Catalonia has a centre-right government and there are only a handful of left-of-centre MPs in its parliament; it is not at the top of the list of nations that are likely to lean leftward soon. However, international socialists should support the Catalan people without conditions.
Any nation that becomes independent from a capitalist state should, initially, receive support from socialists. More pertinently, the threats of state violence from Catalonia’s neighbour Spain toward the people of Catalonia are threats of violent control that are driven by and designed to protect the financial interests of the capitalist state of Spain. Those interests are opposite to the interests of socialists.
Presidents and prime ministers of fellow capitalist states, in Europe and beyond, have denounced Catalonia’s independence and have given unconditional support to Spain and, therefore, to the latter’s use of violence. These state leaders fear similar events to Catalonia’s independence occurring in their own countries; their messages of support for Spain are primarily messages to their own populations:
“Behave or we will be as violent as Spain.”
Socialists in any country must give support to Catalonia as they would to any target of state violence in their own countries. NATO’s Secretary General neatly explained why the fearful capitalist governments are against the existence of Catalonia:
By “our security” Stoltenberg means the security of the capitalist exploitative elite.
(Update: Michael Fallon resigned as Defence Secretary on November 1st for reasons unconnected with defence. He has been replaced with Gavin Williamson.)
The carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians by the Saudi Arabian air force continues. The bombings include deliberate mass release on schools, hospitals and, bizarrely, cemeteries. Alongside the targetting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, the Saudi navy, assisted by other nations’ navies, is deliberately blocking the supply of food and medicines to Yemen. As a result of the destruction of infrastructure including hospitals and the lack of supply of medicines, fatal diseases are endemic in Yemen. The diseases are treatable but, without treatment, lead to death. The blockade and continuing attacks on hospitals are (purposefully) preventing treatment.
Saudi Arabia is receiving direct assistance from the British government and the British armed forces to carry out its assault on Yemeni civilians. The military assistance includes tactical advice, elite training and naval support re. the aforesaid blockade. The political assistance is jointly as an overseas PR team that protects the reputation of Saudi Arabia regardless of its actions and as brokers to ensure lucrative arms deals proceed swiftly and without difficulty. British arms manufacturers and distributors are well-financed by Saudi Arabia and the Tories are very keen to keep the money flowing. Thus, it is important for the Tories, without hesitation or qualification, to support Saudi Arabia’s actions with no heed given the mass slaughter of Yemeni civilians.
The keenness of the Tories to work obediently for the arms industry is merely part of the normal Tory relationship with the corporate world. Tory MPs are corporate plants in parliament or else (or both) they are working as MPs to attain a future lucrative consultancy non-job. The normal corporate lines of business that employ Tory MPs are financial services (e.g. Sajid Javid), businesses that acquire public contracts (e.g. Jeremy Hunt), and, of course, the huge arms industry.
Defence Secretary “Sir” Michael Fallon knows how the system works. He knows that his priority as Defence Secretary is to facilitate arms deals for the industry based both in Britain and elsewhere (particularly USA); such arms deals can be with almost any country no matter how despotic, undemocratic, violent and opposed to basic human rights and freedoms that country’s government is. It’s all about the money. Fallon alternates, sometimes combines, between the roles of broker for the dealers and public relations for the customer. Nothing Fallon does is remotely connected to maintaining the well-being of any civilian in any country that may be affected by his brokerage of an arms deal.
Recently, there has been an increase in visible political opposition in Britain to Saudi Arabia’s assault on Yemen. Fallon has noticed the growth of this opposition and its success as persuasion. The government of Saudi Arabia has also noticed and, in order to put pressure on the British government to quell such opposition, has stalled signing an agreement to buy some weaponry. Fallon, as joint broker for the arms industry and PR guy for a dictatorship, reacted plaintively when answering questions at a parliamentary defence select committee; he said
“I have to repeat, sadly, to this committee that obviously other criticism of Saudi Arabia in this parliament is not helpful and … I’ll leave it there, but we need to do everything possible to encourage Saudi Arabia towards batch two. I believe they will commit to batch two.”
He left it there. The thousands bombed to smithereens, the thousands dying unnecessarily from treatable diseases, the hundreds of thousands made homeless with livelihoods destroyed, the millions displaced – none of those people matter to Fallon. It’s the arms industry profits that matter to him and, consequently, it matters to him to keep kissing the backsides of one of said industry’s biggest customers. For other MPs to doubt the ineluctable modality of the corruptible seems to Fallon to be inexplicable. He’s befuddled by it. He is perplexed by soul, by empathy, by social responsibility and by integrity; he is a Tory.
Two contentious letters were sent by two Tory MPs this week, one to Facebook headquarters and the other to all UK universities.
Both letters demanded access to private data. Neither letter supported its respective demands with any legal substance or judicial instruction. Both letters were phrased as requests but were typed on official parliamentary stationery to give the spurious impression of legal solidity.
Both Tory MPs, deliberately and with malice aforethought, chose to misrepresent the authority (or lack thereof) contained within the written “requests.”
Letter 1: Damian Collins letter to Facebook headquarters In his letter to Mark Zuckerberg, screenshot below (1), Collins says
“I am writing to you to request information regarding the use of Facebook advertising and pages by Russian-linked accounts in the lead up to, and during, the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union and the 2017 British general election.
“As you may be aware, the House of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is currently undertaking an inquiry into the phenomenon of fake news. Part of this inquiry will focus on foreign actors abusing platforms such as yours to interfere in the political discourse of other nations. It is for this reason that I am requesting that Facebook provides to my Committee details relating to any adverts and pages paid for, or set up by, Russian-linked accounts.“
Manœuvering past the clunky use of English reminiscent of a weakly educated person pretending to be adequately educated – Damian Collins attended a private school – the letter is full of clumsy signposting and inventive representation of reality. What is a “Russian-linked” account? Is it any Facebook account where the user is normally based in Russia? The phrase “the phenomenon of fake news” belongs in an Alex Jones rant or a Nick Cohen article. Collins is worried about “foreign actors abusingplatforms“but Facebookis based in USA and used throughout the world; also, and most pertinently, persuading someone to have a particular political opinion is not abuse. “My” committee? It’s a parliamentary committee not Collins’ own.
Letter 2: Chris Heaton-Harris letter to university vice chancellors In his letter to several university vice-chancellors, screenshot below (2), Heaton-Harris says
“I was wondering if you would be so kind as to supply me with the names of professors at your establishment who are involved in the teaching of European affairs, with particular reference to Brexit.
“Furthermore, if I could be provided with a copy of the syllabus and links to the outline lectures which relate to this area I would be much obliged.
“I sincerely hope you are able to provide me with such and I look forward to hearing from you soon.“
More clunky use of English – Heaton-Harris attended an “academy” school – and a bizarrely overwrought cod-politeness that belies the sinister nature of the requests in the letter. However, the most important fact to note is that all the information that Heaton-Harris asked for is available publicly. He could find it if he could be bothered to spend a short time looking around the websites of the universities. Thus, his reasons for the sending the letters are sheer laziness coupled with an intent to express a false authority. The entire letter is unnecessary Trump-like posturing. It is a gormless display of mock authority. Heaton-Harris is effectively saying “I’m watching you.” He is pathetic. The responses he has received from a variety of university administrators and academic staff have been relentlessly and marvellously mocking.
Desperate Tories Both letters are embarrassing. Both are displays of mock authority by weak people who are part of a government that is rapidly losing all power and respect. Heaton-Harris is a fool trying to get noticed and be relevant, Collins is a jumped-up little toad who has no clue what on earth he is talking about.
It is unclear what Tory MP Damian Green’s made-up job title – First Secretary of State – means but within its remit there appears to be the task of testing the popularity and feasibility of policy intent. To do this he throws down some half-baked garbled ideas in a newspaper column or radio/TV interview without explanation, detail or any answers to immediate queries, and he and his colleagues observe how the ideas are received and how they develop.
Of course, Green’s objective is to push policy proposals into public view laden with bias, misdirection and suggested conclusions. His tactic is a common one borrowed from the right-wing think-tanks. The tactic emphasises the Tories’ lack of confidence in their ideas: They are unable to present a policy plan coherently and ready for analysis and interrogation, so they slip it out as a pseudo-opinion piece packed full of crooked sign posts.
Fake plans about fake fake news Earlier this week Christopher Hope (apologies) promoted some such thoughts of Green in the Telegraph (apologies): Green fakes out. Comments below in italics are Green’s words followed by my Jacksons. (1)
“The point is that our political discourse needs to be better than it currently is, an argument that will not be lost on many people in this room whose livelihoods are under threat from unscrupulous blogs and websites that have no regard for any attempt to check the truth like the Canary, Breitbart, SkwawkBox.” Current “political discourse” is Theresa May and her colleagues dodging every question put to them by journalists and opposition MPs, and openly laughing in parliament at the lives destroyed by Tory policy. Green has grouped left-wing media sites with the corporate-funded far-right racist anti-Islam Breitbart site; he did this as a deliberate and childish insult to the former. The “many people in this room” that Green appeals to are journalists from right-wing newspapers owned by multi-million pound tax-dodgers; to describe left-wing sites as “unscrupulous” compared to those divisive rags is purposeful fraud by Green.
“If mainstream politicians and journalists start to behave like Twitter trolls and then democracy is in danger.” Right-wing newspapers and right-wing TV and radio are already full of professional trolls and screaming heads and Tory MPs behave like brats in parliament and online every day.
“I know there is a long history of insulting our leaders from Gillray cartoons onwards and I have no expectation or desire to go back to the era when journalists politely asked prime ministers if they wish to add anything else at the end of an interview.” Well, the current prime minister never answers a damn question from any journalist.
“But I do think that we need to respect each other motives, and treat each other’s views with courtesy, whether we are on either side to the Commons chamber or even on either side of the much bigger chasm of politicians and journalists.” No-one with any humanity should respect the “motives” of the Tories. Any respect or courtesy toward a Tory is the same as obedience.
“If we don’t, then we risk feeding an atmosphere of increasing hatred which at the most horrible of extremes led to the killing of Jo Cox.” The Tories promote division, including promoting racism, every day. It is a key facet of being a Tory. Jo Cox was killed by a far-right extremist who opposed her liberal views. The “many people in this room” that Green mentions earlier are partly responsible for the promotion and encouragement of far-right anti-liberal views; the current Tory government is equally responsible. However, Green is using Jo Cox’s death as a spurious excuse to attack left-wing news sites.
Green’s objective is to attack independent left-wing media. He and his Tory colleagues are aware of the rapidly increasing popularity and the successful arguments of such news outlets and their contributors. The Tories are very fearful of the genuine challenge to the right-wing pro-exploitation’s domination of political discourse. The fear is redolent in every word by Green quoted in the Telegraph.
Green’s comments are ram-packed with lies, misdirection, libel and conclusion sign-posting. His tactics are as reprehensible as Donald Trump’s. He wants to stifle or shut down left-wing criticism of the Tories while leaving the right-wing media free to promote Tory agendas. The extent of how low he is prepared to stoop in his dishonesty, fraud and confidence trickstering is shown by the fact that he unashamedly used the murder of Jo Cox in order to make a spurious point.
The same article has further recent quotes from Damian Green.
“Everyone, before they go in studs up on a political opponent, needs to think long and carefully about who they are talking to.” Tories are not “political” opponents, they are opponents of humanity. Tories are gimps of wealth terrorists. Tories exist to fleece the British people in order to fill the bottomless off-shore accounts of financial gangsters. Tories are deliberately destroying the health service, state education, the police service, the fire service and housing in order to mutate them into conduits to transfer taxes into the grubby hands of crooks in private “healthcare,” private “security,” etc. The only way to communicate with a Tory is assertively, aggressively and with no heed paid to their confidence tricks, their con tricks and their relentless lying.
“It might play well with your own troops to give your opponent a big kicking on the latest microsite but perhaps it behoves us all to ask: ‘Who is reading it and what are they going to do next?’ “ The right-wing newspapers, Tory websites and Tory-backed right-wing think-tanks are full of lies and rabble-rousing rhetoric designed to create division, prejudice, anger and violence, but Green libels the left-wing sites instead.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the language of political discourse and the descriptions political opponents use against each other has become markedly worse in my time in the House.” Well, yes, by the Tories and DUP. Hoards of Tory Bratboys laughing and mocking whenever an opposition MP asks a question or raises a point about the devastating effects of Tory violence on the British public.
Fearful Tories Fear is the key facet of Green’s motivation to attack the left-wing news sites. He fears what is being said and he fears how well and how widely the opinions on said sites are being received.
The Tories are comfortable with most of the mainstream newspapers, radio and television, they have the threat of charter renewal hanging over the heads of the BBC executives, and they are assisted by streams of warped and dishonest opinion pushing from a large mob of right-wing think-tanks, but they cannot control (at present) the ideology, content and analysis of the independent left-wing media. The fear of not being in control is eating at the Tories’ composure.
Authoritarian bans of free speech never appear suddenly. They creep up unnoticed. They are prepared, in advance, via misdirection, dead cats and word-fraud. In the quoted comments above, Green purposefully gave a false account of the effect of the left-wing news sites while simultaneously erasing the fact that his criticisms and (fake) observations apply much more readily to mainstream right-wing newspapers (who support the Tories) and/or the behaviour of Tory MPs.
Green’s intent is clear. However, his tactics are so obvious, so clumsy and so instantly refutable that he is, ultimately, just another Tory clown.
Labour MP Laura Pidcock made a sensible comment about not being friends with Tory MPs. Anyone opposed to Tory destruction of society welcomed Pidcocks’s remarks. The comments were mocked by right-wing media and Tory MPs, but Tory MPs never care about being disliked.
Predictably, the useless centrist gloop ambled over to butt in because it prefers not to miss any limp opportunity to attack a colleague of Corbyn. The problem for the Progress and Guardian types is that even Labour supporters who are not huge Corbyn fans were still supportive of what Laura Pidcock said, but that didn’t stop the professional centrists from droning on.
Happy friends As laughable as it sounds, happy stories about Labour and Tory politicians being pals are a theme of the centrist analysis. Part-time Guardian columnist Gaby Hinsliff’s Fiercest of rivals, best of friends, (“researched” before Laura Pidcock’s comment), contains a few embellished stories of pairs of politicians having fun together. The obvious flaw in Hinsliff’s political portmanteaux is that the “Labour” MPs chosen, Jess Phillips, Frank Field, Ruth Smeeth, are already much closer to May than Corbyn – the exception being Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti – and so “fiercest rivals” is a false statement. The creative writing in the concocted section on Ruth Smeeth and Tory Bratboy Johnny Mercer was particularly nauseous.
Hinsliff’s pre-amble in her article, (written after Laura Pidcock’s comment), depicted a centrist’s utopia of “rivals” in parliament and friends afterward. “[Pidcocks]’s an exception rather than the rule, in a place where even fierce ideological opponents rarely hate each other half as much as outsiders think” she claimed. To single out Pidcock was false, petty and deliberate misrepresentation, but a problem with the current parliamentary system is that there are not many “fierce ideological opponents” and that it is true most MPs “rarely hate each other.” However, Hinsliff was wrong to say “outsiders” have not noticed the lack of vitriol and she knows it is incorrect to say they hadn’t noticed; the public have always been aware of a lack of genuine challenge to the exploitative status quo. It is the existence of, or the potentiality of, a genuine challenge that scares the centrists; that is why Laura Pidcock’s comment has bothered them.
Tribalism? In politics, “tribalism” means unwavering support for one political party over another when the two parties occupy similar positions on the political spectrum. The word is used to imply that two such parties should work together or even coalesce. However, “tribalism” is not an applicable description in oppositional politics: Political parties with opposite viewpoints and ideologies are required to be in battle. In particular, opposition to the Tories’ destruction of society should be combative, relentless, focussed and cold. Opponents of socialism enjoy word-fraud and jumbling definitions and so use “tribalism,” wrongly, in the latter scenario described above.
Cosiness In the current structure of British politics the parliamentary cosiness is intrinsically anti-democratic and has turned the election of government into just a bland choice of administrations with similar objectives rather than a genuine choice of political ideologies. The enabling centre is keen to help to perpetuate the uselessness of the cosy atmosphere. For them, political “opposition” isn’t a challenge to what exists, it is merely a career, and that career is defined by its obsequiousness.
What are you? Thankfully, British politics is moving toward combative politics. Know where you stand and what you are against. It’s not a parlour game, it’s people’s lives.
If you have a Tory friend Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end Be it your sister Be it your brother Be it your cousin or your, uncle or your lover If you have a Tory friend now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end Be it your best friend Or any other Is it your husband or your father or your mother? Tell them to change their views Or change their friends Now is the time, now is the time, for your friendship to end So if you know a Tory who thinks he is your friend Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end Call yourself my friend? Now is the time to make up your mind, don’t try to pretend Be it your sister Be it your brother Be it your cousin or your uncle or your lover So if you are a Tory Our friendship has got to end And if your friends are Tories don’t pretend to be my friend So if you have a Tory friend Now is the time, now is the time for our friendship to end Goodbye
Regardless of political outlook, any government of a state, country or nation has both a moral responsibility to provide education for all children living there and a logical responsibility to ensure every child has an education to enhance the future prosperity of the nation. It is intellectually absurd and economically stupid to deny access to education. The education provided should be as strong in quality as it is in quantity, and should fully extend the capability to learn for each child. Such an approach to education is compatible with a concept of humanity and is basic common sense with respect to ensuring the nation is full of intelligent, knowledgeable and useful people.
A corollary to the above argument is that if any parent has reached a genuine conclusion that their child needs to attend a private school then the state has failed to provide adequate schooling.
In Britain there has been a succession of grossly incompetent and deliberately destructive Tory education ministers. The deliberate destruction of state education, including targetted under-funding and a stupidly provocative stance toward teachers’ unions, is a tool of promotional misinformation designed to create an entirely spurious need for major changes in state education. The changes the Tories have aimed for are to use state education as a means to channel public money (taxes) into the grasping hands of dodgy “owners” of “academies” and “free schools.”
Understandably, many parents, dismayed by the constant downgrading of state education by the Tories, have been forced to consider private schools for their children.
The existence of the most expensive elite private schools is not due to the (lack of) quality of state education. Eton, Harrow, Westminster, St. Paul’s, Winchester, Charterhouse, Dulwich etc. are not the schools that parents choose if they are concerned about the decline in state education. These elite schools have a different role in British society.
The elite schools exist to artificially perpetuate a system of power and control, entirely diametrically opposed to democracy, in government, the armed forces, the judiciary and the media. The Tory party (and other parties to a lesser extent), senior roles in the armed forces and judiciary and many senior positions in mainstream media (including, most notably, the BBC) are infested with the product of elite school training. The individual parts of these infestations are not where they are due to ability or suitability; they are the elements of a deliberate policy of specific training followed by placement.
The students are trained, at the elite schools and then at some of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges, to be obedient servants of the financial establishment in whatever component of power and control they are placed. The elite schools perform the intertwined tasks of training the students and of recognising which of them would be most suitable. Not only are they are not required to be intelligent but it is an advantage for them to be as thick as minced grouse. Pliable, bereft of any concept of social empathy, ambitious and lazy are ideal characteristics.
In particular, the students are trained, to the point of psychological imprint, to believe in the unchallengeable right of the financial establishment to remain in charge. They are trained to be focussed, throughout their ensuing professional careers, on feeding this establishment without wavering and without ever even thinking that any other system should prevail. The pupils who are turned into establishment gimps are tools but, individually, they benefit financially, often as millionaires and almost always at tax-payers’ expense. It is a system that feeds itself but the bill is paid by everyone else outside this privileged bubble.
Former prime minister David Cameron attained entry to Eton College via family connections and via the tax-dodged wealth of his father. He followed a typical career route from Eton to Oxford university to PR to politics. His tenure as prime minister was wholly characterised by the following qualities:
No concept of human empathy
Unwavering focus on supporting the financial elite
That is, his persona and his decisions as prime minister were consequences of his Eton training. Cameron is the archetypal elite private school product. The training of the future gimps of wealth terrorists is not a by-product of the elite private schools, it is their reason to exist. Thus, Cameron is their greatest achievement.
Who Pays? The elite private schools are very secretive about their funding. The students’ details are kept secret so that whoever pays the fees cannot be traced. Large donations from the worlds of business and finance are hidden. Fees and donations are tax-free which helps to hide them. The secretive nature of the funding allows cash to be “stored” as a donation. It stinks.
UK Defence Journal is part of the marketing and PR industry that supports arms manufacturers. The online Journal is an orgy of celebration of the capabilities of advances in military hardware and technology. Most of its output is a deluge of (usually brief) articles that read like the “news” sections of in-house sales magazines.
For example, Canada buys planes is a typical UK Defence Journal article: It lists some planes and equipment that the Canadian government is buying and lists the vendors. That is the entirety of the article. (N.B. Canada doesn’t need any of these planes or equipment; the “purchase” is just a means of transferring taxes into the grubby hands of the arms industry.)
There is a consistent political position throughout the UK Defence Journal. The following examples reveal this position.
Example 1: Investigatory Powers Act 2016 The title of an article – Is the Investigatory Powers Act really a ‘snooper’s charter’? – by UK Defence Journal editor George Allison revealed his opinion on the Tory government’s ongoing attacks on basic liberty, privacy and freedom of speech; that is, by posing the above question in the title Allison stated that he has chosen not to accept the ‘snooper’s charter’ definition. In the article, his weak defence of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 was not based on any (spurious) necessity for its existence nor on its usefulness, and he did not attempt to discuss the validity or lack thereof of the ‘snooper’s charter’ description. All he offered was the repeated observation that the Act updates previous similar Acts of parliament by adding powers that render lawful what security forces are already doing:
“It should be noted however that a great deal of the act didn’t introduce new powers but legally establish previous surveillance and hacking activities utilised in previous legislation.” “This Act like its predecessors is largely legalising practices already taking place.”
Allison posed a pejorative question as the article’s title, ignored this question throughout his article and said that there is nothing to worry about because the Act merely endorses all the existing illegal activities of security forces.
Example 2: Armed drone accuracy George Allison popped up again with another leading-question-as-title article with Are unmanned aircraft as dangerous as claimed?Like example 1, Allison didn’t attempt to answer the question he put in the title. Quotes from anonymous British military salespersons form the bulk of the article, interspersed by absurd summary by Allison of their sales pitches. He concludes with “The fact is, these aircraft are often less dangerous to civilians than their manned counterparts.” Nowhere prior to that assertion did Allison attempt to prove his stated “fact.” He claimed it is true because military PR have said it is true. The article is anti-analysis masquerading as analysis and it sums up both the UK Defence Journal’s political position and its contempt for discourse and debate.
Example 3: War in Yemen Saudi Arabia’s continuing assault on the civilians of Yemen is mass murder. Civilian homes, schools, hospitals and vital infrastructure have been targetted deliberately by the Saudi air force. Aid heading to Yemen to help the victims is stopped by Saudi military action both in the air and at sea. Preventable, but deadly, diseases are spreading rapidly in Yemen due to the destruction of infrastructure and hospitals by the Saudi air force, and the medical response to these diseases is being denied, deliberately, by the blockade of aid.
Saudi Arabia is receiving tactical and technical assistance from both UK and US militaries, and much of the hardware – planes, bombs and missiles – is of UK or US origin, purchased in recent arms deals sanctioned by the UK and US governments respectively.
However, the UK Defence Journal has chosen to be blind to the mass murder. In Yemen: A Regional Cold War between Saudi Arabia and IranOliver Steward sees only a struggle for regional power between Saudi Arabia and, er, Iran. He described the systemic slaughter of civilians in Yemen by the Saudi military as “the crisis in Yemen.” His use of “crisis” was to avoid attaching blame and to depict the thousands of civilians deaths as not caused by anyone else.
Steward thinks that “the major concern is that Saudi led intervention against Iranian backed Houthis rebels has the potential of causing further instability in the region, and dragging other major powers into the struggle.” The dead civilians, and those suffering with deadly diseases for which that the Saudi military blockade prevents medical help, are not “Iranian backed Houthis rebels.” What “other major powers” does Steward mean?
Steward’s analysis – beyond his selective blindness of the victims of Saudi slaughter – is he wants “the sole superpower,” the United States, to get directly involved: “The United States needs to take it upon themselves to offer leadership and a peaceful response to the Yemen crisis.” Of course, the US is very involved with the Saudi military actions. Beyond “logistical support” that Steward mentioned, the US has supplied military experts and has assisted with the sea blockade to restrict food and medical aid, and the Yemeni civilians, whose homes and family have been destroyed, can find casings that show exactly which factory in the US made the bomb.
Steward’s article is cold and disgusting. His conclusion – greater US involvement – is deliberate obfuscation and deliberate dishonesty. Steward is fully aware that US “involvement” is a major contributing factor in the Saudi mass murder of Yemeni civilians. He has willfully ignored the current reality in Yemen and chosen to attain a conclusion that demands more imperialism.
Example 4: Trident Ahead of an article from a non-UK Defence Journal writer – (Trident: Why Have It?) – there is a editorial disclaimer: “This article is the opinion of the author, the UK Defence Journal has no stance on Trident.” For a group that claims to have no “stance” on Trident, there are a lot of celebratory pro-Trident articles.
Former Murdoch hack James Harding will leave his post as director of BBC news at the end of the year.
Harding’s tenure at the BBC consisted of the implementation of two objectives he brought from The Times: Stupefaction and political bias.
Stupefaction Dumbing-down the news, both in content and in presentation, has always been a key component of any Murdoch newspaper or broadcaster. The Murdoch ethos is diametrically opposed to what the BBC is supposed to do as stated by former director-general John Reith: Inform, educate and entertain.
The effects of Harding’s anti-intelligence directives were visible throughout BBC news coverage. Some general examples:
Focus on irrelevant side issues to restrict time spent on most important news
False “balancing” of informed guests with complete idiots in spurious debates
Deliberate lack of preparation by interviewers so that interviewees could spout nonsense with no fear of follow-up question to challenge their falsehoods
A reliance on outside consultancy firms – with dubious reputations – to provide guests for on-air opinions, with no prior research done by the BBC into the integrity or knowledge of said guests or of the promotion behind them
Recruitment policy that focused on which posh school a candidate attended rather than her or his ability
All of the above techniques were designed to stifle the flow of information to viewers or listeners and to distract. That is, all are techniques of Murdoch’s media.
Political bias Though not specifically right-wing, the bias that Harding enhanced (rather than introduced) at BBC news had the objective of shifting the BBC’s positioning of the Overton window further to the right.
This rightward drift was achieved by, among other tactics,
Dedicated campaign to normalise UKIP via disproportionate airtime given to the party’s protagonists
Equal and opposite (to above point) marginalisation of left-wing parties and campaign groups
Marked difference in style (with same interviewer) between interview with a right-of-centre guest and one with a left-of-centre guest
Use of members of various right-wing think-tanks as “independent” “experts” to provide “analysis.”
Harding was able to attain his two main objectives without too much internal opposition because the threat of interference in the BBC by the Tory government, with respect to charter renewal, was always a sinister presence.
The appointment of Harding was a bad appointment by the BBC. It was an appointment informed by fear, a fear that encouraged the BBC to try to please the Tories by appointing someone they thought the Tories would like.
Will the BBC regain any courage before appointing Harding’s successor?
In the olden days, the 1980s, Tory backbenchers were chinless, inbred weirdos parachuted into parliament via an antiquated system of political incest that favoured stupidity. They were what Jacob Rees-Mogg pretends to be.
Today, the back benches of the Tory party are home to truculent, unintelligent trolls and thugs. The politics is exactly the same as before, the relentless dishonesty and confidence tricks are exactly the same, the detachment from any concept of the social nature of humanity is exactly the same and the gimp-like obedience to the instructions of the free marketeer exploiters is exactly the same; the difference is a change in style of communication.
Motivation The Bratboys know that their party has nothing to offer and that it has been rumbled. It is not possible to defend (with a straight face) the heady mix of continuous lies and unbridled incompetence in the Tory government. Lickspittles try a smiling fraudulent defence of Tory destruction but, inevitably, cast themselves as unthinking automatons with the integrity of chocolate Agas.
But, Bratboys don’t want to be anonymous drones. Bratboys crave the notoriety and effect of the dumbest media and social media trolls, and they use the same trolls’ tactics to attain that effect: They lie, insult, provoke, denigrate and smirk, as rudely as possible, to get a reaction, and keep throwing the distracting dead cats down to dodge debate.
Tactics Bratboys want to occupy others’ debating time in order to deter real discussion. Their stupefacio operandi mimics that of badly nurtured pre-teen brats who stop the adults from having an intelligent informative conversation. Deliberate childish provocation and persistent petulance are the most popular tactics used, accompanied by the smug smirk of a pickpocket who observes his victim looking for a misplaced wallet.
When the Bratboys lie about Tory (non-)achievements or about Labour policy they are not pretending to be serious like the aforesaid automatons; the Bratboys are lying dramatically and visibly: “Look at me, lying. Isn’t that hilarious?” When they mock those less fortunate than themselves, people who are suffering due to Tory destruction of society, the Tory Bratboys do so with gleeful nastiness descending toward ghoulishness.
Everything done by the Bratboys is deliberate, not gaffes and not due to inexperience. However, that doesn’t mean that there is intelligence behind their acts. There is no intelligence, but even a dung beetle knows how to roll a piece of hippopotamus turd into a transportable spheroid.
Venn diagram The Venn diagram below shows where the Tory Bratboys sit.
Former Tory party chairman Grant Shapps has crawled out from under his grime-covered rock to try to activate a leadership challenge to Theresa May. For anyone who is not a Tory supporter, any such challenge (and its outcome if successful) is only a source of amusement. A Tory is a Tory. However, the dearth of capable candidates is worth noting.
So far – (by October 6th) – just two people have publicly backed Shapps’ desire for a change of leadership, namely Sebastian Fox and Michael Green. The intrinsic cowardice of the Tory psyche deters others from immediately supporting his aim.
Imagine opening a fridge to find only one floppy carrot, a dribble of post sell by date milk and a large jar of unopened rancid pickled eggs. Disappointment would ensue, but, if very hungry, one would probably make some effort with the carrot. Analogously, which Tory is the floppy carrot?
Current cabinet members
(When education minister) a key protagonist in the destruction of state education
Obsequious interview with Donald Trump
Opposed to the NHS
Very, very close to the Saudi royal family – That’s a nice watch Mr. Hammond!
(As chancellor of the exchequer) a strong advocate of vicious cuts to welfare provision that mainly target people with disabilities
(As home secretary) a persistent perpetrator of contempt of court with respect to illegal deportations
Indulged in voluminous corporate tax avoidance prior to being an MP
Corporate plant in politics
Support for vicious cuts to welfare provision
Persistent racism, bigotry and xenophobia
Financially disastrous tenure as mayor of London, including millions wasted on the absurd “garden bridge”
(When mayor of London ) reckless cuts to fire service in London – (to please his property developer friends) – that were factors in the severity of the Grenfell Tower fire
Professional liar and confidence trickster
(As defence minster) allowed a non-governmental business associate to attend international meetings
Stated that Britain has “shared values” with mass murderer Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte
Scottish Tory Party, led by Davidson, is pock-marked with MSPs, councillors and activists who have been unsuspended after having been suspended (briefly) for a variety of racist or bigoted comments and acts.
Vacuous, hollow soundbiter
Do the Tories have anyone in reserve as thrilling as a man called Owen Smith? Could Johnny Mercer, James Cleverly or Nadine Dorries be the sacrificial stalking donkey? Will Ken Clarke try one last hurrah? A nation awaits.