Inspectorate Of Constabulary: Matt Parr

A quick investigation by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate Of Constabulary (HMIC) into police behaviour toward people attending a vigil on Clapham Common for Sarah Everard who was murdered (allegedly by a police officer), in which only police officers were interviewed for evidence – no protesters, no eye-witnesses, no legal observers and no independent media were spoken to, reached a verdict today (30th March 2021) that wholly absolved police officers of wrongdoing.

The HMIC investigation was led by Matt Parr, a Companion of Order of the Bath.  His PR comments sent to and parrotted by compliant media outlets presented a false description of his investigation’s depth – “after reviewing a huge body of evidence” – and took time to deride video evidence of police illegality that had been posted on social media platforms – “rather than a snapshot on social media.”  He called accurate analysis of the police actions “unwarranted condemnation” and partook of a well-worn trick of saying criticism of police “undermined public confidence in policing” rather than bad policing undermining such confidence.  He was upset that negative comments about policing displayed “a lack of respect for public servants.” [1]

Parr concocted a whitewash investigation publicised with snark, petulance and dishonesty. 

He has form.  In 2018, two years after being appointed Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, he began proceedings with the Employment Tribunal because his salary at HMIC was less than one of his predecessors, Wendy Williams.  Parr claimed that he was the victim of race and sex discrimination.  Two years later he sued Home Secretary Priti Patel on the same issue.

Matt Parr (left) and Wendy Williams

Parr’s discrimination claim was straight from the far-right playbook of turning logic on its head and mocking attempts to tackle sexism and racism.  He revealed who he is.

The report Parr produced for HMIC was intentionally contemptuous.

[1] Parr used the phrase “public servants” to describe police officers but Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Steve James, in response to criticism of police behaviour at a protest in Bristol a few days ago, said “technically we’re crown servants not public servants.”

HMIC statementHMIC

Related blogPolice federations and politics

Inspectorate Of Constabulary: Matt Parr

Independence for The North: Alternative to revolution

Manacled to the city, manacled to the city
Those big big big wide streets
Those useless MPs
Those useless MPs
Hit the North

Mark E. Smith

Whenever a Tory government abuses the north of England, which is whenever a Tory government exists, support for separation from Westminster increases.  That is a reactive response to iniquities imposed on people in the north by the Tories and is an understandable and intelligent response.  

It is possible for a left-leaning party to be elected in UK general election but even a government with genuine intent to make radical changes would be hampered severely by constitutional structure (House of Lords, royalty, parliamentary procedure, etc.), by ingrained opposition in judiciary, by historical “ownership” of property and land, by mayhem of the stock exchange, by allegiance of police and armed forces to the head of state (or the “crown“), by GCHQ, by MI5, and by layered webs of financial and physical control that persist as malodorous residue of Britain’s long power-broker history of corruption, theft, violence and old school ties.

Necessary changes to law to rid the public of all “checks and balances” listed above, also known as legacy obstacles [1], would be absurdly time-consuming and would be challenged continuously via a court system peopled by opponents to the changes and those challenges would be funded without limit by extremely wealthy corporations and institutions determined to stop their gravy trains being derailed.

One option to create a quicker and more effective adjustment is revolution but generating sufficient popular support is highly unlikely in the current epoch and there would be little international support.  The absence of the latter would allow senior military personnel to direct resistance with impunity.

Independence could achieve similar objectives to revolution.  It could enable a break from all legacy obstacles immediately.  Potential opposition to removal of obstacles could be significantly reduced in capability via simple constitutional directions within a declaration of independence.  Any necessary or desired partial replacements could be constructed so that they serve the public rather than wealthy detached elite.

There would be some international support for independence.  Popular support in the north for independence would be greater than support for a nationwide revolution.  Independence is a path to revolutionary change that avoids some of the difficulties of a revolution.

Support independence for the north to rid ourselves of centuries-old embedded undemocratic power.

[1] legacy obstacles n. Features of the structure of a system of government that hamper revolutionary change

Independence for The North: Alternative to revolution

Police federations and politics

In USA police “unions” are led by far-right protagonists.  Provocative rabble-rousing statements from USA police “union” leaders are infested routinely with support for police violence and with political bias; racism is the norm.

In UK police federations are becoming increasingly inspired by stance and power of their American counterparts.  The supposed aims of the federations – protecting their members’ job security, pay, working conditions, etc. – are being relegated to secondary considerations behind political activity.

The national police federation states an “aim” is “to influence internal and external decision makers at local and national levels on matters affecting our members and the police service.”

Among its activities Gloucestershire Police Federation includes

  • Act as a consultative body on legislative and political matters
  • Seek to influence the political agenda on policing

It is not incorrect for police officers to ask for assistance from the government but the wording above – “influence the political agenda” – is unambiguous.

Given the lack of mainstream opposition (in parliament and media) to Tory policy, UK police federations are now confident enough to declare their political position brazenly.  They know their political agenda will not be criticised by Tories, by Starmer’s obedient new New Labour or by newspapers, radio and TV.

USA police “unions” promote extremist politics similar to those promulgated by Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Grover Norquist.  In UK there is only a slight difference in political perspective.  Police federations want Priti Patel and the Tories to go much further toward suppression and authoritarianism than they have so far.

Public servants?
Police forces are funded from council tax and there is further funding via the treasury from income and other taxes.  It would be a misnomer to describe police officers as “public servants” but they are paid by the public and, supposedly, act in the interests of the public by upholding the law.  The police are not supposed to be separate from the public.

Political desperation motivates current establishment onanism around statues and flags.  Distraction and dead cats are part of the intent of the flag noncery to cover emptiness of policy and no logical justification for government decisions.  The allowed environment of debate and discussion is narrowing so that everything is discussed within false commitment to patriotism.  Any deviation is uncritically depicted as unacceptable.  There is limitless absurdity of pseudo-patriotic exclamations and demands.

Language is being policed – no pun intended.  An example is a retort from Gloucestershire Police Federation Chair Steve James when police officers were described as “public servants.”  He said [1]technically we’re crown servants not public servants.”

Technically,” in terms of official wording of descriptions of police forces and their officers, James stated a fact but that wording is merely historical tradition.  His decision to assert the difference was informed by a desire to remove police from their commitments to serving the public.  He wanted to create separation between police and public.  He implied that police sit above the public as a controlling force that is commanded by bodies above the public.

Separation of police from public is a key facet of authoritarian control.  Often, the separation is hidden or denied but as desperation takes hold and backward patriotism pushes to the front any and all demonstrations of power and control are thrust into the public domain.

Cressida Dick, current commissioner of Metropolitan Police, former military intelligence officer and participant in death of Jean Charles De Menezes, said on the day of the head of state’s birthday that she remained the queen’s “humble servant.”  No pretence from the commissioner that she works for the public.

Declaration of political intent is welcome
Police violence is not new.  For over a century police violence is the norm when tackling effective political opposition.  When police declare their political intent behind their violence then some misconceptions disappear.  It is better to know where any organisations sit.  Let’s see and hear it, clearly.

[1] Steve James restricted access to his twitter account after posting his comments

 

Police federations and politics

Dominic Raab speech on Global Britain

Ten years ago Dominic Raab wrote a paper for extremist think-tank Centre For Policy Studies called ‘Escaping The Straitjacket’ in which he described annihilation of workers’ rights.  A year later he co-wrote a book for another extremist think-tank Institute Of Economic Affairs called ‘Britain Unchained’ that elucidated further destruction of society including the policy of for-profit schools.  Raab’s objective in government is the pursuit of policies that enhance the wealth-generating opportunities for an elite few with the by-product of necessary obliteration of all rights (workers’, human, legal) and subjugation of all public services to the profiteering of privateers.

In his current role of Foreign Secretary Raab delivered a speech for Aspen Security Conference on March 17th 2021 entitled ‘A force for good: Global Britain in a competitive age.’  ‘Global Britain’ is a nonsense phrase but Raab used it to imply majesty and stature worthy of respect and fear, and the tone and content of his speech dwelled in that absurd implication.

The UK has a central role to play on the world stage as an independent sovereign state,” began Raab and he talked about power and force.  “That mission is to be a force for good in the world.  Force – because let’s not be naïve about it, without power, economic, military, diplomatic, cultural clout, we can’t do anything.”  These comments were made in the context of UK leaving EU with next to no agreements leading to exporters refusing to export to UK and businesses leaving, and with UK having the highest per capita Covid-19 death rate in the world.

A force for GOOD in the world” is difficult to juxtapose with 80% cut in British aid spending on global efforts to tackle corruption and promote human rights, 40% increase in the number of nuclear warheads, unconditional support for Saudi bombing of Yemeni civilians, and legalisation of murder by British agents via the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Act. 

Raab’s depiction of UK, globally, was the patter of an estate agent trying to sell an old house with “character” while neglecting to mention the extortionate ground rent payable to the owner of the estate upon which the house is situated.

In the UK, particularly as we have come through Brexit, I’m not shy about saying we are a proud, independent nation” was as utterly meaningless as it is possible to be in a sentence.  “Coming through Brexit” was an odd way to refer to empty shelves in shops accompanied by rising prices, major businesses locating elsewhere in Europe, absurdly large customs charges, and a de facto customs border within the UK between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

What is Britain’s comparative advantage today?  Put simply, we’ve got clout.  Britain has economic, military, diplomatic, cultural clout.”  Does it?

  • Economic: UK has hemorrhaged economic influence since January 1st this year.  Over forty years of international trade deals via the EU were wiped out.  Liz Truss’ excitedly portrayed “successes” replaced a fraction of what was lost instantaneously. 
  • Military: Does Raab envisage UK hiring out its ships and planes to a variety of despots around the world?  (The answer to that is ‘yes.’)
  • Diplomatic: The Tory government’s approach to diplomacy is as mature as a toddler.  Commonwealth nations are eschewing the British monarch as head of state.  USA’s ‘special relationship’ is much more likely to be with EU than UK.
  • Cultural: The awful Brexit deal killed touring opportunities for British musicians in EU.  All sections of the arts have been devastated by Covid with little government assistance.

Raab’s proof of “economic clout” contained one simple error.  He used present tense when past tense would have been accurate.

On “military clout” he indulged in grotesque onanism.  “We are one of only a small number of NATO allies who bring to bear nuclear [capability].”  Raab described colonialism and imperialism via military power as “our tradition of internationalism.”

Bizarrely, despite UK’s long, long history of war, proliferation of conflict and arming other countries, Raab said “we have an unparalleled range of expertise to help resolve conflicts and disputes, from Cyprus to Yemen.”  Yes, he really did say “Yemen.”  “We are a problem-solving nation.”  All over the world are millions of people who would have preferred if UK had not “solved” “problems” in their respective countries.

British culture, according to Raab, is TV, sport and youtube influencers.  He mentioned worldwide success of the Premier League, a league where club owners are predominantly wealthy people from outside the UK and majority of managers and players are not British.  He did not mention classical music, ballet, opera, film or fine art.

In summary of his expositions of Britain’s various “clouts” he cited a poll that claimed “the UK is the most attractive country for young people in the world.”  Again, he would have been less inaccurate if he had used the past tense.  He forgot that UK closed it borders, is ejecting newcomers rapidly, and is ejecting EU citizens.

Raab’s celebration of Britain’s “FORCE for good” was a concoction of misrepresentation, convenient omissions, conceited hypocrisy and threats. 

There is a golden thread running through all of this.  The UK is not afraid to act, but we prefer to act with others, to form alliances and partnerships that multiply the force, the impact, that we would otherwise be able to bring to bear if we acted on our own.  More than that, Global Britain – our concept – is a creative disruptor willing and able to challenge the status quo but in the cause of good order and future stability.”

The words above have their roots in exactly the same imperialist manure that fed the verbosity of nineteenth century colonialists.  Raab’s mangling of meaning continued with “[global Britain is] a mould-breaker but also a rule-maker, a disruptor for stability if you like.  We have got a buccaneering spirit, but we also strive and yearn to build bridges.  It is that unique combination of our hard power and our soft power that is so often a game-changer in those countries that we strive to support in a spirit of partnership.” 

What Raab omitted is that “in those countries” land, property and businesses, including businesses providing public services, are often “owned” by foreign corporations, including British companies, and workers “in those countries” are paid low wages to produce goods for export including to UK.  This exploitation is a feature of the vision of “free trade” pursued by the Tories whereby capacity for exploitation is increased massively by free trade agreements that elevate pursuit of corporate profits above everything else; in particular, governments and courts are not allowed to make any decision or judgement that interferes with profiteering. 

In 2018 a paper for hard-right USA think-tank Cato Institute, ‘The Ideal U.S.-U.K. Free Trade Agreement’ (USUKFTA), discussed a post-Brexit USA-UK “free trade” deal with the view that such a deal would be expanded to any country willing to eschew its commitment to democracy.

USUKFTA was co-edited by Daniel Hannan and produced in partnership with Initiative For Free Trade, a think-tank run by Hannan and former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott.  Last year, Abbott and Hannan were appointed to the Board Of Trade by the Tories. 

The authors of USUKFTA noted that “in 2016, Cato Institute published a chapter-by-chapter assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement from a free trader’s perspective.  Most of the chapters were deemed to be at least moderately trade liberalizing.  [Cato] found that the agreement was ‘net liberalizing,’ and they were able to lend their endorsement to the pact, concluding that free traders should be able to support the TPP.” 

Tory government intends to join TPP.  Raab: “We’ve launched the UK’s negotiations to join the TPP to place a new anchor in a part of the world that will provide the most fertile ground for the expansion of UK manufacturing and UK services.”  

Echoing the terminology of Hannan and colleagues in the USUKFTA paper – wherein they described government policy as “protectionism” versus “free trade” unrestricted by any government protections for the public – Raab said “we’re committed to unblocking the vested interests in protectionism, and unleash the power of global free trade.”  He admitted that Global Britain is a tool to use “force for good” to ensure that people in other countries cannot elect governments that act in the interests of the public.

He mentioned Africa, the Gulf of Arabia and South America as “growth markets” for corporate control backed by UK military “clout.”  “Our offer to Africa will be more liberal on free trade than the EU.  We will do this by combining our trade, our aid, and our values.”  Tory “values” are values of international corporate control, erased government and public renting their lives.   

We will offer the developing world a more compelling model of economic growth than debt servitude” was a threat.  Raab meant that if countries refuse to accept corporate interests above democracy then the same corporations and financial associates will continue to steal vast wealth from those countries via unending “debt” payments.

New colonialism has the same aims and objectives as old colonialism, it has the same misrepresentation of intent and it is as equally tied to the enhancement of wealth of a few.  Raab is an alumnus of think-tanks that develop, promote and protect philosophy of removal of democratic control and relegation of nation states to mere flags and statues.  He is dogged in his pursuit of helping to create a political system of corporate fascism.

To achieve public support (votes) for annihilation of democracy the destruction must be described opposite to what is, and the world must be described opposite to what it is.  According to Raab “democracy is in retreat.  Tyranny is richer than freedom.  Freedom-respecting, democracies are much less likely to go to war or to house terrorists.”  Democracy is in retreat, in UK, most recently via the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill; tyranny is richer, as can be seen in democratic Indian government’s attacks on livelihoods of independent farmers to suit corporate agribusiness, democratic Brazilian government’s attacks on indigenous peoples’ land and lives to suit corporate agribusiness, and democratic USA government’s assistance to a violent military coup in Bolivia to suit lithium mining interests; no country has been involved in more military conflict than “freedom-respecting, democracy” of USA since 1945, and the participants in war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are the “freedom-respecting, democracies” of UK, France, USA and Israel.  The war on Yemen conducted by the authoritarian government of Saudi Arabia is supported, assisted and enabled by the Tory government. 

Raab said he wants to “build up better governance in countries abroad [via] an absolute commitment to be a force for good in the world, to help the global south, but also to expand British interests.”  By “British interests” he meant financial interests of corporate elite; the “better governance” will be whatever subservience to business demands is required.

Raab continued to state disapproval of something he endorses while stating support for something he opposes. 

We see nuclear weapons technology proliferating, a very real risk that it could fall into the hands of people who can’t be reasoned with” was said in the context of Tory government’s intent to increase its nuclear weapons capacity by 44% and in the historical context of the USA being the only country ever to use nuclear weapons in conflict.

We face the possibility of catastrophic climate change” was said in the context of the Tory government’s criminalisation of Extinction Rebellion and its investigation into them headed by peer John Woodcock.

We face the possibility of catastrophic pandemics” was said in the context of the Tories’ woeful mishandling of Covid-19 pandemic in UK including using it as an opportunity for a multi-billion pound giveaway to their business friends.

Raab claimed he supported protests in selected countries – Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, China, Sudan – while his ministerial colleague and author colleague (Britain Unchained) Priti Patel continues to seek to stop all protests in UK.  He didn’t mention protests met with extreme state violence in France (gilets jaune), Bolivia against the military coup, Palestine, India, Honduras against charter cities, Brazil, USA, etc.

March 5th (2021) was the seventy-fifth anniversary of a famous and important post-war speech by Winston Churchill in which he passed obsequiously the baton of imperialist power to USA.  He declared the start of the cold war, quite correctly observing that it would be a war without military conflict.  Churchill’s PR skills were strong.  Gross misrepresentations of facts (for example, stating that USA’s control of nuclear bomb technology would mean people “slept easily” just seven months after two Japanese cities had been obliterated) were delivered pseudo-poetically with a homely tone.  The build-up to his demonisation of communism was written with the expertise of a composer of symphonies.  Churchill knew to speckle his performance with soundbites: His speech invented two lasting nonsense phrases: ‘Special relationship’ and ‘iron curtain.’ 

Raab’s political position is the same as Churchill’s, unsurprisingly, and strategy, tactics and methodology of promotion of conservative ideology have had no need to change since 1946.  Equally, they cannot change because there is no successful technique for promoting conservatism other than deception, obfuscation and invention. 

Raab does not compare as a peer to Churchill in quality of manipulative oratory but his speech did tend toward matching the latter’s mendacious depiction of UK’s intent.  “If we galvanise those countries that share our core conviction, together we can and we must wrest control of history once again, and shape a better path ahead.  Our approach to international collaboration [is] a sense of international civic spirit if you like.”  Lies are as easily emitted by Tories today as they were during Churchill’s long tenure.

Tory government’s management of Covid-19 pandemic has been reckless and uncaring, and contrasts with the magnificent dedication of NHS nurses and doctors but Raab chose to claim that he and his government are as worthy of commendation as everyone else; everything in the following quote from his speech is true for all except the government: “Our strongest asset is our people.  I feel that same spirit has marked our country through this pandemic.  Our national commitment to the NHS and to carers, a broader spirit of neighbourliness.”  Tories are systematically destroying the NHS.

As Home Secretary and other ministers proceed with dismantlement of access to justice and legal protections Raab stated more falsehoods from his imaginary opposite world.  “Our greatest contribution is the rule of law.”  Ahistorically, he said “[rule of law] is a particularly British tradition.”

Raab’s comfort with his relentless dishonesty was pre-nutrified by the fact that his intended audience for his speech shared his conservatism and also by his knowledge that his stream of lies would be ignored or fortified by newspapers and broadcasters.

He conflated advances in technology with greater military power.  “We can do even better in deploying and adapting our lead in science, tech and research to bolster the defences of our business, citizens and our government” was followed by celebration of £24,000,000,000 increase in defence spending in the next four years.  A translation is that the government’s false claims of investment in new technology are used as cover for a massive welfare payment to the arms industry at the public’s expense.  His declaration that “we will restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe” elicits the response of “why?”

We will be spending nearly £7 billion over next 4 years in R&D, in new areas like space, cyber, AI, quantum tech, and directed energy weapons” showed further how sex appeal of shiny futuristic tech is merely a ruse to rose-tint gross theft of billions from the public into the bottomless pit of arms industry offshore accounts.   As atom bombs are not an exciting new invention Raab covered the money drain for them with bunkum.  We will maintain our nuclear deterrent to counter the most extreme threats to our national security and our way of life.”

Militaristic posturing has a long history as a common twofold strategy for enhancing exploitative economic policy: 1) A distraction and 2) persuasion of support for public funding of arms industry.  Bereft of Churchill’s adept verbosity and long-winded directional narrative Raab relied on emotive adjectives.  “We will continue to adapt to meet the frankly predatory opportunism of states such as Russia, Iran, North Korea and some others” was uttered against a historical backdrop of the last conflict between UK and Russia (or USSR) being in the nineteenth century and no war ever between UK and Iran (or Persia) or UK and North Korea (or Korea).  Neither North Korea nor Iran occupies any other country’s territory.

Raab’s most nonsensical statement – “We will adapt our defence posture to the new shift in the balance of world power towards the Indo-Pacific region.  You’ll begin to see that this year, with HMS Queen Elizabeth leading a British and allied task group to the region.” – was an admission of acute immaturity by the Tory government: He declared that the rise of economic “clout” of India and China should be countered by sending a massive aircraft carrier thousands of miles from UK.  His proposal was UK should mug countries that have greater talent in making money. 

His summary of “Global Britain” was a concoction of lies, division, threats and laughable arrogance.

We believe that we can and should help alleviate the worst suffering in the world” was a statement of precisely the intentional opposite of what Cato Institute’s and Initiative For Free Trade’s “free trade” model will achieve.

It has never been plainer that the UK’s raw national interest, is inextricably bound up in tackling the international challenges that touch us all” was true, and is true of any country in the world, but Raab’s perspective is that of a new colonialist, working for wealthy elite, backed by big guns and missiles, who sees potential for exploitation on a scale that his nineteenth century idols could not envisage.

We do it because it is the right thing to do but also because bitter experience shows us that strengthening fragile countries and their people is essential to reduce the terrorist threat and to reduce the migratory flows that arrive in the UK” was an expression of sheer selfishness.  By “strengthen” he meant interfere in and control to ensure that “their people” don’t do anything rash like elect a socialist government that might challenge the exploitative behaviour of international businesses.

Raab returned to his claim that UK government will be “leading on climate change” despite its aggression toward climate change activists, and “phasing out coal” despite the plan to open a new coal mine in Cumbria.  Predictably, he blamed China.  “Let’s be honest that none of that will be possible without at least some constructive cooperation with China.”

One theme of how he presented his fallacious “Global Britain” ideology was a plea that UK’s interests are dependent on international cooperation.  “UK’s raw national interest, is inextricably bound up in tackling the international challenges that touch us all.  We also see the direct gains that we can yield if we can reduce tensions between allies, resolve global problems and bring stability to regions whose prosperity will contribute to our own.”  This plea was aimed partly at the behemoth of inward-looking pseudo-patriotic world of gammon that Tories helped nourish, to try to retain their votes, and partly at the cross-border racketeers led by Grover Norquist and Barbara Kolm, to assure them that Tories’ rampant head-up-own-rectum nationalism, signposted by daft worship of symbolism of statues and flags, is just a political ruse.

Existence of imperialists’ expensive weaponry is presented as it always has in language of good versus evil.  From the perspective of a conservative government in Western Europe, a large modern armed force is presented as it always has in terms of self-appointed good in “The West” fighting against unknowns elsewhere in the world. 

Raab, clumsily, regurgitated the above.  On “foreign policy” he said “British people expect their government to stand up for freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”  He seemed to think there is public interest in adherence to maritime law, notably the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  Knowledge of that law’s effect (or its existence) is likely to be miniscule. 

Raab’s preference to claim to speak on behalf of British people extended to assumptions on how China’s expansionism is viewed.  “We identify with those countries lining the South China Sea whose legitimate claims have come under recent threat from China.”  The identification manifests itself as a huge royal naval aircraft carrier thousands of miles from UK.  Why was Raab concerned about how many Chinese naval vessels or man-made islands there are in the South China Sea?  There are dozens of USA air bases in southeast Asia, surrounding China. 

Emotive phrases, appeals to intangible concepts of British philosophy loaded with casual xenophobic aspects, and cheerleading of might were marinated by Raab in a gloop of faux liberal do-goodery.  “Global Britain is imbued with a desire to help.”  It is a multi-layered cake of deception.  One layer is brazen guttural yelps for billions of pounds to be handed to arms industry; a second layer is othering as a distraction to divert attention from bad government in UK; a third layer is inveigling support for pan-global exploitative “free trade” and “charter cities” via use of liberal language about “openness,” “freedom,” “liberty” and “democracy.”  Raab said “we” must “safeguard the international order that reflects a set of progressive liberal values.”

His othering focussed on what is and what isn’t “the West.”  “The UK is a leading member of the western alliance.”  “We in the West cannot afford disunity.”  “We are going to need a concerted effort to bridge the old dividing lines between the West and the G77.”  “We in the West have got to broaden our reach and appeal.”  His definition of “the West” appeared to be Western Europe, USA and Canada but he didn’t explicitly explain how such a collection of countries was allied nor how it was separated from everywhere else (“the G77“).  He appeared to separate European and North American nations from South and Central America, Africa, Asia and Arabian Gulf as a decreasingly accurate indicator of economic power.  His use of “the West” was almost a lament.  As a hook to garner public support for arms spending “the West” no longer has the success it had during Churchill’s cold war.  It was necessary for Raab to imbue his use of the phrase with association of cultural superiority.  “It’s in our DNA, because it’s our compact with the world.” 

The dwindling “West” asked some of the bigger boys to come to their party.  “Under our Presidency of the G7 that we’ve invited India, South Korea and Australia to join this year’s summit.”  China uninvited.

Raab tilled the same field as his conservative predecessor Churchill did in 1946 and, as Raab noted, as US Secretary of State Dean Acheson did a few years after Churchill.  All three chose to depict the epoch in which they were speaking as just beginning and malleable.  All three described their respective countries as likely leaders of new international alliances and as guides for other countries’ political and economic development.  All three created spectres of large threatening enemies.  The key objectives of all three were/are continuous enormous funding of arms industry and imposition (by military force if needed) of exploitative economic systems on other countries’ peoples. 

Every word in his speech was dishonest and every point he made was opposite to his government’s intent.  This expression of exact opposite to Tory intent was displayed brazenly in his final sentence: “if these islands have a particular destiny it’s surely to act as a beacon of hope at home and abroad, to fight for peace and prosperity, to defeat the enemies of mankind, and to act as a force for good.” 

RaabAspen

Full transcript of Raab’s Aspen speech: Raab Speech

Papers
Escaping the straitjacket
The Ideal U.S.-U.K. Free Trade Agreement

Related blogs 
Analysis of Cato Institute paper 
Winston Churchill’s ‘Sinews Of Peace’ speech March 5th 1946

 

Dominic Raab speech on Global Britain

Police: Bad acting; petulance; far-right rhetoric

Bad acting
A feature of confrontational policing is very bad acting.  At a protest yesterday (March 14th 2021) in Parliament Square, Westminster, called in response to police violence at a vigil on Clapham Common the day before, the commanding officer dramatically ordered a small group of his team to “protect Churchill!”  Half a dozen officers surrounded the plinth of a statue of former prime minister Winston Churchill. 

The statue was not threatened by protesters prior to the commander’s instruction.  There was no reason for him to believe that interference with the statue was imminent.  His shouted command, issued within earshot of journalists and broadcasters, and the subsequent protection squad deployment were part of a pre-planned stunt to nudge perspectives of observers toward the view that Winston was about to be violated.  The presence of officers around the statue had the added bonus of encouraging people to vandalise it.

Such bad acting by the police commander was a display of his contempt for the protesters.  He also revealed his low opinion of media and MPs who he assumed would be taken in by his performance, and he was right to assume that: Within minutes of the statue protection deployment right-wing influencers bemoaned how awful it was that Churchill needed to be protected. 

Petulance
The Police Federation reacted to a statement from Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) National Women’s Committee on police violence at the vigil on Clapham Common.

FBU National Women’s Committee: “The scenes last night from Clapham Common were shocking and unacceptable.  A peaceful vigil to mourn and remember Sarah Everard became a display of disproportionate aggression and power at a time when the world needs to see compassion, understanding and support.

The FBU National Women’s Committee stand in solidarity with the women who were manhandled, pushed to the ground, separated from their friends and arrested by the police last night.  These draconian and authoritative actions have no place in a democratic society.

This was a clear demonstration of the patriarchy’s inability to comprehend the reality and scope of male violence against women and girls.  Those responsible for the decisions to approach this vigil in such a way should be held accountable.

The right to peaceful protest is a cornerstone of democracy and we call upon anyone who values the freedoms of civil society to speak against the attempts to curtail these freedoms and limit our right to be heard.  Last night demonstrated that allowing the police to lead the response and set the level of restriction to peaceful protest would be a catastrophic mistake.

We fully support the statement from reclaim these streets and stand in solidarity with our sisters everywhere.”

Police Federation: “These are appalling words from Emergency Services colleagues.  Police and firefighters often work side by side in testing environments – they should be showing solidarity.  For the FBU to make such a sweeping statement without being aware of the facts is embarrassingly out of touch.”

The two statements above contrasted markedly.  One was accurate, concise, intelligent and considered; the other was deceptive, hollow, stupid and petulant. 

Far-right rhetoric
The comment about FBU being “out of touch” revealed how Police Federation think there is popular support for extreme authoritarianism and showed the ingrained political perspective of the federation: The “out of touch” remark echoed rhetoric from far-right influencers and activists.

Rightly, Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick received strong criticism for the violence and decision-making at Clapham Common.  Her professional history, including her part in the execution of Jean Charles De Menezes and its subsequent cover-up and the secrecy of her role when working for military intelligent services from 2015 to 2017, should have precluded her from public office and should have led to prosecution but, instead, contributed to her promotion to commissioner. 

It is not just at the top where policing is political, biased and anti-democratic.  The responses from serving officers to the Police Federation statement quoted above were riddled with phraseology and warped logic associated with propagandists in far-right lobby groups.

The police haven’t changed.  The political bias, keenness for violent crackdowns, protection of property well ahead of protection of the public and suppression of protests, pickets and demonstrations are all key facets of policing as they have been since the nineteenth century.  Police violence on Saturday (March 13th) was typical and there was worse at Black Lives Matter and at Extinction Rebellion protests.

As effects of Tory Brexit intensify police behaviour will intensify.

Police: Bad acting; petulance; far-right rhetoric

A vigil on Clapham Common

After waiting until darkness fell a gang of mostly male police officers attacked a group of women yesterday (March 13th 2021) who were holding a vigil on Clapham Common in London for Sarah Everard who was murdered a week earlier and the suspected murderer is a police officer in the same force. 

Police and their political supporters claimed their violent assault on the vigil was an attempt to enforce lockdown rules related to the Covid-19 pandemic.  That claim is baseless: Similar vigils in other cities in Britain were unmolested by police actions and a week earlier police in Scotland assisted a mass gathering of football supporters of Rangers FC following the club’s first ever league title win. 

The decision to enact an assault on the women was entirely political.  Home Secretary Priti Patel and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick are opposed to protests, pickets, demonstrations and rallies.  A succession of new laws by the Tories are eroding human rights to protest.  Brexit allowed the government to eschew previous obligations toward protests.  Even a vigil that was not political was an anathema to Patel and Dick.  They and senior police officers revelled in an opportunity to demonstrate power and control.

The violence was routine police violence.  Black Lives Matter protesters and Extinction Rebellion protesters received similar, and worse, violence last year.  In September last year Patel spoke at a police superintendents conference where she egged on such actions against Extinction Rebellion. 

Alongside the encouragement of violence the government seeks to criminalise all effective protest.  Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion have succeeded in raising awareness and in describing the connection with exploitative capitalism; consequently they are targetted for suppression.  The government hired disgraced former Labour MP and current peer John Woodcock to investigate both organisations. 

Even the majority of the right-wing defenders of state control cannot defend what police did on Clapham Common but they found a way to distract from it: They are focussing on their support for swifter relaxation of lockdown rules.  They are almost blaming lockdown restrictions for the police violence.  As said earlier, lockdown rules were not involved in the motivation for how the police behaved and to pivot quickly to a discussion of such is just a means of not criticising the violence. 

Metropolitan police officers took part in unprovoked, unnecessary, idiotic thuggery against women at a vigil against violence against women.  There are no mitigating circumstances, no caveats, no excuses and no justification for the police actions.  It was state violence against women because they refused to be ordered to not support a murdered woman.  No woolly contorted logic can diminish the nefariousness.

In the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.” – Lucretia Mott

Statements on the police action

ClaphamStatement

Sisters uncut: “Tonight we attempted to have a peaceful vigil to mourn Sarah Everard and protest all forms of gendered violence. The police were violent towards us and prevented us from mourning.  So tomorrow [March 14th], we will gather at New Scotland Yard, 4pm. Join us.  The police abuse the powers they already have – and yet the government plans to give them even more powers in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.  This is dangerous.  This will lead to even more state violence against women.  This bill MUST be stopped.  Tonight, thousands of women came to Clapham Common to grieve the death of a woman – allegedly murdered by a male police officer.  Tonight, Metropolitan police officers waited for the sun to set before they started grabbing and manhandling women in the crowd.”

A vigil on Clapham Common

GB News: Staff hires

Andrew Neil’s GB News is hiring staff including presenters, editors, producers and others.  Let’s take a look at how the political balance of GB News is progressing.

Name: Gloria Del Piero
Role
: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: In 2016 former right-wing Labour MP and Brexiteer Del Piero tried to encourage The Sun readers to join the party in an attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn as leader.  She failed to vote in favour of her party’s motion to withdraw UK military support for Saudi Arabia’s war crimes in Yemen, and she failed to vote against the Social Murder policy of David Cameron’s Tory government.  After giving up as an MP Del Peiro worked at Murdoch’s online “radio” channel Times Radio.

Name: Mercy Muroki
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: The Sun columnist and a product of Ian Duncan-Smith’s hard-right Centre For Social Justice Muroki is a keen supporter of Social Murder intent of Universal Credit.  Appointed by Tory government to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities she contributed to its discredited report published in March (2021).

Name: Liam Hannigan
Role: Economics and Business Editor
Curriculum Vitae: Groomed by extremist libertarian and enemy of democracy Andrei Illarionov in Moscow in the 1990s Hannigan promotes, with relentless mendacity, economic policies that seek maximum concentration of wealth in the hands of a few via world-wide exploitation and removal of government, and thus democracy, from management of that exploitation.  Hannigan’s skill is translation of nefarious aims into usable language for politicians and for broadcasters and newspapers.  Wilful unbounded misrepresentation of the effects of Brexit, a tool to turn the UK into a theme park for market gamblers, tax dodgers and charter cities, was (since before the referendum) and continues to be one of Hannigan’s favoured occupations.  Broadcasters yes-platform him frequently because they mistake manufactured pseudo-eloquence for insight.

Name: Alexandra Phillips
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: Former Head of Media for UKIP and former The Brexit Party MEP Phillips’ two claims to fame are 1) she wrote a supportive article on Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers Of Blood’ speech: “Before we vilify Enoch Powell based upon our own comparisons and corroborations, let us first acknowledge that the primary victim of the dubbed ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech has, in fact, been Powell himself,” and 2) she was employed by data-mining and election manipulator Cambridge Analytica in the Kenyan presidential election but denied doing so, including accusing broadcaster Channel 4 of libel – “I’ve never been employed by Cambridge Analytica in my life.  That’s libellous.” – before retracting her denial when Channel 4 produced a recording of Phillips wherein she had said she worked for them. 

Name: Tom Harwood
Role: Political Correspondent
Curriculum Vitae: Nurtured at £18,000 per annum The Perse School extremist libertarian Harwood’s modus crassendi is to exude vile bigotry with childish mocking stunts and provocation.  He worked at vile extreme-right propaganda organisations Students For Liberty, Guido Fawkes and Turning Point UK before becoming a Telegraph columnist.  Harwood never attempts to pretend to have knowledge of any issue about which he bloviates. 

Name: Dan Wootton
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: Showbiz gossip journalist Wootton is a bog standard beneficiary of Rupert Murdoch’s twist of the Peter Principle whereby salacity and studious stupidity are key literary assets to assist progress up the News International journalistic ladder.  Aping behaviour of single-figure follower twitter trolls Wootton maintains his career by using petulant abuse, random insults and feigndignation aimed at celebrities and he feeds off their responses.  Women are disproportionately targetted by him.

Name: Neil Oliver
Role
: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae
: Screaming incoherent unionist Oliver described support for Scottish independence as “cancerous.”  His ‘Paean To Britain’ essay echoed the style of Jean Genet’s onanistic ‘Our Lady Of The Flowers.’  A Farage in a 1970s bass-player’s wig he said the wearing of Covid masks “is like communism” and declared that people who exhibit responsibility to their and others’ health are merely scared of “authority.”

Name: Andrew Doyle
Role
: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae
: Too cowardly and not literate enough to be able to express his political views lucidly and openly Doyle hides behind childlike attempts at humour and invented banal personas.  A former teacher at £34,000 per annum Royal Hospital School Doyle was aghast that some private schools support anti-racism education.  He admitted his disdain for Black Lives Matter is partly due to its anti-capitalist stance.  He enjoys assuming working-class people are ignorant and incapable of critical analysis.

Name: Michelle Dewberry
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: Former The Brexit Party parliamentary candidate Dewberry won reality TV show The Apprentice in 2006.

Name: Alastair Stewart
Role
: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae
: Veteran newsreader Stewart, famed for his enjoyment of several alcoholic beverages before going for a drive, is a prolific and persistent troll on social media.  His behaviour includes personal abuse with particular emphasis on casting doubt on the intelligence of his targets.  He was sacked by ITN after he sent a barrage of public social media messages to one person that led directly to that person being a victim of sustained abuse from other posters who supported Stewart’s attack.

Name: Colin Brazier
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: Veteran newsreader Brazier’s single foray into political activism is a campaign for larger families in Britain.  Having added six children to the population, while a recipient of a good salary at Sky News, Brazier asked the government to be “pro-natalist.”  In an article for Koch-financed Unherd Brazier did not elucidate his economic rationale for larger families but he did excuse Boris Johnson’s possible preference for avoiding increases in immigration: “Nuanced pro-natalism might also allow Boris to spike nativist guns (if that is, you believe that relying on ever increasing numbers of migrant workers stokes populism.)”  Brazier spoke of “a woman’s ability to achieve her stated fertility ambitions” and of how women “feel pressured into going back to work after having a baby.” 

Name: Christian Mitchell
Role: Executive Producer
Curriculum Vitae: His stated highlight of his career Mitchell was “proud to have made UK radio history in securing the first ever radio interview with a sitting US President, Donald Trump.”  His claim of being “first” was false. 

Name: Inaya Folarin Iman
Role: Presenter
Curriculum Vitae: Founding Director of far-right pressure group Free Speech Union, alongside professional extremist libertarians Douglas Murray and Toby Young, Iman tried to coerce students into supporting far-right ideology by inviting them to join a project called Free Speech Champions; those who expressed an interest were sent videos supporting the rights of Nazis.

Name: Anna Riley
Role: Reporter (Yorkshire)
Curriculum Vitae: When employed at Hull Live website (part of Hull Daily Mail, owned by Reach) as not a news reporter Riley published an article that focussed on a social media comment from Hull Labour councillor Aneesa Akbar wherein the councillor mentioned the racism of the late Prince Philip.  Riley’s piece was presented as outrage reaction and included an alleged quote from an unnamed “constituent.”  As a consequence Akbar was hounded off social media.  Hull Labour said “Hull Labour Group fully supports Cllr Akbar and is dismayed by Hull Live’s misleading and inflammatory reporting of a private Facebook comment about institutional racism and the platform it continues to give to appalling personal abuse.”

GB News: Staff hires

2021: January-February

On the last day of 2020 Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said “between September and December this year the number of small boat crossings [across the English Channel] on good weather days dropped by over 70% bucking the trend from 2018 and 2019 when they went up significantly during the same period.  French collaboration and action against criminals is working.”

O’Mahoney’s delight and self-satisfaction encapsulated the intrinsic inhumane philosophy of the Tories.  His cold summary, presented deceptively as a celebration of tackling criminality, was in line with the government’s tactic to distract and to create division.  

As 2021 began with exponential increases in Covid-19 infections and deaths created by the utterly shambolic, careless and stupid management of the pandemic by the government, and the realities of Brexit began to bite including shortages of perishable food and huge increases in postal costs and customs costs between UK and EU, the Tories ploughed on with their rancid exploitation of Covid and Brexit using both as means to enrich themselves, their friends and families, and their business associates.  Almost every contract signed by the government on Covid-related services is a straightforward handover of cash with the associated supply of services or products an afterthought.

Immediate impact of Brexit regarding process and costs of transporting goods across the border between UK and EU encouraged many exporters to the UK to cease operations completely.  The Tories created a customs border between Britain and Northern Ireland, and extremist unionists are exploiting the consequences of that border. 

The corruption of Covid-19 contract awards continues unabated by criticism.  Jolyon Maugham’s Good Law Project’s (GLP) challenge to the legality of these contracts received a response from the government of a potential £1,000,000 bill for legal costs as the latter employed an army of lawyers to defend its indefensible action.  GLP was successful in court in proving that Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a recipient of donations from private healthcare funded Institute of Economic Affairs, acted unlawfully when he refused to publish details of some of the huge Covid contracts awarded to private businesses.  However, Hancock did not resign, he continues to issue untendered unpublished contracts and his law-breaking was almost ignored by newspapers and broadcasters.

The government chooses to take no responsibility for over 100,000 deaths from Covid.  The erratic approach to testing, vaccination and restrictions ensures the effects of the pandemic will last longer in the UK than anywhere else in the world.  In late February, with daily deaths from Covid around five hundred, the Tories decided to present an arbitrary “roadmap” out of lockdown that lacked any care, cohesion or sense.  Return of children to (non-independent) schools on Monday (8th March) was in the context of no children having received a dose of a vaccine, very few teachers having received a dose, and no preparations made for distancing at schools, no testing and no extra ventilation.  Eton College remains closed.

Provision of online learning for children has failed.  Via another dubious government contract wherein the beneficiary received a lot more money than the cost of the product, laptops were supplied that carried malware.  Education Secretary Gavin Williamson endorsed a private tutorial business whose founder blamed teachers’ unions for inadequacies in online education.

Opposition?

Where’s the opposition?  Apart from a few SNP and Labour MPs, notably Zarah Sultana, there is no opposition in parliament.  Labour’s alleged leader remains determined to pursue his Bystander existence that includes abject fear of criticising the government effectively.  His party’s focus is expelling non-conformant members and stopping socialist candidates from standing in council elections in May.  A socialist candidate for mayor of Liverpool was deselected by Labour without explanation.

Right-wing newspapers and radio channels are full of lies, promotion of division, xenophobia and distractions, including platforms for pandemic-deniers.  It is a barrage of stupidity and misinformation from grifters employed by tax-dodging proprietors.  The industry of stupefaction will be expanded soon with the creation of two new free-to-air TV news channels devoted to mendacity.  Andrew Neil’s GB News declared its intent by hiring a piece of excrement from extreme-right Guido propaganda website as a “political correspondent.”

The collaborational centrist media’s intellectual death is almost complete.  Having played its part in the rise of Boris Johnson, the anything-but-socialism mob at the Guardian has only the ordinary wit of Marina Hyde to assure itself, wrongly, of its lack of culpability.  BBC’s demise was completed last year when new Director-General Tim Davie put the final nail in its coffin; the appointment of six-figure Tory donor Richard Sharp as the new chairman of the BBC buried the coffin deep enough to ensure sure no journalism will escape.  

Blame?

Covid deaths past 100,000, customs charges at several hundred percent, shortages of food, lack of essential parts for industry, education of the youngest children failing, vital cancer treatments delayed for months and rampant Tory corruption are alongside the usual Tory consequences of no job security, no access to legal aid, no affordable homes, risible welfare system that leads to destitution, debt, homelessness and death, huge education debts, and crackdowns on protests, demonstrations and pickets.  

The Tories aim blame elsewhere.  Blame the EU, blame Scotland, blame individuals for Covid restriction avoidance, blame immigrants, blame doctors, blame nurses, blame teachers, blame trades’ unions, blame social media, blame France, blame China, blame estranged members of the royal family, blame everything on someone else.

The blame game is part of the distraction game and is played also by Keir Starmer’s Labour, by newspapers and by broadcasters. 

Peremptory stupefaction

Dumbing down of messaging from the government is in partnership with dumbing down of analysis from media and from think-tanks.  Every issue associated with Brexit and every issue associated with Covid-19 are presented to the public bereft of substance and logic in order to hide the truth.  Evasion and obfuscation are the two main facets of Tory communication.  Downright lies are as commonplace as intakes of breath.  

Contempt oozes from Tories.  On rare occasions when an MP or a journalist asks a pertinent question or makes a revelatory point the response from Tories is a mix of dismissiveness and offence that anyone would even question them.  Professional victimhood is endemic among the right-wing bloviators on radio, online and when yes-platformed by TV news channels.  They are continuously being “cancelled.”

The main husk of Labour utilises a more catatonic mode of stupefaction.  With cautious pomposity Keir Starmer declares awful acts by the Tories to be a bit wrong, but he wants everyone to know that he generally supports the government.  Forensic mild disappointment is his rallying cry.  Trite three-word slogans are accompanied by vacant platitudes.  As tens of thousands of people exit membership of Labour and as the party’s prospects for success in upcoming council elections decline inexorably, Starmer and his team of automatons are stuck in a focus group nightmare.  Go forth to your constituencies and prepare for abstention.

Racism

Rabid defenders of British mishistory are aghast that intelligent informed people want to ensure children and students learn facts.  The same rabidity is vehemently opposed to anti-racism.  Far-right vanguard are not satisfied by just being racist, they demand that no-one should be allowed to fight against racism.

Democracy thief John Woodcock agreed gleefully to investigate Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion, both of whom have been successful in challenging exploitative and divisive conservatism.  That followed Priti Patel’s description of Extinction Rebellion as criminals last year.

The electoral Commission refused to allow Black Lives Matter to contest, as a political party, the council elections in May this year.  Tories removed funding for heritage societies that chose to present history accurately.  Toby Young’s Free Speech Union employed someone to go to a professional football match to boo footballers taking a knee.

Distractions

There is a pregnant royal, there is a royal with a new baby, there is an ill royal and there are royals excommunicated from royalty.  The queen is on Zoom.  A duke and duchess are on a US chat show.

BBC Scotland and Tories are (pretending to be) obsessed with who said what in a spat between current and former leaders of SNP.

Racist self-publicist Alexei Navalny is cast as an imaginary “opposition leader” in Russia; he has less political integrity and less support than USA’s Juan Guaido has in Venezuela.

Boris Johnson wants to build a bridge between scotland and Ireland.

Reality

Matt Hancock shrugged when his actions were judged as illegal, he removed a photograph of the pub of his friend and one of the beneficiaries of the Covid contract scandal from the room he uses for TV interviews, and he continues to hand billions of pounds of public money to his friends, associates and donors.  Serco’s non-existent track and trace system did not prevent it from (or, assisted it in) making millions in profits every penny of which came directly from the public via Covid contracts.  The extremely wealthy wife of the Chancellor Of The Exchequer makes millions from the furlough scheme he introduced.

People receiving non-Universal Credit benefits are denied the £20 “uplift.”

Statue defender Robert Jenrick continues his abuse of the Towns Fund by funnelling money to Tory constituencies and swing seats, and also to towns where the council majority is contestable in May’s council elections.  He made sure his own constituency received a hefty sum.  Towns Fund is public money used as political campaign funding.

Early March budget confirmed the concept of “free ports.”  Tories’ free ports, or charter cities, are countries within countries where all rights, regulations, laws and tax collection are eschewed in favour of profits for corporate owners and employers.  It is structured corporate fascism.  It is the antithesis of democracy.  It is the final endgame of capitalism.  It is admittance that the use-by date of nation states has expired.

Avoidance of scrutiny will be vital to the Tories’ latest scheme to funnel public money into private hands called Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) that will have “autonomy and flexibility outside the standard government contracting and granting standards” and will be “exempt from existing Public Contract Regulations” and “not to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.”

Hundreds of people die each day in UK due to Covid.  New mutations of the virus emerge.

Austerity is a key component of Tory philosophy and policy.  Freezes (equivalent to cuts) for benefits and public sector pay continue.  Further cuts to council services due to central underfunding sit alongside way-above-inflation rises in council tax.  Typical rises in utilities are 10% this year.  Food prices, additionally affected by Brexit consequences, are rising steeply.  The gap in wealth between wealthiest and least wealthy is rising with a layered exponential curve.  People with disabilities or chronic illness are hit the worst.

The Overton Window has too large a view of arrogant, proud racism.  Conservative desperation coupled with centrists’ ardent focus on opposing socialism made ample room for straightforward bigotry, prejudice and xenophobia.  Anti-racist views are under attack constantly and are being censored by government decree via Gavin Williamson’s instructions to schools to not use any teaching materials that are anti-capitalist.  Via his falsely named Free Speech Champion, he intends to fill university debating rooms with fascists.  There are continuous mendacious claims by far-right of “cancel culture” against them.  Meanwhile the BBC uses client journalism conservatism as its version of centre ground.

There’s also climate change but conservatives won’t worry about that until they need to own the earth’s entire supply of water.

soylent-green

Other than that, everything is fine.

2021: January-February

How full is the pork barrel?

Pork barrel politics is now a key component of Tory electioneering.  Vital projects in constituencies without a Tory MP are denied and unfunded but acquire funding if a Tory is elected.  This was commonplace after Tory gains in Scotland in 2017 general election and will be repeated in England in 2021 via the Towns Fund for constituencies that switched from Labour to Tory in 2019 general election.

The process is straightforward: If a previously non-Tory constituency elects a Tory MP then there is a reward, otherwise there is not.  This encourages voters in other non-Tory constituencies to switch to Tory with the hope of being rewarded similarly.  

There is a limit to how much money and how many constituencies will benefit from this scheme but Tories need only enough seats to win elections.  The effectiveness of the scheme is not diminished by inadequacy of the financial award nor by the fact that it is often spent on something useless.

As is true of most actions by Boris Johnson’s government, legality or not of the pork barrelling is almost irrelevant. 

Tories have applauded themselves for the scheme’s success.  As a response to The Sun journalist Harry Cole’s criticism of Labour’s concern about legality, Tory MP Jake Berry said “Labour have let down Northern voters in Red Wall seats time and again. I doubt telling those same voters that the Conservatives are now fighting (and delivering) for them is going to win them back.”  Jake Berry is a minister in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that decides which towns receive funding via the Towns Fund.  He recommended that Newark receives funding; Newark is the constituency of Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

In two months time (in May 2021) there are council and mayoral elections in England.  The timing of the Towns Fund awards is not coincidental.  Public money is being used to fund the Tory election campaign for council seats and mayoral elections.

Tory corruption is as common as breathing.

Recommended readingGood Law Project

How full is the pork barrel?

Denial of racism: Ian Murray, Society Of Editors

For the tax-dodging, hedge fund owning proprietors of Britain’s newspapers, radio stations and TV channels racism is a daily tool used to distract and divide.  That doesn’t mean that they are not racist and does not mean that their racism is a pretence but its key motivation is political.

The Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Times, Express, Standard and Spectator are adept at promoting racism with varying degrees of subtlety dependent on their respective target audiences.  Sometimes, for example when discussing Brexit or the EU, xenophobia will be more prominent; other times, if the target is Wales, Ireland or Scotland, the bigotry is sectarian.  The repeated aspect of all prejudicial perspectives by these newspapers is othering in order to affix spurious blame.

Recent additions to the media’s racism pool are radio stations LBC and talkRADIO and they will be joined soon by Andrew Neil’s GB News TV channel.  On radio and TV professional screamings heads and Gits rant stupidly, avoiding analysis, inspection, knowledge, research and didactic reasoning.  The creation of imaginary enemies, of wrongdoers and of arbitrary reasons for behaviour are necessary tools for the far-right influencers because their entire output is distraction.  Neil made clear his intent via his choice of staff for GB News including Tom Harwood, Michelle Dewberry and Alexandra Phillips; the last named claimed Enoch Powell was the real victim of his ‘rivers of blood’ speech.

The racist propaganda of the media needs pseudo-professional fake-independent bodies to act as its security against valid criticism.  On Monday March 8th (2021) Executive Director of the Society Of Editors Ian Murray responded to some observations by (former) Duke and Duchess Of Sussex on the ingrained racism of newspapers particularly regarding the coverage of the life of Meghan Windsor.  Murray wasn’t happy.  He began with the favourite line from gatekeepers of racism by demanding evidence, despite the evidence being screamed all over newspapers, radio and TV every day: “It is not acceptable for the Duke and Duchess to make such claims without providing any supporting evidence.”

Murray called the blatant double standards in the reporting of the complainants compared to that of their sibling and in-law as just “reporting, investigating and commenting on the couple’s lifestyle and actions.”

With a straight face he declared that “the UK media has a proud record of calling out racism” and “the press is most certainly not racist.”  Those are the mendacious words of a PR guy defending criminals.

Another favourite line of professional media is to contrast itself in a superior way to social media and Murray did not forget to include such a remark.  “It is also unreasonable for the Duke and Duchess to conflate the legitimate coverage provided by the edited and regulated UK media with the wild west of social media.”

An interesting sideline was Murray’s reference to Duke and Duchess doing interviews with “media in the US.”  He revealed the bitterness of those he represents who are sore that they didn’t get an interview.

Murray’s statement was petulant, very dishonest and pathetic.  Most professional media outlets in the UK are broken beyond repair.  They are opposed to information, veracity and integrity.  Their existence is not “press freedom.”  They are toys and tools of a small wealthy elite and the likes of Murray are their lickspittles.

Recommended readingMarcus Ryder for Huffington Post

Denial of racism: Ian Murray, Society Of Editors