Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Tories Don't Give a Fuck About the North

Tories don't give a fuck about the north.

Those words could almost be considered a northern proverb, given how they've been etched into our psyche. We lived through the Thatcher years and saw our industries destroyed. We saw the union movement crushed and we saw mass unemployment and poverty as a result. We also saw complete and utter indifference to our plight from the privileged few whose wealth we created. 

For so long, we were the industrial backbone of this country, and yet we were left to rot when we were no longer needed. This is why it was so galling to see the red wall fall to the Tories at the 2019 general election. How could this possibly have been allowed to happen?

Well, the reason was simple: too many up north were convinced the European Union and immigration were the cause of our problems, rather than the people who've ruled over us for a decade. We'd been left behind by Thatcherism, and as our living standards continued to fall, we foolishly allowed the blame to be placed elsewhere. We were sucker-punched and we really should've known better. It was collective amnesia.

Now let's be clear: this blog post is not a call for a return to the European Union. 

As much as I think that might be for the best (even though I'm no EU fanboy), it's not going to happen and we have to accept that now. Indeed, if Labour had accepted the Brexit result at the last general election, Jeremy Corbyn might've been Prime Minister, but unfortunately the Brylcreemed Knight of FBPE ensured that didn't happen because he wanted to inflict his own brand of conservatism on us. And now he's completely silent about hard Brexit...

It's true that we were manipulated into leaving the EU, but we were also manipulated into voting against the one party that had our backs. Corbyn's Labour. Even worse, we allowed that party to be destroyed and replaced with the Tory B team who think all the north really needs is more racism. That would be Blue Labour. What a fucking mess...

So here's where we're at: 

We have a multi-tiered Covid lockdown system designed to hit the north hard, devastate Labour seats and completely screw over those red wall towns that switched to the Tories while allowing Tory heartlands to continue as normal. The Tory system will place the north in Tier 3 with absolutely minimal support, meaning businesses will collapse and we'll relive the 1980s and 90s all over again, when much of the north was reduced to wasteland and my hometown saw the Meadowwell Riots

That's where we're heading. It's a fucking nightmare.

Tier 3 lockdown rules are a confusing mess that I can't be arsed to list, let alone make sense of, but they will do little-to-nothing to stop the spread of Covid. Recent evidence shows transmission rates in schools are tens of times higher than in the wider community, yet schools remain open, and we savages up north will get the blame when Tier 3 completely fails.

I hear there's going to be a judicial review into whether this Tier 3 bollocks is even legal, given the lack of scientific evidence to support it, and the government's shocking lack of planning.

Manchester's Labour Mayor Andy Burnham (and even some Tory MPs and councillors) begged, pleaded with the government for £90 million in support for their city. Boris Johnson's response was to drop the original offer of £60 million to £22 million which works out at £8 per head! He basically kicked Burnham, and the working class, in the nuts.

To put this in perspective, £22 million is 0.183% of the £12 billion the Tories gave their mates at Serco for the broken track and trace app.

Let's not forget, Ireland built a working app for about £800,000. 

That's not a typo. The Tories spent 15,000 times more money on a broken track and trace app than Ireland did on a working app. They gave £12 billion to their mates at Serco who have a string of failures but keep getting government contracts, and they said "Fuck you" to Andy Burnham who asked for less than 1/500th of what Serco got paid, so he could help struggling people and small businesses survive. 

And 1/500th is not a typo either. 

Andy Burnham asked for the equivalent of Serco's pocket change and the Tories told him where to go. Even worse, they spitefully dropped their original offer of £60 million to £22 million for no reason, but now they've decided to honour the original £60 million, just as I was about to hit publish on this article.

That's people's lives they're playing politics with, but the Tories don't give a crap about our lives because we're just peasants in the north. At least some northern Tories are starting to realise though...

Manchester Young Conservatives have since deleted this tweet

Andy Burnham is no King of the North

Andy Burnham is a Labour centrist who once abstained on the welfare bill that ruined so many lives up north, and yet he's winning over so many on the left, for one simple reason: he is fighting back. While Sir Keir Starmer is showing himself to be as much use as an inflatable dartboard, Andy Burnham is talking like this:

"What we've seen today is a deliberate act of levelling down. ... I don't believe we can proceed through this pandemic by grinding people down. We need to carry them with us, not crush their spirit."

Us lefties are often nonsensically accused of being uncompromising, yet here we are accepting leadership from a centrist we don't always agree with, simply because he's on the side of the people. He's speaking up for our interests. And we haven't heard anyone do that since Jeremy Corbyn stood down. All we bloody want is representation, but it's so hard to find these days, even from the Socialist Campaign Group who are now seemingly toothless. 

The hunger is real and it's caused by corruption.

We're all skint up here. All struggling to survive and being exploited. My wife is working a temporary factory job and didn't get paid by the agency the other day, but what can we even do? We're sitting in a half-decorated living room on an inflatable couch we bought from Tesco because we can't afford a real one! Christmas isn't happening this year. Not for us, nor for most people around here.

And what's the Tory response when Marcus Rashford asks the government to spend £40 million feeding hungry school kids during the Xmas holidays? Fuck you, again!

And again, £40 million would be Serco's pocket change. 1/300th of the broken track and trace app. We mean that little to them.

The Tories are taking the piss out of us. They've turned the Covid crisis into a free for all. They're looting the country and crushing their political opponents and they're getting away with it because we let them. They've handed out PPE contracts to companies with no experience of producing PPE. Same goes for ventilators. They pay massively over the odds - we're talking orders of magnitude - and we get failure in return. And who are they giving the money to? Their biggest donors. 

This is what corruption looks like. We overthrow leaders in Latin America for less.

Next time you get bent out of shape over a refugee getting £37 a week, just remember that's a drop in the ocean here. The amount of money the Tories are stealing from the tax payer is almost unimaginable. For example, it dwarfs the £60 billion cost of the Labour manifesto we were told was completely unaffordable and it's crippling the economy.

Small businesses can't get support in the north but Tory heartlands are allowed to continue as usual, or rather live in denial as the north faces the brunt. School kids can't be fed in the holidays, but Tory advisers can get paid £7,000 a day for their incompetence. Furloughed workers can be expected to survive on 2/3 minimum wage while paying 100% of their bills, but Dominic Cummings can't be asked to pay his £50,000 council tax bill. 

And worst of all, our Prime Minister reportedly spent tens of millions of tax payers' money fucking Jennifer Arcuri, I mean getting technology lessons from her. The Prime Minister was quite literally willing to spend more money getting his leg over than he was feeding hungry school kids. 

Has there ever been a more corrupt government in our history? Has there ever been a clearer example of the Tories' hatred for the working class and the north? Because I don't even think even Thatcher hit these levels of corruption, and I'm pretty sure she's now busy privatising the furnaces in Hell.

When do we say enough is enough?

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Monday, 19 October 2020

America Furious as Bolivia Chooses "Wrong" Leader Again!

To the surprise of absolutely no one who's been paying attention, the Movement Towards Socialism party has swept to victory in the 2020 Bolivian election. Exit polls show their lead to be so wide (20 points) that they've significantly surpassed the 10 point threshold needed to win outright in the first round. Although the official result will not be announced for five days, due to the lack of a rapid count, the announcement now seems to be a formality.

Interim President Jeanine Áñez Chávez who was, according to the US, Bolivia's rightful leader, actually dropped out the race to avoid splitting the conservative vote because she knew her chance of victory lay somewhere between nought and zero. She is about as popular among her people as Juan Guaidó is - the guy America declared Venezuela's rightful leader when they wanted to steal the world's largest oil reserves. Thankfully, neither the Venezuelans nor the Bolivians are taking any imperialist BS right now.

Elon Musk is said to be distraught

America decided to overthrow hugely popular President Evo Morales last year, due to serious concerns about the welfare of Bolivia's lithium reserves and reports that revenue was being funnelled into public services, rather than offshore bank accounts. Morales was so authoritarian that he declined to let US companies have the lithium because other countries like China and Germany offered him a better deal. 

Due to this outrage, the US pretended the Bolivian election had been rigged and a coup was in order, so Evo Morales was driven into exile in Argentina. It's worth bearing in mind, Morales had the audacity to set up an anti-imperialist school in Bolivia and was guilty of other crimes against humanity, such as a huge reduction in poverty and increased investment in public services. He had the monstrous idea the working class should come before billionaires. No wonder centrists fucking hate him. 

In Bolivia there is no one to look down on because they don't leave their people behind.

So anyways, Morales remains in exile from what I can gather, but stated he will return if MAS win and may well be on his way home, fingers crossed. He'd been leading the MAS campaign from Argentina, but for a while it seemed his party would be kept off the ballot. Thankfully, a recent ruling allowed them to participate in the election. Bloody democracy. This meant the people of Bolivia had more than a barely distinguishable range of conservative options, and they again chose the party that's had their backs since Morales swept to victory in 2006. 

Don't they know they're supposed to let America choose their leaders?

British-educated economist Luis Arce will soon be confirmed President (no, that's not pronounced arse, thank you very much) and real democracy will be restored to Bolivia, instead of the pretend kind where western imperialists select a hugely unpopular person who'll let them plunder natural gas and minerals. I can't see America tolerating this situation for too long.

Surely, it's a matter of time before the US imposes sanctions or stages a coup, while accusing Arce of every human rights violation America is guilty of. Or makes an assassination attempt which they honestly have no knowledge of. If you think this sounds a bit cynical, just remember the US has overthrown virtually every socialist leader in Latin America over the last 100 years and is currently working on President Maduro of Venezuela who has the audacity to keep surviving US attempts to murder him by drone.

Latin America, and indeed Bolivia, emphasises perfectly how the US and UK are absolutely the bad guys on the world stage. Right now, the imperialists of the Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives and Labour will be shitting themselves that Arce, along with Maduro (and further afield the likes of Jacinda Ardern) will demonstrate to the world alternatives to capitalism are not only possible but absolutely essential.

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Thursday, 8 October 2020

Starmer Putting Labour at Risk of Bankruptcy

Since Sir Keir Starmer took control of the Labour Party on 4th April 2020, not only has he taken every possible step to alienate his left-wing base and win over the Murdoch press, but he's also taken steps, which from a financial perspective would seem incredibly reckless.

While Starmer's team have openly been 'exploring other forms of revenue,' i.e., wooing corporate donors, those donors are only ever interested in one thing - neutering the left. And the way Starmer is haemorrhaging left-wing support at the moment, this strategy could very easily backfire. He could find himself without the financial support of the left or right, because let's face it, if Labour is in ruins, the billionaires won't need to hand over another penny to the centrist wreckers.

The goal, after all, is not to get Labour in power, but to keep neoliberals in power, blue, yellow, red, it simply does not matter. The system cannot be allowed to change. The rich people must not pay their fair share in taxes. Starmer himself even said so, breaking the pledge he made to increase corporation tax during his leadership campaign! The beige one does not have principles it seems, only an insatiable desire to crush those he was elected to represent. 

Starmer's decisions since he became leader have been so awful, they might tempt a cynical person to think he's willing to stop at nothing to protect his precious neoliberalism, even if it means destroying Labour in the process. Sometimes I wonder if Starmer would be bothered if the Labour Party disappeared tomorrow. Indeed, he might consider it job well done.

Since Starmer became leader, it's no secret the party has haemorrhaged support, with some estimating as many as 200,000 members have already left. Just think of the lost revenue: £4.38 x 200,000 = £876,000 a month potentially gone just like that. And given the rate at which Starmer is breaking the pledges he made during the leadership contest, you can expect that number to drop further. 

Many members say they are currently hanging by a thread, and with Christmas approaching, many will feel reluctant to hand over another penny to Starmer's neoliberal project. I would not be surprised to see another 200,000 members leave in the next 12 months. And let's not forget, due to the rapid growth of the Labour membership under Jeremy Corbyn, the party were hiring more staff (not least because of the sheer volume of complaints Margaret Hodge and friends were spamming their way). 

The running costs of the party have increased, but revenue has fallen. That does not make for a healthy balance book.

But the problems get worse.

Back in July, Starmer handed out six-figure compensation packages to the Panorama "whistleblowers", accepting liability in a case lawyers suggested Labour would likely win, if they were prepared to fight in court. This left the party in a vulnerable position as up to 40 new claimants were waiting in the wings, ready to demand their own huge sums. While things have fallen quiet on that front, further settlement pay outs could easily be in the millions. And if Labour defends each case in court, the legal bills could run so high, the party might not be able to fight to the end, given the protracted nature and huge costs involved. It would arguably have been cheaper to defend the original six cases, as if Labour had won, it would be unlikely they'd be pursued by the further 40 claimants. If Jeremy Corbyn was right that "this was a political decision rather than a legal one," it seems it may have been foolhardy.

And now Unite have cut funding.

The Unite Union Executive decided during a recent meeting to cut affiliation money to the Labour Party by 10% which I understand equates to about £700,000 a year. Unite is Labour's biggest donor, and you'd think Starmer and his team would be keen to keep them on side as priority, rather than suck up to Murdoch, especially given Labour is supposed to actually represent the labour movement. But the Labour right have for years treated the unions as they though live on a different planet...

Amusingly, Starmer supporters (the middle class types who know what the working class want better than the working class do) have been calling for Labour to disaffiliate from the unions so they can go all out with their Tory-lite project. Not sure it registers in their tiny brains that a Labour Party which does not represent unions is not a Labour Party at all. It is the Liberal Democrats. Sorry Neoliberal Democrats.

It would appear Unite have been as aghast as the rest of us as Starmer has whipped his party to abstain on bills which amount to an assault on human rights, giving our police and armed forces the power to murder with impunity. This on top of the insulting approach to Black Lives Matter and Palestinian activists, and the U-turn on the pledge to nationalise key services, means socialism is now effectively dead in the Labour Party. 

The Socialist Campaign Group, right now, although admirably standing by their principles, are effectively toothless. They have no positions in the shadow cabinet and are totally ignored by the leader who said he wanted to unite the party. What a joke.

Labour is now so far right, it refuses to even stand up to fascism - and while Starmer may have convinced himself we, in the red wall, abandoned Labour because we are all knuckle-dragging racists, the fact is we have no interest whatsoever in voting for a right-wing Labour Party. 

We did not abandon Labour because it was not racist enough, but because it abandoned the electorate with the PV policy (I'm a remainer btw) and because the middle-class London-types regained control after the 2017 general election, taking Labour in a direction we did not want to go. 

Neoliberalism is actually a huge fucking turn off to the people who are its primary victims.

We've been told repeatedly by Starmer's lot what the red wall wants, but what we actually want is a change to the status quo. The north didn't vote leave in huge numbers because of racism, but because our neoliberal economic model left us behind. The tragedy is in 2017, Labour had the anti-establishment vote, it was our biggest weapon, and then Starmer's lot, in a suicidal move, turned us into the pro-establishment PV party! This spectacular own goal didn't cost the Tories a single vote, but it cost Labour millions of votes - and now Starmer is doubling down on that approach. He's screaming to the electorate that he's more establishment than the Tories, and where I'm from that is going down like a cup of cold sick.

Expect Starmer to haemorrhage members in the build up to the 2024 general election, and expect the Labour coffers to run dry as the unions withdraw further funding. Starmer looks in no mood for reconciliation - indeed he seems to see the unions as the first enemy to his project, rather than an essential ally who can flood him with cash. 

At this rate, Labour will be a party with no one willing to knock on the doors for them and no one willing to hand over money - and at that point, Rupert Murdoch will not bother to endorse them and the corporations will have no need to fund them. 

It will be mission accomplished.

The Labour Party will be dead. 

Stabbed in the back by a knight of the realm.

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Starmer’s Labour: Bankrupt Of Vision And Bereft Of Principle

Good evening. Let’s start with a little bit of history. 

The Labour Party was created way back in the year 1900. Everything was black and white, and Jacob Rees-Mogg was graduating from Eton. 

The idea was to have a new political party for a new century. Its formation was the result of many years of struggle by working class people, trade unionists and socialists, united by the goal of working class voices represented in British Parliament.

On the 27th February 1900, representatives of all the socialist groups in Britain (the Independent Labour Party (ILP), the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and the Fabian Society, met with trade union leaders at the Congregational Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street. After a debate the 129 delegates decided to pass Keir Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, and agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour."

The Labour Party was born.

In 1924, Ramsay MacDonald became Labour’s first Prime Minister. Despite having no majority, his government passed legislation to improve housing, education and social insurance while also addressing unemployment. 

In 1935, Clement Attlee was elected Labour leader. Our manifesto ‘Let us face the future’ laid out a bold vision, pledging to destroy the five ‘evil giants’: want, squalor, disease, ignorance and unemployment. This message of change carried Attlee and Labour to a landslide election victory, winning 393 shortly after World War 2. 

Attlee’s government wasted little time enacting visionary change, introducing social security, bringing key industries back into public ownership and introducing a major programme of house building, providing safe and secure homes. But it was the Attlee government’s introduction of the National Health Service which will rightly go down as Labour’s greatest achievement.

On 5 July 1948, Sylvia Beckingham was admitted to hospital in Manchester to be treated for a liver condition. Doubtless this was a big event in her life; but it was an even bigger event in British history. Sylvia, 13, was the first patient to be treated on the NHS. 

The Labour governments of the 1960’s and 1970’s - under Harold Wilson and then James Callaghan were marked by a period of great change - the permanent ending of the death penalty, decriminalisation of homosexuality, legislation to outlaw racial discrimination, the Equal Pay Act and the establishment of the Open University.

The Blair Government arrived in 1997, riding into Downing Street on a wave of ‘Cool Britannia’ optimism. Record investment in the NHS, schools and the police rescued our public services. The introduction of the National Minimum Wage and the New Deal meant more jobs paying an improved wage. There was the landmark Good Friday Agreement. Civil Partnerships, the Equality Act and the Human Rights Act.

But sadly, 100 years worth of achievement was torn to shreds following the decision to illegally invade Iraq, based upon false evidence. Despite winning the 2005 General Election with a massively reduced majority, the decline of the Labour Party was well and truly underway.

As time went on it became clear the great hope of the Labour Party was in fact dancing to the tune of the rabid right-wing press. Mr Blair himself was a godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch’s offspring.

Blair’s government epitomised cronyism, brown envelopes stuffed with dirty money, a capitalist dream at the cost of the abandonment of principles built upon socialism. 

Gordon Brown got his turn. The highlight of his time was calling Gillian Duffy a “bigoted woman”. 

New Labour had lost the plot. The ideology was dead. They lost the trust of the same working classes they were formed to represent. The collapse of trust was well underway in Scotland and the North of England. 

From 1997 - 2010, Blair and Brown’s Labour governments lost 5 million votes. And they can’t even pin that one on Jeremy Corbyn!

This didn’t just happen in 2019. This has been a long time in the making, and with every betrayal of real Labour values, another piece of trust in the Labour Party would erode. For example, Labour siding with the Tories during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum was an embarrassment and a disaster for the party.

Labour Party activists on the campaign trail, under the orders of their superiors, would phone up pensioners, warning them of Armageddon if they went out and voted for Scotland to take care of herself. 

So you get the idea. What started as a noble and principled movement for socialists and trade unionists ended up as a hawkish establishment plaything. 

This current embarrassment really isn’t quite what Keir Hardie imagined, is it? 

So we haven’t seen a real Labour government for a very long time. To his credit, Ed Miliband tried to change things, but the party machinery was still New Labour to its rotten core. They struggled to accept the capitalist dream was dead. They watched food banks pop up considerably quicker than a Serco test and trace drive-thru. 

While austerity battered Britain, Labour couldn’t decide if it was against public service cuts to such a level, and by 2015, Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, offered the electorate an austerity-lite, not-quite-as-bad-as-Cameron, smorgasbord of shite. Miliband got absolutely hammered, the press, his own party, and eventually the electorate utterly drubbed him. 

I think I’ve penned enough words about Jeremy Corbyn over the last few years. The traducement of this kind and decent man has been widely covered. Had the Parliamentary Labour Party of 2015-2019 put as much effort into fighting the Conservatives as they put into smearing and besmirching Jeremy Corbyn, things could and would have been very different. 

So we come to now. Who would’ve thought Sir Keir Starmer would drag the Labour Party back to the centre ground in less than six months? Or should the question be, who DIDN’T think he would drag the democratic socialist Labour Party back to the centre ground in less than six months. 

As I write this, #StarmerOut is trending across the UK. 

One or two opinion polls have given Starmer’s Labour a slight advantage over the Tories. Are you really gormless enough to think this has been down to great leadership from Sir Keir? Don’t be daft. It’s down to the failed leadership of Boris Johnson. 

This government is so bad you could pin a red rosette on rent-a-gob Anna Soubry and she’d still be in with a shout. Johnson himself is already coming to the end of his time as Prime Minister, his health, and his complicated private life is weighing down on his very limited ability to govern. 

And then there’s the tens of thousands of deaths that simply didn’t need to happen, had Johnson acted sooner, instead of going on holiday to write a book.

So Starmer’s boost in the polls is explainable. Corbyn’s Labour sat eight points clear of the Tories, and Miliband’s Labour had a double digit lead over the Tories, so the Starmer fans/FBPE really shouldn’t be getting too excited just yet.

In his short time as Labour leader, Starmer has been exposed for what he is. A timid careerist, willing to sell out anyone or anything if it gets him one step closer to power. 

What’s wrong with wanting to achieve power, you may ask. Absolutely nothing. 

But what good is there in gaining power if you don’t have the same basic principles that was the glue that first bound the Labour Party together, some 120 years ago? 

I hear the argument that it’s either Starmer or Johnson. See, the thing is, we told you it was either Corbyn or May/Johnson, and you preferred the racist option. In fact, you did your very best to ensure we lost two general elections. Given your support for Sir Keir, the racist option probably makes sense to you. 

When you had to choose between Labour and the Conservatives, you took the blue option, and tried dressing it up in red. 

Now you’re taking the blue option and dressing it up in blue, do you really think a choice between Sir Keir Starmer and Etonian Johnson is a choice for the British left? Is it fuck. 

The purge of left-leaning members of the Labour Party, named “Corbynistas” by the right-wing press that the current Labour leader writes for, occasionally behind a Murdoch paywall, has been absolutely disgraceful. 

The decision to abstain on major legislation has been an embarrassing plea to the ‘I’m not being racist, but…’ brigade, in a desperate attempt not to look weak on matters of security. 

What is weak is not having the cahoolies to stand up for what you believe in. Or perhaps you don’t believe in any of the shared values which have held the British left together for more than a century. 

Starmer, who made a big deal of being loyal to his workers, sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey for outmanoeuvring him on schools (she was right), and recently sacked another left MP, Nadia Whittome, amongst others, for having the audacity to vote against torture legislation. 

So he’s loyal to his staff when you ask him why he is employing a former private healthcare lobbyist at the top of his team, but not so loyal to his staff when they show their principles to be the exact opposite of his. 

Face it Sir Keir, Long-Bailey got it right on schools, and you got it wrong, very wrong, and very publicly. No ifs and no buts, Sir. 

Despite being six months into his leadership, nobody really knows what Starmer stands for, beyond his embarrassingly pathetic “we support the government” monotone rhetoric, and his plea to big business to flood their cash into the Labour Party coffers, now the threat of them paying a little more tax to fund our vital public services has been removed. 

No Labour leader with real Labour values could look at Andrew Marr or Sophy Ridge and tell them with a straight face, “we support the government”, following the Conservative government's handling of the Coronavirus crisis. But Starmer did, over and over again. 

This wasn’t opposition, this was shameless opportunism at the expense of human life. 

While more than 1,000 people were dying every day, as a result of Covid-19, Sir Keir Starmer said “now is not the time” to ask difficult questions of the government. This gave Boris Johnson the licence to continue with his dereliction of duty, his abandonment of leadership. 

It took Sir Keir Starmer until October 4th to tell us he thinks the government has lost control of the Coronavirus crisis - something we have been banging on about since his first day in the Norman Shaw Buildings overlooking the Thames. 

Yes Keir, I sat in your chair before you did. 

Anyway, when did the government have control of this crisis? Have I missed something obvious? When I look at the news I see Serco, Excel spreadsheets, rocketing Covid-19 infections, failure to mass test NHS staff and care home workers, I see recession, I see incompetence. 

Let’s not pretend the government have ever had a grip of this crisis - you would be doing a disservice to the many people whose lives have been tragically ended by the deadly virus, and the families and friends that they have left behind. 

So there is no choice for people with compassion. There is no choice for people wanting a leader that is unashamedly red, rather than climbing into Murdoch’s bed. 

There is no choice for me. 

Four years is a long time, particularly in politics. The chance of the next General Election seeing Starmer and Johnson go head-to-head is remote. Michael Gove and Rishi Sunak are more likely to be leading the Conservative Party - they will disown Johnson with the same brutality that they disowned Thatcher, and more recently, Windrush Theresa. 

So Starmer versus A N Other Tory isn’t a choice. 

The capitalist ideology doesn’t help people at the bottom of the pile, which is a vast majority of us. Trickle-down is a proven myth. Privatisation has been a gargantuan failure. 

The only solution we have is to rip it all up and start again, because a few tweaks here and there simply won’t cut it. We need radical change. 

The great Labour figures of the past would be turning in their graves if they could witness this shambolic sycophancy from Sir Keir. 

Starmer put his true-blue establishment credentials on the table, and no matter how you try and spin it, he is not a Labour Party leader. You will find more socialism under my toilet seat than you will in the current party leader.

Labour, the party of the Human Rights Act, the party of social justice, the party of international solidarity, and the party of your National Health Service has changed into the party that abstains on human rights issues, the party that thinks social justice is the name of a London-based Think Tank, the party that is more committed to little Englanders than it is to making a better world for all of us, and the party that seeks the grubby cash of the private healthcare giants, while employing a private healthcare lobbyist at the top of the leadership team. 

I rest my case. 

Rachael - @Rachael_Swindon

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Monday, 5 October 2020

Who Fancies Overthrowing Capitalism?

Who fancies overthrowing capitalism?

Now those words alone might be enough to get me banned from every school in the country and put on a government watch list. That's probably not an exaggeration either. 

The Tories recently issued guidelines to schools that they must not use material from any author/organisation with anti-capitalist views, even if the material itself is fine, because such use would constitute an endorsement of extremism. I'm not sure whether they realise they've just banned Albert Einstein and George Orwell...

On top of that idiocy, people are being put on government watch lists for actions as "extreme" as attending Black Lives Matter or Extinction Rebellion protests, because such events tend to attract those with anti-capitalist views. 

Using your democratic right to speak up can put you on a government watch list. In other words, speaking up is extremism now. Same goes for critical thinking. That's where we're at.

The same people (Tories) who rail against "cancel culture" and scream that universities are "hotbeds of socialism," insist they're "protecting democracy" by clamping down on anyone who disagrees with their economic model. If you think there might be a better way of doing things than Thatcherism - which let's face it, has led us nowhere in 40 years - you are a "crank" and an "extremist," but only if you're vocal about it. 

The Tories are protecting the pluralistic concept of democracy by silencing anyone who might disagree with them! No wonder they love their cheerleader Sir Keir Starmer... But anyways, enough of the silly headline and melodramatic opening, I don't want to get banned from any schools or disappeared if I say too much. 

I didn't mean any of that, Mr MI5 Person who is monitoring my online activity, honest. I mean no one in their right mind would want to overthrow capitalism, right?

Let's be serious here: 

Capitalism built this great nation, eliminated poverty, and made life so incredibly easy for everyone. Surely no one, apart from a thought criminal, could deny Thatcher changed Britain for the better... 

Ever since we stopped building those awful socialist council estates and the rich people bought all the housing stock, UK living standards have improved dramatically. For example, today's youth now have the luxury of giving 50% of their income to a landlord and struggling to cover extortionate utility bills with the other 50%. Every year or two, they're forced to move house, meaning they don't have anywhere to call home. They can't even redecorate or keep pets, and the day they're forced to leave against their will, their landlord keeps their entire deposit because a light bulb needs to be replaced.

There is no other option available to most young people, but that's obviously their fault because they never fought in a world war or something. I mean their landlord didn't fight in a world war either, but he's allowed an opinion because he's a wealthy capitalist. 

Young people need to shut the fuck up and make their landlords rich!

We've redefined the post-war consensus.

Back in the days of social democracy, we agreed to take care of each other because we believed that no one should be left behind in a country where others had laid down their lives to preserve freedom. We understood society was about taking everyone with us. We called this the post-war consensus, but now we've thankfully changed our mind about that ridiculous do-gooder nonsense. We've decided people can't complain about being left behind because that's exactly what our grandfathers died for - inequality.

Before we redefined the post-war consensus to mean inequality, there were plenty of council houses - even the Tories were keen on building them. Can you believe that? Plus, mortgages were like six times more affordable, if you compared house prices to median income, but then everyone became lazy and lost the desire to save up, according to the wealthiest baby-boomers. Even worse, all the immigrants came and stole our council houses, then forced the neoliberals to stop building new ones. Those bastards. 

Please note: I'm still unclear whether Generation Me needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror, or blame the refugee family up the road who fled that country we just bombed. For now, I'll go with refugee blaming, but the moment Priti Patel (whose rules would've deported her own grandparents) dumps all those refugees on Ascension Island, we can happily blame Generation Me for the bad decisions made by previous generations. Or maybe I'll just blame them now actually. Sounds fair.

How dare those kids fuck everything up before they were even born!

I'm not even sure what Generation Me is whining about anyways... Back in my day (aged 7), I had a black and white TV in my bedroom which didn't even have a flat screen, so clearly today's youth don't know what poverty feels like when they're visiting food banks. Ungrateful shits. 

Why can't they just work extra hours, if they want to buy themselves extravagant stuff like food? It's not like we put them on zero hours contracts and class them as employed if they work two hours a fortnight, then get mad at them for supplementing their income with Universal Credit. 

All they need to do is sell their state-of-the-art mobile phone with the cracked screen (which the Jobcentre says they must have to attend appointments) for £12 at Mazuma and they'll be able to buy like six houses... But no, they'd rather go to PretaManger and buy a fancy latte and some toast with avocado on. The Daily Mail told me so.

Generation Me should definitely stop going to PretaManger, but also, it's their patriotic duty to continue going to PretaManger on their way to work during a pandemic and risk their lives to save a capitalist institution, because we're only fans of a "free market" when things are going well. When they're going badly, we'll hold a fucking gun to your head and make you walk through fire so the poor landlords don't miss out on their unearned income. 

Stop complaining, snowflakes! My granddad did something heroic in a war 80 years ago so it's my patriotic right to treat you like shit and invalidate your concerns. That's why we fought two World Wars - to protect fascism. Please keep up.

No other economic model could possibly work.

I mean it's not like there is an alternative economic model that's proven to work better than neoliberalism. Well there is - the Scandinavian model - so we'll just switch between acting like that model doesn't exist and pretending we're fans of it, while making sure none of its key aspects are ever implemented. If you mention that sounds fucking stupid, we'll just call you an extremist again. We're the grownups in the room.

The Scandinavian model of social democracy is just capitalism actually, which is why it's brilliant, but also, we won't be implementing the Scandinavian model in the UK because we already have capitalism, so there's no need. 

See what we did there? We just pretended both systems were the same to confuse you, you politically illiterate idiots! Please remember to call anyone we didn't fool a "crank" though. We love ableism.

Remember, we support the Scandinavian model because it's capitalism, but if you want to implement Nordic-style social programs, you can't, because that would be socialism and it would turn us into Venezuela - the "failed state" which adopted Nordic social democracy and was punished by us with crippling sanctions. We also stole £2 billion worth of gold, scared off international investors, and then blamed its democratically-elected leader for the food shortages we deliberately caused, but we're the good guys. That's why we pointed to civil unrest as an excuse to try and assassinate Maduro (even though the civil unrest in France was much worse), and then we declared some conservative guy as Venezuela's rightful leader, even though 90% of Venezuelans have never heard of him and neither had we! We didn't even ask the Venezuelan people to decide their next leader - we decided for them, or at least tried to, because he was going to let us take Venezuela's oil. 

Did I mention Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves?

Oil obviously wasn't the real justification for the attempted assassination and regime change though, that would be the human rights abuses we can't actually prove but are definitely true. Just don't ask why we call Saudi Arabia our "friend and ally" when they are actually the worst human rights abusers on planet Earth. They chop heads off in public squares, treat women like cattle, and publicly lash children who dare to misbehave. We're much better than them though. We observe human rights and do sensible things like jail an internationally-renowned, award-winning journalist who exposed the war crimes and human rights abuses that we're honestly not guilty of, despite Assange embarrassing us with proof otherwise. Can't wait till the Americans poison him. Fucking traitor.

Socialism is just another word for authoritarianism, whereas capitalism means respecting democracy, fundamental freedoms and human rights. These principles are what enabled us to become the richest and most powerful nation on Earth for a while - nothing to do with us conquering, plundering and enslaving 90% of the world's nations. We forced slaves to build our country and got rich from the resources of the countries we conquered, but remember, no other economic model can work and socialism kills. Socialism is actual tyranny. That's why we overthrow democratically-elected leaders like Evo Morales when they don't allow our corporations to steal their lithium reserves. But we're totally good with fascists like Jair Bolsonaro and Viktor Orban. We only overthrow socialists, I mean tyrants.

If you doubt that socialism is terrible for one second, just remember, authoritarian dictator Joseph Stalin let millions of people in Russia starve while the heroic Winston Churchill let millions of people in Ireland and Bangladesh starve. Now can you see why capitalism is so much better?

Not only are socialists dangerous fascist thugs who crave authoritarianism, but they're also do-gooder snowflakes who need safe spaces and care about silly things like the environment. They even think the air we breathe matters and are totally opposed to rich people polluting it. Fucking loonies.

Lefties love to complain about the "climate crisis" and tell us capitalism is destroying the planet, but they completely fail to see the free market is the only way to save the planet. You see, the climate crisis isn't real, but it also is real, and if we just deregulate every corporation and let them do what they want, they will put the profit motive to one side and do the right thing. 

Let me explain: The only thing stopping corporations doing the right thing now is the laws that make them do the right thing! We need to cut red tape which forces them to do the right thing so they can do the right thing. Please try to keep up.

Now the capitalist excesses of Britain and America may be responsible for the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gases produced by industrialisation, but the climate crisis (which isn't real) is actually China's fault, even though they're investing more in renewables than we are. China is a communist country, meaning they are dangerous lefties, but the moment someone mentions China has the world's fastest growing economy, we must obviously credit capitalism. 

We actually call China a capitalist country when praising it and a communist country when criticising it. This means capitalism is always shown in a good light and communism in a bad light. Clever, right?

Please don't mention, the one thing our leaders have in common with China is they are chosen by unelected and unaccountable figures behind the scenes. We call it authoritarianism when the Chinese do this, but when Rupert Murdoch chooses our next puppet leader, we call it democracy. 

Democracy means pretending ordinary people have power so the plebs don't bother to revolt against the establishment. You have to admit, that's preferable to the Chinese approach of running people over with tanks and squishing them like pizza toppings. We really deserve more credit from these Generation Me lefties, not that any credit seems forthcoming. Perhaps a few tanks are in order, after all.

The problem with kids these days is they want everything for free.

Back in the day, people went to university to better themselves (for free) and worked damn hard to escape poverty, but kids today, they whine about being crippled by student debt, even though most of them will never pay it back, because they'll never earn enough money to pay it back! What happened to aspiration? Oh yeah, it went into the pockets of the landlords who bought all the housing stock.

Western societies should be meritocratic places where the finest people rise to the top, like Donald J. Trump who inherited billions from his father and still managed to get declared bankrupt six times.

Please be warned, lefties want to do crazy things like introduce a Universal Basic Income - and this would be complete madness. We should never give money away, apart from the billions we give to private contractors who seem to fuck everything up like Serco, or the multinationals who are already stupidly rich like Apple. The problem is, if we gave money to poor people instead of the rich, it would boost economic activity, reduce poverty and stop all that money mysteriously disappearing to Panama. The money would actually stay in our economy, rather than be lost forever, but we pretend it's the other way around and hope you're stupid enough to believe it. There's a simple reason why: the free market should only mean freedom for the rich, not the poor. 

Fuck the will of the people.

So yeah, those ungrateful kids, Generation Me, somehow believe they can actually overthrow capitalism. Good job they're a tiny minority. It's not like voters of working age - people who actually work for a living - voted for Jeremy Corbyn's socialist manifesto at the last general election in 2019. Okay, they did actually, by a majority of 4 points, but that's only because they are ignorant and uninformed. They'd rather stare at their smart phone thingies than be brainwashed by the mainstream media which is controlled by six billionaires. Naive simpletons.

Only the mainstream media tells you the truth about "the least racist country on Earth" which is why we must crackdown on social media users who disagree with Laurence Fox. Remember, billionaires will always act in your interests so there is no need to ever think critically or use the internet to fact check anything. You do not need to know, for example, the Tories spent more money in a decade than every Labour government in history combined. Twice as much actually. But don't worry, that money went exactly where it was needed - to the shareholders of the private companies which run our public services (into the ground). This is why privatisation is a great thing. There was a time when tax money went directly into public services, rather than shareholders' pockets and it was truly, truly terrible. Nationalisation was so wasteful and inefficient because it wasn't giving money away, even though we always complain that socialism means giving money away. We're experts at double-think.

If you still remain unconvinced, just look at the nationalised public services in northern Europe - they're only the best in the world. 

Now admittedly capitalism isn't perfect, but again, I must emphasise it's the only economic model that works, which is why every ten to fifteen years, it asks socialism to bail it out of its latest crisis. Capitalism keeps running out of other people's money, which mysteriously disappears to Panama, and then it requires state intervention to save it from collapse. 

Please note: State intervention to save you from collapse would be a bad thing - the state can only intervene to help rich people.

Capitalism is clearly good for you. For example, it offers the exciting opportunity of homelessness, if you are not an effective enough gravy train for your employer or landlord. 

Homelessness is obviously a completely unavoidable and regrettable outcome of a functioning economy - it's a sad fact that society can't possibly function unless rich people take all the money and poor people are tossed onto the street. No country has ever been able to end homelessness, apart from Finland, which just housed everyone, but we couldn't possibly do that, apart from the time we did, at the start of the pandemic. Thankfully, we later took the sensible step of making everyone homeless again. To save the economy, stupid.

It's important to emphasise the only economic metrics of any relevance are stock market performance, shareholder profits, CEO salaries and landlord earnings. Your living standards do not factor into the equation because you don't matter, you piece of shit!

The problem with people who don't like the sound of the above is they are economically illiterate, even though recent WTO recommendations suggest moving away from neoliberalism and towards social democracy. 

Lefties would bankrupt the country if they got their way, even though we are a monetarily sovereign state and therefore cannot go bankrupt. 

Please don't mention the countries with the healthiest and most balanced budgets are the social democracies of northern Europe. Thankfully, the social democrats in Britain like Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy actually fucking hate real social democracy, because that would place an emphasis on socialist ideals. Brilliantly, they explained nationalisation doesn't have to mean bringing services back under public ownership. We can just keep services privatised and pretend they are nationalised. 

They literally just rebranded neoliberalism as social democracy. Isn't it brilliant?

As you can see, there is no reason whatsoever to overthrow capitalism because if we get bored, we can simply call it something else and pretend it's a nice thing now. Remember, anyone who disagrees with our bullshit is a "crank" and an "extremist" and we should find an excuse to jail them (national security's always a good one). Thank God the cranks are already banned from schools (apart from all the crank teachers who we're currently scaring into silence). We can't have the kids thinking they can aspire to be better than drones.

I mean seriously, who fancies overthrowing capitalism, even if it means finding a halfway house between socialism and capitalism in the form of social democracy?

Those damn lefties are so uncompromising...

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