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.
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)
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.
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.
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.