Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Businessmen and political leaders are gathering in London on Tuesday to discuss how to "renew the capitalist system". As usual the ideas being put forward are almost entirely self-centred and greed driven with such ideas as making it easier for people to invest in business or start their own. What they are looking for is a fig leaf that they can wear while continuing to grab whatever they can at the expense of wider society. The "News In Shorts" would like to add a couple more ideas for them to consider. First, pay your taxes instead of exploiting tax loopholes. Second. stop bribing corrupt politicians to create those tax loopholes in the first place. Capitalism has demonstrated time and again that it has no conscience and, given the opportunity, will indulge itself in criminality. They have corrupted politicians across the globe and bribed them to deregulate business so they can be as stupid and reckless as they've always wanted to be. How can capitalism be renewed? It can be regulated, forced to recognise the same standards of behaviour as the rest of us, constrained from breaking the law and reminded that it has a responsibility to the rest of society. In other words it is time for the Neoliberal economic experiment to be scrapped along with its rationalisation of greed and selfishness. This economic mumbo-jumbo has had its day and its time to go back to the system that created wealth for all instead of a self-selected elite whose only interest is self-interest.
Sunday, 25 May 2014
First let's look at the facts. In the Council Elections last Thursday the Tories lost 231 seats while the Lib Dems lost 307 - a total of 538 seats in all. Of those loses Labour won 338 seats - a total of 63%. UKIP won 161 seats - 30% of the seats lost by the Coalition. And what was the headline in the Daily Mail the next day? "The Savaging of Red Ed". Pardon? Shouldn't that have read "That Savaging of the Coalition"? Or "The Savaging of Whimpy Clegg"? Or even "The Savaging of Etonian Cameron"? Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been "How UKIP Surged Without Actually Surging"? There was no UKIP surge as such, merely a bunch of Tories deciding to vote for another bunch of Tories. UKIP is simply the Tory party with a pint of beer in its hand instead of a bottle of champagne. The true lesson of the night was the loss of 307 seats by the Lib Dems as Nick Clegg has managed, in four years, to reverse all the hard work of his party over two generations. Way to go Cleggy! So what is the excuse of the Tory rag known as the Daily Mail? They don't have one. They simply took a straightforward story and twisted it beyond all recognition because that's what they do - presenting Tory propaganda as "news". A waste of good quality paper you read this rubbish at your peril.
Monday, 19 May 2014
Eric Pickles is now officially the dimmest member of the cabinet after the successful launch of his campaign to turn street lights off in order the "save" money. When asked about the wisdom of this Mr.Pickles replied; “I love it because I am economy-minded. It’s saving a phenomenal amount of money, it’s decreased crime because burglars love ambient lighting, it’s nice to see the night sky and, as someone who lives in a main street that has had its lights cut off, I can get a good night’s sleep." Unfortunately criminals don't listen to politicians too much and crime immediately shot through the roof with an increase in burglaries, car theft, muggings and vandalism. We asked a government spokesman for their view; "We are pleased to see that the entrepreneurial spirit amongst British criminals remains undimmed by this necessary action to save public money and allow us to cut the taxes for rich people. Fortunately the rich in this country can afford state-of-the-art security so it hasn't been as much of a problem as we first feared. I'm glad to be able to report that most of the increase in crime has been restricted to the lower classes who, as we all know, don't count. We regard Mr.Pickles' policy as a stroke of genius and fully support him. It's also nice to know that the criminal classes have emulated the Tory party with such enthusiasm - stealing whatever they can get their hands on while no one is looking."
Sunday, 18 May 2014
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, has issued a warning to George Osborne over his so-called recovery. The booming house market poses the "biggest risk" to Britain's economy, he told Sky News, while the fundamental problem remains that not enough houses are being built. This undermines the central, indeed the only, plank in Osborne's fake economic recovery. Essentially there is no recovery with GDP stagnant apart from the increase in the notional value of housing which feeds into the figures. The wealthy might be smug as they borrow against the "value" of their houses and create a slight boom in luxury goods, but the vast majority have found that their income, based upon real work and not a largely fictional increase in the value of their assets, has shrunk. This, in turn, is denting demand in the real economy and putting the brakes on production, threatening the long-term interests of the nation and undermining any prospect for a real recovery. The Tories claim that unemployment is falling as their "recovery" takes hold but the truth is that they have massaged the figures, failing to count those they have forced off benefits or forced to take up low-paid, zero-hour contract work. They remain unconcerned about such things, concentrating instead on the privatisation of national assets so they can line the pockets of their rich mates and take the backhanders that they call "donations" but are, in reality, bribes. All this corruption is taking place against the background of a sustained and deliberate assault on the poor, sick and unemployed unprecedented in British history and yet the Tories retain the support of nearly one third of the electorate. Why? As John Stuart Mill, the great 19th century liberal philosopher, once observed; "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Flushed with success after their reintroduction of day labour and slum landlords the Tories have now eagerly turned their attention to the question of child protection. Drooling over the amount of money spent in this country trying to protect our children against exploitation they have come up with a scheme to have them protected by - you've guessed it - a bunch of greedy corporate executives eager to exploit as much of the population as possible. G4S and Serco, well-known for scamming public money and their "donations" to the Tory party, are, surprise, surprise, the front runners. Essentially what the Tories are proposing is that our tax money instead of going straight to the Child Protection Agency will now be "filtered" through the hands of a bunch of crooks who will put a huge amount of that money into their tax-free offshore bank accounts and pass a nice little earner onto their favourite partner in crime - the Tory party. Profits are guaranteed since public funds are unlimited and spending cuts are always possible. Trained staff can be replaced by untrained teenagers on the minimum wage and zero hour contracts, killing two birds with one stone by "saving" public money and "reducing" teenage unemployment. Better yet, in keeping with the Tory belief in "self help" and "individual responsibility" perhaps the children in question can look after themselves and learn to live in the Tory paradise that we can all look forward to.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
The Tories have come up with a cunning plan to win the next election. With the national debt now higher than at any other time in history, with food banks the only growth industry in the country, with bankers continuing their criminal careers and tax avoidance at an all-time high the Tories cannot tell the truth so they have no choice but to lie. They tell us that they have turned the economy around though few of us outside of the richest 1% have noticed any change. Unemployment figures are now lower than at any time in our history but this is entirely dependent of not counting those actually out of work and, instead, counting only those still able to claim benefits after a campaign of deliberately preventing as many as possible from doing so. Bankers, we are told, cannot be brought to heel because the industry is too internationalised even as George Osborne moves heaven and earth to prevent international action against them by the EU. Now we have the Chancellor telling us that his efforts to stop tax avoidance have "doubled" the tax receipts from big business despite the fact that this figure is based entirely on an accountancy practice that the rest of us would regard as pure fantasy. This is political fraud on a scale unprecedented in British history and is nothing less than an attempt to steal the next general election by a bunch of spivs whose only interest is lining their own pockets at our expense. Yet, despite this, Tory support continues to hover around the 30% mark made up by a mixture of fools, wishful thinkers and greedy opportunists. The fools are those who believe the completely unsupported claims of the Tories. The wishful thinkers are those who hope to catch a few crumbs from the Tory top table. The greedy opportunists are those who are prepared to destroy the country, socially, politically and economically, in the hope that they get can get their ill-gotten gains out of the country and into an offshore banks before the fools and wishful thinkers realise they've been duped.
Sunday, 11 May 2014
Eastern Ukrainians are going to the polls today determined to vote their own country out of existence. To say that the poll is haphazard, with few polling booths and no electoral register all organised by shadowy figures in army fatigues and balaclavas, is putting it mildly. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin, acutely aware that this ad hoc referendum is unlikely to be taken seriously by the rest of us, is urging postponement until it can be organised properly and have at least a shred of credibility. It would seem that the process put in train by the Kremlin is in danger of running out of control and Putin may soon be faced with another embarrassing referendum demanding that he annex the whole of Eastern Ukraine as part of his newly re-created Soviet Union. The problem for Putin is that his scheme to put the clock back twenty years or so is fast becoming obvious to everyone else and that he has, perhaps, been a bit too clever for his own good. Put simply the cat is now well and truly out of the bag and Putin is having no luck whatsoever in trying to stuff it back in again. Following the well-known path trod by Hitler in the 1930's when he "reintegrated" the Rhineland, Austria and the Sudetenland into the Third Reich, Putin would have been better served by heeding Theodore Roosevelt's advice to "Walk softly and carry a big stick." It looks inevitable now that the Ukraine will be divided even as a new Iron Curtain descends across the continent. As that great philosopher of the western world, Woody Allen, once observed; "It's deja vu all over again."
It seems that David Cameron's preference for holidaying rather then working has, once again, got the better of him. Parliament, it would seem, is to shut down 19 days earlier than expected and several reasons have been put forward for this. The "Mirror" believes that the Tories have run out of ideas and have no more laws to pass. But, as Albert Einstein once observed; "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Others have suggested that the Tories are so afraid that they will be wiped out in the forthcoming European elections that they have freed up their MP's to campaign. There is a third possibility, however, and that is that the Tories are simply tired of being taken to account for their evil policies and having to defend their woeful record in government. They've tried manipulating the statistics, or lying as you and I would know it, they've tried pretending that they're "Christians", they've played the race card (as far as they dare) and they've even "promised" (yet again) a referendum on Europe. Now they've run into a problem that they were calculating wouldn't occur until after the general election next year - the truth is catching up with them. So, unable to think up any more lies, finding it difficult to manipulate the figures beyond all credibility, unable to quote from the Bible because none of them have read it and frightened of losing even more of the immigrant vote, they've decided instead to shut up shop and gag democracy before it gets out of hand. The Tories are running scared and they certainly have much to be scared about. Without doubt the most reactionary not to say downright evil government in British history if there is any justice they will cease to exist as a political force after May 2015. I wonder what excuses they can find to postpone the general election indefinitely?
Saturday, 3 May 2014
The Tories love privatisation and will privatise every public service, including the NHS, if they can. They love privatisation because they claim it is more "efficient" and because it shrinks the state and "saves taxpayer's money". In order to work at maximum "efficiency" those services that are privatised should be allowed to operate with the minimum of regulation according to the Tories. The truth, as always with that most organised of all criminal enterprises - the Tory party - is somewhat different as the case of Jo Shuter and the Quintin Kynaston Community Academy school amply demonstrates. As the Head Teacher of the newly privatised school, Jo Shuter claimed the £7,000 bill for her birthday party, £1,500 for new furniture at her home and claimed taxi fares incurred when on private business unconnected with the school. In other words she stole public money amounting in total to £30,000 though, according to the teaching regulator, this was merely a case of "unacceptable professional conduct" and not one of "dishonesty or fraud". So delighted with Ms Shuter's obvious professionalism as a fully-qualified scrounger and crook, the government gave her a gong, a CBE, in 2010. Not surprisingly, having been found with her sticky fingers in the till, Ms.Shuter felt she should resign before her collar was fingered by the cops and, more than a year after she was found to be stealing, the authorities have decided that she might - might? -be struck off the register of head teachers. The reason for their hesitation seems to be that Ms.Shuter is now Head Teacher of the King Solomon High School in Forest Road, Barkingside where the school governors seem to have decided that they simply didn't have enough crooks stealing public money in their area and could do with at least one more. Having failed to "save taxpayer's money" the Tories can at least celebrate Ms.Shuter's "efficiency" in transferring public money into her own pocket. As for regulating these private academies, why do that? After all its only public money and, as far as the Tories are concerned, there is an unlimited supply of that.