Saturday, 30 June 2012
Friday, 29 June 2012
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Something strange is happening to our schools. Good schools, many of them outstanding according to previous Ofsted reports, are now suddenly failing and are being threatened with "remedial" action. Many of them are now described by the government as "not as good as they appear" even as they continue to achieve exam results that are well above average. So what is going on? Many headteachers accuse the Ofsted inspectors of not being up to the job and point out that few of them have ever taught let alone headed up a large school. The truth, as usual with this government, is a little more subtle. Many of the inspectors are not employed directly by Ofsted but work for private companies being paid huge amounts of money in "consultancy" fees. They are busily undermining confidence in the best schools in order to soften them up for privatisation - cherry picking the best ahead of time and uninterested in those schools that cannot be turned into a quick profit. The same process is going on within the NHS where hospitals are being starved of funds in order to drive them into bankruptcy. Not content with stealing the NHS the Tories are also busily engaged in stealing our schools, stealing the futures of both old and young alike.
George Osborne, Britain's own village idiot, has managed to borrow more money and achieve less than any Chancellor in history. In May he borrowed over £17 billion in order to finance his wonton destruction of the economy and to bankroll Tory efforts to build a time machine that will return us all to the early 19th century. The economy is stuttering to a complete halt as he pours cholesterol into its arteries and grins with moronic glee as society disintegrates before his very eyes. Meanwhile the Tories are out in force today blaming Labour for the imminent collapse of the NHS and completely ignoring the money wasted by Andrew Lansley in his top-down reorganisation as he softens it up for privatisation. Cameron has shown quite clearly that Tory evil knows no bounds as he viciously attacks the young, the sick and the disabled while his idiotic mate, Osborne, deliberately sabotages the entire economy to give the PM the ammunition he needs to lie ever more effectively. How long is this utter madness to go on?
Monday, 25 June 2012
South London Healthcare is facing bankruptcy tonight after being deliberately starved of funds and exposed to market forces by the Tories. This is all the more surprising since it was, this year, a finalist in the Health Service Journal Efficiency Award. NHS hospitals were never designed to be profit-making and trying to make them so is a contradiction in terms. They were designed to offer free healthcare to taxpayers who would determine the level of healthcare they wanted by how much tax they were prepared to pay. How can that be made into a profit-making enterprise? It can't and that is why the Tories are determined to smash it, sell off the country's greatest surviving national asset and pocket the money. It is a scam, a breathtaking piece of daylight robbery perpetrated by the biggest bunch of criminals ever gathered under the roof of No.10 Downing Street. The NHS was the greatest achievement of the 20th century and was created at a time, after World War II, when this country was burdened by the greatest debt it has ever known. What kind of government is this that will move heaven and earth to prevent a bank from failing but will happily see a heathcare trust go bankrupt. The Tories have deliberately sabotaged the NHS, wasting millions on a top-down reorganisation that was not needed and succeeded only in putting millions into the hands of corporate "advisors." South London Healthcare has "debts" of £69 million - the banks have cost us hundreds of billions. The next time you fall ill what will you do? Call for your bank manager?
"Its advocates regarded it as a social philosophy for the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of certain people and traits, and the reduction of reproduction of other people and traits. Today it is widely regarded as a brutal movement which inflicted massive human rights violations on millions of people." This is the definition of the eugenics movement that, until today, has been widely accepted by most thinking commentators. David Cameron, however, begs to differ according to the "Mail OnLine" and is considering stopping benefits to poor families with three or more children. Under the guise of saving taxpayers money Cameron is advancing the theory that only the children of wealthy parents have anything to contribute to the nation. That is the subtext of his entire premiership and it is both morally reprehensible and scientifically indefensible. The children of the poor, innocent af any crime, are to be financially disadvantaged to an even greater extent so that the wealthy, like Cameron himself, can reward themselves with tax cuts. No government in Europe has even contemplated such a disgusting idea since 1945 when the concentration camps in Germany and Eastern Europe demonstrated where such a philosophy can lead. There are some ideas that no civilized nation should entertain and this is most definately one of them. The Tories are crossing a line that no decent human being would even approach and the consequencies for us all are too shocking to even contemplate.
Nick Clegg has decided to go on the offensive by going on a tour of Britain and facing down his detractors. The inspiration for this, apparently, is the tour that Franklin D.Roosevelt made of America during his 1936 re-election campaign. Roosevelt's strategy was to take on the rich and powerful enemies he had made; "They are unanimous in their hate for me," he said about the vested interests ranged against him, "and I welcome their hatred." The American people, recognising that he was their champion, rallied to him and re-elected him in a landslide victory. Unfortunately for Nick he is not the people's champion and has allied himself to the very rich and powerful vested ineterests that Roosevelt campaigned against. Nick Clegg, as in so many things, has it completely arse about face and will find that a campaign to explain why he has stood by while the Tories persecute the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled will lack the impact he's hoping for. The truth is that the best thing he can do is shut up, keep his head down and hope that the British electorate forget he's in cahoots with the most rabidly right-wing government this country has seen since the 19th century. Still, watching a politician commit slow suicide in full view of the electorate should make for some interesting television, while Cameron must be absolutely delighted that his faithfull sidekick will be drawing the flak to himself with such selfless imbecility.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Britain has a serious economic problem - an inbalance that has warped it out of shape and destroyed countless lives. The problem is the housing market in which prices are simply too high for most first-time buyers. Unable to buy many have had no choice but to rent. Unfortunately there has been no affordable housing built in this country for some time and ths supply is therefore limited. What is left, much of it consisting of ex-council house properties that have found their way into the hands of a wealthy rentier class, is so expensive that it too is unaffordable. Many of these properties would not be rented out at all if it wasn't for the fact that the rents are paid for out of taxpayers money. Many young people, the product of an education system broken almost beyond repair, have little chance of getting a job and, even if they could, it wouldn't be worth their while because they can't pay the exorbitant rents being charged. Its a mess that could be alleviated if new affordable housing was built. That would have the added benefit of getting the economy moving again and sweeping aside what has become a log-jam. So what does Cameron propose? Taking the benefits from young people that offer them the only chance of an independent life of sorts. That is his solution - the old Tory trick of punishing the victim. The only question is why would any Prime Minister do such a thing? The answer is blindingly obvious. If new affordable housing is built then supply would once again match demand and house prices would innevitably fall. This would include the PM's own property portfolio and that of his wealthy mates. What this criminal is actually suggesting is punishing our sons and daughters in order to benefit his. It is naked self-interest that is uppermost in his mind and not the interests of the nation as a whole.
In the wake of the Leveson Enquiry the Tory party has rapidly come to the conclusion that David Cameron had been fatally undermined by his close association with News International and thoughts have turned to who his successor will be. George Osborne has been discounted on the basis that he is simply too stupid. Consideration has been given to Andrew Lansley but he's too stupid as well and, in any case, will soon be too busy cashing in on the NHS. Ian Duncan Smith, despite being unbelievably evil, has had his chance and proved to be too stupid also. Theresa May? Too stupid and the police don't like her. How about Eric Pickles? Stupid and embarassing at the same time. Which leaves only one other choice - Michael Gove. Catching the direction of the wind Michael Gove immediately swung into action and flashed his right-wing credentials, suggesting that GCE's should be reintroduced and Grammer schools be allowed once more. The Tory party reacted with a deep collective sigh of nostalgia and Gove was catapulted into poll position. The fact that Gove is a complete muppet with all the charisma of Mr.Bean is neither here nor there. After all if Cameron could become Prime Minister, then why not a glove puppet? After all, didn't he save the entire English education system single handed by sending every school a copy of the King James' Bible? With an incisive mind like that how could he fail? Labour might have an idea or two.
Saturday, 23 June 2012
Ian Duncan Smith has now become a novelist it would appear. His book "The Devils Tune" has been described by Anne Widdecombe in the "Guardian" as "an easy read" but not up to the standards of a Jeffrey Archer novel. Since Jeffrey Archer's novels are absolute rubbish this is hardly a ringing endorsement. Still, as she goes on to say, "had the author not been a high-profile politician I doubt if this tale of intrigue in high places would have attracted a fraction of the adverse comment with which it has been greeted." Like most Tories Anne Widdecombe has managed to miss the point completely. If IDS had not been "a high-profile politician" he would never have been published at all. To all intents and purposes traditional publishing is a closed shop where only the already famous, whether they be sporting stars, actors, politicians, or hack reporters can get their work into print. Which is probably why bookshop shelves are filled with worthless bilge for the most part and why reading is fast becoming a thing of the past. In the case of IDS it is simply a matter of privilege. He gets published despite having no discernable talent except for inflicting misery on the disabled, while countless would-be authors will some measure of real talent get nowhere. As ususal in this pathetic little Kingdom it is not what you know but who you know.
Friday, 22 June 2012
Jimmy Carr's action in dodging tax was "immoral" according to David Cameron. But tax dodging by Sir Phillip Green, Lord Ashcroft and David Cameron's own father, Ian, is not. Why? Its a matter of class apparently. Not the old-fashioned version of class mind, but a new measure that takes into consideration the amount of money an individual has and how much influence he or she can wield. Jimmy Carr, with a mere £3 million, doesn't qualify, though he would if he was a Tory cabinet minister. Phillip Green and Lord Ashcroft do qualify because they are obsecenely wealthy and "donate" to the Tory party. David Cameron and his Dad do because he's the Prime Minister and his Dad is related to him. You and I are not because we're poor and are scum in any case, not having gone to the "right" school, the "right" university or knowing the "right" people. So you can be honest and hard-working but still be regarded as scum, or you can be dishonest and bone-idle but still be regarded as too important to tax. They exert influence because they are rich and they are rich because its all they know. They collect money like some people collect stamps or cats or Capo di Monte but, instead of being regarded as slightly mad, they get their picture on the cover of "Life" magazine. To maintain their wealth at levels far beyond anything they could possibly need, they will committ any act of immorality - cheat, lie and steal - with a dedication that is clearly unbalanced. They are criminal and they are insane and they are in charge of the world. No wonder we're in the mess we're in.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Like many good comedians Jimmy Carr is often just a little bit waspish. His famous joke about Barclays Bank and tax avoidance was funny because it was cutting and it was true. Lets hope he can handle the jibes of his fellow comedians over his tax arrangements that are now bound to come. For his part Mr.Carr has been quite straightforward explaining, without a blush, that he only pays the tax he has to. No false morality, no social conscience - its all about the money and nothing else. Hardly surprising then that he has provoked a great deal of outrage in the country when the disabled are being left destitute to assuage the financial markets. And no one is more outraged than David Cameron who has described Mr.Carr's tax arrangements as "morally wrong." No argument there but it begs two rather interesting questions. First, if dodging tax is "morally wrong" why has his government done absolutely nothing to close the loopholes that allow the wealthy to do it on a daily basis? Indeed why was David Cameron, only yesterday, gloating over the French millionaires he expects to quit France soon to come and live in tax haven Britain? Then there's the question of his own father who has made dodging paying tax into an artform. Is David Cameron suggesting that his own father, Ian Cameron, was "morally wrong?" And, if so, what does that say about the Prime Minister himself who quite happily pocketed the money his father left him in his will? Predictably enough Downing Street issued a statement that said it did not want to comment on what was a private matter for the Cameron family. I'll bet they don't. The hypocrisy of David Cameron is now well known and well understood, while his greed and duplicity are fast becoming plain. He and his rich mates are not the solution to our problems, they are the problem and the sooner he and his fellow spivs are kicked out of office the better.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Lisa Brown, a Democratic member of the Michegan State legislature, was barred from a debate on abortion for using the word "vagina" despite the fact that the word appears three times in the legislative document under discussion. The law, sponsored by the Republicans, would make it mandatory for all women seeking an abortion to be examined using a metal instrument inserted into her vagina whether she agrees to it or not. Speaking in defence of a woman's right to say no to such an examination she told her opponants; "I am flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina, but no means no." The Republicans, sensing that she had deployed a telling argument, immediately became outraged and had her barred from the debate for a day. Republican Mike Callton said, "It was so offensive. I didn't even want to say it in front of women. I could not say that in mixed company." Presumably, like many Republicans from the loony religious right of the party, he has similar difficulties with other scientific words such as "evolution." One thing is absolutely crystal clear, however - like conservatives on both sides of the Atalantic they don't like democracy much either. Their immediate reaction when losing a political argument is to curtail debate and then threaten the other side with Draconian laws to shut them up. Ian Duncan Smith is a case in point with his threats to curtail the right of workers to strike to defend themselves against the Tories while prattling on about his "faith." In common with his American counterparts his "faith" only extends as far as providing an alibi for his essentially vicious and vacuous nature and for his contempt for democracy.
There has never been any doubt that the Tories are two-faced - one look at their last election manifesto demonstrates that quite conclusively - and that they are unbelievably brutal - their recent record in terms of the disabled is proof positive of how evil they can be. However, while their corruption is nothing short of legendary, their willingness to rub our noses in it is something new. This seems to be the result of two factors - the recession which they view as an opportunity to be as vicious as they've always wanted to be and a monumental arrogance that was always there but was carefully hidden. Today it has been revealed that Tory MP Nadine Dorries is helping herself to nearly £40,000 of taxpayers money in order to finance her daughter's education in, of all things, the law. While Phillipa Dorries is studying full-time at the BPP Law School in London it seems that she's also employed full-time as her mother's "office manager." A busy girl, apparently, who is certainly getting a first-rate education in plundering the public purse if nothing else. Meanwhile David Cameron has been busy rolling out the red carpet for any French businessmen who want to avoid paying taxes at home and is openly boasting about his project to turn Britain into a haven for tax avoiders. This, he explains with a smirk, helps Britain to become "more competative." How exactly? These French businessmen will not be bringing their businessess with them and they will not, by the very nature of their invitation to live here, be paying any tax to us. However, they can be expected to do what wealthy British tax avoiders do - "donate" to their benefactors, the Tory party. As a bonus it will also undermine the democratic choice of the French people to make wealthy Frenchmen pay their fair share in tax - two things that the Tories really hate, democracy and fairness.
Monday, 18 June 2012
It is not often that you get to see an entire nation committ collective suicide but that is the effective result of the Greek elections. After a sustained attack by the banks who want the money they recklessly gambled away back and by European leaders more interested in their own careers than the welfare of their people, the Greeks cannot bring themselves to be rid of the Euro. They have clung to it like a child clings to its mother's skirts. They have been blackmailed, lied to and bullied unmercifully and, as Antonus Samaras said, "have decided to stay anchored to the Euro." Why anyone drowning would refuse to let go of an anchor is beyond understanding, but any real alternative was carefully hidden from sight. And there is an alternative as Iceland has amply demonstrated. It is possible to say "no" to the banks, arrest their directors and even impeach the politicians who have conspired with them to line their own pockets at everyone else's expense. After two years of dire predictions as to what would happen to Iceland if they didn't do as they were told, they have cast off the dead hand of the banks who are now queuing up to knock on that country's door and begging to be allowed to do business there once again. The world has been through 30 years of sheer economic insanity and, when the wheels came off, all our politicians could do was insist on more of the same. And, like sheep, most people have gone along with it. Entire countries have voted for austerity, inequality and poverty, frightened by two-faced politicians intent on protecting their own wealth and privileges. Some like France, however, have not. The stage is now set for a titanic struggle between the stupid and selfish on one hand and those with a better vision on the other. What happens next is up to us.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Ian Duncan Smith, having discovered a way to murder disbaled and sick people with impunity, has now developed a new scheme to take away worker's right to strike. Low paid workers who strike over pay and conditions will have their tax credits taken from them on the basis that "the country shouldn't have to pay for strike action." The truth, of course, is that it isn't - it is paying, and through the nose, to subsidise low wages. In true form this sorry excuse for a Minister and for a human being is blaming the victims of a system that allows the likes of him to rise to the top - as all scum does. This is a clear and unequivocal attack on ordinary people with no room for doubt as to what its aim is. This is class war pure and simple. What IDS doesn't seem to recognise is that once such a war is declared he will have to go down that road right to the end. IDS likes to compare himself to Jesus Christ. Is he deliberately inviting martyrdom or is he merely as stupid as he appears?
The woman pictured above was named Karen Sherlock and she was just 44 when she died of a heart attack on June 8th. She was an ordinary woman, just like you or me, who had the misfortune to be desperately ill at a time when the Tories seized power and decided that she and millions like her were "scroungers." She was a diabetic, suffered from chronic kidney disease, anaemia, high blood pressure, asthma and was partially sighted. Yet, despite conditions any one of which would have seen a Tory MP taking to his or her hospital bed, ATOS declared her fit for work and her £96 per work ESA benefit was withdrawn. She was, in effect, left destitute by the DWP which has quickly become little better than a secret police force working for Ian Duncan Smith. With little choice she mounted a campaign to have her benefits restored and, as one of her friends described her, she "lived her last months desperately scared that her family would not survive the onslaught it faced." After two years, in which the justice of her case could not be denied even by the likes of the DWP and Ian Duncan Smith, her benefits were restored and the findings of ATOS were overturned. But the fact remains, a sick woman was literally hounded to her death by a Minister of the Crown for no better reason than to demonstrate his own warped ideological beliefs. In its defence the DWP issued this statement; "We cannot comment on the individual case." Perhaps not but, when this disgusting excuse for a government is finally turfed out of office, we can only hope that IDS is dragged in front of a court and forced to do so.
Friday, 15 June 2012
As promised in his Mansion House speech George Osborne has launched yet another useless and idiotic scheme to make it look as if he's doing something. Essentially he has offered the banks yet more money on the proviso that they lend it on easy terms to businesses and would-be home owners. Great idea if you ignore the facts - that business doesn't want to expand their operations in such an uncertain economic climate and that people simply cannot afford the over-inflated property prices no matter how low the interest rates. The fact that his scheme, as far as mortgage lending is concerned, would simply increase the problem of sub-prime lending doesn't even register on his dim intellect. As usual George Osborne has got it all arse about face and has succeeded only in raising the shareprices of the banks. It would have been cheaper and more cost effective to simply build more houses, stimulating the economy and reducing house prices at the same time. Simples! Too simples for this ideologically driven moron who's thinking is bound by the need to save an economic system that is not worth saving.
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Benjamin Disraeli once boasted that, when he became Prime Minister, he had "reached the top of the greasy pole." Today George Osborne, in his Mansion House Speech, has boasted that under his stewardship Britain has manged to scramble to the top of a financial house of cards. Essentially he is claiming victory in his campaign to patch up the world financial system while Britain retains its preeminent position. How he has achieved this can be seen in the new child poverty figures. These show that child poverty has fallen by 2%. Wow, you might say. Unfortunately this doesn't mean that poverty has actually been reduced in Britain. Poverty is measured against the standard of median earnings and is merely a comparative figure not an absolute measurement. The Tories, in fact, have achieved this triumph by the simple expedient of reducing average earnings - by making all ordinary people poorer. Meanwhile the wealthiest 1% have continued to get richer while executive pay, despite ever-louder protests from shareholders and public alike, has continued to accelerate ever upwards. Greed in the financial lifeblood of the country is still rampant and has been encouraged by George Osborne with a massive tax cut to the wealthy in his budget and promises of more to come even while the rest of us still face deeper and deeper cuts to our services, rights and income. Many believed that, with the collapse of the world financial system, a revolution was under way. They were right. Unfortunately that revolution did not herald change but more of the same. The Tories answer to greed is more greed, their answer to growing inequality is to accelerate the process and their answer to the crisis in democracy is to weaken it even further.
Oxfam has called for a "Robin Hood" tax today to tackle the increasing inequality in Britain and has described Tory policies as a "perfect storm" which threatens to take us back to the 19th century. Even when in work ordinary people are finding it impossible to maintain their living standards, while the rich are getting richer at their expense. As if to underline this George Osborne has called on business to lobby for lower taxes and to diseminate the propaganda that will enable them to be as selfish as they please. Meanwhile the "Sunday Times" has revealed that the Tory party has been in receipt of £83 million in "donations" from Britain's richest people. The equation is simple and stark - Tory party + "Donations" from the rich = Tax breaks for the rich. There is no hint from George Osborne that he has any interest at all in creating a Britain in which hard work is rewarded with increased life chances - that is to be reserved for the already wealthy where hard work is a phrase that is readily trotted out but rarely undertaken. Greedy executives who's idea of hard work is to order others to do it for them (something that George Osborne knows all about) will continue to be rewarded for failure while ordinary people will continue to labour for low wages while being denied services as their children are condemned to a progressive pauperism with no hope for a decent education, a place to live or even a job. In effect the Tories have broken the social contract that has underpinned all administrations since 1945 and which forms the basis of legitimate government in this country. They have foregone all claim to authority and thrown aside any shred of decency.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
It's been a day of "surprises" for the Tories today. The first "suprise" came when Nick Clegg declined to support Jeremy Hunt and his "not me guv" defence of his conduct. Then came a "surprise" fall in manufacturing output, despite George Osbourne's giveaway tax cuts for the rich in the budget. Finally there was the "surprise" that people are not happy about the way the NHS is going. Only a Tory with his head firmly planted in his ideological backside could claim to be surprised by such outcomes. In two years the Tories have managed to get themselves mired in sleaze up to their less than fragrant armpits, have killed any chance of an economic recovery and have made a clumsy and cack-handed attempt to privatise the NHS after they "promised" they wouldn't. Still, determined not to be blown off course by all these inconvenient facts, the Tories have come out fighting. Nick Clegg's refusal to support Jeremy Hunt is simply the result of wishy-washy liberal cowardice. The fall in manufacturing output is all down to those dastardly Europeans who refuse to buy our goods because they're spiteful. The decline in public support for the NHS reforms is because the people have "failed" to understand the arguments properly and, anyway, the wrong people were asked for their opinion. Nor is the Tory cmpaign to victimise the poor going too well as it becomes evident that they are voters too and they know they're being lied to and about. Meanwhile the argument in favour of removing workers rights has turned sour as it becomes increasingly evident that most of our economic woes are down to poor managers and executives who seem to believe that they should be rewarded at ever-increasing levels for failure. You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Monday, 11 June 2012
George Osborne told the Leveson Enquiry today that there was no "vast conspiracy" to hand BSkyB to Rupert Murdoch and denied that he had any idea what either Jeremy Hunt or David Cameron thought about it all. "It wasn't a vast conspiracy," he said. "In fact it was a small grubby one. I really don't understand why people believe that members of the same government ever speak to each other. Its not as if we've anything in common or anything worth talking about. When we fell into government by accident we had one meeting in which we decided to grab as much for ourselves and screw the peasants and that was it. Policy decided, job done. As for Andy Coulson we asked him if he was guilty of anything, he said "no" and, in the light of such overwhelming evidence, we gave him the job. Who would believe that a man who would hack a dead girl's mobile and commit perjury would also prove to be a liar? When it came to my various meetings with the Murdoch's we never talked about anything that was interesting or important. In fact both Rupert and James Murdoch were incredibly dull people who seemed to have no interest in anything at all. As you've seen they weren't even interested in their own business interests and rarely had even a vague notion of what was going on. They would have made brilliant Tory politicians to be honest."
So Spain has been "rescued" by the European Bank, but the question is why no austerity package? The experts tell us that the difference is that the debt in Spain was that of its banks while that in Greece was sovereign debt caused by government overspending. Essentially, therefore, Spain was able to tell the European that they could save Spain's banks or not as they pleased, but that the government was not going to accept pauperising its own citizens further in order to facilitate a deal. The rest of Europe was handed a stark choice - bail out the Spanish banks or watch the Eurozone collapse completely. The truth is that the Spanish government chose not to borrow the huge amounts of cash that were coursing through the Spanish banks until 2008 whereas the Greek government did in order to subsidise the living standards of its citizens. There is no doubt that the Greeks were reckless and are now paying for it in spades. But the Greeks have a choice as to what they can do about it. They can leave the Euro, re-issue the Drachma and devalue like crazy to reduce their debt and give themselves a fighting chance of recovery. That they have chosen not to do so shows that they prefer to cling to the Euro's apron strings rather than face the uncertainty of going it alone. But, at the end of the day, what has all this support for Greek and Spanish banks actually achieved? Essentially taxpayers money has been pumped into the banking system to fill the black hole in liquidity caused by their reckless gambling on the property bubble. By shoring-up the banks governments have managed to keep property prices artificially inflated but this cannot solve the paradox of millions of empty properties on one hand and millions of essentially homeless people on the other. What our leaders are doing is not a solution it is an attempt to continue the problem and, worse yet, to breath more life into it. Not only are ordinary people being forced to pay for the mistakes of the banking system they are also being effectively barred from any reward for doing so. Our money is being used to save the banks but our children will still not be able to buy a home of their own, while rents continue to rise to feed the insatiable greed of a minority. All in this together? Don't make me laugh.
Sunday, 10 June 2012
George Osboure, whose budget proves beyond all doubt that he's as dim as a Toc-H lamp, has decided that the time is ripe for him to offer advice to the EU. Having wrecked the British economy and headed off recovery at the pass, his proud boast is that he's managed to turn Britain into a tax heaven to which the wealthy and irresponsible are sending their money by the boatload. "Lower corporate tax rates and other reforms to make Britain open for business are also sharpening our competitive edge," he writes in the Telegraph, without explaining why business continues in the doldrums. "I know from talking to British businesses that our country is bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and exciting investment plans that are being held back because of uncertainty about the future," he continues, without a trace of irony since it is his killing off of demand that makes the future so uncertain in the first place. Not to worry though because George has a popular if inaccurate explaination for his singular failure to revive British fortunes. Basically its all the fault of Europe which is doing all the wrong things such as reducing their deficits and shrinking their economies through austerity measures. If only they will do what George tells them instead of doing what George has been doing himself then everything would be all right. So there we have it - austerity in Britain good, austerity in Europe bad. The only question that remains is why does Osbourne believe this utter bilge? The answer, as always with the Tories, lies in their idea of what is fair. He believes that it is fair for other countries to ignore debt in favour of expansion to give a helping hand to Britain's exports (something he won't do himself). With low taxation for the rich, these exports would then fuel yet another round of increasing wealth for the few and nothing for the majority who will still suffer from shrinking services, high prices, the fewest employment rights in Europe and wages stuck somewhere in the 1970's. And, of course, with all this money sloshing about in the City of London, the banks will be back in charge again and its all back to the sunny uplands of inequality and privilege for the selfish and unscrupulous. There's nothing like being all in this together and this is nothing like being all in this together.
Saturday, 9 June 2012
Ian Duncan Smith, the Darth Vader of the Tory party, is continuing his campaign against the disabled in the courts. His grubby attempt to discriminate against them in the amount they can claim in housing benefit was rightfully thrown out by the courts but he has now ordered the DWP to mount an appeal. His nasty little scheme involves reducing the money given to families with disabled children if they have a bedroom for a carer or if a disabled child cannot share a bedroom with a sibling. Duncan Smith, who once lied outrageously on his online CV in order to make himself seem better educated and more important than he actually is (the CV was paid for on expenses!), remains unrepentent insisting that his savage attack on disabled people is legitimate on the basis that he doesn't like paying tax. Meanwhile figures show conclusively that the rich have been dodging property taxes by the simple expedient of registering them as corporate assets. This scam is particularly prevalent in London and remains completely untouched by George Osbourne's budget measure in terms of stamp duty which was described at the time as a mere "token." As is usual in these matters the government has "come down on hard" on a loophole that has little effect while it completely ignores an abuse that costs ordinary taxpayers billions every year.
Thursday, 7 June 2012
David Cameron has admitted today that he finds EU summit meetings "baffling." We asked the world's first part-time Prime Minister to explain; "This often happens when I'm expected to actually think about something instead of picking an answer from the Tory manual "Stupid Answers To Difficult Questions." It happened for the first time while I was attending an EU summit and realised that I didn't understand a word they were saying. Things improved a bit when I found out they were speaking a variety of foreign lingos and I had access to a translator, but not by much. Even in English I hadn't got a clue. Then I began to realise that I didn't understand a word about economics either, while listening to ordinary working people in Britain was simply a none-starter. I mean what do things like job security and not having enough money mean? There's a whole sub-culture in Britain that I don't understand at all and things get worse when common people insist on speaking in their strange dialects. I've also found that the peasants don't really understand me either. I've talked to loads of them about the benefits of offshore banking and tax efficiency but they just don't seem to get it. All they need is a million or two. It's not as if that's a large amount of money is it? Fortunately living as I do in Tory World it doesn't really matter."
The Bank of England is contemplating which utterly useless thing it will do next. The choice lies between pumping more money into the banks as "qunatative easing" where it will never see the light day again in the wider economy, or punishing savers by reducing the base rate from 0.5% to some equally irrelevant level. We asked a Bank spokesperson for a comment; "You are quite wrong in claiming that we only have a choice between two things - we also have the alternative of doing absolutely nothing at all. The fact that all three choices amount to the same thing is neither here nor there. Since we haven't got a clue what we're doing anyway we are seriously thinking about choosing by chanting "eeny, meeny, miney, mo" or, more excitingly, by playing a knockout game of "paper, scissors, rock." We are confident that, whatever choice we make or don't make, we will retain our jobs which is the main thing. In the meantime austerity remains the only viable alternative and our future projections suggest that we will have saved the British economy when we're reduced the entire population to bartering for basic foodstuffs." Our reporter next turned to George Osbourne for his view; "Personally I think they should stick to the tried and tested method of putting all three alternatives in a bag and then choosing one at random. That's what I did when I wrote the budget. Except for tax cuts for the rich, that was my idea. In fact it was and remains my only idea."
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Baroness Warsi, who's memory is worse than a goldfish or a Murdoch, has apologised to David Cameron for inadvertantly taking a business partner with her on an official trip to Pakistan. Claiming that she completely forgot that Abid Hussain was also involved in a business venture with her, despite the fact that he is related to her husband, she failed completely to explain why he accompanied her on the trip at all. In reply David Cameron wrote; "There are clearly some lessons for future handling and I have asked Alex Allan, my adviser on ministers' interests, to consider the issues that have been raised with respect to the Ministerial Code and to provide advice to me as rapidly as possible". Of course Alex Allan has a clear desk at the moment since a similar investigation of Jeremy Hunt has been kicked into the tall grass. The question is why Baroness Warsi is being investigated while Jeremy Hunt is not. The "News in Shorts" has reviewed the evidence and come to some startling conclusions. Baroness Warsi is a smug, self-satisfied moron without a brain in her head who has proven to be an embarassment to the Tory party. Jeremy Hunt, on the other hand, is a smug, self-satisfied moron without a brain in his head who was put in place for one very specific underhand deal - getting Murdoch's deal over BSkyB through. Warsi has been less than useful, while Jeremy Hunt, just as incompetent and stupid as the Baroness, still provides the valuable service of acting as a flak jacket for David Cameron. Nice to see that Cameron regards his own colleagues in much the same way he does the rest of the people in this country - with cynical contempt.
One of the most shameful and disturbing aspects of the Diamond Jubilee celebration was exposed in the "Guardian" today in a story that outlined the use of slave labour to marshall the crowds in London. Unemployed people, forced to work for their benefits, were bussed into the Capital in the early hours of the morning, forced to change clothes in the street and made to work with no toilet facilities for 24 hours. Arriving after an overnight trip from Bristol many of them were only able to snatch a couple of hours of sleep under London Bridge before they made to marshall the crowds that lined the Thames. Of course in those halcyon days before the Tories seized power these people would have been given temporary contracts and paid at least the minumum wage. But today, with the unemployed demonised as "feckless," the Tories have managed to turn public opinion against themselves to the point where such a monstrous piece of profiteering would even be contemplated. Worse yet it calls into question the very idea of the Jubilee which now stands exposed as nothing more than a political diversion, a celebration of how the "haves" can command the "have-nots" to undertake any demeaning task or risk punishment and how 1,000 years of British history shows us in no incertain terms that there has been no progress whatsoever. Perhaps the Queen, when she sees this story, will find those people, so shamefully treated, and pay them a decent amount of money out of her own personal vast fortune. Perhaps, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The Jubilee gives Britain the opportunity to look at itself. The question is can it look itself in the eye?
Monday, 4 June 2012
The British love to moan about the weather but yesterday proved to be the exception to the rule. TV screens were filled with happy shiny faces cowering under umbrellas and dismissing the usual summer British monsoon with a careless flick of the hand. Words such as "wonderful," "unforgetable," and "exciting" replaced the usual moans and groans, while BBC commentators gushed uncontrollably about how marvelous the Royal Family and Britain actually are. Meanwhile viewers were treated to a mind-numbingly and tedious second-by-second account of Her Maj's progress downriver, with one intellectually-challenged presenter telling us about how dangerous the Thames can be. And the cost to the nation for this rather damp jamboree? A cool £275 million, not counting the cost of security. Still there's nothing like a Royal story to divert attention from reality in this benighted little kingdom. While millions sat glued to their TV sets or braved the British summer weather to munch damp sandwiches in the rain, little regarded news items slipped by without a murmur. While Baroness Warsi has been reported to the police by an outraged Labour MP, the "Independent" pointed out the threefold rise in families being "shunted into bed and breakfast accommodation" by the present gang of spivs and conmen who like to call themselves a government. The "Guardian" reported that family incomes had fallen for the third year in succession while final demand in the economy continues to slump. In the "New York Times" Paul Krugman told the British, yet again, that austerity, apart from being counter-productive, is little more than a cover for the Tory ideological goal of shrinking the state at a time when it badly needs to increase its activity. While the British people stand around innanely waving their little flags and look forward to a summer filled with expensive sporting events to engage their tiny minds, their country, their future and their voice is slowly being lost as a bunch of Tory pickpockets work the crowd.