At least once a year a few politicians, owners of large business and bankers meet in a hotel to have a few chats about strategy and tactics that governments could use to maintain the capitalist status quo. These Bilderberg meetings are mutual updates and exchanges of advice. The attendees come from different countries and different political parties.
There are some common facets of the attendees:
Rarely is there anyone from Africa, Central Asia or South and Central America
Most attendees are white
Almost all attendees are men
Many attendees are very old
(For the opponents of the continuation of exploitative international capitalism and imperialism it is nice to know that many of the culprits are in the same place at the same time for a few days.)
Myths, Pantomime, Farce The organisers of the Bilderberg meetings have sought over the years to develop myths about the meetings. In order to create a false sense of importance and elitism there are no recordings or minutes of meetings, there exists pantomime security around the location and attendees are encouraged to be stupidly evasive if they are asked by journalists to comment on the details of discussion or on the identity of other attendees. This farce extends to arrests of journalists who have attempted to get close to the location when a meeting is in progress. All this behaviour is just a Mack Sennett comedy.
The reality is that these meetings are gatherings of the self-aggrandised and the thick who want to be part of something and who desperately crave spurious recognition as people of importance. It is a sad example of group delusion. Nothing remarkable is said; no fresh ideas are exclaimed; not one profound work is spoken. Mutual ego-stroking of ham actors playing parts in a bad play. Ed Balls is a recent attendee.
It would be an extremely peculiar predilection to wander the streets gathering a variety a dog excrement remains, displaying them to the public neatly arranged and declaring the presentation not only as art but as a seminal piece that portends a new exciting art movement. Equally, it would absurd to handpick the most predictable quantity-over-quality professional trolls and self-appointed opinion-deliverers, who occupy the range of political perspectives from right-of-centre to far right-of-centre, provide yet another vehicle for them to spout their non-didactic drivel and announce that a new platform for disseminating ideas has been gifted to humanity. Perhaps, some artist, somewhere, at some time, has created art similar to the aforesaid faeces manipulation – I am not an art historian and have no desire to be one; what is certain is that someone, namely right-wing think-tank veteran Tim Montgomerie, has inflicted further bouts of spontaneous lobotomies with the creation of Unherd.
There is no shortage of possibilities online for anyone with an opinion, or even with useful information and analysis, to speak to the world. Indeed, some of the blogs, vlogs, facebook accounts, periscoping, etc. are often much better and fuller sources of news and/or more rounded analyses that most of the professional output and Montgomerie knows this. He knows that his description of UnHerd’s aims is about ten years late. He knows that his use of both ‘unherd’ and ‘unheard’ is the opposite of what UnHerd offers: The invited columnists’ list is as bland and as predictable as the comedy of Dec and Ant and is definitely not a gathering of the ‘unheard’ – centrist sniping of Bloodworth, far-right new colonialism of Douglas Murray, a few MPs and MSPs self-promoting – and a ‘herd’ (or a less polite collective noun like ‘stench’) would be apt for this group. Unherd is, indubitably, ‘heard’ and a ‘herd.’
In Montgomerie’s introduction he states one of Unherd’s topics will be “making capitalism work for the many.” It is undeniable that he doesn’t mean the same as Jeremy Corbyn’s slogan “for the many.” Montgomorie and his fellow opinionators know that capitalism is, by invention and by use, designed to work for the few and, thus, the phrase quoted above espouses the intrinsic dishonesty at the heart of Unherd’s ethos.
What is the point of Unherd? It is just another label that can be used by the contributors (and Unherd’s financial backers) to con the media into giving yet more opportunities for the same tired old confidence trickster opinions to be broadcast. That is it.
Communist revolutionary Friedrich Engels’ ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’ described working class lives and working conditions in industry in the early to mid-nineteenth century. His description included analysis of causes and consequences of the state of people’s lives. He elucidated the political causes in the context of propertied class versus working class and exposed the aims of the former and its relentless exploitation of the latter.
In the final chapter,Results – a description of typical daily lives of people living in towns and cities, Engels posited the hardships of such lives not only asa direct and inevitable consequence of capitalist methodology but also as the result of deliberate policy.
“But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live – forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence – knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual; disguised, malicious murder, murder against which none can defend himself, which does not seem what it is, because no man sees the murderer, because the death of the victim seems a natural one, since the offence is more one of omission than of commission. But murder it remains.“
He devised the charge ‘Social Murder.’
“I have now to prove that society in England daily and hourly commits what the working-men’s organs, with perfect correctness, characterise as social murder, that it has placed the workers under conditions in which they can neither retain health nor live long; that it undermines the vital force of these workers gradually, little by little, and so hurries them to the grave before their time. I have further to prove that society knows how injurious such conditions are to the health and the life of the workers, and yet does nothing to improve these conditions. That it knows the consequences of its deeds; that its act is, therefore, not mere manslaughter, but murder, I shall have proved, when I cite official documents, reports of Parliament and of the Government, in substantiation of my charge.”
(The remainder of the chapter provided the proof that Engels claimed.)
Social Murder is a necessary facet of capitalist and imperialist exploitation. Without the continuous presence of this crime the exponential unearned profits for an elite would decline. Clearly, the fightback by the people had achieved apparent diminished prevalence of Social Murder since the mid-nineteenth century but this reduction is illusory: The criminal acts just moved to other countries through the use of first colonialist imperialism and later economic imperialism.
In Britain from 1945 to 2010 there had been a steady (though occasionally stalled) attempt to remove Social Murder via creation of and continuous improvement of the NHS, extensive social housing building (until 1979) and laws to protect workers and tenants. In the three decades immediately preceding 2010 the fight against Social Murder had been piecemeal with some retardation.
Since 2010 a reversal has occurred. All the progress attained since 1945 is being destroyed rapidly. Seven years of government from obedient servants of wealth terrorists, the former trained in inhumane and extreme anti-social elitism at some of the top private schools in Britain, has been a relentless single-minded violent destruction of anything that counters Social Murder. The most destructive acts are the following.
The deliberate destruction of the NHS
Healthcare is a necessity. Therefore, in a society without an NHS, healthcare is an enormous source of unearned income for the wealth terrorists via health insurance and direct payment, the latter often leading to a lifetime of debt for the patient; those who are too poor to afford adequate insurance and those with chronic illnesses are left to become more ill and die. The current impasse in the USA regarding the president’s attempts to make changes to public healthcare is a debate between republicans about how best to exploit the ill for the benefit of the vulture health insurers. In Britain, the two most recent Tory Health Ministers, Andrew Lansley and Jeremy Hunt, have been well-schooled by health bandits from the USA in how to destroy the NHS and how best toprepare the UK healthcare system for exploitation. Whilst maintaining a shameless unblinking presentation of lies the two health ministers have oversaw
NHS property and land given away to developers
Continuous arbitrary closures of hospitals, health centres and GP’s surgeries
Removal of bursaries for nursing students leading to a huge reduction in applicants
Deliberate over-working of doctors, accompanied by a campaign against legitimate concerns raised by junior doctors, with the intent of encouraging doctors to leave the NHS
Management of services, including ambulances, paramedics, cleaning staff, telephone services (including 999 calls) “outsourced” to made-up companies that have no interest in providing an adequate service and who subject their employees to overlong working hours and low pay
Introduction of “optional” payments to fast-track patient access to a doctor; those who are unable to pay are shunted to the back of the queue
The above and other tactics are part of the strategy to destroy the NHS. Its destruction has been narrated by ghouls who repeat the mantra: “Look how bad the NHS is performing. It needs to be replaced.”
The removal of the NHS is a deliberate social policy that views ill people as commodities or as burdens. The former are fleeced and the latter are left to die. Healthcare insurers and financial vultures profiteer. Clear Social Murder.
Vicious campaign against people with disabilities
Even for the expert money-grabbers in the wealth terrorism industry there is no profit to be made out of a person with a disability or chronic illness that severely inhibits their ability to work. Tories view disabled people as a cost in healthcare, welfare and housing with no financial return. The ethos of the conservative mind cannot accept that it is appropriate to provide support for someone without there also being an unearned profit for the wealth pillagers. Thus, since their return to government in 2010, the Tories have been engaged in multi-layered attacks on people with disabilities and/or chronic debilitating illnesses. Basic financial support, access to housing and life-dependent healthcare have all been slashed in quantity and in quality including the following.
‘Fit For Work’ tests The dehumanising and incompetent ‘fit for work’ tests are imposed by the DWP on anyone claiming any disability benefit. Conducted by poorly trained unsuitable personnel the monitoring of the tests is designed so that almost every person forced to take part will be declared fit for work. As soon as such a judgement is passed, benefit related to disability stops and the participant must begin to look for work and make a claim for unemployment benefits.
If someone is too ill to attend or their disability makes attendance impossible then that person has all their benefits removed. The appeals procedure to challenge ‘fit for work’ decisions is designed to fail – staff are given bonuses for failing an appeal – and takes months which is too long for many people, and the appeals procedure against benefit sanctioning does not exist. Doctors have been coerced into charging exorbitant fees for medical letters of support for someone attending a ‘fit for work’ test or who is unable to attend one.
Many have received a demand to attend such a test or a notification of benefit sanction due to non-attendance while they lay on their death-bed suffering from a terminal illness. Attendees have exasperated their illnesses by taking part in a ‘fit for work’ test when not well enough to do so. Some people have had to be rushed to hospital after becoming severely ill at a test and subsequently had their benefits sanctioned due to abandoning the test.
The devastating consequences of the ‘fit for work’ tests and the accompanying conduct by decision-making DWP staff are eviction, destitution, illness relapse and death. Thousands of deaths. Deaths caused by attending tests when not fit to attend, deaths caused by removal of vital financial support including people unable to purchase necessary medication and some people starving after benefit sanctions, deaths as a consequence of eviction and deaths caused by taking on jobs when not well enough to do so.
Bedroom Tax The bedroom tax, a partial removal of housing benefit if a residence has what is arbitrarily deemed to be an extra room or rooms, has particularly affected people with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses because, often, a residence has been adapted to assist with the specific needs of the resident. Thus, moving to a smaller property has been impossible for many disabled people and, therefore, their financial support is reduced causing hardship, affecting health and leading to eviction.
Removal of disability vehicles Many disabled people have had their vehicles removed. Mobility scooters and specially adapted cars have been taken from people. The senselessness of the snatching of these vehicles is palpable: Most of the cars are specifically adapted for one person and are not easily transferable to someone else. Some people have had to abandon work because of the removal of their vehicles. It is a policy that appears to have been enacted purely out of spite.
None of the government’s assaults on the lives and livelihoods of people with disabilities “saves” any money for the tax payers. Driven by warped extreme ideology that had been created in anti-human think-tanksCentre For Social Justice,Institute of EconomicAffairs,Adam Smith Institute and others, the Tory targetting of disabled people started as the typically right-wing strategy of dividing the public by trying to cast some people as an enemy to be got at. This strategy morphed quickly into a many-headed relentless attack that served no logical purpose and continues because the Tories hate to admit bad judgement and because they are unwilling to perceive the deaths and broken livelihoods as problematic. “That it knows the consequences of its deeds; that its act is, therefore, not mere manslaughter, but murder” explained Engels.
Grenfell Tower fire
The causes of the rapid spread of the fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, London and the reasons for a high death toll are clear:
Reckless management of fire safety at Grenfell by various incompetent contractors hired by an indifferent council that led to flammable cladding attached to outside of building, no fire alarms and insufficient fire escape plans
Contempt by Kensington and Chelsea Council toward hundreds of legitimate concerns raised by Grenfell tenants over several years regarding fire safety including threats of legal action by the council against tenants to force complainants to remove publicly accessible documents that described fire safety issues
Pyre of health and safety regulations and concomitant legal obligations for property owners and businesses since 2010
Devastating cuts to fire service (personnel, equipment and stations) in London by former mayor Boris Johnson
All of the causes of the fire were created by the same ideology and the same intent. The ideology is that everything and everybody exists as means to help service the profits of the wealth terrorists. Vital fire stations are, in the eyes of Eton-educated buffoon Johnson, property to be handed over; from the perspective of exploitative businesses and property owners, health and safety regulations are an obstacle to maximising profit; social housing is taking up space that could be used by luxury property developers; social tenants are not only in the way of said developers and profiteers but also less likely to vote Tory: In the first of this year’s general elections Labour’s Emma Coad won the Kensington parliamentary seat from the Tories with a majority of just twenty, a number much lower than the number of people who later died in Grenfell Tower.
The behaviour of Kensington and Chelsea council since the fire has combined indifference, incompetence, contempt and abuse. It has failed abjectly to provide adequate assistance to displaced residents, it has restricted access for victims and media to attend public council meetings, councillors have abused survivors on social media and the council has tried to “rehouse” survivors outside the borough, presumably with that aforesaid constituency majority of twenty in mind. The Tory government’s response has been cursory and distant and it purposefully chose an entirely inappropriate judge to lead an “inquiry.” Nothing said or done by the government or the council since the fire suggests that either is willing to perceive culpability and, disturbingly, the Grenfell fire hasn’t surprised or shocked them. The lack of surprise at such a horrific incident reveals knowledge that reckless administration can have, and is very likely to have, awful consequences. That is a difference between manslaughter and murder. “That it knows the consequences of its deeds; that its act is, therefore, not mere manslaughter, but murder.“
Murder or Social Murder
Engel’s description of Social Murder remains applicable 170 years later. Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell used the description in reference to the Grenfell Tower fire. McDonnell is not a communist but one doesn’t need to be to see the clarity and accuracy of Engel’s phrase. For Grenfell, for the destruction of the NHS and for the constant assault on the lives and livelihoods of disabled people, it is necessary only to consider whether the acts are Social Murder or murder.
One of the Tories’ little helpers, Telegraph hack Ben Riley-Smith, cobbled together a few half-backed complaints by Tory MPs about abuse they received while campaigning prior to the first of this year’s general elections. Riley-Smith’s piece is here: Abuse at Tories. (It’s a ‘Premium’ article requiring payment to see all of it, but the first two paragraphs are visible and they set the gormless tone adequately. The MPs’ quotes from Riley-Smith’s piece appear in a similar article on the Independent website: Indy on abuse at Tories.)
The complaints are lightweight: Abuse and idle threats on social media, a few angry shouted comments in the street and the odd face-in-face moment. None of the incidents described are unusual and they are not a new phenomena. Politicians from all parties have similar encounters.
The co-ordinated whingeathon from a few backbench Tories is partly motivated by their respective self-promotions but its main purpose is to continue smearing opponents. This smear tactic is doomed to fail because
All the smears from the right are transparent in motive and intent
The examples of ‘abuse’ are flimsy and unremarkable
Abuse aimed at Tories is often met with observational indifference or even support
The transparency of the methodologies of the anti-socialists has become obvious – Transparent politicians and media. We can see right through the pantomime behaviour by the backbench Tories as they whinged about abuse.
One culprit, Johnny Mercer (pictured above), like many fellow Tory backbenchers, has enjoyed winding people up by being deliberately provocative and offensive on twitter and, so, any complaint from him is laughable and treated with the contempt it deserves; another, Sheryl Murray, who had praised the need for foodbanks, chose to confuse parliamentary protocol with twitter terms and conditions when she objected to non-constituents tweeting her regarding her political views and actions;
a third, Nigel Evans, got all flustered because he was calleda terrorist and child murderer – presumably a reference to the Tory government’s use of the British military to support Saudi Arabia’s carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians. Evans declared that the description aimed at him was a “new low in campaigning.” Perhaps, Evans had momentarily forgotten the constant deluge of libel, smears and abuse hurled at Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott by the Tories’ friends in the right-wing media during the election campaign, or Evans may have just been play-acting in the usual Tory pantomime infested with fraud, deceit, lies and misdirection. Byron Davies, who was kicked out on his backside by the voters of Gower in June’s general election, is using his newly acquired spare time as an opportunity to rant incoherently on twitter about “vile” Labour party supporters being rude to Tories.
Of course, Tory MPs always treat people with civility and respect do they not? No, they don’t. This twitter thread from Evolve Politic’s Matt Turner lists a few examples: Tories with a cob on.
Why abuse a Tory?
Abuse, even short bursts of anger, normally has some logic behind its use. A reason exists, from the perpetrator’s perspective, to utter or type a vitriolic remark often intentionally rude and unpleasant. The reason could be valid or not and the step from anger to act could be instantaneous or planned carefully. Such behaviour is not abnormal; it combines beastly rage with cerebral logic which are both aspects of human psyche. (Recommended reading; ‘Man, Beast, Zombie’ by Kenan Malik.)
Angry abuse directed at Tories must have some logic behind it. What could that be? Let’s have a damn good think about that.
In other news, entirely unrelated to reasons to abuse a Tory, here is a short sample list of what Tories are up to
Vicious targetted cuts to financial support for people with disabilities leading to destitution, homelessness, illness and death
Deliberate reduction in quantity and quality of service provided by the NHS as a tool to destroy the NHS and replace with private healthcare
Replacement of state education system with academies whose purpose is to provide unearned income to owners of academies with accompanying decline in education standards
Reduction in quality and quantity of fire service, a factor in the death toll at the Grenfell Tower fire
Reckless removal of health and safety regulation to increase business and property owner profits, a factor in the death toll at the Grenfell Tower fire
Removal of workers’ rights re. working hours, minimum hourly pay, holiday entitlements and health and safety issues
Selective financial assistance to councils that acutely favours Tory councils leading to removal of vital services in non-Tory-controlled areas
Reduction in corporation tax and other taxes that favours the wealthy
Acquiescence with multi-billion pound tax-dodging, a practice used by most Tory MPs and their families, and enabled by the prime minister’s husband Philip May
Military assistance for Saudi Arabia to carpet bomb Yemeni civilians, hospitals and schools
Military sales to Turkey, a country where opposition politicians, journalists and teachers are being jailed in their thousands
The recurring theme whereby contracts for public projects are awarded to businesses in which Tory MPs have a financial interest
Laughter by Tory MPs in the House of Commons whenever opposition MPs describe the lives of people who are suffering under the Tory boot
The fact that, by definition, every Tory MP is a fully paid gimp of financial terrorists
Given what the Tories are up to every day, given what the intrinsic priorities are of the Tory party: A method for channelling as much public money (taxes) into the grubby hands of a few tax-dodging international criminals, given the party’s use of division and imbued prejudice to distract people, given the absolute lack of any interest in social responsibility or humanity (except as an electoral con trick) and given the nasty and unpleasant demeanor of every Tory MP then it is astonishing that the millions who are adversely affected by the Tories’ acts are able to maintain their civility and composure.
The Tory whingers and their enablers in the media can sod off.
“Our vision is a future for the countryside which both preserves its traditional values and promotes a thriving rural community and economy.”
The Countryside Alliance (CA) is a conservative political lobby group that protects the financial interests of corporate landowners of the British countryside, many of whom are the absentee offshore type. The CA’s main activity is to coerce the government into using tax-payers’ money to enhance the profits of these landowners.
Money grabbers Examples of the aforesaid coercion are in the CA’s Rural Charter 2017, a document that outlines the CA’s wish list in a post Brexit UK. The quotes below are taken from this document.
The CA demands “incentives for landowners to make land available for affordable housing in rural communities.” That is, the CA wants tax-payers’ money to be handed over to non-contributing owners of unused land (in addition to the cost of buying or leasing the land) in exchange for the owners allowing people to have somewhere to live.
The CA wants the government to “ensure that [post Brexit] UK farmers and producers continue to have access to the EU labour market, which may include the reintroduction of a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.” This is a demand for UK government intervention (that is, tax-payers’ money) to be used to subsidise what is already cheap labour to maximise the profits of landowners.
The hunting industry is a significant source of income for the rural landowners. The CA wants the government to maintain “tariff-free and frictionless trade with the EU in firearms, ammunition and game meat, and ensure that those travelling to or from Europe to take part in country sports face no additional bureaucracy or costs.” Again, the CA wants preferential post Brexit access to the EU for an issue that affects the income of rural landowners; such post-Brexit access would be attained via negotiation between UK government and the EU with inevitable costs to the UK tax-payers.
Animal welfare? The CA congratulates itself repeatedly as a defender of animal welfare. This onanistic back-slapping is at odds with its posture toward the RSPCA: Countryside Alliance attacks RSPCA.
Fox hunting with hounds is fully supported by the CA, including the use of violent mercenary thugs to prevent animal welfare activists from monitoring the hunts for illegality.
CA media appearances Watch out for this pair on TV.
Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanks