Brexit racketeers return with a sequel: Net zero referendum

Having achieved their aim, all the protagonists of Brexit are at it again.

Key facets of Brexit:

  1. Brexit was devised and planned as a tool to concentrate wealth
  2. Promotion of Brexit began years in advance of the 2016 referendum
  3. Brexit campaign was funded primarily by dark money
  4. Russian government was very supportive of Brexit campaign
  5. Brexit campaign propaganda was targetted at working-class voters
  6. Brexit was a lucrative grift for anti-society con artists

Departure from EU’s checks and balances, coupled with a large Tory majority in parliament gained via Brexit propaganda, means the annihilation of democratic accountability, right to vote, legal redress, liberty, human rights, workers’ rights, tenants’ rights, NHS and freedom to protest, and it means the imposition of strictly controlled education, price gouging for necessary public services, permanent individual indebtedness, extortionate price rises and incarceration for political acts.

Brexit beneficiaries are the wealthiest and the most corrupt.

Brexit achieved what its designers sought.

Having achieved their aim, all the protagonists of Brexit are at it again.

Net zero referendum
Effective action against climate change affects profits of fossil fuel and agribusiness industries.  Both industries, and their financial industry associates, are determined to stifle any attempts by governments to enact policies that help to slow down man-made climate change.

One general international climate-friendly proposal is to attain net-zero carbon emissions: To ensure carbon emissions worldwide are not greater than carbon absorbed naturally.

The Brexit mob pounced on this proposal.

The structure, mode of operation, strategy and tactics of their campaign against net-zero mimic those of the Brexit campaign.  Nyet-zero (‘nyet’ is Russian for ‘no’) or, in Russian characters, HeT-zero, has key facets that are similar to Brexit campaign’s facets.

  1. HeT-zero is devised and planned as a tool to maintain and increase wealth of fossil fuel and agribusiness industries
  2. Promotion of HeT-zero focuses on demands for a referendum
  3. HeT-zero campaign is funded primarily by dark money
  4. Russian government is very supportive of HeT-zero campaign
  5. HeT-zero campaign propaganda is targetted at working-class voters
  6. HeT-zero is a lucrative grift for anti-society con artists

HeT-zero campaign is centred on a referendum because it allows the campaigners to present their stance (completely fraudulently) as an appeal to democracy.  They cannot argue rationally or factually against net-zero.  Reality is their enemy.  If they paint their opponents as anti-democratic then they can sidestep informative discussion and make any debate a debate about the right to have a referendum.

If a referendum is set then, just like in the Brexiteers’ campaign, HeT-zeroists will focus on simple and utterly false statements with copious repetition, and will use messaging that pretends to address issues that people face, particularly economic issues.

In an interview in 2016 a couple of weeks ahead of the EU referendum Vote Leave’s founder Matthew Elliott said “the trick for the Vote Leave campaign, then, is to take all of those concerns [of voters] and turn them into short, consistent messages that we can use.”  The same strategy drives the HeT-zero campaign.

Piggy-backing on voters’ concerns: ‘Power Not Poverty’
Fuel prices have risen hugely this year.  Some monthly bills for households have more than doubled.  Many people on low income or Universal Credit (or both) have monthly fuel bills that are greater than their monthly income.  These rises are due directly to Tory government policy that enables privatised energy suppliers to charge whatever they want while their profits are huge and increasing exponentially.  The fuel bill rises this year are a demonstration of extreme conservatism wherein a necessary public service – fuel supply for heating – exists as an enormous cash cow for racketeers while elderly people die from cold and families are made homeless.  

HeT-zeroists are using the fuel bill rises as a means to promote their demands for a referendum.  They claim net-zero will increase fuel bills and they juxtapose that claim alongside comments about current fuel costs. 

Using the template of libertarian deception a tool was created in February (2022) to host HeT-zeroists’ propaganda called Vote Power Not Poverty (VPNP).  Alongside comments on current fuel bill rises mixed deceptively with claims of net-zero’s effect on bills, VPNP uses the same charlatans’ phrase book as every other dark money funded lobby group.  It described itself as “cross party” with no evidence that anyone not associated with The Brexit Party/Reform UK is involved, and said it is a “grassroots” campaign, a lie that is the exact opposite of the truth.

The launch of VPNP was cheered by a predictable set of professional libertarians working their grifts.  Julia-Hartley Brewer, Isabel Oakeshott and Toby Young were among the usual disreputable suspects.  They may or may not believe what they say but they know that latching onto VPNP’s campaign will bring in the TV and radio appearances and the newspaper columns, all of which include a fee, and some random donations from corporate interests that favour HeT-zero.

It is not difficult to know the source of VPNP’s funding given its excited promotion of shale gas.  

The good news is that we have a real treasure under our feet, called shale gas!  We, the people, own this treasure.”

(Note: I lower-cased some initial letters in this quote as a few letters were ungrammatically upper-cased in a Trumpian style.)

The second sentence quoted above is an accurate description but public ownership evaporates rapidly when Tories start brokering contracts and, suddenly, what was publicly owned becomes privately “owned” and for the benefit of the wealthiest.  Privateering is precisely the political aim of the libertarians who are VPNP but, in typical libertarian fashion, they pretend to support the opposite aim.

Pretending to be advocates of a political aim to get votes but actually working toward the complete opposite was an overwhelming feature of Brexit propaganda.  An example was the comment about more money for NHS written on the side of the Boris bus.  Brexiteers intend to destroy NHS.

To emphasise the similarity of the Brexit and HeT-zero campaigns VPNP’s blurb included the line “put British people back in control of their own energy future.”

VPNP had one event planned in March that it depicted in promotional flyers as a “rally” at “University of Bolton Stadium,” the home of Bolton Wanderers FC.  However, according to the club, the VPNP event would have been at the stadium’s hotel, Bolton Whites Hotel.  Like most hotels, it has conference rooms ranging in size from large to medium to small.  The con in the promotion was typical of intrinsic deception in libertarian communication.

Bolton Wanderers cancelled the event when they ascertained the identities of the speakers: Richard Tice, Nigel Farage and Dominique Samuels.

Former The Brexit Party MEP Tice created a commercial property company during the recession in early 1990s and followed that with ownership of a debt advisory consultancy.  He wrote an article for right-wing think-tank Reform praising academies over state schools – he was trustee of a group of academies and private schools.  He is CEO and partner in Quidnet Capital that boasts it “is based in the [tax haven] Channel Islands and allows for the portfolio to become an accessible investment instrument, with high income and strong capital accumulation.”

Former The Brexit Party MEP and seven times failed parliamentary election candidate Farage is an associate of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Marine Le Pen, he spoke at an AfD rally in Germany and he uses racism as a tool of division and distraction constantly and has been a racist since he was young.  On the future of NHS he said “I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare.  I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through the market place of an insurance company.”  It wasn’t clear what he meant by “my money” because he registers his businesses, including all his income as a freelance speaker and broadcaster, in a tax haven.

Former member of Turning Point UK Samuels is president of Orthodox Conservatives, a sectarian lobby group whose contributors’ opinions include “education must be based on Christian religious morality which is the base for all legal and political morality in the modern world,” “values of Britain, in the mire of unhinged multiculturalism, have become largely diluted and misunderstood” and, on the subject of foreign aid, “the practice of bed [mosquito] nets itself is good, but simply donating them to uneducated subsistence farmers did little to ameliorate suffering.”

TiceFarage
Richard Tice (left) and Nigel Farage

Ticket price for the event was £5.50.  Political “rallies” are usually free admittance because the objective is to spread the word.  Grifting libertarianism is different.  There were also £100.00 VIP tickets including “access to [ironically named] green room.” 

The choice of location – Bolton – was another libertarian lobby group/think-tank tactic of targetting working-class towns, often in the north of England.

Update (17th March): The event in Bolton was rescheduled for the 3D Centre on March 26th.  Similar to the booking at Bolton Wanderers, the host of the event was not informed of the details of the event nor of the identity of speakers.  In addition to the three people named above, broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer and Labour MP Graham Stringer were due to speak.

Hartley-Brewer is a presenter on talkRADIO.  Her single unvarying style of communication is repetition of ludicrous assertions on a variety of topics as a ruse to provoke reactions that, via phone-ins and publicity, assist the station’s income.  Far-right libertarian drivel is her chosen political position.  She has no qualms of how offensive, abusive or dishonest her comments are.

Stringer is a keen supporter of fracking.  He is a trustee of Global Warming Policy Foundation, a libertarian think-tank that is extremely secretive about its funding.

Update (18th March): The event in Bolton was cancelled.

Having achieved their aim, all the protagonists of Brexit are at it again.

Recommended reading
Peter Geoghegan: The Brexit dark money lobby has a new target
Tim Fenton: Nigel Farage Campaign Rally ISN’T

Brexit racketeers return with a sequel: Net zero referendum

BDS: Daniel Korski

Former Special Adviser to David Cameron when the latter was prime minister Daniel Korski has many jobs one of which is cheerleader for Tory ministers.  He is keen to publish his admiration for the nonsense and destruction performed by all the tōraidhe.  It matters not how inept, laughable, dishonest, lazy or maleficent any member of Johnson’s cabinet behaved.  Any and all receive a cheery published message of support and praise from Korski written in a forced unnatural style.

Even libertarian incognizant Liz Truss, who spent most of 2021 signing disastrous one-sided international trade deals in Britain’s disservice, was a recipient of his kind words.  His assessment of her pre-war visit to Moscow to speak at Sergei Lavrov differed from the consensus view on her performance.

I’m not sure I get all the hot takes on the Truss/Lavrov meeting.  It looks to me like the British Foreign Secretary was clear, denounced Russia’s illegal behaviour, defended the freedom of European states and that the Russian foreign minister, true to form, was rude and bullying.”

Truss was performing but her performance was to play the role of a behatted fool.  Korski’s perspective was equally, and more ridiculously, performative.  “Hot takes” and “it looks to me” point to a decline in the standard of education at Cambridge University.

To be fair, he has a valid reason to clap and cheer whenever a Tory minister does a turn.  Government contracts are lucrative, none more so than in the health industry.  In 2018 Korski was one of the original members of former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s Health Advisory Board; one of his current businesses is “a leading European government-focused technology company.”  

His political position is extreme capitalism.  Like all committed economic libertarians he sees how the system fails and his alleged solution is to go deeper, harder, more recklessly, more viciously and more divisively.  A chain of think-tank circle-jerking involving saboteur of society Daniel Hannan and Centre For Policy Studies’ Robert Colville included Korski suggesting self-proclaimed assassin of NHS Oliver Letwin should be responsible for using Brexit as a tool (its real intent) to “deregulate” (destroy) the remaining protections, regulations and laws that dampen extreme exploitation in Britain.

He has preferences regarding who should be allowed to emigrate to UK.  Speaking about people moving to UK from Hong Kong he said seventy percent have an advanced degree, and the majority are married with children.  A great migration which should settle well.”

Unlike many arch libertarian wreckers Korski could not be accused of inconsistency.  Recently (end of February 2022), in response to a military attack by one country on another including missile attacks and an invasion, he wrote an article for Council On Geostrategy and published several statements elsewhere on boycotts, divestment and sanctioning wherein, to his credit, he maintained a clear unambiguous unwavering political position.

In his Geostrategy piece published on February 23rd he said 

It is time to disconnect from the global economy.  Sanctions have been unveiled but UK, US and EU need to go further.  The West needs to introduce a ban on owning or trading debt (sovereign or major corporate) even on secondary markets.  Then the main banks need to be cut off from clearing or currency markets and removal from the SWIFT payment system. 

Trade needs to be reviewed in total from sponsorship of sports events like Champions League to the right of other state-controlled firms to operate in the UK, US and Europe.  Access to key products required for industry need to be curtailed – such as microchips but also access to Google’s Android operating system, Apple’s stores and AWS cloud services.

People linked to the governing administration need to have their assets examined and, if necessary, frozen.  Anyone working for state-controlled entities should be compelled to resign or liable for prosecution; their work enables a foe.”

His words were clear support for a boycott of goods and services, divestment from businesses and sanctions against a government.  He promoted his article by saying the perpetrator “must be decoupled from the global economy.”

In his statements published in the last week of February and early March he reiterated his demands for strong BDS action.  

In a comment aimed at football administrators UEFA he asked for divestment from a gas company – “if you’re taking money from them you’re complicit in war” – and he said a cycling team should be banned from international competition.

He asked that international phone networks and internet search engines be made unavailable to people: “Google, Apple and Samsung should pull out.  No-one to use search or buy smartphones.”

Referring to a list of wealthy business people who knew the government he demanded that everyone on the list should be “sanctioned,” demanded that all their property in UK should be “expropriated” and proposed that the “proceeds of the sale” should be used for “rebuilding” the bombed country, and he said the Central Bank should be blocked by USA, Europe and Japan to “crash” the economy.

A neat summary of all Korski’s demands filled another statement: “If you tour there, play sports there, sell their art, fly there, eat their food, use their energy, offer them services, work for a state-linked firm – you’re backing an illegal war against an innocent country and its civilian population.  Look in the mirror.”

His keenness for a boycott and for divestment was expressed clearly when he described anyone who has “investments, relationship or business with a state entity co-owned by or supportive of the state” as “full of shit.”

No-one could doubt his sincerity.  In the week that Tory MP Robert Jenrick’s amendment was passed in parliament that curtails democratically elected councils from making decisions regarding investment of pension funds paid by public sector employees, and was described by Jenrick as “anti-BDS,” Tory cheerleader Korski was unashamedly, persistently and strongly promoting boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

DanielKorski
Daniel Korski

In addition to his strong support for BDS he wants military assistance for the people under attack.  He asked whether a no-fly zone is “feasible” and if it would be “worth the risk” of a “larger conflict.”  (Many military analysts stated that a no-fly zone would heighten the possibility of a nuclear conflict because the perpetrating country has nuclear weapons.)

Note: All of Daniel Korski’s comments quoted above referred to and were responses to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Recommended reading: Johnny Vedmore for Unlimited Hangout

BDS: Daniel Korski

BDS: Robert Jenrick’s amendment

Via an amendment by Tory MP Robert Jenrick, that was shoehorned into the unconnected Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill on 22nd February 2022, the government will prevent councils from making decisions about investment of their employees’ pension contributions.

The amendment is an extension of central government interference in decision-making by democratically elected councils.  Jenrick has a recent history of seeking central control: He developed the government’s plan to deny the right of councils to decide whether statues in public places should be removed.

The following was added to a clause (Guidance to public service pension scheme managers on investment decisions) in The Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

including guidance or directions on investment decisions which it is not proper for the scheme manager to make in light of UK foreign and defence policy.”

The “guidance” or, more accurately, instruction against democratic decisions will include direction on what not to invest in and will force public sector employees and democratically elected councils to invest money where Tory government wants investment.

For example, the amended bill will force councils to invest in arms manufacturers who profit from slaughter of civilians by Saudi air force in Yemen, or to invest in British businesses that profit from palm oil trade that destroys natural habitats in Asia, or to invest in British financial institutions that profit from human and environmental exploitation around the world, or to invest in businesses owned by donors to the Tory party.

In a parliamentary debate Jenrick’s performed reason for the amendment was because councils’ employees work in the public sector.

This is about public sector pension schemes.  The broader issue, which I will mention in a moment with respect to tackling Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) within public institutions and the public sector, is all about the public sector.”

Tories are hellbent on privatising (dismantling) public services.  They want all council services to be stolen and handed to privateers.  Jenrick’s concern for the “public sector” is worthless.

His amendment is an attack on the democratic choices made by voters when choosing a council.  Jenrick displayed his contempt for democracy.  Note the language he used below when describing a council.

The latest example of the politicisation of public pension schemes is by Wirral Council, which is currently considering realising almost £5 million-worth of investments in seven companies.  This pet project of a small minority who seek to hijack the money of hard-working taxpayers for their own political ends is of no interest to the public pension scheme holders of the Wirral.”

The “small minority” is the elected council.

Jenrick emphasised his demand for authoritarian central control over local democracy by claiming “we have seen public pension schemes pursue pseudo foreign policies.”  According to Tories, council elections should not result in a scenario where a council is opposed politically to the government.

He pretended to justify the need for central control of political decisions by mentioning a UK Supreme Court judgement on how council decisions “are liable to be identified with the British state” outside of UK.  That judgement, even allowing for Jenrick’s interpretation of it to be valid, was bunkum.  People know that, in democracies, governments can be opposed politically by councils or mayors.  However, he said

it would be wrong that, owing to a minority of an extreme and well-organised clique, the UK Government’s relationship with an ally has the potential to be undermined.”

That justification for his amendment was blatantly fraudulent.

Jenrick’s disdain for democratic choices made by voters was shown by his depiction of an elected council as “a minority of an extreme and well-organised clique.”

On a social media network – Twitter – on February 22nd and 23rd Jenrick published three statements.  In the second statement he congratulated himself on his authoritarian amendment.

Boycott campaigns are divisive.  My amendment is the first time we have legislated to outlaw Boycott, Divest and Sanctions.  And the Government have promised more action to come.”

That was sandwiched between two statements that issued support for sanctions.

The first statement said “I welcome the growing set of sanctions.  We should impose severe sanctions now, to clearly demonstrate our resolve, not wait for yet further egregious violations,” and the third said “pleased to see the US (re)impose sanctions, something I have repeatedly encouraged the UK Government to do as well.”

His statements were about two different places.  The first and third related to military action against Ukraine and the middle statement related to military action against Gaza.  The Tory government is opposed to the military action against Ukraine (though financially supportive indirectly) and is wholeheartedly in favour of the military action against Gaza.  Jenrick applied his logic based on his assertion that actions should be made “in light of UK foreign and defence policy.”

In a further series of published statements Jenrick asked for more sanctions and more divestment.

Additional sanctions must be focussed on the financial sector.  There must be restrictions on the issuance and trading of sovereign debt.”
No respectable UK law firm or financial institution should shield these individuals now.  There should be significant professional and reputable consequences for those that do.”
Export controls on technologies that have applications for aerospace industry, defence capabilities, and digital surveillance are vital.”

The comments above referred to responses to military action against Ukraine, not to responses to military action against Gaza.

Jenrick
Robert Jenrick

Jenrick is an opponent of democratic representation. 

He presents his arguments dishonestly and he is a petulant brat.

Recommended reading
Amnesty International report on Jenrick’s amendment

BDS: Robert Jenrick’s amendment

UK politicians react to Russia invading Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is war without reason, without tangible intent, without an aim and without any possible justification.  It is not a conflict that any citizen of Ukraine wants, anywhere in the country, and it is not popular in Russia.

All war is, intrinsically, utterly anathema to humanity.  It is never a viable option.  The war in Ukraine, in which many people have died on its first day (23rd February 2022) including soldiers on both sides, civilians in Ukraine and Russian civilians at sea, is a consequence of politicians refusing to accept any scenario that restricts them from getting exactly what they want.  They would prefer thousands die and infrastructure destroyed rather than indulging in even the smallest compromise.

War is, of course, business.  The industry of war – the arms manufacturers – enjoys regular conflict and it abhors successful diplomacy.  It needs the threat of war to be ever present but threats alone are insufficient.

Russian government knows the importance of supporting the arms industry and it knows the importance of maintaining an image of itself and its president as “strong,” “decisive” and “patriotic.”  But, even with those two considerations prominent, the invasion of Ukraine is particularly pointless and obviously avoidable. 

Posturing in UK
War demands that politicians and self-appointed commentators adopt a position.  In Britain there were no surprises in how they reacted.

Tory government, deeply in hoc to extremely wealthy Russian oligarchs who have close ties to the Russian government, offered some words of condemnation from prepared scripts, made a few gestures of response via cursory sanctions, and then shrugged.  To be fair, some British military hardware was given to the Ukranian military to keep the arms industry happy.

Soldier boys in the Tory party want big war.  The bigger the better.  Nudges from their arms industry donors encourage them but they don’t need the encouragement.  Tom Tugendhat, whose polemic following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan was to warn of the menace from China, demanded that all Russian citizens be thrown out of UK.  He didn’t add that all property “owned” by wealthy Russian oligarchs should be converted to social housing.

The “bad boys of Brexit” – Banks, Farage, etc. – did not add caveats to their grateful support to Russian wealth.  Their hatred of EU was transposed to a similar attitude toward NATO.  Their opposition to Macron, Trudeau and Biden dwarfs any mild discomfort at the sight of Russian tanks, planes and helicopters bombing Ukraine.

Starmer’s Labour party, excruciatingly desperate to continually and relentlessly assure its generous conservative donors that the party is committed to eradicating any possibility of socialism exerting influence, punctuated its warmongering with increasingly bizarre attacks on democratic socialists who dared to ask for peace.  A few Labour MPs signed a very reasonable statement by pacifists that criticised, unconditionally, Russia’s invasion – Labour leadership responded by threatening to oust the MPs from the parliamentary party.  Party funding for Young Labour was cut and its access to its social media accounts was terminated.

Sensible, informed and intelligent comments were spoken by some democratic socialists who showed it is possible, and easy, to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine while also aiming criticism elsewhere, such as EU’s complicity in the undemocratic removal of Ukranian government in 2014, or NATO’s implacability, or Tory government’s duplicity, or Labour’s indebtedness to arms industry.

Tories, Labour, and arch Brexiteers are using the war to fuel their own agendas.  We are within a madness of competing rhetoric all of which is opposed to facts, truth, knowledge and didactic reasoning.  If anyone pops up to describe what is happening, to analyse or to offer solutions, they are set upon from all sides.

War exaggerates blinkered ingrained perspectives but it also reveals how false they are.

However, ultimately, UK has no influence on what may ensue in Ukraine.

UK politicians react to Russia invading Ukraine

Libertarian extremism in Tory government: Oliver Dowden at Heritage Foundation

Chair of Conservative Party Oliver Dowden travelled to USA this week (February 14th 2022) to speak at an event hosted by Heritage Foundation (HF).

HF is a key libertarian think-tank and dark money conduit.  Its funding comes from the worst exploiters, much if it channelled via Koch subsidiaries.  HF supports, financially and via propaganda, extremist perspectives including attacks on the right to abortion, on gay rights and on teaching of uncensored history.  Its focus at present is development of bills throughout the USA, presented by Republican Party politicians, that intend to remove the right to vote for millions of Americans with particular emphasis on voter suppression for people of colour.

HF is part of Shanker Singham’s Competitiveness and Enterprise Cities Project that “has created an end-to-end package of products that take an Enterprise City [or Charter city] from concept and feasibility through to regulatory framework creation (starting with a blank slate), asset management and city operations.” – Baker Street Herald.  Charter cities are states within states where democratic accountability is eschewed and replaced by corporate fascism and exploitation.

Dowden chose to deliver his speech at HF because he wanted to perform for his host.  Like an excited toddler showing his parent a turd he’d just dropped, he wanted to show the extremists at HF that the Tories are on board with both the extremism and the messaging.

DowdenHF
Oliver Dowden at Heritage Foundation

In his speech Dowden spoke about “social justice warriors” who “claim to be woke” and said “a pernicious new ideology is sweeping our societies.”

He meant anyone or any organisation or any political party or group that exposes and discusses Tory intent, Tory corruption and Tory criminality or that challenges libertarian rhetoric and philosophy.

He meant informed, organised and focussed people who oppose the actions of the Tory government, like-minded governments and their associates (think-tanks, media, etc.) and who dissect conservative propaganda, reveal real consequences of conservative policy and describe how the public are fleeced by conservatives for the benefit of the wealthiest.

He meant people who fight against racism, against bigotry and prejudice, against lies, corruption and exploitation, against economic warfare, against climate destruction and against destruction of democracy.

He meant effective political opposition against conservatism and libertarianism. 

With next to no opposition in parliament or media, Tory government looked elsewhere to strangle opposition.  It declared a culture war that has two compatible aims – 1) censor information, and 2) enable libertarian platforming – and has many battlegrounds including schools, universities, museums and other heritage sites, and BBC and Channel 4.

Dowden claimed “universities have, of course, for decades been prey to left-wing excesses” and said “our Conservative government in the United Kingdom is legislating to protect free speech on campus.  We will stop the sinister phenomenon of academics or students who offend left wing orthodoxies being censored or harassed.”  A translation of his drivel is the government, via its Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) bill (HEFS), will impose far-right indoctrination at universities while stopping them from promoting policies that include anti-racism and other perspectives that could be described as “woke.”

As pre-action ahead of the imposition of HEFS, Toby Young’s extremist libertarian lobby group Free Speech Union is harassing universities with fraudulent misrepresentation of law as an attempt to stop them from pursuing policies that fight against racism.  In his letters to universities Young referenced HEFS as part of his threats.

Dowden congratulated himself on his attacks on the independence of heritage sites when he was Culture Secretary.  In that role he created Heritage Advisory Board whose purpose is to ensure that museums and heritage sites do not provide full historical accuracy, specifically anything related to racism.

As Culture Secretary I challenged those cultural institutions funded by ordinary taxpayers but which promoted politicised agendas.”

He referred to Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi’s direct interference in teaching.  This week Zahawi published “guidance” for teachers when discussing political issues.  His “guidance” was contradictory and absurd, and absolutely unnecessary but it’s purpose was as propaganda in Tories’ culture war.  Dowden backed up his colleague’s inventions and concocted assertions.

Zahawi: “No school should be encouraging young people to pin their colours to a particular political mastParents and carers need to be able to trust schools to be totally impartial.  They need to be confident that their children can learn about political issues and begin to form their own independent opinions, without being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.”

Dowden: “We have made it clear to schools that it is illegal to teach the concept of ‘white privilege’ as though it were undisputed fact.

The latter, playing to his audience of extremists at HF, was more ridiculous with his lies and more obvious with his bigotry then Zahawi, who was speaking to the British public via the media, but intent of both was the same.

Dowden’s warnings about hordes of “social justice warriors,” radical teachers in schools, “left-wing excesses” at universities and “politicised agendas” in museums was presented to HF in the context of defence of the “West.”

The enemies of the West are finding fresh confidence in their eternal battle against liberty.”

Capitalism needs enemies to distract the public.  To enhance the depiction of enemies it needs a spurious cohesion that can be described as under threat.  Thus, conservatives are wedded to the concept of the “West.”  

They define the “West” in terms of misleading abstractions like “liberty,” “freedom” and “democracy” and present that definition as a contrast to political philosophies elsewhere.  However, conservatives’ real concern is wealth enhancement for corporate exploiters.  In particular, systems of government that don’t work exclusively for the benefit of a wealthy elite are cast as enemies of the “West’s values.”

To the HF Dowden was keen to parade his adherence to the philosophy and to the spiel of occidental onanism.  He made sure to stress the Tory government’s commitment to a view of the world that positions the “West” against the rest.

He didn’t hide the fact that the “West” versus others is really corporate exploitation versus alternative systems.  

The idea that Beijing’s partial embrace of free markets would automatically lead to greater social and personal political freedoms has proved to be breathtakingly naive.”

Dowden knows that China’s successful development of relationships with countries around the world is a threat to corporate hegemony.

He was keen to imply that the whole world is potentially an enemy of his “West.”

The world watches the relationship between America and its allies.  Not only must we stand together, we must be seen to stand together.”

He preached a sermon that is commonplace in the rectal episodes of screaming far-right proclaimers like Nigel Farage, Melanie Phillips, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and Douglas Murray, or in the literature of extreme think-tanks Institute of Economic Affairs, Centre For Policy Studies and particularly Henry Jackson Society: The “West” besieged by uncivilised mobs, and he equated his alleged support for “freedom” and “liberty” with support for unrestricted free-racketeering.

The task of conservatives is to remake the case for the West, to proclaim our beliefs in the wonderful creativity of the human spirit, in the rights of property and the rule of law and in the extraordinary fruitfulness of enterprise and trade.”

Dowden showed, as his colleagues do daily, that the Tory government is hellbent on the most grotesque anti-human libertarian policies and that it will seek to cancel all opposition.

Full transcript of Dowden speech to Heritage Foundation: Dowden speech

Recommended reading
Sian Norris for Byline
Tim Fenton for Zelo Street
Karam Bales

Libertarian extremism in Tory government: Oliver Dowden at Heritage Foundation

Police federations and politics: Metropolitan Police Federation’s Ken Marsh

Last week (10th February 2022) Mayor of London Sadiq Khan chose to terminate Cressida Dick’s employment as Commissioner of Metropolitan Police.  His decision was informed by a succession of failures of policing including inadequate investigations of crimes, cover-ups of law-breaking by police officers, politically biased policing and collusion in denial of wrongdoing by the prime minister.

In a reasonable world Dick would never have enjoyed several promotions in her career that led to her post as Commissioner.  She is culpable in the atrocious decisions that led to the execution of Jean Charles De Menezes and culpable in ensuing attempts to cover-up and to deflect investigations of his death.

Throughout her tenure Dick acted politically.  Her willingness to follow political direction was inevitable as quid pro quo for her unjustly elevated career and for the abject lack of any responsibility or consequence for De Menezes’ execution.

Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF), expressed his opinion on the removal of Dick in a statement and during an interview with Sky News.  He disapproved of the decision and he chose to interpret it as part of recent criticism of the practices of Metropolitan Police.  He was right to interpret it that way; Dick lost her job (with a massive pay-off) because of failure.  Criticism of her was necessarily criticism of Metropolitan Police.

Rather than address the criticism, Marsh behaved petulantly.  In a statement for MPF he claimed 

the hard work of our colleagues – and public trust in our colleagues – is being undermined by politicians.  And by the Mayor of London in particular.  The continuing scaremongering, sniping and sweeping statements are causing disaffection with the public.”

The misdirection above was criminal.  The “scaremongering, sniping and sweeping statements” were observations made by many people including people who are victims of police acting outside the law and people who are victims of crime but ignored by police. 

Individual bad behaviour by police officers is a huge problem.  Institutionalised bias features in police behaviour toward “suspects” and toward victims of crime.  Alongside these failures is blatant political bias particularly during policing of political protests.

Marsh’s complaint was that police actions (and inactions) were seen, noted and analysed.

He chose to direct his ire at Khan.  The mayor made the decision to dismiss Dick but he was not the loudest critic of Metropolitan Police.

As chair of MPF Marsh’s role is to support the Federation’s members but he defended the institution of the police force.  He is supposed to support the members as employees of the Met. but instead he defended the most senior administrator, the commissioner.

Officers in London feel saddened and angry that The Commissioner Cressida Dick has been pushed out in the way she has.”

His defence of Dick was laughable: “She was reforming.  She was changing.  The culture is changing.”  Recent “changes” in “culture” included greater use of facial recognition technology and an increase in racist stop-and-search tactics.  One of Dick’s “changes” was her advice that women who are sexually assaulted by off-duty police officers should “flag down a bus.”  It’s possible that Marsh saw “reform” because that no Brazilian citizens had been executed on a train for a while.

Marsh didn’t defend his colleagues – he defended Metropolitan Police policies and actions.  His reaction to Dick’s sacking was political.  His emphasis on targetting Khan was not arbitrary.  

Officers have no faith in Sadiq Khan.”

Marsh is a Freemason.  That fact may or may not influence his attitudes.  Freemasonry’s reputation makes membership thereof incompatible with being a police officer. 

KenMarsh
Ken Marsh

In USA police “unions” are deeply politicised.  They routinely attack non-conservative politicians and they pressurise politicians to make decisions on policing that suit conservative ideology.  In UK federations are moving toward emulating their USA colleagues.

Police federations and politics: Metropolitan Police Federation’s Ken Marsh

Liz Truss visited Moscow

Current UK Foreign Secretary (February 2022) Liz Truss had a brief trip to Moscow this week to perform for cameras.  She delivered a few slogans at a press conference and at a televised meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Truss made no attempt to engage, to discuss, to explain, to listen or to learn.  There was no diplomatic purpose to her visit.  It existed as a piece of libertarian propaganda.  Its intent was to create a few video clips of Truss stating slogans of determination, and she posed for a few photographs wearing an unnecessary hat. 

The refusal to participate in any dialogue was deliberate.  Her behaviour throughout followed the standard practices of libertarian posturing.  Commentary from herself and her colleagues afterward followed the same process of persistent misrepresentation and constructed dumbing-down.  Truss said “I delivered a clear message to Minister Lavrov that Russia must deescalate” and Tory MP Tom Tugendhat, taking a break from trying to start a war with China, claimed “while we’re trying to bring peace and stability, Russia is playing games.  Good to see ⁦Liz Truss standing up to Lavrov.”

Unsurprisingly, and accurately, political opponents of Truss mocked her performance that included some geographical ignorance and misunderstanding of how to communicate when translators are operating.  With glee, her critics depicted her, both in (lack of) experience and in clumsiness, as not up to the job, but simplistic behaviour is a deliberate ploy of libertarian presentation and propaganda. 

Libertarian mechanics consists of antipathy to intellectualism, didactic reasoning and circumspection.  Its presentation is unencumbered by thought-provocation and its practitioners are equally bereft of self-awareness, or at least able to act as if their cognitive abilities are heavily fettered.  Optics prevail over usefulness and the optimum optic is dull sloganeering.

Truss was an utter embarrassment in Moscow but her fumblings, by design or intrinsic, suited libertarian philosophy and intent.

Liberals and centrists, UK’s new conservatives, enjoyed their denigration of Truss-as-statesperson, as they have done repeatedly with her colleagues.  There is some worth to observing ineptitude of Tory ministers but it suits them if focus is on their abilities rather than on their intent.  It suits them if their opponents think they are unintelligent, ignorant and lazy.  Equally, whether true or an act honed at an expensive school, the restricted cognizance of Tories helps them to stick to the plan because the plan requires ignorance of reality and disdain for logic.

TrussLavrov
Liz Truss (left) and Sergey Lavrov

Truss is an economic extremist.  Directed by anti-democracy activists (Barbara Kolm, Grover Norquist, Shanker Singham, Matthew Elliot, among others, who designed Brexit and who are key developers of the concept of charter cities) Truss seeks destruction of democratic accountability and acquisition of all public property including land for the benefit of corporate entities.  She supports the termination of government as representative administration acting on behalf of the public.

Singhametal
Shanker Singham (far left)

Truss is a candidate to replace Johnson as Prime Minister.  While liberals point at her and laugh, she enables imposition of corporate fascism.

Liz Truss visited Moscow

Tory government directing political education in schools. Part 2

When fascists attempt to enact political indoctrination in schools they have two aims.  There is the simple aim of trying to instill a preferred political perspective in children.  However, even the most deluded libertarian knows that children do not necessarily consume all the instructions they receive and that they acquire a range of perspectives beyond the classroom.  The key aim of the indoctrination is its part in culture war propaganda. 

As distraction, as dumbing-down of political discourse and as a tool to oppose unconservative philosophy, Tories’ culture war’s elements are all absurd and as incompatible with intellectual maturity as it is possible to be.  Since Johnson became Prime Minister a constant theme of government propaganda is nationalist posturing with idiotic symbolism.  Drowning in a wave of flags government ministers harp on about patriotism in a tried and tested method of assuaging general disgruntlement by offering an entirely illusory sense of belonging. 

Faux patriotism helps the Tories’ fight their culture war against political views that challenge libertarian analysis and objectives.  Recent actions to inculcate blinkered perspectives included

  • Oliver Dowden (when Culture Secretary) stated his intent to invent Heritage Advisory Board that will stop heritage sites and museums from presenting full uncensored history of people and events related to the site or museum – Dowden’s HAB
  • Robert Jenrick (when Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary) said the law would be changed to “protect” statues.  His proposal was a reaction to anti-racist protesters dumping a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in the river in Bristol – Jenrick and statues

Tory government interference in education is part of its culture war.  Current Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi took a break from checking the temperature in his horses’ stables to present a fraudulent account of politics in schools and an even more fraudulent depiction of Tory preferences for what can and what can’t be part of state education.

Like the ham apoplexy of Dowden and Jenrick, Zahawi’s comments were a performance.  He has no knowledge of what happens in state schools and he couldn’t care less.  He invented a problem as an excuse to promote his political bias.

His statement is quoted in full at the end of this blog; it was published in Murdoch’s Sun.  The Sun published the statement with each sentence in a separate paragraph; the paragraphing was done by myself.

His analysis was couched in a typical modern libertarian setting that creates fantasies of state schools being riven with undercover Marxists directing young minds. 

While there is a clear need for schools to address political issues in the classroom from time to time, this must not be done in a partisan way.  No school should be encouraging young people to pin their colours to a particular political mast.”

Parents and carers need to be able to trust schools to be totally impartial.  They need to be confident that their children can learn about political issues and begin to form their own independent opinions, without being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.”

At state Schools up to GCSE (16 years old) there is very little politics in any subject.  Teaching of history, inevitably, includes political aspects.  It is false to claim that teachers attempt to direct pupils toward particular political views.  Zahawi knows that there is no such direction.  

He accepted that “when teaching about racism for example, teachers should of course be clear that it has no place in our society” with a caveat that teachers “should avoid advocating for specific organisations that have widely contested political aims or views.”  The latter comment above was clearly a reference to Black Lives Matter, an anti-racist campaign that libertarians choose to describe as support for a particular organisation.  All who support Black Lives Matter are not expressing support for a “specific organisation.”  Again, Zahawi knows that. 

He stressed “impartiality” throughout his statement but also threatened teachers with the upcoming issuing of “guidance” to state schools.

I want to support teachers and make sure that they are equipped with a framework on how to deal with such matters, and the new guidance that I will publish next week will make things easier in our classrooms.  The new guidance I will be issuing also clarifies the requirement for teachers to make a balanced presentation of opposing views on political issues, so that the complexity of many of these important questions is understood.”

Zahawi’s use of language (underlined above) was not banal.  Teachers do not need a “framework” from the Tories or “guidance” from them on how to educate.  Teaching, by definition, is “balanced.”  For a Tory minister to offer “guidance” in “balance” would be hysterically funny if it weren’t sinister.

Guidance” from a Tory Education Secretary is never anything but political direction.  When in that role Gavin Williamson demanded that schools should not use teaching materials that criticise capitalism: Tory government directing political education in schools.

Impartiality” and “balance” are concepts that authoritarians (mis-)use and abuse as batons to quash dissent and to enable extremism.  The new order at BBC, orchestrated by the three Tory amigos Tim Davie, Richard Sharp and Robbie Gibb, is imposing both concepts in as fraudulently a methodology as possible.  “Impartiality” at BBC disallows certainty of observation, particularly on social issues, and “balance” enforces visibility of extremism and of stupidity as (wrongly) equitable with facts.  Zahawi’s choice of those words was for the same reasons.

His support for “presentation of opposing views on political issues” above contradicted Williamson’s “guidance” on the banning of certain political perspectives in schools as did Zahawi’s comment that “schools should encourage a range of political issues and viewpoints to be discussed in classes.”

The Education Secretary is addressing a problem that doesn’t exist.  He knows it doesn’t exist.  He is performing.  His ethos requires enemies.  Teachers who are unconservative are an easy invented enemy of libertarians.  In USA, in Texas, book-burning is happening.  Zahawi hasn’t advocated that tactic, yet.

Zahawi
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi

Full statement from Nadhim Zahawi
Whenever I step through the doors of a school, I am always struck by the passion and enthusiasm of children in our classrooms.  Kids up and down the country want to make a difference to the world, whether through inventing life-changing technology, addressing the problems facing our climate or supporting their communities.   As children grow up, that means tackling some of life’s big questions.  And as kids go through that process, they will start shaping their own political views.

Some will decide, like I did as a young boy, that the Conservative Party is the home for them.  Others will form a strong allegiance to the Labour Party – or the Greens or Liberal Democrats.  This is all part of a vibrant democracy.  We have more in common with each other than what separates us.  While I may vehemently disagree with some of my Labour colleagues, many of them are my friends.  The House of Commons is full of good people who disagree but are united by wanting the best thing for this country.

In our schools, brilliant teachers explain incredibly sensitive issues that attract opposing views in a balanced and measured way.  It is a difficult job, and I commend them for the incredible work that they are doing.  While there is a clear need for schools to address political issues in the classroom from time to time, this must not be done in a partisan way.  No school should be encouraging young people to pin their colours to a particular political mast.

As the Secretary of State for Education, I want to make sure that each and every child is given the opportunity to come to their own opinions without being swayed by what others think.  Children need to form their own views at the same time as they learn to respect those of others.  This is often seen in the hustings that take place in our schools at election time, which showcase all points of view and a range of policies.  I always make sure to participate in these events in my own constituency.

This is how we prepare young people to take their place as a well-balanced and tolerant member of society.  That is why parents and carers need to be able to trust schools to be totally impartial.  They need to be confident that their children can learn about political issues and begin to form their own independent opinions, without being influenced by the personal views of those teaching them.

Put simply, it means education, not indoctrination.  Legal duties on political impartiality have been in place for many years.  But I know that there can sometimes be uncertainty in interpreting them when confronted with specific issues like the legacy of the British Empire or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  When teaching about racism for example, teachers should of course be clear that it has no place in our society – but should avoid advocating for specific organisations that have widely contested political aims or views.

Schools should assess all the materials they use where political issues are raised to make sure they are appropriate.  And in the rare cases where parents or carers have concerns about teaching of politically contentious issues, the guidance will provide a common framework for discussion and de-escalation, meaning that families and schools can support each other to make sure that we get this right.

Of course, schools should encourage a range of political issues and viewpoints to be discussed in classes.  And political impartiality requirements do not mean they need to avoid difficult or sensitive subjects from being debated.

I want to support teachers and make sure that they are equipped with a framework on how to deal with such matters, and the new guidance that I will publish next week will make things easier in our classrooms.  We must never be afraid of debating, or respectfully disagreeing with one-another.  The new guidance I will be issuing also clarifies the requirement for teachers to make a balanced presentation of opposing views on political issues, so that the complexity of many of these important questions is understood.

It is not for teachers – and certainly not for politicians such as me – to tell young people what they should think on political issues, or how they should vote.  The next generation are more than capable of making these decisions on their own.  We must encourage them, support them, listen to them and equip them with a world-class education that allows them to reach their own political conclusions.  That is how we will deliver rounded and considered citizens, and shape the political leaders of tomorrow.”

Recommended reading
Karam Bales

Tory government directing political education in schools. Part 2

Fuel bills and the Rishi Sunak scam

Everything the Tories do is a scam.  Every action the Tories take fleeces the public and adds wealth to the exploiters.

To finance massive profits for racketeers who “own” fuel supply, household bills for gas and electric will rise exponentially this year.  Tories couldn’t care less about the consequences of such rises; all they care about is ensuring a constant and growing flushing of money into offshore accounts of parasites.

Current Chancellor Of The Exchequer Rishi Sunak, both a son of and a husband of extremely wealthy recipients of enabling government policy, observed the extortion by fuel suppliers and, rather than developing a plan to help people, he concocted a scam to fleece people, doubly.

The Sunak Scam
It is a simple scam with concomitant simple fraudulent misrepresentation.

Step 1: Hand £200 of tax-payers’ money to fuel suppliers for each household in UK

Step 2: Take a further £200 of money from each household and hand it to fuel suppliers over the next five years, over and above whatever costs are charged for supply of fuel to each household

Misrepresentation: Describe the first £200 given to fuel suppliers as a “grant” to bill payers

Effects of the Sunak Scam
1) Bill payers will be subjected to huge rises in the costs of gas and electric
2) Fuel suppliers’ profits will be enhanced multiple times

Worse than organised crime
The Tories are not a government.  They are employees of focussed criminality that is considerably worse than any successful organised crime syndicate. 

Everything done by the Tories has one objective: Wealth concentration

We should be beyond complaining.

Fuel bills and the Rishi Sunak scam