Election 2017: Today is a nadir for the BBC

This morning Jeremy Corbyn was “interviewed” by Telegraph’s professional troll Emma Barnett on the BBC radio show ‘Woman’s Hour.’  During the “interview” Mr. Corbyn was asked for exact financial figures related to Labour’s plans for childcare and associated costs.  He had not memorised the figures, understandably.  The required data was available on an iPad that wasn’t immediately to hand.  Rather than allow Mr.Corbyn to find and then relay the carefully costed figures – unlike the wholly uncosted Tory manifesto, Barnett starting shouting repeatedly as if the immediate unavailability of said figures was a heinous act.  (Barnett had the same figures in front of her on the desk but she refused to state that fact.)

Barnett’s behaviour is the typical behaviour of a far-right professional troll most often seen on fake news TV channel Fox News.  The objective is not to challenge the interviewee on the subject under discussion, the objective is a pre-rehearsed pantomime designed to create a false impression of the competence of the person being interviewed.  Barnett’s strategy is extremely biased, unprofessional, dishonest, fraudulent and unethical.  It has no purpose other than an attempt to con the listeners to the radio show.

As a hack employed by multi-million pound tax-dodgers the Barclay Brothers, who are happy to employ convicted criminal Andy Coulson as a PR adviser, Barnett is merely following orders.  She is a gimp.  What is of much greater interest and needs to be attacked angrily, is the collaboration of the BBC.

‘Woman’s Hour,’ or, to give it its full title, ‘White Middle-Class Woman’s Hour,’ was instructed by senior BBC managers to give a platform to Barnett with the intent of using the result as a lead item on BBC news on radio and TV for the rest of the day.  The BBC created a set-up with the aforethought malicious intent of defaming Mr. Corbyn’s competence.  Barnett, of course, was happy to take part.

Jeremy Corbyn’s slight lack of preparedness is not a news item but BBC are promoting it as their lead item.  No-one at the BBC can claim with a straight face that this behaviour is not deliberate bias.  Tories have made huge mistakes when discussing figures with the media recently and BBC News has chosen not to give such mistakes much coverage at all.  The Tory manifesto is entirely uncosted but this has been allowed to pass.

James Harding

The influence of former Murdoch hack James Harding on BBC News has been very destructive.  During this election campaign his effect is all over the BBC.  It can be understood that the BBC is fearful of government interference and, thus, feels the need to cow-tow to Tory demands sometimes, but the last few weeks have descended into farce.

Thankfully, the British public see through the shenanigans.

Election 2017: Today is a nadir for the BBC

Election 2017: A few lies from the Tory manifesto

The Tories have very little to say in Tory Manifesto 2017.  The whimsical decision to ignore the Fixed Term Parliament Act and call an election was, the Tories claim, driven by the need for a larger parliamentary majority to assist with Brexit negotiations.  That claim is a lie: The EU’s negotiators couldn’t care less how large or small the Tories’ majority is. 

The manifesto’s opening lines try to set the dishonest tone that the event of Brexit is the cause of the Tories’ plans in their manifesto.  Simultaneously, it uses both the threat of Brexit as a pre-excuse for further fleecing of the British public juxtaposed with the imaginary utopia that awaits post-Brexit as an aim worth suffering for.  A carrot and stick, where the carrot might not exist and the stick is aimed at the old, the ill, the infirm, the disabled and the poor.

The forward restates the invented narrative that Brexit creates urgency and necessity for the Tories’ objectives.  “This election is the most important this country has faced in my lifetime” claims the author.  “If we fail, the consequences for Britain and for the economic security of ordinary, working people across this country will be significant. If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great.”  That is, the threat of Brexit and the utopian success of Brexit presented in one sentence.  “Britain needs a strong and stable government to get the best deal for our country” opines the forward but, as stated above, the EU isn’t interested in the size of the Tory majority and the Tories’ performance so far in Brexit negotiations has been comically and Trump-like inept.  

The lie that infests the manifesto is that Brexit requires the Tories to do what they have planned whereas the truth is that the Tories are using the excuse of Brexit as an all purpose false motivation and justification for continuing attacks on the lives of British people.

The bulk of the manifesto is a deluge of waffle.  Vacuous platitudes accompany uncommitted vague intent speckled with downright lies.  It reads as part cod-sermon, part marketing confidence trickstering.  Lines like “rather than pursue an agenda based on a supposed centre ground defined and established by elites in Westminster, we will govern in the interests of the mainstream of the British public” and “we will
run public services in accordance with their values as important local and national
institutions” tumble after one another meaninglessly and acutely dishonestly.  “Our starting point is that we should take decisions on the basis of what works” is a particularly malodorous piece of sound bite tripe and is as much use as a jelly hammer hammering a nail made of blancmange.

The waffling seems endless.  It descends into a macabre art form, a word salad with unknown ingredients and a bland dry aftertaste.  But, within this deluge are many blatant unashamed lies.  

Below, I extract a few of the lies in the manifesto and add retorts to each lie.  


All lies from the manifesto – in italics – are direct quotes.

We will not only guarantee but enhance workers’ rights and protections.”  

The Tories have systematically removed workers’ rights including rights to effective industrial action and access to industrial tribunals.  The Tories’ intent is to severely limit, or render useless, any workers’ rights, currently enabled by membership of the EU, when Britain leaves.

We are going to need positive, active government that will deal with increased demand for social care, fund and improve our National Health Service.”  

We are going to need such action and it is precisely what we won’t get from the Tories who continue to remove social care and who continue to destroy the NHS.

We also need government to create the right regulatory frameworks that will protect our security and personal privacy.”  

The Tories’ Investigatory Powers Act allows secret unregulated warrantless snooping of people’s internet use.

The biggest and most blatant lie is the entire section headed ‘Our Principles.’  The Conservative Party was created to feed the unearned wealth of the elite at the expense of everyone else.  This remains its single objective.  The only change since the party’s creation is that, today, most of the lucky beneficiaries of the wealth redistribution are fake businesses, financial gangsters and offshore tax-dodgers rather than feudal landowners, though the latter do still benefit.  The Tory Party is a front and an enabler for national and international theft, extortion and fraud.  We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality.” No.  Not only do the Tories not care about such problems but they also use them as tools of political manipulation.  Not one word of this section describes the Tories.  

In ‘The Foundations Of A Strong Economy’ the huge increase in fiscal debt incurred during seven years of Tory rule is whitewashed with “the independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that the national debt is finally about to start falling.” Seven years of abject incompetence and mismanagement by Osborne and Hammond is not acknowledged.

Capitalism and free markets remain the best way to deliver prosperity and economic security, lifting millions of people out of poverty around the world.”  

This is demonstrably an inversion of the truth.  

It was a Conservative government that introduced the National Living Wage and as a result, people across the United Kingdom now receive a minimum of £7.50 an hour.”  

No, the Tories rebranded the ‘minimum wage’, that they did not introduce, as the ‘living wage,’ which it clearly isn’t.  The minimum wage is wholly insufficient and is also ignored by many employers who face no sanction.

In the modern economy many people choose jobs like driving, delivering and coding, that are highly flexible and can be mixed with other employment.  These workers are officially classed as self-employed.”  

No, people do not choose insecure low-paid zero-hours jobs.  These workers are dishonestly classed as self-employed by crooked employers, many of whom donate to the Tory Party.

In the section ‘Stopping Tax Evasion’ the manifesto states that “we have taken vigorous action against tax avoidance.”  The political party that has relentlessly aided and abetted the avoidance of billions of tax by the wealthiest, including many who have been directly assisted by prime minister’s husband Phillip May, claims it has tried to stop tax avoidance.  Ah, but the Tories’ trick here is the usual deliberate mixing-up of tax avoidance and tax evasion.  They praise themselves for “closing the tax gap –
the difference between the amount of tax due and the amount collected – to one of the
lowest in the world,” which is a claim about tax evasion, not tax avoidance.  Tax avoidance is so easy under a Tory government that it is also easy to stop tax evasion because the wealthiest don’t need to evade – break the law – because the law allows them to avoid.  One of the key aims of any Tory government is to enable the wealthiest to avoid tax at the expense of everyone else.

Our ambition is that the UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for
households and businesses.”  

Tories gave away gas and electric supply to financial gangsters who fleece the British public.  It is a scam and a direct consequence of Tory ideology.

We will therefore develop the shale industry in Britain. We will only be able to do so if
we maintain public confidence in the process, if we uphold our rigorous environmental protections, and if we ensure the proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy are shared with the communities affected.”  

Rigorous?  The Tories have bypassed the law to stop councils from addressing environmental concerns.  The only people who will get rich from the shale industry are the usual mob of dodgy offshore financial gangsters.

We are working through one of the largest-ever investment programmes in our roads
and railways, putting some £40 billion into transport improvements across the United
Kingdom over the rest of this decade.”  

The Tories are transferring tens of billions of tax-payers money into the grubby hands of the developers and constructors of HS2, a wholly unnecessary and pointless railway.

We will focus on creating extra capacity on the railways, which will ease overcrowding, bring new lines and stations, and improve existing routes.”  

Tory privatisation of the railways is the cause of the inept and expensive rail service.  The Tory government ignored successful publicly owned railway franchises and forced them back into exploitative privatisation.  Similar to gas and electric (and water supply) the Tories view public services as just a means to enhance the unearned income of privateer vultures.

Without business and enterprise, there would be no … public services.”  

Can anyone spot the problem with that statement?  

We want to see universities make their full contribution to their local community and economy, sponsoring local schools and being creative about how they can open up opportunities for local people, especially those from ordinary working backgrounds.”  

The Tories, with the assistance of their Liberal Democrat lackeys, made it near impossible for students from low-income backgrounds to attend university without incurring tens of thousands of pounds of debt.

We will continue our strong support for the arts.”

Huge cuts in central government support for councils has caused the closure of many libraries and museums.

We will continue to take action to improve animal welfare.”

The prime minister stated recently that she is a fan of dogs ripping apart foxes for the entertainment of posh people on horseback.

We want to ensure our departure [from the EU] is smooth and orderly.”

The Tories have behaved childishly and stupidly so far in all contact with EU negotiators.

In England, we have given considerable powers to city mayors and combined authorities, while local councils now have greater control of the taxes they collect.”

Yes, Tories are always keen to introduce unnecessary extra layers of administration that bypass localised democracy.  Local councils do not have greater control of their finances; they have had their funding cut leading to severe local cuts, except for Tory councils.

This Conservative government has devolved more power to English local authorities,
closer to local people, than any previous government in over a century.”

The Tories have removed central government funding for local councils forcing councils to make severe cutbacks in necessary services, except for Tory councils.

Local enterprise partnerships are being empowered to improve local growth and public services.”

Unelected quangos packed full of corporate vultures are replacing democratically elected local government.

We have explained our approach in the White Paper on the United Kingdom’s Exit from, and a new relationship with, the European Union, during the passage of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act, in the prime minister’s letter to the president of the European Council invoking Article 50, and in the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.”

No, the Tories have not explained anything about their plans for Brexit.  It is made up on the hoof, much to the amusement of the EU negotiators.

We believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside our withdrawal.”

The EU has already stated that this will not happen.

We shall lead the world in the hard work to end extreme child poverty.”

Seven years of Tory government has caused huge increases in child poverty.

We will continue to promote democracy, the rule of law, property entitlements, a free and open media, and accountable institutions in countries and societies across the world..”  

The prime minister visited Turkey a few weeks ago to assist with an arms deal; President Erdogan is eroding democracy and jailing judges, opposition politicians, teachers and journalists.  

We will place the BBC World Service and the British Council on a secure footing.”  

The Tory government removed dedicated funding for the BBC World Service leading to cuts in quality.

We will ensure Britain remains a place of sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers.”  

It is astonishing that the Tories make that statement.  The prime minster, when home secretary, was responsible for the disgusting ‘Go Home’ vans that drove around racially mixed areas of London.

We will make sure our councils get the help they need to deal with people as they
arrive, and establish schemes to help individuals, charities, faith groups, churches and
businesses to provide housing and other support for refugees.”  

The Tories have used disreputable incompetent G4S to manage immigrants’ housing.

We will improve the co-ordination of government services to veterans, including housing, employment and mental health services.”  

Thousands of injured ex-servicemen and women have been made destitute and homeless due to vicious cuts in welfare provision enacted by the Tories.

Collective faith in our democratic institutions and our justice system has declined in the past two decades.”  

The Tory government challenged a High Court decision that there should be a debate on Brexit in parliament.  The Home Secretary refused to criticise far-right newspapers for their description of the High Court judges as “enemies of the people.”

It is the purpose of this Conservative Party to re-establish faith in our democratic and legal institutions.”  

The Tories are steadily removing access to justice via restrictions on legal aid and by the imposition of court costs for a defendant even if found innocent.

We will review the honours system to make sure it commands public confidence, rewards genuine public service and that recipients uphold the integrity of the honours bestowed.”

The Tories knighted their odious and dishonest election campaign manager Lynton Crosby.

To ensure that the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families over the last twenty years is not repeated, we will introduce an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster and support them at public inquests.”  

The Tories have never supported the Hillsborough families.

We will strengthen Britain’s response to white collar crime by incorporating the Serious Fraud Office into the National Crime Agency, improving intelligence sharing and bolstering the investigation of serious fraud, money laundering and financial crime.”

The Serous Fraud Office has been consistently undermined and obstructed in its pursuit of corporate wrongdoing by arrangements between such wrongdoers and the Tory government.

We will reform the entry requirements, training, management and career paths of prison officers.”

At many prisons experienced well-trained prison officers have been replaced by untrained low-paid staff employed by fake security companies such as G4S.

“We have done much in recent years to break down longstanding divisions in our country.”

The Tories have not done that apart from increasing the percentage of the population who are suffering.

We must redouble our efforts to ensure that everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, can have a world-class education.”  

Via removal of grants and imposition of tuition fees the Tories have made it very difficult for someone from a low-income background to attend university or to do ‘A’ levels full-time.

Thanks to our school reforms – such as the establishment of free schools and academies, and changes to ensure a rigorous curriculum – there are more good and outstanding schools today than ever before.”

Class sizes have increased to unmanageable levels, drastic cuts to school budgets have caused cancellation of some courses; meanwhile dodgy characters who “own” academies and free schools are raking in it for themselves in a racket.

We appreciate that it is hard for schools receiving a higher level of funding to make cuts in order to pay for increases elsewhere, so while we will make funding fairer over the course of the parliament, we will make sure that no school has its budget cut as a result of the new formula.”  

The recent redistribution of school funding has caused serious budget holes and the cancellation of courses.

We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022, representing more than a real terms increase for every year of the parliament.”  

How much of that will be swallowed by the gaping mouths of disreputable “free schools” and “academies?”

We will ensure that teaching assistants can become qualified teachers and healthcare assistants can become nurses via a degree apprenticeship route, in addition to other routes.”

An easy translation is that two jobs that require years of training will be reduced in quality.

We will build on the proud Conservative record in supporting those with disabilities,
including the landmark Disability Discrimination Act of 1995.”

People with disabilities are being made homeless, destitute and are dying because of benefit sanctions and ‘fit for work’ tests, while the Tories laugh in their faces.

We will continue to ensure a sustainable welfare system, with help targeted at
those who need it most.”

Bedroom tax, benefit caps including a rape clause for a third child, ‘fit-for-work’ tests, removal of care funding, removal of cars for disabled people and housing benefit removal have caused destitution, debt, homelessness and death.

We will legislate to give unemployed disabled claimants or those with a health condition personalised and tailored employment support.”

Translation:  Even if you are severely disabled or about to die from a terminal illness, you will still have to find a job.

And we will take action to support victims of domestic violence to leave abusive partners, reviewing the funding for refuges and ensuring that victims who have lifetime tenancies and flee violence are able to secure a new lifetime tenancy automatically.”

Severe central government funding has caused many refuges to be closed by councils.

We will continue to combat homelessness and rough sleeping including through
full implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act.”

Rough sleeping and homelessness continue to rise steeply as a direct result of vicious cuts to welfare, low wages and unavailability of housing, all of which are consequences of Tory policy.

We have capped the cost of credit for expensive payday lenders.”

Such ‘lenders,’ or loan sharks, prey on those most in need, are virtually unregulated and most are donors to the Tory party.  The so-called ‘cap’ is a piss in the ocean.

We will review rail ticketing, removing complexity and perverse pricing, and introduce a passenger ombudsman to stand up for the interests of rail users suffering a poor deal.”

Private rail operators exist to simultaneously exploit passengers and to exploit tax-payers, the latter via government hand-outs, while the ‘owners’ rake in the unearned ‘profits.  It was designed as a scam and the Tories fully support it.

The next Conservative government will continue the difficult but necessary work of
restoring our public finances while still ensuring that we are investing for the future.”

Economically, the last seven years of Tory government has been a disaster,but they continue to lie about it.

No-one will have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care.”

In their lifetime.’  That s a very important caveat.

The Conservative Party believes in the founding principles of the NHS.”

Before its creation and ever since its creation, Tories have been wholly opposed to the NHS.  The last two Health Secretaries, Langsley and Hunt, are employees of private healthcare vultures and are intent on destroying the NHS.

Second, that care should be based on clinical need, not the ability to pay.”

The NHS is paid for via taxation.

The next Conservative government will hold fast to these principles by providing the NHS with the resources it needs and holding it accountable for delivering exceptional care to patients wherever and whenever they need it.”

That s a blatant statement of exactly the opposite of what the Tories intend to do, what they are doing and what they have been doing for the last seven years.

We will increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8 billion in real terms over the
next five years.”

In an interview on TV, Damian Green admitted that this statement is a blatant lie; the £8 billion is just re-assigning funds already allocated to the NHS.

We will ensure that the NHS and social care system have the nurses, midwives,
doctors, carers and other health professionals that it needs.”

Nurses bursaries have been removed leading instantly to a huge fall in applicants to the nursing profession.  Funding for carers continues to be cut viciously to the point at which the carers are unable to do their jobs.

Last year we announced an increase in the number of students in medical
training of 1,500 a year; we will continue this investment, doing something the NHS has never done before, and train the doctors our hospitals and surgeries need.”

‘Medical training.’  This means basic training for low-paid staff that is well short of the expertise required by a nurse, carer, paramedic or doctor.

We will continue to help the NHS on its journey to being the safest healthcare system
in the world.”

No.  The Tories are destroying the NHS.  The Tories view the US healthcare system introduced by Donald Trump as the goal.

We shall continue to support school sport, delivering on our commitment to double support for sports in primary schools.”

Sport in schools has been cut dramatically due to huge cuts in central government funding for schools.

At a time when the internet is changing the way people obtain their news, we also
need to take steps to protect the reliability and objectivity of information that is
essential to our democracy and a free and independent press.”

The ‘free and independent’ press owned by Tory donors and multi-million pound tax-dodgers, Rothermere, Desmond, Lebedev, Murdoch and the Barclay brothers.

Employment is at a record high and we will continue to strive for full employment.”  

Employment in zero-hours jobs, sub-minimum wage jobs, fake ‘self-employed’ jobs.

A new Conservative government will stick to the plan that has delivered stability and certainty.”

That is the certainty of removing care for elderly and disabled, the certainty of huge increases in homelessness due to benefit cuts and sanctions, the certainty of savage reductions to school budgets leading to severe cuts in education, the certainty of increasing wait times for operations at hospitals, the certainty of exploitative employers abusing zero-hours contracts that leads to many working people needing to use payday loans and foodbanks, the certainty of public library closures, the certainty of shambolic privatised rail services, the certainty of the removal of access to justice due to cuts to legal aid, the certainty of ex-soldiers becoming destitute and the certainty of cuts to police numbers leading to a breakdown in police morale that was expressed publicly this week when hapless Home Secretary Amber Rudd addressed the police federation.  Meanwhile, the wealthiest have become exponentially wealthier due to tax cuts for the richest and due to the refusal of the Tories to address multi-billion pound tax avoidance, the latter enabled by the prime minister’s husband Phillip May.  That is what is certain.


Election 2017: A few lies from the Tory manifesto

Why Corbyn’s terrorism speech was a watershed moment

Road To Somewhere Else

By Daniel Margrain

Image result for corbyn terrorism speech pics

This is what Margaret Thatcher, of all people, said in 1985 during a speech to the American Bar Association in relation to terrorism:

“The terrorist uses force because he knows he will never get his way by democratic means…Through calculated savagery, his aim is to induce fear in the hearts of people. And weariness towards resistance……And we must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.”

Starving the terrorists of media publicity was clearly not what PM, Theresa May, had in mind on the steps of Downing Street in the aftermath of the Manchester bombing. In the hours that followed what was clearly a heavily rehearsed and scripted speech that lacked genuine emotion and empathy, May made the decision to present to the public the replacement of thousands of police by uniformed soldiers as part…

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Why Corbyn’s terrorism speech was a watershed moment

Election 2017: Lynton and James

The following is a transcript of a conversation that took place earlier today.

(Disclaimer:  Some, or all, of the transcript may be made-up – probably all.)

Sir Lynton Crosby:  “Oi!  Jimmy!  Have you heard his speech?  Have you seen the polls?  C’mon there cobber, we need some action.  Now!”

James Harding:  “Sir Lynton sir, we are in control of the situation.  Laura, Norman, Nick and Emily are prepped and ready for action.  There is no need to worry I assure you.”

Crosby:  “No need to worry!?  Are you shitting on my barbie there?  Did you hear Corbyn?  The guy was coherent, consistent, intelligent, truthful; he sounded like he knew what he was talking about, knew his history and had a workable plan.  I’m squatting here listening to that strangling my emu.  He’s like the opposite of that dippy drone we’ve got.  We need to get down and grind him.  You understand poshboy?” 

Harding:  “Yes, Sir Lynton, sir.  One of our key men Norman Smith has already used ‘controversial’ randomly to describe Corbyn’s speech.  We feel that sets the right misrepresentation.  We can’t just pile right in.  Also, we need to link in with some ex-Labour bigwigs from Blair’s cabinet.  Our plan of action is mapped out cleverly.”

Crosby:  “Norman Smith?  The guy always looks like he’s just been snubbed in public by his own dog.  He couldn’t even handle that weirdly-dressed jobsworth at the House of Commons who told him he couldn’t film there.  You need to get stuck right in hard and keep it rammed in.  Come at Corbyn from all angles.  Balls to facts.  Bamboozle the public.  Repeat: ‘IRA! Hamas!’  It’s easy.  None of this ‘ooh, it’s controversial.’  Norman Smith?  We need Shane Warne there and you’re giving me Peter Bloody Such.”

Harding:  “Sir Lynton, sir, what we are trying to do is persuade the public against Corbyn by implying that the public are already against him.  It’s a tried and trusted method of directing support to or away from a political view.  Our team is very experienced.  John Humprys has been dong it since the Boer War.”

Crosby:  “Look mate, do you want me to get Rupert to call you?  Is that want you want?  Get it sorted.  Quickly.  Completely.  Sorted.  A lot of my mates in the Virgin Isles have got a lot of untaxed dollars riding on this election.  Slam Corbyn now.  Or, do I have to say ‘charter renewal’ to you again.  Do I?  It made you cry last time.

Harding:  “Yes, Sr Lynton sir, oh, he’s gone.


Election 2017: Lynton and James

Election 2017: Operation Temperer

A day after a terrorist attack on a pop concert in Manchester the prime minister activated Operation Temperer and raised the ‘threat level’ to critical.  

Protecting the elite

The visible effect of her announcement is the presence of soldiers in Downing Street, at the Palace of Westminster and at Buckingham Palace.   That is, the immediate reaction of the Tories to the deaths of children at a pop concert is to rush to protect the elite.  The terrorists who conduct attacks like the one in Manchester target civilians in public areas.  The prime minister and the royal family are already strongly protected by police and military.  It is indicative of the mindset of the Tories that their own safety and that of their associates is elevated way above the safety of civilians.

A pantomime

What are the soldiers doing in Downing Street and at the Palace of Westminster?  The latter building is closed to the public at present and is empty of MPs and lords due to the upcoming election.  So, the soldiers there are protecting an empty building?  In and around Downing Street there are always many police officers including specially trained firearms officers.  The same applies to the royal residencies.

It is clear that the Tories are using the soldiers as photo opportunities to try to give the impression that the government is in control and is acting swiftly and decisively.  The fact that there is next to no specific purpose to the deployment of the soldiers is a fact that the Tories hope the public won’t notice.  The broadcast media is trying to help the Tories as much as it can by repeating the invented narrative that the prime minister is responding strongly (and stably) to the terrorist attack.

Police cuts

Throughout their seven years of destruction the Tories have persistently cut police funding leading to a huge reduction in the number of full-time fully trained officers.  The police federation has repeatedly raised concerns about the cuts but has been treated with disdain by the government.  Earlier this month Home Secretary Amber Rudd received a very negative reception when she spoke at the police federation conference.  The Tories want police officers to be replaced by underpaid untrained private security from G4S or similar.   Even Thatcher, who hated all public employees, never attempted to downgrade the police force.

Operation Temperer, designed by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary, was created specifically because of reductions in police numbers, reductions made by the Tory government.  The Tories knew, and still know, that their dismantling of police forces would require some backup plans at certain times.  Each soldier deployed this week is there precisely because the Tories have reduced the number of full-time police officers.

Election Campaign

Labour have had an excellent election campaign whereas the Tories have been hiding and so the suspension of election campaigning has been useful for the Tories – Suspension helps Tories.  

But, the Tories haven’t suspended their campaign.  In fact, they have done the opposite.  The Tories have finally started their campaign.

“Sir” Lynton Crosby

The prime minister and other cabinet ministers have suddenly popped up all over the place, even in public settings.  Where were they earlier?  However, because the election campaigns are “suspended,” these crafty ministers can still dodge questions about Tory plans in their manifesto and about their previous ineptitude, including questions about Tory policy that led to huge reductions in police numbers.  It is extremely crafty multi-layered manipulation:

  • Opposition parties’ campaigns are suspended so less criticism of Tories
  • Continuous TV coverage of Tories pretending to be in control
  • Tories still dodging questions because of campaign’s suspension

The broadcast media’s complicity in this biased presentation is embarrassingly clear.

Election 2017: Operation Temperer

Election 2017: Suspension of election campaigns after terror attack

The day after the bomb at Manchester Arena Theresa May and her election strategists decided that party campaigns for the general election on June 8th should be suspended.  The other political parties agreed to suspend their respective campaigns; to not do so would have appeared to be insensitive.  No time limit was set for the duration of the suspension.

Two obvious points about the campaign suspension are

  • The Tories have had next to no campaign so far compared to increasingly successful campaigns by Labour, SNP and Plaid Cymru.
  • Although the Tory Party has suspended its campaign the party’s enablers in the media are continuing to campaign on the party’s behalf.

Suspension of campaigns disrupts Labour surge

Intelligent, humane and workable manifesto pledges by Labour have contrasted sharply with the Tories’ woolly vague promises that are speckled with grotesque threats.  Equally, Jeremy Corbyn and his cabinet colleagues have been consistent, clear and personable compared to May and her colleagues’ scripted platitudes, wild contradictions and evasiveness.  

The most recent two weeks of the election campaign have been almost solely a Labour campaign battling gamely against a biased media.  Theresa May has continued her strategy of invisibility – May’s invisibility.  This strategy was chosen because of May’s lack of strength when scrutinised closely and because of the hollowness of the Tories’ manifesto.  Also, the Tories’ election campaign manager Lynton Crosby wanted the media focus to be on Labour and Corbyn with the expectation that criticism of Labour’s policies and its suitability for government would prevail and encourage people to vote Tory as a safe option.  This has backfired as Labour have benefitted hugely from being in focus.

Tory-supporting media is continuing with the Tory election campaign unabated 

The section of the media that is most supportive of the Tories has no intention of being bound by a request for a suspension in electioneering.  The Sun, Mail, Express and Telegraph are continuing with their lies, misrepresentations and inventions.  Indeed, the entirety of the Tory campaign is little changed during the suspension as most of it has been conducted by the media and not by May and her colleagues.  The difference is that, because Labour has suspended its campaign, the Tories’ voice via the media is the only voice being heard.

Additionally, the right-wing media is using the terrorist attack as a tool with which to attack Corbyn.  The false and ludicrous claims about Corbyn’s attitude, statements and actions regarding the Irish Republican Army are being repeated relentlessly because there has been a terrorist attack this week.  For Paul Dacre, Tony Gallagher, etc. dead children are just an opportunity to conduct a dishonest political campaign.  Meanwhile, ghouls at the same newspapers are harassing the Manchester bomb’s victims and their families to try to obtain photos and quotes.

The Tory use of the terrorist attack in Manchester

For the Tories, the usefulness of the election campaign suspension is not the only beneficial consequence of the terrorist attack in Manchester.  

“What’s that, Lynton?”

Alongside the use of the terrorist attack as a political tool for the media to attack Labour – described above – Theresa May is wallowing in the chance to present herself as “decisive” and “in control.”  

Aided by compliant broadcasters, May is making well-timed interjections wherein she makes dramatic proclamations and announces attention-grabbing changes in strategy to tackle the threat of terrorism.  Her objective is to create a public image of herself (and her government) as strong, forthright and effective.  Of course, it is all completely and utterly empty.  Throughout May’s shambolic tenure as Home Secretary even her Tory colleagues noticed that she never actually did much, what she did do she did badly and occasionally she would pop up with a platitude-ridden mini-speech that portended of profundity but actually was ephemeral.  (I said “well-timed” above because the timing of her speech to announce a change to the terror threat level was not random.  It cleverly allowed her speech to take the lead in late-evening TV news and next day newspapers above reports on the beautiful vigil in Manchester earlier on Tuesday evening.)

May’s “decision” to use the military as a supplement to the police is merely an admission that the huge cuts in police numbers over the last seven years have had a noticeable effect.  (May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was made aware of the cuts’ effect on police morale when she spoke at the police federation conference last week.)  It is clunky posturing, pointless and has no purpose other than attempting, vainly, to massage her weak and wobbly image.

Don’t let the con artist get away with it

The parties who oppose the Tories must not allow themselves to dance to Crosby’s tune.  Theresa May has descended into a clown figure but she is backed by a mob of unethical scoundrels who will glibly exploit the slaughter of young concert goers.

The opposition, particularly the Labour Party, must

  • Reactivate their election campaigns when it suits them, not when it suits the Tories
  • Respond boldly and loudly to media attacks that occur during the campaign suspension
  • Be willing to ridicule the daft posturing of May and her colleagues regarding their anti-terror strategy and policy

Theresa May, and Hammond, Rudd, Fox, Davis, Johnson, etc. have no morality, no integrity and are persistent liars.  They are dim-witted gimps of gangsters.  Nothing is taboo to them in their attempt to con the electorate into voting for its enemies.  All opposition must retain confidence, clear sightedness and not be distracted or sidelined.

Election 2017: Suspension of election campaigns after terror attack

Macron beat Le Pen in the battle of the Con Artists

Emmanuel Macron

Yesterday (May 7th 2017), centrist conservative Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France in a run-off against far-right conservative candidate Marine Le Pen.  

The defeat of Le Pen was welcomed by all who possess any concept of humanity or morality.  (The owner of UKIP,  Arron Banks, is very disappointed with the result: “At least the Germans saved the fuel and the bullets this time around” he exclaimed, a reference to the welcome for Macron from the EU and Angela Merkel.  Similar sentiments were expressed by others in UKIP including Nigel Farage and Michael Heaver.)  

Le Pen Con

Le Pen is, of course, conning the French people.  Like Donald Trump in the USA, she identifies false enemies to distract people from their real enemy: Destructive capitalism.  She encourages extreme nationalism, racial and religious prejudice and promotes division and then uses them as tools to vacuum up electoral support by claiming to be anti-establishment.  This has always been the far-right con and a con-trick that is used by all conservative politicians.  Every right-wing politician, whether extreme or not, exists to be the gimp of financial gangsters.  

Macron Con

Macron is a professional politician entrenched deeply within the political establishment in France.  A servant of international bankers and a former government minister of economy and finance, he invented a ‘new’ political party – En Marche! – as a means to con the French people into thinking that he is an alternative to established political parties; (in France, like most Western democracies, traditional choices at elections are being rejected.)  There is a good account of the creation of Macron as a “politician” here: The invention of Macron.  Macron’s year-long campaign focussed on the false newness of him and his party and was punctuated repeatedly by tired old (dishonest) clichés about hope and vision.  In the run-off against Le Pen his task was easy: All he had to do was state that he disagreed with her.  Macron’s stated politics appear close to those of, say, conservative liberal Nick Clegg and, like Clegg, he will do what he is told by his corporate masters.

The turn-out for the second (run-off) stage of the presidential election was low reflecting the accurate cynicism of many French people.  The relief at the failure of Le Pen is palpable and understandable.  Equally, it is an indictment of the hollowness of modern Western democratic choices that the alternative to her filth is a robotic, platitude-spouting conman who will offer nothing.

In Britain, the gloop of centrist suffocation, including Progress Labour MPs among others, are weeping for a British Macron to emerge to lead a false challenge to Theresa May as she slips further right like a catatonic slug on a child’s slide.  A British Macron would not be a saviour; he or she would be another rusty nail in the coffin of genuine representative politics.

Macron beat Le Pen in the battle of the Con Artists

The Convention: Rallying Cry For Centrist Control

A consequence of universal suffrage is that the people vote for the party, person or option for which they want to vote.  Liberals have always expressed keenness for the right to vote.  However, this keenness is accompanied by a demand that the voters’ choices stay within a very narrow band ranging from centrist liberal conservative to right-of-centre conservative.  That is, the liberals want the voters to choose which group of administrators they would like to manage the exploitative capitalist system.

In Greece, Spain and Iceland the respective electorates voted against such exploitation although in Spain their votes were ignored.  The reaction of the EU to the voters’ choice in Greece was to go into overdrive to ensure the Greek people were fleeced to feed the capitalist financial gangsters, cast as “loan repayments.”  

Elsewhere, right-wing opportunists – all from a conservative background – have conned voters into believing they are different to the elite status quo and have enhanced the conservative blame-game distraction of accusing foreigners of being the cause of all ills.  US president Donald Trump and French presidential candidate Marine LePen promote prejudice and division but so do typical conservative governments.  Economically, Trump and LePen (and Farage, Wilders, etc.) are extreme free-marketeers who are beholden to capitalist exploitation.  The objection that the liberal conservatives have to the further-right gang is that the latter’s promotion of prejudices is expressed too openly and that its behaviour is often uncouth.

The centrists are horrified that voters are making their own choices.  Democracy is supposed to be a con not a real choice about government.  

The Convention

Under the guise of objecting to a far-right takeover the professional liberals have sought solace in one another’s company.  


On May 12th and 13th there is a conference at Westminster Hall, London entitled The Convention.  It is sponsored by The Observer – that is, the Sunday Guardian (see The Guardian: An Obituary).

In the introduction to its Mission Statement The Convention claims it will “hold the debate that is absent from Parliament on the deep impacts of Brexit, and focus on the danger to democratic and liberal values posed by the political crash in the West.  Every registered voter in the UK had the option to vote in the EU referendum and the majority of those who voted chose Brexit.  One can disagree with that choice, but to state that there now exists “danger to democratic and liberal values” as a result of the Brexit victory is stupidly dramatic and an insult to the electorate.  All the political parties have discussed Brexit from a variety of political perspectives so the claim that such parliamentary debate is absent is a blatant lie.  The phrase “political crash” is more melodrama.  Does it mean the election of Trump in the USA? But, Trump’s politics is just typical right-wing Republicanism.  One sentence, meant to be a concise introduction, contains a lie, an insult and clumsy dramatic language.

The Mission Statement continues: “The Convention is the first large-scale event to offer organisations and individuals the chance to hear and take part in crucial debates about the United Kingdom’s future and the populist insurgencies that are sweeping Western democracies.”  The organisers of the conference need to sell it but, given the line-up of speakers – drawn from the centre across to the middle-ground of British politics and overly peopled with Guardian columnists – it is inaccurate to describe any of it as “crucial.”  “Populist insurgencies” is a disgraceful pejorative description of voters’ choices.  In Europe and the USA some people have voted for right-wing candidates and some have voted for socialist candidates.  That is not an insurgency.  There seems to be a theme regarding the selective nature of The Convention’s support for democracy.

The Convention will seek to augment the debate with detailed sessions … on the causes of populism … on politics and the media in the post-truth age.”  The Mission Statement assumes that there is a universally accepted definition of “populism.”  The word, inexplicitly but negatively defined by the users of it, is meant to be a haughty dismissal of politicians and their supporters who do not conform to an elitist status quo.  “Post-truth age” is an invention; apparently, the audacity of people to share ideas and opinions freely is a problem.

The Convention will “ask whether those who voted to leave were aware of the implications of quitting the Single Market, the Customs Union and Euratom.”  So, The Convention is keen to promote the narrative that all future cuts to public services and attacks on workers’ rights and wages should be blamed on leaving the EU rather than on decisions by the UK government..

Divisions that were exposed by last year’s campaign have hardened and there has been little attempt by the main parties to bring people together.”  The latter statement does not apply to Labour but, given the anti-Corbyn stance of the majority of the speakers at The Convention, it is no surprise that he is misrepresented.

The Convention will … seek to reassert democratic and progressive values.”  Really?  Alistair Campbell is one of the speakers; will he reassert democratic and progressive values on the British public as his good friend Tony Blair did in Iraq?

We hope you will join us for two days in May, for this is essentially about what country we want.”  The Mission Statement appears to desire a country where universal suffrage is unwelcome; only the elite “we” can decide.

In Balance at The Convention Henry Porter, one of the organisers of The Convention, repeats the themes of the Mission Statement.  “The Convention on Brexit & the Political Crash is a response to the rapid change in politics that has occurred in the West over the last year.”  What “rapid change?”  Trump is a clown but his political intent matches Republican ideology, LePen and her father have been a feature of French politics for many decades and there is no surprise that a socialist-leaning government was elected in Greece.  In most “western” countries there is a continuity of dull centrist stodge: Canada, Ireland, Germany, etc.  Porter’s “rapid change” is another push-phrase.  Perhaps, he fears a rapid change in the near future?

Porter says that “The Convention will focus on the big challenges to the United Kingdom but also on the threat to democratic and liberal values in the West.”  The choices made by some people in some countries when casting their votes in a democratic election is described as a threat to democracy by Porter.  This is insidious.  The comment “the threat to … liberal values in the West would sit comfortably in an essay produced by the Henry Jackson Society.

We will have all shades of opinion on how Britain goes forward, improves the national discourse and its politics and achieves a fairer society.”  A brief perusal of the list of speakers dispels the claim that all opinions will be heard.  The Convention wants to dictate how political discussion should progress by claiming arrogantly to seek to improve the “national discourse.”  The ambition to want to achieve a “fairer society” is contradicted by the fact that the majority of speakers are virulently anti-socialist.

There is the influence of Russia in Western democracies to consider, the threat posed to traditional media by the post-truth age, and the march of populist insurgencies across Europe.”  Again, people in democracies voting is reduced to a “march of populist insurgencies.”  Porter directly opposes the “post-truth” invention to “traditional media.”  By doing so he reveals a reason why so many professional columnists and talking heads fear a free exchange of ideas: Their profession and their individual necessity is reduced and devalued.  The Democrats in the USA continue to cry that the Russian government influenced the presidential election and similar assertions are being made regarding the presidential election in France.  These complaints insult the voters in both countries and are extremely hypocritical because France, USA, UK, etc. are constantly interfering in elections in other countries around the world.  ‘The Russians are coming!’ is an absurd stance to take and is reminiscent of 1950s USA.

We will not submit to the attacks on free discussion that have chilled the debate in Britain since the vote last year.” Is Porter referring to Tory government legislation that legalises state snooping and hacking?  Is Porter refering to the campaign to persuade social media companies to police what is arbitrarily described as “fake news?”  I assume he isn’t.

We have no respect for the equivalence that gives the same weight to those who support their arguments with empirical evidence and those who simply mouth prejudice and ignorance.”  These two types of “argument” are not opposites, they are not wholly distinct and they are not exhaustive of all possible methods of asserting a political opinion.  Porter describes a false binary polarisation and then demands that one its components – general opinions – should not be trusted.  He wants the right to express an opinion to be for professionals only.

Henry Porter expands on his Russian threat narrative in Why Russia is a European problem.  “The corruption and manipulation that are defining features of Russian political landscape have now begun to play a key part in distorting the democratic processes of the West.”  So, according to Porter, the rancid corruption and manipulation in the UK, France, USA, etc. in government is not the product of capitalist politicians receiving copious donations from financial gamblers and corporate tax-dodgers and is the not the product of newspapers acting entirely in the interests of the same gamblers and tax-dodgers, and the fact that the UK government is full of gimps of financial gangsters and of private healthcare vultures is purely coincidental.  Porter is deliberately excusing the real cause of intrinsically corrupt and destructive governments and instead shifting the blame to the Russian government.  The final two paragraphs of this article are David Ickeish.

The Convention’s speakers’ list, (drawn from the alumni of a variety of private schools – with a few exceptions), has many professional liberals; that is, academics, commentators and lobbyists whose earned wealth stems from pointing at a wrongdoer and declaring “I am better than he.”  A theme in the ideology of most of the speakers is disgust for the choices voters have made in many countries.  This disgust is often expressed as denigration of voters’ capacity to make an intelligent informed decision.  How dare the voters choose to believe the lies of a “populist” when they should, instead, believe the lies of a Clinton, a Macron or a Farron.  

The purpose of the The Convention is to try to devise methods of presentation that can con voters into trusting the haughty liberals.  One method is to offer the public a palliative to distract and appease them.  One of The Convention’s speakers, essayist Timothy Garton Ash, described what he thinks was a successful such palliative in Populists are out to divide us:

A great example is the development of western Europe’s combination of market economy and welfare state after 1945. This model … finally saw off the waves of communism and fascism… But what an ocean of blood, sweat and tears we had to swim through to reach that point.”  

In 1945, as a tactic of control, the capitalist class addressed starvation, homelessness and health – that is, allowed the public to have basic human rights – to ward off a threat of insurrection.  Ash’s description encapsulated the liberal thinking: Keep the masses quiet by giving them the barest essentials.  (Today, the welfare state is being destroyed by the Tories with the assistance of Clegg’s Liberal Democrats for five years and with the assistance of Progress Labour MPs who abstained on a vote in parliament for a welfare destruction bill; the latter group includes Lisa Nandy who is one of the speakers at The Convention.)

Another of The Convention’s speakers is ‘political economist’ and ex-Observer editor Will Hutton.  His day job is to complain about mistakes in capitalist exploitation while simultaneously acting as its apologist.  In Hutton on RBS he positioned capitalism as an uncontrollable entity impervious to human intervention, dismissed a challenge to this entity’s existence and then sugar-coated the entire purpose of the existence of capitalism:

People at large know these issues are fundamental, but business and finance seem distant, difficult-to-understand worlds over which nobody, let alone governments, seem to have much leverage. If you hold with a Corbyn-type philosophy, it is proof positive that the only solution to today’s capitalism is socialist transformation – but it is a view few share. The 20th-century experience of attempted socialist transformations is hardly encouraging. In any case, if you have regular contact with senior business executives, what is impressive is their enthusiasm to build businesses and create value rather than a hunger to exploit their workforce and cut corners.”

The above is obsequious genuflection to the deity of exploitation and is fundamentally dishonest.

The sponsorship by The Observer ensures plenty of Observer/Guardian hacks on the list of speakers.  Goodwin, Harris and Freedland are among a sorry subset of bitter professional trolls who enjoy espousing false narratives about socialism and libelling its proponents.   As mentioned above, Alistair Campbell will speak, presumably for forty-five minutes, and Tory MP and assassin of state education Michael Gove will express several different contradictory opinions, none of them sincere.

Co-organiser of The Convention Mark Choueke declares “voters have yet to be included in this election. That changes now” in Choueke’s unempowered electorate.  This promotional leaflet, written in a condescending style, invents and embellishes a scenario in order to reach a disappointing conclusion.

Voters from a range of backgrounds and political affiliations are staring down the barrel, concerned they don’t know who to vote for” claims Choueke, stupidly.  If every voter knew exactly for whom to vote then there would be no need for any election campaigning.  Time taken to assess the options before making a choice is not “staring down the barrel” or even a “concern.”  Oddly, despite his concern about barrels, Choueke has already decided who to vote for


Your potency as a voter, indeed our democracy is hugely weakened if none of the options on offer appeal to you.”  That is true: There are conservatives, liberal democrat conservatives, Labour led by Corbyn but full of Progress conservatives and the UKIP conservatives.

Imagine any other election in which a politician campaigned for a mandate for the single biggest constitutional upheaval in the country’s history – [Brexit], with no hard evidence as to where it might leave us as a nation. Would you give him or her your vote? Not without some clear visibility of the consequences I imagine.”  Choueke chooses to assume that supporters of Brexit are ignorant.  

People on both sides of last year’s referendum split remain angry. Others are simply exhausted.”  Anger in Britain is a reaction to vicious Tory attacks on the whole of civil society, public services and workers’ rights, attacks that were enabled by Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.  (Nick Clegg is a speaker at The Convention.)

“We saw that in the referendum campaign last year. Let’s not be taken for fools again.”  I might guess that Choueke voted to remain in the EU, so he ascribes the word “foolsto the other seventeen million people.  

The remainder (no pun intended) of his promo leaflet contains melodramatic cries of anguish: “We know nothing.  I know nothing,” “we become yet more disempowered” and pleas for help: “I want proper insight as opposed to pledges,” “an honest, open conversation with all angles represented is badly needed.”  These theatrics lead to the conclusion that “a stunning-looking event called The Convention” is here to cleanse your soul and guide you through life’s treacherous paths.  However, Choueke’s proclamations have all the style, charisma and persuasive aptitude of a 1970s double-glazing salesman.  He ends with a joke: “MPs that actually want to discuss what life after Brexit could mean for real people will be at Central Hall, Westminster in two weeks time.”  I am certain that the Tory MPs speaking at The Conference and the Tory-lite Nick Clegg have neither the knowledge of nor the interest in the lives of “real” people.

Regrets Of Universal Suffrage

The centre of democratic politics has always been a con-trick.  It is conservative and as wedded to capitalist exploitation as any brazenly free-market right-of-centre party.

The centre exists to soak up opposition to capitalist exploitation and ensure that such opposition never manifests itself as a genuine challenge to capitalist control.  The centre stifles.

The centre defines itself as opposed to fascism, dictatorships and far-right politics.  Thus, it requires such far-right threats to exist even if just as an illusion.

As conservatives and as supporters of capitalist exploitation, the centre is wholly opposed to socialism and communism.  It relentlessly attacks any popular tendencies toward socialism.

The Convention is a gathering of professional centrists whose common theme is disgust for the decisions made by voters in democratic countries.  They are unhappy that the con-tricks of the capitalist elite’s gimps are being rejected and, instead, some people are voting for right-wingers who appeal to prejudice and others are voting for left-wingers who identify the real enemy: Financial gangsters.  The circle-jerk of The Convention yearns plaintively for the simple days when voters only had to choose between two cheeks of the same fraudulent arse of capitalist worship.  

Ultimately, The Convention regrets the consequences of universal suffrage.  For The Convention, electoral choice is epitomised by choosing between Clegg and Cameron.

Nick Clegg and David Cameron at Downing Street



The Convention: Rallying Cry For Centrist Control