedom Association,” Peter Mullen, is a petulant yob whose style is reminiscent of the ranting raving far-right ‘pastors’ that pop up on the aforesaid Fox News. In Mullen on Owen Joneshe re-stated libellous comments about Jeremy Corbyn allegedly working for foreign governments and attacked Jones for choosing to defend Corbyn: “Owen Jones is the psychotic in question. He has written an article in The Guardian which qualifies him for immediate transportation to the nuthouse.” Mullen indulged in sectarian incitement in an article that sought to show that Christianity is better than Islam:Mullen on the hijab.
Dr. Timothy Tomkinson displayed an appalling attitude to his professional in Tomkinson on NHS. He started by observing that “walking through the Emergency Department on an average day, it is clear that the system is not coping,” but then he purposefully ignored the deliberate destruction of the NHS by the Tories, claimed there had been extra funding, ignored the siphoning of money into hands of criminal privateers and concluded that “considering the dire state the NHS is currently in, we must ask ourselves what it will take for us to have a real debate about the NHS and how it is funded.” That is, Tomkinson expressed the con trick that saw the effect of the theft and destruction by the Tories but choose to consequently conclude that public funding doesn’t work. He is a traitor to his profession. Tomkinson’s self-induced stupidity sparkled inAnti-Fascists are scary, a hilarious fearfest about a few anarchists in balaclavas. His motivation was to object to all protests and fightbacks against the far-right.
TFA’s support for Brexit is driven by a desire for the removal of any law or regulation that limits violent exploitation including the removal of workers’ rights and health and safety regulations. Matt Ridley wrote in support of international companies being able to search the world for the cheapest workforce and for the least regulations for the workplace, regulations that would normally protect workers’ wages and their working conditions. In cheap trainers for all Ridley presented the said desire for unfettered exploitation via a bizarre dishonest scenario wherein he pretended to be concerned about the cost of trainers. “Free trade says to the poorest: we will enable you to get access to the cheapest and best products and services from wherever in the world they come.” Ridley’s (false) argument failed to mention that manufacturing elsewhere in the world might mean less manufacturing in the UK and it sought to encourage the poorest in Britain to be in favour of exploitation elsewhere.
University lecturers’ industrial action, a necessary response to pension theft, was mocked by Andrew Allison inAllison Lies. His only justification for the pension theft was that private companies routinely steal private pensions so Allison stated that public employees should be equally badly treated. The stance and style of this article is an example of several facets of TFA’s communication: Dishonesty, misdirection, mock drama, and division of the workforce to distract from the cause of the problem.
A few (recent) examples of TFA articles above shows that the think-tank resides in a similar cesspit to, and no doubt inspired by, US anti-thinkers like Fox News, Ayn Rand, the Tea Party and the Breitbart mob. Its objective is to promote a vicious extreme exploitative ultra-conservative vision and to do so as dishonestly and as anti-intellectually as possible.
You’ve gotta be a record breaker TFA was founded (as National Association for Freedom) by one of the McWhirter twins, Norris, as a response to the assassination of the other twin, Ross, by the IRA; Ross McWhirter had very extreme anti-Irish views. The McWhirter twins had achieved fame as co-presenters on the popular Record Breakers TV show alongside Roy Castle and they edited Guinness Book Of Records.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks
Founded by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) promotes the giveaway of vital public services to the private sector. Funded and peopled by some of the most iniquitous vagabonds in the corporate world, CPS relentlessly demands more and more control of basic necessary services to be handed to incompetent exploitative capitalist gangsters. CPS wants any public service, anything that is needed,to be given away; the public are then fleeced by the recipients of this gift. The word “free” in the declaration means the freedom of the few to exploit the many.
Below are a few examples of what CPS promotes.
CPS Example: Cost Of Living In the introductory paragraphs of his report Cutting the Cost of Living published in February 2023 Karl Williams claimed “the cost of living is rightly the Government’s number one priority” and he blamed “extreme volatility in global energy markets, Putin’s scorched earth campaign in Ukraine and Covid lockdowns in China’s manufacturing megacities.” Such voluminous dishonesty is an intrinsic trait of CPS methodology. The reality is 1) the financial effect of Russian invasion of Ukraine on UK consists only of further handover of public money to arms industry by UK government, 2) China’s lockdowns have no effect on prices of necessities in UK, 3) global energy costs have dropped hugely over the last year, and 4) the Tory government couldn’t give a damn about how much food, fuel and rent costs have risen.
Every action he suggested was removal of regulations and/or reduction in costs for businesses, including
“plans for a private register of landlords and forced improvements should be a light-touch, low-cost affair” to cut costs for landlords
tax breaks for private businesses that install “insulation and heat pumps” in homes
“planning administration” for home extensions reduced
“relaxation of some of the stringent rules around childcare” to “bring costs down considerably” and a reduction in “qualifications” needed to be a professional childcarer and “we should also seek to rebuild the informal childcare sector, and make it far easier for people to look after small groups of children informally“
“restrictive planning laws” removed to allow supermarkets to be much bigger
“MOTs could be made less frequent for newer vehicles. We could streamline what a typical MOT checks for, so that MOTs can be completed more quickly and less expensively”
It was an insipid list of minor changes that are a fart in the gale of unaffordable vital necessities of life: Food, fuel and housing. Williams had no intention of offering real suggestions. He was just distracting with the bonus of making homes, vehicles and childcare less safe.
Newspapers, broadcasters and politicians who repeat and regurgitate reports like this are also purposefully distracting the public from addressing the cost of living crisis properly.
Williams did not include any action to stop and reverse price-gouging by fuel suppliers, food suppliers and landlords because exploiters are the donors of CPS.
CPS Example: Social Care Disgraced former Tory minister Damien Green published Fixing The Care Crisis in April 2019. Tory policy for (the lack of) funding for social care has killed people in need of care and has caused financial difficulties for professional carers.
Green said a care system should be based on the ability to pay which he phrased as “wanting” a better service. “The state would provide a Universal Care Entitlement (UCE), which could then be topped up by private support for those who want it via a Care Supplement.”
To fund UCE, Green proposed making the poorest pay for it by “taxing the winter fuel allowance” and enforcing “a 1% National Insurance surcharge on those over 50.”
His two-tier afford-or-die plan included the ability “to purchase a Care Supplement (CS) – something similar to an annuity or insurance policy – which ensures that money for more expensive care is available if needed.” Green suggested this could be afforded by “savings or released equity on a house.” So, the least wealthy, with little savings or no such equity, would be left without extra care “if needed” and everyone else will lose their home and savings if they don’t want to die.
“Payment [for CS] is voluntary – people will have a choice about whether to pay, rather than seeing their tax bills inexorably rise.” Some people will have that “choice.” For people with a “choice” it will be receive care or keep home and savings. Green said the alternative option was tax-rises for middle-income earners (rather than for the wealthiest).
Green compared his ideas to the current pension system.
“My proposal is that the Government adopts the state pension as the explicit model for the social care system. Everyone is given a reasonable state pension, but those who want something more attractive are encouraged and incentivised to provide for themselves. It is fair, it is politically attractive and widely supported – and it is a model we need to move across into social care.”
The fact that Green claimed the current British pension is “reasonable” was very worrying for those in need of social care if that is his definition of “reasonable.”
“Just as the state pension aims to keep all pensioners out of poverty while ensuring that those who provide for themselves are not penalised, so UCE would provide a good level of care if and when needed, without necessarily covering the ‘bells and whistles’.”
As the number of homeless pensioners demonstrates, the British pension does not “keep all pensioners out of poverty.” Apparently, according to Green, care needed for people to live is “bells and whistles.” His “bells” and his “whistles” included “larger rooms, better food, more trips, additional entertainment and so on.”
Without blinking Green noted that “social care has actually become 20% less productive over the last 20 years, meaning that taxpayers are putting in more money for a worse service” but he failed to note that was because of Tory privatisation whereby privateer vultures siphoned off funding and left little for actual care. He did admit that council funding for social care had dropped since 2010 but “the Government’s fiscal restraint from 2010 was necessary and right.”
He was quick to dismiss a socialist solution.
“Some will argue that the way to solve this problem is simply to nationalise the care homes, and have all services provided by the state. But since this would both be ruinously expensive, and antithetical to freedom of choice, I will rule that option out.”
By “ruinously expensive” Green meant the privateer vultures, for whom the Tory party works, would no longer get free money if social care was nationalised. “Freedom of choice,” a popular phrase used by the charlatans at CPS, meant freedom of choice for the wealthiest to not pay more tax to fund vital public services for less wealthy.
Green mocked a socialist perspective on funding.
“The easiest solution politically is to say that everything must be free at the point of use, and that the funding to pay for this can come from ‘the rich’ (defined by everyone as someone richer than them).”
As he is aware, what a socialist would suggest is that privateer vultures should not make money out of care, via “ownership” of residential homes or as “agencies” supplying care professionals, and tax revenue should be raised by disenabling tax avoidance.
Green’s and CPS’s policy for social care is typical of free-market libertarian anti-society philosophy toward vital public services: Fleece middle-income people for all their savings and leave the poorest without vital help while ensuring the wealthiest don’t have any extra tax to pay and the privateer vultures can continue to receive free money for their non-contributions to the service. It is precisely the model that CPS wants for the entirety of the NHS.
CPS Example: NHS Maurice Saatchi wrote a paper in February 2017 to support his suggestion for a “royal commission” to examine the future of the NHS. In Saatchi’s Royal Commission he pretended to present synopses of varied analyses of the future of the NHS; he concluded, conveniently, that a variety of seemingly incompatible viewpoints requires a thorough “independent” study. But, Saatchi’s introductory summary (page 5) omitted any mention whatsoever of the Tories’ wilful underfunding and understaffing of the NHS. Throughout the essay he erased completelythe government’s strategy of deliberate neglect, a strategy created specifically to allow opponents of the NHS to claim that it is failing. This rendered the entire essay an exercise of intentional misdirection. Saatchi blandly described as “pessimists” the confidence tricksters who observe the destruction of the NHS and subsequently claim it is failing as a concept, and he said the “optimists” objected to “meddling politicians,” a ridiculously underplayed phrase for the annihilating Tories.
The obvious intent of Saatchi’s proposal for a royal commission was to obscure the reality of a relentless assault on the entire structure and functionality of the national health service by the Tories and to promote the knowingly false view that the NHS’s problems are independent of this assault. Saatchi is as committed to the end of the NHS as are any of Jeremy Hunt’s paymasters in the USA. A page on the CPS site that points to Saatchi’s essay emphasises the con: “As the country emerges from another winter NHS crisis – and with no agreement over the depth, the causes, or the possible solutions to that crisis” – CPS pointer to Saatchi essay.
CPS Example: Railways In an essay that read like an extended soliloquy from Fast Show character Chris Jackson, Rail Competitionby Tony Lodge, Daniel Mahoney and Tim Knox drowned in a torrent of hilarious anti-facts and statements of the exact opposite of what is true.
The de-nationalisation of the railways was, as always is with the Tories, just a con to divert tax-payers’ money into the hands of invented offshore scam businesses with a consequential rapid decline in quality, quantity and safety of rail services. However, in CPS opposite-world, “UK rail passengers are suffering from militant Trade Union action” and “a deeper underlying problem is the near absence of “open access” on track competition, where two operators run services in competition over similar routes.” As the authors are aware, most of the recent strikes by rail unions were directly related to accurate concern about the safety of passengers and staff in the face of recklessness by train “operators.” Different “operators” on similar routes does not reduce ticket prices and nor does it improve quality; what is required for any PUBLIC service is the opposite of two gangs trying to outdo each other in corner-cutting and exploitation. “Government should publicly support competition on UK rail and show its commitment by easing the path for those seeking to deliver competition against franchise holders” declared the authors but, of course, they didn’t mean “competition” with, for example, the useless Southern Rail, they meant “competition” against the remaining publicly owned franchises. The authors object to public transport as a service for the public; they see only opportunities for invented companies to rake in some tax payers’ money while safety, quality and workers’ rights are all set aside.
CPS Example: Tax-dodging Peak CPS was attained by Rachel Kelly in Don’t Stop The Tax-Dodging. Earlier this year (April 2017) the Tory government pretended to start to tackle multi billion pound tax-dodging by implementing proposals of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These proposals were mainly applicable to the property development industry and its associated borrowing. Of course, neither the OECD nor the Tory government has any interest in eradicating a feature (tax avoidance) of large corporations’ strategies in Britain and elsewhere. But, even the merest whiff of a scent that two centuries of extreme wealth terrorism could be restrained a little was sufficiently alarming to send the culprits and their PR teams, like CPS, into action.
The tax-dodging industry succeeds by networks and layers of fake companies (shell companies), the acquisition of fake debt to fraudulently offset against profits and the misregistering of businesses in (mainly British) tax havens. The difficulty for the aforesaid PR con artists like Kelly is how to defend the indefensible. How can continuous theft from the majority by a small minority be justified using only logic, reasoned argument and deductive analysis? The answer is to use gobbledygook and sleight of hand verbosity.
In her article, written prior to the introduction of the OECD proposals, Kelly stated that
“these restrictions [OECD proposals] will inadvertently impose significant burdens on those industry sectors which have high borrowing ratio, particularly real estate and infrastructure investment.”
“High borrowing ratio?” It’s odd how businesses with huge profits also have huge debts; the taxable income is conveniently reduced to near zero by balancing profits against such “debts.”
“These changes [OECD proposals] would represent a huge shift in traditional tax principles in the UK. Until now, it was widely accepted that the genuine expenses of a businesses should be deductible for tax purposes. This allows a business to forecast approximately how much tax it will pay on its activities,” explained Kelly.
“Traditional tax principles” and “genuine expenses” are a pair of meaningless distraction-phrases, and businesses can forecast how much tax they will pay because the rate of corporation tax on profits is a known (too low) figure.
“Implementing these restrictions would risk serious damage to UK competitiveness and investment at a delicate time for the economy. It would also have a disproportionate effect on riskier development.”
“Restrictions?” Restrictions on exploitation and theft? “UK competitiveness?” What exactly is meant by “UK” here? – the businesses that Kelly is paid to cheer for have no interest in the British people’s livelihoods and welfare. For the exploiters, the excuse of a “delicate” economy is always used. Any necessary development (particularly property development) should never need to be described as “risky.”
“The new rules will add considerable uncertainty for businesses.”
A facet of private business is uncertainty. (To avoid this uncertainty, choose communism.) Kelly’s plaintive cry echoed the wail of the reckless chancers and gamblers who, if they win, pocket the tax-free profits and, if they lose, send the bill to the taxpayer.
Despicable Donors As the table on page 6 of a Transparify report into think-tank donor transparency shows, CPS keeps its financial backers secret. Alongside three other cheerleaders for public services destruction, Adam Smith Institute, Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange, CPS doesn’t want the public, who are the target of its ideology, to know which tax-dodging organised international thieves and fraudsters are employing PR machines like the CPS.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks: UK think-tanks
“As an educational charity our mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which deliver better public services, a stronger society and a more dynamic economy.”
A cumbersome leviathan, Policy Exchange is in a symbiotic duonanistic partnership with almost all of the government departments including ministers and senior civil servants. Politicians and civil servants contribute to its publications and its output is used by them as back-up to their views and proposals. It exists simultaneously as an enormous vessel of all the known right-of-centre viewpoints on everything while being used, as is always the case with these right-wing con-tanks, as a pretend independent voice. “Educational charity” is a bizarre and offensively dishonest description.
It is very common for politicians to deliver a speech with Policy Exchange logos behind them like a footballer doing a post-match interview. Such speeches need not have any connection with any contribution said politician is making to Policy Exchange; it is just free advertising for the think-tank.
On itsabout page Policy Exchange named its three greatest ideas that became government policy as
Directly elected police commissioners
The pupil premium
Elected Police Commissioners are pointless, an intrusion into policing and allowed stupid mavericks to gain power; the public rejected them via very low election turnout. The pupil premium was erroneously presented as “extra” funding for schools but its existence merely highlighted the severe cuts that have been made to education by the Tories. Free schools are a scam to transfer public money into the hands of grubby chancers while the education of the children at the schools has declined rapidly. All three schemes are very stupid and very deceptive. The fact that Policy Exchange described them as its most noteworthy achievements revealed how useless and how dishonest the think-tank is.
Racism One of the most frequent contributors to Policy Exchange literature is David Goodhart, the self-styled ‘Head of Policy Exchange’s Demography, Immigration, and Integration Unit.’ He summarised his perspective on racism in White self-interest:
“The challenge here is to distinguish between white racism and white identity politics. The latter may be clannish and insular, but it is not the same as irrational hatred, fear or contempt for another group — the normal definition of racism.”
Despicable Donors As the table on page 6 of a Transparify report into think-tank donor transparency shows, Policy Exchange keeps its financial backers secret. Alongside three other cheerleaders for public services destruction, Adam Smith Institute, Institute of Economic Affairs and Centre For Policy Studies, Policy Exchange doesn’t want the public, who are the target of its ideology, to know which tax-dodging organised international thieves and fraudsters are employing PR machines like Policy Exchange.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks