Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Not much scares me if I'm honest. I grew up on a rough council estate. I know what it's like to have drunken mobs charging at me and I know what it's like to wake up in a hospital bed with no memory of what the hell happened. Dealing with this kind of crap where I'm from is pretty normal so I'm not a person who is easily intimidated. And yet Liz Truss genuinely makes me nervous, not because of what she could do to me, but what she could do to everyone else.

Perhaps the most terrifying aspect of Truss is how she seems to have no principles and just switches to whatever is likely to keep her in power at any given moment, and right now, that means doing whatever the most right-wing faction of the Tory Party - the ERG - tell her to do.

When Truss says she is ready to "push the nuclear button" I fucking well believe her. I also believe her when she says she is ready to "hit the ground". She is all over the place. There seems to be a complete disconnect between her brain and her mouth, but she usually goes with whatever her mouth decides. 

This is because her brain is denser than a neutron star. The space-time continuum can be seen distorting around her head as she nods. And someone decided to give her the nuclear codes...

Now, of course, Liz can't just press the nuclear button on a whim. I'm not suggesting she could or would. She is not that crazy and there are all kinds of protocols that would prevent her from doing so in anything but a worst case scenario. It's just that Liz is the most qualified person to lead us into that worst case scenario and if we got there, she would see nuclear annihilation as her patriotic duty. I don't know about you, but no matter how badly we were losing a war, I would prefer not to wipe out the entire human race.

There is the very genuine risk Truss's idiocy could collapse the economy, destabilising our country and giving rise to extremism. There is also the fact Russia has invaded Ukraine and I do not remotely trust Liz to de-escalate the situation. She could easily end up making the situation worse entirely by accident, or she could make it worse because her poll ratings are flagging and she wants to impress her idiot base who reminisce about two wars they never fought in and wank over the Union Jack.

Ultimately, any decision to drag the UK into war would not be Liz's to make, she'd obviously need the approval of many other people, but she could easily inflame tensions. And it only takes one wrong word to provoke a madman like Putin, then before we know it, we're seeing a Russian attack on our soil. We're being told that attacks on our politicians are plausible, as are attacks on our nuclear reactors. Any such attack would surely drag us into World War 3.

And what is even more terrifying is there are nut jobs in this country and around the world who would celebrate such a move. Just look at the Twitter feed of Gary Kasparov who is clearly champing at the bit for World War 3. "It's already started," he keeps telling us, demanding that NATO directly joins the fighting. I worry that Truss thinks along those same lines and even if she doesn't, I think some of the people around her do.

Some of this bunch are so detached from reality, they'd send working class lads over to Ukraine as some twisted punishment for being "woke". You know the type I'm talking about. The type who love to post memes about how back in their day, 18 year olds were in the trenches, and today, 18 year olds have blue hair and watch anime. 

It's not enough for these people that younger generations have been screwed financially and inherited a dying planet, they're genuinely resentful that many have never faced getting their legs blown off in a minefield. That's the mentality of the people in charge now and it makes me sick to my stomach. Every time we think we can't get worse than the previous prime minister, the Tories outdo themselves and tell the nation, the previous leader was not right-wing enough. Well, we can't get any more right-wing than the current mob and that is terrifying.

Therese Coffey is the second most powerful person in the country now. If anything happens to Truss, Coffey will be the one leading the country during a crisis. That's the woman who buried a report into the deaths and suicides that happened as a result of DWP policy, presumably because it would incriminate her. Not only is this woman now deputy prime minister, she's also in charge of the NHS, or she is for as long as it lasts anyway. Some Tories want to charge people £8 a day for hospital stays, others want to fully privatise it.

But at least Truss's cabinet appointments are diverse, eh? What with the likes of Badenoch, Cleverly and Karteng... Yes, the anti-woke mob are boasting about diversity now, but they fail to mention they're mostly Eton-educated idiots, so not so diverse after all.

If you've ever wondered what it would look like if the most extreme nutters in parliament formed a government, you're about to find out... Truss assembling the cabinet is like a blind woman assembling an IKEA cabinet. No matter how brilliantly she thinks she's doing, it's all going to fall apart. But it's worse than that actually. The Truss cabinet is like a hilarious practical joke that goes horribly wrong and everyone dies at the end. And by everyone, I mean us, not them.

Consider how Priti Patel was the most right-wing psychopath of Johnson's government - the one whose hobbies include bullying, human rights violations and treason. Well, Patel was not right-wing enough according to her replacement Suella Braverman. God fucking help us. And God fucking help the refugees.

Patel did her utmost to drown refugees in the English Channel by trying to ban the RNLI from rescuing them and forcing the Navy to turn them around. People did drown because of this monster, including children. She belongs in jail.

Braverman seems as angry as I am about all of this, but for exactly the opposite reasons. She seems to think Patel wasn't successful enough. Braverman is talking about taking us out of the ECHR asap because she thinks it's too woke, or more likely because the evil she has planned would be totally illegal in any sane country. 

Human rights violations and democide here we come. And if any of the 67.1 million members of the UK population who didn't vote for Truss kick up a fuss, she will probably send them to a gulag in Rwanda.

The Tory body count since 2010 is truly horrendous. Covid mismanagement means it's now impossible to accurately calculate, but it could be half a million people who are no longer with their loved ones because of these bastards. And it's not just the death they've caused, it's the abject misery to the people who are still alive. They've created a generation more familiar with foodbanks than McDonald's. And they're going to do everything they can to screw that generation over further, from fracking to abolishing solar farms, these people could be the final nail in the coffin of our planet.

We have a government that is going to do the exact opposite to what we should be doing with every problem we face. And I don't know about you, but I'm ready to fight back. They can have their bonfire of workers' rights, we will give them a fucking general strike. We can't take their shit anymore. They tell you we're at war with Putin, but the truth is they're at war with us. It's a class war and the working class are losing badly.

We've had four consecutive Tory prime ministers and each new one came into power after the last one resigned in failure or disgrace. The Tories aren't very good at giving us prime ministers. Imagine thinking the woman who served in five different cabinet roles in the government that created this mess is the woman to lead us out of this mess. Imagine thinking like this. Fortunately not many do. 

Not only was Truss elected by only 0.1% of the British public, but polling data suggests only 2% of the public think she will make a great prime minister. This is not a mandate to destroy everything we know and love to appease the ERG.

It's hard to comprehend how awful working life in this country could be about to become. The working class have been at the brink for a very long time and they might have chosen Brexit as a reaction to this, but there could be an almighty backlash when the penny drops that the Tories were actually the problem.

If Truss is going to destroy everything that is good about this country to appeal to a few ERG nutters who hate us, she should at least ask the public if they consent to this. I can't stand Starmer's Labour, but we should have the opportunity to decimate the Tory majority.

To become prime minister, Truss simply had to pretend to the worst 200,000 people in the country - Tory members - that she was going to let poor people freeze to death this winter. And she is only U-turning now is because the Armageddon she was about to unleash meant stocks in guillotine manufacturers were starting to soar.

There are such obvious solutions to the problems we face like nationalisation and we're not allowed to have them because the billionaires who own the government say no. The thing about our public services is that we only privatised the profits and we nationalised the losses, meaning the public loses out both ways. Truss is not going to freeze rents or introduce a windfall tax, she is going to give the people ripping us off a tax break because that's "fair" and redistribution is "immoral".

Truss even went on Laura Kuenssberg's new TV show to tell the nation she wasn't going to do anything about the energy crisis, other than give tax cuts to the rich, but the media weren't mad at Liz. No, they were mad at Joe Lycett for jokingly saying he agreed with her and felt reassured that she was going to do nothing. If you still think the media is on your side, open your fucking eyes.

The people who hate cancel culture are trying to de-platform a comedian for showing genuine fear in the most polite way possible. Truss told Kuenssberg in no uncertain terms that she'd better not let any lefties on her show again and the BBC are going to comply. Fucking snowflakes.

We're not allowed to cancel far-right racists because we must protect their free speech, but a comedian should be de-platformed because he dared make fun of the prime minister. It sounds silly, but it's not, it's another indication of the authoritarian direction this country is heading in. How long until any form of dissent is a crime?

Liz Truss is the fourth consecutive Tory Prime Minister. She needs to be the last.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time now so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Monday, 29 August 2022

If only Sir Keir Starmer had stuck to the ten pledges he made when he was running for Labour leader, he would not only be nailed on to become prime minister, but he'd be seen as a saviour, the man with the foresight to correctly identify the solution to a coming catastrophe. The antidote to Tory disaster capitalism instead of the flip-flopper who sacrifices chunks of his poll leads.

Every time Starmer is soaring towards the fabled 20 point lead, he bores his way back towards stalemate and the risk of a hung parliament. An opposition leader needs a minimum 7 point lead going into a general election, yet Starmer is doing everything in his power to ensure he doesn't have it. Mr Electability seems to hate electability.

A lesson from across the pond is that when centrists offer policies, they become much more popular, as Biden's student debt cancellation shows. Unfortunately, Starmer has pretended his best ideas were not actually what the public wanted, presumably because that's what corporate donors want to hear. He decided to sell us out and has left himself in the absurd position of having previously been utterly right, but now being utterly wrong. 

What an absolute plonker.

To this date, Sir Keir Starmer's website states:

"Public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders. Support common ownership of rail, mail, energy and water; end outsourcing in our NHS, local government and justice system."

These are good words. I echo those sentiments 100%, so ask yourself why, when Starmer is asked about nationalisation of water and energy, does he repeatedly contradict those words? Personally, I can't think of a single non-corrupt reason and the question is particularly relevant because our services are falling apart and the public appetite for nationalisation is huge.

As the Tories fill our rivers with shit and talk about purifying sewage to get us through droughts, instead of just building reservoirs, almost everyone agrees that privatisation has been a catastrophic failure. Sadly, this is the one instance where Starmer is disinterested in listening to his focus groups.

According to polling data about 2/3 of the public are keen on nationalisation and only about 1/9 are opposed.

According to The Times, almost half of Tory voters (47%) want to nationalise our energy services. This means that if Sir Keir Starmer was a Tory, he would be among the most right-wing half of that party.

There are 14 million Tory voters in the UK. The most right-wing 7 million of those voters agree with Sir Keir Starmer on nationalisation. 

There are 48 million registered voters in the UK. By opposing nationalisation of energy and water, Starmer is somewhere among the most right wing 10-15% of the UK population.

Is that enough to categorise him as "far right"? If not, he is certainly close and he is unquestionably a conservative. The face of remain has not only abandoned the left, but abandoned the centre when he U-turned on his people's vote, and you have to wonder what he actually believes in, other than personal ambition.

Starmer's defenders argue his U-turns are "pragmatic" because the wider public is not as left-wing as most Labour members. This is partly true, but the public is clearly not as right-wing as Sir Keir Starmer either, and as highlighted above, most of the public disagree with Starmer on nationalisation.

Starmer says he is opposed to populism, yet the defence of Starmer is that he's offering the public what they want, that he's essentially taking populist positions to make him electable... even though he's not! If Starmer was chasing the most popular positions, he would be in favour of nationalisation.

Starmer insists he will not be ideological, yet that's exactly what he is being... only he is supporting the opposite ideology to what he claimed to support! 

If you're as confused as I am, let's recap: 

Starmer is the anti-populist who needs to take pragmatic populist positions for electability, only he's not taking pragmatic positions. He is opposed to ideology, but he is subscribing to the ideology which is diametrically opposed to the ideology he once championed. He previously had the correct solutions to the problems we face, but he has abandoned those solutions for reasons that make no sense.

My head hurts...

If Starmer was proudly standing by his original beliefs, he could be defended because he would be acting on principle and would obviously be correct. If Starmer was offering what the public want for pragmatic reasons, he could be defended on the grounds of electability, but his current positions are both dishonest and unpopular. The only people who agree with him are hard-right Tories and the executives who will profit from continued privatisation.

The UK seems more divided than ever and one thing that could possibly address the problem is electoral reform. Proportional representation could partially fix our unfair political system that gives too much weight to right-wing voices. Electoral reform has support among key figures on both the left and the centre, and yet Starmer refuses to back it.

PR is up there with the PV as one of the two key policies championed by Starmer's centrist base, yet he is sticking two fingers up at that base.

Proportional representation is an idea that could shift the balance of power in this country and create a situation where all voices are heard, certainly more so than they are now. PR would not be a panacea, but it would represent an improvement, yet Starmer is not interested. It seems that on almost every major issue, Starmer is taking a right-wing stance while passing himself off as a moderate.

As Starmer well knows, we could nationalise the big five energy retailers for £2.8 billion and get profiteering out of energy retail, once and for all. Yet Starmer is siding with old Tories who tell us to put on a jumper in winter and reminisce about ice on windows; the people who neglect to mention they used to see 80,000 excess deaths every winter, with lack of central heating being a major factor.

Starmer's plan to freeze energy prices has been criticised by fact-checkers for not adding up and it is certainly not a long-term solution. Shell has indicated the energy crisis could last years, meaning potentially several huge bailouts of the energy retailers that are ripping us off.

Instead of bailing out these energy companies to the tune of £29 billion, plus however much is required next winter and the winter after, we could and should be taking control of them. If Starmer wants voters to get behind him, he needs to start listening to ordinary people, instead of pleasing executives and hoping he can bore his way to victory. The criticisms he is facing are entirely avoidable because he is refusing to represent the public and telling us that rich people know better.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time now so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Friday, 26 August 2022

You probably saw the TUC hyping its "big announcement" this week, only for that announcement to disappoint. While everyone was holding their breath for a general strike, they revealed they would be campaigning for a minimum wage of £15 an hour. By 2030.

This is not it, guys.

At the current rate of inflation, £15 is going to be worth like £1.50 in eight years and that's probably not much of an exaggeration. The TUC announcement seems like a move designed to please the establishment while pretending to be putting up a fight for workers. 

To be fair, the TUC is also calling for the minimum wage to be calculated as 75% of the median wage, rather than the current 66%, but 8 years from now? People are hungry today.

The TUC's great plan is to petition a government that does not give the slightest shit about petitions, to appeal to the better nature of people who do not care about the working class. In other words, a pointless gesture.

A 70 year old lady called into LBC the other day and explained she is going to go hungry because she only receives £730 a month. "I'm scared," she said. And I don't think we should underestimate the psychological damage this is doing to people, as well as the potential for physical damage. People are stressed up to the eyeballs and with good reason.

I saw a nurse reporting on Twitter that a 77 year old lady was admitted to hospital recently, close to death from starvation. Sadly, I was unable to locate the tweet at the time of writing, but the report seems all too plausible. Many of us remember the tragedy of Stephen Smith who was left to starve to death because his disability claims were rejected, despite pleas from his doctors and a promise from Amber Rudd to intervene.

The problem is that we can't appeal to the Tories' better nature because that would be like asking a cat to be kinder to a mouse. If you explain that vulnerable people could die, they just see it as a few less "useless eaters", same as during the pandemic when they sent Covid-positive patients into care homes.

The only way to persuade the Tories to intervene is to hurt them in the polls, to make it clear the public are turning against them - and the best way to do that is through co-ordinated strikes. 

We've seen a wave of strikes recently and while the public were initially sceptical, they were quickly won over. People of working age now overwhelmingly support the strikes and the reason is simple: workers are being asked to work for essentially nothing. The social contract is being broken.

Single parents will be expected to pay 2/3 of their income after housing costs on energy, meaning the final third is supposed to cover every other bill and feed and clothe their kids. Families who are fortunate enough to have savings could see their savings wiped out. People who used to live comfortably will be on the breadline and those who were already on the breadline will be out of options.

Like many, I had remained in denial about the full reality of the situation, but the other day, I was sitting and wondering what we will do this winter, what our options actually are. 

First of all, I have a baby so I sure as hell am not letting her go cold. Do I just put the heating on as normal and refuse to pay? Do I try to give the house extra insulation? Maybe cover the windows with blankets?! My house has a fireplace so I've even considered the possibility of lighting a fire, but I'm assuming the chimney is blocked off!

The entire situation is farcical and what's worse is the idiotic Liz Truss appears to be digging her heels in. If she sticks to her guns, she will lead the economy to collapse, yet all she wants to do is cut taxes for the rich and drive inflation. What is her end goal here? Mass repossessions until corporate landlords own every property and home ownership is a thing of the past? Tent cities for those who can't afford the rip off rents? Electricity and central heating now just perks for the wealthy?

We'll be looking at 18.6% inflation in January. If you're not getting a pay rise, that means you're getting paid 18.6% less in real terms. Imagine telling a person taking home £1,000 a month, they're now only getting £814 a month. That person did not have £186 a month to spend on food. You're now asking them to not only forego food, but choose which bills not to pay. You can't get blood out of a stone.

Smart arses on Twitter were trying to tell me it's irresponsible for people to cancel their direct debits to energy companies, but you can't leave your direct debit active if the money is not in your bank account. That would be irresponsible because it would mean you were racking up charges.

This corporate free for all is destroying lives.

Shell was recently fined by the regulator for overcharging customers on pre-payment metres (that would be the poorest members of society) since 2019. The size of the fine was just £400,000. In other news, Shell made record profits of £9,000,000,000 in just 3 months this year.

And let's not forget that landlords are actually increasing rents during the cost of living crisis - a cost of living crisis which is becoming an eradication of living standards. They told us Jeremy Corbyn was going to take us back to the 1970s, but it looks like the Tories want to take us back to the 1870s. Suddenly, the fears about charter cities appear to be well-founded. We need to fight back before we are all reduced to corporate slaves.

If I had the power to call a general strike, I would call one tomorrow without hesitation. I would shut down the entire system until we had guarantees that every person would be housed, fed and paid fairly. These are not unreasonable asks, are they? Yet the government would treat you like an extremist for suggesting such things.

Sadly, I don't have the influence of the Trade Union Congress who could call a strike any time they like, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Enough Is Enough campaign is planning a "national day of action" on October 1st with protests across Britain. With any luck, this day of action will grow into something much bigger - think mass protests like you see in France.

The TUC might not have the stomach for a general strike, but the Enough Is Enough campaign has 400,000 members now. It's comparable in size to the Labour Party and it's influence is likely to grow. We could end up doing this general strike without them. In fact, we probably will.

This winter, the middle class are going to get a taste of what it's like to be working class and I really don't think the country is going to take this lying down. Either we are going to see capitulation from the woeful Liz Truss or we are going to see civil disobedience like we haven't seen in decades.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time now so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Priti Patel seems rather desperate to keep her job as Secretary of State for People Trafficking, or maybe she is auditioning for a new job as Chief Executioner, because she has insisted today that her record speaks volumes. Apparently, Patel is concerned the Tories have found someone even more psychotically evil than her in Suella Braverman and she is feeling a little vulnerable. Bless her.

Priti Patel is the Home Secretary whose immigration rules would have deported her own grandparents; who bullied her staff so badly, one attempted suicide and the government had to pay out six-figure compensation packages; who called British workers the "worst idlers in the world"; who is desperate to bring back the death penalty and was humiliated by Ian Hislop on TV when he challenged her on miscarriages of justice; and I'm pretty sure she smirked when Simba's Dad died in The Lion King.

Priti Patel was previously sacked as International Development Secretary for having unauthorised meetings with a foreign power - Israel - which were not only unlawful but potentially treasonous. Such a transgression should've been enough to ensure she never works in government again, but the Tory Party is woefully devoid of anything resembling talent.

There is something about ruthless, ultra-sadistic females that appeals to the conservative mindset, so Patel was brought back to the dismay of everyone who is paying attention - and since then she has proven herself to be one of the most sinister forces in UK politics.

Near the start of the pandemic, Patel introduced rules so you cannot publicly protest without first obtaining permission, otherwise you could face a fine or imprisonment. Those rules were initially set in place for the duration of the pandemic, but they morphed into the draconian Police, Sentencing and Courts Act which places well-publicised limitations on our right to protest. 

Just Google "Steve Bray" and look at the nonsense he has to endure from the Metropolitan Police, every time he protests outside parliament. Or alternatively watch the video below:

Patel initially got to impose her anti-protest rules without parliamentary scrutiny by amending existing rules through what is known as a Statutory Instrument. This is what you would do if you were a dictator, desperate to cast off the shackles of democracy to impose your will on the masses. And what is so unnerving about Patel is how she is so brazen about it all. She is so brazen about everything she does.

Take, for example, the Black Lives Matter protests. While most politicians understood this was a sensitive matter and they should speak carefully, Patel could not keep the smirk off her face as she used words like "dreadful" to describe BLM. Patel may be from an ethnic minority, but she is no champion of minority rights - quite the opposite in fact - and she has made no secret of her desire to clamp down on the right to peacefully protest. 

Chances are Patel would have banned the Suffragettes or clamped down on the Civil Rights Movement because civil disobedience was central to their strategy.

Remember the vigil for Sarah Everard at Clapham Common? 

Women were gathering to show their respects to a woman who was brutally murdered by an off-duty police officer. Some were holding candles and others were waving signs in protest, but all of the attendees were clearly behaving peacefully. However, the police felt it appropriate to barge through the crowd, using powers granted to them by Priti Patel. One officer was yelling that a woman was putting his life in danger by gathering in public, but he was the one failing to observe social distancing by getting right in her face. Women were being shoved around and kettled and some were arrested for no obvious reason. When one woman was arrested, her friend asked why and she was slammed to the ground, only to then be released. The scenes were absolutely shocking.

The state was sending out a message: Your right to peaceful protest is over. We've had enough of you lot finding your voice. 

The Tories have been clamping down on women protesting police violence and also black people protesting police violence by sending the police to use more violence. They've put our so-called democracy in a stranglehold in much the same way Thatcher did during the miners' strikes. 

Priti Patel has given the police the power to shut down any protest against the police or against Priti Patel. That's the absurdity of the situation.

And even if you want to raise public awareness through journalism, rather than "disruptive" protests, you can't without putting your freedom at risk. Just look at Julian Assange who is currently rotting in a prison cell, despite not being charged with any crime, and was only locked up in the first place for skipping bail on charges that were dropped. Assange was not being disruptive or putting lives at risk, he was simply doing what any good journalist is supposed to do - reporting the facts. He reported the crimes of our state and was punished for it, mentally tortured, made an example of. 

It was Priti Patel who signed Assange's extradition order and now journalists across the UK have abandoned his cause out of fear they could be next.

Let's not forget, Priti Patel is the Home Secretary who revoked the citizenship of a minor - Shamima Begum - causing the death of her baby. She has deported the children of the Windrush generation and she wanted the navy to target dinghies in the English Channel. This was before the government decided to surround our island with a protective barrier of raw sewage.

Whereas Boris Johnson is a lazy buffoon who wanted the title of Prime Minister for prestige, but spends most of his time sleeping on the job, Patel is different. She has revelled in her role as Home Secretary and clearly spends every working minute looking for ways to further erode what is already a flawed democracy - what with our unelected House of Lords and unelected Monarchy and unelected media moguls and unelected billionaire donors.

Last year, Priti Patel decided it would be a lovely idea to round up refugees in a largely Muslim neighbourhood during Eid al-Fitr to deport them. She decided to do this in Nicola Sturgeon's back yard in what was clearly a provocative, and some would say, racist move, but this move massively backfired because Glasgow wasn't having any of Patel's nonsense.

About 200 protesters caught wind of what was happening and surrounded a van containing two refugees, resulting in a tense eight hour stand-off, which included one hero crawling under the vehicle. The protesters repeatedly chanted "These are our neighbours, let them go!" and held up signs reading "Muslims and refugees welcome here".

From what I understand, police were forced to intervene and release the men on health and safety grounds, due to concerns about high levels of the "Indian variant" of Covid-19 being found in the area. 

The SNP has repeatedly demanded Scotland takes control of its own immigration policy, rather than leave it in the hands of Westminster, and as the husband of an immigrant who has endured the torment of our draconian system for years, I would fully support this move.

Our family came this close to being torn apart by ridiculous earnings requirements which would have meant my youngest kids never being born and me becoming a "Skype Dad" to my eldest son. I can categorically tell you the immigration process is designed to be as cruel, difficult and long-winded as possible to cause maximum stress and anxiety. And it is not fit for purpose in any civilised country.

This is a system which gave us the Windrush scandal, for goodness sake, and instead of fixing it, Priti Patel decided to make it even more monstrous. She gave £200 million to Rwanda so she could traffic innocent human beings there for the crime of seeking refuge in our country. Only she is so inept, she has not succeeded in trafficking a single person because the courts have struck her plan down. 

Priti Patel says her record speaks volumes and it truly does: it shows her to be a fascist, but thankfully she is not a very effective one.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time to support my family so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

It seems we're in a period when the Tories are doing everything in their power to lose the next general election, and their incoming leader is so awful, she might just pull off this impossible feat. Liz Truss might actually lose to Sir Keith Starmer. That's like heading for a nil-nil draw and scoring an own goal in the last minute.

If this was a one horse race, Liz would fall off her horse, brush herself down and spend a couple of hours changing her outfit so she would look her best for the victory parade. She'd be asking her advisers which hat best conveyed the aura of Thatcher while Keith climbed onto the horse, very much against his will, and clung on for dear life as it trotted over the line.

"I'm prime minister now!" he'd yell without absolutely no clue what he was going to do next, and Liz would be oblivious because she'd still be trying on hats.

That's the dire state of British politics right now. We've got two people who really want to be prime minister for nothing more than their egos, for personal ambition. Neither has slightest desire to improve things for ordinary people in any meaningful way, but whereas Truss's plans at least appeal to her far right base, Starmer's policies don't even appeal to Starmer.

The dream scenario for Sir Keith would be a hung parliament where Labour is the largest party so he can become prime minister, then blame his lack of majority for his failure to do anything but brush his hair and look prime ministerial. That, of course, is all the mainstream media wants him to do, so they will cheer him on for however long he does as he's told, but if he gets above his station and offers one or two meaningful policies, they will destroy him. This is just how politics works.

Sir Keith was recently forced to issue a public apology after accidentally taking a 14 point lead over the Tories, and this only happened because he buckled to lefty pressure and actually issued a policy. It was a half-arsed policy, a crappy, ill thought through policy, but it was a policy nonetheless. I hear he's been in emergency talks with his advisers to ensure this never happens again.

Remember, people want boring and you can't just announce your ideas because the Tories will steal them. Just repeat the line and everything will be okay. Of course, any Labour policy worth having would not be touched by the Tories in a million years, but the point is we must say any old crap to get the public to lay off us. This is grown up politics.

While Liz Truss was proudly shouting from the roof tops that she'll use a crisis to extract the last drops of wealth from the working class and turn essential services like central heating into privileges for the rich, all Keith had to do was say "I will make heating slightly more affordable" and he soared into a poll lead. Just imagine how popular he'd be if he promised to nationalise energy retailers - he really would be over 20 points ahead and he knows it. This is why he won't do it.

The tragedy is Keith could nationalise energy retailers for less than £3 billion and he is not even ideologically opposed to such a move because he has no ideology, but his handlers won't allow him to do this. They won't allow him to do anything that alters the balance of power in this country. Everything must be left under the control of private capital, the subsidies, bailouts, dividends and bonuses must continue, and Keith must offer the bare minimum of help to gain public support. He's literally offering you spare change while his friends are burgling your house. And yet, Sir Keith's woeful opposition might finally be what destroys the Tories. 

This is because the Tories are his friends who are burgling your house, and they're getting so confident, they're burgling your neighbours, the corner shop, the local school and every nearby business, then they're setting fire to everything for good measure. They're so out of control, they're not stopping for a second to think of the damage they're doing - they are just a criminal mob, rioting while high on drugs, and they're going to wake up with a few stolen TVs, amnesia and an almighty hangover, then they're going to blame Jeremy Corbyn, immigrants and people who ride bikes to work.

Let's be clear, the Tories' decline is not down to a mastermind strategy on Labour's part, it's entirely unintentional - they want a strong Conservative Party in the same way the Democrats want a strong Republican Party - yet Keith's lack of opposition could be the final nail in their coffin, if he's not careful. This is because Keith has been so toothless that he's emboldened the ERG and the most putrid elements of the Tory Party into thinking they can take the piss. Or rather give the piss to us. And the shit. Quite literally. 

Half the beaches across the country are inaccessible because sewage is being released "only in emergencies" - emergencies which are now happening everyday. The private water companies didn't want to invest in the necessary infrastructure, the Tories sure as hell didn't want to do it, but hey, we're out of the EU now, so let's get rid of all that red tape! Even the red tape that prevented the seaside becoming Polio and E. Coli contamination zones.

Have you noticed how cutting red tape always means something petty like deregulating the size of bananas when they're trying to win your approval, then the moment they've got your approval, BAM! Environmental destruction here we come. And the mental Liz Truss is so very keen on environmental destruction. So keen in fact she's going to save us from the blight of solar farms by introducing fracking facilities. Earthquakes, poisoned water supplies and missed CO2 targets here we come!

I'm struggling to think of a more disastrous move for the Tories from a PR perspective. They can get away with cutting public services and taxes as long as these moves do not impact the middle class, but when they're destroying our environment in such a visible manner, even the most ardent conservatives must ask themselves what exactly are we conserving? Who wants to be the richest person in a literal shithole? And who wants to be poor in a place where we can't even enjoy the few things that still belong to us all?

Soon enough our countryside is going to be cluttered with mining equipment and our beautiful landscape is going to have its wealth extracted in a much more visible way than the working class ever did. We have a beautiful coastline, it's a sense of national pride. For many, it's a place they can, or rather could, take the kids for a nice day out for free - and there's not many places like that left. And now the Tories have made it so you can't take the kids to explore the rockpools without a biohazard suit.

It was easy for the middle class to look the other way when the working class were being fleeced because the visible signs could simply be attributed to personal failures, character flaws and criminality. But no such blame can be attributed to our landscape which is now bearing the signs of a horrible cancer - and that cancer is called capitalism.

If Labour sticks with its half-arsed energy crisis policy and offers to cut pollution on beaches by like 2%, they will probably win the next general election by a record margin - and that would be Sir Keith's worst nightmare. Therefore, you can expect Labour to dilute their energy plans and offer to reduce sewage releases by 1%. Hung parliament here we come! Fingers crossed...

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time to support my family so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Monday, 15 August 2022

You may have heard claims on social media that it would only cost £2.85 billion to nationalise energy suppliers, so what exactly is meant by this? How would it be achieved? And why does it make sense?

A report was recently published by the Trade Union Congress, following research they'd conducted into the cost of nationalising the big five energy retailers which supply 71% of our energy. They came up with three approaches that could be used and those approaches came up with near-identical costs of £2.75 billion to £2.85 billion. If we wanted to nationalise all energy suppliers, including the smaller ones, it would cost us about £4 billion.

The big five energy retail companies are all subsidiaries which represent a tiny part of their parent companies' operations. As these companies are under-performing, they would have a low market valuation, and some are loss-making, meaning they would have a negative valuation.

Whether you base valuations on listed share price, recent market transactions, or equity book value, the compensation comes out at around £2.8 billion for the big five (British Gas, Ovo, E.ON, Scottish Power, and EDF). 

The valuation based on recent market transactions is likely to be an over-valuation because the research was conducted before the collapse of the energy market. In other words, we might be able to nationalise for less than £2.8 billion.

Our current system relies on constant government bailouts to keep these companies afloat, yet despite their underperformance, they've paid out billions in dividends. The energy price cap has increased by 54% and will likely double in January, taking prices three times higher than they were at the start of the crisis - and while your bills have soared, staff at energy suppliers have seen their pay cut. It's a lose-lose situation, but it doesn't have to be this way.

The TUC have come up with interesting ideas that a nationalised energy company could implement such as:

- capping energy prices at 5% of income for low-income households

- providing all households with a free allowance, but increasing the cost per unit for high consumption households (the current system charges low consumption households more power unit, encouraging waste)

- retrofitting the nation's homes with insulation to improve energy efficiency

Sir Keir Starmer has argued that we should not nationalise energy suppliers because he wants to use every penny he spends to reduce bills for customers - he therefore wants to give energy suppliers £29 billion to keep prices down. This approach makes no sense when you consider that by spending an extra ten percent, we get to cut shareholder dividends out of the equation forever. Also, by merging smaller companies into one big company, you create a strong negotiating position with producers so you can drive prices down. 

A state-owned energy company could lower prices and stabilise them, saving the public billions over the long term. It would be a logical investment.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time to support my family so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.

Saturday, 13 August 2022

For months now, we've seen ridiculous articles in rags like The Daily Mail, claiming the union movement is supportive of Putin's Russia. And now, out of nowhere, the media and bots on Twitter have applied these smears to Mick Lynch. It's almost like this is being co-ordinated...

I've been inundated with bots today. Here is how they operate: 

A zero follower account will post four random words in reply to a post. It could be "bridge cheese dog rainbow" for example.

Why the hell would anyone post such random words, you may ask? Well, the obvious answer is they're flagging your tweet so the bots can find it. Those bots search Twitter/Facebook for those key words and then they spam you with near-identical replies.

The bots will say things that few people would dare say because they would leave themselves open to libel action. By flooding the internet with their message, they are trying to scare people into silence. Their plan is to make you afraid of vocally supporting Lynch in case you get accused of Putin sympathies too. Yet the accusation makes absolutely no sense because Putin is not a leftist, not remotely.

Vladimir Putin is an anti-woke capitalist who followed Margaret Thatcher's example of selling off state assets on the cheap. Russia had a flat tax system for years, now it has an upper tax rate of 15%, just above the standard 13%. Not exactly the progressive taxation Mick Lynch believes in, is it? 

Russia has strict anti-union laws that make strike action difficult - kind of like what Liz Truss wants to do in the UK. The poorest half of the Russian population owns 17% of the wealth while the richest 500 own 40% of the wealth. While the right to protest is protected under the Russian constitution, we've all seen what happens when Russians try to protest.

Basically, Putin's Russia looks remarkably similar to the Conservative vision for the UK. When the establishment accuses the union movement of identifying with Putin's values, they are projecting. And there can be no doubt this strategy is being pushed to counter popular narratives that they can't counter directly. If they try to debate Mick Lynch on workers' rights, they will come off second best, but this new McCarthyism could prove effective, unless people wise up to it.

The accusations that Mick Lynch and the UK left are supportive of Putin are complete and utter nonsense. Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of Putin sympathies, despite being one of his most vocal critics for over 20 years, since the days when Tony Blair was going horse-riding with Putin. The Tory Party is literally awash with Russian money and awards honours to oligarchs. Boris Johnson even parties with them, but yeah, let's pretend the UK left are Putin supporters.

You can bet your right arm that for weeks these bastards have been rummaging through Mick Lynch's bins, looking into his history, trying to find anything they can to turn people against him, to split the left.

Before today, the best they had was that Mick Lynch supported Brexit. Their bots had been using that to split the left, but they needed something more effective, more emotive. And what could be more emotive than implying someone is sympathising with a war criminal?

This smear has not gained traction yet, but if people start falling for it, they will push this narrative hard until Mick Lynch stands down and his supporters are left dejected. Sound familiar? It's exactly what they did to Jeremy Corbyn. The establishment smears every popular trade unionist and every person who gains popularity by arguing for progressive change in this country.

If you think the establishment is doing this because it's on your side, you are sorely mistaken. If you consider yourself on the left, but you've ever found yourself supporting smears against the left, congratulations, you're exactly the type of gullible fool they're trying to manipulate.

You might have seen comments on social media, quoting, or rather misquoting Mick Lynch because he dared to offer some commentary on the situation in Ukraine. Lynch's words were 100% factual, describing the tensions that eventually led to war, but importantly, he condemned Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Yet he is a "Putin sympathiser" now according to the Twitter bots.

The journalists themselves have been more cautious, but they've smartly put forward the argument that Mick Lynch is correct on workers' rights and wrong on Ukraine. Why is this smart? Because it suggests they're on your side, that they want you to have better work rights, they just have a moral responsibility to condemn Mick Lynch's words. Do not fall for this bullshit.

These people are going after Mick Lynch for one reason and one reason only. They want to stop the union movement gaining traction so they can stop the strikes. They want workers to know their place. 

Sure, they pretend to share Lynch's union values, but they're co-opting trade unionism so they can diffuse it. It's the same divide and conquer tactic the establishment uses generation after generation. Find a wedge issue, distort some half truths to create a hugely misleading narrative and then condemn anyone who does not take their side. 

If people fall for this again, soon there will be two types of trade unionists in the UK - the "good type" who condemn Mick Lynch and the "bad type" who will be smeared as Putin supporters. The UK left fell for this trap spectacularly when Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Labour Party. If we fall for the same trap again, the UK left will be finished - the unions will be captured by the state in the same way the Labour Party was captured and the working class will have no mechanism to fight back.

If you appreciate the writing of R. D. Hale, even the most modest of donations can help me to continue my work, but please only contribute if you can reasonably afford to do so. I write full time to support my family so if you are unable to donate to my website, please remember shares on social media are greatly appreciated too. You can support me on my new Patreon by clicking here or donate by clicking the PayPal button below. Thank you.