Following a successful, cohesive, confident and determined Labour conference with strong policies, and with the Tories’ anti-preparation for Brexit in utter shambles, what can we expect from the Tories at their conference?
Brexit is heading inexorably to a no-deal departure that will bring joy to the disaster capitalists and their gimps in the Tory party and in the dark money DUP. Some Tories are pretending to oppose a no-deal Brexit as a ruse to distract and to use up media airtime. False debates between allegedly no-no-deal and no-deal Tories, with help from a compliant media, will be staged during the conference; meanwhile, Rees-Mogg, Gove, Johnson, Raab, Patel, Hancock, etc. (and Philip May) will be taking instructions from the disaster capitalists and their PR teams in various secretly funded right-wing think-tanks on how best to ensure that vultures can make money out of a cliff-fall Brexit and sod the majority of people in Britain.
The Tory party has always used racism as a tool to generate division and to distract. The attacks on the lives of the Windrush citizens continues: Homelessness, untreated illnesses (due to denial of NHS care), destitution, deportation and death are the consequences of the deliberate racist policy introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Current Home Secretary Sajid Javid is happy to continue the attacks.
Anti-Islam rhetoric and actions are routine for the Tories. Recent examples include Tory candidate for Mayor of London, Shaun Bailey, endorsing anti-Islamic comments aimed at current mayor Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson campaigning for the EDL by writing some childish comments about the clothes worn by some Muslim women.
Antisemitism is not a stranger to the Tory party: Tory MEPs gave full support to the anti-Semite Viktor Orban in the EU parliament, a decision backed publicly by Tory MPs in the UK.
However, the Tory plan is to claim that Labour (and other left-wing politicians and activists) are racist and antisemitic and to equate left-wing politics with the extreme-right. The Tories know that such claims are unambiguous fabrication but they will be backed vociferously by the right-wing media and, even more loudly, by the centrist media including BBC news and Channel 4 news, and by Progress MPs. Theresa May showed this deceitful intent in advance of the conference in comments reported by Channel 4 news: May spouts nonsense.
The conference will alternate between and combine two contradictory but equally untrue assertions: LIES about Labour’s plans announced at its conference and LIES about Tory plans on similar vital issues.
Labour has plans to stop the destruction of NHS, education, welfare system, police services, etc., to improve workers’ rights, to stop tax avoidance and to unprivatise vital public services. The Tories will attack all these plans from dual (dishonest) perspectives of cost and, in a gross reversal of truth, attacks on freedom. Simultaneously, the Tories will pretend to have plans for homelessness, cost of housing, NHS, policing, education, jobs, etc. but every word will be a LIE. They have no intention to make any improvements in any vital public service – they view public services as cash cows for privateer vultures, they have no intention of helping workers and they have no intention of creating affordable and/or social housing.
TheLIES about fake policy intent will gush forth relentlessly at their conference, shamelessly, and will be lapped up obediently by useless media. The Tories couldn’t care less about deteriorating public services; they couldn’t care less about huge increases in homelessness and destitution; they have created laws that attack workers’ rights, wages and job security; they have steadily removed access to justice via removal of legal aid; they are indifferent to people with disabilities being evicted, starving and dying due to vicious reductions to welfare assistance; they are handing the NHS, and all other vital public services, to gangsters who receive a steady stream of tax payers’ money while the services decline rapidly and the costs for users increase exponentially. That is the essence of Tory privatisation.
Fear will palpable throughout the conference. There will be real fear of a real challenge from Labour. This fear will be a driving force behind the LIES. There will also be clumsy embarrassing attempts to create fear of socialism and, in a strange extrapolation, fear of communism. Spectres of Lenin, Marx, Engels and Trotsky will be summoned and thrust in the faces of the public. Communist boots on England’s pleasant pastures seen.
The Tory conference: Fear, LIES, distractions, xenophobic rhetoric, libelling of political opponents, smarm, snide, contempt for the British people, arrogance and total absence of humanity.
Any socialist government would need to unprivatise vital public services as soon as it takes power.
Services to be unprivatised immediately include (among others):
First act of unprivatisation: Turn off the tap The initial act of unprivatisation is simple: Remove the flow of money that goes out of the public services into offshore accounts of fake “owners.”
The diagram below shows flow of money before and after unprivatisation.
Figure 1 above describes the current scenario of the process of Tory privatisation that was designed to provide a steady large flow of unearned income for wealth terrorists while public services deteriorated and costs for tax-payers and users rose hugely.
The simple first step is to stop the theft and ensure all money raised and all fiscal funding is used for the public services – see Figure 2. The consequences of this simple change would be better services, lower costs for users and lower costs for the tax-payers.
Second act of unprivatisation: Recover stolen property Buildings, vehicles and other physical infrastructure of public services were handed to the privateers by the Tories. All such infrastructure would need to be taken back without prior warning and without compensation. Non-essential staff – in unnecessary management layers, invented administrative posts and imaginary consultancy posts – would need to be removed.
Third act of unprivatisation: Recover stolen money All newly-unprivatised public services would need urgent investment due to decay during years of Tory privatisation mismanagement. To help fund the necessary improvements to public services the stolen wealth of the previous “owners” should be recovered as quickly as possible by any means necessary. If the privateers have hidden their stolen income in offshore British tax haven accounts then a new socialist government would need to grab the money from such accounts regardless of any opposition from the respective administrations of those tax havens.
The three steps of unprivatisation could be enacted easily if there exists the will and determination to follow through thoroughly on an intent to unprivatise.
No procrastinations, no exceptions, no compromise.
(Update 22nd January 2019: D’Ancona and all editorial staff left the magazine today as a consequence of the sacking of two other members of staff: Drugstore collapse)
Formerly one of the many anti-socialist professional trolls at the Guardian, Matthew D’Ancona has pretended to re-invent himself as a protagonist in the competitive industry of liberal dilution of culture. Playing the part of time-travellers from the late 1980s he and his colleagues created Drugstore Culture magazine with mock vintage messy late ’80s visual style, purposefully anti-intellect prose and bizarrely offensive political juxtapositions. The fake intended market for the magazine was a new breed of yuppies. But, instead of fast cars and sharp suits of ’80s yuppies, the new imaginary yuppies had silly coffees, ill-fitting shoes and selfies with Ruth Davidson.
The boring real objective of Drugstore Culture magazine was to be yet another drab forum for deceptive centrist tripe. All the bells and ’80s rave whistles in its style were a distraction.
The aforementioned Ruth Davidson appeared in a video “interview” or, more accurately, a promotional film. The continuous promotion of Davidson by the centrist media is sickening but unsurprising. Their desperation to have anything instead of socialism has led them to try to persuade Gina Miller to be Lib Dem leader, to a man called Owen Smith and to the most vacuous politician ever and a staunch supporter of all the disgusting Tory policies: Ruth Davidson. Davidson is nothing.
Drugstore Culture is in partnership with the Progress sub-group People’s Vote. The People’s Vote astroturfers know that the Tory/DUP government, and its majority in any parliamentary vote, will not agree to a second referendum on Brexit. The purpose of People’s Vote is to occupy a political position as staunch remainers so that, in the chaos of post-Brexit Britain, they can aspire to challenge as fake opposition to the Tories. A simple longview tactic. This tactic requires constant attacks on the Labour leadership.
The intent ofDRUGSTORE CULTURE: We back a People’s Votewas to prove a second referendum is the only viable option, rather than no deal or else a messy deal. Some of the analysis therein of the latter two options was correct but nowhere in the article was there a solid positive reason to support a ‘people’s vote’ and the only reason given to suggest the referendum result might be reversed is that there are some more younger people who have reached voting age and, conversely but unsaid, some older brexiteers have died. The article had a hollow argument that encapsulated the lack of vision and the lack of consistency in People’s Vote.
The political longview positioning in the above article was noticeable via its false equality of respective Tory and Labour differences. The assessment of Labour and Brexit was knowingly inaccurate: “The Labour Party is hopelessly divided – its leadership stubbornly maintaining that the 2016 referendum must be respected, its members and most of its MPs longing for a re-think.” The right-of-centre Progress is the key internal cause of any divisions in Labour but that fact didn’t suit the agenda of Drugstore Culture.
Although not presented as serious the faux attempt at humour in Culture Type: The right-wing left-wing personwas very weak. It was a snide comment repeating the insulting fraudulent claim of socialists being disproportionately middle-class. It read as if written by a “comedian” who might do a UKIP gig.
John McTernan, former Director of Political Operations for Tony Blair and current screaming head and professional troll for hire to anyone who pays, was handed a platform to eject some anti-Corbyn drivel. There is no pit deep enough to hold the diarrhea that McTernan ejects. His tactical muse is Katie Hopkins and his political muse is Lynton Crosby.
In Finally, Corbyn has total command – and that’s his problemMcTernan depicted Labour as being on the verge of problematic internal disputes while he sidestepped the only real division in Labour: Continuous deliberate disruption by Progress of whom McTernan is a member. He tried to push a false narrative of Corbyn being anti-EU and, therefore, at odds with the majority of the Labour membership and he invented differences between unions and Momentum. These tired false claims were straight out of the Lynton Crosby dead cat guidebook. The only true facet of McTernan’s argument about differences in Labour was his observation of Progress chair Alison McGovern’s keenness to create division.
McTernan’s knowing ignorance was put to bad use and his enthusiasm for unethical behaviour by (Progress) MPs was displayed nakedly. On Open Selections of MPs he said “with all the serious talk of a centre party, a round of deselections would give an immediate boost to any new configuration – providing them with an instant bloc of MPs.” That is, McTernan supported Progress MPs leaving Labour but remaining in parliament without by-elections and, thus, stealing seats.
His language to describe democratic selection of MPs, in contrast to parachuting of Blairite clones from a decade ago, was worthy of a Daily Mail editorial.
“It’s an obvious power grab – both an act of revenge by Corbyn supporters against the MPs whom they feel have not supported the Leader, and an attempt to stack the Parliamentary Labour Party with MPs far to the left of the voters. It’s a resurfacing of the Left’s will to purify the party – even at the expense of power.”
McTernan‘s comments on antisemitism were, unsurprisingly, regurgitation of existing libel and slander. The fact that he chose to use a vile non-joke by knuckle-dragging right-wing uncomedian Matt Forde about Nazism and Labour revealed how deep the pit is where McTernan swims in his own fecal matter. “That’s another law of politics that Corbyn has managed to break – he kept the [antisemitism] row going for ten weeks,” he claimed. No, Corbyn was involved in no row about antisemitism for any length of time; smears and libel were (and are being) directed at him, by people like McTernan.
Throughout, McTernan belittled the integrity, capability and honesty of Jeremy Corbyn and of his supporters.
He insulted Jennie Formby: “Corbyn has a new General Secretary, Jennie Formby, who is subservient to his office.”
He libelled all supporters of Corbyn: “Corbynites have relentlessly defended their right to free speech to attack Israel in antisemitic ways.”
His petulance was so immature that the article could have been written by James Cleverly or Brandon Lewis.
McTernan is an unpleasant sociopath. He fits in well with the agenda and methodology of Drugstore Culture.
Horseshit seemed to be a theme in the Drugstore Culture articles. “Clinical psychologist” Alex Evans composed the biggest steaming pile of rancid manure that has ever been allowed to be published anywhere: Political rage should be treated like PTSD. His essay was so bad, so disturbing and so disturbed that it needed a full kicking.
Clinical horseshit Evans started with a question that required nothing more in response than the most peremptory snort of derision: “What if we stopped thinking about polarisation as a political issue and thought about it as one of psychology and public health?” That set the tone of an essay rammed with deeply offensive anti-analysis and violently ludicrous deductions.
Referring to his visit to Jerusalem Evans said “Israelis and Palestinians had boxed themselves into completely exclusive narratives.” He praised another “psychologist” Gina Ross who, according to Evans, “is increasingly starting to look at political polarisation in Israel and Palestine as a mental-health issue resulting from collective trauma.” The reality is that the army of one country occupies part of another, steals homes and land from the occupied, slaughters protesters, steals water supplies, stops people from travelling for vital life-saving healthcare and routinely bombs civil buildings. It is a very violent thieving occupation and daily invasion. But Evans chose to see only psychological similarities.
“Israelis live in constant low-level fear of terrorism, from stabbings to bombings, rocket attacks, or even invasion. Palestinians, meanwhile, live in constant low-level fear of their house being seized or demolished, or arbitrary arrest, or because of living under more or less total surveillance.”
Evans used the psychological angle in his discussion as a tool to help him to depict daily life in Israel and Palestine as equal partners engaged in conflict.
“On both sides, there are constant signals and cues that convey the message: you are not safe. Mothers take their kids to school with M4 assault rifles slung over their shoulders. Watchtowers, walls and wires are everywhere. Police vehicles have their blue lights on literally all the time.”
After trying to reduce the conflict to an equality of stress, Evans tried to blame stress for escalation of conflict.
“So it’s hardly a surprise that CTS [Continuous Traumatic Stress] in Israel and Palestine is widespread. Classic symptoms include anxiety, irritability, hyper-arousal, and – especially – ‘othering’: blaming everything on scapegoats. And when enough individuals display these symptoms, their effects naturally enough start to seep into politics too.”
Evans’ simple tactic was to remove all the political decisions as causes and to cast them as consequences. Thus, if a corrupt judge ordered a Palestinian home to be destroyed and land to be stolen then, according to Evans’ analysis, that judge was doing so because of stress; if an IDF sniper, cowering behind a mound, fired across the border to deliberately kill a Palestinian medic then, according to Evans’ analysis, that sniper was doing so because of stress; if a boat in international waters was attacked, stolen and its passengers and crew kidnapped, robbed and beaten by Israeli navy then, according to Evans’ analysis, the navy was doing so because of stress.
Evans chose to create a false “psychological” analysis in order to absolve blame from the perpetrators. His dismissal of the dynamics of the conflict was extremely political.
Unbelievably, Evans managed to go further into the abyss of shameless deception by equating the conflict between Israel and Palestine to the consequences of Brexit.
“The more I saw this dynamic play out in Jerusalem, the more it reminded me of Brexit Britain.”
His context was the “psychological” effects of political differences. Alongside the fact that such a spurious analysis allows culprits to dodge responsibility for politically motivated acts, Evans’ chosen perspective is also an attack on the intelligent capacity of people to understand and to develop political views.
“Threat perception can be collective as well as individual, and about perceived cultural as well as physical or emotional threats – which is where the issue becomes relevant to politics, not just in Israel and Palestine, but also in the UK, US and Europe.”
Evans’ “threat perception” has some validity with respect to decisions some voters make because it is used by politicians and media to try to guide voter choices. For example, Matthew D’Ancona has used this technique to dissuade people from supporting Jeremy Corbyn. But, Evans put too much emphasis on “threat perception” as a cause of voter choice. His objective was to denigrate the capability of people to make important decisions.
To assist his warped argument, Evans described “polarisation” as a mental health issue.
“Reimagining ‘polarisation’ as a public mental health issue implies that the way forward is less about victory than about healing.”
By “polarisation” Evans meant the centrist opposition to people having clear ideological political perspectives – anything that isn’t woolly pointless centrist tripe. He compared “political polarisation” to other estrangements that were addressed via psychological solutions.
“Rather than creating winners and losers in a zero-sum game, psychological treatment aims for a shared understanding of what the problem is, and a plan for both treating the immediate symptoms and building resilience to the underlying causes. What might such a treatment plan look like for the vast relationship crisis that is political polarisation?”
Evans’ argument was acutely offensive – toward the intelligence of voters and activists – and was absurd. He not only objected to clear consistent holistic political viewpoints but he also claimed that consistent political viewpoints were a mental health issue that needed a “treatment plan.”
He had no respect for “ordinary” people’s political understanding and the choices they have made. “In democracies, politics is about ordinary people and how they perceive and react to what’s going on around them.” “Perceive” and “react” rather than analyse and understand. Evans immediately followed that sentence with
“This places a huge premium on individuals who are able to manage their emotional states and take care of themselves mentally – whether through CBT, mindfulness, philosophy, knowing how to ‘untrigger’ when fight/flight responses light up, or just making time to unplug.”
Every word of the quote above was an attack on the ability of voters to learn, to analyse, to understand, to follow an argument, to develop a cohesive political viewpoint and to be sure that their choice is correct. Evans attacked the right to be allowed to judge who to vote for; he attacked the right to vote.
Evans concluded his awful essay with suggestions on how the fake problems he has chosen to perceive could be solved. Just like every establishment analysis of political persuasion, Evans chose to fail to mention bias and stupidity in TV, radio and newspapers and directed his attention at social media. It is not coincidence that social media has been the only public forum for developing activism and knowledge for people with a left-wing outlook.
“We need to change how social media itself works if we want to make it less vulnerable to being weaponised psychologically, as it has been in recent years by actors like Russian trolls or Cambridge Analytica. And, in the short-term, that may mean voting with our feet to bring pressure on companies like Facebook to change.”
Evans didn’t specify who the “we” is at the start of the above quote. The insidiousness of the direction of his conclusion oozes with authoritarian control: “bring pressure on companies like Facebook to change.”
Evans noted the “othering” tactics of right-wingers with respect to the US election and Brexit but he failed to state that exactly the same tactics have been used, slightly less uncouthly, by May, Cameron, Clegg, Clinton, Blair, Trudeau, Merkel, Macron, etc. Evans also failed to mention the “othering” tactics, including acute xenophobia and racism, used by most British newspapers and by TV and radio broadcasters.
He expressed his objection to a “them-and-us” attitude as an objection to right-wingers like Trump and Farage.
“Donald Trump and Nigel Farage triumphed in 2016 because of their adeptness at telling stories. Instead of just bemoaning their playing fast and loose with facts, we need to propagate the right kinds of story: narratives about a larger us, rather than a them-and-us, emphasising what we have in common rather than what divides us.”
But, Evans’ con was that he was taking an observation about the divisive tactics of the far-right and projecting onto any political perspective that isn’t the confidence trick of centrist compromise. It was the left-just-like-Trump angle pushed by all centrist/liberal opponents of socialism.
“We urgently need to invest in creating bandwidth for encountering people outside our small, and increasingly, shrill filter bubbles of the like-minded – and for steering into hard conversations in which all of us are heard, rather than shying away from them.”
Nothing scares the ideological centre more than well-organised left-of-centre people who exchange ideas, knowledge and solidarity.
Evans’ fear was palpable. He recognised the success of social media as an enabler of left-wing activism and solidarity and he demanded that stopped. The psycho-babble argument was as hollow as Nick Clegg’s chest. His reduction of people’s capacity to understand politics to a psychological issue was anti-human and a display of centrist fascism.
The Faceless Drugstore Culture is a petulant display by embittered sidelined centrist opportunists who, cast adrift from the political bubble, shout plaintively from outside begging for relevance. D’Ancona’s political positioning is inside a doorless room with walls creeping inward. This magazine is 1980s The Face eaten by 1980s Norman Tebbit and shat onto the floor.
A disaster capitalist profits from abrupt and wide-ranging changes in a country.
An example of such an abrupt change was the end of the Soviet Union. State control of public services in Russia ended when the Soviet Union ended. All the associated public infrastructure – buildings, land, vehicles and, crucially, all future income – was handed over to vultures, charlatans and gamblers, at fire-sale prices, who have subsequently become billionaires at the expense of the Russian people. It was a one-off extreme form of privatisation that provided huge wealth for a tiny elite (oligarchs) indefinitely because public services are a necessity.
A no-deal Brexit would be a hugely abrupt jolt to Britain’s economy. Imported goods would be much more expensive due to tariffs and due to the decline in value of the pound. There would be a consequential sharp increase in unemployment and large increases in prices of basic goods.
The Tories don’t care at all about the immediate effects of a no-deal Brexit. How injurious a no-deal Brexit would be to people, particularly those without wealth, has never been problematic for the Tories. On the contrary, an abrupt disruptive Brexit would be an opportunity for the Tories to pretend that there exists a need to raise fiscal capital quickly and that the only way to do that is via a fire-sale of public infrastructure to their salivating disaster capitalist friends who hope to acquire public buildings, land and services.
In the mire of the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit the Tories would claim that, for financial reasons, all workers’ rights and all health and safety rules and regulations should be removed. A no-deal scenario would help the Tories to easily enact such policies because all EU workers’ rights and EU health and safety regulations would have been set aside.
Tory MEP Dan Hannan, via his right-wing think-tank Initiative for Free Trade, has demanded that, post a no-deal Brexit, private US healthcare vultures should be handed part of the NHS and that food regulations in Britain should be removed to allow imports of some US foodstuffs that are currently banned: Hannan on Brexit. Hannan’s demands on removal of food safety regulations have been backed by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox: Fox on chlorinated chicken.
All Tories (and DUP) want a no-deal Brexit precisely to assist disaster capitalists. The latter are their true employers, not the British people. Everything else regarding debate and discussions about Brexit is a pantomime. All the statements from the prime minister and all the meetings and exchanges with representatives of the EU are part of the pantomime. If the current prime minister sometimes appears to be embarrassed or even humiliated by various developments then that is also just part of the pantomime – May has no concept of shame.
Recommended reading Peter Geoghegan on Legatum Institute and disaster capitalists:Geoghegan on Legatum Twitter account full of good threads on think-tanks and Brexit connections: @DelvingHaylee
Phrases of doom Behr decided to write in a cod emotional style that oozed despair and exasperation. Behr’s fear needed to be displayed with childlike horror.
Like a vicar delivering a sermon who noticed a few eyes closing and heads nodding, Behr had to keep interrupting his aimless concocted narrative with phrases of doom to maintain the interest of his congregation. All phrases of doom below were taken directly from his blog with no concern about any phrase being taken out of context because there was no context.
“super-accelerated online frenzy“ “sparks ignite partisan wildfires that rage intensely“ “they scorch a little more of the earth“ “24/7 production line of grievance and indignation“ “twitter’s dark gravity“ “quasi-robotic frenzy“ “conformity to tribal ethics“ “ideological vigilantism“ “swarms of loyal adherents“ “mesmerising chain reaction of micro-controversies“ “this is to a healthy interest in news what junk food is to a healthy appetite“ “hurling snark into the void“ “rage appears endemic to the platform“ “disciples of radical ideologies express themselves ferociously“ “virtual stone-throwing yobs“ “the website is a vast polarising machine“ “twitter turns us into quasi-religious cults“ “online disinhibition effect, a behavioural distortion“ “cause people to lose impulse control“ “turns ordinary users into caricatures of the worst kind of politician“ “looks like a weapon of civic destruction“ “superficial and sinister“
The phrases of doom and the emotionally expressed despair were just the cover story for Behr’s blog. Tossing the cover story aside revealed his intent.
The plebs are revolting Like all professional centrist hacks – Cohen, Hyde, Dunt, etc. – Behr’s role is to pretend to object to right-wing ideology as a ruse to hoover up column inches and media airtime in favour of useless, vacant, invented centrist tripe to keep socialist views marginalised. In newspapers and on TV and radio, this occupation of debate time is easy to do due to the compliance of the hosts. However, on social media platforms such as twitter the public has equal access.
Behr noted the equality of access. “Twitter appears to give broadly equal value to every tweet.” His observation was in the context of the veracity or otherwise of an opinion in a tweet. Did he expect every tweet to be absolute truth? His own contributions show that he didn’t. His real objection was to the equal value as a public voice given to each tweeter.
Understandably, Behr expressed his objection to twitter voice equality from the perspective of a professional hack trying to earn a living. “[Twitter is] a method for mass communication that bypassed the editorial filters of conventional media.”
So-called “conventional media,” particularly newspapers, employs editors whose job is to ensure that the copy directs and distracts the reader, obscures the truth, creates vitriolic false politically charged narratives and offers no balanced informative analysis.
Behr wanted to depict “conventional media” as superior to social media communication. “Reuters, PA, Bloomberg, AP—specialise in dry, fact-driven stories crafted to an orthodox journalistic template.”
Behr was deeply troubled by the ease and speed with which users of twitter can state an opinion, discuss their opinion with others and then, deliberately or not, set the online narrative for a particular issue. How dare the public have the intelligence to quickly assess, analyse and offer a retort! Behr’s hypothetical example (quoted below) stupefied his point.
“Theresa May’s conference speech, for example, will be so thoroughly picked over in real-time on Twitter that settled views on whether it is a success or not will be formed before the prime minister has finished speaking.”
As all who have ever heard a speech by Theresa May are fully aware, she has had nothing to offer but hollow platitudes, dead cats and blatant lies. As soon as she has started speaking it has always been correct to respond immediately with snorts of derision, peremptory vitriol and sharp breaks of wind. But, Behr demanded respect and circumspection. An informed aware public, capable of recognising a charlatan and responding appropriately, is something that he wants to muzzle.
Behr demonstrated his knowledge of directional word choice and his contempt for people with the sentence
“The system [use of twitter] can be gamed by organised campaigners.”
System: Evocative description designed to imply badminded control Gamed: Used to imply dishonest acts Organised: Belittling free thought and personal intelligence Campaigners: Used to imply that opinions expressed are done so as part of restricted political perspective rather than balanced intelligent individual views
Mutual worldwide solidarity is scary Like many other gatekeepers of obedience to established (spurious) authority and control, Rafael Behr objected to the power of twitter to allow people around the world to express solidarity with one another and to share ideas and plans.
“Through the mechanism of choosing who to follow and which voices to exclude, users construct opinion silos—deep but narrow, socially homogenous echo chambers, held together by shared political assumptions.”
“Shared political assumptions” insulted the intellectual capacity of people to understand political issues and to be able to analyse. Behr depicted people as sheep.
His objection to what he called “silos” and “echo chambers” was a desperate plea for people to not possess a shared thorough understanding of a political issue and a demand that they should allow themselves to be distracted and misled by charlatans. Behr objected to knowledge of cohesive, exhaustive political analysis because he prefers everyone to be numbed by centrist woolliness.
“Inside these echo chambers we are all susceptible to common, powerful cognitive errors: confirmation bias—believing things because they support what we want to believe; selection bias—privileging data that supports our conclusions; availability bias—presuming that whatever is most recently seen is also most important.”
Behr’s use of “we” above – including himself in his criticism – was just a clumsy attempt to persuade by pretending to not be the supercilious observer that he was. The silly psychological phraseology about biases had no meaning except as purposeful deception.
Twitter and other social media networks have been hugely useful in sharing political information, encouraging constructive political debate and organising political action. Such uses of twitter have occurred across the political spectrum but have been most strongly visible in left-of-centre political activism.
This use of twitter for radical politics has been seen worldwide. The global nature of the information-sharing and communication has helped to enhance understanding of different political cultures and priorities but, crucially, it has shown how many similarities there are, politically, around the world. These similarities have been observed in the behaviour of governments, their use of military and police, the connection between governments and the global financial hegemony, the lies thrown at the public during elections, the attempt by governments to divide the population via use of prejudice and othering, etc.
One outcome of the sharing of information, opinions and stories has been mutual worldwide solidarity. This solidarity has not been filtered through political parties or traditional media.
Mutual worldwide solidarity has exposed who the real enemies are and it has exposed who the real enemies aren’t. Such solidarity scares the hell out of those who work to exploit the majority, and their PR team members like Behr.
Behr’s depiction of twitter users who have developed political solidarity was not pleasant. He spouted some more amateur psychology that tried to reduce the behaviour of people to that of automatons or animals.
“Conformity to tribal ethics is rewarded with retweets and approving replies; contrary opinion can be treated as heresy. And so everyone bids everyone else up in a currency of implacability and indignation.”
His fear reeks.
Diametrically opposed political views are scary Two of the dirtiest words in political lexicon are ‘cross party’ and ‘consensus.’ Both are appeals to submission to compromise. Of course, the centrist world needs the intent behind such language to prevail.
Behr declared his desire to protect “the ethos of compromise without which a pluralist democracy cannot thrive.” There is no such thing as a “pluralist democracy.” If Behr meant a democracy where the majority are happy, then to create such a society would require the removal of the wealth terrorist elite; in other words, socialism. However, Behr meant a democracy where everyone is fooled a little bit to con them into supporting exploitative status quo.
Behr compared twitter discourse unfavourably to “civilised, multi-party politics.”
“A structure that accelerates and promotes conflict is inimical to the conduct of democratic pluralism.”
Two obvious problems with his axiom: 1) See aforesaid dismissal of “democratic pluralism” and 2) conflict is an absolute necessity to defeat an enemy and this conflict should not be “civilised.”
The blog’s political intent glared brightly in Behr’s discussion of “civility.” “A subtle thread connects manners and democracy” was an indictment of his plea that everyone submits. “Those social codes are as much part of the democratic eco-system as free elections and independent courts” was an admittance that democracy is severely restricted.
Behr, rightly in the context of his “civility” discussion, mentioned “unparliamentary language.”
“The protocols of the Commons, including prohibitions against ‘unparliamentary language,’ exist for a reason. The code reflects a recognition that political debate is a form of verbal combat and needs rules of engagement. When a political culture is bleached of civility, when the public realm becomes pathologically ill-mannered, it loses its capacity to mediate between competing interest groups.”
The parliamentary code against “unparliamentary language” is a problem. It disallows accurate descriptions of corrupt, dishonest MPs. Tories, DUP and others are professional liars, con artists and confidence tricksters who work for wealth terrorists. Those characteristics define those MPs. Without such characteristics they would not be who they are, politically. It is entirely undemocratic to prohibit accurate descriptions of their intrinsic venal faults.
Behr’s description of parliament as just “competing interest groups” revealed his hope that parliament never becomes a true democratic environment where the gimps of financial gangsters are dealt with by real representatives of the people.
He regretted what he thought were “polarised” political votes
“There have been a run of fiercely contested ballots: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum; the 2015 general election, followed by a bitter Labour leadership contest; the 2016 EU referendum, followed by another bitter Labour leadership contest; the 2017 general election. Wounds opened in those battles that haven’t yet healed. Polarised politics curdled the mood on Twitter.”
“Fiercely contested ballots” are a necessity. Otherwise, what is the point? The “wounds opened in those battles” need to grow, fester and ultimately prove fatal. Again, by objecting to the ferocity and to the wounds, Behr displayed his opposition to challenging politics and his support for a submissive population made catatonic by false choices between centrist charlatans.
Behr was worried that there will be “no scope for the kind of compromises and consensus-building that are necessary for stable government.” “Stable government” is a euphemism for ineffective and neutered government.
The centrist comfort blanket is on fire Almost everything that caused Rafael Behr’s dismay is something that is positive. The growing divides between political perspectives on offer to the electorate, the increase in the ferocity of criticism aimed at the defenders of and apologists for exploitation, the pooling of shared ideologies and the confidence of activists to speak, challenge and attack are all welcome progressive facets of political activism and knowledge.
Social media interaction has assisted the positive developments listed above. That is why right-wingers and centrists are so afraid. It is why the Tory government has plans to censor online communications – (see links below) – and it is why the self-described ‘moderates’ are so desperate to talk about “civility” and “good manners.”
Behr wrote a very political blog. The twitter theme was just a hook to hang his polemic onto. His intent was transparent from the start. His type is losing. They are being squeezed out of existence. The centrist comfort blanket has caught fire. This was predicted 150 years ago.
By necessity, the Tory party is racist. Like their fellow conservatives in UKIP, the Tories need to use racism as a tool of distraction and division.
When Home Secretary, Theresa May was happy to destroy lives in order to maintain and enhance racist rhetoric. She purposefully and deliberately acted illegally regarding deportations and she wilfully created the Windrush scandal via removal of decades-old protections for (British) former residents of various countries in the Caribbean.
The first Tory conference after the EU referendum, May’s first as prime minister, was packed full of xenophobia – CPC 2016.
Antisemitism The Tories have not used antisemitism as much as they have used racism and anti-Islam words and actions. However, this week Tory MEPs chose to isolate themselves from most EU parliament members by supporting anti-Semite Victor Orban in a vote in the parliament.
The result of the vote would have been the same regardless of how the Tories voted. Their decision to vote in favour of anti-Semite Victor Orban was intended as a strong demonstration of support for his and the Hungarian government’s racism, xenophobia and antisemitism. (The decision to support him was also a desperate plea for help from Hungary post-Brexit as part of the Tories xenophobic Brexit strategy.)
It is no surprise that the Tories will use antisemitism as a tool; it fits in with their general use of racism.
Condemnation of Tory antisemitism? The reaction to the Tory MEPs’ support for anti-Semite Victor Orban has been muted in its condemnation.
The Board Of Deputies,keen opponents of Jeremy Corbyn, managed to issue a short statement that included strong criticism of Orban but expressed only “disappointment” that Tories voted for Orban and stated that their vote was just “very concerning.”
The Jewish Chronicle, edited byStephen Pollard, seemed to be unaware of the Tories’ support for anti-Semite Victor Orban; instead, the newspaper had several more smear stories against Corbyn.
Other newspapers did not put accounts or analysis as lead stories. The BBC has had very little coverage. Some centrist hacks have mentioned the Tories’ MEP vote for Orban only in the context of yet another attack on Corbyn.
In a House Of Lords debate on antisemitism, the day after the vote in the EU parliament whereat the Tories supported anti-Semite Orban, Jonathan Sacks chose not to mention the Tory support for antisemitism.
The other contributors to the HoL debate dodged criticism of the Tory MEPs but some contributors indulged in yet more slanderous unevidenced abuse at Corbyn including falsely claiming he is antisemitic.
Tory tactics The Tory support for racism including antisemitism and the Tories’ libellous accusations of racism and antisemitism against Corbyn are both tactics of political distraction. There is nothing surprising about these tactics. It is Tories being Tories. There is also nothing surprising about biased analysis from Progress MPs/Lords and from the media.
Tory MP George Freeman, known for his wilful ignorance of disabilities, organised this year’s fraudulently named ‘Big Tent Of Ideas‘ in a field in Cambridge last Saturday (Sept. 8th). It was poorly attended but high attendance by the public wasn’t the prime objective.
All the hollow deceptive rhetoric expressed at the event was available elsewhere in the articles of the various right-wing think-tanks, in the speeches of Tory politicians and in the TV appearances of confidence tricksters and con artists. It was a live open air version of right-wing think-tank literature and speeches and a simple method for garnering some media airtime and column inches.
Aim of the Big Tent The gathering repeated, refined and republicised a false narrative of a desire to create a cohesive perspective from a false variety of political ideas. This deception was expressed in the event’s tagline, ‘Renewing the grassroots of mainstream politics,’ and in its declaration of intent:
“We hope the Big Tent will launch a movement of change, reform, opportunity, empowerment, responsibility and a renewed sense of active citizenship. We do not claim to have all the answers, but we hope to at least ask the right questions. Of the right people. In the right forum. In the right spirit.”
The con presented the think-tank pseudo experts, some Tory MPs, some nascently decrepit “centre” parties and other professional snake oil salespersons as contestants in an academic and intellectual exchange of ideas who wanted to pool their views to give birth to a new superview of a non-partisan Utopia.
The reality was a malodorous stream of economically hard-right invective from proponents of vicious destructive capitalist exploitation.
Partners The stated “partners” for the event included some of the most disgusting hard-right think tanks
Policy Exchange (who provided many of the participants for Big Tent Of Ideas) and IEA have been exposed as the worst perpetrators of hiding their corporate donors deliberately: Transparify report (page 6)
Attendees Several Tory MPs participated including Bim Afolami, Johnny Mercer, Matt Warman, Chloe Smith, Nusrat Ghani, Justine Greening, Jesse Norman, Penny Mordant, Nick Boles, Ed Vaizey, Damian Collins, Liz Truss, Nick Herbert, John Penrose, Guy Opperman, Lee Rowley, Tobias Ellwood, Bob Seely, Desmond Swayne, Kit Malthouse, Norman Lamb and Alan Mak and one Labour MP participated, Peter Kyle. The ubiquitous bigot and Tory MEP Dan Hannan was also there.
Two of the recently created stillborn “centre” parties, Renew and Advance, sent their (possibly only) respective representative(s). By doing so, they confirmed their conservative principles as did the journalists who conducted interviews at the event including ITV’s Robert Peston and Guardian’s Matthew D’Ancona.
Will Dry, one of the main protagonists at Our Future, Our Choice spoke at the event, which was no surprise to anyone.
Tents The seminars and discussions were split by loose categories into arbitrary ‘tents‘ but the methodology was the same in each tent: A concocted debate, devoid of content, designed to present an illusion of differing opinions while enjoying a dionanistic worship of extreme capitalist exploitation and wealth terrorism.
A seminar entitled ‘A New National Consensus: How To Bring Britain Together’ epitomised the con trick. The real purpose of the seminar was how to fool enough people so that fewer people would consider political options other than subservience to capitalism. This seminar was presented by the secretly funded right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange.
Preceding the above was a seminar on “incivility.” Effective socialist voices have increased in number in Britain since September 2015 and that is a concern for the representatives of the exploitative elite. The Tory government has a plan to censor opposition, a plan led by one of the event’s participants Chloe Smith: Tory censorship of opposition. The topic of concern about incivility in political discourse was created solely to silence left of centre voices.
A seminar entitled ‘What Is Social Justice In The 21st Century’ was presented by two members of Centre For Social Justice. For that think-tank, and for its creator Iain Duncan-Smith, social justice in the 21st century has been enactment of Social Murder.
The director of Strengthening Families Manifesto was given a platform for ‘The Big Family Lunch’ seminar. The manifesto was pseudo-Christian right-wing claptrap that blamed parents for the failures of government and that demanded single mothers jeopardise their and their children’s safety by demanding inclusion of a “father” as a requirement for any rights and assistance. “To ensure fathers are involved as much as possible from day one, maternity services should review and improve their support for fathers. Legal changes mandating fathers to be named on birth certificates should be brought into force.” (page 3)
The inappropriateness of some of the chosen speakers was displayed most worryingly by the lineup for ‘Driving Change In Our Darkest Corners,’ a seminar on child sexual exploitation and modern slavery. The participants included Christian Guy, who advised David Cameron on how to develop the Tories’ Social Murder policies, Andy Cook from Centre For Social Justice, Legatum Institute’s Philippa Stroud (formerly of Centre For Social Justice and former special adviser to Iain Duncan-Smith when he was DWP minister), and Tory Bratboy Johnny Mercer.
‘Renewing Capitalism: Is It Redeemable?’ had a simple negative answer but that was not the answer from one of the participants Nick Denys from the, er, Tory Workers. His deception at the seminar was published in Denys nonsense.
The seminar on ‘Dark Money: What It Means And How To Stop It’ didn’t include contributions from Ruth Davidson or from anyone in the DUP. Presumably, they were busy. (Arlene Foster was enjoying a jolly in tax haven Gibraltar.)
In shameless Grade A level piss-taking, right-wing think-tanks Centre For Policy Studies and Institute of Economic Affairs, both resolutely secretive about which multi-million pound corporate tax-dodgers fund them, were participants in ‘Tax And The State.’
‘How Do Nations Develop, And How Can We Speed That Process Along’ would not be a question that could be answered by the enablers of disaster capitalism at Legatum Institute, but two members thereof were participants in the seminar.
For so many of the seminars, the worst possible people were chosen, brazenly.
Summary The examples of the seminars mentioned above revealed the Big Tent Of Ideas to be a large circle-jerk of economically hard-right employees of financial gangsters. They had met to re-vomit the same dishonest tripe contained in the numerous associated think-tanks. In these think-tanks and at the event, false arguments, false debates and false discussions were invented to fool a compliant media into promoting a deceptive perspective of differing opinions and of challenges being addressed. The truth is that all the speeches and articles have tried to con the listener or reader into believing that the perpetrators of exploitation and of its consequences are interested in solving problems, which they are not. Simultaneously, lies and distractions.
The entire caboodle could’ve been represented by just a vacant chat between a typical dim platitude spouting Tory MP and a gormless twerp from the anti-socialist Guardian hack room.