Etonian Kwasi Kwarteng’s Scab Law

Withdrawal of labour via industrial action is a key tenet of the relationship between worker and employer.  It is a bargaining tool for workers to help them to receive adequate compensation for their labour and to maintain acceptable working conditions, hours of work, paid holidays, safety at work, etc.  Without the strike option employers are considerably less hindered in their pursuit of unfettered exploitation of employees.

Strikes, historically, were important events that led to improved wages, job security, safety and workers’ entitlements.  They help to shape society, aid democracy and raise quality of life.  They are political acts: The population versus propertied elite.  In a capitalist or authoritarian nation strikes are utterly necessary.

Hiring staff to work in place of striking workers was illegal in UK because it undermines the purpose of strikes.  It hands more power to employers.  It attacks workers directly.  It hands an advantage to employers that is incompatible with democracy.

On 21st July (2022), as part of its policy of erasure of rights as an aid to strengthening wealth concentration, the Tory government made hiring of scabs legal and encouraged employers to take that option.  The change to the law applies specifically to people not already employed by a business; current employees were able to continue work during a strike though they were, rightly, labelled as “scabs.”

In Scab law Etonian Kwasi Kwarteng (Tory Business Secretary) admitted that the sole purpose of allowing mass scabbing was to remove the effectiveness of strikes: “This will help to mitigate the disproportionate impact strike action.”  His Tory colleague Grant Shapps (Tory Transport Secretary) added “this vital reform means any future strikes will cause less disruption.” 

The point of strikes is to “impact” and to “cause disruption.”  This year, in many different workplaces and professions, several strikes took place and there were (and are) many more threats of strikes.  All were called as direct responses to exploitative behaviour by employers including low pay, wage rises far below inflation (and so, effectively, wage cuts), unsafe working conditions for employees and, in public services, for the public, lack of job security and understaffing.  The strikes were necessary acts to fight against employers extending the boundaries of their exploitation. 

The combatting of exploitation is not just for immediate rebalancing but also for historical precedence and advancement.  Trades’ unions are having a strong year.  This follows a period of genuine political opposition in UK from 2015 to December 2019 and is a reaction to the Tory government lurching rightwards toward extreme libertarian anti-society anti-democracy economic devastation.  An additional reason for confidence and focus of unions is the knowledge that so-called Labour Party, led by donors’ puppet conservative Starmer, is not an alternative to the current regime and so workers and unions do not feel their actions need approval from Labour.

Tories’ Scab Law is a simple statement of their philosophy.  Their single objective is concentration of wealth and to achieve that they need to dismantle democracy by removing rights and laws that help to rebalance society.  They are removing the dampeners on the constant desire for exploitation by the propertied.

Kwarteng is deeply associated with libertarian assassins of democracy and has been so for many years. He co-wrote ‘Britannia Unchained,’ a guidebook for dismantlement of society, that included the assertion that “once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world.  Too many people in Britain prefer a lie-in to hard work.  [British people] work among the lowest hours, retire early and productivity is poor.”  The vitriol in the book aimed at the public by an Etonian stank of vicious feudal exploitation and fascism.

Kwarteng
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng

Trades Unions, among others, are at the frontline of the war against the economic extremism of the Tory government.  The latter’s plans, devised, designed and constructed over many years, have no limit to how destructive is the intent.  Since 1980s Tory government the objective of conservatives in UK is to devolve the country into a charter territory owned by a wealthy elite where the rest of us rent our lives.  Successive bills processing through parliament last year and this year enable wealth concentration directly, and indirectly by annihilations of rights, access to justice and democracy.  Johnson the performing clown is gone; his successor (Truss, another co-writer of ‘Britain Unchained’) and her cabinet will be much worse.

Join a union!

Etonian Kwasi Kwarteng’s Scab Law

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief Of The General Staff

Promotion to top ranks in British armed forces is dependent on being aware that the job’s main objective is enhancement of arms industry’s profits.

Last month (June 2022) General Sir Patrick Sanders was promoted to Chief Of The General Staff of the British army.  His first act in his new job was a speech to the Royal United Services Institution (RUSI) on 28th June.  RUSI, created by Arthur Wellesley in 1831, is a tool to promote military conflict and to support control of the world by ‘Western’ capitalists.  It is intrinsically anti-democratic and xenophobic.  Most of its funding is from arms industry and associated industries.

His speech was a simple three-step routine.

  • STEP 1: Describe Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a threat to the whole of NATO
  • STEP 2: Explain why there exists a desperate need for immediate and huge mobilisation of British armed forces
  • STEP 3: State that such a mobilisation requires significant extra spending on expensive military hardware.  (His audience at RUSI included representatives of arms industry.)

It was easy to progress to STEPS 2 and 3 once he established STEP 1.

STEP1: His knowledge of war was selective.  He said “I stand here as the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take up this position in the shadow of a major state on state land war in Europe.”  He must have been on holiday with no access to news during the violent break-up of former Yugoslavia, and he was able to maintain ignorance throughout his life of USSR’s invasion of Hungary.

In all my years in uniform, I haven’t known such a clear threat to the principles of sovereignty and democracy, and the freedom to live without fear of violence, as the brutal aggression of president Putin and his expansionist ambitions.”

Sanders’ military career began in 1984.  In thirty-eight years since there were many “clear threats to the principles of sovereignty and democracy.”  Sanders’ military action included service in Kosovo, Bosnia And Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan.  There is a huge discrepancy between his assertion above and his own experiences in military conflict.

Armed with his invented speciality of the war in Ukraine he jumped to declaring that NATO countries must prepare for direct attack.  He made this leap by invoking expansionism by Germany in 1930s.

I believe we are living through a period in history as profound as the one that our forebears did over 80 years ago.  Now, as then, our choices will have a disproportionate effect on our future.  This is our 1937 moment.  We are not at war – but we must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion.”

1937 moment” referred to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease German government despite the latter’s huge expansion of military capability and its threats to other countries; Chamberlain was wrong to have trusted Hitler.

Sanders’ comparison between 1930s Germany and 2020s Russia makes no sense and is offensive to the memory of people murdered in the Holocaust.

His lazy and disreputable equation of Russia today with Germany in 1937 echoed crass, uninformed and intellectually-challenged comments made by performing contrarians throughout the industry of screaming heads and professional trolls in media, at think-tanks and in online communities.

With STEP 1’s fallacious logic presented as a problem to solve Sanders moved to STEP 2 wherein he claimed there is an urgent necessity for mobilisation and military action.

STEP 2: He emphasised that

the British Army is not mobilising to provoke war – it is mobilising to prevent war.  From now the Army will have a singular focus – to mobilise to meet today’s threat and thereby prevent war in Europe.  We are not at war – but we must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion.  I will do everything in my power to ensure that the British Army plays its part in averting war.”

The best way to prevent war is to engage in conversation, negotiation and compromise but Sanders’ depiction of Russia’s intent as akin to Germany’s in 1930s meant he could not consider such options.  He did not suggest that British troops should be fighting in Ukraine; his mobilisation was for British troops in NATO countries in Europe because that fitted his set-up in STEP 1 that Russian expansionism would extend to NATO territories.  “We must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into [a war] through a failure to contain territorial expansion.”

Despite his assertions of avoiding war he proclaimed his intent to “win” a war.  “We are mobilising the Army to help prevent war in Europe by being ready to fight and win alongside our NATO allies and partners.”  Preventing war would be a “win” but it wasn’t clear that is what he meant.

He knows land, sea and air battles between NATO and Russia are extremely unlikely, other than isolated incidents that end as quickly as they begin and then only at sea or in the air.  Neither Russia nor USSR invaded NATO territory.  Although not old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis, he knows the deterrent of nuclear exchanges lives up to its name: Deterrent.  That is, he is aware with certainty that military battles involving NATO and Russian troops will not happen.

A general’s public statements should never specify a particular political stance and should not claim to speak on behalf of government.  But, Sanders was keen to speak as if he is a politician.

This is the moment to defend the democratic values that define us.  Ceding more territory to Putin could prove a fatal blow to the principle of national sovereignty that has underpinned the international order since 1945.”

His deceptive soundbites above could have been spoken by any conservative politician.  “Democratic values that define us” does not describe UK.  “The principle of national sovereignty that has underpinned the international order since 1945″ is the opposite of historical fact, applied generally and also specifically to the UK in Kenya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Chagos Islands, etc.  Sanders “served” in Iraq and in Afghanistan; did he not notice that “national sovereignty” was being crushed by the army he was in?

His political polemic went further than response to Russia.

Defence cannot ignore the exponential rise and chronic challenge of China, not just within the South China Sea but through its sub-threshold activities across the globe.  Beijing will be watching our response to Moscow’s actions carefully.”

Creation of a Chinese threat is a key facet of libertarian and of liberal propaganda.  Sanders’ fear of China is fear of the exported success of China’s economy management and fear of China’s control of other countries around the world.  As soon as NATO and its puppet government fled from Afghanistan, China sought trade deals with Afghanistan and sent aid, food and other assistance rather than well-armed military; Barbados’ transition to a republic, rejecting British monarch as head of state, was followed immediately with new trade deals with China; China’s economic partnerships with countries throughout Africa and South America are growing in number and in size at an increasing rate.  Sanders meant his fear of China pushing aside exploitative ‘Western’ capitalist power.

When he said “Beijing will be watching” he did not mean that the Chinese government is ready to launch invasions of NATO countries if the latter is less than aggressive.  He meant a message of aggression should be sent to the Chinese government that if it continues to help the economies of countries around the world to eschew exploitation by international businesses, banks, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, then NATO might use military force to protect that exploitation.

Sanders understands the role of NATO’s armed forces: Protection of hegemony of capitalist exploitation.

He gave a further reason for UK having a large military presence in Europe.  “Taking up the burden in Europe means we can free more US resources to ensure that our values and interests are protected in the Indo-Pacific.”  By “our interests” he meant those of the occidental world and he meant the capacity for profit for businesses from that world, profit at the expense of people who live elsewhere in the world.

He supported good old-fashioned imperialism.  We must be wary of Russia’s malign activities further afield.  Our global hubs, including Kenya and Oman, will still play a vital role as we seek to mobilise to meet aggression in Europe allowing us to help our partners there secure strategic advantage elsewhere in the world.”  Another phrase meaning financial control of: “strategic advantage elsewhere in the world.”

Satisfied that his late nineteenth century imperialist rhetoric had laid foundations for indulging in readiness for war, Sanders moved to STEP 3 which was the reason for his speech. 

STEP 3: Barely pausing for breath, he listed various combat and mobilisation operations, and sectors of the army, followed by a list of extremely expensive military equipment that he was excited to know was purchased by, or being considered for purchase by, the British public rather than money being spent on healthcare, education, welfare, pensions, public transport, policing, welfare and mental health support for military veterans, unprivatisation of utilities, tackling climate crisis, fighting Covid-19, and all other necessities for ensuring well-being of the public and its financial security.

Tory government created Land Industrial Strategy (LIS) to intensify effectiveness of war as a tool to increase arms industry profits.  Sanders knew LIS was his priority as Chief Of The General Staff.

I will use the next few months to engage personally with you, our industry partners and encourage you to use the framework offered by the new Land Industrial Strategy to make the Army more lethal and more effective, with better equipment in the hands of our soldiers at best speed.”

It is easy to see for whom Sanders works.

He recognised the government’s objective behind recent arms transfers to Ukraine free of charge.  “[We have] diminished stockpiles as a result of Gifting in Kind to the brave soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.  We will re-build our stockpiles and review the deployability of our vehicle fleet.”  The process of feeding the arms industry is not dependent on UK being at war.  Free weapons for Ukraine means a “re-build” of UK’s “stockpiles.”

In full agreement with a government that is erasing accountability, Sanders said “we must be practical and cut through unnecessary bureaucracy.”  By “bureaucracy” he meant rules, regulations, checks and balances, international human rights obligations, laws.

General Patrick Sanders speaking at RUSI

Sanders used a simple three step process, speaking like a politician with the intent of justifying the use of public money as gifts to the never satiated greed of the arms industry.

At £39,600 per annum Worth School he learnt that his professional life should focus on making wealth ever more concentrated.  Via the elite conveyor belt from independent schools to military command his education and military training combined to reduce him to a promoter of the arms industry.  He is, willingly, a cog in a machine.

Full transcript of Sanders speech: Sanders at RUSI

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief Of The General Staff

The Etonian departs

The most malodorous product that Eton College presented to the world is no longer leader of Tories and will be replaced as Prime Minister when a new Tory leader is elected later this year.  Hounded out by his party Boris Johnson accepted his termination with typical gracelessness in a speech of spitefulness and lack of contrition.

Johnson was elected leader of the Tories, by MPs and by party members, because of his cheerleader skillset for promotion of Brexit.  His supporters knew Johnson’s persona, particularly his unjustified self-belief and his highly-developed aversion to a moral compass, would enable him to pursue a destructive Brexit for the benefit of disaster capitalists without ever pausing or reflecting on such a path’s consequences for the majority of British people.

The architects, designers and beneficiaries of hard-line Brexit needed an arrogant soulless bastard with the ability to play the fool.  They needed a conman, a relentless and proud liar, a swindler, someone for whom integrity and morality are anathema.  Johnson, whose entire professional life, as politician and journalist, was focussed on how to please wealthy employers, suited Brexiteers’ political requirements and his buffoonery and conmanship were precisely what was needed for misrepresentation of the Brexit heist.

Johnson knew his route to wealth was dependent on concentration of wealth by the wealthiest who employed him to do their bidding.  The largest donors to the conservative party, the generous donors directly to Johnson and the tax-avoiding owners of the Telegraph got huge returns on their investments thanks to Johnson.  First as mayor of London and later as Prime Minister, every decision, every policy and every political statement by him had the intent of either directly assisting wealth concentration of else providing a smokescreen via nonsense.  Not a single minute of any day was used to govern as a responsible leader.

Wealth gatherers needed a grotesque frontman bereft of companionship with humanity.  They needed someone who never differentiated between truth and fiction, who never accepted his personal culpability for devastating errors, who didn’t give a damn about consequences and who attained what he wanted via threats rather than compromise.  

Critical analysis of Johnson, during and after his time as Prime Minister, depicted him as a “narcissist” and as always wanting to be in control and to be right, regardless of whether he was right, but Johnson knew who he worked for and he deferred to his real employers.  He knew whose instructions he should follow.  His advisers were chosen carefully.  All his public statements and all his distraction tactics were him reading a script and playing a part, written and directed by his advisers.  Johnson displayed arrogance toward political opponents, his fellow Tory MPs, ministers of state, senior civil servants, some broadcasters and newspapers, the public and even the monarch, but he was obedient toward the representatives of the wealthiest.

Election victory in 2019 was followed by hard-line chaotic destructive Brexit.  Johnson’s employers were, and remain, delighted.  As a bonus they received billions of extra cash via Tory manipulation of Covid-19 pandemic – corrupt awards of government contracts and furlough payments – and via arms giveaway to Ukrainian government accompanied by declarations of greater spending on “defence.”

Johnson completed the job for whom he works.  That job, for him, is over.  It is over because he is beyond his usefulness.  His character and his methodology that suited his employers are now a hindrance.  His demise was inevitable given his unbounded ineptitude, his acute laziness, his inculcated immorality, his ingrained preference for relentless lying and his utter ignorance of the role of a Prime Minister, despite all such characteristics being, previously, a benefit.

Ministers in the government, Tory MPs and newspaper proprietors, all of whom gave Johnson full support to become leader, to win the 2019 election and to proceed with Brexit, turned against him with vigour.  The final act of poor behaviour from him – lying about what he knew of sexual assault accusations against an MP he promoted – was an example of the cliche about a piece of straw and a heavily-laden camel, but the volte-face of his former collaborators could have occurred at any time since Brexit was confirmed.

Johnson’s awful legacy as Prime Minister should be applied to his employers but it suits the latter if he carries the blame.  To avoid him enjoying a wrecking spree, with names named and money flows identified, his employers will continue to pay him somehow.  Dirty dark money will flow his way in exchange for keeping quiet and being the main recipient of ire.

No-one who spoke with integrity or honesty has ever had a positive or complimentary comment to use to describe Johnson as a person, work colleague or business associate.  From his childhood onward he was and is an utterly contemptible person.  Disdain is his guiding principle for relationships with people.  He has no understanding of how to behave as an adult, of what respect for others means or of what self-reflection is.  For most people, the earliest modes of behaviour taught us by parents or schools were that we should value honesty, temper selfishness, and know and accept when we were wrong.  That passed by Johnson.

He is on his way out but Tories are still there.  The new prime Minister and the new cabinet of monstrosities will continue to pursue the agenda of enabling wealth concentration.  Brexit’s destruction will not be reduced.  Tory cost of living crisis will not be reversed; food and fuel costs will continue to rise.  Access to healthcare, quality education and decent affordable housing will diminish.  The transformation of UK to a charter territory, owned by a wealthy few where everyone else rents their lives, will continue.

But, prominent public voices, in parliament and in media, who are supposed to oppose or at least offer informed criticism, pretend that Johnson’s departure can mean a reset of political thinking and ensuing policy.  Constructed desperation of centrists and liberals promotes belief in “honour” and professionalism of conservative politics and politicians because the former are as committed to wealth concentration as are their Tory acquaintances, and because they fear public dissatisfaction with Britain’s alleged democracy will become demands for something different, something that seeks to erase the ability of wealthy exploiters to carry on robbing and exploiting.  

Like Trump in USA, Johnson was not an aberration of capitalist governance.  He was a necessary cog in the exploitation machine.  The unedifying presentation styles of both of them were required to gain votes.  Their departures change nothing. 

Johnson was a nasty fart but the arsehole from where he was released is still in power.

The Etonian departs

Merry-go-round of scoundrels

As tactical manœuvres several Tory MPs resigned from posts in the government yesterday (5th July 2022).  Their decisions were motivated by protection of future government roles: They wanted to distance themselves from the pending collapse of Boris Johnson’s tenure as Prime Minister.

Among the departed were Rishi Sunak (Chancellor) and Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) and among newcomers or promoted were Nadhim Zahawi (from Education Secretary to Chancellor), Steve Barclay (Health Secretary) and Michelle Donelan (Education Secretary).

Unsurprisingly, media (both right-wing and centrist) and politicians (both Tory and alleged “opposition”) indulged in a frenzy of giddy excitement at the developments including bizarre descriptions of departing Sunak, Javid and others as “honourable” and reporting of a deluge of, often anonymous, quotes from Tory MPs.  Gossip, and gossip about gossip dominated their expectorations.  They behaved exactly like the fanbase for TV show Big Brother on its “eviction night.”

The observers’ chatter was full of declarations of the importance of what happened and the greater importance of consequences thereof.  But, like Big Brother, the events were irrelevant to the realities of life.  They were unappealing sideshow entertainment and a torrent of swirling dead cats.

Some Tory scoundrels left their jobs; some other Tory scoundrels were appointed to new jobs or moved from one job to another.  Tory scoundrels still occupy positions of power.  Tory scoundrels are still making decisions that favour a small elite and are still using billions of public money to feed the permanently unsatiated appetites of wealth hoarders.  Tory scoundrels are still privatising NHS for the benefit of racketeer private health industry.  Tory scoundrels are still enabling a devastating cost of living crisis, particularly for fuel and food, for the benefit of fuel suppliers and all the participants in food supply.  Tory scoundrels are still handing billions to the arms industry, with the additional consequence of prolonging war in Ukraine.

Effects of Tory scoundrelling are of no interest to the powerful, to the voices that are allowed to be heard and to those whose decisions directly affect people’s lives and livelihoods.  They prefer to dance and giggle at an absurd grotesque circus.  Big Brother was a light entertainment TV show that was enjoyed and despised almost equally but, crucially, it affected only the lives of its few participants, and it was just a mild distraction for viewers like most TV entertainment.  The nonsense in and around Downing Street yesterday and in TV and radio studios, as pointless as Big Brother, was also a distraction but played out in a bigger theatre – all the TV news programmes, all the talk radio channels, all the newspapers, the Houses Of Parliament – and was a distraction from what the Tory scoundrels, the departed or the newcomers, are doing to all us.

This must be the end for Boris Johnson” opined every centrist hack, for the umpteenth time.  But, even if they are finally right this time, he will be replaced with another Tory scoundrel who will carry on with the same destructive policies.

We are not in an epoch that encourages critical thinking.  We exist in a world where all lines of information for the public are blocked by hideous bloviaters demanding that we watch a battalion of clowns sharting themselves.

Tory scoundrels persist.  Nothing has changed.

Merry-go-round of scoundrels

Social media political censorship is increasing

Social media platform Twitter has expanded its policy of censorship of left of centre political comments.  Goaded by false reports from professional complainants the platform removed many accounts that built up strong, large followings.  Targets for censorship include activists who support the people of Palestine, critics of NATO’s contribution to the conflict in Ukraine, and socialists who dismember libertarian racketeer politics of capitalist client governments.

Complainants are, invariably, paid lackeys working for right-wing organisations; their complaints are couched in mendacious appeals to offence regarding language.  It is an industry of censorship.

The process for twitter users who receive disciplinary action starts with a demand that a message (tweet), or more, be removed.  That is not problematic but the key point is that “repeated” “violations” incur permanent removal.  Professional complainants monitor users and make a series of complaints; their intent – the job they are paid to do – is to coerce the platform into erasure of particular political views.

Social media platforms are used productively by activists to pass on information, to share knowledge, to build solidarity and to educate.  Governments, both authoritarian and “democratic,” and their employers, are aware of the success of cross-border, independent sharing of news, experiences and political analyses, and they want to stifle it.

The owners of the platforms try to balance their desire for ever-expanding profit (that, necessarily, requires ever-increasing number of users and a breadth of political opinions) against having relatively good relationships with governments in order to protect their business.  Some platforms agreed readily to restrictions in certain (possibly described as “authoritarian“) countries.  In other countries, notably USA and UK, governments covey the clear instruction that politically skewed self-censorship by the platforms must occur without force from government, or otherwise force will happen.  Tory government’s Online Harms Bill is a culmination of several years of concoctions of “problems” with social media platforms in UK.

For users of a social media platform to discuss political issues, care is needed over language and on accuracy of statements.  That is possible to do but professional complainants abuse the system of reporting and do so repeatedly.  It’s important to know what can happen.

The dishonest culture of complaints about social media use sits beside the equally dishonest culture of complaints about “cancellation” of right-wing voices; it is the same thing but with appearance of being the opposite.  A huge industry of promotion of libertarian philosophy indulges in constant whinging of denial of access when the reality is the proponents have disgustingly disproportionate access to the public arena.  Complaining about “cancellation” is a career.  The protagonists gather in groups, such as Free Speech Union, and harass public bodies to demand their grotesque opinions are forced down everyone’s throats.  Tory government is assisting this via its Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

The battle for the right to speak, the battle for airtime, the battle for column inches, the battle for free speech online, are old battles, and tactics and strategy of engagement need continuous refinement.  It is always necessary to be cognizant of your enemies’ motivation, methodologies and mendacity.

Small example
I received an admonishment from Twitter recently (July 1st 2022).  I reproduce it here as an example.

(I’m just some old commie on Twitter.  It is not important at all whether my access to the platform continues.  However, for many people, their social media accounts are important.)

Today I received notice from twitter of a short suspension and a requirement to delete a message (tweet).

TweetOffence

Clearly, my message, sent as a reply to deceptive nonsense from the Chancellor Of The Exchequer, is somewhat rude but does not “promote violence against” and does not reference “race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or serious disease,” unless being a “gimp” is now a faith-based philosophy.  If Gimpism is classified as faith then I apologise to all Gimpists worldwide and I would like to assure them that I have the utmost respect for the teachings of Gimpism, for its traditional attire and for its scared locks and chains and trunks.

Gimp
A gimp

As stated above, my access (or otherwise) to twitter is unimportant but the nature of the complaint about my message shows how anyone can be tagetted by the professional complainants when nothing problematic is posted.

Social media political censorship is increasing