Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Tory MP Lee Anderson has claimed the media exaggerate the need for food banks and most people are only using them because they can't cook or budget properly. He also explained you can cook meals and budget on just 30p a day. Yes, he really said that!

You can watch a segment of his little outburst in the video below:

In a statement, Anderson later denied saying what we just watched him say and suggested the media were twisting his words. He then boasted of visiting a food bank where people were given food packages on the condition they attended budgeting and cooking classes!

By the way, Mr Budgeting Expert claimed £208,491.24 on expenses last year.

Even if you filter out staffing and travel costs, Anderson claimed £42,762.09. I'm pretty sure I could come up with a few budgeting tips to stop Anderson wasting £42k of our money. I could help him scrape by on minimum wage actually, and then he could see how fun reality is, but I'm guessing he wouldn't be keen on doing that. He does not seem like the type who would practice what he preaches.

When Anderson is not insulting poor people in parliament, he likes to spend his time saying things like this to his constituents on Facebook. Nice guy.

Anderson has previously attracted controversy for making sexist comments, including telling a woman councillor she should "stay out of big boy politics". He is also the plonker who boycotted England games when footballers were taking the knee for Black Lives Matter. 

Here are a few other things Anderson is reportedly guilty of:

Anderson is not exactly the kind of guy I want to be taking budgeting advice from - the man can't even scrape by on his £84,144 a year salary and his £10,000 landlord income. Yes, he is a landlord.

Fun fact: Did you know that with his £84,144 salary and £10,000 landlord income and £210,491.24 expenses claim, Lee could actually afford 1,016,350 "30p meals" a year? He could feed half of the UK's foodbank users!

Now, I've used a food bank before. It was during the pandemic when my wife was between jobs. We both know how to cook and if some smart arse demanded we attend cooking classes, otherwise they would starve our kids, I would not have had polite words for them. Especially if that person was an MP who eats from a tax-payer subsidised canteen.

Do they seriously expect broke people to get a child minder to attend these classes? Or take time off work? And before you ask, yes, people in work are using food banks too. 

1 in 7 food bank users work full time

As much as anything else, many people cannot afford to cook anymore. People have actually been declining food they would have to cook because they can't afford the gas or electricity. This is what Tory rule has done to this country, but let's pretend the poor people are all stupid and lazy.

The reality is no one is better at budgeting than a poor person. They can tell you when and where to get the best deals and they can tell you the price of everything on their shopping list because they are used to counting every penny and stretching their money as far as physically possible.

Back in my younger days, there were periods when I had to make a fiver last a fortnight and it was horrific. The Tories seem to think that as long as long as you're still alive, this is proof everything is okay. And if you are unfortunate enough to die from their brutal austerity measures, they will deny culpability and blame your mental health or something. Like they weren't the ones who destroyed your mental health as badly as they destroyed your physical health.

The Tories will not accept responsibility for poverty, but they will take credit for their half-arsed efforts at easing poverty. We've recently seen Tories posing for pictures and smiling as they cut the ribbon at the grand opening of a food bank(!) when they should be apologising for its need to exist. This is how out of touch they are.

2.1 million people in this country can't afford to eat every day and for many, central heating has become a distant memory. These people did not suddenly become bad at cooking or budgeting when the Tories took charge. It was actually the Tories' inability to budget correctly that caused the problem. And thanks to their inability to budget, the working class are depending on food banks which were initially set up to feed homeless people and refugees who did not have access to food.

The Tories are simply blaming others for their cruelty and incompetence. 

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Friday, 6 May 2022

NOTE: Since this article was published, the final figures have come in and Labour's performance was even worse than I originally suggested. The Lib Dems (192), Greens (63) and the new Aspire party (24) all gained more councillors in England than Labour who only gained 22 councillors.

"Long Corbyn" is a disgraceful phrase which suggests Jeremy Corbyn and the people who supported him are some kind of disease which needs to be cured. It is a phrase which the mainstream media love, especially outgoing BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg - so much for impartiality.

The line today has been that Labour simultaneously did brilliantly in the local elections and also did terribly because of "Long Corbyn". Labour lost seats in the north to the Greens, Lib Dems and even the Tories. Labour also lost seats all over the part of England that is "Not London".

Please be advised, Not London is Westminster speak for the vaguely charted region where barbarians live and only the bravest of explorers dare venture. Do not go there under any circumstances.

Here is Sky's infographic highlighting Tory losses, but look at Labour's performance so far:

It's worth mentioning Labour actually performed well in Scotland and Wales and this can be partly explained by the fact Scottish Labour and Welsh Labour are run by *gasp* socialists. As a matter of fact, more than half of Labour's gains (62%) were in Wales, thanks to Mark Drakeford's popular brand of socialism. Scottish Labour might not be as left wing as Welsh Labour, and their leader is a former Blairite, but he calls himself a socialist and appears left of Starmer, at least in his rhetoric. 

In the north, sorry Not London, the socialist vote went largely to the Greens who made bigger gains than Labour - those are votes that could and should have been Labour's. 

For every vote Labour gained from the Tories, it actually lost two to other parties.

The Tory Party has made huge losses, and is in such disarray, following scandal after scandal, that candidates rebranded themselves as "local Conservatives" to distance themselves from Johnson. If Labour can't gain ground in Not London now, when can they gain ground?

Let's be clear: Labour's problems in the north are not down to "Long Corbyn", they are down to the lack of political representation Labour is offering as our living standards decline.

Labour has zero plans to address the north/south divide which means average earnings here are much lower, health conditions are worse and public investment is frankly pathetic. The UK is the most regionally unequal country in the developed world, comparable to countries which were impacted by civil war. We live shorter and lower quality lives up here for no reason, other than this is what capitalism has decided, and Labour has nothing meaningful to say so it resorts to patronising us.

Average earnings:

London £39,716

Northeast: £27,515

It's patronising to suggest ordinary working class northerners are raging over the Corbyn era or infuriated by "wokeism" or obsessed with flags or that we're thick racists who blame everything on immigration when in reality we have been left behind.

The Labour Party is trying to appeal to a caricature and every time us northerners tell them what we want, they go and tell us we're wrong! They know better than us what we want - flag shagging and infighting - and they are going to double down on this now, aren't they? Six flags per speech, a full purge of lefties, and abstention on every Tory bill, like the draconian Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The last thing us thick northerners want is a Labour Party that opposes the Tories and stands up for our rights. Please just tell us you love wars, that's what we want to hear.

I mean we're all conservatives now. And by "all" I mean virtually none of us. Even the ones who vote Tory mostly do so grudgingly. I've never seen a single northerner be enthused by the prospect of a Tory government, but I've also never seen a single northerner be enthused by Sir Keir Starmer's leadership. I have, however, seen many northerners enthused by Jeremy Corbyn. Why? Because he offered policies that could actually improve our lives. 

Sir Keir Starmer seems allergic to the word "policy", but this, I will have you know, is grown up politics. And breaking the pledges you made to become leader is seven-dimensional chess. 

You can't just get everything you want in politics. And if you're working class, you can't actually have anything you want because politicians should only ever reach out to racists and rich people. If you're the opposite of a racist and the opposite of rich, you don't deserve representation. This is how compromise works!

And they wonder why we aren't voting for this shower. I voted Green for the first time in my life yesterday and it's great to see the Greens doing well because it suggests the public could be slowly moving away from two-party politics. It's also great to see a strong showing for the Northern Independence Party and hopefully they can continue to gain traction.

I want to see the rise of parties who want the people to win and aren't just in politics for the sake of their own careers.

I think about Jess Phillips laughing when Labour lost in 2019 and Rachel Reeves openly admitting she is glad Corbyn lost, and I am reminded of the contempt they hold us in. The Tory enablers call us Tory enablers and celebrate no matter which party wins because they honestly don't care if the Tories are in power. It makes no difference to their lives and it makes no difference to ours. That is the point. Nothing meaningful can ever change.

Both parties are pro-capitalism, pro-imperialism, pro-apartheid, pro-NATO, anti-unions, anti-nationalisation, anti-socialism, anti-democracy, both seek big money donors, both caused the housing crisis, both privatised parts of the NHS, both privatised our public services and both are absolutely useless on the climate crisis.

And if you take different positions to the Labour leadership on any of these things, you're not even welcome in the party. Shit, this lot would have expelled Keir Hardie for being too left wing and they would tell you this was necessary to make Labour "electable".

Only right wing parties are electable because the media has decided it only wants right wing parties to be electable, and if you want to establish a left wing alternative media, well, new outlets are getting closed down, removed from social media and banned from PayPal. It seems only the right wing are allowed freedom of speech.

Yet despite the absurd media bias against the left, Labour did better in Not London under Corbyn than under Starmer. Clearly, it's Corbyn's fault that Starmer under-performed - this is literally what they're saying. My fucking God.

There is actually a crowd pretending the Labour losses up north were somehow a good thing, that because of "Long Corbyn" they would've expected bigger losses and the results show they're steadying the ship. Who the hell do they think was leader when Labour won those seats? 

Labour was actually a threat to the Tories until Sir Brylcreem got his People's Vote - and I say that as a remainer.

There is every possibility Starmer will not even be Labour leader much longer though. Durham Police have opened a criminal investigation into beergate, and when the Met did the same for Johnson, that was enough for Starmer to demand his resignation! Just to be clear, he wasn't demanding his resignation after he was found guilty, he was saying he should resign for being investigated. By the same standard, Starmer should surely resign now, but of course he won't.

Tellingly, Starmer couldn't find a single Labour ally to go on TV to defend him last night while MPs from other parties laid into him. This suggests they know the writing is on the wall, especially considering they're privately calling his behaviour indefensible, but even if Starmer does step down, the most likely candidate to replace him would be the odious Wes Streeting. Someone drop a nuke on me now.

Labour should probably have made gains of 400-500 seats - the Tories are a shambles and have got every major decision wrong. Two thirds of the country think the prime minister is a liar, they've witnessed government scandal after government scandal, and they're going through a cost of living crisis - and Labour still can't win over the people it needs for the 2024 general election. It can only win over posh Londoners who are insulated from the cost of living crisis.

One thing everyone wants up north is change, and if you keep screaming that you're the establishment guy who is simply here to perfect what you think is ultimately the correct system, a system that must never be replaced, that argument is going to fall on deaf ears whenever you're speaking to the people who are exploited by that system. You're telling us you're going to polish the machine that exploits us. It's a fucking dystopian nightmare.

No wonder voter turnout was low in many areas, but as much as it seems like voting changes nothing, the biggest threat to meaningful change is voter apathy. People want an alternative to Establishment Team A and Establishment Team B, but it will be hard for any party to gain traction if those people aren't willing to hear the alternatives out. The moment they do, we could be looking at a different political landscape, but there will be a huge push back, of course - the establishment machinery will start its smears and the public will have to be wiser next time. People have been duped into voting against their self-interest for too long and this is why trust in politicians is so low.

On their current trajectory, Labour will be losing the north forever, just like they lost Scotland, and that will mean extinction for the party. There has to be a genuine left wing replacement lined up, ready to fill that void - one that is not overrun by neoliberals.

Labour has no answers to the housing crisis they created or the cost of living crisis or the climate crisis. They're just telling us to accept that we'll be tenants forever, bled dry by rip-off landlords in uninhabitable houses in which we can't afford to put the heating on, while we miserably wait for capitalism to kill the planet because they can't be arsed to do what is necessary to save it. They're saying, yeah sure, living standards will decline, but you have to vote for us because they'll decline even faster under the other guys.

We're seeing clear as day the economic system they're desperately clinging to is inherently corrupt. It involves bribes from wealthy donors who will not allow them to do the things that need to be done.

We had a Labour Party under Corbyn that did not depend on those wealthy donors because it was funded by ordinary people - the same ordinary people they're driving away, telling them they were never Labour, even if they'd never voted for anyone but Labour. 

When they're purging themselves of us - the people who relied on them to improve our material conditions - they're purging themselves of their voter base and their community organisers, but they've decided they don't need their core voters or their community organisers. What they need is the approval of a handful of posh journalists and former Tory MPs yelling: "I've got my party back!" without irony. Well, whoopy-fucking-do. The establishment has an awful lot of parties now and none of them give the slightest shit about us.

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Thursday, 5 May 2022

Today, May 5th 2022, is polling day, and I just voted for a party that is not Labour for the first time in my adult life. I suspect I am not alone here.

In the build up to the local elections, I was genuinely not sure who I was going to vote for. I told myself that if there was a socialist on the ballot paper, I would vote for that socialist. And I did not care which party they were representing, I was going to vote for principles, not a party, because the team sports way of doing politics is what is killing this country.

Many people say we should vote Labour, no matter what, because the only alternative is the Tories and they are always worse. Only, I've genuinely reached a point where I'm not sure the Tories would be worse than Labour - and I think the Tories are truly horrific. 

The Labour Party is an establishment, pro-capitalism party that only represents the interests of its corrupt wealthy donors. It is inherently racist, anti-democratic, anti-union(!), and it glorifies the war machine. It stands for everything I oppose. I am not anti-Tory, I am anti-establishment.

Some people say we should vote tactically to stop the Tories and I think many of these people are well-meaning, but they don't understand they're voting tactically for parties like the Lib Dems who only exist to stop the left and prevent meaningful change in this country.

My position is the left should vote tactically to defeat the establishment, to vote for any candidate who believes in democratising our system, ending the corruption and taking key issues like the climate crisis seriously. Any candidate offering more of the same is not getting my vote because they simply do not represent me. They believe in things that actively harm me and my children.

I pushed my daughter's buggy into the polling station today, genuinely unsure if I was going to vote or just write something like "socialism" on my ballot paper in protest. I thought it might be emotionally difficult to not vote for Labour, given how much time and effort I have previously put into fighting for Labour governments, given how I've never voted for anyone else, but when I got into that voting booth with my nine month old baby beside me, my choice was surprisingly easy. In fact, it was effortless.

My first option was The Conservatives and I was not going to put an X in that box under any circumstances - not to punish Starmer, not to embarrass Labour, not under any circumstances whatsoever would I be voting Tory. That was just not going to happen. I am not a dick.

Next, I looked at the box marked Labour and immediately thought this is just not Labour any more. This is not the party of Keir Hardie; it's the kind of party Keir Hardie was determined to defeat, and it was easy to look away from that box.

This left me with one option: The Greens.

Now I do have reservations about the Greens. I remember how Caroline Lucas tried to form a government run entirely by white women, subconsciously overlooking prominent BAME females. I also remember how she clearly did not want to help Jeremy Corbyn form a minority government when we had the chance to get rid of the Tories with a No Confidence vote. 

Lucas is no socialist, she is just another middle-class centrist who leans ever-so-slightly left, but... I had my baby girl next to me and Green is the one party I could vote for who are remotely serious about the climate crisis. That's the one issue that trumps all others and I can only lend my vote to a party that would try to ensure my baby girl has a future. For that reason, I became a reluctant Green voter.

Now you can yell at me all you want. You can scream that I should have voted for your guy (like that would win me over), but the simple fact is votes have to be earned and the Labour Party has not done even the bare minimum to earn my vote. Plus, they have crossed many of my red lines.

There are the ten broken pledges that Sir Keir Starmer made to become Labour leader. You can't seriously complain that Boris Johnson is a pathological liar and then insist we get behind another pathological liar.

There is the way Labour have distanced themselves from the excellent Green New Deal, draughted by Rebecca Long-Bailey, and instead want to implement a watered down version. My baby girl is going to end up living in a watered down planet, for fuck's sake. 

There is the way Labour has buried the Forde Report into the leaked docs which showed Labour was guilty not only of horrendous racist bullying, but also of throwing the last general election. You can't call us Tory enablers if you're voting for the people who quite literally enabled the Tories.

There is the way Starmer sneers at the left as though we're the enemy, refuses to back socialist policies popular with 2/3 of the public, like energy nationalisation, and bans his MPs from even expressing left-wing views like criticism of NATO.

There is the way Starmer bans his MPs from writing for, or speaking to, left-wing publications, but he will write for the scummiest publications on Earth like The S*n and The Daily Mail.

But more than anything else, there is the way Labour stands for absolutely nothing now, how it can't spell out its positions on anything, other than being anti-left, and how Starmer even knighted mass-murdering war criminal Tony Blair.

The Labour Party is now abhorrent to me. And if you're going to lecture me about how life under Labour would be better than life under the Tories, you would do well to consider I was a homeless teenager under Blair and people like you never gave a fuck about me then, so I am not interested in voting for your guy now.

I am not exactly thrilled with my vote for the Greens. I would have been happier to see a candidate from the Northern Independence Party (anything to escape the grip of Westminster) or the Breakthrough Party or TUSC. And this is a problem the left need to address. We need to see socialist candidates in every constituency.

I, like so many, just want a party we can believe in, someone we can vote for, rather than against. And what unreasonable lefty things am I demanding? A green industrial revolution which is not optional but essential to our survival. An end to the housing crisis which has left younger generations at the mercy of rip-off landlords. Nationalisation of key services like energy which are currently making life unaffordable. 

These are not unrealistic pie in the sky ideas. They are things which are absolutely needed to stop the decline in living standards. But older people who bought their homes for about 50p in the 1980s and then bought seven more homes because they could, think we are being childish.

I will not play their game any more. I will not vote for the continuation of their shit system. I will only vote for a politician who is prepared to seriously address the issues that are destroying our lives. And if you all do the same, we might have a chance of fixing this country.

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Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Boris Johnson was in Whitley Bay yesterday and honestly I could kick myself because he was just up the road from me and I missed the chance to head along there and call him a massive plonker while he was buying an ice cream from that lovely place in... Teesside.

Yes, Boris Johnson tweeted out that he was visiting Teesside, rather than North Tyneside, managing to insult both Tynesiders and our mortal enemies the Teessiders. Apparently, the prime minister mumbled something about them "all looking the same to me". Bloody cheek.

Now if anyone believes that claptrap about investment and thinks Whitley Bay would be better off under Tory rule, please compare and contrast:

It's no secret I have no love for the current Labour Party, but the Tories, who inexplicably snuck into Whitley Bay council for a while, let our beautiful coastal town descend into a derelict hell hole. If you see Whitley Bay today, it looks really nice again. The famous dome has been overhauled, we have a bunch of new shops and apartments and the promenade has been rebuilt so everything is new and shiny.

It's a known fact that 99% of people in North Tyneside think the prime minister is a massive nobhead, but a handful of people did agree to have their pictures taken with him, and this is to their eternal shame. I have been unable to confirm reports these people were later driven into the sea by their fellow geordies. 

The beach at Whitley Bay is lovely by the way, you should probably visit sometime. We love driving Tories into the sea.

Sadly, Boris Johnson managed to escape Whitley Bay without being driven into the sea (or even being shat on by a seagull) and he headed off to London where he was brutally interviewed by... Susanna Reid.

Johnson looked absolutely terrified as Reid asked him hugely complex and challenging questions such as "Are you honest, Prime Minister?" 

She also asked him this:

It's worth pointing out this lady said she sits on the bus all day to keep warm because she can't afford to put the heating on and the prime minister wants to take credit for allowing her to sit on the bus.

Honestly, the entire interview was such a shambles, anyone would think Johnson was being distracted by a female uncrossing her legs again. It's fair to say Johnson looked rougher than that time he was suffering from fake Covid symptoms and almost died. But whatever you do, do not suggest the prime minister resign. There is a war going on somewhere and we need this man to prevent it from escalating into World War 3. No one else would be more capable of standing up to Putin...

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Sunday, 1 May 2022

I asked a question on Twitter recently. That question was "Do you consider the United Kingdom to be a true democracy?"

Only one person that I noticed answered yes.

Out of all the ones who answered no, most were posting laughter GIFs or asking me if this was a joke. Of the ones who did give a serious answer, they touched upon many obvious points: our unelected monarchy, our unelected House of Lords, our lack of proportional representation, and so on. They did not even have to mention the actions of the Johnson government to show how undemocratic the UK is. A common answer was that we've never been a true democracy but now things are getting even worse. I find it hard to argue with that take.

Our current system gives absolute power to the party that can win a handful of swing voters in a handful of swing seats and those swing voters are inevitably swayed by billionaire press barons, which is precisely why Rupert Murdoch always get his PM. The fundamental flaw in our democratic system is there are always just enough idiots and racists for Murdoch to control, meaning we end up with a government that appeals to idiots and racists, but alienates the majority.

A few years ago, I would have described this country as a flawed democracy, primarily for the above reasons - a system where we get a free vote on who our members of parliament should be, but in which the voices of ordinary people are drowned out by the corporate media and in which there is far too little accountability. Today I would describe the UK as a managed democracy in which the establishment will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure it always gets the "correct outcome" and neoliberalism is protected forever. I honestly believe they would have considered a military coup, had Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister.

Here is how Wikipedia describes managed democracies: 

"Guided democracy, also called managed democracy, is a formally democratic government that functions as a de facto authoritarian government or in some cases, as an autocratic government. Such governments are legitimized by elections that are free and fair, but do not change the state's policies, motives, and goals.

"In other words, the government controls elections so that the people can exercise all their rights without truly changing public policy. While they follow basic democratic principles, there can be major deviations towards authoritarianism. Under managed democracy, the state's continuous use of propaganda techniques prevents the electorate from having a significant impact on policy."

Clearly, a managed democracy is not much of a democracy at all. The faces of the government might change, but the people who are actually in charge, remain in charge forever. It's not really people in charge though, it's money. Money is the true ruler of our country and money has decided many of you will be exploited.

Now you might argue that our country can't possibly be authoritarian because it's nice to people like you and the government represents your views. But the same can be said for any authoritarian government. They always have their fans whose whims are put before the rights of marginalised groups. People within those marginalised groups are far less likely to see the system of government as fair and democratic for this very reason.

We all know media moguls like Rupert Murdoch are experts at keeping the public divided. What naive people like me never fully understood was the lengths the establishment would go to to smear anyone who offered change, and then Jeremy Corbyn came along. The establishment decided Corbyn was not allowed to become prime minister; he was too much of a threat to money. He would have ended the tax avoidance loop holes, he would have redistributed wealth, and horror of all horrors, he would have democratised our society, destroying structures of power and ensuring the game was up for the elites. Imagine how different the UK would look with a democratised media that disempowered the likes of Rupert Murdoch and amplified ordinary working class voices. Imagine how different the UK would look if corporations and public services were under common ownership so people were put before profit. Imagine how different your bank balance would be if you got a vote on the pay distribution within the company you work for. That's the point of democracy, you're supposed to get a meaningful say in how your life turns out. 

In a true democracy, the voices of ordinary people are amplified, basic human rights are protected, and the destiny of the country is dictated by the common good, not by what makes most profit for shareholders.

In our capitalist economy, obstacle after obstacle is placed in front of ordinary people. You either get poverty wages or you get 10s of 1000s of pounds of student debt, and there's a good chance you'll still end up with poverty wages. For the working class, it's a trap.

Our current "democratic" system is two wolves and a sheep voting for what they're going to have for dinner. The wolves (the upper class and the middle class) are going to have the sheep (the working class) for dinner every single time. And if the sheep dares complain, they will be told it's all their fault. They're the reason they're being eaten for dinner!

It really is that blatant and yet even a decent number of working class people still support it. The Financial Times has been telling us that "democracy functions better when there is less of it". Yes, they really just came out and said it. Society functions better when plebs like you are silenced because you don't know what's good for you. 

That claim is obviously grade A bullshit.

Countries with higher unionisation have much better social outcomes. Worker co-operatives have happier, better paid and more motivated staff, and they are more productive too, even though the plebs of the workforce make company decisions. Imagine that! Working class idiots having the brainpower to wrap their heads around major decisions and finding better solutions than capitalists with their elite super-brains!

I'll let you in on a little secret. We don't need the people who modestly refer to themselves as elites. We do not need capitalists. We do not need to let them have all the money. We are more than capable of being the masters of our own destiny.

The key reason the rise of Jeremy Corbyn (and Bernie Sanders) was possible in the first place, and the reason he and his supporters had to be stopped, was the establishment's propaganda machine had lost control of younger generations. The youth were finding their voice and refusing to be marginalised and this was thanks mainly to the role of social media. This is why there has been such a concerted effort from governments to control social media, with purges of left wing accounts, censorship of posts that challenge mainstream narratives, threats of draconian regulations, and an army of establishment bots to sow division and drown out our voices. But their efforts really aren't working too well.

That's why they've had to go the authoritarian route. That's why they're dismantling the flawed democracy which was only ever the polite face of fascism. 

The privileged always take bigger issue with impoliteness than injustice because you are expected to politely know your place. If you tell someone to fuck off on social media because they say you deserve your own poverty, you are a monster who must be silenced forever. You must be purged. But if you're a Tory with your snout in the trough, that's fine, just try not to be so blatant about it.

They will, of course, pretend to be disappointed with the behaviour of Boris Johnson's corrupt mob, but just look at what he has been allowed to get away with.

There was the time Boris Johnson lied to the Queen to prorogue parliament to push through his ridiculous and unworkable Brexit deal, and the many times he lied about getting pissed, about throwing massive parties while we were under lockdown and people died from his Covid failures. 

And just look at how the entire establishment come together to support each other: the press who will back whoever represents billionaire interests most; the Metropolitan Police with their dodgy former commissioner who the Tories made a dame; Lord Geidt who always finds his Tory mates not guilty; the EHCR who tried to destroy Labour in the Corbyn years, but now ignore Tory Islamophobia and instead focus on attacking the rights of trans people; the neoliberal fifth column who took control of the opposition and broadly supported the government's criminal actions; the monarch who is supposedly there to protect our democracy and instead gives royal ascension to any and every attack on our basic rights without so much as a murmur.

There is an entire establishment of people who mostly hate each other, but love their own bank balances, and so will fight for each other and put their allies into positions of power and line each other's pockets to ensure they all remain wealthy and powerful forever. And fuck the rest of the country.

Just look at the constant law breaking from this government - if I started to list it all, I would be here all day. And then there is the lack of resignation, the sheer indignity, when Boris Johnson gets caught time and time again. He can break the ministerial code and just declare he has not broken the ministerial code and face no punishment - it's just absurd. Where is the independent oversight? 

Well, when we establish any body like the Standards Committee to at least maintain the illusion of independence, what does the government do? It seizes control to ensure it always gets the right outcome. That's managed democracy. It's why Boris Johnson faces no punishment for lying while Julian Assange faces extradition for telling the truth. We protect the liars and punish the truth tellers.

While we're busy being outraged by an MP watching porn in parliament, a staggering number of Tory MPs (56) are being investigated for sexual harassment. And that's not even the biggest recent scandal. That would be the unlawful deaths of 30,000 care home residents. The government are claiming they did not know about asymptomatic transmission when they deliberately sent Covid patients into care homes. I knew about asymptomatic transmission and I'm just an ordinary member of the public. Did you know about asymptomatic transmission? Well, Boris Johnson certainly did. He was told by SAGE in February 2020 and spoke about it in March 2020 and is now trying to rewrite history.

If you caused 30,000 deaths through gross negligence you would go to prison for a very long time. Tories just get to continue denying culpability after the High Court finds them guilty. It's beyond farcical.

They keep insulting our intelligence, just like they keep insulting the true heroes of the pandemic, the teachers and nurses who risked their lives to keep the country running, only for the government to accuse them of getting pissed at work, which is exactly what the government were doing themselves. The sheer lack of respect! They claim claim to be champions of free speech when they are in fact champions of bullshit.

And the champions of bullshit are now telling us they will force universities to platform bigots to overcome "cancel culture" and give people the ability to sue for being de-platformed, but I'm pretty sure by "people" they mean the far-right. If a lefty anti-war activist or human rights champion gets cancelled, and let's be honest, that happens all the time, they don't care. They're more than happy to see BBC panels stacked with conservatives and just a single token lefty that they can all bully and treat like a child for saying things like food should be a human right. They want people to be platformed who will tell you trans people aren't real people or that "wokeness" is the reason the country is fucked and not the people in charge of running the country. They want bigotry, divisiveness and scapegoating, not a "market place of ideas".

If they wanted a market place of ideas, they would not be trying to ban the BDS movement or outlaw peaceful protest or remove books with anti-capitalist authors from schools, even when the book is non-political. That's the real cancel culture. The masters of deflection are cancelling every lefty in sight while screeching "cancel culture" at any person who speaks out. That's why human rights lawyers are labelled "lefty activist lawyers" - demanding the law be followed is lefty activism now. How very authoritarian.

The people who claim to love the marketplace of ideas and the rule of law hate any opposing ideas and they especially hate any suggestion of following the law. That's why they've been threatening Home Office staff who are revolting over their illegal Rwanda plan. The people who insisted for years they were not anti-refugee and simply wanted a fair asylum system, now want to outright ban non-white, adult men from seeking asylum in this country and dump them in Rwanda, forcing them to seek asylum there, whether they want to or not. Never mind that this would be illegal under international law, they will just pretend the refugees are illegal before they've even been processed, ignoring that this is racial and gender discrimination. White refugees from Ukraine get treated differently though. They get to stay in people's houses while they're being "processed", but brown people fleeing wars just as horrific get dumped in a country with dreadful human rights abuses, the kind of country you would want to seek asylum from, rather than in. It's truly sickening how they get away with these double-standards.

Obviously, we should be offering safe haven to Ukrainians, we should be offering safe haven to all refugees, but the government are telling us in broad daylight that non-whites don't count as full humans. Their refugee policy is literally "send them back to Africa" - we are being governed by the National Front.

Just look at the way they have decided they can remove citizenship from dual nationals (mostly non-whites) at the drop of a hat. This category would include my children. They will tell you they would only strip criminals of their citizenship, but they now consider peaceful protesters to be criminals. Ten years from now, my son could attend a protest against the government's racism, get banged up in prison for up to ten years and upon release, be deported to a country he's never visited, never allowed to set foot in his own country again. It would be monstrous and it's exactly the kind of thing this government would do, because it already does.

Did you hear about the non-verbal autistic kid who went missing and it turned out police dumped him in an immigration centre and they were about to deport him to Nigeria, even though he's not Nigerian? Like they literally just went "He's black. Nigeria will do. We'll send him there!" This is not how true democracies behave. The contempt for human rights and principles as basic as citizenship is staggering. If you're non-white, I'm sorry to say you're not a true citizen, never will be under this lot.

Home Secretary Priti Patel, grand-daughter of refugees, hates refugees so much she is willing to "boost the Rwandan economy" by spending huge sums of money to get rid of them. If your money-saving solution actually costs far more money than the current system, you have to be honest and say your only motivation is racism. 

And I can't decide if the dreadful racism of the government is the biggest problem or the unbelievable corruption and the way they just keep getting away with it because their own mates are the ones who "investigate" them.

Michelle Mone was made a Baroness for no other reason than her husband is super-rich and the Tories wanted donations. Next thing, Mone's company, MedPro, was placed in the VIP Lane before the company even existed(!) and shortly after, the new company was buying dodgy PPE from China to sell to the government for three times the price. None of this PPE was usable and MedPro's £203 million contract looks like one massive scam. 

Michelle Mone had her front door busted in recently, due to a fraud investigation. If Mone is being investigated by the police for fraud, surely the Tories who put her in the VIP lane need to be investigated too. One of those Tories was Michael Gove, but don't worry, nothing is going to happen to him. Tories are above the law.

The bastards are asset-stripping the country and silencing anyone who tries to expose them, and this is precisely why they're flogging Channel 4. 

Wait, sorry, that's a lie! They're flogging Channel 4 which has no debt to compete with Netflix which has loads of debt and has just haemorrhaged 200,000 subscribers. This move was absolutely not punishment for Channel 4 being one of the few media outlets which has dared to challenge the government on anything of substance in recent years and for empty-chairing Boris Johnson during the 2019 election debate.

Surely, if Channel 4 is owned by the public, there should be a referendum on whether or not we want to sell it. How can these twats be allowed to just sell our asset to their mates without our consent? We need a written constitution to protect us from this nonsense. These corrupt bastards basically do as they please and then have a massive party in Downing Street to laugh about it. Don't forget to bring your own booze.

It's reasonable to ask if the Tory Party could have afforded to campaign in the last two elections or the Brexit referendum without support from Russian billionaires. The Tories made Evgeny Lebedev a lord and then refused to publish the advice they received on whether or not he posed a security risk. I wonder why...

It's not just Russian billionaires that are the problem though, it's all billionaires. Not only are they buying our politicians and exploiting the working class, but they're buying up the media and even social media to ensure they have narrative control. If you agree Elon Musk owning Twitter would be bad, and it really would be, just wait until you hear that six billionaires own 90% of our newspapers newspapers and TV channels. Is this democracy? 

Jeremy Corbyn was going to give journalists democratic control of these institutions so the moguls could not tell them what to print. And believe me, there are tons of great journalists out there who've been ordered to bury stories that were in the public interest. Journalism as it currently stands is just establishment PR.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say if a billionaire has enough spare cash to buy a social media company on a whim, that billionaire is not paying enough tax, but the establishment are experts at ensuring the money always goes to their friends - that's trickle-up economics.

Did you hear that suitcases full of Covid loan cash have been seized by UK border patrol officers? This cash was from the £4.3 billion of fraudulent Covid loans that Rishi Sunak just decided to write off while making the rest of us repay the energy bill "rebate" we never asked for. The bastard needs to be investigated for this, but he won't be. 

You can be as crooked as you like in Tory world and the establishment will help you get away with it, just don't dare tell them you're poor and can't afford to eat. Poor people are everything that's wrong with this country so shut up and know your place. It's only right that it's too expensive for ordinary people to live while energy companies make record profits. This is a democracy, people! We value freedom and property ownership, just don't mention we're lagging way behind countries like China on millennial home ownership. They told us for years the communists were coming to take our homes and everything we own, and yet that's exactly what capitalists did to us.

Chinese millennials got home ownership, we got landlords and credit card debt, but remember, this country is much better than other countries if you're old, white and rich. Just don't be working class because then you're fucked.

You're not allowed systemic change - the establishment will even try to take away your vote so you can't change things for the better. Don't forget to bring your photo ID to the next general election so you can vote for one of the two fucking awful choices - establishment team A or establishment team B. I didn't have photo ID until I was 26 by the way. Don't ask me why young people don't want to vote!

The fact is voter ID laws have no credible justification. Stopping two million people from voting in response to two instances of voter fraud is called voter suppression. But remember, the other guy was a huge threat to our way of life. Britain basically threw its democracy away to stop Jeremy Corbyn giving us free broadband and solar panels. And the current Labour leadership is absolutely complicit in all of this. Not only because they did everything they could to stop Corbyn becoming prime minister (and admitted they're glad he is not), but because they keep enabling Tory attacks on our democracy by abstaining on their bills.

By abstaining on the Elections Bill which they could have comfortably defeated, the Labour Party enabled the Tory attack attack on our democratic rights. Be under no illusions, the establishment includes Labour too. You cannot be left wing and support this. You just can't. And this is precisely why we need a revolution.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Northern Independence Party leader Philip Proudfoot posted the following tweet today:

Proudfoot had been pursuing Oberman for quite some time and was able to take legal action because he had crowdfunded legal costs over social media. Without public support, I'm not sure his victory would have been possible. He was represented by Rahman Lowe Solicitors who I understand, have secured legal victories for other left-wing figures such as Ash Sarkar.

Some background to this:

Tracy Ann Oberman is a Z-list celebrity who was constantly getting into Twitter fights with left wing activists during the Corbyn years. She, along with another Z-lister, Rachel Riley, began suing many online leftists for libel and their lawyer even issued a legal threat to a 16 year old girl (although that threat was withdrawn once they'd received confirmation of her age).

Some people settled out of court because they felt intimidated by litigation proceedings or because their pockets were not deep enough. However, some did defend themselves, including my friend Jane Heybroek, who successfully defeated Oberman and Riley, securing a substantial pay out in the process.

While this victory was great and came as a huge relief, it also came at huge cost. Battles like this are hugely stressful and expensive and the consequences of losing are unthinkable - costs can run to hundreds of thousands of pounds. It gets worse, if you can't afford to continue defending yourself, you can lose by default and then lose everything you own, including your home. Even if you have a strong case, all it takes is one unsympathetic judge and you can be in trouble.

The reason I'm highlighting this is because it helps explain why Philip Proudfoot was so determined to pursue Tracy Ann Oberman and why he was so brave for doing so. I remember him insisting on Twitter that it's time for the left to fight back and not allow ourselves to be pushed around. Therefore, when he was libelled, he decided to crowdfund and take legal action - a hugely risky move. 

Here is the now deleted tweet:

"So a man called @PhilipProudfoot of @FreeNorthNow has a Jew blocklist. I've been out of the twitter politics loop for a few months but is this Party continuation Corbyn? Seems like it. And will it end up the same way? Seems like it. Good luck all."

We had thought the constant online attacks and vilification of the left were slowing down after Jeremy Corbyn resigned as Labour leader, however, new leftist movements quickly became targeted. And one of the figures targeted was the founder of the Northern Independence Party, who is a researcher in Political Anthropology, Development and Humanitarianism, and one of the nicest and most genuine people you could wish to encounter.

I remember Philip telling me how stressful he was finding the relentless online attacks against him. I'd experienced similar myself so I knew how stressful they could be. A lawyer once trawled through my tweets and told me to "enjoy the coming court case" saying "it couldn't happen to a nicer person", but thankfully, they had nothing actionable so it led nowhere. Still, they knew what they were doing, they were intimidating me. (To be clear, that threat was nothing to do with Oberman, I'm simply highlighting how I've been the victim of similar behaviour.)

When Proudfoot was receiving a barrage of attacks and false accusations, I told him about a mass-blocking tool I used which would auto-block the followers of any troll account. There was one particularly vicious troll account that had targeted Proudfoot and it had a substantial following, so he blocked all of its followers.

This account was known for accusing people of antisemitism and had accused Proudfoot of such because of some critiques he'd made of the Israeli government. The accusations were baseless and many Jewish figures leapt to Proudfoot's defence. However, when he blocked the followers of this account, he received an unexpected backlash.

Many of the followers of this account were Jewish and the ones who were targeting Proudfoot were discovering they were all blocked now. This led to their next line of attack: that Proudfoot must have a "Jewish block list" and must be blocking people simply for being Jews. (They'd previously attacked another friend of mine, James Foster, in the same way.)

Obviously, both of these men were innocent victims and Proudfoot, to his credit, decided he'd had enough. He therefore took the bold step of starting a fund raiser and fighting back against the people who were targeting him.

Tracy Ann Oberman made the mistake of joining in with the "Jewish block list" smear, and as she is a person who has targeted many people on the left with libel action, she absolutely became fair game. But as I pointed out previously, this was a hugely risky move on Proudfoot's part. 

What if he was unable to raise the necessary funds? Oberman is someone who has previously boasted of how lawyers are willing to represent her pro bono. Philip had no such luxury, but he did have a strong case. And he pursued Oberman until she humiliatingly backed down and agreed to pay damages. Some would call this karma. I would call it justice.

Personally, I find the libel laws in this country to be archaic and a huge threat to free speech. I therefore do not believe in pursuing individuals for libel in almost all cases. However, this was one such case where litigation was absolutely fair and necessary, and I congratulate Proudfoot, not only on his personal victory, but for courageously standing up for the online left.

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Saturday, 2 April 2022

Jack Monroe recently posted a tweet which was deleted in roughly an hour, despite getting a huge response. Her tweet was critical of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for stating the British people do not want a revolution. Jack explained she does want a revolution actually and asked people if they agreed with her. The answer was a resounding yes, so much so that a Twitter hashtag was started: #IWantARevolution.

Monroe clarified in a follow-up tweet that she was not calling for violent revolution, of course, to the disappointment of lunatics like myself who were readying our pitchforks and calling for the return of guillotines. Rather Monroe was calling for the sensible approach of a general strike.

A general strike is when everyone, or certainly a huge chunk of society, across industries, goes on strike, refusing to work or even go shopping, attend school, pay bills, etc. It is the ultimate act of rebellion, short of violence and civil war. It is the people saying we will no longer participate in your system because we deserve something better.

In the world-leading democracy that is the UK, calling for a general strike is essentially forbidden. We are not allowed to collectively down our tools and demand a new, fairer economic system - and fairer economic systems do indeed exist. You should probably spend some time thinking about the implications of that.
NOTE: While calling for a general strike is not explicitly illegal, anti-union laws effectively make it so. This is because of the rules which state that strikes are only allowed when they are called in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute between workers and their employer.

However, UK law contradicts international labour law - namely the ILO Convention 87 - which permits strikes organised to achieve political aims. Presumably, anyone calling for a general strike would have to prepare for a lengthy court case and find a good lawyer to make this argument.
Jack Monroe is very much one of us, from the point of view she has been a working class single mother on benefits and she knows the struggle firsthand. But she is also one of them, what with her being a celebrity TV chef. Perhaps she was fearful that such a call for rebellion, for an essentially illegal general strike would harm her media career. And to be fair, it probably would.

And that is the problem: the system has so much control over us, it makes it incredibly difficult to revolt, but if we're not going to revolt now, when are we going to do it? For too many, life is near-impossible.

You don't need me to tell you our energy bills are shooting up by 54%. For some people, it's even higher. Those with pre-paid metres are suffering particularly badly. One Twitter user reported an 86% increase in their cost per unit. A pensioner posted they will never be able to use their central heating again. I suspect many people, not just pensioners, are in the same boat.

The response from Tory idiots online has been to "put an extra jumper on". This is the type of comment a person makes when they've never gone a day in their lives without central heating, so let me explain this in terms even an idiot can understand:

When you don't have central heating, it doesn't just make your house a bit cold, it makes it drop almost to the temperature outside. Sure, you have shelter from the wind and rain, but otherwise, your home is just as cold as outdoors, or moderately warmer, depending on how good your insulation is. Most poor people don't have good insulation, and either way, your home becomes freezing.

Imagine telling someone to sit in a garden all day and night and then telling them to put a jumper on if they're cold. Imagine saying that to parents with babies. That's basically what Tories are doing.
I remember sitting in my old flat with my coat on and a quilt wrapped around me and still feeling freezing cold, so please, for the love of God, stop fucking telling people to wear a jumper!
It's not just the cost of our energy bills that's going up, it's the cost of many things. Take school dinners, for example.

Our kids' school has kindly told us the cost of meals is going up because they're switching to a private caterer. Yes, during a cost of living crisis, they're introducing a middle-man and passing on the extra cost to hard up parents. They even told us the kids will be given sandwiches for the next two weeks because no hot food will be available. What a wonderful start!

But it gets worse...

The school told us all meals must be paid for in advance, otherwise the children will not be fed. Ex-fucking-cuse me?

We've reached the point where it's acceptable to starve children in the 6th richest country on Earth now? We've decided it's okay to expose innocent children to the brutal reality of capitalism? To punish them because capitalists decided they won't pay their parents enough to cover the cost of living? How can people think this is okay?

My children will probably never have cooked meals at school again. They will be taking in sandwiches and whatever else we can afford to pack into a lunch box. How far have we regressed from the days when we saw national campaigns for healthier and tastier school meals to the point where a school meal is a luxury only afforded to the middle class?

Don't have children if you can't feed them! the idiots cry, like that helps the children who've already been born, like reproduction should only be for the middle class, like it's not just a morally repugnant thing to say regardless.

In the next breath, the same idiots who are telling us not to have children are complaining that millennials are not having children, the moment they realise there aren't gonna be enough people to work front line jobs 20 years from now.

If the working class don't reproduce, we won't have a working class.

Many of my peers are shying away from having children precisely because they couldn't afford to feed them and would face ridiculous attitudes, if they asked for help from Tory boomers who bought their homes for about 50p and then bought 20 other homes, ensuring millennials would never be able to buy their own.

The economic system they imposed on us is the cause of this situation, the idea the market is king and the needs of the individual are irrelevant.

You either sink or you swim, only we're not all swimming in the same water - some spend their lives in the shallow end, others are thrown in with sharks...

This is precisely why it was so frustrating to hear Sir Keir Starmer say the people don't want a revolution. Many people do, Keith - the people who are swimming with the sharks.

We know the Tories are fucking useless - they're market fundamentalists - but the leader of the Labour Party is not supposed to be that. He is supposed to understand the needs of the market are incompatible with the needs of the working class. If you doubt that's true, just look at how big pharma price gouges insulin in the US - that's the market deciding shareholder profits are more important than human life.

The market does not exist to meet human need and often has no incentive to do so.

A Labour leader is supposed to come up with solutions, to protect people from the cruelty of the market and build a fairer economic model that's based on collectivism, rather than rugged individualism.

But this Labour leader is offering a £10 minimum wage, two years from now, which in real terms will probably be a pay cut.

Starmer simply hopes the market will come up with solutions to the suffering it intentionally created to enrich itself. When energy companies discover they can make record profits from letting people freeze, they have no incentive to change course. Indeed, they are incentivised to continue doing what they're doing. You can't free market your way out of this.

And one of the problems here is privileged people still have absolutely no idea of the human cost. They think that because the cost of living crisis means a few less pennies in their bank accounts, that's all it means for everyone else. But it doesn't.

We are talking already struggling people being up to £4,500 a year worse off.

This means pensioners and vulnerable people at risk of hypothermia and starvation. It means children not getting fed at school. It means people becoming homeless.

And even if families like mine can avoid the worst of this, it still means parents working overtime, only to have all their extra earnings go to corporations. That's not just money we're losing. It's our time. It's our energy. It's our mental health. It's precious moments with our kids. It's our lives.

The market prefers it if we exist only to make them richer, and now we're not even allowed to live in basic comfort, to spend quality time with our children.

1.9 million people are being plunged into poverty, including 500,000 children, because comfortable people decided to put market forces in charge of our lives. And the leader of the opposition is not leading any kind of fight back. We've been abandoned. These are the perfect conditions to start a revolution and soon, enough people will be living in the poverty trap that revolution will become inevitable.
Werner Sombart had the perfect term for the unsustainable time we're living in: Late-stage capitalism.
We need major changes in this country. We need a written constitution that enshrines things like food and housing as human rights. We need the democratisation of our work places by converting them into worker co-ops. We need proportional representation. We need a ban on corporate lobbyists. We need democratised media. We need our key public services protected from the greed of capitalists. We need an economy that prioritises human need over corporate greed, that is built around sustainability and fairness, that will leave a habitable planet for our kids and our grandkids. We need a democracy and we sure as hell don't have one now.

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