Adam Smith Institute

The Adam Smith Institute (ASI) is marketing and public relations for the most inhumane and most destructive exploitative capitalists.  Its objective is to promote extreme free-market annihilation of society for the benefit of a small minority of soulless financial fanatics.  Inevitably, this promotion is presented entirely dishonestly.

For the ASI, the state should exist solely as a tool used to channel taxes into the grubby hands of a few organised corporate criminals.  It is glibly proud of its vociferous support for the privatisation of vital public services in Thatcherite 1980s and beyond.  The intent of these ‘privatisations’ was to provide a steady source of income (taken from taxes) to financial crooks, preceded by a handover of public property, land and infrastructure.  The consequence for the public has been a steady decline in the extent and quality of the services and continuous unrestricted rise in the cost of the use of the services.  Gas, electricity, water and public transport are all now absurdly expensive and of poor quality.  The ‘owners’ continue to rake in unearned income.

ASI Policy
Current ASI policies express a desire to see a violent expansion of the mass theft of public services to further enhance the offshore stash of the wealth exploiters.

(Bullet points below in italics are quotes from ASI Policy)


  • Allow profit-making free schools to spur the creation of school chains that compete on quality and standards.
  • Give parents the option of a voucher-like bursary so they can send their children to an independent school if they wish.
  • Scrap the national curriculum and allow schools to experiment with different subjects and approaches to teaching.

How does a fee-less school become “profit-making?”  What would happen if all parents wanted to send their children to independent schools via the use of a “voucher-like bursary?”  Clearly, neither question can be answered within the realms of logic.  A cursory glance between the lines of the ASI bullet points above reveals the aims of an expansion of fee-paying schools and of an expansion of the taxes drain into the hands of privateers.  The third bullet point is an admission that the quality and usefulness of education is irrelevant to these scoundrels.


In a section entitled “free market welfare” ASI supports

  • Favour simple cash payments to people dependent on income, not whether someone is in work or not and not dependent on where they live.
  • Welfare should subsidise work, not unemployment. Protect Working Tax Credits from cuts, and reform them to make them an automatic part of the PAYE system – they are the best form of welfare that we currently have.
  • Phase in a Negative Income Tax or Basic Income to replace most existing forms of welfare except disability benefits, and integrate into the tax system.
  • Scrap the National Living Wage and stop raising the National Minimum Wage. Low Pay Commission should instead advise on the optimal level of Negative Income Tax (or similar) payments.

The minimum wage is barely basic sustenance for many people.  Any reduction, by any circuitous means, is a vile attack on the lowest paid.  Working tax credits exist to allow disreputable businesses to receive public money to pay their employees rather than the businesses paying the workers sufficiently.  It is a free handout to the employers, not to the employees.  ‘Negative income tax’ is a scam whereby unemployment benefits paid to a claimant are repaid by a balancing of income tax paid at the end of the financial year; that is, the system is, effectively, a loan.  ASI favours a welfare benefit level that is independent of location, thus enabling further social cleansing of London.  The phrase “welfare should subsidise work, not unemployment” is simultaneously meaningless and sinister.


In a section entitled “healthcare competition” ASI supports

  • Abolish national pay bargaining in the NHS. Devolve pay negotiation and hiring powers to Trusts, and make patient outcomes the only goal. Increase private provision of care where appropriate.
  • Aim towards a Singaporean-style system of full private provision of healthcare paid for with a combination of private health savings accounts and catastrophic health insurance, with government covering costs for those who cannot pay for themselves.

ASI aim for a healthcare system where anyone with a serious chronic illness will be made destitute and where the vulture insurance companies will rake in the money for nothing.


  • Take the poorest workers out of tax altogether by pegging the personal allowance and National Insurance threshold to the National Minimum Wage rate.
  • Merge income tax and both employee and employer National Insurance contributions into a single system rate to boost transparency.
  • Abolish all taxes on capital and transactions, such as corporation tax, capital gains tax and stamp duty.
  • Broaden the VAT base and consider replacing income tax with a progressive consumption tax, so savings are not taxed.
  • Reform business rates and council tax into a pure Land Value Tax on unimproved land values so that capital investment is not taxed.

At present, people being paid the national minimum wage are below the tax threshold and, so, the first bullet point above is entirely meaningless and a con.  The second point suggests that employers’ National Insurance contributions should disappear.  The clarity of ASI’s objectives is seen in the remaining points: Higher tax for the poorest (VAT) and huge tax deductions for the wealthiest (abolition of capital gains tax, corporation tax, financial transaction tax and reduction of council tax.)  It is promotion of blatant theft; it is a sales pitch for further concentration of wealth.

ASI Salespersons
The think-tanks that promote extreme free-market ideologies tend to use similar techniques when presenting their pitches: Their salespersons adopt the demeanour, language and phraseology of academic experts.  This act is a facet of the confidence trick.  The ASI has a different strategy: Truculent slappable fratboys.  Nurtured vileness adorned by an assassin’s smirk.  

Despicable Donors
As the table on page 6 of a Transparify report into think-tank donor transparency shows, ASI keeps its financial backers secret.  Alongside three other cheerleaders for public services destruction, Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange, ASI 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 ASI .

Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks

Adam Smith Institute

BBC News: Balance And Bias

Former Director of BBC News James Harding

Because it is not reliant on advertising or on subscriptions for income the BBC need not always pursue the popular option.  Therefore, it can offer a wider variety of TV and radio programmes than the commercial channels.  This is as true of news and current affairs programmes as it is of any entertainment show.  The BBC does not have to broadcast pseudo-debate garbage similar to Sky News’ ‘The Pledge’ and does not have to broadcast continuous angry bigot phone-ins similar to most of the output on commercial radio station LBC.  

The BBC could rely on intelligent, informative news and current affairs shows that explore a variety of perspectives and always seek to give a complete analysis rather than thrusting created controversy at the viewers and listeners.  It could choose relevant and intelligent participants over professional screaming heads and trolls.  It could choose quality over news-as-entertainment.  Sadly, BBC news and current affairs almost always choose the latter options.  

An example of the BBC evading intelligent discussion is the fact that the Question Time panel almost always has a fifth element drawn from the malodorous bag of professional right-wing think-tanks.  The think-tanks are agenda driven cons that eschew facts and present fallacious arguments to support extreme free-market ideologies.  

(ex-)Tax-Payers’ Alliance, Centre For Policy Studies and CapX/Unherd on Question Time

Question Time also prefers to give a platform to far-right screaming heads and professional trolls rather than to a guest with useful information or to a guest who is representative of the public on a particular issue.  Working-class activists are denied a voice.  The best the marginalised can expect is a pop star or a footballer.  

Far-right screaming heads on Question Time

On a programme like Question Time the invitation to a professional confidence trickster rather than a genuine representative voice is a consequence of both a desire for dumb (populist) entertainment and of an overwhelming infestation of bubble-dwelling establishment junkies among management and decision-makers.  BBC managers and producers marginalise spokespersons for the people.  The in-house normalisation of elite-only perspectives has become ingrained.  

For news broadcasts, facts should always trump (no pun) opinions.  The confusion between facts and opinions should be left at Fox News.  Sadly, fact-checking – live or post-comment – has declined in quantity at the BBC.  Guests and interviewees, including politicians, know that they can spout a list of lies and inventions that will probably not be challenged.  It is the responsibility of the interviewer and their colleagues off camera to ensure that the lies are challenged immediately and the facts broadcast.  This responsibility is shirked because there is a culture at BBC News that chooses to not value accuracy and facts highly enough.  Facts are merely on a list of options to use.

The lack of challenge to a false statement is partly due to an obsession at the BBC that all opinions should be broadcast.  This is not ‘balance.’  An opinion that includes lies and/or is informed by lies is not a valid opinion.  Responsible broadcasting is the antithesis of letting everyone proclaim whatever garbled fraudulent tripe they want to.   Balance does not mean allowing any professional troll, any performing seal, to make a living out of deliberately dishonest anti-logical arguments with the intent of suffocating rational, informative discussion.

Performing seal – library photo

Radio 4’s ‘Today’ show remains determined to eschew didactic analysis and instead focus on pie throwing.  No matter what topic an intelligent guest wishes to talk about, the production team will find a worthless pseudo-adversary to mount a dumb pointless rebuttal.  This is not balance.  It is an insult to the listeners. 

At BBC News there is a deliberate misunderstanding of the meaning of and the structure of balance in a news programme.  The (possibly wilful) ignorance of the meaning of balance in broadcasting puts silly entertainment ahead of any attempt to inform the public and it denies a thorough investigation of the issue being discussed.

BBC biased?
BBC News has been accused of bias by many observers of varied political hues.  The most vociferous condemnations occurred during the first Scottish independence referendum campaign (accusations of anti-independence bias) and during the first UK general election this year (accusations of anti-Corbyn bias).  Although they are understandable observations the veracity of the bias described above is doubtful.  The bias that does exist is not specifically anti a particular political outlook or party.  The bias is an ingrained almost intrinsic partiality to support the establishment.  This continuity bias is an inevitable consequence of BBC News being rammed full of the trained protectors of the elite produced by the private school conveyor belt.

An interesting and gormlessly stupid residue of the BBC’s ignorance of true balance is its apparent sensitivity to accusations of bias aimed at it from the far-right.  The “left liberal elite” BBC cliché is a standard push-point howled by UKIP and others as a tool to try to re-position the BBC’s acceptance of where the middle-ground in the political spectrum lies.  The false nature of such accusations is obvious but BBC News chooses to use these complaints in its defence against accusations of bias directed at it from a left-of-centre perspective: “We are accused of bias from both left and right” is a common refrain used to dismiss genuine and lucid complaints.  This stance is lazy, dishonest and insulting.

BBC News is stuck
The BBC is criticised more than other broadcasters because it is publicly funded.  It is under constant pressure from right-wing media and the Murdoch broadcasting empire because they cannot control it.  The Tories’ ultimate objective is to destroy the BBC.  Thus, it is understandable if the BBC is fearful of being radical and challenging with its news output.

Years of selective recruitment have narrowed the range of perspectives in senior BBC positions.  Not only is there limited knowledge of which views on political issues need to be broadcast but there is also ignorance of this lack of knowledge: Unknown unknowns.

Local BBC news is less diminished by the aforesaid narrow range; there, recruitment has been focussed more on ability than on which school the applicant attended.  Conversely, at 5live, packed full of alumni of the best private schools, the news bulletins emit rhetoric that would sit comfortably in a Paul Dacre editorial.

BBC News is stuck in its current predicament.  It can change but the evolution won’t be smooth.

The Sound Of Silence

Related blog: Harding resigns

BBC News: Balance And Bias

History repeats: Hillsborough, Grenfell

Very soon after the deaths of ninety-six people at Hillsborough it was clear what had happened and who was to blame: Incompetent policing prior to kick-off led to a crush followed by malicious policing later that prevented ambulances and medical personnel from entering the ground.  Everyone at the ground knew what had happened and the families of those who had died knew what had happened.  It was clear.  

Twenty-eight years later the guilty still refuse to admit culpability.  It took twenty-five years for any official inquiry to agree with the assertions made by the families of the dead.  Twenty-five years of cover-ups, misdirection, lies and false blame.  All of the cover-ups were, and are, deliberate.  Alongside the cover-ups and misdirection, there was blame thrown at the Liverpool fans by South Yorkshire police with the help of the far-right media, blame that some such police officers continue to repeat in order to protect their police pensions.

The cause of the deaths and injuries at Hillsborough was bad policing.  The ingrained attitude of the police was a consequence of the then Tory government’s contempt for working-class people.  The cover-ups, by police, FA and both Tory and Labour governments, were driven by an intrinsic desire to protect the reputation of the establishment and by ideologies that viewed the masses of the working-class as enemies.  People who have fought for justice over the last twenty-eight years have been variously ignored, vilified and patronised.  

The look of contempt, Hillsborough to Grenfell

An unknown number of people died in the fire in the Grenfell tower block in Kensington; as many as two hundred people may have died.  

The cause of the rapid spread of the fire is known: Flammable cladding on the outside of the building.  

The reason that flammable cladding was used is known: Penny pinching by a reckless Tory council.  

The reason that the management contractors of the building were able to forego necessary fire safety features in the building is known: Removal of access to legal aid by the Tory government that prevented the tenants from mounting a legal challenge to the lack of fire safety features and removal of fire safety regulations by the Tory government.

The above is known.  It was already known: Tenants of Grenfell described the cause of the fire as soon as they left the building.  

The anger of the residents and family and friends of those who died existed before the fire.  The people knew that such a catastrophe was possible but their complaints were treated with disdain by Kensington and Chelsea council.  The council threatened legal action against Francis O’Connor from Grenfell Action Group, a tenants group that made numerous complaints to the council regarding fire safety all of which were ignored; the threat of legal action was an attempt to suppress a blog wherein Mr. O’Connor expressed concern about an impending catastrophe at Grenfell: Playing With Fire.  Details of the council’s legal threat are here: Kensington council letter.

The pull-back from necessary health and safety regulations that began with the Cameron/Clegg government has eaten away at basic protections for tenants, and occupants of other buildings such as schools.  The only reason such a pull-back has occurred is to further enhance the profits of private contractors and to reduce council tax bills for the wealthiest.  It is a step back from civilised society.  There is a good account and analysis of this pull-back here: Conservatives’ bonfire of red tape.

Families burnt to death is a direct consequence of a Tory council’s recklessness and of a Tory government’s focus on profit.  The abject lack of interest in the consequences of their reckless and profit-oriented actions is driven by the Tories’ contempt for the working-class and their complete detachment from society.  It is exactly the same separation between elite and people that created the attitudes that led to the Hillsborough crime.


The fire at Grenfell Tower is a political event.  It is not a Labour versus Tory political event but it is a clear political event.  The causes of the fire and the ideology behind the causes are political ideologies, political attitudes and political decisions.  The blame lies with the politicians at Kensington Town Hall and with the current (and previous) occupants of Downing Street.

It is the politics of division, of elitism versus the masses, of contempt for the working-class.  It is the same destructive political ethos that led to Hillsborough.

Residents of Grenfell, families and friends of those who died and the neighbours in Kensington have not needed any outside influence for them to know that the fire is a political event and that what follows is also political.  The ineptitude of the council to provide adequate assistance to the displaced residents of Grenfell is political, the paltry funds (£5m) assigned by the government to help displaced residents is political and the absence, physically and verbally, of the prime minster and other senior ministers is political.  It is the politics of detachment, of elitism, of absolute lack of empathy.  It is symptomatic of how the Tories view the masses.

People are angry.  The anger is focussed on what needs to be done and it is focussed on who is to blame.  On Friday some people, including displaced residents and family and friends of the dead, protested at Kensington Town Hall.  The protest was a response both to the culpability of the council for the fire and to the wretched, arrogant behaviour of the council to the needs of those affected.  The reaction of Tories in the council, other Tories elsewhere in the country and their friends in the media was reminiscent of how the Tories and right-wing media reacted to complaints about Hillsborough.  

The words “mob” and “stormed” were used to describe the people entering the town hall, a public building.  A Kensington councillor, Andrew Lomas simultaneously libelled the protesters and invented a story about staff being fearful.


That is, nasty defamatory and dishonest abuse aimed at displaced residents and families of bereaved from one of the councillors who shares responsibility for the fire and who shares responsibility for the absence of council help after the fire.  A clear snapshot of the arrogance of Tory attitudes toward working-class people.  

The Telegraph had a similar perspective.


A theme in the above headline in the Telegraph is the invention of the outsider as provocateur.  This invention serves two purposes: It belittles the protesters by claiming outsider political activists are driving any actions taken and it denigrates the intent of people who want to support the protesters.  It is a standard form of misrepresentation that right-wing media and right-wing politicians use.  They want to try to limit support for people who are protesting and they want the victims to be passive.  

The ‘passive victim’ is a preference for the centrist media as well as the right-wing media.  The masses gathering to exercise their opposition scares the centre.  “Once anger is unleashed, it is hard to contain.  Once it is contained, however, it tends to stay that way, for a time at least,” says Deborah Orr in The Guardian – Unbridled Anger.  Her plea for everyone to be calm and passive while the overlords sort themselves out typifies liberal philosophy.  Since J. S. Mill this philosophy has been useful only for an elite few.  It is very insulting for observers to instruct victims how to behave, how to react, how to seek justice and how to protest.

Right-wing politicians and almost all of the media want depoliticised passive victims.  But, the Grenfell Tower fire is political in every aspect and the consequences of it are political.  The behaviour and words about Grenfell from the politicians in power are wholly political.  The motivation behind the media’s coverage is political.  What the establishment want, as always, is a one-way unfair fight: Hamfisted right-wing politics versus passive victims.

Hillsborough similarities

As well as the same elitism and division that led to Hillsborough being replicated with Grenfell – described above, there are other similarities between the two events.

Demonisation of protagonists started immediately.  It is a favourite method of the right-wing media.  Isolating individuals and slandering them is used to misdirect attention and to divide support.  

The Daily Mail published photos of a Grenfell resident in whose flat the paper claimed that the fire began.  Even if true, the fire in one flat is not responsible for the rapid spread of the fire – the cladding is.  This story in the Daily Mail exists to deflect blame from the culprits and to attach blame to a Grenfell resident.  Such a story is motivated exactly as Kelvin McKenzie’s infamous story in The Sun about Hillsborough was motivated.

The Telegraph focussed on one of the organisers of and speakers at the protest at Kensington Town Hall, Mustafa al-Mansur.  In Telegraph smear Martin Evans said “but he [al-Mansur] is also a slick political campaigner, a vocal supporter of Labour leader Mr Corbyn, whose brother stood in last week’s election as an independent candidate in east London.”  A slick political campaigner?  Evans elucidated the establishment’s fear that the victims might not agree to be passive and that they may fully understand the political nature of the fire at Grenfell.  “It emerged last night that Mr Mansur, who used to be spokesman for the Finsbury Park Mosque, had been arrested 10 years ago by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of terrorism offences. He was released without charge,” proclaimed Evans.  Released without charge, ten years ago?  So, of absolutely no relevance other than to smear.  Martin Evans is channelling Kelvin McKenzie shamelessly.

The themes of the establishment response to the Grenfell fire were set straight away:

  • Protect the reputations and careers of the agents of authority – council and government
  • Demean protest via slander and misdirection
  • Invent culprits
  • Jump on any political solidarity while simultaneously being entirely political

The same themes informed the immediate establishment response to Hillsborough.

History repeats itself, unsurprisingly.

Transparent shenanigans

Twenty-eight years on it is much more difficult for cover-ups to succeed.  Today, the tactics, nuances and subtleties of the establishment shenanigans are transparent – Transparent politicians and transparent media are nearing extinction.  There is full knowledge of the motivations of the Tories and of their friends in the media.  Ignorance is receding.

Nothing scares the establishment more than an informed wise public.

History repeats: Hillsborough, Grenfell

Transparent politicians and transparent media are nearing extinction

The (first) general election of 2017 had an incomplete conclusion.  

The consequences are a muddle:

The Tories, without a majority, have teamed up with a bunch of pseudo-religious intellectually diminished weirdos in a relationship that is doomed to fail.  Theresa May is trying to cling onto the leadership of her party by filling her cabinet with all the likely challengers.  Right-wing media is distraught that younger people dared to vote and is accusing the latter of being financially irresponsible.  Centrist media is pretending to offer apologies for doubting Corbyn’s competence while simultaneously providing a platform for barely disguised leadership pitches from the Progress MPs.  The BBC is a rolling platform for professional jabber mouth Nigel Farage alongside a motley crew of vacuous liberals from deep inside the bubble.  

The detached, arrogant and complacent pantomime continues.  

However, this pantomime is now transparent, untrusted and ignored:

Relentless, disgusting smears and libel in the right-wing rags directed at Corbyn and his colleagues have been treated with the contempt they deserve.  Centrist media’s constant belittling of Corbyn’s electability has been joyously rebutted.  May has no political credibility left and has de-evolved into the last remaining duck-billed platitude.  BBC News has become an object of ridicule and derision.  

The sham has exposed itself repeatedly.  Fewer and fewer people are choosing to be fooled by the sham.  

This is not mass cynicism, this is a community of confidence.  Confidence that politicians and political ideologies are not elevated and unremovable, confidence that the possible options are not restricted to the examples that exist, confidence that desires and dreams are attainable.

The dull chains that constrict are rusting away.  

People are no longer choosing to be duped, they are no longer accepting ignorance and, crucially, they are no longer fearful of a different choice.  Fear remains the main weapon used by the self-appointed elite.  But, that fear is no longer resonating and, with it, the belief in the sham dissipates into the ether.



Transparent politicians and transparent media are nearing extinction

Democratic Unionist Party

The defeated Tories have formed a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, DUP.

Recent DUP leader Peter Robinson

Many reasonable informed people view the DUP as a bigoted, sectarian, anti-Catholic, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic terrorist-infested gang of intellectually challenged weirdos.  However, The DUP is much worse than that.

Let’s look at a snapshot (no pun intended) of what the DUP stands for.

Death Penalty

DUP MP Gregory Campbell supports the reintroduction of the death penalty in the UK.  Last year – Campbell on death penalty – he said “what are those advocates who don’t want capital punishment going to advocate in its place?… I’ve yet to hear these alternatives to capital punishment.”

Gay rights and freedoms

DUP is vehemently anti-gay rights and freedoms.  Recent DUP Health Minister (in the Northern Ireland Assembly) and notorious homophobe Jim Wells said in a 2015 hustings “the facts show that certainly you don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship… that a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected:” Wells on gay marriage.

Wells had also described a Gay Pride event as “repugnant:” Wells on Pride.

Wells’ predecessor as Health Minister, Edwin Poots, refused to lift a ban on gay men donating blood: Poots on blood donations, and he was totally opposed to allowing gay people to adopt children: Poots on adoption.

DUP Northern Ireland Assembly member Tom Buchanon described homosexuality as an “abomination:” Buchannon on homosexuality.


DUP are opposed to abortion.  It is illegal to have an abortion in Northern Ireland, except if the woman’s life is in danger; the 1967 Abortion Act has never been extended to Northern Ireland.  

Medical professionals can be jailed for many years if they perform an abortion: Abortion in Northern Ireland.  

DUP leader Arlene Foster fully supports maintaining a complete ban: Foster on abortion.

Religious fundamentalism

DUP Northern Ireland Assembly member Mervyn Storey and several DUP activists are members of an extremist fundamentalist religious group called the Caleb Foundation that promotes creationism and wants it to be taught in schools.  The DUP are so influenced by this foundation of crackpots that the world-famous Giants’ Causeway’s visitors’ centre includes a disclaimer than some people doubt the age of the Causeway, which is about sixty million years: Crackpots at the Giants Causeway.

Loyalist terrorism

The link between loyalist terrorists and the DUP is historical, symbiotic and remains tethered.  

DUP MP Gregory Campbell enjoys sitting at a table loading a gun: Gregory Campbell MP and a gun

Suppression of political protests

Partly because Sinn Fein has a historical connection with Palestinian freedom fighters and partly because of shared extremism, DUP is unambiguously and unconditionally a supporter of the government of Israel and of all its acts.  This support extended to trying to suppress a pro-Palestinian protest by leaning on the police: Suppression of pro-Palestine protest.

Anti-Irish racism

The hatred that the DUP has for Ireland manifests itself in many forms including childish mocking of the Irish language: Campbell mocks Irish language.

The 12th July Belfast Orange March
Nigel Dodds MP, centre

As if borne of a grotesque copulation between the Tea Party, UKIP, John Knox’s rectum and Mike Pence, the DUP is a soulless, brainless, toxic strain of ingrained bigotry that is driven by hate, ignorance, selfishness and racism.  

Theresa May and the Tories’ decision to team up with such a vile mob is further evidence of the distance between the Tories’ morality and that of the people of Britain.  Of course, the employees of the Tories – the financial gangsters – have no problem with a partnership with the DUP.

Democratic Unionist Party

Election 2017: Don’t leave it too late in the day to vote

KEY POINT: Arrive at the polling station no later than 9pm

Voting closes in Thursday’s general election at 10pm.  There might be queues late in the evening and so it is best to arrive at the polling station no later than 9pm.  

If you in the queue by 10pm you are entitled to vote even if it is after 10pm by the time you reach the front of the queue, but some (Tory) councils like to wilfully misinterpret the rules, including sending police officers to harass people in the queues.  “Running out of ballot papers” is another excuse used previously.

Please note the following

  • If at work/college during the day, try to vote in the morning before going to work college, or vote immediately you have finished work/college
  • Arrive at the polling station no later than 9pm, preferably much earlier
  • You are not required to bring any ID with you to the polling station
  • If the polling station staff claim they have “run out” of ballot papers then you are entitled to wait until a “re-stock” arrives, even if it is after 10pm

Please be aware of following possible obstructions

  • If it is prior to 10pm and anyone (including polling station staff or a police officer) states that you are too late to join the voting queue, then that person is lying
  • If you joined the voting queue prior to 10pm and anyone (including polling station staff or a police officer) attempts to stop you from voting, then that person is committing a criminal offence
  • If you joined the voting queue prior to 10pm and the voting hall and/or booths are made inaccessible or closed before you have voted, then that is a criminal offence
  • If anyone (including polling station staff or a police officer) asks for ID prior to you casting your vote then they are acting outside of the law

Filming at the polling station – please note the following

  • It is illegal to film yourself or anyone else voting
  • It is not illegal to film someone (including polling station staff or a police officer) who is obstructing your right to vote by using any of the methods described above

KEY POINT: Arrive at the polling station no later than 9pm

Election 2017: Don’t leave it too late in the day to vote

Election 2017: May’s response to London terror attack is shameless electioneering

This morning, (June 4th), twelve hours after the terrorist attack in London, Theresa May gave a speech to the media outside 10 Downing Street.  (May speech.)  Prior to giving the speech, May had agreed with Jeremy Corbyn that election campaigning would be ‘suspended’ for the day.  Similar to the ‘suspension’ of campaigning after the terrorist attack in Manchester – Suspension of election campaigns after terror attack – the Tories, May in particular, are using the attack, and Labour’s suspension of its campaign, as an opportunity to dominate the media.  

The bulk of May’s speech was a political statement.  She spoke as the leader of the Conservative Party, not the prime minister.  Less than a week before a general election, May’s decision to speak as such was deliberate.  It is particularly noteworthy that May outlined intent with respect to changes to the law, changes that could be made only if the Tories are in government at the end of this week.  That is clear electioneering.  The brutality of Lynton Crosby’s philosophy means that deaths and injury, at a pop concert in Manchester or among Saturday evening revellers in London, are an opportunity for the Tories to have a day or two of free electioneering.

The public see through this ruse.  This election campaign has persistently exposed the Tories as charlatans and liars.  Their tricks, misrepresentation and dead cats have been spotted immediately as have their evasive question-dodging and incompetence.  However, Theresa May, increasingly more hapless and pitiful, continues to treat the knowledge and intelligence of the public – the voters – with disdain.  In this morning’s speech she said 

On behalf of the people of London and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and emergency services.”

The Tories are destroying the NHS and have made huge cuts to police numbers.  Medical professionals and the police have been treated with utter contempt by the Tories for seven years.  The recently released Naylor report, a release that the Tories tried to delay until after the election, exposes plans to give away NHS land to property developers, there has been a dramatic fall in applications to study to be a nurse following the removal of nursing bursaries and Home Secretary Amber Rudd was heckled at a recent police federation conference after she displayed abject ignorance of police officers’ salaries.  A fraudulent claim in the Tory manifesto of £8 billion for the NHS was swiftly shown to be merely moving around money already assigned.  Privateers’ gofer Jeremy Hunt, allegedly the Health Secretary, lied about his input following the terrorist attack in Manchester: He claimed he was organising the response when all he had done was shake hands with a senior manager for a photo op.  The people of this country pay tribute to medical professionals and police officers but the Tories have no respect for either.

Later in her speech May proclaims 

Enough is enough.”

Circular tautological gibberish is one of May’s favourite Unwinisms.  What she has appeared to have forgotten is that prior to being prime minister, she was Home Secretary for six years.  What did she achieve in the fight against terrorism as Home Secretary?

  • Prevent Strategy that includes harassment of children at school and harassment of anti-fracking and environmental protesters
  • Endless expensive court cases to deport two extremist preachers
  • Schedule 7 to harass activists and journalists at airports

Alongside her focus on suppressing free speech rather than fighting terrorism, May also oversaw huge cuts to police numbers and the replacement of experienced prison staff with untrained low-paid G4S.  Perhaps she just forgot about her former responsibilities.  Certainly, those who care about safety and security will remember “enough is enough” when at the polling both on Thursday.

A generous portion of May’s speech discusses the use of social media to aid terrorism.  A key point to remember is that laws already exist to combat promotion of terrorism online.  An equally important point is that all of May’s discussion of plans to address terrorists’ use of social media is a plan for the future; that is, it is an electioneering policy statement.  Her observations on social media and terrorism are ignorant, insidious and another insult to the intelligence of the public/voters.  She begins by asserting that

We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provided internet based services provide.” 

The “big companies?”  Big companies like, for example, Google who the Tories allow to dodge millions upon millions in tax?  “The internet?” Is that an actual entity?

The Internet

We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace, to prevent terrorist and extremist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.” 

Why only “allied democratic governments?”  So, May does not want to work with, for example, China, or, more surprisingly, Saudi Arabia with whom the Tories have such a close relationship?  This is May unsubtly implying that only governments that conform to a particular structure can be trusted in the fight against terrorism.  It is a counter-productive and stupid thing to say.

As the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden especially online, the strategy needs to keep up. So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.”

Above, May describes an intent that extends beyond the final few days of the current government and, thus, is clear unabashed electioneering: It is an addendum to the Tory manifesto.  The phrase “the powers they need” is not synonymous with necessary changes to the law, in a democracy.

Theresa May has a history of opposition to free speech and of wanting to know what everyone is saying.  The Investigatory Powers Act, one of the most illiberal laws in any democracy, allows snooping by government agencies randomly and without proper legal process.  May wants to go further:

While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country. So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism, and we need to live out lives not in series of separated and segregated communities, but as one truly United Kingdom.”

“Tolerance of extremism?” Does she mean Prince Charles on one of his jollies to Saudi Arabia to prance about with fellow royals who are orchestrating devastating carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians?  Does she mean herself visiting Erdogan in Turkey to broker an arms deal with a president who is jailing opposition activists, journalists and teachers?  Does she mean Defence Secretary Michael Fallon who described mass murderer Duterte, president of Philippines, as having “shared values” with Britain?  

“Difficult and often embarrassing conversations?”  Is this a threat to pry into peoples’ private lives?  An extension of snooping that descends in Orwellian territory?  (May should have a difficult and embarrassing conversation with her husband to find out exactly how much the decisions she makes as prime minister assist his clients to dodge tax?)

“We need to live out lives not in series of separated and segregated communities.”  Do we?  If so, why are the Tories operating a social cleansing methodology for housing, particularly in London?


For a prime minister, a post-terror speech needs to be reassuring, compassionate and undivisive.  Theresa May failed completely.  Prodded by Lynton Crosby, she tried to do a campaigning speech but her haplessness and lack of sincerity shone through.  Hopefully, by the end of the week, her tenure can be dismissed as a footnote.


Election 2017: May’s response to London terror attack is shameless electioneering

Election 2017: A couple of false themes from the media reaction to BBC Debate

BBC hosted a seven-member leaders’ debate yesterday.  Prime minister Theresa May chose not to attend and sent Home Secretary Amber Rudd instead.  

There are limitations to the productiveness of a seven-person debate lasting two hours but there were some obvious observations.

Amber Rudd spouted lies and gormless platitudes about Tory achievements and plans that elicited laughter from the studio audience

Amber Rudd stated her support for arms sales to and British military expertise for Saudi Arabia to assist with that country’s carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians and said she supported such actions because it helped the arms industry.  (Welfare State For The Arms Industry)

Jeremy Corbyn continued his consistent coherent presentation of Labour’s plan and embodied leadership.

Caroline Lucas, Angus Robertson and Leanne Wood dealt with both Rudd and Nuttall expertly, as one would deal with petulant untrustworthy children.

Even funny little Tim Farron had a few clever prepared lines that he uttered at the right time, particularly those aimed at the absent Theresa May.

(Paul Nuttall dribbled some incoherent nonsense about Islam and immigration.)

The debate proceeded as expected with the expected winners and the expected loser: Theresa May.

False reaction from media

The right-wing and centrist media and their counterparts among politicians could not claim (as they would like to have done) that Amber Rudd had won the debate or that Jeremy Corbyn had been shambolic.  So, they chose to invent a couple of themes.

Theme 1: The debate made no difference

Clearly, it cannot be known immediately if the debate made a difference to anyone’s voting intentions.  To state that it certainly hadn’t made a difference is a deliberate ploy to undermine opposition to the Tories and deny the success of Labour’s campaign.  An invented theme aimed at directing opinion.

Theme 2: Shouting between panelists = Coalition of chaos

There were a few moments during the debate when several people were speaking at once.  Given that there were seven politicians present such moments are not surprising and they occupied a small portion of the time allotted for the debate.  The ‘coalition of chaos’ soundbite had been prepared by the Tories and distributed to the compliant media who were happy to use it, knowingly.

The TV debates are part of the election campaign.  They are not a significant part nor a useless part.  

Peremptory dismissal of the debates by the anti-Corbyn, pro-status quo mob is indicative of their fear.  They can see the losing post looming.  They have nothing but nonsense.

Election 2017: A couple of false themes from the media reaction to BBC Debate