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  However, Hancock did not resign, he continues to issue untendered unpublished contracts and his law-breaking was almost ignored by newspapers and broadcasters.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

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