Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020: The Year the Tories Let 83,000 People Die, Unopposed by Labour

So 2020, eh? What a shit year! I haven't felt a what-the-fuck-was-that reaction like that since Westlife released their debut album in 1999 and I was subsequently forced to listen to it on repeat play for weeks on end (don't ask).  

Anyways, before we go any further, I must congratulate everyone who managed to survive the Tory government this year. That was quite a feat. 

These Tory fuckers really have done their damnedest to cut the benefits bill by letting as many of our citizens die as possible. In a spectacular display of sheer audacity, they even tried starving the school kids - and next year, Priti Patel plans to reinstate the death penalty. Pretty sure that's to execute lefties, rather than children, and anyone who's not productive enough in the workhouses coming soon to a working class town near you. Probably.

So yeah, where do we even begin with this shit year? 

How about the beginning, when we were still reeling from Blue Labour's devastating election victory over their own fucking party. Let's make no mistake, it was Sir Keith Starmer and his neoliberal buddies who slammed our most vulnerable citizens into Boris Johnson's twisted version of this Tory nightmare. 

Jeremy Corbyn had the nerve to almost become Prime Minister, not just in 2017, but also 2019 when May's Brexit deal fell flat on its arse, and Blue Labour punished him by ensuring their own supporters had another five years of Tory rule. Utter cnuts.

January 2020 was a month I mostly spent away from social media, kind of in a daze, wondering where the hell we on the left even go from here. Defeat was unthinkable because we knew it meant more good people dying, and we weren't fucking wrong, were we? But I don't think any of us, even in our worst nightmares, thought things would get this bad.

I remember hearing about the scary coronavirus emerging in China, and at the time, I thought it was just the bird/swine flu situation all over again. I honestly thought it would blow over quickly, but here's where I differed from our complacent Tory government: I paid attention to the science and soon began to realise I was wrong. The scientists quickly  identified how contagious and dangerous this thing was, and they warned us to stock up on PPE, ventilators, etc. Also, let's not forget a government report from a couple of years ago found we were woefully unprepared for the next pandemic, which was always an inevitability.

A pandemic was one of the biggest threats to national security and the government knew it.

But the Tories, who love to bang on about national security, decided not to take national security seriously at all. They went with more austerity, even in the face of the biggest threat to our nation since the rise of the Nazis. You see, Tories only care about national security if it means bombing brown people to steal their resources and make profit. They don't give a fuck about the kind of security response that costs them money and in all honesty, they'd rather we paid with our lives. 

Our national security is a business to the Tories. Our very safety has been commodified.

And what makes all this even worse is the brass neck of these fuckers. When Iran's leaders were getting infected, they were using this as proof positive that Iran is a banana republic with a leadership that needs to be overthrown. When Italy was in crisis and under lockdown, they openly mocked them and sneered at how bad they let things get over there. All the while, our scientists were saying we were three weeks behind, and that if we didn't lockdown immediately, we would be hit as hard, if not harder than Italy, Spain, and other countries that were struggling.

The Tories had clear warning and they had an international scientific consensus that immediate lockdown was necessary. So what did they do? Allow the Cheltenham Festival to go ahead and welcome thousands of football fans into Liverpool from Madrid, knowing it was one of the worst hit cities in Europe. Meanwhile, they weren't even bothering to stock up on PPE and ventilators.

At best, you could say this chaos came about because the Tories didn't want to dip into their pockets. At worst, you could say this was a fantastic opportunity to slash the benefits bill, by culling citizens who were not useful to capitalism. This was a virus disproportionately affecting the elderly, frail, disabled, and the impoverished. And who gives a fuck about a socialist city like Liverpool in the north of England? Not Johnson, I reckon.

Remember the words "take it on the chin" from the Prime Minister when speaking to Phil and Holly on This Morning? Yes, our prime minister actually told us to take a pandemic on the chin. He got way with it though, because when he wasn't lazing on a beach in Mustique or dodging Cobra meetings or banging one of his mistresses or having a fake baby the size of a teenager or hiding in fridges, he was getting infected with Covid-19 to gain public sympathy.

Imagine fucking up at work so badly you actually kill thousands of people, but you shoot yourself in the foot in the process and say "poor me." That's Boris Johnson.

Now, how about that chilling phrase "herd immunity" from Dominic Cummings, which was met with horror from the government's own SAGE scientists. And let's not forget Cummings had no business whatsoever being at those SAGE meetings, let alone playing a role in decision making. He had no scientific background and he was not even a government minister. It's fair to say the Tories could not have made a worse choice, if they'd put Dr Mengele in charge of this shit. 

The infection and mortality rates were public knowledge at this point and people were calculating herd immunity meant in excess of 500,000 people dying. Oh, how we were mocked, even as scientists backed up our concerns. And then the pandemic hit our shores...

I'd been toying with the idea of pulling the kids out of school, and made the decision to do that on Friday 13th March when, as luck would have it, we all got infected. The kids expectedly shrugged the coronavirus off, but not me - nine months of long Covid and counting - that's breathlessness, fatigue, and strange reactions to foods I used to be able to eat without problem. 

20% of the infected go on to experience long Covid, and we might never be the same again, but our pain is clearly worth it, as long as Julia Hartley-Brewer doesn't have to stay indoors. Blitz spirit and all that.

Obviously, the infection numbers skyrocketed in March and the government realised they could no longer get away with ignoring science, so we locked down. That was quite nice actually, apart from being really tragic and terrifying. I got to sit in my garden and enjoy rare sunshine as a lack of cars on the road cleared our skies. It was so tranquil and poignant, just sitting and pondering the collapse of modern society. I remember thinking I hope capitalism never recovers - that's definitely one casualty I would gladly accept. But those Tory bastards were never going to give us Universal Basic Income and build a society around need, rather than want, no matter what.

It wasn't long until the Tories furiously denied herd immunity was ever their policy, and that it honestly wasn't their fault health workers were wearing PPE that was five years out of date and didn't fucking work. Imagine sending soldiers into battle without rifles during World War 2. That's what the bastard Tories did to our health workers during the pandemic. How did they ever get away with this shit? How does Boris Johnson still have a job after this scandal? How isn't he in prison?

As if the Tories weren't already taking the piss, Dominic Cummings decided to breach his own lockdown rules to drive across the country and stay at a cottage on his parents' farm, then test his failing eyesight by driving to Barnard Castle while sick from Covid with his children in the back. His family even got out the car and had a walk while they were sick - they actually chose to cause a super-spreader event so they could see a tourist attraction! Anyone else would've got a massive fine and been sacked from their job, but not Dominic. He was being a good parent, apparently, by risking his children's, and the public's, lives. My God.

But it gets better. 

Journalist Alex Tiffin conducted an investigation and broke the story that the cottage on the Cummings' farm lacked planning permission and was overdue about £30,000-£50,000 in council tax. It was the scoop of the year, and yet when the mainstream media jumped on the story, they decided not to bother giving Alex credit. Even worse, Cummings' council tax bill was written off by the government! They gave tens of thousands of pounds to one of their mates for no reason whatsoever, but they've made a habit of that, this year. If that cottage belonged to an ordinary person, it would have faced a demolition order, but the rules don't apply to the Tories. They never have.

At this point, the Tories decided to start treating the pandemic as a free-for-all and hand out contracts to companies with no expertise in a particular field, often without tender, while paying way over the odds. Remember when they asked Dyson to start building ventilators, despite their complete lack of expertise in that field? And who can forget how they handed over £12 billion to Serco to build a test and trace app, under the watch of the woeful Dido Harding. Ireland paid £870,000 for their app and it actually worked. Ours didn't work, and we ended up with a much higher death toll as a result - even Northern Ireland which shares the same landmass as the Republic of Ireland was hit much harder.

While the Tories were fleecing the tax-payer and spending twenty times more money than the "unaffordable" Labour manifesto would've cost, and getting nothing to show for it, apart from failure and death, they decided they wouldn't feed the kids during the school holidays. These kids being the children of families expected to survive on less than minimum wage in a pandemic.

Step forward the leader of the opposition. 

No, not Keith! That useless dickhead was too busy agreeing with the Tories, and insulting Black Lives Matter as they toppled slaver statues, and siding with the racist bullies in his party, and risking bankrupting Labour while paying off Panorama "whistle blowers," even though his lawyers said they would likely win the court case. No wonder 60,000 people have walked out of the Labour Party - its leadership fucking hates them.

The real leader of the opposition is actually Marcus Rashford MBE who was honoured by the Queen for taking the same position Jeremy Corbyn was vilified for. He demanded we feed the kids. He used his huge platform to speak out and gained public support by remembering his roots and campaigning for the kids growing up in the same struggle he was fortunate enough to escape. 

Marcus Rashford is the best kind of rich person - the kind who actually gives a shit. Scientists have confirmed there are only about four of his kind in the entire world so we really should treasure him. If I had my way, he would be prime minister, but our dumb electorate only votes for people who despise them. Go figure.

Lockdown thankfully helped us get the infection rate under control, albeit at massive human cost. We have the worst death toll in Europe at 83,000 excess deaths, despite having had the longest warning and best information on how to act. 

Thankfully, we have leading epidemiologists like Denise Welch acting like we can just go back to normal now. Denise has been one of the true victims in this pandemic because she's had to stay indoors so her fellow countrymen and women don't die agonising deaths. Poor Denise.

One of the more hilarious aspects of this whole mess was how anti-maskers and conspiracy theorists who've been terrified of staying indoors, have kept banging on about "blitz spirit". We used to send men into the trenches and tell them to walk through minefields with bullets flying towards them. 

You snowflakes would've switched the lights on during blackout because your freedom mattered more than your compatriots being blown to pieces. Fucking blitz spirit? You lot invited the Nazis into our country and pointed them to your neighbours. It's just in this case the Nazis came in the form of a virus.

On a happier note, July saw our friend and comrade Jane Heybroek defeat Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman in court, after the pair had sued Jane for libel. They agreed to settle the case and pay a substantial sum towards Jane's costs, showing that not everyone on the left gets priced out of justice. This was incidentally our biggest news story of the year and it cheered me up no end. You can read more here.

So, during a period of madness when one of our princes was fending off paedophilia claims and the Tories were doing their level best to do everything wrong, Sir Keith Starmer was broadly agreeing with them while focusing on the real enemy - socialists. He was purging socialists from the socialist Labour Party, kicking the Labour leaks report into the long grass, and suspending the previous leader and most decent human being in the country, Jeremy Corbyn. All the while, he was taking the worst possible positions on those rare occasions when he chose not to sit on the fence.

Who could forget Starmer insisting he wanted children to return to school in September, "no ifs, not buts" when every creature more sentient than an amoeba knew this was not a good idea? Fast forward three months and Starmer was aghast we had to cancel Christmas due to the second wave he helped usher in! The man really is a danger. This is the same fellow who abstained on bills which violated our human rights, like the infamous "spy cops bill", knowing it gave police the right to not only spy on us, but break the law with impunity. 

Starmer couldn't possibly have voted against such a bill because he wanted to win back "trust". The trust of who? Fascists? Sociopaths? Rupert Murdoch?

Come the end of the year, Starmer was all set to not abstain for a change! Hilariously, he whipped his MPs to vote for a 1200-page hard-Brexit bill he couldn't possibly have read properly. Twelve months ago, People's Vote was so important to Starmer, he was willing to jeopardise Labour's general election chances, and when the opportunity arose to get his stupid PV, he and the Liberal Democrats decided they couldn't possibly make Jeremy Corbyn interim PM to accomplish this. He screwed the FBPE cult over then, and he's screwing them over now.

And today, we're seeing queues of trucks tens of miles long at Dover as France closes its borders to us idiots on Plague Island. This is only the start as well. Expect things to get so much worse.

For four years, FBPE told us remaining in the EU came before anything else. Now their leader has voted for a hard Brexit Jeremy Corbyn could and would have prevented. They had the nerve to call Corbyn a Brexiteer, even though he didn't vote for the bill because it didn't satisfy Labour's six tests. But Starmer dropped those six tests just as easily as he dropped his ten pledges, and the result is FBPE are all inadvertent Brexiteers now. Oh the irony!

What this mess means is we can expect a 2021 which should be even worse than 2020. A Brexit-Covid apocalypse with food shortages and mass unemployment in a fascist police state. But at least Starmer's lot stopped Jeremy Corbyn, eh?

Do you plan to specialise in rat catching or pigeon trapping next year? Or will you just starve?

Our single ray of light, our only hope is Jeremy Corbyn's Peace and Justice Project, and we owe it to ourselves to turn that into a Peace and Justice Party in 2021. Corbyn has said that's not in his plans, but just wait until Starmer expels him from Labour and the mass walkouts go to the next level. 

We've seen the Jeremy Corbyn legal fund raise incredible sums this year when he was facing the threat of libel action, and we've seen tremendous excitement about his most recent project. The public appetite for Corbyn to act is incredible. And if he no longer feels up to the long-term fight, he can at least set the ball rolling and make way for a new leader in a year or two. We just need that figurehead to get started, that person who can attract members in their hundreds of thousands.

We on the left have one hell of a fight on our hands and we desperately need a rallying point. The Peace and Justice Party could well be it.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Celebrating Xmas on Plague Island with a Shit Brexit Deal

France stunned the UK this week by revealing they could unilaterally close their borders to another state while still remaining in the EU. That other state being Britain. NASA confirmed you could hear the sound of Brextremists' minds being collectively blown from space.

Don't get me wrong, this is not an ultra-remainer piece for supporters of Mr Brylcreem (who has incidentally turned his back on People's Vote to support Johnson's "shit Brexit"). No, this is more of a Christmas message for the sensible people who voted for either Brexit or remain, and who find themselves stuck on Plague Island with Brextremists on one side and condescending "centrist Dads" on the other. If we can console ourselves with one thing this year, it's that both extremes have been made to look like mugs.

The Brextremists are finding most of the petty things they wanted, like blue passports, could've easily been done inside the EU, and most of the other stuff they wanted comes with the severe consequences that "Project Fear" warned them about.

The "moderate" ultra-remainers, on the other hand, have found themselves completely and utterly shafted by Sir Keith Starmer who is now whipping his MPs to back Boris Johnson's calamitous deal. This would be the deal they couldn't possibly back in 2019 because they knew it would be so incredibly awful (and also the deal which caused Boris Johnson to resign from his post as Foreign Secretary in protest). 

The centrist Mams and Dads had the option of a sensible compromise with a customs union, but they rejected that idea because they wanted Harriet Harman or John Major to be prime minister. It was more important for them to humiliate Corbyn and make him unelectable than protect the UK from a catastrophe. And these people had the nerve to suggest the left were the extremists. When it came to Brexit we were, rather ironically, the centrists. Fuck, I feel dirty typing that!

I'm a remainer, if that wasn't already clear, but I certainly don't want to start a war with the sensible Brexiteers out there. I would've taken Corbyn's compromise Brexit deal in a heartbeat, and they would have too. We, after all, are the "grownups in the room," or rather the grownups on Plague Island, surrounded by petulant children on both sides, who were prepared to let the country burn while they threw their toys out the pram. It truly is soul destroying.

But Brexit is obviously not the only major issue right now.

Christmas was cancelled for millions this week when Boris Johnson decided to dump them into Tier 4 at the last minute to compensate for his complete and utter failure to manage the Covid crisis, backed every step of the way by the so-called leader of the opposition. Remember the "no ifs, no buts" on schools reopening in September? Well, that position was directly responsible for the second wave, so well done, Keith, and thanks for the "meaningful opposition".

So many had made plans to see friends and family, and while we can debate whether that was a good idea, I think we can all agree that clearer communication, earlier action and a consistent strategy from the Tories would have made things a whole lot easier. Heartbreakingly, I've heard stories from people who are terminally ill and furious their last Christmas has been stolen from them by the government. It's just not fair.

The statistics show a clear correlation with infection numbers plummeting while schools were closed and shooting up when they reopened, but it didn't take a genius to understand schools are breeding grounds for this virus. School was certainly where I caught Covid.

"We owe it to the children," Johnson repeatedly said, like he gives a shit about a generation whose youth services he slashed, whose school meals he stole, whose higher education he keeps unaffordable, whose career prospects he destroyed, and whose climate he won't save.

It's painful to point out if we'd locked down hard and fast early, we could've been celebrating a proper Christmas like New Zealand - the magical land at the other side of the world where they get to call Jacinda Ardern Prime Minister and are literally our polar opposites. 

What the fuck do we have in Britain? Boris and Keith. And cemeteries which can't keep up with burials.

Let the history books remember we were one of the last countries in Europe to be hit by Covid-19. We had clear warning. We had the data on which approaches were working and which were failing, which countries were getting it right and which were getting it wrong. We, or rather they, spent weeks slaughtering Italy for their fuckups and then proceeded to do a much worse job. They literally ignored a scientific consensus and did absolutely nothing until it was far too late. 

From there, they only made matters worse with policies like Eat Out to Help Out, which really was equivalent to corporate manslaughter, but politicians are never held accountable for culling the plebs.

How many more people have to die because of Tory failures before we wake up?

On a personal level, I was among the first people in the country to catch Covid-19. This was before the first lockdown, at a time I was toying with keeping the kids off school. I actually missed the start of lockdown because I was self-isolating and I'll never forget venturing out to the shops for the first time. It felt like I'd entered a different world. I wandered through the deserted streets to Tesco and every person I passed near the entrance, who'd presumably given up on shopping that day, warned me about the queue. I got around the back to see they weren't kidding. 

Forty-five minutes I stood in a socially distant queue with some people wearing actual gasmasks. I was in the post-apocalypse and as a science-fiction writer, that's as much a dream as it is a nightmare. We got into the store and washed our hands and followed a one-way system with staff sternly watching our every move, making sure we stayed apart and no one backtracked or went the wrong way, and it felt like I could have been in 1984 or A Handmaid's Tale, but in a perverse way, I almost enjoyed the experience. It gave me writing material, if nothing else. 

I certainly do not wish to make light of the enormity of the tragedy though - that was with me every step of the way. I remember the feeling of being infected with Covid when it was so new and unknown and just thinking to myself, I'm carrying something inside me which will kill millions. It was chilling. And even though I never felt too ill during the initial infection and wasn't afraid for myself, the experience really messed with my emotions.

When my infection cleared, I'll never forget how the sun shone for three weeks non-stop and those blue skies were just what I needed. The sun never shines in Tyneside, but it certainly shone then, and here I was still suffering the after-effects of the illness and I just said to myself, I'm going to enjoy this sunshine. I sat unapologetically for three weeks on a deck chair and it was amazing how quickly the days passed by. The cars were off the roads and industrial activity had slowed down and I really believe the clear skies were due to the planet being able to breathe again. To breathe while so many of us were unable to breathe. I needed a rest from capitalism and the planet needed a rest from humanity. It was like we came to an agreement to make this as easy as possible on each other and it was quite beautiful in its own way. But always in the back of my mind was the question of who among us will not make it through the year. And that's one of the worst thoughts I've ever had. 

I've been lucky that I haven't lost many, but I've certainly witnessed tragedy, and many have suffered far worse than I have. My heart goes out to them.

Nine months after my initial infection, I still suffer from long Covid and have felt like an old man all year, despite starting 2020 as a reasonably healthy 37 year old. Long Covid affects around 20% of sufferers, by the way. Anyone who tells me we should return to normality because Covid is "no worse than flu" can fuck off and fuck off again, as far as I'm concerned. We don't know what the long-term health effects of this thing are, but I've heard of many young people having heart attacks and strokes, including my childhood friend and father of three who devastatingly lost his life this year. 

RIP Wayne

So yeah, I think I can be forgiven for my anger. We all can.

Things could have been so much better.

Our Brexit humiliation and our Covid mishandling have combined into a perfect storm, turning us into a nation of pariahs in the process. Remember when Nigel Farage kept saying "it's not like other countries will just stop trading with us after Brexit?" Well, they literally did! We have queues of lorries stretching back tens of miles in Kent, and I'm pretty sure many are carrying Brexit refugees, desperate to seek a better life in France. And who could blame them?

It's hard to believe it's been twelve months since the Labour Party's devastating general election defeat, which centrist wreckers in our own party made damn sure would happen. Well, I can't say "our own party" anymore because I've sadly left Labour, effectively forced out. I couldn't remain in the same party as this lot, after spending three years giving everything I had to a cause they deliberately sabotaged. They will never get my support or my forgiveness.

I came into this fight as a normal person who didn't consider myself too political. I was one of the working poor who just wanted options, someone who would listen to our concerns, a light at the end of the tunnel. We could've had that in Jeremy Corbyn, but now he's been replaced with a knight of the realm who sees us as "part of the problem" and wants to ignore the crises we badly need to address, hoping to win over the working class with racist dog-whistles. How incredibly insulting to the working class.

I remember sitting up late on December 12th 2019, feeling a combination of optimism and nervousness. I hoped so badly we would win, but I was being fed information about the bleak internal polling. I kept myself in denial until those results started coming in, and honestly, I felt like I'd been battered by Mike Tyson. For weeks after I was numb, directionless, and all I wanted was the opportunity to fight back, but Sir Keith even stole that from us.

All I want for Christmas is a new political party, and Jeremy Corbyn could very easily go from "Magic Grandpa" to Santa Claus if he were to deliver that.

I can't help thinking how much better 2020 could have been, how many lives could have been saved, how many relationships maintained, how many jobs protected, if we'd had a PM with a sense of compassion and a willingness to listen to reason. Someone who was prepared to put the people before capital interests. And we could have had that in Jeremy Corbyn. 

Nothing makes me cry, but if something was going to make me cry, it would surely be that. Shit, we could have transformed this country forever, we could have secured the future of our children, but let's not kid ourselves, the establishment forces who made damn sure Corbyn lost, would've stopped at nothing to destroy him. 

You need look no further than Latin America and how so-called moderate politicians (over here and over there) are so keen to assassinate any leader who won't sell off their resources to western corporations. That's how corrupt the establishment is. It's murderous. It's the reason we ask why we can't have the nice things other countries have. And we can never change that until we change, or destroy, the mainstream media. That's where alternative media outlets like ours come into play. Next step will be supporting Corbyn's Peace and Justice Project and seeing what it can become...

If 2021 turns out to be as calamitous as feared, the one positive is the public will be crying out for an alternative, and Sir Keith Starmer, who has broadly agreed with the Tories every step of the way, is hardly going to offer an inspiring vision. 

Step forward Jeremy Corbyn and a Peace and Justice Party with no centrist wreckers and with a plan to formally counter MSM smears. Imagine what such a party could become in such an unstable political climate. 

If ever we socialists are going to seriously push for political revolution, surely the time is now, when the economy is collapsing and ecosystems are dying. If we can't act during late stage capitalism, what good were we ever to anyone? It really is now or never.

The SNP destroyed Labour in Scotland. The PJP could destroy Labour in the rest of the UK. And wouldn't that be poetic justice?

Anyways, that's enough rambling for one day.

Please enjoy your Christmas turkey, folks, because next year, there's every chance you'll be eating pigeon in the Covid-Brexit apocalypse. Christmas can be a lonely time for millions, and this year it will be a lonely time for millions more. If you are one of the unfortunate people stuck home alone, I wish you all the joy in the world in 2021, even though I'm far from optimistic for our nation's prospects.

We don't have much, but at least we have three beautiful children and we will make damn sure we have loads of fun. We're among the lucky ones, I guess.

I would like to thank the writers who contributed to the blog this year, namely the amazing Cornish Damo, Celt Jules, Mr Topple, and Rachael Swindon. I would also like to thank everyone who read and supported our ramblings. It has certainly been nice to vent and even nicer to have someone listen to our venting!

Finally, I would like to end this piece by remembering the people who tragically won't be with us next year. Eighty thousand mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, best friends, colleagues, and heroic frontline workers made the ultimate sacrifice. So please, do me a favour, next time you bang on about "Blitz spirit," wash your hands, wear your bloody mask, and stop whinging about lockdown measures! The harder and faster we start the next lockdown, the more we will minimise the pain and the sooner we will return to normality. That will be better for our economy and your social life, and more importantly, will ensure more of our loved ones see next Christmas. 

Thank you.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Xmas Cancelled in SouthEast: Starmer Furious That Johnson Did What He Told Him To

Sir Keith Starmer has expressed his fury that Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas in the southeast of England as a direct result of schools reopening in September (which Keith told him to do). 

A Labour spokesman explained: "We didn't mean that crap about 'no ifs, no buts.' Our focus groups told us to appeal to right-wing dickheads to score a few cheap political points. We didn't think in our wildest nightmares Johnson would be stupid enough to listen to us." 

(Note: I may have slightly paraphrased there.)

So there you have it, Captain Hindsight knew what the right thing to do was all along. He just told the government to do the exact opposite because optics are much more important than principles for Blue Labour, even if it means a few teachers might get sick or die. I have no polite words for these people.

But let's not let the Tories off the hook here because let's face it, they've been completely and utterly useless this year. Dangerous, in fact. 

I still can't believe Tory voters let Johnson cancel Christmas just because they didn't want Jeremy Corbyn to give them free broadband. Especially when you consider they've been screaming for the last 20 years that lefties are trying to "cancel Christmas!" They're a confused bunch, Tory voters. But to be fair, most of them struggle to see past the end of their bank balances. Or their racism.

So here we are, with Europe's highest death toll, with a totally avoidable second wave while New Zealand is back to normal, having seen about 25-ish deaths, thanks to the socialist leadership of Jacinda Ardern. God, I fucking love her! Please don't tell my wife.

The southeast has been put into Tier 4, and don't ask me what that means because I'm no journalist, I'm just an idiot blogger and I really can't be arsed to check. Is anyone keeping up with the rules these days? I just know that if you are put in Tier 4 and try to visit relatives at Christmas, you can get in trouble with the police, so please don't. Plus, don't bother making plans if you're in Tier 3 because you'll probably be put in Tier 4 on Christmas Eve, about three hours before midnight... 

"Don't be silly, they wouldn't do that!"

Really? Well, they did it to Muslims about three hours before Eid, but in fairness to the Tories that was probably because they see Muslims as second class humans. Then again, they see most of us as second class humans, especially us council estate dwellers.

What a way to end the worst year in living memory, eh? Not content with needlessly killing our vulnerable citizens for capital interests, inflicting "long covid" on 20% of sufferers, haemorrhaging (took me six attempts to spell that correctly) jobs,  and completely and utterly decimating NHS services, they haven't let many of us get together for Christmas. They really have given us the worst of all worlds. 

Merry Christmas everyone (Tories excluded!)

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Welcome to #ToryBritain where Charities Mustn't Feed Hungry Children and Your Boss Pays Himself 100x More than He Pays You!

Jacob Rees-Mogg was furious today. Absolutely seething. His government have made courageous efforts to starve as many school children as possible this year, but bloody Unicef have stepped into feed them! Can you believe that? 

School children were posing quite the problem for the Tories due to their frustrating resistance to Covid-19, but Rees-Mogg thought he'd found the perfect solution, and then those bastards at Unicef decided to offer food. I'm still shaking with anger...

Rees-Mogg said Unicef should be "ashamed" while speaking from his family's castle in Somerset, sporting his favourite monocle. He explained they were "playing politics" because child hunger obviously doesn't exist in the UK... Okay, it does exist, intentionally, because the Tories want to stuff your money into their offshore bank accounts, but charities shouldn't get in the way of that.

You see, the Tory position is that charity should step in where the market fails, but it's also the Tory position that charities shouldn't do a damn thing. The original plan was actually that charitable organisations could be handy fronts for things like tax write-offs, but let's not talk about that...

Charity was not the only problem the poor Tories have dealt with this week. There was also the problem of the great invasion...

Recent research has shown UK bosses earn on average 100x more than workers, but refugees are definitely the reason you're living off Asda baked beans and can't afford to pay the rent this winter. We can't afford to feed the hungry in the UK, but you will be pleased to know we can still afford billionaires. The Tories really put the "n" into cuts, don't they?

The Great Replacement is mostly brown people, often Muslims, daring to flee the countries we bombed (when we fancied nicking their resources) and coming here because they want to eat! Who the fuck do they think is going to feed them? Unicef? They seem to think that because we've stolen loads of money off them that we'll share it out over here! Do they have any idea how elitism works? We don't even feed our own people!

I'm hearing pop stars in sub-Saharan Africa are releasing a record to raise money for Britain. Best make sure none of it goes to the kids though.

Anyways, pop records are not important. The real concern is that our people are being replaced! No one has actually explained where the replaced people are being sent to though. My best guess is a secret base on the Moon that receives shipments of Asda baked beans once a year. 

Where was I? 

Oh yes, those hungry bastards are replacing other hungry people who are obviously superior due to having less pigment in their skin. It's a huge concern and one the leader of the opposition listened to very carefully when a lovely white supremacist called Jody phoned in to LBC. So glad Keith didn't challenge her by the way. The far-right were thrilled with his performance. They were boasting about it all over Twitter. These are people who think Johnson isn't right-wing enough for them as he dumps British citizens on a plane and sends them to Caribbean countries they've never visited. It's lovely the far-right now have representation in Keith though, isn't it? After all, this is what pluralism is all about. Seeing who can win over the most racists.

"I still see myself as a socialist!" LOTO said. Fucking hilarious is wor Keith.

So wor Keith (or Sir as he's known to his subjects) has been fulfilling his duties to the establishment and purging all socialists from Labour while the Tories fight with charities who are stifling their efforts to starve the masses. Good thing too. If socialists ever took charge, we'd have empty food shelves and would be forced to eat our pets like they do in Venezuela, according to billionaire-owned newspapers. Good job things are much better here under capitalism. And they'll improve even further if we can stop that bastard Marcus Rashford.

But enough of him. We have more important people to focus on like the wonderful Priti Patel who has sadly announced she won't be seeing her family members this Christmas because she's deported them all. Poor Priti. At least she's hot though. Evil as shit, but hot nonetheless. Don't you dare fucking @ me!

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Monday, 14 December 2020

BREAKING: Sir Keir Starmer Abstains on White Supremacy

Today, Sir Keir Starmer appeared on an LBC live phone-in...

That in itself should be enough to set alarm bells ringing. I don't listen to LBC myself, but I'm constantly told it attracts all kinds of racists and right-wing nutters. It's exactly the sort of place you'd expect a Labour leader to avoid, especially when his lot spent five years insisting you don't share platforms with undesirables.

NOTE: Their idea of undesirables is often left-wing activists like Black journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza. We've mentioned her a lot recently and for good reason. She's been relentlessly targeted by the Labour hard-right, and Starmer issued orders that anyone who attended an antiracism event she attended would be suspended. Yes, he told Labour members they would be suspended for listening to a Black woman tell us why she thinks racism is bad. You really couldn't make this shit up, but I digress...

So Starmer appeared on an LBC phone-in. So far so bad. And it's about to get so much worse...

Starmer thought it would be a good idea to debate the legitimacy of people kneeling for Black Lives Matter and discuss whether Millwall fans should've booed kneeling footballers. Now in fairness, Starmer did defend those footballers in his own feeble way, but an antiracist really should not need to debate this shit! 

Let me spell it out for those who are confused...

You don't debate with a racist why racism is bad. You shut them down. You simply explain anyone who booed those footballers is racist. End of conversation. You do not lend legitimacy to the opposing view. It's like debating whether the Earth is flat, or having a friendly chat about whether the slave trade was a bad thing. It's not a conversation that needs to be had.

But it somehow gets even worse...

The caller went onto discuss far right "great replacement" theory and ask why Britain can't be turned into a white ethnostate. I shit you not...

"Should white people also start playing identity politics before they become a minority themselves by 2066?"

And when Starmer gave his piss-weak answer, she continued:

"If anything, the racial inequality is now against the indigenous people of Britain because we are set to become a minority by 2066... And we just have to look across to the middle-east where Israel has a state law that they are the only people in that country to have self-determination. Well, why can't I, as a white British female, have that same right?"

Obviously, Starmer shut her down immediately and told her such ideas are completely unacceptable in modern Britain, right? Wrong!

He simply replied: "We all have those rights" (not in an ethnostate, they don't, Keith) and then went on to waffle about kneeling for Black Lives Matter again. Starmer had an opportunity to condemn white supremacy handed on a plate and he declined that opportunity. 

And it turns out this was not any old caller either. This woman is reportedly a supporter of far-right group Patriotic Alternative. According to Red Flare, she has a YouTube channel where she shares videos with charming topics like "White lives matter." Click on the below tweet to see the thread in full and make up your own mind.

Now you could argue Starmer had no control over which caller would appear on the show, but LBC apparently do have some control. After all, they speak to their guests before putting them live on air. 

Those who've listened to LBC tell me it's flooded with right-wingers and suggest LBC vets their callers accordingly. I can't say whether this is true, but LBC's reputation should've been a red flag for the leader of a socialist, antiracist party (unless that is no longer what he wants the party to be).

Some very serious questions must be asked.

Why is Starmer going on shows which attract a racist far-right crowd when he's telling Labour members they'll be expelled for speaking to/interacting with/sharing a platform with anyone he declares a non-person? (Even a Black journalist discussing her experiences of racism!)

You could argue that in politics you must speak to a wide range of people, which is fair enough, but to declare left-wing journalists beyond the pale and then happily chat with the far-right is a horrifying double-standard.

Why was this person so seemingly comfortable raising such hideous topics with the Labour leader, anyway? Could it have anything to do with him previously describing Black Lives Matter as a "moment", or saying those who toppled the Colston statue were "totally wrong", or that he had "no truck whatsoever" with the Black Lives Matter organisation. Could it have anything to do with Starmer apparently failing to address the outrageous racist bullying outlined in the Labour leaks report? Or the fact he is allegedly close to some of the culprits?

Why is Starmer so comfortable, not just going on LBC call-ins, but writing for newspapers which have racist headlines on a daily basis? Why is Starmer never declaring racist right-wing journalists non-persons like he does Black left-wing journalists? Why does he completely fail to address concerns of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in the Labour Party? Starmer is more than comfortable addressing antisemitism concerns, and rightfully so, but does he think these other forms of racism are less important?

I'm hearing Black people and Muslims say the Labour Party is no longer a safe space for them. On a personal level, I have a Black wife and kids and I don't trust the Labour leader on matters of racial justice at all.

Instead of addressing our concerns, Starmer is having cosy chats with white supremacists and writing for racist publications behind pay walls. Are these clumsy errors of judgement? Or part of a deliberate strategy to appeal to the right-wing? I know what I think, because whoever Starmer is appealing to, right now, it sure as hell isn't the left, and especially not our Black and Muslim comrades.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Jeremy Corbyn Launches Peace & Justice Project: Could it Grow into a New Socialist Party?

Jeremy Corbyn has announced a new Project for Peace and Justice which will seek international co-operation to end war, climate change, and inequality. He plans a global conference on January 17th and will officially launch the project next month. 

You can find out more here.

Many on the left are inevitably calling for this project to develop into a new socialist political party. In all honesty, I doubt that is in Jeremy Corbyn's immediate plans, but maybe it's an option to be considered in the future. If this project gains widespread public support and the new Labour leader continues on his current trajectory, a new party may well be a possibility. I'm certainly keeping my fingers crossed.

Corbyn said the following about the project to Jacobin:

"The Project for Peace and Justice is about ensuring that attitude toward international affairs is there in public debate, in research, in activism. But it’s also linked to the effects on the economy and life in this country. If we’re going to spend increasing amounts on armaments, don’t raise taxation at the top end, and pursue an economic strategy of repaying the debts incurred during coronavirus, then the only way forward for this government is wage freezes, cuts in health, education, housing, and all the other crucial budgets, and even more intense austerity than we had after 2010. This isn’t a new political party, but a space in which people can come together."

During the interview, Corbyn was critical of British foreign policy and the path Starmer's Labour is taking:

"The direction in which the British government is taking us, with increasing arms expenditure and decreasing foreign aid — and the Labour front bench in parliament accepting the increased arms spending, at least — is not necessarily the best of signs."

Corbyn had lots more to say to Jacobin, and much will be music to the ears of the left who are being disenfranchised by Starmer's Labour. I'm not clear at present whether this project will become an organisation that accepts members, but you can already sign up to a newsletter
My advice to the left is support Corbyn's project in any you can. This is an opportunity for us to amplify our voices, to say we will not be ignored.
If Starmer's Labour continues to disregard us, and the Project for Peace and Justice gains a groundswell of public support, then calls for a new party to grow from it will become deafening. If nothing else, Corbyn's move will force Starmer into a difficult position by exposing his conservative positions on key issues like economics and foreign policy. It will remind the public we once had a leader who was so much better.

If Starmer were to expel Corbyn, not only would he run the risk of the Labour right's dirty secrets being exposed in court, but he could face a challenge from a new left-wing party in 2024, and that would mean the end of his election chances. This is a smart move from Corbyn. It significantly strengthens his hand and gives the left something to rally behind. This is something we've been crying out for all year.

Here is the Project for Peace and Justice's mission statement:

"To bring people together for social and economic justice, peace, and human rights, in Britain and across the world.

"The Peace and Justice Project will back campaigns, commission reports and develop progressive networks in Britain and across the world.

"The Peace and Justice Project will work with labour and social movements and provide platforms to those campaigning for change for the many, not the few."

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support

Friday, 11 December 2020

British Police Officer Filmed Punching Black Child Outside His School

Watch the shocking moment a Met police officer twice punched a 16 year old boy in the face outside his school in Tottenham. It was reported police officers received injuries during the encounter, but the footage suggests their actions were excessive, and they were met with loud protests from onlookers.

The boy was later treated in hospital for facial injuries and the incident has been referred to the police watchdog for investigation. I understand a small protest took place today, outside Parkview School in Haringey.

Tensions between police and the local community have been running high in Haringey, due to racial profiling and stop and search techniques. Ironically, the police claim their methods are used to reduce violent crime, but some might suggest police are often the violent criminals themselves.

I have a Security Industry Authority badge, meaning I am trained in proper restraint techniques or physical interventions. While I am unaware of police training procedures, I can confirm that restraining someone's limbs and neck, and then punching them in the face would be unacceptable in the security industry. 

It's not just the striking that seemed problematic either. Restraining someone's neck and dragging them to the ground is dangerous and can result in death or serious injury, particularly in those with health conditions or disabilities. You just don't know who you're dealing with during such an encounter. This is something which was explicitly stated during our training and I have trouble believing police would not understand it.

The officer could have employed multiple techniques to restrain the boy's arms without touching his neck, let alone punch him, especially when you consider he was bigger than him.

If a person in the security industry acted in this manner, not only would they almost certainly lose their badge, due to excessive use of force, but they'd be prosecuted. This was a grown man versus a teenage boy - a minor - who had his limbs and neck restrained in a dangerous manner. There was simply no justification I could see to throw those punches, regardless of what may or may not have taken place during the build up. I cannot see how those actions protected the officers or helped in the restraint of the boy. They actually risked escalating the situation and inflaming an already emotional crowd of onlookers.

Whichever way you look at it, this looks terrible for the Met. If anyone is still asking why we in Britain say Black Lives Matter, this is why. Police brutality is not just an American phenomenon.

If you appreciate what we do at Council Estate Voices, even the most modest of donations can help us massively and enable us to continue our work. 

Please click the button to donate
Thank you for your support