Boris has been in India this week and has been bowled over by its progressive outlook. "I have been asking Indian businessmen what would make London more attractive for them as a place to invest," he told reporters from a picked selection of Tory rags. "To a man they have all said the same thing - we want to pay as little tax as possible and do whatever we like. It was a revelation and one that demands serious consideration. As everyone knows taxing rich people less then poor ones and allowing them to do whatever they like has been a resounding success over the last 30 years in the West, but India has been doing the same thing for thousands of years and look at what they've achieved. If we could do the same in Britain the working class, or untouchables as I now like to call them, would soon learn being grindingly poor is not so bad - in fact it is their patriotic duty to sacrifice themselves so that people like me can get even richer than we are now. Our city offers enormous opportunity for Indian companies to prosper at the expense of British ones and to export even more jobs to Mumbai where sweatshop workers have the opportunity to earn almost £1 per week." A photo opportunity with Boris riding a bicycle around the famous "Gateway of India" was later brought to an abrupt end when several Indian soldiers threatened to beat everyone with sticks because filming in the area was banned. "Marvelous," Boris told reporters. "If only we had soldiers patrolling the streets of London threatening to beat people with sticks at the least provocation we could really get things moving."
HM Revenue and Customs wants to be placed on a list of emergency services allowed to break the speed limit when its a matter of "life and death." We asked HMRC for a comment; "Many other emergency services such as the police, ambulances and the fire brigade have government permission to break the speed limit when the situation demands. We at HMRC are often called upon to act decisively in very dangerous circumstances. Imagine being James Bond but not being allowed to drive around with smoking tyres, screeching brakes and a scantily-clothed blonde in the passenger seat. We often find ourselves locked in a deadly pursuit with such arch-criminals as tax dodging plumbers and private tutors driving high-powered vehicles such as Transit vans and Robin Reliants. Apart from the fact that we need to apprehend such heinous criminals we have found it increasingly difficult to ignore the suspiciously large mansions of the super-rich and MP's at low speeds. In fact its becoming positively embarassing. Only last week we found one of our inspectors, forced to drive his Aston Martin at 30mph, looking thoughtfully at a branch of Starbucks - it was terrifying. Other services are allowed to break the speed limit when lives are at stake - how much more important is it when money is under threat?"
Tories are today celebrating yet another astounding discovery made by George Osborne, the genius behind Quantum Economics. We aked a leading Oxford economist for an explanation; "The confirmation that the British economy did, despite all predictions to the contrary, grow by an outstanding 1% in the previous quarter has led to an exciting new concept in Quantum Economics that we call "dark growth." This cannot be seen or even detected by conventional means, but we know it exists because of the effect it has on the poll ratings of the Tory party. Essentially what George Osborne has done is invent a time machine which he has then used to go back in time and change the growth figures for previous quarters. By reducing the growth figures in the past he has been able to demonstrate that growth in the last quarter was actually positive after all. I have a simple illustration to aid understanding for those who are not as sophisticated as George Osborne or myself. Let's imagine that in December your bank balance stood at £1,000. When you check in March to see how much money you've made in the intervening three months you find that it's still at £1,000. In other words you've made nothing. Now imagine the effect if you are able to turn back the clock and take out £200 from your account in December so that it shows a balance of £800. Now, in March, with a bank balance of £1,000 you've suddenly made £200! That is "dark growth."
Having put a stop to recovery the Tories are celebrating as the "good" news keeps rolling in. Demand has continued to shrink as wages stagnate, the jobless and disabled are stripped of their benefits, the cuts reduce family incomes by 30%, manufacturing hits an all-time low and investment is at the lowest its been since 2008. Indeed the news is so "good" that the Institute for Fiscal Studies is confident that the Tories can keep the recession going until at least 2018. Given the parlous state of the economy the question is, where will the government get its money? There is only one answer - raising taxes - and, given this government's aversion for taxing those who can actually afford it, that means more taxation on the less well off. There are already rumours that George Osborne is contemplating pushing VAT up to 25%. The Tories, who are revelling in this recession since it means they can crack the whip over the heads of ordinary people and turn the country back to the 18th century, are in jubilant mood and remain confident that the British electorate are so stupid that they will return them to power in 2015. This, they smugly believe, is because voters have fallen hook, line and sinker for their "the British economy is just like a household budget" line so favoured by Margaret Thatcher and other insane people. The truth is that no householder would deliberately throw themselves out of work and then sell off all their assets, making themselves homeless in the process, in order to borrow more money to give to their favourite charity - the banks. Yet that is exactly what the Tories have sold to the country. How do you like the ride so far?
Ian Duncan Smith, a man who waves his Christianity around like a flasher waves around his private bits, has this week revealed his attitude to ordinary people in no uncertain terms. Appearing on "Question Time" his reaction when the number of people he's responsible for killing was put to him by Owen Jones was as you'd expect - he shouted him down. Essentially his answer was "I don't care who dies as long as I get my way." Then it was revealed that he snubbed a 13 year old child, Kieran McArdle, who wrote to him about his recently deceased father. The boy's dad had suffered a devestating stroke that had left his paralysed down his left side and blind in one eye. Despite this his disability benefits were stopped after he was found "fit for work". He died the next day. And Ian Duncan Smith's reply to the boy? He told him that is he had any questions he should ask his local Jobcentre. Now it has emerged that such wilfull ignorance is not restricted to IDS alone but is a deliberate policy of the Tory party. Leaked documents show quite conclusively that Cameron's NHS "listening exercise" was little more than a cynical ploy to take the heat out of the debate while the PM and Andrew Lansley conspired with lobbyists to get privatisation through the backdoor. The lesson is clear and that is you cannot talk to this bunch of spivs and conmen since their reply is always the same - "talk to the hand becuase the face ain't listening."
David Cameron stood with 27 other national leaders around the grave of the EU today and threw the first handfull of dirt on the coffin. Born out of the European civil war that raged between 1914 and 1945, the EU was a last desperate effort to stop the various European nations from tearing themselves to pieces. As such it was a noble enterprise but it began to founder as almost as soon as the politicians got their hands on it. The original premise was quite simple - a customs union between an original founding few that could be expanded, as circumstances allowed, to include all the family of European nations and put an end, once and for all, to conflict. The basis was economic, the driving force was enlightened economic self-interest. Of course politicians know very little about economics and it wasn't long before the EU became a vessel for their dreams instead. Economic union wasn't enough, they wanted a political union that would increase the scope of their ambitions and provide them with a bigger stage to strut across. The Euro, originally an economic tool, soon became a plaything for politicians with membership no longer dependent on economic criteria but on political "considerations." Essentially they took what was envisaged as economic sunlit highlands and turned it into a political swamp. Whole nations are now being thrown to the wolves by their "friends" and "partners" and entire polulations are being brought to the edge of destitution out of political rather than economic imperatives. The extent of the rot was demonstrated quite clearly when the EU decided to enshrine the neoliberal economic thesis - the very thing that has brought to world to the brink of economic disaster - in its constitution. This was an act of economic insanity, but was necessary to save politicians from their own blushes. What was originally created for entirely laudable reasons has now descended into an unseemly wrangle over a bloated budget designed to keep European fatcat bureaucrats and politicians in the lap of an undeserved luxury. Cameron is on the correct side for once, the pity is that he is there for all the wrong reasons. He is strangely keen to tighten purse strings for European MEP's when you consider how unconcerned he is with the expenses free-for-all at home. His motive is purely political - pandering to an anti-EU right wing of the Tory party that wouldn't recognise a sensible economic policy if it saw one.
Sir Ian Kennedy, the leading expert on law and ethics who has chaired the Parliamentary review of MP's pay, has told the "Today" programme that MP's now deserve to be trusted again. According to him the "problem" of MP's expenses has been "sorted out", although he failed to even mention the recent scandals over MP's renting flats from one another. "The problem was that MP's couldn't tell the difference between their own money and that belonging to the taxpayer. I have tackled this head on and changed the law so that MP's no longer have to worry about things like that. There is now no difference between MP's own money and taxpayer's money and they are free to steal whatever they like perfectly legally. As a consequence it is completely unfair to say that MP's can't be trusted. MP's can always be trusted to grab whatever they can, using whatever immoral means available because they are a superior sort of people and deserve every penny they can glum out of the system. Having looked closely at the previous system that forced many MP's to steal in order to maintain their position in society, I have decided to abolish the system and replace it with a freemarket grab-all in which MP's social position is enhanced in direct proportion to how immoral they are willing to be. Essentially I have embraced the principles that it is not illegal to break laws that don't exist and that ethics must first and foremost be entirely elastic."
In a parallel universe, far, far away, a group of people who call themselves "The Synod of the Church of England" have got together to tell God what He thinks. The question that they have been considering is "Did God create Man and was she only joking?" Having counted the votes and finding that two-thirds of those in the Synod agree with the statement, the opposition to it declared victory. "We have spoken to our Bronze Age Invisible Friend in the Sky and He told us that we were right all along," a CofE spokesman told our reporter. "The good news is that God has decided to continue being a man and, what's more, continue to be English. We had worried that He might turn American or even African and declare Himself to be a black woman but, in the event, that didn't happen. Once again God has decided to let us tell him what He actually thinks which, as a close reading of the Gospels demonstrates quite conclusively, is what Jesus said we should do." Meanwhile, those women in the Synod who wanted to dress up like the men and also tell God what He thinks, issued a statement; "The Synod has spoken and in keeping with the democratic structure and nature of it, we will ask the question again and again until we get the answer we want. I for one am determined that female prists should be allowed to dress up in silly hats just like the men and get a pay rise for discussing Bronze Age superstitions as if they mean something. Its only fair and I firmly believe that God is actually a blonde who looks surprisingly like Margaret Thatcher."
As the latest figures show that the British economy continues to be sucked down a Tory black hole, George Osborne was delighted with the latest figures that show his deficit reduction plan is on track. "We have slashed the deficit by 25% in the last two years," he proudly claims, "even though it continues to get bigger and bigger. This is due entirely to my new quantum economics which states that you can never know where a Tory is and at what he's talking about at the same time. Fortunately it also means that money can be in two places at the same time while the word "reduction" becomes entirely relativistic." We asked an Oxford University Quantum Economics professor for his view; "As the deficit continues to shrink under the remorseless cuts that cost more and more money, this month's figures, like every month's figures for the last two years, only appear to be bad. This time we've found that a sudden and unexplained slump in tax receipts is to blame for what appears to be yet another increase in the country's debts. This is mere illusion since it is a well known fact that giving rich people a tax cut and ignoring tax avoidance by big corporations increases revenue, while unemployment and a complete lack of demand in the economy have no effect at all. Basically this all becomes clear once you realise that truth in the universe has a right-hand spin."
The "Independent" has today published a story the main thrust of which is that the anti-austerity protest in Britain and across Europe has failed. The smug and the self-satisfied, those who benefit whether there's as recession or not, those who caused the economic crisis with their greed and stupidity, the grasping rich who want it all have managed not only to make the poor pay for the mistakes of the rich, they've also managed to turn us all against ourselves. This they did by the simple expedient of formenting jealously amongst those with little while those with lots have maintained a united front. The many are losing because they can't or won't organise, the few are winning because they were always organised. An example of how the poor majority have been demonised and turned against each other was carried by the "Telegraph" today as Tory Minister for Employment Mark Hoban, one of those who has engineered a recession expressly to reverse the gains made by ordinary Briton's in the last 150 years, gleefully declared that the unemployed would rather lose benefits than work. The basis of his claim is that a majority of those forced into the mandatory work activity scheme have flatly refused to work for their benefits. This poses two rather awkward questions. Is £56 per week such a princely sum that many would rather live on that then work and get a better standard of living for themselves? Why would they give up such a princely sum and elect, presumably, to live on nothing at all? It depends on your point of view of course. For a Tory this is proof that the British are by nature a bunch of lazy freeloaders. For a normal human being it might suggest that the British are so brave that they would rather face destitution than be forced into the modern equivalent of state-sponsored slavery. Whatever the truth of that one thing is certain and that is that a Tory would sell his own grandmother for an extra quid. Take Peter Lilley, pictured above, for instance. He has accepted £400,000 in bribes from oil companies to oppose any action on global warming. For him the future of the entire planet is small price to pay if he gets to be rich. And that is why the Tories are winning, though how bringing the whole world to ruin constitutes "winning" is beyond me.
When William the Conqurer won at the Battle of Hastings he swept away such long-standing English freedoms as electing kings and open forests where the poor could supliment their diet and gather fuel for their hearths. The south of the country was quickly subdued, but the north remained stubbornly opposed. In reply William unleashed a reign of terror that came to be know as "The Harrying of the North." The next 900 years of British history consisted of a long, hard struggle as the conquered won back some of their traditional freedoms inch by inch. Our monarchs are still not elected but we arrived at a compromise - the people got elected governments and the Royals got to keep their heads. The vast majority of the land remains in private hands but at least ramblers are allowed to walk across it. The struggle is far from over, however, and our latest government has far more in common with William I than with any other previous government. Like that foreign chancer William I they have more in common with organised crime than orderly government and are determined to use their accidental accession to power to change the face of Britain forever. A new harrying of the north has begun with their so-called "fair" cuts falling more heavily on Labour councils than Tory ones. Labour councils are facing cuts of £107.70 per person while Tory councils face cuts of only £36.10. Of the worst hit 50 councils 43 are Labour, while of the least hit 50 councils 42 are Tory. Meanwhile rising unemployment, shrinking wages and rising food prices are hitting the poorest in our society and creating nutritional inequalities not seen since the mid-19th century. The Tories are also taking our greatest national asset, the NHS, and selling it to their rich supporters in return for bribes. Corrupt and entirely without a conscience or any sense of patriotism, without a mandate or even a majority, the Tories are mounting what is nothing less than an elitist coup d'etat using a recession they themselves have created as an alibi to impose a vicious austerity on the rest of the population.
The man pictured above is an Australian named Lynton Crosby and he is, according to Tim Montgomerie the editor of political website ConservativeHome, a Tory party posterboy, the "alpha male that Team Cameron has been missing." The reason for this fulsome praise is that Mr.Crosby was Boris Johnson's campaign manager during the mayoral election in London. Renowned for inserting "subliminal messages" into his campaign strategy over things such as law and order and immigration, it is fascinating to speculate on what his advice to David Cameron might be; "Rule Number One: Change hairstyle and colour in order to more closely resemble a Morlock. Rule Number Two: Mumble incoherently and engagingly when any serious subject is broached. Rule Number Three: All Tory candidates must train to dangle comically when stranded on a zip wire. Rule Number Four: All speeches should be irrelevant rambling diatribes with no discernable facts that can be used against the party by the opposition. Rule Number Five: Back stabbing should only be understaken in the dark and denied immediately if anyone else notices. Rule Number Six: All lies should be delivered with a wry and sheepish grin." However the choice of Mr Crosby has not been greeted with universal praise in the Tory party. Lord Ashcroft has warned that his appointment could be "a recipe for... conflict and confusion." Confusion, of course, is something that Lord Ashcroft knows quite a lot about since he persists in describing himself as an "historian" on the basis of a Higher National Diploma in Business studies from the Mid-Essex Technical College and seems to have no idea what taxes actually are.
A Commons Committe looking into corporate tax avoidance on Monday discovered what has long puzzled us all - why large companies, despite making billions in profits, pay virtually no tax. The amazing answer is that they exploit loopholes the size of elephants in tax law deliberately put there by politicians. Essentially these companies are doing nothing illegal but, even where they are, it makes no difference whatsoever. Three years ago a list of 1,000 wealthy British citizens who secretly stash millions of pounds in Swiss bank accounts was handed to the authorities who did absolutely nothing about it at all. Many of the names on the list were obviously businessmen, but it is believed that many were also public figures and, more to the point, many were politicians. The reason behind the tax loopholes couldn't be more plain - corrupt politicians are deliberately avoiding tax and are actively supporting vague, contradictory and ineffective tax laws because it enables them to steal money. There is, of course, a simple way to cut through all this nonsense and that is to replace our tax laws, aimed only at small people, with two simple principles - any attempt to avoid tax for any reason should be deemed to be a crime and any company that avoids tax should not be allowed to operate in this country. Job done. So what do you think the chances are that such a principle would be adopted by the likes of George Osborne and David Cameron? Absolutely none whatsoever.
If you were to ask most people would have no idea who the old man in the picture shown above is. He lives on an old ramshackled farm where he's spent most of his life. The farm has no running water, he lives off £485 per month and drives a 1987 VW Beetle. A poor man, then, past his prime and with not much to offer the world you might surmise. So who is he? The answer, as surprising as it is unbelievable, is that he is Jose Mujica, the President of Uruguay. The reason he is so poor is that he donates 90% of his pay, £7,500 per month, to charity, refuses to use the limousines he entitled to as the President and flatly refuses to use the Presidential palace in the capital, Montevideo. Under the mandatory rules for officials in Uruguay he published full details of his personal wealth in 2010 as £1,100 - the value of the VW, though he has recently added half of his wife's assets and is now worth a staggering £135,000. Many people might regard him as eccentric, perhaps even a little mad but his view is that this is the way he's lived all his life while the world's obsession with consumption is destroying the environment and killing the planet. When you see the photographs of David Cameron, bulging out of his tuxedo at the Mansion House and swilling his expensive brandy at our expense you have to ask the question as to who is insane and who is not.
Michael Gove, the obnoxious runt in the Tory litter, has taken the lead in reacting to the bad news about unemployment. Not only have the figures for those out of work gone down but the figures for those claiming unemployment benefits have gone up. This, as can be imagined, is a Tory nightmare as workers threaten to become slightly more confident while the cost of throwing people out of work goes up. The fact that the figures make absolutely no sense whatsoever is a secondary concern since nothing the Tories claim makes sense to anyone but them. Gove's solution is quite simple - reduce those working at the Ministry of No Education by 25% while making sure that the redundancies fall disproportionately on ethnic minorities, the disabled and those over 50. "My measures accord well with Tory principles," he told our reporter. "They will redress the imbalance of too many people having jobs causing them to become increasingly bolshie and threatening to expand the economy by creating extra demand. At the same time they will attack the causes of all that is wrong with Britain - filthy foreigners, useless crippled people and old farts who have not had enough sense to become government ministers. Coupled to my improvements in education - a greater emphasis on rote learning, privatised schools to fleece parents, universities that working class scum can't afford to go to and the King James' Bible to ensure mindless acceptance of my authority - we can all look forward to a new future in the 18th century."
In Iceland corrupt bankers and politicians were arrested and the huge debts that they had imposed on the country in order to line their own pockets were repudiated. As a result Iceland's economy not only recovered faster than any other economy in Europe, it is now growing at a faster pace than either the United States or Europe. Meanwhile in Britain David Cameron has used the occasion of the Mansion House Speech, by tradition a speech dedicated to foreign policy, to make it clear that he not only supports the banks but is wholly on their side. Warning that "trashing" the banks risks "trashing" the country, he laid out the fatcat view of the world. Essentially while the banks "trashed" the entire world economy because they were greedy, stupid and completely out of control, David Cameron thinks it is time for us to forgive and forget. "Go back to sleep" he urges us, "the economy is safe in our hands. We've instituted new controls over the banks whereby errant bankers will be severely punished if they break the rules - that is exiled to a sunny climate with only a few million quid to live on. Other than that it's business as usual. Just pay your taxes, accept the cuts to your standard of living and services, pay through the nose for petrol, gas and electricity and let the banks do what they want and everything will be tickety-boo." Referring to his recent jaunt around the world to sell arms to various nasty regimes who like to kill their own people if they disagree with them, the Prime Minister assured the country; "Don't worry about things like that. Every country has the right to kill, maim and intimidate if it likes and the arms trade is completely justified if the businesses involved are privatised. There is nothing wrong with profits, especially if some of it is diverted to the Tory party through "donations"".
In the wake of the Lord McAlpine debacle the BBC has decided to entertain its viewers by sharing the secret of how to win the lottery. All you have to do is to be completely useless at your job like George Entwistle, resign in a blaze of publicity and then pick up a cheque for £450,000. We asked a BBC spokesman about this astounding new gambling sensation; "The banks led the way with Fred the Shred and other such useless executives who, having crashed the entire world economy, were then awarded huge payouts so they can enjoy their retirement at everyone else's expense. Of course politicians have been doing it for years, but it wasn't until recently, when they were exposed as being totally without any redeeming qualities, that executives in the privatised utility companies and such like jumped on the bandwagon and really got the ball rolling. Of course this new form of the lottery is only for a select few. Ordinary people who work hard all their lives and are terrified into being efficient, punctual and reliable don't qualify. Being utterly uselss for most ordinary workers is only likely to be rewarded with a P45 and, in any case, they have pitiably small pensions to look forward to. With the much anticipated privatisation of the NHS we are looking forward to an even greater expansion of the new lottery for the already wealthy. As an added bonus we hope that useless NHS executives will kill off a huge swathe of ordinary people, saving us the cost of their state pensioners and providing even greater room for tax cuts for the rich. It's a win/win situation as far as we can see."
Ian Duncan Smith, more evil, arrogant and stupid than ten average Tories, has been kept busy for two years now hiding from parliament and the public the full cost of his "one benefit fits all" policy. However, despite all his efforts to hide his total incompetence, the figures are beginning to leak out. He began with a modest budget - a mere bagatel of £2 billion - but immediately inflated that by £100 million and managed to hide from view another £300 million by clever accountancy tricks only available to theieving utility executives and guilty politicians. Now, it turns out, the much-vaunted and fabulously expensive scheme will not be rolled out in one triumphant go next October as IDS would have liked because of "technical issues over computer issues." IDS it would seem, like many ministers before him with no real experience of real work, has, as one government spokesman put it, "been hypnotised by promises of what an online system can deliver. Warnings were given to him more than a year ago. They were ignored." The reason for IDS's mistake is two-fold. He's a moron and he's so unspeakably evil that nothing, not money or technology that cannot deliver, will divert him from his course of punishing the poor, the unemployed and the disabled so that he and his rich mates can have yet another tax cut. As Labour's Liam Byrne, said yesterday: "Universal credit is in danger of descending into total chaos. Iain Duncan Smith's flagship scheme is late and over budget, top officials are heading for the hills and no one seems to believe the massive IT system is on track. Ministers must take urgent action before it becomes a multibillion-pound disaster." A spell for IDS in the Tower of London might be a good place to start.
While one part of Britain floods and another has a hosepipe ban imposed, water company executives are busy stealing our money, stuffing it greedily into their pockets and then using every trick they can find to avoid paying tax. At Thames Water they received a tax "rebate" amounting to £76 million, but still made enough profit to shove a bonus of £420,000 into the greedy hands of its chief executive, Martin Baggs, as well as paying him a salary of £420,000 per annum. In other words he gets the equivalent of two lottery wins every year as a reward for being no better than a common thief. They are not so much utility companies, therefore, but organised crime syndicates that are little better than machines designed to feed the Tory party with "donations." That is the nature of privatisation under any Tory government and, in ten years time, articles will be appearing in the press explaining how and why the NHS is doing exactly the same sort of things. Like the water companies, the NHS will engage expensive PR men to patiently explain why you must die so they can "reinvest" in such crucial items as potted plants for the chief executive's new multi-million pound office suite and even more expensive accountants whose only job is to make absolutely sure that those robbing us have to pay no tax. There is only one cure for the anti-social crime spree of the water companies - renationalisation without compensation. Want reasonably priced water? Think that utility companies with over-bloated profits filched directly out of your pocket should actually pay some tax? Think that executives with all the instincts of Al Capone should be a thing of the past? Then stop voting Tory.
After failing to notice that Jimmy Saville was a serial paedophile operating under their very noses, the BBC reacted by going completely nuts. Determined that next time they wouldn't be accused of wilfull blindness they have reacted to the rumours, accusations and conspiracy theories whirling around the internet with utter stupidity. A none has been more stupid than Phillip Schofield who, thinking he was a real journalist, waived a list of names cobbled together from the net in front of the Prime Minister and demanded to know what he was going to do about it. David Cameron, who has never been popular in this journal, did the only thing he could - he ignored it. For once the Prime Minister was right - the so-called story was spinning out of control and was taking on all the aspects of a witch hunt. Then came the bombshell. Steve Meesham who was the source of the rumours against Lord McAlapine, apparently for the first time in his life, saw a photograph of the man and realised it wasn't him. A rumour that has been doing the rounds for nearly twenty years laid to rest in a second through the simple expedient of showing Mr Meesham a photograph. The disappointment of the conspiracy theorists was all too evident but, nothing loath, they immediately began to counter with the argument that Mr.Meesham had either been bribed or leaned on. From hero to zero in nothing flat. This one, like the second gunman on the grassy knoll, is set to run and run and run and run.......
David Cameron has watched the US Presidential election with great interest and has drawn some very profound conclusions about his own electoral prospects. Barak Obama has done all that he can to support and stimulate the US economy, he's put his neck on the block to champion the cause of poor Americans and created a healthcare system that most commentators regarded as impossible. In Britain Cameron has done everything he can to suck demand out of the economy, has vilified and persecuted the poor, the disabled and the unemployed and has done his level best to destroy the best healthcare system in the world. Today he has announced that Obama's victory lights the way towards a Tory victory in 2015. "I even noticed in his [Obama's] Tweet he said 'We're all in this together' so there's some commonality," he tells us without a trace of irony. The difference is that Obama means it whereas, for Cameron, its simply a slogan - cheap words devoid of any reality. While Obama stood against the Republican's wish to lower taxes for the rich, Cameron has no other policy but tax cuts for the rich. Obama is seeking to inspire his people while Cameron is seeking to mislead his. So what can we expect from Cameron in the run-up to the General election in 2015? Lies, pure and simple. Like his pledge that "the NHS is safe in our hands" and "there will be no top down reform of the NHS", he will speak the words but will do the exact opposite as soon as he gets a majority. He'll take Obama's words, use them to his own advantage and twist them beyond all recognition. Be warned - this man intends to do you severe harm, he's Mitt Romney trying to disguise himself as Barak Obama.
Having failed to turn Scotland into a police state, Donald Trump, the world's most obnoxious American and proud owner of the world's worst wig, has called for a revolution following Barak Obama's victory in the Presidential election. Furious that American democracy cannot be bought by a rich nonentity such as Mitt Romney, Trump called the election "a total sham and a travesty" while voting for a candidate other than the one he wanted meant that "America is not a democracy". "We should have a revolution in this country," he then said, openly inciting Americans, presumably the rich ones, to rise up against their democratically elected President. Then came what for Trump was his trump card, "Our nation is totally divided!" Well yes, that's why America has elections in the first place, to choose between Democrats and Republicans who are divided between different political views. Duh! One should make allowances, of course, for a man driven insane by greed and gradually sliding into dementia, but how could you ever forgive him for that wig?
Peers of the Realm are besides themselves with rage over the standard of the subsidised food available to them in the restaurants at the Houses of Parliament. Pork steaks are reported to be tough, chips are not arranged in a pleasing pyramid shape and there is a definite shortage of Chilean wines available it would seem. And yet the restaurants are actually profit-making and, as neoliberal economic dogma assures us, should be both ultra-efficient and deliver a service second-to-none. That they don't simply shows us what ideology is - the world as a self-serving elite would like it to be instead of how it actually is. But all this rather begs the question as how this serves the taxpayer who is actually footing the bill? If the restaurants are "profit-making" who gets the profit? The suggestion is that making a profit provides "value for money" to the taxpayer. How exactly? Are we expected to believe that the taxpayer is charging himself higher prices in the restaurants so he can get some of his taxes back? Is so, why bother? Why not charge lower prices, forego a profit and pay less in terms of the subsidy in the first place. There is something rotten in the state of Denmark and its not just the pork steaks.
31 Health Trusts are considering breaking away from the national pay structure in order to cope with the financial strangulation of the NHS by the Tories. In the South-West hospital staff are seeing their pay cut, annual leave reduced and sickness benefits pared back in order to "safeguard" the jobs of 6,000 workers while North Tees and Hartlepool NHS foundation trust plans to sack more than 5,000 staff next year and rehire them on reduced terms and conditions. Meanwhile the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is withdrawing a cost-of-living allowance and Christmas payments from staff. None of these things are being considered from the point of view of making the NHS more efficient and it is clear that these reductions in pay and conditions are simply a means of making our hospitals even more attractive for the fatcat health companies waiting to pounce once their tame Tory co-conspirators give the green light. How the future will look can be seen at the above mentioned Oxford Hospital Trust where the Chief Executive, Sir Jonathan Michael, has already awarded himself an increase of his own salary to £189,000. The Tories, while tightening their grip around the throat of the NHS, are trying to pretend that Health Trusts are moving toward local pay awards because they "are frustrated that no national agreements have been reached on proposals that NHS Employers has put forward to ensure Agenda for Change remains affordable and fit for purpose." In other words they are trying to lay the blame on hospital staff and diverting attention away from their cynical manipulation of hospital budgets in order to soften them up for privatisation. Whichever you cut it, however, the Tories have lied about their intentions and accepted bribes from healthcare companies to sell off assets that do not belong to them. By any definition this is fraud and maleficence on an epic scale.
In 2004 Ian Duncan Smith, having been ousted as leader of the Tory party because his insane ideas made him unelectable, set up the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) as a right-wing lobbying group dedicated to the idea that poor people are better off the more you take from them. Recognising that being the head of such an organisation was not compatible with being the head of the DWP at the same time, he resigned from the group in 2010 when he joined what is described in Britain as a "government". His special advisor Phillipa Stroud, she with the eyes of a dead shark, however, continued to be paid by the CSJ as the co-chair of its board of advisors. Now the rules governing such things are fairly clear; "Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties." It is particularly strange that Ms.Stroud should be taking money from a lobbying group of which she is a member to influence her own thinking and that of her boss who founded the group in the first place. Of course it is entirely understandable that IDS would need his thinking to be influenced if he didn't understand his own thoughts or didn't know what they are by a group that he founded but had no idea what they thought either. Under those circumstances it is completely understandable that the lobbying group would pay one of their own members to explain to herself what she and her boss were thinking already. Understand? No, me neither.
Ian Duncan Smith explained on the Andrew Marr show today how taking benefits off working people will actually make them better off. Apparently what will happen, IDS explained, is that cutting benefits will allow tax cuts for companies who in turn will pass on these savings to their workforce by way of wage increases. Those companies that don't will be "named and shamed". As Blackadder would say it's "a cunning plan" spoiled only by two obvious facts - companies always and without exception seek to reduce overheads by the simplest method avialable, cutting wages, and all companies share one characteristic, they have no shame. So, the most likely outcome of IDS's policy is that companies will get a tax cut, their executives will pocket the money and workers will continue to suffer from falling wages. It is, essentially, the same old "trickle down" rubbish that has undermined the British economy for decades. Of course IDS knows this perfectly well, but, being a complete stranger to work himself and with his own business interests to protect, he simply doesn't give a damn. After 30 years of neoliberal "voodoo economics" the Tories have remembered everything and learned nothing.
Until yesterday Albert the Stuffed Anaconda led a quiet life hanging under a shelf at the Foreign Office minding his own business. That all changed when William Hague, searching for a way to give his faltering career a much-needed boost, spied him and thought "That's the kind of project that will put my name in front of the public and increase my popularity." Fortunately it just so happened that he had a spare £10,000 of taxpayers money saved from last year's Christmas party and the rest is history. "This is the sort of epoch-making policy decision that makes the Tory party great," Lord Ashcroft, the party's official historian told the "News In Shorts." Our reporter caught up with Albert as he waited for his life-saving operation at an expensive private taxidermist in Harley Street; "I hadn't realised how badly I needed stuffing until William Hague pointed it out to me. As he said, the Tories have stuffed the rest of the country so why not me? His logic, when he put it that way, was irrefutable - so here I am." Our reporter asked him about his name. "Albert? It's not my real name of course - I was originally named Pedro. I asked once why I was called Albert by everyone here in Britain and was told it was something to do with Prince Albert's prize-winning anatomical peculiarity. I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean."
The Tories have had one of their most successful days since coming to power two and a half years ago. Flushed with the euphoria of ripping thmeselves to pieces over Europe, they have watched with pride as George Osborne, David Cameron and William Hague made complete arses of themselves. First up was the redoubtable George who, speaking in defence of Cameron's intention to sell out Britain over the EU budget, managed to get the phrase "What's best for Britain" into a short interview as many times as possible. Of course what he was really saying was that Cameron would do the minimum needed to keep himself in a job without frightening the lunatic fringe of the party. Nothing daunted "Call me Dave" was addressing the UN about the eradication of poverty. This apparently is possible by throwing money at foreign countries so they can arm themselves with the latest weapons and reclassifying poor people at home in Britain as "scroungers" while redefining anyone with a pot to piss in as fabulously wealthy. Meanwhile William Hague, determined to outbid his colleagues in the utter lunacy stakes, was defending his decision to spend £10,000 of taxpayers money on refurbishing a stuffed anaconda called Albert. You couldn't make it up.