Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Tories like to talk in terms of "success", "competition" and "hard working families" but do not like to discuss the costs of their policies. So how "successful" is Britain? It is the fourth most unequal developed country in the world. Pay has fallen three times faster in Britain than in all but three of EU countries - Greece, Portugal and Spain. Briton's work the third longest hours in the EU for the second lowest wages in the OECD. We have the third highest housing costs, the highest train fares and the second highest levels of fuel poverty. We have the highest level of child mortality in the industrialised world and the worst levels of child poverty while our pensioners are the fourth poorest. The gap between the richest and poorest in Britain is twice as high as any other EU country and yet we manage to retain the title as the least productive industrialised nation in Europe. We can now understand what the Tories are talking about. "Success" is measured only in terms of how rich they and their corporate pals are getting. "Competition" is actually nothing more than a cover for lowering wages and shovelling as much money from us to them as possible. "Hard working families" are, it must be admitted, very hard working but, then again, they have no choice in the matter. The Tories are wedded to the idea that inequality is natural and necessary if we are to remain "competitive". The reality is that inequality is not natural, as all our EU partners demonstrate on a daily basis, and, far from being necessary, is in fact a dead hand that slows our growth and undermines our economic performance. The Tories are wrong and they know it but persist in their insane economic policies because it benefits them and their rich backers and only them and their rich backers.
Saturday, 30 August 2014
The threat from the Tories in Britain has been raised to "severe" as it becomes increasingly likely that they will lose the next election and will attempt to fill their offshore bank balances at our expense. The National Debt is now larger than at any time in our history while George Osborne has now borrowed more than every Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer combined. Analysts have speculated that this may be the result of lower tax returns than expected which has come as a complete surprise despite the record level of tax cuts and evasion loopholes provided for wealthy corporations and individuals. "We just can't understand it," a Treasury spokesman told our reporter. "Despite lowering the tax bill for millionaires we have failed to collect more money as predicted by our economic models. Since it is a well known fact that taxing rich people actually produces less revenue then lowering their tax liability should have returned more revenue. It stands to reason doesn't it? We can only speculate that poor people must have been hiding their income from benefits in offshore bank accounts while the working poor must have found a way to avoid PAYE. No other explanation fits the facts. Fortunately none of this threatens the economic recovery since that is based almost entirely on the London property market and, even if it does, we still have most of the NHS available to flog off to our rich pals in an emergency." Warnings have now been issued by security experts that the threat to the British way of life from militant Tories is now at an all-time high. "These people are desperate and utterly ruthless terrorists," one adviser told our reporter. "They subscribe to an evil ideology and think nothing of stealing food from starving children or stealing money from helpless pensioners. The only thing that remains safe is property prices in London and that is about the only thing that stands between ordinary people in Britain and what the Tories like to call "market forces" - an evil perversion of economic theory first promulgated by the Ayotollah Margaret Thatcher."
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
There can be little doubt that the civilian death toll in Gaza is appalling. But the truth is that the civilian death toll is always appalling wherever there is a war. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians have died in the wake of western interventions in these two countries over the last decade. The lesson to be learned from all this death and destruction is that no national leader should even contemplate a war unless he or she is willing to shoulder the responsibility for horrendous casualties. Both Israel and Hamas have been more than willing to do so, both sides so filled with hatred for each other that casualties, whether amongst their own or amongst the enemy, seem to mean very little. Today Baroness Warsi has resigned over a matter of principle, asserting that she can no longer be a member of a government that has refused to condemn Israel in forthright terms. So where was she when her government were happily selling Israel munitions and military equipment? The money from such sales was welcomed by both her and her government when it helped to underpin George Osborne's otherwise largely fictional "recovery." And where was her sense of moral outrage when her government was whaling into the unemployed, sick and disabled in this country? Why is her government's lack of policy over Gaza so more important than their completely heartless policy towards its own people? Baroness Warsi would like us all to believe that she is caught up in a moral maze but, like all Tories, she simply lacks a moral compass.