Tom Tugendhat, RAF pilots and China

British Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel train Saudi air force pilots to bomb Yemeni civilians and civilian infrastructure including homes, schools and hospitals.  Their advice is a big earner for the Ministry Of Defence. 

Recently retired RAF personnel work in consultancy roles in Saudi Arabia to the same end of targetting civilians in Yemen; they are paid very well for their assistance.  They use skills acquired in RAF; all their training and experience was funded by the British public.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat is wholly and consistently supportive of publicly-funded British air force personnel (ex- or current) working for Saudi government to perpetuate genocide of Yemeni people.

SanaaBomb
Remains of a funeral home in Sanaa, Yemen, targetted by Saudi air force with RAF assistance

Last week (18th October 2022) he had an article published in Murdoch’s Sun newspaper wherein he claimed he was responding to unverified reports that ex-RAF personnel were offered a quarter of a million pounds each to work for the Chinese air force.  It is reasonable to be sceptical of the veracity of the story.  However, whether true or not, Tugenhat’s and his colleague James Heappey’s absurdly phrased responses were a con trick to justify another extremely authoritarian attack on freedom via Tories’ National Security Bill.

In Tugendhat in The Sun he called the Chinese government “rivals [to the UK],” an appellation he repeated several times.  He chose “rivals” rather than “enemies” because he knows the threat to the employers of the Tory government from China is financial not military.  “We [the UK government] need to make sure we’re not teaching anyone skills or providing information that weakens our friends or damages our interests.”  By “our interests” he meant profits for British businesses and those based in “our friends’” countries. 

If countries in Africa, South America and Central America have trade arrangements with China then they are less likely to be victims of international corporations exploiting people and resources, as Heappey explained: “China is a competitor that is threatening the UK interest in many places around the world.”

Tugendhat knew he couldn’t present his argument entirely in a financial setting and so he added an invented comment that China “threatens [UK’s] allies such as Japan.”

His other concern was he felt the Chinese government was hiring the pilots for a much cheaper price than if they had been trained to an equivalent level of piloting expertise in China.  His arithmetic might be correct but, as a keen supporter and participant in free-racketeering economics, surely he should approve of such opportunism.

TugendhatChina
Tom Tugendhat smiles as he breaks the law having entered China illegally

National Security Bill, passing through parliament at present (late 2022), is fascism in action.  Framed by Tugendhat as “we are introducing new laws to keep Britain safe,” it is hundreds of clauses placing restrictions on access (to land, businesses, etc.), on inspection (of business activities), on reporting (of defence or business activities), on political opinion (of defence and political persons) and on protests (against, for example, military actions).  All such actions will be criminalised with severe custodial sentences for anyone found guilty.

The snippet below shows how authoritarian the bill is.

A person commits an offence if the person’s conduct involves coercion of any kind, including damaging or threatening to damage another person’s reputation by making a misrepresentation.  A misrepresentation may be made by making a statement or by any other kind of conduct, and may be express or implied.  A misrepresentation may in particular include a misrepresentation as to the [second] person’s purpose.” – Taken from National Security Bill, part I, section 13

Tugendhat’s theatrical response to pilots exercising their free market rights was a piece of propaganda for the bill.  Criminalisation of the right to knowledge, of the right to protest and of the right to express an opinion is a difficult sell.  As a performance he tried to depict a few pilots teaching other pilots how to fly a plane – a Chinese air force plane, not an RAF plane – as a horrendous threat to the UK.  “Some people are trying to exploit them [the pilots] and undermine Britain.  We need to be clear that serving our rivals puts our country at risk.”

His simplistic logic flow, demonstrated below, epitomised the lack of justification of all government policies and the contempt the Tories have for the public’s intelligence.

Civilians with skills or information they learned as researchers or engineers – and even some politicians – are proving attractive to other states who are willing to pay a high price.  That’s making trouble for the future.  Our rivals are learning how to defeat us.  That has got to stop.  We need to think again about the duties we all have.  That is why the Government’s new National Security Bill is so important.”

The story about the pilots is dubious.  If true, it is unlikely the pilots will give useful information to the Chinese government. 

Tugendhat’s little act was partly a reaction to China’s success is replacing UK’s and USA’s financial control around the world and mostly a means of trying to justify the horrendous National Security Bill.

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Tom Tugendhat, RAF pilots and China

Common Sense Society

Sometimes, the merest whiff provides all information required for an instant and thorough understanding of an object’s purpose, motivation and methodology.

In less time than it takes to read aloud the three words of Common Sense Society (CSS) its entire philosophy is known: Its aims, its history, its strategy, its tactics, its connections to like-minded groups, its personnel, and its terminology.  Presumably, CSS aimed for such rapid awareness by others of itself.

Last week, 20th October (2022), CSS “launched” its British arm.  The event was at the notoriously disgusting Reform Club.  Some extreme politicians attended.

BadenochCoffey
Politicians Kemi Badenoch and Arlene Foster at the launch of CSS at Reform Club

Every far-right libertarian group has the same aim: Wealth concentration.  To achieve that aim each group promotes free-racketeering and each has a method for coercing debate toward that end via a variety of con tricks.  From pseudo-economic mendacious analyses of Institute Of Economic Affairs (IEA), to culture war distraction of New Culture Forum (NCF), to suppression of full British history by Free Speech Union (FSU), to blaming victims of Social Murder for their plight by Centre For Social Justice, to mis-use of Christian values by Orthodox Conservatives, each lobby group or think-tank has a constructed unreality to use against reason, logic and knowledge.

At CSS there are echoes of FSU and NCF – its UK Director Emma Webb works at both, there is exactly the same elevation of Europeanism above the rest of the world that is favoured by Eton’s version of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, namely Douglas Murray, and Shanker Singham’s obsession with “property rights,” that he uses to justify imposition of charter territories (a return to feudalism), is prominent in CSS literature and rhetoric.

It has fellowships that include on site courses, a strategy used in USA (e.g. Babson College) and by Ron Manners’ Mannkal Economic Education Foundation in Australia whereat Boris Johnson’s recent Special Adviser Chloe Westley learnt her tricks of misrepresentation and misdirection.  At its September “intensive seminar series” among its “distinguished faculty” was Katherine Birbalsingh who is infamous for several reasons including comments, made as head teacher of a school, “if child says teacher is being racist, back the teacher.  Whatever the child says, back the teacher” and “sexual assault doesn’t happen with us.  Our boys would never treat our girls like that.  It just wouldn’t happen.”

(Unless otherwise stated, all quotes below are from CSS website.)

As stated above, every libertarian group has an angle.  CCS pretends to present its philosophy in the form of a triplet: Liberty, prosperity and beauty.  It adds a caveat: “Our understanding of these principles is a result of close study of our inherited Western civilization.”  Its use of “our” throughout explanations of its objectives means “Western.”  It emphasised “our cultural inheritance” as something to be studied and appreciated.  In the twenty-first century separating the people of the world into European (including USA, Canada, etc.) and everywhere else is a very odd stance.  Similar to unpleasant constructed perspectives of Douglas Murray and of imperialist think-tank Henry Jackson Society (where Webb is a fellow), CSS harks back deliberately to nineteenth century divisions when European hordes controlled most of the world via force and robbed it blind.

It claims it believes in “prosperity” as a positive aim.  However, there is no elucidation of how everyone can enjoy prosperity.  Exactly as Shanker Singham manipulates language and logic in his fraudulent exposition of both the motivation of and the operation of charter territories CSS says “securing an even brighter future through market competition will require a renewed commitment to economic understanding, education, and the protection of private property.”  Just like conman Singham, it knows free-racketeering brings prosperity only to a small group of people and everyone else is shafted.  

CSS’s performative arrogance is simultaneously sinister and absurd: “CSS helps future leaders,” “CSS works to champion future entrepreneurs and policy makers,” “CSS–UK is dedicated to educating and equipping its members, alumni, and local citizens to take effective action to strengthen their communities,” and “we educate 21st-century generations and inform public discourse” are alternative phrases for ‘we inculcate grifters with the skills of manipulation and bullshittery.’  Its self-congratulation tends toward cultish mantras: “We are cultivating a future.”  Its introductory statement combines its self-risen vantage point with its belief in supremacy of European culture: “The group [founders of CSS] aimed to explore the ideas, cultures, and geography that have shaped our history in order to best contribute to a future that fosters human flourishing.”

CSS trains young people to become marketing activists for free market politics with emphasis on protection of property.  By property they mean land, landlordism, ownership of businesses and ownership of public services. 

Couched in traditional philosophical terminology, like nineteenth century conceited liberals, “liberty” is framed as liberty of the individual.  Academic crank Niall Ferguson is quoted saying liberty relies upon “the security of private property rights.”  For most people when considering what liberty means “private property rights” are not the first thought that comes to mind.

Its keenness for beauty, expressed as appreciation of the arts, might at first glance seem acceptable but it is merely a preamble to complaints about reasonable expositions of true and full history of both individuals and of governments.  As a regiment in conservatives’ phoney culture war CSS is worried that “woke elites want to tear down the United Kingdom’s rich heritage, rituals, and traditions in the name of partisan ideologies,” and so it “will serve as a hub to discuss, champion, and preserve these traditions through our public events, private reading groups, musical performances, guest lectures, and other programs.”

Alongside aforementioned Birbalsingh and Ferguson other actors in the rectum of the libertarian community connected to CSS are late bigot Roger Scruton after whom CSS named a prize it awards to best Git and inaugural recipient of the prize professional mansplainer and Stanley Unwin devotee Jordan Peterson.

It places the word “moral” onto its ideology, a tactic Lee Rowley used in his ‘Next Generation Capitalism’ paper for Free Market Forum (a.k.a. Freer), a subsidiary of IEA.  Therein Rowley said “there is a moral mission at the heart of our politics,” and “there is morality in spending restraint.”  CSS says it “became a celebration of the moral inheritance which has formed our common civilization.”  (Note the use of “our.”)  In a description of one of its fellowship courses it equates “moral principles of U.S. statecraft as understood by its Founders” with USA military imperialism today. 

The intersection between moral behaviour and free-racketeering or imperialism is an empty set.  Selfishness, greed, venality and theft are not compatible with a moral philosophy.

A second similarity between Rowley’s paper and CSS rhetoric is the depiction of armies of educated libertarians going out into the world to change it equipped with equal quantities of conmanship and self-delusion.  The subtle difference is Rowley wanted his disciples to persuade younger people via trickery to believe in free-racketeering as a solution whereas CSS wants its people to exist in a science fiction utopia of work being optional while bathing in nature and arts.

CSS wants “a future that is free, flourishing, thoughtful, and full of enduring meaning” because it has made “observations of what contributes to a meaningful life.”  It stinks of separation from realities of life.  People always strive to have the life they want but we don’t live in isolation.  In a world dominated by a few wealthy people controlling wealth, prosperity and, thus, liberty, there are multitudinous dampeners on ambition.  The exact political system that CSS exists to perpetuate is the greatest block on people achieving their life’s aims.  

As an apparent contrast to presentation of its alleged lofty aims it is useful to observe the social media contributions of its Director Emma Webb.

  • Webb supported religious extremists harassing pregnant women at health clinics
  • She enthusiastically promoted a message from someone who chose to use a murder as a tool to be extremely racist
  • She despaired at changes in London between 1930 and today: “What we’ve done to this city and this country…”  Her comments referred to a film of central London featuring mostly white people
  • She endorsed an essay that praised fascist Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.  In another message Webb approvingly called Meloni a “firecracker
  • She opined that “our great constitutional monarchy is the original protection against authoritarianism

Every comment made by CSS Director is positive toward a far-right view or toward a far-right activist or politician, including blatant fascists.

Sometimes, the merest whiff provides all information required for an instant and thorough understanding of an object’s purpose, motivation and methodology.  Common Sense Society is another link in the far-right circle jerk.

Links to brief descriptions of other right-wing think-tanksUK think-tanks

Common Sense Society

Simple diagram of conservative libertarian methodology

The process used by conservative libertarians to achieve their objective is simple to understand. 

LibertarianChart

Notes

[1] Wealth is businesses, privatised vital public services, land, property, shareholdings and stored money.  Wealth is the saleable value of assets and income due to ownership: Profits from businesses, rent from land and property, increased value of shares and investments.  None of the wealth accrued is due to work; all is acquired via exploitation.

[2] Ownership of vital services is the surest and most profitable route to endless and huge unearned wealth.  Anything that is necessary in people’s lives – food, fuel, homes, healthcare, education, transport, water supply – means a continuous torrent of cash to owners of supply.  That flow is directly from users of the services – that is, the public – and indirectly from the same people via government handouts to the owners.  Unprivatisation of public services was one of the strongest advances of civilisation in the history of Britain; it’s reversal, starting in 1980s, is the greatest theft from the people there has ever been.

[3] In 1980s Tory government began dismantlement of post-second world war progress in civilisation and democracy.  Electricity, gas and water supply were handed to wealth grabbers with the objective of ensuring a steady and large income for them with no work in return.  Intentional consequences are higher and higher prices for users, deteriorating quality, particularly with water supply, and unlimited profits for owners most of whom are registered offshore.  Postal service, public transport and others followed.  Successive governments assisted the owners with relaxation of regulations, both financial and health and safety.  Public property and land was (and is) also handed to land grabbers, and often rented back at extortionate rates.  Now, NHS is the main target. 

[4] As part of dishonest persuasion of public opinion the Tory government denigrates the quality of public services continuously, positing private administration as a utopian alternative when they know the antonym is true.  The persuasion includes deliberate destruction of public services most notably in NHS: Enormous reductions in number of medical staff and support staff cause delayed treatment and operations, long waits for ambulances for emergencies, and queues of ambulances at Accident and Emergency.  People are dying because of the deliberate destruction by the government of the NHS.

[5] Far-right extremist libertarian thinks-tanks in UK – Centre For Policy Studies, Tax-Payers’ Alliance, Centre For Social Justice, Institute Of Economic Affairs, Free Market Forum, Adam Smith Institute, Policy Exchange, Henry Jackson Society, CapX, Legatum Institute, 1828 and others – are embedded in government as advisers and policy makers and many MPs and ministers are members (or even co-creators) of them.  There is no division between government and the think-tanks; they are the same entities.  Via pseudo-academic papers, speeches and events, and endless TV and radio platforms the members of think-tanks promote concentration of wealth and destruction of public services.  The gap in time between their promulgation of policy and it becoming an intent of government is short and getting shorter.  Every policy idea, necessarily destructive, is presented with overbearing mendacity. 

[6] Most funding for UK think-tanks is channelled via networks of libertarian think-tanks and lobby groups to hide original sources of money.

Flow of money: Corporate donor donations administrator  think-tank network think-tank

The cashflow is unhindered by national borders and undiminished by (absent) tax laws.  Original donors include large corporations, wealthy individuals and financial backers of the wealthiest.  Personnel move between various think-tanks, their networks and other administrative bodies.  Some parts of the networks adopt pseudo-academic self-appellations as a ruse to deceive and to dodge tax.

[7] Nefarious methodology of governance reliant on a bedrock of relentless dishonesty and multi-billion pound theft cannot proceed if there were to exist real opposition.  Fortunately for conservative libertarians such an opposition is nil.  Starmer’s Labour, heavily indebted to the same corporate and arms industry donors who pay for the Tory party, is steadfastly unwilling to challenge effectively or accurately.  Its critical responses to government policy range from none to insipid to misplaced.  Most newspapers and most TV and radio broadcasters are owned by grateful recipients of extreme conservatism.  BBC news offers a few crumbs of criticism but is controlled by the Tory trio of new appointees Tim Davie, Richard Sharp and Nick Gibb.  Bank Of England’s current governor is firmly in line and expresses non-independent dishonest opinions to protect corporate profits.  UK Board Of Trade is peopled with some of the most despicable proponents of the end of civil society and democracy: Tony Abbot and Dan Hannan.

[8] Old tricks of distractions, tangential arguments and dead cats exist continuously as components of conservative presentation.  The most frequently utilised distraction is invention of an opponent that is cast as a threat to ill-defined notions of patriotism, nationalism and tradition.  This is used as a waster of time and energy of critics, as a buffer in media interviews, in parliamentary debates and in speeches, and as a means of garnering support from people who would have no other reason to vote Tory.  Developed at aforementioned think-tanks, Tories declared a culture war and described their enemy as anything or anybody ‘woke’ meaning any action against their libertarian extremism.  They use their culture war performatively to rouse unthinking opposition and to create a spurious debate.  Essentially, Tories use ‘woke’ to describe any tendency toward socialism, any attempt to learn facts about how the system works and any full knowledge of history as enemies of British values.

[9] Far-right media outlets (Express, Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph, LBC, TalkRadio, GBNews, Talk TV, etc.), extremist libertarian think-tanks (named above) and political lobby groups (e.g. Free Speech Union) develop, repeat and support language and actions used against any activity or opinion that conservatives choose to depict as ‘woke.’  Their targets are across a wide range including councils, universities, schools, unions, politicians, NGOs, judges and magistrates (and even juries), medical professionals, artists, entertainers, sports professionals, and particularly political activists and people fighting against oppression.  Often, a target is selected because an anti-libertarian (and, therefore, a positive and civilised) opinion or act occurs and there is no cohesive conservative counter argument and, so, the target is drawn as a threat to vague concepts of British traditions and “values,” or an imaginary such threat is created as a distraction, or there is a combination of the two.  There is no limit to how absurd, ridiculous or illogical anti-‘woke’ behaviour can be.

[10] Tory government’s plans for charter territories are being enacted.  Based around ports, the territories are large (up to fifty miles in diameter) and include cities, towns, farmland and locations for fracking.  All of the Tories’ attacks on liberty, access to justice, human rights, right to protest, workers’ rights, health & safety regulations, environmental protections and democracy, elucidated clearly during the Tory leadership campaigns in 2022, are a taster for the effects of charter territories.  In these territories there is complete separation between “owners” and people.  Everything that is normal in a supposedly democratic country is absent.  They are, simultaneously, the ultimate capitalist system and a return to feudal society.  They are racketeers’ utopia.  In UK and elsewhere, they will be connected financially and exist outside of international laws, treaties and trade agreements.  It is extreme disaster capitalism where the disaster is self-inflicted by the government.  It is the epitome of corporate fascism.

Simple diagram of conservative libertarian methodology

Andrea Jenkyns flails in a maelstrom of Toby Youngisms

Beyond the disagreements and plotting, the 2022 Tory conference had no surprises.  Omnipresence of hard-right libertarian think-tanks showed who the storyboard artists and scriptwriters were.  Speeches were not the key story; little faux Q&As featuring think-tank veterans and their directed politicians, many of whom are also think-tank alumni, revealed more about intent and perspective both of which are entirely regurgitations of oft-written mendaciously-researched tripe that featured throughout think-tank literature over recent decades.

Andrea Jenkyns, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills, Further and Higher Education, chose to use Free Speech Union (FSU) as her guide.  If unvenerated grifter Toby Young is the source of political perspective and the source of cod terminology then the result is not going to be a work of intellectual repute, and it wasn’t.

FSU’s purpose is to fight against any attempts, particularly but not exclusively in higher education, that seek to tackle racism or any other prejudice or bigotry or that try to teach a full uncensored British history.  FSU is a regiment in the libertarian army in the culture war.  Racial eugenicist and general anti-humanity contrarian Toby Young, in his role as Director, enjoys writing absurd letters to universities and others wherein his convoluted complaints about the recipients’ policies include his misrepresentation of laws and regulations and always conclude with threats of legal action if anti-racism policies are not abandoned. 

There is nothing about Young that is not disgusting.

In a speech on 3rd October at a Bruges Group event at Tory Party conference Jenkyns borrowed some of Young’s stock phrases and soundbites, added a few MAGAisms and uttered a bag full of libertarian tripe about university education.  

She claimed that “in recent months, we have seen platform ban campaigns aimed at rescinding guest invitations to universities.”  The truth is that universities, colleges and students’ unions have chosen not to invite racists, bigots, far-right provocateurs and cranks despite attempts by FSU and others to impose such filth.

She objected to uncensored British history being taught and objected to advice on basic codes of behaviour aimed at encouraging students to not be racist.  “I’m very proud to be British.  We didn’t do all this [academic excellence] by having our brightest and best students sit in these seminars and discuss decolonization.”  Such “seminars,” if they exist, take up little time.  Jenkyns is opposed to education and opposed to knowledge.  Libertarians fear the power of knowledge.  They want knowledge to be replaced with crankery.

Using the purposefully anti-intelligence rhetoric of Young and of his USA counterparts like Ben Shapiro and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jenkyns claimed “universities are feeding students a diet of critical race theory, anti British history and Social Marxism.”  ‘Critical Race Theory’ has no meaning whatsoever in UK; in USA it is a made-up description, invented by far-right activists, that does not describe anything that exists.  It is a phrase used by racists to deride attempts to teach factual history and to deride attempts to promote anti-racism.  ‘Social Marxism’ is alternative way of saying ‘Cultural Marxism;’ the latter phrase is an antisemitic trope.

Jenkyns’ complaint about the teaching of “anti British history” is a complaint about teaching historical facts.  What she means by “British” history is pro-British history.  She wants history to be taught from a nationalist perspective rather than academic or factual.  Such an attitude is undeniably fascist.

In a bizarre headline grabber piece of drivel she claimed “our young people [can] get a degree in Harry Potter [rather] than an apprenticeship in construction.”  Problems with her comment are 1) no UK university or college has a degree or equivalent in the works of children’s author J. K. Rowling, 2) there exist no degrees or equivalent in “construction,” and 3) universities do not provide apprenticeships.

Jenkyns intends to make all university courses vocational.  “The government is looking to put its broom to good use and spring clean the shoddy courses.  If the course doesn’t give someone a positive outcome that leads to a well-paying job, then it doesn’t make sense why the government should fund it, especially the taxpayers.”  Tax-payers do not fund university education; students acquire huge debts that are near impossible to pay off.  This scenario particularly affects students from non-wealthy backgrounds.  These students are unlikely to chose degrees that do not normally lead to reasonably well-paid employment.  

Like most of the speakers at Tory conference Jenkyns’ performance was bereft of facts, knowledge, sense, logic, consistency and reason.  Lies, misdirection and provocative soundbites were present.  It was a jumbled collection of half-quotes taken from a disgusting far-right lobby group.

JenkynsYoung
Andrea Jenkyns MP (left); Toby Young

Andrea Jenkyns flails in a maelstrom of Toby Youngisms

Social Murder, Social Massacre

One hundred and seventy-eight years after revolutionary Friedrich Engels coined the phrase ‘Social Murder’ in ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’ (see Social Murder) Tories are dissatisfied with their progress and intend to increase their assault on people’s lives.

Cost of greed crisis
Greed of wealth gatherers is never satiated.  Their enablers in Tory government know concentrating wealth needs to be continuous and continuously increasing in rate of supply.  Feeding the wealth gluttons is sometimes electorally damaging but it is clear the current Tory mob could not care less about the next general election.  The government is focussed on extracting as much as is arithmetically possible from the public, both now and as future debt liabilities, with no concern about public image.

Covid pandemic provided the opportunity for tens of billions of pounds to be given away, much of it to friends, associates and family members of Tory MPs and peers, as part of government contracts for alleged assistance fighting Covid with no surety of any products or services being useful.  It was mass robbery.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine provided the opportunity for greater income for the arms industry.  It also provided a false excuse for fuel suppliers to gouge prices for homes and businesses by several factors.  Government made no attempt to restrict the price-gouging; it switched the source of some of the free money for fuel suppliers from users to the public via payments direct to the suppliers from the treasury. 

A proposed 5% tax cut for the wealthiest, part of Chancellor’s “mini budget” on September 23rd (2022), was the most blatant display of kleptocracy.  That cut was abandoned ten days later (3rd October) after Bank Of England spent £65,000,000,000 tackling fall-out from it and after Kwarteng’s friends, like Crispin Odey, made millions from hedge betting on the value of the pound following a champagne meeting with the Chancellor immediately following the announcement of the “mini budget“.

Cuts
Public services have been cut viciously since 2010.  In NHS deliberate under funding and under staffing by government is causing thousands of unnecessary deaths via cancelled operations, delayed prognoses, long delays in ambulances call-out, queues of ambulances at A&E and closure of specialist centres.  Cuts to NHS are not primarily to save money to feed further funds for the wealthiest; destruction of NHS is designed to force people to choose private healthcare and to manufacture consent for the end of NHS.  

In the “mini budget” Government declared an intent for cuts to public services via removal of rises in line with inflation, estimated to be £18,000,000,000 given current rate of inflation, with £3,400,000,000 cuts for schools and £7,500,000,000 cuts for health service.  Cuts elsewhere include to state pension and to welfare provision via similar removal of rises in line with inflation. 

Rhetoric prior and during October’s Conservative Party conference from Tory MPs and from their scriptwriters at various hard-right libertarian think-tanks hammered home their gleeful desire to worsen people’s lives.

Chair of Conservative Party Jake Berry said, responding to a query on Sky News about extortionate fuel bill rises, “people know that when their bills arrive, they can either cut their consumption or they can get higher salary or higher wages; go out there and get a new job.”  Berry didn’t explain how someone with a severe disability can “go out there and get a new job,” nor did he explain how someone who requires a lot of electricity use at home due to disability or severe illness is able to “cut their consumption.” 

When he was a minister in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) that decided which towns receive funding via the Towns Fund, Berry recommended that Newark receives funding; Newark is the constituency of Robert Jenrick who was then Secretary of State for HCLG.

Berry has a second job providing “strategic corporate advice” to law firm Squire Patton Boggs where he is paid £42,000 per annum for up to twenty hours “work” per month.

Tory MP Lee Anderson said “every do-gooder is starting these little projects [foodbanks] to make themselves feel good.  How can we have food poverty when we’ve got an obesity crisis?”  Obviously, “food poverty” and “obesity crisis” are too entirely different issues that he juxtaposed mendaciously.  His disdain for people doing good things revealed how much he is consumed by antipathy toward humanity. 

When campaigning in an election Lee Anderson was exposed by Channel 4 when he set up a false encounter with a resident who was actually an associate.

On 2nd October The Times published an article by Tory MP David Davis that repeated attack lines from libertarian think-tanks, like Institute Of Economic Affairs (IEA), on NHS.  The systemic destruction of NHS by Tory government is designed to create a crisis to be exploited by proponents of privatised healthcare.  IEA, often through its ‘Head Of Political Economy’ Kristian Niemietz, author of ‘Universal Healthcare Without The NHS,’  follows a pattern of highlighting failures in NHS (caused on purpose by Tory downgrading of services) and concluding that privatisation is the solution.  Davis promoted an “insurance-based system” – an annual fee – exactly as Niemietz had done, and he claimed such a system exists already via national insurance (NI).  He failed to mention that NI is not for NHS – which is funded via taxation – or that people on low income are exempt from paying NI.  Essentially, his remarks were a con-trick.

Arbitrary and unfair sanctions imposed on Universal Credit claimants, often via trickery, have caused destitution, homelessness and death.  Department For Work And Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith said in an interview with LBC radio on 29th September that she is “perfectly comfortable” with vicious murderous sanctions.  Rules changed recently to force more claimants to live in fear of sanctions. 

In 2019 a newspaper investigation revealed that Smith’s parliamentary credit card was suspended fourteen times in the space of three years for breaking rules on expenses.

In an interview with Sky News on 23rd September IEA’s Director General Mark Littlewood said “I think this [Kwarteng’s ‘mini-budget’] is the sort of approach that will stimulate growth.  That gives me a lot of confidence actually that this will work.  You are not going to like this budget if you care more about the poor.  I’m actually quite glad that these sorts of decisions now seem to be guided by sound economic thinking.”

IEA is extremely secretive about its funding.  What is known is there are networks of think-tanks with cross-funding, in different countries but mostly USA and UK, and there are businesses whose sole role is to route money to think-tanks from anonymous wealthy corporate donors.  IEA acts entirely and relentlessly in favour of wealth concentration with particular emphasis on procurement of vital public services “ownership” for racketeers.

IEA personnel were present in numbers at the party conference and many events therein had IEA logos as backdrop.  There is no longer any separation between government and extreme think-tanks.

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said in his conference speech on 3rd October that the government “will introduce important reforms to stop strike action.”  Strong trades’ unions have fought successfully against exploitative employers this year.  Job security, reasonable hours of work and worker safety are issues where union action including strikes protected pay and conditions of workers.  Pay rises in line with (high) inflation were fought for and attained.  Kwarteng intends to prevent unions from dampening exploitation by employers.

At an event hosted by Telegraph on 4th October during the party conference Home Secretary Suella Braverman said “I want to cut welfare spending.  We have far too many people in this country who are fit to work, who are able to work and they choose to top up their salaries with tax credits and the benefit street culture is a feature of modern Britain.”  Employers are not paying people enough to live on or enough for their labour and, so, salaries are topped up (inadequately) via various entitlements.   That process is caused entirely by exploitative employers but Braverman blamed the employees and demanded they work more hours.

On 3rd October at the party conference Minister of State for Local Government, Faith and Communities Paul Scully said “there is fat to be trimmed” from council budgets in response to being asked if the huge spending cuts would impact councils.  His assessment is a blatant lie.  It is a reversal of reality.  Most councils had to cut many vital services after Tory government removed central funding a few years ago.  The worst hit by loss of or downgrading of vital services is and will be those most in need of assistance.

Above are a few examples of government ministers, MPs and think-tankers speaking glibly and supportively about policies that are designed to lessen quality of life for people. 

Social Murder
Social Murder is always a feature of Tory policy.  In Tory governments post-WWII up to 1979 it was less present than pre-WWII; after 1979 it became general policy and since 2010 it is a dominant aim.  After 2019 general election Social Murder intensified. 

In four general elections this millennia Tories had to win to be able to execute an extreme Brexit for their donors’ benefit.  With Brexit achieved, its consequences make it near impossible to have another Tory victory (in 2024).  If the government cannot win the next election then it doesn’t need to be concerned about popularity of its policies and decisions.  It can execute libertarian ideology unencumbered by worries about democratic accountability.

Engel’s exposition of Social Murder was for an epoch without universal suffrage.  Victims could not vote out their government.  Trades’ unions had no power.  Via struggle and combat, often met with extreme deadly violence by the propertied state, people attained the right to elect their government and attained associated rights.  Social Murder was lessened as a result.

Intensity of Social Murder since 2010 was dependent on the success of propaganda’s capability to divide and to create false enemies and later by focus on Brexit that distracted many voters.  Tories’ lack of worry about winning the next election, because they know they cannot win it, means the intensity can match that of mid-nineteenth century.

Social Massacre
Death by homelessness, death by illnesses not treated quickly enough, death by being alone and disabled with no help, death by starvation and death by suicide. 

This is happening and has been happening.  They are not isolated incidents, isolated lives.  This is common.  See Deaths due to DWP Social Murder.

The causes are direct acts by the government.

  • Vicious sanctions policy of Universal Credit.  This is applied for spurious reasons and claimants are often tricked.
  • Cancellation of Personal Independence Payment to people with disabilities.  Unqualified people make assessments with the intent of cancelling the payments coupled with long and unreliable appeals process.
  • Extortionate fee-loaded pseudo legal action for non-payment of council tax.
  • No affordable rents and no controls on cost of rent coupled with law changes to favour quick evictions.
  • Huge increases in cost of fuel (gas and electricity) with no protection against supply being cut off.
  • Inflation at around 10% (Autumn 2022) that specifically affects food prices.
  • Continuing attacks on workers’ rights on pay, hours, working conditions and job security with much worse to follow as government leaves behind all laws that were part of European Union protections.
  • Further attacks on the right to strike to improve or maintain working conditions.
  • Denial of access to justice: Legal aid is severely restricted.
  • Deliberate destruction of all NHS services affecting people who fall ill suddenly, or who have chronic illnesses, and who cannot afford private healthcare costs.
  • Severe reductions in services provided by councils due to central government cuts in funding.

ALL of the above are consequences of government decisions and policies and ALL are intentional.  Motivation for the intent includes

  1. Wealth concentration: Keep wages down; hand public services to racketeers; keep rents high – most housing for rent is owned by corporations; large profits for fuel and food suppliers.
  2. Divide the opposition: Create false enemies by describing people as “scroungers.”
  3. Engender fear: If someone is aware of slipping easily toward being a victim of Social Murder then they are less likely to be politically active at work for fear of losing their income.  Fearful people are less likely to be effectively resistant to exploitation.

The promotion of Social Murder by Tory politicians follows the style, tone and content of campaigns by libertarian think-tanks whose members and advisors are dedicated to dividing the world into a few owners of wealth and everyone else and, to do that, they need to use Social Murder as a tool for the reasons stated above.  For several years gangs like IEA, Centre For Policy Studies and Tax-Payers’ Alliance, and their USA counterparts like Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, demanded an end to public services and an end to all welfare provision.  They demanded Social Massacre.

KwartengIEA
Kwasi Kwarteng listens to Mark Littlewood of IEA at a think-tank event during Tory party conference

In late 2022 they have a British government that is unwaveringly committed to carrying out the plans of the think-tanks.  Government ministers are products of the think-tanks.

Government’s planned “investment zones,” or, more accurately, charter territories, will exacerbate further the hardships faced today as all rights will disappear and all democratic accountability will disappear.

Engels
Front cover from an edition of Engels’ book

Social Massacre is war against the people.  It is terrorism.  It is the antithesis of humanity.

If you’ve not experienced it then you wont fully understand it.  (I haven’t faced the extremities of social murder.)  Read Dr. Frances Ryan’s book ‘Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People.’

Social Murder, Social Massacre

Labour’s unconference 2022 – a brief précis

A dictionary defines ‘conference’ as “a meeting for consultation or discussion” and “an exchange of views.”  It is reasonable to infer from that definition that a conference does not presume prior mass agreement for all attendees on all topics of discussion, that differing views are allowed a platform and that there is discourse between people to try to reach a consensus.

Given that definition, the assembly of Labour politicians and members in Liverpool a few days ago (late September 2022) was not a conference. 

In the almost three years since previous leader Jeremy Corbyn stood down, and in months, weeks and days leading up to the unconference, socialists in the party were systematically removed via rigged votes, unconstitutional suspensions with no practical right of appeal, false, unsubstantiated and vaguely defined accusations, and exclusion from democratic votes.  A recently elected member of Labour’s National Executive Council (NEC) was suspended immediately prior to the gathering and consequently denied access.  

At the fake conference members were excluded from meetings with the party’s corporate donors.  A delegate, Angelo Sanchez, was suspended after he delivered a speech because its political message didn’t fit the dictated position.

No dissent was allowed.  No political opinion that differed from strict adherence to a stringent perspective was allowed.

Those responsible for eradicating socialists and socialism from Labour spent most of their time gloating at their success.  They wanted to show to their donors that they did the job they were told to do.  Chair of NEC Disputes panel, supposedly an unbiased panel, said “we need to shut that door on socialism, where it can never be open again.”

Tory government is engaged in directed destruction to enable disaster capitalism and to lay the groundwork for imposition of charter territories.  Its actions and declarations of policy intent cause immediate and large problems for everyone.  Extortion by fuel suppliers, enabled by government, leads to debt and death, and collapse of many small businesses; Chancellor’s large tax cut for the wealthiest was accompanied by a severe loss of value for the pound against other currencies; water supply companies are dumping millions of tonnes of untreated sewage into rivers and the sea because they know the government will allow it; huge cuts to public services in November will be horrendous. 

Given the unpopularity of the government’s strategy opposition parties could take the opportunity to offer radical readjustments to how the system works in UK.  They could propose major changes including unprivatisation of public services and tax increases for wealthiest, and the public would not be perturbed by that.  There should be much less of the self-imposed fear that Labour (and Liberal Democrats) claim to have about not dissuading conservative swing voters from switching allegiance.  They could be as radical as the Labour government elected in 1945. 

At its non-conference Labour chose not to exercise the opportunity to position itself as a force for change.  Nothing emerged as policy or intent.  Nothing even slightly tended toward socialism.  It was a managed event whereat the purpose was not to say anything; the purpose was to prove to its donors that nothing would be said and no effective changes would be declared as policy intent.

It was the opposite of a conference.  It was simpering conformism.

McTernan
John McTernan on BBC’s Newsnight expressing delight at how conservative Labour is

Labour assured its corporate donors that socialism is persona non grata.  It assured its arms industry donors that Labour will continue, and even increase, the supply of money to the industry.  It assured racketeers and their PR in media that Labour will maintain the status quo of exploitative capitalism.

The unconference began with a rendition of UK’s national anthem.  That has happened very rarely at Labour conferences.  It was a deliberate exclusionist decision to sing the anthem.

Labour is economically conservative.  It is pro-war.  Its symbolism and rhetoric can resemble extreme nationalism.  It does not confer.

Labour’s unconference 2022 – a brief précis

Investment zones are charter territories

On 23rd September 2022, in a “mini budget” designed to concentrate wealth, Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng announced creation of “investment zones” wherein “investors” will have lower tax commitments when buying land and property and when operating businesses than elsewhere in UK.

Critical commentary of the content of the “mini budget” focussed on analysis of tax cuts, particularly advantages for wealthier people, and on concerns about “government borrowing” and the value of the pound relative to other currencies.  “Investment zones” received less attention but they are of much greater effect.  

Presentation of the zones by the government highlights “investment” with the usual conservative misrepresentation of how capitalist economy works and of how exploitative capitalists operate.  Critics of the zones – in the way they are described by the government – made (reasonable) points about how “trickle down economics” (from investors to people) is a con-trick and how zoning off parts of a country creates an imbalance.  Government’s description of the zones and critics’ analyses distract from what the zones are and what their existence will mean for people who live and/or work in them.

The “investment zones” will be charter territories.  Charter territories are states within a state where governance is abdicated by government and handed to unelected administrations.  “Investors” buy land and property at knock-down prices, much of it public land.  They, and businesses who rent space from them, operate without taxation, without commitment to workers’ rights or health and safety regulations, and without any worries about legal redress for those whom they exploit because justice is determined by the territory’s administrators who are on the side of the “investors.”  Every rule, regulation and law is decided by the administrators who have no concerns about public opinion because democracy is absent: They are not dependent on elections to remain in power. 

One of the main protagonists in design, development and promotion of charter territories Shanker Singham spoke enthusiastically about them in interviews with like-minded organisations.  It is useful to listen to him, gleefully, describe the end of democracy and accountability: Singham speaks to Seastanding and Singham speaks to Edgington Post.

Singham advises the UK government.  He is invited onto political debate shows on TV as an “independent” analyst.”  His career, as a legal advisor, is focussed on privatisation of public services, disaster capitalism and imposition of charter territories.  In one of the interviews mentioned above he said “my career started with privatisation of the UK electricity industry.  We did a lot of the privatisation laws and competition laws [in Russia and Eastern Europe].  In the early nineties I went to Latin America and did much the same thing there after the Apertura [partial privatisation of Venezuela’s oil industry].”  He has worked at several libertarian think-tanks including Institute Of Economic Affairs and Legatum Institute.

Throughout the interviews he emphasised that “property protection” usurped all rights and he repeated often that charter territories must have a “regulatory framework.”  The “framework” replaces laws and democracy.

He admitted that preferred targets for charter territories are countries that are less economically developed because their governments can be more easily strong-armed into accepting loss of territory and because there is usually more un- or underdeveloped land available. 

PortOfLiverpool
Port of Liverpool

UK would not have been seen as a possible victim without Brexit.  Abandonment of EU laws that offered partial protections from exploitation, coupled with extreme libertarian conservative governments, created the opportunity for charter territories to be possible.  Brexit was planned with that opportunity as its main aim.  The designers, developers, promoters and enablers of Brexit are also the backers of charter territories: Singham, Barbara Kolm, Dan Hannan, Matthew Elliott and others.  

For charter territories to be attractive to extreme exploiters there needs to be easy access for them to ownership of land and property.  In UK, unlike in most targetted countries, land desired by charter territories is already in use, both by businesses and as residential areas.  However, if businesses collapse and if people lose their homes to foreclosure then land, businesses properties and residential properties can be acquired cheaply, or freely.  Kwarteng’s “mini budget,” Tory enablement of huge rises in fuel supply costs, and consequences for businesses due to Brexit lead directly to homes, businesses and land being available for cheap purchase.

Governtment’s mendacious use of the phrase “investment zone” is more than an attempt to hide the nature of charter territories.  It is used as a positive description to imply that the zones will lead to more and better jobs and to greater opportunity of career advancement and job security.  That echoes the presentation by Singham in his interviews.  It is a blatant lie.  Charter cities are intrinsically exclusive with relentless focus on wealth concentration.  Most workers in them are on barely survivable wages and do not have workers’ rights or legal protections.

Tory government is 1) creating the necessary severe economic difficulties that “investors” in charter territories want and 2) using the existence of those difficulties as a tool to promote the concept of “investment zones” to the public.  It is layered theft and layered fraud.

Given the aim of the government, there is no limit to how destructive they will be.  Crashing the value of the pound against other currencies, destroying import and export businesses, destroying NHS, destroying trust among capitalists for its financial management, creating large personal debts for the public, causing loss of homes due to inability to pay mortgages, and closure of shops, entertainment venues, pubs and clubs due to extortionate fuel costs are by-products (some intentional and some collateral) of the ideological philosophy of extreme libertarianism, and it will get worse.

In November Tories will confirm devastating cuts to public services.  None of the cuts are manageable.  All will add, considerably, to damage to people’s livelihoods and lives.  As with all purposeful austerity attacks since 2010 the worse hit will be people with disabilities or with chronic or terminal illnesses, pensioners, carers, people who rent their homes, people on low income or with part-time or insecure employment.

Government will claim the cuts in public services are the flipside of tax cuts, but most tax cuts (in Kwarteng’s “mini budget“) favoured the wealthiest and most public service cuts will harm the poorest.

Dismantlement of public services will continue because it benefits “investors” in charter territories.  Control of vital services is a guaranteed big earner.  Privatisation of public services that began in 1980s was designed to provide continuous large unearned income to racketeers while services deteriorated and became more expensive to use.  This is experienced starkly today in massive rises in costs to public and businesses for fuel supply and in sewage being pumped into rivers and seas by water suppliers while the shareholders and senior executives at the companies that “own” fuel supply and water supply are wallowing in millions upon millions of dividends and bonuses.  In charter territories all vital public services will be cashcows for exploiters.

Proposed “investment zones” include tracts of land greater than fifty kilometres in diameter.  Such an area goes well beyond a port (always desired for charter territories) and land needed for low-pay logistics and manufacturing businesses and for exclusive residential compounds.  The extent of the territories includes all locations in UK that are identified as fracking sites.  Fracking will be opposed by residents and, subsequently, by elected councils.  By extending charter territories to include fracking sites the problem of democratic accountability is removed and opposition of public and elected administrative bodies is ignored.

Given the enormously horrific effects of Kwarteng’s “mini budget” it is understandable that “investment zones” are not the leading topic of conversation for commentators and for the public.  But, everyone needs to be aware that charter cities are several factors worse than what is happening now.  In them there is no protection in the form of democracy or justice or human rights at all.  It is an extreme libertarian hell-hole.

Investment zones are charter territories